MANILA – The Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) on Monday said it has welcomed Filipino "baby bishops" who are currently in Rome, Italy to undergo formation as new pastors of the church.
Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston, PCF rector, said the new bishops are serving in different countries around the world as part of the wider missionary work of Filipinos who recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christianity.
"Welcoming our Filipino Bishops assigned in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the US, the Holy Land and in the Vatican allows us to experience in a special way the Universal Church," he said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
Among those attending the formation course of the Dicastery for Bishops of the Vatican and Regina Apostolorum for baby bishops are Bishop Charlie Inzon of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo, Sulu; Bishop Pablito Tagura of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro; Bishop Anthony Celino, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas in the United States; Bishop Joseph Durero of the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea; and Bishop Edgar Gacutan of the Diocese of Sendai in Japan.
"All new bishops come to Rome to attend a 10-day conference to orient them with the role of Bishops and the Church's thrust in service and evangelization," he added.
Aside from the formation program, the bishops will also have the opportunity to meet Pope Francis and visit various offices led by cardinals and bishops in the Roman Curia, or the group of various Vatican bureaus that assist the pope.
Gaston noted that the new bishops play major roles, especially three who serve in areas where the Catholics are a minority.
"Indeed, our bishops, priests, religious and lay people share the gift of faith worldwide, in the Church, families, and wherever they are for work, study or even recreation," he said.
Among those who received the baby bishops at the PCF were Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization; Archbishop Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; Ambassador Myla Grace Macahilig, Philippine representative of the Philippines to the Holy See; and other priests staying at the PCF and who are studying in different institutions in Rome. (PNA)