The following Ordinances designed and decreed for the student-priests in the Filipino Pontifical College have been formulated to help them successfully attain the purpose of their sojourn in Rome, which is briefly to pursue with effectiveness higher studies and to continue their priestly formation. These Ordinances have been sanctioned by the Hierarchy of the Philippines and approved by the Holy See. Hence, all the students are expected to accept and observe them with the spirit of faith and love. Moreover, by the generous and faithful affirmation of these Ordinances and by cooperating with the Administrative Staff of the College, the student-priests will help build therein an authentic presbyterium, a genuine priestly community, a true sacramental brotherhood.
As a home for priests studying in Rome, the Pontifical Filipino College as a whole shall be mindful of the obligations and directives binding upon all priests in the Diocese of Rome. It shall also follow such directives as may be issued from time to time by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education.
Although the ordinary administration and daily operation of the College is the immediate responsibility of the Rector, as it is also his duty to interpret and implement these Ordinances and to at times give particular opportune directives, the student-priests can help him fulfill his authority of service with greater efficacy if they take regular recourse to open and fraternal dialogues with him.
I. SPIRITUAL LIFE
To enable priests to foster fervent union with Christ, they have at their disposal the following helps or means which the Church recommends and sometimes ordains for the sanctification of her members (P.O. 18):
1. Eucharistic celebration. “No Christian community is built up which does not grow from and hinge on the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist.” (P.O. 6). Hence, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass shall be celebrated or preferably, concelebrated daily at a suitable time. There shall be a weekly concelebration by the whole Community.
2. Divine Office. Since priests are deputed by the Church to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the name of and for the entire People of God, the Morning or Evening Prayer, shall be recited in common, possibly everyday.
3. Retreat and Recollection. The student-priests must always make time for their spiritual monthly recollection, and annual retreat, absence from any of which could only be premised on truly grave reason(s).
4. Confession. As a powerful incentive to the essential conversion of heart, they are urged to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance as frequently as desired by the Church (cf. A.A.S. 63, 1971, p. 318).
5. Other Helps. The students are also expected to avail themselves of the other helps to their priestly sanctification such as daily practice of mental prayer, visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament, filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, spiritual direction, and the like.
6. Priestly ministry. “Priests will acquire holiness in their own distinctive way by exercising their functions sincerely and tirelessly in the Spirit of Christ.” (P.O. 13). Hence, even if their main concern are their scholastic studies, they should seek and take advantage of the various opportunities for undertaking some kind of pastoral ministry during vacations and weekends under the direction of or in collaboration with the competent Church authority.
Since they have been sent to Rome for the specific purpose of pursuing higher ecclesiastical studies with success and are therefore justly expected thereafter to be a salient response to the distinct ministerial needs of their respective dioceses, the students are enjoined to devote a considerable amount of their time and effort to studies.
1. Since every student is supposed to pursue the course prescribed or allowed by his Bishop, any change thereof in favor of another line of studies should have the approval of the same Bishop.
2. The students are well expected to faithfully attend classes, undergo examinations and satisfy all academic and administrative requirements pertinent to their courses.
3. The students shall take advantage of the many opportunities offered in Rome for widening their cultural, intellectual, and even spiritual horizons, such as conferences, exhibits, concerts, and the like.
4. The long summer vacations also offer wonderful opportunities for learning foreign languages, pursuing one’s research work, gaining more experience in the pastoral ministry, or simply for general self-growth, all subject to the “placet” of the Rector and the Bishop of the student concerned.
5. The Rector has both the duty and the right to see to it that through his wise counsels and prudent directives, the students do not lose sight of their basic scholastic task and concern during their sojourn in Rome.
6. The Episcopal Commission shall periodically review and regulate the standard number of years the students may continue residing at the College on the occasion of their studies in Rome.
III. COMMUNITY AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
“In order to enable priests to find mutual help in cultivating the intellectual and spiritual life, to promote better cooperation…, to safeguard them from possible dangers arising from loneliness, it is necessary to foster some kind of community life or social relations among them.” (P.O. 8).
It is, however, also recognized that residence in common actually demands some restriction upon the individual freedom of each resident. Wherefore, certain reminders such as the following, are necessary both for the common welfare and for the good of the individual persons concerned:
1. The College schedule for exercises of piety, for meals and other common activities should be observed faithfully and with punctuality, specially regarding the College curfew or closing time at night right after supper.
2. Ordinarily, guests are to be received in the College parlor or visiting rooms.
3. In the genuine spirit of cooperation and of service to the community, the students designated to attend to particular concerns of life in the College should gladly do so, such as for the promotion of liturgy, the good of the library, the enhancement of sports, and the like.
4. All are expected to join and participate actively in all those common endeavours that help foster the spirit of community and mutual help such as recreation, dialogues, outings, and the like.
5. The students are advised to inform the Rector beforehand if they will be away overnight from the College and to leave the address(es) where they can be contacted in case of necessity.
6. In order to achieve the common and basic objective of fruitful study, the rule of silence shall be observed at all times in and about the students’ quarters. Furthermore, the practice of the Christian virtues of charity and self-denial, of thoughtfulness, courtesy and respect for the rights of others, are conducive to a harmonious and joyful community life.
7. All are enjoined to wear “suitable ecclesiastical dress”, e.g., black cassock whenever they are with the Holy Father, clericals whenever we have official functions with our Bishops or with members of the Roman Curia whether in or outside the Collegio.
Formally approved by the Holy See, these Statutes and Ordinances may not be in any way altered or modified as a whole or in part, without the formal approval of the same Holy See.
(Approved by the Philippine Bishop’s Conference on January 26, 1987. The observations of the Congregation for Catholic Education as conveyed by its letter bearing Prot. N. 373/87 have been duly reflected in the second draft and was finally approved by the aforementioned Congregation on the 30th of April 1987.)