Apu Ceto at 77: A life dedicated to God

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- "Ano man ang mangyari, mabuti man o hindi maganda, we must never forget the Lord Jesus Christ. Our lives should be dedicated to Him."

Gentle as always, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, who turns 77 Sunday, shares the beauty of life with his flock, praying each day that it be lived according to His ways.

"My birthday wish is that every Kapampangan would pray and emulate the ways of God," he whispers to Sun.Star Pampanga.

"I am so thankful to the Lord, our Good Shepherd for allowing me to remain as His and the flock's servant, as well as for living the fullness of life in His glory. I thank everyone for taking time out to be with me on this day God has blessed me with," he adds.

Faith, love, family and most importantly, life, are the only constants that the faithful must maintain, he quipped. "The Lord Jesus Christ is the only and very reason of history and us overcoming trials. My wish is for all Kapampangans to live in His ways."

Still serving God and reaching out with blessings well beyond retirement age, the pro-life prelate fondly called "Apu Ceto" was born to a simple family in Barrio San Joaquin in Sta. Ana, Pampanga.

There, the young Ciniong was brought up piously, joining the acolytes to eventually grow up in the favor of God and pursue his priestly vocation.
He then stepped into the Mater Boni Minor Seminary which was located in those early years in Apalit in 1954, moving later to the Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary in 1956 for his Philosophy studies, until finally being ordained to the Order of Melchisedec in December 23, 1962.

He celebrated his first mass in Sta. Ana on March 23, 1963 and everything was divine history thereafter.

Since assuming the Archdiocese of San Fernando in 1989, Apu Ceto created new parishes to address the growing pastoral concerns of his flock. He carved more of these after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, particularly in resettlement sites to provide for the spiritual needs of displaced Kapampangans in diaspora who bonded in small communities.

“I have always liked to live in a community. A community with God at its center and in which, maybe like me, life is dedicated to our Creator,” concluded Apu Ceto. (JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 09, 2014.

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