Church must adapt to the way media are impacting culture, pope says

‘Jesus prayed to the •B1 Father for the unity of His Disciples’



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

PPCRV gets Comelec’s accreditation for 2010 polls
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has accredited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) as its citizen’s arm for the May 2010 elections. In an en banc resolution dated Oct. 26, the Comelec noted that for the past several years, the Catholic Church-backed poll watchdog has consistently worked for credible elections. “The petitioner’s participation during the past electoral exercises and its commitment towards honest, clean, credible and peaceful elections are commendable,” the resolution read.
Accreditation / A6

‘Ondoy’ damage report fabricated—Church official
A CHURCH leader has accused Camarines Norte Gov. Jesus Typoco Jr., of cheating over a report that the province suffered millions worth of damages due to a recent typhoon. Fr. Norberto Eyule, Diocese of Daet’s social action director, said the reported P73 million damages made by the governor and other provincial government officials was fabricated. Typhoon “Ondoy”, he said, did minor damage to agriculture and nothing to infrastructure in the province. “We assert that it is immoral to cheat and in
Fabricated / A6

November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Php 20.00

Make the Eucharist focal point of your life, Asian youth told
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FIESTA MOOD. Festive dancing and prayerful singing will characterize the opening activity of the weeklong celebration of the 5th Asian Youth Day from November 20-27. Around 1,500 young people across Asia will come together to reflect and experience in a profound way the meaning of the Eucharist in their lives and their respective communities. Hosted by the Diocese of Imus, the youth event is themed “Yasia Fiesta! Young Asians: Come Together, Share the Word, Live the Eucharist!”

By Kris Bayos

FOR a nation described as “Light of Asia,” hosting the fifth Asian Youth Day (AYD5) later this month is a fitting contribution in instilling solid Eucharistic spirituality among the young people of the continent.
Infanta Bishop Rolando Tirona said the AYD5, set to take place at the historic Diocese of Imus from November 20 to 27, is envisioned to serve as a catalyst in improving the youth’s understanding of the Holy Eucharist, hence its theme “Yasia Fiesta! Young Asians: Come Together, Share the Word, Live the Eucharist!” “The theme of the AYD is rooted on the goal of making the Eucharist the focal point of the youth’s life. The AYD celebration is held so that the Asian youth can better understand and deeply experience the meaning and reality of the Eucharist in their personal lives and in the life of their communities,” Tirona said.

The prelate, who also chairs the Office of the Laity of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), urged the AYD5 delegates to “be grateful for the gift of the Eucharist.” “Understand better and live joyfully he challenges of the Eucharist. Celebrate it as the heart of your youthful life,” the prelate told the young Catholic faithful. Earlier, Tirona encouraged the Catholic hierarchy to come up with “creative” liturgy that will encourage the young faithful to realize that the Eucharist is a “very powerful force” that can move them to be “agents of transformation.” Apparently heeding the bishop’s call, organizers of the AYD5 included prayerful singing and festive
Eucharist / A6

Church leaders raise spray ban case to Arroyo
MANILA’S Catholic bishops have brought the clamor for a total ban on aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations in Mindanao right on President Arroyo’s doorstep. At least three bishops met with Executive Secretary Ermita and other government officials in Malacañang on Monday to raise their concerns on the issue. A source privy to the closed-door meeting said Ermita assured the bishops that they will carefully study the case and would come out with a decision soon. The executive secretary, the source added, also said that they will attend to the Health department-commissioned study that resulted in recommending the ban. The bishops who attended the meeting were Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and Infanta Bishop-Emeritus Xavier Labayen. Also at the dialogue were 12 farmers representing the Mamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying, a group of farmers who live
Spray ban / A7

Bishops join people’s outrage against Laiban Dam
JOINING the people’s outrage against the proposed Laiban Dam project, Catholic bishops collectively called on government to put forward the common good above all else by preserving the integrity of creation. In a letter sent to President Macapagal-Arroyo, prelates led by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales urged the government to scrap the contentious Laiban dam project citing ethical and legal considerations. Other signatories to the letter are NASSA chairman and Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Communications and Mass Media Chairman and Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Pasig Bishop Francisco San Diego, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado and Infanta Bishop-Emeritus Julio Xavier Labayen. The 113-meter Laiban Dam project if realized will engulf around 28,000 hectares of “biodiverse-rich-forest-ecosystem,” including some 3,000 hectares of mangrove fish sanctuary and farm irrigation in the towns of Gen. Nakar, Real and Infanta. Aside from destroying the rich ecosystems of the area, the dam will also displace several thousands of families, especially the indigenous communities of Dumagats and Remontados living within the Kaliwa watershed area.
© balarila.smugmug.com

Estrada camp dared to name Church officials receiving jueteng money
A CATHOLIC bishop has challenged presidential aspirant Joseph Estrada's camp to identify church leaders receiving donations from “jueteng.” Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said that as far as his diocese is concerned, receiving proceeds from the illegal numbers game in the form of donations is totally baseless. Various church leaders earlier said that Estrada should not run for president again if he is just to legalize jueteng as his alternative employment for the poor. Opposition stalwart, former senator Ernesto Maceda, however, fought back, saying that some church officials benefit from jueteng operations. "I challenge him (Maceda) to prove that church donations come from jueteng proceeds," said Oliveros. He also slammed former President Estrada’s “twisted” logic that legalizing jueteng would lift Filipinos out of poverty. On the contrary, the church leader said, jueteng will further drive the poor people to poverty. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has publicly continued to stand strong in their fight against gambling. Gambling whether legal or illegal, ruins society’s moral fiber and exploits the poor. (Roy Lagarde)

400 priests gathered in Albay
AT least 400 priests from the Archdiocese of Caceres and the Dioceses of Legazpi, Sorsogon, Daet, Masbate, Libmanan and Virac have gathered at the Bethlehem Retreat Center, this town for their regional clergy retreat which began November 9 and will end on the 13th. The retreat is centered on the theme “Revisiting the Priesthood in the Light of St. John Mary Vianney’s Life and Example.” Masbate Bishop Joel Z. Baylon, secretary general of the Union of Bicol Clergy (UBC), said the regional clergy retreat is being held because of Pope Benedict XVI’s proclamation of the period from June 19, 2009 to June 19, 2010 as Year for Priests, as integral part of the spiritual preparation for the 300th anniversary of the Peñafrancia Devotion in 2010 and the Golden Jubilee of the Union of Bicol Clergy. He said Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, Virac Bishop Manolo A. Delos Santos, Daet Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera, Libmanan Bishop Jose R. Rojas, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, Legazpi Apostolic Administrator Lucilo B. Quiambao and Legazpi Bishop Emeritus Jose C. Sorra are in attendance. “All our speakers are priests from the Bicol region except for Professor Danny Gerona, an expert in the history of the Bicol church,” Bishop Baylon said. The Union of Bicol Clergy was organized in the late 50’s by Fr. Teotimo C. Pacis, a Vincentian who became bishop of Palo, Leyte and Legazpi. Ever since it was established the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary played host to the UBC every September. During gathering the clergy engage themselves in various sports competitions Legazpi Bishop Emeritus Jose Sorra said the first Regional Clergy Congress was held in 1995 under the auspices the Catholic Bish-

Laiban Dam / A6

Contributed photo

ops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Clergy then chaired by Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal. In another development, four prelates and 50 priests from the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Diocese of Ipil and the Prelature of Isabela gathered at Bishop Querexeta Formation Center in Isabela City, Nov. 6. Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad said this year’s theme was “Responding to the Signs of the Times – Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of the Clergy,” which he described as a response to Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of 2009 as “Year for Priests. Cotabato Archbishop and Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences Secretary General Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI was guest speaker at the opening rites. Jumoad told the assembly that he believes something good is bound to happen when men of God come together to pray in unity. He added the gathering of bishops and priests is an inspiration to the faithful aside from contributing greatly to the efforts of working for peace and unity.” (Fr. Louie Occiano/Melo M. Acuna)

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

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World News

CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Holy See says beatification of John Paul II not imminent
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 4, 2009—The Holy See’s press office has denied a report published by the Italian daily La Repubblica, which made claims that John Paul II will be beatified in 2010 and that Rome and Krakow are locked in a dispute over which city will host the ceremony. Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office said Pope John Paul II “will surely be beatified,” but the process must be completed, including the decree certifying a miracle. Lombardi also denied the reported tension between Rome and Krakow, Poland. “The Pope is the Pope and he belongs to the universal Church,” he said. (CNA)

Vatican plans meeting between Pope and artists
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 5, 2009—A Vatican press conference was held today to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming meeting with artists on Nov. 21. The meeting is intended to promote collaboration between the Church and artists. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, spoke on how the meeting will be celebrated on the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's “Letter to Artists” and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists. “The event,” he explained, "is not like a general audience of the Holy Father, open to any artist or exclusively to Christian-inspired artists.” “Rather,” he continued, “it aims to be representative of the desire for dialogue between the Church and the world of the arts, a dialogue which must necessarily develop over various stages and using various means.” According to the archbishop, 255 artists have accepted the invi-

© www.fallibleblogma.com

tation and are coming from places all over the world. They will be divided into categories such as painting and sculpture; architecture; literature and poetry; music and song; cinema, theatre, dance and photography. Before the Pope addresses the artists, the Sistine Chapel Choir will sing for the gathering. The meeting with Benedict XVI will be followed by a reception in the Vatican Museum where the artists will receive a medal in the Pope's name. (CNA)

German diocese receives bishop who was ordained by Cardinal Ratzinger
ESSEN, Germany, Nov. 7, 2009—On October 28, Pope Benedict XVI appointed 45-year-old Franz-Josef Overbeck as the Bishop of Essen, Germany. Bishop Overbeck was ordained a priest by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, has survived a bout with cancer, and is now the youngest bishop in Germany. Bishop Overbeck, previously the auxiliary bishop of Münster, told Bild.de, “I was having breakfast in Rome when I received the call that I had been selected to be the next bishop of Essen. I immediately said yes, and then I finished my breakfast.” When asked if he had any role models, Bishop Overbeck cited his parents, whose faith had quite an influence on him. Overbeck said he Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck also admired Pope Paul VI, who “guided the church through a very difficult political and social phase.” Describing himself as “a bishop, who has his worries, but loves the Church,” Bishop Overbeck said that some of the most important events in his life have been his ordination as priest and as bishop, as well as his battle with cancer, its treatment, and “the fact that I defeated it.” Asked if he is afraid it will come back, he responded, “I am not a man of fear. I have come to terms with the finiteness of life. If the cancer comes back, then it is a new sickness.” On a lighter topic, Bild.de asked Bishop Overbeck about his daily life, where he buys his socks and underwear. “I used to shop in Münster. Now I will be shopping in Essen. I do all my clothes shopping in a very concentrated manner, twice a year. When I go to a department store, it is very awkward for me, because so many people recognize me,” he said. When asked about his future diocese, Bishop Overbeck told Bild. de, “The Diocese of Essen is a mirror image of the shaken Ruhr district.” “There are many people who believe, and this faith carries the Church. My task as bishop is to see that the people gladly go to Church, and that they believe gladly.” Essen is located within Ruhrgebeit, a zone in northwestern Germany whose now faltering economy was once driven by mining. At his first press conference in Essen, Bishop Overbeck said that all of the concerns of diocese—the lack of work, the separation of families, the mass emigration of the youth—are very present to him. His mission in ministering to the diocese's 909,000 Catholics is “to help people to be able to find God.” (CNA)

Thousands of Catholics turn out for Rosary Sunday in Phoenix
PHOENIX, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2009─From its humble beginnings in the church of St. Francis Xavier in Phoenix, Rosary Sunday has grown into an annual event that draws more than 5,000 people in devotion to Mary. Last month, Catholics in the diocese marked the 34th year the faithful throughout the state gathered for adoration, confession, benediction and the recitation of the rosary. Under her title, “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” and in honor of the Year for Priests, families and individuals entered the Phoenix Convention Center representing a multitude of ethnic communities and organizations. Rudy and Barbara Martinez drove 240 miles one-way from Cameron, Ariz. to participate in the public prayer honoring the Blessed Mother. “We come because we want to show her our love and gratitude,” Barbara said. This is the fifth year the couple has made the journey from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. “It’s important for us to be here together in honor of Our Lady.” The strong devotion to the mother of Jesus gave impetus to the Phoenix Diocese embracing an event that has attracted national attention. Dorothy Westfall, the event’s coordinator and a Legion of Mary member, fields calls from other dioceses around the country each year on how to develop advisory committees in hopes of starting a Rosary Sunday. “People come because they see this as an opportunity for grace,” Westfall said. “Not only for themselves, but for their family, the country and the world.” The spirit, beauty and reverence of the afternoon was not lost on the keynote speaker. “I am very impressed. We need one of these in the Rockford Diocese,” said Fr. James Parker. “When we pray those beads, we touch the heart of the Mother of God and simultaneously touch the heart of God.” The Illinois priest used imagery and stories to emphasize Mary’s love, concern and protection of the faithful. “When we pray the rosary, she wraps us in her mantle,” Fr. Parker said. “When we are close to her, we are able to maintain a peace of heart.” The event proved to be an uplifting and spiritual opportunity for many families to pass the torch of faith and tradition on to their children. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s very presence got the crowd to their feet, but it was his words of encouragement that rang true with many. In his opening address, the bishop said Mary will help each person as they join with Christ by offering daily sacrifices. Sam Marshall began praying the rosary after he was inspired by a group of women in Santa Fe, NM, more than a decade ago. “More men need to pray the rosary, but they think it’s something women do,” he said. “We all want more, inside, than we realize. We just have all this worldly stuff that gets in the way.” (CNA)

Vietnamese preparations for Jubilee celebrations well underway
HANOI, Vietnam, Nov. 6, 2009─The Archbishop of Hanoi has said that preparations for Vietnam’s Jubilee celebrations are “well underway.” Despite “enormous obstacles,” the Catholics of the country will celebrate the 350th anniversary of the first apostolic vicariates of the country and the 50th anniversary of the elevation of the country’s three archdioceses. In an interview published on the Vietnamese bishops’ website on Nov. 3, Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet said that among the obstacles was the fact that the local government did not understand how the Jubilee ceremonies will take place. “Such a huge crowd coming from multiple dioceses will make coordination efforts a real challenge,” he explained, saying that the town of So Kien has shortcomings in logistical support. "Nonetheless, everything is all well underway now,” he added. So Kien was the first site the Church in Vietnam could build a large and durable complex of buildings. The archbishop noted the “harmonic architecture” of the area, whose 10 acres contain

Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet

Archbishop accuses police of apathy over church attacks
BANGALORE, India, Nov. 9, 2009—Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore has accused the government and police of apathy in the wake of the vandalization of another church in his diocese. Vandals broke into St. Anthony’s church in Bangalore on Saturday evening, strewed Communion hosts around the church and stole a gold-plated chalice and two ciboria. Karnataka state has witnessed “so many church attacks” but no “culprit has been booked despite the assurances given to me by top police officers,” Archbishop Moras told the media Nov. 8. St. Anthony’s parish priest Father Arockiadoss discovered the damage when he opened the church, in the suburb of Kavalbysandra, at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The bishop said he was “upset” at government apathy toward catching culprits and was losing confidence in police investigations. “I am hurt because of the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament which is so central to our faith,” he said. He called for calm from the 1,000 parishioners who had gathered at the church to pray. Several police officers visited the parish along with a dog squad and fingerprint experts. Another church in Bangalore was vandalized on Sept. 10, as Christians in Karnataka were preparing to observe the first anniversary of the start of four months of church attacks by radical Hindu groups late last year. St. Anthony’s caters to some 5,000 parishioners. It was expanded this year, and Archbishop Moras reopened it on Sept. 11. (UCAN)

a cathedral, the Vicariate Office of Tay Dang Ngoai and a deteriorated Major Seminary. The location is almost equidistant between Hanoi and other major cities. Expected to attend are 30 cardinals and bishops, 4,000 priests and at least 100,000 faithful. It is believed the event will be the largest recent gathering of Catholics in North Vietnam. The archbishop credited generous efforts of northern dioceses and the Archdiocese of Hanoi in particular. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at So Kien on the evening of Nov. 23, the Vigil of the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs. The martyrs Andrew Dung Lac and 116 companions were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. The Diocese of Hai Phong has designed a giant torch for the event, while a musical troupe with 200 trumpeters will come from Bui Chu diocese. Another 200 drummers will come from Thai Binh Diocese and a large choir will gather together 750 singers from the dioceses of Than Hoa, Hung Hoa and Lang Son. A large number of volunteers for the ceremony had registered with the Jubilee’s organizing committee. About 300 of them come from the remote dioceses of Vinh and Phat Diem. All Vietnamese dioceses will observe a Novena from Nov. 15-23 in preparation for the Holy Year. After the grand opening ceremony at So Kien, each diocese will have an opening ceremony on Nov. 28. The Holy Jubilee will run through Jan. 6, 2011 with the closing ceremony to be held on the Feast of the Epiphany at La Vang National Sacred Marian Center, Fr. J.B. An Dang tells CNA. On Sept. 9, 1659, Pope Alexander VII established the vicariates of Dang Ngoai (Tonkin) and Dang Trong (Cochinchine) with French Bishops Francois Pallu and Lambert de la Motte, appointed first prelates. On Nov. 24, 1960, Blessed Pope John XXIII established the Catholic hierarchy in Vietnam, elevating Ha Noi, Hue and Saigon to archdioceses. (CNA)

Christians demand release of banned Malay bibles
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, Nov. 9, 2009—Malaysian Christians are demanding the release of 15,000 Malaylanguage bibles, confiscated by the government because they use the word "Allah" for God. The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) says everyone has the constitutional right to use the national language to practice his or her religion. "It is baseless to withhold the bibles in Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) on the grounds that they are 'prejudicial to public order,'" the CFM

Bishop Ng Moon Hing

said in a Nov. 4 statement. The use of the word "Allah" in Christian publications is also likely to confuse Muslims and draw them to Christianity, the government has said, although repeated media requests for further comment have failed. "Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia have been used since before independence ... and have never been the cause of any public disorder," the CFM statement says. Despite the government ban, "Allah" remains the commonly used word for God in the Malay language. The constitution "gives every Malaysian the right to profess

Malay bibles / A6

© www.zimbio.com

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

News Features


Church must adapt to the way media are impacting culture, pope says
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 29, 2009─New media are not just instruments for communicating, but they are having a huge impact on culture ─ on the way people interact and think, Pope Benedict XVI said. "This constitutes a challenge for the church, called to proclaim the Gospel to people of the third millennium," the pope said Oct. 29 during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The content of the Gospel message remains unchanged, he said, but the church must learn how to transmit that message to new generations and must do so by taking advantage of the new technology and new attitudes toward communications. Pope Benedict said one of the marks of the new media culture is its multimedia and interactive structure. New technology is not leading to developments only in television or radio or the Internet, but is "gradually generating a kind of global communications system" in which media are used together and the audience participates in generating content, he said. "I want to take this occasion to ask those in the church who work in the sphere of communications and have responsibility for pastoral guidance to take up the challenges these new technologies pose for evangelization," the pope said. Pope Benedict encouraged all producers and users of media "to promote a culture of respect for the dignity and value of the human person, a dialogue rooted in the sincere search for truth (and) for friendship that is not an end in itself, but is capable of developing the talents of each person to put them at the service of the human community." The pontifical council, he said, is called to study the new media culture and offer Catholics ethical guidance so that they recognize the importance of the communications media and use it effectively to spread the Gospel. (CNS)

Caritas says climate change will drastically increase world hunger
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 5, 2009─Caritas Internationalis and other humanitarian organizations want world leaders to know that without bold action, global warming will have a disastrous effect on the world’s poor and hungry. Climate change is already undermining efforts to help the more than 1 billion people now suffering from lack of food, and without drastic measures to limit its effects, “the risk of hunger and malnutrition could increase by an unprecedented scale within the next decades,” according to a Nov. 4 press release from Caritas Internationalis. Caritas, the umbrella organization for 164 Catholic charities, said it has signed a joint statement addressed to environmental ministers and other officials who will participate in the U.N. Summit for Climate Change Dec. 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The message includes both dire warnings and practical suggestions for action. The U.N. World Food Program and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross, Oxfam, World Vision and Save the Children are the other co-signers of the statement. In their message, the organizations stressed that it is the world’s most vulnerable people, especially children, who will suffer the most from the effects of catastrophic climate change. “Climate change will act as a multiplier of existing threats to food security,” the joint statement read. “It will make natural disasters more frequent and intense, land and water more scarce and difficult to access, and increases in productivity even harder to achieve.” “The implications for people who are poor and already food insecure and malnourished are immense,” the statement warned. For example, the statement said, temperatures could increase 2-3 degrees Celsius (3.6-5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in tropical and sub-tropical regions as early as 2020. This could cause a reduction in grassland productivity of 40 percent to 90 percent in arid and semi-arid regions and increase desertification in some areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the statement, the organizations advocated a plan of investment in the development of better and more sustainable food production systems, improved access to food and nutrition sources for populations at risk and enhanced social protection for the poor who cannot afford to feed themselves adequately. Managing weather-related disasters, which typically affect underdeveloped countries most dramatically, is another priority if catastrophe is to be averted, the statement said. The number of people affected by such disasters has more than tripled since the 1990s, the statement said. Climate change has been leading increasingly toward weather extremes marked by more storms, droughts and higher temperatures. In 2007 alone, more than 74 million people were victims of humanitarian crises originating from natural disasters, the statement said. About 40 representatives from Caritas are expected to attend the summit. (CNS) starts 90 days before the May 10, 2010 elections, or on February 10, 2010. For local positions, the campaign period begins 45 days before the polls. The EcoWaste Coalition is a band of over 85 non-governmental groups that seeks to promote green electoral reforms, to prevent and reduce poll campaign waste and pollution. (CBCPNews)

Official: Catholics need new perspective on migrants
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 3, 2009─Globalization is not just about economics; it is also about the human person, and thus challenges us to a "radical change in perspective," says one Vatican official. Archbishop Antonio Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, spoke of this challenge today when he announced the upcoming conference hosted by this dicastery. The archbishop said the risk today is for the discussion on globalization to be seen "almost exclusively with reference to the economic-financial sphere, characterized by the amount of international aid and the degree of trade liberalization." “But," he said, "we know, as Christians, that life's core is fundamentally spiritual and that the challenge is how to promote and safeguard every human person, preferring the most vulnerable, precisely people like, among others, migrants and refugees." The pontifical council conference will be the sixth of its kind. It is scheduled for next Monday through Thursday, and will consider the theme: "A pastoral response to the phenomenon of migration in the era of globalization. Five years after the Instruction 'Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi.'" Archbishop Vegliò said the chal-

lenge in a globalized society is "to make a radical change in perspective, by making a clear 'choice for the human person,' giving them back the place that God has assigned to them within the one family of peoples, 'image and likeness' of the Creator." Welcome The Vatican official suggested that this perspective change is made concrete in relation to migrants in "the value of welcome." He said this value is carried out with respect for persons of different nationalities, ethnicities and religions, and "contributes to rendering visible the authentic physiognomy of the Church itself." "The Church," the archbishop affirmed, "is close to migrants, especially to the victims of human trafficking, to refugees, to asylum seekers, and to the people who suffer the tragedy of human mobility." This closeness translates into defending the cause of migrants, he added, "also through a collaboration in promoting adequate laws, at the local and international levels, that favor proper integration." (Zenit)

© Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

Green group chides politicians for early campaign
QUEZON CITY, Nov. 6, 2009—An environmental advocate rebukes political wannabes for spending millions of pesos on propaganda materials saying the money could have been put to good use by helping families in dire need of assistance. Romy Hidalgo,Vice-President of the EcoWaste Coalition expressed disappointment on the insensitivity of politicians for splurging on propaganda materials at a time when many people are suffering due to recent calamities. “Why waste so much resources for blatant premature campaigning when we know that thousands of poor families are in dire need of assistance after a string of devastating storms?,” asked Hidalgo. He said politicians should be aware “that not a few people are unhappy about the insensitive hanging of banners and placing of radio and TV ‘infomercials’ amid the agony that calamity survivors are going through.” Hidalgo’s group asked politicians and their supporters instead to help typhoon victims rebuild their lives by “helping affected families make both ends meet, reconstructing battered homes and restoring weather-damaged roads, bridges and schools.” “We are dismayed to see millions of pesos being spent by national and local candidates for costly, but hollow campaign materials that have only messed up our already chaotic streets,” lamented Hidalgo. The group is reacting to tarpaulin and cloth banners of various colors and sizes that have sprouted on the streets with faces of politicians emblazoned on them. Hidalgo also pointed out that the mindless hanging of banners and streamers along the streets contribute to the piling up of trash in an already polluted environment. He stressed that “premature campaigning not only violates the intent of the law, but also wastes financial and material resources that are better spent for activities that can alleviate the sufferings of disaster victims.” Funds for expensive banners and advertisements can also be diverted to enable communities set up their ecology centers or materials recovery facilities (MRFs) to help them safely manage their discards, Hidalgo said. Although the campaign period for those aspiring for political positions have yet to officially start, some politicians are apparently taking the oppor-

tunity to get media mileage this early. “Their non-filing of certificates of candidacy yet should not be used by aspiring government leaders to get around the law whose intent is to encourage a level playing field for all contenders,” Hidalgo observed. Sec. 80 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period.” The campaign period for those aspiring for national positions such as president, vice-president and senator

NGOs propose alternatives to Laiban Dam project RP Church seeks Japan, Iran bishops’
MANILA, Nov. 5, 2009─Nongovernment organizations have banded together calling on government and the public to oppose the implementation of Laiban project. The Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) and the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has stressed that there are possible alternatives than to continue the Laiban Dam project. “One of the most viable alternatives is to restore denuded forests in Angat, Ipo and La Mesa watersheds,” the group said. They also emphasized that the government should strengthen the anti-logging campaign and restore existing watershed like the Wawa Watershed to enhance water flow. Reduction of the water demand and improvement of the efficiency of the Manila Water and Maynilad through minimizing the non-revenue water levels is another “simple and economical option” which the group has presented. “These non-revenue water levels only translate to water wastage” they said. In a recent report, Bro. Martin Francisco, BSMP, Chairman of Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc. (SSMEI), said that proper care and protection to the environment is the only solution to attain a sufficient water supply and not putting up additional dams. “Instead of building another dam, the viable solution is effective forest protection or forest conservation,” he said SSMESI is an environmental non-government organization that protects and preserves the environment particularly the Sierra Madre corridors that supplies 97% of water to Metro Manila, Bulacan and Pampanga through its four critical watersheds. The group then said that the consumers of Metro Manila would bear the burden of the costs for the said project. “The hefty price tag of $1B is also expected to hike up to almost $2B due to delays and huge cost over-runs, which are typical of large dam construction,” they said. Meanwhile, the group conducted a protest march yesterday, November 4, to gather support from “policy makers” and the public against the implementation of the Laiban Dam project. The nine-day protest march, which started at General Nakar in Quezon, is participated by the indigenous peoples, farmers, women rural workers, youth and religious groups. This march will culminate on November 12 at the Malacañang Palace in Manila. The group also asked for the immediate rejection of all the government plans on “monstrous dams” construction since these has been proven to be devastating to the communities most especially to the environment. (Kate Laceda)

help in aerial spray battle
MANILA, Oct. 30, 2009— Bishops from the Philippines are seeking assistance from their fellow prelates in Japan and Iran in their battle against aerial spraying in banana plantations in Mindanao. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said they are bringing up the matter to the church leaders there where the banana products are being exported from Davao province. He said they are planning to write a letter to the bishops in Japan and Iran to bring to their attention the negative impact of aerial spraying to the health of the people in Mindanao. “This is just to inform them that the fruits being exported to them used aerial spraying to the detriment of the people,” Pabillo said. Pabillo chairs the Episcopal Commission on Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

© www.answers.com

The Catholic leadership has been supporting the farmers belonging to the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS) calling for a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations. “It’s an immoral practice that infringes upon human health and dignity,” the bishops said in their Oct. 26 letter to Stephen Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA). “Your heeding of our appeal will stop us from bringing to the attention of your international market the concerns of the poor farmers who have been victimized by your aerial spraying activities,” the letter read. Aside from Pabillo, other signatories of the letter include Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez and Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez.

Pabillo earlier said they are also seeking a dialogue with President Arroyo to express their concerns on the issue. He said all they want is to bring to Mrs. Arroyo’s attention negative and concrete cases related to aerial dust cropping. “Environmental protection is a right, not a privilege reserved for the few who can fend off protests or shun accountabilities. If there is doubt as to the effect of the spray, the government must resolve the problem in favor of the people, rather than the growers,” he said. "It is better to sacrifice profit than the health of the people and the environment,” added Pabillo. Representatives of MAAS are currently here in Manila to ask Malacañang to issue an executive order banning the use of aerial spraying. Maas is primarily made up of residents around agricultural plantations who are protesting the chemical drifts in their environment. (Roy Lagarde)



CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

The pope and the youth in the digital world
THE 26 years of petrine ministry of the late Pope John Paul II is crowded with monumental deeds of both ecclesiastical and social imports. The universal catechism, the new code of canon law and his intervention in the final collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, are just a few of his colossal legacies to humanity. Disputable as it may seem, but the most impact-making of the late Pope’s initiatives was the institutionalization of the World Youth Day in 1986. If only to prove this point, nobody has yet seen people, whether young or old, getting converted, or at least recovering the sense of the sacred, while browsing the new code of canon law or the universal catechism. On the other hand, the world sees millions of young people recovering something every time there is a world gathering of the youth. The Luneta in Manila is a mute witness to conversions among the youth in 1995 numbering about 6 or so millions that earned the moniker “an excess of success.” The latest gathering in Australia the other year is a relative case in point, which until now still lingers even in the mind of onlookers. At the onset of his pontificate, John Paul II was already very passionate about young people: “Do not be afraid! Open, indeed, open wide the doors to Christ! Open to his saving power…do not be afraid.” Repeatedly in succeeding documents he would declare his conviction that “the future belongs to the youth.” The 5th Asian Youth Day, which is going to be celebrated in the Philippines in a couple of days, is an offshoot of this conviction. It is happy to note that Episcopal Conferences of Asia, as maybe in other continents, have taken serious steps in upbeating the youth apostolate. The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, for instance, has conducted of late a survey which reveals disquieting findings prevalent among Asian Youth which, understandably, is weighed down by the plurality of cross-cultural determinants. But perhaps nothing is as avant-garde as the initiative of the chair of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Most Rev. Joel Baylon. For a year now, he has been belaboring a brain child that he intends to deploy as “online missionaries”. In a collaborative effort with the CBCP Media Office, Baylon has organized a group of young people whose culture is very much intertwined with the digital world—they move and breathe according to the number of online applications or platforms and the size of available broadband. Youth Pinoy is the group’s name. And “Winning the World through the Word” is their campaign that easily goes comfortably with the World Wide Web in www.youthpinoy.com. Whether these online missionaries will matter or not is not exactly the issue. What is of consequence is that they know where to relate with their own kind.

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
THIS is certainly not about the common saying or the forlorn joke even that something that looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck is a duck plain and simple. Instead, this is specifically about a lame leadership, a sorry authority position, a tenuous tenure of power. The figure is then likened to a “lame duck”—a disabled leader trying hard to appear in command, and over-acting as if the same were not disabled. But to no avail, irrespective of whether the fact limping image of supreme might and dominant influence knows/admits the lackluster actuality or not, the truth nevertheless remains that the same is a lame duck—notwithstanding all posturing and appearance to the contrary. Thus it is that a lame duck leader—particularly in the highest level of a government hierarchy—approves this and that, but a mere approval it basically remains. The same may order one thing to be done or direct another to be undone. Yet, simply but a token observance by the leader’s underlings is done—if any at all. This is especially true when the leader concerned is not simply undermined by the short and ever shortening tenure of office in the course of time, but also buried in the quagmire of corruption, deception and misrepresentation of historical proportion. No wonder then that as the ominous day in May 2010 infallibly comes nearer every hour of the day and every day of the week, the same leader cannot but be expected to do the main following

Lame duck
predictable agenda: Assign executive offices to whoever are willing and available as their previous holders jump the ship one after another. Acquiescence to visionary plans, impulsive programs and quixotic projects in the vain attempt to make up for previous big executive failures, with the futile design even to leave some kind of a vain and futile legacy. Meantime, it is definitely nothing but the money of people that is fooled around with, spent and wasted. It is also surely nobody else but the people again who are left holding an empty bag. And it is certainly nothing else than the country that is more underdeveloped than some nine years ago. With the laming of the duck, it is only in the world of fantasy—if not in the realm of miracles which are rather illusive and wherefore rare—that better things for the people and the country can be realistically expected. Both leadership radiant successes and dismal failures offer really good and relevant lessons to all those now decidedly vying for leadership position in government—especially that exercised from Malacañang. Those who in their solitary times, sober moments and specially so during occasions for quiet praying, harbor honest doubts about their integrity, competence and character for good and effective leadership, will in fact stand taller before God and the people in the event that on their own, they withdraw from the electoral contest.

Global Warming and Climate Change
THE sea level rise due to the increase in temperature is projected to adversely affect 16 regions in the Philippines, 20 provinces and more than 700 municipalities. Climate change has increased the number of stronger storms and typhoons that hit the country every year. Each typhoon that hits our land reminds us of our balding forests. With every landslide, we are reminded of the vulnerability of man against the dynamics of nature. The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals that Manila, Cebu and Davao will be of great risk. Nature constantly reminds us that it is not only the illegal acts committed by some that simultaneously burn and freeze our home; our daily habits and our choices contribute greatly to this tragedy. Our continuing dependence on fossil fuel and the government’s subsidy on diesel, the use of coal as an alternative despite clear evidence of its highly polluting nature are the collective factors that contribute to the changing climate and weather patterns. We must take advantage of the gifts of nature which offers healthier and less destructive options such as wind and solar energies, water and geothermal resources. The challenge to preserve our beautiful land may be difficult but not impossible. We recommend that dioceses, parishes and other institutions especially the government would foster education on the protection of nature. We encourage every citizen to eliminate wasteful consumption. We pray that the government, in making economic and political decisions, would always consider that true stewardship does not mean economic gains for the powerful few. True stewardship is the constant and continuing work for the benefit of all. No material gain can equate the value of life. Every Filipino depends on the environment. Because of the threats against these fragile resources, our lives and livelihood are likewise threatened. Our present and our future must not be made to depend on programs that offer short-term gains for a chosen few. Our responsibility to our mother nature is our responsibility to ourselves. We call on all stakeholders, the government and its implementing arms to contribute in good will, so that in a responsible and humane manner we can reflect that human life does not have a price. We end this Pastoral Letter with the words we used 20 years ago: “There is an urgency about this issue which calls for widespread education and immediate action. We are convinced that the challenge we have tried to highlight here is similar to the one which Moses put before the people of Israel, before they entered their promised land. ” – Upholding the Sanctity of Life, 2008

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

More on Pondo ng Pinoy
“LET us give thanks to God for inspiring us to love Him and for sharing our compassion with those who are weak and poor. Let us thank God for giving us a new way of depicting love for God and neighbor in the ways of Pondo ng Pinoy”—words of His Eminence Cardinal Rosales in one of the anniversaries of Pondo ng Pinoy, now going on its sixth year. Although I have been involved in serving our poor brothers and sisters in various ways as a Good Shepherd Sister, my involvement in Pondo ng Pinoy as Board Member and Project Screening Committee head has truly been inspiring and fulfilling. It took a while for me, as well as the other Board Members and staff, to grasp the vision of His Eminence. At first, we thought it was just another fund-raising concept, another organization in the Church that would compete with the many fund-raising activities in the parishes. (And I think some parish priests still think this is the case, that is why a 100 percent cooperation has not been obtained these past years). But the Cardinal kept expounding on the scripture texts that he based his vision on, and had Bishop Chito Tagle and Msgr. Gerry Santos put into writing the theology of the “Crumbs”, so that reflection papers and manuals have been produced and distributed to schools and parishes. Inspired by the parable of Lazarus who only asked for crumbs that would fall from the Rich man’s table, “crumbs” refer to the small good deeds done daily and symbolized with the twenty-five centavo coin to be dropped in one’s personal container every day. This way, evangelization and the spirituality of forming a habit into virtue, then into good character can be done by anyone, rich or poor. And the contribution of a coin daily can be given not only by those who have means but by the poor as well. Do you know that the total of twenty-five centavos dropped everyday for a month is only P7.50! And you do not even have to wait for your bottle or can to be full. Just bring it to your parish church every last Sunday of the month (“Pondong Pinoy Sunday”) properly labeled so it does not get mixed up with the usual Mass collection. The parish coordinator will then deposit it to the designated banks or forward it to the Diocesan Chancery, then all will be forwarded to our head office at Pius Center, UN Ave, Manila. Why am I writing an article again on Pondo ng Pinoy and describing in detail the process? Because collections in some dioceses have gone down almost 50 percent this year as compared to the former years. If the cash contributions are getting less, does this mean then that people are forgetting to do their daily small acts of goodness? Wasn’t the recent calamities of so many reaching out to those who suffered through the floods, while the victims themselves offering their sufferings in patience and hope the very substance of their “crumbs”? Less collection also means less funds for the projects for the poor. And while Pondo

Love Life
ng Pinoy does not fund relief missions, there are so many development projects that can be organized precisely in those devastated areas, if only more people would volunteer and give their talents to reach out to our people. I congratulate the many Diocesan Pondo ng Pinoy Desk Coordinators who have submitted projects and continue to implement them such as the micro-financing projects among street vendors, buying and selling dried fish, rags-making and sari-sari stores. It is good to know that the older children who were sent to vocational courses are gainfully employed and helping in the family income. We have also visited the hog-raising and goat-raising projects in Antipolo as well as the shrimp farms in Cavite. Among the health projects are the Botika sa Bayan in some parishes, the community-based programs in depressed areas, Responsible Parenthood and Natural Family Planning Program in Tondo, and of course the Hapag-asa Feeding Program that has improved the status of over 500,000 severely malnourished children. Special projects include the electrification of a whole town in Kalinga, artesian wells in Palawan, and the upgrading of the water system in Macalelon, Quezon Province. Over P100M have been released to over a hundred projects these past five years, besides the millions more spent in the HapagAsa Feeding Program. Do your share in Pondo ng Pinoy. Let us truly be a Church for the Poor!

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Fr. Melvin P. Castro
Pedro C. Quitorio

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Kris P. Bayos
Feature Editor

Speaking of Mary
WE had the privilege of undertaking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 09 to 20 October 2009. It was unexpectedly very hot weather, and it was just an approximation of what summer heat is. We started our pilgrimage first to the land of exile of the Holy Family, Egypt. In Cairo, we were able to go to the more famous pyramids and the Sphinx. These were wonders to behold, man-made and were magnificent. Paradox that we were told by our Egyptian guide who informed us that once a Pharaoh assumed the throne, he was already preparing his grave and this was the pyramid. And their belief all the images that were included in the tomb would come alive in the next life. And hence, statues of the favorite things the Pharaoh wanted were included, and of course, there were statues of slaves so that in the after-life, the Pharaoh would still have slaves serving him. It was very interesting; they went out of their way and took pains to prepare for the after-life, at least, in the manner they

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The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612. ISSN 1908-2940

thought it best to prepare. Our Egyptian guide also commented how Egypt is so rich with natural resources but that only 25 percent of the population benefit from the 75 percent of the resources while 75 percent of the population benefit from the mere 25 percent of the resources. Sounds too familiar, isn’t it? And guess, what is the proposed solution of the government to this misdistribution of wealth? Curb the population. Now that’s very familiar! One evening which was a Saturday, we had our dinner cruise along the Nile River. As our guide pointed out, it was not the cruise that was the highlight but was the Nile River itself. That Egypt and surrounding areas survive and even flourish only because of the Nile River. The next morning we proceeded to Mt. Sinai. No we didn’t dare
Mary / A6

Retracing the footsteps of Christ (Part 1)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

Nicolo F. Bernardo

Lifeguard Where is God?
AT the 300th anniversary of Bicolandia’s Lady of Penafrancia last September, GMA 7 reported a scuffle in one of the processions which resulted in injuries. Some devotees, in the hope of receiving a miracle of their life, assaulted those in the way—religious and laity alike—just to touch the miraculous image of the Virgin. But what happened may not really be an isolated case. A similar scenario unfortunately occurs at times during the Feast of the Black Nazarene. Do or die, touching the image has been the goal of some, whether this would mean stepping into another’s body. What makes such feasts almost exclusive to males is that only the hulks could probably stand the violence, heat, and indifference that could arise. The sick, the elderly, the women and children, the weaklings, those who perhaps need the most prayers, stand no chance. Never mind the people, never mind the prayers or Masses going on, just mind your goalee. The efforts of church authorities and the police to abate these instances in recent years are commendable. I have known devotees of the Black Nazarene who have qualms joining certain observances that sometimes approximate idolatry and hysteria. Call it “folk Catholicism.” The probable root cause is the belief that God or the saints are ONLY or MOST LIKELY somewhere—an image? A shrine? A relic or medal?—or ONLY or MOST LIKELY sometime—Sundays? Christmas? Holy Week? So that anything else, or anyone else, or any other time, is dispensable. That you can be vicious the whole year but repent on the feast of the Black Nazarene. That perhaps it is preferable to be charitable to an image, believed by some Catholics to be “possessed” by the saints, than to one’s neighbor. In Christian theology, God is spoken, by virtue of being the Ultimate Being, as having both “emmanence” (anywhere, anytime where being is, except of course in its absence or negation [evil]), and also “immanence” (particularly into something, such as in the Holy Eucharist). There are different degrees of being and different manners of God manifesting His presence. In folk Catholicism though, it seems that immanence by localization/fixation of God on one place, or at one time, prevails so that the deity is limited to a thing. God or the saints are like movables. They are anting-anting. The real Catholic faith teaches us that religious medals, relics and scapulars are blessed. Like the pictures of our loved ones, they evoke representations of an unseen reality. In the Scriptures, God ordered Moses to craft images of the cherubims for the Ark of the Covenant. But then, the purpose of these sacramentals is to sense God right here, right now; not to limit His presence. Not that God is someone whose presence one can leave or ignore when not beholding religious representations. Particularly, it is man himself who alone has been dignified as being made “in His image and likeness.” Man is the “temple of the Holy Spirit” that the angels of God serve him. If only the Virgin of Penafrancia or the Black Nazarene could speak during the rubble, perhaps they would say: better reach a hand to your neighbor in need. They are the image of God. In the faith too, we are taught that the Second Person of the Trinity is personally and really present in the Eucharist. But this do not mean we must fixate God on “something,” because at the same time, the faith teaches us that the Third Person of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit—blows as It wills. He is just as much personally present in a human being in a state of grace. “The wind blows where it wills,” says Jesus, “but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes, so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8). Corollary to this, the greatest commandment of Jesus was not just “love a religious image,” “love this shrine,” or “love my feasts.” But rather, “love God above all things and love your neighbor as I have loved you.” In the context that we are children of God, Jesus even went on to say, ‘”Is it not written in your law, ‘You are gods?’” (Jn 10:34) Such teaching reminds us of the story of Elisha who was searching for God in places. He looked for Him in the mountains but He was not there. In the earthquake, but He was not there. In the wind, but He was not there. In the fire, but He was not there. Rather, it was God who found Elisha and spoke to him in his very being, in a “tiny whispering sound” (1 Kgs19:12). Elisha’s search contraposes that of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He once went around the streets with a lampstand asking people, “Where is God? Where is God?” And the philosopher answered, “God is dead! We have killed him.” Nietzsche’s question and answer was intended to be a ruse. It was suppose to be a critique of the “Christian West” that had colonized and burdened people like hell as if God is lost. One who really believes in God knows He could not be found somewhere, because He is everywhere. Thus one who believes in God in the Eucharist, yet behaves as if His Spirit is not in his neighbor, in his people, denies God at the same time. The difference between an atheist and a folk Christian is just a prefix: the former thinks God is no-where, the latter thinks he is just some-where. God is watching us out there, as a song goes, but “from a distance.” It is a qualified presence. Such fixation ignores the faith on a God who creates and sustains everything and who sanctifies time. Everywhere around us, and every time, can be a medium of His grace, a reflection of the dynamism of this Higher Intelligence guiding everything. Fixating God is fatalism not faith. It only leads to uncertainty. A dysfunctional Catholic finds himself troubled and unable to function his faith, not even function his humanity, once stripped of his religious objects. Without his religious fixations, or when outside the chapel or the church, he doubts himself and God’s loving and constant watch. What follows is further fixation—fanaticism and fundamentalism—which can be very tempting because they make religion simplistic. You can be as you are, hate your neighbor, damn the world, so long as you observe your religious rituals. When we look at the lives of the saints, we will realize that what sanctified their lives is their faith on a God who indwells in His people, diversely, indiscriminately, even with the poorest of the poor (Blessed Mother Teresa). A God among His creatures, even with the birds and the beasts (St. Francis of Assisi). A God who is in one’s own body (St. Paul). With such real faith, the world is suddenly majestic, exciting, and mysterious. People are suddenly interesting! God is suddenly so near with His infinite presence.

Rev. Euly B. Belizar, SThD

By the Roadside
THERE is an armless Christ on a crucifix hanging on the wall facing my room. It’s been there for a long time now. The sacristan told me it was taken off the Catholic cemetery chapel’s altar after the crucifix fell on the floor, an incident that broke the right arm of the Christ image. Till now nobody can tell me where the missing arm is. And, as I pondered all kinds of stories about the missing parts of the Christ image in other places and times, including the rather expected but now-worn-out exhortatory insight that has been the stuff of homilies, talks, PTA or graduation addresses etc. (“We are the arms, the hands, the feet etc. of Christ”), I wondered if and how I could find ways to have the arm restored and the whole image repaired. Then it struck me. The armless Christ speaks of who we are. We are mostly a povertystricken people who often feel powerless (yes, armless) not only over the forces of nature exacerbated by global warming, such as typhoons, torrential and flood-causing rains, earthquakes etc. but also even over our seeming inability to find solutions to problems, like bad governance, corruption and a tainted culture which feeds it. For instance, in my home province of Eastern Samar we have been badgering our leaders to have our roads repaired only to find piecemeal responses (only selected stretches are repaired), following standards that even simple common sense sees as way below par (how about new asphalted roads that already have craters or those that feel like you are sailing over a rough sea?). And, lest I be accused of being too parochial, how about a fundamentally sound economy that little translates into good economic conditions for the people? Or how about claims of our having democratic elections that,

Armless Christ
in reality, are not decided by the ballot and informed choice but by money, celebrity or personalized transactional politics? The armless Christ speaks of why we are where we are. The missing arm is what we do not extend to one another. It sometimes takes powerful disasters to interrupt our bad habit. But most of the time Christ’s right arm is missing because ours is missed by others who need it. We are busy taking care of our families, our hometowns, our province, our region. We forget about nation and country. We are active parts busy ignoring the whole. It could be argued that we are an archipelago geographically, politically, psychologically and, hence, culturally. Nonetheless, our present conditions only reinforce the truth that we can only sink unless we swim together. The armless Christ points to where our salvation lies. The right arm is missing. Mostly what is missing in the country—and the world, for that matter—is a ‘strong republic’ sense of what is right in our politics, economics and social relations. We have to begin restoring ourselves by being and doing right. Right is not decided by might, sight or fright. Right is decided by what is already inside our hearts, nay, in a special center called ‘conscience’. It is decided by what brings us closer to the One who speaks in it and towards the ones with whom He asks us to be one in faith, hope and, most of all, in caritas—yes in that love which Vatican II says we are called to be perfect in order to be holy. Now I see your eyes wide open as if to ask: “You’re saying all this just because you saw an armless Christ?” Maybe. But here’s one more. Our Christ has no right arm because it is out there busy saving people—not excluding ourselves.

Jose B. Lugay

System failure
THE aftermath of Typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Ramil caused the deaths of thousands of persons killed by landslides and drowning in swollen rivers. The release of water from the dams, admittedly a factor in the sudden flooding of the irrigated rice lands and the drowning of more persons instigated a Senate Hearing on Climate Change. What can the laity expect from government after this investigation? As we settle down after a harrowing experience, we take stock of what the country should do to prevent the same catastrophic event from ever occurring again. To improve our readiness for incoming disasters, let us review the government system for disaster mitigation—its ability to plan, to support the plan with manpower and financial resources and to implement timely action when disaster comes. We start by taking a look at a typical government organization like the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Its personnel are well trained but salaries are not commensurate to their technical and managerial capabilities so that they are prone to be pirated by our neighboring countries. Be that as it may, those who stay with PAGASA know that this country with an average of 20 typhoons pummeling this country yearly, need scientific instruments to detect and measure important variables in weather forecasting. Hence they requested for the purchase and establishment of the Doppler Weather Radar Network for Disaster Prevention in Metro Manila in 2004. The President herself gave the go signal and approved the financial support to prevent the recurrence of damage to property and death of thousands of victims caused by the typhoon in 2004. All of a sudden, after Ondoy poured rain in 9 hours what should normally pour in one month, people started asking where are the Doppler Radars that were approved for purchase by Malacañang? The National Disaster Coordinating Council was also surprised when informed that the Doppler Radars were not yet purchased in spite of its being approved many months before. The Commission on Audit to put it mildly stated that “Lack of coordination delayed weather project”. In short, there is a governmental system failure. These are the system steps of the purchasing process of any entity in government: 1. Identify the need, 2. Determine the type of equipment to satisfy the need, 3. Obtain approval for the purchase of the equipment from the head of agency during the preparation of the Annual Procurement Plan, 4. Estimate the funds required for the type of equipment specified, 5. Get approval for the budget allocated for the specific equipment, 6. Purchase the equipment following the procurement process according to R.A. 9184. In the COA report (published in Philippine Star, page 17, Oct. 29, 2009), the following information relating to the system stated above will give the reader a typical government transaction which is replicated in all the departments/sections of government at the National and Local Government levels. COA FINDINGS: • Estimated cost of equipment: P116,178,019; • Fund source: The government’s calamity fund; • Estimated time of completion: March, 2006;

Laiko Lampstand
• Request for purchase of 2 Doppler Radars by the Procurement Service (PS) – December 31, 2005; • PS took more than 31 months to tell PAGASA that it could not procure the • radars because of the problems of prequalification of the bidders; • The amount of P 105,500,000 was deposited to PS on Dec. 13, 2005 and was returned to PAGASA on August 21, 2008; • PAGASA eventually conducted a bidding and issued a notice of award on January 7, 2009; • COA discovered that the contract for the purchase of the radars was still not signed by the parties as of Feb. 27, 2009; • The draft of the contract provides that the delivery of the equipment is 18 months after the signing of the contract or August 2010; • COA also reported. “As of Dec. 31, 2008 the Subic radar building costing P864,999.46 was already completed, while construction of the radar building in Tagaytay City which is in three phases, with a total cost or P 9, 813,019.72 remained uncompleted. (The Doppler Radar has to be housed in this building, so even if it arrives on time, it can not be installed). Conclusion of COA—The 51 months delay is due to lack of careful planning and proper coordination among PAGASA officials. Sinong niloloko niyo? The failure of the system is caused by the desire of the implementors or their political superiors to make money out of this procurement. This is a case where the Advocacy for Good Governance of LAIKO can be involved in preventing corruption—as Observers of the Procurement Process according to Republic Act 9184.

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL

Spaces of Hope
THE Feast of All Saints is celebrated to honor all the Christian saints, both known and unknown. In the Greek Orthodox Church the date is the Sunday after Pentecost while the Roman Catholic Church celebrates it November 1. This feast captures the original meaning of who are the saints as reflected in the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Romans: “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints…” For Paul all the baptized faithful are called to be saints or are already considered saints as he indicates at the start of his second letter to the Corinthians. It is a welcome fact then that in the Philippines November 1 is when families gather together to remember and pray for their dead. After all, it is not only the canonized saints who are in heaven. Yet for those who have remained faithful to the end, an even more hallow picture emerges with the sealing of the 144 thousand faithful (the number is meant to be symbolic) clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands; they have been washed by the blood of the lamb as the seventh chapter of the book of Revelation puts it. The picture is one of final victory for those who come out of the great tribulation by sharing in Christ’s Resurrection, and are now worshipping God unhindered. The book of Revelation was written during the empire-wide prosecution of Christians by Emperor Domitian, 81-96 A.D. It was written to affirm Christians in their faith. In contemporary Filipino society, the Feast of All Saints is now preceded by Halloween, the evening of October 31. Halloween caters to the lure of the fear factor; after all, do not human beings pay others to scare them out of their wits? Some people consider this fun and it is good for commerce. But is this all there is to it? Perhaps another way of evaluating Halloween is to contrast it with All Saints Day; is the consoling picture of the saints who lived the Beatitudes and who reign victorious with Christ compatible with the blood and gore of Halloween? Is this how we want the dead to be remembered? *** Jesus speaks authoritatively in the Beatitudes. He literally “opened his mouth and taught them” (Mat 5:2). He is a Moses figure but goes beyond this revered leader. In other parts of the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7) of which the Beatitudes are a part, he says he comes to fulfill the law (Mat 5: 17) and this fulfillment is his person: “You have heard the commandments…What I say to you is…” (vv. 21-22). Peacemaking is the focus of v. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” This is the only time the noun “peacemaker” appears in the NT. This peacemaking is neither pacifism nor indifference but a state of being that leads to positive

Saints as peacemakers
action that reconciles. Psalm 13:14 describes peaceful action: “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” James 3: 18 tells us that “the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” What sowing in peace means is indicated when he distinguishes between worldly and heavenly wisdom (vv. 13-17). A peacemaker also speaks out when the time is right: “He who winks at a fault causes trouble, but he who frankly reproves promotes peace” (Prov. 10:10). Finally, a peacemaker is one who is inserted into the original peacemaker, Jesus Christ: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col 1: 19-20). *** The bishops urge us to be peacemakers: Finally, we ask everyone to follow the path of peace. This means the path of dialogue and openness…the path of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation…Together let us intensify the signs of hope regarding politics and peace that we observe such as…military groups participating in formation towards a culture of peace; lay organizations, faith communities, BEC’s, and NGO’s spreading the good news of principled politics and organizing themselves to reform our political culture; politicians who pursue reform..(CBCP 12 July 2009 statement on Lay Participation in Politics and Peace) In the Archdiocese of Cebu, His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, reiterates this call to be peacemakers in the area of principled politics. He distinguished between two efforts, one ensuring honest and credible elections; another ensuring honest and credible candidates. He calls upon the lay faithful to a participative role in the elections that go beyond poll-watching. It is by the lay people’s “own coherent faith, moral firmness, educated judgment, professional competence and passion for service” that they will know “whom to vote for, and whom to reject.” Meanwhile a bottom-up mechanism to help form the practical consciences of voters is being adopted in Cebu and elsewhere. It opens the doors for answering these questions in a process that is deliberate, proactive, communal, and God-centered. Saints are called to be peacemakers. While relying on the prayers of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, we who are still engaged in the battle over hearts, minds, and souls, particularly in the area of evangelizing politics, are consoled that we shall be called children of God. frmelodiola@dilaab.net

Quote in the Act
“Let us remember that we are duty bound as Christians to value life more than economic gains.”
Manila’s Catholic Bishops, in a letter sent to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, asking her to issue an executive order permanently banning the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides on banana plantations.

“The festive celebrations do not deny that there are hardships. What these actually imply is that despite our people’s suffering, we still find reason to celebrate life because we believe that God is in our midst.”
Bishop Joel Baylon, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines; on the festive atmosphere that awaits Asian delegates to the 5th Asian Youth Day on Nov. 20-27, despite the recent calamities that hit the country that left thousands of families homeless.


Local News

CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Prelate: Gov’t has the duty to provide safe relocation areas for informal settlers
A CATHOLIC bishop has stressed the government’s duty to provide safe relocation areas for informal settlers displaced by floods triggered by typhoon Ondoy. Diocese of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco in a recent radio interview called on government officials to be “concerned with the plight of informal settlers.” The diocese is on the process of rehabilitation efforts. But the prelate lamented that the displaced families have nowhere to go. “I talked with a barangay captain recently and asked him if the local government already found a safer place for the informal settlers and he said there’s none,” Ongtioco said. He added one cannot just re- Bishop Honesto Ongtioco locate people to areas where there are no basic services and job opportunities.
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“[Otherwise] they will return to their previous barangays and take chances,” he said. The bishop explained the Catholic Church cannot buy big properties for informal settlers because it is the government’s duty to do so. It was earlier reported that some 20 parishes were affected by floods last September 26, 2009. Children affected by traumatic experiences due to the recent floods are undergoing stress debriefing and counseling. He said relief efforts were made easier because they have Basic Ecclesial Communities in the diocese who help in facilitating the relief work. The bishop also acknowledged the support of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Caritas Manila in their relief efforts. (Melo M. Acuna)

Bishop asks oil firms to be sensitive
BISHOP Deogracias Iñiguez of the Diocese of Kalookan has called on oil companies to be sensitive and think of the country’s many poor people. At these trying times, he said, it would be better for oil firms to consider the social welfare instead of making profit. “They (oil companies) should think of the welfare of the people now. They should look on how to help and not add burden,” said Bishop Iñiguez, who chairs the CBCP’s Committee on Public Affairs. The church official made the statement yesterday amid warning of oil industry’s threats of a supply shortage due to a Malacañang directive to bring down fuel prices. President Arroyo on Friday issued EO 839 directing oil companies to freeze oil prices of petroleum products to their Oct. 15 levels while the state of emergency over Luzon is still in effect. Bishop Iñiguez also called on the government to study the repealing of the Oil Deregulation Law, as pushed by militant groups. As of now, he also said it would be best to appeal to oil companies for them to strike a balance between making profit and being sensitive to the needs of the public. (CBCPNews) Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez
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dancing to let the 1,500 delegates experience the creative Filipino expression of the Catholic faith. To mark the formal opening of the AYD5 on November 23, Filipino and Asian youth delegates will converge at the Imus Pilot Elementary School and dance their way to the Imus Cathedral to the tune of Cavite's famed Caracol dance. Tirona, together with Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon, Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, and several other Asian bishops, will concelebrate the 4 p.m. solemn High Mass to welcome some 890 local and 597 foreign AYD5 delegates. The festive and creative opening activity alone, according to Baylon, hopes to invigorate the delegates' enthusiasm in playing a part in the Church's mission of evangelization. "Festive dancing and singing during fiesta are what we Filipinos are known for. This typical expression of faith is something unique that we can offer our delegates," said Baylon, who is also the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Baylon, however, clarified that the fiesta mood of the AYD5 is not meant to imply that the youth gathering is only about merrymaking. "The festive celebrations do not deny that there are hardships. What it actually implies is that despite our people's suffering, we still find reason to celebrate life because we believe that God is in our midst," he said. Divine-willed Baylon even described as “God’s will” the devastating situation that the country has underwent after typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” wreak havoc in cities and provinces of Central and Northern Luzon last month. Despite enduring the devastating damage brought by the typhoons, the host families, who have fallen victims to the typhoons’ unprecedented flooding, still insisted in accommodating the AYD5 delegates during their “Days in the Diocese” from November 20 to 23. It was reported that Pasig, Marikina, Rizal and Antipolo are among the worst-hit cities ravaged by the consecutive typhoons that hit Central and Northern Luzon. Eight other dioceses near Imus, Cavite have pledged to provide accommodation to the delegates way before the typhoons hit the country. Although it will be inconvenient for the delegates to be hosted by families who need hosts themselves, Baylon said it is a blessing for the AYD5 participants to experience the real lesson of the calamity. “I think it is Divine-willed

that the delegates will have a taste of what poverty and suffering mean. Hopefully, their days in the diocese will make them realize that in the midst of poverty, the Church is alive because the faith and hope of the people remain unwavering,” he said. Aside from the host families, the youth volunteers who rendered service, time and effort for the AYD5 preparations have earned the respect and appreciation of the FABC, ECY, and the Youth Ministry Office of the Diocese of Imus. Baylon was particularly overwhelmed by the surge of volunteerism shown by youth ministers, students, teachers, families, and catechists nationwide who have offered their services for the event without cost. “Compared with our limited financial resources, we have more than enough manpower for the event. We even had to trim down the number of volunteers because a lot of people are more than willing to render service as unpaid helpers since they can no longer participate as delegates,” Baylon said. For those who have failed to join the official delegation of the 5th Asian Youth Day can still participate in the upcoming event— by praying for its success. “The celebration of AYD is not a celebration of the Diocese of Imus nor is it a celebration of the ECY. It is a celebration of the Church in the Philippines. This youth gathering is about experiencing the Church in our country. “What I ask of them is to consider this event as theirs too. I hope they can monitor the event through updates that we will send to the media. We will supply updates from Imus so we can update the world and the rest of the Philippine Church of what is happening during the AYD5,” he said. The prelate said that praying with the AYD participants in spirit is as good as participating in the AYD in person. “They may not be able to personally participate in the AYD but they can still partake in the celebration by being one of us in prayers and by extending any support they can lend, whether financial or moral. By doing so, they are already part of the AYD, much more its success,” Baylon added.

the spirit of good governance, it is not proper for the elected leaders to manufacture false information in order to get public funds,” Eyule said. The priest’s statement was contained in a letter sent to National Disaster Coordinating Council chairman Gilbert Teodoro last Oct. 5. He said even the provincial engineer at a meeting of the provincial disaster coordinating council admitted that the damage report included those that were not caused by Ondoy. Eyule said it’s clear that said government officials are after the hefty calamity funds which are needed by other areas hardly-hit by the storm. “We would like to protect the taxpayer’s money that will be at the mercy of the few people who showed much less credibility in the disposition of their power,” he said. “We are aware that there are other provinces and communities who are in dire need of the resources for them to recover from the havoc brought by typhoon Ondoy.” “Our stance is for a corrective measure if there are lapses in the process. But we strongly uphold the right of the people to information and for the taxpayer’s protection,” he added. (Roy Lagarde)
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The dam also sits on top of a major seismic fault line which could be dangerous in an earthquake of great magnitude. “What maybe perceived as common good of the present generation may turn out to be a cause of suffering of the next,” the bishops stated in their letter. “Even with the best intention of providing more water to the people can spark protests when it ignores and violates framework sustainable for development and violates ethical and legal procedures considerations,” they added. The project ran contrary to existing laws such as Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System, the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (NIPAS), the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (Wildlife Protection Act), E.O. 33, and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). The government wanted to revive the Laiban Dam in view of an alleged impending water shortage that could hit Manila and environs in any eventuality. in a public report, both Maynilad and Manila Water declared that their respective systems losses of 69% and 20% were mainly due to leakage problem, thus disproving the water shortage claim. The bishops argued that instead of pushing with the project the government should consider rehabilitating the Wawa Dam which has supplied Metro Manila with water for 60 years. “With a watershed area of 27,980 hectares, it is capable of continuously discharging millions of liters of fresh water daily,” they said.
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For their part, the public and various organizations, together with the Catholic Church have taken up the cause, eyeing the move of government with suspicion. A group of indigenous peoples, farmers, women rural workers, youth and religious groups are currently on a 148-km protest march from Gen. Nakar to Manila. The walk which began Nov. 4, and ends on Nov. 12 will stop at Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS) and finally at Malacañang to urge government to stop the project. The construction of the dam is a joint project of MWSS and San Miguel Corporation (SMC). “In these trying times when uniting the people is more urgent any project that can be a cause of suspicion and division should be avoided,” said the bishops. The prelates further urged the government and its agencies to focus and bring solutions on issues like “leakage problems of Maynilad and Manila Water; declaring Marikina Watershed Reservation as Protected Area under the NIPAS Law; and expediting reforestation efforts in Marikina watershed to increase water capacity, provide carbon sink and mitigate impacts of global warming and climate change.” The MWSS must also pursue its primary mandate of serving the people, putting above all the common good while working closely with environmental groups, LGUs, NGOs and POs for the sustainable development of the people, the bishops said. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP) the Archangel Gabriel greeted Our Lady and announced to Mary her particular and singular vocation to be the Mother of God. The Ave Maria was translated into many languages, including Tagalog, and was displayed around the Basilica. It was, as in any sacred place, a touching moment, realizing that there, Verbum caro factum est, the Word was made flesh. We also visited a church marking the traditional spot where the house of St. Joseph was. There we prayed that we may encounter Christ in the fulfillment of the ordinary duties of life. After lunch we proceeded to Cana, there we celebrated Holy Mass and where five couples of our group renewed their wedding vows. After the Holy Mass, I asked a religious nun who happens to be a Filipina if she was familiar with the

As citizen’s arm, the PPCRV will assist the poll body in voters’ education on poll automation and poll watching for next year’s elections aside from poll watching in each voting precinct. The poll watchdog will also receive a soft copy of the computerized voters’ list (CVL) as well as the 4th copy of the election returns (ER), both soft and hard copies. The PPCRV will also be given the chance to test the equipment to be used in the holding of the elections on May 10 before precincts open. Signing the resolution were Comelec chairman Jose Melo and Commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Nicodemo Ferrer, Elias Yusoph, Gregorio Larrazabal, Lucenito Tagle and Armando Velasco. PPCRV was also accredited as Comelec’s citizens’ arm during the 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007 National and Local Elections. For the coming elections, the PPCRV eyes to recruit at least 400, 000 volunteers—the average turnout that they have for national polls. PPCRV was formed in October 1991 as a program of the archdiocese of Manila in preparation for the 1992 elections, the first elections that it performed poll watching duties. (CBCPNews)
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© www.asianyouthday2009.com

his or her faith as well as to practice it," says the CFM statement, signed by its chairman, Bishop Ng Moon Hing. The bishop is head of the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia. Most of the seized bibles are destined for the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, where Malay is the most widely used language. The CFM, based in Petaling Jaya, just outside Kuala Lumpur, represents the Catholic Church, the Council of Churches of Malaysia, and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia. It demands the authorities "resolve this matter promptly and release these bibles for the use of Christians without further delay or excuse." The CFM also raised the ban issue at an Oct. 29 meeting with the Sabah Council of Churches in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the easternmost state. The seizures have added to fears among minority groups that Islamic fundamentalism is gaining a grip in the predominantly Muslim but multi-racial country. There are around 2 million Christians ─ 9 percent of the population ─ in Malaysia. Around a third of them live in Sabah, another third in Sarawak and another third in peninsular Malaysia. (UCAN) where the Lord multiplied the loaves of bread and the fishes. Then, we visited the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy, the traditional site of the third appearance of the Lord after the Resurrection. It was here where the Lord asked Peter the triple question of Do you love me? And Peter responded thrice in the affirmative. Contrast that to his triple denial of Christ during his Agony and Passion. There it was also recognized the Primacy of Peter among the Apostles. Later on the day we visited Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration of the Lord. We cannot but help feel how Peter, James, and John must have felt when the Lord was glorified right before their very eyes. And before the evening set in, we found ourselves in the boat over the Sea of Galilee… (to be continued)

to hike the Mountain, it is supposed to be an arduous four-hour early morning trek, as in early morning, 2:00 am. Well, our group opted to sleep further and to celebrate Mass in the morning. We then proceeded to St. Catherine of Alexandria Monastery which is at the foot of Mt. Sinai. There, with the usual dry hot weather, we walked a short distance towards the Monastery. No there were no more monks. There is an Orthodox Church instead. Inside the compound is the fire bush, the burning bush through which the Lord spoke to Moses. Yes, it’s still an alive bush. And Filipinos as we are, some of us tried to have some souvenirs from the fire bush and ended up with wounded fingers, it was so full of thorns. Probably that was why Moses dared not go near it. Our group found a silent corner near the fire bush despite the multitude crowd, we

prayed and sung a song, O Lord, You are near. (Just one remark, per Vatican instruction, we avoided mentioning the revealed name of God and substituted it with the title Lord.) It was such an experience knowing that in very place, the Lord God revealed His Name to Moses and there instructed him to be His instrument to set His people free. From Mt. Sinai, we travelled by bus towards Israel, a seven-hour drive, and we took the opportunity to watch the classic film, The Ten Commandments. Our first stop in Israel was the Dead Sea. We arrived early evening. Most still took advantage to dip their feet at the Dead Sea. Well, I took the advantage to sleep longer (ehem…). Next morning, the 13th of October, we proceeded to Nazareth. We first visited the house of Our Lady where

statue of Our Lady, Mary, Mediatrix of All-Grace, which was given there some months ago, and she said yes. She ushered the entire group into their convent, and inside their chapel is the statue of Mary, Mediatrix of AllGrace. The group was so surprised since earlier on I was telling them of the story of Lipa Carmel. They promised to help me promote the cause of Our Lady and also the Confraternity of Mary, Mediatrix of All-Grace. Then on we went to the Tiberias region. Our first stop that morning was the celebration of the Holy Mass at Capernaum, the place where Jesus called His first apostles among the humble local fishermen. Here in this area, Our Lord taught at the Synagogue. On we went to visit Mount of Beatitudes where the Lord preached His Sermon. We also visited Tabgha

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

Diocesan News


Farmers hail Catholic bishops for support to ban aerial spray

DAVAO CITY— Farmers belonging in Davao province lauded Catholic bishops in Manila for joining in their call against banana companies to stop aerial spraying. Bishops led by Cardinal Rosales earlier appealed to the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association to stop aerial spraying in their plantations since it is an “immoral practice that infringes upon human health and dignity.” (Mark S.Ventura)
Bishop urges faithful to read the Bible

Pope honors church, lay leaders in Davao
DAVAO CITY— Pope Benedict XVI conferred honorary titles and prestigious pontifical honor to seven Davao diocesan priests, 13 lay leaders and 1 missionary in recognition of their contribution to the growth, maturity and stability of the local Church of Davao. The 7 priests conferred with the honorary title of Papal Chaplains and addressed as monsignor are Fr. Leonardo Vicente, vicar general and parish priest of San Pablo Parish; Fr. Nelson Lucas, judicial vicar of the Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal; Fr. Maximo Sarno, vicar forane, diocesan finance committee member, parish priest of the Immaculate Conception parish in Peñaplata; Fr. Jaime Gamboa, secretary of the Archbishop and head of the Archdiocesan Secretariat, Fr. Edgar Labagala, staff member of the Clergy Assist Program of the CBCP Commission on Clergy, Fr. Abel Apigo, rector of the Saint Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary (REMASE) and chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage, and Fr. Julius Rodulfa, rector of the Saint Francis Xavier College Seminary and Archdiocesan Superintendent of Catholic schools. The 13 lay leaders who were conferred the prestigious pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice are Apolinar Bundalian of the Cursillo Movement; Rodulfo Tagle of the Serra Club International –Davao

LEGAZPI CITY— Legazpi Apostolic Administrator Lucilo Quiambao wants all the faithful to read the Bible every day, as he recently spoke about Bible illiteracy plaguing Catholics in areas even where Scriptures are of abundance. He said it is essential that the faithful have knowledge of the Bible. (Melo M. Acuna)
Need for values formation among barangay officials cited

CALAPAN CITY—A formation program on public service ethics and accountability is now being given to barangay officials of the city’s 62 barangays. The program was in response to Calapan Bishop Warlito Cajandig’s recommendation to involve barangay officials in programs geared toward good governance. “To aid and guide them in performing their duties and responsibilities, I am recommending the conduct of value formation for our barangay officials,” he said. (Fely Sevilla)
Caceres archdiocese sends help to typhoon victims

NAGA CITY—The Archdiocese of Caceres has initiated a donation campaign to help families displaced by typhoon Ondoy in Manila archdiocese. Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi issued an appeal to all parishes, Catholic schools, and religious organizations to help the typhoon victims. Around 43 parishes, 18 religious congregations, schools, other institutions responded to the call and generously sent in donations in cash and in kind. (CBCPNews)
Women religious against Aboitiz hydropower project

Villegas challenges flock to be ‘salt of society’
DAGUPAN CITY─ The newly-installed archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan said he came to the archdiocese neither as a liberator nor a tyrant but a servant like Jesus who called everyone to be “salt of the earth and light of the world.” Archbishop Socrates Villegas assured his flock of his fatherly love and concern even as he challenged everyone to truly live up the call to discipleship. “We who form the Catholic faithful of Lingayen-Dagupan, living in the province that is named after salt, must truly be salt for society and salt for the rest of the world,” said Villegas in his homily during his installation. Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas was installed as Lingayen-Dagupan’s fifth prelate in solemn rites at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral this morning. The prelate said everyone is ex- Archbishop Socrates Villegas pected to be sanctified and be members of doctrine but of common morality. “sanctifying community of disciples.” “The Church and her priests would be “We are a community, not an organiza- more credible prophets in society if the tion and none of us is master, all of us are stomach of the preacher would be as empty disciples,” he added. as his parishioners,” he said. The archbishop said integration of faith He then called on his priests to “preach the and life called not only for a shared common Gospel, and talk [only] if necessary”.

Chapter; Celestino S. Barreto of Archdiocesan Charismatic Renewal Movement; Jesus V. Quitain, member of the College Seminary Board of Director and Editorial writer of Davao Catholic Herald, Ernesto Evangelista, member of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Lay Associate of the Davao Priests Fraternity, Michael Manalaysay, chair of the Archdiocesan Coordinating Council for Lay and Integrated Movement (ACCLAIM) and Cipriano Genosas of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Center. The women lay leaders are Luzminda Llanillo of the Legion of Mary and ACCLAIM; Bernardita Asis of the Pope John XXIII Catechetical Center; Milagros Punzalan of the Archdiocesan Bible Apostolate; Maria Iris Milleza, president of the Holy Cross of Davao College and of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Pastoral Council; Aileen Lourdes Lizada, legal counsel of the Archdiocese and member of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Holy Cross Press Board of Directors, and Victoria E. Anghag, secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Office. The veteran missionary priest, canon lawyer, defender of the bond of Matrimonial Tribunal and member of the Archdiocesan Administrative Council is Fr. Patrice Picard, P.M.E (Mark S. Ventura)

DAVAO CITY— The Association of the Consecrated Women of Davao has now issued a unity statement expressing their strong opposition against the proposed Hedcor-Aboitiz hydropower project and calling for the protection of the integrity of the Tamugan-Panigan watershed. In a statement, the group said “the pending hydropower project of Hedcor-Aboitiz in the Tamugan-Panigan-Suawan Watershed poses overwhelming threats to the environment and its biodiversity as well as to the people’s rights to access the gifts and bounty of creation.” (Mark S. Ventura)
Public office is for lay people, not for priests: Archbishop

NAGA CITY— As the political cauldron simmers and calls for clergymen to seek elective posts build up, an acknowledged Canon law expert of the Catholic Church stepped in to explain specific canonical provisions for both the clergy and laity to understand. Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi said that “Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.” He said a priest does not get ordained for the purpose of entering into politics. (Jose Obias/Fr. Louie Occiano, CCCom.)
Bishop warns flock not to get blinded by money from mining

CALAPAN CITY—Bishop Warlito Cajandig has warned his flock not to be blinded by promises of mining firms because the damage mining would bring to the environment and the community would be much greater. Speaking at a multi-sectoral rally the prelate said the environment needs all the protection it could get considering the series of natural disasters that hit the country recently. (Felly Sevilla)
Dagupan shifts to rehab

“Pangasinan does not need teachers, Pangasinan needs witnesses,” he said, adding: “Fathers, give us Jesus, only Jesus, always Jesus.” The newly-installed prelate said there is a need for intensive evangelization. He noted that “evangelization by its nature is confrontational.” He said one cannot proclaim Jesus while tolerate corruption to happen either in public or in private. “We cannot be rightly called Christians and play games with evil,” he stressed. He also said that the work of evangelization can be unpleasant at times because “it can hurt both preacher and hearer.” “It can make the hearer take revenge on the preacher,” he explained. “[But] evangelization is the only way for the Church,” he added. Present during Villegas’ installation were Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo and 69 other archbishops and bishops. (Melo M. Acuna)
© Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

Bicol youth joins forums on political, social change
LEGAZPI CITY— At least 4,000 people participated in separate political forums on political and social change held in two Catholic schools in this city recently. During the forum, the youth shared their views on socio-political issues in the country and the importance of their participation in the electoral process. The first meeting was held at the Immaculate Conception College in the neighboring town of Daraga where students from Albay and Sorsogon provinces attended. Prominently featured in both assemblies were presidential aspirants Sen. Noynoy Aquino and reSpray ban / A1

DAGUPAN CITY— Nearly a month after Pepeng brought extensive destruction to Pangasinan, the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has shifted to rehabilitation. Social Action Director Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza said they hope to provide housing materials to the typhoon victims whose homes have been severely damaged by flooding. (Melo M. Acuna)
CBCP maintains it won’t endorse candidates

LIPA CITY—With six months to go before the presidential elections, the Roman Catholic Church maintained it will not engage in partisan politics. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles gave this statement to erase any perception that the church will be open in showing its support to any candidate. “I don’t think we will endorse any person but we will endorse what he stands for. We need their platforms of government,” he said. (CBCPNews)

ported senatorial aspirants former Bukidnon Congressman Nereus Acosta, Bukidnon Congressman Teofisto Guingona III, Muntinlupa Congressman Ruffy Biazon and Akbayan Party List Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros. Aquino and his group reiterated the fact that the youth could well indeed turn the tide of next year’s elections regardless of who they were going to vote for. After two hours, St. Agnes Academy gymnasium played host to multi-sectoral representatives which included farmers, fishermen, urban poor and non-

government organizations in attendance. Aquino said he and his group did not come “to talk but to listen.” He added that “it was better to hear the issues up close…” and that interactions such as these would help him very much in his pursuit of an effective and transparent government. Taking their cue from the young legislator, the delegates were able to voice out their opinions about the current concerns and how a change in the government would assist them. With every apprehension

thrown at him, Aquino gave a preview of what possible solutions could be implemented. He, however, admitted all the problems brought during the discussion could not be immediate resolved, he vowed to actively look into each particular group’s concerns if he is given the chance to lead. Other participants in the dialogue were members of Catholic charismatic group, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) Legazpi Outreach Chapter, alumni of St. Agnes Academy and other civic organizations. (Joey Garalde)

May They Be One Bible Campaign
The Bibliarasal de Navotas Divine Services (BINDS), a movement in Navotas that is actively involved in the May They Be One Bible (MTBO) campaign, testifies that miracles happen to those who believe God and His Word. Just when people were expecting Navotas to be submerged into the heavy floods brought by typhoon Ondoy, a miracle spared their city such that no part was damaged. Believing this to be God’s act of grace, BINDS held a thanksgiving hour to the Lord on October 1 and also held a fundraising project Sept. 27-Oct. 9 to help victims of the flood. BINDS, founded by Bro. Frank Reyes, meets in small groups every week to study the Word of God using MTBO Bibles and seeks to live the Scriptures in daily life. On November 5, members of the MTBO Advisory Committee, including Ambassador Henrietta de Villa, attended the installation of the Most Rev. Socrates Villegas as Archbishop of Pangasinan and presented him with 50 Ilocano and 50 Pangasinense MTBO Bibles for the Biblical apostolate of his diocese. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2009: 100,000 cps. No. of Bibles Distributed (from Jan – October): 70,603 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. RTPV Tagalog TEV English BPV Bicol RCPV Cebuano HPV Hiligaynon RIPV Ilocano PNPV Pangasinense — — — — — — — — 36,168 copies 10,071 copies 1,004 copies 15,482 copies 5,002 copies 2,507 copies 404 copies 70,603 copies

around banana plantations where pesticides are released from airplanes. ‘Valuable legacy’ Exposure to pesticides, substances used mostly on crops to kill anything from weeds to insects, is linked to health problems, the bishops said. In a letter to the President, the church officials urged Mrs. Arroyo to issue an executive order to permanently ban the practice of aerial spraying in the country “as soon as possible.” “The executive order will be your valuable legacy of governance. It will surely be remembered by the next generations as your deep expression of motherly care for them because you have protected them from dangers of incurable diseases and early death,” the letter, dated Oct. 29, read. “Let us remember that we are duty bound as Christians to value life more than eco-

nomic gains,” it added. The letter was hand-delivered by Bishop Cortez to Ermita during the meeting with other government officials and civil society advocates. Poison Aerial spraying is being practiced in particular in the Cavendish banana plantations in Mindanao. The bishops said authorities must ensure that citizens today and in the future do not have their health endangered by the use of pesticides, and can benefit from a safe, clean and rich environment. “The chemicals sprayed from airplanes used for bananas indiscriminately expose the people and the environment to poison,” they said. “We are one with all affected people of Mindanao in working for deliverance from this im-


Parishes/Communities served: At least 300 Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2009: P10M Support the May They Be One Bible Campaign and help bring God’s Word to more Filipino homes. Your contribution of at least P150/month will enable a poor family to own a Bible. For more Campaign info-visit, email or call ECBA – Fr. Oscar Alunday, 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Mla. Telefax no. 5279386; ecba_cbcp@yahoo.com; PBS-Mrs. Perry Cartera/Mrs. Juliet Rivera at 890 UN Ave., Ermita Mla.; perry@bible.org.ph;juliet@bible.org.ph; Tel. nos. 5215785/5246523 loc.150, 154-157, Fax No. 5215803; 09178590019 /09156727492 /09182802775

moral practice of aerial spraying that infringes upon human health and dignity,” they added. Also in attendance were former poll chairman Christian Monsod and representatives of non-government organizations, the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and Manila Archdiocese’s Ecology Desk. On the part of the government, Ermita was joined by Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and representatives from the Department of Agriculture and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority. Aerial spraying is utilized by corporate farms belonging to the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) around the country to eradicate “Sigatoka,” a fungus that attacks the leaves of banana plants that cause premature aging of fruits. Banana fruits grown in Davao are of export value generating over $400 million in export revenue annually. Communities around these plantations complain of skin-itching, eye irritation and nausea when caught outdoors during an aerial dust cropping. Residents also complained against powerful banana companies who failed to issue warning or notification that aerial spraying would be conducted. PBGEA groups over a dozen commercialscale plantations in Southern Mindanao, including Davao and South-Central Mindanao provinces covering over 40,000 hectares of banana farms and directly employing about 60,000 workers. (Roy Lagarde)

© www.dirtybananas.org


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Ireland’s Filipino and Irish communities raise funds for typhoon victims
THE recent typhoons that ravaged the country have galvanized Filipinos in Ireland to raise funds to help victims back home. Having seen the devastation caused by typhoon Ondoy, the Filipino community at County Donegal, Ireland initiated various activities to raise funds to help typhoon victims. Fundraising awareness campaigns were launched through radio interviews and posting of pictures of typhoon victims in the local newspaper and in commercial centres around town. Aside from the Church’s after mass collection, other activities like Car Wash for a Cause, Guest Tea Party and Show/Disco for a Cause, were also initiated to raise funds. The fundraising activities opened the doors of the generous Irish community. Mr. Pat Harvey, a former CEO of Health Service Executive, Northwestern Health Board Region, organized the Philippine Flood Disaster project and joined hands with the Filipino community to make the fund raising efforts more productive. On October 4 and 11, the Filipino community in Twintown, County Donegal did an after the church’s mass collection and during football games. They also asked for personal donations from the Filipinos and other Non-Government Organizations. Mrs. Cecil Budiongan, the president of County Donegal Filipino Society said she was truly amazed at the generosity of both Filipino and Irish communities. “I was really overwhelmed by the support of the Filipino and Irish Community here in Twintown. I was only expecting to collect around 500 Euros but we were able to collect 3,500 euros,” she said. Three thousand Euros (approximately 205,000 pesos) were immediately donated to Sagrada Familia Parish at Sitio Veterans, Brgy. Silangan, Quezon City. The remaining amount went to Sagip Kapamilya. A Guest Tea party was held on October 26 at Mt. Erigal Hotel in Letterkenny, County Donegal, organized by Mr. Harvey and the Filipino community in Letterkenny. The event was attended by more than 400 guests coming from the business sectors, politicians, Health services and other NGOs. Photos of victims and the aftermath of the typhoons flashed on the big screen while singer Judie Cabañero sung a rendition of the song “The Prayer”. A Filipino shared on her family’s tragic experience as victims of typhoon in the Philippines. The Filipino community showed their gratitude to the guests through a showcase of cultural dances and native Filipino delicacies. Filipinos in County Donegal culminated the month-long fundraising activities with a show/disco at Arena 7 in Letterkenny. The night’s event climaxed with the formal handover of a Cheque by Mr. Pat Harvey to the Filipino community amounting to 20,000 euros (approximately 1.5 million pesos). “I hope this is not the end where Filipinos and Irish community worked together… more to come,” he said. Mr. Pat Harvey, a Health executive of Northwestern Health Board Region in Ireland (above left) organized a guest tea party in Letterkenny, together with the Filipino A committee was formed to administer the funds and help identify community to raise funds for typhoon victims in the Philippines. The fund raising event climaxed with the turn over to the Filipino community of a cheque worth 20,000 euros (approx. 1.5 million pesos) (top photo). the beneficiaries. (Nathaniel A. Cabañero)

CBCP to hold national congress on Deafness
THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC), is organizing a nationwide congress on deafness that will reflect on the various issues concerning deaf people and other possible ways to improve their situations. Slated on November 14-16 at the Paco Catholic School, Manila, the Philippine Catholic Congress on Deafness is now on its 20th year. Organizers said the congress intends to create “Action Committees” that will aid in promoting the welfare of the deaf and other persons with disabilities. Some of the invited speakers are representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Newborn Screening and University of Sto. Tomas Medicine and Surgery Department. Confirmed attendees of the seminar are the Philippine Catholic Organization of the Deaf (PCOD) Chapters from Davao, Surigao, Sorsogon and Zamboanga. PCOD is an organization for the deaf whose members want to become convinced Catholics; leaders; work for others; and serve in the Catholic Church. The PCOD chapters are tasked to report and update the congress on the recent development of PCOD in their respective areas. Organizers are also encouraging the physically and mentally persons, as well as teachers, caregivers and other related organizations dedicated in serving people with disabilities to attend the congress. Simultaneous with the congress will be the celebrations of other institutions dedicated to the service of the people with special needs, among these are the 70th anniversary of the PCOD, 20th Anniversary of Catholic Deaf Care; and 15th anniversary of Handicapped Center Lourdes, a home for the multiple disabled persons will coincide with the congress. The 10th Anniversary of Special Education Assistance which offers free Special Education courses for committed teachers to help the disabled and the 1st Confirmation for terminally ill children will also concur along with the congress. (Kate Laceda)

Photos courtesy of Nathaniel Cabanero


Fr. Dinter named as new ECIP executive secretary
THE CBCP’s Commission on Indigenous Peoples has formally named its new executive secretary. Fr. Ewald Dinter, currently the executive director of Mangyan Mission of the Vicariate of Oriental Mindoro, will now work for the CBCP’s IP ministry on a part time capacity, replacing Fr. Rod Salazar. According to the ECIP, Fr. Salazar’s vicariate in Occidental Mindoro “badly needs him that made it necessary to end his term.” “This was made in accordance to the request of Bishop Antonio Palang to ECIP chairman and Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg,” the ECIP said. Dinter was also the South Central Luzon Coordinator of ECIP from 1992-2004 and a parish priest in Oriental Mindoro for three years. He is a German citizen from the province of Silesia who was appointed to work as a missionary in Mindoro in 1966. Presently, Dinter works full time among the Mangyans in Oriental Mindoro. (Kate Laceda)

Fr. Ewald Dinter

Manila holds Congress of the Clergy
priests from Manila archdiocese and its suffragans of nine dioceses, two Apostolic Vicariates and the Military Ordinariate. The Dioceses are Antipolo, Cubao, Imus, Kalookan, Malolos, Novaliches, Parañaque, Pasig and San Pablo. The Apostolic Vicariates are Puerto Princesa and Taytay in Palawan. The theme of the congress follows the theme of the Year for Priests (June 2009 to June 2010) as declared by Pope Benedict XVI, “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests.” Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle will lead in the “Disposition Reflection on the Theme in Preparation for the Second National Congress of the Clergy.” Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales will preside at the closing Mass of the one-day Congress. Cardinal Rosales chairs the Commission on Clergy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). (Kate Laceda) and prays together for the intentions of priests and seminarians. Three years ago, the association started to reach out to the poor by distributing donations during Christmas season. Instead of spending money for Christmas party, they pool the amount together and give donations to poor children, Syquia said. This year, they thought of initiating a fund raising activity to promote vocations to the priesthood and help poor seminarians through their seminary training. (CBCPNews)

INSTALLED. Archbishop Socrates Villegas as archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral, attended by more than 60 arch/bishops throughout the country including Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, November 4, 2009. About 500 priests from Manila, LingayenDagupan, Balanga, Antipolo, Kalookan, Pasig, Parañaque, Cubao and Novaliches filled nearly a fourth of the enormous cathedral. Villegas who turned 49 last September 28 is one of the youngest archbishops in the Catholic Church. He was ordained priest by then Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin in October 5, 1985. As a young priest, Villegas served as secretary to Cardinal Jaime Sin, a post he held for 15 years until he was ordained Auxiliary bishop of Manila in 2001. He also served as Rector of the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace at EDSA, from 1989 until 2004. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in July 25, 2001, and ordained Bishop and Titular of Nona in August 31, 2001. He was later appointed Bishop of Balanga (Bataan) in May 3, 2004 and installed in July 3, 2004. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan last September 8, 2009. The Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams read the message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the Mass. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has over a million Catholics with about 70 Catholic priests and 11 religious priests in 26 parishes, after the Diocese of Urdaneta and Alaminos were erected in January 12, 1985. CELEBRATED. Sr. Ma. Rufina Ranalan, Sr. Vittoriana Morales, Sr. Ma. Bernadette Imperial, Sr. Ma. Hermosada, Sr. Martina Machacon, golden jubilee of religious profession among the Sisters Oblates of the Holy Spirit, November 4, 2009. Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco celebrated the thanksgiving Mass at the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Pasay City. ORDAINED. Rev. Fr. Gerald Tuzon Biñegas was ordained to the priesthood on October 31, 2009 at the Holy Cross Parish, Langangilan, Abra. Biñegas, the first Rogationist from Abra, was ordained by Bangued Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD. Various Rogationist communities, different religious congregation, members of the Union of Prayer for Vocations, family, relatives, benefactors, and friends of the newly ordained priest attended the event. DIED. Father Edward Malone, M.M., 83, long-time Assistant Secretary General of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), at the Maryknoll Fathers’ St. Theresa’s Residence in New York City, November 4, 2009. Malone served FABC as assistant secretary general for 33 years, from 1971, a year after the federation came into existence, until his retirement in 2004. Malone has edited and published more than 100 editions of “FABC Papers,” which explore issues in theology, interreligious dialogue, the social apostolate of the Church in Asia, communication and laity – as they relate to problems facing the Asian Church. He has also organized leadership seminars for bishops within the FABC structure. Malone was also a recipient of several honorary degrees. He taught dogmatic theology and ecumenism for 17 years at the former Maryknoll Seminary in the United States, after his priestly ordination in 1952.He move to Hong kong in 1971 and was made assistant secretary general of the FABC.

THE Ecclesiastical Province of Manila will hold a Congress of the Clergy at the Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Nov. 17, 2009. The gathering is a pre-event of the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy set on Jan. 25-29, 2010, at the World Trade Center. More than 5,000 priests from all over the Philippines and even some countries in Asia are expected to attend next year’s big event. The provincial congress will gather

Parents of clergy to hold priests’ concert
THE Priests Association of the Philippines (PAPA), an organization of parents of clergy, will hold a concert featuring parents, priests and some invited artists to raise funds to promote vocations and support seminarians. Mrs. Leticia Syquia, PAPA president, said they have been preparing for the concert since May of this year. She lauds the dedication of PAPA members to ensure the success of the project. “This has been a work of love for them; love for the Church, for the priests and ultimately for God,” she said. The show is slated on November 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the San Carlos Seminary Auditorium. A matinee performance will be shown on November 19, at 5:30 p.m. exclusively for priests, parents and religious sisters. Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales will grace the matinee show and later host a fellowship dinner for guests and performers at the San Carlos Seminary Gymnasium. A brainchild of Mr. Dominador Tapiador, Msgr. Gerry Tapiador’s father; PAPA was formed in 1998. Syquia said Mr. Tapiador thought of it after their sons whom they used to visit in the seminary have been ordained priests. As part of their activity, the group has recollection twice a year

Photo courtesy of ECIP

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

Pastoral Concerns


‘Jesus prayed to the Father for the unity of His Disciples’
IN recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favorably to such petitions. Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches,[1] could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.
The Church, a people gathered into the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,[2] was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as “a sacrament ─ a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all people.”[3] Every division among the baptized in Jesus Christ wounds that which the Church is and that for which the Church exists; in fact, “such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages that most holy cause, the preaching the Gospel to every creature.”[4] Precisely for this reason, before shedding his blood for the salvation of the world, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father for the unity of his disciples.[5] It is the Holy Spirit, the principle of unity, which establishes the Church as a communion.[6] He is the principle of the unity of the faithful in the teaching of the Apostles, in the breaking of the bread and in prayer.[7] The Church, however, analogous to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, is not only an invisible spiritual communion, but is also visible;[8] in fact, “the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complex reality formed from a two-fold element, human and divine.”[9] The communion of the baptized in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety, of the celebration of all of the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff.[10] This single Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic “subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside her visible confines. Since these are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity.”[11] In the light of these ecclesiological principles, this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner. This Constitution is completed by Complementary Norms issued by the Apostolic See. I. §1 Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church are erected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the confines of the territorial boundaries of a particular Conference of Bishops in consultation with that same Conference. §2 Within the territory of a particular Conference of Bishops, one or more Ordinariates may be erected as needed. §3 Each Ordinariate possesses public juridic personality by the law itself (ipso iure); it is juridically comparable to a diocese.[12] §4 The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion IV. A Personal Ordinariate is entrusted to the pastoral care of an Ordinary appointed by the Roman Pontiff. V. The power (potestas) of the Ordinary is: a. ordinary: connected by the law itself to the office entrusted to him by the Roman Pontiff, for both the internal forum and external forum; b. vicarious: exercised in the name of the Roman Pontiff; c. personal: exercised over all who belong to the Ordinariate; This power is to be exercised jointly with that of the local Diocesan Bishop, in those cases provided for in the Complementary Norms. VI. §1 Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law[13] and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments[14] may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy formation. In order to address the particular needs of seminarians of the Ordinariate and formation in Anglican patrimony, the Ordinary may also establish seminary programs or houses of formation which would relate to existing Catholic faculties of theology. VII. The Ordinary, with the approval of the Holy See, can erect new Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, with the right to call their members to Holy Orders, according to the norms of canon law. Institutes of Consecrated Life originating in the Anglican Communion and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church may also be placed under his jurisdiction by mutual consent. VIII. §1. The Ordinary, according to the norm of law, after having heard the opinion of the Diocesan Bishop of the place, may erect, with the consent of the Holy See, personal parishes for the faithful who belong to the therein.[18] §4. In order to provide for the consultation of the faithful, a Pastoral Council is to be constituted in the Ordinariate.[19] XI. Every five years the Ordinary is required to come to Rome for an ad limina Apostolorum visit and present to the Roman Pontiff, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in consultation with the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a report on the status of the Ordinariate. XII. For judicial cases, the competent tribunal is that of the Diocese in which one of the parties is domiciled, unless the Ordinariate has constituted its own tribunal, in which case the tribunal of second instance is the one designated by the Ordinariate and approved by the Holy See. XIII. The Decree establishing an Ordinariate will determine the location of the See and, if appropriate, the principal church. We desire that our dispositions and norms be valid and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, should it be necessary, the Apostolic Constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, or any other prescriptions, even those requiring special mention or derogation. Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on November 4, 2009, the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo. BENEDICTUS PP XVI (The text of the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus” signed by Pope Benedict XVI on November 4, 2009, published November 9, 2009; this introduces a canonical structure that will allow groups of Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their spiritual and liturgical patrimony)
www.turnbacktogod.com www.chanceleriab.googlepages.com

Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus”

and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate. §5 The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate. II. The Personal Ordinariate is governed according to the norms of universal law and the present Apostolic Constitution and is subject to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia in accordance with their competencies. It is also governed by the Complementary Norms as well as any other specific Norms given for each Ordinariate. III. Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI “Sacerdotalis coelibatus”, n. 42[15] and in the Statement In June[16] are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1. §2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See. §3. Incardination of clerics will be regulated according to the norms of canon law. §4. Priests incardinated into an Ordinariate, who constitute the presbyterate of the Ordinariate, are also to cultivate bonds of unity with the presbyterate of the Diocese in which they exercise their ministry. They should promote common pastoral and charitable initiatives and activities, which can be the object of agreements between the Ordinary and the local Diocesan Bishop. §5. Candidates for Holy Orders in an Ordinariate should be prepared alongside other seminarians, especially in the areas of doctrinal and pastoral

Ordinariate. §2. Pastors of the Ordinariate enjoy all the rights and are held to all the obligations established in the Code of Canon Law and, in cases established by the Complementary Norms, such rights and obligations are to be exercised in mutual pastoral assistance together with the pastors of the local Diocese where the personal parish of the Ordinariate has been established. IX. Both the lay faithful as well as members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally part of the Anglican Communion, who wish to enter the Personal Ordinariate, must manifest this desire in writing. X. §1. The Ordinary is aided in his governance by a Governing Council with its own statutes approved by the Ordinary and confirmed by the Holy See. [17] §2. The Governing Council, presided over by the Ordinary, is composed of at least six priests. It exercises the functions specified in the Code of Canon Law for the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors, as well as those areas specified in the Complementary Norms. §3. The Ordinary is to establish a Finance Council according to the norms established by the Code of Canon Law which will exercise the duties specified


[1] Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 23; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio, 12; 13. [2] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 4; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2. [3] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 1. [4] Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 1. [5] Cf. Jn 17:20-21; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2. [6] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 13. [7] Cf. ibid; Acts 2:42. [8] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8; Letter Communionis notio, 4. [9] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8. [10] Cf. CIC, can. 205; Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 13; 14; 21; 22; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2; 3; 4; 15; 20; Decree Christus Dominus, 4; Decree Ad gentes, 22. [11] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8. [12] Cf. John Paul II, Ap. Const. Spirituali militium curae, 21 April 1986, I § 1. [13] Cf. CIC, cann. 1026-1032. [14] Cf. CIC, cann. 1040-1049. [15] Cf. AAS 59 (1967) 674. [16] Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Statement of 1 April 1981, in Enchiridion Vaticanum 7, 1213. [17] Cf. CIC, cann. 495-502. [18] Cf. CIC, cann. 492-494. [19] Cf. CIC, can. 511.



CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Towards personal ordinariates for former Anglicans
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
LAST 20 October 2009, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—the former dicastery of Pope Benedict XVI—surprised the world with an announcement of a forthcoming Apostolic Constitution that would pave the way for the establishment of Personal Ordinariates for groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world, who have expressed their wish to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church. The announcement went on to say that the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a worldwide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. After forestalling useless speculations related to the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy—i.e., of concluding that perhaps soon Catholic priests will be allowed to get married too—let us now focus on the really important novelty of this forthcoming Constitution: the Personal Ordinariate as such. What is a Personal Ordinariate? Even if for the specific case of the Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans we have to wait for the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution, the reference made (in the Vatican announcement) to Military Ordinariates allows us to foresee some of its characteristics. The figure of the Military Ordinariate was introduced into Church Law by the Apost. Constitution Spirituali Militum Curae, signed by John Paul II on 21.IV.1986. According to this document, Military Ordinariates, which may also be called Army Ordinariates, and are juridically comparable to dioceses, are special ecclesiastical circumscriptions, governed by proper statutes issued by the Apostolic See, in which will be determined in greater detail the prescriptions of the present Constitution. It is therefore a form of what in Canon Law is known as a personal ecclesiastical circumscription, which has the following constitutive elements: 1) A group of faithful—a portion of the people of God, delineated not by the fact of their domicile or quasi-domicile (as in the territorial circumscriptions, like the diocese or territorial prelature), but by their having certain personal qualities. In the case of the military Ordinariate, this delineating quality is their relationship with the armed forces, specifically (quoting from the aforementioned document): — the faithful who are military persons, as well as those who are at the service of the armed forces provided that they are bound to this by civil law; 2) An Ordinary—a proper pastor (a priest, but preferably a bishop because of his episcopal functions), with power of jurisdiction which is (again quoting from the aforementioned document): — personal, in such manner that it can be exercised in regard to the persons who form part of the Ordinariate, even if at times they are beyond the national boundaries; — ordinary, both in the internal and external forums— i.e., it is a power that comes with the office itself and not through fruitfully this special pastoral ministry, give service in the Personal Ordinariate. These can be of different categories: — those who are formed in the seminary that the Ordinariate may erect with the approval of the Holy See, and promoted to Holy Orders and incardinated in the Ordinariate once they have completed the specific spiritual and pastoral formation; — other members of the secular clergy who may be incardinated into the Ordinariate according to the norms of Canon Law; — still other priests—both

Looking at the bigger picture (Part II)
ecclesiastical circumscription— i.e., the Personal Prelature. This type of apprehension can arise if one forgets that personal ecclesiastical circumscriptions should be understood from the viewpoint of the ecclesiology of Vatican II. From this point of view, it becomes clear that among the Pastors of the Church, there is neither rivalry nor competition, but rather communion and collaboration. Thus, the provision of this type of personal circumscription is the result of the desire of providing help to the local Churches, particular statutes of every Personal Ordinariate that shall be subsequently erected—will guarantee the rights of the Local Ordinaries and the way of harmonizing the activities of the priests of the Ordinariate with the authority of the local parishes, including norms regarding such matters as how a faithful becomes part of the Ordinariate, what registries are to be kept, etc. Similarities and Differences with Personal Prelatures The press has compared the upcoming Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans to Personal Prelatures, specifically with Opus Dei. A notable difference would be that the projected personal ordinariates for former Anglicans would depend on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, instead of the Congregation for Bishops or the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith as is provided for the erection of personal prelatures. Another difference would be the use of a particular liturgy in the case of the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans, whereas the only existing Personal Prelature has no liturgy of its own and does not even print its own Ordo for daily Masses and Liturgy of the Hours. Beyond the obvious differences, however, it is more interesting to note the elements common to all these personal jurisdictions. As an imminent canonist had recently pointed out, in reaction to the announced Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans, Personal Ordinariates, Military Ordinariates and Personal Prelatures constitute in each case that type of personal circumscripton expressly willed by Vatican Council II, which are superimposed with the local Church (insofar as their faithful also belong to the diocese), in order to carry out a specialized pastoral activity. Beyond the pastoral phenomenon of Opus Dei, up till now the personal prelature—as typified in cc. 294-297 of the Code of Canon Law—has been mentioned as a possible solution to the pastoral needs arising from human mobility (e.g., care of migrants, refugees, seafarers and overseas workers). Now it has come to light that this type of personal circumscriptions might also be of great use in the area of ecumenism. (Cf. Eduardo Baura, Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross [Rome], in an interview published recently in www.zenit. org).

— all the members of their families, wives and children, even those who, though independent, live in the same house, as well as relatives and servants who also live with them in the same house; — those who attend military training schools, or who live or work in military hospitals, hospices for the elderly, or similar institutions; — all the faithful, both men and women, whether or not they are members of a religious institute, who carry out in a permanent way a task committed to them by the Military Ordinary, or with his consent.

a delegation by another (e.g., the Pope); — proper—that is to say not vicariously, like what happens with the former military vicar (who acted in behalf of the Pope) or the actual apostolic vicars in the apostolic vicariates. — cumulative with the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, because the persons belonging to the Ordinariate do not cease to be the faithful of that local Church of which they are members by reason of domicile or rite. 3) A Presbyterate—composed of priests who, endowed with the necessary gifts for carrying out

secular and religious—who, with the consent of their own Ordinary, serve in the Ordinariate (by adscription). Relationship of the Faithful of the Personal Ordinariate with the Diocesan Bishop and the Local Parishes. Some journalists have expressed fears of possible frictions between the projected Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans and the local Churches. If we recall, that same apprehension had been raised (and sadly still seems to be raised in certain quarters) in the case of another kind of personal

Veneration for a ‘Venerable’
refrain, even outside of Church, from any acts which could mislead the faithful into thinking that the inquiry conducted by the Bishop into the life of the Servant of God and his virtues or martyrdom carries with it the certitude that the Servant of God will be one day canonized.” Likewise, before closing the diocesan stage of the process the judges must assure that there has been no public cult offered the candidate. Thus the 2007 instruction states: “Art. 117 - § 1. In accordance with the dispositions of Pope Urban VIII, it is prohibited for a Servant of God to be an object of public ecclesiastical cult without the previous authorization of the Holy See. “§ 2. Such dispositions do not impede, in any way, private devotion toward the Servant of God and the spontaneous spreading of his reputation of holiness or martyrdom and of intercessory power. “Art. 118 - § 1. In observance of the abovementioned dispositions, prior to the close of the Inquiry the Bishop or his Delegate must ensure that the Servant of God is not an object of unlawful cult. “§ 2. For this purpose, the Bishop or his Delegate, the Promotor of Justice and the Notary of the cause, must inspect the tomb of the Servant of God, the room where he lived and/or died, and other possible places where signs of unlawful cult may be found. “§ 3. The Notary is to draw up a report on the outcome of the inspection that is to be inserted into the acts of the Inquiry. “Art. 119 - § 1. If no abuses of cult are discovered, the Bishop or his Delegate is to proceed to the preparation of the “Declaration on the Absence of Cult”, that is, the declaration which attests to the fact that the Decrees of Urban VIII have been

through the creation of entities which are capable of carrying out a special pastoral activity that goes beyond the normal possibilities of the dioceses for their faithful. Thus, a document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1992—with the significant name of Communionis notio—had precisely pointed out how these entities created by the Holy See for peculiar pastoral tasks are harmoniously inserted in communion with the local Churches. It could be expected, therefore, that the upcoming Apostolic Constitution—aside from the

Q: What type of veneration is due to someone who has been declared a venerable? Can there be official liturgical or paraliturgical prayers addressed to that person? Can that person be mentioned during the naming of the saints at Mass?— G.C., Bangalore, India A: Traditionally a servant of God is called venerable after the promulgation of a decree declaring that he or she practiced the virtues to a heroic degree. For precision’s sake, however, it must be noted that this title is no longer a stage along the path of beatification and canonization. Thus it is no longer technically correct to say that a person has been declared venerable, since no such declaration is issued. Nor are there any particular liturgical honors attributed to a person who has been decreed to have practiced heroic virtues, as these must await the conclusion of the process and the (possible) eventual beatification. Pope John Paul II reformed the basic norms regarding the process of canonization with his 1983 apostolic constitution “Divinus Perfectionis Magister.” The Congregation for Saints’ Causes has published several clarifications and instructions with more precise regulations, such as the 2007 instruction “Sanctorum Mater,” tightening the rules for the initial diocesan phase of the process. At this stage the law says: “Any solemn celebrations or panegyric speeches about Servants of God whose sanctity of life is still being legitimately examined are prohibited in Churches. Furthermore, one must also

observed. “§ 2. The declaration is to be inserted among the acts of the Inquiry.” Once the diocesan phase of the process is concluded, the acts go to Rome for the subsequent stages of examination. A special book called the “Positio,” or summary of the documentation that proves the candidate’s heroic virtue, is prepared. This is first examined by nine theologians who give their vote. If the majority vote in favor it is examined by the cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. If these approve the cause, it is finally presented to the Pope for a final decision. Once the cause has received papal approval, the decree of heroic virtues is promulgated. The next and final stage of the process is the examination of an alleged miracle attributed to the servant of God. This must also be rigorously examined from both the scientific and theological standpoints. If and when this stage is completed, there is another decree and the Holy Father decides on the date for beatification. Along with beatification comes the concession for public liturgical veneration albeit still limited to particular spheres such as within a religious family, or to the diocese where the new blessed is buried or is associated with in a particular way. Thus, as said above, there is no public liturgical or paraliturgical cult for a “venerable” since there is as yet no guarantee that the person will eventually be beatified. Some of the restrictions in force during the early stages of the process, such as the prohibition on panegyric speeches regarding the candidate’s sanctity of life, would naturally be lifted as the Church has officially proclaimed that the person lived a holy life.

© CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

From 1907 to the present there was a steady increase of baptized Catholics; the establishment of mission stations, of growth in priestly and religious vocations and formation of lay leaders and catechists. We can laud the missionaries who tirelessly journeyed with our people in spite of the harshness missionary journey. The new Bishop tirelessly visited the out stations and got acquainted with his new ecclesiastical responsibility which he served for the next nine years. Early in 2002, he was transferred to another Residential See which is now the Diocese of Baguio. While ministering tribal conflicts and a growing number of religious sects—and only recently, we observe the slow surging population of Muslim traders. The objective of the First Pastoral Assembly was more of bringing people together and to come up with a common vision and corresponding pastoral

Andaya was already familiar with the thrust of the Vicariate for he was a guest observer during its second Vicarial Pastoral Assembly. He could easily pick up from where his predecessor had left off. Born in Kalinga from Ilocano and Tagalog parentage he is familiar with the way of life of the Kalingas. Like his

By Sr. Crispina Abluyon, SIHM
Geography and people Kalinga and Apayao are two civil provinces that is home to the mountain tribes of Northern Philippines. It covers a landlocked area of a little less than

4,000 sq. km. bound by the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela on the east, by Abra and Ilocos Region on the west and on the south by Mountain Province. Apayao, dubbed as the “Cordillera’s Last Frontier of Nature Richness”, boasts of natural wonders otherwise not found in the Cordilleras. Splendid lakes and underground rivers, magnificent forests serve as abode for the exotic wildlife that still thrives in the province. Agriculture, especially in lower Apayao, has been the prime source of livelihood of the populace. Countless wonders and untold discoveries like caves and wildlife sanctuaries are natural treasures of the predominant Isneg tribe. There are 131 barangays sprawled all over the 7 municipalities, with more or less 80 thousand inhabitants. Like in Apayao, Kalinga province’s geographic feature is characterized by high mountain peaks, valleys and plateaus. The mountain ranges link with the whole of the Cordillera Region. With the Chico River’s rough waters (that was once a controversy in the early 70’s due to the attempted construction of a huge dam for electrification), Kalinga got a name in tourism as the “White Water Rafting Capital of the Philippines”. With the abundance of water cascading from mountain slopes, agriculture in flatlands is flourishing. The Kalingas are with productive land areas for both wet and dry farming. Like the Ifugaos, they build rice terraces aside from the skills they display in textile weaving, pottery and metal works. There are as many as 48 sub-tribes of Kalinga that settle alongside with other ethnic groups coming from the lowlands. Since time immemorial, the Kalingas were able to resist the colonization of the Spaniards. A strong sense of tribal affiliation and cultural consciousness remain as a reason for this. All through the years, occasional tribal conflicts would arise which resulted to broken peace pacts and fear among our people. This has always been an enormous challenge for peace advocates nowadays. The Vicariate and its remote past The Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk covers the civil provinces of Kalinga and Apayao. It used to be part of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Vicariate of the Montañosa which separated from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in 1933. Sixty years later, Christianization took roots among the mountain people in the early 1900’s although history tells us that evangelization started way back in the 16th Century with the attempts of the Dominican friars to establish their mission posts in the hinterlands of Apayao and Kalinga. To this day, only ruins of the old church is found in Pudtol, Apayao… there is hardly any trace of the Spanish missionary establishment in Tuga and Bulanao, Tabuk. Since the Spanish Dominicans left these areas in the later part of the 16th century, there were almost no reported attempts at all to evangelize the Apayaos and the Kalingas, not until the Belgian Fathers, now known as the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM missionaries), took the road from Bontoc, Mt. Province in 1907 to expand the missionary endeavor in upper Kalinga. The mission of Lubuagan became the cradle of mission work in Kalinga, and then spread out in the neighboring territories until they reached far-flung areas of Apayao. Due to lack of continuity in the missionary work began by Spanish missionaries many converts reverted to their former pagan practices. The new missionaries had to start all over again. The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (ICM) arrived later. They were to work side by side with the Belgian Fathers greatly enhancing the spread of the Faith especially through the educational system.

Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk

of life and the communication gap that they had from the onset. The catechists who faithfully served in our missions acted as bridges of evangelization. Despite long years of missionary presence, Kalinga and Apayao are still mission territories until today. Evangelization has always been a snailpaced undertaking. So much have yet to be done in terms of enabling the seeds of Christianity flourish among the tribes of Northern Philippines. Yet we are happy that to this date, there are already 20 Mission Stations all over including the recent re-opening of two mission areas which are Tuga (2007) and Allaguia (2006) Missions, the latter is ironically the very first establishment of the Dominican Friars way back in 1865. Birth of a New Vicariate In 1992, Pope John Paul II, through the Papal Bull, Philippiniarum Insularum, acceded to the request of the CBCP and particularly the then Apostolic Vicariate of the Montañosa (which presently covers the whole of the Cordillera Region except Abra) to divide the whole Vicariate into three ecclesiastical entities. Thus, on August 30, 1992, the news came of its approval forming the Apostolic Vicariate of Baguio-Benguet; the Apostolic Vicariate of BontocLagawe and the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk with their respective first Apostolic Vicars as follows: Most Rev. Ernesto Salgado, DD; Most Rev. Brigido Galasgas, DD; and Most Rev. Carlito Cenzon, CICM, DD. Few days after his Episcopal Ordination on November 28, 1992 at the Baguio Cathedral, Bishop Carlito Cenzon, was installed as the first Apostolic Vicar of Tabuk. The Church of St. William, the Hermit, in Bulanao was jam-packed with the faithful on the morning of December 5, 1992, to witness the birth of the new Apostolic Vicariate with the installation of its new shepherd. The neo-Vicariate composed then of seventeen mission stations with only two Diocesan Clergy among the priests. The CICM Fathers were still quite a number that time to cater to the mission stations. It didn’t take long before the SVD missionaries came in to join us in our

to his people here in Tabuk, he didn’t mind at all the hazards of traveling through rugged mountain roads; hiking extensive distances over ravines and trails; crossing rivers as he waded through rough waters; and even almost having offered himself as a martyr. On December 3-5, 1997, on the 4th year of his Episcopacy, Bishop Cenzon launched the first Vicariate Pastoral Assembly. The focus of the pastoral agenda then was in line with the thrusts and programs of PCP II. The preparations were arduous as they wanted to cover a broad spectrum of issues and concerns in the Vicariate. Besides, to tap the cooperation of the mass base was as demanding as the issues themselves. The concerns included issues on the socio-political, economical, cultural and religious realities of that time. Kalinga and Apayao then were weighed down with the issues of poverty, social justice,

strategies. Undoubtedly, the principles of BEC were used as guidelines—which became the pastoral thrust of the Vicariate from then on. The Vicariate saw an opportunity for renewal when the Second Pastoral Assembly was convened on June 15, 2003. The delegates strongly reaffirmed the Vicariate’s VisionMission and Pastoral Thrust which they set for themselves during the first Vicarial Assembly. Then, Bishop Cenzon was already transferred to the Apostolic Vicariate of Baguio-Benguet. Meanwhile, Tabuk was run by Rev. Fr. Feliciano Agatep who was appointed as Administrator for almost a year and a half. It didn’t take long before somebody was elected. On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16th July 2003, Rev. Fr. Prudencio P. Andaya, Jr., CICM, was ordained and installed as the second Apostolic Vicar of Tabuk. Bishop
ABOVE: Pastoral visit of Bishop Andaya to the Apostolic Vicariate in 1969. ON BACKGROUND: St. William the Hermit Cathedral

predecessor, he had to visit each of the mission territories even in places that are unreachable by vehicles. He has always been acquainted with the harsh realities of the far flung missions─the lack of social services that people ought to receive; the spiritual ministry that they deserve so much and the need for healing and reconciliation among many of the conflicting sub-tribes. With the Vision-Mission of the Vicariate already in place, he tried to build up on the enthusiasm of the clergy and all the other pastoral workers to pursue the goals of building Basic Ecclesial Communities. To help keep up with the challenging task of caring for the spiritual, material and social needs of our people, the Vicariate has a few CICMs and SVDs working hand in hand with the Diocesan clergy. The presence of religious sisters from the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (SIHM), the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM), the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (SSHJM) and the Teresian Association is a big boost. There is still the need for more active lay participation. The catechetical ministry needs to be strengthened. Aware of this need and the scarcity of funds the Vicariate encouraged volunteer catechists from the lay people. To prepare them for the task the Vicariate has designed a yearly live-in Catechetical Summer Workshop for the formation and training of volunteer catechists and lay leaders. Their formation is followed up in the course of the school year by seminarworkshops to address particular needs of catechists. These and other activities are but attempts towards building Christian communities. In this endeavor the Vicariate is helped immensely by the team of Bukal Ng Tipan, CICM Maryhill, Taytay, Rizal. It serves as an excellent venue for making linkages and for channeling collaborative efforts in ministries. Pastoral Thrust and Action Programs Building BEC’s in our mission areas do not make sense if the pastoral workers are not acquainted experientially with its dynamics. Working with the principle that “we cannot give what we don’t have”, the

Tabuk / B7

Bishop …………………………... 1 Diocesan Priests ……………….… 17 Deacon …………………..……….. 1 Religious working in the Vicariate: CICM ……….................……….. 6 SVD ……………..................…. 4 ICM ………………...........……. 3 SIHM …………………................ 14 SHJM …………………….…….. 2 Teresian Association ................... 1 Seminarians: Pre College ……………........…. 9 Philosophy ………………....…... 6 Theology ………………….…….. 8 Regents …………………….…… 2 Catechists: Full time ……….......…….…. 14 Volunteers …………………......... 70 Educational centers: College ………........…….……… 1 Secondary …………………..... 10 Elementary ……………....……. 3 Kindergarten ……….......……. 1 Population ……………....... 285, 959 Catholics ……………………. 196,400 Area ………...……… 3,813.17 sq. km.

B4 Catholic Family Bible Encounter in Kuwait
By Rev. Fr. Miguel M. Garcia, SSS


CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

CBCP holds congress for Seminary Formators

THIS is a dream come true after almost two years of planning to hold a Family Bible Encounter in this part of the world. This idea was actually coined by His Excellency Most Rev. Fernando Filoni, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. Sometime in 2007, the Secretariat chaired by Ms. Elvira Go went to the Nunciature for a visit. During that visit, the Nuncio challenged the Secretariat to spread this to the Filipino Migrants abroad and there the dream of having one in Kuwait commenced.
Last October 23, 2009, the team from Manila left for Kuwait to make this dream comes to life. The team was composed of Bp. Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao, Msgr. Gary Formoso of Vigan, Fr. Mike Garcia of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr. Agustin Ancajas of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Ms. Elvira Go, the National Chairperson of the Power to Unite Catholic Family Bible Group and Ms. Vizmalau Bonalos of NBN 4. They took the flight from Manila to Abu Dhabi early morning of October 23 and arrived Kuwait early morning of the same date. The party was met by the Labor Attache, Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez and helped out to secure the necessary entry documents. After accomplishing all the documents, the team went out of the airport and met by Bishop Camillo Balin, MCCJ, DD, Bishop of Kuwait, Fr. Ruben Barrameda, Chaplain of Filipino Migrants in Kuwait and some Filipinos. They warmly welcomed the team and later were brought to the Bishop’s Residence for breakfast. The Catholic Family Bible Encounter was held in the evening of October 23, 2009. There were 4 Filipino families that participated in the said bible encounter. The program was well organized by Fr. Ruben together with the assistance of Filipinos. Bishop Camillo was very supportive of the event. He was visible all throughout the program and gave his inspiring
The Second Institute for Seminary Formators held at the San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex last October 26-29 gathered some 156 rectors, deans, spiritual directors and professors from 43 diocesan seminaries across the country.

By Fr. Augusto de los Angeles
THE Episcopal Commission on Seminaries of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines organized a congress for Seminary Formators at the San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex last October 26 to 29, 2009. The congress also called Second Institute for Seminary Formators reflected on the Intellectual, Theological and Philosophical Formation of seminarians with the theme of Intellectual Formation in the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation. It had two objectives; first, to anchor intellectual formation in the seminaries according to the updated ratio and second, to aid seminary formators update their competencies in teaching theology and philosophy in the seminary. The congress was spearheaded by Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D. chairman of the commission on seminaries, with the help of Rev. Fr. Augusto Jesus Angeles and Rey. Fr. Reynaldo Gregorio, executive secretary and assistant secretary respectively of

Toddlers and TV sets don’t mix
then, the Disney marketers are dropping the word “educational” from their advertising and providing refunds to disappointed parents. While the $15.99 cheque from the Disney empire may appease the saddened parents of dull-eyed, TV-addicted kids, will this sop solve a larger problem? Will it lead parents to get more balanced goals for their children? The quest to increase one’s IQ or intelligence quotient has been the goal of both serious

the commission. There were 156 representatives consisting of rectors, deans, spiritual directors and professors, from 43 diocesan seminaries of the Philippines. The opening Eucharistic Celebration was celebrated in San Carlos Seminary Chapel presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, D.D. Rev. Fr. Rey Anthony Yatco, Dean of seminarians of the philosophy department welcomed the institute of formators on behalf of Rev. Msgr. Ding Coronel, Rector of San Carlos Seminary, at the beginning of the mass. Bishop Mylo Vergara delivered his welcome remarks and Rev. Fr. Augusto Angeles and Rev. Fr. Jun Gregorio gave the program orientation and the house rules respectively. During the congress days, the Institute for Seminary Formators began with holy hour and lauds at in the morning and concluded the day with the celebration of the Eucharist. The Eucharistic Celebrations on October 27 was presided

by Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francis De Leon, D.D. and on October 28, by Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. There were series of colloquia each day. Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, D.D., S.T.D. talked about the Intellectual Formation in the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation or UPPPF in the joint conference of Theology and Philosophy formators which was held in San Carlos Seminary Auditorium on the second day. A separate conference was given for college formators and theology formators in the afternoon and followed by group workshop. Rev. Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas, S.T.D. and Rev. Fr. Edwin Mercado S.T.L. explained the Proposed Seminary Curriculum According to the UPPPF to the theology and college formators respectively. Rev. Fr. Vitaliano Dimaranan, Jr. S.D.B., M.T.L., Ph.D. talked about Ethics in Catholic Tradition to the theology formators and Dr. Florentino Timbreza explained about Filipino Philosophy of Person to the college formators in the separate conferences on the third day.

In the afternoon, Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D. discussed about the Biblical Theology in Catholic Tradition to the theology formators and Mr. Manuel DY, Ph.D. explained about Phenomenology of the Human Being as a Person to the college formators. Bishop Tagle discussed about Doctrine to the theology formators while Mr. Rainier Ibana, Ph. D. explains Human Person in the Age of Climate Change to the college formators in the separate conference at the last day. The separate conferences were held at the Sala Maria of the San Carlos Theology Building for the theology formators conferences while the college formators conferences were held at the big classroom of the San Carlos Seminary Main Building and at the Heritage hall of the Lorenzo Mission Institute. The Second Institute for Formators concluded with the closing Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Vergara. Participants of the said event were accommodated in different houses inside the complex.

By Kevin Ryan
The team of Power to Unite Catholic Family Bible Group headed by National Chairperson Ms. Elvira Go during a Family Bible Encounter in Kuwait. Shown with them in photo are Bishop Camillo Balin, Bishop Antonieto Cabajog and Fr. Ben Barrameda.

message to the families. Ms. Elvira Go likewise gave her moving, Spirit-filled message to the Filipino families present that evening. She challenged the Filipinos to be missionaries in their own ways and help in the spread of the Word of God in this part of the world. One common observation and impression the team had when they arrived Kuwait was that of fascination, surprise and amazement on what their eyes have seen. The team got there on a Friday which is a holiday for them. Friday is equivalent to Sunday for us in non-Muslim country. The Cathedral was full; the Church yard was filled with many people including children who are attending Catechism classes. And what surprised them most was the sight of different nationalities gathering together to worship. There are many Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Europeans, Americans and Filipinos. They come together to that Cathedral of the Holy Family where their faith is nourished and sustained by the Word of God and the Eucharist. After the Family Bible Encounter, Fr. Ruben brought us around the city. Part of the itinerary was the visit to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. The team had a chance to meet the Labor Attache Atty Jimenez again and this time the team met the Filipinas who are temporarily sheltered at the Filipino Center. These are the workers who have problems and cases with their employers and waiting for their return to the Philippines, most of them are domestic helpers. That time the team went there the number was more than a hundred Pinays. Each of the team was given a chance to give messages to the Filipina workers – a message of hope; encouragement and challenge. Ms. Go challenged them to start reading the Word of God and to draw their hope, guide and strength from the Bible. Msgr. Gary celebrated Mass with them where he shared a very inspiring homily. Our Filipino workers really need prayers and support. An episode for the Power to Unite with Elvira on TV was taken from there. Ms. Go was able to interview some workers with different cases. We will see this in the coming days, please watch so that we will know the plight of some of our Filipino workers in Kuwait. After a brief stay in Kuwait, the team returned to Manila last October 25, 2009. Leaving Kuwait behind brought us too many learning and discoveries. The Catholic faith there is very vibrant and alive. The Catholic faithful are very committed and zealous in living out their faith in that Muslim country. Faith brings different nationalities together. These are experiences that the team will remember of Kuwait. The group was very grateful for the hospitality of Bp. Camillo Balin, Fr. Ruben Barrameda, and all the Filipinos in Kuwait. Boarding the plane bound for Manila, the team was filled with joy and fulfillment for another successful story of Family Bible Encounter. Another dream commenced while waiting for the flight to Manila: that there be another Family Bible Encounter in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The team will try to get in touch with the Filipino chaplain in these cities.

THE house that Mickey Mouse built is taking a hit. The Walt Disney conglomerate that spans from Hannah Montana to most of Hollywood and from ESPN to sprawling worldwide resorts is giving up ground. It is minor turf, but still Walt and Team Disney’s lawyers are not used to losing. Since 1998, Disney’s “Baby Einstein” videos and DVDs have been aggressively marketed to parents of young children intent on increasing Junior’s intelligence. For ten years, children from three months to three years (the target group) have been glued to screens and the Disney Empire has raked in millions. A 2003 study found that one-third of all American babies aged between 6 months and two years had been exposed to a Baby Einstein video. Disney’s success has spawned several competitors who promise to give Junior a leg up in the music world, the sports world and maybe even the world of making millions with phony promises. Butthespurtingreymatterhasn’tmaterialized. Folks at the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood have been pressuring Baby Einstein for evidence that their materials were anything more than electronic baby sitters. Turning up the heat, the American Academy of Pediatrics, concerned with all the time infants are spending transfixed before television sets, has recommended no screen time. Under pressure,


scientists and scammers for some decades. By and large, the scientists have given up on IQ quick-fix increases, but the scammers are still roaring around. IQ, the measure of our capacity to learn, appears, however, to be quite stable, and while very poor nutrient and lots of screen watching can suppress it, there is not much parents can do to boost Junior’s score. Unquestionably, it is a worthy goal to want one’s offspring to be knowledgeable and have a head full of useful facts, theories and ideas.

So, too, is the parental desire that their children attend the very best schools and become truly educated adults. The Baby Einstein route and its cousins, the increase-your-IQ-in-ten-easylessons course, sadly will not get us there. They are bogus elixirs for anxious and perhaps lazy parents. Even worse, they distract attention from the royal road to improving a child’s chance to become educated: developing his or her CQ. CQ stands for Character Quotient, a scientific term especially ginned up for this article. While it admittedly reeks of ersatz Baby Einsteinlike promotion, CQ actually is a stand-in for one of our world’s most enduring truths: character is destiny. Each of us has a character and each character is different. Our characters are the sum totals of our habitual ways of response to life’s events. They are the totality of our good and bad habits, our personal virtues and vice. As we ramble and shamble through our days, we develop patterns of waiting until the last minute to get things done. Or of never failing to pass on a juicy piece of gossip. Or unreflectively stepping in to help someone in need. Or of telling the unvarnished truth even when it hurts. These habits are the markings on our character by which we are known. Rarely do we recognize our own character, but it is all too apparent to our spouses and co-workers. “He’s a generous guy, but he just can’t finish a task!” “She’s a toothache to be around, but she is the go-to gal when you want something done.”
Kids / B7

Medical point of view on the Aerial Spray Ban
DEAR Editor, My active and courageous stand in support to a contested local ordinance banning the use of aircraft for spraying as an agricultural practice and speaking out in favour of the affected citizens in the face of the obscene stance of the banana plantation companies regarding the issue of aerial spraying of pesticides, has put my medical profession and extensive experience in community medicine at stake that somehow worried many of my colleagues. Some of them warned me about my security and even advised me not to answer critics that attack my credibility for fear of further harassment. This letter is meant to shed light on the erroneous information being published in the media that mislead readers who might be uninformed, misinformed and gullible enough to believe the assertions and suppositions of those who believe that aerial spraying of pesticides is safe. Lawyer and former Comelec Chair Christian Monsod, a staunch supporter of the ban aerial spray campaign, expressed to include his opinion, too. This is also to put emphasis that the gap in this issue of aerial spraying is not communication but on profits and people’s health. JeAN LiNDO, M.D. Professor, Community Medicine, Davao Medical School Foundation Immediate past president, Philippine Medical Women’s Association- Davao City Chapter November 5, 2009

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009



MR. Chairman, At the outset my Delegation joins others in congratulating you on your election and leadership of this Committee and thanks the bureau for its valued collaboration. The question of energy, both renewable and non-renewable, has become a key issue facing the international community and calls for identifying a durable and comprehensive energy strategy. This energy strategy should be able to meet such needs in the short and long term, ensuring energy security, protecting health and environment and establishing concrete commitments to address the problems of climate change. It should also be capable of launching a peaceful transition towards a more efficient global economy which seeks to lower energy consumption and use of fossil fuels.The promotion of new and renewable sources of energy, besides being central to this strategy, is of great importance to guarantee a long-term comprehensive development, capable of extending to different areas of the planet. In this regard, my delegation would like to highlight three issues. First, progress in the field of renewable energy is extremely important for poverty eradication. The many benefits of the application and dissemination of new and renewable sources of energy can be used for development of related objectives. Similarly, energy cooperation should ultimately be oriented towards poverty alleviation and be

‘The energy consumption pattern of today impacts future generations’
adjusted to economic and fiscal instruments, as well as to regional and international cooperation, information sharing, transfer of technology and best practices in this field. When addressing the various renewable energy technologies, solar, hydro, and bio, we note that the developing countries as a group have more than 40% of installed renewable power capacity, more than 70% of existing solar hot water capacity and 45% of bio-fuel production power capacity. But often low-carbon technologies, like solar technologies, including photovoltaic, concentrating solar power and solar thermal, incur very high initial expenses. Access by poorer people to this innovation is essential for allowing developing countries to meet their growing demand for energy and fostering sustainable development. Availability of and access to energy has a profound positive impact on health, education, nutrition and income opportunities. Improving access to energy requires better infrastructure, ensured by appropriate legal and institutional “frameworks”. This inevitably needs the involvement of local institutions, which can more easily identify the type of energy, including the forms of financing and marketing most appropriate for the complex realities of the zone. Where this access is denied to the poor or delayed due to various reasons, more efficient and sustainable use of traditional energy resources should be promoted, existing energy efficiency improved and conservation by relying on a mix of available technologies encouraged. Second, Mr. Chairman, every discussion on identifying reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services and resources should take into account the human and environmental long-term costs. Environmental exploitation, without regard to environmental or long-term concerns, may provide a short-term economic growth but such growth comes at a great price. The costs today are being born primarily by developing countries, the poor and those who do not have the ability to protect themselves from challenges of climate change. The field of renewable energy presents a challenge and an opportunity for Governments and all other relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and international organizations, to work together to address this pressing challenge. The common initiatives of renewable energy should also be based on “intergenerational justice” since the energy consumption pattern of today impacts future generations. We should not burden future generations with our overstated energy consumption. Therefore a change of lifestyle is imperative in this regard. In this way, renewable energy programmes will ensure an “intergenerational solidarity” beyond national and economic boundaries. Finally, for successful

(Statement of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, delivered before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly, November 3, on renewable energy)

renewable energy programmes, proper energy consciousness education and ongoing energy learning is vital. In this regard, civil society and faith-based organizations can contribute a great deal to raising awareness about and advocating for the use of renewable energy sources at the grass-roots level. In developing strategies and

policies for new and renewable energy, there is no “one size fits all” formula. Instead it will require multidimensional cooperation, which places responsible human stewardship of the earth at the center of international, national and individual efforts to address the causes and consequences of climate change. While this

challenge presents a number of scientific and economic challenges, through firmness of purpose and compassion for our neighbor, we will be able to foster a planet where desire to care for the earth is not a consequence of fear but a precursor to longterm economic and personal development. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Two Letters of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Manila to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the Laiban Dam Project and on Aerial Spraying

An Appeal for Fr. Michael Sinnott, SSC
We, the members of the INTERFAITH FORUM FOR PEACE, HARMONY AND SOLIDARITY – CAGAYAN DE ORO (IFPHS-CDO), who come from different religious faiths and persuasions, trying our best to help forge lasting peace between all men and women living in Cagayan de Oro, whatever their religious faith and persuasion, in alignment with the efforts of the Bishops and Ulama of Mindanao (BUC), are one with all peoples of good will in expressing our extreme sadness at the abduction of an aging and sickly Columban missionary priest, FR. MICHAEL SINNOTT. We are also one with the Columban Fathers and with every concerned individual in our anxiety that after four weeks Fr. Mick has still not yet been released from captivity. Until now the only confirmation that he is still alive is the video released by his captors dated October 22. That was already three weeks ago. We, therefore, humbly address ourselves now to you who are holding him. We address ourselves humbly to your human hearts, to your humanity, to, PLEASE SET FR. MICK FREE SO THAT HE CAN BE TREATED AND TAKEN CARED OF. We do not even have to know the reasons why you abducted him. We only beseech you, beg you, now to set him free. We are sure you have your own anxiety over his health. We are sure you also have your own sick relatives, family members, perhaps even parents who are sick, and you would want them to have immediate care and attention. Once again, FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS, GIVE FR. MICK BACK TO HIS FAMILY AND COMMUNITY. You can be assured of our gratitude to you, and our prayers (both Muslim and Christian) will be offered to Allah, God, for your own guidance. We, the members of IFPHS, make this appeal together, and hopefully await the freedom of FR. MICHAEL SINNOT. Everyone will be waiting for him. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! AND MAY ALLAH’S PEACE BE WITH YOU! ARCHBISHOP ANTONIO J. LEDESMA, SJ, DD Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro USTADZ ALIASA ALINOG Northen Mindanao Ulama’s League PASTOR SAMUEL DOMINGO United Methodist Church MSGR. REY MONSANTO Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro SR. LORIE NUNEZ Our Lady’s Missionaries MOHAMAD GONDARANGIN AL-HAJJ Jamaah-Oro al Islamiyah NATHANIEL MAMBUAY NATHANIEL MAMBUAY Silsilah Dialogue Movement FATHER VIC ARELLANO Iglesia Filipina Independiente PASTOR ALEX EDUAVE Cagayan de Oro Evangelical Convergence DIRECTOR OMBRA GANDAMRA Office on Muslim Affairs Region X MONA LISA PANGAN Xavier University AMINA MAMBUAY Silsilah Dialogue Movement DR. EDVILLA TALAROC Silsilah Dialogue Movement ALI BASHER LINOG Panday Kalinaw Youth

September 14, 2009 Dear Pres. Arroyo: Greetings of Peace! As Pastors, we are one with the outrage expressed by our people against the Laiban Dam project of your administration. The project is made worse with SMC’s offer of US $2B government guarantee with “take or pay” provision in a proposed Joint Venture contract with MWSS. “In these trying times when uniting the people is more urgent, any project that can be a cause of suspicion and division should be avoided.” What may be perceived as common good of the present generation may turn out to be a cause of suffering for the next. Even with the best intention of providing more water to the people can spark protests when it ignores and violates framework for sustainable development, ethical and legal considerations. The project will submerge 28,000 hectares of a biodiverse-rich forest-ecosystem, under a 113-meter high Laiban Dam. Moreover this dam is situated on top of a seismic fault line with historical record of 7.6 intensity. It will undermine the integrity of Marikina watershed reservation and violate E. O. 33 given on July 16, 2004, which bans the settlement, entry, sale or disposition of land in Marikina Watershed by relocating 12,728 upland (indigenous) people to Brgy. San Ysidro. It will destroy the ecosystems of the towns of Gen. Nakar, Real and Infanta, like the more or less 3,000 hectares mangrove fish sanctuary and farm irrigation. Likewise, such actions will endanger Metro Manila of flooding, air pollution and intensify global warming and climate change. People have the right to be provided with full information concerning the water program of the government, the terms and conditions of the private ventures, the biddings, etc. Unfortunately even NEDA, a government corporation has been in the dark on the arrangements entered into by MWSS and SMC. MWSS and SMC cannot invoke their right to confidentiality on a project imbued with public interest where public funds will be used in the process. In addition, the project will violate various laws such as the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) System, the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (“NIPAS”), the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (“Wildlife Protection Act”),E.O. 33, and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (“IPRA”). Madam President, in their latest report, both Maynilad and Manila Water publicly declared systems losses of 69% and 20%, respectively, due to leakage problem, thereby, belying claims of water shortage. In the meantime, consider the possibility of rehabilitating Wawa Dam since it has served as the main water supply of Metro Manila for 60 years. With a watershed area of 27,980 hectares, it is capable of continuously discharging millions of liters of fresh water daily. For the sake of the common good, we are requesting you, Madam President, to scrap the Laiban Dam project. Instead, let the government and its agencies focus their attention on the following: 1. Remedy the leakage problems of Maynilad and Manila Water; 2. Declare Marikina Watershed Reservation as Protected Area under the NIPAS Law; 3. Expedite Reforestation Efforts in Marikina Watershed to increase water capacity, provide carbon sink and mitigate the impacts of global warming and climate change. 4. MWSS to pursue its primary mandate of serving the people, the common good and working closely with environmental groups, LGUs, NGOs and POs. It must also provide avenues for public discussion and debate concerning a wide variety of water management options. We advocate service for the common good and integrity of creation out of our love for life. We pray that we join our forces together for the sustainable development of our people. God bless you.

October 29, 2009 Dear President Arroyo: Greetings! For many years now, families living in the surroundings of Cavendish banana plantations in Mindanao have been complaining of getting sick, their crops dying and water resources contaminated because of aerial spraying. The chemicals sprayed from airplanes used for bananas indiscriminately expose the people and the environment to poison. Various international and local studies point to the hazards of aerial spraying of pesticides on humans and the ecosystems. This was recently proven by the technical review made by the World Health Organization on the DOH commissioned study few years ago. We are one with all affected people of Mindanao in working for their deliverance from this immoral practice of aerial spraying that infringes upon human health and dignity. We cannot allow their suffering to go on any longer for anything that offends people, especially the least of our brothers and sisters, is an offense to God. As Pope Benedict XV said in his encyclical Letter “Caritas in Veritate,” “the Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction.” We commend the Department of Health (DOH) for standing by and adopting the key recommendations arising from a study prepared for the DOH by the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology and the University of the Philippines–National Poison Management and Control Center, which recommends among others the banning of aerial spraying. Once more your health department has proven to us and the whole Filipino people that indeed they are for the protection of the health of the people especially the most vulnerable. We therefore recommend and request that her Excellency help the DOH in strengthening their appeal by issuing an executive order banning permanently aerial spraying everywhere as soon as possible. This executive order will be your very valuable legacy of governance. It will surely be remembered by the next generations as your deep expression of motherly care for them because you have protected them from dangers of incurable diseases and early death. Let us remember that we are duty bound as Christians to value life more than economic gains. We look forward for your immediate response. Sincerely, +GAUDENCIO CARDINAL B. ROSALES, DD Archbishop of Manila +BISHOP BERNARDINO C. CORTEZ, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Manila; Chairman.CBCP-ECMMC +BISHOP BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Manila Chairman, CBCP-NASSA-JP +BISHOP HONESTO F.ONGTIOCO, DD Bishop of Cubao +BISHOP DEOGRACIAS IŇIGUEZ, DD Bishop of Kalookan; Chairman, CBCP-Public Affairs Commission +BISHOP ANTONIO R. TOBIAS, DD Bishop of Novaliches +BISHOP FRANCISCO C. SAN DIEGO, DD Bishop of Pasig +BISHOP JESSE E. MERCADO, DD Bishop of Parañaque

Sincerely, + GAUDENCIO CARDINAL B. ROSALES, DD Archdiocese of Manila + BISHOP BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Manila; Chairman, CBCP-NASSA-JP + BISHOP HONESTO F. ONGTIOCO Diocese of Cubao +BISHOP FRANCISCO C. SAN DIEGO, DD Diocese of Pasig +BISHOP ANTONIO R. TOBIAS, DD Diocese of Novaliches +BISHOP DEOGRACIAS S. IÑIGUEZ, JR. DD Diocese of Kalookan +BISHOP JESSE E. MERCADO, DD Diocese of Parañaque +BISHOP FRANCISCO M. DE LEON, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo +BISHOP JULIO XAVIER LABAYEN, OCD Bishop- Emeritus, Prelate of Infanta



Ref lections
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time -Year B, (Mark 10:17-30); October 11, 2009
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
Indeed, it is scarcely untruthful to say that there is something demonic in political power. And one who holds it normally finds it difficult to relinquish it. The privileges that are attendant upon it are hard to give up. No wonder, once one is in power, he makes an effort to hold on to it, even by hook or by crook. It is not easy to say no to political power and its trappings. Because it corrupts, deception, graft, corruption, abuse, oppression and repression are often connected with it. Thus, though we change those who hold political power time and again, society scarcely exhibits itself as evolving into a more just and more humane one. One often gets the impression that it is a case of the same dog, with different collar. That is how it goes in the kingdoms of this world. In today’s Gospel on the account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world: “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here” (John 18:36). This does not mean, of course, that Jesus’ kingdom has nothing to do with this world. It does not even mean that his kingdom cannot be found in this world. In the theology of John, the word “world” as used in this pericope means the world of sin. If anything, what Jesus said means that his rule does not belong to this world of sin, a world that values political power and social privileges, where there is domination, where rulers lord it over people, and make their importance felt. Hence, he cannot be a king in the sense Pilate understood it:”You say I am a king” (John 18:37). How then do we look at the kingship of Jesus? We can understand his kingship if we consider how Jesus understood his kingdom. According to him, it is a kingdom of truth (John 18:37). Truth, in John, echoes the meaning of Wisdom 6:22 which associates it with God’s hidden plan of salvation, and in Daniel 10:21 which connects

CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Jesus’ kingdom: Not of this world
POWER and privilege are what kingship and ruling are all about. In times past, among the basic duties of the king concerns war and law: they have to wage war to protect the interest of the people, or protect them from war. They see to it that there is order in the kingdom. Today, among the basic expectations of the people from their rulers have to do with food and justice. They have power and privilege, but they have to see to it that people do not starve, and provide an ordered society in which justice prevails. It happens, however, that power, by which they can provide people food and justice, ironically causes hunger and injustice. For as Lord Acton observes, “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
it with the designs of God for the time of salvation. Thus, unlike Caesar, Jesus did not have soldiers who were armed to protect him, nor people who were at his beck and call (John 18:36b), but certainly he had followers—those who hear his voice, which is the truth (John 18:37c). These are the disciples, the believers, his sheep (John 10:16; 8:47). Having considered this, we now understand Jesus’ kingship. He is a King in the sense that he is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6), and all his words and his deeds testify to it (John18:37b). Moreover, he testified to that truth with his death; so, in his crucifixion he is the King (John 19:19). Viewed in this light, we can easily understand why Jesus’ kingship is not of this world. However, still, it has to do with this world. For the truth is opposed to this world of sin and division; not surprisingly enough, it hates the testimony of Jesus (John 7:2). This world cannot accept the values of his kingdom—truth, justice, peace, liberation, equality and participation. But Christians cannot despair. For few they may be, yet those who hear the truth and believe in him will eventually conquer the world: “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”(1 John 5:4). In this feast of the Kingship of Jesus, John then has this to say to us: Jesus is a King and has a Kingdom. But if we are to share in his kingship, we must listen to his voice. By listening to his voice, we turn earthly values upside down: better to be poor than to be rich, to suffer than to persecute, to be weak than to be powerful, to be utilized than to exploit. We no longer imitate the current language of power and privilege. On the contrary, we follow him in discipleship, offering our very self on the cross, in which we can find our victory and vindication. In our crucifixion, we reign with him. In this reign, we experience wholeness, love, truth, justice and peace. By this kingdom which is not of this world, we will conquer the kingdom of this world.

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


‘Youth spells Ondoy’
“SPELL ‘Ondoy’…,” I asked the student in an interview. “ONDOY: G…E…N…E…R…O…S…I… T…Y…,” he answered. “Spell ‘Ondoy’…,” I asked another eager lady volunteer. “ONDOY: S…A…C…R…I…F…I… C…E…,” she replied. “Last one who wants to spell, ‘Ondoy’…,” I looked around the students. “ONDOY:O…P…T…I…M…I…S…M…,” he proudly said. *** These individuals are not special students who don’t know how to spell a simple name. When I interviewed these college students about their experiences of volunteering in shuttling relief goods, helping the victims clean their houses and move their furniture, and joining the many medical teams, etc., none could spell ‘disaster’, ‘sadness’, ‘boring’ or ‘punishment’ from the unprecedented effects brought about by typhoon Ondoy (internationally known as Ketsana). *** I was interested to know how this meteorological catastrophe had shaped their character and views about life. For the great majority of the students it was their first time to be involved in such a large scale volunteer operation. This required a lot of time and sacrifice on their part: staying up late at night, having very little food and water, being deployed to almost any point with unknown shift hours, and being exposed to elements that their ‘university shells’ had kept from them. *** “The most difficult task for me,” Iñigo shared, “was seeing so many people hungry and tired. We didn’t have enough relief goods. But it moved me how disciplined and how they patiently waited for their turns.” “I was involved with organizing the distribution of the relief goods,” Calai, a young professional said. “It was quite a headache to determine how to systematically distribute the help and to those who really needed it. All this, however, was so fulfilling!” “At first, I was all excited and geared up for this new adventure!” Jake said. “Imagine, it was my first time to be deployed and spend ten to twelve hours just ferrying people and goods! I was also excited when I learned we were going to ride a helicopter. But as the hours of work piled upon my shoulders, I began to be more consoled to see the people’s generosity and cooperation.” “Yup, that’s what I thought at first,” Iñigo interrupted. “But when we saw that the bigger picture didn’t allow us to make our own choices or simply to enjoy the ride, I became aware of how serious things were and how much people really needed our help.” *** The experiences of these students, however, do not remain on the experiential level. Many of them share how it has contributed to a deeper spiritual conversion. Iñigo for example says, “Hey, dude. I’m not saying that I want this stuff to be a lifetime thing. But it has helped me to be more generous, to think more about the others and always to be ready to give a hand to anyone, anytime...” “I agree with you,” Jake said. “I guess only a few of us [students] will really get into this stuff professionally. But, like when I went home dead tired to rest for a few hours, I was lying in bed. But I just couldn’t rest thinking, ‘I can’t just sit comfortable here while a lot of people still need help.’ I immediately left the house and reported to the Red Cross to be deployed again.” I then asked Jake if he could say something to the other young people who didn’t have the chance to get involved in such a lifetime experience. “I guess, it’s simply that they shouldn’t wait for something big to come along in life. Anyone is already helping if he really strives to do the little things well. And doing this everyday in the most ordinary things at home and at school, like studying well, doing their chores and whatever.” *** The idealism of youth has converted this disaster into an opportunity to discover and experience more than what they could get when listening to their iPods, going to malls and watching movies, spending hours of surfing the Internet in Facebook, Multiply, Flickr and Twitter; or worse, and spending a week-long of suspended classes in a moldy couch watching cable T.V. or playing video games. These young volunteers, as well as many others, have discovered something more than what a “virtual life” could offer. Ondoy had given them entirely new and priceless lessons in generosity, sacrifice, service, compassion, prayer and love. It is precisely this experience that helped them realize that they can answer a call to greater adventures—both human and divine—in life when they open their hearts and minds to the God’s invitation and their neighbors’ needs.


Bishop Pat Alo


Obedience problems
IF it’s part of the Ten Commandments that we respect authority, beginning with our parents, it is because that’s for our own protection. God’s word says it so: “You must obey all governing authorities. Since all government comes from God, the civil authorities were appointed by God, and so anyone who resists authority is rebelling against God’s decision, and such an act is bound to be punished” (Rom. 13:1-3). Look back in history. The rebellious angels were cast away from heaven and now they tempt man to do the same. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, violated God’s command and were expelled from Paradise. It’s the same tune of their temptations. That’s why the battle-cry of St. Michael who fought in God’s name against the rebellious angels is within his own name, which in Hebrew means “who is like unto God.” Obedience therefore shows our faithfulness to God for it is God who is the reason for our obedience. The great master in prayer and mystical theology, St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite, wrote in his Cautions against falling into the devil’s snares. He says the devil usually portrays evil under the guise of good so as to tempt people. Obedience, according to St. John of the Cross, is a protection of our virtue. Thus, he advises not to go outside the line of obedience by doing whatever may seem a great success or charitable action. Even making the human defects or qualities of a superior or authority a condition for obedience is not appropriate, lest it become purely a human obedience, not an obedience to the invisible God to whom we owe all our loyalty. The devil tends to attract with the feeling of power and freedom telling us we can then be like gods. That is how he deceived Adam and Eve to disobey God and thus were expelled from Paradise and lost all other privileges (cf. Gen. 3:1-24). If the Lord asks our obedience and humility, it is for our own good and protection. God’s only begotten Son shows this in His prayer at the Gethsemane garden. Thus He prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine” (Lk. 22:42). The things Jesus did out of obedience turn out to be the very essence of success and victory, in spite of apparent failure and frustration. That’s why in the long history of the Church, priests and religious persons recognize that of all the promises or vows made, the vow or promise of obedience is the pre-eminent one. Those who sacrifice lives for obedience to God are cause for victory of the Church. As the writers of Church history attest, the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.


Bo Sanchez

Always give your best struggle
I PREACH in my prayer group. And every time I preach, I always find three or four or five people in the audience who sleep through my talks. Repeat: Every time. It doesn’t matter what I do, whether I crack a joke, scream till my larynx dies, or I murder someone in the front row—it will have the same effect on them: Zzzzzzzzz... That’s right, they snore. In four voices, no less. Because they’re the same people who always nap, I know them quite well. Like I know their permanent seating arrangement in the gathering. And I know exactly when each one will fall asleep. With clockwork precision, one guy sleeps at my third sentence, while the woman with the flowery blouse signs off on my fifth. The rest doze off the moment I enter the stage. (I get paranoid sometimes. Do I really look that boring?) I also know their favorite sleeping postures. There are only two major ones really. The most popular is what I call the Wet Look: After the head bobs up and down for awhile, it finally tilts forward. Count ten seconds and drool flows liberally from chin to lap or chin to floor. Because of this, I limit my talks to forty-five minutes, max. Anything longer than that and the entire audience would need knee-high boots to go home. The second most popular sleeping position, I call Hallelujah Forever. This time, the head is tilted way back, and— gloriously—the mouth is wide open. The same way a mouth opens when a world-class tenor is singing the final “jah” of Handel’s Hallelujah. Except this one won’t stop. His orifice is so wide, I can tell you his entire dental history from twenty feet away. Three molars filled, one root-canalled, and a mild case of gingivitis. If I get any nearer, I can give you an endoscopy report. But lest you think I’m angry at them, I want to say that I really admire their struggle to come despite their obvious exhaustion. First of all, they’re a loyal bunch. They’re present every prayer meeting! (Physically, at least.) God knows they’re tired, and He honors the struggle they’re going through to be there. Because when I’m tired, I too sometimes fall asleep in my daily prayers. When my wife catches me, I just tell her that I practice a very “deep” kind of meditation where I “rest” in the God’s Presence. She doesn’t buy it. But curiously, I think my God does. Because He hasn’t thrown a lightning rod towards my direction yet. I bet He even laughs at my wet look or hallelujah forever posture. I guess He also honors my struggle to pray despite my exhaustion—and that struggle of mine really pleases Him. We have a funny God. We have a God that demands that we give the best to Him. But if the best we can give is faulty and weak, He accepts what we give to Him anyway and transforms it to become the best. Even when we flounder and fall and stumble, He’ll know if we gave Him our best struggle. He’ll know. And He’ll laugh with you and tell you to struggle again. P.S. By the way, I’ve overcome my paranoia. These people sleep not because I’m boring. They sleep because, like Mahatma Gandhi, I’m a very peaceful human being, and consequently, have a strange calming effect on others… Mwahahahaha…

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

Social Concerns

services. Its financial products include credit cards, debit cards, fund management of the coop’s surplus funds, microfinance (which they call Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives or MICOOP) and micro-insurance. For its non-financial services, training and consultancy has been the network’s core business development service aimed at professionalizing and enhancing the knowledge and skills of its primaries. It also engages in corn and sugar marketing, established a coop mart, offers opportunities for settlements under its housing coop, and ventured into travel and tours operations, among many others. Over and above the aforementioned services already offered for co-ops, there is still a call for cooperatives to galvanize their efforts and to unite even more for the good of their individual members, their organization and the community to which it belongs. In the past and perhaps until today, many cooperatives have been organized to comply with a requirement by government or to receive donations of benefits from some private agency. Once benefits are received, this kind of cooperatives disintegrates given no basis of unity. Nothing beats a cooperative organization that is initiated by the members themselves. It is in their unity and strength that they can leverage to enjoy more services from external organizations. Whether for financial or business development services, government and private institutions prefer to deal with organized communities. The Land Bank of the Philippines, for instance, courses its wholesale funds through organizations, specifically cooperatives, than through individuals due to the hefty costs attendant to transacting with the latter. These big financial institutions take calculated risks, and dealing with a stable cooperative organization helps minimize the risks. Cooperatives in the Philippines have been in existence for almost a century now, and yet continue to be relevant and recognized even if other formal and informal organizations have evolved. The selling point here is the unity of members and the many opportunities that the co-op brings to its individual members. raised to smite in violence but to cuddle in peace for Christ affirms: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God!”(Matthew 5:9). Tribal enemies shall embrace to become brothers and sisters. Faith in the Lord and trust in His Word has inspired the start of the movement. Kairos has come; now is the time when Christian principles and Gospel values are more eloquent in flourishing deeds of love, reconciliation and peace.” The Lin-awa Development and Rehabilitation Center Another very important outreach program of the Vicariate is the service for the physically challenged. Children who needed physical therapy treatments and SPED training were first served at the Vicariate Pastoral Center and at the parish hall respectively. But then the number increased that it was already needed to establish a more permanent rehabilitation center. Bishop Carlito Cenzon together with the SIHM Sisters acquired funding to put up the center, thus, the Lin-awa Development and Rehabilitation Center took roots. Today, the center provides services for hundreds of physically and mentally challenged clients and their families. Our journey continues… So much has yet to be done. It is only with willing hearts and minds to respond to God’s gracious call that the message of the Good News be lived among our people. And we need generous men and women to join us as we continue our journey. We continually rely on the intercession of our Blessed Mother who followed her Son closely on the road of true discipleship.

By Gemma Marin

The concept of cooperativism

I HAVE always been interested in the concept of cooperativism. It combines the seemingly odd pair of business and social development which is my academic background in college and graduate studies. My graduate thesis of decades ago compared two pre-cooperatives or the socalled “samahang nayon” to bring out the factors that would spell for the success of running such an organization. I really rooted for the success of cooperatives because I have always thought that amidst the many unfair or uneven circumstances in life, cooperativism offers an opportunity of fairness and a sense of unity for the people. To borrow the definition of a cooperative by the Cooperative Development Authority: “A cooperative is an autonomous and duly registered association of persons, with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve their social, economic and cultural needs and aspirations by making equitable contributions to the capital required, patronizing their products and services and accepting a fair share of risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with the universally accepted cooperative principles.” It brings together people of the same interest or with the same cause, and creates a spirit of community among the members. Membership is voluntary, not coerced, and is open to everyone regardless of race, religion or political affiliations. The cooperative organization is an independent formation and run in a democratic way with members have equal voting rights on a one-member, one-vote principle. Members actively participate in the economic or business affairs of the cooperative, and benefit in proportion to their transactions. Latest data from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) show that a total of 2,056 were newly registered cooperatives from January to December 2006. Among the single-purpose co-ops, credit cooperatives belonged to the biggest group at 115, compared to consumer (34), producer (46), marketing (18) and service (64) cooperatives. Credit
Tabuk / B3

cooperatives have always been observed to take the biggest slice among the single-purpose co-ops because of the constant need for capital of individual members, small capital requirements on the part of the cooperative organization to embark on the business, and the conduct of simple transactions (until delinquent accounts pile up, and the co-op is faced with huge collection problems). In response to the various needs of members, many cooperatives expand in a matter of time to engage in another business endeavor which is usually trading of consumer items, hence converting the same coop into a multi-purpose cooperative (MPC). As of the same period of January to December 2006, school system. It is still a tedious undertaking as the schools have been originally functioning so differently from each other in terms of salary and tuition fee scales; grading systems; and some policies – before they were handed over to the Vicariate when it was time for the missionaries to leave. Youth Commission The Youth Commission has so far organized several activities on the parish and vicariate levels over the past years. Spiritual Formation; Catechesis; Development Projects; Leadership training and other skills formation are in the pipeline. It is our hope that our youths may pursue their goals based on Christian foundations. Meanwhile, they look forward to the Asian Youth Days—an opportunity for the youth leaders to meet their counterparts from all over Asia. Finance Commission The Finance Commission takes care of our temporal needs. Aside from the grueling work of record keeping and financial reports, they assist the pastoral workers to be in line with our calling as good stewards of our resources. It is not an easy task. It demands patience and so much trust in Divine Providence as they manage a “treasury without treasures”. The B.e.C. Coordinators Commission The BEC team is not really a commission per se but a coordinating body that roves all over the Vicariate to help orient our parishes with the dynamics of BEC. They train leaders and encourage our people to be more self-reliant and self-sustaining. Pilot parishes are followed up so closely. Their focus is mainly to

CDA reported 699 multi-purpose agricultural and 1,074 multi-purpose non-agricultural cooperatives, comprising the bulk at 34% and 52% of newly registered co-ops, respectively. The need for capital of member-individuals and cooperatives is indeed one of the foremost concerns of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO). Established in 1977 primarily to provide co-op education to its members, it has progressed through the years to now offer a sophisticated range of financial and non-financial services to its network members. As a financial service provider, it provides wholesale lending to cooperatives and enhanced its money transfer keep the vision-mission alive in the minds of the faithful, while forming among themselves Christ-centered communities. Other Programs and Services The Cultural Heritage Research Center Al on g s i d e w it h a ll t he evangelization concerns is a quite specialized task that is linked with the St. Louis College of Bulanao. This is the establishment of the Cultural Heritage Research Center whose main purpose is to help bring about lasting peace in Kalinga. Since its inception in 2004, it has now crystallized into eight different components that could be spelled out with the word PRECEPTS i.e., Peacemakers m ov e m e n t ; R e sea r c h a nd documentation; Education and information drive; Children values formation programs; Earth care; Pastoral Counseling ; Teaching museum and School of Living Tradition. The SLCB-CHRC is on its fifth year now since Bishop Andaya founded it to cater to peace advocacy work as a major concern. Perhaps, in our present context, a more effective way of evangelizing our people is to enter through the portals of cultural perspectives. I would like to focus a bit more on the PEACEMAKERS’ MOVEMENT that has been the inspiration to establish the CHRC. It all started with a prayer request written on an envelope which states: “please pray for the repose of the soul of my son who was killed and for the spiritual renewal of the killer’. The mother who prayed for these intentions took courage to stop the cycle of revenge and counter-revenge. Then a movement followed so naturally with the coming together of nine families with similar predicaments.

new Bishop tried to emphasize the need for the ongoing formation of the Clergy and the Religious priests and sisters. He was convinced that as Pastoral Leaders, we need to know each other better and learn how to work in teams on the Vicariate level. This would serve as an experiential model of team leadership and stewardship that could be translated into the parish level in terms of our evangelization programs. He insisted on a two-day monthly meeting and recollection for all priests and sisters. It was quite a new experience in the Vicariate that we have to come every month for the meetings. One of the first tasks during his first months in his episcopacy was the re-organization of some of the Commissions that were then defunct and of the Mission Council that until now serves as the decision-making body of the Vicariate. Till now, the organizational structure of the commissions serves as the backbone for our ministry. Each of the pastoral workers is encouraged to function in one commission in accordance to his or her capabilities and giftedness. The following are the seven major Commissions that we have: The Faith and Doctrine Commission At the moment, this commission constitutes four desks namely: the Catechetical Desk; the Biblical Apostolate Desk; Liturgical Desk; and the Family and Life Desk. Aside from these, they also take care of issues concerning hospital work; prison apostolate; mandated organization concerns. In a nutshell, the Faith and Doctrine Commission takes care of the spirituality of the whole Vicariate.

The Formation Commission This Commission takes charge of ongoing formation sessions of our pastoral workers (priests and sisters) and also the concerns about Initial Formation of our seminarians. Two big projects are currently being worked out, namely: the Galilee Foundation for the studies of seminarians and the Caritas Dei Foundation for the Diocesan Clergy’s retirement plan. It is also the task of this Commission to ensure that recollections and retreats are scheduled and other ongoing formation programs in and out of the Vicariate. During this Year for Priests, much of animation and prayer is needed in support for the apostolate of our priests. Social Action Commission As its name imply, the Social action ventures in taking charge of the Socio-Economic services, Political, Religious, Environmental and Cultural involvements of the Vicariate. The Bigasan ng Bayan that they supervise is an enormous help for the indigents. We are also closely linked with the KARSA (KalingaApayao Religious Sectors Association), an ecumenical movement comprising of more than 15 participating church denominations concerned about social justice and other peace issues in this part of the country. Alongside with this is our partnership with Heifer International and the Child Fund Japan, two non-government agencies that are serving a good number of clients around here. education Commission Our Ed-Com members oversee all our schools comprising of one college, 10 high schools and three elementary departments. A monthly meeting of directors and principals takes place in order to pave the way of centralizing our

The PEACEMAKERS’ MOVEMENT was born on March 20, 2004, the first day of the twelve-day pilgrimage of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Piat in the Vicariate of Tabuk. It was indeed a very significant occasion to dedicate our cause to our Lady of Peace! Then we coined the acronym of PIAT to be Peace In All Towns. Hope has dawned to smash the chains of revenge and tribal hostilities. It was seen as relevant and significant to create a group to facilitate counter-consciousness and advocate non-violence that could work on this cultural facet of peace in the Kalingas. With the vision of evolving a sensitive cultural pattern that could overcome the distortion of prevailing cultural practices of revenge and counter-revenge, the Peacemakers’ Movement consists of families and friends of people who have been killed because of tribal conflicts, atrocities or criminal acts. The members of the Peacemakers’ Movement had been victims of tribal wars due to a murder of a loved one yet the bereaved families refuse to take any form of revenge; while at the same time seeking justice through civil courts or cultural negotiations and settlements. In other words, the focus of the PMM is to be of help to widows and orphans of victims of tribal atrocities. As its founder wrote: “The Peacemakers’ Movement works on the basic premise that, vengeance is at God’s disposal, not anyone else (Rom. 12:19) and nobody should kill anybody (Deut. 5:17). It ruminates the very words of Jesus Christ to “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Tribal enemies shall learn the ways of reconciliation and forgiveness. Hands would not be
Kids / B4

Photo courtesy of CBCP-NASSA


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Each of us is ruled by and defined by our habits. However, while the habits of our adult years get increasingly resistant to change, the habits of childhood and adolescence are quite plastic. While this statement may seem like a magnificent platitude, the question remains, why do so few parents and educators focus their attention on habit formation? Instead of anxiously planting Jack and Jill in front of the television screen, the good parent should help them acquire habits such as persistence, self-control and diligence.Thesearethehabitswhich define good students and treasured employees. A character marked by these habits knows how to set a goal andget a job done, whether it isacing an exam or getting a scholarship. The root of “character” is the Greek word “to engrave.” Parents can do a great deal to help a child groove good habits, but at a certain point the job of engraving a character must be shifted to

the young person. Convincing a young person of the significance and importance of crafting his or her character is, though, the central duty of parents. The work of character building is slow and long, but the rewards for both parent and child are monumental. The key to how to increase one’s CQ has been known by wise people throughout history. Aristotle told us that a man becomes brave by doing wise acts and honest by doing honest acts. However, before Aristotle, Confucius captured the essence of character formation in a short poem: Sow a thought. Reap an action. Sow an action. Reap a habit. Sow a habit. Reap a character. Sow a character. Reap a destiny. (Kevin Ryan founded the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University, where he is professor emeritus. This article is published with permission by MercatorNet.)


Moral Assessment Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent Title: Law Abiding Citizen Cast: Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Viola Davis, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney, Regina Hall Director: F. Gary Gray Producers: Gerard Butler, Lucas Foster, Mark Gill Screenwriter: Kurt Wimmer Music: Brian Tyler Editor: Tariq Anwar Genre: Drama Cinematography: Jonathan Sela Distributor: Overture Films Location: Philadelphia Running Time: 109 min. Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above

CLYDE Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a loving father and husband until his wife and his daughter are raped and murdered during a home invasion. But a messed up forensic investigation compromises the findings. Prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) decides to make a deal with Darby (Christian Stolte), the actual rapist and murderer, and pin down Rupert Ames (Josh Stewart) on a theft charge. Rice argues that what matters is not what it right but what can be proven in court. Ten years after, Ames is executed by lethal injection but suffers an agonizing death because of a chemical alternation. Soon after Darby is abducted and brutally dismembered by Shelton . When police arrest and incarcerate Shelton , a series of brutal killings take place after the latter’s requests are denied or not served on time. Shelton emphasizes to Rice that the killings are not mere retribution for his family but defiance for the failure of the justice system. Law Abiding Citizen is a chilling drama which illustrates how the failure of justice eventually destroys lives and humanity. Butler , Foxx and Stolte deliver an outstanding and authentic

portrayal of their characters. The camerawork and editing keep up with the action and suspense. Entertainment-wise, the movie accomplishes its goal. The plot, however, is a little cheesy and exaggerated. The movie feels like one of the local films where the hero is always pushed to his limits and forced to seek revenge against the bad guys. Director Gary Grey was not successful in maintaining sympathy for the protagonist turned anti-hero because as the violence progresses, the film becomes another serial-slasher movie as one man searches for justice. Vengeance has been romanticized time and again as people turn to St. Paul’s letter to the Romans stating, “Vengeance is mine”, and conveniently leaving or forgetting the part which states, “says the Lord”. With this in mind, some people can now rationalize acts of violence and retribution in their search for justice. From a little child’s small and sometimes hilarious manner of getting even to the brutal and violent and at times legalized ways of obtaining justice, revenge has become a way of life. But getting even, getting back,

revenge or however it is termed can never be righteous and good. We cannot correct a wrongdoing with another crime or sin. We need to remember that as human beings we are asked to be compassionate and as Christians we are expected to forgive and be merciful. Although the film makes a strong statement against systematized injustice it does so in a very brutal and violent manner. The theme and treatment are for mature audiences only.


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of Pope Gregory Vii, Holy Water Font and Holy Trinity.(Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

Title: Estasyon Cast: Mon Confiado, Klaudia Coronel, Christian Galindo, Diana Alferez Director: Cesar Apolinario Producer: Cesar Apolinario Screenwriters: Chris Lim, Cesar Apolinario Music: Jerrold Tarog Editor: Miguel Araneta Genre: Drama Cinematography: Jay Linao Distributor: Huge Screen Small Pictures Location: Philippines Running Time: 100 min. Technical Assessment:  ½ Moral Assessment:  ½ CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above

SA kagustuhang makagawa ng may saysay na pelikula, susubukan ni Martin (Mon Confiado) na gawan ng dokyumentaryo ang panata ng mga deboto sa Quiapo sa pista ng Poong Nazareno. Dito niya makikilala si Christian (Christian Galindo), isang tinedyer mula sa Laguna na naglakbay mag-isa patungo sa pista upang ipahid ang dala-dalang puting panyo sa Poong Nazareno sa pag-asang ito ang magpapagaling sa maysakit na ina (Klaudia Koronel). Sasamahan at susundan ni Martin si Christian sa pagsusubok nitong makalapit sa Poon. Makakapanayam pa niya ito at dito malalaman ni Martin ang kuwentong-buhay ni Christian habang patungo sa pista ng Nazareno. Makuha kaya ni Christian ang inaasam na himala? Nagnais ang pelikula na gumawa ng makabuluhang kuwento ukol sa isang sikat na debosyon sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng paralelismo sa daan ng krus ni Hesukristo at sa buhay ng isang deboto. Sa ganitong konsepto nais palabasin ng direktor ang paghahalo ng katotohanan sa kathang-isip. Ngunit sayang at hindi ito ang naipalabas ng pelikula. Maraming nais sabihin ang kuwento na hindi nito naipamalas sapagkat kulang sa masusing pananaliksik ang kabuuan ng istorya. Mahusay naman ang pagkakaganap ng mga pangunahing tauhan lalo na si Koronel at maganda rin ang potograpiya ngunit hindi pa rin naging epektibo ang kabuuan ng pelikula. Marahil ay talagang hindi naging sigurado ang mga nasa likod ng pelikula kung ano ba talaga ang nais nilang sabihin at kitang-kita ang pagkalitong ito sa pagkakalahad ng kuwento. Isang matinding pagkuwestiyon sa pananampalatayang Katoliko ang Estasyon. Sa isang banda, dapat nga namang suriing maigi ang mga debosyon at panata kung ang mga ito ay sadyang nakakatulong sa pag-unlad ng buhay ispiritwal ng isang tao o nagiging instrumento lamang ba ito ng panatisismo tulad ng sa mga pagano. Ngunit napako ang pananaw ng mga gumawa ng pelikula sa negatibong aspeto lamang ng debosyon, at hindi na nila nakita ang kagandahan at maging ang pinagmulan ng isang debosyon na tulad sa Poong Nazareno. Kapwa naghahanap ang mga pangunahing tauhan ng kahulugan sa maling lugar, sa maling oras at sa maling intensiyon. Sa aspetong ito, nakababahala ang ninais iparating ng pelikula. Pawang walang silbi ang relihiyon, ang simbahan at kung ano pa mang pananampalataya sa pagpapayabong ng buhay ng sangkatauhan. Isa itong mababaw na pagtingin sa isang pananampalatayang nananatiling matatag sa loob ng mahigit 2,000 taon. Oo nga’t may kahirapan, may karahasan, may kawalang-katarungan, kawalang-pag-asa at kahalayan, ngunit hindi masisisi ang relihiyon dito kung tutuusin. Kita naman sa pelikula na walang pagkukusa ang mga tauhan na alamin at palalimin ang kani-kanilang debosyon kung kaya’t nagiging pawang mababaw ang kanilang pananampalataya. Ngunit tahasan na itong hinusgahan ang relihiyon sa kabuuan. Nariyang ipakitang suot ng isang babaeng halos walang saplot ang rosaryo at lantarang itapon ni Martin. Na sa bandang huli ay binawi naman ng paghalik niya dito. Ngunit hindi pa rin malinaw kung ito nga ay pagbabalik-loob o gawa pa rin ng kanyang pagkalito. Mas mabigat ang mga binitiwan niyang salita sa huli: “Ninais ko lang ipakita ang kawalang-kabuluhan ng anumang debosyon at relihiyon.” Sa mga nagugulumihanan at naghahanap ng kahulugan sa kanilang pananampalataya, hindi makakatulong ang pelikulang tulad nito.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009


The Cross

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

GO FOR COMPUTERIZED ELECTION SYSTEM. CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS GO FOR POLL AUTOMATION AND SUPPORT COMELEC ON “EMBRACING CHANGE”. More than 2,000 people were present in the Voters’ Education Forum held on October 27, 2009 at SMCity Events Center, Baliuag Bulacan. The forum was facilitated by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), Knights of Columbus, Shoemart and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Inc. Commissioner Rene Sarmiento was the prime speaker during the event. Similar fora have been facilitated by civic organizations like the K of C and the DMI, which is said to be one of the reasons cited for the increased voters’ registration and awareness.

KCFAPI together with Bulacan K of C, DMI, DSWD and SM City Baliuag hosts voters’ education forum

(L-R) Grand Knight Harry Curia, DMI Regent and KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa Curia, President Antonio Borromeo, Comm. Rene Sarmiento, Mayor Romeo Estrella and Mrs. Sonia Estrella during the voters’ education seminar.

Comm. Rene V. Sarmiento together with the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) Rosarian Circle, Makinabang Baliuag, Bulacan.

KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Services Manager Gari San Sebastian with DSWD head Jo Labasbas during the voters’ education forum held last October 27.

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) together with the Knights of Columbus (K of C) Rosarial Council 10104 headed by Grand Knight Harry Curia with the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) Rosarian Circle led by Regent Ma. Theresa Curia hosted a voters’ education forum last October 27 at the SM Events Center in Baliuag, Bulacan.
The voters’ education was held in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed by Ms. Jo Labasbas together with Architect Andrew Cristobal and Ms. Jenne Teodoro and LG Officials led by Mayor Romy Estrella. The forum, which was attended by more than 2,000 people from Bulacan was meant to help educate the voters on poll automation that will be introduced for the first time in next year’s national and local elections. Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, an active member of the Knights of Columbus, was the main resource speaker who discussed in detail the voting process, various features of the machine to attain clean and transparent elections and some of the alternatives that have been planned in case of unexpected occurrences. Sarmiento also discussed the necessary preparations that COMELEC has been doing to attain a “smooth sailing” election. He also gave assurance that COMELEC will disclose to the political parties the source code that will be used in the automated election system. “The source code contains the readable instructions on how the machine will operate. This will be made available for political parties for them to justify that no marking has been made yet in the machine,” the COMELEC commissioner stated. Fraternal counselors and other KC members in the area, led by District Deputy Ronnie Robles participated in the forum. Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Executive Vice-President of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) and Regent of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI); Ronulfo Antero G. Infante, Senior IT Manager of the Management Information Systems Department, Gari M. San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager and volunteer educators of KCFAPI were also in attendance. (KCFAPI News)

AT least 50 residents and officials of Barangay 655 in Intramuros, Manila attended the voters’ education forum conducted by the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). The forum was held October 30, 2009 at the Barangay Hall of the said area. Headed by Mr. Edwin B. Dawal, Manager of the BC Holders’ Relations Office, together with Mr. Basil Occeño, Assistant Manager of Mace Insurance Agency, Inc. and Mr. Andrei Rosana, a former Underwriting staff, the activity was made possible. The presenters first introduced the vision of the Voters’ Education campaign, which is to

Intramuros residents, barangay officials attend voters’ education forum
educate the people on the right voting process at the 2010 automated national elections. “Basically, ang tinuro namin ay kung paano yung voting process, kung paano ang tamang shading sa mga bilog, kung anu yung mga hindi iko-consider kapag mali yung pagshade,” he narrated. The facilitators also discussed other issues relevant to the first automated national elections that will be held next year. The group ended the discussion with a question for the participants, “Ngayong educated na kayo tungkol sa kung paano ang pagboto sa automated election, ilan ang mai-educate ninyo sa inyong pamilya, o komunidad?” (KCFAPI News)


The Cross

CBCP Monitor
November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Chairman’s Message
Patrocinio R. Bacay
THE national election has been in every Filipino’s mind, young and old, rich and poor. For many years, election time has been branded as the national past-time in the country. How come a very important event in the life of a country acquired such a lowly nomenclature? Is it perhaps that people often times do not take it seriously enough to use their time and spend effort in convincing themselves to be aware of what is going on? Unfortunately, it is only those who have vested interests who take active role in every election we have. We have all been witnesses to the tragedies of making wrong choices when it comes to committed leadership. Once more, every Filipino voter should feel important because he can personally help determine the future of his country. Perhaps a change of mindset can be good if each one will make his right of suffrage a sacred responsibility, in the sense that his time and effort will not be wasted in making it his business to be aware of current changes such as the poll automation in this particular election come May 10, 2010. It is important that each voter take initiative educating himself on this new process of voting and feel responsible for helping others to use this method intelligently. Let us seriously try to know about the people whom we will choose to lead us. We are a Christian nation. We put high values for honesty, for integrity, for competence and for their priorities. As always, we pray for a good election day and ask our God to enlighten us in choosing the right people to make this country part of a truly Christian world.

President’s Message
IN about six months’ time, we will have our new political leaders. It is timely, therefore, that all voting citizens be educated with regard to poll automation. The Commission on Elections has been educating the public through various organizations in different occasions. KCFAPI has been part of this voters’ education by creating a team working hand in hand with COMELEC. The team’s project theme is: “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Understand Poll Automation.” Its mission is to educate the voting population regarding the new system of voting by initiating a network of social awareness. This is being done through formal seminars, group or individual discussions and through posters and flyers. KCFAPI together with Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento had its first formal voters’ education last September 9 at the Head Office of KCFAPI, the next one was held in Cabanatuan. Last October 10, he was one of the speakers during the Luzon Convention and he also spoke at the SM Events Center Baliuag, Bulacan last October 27 about poll automation. This campaign of educating the electorate will go on until April of 2010. This is one way by which KCFAPI is responding to the needs of the times which is to educate the Filipino voter. It is also another way of showing its commitment to corporate social responsibility. KCFAPI will always be at the forefront of activities for the good of the Knights of Columbus Order and the nation. Whoever said that KCFAPI is only concerned in providing fraternal benefits to our members? least according to him. No one really knew if he felt pain or was merely imagining it. He felt pain even on the paralyzed portion of his body. He felt pain even after an hour of being injected with pain killer. And from the looks of it, he felt pain all the time. It was this situation that had drawn me to him one morning about a month before his death. I felt so sorry and so dejected that I could not do anything for him. I asked him about his pain. I asked him where he felt the pain. He could not answer me back as he was twitching in extreme pain that morning. I had to answer for him and he would nod if I was correct. I describe several types of pain and was able to establish that his pain was similar to that of muscle cramps. His muscle cramps was however twice or thrice intense than our normal cramps. I pointed to different parts of his body where I think he had cramps and nodded. Then I asked, all over your body? He nodded yes. I asked him the frequency and tried to figure his answer. I asked, every time? He nodded yes. I followed up, everyday? He nodded yes. At this point, I could no longer control my emotion, went out of his room and allowed tears to fall on my face. It was a 24/7 for him. It was only then that I realized his agony in all those years. Despite the pain, he never complained nor had been a difficult patient to care for. On days when his pain was not so intense, he was able to take life as it is; watching TV, reading the newspaper, listening to music, eating and conversing with us, even laughing when a joke was cracked. Those were few moments when he was able to handle his situation. We were at the hospital on the night of December 3, 1981 when he died. He had a hearty meal and was for the first time seemed to be not in pain, was even in a good mood. Sensing that we were tired he told us to go home and rest. We never suspected that it would be the last time we would see him alive. Upon reaching home, our household helper told us that they received a call from the hospital a few minutes earlier and asked us to go back. We were not talking with one another as we drove back to the hospital. Could it be what we had expected for 9 long years? I hope not. I was still hoping against hope that somehow he would be alright. Upon reaching my father’s room, the doctors had just given up on reviving him. Seeing his lifeless body and recalling with vividness the pain he had endured for almost 9 years, I could not help but cry. I cried unabashedly like a baby. It pains me to see a brother knight in a coffin. It always reminds me of my father’s death especially if the brother knight is a father who’ll be missed by his family. It refreshes the wound in my heart that has long been healed by time. To you Papa, I just want to say thank you. Thank you very much for all the things you have done for our family, for all the sacrifices you have made in a very short life. Yes, your life was short, but short though it was, it was a life well spent. Thank you Papa!

Antonio B. Borromeo

‘I cried like a baby when my father died’
By Arsenio Isidro G. Yap
(This is a tribute to my father who was a 4th Degree Knight and the Treasurer of Gomburza Co. 5310 at the time of his abduction. I wish to share this story to all brother knights who have already lost their fathers and terribly miss them. I know the aches and pains you’ve experienced when you lost your father. I want to share mine.) I CRIED like a baby when my father died. It happened on December 3, 1981 at the Chinese General Hospital. I was 26 years old, married and with a one-year old special child, yet I cried unabashedly. He was only 57. On January 8, 1973, just a little over three months from the declaration of martial law, my father was kidnapped on his way to work just about a block from our residence. It was just fortunate that our driver lives in the area and his neighbors were able to witness the incident. Some of them went to our place to inform us of the abduction. They were able to relate the matter to a first cousin of mine who immediately informed her husband who was then an executive in a reputable insurBrother Knight Arsenio L. ance company. He reported the matter to the Gomburza Council 5310 Metropolitan Command (METROCOM) and gave the details of our car to them. Our vehicle was spotted along EDSA in the Makati area. Sensing that they were being followed, the abductors engaged the lawmen in a shootout still on EDSA but in the Pasay City area. After the volley of gunshots and the smoke cleared, my father lay wounded, two of his abductors escaped, one died in the car and the other severely wounded. The wounded alighted from our car, knelt down, raised his arms in surrender and begged for his life but to no avail. He was gunned down until he was dead. The two abductors who died had no identification papers with them and remained unknown up to the present. The case was left unsolved. I was in school, a college freshman when the news came to my knowledge. My relatives took me to the Hospital where he was brought by the authorities. Not knowing the severity of his wounds, I knew right there and then that the beginning of the end has began. How long? I really didn’t know. I said to myself to be ready to accept any eventuality. At 17, what could I do to help my father in his situation? A few days later, we heard the prognosis and it was not good. My father was shot at the back; the bullet entered from one side and exited to the other and grazed his spinal column without breaking it but caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. He was in such a pitiful state for almost 9 years before he succumbed. Before the tragedy happened, my father and two uncles ordered six of us cousins to join the junior Order of the Knights of Columbus, the Columbian Squires. All we could do was howl in protest but the end result was the same, we all became Columbian Squires. Eventually, about 15 of us first cousins on my mother’s side became members of it. I didn’t like to join because I was an altar boy and a boy scout, the groups I really liked to be associated with. In due time however, I also began to like it. I became a Chief Squire on my last year as a Squire and have occupied the highest positions a council and an assemYap, former Treasurer of bly could offer when I joined the Knights of Columbus at the age of 20. It was ironic, that my father was not given the opportunity to savor my successes in the Columbian Squires and in the Knights of Columbus. I’m sure he would have been so proud of me. It was even sad to note that I was the Chief Squire when he was shot and became paralyzed. As if adding insult to injury, I was the Grand Knight when he died. About a week before he died, his heart stopped and was revived by an uncle who pumped on his chest as hard as he could. Two days later, his heart stopped again and was revived again by my uncle. We brought him to the hospital for a series of tests to determine what’s causing his heart to stop. Just a little over a month before he died, I was drawn to his side in an unusual way. I felt so helpless seeing him in such a situation. For almost nine years in his sorry state, he was in constant pain, at

Visayas Jurisdiction extends help to victims of typhoon Ondoy
THE Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction has recently extended their help to the victims of typhoon Ondoy. A day after the heavy rains brought by typhoon Ondoy, Visayas Deputy, Bro. Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr. called on the brother knights in the Visayas Jurisdiction through their District Deputies to extend assistance to the typhoon victims in Luzon. According to Sis. Allen C. Bohol, Fraternal Benefits Associate, the knights immediately responded that they were able to collect thousands of goods from different districts and areas. The gathered relief goods were placed under the custody of the Visayas Columbian Foundation Squire in Cebu City. After which, the collated goods were dispatched to KC Luzon Jurisdiction to be distributed to the affected KC member victims in different parts of the country. Present during the said activity were Bro. Esteban; Visayas Secretary, Atty. Allan Nicolas C. Ouano; and Engr. Patrocinio R. Bacay, Chairman of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). The brother knights from the St. Joseph the Patriarch Council 5308 and Remedios Council 7397 also supported the activity. (KCFAPI News)

KC Davao conducts initial tree-planting activity
THE Knights of Columbus (KC) in Davao City particularly councils nearest to Davao Rivers conducted its first tree planting activity last October 24. This project, which contributed to the success of Oplan Kontra Baha is believed to be an activity of a greater scale unseen before in the history of KC in Davao and even of the city itself. Oplan Kontra Baha is known to be as one of the contending projects of Knights of Columbus in Davao. The tree planting was undertaken by putting up a mini-nursery on vacant lots owned by the parish, government and KC members. The said mini-nursery can also be financially self-sustaining as it can produce seedlings, which can be sold to other groups who are also engaged in tree planting activities. Included in the success of Oplan Kontra Baha are the networking and linkages built with all sectors of society from the military, government agencies, NGOs, Academe, and the Catholic Church. (KC News)

Vice Mayor of Davao Inday Sarah Duterte together with Grand Knight Boy Sarmiento of Catalunan Grande Council 9573 and some Coast Guard officers and Brother Knights during the tree planting activity.

Vice Mayor Inday Sarah Duterte and some DENR Officials and Brother Knights.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 23
November 9 - 22, 2009

The Cross


Christian Conscience and the Christian roots are the key Future of Politics to true freedom
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
POPE Benedict XVI has long made clear that Christianity does not believe in political messiahs. Recently, he reminded us that only faith in the true Messiah—Jesus Christ—can allow us to influence politics in a profoundly ethical way. His words in September in the Czech Republic—a country celebrating 20 years since the fall of Communism—have important implications for all of Europe, for the Philippines and for the American continent, places whose history is inseparable from Christianity. Speaking there at an ecumenical meeting, the pope noted, “As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own. Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance.” Moreover, Pope Benedict explained, Christianity must not be limited to the margins of society. Religious liberty must be protected, and Christianity must have a voice in the public arena, in shaping the conscience of the continent and in bringing moral consensus. He said, “I wish to underline the irreplaceable role of Christianity for the formation of the conscience of each generation and the promotion of a basic ethical consensus that serves every person who calls this continent ‘home’!” What Pope Benedict said about Europe holds equally true for the Philippines and the Americas. Christians must bring the truth of their faith to bear on the formation of their nations’ consciences. The same day the pope spoke in Prague about religion and ethics in the public square, a symposium on religious liberty sponsored by the Knights of Columbus was held in Mexico City. It discussed the history—and future—of religious freedom in the American hemisphere. In the Americas, as in Europe and the Philippines, the entire history is one of “baptized Christians.” Christians founded each country in America, and, equally important, each country has a strong Catholic tradition. Indeed, from the days of Bishop Juan de Zumárraga—the first

bishop of Mexico—to the important work for religious freedom in the United States carried out by Bishop John Carroll, our predecessors in the Knights of Columbus and countless others, the Americas have been an important place for debates over conscience and religious liberty. In the past century, the Catholic Church has been a witness to conscience, whether the issue was civil rights, religious liberty or the right to life. So, what should the future of politics look like? We should start by considering how Catholic social teaching can inform the entirety of our political platforms. There must be space for Christianity in the “political ethics” of the state. Long before there was a “left wing” or a “right wing,” there was the Gospel, and long after these political labels have faded into oblivion, the Gospel will remain. As people of faith, we all have the responsibility of protecting the Gospel from manipulation by any political philosophy—including our own. Pope Benedict is calling us to continue what French philosopher Jacques Maritain called the “evangelization of the secular conscience” by applying “faith respectfully yet decisively in the public arena, in the expectation that social norms and policies be informed by the desire to live by the truth that sets every man and woman free” (cf. Caritas in Veritate, 9). Our task as Knights is to continue this evangelization of conscience and to work for the protection of religious freedom. In step with Pope Benedict and his predecessors, we embrace these responsibilities. And in this light, we recall the meaning of true freedom. During his meeting with Czech leaders, Pope Benedict put it this way: “True freedom presupposes the search for truth—for the true good—and hence finds its fulfillment precisely in knowing and doing what is right and just. … For Christians, truth has a name: God. And goodness has a face: Jesus Christ.” Vivat Jesus!

FBG holds 10th Fraternal Service Training for 2009
FCs from North East Luzon Cavaliers join Producers’ Forum
FRATERNAL Counselors from the North Eastern Luzon have joined the Cavaliers Producers’ Forum last October 16-18 at the Governor’s Garden Hotel in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. Grouped as North Eastern Luzon Cavaliers, these FCs were from the provinces of Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao, Ifugao, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya. This forum aimed to assure attainment of the FYCI and the number of the “paid lives” and to increase the number of awardees for the 2009 Annual Awards. It also intended to orient the FCs on the various products of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) aside from the “Gold Series Plan” that was recently presented to them. Gari San Sebastian, Fraternal Benefits Services Manager, and Armando Gonzales, Area Manager of the North Eastern Luzon presided the said conference. San Sebastian discussed the directions and strategies of the area such as the product positioning and packaging while Gonzales talked about the incentive programs and other events of KCFAPI. To date, KCFAPI has been organizing the Council of Honors, TOKCA, MODD and the Annual Family Service Awards. Gonzales, likewise, tackled the BC holders’ Register and the individual prospect list that concerns the area. San Sebastian also reported that “14 FCs were able to meet the minimum of four paid lives during the short-run sales drive.” (KCFAPI News)
You may contact KCFAPI through our TEXT CONNECT INFORMATION SYSTEM (TEXT BILIS) Send to: 0917-825-KOFC or 0917-825-5632 To register KCREG<space>FCCODE<spac e>PINCODE<space>CONFIRM CODE Example: KCREG 00000 123456 123456 To inquire allowance ALLW<space>FCCODE <space>PINCODE Example: ALLW 00000 123456 To inquire for Submitted, Released & Paid BCs SRP<space>FCCODE <space>MMYYYY Example: SRP 00000 012008 To inquire for the status of Benefit Certificate BCINQ<space>ACCOUNT#<space>BIRTHDATE Example: BCINQ 1002840 01061971 To text a particular Department D E P T C O D E < s p a c e > Yo u r N a m e < s p a c e > Yo u r M e s s a g e Example: To text Underwriting Department for followup UND Juan Dela Cruz Follow-up application of Bro. Joel Garcia DEPTCODE: UND - for Underwriting FBG - for FBG FMAS - for FC’s Account SERVICE - for BC Services CORPSRV - for FADB FGJWF - for Foundations

AIMING to orient the newly appointed fraternal counselors in Luzon on the recent development and products of the association, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held its 10th fraternal service training for the year 2009 last October 28. This service training was organized at the KCFAPI home office in Intramuros, Manila. A number of newly appointed fraternal counsel-

ors from the different parts of Luzon such as Bicol, Northern and Central Luzon, Metro Manila as well as South Western Luzon attended the seminar. Several matters were discussed to present the entirety of the KC Association to the participants. Among the topics discussed were the objectives of KCFAPI; and its products such as Gold Series Plan, a dollar-denominated single-pay ten-year endowment plan, Fraternal Accidental Death Benefits

(FADB); Special Plan for Elderly Knights (SPEK) and Council Mortuary Benefit Plan (CMBP). Also, the group discussed the Underwriting process and the total sales production for the Columbian Year 2009-2010. The current total membership of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction was also tackled. Fraternal Benefits Services Manager, Gari San Sebastian conducted the said training. (KCFAPI News)

Central Visayas Boomers holds area meeting
AN area meeting of the fraternal counselors in the Central Visayas region was held last October 10 at the JJ’s Dimsum, Tagbilaran City. Named as the Central Visayas Boomers (CVBohol Area), the meeting was headed by Area Manager, Bro. Ireneo Guadalquiver and Fraternal Benefits Associate, Sis. Allen C. Bohol. The qualifications and other relative information on the incentive program of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) which is the Council of Honors Awards were further discussed. Council of Honors Awards is intended for the KC Councils of the three jurisdictions namely: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It was recently announced by the KCFAPI that October 30 is the final date to qualify for the Council of Honors Awards.

Bohol has presented to the FCs the various products being offered by the Association such as the Gold Series Plan (KC C.A.R.E.S.), KC Capital Accumulator Plan, KC Assurance Plan, KC Retire Plus Plan, Enhanced College Savings Plan and Super Saver Plan. Sales performance and production as well as some sales techniques had also been given priority in the said meeting. (KCFAPI News)

KCFAPI sets to break 2008 sales record
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), will be surpassing the P102 Million First Year Insurance Contribution Income (FYCI) which was generated in 2008. For the record, it was the highest FYCI which the Association made in a single year. It was even more remarkable achievement since the feat was made during the Golden Jubilee celebration last year. After the conclusion of the sales report as of October 31, 2009, the year-to-date 2009 first year contribution income stood tall at P95 Million. With 2 months left in the year, the sales leaders of the Fraternal Benefits Group are confident that the P102 Million record will be shattered by November 30, 2009. Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) Vice President, Joseph P. Teodoro, expressed optimism that the Association will even hurdle the P110 Million FYCI assignment for 2009. This achievement in sales was made possible through the popularity of the lead insurance products of the Association namely: 1. KC US Dollar Supreme. The high yielding one time pay plan in US dollar denomination. 2. SPEK. The plan which enables the elderly and those with special risks brother knights and family members to participate in the insurance program of the Order. 3. The KC C.A.R.E.S. Plans which were launched in 2008 during the celebration of our Golden Jubilee year. The 15-Pay Life which is affordable thereby allowing members and their families to provide themselves life

insurance protection notwithstanding their greater priorities for other financial needs. Sales promotions also played a big factor in the good sales performance this year. FBG worked out an array of incentive schemes for the sales organization and the three levels of the Order (the territorial jurisdictions, district deputies and councils). Call KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Group at 527-2243 if you wish to get more information about the life insurance products and services. (Joseph P. Teodoro)

Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc.,
an established Mutual Benefits Association is currently looking for:

If you are dedicated, service-oriented, and have the promising potential to join us in our continuous drive to provide mutual aid, assistance and excellent service to our members. Kindly send your comprehensive resume’ thru fax number 527-2244 or handcarry resume’ with a 2x2 photo and transcript of records to:

Underwriting Supervisor Underwriting Assistant Accounting Supervisor Accounting Staff Auditor BRO Staff

The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., is an established and progressive Mutual Benefits Association operating for 51 years, has been highly committed to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their immediate families. KC Fraternal firmly believes that the continued progress and success of the Association depends to a great extent on its human capital KC Fraternal also believes that through training and a host of other benefits if coupled with hard work, will help employees and the Association attain their goals and objectives. In our continuous drive to provide excellent service to our members, we are currently on the look-out for individuals with promising potentials. He must be dedicated, service oriented, and willing to undergo training Our compensation and employee benefits are comparable, if not better than most companies of our same size and nature of business.

You may also call 527 – 2223 local 202 for queries and look for Ms. Kristianne.



The Cross

CBCP Monitor

November 9 - 22, 2009

Vol. 13 No. 23

Fr. George J. Willmann website launched
THE Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann successfully launched its website last October 22 at the Knights of Columbus main office in Intramuros, Manila. The website is a project of the Committee of Mass Media of the Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc., headed by Msgr. Pedro Quitorio. According to Msgr. Quitorio, who is also the Spiritual Director of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), the website is intended to raise awareness on the cause of Fr. George J. Willmann. Luzon Deputy and President of the Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. SK Alonso Tan led the “ceremonial click” to formally launch the new website. Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., Chairman of the Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. lauded the project as a tool in spreading the ideals of Fr. Willmann. “The website was launched to promote further the cause for the beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann,” Reyes said. The KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities appeals to all Brother Knights, whose lives and families were touched by the good works and inspiration of Fr. Willmann to please volunteer testimonials of answered prayers and petitions made through his intercession. This is in order to accelerate the process of his beatification. Those who would like to seek the intercession of Fr. Willmann may download the prayer for his beatification (with Imprimatur) at his website www.frgeorgewillmann.org. This new website highlights resource materials on Fr. George J. Willmann, news and events, Willmann fellows, testimonials, and podcast on Fr. Willmann, among others. Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. is the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. He considered KC as a “university where men’s character could be molded for the greater honor and glory of God.” (KCFAPI News)

KC Philippines Foundation, GK complete 2nd year housing project
KC Philippines Foundation President Alonso L. Tan, GK Foundation Chairman Atty. Jose Tale and San Jose del Monte Mayor Angelito Sarmiento during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

THE Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation and Gawad Kalinga Foundation have successfully completed its 2nd year housing project last October 21 in continuation of its first-phase project last year. Aligned with the completion were the blessing of the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Chapel and awarding of additional houses to the beneficiaries, which were held at the Gawad Kalinga Housing Project in Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Spiritual Director of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), who was also one of those who encouraged the construction of the chapel once said, “If we can build houses for men, why can’t we build a house for God?”

The awarding of the certificates to the beneficiaries of the seven additional houses.

THE Knights of Columbus (KC) Mindanao celebrated the Columbus Day last October 16. The celebration was in sync with the theme: “We stand by Peter, in solidarity with our Bishops and Priests.” Grand Knights of Councils in the Archdiocese and other Officers invited chaplains for a dinner program, which encompassed various presentations that included a talk on “Tribute to our Priests” by State Secretary SK Hernando Jordan, special prayer for Priest, and information on the ongoing “Cenacle Prayer Movement for our Priest” which is a special program activity of some councils in the Archdiocese. Meanwhile, Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. George Rimando, DD delivered the inspirational talk. DD Gerry Mission, Chairman of the DD’s Round Table and concurrently, the Chairman of the Columbus Day Celebration together with other 250 brother knights attended the program. (Bro. Sofronio R. Cruz)

KC Mindanao celebrates Columbus Day
KCFAPI donates P100k for Borongan’s Home for the Aged Priests
© Fred Padernos / Leyte Samar Daily Express

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio heads the blessing of the houses at the Gawad Kalinga in Tungkong Mangga.

The establishment of the chapel at the center of the housing project is in line with the objective of the KC Foundation to help meet not only the temporal but also the spiritual needs of the people in socially-depressed areas in the country. The chapel was named in honor of the Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, and was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The said inaugural rite consisted of the blessing of the altar and a Eucharistic celebration that was presided by Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III. Following the Holy Mass was the awarding of seven additional houses to the beneficiaries chosen by the two associations. This has brought a total of 17 housing units built by the KC Foundation in this site. KC Philippines Foundation President and Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, and Atty. Jose Tale, Chairman of the Gawad Kalinga Foundation, Inc administered the preparations necessary for the event. KCFAPI officials led by Chairman Patrocinio R. Bacay, Mindanao Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz, Visayas Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban Jr., KCFAPI President Antonio B. Borromeo and Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa G. Curia attended the said blessing. Congressman Arthur Robes and Mayor Angelito Sarmiento of San Jose del Monte graced the event. KC Philippines Foundation, headed by Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr. is one of the Corporate Social Responsibility arms of KCFAPI and its two corporate subsidiaries, Keys Realty Development Corp. and Mace General Insurance Agency Inc. (Kate Laceda)

Guests, NCD Chairman Rey Trinidad, Speaker Pol Benedicto, Bishop George Rimando and Mindanao Deputy Sofronio Cruz during the Columbus Day Celebration.

Most Reverend Crispin Varquez, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Borongan (center) receives a check worth one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) from Bro. Dalmacio “Massey” Grafil (2nd from left), Regional Deputy of the Knights of Columbus for Eastern Visayas, as donation of the KCFAPI for the construction of the Home for the Aged Priests. Also in photo are Bro. Eldito Nabong, KCFAPI area manager for EV; Bro. Rufino Homerez, Faithful Navigator of the Don Jaime C. De Veyra Assembly, Tacloban City; and Eastern Samar Senior Board Member and Provincial Deputy Bro. Generoso Yu.

THE regional deputy of the Knights of Columbus for Eastern Visayas Bro. Dalmacio “Massey” Grafil personally handed a check worth P100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Pesos) to His Excellency, Most Rev. Crispin Varquez DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Borongan on October 4, 2009 during the Feast Day of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Present during the turnover held at Guiuan parish convent were Senior Board Member Generoso “Colon” Yu, the provincial deputy of the K of C for Eastern Samar along with Bro. Eldito Nabong, KCFAPI Area Manager for Eastern Visayas, and Bro. Rufino Homerez, Faithful Navigator of the Don Jaime C. de Veyra Assembly, Tacloban City. According to Grafil, the donation for the construction of a building called Home for Aged Priests in Borongan, Eastern Samar, a project of the diocese; was taken from the funds of KCFAPI which is the Insurance Agency of the Knights of Columbus members and their families. K of C as a whole sees the importance of such project, saying that priests are singles, which means they don’t have children or a family of their own to take care of them when they re-

tire and grow old. But with this home for the aged priests some personnel would be provided to take care of them in that home, said Grafil. Msgr. Lope Robredillo, parish priest of Guiuan and Vicar General, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the plan to erect the building started in 2008 but due to budgetary constraints up to this year the construction has not yet started. Msgr. Robredillo said the 12-room Home for the Aged Priests (HAP) would cost P4 million, and for the construction to start, the diocese must be able to raise an initial fund of P500,000. Without mentioning how much they have already raised, Msgr. Robredillo said, they are getting close to the P500,000 starting fund. This project will start soon, he said. Because the budget is quite high, the diocese is doing different kinds of fund sourcing such as solicitations, benefit concert of the Priests, to include it in the Misa de Gallo love offering collection this coming December. Any person or group who wish to take part in the realization of the project is welcome to donate any amount of their own discretion. (Fred Padernos, Leyte Samar Daily Express Correspondent)

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