Parañaque City, the Philippines, 24 March 2018 — The Salesian Family celebrated the golden and diamond jubilee of priesthood and Salesian life of Fr. Remo Bati, SDB and Most Reverend Leo Drona, SDB, DD, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of San Pablo in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.
A Eucharistic Celebration in honor of Our Lady was a fitting tribute to a life of fidelity to God and love for the young. “Today Bishop Drona and I celebrate our Aha! moments.” Fr. Bati shared in his homily that their Aha! moments are spiritual milestones that lead them to live a life faithful to their Salesian consecration and priestly call. Bishop Leo Drona presided over the liturgy and was joined by Bishop Precioso Cantillas SDB DD, Bishop Patricio Buzon SDB DD, his successor Bishop Buenaventura Famadico DD, and his fellow Salesian priests.
After communion, an AVP which featured photos of their journey towards becoming Salesians and priests beginning with their early years of formation was shown. Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB-FIN Provincial Superior presented the greetings of the Rector Major to the jubilarians. Both also received a hand-carved wooden bust of Don Bosco to commemorate this Aha! moment. Bishop Drona expressed his deep gratitude to his family and relatives, the Salesians, the faithful of the dioceses which he served—the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and the Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna, and God. Finally, Fr. Bati invited the young people to follow the call of Christ, do not be afraid. He also encouraged those consecrated and also the priests that fidelity to one’s vocation is not impossible. He closed quoting St. Augustine, “Si ille , cur non ego?” If they can, why can’t I?