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Pope concludes Year of Faith preaching ‘centrality of Christ’

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Synopsis of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium’

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Use social media power to transform digital world, young people told
TODAY’S young people have in them the power to transform the internet as a place of solidarity if they use their online presence to support one another, the secretary of the Pontifical Commission on Social Communication, said. “You are the people that make up the social media. You are the people that make up the community of the internet. Use your power, your voice, your talents, your abiliTransform / A6

Tagle tells Yolanda survivors: There is hope in the midst of tragedy
By Jennifer Orillaza
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, in a series of reflections delivered during the Prayer Service and Holy Hour for the thousands of people who suffered the wrath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, urged the Filipino faithful to continuously seek the Lord as they begin to rebuild their lives. “We have seen pictures of raging waters, houses, and trees. We have seen lives devastated (by this wrathful storm). Could we keep ourselves from worrying? Is the Lord really enough?” Tagle said in the vernacular at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish last Nov. 16. “My brothers and sisters…the Lord listened because it is in Jesus’ heart that all of our pain and sufferings are stored…There is an answer to all of our prayers, there is an answer to all of the things we seek. Through the voice of Jesus, the Lord will listen,” he said. Super Typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc in Central Visayas last November 8, leaving thousands of Filipinos dead and millions affected. As of Nov. 27, the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that the Yolanda death toll stood at 5,500, with 26,136 people injured and 1,757 still missing. The report also stated that 2,145,359 families or 9,996,065 people suffered
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November 24 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

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RISING from the shambles caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda may be a struggle for some, but not for Filipinos who never forget to call on the Lord in times of hopelessness and despair.

Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission on Social Communication (inset) delivers a talk on “The Church in the Digital World” to about 400 participants composed of students, seminarians, clergy, religious sisters and parish youth ministers during the Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0 at the Colegio de San Juan Letran College, Nov. 23, 2013.

‘Evangelii Gaudium’ (The Joy of the Gospel) Released Nov. 26
Pope Francis First Apostolic Exhortation Presented by Holy See
VATICAN City—Pope Francis’ highly anticipated Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel, was released Nov. 26 by the Holy See. The first Exhortation of the Holy Father’s pontificate, Evangelii Gaudium “develops the theme of the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world. In a press conference held Nov. 26 at the Holy See Press Office, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, presented the Exhortation. Also present at the conference was Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication. Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists that the Pope’s exhortation was originally translated in Spanish and, subsequently, translated in all other languages. The Holy Father began writing in August and based ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ on the suggestions made by Synod Fathers after last year’s Synod of Bishops on ‘The New Evangelization for the Transmission of Faith.’ During the press conference, Archbishop Fisichella noted Pope Francis’ call to seize with enthusiasm “a new phase in the journey of evangelization.” “Pope Francis offers this document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future,” he said. It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges.” Two major themes articulate the Holy Father’s call for a missionary action of the Church: addressing the cultural challenges of individual Churches and a common denominator so that all evangelizers may follow a common methodology. One of the notable aspects of the Apostolic Exhortation is the language it is written in. A language, Archbishop Celli noted that “is the simple, familiar and direct language which has been the hallmark of the style that has emerged in the months of his pontificate.” Commenting on this aspect, Archbishop Fisichella said through this method of writing, Pope Francis wished to show that it is not only about the contents of faith, but rather “the language we use to express faith.” In article 41, Pope Francis stated that in listening to completely orthodox lanEvangelii Gaudium / A6

Vatican official joins PHL Church at ‘Year of Faith’ closing
IN a timely gesture of solidarity with the Philippine Church a Vatican official was in the country recently to give a talk on Catholic social media, as well as to celebrate holy mass as an apt closing to the ‘Year of Faith’, Nov. 24. “We need to listen to [people online], talk to them and encourage them in their journey of faith,” said Pontifical Council for Social Communications Secretary Msgr. Paul Tighe, who was the keynote speaker for the Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0, which was held at the Colegio San Juan de Letran last November 23 to 24. Faith is central During his keynote speech, Msgr. Tighe, the brains behind the papal Twitter account, @ Pontifex, stressed the centrality of the message of faith to Catholics’ online presence. Fittingly, after the holy mass, which also celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King, some 400 participants from various youth ministries, schools, publications, religious congregations and dioceses recommitted themselves to spreading the Good News through social media, which they symbolized by wearing small, wooden crosses around their necks. Across the country, different themes colored celebrations of the ‘Year of Faith’ closing like in the Diocese of Tarlac, which marked its golden Jubilee, while also remembering the victims and deceased of the recent calamities like super typhoon ‘Yolanda’. ‘A lot to be thankful for’ “After such calamities, Tarlac was hit by typhoon ‘Santi’, the earthquake in Bohol, then super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, there’s a lot to thank God for. Although many died, we pray for them. That’s the context of our celebraVatican / A6

‘Year of Faith’ strengthened, renewed Palma commends Pinoys’ indomitable spirit amid adversity devotion of Catholic faithful—bishop
AS the celebration of the Year of Faith ended Nov. 24, a Catholic bishop emphasized its nourishing effects to the spiritual life of the Catholic faithful, noting that it was a period that “strengthened, confirmed, and renewed our Catholic faith in the God of love.” In a pastoral letter, Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera said the Year of Faith celebration, which started on October 11 last year, helped the faithful to appreciate more God’s gift of faith and ponder upon how it gives meaning and enriches their lives. “One of the fruits of the Year of Faith is that it has given us an

Typhoon survivors pray inside the destroyed Sto. Niño Shrine in Tacloban.

THE recent calamities that struck the country may have severely tried the faith of Filipinos, but

these also demonstrated their indomitable spirit amid adSpirit / A6

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Illustration by Brothers Matias

accurate and updated picture of the faith status of the Catholic faithful…We are also able to discern the kind of faith we should aspire for and the triple duties that we must assume,” Garcera said. “We started with the desire to see Jesus; we end with the gifts of seeing Him in our lives, in the Church, in our society, in the face of our neighbor, in our brokenness and sinfulness, in the calamities that struck our country and in the whole of creation,” he added. Garcera noted the need to “fan into flame” the faith of the Catholic faithful through ad -

Post ‘Godfies’ instead of selfies on social media
AT a time when “selfie” has been considered the word of the year, Catholics are urged to refrain from joining the bandwagon and to create a new trend instead. Fr. Stephen Cuyos has urged Catho lics present on social

Roy Lagarde

Roy Lagarde

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CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Vatican, Google team up to bring ancient Christian catacombs to light
VATICAN City, Nov. 20, 2013—Early Christian burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican. “This is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity and modernity,” said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi Nov. 19, at a news conference at the Catacombs of Priscilla in northeast Rome. The cardinal, president of both the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, lauded recent restoration work by the archaeological commission inside the complex of early Christian tombs. Using advanced laser techniques, restorers have uncovered vivid late fourth-century frescoes depicting Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and Sts. Peter and Paul accompanying Christians into the afterlife. Jesus’ face resembles portraits of the Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christian worship in 313. Cardinal Ravasi also heralded the Nov. 19 debut of the catacombs on Google’s Street View feature, a project he said had grown out of a conversation he had with the Internet giant’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. Users of Google Maps can now click the “see-inside” option for the catacombs, which allows them to move virtually through the narrow corridors tunneled out of soft tufa stone, and to see high-resolution images of the interiors from practically every angle. The brilliantly lit views are in startling contrast to the shadowy reality of an in-person visit. Google’s Giorgia Abeltino told reporters that almost the entire eightmile complex of catacombs is now accessible online. A fragment from an ancient marble sarcophagus is pictured in However, there is no a new museum in the reconstructed 4th-century Basilica of St. underground map Sylvester above the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome. to let users know exactly what they are seeing. fragments of ancient marble sarcophagi, Also Nov. 19, Google launched a also recently restored. A glass floor Street View of the catacombs of the offers illuminated views of the sites of Ipogeo di via Dino Compagni, located ancient tombs below. in southeast Rome. The catacombs are Msgr. Giovanni Carru, secretary of privately owned and not open to the the Vatican’s archaeological commispublic, so the virtual mode is the only sion, said the restorations had made way to visit them. the Catacombs of Priscilla a “privileged The news conference at the Cata- course” for pilgrims to Rome, helping combs of Priscilla was held above them to appreciate these “dark places ground in the reconstructed fourth- that were lit up by the emblematic century Basilica of St. Sylvester, where and paradigmatic stories of salvation” a new museum displays hundred of painted on their walls. (CNS)

Vatican Briefing
Pope’s document hailed as reshaping modern evangelization

In his first apostolic exhortation, the uncommonly simple terminology of Pope Francis brings a fresh approach to the new evangelization, also giving a decisive direction to the Church’s mission, say Vatican officials. “Pope Francis speaks in a direct way, easy, communicative, in a way that quickly reaches the hearts and the minds of people,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella in a Nov. 26 interview with CNA. Archbishop Fisichella is the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and was present at the Nov. 26 press conference detailing the new document. The apostolic exhortation, known as “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel) follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the new evangelization, held as part of the Year of Faith. Released Nov. 26, the papal document stressed in particular the need for Christian joy in the Church’s work of sharing the Gospel with all people. (CNA)
Pope backs male priesthood, urges ‘feminine genius’ in Church

Pope Francis reaffirmed Catholic teaching on male priesthood in his first apostolic exhortation, while calling for a broader application of the “feminine genius” in Church life. “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion,” he said, “but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.” The Pope’s words came in his new document, “The Joy of the Gospel,” released Nov. 26. Also known as “Evangelii Gaudium,” the apostolic exhortation follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the new evangelization, which was held as part of the Year of Faith. “Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded.” (CNA)
Pope: Church’s teaching on abortion is unchangeable

Paul Haring/CNS

In Central African Republic, thousands turn to bishop for protection
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013—More than 35,000 people are living on the 40acre diocesan compound in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, seeking protection from rebels who are targeting Christians, said the local bishop. “The priests have been sharing their rooms in their private apartments,” said Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa, who visited Washington in midNovember. “The only place that has not been used is my private apartment.” Bishop Nongo told Catholic News Service he closed the minor seminary, which is now used as a shelter, and the pastoral center has been destroyed. He said the Catholic aid agency Caritas has an office in the compound, but people also live in the office. The people began coming Sept. 8 to escape attacks by rebels of the Seleka alliance, most of whom are foreign mercenaries and do not speak the local language. The rebels are predominantly Muslim; Central African Republic is about 85 percent Christian and 12 percent Muslim. Bishop Nongo said the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services sent emergency help in mid-September, and the World Food Program sent help in late September, “but it is not really enough.” Most of the people in the diocesan compound are women and children, the bishop said. To protect their families, the men do not stay, fearing they will attract rebel soldiers, who will accuse them of being members of civilian defense forces and kill them. The bishop said the women have been risking rape and attacks to go out to their farms to harvest food, but soon all the crops will be

In his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis explained that the Church can never change its teaching on abortion, which is part of a broader understanding of human dignity. At the same time, he said in the document released Nov. 26, the Church must increase efforts to “accompany” women in difficult pregnancies. “Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question,” the Pope said of abortion. “I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.” (CNA)
Pope Francis calls a traditionalist writer who criticized him

A woman washes clothes near makeshift tents Nov. 9 on the 40acre diocesan compound in Bossangoa, Central African Republic. Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa says more than 35,000 people are living on the compound, seeking protection from rebels targeting Christians.

gone, and the next planting season is May and June. The bishop spoke to Catholic News Service Nov. 19, after testifying about his situation before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. He told CNS when he called his vicar general early that morning, he learned that, the previous night, rebels had surrounded the diocesan compound and threatened those inside with a rocket attack. “So, last night, nobody could sleep,” he said. Bishop Nongo said that, every day, he receives messages from villages about violence and abuse. The people are “turning to me” to solve their problems, but “I’m not the government,” he said. He added that he passes along the information, but nothing happens. “I’m helpless,” he told CNS. He said that before he left Nov. 13, he did not mention his trip to the displaced residents, because he did not want to frighten them. “As they saw me (leaving) in the car ... some started weeping,” he said.

In his testimony submitted to the House subcommittee, Bishop Nongo said Seleka was pitting the country’s Christian and Muslim citizens against each other. “Seleka’s violent attacks have targeted Christian homes, schools and places of worship while sparing local Muslim communities and mosques, often only a short distance away,” he said. “Christian communities have now begun to set up selfdefense militia to fight back. Sadly, there are reports that they are attacking Muslim communities in retribution.” He testified that when Seleka militia raid villages and steal livestock, they pass it on to Muslim herders, since herding is part of their shared culture. “Inevitably, Christians see local Muslims herding the cattle that Seleka stole from them,” he said in his testimony. “This has left some Christians to believe the Central African Muslim community is in league with the Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries and is benefitting from Christian losses.” He added that had possible internal ramifications even if the mercenaries left the country.

Since the March coup in which Seleka rebels overthrew the government, about 440,000 citizens have been displaced, the bishop said, “and no one knows how many people have died.” “The road south to the capital, Bangui, over 200 miles away, is deserted,” he said in his testimony. “Villagers have fled to escape the attacks, mass killings, rape and plundering perpetrated by the roaming groups of Seleka militia,” who have divided up the country and established regional control. He said interim president Michel Djotodia, who led the March coup, formally dissolved the Seleka alliance in an effort to end the violence, but “he has no formal army to enforce peace and security.” The bishop urged congressional leaders to work with France, the African Union and the U.N. to provide immediate assistance to help secure the country and “compel Seleka forces to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate into society or return to their home countries.” He also asked them to fund humanitarian assistance and a “transition process to a legitimate, democratically elected government.” He noted the country would need continued assistance for years and asked them to rally the international community. After his testimony, Bishop Nongo was headed home to continue to provide his people with support and to work with local Muslim leaders. He told CNS that when Christians see atrocities, the temptation for retaliation was great. But he said both Muslims and Christians are victims of Seleka, and he tells his people, “Never give in to such temptation.” (CNS)

Courtesy Bishop Nongo/CNS

Mario Palmaro, a traditionalist writer who co-authored an article critical of Pope Francis, received a phone call Nov.1 from the Pope himself, who knew that the writer is suffering from a grave illness. Palmaro shared with CNA Nov. 22 that “Pope Francis wanted to act as a priest; yet he is a very special priest and bishop, by calling me and paying attention to my health condition.” According to Palmaro, one of the features of the new pontificate is “the Pope’s phone calls to people, who luckily represent many other people who do not receive a papal phone call.” “It is the kind of attention Pope Francis wants to show for sick people.” “He just wanted to tell me that he is praying for me,” Palmaro explained of the Pope. (CNA)
Pope Francis blesses man with severely disfigured face

Continuing his efforts to promote a “culture of encounter” with the disabled, Pope Francis again embraced a severely disfigured man after his Nov. 20 weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope spoke with a man who lacks facial features, embraced him and gave him a blessing. Pope Francis then smiled at the man, kissed him and gestured toward the sky in the midst of a crowded square. The cause of the man’s disfigurement was not known. His identity is also not known, the British newspaper The Daily Mail reports. It is the second time this month that the Pope’s hospitality towards the disfigured has drawn public attention. (CNA)
In document, pope lays out his vision for an evangelical church

In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and the unborn. “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), released by the Vatican Nov. 26, is an apostolic exhortation, one of the most authoritative categories of papal document. (Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” published in July, was mostly the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.) The pope wrote the new document in response to the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, but declined to work from a draft provided by synod officials. Pope Francis’ voice is unmistakable in the 50,000-word document’s relatively relaxed style—he writes that an “evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!”—and its emphasis on some of his signature themes, including the dangers of economic globalization and “spiritual worldliness.” (CNS)
Pope, at audience, says he goes to confession every two weeks

Pope Francis said he goes to confession every two weeks, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who repent, but also knowing that having a priest say “I absolve you” reinforces belief in God’s mercy. Using the literal Italian translation of a Spanish saying, “It’s better to turn red once than yellow a thousand times,” Pope Francis said he knows some people are embarrassed to confess their sins to a priest, but it is the best path to spiritual healing and health. At his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 20, Pope Francis reflected on the forgiveness of sins as one of the missions Jesus entrusted to his apostles and their successors. (CNS)
Pope prescribes daily rosary for what ails you

Pope Francis admitted he wasn’t a pharmacist, but he didn’t hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together: the rosary. “I want to recommend some medicine for all of you,” the pope said Nov. 17 at the end of his Sunday Angelus address. “It’s a spiritual medicine.” Holding up a white medicine box with an anatomical drawing of the human heart on it, Pope Francis told some 80,000 people gathered for the midday prayer that the boxes contained a rosary. “Don’t forget to take it,” he said. “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (CNS)

Year of Faith: thousands of Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists join Christ the King procession
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Nov. 25, 2013—Thousands of Nepali Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists on Saturday took part in Christ the King procession organized by the Catholic Church in Kathmandu to mark the closing of the Year of Faith, which ended with a solemn Mass in St Peter’s Square. Participants, who took time off work, showed “great devotion”, local sources said, at a time of great tension due to the recent elections to the Constituent Assembly. Priests, religious, lay people and non-Christians walked from St Mary of the Assumption School to the church, reciting the Rosary and hymns, carrying candles, images of Jesus with passages from the Bible. For the occasion, the local church used an open car that carried the diocesan vicar, Fr. Pius Perumana, dressed in solemn garments, at the helm of procession. Catholics from Kathmandu but also Godavari and Lubhu Baniyatar attended the celebration, walking in the procession with flags and banners. “It was such a thrill to be in the Christ the King procession. For me, it was a time to glorify Jesus and strengthen my faith in God,” Soni Rana, a young 18-year-old Catholic woman from Baniyatar (a northern suburb of Kathmandu), told AsiaNews. A year ago, she attended a service for the start of the Year of Faith. For her, this was a crucial time of prayer and reflection, as well as for her family and her friends. After the fall of the monarchy in 2006, Nepal saw a gradual opening to religions other than Hinduism, which had once been persecuted. After Maoists came to power (2008), several Hindu extremist groups attacked religious minorities. The most serious was carried out against Kathmandu’s Assumption Cathedral on 23 May 2009, which left two people dead. Although proselytizing is banned, the government made Christmas a national holiday in 2012 to boost tourism. Christians were allowed to show their sacred images and ornaments in stores and outside of churches and homes and to organize processions. This visibility has prompted many non-Christians to seek baptism. Currently, there are 10,000 Catholics in Nepal, 4,000 more than in 2006, the year the state became secular. (AsiaNews)

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Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

News Features
ering “the beauty of the journey of faith begun on the day of our baptism.” In an unprecedented gesture, Pope Francis had the reliquary containing the bones of St. Peter brought out to the square. Pope Francis stood clutching the bronze box holding the bones of the first Pope, his head bowed low as throngs of Christians proclaimed their faith in the Son of God made incarnate. The Pope had also expressed his gratitude for the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches who were present at today’s Mass, saying, “the exchange of peace which I will share with them is above all a sign of the appreciation of the Bishop of Rome for these communities which have confessed the name of Christ with exemplary faithfulness, often at a high price.” “Christ, the descendant of King David, is the ‘brother’ around whom God’s people come together.” Thus, “to him we can bring the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and troubles which are part of our lives,” he encouraged. “When Jesus is the center, light shines even amid the darkest times of our lives; he gives us hope,” just as he did to the “good thief” on the cross, who begged, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” “Remember me. Jesus, remember me,” Pope Francis repeated. “Let us take a moment to repeat these words in the silence of our hearts,” he told the congregation. “The Lord always grants more than what he has been asked: you ask him to remember you, and he brings you into his Kingdom!” the Pope exclaimed.

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At the conclusion of the Mass, Pope Francis distributed copies of his new apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” to 36 representatives of diverse groups in the Church, including clerics, catechists, families, religious, artists, and journalists. He then thanked Archbishop Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, and his collaborators for their work during the Year of Faith. The pontiff led the congregation in the traditional Angelus Prayer, remembering in a special way those Christians around the world who are persecuted and suffering. “There are many!” he reminded those in attendance. Prior to Mass, a special collection was taken up for those in the Philippines affected by the recent typhoon. (CNA)

Pope concludes Year of Faith preaching ‘centrality of Christ’
VATICAN City, Nov. 24, 2013— In his homily at Sunday Mass on the Feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis emphasized Jesus’ crucial place in creation, history, and the Church. “The attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words, and in our works,” he preached to a crowded St. Peter’s Square on Nov. 24. The many pilgrims who had come to celebrate the close of the Year of Faith listened attentively as he continued, “When this center is lost, when it is replaced by something else, only harm can result for everything around us and for ourselves.” This historic Mass at the “crowning of the liturgical year” marked not only the conclusion of a year dedicated to rediscovwww.catholicnewsagency.com

Pope Francis venerates the relics of St. Peter on November 24, 2013.

Such a witness for Christ is the call of every Christian, since Jesus “is the center of all things.” “In him, through him, and for him all things were created,” explained the pontiff. But Jesus is not only divinely transcendent: he became human, caring “for his people, for all of

us, even at the price of his life.” Reflecting on the Old Testament scriptures, Pope Francis noted that “in searching for an ideal king, the people were seeking God himself: a God who would be close to them, who would accompany them on their journey, who would be a brother to them.”

Asking God ‘why’ attracts his fatherly love, Sectoral groups support people’s initiative vs ‘pork’ scheme pope tells Filipinos
VATICAN City, Nov. 22, 2013—In the midst of a disaster, it is natural and perfectly healthy to ask God why, Pope Francis told members of Rome’s Philippine community. Referring to the death and destruction Super Typhoon Haiyan caused in the central Philippines in early November, Pope Francis said, “Why do these things happen? It can’t be explained. There are many things that we cannot understand.” The Philippine community had gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica Nov. 21 to formally place a mosaic of St. Pedro Calungsod in the grotto under the church. The ceremony, planned months ago, turned into a prayer service for the deceased and the survivors of the typhoon. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led the prayers, speaking not only of the sorrow and suffering the mega-storm caused, but also of the faith, love and solidarity evident in its aftermath. Joining the pilgrims, Pope Francis thanked the cardinal for his “words full of faith, full of pain, full of hope.” The pope, who asked that a collection for the victims be taken up at his Nov. 24 Mass closing the Year of Faith, said he has followed the situation in the Philippines closely. T h e question of why there are natural disasters is something he said he also asks. Pope Francis and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila (right) But, then, take a moment to pray before the mosaic of St. Pedro Calungsod t h e p o p e in St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 21, 2013. said, he thinks of swer from his father or In times of trouble, children who are just mother,” but just adds the pope told the Philstarting to understand more questions. ippine community, that there are things In effect, the child is “never tire of asking they don’t understand. seeking attention from ‘why’ like a child. That They start asking their his mother or father way, you will turn the parents, “Why? Why? more than answers, the gaze of our father to Why?” pope said. “He needs your people; you will Often enough, he his parents’ eyes, their attract the tenderness said, “the child does hearts, to be focused on of our heavenly fanot wait for an an- him.” ther.” (CNS)

Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

Various sectors are coming together to mobilize electorates for signature campaign in a bid to scrap all forms of pork barrel.

‘Sex ed’ will lead youth to culture of contraception, promiscuity—life advocate
MANILA, Nov. 19, 2013—With the impending implementation of sex education in the country as mandated by the Reproductive Health (RH) law, life advocates fear that sexuality courses will only expose the youth to a culture of contraception, leading them to become more promiscuous in handling relationships. Rolando Delos Reyes, Pro-Life Philippines Board Member, said that exposing the Filipino youth to the intricacies of human sexuality and relationships at a young age will just lead them to the absorption of distorted ideals that do not go hand-in-hand with the teachings of the Catholic Church. “Proponents of sex education are just complicating things that are supposed to be simple. (It is just as basic as) there must be no sex before marriage,” Delos Reyes said during the Pro-Life Seminar Series on Sex Education and the Media held at the Our Lady of Loreto Church in Manila. Citing the National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES), which according to him would most probably be the basis of the sex education curriculum being prepared by the Department of Education (DepEd), Delos Reyes expressed fears that the sexuality courses might just derail the conservative teachings of the church on family and sexual identity. The NSES is the curriculum model prepared by medical and academic experts in teaching sex education in American public schools. It aims to “provide clear, consistent, and straightforward guidance on the essential minimum, core content for sexuality education that is developmentally and age-appropriate for students in grades Kindergarten through grade 12.” Distortion of values Delos Reyes criticized some of the core concepts present in the NSES, noting that they only sow confusion on how the Filipino youth must perceive familial ties and sexual identity. According to the NSES, students in kinder to grade two will be taught to “identify the different kinds of fam“That is how you are made and God designed you to be either a man or a woman. If you don’t like what you are given, you have to wrestle with it. Wrestle it with a counselor, wrestle it with your teacher or parents, but you have to accept what it is,” he added. Attack against family, identity Delos Reyes said that the implementation of sex education not in line with Catholic teachings damages the faithful’s values regarding the family and the self, primarily because of the inclusion of lessons pertaining to contraception and same-sex attraction. “We have to realize that they attack the family first and then the identity of the person. The enemy of our soul wants to destroy the family because when we destroy the family, we also destroy the identity of the person,” he said. He emphasized the importance of keeping a family whole together, noting that the father and the mother provide the first male and female figure to be inculcated in the minds of their children. “It is important for a family to be whole— composed of male and female parents—in order to provide the child’s identity its needed holistic growth,” he said. “The first perception of the child regarding man is being modeled by the father and if the mother is the first female in the life of her child, whatever perception the child will have to a female will be rooted with the relationship it has with its mother,” he said. The same applies with a child’s perception on relationships, Delos Reyes said. “The first relationship seen by the child is the relationship of the mother and the father. Whatever it is that the child sees will be the basis of how he or she will relate to others. This is why it is very important for the family to be complete.” He also noted that the task of educating students about sex does not fall on educators. Rather, it is a task that must be shouldered by parents to ensure proper guidance in the way their child would understand sexual concepts. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Rolando Delos Reyes, Pro-Life Philippines Board Member fears the government mandated sex education in schools will counter Church’s teachings on the sanctity of marriage and family.

Church’s intervention to state affairs is done out of moral guidance—priest
MANILA, Nov. 17, 2013—The Church’s active intervention to the political affairs of the state must not be misconstrued by Filipinos as a form of nosy intrusion, rather it must be perceived as moral guidance done by the church as part of its evangelizing mission, a Catholic priest said on Saturday. Fr. Nonong Fajardo, viceconvenor of the advocacy group October Movement (OM) calling for the abolition of the grafttainted pork-barrel scheme through a people’s initiative, said that the church has the responsibility to speak out whenever societal issues affect, in one way or another, the morality of the people. “(The issue of the pork barrel) is a moral problem that whoever believes in the existence of both good and evil must speak,” Fajardo said in a chance interview during the Unity Forum against the Pork Barrel held at the Adamson University. “It just so happened that the church, which represents that moral sector, has become convinced on how extreme this issue has become, resulting to the active participation it has shown,” he said. But regardless of one’s religious affiliations, Fajardo said that being a Filipino entitles priests, bishops, and all ordained members of the church to speak out and criticize the mistakes committed by country officials. “Let us just put the context to our being Filipino. We are speaking as Filipinos and you should not categorize us for we have the same rights as anybody,” he said. “We want to speak for our country. If you remove that basic right from us then that would be a problem.” The priest noted that concerned citizens must actively voice their opinion for those in authority to realize their mistakes that caused injustice to the country and its people. “Even if you are not an ordained minister, you have to speak whenever you notice wrongdoings being committed by those in position. If you won’t speak, then I already do not know what kind of apathy has struck you,” he added. Fajardo, who is also a housing consultant for Caritas Manila and director of the Adamson University Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES), criticized the government for the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam involving lawmakers who allegedly channel their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus organizations and foundations in exchange of hefty kickbacks. “We would like to change the system for we have seen that it is where graft, corruption, and greed root from…The principle behind a victorious advocacy must not only be by yourself but through fostering cooperation among the confederation of the willing,” he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

ily structure and demonstrate ways to show respect to the different types of family.” Delos Reyes said that it is misleading to teach students about the different kinds of family structure for there is only one familial structure designed by God. “We should accept probably at this point that single parenthood (and other family structures) has become a reality…But what we are saying here is that it is not the design of God. The design of God is that parents should be complete—a father and a mother who will raise their children,” he added. The NSES also specifies that students in grades three to five will be taught to “define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or different gender.” Delos Reyes said that opening the minds of young individuals regarding same sex attraction might lead them to the perception that it as a societal norm deemed acceptable by the church. “I am also teaching about (gender issues) but I do so in the proper context. Meaning to say, it must be contextualized in the sense that no one is born gay or lesbian,” Delos Reyes, who also works as a guidance counselor, said.

MANILA, Nov. 17, 2013—Groups from different societal sectors unite to rally behind the move of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno for a People’s Initiative aiming to pass a law that would scrap all forms of pork barrel—including the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)—once signed by enough members of the Filipino electorate. October Movement (OM), a newlyformed coalition of grassroots-based and multi-sectoral organizations in the country, rallied support from different societal sectors in preparing for the initiative, which will commence through a people’s congress set early next year. Fr. Nonong Fajardo, vice-chairman of the OM convening group, said that the “coalition of the willing” to be held in January will signal the start of their collation of signatures for the proposed law that calls for the scrapping of all forms of discretionary funds in the country’s coffers. “The process (that we would like to implement) is systemic change. When we say systemic change, we have to start through small means that would later on develop into something big, eventually creating an alternative system,” Fajardo said in an interview during the Unity Forum against Pork Barrel held at the Adamson University on Saturday. “We have to start small, learn from it, replicate, institutionalize and make it a system that will confront the present that is doing harm to the Filipinos,” he added. Chiding legislators Fajardo noted that denominations who have vowed to support the movement have notably increased, with various sectors such as the church, labor, business, military, academe, and many others joining the movement. “The effort has gained a lot of support from various groups. The only thing we have to finalize is the mechanism to be implemented. If the petition will gain enough support in the referendum, we will be the first in the world to initiate change through a People’s Initiative process,” he said. The Cebu Coalition against the Pork Barrel System, another coalition composed of various sectoral groups,

also launched a signature campaign to support the People’s Initiative process in scrapping the pork barrel scheme. Fajardo also chided legislators who are expressing doubt over the capability of Filipinos to set off a People’s Initiative in calling for the abolition of the graft-tainted pork scheme. “It is saddening to realize that those officials whom we have voted into positions are the ones who do not believe in the capacity of the Filipino people. They have already segregated themselves from the people who have voted them,” Fajardo said. “They should not represent the Filipino people for it shows that they are sitting down in their offices for themselves and their families and not for the electorate. I hope that this time, they will see how these issues have gravely affected the country,” he added. Nothing to lose If ever the People’s Initiative process would fail to materialize, Fajardo said that Filipinos have nothing to lose because trying to mobilize an entire electorate toward a common cause is already a victory by itself. “I believe we have nothing to lose in this fight. If ever we fail in this initiative, we are still victorious for we are able to unite this mass movement together…It is a very good process because the process itself is the end,” he said, noting that mobilizing the people is the by-product of the People’s Initiative process. Fajardo noted that the important thing for those pushing the People’s Initiative is for them to awaken the public and show those in authority that Filipinos are united in standing against government corruption. “CJ (former chief justice) Puno said before that even if we fail in this fight, we should still be proud for trying to mobilize millions of people who are united in pushing for a common cause. Who wouldn’t be afraid of such crowd size?” he said. “I believe in the capacity of the Filipinos to rise up. Rising up does not mean simply getting out of poverty, but making poverty a footprint that will only be in the past. I want to see any Filipino who can stand hand-inhand with any country and any race,” he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Jennifer Orillaza

Jennifer Orillaza

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EDITORIAL

Opinion
Evangelii Gaudium

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

“THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come,” thus opens the first Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis titled Evangelii Gaudium, issued on November 26, while many of our Visayan faithful are still reeling from the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda—which, though how fatally devastating, “… has not destroyed our faith and trust in God,” or so says Borongan bishop Crispin Varquez in his Youtube message circulating in social media. One thinks that the Filipino context of devastation and utter poverty might be a better locus for deeply understanding the Pope’s exhortation. At a certain angle, this 84-page document treads along the path of the preferential option for the poor which, he says, should not be regarded as something ideological but as an authentic conviction to love the poor person precisely as a person. “This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor, they have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them.” Referring to how the church should become in its pilgrimage towards renewal, Pope Francis stressed what he has earlier said: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” This is right in the ambit of a Visayan bishop who told the press of late that his overarching priority was the restoration of people’s lives and not the churches that have been seriously ruined by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake or the super typhoon. In this document, the Pope, appealing in the simplicity of a father and a pastor, calls all Christians to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” by opening their hearts each day to God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. He points out that the great danger in today’s consumer society is “the desolation and anguish” that comes from a “covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience” that ends up having “no longer room for others, no place for the poor.” The Holy Father presented a “profound connection between evangelization and human development,” saying that the “Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God” but rather about its clear social content, which actually defines what makes one joyful in living the Gospel. This Apostolic Exhortation concludes by turning to Mary, the star of the new evangelization, pointing out that her “interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization.”

Social conscience
“BUDHI” making a “Bulong” urging an “Utos”—this is “consciencia” in the common understanding of Filipinos. In other words, conscience is an inner voice urging every individual still imbued with ethical values and/or still subscribing to moral norms, to do what is right and proper as well as to avoid doing what is wrong or bad. The shameful and detestable opposite of the reality of conscience is precisely its absence—along the line of the tirade “Wala kang consciencia!” Such a reprimand is neither readily made by someone about another nor readily accepted by the person object thereof. This is said when somebody appears to have already lost the sense of what is good or evil, what is right or wrong. And this makes the individual concerned a danger to his neighbors, a liability to others, a debit to society. Reason: Just as no one can be good

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
this reason, they are all threats to others, all dangers to society. In the same way, individuals with upright conscience and consequent righteous and honorable behavioral patterns—they are big moral assets to their families and friends, to their co-workers and other in general. The highly negative features of “Yolanda,” that not only destroyed everything on its way but also killed men, women, and children on its path, continues to appeal to the “Social Conscience” of people spared by the really terrible calamity brought about by the extraordinarily cruel typhoon. So is it that just as millions of Filipinos are the victims thereof, millions of people, too—in and out of the country—have been responding to their cry for help. Would that the “Social Conscience” of people the world over continues to affirm and promote the mandate of human solidarity.

The Spirit of the New Evangelization
IN the view of Pope John Paul II, a New Evangelization is needed in our day “in order to revitalize the faith, give a new dynamism to the building up of the Church, draw near to the unity which Christ desires for his disciples and respond to the expectations of the human person…” (John Paul II, Plenary Meeting of the Council for the Laity, 23 November 1990) This Evangelization is also termed “new” because its origin comes from God’s utterly new revelation of his Trinitarian love for mankind and which places a responsibility upon pastors to renew their zeal, their methods and expression of the Gospel message in the light of the new circumstances. The New Evangelization is linked to the struggle for a just society since it carries a message of evangelical liberation calling for the “conversion of the hearts and minds of those who live under systems of oppression and of those who have control of those systems” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 36). Inevitably, evangelization brings about an encounter between two cultures: the culture of the Church founded on God’s agape: love and the culture of mankind which is founded on self-interest. Here we recall St. Augustine’s interpretation of human society with its dualistic impulses: either to set up the City of Man or the City of God. If today the confrontation between the Church and society is less provocative of change, should we not be bothered enough to examine whether the Church has so subtly been domesticated by economic and political interests, as to have lost her effectiveness to be a sign of contradiction? A suffering, persecuted Church that produces martyrs might be nearer to the identity of the true Church than a comfortable, domesticated Church that only produces bureaucrats. It is the fidelity of the Church to give continuing witness to the scandal of the Cross that guarantees her autonomy and integrity in a secular world. Paradoxically, it is also guarantees that she will be understood universally even by unbelievers. It is the Church that is no longer a sign of contradiction that no longer preaches the scandal of Christ Crucified, that has become parochial, absorbed within a social or political system that is of no interest to the wider world. Is our handicap in evangelizing other Asian nations coming, not from the strangeness of the Gospel message, but from our identification with the parochial interests peculiar to our country? —Lifted from the Homily of Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP, during the opening of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, January 1991.

to nobody, no one, too, can be bad but to himself. In other words, the right or wrong done by someone has its equally good or bad impact on others, directly or indirectly. So it is that no matter how one looks at it, conscience cannot really be something purely personal, simply private—considering that the workings of conscience impact the sphere of realities and necessarily manifest their social dimension. The workings of one’s conscience cannot but have an effect on one’s family, neighborhood, and society that agent is a member of. This is to say that irrespective of whether someone is a good or evil person, this in fact has its direct or indirect repercussion on others around him. This is the phenomenon of “Social Conscience.” Professional gangsters, hardened criminals, thieves and all other categories of evil men and women—they can be rightfully considered as devoid of conscience. For

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

…and that’s the truth
THIS is to fulfill a promise made to a friend who emailed me— soliciting my comments—a 12-page document chronicling the liberal pronouncements of Pope Francis that have shocked, stunned, angered, and frightened certain Catholics because they are seen to give enemies and critics of the Church reason to rejoice. I promised to make those comments and for whatever they’re worth publish them in this column. I didn’t try to make a coherent, individual article out of it; as requested I merely typed my comments casually as the lengthy email unfolded. So here goes—for clarity, the quotations from Pope Francis are in bold type, my comments follow in regular font. “The Church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, little rules.” So what’s the fuss about? Note that Francis said SOMETIMES. He didn’t say ALWAYS. There could be some truth to that. Small things and little rules could worm their way into our consciousness until we, the Church, are so bogged down by the work of the Lord that we neglect the Lord of the work. It’s just a word of caution. “Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.” Now, Francis should have used the word “some” to refer to the “heads of the Church”. Without that “some”, this statement sounds generalizing, ergo, unfair. Francis here probably has in mind certain heads of the Church—for doesn’t that happen sometimes to anyone who speaks and gets carried away? Or maybe he did say “some heads” but the reporter dropped it. Forgive him, and look around.

Defending Francis
Do we not also see some Church leaders who are just as Francis says, “narcissistic, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers”? If we’re honest enough we might even add more adjectives in the same vein. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” How touchy could we get about this? Perhaps Francis is seeing something off-balance, some flaws in the pro-lifers’ approach, who knows? It’s just a remark—he didn’t make an encyclical around it, so take it as a challenge to examine ourselves. Sometimes we pro-lifers do something counter-productive, too, like in-fighting, an indication that our zeal is misguided. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.” I see nothing wrong with that statement, except that for me, balance is balance, no such thing as “new” or “old”, and balance translates to equanimity, a grace we receive when we (as Mary says in Cana) “do as He tells you to do.” “The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.” Fantastic! Any prophet would have said that. Priests, pastors and bishops ought to care for souls, and to be “at the service of the people of God.” What we ought to ask is, Why did
Whatever / A7

Economics and religion
THE other day, a posting in the social network caught my attention. It was an article lifted from a prestigious American magazine. It talked about the economic situation of our country. It was a well-researched essay, and the author sounded very knowledgeable about his stuff and had a very polite, scholarly style of writing. But it brought bad news for us. It was so bad that someone immediately commented in the social network that with the tragedies that we are having, he thought it was not yet the time for such article to be brought out. He said the article was like kicking someone who was already down on the ground. In gist, what the article said is that the Philippine economy is actually is a bubble created by the heavy pumping of money, the so-called quantitative easing (QE) by the US for the purpose, I suppose, of stimulating American, if not, the world economy. I confess that though I had economics as my collegiate course, I did not bother to

Fr. Roy Cimagala

www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Candidly Speaking
laws and theories, all very dynamic and malleable due to its very nature of being a social science, it cannot be held exclusively without relating it to other sciences and especially to our religion or faith or core beliefs. Economics can only demonstrate a certain part of our human reality. It certainly cannot have the last word in any human drama, though any human situation will always somehow include an economic dimension, just as it will also have some social, political, historical, cultural dimensions, etc. Yes, it’s true that the laws, theories and findings of economics have to be given due attention, and we should try to be very strict in this. But they are just one strand among many that make the rope of our whole proper understanding of events. Otherwise, we can fall into extreme, bizarre and sometimes funny conclusions that are way off the mark as history unfolds. Think, for example, of the Malthusian theory of population. If that were true,
Candidly Speaking / A7

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closely examine the very tenuous line of reasoning supported by all sorts of charts and data. I just gave it the benefit of the doubt that what it concluded is at least probable. In short, we are supposed to be in a very precarious situation economically, or that we are living in a bubble that can burst anytime and plunge us into some bitter reality. My consolation is that not many people are aware of this potential danger. In fact, if we are to believe our government economists, we seem to be awash with economic boom. But I have always held the belief that it is always prudent to hear all sides of a certain issue, no matter how ridiculous the views may be. That way, we can have a better, if not the global picture of the situation that can help us plot our strategies for the future. Obviously, we need to be discerning and discriminating before we make our conclusions, judgments and decisions. Of course, as priest, I cannot enter much into the technicalities of the issue, but what I can say is that while economics has its

Illustration by Brothers Matias

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Opinion
Confessions of a super typhoon survivor
sitates, it is told that a boy asked his father, “Tatay, people are into panic buying. Why are we here doing nothing?” the father thoughtfully answered, “Don’t worry, son. We also have ‘panic,’ we just don’t having ‘buying’.” Other people do think odd when we smile or laugh in the middle of debris and ruins, but Pinoy humor comes in handy when we are trying to cope with enormous tragedies, such as the one we have been through. When we laugh together while we cry over the loss of our loved ones and our properties, we recommit ourselves to life and sanity. Tragedy has a way of making psychological wrecks out of people. But thanks to Pinoy humor, we have a way of breaking out of the grip of shock and trauma. 4. Tragedy tests faith but ironically also serves to refine and increase it. I can still see the pain in people’s eyes behind unasked question: “We prayed so much to be spared of this super typhoon, but why did God not hear our prayers?” Many times I feel tempted to do a Fr. Merino, my OT professor who was wont to say to a difficult situation, “Wait till I meet God, I’ll ask him that myself.” For us in Lalawigan, our prayer vigils bore fruit in the super typhoon not causing us as much destruction as we expected. Except for houses and cottages on our shoreline that were either crushed or blown away, most of our houses and coconut trees are still standing, though battered, bruised or twisted. Most of all, we had zero casualty. As I stood to face the community at Mass on the Sunday after Super Typhoon Yolanda’s violent invasion, I said, “I am just so happy to see you all here, alive and well. Indeed the Holy Eucharist now has a special reason for its celebration. Let’s thank the Lord from our hearts for the gifts of life-preservation and protection.” No one objected. Some were in tears over the simple realization that we could have suffered a worse plight (we could have been physically absent on that Sunday morning Mass), if not for God’s merciful response to our prayers. 5. Credit grabbing and playing blame game may advance or ruin someone’s political career but both will further victimize the victims themselves. To be fair, politicians are among the first to be called upon in tragedy and also among the first to respond to it. It is perfectly understandable that these same politicians have rivalries and enmities build up through the years. But to use the tragedy of Super Typhoon Yolanda to feed bloated but false information on the number of casualties and the extent of destruction to generate media mileage is the height of inhumanity and insensitivity. For example, a priest from Guiuan was so distressed to hear his hometown suffered 1000 casualties (who would have fed an information like that to media people unless he had the power and the means?) that he had to, as it were, move heaven and earth, with his motorcycle, through road debris to see if his mother and siblings survived. He was grateful they all did. He was happily surprised, too, that casualties amounted to less than 100 in the official count (93 as of the latest). But his happy surprise turned to outrage when a relative arrived also after having braved the virtually impassable roads, and exclaiming, “My god, I’m so glad you are all alive. I had to come because I heard our casualties went by the thousands.” Blessed Henry Cardinal Newman once likened this type of circumstance to frogs in a pond, being stoned by boys: “The frogs said to the boys who were throwing stones at them, ‘For you it may be fun; for us it is death’.” Perhaps we could also say to unconscionable political leaders out to gain political advantage out of this colossal tragedy: “for you it may be about advancing your political career; for us it is about our life and death!”

A5
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

By the Roadside
YES, I survived Super Typhoon Yolanda. I understand I cannot take it as a badge of honor and that being one in no way gives me any bragging rights in the fashion of a Mt. Everest climber. Neither can I speak for all survivors because what I went through may not even be half their experiences. Still, surviving a super typhoon is not quite like surviving traffic at EDSA. I realize this as I write now, when it is nearly two weeks after Yolanda came and wreaked untold havoc, together with an immense toll of human suffering, not mainly Eastern but also Central and Western Visayans as well. Although the media have focused on Tacloban City and Leyte for good reasons, several places in my province of Eastern Samar had been hard hit as well, particularly the towns of Balangkayan, Hernani, Guiuan, Balangiga and many others. Surprisingly, it is not only minuses that I see. I have also rediscovered some invaluable things about life, which, for want of a better term, I call insights. 1. Simplicity makes life lighter. With no electricity and its attendant services (cell phone, the internet, etc.) to complicate our lives, Eastern Samareños are turning in droves to churches, family and community acts. We have instinctively re-established family and community bonding, in no time opening our eyes to other victims who suffered more losses and trauma than we did. It is so disheartening to hear of families torn by the deaths of other members and the destruction of homes and property, their cherished memories and hard-earned assets now literally gone with the wind. But it is equally edifying to witness people enjoying quiet moments of prayer, family or neighborly chats and the occasional laughter with other survivors and people who care. A young tricycle driver summed up the wisdom he gained from the terrifying ordeal: “It now seems clear to me that what comes from human beings which used to make life easier can just as easily disappear. Cell phone communications, the internet, houses you spent a fortune to build, crops you struggled hard to plant or maintain, business structures that took years to put up—suddenly they were not there anymore. Maybe, I think, God is teaching us only he doesn’t pass.” 2. Tragedy uncovers our basic humanity and the brotherhood of human beings. Forgive me but the first aspect of our humanity that comes out of tragedy is our basic self-centeredness. Stories of survivors suffering “survivor’s guilt” come from a realization of how it is every man/woman for himself/herself at the moment of tragic impact. The negative human factor was also in evidence when experts failed to make clear to many people the real meanings of the terms of warning. For instance, “storm surge” was a term many people dismissed because they did not understand what it meant. Had people been simply told, local leaders bewail, that they would be dealing with “tidal waves” or “tsunami waves”, there would have been a more cooperative response to official calls for evacuation. Still, the more important side of our humanity is the sympathy and compassion from total strangers who went to great lengths to offer real, concrete help, such as food, water, clothes, fuel, and a consoling word or prayer. 3. Filipino humor tempers the stranglehold of trauma. Elderly people and their family members who barely survived the onslaughts of giant waves (“three waves as tall as our tallest coconut trees,” said one survivor from Hernani) joked about being forced to bathe by the ocean more forcefully and more convincingly than by family. When so many people were into panic buying because of the isolation-generated scarcity of food, fuel and other basic neces-

Duc in Altum
The Church on the job even during calamities
SUPER typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall at Guiuan, Eastern Samar on November 08, 2013, Friday. Then, its second landfall in Leyte. Television live coverage from Tacloban, Leyte showed the very strong winds and heavy rains brought by Yolanda. A few minutes later, all communications were cut off. Then the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that Yolanda made six landfalls. PAGASA explained that the provinces under the path of Yolanda are composed of islands, that whenever it reaches an island, it made a landfall. When typhoon crosses the seas, it gathers strength but its strength gets lesser if it passed through big land mass or mountains; there was none in Yolanda's path. Days before the landfall of Yolanda, PAGASA forecasted that it has sustained winds at 235 kilometers (147 miles) per hour, with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall at Guiuan, Eastern Samar. On the other hand. U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center, said that it had maximum sustained winds at 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph), with gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph), much, much higher than PAGASA's forecast. A former hurricane meteorologist, Jeff Masters commented that “there are not too many buildings constructed that can withstand the 195-mile-per-hour winds.” He said Haiyan, the international name of Yolanda, had been poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of "catastrophic damage." Haiyan's wind strength at landfall had beaten Hurricanes Camille, Katrina and Sandy which all caused loss of lives and catastrophic damage to properties in the U.S. What is peculiar with Yolanda, is that it was accompanied by storm surges. Not too many people know what a storm surge is. This columnist resides in Navotas City, a coastal town north of Metro Manila. We know what a storm surge is because we experienced it during Typhoon Pedring in 2011. It may not be the correct scientific term but to be descriptive and explicit, we called the storm surges “mini tsunami” because of the 2-storey high waves that destroyed houses near the seashore and flooded the houses inland. Animation of the incoming typhoons, its wind strength, its gustiness, the accompanying storm surges will show the people what to expect when typhoon makes a landfall. It is an appropriate warning to people what to do to avoid danger. *** We are glad that Salvacion Avestruz, weather forecaster of PAGASA's Tacloban weather station was finally found and airlifted to Cebu for confinement in the hospital. Avestruz was reportedly missing at the height of Yolanda and was on duty when she was swept away by the raging storm surge. Weather forecasters never left their station despite the threat of a very powerful typhoon and are obliged to perform weather observation every hour for transmission to the weather forecasting center as this is very important in the tracking of typhoons. We commend the fearless and courageous performance of our PAGASA forecasters during Typhoon Yolanda and pray that hazard pay be given to them. *** The Filipino people are very grateful for the love and generosity of the United Nations and all countries which immediately responded to the needs of the victims of Yolanda. They sent not only cash and relief goods but also manpower (doctors, nurses, soldiers, technicians, experts volunteers, and the like) and the much-needed equipment to retrieve dead bodies scattered all over the inundated areas. There were also planes and choppers which airlifted not only the sick but also the basic necessities like foods, water, medicines and other relief goods. They also helped in the retrieval and clearing operation where all roads were blocked with debris, fallen trees and electric posts, galvanized iron roofs, houses swept by storm surges, dead bodies and others which Yolanda washed out and swept away. We also thank the Philippine Red Cross and all the Red Cross and White Crescent all over the world. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much. May our Lord Almighty continue to bless your country and your people. *** Aside from donating financial assistance which were distributed to the victims through the different dioceses, Pope Francis also joined Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and the Filipino community when he blessed a mosaic icon of San Pedro Calungsod. Cardinal Tagle spoke of the struggles of the Filipino people who are trying to recover from typhoon Yolanda. The Pope embraced the Cardinal with an assurance of his closeness and prayers. Pope Francis tells the Filipino people “In these moments of great suffering, don’t tire of saying ‘why’. Be like children… and so attract the eyes of our Father for your people, draw the tenderness of the ‘dad of heaven’ upon yourselves. Be like the child when asking ‘Why? Why?’… There are many things that we cannot understand. When children begin to grow, they don’t understand things and ask one after another ‘why’s’ but do not wait for a response. Rather the child in his insecurity needs his father and mother watch over him. He needs the eyes of his parents, he needs the heart of his parents.” *** Vox populi, Vox Dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. The Supreme Court ruled that PDAF or Priority Development Assistance Fund is unconstitutional. Thus, no more pork barrel for our Senators, and Members of the House of Representatives. That means the amount of P4.6 Billion (P200 Million x 23 senators) plus P17.5 Billion (P70 Million x 250 or more Representatives) or a total of P22.1 Billion less from the Philippine Budget. It is about time our legislators devote their time and effort in the passage of important legislations and review the existing ones to make the much needed amendments. *** However, also pending before the Supreme Court is the constitutionality of DAP or Disbursement Acceleration Fund of the Chief Executive. DAP must also be declared unconstitutional to avoid patronage politics. The pork barrel may have been legally taken out of the hands of our legislators but patronage politics will still continue specially for those who are not "contra partido" with the President. DAP is allegedly savings from the budget of other departments. If they are savings, they should go to the National Treasury and should not be diverted to unbudgeted items. ***
Duc In Altum / A7

What do we do with our sufferings?
THE sheer destruction and unimaginable scope of relief and rebuilding needs in the aftermath of the recent earthquake and typhoon that visited our country demands a coming together of various individuals, groups, sectors, and regions. When disasters visit they wreaked havoc and disrupt lives. They also open up fresh opportunities to rearrange our ways of doing things and of working with one another and of building a new Philippines. But we have choices to make for such shared suffering can either bring out the best or the worst in us. Fear and panic is a contagion but so is faith, hope and love. Shall our sufferings make us a better people, creating more networks of care and compassion—making us more human—or shall they make us less human? Our unbending spirit and faith, in the words of one media personality, teaches the

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Spaces of Hope
the relief effort. The worst are those who may already be thinking of schemes to siphon off resources intended for victims. How about government workers who hinder the outpouring of compassion by ordinary citizens and groups by their unwelcoming stance brought about by the spirit of turfing, compliance-only mentality, bureaucratic red tape that makes them inflexible, and an NIH (not invented here) mentality thinking they have a monopoly of goodness and competence? All these show in faces and action that do not inspire hope. We need to change our mindsets and ways of doing things. We need to move fast in creating new, life-giving cycles. Let us not waste our suffering as we work towards a “new heavens and new earth” (Revelation). Let us not waste our sufferings. Huwag nating aksayahin ang ating mga pagdurusa!

whole world how to live. The spontaneous and organized relief efforts of individuals, families, and groups in the country and from the international community, is a feast of hope! Humanity’s heart beats as one as we reach out to victims. Yet, in truth, is it not our own hope that is ignited when we do so? And when foreigners show concern and pour massive help does it not somehow also reflect the world’s appreciation for the work of our OFWs? All these bring out the best in all of us. The worst are not those who scavenged for food for survival, not even the looters, though this is unacceptable behavior. The worst are those who take advantage of people’s sufferings, from leaders who initiate the blaming game to some businessmen who hoard and speculate. The worst are those who exploit people’s misery for political advancement and who bring political colors in

Only F.U.N. matters
I WAS asked to give a talk on how parents can nourish their children’s faith better. But how to make it more interesting and memorable? The answer came after watching a very touching commercial video of a mother writing down her “final” bucket-list before she died. I felt I could ask the participants to do something similar. But what variation can I introduce to make them experience the tension, value and lessons of the realities of life, death and transmitting their faith? Here is the simple workshop I asked them to participate in: Materials: - Two pieces of paper, 2 inches by 2 inches in dimension. - Crayon (preferably the thick round type, any color would do) - A stopwatch or timer Instructions: • For mothers: In the first piece of paper (for 30 seconds): as many as you can, list down the most valuable things you would like to leave behind for your children. • For fathers: In the second piece of paper (for 30 seconds): draw anything that would symbolize what you want your children to remember you for. *** “Time’s up, kindly stop writing or drawing…,” I told the couples. “Now…,” I asked the mothers, “is anyone willing to share what she has written down?” I was quite surprised that none of them, after painstakingly trying to write with a bulky piece of crayon on a very small piece of paper, wanted to share any one idea. [Silence…] “In that case, what about the dads?” I tried to break the building tension. [Again silence…] “What was going on here?” I told myself. Perhaps, they were too shy to share what they had intimately written or drawn. It seems that the workshop had failed, because it didn’t elicit any sharing among the parents. But it seems I had succeeded in a few other

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

Whatever
things I didn’t expect: i) It made them aware that this workshop was something that would eventually happen and it helped them become more realistic with life and family relationships. ii) More than words, action –symbolized by what the fathers drew– has a more lasting impact on their children. (e.g. a heart with a smiling face, a friendly sun, two stick figures holding hands, etc.) iii) The eagerness in every parent to leave something for their children, but knowing that it must be something that isn’t confined to the size of a piece of paper, or the clumsy irregular lines of a crayon nor something that isn’t restricted by time. I then imparted to them the lessons behind the very brief exercise: a) The thirty seconds represent how short life is; b) The small piece of paper represents how little a life can really offer materially; c) The fat round crayon represents everything in life that we wish to use to ‘communicate’ to them our love with. Once they pondered on these points, I explained to them that it’s only natural for parents to want their children’s material well-being. This comes in the form of their health, education, and a prosperous future. All these are very noble indeed. But given the ‘small piece of paper,’ the ‘crayon,’ and the ‘time limit,’ we are never too sure that all our ideals for them will be truly realized. Thus, it’s important to give them something that is not bound to matter, time, and space. And this is our faith. This is the gift and the door that we must open for them. Benedict XVI says that this door “…is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows
Whatever / A7

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Local News

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Priest rides motorbike from Samar to Manila, asks public to ‘adopt a parish’
“DESPERATE times call for desperate measures.” This is exactly what a priest did when he traveled by motorbike for three days from Samar to Manila to directly appeal to the public for help in behalf of farflung towns and parishes ravaged by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’. “What I thought was, people need to know about our situation and people will only know about it if I leave this place…I cannot just go back to my parish, resentful and depressed,” Fr. Edgar Abucejo, parish priest of Matarinao, Salcedo in Eastern Samar said after seeing the destruction wreaked by ‘Yolanda’ on his town, Guiuan, and other nearby municipalities. ‘Adopt a parish’ Abucejo, who drove through unrecognizably destroyed towns for three days, stopping over only to sleep in barangay halls or refugee centers along the way, appealed to the public in an interview with CBCP Media to “adopt a parish” and recognize the urgency of typhoon survivors’ needs for food and water in small towns that are not as publicized as Tacloban City or Ormoc. A website has been created for this purpose that may be accessed at www.adoptaparish.org. Despite not-so-common challenges like running out of gasoline in Marabot; encountering fuel prices of P210 per liter; getting his license confiscated after making a wrong turn on the South Luzon Expressway, he recognized God’s divine guidance in fulfilling his mission of speeding up relief response for Eastern Samar. Supernatural guidance “I did not feel tired; I did not feel sleepy during the trip; I did not get hungry even if I didn’t really get to eat or rest enough. It was all the grace of God. He was the one guiding me; I believe that this was His will,” he said, describing his journey that started on Sunday night, November 10 and ended on Tuesday night, November 12. Surprisingly, Abucejo said he felt “prepared” to do what he did, “without intentionally preparing for it or even planning for it.” According to Abucejo, towns like General MacArthur, Mercedes, Balangiga, Llorente, Giporlos were similary devastated by ‘Yolanda’. “All the municipalities, not just Tacloban that is often seen on TV, but also the far-off barangays facing the Pacific… Almost all the towns, just multiply the destruction,” he added. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

The church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Matarinao, Eastern Samar after it was destroyed by typhoon Yolanda.
Transform / A1

Laguna clergy warned of sect using children to collect alms at Masses
THE bishop of the diocese of San Pablo and the members of the clergy were warned of a religious sect posing themselves to be Catholics and using indigent children to collect alms from unsuspecting churchgoers at Mass. Fr. Jerry Gaela, the parish priest of San Pablo Cathedral Parish here told this writer during the Clergy Recollection/Meeting on November 18 of a group called Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. The foundation was founded by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Executive Pastor of “Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name” a religious sect posing to be a Catholic organization who used to approach parish priests all over the province requesting special collections on Sunday Masses on various months especially when Christmas season approaches. Fr. Ruben Dagala, parish priest of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Majayjay town said, the group had been collecting contributions from his parishioners during Sunday Masses for several years when he was still assigned in Pangil town in 2007 to 2013 for he was made to believe the group was legitimately Catholic. This writer has learned that the group’s Modus Operandi was to write a letter of request to parish priests without specifying that it belongs to the religious sect of
Vatican / A1

Quiboloy. A copy of one of those letters furnished to this writer, says: “The Children’s Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization which was organized for the purpose of helping the impoverished, less fortunate and under-privileged children of the society. It provides temporary shelter for the children and youth who are (in) need of special protection, preventive and protective intervention through the provisions of health care, education and other services.” Then, the letter would request: “In line with this, may we knock on your kind heart to allow our rondalla group (poor children) to serenade the parishioners this coming Sunday (date specified) and render their best songs of the season. It will surely be a big help addressing the needs of the foundation.” This writer learned that the Modus Operandi of the Children’s Joy Foundation also includes the following: promoters (mostly women) handling the children would request the parish priest to let the children sit at the front seat near the altar during the Holy Mass, then after Communion they would let the children sing and dance in front of the altar to entertain the parishioners. While the children are performing the organizers would then pass boxes for churchgoers to give their

alms allegedly in support of the indigent kids. They will repeat this in as many as there are Masses in the parish. If a parish church has four Masses, they would replicate the same mode of collecting alms four times. In a telephone interview with this writer, one Jho A. Perida, the Project Coordinator of the foundation admitted that the Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. was indeed headed and founded by Quiboloy. She refused to elaborate, saying she was busy. This writer has found this Profile written in the website of the foundation: “The Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. started when a goodhearted man, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy , Executive Pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name, saw the miserable plight of the poor Filipino children particularly children on the street, while touring the entire Philippines as an evangelist to help and protect these innocent and needy children by means of forming a Foundation that would cater to their needs.” A number of priests who requested anonymity have expressed their gratitude on the exposѐ after the clergy meeting as they were finally enlightened about the true identity of the foundation. They now expect that the group’s Modus Operandi would no longer victimize unsuspecting Catholic parishioners. (Fr. Romy Ponte)

tion, to pray for the victims,” Secretary to the Bishop of Tarlac Fr. Melvin Castro said in a recent interview. According to Castro, an estimated 2,500 people were at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac City, filling the church to capacity during the holy mass, Eucharistic procession and benediction last November 24 to celebrate the closing of the Year of Faith. Castro was also quick to note the active involvement of young Tarlaqueños in the life of the Church.
Devotion / A1

“The Year of Faith might have closed, officially ended, but I strongly believe, my deep impression is that this will go on. People are faithful, especially the youth. They realize there is indeed such a need to know our faith and to live it out,” he added. In other areas of the country, the closing of the ‘Year of Faith’ was met with much anticipation like in the Archdiocese of Manila, which held a vigil on November 23, the eve of the Solemnity of Christ the King, at

San Fernando de Dilao parish in Paco, Manila. Remembering ‘Yolanda’ victims The Diocese of Antipolo observed the end of the ‘Year of Faith’ by having a Eucharistic procession from the Ynares Center in Antipolo City to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, otherwise known as the Antipolo Cathedral. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist followed after.

Meanwhile in Rome, Pope Francis exposed the bones of St Peter for public veneration after the ‘Year of Faith’ closing mass last November 24. According to a report from the Catholic News Agency, the wider Church also showed special concern for the victims of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in the Philippines by having a second collection from some 60,000 faithful attending the mass at St. Peter’s Square. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

ties to make social media a place of solidarity,” Msgr Paul Tighe told mostly young participants during the closing Mass of the Catholic Social Media Summit, November 24. “We often talk about the power of the internet, the power of social media,” Tighe said. “And many of you have the red t-shirt and written on the back of it is ‘I’ve got the power’. So you’re claiming you do have power because you have power by your presence in social media. And the real question again is how will you use that power.” He urged the young people to transform social media as a “place where we look up for one another, where we support one another, where we care for one another.” He told them to collectively resist the temptation to use the power of social media to promote oneself in order to become popular, well liked and become a celebrity. Instead, he said one’s choices should be to think more of others and less of oneself. “And that’s what we need and should try to keep alive, not just in our online presence, but in everyday of our life,” he said. Tighe noted that if one tends to become self absorbed, that perGodfies / A1

son would end up very lonely, whereas if one is attentive to the needs of others, “then am building up something good; assuring a world where there is place for everybody.” He admitted though that it is not always easy to be a person for others, but he said from the Lord comes the power and the strength to do so. “Our strength comes not from ourselves but by unifying ourselves, by making ourselves one with the sacrifice of Christ, by knowing that his example, his continued presence gives us the energy, the source of our strength,” he said. “He is the one who is with us. So when you wear that t-shirt, and say ‘I’ve got the power’, the power is not on your back. The power is in your heart. Because the power is in the presence of Jesus, strengthening you particularly in community and in gathering,” he furthered. Tighe keynoted the Catholic Social Media Summit that was held at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, November 23-24. It was organized by YouthPinoy in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission on Youth and the CBCP Media Office. (CBCPNews) “lead people to God and to prayer.” “Post things that lead us to prayer and to foster meaningful friendships and deepened relationships both online and offline,” he said. The Catholic Social Media Summit gathered about 400 participants from different schools, seminarians, clergy, religious sisters and youth ministers at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran last Nov. 23 and 24. (YouthPinoy) of solidarity and a life of charity. There may be less of good cheer this Christmas for many, but the Christmas spirit did come early this year,” he said. Palma also acknowledged the help of the international community who responded immediately to the situation with humanitarian aid. “Our profound gratitude goes to the foreign media, who brought to the world’s attention the plight of our countrymen. We thank the government and foreign institutions who have sent aid and expression of solidarity,” he said. Palma hoped that the magnitude of devastation brought by the natural calamities would at least lead to the country’s more systemic approach in the future to mitigate the effects of typhoon and other natural disasters. “We believe we shall emerge from these situations with more awareness of the pattern of nature and hopefully learn its lessons. By strengthening the systems and institutions that mitigate the effects of these forces of nature, we can avoid the recurrence of the present tragedy,” he said. “The culmination of the Year of Faith makes us trust in the God of love and mercy, the God who points to a tomorrow much better than today,” Palma said. “For our part, knowing the dream and love in people’s hearts, we need to pick up the pieces of our lives, help each other to rise again and take up the journey of rebuilding our communities.” (CBCPNews)

dressing inadequacies in their faith life such as the inability to see God’s presence and action due to superficial quality of prayer, the lack of rootedness of faith in the Word of God, and the inability to reflect on one’s life in the light of faith and allow the light of faith enrich one’s life. To counter inadequacies in one’s faith, he said, it is imperative “for diocesan commissions and parishes to devise programs and structures…where the lay faithful can learn to reflect on their lives in the light of the Word of God and can help them respond to God’s presence and actions with gratitude.” He also emphasized the need to lead the faithful to live their faith by challenging a devotion that is divorced from moral life, solely centered on devotional and liturgical practices, and has
Evangelii Gaudium / A1

nothing to do with social transformation. Garcera said that spiritual weaknesses can be addressed “by coming up with structured corporal works of mercy programs…for the situation also demands synergy of all programs related to social apostolate.” Aside from living one’s faith, he said that the faithful must also learn to practice sharing their faith to others. However, he noted that “faith does not blossom into sharing when it is divorced from life and when it is shared only selectively.” “We must discern new ways of serving the needy and discover timely ministries that will really address urgent pastoral needs,” Garcera said, noting that this can be manifested by pushing parishes to come up with structures that will inspire more parishioners to serve in

the many different forms of ministries. He also stressed the need for parish priests and lay leaders to establish personal connection with the faithful to monitor the faith development of their respective parishioners. “For our Church and faith to be renewed, we must inspire one another to be faithful in our vocation – either priests, religious or lay faithful,” he said. “We must become a Church that truly cares for families especially the young people…whose members are truly stewards of God’s gift and who find meaning and fulfillment in their faith-life by sharing their time, treasure, and talent…and whose members not only continuously deepen their Christian faith but are also willing to share Christ with others,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

media to post Godfies instead of selfies on their social media pages. “Instead of selfies, why don’t we post Godfies or images that focus on God? Instead of proclaiming or glorifying yourself, proclaim and glorify God in your social media posts,” Cuyos told the participants of the Catholic Social Media Summit last Nov. 24. A social media evangelization advocate, Cuyos said netizens should post more content that
Spirit / A1

guage, the faithful at times may interpret it in a matter that is not authentic to the Gospel of Jesus. “With the holy intent of communicating the truth about God and humanity, we sometimes give them a false god or human
Hope / A6

ideal which is not really Christian,” the Pope writes. “In this way, we hold fast to a formulation while failing to convey its substance.” Regarding those words of the Holy Father, Archbishop

Celli said: “These are coura geous words by Pope Francis because he speaks of an interior conversion. Other themes that Pope Francis expands on are the challenges of the contemporary world,

overcoming temptations that undermine the New Evangelization, the development of the evangelization, as well as the social dimension and spirit of the New Evangelization. (Junno Arocho Esteves / Zenit)

from Yolanda’s battering. Cry of the suffering Tagle lifted the spirits of the suffering victims, noting that they are not alone in bearing their pain as the Lord voices out their fears and anxieties. “Christ is not alone for when he cried, ‘My Lord, my Lord, why have you forsaken me?’ he was voicing out the cry of all mankind. Would the Lord listen to this? Would the cry of the suffering be heard?” he asked the laity. “We believe that through Christ, those who seek the Lord here on Earth are given a voice… He gives a voice to all children and abused women, He gives a

voice to those who are hungry and ignored, and to those who are suffering from the abuses of the greedy and selfish,” he said. The senior prelate said that even if the incident might have affected the faith of the laity, they must remain strong and hopeful that a brighter future awaits them in their journey. “As we see images of war, bloodshed, disputes, calamities, and hunger unto our television monitors, could we still sing and profess that God is love? Could we refrain ourselves from worrying?” he said. “Don’t you feel pain whenever…you see the images of devastation? …Don’t you ask yourself if there is still any sense

behind all the glorified singing?” Tagle said in Filipino. “There is still hope in the midst of mourning. (Hope is present) as people seek the Lord, asking who and where He is.” Part of one body In times of different tragedies and calamities, Tagle said that it is through the unity and cooperation among His flock that the Lord’s presence is made alive. “If others are having difficulty to see the face of Christ, maybe we should strive to be the face that they seek. If they could not hear the words of the Lord, maybe we should strive to be the voice that they long to hear. If the people could not feel the saving

presence of the Lord, maybe it is through our sympathizing arms that His saving presence may be felt,” he said. “So that those who are seeking the face of Christ may say that they have seen—even only through a shadow, that they have heard—even only through a silent whisper, and that they have felt—even only through the slightest touch, the presence of the Lord,” he said. “We are all part of each other. The sickness of one part affects the entire body for we are not only part of each other. We are all part of the Body of Christ, which gives us the ability to be the face, voice, and touch of the Lord,” he said.

versity, a high ranking Church official said. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the twin calamities that recently happened have also tested the Filipinos’ spirit of community and concern for others who are in need. The earthquake that happened last Oct, 15 followed by typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8 have brought so much devastation and sorrow on the lives of people, particularly those living in the islands of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Samar. In a pastoral statement, Palma said the universal celebration of the Year of Faith, which culminated on Nov. 24, is a call to a deeper exercise of “our faith by putting our trust in the Lord and reaching out to help each other.” He stressed that through the precious gift of faith that each one received, “we shall overcome adversities with charity,” and “as we pray we shall rise with courage and renewed hope for the future.” Palma, who on Nov. 30 ends his term as head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, underscored the charity and compassion showed by people who are in safer areas who brought food, water, medicine and other relief goods to help the survivors. He also noted how families and communities generously opened their doors to welcome those displaced by the calamities and care for those who have taken refuge. “It is inspiring to see convoys of vehicles bearing relief goods and materials as manifestations

Fr. Edgar Abucejo

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Diocesan News
affected, it is also important to begin right away to help families regain their livelihood and make their communities function again. “We cannot allow these people to be reduced to mendicancy,” he stressed. For the coastline communities, the JASAC is working on ways so that fishermen can acquire fishing boats as soon as possible. As an encouraging note, Msgr. Oso has observed very good dispositions among the people of these communities, who told him “Just help us get fishing boats and we will be able to rebuild our homes.” A small locally-manufactured motorized fishing boat costs about 15,000 to 20,000 pesos, according to the JASAC Director. Aside from relief supplies, the Parish Priests in the devastated areas have informed the JASAC that they would appreciate receiving vegetable seeds that their parishoners can plant in small plots so that they can grow other sources of food in the near future. The JASAC has sought the cooperation of the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology, which has a Community Development (CD) program, to provide facilitators who can help reorganize communities in the devastated areas. The JASAC, as well as the Jaro Archdiocesan Youth Commission and other parishes in Iloilo, continue prepare relief packs to send to the devastated communities. A relief pack prepared by the JASAC consists mainly of a minimum of 10 kilos of rice, one kilo of mongo beans (instead of noodles), 10 cans of sardines, 100 grams of coffee, and one kilo of sugar. These relief packs are distributed through the parishes. Many agencies, NGOs and other private groups donate relief goods in ready-made packs. Relief packs from other local or foreign agencies that are coursed through the JASAC are given to the recipients immediately without re-packing. Msgr. Oso observed that one major cause of delay of the delivery of relief packs is the un-

A7
necessary re-packing of goods. He chided those who delay the delivery of relief goods during an emergency situation saying: “If you keep relief goods with you beyond 24 hours without making them reach those in need, consider yourself having committed a mortal sin!” Foreseeing the continuous need to sustain the people in the devastated areas, the Jaro Archdiocesan Action Center welcomes donations, especially of food and shelter materials. Donations to help in the livelihood projects (fishing boats, etc.) will be highly appreciated. Financial contributions may also be coursed to the JASAC through the following bank accounts: Donations in Philippine Pesos: Development Bank of the Philippines, Jaro, Iloilo City branch, Account name: JASAC, Inc., Account number: 0756-009642-032. Donations in U.S. Dollars: Development Bank of the Philippines, Jaro, Iloilo City branch, Account name: JASAC, Inc., Account number: 0756-009642-535. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

More help needed as relief efforts enter new phase in Iloilo
JARO, Iloilo— Two weeks after super-typhoon “Yolanda” (“Haiyan”) ripped through the island of Panay on November 8, Msgr. Meliton Oso, Director of the Jaro Archdiocesan Action Center (JASAC), foresees that relief efforts will have to continue for at least six months to help sustain people in the most devastated areas in Iloilo. Explaining his prognosis, the JASAC Director said one has to understand that the people have lost not only their homes but also the means of their livelihood. In the north-eastern part of Iloilo the coastline communities have lost almost all their fishing boats thus also leaving the islands off these towns isolated for many days. In the interior north-eastern part of the province strong winds and rains damaged crops and rendered vast areas unsuitable for immediate large-scale planting. Msgr. Oso said that even as sending of relief goods to devastated areas is ongoing for immediate sustenance of those

Caritas Manila volunteers repack donated goods for distribution to different areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda. Caritas has sent at least 8,150 relief packs to Iloilo as of Nov. 22.

Faith pilgrimages baptize, feed the poor and gather the faithful
LEGAZPI City—The Diocese embraced into the fold of Roman Catholic faith more than a hundred unbaptized adults and children several times as much, blessed the poor scattered in the different parishes and gathered the faithful at the Mother Church during the Triduum of Faith Pilgrimages on November 21 to 23, Diocese Vice-Chancellor-Secretary Fr. Joseph A. Salando said. On time for the closing of the Year of the Faith, the three-day religious activity started with the Pilgrimage to the Church of Baptism where Bishop Joel Zamudio Baylon asked the faithful to retrace their roots as Roman Catholics, he said. “The Bishop invited the people to visit the church where they received baptism to renew their faith, thank the Lord for the gift of baptism and pray for the priest who baptized them and for their baptism sponsors,” Fr. Salando said.
And That’s The Truth / A4

Together with livelihood concerns, the JASAC is also working on the rebuilding of communities. One sadly observed effect of super-typhoon Yolanda is the breakdown of organization of communities, as seen when many families and individuals

were deprived of badly-needed assistance, such as the slow delivery of relief goods, because of the inefficiency of government units due to the incompetence or outright corruption of public officials and the lack of training and formation of the citizens.

Pinky Barrientos, FSP

With more emphasis laid on unbaptized adults, a mass baptism was given for free in the parishes, he said. Unbaptized children seven years old and above, and a number of people previously professing another religious faith were also baptized. The Diocese encompasses 48 parishes. The parish in Ligao City alone baptized 152 individuals during the pilgrimage, six of whom were adults. The second day of the threefold religious activity was the Pilgrimage to the Church of the Poor, Fr. Salando said. Parishes fed their less fortunate people, especially the young, through the assistance of charitable individuals and organizations in the Diocese. Bong Aspe, a Bicolano philanthropist, who has been helping seminarians and street-children finish school, provided indigent people with free lunch during St. Gregory the Great Parish medical mission. “Faith in God gives meaning and pur-

pose to human life,” he said. The St. Rafael Parish in Legazpi also brought to its poor medical and dental mission, Fr. Salando said. It also fed them. Parish priests reached out to the poor in coastal areas to beseech God’s grace by blessing their fishing boats and nets, he said. Some visited the farms that the grassroots till and prayed for their abundant crop-year. The Parish in Tabaco blessed pedicabs so that its drivers bring home more food and other family needs. The Pilgrimage to the Mother Church, which is the Cathedral, concluded the three-day religious activity, where five priests were ordained at 4pm, the ViceChancellor-Secretary said. Seven will also be ordained to the diaconate on December 12. The Diocese regards these new servants of God as His gifts in the Year of the Faith, he said. (Oliver Samson)

Briefing
41st Bishop-Ulama Conference held in Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA City—The Bishop-Ulama Conference led by Davao emeritus Fernando Capalla and co-convenors Prof. Salipada Tamano of Ulama League of the Philippines and Bishop Danilo Bustamante of the ECP-NCCP. held its 41st meeting at Harmony Village in Zamboanga City in an effort to restore peace in the wartorn city. The BUC issued a joint statement titled “Dialogue and Hope: Key to Peace”, condemning the MNLF attack as “inhuman, unchristian, un-Islamic and therefore unacceptable and contrary to the teachings of our respective religious faiths.” (CBCPNews)
Bishop redirects ‘Teen Saint Pedro’ proceeds for typhoon survivors

LEGAZPI City— Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon has redirected the admission yields of the Teen Saint Pedro Musical, originally intended to help bankroll pastoral programs of the Diocese, to help rebuild the lives of super typhoon Yolanda victims in the Visayas, Diocese Vice-Chancellor-Secretary Fr. Joseph Salando said. The Diocese of Legazpi will also conduct other activities to help Yolanda survivors rebuild their lives and communities, according to the priest. (Oliver Samson)

Francis say “the Church should go back….”? Does it mean he thinks priests, pastors and bishops have ceased to serve as anymore as curers of souls? (Address to inter-religious assembly at Refugee Service): “Many of you are Muslims, of other religions, and have come from different countries, from different situations. We must not be afraid of the differences! Fraternity makes us discover that they are a treasure, a gift for everyone! We live in fraternity!” Wise words. It doesn’t mean Francis is converting to Islam, or denouncing the tenets of the Catholic Church. Shouldn’t those words give hope and encouragement to the assembly? A sense of fraternity—no fear of the differences and a conviction that we are all brothers—is the beginning of inter-religious dialogue. Put a holier-than-thou person at the head of a peace mission and that mission is doomed from the start.

(Address at Shrine of St. Cajetan): “Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest.” Great! This simply means Francis wants us to stop talking and instead start living our faith! Words alone, or an unexamined desire to convert others, can never convince people to become Catholic. It’s our actions that do attract others to the faith we profess. Words come from our mouths; the light of Christ radiates from within. “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope…This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.” Francis says specifically, “This, to me...” Three impor-

tant words—meaning it is but his opinion, he doesn’t claim to speak for the College of Bishops. He only speaks as and for himself, Jorge Bergoglio, and he is just one man, and every man has a right to speak his mind out, even if he is pope. And here Francis is simply reminding us there are other serious issues to address. This is a good reminder, especially to those who fight only the big fights, to be in the limelight, to be known as crusaders, in other words, those soldiers with self-serving intentions. (If you say “Ouch!” then perhaps you are one of those Francis is reminding). Furthermore, Francis here sees that unemployed youth go astray (trying to find meaning in their life through drugs, free “safe” sex, hedonism, and a make-love-not-babies mentality—the very evils we pro-lifers are fighting! Francis sees that the loneliness of the old could dispose them to suicide, thereby

tending to justify the champions of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Why should his words be taken as denigrating pro-life efforts? Why mock him if he sees youth unemployment and loneliness of the old as “most serious of the evils…”? Isn’t he merely pointing to two of the roots that cause the evil we are fighting against now? Francis is in fact (by opening our eyes to those roots of evil) making the fight lighter for those to come after us. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt—he’s on our side! “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis says IF, that is conditional. IF someone searches… and has good will… who is he to judge? Who are WE to judge? IF implies that the gay person seeking the Lord with good will is going through a process—and that takes time—and a judgmental attitude from us (straights) would surely threaten
Candidly Speaking / A4

to derail him from that path to the Lord.) This statement is not to be taken as a papal push for “gay rights”—perhaps just a spur of the moment utterance from a man who acknowledges his own sinfulness. “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.” Isn’t this very Christ like? Francis evaded the trap of the provocateur by firing back with a question leading to a truth— God looks at everyone with love. Again, this shouldn’t be taken to mean Francis is poised to defy the teachings of the Church on such matters; he’s simply being kind, just as Jesus would be kind to, say, the adulterous woman about to be stoned.

The pope is human, too. Just like some of our bishops here (who, by the way, sometimes admirably speak as ordinary citizens but are quoted by media as the voice of the whole Church), Francis can speak as an ordinary citizen, too, and may be misconstrued by an uninformed media. Francis is not always speaking ex cathedra—we can glean from his context that sometimes he speaks as Bishop of Rome, as an ordinary parish priest, or as ex-archbishop of Buenos Aires; at times he makes off-the-cuff remarks that make him sound like an ordinary Catholic guzzling beer at a billiard hall. We have to try and see where Francis is coming from. Have faith. Hang on. Pray more for Francis. If we are so easily angered by his statements that the enemies of the Church feel triumphant about, then—believe it or not— we are lending our strength to these very enemies. And that’s the truth.

we would already have sunk with overpopulation many, many years ago. There are certain things that economics, being a social science, cannot detect in its radar. The resiliency of people, for example. How would we measure that economically? The determination of the people to rise from the ruins of a calamity, irrespective of socio-economic conditions, is another example. At the same time, our faith and religion which contain our core beliefs should always
Whatever / A5

be respectful of the laws and theories of economics, though they definitely go beyond the scope of economics. This is where elements such as the spiritual strength of the people, the reality of grace, the possibility of miracles, the need for prayer and sacrifice, etc., are found. They are beyond measure. But our faith and religion must also know how to express themselves in economic terms where these are due. Thus, in Christian doctrine, there is already good and growing part of what is now

called as the social doctrine that precisely tries to make the proper blend between faith and religion, on the one hand, and economics and the other social sciences, like politics, on the other. It behooves everyone, and especially our leaders in business and politics, to study and live the social doctrine of the Church. We should not forget that in the middle of our economic affairs, is not only man, nor dollars, but God himself, who governs everything with his Providence.

itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. (Porta fidei, no. 1)” Moreover, Benedict XVI adds, “Through faith, this new life
Duc In Altum / A5

shapes the whole of human existence according to the radical new reality of the resurrection. To the extent that he freely cooperates, man’s thoughts and affections, mentality and conduct are slowly

purified and transformed, on a journey that is never completely finished in this life. (Ibid., no. 6)” Perhaps, it may help to try out the simple workshop above and awaken ourselves to the

things that are truly necessary in this life for the next, not only for ourselves but also for our children. It is then that we see the need to daily Faith Up Now! which is the only things that truly matters.

The Year of Faith ended on November 24, the Feast of Christ the King. The Diocese of Kalookan celebrated the Closing Mass of the Year of Faith Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, its Apostolic Administrator, concelebrated by the Kalookan clergy. Then, on December 01, the First Sunday

of Advent, the Year of the Laity (“YOL”) starts. The theme of the celebration is “Called to be Saints… Sent Forth as Heroes.” *** Happy Birthday to my brother Dr. Andres “Roy” Santiago, Most Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez (Bishop Emeritus), Fr. Octavio Bartiana, Fr,

Rey Amante, Fr. Mario Cueto, Rolando David, and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Leo Gilbero and Fr. Romeo Tuazon of the Diocese of Kalookan. Happy Birthday also to the former parish priests of San Ildefonso de Navotas Fr. Nelson Orqueta and Fr, Godwin Tatlonghari.

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FROM calls for volunteers to online rants about turtle-paced relief operations, ‘Yolanda’-related online updates continue to flood social media feeds, leading the Pope’s social media manager to give Pinoy netizens some guidelines for online posting about this hot button topic. “If we have concerns, if we are afraid that bad things are happening, if we are afraid that there will be injustices, we should never be afraid to name the injustice, to speak out against what is wrong, but we always do so in love,” said Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the keynote speaker of the recently-concluded Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0. Truth + love Indirectly referring to the growing dissatisfaction and disgust over what is perceived to be the government’s botched relief operations in areas in the Visayas particularly those affected by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, Msgr. Tighe appealed to Filipino social media users to “speak the truth in love”, despite being “angry or cross” about recent events. “It is easy sometimes to condemn, to criticize, but sometimes, that does not

People, Facts & Places
help,” he added. Msgr. Tighe, who led the team that coordinated the creation of the Papal Twitter account, @Pontifex, said, there is a more constructive way of pointing out wrongdoing or giving criticism online. “If I see someone doing something wrong and I say, ‘This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong…’ That makes it difficult for other people to listen to me because their first reaction is to defend themselves,” he explained. Positive online presence He also encouraged Filipinos, 93.9% of whom have a Facebook account, “to be present [online] in a positive way.” “What my worry is, if social media is very negative and it’s very cross and very angry. And people who are good and sensitive will say, ‘I won’t go there’, it leaves [the internet] as an open arena for the trolls and the difficult people,” said Tighe. The Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0 was held November 23- 24. It featured other high-profile Catholic communicators like video missionary Seth Demoor of OneBillionStories.com and Asia-Pacific international manager for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) Edwin Lopez, among others. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)

CBCP Monitor

November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Do’s and dont’s for ‘Yolanda’ posts from Pope’s social media manager

Biblical commission sends bibles to areas affected by typhoon Yolanda
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) will be sending 1,000 copies of the Bibles to those who were affected by the recent Typhoon Yolanda in the Central Philippines. The 1,000 copies of Tagalog Bibles, according to ECBA, will help those affected to stand-up again and strengthen their faith. Dr. Natividad Pagadut, ECBA’s executive secretary believes that the distribution of the Bibles should be coupled with formation of the people in order for them to know how to use and what to read in the Bible in times of calamities. “The distribution of the Bible will hopefully help them to stand up again, to strengthen their faith, and to improve as persons. So it is best to couple it with formation, counseling and to guide them on what to read in the Bible during this time. With this, they will be consoled, challenged, they will gain hope to move on, and get up from this terrible experience,” Pagadut said. She then suggested reading the Psalms especially the Lamentation Psalms where it expressed the sadness and disappointments of the people to God. “It is not wrong to express sadness, disappointments, etc. to God. We should not forget our faith and still cling to Him. And take note that there is hope,” she added. The biblical apostolate also gave 100 copies of children’s Bible for kids to read to help them get up from the devastating experience. Pagadut pointed out that people should have to mature with their notion of looking at calamities as a punishment from God. “Sometimes, people think that this is a punishment from God, a wake-up call

Donors send Bibles, rosaries and scapulars to typhoon-ravaged areas to strengthen the faith of survivors amid adversity.

Netizens urged to use internet as ‘social action’ platform
“I THINK, the great thing that we should do with the social media is to show the people what is happening. We need to show in social media that the Church is active in serving the poor, active in teaching, that the Church is also active in hospitals and in health care,” said Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Commission on Social Commu Msgr. Paul Tighe fields questions from the media at a nication. Tighe, who was in press conference during the Catholic Social Media Summit, Manila to address November 23. The secretary of the Pontifical the Catholic Social Media Summit on Nov. 23 at the Colegio de San Juan Council for Social Communications de Letran, added that people around cited a ‘tweet’ from Pope Francis that the globe may show their solidarity, had an immense attention – ‘He (Pope sense of sympathy and support for the Francis) said if a stone falls of the colFilipinos especially to Yolanda victims osseum, the world talks about; but a person falls of a building scaffolding, through social media. “We are with them (Filipinos) in so- nobody talks about it (@Pontifex)’. “Yes we need to be attentive on the cial action and social justice. So rather than simply talking about, we actually dignity and worth of every human show the people what is happening person and I think the social media and show them okay, everything is not as of this moment, it’s not showing perfect, everything is not easy but the what we are doing,” Tighe said, in Church is actually trying particularly reference to Yolanda victims. “Priat the local level to support and help mary [importance] is how can we the people. Social media has a lot to be more effectively engaged.” (Yen Ocampo) show us,” he furthered.

or something. We are too fast in making conclusions about calamities like this,” she said. “We should outgrow that, especially if you will say that to people who were stricken with calamity. So we have to graduate from that and say that it is a natural calamity. We have no answer to that, but we can rely on the Lord and make reflections and see what this can do to our life,” she added. “We just have to cling to God because the more we give up, the more we suffer. For the Filipino people, our faith helps us to cling on to God and to stand up again and go on,” Pagadut said. The Bibles will be sent to dioceses in the Visayas that were affected by the recent typhoon. Rosaries, scapulars pour in for Yolanda victims

More than 12,000 rosaries and 10,000 scapulars were also donated CBCP, in a fresh bid to restore the spiritual morale of the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda that devastated Eastern Visayas last November 8th. The religious articles came from Jocelyn Bernina, a staff of John Aboitiz Carcovich through God the Father Foundation, Inc. and a friend of CBCP Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III. Recently, the pro-life prayer support group ‘Rosary for Life’ donated to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines an initial 3,000 rosaries followed by another 10,000. Currently, a total of 19,000 rosaries were donated and will be included in relief packages for Yolanda victims. (Jandel Posion)/Raymond Bandril)

Roy Lagarde

Middle East OFWs among Pope’s top followers on Twitter
ALMOST a year since the Holy Father went online via Twitter, the Pope has recently hit the 10-million mark in terms of followers. But did you know that a “huge” part of his Twitter followers came from Muslim-dominated Middle Eastern countries? It came as a surprise to Msgr. Paul Tighe, who is part of the team that manages the Papal Twitter account @Pontifex, when they discovered that the Pope’s huge following in the Middle East are actually coming from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). “When the Pope went on Twitter. We can see where in the world the Pope has followers. We were surprised to see that in the Middle Eastern countries and Gulf states, there were huge following. Then we realized that those were the Filipinos,” Tighe said in an interview with CBCPNews. dia expert was in Manila to keynote the Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) held at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Nov. 23. Tighe led the team that created and maintains the Pope’s Twitter account. It was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who posted the first Papal tweet last December 12. The Holy Father’s social media activity was briefly interrupted after Benedict announced his resignation in March and while the College of Cardinals convened in a conclave to elect his successor. Pope Francis resumed using the Papal Twitter after being elected. According to Tighe, the Pope usually composes the original tweet in Spanish or Italian and their team translates it to seven other languages such as French, Portuguese and Arabic. (YouthPinoy)

Markings
CELEBRATED. Rosary for Life Philippines (RFL) marked a decade of active involvement in the pro-life movement by organizing Lakbay Buhay, a nine-day outreach pilgrimage to parishes and shrines in Nueva Ecija, Baguio, Laguna, Antipolo, Batangas and Metro Manila. The prayer support network of the pro-life movement celebrated its tenth year of active apostolate in the Philippines last November 11. During the pilgrimage to parishes, RFL staff and volunteers solicited pledges for the recitation of the Holy Rosary for the intention of stopping abortion. The group also distributed contact information of pro-life pregnancy crisis telephone lines among the vendors in the vicinity of Quiapo Church who sell herbal preparations and Cytotec to women with problem pregnancies. RFL volunteers hoped that with contact information in their hands, vendors would take the initiative to provide women seeking to terminate their pregnancies with the help lines so that they would choose Life and carry their babies to term. The outreach activity culminated with a Mass at the Basilica Minore of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, celebrated by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, immediate past chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL). Rosary for Life (RFL) foundress, Mrs. Winifred Powers, came all the way from the United States to attend the celebration. APPOINTED. The current director for Youth Development of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) National Executive Board of the Philippines, Karl Michael Hila was appointed as the new International Vice-President for Youth of SSVP. “We are please to inform you that Karl Michael Hila has been appointed as the new International Vice President for Youth. He succeeds Julien Spiewak who has taken up his appointment as the new Secretary General,” the appointment letter reads. By virtue of this appointment, Hila will be a member of the Council General International (CGI) Board. Hila has been a lay Vincentian for over 16 years and began his involvement in SSVP as a youth member. He has been involved with programs and development of the youth and today as the Director for Youth Development at the SSVP National Executive Board of the Philippines. He has also attended international youth conferences and has been engaged in youth programs outside the society. CGI on the other hand welcomed him to the board and prays that the Holy Spirit will guide and enlighten him in his Vincentian apostolate. Hila left for Paris November 15 to attend his first SSVP International Council General Meeting. DIED. Archbishop Onesimo Gordoncillo, emeritus of Capiz archdiocese, passed away on November 13 in Roxas City at aged 78. A native of Negros Oriental, Gordoncillo was ordained a priest in 1961 and a bishop in 1974 at the Dumaguete Cathedral. He was appointed Auxiliary bishop of Dumaguete in 1974 until 1976 and bishop of Tagbilaran from 1976 until 1986. In 1986, Gordoncillo was appointed as shepherd of the archdiocese of Capiz, where he served until his retirement in 2010. He was interred at the Capiz Cathedral on Nov. 21 after the 9:30 am funeral Mass at the Carmelite Monastery. DIED. Reverend Father Hermogenes “Jun” Quiambao, died on November 18 at Villa Hospital, Lipa City. He was 75. Born on 19 April 1938 in Bauan, Batangas, Quiambao was known for his love of music, passion for sports, “unlimited” determination, Teresian austerity, prayerfulness, neatness and precision, youth shepherding as educatorformator, cracking laughter, high-fives and lately, as a unique soul in the guise of being a pastoral biker and a passionate “church-builder”. He was buried November 25.

Vatican acquires top level domain .catholic
IN a bid to keep up with the top-level domain name liberalization in the internet and to maintain authenticity among Church-related websites, the Vatican acquired .catholic domain from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In a press conference held at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines compound on November 20, Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said .catholic top-level domain will be offered to dioceses and religious orders (ex. www.manila.catholic for Manila archdiocese), which in turn would offer the second-level domain to recognized Catholic juridical bodies, schools and institutions (ex. www.sanagustinchurch.manila.catholic). Msgr. Tighe said the Vatican acquired .catholic top-level domain to prevent others from taking it and to possibly invite all catholic organizations to be present in the internet. But the domain name will not be open for individuals. “It’s a way of having a space in the digital arena where the Church can have an authentic presence,” said Msgr. Tighe. The Vatican is hoping that if all major catholic institutions will use .catholic top-level domain name, people who are searching for Catholic-related information will more likely get or be directed to an authentic catholic site. Another concern of the Vatican is the digital divide since there are people who are not in the digital world because of difficulty in access, and with this, Msgr. Tighe said they are hoping that when they get the churches that are

Tighe, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, pointed out that the Twitter has been a very important tool for OFWs to exercise their faith despite being in places where religious freedom is taboo. “These Filipinos are in a situation that is not easy for Catholics but Twitter is something that allowed them some connection to the Church,” he said. The Vatican official said that the OFWs’ ingenuity in using social media to express

and live their faith is something that he “loves about Filipinos.” He urged them to maximize Twitter and other social media platforms to build up their belongingness to the Catholic Church. “What I want to tell Filipinos around the world is that make sure you see in social media the potential to build good relationships among yourselves, to build up your faith and sense of belongingness to the Church and closeness to Christ,” he added. The Vatican social me -

developed in digital arena present, they will help churches in other parts of the world that are not so developed to be more present in digital space, which is also an exercise in Church solidarity in community. The Vatican already has the entitlement to .catholic top-level domain from the ICANN and has gone through their process. The Vatican will now go through the delegation, in which ICANN will ensure that the Vatican has the technology and the ability to make the top-level domain work properly, as well as the constituencies and that they are organized for it to be able to work effectively. Msgr. Tighe said it would take a year or two before .catholic top-level domain will be operative. “It’s a long-term project and we are taking it slowly,” he added. (Ronalyn Regino)

Church marks jubilee transporting relief goods to survivors
THE National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) celebrated its 50th jubilee of foundation doing relief operations for survivors of typhoon Yolanda. The country’s biggest group of mainline Protestant and Non-Roman Catholic churches, on November 15 commemorated its founding anniversary packing and transporting relief goods for typhoon survivors. “We decided to tone down the commemoration of our jubilee in solidarity with our people who have faced the wrath of the storm,” said NCCP General Secretary, Fr. Rex RB. Reyes, Jr. “Instead of a grand celebration, we have transformed our commemoration into an act of solidarity with those who are suffering,” he said. The NCCP has been actively distributing food and water in Samar since the impact of the devastation became known. Their compound in EDSA has become a relief center where volunteers are working day and night to repack goods for distribution to the affected areas. “Today we will remember our jubilee by committing ourselves to intensify our relief efforts not just for the immediate situation but also for longer-term rehabilitation,” said Reyes. According to Reyes “responding to the needs of the people” has been a significant part of the NCCP’s work since it was first established in 1963. “It is sad that our people are suffering but it is in keeping with our basic identity as a National Council of Churches that as we come to celebrate fifty years of our existence, the Lord of the Church should find us busy in the service of those in need,” Reyes said. The NCCP is a member of the ACT Alliance which is a global network of churches and church related organizations affiliated with the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation engaged in humanitarian work, advocacy and development work. The ACT Philippine Forum is composed of Christian Aid, Lutheran World Relief, United Methodist Church Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz (HEKS). NCCP is presently forum coordinator and is working closely with its partners in bringing relief and rehabilitation services to affected communities. (CBCPNews)

www. twitter.com/pontifex

Raymod Bandril

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Pastoral Concerns

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Synopsis of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium’
THE joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Thus begins the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, by which Pope Francis develops the theme of the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world, drawn from, among other sources, the contribution of the work of the Synod held in the Vatican, from 7 to 28 October 2012, on the theme The new evangelization for the transmission of the faith. I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come (1). It is a heartfelt appeal to all baptized persons to bring Christ’s love to others, permanently in a state of mission (25), conquering the great danger in today’s world, that of an individualist desolation and anguish (2). The Pope invites the reader to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, finding new avenues and new paths of creativity, without enclosing Jesus in dull categories (11). There is a need for a pastoral and missionary conversion, which cannot leave things as they presently are (25) and a renewal of ecclesiastical structures to enable them to become more mission-oriented (27). The Pontiff also considers a conversion of the papacy to help make this ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. The hope that the Episcopal Conferences might contribute to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit, he states, has not been fully realized (32). A sound decentralization is necessary (16). In this renewal, the Church should not be afraid to re-examine certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some of which have deep historical roots (43). A sign of God’s openness is that our church doors should always be open so that those who seek God will not find a closed door; nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness (47). He repeats that he prefers a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church concerned with being at the centre and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us it is the fact that many of our brothers and sisters

are living without the friendship of Jesus Christ (49). The Pope indicates the temptations which affect pastoral workers (77): individualism, a crisis of identity and a cooling of fervor (78). The greatest threat of all is the grey pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, which in reality faith is wearing down (83). He warns against defeatism (84), urging Christians to be signs of hope (86), bringing about a revolution of tenderness (88). It is necessary to seek refuge from the spirituality of wellbeing detached from responsibility for our brothers and sisters (90) and to vanquish the spiritual worldliness that consists of seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and well-being (93). The Pope speaks of the many who feel superior to others because they remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyses and classifies others (94). And those who have

an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on the needs of the people (95). This is a tremendous corruption disguised as a good God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings! (97). He appeals to ecclesial communities not to fall prey to envy and jealousy: How many wars take place within the people of God and in our different communities! (98). Whom are we going to evangelize if this is the way we act? (100). He highlights the need to promote the growth of the responsibility of the laity, often kept away from decisionmaking by an excessive clericalism (102). He adds that there is a need for still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church, in particular in the various settings where important decisions are made (103). Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected cannot be lightly

evaded (104). The young should exercise greater leadership (106). With regard to the scarcity of vocations in many places, he emphasizes that seminaries cannot accept candidates on the basis of any motivation whatsoever (107). With regard to the theme of inculturation, he remarks that Christianity does not have simply one cultural expression and that the face of the Church is varied (116). We cannot demand that peoples of every continent, in expressing their Christian faith, imitate modes of expression which European nations developed at a particular moment of their history (118). The Pope reiterates that underlying popular piety is an active evangelizing power (126) and encourages the research of theologians, reminding them however that the Church and theology exist to evangelize and urges them not to be content with a desk-bound theology (133). He focuses somewhat meticulously, on the homily, since many concerns have been expressed about this important

ministry and we cannot simply ignore them (135). The homily should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture (138); it should be a heart-to-heart communication and avoid purely moralistic or doctrinaire preaching (142). He highlights the importance of preparation: a preacher who does not prepare is not spiritual; he is dishonest and irresponsible (145). Preaching should always be positive in order always to offer hope and does not leave us trapped in negativity (159). The approach to the proclamation of the Gospel should have positive characteristics: approachability, readiness for dialogue, patience, a warmth and welcome, which is nonjudgmental (165). In relation to the challenges of the contemporary world, the Pope denounces the current economic system as unjust at its root (59). Such an economy kills because the law of the survival of the fittest prevails. The current culture

Begin ‘new chapter’ of joyful evangelization, Pope exhorts
IN his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis urged the Christian faithful to begin “a new chapter of evangelization,” marked by the joy that is “constantly born anew” with Christ. “The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus,” the Pope wrote, inviting Christians to “a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ.” The apostolic exhortation, also known as “Evangelii Gaudium,” follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the new evangelization, which was held as part of the Year of Faith. Released Nov. 26, the papal document stressed the need for Christian joy. “There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter,” the Pope said. Despite different ways of expressing joy and the difficulties of experiencing joy in suffering, he said, we must all allow joy to be part of our lives. At the core of preaching is “the God who revealed his immense love in the crucified and risen Christ,” the Holy Father explained. Christians should appear not as someone seeming to solely impose new obligations, but as those “who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet.” Examining challenges to evangelization including relativism and secularization, Pope Francis observed a “profound cultural crisis” in marriage and the family, which is the “fundamental cell of society.” The Pontiff rejected “an economy of exclusion and inequality,” which marginalizes people and treats them as disposable. Money has become an idol in the modern culture of indifference, he said, stressing the need for human-centered ethics in the financial system. Furthermore, the Pope encouraged pastoral workers to see their faith as tied integrally to their identity, and to embrace a missionary spirituality without selfishness, sloth or pessimism. He discouraged worldliness as well as warring among different groups within the Church. He recognized the important role of the laity in the Church, particularly noting the unique gifts of women, while affirming the male priesthood. Turning to the call of every Christian to evangelize, Pope Francis acknowledged the necessity of explicitly proclaiming Christ as Lord. He assured that “cultural diversity is not a threat to Church unity,” and explained that unity “is never uniformity, but a multifaceted and inviting harmony.” He rejected the imposition of a “specific cultural form” accompanying evangelization, preferring rather that each culture retain their expressions, while being renewed by the “transcultural” content of the Gospel. The Roman Pontiff discussed the importance of the homily as the “supreme moment” of dialogue between God and his people. Homilies “should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture,” but should instead be a heart-to-heart conversation between the Father and his children, addressing the needs that are truly part of their lives. Homilies should be prepared with “a prolonged time of study, prayer, reflection and pastoral creativity,” he said, and preachers should themselves be transformed by the text. He also advised the use of images, a simple vocabulary, clarity of message, and a focus on being positive. All Christian formation must begin with an emphasis on God’s saving love before proclaiming moral obligations and doctrines, the Pope stated. Evangelization must be alluring, using the “way of beauty” and showing the attractiveness of the moral life. In addition, there is a need for patience, as well as “respectful and compassionate listening” as a key component of evangelization, he explained. “The Gospel tells us to correct others and to help them to grow on the basis of a recognition of the objective evil of their actions, but without making judgments about their responsibility and culpability … our personal experience of being accompanied and assisted, and of openness to those who accompany us, will teach us to be patient and compassionate with others, and to find the right way to gain their trust, their openness and their readiness to grow.” In addition, Pope Francis pointed to a “profound connection between evangelization and human advancement,” saying that the “Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God” but rather that it includes clear social content. He emphasized that religion cannot be “restricted to the private sphere,” but is concerned with society, since “all Christians … are called to show concern for the building of a better world.” The Pontiff highlighted the preferential option for the poor, which “is primarily a theological category rather than a cultural, sociological, political or philosophical one,” and is a reflection of mercy. Rather than any ideology, the “authentic option for the poor” is based on love of the poor person precisely as a person, he said, adding that “this is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them.” The Bishop of Rome called everyone to have this closeness to the poor, shown through concrete action. No one is exempt because they have to give their attention elsewhere, he said. “I fear that these words too may give rise to commentary or discussion with no real practical effect,” he lamented. The Pope examined economic policies, saying welfare projects are “merely temporary responses,” and that we should “reject the absolute autonomy of markets.” “The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies,” he stressed. The Roman Pontiff advocated a “better distribution of income,” while being “far from proposing an irresponsible populism.” He recalled both the universal destination of goods and that “the private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good.” “(F)or this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them.” Pope Francis also mentioned a need to
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Pope’s document hailed as reshaping modern evangelization
IN his first apostolic exhortation, the uncommonly simple terminology of Pope Francis brings a fresh approach to the new evangelization, also giving a decisive direction to the Church’s mission, say Vatican officials. “Pope Francis speaks in a direct way, easy, communicative, in a way that quickly reaches the hearts and the minds of people,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella in a Nov. 26 interview with CNA. Archbishop Fisichella is the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and was present at the Nov. 26 press conference detailing the new document. The apostolic exhortation, known as “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel) follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the new evangelization, held as part of the Year of Faith. Released Nov. 26, the papal document stressed in particular the need for Christian joy in the Church’s work of sharing the Gospel with all people. “The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ’s cross, constantly invites us to rejoice,” the Pope said in the exhortation, citing the angel’s greeting “Rejoice!” to Mary at the Annunciation as an example of what our attitude ought to be when we encounter the Gospel. “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them,” the pontiff encouraged. “I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.’” Archbishop Fisichella noted that the language which the Pope uses to illustrate the call and challenges of evangelization “is a language that we all use in everyday life.” In modern day society, he said, the Church does not have a “parallel or distinct way” of approaching modern man, but “it has the same path, and the same Gospel should enter in the hearts of people and should make understood the great mystery of revelation.” Drawing attention to the Pope’s frequent use of images when speaking, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, stated during the press conference that the Pontiff illustrates the importance of “simplicity.” This “involves the vocabulary used,” observed Archbishop Celli, explaining that “it must be a language people understand to avoid the risk of speaking into a vacuum.” Pope Francis’ approach, he affirmed, is marked by “simplicity, clarity and positivity.” Archbishop Fisichella observed that the document “is an exhortation primarily directed at Christians to recover, above

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By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
AFTER reading your first two articles¾“The Proper Place to Keep Bones and Ashes of Deceased Catholics” and “Is cremation alright”¾ I would like to follow up with a related question. I live in a regional capital in the Visayas. I have always been edified by the availability of our parish priest and his assistant parish priest to celebrate a funeral Mass for the people of our parish who pass away. Even if at times the priests are not able to accompany the burial entourage to the cemetery, the relatives of the faithful departed are always consoled by the Funeral Mass and prayers that our priests piously celebrate in the Church before the actual burial. At times I have seen our parish priest go through this even during the hectic holy week schedule or during our fiesta, when obviously there are many other activities requiring his presence. Is he doing this because of some strict obligation or is he just naturally good? On the other hand, I also remember reading sometime ago that somewhere in Luzon (I think it was in Nueva Ecija) a known freemason was denied ecclesiastical funeral by the Bishop. What does Canon Law say about this? What is a Church Funeral? By a Church funeral--technically referred to as ecclesiastical funeral rites or collectively just ecclesiastical funeral--is understood the sacred rites celebrated and suffrages offered by the Church to implore spiritual help in favor of the faithful on the occasion of their death. They are considered not only as private prayers but as liturgical actions of the Church itself.1 They correspond to what in the old Code of Canon Law of 1917 was referred to as an ecclesiastical burial-a term, on the other hand, which was considered too narrow by the framers of the new Code, as it tended to limit its scope to the actual inhumation. The new Code of Canon Law establishes the juridic nature of the ecclesiastical funeral--aside from its obviously theological and pastoral dimensions--by regulating it in a series of canons (cc.1176-1185). In general terms, the Code establishes its contents in c.1176, §2: Through ecclesiastical funeral rites the Church asks spiritual assistance for the departed, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living; such rites are to be celebrated according to the norms of liturgical laws. Thus, they have a threefold pretension: 1) to gain spiritual help for the faithful departed, 2) to honor their memory and their mortal remains, and 3) to give the solace of hope to the bereaved living. On the other hand, the Ritual for Christian Funeral--the main source of the norms of liturgical laws alluded to by c.1176, §2--goes into the specific details of the ecclesiastical funeral, among which we can mention the following: 2 -- it emphasizes the communion of all the members of Christ’s Church through the Eucharist and the suffrages;

Updates The Right to a church Funeral
-- it determines the principal elements of the funeral rites: Eucharistic celebration, reading of the Word of God, prayers, psalms, final commendation and farewell by the community to one of its members; -- it concretizes three possible places or stations for the celebration of the funeral rites: the house, the church and the final burial place. Thus, depending on the availability of the priest, any one of the three stations (i.e., the house, the church or the burial place) can constitute a full funeral rite. In big cities, for example, with the time required to go to the memorial park which are usually in the suburbs, it is quite alright (and in fact usual) for the funeral rite to be limited to the church. Is There a Right to an Ecclesiastical Funeral? The Code clearly establishes the right of the faithful to ecclesiastical funeral rites, as well as the corresponding obligation of the sacred ministers to assure the celebration of the same, in c.1176, §1: The Christian faithful departed are to be given ecclesiastical funeral rites according to the norm of law. This right and obligation are founded on Christian communion--i.e., in the participation of the faithful in the life and means of salvation of the Christian community. The Church recognizes the responsibility of delivering these salvific means and thus has instituted the ecclesial funeral rites to help the faithful departed, in the same way that it administers the sacraments and sacramentals to help the living. Thus, Canon Law--declares an old decree of the former Sacred Congregation of the Council--strictly commands that ecclesiastical burial be accorded all the baptized, except when they have been expressly deprived of such by the Law. 3 Furthermore, the general obligation of the Church to provide the ecclesiastical funeral is specified as one of the special duties of the parish priest by c.530: The following functions are especially entrusted to the pastor… 5°the performing of funerals. Who have the Right to an Ecclesiastical Funeral? Can.1176, §1 states the general norm making all those baptized in the Catholic Church subjects of the right to an ecclesiastical funeral: The Christian faithful departed are to be given ecclesiastical funeral rites according to the norms of law. Can.1183 further expands the scope of the subjects of this right: §1.Asregardsfuneralrites,catechumens are to be considered member of the Christian faithful. (They are considered baptizati in voto). §2. The Local Ordinary can permit children to be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if their parents intended to baptize them but they died before their baptism. §3. In the prudent judgment of the Local Ordinary, ecclesiastical funeral rites can be granted to baptized members of some nonCatholic church or ecclesial community, unless it is evidently contrary to their will and provided their own minister is unavailable.

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Can Anyone be Denied an Ecclesiastical Funeral? Can.1184 enumerates a series of subjects to be denied ecclesiastical funeral: ¾ §1. Unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death, the following are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites: 1° notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics; 2° persons who had chosen the cremation of their own bodies for reasons opposed to the Christian faith; 3° other manifests sinners for whom ecclesiastical funeral rites cannot be granted without public scandal to the faithful. ¾ §2. If some doubt should arise, the Local Ordinary is to be consulted; and his judgment is to be followed. Obviously, the denial of an ecclesiastical funeral does not preclude the possibility of offering suffrages and prayers in favor of any deceased person, since the aforementioned canon refers strictly only to an ecclesiastical funeral. Besides, since this is a norm limiting the general principle laid down by c.1176 to give a funeral rite to all Christian faithful departed, it must be interpreted restrictively, according to the general principle of c.18: Laws which establish a penalty or restrict the free exercise of rights or which contain an exception to the law are subject to a strict interpretation. Hence, the following baptized Christians are to be denied ecclesiastical funeral:

1st Notorious apostates (those who publicly renounce adherence to the Catholic Church), heretics (those who publicly renounce adhesion to a specific dogma of the Catholic Church) and schismatics (those who publicly renounce communion with the Church through its visible head who is the Pope). Such persons are in fact publicly expressing a will contrary to an ecclesiastical funeral, and the Church is just respecting such a will. The logic of this norm becomes even clearer when we keep in mind that apostasy, heresy and schism suppose a pertinacious and notorious will in denying Church doctrine and communion (c.751), and are even typified as canonical crimes (c.1364) and of late listed among the so-called delicta graviora (more serious crimes). 2nd Persons who had chosen the cremation of their own bodies for reasons opposed to the Christian faith--which would seem to be an altogether rare occurrence nowadays, when people usually choose cremation for practical reasons consistent with Christian piety. 3 rd Other manifests sinners --for the verification of which the Code establishes two concomitant conditions for ecclesiastical funeral to be denied: (1) a manifest or obvious sinful situation, and (2) a clearly foreseen scandal to the faithful should ecclesiastical funeral be granted. If either condition is not verified, therefore, an ecclesiastical funeral should not be denied. Sometimes, however, the verification

of these conditions is not so easy--either because the objective (manifest) situation of sin may not always coincide with the subjective conscience (guilt) of the subject, or the danger of scandal may be attenuated through adequate instruction of the faithful. Hence, the Code provides that in case of doubt, the Local Ordinary is to be consulted; and his judgment is to be followed. Conclusion 1) The parish priest is indeed just fulfilling his strict obligation to provide ecclesiastical funeral to his parishioners. 2) In the case of a notorious freemason, since membership in a Masonic lodge has been repeatedly condemned by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and in the case of the cited diocese in Nueva Ecija even expressly proscribed by the Local Ordinary--with the warning precisely of the denial of an ecclesiastical burial--then the Local Ordinary indeed had the right to judge the case, and deemed it to the interest of the common good of the Christian faithful to deny ecclesiastical funeral to the notorious mason.

(Endnotes) 1 Can. 837, §1: Liturgical actions are not private actions but celebrations of the Church itself… 2 Cf. Ordo Exequiarum, 15.VIII.1969 3 S.C. of the Council, Instruction, 12.I.1924, in AAS 16 (1924), p.189. Cf. CIC 1917, cc.1239 & 1240.

Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following queries:

Empty Tabernacle at a Bishop’s Mass

Where to Receive the Bread and Wine
sacred vessels himself» (see GIRM, Nos. 178 and 190). He also receives the gifts alongside the priest. In 2004 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments published the instruction «Redemptionis Sacramentum.” This document gives precise indications regarding the presentation of the gifts: “[70.] The offerings that Christ’s faithful are accustomed to present for the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Holy Mass are not necessarily limited to bread and wine for the eucharistic

Q: I arrived in a parish for confirmations. The first thing that caught my eye was that the sanctuary lamp was not burning, and that led me to notice that the tabernacle was empty. After the celebrations I asked the priest why that was so, and he said to me that the bishop, because he has the fullness of the priesthood, when he celebrates the liturgy like confirmations, it should be clear that the fullness of the sacrament is in him. I have never met this custom before and wonder how widespread it is. — E.R. A: This is an arcane rule that even many bishops are unaware of. It is specified in the Ceremonial of Bishops for cathedral churches and implied at least in other cases. The Ceremonial of Bishops says: “49. It is recommended that the tabernacle, in accordance with a very ancient tradition in cathedral churches, should be located in a chapel separate from the main body of the church. “But when, in a particular case, there is a tabernacle on the altar at which the bishop is to celebrate, the Blessed Sacrament should be transferred to another fitting place.” This norm is not new. The ceremonial manual for the extraordinary form by A.  Fortescue, J.B.  O’Connell and A. Reid says, when dealing with a Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Throne: “If the Blessed Sacrament is reserved on the high altar of the church, it should be removed, if possible, before the ceremony to a side chapel or altar.” Some recent authors opine that the rule would not necessarily apply to tabernacles that are in the sanctuary area but separate from the altar as such. Subsequent to the publication of the Ceremonial of Bishops, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 274, has added more details for the case when there is a tabernacle in the sanctuary area: “If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself. Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.” While not specified for bishops, it is probable that the same rule regarding genuflection would also apply in this specific situation. It must be admitted, however, that the descriptions of the rites of a solemn episcopal Mass usually presume the presence of a Blessed Sacrament chapel rather than the tabernacle in the sanctuary. Thus, when describing the entrance procession of a bishop’s
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Q: What is the most opportune place to receive the bread and wine at the offertory procession: in front of the altar, at the altar rail or in some other place? —A.F., Novara, Italy A:  The offertory procession is described in several documents. The Ceremonial of Bishops describes the rite thus in No. 145: «At the end of the general intercessions, the bishop sits and puts on the miter … the deacons and acolytes arrange the corporal, purificator … on the altar. «The gifts are then brought forward. As a sign of their participation, the faithful should present the bread and wine for the celebration of the eucharist, and even other gifts to meet the needs of the Church and of the poor. The deacons or the bishop receives the gifts of the faithful at a convenient place. The bread and wine are brought by the deacons to the altar; the other gifts are taken to a suitable place prepared beforehand.» The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states: «139.  When the Prayer of the Faithful is completed, all sit, and the Offertory chant begins (cf. no. 74). An acolyte or other lay minister arranges the corporal, the purificator, the chalice, the pall, and the Missal upon the altar. «140.  It is appropriate for the faithful›s participation to be expressed by an offering, whether of the bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist or of other gifts for the relief of the needs of the Church and of the poor. The offerings of the faithful are received by the priest, assisted by the acolyte or other minister. The bread and wine for the Eucharist are carried to the celebrant, who places them upon the altar, while other gifts are put in another appropriate place (cf. no. 73).» However, if there is a deacon, he carries out the tasks referred to in No. 139. Thus, he «prepares the altar, assisted by the acolyte, but it is the deacon›s place to take care of the

celebration, but may also include gifts given by the faithful in the form of money or other things for the sake of charity toward the poor. Moreover, external gifts must always be a visible expression of that true gift that God expects from us: a contrite heart, the love of God and neighbor by which we are conformed to the sacrifice of Christ, who offered himself for us. For in the Eucharist, there shines forth most brilliantly that mystery of charity that Jesus brought forth at the Last Supper by washing the feet of the disciples. In order to preserve the dignity of the Sacred Liturgy, in any event, the external offerings should be brought forward in an appropriate manner. Money, therefore, just

as other contributions for the poor, should be placed in an appropriate place which should be away from the eucharistic table. Except for money and occasionally a minimal symbolic portion of other gifts, it is preferable that such offerings be made outside the celebration of Mass.” After the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist, Pope Benedict XVI continued this reflection in his apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis”: “47. The Synod Fathers also drew attention to the presentation of the gifts. This is not to be viewed simply as a kind of ‘interval’ between the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. To do so would tend to weaken, at the least, the sense of a single rite made up of two interrelated parts. This humble and simple gesture is actually very significant: in the bread and wine that we bring to the altar, all creation is taken up by Christ the Redeemer to be transformed and presented to the Father. In this way we also bring to the altar all the pain and suffering of the world, in the certainty that everything has value in God’s eyes. The authentic meaning of this gesture can be clearly expressed without the need for undue emphasis or complexity. It enables us to appreciate how God invites man to participate in bringing to fulfillment his handiwork, and in so doing, gives human labor its authentic meaning, since, through the celebration of the Eucharist, it is united to the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.” In spite of this wealth of documents, none of them gives any precise indications regarding the place where the gifts are to be received. At most they say a “suitable place.” This absence of precise norms is probably the best choice, as it would be almost impossible to foresee the logistics of each
© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

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Partial assessment summary of the impact of Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar
CBCP-NASSA / Catholic Relief Services; November 16, 2013
Overview of the disaster On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall in the town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Packing 315kph of strong winds, it brought heavy rains to the entire province of Eastern Samar and devastated its southern municipalities, particularly Guiuan and its neighboring towns. Storm surges in varying degrees were reported in several municipalities especially on its eastern coastline. Most municipalities have evacuated their residents before the typhoon hit Eastern Samar but the province was still overwhelmed by a typhoon of this intensity in terms of wind power and storm surges. On the eastern coastline, the following municipalities reported heavy damages and casualties: Balangkayan, Hernani, Salcedo, Mercedes and Guiuan. Yolanda then moved west towards Tacloban City in Leyte, bringing devastation to the following municipalities along the way: Quinapondan, Giporlos, Balangiga and Lawaan. Electricity went down, communication lines were lost, and roads leading to Eastern Samar became impassable. For several days, Eastern Samar was isolated and it was only recently that 4-wheel vehicles could finally penetrate the province, and planes were able to drop much needed relief goods and medicines through the runway in Guiuan. Affected municipalities are still struggling to address widespread homelessness, hunger, injuries and sanitation problems brought about by the typhoon, amidst the relief support from both the government and external organizations slowly trickling in. Guiuan, where Yolanda made its first landfall, has been placed under a State of Calamity with military forces from Region 3 maintaining peace and order in the town. The rest of the province on the other hand is slowly experiencing a ripple effect as it tries to address supply issues. Cut-off from Tacloban City which had traditionally been the source of many of its food, medicine and fuel supply, and with the added pressure to provide the needs of its affected towns, Eastern Samar, particularly its capital Borongan City, is now facing the burden of maintaining its capacity to supply the needs of its population. Supply shortages, especially food and fuel, is now felt by the entire province. Electricity and devastated, people are actually living in “makeshift” shelters or whatever is left standing with sufficient roofing. LIVELIHOOD The affected areas rely mostly on copra and fishery for livelihood. Most coconut areas in the south were denuded after the typhoon, and most fishing vessels have been destroyed. OTHERS The main highway has been cleared and is now passable. The road between Hernani and MacArthur has been washed out but still passable. Roads to interior barrios are still being cleared though (i.e. Sapao and Sulangan in Guiuan). DPWH personnel are in charge of clearing operations, with some help from local construction companies. Power is still down in the entire province. Most institutions are relying heavily on generator sets, adding more pressure to Borongan’s already strained fuel supply. Communication lines are currently still being restored. As of this writing, it is now possible to send and receive text messages via SMART network in Borongan (SMART to SMART). Almost all municipal offices in affected areas have been severely managed. Most LGUs are now “operating” in makeshift offices. Churches are likewise badly damaged. Needs Assessment FOOD Food supply is very critical at this point. People need to have a regular supply of food to slowly normalize the situation. With daily food supply secured, people can gradually focus on rebuilding their lives (livelihood, shelter, etc.). Relief operations for Eastern Samar is expected to last for 2 to 3 months before a semblance of normalcy can be achieved WATER SUPPLY Water systems should be repaired. Hyposols are also needed. HEALTH and SANITATION Medicines: analgesics/ antipyretics, antibiotics, oresol, anti-inflammatory plasters, gauze bandage, betadine, sutures, syringes (tuberculin), antibacterial, alcohol 70%, nebulizer/puff, anti-tetanus, anti-liptospirosis, anti-fungal ointment Jerry cans for water storage are needed. Garbage management should be addressed. Hygiene kits are also needed. CRITICAL NON-FOOD ITEMS Fuel supply should be sufficient to sustain relief operations. With electricity still down, people can use candles and lighters in the meantime, yet candle supply in Eastern Samar especially in Borongan City is almost depleted. SHELTER At the moment, people need to have tents for temporary shelter. Intermittent rains are experienced in Eastern Samar at present. LIVELIHOOD Assistance to help fisherfolk repair their fishing vessels is needed. Copra farmers need to replant but it will take a long period of time for a coconut tree to grow. Local capacities and outside assistance Local governments in the affected areas have practically lost their capacities to serve their population because of severe damages to infrastructure and government resources. Both the provincial government and local church (Diocese of Borongan) were quick to respond to the situation and provided early relief assistance to the affected areas, yet their resources are limited (both in terms of finances and local supply of goods). Banking activities are on a stand-still in Eastern Samar. One week since Yolanda devastated the province, the Diocese of Borongan could only provide close to 8,000 relief packs through local sourcing. There
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Impact assessment FOOD Widespread hunger is deeply felt in all affected municipalities. Relief had been slow to come, especially in the aftermath of the Typhoon when the entire province was isolated. The relief packs coming in from the provincial government, local church and other organizations could only feed a family for 1-2 days, and is usually composed of 3 kilos of rice, noodles and canned goods. In Borongan City, there is still adequate rice supply in the NFA warehouse that would last for one month (under normal circumstances), with reserves for relief operations. WATER SUPPLY Water systems are damaged.

Hyposol supply is limited in the PHO in Borongan. HEALTH and SANITATION Medical services are affected because most, if not all, Rural Health Units (RHU) have been significantly damaged. Medicines are running out with the number of injuries still high, particularly in Guiuan and Salcedo. Local support is low because of limited supply. The Provincial Health Office (PHO) faces dwindling supply and could not deliver much needed support because of fuel shortages; and it could not rely on its Regional Office with Tacloban City devastated by the typhoon as well. Mud and debris are still present in the affected towns, and even more so in Guiuan which has a higher population density than the others. Garbage

Eyewitness account of the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda
By Fr. Shay Cullen
I FLEW into Cebu City, an hour’s flight from Manila and drove with two Preda staff starting 3 am to visit the northern towns of Cebu Island on Tuesday, 19 November. The goal was to reach Daanbantayan, Bogo,and Bantayan Island to assess the storm damage, visit their communities and understand the situation so as to know what the needs are and to deliver aid donations directly to the people in need. The other equally important goal is to spread awareness about the need to protect orphaned children from would-be abductors and traffickers posing as relatives. After two hours of driving, we entered the disaster zone and the glimmer of lights in the houses disappeared and we drove in total darkness brought on by the typhoon Haiyan. It is a total blackout and power lines are down everywhere. The moon gave an eerie sense of isolation. The remains of houses stood silhouetted and gave the appearance of a war-torn, bombed-out battle field. These were once home to over a thousand families and are now a scene of desolation and ruin. As the dawn light touched the horizon, the specter of devastation became all the more apparent and I began to realize that I was witnessing storm destruction and personal loss to millions of people. Recovery will take many years. As the sun rose, I saw a bleak landscape of toppled power poles, once proud towering Acacia trees stripped naked of branches and leaves shamefully naked in dark outline against the dawn sky. Hundreds of tough coconut trees snapped off mid section, a rare sight of these typhoon hardened trees yet cut in half by a wind that reached unprecedented gusts of 240 kilometers an hour. Mango trees were toppled, their roots upturned to the sky, totally vanquished the remaining leaves dead. I was appalled at the extent of the destruction; only the strongest houses of the rich were left standing. I felt awe that all this could be done in the space of two to three hours as the ferocious wind and rain storm swept over the land alike a scythe in a field of barley cutting down all before it. I have been through ferocious typhoons during my 44 years in the Philippines but have never seen or experienced anything like this for the sheer savagery of this destructive force of nature. The gigantic force of the wind churned and turned everything it could to flying debris, smashing and tearing at everything, ripping roofs apart and carrying the metal sheets, rafters and roofs into the sky with such force that even cinder block walls collapsed before the onslaught. Then we arrived at Daanbantayan and were surrounded by wreckage. We met people, listened to the survivors with compassion and were awed as they recounted their terrible ordeal fearing it was the end of the world and were in the jaws of a devouring monster. The survivors told me that the coconuts were ripped from the palm tops and fired like cannon balls smashing into roofs and walls. Their children were frightened and cried as the wind screamed and howled about them and the noise of debris smashing into the trees and roofs was terrifying there; food supplies were destroyed, and the water wells contaminated. We then drove to the ferry and took a one hour sea crossing to Bantayan island. There, we landed at Santa Fe, and witnessed more damage and destruction of homes and businesses. The churches had roof damage, yet the greatest damage was in the main town of Bantayan and the coastal area. We took a tricycle and went there. Along the way, we could see more damaged homes and buildings. The poultry industry was wiped out. We met the Mayor and were impressed with the fast clean up, order and discipline in the town. “We saved many lives”, he said, “we ordered a forced evacuation of the fishing villages, the fisher folk were unwilling at first but then they agreed and were saved”. We have had only 16 dead but many were injured, they lost their fishing boats”. The following day back in Cebu, we witnessed the resilience, courage and bravery of the many Filipinos that are rising above the tragedy. We met Anna and Jose in an evacuation center in Cebu. Jose is positive, hopeful and holding his new born baby that arrived during the evacuation flight. But Anna was sad and forlorn thinking of her missing father lost in Tacloban and likely dead. They put on a brave smile but underneath there was deep sadness. We discussed with officials the need to seek out unattached or orphaned children and document and register all especially orphaned children. We will send Preda social workers there to continue this work in all the evacuation centers. The relief work goes on. Preda has donated rice and other goods to the victims and is working with the University of San Carlos, Cebu to deliver relief aid to the many victims. We thank the donors who are contributing to this work. Preda is also building awareness to protect orphaned children at risk. Every help is welcome.

management issues have not yet been addressed. Portalets and bathing cubicles are non-existent at the moment. Several RHUs have requested additional medicines to address wounds of the injured, illnesses (mostly of children) and diarrhea. CRITICAL NON-FOOD ITEMS With fuel supply in Eastern Samar running very low, relief operations to the affected areas have been severely hampered. Transportation both within and outside the affected towns have been very limited. SHELTER Most people have gone back to whatever remained of their houses, with some who have nowhere else to go living either in evacuation centers (plazas, schools) or in neighboring houses which can still accommodate them. At least 90% of the houses in affected areas have been heavily

communication lines are still down. Banking transactions are also limited as all ATM machines in Borongan are still offline. With these developments, Borongan began turning to Catbalogan City (Samar) for its fuel and food supplies, thus likewise straining Catbalogan’s supply.

In Guiuan, those who have access to water pumps use these as sources of drinking water. Jerry cans are very few. The Rural Health Units (RHU) in Guiuan has indicated a rise in diarrhea cases, and is likewise echoed by people from other affected towns such as Hernani and Salcedo.

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

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Features Homily of Pope Francis at the Conclusion of the Year of Faith

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

On the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe; St. Peter’s Square, 24 November 2013
TODAY’S solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the crowning of the liturgical year, also marks the conclusion of the Year of Faith  opened by Pope  Benedict XVI, to whom our thoughts now turn with affection and gratitude for this gift which he has given us. By this providential initiative, he gave us an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of the journey of faith begun on the day of our Baptism, which made us children of God and brothers and sisters in the Church. A journey which has as its ultimate end our full encounter with God, and throughout which the Holy Spirit purifies us, lifts us up and sanctifies us, so that we may enter into the happiness for which our hearts long. I offer a cordial and fraternal greeting to the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches present. The exchange of peace which I will share with them is above all a sign of the appreciation of the Bishop of Rome for these communities which have confessed the name of Christ with exemplary faithfulness, often at a high price. With this gesture, through them, I would like to reach all those Christians living in the Holy Land, in Syria and in the entire East, and obtain for them the gift of peace and concord. The Scripture readings proclaimed to us have as their common theme the centrality of Christ. Christ is at the centre, Christ is the centre. Christ is the centre of creation, Christ is the centre of his people and Christ is the centre of history. 1. The apostle Paul, in the second reading, taken from the letter to the Colossians, offers us a profound vision of the centrality of Jesus. He presents Christ to us as the first-born of all creation: in him, through him and for him all things were created. He is the centre of all things, he is the beginning: Jesus Christ, the Lord. God has given him the fullness, the totality, so that in him all things might be reconciled (cf. Col 1:12Empty / B2

20). He is the Lord of creation, he is the Lord of reconciliation. This image enables to see that Jesus is the centre of creation; and so the attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words and in our works. And so our thoughts will be  Christian  thoughts, thoughts of Christ. Our works will be  Christian  works, works of Christ; and our words will be Christian words, words of Christ. But when this centre is lost, when it is replaced by something else, only harm can result for everything

around us and for ourselves. 2. Besides being the centre of creation and the centre of reconciliation, Christ is the centre of the people of God. Today, he is here in our midst. He is here right now in his word, and he will be here on the altar, alive and present amid us, his people. We see this in the first reading which describes the time when the tribes of Israel came to look for David and anointed him king of Israel before the Lord (cf. 2 Sam 5:1-3). In searching for an ideal king, the people were seeking God himself: a God who would be close to them, who would accompany them on their journey, who would be

a brother to them. Christ, the descendant of King David, is really the “brother” around whom God’s people come together. It is he who cares for his people, for all of us, even at the price of his life. In him we are all one, one people, united with him and sharing a single journey, a single destiny. Only in him, in him as the centre, do we receive our identity as a people. 3. Finally, Christ is  the centre of the history of humanity and also the centre of the history of every individual. To him we can bring the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and troubles which are part of our lives. When Jesus is the
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centre, light shines even amid the darkest times of our lives; he gives us hope, as he does to the good thief in today’s Gospel. Whereas all the others treat Jesus with disdain—“If you are the Christ, the Messiah King, save yourself by coming down from the cross!”—the thief who went astray in his life but now repents, clings to the crucified Jesus and begs him: “Remember me, when you come into your kingdom” (Lk  23:42). Jesus promises him: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43), in his kingdom. Jesus speaks only a word of forgiveness, not of condemnation; whenever anyone finds the courage to ask for this forgiveness, the Lord does not let such a petition go unheard. Today we can all think of our own history, our own journey. Each of us has his or her own history: we think of our mistakes, our sins, our good times and our bleak times. We would do well, each one of us, on this day, to think about our own personal history, to look at Jesus and to keep telling him, sincerely and quietly: “Remember me, Lord, now that you are in your kingdom! Jesus, remember me, because I want to be good, but I just don’t have the strength: I am a sinner, I am a sinner. But remember me, Jesus! You can remember me because you are at the centre, you are truly in your kingdom!” How beautiful this is! Let us all do this today, each one of us in his or her own heart, again and again. “Remember me, Lord, you who are at the centre, you who are in your kingdom”. Jesus’ promise to the good thief gives us great hope: it tells us that God’s grace is always greater than the prayer which sought it. The Lord always grants more, he is so generous, he always gives more than what he has been asked: you ask him to remember you, and he brings you into his kingdom! Let us ask the Lord to remember us, in the certainty that by his mercy we will be able to share his glory in paradise. Let us go forward together on this road! Amen!

Mass, No. 128 of the Ceremonial says: “There is neither a stop nor a genuflection if the procession passes in front of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.” Therefore, while it would not appear to be an absolute rule, there is a certain tradition that would allow for the removal of the Blessed Sacrament from the sanctuary area when a solemn pontifical Mass is celebrated by a bishop, especially the local ordinary. The theological reason behind this custom is that it underlines the bishop’s role as high priest of his flock. The instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum” states: “19. The diocesan Bishop, the first steward of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to him,

is the moderator, promoter and guardian of her whole liturgical life. For ‘the Bishop, endowed with the fullness of the Sacrament of Order, is the steward of the grace of the high Priesthood, especially in the Eucharist which he either himself offers or causes to be offered, by which the Church continually lives and grows.’ “20. Indeed, the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church is found whenever the rites of Mass are celebrated, especially i n t h e Ca t h e d r a l Ch u r ch , ‘with the full and active participation of the entire holy People of God, joined in one act of prayer, at one altar at which the Bishop presides,’ surrounded by his presbyterate with the Deacons and ministers. Furthermore,

‘every lawful celebration of the Eucharist is directed by the Bishop, to whom is entrusted the office of presenting the worship of the Christian religion to the Divine Majesty and ordering it according to the precepts of the Lord and the laws of the Church, further specified by his own particular judgment for the Diocese.’” Leaving the tabernacle empty stresses the diocesan bishop’s role as the “first steward of the mysteries of God in the particular Church” and as the one who directs “every lawful celebration of the Eucharist.” In a way it is a sign that Christ grants the Eucharist through the episcopal ministry as the fullness of the priesthood and so reflects the Church’s nature

as a sacramental communion. For the bishop, this sign should be a humbling reminder of his great responsibilities in “presenting the worship of the Christian religion to the Divine Majesty.” In no way can it be interpreted as in some way exalting the bishop with respect to the mystery of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The norms do not specifically state that the rule does not usually apply when a bishop other than the metropolitan or the local ordinary celebrates Mass. That this is probably the case, however, could be inferred by the fact that the rules on removing the Blessed Sacrament are almost always found in the context of the local bishop’s Stational Mass.

© Kerri Lenartowick / CNA

and every parish. A suitable place means a place where the gifts can be handed to the priest, passed to the deacon or other ministers, and brought to the altar in as simple and unobtrusive way as possible for all concerned. Thus the suitable place is determined by liturgical common sense, taking into account such things as the number of steps in the sanctuary, the space available for the ministers and the trajectory to the altar. In most cases this would mean that the priest and ministers, once the altar is prepared, approach the center of the sanctuary and receive the gifts at the first steps. This has the advantage that the faithful carrying the gifts need not be perturbed by obstacles such as awkward steps, and it

permits members of the assembly of different ages and states of health, including those using wheelchairs, to participate in this service. In other cases it might be necessary to adapt to the situation of the priest, especially if he is elderly or has difficulties moving. When a bishop celebrates, or it is a solemn celebration, the gifts may also be brought to the celebrant seated at the chair; he receives them and then passes them to the deacons or other ministers. If this is done, it is prudent to select carefully those who will bring up the gifts and even to practice the rite beforehand. In all cases it is preferable that the priest himself should not have to carry anything to the altar.

May They Be One
Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

• No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 85 out of 86 Dioceses • Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2013 - Nov. 20, 2013): 196,064 copies • Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (3,500 cps.) Cebuano (42,147 cps.) English TEV (28,413cps.), English NABRE (2,480) Hiligaynon (14,984 cps.), Ilocano (5,460 cps.), Pampango (1,157 cps.), Pangasinan (1,618 cps.), Samarenyo (1,307cps.), Tagalog (82,136 cps.), Tagalog New Testament (3,086 cps.), Tagalog Evangelical (9,776 cps.) • Parishes/Communities served: 1,385 • Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Nov. 20, 2013): 1,007,073cps. • Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2013: 500,000 cps.

Bible Campaign

What a difference the Word makes
WOMAN of many vices—that was what Leny Tuazon of Tondo used to be. She was a mahjongera and an excessive drinker. This mother of three was also into chain smoking, habit she enjoyed in the company of her husband. A visitor entering her house would find himself transported into a cloud of cigarette smoke. Interestingly, despite being hooked to these vices, Leny was deeply involved in a religious order and was actively seeking a Bible study group where she and her husband could attend. God, seeing beyond the vices into her thirsting heart, brought her to a Bible sharing group led by Bambi Crispino, under the May They Be One Bible campaign in partnership with the San Rafael parish in Balut, Tondo. Reading and studying the MTBO Bible, Leny was convicted of her vices and appropriated the Lord’s power to give the vices up. Many other blessings followed her journey with God’s Word. Leny was set free from a bad temper that used to bring her a lot of guilt and conflict in her relationships. In place of anger, God gave her self-control. This student of the Word who found peace with God also found peace with nature. Her former indifference to the environment gave way to care and good stewardship. Her little yard now bustles with pots of flower and herbs. Leny practices prudence and good stewardship in the use of electricity at home, training her children to do likewise. Asked for her favorite Bible verse, Leny recited John 3:16 with a voice breaking from a heart overwhelmed by the love and goodness of God: For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life. (Good News Translation).

Members of the MTBO Advisory Committee: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo, Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut, Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call Helen at PBS 524-5337, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www. bible.org.ph and www.ecbacbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #39030649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPITayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments – go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)

Leny Tuazon with her Filipino language May They Be One Bible

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Statements

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MY dear brothers and sisters: The recent earthquake and typhoon have caused disasters and devastation to our people. No words can describe the sorrow that many of our brothers and sisters, particularly those living in the islands of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Samar have suffered. The calamities have tested our spirit as a community. As the Year of Faith comes to close, we have been called upon to exercise our faith by putting our trust in the Lord and reaching out to help each other. Once again we treasure the precious gift of faith. It will not falter; we shall overcome adversities with charity. As we pray we shall rise with courage and renewed hope for the future. We profess “by endurance you will save your lives” (Luke 21:19). Signs of their indomitable spirit can be seen everywhere. People from safer areas flocking to devastated places bearing food, water, medicine and other relief goods to help the survivors. Homes and communities

CBCP Pastoral Statement on the recent Earthquake and Typhoon that devastated the Central Region of the Philippines
opening their gates and doors to welcome evacuees and care for those who have taken refuge. It is inspiring to see convoys of vehicles bearing relief goods and materials as manifestations of solidarity and a life of charity. There may be less of good cheer this Christmas for many, but the Christmas spirit did come early this year. Even as we take heart in the resilience and strength of those who felt victims to the calamities, as well as in the sacrifices, generosity and caring spirit of those who volunteered to help, we gratefully acknowledge the solicitous concern of various international communities who had been with us even before the typhoon struck. Our profound gratitude goes to the foreign media, who brought to the world’s attention the plight of our countrymen. We thank the government and foreign institutions who have sent aid and expression of solidarity. Indeed the twin calamities have tested severely our faith.

Photo courtesy of Fr. Neil Tenefrancia

Yet, even now, we believe we shall emerge from their situations with more awareness of the pattern of nature and hopefully learn its lessons. By strengthening the systems and institutions that mitigate the effects of these forces of nature, we can avoid the recurrence of the present tragedy. The culmination of the Year of Faith makes us trust in the God of love and mercy, the God who points to a tomorrow much better than today. For our part, knowing the dream and love in people’s hearts, we need to pick up the pieces of our lives, help each other to rise again and take up the journey of rebuilding our communities. We confess God makes all things new (cf. Rev. 21:5). For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: +JOSE S. PALMA, DD Archbishop of Cebu CBCP President November 24, 2013; Solemnity of Christ the Universal King

THIS is the time for charity, urgent charity. This is the time for lighting our small little candles together to fight the darkness and gloom. This is the time to spread inspiration, to dig for more hope and to send off more positive vibes in the air. The government cannot do the relief and rehabilitation alone. The NGO’s and communication companies cannot do this alone. The engineers and social workers cannot do this by themselves. We need to help one another. Those who want to help must help together. Name calling and blame passing and finger pointing will just increase the damage and add to the confusion. This is the least we need. Let us celebrate what is right. Let us do what is right, the right that we can do no matter how small. Let us not allow the magnitude to overwhelm us. Feed one by one. Help one at a time. I encourage every church group or religious association to directly adopt one parish community in the Diocese of Borongan. There are thirty two parishes that may be adopted as sister communities. The Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte has sixty four parishes. We can adopt one parish and directly help them with relief now and rehabilitation later on. In the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, we have established links with Saint Mary’s College in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. All our relief goods will be repacked and dispatched by the Religious of the Virgin Mary in Guiuan. Hunger and sickness cannot wait. Do not wait for government. We must open all possibilities rather than get stuck at dead ends or road blocks or broken bridges. We must be aggressive and creative in sending charity. On November 23, 2013 at six o clock in

Sama Sama Tayo!

PALEA’S Victory, A Recognition of Worker’s Rights
In Grateful Appreciation to the New PAL Management
AFTER two years and two months of struggle for workers’ rights, Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA)’s pains, anxieties, hardships and sacrifices bear fruit and provide a bright learning experience to the Filipino working class. The CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action–Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) congratulates with so much pride the members of the PALEA, especially those who stood up against harassments and pressures. With joys, NASSA recognizes the great contribution of more than six hundred members out of more than 2,000 PALEANS in their struggle for workers’ rights. Now they reap the fruit of their fidelity and commitment to protect the rights of the workers. Their struggle and victory amidst lack of adequate help and attention from the executive and judicial branches of government manifest that indeed Justice and Truth could be achieved here on earth. With fervent faith and hope in God, nothing is impossible with God. We also recognize the compassionate hearts of the new PAL management. We sincerely appreciate the new PAL management’s action to hear the grievance of PALEANs and respect their rights. By opening avenues for dialogue, the labor disputes were resolved. We thank both the PALEA and PAL management for maintaining open dialogue that led to the successful resolution of their dispute. In the midst of the devastating super typhoon Yolanda with thousands of victims groaning in pains and insecurities, we still have the reason to be glad and thankful to God for another human-made disaster, the PALEA case is resolved. On November 14, at 5 pm let’s unite ourselves and join PALEA in a Thanksgiving Mass at the protest camp. +BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD National Director, CBCP-NASSA November 14, 2013

Pastoral Letter on the closing of the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Daet
“We want to see Jesus” (John 12:21)
among our people: a faith that is divorced from moral life, a faith that is solely centered on devotional and liturgical practices, and a faith that has nothing to do with social transformation. Concretely, we can address this weakness by coming up with structured corporal works of mercy programs. This situation also demands synergy of all programs related to social apostolate. Third, it is our obligation to inspire our faithful to practice a faith that is shared. But faith does not blossom into sharing when it is divorced from life and when it is shared only selectively. To overcome this tendency, we must discern new ways of serving the needy and discover timely ministries that will really address urgent pastoral needs. Concretely, this is pushing our parishes to come up with structures that will inspire more parishioners to serve in the many different forms of ministries. Lastly, the results of faith assessment which we have conducted for several months, point to the need to devise a monitoring system to follow up the faith development of the parishioners. And this boils down to the necessity for our priests especially parish priests and lay leaders to establish personal connection with the faithful. Him in our lives, in the Church, in our society, in the face of our neighbor, in our brokenness and sinfulness, in the calamities that struck our country and in the whole of creation. Knowing where we are and discerning where we should be without faith life One of the fruits of the Year of Faith is that it has given us an accurate and updated picture of the faith status of the Catholic faithful and the diocese as a whole. More so, we are also able to discern the kind of faith we should aspire for and the triple duties that we must assume. First, it is incumbent upon us to “fan into flame” the faith of our people so that they will have a faith that is alive. To reach this aspiration, we must address the following inadequacies in the faith life of our people: the inability to see God’s presence and action in one’s life due to superficial quality of prayer, the lack of rootedness of faith in the Word of God and the inability to reflect on one’s life in the light of faith and to allow the light of faith to enrich one’s life. Thus, it becomes imperative for our diocesan commissions and parishes to devise programs and structures that will provide an atmosphere where the lay faithful can learn to reflect on their lives in the light of the Word of God and can help them respond to God’s presence and actions with gratitude. Second, it is our duty to lead the faithful to a kind of faith that is lived. To attain this goal, we must challenge the following weaknesses prevalent to which I invite all of you to participate and share. For our Church and faith to be renewed, we must inspire one another to be faithful in our vocation – either priests, religious or lay faithful. We must become a Church that truly cares for families especially the young people. We must become a Church whose members are truly stewards of God’s gift and who find meaning and fulfilment in their faith-life by sharing their time, treasure, and talent. We must become a Church whose members not only continuously deepen their Christian faith but are also willing to share Christ with others. We must become a Church that is being built and strengthened by the participation and involvement of all the members. We must become a Church whose members bear that kind of faith that can transform our society by doing works of love and justice. We continue our journey of faith focusing on the laity and socio pastoral concerns I take this opportunity to thank all our priests especially the Parish Priests and those who were involved in facilitating the activities and faith of
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the evening, let us call for a national three minute of silence all over the nation. Let us pause. Pray for the dead. Pray for the living. Atone for our sins. Commit to give. Promise before God to help Samar and Leyte rise up. Spread the prayer appeal. November 23 Vigil of Christ the King at 6:00 pm let us pause from our concerns and ask God for His blessing. It has been so long since we last prayed as a nation. Let this calamity wake us

up to the truth that the city of man is weak and passing. We must set our hearts on the CITY of GOD… Prayer works. We cannot rebuild our nation without God. We cannot rebuild without prayer. +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan November 14, 2013

DEAR Brothers and Sisters, on this occasion of the closing of the Year of Faith, it is with great concern that I write to you as Bishop of the Diocese of Daet. As Catholics, we humbly raise our hearts to the Almighty Father, the source and provider of all our needs, to listen to us during this time of difficulties. I urge you to continue praying for our leaders and for all kind hearted people to extend their generosity as a concrete expression of their Christian faith. Let us offer our prayers for the souls of those who have died during the typhoon Yolanda. May the Lord come swiftly to them, have mercy on them and comfort their families by the power and protection of Jesus’ cross. The calamites that struck our country and the activities in the Diocese have brought many traces of reflections during the Year of Faith. We will all agree that by celebrating the year of faith, we are strengthened, confirmed and renewed in our Catholic faith in the God of love (rf. Porta Fidei no.3). More importantly, this celebration has helped us to appreciate more God’s gift of faith: how faith gives meaning to and enriches our lives (rf. Porta Fidei no. 9) . We thank Pope Emeritus Benedict for giving us this opportunity to revitalize our faith. We also thank the Holy Spirit for helping us look deeply into our faith thereby discovering what God is doing with our lives and where he is leading us. We started with the desire to see Jesus; we end with the gifts of seeing

Results of faith assessment confirm the seven areas discovered in the pastoral visit It is both a surprise and a consolation to know that the results of faith assessment confirm the seven areas I discovered in my Pastoral Visit from 2011 to 2012. While this confirmation gives us a true picture of our faith life and of our diocese, it also points to us our collective mission in the diocese

Photo courtesy of Fr. Neil Tenefrancia

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Ref lections
1st Sunday of Advent (A); Beginning of the “Year of the Laity” December 1, 2013

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Eager to welcome the Lord

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
IT is simply amazing to see how many times we “miss the point” and spend time and energies on things that are mere trifles, while neglecting what really matters in life. This is why we seem to be getting nowhere, and many problems remain unsolved. This is particularly true in our spiritual life. We know we have very many defects and shortcomings. We know we should take action about this situation, for this is something that only we can do. And yet we do not come to the point. Either we fail to identify the problem, or—even if we do know what we should do—we still do not take any decisive concrete action in the right direction. And we cannot say that we lack opportunities to do so. The Lord talks to us in many ways. He gives us so many chances. The liturgical year is one such series of chances, starting with Advent. But how many take advantage of it? For all of us, Advent means preparation for Christmas, and in this we are right. But for most of us, this “preparation” is reduced to playing/singing Christmas carols, putting up Christmas decorations, buying and sending gifts, preparing noisy, fun-filled parties, and planning where to spend the long Christmas break . . . . No wonder if, in the end, we find ourselves more tired, more “empty” than before and even more dissatisfied with our spiritual life. All the while we

have behaved like the guy whose car has developed a serious engine trouble, but all that he does is clean the dashboard and the windshield, spray perfume on

the driver’s seat, or pump a little more air into the tires . . . . The liturgy, particularly the readings of this First Sunday of Advent, are meant to

give the right orientation to our preparation for Christmas. They remind us that the “core of the matter” is that we should become better Christians. All the things

that we do in Advent should lead to that, and not divert our attention from it. The first part of the core of the matter is for us “to climb the Lord’s mountain . . . that He may instruct us in His way and we may walk in His paths.” That will enable us “to walk in the light of the Lord.” (See the First Reading.) Having been instructed by such a wonderful Teacher, we will realize that we must cast off all “works of darkness,” i. e., all those actions that darken our lives and the society in which we live with the deadly blanket of sin. In the Second Reading, St. Paul lists some of them: orgies, drunkenness, sexual excesses and lust, quarreling and jealousy. They are the “tip of the iceberg,” some of the very obvious ones. Others can be added, such as acts of pride, aggressiveness, possessiveness, lack of sensitivity, materialism, vanity, and so on. Each one should make a very “personalized” list of “dark spots” in one’s life. But the elimination or curbing of these moral defects is only the “negative part” in the preparation for Christmas. Necessary as it is, we should not stop at it. We should proceed to the “more positive” aspect which the First and the Second Readings synthesize with the terms “light” and “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ,” without further elaborating. Isaiah tells us that we should “beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.” (See conclusion of the First Reading.) In concrete terms, this means

© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

Eager / B7

Called to a fruitful conversion
2nd Sunday of Advent (A); December 8, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
MANY people reserve the term “conversion” to a change of religious affiliation. Others associate conversion with Lent, but hardly with Advent. Somehow the relatively festive atmosphere that pervades the air long before Christmas, brings most of us to conclude that this season need not be associated with such a serious and demanding change in one’s lifestyle. And yet, at the very opening of today’s Gospel passage, we hear John the Baptist proclaim with insistence: “Reform your lives!” And the reason for such an appeal is just one: “the Reign of God is at hand,” which was another way of saying that the Messiah was about to reveal himself. That is the reason why the moral paths of those who had gone astray had to be made straight. Two thousand years after the coming of the Messiah, the invitation to reform one’s life has lost nothing of its relevance and urgency. Even those who, so far, have been doing well, should realize that they, too, can do better and, therefore, need to improve. The invitation to conversion is addressed to all, though it does not mean the same thing to all, for there are, indeed, almost as many types of conversion as there are people. have given to their existence. These conversions are solid, persevering and far-reaching in their effects not only for the person undergoing it, but oftentimes for many others as well. They do not come easy. Persevering in the new road requires courage, moral stamina, vigilance, and prayer. All this because the “enemy” of all good cannot be pleased with losing his grip of those souls. He will do almost anything to bring those “converts” to change their minds. The history of the Church is replete with conversions of this type. It is enough to think of Paul of Tarsus, Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Camillus de Lellis, Agostino Gemelli, and so many others. Theirs were clamorous conversions. Not satisfied with changing their way of life, they drew ever closer to the Lord but were not at peace at seeing that so many others had not done so. Afire with zeal for souls, they labored indefatigably for the rest of their days to lead others back to God or closer to Him. What conversion do we need? It is for us to decide after an honest “inventory” of our spiritual condition. Will it be a lasting, fruitful, “contagious” conversion? Once again, it is for us to decide. One thing is sure: the “truthfulness” and fruitfulness of this coming Christmas will depend on it.

John the Baptist calls to holiness
2nd Sunday of Advent (A), Matthew 3:1-12; December 8, 2013
By Rev. Fr. Francisco R. Albano
TWO crucial calls of the missionary ministry/apostolate of John the Baptist are: 1) “Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come near.” 2) “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths Simple messages, valid, sociological, as it was in the past, and ever shall be until Jesus comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. T he messages were addressed to the people of John’s time—the common folk, soldiers, scribes and Pharisees, all who lent their ears. They are addressed to us today— individuals, families, communities, the global community. And even to non-believers for their consideration. To believers, people of the Holy Book, men and women of faith, the messages are invitations and imperatives both. Pardon the brusqueness of the inviter who “wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.” Many followed, many dismissed the man and his words. Why repent? Because the Kingdom of God is holy and is near. Jesus would later say, because the Kingdom is among you, within you. One must be holy in the nearness of the Kingdom, in the presence of signs of the Kingdom begun—the poor have the gospel preached to them, the blind restored their sight, the lame able to dance, the hungry are fed, the naked clothed, prisoners visited, captives set free—and in the fulfillment of the Kingdom either here on earth or in the afterlife. And is the holiness required immediately that of God, the angels and the saints? I think not. It is the holiness of a person who recognizes he is both sinner and saint and working to be more saintly than sinnerly. Perhaps seventy percent okay, and thirty personnot-so-okay; weighed but not found wanting, so far, in the here and now? It is the holiness of one who repents, makes amends, and embraces the future of service to neighbor and of worship given to God. How to be repentant and holy? Consider: Repentance entails a shift from regarding the world and people from the standpoint of selfish self, the Me , to the standpoint of the Other—in need, deprived, oppressed, marginalized. The poor , as identified by Pope Francis. Repent, if the shift has not taken place, or is slow, or too slow in taking place. Repent, transit from bad to good. Repent, transit from good to better. Repent, move on to be at your best, unto the image of God! Climb biased ladderized love. L ove your neighbor is good but old law. Says Jesus: A new law I give you; love one another as I love you. And the shift can be had because the Lord says: “My grace is sufficient for you (2Cor 12:9).” From the standpoint of love for the Other, one is able to see, hear, feel, smell, taste with the eyes, ears, fingers, noses, and tongues of billions of people. Such selfless love, therefore makes one in touch with life and-life in the world. Repentance is a way of loving. R epentance then in such biased selfless love enables one to be scientific, relational, appreciative of unity and tensions of opposites, down to earth, and yet in touch with heaven and hell. There is a shift from piecemeal regard of persons, things, events, relations to the larger view of inter-connectedness of reality, knowledge, and values. The repentant one can “see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower.” He/she sees a bar of soap as not a mere bar of chemicals but also as a creation of labor power, as a product containing the cleansing power of the blood, sweat and tears of workers, in itself already denouncing inequity and iniquity of a moribund social system and its as yet unrepentant perpetrators. Think economics, politics, culture, spirituality. “Listen, and incline the ear of your heart,” St. Benedict of Nursia advises. I n repentance, one can see that eating rice or bread or a cookie is sacramental eating of the flesh of exploited farmers and the fat of the land. That sunfire and rain and air connect heaven and earth, God and his people. That in concrete situations, objects of nature, and of human work, man and woman, cross and empty tomb tell us what
John the Baptist / B7

But aside from these different types of conversion which depend on how far one has drifted away from God and what pertains to Him, there are also different types of conversion which are related to the varying depths, sincerity, and perseverance in such a process. There are conversions that are incredibly superficial. They stop at appearances and refuse to go deep and discover the root of the evil which one wants to eliminate. They are like the cancer patients who think they can eliminate the cancer that is destroying them by just taking a few tablets prescribed for colds.

Then there are conversions that we can call “reluctant” and “unstable.” Those who undergo it are “on and off.” One day they seem to be determined to change their lives radically. The day or week after, they have already decided that things are not so urgent, after all, and that the changes already envisaged can be “postponed” to better times, since more urgent matters seem to be at hand . . . . Finally, there are conversions that bear the mark of genuineness: they go to the root of the trouble, map out an appropriate strategy, implement their plans and persevere in the new course they

ENCOUNTERS

Bishop Pat Alo

Year of Faith culmination
thanks to the missionaries and people in bringing this faith to us, including our own parents and relatives who became instruments in fomenting and strengthening the Catholic Faith in our lives and organizations as life went on in the course of the years. Being convinced of the true faith we too must do our part to live and spread the Catholic Faith as a vital instrument of truth to lead us on to everlasting life. The history and traditions of the Catholic Church provide ample proof enough to assure us of infallibility and security in following the footsteps of the Lord Jesus leading to life everlasting.

AS we close the Year of Faith this Nov. 24, 2013 on this date here in Mati diocese, it goes without saying that this is also a moment to express our gratitude and thanks to God Almighty the giver and inspirer of our faith. Together with this celebration of the whole universal Church, we also express cordial

SouLFooD

Bo Sanchez

Everything you need to be happy is within you
  S urround yourself with love.  And practice it daily! People in their deathbeds never say, “I wish I bought a Ferrari,” or “I wish I spent more time in my office…”  Listen to people in their dying hour and you’d hear the same regret: “I wish I spent more time loving…,”   I believe that relationships are the most important things in our lives—more important than all the wealth in the world. By the way, how many of you have tried to quench your thirst with salt water?   Don’t bother trying.  It doesn’t work.   The only thing that saltwater does is make you even thirstier.   Money is like saltwater.   No amount of money will quench your inner thirst for love and happiness.  It’ll only make you thirstier.   You want more and more and more until you drop dead from spiritual malnutrition.   Learn to love everyday!   L et this be your highest ambition in life: To be a great lover!   So when the money comes, you’ll make money a servant of love.  (As a financial mentor, I always teach people to earn more money—so that we can use money to love more.) Everything you need to be happy is within you. Ask yourself: Are you a loving person?   Are you kind, generous, forgiving?   Do you love yourself too?  Rate yourself from 1 to 10, with 10 being most loving.   You’ll notice that your score will be your score for personal happiness too. 

IT was Sydney Smith   who said,  To love and be loved is the greatest happiness of existence.   I believe him.   At the end of the day, there’s only one thing that can make you happy.  It’s called love.   A cliché?  So what?  It’s the truth.   You’re born for love.    You’re designed for it.  Every cell of your body, every part of your soul is created for love.  I’m shouting it from the rooftops: Only love can make you truly happy…

© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Social Concerns

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have to summon up the spiritual strength to meet them and overcome them. The Filipino people are a very resilient people and suffer up to twenty typhoons a year and one or two strong earthquakes. Sitting on the pacific ring of fire, it is expected that when there is no exploding volcano to cope with, there are plenty of other natural disasters. In the past 44 years that I have been a missionary in the Philippines with the people who are poor and needy, I have come through many natural disaster, super storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and rivers of volcanic mud and “lahar” destroying all before them. The Filipino people have shown the remarkable spiritual strength and resilience and are capable of coping with a sense of humor and smiling at cameras and even laughing at their own predicament. Not this time though, it’s harder than ever before. Yet their will to live and survive is the driving strength of the Filipino people and they do it with courage and resourcefulness and are a people who get on with the task of recovering, rebuilding and planting and harvesting year after year. These are a people who live in hope and have a great ability to overcome all kinds of disasters and hardship. The people need food, water and shelter. The children need protection, nutrition and the good will of the world community. All need help to get them through this most terrible time in their lives. They believe in a loving God who lives in all people of faith, love and good will and this eternal force of goodness will reach out to the needy through the love of others. Donations for the orphans of Yolanda to Fr. Cullen, St. Columban’s, Widney Manor Road, Solihull B93 9AB or Dalgan Park Navan, Co. Meath or any TSB bank Preda -Ireland, sort code 990 604, account number 30001836.

By Fr. Shay Cullen

The lost orphans of Yolanda

BESIDES the thousands that have been killed, injured, and made homeless by the most devastating typhoon known to humankind, the orphaned children are the most vulnerable. Their towns and villages and homes are no more and their parents are dead. They are threatened by malnutrition, kidnapping, and abduction. Horrible as this prospect is, it has been a deadly reality in times of natural disasters. These children need our special attention and direct intervention to save them from child traffickers and pedophiles. Under the pretext of saving the children, traffickers can abduct them and sell them as “brides” to pedophiles or earn hundreds of thousands of pounds or euros by providing these children for illegal adoption and even worse, sexual abuse and exploitation. The Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has called for urgent vigilance by aid workers to this form of child trafficking in the areas devastated by the most powerful typhoon in history to hit land. Called Haiyan or by its local name “Yolanda”, it has devastated and flattened entire towns, villages, and killed scores of people in the central Philippines and their children will be known as the lost children of Yolanda. Driven by winds up to 315 kilometers an hour, brutal ordeal will scar the people of the Visayan region for a generation. We too will be judged by how we responded or when we did not. The television reports show the extent of the devastation and the hardship, hunger and homelessness will last many months. The approaching of yet another rain storm, a tropical depression named “Zoraida” will have lashed the country by the time you read this or will be leaving more destruction to a country already reeling in shock.
Assessment / B3

As many as ten thousand and more people could have been killed. No one could predict that it would be such a killer cyclone and now the people have nothing. They are totally dependent on the generosity of donors and the ability of the government to deliver relief aid in the shortest time possible. A time will come when they will be able to pick up the strength and recover and become self-sufficient and self-reliant. But now as in all disasters, help is needed and we are called up to provide it and give back and share with those that need it most.
Eager / B6

There are problems getting the relief to the people as roads and bridges have collapsed or buried under landslides. Bodies are decomposing under the rubble, some have been buried in mass graves. This will go on for several weeks more as rescuers and aid workers reach the remote villages. But this tragic event brings with it another kind of danger, the danger to the homeless, lost and orphaned children. With as many as fifteen thousand dead, many children will be orphaned, vulnerable to malnutrition and the worst of all, vulnerable to

abduction, kidnapping, and trafficking into illegal adoptions or sexual exploitation. Many people don’t want to read or think about such harsh and painful realities but it happens and we have to do all we can to prevent this. Preda children’s charity is appealing for donations and help to send trained social workers into the devastated area to provide a child feeding station and help find and protect these lost, homeless, abandoned children before they are abducted. With such challenges before us, we
John the Baptist / B6

Closing / B5

are an estimated 35,000 affected families in Eastern Samar. Relief packs released so far could only sustain a family for 1-2 days. Assistance from other organizations is slowly trickling in but hardly felt by the people. There had been Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders presence in Guiuan but we have no idea as to the length of their stay. Plan International, which has been assisting some of the affected areas even before Yolanda (particularly in Balangkayan, Hernani and Salcedo), has been trying to help but with limited resources as well. There had also been a reported presence of OXFAM in some towns in Hernani.
Synopsis / B1

our people. As we continue our journey of faith, I invite you all to direct the eyes of our faith to the concerns of our lay faithful. I am announcing to you, that next Year, 2014, I will be declaring in the whole Diocese, the Year on the Laity and Socio pastoral Concerns. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Candelaria and our Patron St Joseph, protect and guide each of you to a closer union with the Eternal King, Jesus Christ, our light in dark times. + GILBERT GARCERA Bishop of Daet Feast of Christ the King November 24, 2013

that we must commit ourselves to works of peace, reconciliation, and initiatives of human promotion. We need to practice justice and fairness ; to take seriously our involvement in the promotion of the common good. We need to widen our horizons in such a way as to be always mindful of the deprivation in which hundreds of millions of human beings live, while we may be planning to squander our big or small financial resources in a selfish and irresponsible manner. We need to realize that, by avoiding unnecessary expenses (“making no provisions for the desires of the flesh,” as St. Paul would say), we could satisfy the essential and dramatic needs of so many

brothers and sisters who lack absolutely everything they would need to live a dignified human life. Once we have understood this very important truth and start acting on it, our preparation for Christmas will become a memorable one. Our avoiding any “deed of darkness” will be like clearing our hearts and our environment from as many landmines. Our doing “deeds of light” will be like switching on or hanging up as many colorful lamps along the way that leads to the crib where Jesus is to be born. Our life will become a “feast of light”—the situation where the Son of Man enjoys to come and stay.
Begin / B1

www.preda.org

must be done: struggle for justice and peace and care for the earth; restore all things in Christ. Repentance is a way of knowing for personal renewal and social transformation. T he purpose of repentance, of having correct biased love with preferential option for the poor as core value is: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths (Matt 3:2).” For this agendum, conscious, committed, programmed, infrastructural and superstructural personal and community care is demanded. Care that unites, builds family and community, and struggles against the vipers’ tangle of Pharisees, Sadducees,

and Empire. This requires correct ethical methods of thinking and praying, doing and leading. Democracy, concerted action, principled compromises, avoidance of unnecessary risks. No playing with lives, because people are precious, and because we love one another as the Lord loves us. In the gospels, these are Christic methods of righteousness. R epentance and making straight the paths of the Lord sure to come at end-time of personal life and of human and ecological history. And lest we forget, Bernanos’ country priest reminds us: “Grace is everywhere.”

of the disposable has created something new: the excluded are not the exploited but the outcast, the leftovers (53). A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, of an autonomy of the market in which financial speculation and widespread corruption and self-serving tax-evasion reign (56). He also denounces attacks on religious freedom and the new persecutions directed against Christians. In many places the problem is more that of widespread indifference and relativism (61). The family, the Pope continues, is experiencing a profound cultural crisis. Reiterating the indispensable contribution of marriage to society (66), he underlines that the individualism of our postmodern and globalized era favours a lifestyle which distorts family bonds (67). He re-emphasizes the profound connection between evangelization and human advancement (178) and the right of pastors to offer opinions on all that affects people’s lives (182). No one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society. He quotes John Paul II, who said that the Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice (183). For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a sociological one. This is why I want a Church that is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us (198). As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved no solution will be found for this world’s problems (202). Politics, although often denigrated, he affirms, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity. I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the lives of the poor! (205). He adds an admonition: Any Church community, if it believes it can forget about the poor, runs the risk of breaking down. The Pope urges care for the weakest members of society: the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned and migrants, for whom the Pope exhorts a generous openness (210). He speaks about the victims of trafficking and new forms of slavery: This infamous network of crime is now

well established in our cities, and many people have blood on their hands as a result of their comfortable and silent complicity (211). Doubly poor are those women who endure situations of exclusion, mistreatment and violence (212). Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity (213). The Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question it is not progressive to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life (214). The Pope makes an appeal for respect for all creation: we are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live (216). With regard to the theme of peace, the Pope affirms that a prophetic voice must be raised against attempts at false reconciliation to silence or appease the poor, while others refuse to renounce their privileges (218). For the construction of a society in peace, justice and fraternity he indicates four principles (221): Time is greater than space (222) means working slowly but surely, without being obsessed with immediate results (223). Unity prevails over conflict (226) means a diversified and life-giving unity (228). Realities are more important than ideas (231) means avoiding reducing politics or faith to rhetoric (232). The whole is greater than the part means bringing together globalization and localization (234). Evangelization also involves the path of dialogue, the Pope continues, which opens the Church to collaboration with all political, social, religious and cultural spheres (238). Ecumenism is an indispensable path to evangelization. Mutual enrichment is important: we can learn so much from one another! For example in the dialogue with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, we Catholics have the opportunity to learn more about the meaning of Episcopal collegiality and their experience of synodality (246); dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus disciples (248); interreligious dialogue, which must be conducted clear and joyful in one’s own identity, is a necessary condition for peace in the world and does not obscure evangelization

(250-251); in our times, our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance (252). The Pope humbly entreats those countries of Islamic tradition to guarantee religious freedom to Christians, also in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism he urges us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence (253). And against the attempt to private religions in some contexts, he affirms that the respect due to the agnostic or non-believing minority should not be arbitrarily imposed in a way that silences the convictions of the believing majority or ignores the wealth of religious traditions (255). He then repeats the importance of dialogue and alliance between believers and nonbelievers (257). The final chapter is dedicated to spirit-filled evangelizers, who are those who are fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit and who have the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness (parrhesía) in every time and place, even when it meets with opposition (259). These are evangelizers who pray and work (262), in the knowledge that mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people (268): Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others (270). He explains: In our dealings with the world, we are told to give reasons for our hope, but not as an enemy who critiques and condemns (271). Only the person who feels happiness in seeking the good of others, in desiring their happiness, can be a missionary (272); if I can help at least one person to have a better life, that already justifies the offering of my life (274). The Pope urges us not to be discouraged before failure or scarce results, since fruitfulness is often invisible, elusive and unquantifiable; we must know only that our commitment is necessary (279). The exhortation concludes with a prayer to Mary, Mother of Evangelization. There is a Marian style to the Church’s work of evangelization. Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness (288). (Zenit)

care especially for the human dignity of migrants, trafficked persons and the unborn. He emphasized that the Church’s teaching on abortion “is not something subject to alleged reforms … it is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life,” while at the same time acknowledging that more needs to be done to accompany women in crisis pregnancies. As it pursues human development and the common good, the Church must dialogue with states and cultures, proposing the fundamental values of human life, and the harmony between faith and reason, he said.
Reshape / B1

Religious liberty is important, he added, and society should not reduce religions “to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques. This would represent, in effect, a new form of discrimination and authoritarianism.” Pope Francis concluded his exhortation with a call to be missionaries, motivated by love. He turned to the Blessed Mother, noting that her “interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization.” (CNA/EWTN News)

all, the missionary spirit.” In the document, Pope Francis highlighted that “an evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives,” through “bridging distances,” “embracing human life,” and “touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others.” “Evangelizers thus take on the ‘smell of the sheep’ and the sheep are willing to hear their voice,” he continued, reflecting on the need for evangelizing communities to be patient and supportive, “standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be.” Noting the importance of the bishops’ role in the evangelization of their dioceses, the pontiff stated that “it is not advisable for the Pope to take the place of local Bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory.” “In this sense,” he stressed, “I am conscious of the need to promote a sound ‘decentralization’” in order to simplify the Church’s focus on mission and outreach. This decentralization could involve reforming the structure and role of episcopal conferences. According to the exhortation, “a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated.” Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod of bishops, pointed to the rarity of a papal document citing documents from bishops’ conferences,

saying “I don’t believe this has been done abundantly in the past. The ordinary magisterium is not just that of the Pope, it is that of the college of all the bishops.” H e suggested that Pope Francis is leading to a sort of “primacy of collegiality.” In addition, the archbishop observed that although “Evangelii Gaudium” comes from suggestions of the 2012 synod of bishops on the new evangelization, it is not a “post-synodal exhortation,” because the Holy Father wanted to make of it a wider “programmatic” document. “Pope Francis himself wanted the document to be an apostolic exhortation,” thus detaching it from the synod of bishops, Archbishop Baldisseri told the press. Through the way in which he communicates in this exhortation, “Pope Francis is inviting the Church to assume an attitude of encounter, of going towards the men and women of today and showing these men and women the love of the Father,” Archbishop Celli told CNA. “I believe that this is a fundamental point. The Church exists to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Jesus.” “The Pope,” he emphasized, “wants the Church to know how to dialogue, how to walk, how to express its sympathy to the human being and establish with him a respectful dialogue to announce Jesus Christ.” “Pope Francis invites us to be valiant, courageous and missionaries.” (CNA/ EWTN News)

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Features
Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Technical Assessment

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary Title: Thor: the dark world Running Time: 112 minutes Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins Direction: Alan Taylor Story: based on Stan Lee’s character Producer: Kevin Feige Genre: Action-Adventure, Sci-Fi Location: Asgard, London Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Technical Assessment:  ½ Moral Assessment:  ½ Rating: V14

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  E xcellent

Thor : The Dark World opens with the Bor, grandfather of Thor, vanquishing Malekith (Eccleston) and the Dark Elves after they attempted to return the universe into a state of darkness using a force called the Aether. Bor’s army defeats the Dark Elves and hides the Aether on earth. Malekith sacrifices his people so he and a few chosen can escape and hibernate until the force is found again. The present times takes place 2 years after the events in the movies The Avenger and the first installment of Thor. Jane Foster (Portman), still trying to find a way to get in touch with Thor (Hemsworth),

discovers and is possessed by the Aether and is temporarily transported from one realm to another. Thor brings Foster to Asgard when he realizes that she is infected with an unearthly substance. Malekith awakens and attacks Asgard to retrieve the Aether. Unable to defeat the forces of the Dark Elves and realizing Asgard is left defenceless should it be attacked again, Thor enlists the help of Loki (Hiddleston) to take Foster out of Asgard and trick the Dark Elves into removing the Aether from her body. Working against time, Thor must make tough choices to trust his adoptive brother, remove the Aether from Jane before it consumes her and save the universe from destruction. Thor: The Dark World develops rationally but jams in too much gibber of technical and fictional information that makes it a little hard to keep up with sometimes. Performance-wise, the movie is average because Hemsworth’s Thor is a lot tamer and less interesting now while Hiddleston has managed to give a different attack and more amusing on his Loki while Portman’s portrayal is

bland and helpless as is her character’s personality. Only Hopkins and Skarsgard have consistently strong enough personalities to shine through their characters. Undeniably, the movie delivers the action and fantasy with several spoonsful of explosions, destruction and high speed combat scenes - some unnecessary although quite fascinating. Society places a lot of pressure on people believing that honor and power ultimately define his person. Thor realizes that his mission, and therefore his real self, is to choose to be the defender of the Nine Realms instead of its ruler. When he understood and accepted that all his gifts and powers are for the service of others did he finally (and hopefully) find meaning in his existence. In this powerhungry fast -paced world, Thor invites us to find same epiphany and embrace this the same way as he did. Service and sacrifice define a man’s character and worth more than his power and authority. No wonder, Loki – who is so obsessed with being crowned King of Azgard – is constantly angry, restless and feeling empty.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

JON (Levitt) is an Italian American Title: Don Jon bartender who considers himself Lead Cast: Joseph GordonLevitt, Scarlett Johansa modern Don Juan. Capping his son, Julianne Moore, Tony otherwise ordinary days are one Danza, Brie Larson, Rob night stands with any willing Brown, Gleane Headly partner who passes his and his Director: Joseph Gordonbuddies’ (Rob Brown, Jeremy Levitt Luc) scrutiny. On a scale of 1 to Producers: Ram Bergman, 10 they rate women they eye in a Nicolas Chartier bar; Jon goes for no less than an Genre: Romantic comedy “8” to “10” of course. Smooth Distributor: Relativity Media operator Jon usually gets what Location: USA he wants until he meets the love Running Time: 90 minutes of his life Barbara Sugarman Technical Assessment:  ½ (Scarlet Johansson), a “10” by his standards. But this chick is Moral Assessment:  ½ hard to please it seems, and so the MTRCB rating: R 16 smitten Jon courts her, taking her CINEMA rating: V 18 to romantic movies and bringing her home to meet mom and dad. Because the attraction is mutual, they eventually make it, but when she discovers he uses porn, she asks him to stop or else. The character of Don Jon is really nothing new—you have encountered his kind in the movies featuring masturbating Jewish boys, although this time the guy is a Catholic. The acting is the strongest technical asset of Don Jon. For example, it presents both Gordon-Levitt and Johansson as versatile performers, convincingly filling roles they had never done before. Larson, Danza and Headly playing as Jon’s family members put in great support. Moore is effective as a low-key but crucial character in the movie. At first glance Don Jon might look like it is intended to be a typical romantic comedy—technically backed by like snappy cinematography and tight editing—but if the viewer steps back and takes a deeper look into the movie, the script reveals something else. Gordon-Levitt wearing three hats (writer, director, actor) speaks of the intensity with which he desires to deliver Don Jon’s message—that the habits people choose can become addictions that distort their perceptions of reality and stand in the way of truly fulfilling human relationships. Jon’s addiction of self-pleasuring to porn prevents him from enjoying actual sex with women. Barbara’s predilection for romantic movies causes her to make unrealistic demands of the man she claims to love. Even the sacrament of reconciliation in the Catholic religion is presented as nothing more than a habit for both confessee and confessor, thus it fails to effect transformation in a person. While Don Jon successfully avoids becoming a sermon, the ending is too simplistic to augur a genuine change for Jon. He claims he is truly in love now, as the woman seems to nudge him in the right direction, but triumph celebrated too soon could also mean he and his partner have merely found a new and convenient habit that will prove incapable of unseating addictions in due time. A superficial viewing of Don Jon will not reveal its call to challenge our ways of entertaining or improving ourselves. It has to be examined minutely, or it will go down the viewer’s consciousness as another enabling romcom in support of the status quo.

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CBCP Monitor

November 25 - December 8 , 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Luzon Treasurer Raoul Villanueva, Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President Arsenio Isidro Yap, Fr. Neil Tenefrancia of Diocese of Borongan, KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III and EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia during the ceremonial turnover of KCFAPI donations to victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

The Cross

KCFAPI to set up ‘food bank’ for calamity victims
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) in collaboration with the K of C Councils around the globe will conduct a year round relief drive that could immediately address any calamity in the future within 3 days. “We’ll incorporate the idea of the Food for Families Program designed for the council and for its community, but this time on a state level Food for Families Program. In effect, what we envision is to have a “food bank” that would be ready to address the needs of a calamity stricken area,” said KCFAPI President, Arsenio Isidro G. Yap. He added that they will need a secured warehouse where they can store the donations and monitor the expiry date by using an inventory program. All in the inventory expiring in three months shall be the first to be released and distributed to depressed areas or to institutions requiring food assistance, whether there is calamity or none. “The major concern right now is the secured and easily accessible warehouse where we can store all forms of relief items mainly canned goods, clothes and blankets. However, the initial program would be to have a feedback from the affected areas within 24 hours. If we are able to discern that there’s a need to address the situation, we’ll send a team to the area to validate the initial reports. We’ll have to do this within 48 hours. If the initial report is validated by the advance team, then we’ll start to deploy the relief items on the 3rd day,” Yap furthered. KCFAPI also considered an onsite headquarters, where they will ship all the relief items for distribution to the affected areas, most especially to those difficult to reach. This onsite headquarters will also serve as a soup kitchen which shall be opened 24 hours a day until the operation is called off. “We’ll come up with a manual of operations containing the different facet of the program including how to handle all sorts of relief goods and how to preserve or prolong the usefulness of donated clothes, blankets and the like,” Yap cited. The relief goods will include Rosaries and Bibles and KCFAPI together with the Brother Knights will deploy some counselors and formators to address the psychological and spiritual needs of the calamity victims. Meanwhile, Yap, who is also the Luzon Deputy of the K of C in the country, urged the Brother Knights to direct their relief goods for Yolanda victims to the

Luzon office in Intramuros, Manila. “We’ll provide information on how to do it and to whom to address it so we do not have to pay taxes for it. Warehousing would not be a problem for the moment as we have several areas in Intramuros and I can provide a portion of my warehouse for said relief items,” Yap said. According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), as of November 24, super typhoon Yolanda has affected more than 64,000 households of 347 barangays; 254 casualties; 47 missing and 5,109 were injured. (Yen Ocampo)

KC Priest-Scholar In Rome Graduates Magna Cum Laude In Licentiate Degree
One of the Rome scholars of the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc., Fr. Julius S. Cuison, recently obtained his Licentiate Degree in Dogmatic Theology with Magna Cum Laude honors from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Fr. Cuison, who comes from the Diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, finished his Philosophy studies at Mary Help of Christians College Seminary, Dagupan City and his Theology studies at Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan City where he graduated Cum Laude. He is a First Degree member of the Knights of Columbus – Council 5739 San Fabian Council, San Fabian, Pangasinan since 2006. With the successful completion of his two-year Licentiate course, Fr. Cuison is now back in the Philippines and ready

KCFAPI: One in Transcending Challenges as Protectors of God’s Gifts
The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) is set to carry out plans and programs in line with its banner theme for 2014, “One in Transcending Challenges as Protectors of God’s Gifts”. The theme is consistent with the 131st Supreme Convention slogan “Be Protectors of God’s Gifts”, which was lifted from the homily during the celebration of the Holy Father’s inauguration of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome at the St. Peter’s Square Last March 2013. Pope Francis called on the faithful to put Christ at the core of our vocation and protect Christ in ourselves so that we can protect our parish and our community. For the year 2014, in coordination with the members of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Church, KCFAPI will endeavour with renewed vigor and faithfulness to protect the environment and promote a culture of life by preserving the sanctity of marriage and family as envisioned by its Founder, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. To be of greater service to each Benefit Certificate Holder, KCFAPI dedicates itself in surpassing its previous accomplishments despite evolving regulations and macroeconomic challenges by pooling and

to impart the knowledge he gained in Rome as a newlyassigned resident professor and the Prefect of Discipline at the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary at Palapad, San Fabian, Pangasinan. Recently, he visited the KCFAPI headquarters in Intramuros, Manila to personally express his gratitude to the KC Father George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. and to KCFAPI. Congratulations, Fr. Julius Cuison!

KCFAPI Officers headed by its President Arsenio Isidro Yap and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia during the Planning Conference held last November 23-24, 2013 at the Manor Hotel, Baguio City.

optimizing its resources and harnessing all talents and skills. KCFAPI will capitalize on opportunities, invest in productivity enhancing technologies and prudently manage its resources.

The KCFAPI management team finalized its plans and programs for 2014 during its annual planning convention held at the Manor Hotel, Baguio City last November 22-23, 2013.

Fraternal Benefits Group holds Fraternal Service Training Program
The Fraternal Benefits Group of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a twoday Fraternal Service Training program last November 19-20 at the KCFAPI main office in Intramuros, Manila. There were 9 participants from different areas of Luzon who attended the said program, which aims to give knowledge about the products offered by KCFAPI and its advantages to the members and their immediate families. Aside from the product specifications, it also gives the participants idea regarding the basic insurance processes and conceptualization of new marketing strategies in order to achieve their goals and improve their sales performance. Speakers were KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Service Department Manager Michael P. Cabra, Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager Edwin B. Dawal, and KCFAPI Medical Director Dr. Jaime Talag. For inquiries regarding insurance products, please contact the KCFAPI-FBG department at telephone number (02) 527-2243. (FBG News)

Foundations Now Accepting Applications for Scholarship
We are pleased to inform everyone that the KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. are now accepting applications for scholarships for the coming school year 2014-2015 as follows: A. Collegiate scholarships administered by KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. (KCPFI) – Open to any graduating high school student whose father is a Knight of Columbus in good standing. Active members of the Columbian Squires may also apply. Selection criteria is based on scholarship exam results, financial need and scholastic standing. 1. Supreme Council Scholarships – Nine (9) slots available 2. KCPFI Scholarships – Four (4) slots available B. Scholarships for Seminarians and Priests administered by KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. 1. Seminarians in Theology Level – Open only to diocesan seminarians. Selection criteria is based on financial need, scholastic standing and the strength of vocation. Priority is given to those who have not yet been beneficiaries of the program. 2. Licentiate/Doctorate Studies in UST or Loyola School of Theology (1-2 yrs.) – Open to Knights of Columbus Chaplains or Assistant Chaplains. 3. Supreme Council Fr. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies in Rome (2 yr. courses only) – Open only to Filipino Knights of Columbus Chaplains or Assistant Chaplains from Visayas Jurisdiction. Priority shall be given to the needy dioceses/archdioceses that have not yet been beneficiaries of the grant. For more details, you may call the Foundation’s Executive Director, Bro. Roberto T. Cruz or staff, Marj/Denise at 527-22-23 local 220/221 or you may personally visit us at the 2nd floor, KCFAPI Center, General Luna corner Sta. Potenciana Streets, Intramuros, Manila.

Participants of the November FST together with KCFAPI VP for FBG Gari M. San Sebastian (leftmost) and Fraternal Benefits Service Department Manager Michael P. Cabra (rightmost)

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Hilario Davide, Jr.

The Cross
Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan

CBCP Monitor
November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Chairman’s Message
ADVENT is a time of waiting, conversion and hope. It attains its fullness at Christmas, especially when it is understood in the context on the Lord’s Passover that culminates in his resurrection where he emerged victorious over death, over sin and hopelessness. The message of hope becomes doubly meaningful this Christmas because we have just been through a battery of fatal calamities: Typhoon Santi in Central Luzon last October 12; the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Visayas last October 15; and the Super Typhoon Yolanda also in the Visayas last November 8 where about 5,000 or so were reported to have perished in Tacloban City and in several municipalities of Leyte and Samar. During the Prayer Service and Holy Hour organized by the Archdiocese of Manila last November 16, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle consoled the victims of the recent calamities by assuring them that there is hope in the midst tragedies—it is in the face of Christ. And each one of us has a role in witnessing to that face. He said: “If others are having difficulty to see the face of Christ, maybe we should strive to be the face that they seek. If they could not hear the words of the Lord, maybe we should strive to be the voice that they long to hear. If the people could not see the saving presence of the Lord, maybe it is through our sympathizing that His saving presence maybe felt.” The Order of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, as in other parts of the world, has a very significant part in witnessing to the saving face of the risen Lord. It is because the cardinal principles of the Order are really meant to become instrument of God’s love. KCFAPI, for instance, has always been there to lend financial assistance to the dioceses that have been heavily damaged by these calamities. And last week, KCFAPI, in collaboration with the three state jurisdictions and subsidiary companies, has approved a project that will institutionalize a year-round disaster response program. This expected to concretize the Supreme Knight’s dictum “The Charity that Evangelizes.” Vivat Iesus!

Law in Layman’s Term

Accident Insurance
“Be prepared”, a life lesson that we all learned from Boy Scouts. With all the calamities and natural disasters that are happening in our country, being prepared should be a conscious effort taken by everyone. One way of being prepared for catastrophic events is by acquiring an accident insurance to be protected from the effects of these misfortunes. In the case of SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD. VS. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. 92383, July 17, 1992, the Supreme Court defined “accident” in this wise: The words “accident” and “accidental” have never acquired any technical signification in law, and when used in an insurance contract, are to be construed and considered according to the ordinary understanding and common usage and speech of people generally. In substance, the courts practically agreed that the words “accident” and “accidental” mean that which happens by chance or fortuitously, without intention or design, and which is unexpected, unusual, and unforeseen. The definition that has usually been adopted by the courts is that an accident is an event that takes place without one’s foresight or expectation — an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known case, and therefore not expected. An accident is an event which happens without any human agency or, if happening through human agency, an event which, under the circumstances, is unusual to and not expected by the person to whom it happens. It has also been defined as an injury which happens by reason of some violence or casualty to the injured without his design, consent, or voluntary cooperation. Thus, from the above definition, accident insurance can be defined as an insurance on human lives against events that happen by chance or fortuitously, without intention, and which is unexpected, unusual, and unforeseen. This includes death caused by natural calamities, such as typhoons like Yolanda and the earthquakes, like those experienced in Bohol and Cebu. What may also come under the purview of accident insurance are deaths caused by stray bullets, as in the case of armed conflicts that recently transpired in Zamboanga City. In light of recent victory of the People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao, we beg to ask, if one boxer dies in the middle of boxing bout, can he claim proceeds from his accident insurance? In other words, can the death suffered in a boxing match be considered as an accidental? This question was answered in the early case of SIMON DE LA CRUZ VS. CAPITAL INSURANCE AND SURETY CO., G.R. No. L-2574, June 30, 1966. In this case, Simon De La Cruz was employed as a mucker in a mining company, and is covered by an accident insurance from Capital Insurance. The mining company then sponsored a boxing competition wherein De La Cruz, a non-professional boxer, joined. In the course of his bout with another person, likewise a non-professional, De la Cruz slipped and was hit by his opponent on the left part of the back of the head, causing him to fall, with his head hitting the rope of the ring. He was brought to the Baguio General Hospital where he died the following day.
Law In Layman's Term / C3

Michael P. Cabra

My Brother’s Keeper

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

Best Gift this Christmas
Searching for the best Christmas gift for your family is not an easy one. Shirts, watches, and gadgets are too common to show how special they are to us. Let this Christmas be crowned with a special gift by investing your hard earned income wisely. KCFAPI offers us a wide range of coverage that helps us to live a hassle-free life which common gifts cannot provide. Here are four reasons why life insurance is the best gift to give this Christmas. 1. It is Affordable NOW You may have heard from your Fraternal Counselor (FC), “A 40 year old KC Brother can get a Php200,000 life time insurance coverage for as little as Php50.000 a day for the next 6 years of his life. ” That’s true. Of course, rates will vary depending on age, amount of coverage and each person’s specific health history. Why not let your Php50.00 a day go further this year? 2. College is Expensive Today, what more Tomorrow? You may have the ability to send your kid to college now that you are young and healthy. But what if, in-between now and the actual enrolment you will be unable to? It may be due to premature death or disability caused by accident or sickness or old-age. The first two are uncertainties so we don’t know when and to whom it will happen. The third one is certain. All of us will grow old. The question is will you still be able to earn income to provide for your kids’ college education? 3. It’s for the Whole Family How many gifts can we say are truly for the whole family? Sure you can get the kids a “family” dog, but you know how that story goes. The kids play with the dog and Tatay walks, feeds and cleans him. Therefore it is a gift for the kids but not for Tatay. If the family sits down to “play a game of life insurance” or if you give it as a gift this Christmas, it is something that will define the rest of their lives.. 4. People Don’t Like To Think They Won’t Be Around We all like to think we will be around forever. If not forever, at least long enough to not have to think about a premature exit. That’s great!! An optimistic attitude will serve you well throughout other areas of your life. However, it’s in everyone’s best interest to expect the best and plan for the worst. Let your secret Santa go further this year and provide more than just another gadget like I-pad. Of course we are having a little fun with this list to get in the holiday spirit. Life insurance plays a very important role in protecting anyone’s loved ones from financial hardship in the event of their untimely passing. If you decide you want to think outside the box this holiday season, make sure you take the time to adequately discuss your options with your council FC. You can be sure someone will be very thankful you did if they ever need it. Life insurance is the best gift that we can give to our family. If we love them, buy enough insurance coverage so that, when combined with other sources of income, it will replace the income we now generate for them, plus enough to offset any additional expenses they will incur. The more you provide insurance coverage, the more you keep your family safe; the more your children are safe, the more you live a happy stress-free life. That same happiness is more than enough for most of us because we do not work here for money but for the betterment of our family. Have a happy Christmas!

President’s Message

Christmas of 1981 was the saddest Christmas for my family for it was the year my father died. My father Arsenio died on December 3, 1981 after suffering for almost nine years as a paraplegic. He was paralyzed from the waist down when he caught a bullet on the spine as a result of a bungled rescue attempt from his would be abductors. He was probably the first victim of kidnap for ransom during the early months of martial law. Tradition however dictates that we must celebrate Christmas with a passion as if nothing had happened. We must celebrate it as if my father had died long before that year if only to forget for a brief moment that he had just died a few weeks earlier. The season calls for it. After all Christmas is a season for rejoicing, not for grieving. Although it reminds me again and again of my father’s death, the pain it inflicted in 1981 is not as intense anymore. Once again Christmas is in the offing. There’ll be weeks of merriment that would probably last till about mid January. We celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with so much intensity but do we really know the reason and the value of His birth? As far as I know, He was born to suffer and die for us on the cross. He was given to us as a gift to turn us away from sins, mend our evil ways and to cleanse us through His crucifixion. He is the greatest gift from God Almighty who knew what His Son would have to endure to save us from eternal damnation. But do we really appreciate this sacrifice His only Son would have to undergo? Some of us don’t, but most of us do. We prepare something for our dear loved ones, friends and neighbors and to some extent even to total strangers. Always trying in the very best way we can to follow and live the only commandment our Lord has given us, “to love one another as we love ourselves”. Christmas is not only a season of gift giving but it is the main reason why we should prepare for His coming. Let us all do what He expects us to do. To love and care for those who needs more of our attention and concern, who are deprived, underprivileged, have been taken advantaged of and have been innocent victims of natural calamities. This Christmas would be the saddest for many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Visayas Region. It would not only be the saddest but the most challenging for the greater majority of them. Lives by the thousands have been lost, injuries by the hundreds of thousands, displaced by the millions. How much more can one endure in such a situation? The pain our family endured in 1981 is nothing compared to what they are suffering right now. This Christmas is a very good opportunity for all members of the Knights of Columbus to make Christmas less painful and more meaningful to the victims of killer typhoon “Yolanda”. Let us unite and do our best to care for our brothers and sisters in distress. Let the whole world know that “These Men They Call Knights” are living up to expectation, always ready and willing to extend a helping hand to those in need even if at times some of us are victims as well. Let us all instill in our hearts that we are indeed, “Our Brother’s Keeper”. Let us make our Lord’s Birth a reason for rejoicing as we accept Him in our hearts and allow Him to rule our life. Merry Christmas and May it also be merry to a neighbor in need.

Roberto T. Cruz

Christmas for Life
This is our second article on knowing more about our two KC Foundations, the KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. (KCPFI) and the Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. (KCFGJWCI). For this issue, we will talk about the role played by our two KC Foundations in bringing the spirit of Christmas to those in need. Most, if not all of us, enjoy Christmas, particularly the children, as this is the time when we receive and give gifts and toys. However, we must not lose sight of the first Christmas which the world unknowingly enjoyed more than two thousand years ago when our Lord, Jesus Christ was born in a humble manger to start His human life on earth to save mankind from the hopelessness of original sin. In that first Christmas, Jesus, through His birth, brought us eternal life. KCPFI and KCFGJWCI continue to give scholarships to poor but deserving College students and diocesan priests and seminarians, respectively. With their humble grants, the Foundations help the college scholars realize their dream of earning their tertiary degrees and bring the priests/ seminarians closer to the completion of their vocation/ formation. For the collegiate scholars, many of whom belong to the poorest sector of society, their scholarship is a rare opportunity that enables them to escape the clutches of poverty and hopelessness and become financially productive and reliable for their families and loved ones. For the priests and seminarians, the grant helps them complete their vocation to become effective representatives of God to evangelize and spread His Word. Because the scholarships awarded them have opened or will open new doors in life for all of them, our scholars have received a gift from the Foundations that has changed or will change their life permanently. The spirit of Christmas gift-giving has therefore been transformed. From being just a one-time cheer, our scholars each enjoy their own life-long gift for a better existence. Our Foundations have started accepting applications for a total of thirteen (13) KCPFI collegiate scholarships and four (4) KCFGJWCI religious scholarships for diocesan priests (local licentiate) or seminarians (theology studies) for school year 201415. Deadlines for submission of complete requirements for
Chrismas For Life / C3

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

Angelito A. Bala

What Goes Around Comes Around
KCFAPI once again is busy with the year-end activities: completion of its 2014 Plans, Programs and Budgets, Christmas get-together, gift giving, family day activities and work wrap ups. KCFAP’s Theme for 2014 : One in Transcending Challenges as Protectors of God’s Gifts and 2014 as the Year of the Laity spell how the Association will further expound and broaden our concern for the poor and humanity. Give and serve. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, when he said, "Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. Every person has the capacity to serve. We have seen this in so many instances especially during these times that some of our brothers are experiencing difficult times brought about by calamities. Without exception, everybody helps. Distance does not prevent us from feeling our brothers who are suffering. The KCFAPI, its majority-owned subsidiary – Keys Realty and Development Corporation, and the whole KCFAPI family and its
What Goes Around Comes Around / C3

KC Health Guard Plus
Part II of a series of discussions regarding KCFAPI’s newest product, the KC Health Guard Plus Plan. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS LIMITATION No benefit shall be provided for hospital confinement resulting from an injury or sickness for which the Assured received treatment, or have consulted a physician for treatment, medical advice, care diagnosis of any sickness or injury or have been taking medications during the twelve (12) months prior to the Effective Date or date of last reinstatement of the Benefit Certificate until the Assured has been continuously insured for two (2) years from the Effective Date or date of last reinstatement of the Benefit Certificate. Notes: The Pre-Existing Conditions Limitation provision is designed to protect KCFAPI from non-standard risks like people with certain ailments prior to the issuance or reinstatement of the benefit certificate. The provision also keeps contribution in check that would otherwise cause contributions to spiral upwards if the plan is made available to everyone, with or without previous confinements. Hospitalization claim filed less than two years after Effective Date or Reinstatement Date Case I. Eff Date/Reins Date - - - - Hosp Claim (15 months from Eff/Reins Date) - - - - Termination Date If not among the exclusions, hospitalization claims filed less than two years from Effective Date or Reinstatement Date are not compensable if the cause of hospitalization is due to a pre-existing condition. Otherwise, the claim application will be reviewed for immediate payment. Hospitalization claim filed two or more years after Effective Date or Reinstatement Date Case II. Eff Date/Reins Date - - - - Hosp Claim (24 months from Eff/Reins Date) - - - Termination Date If not among the exclusions, and hospitalization claims are filed two or more years after the Effective Date or Reinstatement Date then hospitalization benefits are payable. INCONTESTABILITY Except for nonpayment of contributions or any other grounds recognized by law and jurisprudence, KCFAPI cannot contest this Benefit Certificate after it has been in

KC Healthguard Plus / C3

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 24
November 25 - December 8, 2013

The Cross

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Charity That Evangelizes
The Gospel mandate of love, emphasized by Pope Francis and his predecessors, inspires the Knights’ Christian witness
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
RECENTLY, Catholics around the world celebrated the news that Pope Francis will canonize Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II in April 2014 on Divine Mercy Sunday. Of course, John XXIII is the pope who envisioned and then inaugurated the Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II will be recorded by history as its authoritative interpreter. During the last general meeting of the council in 1965, Pope Paul VI summarized its accomplishments. He observed that the encounter with secular society was central to the council’s work, adding that “secular humanism, revealing itself in its horrible anti-clerical reality has, in a certain sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God.” And then the pope asked, “What happened? Was there a clash, a battle, a condemnation? There could have been,” he said, “but there was none.” Instead, Paul VI said the Good Samaritan “has been the model of the spirituality of the council.” He pointed out that “charity has been the principal religious feature” of the council, emphasizing that “it is Christ himself who taught us that love for our brothers is the distinctive mark of his disciples.” In presenting the Catholic Church as the Church of the Good Samaritan, Paul VI stressed that the response of the Church to secular culture must arise from the Church’s charism of love, which sees every person as a being made in the image and likeness of God. John Paul II showed us even more clearly how this charism is also a vocation for every Christian to love his neighbor and that it should be lived out in the dayto-day reality of life, as we work to build first a culture of life and ultimately a civilization of love. Benedict XVI further deepened our theological understanding of this vocation in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, which reminded us: “Love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful” (20). And in a recent interview in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis gave a moving description of how he views the encounter today between the Church and culture. He said, “I see clearly … that the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful…. I see the Church as a field hospital after a battle.” We see a consistent message from five popes over five decades, calling us to live more fully our Lord’s commandment of love of neighbor. This message has encouraged the activity of the Knights of Columbus, which was founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity. Often, being true to these principles demands nothing less than courageous holiness, and we see this witnessed by so many brother Knights as they, like the Good Samaritan, reach out in tragic situations to help neighbors in need. More recently, Pope Francis spoke of this path of charity. He said, “The Church, Benedict XVI told us, does not grow through proselytism, it grows through attraction, through witness.” He added, “The witness that comes from charity, which is to worship God and serve others, is what makes the Church grow.” When people see the witness of what the pope called “humble charity,” they say like the prophet Zechariah: “We want to come

with you” (Zec 8:23). John Paul II expressed the same idea years earlier in the document Ecclesia in Europa when he called Christians to a “charity that evangelizes.” This is the mission of the

Knights of Columbus today, and it is the key to our continued growth. If this ideal is lived faithfully by every brother Knight, the Order will continue to serve as the strong right arm of the Church. Vivat Jesus!

The Gentle Warrior
By: James B. Reuter, SJ
Part II of Chapter One of the “Gentle Warrior” series…

CHAPTER ONE ----------•---------Training
Brooklyn On this summer 1902 they were praying that their vacation in the

mountains would be beautiful, that no one would get sick, that no one would get hurt. Miriam, the eldest girl, who was almost ten years old – she would be ten in October – was the quietest, and the most sensitive. Agnes, who would be seven in November, was the outgoing one. Even at six she was eloquent. She would tell exciting stories about everything that happened to her. George was the gentle one, the loving one, the dreamer. Dorothy was still a baby, and they did not know what she would be, yet. Whenever the Mommy, Julia, would go out of the house, she would say to the children. “Now, remember! Do everything that Miriam tells you!” Geroge felt that Agnes was a model girl, and that Dorothy was only a baby – so that this instruction must be for him. He felt that, somehow, he must be the trouble maker. So he tried,

with all his heart, to be good, so that he would not be a disappointment to his mother, or to his father. When they prayed the rosary together at night, he tried to be as quiet as Miriam and as intense as Agnes. But his mind wandered. This was a beautiful summer, for a five year old. Vacation in the country! All together! The whole family! And then, in September, for the first time – school! He would go to Our Lady of Good Counsel, in Brooklyn. Miriam was going there, and Agnes was going there, and both of them were very good in school. The Sisters expected him to be just as good. So he prayed that their vacation would be happy and joyous, that school would be a great adventure, and that he would not shame his father’s name, the name of the family of Willmann. (To be continued on the next issue.)

A Timely Contribution to the New Evangelization
(Statement of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson on Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”
HAVING attended as an auditor the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, whose work touched on many of the themes raised in this Apostolic Exhortation, I wholeheartedly welcome our Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium as an important and timely contribution to the cause of the New Evangelization. Specifically, this exhortation shows us Pope Francis' missionary spirit. It highlights his belief that the Gospel message and loving outreach of the Church are for everyone, that the Church must go outside itself and welcome those on the margins with love and healing in the spirit of Christ himself. Finally, it shows clearly the importance of the Marian dimension to the New Evangelization - calling her, again, the “Star of the New Evangelization.” If this document is embraced by the Church throughout the world, it could mark a key moment for a reinvigorated New Evangelization of our culture, which too often has forgotten the Good News of the Gospel, which is central to our faith.

Chrismas For Life / C2

the applications are as follows: January 15, 2014 for the KCPFI collegiate scholarships and April 15, 2014 for KCFGJWCI grants for local licentiate / theology studies. The Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. likewise administers the Supreme Council Fr. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies (2yr. courses only) in Rome. For next school year, the McGivney Fund is now accepting applications exclusively from the

Visayas Jurisdiction for one (1) scholarship to Rome with deadline set for February 28, 2014 for submission of applications. You, our readers, have a genuine opportunity to help permanently improve the lives of these poor Collegiate students and diocesan priests and seminarians by donating directly to our foundations. Both our foundations are accredited as legitimate Donee-Institutions by the Philippine Commission for NGC Certification (PCNC).

This entitles the donors to full deductibility of their donations, for income tax purposes. As Christ gave mankind the first Christmas gift of eternal life, our two Foundations can humbly say that we have given and continue to give our scholars a long-lasting gift that enables them to enjoy the sprit of Christmas gift-giving for the rest of their life. We take this opportunity to humbly call on you, our readers, to create a lifelong impact on the lives of these

collegiate students / diocesan priests/seminarians, especially during this Yuletide season of gift-giving. With your help, our foundation scholars will be able to complete their respective studies and vocations. This will, in turn, allow these scholars themselves to be in a position in the future to reciprocate and help spread the charity to others in need this precious gift of a Christmas for life. Advance Christmas cheers to one and all. God bless.

Mr. Joseph P. Teodoro

The Emblem of the Order
MACE Insurance Agency, Inc.
(The Non-Life Insurance Agency Fully Owned by KCFAPI)

What Goes Around Comes Around / C2

employees for their part, surrendered their festive Christmas parties and enjoyment to be able to share with the sufferings of our brothers in the Visayas region. Seven hundred thousand pesos (P700,000) went to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda. KCFAPI swiftly acted on the call for help as it immediately disbursed P175,000 to the heavily devastated and depressed brothers in Borongan and Calbayog through a group of priests headed by its Spiritual Director, Msgr. Pepe C. Quitorio III who had that opportunity of access right to the depressed and devastated areas. Our Visayas Fraternal Benefits Associate, Ms. Floralin Bohol together with the Visayas Knights of Columbus was able
KC Healthguard Plus / C2

to bring 20 sacks of rice to Bantayan Island in Cebu. Twenty Five Thousand pesos (P25,000) was also handed to H.E. Most Rev. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD for our brothers in Iloilo. Employees through their respective parishes and organizations like the Daughters of Mary Immaculate International (DMII) also contributed to pool donations to help our brothers. In addition, employees spare part of their Christmas bonus for helping our brothers who are still suffering from the devastation. Our Board of Trustees donated P60,000 during their last Board Meeting. The KC Philippines Foundation, Inc., a PCNC accredited Foundation is open to receive donations from the Knights of Columbus

members, general public and other companies and groups. Donations will be deductible in full when they compute their taxable income. The air is filled with concern from everyone. Love is much felt. Personally, I have experienced that the more you give, the more you receive! Everyone becomes connected. It is in giving that we receive. When you give externally, you receive internally, and this is the greater reward. When we begin to experience joy in giving and sharing, we start to experience abundance. The recent occurrences give us an opportunity to define what Christmas is all about. Indeed, what goes around, comes around. Merry Christmas!

The emblem of the order dates from the 2nd Supreme Council Meeting on May 12, 1883 when it was designed by James T. Mullen who was then Supreme Knight. A quick glance at the emblem indicates a shield mounted upon the Formee Cross. The shield is that associated with a medieval Knight. The Formee is the representation of a traditionally artistic design of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. This then represents the Catholic Spirit of the order. Mounted on the shield are three subjects : A Fasces (or Mace) standing vertically and crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short sword. The fasces (Mace) from Roman days is symbolic of authority which must exist in any tightlybonded and efficiently operating organization. The council warden, ideally, has and exercises that authority. (Copied from the Knights of Columbus manual on Emblems of the Order). Mace Insurance Agency, Inc. is the non-life insurance agency fully owned by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). It was organized in
Law In Layman's Term / C2

May 1980 with an initial capital of P50,000.00. The MACE (or Fasces), a mark of authority used by the Order’s Warden, who is tasked as the property custodian of the council. It is fitting to adopt MACE as the corporate name of the agency which is tasked to provide protection against loss or damages to properties as a consequence of fortuitous events. Today, Mace carries the following non-life product lines: • Fire • Motor Car • Personal Accident for • Individuals • KC and Spouse • Group Accident for • Students • Employees • Cooperatives • Security Guards • Jeepney and Tricycle Drivers and Operators • Senior Citizens • Barangay Officials and Tanod • Administrative and Judicial Bonds • Contractors All Risks • Marine • Health and Hospitalization • Engineering • Special Products

force during the lifetime of the Assured for two (2) years from the Effective Date of this Benefit Certificate or of its last reinstatement. If this Benefit Certificate lapses but is reinstated afterwards, the two (2) year contestability period shall operate again on the date the reinstatement is approved by KCFAPI. Notes: The Contestability Provision, similar to the Pre-Existing Conditions Limitation Provision, attempts to protect KCFAPI from payment of early death claim due to non disclosure of individuals with adverse health, hazardous working conditions, high-risk avocations prior to taking out a benefit certificate or upon reinstatement. SUICIDE KCFAPI will not be liable if the Assured dies by suicide within two (2) years after the Effective Date or date of last reinstatement of this Benefit Certificate, provided, however, that suicide committed in the state of insanity will be compensable regardless of the date of commission.

Where the suicide is not compensable, the liability of KCFAPI is limited to the refund of the contributions actually received for the then current benefit certificate year without interest, plus the cash value as of the end of the then previous benefit certificate year, if any, plus any remaining dividend accumulations, less all indebtedness under this Benefit Certificate. Notes: This provision dissuades or deters an individual from committing suicide or any form of self-inflicted injury. The law allows a two year period for an individual to think things over before performing any such act. Case I. Assured dies of suicide, sane No death benefit is payable if Insured or Assured commits suicide within two years from Effectivity Date of insurance or reinstatement. The benefit is limited to a refund of the contributions without interest and the previous year’s net cash value. Case II. Assured dies of suicide, insane

If Insured or Assured commits suicide, the KCFAPI is liable to pay the death benefit. MISSTATEMENT OF AGE The Issue Age of the Assured is his age nearest birthday as of the Issue Date of this Benefit Certificate. If the Issue Age of the Assured has been misstated and the misstatement was reported while the Assured is still alive, • if the age was understated, the Assured shall pay the difference in contributions with overdue interest; • if the age was overstated, the Assured shall receive a refund of the difference in contributions without interest. If the misstatement of Issue Age was detected upon the death of the Assured, • if the age was understated, the difference in contributions with overdue interest will be deducted from the aggregate death and hospitalization claim benefits; • if the age was overstated, the difference in contributions will be added to the aggregate death and

hospitalization claim benefits. If at the correct Issue Age the Assured is not eligible for any coverage under this Benefit Certificate, KCFAPI will refund all the contributions paid without interest less any indebtedness under this Benefit Certificate. Notes: KCFAPI assumes that the birth date scribbled in the application form is correct. However, there may be instances that the date is carelessly or incorrectly written thereby resulting in a different issue or insurance age. The Insurance Commission allows an adjustment in benefits or contributions in case of an error in age, intentional or not. The KC Health Guard Plus Plan is a packaged plan where numerous benefits are combined into a single insurance plan, hence, no other benefits or supplementary contracts can be added or deleted from it. Because of the complexity involved in adjusting the benefits, KCFAPI chose the adjustment be made in contributions if there is a misstatement of issue age.

In finding Capital Insurance liable to pay the accident insurance, the Supreme Court pronounced that the death of De La Cruz was attended by some unforeseen events. The Court explained that while the participation of the insured De La Cruz in t he box ing contest was voluntary, the injury was sustained when he slid, giving occasion to the infliction by his opponent of the blow that threw him to the ropes of the ring. Without this unfortunate incident, that is, the unintentional slipping of the deceased, perhaps he could not have received that blow in the head and would not have died. The fact that boxing is attended with some

risks of external injuries, does not make any injuries received in the course of the game not accidental. The Court added that there is no accident when a deliberate act is performed unless some additional, unexpected, independent, and unforeseen happening occurs which produces or brings about the result of injury or death. In other words, where the death or injury is not the natural or probable result of the insured’s voluntary act, or if something unforeseen occurs in the doing of the act which produces the injury, the resulting death is within the protection of policies insuring against death or injury from accident.

C4
Luzon calls for donations for Yolanda victims

The Cross

CBCP Monitor

November 25 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 24

Visayas Jurisdiction conducts initial relief operation
Last November 17, the Visayas Jurisdiction held an initial relief operation for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the area of Northern Iloilo. A total of 788 relief packages were distributed to the various councils for the affected Brother Knights and individuals in areas badly hit by the typhoon. Each food package contains rice, canned goods, noodles and water. Recipients were Sara Council, Batad Council, Binon-an Council, Estancia Council, San Dionisio Council, Concepcion Council and Culasi Council all located in Northern Iloilo. The Jurisdiction also distributed clothes particularly in the areas of Binon-an, Batad, Iloilo and Concepcion, Iloilo. These are coastal areas that experienced the storm surges which caused massive destruction to the houses of the inhabitants along the shoreline. Simultaneously, the Knights from Cebu also visited Northern Cebu to distribute sacks of rice and canned goods. The funds from these initial relief operations came from the contributions of various councils, assemblies and private individuals who responded to the campaign of the Jurisdiction to help Yolanda

The Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction has started a call for donations in cash or in kind for the super Typhoon Yolanda victims. “This is the fastest means by which we could somehow assist our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Visayas Region. With the help of our counterparts in the Visayas and Mindanao, we are pooling our resources together Brother Knights and their ladies in Cavite are busy repacking in order to address the relief goods to be sent to Yolanda victims. the needs of those severely affected by preme Council has donated $250,000 the Killer Typhoon,” said K of C Luzon to assist in relief efforts in the country. Deputy and KCFAPI President, Arsenio “Among those who had immediately Isidro Yap. signified their intention to help are VerHe added that they are negotiating for mont, British Columbia, Hawaii, Guam, means to transport those goods in the Colorado, Alaska, California, New Mexaffected areas in coordination with the ico, Idaho and Georgia. Nakakatouch Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Phil- every time na prayers are being offered ippines (CBCP) through the K of C Spiri- for the Philippines and when other state tual Director, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III. deputies would simply approach us to “Whatever help you can extend express their sympathies and offer their would be greatly appreciated. This is a prayers for our country. Some of them very good opportunity for all of us to are even concerned for our respective exercise the four Cardinal Principles of families,” Yap cited. our Order. This is the very reason why Some K of C Councils have also we are called "These Men They Call started their own relief drive for the Knights", always ready and willing to Yolanda victims. Among them are extend our helping hand to those in the Knights of Columbus District I-35 need even if at times some of us are Diocese of Imus, Diocesan Councils of victims as well. May God Bless us all,” Cabanatuan, San Jose and Prelature of Yap furthered. Infanta and Bishop Henry Byrne CounThe latter announced that the Su- cil 8722. (Luzon News)

Brother Knights carry the goods to the Chapel of Binon-an. At the background is the scene of destruction caused by Super typhoon Yolanda that struck the area last November 8.

Super typhoon devastates Visayas, KC members seek help
Barely a month after the devastating earthquake shook Bohol and Cebu, another disaster visited the Visayan region as typhoon Yolanda slammed Eastern, Central and Western Visayas last November 8. Tropical storm Yolanda packing winds of 315 kilometers per hour battered Guian and the rest of Samar, brought Tacloban and Ormoc to its knees by bringing in killer storm surges and then slammed into Northern Cebu, particularly in, Bogo City, Medellin, Bantayan, Hagnaya and Daanbantayan. Yolanda next moved to San Jose, Mindoro, hit Iloilo, and Palawan before it finally spent its force towards Vietnam. The Super typhoon left in its wake thousands of dead and injured as well as missing. Economic activities virtually came to a halt, leaving damage to agricultural crops, extent of which, still undetermined because of the near impossibility of accessing the areas that were

victims all over the Visayas Regions. The Visayas Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus in the Philip-

pines continuously appeals for support especially for the Brother Knights and their families. (VizNews)

Farewell Bro. Ed Laczi

Brother Knights in Visayas repacking the relief goods to be given to the victims of super Typhoon Yolanda.

Brother Knights during the necrological service of Bro. Eduardo Laczi.

On November 9, the Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction welcomed the remains of the late Director for Philippine Affairs Bro. Eduardo Laczi in Iloilo. His remains arrived in Iloilo at around 1:40 in the afternoon. The Knights held a motorcade going to the Our Lady of Montserrat Parish, Gran Plains Subd., Jaro, Iloilo City. The Visayas Jurisdiction likewise conducted a necrological service last November 14 which was attended by the KCFAPI Chairman, Hilario Davide, Jr., tSupreme Director Alonso Tan, Luzon

Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap, KCFAPI EVP Ma. Theresa Curia, Luzon State Treasurer Joseph Teodoro, Vice Supreme Master Dionesio Esteban Jr, Past State Deputy-Mindanao Sofronio Cruz, and Representative from the Supreme Council Brian Caufield. The Requiem mass was held last November 16 at Jaro Cathedral, Jaro, Iloilo City around 3pm. After the mass, Brother Ed Laczi was laid to rest at Our Garden of Ascension, Hibao-an, Pavia, Iloilo. (VizNews)

Brother Knights unite to help earthquake victims
In the wake of the earthquake that hit the Visayas region in October, final death toll and total number of injured and missing are still yet to be determined. The earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu at 12 minutes past 8 in the morning of October 22, will forever be etched in the memory of both the survivors and the rest of the Filipino people. Cebuanos, who are known for their being first to respond to calamities – must now respond for their own needs – because the disaster is right there in their midst. News from all over the country carried heroic and noble acts and acts of mercy from both public and private sectors of the society as well as from Brother Knights. For one, Brother Greg Junao-as convened the Santos Cerna Assembly and solicited relief goods from members of both the assembly and the council of Cordova, Cebu. Mayor and Brother Knight Adelino Sitoy personally made the journey accompanying the goods comprised of bottled water, food packs, medicine and assorted kits to Clarin, Bohol. Bedith Alicante gathered cash and goods from the Council of Sta. Teresa de Avila of Tabunoc and Teofilo Camomot assembly. They have forwarded their donations to the drop-off point of relief goods at the State Office in Archbishop Reyes Avenue. Moreover, Basak Fatima Council led by Past Visayas Deputy Dionisio Esteban, Jr. held a donation drive from among members and non-members. They hired a boat to personally bring to Bohol the relief goods. In Argao, Brother Knight and former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. organized a team of volunteers and proceeded to the town of Loon, one of the hardest hit municipalities of Bohol and distributed relief goods. Allan C. Ouano, Regional Deputy called up an emergency meeting of all Assemblies in Cebu, with the Faithful Navigators responding by doling out cash and pledging more for the cause. Provincial Deputy Ramon Aguilar exhorted all the District Deputies under the Metro Cebu Provincial District who responded with donations and volunteered their time. Meanwhile, Provincial Health Chairman of the Metro Cebu Knights Dr. Alberto Solis, Jr. organized a medical and rescue team and brought medicine and foodstuff to the disaster area (Maribojoc, also one of the hardest hit) and treated hundreds of patients, most of which were infected by water-borne diseases. The anchors of the local radio program “Ikaw, Ako ug Ang Katilingban”, namely Ramon Aguilar, Emm Espina, Lino Aguilar, Kenneth Rivera and College Council of CIT-U Grand Knight

badly hit. The Knights of Columbus Metro Cebu then immediately acted by coordinating relief efforts through its daily radio program over station DYRF 1215khz. Provincial Deputy Ramon Aguilar and Visayas Deputy Allan Ouano went to the devastated areas of the northern part of Cebu. Almost 95% of the houses in Bogo City, Medellin, Daan Bantayan,

Hagnaya comprising the towns of Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madiredejos were said to have been wiped out or destroyed. The island of Camotes with its towns Pilar, Tudela and San Francisco was likewise hit. And so were the provinces of Biliran, Leyte, Iloilo, Negros among others. It is estimated that 9 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon

and communities barely coping with the recent earthquake had to bear the brunt of the storm, which is considered the strongest recorded typhoon ever to hit a country. The Knights mobilized their own resources, though most of them are also victims of the deluge, they promised aid and relief. They urged the victims to continue to hold on to their faith as help is on the way. Visayas State Officials headed by Visayas Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon appeals for continuous rapid assistance, “I invite everyone to be a good Samaritan, any donations you will give will go a long way. Interested parties may still send donations in cash or in kind to Knights of Columbus State Office- Archbishop Reyes Ave. in front of Ayala Commercial Center or DYRF Radio Mango (Maxilom Ave.) Cebu City”. (VizNews with reports from Lino Aguilar, Kenneth Rivera, Emm Espina and Ramon Aguilar)

A feeding program for the Church of the poor tag as the Knights’ Kitchen was initiated by the Sta Teresita Council 12308 in Quezon City. The activity provided free meal (lechon paksiw with rice and ice cream) to 400 less fortunate parishioners of Sta. Teresita Parish in honor of their patron Saint Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus on her feast day held last September 29.

News Briefs
Visayas Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon attended the Orientation and Organizational Meeting of the District Masters in the Philippines called by Vice Supreme Master Dionisio Esteban, Jr. held in Welcome Hotel, Cebu City. Sorongon delivered the welcome address. He attended the said activity in solidarity with the 4th Degree Brothers. State Secretary Anthony P. Nazario and Regional Deputy for Region VII, Bro. Allan Ouano went to Cebu South to meet with the Provincial and District Deputies in the area. They assessed the first quarter performance of the District Deputies. They discussed about the membership, new council development and Round Table campaigns of the Jurisdiction. The Grand Knight and Financial Secretaries Seminar at Benguet Capitol, La Trinidad for the Diocese of Baguio had 57 attendees held last October 19. State Warden Pascual C. Carbero and State Seminar Director Jaime R. Castillo joined the Luzon Deputy in conducting the seminar. One hundred attendees participated in the Grand Knight and Financial Secretaries’ Seminar held last October 26 at the Alad Resort, Vigan, Ilocos Sur. State Secretary Raoul A. Villanueva and Assistant Luzon Deputy Joven B. Joaquin joined the Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap in conducting the seminar which was organized by the Regional Membership & Program Chairman Josefina Valencia. After the seminar, the Charter of Council 15553 Licuan, Abra, organized by District Deputy Mario A. Balmaceda of B-42 was presented to its Charter Grand Knight Godfrey S. Panabang.

Christian Cayobit devoted their one hour airtime daily for weeks by coordinating rescue efforts with other agencies and councils. On the other hand, several drop-off points were established by the Knights of Metro Cebu, in coordination with the SVD Community who were also in the thick of relief operations. Other stories of compelling gestures of solidarity were expressed and manifested by other knights in several councils all over Cebu and Bohol, even as they themselves were victims of this tragedy. The indomitable spirit of Cebu and Bohol is hard to put down. In the aftermath of the calamity, people were helping one another, consoling, encouraging, praying and working together to restore, to build again and ultimately to hope.They have buried the dead, mourned the missing, and thanked the heavens for the safety of the injured and the survivors. The rescuers, though tired and downtrodden, the people who lent a helping hand, the people who shared their treasures, and also shared the pain of their loss will never be forgotten. But their memory of this tragedy may linger a little more – hoping it won’t happen again, and that it will just be a distant memory in the future. (KC News/Emm R. Espina)

Charter presentation of San Vicente de Paul Council 15697, San Vicente de Paul Shrine, Tandang Sora, Quezon City last October 6. The Charter was presented by Supreme Director Alonso L. Tan (accompanied by Luzon State Officer Romy Estrella) to Charter Grand Knight Carlos Bairan Jr. The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias. The Council was organized by District Deputy Rizalino Mascardo. (KC News)

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