ON July 20 to 25, 31 priests from the Archdiocese of Ozamis gathered at the Talavera House of Prayer in Barangay Quiot, Pardo for their annual retreat.

This is one of the essential activities of the clergy in consonance with canon 276, §1 which says: “Clerics have a special obligation to seek holiness in their lives, because they are consecrated to God by a new title through the reception of orders, and are stewards of the mysteries of God in the service of His people.”

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Furthermore, this specific canon in paragraph 2, number 4 states: “In order that they can pursue this perfection, they are also obliged to make spiritual retreats, in accordance with the provision of particular law.”

In the Philippines, clergy have their annual retreat not just to comply with the prescription of the law but in response to the common vocation of the faithful to holiness in their specific manner of celibate life.

The clergy’s retreat facilitator is Rev. Fr. Noel Deslate, who is currently actively involved with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Clergy Commission, giving and facilitating the renewal of priests in the country.

Activities like spiritual retreats prepare the clergy to make them ever willing sharers in the suffering of Christ and active agents of the Word. Furthermore, annual retreats strengthen the sacramental bond of priests as they live and share their varied pastoral experiences with one another as they continue their journey ministering the faithful guiding them to our heavenly Father.

Mons. Boy Naron, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ozamis, led the congregation, as Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado, C.M. is currently in the US.