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Filipino bishop preaches clergy retreat

By Frank Flegel

05/17/2017

Bishop Pablo David (centre, with cross) of the Caloocan Diocese in the Philippines poses with the Filipino priests currently serving in the Regina Archdiocese. David preached the week-long annual clergy retreat for the archdiocese at the Living Skies Retreat Centre in Lumsden. Sask., in early May. (Frank Flegel photo)

LUMSDEN, Sask. — For Filipino Bishop Pablo David it was almost like speaking with his own priests at home in the Philippines as he delivered the annual archdiocesan clergy retreat at the Living Skies Retreat Centre (formerly St. Michael’s Retreat) in Lumsden.

At least 10 of the 55 priests in attendance were from the Philippines and serving in parishes throughout the Regina archdiocese. None of them came from David’s home diocese of Caloocan, but they had heard of him and were pleased that he was there to deliver the retreat. David also took time to celebrate the regular Saturday mass at Holy Child Church, which has a large Filipino population.

David based his talks on the biblical passage in which Jesus joins two apostles on the road to Emmaus. There are several biblical references to this particular episode and the bishop chose the version in Luke’s Gospel as the basis for his talks.

Archdiocesan chancellor Rev. James Owolagba said the organizing committee wanted a scriptural scholar for this year’s retreat and David was recommended by an acquaintance. “I remembered that he spoke at the eucharistic congress in the Philippines last year, so I contacted him. Bishop David had visited Canada on previous occasions but this was his first visit to this area of Canada.”

Usually the priests provide the music for the masses and retreat, but this year the parish choir from Lumsden’s St. Jerome Church performed. The week-long retreat included several talks by David and at least two masses. In between sessions priests were asked to use the time for quiet reflection; conversation was encouraged at meal times.

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