“While you are in Rome, pastoral necessity should not be overlooked and so it is right, even for priests in studies, to consider the needs of those around them, including the members of the Filipino community living in Rome and its environs. In doing so, let the use of your time always strike a healthy balance between local pastoral concerns and the academic requirements of your stay here, to the benefit of all” (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Collegio on its 50th Year, February 19 ,2011).
1. According to one’s capacities and personal circumstances, all are encouraged to undertake some kind of ministry, be it weekly, monthly, during long breaks, as a substitute upon request, etc.
2. Before making any major commitment, student priests are encouraged to consult with the Administrators and students from the higher years regarding their experiences. One should note that invitations to do pastoral work are not limited to the Sunday Masses, but may extend to Masses or Sacraments on other days, spiritual direction and counseling, meetings, mediation, celebrations, and so on. In fact, the communities will always need and want much more than what we can give them. However, studying in Rome is already in itself a specific and full time pastoral assignment given by the Bishop to his priest. Hence, one’s involvement in some other pastoral work, for example, serving the migrant communities, should not be to the detriment of one’s principal pastoral ministry, that of earning an academic degree and the other aspects of continuous priestly formation.
3. Collegio priests shall always coordinate with the duly designated Chaplains of the dioceses where they help out, and encourage the communities to follow whatever other indications or requirements the local Chaplains might be advancing (such as support for the Chaplaincy, having their Constitution and By-Laws, list of officers, coordinating with the Parish Priest, the community attending an Italian Mass at once a month instead of having a Tagalog Mass, financial reports, and so on). In addition to the Mass, they are also to encourage Confession and the other Sacraments, and the review of the basics of our faith, such as the Catechism, prayer life and apostolate.
4. Masses outside Italy will be coordinated by the Rector, either directly, or through a priest in charge he designates, and who constantly consults with and updates him. The Mass assignments shall be distributed among the priests, so that all, as much as possible, could experience the pastoral realities in the different countries, and so that the communities, while preserving continuity in its pastoral programs, could also hear from different priests. The Rector will take into account the students’ academic requirements and performance, so that these do not suffer as a result.
5. The Christmas, Holy Week, and summer breaks provide manifold opportunities for pastoral work, which, if planned well, would also give enough time to learn new languages, expand one’s cultural horizons, advance in research and thesis writing, attend seminars for priestly ongoing formation, and so on.