Pastoral Letter for Bacolod Diocese
Bacolod Diocese, Negros, The Philippines, 14 February 2020 -- The long-awaited Pastoral Letter of Bishop Buzon, SDB on the Spirituality of Stewardship entitled, "Receiving and Giving" was published on 20 January 2020 - the Feast of Saint Sebastian, the Titular of Bacolod diocese. It is the result of a journey with the whole diocesan Catholic community during the last four years. After his ministry as SDB provincial (FIS - Cebu) from 1998-2003, he was a Bishop of Kabankalan (2003-2016) and since 24 May 2016 has been installed as Bishop of Bacolod, Negros Island.
For Bishop Buzon, "Stewardship is to imitate Jesus in his generous self-giving in fulfilling the will of the Father. When we generously give, we become Christ-like. To be Christ-like is to realize like Jesus that everything that one has is from the Father (Jn 17:7) and that one is called to ensure that nothing is lost of that which was received (Jn 18:9).
May the whole Bacolod diocese learn to live this spirituality, and as leaders of our communities, may our priests be the first to understand it and practice it..."
In part 4 'Generosity', the Pastor of Bacolod diocese shares his dream, one that has matured during his episcopal ministry in Kabankalan and now in Bacolod:
"I look forward to see the day when there would no longer be any need for Mass collections, arancel and charges for Mass intentions. Associating priestly ministry with financial fees is so unedifying; it turns the sacrament into some kind of merchandise or commercial goods.
The abolition of stole fees is possible when we live the spirituality of stewardship. Aware that we are all recipients of God's manifold gifts, everyone cheerfully returns God's gifts and freely gives his/her share in sustaining the Church. This is the essence of the tithing practice in the Old Testament and the present system of the monthly pledge practiced in many diocese in many countries.
In summary, the spirituality of stewardship is our way of being disciples of Christ, who even though He was God, emptied Himself and became a servant, obedient to the point of giving up His life."
The full text of the Pastoral Letter is on the photo file below, divided into the following parts:
What is spirituality?
What is the spirituality of stewardship?
What are the four elements of stewardship?
- Increase (the talents)