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Pope names PPCRV head to Vatican council
A painful quest for economic prosperity
A supplement Publication for KCFAPI and A supplement Publication for KCFAPI the Order of the Knights of Columbus the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Prelate urges hike in worker’s pay
WHILE lauding the additional pay for soldiers, a senior Catholic bishop called on the government to also consider raising salaries of ordinary laborers. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the substantial wage hike must also be given to public teachers, government employees and other workers. “It’s right to increase salary of soldiers. But they (government) should also give more dePrelate / A6
CBCP head lauds PNP ‘transformation’ program
THE head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) for ‘igniting spaces of hope’ in their ‘already problematic’ image. CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo is referring to the “PNP Transformation Program” through the Police National Training Institute (PNTI) in Calamba City that
CBCP head / A6
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace October 15 - 28, 2007 Vol. 11 No. 21 Php 20.00
CBCP questions bribery scandal, seeks probe
by Roy Lagarde
THE Catholic bishops’ leadership has backed calls for an official investigation into allegations of bribery by Malacañang. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, in a statement last October 16, said the matter had to be cleared up. The bribery accusations allege that the government paid congressmen and local public officials after their meeting with President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo recently to win support. Arroyo critics said the “cash gifts” ranging from P200,000 to P500,000 were tied to the impeachment complaint against her. Lagdameo said such scandal, if proven true, only shows the current administration’s moral bankruptcy. “With this sort of thing happening, our country is not only suffering from economic bankruptcy but also moral bankruptcy, disappointingly being shown by our leaders,” he said. “I encourage and support the plan of our respectable senators to make the appropriate inquiry on the matter of distributing said cash gifts,” he added. The prelate also said something is fishy into the alleged pay-off to government officials among whom is priest-turnedpolitician Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio. “What was the purpose of the cash gifts? Where did they come from? Who was the personal source of the cash? Were they for local government projects? Were they for the forthcoming Barangay Elections? Why were they distributed only to pro-administration local officials? Why not also to the opposition? Who ultimately will profit from these cash gifts? Are they really gifts or bribes?” Lagdameo asked. The CBCP head also warned those officials who accepted the huge amount of money from the Palace.
CBCP questions / A6
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SUNDAY, October 14. In the legal arena, the indigenous peoples may have triumphed in pushing the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act in 1997 and other international laws that gained them recognition to their rights as people and their title to their ancestral domain, but today they still find themselves locked up in a struggle for ethnic and racial survival.
Church asks new approach to criminal justice
THE Roman Catholic Church renewed calls for a new approach to crime and punishment focusing on “restorative justice.” Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo, head of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) made the appeal yesterday for the people to veer away from retributive justice. “Recent events show that crime has escalated. Yet the traditional means of dealing with such crime seem unable to bring about reconciliation and healing,” he said. Arigo urged the faithful to adopt a justice that heals, stressing that the gravity of a crime, does not call for a severe penalty that entails the ancient rule of “an eye for an eye, a life for a life.” Besides appropriately punishing the offender, the concept of restorative justice focuses on offering the chance for reformation of a criminal. He said criminal justice system must not be built upon a philosophy of retribution, focusing mainly upon punishment flowing from feelings of revenge. “A negative philosophy will produce negative results,” he said. In celebration of the 20th Prison Awareness Sunday on October 28, the CBCP challenges the said means of dealing with criminals on the basis that it is “negative” and “usually counterproductive.” “We hold that compassion, mercy, healing, sanction where appropriate and forgiveness leading to reconciliation lie at the heart of a fair and just criminal justice system,” said Arigo. “Even the worst of offenders remain children of God. We are called to discover the face of Christ among them,” he added. (CBCPNews)
Ilocos bishop blames officials for jueteng resurgence
JUETENG is alive in Ilocos provinces because some local officials and even law enforcers are supporting it, a Church official said. Laoag bishop Sergio Utleg alleged that some of these officials were even running the illegal numbers game themselves and stepping up operations. “They are in favor of jueteng of course because they profit from it,” he said. Utleg said they are planning to release another pastoral statement against jueteng to show their continuous opposition and remind the people about its negative impact to society. “Jueteng is bad because it promotes graft and corruption and disrespect for the law. It really has to be stopped,” he said. In another development, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday hailed Manila mayor Alfredo Lim in his effort to stop jueteng operations in his jurisdiction. “In Manila I know there’s no jueteng,” said Cruz who heads the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal (People’s Crusade Against Gambling). But the prelate said Lim’s effort should continue because jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling remained pervasive in other areas. “I will encourage anybody to do away with it because jueteng is an exploitation of the people,” he also said. (Roy Lagarde)
Faith-based groups score Bishop lauds USAID pullout ‘illegitimate debts’ of contraceptives
VARIOUS faith-based groups criticized the government for setting a bad example over debts. Representatives from different religious groups, academe and other civil organizations gathered yesterday in a Faith-Based Congress Against Illegitimate Debt at the Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City. Drawing its inspiration from the Scriptures, the meeting aimed to unify faith-based groups and individuals on the illegitimacy of debts. In their joint statement, they declared that not all debts are legitimate and the high level of borrowing for wrong purposes are risky for the soul of society and should be reined in. They said that debts that came from anomalous transactions, under onerous terms and were incurred to finance anti-people development are deemed illegitimate. The participants vowed to mount a grassroots’ effort to spur the government to act on the issue of “illegitimate debts.” Specifically, they called on public officials to implement policies, laws and actions that will lead to ending of illicit debts. “Foremost among our social ills is the debt trap we find ourselves in. Heavily into debt, we are forced into economic conditions that perpetuate dependency and poverty, so much so we can hardly pay the interest of these loans,” they said. To date, the statement said, an average of 30-40 percent of the national budget is used to pay for government loans, “thus shrinking the funds used for social services and those needed for economic development. “In truth, we have been in debt for more than forty years now! Our children’s children will forever be in debt,” the statement read. Fr. Ben Moraleda, CSsR, of Kaalagad Katipunang Kristiyano and also the Freedom from Dept Coalition (FDC) vice president, said the debt problem turned worse when corruption and injustices entered the picture. “This situation has become unchristian and immoral! Therefore, illegitimate debts are immoral!” the priest said. Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC) president Dr. Melba Maggay, meanwhile, stressed the moral dimensions of the dept problem. As vice-chair of the Micah Challenge Philippines campaign, she shared that the Evangelical Christians, a largely conservative community, are becoming involved in social and economic issues by focusing on debt cancellation and responsible governance. She also encouraged other faithbased groups to work towards alFaith-based / A6
A CATHOLIC prelate could not help but ‘praise the Lord’ as an American international agency known for its active role in population control plans to stop giving free contraceptives in the Philippines. San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, who chairs the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the Church opposed all forms of artificial contraceptives. “Praise the Lord! …Because by promoting contraception you do not eliminate poverty
by weakening and killing the poor,” he told Church reporters. Aniceto said using contraceptive is “immoral”, as he vowed a continued fight against massive depopulation agenda of some political leaders. The senior bishop has been saying that contraceptive mentality is not the way to promote authentic development for the country. “It should come out from a real serious economic management and proper economic planning of our country,” he said.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said it would end its free supply of contraceptives for the country soon. The USAID in fact has already stopped giving condoms since 2004 and plans to cut the rest of its donation of other birth control products next year. The agency, which is the main supplier of contraceptives in the country for the past 30 years, said its phase out is in line with the government’s promotion of natural family planning.
Bishop / A6
Religious group ready to help victims of repression
THE country’s influential religious congregations are ready to help victims of human rights violations under administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) yesterday called on civil society groups to notify them about reports of oppression for them to act soonest. The call was made by AMRSP co-chairperson Fr. Jess Malit, SSS, in a press conference held right after the Eucharistic celebration of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Sunday in Baclaran Church. “Continue reporting to us that we may able also to respond accordingly. We can assure you that we are one with you in your struggles,” he said. The group has long been saying they have been consistent in their concern for victims of human rights violations. The AMRSP, formed in 1972, is the joint forum of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men (AMRSMP) and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men (AMRSWP) in the Philippines both founded in 1955 and 1957 respectively.
Religious / A6
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
”Kidnapped” by Christ and the poor: Fr. Bossi tells his story in a book
MILAN, Italy, October 16, 2007—Much has been written of Father Giancarlo Bossi and of his kidnapping. Up until now, however, what has been missing is a portrait of the man in his daily life, a profile of this missionary capable of delving into the reasons for his missionary choice and the secret of his witness of the faith. Now, this void has been filled by a book, “Rapito” (Kidnapped), published by Editrice Missionaria Italiana (EMI) on sale in bookshops (pp. 128, 10 Euro), in which Father Bossi gives an account of his life and of himself. The subtitle reads: “Forty days in the hands of rebels, a lifetime in the hands of God”. It is further developed in the preface by PIME Superior General Father Gian Battista Zanchi: “Fr Bossi’s kidnapping takes on a deeper meaning when read in the light of the missionary vocation which brought Giancarlo to the Philippines (had it been otherwise, it would merely have been the case of a misadventure with a happy ending). At the same time the ‘extreme’ experience of the kidnapping itself throws light on ‘daily’ missionary life. Before having been kidnapped by a band of delinquents, Father Giancarlo—he himself says so—was spiritually ‘kidnapped’ by the radical nature of the Gospel and Christ’s appeal ‘Go throughout the world’ and to the poor, who are the privileged. The kidnapping therefore can no longer be read as an unpleasant incident along the way, but rather as a milestone in a much longer journey: the missionary journey”. In the book, Father Bossi re-evokes the beginning of his missionary vocation. Starting from the family hearth of Abbiategrasso, he retraces his 27 years of missions in the Philippines, during which he touched the lives of diverse peoples, experiencing both the love and solidarity of the ordinary people and the hostility of the fundamentalists. The book is much more than a diary of his captivity, an experience which Father Giancarlo in spite of everything comes to judge as “a time of grace”, almost as an Exodus of purification and a return to the essentials. Fr. Bossi is categorical in regarding the motives behind the kidnapping: money and not anti-Christian persecution. Regarding his kidnappers he says: “Simple criminals, they did not do it because they were Muslims.
The AP mistakenly reports that Pope approves of ‘therapeutic cloning’
PHILADELPHIA, USA, October 15, 2007—While gaffes by the secular press covering religion are somewhat common and often humorous, they usually aren’t as bad as the Associated Press’ latest error. On Friday, AP reporter Nicole Winfield incorrectly wrote that Pope Benedict XVI supports therapeutic cloning. The article accurately states that Pope Benedict XVI has asked the South Koreans not to resume embryonic stem cell research, now that the scandal caused by Hwang Woo-suk is receding from their collective memory. Hwang claimed to have cloned human embryos and was lauded as a national hero until his work was proved to be fraudulent. At the end of Winfield’s article, she states: “Benedict noted that the Vatican does not oppose— and in fact encourages—somatic stem cell research, also known as ‘therapeutic cloning’, which uses human eggs specifically for research from which stem cells are harvested.” The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) reacted to Winfield’s mistake saying, “This is false. Ms. Winfield has confused the terms. The Catholic Church does support “somatic” stem cell research, if by this Winfield means adult stem cell research. The Church is resolutely opposed to “therapeutic cloning,” which is the production of a cloned human being solely for the purpose of destroying him or her in research.” The AP was also taken to task for failing to pick up on a key point of the Pope’s address in their headline: “Pope to South Korea: No Stem Cell Research.” The NCBC pointed out that, “[i]f the Church encourages adult stem cell research, as Winfield notes, how can it be true to say that the Pope told the South Koreans ‘no stem cell research’?” According to the NCBC, this is more than an editorial error, “This is a clear example of bias.” “The media casts the Church’s position in absolute terms, ignoring her careful distinction between licit and illicit forms of research.” The Pope has not told the South Koreans “no stem cell research.” Rather, he has encouraged the pursuit of ethical stem cell research,” said the bioethics group. (CNA)
The Muslim-criminal equation is wrong”. And yet in spite of all of this, the book— complete with pages of great beauty in which the missionary reflects on forgiving his kidnappers—is not without reflections, at times provocative, on Islam and the commitment to dialogue. This, for Fr. Bossi must begin with mutual respect, “otherwise it is not authentic”. Complete with photo inserts and a dossier on the reality of Mindanao by Stefano Vecchia, the book is enriched by the testimony of Pino Scaccia, the correspondent who followed Fr. Bossi’s odyssey first-hand and an introduction by Gerolamo Fazzini, co director of Mondo e Missione. (AsiaNews)
Holy See suspends embroiled Monsignor
ROME, October 15, 2007—The Holy See suspended a priest who declared himself a homosexual on an Italian television program. Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, who worked at the Congregation for Clergy, is being investigated by the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia. The 60-year-old priest claims he is the victim of a trap set by the television station. Cardinal Julián Herranz Casado, president of the Disciplinary Commission, confirmed the suspension today in the Italian daily La Repubblica. The cardinal affirmed that the Holy See “has promptly intervened already, with suspension,” but noted that a final decision will only come with a decision from the commission. Cardinal Herranz asked that investigators be allowed to work “with serenity […] away from the clamoring of the media” as they try to clarify the situation, “since the process should not be done in the newspapers, but rather by the institutional structures.” “The Holy See is the first one to be interested in cleansing itself from within, but always respecting human rights and after judicial authority pronounces itself,” he continued. The cardinal affirmed that with these kinds of cases, there is certainly “sadness, but one must be aware that these are exceptional cases, I would even dare to say, unique.” During the Italian program “Exit,” broadcast Oct. 1, the priest, who remained anonymous on-screen, declared that he was homosexual and that “he didn’t feel he was in sin.” The priest said he was not aware that the interview was being recorded. Despite the fact that in the television images, the priest’s face and voice are unrecognizable, his office was identified by a reporter and on Oct. 9, Monsignor Stenico was accused. The monsignor, a doctor of theology with a licentiate in psychology, has worked as a psychotherapist for 30 years. He said he claimed to be homosexual because he was seeking information “to write a book about the problem of homosexuality among priests.” Monsignor Stenico added: “Definitely, it was nothing more than an experiment, a study about the theme, and I have fallen in the trap, but I will explain it to my superiors.” Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said on Saturday that officials “are following this situation with strict discretion and with respect for the person concerned, even if this person committed these errors.” He clarified, “The authorities, however, must intervene with the appropriate severity for such behavior, which is incompatible with the ministry of a priest and the mission of the Holy See.” (Zenit)
Oblate missionary murdered in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, October 12, 2007—The Oblate novitiate community in South Africa and the Northern Province are mourning the death of the Associate Novice Master, Fr. Allard Msheyene Mako shot and killed by roadside carjackers on October 5. The 42 year-old Oblate priest, ordained in 2003, had gone to lend weekend help at St. Peter’s parish in Nelspruit. After celebrating a Friday evening liturgy at 6 pm in Ka Nyamazane, he took a young man home and returned to the parish. A short time later, he was found lying by the road at Msogwaba township, and was taken at 7.30pm by ambulance to Themba Hospital, Kabokweni. He was soon transferred to a larger hospital in Nelspruit, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was conscious and recognized those who spoke to him, and at that stage could give some response. The bullet had done its fatal damage, however. Fr Zweli Mlotshwa, anointed him at 5:30 Saturday morning, October 6. Fr.Allard died a couple of hours later. Just a few days earlier, he was in a jovial mood as he and the novitiate community visited the Intercapitular meeting in session north of Johannesburg. He laughed and joked with Oblates who were his friends from his days at the International Scholasticate in Rome. His death leaves a void, not only in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, but also in the pastoral plan of his province where he had revived the vocation apostolate and was being prepared for further formation work. The Interchapter meeting will suspend its work to attend his funeral Mass on Thursday, October 11, at the Oblate parish in Victory Park. Car-jacking in South Africa is widespread with more than 12,000 cases every year, although in recent years have diminished slightly in number after reaching a peak of 16,000 in 1998. (Fides)
Fatima opens “one of the world’s largest churches” in time for 90th anniversary
of the New Jerusalem, and the walls will bear passages from the Bible in twenty-three languages. Pope Benedict XVI delivered a live televised message to congregants on Sunday, the 90th anniversary of the final apparition of the Virgin Mary. The Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children over a six-month period in 1917. She counseled prayers for those in danger of hell and for the conversion of Russia. She also conveyed a vision that some interpret to have prophesied the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, who himself credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life. Two of the children, Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta, have been beatified. The third visionary, Lucia, became a nun and died two years ago. The new church’s low-slung profile complements the existing basilica by not overshadowing the older structure. (CNA)
Pope calls for full communion between Catholics and orthodox
VATICAN CITY, October 10, 2007¯At the end of today’s general audience at St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled how “the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox is currently holding its 10th plenary assembly in Ravenna, Italy, where it is deliberating upon a theological subject of particular ecumenical interest: the ecclesiological and canonical consequences of the sacramental nature of the Church—ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority.” “I ask you to join me in my prayer,” said the Holy Father, “that this important gathering may help us to progress towards full communion between Catholics and Orthodox, and that we may soon be able to share the one chalice of the Lord.” (VIS)
FATIMA, Portugal, October 15, 2007—One of the largest churches in the world was dedicated on Sunday in Fatima, Portugal one of the most popular Marian pil-
grimage sites in the world. The Church of the Holy Trinity, built to accommodate the estimated 5 million annual pilgrims to Fatima, can hold nearly
9,000 people. Its interior measures 130,000 square feet, containing five chapels, fifty confessionals, and a cafe. It will be decorated with an enormous mural
500 Spanish martyrs to be beatified
VATICAN, October 10, 2007—In St Peter’s Square in Rome, there will be the largest number of beatification in Church history, among them almost 500 martyrs of religious persecution in Spain in the 1930s. Fr Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, spokesman of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference said during a conference on 5 October in Rome at the Pontifical Agustinianum Institute called “The century of martyrs and religious persecution in Spain (19341939)”, this beatification “will be an extraordinary event and a reminder that the testimony of martyrs is a great sign of hope”. Fr Martínez Camino said the celebration will be exceptional for three reasons: the number of the Blessed “never have so many servants of God been beatified together: this is the most numerous beatification in Church history”; the organization: this is the first experience of networking among the various postulators, and with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; from the pastoral point of view because “practically all the dioceses in Spain, because of the place of birth, apostolic life, or martyrdom of the new Blessed, are the main actors of this great celebration of faith and holiness”. Although it is the most numerous beatifications in history every case has been given careful individual attention. With these new Blesseds a total 977 Spanish martyrs have been recognized by the Church, and 11 of them are already Saints. “Many more cases could be proposed” said the spokesman of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, because in Spain at that time about 10,000 people were martyred. Processes of beatification have already been started for about 2,000. Fr Camino said nearly every Spanish Bishop will be present for the occasion. “They all, with their respective diocesan Churches, feel involved in the event” and “they thank the Holy Father for allowing this beatification to take place in Rome”. The celebration will “strengthen the faith of Spanish Catholics at this time of great difficulty and enable them to be builders of justice and reconciliation in the light of the testimony of our martyrs, witness of faith and forgiveness”. Among those present at the academic act, Andrea Riccardi, founder of the S. Egidio Community, and Vicente Cárcel Ortí, scholar in History of the Church in Spain, who said that religious persecution in that epoch “was the most widely known in the history of Spain and perhaps in the history of the whole Church”. He also recalled that “Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical Dilectissima nobis 3 June 1933, denounced to the world the situation of authentic religious persecution being experienced by the Church in Spain “. (Fides)
Muslim scholars send note to Pope
LONDON, October 12, 2007— Muslim scholars have written to Benedict XVI and the heads of Christian churches to propose that the two faiths cooperate in creating peace and understanding in the world. Thursday’s text comes a year after 38 Muslim scholars sent an open letter to the Pope in the wake of his address given at the University of Regensburg in September. The discourse had sparked controversy among some Muslim circles. The 138 signatories of this year’s letter offer an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over what is most essential to their respective faiths—the commandment of love. With over a half of the world’s population consisting of Muslims and Christians, the letter’s authors believe that easing world tensions can only come from peace and justice between these two faiths. The document calls for tolerance, understanding and moderation, and is signed by Muslim leaders, politicians and academics. (Zenit)
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
The many faces of World Mission Sunday Cardinal says Africa has duty to help Europe
LONDON, October 16, 2007— World Mission Sunday is not just about economic aid to impoverished countries, said an African cardinal who believes that Africa has a duty to support the Church in Europe. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, is visiting England this week to strengthen links between the two countries and highlight the importance of World Mission Sunday, scheduled to be observed on Oct. 21. Cardinal Turkson told ZENIT: “My first concern is to explain the vision of the mission in the Church—this objective is not simply to be equated with development and economic aid in the south. “The point of mission is the promotion of the Gospel and faith in Jesus. This will take many forms in different countries.” For example, the cardinal continued, “proclaiming the Gospel may require some structural support, as in India, Latin America, and Africa.” “Also, there are places where proclaiming the Gospel will take the form of the simple presence of witnesses, as in northern Africa and the Middle East; for instance, something as simple as carrying a Bible. In this case, the testimony is in the form of the witnesses’ lives and what they do,” he added. Cardinal Turkson continued: “In China, and places like this, people may have an opportunity to say something, but it is limited, so new ways must be discovered. “Mission is ways of doing all of these. The same thing applies here in the West. Here also we can do mission, though not in the same form as elsewhere. Here in the United Kingdom there are actually too many churches. So different forms must be used to present a new proclamation of what the Gospel message is.”
Sharing in need
Cardinal Turkson said he believes Africa has a duty to support the Church in Europe. The 59-year-old cardinal explained that just as Europe was generous in its missionary outreach to Africa, so now the Church in Africa must be equally forthcoming in sharing in the worldwide mission of the Church. While Ghana has one priest for every 2,400 Catholics, Cardinal Turkson highlighted that “we are not talking about sharing personnel, since we don’t have a surplus, but a recognition that we are a world Church—a Church together. As much as possible we must re-
spond to people’s needs because we see what our brother needs. If this is what is needed in Europe, this is something we can share.” Cardinal Turkson places heavy weight upon formation to bring future priests to a more mature faith that they can bring to their parishioners. “So very crucial, which may have been a problem of Europe, is this type of evangelization,” the cardinal explained. In Africa, he continued, “we have been the product of missionary evangelization. They did their best in putting together the essentials of the faith that they tried to share with the people.” “But people where admitted to the Church because they were taught notions they considered indicative of what the Catholic faith was about and merely recited what they had to,” he emphasized.
“If a priest has to preach about conversion, he cannot do it if he himself has not experienced it, if it is missing in his life,” explained the African cardinal. He continued, “The people then leave the Church and enter other groups, like the evangelicals, because they did not have a deepening of their faith. The people learned a few notions and concepts, but not about the offer of God’s love, and the richness of what the Church has to offer.” “What is needed is the experience of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus, not just to be talked about but lived and experienced. When this is the case, something is lasting in the experience of the person,” Cardinal Turkson added. “We need to discover new pathways of inviting people—not simply philosophizing—to enter into a relationship with God.” (Zenit)
What the Pauline Year is all about
ROME, October 9, 2007—Next year’s jubilee for the 2,000th anniversary of St. Paul’s birth will offer pilgrims the opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence. Father Oliviero Plichon, the coordinator of the Pauline Year who works in close collaboration with Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, said this when speaking with ZENIT about the events planned for next year’s jubilee. “We don’t know exactly which year St. Paul was born,” explained Father Plichon, “but the experts say that they date is between A.D. 5 and 10.” Father Plichon said that when Cardinal Lanza di Montezemolo presented the idea to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Pope’s secretary of state at the time, and then to Benedict XVI, the Holy Father welcomed the idea with interest and gave permission for the dates of the Pauline Year to be set. The Pauline Year, beginning on June 28, 2008, and ending on June 29, 2009, will include a myriad of events in areas of ecumenism, liturgy, prayer, art, history, archaeology, pastoral initiatives and pilgrimages. The Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, which welcomes between 2,500 and 4,000 pilgrims a day, will open its jubilee door and will host a special liturgy each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Pilgrims will be able to pass through the Pauline Door, pray at St. Paul’s tomb and at the chains of St. Paul, go to confession, participate in Mass and vespers in order to receive a plenary indulgence. The left nave of the basilica will be reserved for exhibits, including depictions of St. Paul’s voyages, excavations, letters, the building’s history, and commemorative stamps and medals made for the jubilee year. Two concerts will be performed for the event. Handel’s
Pope ‘hopeful’ about RP Church
“TO you (people) of the Philippines, you are the number one missionaries of the world,” Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera quoted the Pope as saying during an orientation seminar given to newlyordained bishops in Rome. Garcera said Benedict XVI is “hopeful” in emphasizing how the Philippines can respond to the Catholic Church’s missionary work especially through Filipinos abroad. The Pope received a total of 103 prelates, six of them from the Philippines, in a gathering of new bishops in Castelgandolfo last September 22. Aside from Garcera, the Filipino prelates who attended the event were Bishops Leopoldo Jaucian of Bangued, Julius Tonel of the Prelature of Ipil, Crispin Varquez of Borongan and Auxiliary Bishops Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao and Francisco De Leon of Antipolo. It has become a tradition for recently consecrated bishops to be called by the Pope to Rome for an orientation to their Episcopal ministry. During the orientation, the Pope stressed the important roles of a bishop as “the shepherd, man of faith and man of holiness.” The Pontiff reminded them of their role in inspiring the whole Church, particularly the clergy, who in turn lead and care for the lay people. He took the bishops through a 10-minute reflection giving them a “key” to success in their mission—that they must be, above all, men of prayer. In praying, Benedict told the bishops that they should have “the trust of children, the boldness of a friend, and the perseverance of Abraham, who was tireless in his intercession.” “Prayer educates us to love and opens our hearts to pastoral charity to welcome all those who look to the bishop,” he said. The Pope also told the prelates to keep praying for new vocations. He called on them to reserve a special mention for priests in their prayers, “that they may persevere in their vocation, faithful to the priestly mission with which they have been entrusted.” “In the same way the bishop must never cease praying for new vocations. These supplications must be offered up with persistence to God, until he calls ‘those he wants’ for the sacred ministry,” Benedict XVI said. (CBCPNews)
Pope Benedict XVI visits the crypt of St. Paul the Apostle during Vesper prayers at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls, in Rome. (© Osservatore Romano/ POOL/Corbis)
“Messiah” will be performed and directed by Lorin Maazel for the opening of the Pauline Year. For Easter Sunday, 2009, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “The Resurrection,” will be preformed and directed by Zubin Mehta. For pilgrims visiting Rome, there will be a Pauline “pilgrim-
age” within the city to places connected with St. Paul’s life, including the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, the Church of St. Paul of the Rule, where he was said to have lived and the Basilica of the Three Fountains, where tradition says he was beheaded. (Zenit)
Church supportive of agrarian reform program
“THE Church has remained supportive of the government’s comprehensive agrarian reform program since it began 19 years ago,” said Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J. In an interview aired at Catholic-run Veritas 846, Archbishop Ledesma said he and the entire Catholic leadership in the Philippines hope small farmers would eventually own the land they till. Archbishop Ledesma is Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Vice President. He said the agrarian reform law provisions are enough “and what’s needed is implementation.” He explained farmers have sought the assistance of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to have the implementation program extended beyond 2008. Archbishop Ledesma said farmers are wary of the RPChina deal on the propagation of hybrid rice which requires over a million hectares on areas previously covered by agrarian reform. Asked why agrarian reform program appear to have failed in the rural areas, the prelate said “it is possibly due to the weakness of the Department of Agrarian Reform and lack of pressure from other support groups, church groups included.” He explained the Second Rural Congress scheduled early next year would bring to the fore the real situation in the countryside. He concluded that while they support CARP’s extension, “the law should be amended to plug its loopholes and assure everyone of a more vigorous implementation.” (Melo Acuña)
‘Human dignity is priceless,’ Cruz says
LINGAYEN-DAGUPAN Archbishop Oscar Cruz said it pains him a lot to hear of stories about money changing hands, “especially when one’s loyalty is at stake.” Speaking over Catholic-run Veritas 846 , the 73-year old prelate said it has become common for one to extract loyalty from perceived supporters and for someone to sell one’s loyalty to government leaders. He said one’s strength would be tested should he opt to refuse cash being offered by people in influential positions. Asked of his reactions to reports of at least three provincial executives, including Catholic priest-turned Pampanga Governor Eduardo Panlillo received cash amounting to P500,000.00 each, the archbishop said “what pains me is the fact nobody’s strong enough to resist ‘benefits’ from powerful persons.” Governor Panlillo said he will use the amount for priority programs in his province. He said it appears almost everyone has a “price tag.” He added “if one’s to consider half a million pesos, it wouldn’t be enough to make an impact on public service programs as it is too small.” “One cannot just remain noble in serving the poor and needy without knowing where the donated money comes from,” he explained. Archbishop Cruz said the price could have been a “bit higher because what’s involved is one’s dignity.” He further said, “One’s dignity is priceless.” (Melo Acuña)
Sacred Music: an integral part of liturgy
VATICAN CITY, October 13, 2007—This morning, Benedict XVI visited the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, the headquarters of which has recently been completely refurbished, at the initiative of the Holy See and thanks to the support of various benefactors including the “Fondazione pro Musica Sacra e Arte Sacra.” At his arrival, the Pope was welcomed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, and by Msgr. Valentin Miserachs Grau, president of the institute. The Holy Father paused a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament in the institute’s church before moving on to the library, which has also been restored recently. In his brief address Benedict XVI highlighted the fact that sacred music, as Vatican Council II had made clear, “is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this preeminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.” John Paul II, said Pope Benedict, “observed that today, as always, three characteristics distinguish sacred music: its ‘sanctity,’ its ‘true art,’ and its ‘universality,’ in other words the fact that it can be presented to any people or assembly. “Precisely for this reason,” he added, “the ecclesial authorities must undertake to guide ... the development of such an important form of music, not by ‘freezing’ its heritage but by seeking to combine the legacy of the past with the worthwhile novelties of the present, so as to achieve a synthesis worthy of the exalted mission [sacred music] has in the service of God. “I am certain, “Benedict XVI concluded, “that the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, in harmony with Congregation for Divine Worship, will not fail to contribute to an ‘aggiornamento’ ... of the precious traditions of which sacred music is so rich.” (VIS)
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Churches for the World
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
“EXCHANGE of Gifts” is how the Holy Father sees the generosity of “missio ad gentes”—and aptly so for if the medium is the message, as Marshall McLuhan puts it, the missionary lives the Good News himself or the “gift” that he has become. So that sending one to other Churches transcends the routinary work element in the apostolate into a flowering of the faith that defuses to be shared with others. It is perhaps in this sense that no missionary becomes burnt-out because he is sent not to work— in the professional sense of the word—but to share a profound faith with the end in view of becoming a leaven, a salt and a light. Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the 81st World Mission Sunday picks on the theme, “all Churches for all the world.” He enjoins all local churches of every continent to relaunch missionary action in the face of the many challenges of the present time which include a secularized culture, the crisis of the family, the dwindling number of vocations vis-à-vis the progressive ageing of the clergy, and the consequent weakening of missionary effort. The Pontiff says: “…we could say that for the individual members of the faithful it is no longer merely a matter of collaborating in evangelizing work but of feeling that they themselves are protagonists and co-responsible. This co-responsibility entails the growth of communion between the communities and increases reciprocal help with regard to the personnel (priests, men and women religious and lay volunteers) and the use of the means necessary for evangelization today.” In the context of missionary co-responsibility and cooperation, the Philippines has so much to offer to the world. More than the work of “professional” missionary priests and nuns, the millions of overseas Filipino workers are “de facto” missionaries that have shared their faith with other cultures with tremendous magnitude. This is the reason why Filipino-born faith communities, such as Couples for Christ, El Shaddai, Bukas Loob sa Diyos and others, thrive in other countries and fill up churches which, otherwise, have already been long converted into museums. With the burgeoning number of Filipinos leaving for other countries everyday in search of employment, there may not be a workable system to prepare them to become “de facto” missionaries. But preparing Catholic Filipinos in every parish to become good and mature Christians is enough—because missionary work is not a method or a technique in missiology, but a sharing of one’s life and faith into becoming a gift for others.
Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD
In and Out of Season
PREVENTION is better than cure; nevertheless it leads inevitably to cure. This is how I look at the Values and Leadership School and Heroic Christian Citizenship that the group of PC Supt. (General) Samson Tucay and of Fr. Carmelo O. Diola had started with the new recruits for the Philippine National Police. The former is the Director of the Police National Training Institute (PNTI) while the latter is the Coordinator of “Dilaab” based in Cebu. In the mind of many people, the PNP was the second most corrupt agency in government. That picture is changing for the better. Within six months time, the PNT Institute offers new police recruits such modules as Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), Basic Bible Seminar (BBS), Heroic Christian Leadership (HCC) module, Values and Leadership Seminar (VLS), Empowering Decisions to Change Module. This brings a wind of fresh air in the otherwise rigid military-like training of our public servants in the police force, certainly “igniting spaces of hope” in our already prob-
Towards a new image of the police
ish priests in order to develop further their formation in Christian life. The priests as well as the parish organizations can lend them their pastoral and evangelizing experience. Some of the graduates of the PNT Institute can also become lay ministers. The Bukas Loob Covenant Community has given some of the recruits of PNT Institute marriage encounter. Something good for the PNP families, too. To make their experience an evangelizing experience, one initial step would be to motivate the graduates of the PNT Institute to share their values and leadership experiences with the parish communities where they are stationed. Such will develop and enhance mutual trust, based on pro-active rather than reactive relationship. Goodness begets goodness… the power to unite! I encourage this healthy initiative which I consider as a step towards a new image of policemen. I congratulate the Leadership of the Philippine National Police for allowing and empowering this initiative among their ranks.
The Politics of Buying
THERE are some questions that can be legitimately asked about the more recent events in the country that are begging for credible answers—if such were still possible. How gross can a national government become when it buys the loyalty and support of certain regional and local public officials? How corrupt and corrupting can an administration display itself by freely and liberally distributing millions of pesos to many of its minions as if it owned all the money in the country? How callous can a national leader become by paying for its greed for power, by assuring its tenure of might and influence? With the way someone thinks and acts, it appears that there is no more distinction between right and wrong, no more difference between virtue and vice. It looks like some individuals are considered as having affordable price tags. There appears to be a calculated and deliberate scheme to bribe certain persons in order to prop up a miserable credibility and lost respectability. Anything at any cost for whatever amount—all these are considered fair and square on proviso only that egoistic interests could be duly promoted, and selfish motives accordingly safeguarded. And more questions: Is it to successfully quash impeachment complaints from 2007 to 2009 at least? Is it already to prepare for a constitutional change from a bicameral to parliamentary form of government especially through a constituent assembly? Is it this an early preparation for the approval of such a change through the loyal response of the local officials plus an election to the parliament for continuing hold on power from 2010? It was not enough that there was one scam after another since 2004. It was neither enough that there was that recent shameless ZTE deal. It is not even enough that even the supposedly marvelous cyberspace education project is already the object of either objection or decision. There is this concluded series of someone buying, others selling, bought and bribed. It is almost certain that the poor people of the Philippines have definitely not heard the last of such serious socio-moral aberrations. It can be safely said that there will be others—perhaps more errant, odious and disastrous. In the meantime, fund sources are bottomless so that the spread of scandal, corruption and more anomalies, are easily bought and silenced day after day—or so it seems.
lematic situation. I would call it a “redeeming factor”¯ in the midst of the bad news about police men, here is a piece of good news. It is encouraging to know that there are some 3,000 graduates of the PNT Institute, some of them belong to the government agencies, many are out-of-school youth, but majority are recruits for the Philippine National Police. The Institute envisions to spread through the 17 regions, with more than 500 in-house staff members and a swarm of volunteers from organizations and associations who have the capability of offering help in the transmission of the modules. The seminars are anchored on the vision of a God-Centered, Service-Oriented and Family-Based PNP. Anything that is for the common good of the country has “Power to Unite”, and to build. Evil intentions and projects tainted with selfish interest have “power to divide”, and to destroy. The Police National Training Institute, with its graduates hopes to start a working-relationship with parish organizations and par-
Barangay, SK Elections 2007
AS I write this piece, we are two weeks away from the Barangay and SK elections. There seems to be no more stopping the elections of October 29. No less than the acting chairman of the COMELEC, Resurrecion Borra, admits on national television last October 15, that the Barangay and SK grassroots democracy, though by law should not be partisan, has been, since the beginning, highly politicized under the strong influence of the powerful political kingpins and their operators. Expecting violations of the law, Chairman Borra, in the same program, appealed to the citizenry to be vigilant so that violations of the electoral laws may at least be minimized. Although I had said in previous articles that Daditama would be quite active in the upcoming elections, this does not seem to be the case. Two weeks from the elections, there has been no observable extensive mobilization of church people as in previous national and local elections. Do we sense fatigue here? Futility and frustration, due to lack of genuine elec-
Bp. Guillermo V. Afable, DD
bilization and organization of peoples for good governance and entrepreneurship. Our BECs should be in the forefront of this movement and crusade.
toral reforms that has been on the peoples’ agenda for years, but left unheeded by government officials? Whatever is the real reason, there seems to be no excitement about this coming elections. I, for one, was in favor of the postponement of elections; for two reasons. The most compelling reason for me is the sad state of our electoral processes and the ineptitude and lack of integrity of the very institution mandated and funded to ensure honest, peaceful and orderly elections. As it is right now, we cannot expect the COMELEC to conduct credible elections. It is simply an exercise of futility. What we need first, is electoral reforms and the reconstruction of the COMELEC. Second, grassroots democracy is not working. What we have is still the tyranny of the aristocracy, where the grassroots remain perpetually dependent on and marginalized by the rich, powerful and famous for their own selfish interests. What is required is no less than a grassroots’ cultural and moral revolution—a massive and relentless education, mo-
Mindanao Sulu Pastoral Conference
Daditama BECs have already sent the results of their focused group discussions on moral values of BEC members. At least ten participants from each diocese in Daditama are expected to participate in this triennial church convention to be held on October 22-26, 2007, in the Diocese of Surigao. The Bishops in Mindanao will have their annual recollection prior to the said convention to be held also in the Diocese of Surigao hosted by Bishop Antonieto Cabajog. During the said gathering of Bishops, two other regional events will most likely be discussed namely the Mindanao Catechists’ Convention held in Butuan City last August 17-21, 2007, and the ECC Conference on the Impact of Mass Media on Filipino Family values held in Cagayan de Oro City last September 21-23, 2007.
Melo M. Acuña
P r o ta g o n i s t of Tr u t h , Promoter of Peace
Issues and Concerns
DURING the past two months, Metro Manila’s shopping malls started playing Christmas carols to entice Filipinos to begin thinking of commodities to buy for the Christmas season. In fact, some companies have already paid their staff the second half of their 13th month pay to make it easier for them to dispense with Christmas bonuses come early November. Even the country’s economic planners expressed optimism over the unusual strength of the Philippine peso, enough to bring overseas Filipino workers wondering whether they should still remit hard-earned dollars home. The recent news developments revealed we really have ample supply of money. In fact, if one’s to believe news reports and personal accounts of lawmakers and local government executives, the administration is full of cash it has so much to hand out to whoever is “worthy” of their “blessings.” It’s Christmas everyday! The recent events brought about by the ZTE scam (which was eventually scrapped) and attempt to convincingly “coerce” Anakpawis Con-
‘Hallelujah’ chorus and some ‘miracles’
asked to explain about the “gifts” then we could only conclude “miracles do happen.” If the cash didn’t come from DBM, it may have come from PAGCOR, a government-owned and controlled corporation. There’s got to be responsibility, accountability and transparency, right? The Israelites woke up one morning and discovered manna from heaven. Over in Malacanang, “unknown angels” hand out gift bags reeking with cash which senators and congressmen may find it too hot to investigate. Were these cash gifts (aguinaldo tuwing Pasko) or bribes (suhol)? During the feudal days of the panginoong maylupa, the campesinos would be told to line up on Christmas to pay respects (homage) and receive gifts. If one’s to believe that almost all received cash from the Palace, boy they have an influential Hallelujah chorus out there. A friendly suggestion: let the Archdiocese of Manila’s Office for Extraordinary Visions and Phenomena look into these strange events. One thing’s sure: money’s there for the powerful as there’s less for the common man.
Pedro C. Quitorio
Pinky B. Barrientos, FSP Kris P. Bayos
Associate Editor Feature Editor
Melo M. Acuña
Dennis B. Dayao
Ernani M. Ramos
Roy Q. Lagarde
Layout by Denz Dayao
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gressman Crispin Beltran to endorse an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the recent P500,000 “cash gifts” to Governors Ed Panlillio and Jonjon Mendoza of Pampanga and Bulacan, respectively, would show there’s enormous money at the disposal of very powerful people. No less than Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo asked direct questions that need explanation: “What was the purpose of the cash gifts? Where did they come from? Who was the personal source of the cash? Were they for local government projects? Were they for the forthcoming Barangay elections? Why were they distributed only to pro-administration local officials? Why not also to the opposition? Who ultimately will profit from these cash gifts? Are they really gifts or bribes?” If we are to believe Budget and Management Secretary Nonoy Andaya’s statement his agency had nothing to do with the releases and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno’s statement ULAP (Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines) should be
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Jose B. Lugay
Laiko Lampstand Laiko 15th National Biennial Convention
EVERY two years the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas holds its National Convention participated by delegates from member National Lay Organizations and Diocesan Councils of the Laity. It is also on this occasion that the new set of officers of the LAIKO Board of Trustees are elected. This year, the National Biennial Convention was held in Angels’ Hills Retreat and Formation Center, Tagaytay City. Planned and managed by Convention chairman, Bro. Carlitos Villaraza, member of the LAIKO Board of Trustees, about 150 delegates came from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to dwell on the convention theme, “A Path to Unity.” The success of the convention was assured by the well-selected resource speakers and experience sharers. Pope Benedict’s exhortations, Deus Caritas Est, and Sacramentum Caritatis were the bases of inspired sharings of selected participants relevant to their experiences in their work in the Church. The highlights of Day 1, October 12 was the talk of “Deus Caritas Est” and Unity by Cendi Alisangco of Focolare, and Petrine and Marian Profile in the Church by Bishop Roberto Mallari, D.D., of the Diocese of Pampanga, and the homily by Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, the National Director of LAIKO, on “The Spirit of Communion.” On Day 2, October 13, Cres Gabijan talked on Word of Life—”I leave you a new commandment – Love one another as I have loved you”. Bishop Warlito Cajandig, D.D of Diocese of Calapan, talked on Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis. It was much appreciated by the audience as he explained the relevance of the Eucharist to the laity’s life in the world. This was followed by LAIKO President, Ernie Burdeos by his talk on Reciprocal Love”. An opinion was voiced that the talk of the perennial bachelor should have been entitled, “Agape Love” On Day 3, October 14, the first talk was the Word of Life— ”Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you did it to me,” delivered by Aurora Santiago, Diocese of Caloocan. This was followed by a well-researched presentation of Mary – The Model Lay Person, ably presented by no less than the President of the Teresian Association, Emma Melgarejo. Bishop Honesto C. Pacana, S.J. of the Diocese of Malyabalay and also one of the members of the Episcopal Commission on the Lay Apostolate, capped the proceedings of the third day with his explanation of the theme, “Who is My Brother (Neighbor), with reference to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Laiko / A6
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points
NO matter how much or less it is, how crisp or crumpled it appears, money is basically intended to buy commodities, to pay for personal effects, to purchase things. Something is seriously wrong when money is used to buy persons, to secure their support, gain their loyalty. It is not true that money is the root of all evil as it is bad not to have any. It is the person using money for odious motives and devious designs, who hands out money for egoist and self-serving purposes, who is vile—especially so when the money is not really his or hers. No matter what is the title given to it, and how it was distributed, the money thus changing hands is downright bribery. The money is usually given in cash and in sizable amount depending on the desired objective and the stature of the recipient. It can be given in envelopes or in paper bags. But one thing common about bribes is that it is usually given surreptitiously. And when exposed, the standard approach is either to claim that the money came from nowhere or given by no one—even if it amounted to millions of pesos.
So rude. So crude.
When will this disgusting and even bizarre display of viciousness hand-in-hand with nonchalance ever stop? It already began in 2004 and lately topped by the ZTE fiasco. And there was the most recent debacle of the abundant rainfall of millions of pesos in the Palace grounds. And now, immediately after, was again the tired and tiring call for Charter Change. The means, the manner and the costs are considered irrelevant provided the principal mover will be able to continue holding power and having immunity from suit. Where has all decency gone? What happened to the elementary norms of ethics and the basic mandate of morals? Is there no more difference between right and wrong, no more distinction between virtue and vice? How long can and will the people endure their poverty and misery vis-à-vis the abundance and opulence of those who precisely pick their pockets with indirect taxes from their birth to death? When will honest and upright governance come?
But hideous as well are those who sell themselves, who have prices in exchange for their otherwise sound value system. They debase their persons, shame their families, show their putrid principles. They are the living images of men and women who sell their bodies with their souls to those willing to pay for them. It becomes extremely difficult for others to respect and honor both the sellers and the buyers. This inglorious and super-gross transaction has particular relevance to individuals who hold leadership positions in government and who even demand special treatment in society. There is really nothing new about such errant practice among a good number of politicians today from the national to the local levels of government. But the disgusting event took place recently in a very rude and crude manner among many presumably honorable men and women in the country. Furthermore, it happened in a place that was supposed to be hallowed grounds for being the distinct symbol of national governance in high moral ground.
Nicolo F. Bernardo
Inculturating the Youth
“AND I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as babes in Christ: ‘I fed you with milk and not with solid food.” (1 Cor 3:1-2). A missionary devotes himself reaching out to an estranged fold—learning their foreign language, living their ways, valuing their peculiar traditions and gifts, and finally, spreading and grounding the Word through their culture. Inculturation, as this is called, is the goal in non-Christian communities, drawing converts. We hear of apostolates slowly but surely assimilating the gospel to strange, unfamiliar frontiers. But what about inculturating post-Christian communities? There seems to be a need for pastors who can well immerse themselves, learn the language, and understand the postmodern culture today, especially the lifestyles of the youth. Can we not be as interested with youth culture as much as we are interested with foreign, new cultures? In delivering the Good News, generation gap can be a problem, and I think it is more a problem now than ever before with the fast-changing technology, information exchange and perpetual migrations that break the continuities of traditions and values. You can call this growing problem, “space/time gaps.” The lacuna has to be bridged by the more secure and experienced faithful—parents, priests, educators—by keeping themselves updated and responsive to the vast, divergent, and emerging culture. For centuries, it would be enough for a pastor to simply write, deliver sermons, perform the sacraments, and build social networks with key figures, with the certainty that the same ways could be effective and the same hermeneutics could be recycled all over again. But times are calling for new ways to keep the fold. No conscientious pastor, I think, could simply let himself be left behind to see his young and vulnerable flock unable to follow his voice because of their different language and culture. No faithful would like his castle of faith swept away because only the generations past could understand him. Blame that tempting tendency to turn one’s generation into one’s comfort zone, the better-than-thou generation, as if the Holy Spirit has stopped its work for the generation after. Truth to tell, in many church activities, young people find it hard to get and stay in because they feel that many of the older faithful are not really interested with them or who find them ignorant or suspect. It shows in so obvious ways in how the youth and the old now, more than the youth and the old before, have totally different cultural make-ups and moral sensibilities. The apparent consequence is the “aging population” even of believers. This incidence could be reduced with better communication, sharing of experiences, openness, and exposure. Possible reflections could be: When is the last time you devoted yourself listening and sharing with young people? Do you value them, their concerns and presence, as much as you would your own generation in your movement/community? What is your opinion about the youth’s music, dance, arts, behavior, entertainment, lifestyle? Do you communicate with them through their medium—the Internet, computers, visuals and animations, technology, the media? How do you like to learn things with them? Do you keep your church young? If the answers are in the negative, chances are, message
channels are down. No understanding possible, only skewed judgments. In the battle for values at the level of institutions—the law, the hierarchy, the government, with the professional and influential adults, let us not forget the battle for the hearts of the young. Let us not forget the new breed, who will soon fill up the system as the adult vanguards age. Are there already a sizable number of youngsters who could dedicate the same passion to what their elders hold true? Have the faith, love, and idealism been passed? Is there no need to get stuck with the same players and movers? Are many of the youth engaged with Church discourse and activities? If the answers are most likely no, then its time to pray for the gift of tongues that draws the young. The postmodern condition, as French author Jean Francois Lyotard would describe it, is basically skeptical of fundamentalisms, or the appeal to any fundamental law over personal relationships and subjectivities. He is not saying that this is what ought to be, he is describing what is happening. So from arguing based on codes and laws—legal, natural, and divine—the adult faithful may consider inculturating the youth first by sharing about narratives they value: true-to-life stories, better relationships and living, better spiritual and bodily health, real freedoms and happiness, empirical data. Perhaps that way, the youth—and their media mouthpiece—could understand more their elders and draw them to the fundamental beliefs their elders are holding. Perhaps that way, a coming revolution and change is possible. For no sustained revolution has been done with the passionate young at the back seat. The state of the youth today, the face of the Church tomorrow!
After fatalism, Japan opens to faith
By Jennifer Van House Hutcheson
WHEN asked about her religious beliefs, a Japanese friend and co-worker of mine replied with a smile and the standard, wellrehearsed explanation, “We [Japanese people] aren’t religious; we don’t really believe anything.” In the same vein, I vividly recall an esteemed college professor and Asia expert stating that Japan and religion, specifically Christianity, are quite simply incompatible. An extensive 2006 Gallop poll in which a mere 30 per cent of Japanese avowed a religion seems to confirm the widely-accepted understanding of an agnostic and even fatalistic Japan. Of this 30 per cent of believers, 75 per cent considered themselves Buddhist and 19 per cent considered themselves Shinto. Yet today, both of these traditional religions have become mainly ceremonial and do not play an active role in the daily life or moral outlook of most Japanese. Is the adoption of Christmas and Christian-style weddings simply a superficial result of Japan’s interest in Western culture? While for many this is the case, for others the outward imitation of Christian holidays and sacraments seems to create an inward feeling for Christianity and an attraction to it. At first glance, Japan is one of the most secular nations in the world. This is evidenced by a disturbing trend in suicides, abortion used as birth control, rampant pornography that businessmen shamelessly imbibe in supermarkets and on subways, and a general lack of hope. Bill McKay, research director for the 2006 Gallop Poll, explains: “There is a degree of fatalism in [the Japanese people’s] sombre mood. Teens’ perspectives on life tend to a sense of nihilism to an alarming degree. A note of hopelessness is found in the responses to a number of questions. And there is little evidence of eternal hope, although a considerable number do believe in some form of life after life.” Masaaki Suzuki, founder of the Bach Collegium in Japan, once said (First Things, 2000) that the Japanese language “does not even have an appropriate word for hope. We either use ibo, meaning desire, or nozomi, which describes something unattainable.” Do a lack of hope and low numbers of believers mean that Japan and Christianity are indeed mutually exclusive? A brief review of history indicates otherwise. In 1549 the great Jesuit priest Francis Xavier and fellow missionaries arrived in Japan with their sights set on evangelization. Remarkably, 10 per cent of the Japanese population became baptised, believing Christians. This mass conversion began to make Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the ruler of Japan, afraid that the missionaries were paving the way for colonisation. Consequently, he outlawed Christianity under pain of death. Many of the new converts risked their lives, taking their beloved religion underground. In 1597 Toyotomi made an example of 26 Christians—six missionaries and twenty Japanese—by cutting off their ears and marching them from Kyoto to Nagasaki in the dead of winter. Upon their arrival in Nagasaki he had them crucified. During the underground years countless Christians were tortured and thousands were martyred for their faith. But when Christianity was legalized in 1873 a small but dedicated community of believers remained. Nevertheless, in the 21st century Christianity often seems little more than a blip in Japanese history. Materialism attempts to fill the void of religion and the hope that traditionally accompanies it. The recently popularised tradition of Christmas in Japan poignantly illustrates this. For most Japanese, Christmas consists of date with a lover, fried chicken, Christmas cake,
After / A7
Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD
MINDANAO, the southern island of the Philippines, is home to three general cultural groups—the indigenous people communities comprising 18 ethnic groups; Muslim communities from another 8 ethnic groupings; and the Christian population coming from at least 12 language regions of the country. It is this tri-people composition that has at times caused intercultured hostilities in several sub-regions of Mindanao. In particular, the protracted conflict between Muslims and Christians has erupted into periods of violence. At the same time religious leaders have made repeated calls for promoting a culture of peace wherein warring parties can lay down their arms—and prejudices—to build a brighter future for their children. It is in this light that we can examine six social concerns in promoting a culture of peace, which also constitute the foundations of a Christian ethical framework. The starting point and core of these social concerns is Human Dignity—i.e., that every human being is a person endowed with reason and free will and made in the image of God. Thus, as the social teachings of the Catholic Church states, “far from being the object or passive element of social life,” the human person “is rather, and must always remain, its subject, foundation and goal”. The first social concern is Personal and Family Integrity. Wholeness and fullness of life are goals for every individual as well as for every family. These can be more readily attained through value formation and a deepened spirituality—vis-à-vis the mass media values of materialism and consumerism. A second social concern for forging a culture of peace is promoting Human Rights
Promoting a Culture of Peace
tilities represents a shift from recourse to force to recourse to reason in a democratic society. As exemplified by Gandhi in India, Mandela in South Africa and the People Power Revolution of 1986 in the Philippines, active non-violence can be a more potent force than recourse to arms in building a culture of peace. The sixth social concern and part of the economic continuum is Environmental Protection. In a rapidly modernizing and globalizing society, the irreversible destruction of the environment is not a remote possibility. Indeed many countries have learned lately to conserve and manage carefully their watershed areas, fishing preserves, and clean air domains. In Mindanao, local communities have raised outcries against irresponsible logging and mining operations that are usually undertaken by multinational corporations. Stewardship is an operative value that has been stressed to highlight the responsibility of everyone for the common good and to remind us that we are only caretakers of God’s creation. Conservation of the environment is an imperative for sustainable development for our present and future generations. These then are six social concerns revolving around the core value of Human Dignity—which are essential in promoting a culture of peace. Although arising from Christian ethical principles, one could also point out that this framework resonates with the human and spiritual values of other faith traditions as well as of secular governments that endeavor to work out a more comprehensive paradigm for human development. There is no peace without development; but neither can there be development without peace.
and Democracy. Human rights are moral claims to the means needed to protect and promote human dignity. These are concisely articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. For Pope John Paul II, this Declaration “remains one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time.” Some of these major rights are enunciated in his encyclical, Centesimus Annus— such as the right to life; the right to live in a united family; the right to develop one’s intelligence and freedom in seeking the truth; the right to work; and the right to live in the truth of one’s faith. Respecting these rights is a matter of justice. A third social concern is Poverty Eradication. Peace in society is illusory if the basic needs of individuals and families are not met. A nation’s economy must be able to utilize its natural and man-made resources in order to create wealth and income for all its citizens. The virtue of compassion and sharing should be inculcated in all citizens. Complementing personal and family integrity along the social continuum is Intercultural Understanding and Solidarity. In Mindanao, Christian and Muslim religious leaders have engaged in a quarterly bishops-ulama dialogue over the past decade to highlight this need for mutual acceptance and appreciation of cultures. Every November, the Bishops-Ulama Conference has been promoting a Mindanao Week of Peace wherein local communities are encouraged to organize common activities for peace-building—such as multi-cultural programs, peace marches, etc. Disarmament and Cessation of Hostilities are immediate steps to take toward creating a culture of peace. As part of the political continuum, the ending of armed hos-
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Inter-faith groups pray for peace in Myanmar
He appealed to all the authorities concerned, including various international organizations, to immediately take action and lead non-violent solution to the situation in Myanmar. “I hope our prayers move them especially our friends from the media that they may become instrumental in making our appeals happen,” he said. The priest said the Church is following the state in Myanmar with great concern after the reported bloody action taken by security forces of the ruling military junta against anti-government protesters. In late September, government soldiers violently dispersed demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, firing crowds, occupying or barricading Buddhist monasteries and arresting many of the monks. The prayer gathering was held following an appeal of the CBCP to pray for people being affected by the continued unrest in Myanmar. Also in attendance were PWU president Dr. Amelou Reyes, university chancellor Dr. Dolores Lasan and Msgr. Hernando Coronel, PWU chaplain. (Roy Lagarde)
Pope names PPCRV head to Vatican council
POPE Benedict XVI recently named former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, Henrietta de Villa, as Consultor to the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum,’ an administrative body that manages the Church’s charitable activities around the world. Cor Unum serves in the name of the Pope “for humanitarian initiatives in cases of disaster or in an integral promotion of humanity.” The appointment of De Villa, current head of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), took effect on October 11, 2007 and will end in year 2012. The Council is part of the curia of the Vatican. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1971 and is based in the Palazzo San Callisto, in Piazza San Callisto, Rome. Its mission is “the care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and making manifest [the] charity [of] Christ,” and it undertakes this mission by carrying out humanitarian relief operations following disasters, fostering charity and encouraging cooperation of other Church organizations. The agency has a president, secretary, under-secretary, 38 members and nine consultors, all appointed for five-year terms, plus a permanent staff of nine. It is currently headed by Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes. Since its creation, Cor Unum has worked against drought and desertification. Its efforts are also directed at the service of indigenous, racially mixed Afro American and the poor of Latin America and the Caribbean aside from distributring papal funds to disaster-torn areas in the world. This is not the first time that De Villa has been appointed by the Pope to a position in the Vatican. From 1990 to 1995, the late Pope John Paul II appointed her as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In 1998, she was again chosen as a member of the papal entourage to the International Eucharistic Congress in Poland. In July 2005, she was invited by the Vatican as a special delegate to the World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain. Benedict XVI also appointed De Villa as the only Asian laywoman auditrix to the Synod of the Eucharist in Rome in 2005. The Pontifical Council ‘Cur Unum’ is set to hold its XXVII Plenary Assembly on February 28 to March 1, 2008 in Rome which De Villa will be attending. (Roy Lagarde)
Buddhist monks march during a protest rally in Mumbai. Hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered to protest the military junta in Myanmar. (© epa/Corbis)
INTER-FAITH groups offered prayers for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis in Myanmar on October 10. Priests, students and members of various religions and congregations gathered at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) joined some 30 Burmese nationals and Buddhist monks in praying for an end to violence in Myanmar. The occasion was sponsored by the Minis-
try of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila, in cooperation with the Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue (ECID) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). “We want to be in solidarity with the people of Burma through prayers and maybe move people into action so that justice and democracy be made there,” said Fr. Carlos Reyes, ECID executive secretary.
Oppression still the indigenous norm, says Bishop
DESPITE headway in their status, the indigenous peoples (IPs) still find themselves locked in a struggle for ethnic and racial survival, a Catholic prelate said. Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg said it’s good to see crucial advances that IP populations have gained years ago, but still many of them are living under cruelty. He noted that native Filipinos are now more open and assertive in fighting for their rights, development aggression and environmental destruction. In the legal arena, he said, IPs triumphed in pushing the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act in 1997 and other international laws that let them gain recognition to their rights as peoples and have been able to assert their title to their ancestral domains. Utleg, who chairs the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP), said tribesmen now also have a greater awareness about their need for a kind of education that is appropriate for them. “They have been involved in bringing concerns into the national consciousness and the Church has partnered with them in advocating for more environment friendly practices,” he said. The bishop said, however, much still needs to be done to uplift their living conditions and own apt rights they deserve. Despite the gains, Utleg said, the deep-rooted injustices against IPs “continue to inflict neglect, deprivation, injustice and even death to many native communities and cultures.” “These situations of violence have uprooted IPs from their territories, severing their life-giving relationships and sense of identity,” he said. The prelate also lamented long-felt aggression through land grabbing, human rights of violations and militarization causing displacement of indigenous communities. To draw attention to the hapless members of over 100 ethnic groups in the country today, the Church will celebrate the annual “Indigenous Peoples Sunday” on October 14. The Catholic bishops’ hierarchy considers this year’s celebration special because it is also the 30th year of the creation of the ECIP. “For thirty years, the Church has lent her moral authority and her human and material resources to support the struggle of our Indigenous Peoples for justice and self-determination,” said Utleg. (Roy Lagarde)
Bishop notes cold feedback on gov’t corruption
NOVALICHES Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Jr. said he experienced mixed feelings about latest reports on hundreds of thousands of pesos distributed to local officials who attended a meeting at the Malacañang Palace. Speaking over Catholic-run Veritas 846, Bishop Bacani said he felt sad because of the lukewarm reactions from the general public as most citizens may have been “calloused” by the series of reports on graft and corrupt practices. “As broadcast journalists and columnists have continuously discussed the issues, it appears the general public has not reacted vigorously to the recent
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Negative effects of mining feared in Sibuyan Island
ROMBLON Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc expressed concern over reports that Sibuyan Island would be severely affected by mining “as soon as the company begins to operate.” In an interview with Catholicrun Veritas 846, Bishop Tala-oc said ever since the company was given the necessary permits, residents from the three municipalities where there are six parishes “have expressed grave concern.” He added Sibuyan island is mountainous and blessed with deep forest cover. “This is where Mt. Iting-Iting, frequented by tourists, could be found,” the prelate said. “This is where Catingas River, an awardee in 2005 for being the cleanest river could be found,” the 57 year-old prelate added. Local residents expressed concern that once mining operations begin, landslides and severe flooding may not be far behind. The bishop said the former governor admitted having signed the permit citing earlier approval from town executives “although there were questions about social acceptability.” Bishop Tala-oc said incumbent Governor Natalio F. Beltran, Jr. is scheduled to meet with local residents soon. “We have not yet talked about mining in Sibuyan island,” Bishop Tala-oc added. (Melo Acuña)
events,” Bishop Bacani said. He, however, added there were a few who expressed frustration with the so-called distribution of cash gifts. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo earlier said “bribery is not an acceptable word even to culprits: so, it is better called “gifts.” And so, in order to feel good and escape the blame of conscience, …bribe is also called a “gift.” “The Lord Jesus Christ expressed anger at the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees,” said Bacani. He added the people should condemn such shameful events, referring to the distribution of half a million pesos to
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provincial governors and some favored legislators. He said he is wondering why only two governors came out in the open to admit they received half a million pesos each immediately after a meeting at Malacañang. He, however, surmised should these local officials admit receiving money from Malacañang, they will be bound to spend the money on government projects. Asked what the Catholic Church ought to do, Bishop Bacani said it should denounce the practice. “We ought to be strong in our statements as what St. Gregory the Great said when
CBCP head / A5
a shepherd refuses to speak he would lose his sheep,” the former Novaliches bishop said. Quoting from Ecclesiastes, Bacani said “there’s a time for everything, a time for silence, a time for speaking” as the lay people should take the cue from the hierarchy. He further said he is saddened by the fact the Catholic lay has not matured as expected. When asked what if the money is intended for the poor, Bacani said one ought to admit who distributed the cash and “if it is really intended for the poor, the people in Malacañang should be transparent and accountable.” (Melo Acuña)
From the moral standpoint, Lagdameo said, one should not accept money about which questions can be asked because it renders responsibility, accountability, and transparency a dubious subject matter. “Bribery is not an acceptable word even to culprits: so, it is better called “gifts.” And so, in order to feel good and escape the blame of conscience, …bribe is also called a ‘gift,’” he said.
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The CBCP earlier denounced a plan in the lower House to purchase P1 billion worth condoms, pills and other “reproductive health products” to control population growth. It called on legislators to instead spend the huge amount on projects that would alleviate poverty and provide free education to poor children. CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said using abortifacient and contraceptive pills are against nature and God’s teachings. (Roy Lagarde)
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leviating the poverty by eliminating the causes of poverty, and debt is one major factor. FDC head Ana Maria Nemenzo, for his part, said continued payment for such illegitimate debts is “unacceptable.” “All this responsible for these illegitimate debts from government, creditors and even from the private sector must be held accountable,” said Nemenzo. The Faith-Based Congress Against Illegitimate Debt aims to achieve a strong-faith based constituency to raise, promote and popularize the moral dimension of the debt issue. Also present during the occasion were Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Bishop Efraim Tendero of the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches, Fr Brian Gore, MSSC, of the AMRSP and Dr. Grace Jamon of Micah Challenge Philippines. (CBCPNews)
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doesn’t just train future officers how to shoot and investigate but also teach them with Christian values. The academy started this year offering new police recruits with modules of Life in the Spirit Seminar, Basic Bible Seminar, Heroism Christian Leadership Module, Values and Leadership Seminar and Empowering Decisions to Change Module. The seminars are anchored on the vision of a “God-centered, service-oriented and family-based” agency. “I encourage this healthy initiative which I consider as a step towards a new image of policemen. I congratulate the leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for allowing and empowering this initiative among their ranks,” said Lagdameo. “This brings a wind of fresh air in the
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otherwise rigid military-like training of our public servants in the police force, certainly igniting spaces of hope in our already problematic situation,” he said. Lagdameo called it a “redeeming factor” in the midst of awful news hounding the police hierarchy. “In the mind of many people, the PNP was the second most corrupt agency in government. That picture is changing for the better,” he said. Headed by Chief Supt. Samson Tucay, the PNTI is a major constituent unit of the Philippine Public Safety College that is envisioned to become the main training ground for morally upright and competent uniformed men and women. The Police Training Institutes also hopes to start a working-relationship with parish
organizations and parish priests in order to develop further their formation in Christian life. Lagdameo said the priests as well as other parish organizations could lend them their pastoral and evangelizing experience. He said PNTI graduates could also become lay ministers. Lagdameo also advised the Institute that for their students to have a real evangelizing experience, “one initial step would be to motivate the graduates to share their values and leadership experiences with the parish communities where they are stationed.” He said such initiative would develop and enhance mutual trust, based on proactive rather than reactive relationship. (CBCPNews)
It is a forum to share common interests, to be an avenue for collaborations, and to be a means to actively pursue the role of prophetic witness of being religious. The group is composed of over 360 congregations including the Dominicans, Jesuits, Benedictines, Augustinians, Lasallian Brothers and Franciscans. The organization played a crucial role during the Martial Law years. The association and various congregations opened its seminaries and convents to provide sanctuaries to countless victims of human rights. (Roy Lagarde)
cent living pay to ordinary laborers,” he said. The government recently approved an Executive Order giving special privilege to the soldiers rendering combat duty. In issuing E.O. 658, President Gloria Arroyo and her administration recognize the heroism of the members of the military who are directly involved in combat operations. Under the new Executive Order signed early last month, government troopers assigned in field units will be given an additional incentive of P150 per day apart from the current P240 monthly allocation. (CBCPNews)
The election of the new set of LAIKO officers during the second day of the convention was officiated by the Committee on Elections (Comelec) of LAIKO—Pete Villanueva as Chairman, Pepe Lugay and Ernie Burdeos as Members. There were 83 qualified voting delegates who voted for 15 members of the Board of Trustees. These 15 members elected among themselves by secret ballot, the officers of the Board in the presence of LAIKO’s National Director, Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes. It was proclaimed by Chairman Pete Villanueva that this is a Committee on Elections of LAIKO and not the COMELEC. Ours is a “clean, honest and orderly election”, hence here are the uncontested results: President– Executive Vice-President Vice-President for ManilaVice-President for LuzonVice-President for VisayasVice-President for MindanaoSecretaryAsst. SecretaryTreasurerLinda T. Tacorda Ma. Amelia Menez Zafra Estelita A. Macalaguim Candido P. Villanueva Roy B. San Buenaventura Ernesto M. Burdeos Aurora A. Santiago Julieta F. Wasan Manuel D. Recto
Kiko E. Josef Ma. Luz S. Lozano Carlito M. Villaraza Eladia B. Inocencio Perry B. Dimarucut Edgardo J. Tirona CONGRATULATIONS to the new officers of LAIKO for the years 2008 to 2010! May God’s love be bountiful as you guide LAIKO to attain its vision and mission as it journeys towards the Kingdom of God! To the Convention participants, all of you deserve to be congratulated for your full participation in the open forum of each talk and the sharing during the group dynamics. Our accolade also to the lay participants who shared their life experiences, relevant to the topic of the resource speakers. We do hope that the next Biennial Convention will be participated by more delegates from the South. Can we hold a special one for them in a place nearer the LAIKO participants of Visayas and Mindanao? With Dr. Linda Tacorda who is tasked right now to complete a catechetical project for the Diocese of Malaybalay, there is a greater chance to hold the next convention in a place nearer Mindanao, probably Cebu. Let us all pray for that!
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Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Argentina’s bishops lament priest’s crimes convicted for felonies during dictatorship
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, October 12, 2007—The Argentinean episcopate says that it regrets the crimes committed by a priest during Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship. The priest has been condemned to life in prison. Former Buenos Aires police force chaplain Father Christian Von Wernich was convicted Tuesday of complicity in seven homicides, 31 cases of torture and 42 kidnappings. An estimated 30,000 disappeared during the military junta’s rule. After the sentence was made public, the Argentinean bishops’ conference said that “the steps that justice is taking to clarify these facts must help us renew the efforts of all citizens toward the path of reconciliation and they are a call to stay away from both impunity and hate.” The text, signed by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, president of the conference, added: “If any member of the Church, no matter his condition, would have endorsed with his recommendation or complicity some of these acts—e violent repression— would have acted under his personal responsibility, in a wrong way and committing a sin against God, humanity and his conscience. “We pray for him, so God helps him and gives him the grace he
Date set for 1st beatifications in Japan
TOKYO, Japan, October 9, 2007—Father Pietro Kassui Kibe and 187 companions, Japanese martyrs of the 17th century, will be beatified next year in Nagasaki. The beatifications will be the first held on Japanese soil. The Vatican informed Archbishop Takeo Okada of Tokyo, president of Japan’s episcopal conference, that the beatification will take place Nov. 24, 2008, reported AsiaNews. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will represent Benedict XVI at the ceremony. In a letter to Japan’s Catholics, Archbishop Okada announced “with joy” the Vatican’s decision: “I hope that we take to heart the meaning of the treasure our predecessors in the faith left us.” There were priests, religious men and laypeople among the 188 Japanese martyrs. Kibe, a convert to Christianity, had fled persecution from the government and moved to Rome, where he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest. He returned to Japan to carry out his ministry among the oppressed faithful, and in 1639 was captured, tortured and killed in Tokyo. (Zenit)
Father Pietro Kassui Kibe and 187 companions.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio
The crucifix a sign of love, even for Hindus
KATHMANDU, Nepal, October 15, 2007—”One day, says brother Rakesh to AsiaNews, as I was travelling on the bus, sitting beside a Hindu with a tika [or tilaka: a mark on the forehead which indicates their religious beliefs]. After a short while he touched the crucifix which I wore around my neck, and then he bowed and kissed it with reverence. This showed me the love that all peoples bear for Christ”. Brother Zeno Rakesh was born in Shillong, India, and has been in Nepal for the last 5 years. He is the only Catholic of a protestant family and he founded the Pius union of the poor servants of Christ, based in Kathmandu. “I always desired to be a priest, he tells, but then I felt that Christ had called me for a special vocation and so I wrote the Rules of this community. Our charisma lies in our fourth vow [the three vows of Catholic religious are chastity, obedience and poverty] that is to dedicate ourselves freely to the needy”. Brother Rakesh visits families of all faiths and shares in their problems and sufferings and helps them both materially and with his advice. “I am equally loved by the people from other religions too, continues the religious brother. So, sometimes I visit those people. I listen to their stories. The needy are not always poor. There are the rich who are in need too; to talk to, to pray with, and to be listened to. When they share in the name of God, they feel better”. The order dedicates its services free of charge and survives on the gifts of providence. “Please, pray for us so that we may become instruments of God,” he urges. Nepal’s Catholics are circa 7 thousand out of 28 million inhabitants. But it is a religious country, where, continues Rakesh, people respect other beliefs and religions, a part from small localized conflicts. He recalls another similar experience when Hindu security personnel deployed at Kathmandu airport, once, while security check, instead of checking, kissed his crucifix and took to his forehead. Rakesh is the only member of the Pius Union, which celebrated its first anniversary on October 8th. With him there is also a novice, also from India who is preparing to take vows. The Pius Union also comes to the aid of poor students. (Kalpit Parajuli / AsiaNews)
needs to understand and amend the harm he has caused.” Bishop Martín de Elizalde of the Diocese Nueve de Julio, to which Father von Wernich belonged, said that he regrets “that we have found in our country so much division and hate, which we could not prevent or heal as a Church.” The fact “that a priest, by act or omission, was so far from the requirements of the mission that was given to him ... leads us to ask for forgiveness with sincere regret, while praying to our Lord to enlighten us in order to accomplish our vocation of unity and service.” (Zenit)
Cat writes biography of Pope Benedict
ROME, October 4, 2007—A new authorized biography of the Holy Father, aimed at younger readers, was published yesterday. Written by Chico, a ginger tom, with help from children’s author Jeanne Perego, the book recounts his memories of the young Joseph Ratzinger, growing up in a Bavarian family in Nazi Germany. It follows his early years as a priest and ends with his election as leader of the Church in April 2005. In his introduction to ‘Joseph and Chico’ Father Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s private secretary, writes that “everything in the book is true and interesting”. He says: “Here, dear children, you will find a different sort of biography, because it is told by a cat, and it does not happen every day that a cat considers the Holy Father to be his friend. They have known each other for a long time.” He added: “The Pope of course loves cats and all animals because they are creatures of God, and often, like Chico, they have lessons for us that are worth learning.” The nine-year-old cat lives next door to his holiday home in the Bavarian village of Panting, and used to spend time with the then Josef Ratzinger as he read or played the piano. Since his friend became Pope, the pair have probably not met. The Pope’s love for cats is well known. When he was a cardinal he used to feed the strays that congregated outside his apartment. Many previous popes have also been animal lovers: Pope Leo XII had a dog and a cat, while Pius XII kept caged birds and a goldfish called Gretchen. (Claire Bergin / ICN)
Website launched in memory of slain priest in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq, October 12, 2007—Father Rayan Atto, pastor of the Chaldean Catholic parish of Mar Qardagh in Erbil, announced this week a new website has been launched in memory of Father Ragheed Ganni, a Chaldean priest who, together with three deacons, was brutally killed in Iraq last June together by Muslim extremists. According to the website Baghdadhope, the initiative has the support of Bishop Faraj Rahho of Mosul. “It will be a website dedicated to collecting the written memories of those who knew Father Ganni while he was alive, those who walked with him spiritually or those who remember him and want
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to share them with those who loved him,” Father Atto said. He explained that the content for the site would come from material that “underscores the character of Father Ganni, his communion with God and His sons and daughters. The memories that people have of him as a man, a seminarian and a priest.” “The world needs to know the story of Father Ganni through the website and the book that will be published with information from site,” he continued. Likewise, Father Atto explained that those who wish to can send the information they have on Father Ganni either in “Arabic, English or Italian,” as the book, “which will be published by the Chaldean Church
in Mar Qardagh, will be in English and Italian, and a translation will also be made into Arabic.” Anyone who has pictures of
Father Ganni can also send them to the webmaster. More information can be found at: http:// www.baghdadhope.blogspot.com/ (CNA)
and presents. Opposed to bowing to the Christ child, Christmas enthusiasts bow to materialism, completely ignoring all religious origins and implications. When asked the reason for celebrating Christmas, about half of my teenage students responded that it had something to do with Santa Claus (his birthday, perhaps?), a quarter said to get presents, while only the remaining quarter knew it was related to Christ. Another instance of the adoption of a Christian tradition hollowed of its religious significance is the prevalence of Western “church” weddings. It is estimated that as many as 90 per cent of Japanese weddings are conducted in this style. The bride wears a white wedding dress and is escorted down the aisle to her groom; rings are exchanged; a cross adorns the front of the chapel; Christian hymns are sung; Bible verses are read; and a “minister”—frequently a Caucasian English teacher earning some extra cash—presides. The vast majority of these newlyweds, however, are not Christians. So then, is the adoption of Christmas and Christian-style weddings simply a superficial result of Japan’s interest in Western culture? While for many this is the case, for others the outward imitation of Christian holidays and sacraments seems to create an inward feeling for the faith and an attraction to it. This may help to explain a recent discovery. Since the legalization of Christianity in the late 1800s, the number of believers had stubbornly hovered around one percent. The 2006 Gallup poll, how-
ever, disclosed that an astounding 12 per cent of Japanese who claim a religion are now Christian, making six per cent of the entire nation Christian. However, there is no inherent reason why that should surprise us. Other Asians have taken to the Christian faith. The Philippines—thanks to a lot of help from Spanish colonizers—is the stand-out example with over 90 per cent of its population Christian, but South Korea is a substantial 26.3 per cent Christian, Vietnam 7.2 per cent, and even China has been reported to be approximately 5 per cent Christian. It is impossible to determine the exact percentage in China because many Christians there remain underground in fear of the communist security forces, which use discrimination, torture, and harsh jail sentences in an attempt to thwart evangelization and conversions. Yet, like Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s attempts to stifle Christianity in 16th century Japan, modern China’s attempts are also in vain: thousands are said to convert daily. Confronting, as it does, the problems of an advanced industrial society—a critically low birth rate, an ageing population and the unraveling of family ties that once bound society together — Japan has every reason to look for sources of hope beyond its old traditions. The Christian faith that won so many staunch converts nearly five centuries ago is an obvious candidate.
(Jennifer Van House Hutcheson is a freelance writer who recently returned from Okayama, Japan, to her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. This piece was lifted with permission from MercatorNet)
Study suggests religious life helps ward off Alzheimer’s
CHICAGO, USA, October 4, 2007—A study of nearly 1,000 Catholic nuns, priests and monks over 12 years has revealed that those most conscientious in following their duties had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study, led by Dr. Robert Wilson, from Rush University in Chicago, followed a group of nuns, monks and priests from across the United States. They were chosen as a group as they were considered more likely to be willing to take part in a study that might help others in the future, but not themselves. As well as assessing their medical wellbeing, the researchers also asked the group to rate themselves on areas such as self- discipline, reliability and being hard- working. Dr. Wilson, said that during the study, 176 people developed Alzheimer’s. But those with the highest scores for conscientiousness appeared to have a lower risk than lazier counterparts. Nuns, priests and monks with scores in the top 10 per cent had an 89 per cent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those with scores in the lowest 10 per cent. The researchers, writing in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, also found that conscientiousness was associated with a slower rate of mental decline. But an examination of 324 brains of those who died during the study did not find any link between conscientiousness and signs of the disease. The brains of the conscientious had similar levels of plaques and tangles which build up and cause Alzheimer’s as those of the less conscientious. Dr. Wilson said this was not unexpected. He said the trait of being conscientious may just help the brain cope better with the physical causes of Alzheimer’s. One reason for the link between being conscientious and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s may be that people who are hard-working experience educational and career success, which are linked to a lower risk of the disease. The researchers said that being conscientious has also been linked to resilience and to coping with difficulties. Dr. Wilson said that, by working hard and being conscientious, people might reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s. However, Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, urged caution, saying: “It is important to remember that this study only looked at one group of people and may not translate to the whole population.” Establishing how conscientious a monk, nun or priest is involved detailed questioning. Group members were asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 on statements such as: · I keep my belongings clean and neat. · I work hard to accomplish my goals. · I strive for excellence in everything I do. (Claire Bergin / ICN)
Bush calls for religious freedom in China
BEIJING, China, October 19, 2007—”The move is a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs. It has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and gravely undermined bilateral relations,” said an official foreign ministry statement made in response to the US awarding the Dalai Lama of a Congressional Gold Medal and the meeting between the Buddhist leader and US President George W. Bush. For many analysts, Beijing’s violent reaction stems from the fact that after the meeting with Tibet’s spiritual leader President Bush urged China before the world media to grant its citizens freedom of religion and stop its policies of cultural and political repression in Tibet, which was occupied by Mao’s troops in 1950 and annexed to the People’s Republic of China. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi summoned the US ambassador right after the president’s statement. Although nothing is known about what was said during the meeting, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said that the recognition given to the Dalai Lama “is a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs. It has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and gravely undermined bilateral relations.” Mr Liu said that Tibet was an inalienable part of China and a purely internal affair. Beijing resolutely opposes any country or people using the Dalai Lama to interfere in its domestic affairs. “The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama in the past decades have showed that he is a political exile engaged in secessionist activities under the camouflage of religion,” Liu said.
© Brooks Kraft/Corbis
The award of this medal and the meeting of US leaders with him “have severely trampled on the norms of international relations and violated the US government’s reiterated position on the Tibet issue,” Mr. Liu said. “We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition toward this,” he added. (AsiaNews/Agencies)
People, Facts & Places
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
ORDAINED. MOST REV. CRISPIN BARRETE-VARQUEZ, 46, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar, October 18, 2007 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Tagbilaran City. Born in Sevilla, Bohol, Bishop Varquez studied Philosophy at the Immaculate Heart Seminary in Tagbilaran City and Theology at St. Augustine Major Seminary in Tagaytay City. Ordained priest at the age of 28, he did Postgraduate studies on Seminary Formation in Cebu City and on Family Counseling in the Center for Family Ministry, at the Ateneo de Manila University. He served as Formator in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran for four years and as Formator at St. Augustine Major Seminary in Tagaytay, for five years more. Bishop Varquez was Vicar General of the Diocese of Tagbilaran prior to his appointment as new bishop of Borongan. CELEBRATING. SANTA ISABEL COLLEGE, 375th anniversary of foundation as an educational institution, October 24, 2007; with the theme: “Santa Isabel College at 375: Celebrating Life, Faith and Graces as Steward of the Loving Father.” The institution’s humble beginnings dates back on October 24, 1632, with its first school building situated right where the CBCP compound is now located in Intramuros. At present, Santa Isabel College’s main thrust as an educational institution is to provide Catholic education and make it affordable, especially to the less privileged. The Daughters of Charity, who manage Santa Isabel College offer this legacy of service to the poor through Catholic education to the Church of the Archdiocese of Manila. The thrust will continue to be Santa Isabel’s main reason for existence. CELEBRATED. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI PARISH, BALAMBAN, CEBU, 150th anniversary of foundation; October 4, 2007. Also coinciding with the anniversary celebration was the feast day of the parish. The parish fiesta celebration started as early as September 24 with a joint procession of the images of the Pillar Saints of the Franciscan Order, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Clare. His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal presided the solemn Pontifical Mass on October 4 with visiting priests concelebrating. The theme for the Fiest a’s Eucharistic Celebration was DEUS CARITAS EST: Living the Spirituality of Stewardship in the Year of Social Concerns. Various church councils, committees, organizations, chapels, local government offices, public and private schools and private business establishments participated in the anniversary celebration which will run for a year up to October 4, 2008. ELEVATED. PARISH OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI TO ARCHDIOCESAN SHRINE, Naga City, Cebu, by his Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, October 10, 2007. Cardinal Vidal presided the Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by 100 priests from the archdiocese of Cebu. Naga City is the oldest parish in Cebu which has St. Francis as patron saint. Members of the Franciscan family in the archdiocese were present during the elevation rites. The shrine is now the center of various Franciscan activities, ecological programs and related advocacies. Pilgrimages are observed every 4th day of the month. PASSED TO ETERNAL REWARD. Rev. Fr. Simplicio Camacho, August 2007, Diocese of Talibon; Rev. Fr. Rogelio Calim, September 2007, Diocese of Borongan; Rev. Msgr. Quirino Parcero, September 2007, Diocese of Daet; Rev. Msgr. Jose Bulao, October 2007, Archdiocese of Cot abato; Rev. Msgr. Gorgonio Encarnacion, October 2007, Archdiocese of Manila; Rev. Fr. Edwin Agapay, October 2007, Prelature of Infanta.
LAIKO holds 15th Biennial National Convention
AROUND 200 lay leaders nationwide participated at the 15th National Biennial Convention of the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity. The lay leaders were representatives of all LAIKO affiliated Diocesan Councils on the Laity, National Lay Organizations and Lay Leaders of the different archdioceses and dioceses in the country. The convention was held at Angels’ Hills Retreat House and Formation Center, Tagaytay City, on October 12-14, 2007. The meeting explored the theme: “A Path to Unity”. A statement from the LAIKO secretariat said the 3-day summit aimed to “build and experience UNITY among the Laity with the Hierarchy,” emphasizing that “it is a gift from the Holy Spirit that has to be prayed and worked for.” The convention participants elected new board members of LAIKO for 2008-2009. The elected President of LAIKO, who will assume office in January 2008, automatically becomes the Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity (ECLA). ECLA Chairman and Antipolo bishop Gabriel Reyes presided the Eucharistic celebration on the first day of the convention. Bishop speakers include San Fernando, Pampanga Auxiliary bishop Roberto Mallari who spoke on Petrine and Marian Profile; Calapan Vicar Apostolic Warlito Cajandig, on Benedict VXI’s Apostolic Exhortation ‘Sacramentum Caritatis’; and Malaybalay bishop Honesto Pacana, SJ who expounded the topic “Who is my Brother?” Other speakers came from the laity. Cindy Alesanko on ‘Deus Caritas Est’ and Unity; LAIKO Executive secretary Ernie Burdeos on Reciprocal Love; while Emma Melgarejo shared her insights on Mary: the Model Lay Person. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
NASSA hosts 3rd International Farmers’ Confab
SUSTAINABLE agriculture will receive a boost as farmers from south and Southeast Asia gathers for the Third International Farmers Conference on October 18 to October 23, 2007 at Flushing Meadows Resort in Tagbilaran City. CBCP Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace Chair and Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said “we lead the way” in pushing for sustainable agriculture as farmers and Church-based groups from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam and partners from Asia Partnership for Human Development, Caritas Internationalis, SEACON, SAWTEE and Caritas Hong Kong gather to share common experiences and listen to experts on climate change, sustainable agriculture technology, advocacy and marketing strategies. NASSA (National Secretariat for Social Action) Executive Secretary and Convenor of APHD’s Pan-Asia Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Rights Program Sr. Rosanne Mallillin, SPC expressed optimism farmers would be open to alternative technology. Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap will address the delegates as keynote speaker. He is expected to discuss his department’s program for farmers and emphasize support for sustainable agriculture. “The participants will discuss sustainable agriculture technology including effective microorganism nature farming, system rice intensification, alternative pest management and organic farming, all designed to boost production,” Sr. Rosanne added. The participants will also be exposed and immersed with local farming communities in Talibon, Bohol. It will be recalled the Department of Agriculture recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NASSA for a “Joint Program on Sustainable Agriculture” in Pigdaulan, Butuan City. A sub-regional meeting for Central Visayas will be held immediately after the opening rites. Compost shredders, decorticating machines, soil test kits and rice seeds will also be distributed during the event. (Honey Beso/NASSA)
Bishop-emeritus of Kalibo dies
BISHOP-EMERITUS of Kalibo, Most Rev. Juan N. Nilmar died of lingering illness at St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City on October 18. He was 91. A native of Miag-ao, Iloilo, Bishop Nilmar attended his early schooling in his hometown. He finished his seminary studies St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo, and was ordained priest on June 29, 1942 by then bishop of Bacolod Most Rev. Casimiro Lladoc, at the Bacolod Cathedral. He was assigned as assistant parish priest of Calinog, Iloilo shortly after his ordination; and was appointed its parish priest a year after. Bishop Nilmar was Diocesan consultor and vicar general of Jaro archdiocese prior to his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Jaro. He was ordained bishop on May 11, 1959. On January 3, 1967, Bishop Nilmar was appointed auxiliary bishop of Davao. He served as parish priest of St. Peter Cathedral Parish in Davao until his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Tagbilaran in April 18, 1970. He was Apostolic administrator of Tagbilaran diocese until he was named first bishop of Kalibo in June 3, 1976. He was succeeded by Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes upon his retirement on November 21, 1992. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
Bishop Juan Nilmar taken in 2006 (File photo)
Dipolog bishop commended police for nabbing gambling operators
DIPOLOG bishop Most Rev. Jose Manguiran, commended the city police force for apprehending gambling operators of illegal numbers game locally known as “swertres”. PNP personnel led by OIC Chief of Police PSI Isidro Sasuman, with three other officers and 11 policemen conducted the raid last October 11. An aggressive campaign against “swertres” was recently launched by Dipolog Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, supported by Bishop Jose R. Manguiran, various NGOs and business sector of Dipolog City. A nephew of Zamboanga del Norte vice-governor, Ricky Olvis was arrested with twentysix others during the raid. Ricky Olvis, alleged financier of the illegal numbers game locally known as “ swertres “, was allegedly caught in the act of checking/controlling “ swertres “ lotto tally sheets. Four minors were also apprehended but were immediately returned to their parents. The rest were detained at the police station and presented to the media the following day. The raid also yielded cash, equipments, and other paraphernalia used in the operation of the game. Acknowledging that the police only apprehended the small “fish”, Manguiran is nonetheless hopeful that the recent raid will send a clear signal to the big people behind the illegal numbers game. Manguiran explained “that gambling is immoral, and swertres is making the poor even poorer as they use whatever little money they have to bet daily with the hope of winning a few pesos.” He reiterated the Church’s stand against gambling saying that “it is milking the poor people” of their resources. The proliferation of swertres in Dipolog has resulted in the increase of petty thefts and other crimes. The diocese is seriously campaigning against illegal gambling. Manguiran urged the people to cooperate with the authorities so that illegal gambling in the diocese will be totally eradicated. (CBCPNews)
CBCP News is an alternative news organization staffed by Catholic journalists dedicated to providing accurate news written from a distinctively Catholic perspective. In attention to the decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, CBCPNews is at the service of the Episcopal Conference, dioceses and the Catholic community in the use of the means of social communications "in order to attain a more organized thrust on evangeliz a t i o n , conscientization and formation of public opinion according to Gospel values." (PCP-II, 102-105) The mission of CBCPNews is to help spread the Gospel through contemporary technologies of communication by re-telling how it is witnessed in the daily events and lives of people. CBCPNews recognizes the core value of truth rather than convenience, fidelity to the Magisterium rather than contemporary expediency.
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Evangelization being its overarching objective, CBCPNews is circulated to the global community free-of-charge through its online facility.
VIVA LA VIRGEN! Marian devotees flocked around the image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary as they joined in procession around Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City, in celebration of her feast day last October 14.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
A call to discover the face of Christ among the prisoners
The prohibition for clerics to engage in business
The Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan
God forgives a humble and repentant sinner
The Prison Ministry program of the Church
B7 Social Concern
A painful quest for economic prosperity
Raw Deals for John Paul II and Mother Teresa?
Authors Speculate if Media Reports Are Intentional
Dark night Before the latest scuffle over the events surrounding John Paul II’s death, there was the much publicized discussion of Mother Teresa’s experience of feeling a deep sense of doubt about God’s existence. Secular media cast doubts upon Mother Teresa’s sincerity, given her strong temptations against faith. Time magazine again reported on the phenomenon. Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause and editor of the book of her writings, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” told ZENIT: “First of all, we need to recognize that the aspects of the Christian spiritual life discussed in the book are not so well known or easy to grasp, and for some, to accept, even among committed Christians ¯ e.g., ‘Why do the saints have to suffer so much?’ “With regard to the secular media, I think one basic reason why Mother Teresa’s darkness has been misinterpreted is the superficiality with which the darkness was treated. “The Time [magazine] piece for the most part, apart from the title and cover photo, tried to present the nuances of Mother Teresa’s darkness.” Ignorance? The priest continued: “Many others just jumped on some expressions of Mother Teresa and thus entirely misrepresented the darkness, for example one headline was: WITH new charges against Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, it appears that the secular media are trying to cast doubts on the reputation of two saintly world figures. A recent story from Time magazine speculated on whether John Paul II was euthanized by the removal of feeding tubes during his last days. The story was prompted by the speculation of Dr. Lina Pavanelli, an anesthesiologist in Italy. Time magazine reported that the doctor “believes that the Pope’s doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and [Pavanelli] surmises that it was the Pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he’d been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March.” Pavanelli’s speculation, originally published in May, was picked up by the Italian press and Time magazine, but not until after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document in mid September, explaining the moral guidelines for providing food and water for patients in the “persistent vegetative state.” George Weigel, author of “Witness to Hope,” a biography of John Paul II, told ZENIT: “Pavanelli is either ignorant or malicious ¯ perhaps both. “The Italian left is unhappy with the Vatican over its recent statement on care for patients in a vegetative state; this is the revenge they take. “No serious person will take this seriously.” ‘Mother Teresa’s Secret: I Have No Faith.’ Some may have done so out of ignorance and others out of an effort to discredit her. “Perhaps some who have lost their faith, or have little or no faith, felt ‘justified’ in some way, thinking: ‘If even Mother Teresa had no faith or at least doubted her faith, then how do you expect me to have faith?’ And others in the ‘culture wars’ were happy to discredit one of the other side’s heroes. “Those who have no experience or expertise in spirituality or psychology should have the good sense and humility not to presume to analyze what is indeed so far beyond them.” Father George Rutler, author of “Coincidentally,” published by Crossroad Books, and a regular columnist for Crisis magazine, told ZENIT that journalists often have their role backward: “Journalism is supposed to report events. Bloated egos in journalism think they should shape events. “This unfortunately encourages a significant minority actually to lie to achieve an end. When there is no confidence in objective truth, all is propaganda, just as in politics, justice is replaced with sheer power.” The commentator also acknowledged that faulty reporting is not always intentional: “Having worked with the media for a long time I have learned that most of those involved in the various media are not willfully deceitful. Many of them are limited by a lack of formation.” (Zenit)
Most Rev. Jose R. Manguiran, D.D.
MOST Reverend Jose R. Manguiran was appointed second bishop of Dipolog on May 27, 1987. He was installed on September 9 of the same year. In this issue of CBCP Monitor, the prelate shares his thoughts on the fundamental task of the diocesan social action ministry, which is the formation of basic ecclesial communities in the parishes; the BECs, as new way of being Church; the evangelizing charism of the Laity; the family as the center of evangelization; the increase of vocations in the diocesan seminary; and the ongoing formation of diocesan clergy. How is the Social Concern agenda of the Church being implemented in your diocese? The fundamental, the constant agendum of the Social Action Ministry is the formation of the faithful about the Social Doctrine of the Church. To expand this social formation to the level of BEC, our Diocesan Social Action Center has set up at every parish a Parish Social Action team whose task is to attend to social issues in the Basic Ecclesial communities. How active are the Basic Ecclesial Communities in your diocese? When a local church shifts gear from the old way of being church according to Vatican I, to a “new way of being church” such as the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) according to Vatican II and PCP II, she becomes active. We do the shifting, so we are busy, active. What makes us active is the implementation of the 9-point agenda of the PCP II and how to get the BEC communities involved in the agenda of the National Rural Congress. The significant event at the entry of the Third Millennium was the launching of our Diocesan Pledge System of support (modified Tithing). If we claim a success to our new support system it is due to our extensive structuring of the BEC’s and our extensive education–drive on modified tithing in the last three years of the second Millennium. PCP II has defined the greater role of the laity in the Church. How is this being realized in your diocese? When PCP II declared that the Church of the Philippines is the “Church of the Poor” it means that the poor should not remain passive, as a receiver, as an evangelized, but rather should be active, as a giver, as an evangelizer. To activate the evangelizing charism of the Laity, we emphasize the importance of creating “community” by BEC. It is within the BEC community that the Lay can fully participate. Up to what degree do you think should be the participation of the laity especially in terms of decision making in the local Church? The lay participation in decision making is exercised mostly at Pastoral council, Formation Committee and Construction Committee. In our Diocese, the lay can participate in the financial matter. We made a Diocesan Directive that all parishes should set up a Parish Finance Committee which manages the income from our Pledge System Support. How is the Family and Life Program in your diocese? We are sustaining our Family and Life Team at the Diocesan level and at the Parish Level. Our current challenge is how to bring home the PCP II agendum on the Family that says, “The family stays as the center of the activity of evangelization”. Do you get many vocations in your diocesan seminary? Thank God that we have enough vocations. This year our Diocesan College Seminary has accepted 90 young boys. When someone from any religious congregation requests from me permission to campaign for vocations, I always welcome them to do so. I am just sharing our vocation–resource to Missio Ad Extra. How does the diocese look after the ongoing formation of the clergy? We have chosen a priest in-charge for the clergy’s ongoing formation program. We regularly send a priest to the Clergy Assist Program as scheduled by the CBCP Commission on the Clergy. The young clergy are encouraged to have their own spiritual recollection or meeting.
Mindanaoan, minority and peacebuilder
By Diwa Aquino-Gacosta
Rehoney, a 17 year-old Moslem girl from troubled Mindanao talks about the pressures of growing up in a community divided by generations of violence. MY name is Rehoney. I am 17 years old. I am a Moslem. Peace remains elusive in the land of my birth. I’m used to conflict, prejudices and biases. I have lived it all through the 17 years of my life. Being a Moslem in this predominantly Christian nation is not easy… it never has been, especially because Moslems are often regarded as sources of conflict, troubles and violence. Mindanaoan The tensions in Mindanao have existed for so long and the Mindanaoan—Muslims, Christians and Lumads (indigenous people)— have been enduring these tensions with much apprehension. I believe the problems in Mindanao are more than political, more than religious. I believe the core of the continuous conflict in Mindanao is the lack of effort of one another to understand each other. This comes from a long history of hatred and prejudice that has been passed from generation to generation. What makes it even worse is the fighting over land or for selfdetermination by Islamist separatist groups. Land ownership has caused a huge gapbetweentheLumad,Muslimsand Christians. It is such a sensitive issue that any chance of misunderstanding would definitely cause another war in Mindanao. This gap has existed for so long. It’s passed from one generation to another and caused most of the attitudes and behavior of Mindanaons today. When there is also poverty, differences in faith and culture, lack of regard for the rights of children, a poor political system and lack of political will, the conditions of people, especially children, in Mindanao continue to worsen. It also makes me feel sad when I hear that Christians from Luzon and Visayas also regard Muslims as a threat to national security—not just Mindanao. Minority I may not have experienced actual war happening. The tensions I see may not be the same tensions my parents, and grandparents, witnessed during their time, which I believe were too painful to erase. But every time a person judges me for what I am not… I feel pain. People in the community where I live have been putting labels on people. Muslims, Christians, Lumads… each has its own labels on each other. Sadly, children, like my self, often imitate what elders do, adopting and practicing the culture of bias and discrimination. We think that’s just the way it is. I remember one day when I was in class, there had been a bombing incident in General Santos City. The majority of my classmates were Christians. While I believe that I have a fairly good relationship with my non-Muslim classmates, I still heard them say that the bombers were Muslims, unmindful that there are five Muslims, myself included, in our class. Another incident of this culture of bias and prejudice against Muslims was when I and my friends went out to eat in a restaurant in the city. One of my friends jokingly predicted that the restaurant would be spared from bombing because “there is a Muslim around,” apparently referring to me. Often, we are insensitive with our comments and ideas in relating to one another, thinking that it is normal… it is ok. Now, I know better. However different we seem to be, we all deserve to be respected and regarded for who we are. We do not have to fight or look down on each other just to prove that we are different. Peacebuilder The children in ADP Saranggani have identified the culture of bias and discrimination as a barrier to peace. (ADP - Area Development Program, “a child-focused approach that seeks to partner with children and their families and communities in selected or neighboring areas in the pursuit of development or specifically, transformational development”.) We know that we cannot solve the complex problems in Mindanao, but we know that we can do something to bridge relationships among ourselves. I can say that the children in ADP Saranggani have really been helping with the peace process in our community, influencing not only children like ourselves but adults as well. I was invited to speak on peacebuilding and children during the CIVICUS World Assembly last May. I talked about our initiatives, how we recognize our differences but respect them. We want to end the culture of bias and discrimination! We want to eliminate the wrong perceptions we have of one another. Erasing the stains of biases and discrimination in our culture is not going tobeeasy.Therearefamilieswhorefuse to allow their children to join our activities. There are children who have adopted these attitudes so much that they won’t listen. Personally, we have to consciously balance our time spent with the activities in the ADP, our studies, and our obligation to our families. But then, there are so many things to be thankful for. Promoting the culture of peace in our community has helped bring out the best in me and of the other children in our community. We have learned so many things about peace, love and respect of one another. Peace does not come with age. That is why we as children should not demand it, but instead work out what we can do to help achieve it.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Mentioning the Mass intention
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following question:) Q: Unlike our present pastor, our former priest always would mention the intention for the Mass. Is this up to the individual priest? It gets printed in our bulletin, but I would hope the priest would mention who the Mass is for at some point, even though I know God knows who it is for. – L.S., St. Louis, Missouri A: While there are no universal laws regarding this topic, some dioceses have published norms with common-sense indications that all priests may take into account. My reply is inspired by the norms issued by the Diocese of Rome. There is no requirement to mention the priest’s intention at the Mass. Thus, a mention in the bulletin or some other public notification is a legitimate option, especially when the pastor is aware that the person who requested the Mass will not be present at the celebration. If the person or family who requested the intention wishes to be present, then it is good that the celebrant mention the name of the person for whom the Mass is being offered. This may best be done either after the greeting at the beginning of Mass or as an intention of the prayer of the faithful. The name should not normally be mentioned during the Eucharistic prayer. This naming is best left for funeral Masses, Masses at the notification of death, and significant anniversaries. The special formulas for funerals, especially in Eucharistic Prayers 2 and 3, were specifically composed with such occasions in mind and were not conceived for daily recitation. It should be remembered that the Mass intention refers above all to the intention of the celebrating priest who took upon himself the commitment to celebrate for a specific intention when he accepted a stipend. Since the Mass is infinite the priest may also have other personal intentions that may or may not be reflected in the Mass formula used. For example, a priest may offer the Mass for a deceased soul while at the same time using the Mass formula “For Vocations,” with the personal intention of asking God to bless the Church with abundant vocations. Likewise, while any person assisting at Mass is free to associate his prayer with the intention of the priest celebrant, he or she is also free to offer up participation at the Mass for any number of personal intentions. (Zenit)
The prohibition for clerics to engage in business
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
WE would like to consult you on an issue similar to the priest who is fond of cars and pets. We are in a rural area and have a parish priest who has a beach resort, one of the better ones in our province. He comes from a middle-class family and so people do not mind it if he owns a resort; they think the priest has his own money and is not getting their money. Besides, the priest claims the resort is largely owned by his sister. We try to tell ourselves it’s none of our business, but deep inside we think his time would be better spent on activities that would improve the lives of his parishioners instead of tending to his resort. We only have contact with him during Sunday Mass and occasionally at meetings of the parish council, but generally the parish runs without him. Are things like this covered by Canon Law? Do we have a right to ask him to give up his resort and focus on his priestly duties instead? The prohibition for clerics to engage in business or trade. A general prohibition is contained in c.286 of the Code of Canon Law: Clerics are forbidden personally or through others to conduct business or trade either for their own benefit or that of others without the permission of legitimate ecclesiastical authority. Furthermore, the Code typifies the infraction of this norm as a punishable crime in c.1392: Clerics or religious who practice trade or business against the prescriptions of the canons are to be punished in accord with the seriousness of the offense. More recently, n.67 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, issued by the Congregation for the Clergy on 31.I.1994, clearly stated: Therefore, the priest will deny himself those worldly activities which are not in keeping with his ministry. What constitutes business and trade? Canon Law prohibits clerics from engaging in either business or trade (or commercial activity) without permission of legitimate ecclesiastical authority, which in most cases would be the diocesan bishop. Now what is meant by business and trade that constitute activities prohibited by Canon Law for clerics? Business is a generic term which covers any activity marked by two essential properties: (1) The profit motive, understood as a pretension for something more than the normal conservation of one’s own patrimony. This is an important point that was somehow lost in the English rendering of the above-mentioned Directory of 31.I.1994, which simply proscribed “worldly activities”. A check of the Spanish, Italian and German versions of the all-important document, however, shows that the functional word is lucrative and not simply worldly: - “Por ello se abstendrá de actividades lucrativas impropias de su ministerio” (Spanish). - “Pertanto, si asterrà da quelle attività lucrative, che non sono consone al suo ministero”(Italian). -“Daher wird er sich gewinnbringender Tätigkeiten enthalten, die nicht seinem Amt entsprechen” (German). There’s no doubt that the mens legislatoris is to proscribe those activities driven by the profit motive. (2) The habitual character, thus excluding occasional economic activities from the canonical prohibition. What is crucial is that such activity converts the cleric, in the perception of prudent and objective observers, to a businessman. Thus, for example, the investment of one’s patrimony in the stock market is not included in the canonical prohibition, because such operations—according to the common perception of people—are not considered as business while they do not constitute a professional activity. Trade (or commerce), on the other hand, is a specific form of business activity typified by four characteristics: (1) being an intermediary between producers and consumers, (2) being an intermediary through exchange, (3) such exchange must be habitual such that it becomes professional, and (4) motivated by profit. What Canon Law prohibits clerics from engaging in is any business (trade or otherwise). The spirit behind the Law It is easy to understand the spirit behind this prohibition, expressed already by the misgivings of the parishioners in the present query. Aside from the desired spirit of poverty (detachment from temporal goods), so necessary in the cleric as discussed previously in this column, there is the matter of the needed dedication by the cleric to properly priestly and pastoral functions, which— as the present query shows—are naturally jeopardized by his engagement in business. Thus, c.286 points out that not even the fact of carrying out such activities through intermediaries or for the benefit of others is reason for tolerating such activities among clerics. Such nefarious consequences have been amply experienced in the past, so that the previous norm—instituted by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Council of 22.III.1950—had even imposed an excommunication latae sententiae reserved especially to the Holy See, and even the reduction to the lay state in the more serious cases, against clerics violating this prohibition. While the present canons have abrogated this sanction, the spirit behind it remains valid. Conclusion There definitely is reason for raised eyebrows in the behavior of the parish priest in question. Nevertheless, in the interest of justice—not only of charity— a fuller investigation is necessary before condemning such behavior. After all, c.286 itself provides for the possibility of an exception, with the permission of legitimate authority. One can imagine, for example, the case when there is such a lack of any other means of support for the priest—who may have needs unknown to the parishioners (e.g., expensive medicines or treatment)—that he has to engage in business in order to subsist. In any case, the need to be a witness to the spirit of poverty cannot be overstressed, especially on the part of the shepherds of a flock like the Church in the Philippines, which is largely composed of poor people. Thus, priests must always be sensitive to the possibility of causing scandal in this regard. In any case, by being transparent in his activities, the good priest can always gain the trust and support of his parishioners, even in those extraordinary cases when he has to engage in some form of business with the previous permission of the Bishop.
What a deacon can do
Q: In our parish we have a temporary overseas priest and a married deacon. During Benediction our married deacon consistently wears the full vestments that a priest wears for Benediction; says the Divine Praises; and elevates the monstrance while the overseas priest either sits watching in the pew or acts as an acolyte, swinging the thurible. The priest only wears an alb or even just plain clothes with no vestments, and remains kneeling. Several parishioners are much disturbed and have said so. I have asked the deacon why he wears the priest’s vestments. His answer: “I’m an ordained minister.” My reply was, “But you are not a priest.” I asked, “Who has given you authority to do this?” He stated that the bishop has. There are other irregularities which he persists in during the Mass. He stands throughout the prayers; takes the host from the ciborium given to him by the overseas priest; mouths the doxology; and even holds the paten containing the host. – R.I., state of New South Wales, Australia A: Some distinctions should be made. Although the deacon is an ordained minister, he is of a lower grade than a priest and therefore he should not preside over the community if a priest is present. Therefore in normal cases a deacon may not give a blessing, and even less so Benediction, if a priest is present and available. He may do so if the priest is legitimately impeded, for example, if the priest were hearing confessions during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and could not leave the confessional to impart Benediction. In those cases where the deacon legitimately imparts Benediction, either because there is no priest or the priest is impeded, the deacon may wear the same vestments as the priest: the stole albeit worn in the manner of a deacon, the cope and the humeral veil. He may also recite or sing the same prayers as the priest. He does not need any special permission from the bishop to wear these vestments as the rubrics already foresee it. The other actions that our correspondent describes are aptly termed irregularities. The deacon should usually kneel for the consecration, silently hold up the chalice (not the paten) for the doxology, and should always receive Communion from the priest and not self-communicate. Rather than any special permission or dispensation from the bishop (who is unlikely to dispense from basic liturgical law for no reason), such errors are more probably due to bad habits and imperfect liturgical formation. The person responsible for correcting them is the pastor, the priest celebrant, or even the bishop if the local priest is unwilling. When a deacon is ordained he promises the bishop and the Church that he is willing to carry out the diaconal service with humility and love as a cooperator of the priestly order and for the good of the Christian people. If he lives up to his promise, then he will gladly correct any errors that might have crept in. (Zenit)
Q: “When several chalices are prepared for a concelebrated Mass, my understanding is that it is correct to add water to the wine only in the ‘main’ chalice, and that it is not necessary to add water to the wine in all the chalices. Is there any official document in which this is specified?” A: This point has been discussed by liturgists, but no consensus has been found. Nor am I aware of any official norms on this particular subject. Some liturgists hold the position that it is sufficient to add water to the chalice of the principal chalice, which thus forms a moral unity with the other chalices for the purpose of consecration. This argument is fairly solid from the theological standpoint, and there would certainly be no doubt that the consecration would be valid and licit. It also solves the problem of the rather ungainly sight of a deacon or priest pouring a drop of water into several chalices already arrayed upon the altar. It is not, however, universal liturgical practice. Many celebrants prefer to place water in all chalices, along with wine, so that all communicants can receive from wine that has been mixed with water according to ancient Church tradition. This may be done in two ways. If there are only a couple of extra chalices, then wine and water, or just water (if the extra chalices are already prepared) may be placed in all of them during the preparation of the gifts. If there are many chalices, then water and wine may be placed in all but the principal chalice when the chalices are prepared before Mass begins. This latter solution is generally practiced by the Vatican sacristans for large concelebrations at St. Peter’s. (Zenit)
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On multiple ciboria and chalices
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Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
establishment of key towns and parishes throughout the island. However, the subsequent years after 1896 were turbulent periods for the people of Mindoro, largely Christian then. The struggle for nationhood, first against Spaniards and then against the Americans, left the island province in great disarray. With the defeat of the Filipinos in the war with the Americans (1899-1901), American rule came to Mindoro. In the mean-time, the Christians were left to fend for themselves to a great extent in their life related to religion until the erection of the Diocese of Lipa in April 10, 1910 of which Mindoro became a part. From Apostolic Prefecture to Apostolic Vicariate The next significant event in the history of the local Church in Mindoro was the transfer of the island to the spiritual care of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). On July 2, 1936 Mindoro was made an Apostolic Prefecture by virtue of a declaration con-tained in the Apostolic Letter, Ad Catholicum Nomen, and Most Rev. William Finnemann, SVD, was designated as Apostolic Prefect. In October 1951, Mindoro was elevated into an Apostolic Vicariate as declared by Pope Pius XII, and Most Rev. William Duschak, SVD, became the first Apostolic Vicar. It was also during this time that Mindoro was divided into two provinces, Oriental and Occidental. Since the take over of Mindoro by the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), the local church has made great strides towards progress. This is reflected in the increase of Church membership, in the establishment of new parishes, in the erection of churches, convents, schools, financial foundations, and most significantly, in the foundation of St. Augustine Minor Seminary (SAS) in Calapan, in 1962 and St. Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA) in 1969, to commence the formation of diocesan clergy. Aside from these, the SVDs put premium on education, formal catechetical formation, and fostered missions to the Mangyans. The Holy Spirit Sisters (SSpS.) and religious women belonging to the Order of St. Benedict (OSB) were invited to spearhead these apostolates. It was also during this time that the Cursillo and Charismatic Move-ments were introduced in the parishes which created a great impact in the renewal of the faithful and the enlivening of communities. Since then, the local Church in Oriental Mindoro was well on its way to maturity and self-reliance. Diocesan Pastoral Plannings of Calapan On February 10-16, 1977, the First Diocesan Planning was held under the leadership of Most Rev. Simeon O. Valerio, SVD. This was followed by another diocesan planning in February 16-22, 1982, just before the division of Mindoro the fol-lowing year into two Apostolic Vicariates: Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Great events were then celebrated such as the Holy Year in 1983, Marian Year in 1985, and the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Vicariate in 1986. On both assemblies, two important thrusts of the pastoral life and ministry of Calapan were defined, namely: Catechesis and Basic Chris-tian Communities (BCCs). First Diocesan Bishop Year 1989 was a beginning of a new era in the life of the vicariate with the installa-tion of its first diocesan bishop in the person of Most Rev. Warlito I. Cajandig, D.D. He then embarked on a steadfast drive towards pastoral renewal. Among the concrete pas-toral initiatives that were implemented in support of this vision are the following: (1) the division of the Apostolic Vicariate into 5 Vicariates Forane accompanied by a pro-cess of decentralization and devolution meant to encourage broader participation among the religious and lay faithful; (2) the introduction of the BEC-CO Program right after the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) spearheaded by both religious sis-ters and trained lay community organizers; (3) the establishment of Formation Founda-tions for self-sufficiency program; (4) the grand project to put into reality the ideals of PCP II starting with a Participatory Action Research (PAR) in 1994 up to the 3rd Dioc-esan Pastoral Planning in 1997 where a Vision-Mission-Goal was formulated and a 5-year pastoral program leading to the threshold of the new millennium was laid forth. Vision-Mission-Goal Vision. A dynamic Community of Disciples of Christ, living the Word of God in unity and is ruled by justice, freedom, peace, and love. Mission. We, the Community of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, following the will of the Father, rooted in Christ, journeying under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and answering the call of the Church and society for renewal towards the realization of the Kingdom of God, jointly and wholeheart-edly commit ourselves to: a) advocate and enhance the faith that is lived in active propagation of the Good News, in communal worship that is rooted in the Filipino culture, and in faith-ful service to others, most especially the poor; b) develop ourselves continually in knowledge, skills and interpersonal relationship and promote each one’s vocation; c) uphold the simple way of life, develop and preserve God-given abilities, strength, talent, time and treasure, and share them with those who are most in need; d) strengthen the families as foundation of divine and human values and as prime advocate of renewal in the community; e) protect the welfare and rights of the youth, recognize their God-given talents, strengths and abilities and give them the freedom to engage in responsible actions of renewing and animating the community; f) be one with the poor in their struggle to rise from poverty; g) be one with our Mangyan brothers in the effort to make fairness and equality in dealing with them as human beings prevail, support and recognize their potential for self-reliance; h) respect and enhance the unique identity, sacredness and beauty of the Mangyan culture; i) recognize and promote the security of tenure of the Mangyans in their ancestral lands; j) be involved in the apostolate of the Church, issues and concerns of the
society, and affairs of the government to promote the liberating system and structure that recognize the dignity of persons, social justice and common good, and ac-tively participate in politics and other fields for its realization; k) promote a free, peaceful and realistic dialogue with brethrens of other faiths and ideologies; l) uphold the rights and responsibilities of people in the care, development, just distribution and use of land, extend humane assistance to squatters during relo-cation, and reinforce organized protests against unjust and irrational conver-sion of agricultural and ancestral lands; m) promote communion with nature, protect all those who support life and re-nounce those who destroy it; n) support an alternative media that will be an instrument of evangelization and gospel values. Goal . To make an “integral evangelization” towards the building-up of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan. From Dekada ng Pamilyang Mindoreño to Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreño The three-year preparations focused on the Trinity and the eventual meaningful cel-ebration of the Great Jubilee 2000 also enlivened the local Church and provided the impetus for a committed effort to heed the Holy Father’s call for Integral Evangelization. This was pursued through the inauguration of the pastoral program—Dekada ng Pamilyang Mindoreño (2001-2010), in which the pastoral focus is on the evangelization of families towards the building-up of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). On September 2004, the Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting was convoked to evaluate and re-design a suitable, effective, and systematic pastoral program based on the Vision-Mission-Goal of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan without prejudice to the present demands of the local Church. Attendant to the colCalapan / B7
The Seed of Faith: Early Beginnings The seed of the Christian faith in Mindoro was planted by religious missionaries whose dedication and perseverance despite all adversities bore fruit in the hearts and minds of the faithful. The first among these missionaries were the Augustinians (Calzados) who arrived on the northern part of the island of Mindoro in 1572 and established a mission center in Minolo, Puerto Galera. For three years, they preached Christianity from here. In 1575, they shifted their center to old Baco and founded the town and the parish. In 1578, the Order of Franciscan Missionaries (OFM) came and they also established mission centers and founded the parish in Naujan. After they left, the pastoral care of the baptized was left on the hands of the Spanish secular priests stationed in the island. Missionary activities were revived and eventually flourished when Mindoro became part of the Archdiocese of Manila in 1595. The year 1627 marked the entry of the Jesuits who started the mission to the Mangyans. They were very effective in their preaching and catechetical instructions. Due chiefly to the initiative of Friar Diego dela Madre de Dios, the new parish and town of Calapan, now the seat of the local Church, was founded in 1679 by the Augustinian Recoletos. The Augustinians’ friary was transferred from Baco to Calapan in 1733 mainly on account of the depredation of Muslim sea warriors who preyed on and plundered the Christian coastal settlements in Luzon and Visayas. Until the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards in 1896, the Augustinian Friary in Calapan had ecclesiastical juris-diction over the whole of Mindoro. One of the important milestones in the history of Mindoro Christianity before the revolution was the
The Apostolic Vicariate of
By Fr. Vicente R. Uy, JCD
ON BACKGROUND: Sto. Niño Cathedral, Calapan City. RIGHT: Bishop Warlito I. Cajandig, D.D., Vicar Apostolic of Calapan.
Bishop …………………………….............. 1 Diocesan Priests: Working in the Diocese …………...... 38 Abroad …………………………............ 6 Study Leave ……………………............ 1 Religious Priests: Filipino………….…………................... 10 Foreigner…………………………........... 9 Brother: Foreigner …………………………........... 1 Women Religious ..………………….... 62 Seminaries: College (Philosophy) ………………...... 1 Theologate ………….………………...... 1 House of Spirituality ………………....... 1 Seminarians: Theology …………………………....... 24 College (Philosophy) ……………….. 37 Pre-College (Initial Formation Year) ………………………………........ 9 From other dioceses: Theology .………………................... 17 Diocesan Divisions: Vicariates Forane ……………………... 5 Territorial Parishes ………………….. 20 With Resident Pastors ….……..... 20 Entrusted to Diocesan Clergy ....... 16 Entrusted to Religious Clergy ……. 4 Personal Parish ………………………...... 1 Quasi-Parishes ..………………………... 2 Chaplaincies ………………………........... 4 Mission Areas …………………………..... 4 Pamayanans ………………..……….... 634 Educational Centers: College Owned and Administered by Religious .………...................... 1 High Schools Owned and Administered by the Diocese …......................... 17 Owned and Administered by Religious ………………........... 1 Elementary Schools Owned and Administered by the Diocese ………………..... 9 Owned and Administered by Religious .……...…………...... 1 Institutions: Educational ……………………........... 1 Formation Houses ………….....…... 6 Retreat Centers …………………….. 4 Clergy Houses …………………….... 2 Pastoral Centers: Diocesan …………………………...... 5 Parish ……………………………..... 20 Mangyan Heritage Center …………....... 1 Population ……………………… 707,676 Area ………………….. 4,364.72 sq. kms. Catholics ……………....... 681,987 (83%)
A local Church in transition A local Church in transition from a mission territory to a from a mission territory to a renewed, vibrant, and mature renewed, vibrant, and mature Christian community Christian community
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
The Prison Ministry program of the Church
By Rodolfo Diamante and Joven Velasco
TROUBLE and danger, brought about by an apparent lack of focused attention to look after the welfare and interest of prison inmates, prompted the creation of an agency that would plan and administer the proposed Prison Ministry Program of the Catholic Church. The inmates of the New Bilibid Prison Maximum Compound were restless then and staged trouble among themselves which, like those that came before it, claimed lives. It was the era of prison gang wars that started to occur in alarming frequency since the early 1950s when regional prisoners coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grouped among themselves for common protection and survival in prison. Manila’s Sigue-Sigue Gang and Visayas and Mindanao’s OXO Gang stood out as notorious examples and the two engaged in countless riots that ended in heavy casualties on both sides. Splinter groups developed from the two warring factions and the new groups took a more regional character. There was one for the Ilocanos, another for the Bicolanos, and still others for the Cebuanos, the Warays, and the Mindanaoans. And they all took part in bloody melees. The most violent of prison riots occurred in 1958, the last of the bloodiest in 1975. That was the time when, finally, a Cursillo group inside the prison walls gathered and sought help. In the midst of prison riots, the Inmate Cursillo secretariat met at the prison chaplain’s office of the New Bilibid Prison and agreed to seek assistance from the Catholic bishops. They drafted a letter, dated 25 March 1975, that proposed the creation of a religious body under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The vision and goals of the proposed body were presented. The signatories were 11 inmates, 3 prison guards, a lay adviser, and 2 prison chaplains. They promised to serve the prison society through this body. The prison society consists of inmates, released prisoners and their families; as well as prison workers and their families, chaplains, and volunteers in prison work. The Church responded. The CBCP created in April 1975 an ADHOC Committee for the Welfare of Prisoners that conducted studies, met, and presented reports towards the creation of a permanent body. In July 1975, during the CBCP’s annual meeting held in Baguio City, the Episcopal Commission on Prisoners’ Welfare or ECOPRIW was created. It was composed of three Bishop members, three auxiliary members, and two secretaries. Immediately, an Integrated Pastoral Program for the Rehabilitation of the Prison Society was drawn up and the slogan, “Prison is People!” was adopted as its battle cry. The implementation of the Church’s prison ministry was not left solely to the officials and secretariat of the newlyformed agency; in fact, volunteer prison workers had to be recruited and they eventually did much of the work. Nonetheless, the implementing structure had to be arranged within the Church itself, through the dioceses. Prison apostolate work, therefore was done through the dioceses, the prison chaplains under the payroll of the Department of Justice, and the volunteers in prison work. The dioceses were mobilized to look after prison welfare. Awareness of prison life and conditions were raised in the local and regional levels, or more appropriately in the parishes. Chaplains were encouraged to draw up their own programs and plans for prison rehabilitation in their respective turfs. Volunteer prison workers were recruited from among interested private individuals and they were organized into working corps collectively known as the Volunteers in Prison Service (VIPS). Originally, seven such corps was formed primarily for the seven national prisons and largely for the New Bilibid Prison. The mobilization of whichever group necessitated organizational spadework. Consultation conferences were held with prison chaplains that led to the creation of the National Conference on Prison Apostolate (NACOPA), in 1978; Luzon Prison Ministry Consultation (LUPRIMCO), in 1988; and Visayas-Mindanao Prison Ministry (VIMIPRIMCO), in 1990. Resolutions and petitions addressed to pertinent government bodies and agencies were drawn at the end of the conferences to consolidate and integrate efforts towards a more efficient and humane penal administration and progressive prison reforms. Petitions to appropriate government agencies for improved services were also a main preoccupation of these conferences. Meanwhile, the organization of VIPS chapters was preceded by a seminar on the Philippine criminal justice system, penal administration, and prison and jail conditions all over the country. ECOPRIW facilitators appealed to the potential recruits’ sense of idealism and perhaps awakening social justice. From 20 volunteers in 1975, the ranks of VIPS rose to 2,000 today and VIPS chapters, 86 on last count, have been established all over the country, from Luzon, to the Visayas and Mindanao. The First General Assembly of VIPS was held in 1994. VIPS local chapters report directly to their respective dioceses but they raise their own funds, making their self-imposed dedication doubly admirable. At the moment, there are more VIPS in detention centers than in prisons or penal colonies where the chaplains concentrate. In 1991, the ECOPRIW (which eventually came to be known as the Episcopal Commission for Prison Pastoral Care [ECPPC] starting in 1998) led in organizing a conference that gathered all government, non-government, and church agencies involved in prison work to talk about common issues and problems and come up with consolidated efforts toward enlightened prison reforms. The agencies later coalesced into the Integrated Correctional Association of the Philippines (ICAP) in 1995, one of ECPPC’s grand alliances and linkages. All together, the agencies observed the National Correctional Consciousness Week some time in October, starting in 1995. Linkages are imperative to strengthen advocacy and networking towards meaningful change in the criminal justice system in the country. Locally, aside from the ICAP, ECPPC is an active founding member of the PAYO (Philippine Action for Youth Offenders) and the CADP (Coalition Against Death Penalty) for very specific concerns. On the international front, the ECPPC has started to join hands with the inter-denominational International Prisons Chaplains Association (IPCA) which is based in Sweden; and the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care (ICCPPC), in Netherlands; whose objective is to bring to the worldwide Church a greater awareness and sensitivity to the exercise of Prison Pastoral Care and to contribute to the reform and revision of the penal system throughout the world. Notwithstanding its advocacy campaign against death penalty, the creation of a more comprehensive juvenile justice system pursued with unrelenting passion and conviction; ECPPC embarks on an advocacy campaign on the adoption of restorative justice in our justice system. This year’s Prison Awareness celebration focuses on the offenders’ role in the restorative paradigm that is to accept direct and full responsibility for the crime they have committed and challenges the community to discover the face of Christ among the prisoners.
The Prison Chaplaincy apostolate
By Rudy Diamante
Church Structure The Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care is one of the 30 offices and commissions of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines formed in 1975 that is tasked to promote the total development of the members of the prison community all over the country. It is composed of a chairman and four members elected from the bishop-members of the conference for a term of 3 years with re-election. The commission carries its task through the Secretariat headed by an Executive Secretary appointed by the chairman. State Structure In the Philippines, there are three levels in our approach to institutional correction namely, the national penitentiaries, the provincial jails and the city and municipal jails. There is also the community based treatment approached for first adult offenders whose sentence is six years below and for children in conflict with the law. The jails and prisons have full-time chaplains employed by the state. We also have volunteer chaplains appointed by the local bishops to minister to the members of the prison community. Main events in the Chaplaincy · Organizations of 82 units of Volunteers in Prison Service Units nationwide that deliver the Integrated Pastoral Program—namely worship, formation, service, advocacy and linkages/networking. The Chaplains and Volunteers conducted the 6 th General Assembly of Chaplains and Volunteers in Prison Service last December 6-9, 2004 in Lipa City, Batangas. It also held 3 regional assemblies: Central and North Luzon last April 21-23, 2006 in Baguio City; East, West, South Luzon last July 28-30, 2006 in Lucena City and Visayas and Mindanao region last December 4-7, 2006 in Cebu City. These assemblies explored the theme “Healing and Restoring Hope and Dignity to the Community”. Theological and pastoral updating were also given in these gatherings. · The Abolition of Death Penalty and the passage of Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 otherwise known as Republic Act 9344¯an act abolishing the death penalty” and Republic Act 9346¯an act that provides for the institution of restorative justice paradigm in dealing with children in conflict with the law. · Observance and celebration of the Prison Awareness Sunday every last Sunday of October with themes that underlined the need to look at the welfare of the members of the prison community. The celebration focused on community’s role in the repair of the social injury caused by crime; the need for the offenders to ask for forgiveness and do some restitution and for the victims to heal and to be given the opportunity to forgive. The traditional and yearly Gawad Paglilingkod Award was conferred to individuals and groups of the various archdioceses/dioceses in the country who have rendered invaluable services in the prison for at least 3 consecutive years. · Promotion of the Restorative Justice paradigm through the holding of various seminars, fora and symposia among policy makers, legislators and church and government personnel involved in correction. Issues and problems Subhuman living conditions of our jails and prisons. There is an inadequate food, beds, toilets and other sanitary facilities. The budget allocated by government is always too small for the basic needs of prisoners. Most of our jails are congested, overcrowded and dilapidated. Human rights violation. Corporal punishment is practiced by some employees and prisoners. Some prisoners had experienced forms of physical and psychological torture. Slow judicial process. Many suspects, not yet found guilty, are already detained while awaiting hearings and sentence that take months and years. The injustice is greater when they are found not guilty as charged. Retributive system of justice. Our penal system is still characterized by long sentences and lack of rehabilitative program because of the retributive paradigm. Failure of government to provide facilities and services to prisoners with special needs. There are no facilities for the mentally ill, the handicapped, the young, the old and the sick. Absence of after care release program. There is lack if not absence of programs that will address the problems of released prisoners for employment, livelihood and provision for basic needs. Corruption exists in almost all levels of the criminal justice system. The institutions are still saddled with graft and corrupt practices of some employees. Lack of financial support, even with the Church hierarchy. It is not a priority program in the government and in some Arch/dioceses. Growing number of children in conflict with the law. Some are still locked up together with adult offenders despite the passage of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006. Hopes and Aspirations · The final and absolute abolition of the death penalty in our criminal justice system when the Senate ratifies the 2nd Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights · Passage of a PRE-TRIAL Release Program that will be an alternative to the current bail system. This program when pass will decongest our jails by 70%. · The full implementation of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 that provides better treatment of the children in conflict with the law. · Integration of all agencies involved in correction into one Department of Correction. · Adoption of the Restorative Justice approach in our criminal justice system · Declaration by the UN and Vatican of World Prisoners’ Day
Christian communication workshop held in Baguio
EPISCOPAL Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) Executive Secretary Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD, and ECBA staff, participated in a biblical workshop organized by the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) last September 3-7 at the PBS Sanctuary in Baguio City. Alunday said the workshop was an experience of the Word ‘alive and kicking’ in the hearts of persons who are active in the promotion of the Bible. “The workshop was also an experience of solidarity of people sharing and reflecting together as sisters and brothers,” Alunday said. “It was an experience of communion where each one freely shared ideas, feedback, challenges, shadows and lights of life and ministry,” he added. Alunday emphasized the liberating aspect of communication during the workshop saying it was so because, “the participants were gathered around the Communicator—the Word of God.” “The resource persons shared their life experience on the Word of God—how they are inspired ‘to do more and to be more’ and not so much ‘to have more’,” he further said. The workshop, designed to equip Christian communicators on the theology and methodology of communicating God’s word, was attended by some 30 participants from the Bible Society and representatives from partner organizations including ECBA and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). The panel of speakers included Dr. Julian Sundersingh, Program Consultant of the United Bible Society in the Asia-Pacific; Rumel Caballero, Vice President and CEO of Verumed International Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Carlo Dino, Domestic Broadcast Service Director of the Far East Broadcasting Company; and Charles Javier, an inter-confessional resource speaker on Creative Communication to Youth and Children. Dr. Sundersingh discussed Biblical Principles of Communication, Understanding Audiences and their Needs, Audience Research,
Population: 87 Million Number of Prisons National Penitentiaries: 7 for those sentenced to 3 years above (6 for men and 1 for women) Provincial Jails: 78 for those sentenced to 3 months to 3 years City Jails: 86 for those sentenced below 3 months Municipal /District Jails: 1040 for those sentenced below 3 months Number of Youth Center for those whose sentence has been suspended: 12 Youth Rehabilitation Centers, and only about 5 youth detention centers. Number of Prisoners including pre-trial detainees and remand prisoners 128,134 as of February 2007 The number does not include those confined at the provincial jails, police detention centers. Number of Prison Chaplains (Only priest are considered chaplains) Full-time- 15 Volunteers - 61 Number of Prison Chaplaincy Pastoral Workers Priests – 76 Religious Sisters – 11 Lay Persons – 86 Volunteer in Prison Service Unit Coordinators Participants to the PBS Christian communication workshop with Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD (kneeling, second from right). About 1700 volunteers
Understanding Media in Scripture Communication, Creative Programming, Strategic Approach in Carrying Out Our Mission, Spoken Language in Media Communication and Critical Success Factors in Scripture Communication. Mr. Caballero, an expert in strategic marketing and business planning spoke on The Filipino Consumer and Its Changing Demographics, The Philippine Publishing Industry, and Research Tool in the Filipino Context. Meanwhile, Mr. Dino, whose media involvement includes theater, television, marketing communication and corporate training tackled the Models for Social Change and Media Possibilities. Enjoyable and lighthearted moments sprinkled the sessions with Mr. Javier who shared on and demonstrated Com-
munication through Music, and Communication with a Difference (Music for Youth and Children). The workshop featured a challenging mix of lectures, small group discussions and presentations on proposed communication projects. On the whole, it challenged the participants, an ecumenical group composed of clergy, lay workers, marketing professionals, media practitioners and information technologists; to be bolder in communicating God’s Word. It also convinced them that a paradigm-shift is necessary for stakeholders to start thinking of themselves not merely as Bible publishers but as true Bible Communicators. Third Fermin, IT Officer of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches acknowledged how the workshop taught
him to be more focused and become effective communicator of God’s message of Love, Hope and Salvation. “I have no previous background on mass communication or marketing. But the four-and-a-half day Christian Communication Workshop helped me appreciate and understand the biblical foundation of communicating, the way God designed it to be,” he said. France Torreja, PBS Marketing Manager and workshop coordinator sums up the sentiments of her team positively. “We enjoyed the workshop immensely,” she said. She remarked that the seminar both enlightened and challenged them to communicate the word of God more than the usual way, instead, reach out to people in a manner they would truly
appreciate and understand, the word of God. “Thus, let lovers of music hear the Divine Love Story through chords of music...let radio enthusiasts hear of God’s love on the airwaves… and let TV and computer aficionados see and hear the Good News live on their monitors and screens,” said Torreja. The Philippine Bible Society has been in the ministry of Making the Bible Known for almost 108 years. It constantly seeks to discover and devise ways of realizing its vision of a transformed Philippines through God’s Word. The Christian Communication Workshop, undertaken in partnership with the United Bible Societies, is the first to be conducted in the Philippines. (Hazel Salariosa-Alviz)
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Pastoral Letter Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2007
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1-2, 14)
DEAR Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This coming 14th of October, we will celebrate INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SUNDAY . We consider this year particularly important because it is the 30 th year of the creation of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP). The ECIP embodies the official and conscious Apostolate of the Church, together with the Dioceses and Religious Congregation, for our Indigenous brothers and sisters. For thirty years, the Church has lent her moral authority and her human and material resources to support the struggle of our Indigenous Peoples for justice and self-determination. Last September 18-21, 43 dioceses all over the Philippines participated in the 25 th ECIP-IPA National Convention in Baguio City, reflecting on the theme: The Word of God and the Indigenous Communities. We realized that the Word of God is alive in our indigenous peoples’ life and culture as manifested in their relationships with creation, their ancestors and their community. These relationships are living witnesses to the ways they feel and hear the presence of God articulated in epics, chants, prayers, and the community’s way of life particularly through life-giving customs and traditions. In the Convention, we saw the many significant advances that IP communities have gained since thirty years ago. As our country’s IPs continue to listen to the wisdom of their ancestors and heritage, they have been asserting their views about the detrimental effects of development aggression and irresponsible extraction of our natural resources. They have been involved in bringing these concerns into the national consciousness and the Church has partnered with them in advocating for more environment friendly practices. In the legal arena, they have pushed for the recognition of the distinctiveness of their communities in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and successfully lobbied for the passage of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act in 1997. Through this law, as well as through the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights that was recently approved by the United Nations General Assembly, IP communities in our country have gained recognition to their rights as peoples and have been able to assert their title to their ancestral domains. In the socio-economic arena, there is a growing effort to protect and recover indigenous knowledge which can be used in the present times to be a basis of their economic activities. There is also greater awareness now about their need for a kind of education that is appropriate for them. Despite these gains, the deep seated prejudices and biases against IPs that have been instilled in us over the centuries continue to inflict neglect, deprivation, injustice and even death to many indigenous communities and cultures. These situations of violence have uprooted IPs from their territories, severing their lifegiving relationships and sense of identity. Until today, acts of aggression continue in the form of landgrabbing, human rights violations, militarization and displacement of IP communities. A few of the demands of IPs that surfaced during this convention are these: · that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) speedily process and award the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) to the Ati of Boracay and similarly situated IP communities; · that the armed forces of the Government and the New Peoples’Army respect the dignity of the indigenous peoples and stop their widespread recruitment as Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units, CVOs or “Bagani”, and that their areas be proclaimed as Peace Zones; · that everything must be done to stop the injustice done to the Subanon community of Mt. Canatuan in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte due to the: o failure of NCIP to register their CADT with the Register of Deeds, o procurement of an invalid Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) by a mining company, namely, Toronto Ventures Inc. (TVIRD SCAA), o food blockade and forced eviction of the communities by TVIRD SCAA. Historical circumstances have created the mindset of majority of us of looking down on our indigenous brothers and sisters, bringing about their marginalization and oppression. This same mindset has erased from our historical memory the fact that all Filipinos alive today have an indigenous heritage. Only recently are we learning to remember this heritage and to appreciate that the seeds of God’s Word are present in the IPs’ way of life and culture. The Word of God is enfleshed, albeit unknowingly, in their connectedness to and deep respect for creation as they care for their ancestral domains. It is also present in their rituals and community life, which is their way of expressing their connectedness to God and to one another. In this year’s celebration of IP Sunday, therefore, I am inviting you first of all to value our own indigenous heritage as Filipinos. Instead of condemning and judging our IP brothers and sisters as backward or pagan let us learn to listen to the presence of God in their lifeways and culture. Let us condemn the injustices they are subjected to and support their legitimate struggle for self-determination. Let us, above all, strive to live out God’s love in whatever culture and expression of faith we find ourselves. For the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples: +MOST REV. SERGIO L. UTLEG, D.D. Bishop of Laoag and ECIP Chairperson October 14, 2007
A call to discover the face of Christ among the prisoners
IN every society, crime and issues of law and order loom large in public consciousness. The Philippines is no exception. Fair and just dealings between and among people constitute the heartbeat of a good society. We all need to feel safe in our homes on our streets, in our communities. Recent events show that crime has escalated. Murder, rape, robbery, drug trafficking, and graft and corruption have become more widespread. Yet the traditional means of dealing with such crime seem unable to bring about reconciliation and healing. The prison industry is expanding. Fear of crime dominates too many lives. The Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) in celebration of the 20th Prison Awareness Sunday on October 28, 2007 reaffirms that from our Christian perspective criminal justice system must not be built upon a philosophy of retribution, focusing primarily upon punishment flowing from feelings of revenge; a negative philosophy that produce negative results. An adversarial system by definition does not seek always to find the truth of a particular matter, but rather seeks a victory for one or other party. Such a system does not encourage offenders to take personal responsibility for their actions and can leave victims feelings that they are on trial too. It does not bring peace in the community.
The ECPPC challenges this philosophy of retribution on the basis that it is negative and usually counterproductive. We hold that compassion, mercy, healing, sanction where appropriate and forgiveness leading to reconciliation lie at the heart of a fair and just criminal justice system. Even the worst of of-
fenders remain children of God. We are called to discover the face of Christ among them. The ECPPC believes that victims need to be more actively engaged in the criminal justice system, provided that healing and reconciliation are the focus of such engagement. The ECPPC strongly urges our
society to adopt a more restorative intervention in our criminal justice system and work for justice that heals. +MOSTREV.PEDROD.ARIGO,D.D. Bishop of Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan Chairman-ECPPC
ECIP-IPA National Convention
September 18-21, 2007 Sta. Catalina Spirituality Center, Baguio City STATEMENT
Until today, these acts of aggression continue in the form of land-grabbing, human rights violations, militarization and displacement of IP communities. We, therefore, protest the following incidents: The slow implementation of the resolution on the CADT application of the Ati community in Boracay; The systematic recruitment of the indigenous people to become members of the CAFGUs, CVOs and other para-military groups like “Bagani”; The case of the Subanon communities in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte against Toronto Ventures Inc. (TVIRD SCAA) * Failure of NCIP to register the CADT of the Subanon communities with the Register of Deeds; * Procurement of an invalid FPIC by TVIRD SCAA; * Food blockade and forced eviction of the communities by TVIRD SCAA. And strongly support: The demand of the Ati of Boracay and simiWE, the 93 representatives of the 43 dioceses, who participated in the 25th ECIP-IPA National Convention held on September 18-21, 2007 at Santa Catalina Spirituality Center, Baguio City, Philippines, have reflected on the theme “The Word of God and the Indigenous Communities”, and are united in declaring that: The Word of God is alive in indigenous peoples’ life and culture as manifested in their relationships with creation, their ancestors and their community. These relationships are living witnesses to the ways they feel and hear the presence of God articulated in epics, chants, prayers, meaningful silence and the community’s way of life particularly through life-giving customs and traditions. Over the centuries, deep seated prejudices and biases against IPs have wrought neglect, deprivation, injustice and even death of many communities and cultures. These situations of violence have uprooted IPs from their territories, severing their life-giving relationships and sense of identity. larly situated IP communities for a speedy resolution by the NCIP in favor of the processing and awarding of their CADTs; The call on the government and the NPAs to respect the dignity of the Indigenous Peoples, who are sons and daughters of God, by stopping their widespread recruitment; The efforts of IP communities to make their areas Peace Zones; The filing of the case of the Subanon community of Mt. Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, on racial discrimination and human rights violations in Geneva, Switzerland adopted by the CERD on its 71st session held from 30 July to 17 August 2007; Let us recognize that Jesus, the Word of God, identified Himself with the IPs when he said that: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to Me.” (Mt. 25, 40) For the participants of the 25 th ECIP-IPA National Convention, +MOST REV. SERGIO L. UTLEG, D.D. Bishop of Laoag ECIP Chairperson
‘Watch and pray’
October 4, 2007
WE, concerned Church people from the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP-NCR), the Manila Archdiocesan Parochial School Association (MAPSA) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) gathered today, October 4, 2007, at the Sta. Isabel College, Manila to reflect on the present turbulence in the Philippine society caused by the unfolding of events in the on-going Senate hearings. We gathered credible information on the events and issues and sought to reflect on these in the light of our faith. The present controversy has affected us deeply and awakened many feelings: · Confusion because amidst charges and counter-charges, the truth behind the latest NBN controversy still elude us, and government leaders involved refuse to be accountable and transparent to the people who have a right to know · Anger and outrage at the potential harm done to the Filipino people, by a contract, now mercifully already scrapped, that would have placed an enormous economic burden on the Filipino people, for the sake of the vested interests of a few. · Even greater anger when we glimpse, that this project, carried out with great secrecy, involved corruption on a very large scale, apparently among leaders in very high places. How high this corruption goes still remains to be discovered. · Deep dissatisfaction and loss of trust, because this is but the latest instance in a long series of still unresolved cases of apparent corruption among public officials, in which the truth is hidden from the people who have the right to know. · Sadness and disillusionment, because this new controversy, is just the latest manifestation of the culture of corruption, non-accountability and impunity, which plagues government but also much of our Philippine culture (and indeed the Church) and which exacerbates the already terrible poverty of our people. Moved by our Christian faith in the Lord who is Truth and our adherence to the Catholic social vision which calls all and especially those in public office to work for the common good, we commit ourselves to the following: 1) ADVOCACY FOR TRUTH AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Despite our weariness, we resolve to advocate the continued search for truth behind what seems like a cover up aimed at misleading the Filipino people. We refuse to “move on” in the name of a promised progress, because we know that unless a culture and the protocols of transparency and accountability are in place, no progress will be real and lasting. This resolve includes a demand to bring to justice those whom a credible process of inquiry reveals to be guilty of crimes against the Filipino people. 2) CULTURAL REGENERATION: We acknowledge that corruption is ingrained in our culture, indeed in ourselves. We commit ourselves and our Institutions to cultural renewal. We will examine ourselves in humility and honesty and find ways to heighten our awareness of the taint of corruption in our lives and institutions as well as finding ways of correcting that which we find to be corrupt. We will proactively promote a culture of integrity and practices of transparency and accountability in our own lives and in our institutions. We will reinvigorate and strengthen values formation and education at all levels. 3) ENGAGEMENT TOWARD GOOD LEADERSHIP: We will help train leaders, work toward the emergence of alternative leaders and work so that the electoral exercises of 2007 and 2010 will result in honest elections that will place in power leaders who are accountable, competent and committed to the real service of our people especially the poor. This will involve working toward electoral reform and revitalizing voters’ educa-
tion and advocating a credible COMELEC. This also means educating the young towards political participation and holiness. Despite the magnitude of the challenges we face, we dare to hope extravagantly, because we believe in the goodness of our people and the power of the Lord working in and among us. We call to mind the teachings of the Church: “Men and women have the specific duty to move always towards the truth, to respect it and bear witness to it. Living in the truth has special significance in social relationships…” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church #197). Bearing this in mind and carrying hope in our hearts, we will seek to create “islands of excellence and light” amidst a sea of darkness in our country. However modest these beginnings, we believe that when these “islands” are joined together in a network, we will have built up a country of excellence and light, of integrity and truth. - Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) - Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines-the National Capital Region (CEAPNCR) - Manila Archdiocesan & Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA) - Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV)
Photo courtesy of RCAM
THIS parable is not a typical parable in the sense that it is a straightforward description of religious attitudes and the lesson flows directly from the description. Two types of men found in Israel are presented. They are attending the same worship service most likely the atonement ritual because in his prayer the tax-collector implores “atonement” of his sins. The atonement ritual was the only daily service in the temple during that time. The atonement ritual comprised an interval of private prayers offered during the burning of incense. he practices. What he mentioned in his prayer is the truth about himself. It is not hypocrisy. Outwardly the Pharisee prays, but in reality he is talking to himself. He placed himself in the presence of the Lord and at the same time congratulated himself with his own piety. What spoils his prayer is the self-pride which inspires it and his contempt for other men. When we look down on others, we tend to be arrogant. Genuine prayer does not destroy our love for others but rather deepens our compassion, mercy, and love for our neigh-
he change his life? Can he make reparation for all his dishonesty by giving up his profession? He needs God’s mercy. The parable ends with “… the tax-collector, and not the Pharisee was in the right with God when he went home”. It means that the taxcollector was justified, having found favor before God. The paradox here is that the one who prides himself on not needing justification returns home un-justified, whereas the one who regards himself as a worthless sinner returns home justified. Since the Pharisee asks nothing, he receives nothing. The Pharisee is already satisfied with what he has, how could God give him anything? God justifies the repentant sinner, but does not justify him who trusts in his own selfrighteousness. Sometimes we are like the Pharisee in the parable. Whenever we encounter serious problems in our life like financial setback, sickness, or death in our family, we ask God—”Why did these things happen to me? I go to mass every Sunday, I donate
God forgives / B7
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
The Rosary, a treasure to be rediscovered daily
By Fr. Santosh Digal
”MARY is a window through which humanity first catches a glimpse of Divinity on earth. Or perhaps, she is more like a magnifying glass that intensifies our love for her Son, and makes our prayers more bright and burning.” - Archbishop Fulton Sheen
God forgives a humble and repentant sinner
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 18:9-14) October 28, 2007
The two men presented in the parable embody the very extremes of Judaism. The Pharisee is the personification of the scrupulous observance of the Law, whereas the tax-collector represents notorious sinners, one whose life is the very negation of the Law. The Pharisee has a reason for standing alone by himself. As a Pharisee, he believes that if he comes in contact with the clothes of one ordinary Jew who does not follow the Law, then he has to undergo a ritual of uncleanness. The standing posture of the tax-collector was the normal posture for prayer. The prayer of the Pharisee begins with an expression of thanksgiving; then he continued with an enumeration of vices he refrains from and of the virtues bors. Authentic prayer is always offered to God and to God alone. In his desire to practice the Law perfectly, the Pharisee fasts twice a week. The Law requires only one annual fast, on the Day of Atonement. Tithe-giving was obligatory only for certain agricultural products, but the Pharisee pays tithes on all that he gets. The tax-collector on the other hand was lax in his observance of the Law. For him, money is the important thing in life, thus, he served the interest of the Roman Empire and the benefits that are connected to it. And he is aware of the shamefulness of his profession. His posture during prayer (not even daring to look up to heaven and beating his breast) is a recognition of his inner feelings of misery. How can
Angels are ready to escort you
me. I froze in terror. But a happy face greeted me and said, “Do you want to come in?” Did she say “come in?” Before I could answer, she opened the iron gate and gave me her hand. I was dumbfounded. “One, two, three, four, five…” I counted. Yep, she had five fingers. Funny, I always thought they never had hands. They kept hiding them behind their brown robes! Hmm. My penguin theory was falling apart. We walked hand-in-hand and it felt good. In fact, I felt I was holding the hand of an angel. Behold, a new theory in my brain was being formed. She led me to their fabulous garden and it struck me how beautiful the garden of God was. I caught a glimpse of a guava fruit high on a tree. She saw me look at it, so she grabbed all of me and lifted me up, enough for my hand to pluck it off myself. The fruit tasted sweet, but not as sweet as being in the arms of the angel of God. After a few minutes, she carried me back to the gate where my parents were now waiting. Outside. Because only I was able to enter the house of God. I recall that experience and feel the same way every time I pray today. When I make the sign of the cross, the iron gate opens. And an angel gives me her hand. We walk into the garden of God. I gaze at His beauty and even eat the fruit of answered prayer. It is sweet, yes, but not as sweet as being in the arms of love. Enter into God’s house more often. The angels await in tiptoes, ready to escort you to the Throne.
WHEN I was an impish kid, I recall regularly visiting the cloistered Carmelites with my family—those cute brown-clad nuns behind the steel bars and black curtain. Contemplative sisters, they called themselves, but as a kid, I had my own secret nickname for them: penguins, because they looked so much like them. I noticed they were small. They’d trot around in their black sandals in tiny little steps; and they’d be bopping their heads up and down whenever they see someone. No one could enter their holy house, my parents told me. It must be very special, I told myself, because only God and His penguins were living there. One day, as my family was still inside the church, I ran and peeked through the iron fence of the convent to see if the Almighty was indeed there. All of a sudden, one of the penguins peered through the door and saw
ONCE a priest went for home vacation. By the time he arrived it was already evening, after nine hours of travel. Soon after the initial socialization at home and meeting parents and dear ones, the priest-son wanted to have supper and sleep early. The father said to the priest, “My dear son, did you forget that before dinner we always prayed the rosary?” The priest replied, “Oh, I am too tired for that now.” The father insisted, “No praying of rosary, no supper.” And the father added, “how come as a priest you can excuse for not praying rosary on account of tiredness? Come on, let us sit together and pray the rosary before we eat our supper as all did when you were a child.” The son obliged without much fuss and the father led the rosary. Praying rosary in that family was a legacy and tradition that each member cherished and treasured always. In the month of October, dedicated to the Holy Rosary, we ponder with Mary the mysteries of our salvation, and we ask the Lord to help us grow in our understanding of the marvelous things He has done for us. As we celebrate the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary every year Our Lady invites us daily to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and profound. The rosary is a contemplative and Christocentric prayer, inseparable from the meditation of sacred Scripture. It is the prayer of the Christian who advances in the pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary. We need to pray the rosary as a family during this month, and daily in communities and parishes, for the mission of the Church and for peace in the world. The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one upon whose intercession brought salvation. The world today estimates and thinks every profession and work in terms of cost benefit. In that sense, what are the cost benefits of praying rosary? Some of the effects of praying it are these as revealed by Mary to St. Dominic in 13th century. · Recitation of the Rosary brings extraordinary graces and Our Lady grants special protection · It is a very powerful armor against vice · Rosary makes virtue and good works flourish and elevates people to desire heavenly and eternal goods and our souls are sanctified by this means. · By reciting Rosary prayerfully a sinner is converted and becomes worthy of eternal life. · What we shall ask through the rosary we shall obtain. · All those who propagate the rosary shall be aided by Mary in their necessities. · All who recite the rosary are Mary’s children. Our devout and prayerful investment that we put in praying rosary in terms of our trust and piety in God and Mary brings such tremendous power, grace and strength. Thus, the Rosary is a perfect prayer. It combines the most sublime vocal prayers with meditation. It is the sum and substance of our redemption. It is thinking of Christ—his ministry, joys, sorrows and triumphs—that we begin to appreciate more what he has done for us, that we begin to love him more and more and imitate him more. We begin to understand too, the role Mary has played in our salvation. The mysteries of the rosary, which is said to be “the sweet chain linking us to God,” bring us closer to Jesus and to Mary. The family prayer As a prayer for peace, the Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary. The family that prays together stays together has become a cliché. The Holy Rosary, by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer that brings the family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes toward Jesus, also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God. Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in economically developed societies, result from their increasing difficulty in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television. To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means filling daily life with very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of the Redeemer, the image of His most Blessed Mother. The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the center, they share His joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in His hands, they draw from Him the hope and the strength to go on. Children It is also beautiful and fruitful to entrust to this prayer the growth and development of our children. Parents are finding it ever more difficult to follow the lives of their children as they grow to maturity. In a society of advanced technology, of mass communications and globalization, everything has become hurried, and the cultural distance between generations is growing ever greater. The most diverse messages and the most unpredictable experiences rapidly make their way into the lives of children and adolescents, and parents can become quite anxious about the dangers their children face. At times parents suffer acute disappointment at the failure of their children to resist the seductions of the drug culture, the lure of an unbridled hedonism, the temptation to violence, and the manifold expressions of meaninglessness and despair. To pray the Rosary for children, and even more, with children, training them from their earliest years to experience this daily “pause for prayer” with the family, is admittedly not the solution to every problem, but it is a spiritual aid that should not be underestimated. It could be objected that the Rosary seems hardly suited to the taste of children and young people of today. But perhaps the objection is directed to an impoverished method of praying it. Furthermore, without prejudice to the Rosary’s basic structure, there is nothing to stop children and young people from praying it—either within the family or in groups—with appropriate symbolic and practical aids to understanding and appreciation. Why not try it?
Rosary / B7
Fr. Roy Cimagala
THERE are yet many obstacles to be hurdled, yet many things to be done before we in general can have a good understanding, let alone live the very important role the laity plays in the Church and in the world. At the moment, we don’t have to look far to see how gravely misunderstood the lay people are. They are largely seen as second-rate citizens if not pariahs in the Church, unavoidably immersed in the dirty mundane things of the world. They are also regarded as some kind of accessories to the clergy. It would seem that their status only acquires a whiff of dignity when they act as assistants and servers to bishops and priests. For them to have some semblance of goodness and holiness, they are expected to keep distance from the world as much as possible, if not to hate it. They are pressured to fit into a certain religious mentality, doing churchy chores, that tends to suffocate their true lay and secular character. Whatever may be the causes of this sad phenomenon, the fact is crystal clear that we are still lightyears away from the ideal insofar as the role of the laity in the Church and in the world is concerned. The laity is supposed to be an integral and essential part of the Church. As such, they, like the bishops, priests, religious men and women, have the same calling to sanctity and to the apostolate in ways proper to their condition. They should not feel nor should they be treated as if they are just a baggage in the Church, or merely a resource to be taken advantage of, as in being used as source for money, or treated as the clergy’s long arm. They are as much the Church as bishops, priests and the religious are. They are not merely in the Church, but the Church herself together with the clergy and the religious, lifted to her supernatural nature and intrinsically involved in her mission. Another thing that should be made clear is that the Church is not just some human social structure. The Church is the people of God, the mystical body of Christ, communion with Christ and everybody else in Christ. This sublime nature of the Church has to be understood and consciously and freely lived by all of us, depending on what role we play, whether as clergy, religious or lay. In this tricky matter, we with God’s grace have to help one another. We should not reduce the Church as a social phenomenon, though it certainly has social manifestations. Its supernatural character should always be upheld and defended. Though everyone has different duties, everyone should also realize, whether clergy, religious or lay, that he forms an indivisibly organic unity with everybody else with Christ as head in the Holy Spirit. We just have to learn to relate with one another properly, knowing how to keep the mutual need for one another, while avoiding confusion as in clericalizing the laity or laicizing the clergy. There unfortunately are indications these irregularities are taking place in some areas. The Popes and the Vatican in general have issued guidelines in this regard. These should be religiously followed to avoid perverting the Church. But what is most important is to vigorously promote what may be called as lay spirituality. This is the authentic lay empowerment many people are talking about. This equips lay people with the correct knowledge and appropriate ways to live their role in the Church and the world properly. This lay spirituality can mean many things. For one it can mean having a right theology about the world in general, a right understanding of freedom and respect for the autonomy of temporal affairs, etc. The link from the earthly to the sublime, the material to the spiritual, the temporal to the eternal, should be shown to be very practicable. Everyone, especially the lay people, should be assured of this reality. The Church’s social doctrine and the more basic Christian anthropology are indispensable in developing a true lay spirituality. There has to be massive and continuing catechesis about these truths.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Hapag-asa: Feeding children with hope for a better future
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
MALNOURISHED children can now look forward to a hearty meal and balanced diet to nourish their frail bodies. An integrated nutrition program for the poor and malnourished children dubbed HAPAG-ASA was launched by Pondo ng Pinoy Community Foundation just recently. The program has two major components: supplemental feeding and education classes. The feeding program targets malnourished children between 6 to 12 years old. Each child enrolled in the program is given Vitamealenriched meals. This is a scientifically prepared rice and lentil meal filled with protein, calcium, iron, vitamins and minerals. Local ingredients, such as rice, chicken, and potatoes are mixed with the food to make it more appealing and palatable to children. Consisting of 120 feeding sessions, the children are fed once a day, five days a week for six months. According to nutrition experts this regimen will reverse the devastating effects of malnutrition on children. Although brain damage caused by malnutrition is irreversible, the nutritious meal however, will restore the children’s health and give them a future. HAPAG-ASA aims to feed 120,000 malnourished children nationwide. Around 50,000 are currently enrolled under the program. The first batch of 120,000 children was enrolled in 2005. It saved around 76,000 from malnutrition and health-related illnesses. Although admittedly small in scope in the face of millions of children experiencing hunger in the country today, HAPAG-ASA, nonetheless acts as a beacon of hope to the country’s hungry children. Studies by Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) showed that 3 out of 10 Filipino children, ages 0 to 5 years are suffering from chronic malnutrition. The program is currently being implemented in the Archdiocese of Manila, dioceses of Kalookan, Pasig, Novaliches, Cubao, Daet, Paranaque, San Pablo, Antipolo, Imus, Puerto Princesa, Malolos, and in 20 other dioceses in the provinces. Non-government organizations (NGOs), foundations and local government units (LGUs) have likewise took the cause and adopted the program. Meanwhile, parents of malnourished children are also beneficiaries of the program in the form of education classes. Seminars on topics of Spiritual/Value formation, Health and Nutrition, Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods, and livelihood/skills training are given to parents to equip them with skills that would help improve their lives. Pondo ng Pinoy is circulating a poster to create greater public awareness on the program. The campaign poster features the famous “Hapag ng Pag-asa” painting of Mr. Joey Velasco accompanied by a bible verse: “For I was hungry and you gave me food…” (Mt. 25:35).
Rosary / B6
A painful quest for nful mic economicprosperity
By Joyce O. Palacol
SINCE 18th century, small scale mining has been widely practiced throughout our archipelago as attested by mute artifacts that lay in our museums some of which are handed down as family heirlooms. This served as witness to both our rich cultural heritage and abundant natural resources. In the world, our country is ranked 3rd in Gold deposit, 4thin Copper, 5thin Nickel and 6th in Chromite, not to mention the non-metallic mineral deposits throughout the country most of which are within the ancestral lands of the Indigenous People. Today, various documentation on Philippinemineralresources/depositsareavailable both for local and foreign investors. Major mineral deposits are widely distributedinthecountry’sfertileland.Itisnowonder that our revenue from mining has reached multi millions of dollars. This is one of the bases why the present administration sees mining as the ultimate solution to our annual budget deficit and projected resurgence of economic prosperity. It is with this forward projection that the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and other related laws pertaining to mining were drafted and enacted thus prepare the stage for the revitalizationofminingindustryinthePhilippines. Thisawakeningofinterestinmininggave birth to the 24 priority mining sites. The priority areas include Far Southeast Gold project, Itogon Gold project, Pacdal Expansion Project and Teresa Gold project in the province of Benguet, Batong Buhay GoldCopper project in Kalinga-Apayao, Didipio Copper-GoldprojectinQuirino,Rapu-rapu Polymetallic project in Albay, Aroroy gold project in Masbate, Nonoc Iron fines project, Nonoc Nikel project and Siana gold project in Surigao del Norte, Adlay-CagdianaoTandawa(ACT)nickelprojectandBoyongan copperprojectinSurigaodelSur,andPujada nickel project in Davao del Sur, Tampakan copper project in South Cotabato, Diwalwal direct state utilization project, King King copper gold project and Amacan copper project/HijogoldprojectinCompostelaValley, Canatuan gold project in Zamboanga del Norte, Toledo copper project in Cebu, San Antonio copper project in Marinduque, Nickel project in Palawan and lastly, Nickel project in Mindoro. A recent check with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) under the DepartmentofEnvironmentandNaturalResources (DENR) defined the areas covered by Exploration Permit (EP), Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), and Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA). The present exploration site and areas with pending applications revealed that major areas covered by mining concessions overlap not only with ancestral land but also protected areas under National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) act such as watersheds and natural parks. Current developments in priority areas classifiedbythegovernmenthaddampened the spirit of most mining enthusiast. As a result of the cyanide spills at Rapu-rapu Island in Albay, the President issued EO 145, creating an independent fact finding committee to investigate the effects of mining operations on people’s health and the environment. This served as a test case for all the mining concerns throughout the country since it would later uncover lapses in the government, loopholes in the law and lack of transparency and accountability which accounts for disasters or unforeseen events that run havoc to mining operations. Unaddressed issues on the insufficient mitigating measures employed by Marcopper mining resulted to delisting of said mine from the priority mining list. SubsequentaccidentssuchasthecollapseofembankmentportionofSulphideTailingsDam of TVI processing plant in Siocon, the mining protest movement that resulted to the recent death of Councilor Armin Marin in the province of Romblon and failure for the project proponent to secure social acceptability and the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in the province of Mindoro, had put a question of morality and justice on mining. We Christians have but one basis of morality from which we weigh environmental justice, the Bible; the ultimate word of God. When God made man, His intention was to have him lord over all His other creations—the land, the seas and all the living things on it. “...fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”(Genesis 1:28) Furthermore, He admonished man to take care of his creation. God, too, made available everything that He created at man’s disposal and use...“a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land where the rocks are iron andyoucandigcopperoutofthehills.”(Deut.8:9) However, everything is permissible but not always beneficial. Thus, precautions were given by God when He said to man, “Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell.” (Num 35:34) This stresses that while man was permitted to mine what he needs, He was warned not to destroy the very source of his sustenance….nature. It is heartbreaking to know that years of mining in our country had taken tolls on our
God forgives / B6
environment—depleted forest, displaced communities,pollutedairandcontaminated rivers. Our very own government revealed there are twenty seven contaminated rivers nationwide due to mining operations. On top of this, numerous species of flora and faunahavedisappearedwhileothersremain threatened to the brink of extinction. Inthepast,wethechurchhavetakenvarious significant steps through issuance of statementofconcernsbypastoralletters,conducting dialogues with concerned government agencies and personalities, and active participationinadvocacymovementinvarious sectors of society. In the light of what had transpired in the mining industry, the condition of the environment and the health of the people, there seem to be a need to reassess our policies and redirect our efforts as an institution for us to realize the full economic benefits of mining within God’s parameters.
for the construction of our parish church, I take care of my family conscientiously... And now all these things are happening to me!” In other words, we think and relate to God like the Pharisee as if we are telling God... “I am a good person; spare me with all the trials and problems of this world.” Before God, we cannot boast of any claim whatsoever. No matter what we accomplish, we should maintain a humble attitude that we are “mere servants” (Luke 17:10). To forget this is to give in to Phariseeism. We all want to identify ourselves with the humble tax-collector. We admit that we are sinners and in need of
God’s forgiving love. The tax-collector was genuinely humble because he focused his attention on God. He did not compare himself to anybody else. It is through the merciful eyes of God that the tax-collector discovered the depth of his sins. No man who is proud can pray. An author once said, “The gate of heaven is so low that none can enter it save upon his knees.” We are also reminded by the words of the Prophet Isaiah on what the Lord said, “I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me” (Isaiah 66:2). It is only by living a life of authentic humility that we can be pleasing to God.
Calapan / B3
With God’s help, an earnest approach to children and youth that is positive, impassioned and creative—is capable of achieving quite remarkable results. If the Rosary is well presented, I am sure that young people will once more surprise adults by the way they make this prayer their own and recite it with the enthusiasm typical of their age group. But no time? The Book of Ecclesiastes says there is time for everything. As we live in highly mechanical, professional, sophisticated, rapidly technological and competitive world, we have time for work, eating, texting, internet, sleep, concert, games, UAAP Championship, vacation, shopping in malls and indulging in good and not so good things. Relatively speaking, we have no time for prayer, more over, for praying the rosary. At the end of the day, we are over exhausted, fatigue for everything, including prayer. These are existential realities, yet we have no budget time for praying rosary. However, no amount of lame excuse or work load can justify for not praying the rosary. We have to find time for it anyway. If there is will, there is a way. Due to last year’s “Milenyo” typhoon, landline, cell phone and internet network came to a standstill for sometime. How
hard we found life without all these? We thought life too impossible to live without these. How many of us prayed Rosary during this time as there was no signal for cell phone or internet or electricity instead? Possibly, this was good chance to pray for the rosary because other times we are too busy with many other things. We take our cell phones wherever we go, how many of us carry rosary wherever we go? Certainly, some or most do, if not all. So the richness of this traditional prayer, which has the simplicity of a popular devotion but also the theological depth of a prayer, has to be experienced daily. Our Lady loves the rosary. It is the prayer of the simple and of the great. Everyone can so easily pray it anywhere, any time. It honors God and our Lady in a special way. When our Lady appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes, she had a rosary in her hand. When she appeared to the three children in Fatima, she also held a rosary. It was at Fatima that she definitely called herself by the title she dearly loves, “The Lady of the Rosary.” All of us of every state of life, Christian families, the sick and elderly, and the young people need confidently to take up the Rosary once again. We have to revive the Rosary in the light of Scripture and in the context of our daily lives. Perhaps the greatest blessing of pray-
ing the rosary is the overall harmony we share. Despite our differences, each family member needs to commit to pray for peace, grow in grace, and passing our faith along to the next generation. The gospels tell us that prayer can change anything. It can convert hearts and produce peace. It provides spiritual protection, discernment, comfort and grace. And so we have to pray for everything, no intention is too small. Thus it requires a determined effort. In the Philippines, Mama Mary is a very special Woman who is regarded and accepted as the Patron of the country and Filipinos love her so much. Let our praying Rosary daily in the families show that we really love her. Praying rosary should be a family tradition just like the anecdote that is mentioned in the beginning of this write up. Mary invites us to frequent prayer, especially the rosary. Our communal prayer would become a strong bond, ground, guide and heal all of us. Pope John Paul II says, “O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain that unites us to God, bond of love that unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death…” Let rediscovering the Rosary as a treasure becomes a family priority and tradition.
(Family Name) (Given Name) (Middle Name)
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lective spirit and common resolve on the imperative for one and unified pastoral agenda towards renewed and integral evangelization rooted in the Word of God and the Eucharist, the Diocesan Core Program HAPAG NG PAMILYANG MINDOREÑO was conceived and it was officially promulgated for implementation on July 15, 2006. We call our program Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreño (literally, Table of the Mindoreño Family) . We recognize the family as the focus and locus of the evangelization. The modifier Mindoreño emphasizes that the program is our distinctive way of evangelizing our people. “Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreño” is a three-pronged program which guarantees integral evangelization. ‘Hapag’ (Table) is the main component of the program. It refers to three main elements of the Core Program, namely, “Hapag ng Salita ng Diyos” (Table of the Word of God), “Hapag-Kainan” (Dining Table), “Hapag ng Eukaristiya” (Table of the Eucharist). We want the Mindoreño families to work for the three tables and be nourished by the same. “Hapag ng Salita ng Diyos” seeks to open the way to holiness. It opens different avenues for the proclamation of the Good News at home, in schools, in offices, and in the different communities. The program promotes bible distribution to every Catholic family and encourages daily Bible reading so that the Word of God becomes the guide in the people’s day-to-day living. Included in the program is the training of different ministers of the Word who will facilitate Bible sharing, conduct Bible studies, facilitate biblical recollections among children, youth, and adults. Through the Hapag ng Salita ng Diyos, Mindoreños are expected to mature in faith and be ready for the service of the Hapag-Kainan. “Hapag-Kainan” seeks to open the way to peace. Through socio-economic programs we want to assist needy families (mostly farmers, fisherfolks and laborers) so that they can be liberated from poverty. We want to see that every Mindoreño family has enough food on the table and is able to meet the basic necessities of life such as shelter, health, and education. It serves as symbol of all material and temporal needs
of the Mindoreños. Hence, the program includes training people for active participation in socio-political matters and environmental advocacies. The program encourages linkages with government and non-governmental organizations who are similarly involved in addressing the social concerns of our people. “Hapag ng Eukaristiya” opens the way to unity. It invites the families to participate actively in the celebration of the Eucharist in Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) and in the parish church. By means of catechesis and wellprepared liturgy, we hope to have meaningful celebrations so that families may experience the Eucharist as a high point in their lives. With our core program, we hope to achieve our long-range plan of establishing Basic Ecclesial Communities (Munting Kapitbahayang Kristiyano or MKK) in all our parishes. The core program is initially designed for six years, after which it will be thoroughly evaluated so that appropriate adjustments can be made. Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan Administrative Manual (AVCAM) On September 2002, the Episcopal Council was convoked in a special meeting to review and redesign the diocesan ecclesiastical organizational structures according to the mandate of the law to better the delivery of ecclesial service to the Christian faithful. Some pertinent resolutions were made thereafter, among others, the reconstitution of the Curia institutes and persons, the establishment of Parish Finance Councils, the creation of policy directions in the administrative and pastoral sections. After three long and tedious years in the making, the First Diocesan Administrative Assembly was convoked on September 5-6, 2005 for the official promulgation of the so-called Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan Administrative Manual (AVCAM). The Manual is a compendium of essential administrative documents that define certain rules and norms of action for ecclesial administration of this ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It serves as the fundamental legislative document for the attainment and preservation of right order, both in individual and social life of the local Church.
Moral Assessment Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary
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Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
DUNSTAN Thorne (Nathaniel Parker) crosses the wall which is portal to the magical kingdom of Faerie and Stormhold. There he meets Una (Kate Magowan) and they bore a son, Tristan. Eighteen years later, the King of Stormhold (Peter O’Toole) is dying, and his seven sons fight for who will be the next king. The King turns a ruby into a diamond and says that whichever son retrieves it and returns it to a ruby will be king. The ruby knocks a star out of the sky, which the grown Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) sees. Tristan promises to retrieve the fallen star for Victoria (Sienna Miller) to prove his love for her. However, at the same time, three ageing witch sisters see the falling star, and one of them, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), leaves to capture it so, by eating its heart, they will restore their beauty and power. Tristan is unable to cross the wall so his father, Dunstan, gives him a package left with him by his mother, which turns out to be a Babylon candle that allows one to travel wherever one wishes. Then Tristan accidentally finds himself at the star’s crash site in Stormhold where he meets Yvaine (Claire Danes) who turns out to be the star. Now, the King’s sons and Larnia are all after Yvaine. Will Tristan be able to protect Yvaine and keep her promise to Victoria? A dark fairy-tale epic, Stardust is a triumph in storytelling. The soap-operatic approach of lay-
Title: Stardust Running Time: 128 min Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Daines, Michelle Pfeif fer, Robert de Niro, Sienna Miller, Nathaniel Parker Director: Matthew Vaughn Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Drayer, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Vaughn Screenwriters: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess Music: Ilan Eshkeri Editor: Jon Harris Genre: Fantasy-Adventure Cinematography: Ben Davis Distributor: Paramount Pictures Location: UK and US Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
ered plots and subplots has worked well for the film. Like a masterpiece dish, all flavors of wit, humor, drama, fantasy, adventure, black and white magic blend well together in this adult fantasy. The actors have delivered stellar performances. Most commendable of them is Michelle Pfeiffer playing the role of the villain witch, Larnia. She practically steals the movie from its protagonists. Though a fairy-tale, the film is far from predictable as is able to offer varied twists and turns without diverting from the continuum of emotions. All in all, Stardust is one magical viewing experience. Though a fantasy fairy-tale, Stardust is not a film meant for children. With its frequent representation of consent to premarital sex, black magic and comical representation of murder, such undertones can only be discerned by a mature audience
so children must be accompanied by parents in watching. But then in totality, as any fairy tale would go, Stardust is full of morals which both adults and children can learn from. There’s vanity and hunger for power as both humans’ and immortals’ favorite sin. The lessons of love in the film are timeless. Oftentimes, humans look too far only to find out that their true love is right in front of them. In the battle of good versus evil, the one with the pure heart always prevails. The metaphor of love as star is an effective visual treat with a message that lingers in the hearts and minds of the viewers. Like a star, one’s life shines brighter with love in their hearts. Something people may already know but oftentimes take for granted. For the cynic and pessimistic, Stardust is a reminder of the magical and divine powers of love.
Title: Resident Evil:Extinction Running Time: 95 min Cast: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Christopher Egan Director: Russel Mulcahy Producers: Paul W. S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer Screenwriter: Paul W. S. Anderson Music: Tyler Bates, Charlie Clouser Editor: Niven Howie Genre: Science Fiction/ Horror Cinematography: David Johnson Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing Location: Mexico Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above
Alice (Milla Jovavich), a geneticallyenhanced product of a research at the Umbrella Corporation, seems to be the only person alive in Raccoon City. She was (in the original Resident Evil of this trilogy) a scientist at the same research facility which has its secret, fantabulous underground laboratory called The Hive. Alice manages to evade the laser barriers of The Hive and soon escapes into the earth’s surface. Then she discovers she is not alone: the virus that had infected and turned people into man-eating zombies had not been contained—it has now spread all over the globe and the zombies are just out there in the desert waiting for fresh flesh to chew on, and turn into more zombies as a result. Alice is a gun-toting superwarrior, the remaining protector of un-infected humanity and the archPAWANG nagsisikap sa kanilang paghahanap-buhay ang apat na magkakaibigang sina Brite (Ruffa Mae Quinto), Gay (Pokwang), Dolly (Eugene Domingo) at Res (Candy Pangilinan). Subalit sa kabila ng kanilang sipag ay di pa sapat upang lubusang maisaayos ang kanilang kalagayan gayundin ang kanilang mga pamilya. Bagamat magkakaiba ang mga sitwasyon nila bilang mga babaing nagtatrabaho. para sa kani-kanilang pamilya ay nagkakasundo naman sila sa pagkakaibigan, pag-unawa at suporta sa isa’t isa. Si Brite na may negosyong punerarya ay nagpapa-aral ng kapatid. Si Gay na isang traffic aide ay nagtataguyod ng asawa at dalawang anak. Si Dolly na isang piano teacher ay inuubos naman ang maliit na kita sa pag-aasikaso sa kinakasama niyang pipitsuging artista. Si Res na may asawang batugan at dalawang anak ay di naman magkandaugaga sa pag-aasikaso sa mga ito at sa buong pamilya na pawang mga lalaki at basagulero. Wala silang mga trabaho at umaasa lamang sa maliit na pasugalan sa kanilang lugar hanggang sa masangkot sa gulo at nakulong. Ang buong pamilyang ito ay sobrang nakadepende kay Res pati
Title: Apat Dapat, Dapat Apat Running Time: 110 mins. Cast: Rufa Mae Quinto, Eugene Domingo, Pokwang, Candy Pangilinan Director: Wenn V. Deramas Producer: Vicente G del Rosario III . Screenwriters: Mel Mendoza-del Rosario, Arlene Tamayo Music: Vince de Jesus Editor: Marya Ignacio Genre: Comedy Cinematography: Sherman So Distributor: Viva Films Location: Manila and Hongkong Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA Rating: For viewers of all ages
enemy of zombies, but she is hardly aware that she is being tracked by Umbrella’s power-mad scientist Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen). The last of the Resident Evil trilogy, Resident Evil: Extinction is stylized violence packaged as entertainment. Well, what do you expect of take-offs from video games? After having watched too many movies with zombies in them you begin to wonder if they can’t be more entertaining than that. All they do is stagger, growl, and flash their canines. They look menacing in a CGI-kind of way, though, and subhuman enough to seem they can kill you with just their bad breath. Jovavich is reminiscent of Angelina Jolie baddies with her guns-around-thethighs and her agility at fights but she isn’t blessed with bee-stung lips and bountiful breasts, so she comes
across as a Max Mara model who crashed in the desert on the way to a fashion show. And anyway, Jolie wouldn’t be caught dead in a movie warding off zombies. But there are “entertaining” moments, too, as when the crows behave more like vultures, and with just one demure breath Alice turns them into barbecued birds. What is there to learn from a movie where a principal character (Dr. Isaacs) is a power-hungry scientist who uses his genius to play God? Here he wants to domesticate the zombies, remove their appetite for human flesh, and to restore a considerable part of their human mental functions but not their will. He wants to make slaves out of the recycled zombies, he wants the domesticated zombies to do his bidding. So why does his plan include cloning Alice, his fabulous-looking, genetically altered project, but what for? So he and his harem of Alice-duplicates can repopulate the globe and start a new heaven and a new earth? As lemonade can be made out of lemons, you can still squeeze something good from Resident Evil: Extinction— you’ve paid 170 pesos to watch it anyway. Turn the movie as leverage for discussion, especially with videoplaying young people, of the following topics: wasting God-given gifts, the abuse of power, DNA, cloning, self-sacrifice, hope in the face of the destruction of humankind.
paggawa ng paraan para makapagpiyansa. Dahil sa kanikanilang pangangailangan ay sama-samang nagtungo sa Hongkong ang apat bilang mga domestic helper kung saan ibayong hirap ang dinanas nila. Sa kasamaang-palad napunta si Res sa mas malupit na amo at siya ay napatay nito. Paano ngayon sasabihin ng tatlong magkakaibigan sa pamilya ni Res ang sinapit nito sa Hongkong? Mahusay ang daloy ng pelikula bilang satiriko at malaki ang naiambag ng magaling na pagganap ng mga pangunahing artista. May komplimentaryo ang kani-kanilang istilo sa pagpapatawa kaya nakaaaliw ang mga eksena at paghahatid ng punch line. Kwela ang paggamit ng mga sikat na linya mula sa
lumang pelikula. Nakatulong din ng malaki ang ginamit na effects sa mga eksenang aksyon gayundin ang mga inilapat na tunog at musika kung saan nabigyan-diin ang pagpapalabas ng damdamin patawa at drama. Kapuri-puri ang tratong satiriko ng Direktor sapagkat malinaw na naihatid ng pelikula ang mga mensaheng tumatalakay sa mga pakikibaka sa buhay ng mga kababaihan at isyung hinaharap ng mga OFW sa ibang bayan na dapat bigyan-pansin ng mga embahada ng bansa. Bagamat may mga pagkakataon na tila pinahahaba lang ang pelikula sa kabuan ay maganda ang teknikal na aspeto. Ang “Apat Dapat Dapat Apat” bagamat komedya ay may seryosong mensahe na ibinibigay
ANSWER TO THE LAST ISSUE: WHY IS THE SO-CALLED CIVILIZATION OF “CONSUMP TION” AND “CONSUMERISM” ... ONE QUICKLY LEARNS THAT THE MORE ONE POSSESS THE MORE ONE WANTS. POPE JOHN PAUL II
QUOTES IN QUIZ Booklets available at BOOKSALE stores in SM, Robinsons and selected malls in Manila. For mail order text 09192803036.
sa manonood, babae man o lalaki na magmuni at umaksyon sa temang tinalakay ng pelikula. Ang mga kakayahan ng kababaihan ay dapat kilalanin unang-una sa loob ng pamilya bago pa man maging huli na ang lahat. Gayundin naman ang respeto ay dapat magsimula sa sarili lalo na sa pagpapakita ng
pagmamahal upang maiwasan at hindi na umabot pa sa sukdulan at maging marahas ang kahihinatnan. Samantala isang hamon sa mga kinauukulan na tiyakin ang proteksyon ng mga OFW sa kanilang paghahanapbuhay sa ibang bansa. Ang higit na mahalagang mensahe ay gaano man kasama
ang situwasyon ay mayroong kapwa o kaibigan na handang tumulong at magmalasakit sa iyo. May kasabihan, “a friend in need is a friend indeed ”. Bagamat nakakaaliw sa kabuuan ang pelikula, dapat bantayan ang konteksto nito lalo na sa mga eksena ng mga patay na katawan, homosexuality, at live-in relationship.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007 October 15 - 28, 2007
A Supplement Publication for KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus Priests during their bi-annual gathering held in Cagayan de Oro City in April this year. To date, there are already 96 priests who graduated from the KC scholarship program, and there are still more in seminaries in Rome and in the Philippines.
Two members of the Knights of Columbus to join College of Cardinals
POPE Benedict XVI, on Oct. 17, announced the elevation of two K of C members to the College of Cardinals: Archbishops John P. Foley and Daniel N. DiNardo. The Cardinals-designate will join 21 other churchmen in receiving their red hats and rings during a Nov. 24 consistory in Rome Cardinal-designate Foley is a Pennsylvania native and member of Our Lady of Lourdes Council 4546 in Philadelphia. He was recently named pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem after serving for 23 years as the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Cardinal-designate DiNardo was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He is a former bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, and was installed as archbishop of GalvestonHouston in 2004. He is a member of Father Vincent Joseph Guinan Council 13940 at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. (KC News)
Visayas Knights kick off Columbus Day 2007
THE different Provincial Jurisdictions of the Knights of Columbus in the Visayas formally opened Columbus Day 2007 celebration during the month of September. The traditional month-long activity that culminates October 2007, provides opportunity for brother knights and their families from the different councils and districts, to get together and renew fraternal ties. The event also serves as a venue to exchange views and experiences on the different service programs of the Knights of Columbus that seek to have positive impact on the Church, Family, Community, Youth and Council. Knights and families paid tribute to Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, whose discovery of the Americas and the new world, paved the way for the spread of the Catholic faith in the different continents throughout the world. The per provincial jurisdiction celebration of Columbus Day 2007 is the brainchild of the Worthy Visayas Deputy, Bro. Dionisio “Jun” Esteban, Jr. to maximize the participation of brother knights and
families from councils and districts belonging to the same provincial jurisdiction. The Cebu Central Provincial Jurisdiction in particular, celebrated the Columbus Day Opening Ceremonies last September 16, 2007 in the City of Naga, Cebu. Councils from Talisay City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando, Toledo City, Balamban and Asturias, comprising Districts V-18, V-19, V20, V-21 and V-22 were welcomed by Cebu Central Provincial Deputy Bro. Carmelino “Junjie” N. Cruz, Jr. and Naga Council Grand Knight Edmundo Rivera, Sr. Rev. Fr. Trinidad “Daddy” Silva, Jr., Naga City Parish Priest; celebrated the thanksgiving mass. He acknowledged the Knights of Columbus as a strong pillar of church endeavors. He invited brother knights and families to grace the proclamation of Naga Parish as the “Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi” by His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu, on October 10, 2007. As memento of their visit to Naga for the Columbus Day Opening Ceremonies, brother knights joined the rest of the parishioners in making modest offerings during
the mass’ second collection to help raise funds for the on-going construction of the St. Francis of Assisi Shrine. The local government also gave a warm reception to the Knights of Columbus. City Mayor Valdemar “Val” Chiong graciously offered the city’s facilities for the different games. The Naga City Council passed Resolution No. 030-B-2007: “A Resolution Declaring September 16, 2007 as Knights of Columbus Day in the City of Naga, Cebu.” Visayas Deputy Esteban, who was in Tacloban City to confer with brother knights in Eastern Visayas, was ably represented by Visayas Secretary, Bro. Al Ceniza and Master of the 4th Degree, Bro. Gines Abellana. The activity in Naga City, Cebu was replicated in the rest of Visayas, namely: Metro Cebu Province with Provincial Deputy Vic Queniahan, Cebu North Province with Provincial Deputy Vic Lavador, Cebu South Province with Provincial Deputy Anecito Carillo as well as in the different provincial jurisdictions of Iloilo, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Samar and Leyte. (Bro. Junjie Navales Cruz)
FR. GEORGE J. WILLMANN CHARITIES, INC.
By Denise Solina
ON August 14, 1965, in connection with the celebration of his Golden Anniversary in the Society of Jesus, Fr. George J. Willmann made an appeal “for support for his priest successors especially in religious missionary work”. This dream was finally realized in June 29, 1977 when the “Father Willmann’s Fund for seminarians” was established by the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines as a gift for Fr. Willmann in his 80th Birth Anniversary. The objective was “to support a scholarship program for seminarians for a maximum period of five years”. Its name was later changed to KC FR. GEORGE J. WILLMANN CHARITIES, INC. With the support of the KC FR. GEORGE J. WILLMANN CHARITIES, INC. religious scholars were able to pursue their vocation and continue honing their skills to be of good service to our Mother Church by providing for them full scholarship assistance and book allowance.
Archbishop Teofilo B. Camomot remembered
THE Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly 2295, commemorated the 19th death anniversary of the late Archbishop Teofilo B. Camomot, in whose honor Assembly 2295 was named, with a mass and program at Sangat, San Fernando, Cebu. The assembly, during the incumbency of Past Faithful Navigator Ernesto Deiparine, Jr., built the “Archbishop Teofilo B. Camomot Memorial Monument” in Sangat, San Fernando, Cebu, at the very site where the good archbishop died due to a vehicle mishap way back September 27, 1988. Faithful Navigator Basilidez Alicante led 4th degree knights in paying tribute to the late Archbishop Camomot who inspired ordinary people and whose trademark kindness touched the lives of many from Cebu, Iloilo and Misamis Oriental where he served as priest and bishop, transforming them into devout Catholics. During his lifetime, Archbishop Camomot was regarded by many as a “Living Saint” for living a virtuous life. Rev. Fr. Fulton Varga of Carcar City, Cebu and the religious sisters belonging to the congregation of the Daughters of Saint Teresa, which Archbishop Camomot founded, took turns in sharing with the brother knights their personal experiences how Archbishop Camomot touched their lives, thus, strengthening them in their religious vocation. The activity of the Archbishop Teofilo B. Camomot 4th Degree Assembly 2295 is in the pursuit of the Knights of Columbus thrust to be always the “Strong Arm of the Church” and “In Solidarity of the Bishops and Priests”. (Bro. Junjie Navales)
The Foundation Scholarship Program is consists of three major categories: 1) Theology Scholarship - this is open to diocesan-seminarians in Theology level. Selection process is based on financial need, scholastic standing and the strength of vocation. Priority is given to dioceses who have not yet been beneficiaries of the program. There are currently 31 diocesan-seminarians in Theology level who are able to continue their studies without worrying about their financial obligations in the seminary; nineteen of them are from Luzon, five from Visayas, and seven from Mindanao, 2) Two-year Licentiate/Doctorate Programs - the twoyear Local Licentiate Program is open to all Knights of Columbus chaplains and assistant chaplains and available only at the following schools: University of Santo Tomas, Loyola School of Theology, and Asian Social Institute. There are six Priest-scholars currently being supported in this program. 3) Supreme Council Fr. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies in Rome - a 2-year scholarship program being funded by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council in New Haven Connecticut, U.S.A. and administered locally by the KC Fr. Willmann Charities, Inc. There are three Priest-scholars who are currently enrolled in Rome.
The Knights of Columbus Priest-scholars concelebrating at the Opening Mass of the 7th Knights of Columbus National Convetion held in Cagayan de Oro City.
Licentiate/Doctorate studies in Rome. The Foundation continues to guide its religious scholars after their ordination. Gatherings every two years are being organized to keep abreast with the scholars’ current status, and promote camaraderie among its scholars. Latest of which was last April 18-20 coinciding with the Knights of Columbus National Convention in Cagayan de Oro City wherein 36 priest-scholars were able to attend. Our priest-scholars concelebrated during the Convention’s Opening Mass last April 20.
Cause of Fr. Willmann
Another priority project of the Foundation is the CAUSE of Fr. George J. Willmann. A Quest for his possible elevation to the honors of the altar was started by gathering documents and testimonials on his life, works and virtues. Every 14th of September of each year, the foundation commemorates the death anniversary of Fr. Willmann, by holding a Family TV Mass and solicit funds for the said project. The foundation is appealing to all Brother Knights and the general public to seek Fr. Willmann’s intercession in all their petitions for God’s graces by praying the following prayer for the beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. and to report to the Foundation all blessings you have received:
The number of our ordained Priest-scholars already totaled to 97 and there are 7 priests supported in their Licentiate Studies locally and 18 priests finished their
Lord God, look down upon us, your children, who are trying to serve Youwith all our hearts, in our beloved land, the Philippines. Deign to raise Father George J. Willmann, of the Society of Jesus, to the honors of the altar. He is the wise, strong, cheerful, dauntless model that all of our Filipino men need in this new era, in this new millennium. He was Your knight, Your gentle warrior, especially in his ministry with the Knights of Columbus; a man leading other men, in the war of good against evil, in the war of the Gospel of Life against the Culture of Death. Make him the lamp on the lampstand, giving light to all in the house. Make him the city set on the mountain, which can not be hid, so that all of us may learn from his courage, his integrity, his indomitable spirit in the struggle to lead men to God, and to bring God to man. We ask You this through Christ Our Lord, AMEN.
Photo by Dennis Dayao
Photo by Dennis Dayao
Joseph P. Teodoro
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
For Brother Knights by Brother Knights The KC Fraternal Association
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) is a scientifically designed mutual benefit insurance system exclusively for Knights and the immediate members of their family. As an insurance system, KCFAPI meticulously observes all actuarial underwriting principles as well as all requirements of Philippine laws. It is professionally managed and is under the supervision of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. As a mutual benefit association, KCFAPI is non-stock. All its insured members participate in the ownership of the company and equitably share its profits. Members’ dividends substantially reduce the cost of their protection coverage. As of December 31, 2006, KCFAPI has: a) 5,0623 members with individual and group benefits; b) insured over 24,668 lives; c) contracted and guaranteed over Php 7 billion in future benefits to its members and their beneficiaries; d) paid out over Php 40.4 million in death and life benefits to members; e) over Php 21 billion in assets.
The Holy Trinity Memorial Chapels
HOLY TRINITY MEMORIAL CHAPELS (HTMC), is owned and operated by Keys Realty and Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. It is a three-storey building located along Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Paranaque City, fronting entrance to San Antonio Valley I Subdivision and about 0.50 km. away from Manila Memorial Park. Established in 1982, it has gained in its course of business an expertise equal to other mortuaries ahead of it. Although it was conceived to be a mortuary for K of C members, it later extended its services to the general public. Over the years, HTMC has curved its name in the funeral industry and is now the biggest and most modern funeral homes in Metro South. priest for mass and interment, or cremation arrangements.
The HTMC Company Profile
Established by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal on October 10, 1982 as a mortuary for K of C members, Holy Trinity Memorial Chapels was later opened to the general public.
When you get married and generated life into the world, you assumed a responsibility which extends beyond death. As husbands and fathers, one of your first concerns is your families’ economic needs—food, clothing, shelter and the children’s education. For as long as you are alive, you do everything in your power to see to it that they are adequately provided for. What happens to them when you die would depend largely upon the protection you provided through a planned insurance program during your lifetime. Children, too often, are the innocent victims of an inadequate and inappropriate protection plan. When your monthly income expires with you at death; would the amount of insurance you now carry be adequate to maintain the lifestyle to which you have accustomed them, or at least, to provide them with the minimum necessities of a truly Christian home until they become economically self-sufficient? A loving and provident man will definitely not expose his family to unnecessary financial distress in the event of his premature death. Neither will a self-respecting man wish to become dependent on his children, should he live to retirement age. An adequate and appropriately designed KC life insurance plan will provide a man an instrument which is to satisfy his economic responsibility to his family (if he dies too soon) or himself (if he lives to a ripe old age).
A. Memorial Services 1. Retrieval of body from place of death. 2. Preservation of body for seven (7) days. 3. Provision of casket (Local and Imported) 4. Mortuary arrangement at HTMC chapel or other site at family’s choice for five (5) days. 5. Registration of death certificate and securing of necessary transfer and/ or burial permits. 6. Appropriate funeral hearse for interment. 7. One (1) copy of certified true copy of death certificate. B. Cremation Provisions of Urns (Local and Imported) C. Other Assistance 1. Obituary placement (Manila Bulletin/Phil. Daily Inquirer/Phil. Star) 2. Priest Directory of nearby parishes 3. Flower Arrangements 4. Shipment of remains abroad Benevolent activities
Our company, as a subsidiary of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal, is also involved in benevolent activities. Every year, part of our income is remitted to KC foundation to support their projects such as scholarship programs for priests and collegiate scholarship to poor but deserving students and donations to different religious orders/congregations and other social/civic foundations. Thus, our clients who patronize our mortuary are indirectly doing apostolic work.
To be the premier provider of memorial care befitting the dignity of a man; To provide compassionate memorial care to the departed and their bereaved families through the delivery of excellent services.
Our Core Values
Honesty and Courtesy in dealing with clients and associates; Responsiveness to client needs regardless of value of service; Quality Service in the form of personalized, compassionate and affordable memorial care that satisfies client needs and requirements; Cleanliness and Orderliness maintained through high standards of sanitation and tidiness in our facilities and surroundings at all times.
Our brand of Service
Complete 24-hour funeral services and a wide range of casket selections, both local and imported; Two units of state-of-the-art cremation machines with advanced technology that passed US industry and DENR standards for quality and performance; Accredited servicing mortuary of all major life plan companies
HTMC has four (4) first class chapels (Royal, Fr. Willmann, Premier and De Luxe), 13 regular chapels (three in second floor, and ten in third floor). All chapels are air-conditioned and have private rooms where families can rest. The company owns the latest model of Cadillac hearse which is the only one in the country. It has ample parking space (front and back of the building) and landscaped gardens.
Your privilege as Knight
You know about the advantages and the privileges you enjoy as a member of the Knights of Columbus—the warmth of fellowship, the enjoyment of working for good causes, the power of achieving common goals and the satisfaction from group activities. But if you are not now under the protection of a K of C life insurance certificate, you may have missed a great deal. This is among the least expensive and most beneficial insurance available to you. Thousands of fellow Knights now enjoy this protection. It is to your advantage to join this money-saving, insurance-protected group. One of the main benefits of belonging to a fraternal society is the low-cost life insurance made available to you by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.
Our Facilities and Amenities
A three-story building with home-like chapels complete with family rooms, kitchen, toilet and bath, and extended lobby to accommodate visitors and catering services; Top-of-the-line funeral hearses (Cadillac & Mercedes Benz); The only funeral parlor in the area with a DENR-approved water treatment facility
Ample parking space Our Advocacies
Supports the KC Philippine Foundation’s scholarship programs for priests and collegiate scholarships to poor but deserving students, and donations to different religious orders/congregations and other social/civic foundations; Manifests corporate social responsibility through its great concern for the preservation and protection of the environment; Provides special funeral package for indigent families, priests and nuns.
HTMC offers complete funeral services and wide range of casket selection (local and imported). Its courteous and knowledgeable staff are always ready to attend to the needs of the families. Assistance is also extended for obituary placements,
Mace Insurance Agency, Inc.
By Honesto Meera
MACE Insurance Agency, Incorporated was established on May 10, 1980 by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Incorporated, better known as KC Fraternal. The primary objective of the agency is to provide service to the members of the Knights of Columbus, their families and their private enterprises. It aims to assist members in securing their general non-life insurance needs such fire insurance, motor car insurance, medical insurance, personal accident and other unforeseen eventualities which may result in financial losses and bring about grief to the family. Mace, by special arrangements with the commercial non-life insurance companies, can provide the most beneficial and inexpensive insurance coverage. In the fulfillment of our commitment, the management takes pride in being able to assist clients in the settlement of just and valid claims in speedy fashion. It gives the highest priority to the interest of the members of the Knights of Columbus, their families as well as the insuring public. KC CAR SHIELD – This package product provides a comprehensive coverage due to physical loss or damage to the vehicle and its accessories from an accidental collision or overturning, fire, lightning, external explosion, self-ignition, burglary, carnapping, carjacking and malicious acts. KC HEALTH CARE – This is a comprehensive protection and benefits for losses resulting from serious sickness or accidental bodily injury. The benefits are provided in the form of reimbursement of eligible expenses subject to the specific limits enumerated in the medical insurance policy or through the use of your EA Medical Card. Other non-life insurance products and services offered:
Some of our exclusive package products are:
KC HOME PROTECTOR – This special package plan provides a comprehensive coverage for residential building and its contents except cash and jewelries due to fire and lightning including allied perils and other extensions.
• Marine Hall, Marine Cargo, Inland Marine • All kinds of Personal Accident Insurance (Individual, Group, Family and Student-Guardian Plan) • Medical or Hospitalization Insurance • Travel Insurance • Engineering Insurance (Contractor All Risk, Machinery Breakdown, Erection All Risk and Electronic Equipment) • Property Floater Insurance • Casualty Insurance (Comprehensive General Liability, All Risks, Fidelity Guarantee, Error and Omission, Director and Officers Liability, Golfers Policy, Comprehensive Personal Liability, Money, Securities and Payroll) • Bonds except bail bond.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Reflections of Bishop Lori, Supreme Chaplain
GREETINGS to the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) on the occasion of the launching of its golden jubilee celebration! The KCFAPI is devoting this entire year to a meaningful celebration of its continued existence driven by its members’ desire to serve God by serving their fellowmen, especially the poor and the marginalized. Indeed, the organization deserves praise for its many noteworthy endeavors during the past 50 years. This year-long celebration will gain even more relevance in the lives of its members and collaborators if it also becomes a time for reflection on how to bring about more creative and authentic witnessing to the Gospel through the mandate that it has vowed to uphold. It is my prayer, therefore, that KCFAPI, in this special year of grace, gain more wisdom and insight about the message of the Gospel and how this can be best lived out in their families, communities and society. May the celebration of their golden jubilee bring the members of the KCFAPI and their cooperators and friends on to the road that leads to our vision of fullness of life and the Kingdom of the Father. Congratulations and God bless you always! GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES Archbishop of Manila
‘Strong Right Arm of the Church’
By Most Rev. William E. Lori
AS a young priest I was privileged to serve as priest-secretary for the late James Cardinal Hickey, former Archbishop of Washington. Shortly after I began to do so, the Cardinal asked me if I were a Knight of Columbus. “No, I’m not,” I replied. “You soon will be,” was his retort. True to his word, the Archbishop of Washington personally delivered me to Father Rosensteel Council #2169 in Silver Spring, , where, in 1986, I received the first and second degrees of the Order. On the way home from the ceremony, the Archbishop started quizzing me about the next day’s schedule. That’s when I received “the third degree”! continue to be astonished at the sheer magnitude of the charity which the Knights of Columbus accomplish locally and internationally. When hurricane Katrina and Rita struck, the Knights of Columbus raised more than $10 million for relief services. In 2005 alone, volunteer and charitable efforts were valued at more than $1 billion. This does not include the tremendous support the Knights of Columbus provide to the Holy See, to dioceses, to Catholic institutions and many other worthy causes. In 2005, Knights, in their local Church, raised and donated a record $139.7 million and provided 64,685,401 hours of volunteer service. But even these numbers don’t tell the whole story. During the 125th Anniversary Year, it’s good for us to recall that the Knights of Columbus was founded at Saint Mary Parish in nearby New Haven by a dedicated visionary parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney. He founded this organization out of genuine pastoral concern for the families he served. So often, husbands died prematurely, often because of industrial accidents, thus leaving their widows and children destitute. Father McGivney envisioned a fraternal organization that would help these men deepen their faith while providing for their families in the event of death. With a small group of leaders, he launched what has become a very successful $63 billion insurance company and a fraternal society that he rightly envisioned as “the strong right arm of the Church.” United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Philippines and Poland. Under the inspired leadership of Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, the Knights of Columbus will no doubt continue to grow vigorously in the years ahead. The Knights are well-known for their support of the Pope and bishops. But they also seek to support parish priests. Local, parish-based K of C Councils are being fostered to assist priests whose task has grown more complex and demanding even as the numbers of priests has diminished. The Knights of Columbus recently re-launched its program, “In Solidarity with Our Priests,” and avidly pray for the canonization of their founder, Father McGivney. I ask everyone to pray for his cause. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful grace for a Connecticut parish priest to be declared a saint?
Father McGivney was ahead of his time—not only in his astute business acumen but also in his teamwork with the lay leaders. He easily could have become the first Supreme Knight but instead maintained that the Knights of Columbus was to be a lay organization that would cooperate with the hierarchy in the mission of the Church. His vision is alive and well today as the Order continues to grow in parts of the
I am very grateful to Cardinal Hickey for urging me to become a Knight of Columbus. Over the next twenty years, my appreciation of the Knights of Columbus turned into amazement. As a former State Chaplain of the District of Columbia State Council and now as Supreme Chaplain, I
Grow in holiness
The Knights of Columbus provide a means for men to
grow in holiness and to live their vocations more fully. The Knights are committed to building a culture of life by defending the unborn and affirming the dignity of the disabled. They are second to none in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life, in defending the family—and much more. One of the best ways we can celebrate the 125 th Anniversary
of the Knights of Columbus is to grow the Order by starting Round Tables where there is no Council, by encouraging the Columbian Squires and by inviting qualified parishioners to join. May a strong and vibrant Knights of Columbus continue to strengthen our dioceses and the Church throughout the world! Vivat Jesus!
Our Marian Year
As our Marian prayer program unfolds over the next 12 months, let us pray that Our Lady of Charity will guide us.
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
SINCE I dedicated my administration as supreme knight to Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2000, and every year thereafter, I am more than pleased that our Order’s historically strong devotion to Mary continues. Our longstanding program of distributing free rosaries, particularly to new members at the time of their First Degree, along with a wallet-sized card on how to pray the rosary, continues in full force. Since this program started nearly 30 years ago, we have distributed hundreds of thousands— if not millions—of rosaries. On Sept. 8, the feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother, we launched our Marian Prayer Program for 2007-08. This year Knights Orderwide are honoring Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba. With Charity being the first and foundational principle of our Order, this is a program that every member should plan on attending when it is held locally. Prospects should also be invited to a local prayer service so they can experience one of the spiritual programs Knighthood offers. With this in mind, I encourage grand knights and district deputies to schedule their Marian prayer service as soon as possible with their state chairman. Local prayer services will continue through Sept. 8, 2008. At the conclusion of this Marian year, a spiritual bouquet comprising the number of services and attendees will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI. Earlier this year, the pope traveled to the great Marian shrine of Mariazell in Austria. He said that the Church needs to be a “teacher and witness” of Mary’s unconditional “yes” to God and
life and also be “at the service of a future of peace and true social progress for the whole human family.” As our Marian prayer program unfolds over the next 12 months, let us pray that Our Lady of Charity will guide us toward those goals. Vivat Jesus!
Witnessing the ‘Yes’ of Jesus Christ
Remarks of Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, during the 125th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Nashville, Tennessee, August 7-9, 2007
IT is an honor and distinct privilege for me to be here as part of the Philippine delegation to the 125th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus. Although this is my first time to attend a Supreme Convention, I feel that am not a stranger but actually continuing the legacy of my father, the late OSCAR LEDESMA, who had attended several of these Supreme Convention when he was Philippine Deputy in 1977-1983. When he started his term in 1977 there were 457 KC Councils which reached almost 700 in 1983. At present, I am told that there are 1,900 councils throughout the Phil-
ippine islands. From a membership of 30,000 in 1977, there are now 252,000 members after three decades of growth. The local councils of the Knights of Columbus continue many of the projects that have been started in earlier years—e.g., socioeconomic projects, youth development, care of the aged, defense and promotion of pro-life and profamily issues. Particularly in Mindanao (in the Philippines) where I am based, several K of C members have also helped the local church in promoting a culture of peace through inter-religious dialogue and inter-cultural understanding. The Knights of Columbus in the Philippines have also been supporting young men studying for the priesthood. We have 96 priests-graduates of the program (which was started by Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, in 1977), while another 30 seminarians are still
pursuing their theology studies. With the help of the K of C Supreme Council here in the United States, several priests from various dioceses in the Philippines have been able to take up graduate theology course in Rome. I would also like to acknowledge the generous support of the Supreme Council for the yearly subsidy (worth $75,000) for the women’s advocacy program of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The most recent support of $30,000 was given by the Supreme Council for the rehabilitation of the roofing of the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in Manila. (Last year, when the Philippines was hit with two very strong typhoons which claimed about 2,000 lives in the Bicol region, the Supreme Council donated a total of $100,000 for the typhoon victims. In all these activities and years of growth, we thank the Lord for enabling the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines to show our faith in action and to witness the “yes” of Jesus Christ.
THE KEY IN REAL ESTATE
Founded on August 18, 1992, the KEYS REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (Keys Realty) has joined the real estate industry where bright prospects for the country’s economic development abound. Having been assured of its noble mission, financial strength and acumen, the Securities and Exchange Commission affixed on December 23, 1992 its seal of approval on Keys Realty’s registration. In the Knights of Columbus, keys are symbolic of knightly ideals of responsibility and authority over funds, particularly their safekeeping. Keys Realty’s specific objective is to engage in the acquisition and development of real estate and its management or disposal. On March 24, 1995, its authorized capital was increased from Php30 Million to Php100 Million. To achieve operational efficiency and to optimize use of resources, Keys Realty merged with Holy Trinity Memorial Chapels, with the former as the surviving company, on June 30, 1999.
the Columbian Year 1995-1999. He was selected and appointed by Supreme Knight Virgil O. Decant to the position as member of the Board of Directors of the Supreme Council, the governing body of the worldwide Order of the Knights of Columbus, the second Filipino who was privileged to occupy such exalted post in the Order. He served from Columbian Years 1997-2000, succeeding Mardonio R. Santos who was the first Filipino to be appointed to the post. Chairman Bacay was born in Cebu City on November 10, 1929 and is married to Gloria C. Bacay, MD. They are blessed with two children, namely, Angelito and Nanette, who are now both residing in the USA. Chairman Bacay and Sister Gloria reside at Guadalupe Heights, Guadalupe, Cebu City. Chairman Bacay is a civil engineer by profession and retired from work having served from 1968-1987 as the Provincial Engineer of the Province of Cebu. He is an alumni of Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila. Besides being the new Chairman of the Board of KCFAPI, he is also actively involved with other civic, charitable, and professional organizations, foremost of which is the Visayas Columbian Foundation, Inc. as Chairman and President. He is also an incumbent member of the Visayas Skills Development Foundation, Inc. He was president of the Rotary Club of Cebu South. He served as Regional Couple from 1978-1982 and Vice President of the Visayas from 1982-1986 of the Christian Family Movement.
Vol. 11 No. 21
October 15 - 28, 2007
Meet the KCFAPI Chairman
By Joselito Mañalac
THE new Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) is Sir Knight Patrocinio R. Bacay. He was elected to the position by KCFAPI’s Founding Members Committee last June 2007 and assumed the post July 2007. He brings to the Board of Trustees many years of experience as an active member of the Order of the Knights of Columbus. He has previously served as Trustee for KCFAPI and member of the Board of Directors of Anchor Savings Bank, an affiliate of KCFAPI, from 1997-2005. Chairman Bacay, or, “Brod Pat”, as he is commonly called, is an active charter member of Guadalupe Council 5883 and the
Sir Knight Patrocinio R. Bacay
Arellano Assembly of the 4th Degree in Cebu City under the Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction. He served as Council Grand Knight during the Columbian Year 1968-1969. Because of his council’s achievements under his leadership as Grand Knight, he was immediately promoted and appointed as District Deputy of District II – Cebu City where he served the councils assigned under his district during the Columbian Years 1969-1973. After which, he served the Knights of Columbus in various positions until he was chosen by then Supreme Knight, Virgil O. Decant, to head the whole Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction as Territorial Deputy, the Jurisdiction’s highest officer, for
KCFAPI Golden Jubilee Logo
THE Knights of Columbus epitomizes the ideal Catholic gentleman. True to the objectives of the Order, the life of a Brother Knight is imbued with faith, fraternity and concern for the family.
The man at the helm of the Luzon jurisdiction
THE Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus based in New Haven Connecticut, U.S.A., decided to divide the Philippine Jurisdiction into three because of huge membership. To be able to govern it more effectively, the Philippines were divided as Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao Jurisdiction. The Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction, since its separation from the former Philippine Jurisdiction, has been piloted by men of integrity and unquestioned loyalty to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. The first Luzon Deputy Lauro M. Cruz had left a legacy continued by a succession of Luzon Deputies. They are the late Dr. Alfredo V. Silva from Tanauan Batangas, Arsenio R. Lopez of Quezon City, Antonio T. Yulo of Pasay City, Rodolfo C. Magsino of San Pedro, Laguna. They had adhered to the principles of the Knights of Columbus. These men, whose service to the Church and A native of Cuyo, Palawan, Alon was born January 11, 1949 to the late Enrique Tan and Concepcion L. Tan. He is happily married to Teresita Herrera and blessed with three children. All of them support him in his activities in the Knights of Columbus. He took up elementary education at the Westminster High School. He graduated from high School at the Mapua Tech High School. He studied at Mapua Institute of Technology taking up Engineering. He also took Commerce major in management at the University of the East. Not content in finishing these courses and still yearning to learn more, he took up a course of Bureau of Small Business and General Management in Ateneo de Manila University in Manila. Always a man on the go, he continues his quest for more knowledge and took up courses related in their personal family business. He was recruited to the Knights of Columbus council 1000 in 1977. He distinguished himself in the council and continued to rise in the hierarchy of the organization. Like a magnet people are drawn close to him because of his ready smile and approachable manner. Alon was selected as Knight of the Year of Council 1000 in 1981 and 1986. Shortly thereafter, he was elected Grand Knight by an overwhelming majority vote in the election of 1986. With his management expertise the council won the much-coveted Star Council Award and Century Award. Because of his performance in the Order and dedicated service to the Church he won the admiration and respect of the members of his council. He was appointed State Church Director of the Knights of Columbus in 1989-1991, during the time the late Lauro M. Cruz was Luzon Deputy. His sterling performance and amiable character did not escape the attention of the Luzon Deputy at that time. He was appointed District Deputy. He served the Order as District Deputy from 1992-1995. This gave Alon a new field of endeavor. As a District Deputy, his talents as guide and advisor to the councils under his supervision came to shine. His guidance proved to be beneficial to the councils. Each council under his district got the Star Council Award. Alon Tan again distinguished himself as District Deputy. In the selection for the Most Outstanding District Deputy for the Columbian Year 1993-94 he was the clear winner of that prestigious award. His star in the Knights of Columbus continues to shine. In the year 2002, he was elected Faithful Navigator of the Padre Burgos Assembly. His election to the association of 4 th degree members of the Knights of Assembly came as no surprise to the council. His election brightens his shining star. The Board of Trustees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, financial arm of the Knights of Columbus noticed the honesty and integrity of Alon Tan. They also noticed his sound managerial expertise and good relationship with the members and officers of the Order. That’s exactly what they need in the foundations of KCFAPI. In 2001, the Board of Trustees of KCFAPI elected Alonso L. Tan as President of Fr. GEORGE J. WILLMANN CHARITIES, INC. This foundation helps poor families in the education of their children. By a unanimous vote, again, he was elected as the President of the K of C Philippines Foundation. It is noteworthy to mention that this foundation helps our priests continue their studies in their doctorate and masteral studies. This foundation also gave opportunity for priests to continue their advancement in their chosen vocation. The Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction gains new hope and new perspective with the ascension of Alonso L. Tan. As Luzon Deputy, Alon Tan carries a lot of responsibility. But his steadfast faith in the Lord Almighty helps him overcome the weight of his office. He viewed his position as a way to do service to others. Only a few knights knew that he did not aspire to become Luzon Deputy. But as fate would have it, he was chosen to lead the Luzon Jurisdiction. As the saying goes, “Let the position seek the man.” And so Alonso L. Tan was chosen. (Paul Oblea)
The KC Foundations
By Denise Solina
THE Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation, Inc., is another social arm of the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines. It was established in October 21, 1970 to undertake activities for the betterment of the citizenry through various health, education, community and environment programs. Although the real purpose of the foundation is “to be ready to come to the aid of disaster vic- One of our scholars, Mr. Donnie Jan Segocio (1st from left), with his fellow ceremony for new tims, at all times” (Gentle War- Board Passer during their oath-takingAvelina dela Rea. Medical Technologist. With them is PRC Commissioner rior page 310), it has shifted its main program to the granting of scholarship to Quezon City); and Mary Rose Macaraig (Co. 4407 poor but deserving students to help parents in – Batangas). (Visayas) Mary Ann Noquillo (Co. their dream of providing good education for 7396 – Cebu); Grazele Joy C. De Ocampo (Co. their children. Education is a key for indigent 12324 – Capiz); and Mary Gwendolyn S. Jimeno Filipino families to rise up from poverty. (Co. 12732 – Cebu). (Mindanao) Harriette Anne The Foundation provides collegiate scholar- Guigayoma (Co. 9480 – Misamis Or.); John Paul ships to graduating high school students with C. Descallar (Co. 12550 – Iligan City); Allyn Kim the following qualifications: 1) the father should Sabacahan (Co. 10237 - Misamis Or.); Rona Mae be a Knights of Columbus member in good Baligala (Co. 9541 – Davao City); Adrian Jay standing; 2) the student should have an average Barcelona (Co. 12506 – So. Cotabato); and April grade in high school of not lower than 85% and Liz Parreño (Co. 5307 – Tacurong City). has not yet entered college; and 3) of good health A total of 66 collegiate scholars are being supand of good moral character ported both by the KC Philippines Foundation The new scholars for school year 2007-2008 and Supreme Council Office as of current school are: (Luzon), Mary Anne Jelli Gaza (Co. 10642 - year. Bataan); Kathleen Kay De Guzman (Co. 4407 – To date, a total of 217 scholars nationwide are Batangas); Princess May Reyes (Co. 8537 – being assisted by the Foundation in their colleIsabela); Jerrica Pearl Lucena (Co. 10971 – giate studies and 114 students in their vocational Cavite); Richard Obnamia (Co. 7439 – Quezon courses. Prov.); and Suzette Mercado (Co. 14019 – Or. Aplications for the schoolyear 2008-2009 are Mindoro). (Visayas), Francis Gerard Redido (Co. now being accepted and application forms are 12732 – Cebu); and Madelyn Beros (Co. 8326 – E. available at the KC Foundation Office at the folSamar). (Mindanao), Claudette Gasendo (Co. lowing address: 7658 – Koronadal City); Francis Ryan Parcasio KC Fr. George J. Willmann Center (Co. 11250 – So. Cotabato); Catherine Joy Cadut Gen. Luna cor Sta. Potenciana Streets (Co. 12550 – Iligan City; Jag Iesu Iñigo Murillo Intramuros, Manila (Co. 3364 – Bukidnon); and Merlyn Almedilla Tel. Nos. 527-2223 local 219 (Co. 12723 – Cagayan de Oro). The Foundation also provides assistance to Currently, the Foundation supports 27 schol- calamity victims. It has donated P50,000.00 for ars nationwide, receiving full tuition fee assis- the victims of Guimaras oil-spill; and P45,000.00 tance and P 2,000.00 book allowance per semes- for the evacuees of Mayon Volcano eruption. It ter while 3 scholars received P 10,000 per semes- also assisted in the repair of school buildings of ter. Veritas College of Irosin which were destroyed Inspired by the outcome of the Philippine Schol- by typhoon Milenyo by donating an amount of arship Program, the Knights of Columbus Su- P15,000. The victims of typhoon Reming in Albay preme Office gave their share in assisting Filipino also received assistance of P100,000.00 from the students. Financial assistance for 36 scholars is pro- foundation. And recently, it released an amount of P25,000 to the National Shrine of Our Lady of vided annually through the Foundation. The following are the new beneficiaries of the Lourdes for the repair of their Parish center. Another program of the Foundation is the Supreme Council Scholarship Program for the current semester: (Luzon) Christian Allan Vibar Gawad Kalinga project which was established with (Squire-Cavite); Jose Gabriel Mallari (Co. 6632 – the objective of helping promote activities that Quezon City); John Erik Sanoria (Co. 8753 – would empower people towards building integrated, holistic and sustainable communities focusing on depressed areas in the Philippines. The foundation already donated a modest amount to Gawad Kalinga for the construction of houses. The possible site for these houses is still being determined. Livelihood Programs for Mr. Raul Dizon, Gawad Kalinga Metro Manila Coordinator is shown receiving a the indigents of check from SK Alberto P. Solis, former Chairman of KCFAPI, representing the Intramuros are also curinitial donation of the Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation to Gawad rently being discussed. Kalinga for the construction of houses for the less-fortunate.
Sir Knight Alonso L. Tan
to the community cannot be measured in terms of monetary value, offered their own time for the fulfillment of their desire to be of service to the Lord by way of serving the community. They offered their own talents and resources to lead the members and officers of the Knights of Columbus to greater heights in the fields of service to the community. The Jurisdiction governed by men who swore allegiance to the Catholic Church, contributed immensely to the tremendous growth of the Knights of Columbus in Luzon. The Philippine Jurisdiction, which gave birth to the Luzon Jurisdiction on July 1, 1989, has ceased to exist. Since then, the Luzon Jurisdiction has been governed and steered to greatness in the field of service to the Church, Family, and Youth and to the Community. The leadership in the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction has changed hands last July 1, 2007. A new Luzon Deputy was entrusted by the Supreme Council to govern and lead the Knights in Luzon. Alonso L. Tan of Council 1000 was formally installed by outgoing Luzon Deputy Rodolfo Magsino at the Grand Boulevard Hotel last July 1, 2007 as the new Luzon Deputy. Intimately called Alon by his friends and those close to him, he brought new perspective and new direction to the Luzon Jurisdiction. His ascension to the helm of the organization was like a breath of fresh air. Energetic, young and dynamic and possesses new ideas which will surely help the jurisdiction to climb to still greater heights in the field of volunteerism.
SK Alonso L. Tan, Luzon Deputy, during courtesy call to His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
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