Diocese of Lucena
The intense desire to renew the diocese into A particular Church, yielding to the realization of God’s plan, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, of becoming a community of the disciples of Christ—a family of meek believers following the example of Mary (Vision of the Second Synod of Lucena) brought forth the holding of the Second Synod of Lucena. The synod was first convoked by Bishop Ruben T. Profugo (now Bishop Emeritus of Lucena) by virtue of Circular no. 2, series of 1999, dated March 30, 1999 and intended to be part of the culminating activities of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese in the year 2000. Bishop Emilio Z. Marquez, Bishop of Lucena, pursued the holding of the synod after a yearlong examination of and reflection on the present condition and needs of the diocese. Aflame with a longing for an orderly, efficient, and up-to-date methods of governance and leadership, he formally announced the synod through Circular no. 5, series of 2003, dated November 9, 2003. The First Synod of Lucena holds the distinction of being the first diocesan synod to be held in the Philippines after the Second Vatican Council. Because the laity and the religious were for the first time given a participative role in the First Synod of Lucena, it has become different from the synods of yesteryears. After two long years of preparation, it was held on April 24-27, 1979 under the watch of the second Bishop of Lucena, Bishop Jose T. Sanchez, now a retired cardinal. While being cognizant of and grateful for the bountiful fruit of the First Synod of Lucena held some 25 years ago, the diocese is aware the she cannot remain unaffected by the many changes taking place around her and the new challenges that she has to face at the onset of the new millennium. In the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the Church carries the responsibility of reading the signs of the time and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel (Gaudium et Spes, 4). All these call for a profound analysis and prayerful study of the present condition and direction of the pastoral activities of the diocese so as to determine the aspects that need further attention and renewal. Hence, through the Second Synod of Lucena, the diocese embraces the objective of aligning the statutes and laws of the Church with the present situation of the parishes and putting in order her programs of apostolate and mission in accord with the needs of the faithful. The intention of renewing the diocese by directing and ordering the pastoral programs, as well as her primary structures together with their respective duties and activities, in accord with the Second Vatican Council was the main objective of the First Synod of Lucena. After 25 years, the Second Synod of Lucena was held with the same intention of continuing the renewal of the diocese in order that she may further become a particular Church whose members desire to be united and to grow in faith. In order to realize this, the diocese today, more than ever, thoroughly renews her focus on and directs her thrust to the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs), which, according to the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, are the concrete expression of a Church in renewal. It was November 2003 when Bishop Marquez formally announced the formation of a PREPARATORY/STEERING SYNODAL COMMITTEE whose members consisted of representatives from the clergy, religious women, and lay faithful of the diocese. The committee’s primary duty was to organize and oversee all preparatory works–the phase considered the most enormous, sensitive, and difficult part of the entire synod. One of the distinctive elements of the First Synod of Lucena in 1979 was the remarkable participation of the laity. Such a wonderful experience impelled the incumbent bishop to further broaden the involvement of the entire community in the Second Synod of Lucena through the formation of PARISH SYNODAL COMMITTEES composed of the parish priest and select members of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), Parish Committee on Economic Affairs (PCEA), and Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). These committees established in all parishes directly took charge of all works related to the Synod II such as the consultation with the parishioners, raising of funds through their support and distribution of envelopes of the ALAY MULA SA PUSO PARA SA SINODO II, launching of the LOGO-MAKING CONTEST OF THE SYNOD II, and other related activities. Simultaneous with these preparatory works, the VISION, MISSION, and the MISSION-STATEMENT of the Synod II were formulated in order to determine the direction that the Synod II intended to take for the diocese. From these were taken the AREAS OF CONCERN of the entire Synod II, which were thereafter sent and subjected to the careful study and comments of the Parish Synodal Committees. A great part was also played by the SYNODAL COMMISSIONS whose members researched on, prepared, and laid out the synodal documents in line with the aforementioned Areas of Concern. In the all0out involvement of the select priests, religious, and laity in this preparatory work, the collective desire prevailing in the diocese, that is, to renew the particular Church in Lucena, was even more made manifest. The holding of the Second Synod of Lucena was originally set on April 14-17, 2004, but due to the magnitude and breadth of the preparation that had to be carefully and patiently done, Bishop Marquez deemed it wise to hold the Synod II on June 7-11, 2004 so as to give the Synodal Commissions, as well as the Parish Synodal Committees, ample time to study the proposed documents well.
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