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through clothing, A2
Jaro Archbishop
calls for friendly
of love, A3
Tantum Ergo: back
to the heart of the
Eucharistic Hymn, A6

5k kids
receive 1st
in Cebu
CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 The Cebu
City Sports Complex was filled to
capacity Saturday as 5,000 Catholic
boys and girls marked a milestone in
their spiritual lives by receiving their
First Communion.
Im happy and glad [to be in this
event], said eight-year old Maryst
Nora Donque of Cebu South, one of
thousands of little ladies dressed in white
for the special occasion, when asked how
she felt like as she was about to have
what St. Thrse of Lisieux called the
first kiss of love with the Lord.
Im glad that the First Communion
of my daughter is during the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC), commented Marsyts father,
Marbien, an instructor at the Holy
Trinity College.
Childrens Mass
It took 79 years and it [IEC] went
back to the Philippines. Before it was
Manila. This time, its Cebu. Were proud
Cebuanos, he added.
Meanwhile, Christopher Rago, the
father of third-grader John Chrismar
Rago, another communicant, of Brgy.
Pamutan, was thankful Cebu is hosting
IEC, and that his son was finally having
his First Communion.
We are so happy we are able to come
here, added the multi-cab driver.
Presiding over the Childrens Mass
was no less than Cebu Archbishop
Emeritus Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, who
due to his frail health had to be wheeled
into the venue.
In his opening remarks, the 84-year
old prelate recalled having been a boy
of six when he himself first accepted the
Body and Blood of His Eucharistic Lord
in a similar ceremony held at Luneta,
Manila in 1937.
I felt very big
I know very well the feeling of these
children here I was one of those
children who received First Communion
during childrens day at Luneta. I was
amazed at the beauty of the priest and
the many people. I was even more
amazed at the Papal legate looking like a
king with his long red robe. But above all
as a young boy, I felt very big, he shared
to the applause of the crowd.
The children went on to renew the
promises their godparents had recited
on their behalf on their baptismal day.
Viva Jesus, Bread of Life ... Viva
Jesus, life-giving food Viva Jesus,
hope of our glory, this new generation
of Catholics said in chorus.
The well-attended religious event
capped a series of activities lined up on
Day 7 of the ongoing IEC.
Witnessing the First Communion
were IEC Eucharistic pilgrims from all
over the world as well as delegates from
the episcopal sees of Pasig, Novaliches,
Ilagan, Talibon, Dumaguete, Calbayog,
Naval, Pagadian, Malaybalay, Palo, and
the Military Ordinariate. (Raymond A.
Sebastin / CBCP News)

THE BODY OF CHRIST. A boy receives his First Communion from Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal during a Mass for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress at the Cebu City Sports Center
on Jan. 30, 2016. Nearly eight decades ago, Vidal was also among the first communicants when Manila hosted the IEC in 1937, the first in Asia. ROY LAGARDE

Mary, key to Eucharistic

devotion Dolan
By Nirvaana Ella Delacruz

CEBU City, Jan. 30,

2016 To fall in love
with Jesus in the
Eucharist, the faithful
need to go back to
the first Eucharistic
adorer, Mary, said
New York Archbishop
Timothy Cardinal
Dola n, who g av e t he
Jan. 30 catechesis at
the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress
(IEC) in this city.
You want to be closer to Jesus on
the cross at the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass? Be closer to Mary, because
shes right next to him, said the
former president of the United
States Conference of Catholic
The prelate, speaking on the
theme The Eucharist and Mary,
gave an overview on how the
Blessed Virgin animates the
Eucharist as sacrifice, meal, and
presence, sharing anecdotes on
the inseparability of Jesus and
Mary from crib to cross.

What Marys fiat means

According to Dolan, the Eucharist
is possible precisely because of
the Virgin Marys Yes to divine
The first Incarnation happened
with Marys cooperation. The
Incarnation goes on now as Jesusis-with-us, Emmanuel, in the
Blessed Eucharist The Real
Presence of Christ in the Blessed
Sacrament, as the Incarnation,
the Word Made Flesh goes on,
as it started with Marys fiat,
when she provided Him a human
nature, he explained.
Dolan reveals Mary as the first
one to be privy to the immensity
of Gods gift to mankind in the
She beheld the presence of
the Incarnate Word, the Second
Person of the Most Blessed Trinity,
God the Son, the Eternal Word
to whom she had freely given a
human nature She gave birth
to the Son of God in a little town
called Bethlehem.
Theres a hint of the Eucharist
that first Christmas!, he exclaimed.
According to Dolan, even Jesus
birth place of Bethlehem, which
means House of Bread, offers

New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan gives the Jan. 30 catechesis on The Eucharist and
Mary at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu City, Jan. 30, 2016. ANA PERCUHO

clues to his role to humanity.

Bread for the world
The Baby Jesus resting place, a
manger, means feedbox, because,
as Dolan explained, Jesus was
intended as bread for the world in
the Eucharist.
Who provided the human nature
to the Son of God?, asked Dolan,
noting how Mary was witness to all
of these foreshadowings and would
continue to do so all the way to
the Cross.

The Blessed Virgins role as a

hastener of Eucharistic grace, is
seen, said Dolan, from the first
miracle for that newly-married
couple at Cana in Galilee, by
changing water into wine, at her
request to the Lords Supper
when He miraculously changes
bread into His Body and wine to
His Most Precious Blood.
Some 15,000 delegates from
more than 70 countries are
gathered in this city for the last
days of the IEC.

Statement of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress

WE the disciples of the Lord Jesus
Christ, gathered to celebrate the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress in
Cebu City, Philippines (January 24-31
2016), now relive the beautiful experience
of the two disciples of Emmaus.
We are convinced that the Holy Spirit sends
us forth in order to proclaim the story of Jesus.
This Congress is like the gathering of the early
disciples when they joyfully shared stories of
how each of them encountered the Risen Lord in
the Scripture and in the Breaking of the Bread.
The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To
love and come to their help. We are challenged
to reach out to the poor and help uplift them
materially and spiritually as a concrete way
of living out the Eucharist.
The Eucharist compels us to act and give
them something to eat. The example of Jesus,
particularly the meal stories, teaches us what

every Eucharist should be, breaking bread

with the poor and marginalized.
The presence of our brothers and sisters
who have less in life is a constant reminder
that the poor is the privileged place of
encounter with Jesus outside the Eucharist.
The Eucharist which is the sacrament of the
bread of life fills our spirit and strengthens our
resolve as we take the tortuous path of dialogue
with religions, cultures, youth and the poor.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit
for mutual understanding, openness, and
conversion of hearts and minds.
The Eucharist the Real Presence of Jesus
sustains our hearts and nourishes our souls
as we journey towards the convocation where
God gathers us all in inclusive communion,
banishing distinctions that alienate and
celebrating the gift each one brings.
Energized and renewed by the Eucharist,

Christs missionary disciples are sent into the

world to be broken bread for a broken world.
They move from Eucharistic celebration to
Eucharistic commitment. The Eucharist is not
just a gift but also a task and mission that can
change the world.
Indeed, Eucharist enables us to effectively
respond to the cry of the poor, the cry of the
earth, and the cry of Jesus Christ.
Missionary dynamism springs from an
encounter with Jesus through deep prayer
because the lungs of evangelization is prayer.
We are a people on a mission; truly, IEC 2016 is
a clarion call to mission for all of us. Our Eucharist
is the source and goal of the Churchs mission.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother
of the Incarnate Word and the Eucharistic
Lord, accompany us, missionary disciples,
in order to share Jesus Christ in us, our hope
of glory. Amen.


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

CBCP Monitor

Evangelization through clothing

CEBU City, Jan. 29, 2016--In an age
where skimpy skirts, see-through
tops seem almost de riguer, delegates
at the 51st International Eucharistic
Congress make a powerful case for
irresistible, refreshing modesty,
especially during the Holy Mass.
It was a sense of awe for Jesus
in the Eucharist that led Berna
Manipon to start wearing a veil
during Holy Mass despite it being
a tradition associated with more
matronly women in the Philippines.
You prepare yourself for a date
[with Jesus], so you veil yourself,
you cover yourself because youre
meeting the Lord... Youre really
[also] more focused, said the 28year old volunteer for the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC) media accreditation team.
Too beautiful
According to Manipon, who has
been veiling at Mass for several years
now, she believes her personal practice
of veiling is a testament to others.
[I do it] actually not because I feel
holy but because Im focused on the
Mass and another thing, I also want

to encourage other people and by

doing it you, encourage others more.
The nurse from the Philippine
General Hospital in Manila said she
was especially moved by the sight of
young, veiled women in churches in
Paraaque as well as at the Padre Pio
Shrine in Batangas.
Its too beautiful.. Imagine a
church where all the girls wear veils
[during Mass], added Manipon.
For Tancy Delfin, a management
accounting graduate, also
volunteering at the IEC, dressing
well for the holy Eucharist is more
than just a personal preference
but something that could have
ecumenical consequences.
Modesty matters
Modesty really matters,
especially... [because] there are
also other religions, when they see
us not dressed properly, instead
of appreciating our Eucharist, the
impression is not good, the Negros
Occidental native explained.
When I see people who wear
shorts to Mass, I feel offended as
a Catholic. I know that its not the

proper way [to dress]... when youre

on a date with the Lord, she added.
For the 26-year old, modesty
need not be boring, especially with
products like statement shirts
from groups like Couples for Christ
(CFC) Ablaze, an organization
committed to New Evangelization.
She said: Even my friends
outside the community [of CFC],
theyll really ask you, where did you
get that? It attracts people. They
appreciate how bold the statements
[about faith] are.
Only Jesus attracts the heart
Its nice because its really decent,
but you can wear it in a cool manner.
All kinds of people can wear it,
added Delfin.
Ablaze, which has shirts and
other apparel that communicate
Christ through their designs, also
creates publications, music as well
as organizes events and trainings
geared towards New Evangelization.
At the end of the day, the entire
person should speak about Jesus
from head to foot.
We dress well because we are

Ablaze marketing executive Tricia Mae Barretto wears the official 51st IEC congress shirt featuring the
event logo, Jan. 29, 2016. NIRVA DELACRUZ

in front of God. We are in the

presence of God. Young people
have to [dress] well... [Doing this]
would be a testimony in front of the
others, said Bishop Ottavio Vitale,
RCI, an Italian Rogationist Father
missionary based serving in Albania.

According to the Bishop of Lezh,

aside from the exterior witness of
dressing modestly what matters most
is a commitment to prayer because
only Jesus, only God attracts the
people to conversion. (Nirvaana
Ella Delacruz / CBCP News)

Religious sister Youth accept holiness challenge

excited about
sharing IEC
MANDAUE City, Jan. 30, 2016--Youth
delegates to the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC) gathered
for a day full of song, faith sharing, and
answering the call to live holier, more
Eucharistic lives as saints
Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary
Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
in the US, challenged the audience
composed of young people, mostly from
the Philippines, to surrender to the will
of God and pursue the path to holiness.
To say your life is not about you is
to say youve got a mission. Theres
no rule, no exception, nobody in the
Bible is ever given an experience of
God without at the same time being
sent on mission. I f y o u f i n d t h e
person God wants you to be, you will
set the world on fire, stressed the
charismatic host of the hugely popular
Catholicism documentary.
Only Jesus
As youth, we need to focus on our
faith and believe only in Jesus, said
Benedict Canapi from the Diocese of
Butuan. He said he plans to answer this
call by doing some of the Spiritual and
Corporal works of mercy.
Chaira Magno from the Archdiocese of

Davao also shared her learning saying,

When you give more of yourself, it
doesnt mean you lose it means you
gain more and through that you become
a saint in your own way.
Meanwhile, Beegie Marine from the
Diocese of Talibon, Aklan acknowledges
the faithfuls need to accept their
Before you become a saint, you go
through purification, to be a saint you have
to know you are a sinner a sinner trying
my best to minimize sins. Pray always and
attend Mass [because] its the highest form
of prayer, he said in Filipino.
While another youth from Luzon,
Therese Ledesma, a delegate from the
Diocese of Tarlac, believes the faithful
need to focus [their] energies towards
God, find God and make Him the center
of [their] lives.
Its a matter of being humble, you can
only share mercy and compassion, if you
accept that you are weak and you are willing
for God to fill you.

It shows to you the Christian faith

of the Filipino. When you say youth,
everything is there, they are so excited
and we too from the city government,
were overwhelmed, said Lapu-lapu City
Mayor Paz Radaza.
Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the executive
secretary of the Episcopal Commission
on the Youth of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines, considers
the talk appropriate and believes the call
to sainthood is very much possible.
He also hopes this message really adds
to the many messages and invitations
encouraging young people to pursue
[The talk was] very relevant since our
Filipino youth [hvave the] the biggest
representation in terms of population:
the energy, dynamism, and creativity
they have, if properly directed as Bishop
Barron said, will bring a big change to
our country in faith and how we live
our lives politics, economy, social
He promised, to continue and be
committed [to] help and guide this young
people in finding this treasure and field
the path of sainthood, he said. (Chrixy
Paguirigan with reports from
Ronalyn Regino / CBCP News)

Relevant talk
The mayor of the city acknowledged
the enthusiasm of the youth delegates
and expressed that this experience was

Sorsogons Poor Clares on IEC Eucharistic mission

51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) delegates share a laugh during the
catechesis given by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Jan. 28, 2016. DOMINIC BARRIOS

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016

Given the gems of wisdom she
has been reaping so far from
talks at the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC), a
religious sister expressed joy
she has a lot more to share in
her apostolate once the global
religious gathering wraps up.
It [IEC] deepens more my
spirituality, my faith, in a
way that I am reminded more
again [from the talks].
The talks enrich more my
knowledge of the Eucharist
The talks refreshed me again,
noted Sr. Marilyn Gabawan
of the Missionary Sisters of
the Catechism (SMC) in an
She said her congregation
is involved in teaching
catechism, giving seminars
taking care of the elderly
and orphaned children as
well as giving formation to
Based on her personal
experience, she lamented
many Catholics even
now are not sufficiently
informed about the role
of the sacraments in their
spiritual lives, particularly the
Eucharistic education
Educating the people,
especially the poor, on
importance of the Sacraments
[is needed]. Many people dont
understand the sacraments.
Some thought they can buy
the sacraments ... Its not that.
Sacraments [are a] deepening
[of] ones faith, she added.
As Bread of Life, Gabawan
pointed out that every
baptized faithful is called
upon to like live Christ.
When we eat the Eucharist,

that is the Body and Blood of

Christ, it means that what I
eat is Christ, so I must live like
Christ. So all of us our model
of our life must be Jesus
Christ, she explained.
Having been a religious for
some 23 years now, a portion
of which she spent doing
mission in Kenya, Africa,
Gabawan stressed she has had
a fulfilling experience in her
Finding meaning in life
Before entering the convent,
she used to work at the Armed
Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) as a researcher.
However, she said she did
not find meaning in what she
was doing back then.
I am happy now that I
am a sister. [Before entering
the convent], I didnt find
satisfaction that way I feel
now that I am sister, she said.
As a consecrated person,
her daily routine includes
attending Mass and spending
time in the Blessed Sacrament.
Gabawan went on to invite
Catholic women to consider
pursuing a religious vocation.
For those young ladies who
feel God calls them kindly
responds to God calling. Its a
nice life to share and serve our
Lord, Jesus Christ. If you feel
you have the vocation to the
religious life, please answer
your vocation to the religious
life. And you will be happy to
serve our Lord, she added.
The 51st IEC is set to
conclude on Sunday, Jan.
31, 4:00 p.m. with the Statio
Orbis Mass at the South
Properties Road, Cebu City.
(Raymond A. Sebastin
/ CBCP News)

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016

Two Poor Clares ventured out
of their cloisters in Sorsogon
to go on a mission at the 51st
International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC): to turn over
monstrances from a generous
American donor to Cebus
poor parishes.
According to Sister Mary
Magdalene Lagco, OSC, an
American donor, who was
saddened upon learning that
a lack of resources had been
depriving many poor parishes
of the benefits of Eucharistic
exposition and adoration
because these require having
a monstrance to protect Christ
in the Blessed Sacrament, had
since committed to provide
monstrances to poor parishes
for free.
This is where the Poor
Clares come in as bridges
between the said parishes
and the donor, who prefers
Other IEC purpose
Lagco, 43, assistant
superior of the Poor Clares
Monastery of Our Lady of
Peafrancia, didnt really
plan to go to the 51st IEC,
as contemplatives belong to
the cloister, not outside, but
Divine Providence obviously
had other designs.

Mary Magdalene. The donor

went to a chapel one day and
prayed, and rediscovered a
devotion to the Eucharist.
The donor now shares the
devotion by giving away
pamphlets on the Eucharist
to people.
An old woman mentioned
to the donor the lack of
monstrances in poor parishes,
and since then, the donor has
taken up the need to make the
Eucharistic Lord known all
over, especially to the poor,
as her cause.
The monstrances depart
Sr. Mary Magdalene Lagco, OSC and Sr. Marie Elvie Magsucang, OSC attend the 51st from the traditional design
International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu City. ROMMEL LOPEZ
as they can be hanged,
and the receptacle for the
S u p p o r t u n e x p e c t e d l y the free montrances.
came from donors, and her
The order endorsed 51 B l e s s e d S a c r a m e n t c a n
superior tapped her to attend monstrances, symbolizing the be detached, Sister Mary
the Cebu gathering given her 51st edition of the IEC in the Magdalene explained. The
role in the community as Philippines, to Fr. Carmelo practical design is also meant
formator and in-charge of Diola, SSL, chairman of to prevent the theft of the
liturgy. With her was Sister the IECs Committee on sacred species, she added,
lamenting that nowadays,
Marie Elvie Magsucang, OSC, Solidarity and Communion.
there is lack of respect for the
a relative of Jesuit priest Fr.
Blessed Sacrament.
Jose Quilongquilong.
Simple conversion story
The Poor Clares
It also eventually occurred
The donor, who would
to Sister Mary Magdalene rather remain unknown, has m o n a s t e r y i n S o r s o g o n
that her orders spiritual a simple story of conversion. has more monstrances for
mother, St. Clare, is depicted For 18 years, the donor, a distribution elsewhere in
as holding a monstrance. hospital worker, fell away the country. Interested
The Lord really wants from the faith, and didnt parishes may send an email
to poorclaresorsogon@gmail.
us to be here, she said in have time to go to Mass.
n o com or call 09182902003.
Filipino, noting that her other
purpose of being at the IEC extraordinary miracle, just (Felipe Francisco / CBCP
is to act as the distributor of an inspiration, shared Sister News)

Papal legate to elderly: Smile more!

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 Cardinal
Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of
Yangon in Myanmar, has a message for
the elderly: lighten up and smile more!
In a visit to a home for the aged
managed by the Missionaries of
Charity, the congregation founded
by soon-to-be canonized Teresa of
Calcutta, on Saturday, the cardinal
urged the elderly to say cheese more
often, smiling can change a lot.
Upon the entering the facility, the

papal legate to the 51st International

Eucharistic Congress (IEC) was
greeted with handshakes, smiles, and
I have received gifts and especially
your gifts of smiles. I encourage you
to smile more often, said the prelate.
We have so many gifts which we can
with share with each other our smile.
This is the gift that we receive and give
to each other, he said.
The facility, located along Cardinal

Rosales Street, houses 66 wheelchairbound elderly men and women.

In his short message, Bo also spoke
about the importance of missionary
work and being charitable towards
the needy.
We can take the example of the
Missionary of Sisters of Charity. What
is their gift? Their whole life, he
said. Its a great example what these
sisters are doing. (Roy Lagarde /

CBCP Monitor


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

Western world has Jaro Archbishop calls for

lost ability to connect friendly competition of love

Belgian convert Marianne Servaas. DOMINIC BARRIOS

CEBU City, Jan. 29, 2016--Belgian

convert Marianne Servaas revealed
how the west has become less human
and has lost the zest for life, unlike
Filipinos who are known for their
positive outlook despite hardships.
We no longer trust life. Our
attitude is critical. We begin with
theories and ideas before looking
at life itself. We turn things upside
down. We have lost the ability to
relate, Servaas said during the
sixth and final press conference of
the 51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC).
Incredible sense of joy
Servaas said Filipinos are able
to bring hope to others through
their joy. The Philippines has an
incredible sense of joy rooting from
humility. Even when things are
hard, joy carries you through, she
Servaas gave a powerful testimony
on the second day of the congress,
revealing how the Eucharist helped
her heal emotionally and spiritually.
She was abused by her father, an
evangelical pastor, from age 4 until
she reached 16-years old.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma,
president of the 51st IEC, said,
however, that it is possible the
Philippines might lapse into the
same culture. The challenge is to
preserve the values already present
in the country, which European
countries can emulate, he said.
Other lay speakers in the congress
were also present. Pastoral worker

Ma. Georgia Cogtas, a former street

child, suggested the conversion
of unused spaces in parishes into
venues for study and feeding
activities for street children.
Room for the poor
Maybe the Church could make
room for the poor by providing a
space where the children can study
and have meals, or utilize resources
to provide them with books, Cogtas
Thai author and entrepreneur
Mary Sarindhorn, who gave her
testimony on Jan. 30, told the
media how she found faith after
being accused of a crime she did
not commit.
During my suffering, I prayed
to God day and night. He spoke
to me that one day the truth will
prevail. I finally was able to dig up
the evidence that will prove my
innocence. After that, I found God
to be my savior up to this day,
Sarindhorn said.
Capping the last press conference
of IEC week, CBCP Episcopal Social
Communciations and Social Media
chairman Bishop Mylo Hubert
Vergara said the congress has
achieved its goal of encouraging the
faithful to foster humility, to reach
out to the poor and suffering, tp and
have a devout prayer life.
The prayer of the Eucharist
should lead to action. We are to
be the bread broken and shared to
others, said Vergara. (CBCP News
/ Krystel Nicole A. Sevilla)

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo leads the morning prayer for the seventh day of the 51st IEC. MICHAEL DALOGDOG

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016--Jaro

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo called
on delegates to the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to engage
in friendly competition not to
upstage one another, but in showing
love and kindness for others.
Leading the morning prayer on the
seventh day of the IEC, Archbishop
Lagdameo reflected on what it is to
be a Eucharistic community: that
is, to be disposed to practice acts of
kindness and beauty, of mercy and
reconciliation, of peace and justice,
of generosity.

As Christians, we rely on one

another. We depend on one another.
We help one another. The various
parts of the body [rely] on one
another. We suffer together. We
rejoice together, said Lagdameo,
president of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines from
2005 to 2009.
As we fulfill that mission, Jesus
gives us the command to love one
another, as He has loved us, and at
the same time He gives us the grace
we need to carry out that command.
Lagdameo reminded the IEC

pilgrims that God has made available

to them individual gifts, talents,
experiences, and perspectives.
These gifts also include the wider
community everyone belongs to,
he said.
As members of this Eucharistic
community, we are called not only
to practice love and to honor one
another but also to those outside
the community, he said. We
should engage ourselves in friendly
competition on showing love and
kindness to our neighbors. (Felipe
Francisco / CBCP News)

Visita Iglesia reminder of Christian mission priest

Korean media impressed

by Pinoy faith
IEC Visita Iglesia participants visit and pray at several churches in Cebu City. DOMINIC BARRIOS

Korean IEC delegates attend a Mass during the Parish Encounter. MICHAEL DALOGDOG

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016--A South

Korean journalist covering the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
(IEC) shared her impression of the
faith of Filipinos, noting the honor
and passion they show in being
[Filipino] Catholics are proud
and passionate. They surprised me,
and I was very pleased, declared
Cristina Eunyoung Kim, who
works for the Catholic Bishops
Conference of Korea (CBCK), in a
recent interview.
Contrasting Catholics in the two
Asian nations, she pointed out the
major difference lies in how they
express their faith.
Fear of persecution
Kim went on to explain that
while they may be just as devoted,
Catholics who comprise a minority
in the peninsula tend to be inhibited
and not as showy about their religion.
According to her, this must
be ultimately due to historical
Two hundred years back, she
noted Korean Catholics often had to
live out their faith in hiding for fear

of persecution, something many of

the present generation of faithful
have carried over.
In Korea, many Catholics hide
their faith. Korea is a multi-religion
country and they dont want conflict
between other religions. I guess
the silent faith of Koreans is
caused by persecutions from two
centuries ago. The persecutions
made Catholics hide themselves,
she added.
As a first-timer in the Philippines,
she said she had to study much
about the host country.
Great nation
I found the Philippines is a very
great nation, she said.
Korea was the colony of Japan.
But Filipinos didnt lose their pride
in spite of the colony era of Spain
for a long time. Your history deeply
moved me, she added.
The 37-year old from Seoul had
also previously covered the 50th IEC
in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.
Kim said Catholics in South Korean
make up approximately 10 percent of
the total population. (Raymond A.
Sebastin / CBCP News)

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016-A missionary delegate

was reminded of the
Catholic faithfuls mission
during his Visita Iglesia
experience during the
ongoing 51st International
Eucharisti Congress (IEC)
in this city.
Fr. Thomas Gomez, a
Bangladeshi missionary
to Canada shared his
reflection on the Visita
Iglesia, comparing the
way delegates walk
toward the churches
taking different route
to how God sends us to
mission in different ways.
He also noted that the
delegates traveled on
different paths but always
towards one Church, just
like how the faithful have
different missions, all
leading to the path towards
the Kingdom of Heaven.

All roads go to the

church and all the roads
from the church sent us
to the mission--we are
walking to the church now
just [like how] the Lord
sends us to the mission
in different ways, he
explained in an interview
with CBCP News.
Faith for all
The IEC Visita Iglesia
was an open-to-all activity
where even non-IEC
delegates could join the
official delegates.
The Visita Iglesia
experience was even more
powerful because it was
open to all. It was all the
more welcoming and the
local parishioners were
gleeful, said Michael
Laxina, a participant.
We had communal
prayer and it felt

like a global Visita

Iglesia because of the
enternational delegates,
he added.
The participants were
also given a glimpse of
how Filipinos practice the
Catholic faith.
Each country, even
though the faith is [the]
same, the practice is
different. Here, the people
are more church-going,
for some--even though
they are poor they are
rich in heart--they want
to become richer and so
they go to the church,
explained Gomez.
Journeying with Jesus
Now, we are practicing
here all together, we are
journeying with the Lord, I
think now we are living the
same faith and the same
way of faith, he added.

Cebu is wonderful! Fr.

Gomez also noted.
Each group visited four
of the seven participating
churches. The delegates
were transported by IEC
buses and dropped off at
one point from where they
walk edtheir way to the
other churches included
in the itinerary.
Seven of the churches
visited in this walking
pilgrimage were the: Our
Lady of the Sacred Heart
Parish in Escario, Asilo
de la Medalla Milagrosa,
Our Mother of Perpetual
Help, Sacred Heart Parish
in Jokosalem, the Santo
Rosario Parish, Cebu
Metropolitan Cathedral,
and the Basilica Minore
del Santo Nio. (Chrixy
Paguirigan / CBCP
News with Reports
from Berna Manipon)

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe: Living in extraordinary hope

CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016--In a world
of challenges and struggles, there are
different ways to express hope.
Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.s
afternoon session on The Christian
Virtue of Hope involved sharing
many of his personal testimonies and
stories on extraordinary hope. He
said hope is found in remaining,
telling a story of not running away
amid hard times and choosing to
trust in God and abide in His word.
Despite crises
Remaining is a sign of hope, of
trust in the Lord who remains with
us. Sometimes, its difficult to stay in
the Church, but we abide, because
God abides with us, said the former
Master-General of the Order of
Preachers, the 800-year old order
known as the Dominicans.
When celebrating the Eucharist,
the faithful gather in hope, pray,

and sing, he said. This also shows

expression of hope in Christ,
especially in difficult times. The
Eucharist is our great sign of hope,
the sacraments are signs they
express hope that are beyond
words, explained Radcliffe.
It is in the darkest [times] that
God comes to us in ways that we may
never have anticipated, so dont be
afraid of crisis, he added.
Hope in the Philippines
Radcliffe said he has come to
admire the Philippines resilience
in the face of being hit by so many
disasters and so many crises. When I
came to the Philippines, I think I came
to learn about hope from you, he said.
Even in mundane things, people
convey hope. Fr. Radcliffe pointed
out that doing good deeds, learning
and teaching, thinking, and being like
children are expressions of hope.

God gave us minds, He gave

us reason so we could try and
understand. If we believe in God, we
would understand [that] in the end,
everything makes sense, he said.
Potentials of peace
Teaching the young is one of the
greatest signs of hope, he also said.
Children, he said, represent the
potentials of peace that we cant
hope to imagine.
Hope means doing the good thing
today, regardless of tomorrow. In so
many things we do in our daily lives,
we hope and we entrust everything
to God, even through our simplest
acts and deeds, he added.
God is the protagonist of this truth
so we trust in God we leave things
in His hand because we trust that he
brings about his Kingdom in his own
way, stressed Radcliffe. (Chrixy
Paguirigan / CBCP News)


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

CBCP Monitor


THERE is something nostalgic about a huge hall filled with

empty chairs. Just hours ago, this hallthe IEC Pavilionwas
reverberating with the sounds of faith and joy. Now it is empty
but for us who must record for posterity everything that took
place within its walls this past week.
For seven consecutive days this hall was filled to overflowing
with people in jubilation over the almost palpable presence
of God in this 51st International Eucharistic Congress. We
were high from savoring the company of the Eucharistic
Lord. Emptying ourselves of mundane concerns for one
whole week, we made ourselves available to Him and to one
another. Feeling our best, we were ready to receive Jesus in
the Eucharist and in our neighbor everyday. The daily Liturgy
filled the air with grace and blessing, so much so that each day
felt like a Sunday.
Eucharist, Eucharist, Eucharist. We feasted upon the
nourishing lectures centering on the Eucharist. We made new
friends, refreshed old friendships, and renewed our friendship
with Jesus. We exchanged views in the spirit of brotherly
love. We were touched by mystery. Like children we laughed,
we wept, we sang, we prayed, we took selfies. With renewed
zeal we exchanged stories over our laptop lunch. We also
But what do we bring home from this place besides the
souvenirs we had bought to remember this experience by?
Many of us are expected to echo our learning when we return
to our parishes or communities. What would be our most
precious lesson to pass on? Besides regaling others with
accounts of exciting times and showing off our innumerable
selfieswhat do we do?
We bring home the Christ in usthe mystery hidden from
ages and from generations past but now made manifest to His
saints it is Christ in you, the hope for glory (Col. 1:26-27).
That is the challenge of this Congress. When we leave this
place and return to the world and find ourselves outnumbered
by infidels and lukewarm Catholics, how are we going to
proclaim the reality that is the Holy Eucharist?
To non-believers, the Eucharist does not make sense; it is
just a bland biscuit. No doctrine, no pontificating, will convince
them otherwise. Not all of us can be preachers, and even those
trained to be preachers may not always become effective as
such. But when our lives and our persons preach the Gospel
without using words, people are moved because it is the power
of Christ they behold, and that power is irresistible.
The Catechesis in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress
often stressed the power of the Eucharist to heal a broken
world, citing the threats to humanity bought about by greed,
indifference, hunger for power and dominance, et al. Healing
a broken world can begin in our own homes or primary circle
of influence, making peace with those closest to us, forgiving
and asking forgiveness of our family members, our confreres,
other members of our community. Eucharist is mission, and by
the grace and mercy of God we can be backyard missionaries.
Nothing is too small in the eyes of God when done with utmost
Back in our rooms, before our altars, we will offer ourselves
to the Eucharist, and await His Word in the silence of our

The Eucharist and the Glory of God

THE acclamation of the Eucharistic assembly after the
consecration aptly concludes the manifestation of the
eschatological orientation that is signified by the participation
in the table of the Lord: we proclaim the death and resurrection
of Christ until he comes again. The Eucharist is tension toward
the goal, foretaste of the fullness of joy promised by Christ. In
a certain sense, it is anticipation of the final Kingdom, pledge
of future glory. In the trustful waiting that the blessed hope is
accomplished and our Savior Jesus Christ may come.
The Eucharist which is at the same time seed and goal of
the mission manifests the experience of the glory of God that
has at its center the Paschal Mystery of Christ, his passion and
death, his glorious resurrection. It is on the cross that the true
glory of God is revealed to us because there the Father shows
in his Son his merciful face and his love up to the point of death
for the salvation of his creatures and creation. Thus Christ in
you, hope of glory is revealed to us as no other than the whole
saving plan of God realized in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus.
From Sunday to Sunday, gathered in the name of the Lord, we
celebrate the glory of God in every Eucharist. That Jesus who
was crucified we now encounter-- risen, living, raised before
the world who crucified him. Now death is made joyful by love
and our resurrection is manifested in the efforts to love as Jesus
loved. Gloria Dei vivens homo; vita autem hominis visio Dei.
The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the
vision of God.
-- Excerpts from the theological and pastoral
reflection in preparation for the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress



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Let us be backyard missionaries

By the Roadside
Fr. Eutiquio Euly Belizar, Jr. SThD
EVERY good thing on earth comes to an
end. Only Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
does not. As the 51st IEC draws to a
close, I have asked myself two questions
that, I feel, need to be answered by us
delegates and by every Christian who
adores, worships, and serves the Lord
in and through the Eucharist. The first
is: What is the world of today like? The
second follows from the first: What does
the Eucharist brings it and thus impels
us to be and to do? I will try to answer
as a fellow believer who wishes to share,
in a Eucharistic manner, with brothers
and sisters some shafts of the light that
came my way.
1. We live a world threatened by
climate change and environmental
degradation. In response, the Eucharist
constantly reminds us of our duty to care
for the earth which, in the words of Pope
Francis, is our common home. The
Eucharist is a firm reminder that the God
we worship in the Eucharist is the God
of all creation through whose goodness
we receive the bread and wine that later
become the Body and Blood of the Lord
who gives himself through them for our

The 51st IEC legacy and

challenge: bring the Eucharist
to the world today

salvation. This salvation wrought for us

by Christ Jesus and celebrated whenever
we break bread and drink the cup of the
Eucharist pertains not only to us but also
to creation itself. The Apostle Paul has
this to say in this regard: For creation
itself shall also be delivered from the
servitude of corruption and brought into
the liberty of the glory of the sons of God
(Rom 8:21). To quote the first Catholic
US President: Gods work on earth must
truly be our own. Nowhere is this more
truly and clearly applied than in the work
of bringing the fruits of salvation to our
common home itself.
2. We live in a world threatened by old
and new forms of hatred, extremism and
fundamentalism at the root of terrorism.
In response, the Eucharist is the perpetual
sacrament and testament of Gods love
for us, effectively reconciling us with
himself and with one another. This gift of
reconciliation urges and obliges us to be
peacemakers and builders of solidarity,
never responding to hatred with hatred
but with the love of Christ that we make
visible by initiating and calling fellow
human beings to dialogue, mutual

A fresh pair of eyes

understanding, prudence, and sobriety.

After all, the Jesus we encounter in the
sacrament is the Risen One whose word
Shalom (all the blessings of peace and
goodness)! (Jn 20:19, 21, 26) is also our
3. We live with a digitally induced
world and other forms of isolation and
individualism, an unhappy fruit of the
advances in science and technology.
In response, the Eucharist is Gods
oasis of joy found and encountered
in community. The Real (not digital)
Presence of the Lord constantly impels
us to seek real company of real
people who, in the Word made flesh who
has therefore shared our very nature
with all its weaknesses, are our real
brothers and sisters. It is in them and
through them that we not only find the
meaning of the Eucharistic bread broken
and shared but also the real nourishment
for our hunger for love and freedom.
4. We live in a world ever more deeply
wounded by secularization. In the words
of St. John Paul II in his apostolic letter
Mane Nobiscum Domine (Remain
By the Roadside / A7

And Thats The Truth

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

ALLOW me to tell you a

story about an extraordinary
communion that gave me a
fresh pair of eyes. Although
this took place during the
Eucharist, it did not happen
inside a church, but in a
modest office to celebrate
the companys foundation
anniversary. The Gospel
that day was Luke 9:11-17,
about the multiplication of
the loaves and fish, and the
story Im about to tell is about
division, the division of the
Hosts at Mass.
As with all Masses that
are celebrated outside of a
church, the priest was careful
not to consecrate too many
pieces of host lest he end up
having to consume the excess.
In spite of his care, however,

the priest miscalculated the

number of communicants
so that towards the end of
Communion, he was splitting
the Sacred Hosts in order to
make them last.
When my turn came, I
received what must have been
one/sixteenth of a regular
host. I am not exaggerating.
It was smaller than a mung
bean. Chipped off hosts were
nothing new to me, but it
was the first time I received a
fraction of a hostand such a
teeny-weeny bit at that!
But glancing at the little
white thing in the palm of
my hand I instead saw
something else, a small body
of the crucified Christ with
neither arms nor legs. And
with that flashed a question

Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala

YOU think that as a priest I already know

everything about the Eucharist? The
answer is a big, flat No. Even if I must
confess that I know quite a bit about it,
and already have an extensive experience
related to this most sublime sacrament,
I realize that what the Catechism says
about the inexhaustible richness of the
Eucharist cannot be any truer.
I found myself feeling like one with a
zero-knowledge everytime I attended a
session during the Congress. I was like
a desert experiencing for the first time
the refreshing blessing of a downpour.
I had the clear impression that the
Holy Eucharist would engage me in
a lifelong process of getting to know,
appreciate, and live it better and better
everyday. During the Congress, I was
aware of many new insights coming
in, like seeds just sown. Hopefully
in time, these would grow and bear
much fruit.

from nowhere: Would you

still love me in my broken
state? I ignored it as I gently
picked up the Host with my
tongue, afraid I might drop it
if I used my fingers.
Back in my seat, the
question came back: Would
you still love me in my broken
state? And my answer came:
Of course, Lord, Id love you
even more.
I didnt dwell on that
experience, instead dismissed
it as a distraction during
Communion. But months
later, I would notice that I
would be more present
to the Host at Communion.
Whether I was given a whole
host or a quarter of the bigger
host the priest himself took
didnt matterI knew it

was not just a holy wafer I

was takingit was the Lord
Himself giving Himself to me.
Much later, while awaiting
my turn in a long Communion
queue at our parish church,
the image of the armless
and legless Crucified Christ
in my hand came back to
mindand along with it, a
new pair of eyes. I saw the
Body of Christ in each and
every person in line to receive
Himbroken, pleading to be
loved. Its as though I saw the
wounds they were hiding, and
it filled me with compassion.
Not all the people in the queue
were easy to like, and one lady
was even considered weird
in the parish, but in that
marvelous way that defies
And Thats the Truth / A7

What I learned
from the IEC

It started right at the opening Mass

celebrated by no less than the Papal
Legate, the Burmese Cardinal Maung
Bo. He set the tone for the weeklong
event. It was about having a greater
sensitivity to the social dimension of the
Eucharist, something that many people
fail to realize
That was the theme or the spirit that
was consistently built up in every talk,
session, or workshop. To be sure, it was
a theme that had as its proper roots in
the deep realization that the Eucharist
is the most central part of a Christians
life, and its celebration has to be as best
as possible humanly, liturgically,
culturally speaking, etc.
In other words, the social dimension
should be the organic outgrowth of our
faith in the centrality of the Eucharist in
our life and its most solemn celebration.
As the Papal Legate put it, the celebration
has to turn into a commitment.

The Eucharistic celebration should not

just be an hour-long ceremony. It has to
be an abiding, lifelong celebration. The
celebration should not be understood
solely as something purely liturgical,
done in some church, sanctuary or holy
We need to understand that the
Eucharistic celebration has to extend to
all parts of the day and to all aspects of
our life, whether spiritual or material,
sacred, or mundane. In other words,
theres nothing in our life that cannot and
should not be related to the Eucharist.
The whole day, our whole life
should be some kind of a Mass that,
of course, should be rooted on its
liturgical celebration. But the liturgical
celebration would somehow be nullified,
its tremendous effects practically wasted,
if we fail to take advantage of its power
to purify and transform us individually
Candidly Speaking / A7

CBCP Monitor


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

Just Inspired
Fr. Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

IT all started long time ago in a far, far

away place called Jerusalem when the
Jesus last meal with his core group
called apostles took place. That meal
came to be known as Last Supper
(though, like the term Trinity, it does
not exist in the New Testament).
Do this in memory of me, Jesus
said. His apostles faithfully complied.
Wherever they went, they propagated
the breaking of bread. That life-changing
event, re-presented in what we call Holy
Eucharist, would continue to nourish
the people of God in diverse situations,
embolden new generations of Gospel
ambassadors, and, yes, eucharistify the
face of the earth
The gargantuan impact of the Eucharist
swells beyond description that even the
world itself would not contain the books
that should be written to loan St. Johns
words (Jn 21:24) in another context.
For instance, when Bishop Dominick
Kimengich of Lodwar, Kenya took lunch
with us in our convent, I thought it
was simply a matter of simple sharing.
He talked about his diocese, the
presence of our Augustinian Recollect
contemplative nuns there, his need for
more missionaries, et cetera. When
asked about the first time he heard about
the Philippines, he said, Long time
ago! He also made a special mention of
Jaime Cardinal Sin during the latters
attendance at the 43rd IEC convened in
Nairobi on August 11-18, 1985.
I was still a seminarian, then, he

The Eucharist:
So ancient yet so new

recalled. And everybody swarmed

around him because he had a lot of
interesting stories to tell.
As I tried to listen intently to this 55year old prelate, my mind was stuck on
his mention of Cardinal Sin and the year
1985. Then, something different dawned
on me like a blitzkrieg. If it was the IEC
1985, I said to myself, then, it must have
been the Eucharistic nutrients that
fortified the brave cardinal six months
later, on February 1986, to unflinchingly
call for what is now labeled as the People
Power Revolution.
I know there is no way to confirm
my hypothesis. But the significant
relationship is inevitable.
Hopefully, this Eucharistic impact
continues to amaze us, as Pope John Paul
II wished in his Ecclesia de Eucharistia
n.6. Pope Benedict XVI also wished the
same: The wonder we experience at the
gift of God has made to us in Christ gives
new impulse to our lives and commits us
to becoming witnesses of his love (SC 85).
In this vein, I cannot help but rewind
our Church history to 1937 when, for
the first time, the IEC was held in Asia,
specifically here in the Philippines. The
5-day congress unfolded from Feb. 3-7 of
that year. The official hymn, in Spanish,
was titled Gloria a Jesus, which was a
collaboration of Fr. Domingo Carceller,
OAR (music) and Emeterio Barcelon
Barcelo, a Carmelite third order member
(lyrics). And it amazes us to hear that
the then 5-year old Manila Archbishop

Mass in a Tricycle

emeritus Gaudencio Rosales and then

8-year old Ricardo Cardinal Vidal
could still refer to that historic event
participated in by 1.5 million souls.
The impact is, no doubt, indelible.
For thats the natural dynamics of
ones encounter with the Lord in the
Eucharist. There is always that element
of remembering just as it was at its
origin. So ancient yet so new, if I were
to use St. Augustines phrase.
On a more personal note, I found
something compelling, a sort of blessing
in disguise, in the tandem of Bishop
Reynaldo Evangelista of Cavite and the
Recoletos choir who led the morning
prayers on the sixth day of IEC 2016.
Probably, I was the only one who took
notice of it. I dont think the organizers
knew this connection. That on this year,
2016, the Recoletos is celebrating its
400th anniversary of evangelization
in this diocese. And that tandem was a
thanksgiving Mass (well, every Mass
is an act of thanksgiving) for those four
centuries of breaking bread and sharing
the faith with the people of Cavite.
In this IEC 2016, I know the impact of
the Eucharist will exceed the number of
participants. For truly, the ripples have
already reached millionsnearly 40
million from organic tweets alone, and that
includes those who know and/or follow the
proceedings from all over the world.
May the Eucharist send, not just
ripples, but waves of change in our
personal lives and communities.


Fr. Francis Ongkingco

A FRIEND and I went to

Binondo looking for cheap
sportswear. I havent been
to this part of town for the
longest time. I was looking
forward to once again riding
the rusty, rickety, tin can
pedal-powered tricycles
littering every street corner
like famished flies that
skillfully darted between
alleys, cars, and pedestrians.
Our first stop was Binondo
Church to greet our Lord
and say a Rosary before the
La Japonesa. My companion
explained this was the image
of our Lady before which St.
Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino
saint, entrusted his missionary
trip that was rewarded with
martyrdom in Japan.
After this visit, we hailed
one of the tricycles to shuttle
us to one of the many colossal
wholesale stores. It was hard
to squeeze into the vehicle. I
had to literally exhale all the
air in my lungs and stomach
to miraculously fit inside
the Jurassic iron rib cage
of a dinosaur we could call
Being squeezed inside a
prehistoric sardine can didnt
really give one a good view
of the outside. The most we
could see were deformed
reflections on the doors of the
higher vans and buses. Every
now and then a squid of a jeep
would manage to overtake
and squirt us with a jet of
polluted black smoke ink.

Do you realize that this is

Heaven here on earth? My
companion suddenly said out
of the blue.
Huh? I didnt quite
understand where he was
coming since I was still
choking from the smoke.
Look at all these stickers,
he pointed at the rattling
panel before us.
Perhaps I was too absorbed
with trying to get a view of
the outside that I wasnt too
attentive with the inside.
Indeed, my companions
description was so precise:
it was Heaven here on earth!
The rust-pocked panel
was covered with religious
stickers. There was our
Lord, another of His Sacred
Heart, our Lady of Lourdes,
Fatima, Miraculous Medal,
and then St. Joseph, St. Pio
of Pietrelcina, and angels of
all sorts of colors and sizes.
My companion whisked out
his smartphone and snapped
a photo of the celestial
kaleidoscope before our eyes.
This episode reminded me
of a more sublime experience
that eventually led to the
conversion of a famous
Protestant minister to the
Catholic Faith: Scott Hahn.
He shared how he one day,
out of a healthy curiosity to
understand early Christian
Liturgy, sneaked into a
Catholic chapel in Milwaukee.
As the Mass progressed

Half-a-world Away

he could not help but be

raptured by a new and yet
old discovery.
He writes, In less than a
minute, the phrase Lamb of
God had rung out four times.
From long years of studying
the Bible, I immediately knew
where I was. I was in the Book
of Revelation, where Jesus
is called the Lamb no less
than twenty-eight times in
twenty-two chapters. I was
at the marriage feast that
John describes at the end
of that very last book of the
Bible. I was before the throne
of heaven, where Jesus is
hailed forever as the Lamb. I
wasnt ready for this, though
I was at Mass! (The Lambs
Reading on the early
Christian writers, he learned
that the connection between
Revelation and the Mass was
already common knowledge
for the Fathers. He says:
[The Fathers] considered
the Book of Revelation the
key to the liturgy, and the
liturgy the key to the Book of
Revelation. () I had been
trying to make sense of the
Book of Revelation as some
kind of encoded message
about the end of the world.
() Now, after two weeks
of daily Mass attendance, I
found myself wanting to stand
up during the liturgy and
say, Hey, everybody. Let me
show you where you are in the
Apocalypse! Turn to chapter

four, verse eight. Youre in

heaven right now. (Ibid.)
The miniature Heaven
that my companion and I
contemplated inside the
tricycle is also present in
the Mass. But this time,
not as mere stickers, but as
real celestial figures who
participate in every single
Mass that is celebrated here
on earth.
We read in the Constitution
on the Sacred Liturgy,
Sacrosanctum concilium the
following words:
In the earthly liturgy we
share in a foretaste of that
heavenly liturgy which is
celebrated in the Holy City of
Jerusalem toward which we
journey as pilgrims, where
Christ is sitting at the right
hand of God, Minister of
the sanctuary and of the
true tabernacle. With all the
warriors of the heavenly army
we sing a hymn of glory to the
Lord; venerating the memory
of the saints, we hope for
some part and fellowship with
Scott Hahn amusingly but
profoundly reflects on these
very words of the Council by
concluding: Thats heaven.
No, its the Mass. No, its the
Book of Revelation. Wait a
minute: its all of the above.
May all these help us to
realize and value the fact that
every Mass is already heaven
here on earth!

Get Thee to a Seminary

Brian Caulfield
WITH more than a million turning out
for events on the final days of the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress, it is
a good time for young men to consider
a vocation. Just look at all the Catholics
devoted to the Eucharistic Christ who
will need a priest in the years to come
to feed them with the Bread of Life. God
must surely be calling many of the men
who went on the Eucharistic procession.
So, lets get down to basics about what
a vocation entails.
Youre a young man, finishing college
or making your way in the working
world, open to marriage but right
now unattached. Unlike many of your
millennial peers, you are spiritual and
religious. You love the Catholic Church
and the sacraments, find meaning in the
Mass and Scripture. What is the best
path you can take as you plan for a life
of hard work and fulfillment?
Get thee to a seminary.
Forget what the world says; listen to
the deepest part of your heart and choose
whom you will serve this day. If there
is even the faintest still small voice
prompting you to consider it, then go!

Get thee to a seminary.

Understand, young Catholic man, that
I am not saying you need to decide this
moment that youre called to be a priest.
That may come later, or not at all. What
you need to say now is that you have
a heart to serve, are willing to suffer
and inquire, as you discover what great
mystery of manhood God has planted
in your soul. God has created you, as
strong and weak, as zealous and timid,
as gifted and groping as you are. If you
can offer him all that, and work with him
to find the better thing he can make of
you, then go.
Get thee to a seminary.
Perhaps youve thought about it. You
wonder if God is calling and how you
can possibly know. Youre downright
scared to ask if you can be happy as a fullblooded, lady-loving celibate man. But if
you have a hint that for you there may be
a higher love, and if your heart is lifted
as the priest elevates the host, then go.
Get thee to a seminary.
Who am I to say? What do I know?
Well, I did it. I spent more than three
years in the New York seminary system.

Though I am now married with two

children, I still say my time in sem
was worth every minute of every day,
even some very difficult days. I learned
things that I would never have learned
elsewhere Thomism, metaphysics,
the form and matter of the sacraments,
Church history, the inside of a sacristy
and was formed into a better man than I
ever would have become otherwise. After
I left seminary and got married, one of
my professors spoke the truth: I hope
your wife appreciates that youre a much
better man now than when you started
here. I replied, Yes, I dont think she
would have paid any attention to the preseminary guy. Now Im not saying that a
few years of priestly training will set you
up for the woman of your dreams after
you leave, but you never know so go.
Get thee to a seminary.
The real point is that a daily dose
of seminary will wake you from your
spiritual and secular slumbers; get
you thinking about the ultimate truth
regarding mankind and the world at
large; rip up your insides and build you
Half-a-world Away / A7

Simple Gifts
Veronica and Rafael Dy-Liacco

Love, prayer, and

Our Blessed Mother
OUR journey back to God, together as a married couple,
began most clearly after what my husband now refers to as his
conversion. It happened at the point in his academic career
when he seemed to be moving away from faith and belief at the
highest speed. Always intense about his academics, he had gone
to Alaska to observe the aurora borealis, as part of his research
for the Ph.D., on the topic of ancient sky reading. American
geophysicists had suggested, decades ago, that the vision of
God contained in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 1, was actually
the prophets experience of an aurora over the Babylonian
wilderness. My husbands research uncovered more published
evidence, from Russian geophysicists, for the plausibility of
this hypothesis. All he needed now, my husband believed, was
actually to see an aurora that conformed in some way to the
imagery in the Biblical text, as nothing that he saw of the aurora
in videos uploaded on the internet seemed quite to do so.
The funding for his trip was not easy for him to obtain, and for
a while he believed he might never make it.During this time of
uncertainty he sometimes seemed in despair of accomplishing
his work. Once, in passing, he asked me to pray for him. So
during this period, including all the time that my husband was
actually in Alaska, unbeknown to him I began praying the rosary
for him, asking Our Blessed Mother to let him find what he was
looking for. My husband himself said that even if he made it to
Alaska, he knew that his chances of seeing what he needed to
see were exceedingly small. He needed a solar event (the sun
exploding, as he put it), but the explosion must be pointed in the
direction of planet Earth. He needed clear skies. And he needed
to be there in the right place at the right time when the actual
aurora appeared. Yet despite these odds, and the difficulty of
finding funding, something inside of him was driving him to go.
When funding opened up, my husband grabbed it.
Immediately he planned his trip down to the last detail of
date, location, gear, and equipment that he believed would
maximize his chances within the budget allotted to him. Then
he was off. What he did not know at that time was that he was
flying into an already month-long cloud cover over Fairbanks,
Alaska, his chosen place of observation. Nor did he know that
despite the approaching date of the spring equinox, Alaska
was experiencing its worst winter ever recorded. The first
solar explosion occurred as his plane left Manila for Oahu,
Hawaii. The second solar explosion occurred when his plane
left Oahu for Fairbanks. When he landed, the cloud cover over
Fairbanks lifted. On his second night in Fairbanks, he was
waiting for the expected aurora. Ignoring the posted warnings
about Alaskan wildlife and about going out alone, he trekked
with his equipment to an open field a kilometer and half from
his lodge, at 10 in the evening.
It was so cold, he recounted, that he could hear the ice crystals
on his eye lashes click every time he blinked. And when he
would come in from a nights observation, the inner lining in
his nose would thaw, crack, and hed get a nosebleed. But more
seriously, the lithium battery in his electronic camera would
freeze after thirty minutes and stop working. At the onset of the
most spectacular moments of the aurora that hit that second
night, when inserting his last functioning battery, he accidently
dropped it in the snow and immediately it froze. In the end
that was for the best, he said later, because otherwise he would
have spent time fumbling with his equipment, focused only on
obtaining recordings. Instead, he was forced to stand back and
simply watch the sky. Afterwards, he would hear Fairbanks
residents saying about that nights aurora: Ive lived here all my
life, but Ive never seen anything like it. In the words of other
residents: It was an incredible explosion of activity; I didnt
know which direction to look, the sky exploded, the lights
were really mobile, pin-wheeling and swirling across the sky.
From the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 1. Ezekiel the prophet
recounts what he saw: In the thirtieth year, in the fourth
month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the
exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw
visions of God... As I looked, a stormy wind came out of the
north: a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing
forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something
like gleaming amber. In the middle of it was something like
four living creatures In the middle of the living creatures
there was something that looked like burning coals of fire,
like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures;
the fire was bright, and lightning issued from the fire. The
living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning. As
I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel one for each of
the four of themTheir construction being something like a
wheel within a wheel When the living creatures moved, the
wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose
from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit would go,
they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit
of the living creatures was in the wheels. Like the bow in a
cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendor
all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory
of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell on my face.
When my husband came back home from Alaska, he was very
quiet. He seemed lost in a void, alone in some interior subarctic wilderness of his own. Sometimes Id find him looking
at the NASA satellite photo of the sun of March 13, 2012, the
time of the second solar explosion, the explosion that gave
birth to the amazing aurora that he had witnessed. At first,
I thought someone on the internet had Photoshopped it, he
would say, referring to the photo. But its real. As reported
on the internet at that time: A large and very oddly-shaped
coronal hole has appeared on recent images of the Sun taken
from various American space-based observatories. The hole
is distinctly triangular in shape and is pointed at the Earth.
He lost taste for his research. He no longer seemed to desire
his Ph.D. He seemed to lose interest in everything. Inside he
seemed to be suffering. It turned out he was searching still, but
not for data nor for concepts, not even theological concepts (he
was already well familiar with those). Now, he was searching
for Someone. He found an extra rosary among the things on
my shelf, made of wooden beads and a wooden crucifix, held
together by twine. He would lie beside me in bed at night as I
prayed, insisting that I say all the prayers out loud. As I prayed
he would hold the wooden rosary in his hands and pass the
beads between his fingers. At the start, he would often fall
asleep this way. Then one day he said that he should take the
lead. He would say the Creed and the Our Fathers, he would
announce each mystery, he would say the Glory Bes and the
O My Jesuses, and he would say the Hail Holy Queen and the
Let Us Pray. After some months of our praying this way, he
then said that we should preface our Rosary with petitions to
Our Blessed Mother, and that before each mystery we should
ask her for graces, because she is full of grace.


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

CBCP Monitor

Tantum Ergo: back to the

heart of the Eucharistic Hymn
By Fr. Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Tantum ergo Sacramentum /

Veneremur cernui
On bended knees, let us, therefore,
venerate so great a sacrament.
Consistent with our belief in
the Real Presence, we accord due
reverence or respectexpressed
in a general sense by the act of
venerationby kneeling down
(cernui) in front of the Blessed
Sacrament either exposed on the
altar, or reposed in the tabernacle,
or in procession. In this personal
encounter, our reverential attitude
must already be that of worshipping
which is made to God alone. In fact,
the Italian rendition of the hymn
translates veneremur as adoriamo


MAJORITY of Filipino Catholics

are quite familiar with O salutaris
Hostia and Tantum ergo
Sacramentum, two of the famous
Eucharistic hymns that echo in our
churches and cathedrals whenever
the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
But only a few of them know that
they were composed by St. Thomas
Aquinas upon the special request of
Pope Urban IV in preparation for
the universal Churchs celebration of
the feast of the Corpus (et Sanguis)
Christi in 1264.
And how many are also aware
that these two are treated as distinct
from the complete text of hymns of
which they are a part? O salutaris
Hostia is actually the last two verses
of Verbum supernum prodiens
and Tantum ergo Sacramentum of
Pange, lingua, gloriosi.
Thanks to Aquinas deep faith and
theological wisdom, the Church is
aided in singing and celebrating the
Real Presence of the Body and Blood
of Christ in the Eucharist. The songs
melodies elevate the soul to an ineffable
altitude of contemplation; their lyrics
when properly understoodstoke the
fire of love in an overflowing praise
and gratitude.
As an example of going back to the
heart of a Eucharistic hymn, let us now
take a look at the one with the incipit
Tantum ergo, singling out two lines
at a time and inserting an attempt at
making our own literal translation

to the Father (obedient unto death,

death on the cross [Phil. 2:8]), and
accomplished the mission entrusted
to Him in whom the Father is wellpleased (Matt. 3:17): It is finished
(John 19:30). In human terms, its like
making high fives to both father and
child for a collaborative job perfectly

Salus, honor, virtus quoque / Sit
et benedictio
Let there be salvation, honor, also
power, and blessing

(we adore), and adorationas we

knowis directed only to the Lord. In
the Blessed Sacrament, we recognize
the Second Person of the Trinity,
Jesus Christ, who is 100% divine and
100% human.
Et antiquum documentum / Novo
cedat ritui
And let the old document give way
to the new rite
Both the documentum and
the ritus reflect the two parts
of the Sacred Scriptures: the Old
Testament and the New Testament.
The former, the Book of Promise,
yields to the latter, the Book of
Fulfillment. Everything that the
law and the prophets spoke about
is now fulfilled in Jesus Christ. As
one commentator puts it: the precise
terms have been replaced by the
laws of the Beatitudes and Jesus two
great commandments. You shall
love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your mind and You shall
love your neighbour as yourself
(Matthew 22:37b, 39).
Praestet fides supplementum /

Sensuum defectui
Let faith surpass the supplement
for the deficiency of the senses.
The usual translation for these
lines is: The faith provides a
supplement for the failure of the
senses. It expresses the power
of faith working in us despite the
inability of the eyes, for example,
to see the mystery of Gods real
presence in the consecrated host.
Let us offer an alternative,
following a hint from the literal
meaning of praestare (to stand
before) and the dictum perstare
et praestare (to persevere and
to excel). In this sense, we can
find three layers of knowledge:
at the bottom is one gained by
the senses (sensus), the other
by reason (implied by the use of
supplementum), and the one by
faith (fides). Admittedly, the senses
cannot explain, for instance, how the
bread and wine are transformed
(read: transubstantiated) into the
body and blood of Christ, or that
Jesus, the son of a carpenter,
is the Word-made-flesh. This
constitutes the ontological limit or
deficiencyrather than the defect

Remembering the hunger

By Diana Uichanco
EVERY week, on the Lords day, a
Eucharistic minister pays my family
a visit to enable my mother to receive
Holy Communion despite her temporary
inability to go out and attend Holy Mass in
church. My mother had been hospitalized
in 2015 for a heart ailment, and though
declared well enough to be discharged
after a couple of weeks, her doctor was
emphatic about limiting physical exertion
and avoiding all sources of stress. This
warranted significant adjustments on her
lifestyle, including doing away with trips to
the nearby church on Sundays and any
day for that matter. As any Catholic faithful
knows, being deprived of the Eucharist all
of a sudden is akin to going on a hunger
strike when one has been accustomed to
taking three squares a day. One simply
becomes weaker in the spiritual sense when
the soul isnt nourished by the Lord in the
Eucharist. Hence, my mothers reception
of Holy Communion was soon worked out
after making arrangements with the parish
in our community.
The weekly visits by the Eucharistic
minister have been going on for four
months now, and while one may fall into
momentarily taking them for granted,
the implication of those few minutes that
Brother Gil the Eucharistic minister -spends with us is not lost to me. They may be
brief not more than 10 or 15 minutes each
time but who is timing when one realizes
Who really enters the gate, is carried up the
few steps toward the front door and waits
patiently to be received into a soul ready for
such an important Guest?
One Sunday, as Brother Gil walked into
the living room and cheerfully greeted my
mother, I felt somewhat overwhelmed. I
shouldve done some dusting straightened
the throw pillows, smoothened the
upholstery I quietly lamented, chiding
myself for forgetting the details of preparing
for the arrival of a Special Guest. In that
moment, I had been mulling over the fact
that instead of my mother and I making the
effort to approach Jesus in His house, it was
God coming to us and entering our home.
Those moments were immensely humbling,
and at the same time also very reassuring-reassuring of Gods love for us to the point of
being willing to approach us in those times
we are unable to go to Him. Who would not

want to cultivate and continually nourish

a relationship with such a Person, when
He obviously knows how to love? And who
wouldnt want to be friends with Someone
like that? At this thought I am reminded of
a point that I always find encouraging; its
from the book Jesus as Friend: Meditations
by Salvatore Canals:
You and I know by experience how much
good a good friendship can do someone:
it helps him behave better, it brings him
closer to God, it keeps him away from evil.
And if a good friendship links us not just to
a good man but to a saint, the good effects
of that kind of life are multiplied: contact
and conversation with a holy person will
leave us with something of his holiness:
cum sanctis, sanctus eris! If you mix with
saints, you will be a saint yourself.
Well then: think what can happen if you
become close friends of Jesus Christ in the
Eucharist: think of the deep impression that
can make on your soul. You will have Jesus
as a Friend, Jesus will be your Friend. He
perfect God and perfect Man who was born
and worked and wept; who has stayed in the
Eucharist; who suffered and died for us!
On Sunday, my mother and I will attend
Sunday Mass in church again for the first
time in many months. Her health has
improved significantly; she has ditched
the wheelchair for some time now and
is comfortable walking slowly--and over
short distances--with the aid of her cane.
This Sunday instead of the Lord making
the trip to our home, we will be going
to His house, taking part in the Liturgy,
worshipping with the community, and
approaching the altar to receive Him in
the Holy Eucharist. For a long time, it was
He approaching us, and from time to time
we, sadly, took this act of love for granted.
Fortunately, such instances are temporary;
apparently, hunger for the Lord eventually
overpowers everything else. Perhaps one
merely needs to experience being deprived of
that which truly feeds the soul and quenches
our thirst, to keep on seeking it. As the Most
Rev. Robert Barron, DD, said during the
International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu
City, We have to remember what is like to
starve for the Bread of Life.
Memories of starvation of this sort
are things I would gladly hold on to. For
remembering the hunger seems to be what
drives us to keep seeking the Lord in the
Eucharist with fervor.

of the senses. Reason may be able

to explain many of our beliefs, as
in employing philosophical terms
substance and accidents to
help shed light on the mysterious
event of transubstantiation. Yet it
is not enough. It takes the humility
of reason, then, to acknowledge
that beyond its frontiers belongs
the realm of faith. Although faith
surpasses the power of reason, let
alone that of the senses, both senses
and reason aid our faith.
Genitori genitoque / Laus et
To the Begetter and to the
Begotten, Be praise and rejoicing
We start the Trinitarian doxology
in this verse by paying homage, in
these first two lines, to the Begetter
(Genitori) who is the Father, and to
the Begotten (Genito) who is the Son.
In front of the Blessed Sacrament, we
are also enkindled to give praise and
jubilation to them, whose infinite love
and unfathomable mercy merited
the salvation of mankind: For God
so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son (John 3:16).
And this Son, Jesus, was obedient

These four attributes are

doxologically ascribed to God, the
Summum Bonum. Whether these
refer to God as He is in Himself
and/or God in relation to us, we
can read between the lines: it still
His love that wells up toward us
as, for instance, our salvation
and/or blessing. It is love as He
is in Himself (as a community of
three divine persons) and as He is
in relation to us (as our Creator,
Redeemer, Sanctifier, refuge,
strength, etc.). That means these
attributes are various expressions of
the same love of God, or of the same
love who is God.
Procedenti ab utroque / Compar
sit laudatio.
To the One proceeding from both,
be equal praise.
The three divine persons are now
complete here, with the mention of
the One proceeding (Procedenti),
referring to the Holy Spirit who
enjoys perfect equality with the
Father and the Son. Since this
third divine person proceeds from
both (ab utroque), this, then, is in
harmony with the Latin Rites (our)
belief on Filioque (i.e., that the
Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father
and the Son) which is in contrast to
the per Filium formula (i.e., the
procession of the Holy Spirit from
the Father is through the Son). But
where there is divergence, we show
respect. Where there is exclusion, we
reach out. After all, we are brothers
and sister in communion with the
same God in front of the Blessed

Thai convert finds healing in forgiveness

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016
Catholic convert Sarindhorn
Mativachranon of Thailand on
Saturday inspired delegates
of the 51st International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC)
in Cebu with her story of
forgiveness and healing in the
face of false accusations.
God is hope. God is love,
God is truth. The fact that
converts like myself standing
here today as a humble witness
is a proof that love knows no
boundaries, but reaches all
corners of the world, she
Before things took a
downturn, Mativachranon
described herself as being on
top of the world. As one of
her countrys most admired
executives, she had everything
a person could dream of:
money, properties, influence.
Embezzlement case
It all changed after she was
wronfully implicated in an
embezzlement case involving
Making matters worse was
the fact that she was framed
by a former colleague and
employees, and became a
non-person. She was hurt.
I was a forgotten
woman, broken spiritually,
physically, and financially,
she recalled.
For years, Mativachranon
led the life of a fugitive, having
no means to be able to bail
herself out once caught.
While in hiding, she saw the
life she used to live.
The unknown God
At this time, she could only
find solace in praying to the
god she knewshe was not
yet a Christianasking him
why he let her suffer terrible
things despite her innocence.
According to her, she
pleaded to have the courage to
forgive the people who wished
her harm.

Catholic convert Sarindhorn Mativachranon. JOHANN MANGUSSAD

Dear God, I want to forgive

on my own. Please make me
able to do so, she said.
Then a miracle happened,
I was touched and salvaged by
Gods love. I was able to forgive
all who wronged me because of
Gods grace, she added.
It was Christmas day of
She remembered hearing
the voice of a Person telling
her not to give up because in
the end, truth will prevail.
Facing her court case, she
realized her lawyers werent
really doing much to help her
gain justice, and took up her
case only for the money they
were expecting to get.
In what seemed like an
epiphany, Mativachranon
remarked, I have God. Why
did I need any lawyer?
In 1994, she was vindicated,
walking out of court for the last
time as an innocent person.
But her suffering didnt
end there: Her husband later
left her and their children
soon after the Thai economy
collapsed. She felt self-pity,
but learned again to forgive
and move on.

Beautiful not perfect

She told herself, I must
be able to accept what had
happened to me. So what
that I was a single mother?
So what if society shunned
me? I still have ten fingers,
a perfect body, and a sound
mind, didnt I? I couldnt go
back and relive or change
my past, but I could live the
present, and share my future.
On June 2, 1996 at the
Ursuline chapel in New
York, Mativachranon
formally entered the
Catholic Church.
Since then, she has
refocused her energy on
serving God and others by
founding a hotline under
the Catholic Association of
I was so busy serving God
that I forgot about myself
and my wounds. I found the
pain no longer there. I was
completely healed. Instead
of scars, my heart was filled
with the love of God, of my
children, and of others, she
Life is not perfect, but
beautiful, Mativachranon
added. (Raymond A.
Sebastin / CBCP News)

CBCP Monitor


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

Juggling family
charms IEC crowd

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is welcomed by nuns of the Missionaries of Charity during his visit to their convent in Cebu City on Jan. 30, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

7 day of the 51 International

Eucharistic Congress


By Felipe Francisco
THE seventh and final session
of the 51st IEC was a short
one but was as eventful as
the previous ones. To sum up
the days talks is to sum up
the entire Congress. By this
time its clear to 15,000 IEC
delegates: the Holy Eucharist
sustains Christian life, in
more ways than one. Like the
Sacred Host, it is first broken,
shared, and lived.
First, it is no ordinary
devotion. Through the
Eucharist, Christ makes
available to all the salvific
benefits of his suffering and
death on the Cross. The
Eucharist is Christ himself, as
evidenced by 1.5 million people
who flocked to the Cebu Capitol
and the grand, record-breaking
Eucharistic procession that
followed. Second, it is not a
private devotion. It is meant
to be shared. Receiving the
Eucharist leads one to a
commitment to share Christ,
and the love for Christ leads
one to action. Third, we are not
alone in the Eucharistic path.
The Eucharist is communion
with others--the poor, the
marginalized, those outside the
comforts of our communities.
Archbishop Angel
Lagdameo reflected on the
need to build a Eucharistic
community during the
morning prayer. One way to
do this is to compete with
one another in showing
love of neighbor, using
our God-given talents and
resources. The Eucharistic
Lord commanded this. As
we fulfill that mission, Jesus
gives us the command to
love one another, as He has
loved us, and at the same
time, He gives us the grace
we need to carry out that
command, Lagdameo said
in his reflection.

Mary, our companion

Like many events held and
documents issued in our
Church, the last day of the
Congress proper is entrusted
to Mary our mother, as
reflected in the final catechesis
and Congress Statement.
The Blessed Mother
accompanies us in the
Eucharistic path, New
York Archbishop Timothy
Cardinal Dolan said in his
well-received catechesis,
titled The Eucharist and
Mary. Cardinal Dolan spoke
of the Eucharist in its three
dimensionssacrifice, meal,
real presenceand how
Mary animated each of these
aspects. Mary was in every
major event in the life of
Christ: Bethlehem, Cana, and
Calvary, he noted.
Who was there with Jesus
as He was tortured on the
Cross? Near the Cross stood
Mary His Mother, Dolan said
as he discussed the sacrificial
dimension of the Eucharist.
You want to be closer to
Jesus on the cross at the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass? Be
closer to Mary, because shes
right next to him.
Talking about the Eucharist
as meal, Dolan noted that
Mary gave birth to Jesus in
Bethlehem. The name of the
city, which means House
of Bread, gives a hint of
the Bread of Life. Mary was
present at the wedding in
Cana, which prefigured the
Eucharist and showed to
us the Blessed Mothers
intercessory role. Mary was
also present in the Upper
Room, where Christ instituted
the Eucharist and his holy
He would work His first
miracle for that newlymarried couple at Cana in
Galilee, by changing water
into wine, at her request. She

is with us at another Feast we

call the Lords Supper when
He miraculously changes
bread into His Body and wine
to His Most Precious Blood,
Dolan said.
Mary also made possible
the Incarnation of the Word,
God dwelling with men in the
person of Christ, when she
said Behold the Handmaid
of the Lord, be it done unto
me according to Thy Word.
Some people, including
those who receive
Communion, snicker at
the Catholic belief of the
sacredness of bread and
wine when it becomes the
Body and Blood of Christ,
Dolan said. But not those who
walk the Eucharistoc path
accompanied by the Blessed
Mother: We proclaim, with
Mary, we do believe!
Eucharist as freedom
Actually, another Mary
ended the congress proper.
The final testimony came
from Mary Sarindhorn,
a Thai businesswoman
accused and persecuted
for a crime she did not
commit. She had her dark
night of the soul episode.
Sarindhorn was born in a
devoutly Buddhist family.
She found healing in the
Catholic faith, and is now
nourished by the Eucharist.
At the IEC, Sarindhorn
became a model of Eucharistic
action that so many bishops
and cardinals talked about.
She wrote a book and
became the first Catholic
to share her faith on Thai
television. Rather than keep
her Eucharistic devotion and
transformation to herself,
she has been on the lecture
circuit to share her experience
and bring hope to others. For
this, the congress gave her a
standing ovation.

Today I am having a special

kind of fever--Jesus Fever-the kind of fever that I do not
want its degree to subside no
matter what. I am a faithful
servant of God, a happy
mother and grandmother
and a businesswoman--in
that order, she said.
Emmaus experience
The past week has definitely
been life-changing, and Cebu
Archbishop Jose Palma, the
51st IEC president, likened
it to the experience of two
disciples on the road to
Reading the Congress
Statement, he said: We
are convinced that the Holy
Spirit sends us forth in order
to proclaim the story of
Jesus. This Congress is like
the gathering of the early
disciples when they joyfully
shared stories of how each of
them encountered the Risen
Lord in the Scripture and in
the Breaking of the Bread.
We are a people on a
mission; truly, IEC 2016
is a clarion call to mission
for all of us. Our Eucharist
is the source and goal of
the Churchs mission, he
added. May the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the Mother of
the Incarnate Word and the
Eucharistic Lord, accompany
us, missionary disciples, in
order to share Jesus Christ in
us, our hope of glory. Amen.
It has been a long week! As
we write this synthesis, many
IEC delegates, even members
of the media, are raring to go
home. Yet theres separation
anxiety, as Archbishop Palma
said in the last IEC press
conference on Jan. 29. Cebu
has been a wonderful host
and a living testimony of
Eucharistic fervor. That is
something we will live, share,
and never forget!

Half-a-world Away / A5

back better; batter your precious selfimage and whatever else you imagine
yourself to be, and fling you back onto
yourself as you fall into the strong and
merciful arms of God. Oh yes, as a
bonus, you will be scandalized by the
fallible and very human faces of the
men who are preparing to serve God at
the altar, starting with the image that
you see in your morning mirror. Best
of all, you will learn to pray. The daily
rhythm of the Divine Office, the wellappointed hours, will become part of
your metabolism. You will imbibe the

Psalms with your morning coffee. You

will snicker with 50 other guys when
someone starts the Alleluia during
Lent. You will say many times a day, in
and out of chapel: O God, come to my
assistance; O Lord, make haste to help
me. And he will, if you let Him, often
at the hand of someone you would least
expect, and never approach. So go.
Get thee to a seminary.
I have given versions of this message to
various young men over the years, even
spoken to a group of young Catholic Wall
Streeters. I know a few who have gone

to seminary, perhaps on my prompting.

Yet the message is not new with me. Its
what I received some 30 years ago from
Cardinal OConnor, of happy memory,
who wrote a column in Catholic New
York much like this one: If you are a
man who loves God and his Church,
are single, are willing to study hard,
pray without ceasing, and embark on
the greatest adventure a man could
undertake in this fallen world, then come
and see if you will be Gods priest. What
do you say?
Get thee to a seminary.

By the Roadside / A4

With us, Lord) our world

culture is characterized
as it is by a forgetfulness
of God and a vain pursuit
of human self-sufficiency
(MND 26). In response,
the Sacrament of Christs
Body and Blood propels
us to live by what St. John
Paul II calls the Eucharistic
plan which he himself
explains thus: Incarnating
the Eucharistic plan in
daily life, wherever people
live and workin families,
schools, the workplace, in
all of lifes settingsmeans
bearing witness that the
human reality cannot be
justified without reference
to the Creator: Without the
Creator the creature would

disappear [GS 36]. This

in no way detracts from
the legitimate autonomy of
earthly realities, but grounds
that autonomy more firmly
by setting it within its proper
limits (MND 26). The reason
is simple. When we bond with
God through Communion in
the Eucharist, that naturally
has the consequence of
making him an integral and
indispensable part of our
daily life. That is to say, our
sense of his presence and
our constantly recognizing
how everything we are and
have comes from him cannot
but fill us with a sense of
gratitude, which is at the
heart of the Eucharist as our
thanksgiving par excellence.

5. We live in a world that

still persecutes Christians as
well as fellow sincere believers
in moral-spiritual values in
old and new ways, sometimes
violently, often subtly. In
response, the Eucharist is
our constant reminder of
the Persecuted One on the
Cross who went to his own
and his own did not accept
him (Jn 1:11) and who from
that same Cross utters not a
curse but a prayer: Father,
forgive them. For they know
not what they do (Lk 23:34).
From the example of the
Eucharistic Jesus we gather
this command: That we must
always and everywhere pray
for people who persecute us.
I propose that we make this

an integral part of the Prayer

of the Faithful itself for there
are truly people who, for
one reason or another, see
it as a calling to make the
life and liberty of Christians
as difficult as possible. But,
above all, we must draw our
greatest source of strength
from the Eucharist itself
Jesus who suffers, Jesus who
dies, Jesus who rises again.
Persecution comes with the
territory of true disciples.
For we follow the Lord, not
the world. But that world is
passing away.
On the other hand, because
of the Eucharist and through
the Eucharist Christ is in us
and with Christ our hope of
glory (Col 1:27).

Argentinian juggler Paul Ponce shares a testimony of faith and performs at the 51st
IEC with his sons and daughter joining in too. DOMINIC BARRIOS

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016

The testimony of conversion
and faith by Mr. Paul Ponce
and his family was given a
standing ovation by the crowd
of the 51st International
Mr. Ponce thoroughly
narrated his authentic story of
faith, conversion and mission
always pointing out the role
of the Eucharist in all of it.
The Holy Eucharist in my
life has been very important,
it has held a key role, he
How he came to be
The Ponce family has been
in the showbiz industry for
six generations and he said
didnt start believing in God
in his early age.
I came from a family
of entertainers who were
Catholic, but werent
practicing Catholics, he said.
I wanted to be famous,
travel the world, earn a lot
of money and have many
girlfriends from every city
I did reach those objectives
but [it] didnt give me the
happiness I was looking for,
he recounted.
He enumerated some of
his great achievements and
how he always wanted more
and more until something
beautiful happened; Hes
Conversion story
It was through those
confirmation classes that I
started to learn more about
God. I was overwhelmed
by the treasures of our

Catholic Church, Paul Ponce

What shocked him about it
all was our freedom to choose
our God who humbly waits.
He was there waiting for us
patiently. I wasnt obligated
to follow him. I was free I
could love him or not, follow
him or not that was the big
surprise for my conversion,
he stressed.
Surrendering to a life
of mission
He stated how his life
changed and he went to
Church everyday. Soon he
found himself surrendering
everything, pausing his
showbiz life and doing mission.
I stopped everything in
show business and gave
my whole year [being] a lay
missionary. I realized that
that year was the happiest
of my life up to then, he
Inspiring family life
Paul Ponce retold how his
family came to be. From his
and Lia Ponce, his wifes love
story up to when their kids
were born, inspiring people
with their prayer life while at it.
We find it our vocation
to travel around the world
because Im booked to do
shows around the world
but we always travel as a
family because we think we
are called to give witness of
family, life and love, we go
to church everyday we can,
and we pray, he concluded.
(Chrixy Paguirigan /

And Thats the Truth / A4

explanation, the Eucharist

then filled me with love for
everyone, love that expressed
itself in goodwill towards
everyone without anyone of
them knowing about it.
Again, years later, I would
realize in my most silent
moments that I was being
so forgiving of others, even
when reason and other people
would say I should not be,
that I should teach them a
lesson. I would smile off such
suggestions, remembering the
Lords question: Would you

still love me in my broken

state? I did not know why
I replied, Of course, Lord,
Id love you even more
but perhaps this was what
it meant. The even more
demands that I love not
just Him but His flock as
well. Jesus showed me His
Broken Bodya wounded
Churchbecause He had
wanted to give me a forgiving
heart, not judging anyone
but loving everyone in their
woundednessfor His sake.
And thats the truth.

Candidly Speaking / A4

and socially, spiritually and

materially, etc.
With the Eucharist, we
are already given everything
by our Creator, Savior, and
Sanctifier to be what we ought
to be, again individually and
socially, spiritually, and
materially, etc.
We need to draw the
endless implications of that
reality about the Eucharist.
For example, how should
the Eucharist affect our life
of prayer, of sacrifice, of
continuing formation? What
should it do with regard to
our family life, our work, our
business, and politics, our
How should it shape and
develop our relations with
others? Does it lead us to
involve ourselves increasingly
in the big issues of the world,
or does it only restrict us
to certain issues without
relating them to the other
burning issues of the day, like
climate change, technological
challenges, terrorism and
the ever present problems
of poverty, inequality, and
injustice, terrorism, etc.?
The IEC has given me a
richer appreciation of the
intricacies of evangelizing the

secular world today. I believe

I saw glimpses of the nuances
of the art of proclaiming
the Gospel while engaging
in a continuing dialogue
with all kinds of people in
different human situations
and predicaments.
The IEC somehow has
given me a deeper impulse
to be most discerning of the
different spirits behind all
kinds of developments in our
life. There are true spirits and
deceptive ones, the spirit of
God that is always shown
with humility, and the spirit
of devil that tries to seduce us
with giving us appearances of
truth and goodness packaged
beautifully with sound bytes,
hype, and other worldly allure
and charm.
The latter spirit seems to be
getting rampant nowadays as a
good number of spiritual leaders
today have the tremendous
capacity to mesmerize people
with their speaking skills and
other talents, while their actual
life is a mess.
Just the same, the IEC
has clearly convinced me
that while sin may abound,
Gods grace abounds much
more. Theres always hope,
my friend!


January 31, 2016 Vol. 20, No. 8

CBCP Monitor

Thousands of people packed the Cebu City Sports Center during a Mass presided over by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal on the seventh day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. JOHANN MANGUSSAD

Church mounts record-setting

media coverage for 51st IEC
CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 In
a first in the modern history
of International Eucharistic
Congresses (IEC), the Church
mounted a massive, multiplatform
media coverage of the 51st staging of
the IEC in the Philippines, involving
15 organizations and 250 personnel.
Its actually a lot of firsts, in
broadcast, print, radio and social
media, said Msgr. Pedro Quitorio,
director of the CBCP Media Office
and head of broadcast and media
accreditation for the 51st IEC.
Its the first time for an IEC to have
a global satellite broadcast, with 12
hours of programming including
coverage of remote sites in Cebu.
Because the IEC was not just a
Catholic but a major international
gathering that drew 15,000
participants from 75 countries, the
Philippine Broadcast Pool under
the auspices of Radio-Television
Malacaang (RTVM) was activated,
said Luis Enrico Eleazar, head of
RTVMs Media Production Division
and Information and Technology
The plan was for a papal visitstyle coverage, Eleazar, a veteran
who assembled the broadcast
operations for last years historic visit
of Pope Francis and the Philippines
successful APEC hosting, told CBCP
News. Iba ang tama sa akin ng
papal visit (the papal visit made
lasting impression on me). After that
experience, excited kaming gawin
ito (I was so excited to do this), he
said in an interview.
State-of-the-art facilities and
equipment, first used for the APEC
meetings in Cebu, were again
deployed for the IEC. The broadcast
team put up the IEC Channel that
carried 12 hours of programming,
featuring all major IEC events and
live and tape-delay broadcasts.
RTVM took charge of events at the
IEC Pavilion and the International
Media Center, aside from running
the TOC or control room including
the master switcher. The Peoples
Television Network was in-charge
of outdoor broadcasts.
In all, there were 17 TV cameras,
one ENG van, one OB van and four
Satellite operator Apstar Global
provided the main satellite uplink
with the assistance of the Supreme
Office of the Knights of Columbus.
We got a satellite that can reach up
to Italy and also the US, Eleazar said.
Video was also streamed live online
and carried by top media outlets,
receiving positive comments from
netizens all over the world. Manny
Pangilinan-led PLDT provided
generous bandwidth, with 1 GB alone
made available to the TOC.
The IEC broadcast was picked up
by Cignal TV and broadcast on two
channels: Channel 99 for standard
definition and Channel 199 for
high definition. TV Maria likewise
carried the broadcast while the
Cebu Catholic Television Network or
CCTN beamed it to viewers in Cebu,
Mindanao and Asian clients.
For radio, Radyo Veritas broadcast
IEC events to listeners in Luzon
while DYRF handled Visayas and
Mindanao on top of the stations of
the Catholic Media Network.
EWTN, the global Catholic
network, was tapped for live and
tape delay content, with Ma.
Mercedes Robles, Angelique Lazo
and Bernard Factor Caaberal as

well as Fr. Lorenzo Ruggiero and

Fr. Joel Camaya, SDB, as anchors.
Edwin Lopez, EWTN Asia-Pacific
regional manager, put together
a team of volunteers including
Sydney-based Gerardo Cabellon as
We have never done media
coverage on this scale, ever, Lopez
said in an interview. In the past, we
just covered the events and sent the
video to the satellite uplink. What
happened here will last beyond our
lifetime. Its the best gift that the
Philippine Church, the Archdiocese
of Cebu can give to the next host of
the IEC, he added.
Lopez also moderated daily press
conferences at the International
Media Center, with mainstays
such as Cebu Archbishop Jose
Palma; Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert
Vergara, chairman of the IEC
Communications Department;
Msgr. Joseph Tan; and Fr. Jose
Quilongquilong, who provided daily
summaries of IEC proceedings.
EWTN itself broadcast IEC
events to 230 million homes in 144
countries. Thirteen satellites picked
up the signal and as a result, IEC
events were viewed in China, France,
Italys RAI, and CTV or Centro
Televisivo Vaticano, Lopez said.
In yet another first for the
IEC, CBCP News and Areopagus
Communications produced daily
special editions of the CBCP
Monitor. Stories were also uploaded
round the clock on www.cbcpnews.
com/iec2016, the website for the
CBCP News special coverage of the
51st IEC, and shared on its official
Facebook and Twitter accounts.
As of this writing, the Facebook
page IEC2016SpecialCoverage
has generated more than 26,000 likes,
while the hashtag #EucharistPH
generated as much as 37,235,807
impressions, Quitorio said.
As a result, Church media became
the news leader and a reliable source
of information on the IEC for the
secular media, he added.
CBCP and Areopagus deployed
25 personnel to Cebu, including
volunteers from Couples for Christ
Global Mission Foundation who
handled media accreditation using the
Media Accreditation and Management
System developed originally for the
papal visit by Roman Paul Tesoro.
The Society of St. Paul also rolled
out its own social media coverage,
a new territory for the congregation
known for its media apostolate,
said Fr. Restie de la Pea, SSP.
St. Pauls deployed an army of 88
volunteers including three priests,
two perpetually professed brothers,
23 seminarians, and students from
the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
Our Facebook page had a total
reach of 3 million in just two weeks,
de la Pea said.
St. Pauls and the Order of
Augustinian Recollects also
produced video clips such as daily
summaries, shown on giant screens
at the IEC Pavilion.
EWTNs Lopez said that whats
different this time was that Catholic
media organizations were more
cohesive than ever.
As with every major undertaking
involving several organizations,
things tended to get disorganized
at first. My takeaway from the IEC
is this: that grace and freewill can
cooperate, Lopez said. (Felipe
Francisco/CBCP News)

Cebu hosts
Worlds Mass
CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 Cardinal
Charles Maung Bo is capping his
visit to the Philippines in a fitting
way with the Stations of the
World, a Mass for the masses, on
Jan. 31 at Cebu Citys South Road
Properties (SRP).
The first cardinal of Myanmar is
expected to see the largest gathering
of his week-long tour on Sunday
when he celebrates an outdoor
Mass at 4:00 p.m. to close the 51st
International Eucharistic Congress
More than 1.5 million people
are expected for the Mass, along
with more than 15,000 cardinals,
bishops, priests, religious, and
official IEC delegates from at least
75 nations around the world.
Message from Pope Francis?
Local IEC organizers earlier hinted
at a possible message from Pope
Francis at the gathering. However,
it is still unclear as of this posting
whether it will be through live feed
or taped video.
Let us be surprised by Pope
Francis who will speak to us. I think
that is what we should look forward
to, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara,
who heads the IECs communications
committee, earlier said.
Anticipating a mammoth crowd,
the SRP area will be open to the
public as early as in the morning.
Local authorities have also
outlined their steps for the crowd
and traffic control for the Mass.
At least 200 parking lots for buses

A fourteen-year old girl with Downs Syndrome receives Holy Communion for the first time during a Mass
for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress at the Cebu City Sports Center on Jan. 30. Around 5,000
students from different schools, some 500 of them are street children from all over the country, receive
their First Communion. ANA PERUCHO

ferrying parishioners along the

1.4-kilometer stretch beside Pond F.
and another 100 slots along Pardo
Access Road are ready for the event.
Transportation protocol
Traffic routes at the SRP will not
be closed except for huge container
vans and trucks while the activity is
going on, organizers said.
This means only delegates
buses of the delegates as well as
IEC committee heads and VIPs
vehicles are allowed to park near
the Templete.
Those travelling via buses and
jeepneys from the South of Cebu
are advised to travel up to the
Kawit Island area only. Buses are

available at the area to shuttle the

pilgrims to the SRP Templete.
Those coming via buses and
jeepneys from the North of Cebu are
advised to travel up to the Maritima
Building (near the City Hall area)
area only. Buses are available at the
area to shuttle the pilgrims to the
Those travelling via private and
light vehicles may enter the SRP area
and use the available parking space
at SM Seaside City.
The organizers issued an advisory
for those attending the Mass to
bring with them their own chairs
since the ones being prepared are
reserved for the IEC delegates only.
(Roy Lagarde / CBCP News)

Meet IEC adoration guardians

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 Amid
the hustle and bustle of the
51st International Eucharistic
Congress (IEC), the Adoration
Chapel of the IEC Pavilion serves
as a reserved space for time
with the Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament. Unknown to the
countless who went there to
pray, adore, and confess their
sins are three young seminarians
assigned to serve priests and
pilgrims coming to the IEC
Chapel throughout the duration
of the congress.
Samuel Paconla, one of the
seminarians at first thought
[this] was a burden because our
other classmates are [on vacation
while we are here working. He
later realized that as the hours and
days passed they didnt want this
encounter to end.
It was a nice experience to serve
God every hour, and meeting new
people while at it, he added in
Where the Lord is
While on service at the chapel,
one of the seminarians recounted
that he realized people seek the
presence of Christ in their lives.
[Many] people are still
searching for our Lord, we have
to pause for a moment and see

[that] what we are looking for is in

the tabernacle, the real presence
of our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament, explained Lance
Patrick Inad, another seminarian
stationed at the IEC Chapel.
The thing we like most is that
we are always with our Lord in the
Blessed Sacrament, he added.
Jemiel Marc Pardo, the third
seminarian stationed at the IEC
chapel, also shared about the
grace of serving in their post.
I encountered our Lord, the
comforting presence of our Lord
in the Blessed Sacrament and in it,
I felt my burdens lighten, he said.
Duties in watching the Lord
We have to be here earlier than
seven [in the morning], regardless
if we lack sleep, we have to be
here the whole day, we serve
every hour and we have shifts,
said Inad.
They witness people come
and go to receive the sacrament
of Reconciliation, or stay for
adoration. The seminarians act
as guides throughout their visit
to the chapel.
What was challenging was
directing people to confession
acting as traffic police, some
personalities were challenging,
shared Inad.

Retelling an amusing incident,

he said: A Spanish lady asked
me for a Spanish confessor and
I replied to her: I do not speak
Spanish in Spanish! And there
she was laughing at me.
Most people come to confess
after talks, people consistently
come and go [to] the chapel to
adore the Lord too, said Paconla.
Always something new
When asked about the whole
experience the three answered
with much enthusiasm.
Everyday there is something
happening, something new we
are happy that everything falls in
place, we see so many bishops and
high-ranking officials from the
Church, said Inad.
For us, its a wonderful
experience to serve God, I
learned that in the Christian
community, we are all brothers
and sisters in Christ so anywhere
we live, any nation, any state, we
are all one in the eyes of God,
added Paconla.
Every thing was a memorable
experience. Its a great experience
to meet new people from other
places and meeting a lot of
bishops and clergy, concluded
Pardo. (Chrixy Paguirigan /
CBCP News)