On the occasion of the 50th year founding anniversary of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao (REMASE)

Christians for National Liberation (CNL) - Southern Mindanao
July 11, 2014


SOLIDARITY MESSAGE of the Christians for National Liberation (CNL)
The Christians for National Liberation (CNL) Southern Mindanao conveys its warmest revolutionary greetings to the members and alumni of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao (REMASE) who are celebrating the seminary’s 50th year founding anniversary on July 11, 2014.

We salute the founders, teachers, theologians and the whole members of the REMASE for producing priests and servants of God who have served God and God’s people for the needs of the Mindanao church over the last 50 years. Since its inception on July 11, 1964, the REMASE has produced more than 700 priests who have served in various dioceses in the country and in Mindanao while several have also become bishops and archbishops.



But what truly inspires CNL with REMASE’s golden year anniversary is to share the collective memory of priests who have taken another path to serve God’s flock well, who have formed their own “diocese”—to serve the least served, the most dispossessed among God’s people.

This year’s golden year celebration of REMASE brings to mind the legacy of Fr. Bert Salac, Fr. William Galleto and Fr. Frank Navarro and countless others who exemplified the legacy of Christ- the Church’s preferential option for the poor and who internalized the gospels denouncing elitism and exploitation by taking the path of armed struggle to defend the oppressed.

We pay homage to REMASE for persevering in producing diocesan and religious priests, men of God who live up to Jesus’ own deeds and sacrifices. REMASE priests and seminarians for the first three decades since its inception have integrated with the toiling peasants, Lumads and workers, and internalized Jesus’ revolutionary resistance against the evils of imperialism or the Roman Empire during his day, by exposing the ills of the US-Marcos dictatorship and embracing armed struggle and the revolutionary movement.

Indeed, REMASE was instrumental in inviting and shaping the idealistic and passionate young men who had the calling and the vocation to serve God. During the 1970s and the 1980s, in their classrooms of the seminary, while they went through formation for the priesthood, outside the halls, they witnessed the horrors of Martial Law, the cries of the urban poor who were threatened for eviction and the struggles of the working class for an end to wage slavery.

Activism sprung from the grounds and walls of the REMASE. The seminarians then simply could not ignore the burgeoning pedagogy of the oppressed, as like the 12 disciples and adherents of Jesus Christ who gave up the comforts of their families and proclaimed the liberation of the Anawim. Hundreds of REMASE’s seminarians went on to become priests serving poor parishes in the countryside and slums of Mindanao.

Some of them eventually became forerunners of the CNL in Mindanao in the 1980s. They served the oppressed and exploited people and promoted the national-democratic movement among the clergy and the laity. The CNL members who hail from REMASE and who fought the US-Marcos fascist dictatorship and the succeeding regimes took the risks and struggled hard. Among these activist priests, many went on to become cadres, full-time fighters and commanders of the New People’s Army and underground organizers in the revolutionary movement.

In remembering this rich history and achievements, we congratulate REMASE for being instrumental in recruiting bright and compassionate priests who went on to serving more than their lives and their parishes. They served well even sectors outside their scope.

And so we exhort more, as REMASE’s golden year celebration should be an occasion to reinvigorate its role in producing priests who can carry out the essence of the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is a ministry that denounces corruption, tax burdens, and other impositions by the elite towards the poor. It is a ministry that denounces false sacrifices of the rich and liberates the modern-day slaves. It is a ministry not ruled by conservatives and clerico-fascists but by leaders who have the ability to attract and draw millions of people for social change, even more than the capacity of false prophets who are the evangelists of fundamentalist and charismatic movements, the Christian Right who preach escapism, fatalism, and worship the golden calf of capitalism. They harp on the people’s spiritual fervor and religious interest, but only the true prophets and servants of the people are able to promote their integral liberation.

REMASE should mold young men who can rise as genuine prophets of our times, who can educate and analyze the ills of society, and have the ability and creative methods to mobilize and organize the masses against bureaucrat capitalism, feudalism and imperialism. They must stand strong just like the laity who are *Chosen to be Brave.* They must commit to genuine conversion by mirroring in themselves and their lifestyle the simplicity of the poor, and embracing their struggle for liberation through the National Democratic Revolution.

Here’s to a most fruitful and meaningful golden year celebration, long live REMASE!

Long live CNL! Long live the national democratic revolution! Long live the Filipino people!

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The Christians for National Liberation (CNL) is the underground political organization of Christians committed to the new democratic revolution to build a just, sovereign, democratic and progressive Philippine society. CNL is an allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).