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Cardinal visits international seminary in Spain
Caritas Manila celebrates 54th anniversary
KC Philippines Foundation scholar wins Palanca Award for Literature
Mariannet: a victim of social ills
CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life Chair and San Fernando (Pampanga) Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto said the recent suicide victim, 12-year old Maria nnet Amper, may have been a victim of a number of social, economic, political and even pastoral problems and “may have been a victim of neglect by her family and close relatives.” In an interview over Catholic-run Veritas 846 , Archbishop Aniceto said “Mariannet deMariannet / A6
Bishops to lead protest rally vs. Arroyo
SENIOR Catholic prelates calling for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation is about to show their force in a mass action to be held November 30. Tagged as the “National Day of Protest,” Bishops Antonio Tobias of Novaliches, Deogracias Iñiguez of Caloocan and retired Infanta Bishop Julio Labayen will lead various groups to press Pres. Arroyo to step down.
Bishops / A6
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace November 12 - 25, 2007 Vol. 11 No. 23 Php 20.00
New Borongan bishop assumes post
Fighting poverty is everybody’s job - bishops
ROMAN Catholic bishops said poverty in the country is one of the biggest problems that everybody should firmly fight for. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said one should look at a wider perspective for it to somehow be addressed. In a country, he said, blinded by greed and drunk with power, those with the most money will not win, but rather the one with the most of human values. “We should always help each other especially those who are needy,” said Archbishop Lagdameo. . He said business leaders and even ordinary people, not just the government, have the responsibility in addressing poverty and starvation in this country. “While the government has the great responsibility to provide food and employment to our people, businessmen who also have capability should help address this problem so that those who would be reached by this assistance could get the chance to recover,” he said. The CBCP head issued the statement after the suicide of a minor reportedly due to long-felt and long-unanswered poverty.
HIS Excellency Most Rev. Crispin Varquez was formally installed last November 8 as the new bishop of Borongan in Eastern Samar. Hundreds of faithful flocked to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in a concelebrated and solemn ceremony led by Palo Archbishop Jose Palma. In his homily, Palma urged priests and lay people of Borongan to continue to be a “united church.” “Borongan has many talented priests, religious and lay people. Put your gifts and charisms at the service of one another,” he said. Varquez, 46, was ordained bishop last October 18 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Tagbilaran City. He succeeds Bishop Leonardo Medroso who had been transferred to the diocese of Tagbilaran last year. Aside from Palma and Medroso, Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol and Calbayog Auxiliary Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura and Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media Director, also graced the event. A native of Sevilla, Bohol, Varquez studied Philosophy at the Immaculate Heart Seminary in Tagbilaran City and Theology at St. Augustine Major Seminary in Tagaytay City. He did postgraduate studies on Seminary Formation in Cebu City and on Family Counseling at the Center for Family Ministry, Ateneo de Manila University. He served as formator at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran for four years and as formator at St. Augustine Major Seminary in Tagaytay for five years more. The prelate was Vicar General of the Tagbilaran diocese prior to his appointment as bishop of Borongan. When the Borongan Seat was vacant, Msgr. Lope Robredillo was the apostolic administrator of the diocese. Borongan diocese is served by 74 diocesan and religious priests in 29 parishes, and by 58 sisters. It also has 131 seminarians studying in the Diocese, and 27 more studying in Palo and Manila. (CBCPNews)
Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams addresses the Filipinos and the leaders of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines during his first public Mass at the Manila Cathedral. He cited the unique Filipino heritage which is founded on Catholic teachings for everyone to see and experience. The Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, the Archbishop of Cebu, His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal and Jaro Archbishop and CBCP President Angel N. Lagdameo and other archbishops and bishops concelebrated with the Papal Nuncio.
© Denz Dayao / CBCP Media
Fighting / A6
Papal nuncio celebrates first public Mass in RP
Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams was formally welcomed in a solemn Eucharistic celebration which he presided at the Manila Cathedral in the afternoon of November 13. As papal envoy walked with the two cardinals and several bishops and priests at the entrance procession, churchgoers which included the highest officials of the country waved hands and cheered. Manila Archbishop, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales gave a welcome message while Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal delivered the homily. Before the end of the Eucharistic celebration, CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo rendered a closing talk. Lagdameo urged Adams to “feel at home with us as many American missionaries have felt staying in the country. “We wholeheartedly welcome his Ambassador, the Holy Father’s pastoral link to our country, 85% of which are Catholics,” said Archbishop Lagdameo. “We hope you will have many years with us, long enough to even desire, like some of your predecessors, to retire in the Philippines… to desire it at least,” he added. Also in attendance were religious men and women, lay leaders, national and local government officials, and members of the Diplomatic Corps. The apostolic nuncio is, by tradition, the dean of the Diplomatic Corps. The 63-year-old Adams, an American, arrived in the country from Zimbabwe last All Saints’ Day. (Roy Lagarde)
PIME Fathers to continue ministry in Mindanao
MISSIONARIES from the Pontificio Instituto Missioni Estere (PIME) will stay in their parishes, especially in Mindanao despite the recent kidnapping of Fr. Gian Carlo Bossi. Fr. Gian Battista Zanchi, superior general of the Rome-based congregation said there has been no change in their mission thrusts in the country. It will be recalled 57-year old Fr. Bossi was kidnapped for 39 days last June 10, 2007 after celebrating Mass in his parish in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay. In an interview at PIME generalate in Rome, Fr. Zanchi said Fr. Bossi will return to the Philippines after the New Year. “He has a lot of interviews and meetings here and there,” the superior general said. He admitted Fr. Bossi is recovering from illness he got while held in captivity. He, however, did not say what illness affected the charismatic priest. Asked what place they consider most dangerous for their missionaries, Fr. Zanchi said “for the time being, it is Mindanao.” There are 21 PIME missionaries in the Philippines today. One of them, Fr. Luciano Benedetti, was a kidnap victim himself in 1998. Fr. Luciano is now working with indigenous people in Western Visayas. “We had another problem after Fr. Bossi’s release because we received information another PIME missionary would be kidnapped,” he said. He added it was good no kidnapping happened. He described the situation in Mindanao “very risky” but hastened to add they have already instructed their missionaries to be extra careful and inform their fellow missionaries of their activities outside their parishes and residences. Asked if they received instructions or advisories from both the Italian government and the Holy See, Fr. Zanchi said there was none but were simply advised to be “more careful” and immediately inform the Italian government and the Vatican of any developments. He appealed to Filipino communities where PIME missionaries serve to “stay close with our priests because they are there to help and serve.” He added they are happy to stay and work, no matter how difficult it may be because “it is our mission and we want to carry on our work.” (Melo M. Acuna)
Collegio Filippino to do outreach Prelate: Let’s take
mining to the streets
A PRELATE said it’s high time for the people to take the streets and spread their stand against mining operations in the Bicol region. Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes made the statement after another fish kill hit five coastal villages allegedly triggered by mine tailings that overflowed from the mining operation in Rapu-rapu, Albay. He said Bicolanos must condemn the incident and take immediate action for the government to stop the large-scale mining operations. Short of saying that government authorities are not with them, he called on the people to take the streets and show their opposition against mining. “People must go to the streets,” he said. Reports state that a wide variety of fishes, from eels to small fishes have been found dead and rotting ashore. Bishop Bastes said the incident could have been as early as October 26, which coincides with the large amount of rainfall in the area at that time. “If it was from the Lafayette Mining Limited mining site, then it seems that there was not enough precaution to prevent another disaster such as those that happened two years ago,” he said. “Possible sources of the fish kill are cyanide release and the heavy metals and mine tailings loosened from the soil by the rainfall,” he added. Bishop Bastes said the continuous rainfall and soil erosion could have brought the runoff, the heavy metals and acid-mine tailings to the sea and affected the fish population.
Prelate / A6
FILIPINO priests enrolled in licentiate or doctoral studies in various institutions here will be more involved in areas where Filipinos reside. Msgr. Ruperto Santos, Pontificio Collegio Filippino rector said their priests will be fielded to various Filipino communities outside Rome. “They will be sent to Pisa, Modena, Bologna and other areas to help,” Msgr. Santos said. Asked about expenses to be incurred during their field assignments, the rector said the local ordinaries (bishops) will defray the costs of board and lodging. “The Filipino community may provide stipends and transport allowances,” he added.
He said some Italian dioceses prefer Filipino chaplains and recommendations have been made to coordinate with Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, SDB, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People “so the communications will be between bishops.” Filipino chaplains serve for three years, renewable for another three years. Msgr. Santos said they used to have 45 enrollees two years ago. “Today, we only have 30 of them because scholarship grants from Germany have decreased and there are universities in the Philippines which have begun offering licentiCollegio / A6
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2007—U.S. bishops urged the House of Representatives to make the well-being of poor families with children a central priority when they debate and vote on the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007. In a letter dated today, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, chairman of the conference’s Domestic Policy Committee, stated that the prelates continue to be strong supporters of the Child Tax Credit and believe it to be an essential program that helps low income working families live in decency. “Unless Congress acts, poor working families will increasingly fall further behind. Our faith and moral principles call us to stand with these workers and their children and insist that their needs take priority in this tax debate,” Bishop DiMarzio wrote. “One moral mea-
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Benedict XVI meets Saudi King Abdullah, discusses rejection of terrorism
BEIRUT, Lebanon, November 7, 2007—Arab media gave wide coverage to yesterday’s ‘historic’ meeting between Benedict XVI and Saudi King Abdullah. All media outlets stressed how both sides shared the same view about the role religion can play in achieving peace and justice, but not everyone reported that Jews are also included in the process. Many, especially in Saudi Arabia, did refer to the Vatican’s request that Christians be granted religious freedom that a “just solution” be found to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA reported that the “two sides [. . .] stressed that violence and terrorism have nothing to do with a religion,” something that was in yesterday’s Vatican news release. The news agency noted that the Saudi monarch stressed the importance of religion for peace and justice but did not mention the Jews as was the case in the original press release. Another Saudi paper, Arab News, talked about the “dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews [. . .] to promote peace, justice and moral values” and mentioned the meeting’s “warmth.” It also noted its significance since the Saudi monarch met the Pope in his capacity as “Custodian of the two holy mosques.” Both King Abdullah and Pope Benedict said that “violence and terrorism have no religion or nation,” and that all “countries and peoples should work together to eradi-
U.S. bishops support child tax credit, say the poor need a voice
sure of tax legislation is how it treats ‘the least among us.’” The bill would strengthen and expand the “refundable child credit” to more effectively reach the poorest of working families. As it is now structured, the Child Tax Credit excludes many poor and working families because they lack the minimum level of earnings required to qualify for the credit. “Simple justice,” the letter concludes, “requires that poor families not be left out of this effort to assist working families in raising their children. Too often, poor families are overlooked in public policy debates. While their voices are not always heard, poor people have compelling needs that should have a priority claim on our consciences and the choices made in Congress.” (Zenit)
cate terrorism.” It added that yesterday’s meeting came just weeks after 138 Muslim clerics and intellectuals wrote a letter to Benedict and other Christian leaders, and quoted several expatriates living in the kingdom who welcomed the king’s meeting with the pope as a step towards better relations between Muslims and Christians. The Arab Herald, which also emphasized the historic and warm nature of the meeting, gave wide coverage to the Vatican’s re-
quest for broader religious freedom, noting that in the past this demand was a sticking point between the two sides. The Kuwait Times called the event a “historic meeting” in which religious freedom, co-operation between Muslims, Christians and Jews and peace in the Middle East took centre stage, noting also that the “Vatican wants greater rights for the 1 million Catholics who live in Saudi Arabia, most of them migrant workers who are not allowed to practice their religion in public.” (AsiaNews)
Benedict XVI mourns for Japanese cardinal, former President of Council for Migrants and Travelers
Uematsu, another to the current bishop of Yokohama, Rafael Masahiro Umemura. The Pope recalled the cardinal as a “devoted witness to the Gospel” and noted “his lively concern for the poor and his generous service to the universal Church.” Stephen Fumio Hamao was born in 1930 in Tokyo. He was ordained a priest at age 27 and in 1970 was named auxiliary bishop of Tokyo. In 1979, he was made bishop of Yokohama. He dedicated himself to the care of youth, immigrants, refugees and the poor, in particular as president of Caritas Asia and Oceania. In 1995, he was elected president of Japan’s episcopal conference. Three years later, John Paul II called him to Rome to be president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers. At age 76, in 2006, Cardinal Hamao presented his resignation from that post to Benedict XVI. The College of Cardinals now has 178 members, 103 who could vote in a conclave and 75 who are over age 80, and thus non-voters. (Zenit)
Bishops invite Parliament to save Lebanon, by electing a President
Republic, due on November 12th. “The statement reflects the worries and concerns of the nation’s people”: the strong and significant words of the Maronite Archbishop of Jbail, Msgr. Bechara Rahi, explain the most recent and heartfelt appeal by the bishops, which call on the entire Parliament to take on its responsibility “before God, their conscience and the entire nation”. As was forecast the statement made no indication of a possible candidate for the post of president, but reiterated the need to facilitate the successful completion of the electoral process according to the Constitution, accusing both sides of the political divide of “sticking to their positions” and affirming that responsibility lies “both with those who are monopolizing (the ruling majority) and those who are boycotting the elections (the opposition)”. The bishops have also expressed solidarity with those deputies from the ruling majority who are virtually ‘imprisoned’ in a hotel near Parliament for fear of assassination attempts and those who for the same concerns have been forced to leave the country. The exodus abroad they note is involving the entire population, above all the young who faced with the dramatic situation in their home seek refuge in neighboring Arab nations. “But this emigration is also pushing some further afield to the United Sates, Canada, Australia, and risks emptying the nation of its people.” (AsiaNews)
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao
BEIRUT, Lebanon, November 8, 2007—The ruling majority and the opposition are co-responsible for the current political crises which “would block not just the democratic system that characterizes Lebanon, but it could lead to previously nonencountered disintegration”.
This is the harsh accusation launched by the Maronite bishops towards the country’s political leaders in a statement issued yesterday at the end of their monthly meeting, which took place on the eve of the scheduled parliamentary meeting to elect the President of the
VATICAN CITY, November 9, 2007—Benedict XVI has expressed his sorrow at the death of Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, past president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers. The cardinal died in Tokyo on Thursday at age 77 after a battle with cancer. His funeral will be held in Yokohama, Japan, where he was bishop before Pope John Paul II called him to his post with the Roman Curia. Benedict XVI sent two messages of condolence, one to the cardinal’s sister, Teresa Tereku
Tony Blair believed to convert to Catholicism this month
LONDON, November 9, 2007— Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be received into the Catholic Church, The Telegraph reports. The prominent Catholic newspaper The Tablet reported that his formal conversion will take place at a Mass in the private chapel of Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor, the Archbishop of London. The Tablet predicted Blair would convert this month. Tony Blair’s wife and four children are Catholics, and the family has attended Mass together for years. A spokesman for the former prime minister did not deny the report outright but said “this is the same old speculation.” However a friend of Mr. Blair reportedly said “It is something he has wanted to do for years but knew it would be easier after he had left office. Tony and Cherie are both thrilled.” Tony Blair remained an Anglican while in office because of legal questions about a Catholic being in such a high position. Clauses in the 1829 Emancipation Act, which provided Roman Catholics full civil rights, forbid a Catholic adviser to the monarch from holding civil or military office. According to The Tablet, Mr. Blair was invited to be received into the Church in Rome. His advisers discouraged this idea for fear others would see it as an indulgence in Catholic triumphalism. Blair’s political stands have not always been consistent with Catholic ethics. While a minister of parliament Mr. Blair voted for legal abortion up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy, a vote publicly condemned by Cardinal Thomas Winning of Scotland. Mr. Blair has also supported civil partnerships for homosexuals. (CNA)
Armed Forces’ bishop asks more from government, says troops need to be shown gratitude in form of aid
LONDON, November 7, 2007— The bishop of the British armed forces said the government needs to offer more support to troops and their families, as a way of showing gratitude for the service they offer. In a message sent for the occasion of Remembrance Sunday, celebrated this Sunday, Bishop Thomas M. Burns said that “in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in other conflicts around the globe, our nation owes a huge debt of gratitude for the sacrifices made by so many in our forces today, and indeed for the sacrifices made by their families too.” Contending that “the risk to life and limb facing every serviceman and woman on operations has increased,” the prelate said that “the state’s duty of care in return has increased, but sometimes is found wanting.” “Offering the minimum is not enough: not in wages, nor in equipment, nor in housing, nor in medical care,” Bishop Burns added. “I call upon the government not only to extend what they have already offered, but to go that extra mile in providing even better support and care for our troops.” The 63-year-old bishop noted improvements had been made in equipment and housing, as well as in other areas. But he called for “extra sacrifices to be made by the government, in recognition of the sacrifices made by serving personnel and their families.” “Only a lump-sum injected without delay will bring positive effects to the quality of life and support that a family gives to one of its own in the forces—now, at a time of conflict, rather than waiting until later,” he said. “We should never forget that when members of the forces go to war, their families go too, every day in their hearts, until their loved ones come home, alive or dead, healthy or injured.” The Irish-born prelate lamented that not everyone wounded during time in the armed forces has access to medical care. (Zenit)
Bishop Burns called attention to the aid offered to the families of those in the armed forces, saying that it is sometimes neglected for “other more visible areas of public life, important as they are.”
“Prosperity gospel” preachers under investigation by the Senate
WASHINGTON DC, November 8, 2007—A top Republican on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is investigating the finances of televangelist preachers after allegations of corruption, the Associated Press reports. The investigation by Senator Church Grassley of Iowa is a response to reports of extravagant spending by preachers, whose purchases include Rolls Royces and a $30,000 conference table. Senator Grassley said in a statement he was acting on complaints from the public and news coverage of the organizations, which enjoy tax exemptions. Those under scrutiny include faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar, and one of the nation’s most prominent women preachers Joyce Meyer. Most of the organizations under investigation adhere to a variation of the “prosperity gospel” which teaches that God will reward faithful followers with material wealth. Earlier this week Senator Grassley sent letters to a halfdozen Christian media ministries requesting answers by December 6 about their expenses, executive compensation and amenities, including the use of expensive cars and private jets. “I don’t want to conclude that there’s a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code,” Senator Grassley said. Some ministries are already reporting that they are cooperating with the investigations. Joyce Meyers Ministries issued a statement claiming that the IRS has already determined that they have not violated their tax-exempt status. (CNA)
Chavez should “bite his tongue” and stop attacking the Church, archbishop says
CARACAS, Venezuela, November 7, 2007—The vice president of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Roberto Luckert said this week President Hugo Chavez’s attacks on the Church are due to his dislike of opinion polls that show the public does not support his proposed constitutional reforms. The archbishop said Chavez should “bite his tongue” and stop being “rude” and “degrading.” He recalled that for several years he has criticized Chavez for his “belligerent aggressive attitude” and for “picking a fight with everyone.” “You can’t govern like this,” he said. Archbishop Luckert said Chavez’s aggressive attitude was because he is bothered by the polls that show little support for his reform. “Nobody likes this reform,” he said, “and even his supporters are afraid to go to vote.” The archbishop noted that Chavez himself invited Venezuelans to suggest ideas, “and the bishops simply expressed their opinions and judgments about what they consider the consequences of this reform would be.” Chavez, he explained, wants to center everything on himself and not on the proposal of constitutional reform. (CNA)
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university campus. Archbishop Francisco Perez, the archbishop of Pamplona, who was attending a conference being held at the Faculty of Theology that day, also joined in welcoming the three Filipino bishops and companions. In his talk with the Filipino priests and seminarians, Cardinal Vidal challenged everyone to always strive to become good and holy priests and seminarians. Cardinal Vidal’s challenging message greatly encouraged the seminarians to give their all to the formation given them, aware of the challenging ministry that awaits them when they go back to their respective dioceses. The three bishops were accompanied by some clergy and lay faithful during their visit. (Jan Limchua)
Cardinal visits international seminary in Spain
HIS Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal with Archbishopemeritus Carmelo Morelos of Zamboanga and Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos, visited the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, where currently 32 Filipino priests and seminarians are enrolled in various disciplines. The University of Navarre has the Ecclesiastical Faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Philosopy. Filipino seminarians receive seminary formation at the international seminary run by the priests of the Prelature of Opus Dei called “Bidasoa.” Rev. Fr. Juan Chapa, representative of the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, and Rev. Fr. Miguel Angel Marco, Rector of Colegio Ecclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa, toured the Filipino bishops within the
His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal (center) with Filipino priests and seminarians studying at the Colegio Ecclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa of the University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain.
Visitors to Beijing Olympics advised: take no more than one Bible
Bibles: “Note: Each traveler is recommended to take no more than one Bible into China.” Chinese officials did not address the redefinition of the Bible as “propaganda” once the number of copies exceeds one. The Cardinal Kung Foundation explains Chinese policy towards religion on its website: “The Chinese government views religion as a threat to its power. As a result, it restricts religious activities to government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. It also seeks to stamp out those religious activities that are not government-sanctioned.” The Foundation labels as false the Chinese government’s promise of freedom of religion, saying “China continues to commit serious violations of religious freedom and belief. The Chinese government severely and systematically persecutes members of China’s spiritual communities, including Roman Catholics, Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and members of the Falun Gong movement.” The Cardinal Kung Foundation also protests that Olympic prestige is diminished by the Chinese government’s injustices, writing that “the noble name of “Olympic” is being severely tarnished by its association with the evil spirit of religious persecutions and human rights violations in China. This is about the time for the Olympic Committee to consider canceling the games in China in order to preserve their good name and spirit.” Currently in China five Catholic bishops and fifteen priests are in prison for opposing the statesponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church. (CNA)
Prelates: couples need confidence to become parents European bishops propose ways to support families
BRUSSELS, Belgium, November 7, 2007—Young couples need more confidence in life so that they have the courage to become parents, the European bishops affirmed. And they proposed steps for the European Union to help bring this about. The Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community presented Monday a working document that aims to contribute to an improved family strategy on the level of the European Union. The document “Proposal for a Strategy of the European Union for the Support of Couples and Marriage” draws attention to challenges for families. It suggests political initiatives in areas such as labor law and tax and housing policy, with which European institutions can support families. “Stable couples and families are sources of mutual trust,” a communiqué from the bishops’ commission said. “They encourage taking responsibility and openness for the other and thus constitute an important social capital for Europe. “In view of the current demographic evolution and the increasing rate of divorce, it is necessary to offer also an increased attention to family-related issues on the European level.”
Climate of joy
The bishops encouraged policymakers to take into account Benedict XVI’s words during his September trip to Austria. “Encourage young married couple to establish new families and to become mothers and fathers!” the Pope said on that occasion. “You will not only assist them, but you will benefit society as a whole. I also decisively support you in your political efforts to favor conditions enabling young couples to raise children. Yet all this will be pointless, unless we can succeed in creating once again in our countries a climate of joy and confidence in life, a climate in which children are not seen as a burden, but rather as a gift for all.” The bishops’ document continued: “Indeed, many of the difficulties couples face today in maintaining the bond of marriage and in raising their children point to the difficulty of leading a meaningful life in modern society. “This, of course, is not something that governments can deal with. A government cannot offer a meaningful life; its task is related to justice. Other actors have to stand in. Churches are certainly among them.” (Zenit)
The commission document outlines the areas in which EU institutions can contribute more to stable couples and families. The document focuses on the various daily difficulties of couples and on the required conditions to allow parents to assume their role better in, for example, the protection of children and youth, integration and the fight against poverty. “Helping married couples to create a loving and stable relationship and to assume their educational role as parents must be considered as an important and necessary step in enhancing the European Union’s social dimension,” the document says. “The European Union can contribute in helping married couples to overcome and prevent crises and assist them in their most challenging task, which is the education of their children. “Now European policy makers are tasked to take up these issues and develop appropriate and imaginative policies.”
LAST week, CNA published a report from the Italian daily “La Gazzetta dello Sport” stating that Bibles will not be allowed into the Olympic Village at the upcoming Olympic Games. Since then, CNA has learned that a contradictory set of policies has been put in place regarding the possession of the Bible at the international sporting event. Making a slight change to its total ban on religious items, the Chinese Olympic Committee has decided, “devotional objects” will be allowed in compliance with Chinese “freedom of religion” laws, but “religious objects meant to propagate a cult” will not be permitted. “La Gazzetta dello Sport” cites the Chief of Security Fu Qiang who said that he can’t specify what objects are included under the item “propaganda” but can assure that personal religious items are permitted. However, on the official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a page titled “Entry and Exit: Entry” credited to the Beijing Tourism Administration reads: “Any printed material, film, tapes that are ‘detrimental to China’s politics, economy, culture and ethics’ are also forbidden to bring into China.” This is immediately followed by a caution about
Holy See presses for 2-state solution in Mid-east; urges Israelis and Palestinians to commit to peace
are destroyed even before they are ready for use,” the prelate continued. definition of a realistic accord that the parties will be determined to implement.”
Jaro archdiocese holds congress on family and life
AROUND 500 participants gathered for a two-day 3rd Western Visayas Congress on Family and Life held at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary auditorium in Iloilo City on October 21-22, hosted by the Archdiocesan Commission on Family and Life (ACFL). The congress was organized as a response to the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for a more concrete action from pro-life legislators. Participants came to listen to the resource speakers and share in the deliberations that would embody their desires and aspirations for a more vigilant and dynamic Church in this part of the Philippines. The first day of the congress, which had the subtheme “Towards a common stand for the Culture of Life” was participated by the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese. Medical and legal professionals, Catechists, parish councils, and religious lay leaders from the archdiocese and neighboring dioceses listened, shared and discussed their sentiments during the open forum and group workshops later that day. Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, San Carlos Bishop Jose Advincula and Antique Bishop Romulo de la Cruz, led delegates from the clergy, religious men and women on the second day of the congress. Other participants included heads and staff of Catholic Schools, and guidance counselors from both public and private schools. The participants had animated discussions on how to “inspire” the faithful, the students and parishioners towards a culture of life. They also discussed the need to be more discerning of the various deceptive languages being used to disguise population control ideology and legislations—both in the national and local levels. Both days started with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the first day with Fr. Bernabe Tutana, newly appointed ACFL director of the archdiocese, and, the second day with Bishop Advincula, and Archbishop Lagdameo. Archbishop Lagdameo delivered a very touching homily which set the tone of the Congress. Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer of Human Life International, Pilipinas tackled the topic “Overpopulation: True or False?” while Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong, CBCP legal executive, discussed the “Legal and Moral Foundation of Pro-Family Advocacy” as well as “Understanding the Language of the Population Control Ideology and Preparing Pro-Life Legislation.” A statement formulated on the first day of the congress with additional suggestions from the participants of the second day was approved and declared as a common stand towards a culture of life by both delegations. (Manny/Marj Libo-on & Mike /Aida Gomez)
Vicious cycle True resolve
Affirming that the Holy See believes a two-state solution has the best chance to settle the crisis, Archbishop Migliore called on at the United both Israelis and Palestinians to resolve themselves to work for peace. He said: “Bringing this solution to reality is not the primary responsibility of the Quartet, but of the parties directly concerned and the neighboring countries who have immediate interests in the whole question.” The Quartet on the Middle East, which is involved in mediating the peace process in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The prelate continued: “While the international community can only do so much in providing all the support needed to bring together those in conflict, it is indispensable that the parties must set aside the pretense of peacemaking and start full negotiations on the two-state solution. “My delegation earnestly hopes that the international conference planned for the end of this month may move the peace process towards this end, towards the Archbishop Migliore acknowledged that decades of violence have caused rage among the people of the area, “fueling the vicious cycle of violent retaliations.” However, he called on “groups within both the Israeli and Palestinian civil societies which, sharing the same loss and fear, reach out to one another to offer and receive forgiveness and reconciliation. We appeal not only to authorities, but to the entire Israeli, Palestinian and neighboring peoples, to consider how much this disposition of mutual empathy can bridge their otherwise mutually exclusive and contradictory claims which have so far prevented talks to come to fruition.” The archbishop concluded by noting that the status of the city of Jerusalem must be part of a lasting solution. “In light of the numerous incidents of violence and challenges to free movement posed by the security wall,” he said, “the Holy See renews its support for internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the city of Jerusalem the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities.” (Zenit)
Archbishop Celestino Migliore speaks Nations.
NEW YORK, November 8, 2007—The Holy See is convinced that a two-state solution is the best way to solve the crisis between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, affirmed this today when he addressed the 62nd session of the U.N. General Assembly on the topic of Palestinian refugees in the Near East. The archbishop said that at the heart of the matter is the problem of injustice. He said, “To postpone endlessly the resolution of this conflict by a refusal to negotiate and to compromise reasonably, by indecision or by a willingness to maintain the status quo, is to perpetuate injustice.” “Whether such a mind-set is deliberate or not does not alter the reality on the ground, namely, innocent people and entire families on all sides continue to suffer terribly and infrastructures
In memoriam: Mariannet
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
EVEN a stone refuses to be broken. In the same way, a piece of rock tries its best to stay whole. Prune a plant and it immediately exerts its effort to grow back its lost part. So does a tree with a cut branch that slowly finds a way to sprout one back if not more even. Animals are not known to kill themselves. The truth is that they have instinctive ways of protecting their limbs and defending their lives. So, why do men and women—and lately even an eleven year old girl—take their own lives, commit suicide? Many things have been said, many words have been written about the big paradox forwarded by the phenomenon of suicide. If even inanimate things, members of the plant kingdom and irrational animals all want to remain whole and alive, why do human beings kill themselves? In other words, what does it take for someone to do away with his or her own life, and why? Behavioral experts—psychologists and psychiatrists—have long since formulated ready answers to the serious and disturbing question of suicide. The answers range from the flippant and insensitive to the profound and enigmatic. One thing is certain, all those looking into and analyzing the anatomy of suicide are confronted with the deep and distinct mystery of the human person. And thus it is that no matter how one tries to explain for others to understand the fact of a suicide, there usually remains something that is unexplained, not understood. For one reason or another, the number of suicides in the country is on the rise, more varied in perceived rationale—and now, more disturbing in age bracket. It is not hard to blame the corrupt government, the pervasive poverty and misery in the country, the insensitivity of society. Furthermore, there is the standard whipping boy of a big population, the big fat wealthy few. In addition, the evil influence of media is likewise blamed by not only publishing but even sensationalizing suicides. Blaming everybody and everything else is the easiest response for anyone and everybody to explain self-killing. What about those readily and easily throwing the blame around, giving a good look at themselves—for a change? We, the people: Are we really altogether free of any blame? As a society, have we already lost much of our sensitivity to the misery of our neighbors? Have we lately set aside our Filipino culture of “tulungan” (mutual help), “pakikisama” (community concern) and “bigayan” (neighborly sharing)? No matter how one looks at it, a suicide is a terminal cry of desperation, a fatal shout for attention and concern. If this is true of adults killing themselves, this becomes more real for an eleven-year old girl hanging herself to death. She kept a diary. She recorded her lamentations. She did what she could. She felt lost. She ended it all. Farewell, Mariannet! You woke us up from our complacency. You made us weep for ourselves. You give us so many things to think about. Be with God.
Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD
In and Out of Season
IN the Service of Their Religious Communities. Religious Lay Brothers were first heard in the 11th century and are stated to have been first instituted about 1038 by St. John Gualbert of Vallombrosa. In various places and at various times, these religious lay brothers, likewise members of catholic religious orders were known as “fratres conversi” or “laici barbati” who were occupied primarily with manual labor and with the secular affairs of the religious order or monastery or friary to which they belonged. In the East, St. Peter Damian indicated an earlier foundation. Among the Camaldolese, there were servants who became religious and were set apart to perform manual labor at Fonte Avellana, which was founded about 1000. They were distinct from the clerics and hermits, and devoted themselves to the material support of the religious community. In the West, however, there was no distinction in early monasticism. Majority of St. Benedict’s monks were not clerics; and all, brother and clerics, performed manual labor. Later, however, more monks became priests. It became necessary to hire servants (“famuli”) in the monasteries, many of whom were allowed to embrace religious life. The Carthusians, the Cistercians, and most subsequent religious orders developed lay brothers, whom they charged with their secular cares, such as the care of the order’s property and finances. Religious orders, like the English Benedictines, preferred to have paid attendants than to develop lay brothers. Others like the Abbey of St. Augustine at Canterbury and the Abbey of St. Peter at Westminster instead develop lay brothers from the working classes for artistic handicrafts and agricultural work of their orders. Brothers in the Philippines. In the Philippines,
The vocations of Religious Brothers
wise transformative of the person who consecrates himself as a Brother to the love and service of God. Brothers give public witness to the baptismal commitment to serve Christ in our neighbor. They manifest how individual gifts (such as teaching, manual work, nursing, research, farming) can be placed at the disposal of the Church in the task of reevangelization. Brothers affirm by their choice of lay religious life that many are the ways other than by ordination or matrimony that the Lord calls mature men to serve the Kingdom of God. Thus it is of great concern to the Church, and a serious challenge to all of us her members, to find ways to promote and encourage the vocation of Religious Brothers. It is a charism urgently needed by the Church and which undoubtedly the Spirit bestows on every ecclesial community to enrich the work of re-evangelization with yet another of his transforming gifts.” In the Service of the Local Church. After the Second Vatican Council, there has developed a new way of looking at the religious life which has also affected to some extent the charism of lay religious brothers. If we consider the Brothers as consecrated persons, then they also share the vocation of their fellow religious. In his Encyclical Vita Consecrata, the Servant of God Pope John Paul II stated: “Consecrated persons are asked to be true experts of communion and to practice its spirituality as witness and artisans of that plan of communion which stands at the center of history according to God” (VC 46). What then is the new charism of lay religious brothers? Beyond merely serving their respective religious communities or monasteries, as consecrated religious, they are also called to be in communion with the rest of God’s people. It means that as consecrated
In and Out / A6
The love of neighbor
LOVE of neighbor is a flagship commandment of Christianity. It is too often mentioned and too well known that it has become something as a matter of course, a rather silly and irrelevant stuff of a topic for little children. To love others could be good during much earlier times when people were kind and living was easy. Loving one’s neighbor is to pietistic during these trying days as well as too idealistic for this modern age of hard-hitting social realities when only the fittest eventually survive. There is too much poverty, hunger and sickness. People are too poor to share the little they have. Food has become not only scarce but also very costly to give away. It is said that nine out of ten needy and sick individuals simply die due to lack of medicine. Millions of Filipinos do not have enough clothes to wear. In the same way, there are not few of them who live under bridges if not in dirty little carts they push to gather garbage. Neighborly love is churchy. Charity is giving food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and/or shelter to the homeless. Love of neighbor is a vain attempt to make the Philippines a dreamland, a futile effort to write the history of the country as an entertaining fable. Just as love of neighbor is something in cloud 9, charity is for some imagining heaven while sadly having his dirty feet on putrid mud. Filipinos now have no time to entertain such lofty thoughts, much less the opportunity for goodygoody acts. A rat race, everybody for himself, leaves others to suffer and die in peace— these are the updated social thoughts of today. And that is precisely the big trouble with a radically wrong understanding of the imperative of love of neighbor, the very anemic observance of charity, the fatal identification of loving others with but giving them food, clothes and shelter. This is the impoverished perception and faulty observance of the commandment of love of neighbor even among well meaning Christians and practicing Catholics. To equate loving others with but food for the stomach, clothes for the body and shelter for the head—this is but a little part of charity, the easier part of loving others. Some food to eat, something to lie on and a place to sleep—people even provide all these to their pet animals. The key in the full understanding of loving neighbors necessarily includes dutifully attending to their inherent human dignity and diligently promoting their basic human rights. Those who should be loved are human beings who mean much more than food for their stomach, clothes for their body and shelter over their heads. Thus it is that to come to the assistance of someone oppressed, to reach out to person being exploited, to side with individuals unjustly treated—these are constituent agenda in loving neighbor, mandatory elements of charity. These are in truth the much harder, more challenging and even dangerous part of loving others, of practicing charity. The crusade for justice, the pursuit of truth, the quest for peace—these are concrete expression of love of neighbor, especially during these trying times in Philippine history.
there are Religious Brothers who belong to exclusively religious congregations, e.g. De La Salle Brothers, La Mennais Brothers, Missionaries of Charity, Congregation of the Monfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, Fraternity of the Little Brothers of Jesus, to name some. Other Brothers work in mixed congregations where there are lay religious and religious clergy, e.g. among the Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscans, Carmelites, Paulines, the Society of Divine Word, etc. The Brothers are charged with more varied responsibility and leadership: as carpenters and university presidents, as mechanics and as medical doctors, as teachers and as technicians, as counselors and as community development workers. In the Philippines as well as in other countries, vocation to lay religious brotherhood has not been popular. Their promotion has probably been overlooked. It is good to take a look at what the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) has observed. It asked: “Would this perhaps be due to a bias towards clericalism in our Church and culture? Brothers are considered by some as called to an inferior vocation: as persons whose vocation is to assist the priest or as persons lacking necessary qualification for ordination. The increased used of the title ‘Brother’¯previously a title more or less exclusively used by religious brothers but now widely used by those who have not really opted for the lay religious vocation (e.g. Cursillistas, charismatics, diocesan and religious seminarians)¯also blurs the identity of the religious Brother in the eyes of many” (PCP II 496). PCP II (497) described the charism of Religious Brothers thus: “the vocation to be a Religious Brother is also a gracious and mysterious gift of God, valid in itself and like-
The Ten Outstanding Filipino Physicians
An example of the laity’s service to the world
THE most authoritative doctrine of Vatican II on the role of the laity in the Church is Lumen Gentium. Consider these two passages: “It belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. The term ‘laity’ is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ, are placed in the People of God and in their own way share the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ, and to the best of their ability carry on the mission of the whole Christian people in the world”. These were written 42 years ago and to date it has not been completely understood and followed by most of our Filipino Catholics. A recent undertaking of Filipino physicians, unknowingly perhaps, has given support to Lumen Gentium’s social doctrine on the laity. A well-known world-wide social organization, the Jaycee International had shown support to these teachings by the establishment of awards to support their Jaycee Creed, viz: “That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality” and “That service to humanity is the best work of life.” In the same spirit that they launched in the Philippines during the decade of the 60’s, the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, they initiated the awards for outstanding physicians. The Ten Outstanding Filipino Physicians (TOFP) award ceremonies was launched for the first time jointly by the Jaycee International and the Department of Health at Ma-
Jose B. Lugay
and derive this from Dr. Duque’s words on the state of our country’s health sector. “The health care delivery system in the Philippines has gone critical, almost desperate. Seven out of every 10 Filipino doctors are already enrolled or have completed the nursing course or are now licensed medics. Worse, 85 out of every 100 nursing professionals have left the home front for better paying jobs across the globe. As a result only one government doctor is available for every 28,000 Filipinos.” The TOFP Committee headed by JCI Senator Marciano M. Pineda appointed 8 members of the Board of Judges, all occupying prestigious positions in their own fields of practice. After much deliberation they selected 5 physicians from a group of 72 nominees using the following criteria: Personality – 30 points, i.e. 5 points for each of the following: Leadership, 2) Academic achievements, 3) Participation in medical activities without (professional) remuneration, 4) Value to the community where the physician resides, and 6) Team worker. Service to humanity – 70 points, maximum of 7 points per item Ethical conduct, 2) Services (free) to the community 3) Community services thru non-med orgs. e.g., Rotary, Jaycees, etc. 4) Medical services to rural areas, or urban areas, pro-bono, 5) Research activities, 6) Services to the profession, 7) Journals published or unpublished, 8) Respect of religious and human rights in the practice of medicine. 9) Cooperation and coordination with
Laiko / A6
P r o ta g o n i s t of Tr u t h , Promoter of Peace
Pedro C. Quitorio
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Kris P Bayos .
Melo M. Acuña
Dennis B. Dayao
Ernani M. Ramos
Roy Q. Lagarde
Layout by Denz Dayao
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business of fices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cbcpworld.net/cbcpmonitor
nila Hotel last October 18, 2007 with a generous funding support from PhilHealth. The timing of the new JCI–DOH award could not have been more serendipitous. A popular show of one of the biggest TV networks in America, the Desperate Housewives, ridiculed the quality of teaching and training of Philippine medical schools and the proficiency of our Filipino doctors. In his “Tribute to World-Class Pinoy Doctors” the Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, had this to say about our doctors: “I, in behalf of the Department of Health joined the global Filipino-American community in raising a voice of defiance against this unnecessary racist attack. Frankly speaking, with the TOFP awards in place, any snide at Filipino doctors in the future must not bother us. ...And so, I stated in no uncertain terms that Filipino doctors are among the best in the world. I will never tire in saying that. ...Were it not for their contributions to the healthcare institutions in America and other nations, their health systems might just fold up. ...Remember that Filipino doctors constitute the second largest international medical graduates in the U.S. and in the world where they are highly valued and respected as a significant part of their health care work force.” Considering that these 5 awardees were selected from 72 nominees, all of whom deserve their own reward, the honor is more deserved in our own perspective as lay workers of the Church since they are working for love of God and country. We can appreciate
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
Love Life Good-bye, Mamita
gathered in Manila Cathedral where His Eminence Cardinal Sin conferred the medal on her. I am proud to claim that she was one of our first Board Members of Pro-life Philippines in the early nineties. Because of her staunch commitment to the Church position against abortion and contraception, she was able to stop the implementation of many population control programs, being the Chairperson of the Population Commission while she was DSWD Secretary. It was also because of her position in PCSO that Pro-life became a beneficiary, receiving allocation for our Pregnancy Counseling Services through the years. After having served in the Board of Trustees of Pro-life, she became one of our Board of Advisers. She tries her best to attend our meetings, conventions and conferences, inspiring us that one can still be involved even when 87 years old! I will miss my yearly visit to her during Christmas time—bringing her favorite ube and strawberry jam from the Good Shepherd Convent, Baguio. But my memories of her inspire me to continue to serve the sick and the poor the way she was an example to us all.
Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
Tidbits The locus of the marriage tribunal in the local Church
IT is a reality, though a sad one, that Marriage Tribunal is practically non-existent in many local churches in the Philippines, or, where there is, it is not as visible as to make a difference in the lives of couples and families whose relationships have been tautly strained due to some unresolved marital conflicts. And yet, it is one of the most important responsibilities of the particular Church to extend pastoral care to the family and protection to the marital tie which binds family together. Central to this responsibility is proclaiming the sanctity and permanence of marriage. And while scrupulously protecting the teaching of Jesus on marriage and its indissolubility, the Church also faces stark realities of tensions and stresses among married couples that ultimately end up in the tragedy of separation and even of annulment. The effect is oftentimes disastrous to many of these people, for their faith and their Church remain an important part of their lives. The universal Church for her part does not abandon these people. In her pastoral concern, she provides that an ecclesiastical tribunal shall be established in every local Church. Its function is to evaluate the validity of the failed marriage in the light of scripture, tradition and the law of the church, to ferret the truth of marriage out of the messy realities of failed relationship, thus helping these people extricate from the marital strain that has been for years tearing out their lives. In dioceses where Marriage Tribunal is set up and functional, many cases have been heard and eventually resolved with a decree of invalidity. As such this nullity process helps many individuals to calm the pent-up anger and disappointment with one’s self and with one’s former spouse. It often brings closure to the hurtful memories, relieving them from the tensions that for a time have taken hold of them. It frees a catholic to marry again or to have a second marriage blessed by the church, thus restoring the Catholic to the full sacramental life of the church. Remembering that the ministry of Jesus was one of healing and reconciliation, the Tribunal is ever mindful of its call to continue that ministry to all who seek its help. Even if it is primarily part of the Church’s judicial system, it is not an impersonal office. It comes in direct contact with people whose lives have often been deeply scarred by the harrowing experience of a broken marriage. Hence, the personnel who are assigned to the Tribunal are expected to have practiced the highest sense of confidentiality, compassion and understanding. They need to be aware of the fact that they are often dealing with people who are still hurting deeply, people who at times feel very alienated from the Church, people who are laden with a great deal of guilt. By and large, applicants to the Tribunal are mostly separated. But many of them acknowledge that having escaped from the shackles of an unhappy marriage they are now facing a new set of problems. Very often people who approach are more than one-time angry, depressed, disappointed, hurt, battered, unjustly treated. Not only have they had dreams shattered by a broken marriage, but often as they reveal their life-history, they speak of their parents’ unhappy and possibly, violent marriage, of childhood trauma, sexual abuse, of earlier broken romances, of exploitation. The story of the relationship and marriage in question can be filled with every kind of human suffering. For a Catholic, there is an even deeper pain, given that the permanence and the sanctity of marriage is such a central part of Catholic teaching and living. There can be a heightened sense of failure, a feeling of having let the side down. Separated couples very often feel a great deal of alienation from the church. This may be caused by unhelpful treatment from priests, family or fellow Catholics, but most often it simply arises from their own sense of shame or failure. The approach to the Tribunal can be the means of their being accepted by the official Church in a way which can help them once again feel “at home” in the life of the Church. The increasing number of separated Catholic can also help enormously in this regard. Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation on Family life “Familiaris Consortio” has written movingly on the pastoral care of the divorced and separated people. “The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.” (Cf. Familiaris Consortio, John Paul II) It would be worthwhile for Tribunal personnel to refer the clients to the local parish or community groups, organizations, ecclesial movements, or individuals who may be of help in the long yet necessary process of coming to terms with their life issues. It should be noted with utmost consideration that the Tribunal is not able to solve all the problems or heal all the hurts which flow from a broken marriage. Not every approach for an annulment will result in an affirmative decision. For those petitions which are successful there will be the opportunity for the parties to contemplate a new marriage or have an existing one validated and blessed by the Church. For the unsuccessful, there will be the satisfaction of knowing that they have tried. Hopefully there will have been some healing through the whole process. Further pastoral care can be recommended to them by the Tribunal staff. Tribunal work can be tremendously pastoral and rewarding. As with any form of ministry, it can be very much a two-way process and most people who have worked in the Tribunal would acknowledge that they have learned a great deal from the people they have served. They witness at times untold heroism, a great effort to be faithful to God and to the Church even in the most trying circumstances. They see in many beautiful personalities and tremendous growth which has come about through accepting their suffering in union with Jesus. As my Judicial Vicar describes it: “It can all be a very humbling experience to have people share with us the deepest secrets of their lives.”
DR. Mita Pardo de Tavera—”Mamita” to most of us who worked with her in her many involvements with the sick and the poor for over sixty years—passed away a few weeks ago. I first met Mamita when I joined the breastfeeding promotion movement in our country. She generously offered a space for our headquarters in her building at Project 4, Quezon City. We called the organization “BUNSO” and she was one of our Board Members. It was also at that time that she started the Alay Kapwa Pangkalusugan, an organization promoting community-based primary health care. This organization exists until now, holding office right inside her residence in Dasmariñas Village. The group is composed of doctors, nurses and health educators. They have trained hundreds of community-based health workers, many have not even finished high school, living in the rural and urban poor areas, but skilled in taking blood pressure, sputum exams, acupuncture and home deliveries. They have produced pamphlets with illustrations and translated into the four major dialects for non-health professionals to learn the basics in caring for the sick in their com-
munity. (Right now, they are conducting trainings in a parish in Parañaque partly funded by Pondo ng Pinoy). I guess Mamita, who comes from the illustrious Pardo de Tavera clan, developed such love for the poor when she became the Executive Secretary of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society. It was an eye-opener to her. In a 1986 interview with Woman Today, she said, “That’s where I saw the imbalances, the wide disparity between the poor and the better-to-do”. To quote from a news article written by Cyril Bonabente of Philippine Daily Inquirer the day after her death, “Even when she was past retirement age, Pardo de Tavera participated actively in street protests against Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. After Marcos’ ouster, she served as Social Welfare Secretary in the Aquino Administration. She also became Chair of the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes and President of the Philippine Cancer Society. “ It must have been in year 2000, she had just turned 80 years old then, when Pope John Paul II gave her the Papal Award as Dame of St. Sylvester for her exemplary works for the sick and the poor. Hundreds of us, her friends and relatives,
Of diamonds looking and feeling like nickels
IT was a rather short visit. After three years of being away, it amazed me how things at the parish I used to be Parochial Vicar of (St. Barnabas Church, Woodlawn, the Bronx, NYC) seemed the same. “I feel like I left only yesterday,” I told a lady parishioner who asked me what my impression was of the parish nowadays. Except for the renovations in the church, everything appeared the way it was, I added. Even the elderly church-goers that have faithfully attended the Eucharist daily looked the same, (some smiling the same wonderful gleaming false-teeth smiles) and even sat on the very same spots of the same pews I knew them to be wont to take. But I was coming from my Third World storehouse of experiences and viewpoints, my shoes literally sporting a very thin slice of mud from Brgy. San Gabriel sticking resolutely on the left sole. Feeling crude and awkward, San Gabriel’s mud and I still managed to touch down on the Big Apple. The look of things somehow consoled me, nay even made me a bit smug. Why, even lowly Borongan, my home and current parish, made great leaps already into the heights of cityhood (and the depths of the same mediocrity gripping most of my country, I’m sorry to say)! That is, until I spoke with Msgr. Barry, pastor of St. Barnabas, a gentle and humble soul. After just a couple of minutes I realized I was judging St. Barnabas hastily, externally and (resoundingly) wrongly. A lot more was going on than my eyes could see. For example, among others, a family evangelization program was taking place and it was getting more and more parents (with their children who were told, “No parents and no Mass, no class” or words to that effect) to the Church and the sacraments. I was awed. Naturally, I felt mortified too to realize that judging things and people by external criteria (mainly) reaches the truth only superficially and exposes the one who judges as shortsighted. “Judge not and you will not be judged”—these words of the real Judge is not only meant for those on the pews. These are a sage advice to ev-
Rev. Euly B. Belizar, SThD
By the Roadside
factors in classifying people, it strikes me how money has replaced it, with hardly anyone complaining even in the very centers of civilization. The better-off (those who pay more) get the first class seats or the better accommodations in planes, trains, hotels etc. Wealthier homeowners get the better houses and neighborhoods. Even in America, the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, society is not brave enough to set the poor and downtrodden free to be equal with everybody. Even in America where the dollar proclaims “In God we trust”, having the right amount of the dollar gets everybody’s trust rather than God himself in giving or withholding a recognition to anyone’s innate dignity as a human being. How sad for human dignity to be pegged on money. But how stark this reality and how little the offered remedy. Yet the Scriptures declaim: “What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps 8:5-6). The day the homeless and the destitute of Manila or Harlem are treated in the same way the likes of Bill Gates or Donald Trump are treated appears unlikely today or tomorrow anywhere. But we as Church can never run away from the challenge of continuing the struggle to make God’s vision real. We could start with not discriminating against our fellow Pinoys who are poorer or not as distinguishedlooking as those from so-called ‘superior races and cultures’. I remember saying, “Wow, really?” to a Phil-Am friend explaining to me that “coconuts” (“brown outside, white inside”) could mean Pinoys who discriminate against fellow Pinoys in America. I have always believed that, despite our colonial past (that doesn’t fail to show its ugly face in our attitudes), no Pinoy Catholic should consider anyone superior or inferior to him in human dignity. Everybody is a diamond in God’s eyes, no matter how nickel we look or feel to ourselves or to those still in the dark.
eryone on the street we call life. Among the things I cherish in NYC is, frankly, its obvious and vibrant (not to say unapologetic) diversity. It’s not for nothing that NYC calls itself the “Universal City”. People literally from every race, culture, language, background, work or trade, belief system or ambition have found a way to co-exist and even, in some unmistakable way, bond among themselves, something that for me is a parable of catholicity, as the late Pope John Paul II once said of America. Yes, catholicity in which Jesus Christ may be only known to a few but nonetheless pervading everyone, unnoticed even by his own. When Karl Rahner spoke of the “Anonymous Christian” in the world, why anyone would be surprised, I thought. Doesn’t the Master himself remain largely anonymous and yet real in the middle of the rushing but hardly hushing crowds of NYC and its kin places in the world? A total stranger who could fool you but chooses instead to help you find the way when you are lost in the subway crowd is one such reminder. Racism is not only illegal and politically incorrect here. It is treated like a disease that it is. Still, all the laws and good intentions of the world, however praiseworthy, do not banish racism from existence. Sometimes it shows its ugly head in unlikely places, such as (again) the subways, schools and even (sadly) churches. In the same way that some people seem prone to get certain grave diseases for one reason or another, some of us humans are more easily given to racism and bigotry. The uproar by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans over the offensive comments in the show “Desperate Wives” brings home to Pinoys that prejudice and bigotry, siblings of racism, are very much alive and that they, as well as other so-called ‘inferior races and cultures’, could also be at the receiving end. Still, the temper of NYC is (thankfully) not and (hopefully) never ever racismfriendly. If racism and its many ugly faces are no longer accepted (at least in civilized language and behavior) as determining
Nicolo F. Bernardo
THE youth are the hope of the future. That’s the classic line from Jose Rizal. But, what now when the youth are despaired of the future, such as the classic case of the young suicidal Mariannet Amper? Suicidal attempts could be indications of how a particular environment or situation has made life unbearable, if not impossible, to its members. They tell that certain people already in the margins are continuously being pushed to their limits as to romanticize death. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to man, but to beasts as well, when coping mechanisms could break down and death is seen as the only escape. What could be in the mind of a suicidal, especially a young suicidal? Psychologists would say that it could be a person thinking that continuing life, despite his years ahead, would simply extend or worsen situations; that it would most likely be an unfolding of more Nos and Nevers; that one has become a burden even to himself. Thus, the thought that it must all be brought into a halt. Game over. The fear of the possibility of inferno after
institutions, and our so-called “upgrading” standards of living been themselves constricting or life-affirming? Do our demands and material conditions help the least privileged appreciate life, or are we the first to break a wedge on who’s who has worthy and unworthy living, favorable and unfavorable life ahead? Are we part of society’s matrices that produce endless stress, guilt, and self-doubt? Can we tell that we are not part of making other lives “the others,” the better-off-dead? The death of Amper gives us many lessons. It opened graves. It gives us the lesson that children are also susceptible to discrimination, depravity, and depression. That children too may already be into deep and serious thinking, contemplating the very viability of their future, their dreams, their goals. That kids need people who are not only there to promise a better tomorrow, but to let them see how that could be a living reality, a truth to live. Most of all, it reminds us that poverty and human fulfillment are warranted issues for a culture of life, against the culture of death and death wishes.
suicide may be no deterrent when a person thinks that he is already living a life like one, and enduring further might only be a journey to the lowest circles of life’s pits, and more hells anyway. A person committing suicide, I think, is waging a stake, waging for possible plights of rest or relief, if not forgiveness, by throwing oneself to what is beyond life. It is the thought that there could be more possibilities in that much unknown realm than in the life here and now. The reason behind a suicide reveals how a society may have demeaned life’s value or meaning more or less equivalent to other goods, so much so that these goods’ loss must go with the price of life. Or it reveals how life has been made unsustainable or inhuman, remembering the words of Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death.” Every news of suicide is saddening. It tells so much about the state of life we share, and that it must take endeared lives just to call attention, to cry for help, who were hardly heard, understood, or televised when they were still living. Who are part to blame? Are our schools,
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Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
PPCRV hits killing of Comelec’s Dalaig
A CHURCH-BACKED poll watchdog has urged a thorough inquiry into the killing of a Commission on Elections’ executive, amid widespread condemnation of the murder. Lawyer Alioden Dalaig, Comelec’s legal department head, was shot dead in Manila district last November 10. The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said there should be an “impartial, professional investigation.” PPCRV national chairperson Henrietta De Villa has condemned the killing as “deplorable.” “Any death, diminish us. PPCRV is devastated that elections and death are now synonymous—instant death of many people and slow death of democracy,” De Villa told CBCPNews. Police authorities are yet to determine the motive on Dalaig’s murder. Reports said that the Comelec official was shot in the chest while walking along a street in Ermita, around 7 p.m. In Cavite province, police authorities are also investigating the killing of a Comelec provincial officer. Joseph Anthony del Rosario was shot dead on the same day in Pasong Kawayan II village in Bacoor town. (CBCPNews)
Confab to assess migration’s role in country dev’t
A CHURCH-BASED group will hold a forum to stimulate “systematic assessment” on how international migration can help development process in the Philippines. The Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC) said the event, which will be held November 19-20 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila, is in line with their belief that transnational dimensions have a role in charting the country’s growth. “It is urgent that the country has to take stock of the various dimensions of its international migration experience,” the group said. It also said that assessing the implications of the migrationdevelopment nexus and developing plans of action to promote development in this age of migration are also necessary. The conference will focus on the theme, “The Transnational Turn in National Development: International Migration and Development Prospects in the Philippines.” Participants and resource persons will include representatives from government, academe, civil society, media, international organizations and the private sector. The conference has also invited resource persons from Mexico, to share the Mexican experience in international migration and the role of hometown associations in partnering
Collegio / A1
Religious Brothers meet to reflect on present status
RELIGIOUS Brothers from various congregations in the Visayas took time out for an annual regional assembly in Iloilo City to review their life as consecrated religious. Twenty-two brothers from 7 congregations in the Visayas reflected on the theme: The Filipino Religious Brother: A hard look at our present status in the light of future goals and objectives. The participants are members of The Visayas Association of Religious Brothers (VARB), representing the areas of Cebu, Negros and Panay. The convention provided an opportunity for the brothers to know one another through interaction and open discussion of their status as brothers in their respective congregations. Although some men congregations treat their brothers in equal footing with their clerical counterparts, the discussion also revealed that in some religious institutes, brothers still feel like a marginalized minority. Their sharing also led the brothers to appreciate the uniqueness of each congregation’s charism and apostolate rendered in the Church. The association is putting a premium on vocation recruitment and formation, but emphaFighting / A1
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo (center) with Religious Brothers from seven congregations representing the areas of Cebu, Negros and Panay, at the Regional Assembly of Visayas Association of Religious Brothers (VARB) held in Iloilo City, last October 26-29, 2007.
with Mexican institutions to promote local development. “The Philippines can also learn from the good practices of other countries in the field of migration and development,” the organization said. To fine-tune the stocktaking and assessment, the SMC said, consultations will be conducted with key stakeholders prior to the conference. The key issues identified from this process will also inform the presentations of the invited resource persons, it also said. The Scalabrini Migration Center is a non-profit research institute established in 1987 and based in Manila, Philippines. SMC is dedicated to encourage and facilitate the study of socio-demographic, economic, political, psychological, historical, legislative and religious aspects of human migration and refugee movements from and within Asia. It is a member of the Federation of Centers for Migration Studies (FCMS) “G.B. Scalabrini,” which is responsible for the publication of some of the major journals on migration studies. The group is also an associate member of the UNESCOMOST Asia-Pacific Migration Research Network (APMRN) and of the Philippine Migration Research Network (PMRN). (CBCPNews)
Mariannet / A1
sizing that numbers should go hand in hand with skills and competence to become more effective workers at the service of the Church. Most Rev. Angel Lagdameo, Jaro archbishop and CBCP president, delivered the keynote speech and presided the Eucharistic celebration at the opening of the assembly. He encouraged the brothers to be contemplative in action, “to live the present moment,” sayhe is being surrounded by a bunch of difficulties. Medroso said a Christian has always something to look up to and that is God. The prelate also seconded Lagdameo that believers should take a look at a basic Church teaching in fighting poverty. “All who are baptized have to look for his brothers and sisters who are in need. And therefore each Christian is obliged to help,” he said. “That’s why our Lord Himself has placed a standard of judgment in regards to these ones. When he said whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do it to me. That means to say He identify Himself to the least, to the poorest of the poor.” For his part, LingayenDagupan Archbishop Oscar
ing that the key to perfection is found in “putting ourselves fully in the work we are doing.” “Oftentimes we are hardly where we are,” he further remarked, “we are experts in doing what we are not.” Br. Romy Abulad, SVD, Chair of VARB, with Br. Carlo Bacalla, SDB, Vice Chair; and Br. Nolin Roy, FIC, Area Coordinator for Panay, organized and managed the assembly. The whole event was held in a Cruz described the girl’s death as nothing but a pitiful situation in need for a “fatal shout for attention and concern.” It’s about time, he said, for the people to rediscover their values of selflessness and helping one another. “Farewell, Mariannet! You woke us up from our complacency. You made us weep for ourselves. You give us so many things to think about. Be with God. Pray for us. You win!” he said. Cruz said that blaming everything else is the easiest response, but everyone needs to reflect first on where have our values of sharing and caring gone. Or else, he said it would be easy to blame corrupt government, the rampant poverty and misery in the country and the insensitivity of society. (Roy Lagarde)
fraternal atmosphere, where all voices were heard and prayers were shared. This year the three affiliates of the National Federation of the Religious Brothers in the Philippines (NFRBP) held their regional assemblies simultaneously on October 26-29, 2007. Next year, VARB will join the National Convention of NFRBP in Davao City. (CBCPNews, with reports from Romy Abulad, SVD)
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Twelve-year old Maria nnet Amper, a resident of Davao City, hanged herself last November 2 after losing hope over her family’s miserable living condition. She left behind a diary that detailed her situation of poverty and the reason for taking her life. Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, meanwhile, called on the faithful not to give up despite heavy challenges in life. He said Marian net’s story is a sad reality we have to face but committing suicide is definitely not and will not solve the problem. “The main question here is, whether a person who has faith or a real strong faith, would lose hope, because one who has a strong faith will never lose hope,” said Medroso. A true Christian, he said, should never lose hope even if
In and Out / A4
According to initial plan, protesters will convene at the Liwasang Bonifacio and march towards Mendiola. One prelate urged the people to join mass actions, saying that it’s only through this that people will be able to do something right for the country at this point in time. “We appeal to you, Gloria, please step down because you have no moral ascendancy to stay in power,” Tobias said earlier. The three bishops are spiritual advisers of the multi-sectoral group Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME). They likewise signified their support for a transition junta to be led by Chief justice Reynato Puno to replace the Arroyo administration. Civil society leaders have also launched an online petition calling for the resignation of Arroyo and the holding of snap elections. (CBCPNews)
Laiko / A4
ate courses,” he further explained. Just last semester, Filipino priests assigned in Rome and the Vatican shared on the struggles they face in their ministry. Msgr. Santos said these priests serve either as parish priests in Rome and nearby dioceses or as professors in various educational institutions or as members of the pontifical communities. “Our goal during the first semester was to foster fraternal charity and inspire Filipino priests in their apostolate,” Msgr. Santos concluded. (Melo M. Acuna)
Prelate / A1
serves our prayers” as he called on everyone not to condemn her. He said the Catholic Church looks at suicide victims as persons who are not in their proper senses, individuals who can no longer decide having lost reason and freedom. “A person who has considered suicide lacks faith …psychospiritual and psychological factors should also be taken into account,” he further said. The prelate said Mariannet’s case is different for she is a child. He said “we leave Mariannet’s case in the hands of God.” (Melo Acuña) He also called on independent scientists to investigate the incident. Environment experts in 2006 have already warned over the vulnerability of the mining site in the island to the wet season from November to January where typhoons and heavy rains usually occur. Aside from a mining spill, the area is prone to landslides due to the steep slope and weakened soil structures in the island. Recent reports of landslides and floods have already been noted in 19 towns in nearby Camarines Sur due to the continuous heavy rains. (CBCPNews)
The fish kills have been reported in Pagcolbon, Malobago, Santa Barbara, Carubcob, and Poblacion. “This is very similar to an incident two years ago where mine tailings spilled inside the Lafayette mining site in two incidents last October 11 and 31, 2005,” he said. “The DENR should have learned from the lesson in 2005. Lafayette mining operations should have been permanently shut down and remediation immediately done. We fear that this lapse could have led to this recent fish kill incident”, Bastes lamented.
persons, they are also called to be in service of the local church like other religious clerics and religious sisters. What is the task that the Church entrusts to the communities of consecrated life? Religious are tasked with “spreading the spirituality of communion , first of all in their internal life and then in the Church community and even beyond its boundaries, by beginning a dialogue of charity, especially in those places where today’s world is torn apart by ethnic hatred or senseless violence” (VC 51). The urgent call to religious today is to help form the local church in the spirituality of communion, in the face of lavish consumerism and soul-less materialism. If religious life is understood, there would be no identity crisis among the religious brothers. They have only to discover and come on the wavelength of the local Church and discover how their respective religious charism will apply. Like their fellow religious in the order, Religious Brothers are also witnesses of radical discipleship through their vows of evangelical poverty, consecrated chastity and apostolic obedience. The Need for Reinterpretation. “Beyond adaptation, institutes must reinterpret and revitalize their charisms in the light of the
signs of the times ( Perfectae Caritatis 2). Charisms are products of their times and hence relative to history. Because of the historical reasons, the particular charism may have passed, and an institute will have to be ready to reformulate its charism or even to disappear. Institutes must constantly refound themselves, since to make charisms absolute is to make them surely obsolete” (PCP II 473). This statement implies that religious cannot be totally dedicated to religious ideals but nevertheless indifferent to human and secular concerns. This statement is born of observation and experience of religious orders. In a way it responds to the religious institutes’ needs, aspirations and longings, in a particular period of history. There is a need to be aware and to accept the “falsity and futility of the ancient dichotomies between prayer and action, the sacred and the profane, spirituality and active social involvement or personal compassion and social justice” (PCP II 479). Such awareness has led to reinterpretation of religious charisms in the light of the signs of the times, which involves no less an on going dialogue between charism and culture. “Charisms as mediated by culture are cultural; as transcending culture they are transcultural; as
rooted in the Gospel, charisms are counter cultural.” According to Sr. Julma Neo, D.C., “The most difficult part of inculturation is choosing in favor of the charism rather than the culture, when there is a question of different priorities or conflict between charism values and cultural counter values.” For example, observe how fear of conflict can obstruct free and open dialogue; or how excessive deference to age and authority can make obedience difficult. “To be prophetic, our witnessing must be radical, visible, effective and credible. Radical because it reaches to the roots of our being: our desires, our affections, our values, our attitudes and our relationships. Visible, because it can be seen by those around us. Visibility in our context today implies the witness of communities and institutions, not only of individuals. Effective because it presents alternatives to ways of living that do not promote fullness of life. Credibility calls for consistency, integrity and harmony between words and deeds, proclamation and life” (Ref. Sr. Julma Neo, D.C., in FABC Papers 116, pp.42-43).
(This is a complete text of the keynote address delivered by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo during the Annual Regional Assembly of the Visayas Association of Religious Brothers held in Iloilo City last October 26-29.)
governmental, and other medical institutions and NGOs, 10) Efforts exerted in the prevention of medical brain drain in the country. Considering these formidable criteria for achievement, five physicians topped them all to deserve the prestigious award – a glass trophy sculptured by world-renowned Ramon G. Orlina and here they are: DR. CHARLOTTE CHIONG – “From pioneering surgical procedures like bilateral cochlear implantation, Dr. CHARLOTTE CHIONG has certainly put her country at the forefront of the subspecialty of otology and neurotology among its Asian neighbors. The researches done on newborn hearing screening which she started in 2000, has won recognition and publication awards from various international agencies. As a Clinical Associate Professor, her untiring efforts have inspired and educated a new generation of committed, passionate and patriotic physicians to practice in the country.” DR. ENRIQUE T. ONA – “His peers, both here and abroad acknowledge DR. ENRIQUE T. ONA as one of the top surgeons in the field of vascular surgery and organ implantation, as well as being a dedicated advocate for preventive nephrology in the
Philippines. He has consistently shown leadership qualities even as a young surgeon. His outstanding achievements in the field of vascular and transplant surgery earned him The Outstanding Young Men (T.O.Y.M) Award in medicine in 1979. At present he serves as Executive Director of the National Kidney & Transplant Institute. His corporate leadership is attested by the transforming of a government hospital ravaged by fire in 1998, just before he took over as Executive Director, to becoming the First ISO-Certified government hospital in the Philippines in 2002.” DR.WILLIE ONG – “His advocacy on the medical “brain drain” has been featured in Readers Digest Asia, the Lancet, and the Associated Press and various local newspapers and television stations. DR. WILLIE ONG is a cardiologist, columnist, book author, television host and advocate for encouraging health workers to stay in the Philippines. In 2004, together with the Philippine College of Physicians, he started the ‘Doctors’ Covenant’ which asks physicians to stay for at least three years in their mother country. The Covenant gathered 1,800 signatures from specialist doctors. DR. CARMENCITA PADILLA – “She is an outstanding public servant whose per-
sonal and professional contributions as a physician, scholar, researcher and administrator have been vital to the advancement of science and medicine in the Philippines. In the field of science and health, DR. CARMENCITA PADILLA is noted for her major contributions to the country with the establishment of Genetic Services (clinical, laboratory and research) and the introduction and institutionalization of Newborn Screening Services” DR. ERIC TALENS – “He is distinguished as an exponent of ‘volunteerism’ among Filipino doctors and the first fellow in Trauma Surgery in the country. Practicing General and Trauma Surgery, DR. ERIC TALENS has won several faculty awards as well as recognition for his research activities, from local and international fora. With his prolific research output, he has published numerous scientific papers in peer-reviewed national, as well as international journals. Because of this, he has been invited as editor in various national and international journals and has also been asked to judge various research paper contests in the Philippines and abroad.” LAIKO salutes the TOFP awardees. Truly they have fulfilled the role of the laity in the world—in the medical profession!
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
Study of the Sistine Chapel’s theology, a new vision
ROME, November 8, 2007— Plenty of people have studied the art of the Sistine Chapel, but a new book published with the collaboration of the Vatican Museums aims to give “a new vision”—a theological one. Jesuit Father Heinrich Pfeiffer’s “The Sistine Chapel: A New Vision” was presented recently in the Vatican Museums. It is the first volume of the “Select Vatican Monuments” series, a project undertaken by the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Publishing House and the Jaca Book editorial house. Father Pfeiffer, a professor of Christian Art History at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, explained in the epilogue that “the objective of this investigation of the Sistine Chapel has been precisely to show how the coming together of theology and history can produce completely unexpected results—in such a way that the word and the image also draw close together, and become capable of showing how they mutually complement each other.” “The word finds again a body to animate and adequate clothing,” he said, “while the image not only delights the eyes, but transmits the great ideas that have inspired the history of humanity, as well as faith in God and in his action in favor of creation.” The volume includes images of the entire chapel in full¯and double-page photographs that reproduce the colors revealed by the frescoes’ recent restoration. Participants in the presentation of the book included: Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of the Vatican City State; Francesco Buranelli, director of the Vatican Museums; and Archbishop Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the Vatican Publishing House. The author emphasized that
“the decoration of a church, not only of the Sistine Chapel, is not decoration in the sense we attribute to it. The decoration
should give people who gather in these spaces the awareness of being living members.” Next year, “Selected Vatican
Monuments” plans the publication of a volume about the work of Rafael, followed by a book on the Vatican gardens. (Zenit)
‘Milagros,’ movie on mother who prays to John Paul II wins film festival
MADRID, Spain, November 8, 2007—The short film “Milagros,” produced by Spanish director Juan Garcia del Santo, won the top prize at the international religious film festival, “Religion Today,” held in Rome. Among the members of the jury that selected the winners were Cristoph Zannussi and Enzo Sisti, producers of Gangs of New York and The Passion of the Christ. According to the Spanish daily “La Razon,” “Milagros” recounts the experience—based on a true story—of Ana, a paraplegic girl whose father (played by the director) is an atheist university professor. Her mother is a woman of profound faith who prays to John Paul II for the healing of her daughter, “which leads to a marriage conflict because of the father’s skepticism.” Speaking about his character, Del Santo explained that he is treated as someone who “wonders about the meaning of life, between the rational and the spiritual.” The film was financed by Del Santo, who said “Milagros” is a personal initiative in which Spanish director Javier Figuero of the University of San Pablo also collaborated. The film, he said, seeks to show “the grandeur and beauty of the mystery of faith and of spirituality,” as well as “to explain the inexplicable” through real characters, using the example of Pope John Paul II and the miraculous healing of the French nun Marie Simon Pierre. (CNA)
Yahoo! comes under fire for cooperating in Chinese human rights violations
WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2007—Executives of the internet company Yahoo! faced harsh criticism in the U.S. House of Representatives for cooperating with the Chinese government’s suppression of political dissent and pro-democracy activists. In a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, legislators and corporate executives discussed the case of Chinese journalist Shi Tao, who was arrested by Chinese police after Yahoo! turned over personally identifying information on him. Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “divulging state secrets abroad.” The “state secret” China accused Shi Tao of violating was the journalist’s distribution of a directive calling for censorship of news on the fifteenth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Representative Chris Smith(RNJ) lambasted the company’s assistance with Tao’s arrest. “Everyone involved with China knows that when democracy and human rights activists, religious believers, and members of persecuted nationalities are arrested it is often for “violating state secrets.” It is the modus operandi of dictatorship. In effect, this charge means nothing more than that they told the truth about some misdeed of the Chinese government,” Smith said during the hearing. The hearing focused upon the testimony of Yahoo! Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael Callahan, who in a 2006 hearing had provided incomplete information about his employer’s involvement in the arrest of Tao and other pro-democracy activists. Callahan initially testified his company had no information about the nature of the Chinese government’s investigation into Tao. The Dui Hua Foundation, a leading human rights organization in China, later provided evidence that Yahoo! had been informed that the investigation sought evidence from the internet company of Tao’s “illegal provision of state secrets to foreign entities.” When pressed by Representative Smith to settle in court with the arrested activists’ families, Callahan responded “We absolutely will consider that.” Rep. Smith is co-sponsoring a bill called the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007, which seeks to prohibit U.S. internet companies from cooperating with repressive regimes’ suppression of pro-democracy dissent. (CNA)
Quebec enjoying ‘Mini-Baby Boom’ but is it enough to halt demographic decline?
MONTREAL, Canada, November 8, 2007—After decades of suffering the lowest birth rate in North America, Quebec is enjoying a mini baby boom the Globe and Mail has reported. According to data from the province’s Institute de la Statistique, Quebec has seen an increase in the birth rate of 9 per cent between 2005 and 2006. This year, the statistics show almost 1,000 more births between April and June 2007, than in the same period last year. It is not the first time that such increases have been recorded, however and Quebec’s birth rate still remains well below replacement level. In 2001 a University of Toronto economist, Kevin Milligan, found that Quebec’s birth rate rose during a nine-year baby bonus program that ended in 1997. He said the bonuses caused a 10 per cent increase in births by first-time mothers, 13 per cent for mothers who already had one child, and 25 per cent for those with two or more children. The program offered $500 for a first baby and up to $8,000 over five years for three or more births. But even with these increases, Quebec’s birth rate in 1997 was one of the lowest in the world, at approximately 1.5 children per couple. Meanwhile, the number of abortions in Quebec doubled from 1980 to 2000. According to the most recent available statistics, Canada’s overall fertility rate stands far below replacement level at 1.61 children born per woman. In 1998 the Institute de la Statistique showed 38 abortions per 100 live births in the province. Quebec’s 38 per cent abortion rate is surpassed only by that of former Soviet-bloc countries where abortion is used as a method of contraception. The Globe and Mail quoted experts who said that two years is not enough to indicate a definite upward trend or a slowdown in Quebec’s overall population decline. In the meantime, the Quebec government announced November 2 that it will increase the number of immigrants to the province over the next three years to attract 55,000 per year by 2010. The government admitted that the increase in immigration was to help meet a labor shortage caused by the low birth rate and aging population. Despite the province’s historical focus on maintaining its French cultural heritage, an almost equal proportion of the hoped-for immigrants will be drawn from Africa (27 per cent), Asia (26 per cent), Europe (26 per cent) and the Americas (21 per cent). (Hilary White / LifeSiteNews)
Baltimore priest removed for liturgical abuse
BALTIMORE, USA, November 9, 2007—Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has removed a pastor who invited a female Episcopalian priest to join him in celebrating a funeral Mass, the Baltimore Sun reports. Father Martin was removed from his parish assignment at a meeting with archdiocesan officials on November 8. The priest, whose unorthodox liturgical practices had prompted several prior complaints, said that the Episcopalian priest had not participated in the Consecration during the October funeral liturgy, although he had invited her to read the Gospel. There were conflicting reports on whether or not the Episcopalian cleric had received Communion; Father Martin said that he could not recall administering the Eucharist to her. On the orders of the archbishop, Father Martin resigned his parish assignment and issued an apology for “bringing scandal to the Church,” the Sun reports. A spokesman for the Baltimore archdiocese explained that the pastor’s removal was called for because “he has repeatedly violated Church teaching.” Father Martin was serving as pastor of three different parishes in south Baltimore, where he had worked for 5 years. His removal comes just 6 weeks after Archbishop O’Brien was installed as head of the Baltimore archdiocese. (CWNews)
Solidarity launching campaign against Sunday shopping
WARSAW, Poland, November 8, 2007—Poland’s Solidarity labor movement is planning a major push to win public support for a ban on Sunday shopping. Beginning next week, the newspaper Zycie Warszawy reports, advertisements supporting the Sunday ban will appear all across Poland. The slogans for the Solidarity campaign emphasize the importance of a day devoted to family life. One slogan, offered in the voice of children, says: “Let us have our parents on Sunday.” Another asks shoppers to consider the effect their Sunday trips to the stores have on workers there: “Your freedom: the servitude of others.” (CWNews)
German cardinal decries seminarians’ religious education
MUNICH, Germany, November 8, 2007—Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of Munich has complained about the lack of religious knowledge among candidates for the priesthood in Germany. Cardinal Wetter told reporters in Bavaria that the Church might be compelled to add another year of seminary training, in order to provide remedial education for young men who begin priestly training without an adequate knowledge of their faith. Extending the length of seminary training could aggravate a shortage of young priests in Germany. The DPA news agency reports that 264 young men entered the country’s seminaries in 2006—a number that is sharply down from figures that reached over 800 in the early 1980s. (CWNews)
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People, Facts & Places
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
Peace exhibit brings inspiring message of hope
A ‘TRAVELING EXHIBIT’ dubbed ‘Dear Peace’ will tour different schools and Church venues in Cebu and Mindanao on November 12-19, in an effort to promote hope and build cultural understanding between Christians and Muslims. The exhibit, conveying an inspiring message of hope from the perspective of Christian and Muslim high school students shows paintings done by young students, as well as photographs and writings. An essential part of the exhibit is a video documentary, an output of 29 Christian and Muslim students who participated in a Peace Camp organized by Communications Foundations for Asia (CFA) in Taytay, Rizal sometime in May 2006. CFA organized the Peace Camp in collaboration with the BishopUlama Conference, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue, National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Young Moro Professionals’ Network and the Ramon Avanceña High School (RAHS). RAHS in Quiapo, is one of few public high schools in Metro Manila that has a significant number of Christian and Muslim students. The documentary had its first screening at the RAHS conference room last September 21, during the celebration of International Day of Peace. CFA President Fr. Filoteo Pelingon, MSC, praised the efforts being done by the students, saying that the nation’s current problems would be easier to solve if only people can see and understand through young people’s eyes. He also emphasized the need “to discover one’s own light in order to be able to relate with one another in compassion, understanding and peace.” CFA Executive director Teresita Hermano said forums and workshops that followed after the Peace Camp strengthened the positive outcome of the gathering. She also said they hope to continue the interfaith project to promote peace and understanding. CFA has opened the exhibit in public middle of October at Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas. Likewise, it has also been shown at Titus Brandsma Centre in Cubao, at Focolare Mariapolis Peace in Tagaytay and at CFA in Sta. Mesa. The exhibit aimed to create greater awareness on how young people of different faiths can come together and work for peace. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
CULMINATED. YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION OF GOLDEN JUBILEE OF FOUNDATION, CARMELITE MISSIONARIES; November 4, 2007; Iloilo City. Founded in 1860 in Spain by Blessed Francisco Palau, OCD, the Carmelite Missionaries started their presence in the Philippines when the congregation established its first house in La Paz, Iloilo City, in November 1956. Since then, the Philippine province has extended its presence in different Asian countries, and has sent missionaries in other parts of the world. The year-long commemoration was a time of spiritual renewal for the whole province, as it reflected on the providential love of God manifested in the ever-growing membership of Sisters and fruitfulness of Carmelites’ apostolic presence in the country. At present, the congregation has 197 Sisters incardinated in the province, and 19 Filipina Sisters belonging to other provinces. At the closing of the jubilee, the Carmelite Missionaries Sisters said their celebration was an “endless thanksgiving to the God of Life who calls us to love and serve the Church that Blessed Francisco Palau loved: ‘I live and will live for the Church. I live and will die for her.’” DIED. FR. FRANCIS J. MARINO, S.M., 82 years old, founder and spiritual father of the Anawim Community, Manila, October 1, 2007. Born in Massachusetts, USA, in 1925, Fr. Marino joined the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) in 1948, and was ordained priest in May 31, 1957. While still a young seminarian, Fr. Marino received an insight into the place of Mary in the liturgy. In 1960, he painted an icon of Our Lady of the Liturgical Life, in an effort to share with other people the inspiration he received. In 1975, Fr. Marino, together with Barbara Brennan, founded the Anawim Community; a community of laity and priests originally based at St. Mary’s House of Prayer in New York. Anawim has centers in New York, New Jersey and the Philippines. Fr. Marino has gone back and forth several times into the country since he founded the Anawim Center in Manila. In his later years, he has devoted much time fostering the growth of Anawim community in Manila, forming seminarians and lay associates according to the Anawim spirituality. The Anawim community lives a Marian and Eucharistic spirituality based on the inspiration received by Fr. Marino. Fr. Marino has left spiritual children in the hundreds of men and women who live the Anawim way of life. A publication he founded, The Anawim Way, a collection of daily liturgical meditations; continue to touch the lives of thousands of readers. Fr. Marino’ s mortal remains were buried on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Liturgical Life, Las Piñas, Metro Manila. CELEBRATED. WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER (WWME), of the Archdiocese of Jaro, 25th anniversary of foundation; October 21, 2007. The movement in the Archdiocese has touched the lives of over 2,000 couples, priests and religious through a common Weekend experience that is at the root of WWME life. Today we see a heightened demand for its charism being dictated by the need for a strong family, a “domestic church”, and here the prerequisite is inevitably the solid sacramental bond between the husband and his wife, between couples and their priest. After 25 years, the golden road for the WWME community is now quite apparent as its shepherd challenged those attending, to “let your sacraments shine.” Archbishop Angel Lagdameo graced the occasion and presided the Eucharistic celebration. In his Jubilee message, he thanked the encountered couples and priests present during the celebration for their role of inspiring the witnessing by couples of Christ’s love through their sacraments. He also expressed his appreciation of the movement as a source of hope for couples in crisis, and as an impetus for parents to let the experience of love and prayer seep into their family life. CELEBRATED. DAUGHTERS OF SAINT PAUL, local community of Cagayan de Oro City; 50th anniversary of foundation; November 11, 2007. In 1957, six Daughters of St. Paul from Cebu set sail for Cagayan de Oro to start the Pauline mission in the Archdiocese. Led by Sr. Melania Ravarotto, an Italian sister, were five Filipina sisters: Sr. Gloria Felix, Sr. Rosaria del Rosario, Sr. Leticia Ganalon, Sr. Stefanina Roble and Sr. Vincenzina Guion. The pioneers were warmly welcomed by the first bishop of Cagayan de Oro, the late Archbishop James T.G. Hayes, SJ. Joining the local community in celebrating their golden jubilee and proclaiming God’s manifold grace bestowed on the community during the past 50 years were eighteen FSP sisters, two of whom were pioneers; vocations, and former superiors. Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ presided the concelebrated 10:30 AM Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Augustine.
Mindanao Religious Brothers hold regional assembly
AMSRB Constitution and By-Laws. Under the new By-Laws, the following Brothers were elected officers for a three-year term: Chairman: Br. Amado Ancla, CFA (Alexian Brothers); Vice-Chairman: Br. Briccio Baynosa, FMS (Marist Brothers); Secretary: Br. Richard Joyal, SM (Marianists); and Treasurer: Br. Rommel Valen, SC (Brothers of the Sacred Heart). Br. Amado Ancla, CFA, is also the concurrent chairman of the National Federation of Religious Brothers in the Philippines (NFRBP); with Br. Erwin Sayson, SC, as national secretary. Held in Saranggani Province, the Mindanao Assembly was convened simultaneously with Regional assemblies of Visayas Association of Religious Brothers (VARB) and the Luzon Association of Religious Brothers (LARB) organized in Iloilo and Baguio cities respectively. Next year’s national convention of Religious Brothers is slated on October 24-26, 2008 to be held in the Archdiocese of Davao. (Bro. Amado Ancla, CFA)
The Religious Brothers of Mindanao-Sulu during their annual regional assembly held at Saranggani province on October 26-28, 2007.
TAKING the current peace and order situation in Mindanao-Sulu as context, 56 Religious Brothers of Mindanao gathered on October 2628, and reflected on the theme “Mission Possible: Spreading the Spirituality of Communion.” Participants came from the congregations of Alexian Brothers, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Brothers of the Holy Family, Redemptorists, Priests of the Sacred Heart, Marianists, Benedictine Monks, Marist Brothers, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Society of Jesus, Missionary Brothers of St. Therese, and Order of Saint Camillus. Assisting them in their reflection was a roster of speakers led by Bro. Noelvic Deloria, SC, Superior of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, who delivered the keynote speech. Brother Deloria expounded on some definitions of communion drawing from Church documents and respected writers. He also proposed the use of Appreciative Inquiry methodology for drawing out some common mission that the Brothers articulated at the end of
the assembly. Other speakers were Hon. Mario Aguja, former AKBAYAN Partylist congressional representative who spoke on National Situationer; Mr. Reyzaldy Tan and Cynthia Guerra of ACT for Peace Programme, on Agenda for Peace in Mindanao-Sulu; and Col. Gaudencio S. Pangilinan, Jr., Batallion Commander of 1002 Infantry Brigade, on Peace Perspectives in Mindanao and Sulu. The objectives of the regional assembly were the following: (1) to celebrate in thanksgiving to God in allowing the Brothers to be signs of dialogue and communion in the world; (2) to challenge the AMSRB to come up with a common mission in the pursuit of dialogue for peace in Mindanao-Sulu; and (3) to rejoice as Brothers in the spirit of fraternity and communion. Bro. Joe Sapigao, SC, led the Liturgy Committee that allowed the Brothers to commune solemnly with God in prayerful reflection and daily Eucharist. A significant achievement of the assembly was the ratification of the
Prolife Phils sponsors seminar on same sex attractions
IN order to educate the faithful on the Church’s views on same sex attractions, Prolife Philippines hosted a seminar titled “Same Sex Attractions: Stories about Homosexuality” last Oct.20 at the Bahay Ugnayan, Good Shepherd Convent in Quezon City. Through a video clip titled “Gay Rights, Special Rights,” the participants were educated on how the gay agenda has taken root on American soil and how these events are about to take place in the Philippines following proposals of House Bill 956 and Senate Bill 11, anticipating the legalization of homosexual behavior in the guise of these anti-discrimination bills. Meanwhile, former president of Courage Philippines, a Vatican recognized homosexual support group based in the country, Jose Garcia delivered a talk on “Development of the Filipino homosexual in the Philippine context.” In his talk, Garcia gave a clear distinction between the homosexuals who are actively living and pursuing the gay socio-political agenda and those who are struggling to live a chaste life in accordance with the Catholic Church’s teachings. This talk expounded on the definitions, dynamics and causes, choices and steps taken by Filipino homosexuals—taken on a psychological and experiential perspective of Garcia’s work as a counselor for persons with SSA (same-sex attractions). On the other hand, Rolando delos Reyes II gave a lecture on different sources of Catholic moral teaching about homosexuality (Scriptures, Catechism, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), and some practical ways on how to genuinely care for persons with SSA in accordance with Catholic doctrine. In his talk titled “Caring for Persons with SSA – the Catholic Moral and Pastoral Perspective,” delos Reyes showed the participants another set of video clips from “Portraits of Courage,” a presentation depicting real faces and life experiences of persons with SSA. (Kris Bayos)
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Proper place to keep bones and ashes of deceased Catholics
Diocese of Imus
CBCP confers awards to prison volunteers
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Mr. Jacques Diouf
Never fail to proclaim Jesus!
B7 Social Concern
Filipinos in Italy: The juice may not be worth the squeeze
culminated with the commissioning of CM volunteer leaders and a special mass led by Most Rev. Teodoro Bacani, one of the top socio-political advocators of the Church. Caritas Manila has more than a thousand volunteer leaders from the different parishes in Metro Manila. This year, CM celebrated the successful up-scaling of its beneficiaries and volunteers. In 2007, the number of CM Scholars has been successfully increased to 6,000. The Caritas charity clinics doubled from 13 to 26, and the volunteers serving, offering their time and talent to beneficiaries and the programs of CM, also increased from 3,000 to 5,000. In five years, CM aims to assist and declare beneficiaries 100,000 urban poor families covered by the Archdiocese of Manila. The Archdiocese covers the cities of Pasay, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan. CM also aims to assist the social services and development programs of the Suffragan Dioceses in Metro Manila. During the commissioning event at the Cuneta Astrodome, CM also unveiled Segunda Mana to its volunteer leaders. on-line link with hiring companies through JobsDB for people who are looking for jobs. Held at Caritas Manila, the Job Fair was able to process 643 applicants from which 42 were immediately hired. The weeklong anniversary kickedoff with a Eucharistic celebration on October 22 at the Caritas Manila compound with Monsignor Roberto Espenilla, Vicar Forane of the Holy
CARITAS Manila (CM), the lead ing social services and development organization of the Church in the Philippines celebrated its 54th Founding Anniversary last October 27, 2007 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. The celebration highlighted the theme, SSDM (Social Services & Development Ministry): The Challenge of Pastoral Stewardship. The week-long anniversary event
Caritas Manila celebrates 54th anniversary
Segunda Mana is Caritas Manila’s reenergized donations “in-kind” campaign that is a key part of its Stewardship Program. The campaign aims to further develop the virtue of charity by encouraging people to help through means that they could easily afford by donating items they do not need, they have too much of, or items they just want to dispose, to help other people especially those in need. Donations in-kind generated by Segunda Mana will be converted to funds for use in further increasing scholarships and providing health and livelihood programs and assistance to the urban poor in Metro Manila. CM Executive Director Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual gave the main talk on the spirituality of stewardship as well as serenaded CM’s volunteer leaders with several timeless love songs. On October 26, 2007, CM together with JobsDB.com, the leading on-line job site and sister company Radio Veritas 846 launched JobWalk, an online livelihood and job assistance program. JobWalk aims to provide parishes with computer and internet access and Family Vicariate and parish priest of Sagrada Familia Parish, San Andres, Manila as main celebrant. On October 23, CM awarded the winners of its Education Assistance Program’s art contest opened to CM’s scholars. The theme of the contest was “Tao at Kalikasan.” underlining the ecological aspect of the Church’s stewardship. This was followed by a special forum on alternative medicine entitled “Let’s Go Herbal” given by the Ecology Desk of the Archdiocese of Manila on October 24, 2007 also at the Caritas Compound. Caritas Manila was founded in 1953 as Catholic Charities by the first Filipino Cardinal, Archbishop Rufino Santos. The late Jaime Cardinal Sin changed the name Catholic Charities to Caritas Manila. He advanced CM’s efforts to help the poor and the needy into sustainable social services and development programs. The present Chairman of CM, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, is leading the effort of CM to up-scale its programs and services, through Pondo ng Pinoy, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, the parishes and the clergy. (Choy Gagalac)
Segunda Mana, Caritas Manila’s re-energized donations “in-kind” campaign launched at the Cuneta Astrodome during the commissioning event of Caritas volunteers last October 27. Donations in-kind generated by Segunda Mana will be converted to cash to support the livelihood and scholarship programs of Caritas Manila.
How not to teach children about sex
By William Keenan
WE have just learned from a United Nations’ report that Britain is the worst place in the developed world in which to be a child. This shocking state of affairs, however, can be of little surprise to many people in this country, especially those who have witnessed successive governments undermining the family and taking away its authority and basic rights. One of the worst examples of this destructive intervention in family life is the sex education system that has been imposed on schools. Under this system socalled sexual health officials go into classrooms and are now encouraging children as young as 12 years old to have sex. This is not only destroying childhood innocence but has given Britain the worst sexual health in the western world and the most one-parent families. Parents in the dark Not very long ago the Daily Telegraph ran a whole-page story headlined, Outrage over explicit sex lessons. Education correspondent John Clare described parents’ anger at 12-year-old children being given explicit sex lessons. After carefully investigating the matter John Clare said he had come to three stark conclusions: “First the use of these crude and explicit materials is apparently widespread. Second, the school has not told parents precisely what their 12-year-olds are being taught. And third, parents everywhere have virtually no hope of discovering the content of their children’s sex education lessons.” The only information parents are to be given—under government guidelines—is the banal statement: “Students learn about forming and keeping positive relationships, how healthy bodies and healthy minds equal healthy lives...” This policy of secrecy, of keeping parents in the dark about what their children are being taught about sex and the sexual activity that is being encouraged, has proved disastrous for many children and their families. A tragic case One of the saddest cases I remember covering as a journalist was that of a mother whose daughter was given contraceptive pills without her knowledge. The mother only found out about it one day when she was cleaning her daughter’s bedroom and discovered the pills. She immediately rang the family planning organization that had prescribed them and was told it was none of her business. By law she had no right to know about her daughter being put on the pill. By law she could do nothing about it. And that was the end of the matter. The mother tried to explain to them that her daughter had a medical condition which, according to the pill manufacturer’s guidelines, meant she should not be taking that medication. But they insisted the daughter was under their medical care, that the decision was hers and had nothing to do with her mother. The mother later learned from her daughter that she was having sex with a 19-year-old boy. The local family planning organization had considered this to be a “stable” relationship and a reason for her to be put her on the pill. Tragically, the girl soon afterwards suffered a massive stroke, which the leading consultant put down to her being wrongly prescribed the pill. The boy, for whom she began taking the pill, did not want to know her after her illness or have anything to do with her. He didn’t even go to see her in hospital. And neither did the doctors who had put her on the pill. Safe sex myth For years the number of teenage pregnancies in Britain has been the worst in Western Europe and the government’s response and that of the family planning organizations has always been the same: more sex education for ever younger children. The amazing thing is that sex with a minor has always been a criminal offence. But it would appear that putting 12-year-olds on the pill, giving them condoms and encouraging them to have sex is not considered by the government a criminal offence any more. Some family planners say that girls as young as nine should be put on the pill. The great myth that has been propagated by the sex education policy is that of safe sex—the notion that people won’t contract sexual diseases if a condom is used. That is false. It is an accepted medical fact that condoms afford at best only limited protection against human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the virus which causes more than 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases and is killing more women than the AIDS (HIV) virus. Against AIDS itself, condoms provide only partial protection. This is why there is an HIV time bomb in our midst. It is why cases of sexual diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have gone through the roof and why there is a sexual disease crisis the government doesn’t want to talk about. ‘State-sponsored sexual abuse of children’ To all reasonable people it is obvious that the sexual disaster in Britain is a result of instructing the young in sex without any moral code or guidelines as if it were another leisure activity. Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh recently described Scotland’s proposed health education strategy as “state-sponsored sexual abuse of children”. This was in response to a project by the governmentfinanced Family Planning Association. It was series of “sexual health education” booklets aimed
How not / B4
Bishop Florentino F. Cinense, DD
MOST Rev. Florentino F. Cinense was installed second bishop of Tarlac in January 21, 1988. In this issue of CBCP Monitor, Bishop Cinense talks of the challenges of being a shepherd; the priorities of his pastoral concern; the ongoing formation of his clergy and his relationship with them; his vision for the diocese and the secular media’s treatment of Church issues. How would you describe your ministry as a bishop? Challenging. I was the first Bishop of San Jose in Nueva Ecija before becoming the second Bishop of Tarlac. In Nueva Ecija, it was very challenging. There were no resources, no Cathedral, no Bishop’s Residence, and no organizations. I had to start from scratch. As second Bishop of Tarlac, it was again very challenging although in a different perspective. Tarlac is a bigger diocese but back then there were only 24 priests, and there were a number of elderly Parish Priests whom the Diocese could not afford to retire because of lack of priests. Just imagine we had an 84-year old Parish Priest that couldn’t be retired that time. The scarcity of priests was great that some priests; and even the Bishop himself then had to handle two or more parishes at the same time. And so the main concern then was the increase in the number of priests. As a Bishop of Tarlac for almost twenty years now, how would you describe your diocese? In relation to how the Diocese was upon my assumption as the Local Ordinary, one of my main concerns then was the increase in the number of priests. Hence, the challenge was the establishment of a College Seminary, and we were able to do it. Now we have 85 priests, mostly young and middleaged clergy. And with them, I am able to pastor the more than a million inhabitants of Tarlac, 85 percent of which are baptized Catholics. I also divided the bigger parishes and created new ones so as to better take care of the faithful and counter7 Questions / B4
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
On changing the corporal
Q: Does the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) stipulate that the use of a new corporal on the altar at each Mass celebration is no longer needed? I see that a corporal is placed on the altar at some parishes for a week or more before changing it. I always thought the purpose of this cloth was to take proper care of any particles of Jesus’ body that might fall from the hands or ciborium or paten. If this is the case, then I think proper care should be taken of the cloth and crumbs at the end of each Mass, and not have it lie there for a week, just accumulating more particles or crumbs. With all the care that a priest might take, the host particles on the white cloth is not always noted¯I have learned this from sacristan duties.¯E.M., Bridgewater, Virginia
A: The corporal is a square piece of linen or other fine fabric sometimes starched so as to be fairly firm. It is customarily folded into nine sections and hence stored flat. A larger corporal or more than one corporal may be required for concelebrations and other solemn celebrations. Before use, the corporal is usually left on top of the chalice and, while no longer obligatory, it may be kept in a flat, square case called a burse. Before the present reform, hosts were placed directly upon the corporal and although this is rarely the case today, as our reader points out, it may gather any fragments that fall from the host during the celebration although these mostly fall into either the ciborium or chalice. The GIRM mentions the corporal in several places, first of all in describing the preparation of the gifts, in No. 73: “[T]he Lord’s table, which is the center of the whole Liturgy of the Eucharist, is prepared by placing on it the corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice.” No. 118 says that the corporal should be on the credence table before Mass. Other indications require that a chalice or ciborium should be placed on a corporal whenever it is left on the altar or credence table for purification. With respect to our reader’s queries, it would appear that in her parish they follow the bad habit of leaving the corporal unfolded upon the altar between Masses and even for days on end. The norms require that the corporal be unfolded during the presentation of gifts and properly folded again after Communion. All the same, extra corporals may be placed on the altar before especially solemn Masses in which more sacred vessels are used than can fit on the corporal directly in front of the priest. The GIRM does not require a new corporal for each Mass, it is sufficient for the corporal to be opened and folded with due care to avoid any mishaps. For this reason a corporal should be opened one section at a time while lying flat and never shook open. A corporal is washed in the same manner as a purificator although less frequently. It is first soaked in water; this water is then poured either down a sacrarium or directly upon the earth. Afterward, the corporal may be washed in a normal fashion. A DEACON commented: “I often find particles remaining on the corporal after Mass. This is a concern to me, because the corporal is left on the altar, and then the book of the Gospels is placed on top of the corporal ... so I always clear any particles, some which can be substantial in size, from the corporal before or after Mass. Presumably, the corporal would thus sit in a cabinet in the sacristy until the next Mass. But, if, in fact, particles are remaining in the folded-up corporal, as is often the case, it does not seem that a cabinet or other storage drawer is the proper place to leave the Eucharist. Of course, it is better than leaving the corporal on the altar ... but if the purpose of a corporal is to ‘catch’ particles of the host, then why would we not treat those particles with the same care as we do the particles which remain in the vessels we purify?” Any visible fragments remaining on the corporal should be removed and placed in the chalice for purification. Yet, liturgical practice has generally considered that the careful folding and opening of the corporal is sufficient and that no disrespect is shown by carefully keeping the corporal in the sacristy. Until recently, however, between Masses the corporal used at the Eucharistic celebration was enclosed in a special holder called a burse out of respect and this custom may be maintained. With respect to its care, Trimeloni’s preconciliar 1,000-page compendium of practical liturgical norms recommended a monthly wash for corporals—and that at a time when hosts were placed directly upon the corporal itself. Another reader asked about the correct way of folding a corporal. Here I defer to the indications provided by Monsignor (now Bishop) Peter J. Elliott in his practical ceremonies manual: “a. Take the corporal (from the burse, if used) with your right hand, and place it flat at the center of the altar, still folded, approximately 15 cm. (5 inches) from the edge of the altar, or further if a large corporal is being unfolded. “b. Unfold it, first to your left, then to your right, thus revealing three squares. “c. Unfold the section farthest from you, away from yourself, thus making six squares visible. “d. Finally, unfold the crease that is nearest to you, towards yourself, thus making all nine squares visible. Adjust the corporal so that it is about 3 cm. (an inch) from the edge of the altar. “If there is a cross embroidered on one of the outer center squares, move the corporal around so that the cross is nearest to you. “Although Hosts no longer rest directly on the corporal, it is still useful in the event that fragments may fall on it at the fraction or during the purifications, etc. Therefore, never flick a corporal open or shake it open in midair. Such an action would also show a lack of respect for the most sacred altar linen, which must always be used wherever a Mass is celebrated. “To fold a corporal, reverse the above steps. Therefore fold the front three squares away from you, then fold the back three squares towards you and finally bring the right square and the left square onto the remaining central square to complete the process. “If the corporal is brought to the altar in a burse, this may be placed flat, traditionally on the left of the corporal, away from the place where the missal rests. But it may be more conveniently placed on the right of the corporal, or a server may take it back to the credence table. When Mass is celebrated facing the altar, the empty burse traditionally rests upright against a candlestick or gradine (altar shelf), to the left of the corporal.” (Fr. Edward McNamara / Zenit)
Proper place to keep bones and ashes of deceased Catholics
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
OUR mother is buried in the United States, but our father (+1959) is buried in the La Loma cemetery, which gets flooded often. We have for years depended on a hired caretaker to clean up our father’s tomb, but his performance is more of a burden than a help to us. Now that All Souls Day is approaching, we have been considering moving his remains but we are not in a position yet to buy a niche in an ossuary or a lot in a memorial park. We were wondering if it is proper to put up a little shrine in our garden to keep his remains buried there. We thought about this since we know of other people who keep their beloved’s ashes in their own homes, even in the bedroom. We would not go that far. We just wish to be close to him and not worry anymore that his grave is flooded. Do we need to seek Church permission to do this? The Sacred Character of Burial Places The underlying principle for the proper understanding of the canonical legislation on this matter is the sacred character that Canon Law following Theology wants to give the final resting places for the mortal remains of the faithful. Thus, canon 1205 of the Code of Canon Law states: Sacred places are those which have been designated for divine worship or for the burial of the faithful through a dedication or blessing which the liturgical books prescribe for this purpose. Following this principle, Canon Law further regulates this matter in can. 1240, which states: §1. The Church is to have its own cemeteries wherever this can be done, or at least spaces in civil cemeteries destined for the faithful departed and properly blessed. §2. If, however, this cannot be achieved, individual graves are to be properly blessed as often as needed. This is the reason for traditionally attaching a cemetery to the church or for the parish or diocese having Catholic cemeteries. What matters is not so much the ownership of the cemetery the Church as such has no need of owning or running cemeteries but rather of assuring its sacred character. Thus, the canon allows other possibilities like setting off and blessing an area of a memorial park (public or commercial) as a Catholic burial place, or just blessing an individual grave for the burial of a Catholic faithful. Private Cemeteries and Family Mausoleums With the above background, we can go to the question presently posed. The pertinent legislation is can.1241 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: §1. Parishes and religious institutes can have their own cemetery. §2. Other juridic persons or families can also have their own particular cemetery or burial place to be blessed according to the judgment of the local ordinary. If we go to the original Latin text of the Code, we discover that Church Law appears to make a distinction between two kinds of burial places, not only putting them into separate paragraphs in c.1241, but even using two different terms for them: 1 st: Coementerium proprium (“own cemetery” of §1) for parishes and religious institutes. 2nd Peculiare coementerium (“peculiar or particular cemetery, mausoleum or burial plot” of §2) for other juridic persons and private families. The common understanding of this canon is that a family (or for that matter an individual) can have their own burial place or mausoleum. The old Code of 1917 (c.1208, §3) had stipulated that the Ordinary of the place (i.e., the diocesan bishop or similar figure) could give permission to own such a private burial place. However, the present Code neither authorizes nor denies the permission to own such burial places, since what matters to the Church is not the ownership of the burial place but its sacred character. Thus, c.1241, §2 provides that the Local Ordinary can authorize the blessing of privately owned burial places, if in his judgment such places offer sufficient guarantees, especially regarding the protecting and fostering of their sacred character (c.1243). Answering the Questions Raised 1) It is not proper for just anyone, on his own initiative, to keep the remains (bones or ashes) of the departed faithful in a place which has not been blessed or dedicated (through the appropriate liturgical rite). 2) It would seem altogether proper to put up a little shrine in one’s own house or garden to keep the exhumed bones or ashes of a deceased relative, provided the permission of the Local Ordinary (diocesan bishop) is obtained for this and the necessary liturgical rite of blessing is done by the competent minister (priest).
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following question:)
Q: I am interested in the ministry of sacristan but can find no information in any detail as to what a sacristan does. It seems that each parish is different. The only thing I find is in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) at No. 105. Can you say more about this? ¯ R.S., Fargo, North Dakota A: The aforementioned text of GIRM, No. 105, says: “The following also exercise a liturgical function: The sacristan, who carefully arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other things necessary in the celebration of Mass.” This is further developed in the Ceremonial of Bishops, No. 37. This book spells out that the sacristan, always under the general direction of the clergy, undertakes the overall preparation of liturgical celebrations, including all that is needed for special days such as Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. The sacristan thus arranges the books needed for the celebration, marking all of the divisions. He or she lays out the vestments and anything else needed for the celebration, such as cruets, chalices, ciboria, linens, oils, processional crosses, candles and torches. He or she also takes care of the ringing of bells that announce the celebrations. The sacristan should ensure the observance of silence in the sacristy. The sacristan in harmony with the pastor also makes sure that the vestments, church furnishings, liturgical vessels and decorative objects are kept in good condition and, if necessary, sent for gilding or repair. Other practical indications apart from these official recommendations are that the sacristan ensures that the things necessary for worship are always available. There should be a ready supply of fresh hosts and of duly authorized wine, sufficient clean purificators,
corporals, hand towels, incense and coals. In this context the sacristan is responsible for making sure that those who wash the altar linens do so according to the indications of the missal and that the water for the first wash is poured down the sacrarium or to the earth. The sacristan also takes care of burning old linens and other objects that are no longer suitable for liturgical use. He or she also makes sure that the sanctuary lamp has sufficient oil, that the altar cloths are changed regularly, and that the holy water stoups are clean and replenished frequently. The pastor may also decide to entrust other responsibilities to the sacristan. This might include coordinating others who help with the general decor of the church, such as clean-
ers and flower arrangers. The sacristan might also maintain the practical dealings with external agents such as funeral directors and photographers so that proper decorum is maintained at all times. In order to carry out these duties, the sacristan needs to have a fairly good idea of the content and norms of the principal liturgical books and an understanding of the intricacies of the liturgical calendar. A good sacristan is a boon to any parish and, as the GIRM says, the post fulfills a true liturgical function. As the Ceremonial of Bishops states: “The adornment and decor of a church should be such as to make the church a visible sign of love and reverence toward God” (No. 38). (Zenit)
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
was brought by the mardecas of the Moluccas when they settled at the Barra de Maragondon (Ternate) during the mid-16thcentury. There was also a deep devotion toTata Usteng(Saint Augustine) in the town ofSta. Cruz de Malabon (Tanza). The devotion to Mary as Nuestra Señora de Candelaria was deep and wide in Silang, as well and to St. Mary Magdalene in Kawit. The caracolbecame popular in Rosario while there was Maytinis in Kawit on Christmas Eve. The Friar haciendas In the course of time, different religious congregations came to Cavite to continue sowing and strengthening the natives’ newfound faith. The missionaries, though, were also preoccupied with economic concerns. The friars gradually bought parcels of land while some of these lands were donated by rich families. This was the advent of the haciendas of the friars. The Recollects were the first ones to buy parcels of land beginning in 1666 and their haciendas came to being in 1812. These areas, comprising the Hacienda de Imus included the towns of Imus, Dasmariñas and Binakayan in Kawit. Cavite have been raised and honored as among the holy ones of the Church. Although the friars had contributed significantly to religious and economic development in the province, there were also adverse courses of actions and unjust practices in their management of the haciendas. From the mal-administration of the haciendas, conflicts and animosities between friars and tenants built up. Whether rightly or wrongly perceived, the mal-administration of the friar haciendas was one of the major causes of the revolution in the Philippines and more particularly in Cavite. The Church and the faithful during the revolution One difference between the revolution in Cavite and that in Manila was the former’s religious sentiment and conviction. Caviteños, although anti-friar, did not turn their backs against the Church. The revolution in Manila was not only anti-friar but it was at the same time anti-clerical. Filipino priests taking charge of parishes in Cavite were with the katipuneros in their struggle and quest for freedom. Even amidst the turArcadio Resurrecion, Fruto Tirona and Simon Villafranca. Simultaneous with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s election as president of the Tejeros Convention by the Revolutionaries, the priests then formed an organization in Maragondon and selected Fr. Cornelio Ignacio as its presidente eclesiastico. Caviteña Religious Missionaries Racial discrimination in the Church was rampant during the Spanish era. This deterred native Filipinos to be accepted in different religious orders. The w o m e n were more determined. After having been refused admit-
By Fr. Miguel R. Concepcion, III
IN the past decade, the Province of Cavite (which comprises the Diocese of Imus) had experienced a dramatic and drastic change in its socio-economic, cultural and religious make-up. The typical provincial and mainly agricultural locale has radically burgeoned into an industry-based economy. Its agriculture is now largely confined in the upland areas of the province. Population especially in the lowlands cuts across multi-cultural groups with people from different parts of the country flocking for jobs at various industrial sites and making this part of the Philippines as their second home. As a result, Church community life has also changed. With over two and a half million people, the Church in Cavite has been more alive than ever; hoping, working and moving forward to become more responsive to the needs, conditions, and aspirations of its people. The Province of Cavite is located in the southwestern part of Luzon, hemmed at the south and southwest by Batangas, at the east and northeast by Laguna and at the west
The Diocese of being Church Imus Discerning, deciding, and celebrating
Bishop Luis Antonio G Tagle, DD .
and northwest by Manila Bay. The name “Cavite” comes from the Tagalog word, “kawit,” meaning, a fish hook which is descriptive of the fish hook-like formation of the peninsula extending from the presentday Kawit to Cavite City. In 1571, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi ordered Martin de Goiti to start the initial conquest of Luzon. The Spaniards under Martin de Goiti landed in Cavite and they found out that it was sparsely populated. It was in Kawit where the Spaniards put up a settlement and this community was the first to be called Cavite. From Cavite Viejo (Kawit), the Spaniards proceeded in their exploration and found a small native settlement at the end of the hook, which was then known as Tangway. Eventually, this settlement would be transformed into a walled Spanish port town, which would be called Cavite Puerto. In 1614, Cavite was proclaimed as a politico military province with Cavite Puerto as capital. By the 17th century (after half a century of Spanish occupation), Tangway or Cavite Puerto has become a town with stone houses, cobbled streets, light churches, a fort and stonewalls that curtained Intramuros from the bay. Cavite was the Spanish idea of a perfect port for absolute maritime world power, the harbor and haven for the world’s greatest armadas, an imperial seaport. The beginnings and spread of the faith in Cavite Together with the Spanish conquistadores were the missionaries who had sown the seeds of the Catholic faith in the country. In Cavite, the faith sprung and flowed from two points and spread to the province: the first was in Cavite Puerto where the first parish in Cavite was established between 1585 and 1595. This parish came to be known as the Parish of San Pedro Apostol and was run by diocesan priests. In the same period, the Franciscans founded a hospital in Cavite Puerto called the Ospital del Espiritu Santo. From Cavite Puerto, the Franciscan proceeded to Kawit, Bacoor and Estancia San Francisco de Malabon. In the upland area, the Franciscans sowed the seeds of faith in Silang, Indang and Maragondon. Around 1611, the Franciscan mission was taken over and handed to the Jesuits. The latter in turn continued to spread the faith. They reached other towns including Ternate, Naic and Carmona. At that time, almost all the parishes were under the governance of the Jesuits. But, in 1768, the Jesuits were expelled in all places under the Spanish rule. As a result, the Archbishop of Manila handed many parishes in Cavite to the care of Filipino diocesan priests. The Church during the Spanish era In organizing Christian communities, one of the foremost tasks that the missionaries have taken was the teaching of catechism among children and adults. Another salient point in the Christianization of Cavite was the promotion of devotions to the Blessed Mother. In Cavite Puerto alone, eight churches were dedicated to the Virgin Mary: Immaculada Concepcion, Virgen de los Remedios, Virgen de Loreto, Nuestra Señora de los Angeles. Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Nuestra Señora de las Dolores, and the foremost was Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, which became the patroness of the whole province of Cavite. In other towns like Silang, the Virgin was Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Maragondon, Immaculada Concepcion both in Naic and Dasmariñas, Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Imus and Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario in Salinas. In 1639, the Virgin of Antipolo was brought to Cavite and stayed there for around fourteen years. The first miracle of Nuestra Señora de Penafrancia, before it became the patroness of Bicol, transpired in Cavite. For this reason, Cavite has been considered as Tierra de Maria Santisima. Aside from Marian devotions, there were other existing devotions by then in the different parts of the province. In the later part of the 17th century, the devotion to Sto. Niño de Ternate spread: an image of the Child Jesus
took was to purchase the haciendas of the friars for distribution to Filipinos. Because of this, the religious orders lost their properties in Cavite. In 1902, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente(better known as the Aglipayan church) was established. This was the consequence of the rather snail-paced decision and action of Rome to transfer the governance of the Church into the hands of the Filipinos. This nationalistic stance made some towns in Cavite namely Bacoor, Noveleta, San Roque, Caridad, Magallanes, Ternate and Bailen as bastions of the Aglipayans. In the course of time, the Church got back to her feet. The towns that turned its back to the Church and to the faith developed and gradually returned to the Church’s fold. As in the Spanish times, the Church in Cavite remained under the charge and care of the Archbishopric of Manila. Erection of the Church of Imus By virtue of the Apostolic Constitution Christi Fidelium promulgated by Pope John XXIII on November 25, 1961, Cavite was created a separate bishopric from Manila after more than three hundred years. On April 26, 1962, the Diocese of Imus was formally erected and established under the leadership of the first bishop of Cavite, Msgr. Artemio Casas, a native of Meycauayan, Bulacan. Our Lady of the Pillar became its titular patroness. Bishop Casas’ incumbency saw the sowing of the seeds of renewal in the local Church. Seven years after, Bishop Felix Paz Perez, D.D. took over as Bishop of Imus. A Diocesan Synod was planned during the incumbency of Bishop Perez but it did not materialize due to the untimely demise of Bishop Perez on February 29, 1992. Fr. Pedro Arigo, a native of Kawit (now, bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, Palawan) took over as administrator. Most significant among Bishop Perez’s legacy to the diocese are the seminary and formation houses, which were established through his efforts. In 1970, a minor seminary was opened, the Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary. After some time, the high school department was phased out and what remained to date were seminarians in the college level. At present, the college seminary sits in a 2.6-hectare lot in Buhay na Tubig, Imus, Cavite. On December 1, 1975, the Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol in Tagaytay City was formally and solemnly blessed by no less than the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani, D.D. Today, one seminary with two departments (college and theologate) continues to offer a unique type of formation that is perceived to be more responsive to the needs of the time, ensuring that the formands’ conditions in relation to the diocese’s dynamics and the signs of the times are looked into and enhanced. It is more apostolate-based as it also encourages excellence in other aspects of formation ¯ academics, spiritual growth, human formation, and community life. His twenty-three-year of being shepherd of the whole province of Cavite saw his true commitment to justice and truth seeking and fighting for the rights and welfare of the diocese and his family, the clergy of Imus. The Church of Cavite during his time responded to the socio-economic needs of the people through livelihood projects and cooperatives of various types. Many of these projects still exist today. The Social Action Commission was strengthened and its concerns broadened with the Church unperturbed in intervening and mediating in various agricultural and industrial disputes in favor of the less fortunate. Diocesan Pastoral assembly (DPA) of 1999 Over a year after the death of Bishop Perez, Bishop Manuel Cruz Sobreviñas of Dinalupihan, Bataan was appointed Bishop of Imus. At the advent of the Third Millennium, the God of history who reveals His
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Interior of Our Lady of the Pilar Cathedral, Imus, Cavite.
The Hacienda de San Nicolas de Tolentino had the whole of Bacoor as its scope. The Jesuits, on the other hand, had their own hacienda that spanned from Carmona, Silang, Maragondon to some parts of Naic. The Augustinians, for their share, had Hacienda de San Juan Buenavista in San Francisco de Malabon and in Naic. The Congregation of San Juan de Dios had a ranch in Ligtong (Rosario). To facilitate travel and commerce, many friars with outstanding skills built bridges, roads, irrigations and more churches, schools and hospitals. The Zapote-Bacoor Bridge and the one adjacent to the cuartel in Imus were built by priests-engineers belonging to the Recollects. The church of San Telmo in Cavite was designed and constructed by a Dominican priest-architect. Roads linking Molino, San Francisco de Malabon and the rest of Cavite were also constructed by missionaries. Many of them have been faithful to their vows and duties. Saint Peter Bautista and Saint Ezekiel Moreno who both served in
moil of the uprising, the Caviteños were faithful in living out the Christian faith. The Caviteño clergy: leaders of the revolution Cavite’s native clergy took a very active role in the Revolution. Fr. Mariano Gomez was one of the champions of the rights of Caviteño priests. He championed the cause of Caviteño priests who were relieved of their parish assignments between 1850 and 1860. Because of this, he was executed along with Fathers Burgos and Zamora. Inspired by the martyrdom of Gomburza, the native priests promoted the revolution against Spain while remaining loyal to the Church. Fr. Manuel Trias y Gomez, a nephew of the martyred Fr. Mariano Gomez and Gen. Mariano Trias’ uncle, became a staunch supporter and promoter of the revolution in Cavite. In Ternate, Fr. Esteban del Rosario ignited and kept the flame of the people burning to join the Revolution. The revolution saw more priest-supporters in Fathers
tance to existing convents, they founded their own local religious institutes. Some Caviteñas joined these congregations and even occupied high positions. Mother Hipolita Cotelo, became prioress of the Beaterio de la Compania (RVM) in Intramuros between 1845 and 1850. Mother Aniceta de la Santissima Trinidad (nee Aniceta dela Cruz), an Imuseña, was mother prioress of Beaterio de San Sebastian (the present-day Augustinian Recollect Sisters) from 1845-1857. Mother Prudencia del Pilar (nee Prudencia Custodio y Faustino) of San Roque, Cavite also became mother prioress of the same beaterio from 1893-1922. Caviteña religious worked in foreign missions as well. The Church during the American occupation The separation of the Church and State was enacted and enforced in the country when the Americans took over from Spain in order to pacify the revolutionaries. The first step that the Americans significantly
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
CBCP office confers awards to prison volunteers
THE Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) conferred Gawad Paglilingkod Award to outstanding volunteer workers who have distinguished themselves in the prison ministry. The awarding ceremony was held last October 27 at Christ the King Parish in Greenmeadows, Quezon City during the Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Pedro Arigo, ECPPC chair, in observance of Prison Awareness Sunday. This year’s awardees led by Novaliches Bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani, included 103 individuals and organizations from 18 arch/dioceses in the country. Bishop Bacani was cited for his meritorious service rendered to the Commission, especially in celebrating masses for the prisoners and hearing their confessions. He has also been very active in supporting ECPPC’s various advocacies; and one of the few bishops who lobbied Congress for the abolition of death penalty. ECPPC also posthumously conferred awards to Joven Velasco and Rakel Naval, who have helped the Commission in its campaign to abolish the death penalty. Likewise, Mercee Rodriguez had been cited for her 30 years of unqualified service to the Commission. ECPPC Executive Secretary Rudy Diamante said the award is given not merely to extol the meritorious services rendered by volunteers but more to highlight the spirit that moves them to do so. He pointed out that it is important to stress that a sense of idealism and mission still do exist even as we live in a highly cutthroat and materialistic society. “…In a world that has become increasingly competitive, idealism and sense of mission still exist… that [still] prevail despite the materialistic context of the workplace,” said Diamante in a statement. “This is something which cannot be measured,” he further said. Diamante likewise named two essential factors, the sense of mission and vision; that spur on volunteers to spend time and resources helping improve the conditions of prisoners in the country. Envisioning a society where love, peace and harmony prevail, according to Diamante obliges everyone to carry a mission—”a mission of healing the wounded, as well as the wound caused by relationships that have broken down.” ECPPC advocates restorative justice, the kind of justice that upholds and restores the human dignity of both victim and offender. The award, which was first given in 1992, serves as a challenge to all to pursue the vision and mission for which it was begun. “May those who are chosen to represent us serve as inspiration and models,” Diamante concluded. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani, DD
History and journey of the WYD Cross & Icon
THE 3.8 metre high wooden cross was built and placed as a symbol of the Catholic faith, near the main altar in St Peter’s Basilica during the Holy Year of 1983. At the end of the year, Pope John Paul gave this cross as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity. My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption. (His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Rome, 22 April 1984). The journey of the WYD Cross… ‘Since 1984 the WYD Cross has made its way around the world, throughout Europe, behind the Iron Curtain, and to parts of the Americas, Asia, Africa and briefly to Australia, being present at each international celebration of World Youth Day along the way. In 1994 the Cross began in earnest what has since become a tradition: its year long journey around the dioceses of the host nation of each international World Youth Day, as a means of prayerful preparation for the big event. Heralding these international celebrations of young people, the Cross is now best known as “the World Youth Day Cross”. The media have often called the Cross the “Olympic Torch” of the World Youth Day. It is a useful comparison. In each country that the Cross visits, it travels from cities to towns, parishes to prayer groups. Young people take charge of it, spend time in prayer with it, and encourage their peers to do the same. ...and Icon of Our Lady In 2003, Pope John Paul II gave young people a second symbol of faith to be carried in the world, accompanying the WYD Cross the Icon of Our Lady, ‘Salus Populi Romani’, a contemporary copy of a sacred and ancient icon housed in the first and greatest basilica to Mary the Mother of God in the West, St Mary Major. Today I also entrust to you... the Icon of Mary. From now on it will accompany the World Youth Days, together with the Cross. Behold, your Mother! It will be a sign of Mary’s motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives. Rome, 18th World Youth Day, 2003 Pope Benedict XVI continues the legacy Pope Benedict XVI, continuing the WYD legacy of his predecessor, spoke at the hand-over ceremony of the WYD Cross and Icon from a group of young Germans to a delegation of young Australians on Palm Sunday 2006. He made clear why the Icon of Mary belongs on the pilgrimage of the WYD Cross. Our Lady was present in the
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cenacle with the Apostles as they waited for Pentecost. May she be your mother and guide. May she teach you to receive the word of God, to treasure it and to ponder on it in your heart (cf. Luke 2:19) as she did throughout her life. May she encourage you to declare your “yes” to the Lord as you live “the obedience of faith.” May she help you to remain strong in the faith, constant in hope, persevering in charity, always attentive to the word of God. As we behold Mary in the Icon carrying her Son she teaches us how to carry him to the world. Millions of young people over the past 20 years have attended the World Youth Days. Hundreds of thousands more have participated in the grace of the event through their encounter with the WYD Cross and Icon. These symbols are presented most powerfully to the world by young people who carry them not only for a few moments or hours, but in the example of their daily Christian lives.
John Paul II named Patron for Youth Day ’08
Nine others chosen, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta WORLD Youth Day organizers say that Servant of God Pope John Paul II was a natural choice as one of the event’s 10 patrons, since the Polish Pontiff invented the gatherings. L’Osservatore Romano published the list of patrons chosen for WYD ’08, to be held in Sydney in July. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a student and athlete who worked with Catholic Action of Italy, also made the list. Blessed Pier died at age 24 in 1925. The Polish woman religious who inspired the future John Paul II, Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), was also chosen. Another patron is a native of WYD’s host country. Blessed Mary McKillop, the first Australian woman to be canonized, was also the first to found a religious order Down Under, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Cross. Also included are St. Peter Chanel and St. Therese of Lisieux. Another Oceanian is Blessed Peter To Rot, a lay catechist from Papua New Guinea, the son of a tribal chief, who was martyred in a Japanese concentration camp at the end of World War II. St. Maria Goretti and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta were also chosen. And finally, the Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians,” protector of Australia, is being counted as one of the event’s patrons. The organizers are encouraging youth to consecrate themselves to the Virgin of the Southern Cross with the spirit of John Paul II’s motto, “Totus Tuus.” (Zenit)
National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal
THE National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal handles cases of declaration of nullity for Catholic marriages in the Philippines. These cases are elevated from lower tribunals of the Catholic Church to this Appellate Tribunal which functions somewhat like the appellate courts of the land or the Supreme Court. In order to be executory, a declaration of nullity of a marriage needs two positive decisions from two pertinent tribunals: the “first instance” and the “second instance” tribunals ordinarily. From 1940 to 1956, there were only three first instance courts of the Catholic Church in the Philippines: the one in Manila, Cebu, and Lipa. Manila had Lipa as its second instance , Lipa had Cebu, and Cebu had Manila. From 1956 to 1972, the Church’s Superior Court of Appeals at the University of Santo Tomas served as the second instance tribunal for the country. From 1972 to 1984, the Apostolic See granted that each tribunal of first instance in the Philippines could act as tribunal of second instance to the other tribunals in individual cases, or as the need may require. Due to the increasing number of marriage tribunals of the Church in the country and of matrimonial cases specially in Manila, Archbishop Oscar Cruz proposed to the CBCP the constitution of an Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal in the Archdiocese of Manila. The request went all the way to Rome and was granted. Thus in May of 1984, the erection of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal became a reality, with Archbishop Oscar Cruz as its first Judicial Vicar and Presiding Judge. It is supposed to be a national second instance tribunal with competence not only over matrimonial cases but also over all other cases, both contentious and criminal, within the context of the Catholic religion. On September 27, 1985, the Holy See approved the following CBCP norms on the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal: 1) that it be a single appellate court established for all judicial cases from the territory of the Episcopal Province of the Philippines, the seat of which is in Manila; 2) the appointment of the officials of the Tribunal belongs to the Episcopal Conference and the duration of their terms is for three years, and they may be reappointed without interstices; 3) a just compensation for their work shall be determined by the Bishops’ Conference; 4) removal with cause from office or acceptance of resignation belongs in the same manner to the Bishops’ Conference; and 5) to the Archbishop of Manila will be attributed the powers and jurisdiction over the Appellate Court. Archbishop Oscar Cruz left the Tribunal soon after it was formed, but was reappointed Judicial Vicar again in 1989 and has retained the position until the present.
act the ill effects of having places in the Diocese that are not being ministered by priests and which are very prone to the influence of other denominations. The Diocese now is very vibrant. The Diocese of Tarlac continues to grow after going through the process of Pastoral Renewal, the regular updating of the Clergy, the establishment of Catholic schools, the foundation of monastic and contemplative monasteries, and the strengthening of many other apostolates. What are the priorities of your pastoral concern? The Clergy—their formation and constant updating. The Youth— through the establishment of Catholic Schools. The formation and strengthening of the lay faithful. And the religious as well, by encouraging the establishments of both active and contemplative orders. I remember that back in the 1980’s, there was a great danger coming from the other Christian and pseudo-Christian denominations which were very successful in proselytizing. The response was the formation of many lay organizations that were able to respond to the hunger and need of God by the faithful. What program do you have for the ongoing formation of clergy, and how is your relationship with them? The on-going formation consists of the regular Annual Retreat, the annual upHow not / B1
dating, and the monthly meeting and recollection. Although I am not the expressive type, my care and concern for my priests is reflected in my patient and constant understanding of them and their situation. I may not be able to talk to them lengthily about all things but the time that I am able to see and talk with them both in formal and informal gathering, I strive to ask and listen to their concerns and worries. I also rely upon the Commission on Clergy, the Curia, and the other senior clergy to know the feeling and sentiments of my priests. How does the Diocese address these particular pastoral areas? Family and Life. The Diocesan Commission on Family and Life is still incipient. However, I and the clergy have been very much aware and have not been silent on the issues of population control, reproductive health, and the general issues regarding Family and Life. We have consistently adhered to the Church teaching on Natural Family Planning Program. We have also been wary of the “Trojan Horse,” that is to say to enter into collaborative efforts or receive funding from any agency or organization that are advocating non-NFP Methods since in doing so we may fall prey to the “cafeteria” mentality regarding family planning. Youth—Through the establishment of Catholic schools and strengthening of the Commission on Youth, the Diocese envisions to address the ever growing
need of formation of the young. Social Concerns—We have been active in intervening and mediating in labor disputes that erupted between the labor and management of Hacienda Luisita. The province, and therefore, the Diocese as well have been crippled by the economic problems that were resultant of that labor dispute. That labor dispute has also been difficult especially that the province had been the hotbed of rebellion and insurgency in the past. But thankfully enough, the Church in Tarlac has been able to be somehow a unifying factor and source of reconciliation in the province. What is your take on secular media reportage of Church issues? I think secular media has been, in general, moderately critical of the Church especially in questions of political and moral issues that may not jibe with their own points of view. Although there are Catholic media practitioners, the challenge is for them to influence from within the media itself. What do you envision for the diocese as it prepares for its golden jubilee 7 years from now? For the Golden Anniversary, I have only one vision: a hope and prayer that my successor will do better than what I am doing now—in all aspects. Although by that time I may have already retired, I may have prepared the diocese for the next generation.
at 13- to 16-year-olds which contained, the Church leader said, “the most disgusting and perverted descriptions and pictures of sexual intercourse, masturbation, homosexual practices and contraceptives and abortion”. Now another government-funded agency, the Brook Advisory Centres, has launched a “Schools Sex Manual”, subtitled “Nice Girls have Sex”. There is also a full color booklet (no expense spared when it comes to taxpayers’ money) for 13-year-olds called “The Good Grope Guide”. Is it any wonder that underage sex, childhood pregnancy and child abortion continue to increase under this British government? A lesson from history Some who have made a close study of government policy are convinced that sex education has a more sinister motive.
They believe its real aim is the destruction of Christian morality and the family. The history of the movement suggests as much. The first sex education programme in the world was introduced by Georg Lukacs during the Hungarian Bolshevik regime of 1919. Lukacs, the deputy commissar for culture, wanted the “annihilation of the old values” and “the revolutionary destruction of society”. To bring this about he ordered that children should be instructed in sexual intercourse and free love, be told how outdated marriage was, and be encouraged to disagree with their parents and their old-fashioned morality. Brock Chisholm, the Canadian doctor who became Director-General of the World Health Organization, decreed that children should be freed from national, religious and other cultural prejudices inflicted on them by their parents. He advocated that classroom sex education
should be introduced, “eliminating the ways of the elders by force if necessary.” As Valerie Riches has noted in Sex Education or Indoctrination?, another likeminded American family planner, Mary Calderone, called for “liberating children from their families” and “abolishing the family as we know it”. In the same tradition, apparently, the British Health Education Authority and contraceptive dispensers such as the Brook Advisory Centres are bitterly opposed to parents having any rights with regard to their children’s sex education. It is high time parents hit back and insisted on knowing what is being taught their children in secret and behind their backs. And let’s give children back their innocence. (William Keenan is a British journalist who formerly wrote for the Daily Mirror. This is reprinted from MercatorNet with permission).
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Mr. Jacques Diouf,
Director General of FAO on the Occasion of World Food Day 2007
Increasingly, there are always more people who, because of poverty and bloody conflicts, feel obligated to leave their own home and loved ones in order to search for support outside their own country. In spite of international pledges, many of these people are refused. Among the mature members of the Community of Nations, however, a strong awareness is needed that considers food as a universal right of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination. 3. The objective of eradicating hunger and at the same time of being able to provide healthy and sufficient food also demands specific methods and actions that mean a wise use of resources that respect Creation’s patrimony. The result of working in this direction will benefit not only science, research and technology, but also take into account the cycles and rhythm of nature known to the inhabitants of rural areas, thus protecting the traditional customs of the indigenous communities, leaving aside egotistical and exclusively economic motivations. The right to food, with all that this implies, has an immediate repercussion on both the individual and communal dimensions, which bring together entire peoples and human groups. I am thinking in a special way of the situation of children—the main victims of this tragedy—who at times are obstacles to their physical and psychological development and in many instances are forced to work or are enlisted in armed groups in exchange for a little food. In such cases, I place my hope in the initiatives that have been proposed on many levels in favor of school food programmes and which permit the entire community, whose survival is threatened by hunger, to look with great hope to the future. A common and concrete commitment is therefore urgently needed in which all members of society, both in the individual as well as the international spheres, feel duty-bound to work together in order to actualize the right to food, for failure to do so constitutes a clear violation of human dignity and of the rights which derive from it. 4. Knowledge of the problems of the agricultural world and of a lack of food, demonstrated by a capacity to propose plans and programmes to find solutions, is a fundamental merit of the FAO and testifies to the acute sensibility for the aspirations of those conditions put forward for a more human life. At this time when there are so many similar problems, it would also be well to find new initiatives that can contribute to alleviating the drama of hunger, and I encourage you to continue to work so that food may be guaranteed that responds to actual needs, and in such a way, that every person, created in the image of God, may grow conformed to his true human dimension. The Catholic Church feels close to you in this endeavor and, throughout your diverse institutions, desires to continue to collaborate in order to sustain the aspirations and hopes of those persons and those peoples for which the work of the FAO is directed. These are, Mr. Director General, some reflections that I wish to bring to the attention of those who, with different responsibilities, work to offer the human family a future free of the drama of hunger, and at the same time, I invoke upon you and your work the constant Blessing of the Most High. From the Vatican, 4 October 2007 BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
Mr. Jacques Diouf of the Food and Agriculture Organization
The Distinguished Mr. Jacques Diouf, 1. This year the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which you direct, invites the international community, remembering once again its foundation, to tackle one of the gravest challenges of our time: freeing millions of human beings from hunger, whose lives are in danger due to a lack of daily bread. The theme chosen for this Day: “The right to food”, fittingly opens the reflections that the international community is preparing to make on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This coincidence helps us to recall the importance that the right to food has for the realization of other rights, beginning above all with the fundamental right to life. We must observe that the endeavors made until now have not significantly diminished the numbers of those suffering from hunger in the world, even though all know that food is a primary right. This is perhaps due to the fact that one tends to be solely and principally motivated by technical and economic considerations, forgetting the primary, ethical dimension of “feeding the hungry”. This priority concerns the sentiments of compassion and solidarity proper to the human being, which includes sharing with others not only material goods, but also the love which all need. In effect, we give too little if we offer only material things. 2. The available data show that the non-fulfillment of the right to food is not only due to natural causes, but also and above all, to situations provoked by the conduct of men and women that lead to a general deterioration of social, economic and human standards.
Going forward begins with a desire
Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales at Mass during the 2nd Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly on October 20, 2007 at the La Salle Greenhills Gym. This has been abridged due to space limitations.
EVERYTHING is a grace from God. Who would ever thought that MAGPAS, the Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly, is now two years old. And who would ever think that coming back after two years we will then be able to hold on to, I don’t say it’s a piece of paper, but something that is slowly becoming part of yourself and myself. The Church is slowly becoming alive in you. Not out there in the crowds of people but in each and every one of us. Two years afterwards, we are now here more than 3000 they said, at least convinced, if not totally believing that there is that vision we can hold on to and this is the reason why this morning we are going together to make a reflection on our two-year old articulated, and now being assimilated, vision. Do we really need a vision? And I start the reflection with you. And I entitled this reflection as, “ Going forward begins with a desire.” Kung ikaw ay maglalakbay, kung gusto mong sumulong kapatid, magsimula ka sa pagnanasa. In the Chinese Proverb, the journey of ten thousand miles begins with the first step. For a person headed for destiny, going forward begins with a single desire. We can immediately begin to see the difference. Journey begins with a step. Destiny is ushered by a desire. That desire is a longing and it serves as a guide. That desire, that each and everyone has in this room contains an inspiration and a bond to a life that is headed towards its fullness. Awhile ago while you were being welcomed by Bishop Bernard, the question was, “Where are we headed for? Let’s not debate it. That’s what you and I, and that’s what Jesus wants. We are all headed towards fullness of life. We call it a vision. Give a person a vision and you actually give him or her, the power over the future and you entrust an authority in life to partner with destiny. MAGPAS-II Vision! We are now MAGPAS 2. The Local Church in Manila today celebrates MAGPAS-II (The SECOND MANILA ARCHDIOCESAN GENERAL PASTORAL ASSEMBLY). This is the second year since we officially articulated, in compendious form, the desire, which, for many centuries, has always been there since our fathers in the Faith, the earliest Christian missionaries, baptized and taught the first local converts about Jesus, Son of God, Lord, Teacher and Savior. Different times and needs have somehow helped to shape what we now call the nine (9) verses of the vision, approaching the different moments and expressions of “fullness of life,” but always desiring it, like Jesus desired it for us, with humility, truth, hope, patience, love, forgiveness and the absence of hatred. Alas, this is not what we read today as the manner of longing for that life Jesus wants us to live, as freed from sin and liberated from the greed, deceit and cruelty of humans. Leadership has ceased to inspire as its governance continues to grope from crisis to crisis, from anomalies to the divestment of moral values becoming less effective to a direct society that is more just, less wasteful of resources and ever compassionate to the poor. But, this is the good thing with having a vision, we have hope, and there is hope for the Filipino in the vision that s/he can own in Jesus, in whom the call to community, “fullness of life” and belonging to the Father’s Kingdom is made possible in the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Spirit! All the things that are in our Vision, will only be real through the Holy Spirit. A person of vision helps to build a future or to develop even just a single person towards fullness of life, aid for whom is measured and not by the cost, but by the eternal “how” a thing is achieved… “as by one who images God. ‘Yun palang Fullness of Life, even if only directed to one person, it’s not what you do but how you do it, and you do it as image and agent of God’s goodness.” How can anyone who images God go wrong in helping others, inspiring the young or setting aside “a crumb” of time or something for others? Search for many ideas hidden in the vision This Christ-like frame of mind is what people look for in our leaders and, yes, even in us. We also know that it is what is dear to every Filipino. Ideals like this are contained in the MAGPAS VISION and everyone treasures them and desires them for one’s self. Hanapin niyo nga ‘yung yaman ng ating pananaw. Please. May mga nagtatagong yaman sa ating pananaw. Alas, the opposite idea today in the market and political arena is this: “What is there for me?” Through many generations that selfish search has never changed with leadership; it has only refined the ways and reasons for being even more self-seeking. The second edition of the MAGPAS VISION is given to all of you today. We make this edition as our special study text, the second bible, sort of, parang ating maliit na bibliya. It will be our little “road map” to fullness of life; a personal catechesis. Hidden somewhere in the Vision is a catchword in the way you were created. Hinahamon kayo ngayon nitong pananaw na ito, may nakatago diyan ng mina, ginto. And the challenge is to look for that catchword, pregnant with meaning about how God loves and created you. Meron diyan! Even deeply imbedded in it is a byword on redemption. Elsewhere there are also mentions of models, ends, etc. Look for the ways of proceeding. Explore the rich deposit and treasure that the vision is. Mine it, if you wish. Minahin ninyo. Listen to it. Hanapin niyo. Why, you can even ask, “Where do you feel you are most loved in the vision’s wordings?” Saan mo nararamdaman na mahal na mahal ka ng Diyos? Sa minahang iyan. That is inspiration! And when you say, “inspired ako!” kapatid, the Spirit is there waiting for you. This is your vision! And the theme of our coming together: Know the vision. Desire the vision. Value the vision. Live the vision. Share the vision with others. We must work and pray to the degree that what we desire is also how we intend to live. Maybe the question to ask is this: Is the vision, with the desire it awakens, cogent enough to inspire me? Inspirado ba ako sa Vision? Here, if you entertain these kinds of questions, then the vision elevates you to a different level; it is now not a matter of satisfaction, but of inspiration. Hindi sapagkat satisfied ako, but sapagkat inspirado ako. Two different things. A person of vision moves on, never being completely satisfied, but is always inspired. S/he is not a mere owner of a thing or mere consumer. How to live the vision But precisely how does vision translate to life? Before anything, a vision must first inspire. Spirituality lies always underneath any movement, just as the Spirit is present in every creation and in all visitations. Hindi pala maaaring pumuwesto kung walang inspiration. At ang inspirasyon ay spiritualidad. People’s movement will call it a cause, but for the Church, that active agent is the Holy Spirit, “ who acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by him… who impels each individual to proclaim the gospel … who in depths of consciences causes the word of salvation to be accepted and understood.” (EN, 75: AG, 4). But how? First step. Befriend the Spirit. Maging kaibigan ka ng Espiritu Santo. Ano, lulutang lutang lang ba iyan sa ibabaw? Bakit hindi niyo pababain? Mag-landing kayo Spirit. He gives every inspiration and makes you love what you desire. Remember that it is by His power that Kingdom, Fullness of Life, Paschal Mystery, complete response to the Call of the Father is made possible. Laman na naman iyan ng ating pananaw. Do not be afraid of the Spirit. Magpatulong sa kanya. Makasalanan ako? Okay! Ano? Balita ba sa langit iyon na ikaw ay makasalanan? Baka sa lupa, pero sa langit, alam na iyan. Magpatulong ka. Iyan ang gustong ayusin ng Diyos yung mga taong magulo ang buhay. E pag nagtatago? No way! Pag tumatakas? No way! Pag lumalayo? No way! Pag nagdedepensa? No way! Di ba ang sabi, “Walang kaayusan ” (Gen1:1). Chaos. Aba’y nilapatan ng Espiritu Santo. Second step is a constant. Hindi maaaring palitan . Prayer. Walang pagbabago kung walang panalangin. Prayer lies in the heart and makes one wish the very will of God. Ang dasal, ang panalangin ay hindi upang baliin ang kalooban ng Diyos na gustuhin ang gusto ko . It’s the other way around. It’s bending my will to desire what God wants. The best prayer is where the human will seeks only the will of God. John 10:10 (I have come that you may have fullness of life or life to its full); Matt. 6:10 (Your Kingdom come; your Will be done), are where God and humans, heaven and earth, desire and life, vision and life, agree to become one. So, after the Holy Spirit, the next step is Prayer. Third step. To help one to approach a little closer to the desire of the vision, assign to self, give an assignment to yourself, a little step to take, regularly a little step, a little act to do, a new kind face to see, a little friendly word to say, “a little crumb of a smile” to give. These steps are what they call “missions,” tiny “objectives” that help to hasten the attainment of a goal and, for us, to arrive a little closer to our vision. What do you notice there in the third step? You are giving yourself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a little assignment. Don’t you ever notice, ang liliit? Isang hakbang. Isang maliit na gawain. Isang tapik sa balikat. Isang mabait na mukha na titingnan. First Step. Befriend the Spirit. Second step: Prayer. Third step: little acts of goodness. That’s all. The Miracle of Change It’s a miracle. If it’s a miracle, wala tayong kinalaman. Basta sumuko ka at ang milagro’y hindi maaaring—o sige, gumawa tayo ng milagro, hindi po maaari. The miracle for people with a vision is that change is taking place—with the discipline and sacrifice called Paschal Mystery, softened by the Love of God for you and me—yet with so few having to tell a neighbor that a transformation is taking place, without legislation, no adrenalin surge, sans hatred…only love as the driving (motor?) Spirit! Yan pala ang milagro. Magbabago ako. Huwag mo nang pagusapan. Hindi ko kayang ipaliwanag. If you try to explain it or try to repeat it, it’s not a miracle. God will reveal it if he wishes. It is like the miracle of the seed that has died in the furrow of the land; it returns to life after the rain and the sun; it lives. And the farmer does not know how. To the many complaints to Yahweh about leaders who do not lead and leaders who do not care, Yahweh, God answered and instructed the prophet Habakkuk, “Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read. For the vision is for its appointed time, it hastens towards its end and it will not lie; although it may take some time, wait for it, for come it certainly will before too long.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3) The fulfillment of the vision is coming. For us in MAGPAS, let us write the vision in our hearts. If we desire, value, live and share it with others the Vision will surely, certainly come, because together we are going for it. Brothers and sisters, God love and bless us in the journey guided by His inspired Vision! Salamat po.
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Never fail to proclaim Jesus!
By Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, DD
ONCE I was asked to give an invocation in a very important gathering of local government officials. The invitation was with a request that my prayer would be universal… A prayer that would please all the participants because in attendance would be multi-cultural and of different faiths. I verified what they meant with a universal prayer. They wanted that I should not mention anything about Jesus and NO SIGN OF THE CROSS! Well, I said that if that’s the case, they might just as well invite others and not me, a Catholic priest. My response caught them by surprise and after a few minutes of little discussion, they understood why I can’t agree with their request. And so, I gave the invocation. Very often and in many ways, people and situation confront us on issues, sometimes very ordinary, where our faith is being compromised. In my story, the compromise was in order to please what “the people want.” How often do we find ourselves “sacrificing” the Gospel-values for the sake of others and in the spirit of “smooth personal relationship” or the pressures of “pakikisama at barkada.” This could be the root of what Archbishop Lagdameo said very recently as his observation on what’s going in our country that Philippine government now is suffering from moral bankruptcy I did not consent to their request for a universal prayer (as defined) because of two very important reasons: 1) My faith tells me that the way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. How can I deny that in my prayer? 2) Public prayer, especially when we make the sign of the Cross, is always an opportunity for evangelization. I believe that whenever we have the opportunity, and this I saw in the request of saying the invocation, we should never fail to proclaim the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. To be a KING in the context of a Monarchy, as allegorically pictured here on this feast, is to be the Number One (1)—as the most important person in the Kingdom. To deny the King is to invite death to one’s life. To be a King is to be recognized at all times! This therefore reminds us on who, what and where Jesus is in our lives. Shall we compromise His Name for the sake of the “ways of the world?” If Jesus is King, he deserves to be recognized… (as the charismatic movement says), Praise the Lord all the time! This Feast of Christ the King is a call to all of us that we have to proclaim always in our lives the values of the Gospel WITHOUT COMPROMISE; to proclaim the Name of Jesus as OUR GOD, the Savior sent by the Father and as St. Paul said to the Colossians in the First Reading; “He is the image of the invisible God… For in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth… all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…” And I dare say; to pray the sign of the Cross is to proclaim that JESUS CHRIST is the KING OF OUR LIVES!
Solemnity of Christ the King
(Lk. 23:35-43) November 25, 2007
Write down 100 dreams
THERE are a few things in life that make me go berserk. One of them is when someone says, “I’m bored.” I mean, how can anyone be bored in a world so beautiful and full and exciting as this planet we’re living in? Well one day, a fifteen-year old friend with aluminum fingernails and 12-inch clogs told me, “I’m bored.” Instead of bouncing up and down shrieking my head off, I decided to calmly ask, “Why?” “Because my cell phone’s busted and I can’t text anyone!” Ooooooh. Because Armageddon can break loose, the ozone layer can disappear, and an asteroid can destroy half the planet—but these disasters cannot compare to the calamity of a teener without her cell-phone. “Here’s a piece of paper,” I tore from my diary. “Write down 100 dreams you want to do before you die.” Her eyes bulged. “One hundred? I, I never thought of…” After thinking for awhile, she sheepishly said, “Well, I wanted to buy the cute avocado-green Benetton shirt I saw yesterday in the mall. Is that considered a dream? ” “I’ll let that pass. Write that down as number 99 or 100. Anything more exciting?” “Uh…, I once thought of becoming an author of a novel one day. But nah…” she brushed off the idea with a wave of her hand. “Write that down,” I commanded, “‘I will become a terrific novelist.’” As she scribbled the line, she asked, “Should I include the word terrific?” “Put that down, girl!” I almost shouted. “What else?” “I sometimes imagine myself starting my own shop. It will sell trinkets that girls like me love to buy. But it’s too farfetched…” “Fabulous! Write that down!” She went on. “And one day, I hope to give a million pesos to a Home for the Aged.” Soon, she didn’t need any more coaxing. She was like a runaway train, her eyes on fire. Learn the violin. Travel to Paris and Beijing. Try skydiving once. Become a gourmet cook. Get married and have three kids. When she finished dream number 100 (the cute avocado-green T-shirt was somehow forgotten), I said, “Think of small things you can do NOW that will make you closer to the fulfillment of your dreams. Start with the novelist dream...” “Well, I could start reading novels. I’ll learn the craft.” “Fantastic! And how about the “trinkets shop” idea?” “Perhaps I could learn more about bracelets and nail polish and hair stuff…” I suggested, “You can also work in any store during summer or on weekends, even if they don’t pay you a cent. Learn how it works, from top to bottom!” “This is exciting!” she shrieked. “And you say you want to give one million pesos to a Home for the Aged?” “Don’t tell me, Bo. I could visit them now! Maybe monthly! In that way, I’ll never forget my promise! Gosh, I’ve got a million things to do! Got to go!” She bid me farewell and off she went, the girl with the aluminum fingernails and 12-inch clogs. Hmm. That was strange. I thought I just saw a young girl without her cell phone. Happy. I must be seeing things. PS. Write down your 100 dreams. It may just do strange things to you as well.
Saving the soul, saving the nation
By Fr. Robert Reyes
THERE is a blanket of darkness enveloping our land, our people. Beneath this blanket all struggle to see the light, the truth. Many, struggling to see through the darkness merely see passing, fleeting and shallow illusions. There are those who really revel in this darkness. Who take joy in seeing others suffer as they wade in prosperity gained through evil deeds. Those who would do whatever they can to ensure that this darkness will persist and flourish throughout the land. However, some are well-intentioned. They believe that they truly wish to dispel the darkness… If only I had power, more power, I will penetrate and ultimately destroy this darkness. If only I had money, more money, much money I can buy a different blanket, less black, more translucent and transparent, so that I can see more and better. And yes, it will help, if I had more followers, preferably strong and armed soldiers who, with their arms and weapons wrench away this unwanted darkness and blackness. Thus, many have been deceived and misled by the illusions of power, wealth and the awesome force of arms and men. For centuries, nations and entire peoples struggled to see through the blinding darkness of illusion. In the struggle, some persisted while some gave up and simply accepted the illusion as fact. Those whose inner world are muddled, cluttered and polluted by illusion are rather jealous, suspicious, aggressive and usually violent. Give them authority, position and clout, they can corrupt, destroy and kill. Those who did not give up, slowly realized another power, higher and deeper, the power of soul. The Filipino soul, the Filipino “kaluluwa” dwells within, “nasa loob, nasa kaloob-looban, nasa kalooban.” Here, in the Filipino soul, lies our hope for dispelling the darkness. Philippine Society is now struggling under a thick blanket of darkness. Power, money and armed force, Guns, Goons and Gold are the idols holding sway over the lives of so many leaders, allowing them to keep others conveniently huddled with them under the blanket of illusion. Recently, in Malacañang, so many, as if dazed and mesmerized, picked up brown paper bags with their much coveted contents and quietly walked away. All but a few, behave like hapless creatures possessed by a power impatient to cast its spell. This power seemed to nervously pulsate inside those brown paper bags. Many then possessed the bags—or was it the other way around? A few led, by Among Ed, dared to reveal and unmask the fake power within the brown paper bag, P500,000 in cash. They saw that beyond the tempting illusion lay a trap set by those who would have the darkness prevail over all. Our Catholic Bishops decried the situation of “moral bankruptcy.” And so it is in a country where money and not morality possesses the leaders and the led. But to what extent are we morally bankrupt? How many of our leaders are afflicted with this sorry state—who, where, how? Is this blight confined to politics? How about the other sectors? Business? Church? Schools? Entertainment? Etc? It is easy and convenient for some to seem blameless as they judge others, as though they are not equally culpable. However, isn’t it becoming more and more difficult in this country, to come off clean, untainted, unstained by social and political grime? Dirty money, idolatrous money has robbed us of our dignity and freedom. It has corrupted our leaders and poisoned their followers. Many of us have allowed our most dearlyvalued principles to be compromised by ambitions for selfadvancement. This is why today, we pray and carry out a special ritual to ask for the grace that will empower us to lift the blanket of darkness and liberate our minds, hearts, souls and bodies. To retrieve what we lost and return to where we belong. The pot is the soul of our nation, the soul of each citizen. In this pot we burn the god of money and extinguish the flames with the waters of life and purity. In these ashes we plant hope…and ask Comelec and our Bishops to join us in nurturing this endangered treasure…
Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE have to be familiar with this practice which I think is increasingly needed these days. I know it’s an unpleasant thing, both for the giver and the recipient. But the matter involved can be crucial and silence about it can be fatal or at least can give rise to dangerous potentials. It’s a practice recommended by our Lord himself in the gospel. “If your brother shall offend against you, go and rebuke him between you and him alone. If he shall hear you, you shall gain your brother,” he said. (Mt 18, 15) All of us need correction, if not always then at least at one time or another. No matter how good, smart and clever we may be, we certainly have defects and we commit mistakes that need to be corrected. With the present pace of development where we are drawn to more and more new things and unfamiliar situations, the chances of us committing mistakes and getting stuck with our weakness are multiplied. And given our human condition that blinds us to most of our frailties, we cannot rely solely on ourselves for these corrections to take place. We need others, as brothers and sisters who truly care for us, to point them out to us. If done and received with the proper dispositions and ways, then these corrections can truly be considered not only as coming from our brothers and sisters, but from God himself. The fraternal correction can become a genuine manifestation of charity, deepening our friendship and fraternity with the others. It enables us to fulfill an important part of the gospel message of being a Good Shepherd to the others. We also relive what is said in the Letter to the Hebrews: “For whom the Lord loves, he chastises, and he scourges every son whom he receives…For what son is there whom the father does not correct.” (12, 6-7) We have to understand that God’s love for us, which is the pattern of our love for one another, blends maximum patience and affection with maximum rigor and strictness. This is more because of our human condition. If God alone would have his way, so to speak, he surely would shower us with all sweetness. This, I imagine, is what heavenly bliss is all about. But here on earth, God has to contend with the way we use or misuse our freedom. With our limitations, not to mention our mistakes and sins, God has to use both soft and hard means, gentle and harsh ways to guide and govern us. Since we are his children, created in his image and likeness, we are asked to participate in his divine providence over us. Thus, we too cannot avoid having to use both soft and hard means to govern ourselves. The fraternal correction should be widely used especially in the family. Children grow mightily when corrections are made on them. But it should also be done generously in other areas, especially among peers and colleagues. Among priests, for example, the practice of fraternal correction is highly recommended. Bishops should take the lead. This is what the document “Pastores gregis” says about the matter: “In cases of grave lapses, and even more of crimes which do damage to the very witness of the Gospel, especially when these involve the Church’s ministers, the Bishop must be firm and decisive, just and impartial. “He is bound to intervene in a timely manner, according to the established canonical norms, for the correction and spiritual good of the sacred minister, for the reparation of scandal and the restoration of justice, and for all that is required for the protection and assistance of victims.” (21) But even before things become very serious, fraternal corrections should already be given generously. Usually they can be in the areas of prudence, as in the priest’s relations with women and in his public actuations. Or in the way a priest carries out his duties. First would be his own life of prayer and the sacraments, then in his preaching, in his availability and manner of serving the people. Suggestions and corrections can abound here.
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Filipinos in Italy: The juice may not be worth the squeeze
By Melo Acuña
LURED by success stories from relatives and friends and the seeming desperation in finding highpaying jobs back home, the Filipino community in Italy has continuously grown. With some 90,000 Filipinos employed in households, shops and factories here and in other regions, they continue to do what is expected of them: Work, work and work. Nearly 53,000 are women employed within the Rome-Milan corridor. The Filipinos compose the sixth largest foreign community after the Albanians, Moroccans, Romanians, Chinese and Ukrainians. They remit a significant amount of euros after the equally important contributions from US-based Filipinos, construction workers, domestic helpers and nurses in Saudi Arabia and Filipino nationals in Canada. In Southeast Asia, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Philippines ranks first with $14,651 billion in remittances last year, contributing at least 12.5% to the country’s GDP. Getting to this part of the world is definitely not a joke for one would have to leave his family and an easy way of life back home to support their loved one’s needs. As in other areas of high migration, it is not uncommon to see children and older people left in small villages and towns. Finding money to send a family member abroad requires selling or pawning family assets, leaving relatives more vulnerable than ever to sudden illness or death or natural calamities. The family may go deeper in debt. As in some cases where migrant workers rely on human smugglers, they spend years with almost starvation wages or virtual slavery to pay their debts. During weekends, you get to see Filipinos hobnobbing with the elegantly dressed women at piazzas and at choice shops in Milan. You get to see them in various churches and locales or function halls attending baptismal receptions. O n e cannot simply ignore Filipino domestic helpers who earn more than P90,000 a month, working for two or more signoras. Fourteen euros await domestics who take out dogs and cats for a two-hour walks. There are employers who let their pets out three times a day or simply 42 Euros a day at six days a week. Margie Calbay, a Filipina who sends not less than P50,000 a month to her family back in the PhilipImus/ B3
pines, earns from vending Filipinostyle packed lunch between 4–5 euros and snacks to Philippine Embassy officials and clients for the past 15 years. “It’s a way of life I got used to and would do all over again just to help my family back home,” Calbay said in an interview. There are Filipinos who first worked in Italy during the 1980s and have sent for their relatives to join them later. Labor Attache Manuel Roldan has gone a step farther by printing a booklet on what to expect from working in Italy. “The pre-depar-
Church’s teachings, you will see long lines of communicants who do not go to confession,” Sister Zenaida added. Having been assigned to Milan for nearly ten years, she said they have already baptized over 5,000 children of Filipino parents. Baptisms are both celebrations and mini-reunions for Filipinos in Italy. Formal receptions are held, complete with carefully selected array of Filipino dishes by budding Filipino caterers are now common. In fact, Filipino entrepreneurs like
Mass at the Filipino chaplaincy at Via Madama Cristina last November 1. An Italian missionary, Fr. John Benna, a Salesian who spent years at Barrio Magsaysay in Tondo, a depressed area in Manila and an urbanized village known as Canlubang in Calamba City, said he would not advice Filipinos to go to Italy to find work. “Whenever people ask me of Italy, I tell them to go to Canada instead,” the 75-year old chaplain said. He added nurses work as hospital attendants in Italy.
collections for OWWA, OEC, and Philhealth rather than seriously attending to consular matters. “We have called on Philippine Embassy officials to reduce the passport renewal fees which we find exorbitant at 65 Euros,” Montemayor said. A check with the DFA website’s FAQs revealed that passports can be renewed at P500.00 or $50.00. There was no mention of 65 Euros. However, an official of the Milan-based Philippine Consulate said they now collect 40 Euros for passport renewal.
The author (5th from left), with Filipino migrants in Turin, and Fr. John Benna, SDB (center). Fr. Benna, who ministers to Filipinos, said they have a comprehensive pastoral program for Filipino migrants. Filipino teenagers who arrived from the Philippines have expressed surprise over their parents’ routines working from daybreak to dusk.
ture seminar isn’t enough and we have to complement the workers’ requirements for information upon arrival,” Roldan said. Asked to compare living standards between Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Italy, Roldan said Filipino workers in Italy are better off because “they can enjoy days off and they get higher wages.” He said Filipinos have the time to socialize on weekends and attend to their civic and religious obligations. However, Sister Zenaida Dimaculangan, a Salesian missionary based in Milan for over ten years called on Filipinos living together as husbands and wives without marriage not to receive Holy Communion at the Santa Maria del Carmine church run by Scalabrinian missionaries. “If we will not remind them of
Paul and Bez Cabral, have earned a comfortable living by attending to a restaurant and a promising catering business in Milan. Milan-based Labor Attache Araceli Maraya said she fears most Filipinos working as domestics may get sick sooner because of multiple jobs in a day. “A domestic helper working for four different employers on part-time basis would make one sick, especially during winter when one moves from one workplace to another in the freezing cold after two to three hours of ironing chores,” Maraya said. It is indeed ironic for Filipinas to care for other people’s children as their own loved ones are left untended back in their home country. Over in Turin, hundreds of Filipinos attended the All Saints Day
“There are no engineers working as engineers for they do menial jobs,” he further explained. Labor Attache Maraya said there are professional examinations for nurses and engineers but these are in Italian language. “Nurses are made to take a threetiered examination, all in Italian,” she explained. Her counterpart in Rome, Attache Roldan said a Filipino who presented spurious documents caused it all. “We have been told a nurse applied with a complete set of papers but when assigned to the operating room, she failed to perform, and the rest is history,” Roldan added. Mike Montemayor of the Migrante, International affiliate Lampada said the Philippine consulate in Milan is more concerned on
He declined to show a copy of the memorandum on the reduction of passport renewal fees. Another Filipino chaplain, Fr. Dave Buenaventura, SDB said younger Filipinos who joined the labor force are college undergraduates. “They earn P60,000 a month working as service crew at McDonald’s which partly explains why they shun college education,” Fr. Dave explained. “We have seen tell-tale signs of the deterioration of Filipino values as moral problems abound communities along with teenage pregnancies, drug peddling where young Filipinos get involved,” he further said. Even workers themselves say a number of them felt lonely and depressed during their stay in Italy and “fell in love” with someone else.
It is important to note the Italian government’s program to invite migrant workers’ children to move in and live as a family. “However, parents, busy as they are, cannot attend to their children and such would mean having children in the streets,” Fr. Buenaventura observed. He added such a situation would prove dangerous as these new arrivals may get into drug pushing. To date, there are a number of Filipinos in jail facing a number of charges. They have noticed gambling has also reached Filipino workers in Italy. “Cockfighting as seen on video conference mode reaps bets from Filipinos here,” the chaplain said. For Labor Attache Roldan, the success of Filipino workers in Italy also breeds what he calls the “culture of dependency”, where contract workers’ relatives rely solely on remittances which he says, “is quite unfair to the thousands of domestics, shopkeepers and factory workers.” A random check with Turin, Milan and Rome-based workers revealed they have no plans yet of retiring from hard work “to continuously support our children and grandchildren in the Philippines.” In Rome, a 70-year old domestic helper lies in a hospital after an accident as Philippine labor officials try to find means to send her home. To most Italy-based Filipino workers, every hour counts as they are assured of hard-earned and quite valuable euros. Labor Attache Roldan and Fr. Buenaventura agree most of these workers may no longer find time to rest and in the long run, result in serious debilitating diseases. “They’ve opted to become workaholics,” the chaplain said. Surely, success stories come in trickles as the ill effects of overseas employment come in droves. While it is true the country benefits from foreign remittances, the state still has the sworn duty to address the pressing and pestering problems of the Filipino family. Investments in education are a must. One’s got to think out of the box as economists look at progress in terms of a strong currency, increasing foreign reserves and marked improvements in GDP. These leaders ought to consider viewing the country’s millions of families through the parameters used by sociologists, guidance and counselors and educators. In the end, the question remains: Is the juice worth the squeeze? The answer is definitely not.
solidarity with His pilgrim people continued to reveal His stirring presence in the changing face of Cavite. On March 5, 1998, the first assembly for the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Consultation was held and as an offshoot, the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly Commission was created. A series of PreDiocesan Pastoral Assembly Consultation Seminars were undertaken in parishes from September until October of 1998. Another significant and groundbreaking endeavor was set in November 12-13, 1998 when the diocesan vision-mission statement was formulated in Tagaytay City through the support of the Social Pastoral Institute (SPI). Through and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, every Christian faithful in Cavite was given a common dream, the vision of the Diocese of Imus: Maging Sambayanang Kristiyanong maka-Diyos: maka-Tao, maka-Buhay, maka-Kalikasan at makaBayan —mga alagad ni kristo at Simbahan ng mga dukha na may pananagutan at pakikisangkot sa pinagpanibagong lipunan sa tulong ni Maria, Birhen del Pilar. In order to promote this vision, a course and focus of actions was set:  continuous integral formation among the clergy, the religious and the laity;  creation and strength-
ening basic ecclesial communities (BEC) anchored on the Word of God and the Teachings of the Church to become witnesses to God’s reign and His Kingdom;  establishment of appropriate structures and diocesan, vicarial and parochial programs and thrusts; and finally,  Christian response to changes and development affecting the family, in particular and the society, in general. Finally, the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly (DPA) was convoked on February 22-27, 1999 at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Tagaytay City. The Assembly was attended and participated in by the clergy, the religious and the laity representatives of the whole Diocese of Imus. This was the first-ever gathering of this kind in the Diocese. After thirty-six years of existing as a diocese, confident of the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit, the Church in Imus gathered as an assembly, sat and reflected to take a long look into the situation of Cavite. Here, it was examined what and how the Church could respond more to the needs of the people according to the times. The bishop, the clergy, the religious and the laity expressed their conviction for a new pastoral path to take to address the growing and re-
vitalized Catholic faith in the province. The Assembly recognized the different and multi-faceted needs according to the socioeconomic, political, cultural, and religious status at hand. The response ought to be focused on the shepherding and caring for the people (tao), all forms of life, particularly human life (buhay), creation or nature (kalikasan), order (kaayusan) and relationship with God (pagkilala sa Diyos). On October 19, 2001, a Diocesan Pastoral Planning was called and held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Sallete in Silang to bring down the fruits of the Assembly and promote the diocesan vision to and among the people. Around 80 participants including the bishop, clergy, the religious, and laity gathered together. It was in this meeting and reflection that a clear and definite response of the Church was drafted for people to live and experience the Kingdom of God. The fruit of this gathering came to be known as the Diocesan Pastoral Plan (DPP), which was to be implemented and undertaken through various apostolates and ministries. Rev. Fr. Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, an Imuseño, then-parish priest of Imus Cathedral and Rector of the theological seminary, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol took over as fourth
Bishop of Imus on October 22, 2001. Bishop Tagle took the reigns of shepherding the Caviteño faithful with fascination of the goodness of God and the people. Closest to his heart it seems are the diocesan seminaries: Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary and Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol in which he continues to be the rector. Diocesan Pastoral Priorities for Evangelization (DPP-E) In May 2002, all participants to the diocesan planning were once again convened in Kawit, Cavite to synthesize the result of various consultations undertaken. A pre-final draft was prepared and eventually presented in the final gathering of the lay, religious and clergy of the Diocese. Later in June 2002, the drafts on the nature of the different apostolates and ministries were discussed. Bishop Chito Tagle promulgated on October 16, 2002 five apostolate and twenty-two 22 ministries of the Diocese of Imus as the first step towards the realization of the diocesan vision. These are:  Apostolado sa Larangan ng Pagkilala sa Diyos (with the following ministries:katekesis, pagbubuo ng mga simbahang pamayanan, popular religiosity at mga debosyon, at liturhiya);  Apostolado sa Larangan ng Pangangalaga sa Tao (with the ministries on pamilya, kabataan, paaralan, pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga lingkod-bayan, pagtataguyod sa bokasyon, paghuhubog sa pagkapari, mga relihiyosa at relihiyoso);  Apostolado sa Larangan ng Pagtataguyod sa Buhay (with the following ministries: pagkalinga, pagtataguyod sa karapatang-pantao, mga manggagawa, mga magsasaka, mga mangingisda, mga maralitang nasa Cavite and migrante sa ibayong dagat);  Apostolado sa Larangan ng Pamamahala sa Kalikasan(ministri sa pamamahala ng kalikasan); and  Apostolado sa Larangan ng Kaayusan (that includes the ministries on: pangangasiwa ng pananalapi at mga pag-aari ng Simbahan, pananaliksik at komunikasyon, pangangasiwa sa mga kumbento at opisina ng Diyosesis. On March 25, 2004, the Bishop of Imus promulgated the Diocesan Pastoral Priorities for Evangelization or better known now in Cavite as the DPP-E which defines the direction for pastoral planning of the five apostolates and the twenty-two ministries at hand. To introduce the vision and the programs, parishioners are encouraged to enroll in a modular series of formation called Pahayag, which was scholarly done and
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pastorally oriented in its very nature. One of the processes involved is the discernment of charisms among the clergy, lay leaders and parishioners primarily to come up with persons in-charge of the different apostolates and ministries. To date, all areas of the apostolate and ministries, still groping towards interministeriality which is the interconnection of programs among all ministries to avoid overlapping of tasks and concerns, according to Rev. Fr. Sharkey Brown, Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Concerns, are going forward with their respective thrusts and programs, a collaborative endeavor between those ordained and consecrated and the laity. The Diocese is cognizant that as a Church, a distinct kind of strategy for the realization of its vision ought to be deeply stressed ¯ pagkilatis, pagpapasya at pagdiriwang. This holistic process of discernment-decision-celebration calls for deep prayer and the ability to listen and immerse oneself before God and in the lives of people. The Church is moving towards re-appropriation of the diocesan vision to various apostolates and ministries and ensuring that particular ministry visions are linked with the grander vision of the Diocese and promotes interministeriality. All these should be attuned and correlate with the Teachings of the Church, with Scriptures, and Tradition. This is the present thrust of the local Church in Cavite. In the words of Bishop Chito, the Diocese of Imus dreams to be a Sambayanang Kristiyano, a type of Church focused beyond herself. Her identity is intricately bound with the vision of the Kingdom of God so that every step taken with missionary zeal and fervor brings this Kingdom into the real lives of God’s people in all strata of society. With the rich historical and spiritual legacy of the Catholic faith in the Diocese of Imus which spans four centuries and counting on the warm and unwavering response of its parishioners to the present day thrusts and vision, the whole Church in Cavite stands on a new threshold of pastoral work dedicated to strengthening and further deepening its faith heritage in the face of the magnitude of recent social, economic, political, moral, cultural and religious developments and trends that are set to test, more than anything else, the spiritual and moral fiber and psyche of Cavite’s faithful, God’s people.
Moral Assessment Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Technical Assessment Poor Below average Average Above average Excellent
EGYPTIAN Anwar El- Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), a chemical engineer was fourteen when he became an American, and has been one for twenty years. He lives in Chicago with wife Isabella (Reese Whiterspoon). They have a young son and are expecting another child as she is heavy with child. Her husband had called from Cape Town, Africa at the end of attending a conference, and is now taking a plane home. But he never arrives. He has been taken by the CIA, with his name removed from the passenger manifest. Suspected of having terrorist connections, he is put in the hands of an expert interrogator Abasi Fawal (Igal Naor) who uses all forms of torture to get information out of him. Isabella goes to an old friend Alan Smith (Peter Sarsgaard) aide to powerful senator Hawkins (Alan Arkin). But he is told to back off. A CIA staff Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is assigned to supervise, observe and assist Abasi in handling El- Ibrahimi. Though the movie does not go into sufficient depth in showing what terrorism as we know it today is it still carries enough impact to help viewers feel what it is like when countries, and people within a country, war against each other for different kinds of rea-
Title: Rendition Running Time: 115 min Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, Omar Metwally, Peter Sarsgaard, J.K. Simmons Director: Gavin Hood Producers: Toby Emmerich, Keith Goldbey, Bill Tolman Jr., Edward Milstein Screenwriter: Kelley Sane Music: Paul Hepker, Mark Kilian Editor: Megan Gill Genre: Drama/ Action Cinematography: Dion Beebe Distributor: Warner Bros. Location: North Africa and the USA Technical Assessment: ½ Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
son. The movie projects the bombing, the people killed and wounded; loved ones lost, or gone missing in believable and realistic scenes. Central to the story is the taking away of suspected terrorists and what could be done to them: electric shocks, beatings, kept sleepless, water treatment, kept starving and in chains, among others: these are enough to cause anxiety among the movie goers. The cinematography, composition, directing, lighting, musical score and visual effects (especially) among others are effectively cinematic. Stand out as actors are Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Reese Witherspoon, Igor Naor and Jake Gyllenhaal.
The violence and the killing, the death of innocent people caused by hatred, by differences in principles and beliefs, the tortures perpetrated on suspected (not proven) terrorists are frequently depicted. There are nevertheless the showing of friendship, compassion, attempts at doing one’s utmost to help; love of family, love for a spouse, love for human life. Douglas Freeman could not stand the tortures, believing that the tortured could tell a lie to save himself (there may be no truth to tell because he is innocent, but not believed to be so). Douglas saw to the release of Anwar El- Ibrahimi, defying his superiors.
ANSWER TO THE LAST ISSUE: LET NOTHING DISTURB THEE; LET NOTHING DISMAY THEE; ALL THING PASS; GOD NEVER CHANGES, PATIENCE ATTAINS ALL THAT IT STRIVES FOR. HE WHO HAS GOD FINDS HE LACKS NOTHING: GOD ALONE SUFFICES. ST. TERESA OF AVILA
QUOTES IN QUIZ Booklets available at BOOKSALE stores in SM, Robinsons and selected malls in Manila. For mail order text 09192803036.
Title: Butterfly on a Wheel Running Time: 98 min Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Claudette Mink, Chris Astoyan, Samantha Ferris Director: Mike Barker Producers: Pierce Brosnan, William Morrissey, William Vince Screenwriter: William Morrissey Music: Robert Duncan Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Thriller Cinematography: Ashley Rowe Distributor: Lionsgate Location: Vancouver, Columbia, Canada Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
FROM all appearances, it’s a perfect marriage for Abby (Maria Bello) and Neil Randall (Gerard Butler). They have no problems, have a darling of a daughter and can afford a nanny so they can go off on a holiday by themselves. Until a stranger, Tom Ryan (Pierce Brosnan) ap-
pears on the scene. Ryan kidnaps the Randalls’ daughter and for 24 hours keeps the couple at his mercy. With brutal efficiency the kidnapper throws the Randalls’ picture-perfect life into chaos. But it turns out he is not after a ransom—it’s not money he wants but the death of an innocent person, and he wants Rony Randall to kill that person, in exchange for his daughter’s life. The Randalls in conscience cannot bear this, but they have no choice: it’s the life of the person they do not even know, or the life of their daughter. It’s a solid story that might at first seem implausible, but then is anything impossible in this mad mad world? There are parts that drag, and some that you just might sleep through, but when the Brosnan character appears, you’ll be all eyes and ears. Pierce Brosnan’s role is undoubtedly the most crucial in Butterfly on a Wheel—on it hinges the story’s realism and credibility. Viewers, especially Brosnan fans, might out of habit expect a dazzling amoral 007 here. Prepare for a surprise. While the Bond character’s determination to kill is there, the licensed-
to-kill cool of the secret agent is missing. And that’s the way it should be, Ryan the kidnapper being perceived as a psychopath, or a sociopath at least. Butler and Bello give good support, and the closeups really deliver. This is a heavy movie—filled with emotional tension—so it may be impossible to assess the morality of the characters’ actions while you’re watching things happen on the screen. But Butterfly on a Wheel merits a good deal of reflection. The question that might haunt you after seeing the movie is: how can one justifiably deal with adultery? How big a crime is sleeping with someone else’s spouse? What would you do if you caught your spouse having an affair? Would your rage drive you to kill a stranger or an innocent child? Whether you’re the betrayer or the betrayed spouse you break one of the Ten Commandments, the 5th or the 6th—Thou shall not kill, or Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife—but in this movie one person will break both. A movie for adulterers—ooops, we mean, adults only.
FIRST year medical student Alison Blanchard (Corri English) goes through what is considered to be the greatest nightmare of most med students, the Gross Anatomy subject. On her first day of class, she is paired with three other students and introduced to their cadaver, which they promptly named Norma who is mysteriously covered with large scars on the face and all over her body. Allegedly, the wounds are said to be selfinflicted. Alison throws-up and passes out as they are preparing for incision and dissection of the cadaver. When she returns to the lab, a great uneasiness comes over her and she is sure that something is wrong with the corpse. Then, as the day passes, those who come in close contact with Norma are mysteriously murdered. So Alison must determine if there is a connection between her fears and intuition to the series of killings in the medical school. Unrest is an independent film that has a mainstream and commercial look. The actors, although virtually unknown, are able to deliver passable performances. They are neither subtle nor hysterical which could have been tempting to do given the genre of the film. Instead, they appear to be natural human beings caught in the middle of a scare. The direction and storytelling is logical, although quite predictable, as it is focused not on a ghost or a zombie but on a live human being’s journey towards the mysterious and unknown. The inclusion of a romance sub-plot though, distracts somehow the main story’s flow. On the technical side, the musical scoring goes over the top and becomes a bit anti-climactic and preempting. Should human bodies, once dead, be put to rest in all circumstances without
Title: Unrest Running Time: 90 min Cast: Corri English, Scott Davis, Joshua Alba, Jay Jablonski, Marisa Petroro, Derrick O’Connor, Reb Fleming Director: Jason Todd Ipson Producers: Jason Todd Ipson Screenwriters: Chris Billet Music: Michael Cohen Editor: Mike Saenz Genre: Horror Cinematography: Michael Fimognarie Distributor: Lionsgate Location: USA Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: ½ CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above
exception? There has always been a debate over the morality of science’s methods of discovering truths about the universe and human beings. In Unrest, the morality of desecrating bodies for the sake of knowledge is once again explored. The movie has been faithful to its genre and story but not to its moral responsibility. The film graphically showed and somehow desecrated to the fullest extent the sanctity of the human body. The protagonist, Alison, being an atheist has shown much concern for the spirit of the corpse but not its soul, and she never called on any god to at least acknowledge that there are things that science and the human mind can never fathom. Much worse is the movie’s misrepresentation of a suspected pagan ritual and a spirit’s possession of human bodies. Pre-marital sex is also romanticized in this movie. The image of cadavers may cause nightmares and disturb sensibilities of vulnerable audiences.
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
A Supplement Publication for KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
KCFAPI celebrates the ROSARY MONTH. KCFAPI employees headed by its Spiritual Committee joined the world in celebrating the Holy Rosary Month of October. Employees were encouraged to attend the daily rosary held every 12 noon at the office chapel. The celebration was capped by holding a Living Rosary and the flying of rosary shaped-like balloons into the air. These activities are part of the spiritual enrichment program lined up for the year. Since the Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson has launched the Marian Prayer Program for 2007-2008, the daily recitation of holy rosary will be continued until September 2008.
KCFAPI Golden Jubilee Logo
THE Knights of Columbus epitomizes the ideal Catholic gentleman. True to the objectives of the Order, the life of a Brother Knight is imbued with faith, fraternity and concern for the family.
KC Philippines Foundation scholar wins Palanca Award for Literature
ONE of KC Philippines Foundation scholars, Ms. Mary Anne Jelli E. Gaza from Hermosa, Bataan (Council No. 10642) recently won the 2 n d Prize in the Kabataan Essay category, Filipino division of the 57th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for her entry entitled “Isang Siglo, Isang Dekada’t Isang Taon”. Ms. Gaza is a first year BS in Business Administration and Accountancy student of the University of the Philippines – Diliman and the eldest among the five children of Bro. Jenifer and Sis. Lilibeth Gaza. She graduated valedictorian in elementary and high school and has received several awards in Literature and academic excellence. The award was presented by Ms. Sylvia Palanca Quirino during the Awards Night held at The Peninsula Manila last September 1, 2007. The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature started in 1951 with the short story category in English and Filipino. Through the years, as the awards elicited overwhelming response, new categories were added. The special Kabataan Division for high school essay category, in English and Filipino was opened in 1998 to encourage writing among the youth. (Denise C. Solina)
Holy Trinity Memorial Chapels mark silver anniversary
HOLY Trinity Memorial Chapels celebrated its silver anniversary at HTMC compound located at Sucat Road, Parañaque City, October 10, 2007. The celebration was made simple as the company intended to donate part of its anniversary budget to charitable institutions. It was highlighted by a concelebrated mass led by Rev. Father Stephen Villanueva as presider and Fathers Jorge Carao and Blas Briones as concelebrants. Among the guests who graced the occasion were Honorable Mayor of Paranaque, Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr., Vice-Mayor Gus Tambunting, representatives of Congressmen Eduardo C. Zialcita and Roilo Golez, councilors of Parañaque City, high ranking officers of pre-need companies and other funeral companies, local chambers, rotary clubs, Lions Club and senior officers of KC Group of Companies. Also present were District Deputies, Grand Knights, Fraternal Councilors, brother knights, senior citizens, nuns from Daughters of Saint Francis and Daughters of Charity. After the mass, inspirational messages were delivered by Father Stephen Villanueva, HTMC’s spiritual director, HTMC’s Chairman Mr. Teodoro O. Arcenas, Jr., and its President Mr. Antonio B. Borromeo. As the company celebrates its Silver Anniversary, HTMC renews its commitment to provide dignified and affordable memorial service to its clientele. Reaching this corporate milestone also serves as an opportunity to look back and take stock of the highlights of the past and the present in order to readily face the challenges ahead, as emphasized by HTMC’s EVPGeneral Manager Carmen C. Flores. (Carmen C. Flores / Loli J. Ulit)
Ms. Gaza received her award from Ms. Sylvia Palanca Quirino during the awarding ceremony at the Peninsula Manila.
K of C Vatican film library attracts researchers
SINCE structural weaknesses forced the Vatican library in Rome to close for three years of renovations, researchers are finding assistance at the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library at Saint Louis University in St. Louis. Librarian Gregory Pass said that since the announcement was made this summer about the closure of the Vatican library, the U.S. facility has gotten busier. “We have seen a rise in the number of inquiries regarding the availability of our microfilms and of space in our reading room,” Pass said. General inquiries about the collections at the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library have also increased, he said. The film library got its start shortly after World War II, when Jesuit Father Lowrie Daly received permission from Pope Pius XII to house Vatican microfilm in St. Louis to protect the contents of the documents from future wars or natural disasters. From 1951 to 1957, many of the documents were microfilmed with financing from the Knights of Columbus. An estimated 6,900 rolls of microfilm were processed, making 9.5 million manuscript pages available for researchers. “Our collections hold approximately half of the Vatican Library’s manuscripts,” said Pass. Major portions of the Vatican’s Greek and Latin collections are in St. Louis. The Order also contributed funds to build meeting rooms in the library. One of the major conference rooms in the library is named the Knights’ Room. Archbishop Giovanni B. Montini (later Pope Paul VI), then Vatican undersecretary of state, wrote the Knights to express Pope Pius’ gratitude. He called the Order’s involvement in the project a valuable contribution to “Christian learning,” and symbolic of the Knights’ “genuine Catholic spirit” and service to “true Christian humanism.” (KCNews)
Why be a Knight of Columbus?
3. Your active participation in council affairs: spiritual, fraternal, family, social, civic-oriented, athletic and recreational will serve as a school of leadership and enable you to develop qualities that enhance your strengths and abilities. 4. You will enjoy a sense of “belonging” in an organization that shares your religious beliefs, brings together likeminded men joined in a common cause, and offers the opportunity to develop and cement friendships for years to come. 5. Your concerns for your family and for your retirement years can be addressed by the Order’s low-cost insurance program, conducted by Brother Knights for Brother Knights, assuring your security and peace of mind. 6. You will share in the sense of pride what all Knights feel in knowing that their Order is second to none in support of Our Holy Father, our Bishops and Priests; in working for our fellow men, especially those most in need; and in binding together to preserve traditional values in the face of attacks against the family and innocent human life.
Quality policy and mission statement of KCFAPI
AS a Mutual Benefit Association, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Phils., Inc. is committed to provide optimum fraternal benefits to all its members and their immediate families. WE • Continually raise our standards of performance and improve our systems to achieve continuous growth and stability • Fulfill our social responsibility for the good of the Order and the Nation • Meet applicable regulatory requirements. WE ARE COMMITTED TO ACHIEVE Our Mission. Aspiring to be a premier mutual benefit association, we exemplify the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in our service; Perpetually inspired and directed by our Founders and the Board of Trustees, we highly regard our dynamic and dedicated field representatives, management and staff as our valued resources; Imbued with principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, we will maintain utmost flexibility in meeting the demands of the times as we stand resolutely firm in the pursuit of our avowed objectives.
1. As an integral part of the world’s largest and most dynamic Catholic fraternal organization, you will be united with over 1.6 million Brothers and their families in 12,000 councils located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Central America and the Caribbean. 2. Your personal involvement as a Knight will provide opportunities, in charity and fraternity, for service to the Church at the local, diocesan and universal levels; to your communities; and to the less fortunate in our midst.
Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. is fully committed to provide mutual benefits to all its members and their immediate families; Competent and relentless in our effort to achieve continuous growth, stability and efficient service, we will always remain loyal, result-oriented and completely committed to our assigned tasks; Fully aware of our moral and social responsibility, we will contribute to membership development and worthy causes for the good of the Order and of the Nation;
Adjudicating insurance claims expeditiously. Joseph Teodoro representing KCFAPI handed the check to Sis. Sofronia Geneta and son Wilmer on October 26, 2007. Bro. Romeo Geneta, grand knight of Council 10738 in Damortis, La Union died of vehicular accident on October 5, 2007, four months after he enrolled himself under the SPEK plan. Also present during the occasion were Northern Luzon area manager, Bro. Art Morta (extreme right) and fraternal counselor, Bro. Cekso Estoesta (1 st from left)
Joseph P. Teodoro
(Lito Mañalac interviewed Brother Eduardo G. Laczi who is the newly appointed Director for Philippine Affairs, Fraternal Services Department of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Office in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is the immediate past State Deputy of the Visayas Jurisdiction)
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
Interview with Bro. Ed Laczi
LM: What do you think will be the positive results your position in the Supreme Office will bring the K of C in the Philippines and the K of C Order, in general? EL: I act as the official Representative of the Philippine Knights in the Supreme Office, attend to the needs of the Philippines jurisdictions in the Supreme Office and penetrate the Filipino Communities in the US by organizing Filipino Councils. My immediate Boss is Brod George Hanna, the Vice President for Fraternal Services and my office is located at the 12th floor of our building in the Fraternal Service Department. I officially started last July 1, 2007. I am positive that my presence in the Supreme Office can strengthened the mission/vision of our Order for this is the first time that the Philippines will be properly represented in the Supreme Office. And, since I am the first Filipino to occupy this position I will do my best to live up to the expectations of everybody especially our worthy Supreme Knight who really is determined to improve the relationship between the Philippine Knights and the Supreme Office. LM: I understand you are here for a couple of weeks on an important business. EL: Yes. I came to meet the District Deputies of the 3 Jurisdictions because of the alarming number of suspended members and councils during the last Columbian Year 2006-2007. So far the result is good after the meetings but still there are a lot of things to be done. LM: As you go back to your post in a few days, what message would you wish to leave behind to your brothers in the Order? EL: I would like to formally thank everybody in the Visayas Jurisdiction from the State Officers, to the Regional, Provincial, District Deputies, the Grand Knights of the Councils and the members for their untiring support to the 10 Thrusts of the Visayas Jurisdictions that made the Jurisdiction where it is now; to our worthy Supreme Knight for his concern to the Philippine Knights that lead to the position where I am now; and to GOD Almighty for his guidance and the opportunity given to me. Finally, to my wife Fatima and my children, they serve as my inspiration.
For Brother Knights by Brother Knights
IT has been said that “people who don’t take care of their relatives, and especially their own families, have given up their faith. They are worse than someone who doesn’t have faith in the Lord.” (1 Timothy 5:8) This biblical passage is emphasized in one of the lessons of the Knights of Columbus—there is no more compelling duty of a Knight than the care of his widow and children. To carry out effectively this vision the Order instituted an elementary system of family protection at the time it was founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney on March 29, 1882. On September 9, 1958, guided by the same vision of the family’s secure financial future, the late Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. organized the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. The mantle of leadership of KCFAPI passed on from Fr. Willmann to a number of KC personalities who are notable and respected people in the community and in their respective fields of endeavor. Today, the KCFAPI Board of Trustees, management, staff and field representatives belong to the family of Knights of Columbus. As it was in the dawn of KCFAPI history, they remain to be dedicated in providing family protection to brother knights and their families. As it traverses the road towards its golden jubilee, KCFAPI carries on with the same tradition and dedication of family protection for brother knights by brother knights.
Sir Knight Eduardo G. Laczi
The objectives of the Knights of Columbus
REV. Fr. Michael J. McGivney, a twentynine year old Catholic Priest of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. was deeply concerned with the plight of his parishioners who suffered discrimination because of their ancestry or religion. Appalled by the poverty and misery which befell most families when the breadwinners die, Rev. Fr. McGivney gathered a handful of Catholic laymen in the basement of his Church on October 2, 1881 to discuss how to best resolve the problems that beset his flock. The response was enthusiastic. On March 29, 1882, the Knights of Columbus was incorporated and obtained legal status in the State of Connecticut, U.S.A. Its Charter specifies the following purposes: a) of rendering pecuniary aid to its members, their families and beneficiaries of members and their families; b) of rendering mutual aid and assistance to its sick, disabled and needy members and their families; c) of promoting social and intellectual intercourse among its members and their families; and d) of promoting and conducting educational, charitable, religious social welfare, war relief and welfare, and public relief work. Thus, the Order is considered a Catholic, Family, Fraternal, and Service Organization. The name “Knights of Columbus” was adopted simply because the organizers strongly felt that the organization should relate to Christopher Columbus, the Catholic explorer of the new world, to underscore their pride in America’s Catholic heritage. The name “Columbus” evokes the aura of Catholicity and affirmed the discovery of America as a Catholic event and the term “Knights” was adopted to signify the embodiment of knightly ideals of spirituality and service to Church, country and fellowmen.
To all BC HOLDERS!
KC Fraternal is pleased to inform you that it has harnessed the use of modern technology to deliver faster and better service to keep you closer to its heart. You can now get instant information on your benefit certificate with your fingertips. Text to KC Fraternal anywhere and anytime.
1. To get status of benefit certificate: Type BCINQ ‹space› ACCT# ‹space› BIRTHDATE Ex. BCINQ 12345678 01311970 Note: Birthdate format should be MMDDYYYY Output: Name of Insured; Account No.; Status; Due Date; Ins. Cont. Due; Mode of Payment; BC Year; O/S Loan 2. To get information from any of the departments in KC Fraternal: Type the Department’s Keyword ‹space› COMPLETENAME ‹space› MESSAGE
Department Keyword: BC Service SERVICE Cash TCS FC’s Account FMAS Marketing FBG Underwriting UND Ex. SERVICE JUAN DELA CRUZ FOLLOW UP REINSTATEMENT APPLICATION
Send to 0917-825KOFC or 0917-8255632
KC Fraternal Plans
Special Plan for Elderly Knights (SPEK)
Special Plan for Elderly Knights (SPEK) is a plan especially designed for Knights of Columbus and immediate family members (i.e. spouse, children or parents) who are between 50 and 85 years old. The plan requires NO health questionnaire to accomplish and NO medical examinations to undergo. This product from KC Fraternal provides the Lowest Contribution Rates that bring the Highest Level of Protection for every brother Knight and his family. Insured member is covered up to age 100 and the plan becomes fully paid at age 90. After three (3) full years, the plan starts to earn cash values for which the policyholder can borrow for financial concerns. And as a contributor to the Association, he is entitled to yearly dividends which he may: (1) withdraw, (2) use to reduce contribution, or (3) deposit with our Association to accumulate at interest. Another feature of SPEK is that an additional coverage will be provided to the Insured for FREE after the policy has been enforced for ten (10) full years.
Special Living Benefit
After two (2) full years from issuance or date of last approved reinstatement, SPEK allows ADVANCE PAYMENT of 50% of the Face Value if insured is diagnosed to have terminal illness (established life expectancy within 12 months from the date of claim application for Living Benefit duly acknowledged by KC Fraternal). This benefit can help pay for medical/hospitalization or other personal needs. For more information, please contact your Fraternal Counselor on your Area.
KCFAPI Board of Trustees/Advisors
PATROCINIO R. BACAY - Chairman SOFRONIO R. CRUZ - Vice Chairman ANTONIO B. BORROMEO - President ANTONIO T. YULO - Treasurer ALONSO L. TAN - Corp. Secretary DIONISIO R. ESTEBAN, JR. - Member GUILLERMO N. HERNANDEZ - Member PEDRO M. RODRIGUEZ, JR. - Member ROGELIO S. SIPALAY - Member
Board of Advisors
His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, DD Amb. Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Teodoro O. Arcenas, Jr. Edijer A. Martinez Panfilo O. Pacubas, Sr. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio Spiritual Director
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 -25, 2007
but also with liberation in this life. The message of Jesus ought to penetrate and perfect the temporal sphere with the spirit of the Gospel. In the Gospel according to St. Luke, there is the episode about Zechariah and Elizabeth and somehow their knowledge of God’s ways and wisdom was very limited. People during their time saw their life as barren and empty since they were childless. And yet because of the continued fidelity and trust in the goodness of God little did they know that God would reward them with a son and their son would even baptize the Lord Jesus. Politics will be barren or empty if not directed to recognize and respect human dignity through defending and promoting fundamental and inalienable human rights. And the common good is chiefly guaranteed when personal rights and duties are maintained. The universal good of all takes precedence over the interest of an individual, a family, a social class or a political party. Thirdly, the Church’s role in politics can be better understood when we consider how sin can take root in political activities. Sin has both personal and social dimensions. A politics that is marked by deceit, dishonesty, unprincipled compromise, convenience, greed and expediency, is indeed barren and empty. The Church has to struggle to vanquish sin in the political order. Politics must respect and promote human dignity and the fundamental human rights that flow from such dignity. Indeed, politics can make or unmake the human person. How can we heal the present political situation of our country? The CBCP has threefold program for pastoral action: 1) The Church must continue to build character. Through the ministry of the Word and the sacraments, through Catholic education, program and formation, we ought to seek to build persons of faith and virtue. We need to deepen our sense of honesty and integrity, service and responsibility, stewardship and solidarity. The transformation of persons is the key important aspect to nation building. 2) The Church must build capacity. Poverty is not only about “not having” but also of “not being able.” Helping people grow by helping them develop their abilities and their capacity to govern themselves. And 3) the Church must build community. Sometimes we are too focused on the good of small social groups but through education and formation, we need to promote a concrete way of living out in our country the “fundamental social virtue of solidarity,” a spirituality of citizenship which foster a sense of patriotism and develops people into becoming active and constructive participants in social and political life. What is the connection of all these important principles and call to action to our mission as Knights of Columbus? There is the challenge to see the hand of God working its way in our history and in our times. We are challenged to work for political maturity. The division and fighting among many political parties and groups in the Philippines is a sign that there is much to be done in terms of renewal and reconciliation. One of our main tenets is love of country. This idea that we strive for must be concretized in different ways. We are a big body that can influence good governance and political maturity. Some discussions in some of our gatherings and meetings should focus on this area. How can we work for the renewal of politics and government service? What concrete ways can we take to initiate this much-needed reform in our society? How can we promote stewardship? A change of paradigm has to take place. Man does not own the world! God owns the world. He has shared with us the power to govern, to develop and to use His creation to complete what He has entrusted to us in creating us. All of us have received our share in terms of time, talents and treasure. In what way have we been good and wise stewards? Jesus was very clear about the demands of discipleship. Not all those who would like to enter the kingdom of God will be able. Knowing Him not be enough. As Jesus says in the parable about the narrow door of the kingdom: “When once the master of the house has risen to lock the door, and you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Sir, open for us’ he will say in reply, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your company. You taught in our streets.’ But he will answer, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Away from me, you evildoers!” There is the challenge to “walk our talk”. How much have we injected in terms of gospel values in our political life? Whom we campaign for? Whom do we choose for public office? What are our criteria in selecting our candidates? Barangay elections are scheduled this coming October. This will be an opportunity for us to work for renewal in our society and politics. I pray that you will not be deaf to the call! God bless you all! Mabuhay po kayo. Vivat Jesus! Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD Bishop of Cubao Luzon State Chaplain
she is a spiritual mother we all share. In Ecclesia in America Pope John Paul II noted that “The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization. Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, ‘in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization.’ Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.” He also wrote, “the renewal of the Church in America will not be possible without the active presence of the laity. Therefore, they are largely responsible for the future of the Church.” The question is what can Catholics, all the baptized—lay and clergy alike—do to advance the promise of Ecclesia in America—a promise based upon the reality that our unity in the sacramental life of the Church transcends every border. All of us in the Americas can claim Our Lady Guadalupe as our mother. More of us in this hemisphere, than anywhere else on earth, can claim a common bond of faith. Seeking to further forge that bond of spiritual unity, and united under the mantle and message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Knights of Columbus has been active in the United States since 1882, in Canada since 1897, in Mexico since 1905, in Cuba and Panama since 1909, in Puerto Rico since 1911, in Guatemala since 1967 and in the Dominican Republic since 1979. The Knights are just one example of cooperation between Catholics throughout the hemisphere that has continued for more than a century. That cooperation has taken many different forms and increasing such cooperation is a high priority of the Knights of Columbus and it should be as well for other Catholic organizations in the United States. We invite you to join the largest lay Catholic organization in the world in offering to families the opportunity to live their vocation to holiness. We are committed to spread Our Lady’s message which guides us always closer to her Son, Jesus Christ.
To My Esteemed Brother Knights, The Love and Peace of Jesus, our Life, Joy and Peace! First of all allow me to thank you all for sharing the Church’s vision and mission especially in some important issues and concerns which we have decided to highlight this year. Last year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has declared the year 2006 as the “Year of the Social Concern.” A Pastoral Exhortation entitled “BUILDING A CIVILIZATION OF LOVE” was issued wherein our main call as Church was articulated i.e. to build a society more human, more worthy of the human person. In fact, years before in preparation for the Great Jubilee 2000, four important exhortations were also issued for us all to reflect, pray and apply important principles regarding a) Philippine Politics (1997), economics (1998), culture (1999), and spirituality (2000). The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI “DEUS CARITAS EST” made our focus on social concern more urgent. Pope Benedict reminds us that our social concern is as essential to the Church mission as the ministry of the sacraments and the preaching of the Gospel. The Church cannot just neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the sacraments and preaching of the Word. Our present Philippine situation calls us to be more actively committed to living out the social teachings of the Church. We are affected and more troubled by the pervasive sense of weariness, cynicism and hopelessness among many of our people. Although the topic on Church and Politics has been discussed before, allow me to share my reflection on the same area: Church and Politics. There is indeed a very close connection between Church and Politics. The Gospel must influence every phase of life, every stratum of society, and as St. Paul admonishes us in his letter to the Ephesians (1:10): restore all things under Christ.” It is the duty; it is not even a choice, of every Christian Catholic to transform politics by the Gospel. The Church, God’s people, must evangelize politics. Strangely, some people do not believe that Church officials extol government policies; government officials welcome such support warmly and are happy about it. But when the Church officials criticize and denounce some government policies, the same people immediately cry out: “Violation of the separation of Church and State!” The Church should not meddle in politics. Let the Church stick to religion. They even cite the words of Christ “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s (Mt. 22:21). They therefore conclude that the Church should not say anything about politics and politicians. They forget that Caesar belongs to God and is accountable to God. How wrongly they interpret Scriptures and the doctrine of separation of Church and State! What is the basis of the Church’s mission in politics? Politics has a religious and moral dimension for every human activity that flows from the normal processes of intellect and will and may either lead to grace or to sin, hurt or benefit people, up build or destroy them. When Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God He called for renewal through conversion and belief. Defending and promoting the Kingdom values, especially that of justice, peace, truth and love, freedom, mercy and reconciliation is to do God’s will. In our present system, political corruption is one of the most serious deformities of the democratic system because it betrays at once and at the same time both moral principles and the norms of social justice. Corruption radically distorts the role of representative institutions for they become an arena for political bartering between clients’ requests and governmental services. Thus they serve as an obstacle to bringing about the common good of all citizens, especially the poor and the masses who have a right to be heard and respected. We have to proclaim the Gospel in the field of politics. The Church would be abandoning her mission if she failed to imbue politics with the light of the Gospel and the Reign of God. Secondly, Church’s mission of integral salvation involves not only the after-life
The Christian hemisphere
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
OUR Lady of Guadalupe’s patronage of churches and families throughout the hemisphere goes back 475 years, yet her message today is as timely as it was in 1531. Although during these five centuries she has come to symbolize many things as Pope John Paul II n o t e d i n Ecclesia in America , hers is ultimately a message of unity, for
Insurance Commission approves Gold Series Plans
The Insurance Commission pressed the green light for KCFAPI to offer three (3) new plans to the members of the Knights of Columbus and their immediate families (parents, wife and children). These insurance plans are part of the eight-point program which will highlight the golden jubilee of the fraternal association.
KC Capital Accumulator Plan
Present day young professionals are now more conscious of getting into self entrepreneurship after a short period of employment. This plan will help them build up a fund to start a small business or augment a major investment in a not so distant future. The plan may also be useful for purposes of financing a personal purchase, funding an important occasion or buying a ticket for a much coveted trip abroad. Enrollment in the KC Capital Accumulator Plan is very affordable. A 30-year-old young professional will only save about P21.00 per day. (This is for illustration purposes only based on standard rates. The minimum periodic payment is on a quarterly basis.)
KC Retire Plus Plan
Existing retirement programs provided by the social security system and government service insurance system may be inadequate when the time comes that one has to avail of them. Enrollment in the KC Retirement Plus Plan may be a wise decision to put up future fund to augment the present established scheme. A benefit certificate retirement plus holder will only make a ten-year insurance contribution for a retirement endowment on his age 60 and 65. He remains to be insured for 50% of his original face value of insurance after age 65. The insurance contribution is affordable that even a rank and file employee may find it easy to slowly build up his retirement program. ALL PLANS ARE ENTITLED TO DIVIDENDS. THEY ARE REALLY GOLD MINE. Ask us now and be one of the first benefit certificate holders under this Gold Series. Contact your local fraternal counselor, our nearest service office or call us at Tel. No. 5272223 or 5272243.
KC Assurance Plan
The plan affords the benefit certificate holder growing protection for his family with a level amount of insurance contribution up to six years and thereafter he is no longer required to pay the same and remains to be insured until his lifetime.
Vol. 11 No. 23
November 12 - 25, 2007
Meet the KCFAPI President
MR. Antonio B. Borromeo (ABB as he is fondly called) was first elected member of the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI in 1993. Last July 2007 (his 4 th term), he was again chosen to head the fraternal benefits system of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. Working as President of KCFAPI is one of his apostolic works since he does not receive any compensation from the Association, like the other members of the Board of Trustees. Prior to joining KCFAPI, ABB was an insurance man for 42 years. He was one-of-akind story in the insurance industry where he started his career as an office boy/messenger and rose all the way to the top as President of several Insurance Companies. Serving the 42 years span, he also became President or Chairman of most Insurance Associations, i.e. the Insurance and Surety Association of the Phils. (ISAP), Philippine Rating Bureau (PRB), Philippine Insurance and Rating Association (PIRA); Philippine Insurers Club (PIC), Board member of Insurance Institute of Asia and Philippines (IIAP), and
Sir Knight Antonio B. Borromeo
The Knights of Columbus in the Philippines
AS conceived by Rev. Fr. McGivney, the Order was to serve only the Diocese of Hartford, which embraced all of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Two years later after Rev. Fr. McGivney died, the Order expanded to New York and Massachusetts. Twelve years later, there were councils in nearly every major American City from Maine to California. In due time, the Order expanded outside the U.S.A. to Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Panama, Cuba, Guam, the Virgin Island, and the Philippines. On April 23, 1905, the first council of the Knights of Columbus was established in the Philippines. This was Council No. 1000 located within the Walled City of Intramuros. At the time of its inauguration, they had thirty-one charter members, all of whom were Americans. Emerging as the first Grand Knight was Richard Campbell. In October 1918, the Supreme Council finally approved the institution of the second council in the Philippines, Council No. 1900 located in San Pablo, Laguna. One of the few but timely and efficacious blessings which the Order in the Philippines experienced was during the lean years of the 1930s when an American Jesuit priest came in the person of Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann SJ. Rev. Fr. Willmann was appointed in 1948 as the first District Deputy in the Philippines. Then, on March 1, 1954, he was designated as Territorial Deputy. And in 1962, he was
Philippine Association of Surety Underwriters (PHILASURERS). ABB is also the President of KCFAPI’s subsidiary company, Keys Realty and Development Corporation. ABB joined the Order of the Knights of Columbus in 1960. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3695 (Broadway, Quezon City) and is the incumbent Trustee/Lecturer of his council. He held important positions in the Order such as Deputy Grand Knight, Grand Knight, and District Deputy of M-44. ABB is a golf aficionado. He started to strike the ball from the teeing ground at the age of 27. (Annie M. Nicolas)
named Philippine Deputy, a position held until his death in 1978. Upon the demise of Rev. Fr. Willmann, former Senator and Ambassador, Hon. Oscar Ledesma was appointed Philippine Deputy. He presided over the continued growth of the Order in the Philippines. When Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant visited Philippines Jurisdiction on its Diamond Jubilee in 1980, there were 40,000 Filipino Knights. Don Oscar was later appointed Supreme Director Emeritus. Mardonio R. Santos succeeded Ambassador Ledesma as Philippine Deputy in 1983. Under his
leadership, the Knights of Columbus achieved remarkable growth. In recognition of his dedication, he was elected the first Filipino Supreme Director and was concurrently as Vice Supreme Master of the Fourth Degree on June 30, 1989. When Sec. 14, Chapter III of the laws of the Order was amended by a Resolution approved in the 1988 106th Supreme Council Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Philippine Jurisdiction was officially divided into three territorial jurisdictions, the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao Jurisdictions.
Sofronio R. Cruz: ‘To serve and not to be served’
Bulacan High school. Bro. Cruz finished his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at then Araneta Institute of Agriculture (now Araneta University Foundation). He also took up a Special course in Cooperative Management and Financing. As a professional, he is an Agriculturist, Agri-businessman, and Dealer/Supplier of Construction aggregates. His work landed Bro. Cruz to the Land of Promise called Mindanao and eventually made Davao City as his permanent residence where he met and married the late Erlinda G. Roque. Their union was blessed with four children. He was recruited to the Knights of Columbus Davao Council No. 3289 in 1959 and was exemplified to the Fourth Degree in 1962. He later transferred to St. Jude Council No. 5831 where he became a Charter member in 1964. Before rising to the top post, he has held almost every leadership position in the councils and in the Assembly. In the Columbian Year 1972-1973 he was elected Grand Knight of St. Jude Council 5831 and was appointed District Deputy of District in 1980-1984. All his good works as District Deputy did not go unnoticed because he was made a Star District Awardee in 1982. In 1983-1984, he was elected Faithful Navigator of Bishop Clovis Thibault Assembly 0988 and was later became Faithful Admiral in 2002-2004. He was appointed as District Master of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Ferdinand Magellan Province, District XII in 1989-1993. In the state office, he was appointed as State warden in 1986-1987; State Secretary in 1987-1988 and 19931994; and as State Ceremonial Chairman in 1988-1990 and 1994-1995. In 1988-1989 he was appointed as State Membership Director and assistant to the Mindanao Deputy in 19921993. He became the State Program Director in 1995-1997 and in 19992005. In 1997-1999 he was appointed as State Vocation Chairman. He also served as Regional Secretary from 2005 until his appointment as Mindanao State Deputy. A humble and deeply spiritual person, he is a devotee of of the Adoracion Nocturna Filipina where he was introduced to the Knights of Columbus in 1959. “Bro. Ponying” was also active in the Cursillo in Christianity and Christian Family Movement. He was also elected as president of the Archdiocesan Council of the Lay Apostolate (ACLA) of the Archdiocese of Davao. He is also a recipient of the Papal Knight of Sylvester in 1981. In 1990-1991, Bro. Cruz was elected as member of the Board of Trustees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) the financial arm of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at present, and as Trustee of the KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. and KC Philippines Foundation, Inc., the social arm of KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. As the new Mindanao Deputy, Bro. Cruz seeks God’s guidance and direction, graces and blessings for continuing concern and commitment of officers and members of councils, subordinate and state.
Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ
REV. Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882 in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. In the Philippines, it was Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J., who nourished and nurtured the Order (which was sown to our soil in 1905). On June 30, 1938 he was initiated in the First Degree through Manila Council 1000 which is located in Intramuros. He was appointed Chaplain of that council, a position he held up to the time of his death on September 14, 1977. World War II occasioned some very laudable KC projects under Rev. Fr. Willmann’s direction. With the help of other KC members, he conducted several projects including welfare assistance to freed prisoners from the infamous Japanese concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac, and operation of canteen and recreational halls for USAFFE soldiers. Rev. Fr. Willmann himself was arrested by the Japanese and he was imprisoned at the University of Santo Tomas (a Dominican University founded in 1611) and later, at the concentration camp in Los Baños, Laguna. In this concentration camp, the American liberation forces freed him and other prisoners. Immediately after the war, Rev. Fr. Willmann and a handful of surviving KC members revived the lone Knights of Columbus chapter in the Philippines. During this postwar period, the primary objective of the Knights of Columbus was to neutralize the influence of Masonry, which was fast gaining adherents among prominent people. To countervail such growing threat to Catholic faith, he recruited equally prominent people like Ambassador Oscar Ledesma, Justice Manuel Lim, former Vice President Fernando Lopez, Senator Quintin Paredes and others to the ranks of Knights of Columbus. There was even a time when nine out of 15 justices of the Supreme Court were members of the Knights of Columbus. Following his success in recruiting prominent people in joining the Knight of Columbus, which certainly neutralized the influence of Masonry, Rev. Fr. Willmann began expanding the Order by organizing new councils in different parts of the country. This time there was no distinction of social status as far as recruitment of members was concerned. Under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Willmann, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. was founded on September 9, 1958. With a seed capital of P32,000.00 contributed by 64 brother knights and KC councils, KC Fraternal was organized under Philippine Laws as a non-stock, nonprofit mutual benefit association to provide low-cost insurance protection for Filipino brother knights and their families. It was his vision that KC Fraternal should serve as the financial arm of councils in meeting their responsibility to their members as provided in the first two purposes of the Order. Rev. Fr. Willmann was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 29, 1897. He entered the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1915 and was ordained priest on June 20, 1928. A few years before his death on September 14, 1978, he was granted Filipino citizenship by virtue of Presidential Decree. Rev. Fr. Willmann was the first District Deputy of the Philippine District from 1947 to 1953. Then on March 1, 1954, he was designated Territorial Deputy. And in 1962, he was named Philippine Deputy.
SIR Knight Sofronio R. Cruz is the 6th State Deputy of the Mindanao Jurisdiction. He was appointed for a term of two years by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson since July 1, 2007. A knight of 48 years, Bro. Cruz was tasked “to serve and not to be served” the more than 67,000 brother knights in Catholic Mindanao. Born on March 11, 1930, “Bro. Ponying” as he is fondly called took up his elementary education in his native place, Hagonoy, Bulacan. He graduated from high school at
Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows
DURING the Centennial Birth Anniversary celebration in 1997 of Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J., the father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, the KC Foundation launched the “Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows” as a fund-raising campaign to establish a fund that will support the canonical process for the possible elevation of Fr. Willmann to the honors of the altar. Membership to the Fr. Willmann Fellows is open to Knights of Columbus councils, members, their families, friends, business institutions and to the general public. As of September 31, 2007 there are 1,002 individuals and 32 institutions nationwide that have joined this fellowship. Father Willmann Fellows are cosponsors in the work of spreading the word about his life, ministry and holiness. The one-time monetary donation of P1,000 or more is a lifetime subscription to the initiative of the Knights of Columbus of promoting awareness on Father Willmann so that authentic devotion to him may be encouraged among the faithful, especially those who need his intercession for God’s graces. The process of beatification is long and tedious. But the support of Fr. Willmann Fellows will definitely pave the way towards this end. It is of course only through faith and prayer that God will hear our petition that Fr. Willmann might someday be raised to the honors of the altar. We therefore cordially invite you and your loved ones to join the Father Willmann Fellows. Aside from being an advocate in spreading the sanctity of Father Willmann and the graces that come with it, each Fellow is entitled to receive the following items as memorabilia: (1) a certificate of membership, (2) a lapel pin, and (3) a pamphlet, entitled, “A Quest for a Cause of Father George J. Willmann, S.J.” We urge you also to seek Fr. Willmann’s intercession in all your petitions for God’s graces and to report to the Foundation all blessings you have received. Application forms are available at the KC Foundation Office of the Knights of Columbus Fr. Willmann Center, General Luna corner Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila. (Denise C. Solina)
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