Balanga, 05 August 2011
Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major
Our beloved parishioners:
Prayerful greetings of affection and respect!
“Come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19,5)
One of our basic needs is shelter. It is man’s longing of a safe lodging. Everyone has a dream house. Everyone always think of coming home. A home where one feels security and enjoys serenity. A home where there is peace and protection. And around its surrounding one finds rest and recreation.
RECTORY is the official house, lodging or a residency of a priest either assigned in a parish church, cathedral or university. We term it as clergy house and usually called presbytery. It functions as administrative office of the local parish.
CHANCERY is the office of the Diocese. Here the pastoral, canonical and sacramental governance of the Diocese takes place. Financial records and sacramental documents of the parishes are kept.
As you have seen it our Rectory and Chancery are situated in just one place. As you have noticed it our Chancery is just one room. And it is already crowded with documents much more when you come to ask or request for some sacramental certificates or do some transactions.
As you are aware of the progressive development of the City of Balanga and as you witness of the cultural and civic nocturnal activities at the Plaza Mayor it becomes a serious problem for our Cathedral priests when it comes for them to rest and reflect, to sleep and study.
As you experience the limited parking spaces and chaotic traffic flow especially Saturday and Sunday Holy Masses so there is an urgent need to landscape our Cathedral parking spaces and improve our Cathedral surroundings.
After series of monthly clergy assemblies we have discussed and agreed to restructure the whole Rectory as the complete Chancery, and to build a Rectory at the vacant lot near the Saint Joseph Formation Center. With the consent and able cooperation of the Saint Joseph Parochial Foundation of Balanga we have decided that in order to preserve our parish documents, to provide suitable lodgings to our Cathedral priests, and to promote sacred character of our Cathedral surroundings, there should be restructuring of our Chancery, restyling of our grounds and construction of a Cathedral Rectory.
Alone, we cannot accomplish this plan. Without you we cannot achieve this noble goal. With your collaboration and support we can bring this necessary project to a successful completion. These: the Rectory, the Chancery and its Surroundings are ours. They are our house, much more a home for us.
And so trusting your constant goodness and gracious presence may we joyfully invite you to the unveiling and ground breaking of the Rectory and Chancery on Thursday, September 8. This memorable event will be preceded by the celebration of Holy Mass at 8 in the morning at our Saint Joseph Cathedral.
Together with my profound gratitude and deep appreciation for your generous assistance and valuable help I gladly impart my paternal blessings in the name of the +Father, and of the +Son and of the +Holy Spirit.
+Ruperto Cruz Santos
Bishop of Balanga