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June 8 - 21, 2015



Faithful urged
to help, see
God in the poor
GOD always does something
for the poor. What about you?
Inviting the faithful to commit themselves to serve the
poor each time they receive
Communion, a Catholic priest
has pointed out poverty exists
not so much because the Lord
wants it, but rather because
humans refuse to live for one
another, to care for one another, and to see the image of
God which they all share.
How do we see ourselves
in [the poor]? How do I see
Jesus in them? asked Fr. Enrico Martn F. Adoviso, head
of the Archdiocese of Manila
(RCAM)s Commission on
the Year of the Poor, in a talk
he gave at Santa Cruz Church
on Sunday, June 7, for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body
of Blood of the Lord (Corpus


No rush in charter change

CBCP urges serious study

By Roy Lagarde

THE Catholic hierarchy urged Congress

to hold off passing
the proposed measure
to amend the Constitution until it can be
studied more seriously.

Deaf, numb
Brothers and sisters, God
has always listened the cries
of the poor. It is only us who
Poor/ A7

Do not remove Christ from
Missionary Work, B1

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, and CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas hold copies of the newlypublished coffee table book on Pope Francis recent pastoral visit to the Philippines during the launching ceremony held at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros on June 4. The
160-page book contains a wide collection of photographs during the 4-day papal visit last January and full texts of all the speeches and homilies of the Pope while in the country.

In a pastoral statement, the

Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP) said there
is no need to rush Charter change
because rash decisions could put
the future of Filipinos and the nation at stake.
CBCP president Archbishop
Socrates Villegas is encouraging the conduct of wide-ranging
studies to ensure that proposed
amendments are according to the
precepts of social justice.
Before we rush into amending the Constitution, we, your
bishops, urge all responsible to
conduct serious studies in economics, sociology, the law, and
in related disciplines including
the Catholic social teachings,
Villegas said.
The statement entitled Let
us be circumspect was issued
on June 8 as the measure gains
ground in Congress, guided by
the belief that it is the key to
reviving foreign investment flow
into the country.
Charter Change / A6


CBCP warns voters against election spin-doctors

THE Catholic bishops have
warned voters against spin
doctors and their efforts
to smear the reputations of
political opponents.
With a year before the
presidential polls, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) issued a
pastoral letter on elections
amid premature campaigning by some politicians.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, reminded Filipinos to vote
for the right reasons and
not allow demolition jobs
to influence their decisions

to choose the deserving candidate.

Just as the discerning voter will not be easily won over
by all the flattery in favor of
one candidate, neither should
a voter allow demolition jobs
to dissuade him from choosing a person who is truly fit
for office, Villegas said.
Reject the notoriously
corrupt, but neither should
one readily jump on the
bandwagon of condemnation
in the absence of incontrovertible evidence, for, these
days, ones reputation, so
painstakingly built by sincer-

ity and honesty over the years,

can so easily be tarnished
by the truly evil work of
spin-doctors in the payroll
of one or the other political
aspirant, he said.
Villegas then reminded the
faithful against a person who
aspires for high office but will
only be totally dependent on
advisers is not the best possible candidate for national
However, he said, we
should be willing to repose
trust on those who, we are
convinced, are capable of
Election / A7

CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas FILE PHOTO

DepEd, AFP hit for militarizing schools for Lumad kids

AN interfaith alliance has denounced the governments education department and the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
for closing three Lumad schools
in Davao del Norte, and for replacing these with a public high
school where alleged members of
the military are slated to serve as
para-teachers, saying this decision not only violates the rights
of children and indigenous people
guaranteed by international law,
but also unnecessarily puts them
in harms way.
Absolute violation
The move by the Department of
Education [DepEd] to close three
hinterland schools for the AtaManobo tribe in Talaingod, Davao
del Norte affects adversely almost
3,000 Lumad children. Replacing
them with a public high school

using military personnel as parateachers is an absolute violation of

the Declaration of the Rights of the
Child and the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, as well as provisions of the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural
Right, shares Rex B. Reyes, general
secretary of the National Council of
Church in the Philippines (NCCP)
in a recent statement.
According to him, these learning centers, which are supported
by religious groups like the Rural
Missionaries of the Philippines
and several Methodist churches,
were established precisely in response to the governments failure
to provide basic social services in
the area.
Govt support for schools
The least the government can
do is support these schools and not

Pope reiterates Churchs

future is in Asia

its tacit approval for their closure.

The latter denies the rights of
indigenous people to education,
notes Reyes .
He points out that the insistence
of the AFP to occupy civilian facilities and militarize civilian functions
instead of allowing mandated civilian government agencies like DepEd
to take charge endangers the lives
of children, and clearly violates the
International Humanitarian Law
which requires the military to ensure
all civilian populations and civilian
objects such as schools are protected
from the effects of attacks.
Military pullout
In journeying with the Lumads, NCCP has been prayerfully
undergirding and supporting their
struggle for land, life, and self-determination. We are compelled by the
Gospel to speak out and call upon

the Philippine government to pull

out the military and paramilitary
elements in Lumad Schools and to
let these learning centers continue
their operation free from military
occupation and intervention,
Reyes says.
We also call upon the government to provide basic social services
to the Lumad communities such
as adequate food and nutrition,
healthcare, and affordable and quality education, he adds.
Biblical mandate
Citing Psalm 82:3, Reyes explains
the Biblical mandate calls all those
who believe in Christ to defend the
rights of the marginalized, especially
children, that they be given equal
opportunities to develop their potentials, and to be protected from
harm. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

Thousands attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Tacloban

Airport, Jan. 17, 2015. AIRA PURIFICACION

WITH Pope Francis recent

visits to Korea, Sri Lanka,
and the Philippines training a spotlight on Asia, the
pontiff has reiterated that he
sees hope for the Church in
the region
For a church trying to
function in a modern, global
society, the Pope said that
with its enthusiasm, suffering and with its many
martyrs, there is a future for
the Church in Asia.
The pontiff relayed this
message to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal
Tagle when they met over
lunch at Vaticans guesthouse,
the Domus Sancta Marthae,

last week.
Pope Francis made the same
statement when he visited Sri
Lanka and the Philippines in
January and was wowed by
Filipinos enthusiasm.
Tagle said what the Pope
said in Manila was not just
flattery but has already become a conviction for him.
The cardinal, however, said
that with the popes statement comes a deep sense of
responsibility for the great
Asian continent.
Yes, theres a future for
us here and for the church
here. Let us face the future
with hope, Tagle said.

Tagle: Care for environment

key element of disaster

Popes visit sparks more vocations seminary head

POPE Francis recent visit to
the Philippines may have triggered an increase in priestly
vocations, a Catholic priest
At the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City, the
number of people training for
ministry continues to grow,
its rector, Msgr. Hernando
Coronel, said.
He said the number of
philosophy and theology students has increased to 166 or
13% more this year, slightly
higher than the 145 enrollees
from last year.

There are more seminarians from the Archdiocese

of Manila. There are also
seminarians from as far as
Borongan, Samar in the
Visayas, and Tandag, Surigao del Sur in Mindanao,
Coronel said.
He explained the increase
may be attributed to the
papal visit in January along
with the Churchs intensified
campaign for vocations.
Coronel said other possible
factors include the inspiring
role of Manila Archbishop
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

and the high trust levels of

the Church as reflected in
the recent Philippine Trust
Index survey.
While he doesnt have the
enrollment figures of other
seminaries, the priest is optimistic they have upward
trends as well.
We are glad that with the
fervor of the laypeople, there
is also an increase in vocations. Now put to the test is
the level of perseverance of
the seminarians and the quality of their commitment, he
said. (CBCPNews)

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle RAYMOND SEBASTIAN

CALAMITY and disaster

preparedness starts from ones
concern for others and the
environment, said Caritas
Internationalis President Luis

Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

According to the prelate,
along with disaster preparedness, proper management of
Environment / A7


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Archbishop: Ukrainian conflict is

Europes biggest crisis since WWII
ROME, Italy, June 7, 2015The
head of Ukraines Greek Catholic
Church said the country is facing
a humanitarian catastrophe with
global consequences that cannot
be ignored by the international
He called on participants of next
weeks G7 Summit in Bavaria to
work toward effective solutions.
The aggression against Ukraine
is a challenge for preserving peace
in the world which cannot pretend
that nothing happens in Eastern
Europe, said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop
of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic
Church, an eastern rite Catholic
Church in full communion with
Conflict erupted in Ukraine
last year in February when the
countrys former president was
ousted following months of violent
protest, and a new government
appointed. In March, Ukraines
eastern peninsula of Crimea was
annexed by Russia and pro-Russian separatist rebels have since
taken control of eastern portions
of Ukraine, around Donetsk and
More than 6,000 people have
died in the conflict in eastern
Ukraine. Rebels have been supported by both Russian arms and
troops, according to both Ukraine
and Western nations.
A ceasefire was brokered and officially began at midnight Feb. 15,
however fighting has continued.
Archbishop Shevchuk told CNA
May 28 that the conflict in Ukraine
is not simply an isolated dispute,
but rather has serious global consequences.
He spoke of the Vaticans diplomatic commitment to helping find
a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict, as well as a possible
visit of Pope Francis to Ukraine.
Below is part of CNAs interview
with the archbishop:
Q: In February a ceasefire in
the conflict zones of Ukraine was
agreed to, however fighting seems
to continue. Has the conflict improved at all since February, and
are there signs on either side that
fighting could end by the 2016
decentralization goal?

CBCP Monitor

Vatican Briefing
Pope Francis pays for 120 of Romes poor to visit Shroud of Turin

In his latest act of papal charity, Pope Francis has donated funds
for two busloads of homeless and sick pilgrims to visit the Shroud
of Turin. They will stay in two charitable centers that offer shelter
to the homeless during the winter. The trips will prepare the
way for the Popes visit which is scheduled to take place on June
21: his poor arrive before him, the papal almoner, Archbishop
Konrad Krajewski, told Italian newspaper La Stampa in an article
published June 3. Pope Francis himself is scheduled to venerate
the shroud during a June 21-22 visit to the northern Italian
region. (CNA)

War is the mother of poverty, Pope Francis says

In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis lamented the suffering inflicted on families already struggling from poverty in
countries torn by the great predator of war. Truly, war is the
mother of all poverty, the pontiff said on June 3, addressing the
crowds in Saint Peters Square. War impoverishes the family, he
said. It is a great predator of lives, of souls, and of the most sacred
and precious loved ones. Since late last year, Pope Francis has been
centering his Wednesday catechesis on the theme of family as part
of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well
as Octobers Synod of Bishops on the Family. (CNA)
An anti-government protestor stands on top of a barricade on Grushevskogo Street Jan. 29, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. ROB STOTHARD/

A: We have received the news

about a cease-fire agreement in
Minsk with great hope. However, it
is with sadness that we must admit
that these agreements have not
been implemented. The cease-fire
is being violated. Its true that the
intensity of fighting on the occupied territories has decreased, but it
doesnt mean that the fighting has
stopped at all. Every day we receive
sad news that someone has been
killed or wounded in the result
of continued fighting. Yesterday
(May 27) we learned that our army
was under sustained shelling near
Mariupol. The most alarming for
the Ukrainian society, however, is
the fact that over the last months,
hundreds of pieces of heavy weaponry have reached Ukrainian
territory from the side of the Russian Federation. This equipment
includes tanks (there are about 700
of them in Donbass according to
the Ukrainian authorities), heavy
artillery, mobile rocket launchers
etc. Besides that, according to the
information of the Ukrainian government and international observers, there is a massive accumulation
of Russian troops in Ukraine and
on the Russian border. These facts
make us believe that Russian side

with its heavy military presence in

Ukraine is not seeking peace, they
dont rely on the rule of law or on
the respect of the international
agreements but they abide only to
the rule of force. Using the threat
of arms, Russia is trying to dictate
its will to Ukraine. In my opinion,
as long as the fighting continues in
Ukraine and there is an increase in
Russian military presence on the
occupied territories of Donbas,
the true political process, which
would lead to a peaceful solution
of the conflict, is unlikely to bring
any results. So in this sense, the
intended decentralization as a part
of the constitutional reform of the
Ukrainian government will have no
effect on the peace process either.
Q: Pope Francis has shown
great interest in the Ukrainian conflict, and is credited with having
helped restore relations between
the United States and Cuba. Do
you think that the Vatican could
help in reaching a peace agreement
in Ukraine?
A: Holy Father Pope Francis has
stated on numerous occasions that
he will do everything possible to
prevent the outbreak of a new war
in Europe. During the last visit
Ad limina of Catholic Bishops

of Ukraine to the Vatican (Feb. 20,

2015), Pope Francis assured our
Bishops that the Holy See will do
its best to secure peace agreements
in Ukraine. How it will happen,
what steps will be taken, we dont
know. But the history of our
Church teaches us that the peace
of Christ always wins over the war,
and the truth of God is on the side
of those who are unjustly treated.
Seventy years ago all our Bishops
were imprisoned by the Stalin
regime, our Church structures
were destroyed, our church property was confiscated. Our enemies
thought they put to an end the
very existence of our Church, but
to their great surprise after many
years of clandestine existence in
the underground, our Church has
risen to a full ecclesial existence
25 years on the eve of Ukraines
Independence. We want to believe
that today God is with Ukraine
because our country is a victim of
unjust military aggression. We are
convinced that our Savior, who became a victim Himself on the cross
for the salvation of the humankind,
will help us. And the Holy Father,
who is Vicar of Christ on earth, is
and will be our support and our
help in these difficult times. (CNA)

For Hong Kong bishop, it is time to heal the wounds of Tiananmen

Victoria Park held
an hour before the
start of the mass
candlelight vigil
that saw a turnout
of 135,000 participants.
The prayer gathering, attended
by hundreds of
Catholics and others, had for theme
What is June 4 to
do with me? The
rally listened to
witness accounts
of June 4 victims,
activist Li Wangyang, and journalist Gao Yu.
The gathering prayed the Rosary, sang hymns
and heard Bishop Ha shared his thoughts. It
ended with a blessing and send-off prayer by
Card Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong
Kong, and about 10 priests present. The rally
then joined the mass candlelight vigil held in
the same park.
In his address, Bishop Ha mentioned the
injuries, small or severe, that people endured.
Burns can affect the whole body and even
put ones life in danger. Even so, some people
did not seek medical advice, unaware of its
severity, and had to be warned of the danger,
he said.
This evenings gathering is like a reminder,
a piece of advice, a voice, a voice of the conscience. Compared to a country of 1.3 billion
population, the voice of Hong Kong is very
small. In comparison to Hong Kongs 7 million people, the voice of the Church is also very
small. However, as long as this voice comes from
ones conscience, it has power and strength,
Bishop Ha said.
This is the voice of conscience, he added.
First, we ourselves must listen to it. I am
here, holding a lit candle, singing and praying,
because I firmly believe people have the right

In an exclusive interview with CNA, the director of the Vaticans

financial watchdog stressed that the Holy See has pursued the
goal of adopting international standards for financial transparency in accord with the Churchs mission, and not to merely
seek adherence to international standards. The Holy Sees path
toward financial transparency has not been that of imitating
other countries, nor that of applying international standards
by analogy, Tomasso Di Ruzza, director of the Authority for
Financial Information, stated. The main goal, he added, was
the ambitious one of adopting international standards coherently with the nature and the mission of the Holy See in the
world. (CNA)

Indifference to migrants is unacceptable, Pope tells Dominican

Republic bishops

The Church in the Dominican Republic cannot be indifferent to the plight of Haitian immigrants, Pope Francis said
last week during a meeting with the Dominican Republics
Catholic bishops. Pastoral and charitable attention to immigrants, especially those from neighboring Haiti, who seek
better conditions of life in the Dominican territory, cannot
allow indifference on the part of pastors of the Church, the
Pope said May 27 to the bishops who were in Rome for their
ad limina visit. It is inexcusable to fail to promote initiatives
of fraternity and peace between the two nations that form this
beautiful Caribbean island. (CNA)

Encyclical named after St. Francis prayer to be released June 18

Pope Francis encyclical on the environment, Laudato Sii

(Praised Be), a line from St. Francis of Assisis Canticle of Creatures, will be released June 18, the Vatican press office announced.
The date foreseen for the publication of the encyclical of the pope
is Thursday, June 18, said the statement released June 4. The head
of the Vatican publishing house, Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa,
had told reporters in Naples May 30 that publishers from around
the world had been asking for the rights to reprint Laudato Sii
when it is released in mid-June. (CNS)

Cardinal Ortega says Cubans await pope with open arms


HONG KONG, June 6, 2015At least

135,000 people attended the candlelight vigil
in Victoria Park to remember the victims of
the Tiananmen Square massacre 26 years ago.
People from all walks of life, including families
with children and young people, took part in
the event, which lasted more than two hours,
in memory of the young students and workers
crushed by Chinas might for demanding more
democracy and less corruption.
Hong Kongs rally is the only one inside the
Peoples Republic of China. Across the mainland, including the capital Beijing, many dissidents were arrested, communications cut, and
activists deported in advance of the anniversary
in order to prevent them from gathering.
All messages that carried 6-4 (a reference to
4 June) on the internet and in text messages
were blocked.
For the first time in 26 years, groups of
young students held their own small demonstrations in Pok Fu Lam and Tsim Sha Tsui,
drawing thousands of young people, on the
margins of the traditional vigil in Victoria
Park organised by the Hong Kong Alliance in
Support of Patriotic and Democratic Movements of China.
These groups have been labelled localist
because they only want to work for democracy
in Hong Kong and are not concerned about
the democracy movement in mainland China.
Hong Kongs bishop emeritus Card Joseph Zen,
who attended the vigil, has criticised this position in the past.
Before the vigil, which saw the participation
of lay people, priests and bishops, Catholics held
a prayer meeting during which Mgr Joseph Ha,
auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong, expressed his
thoughts during the homily. Here is the report
from our correspondent.
The strength of the voice of conscience lies
not in its loudness or softness, but in its persistence and ceaselessly speaking out until it is
heard, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing
of Hong Kong told a prayer gathering at the

Financial transparency serves the Churchs mission, says Vatican official

to pursue freedom, justice, democracy and the

rule of law. People have the right to live with
dignity. There is not much I can do, but I do
it, and will persist doing it. This is why I listen
to the voice of conscience.
We have to let this voice be heard by the
compatriots who sacrificed their lives in the June
4 incident, their families, as well as all those who
defend human dignity and struggle for freedom,
justice, democracy and the rule of law. The voice
says to them, You are not alone. We remember
you! We thank you! We are with you!
Finally, we have to let those who are in
power hear the voice of conscience. This wound
needs to be healed. More and more, this wound
of 26 years demands that this increasingly
powerful country bear moral responsibility. It
is time to face it! Did it not say that peoples
livelihood and economy would develop first,
and then democracy and the rule of law? Today
has the country not emerged as a new power?
The [countrys] leaders should not be afraid!
he said.
In concluding, the bishop urged everyone to
listen to the voice of conscience, which is in
fact, the voice of God. It sounds very soft and
weak. Its strength lies not in its loudness or softness, but in its persistence, ceaselessly speaking
out until it is heard. (AsiaNews)

Cubans are waiting for Pope Francis with open arms, said Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana. The cardinal met briefly
with the pope at the end of the papal general audience in St. Peters
Square June 3. The cardinal was in Rome fine-tuning the program
for the papal visit to Cuba this September, according to the Vatican
newspaper, LOsservatore Romano. The pope will visit three cities
in the island nation, from Sept. 19 to 22, prior to his trip to the
United States, which will conclude with a papal Mass Sept. 27 at
the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The Cuban bishops
issued an itinerary in mid-May for the popes visit, which includes
Havana, Holguin and El Cobre, including the shrine dedicated
to the countrys patron, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. (CNS)

Vatican ready to announce decision, guidelines on Medjugorje,

pope says

Pope Francis said the Vatican was ready to make an announcement concerning the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje,
Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith met recently to discuss the issue and weve reached
the point of making a decision and then they will say, he told
journalists on the flight back to Rome June 6. The expected
announcement will include just some guidelines (the congregation) will give to the bishops, he said in response to a reporters
question. (CNS)

War, greed, consumerism, cult of appearance harm families,

pope says

Families are weakened and destroyed by war, the mother of all

forms of poverty, as well as by economies and policies that worship money and power, Pope Francis said. Its almost a miracle
that, even in poverty and crisis, the family can keep on going,
safeguarding its bonds and staying intact, he said at his weekly
general audience in St. Peters Square June 3. Leaders who consider
family ties and affection as something peripheral to the quality of
life dont understand a thing, he said. Instead, we should kneel
before these families, who are a true school of humanity, who are
saving society from barbarity. (CNS)

Catholics pledge full support for Boko Haram victims

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 28, 2015-Many escapees of the terrorist group Boko Haram include
women and girls who are pregnant
as a result of rape, and Nigerias
Catholics have been swift to show
solidarity and support for the
To the women who are victims
of the criminal actions by the Boko
Haramists, we extend special concern and empathy, the countrys
bishops said in a May 25 letter.
We appeal to them to keep faith
in God Almighty who has given
them the uncommon strength to
face the trials and travails.
The trauma of sexual assault
and rape is enormous, and the
Catholic Church in Nigeria in

cooperation with all people of

goodwill is ever prepared to provide
every measure of support to accelerate the healing, rehabilitation
and resettlement of the victims so
that they can swiftly be reintegrated
into the society.
The bishops noted that the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria
and diocesan structures are helping
support the pregnant women and
girls, as are government agencies,
civil society groups and faith-based
As of early May, Nigerias military had rescued more than 600
women and girls from a Boko
Haram stronghold in the Sambisa
Forest, the Associated Press reports.
Many of them have become resi-

dents of displacement camps.

The United Nations Population
Fund said May 6 that over 200
women and girls in displacement
camps in Nigerias Borno State are
pregnant, though the agency did
not know how many of them are
former abductees.
Nigerias Catholic bishops
voiced their prayers for the
pregnant women and urged
them to take solace and draw
encouragement from the comfort that God has a purpose
in their motherhood role for
the innocent babies they now
carry in their wombs. They
encouraged the women to show
maternal love for the Nigerian
children they now bear.

The bishops advocated the establishment of crisis pregnancy centers

to help these pregnant women and
other Nigerians.
The children rescued from
terror and abortion would be
presented for adoption to the
many generous Nigerians willing
to accept abandoned, rejected or
motherless and fatherless babies
into their families, they said.
The bishops lamented that some
individuals and groups are proposing mass abortions for the pregnant women, saying this would
mean repaying violence with even
more vicious violence.
They rejected the suggestion
that killing the babies conceived
through rape by the terrorist is

the most humane action to take.

The babies are innocent of the
crimes against their mothers and
it is wrong to punish them for their
fathers sins and offenses.
How can we accept to visit
capital punishment (death sentence
by abortion) on young Nigerians
simply because their fathers were
misguided religious and ideological
bigots? God forbid! the bishops
Since Boko Haram began its
insurgency in 2009, over 15,000
people have been killed and 1.5
million people have fled their
homes. Since 2014, the group
has kidnapped more than 2,000
women and girls, including a notorious raid on a secondary school

in Chibok that abducted 276 girls.

Of these girls, 219 remain unaccounted for.
Some Boko Haram captives are
forcibly converted to the groups
strict version of Islam.
The effects of Boko Haram
on the Catholic population have
been evaluated in a situation report on the northeastern Nigerian
Diocese of Maiduguri, where more
than 5,000 Catholics there have
been killed and another 100,000
displaced. Another 350 churches
have been destroyed. About 7,000
Catholic women have been widowed and 10,000 children have
been orphaned, according to Aid
to the Church in Needs account
of the report. (CNA)

CBCP Monitor


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

The Eucharist teaches us to care for the

weakest of society, Pope Francis says
VATICAN City, June 7, 2015In his
Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis
focused on the recent feast of Corpus
Christi, saying the Eucharist is a school
of solidarity and charity, which inspires us
to care for the most vulnerable.
This feast, the Roman Pontiff said June 7
at St. Peters Square in the Vatican, evokes
this message of solidarity, and pushes us
to welcome the intimate invitation to
conversion and to service, to love and to
In our daily lives, we encounter Christ,
who nourishes us in the Eucharist, in the
poor, the suffering, our brothers, and in
every human being, even the smallest and
most defenseless.
The Roman Pontiff reflected on the
feasts Gospel, which recounts the institution of the Eucharist during Christs Last
Supper before his crucifixion.
That night, Christ said that whoever
eats his flesh and drinks his blood will
remain in me and I in him, and will
have eternal life.
With this gesture and with these words,
he gives bread a function that is no longer
simply physical nourishment, but that
which makes present his Person amid the

community of believers.
The Pope added that the Last Supper
marks the end of Christs life, looking
ahead to his death on the Cross, but also
to the synthesis of a life offered for the
salvation of humanity.
For this reason, it is not enough to affirm
Christs presence in the Eucharist, the Pope
said, but recognize it as the presence of a
life given, and take part.
By receiving Christ in the Eucharist,
taking part in his life and entering into
communion with him, we in turn are
called to promote unity among ourselves,
transforming our life into a gift, especially to a poor.
The Eucharist is a school of charity
and solidarity, the Pope said. Whoever
is nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot
remain indifferent to those who do not
have bread daily.
Despite efforts by the international
community, this is an increasing problem,
and requires proposals to resolve its causes,
he said.
The Pope concluded his address by
invoking the intercession of Mary, that
she may awaken in everyone the joy in
participating in the Mass, especially on

Sunday, and the joyful courage to give

witness to the charity of Christ.
After leading the crowds in the recitation
of the Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of his
apostolic visit to Sarajevo the previous day.
Once described as the Jerusalem of the
West owing to the coexistence of various
peoples and religious, the recent past has
made it into a symbol of destruction and
war, he said.
Acknowledging the efforts toward reconciliation, Pope Francis encouraged this
journey toward of peaceful coexistence
between diverse peoples; a hard, difficult,
yet possible journey!
Pope Francis visit on Saturday marked
the twentieth anniversary of the signing
of the signing of the Dayton Agreement
which brought an end to the Bosnian War.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia, some
100,000 combatants and civilians were
killed and a million more displaced during
the war, which lasted between 1992-1995.
The fighting split largely along ethnic
lines, among the predominantly Orthodox
Serbs, the predominantly Catholic Croats,
and the predominantly Muslim Bosniaks.
May the Lord bless Sarajevo, Bosnia,
and Herzegovina. (CNA/EWTN News)

Rome, Italy - May 30, 2013: Pope Francis celebrates an outdoor Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran
for the feast of Corpus Christi on May 30, 2013. CNA

Pope Francis pays for 120 of Romes poor to visit

VATICAN City, June 4, 2015In
his latest act of papal charity, Pope
Francis has donated funds for two
busloads of homeless and sick pilgrims to visit the Shroud of Turin.
They will stay in two charitable
centers that offer shelter to the
homeless during the winter.
The trips will prepare the way
for the Popes visit which is scheduled to take place on June 21:
his poor arrive before him, the
papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad
Krajewski, told Italian newspaper
La Stampa in an article published
June 3.
Pope Francis himself is scheduled to venerate the shroud during
a June 21-22 visit to the northern
Italian region.
The Shroud of Turin is among
the most well-known relics connected with Christs Passion. Venerated for centuries by Christians
as the burial shroud of Jesus, it has
been subject to intense scientific
study to ascertain its authenticity,
and the origins of the image.
A little more than 14 ft. long and
3-and-a-half feet wide, the cloth is
stained with the post-mortem image
of a manfront and backwho has
been brutally tortured and crucified.
In a rare exposition, the shroud is
on display to the public from April
19 to June 24, having most recently
been shown in 2010.\
Paid for by the archbishop with
money donated to the Pope for
his personal charity endeavors,
the buses of needy, homeless and
sick pilgrims headed to Turin are
divided into two groups.
The first group of 50 left the
morning of June 3 from the Roman
parish of Santa Lucia in Piazzale
Clodio, which is a meeting point
for Romes needy to convene for
help and a hot meal.
Once they arrive in Turin, the
Popes poor will stay at the Cottolengo and Maria Adelaide centers,
which provide shelter for homeless
during the winter season.
Fr. Antonio Nicolai, the parish

Encyclical named after St. Francis

prayer to be released June 18
VATICAN. June 4, 2015Pope
Francis encyclical on the environment, Laudato Sii (Praised Be),
a line from St. Francis of Assisis
Canticle of Creatures, will be
released June 18, the Vatican press
office announced.
The date foreseen for the publication of the encyclical of the
pope is Thursday, June 18, said the
statement released June 4.
The head of the Vatican publishing house, Salesian Father
Giuseppe Costa, had told reporters
in Naples May 30 that publishers
from around the world had been
asking for the rights to reprint

Laudato Sii when it is released

in mid-June.
Laudato sii is the introductory
phrase to eight verses of St. Francis
of Assisis famous prayer thanking
God for the gifts of creation.
Praised be you, my Lord, with
all your creatures, especially Sir
Brother Sun, who is the day, and
through whom you give us light,
one of the first lines says.
The prayer also praises God for
the gifts of Sister Moon, Brother
Wind, Sister Water, Brother
Fire and Sister Mother Earth.
(Cindy Wooden/Catholic News

Benedictine still trying to be a

saint at 100
Turin, Italy - April 19, 2015. The Shroud of Turin, a centuries old linen cloth believed to have wrapped the crucified body of Jesus
Christ, in the Cathedral of Turin during the public opening of the Shroud of Turin on April 19, 2015. The Shroud will be open for public
viewing until June 2015. CNA

priest, is accompanying the group.

Their visit to the Shroud is planned
for June 4.
This trip is a treat offered by
Pope Francis to our homeless brothers, Fr. Nicoloai told La Stampa.
When he learned about this
pilgrimage, he wished, through his
almoner, who is in charge of charitable works, to give a contribution
to these people living in a precarious
state. This is because he believes that
like the Shroud, they represent the
suffering of the Lord Jesus, he said.
A larger group of 70 poor and
homeless is set to visit the Shroud
next week. They are scheduled
to set off from the Roman parish SantEustachio on board a
double-decker bus, and will be
accompanied by the parish priest
and a number of volunteers.
Archbishop Krajewski was present at Santa Lucia June 3 to greet the
first busload and offer them a small
amount of money on behalf of the

Pope, so they could buy themselves

a cappuccino or another drink during the several-hour bus ride.
We must feed those in difficulty, not just with bread, but
also give them the chance to enjoy
beauty hence the visit to the
Sistine Chapelor to join other
pilgrims in experiencing important moments like the Ostension
(Showing) of the Holy Shroud,
the archbishop said.
He referred to a March 26 event
in which 150 of Romes homeless
were invited for dinner and a private tour of the Vatican Museums,
culminating in the Sistine Chapel.
In a March 30, 2013, video
message sent out for the televised
showing of the Shroud of Turin,
Pope Francis said: This disfigured
face resembles all those faces of
men and women marred by a life
which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which
afflict the weakest.

It is because of this, Archbishop

Krajewski said, that the Pope decided to send two groups of pilgrims
that are for him very special in order
to prepare for this own visit.
In addition to a stop at the
Shroud, Pope Francis schedule
for his two-day trip also includes
a visit to a juvenile prison, where
he will have lunch with the young
detainees, a group of immigrants
and homeless persons.
Other highlights of the trip will
include Sunday morning Mass
in Piazza Vittorio, followed by a
meeting with the sick and disabled
in the afternoon at the Church of
On Monday during his trip the
Pope will take part in an ecumenical meeting at the Tempio Valdese
(Waldensian Temple), followed by
Mass at the archbishops palace. He
will depart for Rome by plane at 5
p.m. (Elise Harris/CNA/EWTN

Forever exists? Yes, in the Eucharist Tagle

Reason to hope
It is for this reason that the world has enough
reason to be hopeful. Thanks to this covenant,
the sins of the world are washed away, he
The covenant can be summed up in this
way: I am your God and you are My people. I
am yours and you are Mine. Our life is one. We
are on the same journey. Wherever you will go,
I will keep you company, he added.

Gratitude, enthusiasm, hope

Summarized, all these little
things I have done in my long life;
some unfortunately sinful, and
some good by the grace of God.
As man and monk-priest, I look
back with gratitude. I try to live
the present with enthusiasm, and
to the future I look with hope,
shared Fr. Benigno Benabbare
in a short speech he gave before
Manilas Benedictine community
and the San Beda College alumni
on Saturday, May 23, at the Abbey
of Montserrat, Manila.
Eighty-four years a monk, 77
years a priest, Father B.B. as he
is fondly called, said that besides
the will of God, a simple life is the
secret to his longevity.
A simple life in everything. No
abuse of anything. No alcohol, no
smoking, not much sugar, no sex
at all, he quipped.
Son of St. Benedict
Born on May 23, 1915 in Huesca, Spain, a province near the
French border, Benabarre became
a son of St. Benedict in 1931 and
was ordained a missionary priest
for the Philippines in 1938.
At the early age of 11, I went
to study at the former Benedictine
Priory of El Pueyo de Marbastro
as a postulant of this Benedictine
Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat,
Manila. At El Pueyo, I made myself
a simple profession as a Benedictine
monk in 1931 and, four years later,
at the Benedictine Abbey of Samos,
Province of Lugo, my solemn profession, but both for the Manila

MANILA, June 8, 2015Contrary to what

cynics say, forever indeed exists and this
eternity can be found where most people least
expect it: in the Eucharist.
In his homily on Sunday, June 7, for Corpus
Christithe Solemnity of the Most Holy Body
and Blood of the LordManila Archbishop
Lus Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle reminded
hundreds of Catholics gathered at Santa Cruz
Church that Jesus is ever present in the Eucharist, noting how His Body and Blood are the
real and visible manifestations of His covenant
with the Church.
Ever present
According to Tagle, the moment the Lord
entered into a covenant with His people,
it is as good as forever given that it is not
just a mere contract or an ordinary agreement, because it effects the union of hearts
and lives.
There is no [Catholic] church we can think
of where the tabernacle displays a placard that
says: The Lord is on a day-off or Jesus is not
in the tabernacle at the moment. He will come
back in an hour. People often fail to keep their
promise, but never Jesus. We are like that, but
not Him, he said.

MANILA, May 24, 2014While

regretting he is not yet a real
saint at his age, a Benedictine
monk-priest who has celebrated his
100th birthday recently now looks
forward to the next hundred years
of his life for the chance to make
himself a little better each day.

Abbey, he said.
San Beda
Benabarre was ordained a priest
on April 1, 1938 and respectively
became San Bedas prefect of discipline, superintendent of libraries,
elementary department principal,
rector, and alumni moderator.
But after so many years of service, the Spanish Benedictine left
the Philippines, returning to the
country only 23 years later, in
My returning to the Philippines
on April 4, 2004 was a matter of
conscience. I made my monastic
vows for this Abbey of Our Lady
of Montserrat, Manila in 1931 and
1936, and I was ordained a priest
to be a missionary monk in these
islands for life. My being out of
the community for several years,
with the permission of the Holy
See, the reasons for which I give
in my book My First 100 Years,
were unfortunate and temporary.
he said.
Papal awardee
In 2005, Benabarre was awarded
the prestigious papal award Pro
Ecclesia et Pontifice.
On his birthday, he wished for
the Philippines to continue being
a great Catholic country, which
its neighbors may look up to as
an example of Christianity, social
justice, and peaceful living.
He also reminded the youth to
be strong in true faith, vigorous in
virtue, lovers of the country and
the whole world, as well as good
Benabarre stressed he wanted
to be remembered as a good and
sincere friend, as a monk who
tried to observe the Rule of St.
Benedict, a priest who defended
the Church, a lover of souls, and
a writer. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

What do young couples really need?

Knees bent in adoration. Vehicular traffic halts as the procession of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord led by
the Blessed Sacrament Fathers (SSS) inches its way from Santa Cruz Church to Manila Cathedral. RAYMOND A. SEBASTIN

Full of joy
In this regard, the prelate invited those who
partake of the Eucharist and frequent the
Blessed Sacrament to allow themselves to be
filled with heavenly joy.
Tagle went on to assure them that no matter
what happens, even when they feel lonely and
abandoned, they can always find comfort in the
fact that Someone laid down His life and shed
His blood for their sake.
It may come to a point when the world will
betray you, but always know that Jesus in the

Eucharist remains faithful to you. Take courage.

If you are embarrassed to face God with all your
iniquities and all your infidelities, fear not
Jesus is there to wait for you, he stressed.
Be what you receive
Quoting St. Augustine, the recently elected
president of Caritas Internationalis invited the
faithful to Be what you receive.
Whenever you receive Christ, strive to become like Him, he exclaimed. (Raymond A.
Sebastin/CBCP News)

PASIG, May 26, 2015 With

separated husbands and wives
getting younger and younger,
a family renewal community is
offering an accessible wellspring
for shared wisdom, care and formation for young couples who
are at one of the most crucial
stages of their marriages.
[Young couples] need a community that will help them and
in turn, [form them to] help
other couples as well. They
should seek the guidance and the
wisdom of the older couples,
said Couples for Christ (CFC)
Young Couples program coordinator Rommel Ancheta before

a Young Couples assembly at

the Unilab Bayanihan Center
on May 23.
Odds seem to be stacked
against young couples even before they warm up to the idea of
wedded bliss.
Attack on young couples
What Ancheta called an attack on young couples is worsened, he believes, by modern,
external influences like social
media, mainstream media, advertising, and the like.
Thats why the individual is
highly affected when they make
Young Couples / A5


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

CBCP Monitor


LAST week, the House of Representatives passed on second reading the so-called economic charter change bill, formally known as
Resolution of Both Houses 1 (RBH-1). Co-authored by Speaker
Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Senator Ralph Recto, RBH-1 seeks to
enable the removal of constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of Philippine businesses and property through the insertion of
the phrases unless provided by law into the pertinent provisions
of the Constitutions.
The Resolution that was well endorsed by administration lackeys
of both Houses of Congress provides that a voice of three-fourths
(3/4) of all its Members, each House voting separately, and pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution, to propose amendments to
Articles XII, XIV and XVI of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic
of the Philippines, with the following proposals
Judging from posts in social media and from comments of independent groups and individuals, this move to change the Constitution is emerging to be very unpopular. For one, this administration
and its party line is plunging into the pit of a serious credibility crisis.
They never bothered even to approximate their promised legislations
that could have substantiated their slogans and probably bolster this
country to real prosperitythe likes of the Anti-poverty bill, the
Freedom of Information bill, the Anti-dynasty bill and a couple
more. Well-meaning citizens harbor suspicions of some sinister plot
from somewhere in the corridors of power that stand to benefit once
the country open wide its doors to foreign capitalists.
But granting that amendments to the economic provisions of the
Constitution happens, this will only be a formality of a de facto
invasion of foreign capitalists that has been wreaking havoc on the
Philippine economy for some years now. Through the labyrinth of
intricate corporate layering and dummies, foreign tycoons from
neighboring Asian countries are in control of the countrys economy
by being the majority owners of the Philippines public utility enterprise. These tycoons are presently the controlling stockholders of
the countrys biggest public utility firms in electric power, communications, water, transportation and, more so, other big businesses
such as mining.
Thanks to the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who rushed to pose these
questions: 1. What do we, as a nation, stand to gain from relaxing the provisions now deemed restrictive? 2. How are we assured
that the resources of the country, both natural and human, benefit
Filipino nationals principally? 3. What are the human, social and
environmental costs of lifting present limits to foreign participation
in Philippine economic and business affairs?
Truth to tell, whenever moves to amend the Philippine Constitution are in the offing, one can be more or less certain that they are
meant to advance a political agenda that is not inclusive. This country
has not yet reached a political maturity wherein the common good
is given prominence. The Philippine political culture is what needs
changing, not the charter.

The Eucharist in the Churchs

dialogue with cultures
WHILE Asia is home to a wide variety of cultures, values, and traditions,
there are cultural elements that are common among them: close family
ties, filial reverence, family meals, sacredness of Gods word (deposited
in sacred writings), hospitality, and leadership exercised as service and
readiness to sacrifice, among others. In the concrete context of Asia, the
Eucharist is a potent starting point for the mission of reaching out to its
many peoples, as well as the goal to aspire for in the same mission. The
Asian people will have no difficulty seeing in the Eucharistic Celebration
the values they hold dear in common.
The Eucharist as meal very clearly upholds family relationship and
hospitality so highly valued by most Asian people. It will be fruitful to
present the Eucharist as the family meal where God gathers his children
together to feed them with his Word and with the Body of his Son, a
meal where the children are able to thank and praise their Father for his
immense love for them, where they can confidently express their needs,
where they are in the company of their brothers and sisters, and many
others who constitute their extended family.
The Eucharist as sacrifice can be very meaningful for most Asians
considering how they usually perceive leadership, e.g., the leadership
exercised by parents towards their children, of elder brothers and sisters
toward their younger siblings, of village heads towards their constituents,
by the host of a feast toward his/her guests. It is a leadership that is
exercised in service and with readiness to sacrifice for the sake of ones
charge. Among the poor families in the Philippines, It is not uncommon
for parents to let their children eat first before they do, if there is hardly
enough food on the table, to be sure that no one among the children goes
hungry. Nor is it uncommon that an elder brother or sister gives way
to the younger siblings for the opportunity to go to school if the family
does not have enough resources to send all children to school. Or the
eldest may never get married, choose to work all his or her life, to send
all siblings to school.
The Eucharist will mean much for most Asians because it expresses
many of the cultural values that they treasure very dearly. The Eucharist,
celebrated well as both meal and sacrifice, is the best way to proclaim the
Good News of Gods offer of salvation though the sacrifice of his Son to
the point of self-sacrificing death, of Gods invitation to make us all part
of his family, of Gods unending desire to enrich us all by his life-giving
Word and Body broken and shared that we may live. The Eucharist too
is the best way to motivate a spirit and consciousness of mission in view
of sharing the same richness, meaning and life to others.
- From the Theological and Pastoral Reflections in preparation for the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress


Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Economic charter change

Views and Points

BBL unlimited

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

NO. This is definitely not about any business

corporation with unlimited capitalists funding
it, with unlimited incorporators managing it,
and other unlimited features. Yes. This is about
something that brings about unlimited issues,
unlimited difficulties, unlimited contradictionsirrespective of whether BBL is approved
or disapproved by the Legislative department,
confirmed or rejected by the Judicial department. The supposedly Basic Law can readily be
the cause for otherwise law-abiding people to
turn lawless. And this is a big predicament for
this country which is now, in fact, under threat
from within and without.
This is in effect saying that the present administration under the baton of the incumbent
Malacaang occupant with its obedient and
even subservient allies in the Executive department, has formally started a big socio-political
predicament in thecCountrysomething that
will continue to haunt the peace and tranquility
of people of the Philippines even after the same
public official is long gone from the sight and

attention of the general public in the post-May

2016 era. Instead of bringing about a solution,
exactly the same Chief-in-Command is instead
leaving behind a legacy of confusion and pursuant dissension.
Once approved by the Legislature and affirmed by the Judiciary, considering that the
BBL covers but a small portion of both the
people and the land of Mindanao, anything
and many things can happen through one
after another disconcerting or even dissenting
initiatives of those not benefited by it especially so when their interests and concerns,
their common good or public welfare are, in
effect, undermined by the said law. In other
words and saying it from the heart, BBL spells
neither definitive unity nor defining peace.
The standing fact is true even now during its
politico-constitutional evaluation, both loud
pro and anti BBL camps are already being
heard repeatedly, here and there.
When disapproved by the Legislative and
thus silencing the Judiciary, taking into account

A listening heart

that those avidly proposing and endorsing it

from within the Philippines, as well as from
another countrywho are not exactly known
as promoters of public harmony and much less
are they looked upon as moderatesto expect
but their submission or acquiescence to such a
disapproval is but a dream. They are not exactly
fighters for peace. They do not manufacture,
own and carry guns and ammunitions just for
picture-taking. What they say, they do. And
what they have, they use.
What a serious and dangerous national
predicament this present administration has
brought about and is leaving behind to the fear
and uncertainty of the people in terms of the
BBLin addition to the Pork Barrel institution, the redefinition of Savings, the example
of being Busy while doing nothing, etc., etc.
What is more strange is hearing the one behind
all the above hullabalooand morerepeatedly saying that he wants a successor who will
continue what he has done, come May 2016!
This is hallucinationto say the least!

And Thats The Truth

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

COMELEC reportedly will allow

campaign season to begin early
this year, around October, before
which political advertising would
be judged premature and therefore a violation of law. But, come
to think of itis anyone really
keeping track?
Political campaigning happens
without actual advertising. A
person aspiring for political office need not say Vote for me
to express his intention. Footage
on television or in movie houses
showing him/her in a favorable
lightfor example, as champion
of the masatells the public
I am worthy of being a public
servant; remember me in 2016.
Keeping a high profile, frequent
appearances in talk shows or media fora, or even glowing words
of praise from his/her friends all
constitute indirect campaigning.
Even seemingly amusing but snide
remarks in social media aimed at

potential rivals are in a way advertising of a kindlike allusions to a

rivals tarnished reputation or lack
of experience.
In this light, I find very timely
what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
said to the Parliament in Berlin on
September 22, 2011. He began
by recounting the story of King
Solomon when God invited him
to make a request, on his accession
to the throne. Would the young
king ask for success, wealth, long
life, or the destruction of his enemies? Solomon chose none of
the above, and instead asks for a
listening heart that he may govern
Gods people and discern between
good and evil.
Benedict said that through this
little story the Bible wants to tell
us what should ultimately matter
for a politician. His fundamental
criterion and the motivation for
his work as a politician must
not be success, and certainly not

Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala

material gain. Politics must be a

striving for justice, and hence it
has to establish the fundamental
preconditions for peace.
Quoting St. Augustine, Without justice, what else is the State
but a great band of robbers?
Benedict went on to say that
power divorced from right could
turn politicians into a highly organized band of robbers, capable
of threatening the whole world
and driving it to the edge of the
abyss. To serve right and to fight
against the dominion of wrong is
and remains the fundamental task
of the politician. At a moment in
history when man has acquired
previously inconceivable power,
this task takes on a particular
urgency. Man can destroy the
world. He can manipulate himself.
He can, so to speak, make human
beings and he can deny them their
humanity. How do we recognize
what is right? How can we discern

between good and evil, between

what is truly right and what may
appear right? Even now, Solomons
request remains the decisive issue
facing politicians and politics today How would it be if we, the
law-makers of today, were invited
to make a request? What would we
ask for? I think that, even today,
there is ultimately nothing else
we could wish for but a listening
heartthe capacity to discern
between good and evil, and thus to
establish true law, to serve justice
and peace.
Solomons story is a gentle
reminder during these times of
mudslinging and preening that
its never enough to have professional competence, cleverness,
years of experience, popularity,
or even a good reputation. A
listening heart is at the core of
the matterparticularly when
the heart listens in silence. And
thats the truth.

Human and Christian

consistency in politics



Pedro C. Quitorio

Ronalyn R. Regino


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POLITICS, of course, is an unavoidable concern for us. As social beings, we cannot help
but get into politics. Thats simply because we
have to organize ourselves as a people. And its
a need that will always be an on-going affair.
We need laws to govern the way we live,
we need peace and order, we need a working
economy. We need leaders on whom we invest
some authority. These and a lot more is what
politics is all about.
In all of these, we have to find ways of how to
meet them. Thats why we have elections, among
many other others. Of course, the conduct of
our elections is also subject to some agreed rules.
Now, with the elections coming up, the political fever is upon us, and the big challenge now
is how to maintain our human and Christian
consistencysome say, sanityin politics.
What we are seeing now, even while quite
early yet in the game, is a gathering storm of
political attacks. Theres a lot of mudslinging,
fault-finding and muckraking, reckless branding
and stereotyping.
If not these, then they go to the other extreme

of unmitigated praises and alleluias of personalities whom they practically portray as completely
sinless, the savior of the world, while the opponents are pictured as the devil incarnate, the
ultimate villain deserving instant death and hell.
Some say this is normal. I say its not. Its
inhuman, let alone, unchristian. There seems
to be an unspoken understanding that when it
comes to politics, we can behave like animals,
fighting each other over ideas and opinions.
Some say we need not distinguish between
the persons of the candidates, officials and supporters, and the different positions they hold.
Everyone and everything is fair game. Killing
can even be resorted to.
We have to say that this cannot be. We are
supposed to be ruled always by something indispensable even in our most contentious affairs.
Everyone seems to forget that charity is what
keeps us human and Christian in politics as it
is in every aspect of our life. But especially in
politics where, by its nature, things can be messy
and tricky. Precisely the complexity of politics
makes charity most indispensable.

Charity is what enables us to respect and love

one another in spite of our sharp differences
and conflicts, thereby following Christs new
commandment of loving one another as I have
loved you. He even went on to say that we
have to love our enemies. For this love, Christ
ultimately had to die on the cross.
All these for the simple reason that first and
last, we are brothers and sisters, creatures of the
same God even if we call him by different names
and describe him in a variety of ways.
Truth is we are all members of the same family. Whether we like it or not, we are obliged to
love one another no matter what. This is a basic
truth that we should never forget, especially
when we do politics.
Some say that charity dilutes, if not dissolves
many important values like truth, justice, fairness, etc. Thats why many politicians do not
give much attention to charity. At best, they
render only some lip service to it.
But hardly anything can be farther than the
truth, since charity, in fact, holds the highest
Candidly Speaking / A5

CBCP Monitor


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12


Spaces of Hope


Fr. Francis Ongkingco

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

I WAS giving a homily in a chapel when I heard
a commotion on my left. I momentarily stopped
to inquire what it was about. It was then that
I was told that a friend who had accompanied
me to the Mass had actually fainted and they
were frantically taking care of her. They were
bringing her to a nearby hospital.
I did not panic, thanks be to God, but continued with the liturgical celebration just trusting
that all will go well. By Gods grace, Joy (not
her real name) recovered from her ordeal. It was
a case of sheer fatigue and work-related stress.
Sam and Gladys, my two other companions,
later recounted how the people of the place spontaneously lent a helping hand when they noted that
Joy was having a dizzy spell. One woman started to
fan her, followed by another one who did it from
the opposite direction. A third brought a glass of
warm water. Then a woman called her son who
was a registered nurse by cell phone. He arrived
very soon after and supervised first aid.
The spontaneity of help of the people was
striking. It displayed a depth of mercy which
Pope Francis writes is essential if we are to
become a more effective sign of the Fathers
action in our is absolutely essential for
the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself live and testify to mercy.
I am grateful for those who preceded us in the
Christian formation of our Christian faithful.
Our culture is Christian, despite our quirks and
dysfunctions, as was shown recently in our open
welcome to Rohingya refugees.
Not too long after this incident, I was having

a chat with a journalist. We were exchanging

notes about newsworthy stories. Suddenly she
turns to her friend and says, Father, my friend
here wants to join the Catholic Church.
It turns out her friend had been born into a religious cult known for its affinity to Arianism and
for making acerbic attacks against the Catholic
Church. One day, she gave birth out of wedlock.
Soon her name was being announced in pulpits
announcing her sin to the whole world. She was
being humiliated in public and formally excommunicated! I felt very sad for her and assured her
there is room for her in the Church.
Servile fear and coercion are contrary to
mercy. These are forms of violence. They have no
place among Christians and people of good will.
Recently, Bishop Leo Tumulak facilitated the
coming over to the Philippines of a team from
Germany to conduct seminars on non-violent
communication or NVC. The one-day seminar
held at the major seminary in Cebu featured
role playing, power-point presentation, group
discussion, and lectures by very experienced and
knowledgeable individuals.
The NVC is the brainchild of the late Dr.
Marshall B. Rosenberg a clinical psychologist
from Detroit who died last February 7, 2015.
The website of the Center for NVC says that
the approach contains nothing new. It is based
on historical principles of nonviolencethe
natural state of compassion when no violence
is present in the heart. Furthermore, NVC
can be seen as both a spiritual practice that
helps us see our common humanity, using our
power in a way that honors everyones needs,

Productive Asset
Management in the Church
THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Pension
Plan Committee invites the financial administrators to the 17th
ADFAP (Arch/Diocesan Financial
Administrators of the Philippines).
The convention will be held at
Hotel Essencia, Real Street, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental from
June 15 to 19, 2015.
The convention theme is Towards a Productive Asset Management in the Church. The
convention will start with a recollection and Most Rev. Gerardo
Alminaza, Bishop of San Carlos, Negros Oriental, will be the
recollection-facilitator. His Excellency Archbishop John Du, CBCP
Treasurer and CBCP Pension Plan
Chairman, will deliver a message.
Lectures will be given to update
the knowledge and skills of financial administrators and their
staff regarding corporation sole,
management accounting, lease of
church properties, accreditation of
donee institutions, and land titling.
Main celebrants in the daily
Eucharist are Most Rev. Alminaza,
Most Rev. Julito Cortes of Dumaguete, Most Rev. John Forrosuelo

Du of Palo, Leyte, and Most Rev.

Patricio Buzon of Kabankalan,
Negros Oriental.
We wish the success of the 17th
ADPAF Convention.
The Girl Scouts of the Philippines had just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary. During
the occasion, 75 Girl Scouts youth
were awarded the Pilar Hidalgo
Achievement Award for their
exemplary service in their respective field of endeavor. There was
also the ground-breaking of the
National Heritage Center and the
launching of the GSP Diamond
JubileeThe Legacy GSP History Book Part II. There was also
the Diamond Jubilee Songwriting Contest. The GSP National
President now is Ms. Susan Locsin,
who will take over after Ms. Salud
Bagalso, M.D., effective July 1.
The GSP is also a member of the
World Association of Girl Guides
and Girl Scouts, which will hold
its convention in the Vatican this
We condole with the family
and parishioners of Rev. Fr. Lauro

P.O.G.I. (Presence Of God Inside)

Rev. Fr. Alan Gozo Bondoc, SVD

I ENTERED the cave of Sumagin in Sagada

with some oldies (senior citizens) companions.
We have a travel guide who brought a lamp
and assisted the oldies.
Our guide was so kind as to wait, assist, and
walk with us at our own pace.
He did not leave us behind, abandon us nor
let us out of his sights. He kept on reminding
us that when we cannot see the path anymore,
we should just call him and he would bring in
the light. He knew the route like the back of his
hand for he had walked and entered the cave
many times in his life.
He encouraged us to go on slowly when the
path was steep and slippery. He did not push us
but instead he protected us, especially the older
ones from falling.
It was my first time to walk in such a cave.
It was dark, rocky, slippery, and smelled stinky
because of bats poop.
I wished there had been fluorescent lamps
to see clearly, stairs to step on, and bar railings

Duc In Altum
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Chavez Mozo, MSC, the parish

priest of Sta. Quiteria and St.
Francis of Assisi Parish in Tullahan Road, Baeza, Caloocan City.
Fr. Lauro passed away on June 2,
2015 due to severe heart attack.
His funeral will be on June 13 at
Eternal Garden, Baeza, Caloocan
City after the 7a.m. Requiem
Mass at his parish church. Most
Rev. Francisco de Leon, Auxiliary
Bishop of Antipolo and Apostolic
Administrator of the Diocese of
Kalookan, together with the Kalookan clergy, will celebrate Mass
at the parish church at 8 p.m. on
June 12. Fr. Lauro, a native of
Butuan City of Caraga Region,
is survived by his mother Lucila,
stepfather Rogelio Palania and 6
siblings. His sister, Ignatius Mozo,
is a nun of St. Clare Congregation
in Chicago, Illinois.
Happy Feast Day to all whose
patron saint is San Antonio de
Padua, the patron saint of finding
things or lost people. He is noted
for his forceful preaching and
expert knowledge of the scripture.
The birthday of Inay, Gloria Angeles Santiago, falls on the feast day

of San Antonio de Padua. This is

the first year that we will celebrate
it without her. God bless you Inay.
With the retirement of Fr.
Constantino Conti, Fr. Mariano
Bartolome, Jr., parish priest of
Sagrada Familia in Banal St., 6th
Avenue, Caloocan City, will take
over as the new parish priest of
San Jose de Navotas. Fr. Benedict
John Cervantes will be the new
parish priest of Sagrada Familia.
Congratulations to the new parish priests!
We would like to greet a very
Happy Birthday to our dear Most
Rev. Francisco M. de Leon, D.D.,
Apostolic Administrator of the
Diocese of Kalookan and Auxiliary
Bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo,
and Fr. Medardo Ardie Ong and
family friend Fr. Robert Ramos.
The same greetings go to my
brother Benito Santiago, Jr. We
wish you all good health and more
blessings from our Lord. Belated
Happy Birthday to Fr. Anton C.T.
Pascual, Radio Veritas President
and Executive Director of Caritas

The Cave and

the Travel Guide

to hold on along the path way. But there were

I liken it to the path to Christian life; it is a
tough path. There are moments when everything seems dark and slippery, discouraging us
from going on. There are moments when we
slip and fall on rocky paths, leaving us in pain
and scratched with wounds.
The oldies who were with me, they experienced it, they slipped and fell.
We were grateful because our guide made us
stop. He knew that the oldies would encounter
more difficulties along the way if we decided to
push on with our spelunking. In the end, we
all decided to go back. We did not see the cave
journey as a failure. We did not see ourselves as
quitters. We decided so because we cared for
each other.
Besides, our travel guide had a kind and
honest heart, allowing us to return. He did not
force us because he too, cares for us.
According to our guide, we only walked one

The Buffet of God

and a concrete set of skills which help us create

life-serving families and communities.
There are four steps in NVC: clarify Observations, express Emotions, share Needs, and make
a Request. I use the acronym OFNR. It takes
practice and discipline to put things in proper
order where we no longer need to use the
language of blame, judgment or domination.
NVC is another expression of mercy. Blessed
are the merciful, they will be shown mercy
(Matthew 5:7).
UBAS (Ugnayan nga Barangay at Simbahan) is an official DILG program, a legacy
of the late Jesse Robredo. It is the coming
together of servant leaders (i.e. barangay
officials, police, and parish priests) at the
grassroots level for good governance and effective delivery of services.
One early adopter in UBAS Cebu is Chairman
Ernie Manatad of Barangay Subangdako in Mandaue City. Every Sunday morning, he gathers
street children in his area of responsibility to be
given baths, given a haircut and newly-washed tshirts, to be fed, and to be given catechesis. Some
of the 500 street and other very poor children
who will receive First Communion during the
International Eucharistic Congress in January
2016 will come from Subangdako.
Before, I have this bias, thinking these street
kids are such a nuisance. Now that we always
meet on Sundays, I fell in love with them. They
are like my own children, admits Ernie about
his transformation.
I can see Pope Francis smile.

eighth of the journey, we were only in the first

phase, but he supported our decision to return.
No hard feelings for not making the entire
cave journey; it was still a great experience that
matters. It was the fun of journeying together
that was important.
On our way back to the entrance of the cave,
we met fellow travelers, we told them that we
did not make it all the way, but we encouraged
them to go on and not be disheartened by our
I loved what we experienced. I do not blame
the oldies for not making it through the entire
cave journey. They did not ruin the journey,
instead, they revealed something truly beautiful about it. It is for this reason I can say that
I love what I learned and experienced not just
from the journey, but from our travel guide. He
knows best: I experienced the best in life because
I followed his will not mine.
This taught me to follow Gods will not mine
for me to have life to the fullest.

Fr. Wilfredo Samson, SJ

LIFE is a long journey with lots of

rough and winding roads, ups and
downs, cross-roads and even deadends. And in this journey, we feel
exhausted, tired and hungry. We
feel the need to stop to rest and
allow our soul to catch up with us,
grab something to eat, and replenish our energy. And yet, most of the
time, we are not totally satisfied
and well-rested. Our spirit craves
something deeper.
Such was the feeling of Jesus in
our Gospel reading on the feast of
Corpus Christi. Jesus realized that
the moment of darkness had come.
He will be crucified and die on the
Cross alone. But also, he knew that
his disciples would be embarking
on a long journey of hopelessness,

anxiety, and fear when he disappears. And He cannot afford to

lose them all. He saw the need to
feed them with something different. Not with ordinary bread. But
something that would sustain them
in their lifes journey, something
that would give satisfaction to their
tired and hungry spirits.
And so, on the night before embarking on His passion and death,
He instituted the Eucharist. With
one reason in mind - to feed our souls
and strengthen us in our journey.
The Eucharist is Gods feeding
time. Its me and my God time.
Jesus established the Eucharist to
feed us with His body and blood
for the journey is long and tough.
He desires to feed us with Presence.

The presence of the Eucharist in

our daily life tells us that we are
not alone in our journey. We have
food from heaven that can give
us strength when we are lonely,
exhausted, and lost. God is true to
His promisethat He will be with
us until the end of timethrough
the Eucharist.
But do we grab this opportunity
of God feeding us with His presence? Do we see the importance of
the Eucharist in my lifes journey?
I remember an angel telling
Elijah after running away from Jezebel, Get up and eat some more,
for the journey ahead will be too
much for you. So he got up and
ate and drank. Strengthened by
that food, he traveled forty days

and forty nights until he reached

Horeb, the mountain of God. (1
Kings 19:7-8).
Jesus is offering Himself through
the Eucharist as our food for our
tired spirits. We should aspire and
exert effort to go to Mass, not only
on Sundays, but every day. If only
we could see the power of the Eucharist and its divine benefits that
await us, I am sure all of us will
attend the Mass daily.
The Holy Eucharist is Gods
buffet, one that is being offered to
us daily. But theres only one kind
of food in this meal - the Body
and Blood of Jesus. And yet, thats
more than enough to sustain us
in our lifes journey. It will give us
eternal life.

HOW often do we say or hear others saying they want some peace and
quiet? Given todays materialistic and fast-paced virtual lifestyle, the
moments of personal silence and recollection are becoming rare commodities. Unlike in the past, these spaces of interior enrichment and
re-integration are now constantly invaded and polluted by text messages,
ring and message tones, and other forms of digital interference or noise.
Consciously or unconsciously interior recomposing is indispensable
for the person. Its absence makes conversations, plans, and social engagements mere fast-forwarded virtual realities devoid of lasting impressions
and convictions. There are two possible extremes in creating such interior
spaces. One is what we today refer to as boredom or a static void of nonactivity. The other is hyper-activism in sensory indulgence.
Boredom is an empty room, which any normal person can create
through his laziness to engage himself in something productive. The seeds
of boredom are sowed by what we call nurturing dead time or snippets of
time in between activities that could be used to harmoniously recompose
ourselves, but are instead whimsically wasted for a leisure escape dictated
by the law of instant personal gratification.
Hyper-activism in sensory indulgence can be found in many situations but is epitomized in todays unfortunate cyber-media sensualist.
He literally consumes the day with a gluttonous clicking desire for every
enjoyable and fulfilling page, motion, sound or message. His inner space
may not be empty, but his indulgence only shows an endless search for a
space where his senses may rest satisfied. Unfortunately, he never finds
a break that will allow him to encounter himself integrally.
If we were to refer to a genuine space for personal recomposing and
integration we first have to define what space is. I prefer not to enter into
something philosophical, but to play with an idea drawn from the letters
of the word itself. This would be a Sacred Place Allowing Christ to Enter.
The most important word after Christ is Sacred. The word sacred
originates from two other words: sacra facere, that is, to make something
fitting for God. Thus, all material offerings meant to be given to God are
set apart from the rest because they already belong to Him. Moreover,
for living sacrifices (i.e. birds, sheep or goats) to be offered they must be
slain and entirely burnt for God.
The idea of setting something apart is essential for finding our inner
space. And this space can only be created by our heart. The heart is like
an alternating switch. It has a natural attraction to both material and
spiritual goods of life. If not properly guided, it can with a disordered
attachment to self, things, eventually burning itself out.
St. Augustines celebrated prayer best describes this condition of mans
heart: our hearts, O Lord, are restless, until they rest in Thee! (Confessions). He was expressing the reality that only God can truly fill and
satisfy all the longings of the human heart. For this to become a reality,
man must first create a space in which God can put in His grace and love.
In another place, Augustine describes how to create this inner space.
He says: A container has to empty before it can be filled. Well then,
pour out the evil that is in you, since you should be filled with goodness.
Imagine, that God wants to fill you with honey; but if you are full of
vinegar, where are you going to put the honey? First you have to empty
the container, and then you have to clean it and wash it, even though
you may get tired and you may need to scrub it, so that it is capable of
receiving something. (Commentary, First Letter of St. John 4:2.6)
Setting things apart requires discipline. It is not simply the task of
doing this or not, but offering both what we ought to do and also what
we forgo in doing out of love for God. The value of what we offer is not
in its quantity but in the intention for doing it. Thus, even the most
insignificant thing done with great love can create a great space in our
hearts allowing Christ to enter and work.
St. Josemara has a very striking advice on this matter: Do you really
want to be a saint? Carry out the little duty of each moment: do what
you ought and concentrate on what you are doing. (The Way, no. 815)
He doesnt say successful, rich or famous. He uses the word SAINT! And
this idea can be applied to literally everything we do, insofar as we do
them in view of setting them apart for God.
With this space create constantly in our lives, Christ not only enters but
also from within radiates His presence to those around us: family, friends,
work, and rest, etc. He likewise transforms our day-to-day experiences of
joys, setbacks, illness, and misunderstandings into something meaningful.
Ultimately, Jesus will also help us to set apart from our hearts, the things
that set us apart from His love.
That was the same space our Lady created in Her heart. It was such
an Immaculate space that Gods Word was not only pronounced to Her,
but became Flesh in Her most Virginal Womb.
Candidly Speaking / A4

standards insofar as these values

are concerned. What is often
conveniently forgotten is that
while charity requires the most
stringent criteria of truth, justice,
fairness, etc., it goes much further
to include mercy and compassion.
Its charity that would enable
us to have a certain openness to
all views and positions, including
those we do not agree with or even
consider as objectively wrong. Its
not so much because of the views
that we are open as to the persons
who hold them.
If, in the worst scenario, we believe that they are in error, we can
try to correct them with utmost
delicacy, strictly following due
process that governs the proper

resolution of issues.
We should avoid ad hominem
attacks, rash judgments that often
are a product of an orchestrated
mob rule, assertions, and accusations that hardly have any
strong basis or are simply based
on hearsay.
We should try to tame our passions that often blind us and push
us to do uncharitable things. While
we inevitably have our biases and
preferences, lets also be open and
fair to those who differ from us.
In the end, we should be guided
by a well-formed conscience, always attentive to Gods will and
ways in doing politics, and especially when choosing our public

Young Couples / A3

crucial decisions in life, he

Decades earlier St. John Paul
II already turned a pastoral eye
toward the special circumstances
of young husbands and wives
when he wrote the encyclical
Familiaris Consortio: Young
married couples should learn to
accept willingly and make good
use of the discreet, tactful and
generous help offered by other
couples that already have more
experience of married and family life.
For Ancheta, who is also the
head of Ablaze Communications, tthe Young Couples program of CFC is not just gateway
evangelization at its most intuitive, but is both strategic and exactly what modern society needs.
More separations
There is an increase in annulmentsThe age group [of married couples] who get separated
is getting younger and younger,
he noted, citing a study by the
Office of the Solicitor General,
which showed that there has

been a 10% increase in annulments in the Philippines since

Surprisingly or maybe unsurprisingly, the most glowing
reviews about the Young Couples
program come from non-CFC
Ancheta who has been leading
the program since September
2013, shared about a young
wife whose 25-year old husband
spends all his free time only
on two things: basketball and
After getting him to attend
a Young Couples assembly, she
asked him if they could attend
the next Young Couples assembly after his de riguer basketball
game and a scheduled party; his
reply shocked her in a good
way. He said, No need for basketball, no need to attend the
party. Lets go straight to the
Parties interested to join the
program may contact Rommel
Ancheta at (02) 709-6352 for
more details. (Nirvaana Ella


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Church joins fight vs

coal mining
THE Catholic Church in the
Philippines has voiced its strong
opposition to coal mining, noting how this will only make the
country a major contributor to
climate change, endangering the
ecosystem, as well as the health and
lives of people.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive
secretary of the National Secretariat
for Social Action, Justice, and Peace
(NASSA)/Caritas Philippines,
stressed that the Church must
make her disapproval known, staying at the forefront, given that the
Philippine government is adamant
in backing mining operations by
asking for emergency power.
Destruction in disguise
In the guise of providing more
efficient energy source, higher tax
revenues and the so-called greater
development, the state and the multinational coal companies are opening another door for Philippines to
becoming the major contributor to
climate change, stressed Gariguez,
who made this statement during the
launch of the One Million Against
Coal Campaign, which tries to
gather as many as a million signatures to promote resistance against
the construction of coal-powered
plants and coal mines nationwide.
The petition likewise hopes to
persuade the Aquino administration to honor its commitment of
combating and mitigating climate
change effects and preventing
natural calamities.

people who risk being sacrificed

because of the power plants.
The priest cited studies that
point to carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions from coal-fired plants
as the primary source of global
He also mentioned its fatal effects on the environment and the
people, especially on pregnant
mothers and their babies.

Dont disregard health, lives

Noting how the government is
tasked to address the impending
energy crisis, Gariguez explained
those in power should also not
disregard the health and lives of

Example of Yolanda
The catastrophe we experienced
from Typhoon Yolanda, which
killed thousands and damaged
billions of properties, is proof to
this, Gariguez added.

CBCP-Nassa executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez YEN OCAMPO

Data from the Philippine

Movement for Climate Justice
(PMCJ) show that there are 26
new coal plant projects expected
to operate in the country by year
Among these is the 1,200-megawatt Atimonan One Energy power
plant extension project, which
will be erected soon in Atimonan,
Quezon province. The said project
will be the third coal plant in the
province along with the Mauban
Coal Plant and the Pagbilao Coal
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is

vocal in its protest against the said

proposal, along with the Diocese
of Lucena.
Besides advocacies on climate
change, NASSA/Caritas Philippines has been working closely as
well with the nine dioceses from
Yolanda-hit areas through its
recovery and rehabilitation program, one of which is REACH
Philippines, which is now on
its second year, giving shelter,
water sanitation, and hygiene
facilities, livelihood, and food
security, and ecosystem recovery
interventions to disaster survivors. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

Catholic schools: Safety top priority

AMID threats of a major earthquake in Metro
Manila, the Catholic Educators Association of
the Philippines (CEAP) is making sure that the
safety of students is top priority.
Anthony Coloma, CEAP advocacy and information management officer, said measures
were taken so that schools, particularly those
near the fault line, are structurally sound and
can withstood jolts.
The security and the safety of our students
are primary issues for our schools whether they
straddle along the fault line or not, he said.
Our schools are generally compliant with

the accepted standards of safety in our infrastructures, Coloma said.

He also said Catholic schools consistently
train their staff and students to be familiar
with evacuation procedures, amid fears of a 7.2
magnitude earthquake.
Our schools regularly organize fire and
earthquake drills to ensure that our school
communities are prepared for any unforeseen
eventualities, Coloma added.
Having said that, we continue to pray that
no catastrophe would fall on or shake our land,
he said.

The Department of Education (DepEd)

earlier reported that there are 140 public
schools within the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault.
The agency said at least five schools, which
transect the fault line or are within its five-meter
buffer zone will no longer be used.
All in Metro Manila, these are Barangka National High School in Marikina City; Alabang
Elementary School, Pedro Diaz High School
and Buli Elementary School in Muntinlupa
City; and Anne Claire Montessori in Taguig
City. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor

Priest to Muslim leaders:

Save peace process in
Ramadan spirit
IN VIEW of the upcoming holy
month of Ramadan for Muslims,
the founder of the Silsilha Dialogue
Movement (SDM) has called on
leaders of Muslim communities
to save the peace process in Mindanao.
In the face of heated deliberations on the creation of a Bangsamoro territory in Southern Philippines, Fr. Sebastiano DAmbra,
PIME, issued a message to Muslims, especially their religious
leaders, to shun religious violence.
We appeal to those in authority,
especially Muslim religious leaders,
to move with more determination
against all forms of extremism
emerging here and there in the
name of Islam. This is urgent to
protect the identity of the Islamic
religion and to save the peace process in Mindanao, DAmbra said.
No peace built on fear
The Italian priest likewise reminded Muslim leaders that building peace on fear cannot help the
peace process, adding that a culture
of dialogue coupled with respect
and love for all will help keep hope
alive for peace in Mindanao.
Muslims and Christians are
called to emulate each other in
goodness, if we wish to save the
world. Peace in the world and
in Mindanao cannot be built on
money. Only love and respect with
an honest and creative vision of
goodness, guided by sincere leaders
willing to serve all, will save us and
build peace in our midst, he said.
Citing the violence perpetuated by the Islamic State of Iraq
and Syria (ISIS), DAmbra said
religious violence is still prevalent
in the Philippines, especially in
In a time when people are killed
because they belong to a specific
religion or group, it is important
to recall the value of life, reaffirm
our common origin that gives
us the same dignity as creatures
of the same God. While nations

Fr. Sebastiano DAmbra, founder of the

Silsilha Dialogue Movement (SDM) ROMEL

claim to advocate for human rights

we need to reflect on the new and
alarming issues of violence in this
time of history. This alarming situation is present in the Philippines
and especially in Mindanao, he
pointed out.
Search for mercy
DAmbra urged perpetrators of
religious violence to change in the
spirit of Ramadan and in view of
the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Christians are united with
Muslims in search for Gods mercy.
Thus, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement appeals to those who cause
so much suffering in our midst to
change life in the spirit of Ramadhan and in the spirit of the Jubilee
Year of Mercy, he said.
We wish that the month of
Ramadhan will really be a time of
the Great Jihad that brings about
the great struggle of purification
of the hearts and minds, since
any form of violence starts from
the heart and the mind. This is
the spiritual journey that Islam
proposes and reaffirms, especially
during the month Ramadhan and
which Christians appreciate and
respect, he added.
The end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr,
on July 18 is considered a national
holiday. (CBCP News)

Priest to church volunteers:

Be instruments of unity not

Pinoy Franciscan: Title of Popes eco-encyclical perfect

A MODERN son of St. Francis
believes the Holy Fathers choice
to name his forthcoming encyclical on the environment after a
line his namesake from Assisi
made famous is perfectly fitting,
given that its words inspire and
challenge humans to protect
Gods creation whose stewards
they all are.
I think [our] Holy Father
Pope Francis took the inspiration of this encyclical from
this poem entitled Canticle of
Creatures. One of our Filipino
friars, Fr. Andres Ranoa, OFM,
set this into music also called
Canticle of Creatures, and it
is indeed beautiful, Fr. Amado
Baranquel, OFM told CBCP
News in a recent interview.
Franciscan legacy
The missionary based in wartorn Libya shared this poem of
praise is one of the most beauti-

ful legacies the founder of his

congregation left to posterity.
In it, he explained, St. Francis
reveals himself as one who loves
and respects all of Gods creation
even so far as calling the sun his
brother, the moon and water
his sisters, the Earth his mother,
and so on.
He [St. Francis] praised God
for all of it [Laudato sii], he
This image has been associated
with St. Francis of Assisi since.
Hollywood image
Baranquel, however, admitted
the danger of pigeonholing his
seraphic founder, noting how
complex and colorful a personality the saint was.
There are countless books
about this Poverello of Assisi,
but you have to really study the
Omnibus of Sources by Blessed
Thomas of Celano in order to

capture the different facets of

this enigmatic man of God,
he said.
Authors have their own approach and focus. But not one of
them can fully capture the spirit
and charisma of this little man
of God from Assisi. All I can say
is that Francis of Assisi was way
ahead of his time. He could have
been mistaken for a heretic if he
was not truly a man of God and
obedient to the Pope, he added.
Imitating Christ
The Bicolano religious agreed
St. Francis revolutionized the
Church of his time, showing his
contemporaries what the Imitation of Christ really meant.
He was a revolutionary within the Church. He embodied
in his person what many leaders failed to give. Here lies his
uniqueness, the Franciscan said.
According to Baranquel, while

many groups in the Middle

Ages clamored for much needed
changes in the Church, only St.
Francis own band of little friars
has had a lasting impact because
they themselves practiced what
they were advocating.
Living out the Gospels
[But] Francis lived out all
that he thought was from the
Gospels And [he] was ever
faithful to the office of the Pope.
This is the reason why he was
not considered heretical at that
time, he said.
Franciscanism is a course
[of study] in itself. If one wants
to know more of Francis of Assisi he has to take this course as
well, he added.
The Vatican announced the
eco encyclical Laudato Sii
(Praised Be) is expected to be
released on June 18. (Raymond
A. Sebastin/CBCP News)

Charter Change / A1

Purely economic reasons

But House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
said it is purely for economic reasons and will
not include amending any political provisions
of the Constitution such as term limits.
In the past, the bishops noted how they
agreed with drafters of the 1987 Constitution
who designed specific provisions to safeguard and uphold Filipinos socio-economic
Rightly, we have always steered away from
the prospect of foreigners enriching themselves
by the countrys resources and our labor force,
transferring their earnings overseas, and leaving
us none the better because of their presence and
their exploitation of our resources, both natural
and human! This should remain a paramount
principle, Villegas stressed.
Points to consider
Charter change seems to be one of the
most controversial terms in the countrys
political discourse and this is not the first
time that the bishops have issued a statement about it.
For the Church and other civil society groups,
what makes Charter change a contentious
initiative is the threat of politicians and their
personal interests.

Consistent with the CBCPs first statement

on the matter, issued in 1997, the bishops said
Charter change should be done for common
good. The body stressed the process, if ever
considered, should be transparent, devoid of
partisan political ambitions, and within the
legal framework.
In its latest pastoral statement, the CBCP did
not reject or endorse Constitutional amendments but gives a moral guideline so that
whatever the government proposes would be
according to ethical principles.
In studying Charter change, Villegas said it
should have clear answers to the following
What do we, as a nation, stand to gain from
relaxing the provisions now deemed restrictive?
How are we assured that the resources of
the country, both natural and human, benefit
Filipino nationals principally?
What are the human, social, and environmental costs of lifting present limits to foreign
participation in Philippine economic and business affairs?
Needed diligence
The bishops also urged the lay faithful to get
involved in the issue and study other aspects
that may find relevant with assiduousness

and diligence and share their findings with

the CBCP.
We welcome the truly scholarly and diligent
analyses of all. With these studies, we can more
wisely look at the move to amend the Constitution in the light of our Christian faith,
Villegas said.
Only then shall we be prepared to take a
moral stand in respect to the proposed amendment of the Constitution, he added.
Gang rape
On May 27, lawmakers approved the Charter
change bid on the second reading in the House
of Representatives.
Jesuit priest Fr. Joel Tabora, however, criticized the move in the Lower House which he
described as a gang rape of the Constitution.
In his opinion article at the Manila Times,
he said the resolution was passed by the House
viva voce without actually quorum and with
practically no serious national discussion on
the matter.
This rape is vicious because it hurts precisely those people which the Constitution
seeks to help, the socially disadvantaged,
the marginalized, the excluded, under the
alibi of bringing in more investments,
he said.

Fr. Oliver Mazo, assistant parish priest of Sto. Nino parish stressed the responsibilities
of making the Church grow. EI BALLESTEROS

WE are instruments of unity and

not division.
This was Fr. Oliver Mazo s message during a Pastoral Assembly
in Sto. Nio Parish last Saturday,
reminding those present that
people come to the church to be
sanctified, becoming peacemakers
in the process.
He also reminded church volunteers about the responsibilities of
members of one universal church,
with Christ as the vine and the
baptized faithful as the branches.
Prayer + action
Prayers are useless and may not
merit Gods favor, he said, if not
coupled with good deeds. These
deeds include support of initiatives
of the Church, especially those intended for the poor and victims of
calamities, and of church agencies
such as the Catholic Relief Services,
Caritas International and CBCP
National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA).
Mazo explained that these
good deeds are embodied in
the responsibilities of baptized
These responsibilities are,
namely, to present the Church
everywhere; make Christ present
in the community; obey civil and
government authorities; give suggestions to their church leaders
about what should be done for
the good of the church. Members
of the clergy have the corresponding obligation to recognize and
promote these responsibilities of
the laity.
Fr. Gwen Padagdag, assistant
parish priest, compared church
workers to the siblings Mary,
Martha and Lazarus, and the boy
with two loaves and five fishes in

the New Testaments, asking them

once again for their commitment
to serve the Church.
Laitys role
As such, the priest said they are
called to bring Christ to their
family and the family to Christ
by living the theological virtues of
faith, hope, charity and love, as well
as honesty, forgiveness, and helping
others in need.
We are here now because we
want to give to Christ what we
can give to Him, Padagdag addressed the church volunteers,
citing Christs sacrifice Christ for
the salvation of humankind.
This same point was supported
by Fr. Wilson, a parish co-pastor,
who encouraged the laity to do
what they can to help the Church
Parish pastor and moderator Fr.
Ronel Taboso, who stressed in his
homily today that love and fear of
God is the best inheritance parents
can give their children, told the attendees: It is not you who chose
God, but God chose you.
True conversion
According to him, besides commitment, there must also be true
conversion to be effective in their
respective apostolate.
These are conversions from
activism to contemplation, from
individualism to collaboration,
from superiority to humility, from
being an evangelizer to being
evangelized, and from burden and
sacrifice to privilege and right.
Padagdag, meanwhile, said Being close to God, we are given the
strength beyond our capacity.
(Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/
CBCP News)

CBCP Monitor

Priest: IPs coerced

for Tampakan mining

Through an exhibit held at the Baclaran Church grounds, the faithful learn
more about the plight of locals living in communities threatened by mining.

MARBEL, S. CotabatoThe
director of the Social Action
Center of the Diocese of Marbel, Fr. Joy Pelino appeals to
the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
to investigate its regional offices activities in obtaining
the IPs consent to mining,
saying they are being forced
to agree to something they
clearly do not want.
We call on the NCIP to
immediately and judiciously
respond to the call of the IP.
If activities are pursued this
comes out to be a continuous
betrayal of the IPs rights and
also of NCIP policieswe
have yet to be clarified if what
should be implemented in
Tampakan is the 2006 or the
2012 FPIC Guidelines. And
we continuously urge for the
clear en banc decision on the
matter, the priest said in a
recent statement.
No consent
According to an Alyansa Tigil Mina statement
(ATM), Blaan tribes people
have initially submitted a
petition for NON-FPIC
coverage where they stated
they do not consent to the
Tampakan Copper and Gold
Mining Project.
Five leaders of the Blaan
tribe from Bong Mal in Tampakan, South Cotabato went
to Cagayan de Oro on May
27 to submit a position paper
to the NCIP, requesting an
immediate postponement on


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

any free prior and informed

consent (FPIC)-related activities in their area.
We are not ready for the
FPIC processes because of
unresolved cases of human
rights violations, where two
of the victims are my father,
Bong Fulong Anting Freay,
and my brother-in-law Sonny
Boy Planda. This is also one of
the many reasons why we are
against mining in our territories, said Eking Freay. Freay
was a victim of an ambush in
2013 by Task Force KITACO,
which was formed to secure
the mining project area.
Human rights abuses
According to the ATM
statement, the Blaan people
particularly object to the
NCIP Region XI and XII
offices persistence in obtaining their consent to the
Tampakan mining project
even in the face of unresolved
human rights abuses, as well
as what they consider violations of Blaan tradition and
In the end, what we seek
is NCIP to be advocates for
IP rights and be the voice of
the IPs, and not facilitators
of mining projects and other
development aggressions,
Pelino added.
part of Tampakan Forum, a
technical working group on
the Tampakan mining issue.
(Yen Ocampo/CBCPNews)

Popes visit boosts Leyte tourism

from the spiritual legacy,
Pope Francis visit to typhoon-ravaged Leyte has left
a mark on local tourism, a
church official said.
Fr. Chris Militante, Palo
archdioceses spokesperson,
said an influx of local and
foreign tourists has been
observed this summer, particularly to the places that the
Pope visited in Palo.
At the Palo Cathedral, he
said Catholic pilgrims and
tourists are coming in to
see the statue of Mary holding the child Jesus, which
was displayed during the
papal Mass at the Tacloban
Our Lady of Palo
The people are visiting the
image of the Blessed Virgin,
which is unique because it
was made to illustrate the suffering of the people (typhoon
Yolanda victims), Militante
told reporters.
The priest said before the
Mass, Pope Francis venerated
and touched the image made

by known sculptor Willy

Yalug out of yakal wood from
the debris of the destroyed
The statue depicts Mary
standing on waves while
carr ying the baby Jesus
on her waist, who is lifting and saving another
boy from drowning with
a rosary.
The life-size image was officially named Our Lady of
Palo with the Nuestra Seora
de Salvacion as inspiration.
Pontifical tourist spots
Miltante also noted even
the archbishops residence
where the pontiff had lunch
with some typhoon victims is
visited by tourists.
But we control those who
can get inside at a certain
point because the residence
of the archbishop is a private
place, he said.
He added that there also
people coming to donate
to the Pope Francis Center,
composed of an orphanage, clinic, and home for
the elderly, built inside the

The Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo Leyte, financed by the Vatican, was blessed by the Holy Father, on
Jan. 17, 2015. EI BALLESTEROS

archbishops residence compound.

So far, he said, the facil-

CEBU CityA Catholic priest

and childrens rights advocate has
expressed outrage over the detention, mishandling, and possible
sexual abuse of two female minors
last Easter Sunday in Cebu City at
the hands of suspected local police
officers, resulting in the death of one
of the victims.
This is a gross humiliation and
criminalization of children and psychological abuse. The police should
be fired for gross ignorance of the law
and rights of the child and charged
with violation of R.A. 7610, the
Child Protection Law, says Fr. Shay
Cullen, founding president of Preda,
an Olongapo-based foundation that
seeks to protect women and children
from sex slavery, denouncing members of the Cebu police force, who
had allegedly taken part in brutalizing two street children, Chastity
Mirabilis and Miriam (not her real
name), both 11.
Kids rights violations
According to him, the two were
sleeping on the pavement in Cebus
Fuente district on the night of April
5 after begging all day for food when
a still unnamed policeman from Station 2 under the command of Chief

the Philippines.
The stamps and official first
day cover are now available at the

adding that the heartless and cruel

policemen must be held accountable
because they bring disgrace to the
Philippine National Police (PNP).
Cullen notes that Inspector Wildemar Tiu reportedly left the country for
the United States immediately after
news of Chastitys death came out.

Fr. Shay Cullen, founding president of Preda Foundation PREDA

Inspector Wildemar Tiu came up to

the girls and kicked Chastity in the
face, dragging them into a police van.
Miriam later told social workers the cops tortured Chastity with
The Columban missionary recalls
the children were so battered they

could hardly walk, with Chastity dying soon after from her injuries.
The next day they were allegedly
kicked out of the police station but
Chastity could not stand up and walk
and Miriam carried her on her back.
No medical help was given. Investigators have yet to release a report or
evidence to rule it out that they were
sexually abused, says the Irish priest,

Central Post Office, Door 203,

Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila, and
area post offices nationwide.

For inquiries, interested parties

may call (02) 527-0108 or (02)
527-0132. (CBCPNews)

Environment / A1

environment goes a long way in reducing the risks

associated with typhoons and other calamities.
The most valuable preparation is taking
care of the environment and taking care of our
fellowmen even if there are no typhoons or
earthquakes coming our way, Tagle told Radio
Veritas in Filipino.
He added that indifference to others and to

the environment is a big hindrance to disaster

Love the environment, it is from God and
love others because your fellowman is the summit of the Lords creation, he explained.
Thats why hopefully, its not just relief goods
that are preparedThats also important. But
true preparation is needed every day when it

comes to the environment and others, Tagle

added in Filipino.
The cardinal is among the leading churchs
advocates against climate change.
He said that taking of the environment is a
Christian responsibility and campaign to address the effects of climate change should be
supported by actions. (CBCPNews)

Poor/ A1

turn deaf to their agonies, who are

indifferent to their sufferings, and
who refuse to act for their sake.
The Lord has already done His part
for them. It is time we do ours,
he added.
The priest stressed that each
believing Catholic is called
upon to take responsibility
pananagutanfor his fellow
humans, especially those who

center during recent storms

that struck the province

Priest blasts Cebu cops over street childs death

PHLPost releases Jaro archdiocese

commemorative stamps
MANILATwo special stamps
were issued to commemorate the
150 years of the Archdiocese of
The Philippine Postal Corp.
(PHLPost) released on May 27 the
stamps in two different designs in
the denomination of Php 10.
The PHLPost congratulates the
Catholic faithful in celebrating the
150th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Jaro and the launching
of the commemorative stamps to
highlight the occasion, Postmaster
General Josie Dela Cruz said.
The first design features the historic Jaro cathedral, also known as
the Parish of Our Lady of Candles.
The well-known image of Nuestra Seora de la Candelaria (Our
Lady of the Candles) whose feast
day is celebrated every Feb. 2 appeared in the design of the second
The slogan: blessed, consecrated,
sanctified is also printed in both
Laid-out by in-house artist Vic
Serevo, PHLPost printed 104,000
copies (2 designs) of the stamps
measuring 30x40mm.
Established on May 27, 1865,
Jaro is the fifth oldest diocese in

ity is home to seven seniors

although it has been used several times as an evacuation

have fewer opportunities in life:

to love them, to minister to them,
and to make sure they are not
When we have faith it means
we gamble But its not just
taking chances. Whenever we
receive the Body and Blood of
Christ, we are affirming our responsibility for our neighbors,
he explained.

Loving outcasts
Moreover, Adoviso went on to
exhort the faithful to recall in the
consecrated Host the plight of the
millions of people worldwide who
experience hardships.
We are duty-bound to accept
them, to love them, to serve them,
to be compassionate towards
them, to help them stand on their
feet, and to ensure they are not

taken advantage of by virtue of

their being created in Gods image, he added.
In closing, Adoviso urged his
audience to reflect on how they
can be a neighbor to their neighbors, particularly to the impoverished, the wounded, and to those
whom society treats as outcasts.
(Raymond A. Sebastin/CBCP

Worthless garbage
Will justice ever be done? Will
the state really prosecute police for
this crime of alleged murder and
child abuse? They will likely favor the
cruel corrupt police over what they
have until now considered a worthless street child. They are considered
less than human, so worthless they
allow them to sleep on the streets
and scavenge in their garbage dumps.
They allow it because they see the
children as worthless garbage, he
Cullen laments that some consider
the likes of Chastity as worthless
street children.
The conscience of the nation
ought to be awakened to these terrible, unchanging conditions bringing
suffering to the poor, the children,
and disgrace to the Philippines,
he notes. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

Claretians organize medical

mission for Basilans Bajaus
ISABELA CITY, BasilanSeeing
the Bajaus need for medical attention, the Claretian Missionaries in
Basilan have recently organized a
medical mission for them.
The Claretians gathered around
400 Bajaus and some settlers to
avail of the free services during
the medical mission on May 29 in
Brgy. Townsite in Maluso, Basilan.
Bro. Nicer Natulla, CMF of
the Claret Samal Foundation, Inc.
(CSFI), who organized the free
clinic, said the medical mission
is one way of showing concern
for the Bajaus who are considered
one of the marginalized indigenous
peoples (IP) in the Philippines.
This is not only a medical mission but a promotion of the Bajau
culture as the doctors and nurses
will see the kind of living they have
here in Basilan, Natulla said during an interview with CBCP News.
Dr. Petra Japos who is one of those
who joined the medical mission said it
was her first time to visit Basilan and
she felt sad about the Bajaus situation.
One of her observations is that
the children have skin diseases
like scabies, saying parents, as well

as the kids themselves should be

taught good hygiene in order to
prevent diseases.
Education is really important
and they need to value good hygiene, Japos said.
She added that its a good thing
that the foundation has offered
the Bajaus scholarships from preschool until college.
After seeing the situation they are
in, we will do our best to find sponsors
for the continuation of the scholarship
program, Japos said, adding that
she looks forward to having another
medical mission in Basilan soon.
The Bajaus have availed of the
free consultation, circumcision
for children, and tooth extraction
courtesy of the Municipality of
Maluso who provided medicine;
Department of Health from the
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM);
Armed Forces of the Philippines;
and the Community-Based Health
Services (CBHS) of Zamboanga
City and of Davao City. One doctor, one dentist, and five nurses
joined the medical mission. (John
Frances C. Fuentes/CBCP News)

Election / A1

leading and of serving with probity,

high above suspicion and with
skill, competence and wisdom that
comes from abiding faith.
That a person is a firm believer,
and that he or she practices her faith
should be a crucial consideration for
the Catholic voter, he said.
End political dynasties
The bishops again reminded
Christian voters to snub candidates from political dynasties and
prudently choose others who may
have equal if not superior abilities
and competencies for the position.
There is no monopoly on ability
for government, and truly no one
in government is indispensable,
Villegas said.
The CBCP has long condemned
political dynasties in the Philippines, repeatedly calling for a passage of a law that prohibits them.
Since 1990s, the bishops collegial body released about six pastoral
statements against politics being

under the control of few notable

Political patronage
The bishop also took a jab
against political patronage, calling
on voters not to make kapit sa
taas as a criterion for their choice
of local elective officials.
We reject a government by
patronage, the CBCP head added.
Villegas then urged voters to
ask the right questions as basis for
selection among candidates.
For instance, he said, voters
should find out if their congressman or a senator attended the
sessions diligently and regularly.
Do not demand to know of a
congressman or a senator what his
or her local projects have been.
Legislators are not supposed to
have local projects. They are supposed to legislate, to attend congressional sessions, rise to debate
and actively take part in committee
hearings, he said. (CBCPNews)


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Photo exhibit exposes

dark side of mining

CBCP Monitor

IEC mobile app to

guide pilgrims

IN keeping with the forthcoming

celebration of World Environment Day, the National Shrine
of Our Mother Perpetual Help
(Baclaran Church) has mounted
anew a mini photo exhibit which
aims to raise awareness about the
adverse impact of irresponsible
and unbridled mining.
In line with this, a signature
campaign is concurrently conducted in the Baclaran Church
compound today until after
World Environment Day in order to gather as much popular
support as possible for the repeal
of the controversial Mining Act
of 1995.
Scrap mining act
In a written statement, the
Scrap the Philippine Mining Act
of 1995 Network, a coalition
composed of religious and secular
groups, stresses that large-scale
mining is a life-and-death issue
for the indigenous and Filipino
While it admits that mining is
important in building national
industries and [in] providing for the
industrial needs of the people, the
alliance laments that the industry
has unjustly enriched a few at the
expense of the vast majority and the
Destroyed environment, human
rights violations
It points out that the reversal of
the unconstitutionality of Republic
Act (R.A.) 7942, or the Philippine
Mining Act of 1995 more than ten
years ago has only brought about
the plunder of resources, land
grabbing, massive destruction of

While more famous for its well-attended novena masses, the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Paraaque
City regularly hosts a mini photo exhibit and a signature drive calling for the junking of the Mining Act of 1995 which allegedly
legalizes the plunder of our remaining natural resources by foreign companies. RAYMOND A. SEBASTIN

our environment and ecosystem,

human rights violations, loss of
traditional livelihoods, gross violations of indigenous peoples collective rights and its replacement of
low-wage, insecure jobs.
The Scrap the Mining Act
Alliance, moreover, hits those
controlling the local mining industry and the law that protects
it for lacking direction towards

utilizing our mineral resources

and developing our national
industries even as foreign firms
are allowed to rake in billions of
dollars in profits and Filipinos
in mining-affected communities
remain poor.
According to the alliance, the
Mining Act of 1995 gives mining
companies privileges like up to
100% foreign-owned capital and

repatriation profit; freedom from

requisition of investment, freedom
from expropriation; tax exemption
for a grace period of ten years;
easement rights, water rights, and
timber rights; and tariff and tax
exemption for the materials and
supplies imported for their mining
operation or exploration and free
use of port for ten years. (Raymond
A. Sebastin/CBCP News)

Free viewing of Catholic art, others extended

FINDING your way around at

the 51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC) in Cebu City is
not going to be a problem for
Organizers of the IEC, which
will be held on January 24 to 31
next year, will soon be launching
its official mobile app through
which pilgrims will be kept
Currently being developed
by InnoPub Media, the app
IEC2016 Guide will be a realtime guide containing details of
the congress sessions.
During the congress, the app
will provide regular updates on
IEC2016, reads a description on
the app on Google Play.
Aside from information about
the IEC, speeches, registration
details, and its activities, the app
will also offer a comprehensive
guide or information about what
to do, where to go and where to
stay in Cebu.
The guide also contains a portable directory of companies and

service providers accredited by

the Department of Tourism such
as tour operators, tour guides and
transport operators, it says.
The app will also contain
information about the heritage
structures in Cebu that will be
part of the Visita Iglesia activity wherein delegates will visit
churches in the area.
Meanwhile, another app was
launched recently to be more of a
pastoral tool for the International
Eucharistic Congress which the
Philippines will host for the
second time. Manila hosted the
33rd IEC in 1937.
Developed by DigitalMediaPh,
the Real Presence is now available for download for Android
and iOS smartphones.
Since the Congress focuses on
the importance of the Eucharist
as the summit of the Catholic
faith, this mobile app aims to
help create greater understanding
and appreciation of Christs real
presence in the Eucharist, it said.
(Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

Exorcist offers lecture on

spiritual warfare

Fr. Jeffrey Quintela at the Basilica of the Nativity in Israel PHOTO FROM QUINTELAS FACEBOOK

The National Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. RAYMOND A. SEBASTIN

FOR those who have missed the announcement

last month, or who simply want to recreate
their culture vulture experience, the National
Museum of the Philippines has some good news
for you: free admission has been extended until
the end of June.
Independence day, Rizal
According to a recent post by the official
Facebook page of the National Museum, the
decision to make entrance free once again is due
to the positive response it received from visitors
in May who grabbed the opportunity to view
its collection of fine art and artifacts.
It is also in line with the forthcoming celebration of the countrys 117th Independence Day

anniversary on June 12, as well as the 154th

birthday of national hero Dr. Jos P. Rizal on
June 19.
Catholic art
More than Juan Lunas super-sized Spoliarium and other Filipino Old Masters
like the ones by Felix Resurreccin Hidalgo,
Fabian de la Rosa, and Fernando Amorsolo, the
National Museums art gallery is also home to
some of the rarest religious sculptures in the
country, which date back to between the 17th
and 19th centuries.
On display at the museums Luis I. Ablaza
Hall (Gallery I) are pieces of Christian-themed
artwork like various carved wooden santos or

poon made by anonymous artists like those of

San Antonio de Padua (St. Anthony of Padua),
Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moorslayer),
as well as reliefs of La Piet, cherubs and seraphims, several crucifixes, and a painting of the
Immaculate Conception.
National cultural treasure
Also on exhibit is an antique retablo (altar
piece) from the Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino in Dimiao, Bohol, which is considered one
of the Philippines national cultural treasures.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. until
5 p.m., entrance to the National Museum is
free for the whole month of June. (Raymond
A. Sebastin/CBCP News)

AN exorcist is offering a lecture

on how to engage darkness
With the Diocese of Antipolos
chief exorcist Fr. Jeffrey Quintela as
the speaker, the Lecture on Spiritual Warfare will be held at San
Isidro Labrador Parish, in Nangka,
Marikina City on June 20.
While daily prayer is the key to
avoiding sin, he said that enough
knowledge and guidance are also
needed to fight evil.

In an article on the dioceses

website, it said that the priest organized the lecture in response to
warnings of rising incidents of evil
manifestations which some people
have experienced.
Quintela said there is a need for
catecheses to promote awareness
among the faithful against these
dark forces.
The lecture is open to the public
from 8 a.m. to 12 noon for free.

CELEBRATED. Bishop Francisco M. de Leon, D.D., Apostolic
Administrator of the Diocese of
Kalookan and Auxiliary Bishop of
the Diocese of Antipolo celebrated
his 69th birthday on June 11.
CELEBRATED. Radio Veritas
president Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual
recently marked another year in
life on June 3. Pascual is also
the executive director of Caritas

Bukas Palad concert open to all

ORDAINED. Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico raised to the
Order of Presbyters, on June 9
at Our Lady of the Angels Parish
Church, Santa Maria, Laguna,
Rev. Mark Marlonne Lumbera.
Famadico also ordained Rev. Raymond Owell Sadian at 10:00 a.m.
on June 10 at the St. Augustine
Parish Church, Bay, Laguna; and
Rev. Anthony Raymond Apostol
at 10:00 a.m. on June 11, at the
San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Church,
Pacita 2A-Guevarra Subdivision,
City of San Pedro.

WHAT better way to mark 29

years of singing for the Lord than
a free concert?
The popular Catholic chorale
group Bukas Palad Music Ministry

invites the public to a free concert

on June 27, 6 p.m., St. Kostka
Chapel, Ateneo High School,
Katipunan, Quezon City to mark
its 29th year in existence.

Obviously inspired by the Year

of the Poor, the anniversary concert
carries the theme Tayong lahatv ay
may pananagutan sa isat isa.
Interested parties are invited

to signify their attendance by responding to the event invitation via

Facebook: https://www.facebook.

Rev. Mark Marlonne Lumbera

Upon ordination, the three new priests celebrated their respective

Thanksgiving Masses in the afternoon on the same day and place
of their ordinations. Lumbera and Sadian celebrated their respective
Thanksgiving Masses at 5:30 p.m., while Apostol celebrated his own
Thanksgiving Mass at 7:00 p.m. in his native parish.

CBCP Monitor


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Sky Ortigas

DEAR Brothers and Sisters,

I am pleased to meet with you all,
who are involved in the Pontifical
Missionary Works at the service of the
Church, to carry out the missionary
mandate to evangelize peoples to the
ends of the earth. I thank Cardinal
Filoni for his courteous words.
Humanity is in such need of the
Gospel, the source of joy, of hope and
of peace. The evangelizing mission has
priority, because the missionary activity
is again today the greatest challenge for
the Church. And how I would like to
findalso for youthe words to encourage a more fervent, joyful, generous
and audacious evangelizing season, full
of love until the end and of infectious
life! (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii
gaudium, 261).
The proclamation of the Gospel is
the first and constant concern of the
Church; it is her essential commitment, her greatest challenge, and the
source of her renewal. Blessed Paul
VI added, and her vocation. In fact,
the true renewal of the Church, of her
structures and of her pastoral activity
stems from the evangelizing mission,
from its intensity and efficacy. Without
the restlessness and anxiety of evangelization it is not possible to develop a
credible and effective pastoral ministry,
which unites proclamation and human
promotion. The missionary activity is
the paradigm of the whole work of the
Church (Evangelii gaudium, 15).
To you Members of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
and National Directors of the Pontifical Missionary Works, corresponds by
vocation and ministry, a demanding
and privileged task: your sight and
your interest widen to the ample and

Do not remove Christ from

Missionary Work
Address of Pope Francis to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Works, 08 June 2015
universal horizons of humanity,
to its geographic and especially
human frontiers. You accompany
with esteem and affection the life
of the young Churches spread
throughout the world and you
encourage the People of God to
live fully the universal mission.
You know the wonders that the
Holy Spiritthrough these
Churches, often poor in resourc-

faith that receives them, without

a horizon of meaning and of life
(cf. Evangelii gaudium, 49).
The Congregation for Evangelization and the Pontifical
Missionary Works are, therefore, protagonists of a renewed
evangelization, addressed to all
and, in particular, to the poor,
the least and the marginalized
(cf. n. 198).

Dexter Gonzales

In those human peripheries,

the Church is called to go out
into the streets and meet our
many brothers and sisters that
live without the strength,
the light and the consolation of
Jesus Christ.
esis operating in humanity,
also through the difficulties and
persecutions that they endure for
their fidelity and witness of the
Word of God and in the defense
of man. In those human peripheries the Church is called to go
out into the streets and meet our
many brothers and sisters that
live without the strength, the
light and the consolation of Jesus
Christ; without a community of

Because of the charism that

characterizes them, the Pontifical Missionary Works are attentive and sensitive to the needs
of the mission territories, in
particular, to the poorest human
groups. They are instruments
of communion between the
Churches, fostering and realizing the sharing of persons and
of economic resources. They are
Missionary Work / B7


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Profanity in a

CBCP Monitor

The Solution to Human Suffering

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology

at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)

Just as all of
us like to be
spoken to in
our mother
tongue, so too
in the faith
we like to be
spoken to in
our mother
our native

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso

LET us continue our consideration of the
mystery of human suffering by considering
the words of Pope Francis, addressed to a vast
gathering of youth and the academic community, gathered in the campus of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (Manila),
on the morning of January 18 this year. The
people had braved a whole night of inclement
weather, but were enjoying a respite of clear
weather just in time for the encounter with
the Vicar of Christ. In fact, since the arrival
of the Pope two days before, it was the first
time that the crowds could greet him with the
exuberance that the Filipinos are known for,
all throughout the short drive from the Nunciaturewhere he was stayingto the UST
Campus. After briefly greeting some dignitaries and representative of other religions within
the main building, Pope Francis motored
in an open carriage through the gathering
in the vast UST grounds to a covered stage
from which he addressed the huge crowd.
The main protagonists
in the dialogue were a
male university student
leader and two former
street childrena boy
and a girl in their early
teens. Reserving the matter raised by the student
leader for another occasion, let us focus now on
the words of the Pope in
reply to the accounts of the two former streetchildren of their life of suffering.

useless. You expressed something like this. Its

a compassion that makes us put our hands in
our pockets and give something to the poor. But
if Christ had had that kind of compassion he
would have greeted a couple of people, given
them something, and walked on. But it was
only when he was able to cry that he understood
something of our lives.
In effect, what the Pope was emphasizing
was the need for genuine compassion, more
than mere altruism or philanthropy. Without
downplaying the good humanitarian projects
that the student leader had enumerated, the
Holy Father nevertheless wanted to emphasize
the formal cause that would make such material deeds worthy of being called Christian:
to suffer with our neighbor, the way Christ
suffered with us. Christ suffered with us
by taking all our sinfulness and guilt upon
himself: he allowed the tremendous burden
of mans sin to crush him. The evil that he
had come to repair ceased to be something
alien to him but became something personal.
Dear young boys and girls, todays world
doesnt know how to cry. The marginalized

years (e.g., long queues for overcrowded

trains, poverty in the regions due to lack of
infrastructure, severe shortage of classrooms
in public schools while the funds appropriated
for them are not spent), and private citizens
go on with their wasteful spending while so
many others are living below the poverty line.
The problem of jaded Christians is very
real. We see it especially in a place like Metro
Manila, where the glaring contrast between
the rich and the poor have somehow lost its
impact on most people due to their daily
exposure to it. What we cannot allowand
the Pope reminded us of thisis for us, who
call ourselves disciples of Christ, to get used
to so much suffering without being effectively
bothered by it. It is a question of love: perhaps
individually we cannot solve the great socioeconomic problems of the country, but we
definitely can do something about the plight
of our driver or gardener, or a beggar tapping
at the window of our car, or the salary scale
and profit-sharing practices of the company
we own or run.
This is what genuine compassion means
and Pope Francis underscored this point:
This is the first thing
I want to say: let us learn
how to weep as she has
shown us today and let us
not forget this lesson.In
the Gospel, Jesus cried for
his dead friend, he cried
in his heart for the family
who lost its child, for the
poor widow who had to
bury her son. He was moved to tears and compassion when he saw the crowds without a pastor. If
you dont learn how to cry, you cannot be a good
Christian. This is a challenge. When they posed
this question to us, why children suffer, why
this or that tragedy occurs in life our response
must be either silence or a word that is born of
our tears. Be courageous, dont be afraid to cry.

Christ suffered with us by taking all our

sinfulness and guilt upon himself:
he allowed the tremendous burden of
mans sin to crush him.

The Primacy of Compassion

Why do children suffer so much? Why
do children suffer? When the heart is able to
ask itself and weep, then we can understand
Pope Francis continues his consideration
of human sufferingwhich he started in
Tacloban the day beforeby stating a requisite for a genuine understanding of that
reality: actual experience of it. In the same
way that in Tacloban he had declared that
Jesus Christ could give us the answer to the
mystery, because He himself had suffered to
the extent that human nature could suffer, he
now states that we can only begin to understand the mystery of human suffering if we
ourselves have wept.
There is a worldly compassion which is

people, those left to one side, are crying. Those

who are discarded are crying. But we dont
understand much about these people in need.
Certain realities of life we only see through eyes
cleansed by our tears. I invite each one here to
ask yourself: have I learned how to weep? Have
I learned how to weep for the marginalized or
for a street child who has a drug problem or for
an abused child? Unfortunately there are those
who cry because they want something else.
Genuine Compassion leads to Action
To cry for our suffering brethren does not
only mean to shed tears out of emotion. It
means above all to suffer what they are suffering to the point that we do something about
itthe same way we would look for a remedy
if we were actually the ones experiencing what
they are going through. This is what genuine
compassion means. It is what is lacking when
public officials allow problems to fester for

To look at the Suffering Christ

In the final analysis, there will always be
suffering in this side of the grave: this is not
a perfect world anymore (after original sin).
But Jesus Christ, with his Life, Death and
Resurrection showed us the way to triumph
over that suffering: by sacrificing ourselves
to alleviate the suffering of others, and when
even that is not possibledue to the limitations of human naturethen to unite our
suffering with His.


A: Here we are more in the area of personal opinion than of any

strict rules.
First of all, it is necessary to recognize that the concept of profanity, at least regarding some words, depends on local usage. Certain
words perceived as profanity in one context might be taken as
simply emphatic in another.
Therefore a priest should be attentive to local sensibilities and
avoid using language, even in quotes, which might upset a portion
of his hearers. At the same time, if a visiting priest uses a word that
raises eyebrows or drops a jaw, he should at least be granted the
benefit of the doubt as being unaware of certain lexicographical
This is more so when one moves from one country to another or
even changes languages. More than once I have experienced hapless
visiting clerics unintentionally provoking everything from shock
to giggles because of the double entendre of expressions that were
perfectly innocent in their native countries.
However, it is a different question for a preacher to deliberately
insert a swearword within a homily. This is something that I believe
should be avoided even to underline a point. Although I do not
think that this problem is very common, indeed probably quite the
opposite, I will attempt to outline the reasons involved.
First of all, during the sacrificial action a priest represents Christ
in his preaching as well, and he should avoid terms or expressions
that would be unworthy of the Lord. It is true that Our Lord at
times uttered some colorful and forceful invectives in order to shake
the complacency of those who opposed his message. But we do
not find anything that resembles crude or inappropriate language.
Second, the purpose of the
homily is to communicate
Christs message to the faithful.
The priest therefore should strive
to make the best communication
of all and hence avoid anything
that might constitute an obstacle
to the faithfuls acceptance and
assimilation of the message into
their lives.
Finally, the parish community
is composed of faithful of all
ages, and the priest should be
an example for all. It would be
a pity if parents who would not
expose their children to parental
guidance movies would find the
same words at Mass.
In his apostolic exhortation
Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis does not address this specific
topic. I believe, however, that
the principles he enunciates
regarding the homily show that
it should be always a positive
message and that it would exclude
any conscious use of what might
alienate some of the faithful in
sacred preaching.
For example he says:
135. The homily is the touchstone for judging a pastors closeness and ability to communicate to his people. We know that the
faithful attach great importance to it, and that both they and their
ordained ministers suffer because of homilies: the laity from having
to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them! It is
sad that this is the case. The homily can actually be an intense and
happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with Gods
word, a constant source of renewal and growth.
137. [] The homily has special importance due to its eucharistic context: it surpasses all forms of catechesis as the supreme
moment in the dialogue between God and his people which lead
up to sacramental communion. The homily takes up once more the
dialogue which the Lord has already established with his people. The
preacher must know the heart of his community, in order to realize
where its desire for God is alive and ardent, as well as where that
dialogue, once loving, has been thwarted and is now barren.
139. We said that the people of God, by the constant inner
working of the Holy Spirit, is constantly evangelizing itself.
What are the implications of this principle for preachers? It
reminds us that the Church is a mother, and that she preaches
in the same way that a mother speaks to her child, knowing
that the child trusts that what she is teaching is for his or her
benefit, for children know that they are loved. Moreover, a
good mother can recognize everything that God is bringing
about in her children, she listens to their concerns and learns
from them. The spirit of love which reigns in a family guides
both mother and child in their conversations; therein they
teach and learn, experience correction and grow in appreciation of what is good. Something similar happens in a homily.
The same Spirit who inspired the Gospels and who acts in
the Church also inspires the preacher to hear the faith of the
Gods people and to find the right way to preach at each Eucharist. Christian preaching thus finds in the heart of people
and their culture a source of living water, which helps the
preacher to know what must be said and how to say it. Just as
all of us like to be spoken to in our mother tongue, so too in
the faith we like to be spoken to in our mother culture, our
native language (cf. 2 Macc 7:21, 27), and our heart is better
disposed to listen. This language is a kind of music which
inspires encouragement, strength and enthusiasm.
140. This setting, both maternal and ecclesial, in which the
dialogue between the Lord and his people takes place, should
be encouraged by the closeness of the preacher, the warmth
of his tone of voice, the unpretentiousness of his manner of
speaking, the joy of his gestures. Even if the homily at times
may be somewhat tedious, if this maternal and ecclesial spirit is
present, it will always bear fruit, just as the tedious counsels of
a mother bear fruit, in due time, in the hearts of her children.
Later he offers some practical counsel to priests to aid them
in preparing a homily, including dedicating the necessary time
for prayer, reflection and study (No. 145), and reverence for
truth in trying to understand the meaning of a text (Nos.
Finally he reminds priests that The preacher also needs to
keep his ear to the people and to discover what it is that the
faithful need to hear. A preacher has to contemplate the word,
but he also has to contemplate his people (No. 154).
If we priests take to heart the Holy Fathers message, it will
surely improve the quality of our preaching and spread the
joy of the Gospel.

File photo

Q: I recently attended a Mass. During the homily (which focused

on our faith as Catholic Christians), the priest used profanity not
just once (... The hell it is!, quoting from Flannery OConnor)
but twice (this time a more personal exhortation: We are damn
fools!). I have to say, it made me very uncomfortable for the remainder of the celebration of the Mass and was off-putting enough
that I was still bothered by it later that night during my compline
prayers. I work very hard to refrain from using profanitywhich
is becoming harder and harder to do and escape from in the society
in which we live. Are there instances when profanity is acceptable?
-- D.B., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

James Benedict Malabanan

CBCP Monitor

Christ in you, our hope of glory

The Eucharist:
Source and Goal of the Churchs Mission
Theological and pastoral reflections in preparation for the
51st International Eucharistic Congress
(Fourth of a series)
IV. The Churchs mission in Asia:

A. Dialogue as the privilege mode of
In the concrete context of Asia, the
Church, which is always and everywhere
a community-in-mission buy virtue
of her original and relationship with
Christ, is called in a very special sense
to undertake her missionary mandate in
a spirit of dialogue. Such dialogue as
a particular approach to mission is not
only necessitated by the multiracial,
multilinguistic, multireligious, and
multicultural reality of Asia on account
of which peoples should be in constant
conversation among themselves to ensure their peaceful coexistence. This
mode of missionary engagement has its
root rather in the Trinitarian economy
of redemption and call to communion
whereby the Father engaged humanity
in a loving dialogue of salvation with
Himself through the Son in the power of
the Holy Spirit. (Cf. EA, 29) Dialogue
is the way God realized his plan for our
redemption in and through His Son
who became man, shared our human
life and spoke in a human language
to communicate his saving message.
(EA, 29)
Already at their first plenary assembly, the bishops of Asia have discerned
what special configuration this dialogue in the context of mission in Asia
should have: continuous, humble and
loving dialogue with the living traditions, the cultures, the religionsin
brief, with all the life-realities of the
people in whose midst it has sunk its
roots deeply and whose history and
life it gladly makes its own. (Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, Evangelization in Modern Day
Asia. First FABC Plenary Assembly,
1974, in For all the Peoples of Asia 1,
FABC Documents from 1970-1991,
eds. C. Arevalo & G. Rosales, Quezon City 1997, n. 14). This has been
referred to as the triple dialogue
since thirty years ago but which has
remained valid until the present time:
dialogue with the cultures of the Asian
people, dialogue with their religion,
and dialogue with the life-situations of
poverty, powerlessness, of suffering and
victimhood, which is the lot of a great
number of people among them. (Cf.
FABC, 7 th Plenary Assembly, 2000, in
For all Peoples of Asia III, n. 4.)
B. Elements of dialogue in mission
This triple dialogue has to be under-

taken as witnessing to Christ in word

and deed, by reaching out to people
in the concrete reality of their daily
lives. (Bishops Institute of Missionary Apostolate 1, Baguio, n. 5). As
regards witnessing to Christ in word,
that is, in the explicit proclamation
of the Gospel of salvation, the4 use of
stories and other narrative forms hold
greater promise of effectiveness, (EA,
20) for most Asians are able to relate
better with an evocative pedagogy, using stories, parable and symbols. (Cf.
Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod
of Bishops, Relatio post disceptationem,
15). The first Asian Mission Congress
held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in October 2006 recalled with fondness and

consists in constant reference to the

person and ways of Jesus, reverence toward the Spirit, prayerful discernment,
quest for personal kenosis, prayer and
the presence of God, compassion, and
capacity to guide others in the life of
grace and holiness.
C. On proclamation and dialogue
This dialogue is not an end in itself;
it is in view of sharing and receiving.
It disposes one to respect others and to
recognize their giftedness. It enables
one to listen to what others are expressing in and through their lives of the
goodness of God. (Cf, Faith Encounter
in Social Action IV, Kuala Lumpur,

Dialogue is not an end in itself;

it is in view of sharing and receiving.
It disposes one to respect others and to
recognize their giftedness.
with much gratitude that Jesus himself
taught by using parables and insightful vignettes that revealed the depths
of Gods reignthat he is Gods love
story in the flesh. (Cf. Telling the Story
of Jesus in Asia. The Message of the
First Asian Mission Congress, Chiang
Mai, Thailand, 18-22 October 2006).
Stories have a special power to make
understood even the deepest mysteries
of the faith, to transform perspective
and values, to form community, and to
establish fellowship.
Witnessing to Christ in deed, on the
other hand, means that this triple dialogue is to be undertaken by concrete
actions of service in favor of justice,
peace, and human dignity leading the
poor and the disadvantaged to integral
development and liberation. Both
modes of engagement (word and deed)
entail dialogue of life, immersion into
the situation of the people to whom
the Good News of salvation is to be
proclaimed, sensitivity to their culture,
respect and receptivity toward all human persons, constant and sympathetic
listening, development of human relationships, and patience in learning.
This dialogue in mission, moreover,
asks for a spirituality of stewardship that
seeks to defend the integrity of creation
in favor of those who are bound to suffer
most when destructive calamities result
from the abuse of the environment and
natural resources or when the goods of
the earth are not equitable distributed.
Dialogue in mission therefore asks for
the spirituality of the evangelizer that

12). Throughout the various stages of

dialogue, the partners will feel a great
need both to impart and to receive information, to give and to receive explanations, to ask questions of each other.
(Dialogue and Proclamation, 82). For
their part, Christians in dialogue should
be ready to offer their faith, to give an
account of the hope that is within them
(1 Pt 3:15). In answer to their dialogue
partners expectations that were created
by the dialogue. Dialogue is always in
view of proclamation and sharing of
ones faith and hope in Christ. There

lamation must be motivated by love.

Christians have to proclaim and share
their faith in Christ because of this
love and not merely out of obedience
to the Lords mandate. On the other
hand, the followers of other religions
can be expected to want to share the
riches of their faith as well. The same
spirit of Christian charity is necessary
to open oneself to be enriched by the
sharing of the other. Concerning this,
the bishops of Asia have a timely and
important clarification: Dialogue does
not call for giving up ones commitment, bracketing it or entering into easy
compromises. One the contrary, for a
deeper and fruitful dialogue, it is even
necessary that each partner be firmly
committed to his or her faith. (Bishops
Institute for Interreligious Affairs IV/7,
Tagaytay, n. 10). All dialogue implies
reciprocity and aims at banishing fear
and aggressiveness. (Cf. Dialogue and
Procalamation, 82).
D. The Eucharist: source and goal
of dialogue
In the life of the Church, the Eucharist stands as both the source and goal
of this dialogue. Bu our participation
in the Eucharistic Celebration, we enter
into a communion of life with the Triune God because we are inserted into
the dialogue of life and salvation that
began in history and now perpetuated
in liturgical mystery in the power of the
Holy Spirit. The various elements of the
celebration engage our body, our senses,
our consciousness, and our affectivity in
that dialogue which unfolds enabling us
to share in the rhythm of Christs life
offered for our salvation. By gathering
and forming an assembly of worship, we

In the Eucharist, Christ invites

everyone to a table fellowship where
he shares his life through his words of
love and healing and through a meal.
can be no true evangelization without
the proclamation of Jesus Christ and of
his saving Death and Resurrection. (EG,
110; Cf. EA, 2 and 19; Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi,
22). One cannot share what he/she
does not have. To fruitfully engage in
this dialogue, Christians should deepen
their faith in Christ and in his Paschal
Mystery, purify their attitudes, clarify
their language, and render their worship
more and more authentic. (Cf. Dialogue
and Proclamation, 82).
All stages of such dialogue and proc-

respond to the Fathers summons to be

his covenanted people. By listening to
and assimilating the Word proclaimed,
we engage in a dialogue whereby the
Father heals, forms, and enriches us
with his life and love, especially with
the help of a homily which, on account
of its Eucharistic context, surpasses all
forms of catechesis because it leads up
to sacramental communion. (EG. 137;
Cf. DD, 41).
In a singular way, we enter into a
dialogue of life with the Triune God
by eating Christs Body and drinking

his Blood, for responding to our prayer

of epiclesis, the Father sends the Holy
Spirit through His Son upon the bread
and wine so that they may become
the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus
Christ. Emerging from the Eucharistic
gathering, we are sent to continue and
extend this Trinitarian dialogue of lie
and salvation in the form of loving
service especially toward the least, the
last, and the lost. (Cf. Ea, 24).
The dynamic movement of the
celebrative action, then (gatheringword-meal-mission) makes us realize that the Eucharist is the living
memorial of the dialogue that took
place in the entire life and ministry
of Jesus Christ but which finds its
climax in the Paschal Mystery of his
suffering, death, and resurrection and
final glory. It was a dialogue that
constitutes both an act of obedience
to the Father (ascending movement)
and compassion towards weak sinners (descending movement), a sacrifice of both adoration (ascending
movement) and service (descending
movement). (Cf. FABC, Living the
Eucharist in Asia. Final Document
of the IX FABC Plenary Assembly,
10-16 August 2009).
In Asia, where the characteristic
mode of Churchs existence is that of
dialogue, the Eucharist shines forth as
a unique experience of Gods dialogue
with us and our response to God: a
dialogue of life, a dialogue of love.
(Cf. FABC, Living the Eucharist in Asia.
Final Document of the IX FABC Plenary Assembly, 10-16 August 2009).
That in the Eucharist Christ invites
everyone to a table fellowship where
he shares his life through his words of
love and healing and through a meal
that deepens loving relationship among
those who call the same God their Father means much for a people whose
culture gives pride of place to close
family ties that are kept intact and
strengthened by parental counsel and
family meals. (Cf. Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines, Pastoral
Letter Landas las Pagpapakabanal, On
Filipino Spirituality, 2000, 71-74).
That Christ offers himself as bread
that satisfies all hunger and drink that
quenches all thirsts and gives joy will
warm the heart of the many in this continent whose daily existence is marked
by insufficiency of the basic necessities.
The Eucharist should be a constant
reference point for the local Churches
of Asia in their continuing missionary
dialogue with local cultures, religions,
with the poor, and the youth since the
divine-human dialogue that transpires
within it is the seed and vision of the
whole of her mission. (To be continued)


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

CBCP Monitor

Rug up for the demographic winter

THE greatest crisis humanity
will confront in the 21st Century
isnt global warming, or scarce
resources, or nuclear proliferation
or a super-virus which will ravage
the planet or any of the other
disastersreal or imaginary
that national governments and
international bodies agonize over.
If current trends continue, we
wont run out of energy or other
resources in the foreseeable future.
But we will run out of people.
This catastrophe will be the result
of rapidly declining fertility, the
Demographic Winter.
The fertility rate refers to the
number of children the average
woman has in her lifetime. In
developed nations, a rate of 2.1
is needed just to replace current
population. More, and you have
population growth; less, and your
population declines.
Worldwide, in 1960, the average woman had 5 children. Now,
that number is 2.6 and falling.
Every industrialized nation has
below-replacement fertility. In
Western Europe, the fertility rate
is 1.5. According to the World
Bank, Georgias fertility rate for
2012 was 1.82better that the
European average, but still below
All other things being equal,
with a fertility rate below 1.3, a
nation will lose half its population
every 45 years.
The Demographic Winter did
not happen in a vacuum. It
is a direct result of the Sexual
Revolutiona phenomenon first
manifested in the late 1960s, not
coincidentally, about the time
fertility rates began to fall.
The dogma of the Sexual Revolutionwhich has become ingrained social wisdom in the
Westcan be summed up as
1. Sex is the most important
aspect of existence.
2. When sex is consensual, its
always good.
3. The primary purpose of sex
is pleasure, not procreation or
spiritual connection.
4. The primary purpose of life
is pleasure
5. Inhibitions lead to neuroses
and must be overcome.
6. Sex has nothing to do with
morality or values and
7. Sex should not only be
guilt-free, but free of conse-

Raymond Bandril

By Don Feder

quenceshence contraception
and abortion.
My wife and I were in Montreal
a few years ago. In a store window,
we saw a T-shirt that said Make
Love, Not Babies. That could be
the slogan of the Sexual Revolutionexcept, its not even making
love anymore, but whats called
having sex.
The prophets of the Sexual
Revolution include researchers
(who were more like missionaries)
Alfred Kinsey and Masters and
Johnson, pornographers like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and
feminists like Margaret Sanger.
The effect of the Sexual Revolution on fertility has been farreaching and possibly irreversible.
For the first time in history,
just under half the worlds population of child-bearing age uses
some form of birth control. This

year, the global contraceptives

market will generate an estimated
US$17.2 billion annually.
Generally, this is financed by governments, corporations or international agencies. Many species have
become extinct. Ours may be the

of a countrys soldiers killed in

battle, these are casualties a nation
inflicts on itself.
From a demographic perspective, were not just losing 42
million people annually, but also
the descendants they would have

Worldwide, there are roughly 42

million abortions a year. Thats
more than twice the number of
military deaths in World War II.
first to finance its own extinction.
Worldwide, there are roughly
42 million abortions a year. Thats
more than twice the number of
military deaths in World War
IIthe bloodiest conflict in human historyexcept that, instead

had if theyd livedchildren,

grandchildren and so on. We are,
quite literally, aborting our future.
The decline of marriage has
affected fertility even more profoundly than abortion or contraceptives.

In the United States, in 2009,

41 percent of all births were outof-wedlock. As these children
mature (most in single-parent
homes), theyre likely to continue
the family tradition of not forming families.
Childbearing does not thrive in
a climate of uncertainty. In 2008,
in the U.S., 40 percent of all marriages ended in divorce.
And fewer and fewer are marrying in the first place. In France,
in 2010, more people began living
together than married.
In 1960, 72 percent of all US
adults were married. By 2008 the
figure had dropped to 51 percent.
Among 18-to-29-year-olds
prime childbearing years59
percent were married in 1960,
compared to only 20 percent
today. Once a central reality of existence, marriage is now optional.
Not surprisingly, fewer marriages

result in fewer children.

Just as declining birth rates
are the result of the Sexual Revolution, the later is a product
of something called Cultural
Marxisma movement associated with Antonio Gramsci (of
the long march through the
institutions) and Georg Lukacs
and the Frankfurt School, especially Herbert Marcuse. Cultural
Marxism was their answer to the
failure of worldwide revolution
after the First World War.
Gramsci believed that family
and church gave workers a false
class consciousness that made
them immune to the appeals of
Marxism. In other words, they
were proletarians who behaved
like bourgeois.
So Cultural Marxists set out
to destroy family and religion
and what better way to do that
than to foster promiscuity and a
society oriented toward mindless
pleasuremovies, sports, food,
fashionrather than childbearing, family formation and the
search for higher meaning.
While theres no proof that
dramatically declining fertility is
what Cultural Marxists wanted,
if you think about it logically
thats the natural consequence
of undermining faith and family
and a highly eroticized society
where family ties are viewed as
an obstacle to self-fulfillment and
children as a burden.
We wont find our way out of
the forest of demographic winter
until the Sexual Revolution is
overthrownits premises rejected, its prophets exposed and
its dogma debunked.
Ultimately, the Sexual Revolution is about deathdeath
through abortion, contraception
(preventing life from happening),
sexually-transmitted disease, pornography and promiscuityin
place of monogamous marriage
and child-bearing.
To combat Demographic Winter, we must embrace a philosophy of life. The Bible says: I
have set before you this day life
and death, blessing and curses.
Therefore choose life, so that you
may live, you and your children.
(Don Feder is Coalitions Director and Coordinator of Regional
Conferences for the World Congress
of Families. A speech he made
recently at a WCF conference in
Belgrade, Serbia, this is sourced
from MercatorNet)

A Bible for Every Family

AS we celebrate the centenar y
of our foundation in this year
dedicated for the poor, we the
Daughters of St. Paul intensify
the Bibliya sa Bawat Pamilya
(A Bible for Every Family) project. This project is an offshoot
of the recently concluded 75th
Foundation Anniversary of our
Congregation in the Philippines
last October 13, 2013. It aims to
distribute 75,000 copies of Holy
Bible to the poorest of the poor,
to enthrone the Bible in the
homes, and to teach the families to pray the lectio divina.
The impor tance of the Scrip ture in nurturing and enriching
the family is emphasized by no
less than Pope Francis himself,
when he said, For the family
to be able to proceed well, with
trust and with hope, it must be
nurtured by the Word of God.
T h e B i b l i a p r o j e c t i s a l s o
the humble contribution of the
D a u g h t e r s o f St . Pa u l t o t h e
spiritual and moral recovery of
Filipinos in this juncture of our
history as we let the enthusiasm
and fervor of the early years of
our foundation continue to burn
in our hearts. This is also the
Si s t e r s w a y o f t h a n k i n g G o d
for the countless blessings that
He has given to the Congregation. This project was an initiative of the congregation for the
celebration of the Year of Faith
last year. In this project, we do
not only reach out to the families, but we also remember the
soldiers, policemen, prisoners
and children.
This project was launched in
2012 as we began the threeyear preparation for our Jubilee
celebration. This is being conducted simultaneously up to the
present by the sisters throughout
the country. The Congregation
appointed a Bible Ministry
Te a m c o m p o s e d o f S r. Ev a n gelina Canag, FSP, Sr. Divinia
de Claro, FSP and Sr. Federica
Dalaguit for this special project,
with the help of all the sisters in
the Philippine-Malaysian-Papua
New Guinea-Thai Province.


By Sr. Loren Briones, FSP

A c c o r d i n g t o S r. E v a n g e l i n a
Canag, we need to reform persons
to rebuild the nation. We all need

We also believe that if we build the

person, we will rise from poverty
a n d we w i l l l e a r n t o va l u e w o rk

faith is being put to test by poverty

engendered by social inequities and
natural calamities. Re-evangelizing

In the Church, nobody is so poor as to have nothing to give,

and nobody is so rich as to have nothing to receive.
In the Philippines, participation largely means enabling
the laity to participate fully in the life of the Church
and in its task of mission.
to draw strength from the Word of
God. The Word of God will give us
vigor to face our daily problems.

and sacrifice. We all need to relearn

from the Word of God to strengthen
o u r f a i t h . E s p e c i a l l y t o d a y, o u r

the people is gravely required in

todays society where wrongdoings
have become normal and accept-

She said its saddening that
t h e a c t o f s e e k i n g re d re s s h a s
b e c o m e o f f e n s i ve , s o m e t i m e s
prompting violence. The Bible
can lead the society from moral
collapse and from worsening
social inequities.
At present, the Bible Ministry
team are giving bible animations
regularly to some groups. Among
the recipients of this special project are the poorest of the poor in
Pasay. Another regular session is
also given to prospective leaders
who can help the sisters carry out
this special Bible Ministry.
This project is in partnership
with our generous donors/sponsors and benefactors. Although
the Bibles are given free, but the
poor families are also encouraged
t o s h a r e s o m e t h i n g a c c o rd i n g
to their means. Sr. Evangelina
explained that the purpose is to
educate the faithful especially
the young people to share. Jesus
teaches us to share. She said that
she herself learned the value of
sharing at home.
The Second Plenar y Council
of the Philippines (PCP II) also
e m p h a s i ze d t h i s v i r t u e n o t i n g
that in the Church, nobody is
so poor as to have nothing to
give, and nobody is so rich as
to have nothing to receive. In
the Philippines, participation
largely means enabling the laity
to par ticipate fully in the life
of the Church and in its task of
The FSP Superior General, Sr.
Anna Maria Parenzan emphasized
to the Sisters that our Centenar y offers us the opportunity
to celebrate the memory of the
mar vels the Lord continues to
work through our poverty and
In keeping with the invitation of the Founder, who always
pointed us toward vast horizons,
we are striving to bring ever yone the Gospel of joy and peace
through the various forms and
languages of communications.
Sisters from all continents, we
s p e a k t h e l a n g u a g e t h e Sp i r i t
has placed on our lips and in our
hear ts through the charism he
bestowed on us, she said.

CBCP Monitor


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Let us be circumspect

File photo

Pastoral Statement on Amending the Constitution

LATELY, we have been urged by different prominent persons and influential sectors to consider the amendment
of the Constitution.
While amendments having to do
with the form of government are matters that we, your bishops, leave to
politicians and to their discernment,
proposed amendments in respect to
economic provisions bear directly on
issues of social justice. The social
encyclicals of the Church bear witness
to the fact that the Church has always
considered social justice an area of her
competence and solicitude.
It has been advanced as a reason for
the call to amend the provisions of the
Constitution that the restrictive provisions limiting foreign participation in
the Philippine economy have in fact
been prejudicial to economic growth.
Foreign investment and the infusion
of foreign capital into the country
have been held at bay by what some
characterize as the unduly stringent
provisions of the Constitution.
We will not forget of course, that
the framers of the 1987 Constitution
-- and even the members of the Constitutional Convention that drafted
the 1973 Constitution -- had one
purpose in enshrining those restrictions, a purpose fully in accord with
the precepts of social justice: preserving the wealth and resources of the
country for our countrymen.
Rightly, we have always steered
away from the prospect of foreigners
enriching themselves by the countrys
resources and our labor force, trans-

ferring their earnings overseas, and

leaving us none the better because of
their presence and their exploitation
of our resources, both natural and
human! This should remain a paramount principle.
Now, however, we are told that
limiting foreign control of some corporations, such as banks, media, ad-

How are we
assured that
the resources
of the country,
both natural and
human, benefit
Filipino nationals
vertisement, including the operation
of public utilities and the exploration,
development and utilization of natural
resources has been counterproductive.
It is claimed that we have so many
resources that remain untapped
beneficial to nonebecause local
capital is just woefully insufficient for
capital-intensive ventures.
Before we rush into amending the
Constitution, we, your bishops, urge

all responsible to conduct serious

studies in economics, sociology, the
law and in related disciplines including the Catholic social teachings, that
should provide us with clear answers
to the following questions:
1. What do we, as a nation, stand
to gain from relaxing the provisions
now deemed restrictive?
2. How are we assured that the
resources of the country, both natural
and human, benefit Filipino nationals
3. What are the human, social and
environmental costs of lifting present
limits to foreign participation in Philippine economic and business affairs?
We urge competent Catholic lay
persons to study these questions, and
others that they may find relevant,
with assiduousness and diligence, and
to share with us, particularly with
the CBCP, their findings. We welcome the truly scholarly and diligent
analyses of all. With these studies, we
can more wisely look at the move to
amend the Constitution in the light
of our Christian faith.
Only then shall we be prepared to
take a moral stand in respect to the
proposed amendment of the Constitution.
From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, June 8, 2015
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines

IT is not difficult to feel the election fevereven

if the 2016 elections are still so months away.
It has always been complained that the efforts
of the Church and other non-political groups
to educate voters come too late. It is the reason
for this letter, this earlyso that it may never
be again said that we spoke too late.
The exercise of the right of suffrage is not only
a political right. It is also a moral obligation. For
the Christian it is one of the most meaningful
and effective means of contributing to the flourishing of the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of
justice, peace and love. And so while politicians
plan and strategize, and, this early, find ways
of circumventing the law against pre-mature
campaigning, the Church cannot be remiss in
its obligation of forming the consciences of
Catholic and Christian voters.
Vote for the right reasons. Vote, not because
you have been paid, or promised bounty, not
because you or your relatives have been promised
employment or privilege but because you trust
a person to lead the community and to lead the
country. Just as the discerning voter will not
be easily won over by all the flattery in favor
of one candidate, neither should a voter allow
demolition jobs to dissuade him from choosing
a person who is truly fit for office.
Reject the notoriously corrupt, but neither
should one readily jump on the bandwagon of
condemnation in the absence of incontrovertible evidence, for, these days, ones reputation,
so painstakingly built by sincerity and honesty
over the years, can so easily be tarnished by the
truly evil work of spin-doctors in the payroll
of one or the other political aspirant!
End political dynasties. Do not vote for family members running for the same positions as
family members before them to perpetrate the
familys hold on public office. When it is clear
that one politician clings to public office, seeking election to some other position after he has
run the length of the permissible number of
terms in one elective office, the Christian voter
should prudently choose others who may have
equal if not superior abilities and competencies
for the position. There is no monopoly on ability
for government, and truly no one in government
is indispensable!
Ask the right questions as basis of your selection among candidates. Do not demand to
know of a congressman or a senator what his or

File photo

Elections and the duty of the Christian

Vote for the right reasons. Vote, not because you have
been paid, or promised bounty, not because you or your
relatives have been promised employment or privilege but
because you trust a person to lead the community and
to lead the country.

Statement of condemnation on the

series of killings in the
City of Calbayog
THE Diocese of Calbayog through the Justice and
Peace Desk of the Social Action Center strongly
condemns in the strongest terms the series of killings happening in the City of Calbayog.
The taking of human life, and the inflicting of
injury and suffering on anyone, whether as an act
of aggression or revenge, can never be justified.
The Diocese of Calbayog does not tolerate any
form of repression especially through extra judicial
killings. The right to life is a gift for everybody and
no one has the right to take it. The wheel of justice
is the proper venue for resolution of any case.
We therefore call on the proper authorities to
conduct a thorough and speedy investigation on
the series of killings in Calbayog City and bring
into the bar of justice the ones responsible.
We share the grief of the families of all the
victims of senseless killings, offering them our
condolences and prayers for the eternal repose of
the souls of their loved ones and for comfort in
their bereavement.
May Love, Truth, justice and Peace reign in
our hearts, families and Christian Communities!

The taking of human

life, and the inflicting
of injury and suffering
on anyone, whether as
an act of aggression
or revenge, can never
be justified.
Done this 24th day of May, 2015, Pentecost
Sunday, Social Action Center, Diocese of Calbayog Calbayog City, Samar.
Bishop of Calbayog

her local projects have been.

Legislators are not supposed
to have local projects. They
are supposed to legislate, to
attend congressional sessions,
rise to debate and actively
take part in committee hearings. Ask, rather, whether or
not they have attended the
sessions of the Lower House
Plenary / B7

Letter to
President Benigno C. Aquino III
DEAR Mr. President,
Greetings of peace from the Island of Samar!
We, the members of the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development, now convening
here in Calbayog City for our 29th island-wide
Assembly, would like to express our concern over
the spate of killings that have rocked the city of
Calbayog in the past week.
Last Week, barely a year before the national
elections in 2016, peace in Samar province, still
reeling from the devastation of Typhoon Ruby,
was broken. Gunmen killed the Punong Barangay of Barangay Carayman last May 27. A few
days later gunmen boldly barged into a barangay
session in Dagum, Calbayog City and repeatedly
shot the Punong Barangay and another Barangay
Kagawad. Police reports said that the gunmen
were unmasked, wore no bonnets to hide their
faces and that the fatalities belonged to opposite
political camps.
We are alarmed that these killings may be
the start of a wave of political violence in our
provinces of the island of Samar.
One year before the national elections, it
would be timely to stop the proliferation of
loose firearms to ensure a peaceful election and
to eradicate private armies who serve as goons
during elections.

Mr. President, we seek your immediate assistance to resolve the killing the soonest possible
time. This is the only way to avert further
violenceto serve justice to the perpetrators
of these crimesso that peace may once again
prevail in our provinces and to lessen many
unsolved impunities until now.
Samar Island has been devastated by a series of
ferocious typhoons in the past two years. We are
still in the process of rehabilitating our communities, the infrastructures in our towns, restoring
our livelihoods and environments. And peace is
essential in our development process.
We urge you, esteem President of nation, to resolve these killings before these bring more violence.
Your partners in Samar Island for peace and
Bishop of Calbayog
Bishop of Borongan
Bishop of Catarman
May 27, 2015


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

CBCP Monitor

Christ, the source of our peace in the storms of life

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mk 4:35-41 (B) June 21, 2015
THE disciples that evening expected
a smooth and fast crossing, but their
hopes were dashed by the increasing violence of the wind. Soon the
gentle waves of the lake of Gennesareth
swelled into mountain-like crests
which seemed determined to shatter
the squeaking boats of Peter and his
associates. It was only thanks to the
timely intervention of Jesusa carpenter and freshman preacherthat those
professional sailors were able to reach
the shore safely!
Through that miracle Jesus revealed
himself as Lord of Nature, a man who
had authority even on violent winds
and stormy seas. (See Mk 4:41.) He
was the same Lord of Nature who
had answered Jobs complaint with the
question: Who shut within doors the
sea when it burst forth from the womb
. . . ? God is always in control. He
is the master of all, even of the most
violent storms.
The instant quelling of a tempest
through a simple order marks an important moment in the disciples quest
to know the identity of their Master.
It can also be seen as a parable and
a prophecy about the history of the
Church and our life. It tells us where
we can find safety in the storms that
threaten us.
The Church is, indeed, like a fragile boat sailing across the rough sea
of human history. Often, it has to
weather the assaults of persecutions,

Hovhannes Aivazovsky

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

Each one of us also is like a small boat crossing the sea of

life. Many times, stormy events seem to overpower us and
doom to failure our best enterprises.

the breaches of defections, and betrayals. More than once, it has given the
impression that it was sinking, while
its Master, Jesus, seemed unconcerned
about the impending disaster, like that
dramatic evening on the lake. (See Mk
4:38.) But every time he has risen from
his apparent lethargy, and has defeated
the rage of hell through the power of
his Word. In this way, he makes good
the promise he made to Peter that
the jaws of death would not prevail
against his Church. (See Mt 16:18.)
Two thousand years of history bear
witness to the continuous fulfillment
of Jesus prophecy/promise.
Each one of us also is like a small
boat crossing the sea of life. Many
times, stormy events seem to overpower us and doom to failure our best
enterprises. Sometimes, we see the
forces of evil bring confusion, terror,
and death into our lives. And we may
be tempted to doubt whether we shall
ever be able to reach the shores of Gods
peace. Those are the moments when we
should remember that we are not alone:
Christ is on the same boat with us! In
the midst of trials and difficulties, he
is with us, ready to rescue us through
his saving power.
The storms of life should not cripple
us with fear and despair. Christs presence must fill us with courage and
faith. While doing our best, we have to
put all our trust in him. Then miracles
happen. And we are part of them:
through our faith in him, we allow
Jesus to restore peace and tranquility
to our threatened lives.

Jesus, the source of wellness and life

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mk 5:21-24, 35b-43 (B) June 28, 2015
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
SUFFERING and death are part and parcel of human
existence. They strike all: strong and weak, poor and
rich, young and old, good and bad alike. Such truth
makes them an even deeper mystery which no one
will ever be able to explain fully.
All normal human beings do their utmost to keep
away suffering or diminish it as much as possible.
Mankind has been partly successful in this struggle,
thanks to the medical science and technology. Yet,
there comes a
time, as in the
episode of the
woman afflicted
with hemorrhages featured
in todays Gospel passage,
even the best
physicians seem
impotent to
cure sickness. (See Mk 5:26.)
But suffering continues to hurt around and torment people, including innocent children. This is
what brought Glyzelle, the former street girl, to ask
Pope Francis, in a burst of tears, Why do innocent
children suffer? And the good Pope had to admit
that such a question has no answer. This is terribly
true from a simply human and earthly perspective.
Such helplessness becomes total in front of death.
For a time we may treasure the illusion that we
succeed in cheating it. But in the end, death does
come for all, as sure as the night follows the day. It

comes with its train of pain, ruptures, and dissolution. And whenever a person dies in the springtime
of his/her life, the grief is so much greater (See Mk
5:23.38.) Then the question rings even more dramatically, Why?
Men have come up with answers that range from
furious rejection to fatalistic acceptance. The Catholic faith has a more articulate answer that ventures
even beyond the question itself. Suffering and death
are not part of Gods plan for man. They are the fruit
of the devils envy and of mans yielding to him. One
day, this terrible disorder introduced by sin will be
eliminated when
God will make all
things new. (See
the First Reading. See also Gn
3:16-19.) Then
He shall wipe every tear . . . there
shall be no more
death or mourning, crying out or
pain. (Rev 21:4-5).
All this sounds like a wonderful promise of dreamland. Will it ever be fulfilled? Our faith says YES!
and sees its proof in the miracles performed by Jesus.
Those described in todays passage are just two of
the numberless healings he performed. The message
is always one: Our God is a God of wholeness and
life. (See Wis 1:13-14.) He wants us to have life and
have it to the full. For this he came to earth. (See
Jn 10:10.) The guarantee of the truth of all this is
condensed in the Incarnation of Gods Son, his life,
and his resurrection. And this is all that we need.

Vitorio Flojo

Suffering and death are not part

of Gods plan for man. They are
the fruit of the devils envy and
of mans yielding to him.

Bo Sanchez

Bishop Pat Alo

What Is The Enemy of Happiness?

THE enemy of happiness isnt

sadness. The enemy of happiness isnt problems. The enemy
of happiness isnt loneliness. The
enemy of happiness is fear. We
run our lives by fear.
In Dan Bakers excellent book,
What Happy People Know, he
explains how our body circuitry
is wired to fear.
Our brains have three parts.
The brain stem, the amygdale,
and the neocortex. The more
primitive parts of our brains,
the brain steam (also called the
reptilian brain, because reptiles
have these for brains) and the
amygdala are programmed for
Why? Our ancestors needed
fear for their physical survival.
Imagine yourself living in the
wilderness with lions, wolves,
and cobras around you. Danger lurks behind every tree and
Once their brains register fear,
the endocrine glands produce
our fear hormones adrenaline
and cortisol. It gave them super
strength to fight or flight. And in
fighting or fleeing, they exhaust
the adrenaline and cortisol in
their bodies. Well and good.
But what about us who usually
sit behind desks and work on
We still have the same fear
But this time, were no longer
afraid of lions or cobras behind
every tree.

Were afraid of our rising credit

card bills.
Were afraid of our boss.
Were afraid of losing our jobs.
Were afraid for our children
what will happen to their future?
Were afraid that at 41, we
wont get married anymore.
Were afraid well grow old
and lonely.

There is only
one thing
that is more
powerful than
fear. The only
antidote to fear
is love.
Were afraid well run out of
Were afraid of social rejection.
Were afraid of disease.
And these fears are so real,
our endocrine glands produce
adrenaline and cortisol as well.
And because were seated behind
our desks all day, we really dont
use up any of it. Adrenaline and
cortisol become poison in our
bodies, destroying our health
bit by bit.
Thus, very few people are

Conclusion: If you want to

be happy, we need to overcome
our fears.
The Only Antidote to Fear
Twenty years ago, a friend gave
me a book about facing fears.
My arrogant response to her:
Thanks for the book. But
frankly, I dont think I need it.
I dont know why, but fear isnt
a problem for me. I dont have
any fears.
Ten years later, I ate my words.
Because after a deep soul
search, I realized how my life
was run by many fears. Many
of the things I was doing I did
because of fear!
I feared what other people said
about me.
I feared failure.
I feared angry people.
I feared of not having enough.
I feared of not being enough.
In my life, Ive discovered that
there is only one thing that can
overcome fear.
There is only one thing that is
more powerful than fear.
The only antidote to fear is
When you fill your life with love,
your fears naturally disappear.
Im talking about a love for
God, a love for others, a love for
yourself, and a love for life itself.
The Bible says, Perfect love casts
out all fear. (1 John 4:18)
Once your fears are gone, happiness will flood your soul.




One love
THERE is some problem in our society today as
far as marital relations are concerned. God said:
What God has joined together let not man dare
to put asunder (Mt. 9:5). Immature as many of
us are, we think we gain more exploits the more
women or men we indulged in. What happens
is a degradation of the quality of love.
Love was destined to last forever. Marriage is
not a joke. It is an exchange of the perpetual vow
of love, as you yourself witness from the ceremony
till death do us part.
All those who practice love in another way are
just destroying themselves, wasting their energies
in non-love. They will just multiply problems,
distractions and wastage of energies, and hamper
growth to maturity and success. God made the
love between a man and a woman to last forever
in its endurance and depth. Now you cannot call

that deep love that keeps changing partners, as

the modern attempt to do to enjoy more. What
happens is self-destruction and the hampering of
the growth towards maturity, solidity and success. Infidelity or unfaithful love breeds disaster.
Let us ask God, the Source of Love, to bless our
marriages with enduring union, patience and
depth. Thats the usual advice they give to those
who want to avoid AIDS and other venereal diseases: stick to one partnerhusband or wifein
life. Now this means too that the selection of a
life partner should not be a joke but a serious,
prayerful affair. You will be more happy if you
stick and agree to one love. Precisely the prime
purposes of marriage are: procreation of children,
mutual support, satisfaction of physical desire.
How can these be fulfilled if one will advocate
separation or flimsy relationships?

CBCP Monitor


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

By Fr. Shay Cullen

THE little girl and her friend were
sleeping on the pavement along the
street in Fuente district, Cebu in
front of a 7-11 that Easter Sunday
night April 5, 2015. They had
been begging for food in a city of
growing wealth and prosperity. But
street children see none of it, they
are the children of the garbage,
throwaway children that live begging or scavenging on the streets or
in the garbage dump.
That sacred Sunday night when
Christians were celebrating the
resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth,
Chastity Mirabilis, a 11-year old
street child and her friend, 11-year
old (call her Miriam) were starting
their passion and crucifixion.
As Miriam later described it, a
policeman, as yet unnamed, from
Station 2 Fuente Osmena under
the command of Chief Inspector
Wildemar Tiu came up to the
sleeping children, kicked Chastity
in the face, and dragged her and
Miriam to a police van. It is likely
he was not alone.
There was no justification for
this whatsoever and the children
were brought to the Fuente police
station and allegedly beaten up in
the present of several police men.
Chastity was, according to the testimony of Miriam, tortured with
electricity as reported by the city
social workers after interviewing
The children were so battered
that they could hardly walk. The
next day they were allegedly kicked
out of the police station but Chastity could not stand up and walk
and Miriam carried her on her
back. No medical help was given.
Investigators have yet to release a
full report or evidence to rule out
sexual abuse.
Miriam carried Chastity to the
hovel where Chastitys handicapped mother was. Later that
day, Chastity Mirabilis died from
her injuries. The next day April 6,
three more children were picked up
brought to the same police station
under the watch of Chief Inspector
Tiu and were allegedly subjected

to verbal and psychological abuse.

The police shaved off their hair. The
female officer on duty did nothing
to help the children. Later, she
called it necessary for the hygiene
and grooming of the children.
This is a gross humiliation and
criminalization of children and
psychological abuse. The police
should be fired for gross ignorance
of the law and rights of the child
and charged with violation of R.A.
7610, the Child Protection Law.
The three children were detained
in a prison cell with male adult
prisoners. They were not fed proper
food. It is not known if they were
victims of sexual abuse in the police
station or if the prisoners paid the
police to provide sex as sometimes
The criminalization of street
children is a ploy to de-humanize
them and to justify harsh inhuman
treatment. A national broad sheet
editorial recently commented on
the plight of street children and
supported a bill in Congress to
help them get access to dignified
shelter and care centers, however,
at the same time, it branded them
as criminals. This conditions the
minds of the public to treat them
as a danger to society and worthless, making the children enemies
of society in need of punishment.
What happened in Cebu is not
an isolated incident. It happens
frequently and children are shot
and stabbed to death as I have
earlier reported. It is barbaric and
outrageous. There is no public
outcry in Cebu over this horrific
crime. Silence is a form of consent
and the silence brings shame on
all Cebuano people. They should
stand up and take a stand for childrens rights.
NBI 7 assistant director Augusto
Isidero admitted that the child
Miriam was able to identify the
policemen from photographs who
beat them and physically abused
them. He told me over the phone
that murder charges of murder and
child abuse will be filed against the
policemen. These heartless cruel
policemen bring disgrace to the
PNP and must be held accountable.

A policeman, as yet unnamed, from Station 2

Fuente Osmena under the command of Chief
Inspector Wildemar Tiu came up to the sleeping
children, kicked Chastity in the face, and dragged
her and Miriam to a police van.

When news of the death of

Chastity became new Chief Inspector Wildemar Tiu allegedly immediately took a flight to the United
States. He must have a green card,
or multiple re-entry visa. Getting a
tourist visa to the United States is
a long procedure. It seems he fled
the scene of a crime that happened
in his own police station.
Will justice ever be done? Will
the state really prosecute police for
this crime of alleged murder and
child abuse? They will likely favor
the cruel corrupt police over what
they have until now considered
a worthless street child. They are
considered less than human, so
worthless they allow them to sleep
on the streets and scavenge in
their garbage dumps. They allow
it because they see the children as
worthless garbage.
For the authorities, Chastity and
countless more are worthless street
children. If not, why arent they in
clean homes with good food and
education as the other children of
the nation with equal rights under
the Constitution? The politicians
who create such inequality and
poverty are equally guilty of causing the suffering of the children.
The conscience of the nation
ought to be awakened to these
terrible, unchanging conditions
bringing suffering to the poor,
the children, and disgrace to the
Philippines. Diplomats cringe in
shame when foreign government
officials raise the issue. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle just smiled
when challenged about it as on
BBC Hardtalk.
They are the children of God,
declared by Jesus of Nazareth as the
most important in the Kingdom. We
are told that when we accept them,
we accept Jesus. Thats our Faith.
But in the Catholic Philippines, the
Church as an institution has also
failed the children. They languish
abused in prisons and there is no
Catholic social action to save them.
The child Jesus is revered in
Cebu, the worship and procession of a statue is a passion here,
but apparently there is little or
no respect for the living children.

Uplifting the Young and Poor

Missionary Work / B1

committed to support the seminarians,

presbyters and Religious, of the young
Churches of mission territories, in
the Pontifical Colleges. In face of the
beautiful and important task that lies
before you, faith and love of Christ
have the capacity to push you everywhere to proclaim the Gospel of love,
of fraternity and of justice. And this
is done with prayer, with evangelical
courage and with the testimony of the
Beatitudes. Please, be careful not to
fall into the temptation of becoming
an NGO, an office of distribution of
ordinary and extraordinary aid. Money
is of helpwe know it!but it can also
become the ruin of the Mission. When
functionalism puts itself at the center
or occupies a large space, as if it were
the most important thing, it will lead
you to ruin, because the first way of
dying is that of taking the sources
for granted, that is, He who moves the
Mission. Please, with so many plans
and programs do not remove Jesus
Christ from Missionary Work, which
is His work. A Church that reduces
itself to the efficiency of party devices
is already dead, even if the structures
and the programs in favor of the selfemployed clergy and laity should yet
last for centuries.
True evangelization is not possible
except in the sanctifying energy of the
Holy Spirit, the only one capable of
renewing, shaking, giving impulse to
the Church in an audacious going out
of herself to evangelize all peoples (cf.
Ibid., n. 261).
May the Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, obtain for you always a passion
for the Kingdom of God, so that the joy
of the Gospel reaches to the ends of the
earth and no periphery is deprived of its
light. I bless you all affectionately. And,
please, do not forget to pray for me.

PREDA Foundation

The Children of the garbage pit

By Bernardo M. Villegas
IN many depressed communities all
over the world, the ones who suffer
most from poverty are children and
adolescents who lack opportunities for
education and cultural formation that
are available to their more fortunate
counterparts among the middle-income
and high-income families. Things get
even worse if the communities in which
they live are amalgams of immigrants
coming from different regions within
the same country or from different
countries, as in many European cities.
In some European cities, the concentration of immigrants in ghettos become
serious threats to peace and order as
these communities become hotbeds for
terrorism and criminality.
In a recent trip to Barcelona where I accompanied some Filipino CEOs, owners
of business and senior executives who are
participating in an Advanced Management
Program delivered by the IESE Business
School (in cooperation with the University
of Asia and the Pacific), I had the occasion
to visit an institution that is doing much to
address the serious problem of youth poverty in a very central district of this famous
Spanish city. B-Raval is a socio-educational
center sponsored by an NGO called Initiatives for Solidarity and Development. It
organizes programs and activities aimed at
social cohesion in a multi-cultural barrio
called Raval in the central district of Barcelona. At the same time, it has become
a think tank for the study of immigration,
a very important phenomenon in Spain
where more than ten percent of the population consists of immigrants, including some
60,000 Filipinos.

More than 1,200 adolescents have

participated in the activities of B-Raval
over the last fifteen years. These youth
come from households in a barrio called
El Raval, in which some 49,000 citizens
coming from more than thirty countries
live with one another in great harmony.
The barrio is one of the most densely
populated in the world in which 3% of
the total population of Barcelona reside
in only 1.1% of the total area of the city.
Close to 50% of its residents are immigrants who belong to the lowest segment

the activities of the Center are helped to

acquire a deeper knowledge of their host
country and region.
The Center is open to all, not only to
immigrants. The mixture of adolescents
coming from different social and ethnic
backgrounds and working on common
projectsathletic, cultural, educational,
etc.facilitates mutual understanding
and helps all to live peacefully with
one another. In addition to the sports
activities, the youth are asked to commit themselves to be physically present

Multi-ethnic teams are organized

so as to help the youth appreciate
cultural diversity and overcome
the inequalities and discrimination
that can result from immigration.
of the middle class at the highest risk of
social exclusion in a developed country
like Spain. After the Pakistanis, Filipino
Overseas Workers and their families are
the most numerous.
For the most needy families in the
barrio, B-Raval provides primary assistance: nutrition, clothing, counseling,
etc. The main attraction and channel
for the formation of the youth is a set of
sports activities: basketball and football.
Multi-ethnic teams are organized so as
to help the youth appreciate cultural
diversity and overcome the inequalities
and discrimination that can result from
immigration. Those who participate in

at the Center three times a week (for

training, matches, and team meetings).
To be active members of the Center,
they have to show proof that they are
regular in attending classes in their
respective schools. They have to present their grades to their coaches every
trimester. As the Director of the Center,
Josep Masabeu, told me, No one is allowed to play if he does not go to classes
Also benefiting from the activities
at the Center are university students,
young professionals and senior citizens
who volunteer their services as coaches
and mentors of the approximately 200

students who are participating in the

activities at any given time. A striking
example of a volunteer is Glenn Caliba,
son of a Filipino couple who migrated to
Barcelona in the 1980s. Already identifying himself as a Catalan (he was born
in Barcelona), Glen is an outstanding
example of the youth helped by B-Raval
to succeed in their studies. A product
of the formative activities in B-Raval,
he completed his studies in Information
Technology in the Polytechnic University of Catalunya. A multi-talented
individual, he also majored in piano in
the Municipal Conservatory of Music.
He continued to improve himself by
studying how to play the violin and the
organ. He then obtained an Erasmus
scholarship to Germany and is now fluent in German (beside speaking Tagalog,
Spanish and Catalan). Since graduating
from the university and obtaining a job
in a software company, he has served as
a volunteer at B-Raval for four years. As
a Filipino, I was proud of the fact that
Glen Caliba is some kind of a cover boy
for B-Raval.
Upon returning to Manila, I have
spoken to my colleagues active in promoting football and other sports among
the street children in depressed communities that they should try to replicate
B-Raval in the squatter areas of the big
cities of the Philippines. This model of
youth formation may also succeed in the
poorest communities in Muslim Mindanao, where the school drop out rate
among the youth is abnormally high.
Those who are interested in more details
about B-Raval can log on to its website
( or email braval@ For comments, my email
address is

Plenary / B5

or of the Senate diligently and

regularly. On the other hand,
do not make kapit sa taas a
criterion for the choice of local elective officials, because a
local official leads by his own
charisma and leadership skills.
We reject a government by
A person who aspires for high
office but who, because of inexperience, will be totally dependent on advisers is not the best
possible candidate for national
positions, but we should be
willing to repose trust on those
who, we are convinced, are capable of leading and of serving
with probity, high above suspicion and with skill, competence
and wisdom that comes from
abiding faith. That a person is
a firm believer, and that he or
she practices her faith should
be a crucial consideration for
the Catholic voter.
Every vote a Christian casts

is not only an instance of the

exercise of those liberties and
rights we have as free citizens. Because the Kingdom
of God is Gods gift, inaugurated, as teaches, in the world
by the life, ministr y, death
a n d Re s u r re c t i o n o f Je s u s ,
T h e L o rd , we a re c o m m i s sioned to do what is within
o u r a b i l i t y t o m a k e G o d s
Kingdom a living experience
for all of his people. And a
vote wisely and virtuously
cast is a fulfillment of that
For the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, June
5, 2015
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines


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Or e-mail this at


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Moral Assessment

Buhay San Miguel

CBCP Monitor
Brothers Matias



Technical Assessment

Below average


Above average

TEAM Avengers reclaims Lokis

scepter from whose power in
time Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downy, Jr.) will attempt
to build artificial intelligence.
Starks move, unknown to the
rest of the Avengers, is hoped to
protect humanity against alien
incursion, something Stark has
seen in a vision. Stark takes Dr.
Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) into his confidence, and
with Banners erstwhile reluctant
but amiable cooperation, the experiment is a success. However,
Starks supposedly peace-keeping
creation Ultron (James Spader),
turns out to be an iron-willed
Artificial Intelligence that defies
the aim of its inventor. Ultron
hates the Avengers and his idea
of peace is the total annihilation,
not the salvation, of the human
raceincluding the Avengers
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is
anything but average. Although
its shamelessly sci-fi, and heavily
reliant on CGI, its loads of fun
and entertainment from start to
finish, and doesnt come off like
a video game. This is not to say
its a perfect 5 by CINEMA
standardsThe Avengers: Age
of Ultron has flaws like other
movies that have too much to
string together in a dizzying
couple of hoursbut by this
time viewers realize that action
and gags matter more than the
plot. Plot holes are patched over
by the other luscious elements in
the film, like the special effects,
choreography, and cinematography. The performance by
the charismatic, blockbuster
castnow numbering 18, cameos includedis cemented by
a sparky storyline thats tailor
made to bring out the best in
Superhero movies of late seem
to have increasingly obscured
boundaries between humans
and robots. Here, A.I. Ultron
takes on a messianic complex


Lolo Kiko

Bladimer Usi

DIRECTOR: Josh Whedon

LEAD CAST: Robert Downey
Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris
Evans, Chris Hemsworth,
Tom Hiddleston, Cobbie
PRODUCER: Kevin Feige
EDITOR: Jeffrey Ford & Lisa
GENRE: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
RUNNING TIME: 2 hrs. 22

CINEMA rating: V 14

that heretofore belonged exclusively to humans. Point of discussion: if robots have become
so complex and competent that
they can will to destroy their
creator, what will happen to
the human race? But on second
thought, Ultrons ambition,
supposedly inappropriate for a
robot, could be simply mirroring mans vanitydoesnt man
also rebel against his Creator?
At any rate, The Avengers: Age
of Ultron is an entertaining
b l e n d o f s u p e r h e ro i c b o m bast and human-size emotions.
Picture the tiny hand of Black
Widow tentatively caressing
the fearsome green mega-hand
of the Hulkhows that for
a pacifier? Like a white rose
brushing a raging bulls horn to
tame the beast to submission.
Get the picture?

HANGGANG ngayon ay masakit pa rin para kay Becca (Lustre) ang paghihiwalay nila ng kasintahang si Nikko (Reid),
kaya naman kahit sa kanyang pagsusulat ng nobela para sa
dyaryo ng paaralan ay hindi rin niya mabigyan ng masayang
pagtatapos ang kanyang mga tauhang sina Maria (Barretto)
at Ryan (Pascual) sa kanyang kwento. Pero muli siyang
mabubuhayan ng loob nang magkaroon ng di sinasadyang
ugnayan sa taong nakaupo rin sa kanyang upuan sa klase dahil
sa pagpapalitan nila ng sulat at kwento.
May kaunting kiliti ang Para sa Hopeless Romantic, lalo sa
mga kabataang sumusubaybay sa mga tampok na tambalan.
Nakakatuwa rin ang disenyong pamproduksyon, lalo sa unang
bahagi ng pelikula, kung saan kulay rosas ang kapaligiran
ng ikinathang mundo nina Maria at Ryan, samantalang
makatotohanan ang mga kulay sa mundo nina Becca at Nikko.
Wala namang bigat na hiningi mula sa pagganap ng mga tauhan kayat mapapatawad na ang matigas at tila mala-karton na
pag-atake nina Reid at Pascual at ang malatang pagganap ni
Barretto. Malinis ang pagkagawa sa pelikula at walang mapupuna sa ibang teknikal na
aspeto nito. Kung sana ay
sinikap pang pigain ang
pagganap ng mga tauhan
dahil walang chemistry
ang kani-kanilang tambalan kayat ipinagpilitan ng
musika at ng mga angulo
ng kamera na palabasing
nagkakagustuhan sila, para DIRECTION: Andoy Ranay;
Cast: James Reid, Nadine
naman kiligin ang mga
Lustre, Julia Barretto and
manunuod sa mga bahagInigo Pascual
ing ito. Mas malaki naman STORY: Marcelo Santos III
ang kakulangan ng kwento SCREENPLAY: JM Gadingan
sa pagtalakay sa pag-ibig EDITING: Nacelle Sayr
dahil nauuwi lamang sa LOCATION: PUP, Manila area;
romansang pangkabataan
GENRE: Teen Romance;
ang mga karanasan nito.
Sabagay, kaya nga hopeless
romantic ang pamagat, da- TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:
hil ipinapapalagay na hindi

masyadong pag-iisipan ang MORAL ASSESSMENT:

CINEMA rating: V13
Bagamat wala namang
malaswa o bastos sa Para sa Hopeless Romantic, ay may
malaking usapin itong binubuksanlalo na para sa mga
magulang. Ang panahon ba ng kabataan ay panahon ng pagkakaroon ng relasyon? Handa nga ba ang isang mag-aaral na
nasa high school na harapin ang kumplikasyon ng relasyon
at pag-ibig? Tiyak, ang sagot ay hindi, kaya naman kadalasan
ang isang kabataang nahiwalayan ng nobyo o nobya ay halos
madurog na ang mundo at hirap nang harapin ang iba pang
responsibilidad. Heto kasi ang idinidikta at ibinebenta ng
media: kabataan + romansa = takilya. Akala tuloy ng kabataan, pagtuntong nila ng teen ay may lisensya na silang
magkarelasyon at duon na iikot ang kanilang mundo at buhay.
Ang tunay na pag-ibig ay mahirap matagpuan sa usbong ng kabataan dahil higit pa ito sa kilig, romansa at kulay rosas na kapaligiran. Ang tunay na pag-ibig ay sinusubok ng panahon, hinahasa ng
mga tunay na suliranin ng buhay, pinapalalim at pinapagtibay ng
karanasan at ng hamon ng pagbubuo ng sarili. Kung manunuod
ang mga kabataan, nas mabuting may kasamang nakatatanda na
makapagpapaliwanag sa kanila ng konsepto ng pag-ibig.


Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Jaime Cardinal Sin,

Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Gaudencio
Cardinal Rosales. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

CBCP Monitor. Vol. 19. No. 12

June 8 - 21, 2015

KCFAPI Asian Tour awardees

explore the wonders of Bangkok
AWARDEES of the 38th
Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ Annual Family Service
Awards and their families
discovered the wonders of
Bangkok, Thailand during
their visit to the country
from May 22 to 24, 2015.
The 2015 Asian trip to
Bangkok, Thailand is part
of the incentive program
provided by the Fraternal
Benefits Group of KCFAPI
for their top sales force.
The annual Asian Trip is
a reward for Fraternal Counselors and Area Managers
who sustained effort and
admirable skills in achieving
an optimal performance in
reaching and exceeding their
targets, according to Bro.
Gari San Sebastian, KCFAPI
Vice President for Fraternal
Benefits Group.
San Sebastian added that
the Fraternal Counselors
and Area Managers who
joined the tour had the time
to bond, recharge, relax and
are all the more motivated
to attain creditable sales
Among the tourist attractions visited by the group
were the Four Face Buddha,
Gold Buddha Temple, China Town, Gems and Leather
Factory and all major shopping areas in Bangkok like
the Big C, Central World,
MBK, Platinum and Siam
Paragon Chatuchak.
The cream of the crop
of the KCFAPI sales force
enjoyed their stay at GM
Holidays Hotel located at
the central commercial,
business and shopping district of Bangkok, Thailand
where they were accommodated for two nights.
It can be recalled that
these top sales force were
formally recognized during the 38th Fr. George J.
Willmann SJ Annual Family

38th Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Annual Family Service Awardees and their families during their trip in Bangkok, Thailand from May 22 to 24, 2015.

Service Awards held at the

Bellevue Hotel and Resort in Panglao, Bohol last
March 6 to 8, 2015.
The awards were categorized as follows: Area
Manager (AM) of the Year,
Fraternal Counselor (FC)
of the Year, Fr. Willmann
Knights of the Round Table
and Chairmans Circle.
The 2014 Area Manager
of the Year is none other
than Bro. Manuel L. Naldoza of the Central Luzon
Conquerors (CLC) while

the 2014 Fraternal Counselor of the Year award belongs

to Bro. Lauro L. Evangelista
of Central Luzon Believers
Other awardees were as
follows: Area Manager of
the Year runner-up, Bro.
Danilo C. Cosme of the
Metro Manila Counselor
(MMC), Fraternal Counselor of the Year runnersup were Bro. Reynaldo Q.
Segismundo of the Northwestern Luzon Thunders
(NWL), Bro. Danilo M.

Tullao of the Northeastern

Luzon Cavaliers (NEL),
Bro. Francisco C. Ballesteros of the Central Luzon
Conquerors (CLC), Bro.
Joselito C. Guzman of the
Central Luzon Diamonds
(CLD), Bro. Ronando M.
Rodriguez of the Central
Luzon Believers (CLB 1),
Bro. Roberto T. Espinosa of
the Central Luzon Conquerors (CLC) and Bro. Rene P.
Cruz also of the Central
Luzon Conquerors (CLC);
Fr. Willmann Knights of

the Round Table awardees

were Area Managers Bro.
Benedicto A. Burgonio of
the Northwestern Luzon
Thunders (NWL), Bro.
Victor E. Pulangco of the
Central Luzon Diamonds
(CLD) and Bro. Efren M.
Casupanan of the Central
Luzon Believers (CLB 1),
Fraternal Counselors Bro.
Vimar L. Trinidad of the
Metro Manila Achievers
(MMA), Bro. Vicente C.
Duroy of the Metro Manila
Counselors (MMC), Bro.

KCFAPI Team Love Bank brings joy to Hospicio De San Jose

A DELEGATION from the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI) visited Hospicio De San Jose, one of the
largest orphanage in the country located in Manila,
for a community outreach held last May 23, 2015
in line with their activities for the Year of the Poor.
Games, role-playing, coloring and feeding program were among the various activities held with
selected beneficiaries.
We are an institution that depends only in donations from the people with good heart like the
Knights of Columbus, said Sister Ma. Magdalena
Erasmo of the Pastoral Care and Homelife Services
of Hospicio De San Jose.
Basic needs are what they need such as clothing,
food, and medicines because they are also catering
to persons with special needs and who have maintenance dosage.
We have more than a hundred personnel who
take care of our residents and we need also some
financial assistance for them, Sr. Erasmo added.
For the young ones, aside from financial support

and food, we need also shoes [school

and casual] and presentable clothes for
special occasions from elementary to
college, said Sister Bacilides Ramas,
DC, in-charge, Children and Youth of
Hospicio De San Jose.
Hospicio De San Jose is the only level
3 accredited orphanage in the whole
country. We have here from womb
to tomb. We accept pregnant women
who lived in the streets. We have a new
program, which is the food feeding for
the homeless three times a week, said
Sr. Ramas.
Thank you Knights of Columbus
in the Philippines and to our KCFAPI The KCFAPI Team Love Bank were in full force during the fun activities
family. We are hoping that your support prepared for the orphans of Hospicio De San Jose held last May 23, 2015.
to the institutions like us will continue,
she concluded.
charitable activities year-round that started last
Hospicio De San Jose is being managed by 2014 and ended on June 1, 2015.
the Daughters of Charity, which by the way just
For donations, please call (+63) (02) 734-2366.
celebrated their 158thanniversary thru various (KCFAPI News/Yen Ocampo)

Team KCFAPI CARES: Shepherd the Orphan

James 1:27 is a call upon every
believer to visit or shepherd
the orphan and widow in his
and her distress, and God has
given us some powerful clues for
how we might accomplish this
work in His word.
headed by its activity team
leader, Bro. Riz Nicolas visited Asociacion De Damas
De Filipinas, Inc. (ADFI)
in Quirino Ave. Ext., Paco,
Manila last May 31, 2015.
The ADFI is a child caring
facility founded in 1913 for
the abandoned, neglected,
orphaned, foundling and
dependent sector of the society categorized as Children
in Need of Special care with
ages six (6) months to nine (9)
years old and whose families
and relatives cannot provide
them with security and basic
During the visit, the group
opened the activity with

Team KCFAPI CARES, headed by its activity team leader, Bro. Riz Nicolas (leftmost) during their visit to Asociacion
De Damas De Filipinas, Inc. (ADFI) in Quirino Ave. Ext., Paco, Manila last May 31, 2015.

a Prayer for the Cause of

Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ
followed by welcome remarks
from ADFI representative,
Ms. Melanie Dawanag, who
gave a brief information

about the organization and

its mission. According to
her, the institution presently
caters to 93 children who are
orphans or on a foster care

Bro. Roberto Cruz on the

other hand, talked about
the Life and Works of
Fr. Willmann, SJ as the children listened to him intently.
Following this, the children

actively participated and expressed their ideas during the

question and answer portion
of the short lecture. There
were also fun games and live
rendition of the Superbook
Theme song (Tagalog version) by some members of the
Team KCFAPI Cares.
At lunchtime, the kids
were treated to a Jollibee
meal. This was followed by a
simple presentation from selected ADFI children, which
surprised the members of
the Team KCFAPI Cares.
Finally, before the activity
ended, the team distributed
various school supplies to the
children and had photo opportunity with the children,
ADFI representatives and
volunteer house parents.
As the day ended, members
of the Team KCFAPI Cares
were filled with much happiness as the group once again
fulfilled its mission. Blenda
A. Porillo

Rodante B. Sultan of the

Eastern Visayas Fighters
(EVB), Bro. Mauricio P.
Pangda of the Northeastern
Luzon Cavaliers (NEL),
Bro. Rodrigo B. Saligumba
of the Metro Manila Excellence (MME 1), Bro.
Carlito G. Fernando of the
Central Luzon Believers
(CLB 1) and Bro. Reymundo L. Tolentino of the
Central Luzon Diamonds
(CLD); and the Chairman
Circle Awardees were Area
Managers Bro. Reynaldo

D. Valencia of the Metro

Manila Dragons (MMD),
Bro. Conrado S. Dator, Jr.
of the Southern Luzon Lakers (SL) and Bro. Ju-George
E. Galura, Jr. of the Metro
Manila Achievers (MMA),
Fraternal Counselors Bro.
Apolinar G. Olipernes of
the Southern Luzon Lakers
(SL), Bro. Angel F. Rivada
of the Northwestern Luzon
Thunders (NWL), Bro.
Leonardo C. Dela Cruz of
the Metro Manila Achievers (MMA), Bro. Luis F.
Ferrer of the Central Luzon
Believers (CLB 1), Bro.
Magno P. Porticos, Jr. of
the Davao Eagles (EME),
Bro. Macario S. Mendoza of
the Central Luzon Believers
(CLB 1), Bro. Wendell B.
Udan of the Davao Eagles
(EME), Bro. Teofilo A.
Samson of the Southern
Luzon Lakers (SL), Bro.
Bonifacio B. Martinez of
the Metro Manila Dragons
(MMD), Bro. Benjamin A.
Rosales of the Central Luzon Diamonds (CLD), Sis.
Marilou B. Cosme of the
Metro Manila Counselors
(MMC), Bro. Eduardo V.
Cruz of the Central Luzon
Belivers (CLB 1), Bros. Rex
E. Blanco and Nazario A.
Timbresa of the Central
Luzon Conquerors (CLC),
Bro. Arturo A. Tilos of
the Metro Manila Dragons
(MMD), Bro. Rogelio G.
Tadura of the Davao Eagles
(EME), Bro. Edwin A. Dincog, Sr. of the Northeastern
Luzon Cavaliers (NEL).
Overall, Central Luzon
Conquerors emerged as
the area with most number
of lives, while Central Luzon Believers was noted as
the area with highest first
year contribution (FYC)
and with most number of
awardees. (KCFAPI News/
Yen Ocampo)

Brings Hope to

Members of the KCFAPI Cares team pose for a photo op during

their visit to the Makati Youth Home (MYH) in Barangay La Paz,
Makati City last May 9, 2015.

For I know the plans I

have for you, says the
Lord, They are plans for
good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and
hope. Jeremiah 29:11.
IN line with KCFAPIs
Year of the Poor project, which aims to engage employees towards
evangelization by way
of activity projects that
will benefit the needy
and the less privileged
sector of our society,
headed by its activity
team leader, Atty. Neil
Jerome Rapatan led his
members to the Makati
Youth Home (MYH)
in Barangay La Paz,
Makati City last May
9, 2015, united with a
purpose of conveying
message of hope, love
and care for the aban-

doned/outcast children
of the said institution.
The MYH serves as
a temporary shelter for
Children in Conflict
with the Law (CICL).
At present, there are
twenty two (22) male
CICL being housed in
the center, three (3)
of which are persons
with disability (PWD).
These are children who
we re a b a n d o n e d by
their families because
of poverty.
The center, along
with seven female and
15 male committed
house parents who cater to the needs of the
children are being managed by Ms. Editha D.
Ruazol, RSW and is
being funded through
government initiative.
MYH resident social

Hope / C3


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

Alonso L. Tan

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

Chairmans Message

Curia Settings

The Cross

Fathers and Fr. George

THIS month of June we celebrate Fathers
Day as well as the birth month of the
Father of the Knights of Columbus in
the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ who, if he were still with us, would be
celebrating his 118th birthday this month.
Once again, we give due recognition and
appreciation to these men who have brought
significant changes into our lives both as
human individuals and as brother Knights
of Columbus.
To our biological fathers, we owe our lives and the kind of person we are.
The way we look, sound, think and even act has greatly been determined by
our father in partnership with our mother, particularly during our youthful years. There is no way of denying the physical link. This is the reason
why even the authorities consider DNA testing as the final determinant
of ones identity. Of course, no one will generally deny that he/she is the
offspring of his/her father.
As Knights of Columbus, we belong to an organization a brotherhood primarily shaped by Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ during his last forty
years of loving, caring and leading not only the Knights of Columbus,
but more so, the poor, the underprivileged, the weak and the neglected.
Fr. Willmanns achievements in the Knights of Columbus are numerous
and consistently relevant. For us present-day Knights, it is not easy to
follow his example. When a child sees the much bigger shadow cast by
his father, he wants his own small shadow to imitate his dads shadow.
Other kids prefer to seek shelter and hide under the shadow of their
respective dads.
As brother Knights, we look up to Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ who indeed
set the path for us. Opening the doors of the Order to the common Filipino,
he showed the way on how the K of C organization should be relevant
not only to the Catholic Church, but to the family and society as well.
This month of June, let us show our admiration to our Father George
by actively continuing his advocacies of caring for the family as well as
helping the poor. As 2015 has been declared the Year of the Poor, now is
the best time for all K of C children to imitate our Father George. Let
us use our ingenuity and resourcefulness to come up with different ways
we can follow his commitment and dedication in helping others.
It may be hard to fill in the gigantic shoes left by Fr. George. But, like
little children, once we begin doing these charitable works and realize
that we are helping others, then the pain and hardships will be replaced
by feelings of personal fulfillment and joy.
The best form of admiration to our K of C father is to imitate his good
works and deeds. May we all be living replicas of Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ perpetuating his care for life and the family as well as for the needy and
the outcast. VIVAT JESUS!

Personal Freedom
FREEDOM is a topic, which, as we celebrate
the Philippine Independence Day, becomes
naturally important to reflect on. However, it
is too broad and too deep that I am afraid I get
dwarfed by the concept. And I know I can only
handle some meanings of personal freedom.
Let me begin by repeating a basic principle
which I learned a long, long time ago about
FREEDOM. Freedom, I was told is not the
permission nor the ability to do what we like
to do. Rather, it is the capacity, almost a power,
to choose and to do what is right. It connotes
the ability to say NO to the bad, to the evil, to
the wrong thing.
We are free only when we can choose the
right over the wrong. Then we prove to ourselves that we are not under the power, under
the influence of the evil. When we do what we
have seen to be right, then we are free. No matter how difficult it is to choose what is right, we
opt to free ourselves from the lure of the false.
However, we must be able to do this consistently so that we can really say that we are free.
On the other hand, when we choose the wrong
repeatedly, when we commit the same mistakes
again and again, perhaps we are enslaved to
wrong values, friends, and motives. Being
wrong, being sinful, can be pretty addicting.
In this case, we can say that we have lost our
inner freedom to fight for the right.
It does not mean that we always enjoy doing
the good. It does not mean either that there is
no pain in renouncing the wrong. And many
times we stumble and fall in our decision making process. Sometimes we learn the meaning

and the value of freedom for us, after we make

wrong decisions.
This inner freedom to do the right comes
from within us. We do not make these difficult
choices merely to impress others. Whether
other people see us or not, whether they know
what good we do or not, we still choose the
good over the evil. The actual battle, the real
action starts in our thoughts, in the secrets of
our hearts, when we are faced with choices. I
said that the battle begins inside of us because
many times it is an inner, personal struggle to
stay on the right path, and we must do this
alone. Temptations to instant gratification is
never totally eradicated from our lives. And we
are grateful that we receive an inner strength to
stick to our principles.
If we notice, we find ourselves praying when
faced with choices. We indeed pray for the right
decisions. We do not know how or when we
arrive at a firm decision to choose the right,
but we know we receive it from the Spirit of
Goodness. Sometimes some friends or loved
ones shout out loud when they see that we are
about to make a mistake. And we sort of wake
up from a temporary blindness. This reminder
must be sent by the Spirit of Goodness as well.
I think that I almost want to claim that only
prayer is our strength in moments like these.
Only Gods Truth is the Light that leads us to
make right choices. Sometimes, even after we
have prayed for guidance, we find ourselves
still making mistakes. But from our experience, mistakes which we do not maliciously or
repeatedly do, do not cause too serious damage

and we are able to make straight the crooked

lines that we traced.
Indeed God reads our hearts. Because we
pray for guidance, He knows that we are loyal to
him. Of course there are moments of weakness
and we are humbled when we stumble. Our
mistakes make us humble because our errors
lead us to cling to God for help. When we go
back to God and ask for help, He makes His
presence felt by the quiet, beautiful feeling of
being on the palms of His hands. When we
live holding on to Gods Light, it makes us feel
really at peace when we know we are forgiven.
The assurance that He will never leave us fills us
with such inner peace and such inner freedom
that we know this is our Pearl of Great Price.
We know that we are free when we choose the
right because it gives us peace after our choice.
And when sometimes we choose the bad over
the good, we feel all sorts of discomforts. We
are guilty, we have remorse, we are afraid and
even sad. An inner voice haunts us reminding us
that we missed the mark; that we have violated
our dignity; that we betrayed the values that the
Spirit has formed in us.
We are a work in progress. The way to total
Freedom is a long one and it happens somewhere beyond time. But our silent desire to be
interiorly free, and our sincere efforts to be on
the right path are known by our God. One fine
day, we shall fall but we should not be afraid.
For each time we fall and lose our freedom, immediately we feel the forgiving, compassionate
and loving hand of God catching us and lifting
us up to Himself.

Michael P. Cabra

My Brothers Keeper

Independence from Fear of the Uncertain

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

Presidents Message
IN many a dictionary, Independence is
defined as freedom from the control,
influence, support, aid, or the like of
others. It is the state or quality of
being independent. It refers to a countrys identity. It also refers to a persons
individuality. But is there such a word
or a state of being independent? On the
contrary, it is full of control, influence,
support, aid, or the likes. In other words,
the state of being independent is actually
a state of being dependent.
Imagine a country without control and you will see a very chaotic
country, crime ridden and without identity; Imagine a country
which cannot influence its neighbors nor its people and youll see
a country whose people has no direction nor purpose; Imagine a
country which cannot give nor receive support and aid and youll
see a ruthless and heartless society.
Independence of a state is probably a condition wherein it is
not in danger from foreign intrusion and maybe occupation and a
recognition that such a state exists and has an identity of its own.
But it could never survive without having allies who will recognize
and respect that state of independency. And likewise it must return
that recognition and respect to whoever will accord it. This is one
of the reasons why the United Nations was organized, to protect
and respect each countrys territorial boundaries and limitations.
Even the mightiest in economy such as the United States is dependent on its allies. They even organized the G7 comprising of the top
seven economies, not to mention armies in the world, which are there
not only to respect but to protect its many interests all over the world.
Many of the societies in the world have been obliterated through
time due to a variety of reasons: extinction through decease, calamities and probably even genocide. Thats probably why we have to
be dependent in order to be independent.
All countries in the world who are members of the United Nations recognize each other and somehow exercise or enjoy what
is called freedom.
Many had to suffer through a lot of wars and invasions in order
to gain or maintain its identity and freedom. The Philippines, is
no different from them. But looking back in our history before we
were subjugated by Spain, we exercised or enjoyed more freedom
then. We trade with our Asian neighbors. We allowed them to stay
which resulted in a mixture of race and culture forming a distinct
race we now call Filipinos.
Many in our history fought foreign aggressions to maintain and
preserve our identity as a nation from Lapu-Lapu to the Silangs,
the katipuneros, Gomburza, Bonifacio and Rizal and the countless of heroes of the Second World War. Because of their selfless
sacrifices, we now enjoy what we call freedom and independence.
But to be Independent and to enjoy the freedom that goes with
it entails corresponding obligations and responsibilities. We must
have certain controls, a certain degree of influence, we must be able
to support the very essence of freedom and democracy and must
be willing to receive from and give aid to a neighboring country if
only to preserve each others dignity and freedom. Our independence does not reside solely in ourselves and in the country where
we reside but in maintaining peace and harmony both within and
outside. We are therefore dependent upon each other to pursue a
common interest we call Independence.

THIS coming June 12, 2015

we Filipinos will be celebrating
our 117th year of independence.
However, to clarify any confusion
that may occur June 12 wasnt really the day when we gained our
freedom from foreign rule. It was
actually July 4, 1898. It was July
12 when our ancestors decided
and recognized that we should
be an independent country. Sadly
though, no foreign country recognized our desire for sovereignty
and occupied our lands regardless
of our countrymens passionate
cries for freedom and independence. Now, you might find
yourself wondering, if we didnt
gain any independence on June
12 then why do we celebrate our
independence that day?
As mentioned, June 12 doesnt
signify a literal day of gaining

independence from foreign rule

but rather it symbolizes a physical realization of a dream that has
slumbered within the confines
of our hearts. It is the day when
our nation became conscious of
all the sacrifices of our fellow
countrymen. The day stands like
an unwavering memorial; it is a
collage of all the 42 documented
rebellion, from the Dagami Revolt to the Cavite Mutiny, which
led to our national identity. Let us
face it, not everyone has the courage to stand up to a force much
greater just for the realization of
his dream. Some of us stand in
the sidelines and let others take
responsibility for the actualization
of our dreams. It is the courage
to face not only a physical force
greater than ours but also the
courage to face ones own fear

that make this day deserving of

Speaking of the courage to
face ones own fear, I am always
reminded of the motto of the
Knights of Columbus Tempus
Fugit Memento Mori. It means
Time Flies Remember Death. The
motto is a reminder for everyone
that death is certain but when
will it happen? It is UNSURE.
It is UNCERTAIN. We fear the
consequences of our death to our
remaining loved ones, but very few
of us are taking courage to face and
prepare for it. For most Filipinos it
is taboo to talk about death. Poverty is everywhere in the country
because very few prepared for it.
Just like marking June 12 as our
nations independence from the
Spanish rule, I believe we should
also mark our personal indepen-

Roberto T. Cruz

Touching Base with the Foundations

GREETINGS and Happy Fathers Day to all
the fathers of families out there. Let us likewise
pray for the father of the Knights of Columbus
in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ who was born this month of June on the
29th. In addition, June is also the month we
celebrate Independence Day that milestone
when our country attained its democracy to
be a free nation.
Independence allows us the freedom to do
what we want to be as a country representing
what we believe is good for ourselves, our society and our country. When one is independent,
he is able to do what he wants. Unfortunately,
independence is not absolute. Ones freedom is
restricted to the extent that it does not hamper
the freedom of others. As man is a social being,
he has little choice but to co-exist with other
men. Each of us must be aware of our neighbours needs. This basic rule applies to all of us
whether the individual is an ordinary citizen
or the countrys President, a senator, a justice,
the armed forces chief or any other person in a
position of authority.
The concept of Independence is closely connected to and must be accompanied by a strong
sense of responsibility which must be shared

by all. Life in this world is full of inequalities

leading to differences in wealth, power, success,
popularity, intelligence and personal fulfillment to name a few. It is therefore unavoidable that different people have different ideas
about their independence and accompanying
A poor man who practically has no money
or possessions to his name will probably
feel he has been deprived of the freedom or
his independence to do what he wants. He
faces much bigger challenges just to make
ends meet, all the more to be able to find
success in life. By comparison, a rich man
who basks in abundant resources that afford
him anything he may want, would most
likely declare enjoyment of his freedom and
This is a sad fact of life that we all must contend with. But for some who have a strong sense
of compassion and generosity, they try to create a bigger impact and give more meaning to
their lives by going beyond their comfort zone
to reach out and help the less privileged. This
is what our two foundations have been doing
since their creation by Fr. George J. Willmann,
SJ in the 1970s. Thru the scholarships awarded

to poor but deserving high school graduates as

well as needy diocesan seminarians and priests
respectively, the KC Philippines Foundation,
Inc. (KCPFI) and the Knights of Columbus
Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. (KCFGJWCI) expand lifes horizons for these
scholars who are all given the opportunity to
achieve and be more. With their successes, they
are able to live a more productive life. They are
released from the stranglehold of poverty and
hopelessness and they are able to enjoy more
independence and freedom in choosing their
direction in life.
This Independence Day, let us take a deeper
look at independence and freedom taking
into consideration the accompanying responsibility to help make our world a better place
to live in not just for ourselves but also for
our brothers and neighbours as well. This consideration applies not only to ordinary citizens,
but especially to our leaders who create much
bigger impact from their respective positions
of power and influence.
Wouldnt it be great if everyone had a shared
Independence full of respect for each others
freedom. A more meaningful Independence
to all!!!

FBG holds Fraternal Service Training 2

THE Fraternal Benefits Group of
the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines,
Inc. (KCFAPI) conducted a twoday Fraternal Service Training
Level 2 (FST 2) from May 26
to 27, 2015 at the Fr. George
J. Willmann, SJ Building, KCFAPI Compound, in Intramuros,
More than twenty (20) Fraternal Counselors joined the
training, which was facilitated by
KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group, Gari San
Sebastian and Fraternal Benefits

Services Manager, Michael Cabra.

After the training, the participants were toured to the Fr.
Willmann Museum and they
were accompanied by none other
than KCFAPI Executive Vice
President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia.
The FST 2 is a level up program designed for FCs to gain
more knowledge on personality
development, sales techniques
and even financial management.
The training included goal setting
session and some activity management on how to ensure regular
production. (FBG News)

dence from the fear brought about

by death. Then and only then we
can free ourselves from the fear of
the uncertain.
The only and best solution I can
think of right now is protecting
oneself with a KCFAPI Benefit
Certificate or simply known as
Insurance Protection Plan. Neither
putting your savings in a bank nor
investing your money in stocks is
a guaranteed financial protection
against untimely death but owning
a life insurance plan is. Life insurance gives us financial certainty
when all other solutions fail.
As we join our nation, the
Philippines, in celebrating Independence day, let us be reminded
as well to mark the start of our own
independence against the fear of
the uncertain. Enjoy freedom! Get
a life insurance plan now!

Participants of the Fraternal Service Training Level 2 with KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia. JEROME DE GUZMAN

The Cross


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

A Promise of a New World

Thanks to the faith and sacrifice of so many, Catholic institutions have served countless neighbors in need
By SK Carl A. Anderson
IN his apostolic exhortation
Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis called for a new missionary
spirit among Catholics. This challenge has particular resonance for
Knights of Columbus, especially
throughout North America and
the Philippines where we have
benefited in so many ways from
the devotion and sacrifice of
countless missionaries.
The great Catholic institutions
of these countries were built by
men and women filled with a great
missionary spirit. In the United
States, though many of these missionaries confronted the obstacle of
anti-Catholic bigotry, they nonetheless seized an opportunity offered by our nations commitment
to the free exercise of religionan
opportunity offered nowhere else
on earth.
And with that opportunity they

constructed an unprecedented
network of institutions to provide
for the health, education and welfare of millionsCatholics and
non-Catholics alikefor whom
the government did not provide
an answer.
These institutions, though, were
not intended to simply fill a gap left
by the limitation of government.
They were not, as Pope Francis has
reminded us, merely NGOs, that
is, volunteer non-governmental
service organizations. Their mission was greater. These Catholic
institutions gave witness to the
transcendent dignity of each human being they served, especially
those whose dignity the government often neglected.
Pope Benedict XVI addressed
this missionary spirit when he
spoke at St. Patricks Cathedral in
New York City during his 2008
visit to the United States. On that
occasion, he stated that faith and
a spirit of constant conversion and

self-sacrifice [was] the secret of the

impressive growth of the Church
in this country.
Pope Benedict then went on to
observe: We need but think of
the remarkable accomplishment
of that exemplary American priest,
the Venerable Michael McGivney,
whose vision and zeal led to the
establishment of the Knights of
Columbus, or of the legacy of
the generations of religious and
priests who quietly devoted their
lives to serving the People of God
in countless schools, hospitals and
These missionaries and the
institutions they built offered
something that government
could notthe promise of the
Gospel of Life (Evangelium
Vitae). This was not a promise
spoken about on Sunday mornings; it was a promise lived out
in the day-to-day life of the poor
and suffering.
You and I are called not only to

sustain these Catholic institutions,

but also to sustain the promise
they represent. Pope Benedict
challenged us to be faithful to this
great Catholic missionary heritage:
In the finest traditions of the
Church in this country, may you
also be the first friend of the poor,
the homeless, the stranger, the sick
and all who suffer.
We must preserve the free exercise of religion, which allows us
not only to make that promise, but
also to keep it. The autonomy of
our religious institutions is not extrinsic to the missionary nature of
Christianity; rather, it is essential.
Today, people too often view our
faith communities in a legalistic
or institutional way that fails
to understand their true spirit. In
Father McGivneys day, people too
often viewed Catholics through
the lens of prejudice and bigotry.
He had a simple answer: Live the
principles of charity, unity and
fraternity in ways people can see

so as to overcome self-centeredness,
greed and cynicism.
Pope Francis similarly challenges
us today with even greater determination to be, in his words, neighbors who care for each other. This
is truly the Knights of Columbus

way of life.
As we prepare to welcome our
pope to the United States later
this year, let us strive for a record
of accomplishment that we can all
be proud of.
Vivat Jesus!

The Gentle Warrior

By James B. Reuter, SJ
Part II of Chapter Two of The Gentle Warrior series
--------.--------The Battleground

THE great, historic ruined walls of the

Inner City, Intramuros. Going into
Intramuros through a gate, which was
almost like a tunnel. There was a moat
around the wall, but there was no water in
it. George was looking for a drawbridge.
The narrow streets of Intramuros. The old
Spanish buildings. San Ignacio Church.
The white school. A group of high school
boys running out to meet them, laughing, calling to each other in Spanish. It
sounded, to George, like Los caballeros
Americanos! The street was bathed in
sunlight. The school was bathed in sunlight. George had come to the missions.
He was breathless with expectations. It
was a dream.
The next day he saw the wide peaceful expanse of the Luneta, with people
sitting quietly on the grass. The Manila
Hotel clean, regal, majestic. San Jose
Seminary, on Padre Faura, a regional
seminary, run by the Jesuits. The famous, historic Manila Observatory, with
its great telescope and its silver dome.
San Agustin Church built in 1585, with
walls three feet thick. The Augustinians
were the close friends of the Jesuits. On
the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola the
Augustinians would say the High Mass
at San Ignacio, an Augustinian priest
would preach, and the Augustinian

seminarians would sing. On the Feast

of Saint Augustine, the Jesuits would do
exactly the same for the Augustinians, in
that beautiful old San Augustin. Church.
George walked from the Ateneo in
Intramuros to Santa Ana, to the Jesuit
Retreat House called La Ignaciana. This
was the first house of the Society of Jesus
in the Philippines when they returned to
Manila after the suppression, in 1859. It
was on the Pasig River. George looked at
the Pasig River. This river was to Manila
what the Thames was to London, what
the Tiber was to Rome. Everything
big that ever happened in Manila happened around the Pasig. The Rajah
Soliman came down that river in the
black war boats, and stood up against
the whole Spanish Empire. Bolos and
Spears against the long rifles of Spain.
The Rajah Soliman died in the water.
George was thinking: He was a man!
The Philippines has a beautiful history!
Courage. Incredible courage.
He visited Concordia College, which
is close to La Ignaciana in Santa Ana.
The nuns showed him, with pride,
the reception hall in which Jose Rizal
courted Segunda Katigbak, who was
the first and real Maria Clara. George
had read about Rizal, as part of his
preparation for coming to the Philippines. Rizal was a boarder in the Ateneo, for seven years. He was Prefect of
the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He carved a statue of the Sacred Heart,
with a penknife, and gave it as a gift to
Father Sanchez. Rizal was Emperor
of the Romans.
On Sundays the boarders were let
out on paseo. Rizal, at the age of 17,
would walk from the Ateneo in Intramuros to Concordia, to visit Segunda
Katigbak. He recorded it in his diary.
Rizal wrote as well, at the age of 16, as
he did when he died. He describes his
dynamic courtship of Segunda.

It was in that big reception hall.

There was a great circle of chairs,
Segunda sat on one side of the circle,
and Rizal sat on the opposite side of
the circle, so that they were facing
each other, for two hours! To her
right was her mother. To her left
was her father.
Then there were about three
aunties, and a couple of uncles,
and about four Nuns Daughters
of Charity. But Rizal and Segunda
would look at each other, for two
hours, and then he would walk
back to the Ateneo in Intramuros,
on cloud nine, dreaming of the
next Sunday, when he could sit in
the circle of the chairs and look at
Segunda. George read the diary of
Rizal. He could feel the spirit of this
boy, in the dormitory.
When Rizal was being marched
down from Fort Santiago to the Luneta, to be executed, he looked at the
towers of the old Ateneo in Intramuros
and said: I spent many happy years
They shot him in the back, and they
expected him to fall and die like a traitor, with his face to the ground. But after the soldiers fired, with eight bullets
in him, Rizal wheeled around and fell
with his face to the sky. George read
this, and felt that it was a symbol of the
Filipino. The Filipino falls often
but he falls with his face to the sky.
It took George ten seconds to get
permanent residence in the Philippines. The ten seconds were taken up
by the clerk, who asked: How do you
spell your name, Fadder?
George felt that the Philippines had
vibrations. Good vibrations. They
matched the vibrations of the Corcorans and the Willmanns. He felt that
he was home.
(To be continued on the next issue.)

Hope / C1

Father McGivney Office - Philippines continues to promote the Cause for the Canonization of Venerable Michael McGivney in Luzon Jurisdiction. FMO - PH
recently distributed Fr. McGivney-related materials at the 10th Family Fun Day in Cabanatuan City (upper left); in different parishes namely San Roque
Cathedral in Caloocan City (lower left), Dambana ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Cathedral Parish in Cabanatuan City (lower right);
and Maria Assumpta Seminary in Cabanatuan City (upper right).

worker, Ms. Girlie Nieva opened the

activity with a short introduction while
KCFAPIs Atty. Rapatan shared with
the children the rationale of the Year of
the Poor activity. Bro. Roberto Cruz,
Executive Director of KC Philippines
Foundation on the other hand, discussed
the life and works of Fr. Willmann to
the children. A Holy Eucharist was
likewise offered with Rev. Fr. Gabby
Garcia, La Paz Parish Priest as mass
presider. There were also film viewing
of the Prodigal Son followed by a
motivational video Gang Member to
College Professor, which drew positive reaction and active participation
from the children. Finally, there was

also distribution of simple tokens for

the children.
After the event, a special child
got up and hugged every member of
the team KCFAPI Cares. This made
the team emotional and at the same
time fulfilled to have felt gratitude
and appreciation for their simple
activity. By the grace of God, Life is
made more meaningful and blessed
for each member with that wonderful gesture.
The KCFAPI CARES team is indeed
grateful to Makati Youth Home for their
accommodation and support to this
project. Viva Team KCFAPI CARES!
Blenda A. Porillo


June 8 - 21, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 12

The Cross

Luzon Jurisdiction holds 11th Annual

Family Day and Mini Olympics
THE Luzon Jurisdiction of the
Knights of Columbus in the Philippines held their 11th Annual
Family Day and Mini Olympics in
honor of the Knights of Columbus
local founder
Fr. George J.
Willmann, SJ last May 30, 2015
at the Marikina Sports Complex,
Marikina City.
Hundreds of Brother Knights
and Squires from different councils
participated together with their
families. The insurance arm of
the Order, Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) also took part
in the event.
A Eucharistic celebration, which
was officiated by Fr. Reynante U.
Tolentino, Parish Priest of the Our
Lady of the Abandoned was held
prior to the sports events.
The symbolic lighting of the
Olympic torch was led by the officers of Luzon Jurisdiction namely
Justice Jose C. Reyes Jr., Pascual C.
Carbero and Florencio A. Pineda
Jr. along with KCFAPI H.R.
& Corporate Communications
Manager, Ma. Kristianne G. Pascual and KCFAPI Executive Vice
President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia.
Some of the featured sports
events were the 100-400 Meter
Dash/Relay, Egg Throwing-Catching, Obstacle Course, Patintero,
Volleyball, Badminton, Tug-ofWar, Free Throw, among others.
(Luzon News)

KCFAPI Team led by Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia (3rd from left) together with their families attended the Luzon Jurisdictions 11th Annual Family Day and Mini Olympics. MON SANCHEZ

KC Philippines
Foundation Scholar
Graduates Cum Laude

Photo of KC Philippines Foundation Scholar, Ms. Melody Amor M. Nisnea (seated,

rightmost) with relatives and friend during her graduation.

MS. Melody Amor Monera Nisnea

from Purok 2 Looc Proper Plaridel,
Misamis Occidental, recently
graduated CUM LAUDE at the
University of Cebu Banilad Campus with the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Tourism. Ms. Nisnea
was a consistent honor student
and a leader of many clubs and
organizations in her high school
days. She is the loving daughter of
Mrs. Maharanee M. Nisnea and
granddaughter of Bro. Rodulfo
L. Nisnea of Council No. 6616

Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.

Ms. Nisnea is currently undergoing her on-the-job training program at WOW Travel and Tours.
To date, the Knights of Columbus
Philippines Foundations, Inc.
(KCPFI) has successfully provided
assistance to 319 collegiate, 114 vocational and 1 high school scholar
from all over the country.
Congratulations to Ms. Nisnea
and to our newest batch of KCPFI
scholar-graduates! Christopher A.

KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. scholar graduates

Magna Cum Laude in UST
ANOTHER scholar of the
KC Fr. George J. Willmann SJ
Charities, Inc. graduated with
Magna Cum Laude distinction from the University of
Sto. Tomas with the degree of
Bachelor in Sacred Theology
last May 16, 2015.
Seminarian Paul Angielo
M. Baluya was born on May
11, 1990 at Surigao Medical
Hospital, Surigao City. He is the
eldest among the two siblings of
Domingo and Marilyn Baluya,
a barangay electrician and a lo-

cal teacher, respectively.

Paul took his elementary
education at the Ellaperal
Elementary School and his
secondary education at the Surigao Del Norte National High
School. In 2007, he entered
the Maradjao Magbalantay
College Seminary and earned
his Philosophy Degree at the
Saint Paul University Surigao.
Paul eventually pursued his
theological studies at the Central Seminary of the University
of Sto. Tomas (UST), Manila.

Bishop of Surigao, Most Rev.

Antonieto D. Cabajog, DD
described Baluya with a sincere
desire to continue his vocation.
To date, KC Fr. George J.
Willmann, SJ Charities has
successfully provided assistance to 133 Ordained Priests,
20, Ordained Deacons, 20
Graduates of Theology waiting for Ordination, 27 Local
Licentiate Priests and 28 Rome
Licentiate Priests.
Congratulations, Paul Angielo! (Christopher A. Camila)