By: EILEEN B. NAZARENO
TACLOBAN CITY-The entire clergy within the jurisdiction of the archdiocese of Palo will keep their current positions for now but will still be receiving their monthly standard living allowance(SLA) effective end January this year.
This development came amidst the local church’s great effort in having around 95% of all parishes that were left roofless and ravaged by supertyphoon Yolanda on November 8 repaired and renovated.
According to Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesman of the archdiocese, the many destructions and devastations caused by the supertyphoon to almost all the parishes of the within the archdiocese of Palo prompted Archbishop John Du to order the indefinite postponement of the reshuffle of priests.
The general re-assignment, which should have taken place this month, was directed deferred last year for reason that “the current priests are the ones who know well about the present situation of their respective parishes that were greatly affected by the disaster,” Alvero commented.
“They will be the ones who are in good position to do the disaster management in their parishes now,” surmising though that “perhaps next year when everything will be in normalcy, the reshuffling will be pursued,” he said.
While this archdiocesan program was momentarily deferred, the newest economic program initiated by Archbishop Du, which will benefit around 140 priests, will continue.
Alvero is optimistic that the SLA will certainly be given to the priests by end of this month. It amounts from P10,000 to 15,000 per month, as earlier reported.
In an earlier interview, he expressed his belief that by the decent allowance that priests will receive, they will be able to live a simple lifestyle, which is in keeping with Pope Francis’ call for priests to live a simple and austere lifestyle.”
“In this way, we will be united with our Pope in living a simple life worthy of being a minister of Christ, who lived a simple life while he was on earth,” Alvero remarked, adding that this will make priests focus more on their ministry than their personal economic concerns.”
For him, the release of the SLA this month will surely help all priests within the archdiocese who were largely affected by Yolanda.
While the archdiocese is ready to roll this economic package for the priests, it is likewise in the thick of finding resources that will help parishes, as well as other facilities of the local church, undergo the needed repair of damage created by the megastorm.
Immediately after the occurrence of supertyphoon Yolanda, the archdiocese created the disaster response committee that will now be a permanent council in the archdiocese. The committee is chaired by the archbishop with Msgr. Ben Catilogo as point person.
Alvero disclosed that the top priority of the archdiocese is its second phase of the disaster management, which is the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the structures not just of the church edifices and parish rectories, but also homes of the typhoon victims.
Major repairs are now being undertaken on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Palo, the Archbishop’s Residence and the two seminaries namely the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology and the Sacred Heart Seminary.