Uphold supremacy of

Constitution — CBCP
Youth keeps Church alive—Tagle
WITH eyes fxed intently on the
future, the country’s popular
prelate discussed the indispens-
able role the youth play in keep-
ing the Church alive.
Manila Archbishop Luís Anto-
nio G. Cardinal Tagle confessed
that while before he got dis-
tracted and annoyed by children
screaming, fghting, and running
around during masses, now
children inside churches are a
welcome sight, and their noises
have since become music to his
“[Because] they assure me
somehow that the Church in
the country has a bright future
ahead of it,” the cardinal said
during a holy mass held in cel-
ebration of Nuestra Señora de la
Soledad de Camba (Our Lady of
Solitude of Camba) in Binondo’s
ffth anniversary as parish, Sun-
day, July 20.
He called on the faithful to
“always be on guard” and to
hand down the faith to the
next generat i on of young
Surveying the church’s inte-
rior, Tagle noted. “Your cramped
place of worship can barely ac-
commodate all of you here. But
that is good news. It means that
your parish is pulsating with
He laments that in some dio-
ceses in Europe, only foreign
tourists spend time inside ba-
silicas and cathedrals, however
grandiose and impressive they
may be, because, he regrets, the
local faithful have lost interest
in them except as revenue-
generating “museums”.
Tagle shared, “When I was cel-
ebrating mass in Italy for some
reason I didn’t feel at ease, only
to fnd out that there were no
youthful members in my audi-
ence, only the elderly.”
This, he stressed, must not
happen in the Philippines.
He explained that Christian
communities become what they
are, not of their own accord,
but only by the grace of God.
He’s the One who called us
and gathered us together, he
Tagle told those present,
“While the Lord provides for ev-
erything the community needs, it
remains incumbent on you to do
your share in giving back to the
Him the generosity He lavishes
on you by being responsible and
active members of this young
According to Tagle, the fact
that the parish has made it to
its ffth year is proof enough of
God’s faithfulness.
“Gi ve Hi m thanks. Look
constantly back to the past
so that you could give mean-
i ng to your ever-changi ng
present. That way, you can
look confidently forward to
a hundred, a thousand more
anniversaries,” he reminded
the parishioners. (Raymond
A. Sebastián)
Prelate: Encounter Jesus
online, everywhere
AMID problems, both man-
made and natural, confronting
the nation recently, the leader
of the country’s bishops offers
one free and fool-proof solu-
tion: encounter Christ online
and everywhere.
“We must return to our en-
counter with Jesus, and to the
Priest explains: Scapulars,
medals not magic
WITH many Filipino Catholics
wearing scapulars and medals,
not really knowing what they
are for, a priest in Iloilo recently
stressed their true purpose—and
it has nothing to do with magic.
“One has to understand their
use. Just getting hold of the
promise without understanding
its content and demands can
easily lead them to be treated as
Confab to explore contraception-corruption ‘link’
A PRO-life conference to be held at the Iloilo
Grand Hotel on July 25 – 26 is set to explore
the link between contraception and corrup-
“A contraceptive mentality is the root to
a self-centred mindset that, in turn, foments
corruption in society. Contraception leads to
greed that leads to corruption,” Jaro Arch-
diocesan Commission for Family and Life
(CFL) director Fr. Randy Doromal, who is set
to celebrate holy mass on the second day of
Human Life International’s (HLI Pilipinas)
Western Visayas-Palawan Regional Family
and Life Conference, said.
DAP, PDAF context
He explained the importance and timeli-
ness of the conference by putting it in con-
text of the current national crisis involving
the Disbursement Acceleration Program
(DAP) and the Priority Assistant Develop-
Be humble, respect democratic institutions — CBCP President
FOLLOWING a televised
address of Presi dent
Aquino on Monday, the
president of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP)
urged government lead-
ers to practice humility
and respect democratic
principles so as not to
compromise the common
“The CBCP prays that
our nation will tread the
path of peace, and that
our national leaders may
truly be humble and re-
spectful of our democratic
institutions so that our
most sacred freedoms
and liberties are always
upheld,” Lingayen-Dagu-
pan Archbishop Socrates
Villegas said.
Villegas called on Fili-
pinos to “hold fast to
the basic tenets of the
democratic way of life en-
shrined in our Constitu-
tion” and to be always re-
minded of the Judiciary’s
mandate “to interpret the
law with defnitiveness in
the process of resolving
justiciable issues.”
“We must respect the
Supreme Court. Where
there was error, there
must be humble admis-
sion and immediate rec-
tifcation,” he added.
CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
The faithful are urged to encounter Jesus in everyday life, including online. FILE PHOTO
By Jennifer M. Orillaza
IN the wake of the fl-
ing of the frst valid
impeachment com-
plaint against Presi-
dent Benigno Aqui-
no III, the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines
(CBCP) reiterated its
call to the Filipino
public to uphold the
supremacy of the
constitution, calling
on the need to ensure
the equality of every
individual before
the eyes of the law.
“To insist that ours be a
government of laws and
not of men is not to subor-
dinate the human person to
the law, but to uphold the
equality of all before the
law so that the powerful
may not trample upon the
weak and so that all enjoy
the freedom of the sons
and daughters of God,” the
bishops said in a statement
signed by CBCP President
Lingayen-Dagupan Arch-
bishop Socrates Villegas.
The bishops called on the
faithful to “submit to the
Constitution” for it is “the
prime expression of the cov-
enant by which the Filipino
people have determined the
form and the operations of
their government.”
The prelate reminded
public officials of the co-
equal stature of the ex-
ecutive, legislative, and
judicial branches of the
government, urging them to
respect the breadth and lim-
its of their constitutionally.
“Let the government
show the citizenry that the
law is at all times to be
obeyed, for only under
such a regime are rights
and liberties safeguarded,”
Villegas said.
The CBCP also clarifed
its stand on the impeach-
ment complaint fled in the
House of Representatives
against President Aquino
on July 21, with Lingay-
en-Dagupan Archbishop
Emeritus Oscar Cruz as one
of the signatories.
“I have no doubt that the
good Archbishop himself
will like it clarifed that his
decision to be one of the
complainants is his alone,
in the exercise of his discre-
tion and as a result of his
personal discernment,”
Noting the need to recog-
nize the individual stand of
bishops on various issues,
Villegas said that the CBCP
“neither supports the fling
of any impeachment com- Palo Archbishop John Du blesses new motorized fishing boats from the Pondo ng Pinoy and the Visayan Bloc of Representatives for typhoon Yolanda victims in Tolosa, Leyte, 17 July 2014. In
his message, Archbishop Du called on the faithful to “prepare spiritually” for the imminent visit of Pope Francis to Leyte by helping others, especially the poor. Roy Lagarde
Vol. 18 No. 15 July 21 - August 3, 2014 Php 20.
PNoy cheating on Filipinos
– church alliance
T H E C h u r c h
People’s Alliance
Against Pork Barrel
(CPAAPB), an ecu-
menical group com-
posed of Catholic
and Protestant an-
ti-corruption cam-
paigners, believes
President Benigno
S. Aquino III (PNoy)
has betrayed the
trust of the people.
“PNoy’s unbend-
ing defense of the
DAP lays bare his
disregard both for
the Philippine Con-
stitution with its
concomitant checks-
and- bal ances of
power and decision-
making as well as
Cheating / A7
A3 C1
The News Supplement of
Couples for Christ
Pope denounces racist,
xenophobic attitudes
toward immigrants
Encounter / A7
Respect / A6
Contraception / A6 Scapulars / A6
Supremacy / A6
Knights of Columbus
Emergency Relief and
Rehabilitation Programs
devotees rising



A2 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
World News
Pope Francis makes phone call
to Israel, Palestine presidents
2014—In wake of the rising
death toll in Gaza due to
increased tensions between
Israel and Palestine, Pope
Francis made a personal
call to both presidents in
order to ask for peace.
“Following last Sunday’s
heartfelt appeal for con-
tinued prayer for peace in
the Holy Land, this morn-
ing the Holy Father Fran-
cis personally telephoned
President Shimon Peres
and President Mahmoud
Abbas,” a July 18 statement
from the Vatican read.
During the calls, the Ro-
man Pontiff voiced “his
very serious concerns re-
garding the current situ-
ation of conflict involv-
ing in particular the Gaza
Strip which, in a climate of
growing hostility, hatred
and suffering for the two
populations, is claiming
many victims and giving
rise to a serious humanitar-
ian emergency.”
Tensions between Israel
and Palestine have steadily
increased in recent weeks
following the murder of
three Israeli teenagers,
whose bodies were discov-
ered June 30. The day of
their funeral, the body of
a Palestinian teenager was
found, whose death was
seen as a retaliation killing.
Israel and Palestinian or-
ganization Hamas, seen as a
terrorist group whom Israe-
li Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has faulted for
murder of the three Jewish
teenagers, have continued
to exchange rocket and
mortar fre despite numer-
ous calls for a ceasefre.
The Vatican statement re-
veals that in his phone con-
versations with President
Peres and President Abbas,
Pope Francis assured of
“his ceaseless prayer and
that of all the Church for
peace in the Holy Land.”
“He reminded the presi-
dents, whom he considers
to be men of peace and
seekers of peace, of the
need to continue to pray
and endeavor to ensure
that all the interested par-
ties and those who hold
political offce at local and
international level work to
bring an end to hostilities,
making efforts to promote
a truce, peace and reconcili-
ation in the hearts of those
According to BBC News,
Gaza officials report that
roughly 267 Palestinians—
mostly civilians—have died
since the start of the wider
Israeli operation July 8,
while one Israeli has been
killed and several seriously
Last night Israel launched
a ground offensive, sending
thousands of troops into
Gaza on foot who were
backed by both tanks and
artillery fre.
Among the at least 24
Palestinians and one Is-
raeli soldier who have been
killed since the launch of
the ground attack are three
Palestinian children, who
were killed by Israeli tank
fre in the north of Gaza,
BBC reports.
Pope Francis’ personal
phone call to the presidents
follows a June 8 Invocation
for Peace held in the Vatican
Gardens that gathered all
three together along with
the Patriarch of Constanti-
nople, Bartolomeo I.
Pope Francis also made
a desperate plea for peace
during his Sunday Angle-
us address July 13, urging
all parties and “those who
have political responsibil-
ity at local and interna-
tional levels to spare a
prayer and make some
effort to put an end to all
hostilities and to achieve
the desired peace for the
good of all.”
“Now, Lord, help us!
Grant us peace, teach us
peace, guide us toward
peace. Open our eyes and
our hearts and give us the
courage to say: ‘Never
again war!’ ‘Everything is
destroyed by war.”
Although the current ten-
sions in the Holy Land have
arisen only a month after
the invocation for peace at
the Vatican, Pope Francis
affrmed that it was not in
vain. (CNA)
An Israeli tank moves positions near the Israeli-Gaza border the morning of July 18, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. Late
last night Israel sent troops into Gaza. Andrew Burton/Getty Images
World leaders offer prayers in wake of MH17 crash
2014—Following Wednesday’s
crash of Malaysia Airlines fight
MH17, both religious and political
leaders from around the world are
offering up prayers, and searching
for answers about the tragedy.
“Our entire Church prays for the
eternal repose of the souls of the in-
nocently killed,” Major Archbishop
Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrai-
nian Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halyc
said in a July 18 statement.
The head of the Ukrainian Catho-
lic Church stated that the “tragedy
has revealed that evil… is a real
threat to peace and security of
the whole world,” and prayed for
peace and consolation both for
“Ukraine and for the entire world.”
“We remain united in our prayers
with the families of the deceased
and with all those suffering due to
this tragedy,” he stressed.
On July 17, Malaysia Airlines
flight MH17, flying from Am-
sterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was
shot down over Ukraine near the
Russian-Ukrainian border. The
have been no signs of survivors of
the fight, which was carrying 298
people, among the wreckage.
An estimated 100 victims were
HIV/AIDS delegates, including
prominent AIDS researcher Joep
Lange, on their way to a conference
in Melbourne, Australia.
Also among the dead was Sister
Philomene Tiernan, an Australian
member of the Religious Sisters
of the Sacred Heart and a teacher
at Kincoppal-Rose Bay Catholic
The plane was flying over
Ukraine’s Donetsk region when it
was shot down, and crashed. The
region is home to the pro-Russian
separatist organization the Do-
netsk People’s Republic, which
is rebelling against the Ukrainian
government and army in the wake
of earlier unrest in the region.
Ukrainian president Petro Poro-
shenko called the crash an act of
“terrorism” and pledged that those
responsible for the attack “will be
held responsible.”
The Ukrainian government also
released a statement saying that the
plane was shut down by Soviet-
era “Russian air defense systems”
used by pro-Russian separatists.
Ukrainian intelligence also have
intercepted a phone call allegedly
between a separatist leader and
a Russian security offcer, though
the veracity of the call has not yet
been verifed.
Russian president Vladimir Pu-
tin offered his “condolences to the
bereaved families” and the home
countries of the victims of what
he called a “terrible tragedy,” but
blamed Ukraine for the event, say-
ing the country “over whose terri-
tory it happened is responsible”.
He acknowledged that “renewed
hostilities in the south-east of
Ukraine” were responsible for
the event, and that “this tragedy
would not have happened if there
was peace on this earth.” Putin
stated that the Russian government
would support investigations into
the crash.
U.S president Barack Obama
echoed Biden’s observations, say-
ing their “thoughts and prayers
are with all of the families of the
passengers, wherever they may
call home.”
On July 18, during a news con-
ference on the topic, the president
added that the crash is a “wake-up
call for Europe,” saying that “outra-
geous event underscores it’s time for
peace and security to be restored in
Malaysian transport minister
Liow Tiong Lai called the attack an
“outrage against human decency.”
Malaysian prime minister Najib
Razak pledged that a Malaysian
disaster assistance team would
be dispatched to the area and that
“no stone will be left unturned”
in bringing those responsible to
justice. (CNA)
Church in Mexico helps collect weapons for
disarmament program
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, July 19, 2014—For the
third year in a row, the Archdiocese of Mexico
City is hosting a voluntary disarmament pro-
gram as part of a campaign to reduce violence
in the Mexican capital.
Rosa Icela Rodriguez of Mexico City’s
Secretariat for Social Development said the
program would not be possible without the
assistance of local offcials, the Defense min-
istry and the Church.
“We are very happy because society has
responded positively to this call,” she said.
The program is based at Mexico City’s Ba-
silica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The public has until July 25 to turn in their
weapons in exchange for cash, groceries,
laptops and domestic appliances, the Arch-
diocese of Mexico City’s news service reports.
Children can also turn in their toy guns and
receive other kinds of toys.
“We thank the officials (at the basilica)
for hosting us these two weeks,” Rodri-
guez said, referring to the basilica’s rector,
Monsignor Enrique Glennie Graue, and to
its vice-rector, Father Pedro Tapia Rosete.
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera has
promoted the program throughout the Arch-
diocese of Mexico City.
Since its inception in December 2012, the
program has collected more than 12,000
weapons—a 230 percent increase over previ-
ous efforts that did not involve the Church.
Church in India celebrating the restoration of the Society of Jesus
MUMBAI, India, July 17, 2014—On
7 August, the Society of Jesus will
mark in India as well as the rest of
the world the bicentennial of its
restoration by Pope Pius VII.
On 16 August 1773 Clement
XIV had suppressed it with the
apostolic brief Dominus ac Re-
demptor. Forty years later Pius
VII restored the Society with the
papal bull Omnium sollicitudo
Fr Errol Fernandes SJ, asked
questions about the role the Jesu-
its - in India and around the world
- play in society, and if the Society
needs to reinvent itself.
An expert in Scriptures and new
media, the clergyman is Vice Prin-
cipal of St Xavier’s College (Com-
merce section), Mumbai.
“If the Society of Jesus was sup-
pressed in Mumbai and India to-
day, would we be missed or would
life go on as usual? Would state and
national leaders make a case for us
to stay because we are contributing
signifcantly to the resources of the
state and country?
“We were once known as the
School masters of Europe, [. . .]
those who broke new ground and
fearless. Can this be said of us
Founded by Ignatius of Loyola
in 1540, the Society of Jesus faced a
number of challenges in the second
half of the eighteenth century.
Despite their steadfast defence
of the papacy, the Jesuits were ac-
cused by more conservative and
orthodox groups to interpret faith
too liberally, and were criticised for
their closeness to the royal families
and infuential personalities in Por-
tugal, Spain and France.
This generated an anti-Jesuit feel-
ing, which led frst to the Society’s
expulsion from Brazil (1754), Por-
tugal (1759), France (1764), Spain
(and its colonies, 1767) and Parma
(1768); then to its suppression by
Pope Clement XIV in 1773.
Though Clement was not person-
ally in favour of the suppression,
he yielded to pressure from some
Catholic countries in Europe that
threatened to break away from
the Church if the Society was not
Nevertheless, Clement XIV’s
order provided for local bishops to
implement Dominus
ac Redemptor in their
regions. This enabled
the Society of Jesus to
survive in Russia and
Prussia, non-Catho-
lic countries whose
leaders (respectively
Catherine the Great
and Frederick the
Great) had studied
with the Jesuits, and
recognised that the
educational aposto-
late was a resource
that favored stability
in their respective na-
After the Society
was suppressed, Eu-
rope went through
the upheavals of the
French Revolution and the Na-
poleonic wars. Exhausted by the
situation, people began to hope
for a return of the Jesuits in their
original form.
Pius VI, who succeeded Clem-
ent XIV, sought to restore order
but died before he could do it. His
successor, Pius VII, renewed the
pledge to restore the Society of
Jesus in those nations that would
request it. From the Americas to Eu-
rope, everyone asked for its return.
Imprisoned by Napoleon in 1809,
on his liberation in 1814 Pius VII
announced the restoration of the
order, sanctioned by the papal bull
Omnium sollicitudo Ecclesiarum.
Pope laments loss of innocent life in Malaysian
plane crash
Following the crash of a Malaysian passenger
plane in eastern Ukraine July 17, Pope Francis has
offered prayers for the victims, urging all parties
involved in the country’s confict to work for peace.
“The Holy Father Francis has learned with dismay
of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft
downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high
tensions,” A July 18 statement from the Vatican
read. “He raises prayers for the numerous victims
of the incident and for their relatives, and renews
his heartfelt appeal to all parties in the confict to
seek peace and solutions through dialogue, in or-
der to avoid further loss of innocent human lives.”
According to CNN, the plane - a Boeing 777 car-
rying 298 people, all civilians and including many
children - was fying from Amsterdam to Kuala
Lumpur, and is believed to have been shot down
by a surface-to-air-missile. (CNA)
Argentine national soccer team sends autographed
jersey to Pope
In a gesture of gratitude and affection, the Ar-
gentinean national soccer team, which lost to
Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, sent Pope
Francis an official team jersey autographed by
each of its players. “Here’s the present the team
sent to our Pope Francis!” team member Maxi
Rodriguez said in a post on his Twitter account,
which featured a photo of himself and team cap-
tain Lionel Messi holding the jersey. The Holy See
expressed thanks for the gift on Thursday, noting
that although Argentina did not win the final, the
team “acknowledged it had faith that the Pontiff
would keep them in his thoughts throughout the
2014 World Cup in Brazil.” During their stay in
Brazil, the Argentine team kept a large photo of
the players posing with Pope Francis on display
at their training center in Belo Horizonte. The pic-
ture was taken last year when the Argentine team
visited the pontiff while in Rome for a friendly
match with Italy. (CNA)
Pope denounces ‘racist, xenophobic’ attitudes
toward immigrants
In his message for the Mexico-Holy See Col-
loquium on Migration and Development Pope
Francis called for a change in the way migrants
are viewed, giving particular emphasis to unac-
companied children. “Many people forced to
emigrate suffer, and often, die tragically; many
of their rights are violated, they are obliged to
separate from their families and, unfortunately,
continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic
attitudes,” the Roman Pontiff stated in the July 15
message. The Pope’s letter was read aloud dur-
ing the July 14-15 colloquium by the Holy See’s
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, Christophe Pierre.
Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin was also
present. Pope Francis drew attention specifically
to the “tens of thousands” of children who migrate
alone, particularly from Central America and
Mexico to cross the border of the United States
in order to escape poverty and violence. (CNA)
Nigerian archbishop calls for government rescue
of schoolgirls
Amid government reports that the nearly 200
girls kidnapped in Chibok could be home soon,
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama has called the
country’s leaders to follow through with their
promises. “At the conclusion of the National
Council of States Meeting…there was news that
it will just be a matter of time before the girls are
released,” Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama
told CNA July 11. “That is good news, we hope.
But we will have to see how far it goes, how
concrete that news will be. As I said there’s a lot
of promises,” but “promises are not enough, we
just want to see concrete action and the fruit of
whatever the government is doing along with
the international community.” (CNA)
Caritas leader: ‘The whole Middle East is at stake’
The secretary-general for Caritas International
has voiced his concern over the lack of aid being
provided to those suffering from conflicts, urging
the faithful to get involved and break the “cycle
of indifference.” “It’s difficult to raise funds for
the whole Middle East. For Syria there’s a lot to
be done inside and outside with refugees, what
is happening right now with Israel and Palestine
again, will have consequences where we will have
to intervene as well,” Michel Roy told CNA July
11. “So the whole Middle East is at stake right
now, and there are people dying of hunger, or
malnourished among the people in Syria that are
not reachable by the humanitarian organizations.”
“This is tragic for all to see that the world is not
able to help those people, those nations come to
an end with their conflicts,” he lamented. (CNA)
Pope urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to end Holy
Land hostilities
Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating
violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned
Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end
hostilities and build peace. The morning after Israel
launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the
pope personally telephoned the two leaders July
18 to express “his very serious concerns about the
current situation of confict.” Phoning Peres at 10
in the morning and Abbas at 11:30 Rome time, the
pope told the leaders that the confict was creating
“numerous victims and was giving way to a state of
serious humanitarian emergency,” the Vatican said
in a written communiqué July 18. The pope told the
two presidents, whom the pope “considers to be men
of peace and who want peace,” that constant prayer
was needed. He also urged them to “work hard at
making sure all interested parties and those who
have political responsibilities on the local and inter-
national levels dedicate themselves to bring an end
to all hostilities, striving to foster a truce, peace and
a reconciliation of hearts,” the Vatican said. (CNS)
A3 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
News Features
Vatican bank
releases balance
VATICAN City, July 8,
2014—The Institute for
the Works of Religion,
or “Vatican bank”, pub-
lished its 2013 fnancial
statement Tuesday, con-
cluding the frst step of
an ongoing reform to
improve fnancial trans-
parency at the Vatican.
“As set out in May
2013, we have focused
on maki ng the IOR
compliant with fnan-
cial regulation, safer
and more transparent,
so as to create options
for the Holy Father to
decide on the future of
the Institute,” Ernst von
Freyberg, president of
the board, said July 8.
“Through this work we
have lad the ground for
a new team to make the
IOR a truly outstand-
ing service provider in
Catholic fnance.”
“Notwi thstandi ng
this housekeeping ef-
fort, the IOR has deliv-
ered a creditable perfor-
mance for its custom-
ers, frst and foremost
the Holy See itself. In
the frst half of 2014, we
delivered a very posi-
tive performance that
validates the efforts of
all those working at the
The issuance of the
balance sheet closed
‘phase 1’ of the reform
of the “Vatican bank,”
the Italian acronym of
which is IOR.
The second phase
will deal with the in-
tegration of the IOR
into the new economic-
administrative Vati-
can framework. A new
board and executive
team will be appointed
to carry forward this
Cardinal George Pell,
prefect of the Secre-
tariat for the Economy,
thanked von Freyberg
and the entire board,
as well as director gen-
eral Rolando Marranci
and his staff, for “their
great dedication to the
cause of delivering a
safe and professional
financial service to the
Church and in bring-
ing about the required
improvements for the
continuation of the ser-
Under von Frey-
berg’s presidency, with
the help of the exter-
nal consultants of the
Promontory Financial
Group, the IOR carried
forward the screening
of its accounts, as a
result of which 3,000
customers’ accounts
were closed.
The customer cat-
egories of the Vatican
bank have also been
“Thanks to this de-
cision, the IOR now
focuses only on Catho-
lic institutions, clerics,
employees or former
employees of the Vati-
can with salary and
pension accounts, as
well as embassies and
diplomats accredited
to the Holy See,” the
organization stated.
At the close of 2013,
t he I OR had some
17,000 customers, of
which 12,000 were indi-
viduals, and 5,000 were
Catholic institutions.
It showed a net proft
of some $4 million –
down from more than
$117 million in 2012.
“The net profit was
aff ect ed by a num-
ber of factors, ” the
IOR explained: “ex-
traordinary expenses;
losses related to prop-
erty i nvestments i n
external l y managed
i nves t ment s f unds
committed to in 2012
and nearly 2013; and
the fluctuation in the
value’s of the IOR gold
reserves,” adding that
its profit would have
been $95 million.
The extraordinary
expenses included the
cost of Vatican finan-
cial reform, which in-
creased operating ex-
penses by more than
$11 million.
Despite the low net
proft, the IOR contrib-
uted $73.5 million to the
Holy See’s budget.
The Holy See’s fnan-
cial statement for 2013
showed a defcit of $33
million “due princi-
pally to negative fuc-
tuations deriving from
the valuation of gold.”
It most significant
expense are personnel
costs, with 2,886 em-
Meanwhile, the exec-
utive administration of
Vatican City—its gover-
norate—closed 2013 in
the black at nearly $45
million in proft, with
the assistance of contri-
butions from the IOR.
Pope denounces ‘racist, xenophobic’
attitudes toward immigrants
VATICAN City, July 15, 2014—In
his message for the Mexico-Holy
See Colloquium on Migration
and Development Pope Francis
called for a change in the way
migrants are viewed, giving
particular emphasis to unac-
companied children.
“Many people forced to emi-
grate suffer, and often, die tragi-
cally; many of their rights are
violated, they are obliged to
separate from their families and,
unfortunately, continue to be the
subject of racist and xenophobic
attitudes,” the Roman Pontiff
stated in the July 15 message.
The Pope’s letter was read
aloud during the July 14-15
colloquium by the Holy See’s
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico,
Christophe Pierre. Vatican Sec-
retary of State Pietro Parolin was
also present.
Pope Francis drew attention spe-
cifcally to the “tens of thousands”
of children who migrate alone,
particularly from Central America
and Mexico to cross the border of
the United States in order to escape
poverty and violence.
Their pursuit of hope “in most
cases turns out to be vain,” the
Pope lamented, explaining that
the number of unaccompanied
child migrants is “increasing
day by day.”
“This humanitarian emer-
gency requires, as a frst urgent
measure, these children be wel-
comed and protected.”
However, these protective
measures will not be enough,
he said, “unless they are accom-
panied by policies that inform
people about the dangers of such
a journey and, above all, that
promote development in their
countries of origin.”
Addressing the topic of glo-
balization, the Bishop of Rome
observed that although there are
many things to be gained from
it, the issue presents various
challenges, particularly that of
immigration, which he referred
to as “one of the ‘signs’ of this
“Despite the large influx of
migrants present in all conti-
nents and in almost all countries,
migration is still seen as an emer-
gency, or as a circumstantial and
sporadic fact, while instead it has
now become a hallmark of our
society and a challenge.”
Emigration “is a phenomenon
that carries with it great promise
and many challenges,” he noted,
drawing attention to how mi-
grants suffer and even die on
their journey, while others are
separated from their families or
become the subject of racism.
“Faced with this situation,”
the pontiff continued, “I repeat
what I have affirmed in this
year’s Message for the World
Day of Migrants and Refugees:
‘A change of attitude towards
migrants and refugees are need-
ed on the part of everyone.’”
Pope Francis called the faithful
to move “away from attitudes of
defensiveness and fear, indiffer-
ence and marginalization—all
typical of a throwaway culture,”
and instead foster “attitudes
based on a culture of encoun-
ter, the only culture capable of
building a better, more just and
fraternal world.”
He called on the entire interna-
tional community to give greater
attention to the issue, so that
“new forms of legal and secure
migration may be adopted.”
U.S. authorities have taken
custody of some 57,000 unac-
companied minors since Oc-
tober, which is twice the num-
ber from the same time last
year. Mexican offcials have also
picked up 8,000 child migrants in
the frst fve months of the year
alone, more than half of whom
were traveling alone.
According to Vatican Radio,
Cardinal Pietro Parolin ad-
dressed the colloquium partici-
pants, stating, “Whether they are
traveling because of poverty, or
violence, or with the hope of
reuniting with relatives on the
other side of the border, it is
urgent to protect them and help
them because their vulnerability
is greater and they are defense-
less against any abuse or misfor-
tune.” (CNA/EWTN News)
Chapter on abuse is not closed while
people still suffer, says prelate
ROME, July 8, 2014—The
crisis of child abuse by
clergy is not a thing of the
past -- it will linger until
the church humbly and
courageously reaches out
to all people still suffer-
ing in silence, said Arch-
bishop Diarmuid Martin
of Dublin.
“To some it might seem
less than prudent to think
that the church would go
out of its way to seek out
even more victims and sur-
vivors,” opening up further
possibilities for lawsuits,
anguish and “trouble,” he
told representatives from
bishops’ conferences from
around the world.
However, when Jesus
tells pastors to leave behind
their fock to seek out the
one who is lost, that man-
date “is itself unreasonable
and imprudent but, like
it or not, that is precisely
what Jesus asks us to do,”
he said in an introductory
address July 7.
The archbi shop was
one of a number of speak-
ers at an annual meeting
of the Anglophone Con-
ference on the Safeguard-
ing of Children, Young
People and Vulnerable
Adults. The 2014 confer-
ence was being held July
7-11 at the Pontifical Irish
Col l ege i n Rome and
was hosted by bishops
from Ireland and Chile.
Every year, two different
countries organize the
Founded in 1996, the
conference is an informal
gathering bringing together
delegates from the church
in the Americas, Europe,
Asia and Africa, to share
best practices and develop
solid norms in the preven-
tion and handling of the
scandal of sexual abuse.
In his address, Arch-
bishop Martin said, “The
greatest harm that we could
do to the progress that has
been made right across the
church is to slip back into
a false assurance that the
crisis is a thing of the past.”
“What has happened
has wounded the entire
church,” he said, and “the
entire church is called to
put right what has hap-
Putting things right not
only demands creating
safe environments for all
young people, he said, it
requires the church become
“a privileged place of heal-
ing,” where all survivors
-- even those who are afraid
or angry -- “can genuinely
come to feel that the church
is a place where they will
encounter healing.”
“We are not that kind of
church yet: and by far,” he
Those in the church who
downplay the crisis or try
to ignore or avoid mandates
for prevention and enforce-
ment “damage the church’s
witness to the healing pow-
er of Jesus Christ,” he said.
The church also needs
to do more than guaran-
tee victims and families
counseling, which often
involves directing victims
to counselors, which in
effect leaves church mem-
bers out of the process,
he said.
“Healing cannot be del-
egated,” he said. It requires
every church member be
humble and Christ-like
i n l ovi ngl y embraci ng
“wounded men and wom-
en, with all the brutality
and unattractiveness of
Helping perpetrators,
victims, parishes, commu-
nities and people who are
distanced from the church
out of “disgust at what
has happened to children”
won’t happen with “slick
public relations gestures or
even from repeated words
of apology,” the archbishop
It will come when the
church recognizes “how
compromise and insensi-
tivity and wrong decisions
have damaged the witness
of the church,” he said,
and when its members
have their own personal
healing, becoming more
humble and journeying
close to those who are lost
and hurting.
“We are not there to tell
the survivors what they
have to do, but together to
fnd new ways of interact-
ing with respect and care,”
and not hoping the prob-
lems go away, but seeking
them out for reconciliation,
he said.
Archbishop Martin said
the abuse of children by
clergy “should never have
happened in the church of
Jesus Christ.”
People can argue how
abuse is commonplace
throughout society and
that the church shouldn’t be
singled out or how the inci-
dence of abuse by clergy is
no higher when compared
to others, he said. But there
can never be “comforting
statistics” because “Jesus
himself tells us that chil-
dren are a sign of the king-
dom of God.”
People’s understanding
of faith and the kingdom
“is somehow measured
in the manner in which
we protect and respect
and cherish children or
in which we fail children.
We know well the strong
words of Jesus about those
who would injure of harm
children,” he said.
The healing the church
is looking for will only
come, he said, “when it
welcomes our brothers and
sisters who have survived
abuse as Jesus would have
welcomed them.” (Carol
Baroness Sheila Hollins and abuse survivor Marie Collins speak to the press
in Rome, Italy. CNA
Director René Brülhart gives the Vatican Financial Information
Authority’s Annual Report at the Vatican Press Office, May 19,
2014. CNA
Devotees rush to Carmel
after ‘Glenda’ landfall
NAGA City, July 18, 2014—
Devotion is waterproof.
This is what seemed ap-
parent when devotees and
pilgrims gathered in droves
July 16 to celebrate the feast
of Our Lady of Carmel de-
spite typhoon Glenda mak-
ing landfall the day before.
Caceres Archbishop Ro-
lando Tria Tirona, who
celebrated the holy mass
on the Lady’s feast day for
the frst time, applauded
such a huge attendance
at the Carmel of the Im-
maculate Heart of Mary,
Pilgrim City.
The Carmelite Archbish-
op stressed focus on God
as one of several exemplary
qualities of the Blessed
Virgin Mary worthy of
“…To be whole, Mary
has placed God in the cen-
ter of her life,” Tirona said.
According to him, she
achieved this by develop-
ing a personal and intimate
relationship with God, ex-
periencing first-hand the
love of God.
“Be focused on God.
[ P l a c e Hi m i n t h e ]
cent er of your l i ves, ”
Tirona encouraged the
About thirty priests also
concelebrated the Eucha-
ristic sacrifce at 5:15 p.m.
(Natalie Hazel Quimlat)
The faithful attended novena masses in preparation for the feast day of Our
Lady of Mt. Carmel on July 16, 2014. Natalie Hazel Quimlat
Priest to youth: ‘Love is not sex’
MANILA, July 15, 2014—A priest reminds
a group of confrmands—most of whom
young adults about to get married—that
true love is not about sex, but sacrifce.
“Love is not sex..True love consists
in sacrifice, in the denying of oneself
for a higher purpose, for the good of
another …It is placing your beloved’s
need before one’s own,” Monsignor
Severino Anatalio said during a recent
confirmation rite at the National Shrine
of St. Michael and the Archangels in
According to Anatalio, many relation-
ships fail because it lacks this essential
component, driven as they are by lust.
Directing his audience’s gaze towards
a life-like image of the Crucifed Christ
hanging above the main altar, Anatalio
exclaimed, “This is true love!”
San Miguel’s elderly parish priest, who
has decades of experience behind him
conducting seminars for couples about to
get married, explained to those present
that authentic love is never built on lust,
on what he referred to as the “heat of the
Noting that he was addressing a rela-
tively young audience, he asked, “How
many of you here have patronized motels?
How many of you have engaged in pre-
marital sex?”
Not one to mince words, he subtly
berated members of the crowd who, he
insinuated, may have been contemplating
marriage out of guilt, or because they think
it is the “easy way out”, and the practical
thing to do.
“Marriage is not the solution to a prob-
lem,” he stressed.
According to Anatalio, the sacrament of
confrmation, as a rule, is administered to
Catholics in their adolescent years, usually
at age 12 in order to transform “children of
God” into “soldiers of God”, reaffrming
and strengthening the faithful’s baptismal
He wondered what prevented the at-
tendees from being confrmed much earlier,
lamenting the fact that many Filipinos re-
ceive the sacrament of Confrmation only
when they are about to get married.
“There may have been fewer teenage
pregnancies, failed relationships, and bro-
ken families if many Filipino Catholics had
their confrmation soon,” the priest said.
San Miguel is the only parish in the Phil-
ippines authorized to give regular group
confrmations twice a week: on Thursdays
at 2 p.m. and on Sundays at 12 p.m.
No prior appointment is needed, Walk-
ins are entertained. The only requirements
are copies of the baptismal certificate
(original and photocopy), a photocopy of
the birth certifcate, a P600 fee, and at least
one sponsor. (Raymond A. Sebastián)
Monsignor Severino Anatalio administers the Sacrament of Confirmation to a group of young people, stressing that
love is sacrifice. Will Pangilinan
A4 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pedro C. Quitorio
Nirva’ana E. Delacruz
Associate Editor
Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor
Kris Bayos
Features Editor

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THE vocation of the lay faithful to holiness implies that life
according to the Spirit expresses itself in a particular way in
their involvement in temporal affairs and in their participation
in earthly activities. Once again the apostle admonishes us:
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”
(Col 3:17). Applying the apostle’s words to the lay faithful, the
Council categorically affrms: “Neither family concerns nor
other secular affairs should be excluded from their religious
programme of life”. Likewise the Synod Fathers have said: “The
unity of life of the lay faithful is of the greatest importance: indeed
they must be sanctifed in everyday professional and social life.
Therefore, to respond to their vocation, the lay faithful must see
their daily activities as an occasion to join themselves to God,
fulfll his will, serve other people and lead them to communion
with God in Christ”.
The vocation to holiness must be recognized and lived by the lay
faithful, frst of all as an undeniable and demanding obligation
and as a shining example of the infnite love of the Father that
has regenerated them in his own life of holiness. Such a vocation,
then, ought to be called an essential and inseparable element
of the new life of Baptism, and therefore an element which
determines their dignity. At the same time the vocation to holiness
is intimately connected to mission and to the responsibility
entrusted to the lay faithful in the Church and in the world.
In fact, that same holiness which is derived simply from their
participation in the Church’s holiness, represents their frst and
fundamental contribution to the building of the Church herself,
who is the “Communion of Saints”. The eyes of faith behold a
wonderful scene: that of a countless number of lay people, both
women and men, busy at work in their daily life and activity,
oftentimes far from view and quite unacclaimed by the world,
unknown to the world’s great personages but nonetheless looked
upon in love by the Father, untiring laborers who work in the
Lord’s vineyard. Confdent and steadfast through the power
of God’s grace, these are the humble yet great builders of the
Kingdom of God in history.
Holiness, then, must be called a fundamental presupposition
and an irreplaceable condition for everyone in fulflling the
mission of salvation within the Church. The Church’s holiness
is the hidden source and the infallible measure of the works of
the apostolate and of the missionary effort. Only in the measure
that the Church, Christ’s Spouse, is loved by him and she, in
turn, loves him, does she become a mother fruitful in the Spirit.
Again we take up the image from the gospel: the fruitfulness and
the growth of the branches depends on their remaining united
to the vine. “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it
abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I
am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I
in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can
do nothing” (Jn 15:4-5).
--Christifdeles Laici, #17
DISBURSING so much amount of money unconstitutionally
is bad enough. But justifying the Disbursement Acceleration
Program (DAP) to the point of threatening the independence
of a constructional branch of government is worse, because it
shakes up a signifcant nerve of democratic principles.
This was the rub of the address of President Aquino last July
14—two weeks ahead of his schedule State of the Nation Address
on July 28. He berated the Supreme Court for being unmindful
of the numerous benefts that the DAP has delivered to the
people. “We ask that you renew your decision, this time taking
into consideration the points I have raised,” he said.
This manner of proceeding has a lot of hitches. First, the end
does not justify the means. Besides, is there no legal means
to deliver a “stimulus package” that will fast-track public
spending and economic growth? Why resort to something
unconstitutional? Second, the “end” is nowhere in sight. An
independent research group, Ibon Foundation, for instance, says
that DAP did not stimulate Philippine economy. Ground reality,
of course, confrms that. In the same speech, the President
said that the high court presumed bad faith on the part of the
administration, when it only acted out of urgency to deliver the
goods and services that the people needed. But how come it’s
almost a year now that the evacuees of the Zamboanga siege are
still in an evacuation center? Many victims of typhoon Yolanda
are still in tents and bunkhouses after eight months now. That
“no sense of urgency” pervades in a bevy of crises that the
country is presently shrouded with.
The rule of law is paramount. In a press statement issued shortly
after the Monday evening address of President Aquino, CBCP
President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, “But it is equally
important for our people to hold fast to the basic tenets of the
democratic way of life enshrined in our Constitution—it is for the
Judiciary to interpret the law with defnitiveness in the process
of resolving justiciable issues. We must respect the Supreme
Court. Where there was error, there must be humble admission
and immediate rectifcation.”
He called on our national leaders “that they may truly be humble
and respectful of our democratic institutions so that our most
sacred freedoms and liberties are always upheld.” At the end
of the day, this is bigger than DAP despite the billions of pesos
it has wasted to corruption and patronage politics.
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly Speaking
Candidly Speaking / A5
The life of holiness in the world
Bigger than DAP
A Compassionate Clergy for
a Compassionate Church
Husbands and wives
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
…and that’s the truth
And That’s The Truth / A6
Meeting the Francis Challenge
(Concluded from last issue)
Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD
Along The Way
IN preparation for the papal visit, the CBCP
recently came up with a pastoral letter titled
“A Nation of Mercy and Compassion.”
This is very appropriate since “mercy and
compassion” is at the heart of Pope Francis’
papacy. Like Jesus, Pope Francis’ words
and deeds fow from this that is why he
continues to touch the hearts of so many
people all over the world. In his apostolic
exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (114), Pope
Francis expressed his vision for the Church:
“The Church must be a place of mercy freely
given, where everyone can feel welcomed,
loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the
good life of the Gospel.”
A merciful and compassionate Church.
This is the call for all leaders and members
of the Church—the clergy, religious and lay
faithful. This is a call for members of Basic
Ecclesial Communities and various lay orga-
nizations and renewal movements.
For this to become a reality, the clergy has
to set an example. For the Church to become
truly a community of mercy and compassion,
the bishops and priests must be the frst ones
to show compassion – to be truly compas-
sionate shepherds who lovingly care for the
fock, including those who have gone astray.
People are hurt and discouraged when
they see priests who are very strict and
arrogant, who scold them and humiliate
them. The homily becomes the occasion to
berate and shame people instead of bringing
to them the good news, heal them, inspire
them, awaken their conscience, lead them to
conversion and bring out the best in them.
People are discouraged when their priests
constantly talk about money, asking for con-
tributions, but who do not have any program
that will alleviate their poverty or respond
to their needs. People are discouraged to see
their priests who are aloof, unapproachable,
who live luxurious lifestyle and who do not
care about the poor, the sick, the outcasts, the
victims, those who suffer.
People are hurt when over-zealous dio-
ceses, parishes who are trying to promote
BECs, instead of coming up with effective
evangelization programs, adopt sanction
policies such as: “You cannot have your child
baptized unless you are married or actively
involved in BECs. You need certification
that you are active in your BEC before you
can get married. You cannot have a funeral
mass when you die if you are not active in
you BEC. No mass will be celebrated in your
chapels unless your BEC has complete set
of leaders, paid your monthly dues and pay
P1,000.00 stipend.” Such “pharisaical” poli-
cies which has no theological or canonical
bases drive people away from the Church.
They give BECs, which is supposed to be a
way of life, a bad name.
The Church cannot become a Church of
mercy and compassion without a compas-
sionate clergy. This will require regular soul-
searching and examination of conscience for
the clergy. This requires an ongoing process
of conversion—that will turn a heart of stone
to a heart that is capable of being touched
and moved by the suffering of others. De-
AS priest, I, of course, get consulted many
times about marital issues. Husbands and
wives come to ask about how to resolve cer-
tain challenges, diffculties and trials they are
undergoing with their respective spouses.
I consider it a great privilege to be able to
journey with couples in their marital and
family life, and I just hope that I still can
have time to continue enjoying this privilege.
Through the years, this experience has
given me a deeper appreciation of the mys-
tery of marriage where God’s abundant
grace of marriage has to contend with the
freedom of men and women that can go
every which way.
And through the years, my conviction has
also grown stronger and deeper that the most
crucial thing to do to make marriage work
as it should is to make the spouses become
more human, more Christian, more in love
with a love that is authentic and not fake -- a
love that can only come from God who is in
fact the only source of love.
All the practical pieces of advice, I believe,
have to start and end with God, have to
make the couples closer to God. Of course,
this truth may not have to be told to the
concerned parties directly, bluntly and in
the raw.
Many husbands and wives are not yet
ready to grapple with the ultimate religious
dimension of marriage. They fnd it hard to
shift from being formalistic and casual to
being serious and resolute about God’s role
in marriage.
And so with gift of tongues, the sugges-
tions and pieces of advice have to be couched
in terms more immediately acceptable to
them. The idea is not to scare them, but to
lead them little by little to where the secret
of marital success lies.
The secret is actually no secret, because it
all too well known. Marriage is not a human
invention. It is part of God’s creation, and
as such has laws, requirements, means and
purposes that have to be respected and fol-
lowed as much as possible and with utmost
Marriage is love personifed in two per-
sons, a man and a woman, who in both
their bodily and spiritual dimensions have
to refect the very love of God for us, the
indestructible love of Christ, for His Church.
The love required for marriage is none
other than God’s love that goes all the way,
that can weather all kinds of situations—for
better, for worse, in health or in sickness,
for richer or poorer till death do the spouses
That is why marriage has to be understood
as a way of sanctifcation. It’s not just a hu-
man and much less a bodily need, or a social
phenomenon, or a legal creation. It is where
God’s grace is unleashed to sanctify the
couple and the family they generate.
The family that springs from a good mar-
riage would be a tremendous school that
forms individual persons to be truly human
and Christian.. It would also be crucial and
indispensable living cell in society, training
and contributing responsible and mature
All of these sublime properties of mar-
riage, plus their endless implications, both
theoretical and practical, have to be gradu-
ally learned. These properties should be
presented in such a way they would know
Along The Way / A5
SO, in the Year of the Laity,
how do we rise to The Francis
Challenge? It is true that the
pope’s challenge presented in
the CBCP president’s address
is aimed at our spiritual shep-
herds: Christ’s vicar on earth
challenges our pastors to be
“always humble”, to be happy
while embracing the simple life,
to unclench their fsts and at-
tract others with goodness and
beauty instead of “the brilliance
of polemics and debate”. It is
also true that running parallel
to Pope Francis’ challenge to the
bishops is his challenge to the la-
ity: “bother your pastors… dis-
turb your pastors.” While some
nominal Catholics would ride
on the authority of the pope’s
words and rationalize their
rebellious attitude towards the
Church, there are also intrepid
Catholics who would sincerely
believe it is their God-given
mission to save their pastors by
acting as the pastors’ conscience
and wreaking havoc on their
What about us, ordinary lay-
people beset with problems
beyond our control but none-
theless expected to choose to
be brave and become saints and
heroes? Almost fve centuries
ago St. Teresa of Avila wrote:
“The world is on fre. Men try
to condemn Christ once again.
They would raze His Church to
the ground…”—words that ring
true even now, when our coun-
try is on fre with the greed of
the men and women in power,
when leaders with delusions
of grandeur gorge themselves
on the ignorance of the masses,
when Church haters and free-
thinkers seduce our young with
illusory ideals.
What about us, Third Man-
sion people who think we are
so humble that it’s okay to be
proud of it? We are all chal-
lenged to be valiant and holy
but becoming saints and heroes
would be an empty victory
without true conversion in the
core of our being. Complacency
is the frst step on the road to
hell, and in the Third Man-
sion, complacency could come
disguised as sanctity. But St.
Teresa, a mystic whose feet are
frmly planted on the ground,
keeps us alert with her counsels
and precautions:
1, No matter how holy we
think we are, we must know that
we can still fall.
2, Learn the art of respectful
love: look at our faults and leave
aside those of others.
3, When experiencing dry-
ness, live in silence and hope;
undue concern over aridity
signifes lack of humility.
4, Remember that renouncing
possessions is less important
than humility.
5, We must prove our love by
deeds that consist not of works,
but of the determination of our
6, Be patient; exemplary lives
can be an impediment in that
one may begin to think he de-
A5 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
In calamities, we must
always be ready
Grace Storm
Of arrogance and
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola
Spaces of Hope
Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD
By the Roadside
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
JUSTIN, a dark 12 year old boy
with a lazy left eye, recently had
a chance to go inside a police
station. He was with a group of
30 children who were there for
a “street kids encounter”. The
name had become somewhat
of an anomaly since most of the
children there had actually gone
back to school leaving behind
their street identity. They were
accompanied by Maggie, an Ate
who is also a working college
Before sharing a meal, Mag-
gie noticed that Justin was in a
pensive mood. She approached
him to ask what he was thinking
about. “Are they prisoners?” He
said in Cebuano, referring to a
group of men inside a cell. “Yes,
they are,” Maggie replied.
“Do they eat everyday?” he
continued. “Yes,” answered
Maggie. “It is better to go to jail
since people here have a meal,”
shot back Justin. His Ate was
stumped. She did not know
what to say.
The incident reminded me
of a visit I made to a boy and
his mother who live in a squat-
ter area in Cebu City. Wanting
to convince him to go back to
school, I told him that if he does
not finish school he may end
up in a jail. “Inside the jail,” I
pointed out to him, “you share a
crowded room with many other
Right then and there, I no-
ticed how small their “barong-
barong” was. I asked how many
shared their small space. His
response made me realize that
he would actually be better off
in jail if space were the only con-
sideration. I could only manage
an embarrassed smile.
Last 21 June our group facili-
tated a gathering of stakehold-
ers of an outreach for some
street children of Cebu City.
Each participant, including two
policemen, other volunteers,
and four street children, was
asked what he or she was most
grateful for in the outreach. One
child recounted, with tears in his
eyes, how happy he was when
he experienced going to a local
carnival and enjoying a ride for
the frst time.
The two youngest ones,
Chinee and Sahsky, shyly but
frmly said that it was their expe-
rience of receiving First Commu-
nion that they were most grateful
for. It was a spiritual as well as a
social event for them since their
families were also invited. Their
Ates could only nod with grate-
ful approval.
The first Holy Communion
had been postponed several
times. Originally scheduled on
7 December 2013, it fnally saw
the light of day last 12 April 2014,
Saturday before Palm Sunday at
the chapel of the Archbishop’s
Residence in Cebu City. Arch-
bishop Jose S. Palma, D.D. was
a most gracious host and main
celebrant of the august affair.
While not candidates to join the
ranks of the Vienna Boys’ Choir,
the children did even better by
responding and singing with
all the fervor they could muster.
After the Mass, the children
and their families had dinner
at the Archbishop’s Residence.
They welcomed guests by ren-
dering a song, “Welcome to
the Family”. This brought tears
to many, among them CSupt.
Renato Constantino, outgoing
regional director of the PNP who
had been a humble and generous
supporter of the outreach.
“They all looked angelic in
their communion attire,” re-
called Maggie as the kids lined
up resplendent in white. Mag-
gie and other volunteers had
worked very hard for this day,
spending a total of seven two-
hour catechesis sessions with the
kids based on the Baltimore Cat-
echism translated into Cebuano.
“Did you have any catechesis
before receiving your frst com-
munion?” I remember asking
one street child last year. “About
30 minutes before my frst com-
munion,” came his answer.
I wonder how Pope Francis
would react to this kind of prepa-
ration? After all, did he not write
in Evangelii Gaudium (sec. 200)
that “the worst discrimination
which the poor suffer is the lack
of spiritual care. The great ma-
jority of the poor have a special
openness to the faith; they need
God and we must not fail to offer
them his friendship, his bless-
ing, his word, the celebration of
the sacraments and a journey of
growth and maturity in the faith.
Our preferential option for the
poor must mainly translate into
a privileged and preferential
religious care”?
While it is true that there are
individuals, families, groups,
parishes, and even corporate
efforts to alleviate the plight of
the poorest of our children, my
impression is that many of the
efforts are sporadic and focus-
ing only on either material or
spiritual needs.
What if existing efforts come
together towards a holistic ap-
proach towards a journey of
restoration? What if our spo-
radic works of mercy become
better organized so that street
children go back to school? Did
not Pope Benedict XVI say that
“love thus needs to be orga-
nized if it is to be an ordered
service to the community”?
Why not prepare them ad-
equately to receive communion
as well as become good and
productive citizens?
The upcoming 2016 Inter-
national Eucharistic Congress
offers opportunities to correct
this sad reality of children in the
streets who have inadequate sac-
ramental formation. A Solidarity
and Communion Committee has
been organized to work with in-
dividuals and various groups to
ensure that the poor have a voice
and a face in IEC 2016.
After all, all they are asking
for is “pagkaon” or food for their
stomach and their spirits.
LOST ANGELES, California—Typhoon
‘Glenda’ (international name Rammasun)
made me change the topics in this column.
I feel the importance of informing the read-
ers of “always being ready” in times of
Barely 8 months since typhoon ‘Yolanda’
(international name Haiyan) devastated
Central Visayas, another strong typhoon
battered the Philippines. As of press time,
typhoon ‘Glenda’ tolled 40 deaths, 17 in-
jured and great damage to properties; news
updates is still being gathered from prov-
inces. With packed winds of 150 kilometers
per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 185 kph,
electric posts fell down, thus the blackout in
90% of Luzon; trees uprooted; roofs ripped
off; glass walls broken; international and
domestic fights cancelled; classes and of-
fces suspended; light railway and metro rail
transits operations stopped; banks and stock
exchange closed; two parked jetliners at the
airport damaged; hundreds of thousands of
families evacuated.
‘Glenda’ skipped Metro Manila, though
the eye of the storm was just right above
Manila Bay, thus, the low human casual-
ties. There was also public awareness about
survival skills during catastrophes due to a
drill conducted nationwide.
I searched the Los Angeles City, California
Emergency Management Department web-
site and I am sharing with the readers what I
gathered. Floods, storm surges (series of high
waves) and mudslides are the most common
hazards during typhoons, especially when
they coincide with high tide and strong
winds. They can cause deaths, injuries,
signifcant property damage, contaminate
drinking water and disrupt electrical service.
If you live in low-lying area, coastal area,
water or downstream from a dam, beware
of foods and storm surges. A surge is a high
food of water intensifed by strong winds
and low pressure as compared with tsunami
which is a series of waves as high as 100 feet
and most commonly generated by great
earthquakes below the ocean foor.
What to do: Assemble food emergency
supplies such as sandbags, plastic sheeting,
plywood, lumber and tools. When fooding
occurs, do not go to food control channels
and do not drive across fooded roads. Keep
contact time with foodwaters to a minimum.
Keep all children and pets out of the food-
waters. The water may be contaminated with
oil, gasoline or raw sewage. It is especially
important to keep the water out of your
mouth, eyes, and nose. Wash your hands
frequently with soap and clean water. Do
not put the main electric switch on unless
checked by the electrician. Check that there
are no live electric cords. Do not eat food nor
drink water if you are not sure whether they
are contaminated by food waters.
Take note that if the tide rises or recedes
rapidly, move immediately inland to higher
ground. Use common sense. Do not go to the
coast to see a tsunami. Tsunamis are not like
regular waves. They are much faster, higher,
and are flled with debris.
For those residing in the hillsides, be pre-
pared for landslides. Slow moving landslides
can cause signifcant damage. Mudslides,
however, are much more dangerous and
can attain speeds of 10-20 miles per hour
and can cause death, injuries and signifcant
property damage. What to do: Again, start
by assembling a food emergency supply
kit that includes sandbags, shovels, plastic
sheeting, plywood, lumber and other tools
before heavy rains begin. During intense
storms, the amount of rainfall have been
known to trigger mudslides. Monitor televi-
sion and radio for warnings and instructions.
Be prepared to evacuate, if necessary. Board
up windows and doors. Listen for unusual
sounds such as cracking wood or branches.
SOMEONE once shared a won-
derful analogy for God’s grace.
She compared it to a strong
downpour. As a child runs out
to play in the rain, he tries to
catch as many raindrops with
both hands. What he manages to
gather in his hands is the heart’s
capacity to receive grace, and
the rest of the raindrops that he
couldn’t collect vividly describes
the abundance of God’s grace.
This analogy not only describes
the infinite grace available for
man to help him become holy and
reach heaven. It also explains that
we only need the grace that God
intends for our conversion for a
specifc area of our spiritual life.
The rest of the ‘uncollected grace’
will have their time and place in
God’s plans.
In a tropical country like ours,
we are not only acquainted
with downpours, but also super
storms or typhoons. A typhoon
is like a giant tornado that brings
with it the combination of strong
winds and a lot of rain. Some can
come and go harmlessly, others
on the other hand, become mer-
ciless weather monsters devas-
tating man and the environment.
Thus, experience has taught
us never to underestimate these
tropical weather threats. Super
typhoons like ‘Milenyo’, ‘On-
doy’, ‘Yolanda’ and recently
‘Glenda’ have left clear signal
lessons: be prepared for the
worse scenario and be ready
even though these seasonal visi-
tors to the archipelago are only
gently passing by.
More and more, storm aware-
ness measures have trained us to
have a prompter response, bet-
ter logistics in relief goods and
refuge areas, etc. Some lessons,
however, have been harsh like
‘Yolanda’ where the ignorance
about ‘surges’ became a tragedy
for many. But we continue to rise
again, more united and better
Even though tropical storms
may bring many sad experienc-
es, they are also ‘social equaliz-
ers,’ and ‘spiritual boosters.’ This
happens when they become an
occasion to wake every one up
to unite for the common good.
No one is spared from or can be
indifferent to a typhoon. Even
those who may not have been
in the storm’s path, experience
it also through loved ones in the
stricken areas.
This is one reason, I person-
ally prefer natural threats over
storms of corruption, immoral-
ity, injustice and violence that ail
our society. Typhoons and surges
are disasters that we can always
heal from, become more united
and build our society and the
family together.
Moral storms, on the other
hand, constantly attack us. Their
corrupting and devastating ef-
fects on innocent, the poor and
the family are unpredictable and
unquantifable. Although these
trials are also occasions to purify
and strengthen oneself from,
they are often more diffcult to
edify oneself with and rise from
with greater hope.
There was a movie whose tag
line said: “Become the monster
to fight monsters!” Applying
this to ourselves, we could say:
“Fight the storms of injustice,
corruption and immorality with
storms of grace!”
This is precisely why we ought
to prepare and equip ourselves
for a particular storm of grace:
the visit of Pope Francis to our
country come January next year.
His trip will not be political in
nature. It is both a personal and
ecclesial manner of his Holiness
to express a genuine and fatherly
concern for those affected by
typhoon ‘Yolanda’.
Thus, as with all storms, we
ought to prepare for the torrent
of graces that will hit us when
the Pope comes in 2015. Given
the shortness of his stay, we
can already organize ourselves
with spiritual provisions now.
What would this preparation
consists of?
The frst would be equipping
oneself with personal conver-
sion. This is achieved through
already well-known means as
deepening our life of prayer, em-
bracing our daily crosses joyfully
and peacefully, and frequenting
and acquiring a transforming ap-
preciation of the Holy Eucharist
and Confession.
Second, would be to help
equip others. This is none other
than our growing zeal to make
as many people (i.e. Catholics
and non-Catholics alike) prepare
for this storm of grace with the
Pope Francis’ visit. The step to
take, more than the mere mate-
rial or logistical preparations, is
helping them discover what God
may want from them through
such a graceful event.
Third, is to personally dis-
cover how to be united to the
person of Pope Francis. Perhaps,
reading up on his life and works.
Another could be personally
coming up with a daily action
plan to pray and sacrifce for his
intentions. For example, these
days Pope Francis has been en-
couraging all the faithful to enter
the wounds of Christ by focusing
on the corporal works of mercy
(e.g. visiting the sick, those im-
prisoned, the lonely, etc.)
These and many other initia-
tives will defnitely be a spiritual
life vest or raft that will keep us
and others afoat to accompany
Peter’s boat next year.
“EVERYBODY loves a winner,” so goes the saying. But so does
everybody love humility (especially, a humble winner, I might
add). There are two unfortunate things before us. One, we have a
president who was a clear winner, but who is not clearly known
for humility. Two, a caveat: Humility is a virtue so easy to re-
member when it is absent in another person. In its place just as
easily we spot pride or arrogance. But when humility is absent
in ourselves, it is so easy to forget the idea or (with reference to a
song) let it go. Then we call it conviction, courage or determina-
tion (when obstinacy or infexibility would be more to the point).
If we turn to the critics of the president, especially after his
strong and unyielding defense of the DAP (Disbursement
Acceleration Program) or the controversial members of his
cabinet, we are likely to hear them accuse him of arrogance
or hard-headedness. When we listen to the president or his
aides, we hear another story: his frm determination to bring
the benefts of government services to as many people as pos-
sible. We, in Eastern Samar are perennially asking the question:
Where have all these services and benefts gone? There is very
little evidence of them in the barangays.
When the budget secretary submitted his letter of resigna-
tion to own up to the DAP debacle, the president refused to
accept it, saying that he does not subscribe “to the notion that
doing right by our people is a wrong.” I thought it wasn’t so
hard to see that doing right by our people by no means justi-
fes the use of unconstitutional (that is, illegal) means. I also
wondered what right or wrong actually means to the chief
executive or whether or not he also hears, being a Catholic that
he once said he is, advice from the Church’s moral leaders (not
to say moral theologians too). I suppose he does; it is another
story, of course, if the advice is heeded. There are accusations
that his administration used the DAP to pass the Reproductive
Health Law, to oust the former Supreme Court Chief Justice
Corona etc. If the accusations are true, it makes me wonder
even more if he thought in terms of right or wrong in the use
of money to court legislators’ and politicians’ votes or support.
To paraphrase St. Augustine, one of our greatest sins is that
we prefer to ignore our wrongs and focus on those of another.
This is one necessary food for thought that both friends and
critics of this administration or of any other person or group
should bear in mind. As long as we are prepared to apply on
ourselves the same standards that we assign our critics or
enemies, then we are safe from arrogance. Being so positioned
is less than a ffteen-minute walk to humility.
In the Catholic mindset, humility is an integral part of tem-
perance, the virtue that watches over our appetites such that
they do not hinder us from living according to our dignity
as God’s children. Humility, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us,
comes from “humus” which means earth or soil. We should
not lose sight of how the lowliness of the earth and the soil
mirrors the lowly attitude of the humble; it also reminds us
of where we came from and where we are going back to.
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return” is frst cousin
to the Pauline exhortation: “Let what you see in Christ be
seen in you…Though he was in the form of God, he did not
deem equality with God something to be grasped at; rather
he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born
in the likeness of men…he humbled himself” (Phil 2:5-6, 8).
When we are tempted to make gods of ourselves, humility
brings up the truth that everything we are and have is grace,
gifted to us by the real and true God. Naturally he uses people
and circumstances when he does. On this count alone pride is
incompatible with discipleship. On this count alone it is per-
fectly understandable why, inside and outside of the Scriptures,
God reveals himself and his plans only to the humble. For how
can the true God cultivate a fellowship with someone who
considers himself another god? Does not, in fact, the Mother
of Jesus say that the Almighty “has looked with favor on his
lowly servant, and from this day forward all generations will
call me blessed” (Lk 2:48)? And does not the Savior confrm this
when he says: “He who exalts himself will be humbled; he who
humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11)?
It may be humbling for a leader to accept a mistake. But
that is the least of his worries. Not doing so out of pride and
arrogance is a greater mistake.
You could say it is a bit unfortunate that we can no longer
ask, at least in this life, the likes of Cain, Nebuchadnezzar,
Hitler etc. or Lucifer himself about the role of pride in their
personal histories. But their footprints are still visible today,
and they lead nowhere except towards self-destruction.
Which is why a believer, let alone a leader, needs to heed
the advice of Micah the prophet to Israel and its leadership:
“You have been told, O man, what is good and what the Lord
requires of you: to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk
humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
veloping the habit of prayer
and meditation helps develop
a compassionate heart, like the
heart of Jesus. This also requires
going out of the rectory and
reaching out to the peripheries,
becoming accessible and close
to the flock—knowing them
and their condition, listening to
them, journeying and working
with them as they make the
Kingdom of God—a kingdom of
justice, peace and love—a reality.
Compassion can be conta-
gious. A compassionate clergy
can inspire their flock to be-
come more compassionate. Pope
Francis is setting the example.
It is now the time for the clergy
and faithful to follow him as he
himself follows the example of
our Lord, Jesus Christ.
how to contend with the prosaic
challenges of daily married and
family life that often tend to
twarth and ridicule them.
In this regard, what would
hel p i s when t he coupl es
have some basic faith, hope
and charity, and some basic
forms of piety. With these, in
spite of their limitations and
mistakes, there is reason to
hope that their marriage can
move on.
But a practical advice for
husbands and wives would be
what St. Peter said in his frst
letter (chapter 3). Wives should
be submissive to their husbands.
Husbands should live consid-
erately with their wives. Both
should have unity of spirit,
sympathy, love of the brethren, a
tender heart and a humble mind.
In more concrete terms, hus-
bands and wives should respect
and trust each other. They don’t
have to agree in all items and is-
sues, as long as they know how
to distinguish between what is
essential and indispensable in
marriage, and what is open to
legitimate opinions and personal
Husbands and wives should,
of course, try to give space to
their individual personal pref-
erences as well as be willing
to give them up for the sake of
greater peace and harmony in
marriage and the family.
The language of true love in-
volves giving up and losing that
actually translates into gaining
more and better things.
Along The Way / A4
Candidly Speaking / A4
Duc In Altum / A7
A6 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
amulets and bodily decorations,” Monsignor
Alejandro P. Esperancilla, who serves as
special assistant for liturgical affairs of the
National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles in
Jaro explained.
Imitating Mary
According to Esperancilla, the wearing of
medals and scapulars should be an expres-
sion that the faithful want to “place them-
selves under the protection of the Blessed
Virgin Mary”.
He pointed out, “This will necessarily
include the desire to imitate her life of being
totally in the service of God.”
Esperancilla shared that before it acquired
its present miniature form, the original
scapular—the “Brown Scapular”—evolved
from the habit (religious vestment) of the
Carmelite Order, whose members, begin-
ning with St. Simon Stock, were largely
responsible for popularizing the devotion to
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, their patroness,
through this sacramental.
It means that it is a badge of affliation with
that religious community, and that its wearer
“shares in the spirit of that community”.
More than promises
“It is a sign that includes not just privileges
but also the obligation to live according
to the rule and values of that community,
namely, simplicity in dress, behavior and
life, penance and mortifcation, prayer, hos-
pitality and charity to the less fortunate,”
Esperancilla said.
With the often unrealistic expectations
many wearers have of these sacramen-
tals, the shrine liturgist urged to “de-
emphasize” the promises attached to them,
emphasizing instead the spirit behind
them, which is to become “imitators of our
Blessed Mother in her life of service to her
Son, Jesus Christ”.
“Only then can the promises be fulflled,”
Esperancilla noted.
He stressed that we must remember that
scapulars and medals are sacramentals of the
church and serious effort should be made to
use them correctly.
“People need to be instructed in the wear-
ing of medals and scapulars,” Esperancilla
said. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports
from Fr. Mickey Cardenas)
Scapulars / A1
The CBCP president made the
statement hours after President
Aquino addressed the nation
in a televised speech where he
defended the Disbursement Ac-
celeration Program (DAP) and
said that it has improved the
country in many ways.
With a vote of 13-1-0, the
Supreme Court declared parts
of the DAP as unconstitutional
on July 1.
The high court noted that the
DAP has violated the constitu-
tion by withdrawing unobligated
allotments and declaring them—
together with unreleased appro-
priations—as savings; allowing
cross-border transfers of the sav-
ings of the Executive department to
other offces; and funding projects,
activities, and programs that were
not covered by the GAA.
In defending the DAP against
critics, Aquino reiterated Section
39 of the 1987 Administrative
Code as the legal basis for its
“Except as otherwise provided
in the General Appropriations
Act, any savings in the regular
appropriations authorized in
the General Appropriations Act
for programs and projects of any
department, office or agency,
may, with the approval of the
President, be used to cover a
defcit in any other item of the
regular appropriations….”
Amid controversies surround-
ing the DAP, Villegas called on
the public to respect President
Aquino’s opinion on the matter.
“The President has expressed
himself on the Supreme Court’s
decision in respect to DAP. The
President’s views are important
and his right to express himself
must be respected,” he said.
The CBCP president reminded
the public that the rule of law
must always be safeguarded
for it is a “fundamental require-
ment” and an “objective condi-
tion” of the common good.
“That the Rule of Law is at all
times safeguarded is therefore
a moral concern. When the
Rule of Law is compromised,
the common good becomes its
victim,” Villegas said. (Jennifer
M. Orillaza)
Respect / A1
ment Fund (PDAF) plaguing the
Aquino administration.
According to Doromal, the on-
going DAP and PDAF scandals
are clear manifestations of cor-
ruption in people that champion
a “contraceptive mentality and a
relativistic morality.”
“Where there is respect for life,
there is respect for the whole hu-
man person. On the other hand,
when there is contraception,
life is not considered as sacred
anymore and each new child is
not seen as a gift from the Lord
but a as threat to society. The
human person [is] thus reduced
to a mere statistic, ends up eas-
ily cheated or manipulated,” he
Fully-packed conference
The two-day conference is
packed with a talks like “Huma-
nae Vitae: 36 Years of Dissent by
Dr. Rene Josef C. Bullecer, MD;
“The Clergy and the Laity: Dual
force in promoting faith and de-
fending family” Fr. Erby Davy
Lajara; “The 16th Congress: The
Pro-life War Zone” by Cong.
Lito Atienza; “The Amazing
Human Body and other issues”
by Dr. Rene Josef C. Bullecer,
MD; “Vaccines: The Hard Truth”
by Dr. Dolores Octaviano, MD;
“The Laity: Who are we? To-
day’s Urgent Challenges for
the Church and the Country”
by Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go, Na-
tional President, Sangguniang
Laiko ng Pilipinas; and “The
Philippines at the Crossroads,
Time to Act Now!” by Johma
With the theme “We choose
to be brave: called to be fghters
for the faith and sent forth as
warriors of life”, HLI Pilipinas
will welcome delegates from the
Archdioceses of Jaro and Capiz
and the Dioceses of Bacolod,
Kabankalan, San Carlos, San
Jose de Antique, Puerto Princesa
and Taytay.
Jaro Archbishop Angel N.
Lagdameo will celebrate the
holy mass on the frst day of the
.On a positive note, the Jaro
CFL Director sees hope when
the family and life ministry is
strengthened: “It is in the family,
which is a school of selfess love,
where future leaders are formed
and where they begin to learn
good governance.” (Fr. Mickey
Contraception / A1
plaint against the President, but
it will neither begrudge anyone,
member of the clergy, or laity, the
exercise of constitutionally and
statutorily recognized rights.”
“We urge our citizens to keep
themselves informed, to be circum-
spect in their actions and in their
statements, and to allow their dis-
cernment at all times to be inspired
by the Gospel, and governed by the
law of love,” he added.
On July 22, youth groups com-
posed of student leaders fled
another impeachment complaint
against Aquino. It was endorsed
by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry
Like the frst complaint, the
second case also involved the
controversial Development Ac-
celeration Program (DAP) which
the Supreme Court declared
The complainants accused
Aquino of betraying public trust
and violating the 1987 Constitu-
tion for implementing DAP.
Supremacy / A1
Local News
Cebu activist remembers ‘disappeared’ priest
“FATHER Rudy was a
skilled martial artist,” said
Yoyoy Cala, a cultural ac-
tivist who had known pro-
poor priest Rosaleo “Rudy”
Romano of the Congre-
gation of the Most Holy
Redeemer (C.Ss.R.), before
his sudden abduction on
July 11, 1985 by suspected
members of the military.
“Father Rudy would
give me tips on martial arts
and carpentry. He was what
you would call a Renais-
sance man,” he shared of
the priest who was admired
by the marginalized for his
articulateness and by col-
lege girls for his dashing,
good looks.
Cala shared that he had
first heard of Romano in
1978 in a rally the priest had
organized with seminarians
to denounce the then pre-
vailing Martial Law regime.
He noted that while Ma-
nila and the rest of the
country were muted and
“paralyzed”, Romano was
the first one in Central
Philippines to dispel the
“culture of fear” bred by
the dictatorship.
“At that time, Filipinos
were reluctant to take part
in anti-government pro-
tests, but they were em-
boldened knowing that a
Catholic priest was there
for them in the frontlines,”
he said.
Cala was formally in-
troduced to Romano after
a brush with the military
struck the activist uncon-
“An agent arrested me
after delivering on stage a
poem by Amado V. Hernan-
dez, when priests snatched
me away just in time and
brought me to Fr. Rudy,
who hid me in the safety
of his room,” he explained.
According to Cala, Ro-
mano, who was a Waray
native of Santa Rita town
in Samar, also bitterly op-
posed abusive capitalists
in the Visayas, whose ire
he incurred by celebrating
mass for members of labor
“With the priest’s inspi-
ration, many labor unions
won against these big busi-
nessmen because Fr. Rudy
served as the animating
spirit that guided the labor-
ers, peasants, and the urban
poor,” he said.
He noted that Romano
also became spiritual ad-
vi ser to known pol i ti -
cal opposition leaders in
Cebu like the anti-Marcos
“Inday” Nenita Cortes
Another unconfirmed
report, Cala shared, tells of
an infuential fgure in the
Visayas, who had an axe to
grind with Romano, kid-
napping the priest, putting
him inside a vat, cemented
over, and thrown into the
“Wherever Fr. Rudy may
be now, I am sure he will
forever remain in the hearts
of those who keep dream-
ing for a free, prosperous,
and dignifed society,” Cala
“Were he still alive today,
he would still be doing
what he was doing, right-
ing the wrongs of those in
power,” he added.
In an offcial statement,
Cebu Archbishop José S.
Palma praised Romano for
taking to heart the chal-
lenge posed by many of the
Church’s social encyclicals
and for taking the side of
the poor while denounc-
ing injustice and social
“Following in the foot-
steps of our Lord, Fr. Rudy
also bore his own cross un-
til the end when he offered
his life to follow Jesus. His
life witness, his living out
his vocation as a pastor
and his legacy of deep
commitment to Gospel
values are gifts he offers
to us until today even if
he is no longer with us,”
the prelate noted,
The Redemptorist-run
National Shrine of Our
Mother of Perpetual Help
(Baclaran Church) in Para-
ñaque City pays tribute to
Romano in a short video
presentation to commemo-
rate the 29th year of the
priest’s disappearance that
may be found in Youtube.
(Raymond A. Sebastián)
Remembering Romano: The Redemptorist community (C.Ss.R.), of which
activist-priest Rosaleo “Rudy” Romano is a member, commemorates the
29th year of his “diasppearance” in a mini outdoor exhibit at the National
Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church) in Parañaque City.
Edwin Dio Despabiladeras
Help, don’t proselytize – Borongan bishop
A CATHOLIC bishop denounced
the practice of giving assistance
to typhoon ‘Yolanda’ victims in
Eastern Samar supposedly in ex-
change for their faith, technically
called “proselytizing”.
Borongan Bishop Crispin Var-
quez said several religious de-
nominations, which he did not
identify, have been recruiting
survivors, mostly Catholics, into
their groups through fnancial
and relief aid.
These groups, he said in
his fourth pastoral letter after
‘Yolanda’, are “taking advan-
tage” of the survivors’ vulner-
ability “in the guise” of compas-
sionate response.
“Proselytizing from among
the vulnerable calls into question
the sincerity of one’s charity. To
them I say: If you really desire to
give help, do so without condi-
tions,” Varquez said.
“Lack of respect for the faith of
others can never be Christ-like,”
he said.
The bishop said the survivors
could accept the assistance they
are given but “never give up
your Catholic faith”.
“Faithfulness is a mark of true
faith. As members of the Roman
Catholic Church, let us unite
ourselves in living, preserving,
defending and proclaiming our
Catholic faith,” Varquez added.
The prelate earlier criticized
international and local non-gov-
ernment organizations (NGOs)
by distributing contraceptives
such as condoms and pills to
typhoon victims.
According to him, these NGO
“unfortunately also abuse” the
vulnerability of the victims
by making contraceptives as
essential components of their
Varquez called on Catholics
to make a moral stand with the
local clergy and resist all forms
of artifcial birth control services.
“This phenomenon is alarm-
ing,” he said. “They violate
Catholic norms of morality and
many times adversely affect the
health of persons, especially
women”. (Roy Lagarde)
A Catholic priest walks towards a chapel destroyed by last year’s typhoon Yolanda at the archbishop’s residence in Palo, Leyte, 17 July 2014. Roy Lagarde
‘Your faith will be tested’
– bishop to singles
A BISHOP tells young people
July 19 their faith will “be tested”
in a message given during the
CFC – Singles for Christ Metro
Manila Regional Conference
(MM Recon) that appeared to
be part prophecy, part social
“A day will come when you will
be tested..How much Christ is life
for you? Will you remain faithful
to Him amid persecutions, slan-
der, discrimination?” Auxiliary
Bishop of Antipolo Francisco De
Leon asked 2,850 singles attend-
ing the MM Recon yesterday at
the Ynares Center, Antipolo City.
De Leon, who celebrated the
holy mass on the second day of
the conference, challenged the
participants of the 3-day event
to think about whether they will
be faithful only when “life is easy
and problem-free”, turning away
from Jesus when “storms in the
Christian life” come.
He cited Pope Francis’ obser-
vation that “Christians are most
persecuted nowadays,” not just
in predominantly Muslim areas,
but even in countries with rich
Christian heritage because they
have “forgotten Christ.”
According to De Leon, con-
cretely, the steady rise of “secu-
lar values” is seen through the
breakdown of traditional mar-
riage, the denial of the sanctity of
human life and the shift in focus
to material wealth.
“The only value is wealth. So
much so that the others do not
matter. Even if someone is rich,
he will still be corrupt, that’s
greediness,” he said, making
an indirect commentary on the
country’s current events.
The MM Recon, themed
“Choose Christ: For life is Christ
and death is gain” (Philippians
1:21)”, gathers SFC leaders and
members from all over Metro
Manila every year. (Nirva’ana
Ella Delacruz)
A7 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Sunday school for ‘religious
literate’ kids
QUEZON City— Sunday
school classes, which aim
to teach the faithful about
the beauty and truth of the
Catholic faith, have met an
overwhelming response from
the youngest members of the
Church — the children.
Fr. Joel Saballa of the
Congregation of the Sons
of the Immaculate Concep-
tion (CFIC), who runs the
Immaculate Conception
Parish in the Novaliches
barangay of San Agustin
laments that many Filipino
Catholics know very little,
if at all, of even the basic
tenets of the Church.
Raised in an environ-
ment where Protestantism
dominates, he observes that
Catholics often lag behind
those of other sects in mat-
ters of religious literacy.
This is the reason, Saballa
pointed out, why he gives
priority to the teaching of
catechesis in his parish.
“The lessons are taught
by our trained catechists
in a way compatible with
the learning capability of
these children,” Saballa
According to him, every
Sunday, fve different sets
of kids take part in cat-
echism lessons that are held
between masses.
He added, “The sessions
are short enough to prevent
these young participants
from easily getting bored
and losing attention.
According to the priest,
after three months, the par-
ish will hold a quiz bee in
order to assess how much
the children have retained,
and also to determine if the
classes are being directed
effectively. (Raymond A.
The kids of Novaliches learn more about the Catholic faith during regular Sunday school classes organized by the
Immaculate Conception Parish in the Novaliches barangay of San Agustin. Fr. Joel Saballa
Bishop confrms Caceres PWDs in
special celebration
NAGA City– Caceres Archbishop
Rolando Tria Tirona confrmed on
June 21 around 60 People with Dis-
abilities (PWDs) during a whole-
day affair dubbed the “Day for
PWDs (People with Disabilities).”
Held at the Mater Salutis Parish
Church in Cararayan, Naga City,
the Sacrament of Confrmation was
just one highlight of the celebra-
tion, which also featured medical
check-ups for the participants,
religious instruction and sharing
with loved ones.
Volunteer Doctors Marita Qui-
mlat and Virginia Rayala headed
free medical check-ups for the
participants during this second
parish visit of the Gilean Ministry.
Nutritionist Chona Agra also as-
sisted the group.
Caregivers and gamily members
of the participants got to share
heartwarming stories about how
affectionate and genuine the PWDs
are in their homes and in their
respective communities. One even
said that in spite of their special
needs, PWDs are “people con-
nected with the Divine.”
Three PWDs, wheelchairs Jessica
Camero, a 23-year-old who has no
lower extremities, Manuel Marciano,
also a 23-year-old whose legs are both
weak, and Mary Heart dela Vega, a
ten-year-old with Down Syndrome.
Sr. Nora Patlonag of the Sisters of
the Little Mission for the Deaf also
gave religious instruction to the
participants. After which, parish
priest Fr. Judiel Galvo and Gilean
Ministry director Fr. Jaime Danilo
Viola administered the Sacraments
of Baptism and Reconciliation,
prior to the Eucharistic celebration
at noon.
The Gilean Ministry will visit
next the Parish of St. Mary Magda-
lene in Bula, Camarines Sur on July
20. Viola is now the parish priest of
the said community. (Natalie Hazel
Sr. Nora Patlonag of the Sisters of the Little Mission for the Deaf gives catechesis to PWDs on
June 21, 2014 at the Mater Salutis Parish in Cararayan, Naga City. Natalie Hazel Quimlat
Participants share their experiences, feelings and insights during the gathering of PWDs at the
Mater Salutis Parish on June 21, 2014. Natalie Hazel Quimlat
Cavite’s ‘Queen’
on tour
CAVITE City— Cavite’s
Queen, the “Nuestra Se-
ñora de la Soledad de Porta
Vaga” is scheduled to tour
nine communities across
Rizal, Caloocan, Quezon
City, and Manila as part of
its yearly “Dalaw Soledad”
which seeks to promote de-
votion to the Blessed Virgin
of Solitude.
Since June when the
Dalaw Soledad kicked off,
the image which is the
oldest Marian icon in the
country, had already vis-
ited Saint Sebastian Parish
in Lumban, Laguna; Par-
ish of Saint Michael the
Archangel in Jalajala, Rizal;
Saint Ursula Parish in Bi-
nangonan, Rizal; Parish of
Saint Joseph the Worker in
Angono, Rizal; and Saint
Clement Parish on Doña
Aurora St., Angono, Rizal.
The rest of the itinerary is
as follows:
• June 20, 2013 – July
27, 2014
Saint John the Baptist
Parish, Sumulong St., Brgy
San Isidro, Taytay, Rizal
• July 27, 2014 – August
3, 2014
Diocesan Shrine and Par-
ish of Our Lady of Aran-
zazu, San Mateo, Rizal
• August 3, 2014 – Au-
gust 10, 2014, Our Lady
of Fátima Parish, Magat
Salamat St., Urduja Village,
Caloocan City
• August 10, 2014 – Au-
gust 17, 2014, Rayo Veritas
Chapel, West Ave., Quezon
• August 17, 2014 – Au-
gust 24, 2014, Holy Family
Roxas District, Quezon
• August 24, 2014 – Au-
gust 31, 2014, Our Lady
of the Most Holy Rosary,
Binondo, Manila
• August 31, 2014 – Sep-
tember 6, 2014, Holy Trinity
Parish, Calabash Road, Bal-
ic-Balic, Sampaloc, Manila
• September 6, 2014, Par-
ish of Saint Michael the
Archangel, Bacoor City,
Devotion to Our Lady
of Solitude of Porta Vaga
is one of the most popular
among Catholic Filipinos as
proven by the many Sole-
dad icons venerated across
the country.
Nicknamed “Inang Mag-
kakandila”, the Soledad
is often associated with
Lenten rites and the All
Saints’ and All Souls’ Day
At the San Roque Chuch
in Cavite City, where she is
enshrined and honored as
the “Queen and Patroness”
of the Cavite province, the
faithful celebrate her feast
on the second and third
Sundays of November.
Thanks to the efforts of
San Roque Parish priest
Monsi gnor Bar aqui el
Mojica,and Bishop Felix
Perez, the Soledad was
crowned canonically in
November 17, 1978 by then
Apostolic Nuncio to the
Philippines Bruno Torpigli-
ani during the pontifcate of
John Paul II.
Versions of the miracu-
lous icon are venerated in
San Isidro, Nueva Ecija;
Camba, Binondo, Manila;
Subic, Zambales; and Buhi,
Camarines Sur. (Raymond
A. Sebastián)
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga. Raymond A. Sebastián
joy of this abiding encounter,
which, in the light of the Pas-
chal mystery, is always deeper
than our tribulations,” shared
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
of Archdi ocese of Li ngayen-
Dagupan, who also heads the
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP).
With these in mind, Villegas
invites the faithful, particularly
young Catholics, whom the prel-
ate acknowledged as “among
God’s most precious gifts both
to the Church and society in the
Philippines”, to the Catholic So-
cial Media Summit Version Three
(CSMSV3) on September 13 and
14, 2014 at the Pangasinan Train-
ing and Development Center in
Lingayen, Pangasinan.
As an important platform where
Catholic social media users can
share with one another pertinent
knowledge and skills, the annual
event seeks to put into the Phil-
ippine context the Holy Father’s
clarion call of an “Encounter with
Jesus” through the various online
In an open letter issued July 17,
Thursday, the prelate, echoing
Pope Francis, called attention to
the many dangers of “our con-
sumption-driven world” which,
he stressed, consi sts i n “the
desolation and anguish born of
a feverish but complacent heart,
the feverish pursuit of frivolous
pleasures, and a blunted con-
Quoting the Pope’s apostolic
exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”
(Joy of the Gospel), Villegas said,
“I invite all Christians, every-
where at this very moment, to
a renewed personal encounter
with Jesus Christ, or at least an
openness to letting him encoun-
ter them; I ask all of you to do
this unfailingly each day. No one
should think that this invitation
is not for him or her, since no one
is excluded from the joy brought
by the Lord.”
“It is exciting to be a Catholic!
Take courage. Do not be afraid
to share your faith! Choose to be
brave! Choose the joy of Jesus!” he
declared. (Raymond A. Sebastián)
Encounter / A1
And That’s The Truth / A4
Diocesan News
Let us be prepared with
the “GO BAG”; it is an
individual emergency kit
for each family member.
These items can be placed
in a backpack or other easy
to carry bag and may be
placed near your bed, in
your car or at your work-
place. Essential items in-
clude, but are not limited
to: Water (a couple of 1/2 li-
ter bottles), non-perishable
food, crackers, medication
& First Aid supplies (a
few days’ supply), a fam-
ily photo for identifcation
purposes, a pocket-knife
(to cut food, duct tape,
first aid), a dust mask (a
contamination protection),
a change of clothes (un-
derwear, sturdy shoes, a
warm top for cold weather
or a hat for the sun), tooth-
brush/toothpaste (travel
size is sufficient), small
amount of cash (small de-
nominations and coins),
fashlight with batteries (to
aid in evacuation or search-
es), a whistle (so other
people can fnd you), small
battery-operated radio (to
stay updated on disaster
information), local map
(know local evacuation
routes), pencil, permanent
markers, paper (to record
information), an extra set
of car/home keys, feminine
hygiene products (depends
on the individual), small
toys, playing cards, books
(depends on the individ-
Breaking news as of press
time: Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH17 from Am-
sterdam to Kuala Lumpur
was allegedly shot down
by a Russian-made Buk
surface-to-air missile over
Ukrainian-Russian border
airspace. The plane carries
283 civilians (allegedly 3
are Filipinos, 3 are infants)
and 15 crew members.
Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko believes that
pro-Russian insurgents did
it as a “terrorist act”. This is
the second time Malaysia
Airlines suffered tragedy
within 4 months, the frst is
the disappearance of fight
MH370, no trace of the
plane has been found.
We wish all the best to
Bro. Mike Velarde, founder
of El Shaddai, and wife
Sis. Belen, and greet them
on their Golden Wedding
Anniversary. Thank you
for the invitation but much
as I wanted to be with you,
I cannot because I am still
here in the US visiting my
mother Gloria Angeles-
Happy Birthday to Mar-
ilou Reyes, Fr. Ronaldo
Pedroso, Fr. Luis Zapata,
IVE, Fr. Joel Sabijon and
Fr. Allan Lopez,OP.; also
Happy Sacerdotal Anniver-
sary to Fr. Mariano “Jun”
Duc In Altum / A5
his responsibility to safeguard the national
treasury for the beneft of the most vulnerable
in our society,” CPAAPB convenor Fr. Ben
Alforque, MSC declared.
The unfolding realities of “patronage poli-
tics” and “pork barrel plunder” in our nation,
Alforque observed, reveal a tip of the iceberg
of graft and corruption long covered up by the
Aquino administration.
The priest explained that the pork barrel
system embodied in the Priority Development
Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the DAP under-
scores a great divide between the clamor of
the poor for basic and social services versus
the tight-lipped non-transparency and inad-
equate delivery of services under the Aquino
In a statement it issued Sunday, July 13,
CPAAPB said PNoy’s attempts to defend the
impounding of allocated budgets, deceptively
re-naming them as savings, and illegally dis-
pensing them at his own discretion, includ-
ing his millions’ worth in gifts to senators
six months after the Corona impeachment,
through his Disbursement Acceleration Pro-
gram (DAP), cannot overcome his serious
betrayal of public trust.
PNoy and all those who participated in
these acts, the group stressed, must be held
The alliance pointed out that the President con-
sciously violated the Constitution and betrayed
the public with corruption and political patronage.
According to CPAAPB, PNoy has gravely
tarnished his moral reputation, and has yet to
express repentance.
Ironically, the group noted, PNoy has pre-
sented himself as a “stalwart of righteousness
and as an avenger against corruption but has
now been unmasked as a blatant, conscious
and intentional violator of the highest law of
the land: the Philippine Constitution.”
CPAAPB shared, “Anyone who uses power
at his disposal in a way that leads others to
do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and re-
sponsible for the evil that he has directly or
indirectly encouraged.
Quoting Luke 17:1, the group declared,
“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe
to him by whom they come!”.
“Under the weight of the unconstitutionality
of both the PDAF and the DAP, PNoy’s “Daang
Matuwid” [Straight Path] has collapsed,”
CPAAPB said. (Raymond A. Sebastián)
Cheating / A1
serves God’s favors.
7, If we do not abandon the path begun, the
Lord will give us security of conscience, yet
we must still be on guard against offending
the Lord.
Complacency blinds us to the fact that there
are more mansions and states to dwell in after
the Third. One’s progress through the Man-
sions, however, is not at all similar to being in
school and being rewarded with a diploma. St.
Teresa says it starts with “the reality of grace
and love”, and that in order to “ascend to the
dwelling places we desire, the important thing
is not to think much but to love much.”
If in school we are graded and promoted
to the next level according to the knowledge
we have attained, in the Mansions advancing
means growth in grace and love— the greater
our capacity for love grows, the closer we move
towards the center where The King dwells.
Far from being the syrupy notions of love we
may have, this love, says this Master of Prayer,
“… includes other activities… and so we must
make certain that the soul, established in love,
is employed… in self-knowledge and the ex-
ercise of humility…”
Self-knowledge, humility, detachment, and
love are the keys we need to face up to Pope
Francis’ challenge to reach out and convey
Jesus to others and bring others back to the
Church. We preach Jesus not with words
but with our life—in fact, we ought to be His
words, incarnate. One of the most elementary
ways to get there is to have “frequent, intimate
conversations with our Friend who we know
loves us very much”. It is a friendship where
we subsequently come to realize that God is
the heart of all reality. It a rendezvous that
can beneft anyone regardless of educational
attainment. It is prayer according to St. Teresa,
herself unschooled but was proclaimed Doctor
of the Church for the eminence of her teaching.
It is a prayer that by God’s grace makes a per-
son forgetful of self and committed to Christ
and the Church. It is the prayer of the Filipinos
who are determined to meet The Francis Chal-
lenge. People of the world, place your bets! We
will win kneeling down. And that’s the truth.
Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
A8 People, Facts & Places
Fil-Chinese Catholics celebrate 60-year
missionary apostolate
THE Chinese-Filipino com-
munity in Bacolod celebrat-
ed the 60thAnniversary
of the Chinese Missionary
Apostolate in the Philip-
pines at the Queen of Peace
Parish and St. John’s Insti-
tute, or “Huaming”, on July
9 to 12, 2014.
With the theme “Giving
God the glory from roots
to fruits”, a triduum of holy
masses was held from July
9 to 11, 2014.
Conferences were also
held during the three day
celebration. The topics cov-
ered were “Tsinoy beliefs
and Traditions and its im-
pact on Philippine Society”,
“The Contributions and
Challenges of the Tsinoys in
the Church of Bacolod” and
“Catholics and Chinese: Fu-
sion or Confusion?”.
On July 9, which was also
the feast of the Martyrs of
China, Gaudencio Cardinal
Rosales celebrated the holy
mass, stressing the impor-
tance of “doing good things.”
“Do something good.
Even the blind can see it.
Say something good to
someone who needs to be
consoled, because even
the deaf can hear, can un-
derstand,” Rosales said,
emphasizing how goodness
demands to be felt.
Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian,
SVD, National Coordina-
tor of the Chinese-Filipino
Catholic Apostolate in the
Philippines and Director of
the Episcopal Commission
on Youth, celebrated the
mass on July 10. On July
11 Bacolod Bishop Vicente
M. Navarra celebrated the
concluding mass of the
On July 12, Manila Arch-
bishop Luis Antonio Car-
dinal Tagle joined the Chi-
nese-Filipino Community
in a thanksgiving mass at 11
a.m. at the Queen of Peace
Parish Church.
At 3 in the afternoon of
the same day, to cap the
60th anniversary celebra-
tion, Tagle delivered a con-
ference on “The role and
the challenge of the New
Evangelization among the
Rosales also adminis-
tered the Sacrament of Con-
frmation to more than one
hundred students of theSt.
John Institute on July 9.
Talking about the es-
sence of the sacrament of
Confrmation, the Cardinal
told the young students to
prepare a space for the Holy
Spirit in their hearts.
“Confrmation is a renew-
al. You will be receiving the
Holy Spirit, the strength to be
good. Allow the Holy Spirit
to fnd a warm place in your
heart,” the Cardinal told the
students who were about
to be confirmed. (Adsum
The Chinese-Filipino community in Bacolod celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Chinese Missionary Apostolate in the Philippines from July 9 to 12,
2014 at the Queen of Peace Parish and St. John’s Institute. Adsum Bacolod
Young parish
marks 5th year
THE Nuestra Señora de la Sole-
dad (Our Lady of Solitude) de
Camba Parish celebrated its ffth
parish anniversary on July 20,
Manila Archbishop Luís An-
tonio G. Cardinal Tagle presided
over a High Mass at 9:00 a.m.
Camba parishioners also
held a “Soledad Grand Mar-
ian Procession” at 4:00 p.m.
which feature replicas of the
Soledad icon, a variation of
the more famous image in
Cavite City.
A young parish, Nuestra Seño-
ra de la Soledad de Camba (Our
Lady of Solitude) on Camba
Street, Binondo, Manila was cre-
ated under RCAM’s Vicariate of
Santo Niño by then Manila Arch-
bishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal
Rosales, and is dedicated to the
patronage of Nuestra Señora de
la Soledad.
It was established on July 16,
2009, the “Feast of Our Lady of
Mount Carmel”.
Its territorial boundaries were
taken from Our Lady of Peace of
Good Voyage Parish, Tondo, Ma-
nila; Santo Niño parish, Tondo,
Manila; and the Minor Basilica
of San Lorenzo Ruíz, Binondo,
Fr. Jeremiah A. Adviento,
Camba’s current parish priest,
succeeded Fr. Benjamin Jugueta,
its frst parish priest. (Raymond
A. Sebastián)
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Camba (Our Lady of Solitude) on Camba Street, Binondo,
Manila celebrated five years of existence on July 20, 2014. Raymond A. Sebastián
‘Mama’s boys’ to open Marian exhibit
A CATHOLIC lay group of most male Mar-
ians, committed to spreading devotion to
the Blessed Mother, is scheduled to mount
a Marian exhibit from August 3 to 24 at
the Santa Lucía Grand Mall ballroom in
Cainta, Rizal.
“This is our way of expressing our
love for Mama Mary, the mother of our
Savior Jesus Christ,” Cofradía de los
Hijos de María coordinator José Mar-
celino Romualdo Martinez shared in
an interview.
Billed “Salve Regina” (Hail Holy
Queen), the annual grand Marian exhibit
took the organizers months to prepare
and is set to showcase as many as 140
statues and icons of the Blessed Virgin
under her various titles.
“These sacred art pieces are from reli-
gious artwork enthusiasts and custodians
in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces
like Rizal and Pampanga,” Martinez ex-
Marian titles range from the most popu-
lar to the least familiar ones.
The exhibit, which will be open in time
for the “Solemnity of the Assumption” on
August 15, is expected to feature the uni-
versally recognized Immaculate Concep-
tion, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Lourdes,
Fátima, La Salette, the Miraculous Medals,
and the Virgin of Guadalupe among many
Much-beloved “Filipinized” Marys like
those of Nuestra de Guía, de los Reme-
dios, de la Paz y Buen VIaje, Caysasay,
Peñafrancia, de la Candelaria, de los
Desemparados, and del Santísimo Rosario
are also slated for the event.
For details, visit www.facebook.com/
cofradiasdeloshijosdemaria. (Raymond
A. Sebastián)
Charismatic group celebrates 25 years of ‘God’s love’
WITH close to 1,500 people at-
tending, the Children of Light
(COL) Community, a Catholic
charismatic renewal group based
in Oroquieta Street, Santa Cruz,
marked its 25th year Saturday,
July 12, in a “concert-for-a-
cause” that celebrated almost
three decades of God’s blessings.
“It has been 25 years, and we
are still here, heeding God’s
call, proclaiming and spreading
the Good News of Christ,” COL
media head Peter Garcia told
CBCPNews in an interview.
Concert-for- a-cause
According to Garcia, ticket
sales from the concert dubbed
“Celebration of Love” will go
to the various programs and
projects being supported by
COL, including its quad-media
(community television, radio,
print, and internet) ministry,
the 35 seminarians whose philo-
sophical and theological studies
it helps subsidize, as well as
outreach programs for the street
people in Ermita’s Nuestra Se-
ñora de Guía area.
A 50-year old pious lady with
breast cancer started COL in
1989 as a small prayer group in
Escolta, Garcia shared.
Her days numbered, Sister
Lourdes Carredo prayed to
God to be given ten more years,
vowing to offer her remaining
moments on earth all for His
greater glory.
Her wish granted—she died
at 61, a year more than she
asked for—the sick Carredo had
achieved more within a very
short period than what most
people in the pink of health can
do in a lifetime, if at all.
From a small prayer group,
her community blossomed, be-
coming what it is today.
Thanks to Carredo’s inspiration,
COL conducts its regular “Life in
the Spirit Seminar” through its
local chapters in different parts of
the Philippines, seeking to intro-
duce the faithful to a charismatic
way of worshiping and praising
the Lord, Garcia said.
The community also holds
“Christ on the Block” program,
where members go from house
to house promoting the rosary,
he added.
Quad media ministry
COL’s feeding program ben-
efts between 300 and 500 indi-
gents, mostly children living
on the streets of Ermita and
Garcia explained, “Besides
giving them free meals, COL
teaches these kids to pray and
shares with them the Word
of God—food for body and
With the community’s quad-
media ministry, COL produces
websites, publications, and
programs on Radyo Veritas 846
and TV María, which aim to
deepen and strengthen the faith
of Catholic Filipinos.
COL’s “Know The Truth”
TV program and website have
been well-received by Catholics
With the increasing demands,
both physical and financial,
from the community’s many
commitments, Garcia stated it is
only by God’s miracle that COL
has managed to stay afoat after
25 years.
“Everyday is a struggle really,
but thanks to God we’re still
around,” he said.
To know more about COL,
visit www.childrenofightcom-
munity.com. For donations, call
733-09-61, 733-09-94, or 353-48-
29. (Raymond A. Sebastián)
Members of the audience join performers worship God during the “Celebration of Love”,
a benefit concert produced by the Children of Light (COL) Community for its silver
anniversary. Aldwin Aspillera
Free talk tackle ‘sacramentals’
ROSARIES as amulets? Saint
Benedict’s medals for driving
away evil spirits? Scapulars for
escaping hell-fre?
Homegrown apologetics group
Defensores Fidei Foundation
(DFF) partnered anew with Cath-
olic bookstore Totus in giving
the Filipino faithful a free talk
on July 19, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12
noon, which tackled the Catholic
devotional use—and occasional
abuse—of “sacramentals”, and
what makes them different from
ordinary, everyday objects.
The speaker for this month’s
lecture was Fr. Robert Zarate,
a Salesian of Don Bosco (SDB).
The talk was given at the
Amici training room, second
foor, Missouri Square Building,
Connecticut corner Missouri
Streets, Greenhills, San Juan City.
(Raymond A. Sebastián)
Malate Church has frst Filipino parish priest
AFTER 426 years since it was
built, the historic Malate Catho-
lic Church (Our Lady of Rem-
edies Parish) fnally has a Fili-
pino parish priest in the person
of Columban priest Fr. Leonito
“Leo” Distor.
Installed on May 1, 2014,
Koronadal-native Distor became
the very frst Filipino priest of
the Malate parish, replacing Fr.
John Leydon.
“I am quite happy to be part of
this bigger picture of our mission
in the Philippines. It just hap-
pened that I was the one who
was able to take this. I am very
delighted. I am happy to be part
of our [Society’s] dream,” he told
It has been the desire of the
Society of St. Columban to turn
over churches under its care to
Columban Filipino priests. And
its first church in the Philip-
pines — the Malate Catholic
Church — i s now under a
Filipino, a native of Mindanao
at that.
But Distor is also very aware
of the adjustments he needs to
make having spent the majority
of his priesthood abroad and
even with his formation years
away from his own community.
The Malate Church is also
Distor’s frst formal assignment
in the Philippines as one having
served abroad as a missionary
priest, although he served for a
little while in Malabang, Lanao
del Sur under the Prelature of
Marawi, working with such
Irish Columban inter-religious
luminaries in Mindanao as Fr.
Rufus Halley and Fr. Desmond
While the Malate Church was
established by the Augustinians
on September 8, 1588, it was
turned over to the Columbans
in 1929, the year the order came
to the Philippines 11 years after
its founding.
It is also the oldest parish run
by the Society of St. Columban
in the Philippines.
The Malate Catholic Church
has the distinction of being the
oldest of the 17 churches with
Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
as patron. Its image of the the
Virgen de los Remedios was
brought from Spain to Malate
by Friar Juan de Guevara, OSA,
in 1624.
Through the centuries, the
Malate Church has been a silent
witness to Philippine history
having survived the Chinese
invasion of 1662, the British oc-
cupation of the church in 1762,
the Great Earthquake of 1863,
and the World War II bombings
in February 1945 during the lib-
eration of Manila.
The installation of Fr. Leo
as parish priest of Malate also
makes the church the base of
operations of the Society of St.
Columban in the Philippines.
(Bong D. Fabe)
The writer (R) with Fr. Kevin McHugh (C) and Fr. Leo Distor (L), the first Filipino Columban
parish priest of the Our Lady of Remedies Parish in Malate, Manila. Bong Fabe
Many Filipinos carry around sacramentals like the holy rosary without understanding
their true purpose. FILE PHOTO
Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pastoral Concerns


THANKS to social media sites
like Facebook, the number of
individuals who call themselves
“Medi at ri x of Al l - Grace”
devotees is on the rise.
Antipolo-based Jovi Atanacio,
one of those who have actively
taken up the cause of the
Mediatrix, especially online,
noted that since he opened a
Facebook group in order to
promote this particular Marian
devotion on May 11— “Mothers’
Day”—of this “Year of the
Laity”, many from both within
and outside the Philippines have
expressed an interest in “making
her known to the world.”
Ca l l e d “ Ma ma Ma r y
Mediatrix’ Cause: The Lay
Devotees’ Initiative”, the group
boasts 583 members as of this
writing, most of whom are males
aged between 20 and 40 years
old, and is co-administered
by lawyer Marwil N. Llasos, a
lay Dominican and renowned
Mariologist; Lipa Archbishop
Ramón C. Argüel l es; and
Angelo Diego Castro, son of
the late broadcast journalist June
Keithley, who made the “Virgin
of Lipa” a household name after
producing a television special
on the Lipa apparitions.
“While His Eminence Ramón
C. Argüel l es, the current
prelate of the place where
Our Lady appeared in the
1940s to Carmelite novice
Teresing L. Castillo, had left
it to the Vatican to decide on
the issue,” Atanacio explained,
“part of the group’s mission
is to directly petition Pope
Francis in granting his canonical
approval to the Mediatrix and
the miracles attributed through
her intercession.”
People from as far as India,
Malta, and Brazil are getting
enlisted as Mediatrix devotion
promoters, he shared.
As promoters, they are tasked
with organizing activities like
home and hospital visitations;
processions of pilgrim images,
bl ock rosari es, Sat urday
devotions, and cenacles; 2,000
Hail Marys, and Marian exhibits;
flm showings, talks, and others,
which will help acquaint the
faithful with the devotion.
They may also employ their
t al ent s—art i st i c, musi cal ,
literary—in their promotion
efforts, Atanacio said.
Print-ready Mediatrix prayer
cards are available on the group
page for members to download,
replicate, and give away.
To be a Mediatrix devotion
promot er, vi si t ht t ps: //
w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m /
or email mediatrixofallgrace@
gmai l . com. ( Raymond A.
‘Consecration to Mary
leads to Christ’—priest
AN Italian lecturer was in the country
recently discussing how consecration
to the Blessed Virgin Mary brings the
faithful closer to Jesus.
In his talk titled “The Role of Mary
in the Spirituality of St. Maximilian
Kolbe” held July 5, Saturday, at the
Madre Maria Pia Notari School,
Multinational Village, Parañaque,
Raffaele di Muro of the Friars Minor
Conventual (O.F.M. Conv.) shared that
the Polish martyr’s devotion to what he
affectionately called the “Immaculata”
(“The Immaculate One”) rests on her
being the perfect instrument of the
Holy Spirit in the mediation of all
The more faithfully Catholics
conform themselves with Mary, he
stressed, the more likely they will
receive graces from Christ through
His Mother.
With Mary
The friar, who is also the international
assistant of the Militia Immaculatae
( M. I . ) , a wor l dwi de Cat hol i c
evangelization movement founded in
1917 by St. Maximilian Kolbe to convert
Freemasons, heretics, schismatics, and
sinners through consecration to Mary,
explained that the graces one receives
are determined by one’s attachment to
her who was “conceived without sin”.
According to Di Muro, St. Maximilian
thought of the Christian’s relationship with
Our Lady in terms of “going with her to
Jesus, and not as going to Jesus from her”.
This is the reason behind the saint’s
emphasis on consecration to the
Immaculata, he said, given the many
graces they can obtain through her.
Renewal baptismal promises
Kolbe considered the renewal of
the baptismal promises through total
consecration to the Blessed Virgin as
the most perfect way of achieving unity
with Jesus.
St. Maxi mi l i an’ s consecrati on
formula reads: “My Immaculate
Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of
sinners and Mother most loving; you to
whom God entrusted the entire order
of mercy. I am an unworthy sinner.
I cast myself at your feet, humbly
pleading that you ordain to accept
me completely and totally as your
property and possession and do with
me, and all my powers of body and
soul, and with all my life and death and
eternity, whatever is pleasing to you.”
Setting a few details aside, his and
another saint’s (Louis-Marie Grignon
de Monfort’s) “holy slavery” are two
sides of same coin, Di Muro explained.
(Raymond A. Sebastián)
JUST as other young people his
age are setting their sights on the
latest smart phone, a young man
from Navotas is saving up—peso
by peso—for an image of Our Lady
of Mediatrix of All Grace.
“It all started with a dream I had
of Mama Mary five years back,”
21-year old Jerwin Dimayuga
Jose shared, testifying to the
many blessings he has received
since he placed himself under the
Mediatrix’s protection, becoming
one of the growing number of her
devoted children.
Since then, the B.S. Education
student learned everything he
could about the Blessed Virgin’s
apparitions in Lipa, Batangas to
Sister Teresing Castillo and the
miracles attributed to her.
His regular visits to the apparition
site in Carmel, Lipa convinced
him recently to set aside coins to
be able to buy the “apple of his
eye”, a nearly lifesize statue of the
Mediatrix, which costs a whopping
You won’t
guess what this
young man is
saving for
P4,000—more than what a student
like him can afford.
Jose explained he is going to use
the image, which he spotted at a
religious store in Tayuman, Santa
Cruz, to promote the devotion
to Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace
by conducting processions in his
parish, and visitations to schools
in Malabon and Navotas.
According to him, his devotion
to the Mediatrix was a major
turning point in his life given the
many good things that happened
to him and to his family through
her intercession.
The latest of these involved
his sickly father who had serious
diabetes and whose foot was
already scheduled for amputation.
“I entrusted everything to Our
Lady’s care. I prayed the rosary
and her novena night and day,
imploring her help. Now my father
is back to walking like a healthy
man,” Jose said. (Raymond A.
The “Mama Mary Mediatrix’ Cause: The Lay Devotees’ Initiative” is co-administered by lawyer
Marwil N. Llasos, a lay Dominican and renowned Mariologist.
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle venerates an image of Our Lady during the national consecration of the Philippines on
June 8, 2013.
Jerwin Dimayuga Jose hopes to save enough to buy a life-size image of
Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Grace.

B2 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
The alienation of Church property (Part I)
By Msgr. Rey Monsanto, J.C.D.
A question arose recently in one
of the Philippine dioceses, regarding
the projected sale of a piece of land, to
be effected under the authority of the
Apostolic Administrator, since the diocese
was in a state of sede vacante. The sale
was going to be to the tune of PHP25
million, and was going to be used for a
resettlement project for displaced informal
settlers. The matter was referred to the
Episcopal Commission on Canon Law as
to its legality according to Church Law.
There are two issues at stake
here: (1) the competent authority for
alienation of ecclesiastical goods, and
(2) the limit amounts for which such
competence applies.
Church Law on Competency for
Alienation of Church Property
The basic law on competency for
alienation of Church Property is
contained in general terms in c.1292,
par.1, which clearly states who is
the competent authority as regards
alienation of goods owned by the
“Without prejudice to the prescript
of can. 638, §3, when the value
of the goods whose alienation is
proposed falls within the minimum
and maximum amounts to be defined
by the conference of bishops for its
own region, the competent authority
is determined by the statutes of juridic
persons if they are not subject to
the diocesan bishop; otherwise, the
competent authority is the diocesan
bishop with the consent of the finance
council, the college of consultors,
and those concerned. The diocesan
bishop himself also needs their consent
to alienate the goods of the diocese.”
The canon clearly states that: the
diocesan bishop is the competent
authority. But this competency is not
absolute, as he needs the consent of 3
groups: (1) the finance council (of the
diocese); (2) the college of consultors;
and (3) those concerned—e.g., the
parish in which the property is located
as it must be the parish that directly
gets the income from it. Now, according
to c.127, par.2, no.1 the superior acts
invalidly if he performs a juridical
act without the needed consent (and
in this case of all 3 groups mentioned
in the canon).
The Diocesan Bishop and his
The Code of Canon Law defines the
power of the diocesan Bishop in c.381,
§1: “A diocesan bishop in the diocese
committed to him possesses all the
ordinary, proper and immediate power
which is required for the exercise of
his pastoral office except for toses
cases which the law or a decree of
the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the
supreme authority of the Church or
to some other ecclesiastical authority.”
On the other hand, c.368 enumerates
the ecclesiastical circumscriptions
equivalent to a diocese: “Particular
churches, in which and from which the
one and only Catholic Church exists,
are first of all dioceses, to which, unless
it is otherwise evident, are likened
a territorial prelature and territorial
abbacy, an apostolic vicariate and an
apostolic prefecture, and an apostolic
administration erected in a stable
manner.” Then c.381, §2 states: Unless
it appears otherwise from the nature
of the matter or from a prescription o
the law, persons who head the other
communities of the faithful mentioned
in c.368 are equivalent in law to a
diocesan bishop.”
Finally, the c.134, §3 limits the
executive power given to the diocesan
bishop and his equivalents in the
following terms: “Whatever things in
the canons in the realm of executive
power which are attributed by name
to the diocesan bishop are understood
to pertain only to the diocesan bishop
and to others equivalent to him in
c.381, §2, excluding the vicar general
and the episcopal vicar, unless they
have received a special mandate.”

The Apostolic Administrator and
his Power
The term “Apostolic Administrator”
is used in Church life to refer to either
of two juridic figures. The Apostolic
Administrator in our discussion
is not the same as the Apostolic
Administrator mentioned in c.368. The
latter is the priest or bishop appointed
directly by the Apostolic See to govern
in the name of the Roman Pontiff a
portion of the people of God which
is not yet established as a diocese but
already considered as like a diocese
(cfr. c.371, par.2). The former is the
priest or bishop appointed by the
Apostolic See to govern an already
existing diocese but at the moment
either without a diocesan Bishop or
whose Bishop is incapacitated; in
other words, he is spoken of more in
connection with a vacant (cfr. c.416) or
an impeded diocesan See (cfr. c.412).
And he is also distinguished from the
“Diocesan Administrator”. Although
the offices of both coincide and they
have in law the same obligations and
rights, the Apostolic Administrator, as
we have noted, is directly appointed
by the Apostolic See and gets his
power from this appointment. The
Diocesan Administrator is elected
by the diocesan consultors during
a vacancy according to the rules of
Canon Law (cfr. cc.421, par.1; and 424
which refers to cc.165 – 178). And he
obtains his power from the moment
he accepts his election with no need of
confirmation even from the Apsotolic
See (c.427, par.2). But both govern ad
interim until a diocesan Bishop has
taken possession. What is, therefore,
said in the canons on the Diocesan
Administrator is also applicable to the
Apostolic Administrator, although the
latter may be even granted more power
by law itself (see, for instance, c.1018, §1,
n.2 on the granting of dimissorial letters)
or by the Apostolic See itself.
Is the Apostolic Administrator
equivalent to the Diocesan Bishop? On
one hand, we can say that the Apostolic
Administrator of a vacant or impeded
See is not equivalent to a diocesan
Bishop according to the description of
c.368 (this Administrator is appointed
to “an apostolic administration erected in
a stable manner”). And he is definitely
not mentioned in the canon. But, on
the other hand, we can also say that
he is equivalent to a diocesan Bishop
because the powers and obligations of
the latter devolve on him except those
that are excepted by law or by nature
of the matter. This is what c.427, §1
“A diocesan administrator is bound
by the obligations and possesses the
power of a diocesan bishop, excluding
those matters which are excepted by
their nature or by the law itself.”
Obviously because he is j ust
governi ng i n a provi si onal or
temporary manner, the power of an
Administrator will naturally have its
limits. As c.427, §1 states, the over-
all power of an Administrator of a
diocese is equivalent to the power of a
diocesan Bishop. However, the canon
also clearly states that this power has
limits as there are matters which are
“excepted by their nature or by the
law itself”.
On the other hand, c. 428, §2
states that there are matters that the
Administrator should not remove,
destroy, or change:
“Those who temporarily care for
the governance of the diocese are
forbidden to do anything which can
be prejudicial in some way to the
diocese or episcopal rights. They,
and consequently all others, are
specifically prohibited, whether
personal l y or through another,
from removing or destroying any
documents of the diocesan curia or
from changing anything in them.”
All of the above are resumed in
the general principle of sede vacante,
nihil innovetur (“When a see is vacant,
nothing is to be altered”) as enunciated
in c.428, §1. Canon Law doctrine states
that the underlying reason and sense of
c.428 is that because of the provisional
nature of the Administrator, he is to
take care that the status quo of the
diocese is preserved or, that no big
innovation is done; in fact, nothing
should be removed, destroyed nor
any document changed by him or
by others, which can be prejudicial
either to the diocese itself or to the
rights of the diocesan Bishop. This is
the reason why the Code takes pain
in listing in some canons the actions
the Administrator can either do, or
not do, or do only after at least a year
of governance.
The Quest i on of Al i enat i on,
specifically of Sale of Diocesan Land
Alienation or sale of diocesan land
is not specifically listed or mentioned
in the canons as among those acts
which the Administrator can or cannot
do. Obviously this action is a serious
matter and can be prejudicial either
to the diocese or to the episcopal
rights. Can the Administrator alienate
diocesan land?
Comment at or s s ay t hat i n
solving problems of the kind that
is not expressly prohibited, the
Administrator should use prudential
judgment. This must be so because,
as we have seen in c.1293, even the
diocesan Bishop himself has to decide
based on prudential judgment. This
judgment should rest on the ground
or reasoning that as Administrator
he is operating under two principles,
namely, (1) that he has the power of
a diocesan Bishop; but (2) that he is
not to make innovations during the
vacancy. Commentators, however,
say that of the two, principle no.1 has
the primary importance. He should,
however, always bear in mind that
anything that will change the structure
of the diocese should be avoided,
unless delaying the action or waiting
for the diocesan will mean greater evil
for the diocese.
Thus, for instance, I believe it
was based on this principle of no
innovation or alteration in deference to
the incoming bishop that the Apostolic
See advised the then retiring (he was
still the reigning diocesan Bishop though
retiring) Archbishop of Cagayan de
Oro, Jesus Tuquib, not to proceed
with the intended donation of the
Archdiocesan Hospital, Maria Reyna,
to the SPC Sisters, and to give it rather
to the next Archbishop to decide.
The Administrator should also
remember that, as c.428, §2 states,
he is not to change any document.
Now, selling or alienating land, an
immovable property, will surely make
him change a diocesan document.
Based on the foregoing discussion,
it is my opinion that the Apostolic
Administrator of should not proceed
with the projected sale of diocesan
land, as this will surely alter the
structure of the diocese and will make
him change an important document
in the diocese (the land title), unless
not doing so “now” will redound to
greater evil to the diocese or to the
people of the diocese, or that it is real
emergency; that and there seems to be
no indication that the appointment
of a resident diocesan is forthcoming
and there is a charitable and grave
pastoral need. He has to weigh this
very seriously.
But notice that I do not say that he
“cannot” sell, I only say he “should
not”; in other words, his action will
not be invalid but can be illicit or
illegal unless it is a real emergency
for him to act “now”. No canon states
that he cannot validly sell land – and
c.10 clearly states the principle that
for an action to be invalid it must
be expressly so stated in a canon.
For his act to be valid, he just has
to follow and fulfill the canonical
requirements and conditions for
a valid action, and the minimum
and more especially the maximum
amount set by the CBCP as this
entails asking the permission of the
Apostolic See. (To be concluded)
(Father Edward McNamara,
professor of liturgy and dean
of theology at the Regina
Apost ol orum uni versi t y,
answers the following queries:)
Q: Why does the Church
have a “shorter” and longer
version for some of the
Sunday Gospel s? There
appears to be no rationale;
the time factor is hardly an
issue. It seems more that there
is a politically correct motive:
for example, in the Gospel
of Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014,
Anna’s part can be cut off
[possibly to] avoid offending
Israel? Also, in the Gospel of
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, parts
mentioning keeping the
least of the commandments,
calling your brother a “fool”
(metaphorically), tearing out
your eye if it offends you,
and the mention of divorce
are all optional—perhaps
not to increase guilt; suggest
violence; avoid the messy
question of divorce? Please
explain, as this optional
chopping of the Gospel can
be uncomfortable. -- S.F.,
Perrysburg, Ohio
A: I think we can exclude
so-called politically correct
motivations and take as
sincere what has been written
by those who composed the
current lectionary in the
Shorter Versions of Gospel Passages
As regards the length of
the texts they explain their
“75. A middle way is followed
in regard to the length of texts.
A distinction has been made
between narratives, which
require reading a fairly long
passage but which usually hold
the attention of the faithful, and
texts that should not be lengthy
because of the profundity of
their doctrine.
“In the case of certain rather
lengthy texts, longer and shorter
versions are provided to suit
different situations. The editing
of the shorter version has been
carried out with great caution.
“3) Difficult Texts
“76. In readings for Sundays
and solemnities, texts that
present real difficulties are
avoided for pastoral reasons.
The difficulties may be objective,
in that the texts themselves raise
profound literary, critical, or
exegetical problems; or the
difficulties may lie, at least to
a certain extent, in the ability
of the faithful to understand
the texts. But there could be no
justification for concealing from
the faithful the spiritual riches
of certain texts on the grounds
of difficulty if the problem arises
from the inadequacy either of
the religious education that
every Christian should have
or of the biblical formation that
every pastor of souls should
have. Often a difficult reading
is clarified by its correlation
with another in the same Mass.
“4) The Omission of Certain
“77. The omission of verses
in readings from Scripture has
at times been the tradition of
many liturgies, including the
Roman liturgy. Admittedly such
omissions may not be made
lightly, for fear of distorting
the meaning of the text or the
intent and style of Scripture.
Yet on pastoral grounds it
was decided to continue the
traditional practice in the
present Order of Readings,
but at the same time to ensure
that the essential meaning of
the text remained intact. One
reason for the decision is that
otherwise some texts would
have been unduly long. It
would also have been necessary
to omit completely certain
readings of high spiritual value
for the faithful because those
readings include some verse
that is pastorally less useful
or that involves truly difficult
“3. Principles to Be Followed
in the Use of the Order of
“2) The Longer and Shorter
Forms of Texts
“80. A pastoral criterion must
also guide the choice between
the longer and shorter forms
of the same text. The main
consideration must be the
capacity of the hearers to listen
profitably either to the longer
or to the shorter reading; or to
listen to a more complete text
that will be explained through
the homily.
“3) When Two Texts Are
“81. When a choice is allowed
between al ternati ve texts,
whether they are fixed or
optional, the first consideration
must be the best interest of those
taking part. It may be a matter of
using the easier texts or the one
more relevant to the assembled
congregation or, as pastoral
advantage may suggest, of
repeating or replacing a text
that is assigned as proper to
one celebration and optional
to another.
“The issue may arise when
it is feared that some text
will create difficulties for a
particular congregation or
when the same text would have
to be repeated within a few days,
as on a Sunday and on a day
during the week following.”
Therefore, I believe that
the motivation is clear and
involves above all a question
of maintaining a similar length
from one Sunday to the next and
helping to maintain attention.
The wisdom of particular
choices may be debated and
eventually reformed, but the
overall focus of the readings
provides solid doctrine.
I think we can leave out
consi derati on of pol i ti cal
correctness. The texts of the
current lectionary were fixed
in the late 1960s and cannot
thus be interpreted in the
light of issues which came to
prominence at later stages.
As the introduction admits,
some problematic texts
were avoided, but due to
interpretative diffculties in
the context of the homily
and not so as to avoid giving
If this were the case, then
many other texts would
have to be excised from the
lectionary on days when there
is no shorter or longer option.
Likewise, even when a
shorter version exists, the
general norm for printers of
booklets is to always print
both forms. Therefore, no
priest is ever constrained to
use the shorter version and
may preach upon the longer
text if he so chooses.

He should, however, always bear in mind that
anything that will change the structure of the diocese should be avoided,
unless delaying the action or waiting for the diocesan
will mean greater evil for the diocese.
Likewise, even when a shorter version exists,
the general norm for printers of booklets is
to always print both forms. Therefore, no priest
is ever constrained to use the shorter version
and may preach upon the longer text if he so chooses.
B3 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Year of the Missions
Daily Meditations of Pope Francis

During the Holy Mass celebrated at the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae
THE scene where Peter sees
Jesus emerge after a terrible
interrogation… Peter whose
eyes meet the gaze of Jesus and
weeps… This scene comes to my
mind as I look at you, and think of
so many men and women, boys
and girls. I feel the gaze of Jesus
and I ask for the grace to weep,
the grace for the Church to weep
and make reparation for her sons
and daughters who betrayed
their mission, who abused
innocent persons. Today, I am
very grateful to you for having
travelled so far to come here.
For some time now I have
felt in my heart deep pain and
suffering. So much time hidden,
camoufaged with a complicity
that cannot be explained until
someone realized that Jesus was
looking and others the same…
and they set about to sustain
that gaze.
And those few who began
to weep have touched our
conscience for this crime and
grave sin. This is what causes
me distress and pain at the fact
that some priests and bishops,
by sexually abusing minors,
violated their innocence and
their own priestly vocation. It is
something more than despicable
actions. It is like a sacrilegious
cult, because these boys and
girls had been entrusted to the
priestly charism in order to
be brought to God. And those
people sacrifced them to the
idol of their own concupiscence.
They profane the very image of
God in whose likeness we were
created. Childhood, as we all
know, young hearts, so open and
trusting, have their own way of
understanding the mysteries of
God’s love and are eager to grow
in the faith. Today the heart of
the Church looks into the eyes of
Jesus in these boys and girls and
ONE who judges puts himself
in God’s place and thus faces
certain defeat in life because
he’ll be paid back in kind. And
he’ll live in confusion, seeing
a “speck” in his brother’s eye
rather than the “log” that blocks
his own sight. During Mass,
offering his refections on the
day’s passage from the Gospel
of Matthew (7:1-5), the Pope
advised us to defend others and
avoid judging them.
The Holy Father turned
immediately to the day’s reading
from Matthew, which presents
Jesus who “seeks to convince us
not to judge”: a commandment
that “he repeats many times”.
In fact, “judging others leads
us to hypocrisy”. And Jesus
defnes hypocrites as those who
act as judges. Because, the Pope
explained, “a person who judges
gets it wrong, becomes confused
and is defeated”.
One who judges “always gets
it wrong”. He’s wrong, Pope
Francis explained, “because he
takes the place of God, who is
the only judge: taking that place
is taking the wrong place!”.
Believing you have the authority
to judge everything: people,
life, everything”. And “with
the capacity to judge” you also
assume you have “the capacity
to condemn”.
wants to weep; she asks the grace
to weep before the execrable acts
of abuse which have left lifelong
I know that these wounds
are a source of deep and often
unrelenting emotional and
spiritual pain, and even despair.
Many of those who have suffered
in this way have also sought relief
in the path of addiction. Others
have experienced difficulties
The Gospel recounts that
“judging others was one of the
acts of the legal experts whom
Jesus called ‘hypocrites’”. These
are the people who “judge
everything”. However, the worst
thing is that, in doing this, they
put themselves in God’s place,
and God is the only judge”. And
to judge, God “takes time, he
waits”. These people, instead,
act hastily. “This is why one who
judges gets it wrong, simply
because he assumes a place that
isn’t his”.
The Pope clarifed that this
person “doesn’t only get it
wrong; he also gets confused”.
And “he often becomes obsessed
with whom he wants to judge,
with that person — so, so very
obsessed!” Sometimes losing
sleep over that “speck”, he
in significant relationships,
with parents, spouses and
children. Suffering in families
has been especially grave,
since the damage provoked by
abuse affects these vital family
Some have even had to deal
with the terrible tragedy of the
death of a loved one by suicide.
The deaths of these so beloved
children of God weigh upon the
repeats, “But I want to remove
that speck for you!”. Meanwhile,
he isn’t aware “of the log he has”
in his own eye. In this sense, he
gets “confused”, and “he thinks
the log is that speck”. In this way,
one who judges is a person who
“confuses reality”, he is deluded.
Not only this. According to
the Pontiff, one who judges
“becomes defeated” and cannot
help but to fnish badly, “because
the same measure will be used
to judge him”, as Jesus says
in the Gospel of Matthew.
Therefore, “the arrogant and
condescending j udge who
assumes the wrong place,
because he is taking God’s place,
is betting on a loser”. Who is the
loser? “The one who is judged
by the same measure by which
he judges”, the Pope clarifed.
heart and my conscience and that
of the whole Church. To these
families I express my heartfelt
love and sorrow. Jesus, tortured
and interrogated with passionate
hatred, is taken to another place
and he looks out. He looks out
upon one of his own torturers,
the one who denied him, and he
makes him weep. Let us implore
this grace together with that of
making amends.
Sins of clerical sexual abuse
against minors have a toxic effect
on faith and hope in God. Some
of you have held fast to faith,
while for others the experience
of betrayal and abandonment
has led to a weakening of faith in
God. Your presence here speaks
of the miracle of hope, which
prevails against the deepest
darkness. Surely it is a sign of
God’s mercy that today we have
this opportunity to encounter
Because “the only one who
judges is God and those to whom
God grants the authority to do
so. Others have no right to judge:
that’s why there’s confusion,
that’s why there’s defeat”.
What’s more, the Bishop
of Rome continued, “defeat
goes even further, because
one who judges always makes
accusations”. In “judging others
— Jesus gives the example of
‘the speck in your eye’ — there’s
an accusation” always. Exactly
the opposite of what “Jesus
does before the Father”. In fact,
Jesus “never accuses” but, on the
contrary, he defends. He “is the
frst Paraclete. Then he invites
the second, the Holy Spirit, to
us”. Jesus is “the defender: he
is before the Father to defend
us against accusations”.
But when there’s a defender,
there’s also an accuser. The Pope
explained that “in the Bible the
accuser is called devil, Satan”.
Jesus “will judge at the end of
the world, but in the meantime,
he intercedes, he defends”. John,
the Pope noted, “says it so well
in his Gospel: don’t sin, please,
but if someone sins, consider that
we have a lawyer who defends
us before the Father”.
Thus, he affrmed, “if we want
to go on Jesus’ path, more than
7 July 2014 - With a group of Clergy Sex Abuse Victims in attendance
24 June 2014 - Christians who can humble themselves
23 June 2014 - No one can judge
PREPARE, discern, decrease. These three
verbs describe the spiritual experience
of St John the Baptist, who came before
the Messiah “preaching the baptism of
conversion” to the people of Israel. During
Mass on the Solemnity of the Nativity of
John the Baptist, Pope Francis wished to once
again set forth this trinomial as the paradigm
of every Christian’s vocation, incorporating
it within three expressions which refer to the
Baptist’s attitude toward Jesus: “After me,
before me, away from me”.
John worked above all to “prepare, taking
nothing for himself”. The Pontiff recalled
that he “was an important man: the people
sought him and followed him”, because his
words “were strong” like “a sharp sword”,
according to the expression of Isaiah (49:2).
The Baptist “reached the hearts” of the
people. And if “perhaps he felt tempted to
believe he was important, he never gave in
to it”, as demonstrated by his response to the
experts who asked him if he were the Messiah:
“I am a voice, only a voice”, he said, “of one
crying in the wilderness. I am only a voice,
but I come to prepare the way to the Lord”.
His frst job, thus, was “to prepare the hearts
of the people for an encounter with the Lord”.
But who is the Lord? The answer to this
question lies in “John’s second vocation: to
discern who the Lord was among so many
good people”. And, as the Pope observed,
“the Spirit revealed this to him”. Therefore,
“he had the courage to say: ‘This is the one.
This is the lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world’”. While in preparing
John said, “After me one will be coming...”,
in discerning, in knowing how to discern
and point out the Lord, he said: “This is the
one… who was before me”.
This is where “John’s third vocation: to
decrease” comes in, because, as the Bishop of
Rome recalled, precisely “from that moment
of his life he began to humble himself, to
decrease so that the Lord would increase,
to the point of allowing himself to be
humiliated”. This was, Pope Francis noted,
“John’s most diffcult milestone, because the
Lord had a manner that he hadn’t imagined,
at which point in the prison” in which Herod
Antipas had locked him, “he suffered not only
the darkness of the cell but the darkness of
his heart”. He was assailed by doubts: “But
is he the one? Have I made a mistake?” So
much so, the Pope continued, that he sent his
disciples to Jesus to ask him: “Are you he who
is to come, or shall we look for another?”.
The Pope emphasized that “John’s
humiliation is twofold: the humiliation of
his death, as the price of a whim”, but also
the humiliation of not being able to glimpse
“the history of salvation: the humiliation of
the darkness of the spirit”. This man who
“had proclaimed the Lord’s coming after
him”, “had seen him before him”, “knew
how to await him, knew how to discern”,
now “sees Jesus far away. That promise has
become distant. And he ends up alone, in
the dark, in humiliation”; not because he
loved to suffer but “so that the Lord would
increase”. He ended up “humiliated but with
his heart at peace”.
In conclusion, Pope Francis declared: “It’s
beautiful to think of the Christian vocation
like this”. In fact, “a Christian doesn’t
proclaim himself, he proclaims another, he
prepares the path to another: to the Lord”.
In addition, “he must know how to discern,
he must understand how to discern the truth
from what may resemble the truth but is not:
he must be a person of discernment”. Finally,
“he must be a person who knows how to
humble himself so the Lord may increase in
the hearts and souls of others”.
16 June 2014 - When the
poor end up paying
IT’S always the poor who pay the price of corruption. Every
type of corruption: that of politicians and businessmen,
but also that of clergymen who neglect their “pastoral
duty” in order to cultivate “power”. Pope Francis
strongly denounced “the sin of corruption”, into which
fall many people in power, whether material, political
or spiritual power. During Mass on Monday morning,
16 June, Pope Francis called for prayers particularly for
the many people “who pay for corruption”, calling them
“martyrs of political corruption, economic corruption and
ecclesiastical corruption”.
Focusing on the day’s reading from the First Book of
Kings (21:1-16), the Pontiff recounted the story of Naboth
the Jezreelite, who was stoned to death at the insistence of
Queen Jezebel after he had refused to surrender his vineyard,
“the inheritance of his fathers” to King Ahab. “A very sad
Bible passage”, the Bishop of Rome said, noting that the
story’s structure parallels the trial of Jesus and that of the
martyrdom of St Stephen. He also referred to a phrase from
the Gospel of Mark (10:42): “You know that those who are
supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and
their great men exercise authority over them”.
“Naboth resembles a martyr, a martyr to that king, who
lords over and oppresses”, remarked the Pope. To get his
hands on the vineyard, Ahab at first makes a genuine
proposal to Naboth: “I’ll buy it from you, I’ll trade you
another for it”. Then, however, in response to the man’s
refusal to give up “the inheritance of his fathers”, he goes
home, “embittered, disdained”, behaving almost like a
“spoiled child ... throwing a tantrum”. It’s at this point that
his wife, Jezebel—“the same one who had threatened the
Prophet Elijah with death, after he had killed the priests
of Baal”—organized a trial with false witnesses and had
them kill Naboth, allowing her husband to take possession
of the vineyard. And Ahab does it, the Pontiff pointed out,
“calmly, as if nothing had happened”.
Thi s i s a story, admoni shed Pope Franci s, that
“continually repeats itself in people who have power”,
material, political or spiritual power. “But this is a sin:
it’s the sin of corruption.” And how does it corrupt a
person? “It corrupts on the very road to security. First,
wellbeing, money, then power, vanity, pride, and from
there everything: even murder”.
The Pope observed that newspapers often report that “the
politician who magically got rich has been taken to court”
or “that company boss who became magically wealthy,
that is, by exploiting his workers”. Too often they speak
of “a prelate who has gotten too rich and left his pastoral
duty to secure his power”. Thus, he said, there are “corrupt
politicians, corrupt businessmen and corrupt clergymen”.
And they are “everywhere”. Because, the Pontiff explained,
corruption “is a sin that’s right at the fingertips” of “that
person with authority over others”, whether his authority
is “economic, political or ecclesiastical. We are all tempted
by corruption. It’s a sin at your fingertips”.
He continued that “someone has authority, he feels
powerful, he feels like God”. Corruption is thus “a daily
temptation”, into which “a politician, a businessman, a
prelate” can fall.
But “who pays for corruption?”, Pope Francis asked. It is
certainly not paid for by the one who “takes the bribe”: in
fact, that person is only the “intermediary”. In reality, the
Pope emphasized, “the poor pay for corruption!” It wasn’t
by chance that Naboth paid for King Ahab’s corruption.
“Naboth, the poor man, faithful to his traditions, faithful
to his values, faithful to the inheritance received from his
“When we speak of corrupt politicians or corrupt
businessmen, who pays for this?” the Pope wondered. He
answered, “the hospitals that have not medicine, the sick
who receive no treatment, children who have no education.
They are the modern day Naboths, who pay for corruption
of the powerful”. And, he continued, “who pays for the
corruption of a prelate? It’s paid for by the children, who
don’t know how to make the sign of the cross, who don’t
know the catechism, who aren’t cared for; it’s paid for by
the sick who aren’t visited; it’s paid for by the imprisoned
who don’t receive spiritual attention”. Corruption is
ultimately paid for by the poor: the “materially poor” and
the “spiritually poor”.
“Among you, however, it isn’t so” Jesus said to his disciples,
commanding he who “has power” to become “the servant”.
And effectively, Francis recalled, “the only road leading out
of corruption, the only path to conquer temptation, the sin of
corruption, is service. Because corruption comes from pride,
from arrogance, and service is humbling: it is precisely the
humble charity of helping others”.
The Bishop of Rome concluded by remarking on the
value of the witness of Naboth, who “did not want to
sell the inheritance of his fathers, of his ancestors, his
values”: a witness so much more meaningful considering
that often, “when there is corruption”, even the poor risk
losing “their values, because the customs and laws become
imposed, which run against the values we received from
our ancestors”. Pope Francis invited prayer for the many
“martyrs of corruption”, that “the Lord draws us near to
them” and give to these poor the “strength to move forward”
in their witness.
Some have even had to deal with the
terrible tragedy of the death of a loved
one by suicide. The deaths of these so
beloved children of God weigh upon the
heart and my conscience and that of the
whole Church.
Some have even had to deal with the
terrible tragedy of the death of a loved
one by suicide. The deaths of these so
beloved children of God weigh upon the
heart and my conscience and that of the
whole Church.
Clergy / B7
Judge / B7
B4 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Bangsamoro / B7
Pope Francis’ Call for a New Evangelization
By Archbi shop Antoni o J.
Ledesma, SJ
THIS year the feasts of the Sacred Heart
of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart
of Mary immediately preceded the
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. This
is most appropriate because perhaps
the two closest to the hearts of Jesus
and Mary were these two pillars of the
Church, whose lives all of us are asked
to emulate. The observance of Pope’s
Day is a celebration of the universal
Church built on the foundations of
these two apostles. It is well for us
then to ask ourselves: “What are the
chief characteristics of the Church that
the successor of Peter would like to be
manifested in our world today?”
There are three attributes or challenges
that Pope Francis has expressed. The
frst characteristic is summed up in
the two words most often mentioned
by the Pope in his statements, as noted
by journalists – that he wants a Church
of joy and mercy. In the opening words
of Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis
says, “The joy of the Gospel flls the
hearts and lives of all who encounter
Jesus” (EG 1). In contrast, he states that
“there are Christians whose lives seem
like Lent without Easter” (EG 6). It is
a challenge for us Christians, members
of the Church, to always exude the
joy of the Gospel, coupled with God’s
mercy. “God never tires of forgiving
us;” stresses Pope Francis, “we are the
ones who tire of seeking his mercy”
(EG 114). He points out that “mercy
is the greatest of the virtues” (EG 37).
Indeed, according to him, “the Church
must be a place of mercy freely given,
where everyone can feel welcomed,
loved, forgiven, and encouraged to live
the good life of the Gospel” (EG 114).
In Cagayan de Oro, the archdiocese
where I am based, we have a Divine
Mercy Shrine, with its 50-foot statue.
Many people from Mindanao, the
Visayas, and even from Manila and
Luzon have come to the shrine to
spend a day of prayer. During the
last feast day of the Divine Mercy on
the second Sunday of Easter, we were
mildly surprised at the large number of
pilgrims that came. Many came earlier
during the vigil of the feast and were
focking to go to confession. In fact, we
ran out of priests to hear the confessions
of penitents throughout the night. This
I think is one image of the Church
today—a Church that can share the
mercy of the Lord with others. Indeed,
Pope Francis reminds us that “it is not
by proselytizing that the Church grows,
but by attraction” (EG 114)—that is, by
sharing the mercy and joy of the Gospel.
A second attribute of the Church
that Pope Francis would want us to
become is to be a Church of the Poor.
More explicitly he wants “a Church
which is poor and for the poor” (EG
198). He denounces the scandal of
extreme poverty and inequality in the
world today. From a macro level, we
can say that the wealth and resources
of the world are more than enough to
provide a decent living for everyone
on this planet. The Pope goes on to say
a big No! to “an economy of exclusion
and inequality” (EG 53), as well as to
“a globalization of indifference” (EG
54). Instead he calls for a “generous
solidarity” (EG 58), a sense of unity
that we are all called together in one
human family.
By the end of this month of June,
many small farmers are concerned
about the ending of the agrarian reform
program in our country. It is well to keep
in mind that this program is a social
justice measure meant to eliminate the
extreme inequality in our rural areas.
And so the Church’s stand in support
for the continuation of agrarian reform
is part of that call—to be a Church of the
poor and to help the poor in developing
But for Pope Francis, “the worst
discrimination which the poor suffer
is the lack of spiritual care” (EG
200). He goes on to say that “our
preferential option for the poor must
mainly translate into a privileged and
preferential religious care”. During the
calamity wrought by Typhoon Sendong
in Cagayan de Oro in December 2011,
many international agencies came to
the rescue, working with government
and non-government organizations.
The international agencies immediately
set up their time-tested protocol –
i.e., they organized all the relief and
rehabilitation agencies into about 15
clusters. There were separate clusters
for shelter, education, sanitation, etc.
This was an effcient way to coordinate
the efforts of many concerned agencies.
And yet, we in the Church noticed
that there was no cluster for spiritual
and religious activities. From our own
experience, that was what was most
appreciated by the displaced families.
Typhoon Sendong happened on Dec.
16-17, the beginning of the Misa de
Gallo. As we continued with the Misa
de Gallo in the evacuation centers we
could notice that the families were
kept more whole and sound because
of these spiritual activities rather than
just receiving relief goods. Likewise, the
presence of religious sisters in habits
going around the evacuation centers
was one way to remind the affected
families of the care of the Church for
them. Later, we found out that many
couples living in their transitional or
permanent housing units were not
married. Although they considered
themselves Catholics, a sizeable number
were not even baptized. So we arranged
for three mass weddings of these
couples witnessed by their children
and other friends. Before the weddings,
several church volunteers prepared the
couples for the sacraments of initiation
as well as receiving Holy Communion.
Our trained counselors also taught them
methods of natural family planning,
which were much appreciated. 3
In the archdiocese, we have a pastoral
program on campus ministry. This
includes public school teachers who
volunteer for campus ministry activities
in their schools. We also include full-
time campus ministers from the private
schools. But we fnd that the greatest
need and the greater appreciation
for these spiritual activities come
from the students of public schools
who are thirsty for the word of God,
who appreciate even just one day of
recollection when they can also refect
and pray over their own calling in
life. And so, to be also mindful of the
spiritual needs of the poor is a greater
challenge posed to us by Pope Francis.
Finally, a third dimension that Pope
Francis asks us to consider is to be an
open Church. He says simply that “our
church doors should always be open”
(EG 47). “The Church,” he continues,
“is not a tollhouse; it is the house of
the Father, where there is a place for
everyone, with all their problems”.
When I was a seminarian, we had
a one-month exposure in one of the
developing areas in Bukidnon. At
that time, there were many Christian
churches of different denominations
being set up in the newly-settled area
of Kadingilan. There was an old man
who came around looking at all these
different Protestant churches and
since he knew I was a seminarian, he
said bluntly to me, “Brother, I am a
Catolico cerrado,” which meant that he
was frmly holding on to the Catholic
faith. As I think about it now, I begin
to ask myself, should we not have said
instead, “I am a Catolico abierto”? I am
an open Catholic, open in ecumenical
and interreligious dialogue with
others. Indeed, Pope Francis states that
“interreligious dialogue is a necessary
condition for peace in the world” and
a duty for all (EG 250).
Earlier this month in Cotabato City,
we had an international conference
convened jointly by Cardinal Orlando
Quevedo, a Muslim movement in
Indonesia called Muhammadiyah,
and the Sant’Egidio Community in
Rome. There were many Muslim
participants in the conference together
with representatives from different
churches. The title of the conference
was “Peace is Living Together”. That is
the goal and aspiration of the peoples
of Mindanao. With the hoped-for
completion of the Comprehensive
Agreement on the Bangsamoro, we in
Mindanao, together with our Muslim
brothers and sisters and indigenous
people communities, pray that we
can truly live together in peace and
But it is not only through dialogue but
also in terms of being pastoral that we
can become an open Church. Once more,
Pope Francis points out in a descriptive
statement: “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
Pope Francis kisses a child from the crowd in St. Peter’s Square after celebrating the Sacrament of Confrmation during a Papal Mass on April 28, 2013.
Young people express hope for the future of the Bangsamoro
people during a recent “Kites for Peace” event.
Congress is not the real battleground for the BBL
By Bong D. Fabe

THE proposed Bangsamoro
Basic Law (BBL) will be
scrutinized for its legality
and constitutionality in
Congress through an intense
debate. But the groups and
individuals supporting the
BBL believe that the real
battleground is not there,
but in the areas included in
the proposed Bangsamoro
New Political Entity or
Bangsamoro Core Territory.
The core terri tory, as
defined in Article I, Section 5
of the Framework Agreement
of the Bangsamoro (FAB)
signed on October 15, 2012,
shall consist (a) the present
geographical area of the
Autonomous Region in Mus-
lim Mindanao (ARMM); (b)
6 municipalities in the prov-
ince of Lanao del Norte (Bal-
oi, Munai, Nunungan, Pan-
tar, Tagoloan and Tangkal);
(c) 39 barangays in the mu-
nicipalities of Kabacan, Car-
men, Aleosan, Pigkaway-
an, Pi ki t, and Mi dsay-
ap in North Cotabato that
voted for inclusion in the
ARMM during the 2001
plebiscite; (d) the cities of
Cotabato and Isabela; and
(e) all other contiguous areas
where there is a resolution
of the local government unit
or a petition of at least ten
percent (10%) of the qualified
voters in the area asking for
their inclusion at least two
months prior to the conduct
of the ratification of the
Bangsamoro Basic Law.
After Congress passed
the BBL, it will be subjected to
popular ratification in these
areas through a plebiscite to be
scheduled next year. Once it is
ratified, the ARMM is deemed
abolished and the Bangsamoro
Transition Authority (BTA)
will be established to pave the
way for the formal election of
the Bangsamoro Government
simultaneous with the presi-
dential election in 2016.
Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado,
secretary-general of the Min-
danao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
said during the June 3 public
consultations on the BBL here
that the real battleground is the
plebiscite. {Arnado now sits as
MPC Council Emeritus/Adviser
after journalist Ryan Rosauro was
elected as MPC secretary-general
on June 6].
Arnado said that local Moro
politicians who are averse to
not being in power will surely
use money, guns and goons to
campaign for its failure in the
“Don’t tell me that after the
plebiscite, only Darapanan
accepts the Bangsamoro Basic
Law,” she said, as she urged
all concerned stakeholders to
help campaign for “Yes” in the

Copies of the BBL needed
After Malacañang transmit-
ted the proposed BBL to Con-
gress as an urgent bill, it is now
the role of the President’s legal
team to defend it. But Arnado
expects no hardline opposition
for its passage in Congress given
that President Aquino has re-
peatedly announced his strong
support to ending the decades-
old conflict in Mindanao and
has shown his sincerity in the
peace negotiations.
The opposition, she said, will
come out during the plebiscite
with guns a-blazing.
“Which is why it is crucial
that peopl e, especi al l y i n
affected areas, must be made to
understand the BBL through the
conduct of education campaign
and public consultations. And
we need to be able to read the
copy of the draft BBL to be able
to do this right,” a participant
from the civil society organiza-
tions (CSOs) said during the
public consultations here.
Arnado admitted that “since
we do not have a copy of the
draft provisions of the BBL we
cannot fully appreciate the bill.”
A Mindanawon peace builder
also echoed the call for Malaca-
ñang or the Bangsamoro Tran-
sition Commission (BTC) to
release a copy of the draft BBL
for transparency’s sake.
“How can peopl e f ul l y
appreciate the BBL and intel-
ligently vote for its ratification
when they have not even read
it?” asked the peacebuilder who
requested not to be named in
this report.
The peace builder said that
there is growing fear among
CSOs, NGOs and individuals
supportive of the peace process
that Malacañang might transmit
a watered-down version of the
draft BBL to Congress.
“Baka kinakatay na iyan ngayon
sa Malacañang. It is not far-
fetched to say that the bright
boys in Malacañang are now
busy creating loopholes and
easing the impregnable, un-
assailable and ironclad pro-
visions in the proposed law,”
the peace builder added.
Reports last month said
that the 15-member BTC,
led by Mohagher Iqbal, chief
peace negotiator of the MILF,
is worried that the govern-
ment is going to water-down
the draft BBL and delay its
But Malacañang, through
Presidential Communica-
tions Operations Office Sec-
retary Herminio Coloma Jr.
and Presidential Spokesman
Edwin S. Lacierda, said that
the Office of the President
is studiously reviewing the
draft BBL so that when it
transmits it to Congress, it
will pass legal and consti-
tutional scrutiny.

Congress can change BBL:
Sources closed to the
peace negotiations also said
that the draft BBL is closely-
guarded for now because
they don’t want to abort it
and avoid a repeat of the
Memorandum of Agree-
ment on Ancestral Domain
(MOA-AD) which led to a
renewed escalation of the
armed confl i ct between
the Bangsamoro Islamic
Armed Forces (BIAF) and
the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) after cop-
ies of which were leaked to
select political personalities
Call / B7
B5 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor


‘Towards a more inclusive economy’
THROUGH the media, I have been
informed that Archbishop emeritus
Oscar V. Cruz is one of the signatories
of an impeachment complaint filed
with the House of Representatives
against the incumbent President.
I have no doubt that the good
Archbishop himsel f will like it
clarified that his decision to be one
of the complainants is his alone, in
the exercise of his discretion and as
a result of his personal discernment.
As in the past, Archbishop Cruz
has exhibited a lively interest in
the events of our day, as should all
It should also be clear, however,
that the position that any bishop
t akes on any part i cul ar i ssue
i s not necessari l y t hat of t he
Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the
Philippines. That is to say that the
CBCP as the highest assembly of
Catholic bishops in the Philippines
I THANK the Cardinal President for his
words, I thank you for your fellowship,
for the invitation, and for your work.
What you are doing is so important: to
refect on reality, but to refect without
fear, to refect with intelligence. Without
fear and with intelligence. And this is
a service.
One of you spoke to me about the
three reductionisms, but I will speak
only of the first: anthropological
reductionism. I think that this moment
is the most pronounced time of
anthropological reductionism. The same
thing happens to man as happens when
wine becomes grappa: it passes through
an organizational still. It is no longer
wine, it is something else: perhaps more
useful, more specialized, but it’s not
wine! It is the same for man: man passes
through this still and ends up—and I
say this seriously—losing humanity and
becoming an instrument of the system,
the social system, economic system, a
system where imbalance reigns. When
man loses his humanity, what can we
expect? What happens is what I would
call in common parlance: a policy, a
sociology, a “throwaway” attitude.
One discards what is not needed,
because man is not at the centre. And
when man is not at the centre, another
thing is at the centre and man is at the
service of this other thing. The aim
therefore is to save man, in the sense that
he may return to the centre: to the centre
of society, to the centre of thought, the
centre of refection. To bring man once
again to the centre. And this is laudable
work, and you are doing it. I thank you
for this work. You study, refect, hold
these conferences for this, so that man
is not thrown away.
neither supports the filing of any
impeachment complaint against
the President, but it will neither
begrudge anyone, member of the
cl ergy, or l ai ty, the exerci se of
consti tuti onal l y and statutori l y
recognized rights.
These are di ffi cul t and often
confusing times. We reiterate our
earlier call for all to submit to the
Constitution as the prime expression
of the covenant by which the Filipino
people have determined the form and
the operations of their government.
There is a very important distinction
between what is popular–or appear
to be so–and what is right.
I pray that all our officials ever
be cogni zant of thi s i mportant
difference so that all may resist the
temptation of pursuing a course
of action only because it seems
to be popular. We urge respect
for the breadth and the limits of
Children are thrown away, because
the birth rate—at least here in Europe—
everyone knows it; the elderly are thrown
away, because they are of no use. And now?
A generation of young people is being
thrown away, and this is most serious!
I saw a fgure: 75 million young people,
under 25 years of age, without work. The
young “neither-nors” neither studying nor
working. They don’t study because they
don’t have the means, they don’t work
because there are no jobs. More waste.
What will be the next thing thrown away?
We must stop before it’s too late, please!
I thank you. I thank you for the help
that you give with your work, with your
refection, to restore this unbalanced
situation and to recover man and bring
him back to the centre of refection and
the centre of life. He is the king of the
universe! And this is not theology, it is
not philosophy — it is human reality.
With this we will go forward. Thank
you, thank you truly. Thank you!
The desire to contribute to the building
of a more just and fair society. Cardinal
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President
of the Pontifcal Council for Justice
and Peace, thus explained to the Holy
Father the meaning of the meeting of 70
economists on 11-12 July at the Casina
Pio IV in the Vatican. In his greeting to
the Holy Father at the end of their lunch,
he said that their workshop, entitled
“For an ever more inclusive economy”,
gathered 70 representatives of the public
sector and of business, economics, and
academia. The objective of the seminar,
he said, is to “respond to the challenge
of fostering an economic and social
system adapted to the challenges of the
21st century”. The intention, he added,
“is to help build a more just society”.
Message of Pope Francis on the Occasion of the opening of
the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
DEAR Friends,
It is with great j oy that
I address you, l over s of
football, on the occasion of
the opening of the 2014 World
Cup in Brazil. I would like
to send a cordial greeting
to the organizers and the
participants; to every athlete
and every fan, as well as to
all the spectators who will
follow this event in stadiums
and on television, the radio
and internet, an event which
crosses language, cultural
and national barriers.
My hope is that, more than
a celebration of sport, this
World Cup can be a celebration
of solidarity among nations.
This, however, presupposes
t hat t he f oot bal l mat ches
shoul d be consi dered as
what they really are: a game
and, at the same time, an
opportuni ty for di al ogue,
understanding and mutual
enri chment of the human
person. Sport is not only a
form of entertainment, but
also — and I would say above
all—a tool to communicate
values which promote the
good of the human person
and contribute to building a
more peaceful and fraternal
society. Just think of loyalty,
perseverance, f ri endshi p,
shari ng, sol i dari t y. There
are, i n fact, many val ues
and attitudes which football
promotes and which prove
to be important not only on
the field but in all fields of
existence, and specifically
in building peace. Sport is a
school of peace; it teaches us
how to build peace.
In this sense, I would like
to point out three lessons
for practicing sports, three
fundamental attitudes for the
cause of peace: the need to
“train”, fair play and respect
for the opponent. First, sports
teach us that it is necessary to
train in order to win. In this
practice of sports, we can see
a metaphor for life. In life it is
necessary “to train”, to strive
to achieve important results.
The spirit of sports becomes
an image for the necessary
sacrifices in order to grow in
the virtues that are necessary
for the character of a person.
For a person to i mprove,
ext ensi ve and consi st ent
“training” is necessary, and
much more i s needed t o
achieve an encounter and
peace between “improved”
peoples! It’s necessary “to
train” a lot...
Football can and should
be a school for building a
“culture of encounter” which
allows for peace and harmony
among peoples. And here the
second lesson of the practice
of sports comes to our aid:
we learn what fair play in
football has to teach us. When
we play on a team we must
first think of the good of the
group, and not of ourselves.
In order to win, we must
overcome i ndi vi dual i sm,
sel f i shness, al l f or ms of
racism, of intolerance and of
the instrumentalization of
the human person. It is not
only in football that being
fominha [individualistic and
egoistic] is an obstacle to
positive results for the team.
Because, in life, when we are
f omi nhas, i gnori ng t hose
who surround us, the entire
society is damaged.
The final lesson for sports
which bear the fruits of peace
is the respect deserved by
our opponents. The secret
to winning on the field, and
al so i n l i fe, i s to respect
my teammates and also my
Address of Pope Francis at the conclusion of luncheon with the
participants in the International Seminar on the Pope’s Proposal on the
Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium; Casina Pio IV, Vatican,
12 July 2014
On the impeachment
constitutionally allocated powers
between the great branches of
In the wake of recent events of
which the public has been made
aware through the media, we stand
for an independent judiciary. To
insist that ours be a government
of laws and not of men is not to
subordinate the human person to
the law, but to uphold the equality
of all before the law so that the
powerful may not trample upon
the weak and so that all enjoy the
freedom of the sons and daughters
of God.
Let the government show the
citizenry that the law is at all times
to be obeyed, for only under such
a regime are rights and liberties
We urge our citizens to keep
t he ms e l ve s i nf or me d, t o be
circumspect in their actions and
in their statements, and to allow
their discernment at all times to
be inspired by the Gospel, and
governed by the law of love.
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, CBCP
July 21, 2014
opponent. No one wins by
himself, not on the field or
in life! May no one isolate
themselves or feel excluded!
Be careful! No segregation, no
racism! And if it is true that
at the end of the tournament
only one national team will
win the Cup, likewise, it is
also true that, by learning
the lessons that sports teach
us, we will all be winners,
strengthening the bonds that
tie us together.
Dear friends, I express my
thanks for the opportunity
which was given to me to
address these words to you
on this occasion—especially
to the President of Brazil,
Ms Dilma Rousseff, whom
I gr e e t —a nd I pr omi s e
t o pray so t hat heavenl y
blessings are not lacking for
everyone. May this World
Cup take place in complete
s ereni t y and t r anqui l i t y,
always with mutual respect,
wi t h sol i dari t y and wi t h
fraternity between men and
women, who recognize each
other as one family. Thank
B6 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Ref lections



Eighteenth Sunday:
The Culture of Life
August 3, 2014
By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino
THE Gospel reading for this Sunday begins with Jesus hearing
the news of the death of John the Baptist, murdered, as you
know, by Herod as part of the plot of his wife, Herodias, to
protect her position at court. You know the story. Herod had
been riveted by John the Baptist’s prophecy and had been
listening to the Baptist’s condemning Herod’s present marital
situation. Herod had met up with his brother Philip in Rome
and fallen in love with Philip’s wife. He then divorced his
own wife, Phasaelis, daughter of a King Aretus of Nabatea,
and stole his brother’s wife. Most likely, she changed her
name to Herodias. Aretus was threatening to make war
on Herod both to avenge his daughter and to acquire some
disputed territory. With Herod listening intently to John the
Baptist, Herodias’ situation in court was precarious. This is
what was going on when Herod gave a banquet for notables
in the Kingdom. Herodias seized the opportunity and had
her daughter, who tradition would call Salome, dance for
Herod. When Herod promised the girl that he would give
her whatever she wanted, she voiced her mother’s desire and
demanded the head of John the Baptist.
Today’s Gospel says that when Jesus heard the news about
John, He withdrew to a deserted place to be by Himself. Jesus
often went off someplace where He could pray. What must His
prayers have been after hearing about John’s death? Perhaps
He was trying to understand the will of the Father for John
and for Him. Perhaps He was contemplating the meaning
of death. Perhaps, Jesus was considering the mystery of evil.
John, the greatest prophet to live, had been put to death by
pure evil. Evil would attack Jesus also, as well as the people
He was gathering to Himself. Certainly Jesus was grieving
over the death of His kinsman, the one who had pointed at
Him and called Him “the Lamb of God.”
Jesus would not be left alone for long, though. People
sought Him out. He could not allow His grief to keep Him
from caring for the people. He needed to feed them, in word
and in deed. Many of you have behaved the same way. I
have witnessed and been edifed by so many of you who have
suffered horrible crises, such as the death of a spouse, but
who refused to allow your grief to prevent you from caring
for others, particularly for your children.
Like John the Baptist, Jesus would also be put to death
by evil, but He would not allow Himself to be caught up in
evil, caught up in the culture of death. Jesus came to bring
life into the world, and, as John 10:10 proclaims, to bring it
abundantly. He came to invite people, invite us, to join Him
in the Culture of Life.
The Culture of Life
is the way of living
that celebrates the life
we were given at our
baptism, the life of
God. The Culture of
Life chooses the way of
the Lord over all other
possibilities. It considers
how each decision best
refects the Presence of
the Lord. St. John Paul
II spoke often about the
culture of life, but so
also did many before
him. Remember Bishop
Fulton J. Sheen titled his
TV show, the frst TV
hit show, “Life is Worth
Living.” In today’s
second reading St. Paul
tells us that no matter
what the world throws at
us, nothing can separate
us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It was commitment to
the Culture of Life that
led Blessed Mother Theresa to care for the poorest of the
poor. It is commitment to the Culture of Life that transforms
humanism into charity, for even greater than reaching out
to others out of respect for their humanity is reaching out to
them out of respect for their own refection of the image of
God, their share in his divinity.
We are called to the Culture of Life. We are people of life,
people of hope, People of God. It is our commitment to the
culture of life that allows us to view the events of our physical
lives as only part of the story of our lives. We live for God.
Our patron, St. Ignatius of Antioch, wrote, “The Christian is
not his own master, his time is God’s.” We live for heaven.
We live for eternal life.
And we refused to be destroyed by the culture of death.
The culture of death only sees the here and now. It does
not consider the impact of a person’s actions on his or her
life or on the world in general. It is the culture of death that
says, “Have the abortion.” How many babies are killed?
How many great minds were never allowed to develop?
How much beauty has the world lost? How much love?
And how many girls have their lives destroyed? How many
college freshmen and sophomores have been convinced by
their parents and others not to change their college plans
but to fnd a supposedly easy solution to their pregnancy?
Then they go off to college, out of sight, but devastated for
the rest of their lives.
It is the culture of death that says, “Party on.” It is the
culture of death that assumes that high school people, college
people, military people, bachelors and others are going to live
wild lives, not concerned about the impact of their actions
on others or on themselves. It is the culture of death that is
so pessimistic that it takes it for granted that people have
no choice but to be condemned to a life that is ultimately
meaningless. It is the culture of death that speaks to the
young about birth control as soon as they announce that they
have a girlfriend or boyfriend. The culture of death presumes
that the young will not be able to control themselves. It is the
culture of death that says that retirees should live together
rather than marry because fnances are more important than
eternal life. Think about it. It is the culture of death that is
the philosophical basis of the sex industry. Basically speaking,
the culture of death assumes that we are animals, unable to
control ourselves.
But we are not animals. We are sons and daughter of God.
We have dignity. We also have a right to demand that others
treat us with the Dignity we have been given at our baptism.
Whether we are thirteen or Ninety-three, we cannot allow
anyone to assume that we are unable to control ourselves,
It is the culture
of death that
says, “Have the
abortion.” How
many babies are
killed? How many
great minds were
never allowed to
develop? How much
beauty has the world
lost? How much
Making the kingdom our priority will inevitably entail
letting go of, or giving less importance to, other values.
Such a prioritization will be obvious especially when we
have to choose between different “good things.”
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 13:44-52 (A) July 27, 2014
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 14:13-21 (A) August 3, 2014
The unique preciousness of
God’s Kingdom
Bread for all hungry hearts
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
IF we count our blessings, we will hardly
be able to make an exhaustive list. The Lord
has been tremendously generous with each
of us, even with those whom we consider
handicapped, unlucky, forsaken.
On our part, we are prepared to work
hard, make big sacrifices and even renounce
a portion of what we already have, in order
to acquire what we consider more valuable
and deserving.
But in this pursuit, we are always in
danger of losing out, or being deceived
by appearances...Many of us have an
inadequate sense of values. Our priorities
are sometimes mistaken. We invest our
energies and even stake our whole lives
on things that “moth and rust corrode, or
thieves break in and steal” (Mt 6:19).
We need real wisdom. Not just the
wisdom “to distinguish right from wrong,
which was the object of Solomon’s prayer
(see 1 Kgs 3:9), but the wisdom necessary
to prioritize values and give the highest
ones the priority they deserve. We need
not just the wisdom of Solomon, but also
and especially the “wisdom of God,” the
one possessed in full by Jesus. We need
the wisdom that leads us to give absolute
priority to “God’s Kingship and His
righteousness” (Mt 6:33).
Of all the values on earth, being part
of the “Kingdom of God” is among the
top few that we should try to acquire or
preserve at all costs, for on this depends
the attainment of our final destiny. Jesus
made the “coming of the Kingdom” the
second request in the prayer he taught his
disciples. (See Mt 5:9-13.) And he exhorted
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
WE, Christians, believe in a God
who is love. (See 1 Jn 4:8.) He’s a
God who cares. He cares for our
material needs and teaches us
life-giving truths. (See Is 55:1-3.)
He is a God who enjoys being
with people, a God who “gets
involved” and takes our well-
being to heart.
His involvement is not that of
an “outsider” who occasionally
peeps in, out of curiosity, or to
comply with a formality...His
involvement is so sincere and
“personal” that He Himself has
become a human being—Jesus
of Nazareth, the carpenter, the
preacher, the miracle worker—
the God-Man.
In becoming one of us, He has
shared in what we are and have
(or lack), in order that all human
beings may share in what He is
and has. Jesus carries out this
long, wonderful process of our
“transformation” and sharing
by degrees, taking account of
our “slowness” and weakness.
His heart is moved to pity at
the sight of our illnesses (see Mt
14:14), at the awareness of our
needs...That is why he cures
our numberless ailments and
satisfes all our hungers.
He does that with immense
t act f ul ness, val ui ng t he
contribution which even poor
people can afford to make. He
accepted the simple offering of
a few loaves of bread and two
fish – something absolutely
disproportioned to the needs
of the multitude. And with such
“littleness” he worked a wonder
God alone could bring about:
all had their fll, with plenty to
spare. (See Mt 14:20.)
That miracle was a prophecy.
One night, just a few hours
before he was crushed by
the unbearabl e wei ght of
our sinfulness, Jesus would
remember the great “hungers”
of the human heart, and he
would work a far greater
wonder: he woul d make
himself food and drink for
his disciples—the disciples of
all times. He would become
EUCHARIST for us and all
believers. And he would teach
his disciples how to perpetuate
this wonder, enjoining them to
repeat what he did, generation
after generation, as the greatest
sign that he is the God-with-us,
the God-who-cares-for-us.
Bishop Pat Alo
Bo Sanchez
Accusing fngers
Congratulations: You’re Human!
WE try to avoid the habit of pointing
accusing fngers at others so we may not fall
into a worse scenario of forgetting we have
our own major defects to correct. It’s true
fraternal correction is part of our Christian
upbringing and concern to help others in
the ways of perfection. But this should not
be overplayed as if we don’t have our own
mistakes to correct.
So Jesus made that point clear when He
mentions in the gospel the advice to call our
attention on avoiding that commonplace
or general defect we have of faultfnding.
“Why do you observe the splinter in your
brother’s eye and never notice the plank
in your own? How dare you say to your
brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your
eye’, when all the time there is a plank in
your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out
of your own eye frst, and then you will see
clearly enough to take the splinter out of
your brother’s eye” (Mt. 7:3-5).
This is certainly a signifcant advice of
Jesus that we may progress faster in our own
spiritual perfection instead of becoming
stagnant because of the judgmental habit of
gossiping on others’ defects or weaknesses.
Besides you might turn out to be that
artifcial person, so to say, a hypocrite which
Jesus strongly criticizes. You don’t tend
to progress spiritually when you keep on
minding what is not your own business but
rather more of others’ concern.
“HELP me, Bo. I’m falling in love
with my boss.”
I’ve known Lucy for some time
now and her silliness betrays a
deep spiritual maturity in this
married woman.
“Tell me about it,” I said
“Oh Bo, he’s gorgeous. He’s
a cute American and I get red all
over whenever I’m in front of him.”
“Brad Pitt look alike?”
“He’s got a tall nose and you
know my husband’s pango.”
“Let me guess. Your husband’s
probably Filipino.”
“And you should hear my
boss talk. He speaks English so
“Hmm, I wonder why…”
“Oh Bo, what should I do?”
I smiled and said, “First of all,
“For what? I feel dirty. Sinful.
Evil to the bone. I don’t like
feeling this way. Bo, I’m a
married woman!”
“Congratulations because
you’re human. Do you think
married women don’t get
attracted to men other than their
“Well, I thought it wouldn’t
happen to me.”
“Let me ask you a few
questions. First, do you see your
boss in private places?”
“Of course not! I don’t even
dare ride in the same car with him
even if it’s a business trip. I just
pop up wherever the meeting is!”
“Good girl. Do you fantasize
about him?”
“No. I’d like to...but I’ve been
able to get rid of thoughts like
that so far.”
“Fantastic. Next question:
When you dress up in the
morning, do you fnd yourself
dressing better, putting on more
make-up, for Mr. Brad Pitt?
“Oh why do you know my
“It’s my job.”
“Honestly, I get tempted to do
that. When I open my closet, I
want to pick the sharpest dress
with a great matching scarf when
I know I’ll be in a meeting with
him. But I simply say no.”
“Lucy, can I congratulate your
husband right now? He’s one
lucky chap.”
She smiled and hugged me.
“Thanks. I knew you’d say that.”
“Okay, I ’ ve got a f ew
“I’m writing it down here,” she
pointed to her brain.
“Do you have a picture of Mr.
Pango on your table?”
“Good. Enlarge it. About fve
meters by nine meters.”
She laughed. “Next?”
“Can your husband sometimes
pick you up for lunch?”
“I think he can squeeze that in.”
“When he does, be sure that
you kiss each other in front of
everyone else on the lips for not
less than twenty-fve minutes. Tell
the world—and your boss—that
you’re a happily married woman!”
Lucy left happy that day. And
so did I.
Because of her, I knew there
was hope for humanity.
Unique / B7
Culture / B7
B7 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Social Concerns

Unique / B6
Bangsamoro / B4 Clergy / B3
Judge / B3 Call / B4
Culture / B6
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By Fr. Benny Tuazon
MUCH has been said about the
existing precarious situation of the
environment and of humanity. The Ten
Commandments for the Environment
has given us a deeper understanding
of the connection between the Creator
and the Creation.
Many articles have been written
calling for a radical change in lifestyle
in order to address an environmental
disaster that is believed to be already
commencing. But writing, calling, and
appealing are just very small parts
of this advocacy. We need to know
what we can do and carry them out
with alacrity. The doing is climacteric
and pivotal.
Time is not on our part. The longer
we wait and take our sweet time
not minding and neglecting this
occurrence, the lesser are our chances
of effectively responding to it. Just
like what we had experienced in so
many environmental tragedies all
over the world, we could only watch
and pray that the destruction to life
and property, to say the least, would
be manageable and fleeting. I will
mention some things we can do in
order to demonstrate our reply to the
question of ecological crisis. Since
we were mainly responsible for the
existence of many of them, we are also
the main component in reversing, if
not stopping, their advances. After
knowing, choosing, and committing
what to do, let us do it! The doing
makes the knowing, choosing, and
committing meaningful and fruitful.
The words should be made flesh. So,
here are some words which we can
turn into flesh.
First, I propose that we should
always think about the environment.
The care for the environment should
always be a part of our activities.
Our country is full of activities;
fiestas, Christmas, anniversaries,
birthdays, conferences, etc. It would
be good to incorporate the care for
the environment in those revelries.
Let us always connect with the
environment. Not only will we
increase our awareness, we can also
Walking the talk: the key to environmental balance
begin to live it. For example, we could
adopt the principles of reuse, reduce,
recycle and even repair. Decorations,
for example, need not be always new.
At times, the old and the used can be
made phenomenal when combined
with creativity.
Second, I propose we should start
asking our elders again. With all due
respect to the “experts” of today, the
years of experience by our elders
(70 or 80 years are significant) are
irreplaceable and very valuable. Let
us make them tell their stories about
how the world used to be. Let them
educate us about the climate, air,
water, land, plant and animal species,
the community, transportation, and
people then. The changes they would
cite during those years should be a
gauge for us on how the world would
be years from now if we continue our
present ways. Also, we would have an
idea of what and how much we have
lost through those years. I am sure
they would mention: how cold was
the month of December, how clean
were the waters of Pasig River, how
aplenty were the trees in the city, how
sweet were the tweeting of the birds,
and how happy were they playing
among each other every afternoon
and during weekends and holidays.
Third, I propose that it is not too late
to assess and reflect on our hierarchy
of needs. We really need to muster
all our brain can produce in order
to determine which are needs and
wants, accidents and essentials and
secondaries and priorities. We tend to
be very dependent on advertisements
that we end up buying and stacking
a lot of unused things in every part
of the house. It is believed that our
non-negotiable needs have three tiers.
First are those that meet our biological
requirements like clean air, water, soil,
food and environment. Second are the
needs coming from our social nature.
These are what will give meaning to
our lives like families, meaningful
work, security, and justice. Third are
the needs for spiritual fulfillment.
We are aware that we have a Creator
and a superior and we are part of the
whole creation which is undergoing
a process. All of these needs must be
met in order to attain satisfaction. If
we look at how we have been so far,
we have to admit that our choices
and ways had not been going to the
direction of fulfilling these needs and
we are far from that satisfaction.
Fourth, I propose that we get
out of our way to get involved in
groups, movements, or organizations
advoc at i ng t he c ar e f or t he
environment. Being part of them
challenges and forms our commitment.
They also help in shifting our values
towards the advocacy. I can honestly
say that I had changed a lot in
speaking, thinking, and acting since I
embraced this advocacy. Involvement
can actually be in different levels. At
the most superficial but nevertheless
important level, we can support an
environmental organization with
money. These organizations are
usually operating on shoestring
budgets. There are many groups
available. Let us examine them and
see which group we will support.
On another level, volunteer to be a
part of the group. Participate in their
activities. Learn and understand the
language and the culture. You will
be surprised at how vast the feld of
environmental care has become. David
Suzuki, an environmentalist-scientist
recalls how volunteering made him a
serious campaigner for the care of the
environment: “Volunteering gives you a
sense of actually working for the beneft
of humankind and the future. And it
rewards you with a great deal of fun,
especially when you fnd companions
who share your goals and are working
along with you to achieve them.”
There are really a lot more we
could do. Embarking to be at sea
and proceeding to navigate the route
towards environmental balance is
foremost. There are those who think
our actions will be insignificant.
“What is the point? “Whatever will
be, will be.” There is really nothing
we can do.” These are very tempting
attitudes. It is, however, a copout.
When we do things on our own, it
is really insignificant. But when we
do things together, even with just a
fraction of the eight (8) billion world
population, we become significant.
Pondo ng Pinoy, which encourages
contributions of only twenty-five (25)
centavos had amassed almost three
hundred million pesos (300) in a span
of ten years! We know the dynamics.
Let us execute the mechanics!
Aside from public protests against power generation with high environmental costs, those who genuinely care about
the environment can also recycle on a daily basis.
them: “Seek first God’s kingship
over you” (Mt 6:33).
Making the kingdom our
priority will inevitably entail
letting go of, or giving less
importance to, other values.
Such a pri ori ti zati on wi l l
be obvious especially when
we have to choose between
di ff erent “good t hi ngs. ”
Choosing “God’s Kingdom and
its righteousness” will always
be the best thing to do even
when this means sacrificing
other realities that we hold
The Kingdom must always
be our top priority. The quest
for it is the enterprise on
which we should invest all
our resources because, in the
end, this is the only venture
that will really succeed. The
Kingdom is the only “strong
currency” which will never
suffer inflation and which will
never be devalued.
assume that are condemned to
live like animals, condemned to
the Culture of Death.
And God says in Isaiah 55, our
frst reading:
Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and
without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what
is not bread;
your wages for what fails to
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
We have been called to Life. It
is all right there for us. We can
choose Christ. We can choose His
Way, the Culture of Life. And we
can be happy, now and forever.
But we must choose.
in Mindanao.
While those who requested
for a copy of the draft BBL said
they understand this apprehen-
sion, they also said that they
only want transparency, in light
of the far-reaching impact for
present and future Mindana-
wons and Filipinos this crucial
piece of legislation has.
“Ngayon pa ba tayo magtatago
sa taongbayan na malapit na tayo
sa finish line? Huwag naman
because from the start, the peace
process was closely monitored,
watched, followed and reported
by the media,” a source who
participated in the public con-
sultation on the BBL here said
but refused to be identified.
Arnado said that Congress
has the power to change the
draft BBL.
“Congress can change it. But
politically, will Congress do it?
Congressmen know the import
of the BBL; the stakes are very
high because this is the commit-
ment of the government not just
to the Bangsamoro but also to
the international community,”
she stressed.
She said that she believes
all congressmen know that
this piece of legislation is
very critical “because the
government is dealing with
combatants and they still have
their guns.”
She urged Congress t o
adhere to the government’s
commitment because “this
opportunity may not come
again.” (To be continued)
one another, to adore God, to
look in one another’s eyes and
seek the grace of reconciliation.
Before God and his people I
express my sorrow for the sins
and grave crimes of clerical sexual
abuse committed against you.
And I humbly ask forgiveness.
I beg your forgiveness, too,
for the sins of omission on the
part of Church leaders who
did not respond adequately to
reports of abuse made by family
members, as well as by abuse
victims themselves. This led to
even greater suffering on the
part of those who were abused
and it endangered other minors
who were at risk.
On the other hand, the courage
that you and others have shown
by speaking up, by telling the
accusers, we must be defenders
of others before the Father”. He
then advised us to defend those
who are subject to “something
bad”: without giving it too much
thought, he recommended, “go
to pray and defend him before
the Father, as Jesus does. Pray
for him”.
But most of all, the Pope
repeated, “don’t judge, because if
you do, when you do something
bad, you will be judged!”. This is
a truth that’s good to remember
“in everyday life, when we
want to judge others, to speak
ill of others, which is a form of
Theref ore, t he Pont i f f
confned and from clinging to its
own security” (EG 49).
During the Typhoon Sendong
tragedy, two days later after I had
said my early morning Mass in
the cathedral, a young woman
approached me. I could sense
she was deeply troubled. She
recounted to me how she had
lost her two small children in
the rampaging waters. One was
a three-year old 4
daughter whom her husband
had been able to bring to safer
ground but apparently died
because of the cold. The other
was a three-month old son
whom she lost hold of as the
food waters rushed through
their house. The son perished
and she was left alone. But the
sad thing was the attitude of the
relatives of her husband. They
were blaming her for the deaths
of her two children and they
wanted to separate the husband
from her. I invited her to have
breakfast at the bishop’s house
and to talk to one of the sisters
who was there. And I thought
that was the end of it. But a
few months later, she came for
counseling with one of the Good
Shepherd sisters and asked her,
“Who was that priest that talked
to me?” She did not know I was
the bishop. But she also confded
to the sister that had she not had
truth, was a service of love,
since for us it shed light on a
terrible darkness in the life of
the Church. There is no place in
the Church’s ministry for those
who commit these abuses, and
I commit myself not to tolerate
harm done to a minor by any
individual, whether a cleric or
not. All bishops must carry out
their pastoral ministry with the
utmost care in order to help foster
the protection of minors, and
they will be held accountable.
What Jesus says about those
who cause scandal applies to all
of us: the millstone and the sea
(cf. Mt 18:6).
By the same token we will
continue to exercise vigilance in
priestly formation. I am counting
on the members of the Pontifcal
Commission for the Protection
of Minors, all minors, whatever
religion they belong to, they are
little fowers which God looks
lovingly upon.
I ask this support so as to
help me ensure that we develop
better policies and procedures
in the universal Church for the
protection of minors and for the
training of church personnel in
implementing those policies
and procedures. We need to
do everything in our power to
ensure that these sins have no
place in the Church.
Dear brothers and sisters,
because we are all members of
God’s family, we are called to live
lives shaped by mercy. The Lord
Jesus, our Savior, is the supreme
example of this; though innocent,
he took our sins upon himself
on the cross. To be reconciled is
the very essence of our shared
identity as followers of Jesus
Christ. By turning back to him,
accompanied by our most holy
Mother, who stood sorrowing at
the foot of the cross, let us seek
the grace of reconciliation with
the entire people of God. The
loving intercession of Our Lady
of Tender Mercy is an unfailing
source of help in the process of
our healing.
You and all those who were
abused by clergy are loved by
God. I pray that the remnants of
the darkness which touched you
may be healed by the embrace of
the Child Jesus and that the harm
which was done to you will give
way to renewed faith and joy.
I am grateful for this meeting.
And please pray for me, so that
the eyes of my heart will always
clearly see the path of merciful
love, and that God will grant me
the courage to persevere on this
path for the good of all children
and young people. Jesus comes
forth from an unjust trial, from a
cruel interrogation and he looks
in the eyes of Peter, and Peter
weeps. We ask that he look at
us and that we allow ourselves
to be looked upon and to weep
and that he give us the grace to
be ashamed, so that, like Peter,
forty days later, we can reply:
“You know that I love you”;
and hear him say: “go back and
feed my sheep”—and I would
add—“let no wolf enter the
the chance to talk to me, she was
contemplating of jumping over
the riverbank to end her own
life. Looking back, it reminded
me that the Church indeed has to
be open to those who have been
“bruised, hurting and dirty,” and
that this is part of the calling of
the Church.
And so, as we celebrate Pope’s
Day in this Mass, we can keep
in mind the call outlined by
Pope Francis towards a new
evangelization—to be a Church
that is witness to the joy and
mercy of the Lord; to be a poor
Church for the poor; and to be a
Church that is open to all in their
needs and aspirations.
confrmed, “a person who judges
takes the wrong place, becomes
confused and is defeated”. And
in doing this “he isn’t imitating
Jesus, who always defends
before the Father: he’s a defence
lawyer”. One who judges, rather,
“is an imitator of the prince of
this world, who always goes
against people to accuse them
before the Father”.
Pope Francis concluded by
asking that the Lord “grant
us the grace to imitate Jesus
the intercessor, defender and
lawyer for us and for others”.
And to “not imitate the other
one, who will destroy us in
the end”.
Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Entertainment Entertainment
Technical Assessment
 Poor
 Below average
 Average
 Above average
 Excellent
Moral Assessment
 Abhorrent
 Disturbing
 Acceptable
 Wholesome
 Exemplary
MIAMI born chef Carl Casper’s
(Jon Favreau) creativity in the
kitchen is squelched by his
boss, Los Angeles restaurant
owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman),
who threatens to fire Casper
if he serves anything other
than the old favorites that the
clientele come back for again
and again and again. This tug
of war results in a scathing
review by food blogger-critic
Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt)
and then in a head-on collision
with Riva who stubbornly
refuses to give Casper’s fresh
cuisine a try, the chef quits cold
turkey—but not before he gives
Michel a dressing down in
Riva’s very own restaurant. The
drama surrounding Casper’s
dogged refusal to compromise
his creative freedom and his
public humiliation of the food
critic go viral on social media,
making him a celebrity of sorts.
Jobless and angry, Casper agrees
to go with his ex-wife Inez (Sofa
Vergara), who invites him to take
the opportunity to bond with
their young son Percy (Emjay
Anthony). Miami proves to be
a surprising chapter in Casper’s
Favreau does a great job of
directing, writing, producing
AND starring in this movie,
no doubt a pet recipe that’s
spiced up by big names—
Hoffman and good friends
from Iron Man sequels Favreau
has directed Downy Jr. and
Johansson. With the made-to-
measure cast, audiences will
fnd it easy to empathize with
the characters. Action is tight
and fast paced, complemented
by lilting Cubano music and
mouthwatering footage of food
tasting, shopping, preparation,
and presentation. As the closing
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
LEAD CAST: Jon Favreau,
Sofa Vergara, John Le-
guizamo, Scarlett Johans-
son, Oliver Platt, Bobby
Cannavale, Dustin Hoff-
man, Robert Downey, Jr.
PRODUCER: Jon Favreau,
Karen Gilchrist, Sergei
EDITOR: Robert Leighton
Production Company:
Aldamisa Entertainment
GENRE: Comedy
er Morgenthau
LOCATION: United States
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
 ½
MRCB rating: R13
CINEMA rating: V 14
Buhay San Miguel Brothers Matias
credits roll, Favreau is shown
being mentored by chef Roy
Choi on how to make the perfect
grilled cheese sandwich, brown
and crisp and with layer upon
layer of different cheeses peeping
out between the bread slices.
Chef is billed as a comedy—
but was it really made to make
people laugh? More like a
cooking dramedy movie, it’s a
lighthearted treatment of serious
subj ects—passion in one’s
lifework, social media ethics,
the many faceted relationships in
and branching out of the family.
With female actors as sultry as
Sofa Vergara (a hybrid between
Sofa Loren and Eva Mendez) and
Scarlet Johansson (voted 2014
Sexiest Woman in the World)
we half expected some steamy
scenes inserted into the movie
but to our delight none came.
In that department it is actually
wholesome; the foul language
issues from the mouth of irate
male characters. Social media
is shown as an implement that
can both destroy and build,
given this age’s predilection
for scandal and sensationalism.
As an afterthought, though,
we wonder whether Chef used
Twitter or Twitter used Chef. The
story developed with Twitter as
its compass. If it had been set
in a pre-internet era, would the
satisfying conclusion come that
IC Recollection and Election of CFC Officers
By Bernie Cuevas
FR. BENEDICT Lagarde Jr. MJ, con-
ducted a solemn recollection for the
International Council in preparation
for the elections of the CFC Offcers for
2014-2015 attended by all the 9 IC mem-
bers and their spouses. He opened the
recollection with verses from Psalm 63:
“My soul thirst for you” about David’s
ardent longing for God. He said that
what matters most is our quest for God,
our hunger and thirst for God. This
ardent longing can lead us to give up
even precious possessions.
He posed to them the questions “
Are we doing what we are supposed
to do?” and “Are we where we are
supposed to be?” and stressed that
there is no such thing as better,
but only different, speaking about
leadership. He recalled the story
of the call of Moses in Exodus and
reminded the elders that as leaders,
they have to accept the fact that
like Moses, they might not see and
harvest the fruit of their labor. They
should be prepared that sometimes
they will not even be thanked, men-
tioned or remembered for the good
things they have done. What is es-
sential is the humility to recognize
and accept that God is the leader, and
they are just instruments.
He also reflected on Deuteronomy
31: 1-8 on leadership transition.
These verses speak about the lead-
ership succession from Moses to
Joshua. It was Moses himself who
summoned Joshua and told him in
front of all the people of Israel that
God will be with Him and that he
should not fear or be dismayed. He
will lead them to the Promised Land.
It reminds leaders to be steadfast,
and not to feel unworthy because it is
not about them, it is about the Lord.
God always intervenes in the life of
His people.
Before the ending the first session,
he exhorted CFC about the need for
continuing formation. Formation is
what makes Jesus alive in CFC. He
told CFC to “put your money where
your mouth is”. To strengthen forma-
tion means to put budget in forma-
tion. To this, all IC members agreed.
The celebration of the Holy Mass
followed the first session. The homily
centered on the gospel reading about
the old and new wineskin. He said
that some think that new ones are
the new wineskins and the old ones
are considered old wine. However,
when the IC composition changed,
the whole IC became new wine.
After the mass, Fr. Benedict led
them to reflect on John 13, Jesus
washes the disciple’s feet. He said
this was a dramatic event. Before
washing their feet, He already knew
that most of them will abandon him
and some will betray him, yet he
willingly washed their feet setting
the example for leadership. He said
this is the drama of leadership, lead-
ership in action. It is an undeniable
love of a leader and this is the same
undeniable love of God that sustains
CFC in its mission.
He then led the elders to ponder on
the essentials of what it means to follow
Jesus by reading John Chapters 14-17.
Before his arrest, passion and crucifx-
ion, Jesus prepared them for the time
when he would leave them by speak-
ing to them about the true essence
of leadership. Fr Benedict gave the
elders time to ponder of the readings
by leading them to an individual Lectio
Divina. They were asked to choose a
verse from the readings that spoke to
them and asked them to write it and
post it on the board so that everyone
can read the inspired verses for each
of them. Most chose verses from John
15 about the vine and the branches,
abiding in God and bearing fruit that
will remain. Other reflections came
from John 17 on people being gifts of
the Father to Jesus and John 14, do not
let your hearts be troubled.
As the recollection was about to
end, Father cited John 21 when Jesus
appeared to his disciples in the sea
of Tiberias. The very essence of this
reading is Jesus’ love and forgive-
ness. The resurrection allowed Jesus
to show his disciples that they were
forgiven for abandoning and betray-
ing Him. He prepared food for them
and ate with them. He then tasked
Peter feed His sheep and follow him.
Jesus taught us forgiveness. He
did not hate any of his disciples for
what they have done. He showed us
his forgiving heart. This is the same
message for us in CFC. We are to be a
forgiving a community. This is what
will set us apart for the Lord.
After the recollection, the IC mem-
bers spent 1 hour in silent contempla-
tion in front of the Blessed Sacrament
listening to Jesus as a preparation for
choosing who will lead CFC.
MCG Gathering Prayover of the IC Offcers: Joe Tale, Chairman; George Campos, Executive Director; Arnel Santos, Corporate Secreatry; Jimmy Ilagan,
Tressurer. Sharers: Mila Garcia and Edwin Cruz.
CFC Global Institute Foundation, Inc. Overview
The complete name of the or-
ganization is “CFC Global Institute
Foundation, Inc.” Its short name
is “CFC Institute” or “CFCI”. It is
a subsidiary body of Couples for
Christ (CFC). Although the CFC
Institute is a separate foundation
with its own Board of Trustees, the
CFC International Council exercises
oversight responsibilities over CFCI.
Primary Purposes
As stated in its Articles of Incor-
poration (Section 2, paragraph 1), the
primary purposes of CFCI are:
(a) To provide training and capacity
building modules on evangelization
and missions, pastoral formation,
marriage and family life, social
development, and leadership and
effective governance for the mem-
bers and leaders of CFC GMFI and
other interested individuals and
parties which serve and promote the
mission of Couples for Christ Global
Mission Foundation Incorporated
(b) To foster research, development, and
innovation to create new dynamic
approaches among its staff and
students to further the attainment
of the mission and vision of CFC
(c) To be an advisory body for the top
leadership of the CFC GMFI on
policies related to promoting and
attaining the mission and vision of
(d) To store, share and manage knowl-
edge and materials to promote and
attain the mission and vision of
(e) To give recognition and confer
awards to CFC members, clergy,
and/or partners for outstanding
achievements in promoting and
attaining the mission and vision of
(f) To do other acts and things, neces-
sary, desirable or appropriate for the
attainment of the above-mentioned
Programs and Activities
Based on the primary purposes
stated in its Articles of Incorporation,
CFCI will have the following 5 distinct
programs and activities:
• Education, Capacity Building and
CFCI will develop and offer programs
of degree and non-degree courses that
will serve and promote the mission
and vision of CFC. Initially, only non-
degree courses will be offered. But the
long term goal is to develop CFCI into
a university, perhaps in 20 or 30 years.
The New Era University, for exam-
ple, started as a New Era Educational
Institute in 1975. But it was only in
1977 that it was formally incorporated
as a private non-stock, non-proft edu-
cational institution offering vocational
and technical courses. In 1981, it was
renamed New Era College and recog-
nized by the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports. It was only in
1995, or 20 years later, that it was
granted university status by the
Commission on Higher Education
and renamed New Era University.
The Maryhill Institute of Theol-
ogy was established in 1972 by the
Philippine Province of the Con-
gregation of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary (CICM). It offers General
Theology Program Course (4-year
degree course), Adult Theology
Program Course, Summer Theology
Courses, Mission Studies, and Other
Activities. The Mission Studies are
1- or 2-day lectures on various topics
given by invited lecturers. Other Ac-
tivities are lectures on non-religious
topics such as health and wellness.
CFCI may initially offer:
1. non-degree courses or
2. lectures in selected topics, as
well as
3. language courses (e.g., Spanish,
French, Chinese, etc)
in line with the mission and vision
of Couples for Christ, in particular,
the need to equip its missionar-
ies with language skills and the
knowledge to effectively proclaim
the Gospel and accurately tell the
story of Jesus.
The CFCI logo, refects the long term vision of the
institute to become God’s instrument in forming
“other Christs”.
Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
The News Supplement of
Couples for Christ
C2 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
First Post-Yolanda Shelter in Leyte
CFC Leyte Stages ANCOP Global Walk
"FINALLY, the long wait is over!" exclaimed
Mike Mendoza, a member of Couples For Christ
(CFC) in Tacloban, Leyte and head of the Project
Implementing Team of the CFC ANCOP Shel-
ter Site in Bgy. San Agustin, Palo, Leyte, as the
foundations for the frst shelter units were laid
and prepared. The shelter project is the frst CFC
ANCOP community to rise after the typhoon
Yolanda struck the town in November 2013.
Yolanda (international name Haiyan) was the
most devastating calamity that have ever hit the
Philippines in recent history. The typhoon left
thousands dead and many more homeless as
winds and foods caused by the ensuing storm
surge inundated the area.
Many are hoping to beneft from ANCOP's
shelter project due to the sheer number of
victims left by the typhoon. Mendoza said
that it has been more than eight months since
Yolanda, yet thousands are still left to fend off
for themselves despite massive aid that poured
into the province. Many typhoon victims are
still living in temporary shelters, which makes
the inhabitants susceptible to various diseases
due to exposure to the elements. He said this
makes the Leyte Shelter Project of CFC-ANCOP
very critical.
"The need to respond to the shelter needs of
the typhoon victims is very urgent," said Manny
Licup, head of the Shelter Team of CFC ANCOP
Leyte and CFC Sector Head for South A.
“Yet we needed to properly prepare all the
legal groundwork and come up with the best
partnership arrangements. At the same time
we have to come up with the right construction
process so that we can build the best shelter
units given the limited funds that we have. We
are glad to say that we have found all these and
in a three weeks' time, we will be fnished with
the frst two prototype units and after that, we
can build in numbers," Licup added.
The San Agustin site is a 1.7 hectare land do-
nated by the Palo Archdiocese headed by His
Excellency, Archbishop John Du. The property
intended for the ANCOP project will be able to
contain 97 houses, as per ANCOP site develop-
ment plan. The build started last July 10, 2014.
Jojo Sumalinog, head of ANCOP Leyte,
explained that the Palo site is a partnership
between CFC ANCOP, the Palo Archdiocese
of the Roman Catholic Church and the local
government of Palo, Leyte.
"At this very moment, while the build
proceeds, other CFC brethren are leading the
potential home partners in Values Formation
seminars as well as community development
teachings." Sumalinog added, "Eventually, the
home partners will also undergo the Christian
Life Program, which is the gateway teaching
tract leading to an invitation to join Couples For
Christ. CFC ANCOP believes that more than
just giving houses, it is necessary for people to
be given the chance to experience total Christian
Liberation, as Christ envisioned for all human-
ity. The poor must have the opportunity to be
renewed in body, mind and spirit. We are very
happy to note the enthusiasm among our Palo
home partners."
While CFC ANCOP funds the construction
of the shelter units and the Archdiocese of Palo
donated the land, the Palo LGU under Mayor
Matin Petilla has pledged to provide for the
site development of the area, all the arrange-
ments contained in a tripartite Memorandum
of Agreement among these parties. Sumalinog
said, "God has been generous to us when
He allowed us to become His instruments
in giving shelter to the needy. Miracles keep
on happening. Right now, we have another
3-hectare site in Bgy. Maticaa in Ormoc City
in Leyte, donated to CFC by the Fran Family
in cooperation with the LGU of Ormoc City. In
a week's time, we will also begin to build the
frst units there. We are very excited about all
these developments."
By Raymond V. Bucu
"WE MUST be able to overcome the culture of
exclusion, and instead adopt a culture of inclu-
sion that brings together everyone who wish to
help the poor." These were Fr. Gerald Alcantara’s
words in his homily during Holy Mass held in
the early morning of July 20, 2014 in Ormoc
City during CFC Leyte’s ANCOP Global Walk
2014. Fr. Gerald, who is the Spiritual Director
of Couples For Christ (CFC) Leyte, added, "We
need to remove this ungodly culture in our midst
so that we will finally be able to overcome the
insanity of having most of the world's wealth in
the hands of a few."
Fr. Gerald's homily struck home as hundreds
of CFC members and their families, as well
as partners supporting the Child Sponsorship
Program (CSP) of ANCOP (Answering the Cry
of the Poor) trooped to the Ormoc City Stage
Plaza despite heavy downpour brought about
by Typhoon Henry. After a brief program after
the Mass the crowd of walkers started to move
forward from the starting line and began the five
kilometer trek that circled the Ormoc city streets.
Jude Abenoja, Provincial Area Director of
CFC Leyte, stated, "CFC has always been at the
forefront of fighting for Total Human Liberation,
which aims to alleviate poverty by addressing
the most basic human needs such as Shelter and
ANOTHER storm has passed.
The winds have been stilled.
The rains have stopped, even if
momentarily in this monsoon
season. Of course, we now know
that storms just don’t disappear
(although they do eventually),
but actually travel themselves,
and may be wrecking havoc
somewhere else. We continue
to pray for those in the storm’s
path. But for now, for us, the sun
shines again, with its brightness,
with its warmth. Thank you
In the aftermath, we see the
storm’s impact—debris of up-
rooted trees, branches and leaves
strewn all over, roofs blown
away, vehicles hit by fallen
trees. Then we hear more, sadly
—flooded areas, devastated
farms, people injured, lives lost.
A storm always brings with it a
heavy toll.
But storms, while causing
damage, also bring out the best
in people. Stories of destruc-
tion are matched with inspiring
stories of heroism, of courage,
of sacrifce, of love. Through
the darkness of storms a light
always shines, a light that is
never extinguished, a light that
Education and the ANCOP Global Walk is just
one of the latest of such CFC initiatives.”
The AGW is held annually by members of Cou-
ples for Christ, through its Building the Church
of the Poor Program, ANCOP. The AGW is in-
tended to help needy public schoolchildren to be
able to stay in school by providing for their most
basic school needs such as daily allowances,
uniforms, shoes and funds for school projects.
This year, CFC Leyte mobilized to enable all of
its six sectors to bring walkers from all around
the province, contributing financially to be part
of five-kilometer walks in pre-designated loca-
tions. The funds collected from the activities
are pooled together to finance the schooling of
children studying in Leyte public schools. Jojo
Sumalinog, head of the BCOP (Building the
Church of the Poor) Directorate of CFC Leyte
said that AGW has so far funded the schooling
of 102 scholars. "We hope to do more," Suma-
linog added.
Reports from CFC leaders from all over the
province reveal that about 6,000 walkers showed
up despite the weather.
One CFC member, Elmer Tolo, stated, "The real
miracle here is that despite the rains, the threat
of illness due to the cold weather, the early as-
sembly time of 4:00 AM, or the fact that it was a
Sunday, this much crowd was able to show up.
That for me is the miracle of the AGW."
BDO Foundation turns over new multi-
purpose hall in Bulacan
THE NEW BDO Volunteer Multi-Purpose Hall
was turned over last June 26 to the members of
BDO Foundation-Red Cross Village Homeown-
ers Association in Barangay Hinukay, Baliuag,
Bulacan. The hall was built through the dona-
tions of Banco de Oro (BDO) Foundation.
Present during the turnover ceremony were
Maureen Abelardo, BDO Foundation President;
Rommel Gomez, BDO Senior Assistant Vice
President, Bulacan Area head; Hon. Carolina
Dellosa, M.D., Municipal Mayor, Baliuag, Bu-
lacan; Ricky Cuenca, CFC Chairman; George
Campos and Jimmy Ilagan, CFC International
Council and members of BCOP Team Bulacan
headed by Raffy Ballesteros, CFC Provincial
Area head as guests of honor.
A simple ribbon cutting ceremony capped the
event followed by the blessing of the hall offci-
ated by Rev. Fr. Turing Galman, Parish Priest
of Sagrada Familia Parish. This is the fourth
multipurpose hall funded by BDO Foundation.
The almost 8,500-square-meter village at
barangay Hinukay, Baliuag, Bulacan, was
given by BDO Foundation to the munici-
pality as resettlement site for the victims of
typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng on 2009 for
those living in the danger zones along the
Angat tributaries.
The resettlement project is a partnership with
the International Federation of the Red Cross
(IFRC) through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
The PRC funded and built about 106 transitory
houses while CFC ANCOP provided the values
formation program of the benefciaries. The
Baliuag local government did the site develop-
ment and planning.
Currently, CFC ANCOP is marketing this
community for prospective sponsors to re-
place these 106 transitory houses to permanent
homes. (Romy Medina)
IT wAS June 14, a good Saturday morning for the home partners of ANCOP Shelter in AVANAI, Visayas Ave. why? It
was the day ANCOP turned over the 19 fnished houses in a symbolic ceremony.
The turnover ceremony and blessing of houses was led by Fr. Bong Cabrera of the Parish of the Mary Immaculate
Concepcion. Fr. Bong reminded the home partner families of the importance of peace and love inside the family, which
are more important than the house awarded to them. (by Jhon Robert Ko)
Let the Son Shine
Joe Tale
leads to a golden sky, for it is the
light that comes from the Son.
“Let the Son shine” is how we
in CFC call our disaster response
program when calamity and
storms strike. I take this time to
honor the brothers and sisters,
who, out of their love for the Son
and for their neighbor, get out of
their comfort zones and spring
into action to help those who are
in need during times of calamity.
“Let the Son shine”, initiated
by Singles for Christ, is such an
apt name. In disasters, in addi-
tion to food and relief goods,
in addition to reconstruction
of homes and damaged infra-
structure, more than everything
else, we share the Son, Jesus,
and let His brightness shine and
overcome the darkness of every
seemingly hopeless situation,
the darkness of every injury and
sickness, the darkness that an
overwhelming sense of helpless-
ness brings.
Actually, it is not only during
storms and disasters that we
should let the Son shine. In the
everyday situation of our lives,
the Son’s brightness should
shine ever brightly. I thus take
this opportunity to honor not
only those who respond dur-
ing calamities, but all of you
brethren in the CFC family,
who day in and day out, with-
out fanfare, steadily, faithfully,
simply and humbly, even when
no one is looking, bring the
brightness and warmth of Jesus
in your homes, families, neigh-
borhoods, workplaces, in places
near and far, indeed to the ends
of the earth. This is probably
what prompted Archbishop
Jose Palma of Cebu to exclaim
during our 33rd anniversary
last June—Couples for Christ,
you are our hope, Couples for
Christ, you are our joy!
By the grace of God, nurtured
by Mary, may we in CFC con-
tinue to let the Son shine wher-
ever and whenever, storm or no
storm. Not only in song do we
burst out “Shine, Jesus Shine”
but more importantly in the lives
we lead. May we be alter Chris-
tus and refect the Son where we
are planted, such that, at the end
of the age, imperfect as we are,
may we be worthy as the wheat
in the parable and become “the
righteous (who) will shine like
the sun in the kingdom of the
Father”. (Matthew 13:43)
By Raymond V. Bucu
C3 Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
3,000 singles ‘choose Christ’
in 1st Metro Manila Recon
CLOSE to 3,000 Singles for
Christ members from the four
corners of Metro Manila focked
to Antipolo City on July 18 to
20 for the first Metro Manila
Regional Conference (Recon).
The Theme “Choose Christ”
is anchored on Philippians 1:21
“For to me life is Christ, and
death is gain”. The conference
urged the single men and wom-
en to harken and strongly make
a decision to know, imitate and
live Christ daily.
“When St. Paul encountered
Jesus,” explained SFC Metro
Manila coordinator Bob Lasala,
“everything else in his life be-
came rubbish because Christ
became his ultimate gain.” Thus
we are called to emulate St Paul,
Mother Mary and the disciples in
choosing Christ.
The 3-day Recon was packed
with sessions, workshops, and
sheer fellowship dedicated to
the encounter of choosing Christ.
Interactive booths showcasing
the different SFC programs were
also displayed.
Choose Christ in One’s Voca-
tion and the Sacraments
The conference also aimed to
aid the Singles to pursue Christ
in their personal vocations.
With most of the SFC’s in
their productive 20’s and 30’s,
workshops held tackled the
practical specifcs of choosing
Christ in the workplace whether
in the corporate, business, health
or other fields. Other work-
shops also encouraged singles to
choose Christ while harnessing
the power of social media.
Priests, nuns, brothers and
sisters from various religious
orders set up booths spreading
cheerful information and invita-
tion into the religious vocation.
Individual consultations with
the religious were held which
addressed the needs of the sin-
gles seeking vocation advice.
Confession was also available
where the participants patiently
queued to receive the life-restor-
ing Sacrament.
The Holy Mass was celebrated
each day on top of the vibrant
worship and plenary. “It is
easier to live for Christ, when
you know Christ”, said Most
Rev. Francisco De Leon, Aux-
iliary Bishop of the Diocese of
Antipolo in his homily. “There
is a big difference between, ‘I
know Christ’ and ‘I know about
Christ’. To know him, we must
encounter him”.
Faith stronger than generator
Day one commenced amidst
generator-powered staging, with
SFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker
Tox Remojo delivering Talk 1 –
Christ is Alive. “Jesus comes
to us in our deep sadness, para-
lyzing fears, doubts and guilt.”
He further exhorted that with
Christ, we are never the same
again because we are changed
by His living presence in us.
The night was capped by a cer-
emonial lighting of candles that
bathed the stadium in a sea of
warm light, showing that no
power interruption in Antipolo
can stop the light of Christ in the
hearts of the SFCs.
On day two, Ghie Guzman,
SFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker,
gave Talk 2- Hearts On Fire and
urged everyone that “It is our
faith in Christ that gives us joy
and peace.” She went on to say
that Mama Mary, the cause of our
joy and queen of peace, should
be our model of strengthen our
faith. Together, the SFCs opened
tiny neon paper envelopes that
revealed Bible passages on faith.
The talk ended with a Prayer of
SFC Cluster Coordinator Nick
Escalona delivered talk 3 entitled
Hearts in Love. He reminded
that God wants an inner union
with us, which will only be
possible by being like Jesus – in
humility, in obedience and in
The Recon was also an apt
opportunity to launch one of the
newest SFC advocacies –Gen-
eration Christ. It is an advocacy
calling singles to choose to “live
simply, live freely, live fully”
through a lifestyle hinged on
modesty, purity and faith in
Christ. In the same vein, Day
2 closed with a Clubpraise, the
SFC’s take on partying which
is, as one of the night’s trending
hashtag describes, #goodclean-
fun. This time the partying
SFCs, clad in solid block colors,
were encouraged to go around
to meet both old friends and
new acquaintances alike to take
a selfe or a “we-fe”. Pumping
dance music and fashing strobe
lights fooded the plenary hall in
the spirit of pure fun.
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
On Day 3, Bob Lasala capped
the final Talk – Life is Christ,
with the affrming words that
“Even before you choose Christ,
God chose you frst,” since we
are able to love because He frst
loved us (1 John 4:19). Thus we
are called to live a full life that
can only be done through a life
for Christ and with Christ. The
talk concluded with a prayer
asking the Holy Spirit to pour
and fow unto the congregation.
The SFC crowd were later ral-
lied to the “Isang Sigaw” chant
which is a unity battlecry for all
singles as one SFC Metro Manila
community. A rousing praisef-
est ended the conference which
further edifed the conviction to
choose Christ because there is “L-
I-F-E in Christ”, that is, through
Christ we are Loved, Inspired,
Forgiven and Empowered.
The singles brought home
with them a renewed vigor to
“choose Christ”.
By Ericson Paraguya
SarGen celebrates 21st Anniversary
LAST JUNE 15, 2014, the province of Sarangani
and General Santos City (SARGEN) celebrated
its 21st Anniversary attended by about 1,000
members of the Couples for Christ and its fam-
ily ministries. Several activities were done on
a weeklong activity. No less than IC member
James Solano, former Region Head and Pro-
vincial Area Head of the said province, graced
the occasion.
We started the weeklong anniversary with
a Blood Letting activity in coordination with
the Philippine National Red Cross last June 12,
2014 held at the Veranza Mall General Santos
with the theme “Dugo Mo, Buhay Ko”. The
event was attended by hundreds of members of
CFC, SFC, YFC, HOLD & SOLD. After thorough
screening, 47 members were successful blood
donors. The Philippine National Red Cross was
overwhelmed by the number of donors.
During the weekend, the members gathered
at Tropicana beach resort, General Santos City to
celebrate the Anniversary Day and the Father’s
day at the same time. It also coincided with
the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. The day was
started with a Holy Mass presided by Rev. Fr.
Eugene Porras. A fellowship lunch followed
where families shared their blessings with one
In the afternoon, Region Head Hector Simpli-
cio and Area Head Irwin Pagdalian gave their
inspirational messages. The different Clusters
showcased their talents in Hawaiian inspired
performances. Pinoy family games were joined
by the members remembering the games they
played in their childhood days and enjoyed
every moment of the day.
It was indeed a successful celebration of 21
years of guidance and blessings from the Lord.
CFC Cagayan Province
celebrates 21st anniversary
facebook.com/CFC.Global.Mission @CFChrist
The Ugnayan News Supplement is published by the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc.,
with editorial offces at 156 20th Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City.
Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 23
Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856
George B. Campos
IC Oversight
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Associate Editor
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Circulation Staff
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Layout Artist
The News Supplement
of Couples for Christ
COUPLES for Christ(CFC) Cagayan celebrated
the 21st Anniversary with the theme "Behold and
Ponder" on July 11-12, 2014 at Solana, Cagayan.
The celebration started with a fellowship
night at the Solana Parish Center in July 11. It
was an opportune time for Steve Maningat, the
Northeastern Luzon Regional Area Head and
Bong Pagulayan, Provincial Area Head, with
the members of the Area Governance Team,
Pedring Favila, Pete Malaki, Mike Calimag
and Mac Bautista, with their wives Nery, Beth,
Mayet and Naneth, to meet and have fellowship
with His Excellency Most Rev. Ricardo Baccay,
Auxilliary Bishop of Tuguegarrao, with the two
assistant Parish Priests, Father Rusty Aggabao
and Father Dante Dela Cruz.
The night was flled with dancing, songs and
games which kept the visitors and CFC, HOLD
and SFC members from the different vicariates
up on their feet up to midnight.
The next day, July 12, 2014, a motorcade
around the town of Solana opened the activites
for the 21st Anniversary celebration. Mass at the
Municipal Gymnasium was offciated by Bishop
Baccay, after which the program proper was
opened with gathering songs led by the CFC
Solana Music Ministry.
Hon. Mayor Meynard Carag, represented
by the Municapl Administrator, Mr. Narciso
Taquiqui, welcomed the guests and delegates.
CFC Solana Chapter Leader Pete Malaki wel-
comed the delegates from Aparri, Pamplona,
Sta Ana, Ballesteros , Tuguegarao and Itawes
vicariate with his welcome remarks. The inspi-
rational message was given by Steve Maningat.
It was his frst appearance to the CFC Cagayan
community as the new Regional Area Head.
This was followed by the presentation of frst
5 ANCOP scholars of the province by Mike
Calimag. Intermission numbers were presented
by CFC members from Amulong East Unit and
Pamplona Chapter before the lunch break.
The afternoon worship was led by Tony
Cabungcal. The new Governance Team Leaders
as well as the Family Ministry Provincial Coor-
dinators and SFC Leaders were prayed over by
Steve Maningat. Afterwards, Bong Pagulayan,
Provincial Area Head, gave the CFC updates
and closing remarks. Intermission numbers
were presented by Itawes and Tuguegarao
vicariates before the CFC Cagayan 21st an-
niversary was closed with powerful praisefest
led by Richard Espaniola, SFC-North Eastern
Luzon Regional Head.
By Agapito Malaki
• Research, Development and Innovation
CFCI will foster research, development and in-
novation among its faculty, staff and students to
create new dynamic approaches to attaining the
mission and vision of CFC.
In developing this program, CFCI may be guid-
ed by the models presented by the ADB Institute
and the World Bank Institute.
The ADB Institute is the think tank of the Asian
Development Bank (ADB). It carries out research
on development issues with strategic implications
for development thinking and policy formulation.
It hosts presentations by distinguished experts
and publishes books and papers to strengthen
policy making. It also offers capacity building and
training programs to promote sound development
management, identify appropriate policies, and
implement them effectively.
The World Bank Institute supports the op-
erational work of the World Bank. It conducts
research to fnd innovative solutions to various
development issues. It develops tools, methods
and online platforms to facilitate open and col-
laborative development processes among its
stakeholders in three key areas: competitions and
challenges, innovation labs, and development
In the same manner, CFCI will serve as the
think tank of CFC. It will carry out research and
development, fnd innovative solutions, and de-
velop tools, methods and platforms on issues of
importance and relevance to CFC such as family
life, evangelization and mission, personal holiness,
work with the poor, CFC history and develop-
ment, and others. It will publish books and articles
and offer capacity building and training programs
to promote the CFC mission and vision, identify
appropriate policies and help their effective im-
• Advisory Services
CFCI will put its knowledge, experience and
expertise together to advise the CFC International
Council on policies related to promoting and at-
taining the mission and vision of CFC.
In exercising this function, CFCI may learn
from the experience and practices of the National
Academy of Science and Technology, which
provides advisory services to the policy making
bodies of the government, including the Philip-
pine President, in science and technology and
related areas.
Following this model, CFCI may, in the long
term, be able to provide expert advice or expert
opinion on issues that are of relevance to the
Church and the daily Christian life.
• Knowledge Management
CFCI will store, share and manage knowledge to
promote and attain the mission and vision of CFC.
This involves, among others, storing and manag-
ing mission reports, teachings and lectures, articles
and publications, minutes of meetings, and the like
to facilitate search and knowledge sharing. It also
involves connecting CFCI to global knowledge
and learning, that is, to knowledge that can be the
source of inspiration and practical know-how to
help attain the CFC vision and mission.
• Recognition and Awards
CFCI will give recognition and confer awards
to CFC members, clergy, and/or partners for out-
standing achievements in promoting and attaining
the mission and vision of CFC.
The SEC approved the Articles of Incorporation
and Bylaws of the CFC Global Institute Founda-
tion or CFC Institute (CFCI) for short last February
2014 with the 9 International Council members as
the incorporators. The initial 5 Board of Trustees
(BOT) and Offcers are: Jun Uriarte as Chairman,
Mannix Ocampo as President, Arnel Santos as
Vice President, George Campos as Secretary and
Jimmy Ilagan as Treasurer.
Currently, CFCI membership has been expand-
ed to 25 members. During the frst membership
meeting held last July 15, the body unanimously
re-elected the original 5 Trustees to nurture the
Institute in its infancy stage.
Vol. 18 No. 15
July 21 - August 3, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Macau and Hongkong Mission
YFC USA Revival!
ONE Word best describes this Conference...PAS-
"REVIVAL", the YFC conference theme inspired
every person both the young and old to passion-
ately serve and give everything to the Lord. 500
youth rocked the Stotts Center at Portland State
University through worship, singing our very own
"Liveloud" songs. Aside from the powerful talks
and personal testimonies, the "Torch" of leadership
was passed on to the younger generation.
Patrick Villanueva, the eldest son of CFC USA's
national director, Eric Villanueva, led the very
last praisefest exhorting every youth to take on
the challenge as the torch was passed on to him
by former CFC Youth USA FTW John Yumul. The
ceremony was so affrming and empowering.
Shok Ariola gave the frst talk "Hearts on
Fire" through a Liveloud Worship then Lace
Macapinlac (CFC Youth Mission Worker for
USA) gave the second talk "JESUS LIVE".
Father Carey Revita, former CFC Youth from
Bicol, delivered the third talk "The Beloved"
and John Yumul gave the Last talk "Behold,
YFC Revival".
Truly there was Great Revival in this con-
ference that fostered a sense of confdence in
the future among us (the older generation).
As a father I felt this certain sense of security
for my Daughter who will be turning 5 this
August. Kylee will be in good hands because
CFC Youth will take care of her the way how
God took care of me and my wife when we
were CFC Youth.
CFC is not just a community for the "Pre-
sent"... but a community for a "Lifetime"
2014 SFC USA National Conference
300 SFC members attended
the 2014 SFC USA National
Conference at Westin O'hare,
Rosemont IL. It was a very
intimate and personal confer-
ence. This year marked SFC
USA's 20th anniversary. Del-
egates enjoyed the all white
"Venetian Night" party with
Gospel Artist Mike Mangione
delivering his soulful music.
Very powerful talks were
delivered that spoke about the
SFC's journey as an individual
and as a community towards the
Cross. US National Core team
Mike Delanoche gave the frst
talk "Journey for a lifetime",
Kaye Ferreira also SFC National
core tackled Talk 2 entitled "The
one who remained", Raymund
Sucgang former SFC USA Na-
tional Core and Present AGT of
Maryland gave the 3rd talk "To
Jesus Through Mary" and Shok
Ariola delivered the Last talk
"Journey Beyond". Inspiring tes-
timonies were given by various
SFC members from all over USA.
Aside from the Theme, the
20th anniversary celebration
highlighted SFC USA's end of
the 20th year and the begin-
ning of the next 20 years. It was
truly inspiring to see fellow
SFCs exhorting each other to
take the lead towards the next
20 years of mission, to lead the
By Mike Serapio
By Mike Serapio
Meet the Future CFC Youth Full
Time workers of USA
Faith Experience in CFC Palau
the 26,000 population of Palau.
This mission trip is a follow through of
our recent mission last March together with
Bro Vic and Sis Joy Mayor of CFC Cebu
when we conducted the echo of the Behold
and Ponder Leaders conference. We also
conducted the HER 1 for HOLD and we
conducted the SER 1 for SOLD, Love confer-
ence for SFC and series of household prayer
meetings for CFC, HOLD and SOLD. CLP
talks for the frst module were also given to
start another their CLP. 14 new members
were added after the CLP.
The CFC Palau community is growing
in strength and in faith and has respond-
ed greatly to the work of evangelization.
They will conduct for the first time,
separate CLPs for CFC, SFC, HOLD and
SOLD to show that each family ministry
has grown and can stand on its own.
Thanks to the supportive CFC palau gov-
ernance team members: Bro Francis/Sis
Rose Kiep (country head), Bro Dandy/
Sis Liaben Bunda (PFO), Bro Sabino/
Julie Sackarias (mission support), Bro
Dennis/Sis Merlyn Gonzales (family
Min) and Bro Raymond/Sis Cherry Yutis
(mission and evangelization). They also
started to support the social develop-
ment program by assigning Sis Miriam
Chin, a HOLD member who is also the
wife of the senate president. Though
the community hunger for the Word
of God, they have also started to look
beyond themselves as to how they can
bring more locals to the community so
they can share the same experience, the
love of God. The next mission trip will
be this coming November to continue
the pastoral formation of the community.
More power CFC Palau.
WE MADE our 3rd mission trip to CFC
Palau last July 1 to July 15, 2014. We
were to conduct a series of teachings
and retreats together with our Cebu
PAH, Bro Hermie/Sis Remy Vargas
along with SFC Cebu BCOP fulltime
Pastoral worker Sis Adrianne Adriano.
It turned out to be a faith experience
mission trip for my wife Neneng and
I because of a sever allergy attacks of
my wife Neneng that cause dher to have
diffculty in walking because her joints
were swollen. I was tempted to send
her home. She was taken cared of by
Dr. Glenda Santo-Aguaras, a Palau CFC
member, who gave her a steroid shot.
IN the Philippines, our son Addie was
also hospitalized due to measles while
we were still in Palau. The mission was
full of oppressions and challenges and
we knew it was because we will have
a lot of pastoral formations to do for
the growth of the community in Palau
as planned during our December 2013
visit. We conducted the Covenant
Orientation, Evangelization trainings,
Training for Spiritual gifts, and the
Christian Personal Relationship Retreat
for CFC and Knights Tale/Princess
Diaries Weekend 1 for SFCs. We also
conducted two youth camps and at-
tended several household.
The CFC Palau Governance team led
by their Country Head, Bro Francis and
Sis Rose Kiep, a Palauan couple brought
us to meet the CFC Palau spiritual di-
rector Fr. Rusk Saburo and to discuss
how and what CFC can do to support
the parish. There are only 2 priests for
By Arnel Sacris
The CFC Youth Conference ended with a "Bang" with the conduct of the "On Fire" Mission Volunteers
Program Training, the MVP. This training aims to provide an environment for the young to discern
for YFC Full Time work. 30 CFC Youth from all over the US attended the 3-day training listening to
informative and empowering talks. This training allowed the participants to understand the Global
nature of CFC and the structure that supports the mission. The trainees also did a random acts of
kindness "RAK" activity at the heart of Portland City, Pioneer Square, famously know as "Portlandia".
The training further "stirred" the hearts of the youth.. we pray that the "Disturbance" by the spirit
will lead each and everyone to where the Lord is calling them. - Mike Serapio
the SFC Christian Character and the
CFC MER 1 and 2. 5 couples from the
household of Chito Magsajo joined the
mission volunteer team for CFC.
The Weekend Retreats were spirit
flled and CFC, HOLD and SFC mem-
bers came in full force to be nourished
by the Word of God and to fellowship
with one another. This is a first in
many years and the brethren enjoyed
the fun Saturday night fellowship that
started with a Lord’s day. Macau lead-
ers Danny Ngo and wife Senen, Don
Bautista and Dante Quejano led the
Macau service team that hosted the
events very ably.
HONGKONG and Macau are 2 former
British and Portuguese dependencies
transferred to China in the late 1990s
and now comprise the China Special
Administrative Regions.
HOLD Macau is the biggest ministry
in CFC Macau. Mission Volunteers
Tess Arguelles and Tiara Fontanilla
joined Bernie Cuevas, HOLD SAR
Coordinator to conduct the frst ever
Marian Conference and HER 2 during
the weekend of July 5-6 at the Choc Van
Center located in Coloan. The HOLD
activity was done simultaneously with
By Bernie Cuevas CFC HOLD has been blessed by the
Lord to restart HOLD Hongkong with
10 new members who graduated from
the recent CLP that ended last June,
2014. Selah Conejos, the previously
lone HOLD member there, served with
the CFC HK to conduct the frst CLP af-
ter years of hibernation. Jing Mangente,
supported by husband Tony graciously
accepted the HOLD leadership in HK.
The mission team was hosted by Bro
Jun and Sis Merlin Cayabyab of CFC
DFA. CFC HK headed by Bro Vic and
Sis Bhebie Varon led the service team
and arranged the schedules of the mis-
sion team.
Knights of Columbus
Hope after Haiyan
With councils throughout the Philippines, the Order offers relief to typhoon victims
By Brian Caulfeld
THE destructive force of
Typhoon Haiyan (locally
code-named “Yolanda”)
can be measured in many
ways: the 195-mile-per-
hour winds and 20-foot
ocean surges; the 6,000-
plus death toll and sea-
side villages reduced to
splintered piles of wood;
or the millions of people
displaced as the super ty-
phoon tore a gash across
the center of the Philip-
pines, from the Pacific
Ocean to the South Chi-
na Sea, in what experts
are calling the strongest
storm ever recorded to
make landfall.
Months after the storm
of early November 2013,
pain and sorrow still
mark the lives of sur-
vivors as the work of
recovery and rebuilding
Yet there is more to
the story than nature’s
unbounded fury and the
grim toll of death, de-
struction and grief left
in its wake. There is the
indomitable spirit of the
Filipino people—a spirit
of courage that impelled
those on safe ground to
venture into churning
tides to save friends, fam-
ily and even strangers;
a spirit of charity that
prompted those who
were pounded by previ-
ous storms to collect relief
goods and money for the
victims of Haiyan; and
a spirit of hope that saw
families banding together
under makeshift tarpau-
lin shelters, with neigh-
bors consoling neighbors
who lost loved ones and
sharing what little food
and water they had left.
All of these actions
were bound together by
a spirit of faith in this
predominantly Catholic
country, a faith that led
Archbishop Jose Palma
of Cebu, whose northern
regions were battered
by the storm, to declare:
“No typhoon or flood
can diminish the strength
of the Filipino soul. No
calamity or natural disas-
ter can quench the fre of
our soul.” Using the local
name for the typhoon, he
added, “The Filipino soul
is stronger than Yolanda.”
Knights there to help
Both during and after
the storm, Knights of
Columbus were there—
sometimes as victims,
but also as rescuers and
relief agents with a com-
mitment to provide long-
term assistance.
“As we work to assist
those who have suffered
so much in the Philip-
pines, they will also re-
main in our prayers,”
said Supreme Knight
Carl A. Anderson. “The
Knights of Columbus has
a long tradition of chari-
table service in the Phil-
ippines, and our efforts
there on behalf of those
affected will continue in
that spirit. Locally and
internationally, we are
committed to helping the
people of the Philippines
rebuild their lives.”
The Order established
councils in the Philip-
pines in 1905, and to-
day there are more than
300,000 Knights in some
2,500 councils in the three
jurisdictions of Luzon,
Mindanao and Visayas.
When Haiyan hit, the
Supreme Council an-
nounced an immediate
emergency disbursement
of $250,000. In the fol-
lowing weeks, Knights
and others sent $500,000
more in donations to the
Order’s emergency relief
fund. In addition to help-
ing the dioceses hardest
hit by the storm—allow-
ing bishops to continue
their charitable works
among their people—
these funds have been
used to support a K of C
relief center on the out-
skirts of the ravaged area,
where food, water, cloth-
ing and other goods are
distributed to the most
needy. The funds have
also purchased basic ma-
terials for fishermen to
get back to work, and for
farmers to start clearing
and working their felds
As international relief
agencies such as Catholic
Relief Services, which has
committed $20 million to
recovery efforts, attend
to the larger issues, the
Knights of Columbus
has been employing its
on-the-ground council
structure to identify un-
derserved areas and bring
direct assistance.
Using Supreme Council
funds, the Visayas State
Council, under Deputy
Rodrigo N. Sorongon,
purchased canned goods,
rice, bottled water, uten-
sils and other necessities,
and packed them in sacks
for delivery to remote
villages. Relief supplies
were transported along
muddy roads to northern
Cebu two days after the
storm. Truckloads of sup-
plies followed, and were
distributed in areas along
the Pacifc coast that suf-
fered the greatest losses.
Vi c e nt e Bal l on, a
Knight who lost loved
ones and who barely es-
caped the storm himself,
offered a glimpse of the
destructive force of Hai-
yan. He described how
three successive ocean
surges carried away fam-
ily members and fnally
left him clinging for life to
a mangrove tree. His wife
was in Manila at the time,
and they were reunited
a few days later after he
was able to board a mili-
tary evacuation plane.
“The height of the wa-
ter was 15 to 18 feet. The
winds were blowing really
hard,” said Ballon, a mem-
ber of San Joaquin Council
13493 in Palo. “It happened
so fast, only seconds, and
they were gone.”
He paused.
“It’s hard to talk about
what happened. How will
I rebuild? I don’t know
yet,” he added.
Signs of hope
Cardinal Luis Antonio
Tagle of Manila traveled
to Tacloban City for the
Palo Archdiocese’s jubilee
in late November 2013.
He told Columbia that
when he first saw the
scarred hills, once thick
with coconut and palm
trees, and the huge piles
of wood that had made
up thousands of homes,
his thoughts turned to the
human suffering.
“If this is the result of the
storm,” he remarked, “imag-
ine what the people were
going through at the time all
this was happening.”
After Mass, a woman
approached the cardinal
to discuss the needs of
the people. He asked how
she and her family would
celebrate Christmas amid
so much destruction. “She
said that maybe with ev-
erything that they had
lost, this would be the
first time they will be
able to appreciate the true
meaning of Christmas,”
Cardinal Tagle recalled.
“Without the lights and
the wrapped gifts, they
would truly know how
simple Christmas can be,
like the poor Christ Child
in the manger.”
Archbishop John Du of
Palo offered another sign
of hope when he decided
to conduct previously
scheduled priestly ordi-
nations in the cathedral
— even though parts of
its roof were gone. A tarp
was placed over the altar
and the shell of the cathe-
dral was flled to capacity
with people seeking the
strength and solace of
their Catholic faith. Arch-
bishop Du said that to
postpone the ordinations
would be to deprive pa-
rishioners of new priests
in a time of crisis.
Likewise, Pope Fran-
cis showed his solidar-
ity with the victims with
prayers and a monetary
donation immediately
after the storm. At the end
of December, his apostolic
nuncio to the Philippines,
Archbishop Giuseppe
Pinto, stayed with Arch-
bishop Du to celebrate
Christmas Mass and to
bring the pope’s blessing,
prayers and best wishes to
the Filipino people.
Archbi shop Pal ma,
who recently served as
president of the Catho-
lic Bishops’ Conference
of the Philippines, has
a special connection to
the area. He was arch-
bishop of Palo before
bei ng named t o t he
Archdiocese of Cebu in
2010. In an interview at
his residence, he said,
“It’s so inspiring to see
from here in Cebu and
from all over the world,
caravans of aid being
delivered to people. It’s
so inspiring to hear the
testimonies of children,
like one little child cel-
ebrating his birthday,
and instead of asking
for gifts for himself, he
said to his father that he
will send his gifts to the
children in Leyte. It is
inspiring to know that
in Iligan, which suffered
the typhoon and flood
the other year, together
with Cagayan de Oro,
the bishop said that they
have more than 5,000
sacks of rice for Leyte.”
Second collections in
dioceses throughout the
Philippines for Haiyan
relief have consistently
been larger than the usual
Mass collections, Arch-
bishop Palma also noted.
Almost forgotten in
Hai yan’ s af t er mat h
was the 7.2-magnitude
earthquake that struck
the Visayas region in
mid-October, causing
heavy destruction and
toppling the bell tower
of the historic Basilica
of Santo Niño de Cebu,
near the site where Fer-
dinand Magellan plant-
ed a cross for Chri st
in 1521 during his trip
around the globe.
Archbishop Palma said
the people have good rea-
son to feel weary from
disasters, and many are
in need of counseling and
encouragement. Yet the
prayers, outpouring of aid
and solidarity from around
the globe have provided
much consolation.
The archbishop added,
“It may cost us millions,
and we will need help
from all over, as we have
already seen, but the faith
of the people will rebuild,
sooner than many expect.”
the editor of Fathers for
Good and vice postula-
tor for the canonization
cause of Venerable Father
Michael McGivney, the
founder of the Knights of
Columbus. He is also a col-
umnist of CBCP Monitor.
This article is lifted from
Columbia, the monthly
magazine of the Knights of
A fisherman happily speeds home after receiving his new
motorized fishing boat from the Knights of Columbus after a turn-
over ceremony that was held in Basey, Samar on June 3, 2014. In
Eastern Visayas, one hundred boats have already been awarded to
poor fishermen who lost their boats to the fury of typhoon Yolanda.
Another hundred will be distributed to fishermen in Central and
Western Visayas come August. Ronalyn Regino
A Catholic priest administers the blessing of fishing boats that were awarded by the Knights of Columbus to fishermen whose fishing boats
were lost to the fury of typhoon Haiyan in Basey, Samar, 23 July 2014. Roy Lagarde
Knights of Columbus
The wisdom of obedience
By Fr. Dennis P. de Leon
TO be honest, I don't know
where and how to start. It
feels like I am already very
exhausted telling all about
this very traumatic and pain-
ful experience. Every visitor
that comes to visit our parish
would ask me, “Father, what
happened to you during the
Typhoon Yolanda? Please tell
us about it. Over and over
again, same story is being nar-
rated. Sometimes, I already feel
tired talking and reminiscing
about Yolanda. But, as they say
it, I cannot do otherwise. Once
again here I am to share with
you my experience.
In my entire life, Typhoon
Yolanda, I must say was my
worst nightmare. I thought it
was the end of my priesthood,
my last day in the parish.
It all started on Nov. 7, 2013,
Thursday, around 3:00 p.m.,
I was in Brgy. Camparang,
Tubabao Island, one of the ba-
rangay under the San Lorenzo
Parish. I had been receiving a
lot of text messages, one from
our bishop, Crispin Varquez
saying, “Father, Ingat pirmi”.
My family called up telling
me to go to Guiuan instead of
going back to Manicani after
my Mass in Tubabao. With all
the advice, I still went back to
my parish. I was thinking then
if that this typhoon was really
strong, the more my parishio-
ners would need me spiritu-
ally. At around 7:00 p.m. (I
was in Manicani by this time),
I went to the parish church and
saw a lot of families evacuat-
ing to the church, around ffty
individuals including children
and babies still being cuddled
by their worried mothers. After
checking them, I went back to
the convent, had my dinner
and routine activities. Around
11:00 p.m., the strong wind
blew and heavy rain began
to pour.
Nov. 8, 2013, by 2:40 a.m.,
the weather had become worse
than I thought it would be. My
convent started to collapse
while all of us were still inside
our rooms. Everything seems
to be falling everywhere. I was
almost hit by falling trusses
and concrete walls that were
starting to break, in my at-
tempt to recover some of my
clothes and other important
belongings. I thought I was
going to die that very moment,
but then maybe it wasn't re-
ally my time yet, maybe God
still wanted me to live longer.
Thinking that my convent
cannot stand any longer after
what happened, I decided
to move out of the convent,
together with my sacristans,
and join other families in the
church. We immediately ran to
the church but unfortunately
three of my sacristans were
left behind, unable to follow
us because a heavy wood fell
and blocked the door out of
the convent instantaneously
after me and my three others
sacristans had left. I was very
anxious because of the three
who were still left behind,
but it was too risky to go back
because the wind was very
strong plus the very heavy rain
that we hardly see the way to
the church.
At around 3:20 a.m., because
of the never ending rain and
strong wind, we couldn’t help
but worry because at the back
of our mind, the typhoon is still
getting stronger anytime soon.
Time checked, 4:00 a.m., the
church started to collapse, the
strong wind began to remove
the roofng of the church. We
were all wet and had no place
to hide. We were only thankful
that no one died due to hypo-
thermia, but we knew we were
still facing death. We had no
other choice but to hide at the
very edge of the church, which
is made of concrete. I could see
mothers cuddling their babies
tightly, with their little children
on their side. Fathers trying
to look brave, but I could see
in their eyes what they feared
for, and were worried about
the safety of their family. Ev-
eryone started crying asking
me, “Father, when is this going
to end?” I looked at them and
could hardly say a word for I
too feel what all of them were
feeling, fear, worry, anxiety,
a mix of emotions I could
hardly recognized. Then tears
fell down my cheeks without
noticing. This is the main rea-
son why as much as possible
I did not want to write about
my experience during the Ty-
phoon Yolanda. Remembering
the event that has been too
painful seems to be refreshing
everything that had happened
to me and my parishioners.
When the South wind began
to blow at around 4:15 a.m.
to 4:30 a.m., when I almost
thought the wind would soon
calm down, I tried to look at
the convent where the three of
my sacristans were left. To my
dismay, the convent was totally
washed out, seems to have no
signs of survivors. I said to my-
self, “With what I am seeing, I
am not sure if my sacristans
have survived. I began to feel
weak, tired hopeless and dev-
astated. Seeing my convent,
which seemed as if it had been
demolished and thinking that
no one would ever survive
such a situation, tears rolling
down on my cheeks once more.
While I was writing this,
it seemed like I am having a
fashback of the event, of how
difficult our situation had
been. When the storm surge
began, one of the fathers told
me that the water inside the
church was starting to get
high and he asked us to go up
and stay at the altar. Only few
seconds after we had moved,
the water gradually went high
almost reaching the neck of
those people who were still
standing on the ground foor.
We all started to get worried.
Others were already hysterical.
I could almost hear the cries of
the children. A tearful mother,
asked me what they must do,
what we must do. I knew I had
to be strong in spite of fear. I
slowly stood up, looking at
them, seeing the fear and hope-
lessness in their faces, with
courage I said to them “Let us
pray, let us pray.” One of them
even said, “Father, we had
been praying ever since the
typhoon started, but it seemed
like nothing has happened.
But I insisted that we all pray.
Thinking that we had to be
united and give support to one
another, I told them, “We are
not going to leave each other.
No one will leave the church.
We will all stay together until
we die.” Then everyone started
to pray and cry once more.
That very moment I knew
I could no longer control my
emotions, I started crying. I
prayed as if I was celebrating
the Eucharist. With hands ex-
tended as I said, “Lord, even
in this very diffcult situation I
will never doubt your love and
mercy on me, on us.” Then I
continued praying, “Lord, you
have chosen me as a priest, I
know you hear my prayer. If I
die today, receive me and these
people in heaven, because I
believe in eternal life”. I still
wanted to complain though,
I said, “Lord, why is this way
of dying so diffcult (with teary
eyes), but if this is Your will,
Thy will be done. (I realized
how diffcult it was to accept
death). Looking down at the
water moving like a whirl-
wind, moving fast, I said to
myself in surrender, “This is
it, I am going to die.”
Trapped in such a situation,
one by one, I held each head of
the people near me and gave
them general absolution. At
around 5:00 a.m., the water
then slowly began to subside,
hope started to flicker once
more in our hearts but we still
could not manage to stop cry-
ing because of the situation
we were still in. By 5:45 a.m.,
when the weather seemed to
calm down a bit, I insisted go-
ing out of the church to check
on my three sacristans who
were left at the convent. Parish-
ioners attempted to prevent
me from going out because
the wind was still strong but
I insisted. To my great relief,
I saw them all, thanks God
they were safe. They too were
worried for they even thought
that we at the church had not
survived seeing the destruc-
tion made by the typhoon to
the church. I asked them where
they hid, with teary eyes, they
told me they were holding
on to a rope and others were
hanging on the wall and if the
wind had not stopped, they
might had died for they were
already tired of hanging and
holding on while strong wind
were blowing. (We did a group
hug then.)
After making sure that my
parishioners and sacristans
were safe, I started to worry
for my family, and how they
are doing. I started praying
once again, this time for my
love ones’ safety. I refused to
think of the worst that might
have happened, but only I
asked God to keep them safe. I
could not bear to lose them, for
I love them so much. Only four
days after the typhoon, it was
then I learned that my family
was safe. Thank God. I could
barely eat and sleep during
those days without any news
about my family. That very
day, I was relieved.
The vessels and other ma-
terials I had been using in
celebrating the Eucharist were
all gone. I still had to borrow
some from my brother priests.
I was then able to celebrate the
Eucharist on the Feast of the
Christ the King. I even held
the Mass at the barangay plaza
because the church was still of
no use. A lot of cleaning still
had to be done. Almost 25 in-
dividuals were declared dead
in my parish (Manicani, Vic-
tory and Tubabao Island) San
Lorenzo Ruiz Parish. My very
frst Mass after the destructive
typhoon was very emotional.
Everyone had his/her own
experiences to share and relate
to others. One of the men who
attended the Mass approached
me after the celebration and
said, “We were all thankful that
we had listened and believed
in you. Father, if you were not
there, we definitely would
have panicked, decided, and
moved on our own. We might
even go out of the church
and decide to go to a higher
place such as the mountain in
spite the heavy rain and very
strong wind. And if we had
left the church we surely could
have not survived and die.” A
woman also came to me and
said, “Father, you know what,
after you placed your hand on
our heads (for general absolu-
tion) our faith grew stronger
and we believed that we would
all be safe”. They were sur-
prised though, after knowing
that what I did was a general
absolution. Some even said
“Hala pan departure na ngay-
an adto” (Oh my, that was an
act of fnal goodbye!), for they
were thinking that what I did
was to strengthen their faith
and to lessen their worries.
After all these, I realized
that maybe this was the main
reason why I had not left my
parish when I had a choice not
to go back. Whether we like it
or not our hearts and decision-
making as priests always come
out no matter what happens
especially when we have to
face trials.
Again, I realized the “Wis-
dom of Obedience”. Why?
When the bishop told me that
I will be assigned in Manicani,
I couldn't help but worry espe-
cially that Manicani had a very
long and unresolved issue on
mining, particularly the min-
ing violations. I might as well
say, I also feared that because
Manicani is an island, I would
be travelling by sea, and I don't
know how to swim, the bishop
knew it. But then again, my
ability to swim is not an issue,
what matter is my obedience to
saying: Yes to the will of God
and the bishop.
I thank God so much for the
gift of new life. Thank you to
my brother priests, especially
to our bishop, Crispin Varquez,
for his undying support and
prayer for all his entire priests
in the diocese. Thank you too,
to Fr. Euly and Msgr. Pepe for
trusting and believing in me,
and for the encouragement.
Thank you to the 10 barangays
under the San Lorenzo Parish.
God did not allow me to die
for maybe I still have a mission
in life as a priest, especially with
the approaching re-shuffing of
parishes. I guess I have to end my
sharing here, I don't want to see
you guys yawning after reading
this. (Hope you were not bored
by this story). Till then.

(Rev. Fr. Dennis P. de Leon is the
parish priest of San Lorenzo Ruiz
in Manicani-Tubabao Island,
Guiuan E. Samar where super
typhoon Yolanda made its frst
Hoping at Roofless Nights
By Fr. Michael Gadicho
THREE days after super typhoon
Yolanda battered the Vizayas, I went
home to Lawaan, one of the Eastern
Samar towns severely hit by the
storm. Over 200 kilometres away, I
cruised the river on a motorboat for
three hours from Concepcion where
I am ministering and hit the road on
a motorcycle for another four hours
with a gallon of gasoline, a bag of rice,
a few cans of sardines, and a heart
loaded with fear. I can’t remember
how many times I shed tears as I
passed through damaged towns and
defaced barrios, once thriving in silent
hope and simple beauty, now a one
big mess.
I arrived Lawaan at sundown but it
was a morning joy I felt upon seeing
my brothers and their families alive.
At twilight, we feasted on meager
rice and sardines with neighbors
under the clear evening sky, since
our house was a total wreck. I caught
a glimpse of the glistening stars, the
only beautiful things we see days after
the tempest, aside from the smiles of
survivors. It has become for us that
night a reminder to hold our heads
up high. On the days ahead, hope
started closing in, as we saw gener-
osity exuding and the world practi-
cally becoming one big family where
everyone shelters, feeds, and nurses
the homeless, hungry, and hurting.
The super typhoon claimed lives of
our loved ones but friends rushed to
us and made us feel we are loved. It
hurt us so bad but we became stron-
ger as a people. It challenged our faith
but brought us closer to God and one
another. It destroyed our houses but
many homes emerged—if home is
defned as sheltered ties where you
feel you’re not alone and shall never
be abandoned (as the slogans shouted
“Walang iwanan! Waray baya-ay!”).
We wish to forget the horror that be-
fall us but we never fail to remember
the feat of goodness brewing in the
midst of distress.
One comment on a CNN site made
many of us proud: “Time to get know
the Filipino people…unbelievably
resilient, long suffering, good natured,
uber friendly, loyal, ingenius, and a
bunch of survivors. At the end of the
day, the Filipinos will just shake off the
dirt from their clothes and go about
their business…and smile….they will
bear as long as they can. Maybe this is
why they were given the ‘privilege’ of
bearing the burden of the strongest ty-
phoon ever recorded. The indomitable
human spirit at its fnest.”
I was humbled by a number of
farmers in Concepcion, who built
our kumbento through pintakasi (free
community work), when they offered
their help to the victims. They were
spared from the typhoon but that year
their rice felds were fooded, slashing
more than half of their harvest. But it
never hindered them to share the little
they have. Since they couldn’t give
much material help, they volunteered
to visit the nearest devastated town
and offer their service for free in help-
ing build houses of those who can’t
afford hired workers. Seasoned farm-
ers turned into bighearted carpenters,
victims into champions.
I once read an article saying that
God can create something beautiful
out of fragments. After all, God cre-
ated the cosmos, with all its mystery
and magnifcence, out of chaos. New
Life sprang from the cross and empty
tomb. Yolanda might have left many
of us empty in a few months but God
slowly flled up the emptiness with
meaning through the magnanimity
of advocates, givers, saviours around
the world. Love blossoms best out
of ruins. Life thrives strongest after
many dyings. And that was what the
world saw in the unwavering spirit of
survivors and in the heart of unsung
heroes on the aftermath of Yolanda.
On May 8, feast of the Child Jesus
in our hometown’s parish, half a
year after the tragedy, I had a chance
to visit our house again, fnding it
empty and dark, ruined and roof-
less still. But from the inside, I could
see clearly the stars sparkle above.
I learned from science class that
stars are light years away. So stars
already exist long before we see them
twinkle, and we continue to see them
shine long after they’re gone. Maybe
the stars are a little like us, survivors
and saviours alike. Who we are and
what we hold dear in our hearts,
which we show the world after the
blow, shall continue to glow long
after we’re gone. Stars don’t utterly
dispel darkness, but their tiny glim-
mers make the night sky splendid.
With our confnes, we don’t entirely
cast darkness out, but our modest
acts of goodness are a beauty in the
gloom, a hope in the rubbles. The
fercest typhoon in recorded history
did not only change us, but also de-
fned our humanity. It charted who
we are. That humanity is all about
caring for each other and building
up one another, drawing hope and
beauty out of wreckages. That the
nature’s imbalance or human frailty
can destroy civilizations but human-
ity can triumph. That we are just star
dusts before the powers beyond our
control; but like stars, our greatness
shines brightest in our darkest mo-
ments, and our light prevails even
long after we’re gone.
As I gaze heavenwards once more,
the image of the Sto. Niño during
that day’s feast fashed through my
thought: the world resting peace-
fully in the gentle hand of the Holy
Child. A reminder that we are in
God’s hands, the God who alone can
still our storms, who alone can make
life grow out of trash, who alone can
make stars shine.
We are, indeed, held by Love. And
that is hope enough.
(Fr. Michael Gadicho, is the parish priest
of Conception which is an upstream bar-
rio of Oras, Eastern Samar; he hails from
Lawaan, Eastern Samar, one of the towns
in Samar that was heavily battered by
super typhoon Yolanda.)
A damaged chapel at the Eastern Samar State University (ESSU) campus in Barangay Naparaan, Salcedo, E. Samar. Roy Lagarde
Knights of Columbus
P4.5M allocated for livelihood projects in
Western Visayas provinces hit by 'Yolanda'
By Kris Bayos
Council of the Knights of Co-
lumbus (KC) has reportedly
approved P4,536,000 to fund
the livelihood projects for the
marginalized fishermen and
farmers who were economi-
cally displaced after super ty-
phoon Yolanda (International
Name: Haiyan) hit Visayas last
November 8, 2013.
According to Visayas State
Secretary Anthony P. Naz-
ario, the Supreme Council has
agreed to fund the procurement
of 120 new motorized fshing
boats for fsherfolks as well as
palay (rice) seedlings to farmers
in Northern Panay Island.
In an interview, Nazario said
the KC Visayas Jurisdiction
aims to assist the marginalized
fsherfolks and farmers who
lost their livelihood because of
the typhoon.
“Our livelihood project pro-
posal has been approved by
the Supreme Council. The
budget allocation is gradually
released as the project pro-
gresses,” he said.
Long-term aid
A few days after the typhoon
broke in, brother knights from
the Visayas Jurisdiction mobi-
lized themselves to distribute
food packages, water and
clothing. A total of P1 mil-
lion worth of food packs were
distributed across the regions
of Visayas. The Visayas Ju-
risdiction also gave fnancial
assistance to parishes affected
by the typhoon. A total of
P500,000.00 were given as
donations to various parishes
heavily affected by Typhoon
Yolanda in Western Visayas.
Nazario said, the Visayas
Jurisdiction has received dona-
tions amounting to P500,000
from the Luzon and Mindanao
Jurisdictions, the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Asso-
ciation of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI), K of C Coun-
cils in the Philippines and
abroad, patrons and individu-
als who believe to the cause
of the Knights of Columbus.
The Supreme Council also
gave $50,000.00 augmentation
funds. Not to mention, other
donations directly given to the
affected members and councils
all over Visayas. These were
used to purchase food pack-
ages, donations to parishes,
cash assistance to the families
of the members who died
due to the typhoon, repairs of
fshing boats, construction of
the frst batch of seven fsh-
ing boats (5 awarded to Brgy.
Tanao, Batad, Iloilo and 1 to
Brgy. Talisay, Barotac Nuevo,
Iloilo, 1 to be determined yet
by the jurisdiction), and fsh
nets given to the fshermen in
Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. Some
funds were also utilized in the
transport of supplies and ma-
terials donated by our brothers
from Luzon.
“Currently, 25 more motor-
ized fshing boats are under
construction and we wish to
award these boats by the frst
or second week of August,”
Nazario said, adding that
the new boats will be distrib-
uted to coastal barangays in
Banate, Ajuy, Concepcion, San
Dionisio, Batad, Estancia, and
Nazario said, the fishing
boats are just the initial liveli-
hood assistance of the Order.
It is still set to distribute rice
seedlings in other affected
areas in Western Visayas. The
jurisdiction is projecting a
long term relief assistance.
It wanted to make sure that
every centavo donated to the
Order goes directly to the
Not only the fshermen and
the farmers will beneft from
the livelihood program of the
K of C in Visayas, but also the
local builders tapped to build
the boats, Nazario added.
“The Supreme Council has
been very candid that in all its
charitable programs all over
the world, it does not expect
anything in return from the
benefciaries,” Nazario said.
“However, the Jurisdiction
is keen enough to organize and
eventually recruit the benef-
ciaries to join our ranks so that
they will become our brother
knights too,” he added.
Livelihood as sustenance
For his part, Visayas State
Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon
said the KC decided to focus its
aid on reviving the livelihood
of typhoon victims instead
of rebuilding their houses or
constantly providing them
with food packs to help them
“move on.”
“(This livelihood program)
will enhance the lives of the
people along the coastlines and
damaged farms. It will provide
them with tools to tend on
their own feet, provide daily
sustenance for their families
and eventually move on with
their lives,” he said.
Sorongon added that while
Tacloban in Leyte and Eastern
Samar registered the most casu-
alties due to the typhoon, prov-
inces in Western Visayas have
also sustained the same degree of
damage in properties and crops.
“The 16-foot surge that hit
Tacloban and Eastern Samar
hit Northern Iloilo just the
same. There were no casual-
ties in Iloilo because when the
surge hit Tacloban, information
about it travelled and warned
people from the coastlines to
evacuate,” he said.
Due to scant media report-
age on the Yolanda’s wrath
in Western Visayas, Sorongon
said fsherfolks and farmers in
the region need the same aid
given to typhoon victims in
Eastern Visayas.
At least 6,300 individuals
have perished due to super
typhoon Yolanda according
to the National Disaster Risk
Reduction and Management
Council, while 28,689 were in-
jured and 1,061 others remain
The NDRRMC also said
damage to property caused by
Yolanda now stands at P89.6
Luzon Knights' response to Typhoon 'Yolanda'
By Yen Ocampo
TYPHOON Yolanda, (Internationally
coded “Haiyan") gave the Knights
of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction an
opportunity to evaluate the normal
“Relief Operations” they usually do.
They found out that it is not only in-
adequate, but its distribution is very
much delayed.
In December 2013, the Luzon Juris-
diction headed by State Deputy Ar-
senio Isidro G. Yap was advised that
Yolanda devastated areas had already
received adequate relief goods, so
they decided to stop relief operations
and focus instead on rehabilitation.
One of these efforts included pro-
viding survivors with four chainsaws
to convert fallen coconut trees into
usable coco lumber for the rebuilding
of destroyed houses in the areas. The
chainsaws are moved from parish to
parish in Eastern Samar on a two-
month cycle per parish.
“We went to Eastern Samar last
April 7, to evaluate the four chain-
saws we gave and to hand-over
the four bancas to four victims
of the typhoon one of whom is a
brother Knight. I found out that
the chainsaws are able to produce
about P10,000.00 worth of commer-
cial coco lumber a day on an eight
hour operation. It excited me as the
chainsaws potentially was already
able to produce P 1.2 million in just
four months,” State Deputy Yap
said. According to him, the Luzon
Jurisdiction' s initial investment
of P260,000.00 had had already
produced P4.8 million in just four
“Even if we have to be conservative
about the production and reduced it
by half, still our investment has gone
a long way and was able to produce
at least P 2.4 million worth of coco-
lumber,” he added.
The Luzon Jurisdiction also pro-
vided four motorized fshing boats
to survivors.
The four motorized bancas would
only give a return of about a thousand
pesos each per day for the benef-
ciaries. It cost Luzon P50,000.00 for
each banca or a total of P200,000.00.
The Jurisdiction expects that in less
than two months the income derived
by the benefciaries would have sur-
passed the initial investment. The
production is less, but is still worth
every peso spent.
“Our visit last April 7 included a
visit with Bishop Crispin Varquez and
presented to us different programs
where the K of C could or would be
able to help. They presented food pro-
duction, livelihood and reconstruc-
tion of partially or fully destroyed
churches. For his diocese alone, there
are about 90 churches which needs to
be rehabilitated,” Yap noted.
Food Bank Program
At the moment, the Luzon Juris-
diction of the Knights of Columbus
is conceptualizing a short and long
term course of action for post-Yolanda
They plan to conduct a year round
relief drive that could immediately
address any calamity in the future
within 3 days, it will be called as
“Food Bank, a Charity that Evange-
“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,” Yap said.
He added that they will need a
secured warehouse where they can
store food supplies and monitor the
expiry dates by using an inventory
program. All items in the inventory
expiring in three months shall be the
frst to be released and distributed
to depressed areas or to institutions
requiring food assistance, whether
there is calamity or not.
“The major concern right now is
the secure and easily accessible ware-
house where we can store all forms
of relief items mainly canned goods,
clothes and blankets,” Yap noted.
According to him, the initial program
would be to have feedback from the
affected areas within 24 hours and
assessment of needs by a team to
validate initial reports. This should be
done within the frst 48 hours.
“If the initial report is validated by
the advance team, then we'll start to
deploy the relief items on the third
day,” Yap furthered.
He added that they also considered
onsite headquarters, where they will
ship relief items for distribution to
the affected areas, most especially to
far-fung ones. This onsite headquar-
ters will also serve as a soup kitchen
which shall be open 24 hours a day
until the operation is called off.
“We'll come up with a manual of
operations containing the different
facets of the program, including how
to handle all sorts of relief goods and
how to preserve or prolong the useful-
ness of donated clothes, blankets and
the like,” Yap cited.
“Our Food Bank, a Charity that
Evangelizes has taken new roles. It
was supposed to be involved in relief
distributions only, but now is involved
in rehabilitation with the four chain-
saws. It’s also involved in livelihood
with the four motorized bancas. It is
also getting itself involve in sustain-
able food production for the needs
of families to at least get by without
having to spend so much,” he added.
Rehabilitation Projects
Another upcoming proj ectsof
the Luzon Jurisdiction is rebuild-
ing churches devastated by super
typhoon Yolanda.
“We would like to help the Dio-
cese of Borongan, Samar in the re-
construction of its churches. Instead
of giving them certain amounts for the
purchase of construction materials,
we have decided to give them instead
a “Hollow Block Making Machine,”
Yap explained.
According to him, the machines
would help the diocese produce their
own hollow blocks at the least pos-
sible cost. The machine is capable of
producing about 1,000 hollow blocks
a day and could potentially save mil-
lions of pesos for the reconstruction
of churches. Its products could also
be used to reconstruct other struc-
tures owned by the diocese or the
The Luzon Jurisdiction initially
gave two machines at a cost of about
P50,000.00 each and will be raising
funds for at least two more. The group
will also source initial funds for the
purchase of sand and cement.
“Our funds are limited but the end
results of our projects is great. We do
not want our funds to be mere dole
outs but to be use in a very produc-
tive and self-sustaining methods to
exponentially increase its usefulness
or benefts to the victims of typhoon
Yolanda,” he noted.
“They say it would take about
twenty years to restore the affected
areas. I say it could take even more if
we do not act now. We have taken the
frst step, please join us and help us
reach our second,” Yap ended.
A worker uses a chainsaw donated by the Knights of Columbus to cut up fallen coconut trees in Hernani, Eastern Samar, 25 February 2014. The K
of C has distributed four chainsaws in Eastern Samar and Leyte to help typhoon survivors clear their land and build new homes. Roy Lagarde
K of C Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon leads the distribution of relief goods to typhoon victims in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, 18 December 2013. Roy Lagarde
Knights of Columbus
On a fishing boat to recovery
By Roy Lagarde
CYRIL Quirol always goes
to the sea every day ex-
cept on bad weat her. A
resident of Lujero village in
Marabut, Western Samar, he
knows no other livelihood
except fishing which has
become a way of life since
he was a kid.
Quirol is among the thou-
sands of fshermen in Eastern
Visayas who rely on the fshing
industry for subsistence, amid
Most of these fishermen,
however, lost their fishing
boats due to the strong winds
and storm surges brought by
typhoon Haiyan (locally code-
named “Yolanda”)..
“We lost everything… our
house and boat. After Haiyan,
I was like getting crazy because
I didn't know what to do and
where to get for our daily
needs,” Quirol said.
For several weeks, Quirol
and other survivors solely
relied on relief efforts as
bus helped survivors with
boats for livelihood so they
can go back to earning a
living for their families and
send their children back to
In early June, around 40
fshermen from different towns
in Eastern and Western Samar
provinces received motorized
boats for deep-sea fshing from
the K of C.
The initial target is to pro-
vide at least 100 motorized
boats in Samar and Leyte and
fshing gears to fshermen who
lost their boats to the fury of
“I’m really grateful that I’m
one of the recipients of these
boats. I said to myself that
fnally I can go back to work.
This a big step for our recov-
ery,” said Quirol.
Even before Haiyan hit,
the fishermen were already
among the most vulnerable
sector in the Philippine so-
But it is only through fsh-
ing that Gerardo Casilides of
Victory Island in Guiuan E.
Samar, where Haiyan made
its frst landfall, was able to
sustain his family and sent his
children to school.
All his years of hard work
to bui l d thei r house and
have his own fishing boat
were lost to Haiyan in just
few hours.
The tears he wiped from his
cheek said it all.
“After the devastation that
we’ve been through, I don't
think I can still afford to have
my own boat again,” an emo-
tional Casilides said.
“That’s also why I’m so
thankful that the Knights of
Columbus helped us. If not
because of them, our recov-
ery would take a long time
because I don't have a source
of livelihood,” he said.
This month, six motorized
boats with fshing gears were
distributed in Divinubo Island
in Borongan City and more in
other outlaying fishing vil-
The K of C livelihood project
benefted not only the fsher-
men but also those who made
the boats who were typhoon
victims too.
Loreta Amit, one of the
K of C boat builders in Bo-
rongan City’s Sabang vil-
lage, said their house too
was damaged and t hei r
boat was cut into pieces by
strong winds and the ty-
phoon surge.
“The fabrication of these
boats is a big help to us, who
are typhoon victims. We will be
earning a few thousand pesos.
This will enable us to buy rice,”
she said.
Pal o Archbi shop J ohn
Du said he is “grateful” to
the Knights of Columbus
for their assistance to the
typhoon victims in Eastern
“In behalf of my people
in the archdiocese, thank
you very much for the as-
sistance given to us in terms
of l i vel i hood, rel i ef ai d,
among others,” Archbishop
Du said.
He added: “We pray that
you will continue to be the
witness of God’s love”.
Haiyan demolished an esti-
mated 30,000 boats, in turn
depriving around 145,000
fisherfolk and their families.
He also joined a cash-for-
work program of clearing
debris and coastal cleanup that
made him earn at least P260 a
day for few weeks.
“I was worried because I
know that these relief efforts
will end,” he said. “I don't
know where to go since I could
not go fshing yet without a
boat at that time.”
Help from the Knights
The Knights of Colum-
Rebuilding lives in typhoon-hit Central Philippines
By Roy Lagarde
WITH the knock of hammer and the
swish of brooms clearing up debris:
life goes on in a coastal village of
Hernani, Eastern Samar four months
after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
devastated parts of Central Visayas.
On the side of heavily damaged
houses, the buzz of chainsaws
roared across the village of Gara-
won as people put their lives back
Donated by the Knights of Colum-
bus, the chainsaws were among the
aid that the Order has provided to
help victims rebuild their homes in
Eastern Samar and Leyte.
Sawed into planks, the coconut
trees felled by the typhoon are used
in repairing damaged houses and
building new ones.
The chainsaws were donated to sal-
vage the fallen trees amid enormous
need for temporary and permanent
Immediately after the onslaught
of the typhoon, the K of C joined the
rest of the international community
in giving relief assistance amid calls
for concerted efforts to help the af-
fected areas.
Aside from relief goods, the K of C
has also provided construction ma-
terials such as plywood and cements
to some families and for the repair of
chapels ruined by storm surge.
Last December, a health mission
was also conducted to provide medi-
cal assistance to typhoon survivors in
Balangkayan town, Eastern Samar.
In Palo, Leyte’s San Joaquin village,
where more than 300 people died, the
chainsaws continue to provide solu-
tions to people left homeless.
The Order’s relief operation went
far to a remote village in Leyte’s La
Paz town, where sacks of rice were
distributed to the survivors of the
To help farmers recover from the
devastation, the Knights of Columbus
donated an initial 10, 000 coconut
seeds in Lawaan, the westernmost
part of Eastern Samar.
As the world’s second-largest
coconut producer, the Philippines
accounts for more than 25 percent of
global production in 2013. The Philip-
pine government has estimated losses
at $396 million.
Haiyan destroyed an estimated 33
million coconut trees, affecting the
livelihood of more than one million
coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas
region alone.
Four months after the disaster,
Demitrio Gullan, a 48-year old farmer
from Hernani, said that assistance to
recover their livelihoods is needed
more than ever.
As food aid is declining, he said
that the situation is pressuring them
to start earning an income.
“We want to work but we don’t
have the farming tools like bolo
knife,” Gullan said.
Fishermen have also taken the big-
gest hit to their livelihoods. Boats are
costly to rebuild.
To help them, the Knights of Co-
lumbus has joined efforts to reach to
fshermen who lost their livelihoods
by providing them new fshing boats.
In late March, an initial donation of
fve boats were handed over to fsher-
men in Salcedo and Guiuan, both in
Eastern Samar
The majority of this region’s labor
force depends on agriculture for
income. With land and crops devas-
tated, the Order plans to help people
recover their agricultural and fshing
assets. (Roy Lagarde)
Cyril Quirol (left), one of the recipients of the 100 fishing boats donated by the
Knights of Columbus, hopes to get back to his feet and rebuild what he lost to
typhoon Yolanda. Ronalyn Regino
When typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, the
Knights of Columbus was already putting in place the pieces that made
possible a rapid and life-saving support to the victims. The photos highlight
some of the works made by the K of C Relief and Rehabilitation Program,
operating under the auspices of the Father Michael McGivney Office -
Philippines in collaboration with the Visayas Jurisdiction of the Knights of
Columbus, to help the survivors recover gradually through relief aid, shelter
materials and livelihood assistance. Roy Lagarde

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