MANILA, June 11, 2013— The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has opened its first theology seminary in 50 years.

In a decree signed by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary (MHCTS) in Brgy. Palapad, San Fabian was formally opened and welcomed its first batch of students this month.

Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, rector of MHCTS, said the seminary will have an initial batch of 13 theology seminarians from the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese and two from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.

Villegas said the new seminary, where students will be trained for the priesthood, is a symbol of the increasing number of vocations in the archdiocese.

“…The vineyard of the Lord continues to enjoy a rich harvest of dedicated and pious ministers at the service of this particular Church,” Villegas said in his decree.

“In order to foster more priestly vocations so that the needs of the ordained ministry may be met for generations to come… we hereby decree the opening of the MHCTS,” he said.

The See of Lingayen-Dagupan maintains a minor and major seminaries but the new theology school is the first of its kind since it was elevated to the rank of an archdiocese in 1963. (CBCPNews)