Roman Catholic Seminarians Meet Missionaries, Tour MTC

Roman Catholic Seminarians Meet Missionaries, Tour MTC

News Release

To foster good interfaith relationships between future leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church, Theology students of the San Carlos Seminary Graduate School of Theology met with full-time missionaries of the Quezon City Mission. Headed by Rev. Fr. Richard James Babao, the seminarians and the missionaries had a meaningful encounter and dialogue meeting on 10 January 2018 at the Church’s Philippines Area Office.

Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a member of the Philippine Area Presidency, and Elder Raul Villanueva, a member of the Area Seventy, hosted the guests.

The visit allowed the theology students to learn and understand the basic doctrines and teachings of the Church. The full-time missionaries gave a 30-minute lesson from the Preach My Gospel manual, which included the Message of the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, the Apostasy, the First Vision of Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Book of Mormon.

Following the brief lesson, the seminarians had the opportunity to ask the missionaries questions they have about their activities, the challenges they encounter when proselytizing, and the ways to remain committed to their callings and responsibilities.

A tour of the Missionary Training Center (MTC) followed the dialogue meeting. Elder Villanueva took them on a tour of the facility. Included in the tour were the missionary quarters, the salon, mail room, laundry room, gym, the cafeteria and the famous NBA-standard-sized basketball court.

At the conclusion of the visit, Rev. Fr. Babao, the head of the Third-Year Theology class, expressed thanks to the hosts and to his students for the meaningful encounter. “Every year, it’s an occasion for us, especially for me,” he said. “I’m glad for the openness of the seminarians. It is my desire for encounters. Through this… there is automatic change of attitude for each other.”

Brother Troy Fuentabela, a theology student from Bacolod City expressed his appreciation to the hosts. “You not only opened your doors to us but also your hearts.” he said.

As a token of their appreciation, the theology students sang a song to their hosts and presented a gift to Elder Schmutz.

In his closing remarks, Elder Schmutz said, “I know each of you hold sacred your callings and responsibilities to bear witness of Christ. As seminarians, you’ll be learning and continuing to progress in your activities. I wish for you to know from me, as a friend and as a disciple of Christ, that Jesus does live. And I bear witness of His name, in His name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Each year, Rev. Fr. Richard Babao brings graduating theology students to the Church’s Manila office to meet with full-time missionaries, tour the MTC and the Temple Grounds. This is a way to foster good relationships with other religious groups.

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