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Cardinal Bo to Cebu dancing inmates:

Pray for me. I love you all!
CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016 Papal legate Charles Maung
Cardinal Bo, SDB, DD asked
the famous Cebu dancing
inmates to remember
him in prayer, saying the
prayers of the prisoners are
powerful since God is near
to them and always wishes
to see them soon at the table
of fellowship, the Mass.
The popes personal
representative to the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress currently being held

in this city was entertained

by the inmates their world
famous dance routines.
We pray for each and
one another. We will be
waiting for you for the
table fellowship like the
Eucharist, he said.
I love you all
Bo then said in Cebuano
I love you all. Ill pray
for you all, which elicited
smiles and applause from
among the inmates.

The prelate said that he

will also include those who
are in the prison ministry,
calling them those who
have brotherly or sisterly
care over you.
Your prayers are very
powerful because God is very
near to you. So pray for all of
us. Pray for a more peaceful
Philippines, he added.
That day, inmates
presented a Michael
Jackson dance routine,
which had previously gone

viral after it was uploaded

to YouTube. After which,
they danced the IEC official
hymn Christ in us, our
hope of glory.
The cardinal, visibly
touched by the prisoners
dance number, addressed
them, saying, they are always
in his thoughts and prayers.
Dancing in the rain
Life is not about waiting
for the storms to pass but it
Inmates, A7

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo blesses the inmates at the Cebu Provincial Jail on Tuesday. ROY LAGARDE

More than 300 inmates perform to the tune of Christ in Us, Our Hope and Glory, the official hymn of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, in honor of Myanmar Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Papal Legate to the IEC, during his visit to the Cebu Provincial Jail
on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. ROY LAGARDE


Filipinos, a powerful force vs

secularism Bishop Barron
By Felipe Francisco

CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016 Secularism is wreaking havoc on society and is threatening to marginalize the
Church. Fortunately, Filipino Catholics all over the
world are helping thwart it,
according to one of the global
Churchs most intellectually
engaging spokesmen.

Ex-scavenger to
share at IEC, A2

Maria Georgina Maggie Cogtas (Photo taken from Cogtas Facebook account)

IEC best follow-up to

papal visit, A3
IEC, Lent soulsearching preps for
May pools, A3
Gospel is about
moral order not
utopia - Peruvian
Bishop, A3

Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, California, gestures as he

speaks about The Eucharist: Celebration of the Paschal Mystery at the IEC Pavilion
in Cebu City on Jan. 26, 2016. FR. REYNALDO JARANILLA, OAR

Robert Barron, the Chicago priest

who has risen to the episcopacy after
stirring the Catholic faithful with
his social-media preaching, said the
deep religiosity of Filipino Catholics
is a powerful reminder of God in the
increasingly secular West.

I experienced it very directly in

America. Filipinos keep the parishes
going, Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop
Barron told reporters covering the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC) in a press conference on Jan. 26
at the IEC Pavilion.
Todays Irish
Filipinos have taken over the role
that the Irish Catholics had played in
America, said Barron, 56, who is of
Irish descent. This vibrancy is breathing
life into the Church amid attacks from
secular society, he added.
The Church exists to remind people
that God is the only source of satisfaction,
and marginalizing it, the Word on Fire
host emphasized, would bring disaster
to humanity.
Powerful, A7

Cardinal Rosales: Eucharist not just a task, but a mission

CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016
Do we keep the Eucharist to
This was the question, and
challenge, posed by Gaudencio
Cardinal Rosales to pilgrims at
the 51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC).
Delivering the homily for the
Mass on the third day of the
congress, Rosales, Archbishop
emeritus of Manila, reminded IEC
participants that the Eucharist is
not just a task, but a mission.

The power of faith

Yes, the Eucharist is the
memorial of Christs saving
sacrifice, just like the Passover
meal that commemorated the
escape of the Jews from slavery
under the pharaohs of Egypt.
But Christs mandate to Do this
in memory of me goes beyond
repeating Christs last meal on
earth, he said.
Do this in memory of me means
that as often as one eats the Body
of Christ, he or she announces to
others the power of the faith of our

Lord Jesus, explained the prelate.

Do the Eucharist, live the
Eucharist, release the Eucharist
from sheer celebration! And allow
the Body and Blood of Jesus
in you to roam the streets and
byways, in jeepneys, tricycles and
buses, stores and cafs, offices and
schools, in every dining table, in
homes where families engage in
dialogue, he said.
It could change the world.
Sinfulness, however, should

not hinder the faithful from

approaching the Eucharist. It is
our sinfulness that brought us the
Jesus that we know today. It is
because we are sinful that we came
to know Jesus, Rosales said.
Above all the passion and
the death of Jesus redeemed
humankind from sin. If the triumph
of Jesus over death, the harshest
face of evil, were not true, then
all our confidence, all our faith
in Christ is completely empty,
he added. (Felipe Francisco /
CBCP News)


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

IEC 1937 memory: Pinoys still

faithful, music lovers
CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016
One of the privileged
few who attended the 33rd
Intternational Eucharistic
Congress (IEC) in Manila in
1937, then a five-year old boy,
Manila Archbishop Emeritus
Gaudencio B. Cardinal
Rosales said what the Jesuit
historian and scholar Horacio
V. dela Costa wrote during
the late 1930s still holds true
today: Filipinos have faith
and love music.
In an interview with CBCP
News, the 83-year old prelate
referred to what dela Costa
wrote about the Filipinos
being prayerful and music
lovers. Filipino Catholics
across the country have
their own devotions to their
favorite saints represented by
icons and religious images in
their homes.

Theology of Touch
While 80 to 90% of the
Filipinos may not have
received formal instructions
about faith, they are contented
with the Theology of Touch,
he said, noting that this
form of Filipino religiosity
common in 1937 still prevails
until today.
He was referring to the
Filipinos practice of touching
sacred images whenever they
visit churches.
Ang Theology of Touch,
ang pagpupunas sa mga

has visited various countries

and hasbeen told by his fellow
prelates that Filipinos form
a significant portion of their
Ang Filipino ay kapit
sa patalim, kapit sa Krus,
(Filipinos are willing to hang
on by their fingernails and
hold on to the cross.) he said.
There are over 10 million
Filipino migrants worldwide.

Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. DOMINIC BARRIOS

imahen ay isang paraan ng

panalangin (The Theology
of Touch, the touching of
images is a form of prayer),
he added. The prelate added
this is further expressed in
how Filipinos value feasts.
He also observed Filipinos
in gatherings have guitars to
liven up occasions though
technology has introduced
videokes which have gained
wider acceptance here and

faith. Rosales added scholars

will never have measures for
peoples faith.
Contrary to what some
people say that church
attendance has gone down
in metropolitan areas, the
former Archbishop of Manila
said shopping malls, banks,
offices, and even prisons
now have regular Masses.
He added the demand for
priests to officiate Masses has
remained high.

Mass attendance
He said most Filipinos
may not regularly attend
Mass due to their distance
from churches but they do
remain steadfast in their

Filipinos abroad
Rosales said he has received
encouraging information
about Filipinos actively
participating in church
activities abroad. He said he

The Eucharist
Referring to the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress in this city,
the prelate said it is an
opportunity for the faithful
to remain assured of Jesus
presence at every Mass.
The Eucharist is not just
the priests prayer, but is
the prayer of Jesus to his
Father, where Christ brings
our prayer to his Father,
explained Rosales.
He went on to describe
the Eucharist as a beautiful
sacrament where Jesus
Christ joins the people in
Over the years, Rosales said
the message at every IEC is
clear for the Catholic faithful
to understand that Jesus
Christ is with everyone during
Eucharistic celebrations.
He said the event is a special
privilege accorded Catholics.
(Melo M. Acua / CBCP

CBCP Monitor

No science-religion
conflict scientist at IEC
CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016 A
Filipina scientist representing
the Diocese of Iligan to the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC) in Cebu City
echoed on Monday what the
Church knew all along: reason
and faith, science and religion
are not at odds.
Theres no conflict between
science and religion, stressed
Dr. Angelina Vacan, a physics
researcher and university
professor in an interview
on the shuttle service to
Waterfront Hotel where
concurrent IEC sessions were
scheduled on Jan. 25.
For her, there is no point
trying to contend the truths
of science and those of
religion, given that the two
have different concerns.
Science aint everything
Science is only about
the physical world and
the physical world is tiny
compared to the entire reality.
We cannot understand God
because we are finite. If we
can understand God, then
He is no God, she explained.
When you talk about religious
matters, you dont use the
language of science. The truth of
Christianity is revealed. Its not
a product of investigation. Its a
revelation. Either you believe it
or you dont, she added.
Vacan, who earned her
Ph.D. from Louisiana State
University after doing
research on elementary
particle physics, disputed the

assertion that scientists like

her tend to deny the existence
of a Supreme Being than most
people who are not.
She testified there are more
non-scientists than scientists
who are atheists.
Despite her training, the
Iligan native fully subscribes
to the teachings of the Church
like the one on the Eucharist.
Catholic advantage
Its good we are Catholics
because we dont only have the
Bible. We have the saints and
the Tradition of the Church as
well. We can depend on them.
We have the sacraments.
Thats why I appreciate my
being a Catholic. We have so
[much] to bank on, she said.
According to Vacan, she
was not always as faithful
growing up although her
father was a member of a
Sacred Heart confraternity.
It was after attending an
exhibit of Eucharistic miracles
in Florida that the 58-year old
was finally convinced of the
claims of Catholicism, and the
ongoing IEC helps strengthen
her faith even more.
She went on to share that
she has enjoyed the congress
talks so far, noting these are
things she wished she had
learned sooner.
Ive had an amazing
experience. Im not disappointed,
she exclaimed, commenting
on the lectures she attended.
(Raymond A. Sebastin /
CBCP News)

Some Cebuanos still clueless about IEC?

CEBU City, Jan. 25, 2015
Despite years of promotion
some Catholics in Cebu
still seem clueless
about the meaning and
importance of the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC).
While many have
heard of the religious
event through radio
announcements and other
forms of mass media,
they tend to think the
event is just an occasional
gathering of the faithful.
I am not really familiar
with it. I only confirmed
this morning there are lots
of people coming over [to
Cebu], said Jun Catalonia,
a family man who earns
extra driving a cab.

Happy for Cebu

When told that leaders of
the local Church had earlier
received the representative
of Pope Francis at the airport,
Yangon Archbishop Charles
Cardinal Maung Bo, Catalonia
excused himself saying he was
just listening to the news.
He went on to confess
he has been missing his
Sunday obligations lately
since its the only day he is
allowed to drive.
However, the 44-year
old father of five expressed
pride his hometown is
hosting a series of activities
of such scale.
I am happy this event
is putting Cebu on the
map. It also means I will
get more passengers, he

added in Cebuano.
Likewise, the yellow ladies
surrounding the Magellans
Cross have little to no clue
about the IEC Opening Mass
being celebrated at the nearby
Plaza Independencia on
Sunday, Jan. 24.
It [IEC] came here only
now so we cannot say much,
explained Lucia Velasquez, 62,
who offers candles and prayerdances to visitors for a living.
Praying for the IEC
She only noted the
unusual increase of people
visiting the Minor Basilica
of the Santo Nio.
As always, they are asking
us to help them pray to
the Batang Balaan [Holy

Child] for their family,

health, employment,
success in the board exams,
and other blessings, shared
Her companion, Carmen
Castro, 72, gave a similar
answer but promised to
pray also for the congress
Alejandra Paradero,
a 55 year-old hawking
lettuce outside the Basilica,
admitted not knowing there
would be a Mass at the Plaza,
let alone what a Eucharistic
Congress is.
Sorry. I am from Busay.
I live far away from the
city. I only came here to
sell lettuce, she said.
(Raymond A. Sebastin
/ CBCP News)

Ex-scavenger to share at IEC

CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016 An AB
Psychology graduate is expected to
inspire delegates of the ongoing 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC) in Cebu on Jan. 29 with her rise
from poverty and experience as a former
neglected child and scavenger.
It is in our brokenness that we are able
to share with others and in the process
allow the healing of our past and renew
our connection with God, said Maria
Georgina Maggie Cogtas in a statement.
According to the Cebuana, the Lord
allows people to be broken for them to
learn the importance of giving.
Rejection, indifference
Cogtas is one of several people set
to give their testimonies during the
catechesis The Eucharist: Dialogue
with the Poor and the Suffering on Jan.
29, Friday, to be given John Cardinal
Onaiyekan, DD.
In her own testimony, she said she
aims to correct the mistaken view
that poverty is limited to not having
enough material wealth because it also
includes the experience of rejection and

Maria Georgina Maggie Cogtas (Photo taken from Cogtas Facebook account)

She noted the poor feel poorer when

they know they have no one to care for
them, and feel unwanted and left out.
Not belonging
What hurts the most is when you feel
you do not belong, explained Cogtas.
She expressed confidence IEC
delegates have much to learn from her
We can use our brokenness to grow.

We may have bitter experiences in the

past, but from it we can become positive
in life, she said.
The chairman of Dilaab Foundation,
Fr. Carmelo Diola and its executive
director, Tess Tejero sent Cogtas to
the University of Cebu (UC) where she
graduated on Oct. 19, 2015 at the top of
her class. (Raymond A. Sebastin
/ CBCP News with reports from
Elias O. Baquero)

CBCP Monitor


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

IEC, best follow-up

to papal visit

IEC, Lent soul-searching

preps for May polls

Thousands of official IEC delegates as well as citizens of Cebu gathered at the Plaza
Independencia for the Opening Mass, Jan. 24, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

CEBU City, Jan. 25,

2016--Catholic bishops in
the Philippines said this
years 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC),
which officially began in the
afternoon of Jan. 24 at Plaza
Independencia at the heart of
this city is an apt and fitting
follow-up of Pope Francis
five-day pastoral visit to the
country in January 2015.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo
A. Alminaza said the IEC is
definitely the best followup of Pope Francis visit
emphasizing the social
dimension of the Eucharistic
The prelate said to
CBCPNews that while he cant
claim to have a grasp of the
overall impact of Pope Francis
pastoral visit, particularly on
practices toward the Eucharist,
he certainly believes the visit
influenced our living out of
the Eucharist--in our attitudes,
values, priorities such as a
growing sense of communion
and sensitivity towards those
in the peripheries and those
Shift in consciousness
He said the [Filipino] people
have become more merciful
and compassionate.
While Alminaza considers the
increase in church attendance
as a work in progress, he said
priests and bishops have
had a qualitative shift in
consciousness and heightened
sense of awareness about
their identity, vocation, and
Bishop Gerry, as called by
his priests, added Pope Francis
has become an inspiration not
only for Catholics but even
for those who claim they dont
believe in God.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon C.
Arguelles believes the historic
visit changed and improved
the Filipino practices toward
the Eucharist. He added
this was clearly seen in a

remarkable increase in the

number of church-goers.
Returning Catholics
Pope Francis visit was
certainly an appropriate
preparation for the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress, he further said.
In Muslim-dominated
Basilan province where the
See of the Territorial Prelature
of Isabel has been in existence
for 53 years, Bishop Martin
S. Jumoad said Pope Francis
visit last year brought many
Catholics to the church.
His pronouncements served
as fitting preparation for the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress, the 59-year old
prelate told CBCP News. He
added the visit awakened nonpracticing Catholics to value
the Eucharist.
Jumoad said he has witnessed
this in his prelature where
Christians form the minority.
Apostolic Administrator
Bishop William David Antonio
of the Vicariate Apostolic of
San Jose in Mindoro said Pope
Francis was a great inspiration
to the Catholic faithful and even
to non-Catholics.
More vocations
He added participation
in Eucharistic celebrations
improved both quantitatively
and qualitatively.
Cubao Bishop Honesto
Ongtioco said Pope Francis
visit last year strengthened
out faith and practice. He said
he knew of two professionals,
a nurse and a writer, who
entered the seminary some
months after the historic visit.
Church attendance
increased and prepared us for
this IEC, added Ongtioco.
He explained Pope Francis
showed both faith and love
as well as the Eucharist in
action through concrete acts
of charity, especially to the
poor and marginalized. (Melo
M. Acua / CBCP News)`

Bishops and priests hold a press conference on the second day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress at the IEC Pavilion, Jan. 25, 2015.

CEBU City, Jan. 26,

2016--Filipinos can take
the opportunity of the
countrys hosting of
the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress and
the forthcoming Lenten
season to do some spiritual
preparation before the
May elections, and more
importantly to confront the
nations ills, Church leaders.
Bishops at the press
conference on Jan. 25 were
asked: What would be the
lasting effect of the 51st
IEC, particularly in helping
Filipinos choose the right
Cebu Archbishop Jose
Palma, president of the 51st
IEC, said he believed grace
would flow from the global
Catholic event, allowing
Filipinos to live out the
Eucharist by having hope
and acting on the challenges
they face.

What it means to be a
I really pray that much
would happen in terms of our
desire that we become the
shining example of what it
means to be a Christian. And
I do believe [this will] happen
in the way we look at elections
and in the way we live out our
Christianity I can only
wish that the grace of the
event would really happen,
Palma told journalists at the
International Media Center
at the IEC Pavilion.
Pasig Bishop Mylo
Hubert Vergara, chairman
of the IEC Department of
Communications, said the
Lenten season, which begins
on Feb. 10, Ash Wednesday,
would be an opportunity to
do some soul-searching.
What a beautiful way
to prepare [We can]
look at personal lives, our
relationship with members

of our family and also the

community, perhaps look at
our own identity as Filipinos,
said Vergara.
Easter can then be a moment
of realization as Filipino
Catholics commemorate
Christs resurrection. What
proceeds afterward is the
movement to Easter. This will
help us look at ourselves and
who we truly are, explained
the prelate
If we address the basic
issues of our lives, our family,
our country, this will make us
discern who we really are and
who will lead us, he added.
Justice for Mamasapano
Living out the Eucharist
also means knowing the value
of life, the importance of
responsibility, and working
for peace, said Palma.
The massacre of 44 members
of the Philippine National

Dr. Paulus Mariae L. Caete

Police (PNP) Special Action

Force, the first anniversary of
which fell on the second day
of the IEC, is something we
dont want to happen in the
future, even as we want also
justice and eventually healing
of events, he said.
Asked about what he thought
of the reopening of the Senate
investigation into the killings,
the Cebu prelate said the
message of justice and truth is
always a timely message, and
the message of fairness is also
a timely message.
We can only pray that
the truth about the matter
hopefully should come
out and justice will also be
served, Palma said. At the
same time the campaign for
elections should also be in the
spirit of truth and at the same
time, not a way of just making
the events play a role that
cannot benefit us. (Felipe
Francisco / CBCP News)

Gospel is about moral order not utopia Peruvian archbishop

While making all people disciples is
the official responsibility entrusted
to the Church, the Gospel requires
evangelization to respect cultural
diversity, he emphasized. Unlike Judaism,
Christianity no longer required converts
to travel to Jerusalem, and instead
gathered them in their own lands.
Nations should not change their
socio-cultural identity. It was like that
before, and should remain the same
now and in the future, he told some
12,000 delegates at the IEC Pavilion
in Cebu Citys John XXIII seminary
Cabrejos asked: Do we deploy our
human energies in favor of human
beings, especially the most needy? Do
we lower ourselves to descend from
our position and approach others,
especially the neediest? Do we deploy
our human energies in favor of our
particular diocese and society or do we
live enclosed in on ourselves?

Biblical theologian Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, Archbishop of Trujillo. DOMINIC BARRIOS

Daughters of CharitySt. Louise De Marillac

Educational System


CEBU City, Jan. 25, 2016--Christian

perfection demanded by the Gospel
refers to renewing the moral order
and the interior life of a person, not
achieving utopia for some, a Peruvian
archbishop stressed in the inaugural
catechesis of the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC).
Biblical theologian Miguel Cabrejos
Vidarte, the Archbishop of Trujillo,
reflected on St. Pauls Letter to the
Colossians, from which the congress
theme Christ in You, Our Hope of
Glory was taken.
Gods plan is for Christ His son to be
announced and presented among the
pagans and among the nations, not to
a privileged few, and this knowledge of
Christ is a manifestation of divine glory.
Not a utopia
The purpose of evangelism is to
make everyone perfect in Christ. The
proclamation of the mystery (the
Gospel) of Christ has a purpose, which

is essentially universal and salvific,

said Cabrejos, 67, a Franciscan who had
studied at the Biblicum in Jerusalem
and the Catholic University of Leuven
in Belgium.
But perfection is not utopia for
some, rather it refers to the moral order
or the perfection achieved by those who
proclaim the Gospel.
[Perfection] is directed to the
interior renewal of every believer, for
all those who put hope in the Lord,
said Cabrejos.
Respect for cultural diversity
The Gospel, he pointed out,
is intertwined with the Church. In
Colossians, the word saints refers
to believers in general. But the saints
attained knowledge of the Gospel
by proclamation not through divine
revelation alone. Those who proclaim,
meanwhile, are servants of both the
mystery (the Gospel) and the Church,
the Peruvian prelate said.

Not for the weak

The proclamation of the Gospel,
however, is not within the reach of one
who is weak but one who is sustained by
power of Christ. Strength and energy
comes when Christ is at the center of
ones life, added Cabrejos.
According to the prelate, tribulations
are a necessary battle so that every
person may understand the Gospel
and then believe and become perfect
in Christ.
He said the responsibility for the
universality of the Church, through
the evangelization of all people,
only strengthens and grows with the
He reminded the IEC pilgrims of the
missionary proclamation in the Gospel
of Matthew, where Christ said: I am
with you always, to the close of the age.
God is not absent, the Risen Christ
with His Spirit cancels all the loneliness
of the human heart, he said. (Felipe
Francisco / CBCP News)

IEC pilgrims urged: Back to the Bible, please

CEBU City, Jan. 26,
2016--Echoing the Second
Vatican Council, one of the
speakers in the ongoing 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC) in Cebu City
invited delegates on Sunday
to avail of what the Bible has
to offer in terms of enriching
their faith.
Vatican II, in its alldetermining agenda of
returning to the sources of the
faith, asked all Catholics, to
rediscover the original sources

of their faith and practices.

This was very challenging.
This necessarily summoned
the whole Church to return
to the Scriptures, said Fr.
Francis J. Moloney, SDB.
Secularizing World, the
Don Bosco priest bemoaned
the tendency of many
Catholics to emphasize
tradition at the expense of
Bible is Catholic
Passing traditions with

a small tnot the great

Tradition which is our
2,000 years of Tradition
generated by a given time
and place, became much
dearer to Catholics than
the Word of God. The
acceptance and observance
of these traditions, practices
that we do that are very
good, that demonstrate faith
can sometimes become
the touchstone of Catholic
orthodoxy, he explained.
He noted that a faith-filled

reading of the Bible among

Catholics is uncommon and
often viewed as irrelevant
and Protestant.
According to him, this
should not be the case
considering that the Church
has always valued the Bible
alongside Sacred Tradition,
since the time of the Christian
fathers like Tertullian and
Irenaeus, and earlier as well
as the Great Ecumenical
Councils from Nicea to

Pre-Vatican II voices
Moloney pointed out
that less than a century
before Vatican II, Leo XIII
had already been calling
Catholics back to the
Bible amid the extreme
rationalism of his time
in his 1893 encyclical
Providentissimus Deus,
but was largely ignored.
Likewise, the few decades
leading to Vatican II, saw the
release of Divino Afflante
Spiritu in 1943 where Pius

XII insisted on the centrality

of the Word of God in the Bible
as a pillar of the Christian
The priest said this
document particularly
encouraged scholars to
study Scriptures using all
the critical methods as well
as the scientific and literary
tools available to them to
understand the Word of God
better and what it means to
people today.
Bible, A5


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

CBCP Monitor


IF we truly have faith and love in the Holy Eucharist, if

we are truly Eucharistic souls, then we cannot help but be
intensely and abidingly apostolic souls as well. In fact, we
need to be most zealous in our apostolate, since it actually
is a duty incumbent on all Christian believers to have and to
keep burning all throughout their lives, making use of all the
situations and circumstances we may find themselves in.
Everytime we hear Mass, receive Holy Communion or visit
the Blessed Sacrament, we should remember those final and
most heart-felt words of Christ to his apostles: Go into all
the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation (Mk
16,15). These words clearly indicate how Christ wants his work
of redemption to continue. This time it will be carried out as
a joint effort between him and us. While we are first of all the
object of his redemptive work, we also become the subject of
such work with him.
The duty to do apostolate can be done only if we are vitally
united with Christ with a unity that has its best form or highest
degree here on earth in the Holy Eucharist. Without that unity
that is akin to that of the branches to the vine, we would just
be on our own, alive and vibrant for a while, propped by some
highly perishable things, but sooner or later will just collapse.
This commissioning of the apostles that is also applicable to
us reflects Christs burning desire that his work of redemption
has to go on till the end of time. His salvific work just cannot
be made a part of the past. It has to continue, for that in fact
comprises the ultimate goal for all of us, believers. We are not
meant only to have an earthly goal, but one that transcends
time and space.
This is what the IEC is trying to show in stressing the social
dimensions of the Eucharist. It is about doing apostolate which
should come as an organic outgrowth of our spiritual life, our
Eucharistic life. If we dont feel this impulse to do apostolate,
we can suspect that all our apparently fervent profession of
faith and love for the Eucharist is largely a sentimental affair,
or just some hot air.
Doing apostolate is the very concrete expression of how
to tackle the social dimensions of the Eucharist. It involves
many things. We need to be rooted in Christ through prayer,
sacrifice, development of virtues, recourse to the sacraments,
study of the doctrine, etc. We need to come up with some daily
personal apostolic plan that should cover all the possibilities
of doing apostolate, first of all in our immediate environment
and then radiating to farther and wider circles. Of course, this
has to consider our personal conditions and circumstances.
Basically, the personal apostolate has to be grounded on the
spirit of true friendship and confidence. So, a lot of time has
to be spent getting directly in touch with friends, as well as
developing true social virtues to keep that friendship going
like affability, openness, warmth, loyalty, etc. In other words,
we should try to be all things to all men, as St. Paul once said.
It would be good that some continuing program of
apostolic formation be developed, sustained and improved by
appropriate entities. This is actually an urgent matter that has
been taken for granted for a long time already. It now demands
immediate attention and action. Through us the Eucharist
dialogues with the world.

The Eucharist in the Churchs

dialogue with the poor
IN the Churchs dialogue with the poor, the Eucharist, on
one hand, upholds and reaffirms values that negate causes
of poverty. It confronts selfishness and greed which are the
roots of many forms of injustice, with the self-sacrificing love
of Christ. It calls into question apathy and individualism
which desensitize people from feeling the pain of the poor and
suffering, by Christs invitation to be a family calling the one
God as Our Father.
It confronts oppressive totalitarian leaderships which put
political and economic advantages above people, with Christs
leadership of servicethat of the Master and Lord who washed
the feet of his disciples (cf. Jn 13:13). Above all, the Eucharist
challenges utilitarianism, consumerism, and materialism
which treat the poor and the weak as commodities and tools
that can be used for ones gain and pleasure, with Christs selfdonation that breaks and shares oneself so that others may live.
For each celebration of the Eucharist makes sacramentally
present the gift that the crucified Lord made of his life,
for us and for the whole world. From our participation in
the Eucharist, we are sent forth to be witnesses of Gods
compassion towards all our brothers and sisters.
On the other hand, Jesus is encountered in the Eucharist
as the Bread of life (Jn 6:35). He is such by being both the
Word that comes from the mouth of God (cf. Deut. 8:3)
and the living bread that came down from heaven (Jn 6:51),
the bread for the poor received in the proclamation of the
scriptural Word and in Holy Communion.
He is the daily bread we pray for in the Our Father. In Holy
Communion, Jesus gives himself as our bread to feed us. And so,
we in turn should go to our brothers and sisters who are hungry,
and become bread to feed them in compassion and love, in the
works of mercy, in giving life, and giving it abundantly.
The celebration of the Eucharist indeed abounds with such
indications of how the Eucharist expresses Christs and the
Churchs preferential option for the poor as she realizes her
mission in Asia.
-- Excerpts from the theological and pastoral reflection
in preparation for the 51st International Eucharistic



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Eucharist sharpens apostolic sense

Living Mission

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Remembering: A key to
the Eucharist

Eucharistic Congress Reflection

SAINTS Paul, when writing to the
Corinthians (I Cor 11:23-27), takes
special care to faithfully hand on to them
core elements of the faith that he himself
has been privileged to receive from the
Lord. Describing the Last Supper, Paul
narrates what Jesus did on the same
night that he was betrayed. He took the
bread, thanked God, broke it, and said:
This is my body, which is for you; do
this in memory of me. Likewise, Jesus
took the cup and said: This cup is the
new covenant in my blood. Whenever
you drink it, do this in memory of me.
Note that the admonition, Do this in
memory of me is repeated twice. Paul
emphasizes that the very celebration of
the Eucharist is a faithful fulfillment of
the Lords command to remember what
He, Jesus Himself, has done.
Memory, a Precious Treasure.
Humanly speaking, memory is very
important; it is a special gift, involving
our entire person (mind, heart, will,
emotions). Remembering enables us
to link past events and people into our
lives; they become present, operative
realities. Saint Augustine asserts
that we are created in the image and
likeness of God; we possess three
faculties: the intellect, the will, and the
memory, the greatest of these being
When we hear about someone who
has lost his memory, we are saddened.
Amnesia or dementia are life situations
that are hard to bear. Essentially, without
our memory, we would effectively
cease to be ourselves as we know and
appreciate our personal identity. For
example, if my memory were erased, I
could no longer make a phone call or
send greetings to a loved one on his
birthday or anniversary. Truly, memory
is the heart of our relationships; it roots
our person, connecting us to one another
as father or mother, husband or wife,
brother or sister. In fact, for Augustine,
everything we touch, smell, hear, see,

and do is filtered through this immense

womb we call memory.
We are also aware that memory is not
just centered on individuals; memory
also lives in human groups. Families,
tribes, clans, peoples, and nations have
a collective memory. Such corporate
memory preserves the identity of the
community, provides a moral compass,
preserves treasured values. This memory
allows us to live in community and to tell
our collective story.
Memory and Eucharist. Faithful
to Christs command, we celebrate the
Eucharist in memory of what Jesus
has done for us. While recalling the
Jewish Passover meal, we now celebrate
new reality: the Lords own dying and
rising. The meal of Jesus followers is
no longer focused on the Jewish escape
from slavery in Egypt (a Passover meal);
we now remember the salvific death
and resurrection of Jesus, the Paschal
The Eucharistic Prayers of the Mass are
fundamentally prayers of remembrance;
expressions like Remember, Lord
are frequently employed. For example,
Eucharistic Prayer I asks God to
remember the living and the dead; it
mentions saints and martyrs whose
memory we venerate. In Prayer II, we
celebrate the memorial of His Death
and Resurrection. In Prayer III we
celebrate the memorial of the saving
Passion of your Son. Prayer IV notes
that as we now celebrate the memorial
of our redemption, we remember Christs
Remembering for Christians means
infinitely more than a simple calling to
mind of something from the past (e.g.
a birthday, an anniversary, a person).
The Eucharistic action of anamnesis
makes the recalled event a present
reality. Yes, something from the past is
recalled, but that memorialized action
becomes actually present and real.
In the Eucharist, Christs Death and

Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala

WHAT a blessed thing, this

practice of visiting Christ
in the Blessed Sacrament!
Lets hope that this practice
becomes more widespread
and appreciated by more
people. There, sadly, are
indications this practice is
vanishing, and those who
still do it do it without due
In schools where the
students are led to make these
visits, theres the observation
that many of the students just
actually mutter some prayers
without entering into some
intimate conversation with
the living Christ in the Blessed
Sacrament. They just give it a
blank stare.
Its really a pity, for its like
a most precious pearl is just
hurled into a pack of pigs that
do not know what they have in
front of them. Lets hope that
some effective and continuing
catechesis be done about the
inexhaustible richness of
the sacrament, and that this
blessed devotion takes root
in individuals, in families,
schools, offices, and society in
general. Giving good example
of how it is done, of course, is
a very effective tool.
This practice is, of course,

an exercise of piety and

devotion. And as such, it has
to be done with faith and
love as the primary motive
and motor. When one has
the proper dispositions, he
can easily enter into a most
moving dialogue with Christ.
For one, he will be most
moved just to be before the
real presence of Christ in
the Blessed Sacrament. He
will be moved to see Christ
remaining in a little box we
call a tabernacle, waiting for
people to visit Him and, at
least, to show some affection
to Him.
O Lord, the dialogue might
start, How good of you, the
very Creator of the universe
and our own Savior, to stay
with us, to be close to us, to
inspire us, to reassure us. How
good of You to show how much
You love us to madness!
From there, all kinds of
considerations can be made.
With our faith in Christ who
is truly present in the Blessed
Sacrament, we can hear Him
say, My child, how good of
you also to come and visit
me. I want to be with you
always because we are meant
to be together. You and I
are actually meant to have

Resurrection are recalled and thus,

Christs sacrifice is now sacramentally
present. One may say that the Eucharist
does not only represent Christs
saving action; the Eucharistic action
re-presents (makes present once again
in the here and now) Christs death and
In the Eucharist, we also need to be
sensitive to a Christian timelessness;
the past, present, and future all merge
into one eternal moment. The bringing
together of past, present, and future,
and the power of Christs saving action is
well expressed in Eucharistic Prayer IV:
Therefore, O Lord, as we now celebrate
the memorial of our redemption, we
remember Christs Death and his descent
to the realm of the dead, we proclaim
his Resurrection and his Ascension to
your right hand, and, as we await his
coming in glory, we offer you his Body
and Blood, the sacrifice acceptable to
you which brings salvation to the whole
world. Note how this prayer beautifully
juxtaposes the past (the Christ event
of 2000 years ago), the present (this
celebration), and the future (Christs
second coming).
Conclusion. This reflection has
tried to capture the profound meaning
of remembering in the Eucharist.
The celebration of the Mass plunges us
into the very depth of Christs saving
paschal mystery; we experience it
in the here-and-now. Indeed, as we
engage in remembering, we are remembered (made members once again
of Christs body, the Church). We are
re-membered as full sharers in the
People of God.
All these profound insights are well
expressed in the popular communion
song by Marty Haugen: We remember
how You loved us to your death. And
still we celebrate for You are with us
here. And we believe that we will see You
when You come in Your glory, Lord. We
remember, we celebrate, we believe.

Dialogue with Christ in

the Blessed Sacrament
a shared life. What is yours
is Mine, and what is Mine is
also yours. Understand that
very well.
The few minutes spent in
the presence of Christ in the
Blessed Sacrament will be
filled with many thoughts,
desires, and impulses that
would strengthen our faith,
hope and charity, and that
would make us more aware of
our duties and responsibilities
as a child of God.
Its in those moments when
we, in a manner of speaking,
can recover our senses, get
a more objective and global
view of things, strengthen our
supernatural understanding
of things that would know
the value of suffering, for
example, and would make us
realize that we need to help
and love everyone, bringing
Christ to them and vice-versa.
Its in those moments when
we can confide to Him, who is
everything to us, our problems
and difficulties. There we
surely can get our consolation
and encouragement, the
reassurance of His mercy
and help, and the spiritual
renewal that would bring
back peace and joy to us as
we pursue our duties in life.

Its in those moments when

we can seem to hear our
Lord telling us, Come to me,
all you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you
rest. (Mt 11,28) In fact, its
in those moments that the
words we read in the Gospel
become alive and actual, and
somehow addressed to us.
This is no fiction. Faith,
which to some can sound and
look like fiction, is actually the
ultimate reality. We have to
understand that reality is not
what we make out of it, what
our senses and intelligence
can discern and understand.
Its what our faith tells us, the
faith that God, the Creator
and the very foundation of
reality, is giving us to share
what He knows with us.
Christ, truly present in the
Eucharist, is the fullness of
the revelation of God. And He
is making Himself completely
available to us all throughout
time in the Holy Eucharist.
If we would only be aware
of this truth, and come to
believe it, I am sure that
we can never afford to be
indifferent to Christ in the
Blessed Sacrament. We would
visit Him and talk with Him
every chance we have.

CBCP Monitor


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

Along the Way

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of

the Philippines has declared 2016 as the
Year of the Eucharist and the Family.
What is the relationship between the
Eucharist and the family? At the outset, it
seems difficult to find a direct connection
between the Eucharist and the family,
besides saying that the members of the
family should go to Mass together every
Sunday. Perhaps, looking at the family
as the domestic Church could help us
discover the link between the Eucharist
and the family.
In his post-synodal apostolic
exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, St.
John Paul II develops the theme of the
family as the domestic Church which
Vatican II popularized in Lumen Gentium.
Since the family is the domestic Church,
John Paul II appropriates the Vatican II
vision of the Church as Communion and
the Priestly-Prophetic-Kingly People
of God to the Christian family. Thus,
the Christian family is a realization of
communion and active participation in
Christs prophetic, priestly, and kingly
According to John Paul II: The
Christian family constitutes a specific
revelation and realization of ecclesial
communion, and for this reason too it
can and should be called the domestic
church. All members of the family, each
according to his or her own gift, have the
grace and responsibility of building, day
by day, the communion of persons this
happens where there is care and love for
the little ones, the sick, the aged: where
there is mutual service every day; where
there is there is sharing of goods, of joys

The Eucharist and

the Family

and of sorrows. (Familiaris Consortio 21)

Communion describes the relationship
of love among the members of the family-between husband and wife, and between
parents and children, and among siblings
and other members of the extended
family. This communion is concretely
expressed in table-fellowship (common
meals and celebration). Communion is
also expressed in the sharing of material
and spiritual goods and resources (time,
talent, and treasure). This is called the
communion of goods. Communion
does not only describe the relationship
between the members of the family. It
also applied to the relationship between
the family and other Christian families in
the neighborhood and the Basic Ecclesial
Community (BEC), and with the wider
Church (parish, diocese, universal). Since
the family shares in Christs three-fold
mission, it is a prophetic community--a
believing and evangelizing community
where the Gospel is proclaimed and the
faith transmitted. It is a kingly/servant
community, in the service of humanity
and called to concretely express loving
service and charity at home, in the wider
community and in society.
The Christian family is also a priestly
community in dialogue with God--a
praying and worshipping community.
The family that prays together stays
together. The family should set aside
time for family prayer--such as praying
the rosary or other forms of prayer.
Active participation as a family in the
liturgical celebration in the parish church
and the BECs is a concrete expression of
this. The Eucharist is the sacramental

Mission Mass

celebration of communion with Christ

and with one another--a celebration
of unity, friendship, and sharing. The
community truly celebrates its being the
body of Christ when the members receive
the body of Christ in holy Communion.
According to John Paul II: Participation
in the sacrament of reconciliation and
in the banquet of the one Body of Christ
offers the Christian family the grace
and responsibility of overcoming every
division and of moving towards the
fullness of communion willed by God,
responding in this way the ardent desire
of the Lord: that they may be one.
(Familiaris Consortio 21)
When the family actively participates
in the Eucharist, the family celebrates its
life of communion with Christ, with one
another and with the wider community-the Church which is the Body of Christ. The
family also fulfills its priestly role and is
energized to carry out its mission prophetic
and kingly-servant mission.
The Christian family is called to be a
Eucharistic community. It does not only
participate in celebrating the Eucharist
but lives the Eucharist in its day-to-day
life. Life in the Eucharist is a life of loving
communion with Christ, with each other
and with the Christian community. It is
a life constantly listening to the Word of
God and sharing it and giving witness
to it. It is a life of prayer, worship, and
thanksgiving. It is a life of service to
others, especially the poor and the needy.
Ultimately, it is a life of self-giving and
self-sacrifice and the readiness to offer
ones life--ones body and blood--doing
this in memory of Christ.


Fr. Francis Ongkingco

IT was Joannas first time

to attend a Latin Mass in
Rome during a pilgrimage
she and her family did last
year. Although she couldnt
understand what was being
said or read, she tried her best
to follow what she was familiar
with attending the Mass: the
Sign of the Cross, the striking
of ones breast during the
Confiteor, and so on.
Her mother explained
that attending Mass in Latin
(the language of the Roman
Catholic Church), was not
just a cultural experience, but
also something that helped
to enrich ones faith. She add
that, except for the language
and some minor material
details, the Mass was the one
Sacrifice offered by Christ
through His Church and His
Ite missa est! The priest
Deo gratias! The people
These last words caught
Joannas attention.
As the noonday sun greeted
them outside the Basilica, she
asked, Mom, I understand
gratias means thanks but
what the priest said didnt
sound like the Mass is ended.
Her mother smiled at her,

and replied, Thats because

it really means sending us off
to carry out our mission after
having received Jesus!
Joannas mom couldnt have
said it better. The Mass, unlike
other events, doesnt usually
end with Thats all folks!
or The show is over! As a
divinely celebrated event on
earth, it is actually sending us
off with a mission after having
been received new graces that
empower us to transform the
When the priest bids the
people with Ite missa est!,
he is, in fact, encouraging us
to return to our ordinary
occupations to love and serve
the Lord. We serve the Lord
while fulfilling our usual
norms of piety, resting, or
working in the presence of
God. In this way, we constantly
keep alive those dispositions
we had during the Mass. (C.
Belmonte, Understanding the
It is a sad to see people,
mainly because of ignorance,
who are not aware of what
the Eucharist is and Who
they are about to receive.
What seems to weakly prod
them to attend is a strange,
fuzzy, unsettling feeling in

Biblically Speaking
Leander V. Barrot, OAR

ONE of the many challenges posted by

the Papal legate to the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC), Cardinal
Charles Maung Bo, SDB, DD, was on
the social significance of the Eucharist.
He challenged the participants and
delegate to move from mere devotes of the
Eucharist to become people committed
to the communal responsibilities of the
Eucharist celebrated constantly. He put
to task the devotees to become disciples
of the Eucharist. A devotion to the
Eucharist, he continued, only lasts an
hour but a commitment to the Eucharist
as its disciple lasts a lifetime.
In Scriptures, one of the disciples of
Christ par excellence is John the Baptist.
He is no mere devotee. He addressed
the socio-religious context of his time
head on. He encouraged those who
were religiously confident of their being
sons and daughters of Abraham in no
simple words to Bear fruit worthy
of repentance (3:8). And when Jesus
already started his public ministry, John,
because of his advocacy to truthfulness
and commitment to justice (Mk 1:14), was
already in prison.
The Philippines socio-economic context
offers no bright hope for the poor. Most

their conscience. They comply

reluctantly, wearing a mask
of religiosity for an occasion
the importance of which
they cannot yet meaningfully
integrate into their lives.
Our participation in the Holy
Sacrifice has the principal goal
of identifying ourselves with
Christ. Our Lord affectionately
reproached St. Augustine,
making this holy Bishop
realize what transpires within
the Mass when one receives
Holy Communion: I do not
become you, you become Me!
Thus, if we are going to
fully embrace our mission as
Christs disciples of baptizing
all men in the Name of the
Father, and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit, it can only
be so if we become Christ
Himself. And nowhere else
can this take place than within
the most Holy Eucharist.
If we daily require food
and other supplements to
ensure our bodies can carry
out our duties, how much
more important it is to be
constantly strengthened by
our Lords Body and Blood.
Where else will we draw the
grace to prepare ourselves for
our daily battles against the
wiles of [satan] the enemy, to
live the virtues in the varying

circumstances of our work

and family, and to undertake
a genuine hunger for souls and
lead them to Christ?
Thus, it is highly suggested
to set an ecclesial and personal
mission in every Mass. An
ecclesial mission focuses on
praying for the whole Church,
the Pope, all the Bishops,
priests, and religious. All these
seem like a lot to pray for, but
the Mass can infinitely cover
all them for us.
For our personal mission,
we may for example, ask for an
increase of faith and hope to
embrace certain trials, or the
grace to forgive someone or
simply to maintain a grateful
spirit before Gods Fatherly
and loving providence. Aside
from what we intend to
personally offer it for, we may
also ask for a specific grace
that would make us more
prompt to respond to Gods
We must strive to ask our
Lord through the Holy Spirit
to fill us with a sense of mission
with every Mass we participate
in. We cannot take for granted
the unique grace which only
the Eucharist is capable of
giving. The Mass always has a
mission for us and therefore is
for us, a must!

Eucharistic: From Celebration

to Commitment

often, they are stuck to the bottom of the

wheel of fortune with almost no opportunity
to lift themselves up. By contrast, the
wealthy and the most fortunate remain
to be and are owners of the greater part of
the economic pie. As real members of the
Body of Christ, so all share the image and
likeness of the Father (c.f. Gen 1:26). Our
being members of Christs Body is to make
us committed to the least and the poorest
among us. Those who have much are to
provide enough economic breaks not mere
dole-outs enough for the day to those who
are less fortunate.
John the Baptist is an example of real
poverty. Externally he is presented with
much simplicity having for his clothing
a garment made from camels hair with
a leather belt around his waist (Mk 1:6)
and his food locusts and honey (Mk
1:6). However, his internal dispositions
reflect the poverty of Christ Himself. His
message was not his but the very message
of Jesus Himself: proclaiming a baptism
of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
(Mk 1:4). His very life was an offering to
the Kingdom for which he was called.
The Papal legate envisioned a World War
III against poverty, against malnutrition,
against injustice. Its collateral damage is

not the death of humanity, neither the

destruction of life nor an obliteration of
property. On the contrary, its gains are
what St. Paul calls, There is no longer
Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or
free, there is no longer male and female
(Gal 3:28 ) i.e. the equality of all before a
God of love and justice.
John the Baptist, up to his death,
remained to be a disciple of Jesus. He was
imprisoned because he never spared even
the highest authority of the land from
his preaching for moral uprightness and
respectability. Even his death was caused
by hatred to truthfulness, a vengeance
against decency, and a rebellion against
morality. But this death of John the
Baptist was a prophecy to the death of
his own master. For John was a precursor
not only to the life of Jesus but even to
His death.
It would be anachronistic to claim that
John the Baptist constantly received
the Eucharist. However, it would best
safe to say that his life, his preaching,
and his death is a prefiguration of the
Filipino who is a disciple of the Eucharist,
committed to societal and communal
responsibilities, accountability, and

Half-a-world Away
Brian Caulfield

Believe and Receive

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his
blood, you do not have life within you For my flesh is
true food, and my blood is true drink (John 6:53, 55)
IMAGINE hearing those words for the first time, in
the synagogue of Capernaum with the Apostles, or while
reading the Bible today. A natural reaction would be to
ask what in the world Jesus is talking about. Indeed, His
followers said quite plainly, This saying is hard; who
can accept it? (John 6:60).
Jesus saw the effect these words had on His disciples,
and He knew that some of them would begin to have
second thoughts about His message and mission. You
can almost hear their thoughts in this section of Johns
Gospel: Sure, He turned water to wine, cured a few sick
people, and fed thousands with a little food, but what He
says now about His body and blood is just too much. Id
look foolish to keep following Him.
Yet Jesus did not change or nuance His message.
He was purposely provocative, for He was testing His
followers, to show who was drawn to Him by faith, and
who was with Him for glory or gain. As John writes,
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not
believe and the one who would betray him, the latter
being Judas (6:64).
When a group of followers left Him, Jesus did not call
them back; He didnt say--as some do today--that He was
speaking symbolically about eating His flesh and blood.
No, He turned to His Apostles to ask, Do you also want
to leave? It was Simon Peter, the chief of the Twelve,
who uttered a statement of faith, Master, to whom shall
we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come
to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One
of God (John 6:67-68).
Did Peter understand about eating His body and
blood? I think not, at least not yet. He simply declared
his faith, his utter trust in the Person of Jesus. Peter
provides a supreme example of the Catholic teaching,
Fides quaerens intellectum, that is, faith seeking
This is the open attitude to the Word of God we should
have when we approach the mysteries of our faith. A
mystery is not something we can never know anything
about. Rather, a mystery is such a deep reality that, while
we can know only a portion about it, we can still keep
learning more and more. Indeed, we believe not because
we know it all, or can explain it all. We believe because of
the trustworthiness of the one who reveals the mystery.
No one is more trustworthy than Jesus, God Himself.
At this 51st International Eucharistic Congress, we
contemplate and learn more about the ultimate Mystery
of Faith the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Like those who turned from Jesus at Capernaum we may
wonder, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? But
like Peter, we need only to make a profession of faith that
we believe, because Jesus is worthy of belief. Fortunately,
our faith is supported by the practice and witness of two
millennia of Catholics who have believed the same thing
and received the same Lord. We are privileged not only
to believe, but also to receive the same flesh and blood
that Jesus spoke about, a sacrament most holy that has
been handed down to us in trust.
Indeed, I can see Peter and the other Apostles at the
Last Supper, with the words of Capernaum ringing
in their minds, nodding with sudden wonder and
understanding as Jesus takes bread and wine and says
they are now His body and blood. Their faith is now
realized in reality, as they believe and receive for the
life of the world. Let us do the same here in Cebu, and
all the days after!
Bible, A3

Same divine well-spring

Moloney went on to
highlight the contribution
of Vatican II in the history
of Catholic theology, which
he described as breaking
through the stranglehold of
the two-source theory, that
of Tradition and Word.
Quoting the Council Fathers
in Dei Verbum (DV) No. 9,
he said, Sacred Tradition
and Sacred Scripture, then,
are bound closely together,
and communicate one with
the other. For both of them,
flowing out from the same
divine well-spring, come
together in some fashion to
form one thing, and move
towards the same goal.

One Table of Body and

The priest, moreover,
lauded Vatican IIs conviction
in DV 21 that the Church
has always venerated the
divine Scriptures as she
has venerated the Body of
the Lord, stressing how it
never ceases, above all in the
Sacred Liturgy, to partake of
the Bread of Life, and to offer
it to the faithful from the one
table of the Word of God and
the Body of Christ.
We receive Jesus Christ
from one table, and this one
table consists of the Body of
Christ and the Word of God,
he added. (Raymond A.
Sebastin / CBCP News)


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

CBCP Monitor

The Catholic Church In The Philippines:

(3rd of a series)
Japanese forces invaded in
December 1941. Allied forces
under General MacArthur
returned in 1944, but severe
fighting continued until
the Japanese surrender in
August 1945. Manuel Roxas
became president of the
second independent Republic
of the Philippines on July
4, 1946. The war inflicted
heavy damage; 257 priests
and religious lost their lives,
and losses in ecclesiastical
property and equipment were
estimated at 250 million
pesos (U.S.$ 125 million).
Priests, brothers, sisters, and
dedicated Catholic women
and men exhibited great faith
and heroism during the war;
many suffered imprisonment.


The origins of what is known
today as the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) can be traced back to
February 1945 when Apostolic
Delegate William Piani, even
as the war was still raging,
appointed John Hurley, SJ to
take charge of relief work and
created the Catholic Welfare
Organization (CWO). As
the very name indicates,
the primary purpose of
the CWO was to assist in
alleviating the immediate
suffering and destruction
brought on by the war. On
July 17, 1945 all the bishops
met in Manila for their first
meeting after the Japanese
Occupation; they requested
that the CWO become the
official organization of the
Hierarchy of the Philippines.
In subsequent years, the
CWO continued to be largely
engaged in relief services and
the rehabilitation of Church
institutions; it also became
the vehicle through which
the interests and values of the
Church were protected and
The 1945-1965 period in the
life of the local Church in the
Philippines is characterized
by: quite rapid recovery from
the ravages of war, greatly
expanded school system at
upper levels, involvement
of Catholics (laity, sisters,
clergy) in social action,
and growing Filipinization
of Church structures and
administration. The First
Plenary Council of the
Philippines (1953) focused
on the preservation,
enrichment, and propagation
of Catholic life and offered
Church resources to renew
the social order. The Church
became involved in Catholic
Action programs with
farmers (FFF) and workers
(FFW). Guidance from the
hierarchy continued; from
1945-1965 the CWO issued
39 joint pastoral letters and
statements on a variety of
subjects relevant to Church
and civil society. The
Philippine bishops sponsored
a Marian Congress in Manila
(1954) and inaugurated the

February 1986 and the roles

played by church people and
Cardinal Sin is instructive.
The overthrow of the Marcos
regime was a victory of moral
values over the sheer physical
force on which he had relied
[J. Carroll]. It signaled
peoples determination not
to shed Filipino blood. The
revolution was a movement
for active non-violence which
was promoted by Churchrelated groups [ibid.]. In
addition, the February
Revolution was a political
event, not a social revolution
[ibid.]. Basic social issues of
wealth and power that plagued
the nation for generations
remained. Many Filipinos
still found themselves outside
the mainstream of national
social, political, and economic

Pontificio Collegio-Seminario
Filippino in Rome (1961). The
period saw renewal programs
introduced; the Christian
Family Movement (CFM)
came to the Philippines in
the 1950s; the Cursillos de
Cristianidad introduced in
1963 (and the evangelization
seminars for various Church
sectorial groups they inspired)
ignited a renewed fervor of lay
involvement in the Church.
YEAR. In mid-year, the
nation observed a sixday renewal-celebration
of the quadricentennial
of evangelization in the
Philippines (1565-1965).
The bishops established
the Mission Society of the
Philippines, signifying
Filipinos commitment to
spread the gift of faith they
had received to other lands.
Two more events would prove
to shape significantly the
experience and mission of
this local Church. The first
was the election of Ferdinand
Marcos as president of the
Philippines; the second was
the conclusion of the Second
Vatican Council on December
8, 1965.
RULE. The Philippine
constitution, modeled on
that of the United States,
established a democratic form
of government. Ferdinand E.
Marcos, first elected president
in 1965, declared martial
law in 1972 and imposed
a form of constitutional
authoritarianism. The
martial law period posed
new, challenging questions
for the Church and nation.
Among the more pernicious

effects of the two-decade

Marcos era (1965-1986) were
increased militarization,
insurgency, the absence of
juridical procedures, the
destruction of democratic
processes, economic decline,
and pervasive fear. The
end result, in the words of a
Filipino social scientist, was
to place the country on the
trembling edge of a social
This period proved a time of
testing and growth for the local
Church. Prophetic stances were
often met by military abuse,
imprisonment and torture, and
even deportation for foreign
missionaries. The Church
evolved a position of critical
collaboration, cooperating
with the regime on programs
beneficial to the populace while
criticizing government actions
judged harmful.

This period proved

a time of testing
and growth for
the local Church.
Prophetic stances
were often met
by military abuse,
and torture, and
even deportation
for foreign

An important 1977
pastoral letter, The Bond
of Love in Proclaiming the
Good News, addressed many
social problems as well as the
divisions within the Church
created by various positions
taken vis--vis martial law
(e.g. the absence of a clear
stance and the long delayed
response on the part of most
members of the hierarchy;
the infiltration of Church
structures and institutions
by left-leaning priests and
religious). The pastoral letter
sought to enunciate a clear,
holistic vision to guide the
Churchs mission of integral
the proclamation, above all, of
SALVATION from sin; the
liberation from everything
oppressive to man; the
all his dimensions, personal
and communitarian; and
ultimately, the RENEWAL
OF SOCIETY in all its strata
through the interplay of the
concrete TOTAL LIFE.
President Marcos
announced the lifting of
martial law on January
17, 1981. It was carefully
timedthree days before the
inauguration of United States
President Ronald Regan, and
exactly one month before
Pope John Paul IIs scheduled
visit to the Philippines. In
view of the broad range
of authoritarian controls
retained by Marcos, the lifting
of martial law was recognized
by the Filipino people as a
purely cosmetic gesture. The
papal visit brought two clear
messages to Filipinos: a need

for dynamic faith in their lives

and an emphasis on justice
and peace. Specifically, John
Paul II told the president and
government leaders: Even
in exceptional situations that
may at times arise, one can
never justify any violation of
the fundamental dignity of
the human person or of the
basic rights that safeguard
this dignity.
The assassination of
Benigno Aquino on August
21, 1983 ushered in a period
of national mourning and a
widespread clamor for justice
and truth. In this highly
charged atmosphere the
local Churchs response was
crucial. Jaime Cardinal Sin,
Archbishop of Manila since
1974, cautioned Filipinos:
If we allow his death to fan
the flames of violence and
division, then he will have
died in vain.
Events moved rapidly in
the ensuing years. Filipino
consciousness had been
awakened; Philippine society
had been galvanized. The
Church did not remain on the
sidelines during this national
crisis. In the volatile context
that followed the elections of
1986, the Catholic bishops
issued a statement declaring
that fraud provides no moral
legitimacy for any regime.
If citizens agreed that the
election had been stolen,
they should oblige the regime
to respect their will. The
bishops added: But we insist:
Our acting must always be
according to the Gospel of
Christ, that is, in a peaceful,
non-violent way.
An analysis of the story of
the bloodless revolution of

Even in exceptional
situations that may
at times arise, one
can never justify
any violation of
the fundamental
dignity of the
human person or
of the basic rights
that safeguard this
Corazon C. Aquino, catapulted
into office with little experience,
served as Philippine president
from 1986-1992. Aquinos
main contribution was
the reestablishment of a
democratically functioning
government. She began
by enacting a temporary
freedom constitution. In
May 1986, Aquino appointed
a constitutional commission
(including Church people) and
asked that a new document
be produced within three
months. This constitution was
ratified overwhelmingly by a
national referendum in 1987.
Difficult issues faced
Aquino: a bankrupt economy,
communist insurgents,
the status of the United
States military bases, coup
plotters, natural disasters,
a burgeoning population,
Islamic separatists, the
foreign debt, agrarian
reformthe list appeared
endless. Yet, she guided the
Filipino people to free and
fair elections in May 1992
and the orderly transfer of
power to President Fidel
Ramos (1992-1998), the
first Protestant president
of the Philippines. Aquino,
an icon of integrity, died
on August 1, 2009. (To be
continued) Fr. James H.
Kroeger, MM

Manufactured by


CBCP Monitor


January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

The 51ST IEC


The 51st IEC Monstrance,

which will be the focus
of the Eucharistic
Procession on January
29, bespeaks the faith
and life-situation of the
Its base is in a form
of a tripod symbolizing
the three main island
grouping in the
Philippines. This tri-base
rises to form a cross which
serves as the holder of the
monstrance head. The
cross takes a particular
historical significance
for Cebu, the host 2016
IEC, because it is in this
island that the Christian
faith was implanted and
where the First Baptism
was celebrated. (The
Magellans Cross is Cebus
symbol, in fact.)
The outer part of the
monstrance head features
51 sunrays (the significance
of which is obvious.) The
part towards the center is
the intriguing kamonggay
(malunggay, moringa)
pattern, which made
not quite a few
to wonder, why
To which
the answer
is why not?!
The leafyv e g e t a b l e
kamonggay is the
ordinary Juan dela
Cruzs go-to source of
sustenance and nutrition.
It also has healing and
antiseptic properties that
native folks used to avail of
when modern medicines
were not yet around.
Health and healing - two
elements that the
lowly kamonggay
possesses that
point to the greater
reality of the deeper

nourishment and healing

that the Eucharist offers.
Around the circle
the circle that holds
the receptacle of the
Consecrated Host are
five studs of pearls inlaid
in sampaguita patterns,
signifying the five centuries
of Christianity in this Pearl
of the Orient Seas; come
2021 the Philippines will
mark the 5th Centenary of
its Christianization.
Lastly, alongside the
cross shaft and crossbar,
and not readily noticeable,
are the four cardinal
directions of the compass
(NSEW) implying the
missionary dimension
of the Eucharistic life
of every baptized that
this IEC 2016 will give
particular attention, and
to which the Filipino
faithful is called to be the
f o r e m o s t

Organizers unveil and present the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Monstrance to the media on Dec. 10, 2015. This monstrance will be the main feature in the
Eucharistic Procession on Jan. 29, 2016. PHOTO COURTESY OF FR. MARNELL MEJIA

Eucharistic Miracles and Gods Unrelenting Mercy

By Robert Z. Cortes
IT may be an embarrassing
thing to admit for some
of us--especially those of
us who consider ourselves
believers--that from time
to time, we ask ourselves, Is
Jesus really present in the
Holy Eucharist? Perhaps the
thought--not even a serious
doubt--would pass for just a
fleeting moment; yet it does
come, and not just once.
This was perhaps the very
same challenge that a German
priest on his way to Rome
had, as he was celebrating
Mass in the church of St.
Christina in Bolsena, Italy. He
was pious, we are told, but his
faith was not irreproachable.
Joan Carroll Cruz, author of
a classic book on Eucharistic
miracles, tells us that in what
would seem a result of his
lack of faith, the priest had
barely spoken the words of
Consecration when blood
started to seep from the
consecrated Host and trickle
over his hand onto the altar
and the corporal.

We are told that Pope

Urban IV, who was in nearby
Orvieto at the time, after
having confirmed the veracity
of the miracle, had the Host
and the corporal brought
to the Cathedral with the
pomp and dignity that the
relics deserved. The bloodstained corporal is still in that
Cathedral now, for all to see,
enshrined in a breathtakingly
beautiful chapel whose walls
are painted from top to
bottom with scenes from
the striking events of those
extraordinary days.
It was with genuine awe
that my friends and I beheld it
when we had the good fortune
of going there in pilgrimage
last year. To get that close to
what can only be described
as Gods condescension to
the hard-heartedness of man
makes one truly thankful that,
despite our sinfulness, God
continues to have mercy on us
and reaches out to us. But it
was also an occasion to realize
more profoundly, especially
after the initial thrill and
excitement of the encounter
had left, that my faith in
the Holy Eucharist cannot
be based on a sanguinary
spectacle, no matter how
That statement may sound
a wee bit ungrateful for
that wonderful experience-indeed, for all Eucharistic

miracles in history. But that

realization is in keeping with
a Eucharistic hymn composed
to honor that very miracle in
Bolsena-Orvieto: St. Thomas
Aquinass masterpiece,
Adoro Te, devote (I Adore
You, devoutly). In the second
stanza, the saint affirms:
Sight, touch, taste are all
deceived in their judgment
of you, but hearing suffices
firmly to believe. I believe
all that the Son of God has
spoken; there is nothing truer
than this Word of Truth.
In other words, the real
motive of our faith in the
Eucharist is simply that Christ
Himself said it: This is my
Body This is my Blood.
Since it was the Catholic
Church that handed down to
us these very words of Christ,
another albeit implicit way
of expressing the motive of our
faith in the Eucharist is this:
because the Church has told us
so. There is no contradiction;
after all, the Church is the
Body of Christ, and Christ is
the Churchs Head.
To say all that is not to
trivialize Eucharistic miracles,
but rather to put them in the
proper perspective: they can
and do inspire faith. In fact,
these miracles are of as much
value to those who dont
believe as to those who do
already believe. For those who
dont believe, an encounter

with a Eucharistic miracle-arresting as it always is--may

be a first step to genuine faith
in the Real Presence.
And to believers Eucharistic
miracles often serve as a
wake-up call from the slumber
or stupor in which we find
ourselves, accustomed as we
are to seeing the Host on the
altars day in, day out. Because
of the natural weakness of our
senses we may not realize it
that externally we act like
non-believers. We forget to
greet or visit Our Lord in the
Blessed Sacrament, we fiddle
with our gadgets at Mass,
and we do our genuflections
so carelessly if we even
do them at all. Or even if we
dont act as badly, perhaps
the effort we exert to giving
Our Lord in the Eucharist the
honor and love He deserves
is nowhere in proportion to
the gifts He has endowed us
to The good news is that not
even our lack of faith stops
God from wanting to give it to
us. If anything, it only makes
Him more generous: the
miracle of Bolsena-Orvieto is
a testament to that. This is not
to encourage presumption.
Rather, it is to affirm that
regardless of the level of our
faith, now is a good time to
ask for an increase in this
faith as a fitting response to
Gods unrelenting goodness
and mercy.

Inmates, A1

is about learning to dance in the rain, said Bo

noting that the inmates danced heartily while
a light drizzle fell.
Yes, you have danced in the rain. Your
dance is a beautiful love directed straight to
the heart of all of us. Thank you for your love.
Daghang salamat.
The Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar told
the inmates to never, never, never, give up
Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. who was
himself jailed many times, the papal legate
said that only light can drive out darkness,
hatred by love.
Darkness can never drive darkness. Only
light can drive out darkness. Hatred can
never drive hatred. Only love can drive out
After his address, the cardinal mingled with
the inmates, smiling, and blessing them.
Closer to God
One of the inmates who danced, Lito
Granada from Camotes island, said he was

touched by the visit of the papal legate,

impressed by how a busy VIP like him could
consider visiting them.
We thank him for visiting us. We hope he
always prays for us, he said.
Granada, who has been incarcerated for
14 years serving a life sentence, said prison
life changed him by making him closer to the
Lord, describing himself as not believing in
the Lord before [he] was jailed.
He said life in prison changed him and
made him realize that there is a Lord who
loves everyone.
I know that problems are big and heavy,
but recognizing that the Lord is with us, the
load becomes lighter, he said.
The 44-year old family man said he first of
all offered his dance to the Lord and secondly
to our visitors, especially the cardinal.
We are part of the Eucharistic Congress.
And for that we are happy, he said. (Rommel
Lopez with reports from Roy Lagarde
/ CBCP News)

Powerful, A1

Secularism is a spiritual
disaster because were built
for God and we know that.
Because nothing in the world
satisfies us. All the pleasure,
all the power, all the honor
that the world can give you,
theres still this restlessness
in the heart, a restlessness for
God, said Barron.
If we get marginalized by
a secular society that sees
secularism as the default
position, and religions as kind
of a nice hobby that some people
have, thats doing deep damage
to society. Because were the
ones who remind people of
this longing of the heart, were
the ones who remind people of
what satisfies, he added.
Secularism is particularly
dangerous to young people,
Barron said. Young people are
taking in this ideology through
every movie, every song, every
commercial, and what that
does is that it breaks the spirit,
at least a deep unhappiness, a
deep alienation, he said.

St. Paul and social media

Use social media, but
Social media is an
extraordinary gift the
Church can use to reach out
to the restless youth, Barron
said, and priests ought take
advantage of this revolution in
communications technology.
God knows there are
dangers and limitations to it
but, if St. Paul were around,
it seems he would use all the
media available to him. He
used the communications
technology of his own time,
Roman roads and Roman
ships and parchment, etc.
It would be silly not to
take take advantage of this
extraordinary gift weve been
given, Barron said.
But the new media should
be backed up by the rich
content of old media, he
pointed out, recalling the
advice he had given to
seminarians eager to become
media personalities. Barron
had been seminary professor

in various colleges and rector

of the Mundelein College
of the Chicago archdiocese
before being named a
shepherd of the Archdiocese
of Los Angeles.
Read books!
I would say, well first,
spend a long time with the old
media of books. Because you
gotta have something to say. I
think the danger is people get
out in the new media, but what
they communicate is often
very superficial and then that
world becomes so tendentious
and contemptuous. People
just fall into mudslinging,
he said.
Media content cannot be
just philosophical musing
or cultural impressions. I
encourage students, have
something substantial to
say. And that means youre
reading Origen and Augustine
and Thomas Aquinas and
John Henry Newman and
John Paul II.

January 27, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 4

CBCP Monitor