PCP II’s declaration on the Clergy begins with a recognition that in the Philippine context “nothing on the human plane will influence both the shape of the Church and its impact on society as palpably as the leadership of its ordained ministers.” (PCP II 507) What it is trying to say is that in its vision of renewal it is the clergy - the bishops, priests and deacons, who take the larger role and carry the greater burden in order to propel the Church to take such course.
Experience confirms that the active leadership of the priest in a parish and his devotion to it could propel the laity’s growth towards maturity and close collaboration. But the opposite is also proven true, for he also can become an obstacle and even a hindrance to the work of renewal. One person even commented quite wryly that their priest has ceased to become an agent of renewal but an agent to be renewed.
This is how important the role of a priest is in the task of renewal in the parish so much so that the Second Plenary Council deemed it of “utmost importance” to look for a model or models of the priesthood that is responsive to the signs of the times and to the vision of the Council to form us into a “Community of Disciples.” Thus PCP II after much discernment deemed it appropriate to call the priest the “servant-leader of the community” for they are in charge of the community, are tasked “to build it up” and are called “to form a genuine Christian community” in the manner of Christ.
This two issues then which we dedicate to our servant-leaders is both a recognition of their importance in the task of renewal and also a prayer to God that they may become what Jesus became - a servant-leader. The ordination of Rev. Billones who will be ordained as servant-leader on October 2, 1995 spurs us on to hope that the Lord will give us “shepherds after his own heart” and they will never be wanting in a Church waiting to be renewed.