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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle delivers a welcoming gesture during his catechesis on The Eucharist and the Dialogue with Cultures at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City on Jan. 28, 2016.

We are all meant to be
saints, Bp. Barron, A2
Marini to faithful:
Localize your
liturgy, A3
Non-stop adoration
at IEC, A3
IEC media challenge:
Jesus mentions, A7

Cardinal Tagle: Foster

a Eucharistic culture
By Rommel Lopez

CEBU City, Jan. 28,

2016 When people begin to protect
and champion individual rights yet
forget to champion
universal rights,
we begin to foster a
culture of individualism, a throw
away culture rather than a Eucharistic culture, an
attitude of accepting, engaging and

Manila Archbishop
Luis Antonio Cardinal
Tagle issued this warning
during his catechesis on
The Eucharist and the
Dialogue with Cultures
on the fifth day of the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress being held here.
Tagle said all across
society, the world has
fostered a culture of

individualism, putting
much value one ones self
where the individual and
the community become
What does it say about
your culture?
If your parish has a
big space for parking but
does not have a space for
pastoral formation, Aha!
what does this say about
your parish?, he asked.
He also reminded his
brother priests of their vow
of celibacy and how they
arrange their bedrooms
should reflect their state
of life. Look at how you
arrange your bed. You
are celibate. It should be
single, not double, he said
eliciting laughter from the
IEC delegates.
Tagle also noted that in
some cultures, their heroes
are boxing champions and
beauty queens an obvious
reference to how Filipinos
held these people in high

Technologys influence
The president of
the Catholic Biblical
Federation noted that the
influx of the digital age,
peoples individualism and
self-centeredness grew
even more pronounced.
The culture of the
selfie I do not need a
photographer. I can do
it by myself. I can make
myself look good. The
individualistic attitude
makes the individual reign
supreme, he said.
He added the same digital
culture has formed young
people to put importance
on image before anything
This pervading culture
of alienating individualism
according to the cardinal
protects individual rights
but does not stress duty to
other people and society.
Throwaway culture
Tagle said this
individualistic attitude
of buying for the sake of

Cardinal Bo to youth: Be great for others

CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016
One of the poorest
communities in Cebu has
given perhaps the warmest
and most festive welcome
to Charles Maung Cardinal
Bo, the representative of
Pope Francis to the 51st
International Eucharistic
Cardinal Bo, the archbishop
of Yangon, went to the coastal
village of Pasil and was
cheered by residents and
elementary schoolchildren
on his way to the Don Bosco
Youth Center, a refuge for
orphans, street kids and
young people from broken
Pasil put up a mini-Sinulog
for the Myanmar prelate, who
also paid tribute to the image
of the Santo Nio and danced
to the beat of drums.
At the youth center, Bo
turned nostalgic. Its run by


I can do nothing. Because my

parents are poor, Cardinal
Bo said.
Dont blame the parents,
dont blame yourself, dont
blame the situation and dont
blame God. You must get up
and work hard to become
great for others, he added.

Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, representative of Pope Francis to the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress, blesses a baby during his visit to barangay Pasil, one the poorest
communities in Cebu City, on Jan. 28, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

his own order the Salesians

of Don Bosco, founded in Italy
in 1859 by St. John Bosco, the
priest and educator whose
mission was to transform
the world into the image and
likeness of Christ.
Bo was brought by his
parish priest to the Salesians
in Myanmar when his
father died at age 2, became

a Salesian brother, priest,

bishop, and later cardinal.
His message to the 120
youth at Don Bosco: Poverty is
not a hindrance to greatness.
You can become priests,
sisters, brothers, bishops. You
can become prime minister,
president, doctor, engineer.
Never blame yourself of your
situation. Because I am poor,

Death rather than sin

Cardinal Bo reminded
the youth of one of the
resolutions of Dominic Savio,
Don Boscos student who
died of illness at a young age
and became a saint: Death
rather than sin.
Don Bosco is always
asking us: Do you want to
be happy here? If you want
to be happy, Don Bosco said,
avoid sin.
We have to be always
happy, shouting, playing
basketball, Cardinal Bo said.
Korina Jane Tabay, 17, told
Cardinal Bo it was a sign of
Great / A2

having leads to throwing

away. And we throw away
goods that the poor should
benefit from but could not
afford to buy.
But is it not ironic that
the culture of accumulation
is also the culture of
throwing away? Who
has something to throw
away? Only those who have
accumulated. And they
have accumulated what
they do not need.
He laments how people
who have so much material
goods throw their excess
while some people actually
live and survive on their
Not only of material
However, this attitude
does not only happen in
material things. More
tragically, this happens to
people as well.
Husbandsare you
tempted to throw away
your wife like a home
appliance? She is a gift;

dont throw her away! he

He then continued to
address each sector of
society asking them how
they treat people as mere
dispensable objects.
Wives, are you about to
throw away your husbands
like junk? Think twice,
your husband is a gift.
Parents, do you see in
your son or daughter that
gives you some difficulties,
a thing to be thrown away,
or do you see in him or her
a gift of God?
Mothers, do you
consider the baby in
your womb a burden or
a problem to be thrown
away, or a gift of life?
Teachers, will you
throw away slow learners
among your students, or
will you treasure them
as gifts, especially if you
are teaching in a Catholic
Politicians! Will you
throw away peoples taxes
Foster / A2

Hungarian prelate: Share

fearlessly the hope that is Christ

Archbishop Pter Cardinal Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest swings the thurible during


CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016

Dwelling on the theme of the
ongoing 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC),
the cardinal- archbishop
of Budapest, Hungary on
Thursday reminded pilgrims
from all over the world to
be fearless in sharing with
everyone the hope of glory
that is Christ in the face

of unbelief, hostility, and

For the man of today
to contact Christ, we must
propagate Him openly, we
must speak about Him, we
must say His name, and we
have to confess our faith,
urged Archbishop Pter
Cardinal Erd of EsztergomFearlessly / A7


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

CBCP Monitor

We are all meant to be saints Barron

MANDAUE City, Cebu, Jan.
28, 2016 Thousands of
youth participating in the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC) Youth Day
were encouraged to become
Sporting a blue shortsleeved barong, Bishop
Robert Barron of Word on
Fire Minsitry delivered a
catechesis urging the youth
to pursue a life of holiness
saying the only real sadness
in life is not to become a
The most important
thing and extraordinary
expectation of the Church is
that everybody in this room
becomes a saint, he said.
He added that not becoming
the person God brings about
sadness. He challenged the

youth delegates by asking are

you becoming a saint or not?
What it is like to be a saint
The auxiliary bishop of
Los Angeles Archdiocese
suggested three paths to
becoming a saint: To find
ones center; to know that
were all sinners; and to
realize that ones life is not
about oneself.
Finding ones center means
having one central value in
life. There is one center
around which everything else
revolves, he said.
If Christ is not the middle
of ones life, it is what makes
people unhappy, divided,
split, and at war with oneself,
he added.
In the process of becoming
a saint, one must accept that

everything in me belongs to
Jesus Christ and all part of a
person must revolve around
that center.
He then reiterated that
when everything in oneself is
in service of Christ, then the
person has found his center.
It is also imperative to
accept that we are all sinners.
The second path as Bp.
Barron said is to know our
To all of [us] sinners,
everyone of us is an addict but
Jesus wants to set us free. Free
for joy, fullness of life, he said.
The last path echoed buy
the bishop was surrendering
ones life and talents to God,
realizing the real joy lies in
giving some of yourself away
for your being to grow and

Cebu parish welcomes Korean pilgrims

CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016 Cebuanos
on Wednesday received with arms
open pilgrims from South Korea
and other countries into St. Joseph
the Patriarch Parish in Barangay
Mabolo for a faith-filled afternoon
of Eucharistic sharing.
I hope that meeting with the
community of the historic Mabolo
parish will be a blessed moment for
all the people who are gathering here
today to see, feel, and respect the
faith and the hope, said Cheonjun
Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hoon
in his homily.
The prelate presided over one
of the parish encounter Masses
of the ongoing 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC). The
Mass in Mabolo was in Korean,
and was translated into English
for the benefit of non-Korean
Faith, Pinoy style
Through an interpreter, he
went on to share how the Korean
participants were eager to witness
for themselves the faith of the
Filipinos that enabled them to rise
from many trials.
Almost 500 years ago,
Catholicism was introduced in the
Philippines through mysterious
ways. Since then, the Philippines
has relied on the faith in Christ
among us until now, going through
many trials and sufferings, poverty
and despair of the country, people,
individuals and families, he said.
According to Bong-hoon, Catholics
in his own country can learn much
from the way Filipinos live out the
faith with hope.
Learning experience
Through your long history and
culture, we are looking forward to

sharing the hope that you cherish

in your hearts from the faith, he
The Korean prelate was joined in
the Eucharistic celebration by Lipa
Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles,
Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio
Utleg, and Filipino and Korean
Eunyoung Kim, a member of the
South Korean delegation, said she
was impressed by the Filipinos
commitment to their faith, and
wished that Catholics back home
were as expressive and open about
their religion.
Meanwhile, Marilyn Gabawan, a
Mabolo parishioner who volunteered
to welcomed the foreign delegates,
felt privileged to carry out the task
assigned to her.
This is not something that
happened often. Its really an honor
for us to have them in our parish,
the 15-year old high school student
Hopeful faith
The shepherd of the Diocese
of Cheongju could not describe
enough how moved he was upon
experiencing firsthand the hopeful
faith of Filipinos.
Speaking through an interpreter,
Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hoon
told CBCP News in an interview that
the hope and faith he had seen in the
faces of local Catholics Wednesday
at St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish
in Barangay Mabolo moved him
beyond words.
The 69-year old prelate went on to
express joy that for the first time in his
life he was able to preside over Mass in
his own language outside Korea for a
congregation that included many nonKoreans. (Raymond A. Sebastin
/ CBCP News)

Four altars not to worship

Bp. Barron cite d how
people have restless hearst
and enumerated four altars
of todays generation that we
must not go to and worship
but unfortunately do: money,
pleasure, power, and honor.
Everybody in this room
has got a restless heart. Were
searching for happiness, for
joy and we try to find it in
wealth, pleasure, power,
honor; it has never worked.
It never works. It cannot
work. We are wired for God,
he said.
Bp. Barron emphasized
that when people worship
something other than God,
their lives fall apart and that
is when something diabolic
comes in.

Sin is bad worship

worship is from an old
English word, worth-ship,
meaning what is of the
highest value to you? What
is most important? That
is what you worship. Once
you find that, you know how
your life is structured. If you
worship anything other than
God, your life will become
scattered, he added.
If you want to be happy
love what Jesus loved on
the Cross and despise what
Jesus despised on the Cross,
he said. The former rector
of Chicagos Mundelein
seminary then narrated how
free Christ on the cross was,
even though he was to the
point of nothing in the eyes
of the people. He says Christ
was aligned to God.

You want to be happy?

Take a good, long, prayerful
look at Jesus and youll see
weirdly a formula for joy its
a picture of freedom; Jesus in
the cross is free, Bp. Barron
challenged the participants.
He inspired the youth to
take a leap of faith saying
God has a dream for you.
When you find it, go for it
and you will find your way to
Were not meant to just
live our little life. Theres
a power already at work in
you that can do infinitely
more than you can ask to
imagine. The power is the
Holy Spirit. Its dreaming for
you, already working in you,
he said. (Ronalyn Regino
and Chrixy Paguirigan /
CBCP News)

Great / A1

blessing for Filipinos to

be visited by a priest, and
more so by a cardinal and
representative of the Pope.
For us here in Pasil, life
is hard and difficult, we
have fewer opportunities
compared with other
young people. For some,

we are bound with the

influence of drugs; others
lived in a very broken
family; most of us lived in
poverty. Please pray for
us that we may overcome
all our struggles and
difficulties in life, she

Junely Tura, a scholar at
the Don Bosco Training
Center, gave a testimony of
gratitude to the Salesians.
One of the most
important things that I
learned is the value of
following Don Boscos

love for God, a value

that would take time to
worship God and in loving
the Holy Eucharist, but
through service especially
to the young. (Felipe
Francisco/ with
reports from Roy

Foster / A1

for your parties and shopping,

or guard them as gifts for social
service? eliciting laughter and
applause from the almost 15,000
delegates present at the sprawling
IEC Pavilion.
The cardinal also addressed the
religious formators and bishops
in attendance: My dear reverend
novice mistress, do you treat a
rather unique novice as a problem
to be thrown away, or a gift of
mystery? How do you solve a
problem like Maria? in reference to
the famous song of the movie The
Sound of Music.
Bishops, do you see our rather
independent-minded priests
worthy of being thrown away, or
as gifts providing collaboration?
Priests, religious, and lay people,
do you want to throw us bishops away,
too? Believe it or not, even bishops
could be gifts, he jokingly said.
Cultural Intelligence
Tagle said the Church can learn
from the business community
as corporations when looking
for managers and high level
administrators, set one criteria:
cultural intelligence. He said
IQ and EQ are not sufficient
anymore. Cultural intelligence
is important, he said.
The cardinal, who is also the chair
of the Catholic Bishops Conference

of the Philippines (CBCP)

Commission on the Doctrine of the
Faith said a culturally intelligent
person knows his culture, how his
culture has formed and affected
him. And by studying his own
culture, he said, a person can better
understand and accept the culture
of other people.
I determine a path from my
culture and their culture to learn
from each other, challenge and
purify each other. Hopefully the
result is the affirmation of the
beauty of each culture. Cultural
intelligence is the capacity to engage
in and facilitate dialogue.
He said the Church needs
cultural intelligence.
Be a gift to others
The Eucharist proposes the gift
of sharing. He recalled how on the
night Jesus was betrayed, when
all forces were conspiring to throw
Him away, He gave Himself as a
gift of love.
Echoing the words of Christ,
Tagle said No one takes my body
from me. I lay it down on my own.
Beware what you throw away
will return as Gods gift to us, he
The cardinal then proceeded to
thank the countless and nameless
men and women who work
behind the scenes of the Congress,

seemingly insignificant to the eyes

of the many, but truly Eucharistic
in their gift of communion and
To the many people who arrange
the seats here before we come every
morning, and who stay behind
while we are probably already
sleeping in our hotels, thank you.
To those who are preparing our
food early morning, and who clean
up after us, and stay till the late
hours of the night, thank you.
For the drivers who wait for
hours to pick us up and to take us
back home, missing their families
and their meals, thank you. You
make this Eucharistic Congress
truly a culture of Eucharistic love.
The cardinal concluded by
asking that we behold Jesus in the
Eucharist, allowing Him to form
in us a community of neighbors,
brothers and sisters, no more
barriers, only bridges. Let us
allow him to open our eyes to
see in creation, in persons, in the
poor, the discarded, but truly gift
of God.
No one thrown away, only gifts
to be treasured. This culture of
communion and and gift shared
will make a Eucharistic Community
a real, credible presence of Christ
in the cultures of the world and
provide the world a reason to hope.
Christ in you, our hope of glory.

CBCP Monitor


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

Marini to faithful: Localize

your liturgy

Non-stop adoration
at IEC

Children take time to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at the IEC Pavilion during
the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), Jan 26, 2016. MARIA TAN

Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresse. DOMINIC BARRIOS

CEBU City, Jan. 27, 2016 Inculturate

it or lose it.
Adapting the liturgy to local cultural
practices, or inculturation, is the
key to drawing more people to the
Mass, said Archbishop Piero Marini,
president of the Pontifical Committee
for International Eucharistic
How to make the Mass more relatable
and interesting has been one of the
hot topics of discussion in the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC), and Marini is very knowledgeable
about the matter, having been master of
liturgical ceremonies for two popes: St.
John Paul II and the now Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI.
Marini wants to go further. The
word used in the Second Vatican
Council is active participation.
To participate in the liturgy is
to adapt the liturgy in particular
circumstances, he said in Italian
during the press conference on Jan.
25, the second day of the 51st IEC.

Lost liturgies
The Mass is a simple celebration of
rubrics, he pointed out, referring to
set instructions and rules on how to
celebrate the liturgy. The liturgies that
are not inculturated are lost, just as what
happened in North Africa, he warned.
The current Roman liturgy itself was
the product of inculturation, originating
from the fifth century, he claimed. There
was also the the Byzantine, Alexandrian,
and Coptic rites. There is a need to
return to varieties, he said.
Marini, 74, also served as secretary
to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, one
of the Church figures who had worked
to reform the liturgy after the Second
Vatican Council, the result of which is
the New Order of the Mass now heard in
local languages instead of the old Latin.
At the 51st IEC Theological Symposium
last week, he recalled the history of the
new Mass.
Slow process
Inculturation was pushed after Vatican

II, Marini said, but the process of

approving the liturgies for Zaire, India,
and the Philippines was slow.
Moreover, inculturation needs
information. It is necessary but it is
difficult. You have to be prepared. Its
not so easy, he told CBCP News.
What about the abuses pointed out by
critics of liturgical innovation, such as
the heavy use of acoustic instruments
during youth masses? Marini replied:
The problem is what are the abuse[s]?
How is the so-called youth mass? This
is the problem. To inculturate, it is
necessary to know.
Christmas itself is an inculturated
celebration, the Vatican official argued.
It was a pagan feast for the light. The
light was coming, the victory of the sun.
So they celebrated this victor, the pagan
people, and then they translated it in
...the Roman Rite. So we celebrate on 24
and 25 of December, not because Christ
was born on 25 or 24, but because it was
an inculturated feast, added Marini.
(Felipe Francisco / CBCP News)

Seminarians share their IEC graces

CEBU City, Jan. 27, 2016
What would a future man of
the cloth hope to receive at
the International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC)?
Grace, grace, and more
The grace Br. Manuel
Cervantes, a seminarian of
the Legionaries of Christ in
Italy, hopes to receive at the
51st IEC is intimately linked
to his devotion to the Holy
Mass, which has propelled
his vocation for the last 9
Life as liturgy
The Mass for me, its the
central moment of my day
of my life I want to make
of my life a whole liturgy.
And I ask God the grace
so that I can fulfill this,
said the seminarian, who
started his spiritual journey
with Regnum Christi before
entering the Legionari di
Cristo Centro di Studi
Superiori in Rome.
Cervantes, who is together
with a small, multi-racial
delegation of seminarians
at the IEC, said: As [a]
Christian, and I think as
religious, and as a future
priest, its a whole way of how
we need to live.
According to the 31-year
old, the Eucharist with its
act of repentance and Word

CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016

Despite the jam-packed
activities of the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC), the venues
adoration chapel remains
the quiet place that welcomes
all with non-stop adoration
during the IEC program
Congregations, schools,
and organizations bring
batches of adorers, mostly
children and youth, schedule
to spend a few minutes with
Every 45 minutes, there
are [groups] scheduled to be
adorers, explained Lorraine
Ross an usherette volunteer
from Divino Amore Academy.
The priests role
Throughout the congress,
these groups will keep on
coming and adoring the Lord;
volunteer ushers, choirs,
brothers, and priests all
leading them to prayer.
Its a passion for me to
lead the children from a
very young age to Jesus,
because thats the role of
the priests, thats probably
the role number one, two,
three of the priests: to bring
Jesus to people and to bring
people to Jesus, said Fr.
Thomas Antoine, one of the
facilitators, on Jan. 26.
Memorable adoration
With no renowned speaker
at the helm, the impact of the
IECs adoration component is
sure to ripple long after the
51st IEC closes.
I feel comfortable facing
the Eucharist. Its like when
you are facing the Eucharist,
you are facing Jesus himself

through the grace of God in

this great moment of the
Asian perspective
For Br. Stefano Panizzolo,
the undeniable vehicle
of grace of the IEC is its
geographic and sociocultural setting of being held
in the Philippines, in Asia.
[What] Im waiting for
is to live this spirit as a
universal church but also
with an Asian aspect or
experience, in a sense, he

Let children come to Me

The priest cites Jesus own
words about the Kingdom
of Heaven belonging to the
children and that they should
not be hindered. His belief
is anchored on this and said
his mission is dedicated to
[letting] children be close to
the heart of Jesus for them to
gaze upon Him in adoration.
The ages between 5 and
10, its crucial to the religious
education to bring them [to
After 20 years of leading
children in adoration, I feel
after each session the same
thing: I taught them how to
pray but by watching them after
I told them how to pray, they
teach me the real attitude that
Jesus asked [for in] adoration
and thats the great benefit for
me, shared Antoine.
Antoine, a native of France,
has formed a childrens
Eucharistic adoration
program known as Children
of Hope, which has since
been leading many people,
especially children, to Christ
through adoration.
He has participated
in Eucharistic Congresses
in Guadalajara, St. Paul,
Minnesota, Canada, and is
now contributing to the IEC
in the Philippines. (Chrixy
Paguirigan / CBCP News)

Daughters of CharitySt. Louise De Marillac

Educational System

Br. Stefano Panizzolo at the Plaza Independencia, Cebu City, Jan. 24, 2016. NIRVA DELACRUZ

of God, as well as other

elements, constitutes a a
program of life.
The whole liturgy of the
Eucharist, its a program of
life. And I can see it in Gods
self-giving for us, for the
The seminarian, who is
also a content creator for, a website
devoted to promoting the
priestly vocation, said
attending the event is already
a huge grace for me to be
able to go and expound and
go deep and deep in my faith

and He is comforting you and

you feel that [Jesus is] always
at your side, shared Melissa
Gahuman, one of the adorers.
Its not my first experience
with the children who are so
available to the action of the
Holy Spirit, I love them, said
Antoine when ask about his
experience with the children.

Panizzolo said the IEC is

an experience of the wider
Church as one family.
Im here just to have a
beautiful experience of the
Church as the international
family as a broad family
I also waited for an Asian
experience of the Church
and so, here all together
but also under this
51st IEC organizers said
the number of delegates has
exceeded 15,000, as originally
targeted. (Nirvaana Ella
Delacruz / CBCP News)

Dr. Paulus Mariae L. Caete

Cebu youth group does street catechism at IEC

CEBU City, Jan. 27, 2016 While
catechesis on the Holy Eucharist is
given every day at the Pavilion of
the 51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC), a youth group
started their own brand of street
catechism by handing out
thousands of free, full color tracks
on the Catholic faith, particularly
on the Holy Eucharist.
Bro. Jason Barreda, a lay
missionary of the Order of the
Alliance of the Two Hearts
(OATH), told CBCP News
that he and his fellow OATH
missionaries together with
members of the Mary Help of
Christians Crusade (MHCC), the

youth arm of OATH, distributed

more than 5,000 pamphlets
during the Opening Mass of the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress in Plaza Independencia
on Jan. 24. They are printing
more Catholic instructional
materials for distribution at the
Concluding Mass (Statio Orbis)
at the South Road Properties on
Sunday, Jan. 31.
Catholic tracks
We only stopped distributing
[the pamphlets] when the
[Opening] Mass started because
we respect the Mass, he said.
The group has been distributing

various tracks on the Catholic

faith as part of their apostolate to
catechize the youth. For the IEC
Opening Mass, they distributed
pamphlets on the Holy Eucharist
and the Holy Rosary.
For the Statio Orbis, aside
from the first Holy Eucharist and
Holy Rosary pamphlets, we will
be giving pamphlets about the
writings of the Popes and Fathers
of the Church, he said.
The Mandaue native says
the catechetical ministry was
spearheaded by their superior
Fr. Francis Tiquia, OATH and
driven by donations from their
benefactors and friends.

People are appreciative of what

we give out to them. They say
the printed materials are very
informative, colorful, and definitely
for keeps, he said.
First Friday devotions, etc.
Barreda said their street evangelization is their own little way
of participating in this once-in-a
lifetime religious gathering for the
Holy Eucharist. Our devotion to
the Eucharist is our way of life.
And this is how we participate in
the IEC, he said.
They will conduct the yearly
Youth Eucharistic Congress this
March 19 at Carcar City where an

expected 1,000 youth delegates are

expected to participate.
Barreda and his group regularly
teach values education and
formation in different public
schools in the province of Cebu
after securing an accreditation
from the local Department of
Education office.
OATH is known to promote
the First Friday and Saturday
overnight Eucharistic Adoration
and Reparation Vigil in parishes.
Barreda said 73 parishes within
Cebu province are regularly
conducting the said vigil.
(Rommel Lopez / CBCP


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

CBCP Monitor


THE Eucharist can well be the very test and proof of our
Catholicity and universality. Its in that sacrament where the
universal mind and heart is required as well as developed. And
thats simply because the Eucharist represents the very mind
and heart of Christ who gave us the new commandment that
summarizes and perfects all the previous commandments:
You love one another as I have loved you, that you also love
one another. (Jn13,34)
Its a love that covers everyone, including our enemies, the
unlovable, the sinners, offenders, those who are wrong in a
human issue and all others who are so different from us that for
one reason or another we may be able to love or like. These can
include those who persecute us, who terrorize us, who kill us.
These can include those who attack the Church and its teaching.
We have to learn to love them the way Christ loves them, all the
way to offering our life for them, for as Christ himself said, No
greater love has one than he who offers his life for his friend.
In fact, one sure sign our loving is authentic is when we are
willing to adapt ourselves to them without compromising our
Christian identity. Otherwise, our love is fake, no matter how
fervently we profess it. Our love gets spoiled and deteriorates
into self-rigtheousness.
Eucharistic love matures and perfects us. It checks on our
tendency to be self-seeking and self-absorbed so as to be all
things to all men. (1 Cor 9,22) It brings us not only to others,
but rather to God himself, identifying us with him, for God is
love. This love is what properly measures out our true dignity
and value as persons and children of God. Its not just some
wisdom or knowledge or talents and any human power, though
all these are instruments and tools of love.
Its high time that we understand the need for true love, the
love of Christ in the Eucharist, to give ourselves a universal
heart. Its not the sciences, the philosophies, and the ideologies
- no matter how good and useful they are - that can accomplish
this. These can only be at best, loves tools.
This surely means we have to learn how to discipline our
feelings and passions, knowing when to talk and when not to.
We have to learn how to convert difficult, humiliating moments
into moments of graciousness and magnanimity. We have to
learn how to be positive, encouraging, and optimistic in our
tack to problems instead of sinking into pessimism and hostility.
We can never overdo our efforts to learn the finer details of tact
and diplomacy.
Given the present worlds rush to specialized knowledge that
inevitably generates divisions, we have to double our efforts to
cultivate this universal Eucharistic heart.

Mary and the Eucharist in the

Churchs mission
BY her special relationship with the Eucharist, Mary leads us
toward this most sublime sacrament to find in it the source and
goal of the Churchs evangelizing mission. As in her virginal
womb, the Son of God took on human nature that made him the
Sacrament of the Fathers love, so in the Eucharist, Christ continues
to be Sacrament of the Father through the sacramentality of the
Churchin the person of his minister, in the proclamation of the
Word, in the assembly that prays and sings, but especially in the
Eucharistic species. The body given up for us and made present
under sacramental signs was the same body which Mary had
conceived in her womb! By being closely associated with her Son
in giving himself as the Bread of Life and Living Bread for the life
of the world by his sacrifice on the Cross, Simeons prophecy that
a sword would pierce her heart was fulfilled (cf. Lk 2:34-35).
The Church can learn from the school of Mary, the Woman
of the Eucharist, the necessary and proper interior disposition
to fruitfully celebrate and live out the mysteries of redemption:
attentive, contemplative and active presence, generous concern
for the rest of the world and humanity, and openness to the
eschatological fulfillment of all that humanity hopes for. Mary
exemplifies the Eucharistic worship that seeks to be concretized
in works of love and service and that opens the faithful to
eschatological hope. For to the Christian faithful at worship, Mary
stands as model in listening to the Word and taking it to heart; in
praising and thanking God who has done great favors to oneself
and to the rest of humankind; in bringing Christ and his gifts of joy
and salvation to all that one meets, in praying and interceding for
the needs of all, in nourishing the life of grace which one receives
through the sacraments, in offering oneself in union with Christs
offering of himself to the Father, in imploring the coming of the
Lord, and in waiting for it with vigilance.
Do whatever he tells you! With these words Mary continues
to tell her Sons Church to take heed of his bidding to do what he
did at the Last Supper and on Calvary in memory of him. But she
also summons the Church to commitment to this most sublime
Mystery by her quiet but active engagement in its apostolic
mission. She was with the Apostles of her Son as they awaited in
constant prayer (cf. Acts 1:14.) the coming of the Holy Spirit he
promised them to be their Teacher and Guide in their mission.
With Mary the Church sings the Eucharist as her Magnificat,
recalling the wonders worked by God in salvation history in
fulfillment of the promise once made to the fathers, proclaiming
the wondrous mysteries of Christs redemptive incarnation, death
and resurrection, and awaiting the eschatological hope of glory.
- Excerpts from the theological and pastoral
reflection in preparation for the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress.



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This special issue of the CBCP Monitor is published daily

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Eucharist, Catholicity, universality

Spaces of Hope
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

AFTER the Sinulog procession I found

myself walking outside the fence of the
Sto. Nio Basilica. I was trying to mind
my own business as I was limping with
the onset of gout. The four-hour walk had
not helped. The spirit was willing but the
flesh was agonizing.
I was waiting for my ride when
someone said, Can you bless me Padre?,
apparently attracted by the sutana I was
wearing. I turned around to bless an
unfamiliar but beaming face. It was the
start an unexpected stream of pilgrims,
lasting about 20 minutes, who wanted to
receive a blessing from a priest as he stood
on a street corner.
This unexpected turn of events had
nothing to do with personal charisma as
the sutana was the source of attraction.
It did show me a real hunger in many
Filipinos for a concrete assurance of
Gods mercy in the midst of life. Popular
religious practices--to which the hand
blessing belongs--provides this vital
contact with God.
This same phenomenon is at work when
children ask for the priests blessing at the
end of Mass, or when Sto. Nio devotees
gently wave their hands in the air, or when
devotees of the Black Nazarene wipe the
statue of the latter, or when the faithful
rush to the flowers on the carosa after a
I finally found some comfort for the
gout but I remain unsettled by the hunger
of our people. A priest cannot just mind
his own business.
The 51st IEC has forced the Archdiocese
of Cebu to go out of its usual self. Delegates
from Cebu, all over the Philippines, and

those outside the country numbering

around 12,000 strong, various individuals,
offices, and groups in Cebu have pitched
in for this historic occasion.
Expectedly, there have been challenges.
While I have personally received feedback
from delegates that their registration
went well, there have also been less joyful
moments. One individual even said,
Registration is purgatory but once inside
the pavilion it is heaven.
There are edifying examples of people
going the extra mile. Two elderly Catholics
from the US, who are involved in the right
to life movement, sent 60 simple yet
dignified, hand-made monstrances for
distribution for poor parishes.
Silently, a group of individuals have
been assisting in the final preparations
for the first communion of street children
and other very poor children, even a few
adults. This has not been easy. Coming
out with the final list of communicants
has been touch and go. A 35-year old
man could not complete his catechesis
due to conflict of schedule with work.
Only nine parishes managed to prepare
communicants. Apathy is real.
But responses to help the poor are
edifying. A lady gathered donations
for t-shirts with IEC patches as well as
coloring books and pencils. Another lady
donated copies of artistic doodles. Some
business establishments donated food for
the rehearsal of communicants and for
the big day itself. Each child will go home
with a goody bag with half a kilogram of
the world famous Cebu lechon, among
other goods.
A text from a partner from Digos says,
One-legged Marvin...moved me to tears

Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE need to be very familiar

with the world of liturgy,
because for us to be truly
human and Christian we
need to have our life to be
liturgical. We have to enter
into this world presented to us
by our faith, and much richer
than what our senses and
intelligence alone can perceive
and understand.
Its in the liturgy where
we unite ourselves fully with
Christ our Savior and receive
the merits of his redemptive
work. Its in the liturgy where
the living Christ offers himself
to the Father together with us.
We are not left with a
symbol only of Christ in the
liturgy. Thats because the
sacramental signs used in
the liturgy, especially the
Eucharistic species, are no
ordinary signs that simply
point to another reality. In
the sacraments, the signs
themselves, the matter and
form that comprise them,
are Christ himself and his
In the liturgy, man is united
with God, time with eternity,
earth with heaven. It is the
best union we can have with
God on earth. In a sense,
with it we enter into the most
perfect dimension of our life,
into the fullest scope of reality.
Obviously, we need to be

Minding ones
own business

aware of this nature of the

liturgy, so we would know how
to act and live in it.
The fullness of the liturgy
takes place in the Holy
Eucharist which is described
as the source and summit
of the Christian life. The
Catechism explains it this way:
The other sacraments,
and indeed all ecclesiastical
ministries and works of the
apostolate, are bound up with
the Eucharist and are oriented
toward it. For in the Blessed
Eucharist is contained the
whole spiritual good of the
Church, Christ himself, our
Pasch. (1324)
The whole Christ, the Son
of God, who became man,
born of the Virgin Mary, who
taught and made miracles,
who suffered, died and was
buried, and resurrected on
the third day, and ascended
into heaven, etc., is there
in the liturgy, especially
in the sacrament of Holy
He did not become man,
shared our human nature
and condition except sin, and
redeemed us with his death
and resurrection, only to have
all these events swallowed up
in the past. His redemptive
work has eternal value, is
always in the present.
Whenever we are celebrating

with his story. This experience (is) grace

I will forever be thankful for, and will
eternally inspire me... This man did
not just mind his own business and is
helping to send two street children for
first Communion.
Unknown to many, a small group of
pilgrims from Hungary, Chicago, and
Cebu made a day-long trip to Bohol. This
is part of the Break Bread initiative of the
Solidarity and Communion Committee
(SCC) of the IEC. This was in the spirit
of experiencing the joyful and resilient
faith of Boholanos whose many beautiful,
centuries-old parish churches were
reduced to rubble by the 7.2 earthquake
in October 2013.
Easily the highlight of the day was
celebrating Mass at the temporary
parish church of Loon. There, alongside
a heritage building that will take perhaps
20 years to rebuild, the Loboc Childrens
Choir rendered songs that would
melt even hardened hearts. Fr. Val
Pinlac, who organized the pilgrimage,
commented how those visited felt very
happy. Thank you for visiting us and
for sharing a piece of bread with us who
are not privileged to be with you during
the IEC, he said.
As a Hungarian priest Fr. Laszlo, noted
in his homily, Filipinos laugh a lot and
always offers a bottle of water. It was
Europe that brought the face of Jesus
to the Philippines...Now please pray for
Europe to remind us of the face of Jesus.
When we arrived in Cebu, we were
met by an impressive firework display.
Perhaps the Lord is happy when we do
not just mind our own business.

Holy Eucharist, basis, and

culmination of liturgy
the Eucharist, receiving
communion or visiting the
Blessed Sacrament, we are
truly and directly dealing with
In a sense, with the liturgy
we become contemporaries
with Christ, and together with
him as in one whole body, the
Mystical Body of Christ, we
are the ones who celebrate
the liturgy.
Its important to realize
though that the members
do not all have the same
function. The clergy, who
by their sacred ordination
become the very icon of Christ,
preside at the Mass while the
rest unite themselves with him,
such that the whole assembly
becomes what is termed as
leitourgos, ministers in their
respective ways.
This is an important point
to realize. The lay faithful
who attend the Mass are
no mere spectators or
some pious extras. They
celebrate by offering to
God the Father, together
with Christs offering of his
own self, whatever praises,
thanksgiving, petitions, and
expiations they have.
In the Mass, what prayer and
sacrifice we make get united
with the most acceptable and
pleasing prayer and sacrifice
of Christ to his Father. Its the

most amazing union we can

have with Christ.
No greater windfall, bonanza
or jackpot can we have than to
have Christ offering his life
on the cross for our salvation.
Our sin has caused God to be
with us. Its that happy fault
referred to in the Easter vigil
hymn, Exsultet. O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so
glorious a Redeemer!
Still, in the Mass we have
to respect the different
functions proper to each
member of the assembly.
The Catechism says: In the
celebration of the sacraments
it is thus the whole assembly
that is leitourgos, each
according to his function,
but in the unity of the Spirit
who acts in all. In liturgical
celebrations each person,
minister or layman, who has
an office to perform, should
carry out all and only those
parts which pertain to his
office by the nature of the
rite and the norms of the
liturgy. (1144)
The effectivity of the Mass
derives from the power of
Christs work rather than the
role we play in it (ex opera
operato Christi). Just the
same, it would be most ideal
if we put ourselves in the best
condition and dispositions
when celebrating the Mass.

CBCP Monitor

Duc In Altum
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

THE institution of the Eucharist

started during the Last Supper.
It was on the night when our
Lord Jesus Christ shared one
last meal with his disciples, the
night before he was humiliated
to suffer on the Cross. It was
also during this meal that Jesus
instituted the Sacrament of
the Holy Orders to perpetuate
this sacrifice of his Body and
Blood; to keep alive the Paschal
Mystery--sacrifice of the Cross,
his death and resurrection. The
institution of the Eucharist,
the First Mass, is the 5th in
the Luminous Mystery of the
Holy Rosary.
As the Gospel of Matthew
tells us, Jesus eagerly desired
to eat this Passover before
he suffers: While they were
eating, Jesus took bread, and
when he had given thanks,
he broke it and gave it to his
disciples, saying, Take and eat;
this is my body. Then he took
a cup, and when he had given
thanks, he gave it to them,
saying, Drink from it, all of
you. This is my blood of the
covenant, which is poured out
for many for the forgiveness
of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28).
When the Eucharist is
celebrated, Christ is truly
present body, blood, soul,
and divinity, under the
appearances of bread and
wine. In the act of consecration
during the Eucharist, the
bread and wine are changed


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

into Body and Blood of Jesus

Christ by the power of the
Holy Spirit. The change is
called transubstantiation.
According to our Catholic
faith, we can speak of the
Real Presence of Christ in
the Eucharist because
transubstantiation has
For Jesus said: Whoever
eats my flesh and drinks my
blood has eternal life, and I
will raise them up at the last
day. For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
(John 6:51-55). This is what
the Church means when she
speaks of the Real Presence
of Christ in the Eucharist.
The risen Christ is present to
his Church in many ways, but
most especially through the
sacrament of his Body and
Some of the bread
consecrated and were not
consumed during the Mass
are kept in the tabernacle,
which is usually placed in a
conspicuous place inside the
Church, particularly the Altar
or beside it. Called the Blessed
Sacrament, it is used for
distribution to the dying, the
sick, and those who legitimately
cannot be present for the
celebration of the Eucharist.
It may also be exposed in the
Rite of Eucharistic Exposition
and Benediction, carried in
Eucharistic processions, or
when it is simply placed in the

Lord, eucharistify us

Real Presence of Christ

in the Eucharist
tabernacle; the people pray
privately before it, since Christ
himself is present under the
appearance of bread.
As Catholics are doing, one
should genuflect in the presence
of the tabernacle containing
the reserved sacrament; to
make the sign of the cross
and to bow with adoration,
reverence, and respect. It is
not appropriate to speak in
loud or boisterous tones in the
church because of the presence
of Christ in the tabernacle. As
a sign of reverence, Catholics
are required to fast at least one
hour before receiving the Body
and Blood of Christ (unless
illness prevents one from doing
The Eucharist is a sacrifice
for it is offered. The Eucharist
is a sacrament for it is received.
In the Mass, we offer ourselves
to God, and God gives Himself
to us. The Mass will be fruitful
in the measure of our surrender
to the Father.
As food nourishes the body,
the Eucharistic food nourishes
the spirit. Jesus gives himself to
us in the Eucharist as spiritual
nourishment because he loves
us. Gods whole plan for our
salvation is directed to our
participation in the life of the
Trinity, the communion of
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The sharing of an ordinary
meal, especially by all the
members of the family, creates
a union and solidarity among

them who share together

the foods. Similarly, in the
Eucharist, the People of God
share a meal that brings them
into communio not only with
each other but more so with the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Before we receive the Holy
Communion, we must be in
a state of grace, free of all
mortal sin, mindful of the
obligation to make an act of
perfect contrition, an act of
sorrow for sins accompanied
by the firm intention of making
a sacramental confession as
soon as possible.
During the celebration of
the Eucharist, Christ is in
Real Presence not only in the
Blessed Sacrament but also in
the person of the priest who
presides over the Mass. Christ
is present in his Word since
it is he himself who speaks
when the holy Scriptures are
read in the Church. He is
also present in the people
who prays and sing, for he
has promised where two or
three are gathered together
in my name, there am I in the
midst of them. He is also
present in other sacraments:
baptism, in the celebration of
the Eucharist, confirmation.
This presence is called real
because it is substantial and
through it Christ becomes
present as God and man.
We congratulate all those
who are making the 51st
Duc In Altum / A6

Just Inspired
Fr. Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

WHO would have thought that with

the deluge now of the Eucharist-related
literature occasioned by the ongoing
IEC 2016, I would be able to encounter a
word I did not expect exist? Eucharistify!
A neologism of this millennium? Nein.
When I google it, I realize I am light
years behind.
Of the many ways by which
eucharistify is construed, one, simply
put, describes it as the transformation
(read: transubstantiation) of the bread
and wine into the Body and Blood
of Christ. We note the process and
what philosophers of scholastic bent
call substantial change. Deeper
ruminations will lead us to rediscover
that eucharistify means to become
The process starts at home, and
expectedly in a constructive waygoes
out of our backyard; it goes viral, so to
speak. For we must first be transformed
before we can transform others. To
be enriched in order to enrich. To
be evangelized to evangelize. To be
eucharistified to eucharistify.
As we recall, the fruits of human
handsthe bread and winebeing
offered on the altar were taken from
the harvested wheat and grapes. In

the context of Jesus time, these were

the usual and the ordinary served at
table. The Eucharistification begins
from there. Just as the miracle of the
multiplication of bread started from
the boys generosity to share what he
has. A verse from a Cebuano liturgical
song illustrates it: Kanimo ihalad
ko karon, Ginoo / Ug naglaum ako
kini makapanimuot Kanimo/ Diutay
lang kining ihalad ko karon / apan
kinasingkasing. (To You, Lord, I now
offer / And I hope it will please You /
What I will offer is not really that much
/ but it comes straight from the heart.)
Our oblation of everything we are
and have requires this most important
character: that we do so with all our
heart, with all our soul, with all our
mind, and with all our strength. In this
manner, the handing over is an act of
humble and total submission to His
overall plan: Your will be done. And
surely, something greater will come
alongin His time.
However, its not just something
greater; at times, its something more,
in a startling way. People of Bohol
and Tacloban can vouch for that from
experience. Just as Boholanos can
never forget the 7.2 earthquake that

jolted them on Oct. 15, 2013, Tacloban

residents, too, can never forget the wrath
of typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan) on the
8th of November 2013. One familiar
question enters the picture: Why does
God allow bad things to happen to good
people? Why? When we have dedicated
ourselves to the service of God, or
decided to get closer to God everyday,
does that insulate us from tests and
sufferings? God can never be bribed. And
well, reckoning time may come anytime
to forge how authentic our act of giving
and giving up. In the midst of similar
situation, we can only groan, Lord,
eucharistify us!
Admittedly, as we struggle to keep
going, the more that we can feel the
weight of the cross, the twinge of being
down, and even the pain of loneliness.
Despite the conviction that the Lord
will never abandon us, whether rain
or shine, we seem alone in the battle.
Remember the Footprints in the sand
story? In his dream, the man noticed
that many times along the path of his
life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the
very lowest and saddest times of his
life. It is at these trying times that life is
Just Inspired / A6

By the Roadside
Fr. Eutiquio Euly Belizar, Jr. SThD

The Churchs M.V.T. (Most

Valuable Treasure)
I FIND it remarkable that the Fifty-first International Eucharist
Congress was held in Cebu. Not that I doubt for one moment
Cebus special place as the cradle of Catholicism in Asia. I
have a more personal reason. It was a Cebuano song I used to
listen to, growing up in Borongan, Eastern Samar, that quite
incidentally and indirectly led me to better appreciate the
Eucharist. Remember the Matud Nila (They Say or, literally,
According to Them)? It was a poignant song I would hear
over the radio and from some of our neighborhood toughies
who would drink tuba (coco wine) on a hot summer Sunday,
singing their hearts out with a rundown guitar, about a young
mans lament over being judged unworthy of a lady he loves
because he has no wealth to offer her but his gugmang putli
(pure love) which to him is labaw sa bulawan (more precious
than gold).
While reading St. John Paul IIs encyclical Ecclesia de
Eucharistia (The Church from the Eucharist), that Cebuano
song came back to me. No, it was not any poor young man that
crossed my mind but the Poor Carpenter from Nazareth who
declared, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but
the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head (Lk 9:58). In the
words of Paul the Apostle to the Philippian Christians (could be
Philippine Christians too): Though he was in the form of God
he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at.
Rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born
in the likeness of men. And it was thus that he humbled himself,
becoming obedient even unto death, death on a Cross (Phil 2:68). He was so poor he had nothing to give except his pure love.
In my minds eye it was this Poor Carpenter from Nazareth who
really first sang Matud Nila to his bride, the Church.
I really wouldnt know if the late saintly pope had ever heard
of Matud Nila during the two occasions he visited the country,
including Cebu. But I was struck by the language he used with
which to describe the Eucharist for us, Christians. The pure,
pure love that Jesus, the Poor Carpenter from Nazareth, offers
us on the Cross is right at the heart of the Eucharist, he declares.
It is the reason why the Eucharist is the source and summit
of the Churchs life. Says St. John Paul II: For the most Holy
Eucharist contains the Churchs entire spiritual wealth: Christ
himself, our Passover and living bread (EdeE 1; PO 5).
In a word, it is not really his pure love alone that we encounter
in the Eucharist but Jesus himself by whose passion, death,
resurrection, and ascension we pass from darkness to light,
from death to life, from sin to grace; hence, he is our Passover.
And Jesus is himself our food in this very life of grace; hence,
he is our Living Bread.
It is said that the Philippines favorite sport is basketball which
determines the winner by the most points scored. On the other
hand, in the story of salvation the real winner was determined
by how much he lost because he has loved most. His crown and
living presence is a sacrament called the Eucharist. The winning
basketball team has the MVP (Most Valuable Player); the
Eucharist has the MVT (Most Valuable Treasure).
As far as the Eucharist is concerned, Matud Nila has, to me,
a Tagalog sequel in Tanging Yaman (Most Precious Treasure)
which, I would say, is rightfully addressed to Jesus in the
Eucharist. He is the reason why we can sing: Ikaw ang aking
tanging yaman/ na di lubusang masumpungan/. Ang nilikha
mong kariktan/, sulyap ng iyong kagandahan (You are my most
precious treasure/ that I cant quite grasp/. All the beautiful
things you have created/ are but a glimpse of your beauty).
With apologies to its composer and lyricist, were I to be
permitted to do liberties to the song, Id revise it and dedicate
it to Jesus in the Eucharist. In this sacrament I would propose
we say to Jesus, Ikaw ang aking tanging yaman (You are my
most valuable treasure) but rather than refer to created things
as giving a glimpse of Gods beauty, Id say that Jesus himself
is very face of God. (kapag ikaw ay nasilayan, mukha ng Dios
namamasdan [anyone who gazes at you sees the face of God]).
This is the greatest motive why we, and anyone else for that
matter, must find and nurture a personal andwe should
addcommunal relationship with Jesus Christ.
For the letter to the Hebrews reminds us: This Son is the
reflection of the Fathers glory, the exact representation of the
Fathers being (Heb 1:3).
And to think that this MVT is within our graspin the

Grab bag for eternity

Fr. Francis Ongkingco
I ENTERED one of the rooms
of a pre-school where I
conduct some basic catechism
classes for teachers. As I
waited for the LCD projector
to be set up, I sat on one of the
tiny chairs.
I noticed that the chair
had a strange backrest. I
realized it was actually a
small neon-colored knapsack
designed to fit the seats metal
frame. I curiously unzipped
the bag and was surprised
to see it filled with veeery
delicious goodies: beef jerky,
chocolates, juice tetra-pack
drinks, mineral water, and a
first-aid kit, etc.
Its a grab bag, Father!
One of the teachers answered
my curiosity.
Hey, this has enough to go
out camping for a week! I said
to the amusement of everyone.
The children are required
to replenish it every now
and then. So in case the BIG

ONE does happen, they have

a fresh supply of survival
items, the school principal
Well, this one will need
replenishing soon if you dont
get it out of my sight, I said.
With the impending scare
of a coming BIG ONE, our
country has been preparing
and rehearsing for a monster
earthquake. Hopefully it
never happens because unlike
Japan and other countries,
we are still a long way
from integrating a healthy
preparedness into our mental
and physical systems when a
disaster strikes.
However, I believe that
whether a Godzilla of an
earthquake will strike or not,
it is more important to have a
grab bag for eternity. Death,
unlike natural disasters, is a
certainty in the life of every
person. The only uncertainty

is when it will come, thus,

there is greater reason for
preparing a spiritual grab bag
for eternal life. And this grab
bag is the Holy Mass.
How exactly is the Eucharist
a grab bag for eternity? If a
disaster grab bag is meant to
provide us some basic needs
to survive for a few days until
help arrives, we can imagine
how the Mass provides us
with all that we need in order
to be properly nourished until
we reach our goal: heaven.
The Catechism of the Church
describes what the Eucharist
is: in the blessed Eucharist is
contained the whole spiritual
good of the Church, namely
Christ himself, our Pasch.
(no. 1324). Now, what better
spiritual nourishment than
Christ Himself to feed us?
The Holy Mass is also
considered the most complete
prayer given that in one
celebration, the Sacrament

allows us to adore God, thank

God, ask His forgiveness, and
to petition for our earthly and
spiritual needs.
Moreover, through the
entire rite, ones spiritual life
is nourished and enriched
with readings from and
commentary of Scripture
(the Liturgy of the Word) and
an effective channel to offer
ourselves in it, through Christ,
in one act of thanksgiving for
all of Gods blessings (the
Liturgy of the Eucharist).
And all of this is united to
the sacrifice of the Church
which every single Mass is.
This is how compact every
celebrated Mass is. The
Catechism says, The Church
which is the Body of Christ
participates in the offering
of her Head. With Him, She
Herself is offered whole
and entire. () The lives
of the faithful, their praise,
sufferings, prayer, and work,

are united with those of Christ

and with his total offering,
and so acquire a new value.
Christs sacrifice present on
the altar makes it possible for
all generations of Christians
to be united with his offering.
(no. 1368)
This is not all! In a mysterious
manner, if we truly prepare for
every Mass, we become the
grab bags ourselves as we
are filled with the infinite love,
mercy, and merits of our Lord
Jesus Christ. It is the mission
of each Catholic, to discover
how to dispense what he or she
has received in and through
the Holy Sacrifice.
This is why, we must
never take for granted
our preparation for every
celebration. Much of what we
will receive will greatly depend
on our inner dispositions
(i.e. that one is not aware of
having committed any grave
and mortal sins) preparing

ourselves to receive the most

Sacred and Glorious Body,
Blood, Soul and Divinity of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
United to these inner
dispositions we manifest our
faith in the Real Presence of
our Lord through our external
preparation and presentation.
For example, the observation
of the one-hour fast, wearing
dignified and decent attire
that is fit for an occasion that
hosts our Lord and God and
a praying attention in all of
the parts of the celebration.
If we keep these spiritual
reminders out of love for our
Lord in the Holy Eucharist,
we can have the certainty that
when our eternal moment
comes, Jesus will grab the
bag that we are already filled
with His infinite grace and
mercy and take us to Heaven
where united to the Trinity,
we shall share in Their one
Eternal Love.


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

CBCP Monitor

The Catholic Church In The Philippines:

(5th of a series)
EDUCATION. Given the large
and rapidly expanding population
of the Philippines (43 million in
1975 to 75.8 million in 2000 and to
100+ million in 2015), catechesis
for Catholics remains a basic area
of Church renewal. The catechetical
ministry has shown considerable
growth in vision, publications,
institutes, and personnel. The
Episcopal Commission on
Catechesis and Catholic Education
(ECCCE) has published several
works and sponsored a variety of
national workshops and congresses.
Significant publications include:
The Shape of Religious Education
in the Philippines (1979), National
Catechetical Directory for the
Philippines (1982-1985), Filipino
Family Growing in the Faith (1983),
The Catechists Basic Formation
Program (1992), Catholic Faith
Catechism (1989-1993), Catechism
for Filipino Catholics (1997) [Tagalog
translation Katesismo para sa mga
Pilipinong Katoliko (2000)], and the
New Catechetical Directory of the
Philippines (2008). ECCCE used
to publish a quarterly catechetical
review, Docete, which has raised
interest in and the quality level of
catechesis throughout the country.
Significant catechetical congresses
have been sponsored by ECCCE in the
1990s, beginning with the celebration
of the National Catechetical Year
(1990). Diocesan catechetical
institutes have been established in
major cities (e.g. Bacolod, Cebu,
Davao, Iloilo. Manila, Naga, Vigan,
etc.). Other national centers which
prepare women and men for their
vocation as catechists (e.g. Mother
of Life Center, Metro Manila,
established in 1967) continue their
decades of service. The Philippine
Constitution affords opportunities
for religious education in public
schools; this critical area of the
catechetical ministry is limited by
inadequate numbers of adequately
formed catechists. The local Church
is also quite unprepared to meet the
new emphasis on ongoing and adult
The Philippine Church has made
a major commitment to formal
education. It operates hundreds
of high schools and grade schools
as well as over 300 colleges
and universities. The Catholic
Educational Association of the
Philippines (CEAP), founded in
1941, continues to represent the
interests of Catholic educational
institutions and promote religious
instruction. Similar activities are the
focus of the Association of Catholic


By Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Universities of the Philippines

(ACUP), established in 1973.
A unique and successful form of
religious education and renewal
has evolved in the Philippine
Church with the holding of large
national congresses, dedicated to
particular themes. Coming from all
ecclesiastical circumscriptions, the
delegates (often several thousand)
are expected to become trainerfacilitators upon their return home;
audio and video tapes as well as
printed materials of the congresses
are made available. This approach
proved particularly effective in the
years connected with the Great
Jubilee 2000. A partial list includes
the following: Marian Year (1985),
Eucharistic Year (1987), Bible Year
(1989), Catechetical Year (1990),
World Youth Day (1995), Eucharistic
Congress (1997), two Holy Spirit
Congresses (1998), Congress on God
the Father (1999), Congress on the
Trinity (2000), and the National
Mission Congress (2000). The local
Church of the Philippines hosted the
Fourth World Meeting of Families in
January, 2003. Finally, the Church
also supports liturgical centers,
radio stations, publishing houses,
hospitals, and social action centers
throughout its 80+ dioceses.
CHURCH. In 1995 the Bishops
Conference (CBCP) celebrated its
fiftieth year since beginning in 1945
as the Catholic Welfare Organization

(CWO). This became an opportunity

to review and assess the CBCPs
nature, structure, mission, and
functions. The CBCP amended
its constitution and by-laws; it
established the new offices dedicated
to media, legal matters, research,
bioethics, women, and the Churchs
cultural heritage. The CBCP
now (2015) has 35 departments,
commissions, and offices to address
the many concerns of this local
Church. In addition, the bishops
re-launched The CBCP Monitor in a
new format, initiated a weekly radio
program, and established the CBCP
Website [http://www.cbcponline.
Responsive to the call for renewal
in Tertio Millennio Adveniente, the
CBCP issued a series of exhaustive
and in-depth pastoral exhortations,
designed to address vital aspects
of Philippine life and Christianity.
Each document began with a quite
thorough and substantive analysis
of the carefully chosen topics:
Philippine Politics (1997), Philippine
Economy (1998), Philippine Culture
(1999), and Philippine Spirituality
(2000). The bishops concluded
the series with their document:
Missions and the Church in the
Philippines: A Pastoral Letter on
the Churchs Mission in the New
Millennium (July 2000). The CBCP
also sponsored the large National
Mission Congress, which they saw
as the fitting culminating activity
of the Jubilee Year celebrations and

Just Inspired / A5

like a wilderness, a desert,

a no mans land. When
this desperate search for
meaning make us cry for
help, we actually want to
shout, Lord, eucharistify
Yes, we have a choice how
to respond to critical times.
We can be uncomplaining
like stoics. We can be
expressive like poets.
But we can just be like
true Christs disciples
tranquil yet dauntless.

the first step as a local Church into

the Third Millennium.
Dialogue and peace-building with
a variety of partners remain a
continuous commitment of the
Philippine Church. She strove to
be an instrument of reconciliation
during the Marcos years; along with
the National Council of Churches
in the Philippines, she made
several overtures to various leftist
and armed groups. In their 1990
pastoral letter, Seek Peace, Pursue
It, the bishops laid out a ten-point
path to peace. The Church also
engages in interfaith dialogue with
indigenous and Muslim peoples; the
Silsilah movement and the pivotal
Bishops-Ulama Forum (1996+) have
fostered Muslim-Christian harmony
in Southern provinces. The annual
Mindanao Week of Peace was
begun in 1999.
The Philippines has an
impressive growing body of local
theology, often emerging from
local communities discerning
the signs of the times under
the Holy Spirits lead. Recurrent
themes emerge: evangelization and
mission, prayer and spirituality,
peace-making and reconciliation,
dialogue with peoples, cultures,
and religious traditions, care for
the environment, the Church and
public policy. Several important
theological, pastoral, catechetical,
and mission journals are published;

representative journals are: Boletin

Ecclesiastico de Filipinas, East
Asian Pastoral Review, Landas,
Philippiniana Sacra, Religious Life
Asia, and World Mission. Prominent
among Filipino theologians are: C.
Arvalo, T. Bacani, F. Claver, A. Co,
B. Dianzon, F. Gustilo, D. Huang, A.
Lagdameo, L. Legaspi, L. Mercado,
O. Quevedo, L. Tagle, and G. Timoner
III. Four of these theologians have
been appointed to the International
Theological Commission (Arvalo,
Tagle, Gustilo, and Timoner).
A definite sign of a vibrant local
Church is its mission outreach.
In mid-2000 Catholic Filipino
missionaries numbered 1,329
women and 206 men from 69
religious congregations serving in
some 80 countries. The bishops
established the Mission Society of
the Philippines (1965). Maryknoll
founded the Philippine Catholic
Lay Mission (1977). Cardinal Sin
established the San Lorenzo Mission
Institute (1987), whose goal is
serving the Chinese; its patron is San
Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint,
canonized on October 17, 1987.
Pedro Calungsod, beatified on March
5, 2000 and canonized on October
21, 2012, inspired the successful
National Mission Congress 2000.
Several lay movements successfully
engage in mission outreach (e.g.
Knights of Columbas, Couples for
Christ, Gawad Kalinga, El Shaddai
movement, Ligaya ng Panginoon,
and many others). (To be continued)

Duc In Altum/ A5

Even if the gravitational

pull of running away from
such an inconvenient
at times, suffocating
atmosphere is so strong
that others would rather
opt to concede defeat, we
can look at the way the
Blessed Mother ponders
things in her heart.
Thats tranquility and
dauntlessness, indeed.
Reinhold Niebuhr figures
this attitude out in the
prayer he wrote: God,

grant me the serenity to

accept the things I cannot
change, the courage to
change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know
the difference. In other
words, like a child who
runs to his father when
he is scared, we approach
God in complete trust
as we whisper, Lord,
eucharistify us!
But the crux in the
process of transformation
lies in Gods sanctifying

intervention, his grace.

Ultimately, He alone can
bless and transform our
offerings. He alone can
eucharistify us. He alone
gives us the mandate to
eucharistify others. And
with Christ in us, our hope
of glory, healing is nigh.
Reintegration and reform
are possible. A more
humane and humanizing
world will emerge.
Therefore, Lord,
eucharistify us.

International Eucharistic Congress

(IEC) a successful event. We
thank the heads and members
of the working committees, all
the volunteers, some of whom
are our friends and co-workers
in the vineyard of the Lord, the
pilgrims and participants from the
Philippines and other parts of the
world. Thank you to all the clergy
who celebrated and concelebrated
in the Eucharist during the preIEC and IEC events, the speakers,
facilitators, and sharers. Thank
you to the cardinals, archbishops,

bishops, clergy, religious, deacons,

seminarians, and to the Apostolic
Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto who
participated in the IEC. Most of all,
thank you to the print and broadcast
media who made it possible for
those who were not able to join the
IEC to know and feel as if they are
also present in all the events that is
happening in the IEC in Cebu. Special
mention to CBCP Monitor and Radio
Veritas 846. Thank you all for sharing
your time, talent and treasures, for
Christ in you, our hope of glory.
God bless and Mabuhay!

Manufactured by


CBCP Monitor

IEC media challenge:

Jesus mentions
CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016
A Hungarian cardinals
words on the fifth day
of the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC)
seemed like a barefaced
challenge not just to the
faithful at large but to the
media, when he said Jesus
name should be mentioned
aloud without shame or
According to Pter
Cardinal Erd, Archbishop
of Esztergom-Budapest,
Christ should be propagated,
spoken about, and faith in
him proclaimed.
In an interview with CBCP
News, Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines
Episcopal Commission on
Social Communications
and Mass Media (CBCPECSCMM) executive
secretary Fr. Lito Jopson
admits that even Catholic
medias proclamation of the
Gospel is hardly enough, to
say nothing of mainstream
Its never enough as
compared with the bulk
of media exposure of the
people [in] the secularized
world. The important point
here is how we are trying to
do our best with the little
that we have like the bread
that gets multiplied, said
the priest.
According to Jopson, an
emergent second way of
speaking about Jesus is
what the the media needs:
drawing inspiration from
the Gospel and how it trickles
down to a life of virtue and


January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

This echoes the exhortation

of Erdo, the Primate of
Hungary, to the faithful to be
the salt of the earth to give
our good taste to the world,
that is to show that the life of
man is not aimlessly drifting
along but has a goal, has a
Speaking with no words
While a good part of media
work is concerned with the
enunciated word, Daet
Bishop Gilbert Garcera said
often, the most effective
Jesus mention is one
without words.
Groups like Couples
for Christ social
communications arm Ablaze
Communications that does
New Evangelization, said the
prelate, facilitate bringing
Christ to [others] through
regular, everyday items that
somehow mention Jesus
wordlessly, effortlessly.
Without saying it, with
your shirts, with your
souvenirs, you speak but not
through the mouth, said
Garcera, who heads the CBCP
- Episcopal Commission
on Family and Life (CBCPECFL).
You bring the Gospel
without missionaries but
there is an imprint of the
Word of God [on what you
do], noted the prelate,
who had only words of
encouragement for Ablaze,
which creates faith statement
shirts and other merchandise,
religious publications,
music, videos, and events
that communicate Christ,
equip the lay faithful, and
(Nirvaana Ella Delacruz
/ CBCP News)

5th day of the 51st International

Eucharistic Congress
By Teresa Tunay
THE Eucharist and the Dialogue
with Cultures was the subject of His
Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle,
DD, Archbishop of Manila; Chairperson,
CBCP Commission on the Doctrine of
the Faith.
Cardinal Tagle, who is speaking as
catechist for the third consecutive
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC), said every IEC is special because
it is an extraordinary event of grace.
Culture is the whole complex of
forms of feeling, acting, and thinking
shared by a society which allows
members of the group to survive,
provides them a sense of identity
and belonging, and gives their lives
meaning. Culture is almost second
nature to us, we dont even know
that we are thinking and reacting in a
particular way, said Cardinal Tagle,
a member of the Sacred Congregation
for the Evangelization of Peoples.
If you want to understand the culture
of a society, for example, see how
it uses space, time, and language;
note its heroes, rituals, dances,
movements, food, its system of reward
and punishment. If your parish has a
big space for parking but no room for
pastoral formation, what does that say
about the culture of your parish? What
culture is being lived out here? asked a
smiling cardinal. Some cultures reward
you if you tell the truth, while other
cultures punish you; some cultures will
say Watch your time, while others will
say Take your time.
The cardinal from Manila asked:
Why does the Church engage in
dialogue with cultures? For Mission.
We cant just blame the enemies of
truth within the Church or outside of
it. Dialogue is mission, and calls for
cultural intelligence. We need cultural

intelligence for the sake of the Gospel

and humanity.
If the Gospel is to be a leaven of
transformation, we need to know the
Gospel but we also need to meet people
in their cultures. Cultural intelligence
has three elements: 1, I know my
culture and I know how my culture has
formed and affected me; 2, I studied my
culture and tried to know from within
the cultures of other people; and 3, I
determine a path from my culture and
their culture in order to learn from each
other, challenge and purify each other.
The wise use of cultural intelligence can
result in the affirmation of the beauty of
each culture.
Remember that Jesus offered a new
way of thinking, feeling, acting, and
speaking. His heroes were the centurion
and the lonely fishermen. When Jesus
said Let the children come to me, a
new use of space emerged. Jesus ate a
lot, He was always at meals, but during
those meals He ate with those people
who would never be invited to banquets.
Jesus (in the Eucharist) can reshape
culture. Cardinal Tagle said many
conflicts that harm our world today
involve disconnectedness and even
clashes of cultureswhich is why
dialogue is indispensable. Even in the
domestic scene, in home, and workplaces
where cyber technology has made digital
migrants out of people and placed walls
between family members, we can assert
the real Presence of Jesus through the
Eucharistic culture of convocation,
gathering, communion in love. The
appreciation of the person is good and
necessary for society. The culture of
individualism engages in scape-goating
and blaming the ills of the society on the
migrant, the poor, the stranger.
The Eucharist offers the culture of
convocation. You are called to be with
others in a meal that the Lord hosts.

In a meal hosted by the Lord, persons

recognize a close neighbor, a fellow
sinner, a sister, a brother--in each
one I see myself, simple but loved,
undeserving but invited, shamed but
embraced. Remember how Jesus broke
the isolation of those pushed aside by a
culture of alienating individualism.
A member of the Pontifical Council
of the Laity, Cardinal Tagle urged the
faithful to begin the dialogue with the
culture of alienating individualism in our
homes by restoring family meals. The
basic unit of the meal is the table, the
common table. The world of alienation
has been torn down at the supper of the
The Eucharist also proposes the gift
of sharing. People are driven to work
hard for self advancement and for the
welfare of their families. The sad reality
is, however, human achievement is
often fueled by materialism. We have
a throwaway culture where we throw
things only to buy more. When we donate
to charity it is so that we can make room
for new things, thus, Cardinal Tagle,
who is also the President of Caritas
Internationalis, advised: When you
send relief goods to victims to of natural
calamities, please do not send what you
have thrown away.
The throwaway culture readily discards
people as though they were burdens and
nuisances: the wearisome spouse, the
different novice, the misappropriated
public funds, the unwanted baby in the
womb. In a Eucharistic culture, the
unwanted baby is no less than a gift of
life, the embezzled funds, gifts for social
Cardinal Tagle concluded: The Bible
is filled with people who were thrown
away. All of them are thrown away by
an unfriendly world but God took them
in His gentle hands and gave them to us
as His gifts.

Living with Christ and the IEC 2016 Liturgy Book

EVEN before the Apostolic Visit
of Pope Francis was announced
in August 2014, the liturgical team
behind the IEC 2016 liturgy book,
headed by Rev. Fr. Mhar Vincent
Balili (Cebu), was already burning
the proverbial midnight oil with
the editorial team of Bayard
Assumption Media Foundation,
publishers of Living with Christ.
The partnership was forged
sometime in June 2014 between
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma
and Living with Christ General
Manager Fr. Bernard Holzer
of the Augustinians of the
Assumption. Bayard Presse
and the Augustinians of the
Assumption (Assumptionist
Fathers) donated and became the
liturgy publication partner of the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress. The donation was
made possible through Bayards
International Solidarity Fund.
Two months later, Living with
Christ was also invited to partner
with the Philippine organizers
of the Apostolic Visit of Pope
Francis to produce the papal
liturgy books.
Why this passion for supporting
liturgy books? Fr. Bernard explains
that Bayard, specifically through
Living with Christ, is committed
to helping Filipinos pray and
actively participate through these
liturgy books. We want Filipinos
to go deeper in the mystery of the
Eucharist. This was echoed in
the invitation of the papal legate,
Cardinal Charles Bo during his
message at the Opening Mass. The
mission of Living with Christ is to
help us discover and live the power
of the Eucharist as a transforming

force in our personal lives and in

It was not easy putting the
IEC 2016 liturgy book together.
Because of the global nature of
the congress, the book had to
show the universality of Catholic
worship yet give a feel of the
uniqueness of Filipino faith. The
cover photo showed the ornate
retablo of the Basilica Minore del
Santo Nio de Cebu. The inside
pages are replete with multilingual prayers, readings, and its
English translations, plus musical
notes for each day of the congress.
Editor-in-chief Br. Blair Paulus
Nuyda AA, based in the US, and
Managing Editor Jaypee Calleja
in Manila, painstakingly did the
layout and other editorial work in
close coordination with Fr. Mhar
Balili. The hard work is paying
off. It is truly gratifying to witness
IEC 2016s approximately 15,000
delegates participating actively
during all the liturgies of the weeklong congress
The Assumptionist Fathers
passion for liturgy and
evangelization is mirrored in
their publishing apostolate. They
are the primary stakeholders in
Bayard Presse, one of Frances
largest publishers of childrens
books. Today, four years after it
launched the Philippine Edition
of Living with Christ, more and
more schools are using Living
with Christ (for kids and adults)
to accompany them in their daily
Those interested to know more
about Bayard/Living with Christ
may visit their booth at the IEC
Pavilion basement, Block 5, #1-

2. Special discounts are being

offered for subscriptions during
the IEC 2016. Bayard/Living with

Christ may be contacted at (632)

927.1052, or www.

Fearlessly / A1

Budapest in his homily on Day 5 of the religious

According to him, Christ is the hope of glory
not only to some but to all mankind, given that
Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical person
Whom the disciples recognized as Savior, the
Messiah, and the liberator God sent to them.
Christianity is not simply philosophical but it is
connected to the historical person of Jesus Christ.
We are His disciples. If we accept Him in faith as
our Messiah, our savior, that is, as the Christ, this
is what gives hope to mankind, he explained.
Hungarian heroes
Coming from a country that suffered under
long years of communist rule, Erd went on to
praise the inspiring witness many Hungarian
Catholics had shown amid persecution.
There were family men who had to decide
between their faith and their jobs. If they
confessed their faith, they lost their jobs. And

sometimes they also ended up in prison, he

The 63-year old prelate lamented these
fathers and husbands were puzzled to see
others abandoning and renouncing the faith
for the sake of convenience.
They might go in need, but they would not
lose hope and trust in Almighty God and in
eternal life, he continued.
Erd stressed the hope and joy Christians
like them manifest are a great encouragement
for all considering how many are down and
Hope in Christ
In our world, depression and wretchedness
of our lives are what kills hope in us. If you
think that the greatest goal of our lives is just
to feel good in the present moment, then we
think neither of God nor of our fellow creations,
nor of our future, they dont feel responsibility

for others, for the family, for nation, and for

humankind then we will fall into the trap
of individualism as Pope Francis said in his
famous speech in Strasbourg, he explained.
But then we will see our future with fear.
We will be afraid that we will feel worse in the
future. We will fear illness and death which we
will come to all of us, he added.
Echoing St. Paul, Erd declared, But
we would not have you ignorant, brethren,
concerning those who have gone to their rest,
that you may not grieve as others who dont
have hope.
The cardinal pointed out the kind of hope
the world needs now is the one rooted deeply
in Christ, the source of all hope.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the hope
which is needed today. The world needs Christ,
the world needs us if we belong to Christ, he
added. (Raymond A. Sebastin / CBCP

January 29, 2016 Vol. 20, No.6

CBCP Monitor