Two of the four bishops in Negros Island strongly emphasized that it is necessary for priests to engage in sports for their physical and spiritual well being.
Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental and Bishop Patricio Buzon of the Diocese of Bacolod in Negros Occidental graced the opening of the games in the 11th Negros-Siquijor Clergy Sports Fest yesterday.
Cortes described the sports fest as “a reminder that we need to take care of our bodies, too, if we are to be effective priests”.
“It is also a reminder that we need to take care of our physical condition especially because us priests are prone to what we call lifestyle diseases, like diabetes and heart (problems)”.
Cortes pointed out that the ongoing sports fest is an opportunity “for us to enjoy each other's company to be reminded of that. As we take care of our bodies, it is really for longevity, not for itself as an end but as means to be able to serve the Lord well and longer”.
Buzon said “the objective has always been clear that it is a gathering of priests to strengthen ourselves, celebrating our priesthood and living the sacrament of brotherhood”.
It all started with just sports but later formation activities were also included, such as a talk given by a resource person from Manila, “to strengthen us spiritually”, Buzon added.
The two bishops engaged in a doubles friendly match of table tennis yesterday morning.
The clergy sports fest will be held until tomorrow, with games at the St. Joseph Seminary College of the Diocese of Dumaguete, in Agan-an, Sibulan town.
More than 200 priests from the four dioceses of Negros Island, namely, the Diocese of Dumaguete - host of this year's games, the Diocese of Bacolod, the Diocese of Kabankalan, and the Diocese of San Carlos, are in the city for the sports fest, according to Fr. Geremvit Truno, rector of the St. Joseph Seminary College and overall coordinator of the sports fest.
On Monday, the sports fest opened with a talk from Fr. Ron Bagley, on “Ongoing Formation of Priests”, at the Marian Priests' Center at the Cathedral compound in Dumaguete.
The events in the three-day sports fest include basketball, lawn tennis, table tennis, chess and darts, among others.
A team of medics is on hand with free check up for high blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as reflex therapists for those opting for this kind of alternative medicine.
A dinner with socials was scheduled for the priests last night while the championship games are set today.*JFP
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