A community of Christ’s disciples, living the fullness of life in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with Mary, our mother, and San Roque, our patron.
„Community of Christ’s disciples‟ establishes our identity as a Diocese – a community of disciples. The heart and center of this community is Jesus Christ. (PCPII Acts par. 402)
‘Community’ (koinonia) suggests a special relationship – a communion – among believers based on participation in Christ (Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 4:13), sharing a common life in the Spirit (2 Cor 13:13; Phil 2:1) by way of baptism (1 Cor 12:13) and the Eucharist (1 Cor 10:16-17). It implies that we, as members of the diocese, are not only related to Jesus but also related to one another. Community connotes harmony, unity, fellowship and friendship.
‘Disciples’ (mathetes - "pupil, learner") are people attached to a teacher, group or movement, who not only gain knowledge from, but also live the lifestyle of the Master, even in a community setting. Discipleship is about loving God. It refers to a deep desire to know God, to be one with God, and to follow God.
‘Living the Fullness of Life’ describes what kind of community of Christ‟s disciples we aspire to become. Fullness of Life comes from the words of Jesus in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” And so, this refers to Life that only Jesus can give – by His sacrifice and resurrection, by His words and actions, and by His call to us to follow Him. Fullness means a superabundance, overflowing, over and above, and more than sufficient divine prosperity. „Living the fullness of life‟ refers both to our aspiration of eternal life and our life of active charity. The aspiration of eternal life suggests that we may never achieve the true fullness of life that we aspire until we are received in heaven. And so, our quest for it will be a continuing journey. This journey, through our life of active charity, is as important.
The ‘life in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ professes our adherence to the Catholic dogma of the Triune God. In all our actions we are to be dependent and faithful to God, our loving Father, devoted to Jesus, our Savior, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, our animator. This is the model to which we pattern our being a community of Christ‟s disciples.
‘With Mary, our mother’ affirms our devotion to the Blessed Mother – Mother of the Church and Mother of the Diocese. We journey in this life through her mediation, protection and guidance. The path to reach Jesus is through Mary. She is our model of discipleship.
(With) ‘San Roque, our patron’ indicates our identity as a local church with San Roque as patron saint. San Roque is our model of compassion for the poor and the sick. We ask for his intercessory prayers to God.
We, the Bishop, Clergy, Religious, and Laity - nourished by prayer, the Word of God, Sacrament, and continuing integral faith formation - commit ourselves to a life of communion and service as families and as communities, towards becoming Church of the poor while promoting the culture of life, justice, peace and integrity of creation.
‘We, the Bishop, Clergy, Religious, and Laity’ establishes our composition as a Diocese. These are the people actively involved in the mission. It implies equality in dignity among the clergy, religious and lay and at the same time a hierarchy of authority. Although the bishop is implicitly included in the clergy, he is specifically mentioned at the forefront of the statement to highlight his primacy in the mission and in the local church.
Following the primary subject of the mission are qualifiers that enumerate our core values. We say we are ‘nourished’ by these values to underscore their importance to our survival. These values nurture, preserve, and strengthen us.
‘Prayer’ refers to both our individual and collective prayers. It includes living a prayerful life and living our life as prayer.
The ‘Word of God’ and the ‘Sacraments’ are Divine gifts. Prayer, the Word of God, and the Sacraments form the tripod of Christian life.
‘Continuing integral faith formation’ shows our desire to know God more so that we can love Him more. The two qualities we desire for our faith formation are „continuing‟ and „integral‟. Formation should be continuing. From childhood until death, we keep on learning about God and growing into better Christians. Formation should also be integral. It includes physical, intellectual, character, social, apostolic, and spiritual formation taken simultaneously.
‘A life of communion and service’ connotes unity in diversity, fellowship, and charity. It invokes the dimensions of the Eucharist – a unity with God and with fellowmen, and an active faith rooted in love.
‘As families and as communities’ are two levels of communion. It emphasizes the value of the family as the domestic church – the basic unit of the diocese. It presents an image of the church as families coming together as communities. These communities being in communion with each other become the Basic Ecclesial Communities.
‘Church of the poor’ does not refer solely to material poverty but according to PCP II. “It is a Church that embraces and practices the evangelical spirit of poverty, which combines detachment from possessions with a profound trust in the Lord as the sole source of salvation. While the Lord does not want anyone to be materially poor, He wants his followers to be “poor in spirit”. (PCP II Acts par. 125)
‘Promoting the culture of life’ refers to our belief that human life, from conception to physical death, is a sacred gift that should be protected and appreciated. Love is an important element of this culture of life.
‘Justice, peace and integrity of creation’ are also Christian values that we commit to promote. Christian justice and peace imply ecumenism, which aims at the recovery in thought, in action, and in organization, of the true unity between the Church's mission to the world (its apostolate) and the Church's obligation to be one.
- ‘Justice’ refers not to legal justice but rather to the justice of the Christian heart. Its basic, wise, clear and comprehensible principle is expressed in the Gospel by the words: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Mt 7:12)”
- ‘Peace’ refers not to social peace, but to the Christian peace that Jesus refers to when He said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (Jn 14:27)
- ‘Integrity of creation’ refers to the respect and care for the fullness of what God has made – the broad sweep of the cosmos, from galaxies to atoms, both living and non-living. It also expresses a relationship with God as Creator.
Through our mission, we bind ourselves to and place ourselves in a covenant relationship with God.