Manila clergy attend a celebration during Holy Week in 2017. The formation of priests will on the agenda of this year's January meeting of the country's Catholic bishops. (Photo by Angie de Silva)
The formation of clergy and priestly life will be among the topics topping the agenda at the annual plenary assembly of the Philippine bishops' conference to be held in Cebu from Jan. 27-29.
Conference president Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, said new guidelines on the formation of priests released by the Vatican will also be reviewed.
Last month, the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy issued an updated instrument for the formation of priests titled "Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis" or "The Gift of Priestly Vocation."
Archbishop Valles said the updated guidelines "will make our formation concrete, updated, suited for the young men and women of today."
The prelate appealed to Catholics for prayers "so that [the bishops] will really be enlightened and we would be fruitful in our discussions regarding what we would do as we move forward as church leaders of the church in the Philippines."
Catholic Church leaders in the Philippines have declared 2018 as the "Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons."
The country's Catholic bishops meet twice a year in January and in July. When the plenary assembly is not in session, a permanent council of bishops acts for and on behalf of the conference.