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Vol. 16 No. 12
A good number of farmers from Batangas join the contingent of 250 farmers from Negros as they leave the St. John the Evangelist Parish Church in Tanauan City on their way to Malacañang to demand the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), 4 June 2012. They will join around 4,000 other farmers from other provinces including those from Mindanao in the march to Manila. The inset photo shows Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles welcoming the farmers upon their arrival at the Batangas pier and assured them of the Catholic Church’s support in seeking for a genuine land reform.
TESDA partners with nuns in bringing jobs to youth
THE Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has partnered with the Mountain Maid Training Center in Baguio City to help its students find jobs. Supervised by the Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS), the training facility provides livelihood and education to youth in the Mountain Province area. The RGS said it has long been their desire that students, who after being trained from three to five years in food processing and baking, receive a National Certificate Level II (NC II).
Gov’t fails to meet CARP target―bishops
By Roy Lagarde
TESDA / A6
NASSA calls on parishes to combat human trafficking
WHEN it comes to land reform, the Aquino administration has got the worst distinction compared to other post-EDSA administrations.
Despite mounting calls for such reform, some Catholic bishops said the government appears adamant to seriously implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program AN agency of the Cath- called on Catholic chari(CARP). olic Bishops’ Confer- ties to help victims of Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick CARP / A7 ence of the Philippines human trafficking. urged the dioceses, parAlong with assisting ishes and church-based victims, Nassa’s Antiorganizations to help Human Trafficking Proongoing efforts and ini- gram said dioceses and tiate other measures to parishes must also be REPRESENTATIVES of a youth president of Youth Pinoy! at plenary hall at the House of combat human traffick- out in the community coalition that openly declared a press briefing organized by Representatives on that day to ing in the country. to bring awareness to its support for pro-life lawmak- Human Life International (HLI) send a clear message of support ers in May have once again Pilipinas country director Dr. to pro-life solons. The CBCP’s National the issue. “This is our voice and this Secretariat for Social According to Manila called on the nation’s youth Rene Josef Bullecer. Esteban was one of three is going to be our vote. Our Action – Justice and Auxiliary Bishop Brod- to vote for candidates who Peace (Nassa) said the erick Pabillo, Nassa reject anti-life legislation such youths who flew to Cebu from politicians had better heed this Church must pro-ac- chairman, it is part of as the Reproductive Health Manila to represent an alliance call. It’s not a narrow-minded of various youth organizations request… it’s not just to oppose tively campaign and NASSA / A6 (RH) bill. “We ask our fellow youth– and movements that signed a the RH bill. It’s to oppose the use your right of suffrage. Use manifesto expressing strong RH bill but in a deeper sense, your vote very wisely. Cebu is opposition to the RH bill and invest in this country,” said Kivery lucky to have legislators presented it to the media at a boy Tabada, who heads UP for [who are pro-life]… let us sup- press conference held on the Life, a group of students, facport legislators who are oppos- same day as the resumption of ulty, staff and alumni from the CATHOLIC priests should Representatives of a youth coalition urge fellow youth to University of the Philippines support pro-life legislators in next year’s mid-term elections ing this [RH] bill that is against Congress on May 7. pump up their sermons Hundreds of pro-life youth that has chapters in different even as they call on lawmakers to heed the voice of the life, against the future [of the and make them more excitAlliance / A7 youth and junk the controversial RH bill. youth],” said Eilleen Esteban, also filled the galleries of the ing, a retired bishop said. Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said a good communicator is a goal worth pursuing and all preachers should work A VATICAN official urged Filipito improve nos overseas to imitate the virtues their skills in A CATHOLIC bishop has lauded resentative will also initiate the of Filipino missionary catechist, this area. the Senate Committee on Public approval of FOI’s bill,” added Blessed Pedro Calungsod. “[Homilies] Information for sponsoring a Pabillo, who is also Chairman of Commenting on the ubiquitous should be lively committee report consolidating the National Secretariat for Social presence of Filipinos worldwide, Preaching / A6 the Freedom of Information (FOI) Action – Justice and Peace of the Illustration by Bladimer Usi Antonio Maria Cardinal Veglio said Bill, and challenged the House of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of it would be “an awesome gift to Representatives to do the same. the Philippines (NASSA-CBCP) the Philippine Church” if migrant “This action was something and convener of “Kilusang 99%”. Filipinos would be more like Pedro commendable, it means that the Pabillo said the FOI bill will help Calungsod by embracing his simple issue of the FOI bill has improved resolve the issue of alleged “lack spirituality. in the Senate,” Manila Auxiliary of transparency” among governIn a meeting with one of +Big’s Bishop Broderick Pabillo said dur- ment officials as was the case of founders, Clarke Nebrao, at the ing the General Assembly of the the ousted Chief Justice Renato Palazzo San Calisto in Rome, the Antonio Maria Veglio, President of the Kilusang 99% at the CBCP com- Corona. President of the Pontifical Council Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of pound in Intramuros, May 31. The controversial bill, however, Migrants and Itinerant People, lauds the for the Pastoral Care of Migrants +Big movement that seeks to propagate On May 29, the Senate Commit- did not pass during the 14th Conand Itinerant People added that if Pedro Calungsod as a model of virtues, tee on Public Information headed gress due to lack of interest among only every Filipino abroad emulated especially for Filipinos overseas. by Senator Gregorio B. Honasan members of Congress. Calungsod, their presence would II has submitted the FOI bill to the Kilusang 99%, a social reform “carry the love of God to all the coun- acts of kindness and service, other plenary for deliberations. movement consists of more than tries and peoples of the world.” Filipinos abroad are already living “I hope that the House of RepFOI / A7 While Filipinos are encouraged to missionary lives that closely mirror Model / A6 be like Calungsod through simple
Pabillo in fact said that the DAR has consistently been underperforming in implementing CARP, particularly the land acquisition and distribution (LAD). “The current DAR administration has recorded the lowest CARP accomplishment when compared to all DAR-CARP administrations,” said Pabillo in an open letter to President Benigno Aquino III. Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). This is shown, he said, by the huge backlog of 1,093,000 hectares of agricultural lands. In 2011, it only
accomplished 54.6 percent of its national LAD target. In Negros Occidental, according to him, the current DAR only managed to distribute 1,798 hectares in 2011. The DAR will have to work at 20 times its current pace to meet its targets. He said there has been no significant movement in the 135,199-hectare total provincial backlog as of January 2012 and no notices of coverage has been issued on large estates. “The DAR performance for the first six months of 2012 is expected to be equally dismal,” Pabillo further said in the letter. “With this appalling situation,
farmers and tillers become restless and desperate. They fear the winds of August 2014, the end year of the extended period of CARP. They have fought for land reform for decades and fear that it will be all for naught,” he said. ‘National march’ At least 30 more bishops also backed the letter requesting an audience with the President for the farmers currently on a “national march” to seek a firm commitment that he would fully implement the CARPer (CARP with Extension and Reforms).
Youth alliance urges young people anew to back pro-life solons
Priests urged to improve their preaching
Calungsod should be OFWs’ model, says Vatican official
Bishop dares Congress to approve FOI bill
Benedict XVI encourages families to renew and nourish the Civilization of Love
‘Christ Gives You a Share in His Spousal Love’
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Photos courtesy of Vincent Go / TFM
MILAN, Italy, June 3, 2012—Pope Benedict XVI has told the 7th World Meeting of Families in Milan that the family based upon marriage can revolutionize modern society for the better. “Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the world,” he said during his homily to almost 1 million pilgrims gathered in Milan’s Bresso Park on June 3. Pope Benedict was concluding a three-day visit to the event in northern Italy. Over the past week it has brought together families from over 150 countries to pray, celebrate and study marriage and family life. The theme for this year was “The Family: Work and Celebration.” The Pope used his homily to provide some advice on the “elements that build up family life.” He recommended: “maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church,” “cultivating dialogue, respecting the other’s point of view, being ready for service and patient with the failings of others,” agreeing on “principles of upbringing,” “being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society.” The Pope also stressed the importance of family life built upon a man and woman who are married to each other. This is because God “created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life.” He told the married couples present in the large outdoor congregation that they were “not giving each other any particular thing or activity” in marriage “but your whole lives.” This love becomes most fruitful in its desire to “accomplish one another’s good” as well as in the “generous and responsible procreation of children,” followed by their “vigilant and wise education.” The Pope also explained that the ben-
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Pope: The married family can change the world
Pope reveals next World Meeting of Families is in Philadelphia
MILAN, Italy, June 3, 2012—Pope Benedict XVI announced this morning at the closing Mass of the seventh World Meeting of Families that the next gathering will be held in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. "I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput and to the Catholics of that great city," he said as he delivered the news that the 2015 World Meeting of Families will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Pope Benedict, who delivered the news in a short speech after Communion, said he is looking forward to meeting "them there along with numerous families from all around the world." Reacting to the news, Archbishop Chaput said he is "so grateful to the Holy Father that he has chosen Philadelphia and excited that we will host the 2015 World Meeting of Families.” "It's fitting that this gathering, which celebrates the cornerstone of society, will take place in America's cradle of freedom. The Holy Father's choice is a gift to the local Church in Philadelphia and to the whole nation," he said. The international gathering takes place every three years and brings together hundreds of thousands of people to pray, celebrate, and study marriage and family life. This year, pilgrims from 150 countries have come to Milan. The 2012 event was held in Milan, Italy and featured a Family Fair for those who work in family ministry, a Theological and Pastoral Congress, and a series of speeches delivered by Pope Benedict to families, priests and religious, and to civil authorities. This edition of the meeting also featured Pope Benedict meeting with all of those children who have received or will receive Confirmation in the Milan archdiocese. The youth met with the Pope in San Siro soccer stadium, in keeping with a tradition that is usually attended only by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola. The culmination of the gathering was the Sunday, June 3 High Mass at Milan’s Bresso Park, which was attended by almost 1 million faithful. The theme of this year’s event was “The Family: Work and Celebration.” The Pope has focused his message on how the family is “humanity’s principal patrimony,” and through Christ, it helps ensure a “true and stable culture in favor of man.” (CNA)
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at the seventh World Meeting of Families on June 3, 2012.
efits of married families go beyond the spouses and children to include society at large, since “family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation.” He then urged parents to transmit to their children “with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility.” Pope Benedict next turned his attention to the children present and encouraged them to “always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love.” Towards the conclusion of his homily, the Pope addressed the damaging impact that modern economic theories based upon “a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market” can have upon the family. Both God’s plan and experience, he said, show that this “one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit” is not conducive to the good of the person, family or society.
“Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric.” One of the ways in which Christian families can combat this trend is by making sure they keep Sunday as a special day for the family each week. It should be a day “of man and his values,” set aside for “conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport,” said the Pope. “Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.” At the conclusion of the Mass, Pope Benedict announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015 in Philadelphia. “I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world. May God bless you all!” (CNA)
Families join together in helping earthquake victims
MILAN, May 31, 2012—The Catholic Church and families of the world, gathered in Milan for the VII World Meeting of Families, shared in the grief of the recent earthquake that struck the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Lombardia on Tuesday. The Church has, throughout history, participated in the joys and sufferings of its members. That same Church today shares the pain of the families affected by the earthquake, while praying, remembering and helping them. Even when the first earthquake struck, Cardinals Scola and Antonelli, while attending a press conference, expressed their solidarity for those affected. This afternoon, a donation center was established by ‘Family2012,’ in collaboration with ‘Caritas Ambrosiana,’ to receive donations for the earthquake victims. ‘Caritas Ambrosiana’ has already sent more than 1,500 personal hygiene kits, 4 temporary structures with a capacity of 800 beds, as well as collecting €15,000 of donations. The Italian Bishops’ Conference announced this morning that they have sent 1 million euros to the relief effort and will take up a national collection at all masses on Sunday, June 10. On Friday, Eucharistic Adoration will be held in Milan’s Cathedral, led by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in the presence of the bishops from the most affected areas: Bishop Roberto Busti, from Mantova, Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi, from Modena, Bishop Paolo Rabitti, from Ferrara and Bishop Francesco Cabina from Carpi. They will also take up a special collection at the event for the earthquake victims. During the Eucharistic Adoration in Milan’s cathedral on Friday, Bishop Busti, from Mantova, will address the faithful, giving his first-hand witness of the region hardest hit by the earthquake. Earthquake survivors will also join the Holy Father during the Vigil of Witnesses to be held Saturday evening in Bresso. The company in charge of catering for the World Meeting of Families has also offered to donate any food left over from the event as well as other products that might be of need. (Zenit)
Denver missionaries' weekend event brings love to homeless youth
and the local YMCA, it has been undertaken in partnership with the Denver Homeless Ministry and Stand Up for Kids. Christ in the City's Homeless Taskforce Director Adam Ureneck told CNA that it had “truly been a blessing” to collaborate with other groups working to “offer a comprehensive array of resources and care” to young people in need. As the YMCA opens its doors for recreation and showers, the Catholic missionaries will offer supplies and food donated by residents of the Denver archdiocese. Program director Yvonne Noggle said the event comes at a critical time, as the city prepares to implement a ban on urban camping. Local shelters are reporting unusually high occupancy, as the new ban goes into effect. In a May 30 Denver Post editorial, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock argued that the controversial ordinance will help “connect those in need with vital human services.” During this time of transition, Noggle said, Christ in the City's weekend event “allows the youth to get off the street, and find resources for permanent housing while being loved and doted on by our missionaries.” Ureneck said the initiative was part of the group's mission to help homeless teens realize their potential, calling them to a “new future” and “a dignified life” that rises “to the stature of Christ.” Formed in response to Blessed John Paul II's call for a “New Evangelization” of Western culture, Christ in the City is completing its first year of service in July. In August, the program will begin training a new group of college-age Catholic missionaries for service in the Denver archdiocese. (CNA)
Members of Christ in the City participate in StreetBeatz. Courtesy of Christ in the City.
DENVER, Colorado, June 2, 2012—Dozens of homeless young people in Denver are receiving food, clothing, and other essentials through "48 Hours," a new initiative being launched by the Catholic group Christ in the City. “Christ in the City’s goal for the 48 Hours Event is to build on our relationships with the homeless youth in
order to promote their Godgiven dignity,” said Hollyn Ernstmann, who has spent the past year participating in the volunteer program that combines service with spiritual and intellectual formation. Organizers expect to serve 50 homeless youth during the June 1-3 event. Hosted at Central Presbyterian Church
Pope saddened over massacre in Houla
Brazil's Copacabana Beach, air force base to be main WYD sites
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 1, 2012―A Brazilian bishop and top organizer revealed today that Copacabana Beach and the Santa Cruz Air Base will be the venues for the main events of World Youth Day Rio 2013. The global youth event will take place July 23-28 next summer, which Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend. During a press conference, Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta said Copacabana will be the venue for the opening Mass, the welcoming ceremony with the Pope and the Via Crucis – the event's traditional Way of the Cross procession. The Santa Cruz Air Base, on the western side of the city, will be the venue for the vigil on July 27 and the closing Mass on July 28, where some two million young people are expected to gather. Operated by the Brazilian Air Force, the base covers an area of nearly 3.5 square miles. Accompanied by his auxiliary bishops, Archbishop Tempesta was in Rome yesterday to meet with officials at the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who approved the venues for the event. “We will begin the main events under the protection of Mary – Copacabana Beach is named after Our Lady of Copacabana – at the place where large events have traditionally been held in Rio de Janeiro and that will now have the privilege of hosting these events and welcoming young people from all over the world,” he said. Archbishop Orani said he has invited the Pope to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city and to hold a gathering at Maracana Stadium with the nearly 60,000 volunteers expected to participate in WYD. Asked about whether confessions would be heard in specific place similar to what organizers did in WYD Madrid 2011, Father Arnaldo Rodrigues of the organizing committee said the Madrid model would not be possible but that confessions would be heard at various venues across the city. He also said the locations of the catechetical sessions have also yet to be determined. The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro also said it would ask city officials to allow the Shrine of Christ the Redeemer to remain open around the clock to accommodate the constant flow of pilgrims. (CNA)
The Holy See on May 29 condemned the recent massacre in the Syrian town of Houla which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people including 49 children. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, expressed the Pope’s worry and distress over the attack. “In renewing its call for the cessation of all forms of violence, the Holy See urges the parties concerned and the international community to spare no effort to resolve the crisis through dialogue and reconciliation,” he said. (Zenit)
Families join in helping earthquake victims
The Catholic Church and families of the world, gathered in Milan for the VII World Meeting of Families, shared in the grief of the recent earthquake that struck the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Lombardia. On May 29, a donation center was established by ‘Family2012,’ in collaboration with ‘Caritas Ambrosiana,’ to receive donations for the earthquake victims. The Italian Bishops’ Conference also announced that they have sent 1 million euros to the relief effort and will take up a national collection at all masses on June 10. (Zenit)
Man detained for illegal possession of Vatican documents
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, announced on May 25 that an investigation undertaken by the Gendarmerie, has made it possible to single out a person in possession of private papal documents. According to sources, the person in question is a personal assistant to the Holy Father. The man is now in the custody of the Vatican magistrate for further investigation. On May 19, the Holy See announced its readiness to start legal proceedings, following the publication of a series of private documents and letters of the Vatican. (Zenit)
Reasons for dismissal of Vatican Bank boss emerge
Catholic artist paints 143 metre-long ‘Indian Bible’
KOCHI, India, June 1, 2012—Edwin Parmar, a Catholic painter from Gujarat, is the author of an oil painting on canvas, 143 by 0.90 metres, with a biblical theme. In the Indian-style work, Eve has waist-length black curls, Our Lady wears a sari and Moses is holding the tablets with the Ten Commandments in Hindi. The work is currently on display at the Pastoral Orientation Centre at Palarivattom, Kochi, at an exhibition organized by the Bible Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council. Working 16 hours a day for 40 days, Parmar completed the big painting in 2005. At that time, he was living in Kalol, 40 kilometres from Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat. “I am Catholic,” Parmar told AsiaNews. “In the state [Gujarat], Christians are a tiny minority, barely tolerated. One day I got an idea. Why not use Indian culture, which I love and which unites us all, to explain the Bible and our faith to Hindus and Muslims [the local majority]. The outcome was positive and non-Christians were quite impressed. Fr. Paul Kattukaran, Artists’ Forum coordinator for the Office of Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, helped Parmar in promoting his work. “His paintings are thought from the perspective of ordinary people,” the priest told AsiaNews. “Seeing figures with Indian features impresses people because it eliminates differences. Today, everybody is caught up in electronics, television, but when they look at these paintings, they are struck by their depth.” Parmar’s work has been exhibited in 39 churches in Thrissur Diocese, to which Fr. Kattukaran belongs. In view of his great success in Kerala, Parmar and his wife Maneesha moved to Kerala. (AsiaNews)
The Vatican Bank’s president was dismissed for failing to carry out “basic duties,” giving people inaccurate information about the institution and “progressively erratic personal behavior,” according to board member Carl Anderson. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was removed as president of the Vatican Bank May 24, following a no confidence vote by the other four board members. The 67-year-old Italian served as the head of the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, since 2009. (CNA/ EWTN News)
Pope meets Costa Rican president, discusses defense of life
Pope Benedict XVI met with President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica at the Vatican, discussing a number of issues including the task of defending human life from the moment of conception. The May 28 discussion came as Costa Rica faces continued pressure from the Inter-American Human Rights Court to legalize in vitro fertilization. The cordial talk between the two leaders focused on the excellent relationship between the Holy See and Costa Rica. (CNA/EWTN News)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Mary’s life reminds Benedict XVI encourages families to renew and nourish us to trust God’s plan, Pope says the Civilization of Love
ROME, June 4, 2012―Many criticize him. Others have betrayed his trust by causing scandal. Some call for his resignation. But in the face of one of the most troubling times in his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has shown the world the beauty and regenerating strength of Christianity. Echoing the words of St. Paul, “When I am weak, I am strong,” Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated, at the VII World Meeting of Families in Milan, Christianity’s renewed strength in converting hearts and giving hope to the people of the world. In a world where everything seems to be collapsing―finance, ideologies, idols, political parties, public buildings and even religious ones, the Pope gathered 80,000 young candidates for Confirmation, and more than one million families from all over the world, to tell them that the future belongs to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. To the young people who filled the “Giuseppe Meazza” Stadium in Milan, the Pope indicated sanctity as “the normal path for Christians,” and invited them to be “be available and generous to others, overcoming temptations to put yourselves at the center because egoism is the enemy of true joy.” “Be open to what he suggests and if he calls you to follow him on the path of the priesthood or the consecrated life, do not say no to him! It would be misguided laziness. Jesus will fill your hear for the rest of your life!”, he stressed. Benedict XVI confirmed to families that they are the primary resource of every society during his homily at the Closing Mass. “Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving,” he said. The Pope explained that marriage between a man and a woman is “fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education.” “It is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation.” In the midst of huge crowds in Milan, Pope Benedict XVI showed his serene yet strong determination in guiding “St. Peter’s boat”, illuminating the hearts and mind of the whole world. Upon his election in April 19, 2005, the Pope said that he would be “a humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.” Up to now, he has kept his promises: he is trimming the vineyard, making it more open and stronger against attempts to condition and pollute it.
Vatican conference to examine ‘language of the body’ in marriage
VATICAN City, May 27, 2012— This coming September an international colloquium in Vatican City will consider how men and women become "one flesh" in marriage, and examine the "language of the body" from Christian perspectives. "What type of union is the conjugal union, which comes about when a man and a woman become 'one flesh'?" asks the conference announcement. The Vatican City-based Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is hosting the Sept. 20-21 colloquium, titled "'One flesh: the Language of the Body and the Conjugal Union." The colloquium's title draws from Pope Benedict XVI's May 13, 2011 address to the institute in which he reflected on the creation of Adam and Eve. "The flesh received from God is required to make possible the union of love between man and woman and transmit life," he said. "Before the Fall the bod-
The Holy Father is elderly and seems frail in body, but the way in which he is cleaning “Peter’s house”, rendering it transparent and open, is something extraordinarily heroic. No pontiff has succeeded in such a short time to cut off
the dry parts, free vine shoots from impediments, and make the vine grow in the midst of a thousand difficulties. For Catholics and for the world, the Pope has increasingly assumed the dimension of a “blessing of God.” (Zenit)
ies of Adam and Eve appear in perfect harmony. There is a language in them that they did not create, an eros rooted in their nature which invites them to receive one another reciprocally from the Creator, so as to be able to give themselves." The conference will examine
and deepen the understanding of the "one flesh" union in both its "biblical and patristic richness" and in theological reflection. The conference announcement said it is necessary to distinguish the conjugal union from "substitutes" in a society that has lost
the sense of what it means to become "one flesh." This union "consummates love," unites the persons "in a unique way" and opens "a fruitful journey towards the total unity of life." Colloquium topics include marital intercourse as an "interpersonal" union, the "one flesh" union and the Creator, and how fruitfulness relates to the "one flesh" of marriage. Speakers will consider the topic from theological and psychological perspectives as well as from the perspective of canon law. Professor David Crawford of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C. will speak on the topic "The 'one flesh' in time: mutual promotion of the spouses." Colloquium sessions will have simultaneous translation into English, Italian and French. Online registration is available through the Vatican City John Paul II institute's website at http://www.istitutogp2.it (CNA)
VATICAN City, June 1, 2012— The Virgin Mary’s docility to the will of God should remind everybody that the Lord has a plan for each of us, Pope Benedict XVI said at the conclusion of a Rosary vigil to mark the end of May. “The Magnificat is the hymn of praise that rises from humanity redeemed by divine mercy, rises from all the people of God; at the same time it is a hymn which denounces the illusion of those who believe they are lords of history, arbiters of their destiny,” he said May 31 at the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens. “In contrast, Mary has God at the center of her life, she abandoned herself, confident in his will, in an attitude of humble obedience to his loving plan.” Mary was chosen “to be the temple that carries the Word, God made man,” the Pope said, because of her “poverty of spirit and humility of heart.” Pope Benedict was joined by several thousand pilgrims who had made their way to the grotto in candlelit procession while reciting the Rosary and singing Marian hymns. The annual vigil is a rare opportunity for the public to walk relatively free through the Vatican Gardens. The final
destination of the pilgrimage was the Vatican’s replica of the grotto at Lourdes in France. “Dear friends, this evening we wish to turn our gaze to Mary with renewed filial affection,” the Pope told the pilgrims as the sun set over the grotto. “We all need to learn from our heavenly Mother: her faith invites us to look beyond appearances and to believe that daily difficulties prepare the way for a springtime that has already begun in the risen Christ,” he said. With his butler being charged last week for stealing confidential papal documents, the Pope also prayed that Mary’s intercession may bring “spiritual joy” to “those families that here in the Vatican serve the universal Church.” “It was most beautiful thing this evening to pray to Our Lady at this difficult moment in time for the Holy Father, and I pray this brings him great comfort,” Alessandra Brambilla, a 28-year-old pilgrim from Rome, told CNA. “It is amazing to conclude the month of May with the Holy Father,” said her friend and fellow Roman, 29-year-old Luca Pezzi, “and what he said about Mary was beautiful, too.” (CNA)
Citizens active participants in pro-life crusade, says bishop
MANILA, May 24, 2012—If ordinary citizens assumed they are powerless against the advancement of anti-life legislation, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco asserted otherwise, saying that comprising majority of the population empowers them to influence the direction of the pro-life, pro-family crusade. “The promotion of the culture of life will depend really on [the lay people]. Even Gaudium et Spes— one of the important documents of the Church in the modern world—says that the lay people have a great task because they serve as the frontlines,” Ongtioco pointed out. “We are just leaders. A leader cannot do much if he has no people that will back his leadership.” The prelate acknowledged the great contribution that ordinary people have been making in promoting the culture of life. Citing the laity’s role in the campaign for life especially in opposing the RH bill, he said it is “the lay people who are behind it in terms of lobbying in Congress, giving seminars, enlightening and educating people with regard to the importance of life and how life should be seen in the perspective of the Church, in the eyes of God—not in the eyes of man.” The general tendency nowadays is to evaluate issues using a purely secular perspective, Ongtioco explained, taking into account economics, human psychology or human wisdom without considering “the divine plan, what God has intended for the human family, the human person.” No to pro-RH candidates in 2013 He also welcomed the recent call made by Archbishop Jose Palma, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President, enjoining Filipinos to refrain from voting for proRH candidates in the 2013 election, citing the need to be clear and more explicit about these matters. Ongtioco said citizens— as well as civil leaders— should express their convictions through their actions. “They should be true … hindi yung ‘I’m a Catholic and then I profess another commitment, another conviction.’ In the Philippines we’re not that strong [but] in other countries, the religious leaders really challenge the lawmakers and politicians to the extent of sometimes warning them or denying them something that normally [the lawmakers] would enjoy if they are Catholics,” the prelate said. He was emphatic that education is a pressing need, and that educating people [about the RH issues] has to be done relentlessly. “A lot of people don’t know the consequences of this bill that is being proposed. They say it is reproductive health, it’s not health…. We keep preaching, we keep educating the people, then the people exercise their freedom.” (CBCP for Life)
‘Sex issues’ top youth problem—survey
MANILA, May 26, 2012―The most urgent concern of young people today are sex-related issues like pre-marital sex and teen pregnancies, according to a recent survey among Catholic youth ministers in the country. The survey, which was commissioned by the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA), showed that young Filipinos are grappling the hardest with “sex issues”, followed by “growth in faith”, ranked the second highest concern, followed by “nurturing relationships”, third. “Family issues” and “drug abuse, vices” hold the fourth and fifth highest spots respectively. Runualdo Villamata, Diocesan Youth Leader of Lucena, Quezon, admitted that early physical intimacy jeopardizes young people’s future. “In our place, there are 16 year olds who have two kids already,” he said. According to Villamata, the Church and youth ministry, in particular, is responding more actively to this reality of young Filipinos. He said that since January, the Diocese of Lucena has been holding Basic Orientation Seminars, which have talks on God, the Church, the Christian family and youth ministry. Villamata, who oversees the youth ministries in Lucena’s 36 parishes, said that such seminars also encourage young people to wait before plunging into exclusive relationships and to see the value of chastity. The NSYA, the executive arm of the CBCP – Episcopal Commission on Youth, surveyed youth ministers from 86 dioceses in the country and 27 member organizations of the Federation of National Youth Organizations last April. The survey was done primarily to consult youth ministers regarding the program and content of the National Conference for Youth Ministers to be held in October. (Nirva’ana Delacruz)
Healthcare cannot disregard moral rules — Vatican
MANILA, May 25, 2012—“Universal healthcare coverage” may sound like a manifestation of more equitable distribution of services, but an official of the Holy See issued a reminder of the moral dimension that applies to healthcare issues as well. Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Holy See delegation to the 65th World Health Assembly, yesterday addressed the assembly on the Holy See’s support for Resolution WHA64.9 – or the Sustainable Health Financing Structures and Universal Coverage – meant to urge member-states to provide affordable universal health coverage and access for all citizens on the basis of equity and solidarity. Zimowski, who is also president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, echoed the words of Benedict XVI, saying that “the world of healthcare cannot disregard the moral rules that must govern it.” More and more countries, especially those with emerging economies, have been moving towards universal coverage. In the Philippines, the controversial measure known as the Reproductive Health (RH) bill pending in both chambers of Congress contains questionable provisions that disregard moral criteria with which even health care must be evaluated. Zimowski pointed out that progress towards universal coverage cannot be the effort of State machinery alone; it requires support from civil society. The Catholic Church, with over 120,000 social and healthcare institutions worldwide, has remarkable concentration of its operations in developing countries, providing services in low-income urban populations to remote areas, enabling people even in far-flung places to have access to services that would otherwise be out of their reach. (CBCP for Life)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
OF late US President Barack Obama came out of the closet and announced that he is for same-sex marriage. He said that was the conclusion of his long period of “evolving.” Many political observers, however, say that he originally was for it, then against it, then was reconsidering, and then at present is for it again. They say this flip-flopping is a reaction of a political animal to changing political conditions. Indeed, changing political conditions needs a shifting of political strategies. During his electoral campaign he convinced the majority that he will change the plummeting US economy to one that was rosy. But he miserably failed despite a whooping $775 billion or so economic stimulus package and subsequent financial schemes. Since he could not make a dint with the US economy, could it be tactical that he now is trying his luck in changing marriage and other anti-life issues—which many Americans will just be too happy about and willingly retain him for another term at the White House? Be that as it may, but marriage is not a political issue that has to be redefined, and its problems resolved, solely or mainly in a political way. Marriage has a universal, immutable nature, applicable to all regardless of race, gender and whatever condition one may be in. When nature of things is involved, we just accept it, we don’t redefine it.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
Marriage simply has to be a stable relationship between a man and a woman. That’s simply the nature of sex and marriage. It is not a religious imposition. Of course, people can have varying understanding of the nature of sex and marriage, and so we just have to undertake a continuing discussion, clarification and formation. But we just cannot stop at the level of “that-is-your-stand-andthis-is-mine,” since the issue at hand is not a matter of opinion or personal preferences. It binds everyone to conform to this nature of sex and marriage. There are things that we cannot and should not tamper. Marriage is one of them. Everything has to be done to strengthen it. Those who violate them, while we always have to be charitable and fair, should be dealt with clearly, and even strongly. It’s worse when a politician, the likes of a US President who heads a country that when it sneezes other countries gets a cold, tinkers with mostly moral issues to tactically gain political leverage.
Oscar V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points
“Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.” (Title 1, Chapter 1, Article 1) IN addition to the formal mention of marriage with specific reference to “a man and a woman”—which as a matter of course, excludes the so-called “Same Sex Marriage”—the more signal contents of the above legal understanding of marriage that make the latter a formal “special contract” according to the Family Code of the Philippines, are the following: “Permanent Union”: Permanence is a categorical element of marriage. As a union, marriage is insoluble once it is entered into validly by a qualified man and woman. Thus it is that marriage is a covenant between a husband and wife, which is lasting, persevering, continuous and stable during the lifetime of the spouses. On the other hand, “divorce” says and affirms that marriage is but a temporary union
1978 Family Code of the Philippines and Divorce
them have and live a “Family Life.” It is under the said reality of marriage that the children born there from and therein, are given due importance—even but under the thought that the first casualty/victims of a “broken marriage” or “divorce” is nobody else than the child/children born of a conjugal union. Marriage is a free and deliberate choice of the man and woman concerned. But after their marriage-in-fact, to get rid of their marriage is already beyond their merely personal unilateral or bilateral decision. Otherwise, they should not get married all—even but considering that the qualification of someone as “married” has immediate reference to his or her “status” which does not come or go merely at the will of the husband and/or wife. In more simple words, those who does not subscribe to the truth that marriage is permanent as a conjugal and/or family living, should not get married at all. This is but logical, but rational.
Integral development—human dignity and solidarity
TODAY the emphasis that is by far dominant in developing programs is their economic impact. Cultural and social consequences are often ignored. But generating jobs for the unemployed, raising the standard of living, increasing the gross national product, providing economic sufficiency are laudable objectives only to the extent that they do not sacrifice the integrality of authentic development. For development to be integral it must serve the total person in all dimensions including the interior, that is, the spiritual dimension and eternal salvation of the human person. There is simply no justification for promoting economic sufficiency through immoral activities as in the flesh trade or sex-oriented tourism programs or in the immoral repression of human rights that workers, both agricultural and industrial, are often subjected to, or in the excessive external and foreign dependence that diminishes our dignity and sovereignty, and erodes international solidarity. Fidelity to the interior dimension of life and its openness to its transcendent vocation from and towards God is essential for development to be integral. Such inner values as righteousness and freedom are not economically compensable. Nor can development be integral if it does not serve the good of the whole community and of all its members, an insight which Pope John Paul II has underlined by his emphasis on solidarity, i.e., “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to the good of all and of each individual because we are really responsible for all.” (Sollicitudo rei socialis, 38). Hence, if development causes the widening of the morally scandalous gap between the rich and poor of our society, development is simply unauthentic and misdirected. This is why we cannot help but mention the neglect and even exploitation of the poorest of the poor, such as members of tribal Filipino communities, seasonal sugarcane workers, or landless tillers and industrial workers and slum dwellers. Each person no matter how poor and uneducated is endowed with an inalienable dignity as an image of God, a child of God, redeemed by God and entrusted with an eternal destiny. Each person has to be respected as equal member of the human family, actively participating towards the common good in solidarity with others. A situation such as the concentration of economic wealth and political power in the hands of the few is an affront to human dignity and solidarity. It runs counter to the truth that all human beings and not just a few are “the source, the center, and the purpose of all socio-economic life.” (Gaudium et spes, 69). Human dignity and solidarity are fundamental values from which our development as a people must proceed. (Acts of the Council, nos. 293-296) --Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991
subject to the desire and design of either or both spouses. Precisely, the possibility of “divorce” is categorically contrary to marriage as a “permanent union.” “Conjugal Life”: Conjugal life is a constitutional feature of marriage. In other words, in and during marriage, the spouses undergo sadness and delight, pains and joys, successes and failures—together. This is the understanding and reality, the nature and implication of a “conjugal” union, viz., a life of sharing the burdens and rewards, the blessings and difficulties or married life. “Divorce” is thus anything but an affirmation of conjugal life in the sense that marriage lasts only long as long as one or both the husband and/or wife want it to be. “Family Life”: Family Life is inherent to marriage. Father, mother, and child/children—this is common tripod of marriage. Let it be well noted that the husband and wife as spouses make marriage a “Conjugal Life.” It is their child/children that make
IN any sporting event, the team playing on its own court or field has an advantage. In the birth control debate, the pro-contraception / pro-abortion pack has just this advantage because media has aided and abetted them in framing the arguments in their terms. Pro-lifers must learn to counter their rhetoric in a way that refocuses attention on the real issues, without sugar-coating the arguments with euphemism – that the unborn child is alive and human, that abortion and abortifacients cruelly destroy innocent human beings, that contraceptives lead to abortion, and that society and the government have tolerated this barbarity long enough. So… When they say: Freedom of choice must be protected… You say: The right to choose is not without limitation. We have no right to destroy lives, to harm ourselves or others, to mutilate our bodies or to put our health at risk. I’m all for the right to choose in lots of areas. I think people should be able to choose where to live and work, where to send their children to school, what clothes to wear and what to eat for dinner. But I do not advocate the right to choose to rape, rob or kill. Abortion destroys a tiny, defenseless human being. The only choice it offers the pregnant woman is whether to have a live baby or a dead one. Contraception destroys the meaning of sex. It makes a lie of the marital act, which is in truth
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
a sign of total giving and acceptance of selves. Contraception is a refusal to give or to take the partner’s fertility. Contraception denies the procreative capacity of the reproductive organs. Pro-lifers should recognize one cardinal rule in the family planning debate, and it is this: NEVER concede this important point to the opposition by using their terms. Never refer to their position as “pro-choice” or to them as “pro-choicers”. When you do this, you give credence to their claim that abortion/contraception is a legitimate option. ALWAYS, even in conversations with other pro-lifers, call their position what it really is – pro-abortion, pro-contraception, pro-population control. Learn your arguments well. Why do we say that a new human life begins at fertilization and not at implantation? What contraceptives have abortifacient effects? How does the contraceptive mentality lead to abortion? What is the difference between natural family planning and artificial contraception? For whom and by whom are the population control programs in the Third World Countries? What is Planned Parenthood and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines? Who is Margaret Sanger? Know your facts. Read, research, interview people, watch pro-life films, attend seminars and practice discussing with your pro-life friends. Who knows? Your brief and sincere explanation might be the saving light of another human life.
Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM
Vatican II Perspectives
THE vision of Pope John XXIII in convoking the Second Vatican Council focused on a profound renewal of the entire Church, with the goal that she would be a more effective instrument of missionary evangelization. The title of the fifth chapter of the document on the Church (Lumen Gentium) captures this emphasis: “The Universal Call to Holiness in the Church.” In short, Vatican II asserted that everyone who is baptized is called to live a life of holiness. “The classes and duties of life are many, but holiness is one” (LG 41). Thus, “all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state” (LG 42). “This holiness of the Church is unceasingly manifested in the fruits of grace which the Spirit produces in the faithful” (LG 39). “Married couples and Christian parents should follow their own proper path to holiness by faithful love, sustaining one another in grace throughout the entire length of their lives” (LG 41). Let us recall that the Second Vatican
All Christians are called to holiness
of Christ’s own paschal mystery. Living into Christ’s dying and rising reflects the pattern of human life. Salvation in Christ is experienced daily through our trials and sufferings as well as in our joys and victories. For this reason, as Christians we enter in solidarity into “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted” (Gaudium et Spes 1). In addition, Vatican II asserts that sharing in the redemptive paschal mystery of Christ is available for all humanity: “we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known to God offers every person the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery” (GS 22). God desires that “everyone be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth” (1Tim 2:4). Christian life and spirituality engage us deeply in the lives of our neighbors—and in the Trinitarian life of the Father, Son and Spirit. A truly beautiful and profound truth! We respond in holiness!
Pedro C. Quitorio
Ronalyn R. Regino
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Roy Q. Lagarde
Ernani M. Ramos
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
Council expressed its understanding of the Church through biblical images, particularly the People of God. While the Old Testament people was in a covenant relationship and was known as “God’s holy people,” it was sometimes unfaithful. Indeed, it was a holyyet-sinful people. Likewise, the Church is a community of saints and sinners. As Catholics, we can rejoice to be part of God’s people, the Church—with its limitations and with its clear holiness and beauty. The opening sentence of the liturgy document of Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Concilium) stated the overall purpose of the Council: “It is the goal of this most Sacred Council to intensify the daily growth of Catholics in Christian living.” Indeed, Christian spirituality focuses on the daily “living into the mystery of Christ,” particularly his death and resurrection (the Paschal Mystery). At each Eucharist the Christian community celebrates the “dying and rising of Christ,” entering into the reality
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Continuing education and formation
professional environment from the theological point of view. They tend to blindly follow the crowd. At least when they are still in school, especially when they undergo their on-the-job training (OJT), we take pains in monitoring the working conditions of the partner companies they train in, and we encourage them to talk with their respective mentors and with me regularly. Still, a lot more need to be done and improved. I, for one, feel that I need more time to be able to chat with the guys more often and more deeply. They have to be helped in maturing their virtues and values, and that just needs a lot of time. They have to learn how to pray, how to think properly, how to develop a good sense of priorities, how to grow in the virtues—all of them, from humility to order, temperance and chastity, hardwork, fortitude, etc. The education and formation of these boys go far beyond the textbooks and the classroom setting. A lot of personal interaction, mentoring and spiritual direction are needed. Each one has to be dealt with personally, and not generically. Each one has to be known as he really is, distinct and unique from the others, and therefore has to be dealt with, motivated according to how he is. We have to know each one’s potentials, and try to help him actualize those potentials. He has to be helped also in his defects and handicaps. Another important element to consider is the family. Many of the families of the boys are not exactly in the ideal condition. Far from it, though there are some that manage to remain simple and unaffected by the ills of today’s world. We should try to know the family background of each one, and by some program try to reach out to them. It’s important that close coordination be made between the school and the family, for a more wholesome and effective development of the students. Since many of the students come from the provinces and are simply boarding in the city, we have to know the conditions of the boarding houses, and again try to do whatever to make those temporary residences conducive also to the education and formation of the students.
Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD
Fr. Roy Cimagala
BECAUSE of the trimestral plan in our school, the graduation and the start of a new school year come close to each other in the month of June. The sharp transition of the old and the new gives me the sensation that education and formation never end. They just begin and begin, twirl and turn like a spiral. As I see the graduating class finish their course, I look back at the three years they spent in school and with me. I ask myself, have these guys really learned the skills imparted, and more importantly, developed the proper attitude toward life? It’s an intense moment of truth, fueling the need to hope and pray, and then review the record and the experiences, and to get another look at the conditions of today’s world to see if there are things to be improved, changed, deleted or introduced in the school. There are actually quite a lot to be done. Educating and forming students, while relying on some structure, past lessons and tradition, always involve new things and new challenges. It’s a very dynamic affair. And so, we just have to cope with them. We just have to learn to flow with the times. Truth is nowadays, at least for the young boys who graduate from our school, a big challenge is how to help them keep their humanity and Christianity intact, and also to help them humanize and Christianize the strong technological, not to mention, an increasingly secularized environment that they usually work in. It cannot be denied that they are very vulnerable to the trend of becoming automatons that undermine their being persons. Since many of them are pressured to work immediately so as to earn and help their family, they tend to disregard certain basic details that actually protect them as persons. Since they are young and still naïve in the ways of the world, plus a host of other factors like family problems, difficulties in one’s personal life, etc., they don’t mind dancing to the music of a technological culture that often has no human soul. In fact, this technological world offers them a Faustian bargain of some relief. They can easily compromise their faith, their morals and ethics, since they do not know yet how to assess the cultural and
By the Roadside Invaluable lessons of the impeachment trial for Filipino Catholics
“WHERE were you on May 29, 2012 when 20 senator-judges found CJ Corona GUILTY in his impeachment trial?” a friend asked me. (For all we know this could be a question many people will ask one another every year whenever the date of the verdict is recalled.) I was in a far-flung barangay of my parish with no electricity (whoever said, “No barangay will be left behind” in terms of electric services is not being completely truthful) and, therefore, with neither television nor internet to keep me posted. As if this wasn’t enough, my cell phone had no signal too. All that was available was a rundown radio (bereft of batteries) that was lent to me by a former barangay chairperson who was hosting me and my companions. As I looked at my timepiece after Mass with baptisms, I realized it was time for the evening news. Thinking fast, I asked one of my altar servers to buy me batteries for the radio, to which he obliged without question. And, mercifully, I soon heard the cracking voice of a radiotelevision evening news personality announcing the GUILTY verdict of 20 senator-judges as against only 3 of them voting to acquit the accused. Frankly I wasn’t so surprised. Almost instinctively I applauded. Not that I sided with the president and his allies, the prosecution team from the House of Representatives on their rather now-strong-now-pathetic campaign to remove the now former Chief Justice from office. As a Filipino I was applauding a successful conclusion of a democratic exercise. But as a Catholic priest I was scanning the horizons of my mind and heart for what the event could be telling me and fellow believers. I found two invaluable lessons. 1. In the tension between the spirit and the letter of the law, the spirit must prevail. Listening to lawyers in and out of the Senate Impeachment Court, I gathered that section 17, Article 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution clearly requires government employees to reveal their assets, liabilities and net worth. Clearly assets include money one possesses in pesos or in whatever currency it is. However, another law, RA 6426 appears to clash with it by upholding the absolute confidentiality of foreign currency deposits unless the depositor makes a waiver. The Chief Justice used this law to defend his non-disclosure of his dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth or SALN. Most senator-judges considered this to be superseded by the constitutional requirement for transparency. We might say that the need for government officials to be transparent about their assets, liabilities and net worth is the spirit to which the letter of another law upholding the absolute confidentiality of foreign currency deposits must submit itself. Hence, the unfavorable verdict on the Chief Justice. There’s something precious here for us Christians. Remember how Jesus declares: “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill them” (Mt 5:17). And what does Jesus mean by ‘fulfill’? Not simply the letter but the spirit. For example, how about Jesus’ teaching on the Fifth Commandment or the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” clause: “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors: You shall not murder; anyone who kills will have to face trial. But I say to you: Whoever gets angry with his brother will have to face trial. Whoever insults his brother deserves to be brought before the council, whoever humiliates his brother deserves to be thrown into the fire of hell” (Mt 5:21-22). Or take Jesus’ teaching on the Sixth Commandment: “You have heard that it was said: You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you: Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman (or man, as the case may be) has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:27-28). Let’s take concrete examples. A man hates a political rival but doesn’t do him any physical harm. Rather he initiates a media campaign maligning him. He doesn’t violate the letter of the fifth commandment. But in the eyes of Jesus he has already trampled its spirit under foot. Or a man who simply watches porno films in the internet without acting on them does not violate the letter of the sixth commandment. But in Christian perspective his act presupposes him polluting his mind and heart; ergo, he has already violated its spirit. It’s obvious that the spirit is the harder part to fulfill than the letter. But Jesus requires us Christians to prefer it because he himself effects it in his own life and commands this to be our standard too. This is how he and his disciples contrast themselves to the spirituality of the Pharisees that prides itself in doing the letter but forsaking the spirit of the Law. “I tell you, if your righteousness does not surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5:20). I’ll leave it to the lawmakers to state if their judgment came from a desire for a “higher righteousness”. But I believe we Christians should agree with them that even in our efforts to fulfill the civil law, in case of conflict, its spirit prevails over its letter. 2. What you require of others, why not require of yourself too? This is the question and even demand that civil society leaders, with many citizens agreeing, ask of the legislators and even the president himself who is behind the whole orchestra of anti-Chief Justice players. A number of Filipinos, even in the social media, have quoted Jesus’ words in the gospel of John: “Let anyone among you who has no sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7) to pressure all 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment and senators who acted as its judges toward showing to the public their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth as well as sign a waiver to their bank accounts. Understandably the campaign is meeting boulders of resistance even from the highest chief executive of the land. My sense and my hope is that they will rise up to the challenge if not for transparency, at least for having little or no alternative. The demand is only fair and just. In the words of Senator Coco Pimentel, “Ang batas para kay Juan ay batas din para kay Renato (the law that applies to Juan also applies to Renato)”, to my mind, has a loud implication, as for instance, if I be allowed to restate it: “Ang batas para kay Juan ay batas din para kay Renato, Coco, PNoy, atbpa (the law that applies to Juan also applies to Renato, Coco, PNoy etc.)”. The legislators, in fact, pointed to a lowly court clerk from Davao de Sur who was removed from office because she failed to declare in her SALN a market stall she was keeping to augment her income. For many she was a living argument against letting the Chief Justice off the hook. If a lowly court clerk could be asked to toe a very high standard, why not the chief magistrate of the land? Little did the legislators realize that the principle they were upholding to oust the former Chief Justice could boomerang on them. It does now. Indeed the same principle that did not exempt the lowly clerk and the Chief Justice never gives them an exemption too. Nor the president for that matter. To put it simply, the former Chief Justice, at least in the article he was found guilty as charged, represents something in us Pinoys that needs to be excised, exorcised or expunged. Forgive me if I also need to specify it. We need to deport to Nowhereland our tendency to make ‘palusot’ (excuses, escape mechanisms etc.) for our wrongdoings. In the final analysis, we recall that it was a Chief Justice that was impeached. And we (must) discover ourselves GUILTY as well.
The New Evangelization
BLESSED John Paul II called for a “New Evangelization” throughout his pontificate. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has made the New Evangelization a central pillar of his pontificate. He erected a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization which is tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples’ daily life seems to be all but lost. The call to a New Evangelization invites each of us to live our baptismal vocation, no matter what our state in life is, completely given over to the work of the Lord in this crucial hour. Since the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church, we have been constantly reminded that the Church is by nature missionary and that every baptized Christian participates in her missionary activity. The New Evangelization means taking this truth to heart and living differently. The New Evangelization is not a program. It is an outlook on life and a personal invitation to rediscover Christ and his message. We need to reflect together on how we can renew the Gospel message and Christ’s love, first in our own hearts and then, having grown in our faith, by inviting others to hear once again, maybe all over again for the first time, the exciting invitation of Jesus: “Come, follow me.” *** The impeachment proceeding is over. The verdict has been handed down. The process has divided the nation. The decision is mainly based on CJ Renato Corona’s nondisclosure of his peso and dollar bank deposits. The decision must be applied equally to all government officials and employees. In the spirit of transparency, the officials and employees of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of the government must disclose everything in their SALN – the senator-judges, the prosecutors and the President are not exempted because this is what they required of CJ Corona. Nobody is above the law.
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
tance of team building. Wikipedia defined team building as “a wide range of activities designed for improving team performance. The focus of team building is to specialize in bringing out the best in a team to ensure self development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to problem solve. The overall goals of team building are to increase the team’s understanding of team dynamics and improve how the team works together. ” The Diocese of Kalookan conducts team building among its clergy, parish secretaries and parishioners. Last week, the Chancery Staff led by Rev. Fr. Adrian Magnait, and the San Ildefonso de Navotas Parish Pastoral Council and parishioners led by Rev. Fr. Jerome Cruz, held their separate team building. Many thanks to our bishop, Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez, the Oeconomus Rev. Fr. Jun Bartolome, and Chancellor Rev. Fr. Adrian Magnait, in supporting team building in the Diocese. *** Our family thank the Lord for the gift of life to my Mother, Gloria Angeles Santiago, who will celebrate her 95th Birthday on June 13, Feast of San Antonio de Padua. Happy Happy Birthday Inay and wishing you good health and all the best! Also birthday greetings to my brother Benito A. Santiago, Jr.; he and his wife are here in the Philippines for a visit, welcome home to both of you! *** Congratulations to the Catholic Women’s League and Outgoing National President Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go, who remains its Consultant, on their 52nd National Convention at PICC. Also congratulations to the Girls Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) on its 72nd Anniversary which held its fellowship night at Centennial Hall of Manila Hotel. Incoming CWL President is Ms. Caridad Rabuco while GSP second termer President is Dr. Salud A. Bagalso; Dr. Dayrit-Go is the International Commissioner.
*** The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) has organized 10 days Pilgrimage on the Occasion of the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod from October 18 to 27, 2012. Some activities scheduled in Rome, are included— the highlight of the Pilgrimage is Audience with the Holy Father; the Penitential Service at the Chiesa Santa Pudenziana on the eve of canonization; the Canonization Ceremony at Piazza San Pietro where pilgrims have guaranteed seats, and Vespers and procession at Santa Pudenziana with Most Rev. Archbishop John Du and Most Rev. Bishop Precioso Cantillas; Thanksgiving Mass on October 22 at Apse of St. Peter’s Basilica with His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Most Rev. Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Guam. Also to be visited are the different churches and tourist spots in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Padua, Venice and Milan. Optional Extension Marian Tours of France and Spain are also available – from Milan, visit the churches and tourist spots in Monte Carlo/Monaco, Nice, Lourdes (with procession in the evening), Our Lady of Torreciudad in Aragon; Barcelona; Our Lady of Montserrat; the Black Virgin (La Moreneta); Sagrada de Familia. The CBCP requires all pilgrims to undergo Catechesis about the life of Blessed Pedro Calungsod; Certificate of Attendance will be given. Those interested may contact Laiko office at LAIKO Building, 372 Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila; Telephone No. 527-5388; Fax No. 527-3124; Mobile No. 0919-863-4218 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact persons: Joseph S. Jesalva/Catherine Buenconsejo *** The corporate world includes among its activities team building of employees. It viewed the employees as members of interdependent teams instead of individual workers. The Church recognized the impor-
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
“GRANDPA, do you have a Facebook?” Ted’s grandson tapped his knee. Ted dropped the newspaper he was reading. There wasn’t anything interesting in the news. It was the same old story: the never-ending time-money-wasting political debates. “What is it useful for?” he asked Ned. He felt conversing with the boy would was going to revitalize his energies drained by what he just read. “…for connecting people and playing games,” the boy replied. “Why do you think I should have one, Ned?” he tried to see if his grandson could offer a convincing answer. “’Coz you can greet, poke, like and many other stuff to people,” Ned excitedly explained. “How many friends do you have, Ned?” “Uh…uhm…eight?” “Who might they be?” “There’s dad, mom, sis…,” Ned tried to recall the rest. “Wow, that’s quite a lot! You even have a hard time remembering,” he chuckled. “Oh, and my friends at school!” “But if you have mom, dad and your siblings at home, why do you still need Facebook?” “I dunno… just to have them...I guess?” “You know what?” “What grandpa, Ted?” “I bet God has Facebook too!” “Really?” the boy was amazed. “Yes!” “How many friends does He have, grandpa?” “Gazillions! Everyone is His friend, but unlike you, He has only one account for every friend.” “One account for every friend…?” Ned tried to follow what his grandfather described. “For example, you have only one and not eight accounts for inviting your eight friends.” “Then God is like my class-
mate Bradd. He has three accounts!” Ned interrupted. “Why does he have three?” “He sez, he wants the other two so he could stalk people,” Ned replied. “That’s not very nice, is it?” “No, grandpa,” Ned agreed. “Oh, I forgot that was supposed to be a secret! Please, don’t tell anyone, grandpa, okay?” “Oookhey.” “Why couldn’t God just have one account?” “’Coz He loves every person so much that He wants to love them specially one by one,” Ted explained. “Wow! That must be hard,” Ned said. “Oh, but there’s more,” Ted added. “What?” “Well, he doesn’t view His friends through a computer.” “Where, grandpa Ted?” “In the heart of every person!” “Does God also have a password?” “That’s a bit tricky,” Ted scratched his chin as he thought. “Why?” “Because unlike us, who keep the password, God doesn’t want to keep it.” “Why not?” “He lets the person keep it,” his grandpa’s quickly answered. “That’s weird, then how does God log in, grandpa?” “The person must be the one willing to type the password, so God can enter and see what’s in his or her heart,” Ted gently tapped on Ned’s chest pointing at his heart. “So it’s up to each one to allow God to see what’s inside?” “Yup, that’s why you should never forget the password that God taught you.” “What’s the password grandpa?” “Hey, that’s supposed to be a secret between you and God!” “Oh, that’s right,” Ned giggled. “Now let’s start logging on with our Rosary, Ned!” “Right away, grandpa!” Ted ran to his room to get his Rosary.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
After impeachment: time for renewal, healing to take place
THE head of the Catholic hierarchy urged the faithful not to be distracted by the divisive nature of the just concluded impeachment trial and allow healing to take place. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said everyone should now journey together towards renewal and “begin anew.” “Let us now turn our attention to the plight of the worker, the needs of the hungry, those who long for justice, love and peace,” Palma said in a statement. Noting how the impeachment process had divided the nation, Palma said it’s time that healing takes place, even as he advised the people to accept the verdict. “During the impeachment process we manifested our differences. We remain divided today. Can we transcend the division?” he asked. He urged everyone to uphold the values of life, family, love of country and love of God. “I pray that we value more things that unite our people rather than those that divide us,” the CBCP head said. Palma noted that the impeachment process did not merely place into public scrutiny the Chief Justice and his family but also exposed the sorry state of the nation. “On the one hand, we have seen our lights or virtues, and on the other hand our shadows or our inadequacies were also unmasked,” he said. On Tuesday, the Senate sitting as impeachment court has convicted Chief Justice Renato Corona for culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust. Twenty-three of the senatorjudges found Corona guilty for not fully disclosing his statement of assets that include bank deposits amounting to millions of pesos and dollars. Palma said that with the conviction of Corona the bar of transparency and accountability for public officials has been raised. “Let these values be owned up to by all leaders. We should do the same as citizens of our beloved Philippines,” he said. (CBCPNews)
Int’l conference equips traditional family for modernday lifestyles
AMID attempts by some quarters to redefine the traditional family, an international conference that aims to strengthen relationships within the family was convened, with the participation of delegates representing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The 7th World Meeting of Families was held May 30 until June 3 in Milan, with the theme “The Family: Work and Celebration.” Representing the CBCP were Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Family (ECFL) and head of the official delegation; Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Francisco and Geraldine Padilla, members of the Pontifical Council for the Family; and Francisco and Fenny Tatad, the latter being the Executive Secretary of the CBCP Office on Women. Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera presented a situationer on “Migration and Family” for the event’s Round Table session on May 31. “Family,” “work” and “celebration,” which are part of the event theme “The Family: Work and Celebration”—make up a trinomial that starts from the family and opens up to the world: work and celebration are ways in which the family inhabits the social “space” and lives human “time”. The theme links the man-woman couple with its lifestyles: the way of living relationships (the family), inhabiting the world (work), and humanizing time (celebration). The catecheses were divided into three groups regarding the family, work and celebration, and introduced by a catechesis on family lifestyle. The sessions aimed at shedding light on the connection between the family’s experience and daily life in society and the world. (CBCP for Life)
Archbishop Jose Palma
Catholic spirituality is political―Taizé youth
FAR from being a merely religious concept, spirituality can be highly political, as Filipino youth who have been immersed in the Taizé community would agree. Pia Montalban, 29, a disaster training volunteer of Alay Bayan, explained that it is precisely her Catholic spirituality that moves her to be immersed in social and political realities. Montalban, who spent 3 months experiencing the Taizé spirituality of trust and unity in France from December 2006 to March 2007, said that young people should not merely wait for bishops to issue statements on social issues confronting today’s society “but on our own, we [should] ask and listen.” She also explained that probably 90% of farmers, workers and other sectors involved in nagging social issues are baptized Catholics. Montalban begged the question, “Where is the Church? Aren’t we the Church?” Carlos Pascasio, who was in Taizé in Pascasio himself was a former student activist involved in such groups as Kabataang Makabayan and League of Filipino Students before realizing that the solutions proposed by such groups would never work. Bro. Andreas Krautsieder, a Taizé brother who visited the Philippines a month ago, agreed that since the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor, it can’t be helped that the Gospel be political. Krautsieder said that to be political does not necessarily mean being partisan. Talking about “feeding the hungry and visiting prisoners,” he said “[these are] very earthly and yet can transform our life if we start to put it into practice.” Taizé is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. The Philippines has been sending young people to immerse in the community since the early 1980s. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)
Young people from various nationalities learn from one another as they share experiences of living the Taize spirituality.
1989 at the height of the conflict between East and West Germany, said that living in the Taizé community helped him see that spirituality is closely linked with
concern for one’s neighbor. Pascasio, who now works in real estate, said, “I developed a macro view; it widened my horizon.”
PPCRV seeks reform of party-list system
A CATHOLIC Church-based election watchdog has called for a reform of the “bastardized” party-list system as the Commission on Elections is set to complete the accreditation hearing of new party-list applicants this week. According to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chairperson Henrietta de Villa, it is high time for the Comelec to cleanse its official registry of dubious marginalized sectors. “We are appealing to Congress that the party-list act will be revisited and reviewed. It must be checked and safeguarded and that it wouldn’t be used by politicians for their own interests,” de Villa said. She said there is an urgent need to revisit the law and remove the unqualified party-list organizations. “It could be that they are just after the pork barrel funds because it is big thing for their personal agenda,” de Villa added. “Big politicians are still under these party-list groups.” The poll has already set the deadline for the filing of the Manifestation of Intent to Participate of PL groups looking to run in the May 13, 2013 elections on Thursday. It also stressed in previous interviews that they would strictly adhere to the rules set by the law and their resolutions on how to accredit PL groups. Back in the May 2010 polls, 187 party-list groups ran for House seats. Next year, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they are looking at limiting the number of party-list groups running to only 150. (CBCPNews)
Gov’t must address youth unemployment—Church official
NOTING the high rate of unemployment among the youth sector, an executive official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said the government must do its best to provide jobs especially for the young people. Fr. Conegundo Garganta of CBCP’s Youth Commission said that each year the nation is generating a big group of fresh graduates who join the rank of the unemployed. “I still believe that the government is doing its best to address the issue but one thing is for sure, they should come up with strong strategies to really safeguard the unemployed young people or graduates,” Garganta said. The priest pointed out that the government must also help the student to choose and understand what better course to take in order to land a job after college. He also emphasized that there are certain fields that provide many opportunities for those joining the workforce, such as agricultural and technical fields. “We can see some potential in our lands and in the technical fields. This is also a challenge to the government to market the jobs offered in these fields to newly grads in order for them to have a job after graduating from college,” Garganta added. On the government side, the National Youth Commission admits that there has been an increase in number
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“This will give them an advantage when seeking employment or when deciding to become entrepreneurs,” it said. “Besides their diploma in a four-year course or a two-year vocation and technical course, an NC II from TESDA is a bonus,” it added. Food processing for NC II includes knowledge and skills in the following food products: ube jam, orange marmalade, sayote pickles, gherkins, sweet & sour pickles, mango jam, strawberry
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jam, peanut brittle, preservative-free chicken and pork tocino and skinless longanisa. The RGS Sisters are responsible for the production of “Mountain Maid” products. Their strawberry and ube jam remain to be a favorite since 1953 when people exclaimed, “The sisters made the best jam in town.” The next certification will be in August 2012 in Baking Breads and Pastries and Cookies. (CBCPNews)
within the youth sector who cannot find work in their own field. “We will always go back to the issue of job mismatch. An example is confused high school students who are not yet prepared or have not yet chosen the right course to take up in college. That’s why we have the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) to give the students an idea of what field they must pursue,” said NYC commissioner for Mindanao Earl Saavedra in an interview. The NYC commissioner also said that there are lots of opportunities here in the country, particularly in the technical, cultural and agricultural fields. But he noted even if there are lots of opportunities in those areas, still some young people would rather take up courses that are not job-promising. As of the moment, the government is doing its best to educate the public, particularly the students and their parents to understand that NCAE result is accurate and should be followed for the sake of landing a good and suitable job for newly graduates. According to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey this month, unemployment here in the country reached 34.4 percent, which translates to an equivalent of 13.8 million Filipinos having no jobs. The survey noted that majority of the unemployed belonged to the 18-24 year-old age group. (Jandel Posion)
CBCP urges more transparency from gov’t leaders
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called on government leaders to be more transparent with their assets following the removal from office of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Acknowledging that the Aquino administration is trying to root out corruption in the government, Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, emphasized that good government starts with honesty and transparency. The Cebu archbishop specifically pointed out that this should start from no less than the executive department to the branches of the government. Asked whether public officials should take the challenge of Corona to waive their bank secrecy rights, he replied affirmatively. “This call for transparency could also be taking the challenge of the chief justice when he offered a waiver allowing the opening all of his accounts,” said Palma. “If they did this to one person, then it is also appropriate for the people who accused him to also apply this form of transparency,” he said. Senators on May 29 voted 20-3 to convict Corona for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. He was ousted primarily on findings that he concealed millions of pesos and dollars from his statement of assets and net worth. For the CBCP head, the “call to renewal” is one of the positive effects of the 43 days of impeachment trial. “It’s really time to tune-up the mistakes of the past,” Palma said. The church official also claimed that there are concerns that cropped up during the entire impeachment proceedings that should be addressed. “During the process many things were revealed. Some information were taken in different ways, some are even questionable and some are bordering on hearsay, which is unacceptable in just trying to prove a point. All of these have to be pointed out,” he said. When asked for qualifications of who should be next chief justice, he said: “After the impeachment trial, we are saying that we raised the bar of the judiciary. I think we already know in our hearts what kind of person should be appointed.” (CBCPNews)
the church’s passion to put a stop to human trafficking. “Support can be in the forms of posting anti-human trafficking tarpaulins/ streamers in the areas, attending trainings, education and information activities, and information dissemination by providing materials to promote social consciousness on the issue,” Pabillo said. “We must stop human trafficking. Many of our youth and children, especially women, have experienced sexual violence, sexual exploitation and forced exploitative situations because of human trafficking,” he said. Human trafficking, the illegal trade of human beings for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation remains a big problem in the country. “It is a modern day slavery, which exploits people, particularly the weak and the poor, alluring them into false promises and making them prey on evil activities—forced and bonded labor, forced/commercial prostitution and sexual exploitation—and human rights violation,” said Pabillo. “Human life is not a commodity that
can be trafficked and sold for business and monetary gains. Human life should be accorded of its human dignity. It should be promoted, respected, protected and developed to attain fullness of life,” he said. A report from the US State Department showed that the Philippines is one of the 58 countries under the “Tier 2 Watch List” or nations whose governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to comply with those standards. Pabillo said the government must use all its resources and state forces to apprehend traffickers and file cases to convict them. “As there are many traffickers, we must battle against the increase of trafficking cases. It is not a task and a responsibility of the government alone - it is everyone’s responsibility. Every citizen must contribute its share to stop human trafficking. Everybody must join forces to protect and defend human life and human rights. Stop human trafficking,” he added. (CBCPNews)
and really according to God’s Word,” he said. “They should train to have spirituality supporting their ministry of preaching then study more the Bible and on how to communicate it effectively,” he said. Bacani said the Catholic hierarchy is aware of this current concern and the need for “renewal” in the preaching ministry of priests. But the bishop said it is just one aspect of delivering good sermons. In addition to being delivered well, he said, a sermon has to explain the Gospel well and bring God’s Word into people’s lives in a way that works
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toward their transformation. “What is also important is that they speak with conviction,” he said. The church official made the statement as he acknowledged that more people are attracted to charismatic Catholicism rather than those going to the church to hear Mass. “It’s not that they are excluding the Church but they are more attracted to (Charismatic gatherings). You can see that in El Shaddai, Soldiers of Christ, and those with Bro. Bo Sanchez,” he said. “It’s not that this is alarming but an eye opener for us,” Bacani said. (CBCPNews)
Calungsod’s. One of them is Firmo Bargayo, Jr, a Jesuit scholastic who has been serving in a community in Bantay Prieb, Cambodia for over year now. Instead of commenting on his own efforts, Bargayo praised other Pinoys in Cambodia who are mostly development workers or teachers. He said many Filipinos in Cambodia are helping “improve the lives of the people”, especially the marginalized and the poor. Other Filipinos recognize that ordinary migrants can live out Calungsod’s spirituality through everyday life.
Reacting to the pronouncement from Cardinal Veglio, Angelissa Untalan, a Filipina who migrated to Vancouver, Canada with her family in 1992, agreed that Pinoys, for example, in Canada can make a difference by simply living out their faith actively just like Calungsod. She added that every Filipino is called to live out their faith regardless of their profession or location. Blessed Pedro Calungsod, set to be canonized sometime in October, was martyred in Guam in 1672. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
attention to other important social concerns. “The problem with this government is that their energy is much focused only on how to oust Corona using all the resources of the government to the point of ignoring other concerns,” Jumoad said. “I hope that they also give due attention to the kidnapping cases here in Mindanao,” he said. Jumoad particularly cited the recent kidnapping by the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf bandits of six foreigners and the abduction of a former mayor and Engineer Victor Lim Tan from Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. These foreign hostages include Swiss national Lorenzo Vinsiguerra, Dutch national Ewold Horn, Australian national Warren Rodwell, Japanese national Toshio Ito, Indian national Biju Veetil and an unnamed captive. Reports said that the kidnappers have split its hostages into three groups – two hostages for each group, to derail any rescue attempts by the military. They are also demanding P50-million in ransom just for the release of their European captives. Kidnappers of Lim are also demanding P70-million for his release. “I hope that the government would attend to these problems which have been going on for decades now because of poverty,” Jumoad added. “Because of the rising unemployment here, people are forced to engage in criminal activities,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)
Kidnapping in Mindanao thrives on govt’s failure—bishop
ISABELA, Basilan―The failure of the Aquino government to meet its obligations to its people explains the growth and diversity of criminal enterprises in Southern Philippines, argues a Catholic bishop. Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad said it is because the government is much focused on ousting Chief Justice Renato Corona. While he is one with the government in rooting out corruption, he said the government must also give equal
200-day prayer campaign for world peace ends in Iloilo Redemptorist youth seek to become JARO, Iloilo―The 200-day prayer for world peace through the recitation of effective witnesses of faith the Holy Rosary culminated on May
30 with a Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles at Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City. Dubbed as “A Million Roses for the World” the prayer campaign was launched October 2011 by the Family Rosary Crusade (FRC) in tandem with the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) with the aim of praying a Rosary each day for one country in 200 days. For Ms. Loudette Zaragoza-Banson, Chairperson of ‘A Million Roses for the World’ Prayer Campaign, the closing celebration of ‘A Million Roses for the World’ Prayer Campaign is not a “culmination” but a “rounder” because the completion of the 200-day campaign on May 30 does not mean that the appeal to pray one Rosary for every country a day has ended. Rather, she stressed, it only means that the first 200-day campaign has been completed and now has to be continued with greater vigor. In Jaro, thousands of Marian devotees and parishioners from different parishes joined the celebration, which started with a procession of different Marian images popularly venerated in Western Visayas and a Parade of Colors representing the different flags of all nations. This was followed by the chanting of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and the praying of the Holy Rosary in Hiligaynon and in different languages. The Marian Associations, Movements and Organizations (MAMO)
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Bishop Martin Jumoad
The rosary prayer campaign for world peace dubbed “A Million Roses for the World” launched in October 2011 by the Family Rosary Crusade in tandem with the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education culminates May 30 with a Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles in Jaro.
spearheaded the activity in cooperation with the Ang Dios Gugma (God is Love) Catholic Ministries, Inc. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, also the founder of the Marian Associations, Movements and Organizations of the Archdiocese presided the concelebrated Mass during which he reminded the faithful of the importance of praying the Holy Rosary everyday. Bro. Edwin Daulo, founder of Ang Dios Gugma Catholic Ministries, Inc. gave a talk on Mary as ‘The First Tabernacle’, emphasizing the role of Mary in the Redemption. He said that if we want to accept Jesus in our life we also have to accept his Mother because she, above all persons, cooperated most in the work of Redemption.
Zaragoza-Banson announced during her talk that the FRC will launch a Rosary Crusade for Peace between the Philippines and China. The Crusade, according to her, will be a one-year campaign where each parish in the Philippines will pledge at least 200 parishioners who will pray the Holy Rosary everyday for peace amidst the brewing tension between China and Philippines over the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal. She added that the Family Rosary Crusade will hold a ‘A Million Roses for the World’ Prayer Rally called “Cheer, Sing and Dance for Mary Our Mother and Queen of Peace” at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on June 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas with reports from Kristal Joy Badayos and Leonil Salvilla)
DAVAO City—More than 200 delegates from the Alphonsian youth organization ―the youth arm of Redemptorist congregation― recently gathered in pilgrimage in a bid to be empowered and become effective witnesses of faith. No less that CBCP Youth Commission Chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon together with Fr. Stephen Cuyos from the Communication Foundations for Asia (CFA), Fr. Victorino Cueto, CSsR and TV personality and environmentalist Ms. Chin-Chin Gutierrez served as resource speakers prepping the youth delegates with talks about faith and ecology. Baylon talked about the Filipino Youth and the challenges they are facing in today’s society, while Cuyos who specializes in website design and construction discussed the Youth and the Multi-Social Media for Evangelization. For his part, Cueto spoke about the Filipino Youth and Alphonsian Spirituality while Gutierrez discussed Ecology and Integrity of Creation. One of the delegates, Aeron Belena of Tacloban City in Leyte said he is happy to be part of the gathering as it was his first time to attend the said pilgrimage as a Redemptorist youth for already a year. “I feel happy and fulfilled based on the learning I acquired here and I had
the chance to meet other young people from other parts of the country,” Belena said. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Youth Coordinator Lucy Los Bañes also expressed her gratitude to those who attended the youth pilgrimage as well as to those who helped the community in making the event possible. “Though organizing an event is very tiring, the youth are still vibrant and active in helping and giving their time to organize this. I was also excited about this because this is the only time that the Redemptorist youth gathered as a complete community,” Bañes said. The youth pilgrimage ended with a send-off mass celebrated by Fr. Cruzito Manding, CSsR, Provincial Superior of the Redemptorist Missionaries in Cebu. The Alphonsian Youth Pilgrimage is a continuing youth program by the Redemptorist Youth Ministry which started in 2002. Themed “Empowering the Alphonsian Youth to become effective witnesses of faith” the pilgrimage was hosted by the Redemptorists Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Davao last May 7 to 12 in Abreeza Mall, Davao City. (Jecy Opada/Jandel Posion)
Malolos celebrates Jubilee for Charismatic Communities
Among them are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Fr. Marlon Lacal, O. Carm, executive secretary of the Association of the Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) also signed the letter. They said the peasants would ask Aquino to use his “enormous political capital” for the distribution of more than one-million hectares of “CARPable” agricultural lands and by providing necessary support services. At least 5,200 farmers have marched to demand the completion of agrarian reform by Aquino, with contingents from Negros Island, Mindanao and Luzon trekking from June 1 to 10 before converging at Mendiola. On June 3, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles welcomed the contingent of 250 farmers from Negros and 50 Batangas farmers at the
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pier and urged them to “vote with their feet in showing to Malacañang that the time to complete agrarian reform is now.” Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Iloilo also met the Negros farmer-marchers when they stopped over in Dumangas, Iloilo and said Malacañang and DAR should not treat their quest for social justice in a cavalier fashion. In Bacolod, Bishop Vicente Navarra urged the government not to backtrack on the agrarian reform law. He hopes that the government would soon bring about true agrarian reform so that farmers would not always become the victims of injustice caused by capitalists. Cagayan De Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma has called for support to the hundreds of Mindanao farmers who started a march in Malaybalay City going to Manila. Bishop Pedro Arigo of
Puerto Princesa also said he is one with the marching farmers in pushing for land reform. As of press time, the marching farmers from different provinces converged in Lipa City as on their way to Manila. Cory’s promise The bishops appealed to the President to listen to the demands of the farmers, “in the name of the bountiful God who has shared his bounty with you.” “As they come to the doorsteps of Malacañang, they are respectfully requesting for a meeting with their President to personally share their experiences and views on the problems of CARP implementation and on the ways by which these problems could be overcome,” the letter read. The farmer leaders are requesting the dialogue with Aquino on either June 8 or June 9 in Malacañang. “They will be coming to
the nation’s capital to knock on the hearts and minds of the nation and call their attention to the gridlock situation of the CARP. They come at great risk and expense because they have nowhere else to go but to their President,” they said. “The church has known them―these farmers risked their lives for Cory and believed her promise that the CARP will liberate them from the bondage of serfdom. They voted for PNoy because he represented their last chance at realizing their dream of owning their own land.” “These are the mainstream peasants who have patiently abided by the cumbersome ways of democracy and have resisted the calls for violent revolution,” they added. As CARPer nears its end in 2014, the farmers worry about what will happen to their pending petitions— some of them are even decades old.
MALOLOS City―The Diocese of Malolos celebrated the Jubilee for Charismatic Communities at the Bulacan Sports Complex in Sta. Isabel, Malolos City on May 24. Themed “Transforming Grace of the Holy Spirit, a Gift to the Unwavering Faith of the Church” the event was graced with the presence of Bro. Bo Sanchez and Bro. Mike Velarde, two of the famous Charismatic leaders in the country. More than 3,000 participants attended the celebration. (Arvin Ray)
Cebuanos hold ‘Marian Prayer’ for reparation and peace
CEBU City—Hundreds of rosary- and candle-bearing people on May 29 trooped to the Cebu Cathedral Plaza for the “Marian Prayer of Reparation and Peace,” an hour-long procession followed by short speeches that culminated in a Eucharistic celebration. The event was organized for a threefold purpose: reparation for the “moral havoc” wreaked by singer Lady Gaga, destroying millions of hearts, minds and souls of young Filipinos; for peace, healing, unity and reconciliation of the entire Filipino people after the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona; and as a demonstration of continued vigilance against the passage of the Reproductive Health bill and all other anti-life bills. (Miguel de Dios)
Hundreds join diocesan summer youth camp
CARANGGALAN, Nueva Ecija—Around 300 young people from different parishes in the diocese of San Jose in Nueva Ecija gathered in the mountain parish of St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Caranggalan, Nueva Ecija for the annual Diocesan Summer Youth Camp last May 11 and 12. With the theme “Kabataan: Mabubuting Katiwala Mga Tapat na Alagad”, the summer camp aimed to gather the young people in a spirit of camaraderie and youthful celebration and to inculcate in them the value of teamwork, solidarity, and good stewardship that would lead to becoming faithful disciples of the Lord. (Jandel Posion/Jonathan Luciano)
Cubao Diocese celebrates BEC Day
campuses around the country. “Your efforts should go into addressing what the youth really need,” Tabada continued, addressing the lawmakers. “It’s not the RH bill– it destroys our future. We are asking the legislators to secure our future! Invest in our people.” Not the solution Asked if the alliance was not, in fact, blocking the answer to young people’s needs given that many are allegedly sexually active, the UP Diliman student asserted that the contentious legislative measure is presented as being a comprehensive solution to many problems, when it is not. Among its provisions is a mandatory six-year comprehensive sex education program from Grade 5 to 4th year high school. Rather than curb sexual activity, we actually risk exacerbating the problem, Tabada pointed out. “Sex education–is that the way to go? Is that the proper and safe way to go? We say no, because mandatory sex education entails so many risks. It is a sex ed module that is integrated in all subjects. And if we look at the public school system, can we expect our public education sector to teach that appropriately?” he asked. “We attack the very core of the issue. Attack [the youth] with values forma-
tion; we don’t just give them condoms to deal with their sexual urges,” said Peter Pardo, head of the National Capital Region (NCR) youth ministry. The solution does not lie in giving away condoms and other contraceptives, he explained. “What type of mentality do we want to instill in our young? That it’s okay to have sex as long as you are ‘safe’? Pardo added. “It is really against our Filipino values.” The reach of the NCR youth ministry extends to the youth of the Archdiocese of Manila, the dioceses of Caloocan, Novaliches, Antipolo, Imus, Parañaque, Pasig, and Cubao, and the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay in Palawan. Harmful effects Much of the opposition to the measure has been on the basis of health, with medical specialists pointing out the damaging effects of oral contraceptives on women’s bodies based on scientific findings that are often ignored by the media. Esteban pointed out the irony of the bill’s being touted by its proponents as responsive to women’s needs when the bulk of its budget will be going to the distribution of harmful drugs and devices. “As we have been espousing in all our
fora, pills have side effects, so how can this be for the welfare of women?” She also emphasized the mistaken notion that adopting a reproductive health law will curb the alleged increase in transmission of AIDS and other STDs and in teenage pregnancies, because “in studies from the US, from Europe, every country that adopts an RH [law] automatically, in a matter of few years, increases the incidence of teenage pregnancies, of STDs… because it encourages” sexual activity. Birth control supplies are provided by the government for free, and these are promoted as the answer to pregnancy prevention even when these are far from being fool-proof. “All these pills, condoms are actually just creating a culture of contraceptive mentality among the young people,” the Youth Pinoy! president added. “When we talk about contraceptive mentality, it’s not about curing a sickness, but it is [about] cutting corners. We are trying to shortcut matters… but it doesn’t make things better. It makes things worse.” Tabada said “it’s very important that young people are united and challenged and they have to be sure that they will be fully represented,” then enjoined youth organizations to be one with the alliance in supporting lawmakers “who know how to invest in the country’s people.” (CBCP for Life)
QUEZON City―Over 400 participants joined the annual Diocesan Basic Ecclesial Day of the Diocese of Cubao last May 26 at Christ the King Parish, Quezon City. Dubbed as BEC Ugnayan sa Diyosesan Pamayan or UsaD Pa!, the participants from the 46 parishes covered by the Diocese of Cubao gathered together to celebrate their BEC day with the theme “Nalalapit kay Kristo… Nagkakalapit sa isa’t isa… lumalapit sa Kanya.” Fr. Amado Picardal, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ BEC Office said commemorating BEC day in the diocese is important, as it is an expression and celebration of unity among BECs and the diocese. (Ronalyn Regino)
Youth leaders gather to hone management skills
SAN MATEO, Rizal—At least 200 youth leaders from the Diocese of Novaliches gathered last May 25 to 27 at the God’s Love Farm in San Mateo, Rizal to hone their leadership skills for a more empowered youth advocacies. Marlon Peralta, CAMPi2012 coordinator, said the leadership camp will train youth leaders to use their skills in doing missions for the Church such as doing advocacies for environment, media literacy, and others. “The leadership camp makes them advocates not only for the Church but as a member of their respective communities. We also taught them the context of serving their fellow youth with their specific needs,” Peralta said. (Jandel Posion)
FOI / A1
80 member organizations and some well-known individuals also commended the initiative of the Senate to push the passage of information bill. “In behalf of the K99 movement, we praised the Senate Committee on Public Information for keeping intact a progressive, pro-people FOI bill,” said Ambrosio ‘Bong’ Palad, Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association’s (PALEA) National Secretary and K99 Movement Co-Convenor. Member organizations of the K99 movement are hoping the FOI could help lessen the corruption in the country, Palad said in an interview.
Meanwhile, the coalition “Right to Know. Right Now!” urged Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Information, to resolve the remaining issues on FOI and submit the committee report for plenary action. Pabillo, together with the group, also called on House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. to stand on the side of the people and include the passage of the FOI bill in the congress. “We are challenging the House of the Representatives to do their part. If we really want this transparency [to be realized], approved the FOI bill,” Pabillo said. (Yen Ocampo)
People, Facts & Places
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Pope impressed by Pedro Calungsod movement
Vatican grants special privilege to Taal Shrine
DEVOTEES making pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in the historic town of Taal in Batangas will now be able to receive the same plenary indulgence granted to pilgrims who visit the ancient church of St. Mary Major in Rome. The Vatican has issued a decree signed by Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, archpriest-emeritus of St. Mary Major, granting the Caysasay Shrine the same special privilege attached to the Roman Basilica. Pilgrims who visit and pray at the Shrine will receive plenary indulgence provided they fulfill the prescribed conditions of going to confession, participating in a Mass and praying for the intention of the Holy Father. Fr. Nonie Dolor, the archdiocesan media director, said the Vatican’s pronouncement came very timely as the archdiocese is preparing for the grand celebration of its 40th anniversary. On June 3, Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles presided at the Shrine a Mass of Declaration formally announcing to the public the special privilege granted by the Vatican.
Clarke Nebrao, one of the founders of +Big movement, that promotes Pedro Calungsod introduces the movement to the Holy Father during his recent visit to the Vatican
POPE Benedict XVI was visibly impressed upon hearing about +Big, a movement aiming to promote Bl. Pedro Calungsod’s values and life, after one of its founders presented it to the Holy Father for the first time. “This is truly inspiring and may the Filipino lay missionaries and youth follow St. Calungsod’s footsteps. Very, very good,” Clarke Nebrao, one of the founders of +Big, recounted the Holy Father as saying. Nebrao said that afterwards, with a smiling face, the Pope took his hands and affirmed him that the movement was “a great avenue to propagate the values and principles of Calungsod.” Nebrao, who is also the Church Integration Office Coordinator of Couples for Christ, was in Rome to introduce Couples for Christ Chairman Ricky Cuenca to the Holy Father during a general
audience at St. Peter’s Basilica last May 23. Since all three founders of +Big, Clarke Nebrao, Sky Ortigas and James Arela are also members of Couples for Christ and its ministries, Nebrao took the chance to introduce +Big to the Holy Father, mentioning that the movement is primarily an initiative of lay people. Nebrao said that the meeting with the Pope was certainly a big boost to the new movement, reminding +Big members and Filipinos, in general, of the Holy Father’s “filial love...through the affirmation and encouragement.” He added +Big will definitely be participating actively in the preparations for the canonization of Bl. Pedro Calungsod on October 21 and that the movement will send delegates to Rome for the event. (Nirva’ana Delacruz)
Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine
INSTALLED. Archbishop Romulo Valles as the 4th Archbishop of Davao, May 22, 2012. Present during the installation were the Papal Nuncio, Giuseppe Pinto, along with some 60 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops across the Philippines. Valles took the helm from Archbishop Fernando Capalla who served as archbishop of Davao since 1996. Ordained priest on April 6, 1976, Valles served as assistant parish priest of the Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum from 1976 to 1978 and parish priest of the San Nicolas de Tolentino parish in Mati, Davao Oriental from 1978 to 1982. He returned to the Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum as parish priest and Vicar general from 1982 to 1984 and from there to Rome where he completed his Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy in 1990. He also served as rector of the Regional Major Seminary of Davao (REMASE) from 1993 to 1997. On June 24, 1997 Pope John Paul II appointed him 4th bishop of Kidapawan. He became the 5th archbishop of Zamboanga on November 13, 2006, where he served for six years until his appointment as archbishop of Davao. Valles served as a chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’s (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and a member of the Permanent Committee on Cultural Heritage of the Church. INSTALLED. Dominican priest Fr. Herminio Dagohoy as the 96th rector of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Asia’s only pontifical university, June 3, 2012. Dagohoy, the internal auditor and director of finance and administration of UST Hospital, succeeds Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, former chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The formal installation was done after the Misa de Apertura at the UST chapel, which traditionally opens the academic year, with representatives from CHED, Church hierarchy, members of the diplomatic corps, alumni, and the Thomasian community. Born on July 8, 1965 in Hagonoy, Bulacan, where he spent his childhood, Dagohoy completed his basic education at Sta. Elena Elementary School and Hagonoy Institute in Bulacan. He finished Accountancy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1985, and later on professed the evangelical vows in the Order of Preachers on May 10, 1988. As a Dominican, Dagohoy obtained the following degrees: AB Philosophy at the Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies in 1990; Bachelor in Sacred Theology at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty of Sacred Theology in 1993; Master of Arts in Philippine Studies in Philosophy at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, in 2000; Licentiate in Philosophy at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy in 2011 and Doctorate in Philosophy also at UST in 2012. His areas of specialization include Ancient Philosophy, Theodicy, Social Philosophy, and Hermeneutics. The new rector was ordained to the priesthood on September 28, 1994 at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City. Dagohoy previously held posts as Prior/ Superior of the Santo Domingo Convent, QC, and Caleruega, Batangas, and is currently the Prior of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas in UST. He was also formerly the Rector of Angelicum College in Quezon City. As a respected academic, Fr. Dagohoy has published articles and book reviews in scholarly journals. He also engaged in significant scientific, ecclesial and cultural activities, and delivered various talks and lectures both in the Philippines and abroad. CONFERRED. Pope Benedict XVI has conferred on April 19, 2012 Papal Honors to the following members of the clergy of Jaro archdiocese: Monsignor Sergio V. Jamoyot Honorary Prelate (HP); Rev. Fr. Paul O. Solomia, Papal Chaplain (PC), Rev. Fr. Efren, N. Condino, Papal Chaplain (PC); Rev. Fr. Rabindranath J. Catalan, Papal Chaplain (PC); Rev. Fr. Ely Rafael D. Fuentes, Papal Chaplain (PC); Rev. Fr. Mario Cesar G. Enarsao, Papal Chaplain (PC); Rev. Fr. Alejandro P. Esperancilla, Papal Chaplain (PC); and Rev. Fr. Elmer Tababa, Papal Chaplain (PC). The Investiture ceremonies will be held on 29 June 2012, 2:30 pm at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles in Jaro, Iloilo City. APPOINTED. An Irish Catholic priest has been appointed as the new First Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines. Monsignor Seamus Patrick Horgan has arrived in Manila last May 24 and assumed his new duty, replacing Monsignor Giorgio Chezza, who has left Manila last March 11 upon completion of his mission. The announcement was made by Papal nuncio Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto in a letter dated May 28 to the General Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Manila. Msgr. Horgan is a priest of the Killaloe diocese in Ireland who has been working in the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. Before coming to Manila, Msgr. Horgan had worked in the Papal Nunciature in Uganda to Switzerland. CELEBRATED. Silver jubilee of Religious Profession of vows of Sr. Bonafe T. Agawin, Sr. Narcisa R. Penaredonda, Sr. Revelina B. Santiago and Sr. Teresita a. Sosa among the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd “Pastorelle” (SJBP); May 10, 2012. The occasion also saw the launching of the Triennium Celebration (1965-2015) of the congregation’s golden jubilee of foundation in the Philippines. DIED. Fr. Francisco O. Montecastro, S.J., 78, April 30, 2012. Montecastro entered the Society of Jesus on 30 May 1954 and was in the first group of those ordained from Loyola House of Studies on 1 May 1968. Fr. James T. Meehan, 79, also from the Society of Jesus; died on May 21, 2012 at the Medical City. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Meehan entered the Jesuits on 30 May 1950 and was ordained a priest on 20 June 1963. He first arrived in the Philippines in 1954 when he was still a Jesuit scholastic.
Paco Church inaugurates restored Pipe Organ
THE newly-restored Pipe Organ of San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church in Paco district wass blessed during a Mass to celebrate the feast of the parish’s patron saint on May 30. The Paco parish Church serves as the temporary official church of the Archdiocese of Manila while the renovations on the Manila Cathedral are being done. Acquired by the Church in 1966, the Pipe Organ ceased to be used in liturgical celebrations since the late 1980s due to its poor condition. Generous parishioners and benefactors took the initiative to restore the pipe organ to its original condition, according to Msgr. Rolando De la Cruz, parish priest of San Fernando de Dilao Church. The world famous Diego Cera Organ Builders, Inc. based in Las Piñas, home of the unique Bamboo Organ did the repairs and restoration, Dela Cruz said.
The ceremonies include the reading of the decree and placing of the original Latin text and its translation as a marker at the Shrine’s entrance. On Saturdays, the otherwise sleepy shrine becomes vibrant when pilgrims gather to pay homage to the Blessed
Virgin. The Marian icon, now known as our Lady of Caysasay was said to have been found by a local fisherman at the Pansipit River, according to a local legend. The people had the Marian image enshrined at Labac
where devotees flock every Saturday to pay homage. Miracles attributed to the image attracted many devotees to make annual pilgrimages to the Shrine, especially Chinese Catholics who regard the image of Our Lady of Caysasay as their own. (CBCPNews)
Novaliches Bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani presided the 6 p.m. Mass during which the pipe organ was blessed. Archdiocese recognizes lay liturgical ministers In a separate development, the archdiocese acknowledged the contribution of some 220
lay liturgical ministers in parish ministry through a recognition ceremony held on May 26 at the San Fernando de Dilao parish church. Rev. Fr. Genaro O. Diwa, head of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission, Manila and executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Lit-
urgy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines presided at the Mass with Fr. Eugene David of Holy Family Parish in Makati, Fr. Lito Villegas of St. Peter and Paul, Makati, Fr Romeo Agustin Miciano, SDB of St. John Bosco, Makati and Fr. Carlo del Rosario of San Fernando de Dilao as co-celebrants. Echoing the archdiocese’s gratitude on their commitment in the ministry, Diwa said the Church is vibrant because of the lay ministers’ committed service in the liturgical ministry. The lay ministers composed of Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors and Commentators, Greeters and Collectors, Mother Butler’s Guild, Music Ministers and Altar Servers were recommended by their respective parish priests taking into consideration the length and quality of service in their respective liturgical ministries. (CBCPNews)
Caritas Manila honours outstanding scholars
HUNDREDS of Caritas Manila scholars from the urban poor community in Metro Manila were honoured in a recognition ceremony at the San Carlos Seminary Auditorium on May 26. At least 399 scholars of Caritas Manila’s Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) were cited for their outstanding accomplishments as students and scholars of the Manila archdiocese's social service arm. Since three years ago, Caritas Manila has been honouring its outstanding scholars in a recognition ceremony to highlight their achievement despite the tremendous challenges they face in their daily life. This year’s YSLEP scholars who received special medals, grocery and gift packs, include
Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual (center) with some of the 2012 scholar awardees of Caritas Manila's Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program for urban poor partners.
one summa cum laude, four magna cum laude, 10 cum laude, five board passers and 24 special awardees. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Execu-
tive Director of Caritas Manila, led the recognition rites and celebrated Mass for the awardees. Caritas YSLEP is Caritas Manila’s integrated youth devel-
opment program that develops the youth’s potential in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude and trains them to become leaders. (CBCPNews)
PHL envoy receives Vatican award
AFTER more than 2 years as Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason was awarded by the Vatican with the Order of Pius IX, Class of Dame last May 23. The Holy See's Chief of Protocol, Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu, assisted by Msgr. Guillermo Javier Karcher, 1st Class Attaché of the Secretariat of State, presented the award to Ambassador Tuason. Nwachukwu in his remarks said Pope Benedict XVI has decided to give the award to Tuason for her “significant contributions in the advancement of bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Philippines”. The award is signed by Secretary of State of the Holy See, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone. The Order of Pius IX, also known as the Pian Order, is a Papal order of knighthood founded on 17 June 1847 by Pope Pius IX. Although the Pontifical Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See were originally founded and available for giving honors to gentlemen only, the Vatican in November 1993 issued instructions that the Pontifical Orders of Pius IX, Saint Gregory the Great, and of Pope Saint Sylvester were also open for awarding to ladies. Living recipients of the higher ranks of the Order of Pius IX include Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, Spain King Juan Carlos I, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Tuason is one of the Top 100 graduates of Catholic St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and a Pax Awardee of the same institution in 2009. She is also involved in Church activities and has been inducted to the Dame of the Order of Malta, which provides care for the sick, medical services for the poor and distributes relief goods to disaster-stricken areas. (CBCPNews)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
‘Christ Gives You a Share in His Spousal Love’
(Homily of Pope Benedict XVI at the Closing Mass of the VII World Meeting of Families, held in Milan, Italy on May 30 to June 3, 2012)
DEAR Brother Bishops, Distinguished Authorities, Dear Brothers and Sisters, It is a time of great joy and communion that we are experiencing this morning, as we celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice: a great gathering, in union with the Successor of Peter, consisting of faithful who have come from many different nations. It is an eloquent image of the Church, one and universal, founded by Christ and fruit of the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles, as we heard in today’s Gospel: to go and make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:18-19). With affection and gratitude I greet Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the principal architects of this VII World Meeting of Families, together with their staff, the Auxiliary Bishops of Milan and all the other bishops. I am pleased to greet all the Authorities who are present today. And I extend a warm welcome especially to you, dear families! Thank you for your participation! In today’s second reading, Saint Paul reminds us that in Baptism we received the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ as brothers and sisters and makes us children of the Father, so that we can cry out: “Abba, Father!” (cf. Rom 8:15,17). At that moment we were given a spark of new, divine life, which is destined to grow until it comes to its definitive fulfilment in the glory of heaven; we became members of the Church, God’s family, “sacrarium Trinitatis” as Saint Ambrose calls it, “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, as the Second Vatican Council teaches (Lumen Gentium, 4). The liturgical Solemnity of the Holy Trinity that we are celebrating today invites us to contemplate this mystery, but it also urges us to commit ourselves to live our communion with God and with one another according to the model of Trinitarian communion. We are called to receive and to pass on the truths of faith in a spirit of harmony, to live our love for each other and for everyone, sharing joys and sufferings, learning to seek and to grant forgiveness, valuing the different charisms under the leadership of the bishops. In a word, we have been given the task of building church communities that are more and more like families, able to reflect the beauty of the Trinity and to evangelize not only by word, but I would say by “radiation”, in the strength of living love. It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman. In the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but a l s o w i t h re s p e c t i v e a n d complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God. Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving. It is also fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education. And lastly, it is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Dear married couples, watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility. And let me add a word to the children here: be sure that you always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love. God’s plan for the human couple finds its fullness in Jesus Christ, who raised marriage to the level of a sacrament. Dear married couples, by means of a special gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ gives you a share in his spousal love, making you a sign of his faithful and all-embracing love for the Church. If you can receive this gift, renewing your “yes” each day by faith, with the strength that comes from the grace of the sacrament, then your family will grow in God’s love according to the model of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Dear families, pray often for the help of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, that they may teach you to receive God’s love as they did. Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the cosmos, the world. You have before you the witness of so many families who point out the paths for growing in love: by maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church, by cultivating dialogue, respecting the other’s point of view, by being ready for service and patient with the failings of others, by being able to forgive and to seek forgiveness, by overcoming with intelligence and humility any conflicts that may arise, by agreeing on principles of upbringing, and by being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society. These are all elements that build up the family. Live them with courage, and be sure that, insofar as you live your love for each other and for all with the help of God’s grace, you become a living Gospel, a true domestic Church (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 49). I should also like to address a word to the faithful who, even though they agree with the Church’s teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation. I want you to know that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities, and I earnestly hope that your dioceses are developing suitable initiatives to welcome and accompany you. In the Book of Genesis, God entrusts his creation to the human couple for them to guard it, cultivate it, and direct it according to his plan (cf. 1:27-28; 2:15). In this indication of Sacred Scripture we may recognize the task of man and woman to collaborate with God in the process of transforming the world through work, science and technology. Man and woman are also the image of God in this important work, which they are to carry out with the Creator’s own love. In modern economic theories, there is often a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market. Yet God’s plan, as well as experience, show that the one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a just society, because it brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions. Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them
Can you have democracy and human rights without God?
(A speech delivered by Francisco S. Tatad at the World Congress of Families VI held in Madrid, Spain on May 25-27, 2012)
By Francisco S. Tatad
MY wife and I traveled 28 hours from Manila just to be with you in this Congress. And it is a great joy to find so many of you here in Madrid. The question before us is: Can you have democracy and human rights without God? The truth is self-evident, so the question answers itself. Still we must still talk about it. We live in an age of belief and non-belief. The war of religions is over, the war against religion is on. Our faith in the Triune God is growing, but so also is its antithesis—atheism, agnosticism, and apostasy. Our certain hope, though, is that Faith—our Christian faith—shall ultimately prevail. None of us, I believe, are living in a country where the political authority reaches for a gun whenever someone speaks of reason or faith. But many of us, I fear, are living in countries where every kind of public discourse is permitted, or even applauded, so long as one does not use the language of religion or speak of God. Such countries like to call themselves democratic. And they invoke “human rights” to justify acts and omissions that paradoxically offend and deny our intrinsic human nature. But are they true democracies? Are the human rights they speak of legitimate human rights when, in the most tragic cases, they seek to repudiate the very truth of our being as creatures of God? What happens when a great country, which was built “under a sacred canopy,” with religion as its “first political institution,” according to one of its greatest champions (Cf. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, New American Library, New York, 1956), a country which has inspired so many other countries to adopt a democratic constitution, not only proclaims the destruction of the unborn as a human right but also promotes such “right” as a legal norm for all nations? What happens when a great continent like Europe, which once stood as the shining glory of Christianity, and through which a poor and distant country like the Philippines received its Catholic Christian faith, allows itself to be divided on the issue of whether or not to mention God and the Christian origin of its culture in its Constitution?
Without / B5
Share / B7
Denying Communion to Someone
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: What is a priest (or for that fact, a deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion) supposed to do in such an instant when it is common knowledge that someone presenting themselves to receive the Body of Christ is not in a state of grace? Can a person who is in an active homosexual relationship receive Communion? If a homosexual person is living a chaste and celibate life, is that person considered in a state of grace, as long as they are church-going and partake of the sacrament of reconciliation? Can a homosexual person in an active relationship serve as an extraordinary minister or other servant of the altar? -- D.B., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania A: Our reader mentioned that this question was inspired by a recent controversy regarding denial of Communion in the Archdiocese of Washington. Although this case has been widely commented on, I do not consider myself sufficiently informed of all the facts to add any specific statements other than to express the hope that the case will be eventually resolved and any misunderstandings clarified. That said, I will try to address the question at hand. First of all, it is incumbent upon each member of the faithful to assess if he or she is in a state of grace to receive Communion. In order to know this with reasonable moral certitude, the person must not be aware of having committed any grave sin that has not been confessed or of not being in a situation which would normally preclude being able to receive the sacrament such as, for example, an irregular marriage not recognized as valid by the Church. In fulfilling his ministry the priest and even more so other ministers should habitually defer to the good faith of those who approach the sacrament. Only God knows with absolute certainty a person’s state of grace. The individual person can reach a reasonable moral certainty as to the present state of his soul. The priest usually has no knowledge as to a person’s state of grace. Even if a priest knows that a certain person is a habitual sinner, he cannot know if, before coming for Communion, that person has repented, confessed and is striving to remedy his ways. Even if the priest is practically certain that a person should not receive Communion and would be committing a sacrilege by doing so, he should not publicly refuse to administer the sacrament. No person, not even a grave sinner, should be publicly exposed for hidden faults. Everybody has a right to preserve his good name unless it is lost by the sinner’s public actions or in virtue of a public penalty. This is a very difficult situation for a priest to be in, but in this way he also shares in that same attitude which the Lord himself adopts in making himself available in the Eucharist. Only rarely will a priest be placed in such a difficult situation; the Eucharistic Lord faces it on a daily basis. Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law indicates the principal cases in which Communion may be publicly refused. The canon says, “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.” The first case refers to those upon whom a canonical penalty of excommunication or interdiction has been publicly imposed for a grave canonical crime. It does not refer to those who might have fallen under an automatic penalty (such as participating in an abortion) which is not known. Of course, people in this situation should not receive Communion until the excommunication is lifted, but the priest should not refuse the host even if he knows that the penalty exists. The second situation, those obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin, is harder to determine and usually requires a case-by-case study. Even expert canonists disagree regarding the practical applications. But almost all are in accordance that the law should be narrowly interpreted and that all the factors—obstinate perseverance and manifestly grave sin— must be simultaneously present before Communion can be publicly denied. It is difficult to determine if a grave sin is manifest. In order to be so, a sin must be known by a large part of the community, and this can also depend on the nature of the community itself. For example, it is one thing to belong to a quiet rural village where everybody knows everybody and another to be part of a large urban parish were a situation might be known only if it appears in the media. Obstinate perseverance is also difficult to determine and usually requires that the priest has been able to converse with the sinner and has warned him to desist from receiving Communion until he ceases committing the sin. Since both factors must be present the priest can only make this warning that Communion will be publicly refused when the sin is widely known and he has not received knowledge of it through the sacrament of reconciliation. There might be cases when all of the factors are present by the manner in which a person approaches the altar. For example, several U.S. bishops have refused Communion to people wearing a rainbow sash. In this case the person is using a symbol that publicly defends a lifestyle that the Church holds to be gravely sinful. There might be some other cases when a priest has to decide on the spur of the moment, for example, when a person is in an obviously altered state and is clearly not fully aware of what he is doing. Such cases have more to do with public order and respect for the Eucharistic species than making a judgment as to a person’s interior state. Another case is when a person is obviously not Catholic. Such situations most often arise at weddings and funerals. Many dioceses and parishes have prepared policies for such occasions and advise those attending regarding the conditions for receiving Communion in the Catholic Church. This serves as a reminder both to Catholics who might not be practicing their faith as well as to those who belong to other denominations and religions. Finally, the Church distinguishes between a homosexual tendency and homosexual acts. While the tendency is disordered, it does not make the person a sinner— provided that he or she lives a chaste life. Indeed, there is no reason why such a person cannot reach a high level of sanctity. A person who acts on the tendency commits a grave sin. With this in mind I think it is clear that actively homosexual persons should not receive Communion. The door of sacramental reconciliation, however, is always open to them when there is sincere repentance and purpose of amendment. Anybody who because of any grave sin should not receive Communion should not engage in a ministry. There might be exceptions to this rule when dealing with a momentary fall from grace with no opportunity to confess before Mass. But there are not exceptions in the case of those who would be habitually excluded from reception.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
The juridic obligation to wear ecclesiastical attire
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
Fresh from the 20 th National Convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines, held in Puerto Princesa last April 16-19, I felt the need to revisit this topic once more. In fact, especially on the first day of the Convention, almost all of the clerics attending—around a hundred priests and more than a handful of bishops—were in clerical garb, even if the following days saw many of them shedding off the clergyman barong for more casual attire befitting the island setting. After all, we were almost all the time among ourselves. But this was not the case in the first Conventions back in the mid-1990s. It was by dint of harping on the subject, gently but consistently through the years, and—I suppose—also by the example of the younger canon lawyers coming from the canon law faculties in Rome and Navarre (Spain) that the gradual transformation has taken place. I was reminded of something I heard from St. Josemaria Escriva (the Founder of Opus Dei, whose feastday is on the 26 th of this month): Do not give up the battle for the ecclesiastical attire of priests. Why this insistence on what some people consider such a trivial matter? can be disobeyed. Hence, in 1994 (barely 10 years after the publication of the Code and the local legislation by the CBCP), this matter was reiterated by the Congregation for the Clergy. The Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests On 31 January 1994, the Congregation for the Clergy published a Directory which remains a veritable vademecum or handbook for the ministry and life of priests. Aptly entitled Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priest, it contained an entire article (n.66) aptly labelled: Obligation of Ecclesiastical Attire. Following is the full text: In a secularized and materialistic society, where the external signs of sacred and supernatural realities tent to disappear, it is particularly important that the community be able to recognize the priest, man of God and dispenser of his mysteries, by his attire as well, which is an unequivocal sign of his dedication and his identity as a public minister. The priest should be identifiable primarily through his conduct, but also by his manner of dressing, which makes visible to all the faithful, indeed and to all men, his identity and his belonging to God and the Church, For this reason, the clergy should wear suitable ecclesiastical dress, in accordance with the norms established by the Episcopal Conference and the legitimate local original Italian: 1. The Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, published by the Congregation for the Clergy on behalf and with the approval of Pope John Paul II, is certainly permeated in its entirety by a profound pastoral spirit. However, this does not remove prescriptive value from many of its norms, which do not only have an exhortative character but are juridically binding. 2. This juridic and disciplinary enforceability apply to the norms of the Directory that simply recall similar disciplinary norms of the CIC (for example, Art.16, §6), as well as those other norms that specify the ways of implementing universal laws of the Church, state their doctrinal foundations, or ask for their faithful observance (such as Arts. 62-64). 3. In fact, norms of the latter type, which belong to the category of General Executory Decrees and “oblige those who are bound by the same laws” (CIC, c.32), are often issued by the Holy see in Directories, as provided for by the Code of Canon law (c.33, §1). 4. In what concretely refers to Art.66 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, it contains a general norm complementary to c.284 of the CIC, with the characteristics proper of General Executory enshrined in c.284, must be interpreted in the light of these clarifications. 7.According to the prescription of c.32, these provisions of Art.66 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests oblige all those that are bound by c.284, namely the bishops and priests, but not permanent deacons (cf. c.288). Diocesan bishops are, in addition, the competent authority to demand obedience to such discipline and to remove any practice contrary to the use of ecclesiastical attire (cf. c.392, §2). It is incumbent on Episcopal Conferences to help the individual diocesan bishops in the fulfillment of their duty. Conclusions All the foregoing discussion can be summarized in the following: 1. The norms on ecclesiastical attire issued by the CBCP in 1984, specifying the universal norm enshrined in c.284 of the CIC, are as follows: The proper clerical attires are as follows: (1) Cassock or religious habit; (2) Clergyman suit; (3) Trousers of dark one-tone colour or white, and shirt of one-tone colour, with the clerical collar. The shirt may also be either polo-barong or barong tagalog with a distinctive cross. The Polo-barong or barong tagalog with a distinctive cross is clearly distinguished as a
Canon Law Requires Clerics to wear Ecclesiastical Attire. Can.284 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 clearly states the universal law for the Church: Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb in accord with the norms issued by the conference of bishops and in accord with legitimate local custom. On the other hand, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has issued the following norms, which have received the recognitio of the Holy See (Congregation of Bishops, Prot.n.35/84), pursuant to and shortly after the promulgation of the abovementioned Code of Canon Law: The proper clerical attires approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines are as follows: 1) Cassock or religious habit; 2) Clergyman suit; 3) Trousers of dark one-tone colour or white, and shirt of one-tone colour, with the clerical collar. The shirt may also be either polo-barong or barong tagalog with a distinctive cross. The Polo-barong or barong tagalog with a distinctive cross is clearly distinguished as a clerical attire and is accepted by the people as such, and is sanctioned by the usage of the clerics. These norms are so clear and unequivocal that they hardly admit of interpretation. Unfortunately, even the obvious
custom. This means that the attire, when it is not the cassock, must be different from the manner in which the laity dress, and conform to the dignity and sacredness of his ministry. The style and colour should be established by the Episcopal Conference, always in agreement with the dispositions of the universal law. Because of their incoherence with the spirit of this discipline, contrary practices cannot be considered legitimate customs and should be removed by the competent authority. Outside of entirely exceptional cases, a cleric’s failure to use this proper ecclesiastical attire could manifest a weak sense of his identity as one consecrated to God. Again, the text of the Directory is so clear and unequivocal as to make any interpretation almost pedantic. However, even the obvious norm can be discredited of its normative or juridic force, such that the question was posed to the Holy See on whether the above text had binding force. The Binding Force of Art.66 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priest regarding Ecclesiastical Attire. The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the competent Roman dicastery for the above question, published a Nota Esplicativa (Explanatory Note) on 22 October 1994 clarifying this matter (cf. Communicationes, 27  192–194). Following is an abridged translation of the
Decrees (cf. c.31). It is, therefore, a norm to which juridic enforceability can be clearly attributed, as evidenced by the very wording of the text and the place where it was included: under the title: «Obedience». 5. In fact, said Art. 66: (a) recall, even with references to recent teachings of the Papal Magisterium, the doctrinal foundation and the pastoral reasons for the use of ecclesiastical attire by sacred ministers, as prescribed by c.284; (b) determines more concretely the manner of executing execution of the universal law regarding the use of ecclesiastical attire, namely: “when it is not the cassock, must be different from the manner in which the laity dress, and conform to the dignity and sacredness of his ministry. The style and colour should be established by the Episcopal Conference, always in agreement with the dispositions of the universal law. (c) urges, with a categorical statement, the observance and application of the norms on proper ecclesiastical attire: “Because of their incoherence with the spirit of this discipline, contrary practices cannot be considered legitimate customs and should be removed by the competent authority”. 6. It is obvious that in case of doubt, even the General Decrees emanated by the Episcopal Conferences, as complementary legislation to the universal law
clerical attire and is accepted by the people as such, and is sanctioned by the usage of the clerics. 2. These norms are not only exhortative but have a juridic binding force. 3. In case of doubt, the CBCP norms must be interpreted in the light of the provisions of Art.66 of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests of 31.I.1994. 4. Diocesan bishops are the competent authority to demand obedience to the discipline on ecclesiastical attire and to remove any contrary practice (cf. c.392, §2). 5. Finally, it is incumbent on t he CBCP t o help t he individual diocesan bishops in the fulfillment of their duty. At a time when the whole Filipino nation has been galvanized into a greater awareness of the binding force of the law—and its punitive power, applicable even to the highest official of the judiciary— it is important that ecclesiastics show a similar adherence to established Church laws. It is very difficult for us men of the cloth to call public officials to task for their alleged nonobservance of state laws, when we ourselves fail to observe the laws of the Church. This applies to the entirety of Canon Law, but perhaps a good start could be in a very simple but quite obvious detail: for men of the cloth to wear the proper clothing.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Year of the Missions
Catholic educators, employees gather for mission talk
CATHOLIC educators from three Catholic schools in Metro Manila took part in a forum on the relevance of ‘mission ad gentes’ of the Church as part of the celebration of “Year of Pontifical Mission” last May 26. At least 400 teaching and nonteaching personnel from three Catholic institutions gathered at the Pasig Catholic College to listen on discussion about the relevance of mission and their role as Catholic educators. According to Mr. Erickson Javier, director for the Center of Christian formation of Pasig Catholic College, the gathering also helped Catholic educators to understand more fully the various missionary activities of the Church, such as the annual celebration of Mission Sunday and the “mission ad gentes” of the Church. We have to understand the yearly celebration of Mission Sunday, where the donation usually goes; and the new evangelization in which Mission Ad Gentes is one of its components, he said. Emphasizing the important role of the school in evangelization, Javier also mentioned that Pasig Catholic College, founded by the CICM Fathers, is set to celebrate its centenary this year. Fr. Soc Mesiona, MSP, the N a t i o n a l D i re c t o r o f t h e Pontifical Mission Societies gave a reflection on the mission of educators in proclaiming God’s kingdom. Mesiona together with Brother Anthony Dameg, a PMS staff, discussed about Mission in general. They also explained the rationale behind the annual celebration of Mission Sunday and where the mission collection goes. T h e t h re e s c h o o l s t h a t participated in the forum were Pasig Catholic College, San Isidro Catholic School, and Nazarene Catholic School. (Jandel Posion)
It’s fun being missionary, says PMS director
MISSION work is enjoyable and fun, according to Fr. Bernardo Espiritu, SVD, a Filipino missionary and newly appointed New Zealand PMS national director in an interview last May 14, about his appointment. “I could honestly say I’m happy with my priesthood and being a missionary. The problem is, you get to fall in love with the people. You become their friend but seemingly there’s a time for us to move on and sometimes, people are not accustomed to it,” Espiritu said. He admitted that although missionaries have already gotten used to it still there’s sadness inside when one is asked to move on to another assignment. “There is always sadness, but being a missionary, you get to meet a lot of people along our missionary work, that you can share to others. When you will have chit-chats with them, you can say that I was there and there were many people whom I have helped,” the priest added. Espiritu shared a heartwarming experience he had when he went back to Brazil for a visit, after being away for almost 20 years after he left the country for missionary work in Australia. “I never expected—I was there unannounced and I went back to the parish where I worked for five years. I was walking in the streets when somebody asked me if I am Father Bernard. I told him, yes and he asked again if I still remember him. I told him, yes of course. They called me in to their house and then the next thing you know, the whole neighborhood was there inside the house,” the missionary said. He said that it is good to be remembered at the same time. “To leave the people you have [grown] close to for several years is the difficult task of the missionary life. Still, you must go for a particular purpose which helps you to move on,” Espiritu added. The missionary said that he is working hard but at the same time, he enjoyed the company of the people around him. Espiritu was ordained in 1981 and first served as a missionary in Brazil from 1983 to 1990. His second mission was in Melbourne, Australia from 1991-2006. He also served in the United Nations as a member of Vivat International for a year and a half and worked for five years in New Jersey, USA before being assigned to mission work in Australia where he got his recent appointment. (Jandel Posion)
Children’s Congress highlights importance of mission, vocation
THE Diocese of Novaliches held a Children’s Congress last May 26 aimed at increasing awareness among children the importance of mission and vocation in the life of the Church. The 3rd diocesan children’s congress which coincided with the celebration of Flores de Mayo had the more than 800 children participants prayed the Mission rosary for mission and vocation awareness in the world. With the theme “Bata Bata, may Misyon ka!” the event was in line with the celebration of the ‘Year of Pontifical Mission’ which focuses in promoting the missionary work of Filipino missionaries in the country and those serving abroad. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias officiated the Mass, during which he pointed out that the Holy Spirit is the main agent of mission activities in the Church. Fr. Polash Gomes, SX, diocesan mission director, said the children also prayed the Mission Rosary during the congress and encouraged them to choose their respective mission territory to pray for. “In order for the children to be more active and to be really encouraged in doing this, it was done with games and prayer, and also shared with them the mission story of Blessed Pedro Calungsod who will be canonized later
Photo Courtesy of Fr. Polash Gomes, SX
this year,” Gomes said. The children were given Mission Rosaries with a guidebook in Tagalog while encouraging them to pray it with devotion. To further ignite the missionary flame among children, Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) National Director Fr. Socrates Mesiona, MSP, shared about the ‘Holy Childhood’, one of the societies of PMS.
Gomes, at the end of the mass, thanked all parish priests, the animation team and all the catechists of the diocese for the fervent support they are giving to the missionary work of the diocese. The children’s congress was initiated by the Mission Animation Ministry together with the Catechetical Ministry and the Vocation Ministry of the diocese. (Jandel Posion)
Pedro Calungsod: a boy from the Visayas
(Lifted from the book of Fr. Ildebrando Jesus Aliño Leyson entitled Pedro Calonsor Bissaya: Prospects of a Teenage Filipino) THE Calungsods of Hinundayan in southern Leyte say that their ancestors were from Biasong in Hinunangan. During the time of Pedro Calungsod, Hinundayan was part of the Jesuit mission station of Abuyog. If Pedro Calungsod was from Hinundayan or Hinunangan, it may be easy to explain why he came in contact with the Jesuits. Leyte was an entirely Jesuit mission territory in the 1600’s and the Jesuits must have recruited many of their secular mission assistants from there. Hinunangan parish was established only in 1854. Its oldest existing record of a Calungsod is that of a Pedro Calungsod who was baptized there in 1854. We do not know if the Calungsod clan was already established in southern Leyte in the 1600’s. However, southern Leyte can be considered a probable place of origin of the Calungsods just like Cebu from the fact that the Cebuano-Visayan language is spoken in this area too. Alcina did not specify the place in the Visayas where the natives confused the letters “d”, “I” and “r” in their pronunciation. A Cebuano may right away conclude that the place could easily be Samar or northern Leyte where Waray is spoken, for in some instances, the Waray-Visayan language would use the letter “r” and “I” where the Cebuano-Visayan language would employ “I” and “d” respectively. It is worth noting, though, that in southern Leyte where the Cebuano-Visayan language is spoken, there is a town called “Sogod” which is rendered “Sogor” in old documents. A Spanish error? Or could it be that it was in southern Leyte where the “Calungsod” family name became “Calongsor”? We do not know. We are only certain that today, as we have seen, the family name is “Calungsod” and not “Calongsor” in Hinundayan and Hinunangan, just as one of the towns in southern Leyte is called “Sogod” and not “Sogor”. Basing on the argument of the Cebuano-Visayan origin of the family name “Calungsod”, one may conclude that the Calungsods cannot have originated in Panay where the language is Hiligaynon. Nevertheless, this does not remove or diminish the possibility that Pedro Calungsod may have come from Panay. Who knows, the Calungsods may have already been living in Panay in the 1600’s. Besides, there was a Jesuit residence in Arevalo, Panay, where Pedro Calungsod may have been recruited for the mission. The Calungsods of Molo in Panay are said to have changed their family name to “Calonsod” or “Calunsod” during the Spanish time to evade the military service which was the lot of the Calungsod males there. It may be interesting to note that the “Calonsod” family name in Molo is almost similar to the “Calonsor” family name given to Pedro Calungsod in some of the documents. However, the existence of the other spellings of the family name given to Pedro in the documents makes this fact inconclusive. St. Anne’s Parish of Molo was founded only in 1795. The earliest known patriarch of the Calungsods in Molo is Josef Calonsod who lived in the 1800’s. Josef had a great grand-grandson named Sofronio Calungsod (now deceased) who mentioned in passing sometime in the late 1950’s to a historian from Molo, named Atty. Rex Salvilla, that he had an ancestor who had gone to Guam and had been killed there. That ancestor could very well be Pedro Calungsod. But did Sofronio get that information from authentic tradition of his clan in Molo or from existing books that carried the report on Pedro Calungsod? For it could also be that Sofronio, or someone else who told Sofronio, had happened to read about Pedro Calungsod. The reason for this doubt is the fact that on November 30, 1676, when the immediate relatives of Pedro Calungsod would still have been alive, a Subrogatorial Process, which lasted until 9 December of the same year, there was no claim whatsoever from the Calungsods of Molo—if they were already established there—that Pedro Calungsod was their relative. Neither was there any reaction from people in Iloilo nor from the parish priest of the place—who was witness in the process—which would at least have indicated that Pedro Calungsod hailed from their place. The Jesuits in Arevalo did not also claim during the said Process that the boy from Visayas was their recruit. In other words, Pedro Calungsod’s exact provenance in the Visayas was somehow unknown even to his contemporaries in Iloilo. Or did those people just ignore the fact that Pedro Calungsod was from their place because the Process was for Padre Diego alone? Perhaps. But that would be too curious. “Caligawan”,”Calindog”, etc. It must be said, however, that the Jesuits have missions in both these places during the time of Pedro Calungsod. In Loboc, the Jesuits even had a boarding school for boys where they could have recruited Pedro Calungsod. We can trace the roots of the Calungsods only as far as the 1800’s. There is a gap of almost two centuries between that Calungsods that we have traced and Pedro Calungsod. Thus we cannot make any definite conclusion as to the exact place of origin of Pedro Calungsod in the Visayas. The of Jesus), that is, in the city of the island of Cebu in the Visayas called Sugbu or Zebu or Sebu or Cebu. The Jurisdiction of this Diocese covered the entire province of Leyte, that of Cebu with its adjacent islands, the province of Caraga, the province of Panay, its adjacent islands up to Calamianes, Paragua, Mindanao and the Ladrones Islands—later renamed the Mariana Islands. We do not know what Pedro Calungsod looked like. We do not know of any drawing or painting of him from his time. The documents simply describe him as Visayan indio. Alcina who was a contemporary of Pedro Calungsod, described the male Visayan indios of his time as usually more corpulent, better built and somewhat taller than the Tagalogs in Luzon; that their skin was light brown in color; that their faces were usually round and of fine proportions; that their noses were flat; that their eyes and hair were black; that they—especially youth—wore their hair a little bit long; and that they already started to wear camisas (shirts) and calzones (knee-breeches). Pedro Chirino, S.J., who also worked in the Visayas but in the 1590’s, also described the Visayans as wellbuilt, of pleasing countenance and light skinned. Antonio Morga who wrote in 1609 described the Visayans as well-featured, of good disposition, of better nature and more noble in their actions than the inhabitants of the island of Luzon and its vicinity. Pedro Murillo Velarde, S.J., added that the Visayans were excellent swimmers. As a bisaya, Pedro Calungsod must have surely spoken “Bisaya”, the language of the Visayas in general. One may even be inclined to think that if there was anything about Pedro Calungsod on which his acquaintances based their indication of him as a bisaya, it was his language. According to Lius de Jesus, O.S.A., who was a contemporary of Pedro Calungsod, the Bisaya language is that which was common and peculiar to Cebu. Chirino also said that “Bisaya is the language in use through all islands of the Pintados [Visayas], although in some of the villages therein the Harayan is spoken”. It is most probable that the mother tongue of Pedro Calungsod was the Cebuano-Visayan language by the fact that his family name indicates a Cebuano-Visayan origin. But, supposing he was an offspring of the Calungsods who may have migrated to Panay, then, his mother tongue could have been Hiligaynon. About the different Visayan tongues, Alcina pointed out that “there is a difference in pronunciation, in the meaning of words and in the vocabulary itself. Yet, one who understands one of these well, will certainly understand the other; by trying to speak it, one will come to master both.” We may lament the “failure” of the authors of the documents— some of whom were acquaintances of Pedro Calungsod—to indicate the exact place of origin of the boy in the Visayas. We may suspect that those friends of Pedro Calungsod only had superficial knowledge of him because they could only refer to him so generally as indio bisaya. This may be true, inclined as we think that the young indio assistants of the missionaries were never given too much importance. However, bisaya may be just the perfect description of who Pedro Calungsod was and who he should be to us today. For according to Alcina, bisaya means “happy man”, “a man of fine and pleasant disposition. And this is how Pedro Calungsod is described in the accounts of his death: that he was a lad of “very good disposition”, and that he was “fortunate [happy] youth” because he lived and died for the Christian Faith. Moreover, the almost “intentional” general indication of the “Visayas” as his place of origin corresponds well to his very descriptive family name: he was everyone’s town mate, everyone’s fellow citizen, for he did not limit himself to his own hometown, nor to his Visayan world, but opened himself to others by generously spending his youth in the service of the Gospel in a foreign land. In this, he was a real Catholic Christian. Today, different people in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and even different parts of the world claim to have been helped by the intercession of Pedro Calungsod, who remains until now as everyone’s town mate, everyone’s fellow citizen. (To be continued)
The claim is made by the town of Loboc, Bohol, that Pedro Calungsod may have been from there because the family names of the inhabitants of that town all begin with “Cal”, as in “Calacat”, “Calamba”, “Calinao”, “Calipayan”, Calumbre”, “Calunsag”, etc. Strangely enough, there is no trace of any “Calungsod” in Loboc. The same is true of the town of Leon in Panay where the family names of the inhabitants all begin with “Ca” as in “Calandawa”, “Calaor”, “Calapardo”, “Calingan”,
definitive indication would have been Pedro Calungsod’s baptismal record, which unfortunately is not available to us today. We can, however, be certain of the ecclesiastical provenance of Pedro Calungsod. If he was a Visayan, then he belonged to the old Diocese of Cebu, one of the three suffragan dioceses established in the Philippines by Pope Clement VIII by virtue of his brief of 14 August 1595. Its Episcopal seat was located in the City of the Santisimo Nombre de Jesus (the Most Holy Name
A Pastoral Letter
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
The Task of Shepherding God’s Flock
the ministerial priesthood from the Lord Jesus and we need to respond daily to this call every day, every moment of our lives. Pope Benedict XVI in his message to the New Bishops in Castel The difficulties increase and the incumbencies multiply, also because we are faced with new realities and growing pastoral demands. Nevertheless, attention to the problems of every day obfuscate our availability to the Lord. The time that the priest and bishop dedicate to God in prayer is always the best employed, because prayer is the soul of pastoral activity, the and pastoral endeavor need to be rooted in our personal prayer, in the Eucharist and “in the word of God which is indispensable in forming the heart of a good shepherd and minister of the word. The priest must first of all develop a great personal familiarity with the word of God (Verbum Domini no. 78-80). Towards Greater Involvement of the Laity During the parish visits, I have seen how the Holy Spirit has blessed our local Church with a variety of gifts. In fact, Blessed John Paul II strongly underlined that “To be able to discover the actual will of the Lord in our lives always involves the following: a receptive listening to the Word of God and the Church, fervent and constant prayer, recourse to a wise and loving spiritual guide, and a faithful discernment of the gifts and talents given by God, as well as the diverse social and historic situations in which one lives (Christifideles laici, 28)”. The innumerable spiritual, human and material resources that our laity offers the local Church of Daet await us. We
JESUS Christ, Chief Shepherd (1 Pt 5:4), guides his Church to the fullness of truth and life, until the day of his glorious return, when all promises will be realized and the hopes of humanity filled. These words give us a hint of the Lord’s pervading presence in human history. In fact, Our Lord Jesus Christ journeys with us in every moment of our individual lives as well as that of our Christian Communities. The task of shepherding God’s flock that was entrusted to me made me embark on a journey that brought me around the local Church of Daet. In humility, my Pastoral Visit to the 26 parishes, 4 quasi parishes, 9 communities of religious women, 4 communities of religious men and 6 Catholic Schools—taught me and inspired me more “to lead our people toward friendship with Jesus Christ” (rf. Porta Fidei no. 20). All throughout this journey, I saw how God moves and inspires our Christian life in the diocese. I thank God for this great blessing and I also wish to express my gratitude to all the members of the Bishop’s visiting team, to all the parish priests, lay leaders, local superiors of the different religious communities and the administrators, staff and students of all Catholic Schools who welcomed me and shared with me the joy that comes from the Lord. Priestly Fidelity Blessed John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis no.2 exhorted all priests to “Remain Faithful to the grace received”. We have received the tremendous grace of
only need to tap into them and harness them so that we may reach out and announce the Good News to the greatest number of parishioners. Let us encourage and seek ways to involve more families in the different pastoral programs of the diocese and of the parish. Let us invest more time and effort in forming our lay leaders since they will be our closest collaborators in the vineyard of the Lord. There is a need for us to establish a more dynamic and formed Parish Pastoral Councils that will truly respond to the needs and demands of our lay faithful by reading the signs of the times and not merely focusing on the different activities that are being done year in and year out. Caring and Nurturing the Family The modern times has been characterized by the different attacks on family and sexual morality. Although these attacks are hardly felt in our locality, there arises the need for us to strengthen and care for the families that Holy Mother Church considers as “ecclesia domestica”. Pastoral programs that will address the needs of Christian Families have to be enacted so as to help parents and their children adapt to the modern times in consonance with the Gospel values. We need to help people understand and appreciate more the dignity and value of Christian Marriage so as to counteract the growing number of men and women who prefer civil unions and living-in
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Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Daet, Camarines Norte.
Gandolfo on September 22, 2009 stressed that “A presbyter ’s mission and, with greater reason, that of a bishop, entails today a lot of work that tends to absorb him continually and totally.
and the initiatives directed to leading men on the way of God must never distract us from our profound and personal union with Christ. To be available to people should not diminish or
“lymph” that gives it strength, it is a support in moments of uncertainty and the inexhaustible source of missionary fervor and fraternal love toward all.” Thus, all apostolic activity
By Sem. Khervin B. Domingo
IN response to the Pope’s Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Theological Centrum has organized a seminar for seminarians attended by 30 seminarians from 17 dioceses. Themed “Year of Faith: Its Impact in the Life and Vocation of a Seminarian,” it was held at the Latag Study Camp, Lipa City, Batangas from May 21 to 23. In this seminar facilitated by various speakers, the seminarians were able to realize the profound crisis of the faith and rediscover the journey of faith. One thing we need to recognize is the objective emphasized by the Holy Father: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles who came to the seminar, said “Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia and I am not proud of it.” It is not enough to keep it for ourselves. It is important to know so much but we must learn how to transmit it. In the words of Pope Benedict in his Apostolic Letter, “Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us.” Thus, it came to the seminarians’ awareness that faith is a gift from God which is needed to be shared. It is an
Keeping the fire burning
Participants and their facilitators at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal, Batangas.
expression of the loving God, a constant search for the way, truth and a work searching for life. Fr. Eugene Hechanova, Rector of St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Lipa laid a challenge to the seminarians to live the faith, profess it and pray it publicly through one’s actions and words. Fr. Manny Marfori, Rector of San Pablo Theological Formation House, Diocese of San Pablo, shared the same sentiment as he asked the brothers to connect what they study to their prayers and works. Through prayers, studies, charity and
service, one’s faith may grow more and make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith.” Pope Benedict said that faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel. The seminar serves as a spark that will add more fuel to the fire. It renewed the enthusiasm of the participants as they were tasked to have a personal experience of God by valuing the sacraments, learning to become friends of Christ and by knowing the doctrine of the Church. The seminar reminded the participants that the door of faith is always open for
all like a grace always available. We have so much to discover in Christ so we need to exert effort to intensify the witnessing of charity. Faith is a gift, an expression of God’s love, ours is a response. We need a new way of seeing things. Aside from the few and meaningful conferences and talks, the seminarians also had quality times of prayers, excursion, meals, get together and sports as if echoing one of Porta Fidei’s point: It is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us. Parts of the
event are the bonding moments for them to realize also the need of one another, the fellow seekers of truth, the need for the co-believers. Like a mustard seed, from simple things, in faith, the best things begin. That is because “Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy.” (The author is a seminarian from Mother of Good Counsel Seminary of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga.)
May They Be One
Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home
• No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 85 out of 86 Dioceses • Bibles Distributed (Jan. 1, 2012 - May 31, 2012): 93,269 copies • Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (1,896 cps.), Cebuano (19,728 cps.), English (9,175 cps.), Hiligaynon (4,231cps.), Ilocano (2,946 cps.), Pampango (325cps.), Pangasinan (2,186 cps.), Samarenyo (1,724 cps.), Tagalog (51,058 cps.) • Parishes/Communities served in 2011: 41 • Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009-May 31, 2012): 627,127 cps • Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2012: 400,000 cps. • Total Funds Needed for Printing and Transport of Bibles in 2012: P45M
May They Be One (MTBO) Snippets from Mindanao
The May They be One (MTbO) bible campaign has made a big impact on our diocese because the program gave many people the opportunity to read the bible. before the campaign, those in the grassroots, who didn’t even have enough to buy for basics such as food, could not buy their own bibles. (under the sponsorship plan of MTbO) the bibles were made affordable at P50 a copy (1/3 of the regular price). (With bibles now on hand) Many who attend our bible formations and seminars are getting the opportunity to read the Bible for the first time in their lives. Many share of changes in their lives now that they know how they should live as Christians. --Mrs. Edith Pidon, digos City
Members of the MTBO Advisory Committee: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo, Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Fr. Art B. Orense, Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. Praise God for using the affordable Bibles under May They Be One (MTBO) to help meet the great demand for Bibles in Mindanao. Pray for an effective distribution of May They Be One Bibles in all sectors of Mindanao and that this will significantly help bring about healing and unity in the strife-torn region. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make
A friend who is involved in the bible Study/ Group gave the MTbO bible to me. The bible inspires me – especially when I’m depressed or troubled. It helps me cope and reminds me to be generous, patient and hopeful. It also guides me on what to do. I read the bible in the evening and during my free time. My mother (now) also reads the bible. Consequently, she became more understanding and kinder to my niece and nephews, to her in-laws as well as to her grandchildren. I help organize bible Seminars and promote the bible in the community. --Marilou Salavaria, Ozamis City
significant change, call us at PBS 524-5337, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit at any BPI branch to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #393-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch). Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments—go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Statements Justice for Francing Canayong! Stop Extra Judicial Killings!
WE, from the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) vehemently condemn the killing of Francisco Canayong, a well-loved and respected staunch anti-mining activist and a member of our network through the Social Action of Eastern Samar. Manong Francing was stabbed to death by still unidentified assailant last 1 May 2011. Prior to his death, he has received countless death threats on account of his active and tireless involvement in leading the campaign for environmental protection and against mining operations in Salcedo and other areas in Samar. We join the call of the Bishops of the Island of Samar in seeking justice for Manong Francing’s death. His brutal slay add anew to the increasing number of unsolved killings of anti-mining activists from various mining-affected communities in our country. As we grieve and mourn for his loss, we call on the government to take effective action in investigating this incident and bring to justice the perpetrator of this heinous act. The government should take responsibility for the relentless climate of fear and impunity that continue to hound environmentalists and anti-mining activists especially those in remote areas where mining operations go unchecked and unregulated by government agencies. This coming June 2012, the government’s commitment in upholding human rights will be subjected for the Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN).
Press Statement on Impeachment Trial
IN January at the start of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, we exhorted our people to accompany the process in the spirit of prayer wherein we sought guidance, purity of intention and courage to pass judgment with objectivity and fairness. Even as then we invited people to be vigilant, the real goal was the sincere longing for truth and attainment of the common good. We were unambiguous in our exhortation to respect duly constituted authorities and systems. The Chief Justice and his family, during the impeachment process, were subject to close scrutiny. But this trial also revealed the condition of our nation. On the one hand, we have seen our lights or virtues, and on the other hand our shadows or our inadequacies were also unmasked. There were 20 senator-judges who voted for conviction while three voted for acquittal. During the impeachment process we manifested our differences. We remain divided today. Can we transcend the division? We pray that we all accept the verdict. We leave other matters to duly constituted legal entities. We have raised the bar of transparency and accountability for public officials. Let these values be owned up to by all leaders. We should do the same as citizens of our beloved Philippines. The trial has ended but the challenging journey towards renewal should begin anew. Let us now turn our attention to the plight of the worker, the needs of the hungry, those who long for justice, love and peace. Let us begin this journey from within. I pray that we uphold the values of life, family, love of country and love of God. I pray that we value more things that unite our people rather than those that divide us. May the Lord through the intercession of Mother Mary bless our prayers and efforts. +JOSE PALMA, DD Archbishop of Cebu CBCP President May 30, 2012
Manong Francing’s violent demise strongly believed to be related to his environmental activism is yet another unaddressed dent to the performance of our current government in protecting the human rights of its citizenry. They are made vulnerable and easy prey to gross violations because their activism defy and are against powerful and moneyed interest groups. Manong Francing and all the other environmental heroes and martyrs before him whose lives were ultimately sacrificed and have yet to see justice is a grave indication of how extra-judicial killings in our country are still ineffectively addressed to this date. We extend our deep condolences to the bereaved family, relatives and friends of Manong Francing. We fervently pray for
our partners in the communities so that they may still find courage and resolve to continue with what Manong Francing has died for amidst the serious threats to their safety and security designed to sow fear and muffle any move and effort to shed light on the real circumstances surrounding his death and the culprits behind. We know that Manong Francing had been receiving death threats but he remained unfazed and he continued with his work and zeal to be a good steward of the environment. His commitment for environmental stewardship brought to bear by his being a faithful servant of the Church as a lay leader and a genuine concern for the environment for the sake of the present and future generations. Stop the extra-judicial killings!
Justice for Manong Francing and to all martyrs for the environment! PHILIPPINE MISEREOR PARTNERSHIP, INC. 23 May 2012 (Philippine-Misereor Partnership, Inc, is a network of about 284 organizations, mostly non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), church and faith-based organizations in the Philippines and Misereor, a development agency of the Catholic Church based in Aachen, Germany. Members who are active in the promotion of human rights, peace, justice and development are clustered into 15 regions spread throughout the Philippines.)
Choosing to learn, live and love!
Official statement of the Diocese of Parañaque – Commission on Youth on the Reproductive Health
“People will revolt against the law whenever it is perceived no longer as the expression of a justice that is at the service of all, but rather as a product of despotism, of an arrogance that is clothed in the garments of law by those who have the power to do so.” IN these words of Pope Benedict XVI, we the young people of the Diocese of Parañaque composed of three cities namely Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Parañaque, strongly denounce and object in the strongest possible terms the passage of a very divisive bill House Bill No. 4244 or the RH Bill, as we choose to LEARN, LIVE, LOVE, STAND AND CHOOSE LIFE! First, we choose to LEARN in an educated society rooted on VALUES. A participative Values Formation that will form not only an individual’s personality but his/her moral conscience where it takes place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, offenders institutions, voluntary youth organizations and of different faiths that clearly RH Bill in its Mandatory Sexuality Education does not promote. It will not totally adhere to values formation and in a participative Values Education/formation, rather it will open wide the doors of curiosity and allow young people to engage in pre-marital and/or a risky sexual behavior. If the National Youth Commission says that Values Education is “no longer enough” we challenge them to state for the record what kind of values education have they implemented to reach such statement? And if they are indeed a Commission of and for the young we invite them to join us in pursuing a participative Values Education. Second, we choose to LIVE in a society that supports freedom of conscience as a fundamental right, discipline rather than shortcuts, eliminates discrimination rather than opening the door to various detrimental forms of discrimination. Most salient, is the definition and promotion of a State-Sponsored ideal family size which diametrically opposes the rights of families to be free of interference by the State and is inherently discriminatory. We choose to LIVE with a government that does not invoke overpopulation as a scapegoat or a convenient excuse not to address the root cause of poverty in the Philippines. Furthermore, we choose to LIVE in a society and a government that does not single out the poor but explore on concrete ways as to how it can provide job opportunities,
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to improve the citizen’s standard of living and to progress the basic health care services to its citizenry. Capitalizing on man rather than greed is our call! We choose to LIVE in a democracy that does not instill fear in the exercise of our freedom and we choose to live in the truest sense of democracy by exercising our freedom of conscience, religion and speech. We choose to LIVE on Chastity which is not only of Catholics but a universal human virtue. We choose to LIVE with healthy mothers, sisters, relatives, friends and Filipina women free from the harmful effects brought about by hormonal contraceptives. We choose to LIVE in a society that dispels a contraceptive mentality, for it does not only promote promiscuity; it renders continence superfluous and put the dignity of the human person
and of the transmission of human life and the capacity to love at risk. We c h o o s e t o L I V E i n TRUTH that the international understanding of Reproductive Health includes access to abortion and that it will not be beneficial at all to the citizenry but only to a few. We choose to LIVE for a law that does not contradict itself and does not violate not only the will and law of God but also of our fundamental law, our Constitution. Lastly, we choose to LOVE ourselves and our neighbor by instilling respect and recognizing our dignity as a human person created in the image and likeness of God. Moreover, we choose to LOVE and preserve the identity and soul of our country as Bayang maka-DIYOS, makaTAO, makaKALIKASAN at makaBANSA, which is intact and
non-negotiable. As we have laid down our chosen path, we urge our legislators and the president not to build a ship that is wretched. Cradle for us a leadership, for we won’t sell anybody out to buy our future. To our young people and all those who love this country, we have come to the crossroads; we have chosen a path, the right path! The path made of a principle that leads to character. Let us not destroy the sanctity and beauty of life, protect it, and embrace it! Forever we will show the spirit of the young, the spirit that will not die! For we STAND AND CHOOSE LIFE, WE SAY NO TO RH BILL, for we are BIDA, WE WILL BIDA CHANGE! COMMISSION ON YOUTH Diocese of Parañaque
Respect Human Dignity, Stop Human Trafficking
HUMAN life is not a commodity that can be trafficked and sold for business and monetary gains. Human life should be accorded of its human dignity. It should be promoted, respected, protected and developed to attain fullness of life. The National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) is vehemently against Human Trafficking. It is a violation of God’s intention for human life. It is a modern day slavery, which exploits people, particularly the weak and the poor, alluring them into false promises and making them prey on evil activities – forced and bonded labor, forced/commercial prostitution and sexual exploitation, and human rights violation. CBCP-NASSA strongly supports the advocacy of the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), current Chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) Advocacy and Communications Committee (ADVOCOM), and organizations that espouse similar campaigns to end this evil and inhuman act. ADVOCOM’s projects, such as production and airing of television and radio campaign materials, speakers’ bureau, national trainor’s training on anti-trafficking, community education programs, and other information campaign activities, will help address the human trafficking problems in the country. To intensify the campaign against human trafficking, CBCP-NASSA’s AntiHuman Trafficking Program calls on all the arch/dioceses, parishes, basic ecclesial communities, religious congregations and institutions, church and lay organizations, schools and all peace-loving Filipinos to support this noble undertaking to fight against human trafficking. Support can be in the forms of posting anti-human trafficking tarpaulins/streamers in the areas, attending trainings, education and information activities, and information dissemination by providing materials to promote social consciousness on the issue. We must stop human trafficking. Many of our youth and children, especially women, have experienced sexual violence, sexual exploitation and forced exploitative situations because of human trafficking. Government must use all its resources and state forces to apprehend traffickers and file cases to convict them. As there are many traffickers, we must battle against the increase of trafficking cases. It is not a task and a responsibility of the government alone—it is everyone’s responsibility. Every citizen must contribute its share to stop human trafficking. Everybody must join forces to protect and defend human life and human rights. STOP Human Trafficking! National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace 28 May 2012
And what happens when agencies of the United Nations, which was established “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,” (From the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations) pursue the exact opposite of its declared objective and wage war on the unborn, the family and marriage, and compel poor and powerless countries to enact laws that undermine their basic human values and institutions? Let us, for a moment, look at those great Western democracies, those great champions of political liberty and human rights, still the most developed in the world, despite the unrelieved global turbulence that has battered their economies. Have they not done better than many God-fearing but poor countries, without having to concede to God any role in their economic development and progress? Is that not perhaps proof that recognizing God’s role in the affairs of men has become totally incompatible with scientific and material progress? Does it not validate the wisdom of excluding God from the public square or public life? Is this not the mantra we hear these days? Yet material progress, like poverty, has many causes. Whether we speak of the individual or of the nation, material progress has never been and can never be the full equivalent and complete measure of true progress. On the other hand, belief in God and moral probity and rectitude have never been known
to inflict poverty upon an individual or a nation, or cause a man or a woman the loss of his or her inner worth. Most of us know democracy as a complex of rules by means of which the majority, for one, chooses the nation’s leaders in periodic elections. For as long as this is so, we could probably permit ourselves to say—without committing heresy—that the electoral majority, rather than God, is in charge there. After all, it is no more than a political process. But the moment the state accepts and begins to exercise its mandate to govern, the moment it begins to enact and enforce laws, it will have to accept the authority of a Transcendent Power from whom the truth about man, about freedom, about justice, about peace comes. There is only one name for that Power, and that is God. For it is no less true today than it was yesterday that civil government is nothing but a human participation in the divine governance of the universe. God remains the ultimate measure of all things. For the believing Christian, this means the God of his/her Christian Faith. But for the non-believing who may yet be prompted to act as if he or she believed, it could be the God of his or her conscience. To borrow Marcello Pera’s irresistible formulation, it could be “a God who does not have a defined face, who does not have dogmas that cannot be ‘improved’, who does not have revelations that cannot be ‘revised’, who does not have interpreters against whose word no appeal is possible, who does not have specific professions of faith, who does not have exclusive rites. This is the God of his conscience, the God who
makes him aware of his finitude and his wretchedness but also of his greatness, the God who makes him a moral agent, the God who mysteriously punishes him and approves of him, the God of his anguish and his exultation.” (Cf. Marcello Pera, Introduction to Joseph Ratzinger’s Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2006). Human rights are rights that pertain to man as man. They are not created by legislation or judicial fiat; they flow directly from man’s nature as a creature of God. Not a single human right can exist without God or away from God. Thus, there is no human right, and there can be no human right to abortion despite Roe v. Wade or any pro-abortion legislation anywhere in the world. And there is no international human right to abortion, as we justly and irrevocably proclaim in the San Jose Articles, not because there is no international document creating such a right, but rather because there can never be any valid international document creating such a right. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that there are things that are always wrong and can never be legalized, just as there are things that are always absolutely legally binding, things that precede every majority decision, things that majority decisions must respect. (Ratzinger Joseph, Values in a Time of Upheaval, Ignatius, San Francisco, 2006). Expelling God from the public square for any reason whatsoever is the gravest wrong of all. This has been the tragedy of the First World, especially among the
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Photo courtesy of borongan Social Action Center
to look at it in terms of words of the institution as recounted by Mark: “And when they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take, this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drunk of it. And he said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’ (Mark 14:22-23). Jesus’ action, of course, fully corresponds with the way the meal was ordinarily held. The head of the household offered thanksgiving to God in this manner. Nevertheless, two things may be noted here. First, the four verbs used echo those in Mark 6:41 and 8:6-7 in the story of the multiplication of the bread. Mark portrays Jesus as using the same words and actions. And it is most likely that the correspondence is intentional. The multiplication of the bread has links with the Eucharist in terms of the meaning of the action. In the miracle of the loaves, Mark says that the disciples did not understand the meaning (Mark 6:52). But in the institution narratives, Mark no longer so affirms of the disciples, obviously because the Eucharist uncovers for them the meaning of the miracle. Second, whatever the meaning of the account of the institution might have been in its original setting, the evangelist would have us understand
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Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
An exegetical reflection on the Gospel of Corpus Christi - Year B (Mark 14:12-16. 22-26) June 10, 2012
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
YEARS of controversy with Protestantism have honed the emphasis on the real presence of Christ in the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist. This is because, for centuries, most Protestant Churches, in one way or the other, followed Luther in his denial of real presence. It is thus understandable that pre-Vatican II Catechism almost exclusively focused on the real presence and the sacramental character of the Eucharist. Catholics had to be wellprepared to respond to Protestant heretical doctrines. In consequence of this understanding, the Eucharist became, among other things, an icon of adoration. Unfortunately, however, many people have so confined their understanding to the Eucharist in terms of real presence and sacrifice that they failed to appreciate its meaning for the daily life of the Christian. It is not too far-fetched to say that, if some Catholics have much devotion to the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and yet hardly exhibit a life that is Eucharistic, it is partly because they failed to see the connection between the real presence and their daily action. One way of seeing the connection between the Eucharist and our life is
The Eucharist: broken and shared
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ June 10, 2012
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE Eucharistic celebration is the core of Catholic worship and the renewal of our covenant with God. This renewal has its “apex” in sacramental Communion. That is the moment when the two “contracting parties” reach the most perfect closeness that can be achieved on earth. The reception of the Eucharist in devout attitude and the response “Amen!” pronounced before receiving the sacred species is not simply a profession of our faith in Christ’s sacramental presence. It is also a ratification of the covenant that binds us to God as members of His new Chosen People, the Church. In fact, we participate in the renewal of this offering not as isolated individuals, but as members of a “royal priesthood,” of a “holy nation” purified by the blood of the Lamb (see 1 Pt 2:9 and Rev 5:9f) and molded into one Body by the one Spirit. Every time we offer and receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we exercise our royal priesthood, profess our membership in the Body of the Lord, and renew the Covenant that binds us with God and among ourselves. T h e re c e p t i o n o f H o l y Communion, therefore, is not only the sacramental sign of our union with Jesus, but also of our union with the other members of the mystical Body of Christ. The reception of sacramental Communion implies also the commitment to foster our communion not only with Jesus, but also with our brothers and sisters in the faith. It implies, likewise, the commitment to remove from ourselves whatever obstructs or destroys our communion in the Church and with the Church. Finally, in order to participate in the Eucharist worthily and fruitfully, we have to approach it with purified hearts, in full awareness of the sacredness of the gift we receive, and with the determination to make our lives a real Eucharist. Therefore, those who receive the Eucharistic Lord must renew their commitment to live as he did. If the Israelites had to purify themselves before receiving the Law (see Ex 19:10.22.), so much more should we feel the need to receive the Eucharistic Christ with a heart free from sin. This is why Paul reminded the Christians of Corinth (and all of us) that, before receiving holy Communion, “everyone should examine himself . . . for if he does not recognize the meaning of the Lord’s body when he eats the bread and drinks from the cup, he brings judgment upon himself” (1 Cor 11:28f).
A covenant that leads to communion
Witnesses and partners of God’s wonders
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Father’s Day June 17, 2012
WE live in a world of wonders. Even the simplest flower, the smallest insect, the chicks trotting behind their mother hen, the playful dolphins . . . anything that has life and can communicate that life to similar beings fills us with amazement. Our faith tells us that all these wonders and, indeed, all that exists come from God and point to Him. He is the Conceptualizer, the Architect, the Artist and the “Caretaker” of the universe. But the Creator of the universe and of all creatures manifests His power and wisdom in even more amazing ways in the life of intelligent free beings and of mankind as a whole. For them He has conceptualized a marvelous “Grand Project” which encompasses all human beings and which is meant to be characterized by harmony, peace, solidarity, and love in all its possible manifestations. Unlike many of our projects, this one has 100% assurance of succeeding, in spite of all oppositions, mishaps and setbacks. This is so simply because its originator and supporter is no less than God Himself. When the Eternal Word came to earth to present and launch it, he called it “THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Jesus also showed the nature and power of the Kingdom through the miracles that he worked and the parables that he taught. A question may be asked: “What can be our role in the realization of the great project of God’s Kingdom?” The first of today’s parables answers this question by telling us that “The Kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed in the land.” Much is contained in this simple description of what any farmer does, over and over again, year after year. The farmer is not the one who makes the seed, nor is he the one who can give the seed the power to sprout and grow and bear fruit. Any honest farmer knows that all these unique features can come from God alone. But this undeniable fact does not make the role of the farmer redundant or less important. For one thing, he “sows” the seed. He does that with intelligence and foresight. Before doing that, he prepares and plows the ground in order that the seed may find it soft and welcoming for it to thrust its tender roots in search of the moisture that will enable it to sprout and develop its potentials. The farmer also removes the weeds which might compete with the frail shoot and deprive it of the necessary nutrients. Nor is this all. Over the months, the farmer also protects the growing plants from intruders and parasites. These are all factors that contribute to the final result of having an abundant harvest. This is very much a case of successful “partnership” between God (“the maker of the seed”) and man (the farmer who enables the seed to develop its potentials). Obviously, this partnership is “uneven,” for the role of the producer of the seed is immensely more important than that of the farmer who simply facilitates the development of the seed’s potentials. But it is, nonetheless, a real partnership, and it is God who proposes it. There is a lesson for all of us here, for we are all “farmers” in one way or another. It is wisdom to “know our place” in the great enterprise of building God’s Kingdom on earth, and to honestly acknowledge this, while doing our best to play our roles in it. In our apostolic activities through which we contribute to the growth of the Kingdom we should never forget that our “initiative” has its roots in God’s inspiration; our successes are, to a great extent, the fruit of divine help. Even our perseverance is rooted in God’s grace. We should always remember that, along with our efforts and above them, it is divine grace that is in action in the hearts of the people we are trying to bring to Him. All this tells us that in the great enterprise of the building and growth of God’s Kingdom, God is the “Senior Partner.” But in His love and magnanimity He does not want that we remain just awed spectators. He promotes us to the role of “junior partners,” i.e.: free and intelligent instruments in God’s hands in the accomplishment of His project. That’s no little privilege. We should, then, remain humble and grateful, even as we do our best to do our share, constantly bent on carrying out the will of the Master Planner, Senior Partner and Great Achiever. To us the privilege to rejoice in the fact that, all along, we have been not only witnesses, but also part of it all, as God’s humble co-workers in the accomplishment of His wonderful project.
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
Bishop Pat Alo
The hundredfold cycle
IF Jesus talks of a hundredfold award, it must be part of a cycle of graces for those who believe and put their faith into practice. Mind you, God’s word never fails. It has the mark of infallibility since God Almighty can never err. Why? He promised us the hundredfold, if we are faithful. Of course, we have to stick to His very words. Can I explain it? It’s hard because you really understand it when you live it fully. Must be true, it’s found in three gospels: St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke. If this involves multiple relationships, St. Paul gives this advice. “Do not speak harshly to a man older than yourself, but advise him as you would your own father; treat the younger men as brothers and older women as you would your mother. Always treat young women with propriety, as if they were sisters” (1 Tim. 5:1-2). Since the point here involves people serving the interest of Jesus and His gospel, let us intently consider and analyze the very words of the three gospels quoting this topic, which only show us how people who truly love God and their neighbor also share such love with one another generously and positively both in word and deed. When people love one another sincerely they may in truth say ‘what is yours is mine, what is mine is yours’. Mt. 19:27-29: “Then Peter spoke up and said, ‘You see we have given up everything to follow you: what will be our lot?’ Jesus answered, ‘You who have followed me, listen to my words: on the Day of Renewal, when the Son of Man sits on his throne in glory, you, too, will sit on twelve thrones to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. As for those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property for my Name’s sake, they will receive a hundredfold and be given eternal life’.” Mk. 10:28-30: “Peter spoke up and said, ‘We have given up everything to follow you.’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands for my sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive his reward. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time and in the world to come eternal life.’.” Lk. 18:28-30: “Then Peter said, ‘We left everything we had and followed you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, whoever has left house or wife, or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God, will receive much more in the present time and eternal life in the world to come’.” On the true kinsmen of Jesus, we read from Mk. 3:31-35: “Then his mother and his brothers came. As they stood outside, they sent someone to call him, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking around at those who sat there he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me’.”
When external spiritual activity isn’t enough
SELF-REJECTION is the Trojan Horse of temptation. It opens the gate of your soul to temptation. That’s why you lose the battle. I speak with authority because this was my experience. Decades ago, I couldn’t kick the habit of pornography. For years, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get out of its deathly grip. All my energies and time were being consumed by this addiction. At that time, I asked my religious leaders, “How can I fight temptation? It’s so overwhelming.” And these spiritual people would give me pat, canned answers. They’d say, “You need to pray more,” or “You need to memorize the Bible more,” or “You need to attend more prayer meetings,” or “You need to avoid the situations that lead you to sin” All these advices are great stuff. (In fact, I’ll give you the same advice in the third part of this series, but from a different angle.) But at that time, I was shocked when they didn’t work on me. I still fell into sin. Repeatedly. I still was trapped as ever. I told myself, “Hey, I doubled my prayer time. Why did I fall? Gosh, there must be really something wrong with me!” Here’s why these activities failed: Because all these good advices was telling me to focus on the fight “outside” me. “Add spiritual activities, like adding ammunition, and you’ll win.” Soon, their advices added to my frustration—which made me sin even more. How? First of all, I already hated myself for falling into sin again and again. And now, I had a brand new reason to hate myself. Because I promised to pray more and memorize the Bible more— and I failed to do them too! This vicious cycle of selfrejection led to more sin.
© Pinky barrientos, FSP / CbCPMedia
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
where they give aid and want to end the exploitation of women and children above all. I made a presentation to the committee last May 9, on this very theme and received their support to continue the advocacy and campaign to end sex slavery of women and children. Last August 2011 they sent a delegation to the Philippines and joined the work of Preda for a day to rescue a 15 year old child from cruel detention. Fair Trade is all about protecting human rights in the work place by paying just and fair prices and providing good working conditions for workers who produce the products that we buy, consume and use. Economic exploitation is common in the world and we have to act to end it as much as possible. It’s hard for customers to know what is a product made in just and unjust fair condition. Our task is to help make them aware of the fairly traded products. That’s what Fair Trade Fortnight is about. Some people wrongly think they are helpless to help exploited workers. The consumer has power—power to be more fully human and exercise their most powerful ability, free choice. We can choose to do good and buy fair products. We all have the power to protest and the duty to speak out when we see unfairness and exploitation. That is our sacred obligation—to speak out against evil, do good and buy fairly traded products. That’s the way to go.
By Fr. Shay Cullen
Fair Trade – Protecting Human Rights
JUANITO Hacinto is a poor man in Bataan, Philippines. He is a member of the Aeta indigenous people. He sat with his wife Nita, and their three children under a mango tree to hear our message that the Preda Fair Trade organization, Profairtrade, will pay 100% higher for their mango fruit so that they could have a better life. The Preda project is turning mango fruit to Preda Fair Trade dried mangoes. Sales are boosted by growing demand and so it is expanding to help more indigenous hill farmers. The notfor profit project is using earning to bring practical economic help and justice to their villages, social benefits and development too. Sales of the mangoes go to help exploited and abused women and children also. Juanito and Nita were happy to hear this as they only get a pittance for their mangoes from commercial traders and the price is so low it is not worth even harvesting and carrying them over the mountain to sell. There is no road and not even a viable school in their remote village. Preda Fair Trade dried mangoes will help empower them to get the school operating and teaching the children. A child with a cleft lip was found and brought for a surgical operation. After speech therapy she will learn to smile and talk normally for the first time in her life. Fair Trade fortnight is a time
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The Preda Fair Trade organization pays a high price for the mangoes of the indigenous farmers which bring great economic help to villagers.
when we ought to think how we live and consume products. Do the faith based values we hold dear apply to what we buy and consume? When we buy products do we ask the supermarket manager where it’s from and is just and fair? Faith without action for doing good, like bringing about social justice, is useless, St. James says. Recently I had an interesting meeting with the Minister of
Trade and Development, Joe Costello, in Dublin, Ireland about the Preda Fair Trade project and human rights advocacy and discussed how it helps deliver many services to the small farmers. The presentation showed how people are trafficked and exploited especially children in the Philippines and together we are helping to deliver the shared programme of strengthening respect for human
rights everywhere. The Preda human rights advocacy and practical action for victims of human rights abuses is supported by Irish Aid under Minister Costello’s office. Preda human rights advocacy is a work that goes beyond the Philippines to an international audience through networks of civil society and to various government entities in the EU countries. Defending human
rights and spurring economic development that brings about a more just society and earns respect in the emerging markets. That is the same message that I shared with the members of the German parliamentary committee for Economic Cooperation and Development and the committee for foreign aid. The members mostly women, are very concerned about respect for human rights in the countries
together over Canonical Marriage as reflected in our diocesan and parish statistics. The Hope that the Youth Brings to the Church The diocese has also been blessed with a great number of young people. In fact, almost 70% percent of the parish population is composed of the youth. The youth has a special place in the Church as expressed in Blessed John Paul II’s words during the VIIth World Youth Day “Dear young people, proclaiming the Word of God is not the responsibility of priests or religious alone, but it is yours too. You must have the courage to speak about Christ in your families and in places where you study, work or recreate... There are places and circumstances where you alone can bring the seed of God’s Word.” We need to inculcate to our young people the love of God and service to Holy Mother Church. When young people find Jesus Christ in their lives, then, they would have also found the greater meaning of their lives. The energy, enthusiasm and zeal that young people bring into the Church will definitely give the assurance that the Good News of Salvation wrought in Christ Jesus will be handed on to the succeeding generations.
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Bridging the Gap Between Liturgical Life and Pastoral Activity A prevailing observation during the Pastoral Visit to the Parishes is that the diocese is so cultic. Liturgical ministers are just functionaries (rubrical) rather than being able to interiorize the Eucharistic Worship and sharing it with the people of God. There is basically a weakness in the understanding and appreciation of the sacraments especially the Eucharist and its relation to daily life. This weakness accounts for the seeming dichotomy between worship and daily life. Blessed John Paul II in Mane Nobiscum Domine states that “the Eucharist is a project of solidarity…the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharistic Celebration is judged will be our mutual love and in particular our concern for those in need.” Thus, there is a need for our parishes especially those involved in the lay ministry to reach out to the poor, the marginalized, the unchurched, the sick and the differently abled. It should also challenge us to resolve other social issues that affect the Christian community like poverty, mining, ecology and the like. Stewards of God’s Gifts Our God is a generous God who provides for all our needs. He has given us a variety of resources that we may use
to build up the Church and proclaim the Gospel to our brothers and sisters. We need to become good stewards of such gifts so that they may redound to the greater glory of God. Stewardship is a way of life that comes from looking and claiming everything as a gift from God. When seen from this light, one cannot but help to see the different gifts from God as opportunities to receive them with grateful hearts, cultivate them responsibly, share them with others in a spirit of justice and love and offering them back to the Lord. We too have received quite a number of gifts from the Lord. We have been blessed with lands for the Parish Churches, Barangay Chapels, Parish Catholic Cemeteries and other crop producing lands that may be cultivated for the benefit of the Church and Her Mission. There is a need for us to determine and clarify the legal status of these lands so that we may be able to take good care of these resources. In like manner, we need to maintain well and provide for the upkeep of our Church Buildings, parish halls, convents and the like so that they may be utilized for their proper and specific purpose. We have also inherited a rich heritage from our predecessors as seen from the Church records of the past, the Church artefacts and antique images and liturgical ornaments that speak
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volumes about our past. We also need to take good care of these gifts. With these, I strongly suggest that the Diocesan and Parish Financial systems be in place and well managed by those given responsibilities. The Challenge of Catholic Education and Catechesis In Gravissimum Educationis no. 8, the Church teaches that the “Catholic School’s proper function is “to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism as they develop their own personalities, and finally to order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith.” However, there are some sad realities that need to be addressed in the diocese. It has been observed that our students in Catholic Schools lack awareness of the diocese and their proper parish, knowledge of basic Christian Doctrines are not that well defined and there were even students who have not memorized the basic Christian prayers. If this is the present state of Christian education in our Catholic Schools, we cannot but help and wonder as to the state
of Christian education in our public schools. Moreover, much is also expected in the formation and training of our Priests and Lay leaders, including our catechists and religion educators. The Triune God – Our Strength in Meeting the Challenges of Faith The Church is in a constant flux of change for the simple reason that responding to God’s Call is an event that is constantly evolving. The different realities in our diocesan context give us a glimpse of the work that we have to put in the vineyard of the Lord. However, great the task may be that lay ahead of us, God will give us the grace and the strength to fulfil them. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1Peter 5:10). God will be with us all the way as we seek His Most Holy Will and aspire to bring it to fulfilment. May the Triune God keep us along the right paths and bless us with every good gift. MOST REV. GILBERT A. GARCERA, D.D. Bishop of Daet
that for the Markan community, in their eucharistic celebration, looks back on the death of Jesus in the same way that the Jews look back on the Exodus event: it is God’s saving activity. The death of Jesus is the act of redemption. Just as this bread is broken, so his body will be broken; just as this cup is shared, so his blood is to be spelt for the salvation of the many. And those who share in the fellowship, partaking of the meal, share in the body and blood of Jesus, and of course, in the fruit of redemption, as well as in the action. One then easily understands why Luke’s account ends with the saying: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). More than a command to repeat the ritual, the
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saying obviously commands his disciples to imitate the Lord who shared the bread and the cup in their practical life. Thus understood, the Eucharist has implications for daily living. If we limited ourselves to these by no means exhaustive meanings of the Eucharist, it is obvious that the Eucharist implies the sharing of bread with the thousands who suffer from hunger and poverty. Greed and monopoly have no place in Christian life. If to be Christian is to partake of the Eucharist, one cannot be a Christian without having to share with the brothers and sisters in the community. Indeed, he must see to it that the miracle of sharing is repeated daily in the community.
But the meaning of sharing is not to be confined to the sharing of goods that the Christians possess. Even more important is the sharing of himself with others. This is the implication of the words over the bread and the cup. It is not enough to give money; one must share himself for the redemption of the community. This is seen, for example, in one’s death to selfishness, personal honor and glory. The command to repeat the ritual is fulfilled not simply at the ritual level—in the celebration of the mass—but at the practical level: in the sharing of goods in the community, and in the death of every member for the sake of the community’s salvation. For it is in dying that we are saved.
to a fragile convergence of i n d i v i d u a l i n t e re s t s a n d undermining the solidity of the social fabric. One final point: man, as the image of God, is also called to rest and to celebrate. The account of creation concludes with these words: “And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it” (Gen 2:2-3). For us Christians, the feast day is Sunday, the Lord’s day, the weekly Easter. It is the day of the Church, the assembly convened by the Lord around the table of the word and of the eucharistic Sacrifice,
just as we are doing today, in order to feed on him, to enter into his love and to live by his love. It is the day of man and his values: conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport. It is the day of the family, on which to experience together a sense of celebration, encounter, sharing, not least through taking part in Mass. Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God. Family, work, celebration: three of God’s gifts, three dimensions of our lives that must
be brought into a harmonious balance. Harmonizing work schedules with family demands, professional life with fatherhood and motherhood, work with celebration, is important for building up a society with a human face. In this regard, always give priority to the logic of being over that of having: the first builds up, the second ends up destroying. We must learn to believe first of all in the family, in authentic love, the kind that comes from God and unites us to him, the kind that therefore “makes us a ‘we’ which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)” (Deus Caritas Est, 18). Amen.
once Christian countries. And this is the crisis to which our civilization must fully and vigorously respond. We must bring God back to the heart of our families, our respective societies, and the world at large. It is a millennial challenge. Many years ago, when I was a much younger member of the Senate, I came to Strasbourg and then to Bonn to meet with members of the European Parliament. With me were parliamentary colleagues from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. In Strasbourg, a French Member of the European Parliament, with a family name that once graced Elysee Palace, reproached me for coming from a poor Catholic country with a large population and with couples who did not want to offend God by limiting the number of their children to what they could feed and educate. I told my distinguished host that the
average size of the Filipino family at that time had shrunk to five—three children to two parents. Mine, I said, was among the last remaining large families—my wife and I had five. The number had since grown to seven, four married, three with eight children of their own. I could not help but add that in Paris, I was told I could not get a decent café noir at any bistro unless I spoke Arabic. This only meant, I said, that my friend had a more serious problem than I—and this was long before we started talking of the demographic winter—we in the Philippines still produced Filipinos while many parts of Europe could only count on migrants. In Bonn, we were lectured by our German hosts on the environment and human rights. We were put to task for breeding too many Asians who denuded our forests and polluted our air and
waterways, and for adopting double standards on human rights. It was heavy stuff. Asked to speak for our group, I thanked our hosts for their concern and told them how much we admired their success in cleaning up their great rivers—the Thames, the Seine, the Rhine and the Danube. I assured them our countries would try to do the same, and replant our forests as soon as we had the means, maybe with a little help from those rich countries that had raped our virgin forests. Then I assured them there was no such thing as an Asian “double standard” on human rights. It was merely hyped in the press. But perhaps they might, I said, want to consider how strongly some other people denounced genital mutilation among some African tribes while calmly and routinely mutilating their unborn babies. The real name for
it was infanticide. Our hosts suddenly looked much smaller and gentler than before, as they began to inquire about our accommodations and personal comfort. That was many years ago. In the Philippines today, we are fighting a well-funded foreigndirected reproductive health campaign, allegedly in the name of democracy, human rights and progress, to impose birth control as an essential requirement and component of marriage. It is completely unconstitutional and uncalled for since our birth rate has been declining and no law prohibits contraception or sterilization either. The measure seeks to destroy the natural family and the institution of marriage and turn our constitutional democracy into a totalitarian state. And yet not a few foreign democratic governments are funding it. The rhetoric has grown
shrill, and the focus of attack from outside our country and from within is no longer just on the Church, but on God Himself. We are determined to stop the onslaught, and we are confident we shall prevail. For God never loses any battles, and we are prepared to give everything of ourselves in this struggle, in the name of our democracy, in the name of our fundamental human rights, but above all in the name of our Faith. (Mr. Tatad is a writer and humanitarian worker who served as Cabinet minister and Senate Majority Leader for many years. He sits on the board of World Youth Alliance in New York, and the International Right to Life Federation in Cincinnati, Ohio, and serves as special counsel to the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. He is a co-author of The San Jose Articles.)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Abhorrent disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary
Poor below average Average Above average Excellent TiTLe: The Mommy Returns CAST: Pokwang, Gabby Conception, Ruffa Gutierez, Kiray Celis, Gerald Pesigan, Jillian Ward, John Lapus, Kerbie Zamora, Ervic Vijandre, Hiro Magalona, Gloria Diaz DIRECTOR: Joel Lamangan GENRE: Comedy DISTRIBUTOR: Regal Films LOCATION: Philippines; TeCHNiCaL aSSeSSMeNT: MOraL aSSeSSMeNT: ½ Cinema rating: For viewers 14 years old and below with parental guidance
MASAYANG namumuhay ang middle class family ng mga Martirez. Responsableng ama si William (Gabby Concepcion) at makalingang ina si Ruby (Pokwang) sa kanyang asawa at tatlong anak sa kabila ng pagiging abala sa jewelry business. Sa kasamaang-palad ay aksidenteng nakuryente at namatay si Ruby sa araw ng pagdiriwang ng ika-25 anibersaryo ng kanilang kasal. Katulad ng inaasahan ay lubhang ikinalungkot ng magaama ang biglaang pagkawala ni Ruby. Sa gitna ng pangungulila ay mabilis na makakatagpo ng bagong pag-ibig si William sa katauhan ni Catherine (Ruffa). Dalawang linggo pa lamang ang nakakalipas mula ng mailibing si Ruby ay nagpakasal ang dalawa na labis na ikinabigla at ikinasama ng loob ng mga anak. Hindi nila matanggap na may kapalit na ang kanilang ina sa maigsing panahon at dahil dito ay hindi rin maganda ang pakikitungo nila kay Catherine bilang madrasta. Samantala ay di mapakali sa kinahantungan purgatoryo ang kaluluwa ni Ruby. Sa tulong ng manok ni San Pedro na nagbigay sa kanya ng tatlong kahilingan ay nakababa ang kaluluwa ni Ruby sa lupa upang proteksyunan ang mag-aama sa pamamagitan ng pananakot kay Catherine. Ang pelikulang “The Mommy Returns” ay gumamit ng magkahalong pormula ng patawa at katatakutan upang ihatid ang gasgas na tema ng nagmumultong kaluluwa ng biglang namatay na ina at mahirap na sitwasyon ng babaing pumalit sa kanya sa buhay ng kanyang mag-aama. May saysay naman sana ang kwento subalit naging mababaw at pilit ang dating dahil sa mga pinakitang sitwasyon ng kababawan at di makabuluhang
mga diyalogo. At lalong malayo sa realidad ang pilit na ipinasok na eksena ng pagbaril ng harapan sa gitna ng okasyon na maraming nakakakitang tao. Pilit ding ipinasok ang tema ng kabaklaan sa layunin na magpatawa. At dahil mababaw nga ang istorya ay di kinailangan na humugot ng malalim na emosyon ang mga artista sa kanilang pagganap. Subalit sa larangan ng comedy, maliban kay Pokwang ay may ibubuga rin sa paghahatid ng mga linyang patawa ang mga batang nagsiganap. Maganda ang mga kuha ng camera, nabigyan-diin ang mga tampok sa eksena. Maingat ang effects na ginamit sa paglitaw at paglaho ng ghosts. Maganda ang disensyo ng produksyon katulad ng purgatory. Gayundin ang makeup ng mga nagsiganap bilang normal na tao at kahit bilang multo. Akma rin ang mga inilitapat na tunog at musika. Sa kabuuan ay naisalba ng mga aspetong teknikal ang mahinang daloy ng kwento at trato ng director. Layunin daw ng pelikula na bigyang pugay ang mga ina kaugnay ng paggunita ng Mothers’Day. Subalit bakit naman kaya ang mga pinakita ay imahe ng mapanadyang multo na naka-highlight ang mga kakulangan kaya di nakatuloy sa langit. Ang madrasta naman bilang kapalit na ina ay bahagya lang nakitaan ng pasensya at pang-unawa sa mga batang nabigla sa pagdating niya sa buhay nila at naging magaan ang kamay sa pananakit. Ang ina naman ng madrastra ay isang materyosang babae na nag-uudyok ng taliwas na ideya ng pagpili ng mapapangasawa ng asawa at pangunahin din ang pagkahumaling sa lalaki at yaman. Kung tutuusin ay mas nagpugay ang pelikula sa isang
responsable at mapagmahal na ama na inaalala ang kapakanan ng anak sa sandaling maigupo sya ng malubhang karamdaman. Subalit mali pa rin na inilihim niya ang sakit na siyang dahilan ng pagmamadali niya makahanap ng kapalit ng nasirang asawa. Tila pagbibigay pugay rin sa mga bakla ang pelikula, mula sa mga lenggwahe, imahe ng anghel na tagabantay sa purgatoryo at ang kumbinsidong batang lalaki na isa syang magandang “babae” at matagumpay na bakla paglaki. Maganda sanang pagkakataon ang pagtalakay ng purgatory bilang pansamantalang hantungan ng kaluluwa ng mga yumao katulad ng paniniwala ng mga Katoliko na syang mayorya ng populasyon sa Pilipinas. Subalit hindi naman nabigyan-pansin ang bagay na ito. Mayroon namang konting aral na hatid ang pelikula katulad ng subalit mas namayani ang kababawan, mga linya na may malisya, pagbibigay katwiran sa pananaw at gawain ng mga bakla na bagamat inihatid bilang mga eksenang patawa ay lubhang nakababahala at maaring makagulo sa isipan ng mga bata kaya nangangailangan ng matured na isipan ng manonood.
MAC en COLET
Ni Bladimer Usi
TITLE: Street Dance 2 CAST: Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson, Tom Conti, Stephanie Nguyen, Samuel Revell, Niek Traa, Elisabetta Di Carlo DIRECTOR: Max Giwa & Dania Pasquini GENRE: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & international DISTRIBUTOR Protagonist Films LOCATION: London RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes TeCHNiCaL aSSeSSMeNT: ½ MOraL aSSeSSMeNT: CINEMA RATING: For viewers 14 years old and above
Look for the image of Jaime Cardinal Sin, Chalice and Grotto. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)
SYNOPSIS: When top street dancer Ash (Falk Hentschel) is humiliated and laughed off stage by American crew Invincible, he sets off to gather the best dancers from around the world to take them on - with a dance style they weren’t expecting. With landmark locations, a spectacular fusion of dance styles and an unparalleled vibrancy, the sequel to StreetDance sees our hero fall in love with a beautiful salsa dancer as he discovers the magic, power and passion of dancing for the ultimate global dance off.
TITLE: Men in Black III CAST: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve, Emma Thompson, Jemaine Clement, Kevin Covais, Michael Stuhlbarg, Nicole Scherzinger, RJ Smith-Tillman, Rip Torn; DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnerfeld; SCREENWRITER: Lowell Cunningham PRODUCED BY: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald; EDITING BY: Don Zimmerman; MUSIC BY: Danny Elfman; GENRE: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Bill Pope; DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures; LOCATION: USA; RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes TeCHNiCaL aSSeSSMeNT: ½ MOraL aSSeSSMeNT: CINEMA RATING: For viewers 18 years old and above
In Men in Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back...in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him -- secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Photo of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus with inset photos of the three State Deputies of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines namely: Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, Visayas Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon and Mindanao Deputy Balbino C. Fauni. The 3 Deputies lead their respective jurisdictions in various movements to help advance the canonization of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney. In order to help propagate awareness about Venerable Fr. McGivney, who is the Apostle to the Young and protector of Christian Family Life, 3 pilgrim images of Venerable Fr. McGivney are now being brought in pilgrimage to all councils in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Luzon knights begin pilgrimage of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney image
MORE than a hundred members of the Knights of Columbus from Luzon Jurisdiction and the Manila Council started the pilgrimage of the image of KC founder Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney on May 4 from the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) building to Council 1000 in Intramuros.
SK Arsenio Yap the Luzon Deputy gave the history for the cause to sainthood of Fr. McGivney during his talk at the KCFAPI oratory before transferring the image to the Manila Council. Yap also explained the process of the cause here in the Philippines and in Rome. He emphasized that the Supreme Council in the US is pushing for a miracle from the Philippines for the cause of Fr. McGivney. Assistant Luzon State Chaplain Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said during the veneration before transferring the image that the pilgrimage is also an opportunity for the members of the Order to render a catechesis on the life and ministry of the founder of the Knights of Columbus and to advance their spirituality where they will deepen their relationship with the Lord Jesus—to whom Fr. McGivney dedicated his whole life. “The image will be the very icon of what Knights of Columbus really means in the Philippines. And from here, we will also be working for the promotion of this cause so that one day, there will be a servant of God displayed right on the altar of devotion, a blessed and ultimately a Knight saint,” Quitorio added. The image of Fr. McGivney
Supreme Knight looks for miracle from Philippines
SUPREME Knight Carl A. Anderson said that he would welcome a miracle from the Philippines to help advance Father Michael J. McGivney’s canonization. Calling Filipinos “a great people,” Anderson said that the faith and devotion of Filipino faithful make it very likely that a miracle will soon come from the Catholic country, once people begin to pray through the intercession of the Knights of Columbus’ founder. The Supreme Knight made his third trip to the Philippines for the 9th Knights of Columbus Philippine National Convention, held at the Manila Hotel last April 27 to 29. On the first day, he engaged in a series of events designed to raise awareness for the Cause for Canonization of Father McGivney—at the Convention’s Opening Mass in San Agustin Church in Intramuros, at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) headquarters, and the headquarters of KCFAPI, the Knights’ insurance arm in the Philippines. “This is a great day for the Knights of Columbus, a great day for Father McGivney, a great day for the Philippine nation,” he said. “Today we recall the dedication and sacrifice of Father McGivney as we resolve to follow in his footsteps more closely in charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.” Father McGivney, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 with a handful of laymen at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut, was declared Venerable by the Vatican in March 2008, when his heroic virtue was recognized by Pope Benedict XVI. A miracle attributed through his intercession is needed for him to be considered for beatification, and a subsequent miracle would be necessary for canonization. (KC News)
was turned over to Council 1000 in Intramuros, Manila. The District Deputy thanked State Deputy Yap for entrusting the image to the council. The image will be brought in pilgrimage to all the councils in Luzon State, same as with the
other two states where it will stay with a council for one day of veneration. Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney is the Apostle to the Young and Protector of Christian Family Life. (Jandel Posion/ CBCPNews)
Fathers for Good-Phil Awards highlight 2012 KC Confab
WINNERS of the 2011 Search for Fathers for Good-Philippines were proclaimed and given their awards during the State dinner of the Knights of Columbus National Convention on April 27. The awarding ceremonies highlighted the KC confab, which was attended by thousands of brother Knights and their families across the country. Formally launched in March 2011 at the KCFAPI Home Office, the search for Fathers for Good-Philippines was vastly promoted all over the country. One hundred eighty six (186) brother knights were nominated by their respective councils and endorsed by their Parish Priests and Grand Knights. Three of them, one from each jurisdiction of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were declared winners. From Luzon Jurisdiction, Brother Alfredo G. Lallana, who renders voluntary services to the barangay as Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, to his parish cooperative and the senior citizens group he belongs to. Lallana has organized a rally in Baguio City to make known their stand against the Reproductive Health-Bill. He is an incumbent District Deputy, President of the Holy Name Society in their parish, Chairman of the Brgy. Lupon ng Tagapamayapa and serves as a Fraternal Counselor of KCFAPI. He received the KCFAPI CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AWARD in 2000 and 2011. Lallana said that he would like to set an example especially to the youth and to the young fathers today, that even a poor man like him can be a model to the society and that poverty is not a hindrance to being a model father. From Visayas Jurisdiction, Brother Gerardo G. Gamposilao, who initiated the project of putting up artificial reef in Aguisan, Himamaylan, Negros Occidental. He also wrote a letter of appeal to the 5th District Congressman Hon. Ignacio T. Arroyo not to vote for the passage of the house bill 5043. He also spearheaded a “March for Life”. He is the Provincial Program Director of Knights of Columbus in Negros Occidental, a Past Grand Knight, Program Director and Incumbent District Deputy. As a Sangguniang Panglungsod Member, he authored the City Ordinance that gives priority to the poor but deserving students to finish their studies. Gamposilao is also very active in leading various “March for Life” not just in their municipality but also in the entire province. He also initiated a Slogan and Painting contest with the theme: “Defend Life, End Abortion” and wrote an oratorical piece on the same subject. He gives importance to maintaining a good relationship with his wife and family while balancing his duties and responsibilities to the Community, the Order of the Knights of Columbus and the Church. From the Mindanao Jurisdiction, Brother Rosalio O. Derilo, who is very active in helping the indigenous people in Don Carlos, Bukidnon in their threedecade claim to recover their ancestral land. Together with his wife who is also a Charter Regent of Daughters of Mary Immaculate International in their parish they have been a Pro-Life Lecturer for 20 years now and are still
KCFAPI ‘sales force’ awardees enjoy Asian spree: A journey to camaraderie
FBG Sales Force awardees and their families pose with the famous Merlion, Singapore’s national personification as backdrop during their visit to the country last May 27-30, 2012.
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SK Davide: Be true ‘Ambassadors of Christ’
FORMER Chief Justice and Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines , Inc. (KCFAPI) Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr. stressed the need to be true disciples of Christ by taking to heart the commandment of Love that the Redeemer had proclaimed, as he spoke before his brother Knights at the 9th National Convention of the Knights of Columbus at The Manila Hotel last April 27 to 29. “Love is the heart, soul and strength of the cardinal principles of our order. We must demonstrate our abiding concern for others, for our brothers. Now, by our convention theme, we impose upon ourselves the solemn and noble duty to go beyond and outside our neighbors,” said Davide. “We are to go to the world… this time not just to show love to others and to volunteer to them, but to volunteer to help the world know new hope.” The convention, which revolved around the theme “So That The World May Know New Hope,” afforded the former chief justice the chance to enjoin members of the biggest Catholic fraternal organization to “solemnly renew our covenant with Jesus as our hope, and remain true and faithful Knights of Christ even more than true and faithful Knights of Columbus.” Remember as the apostle Paul solemnly declares to the Corinthians“, We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God was appealing through us”, Davide said. The duties of the Knights are “herculean tasks”, Davide admitted, but many events should inspire everyone to carry on with the tasks at hand. He cited the approval of the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the recent beatification of John Paul II—to whom the Knights as well as Supreme Knight Carl
Ambassadors / C3
AWARDEES of the 35th Fr. George J. Willmann Annual Family Service Awards together with their families had experienced the uniqueness of Singapore, tagged as the Asia’s Lion Head from May 27-30, 2012 as part of being the top KCFAPI ‘sales force’ agents. This year, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) had the most number of awardees, according to Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President, Gari M. San Sebastian. “This is the first time we held an Asian trip in Singapore. Participants were able to see the beautiful parks and they got to do shopping and sightseeing while on tour,”
said San Sebastian. He added that the KCFAPI will provide the best incentives including tours or trips in places that their sales force had never been to so that they will become motivated to become an awardee. The latter led the awardees during the Asian tour. He said, “We had an ample time enjoying the sceneries in Singapore and most importantly, we were able to share camaraderie and bond with the crème of the crop of the FBG Sales force. In fact, it was a combination of business and pleasure as they were able to share and exchange sales techniques as they prepare for this year's challenge,“ he ended.
Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
FOR the June 2012 issue of our THE CROSS supplement to the CBCP Monitor, the theme focuses on the celebration of the 114th anniversary of our independence. It is always a privilege to live in an age when one's country demands that great things must be done. There is, therefore, no doubt as to which path the Filipino people must choose as we celebrate the 114th anniversary of our independence. The power to define the national destiny depends on the kind of responsibilities we are willing to assume; each one of us carries not only the burden of doing well for the sake of the Filipino people, but the burden of seeing that our dear Philippines does well for the sake of humanity. To the members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, the burden is greater because they are bound by absolute fidelity to the cardinal virtues of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. While Independence Day was first observed on the fourth of July, following that of the United States of America, President Diosdado Macapagal, in the name of nationalism and to be faithful to facts, signed in 1964 Republic Act 4166 which proclaimed 12 June as Independence Day, it is only fitting that we had chosen the date because on that day in 1898 the Filipino people, acting through their sovereign agents, achieved a genuine and permanent spiritual, moral, and political awakening without which no laws or government may have life or meaning. June 12 is a celebration of the new life, that sacred change. Just as the future moves from the present, in like manner the present has emerged from the sacred past. And out of our patriotic past shall we find the same energy and daring, the joy and the pride, and the universal spirit, not to remain idly by, but to build up the institutions of our country, to shape the frontiers of destiny, and to mark out the great epochs that have yet to come. We must not fail. We should never tire nor weaken. The roadmap to greatness is becoming clearer. The people have become more vigilant and involved in building a culture of integrity, accountability and good governance, and demanding from our public servants the highest moral standards pursuant to the public trust character of public office. Let our commemoration of the 114th anniversary of our independence be a solemn pledge to protect and guard the legacy of independence, democracy, freedom, justice and unity; to lift strong the voice of the Filipino people. We are alive and we dare again to be great!
The Cause for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
EMULATING the virtues that bespeak of sanctity of a person, like Father George J. Willmann, is what we need today to draw us into a deeper living out of the fullest meaning of our Catholic Faith in the context of increasing secularism. Thus, we believe, is one of the most important objectives in initiating the Cause of the good Father George Willmann, SJ. As prescribed by the Congregation for Causes of Saints in Rome, a person may be elevated to the honors of the altar if he has lived up to a “heroic” degree of the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity, as well as the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. We believe that Father Willmann practiced them all to an exceptional degree. In order to establish and widen the fame of Sanctity of Father Willmann, may we call on all Brother Knights, their families and friends to respond to the following appeal: • Submission of testimonies on Fr. Willmann’s heroic virtues; • Recitation of Prayer for his Beatification in private and during K of C meetings and affairs; • Invocation of his intercession in our prayers; • Submission of Reports on answered prayers through the intercession of Father Willmann; • Visitation of his tomb in the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, Novaliches, Quezon City. • Membership to Fr. George J. Willmann Fellows. This is a challenge for all of us Knights of Columbus members, who dearly love Father George J. Willmann, SJ.
Prayer for the Beatification of Father George J. Willmann, SJ
LORD God, look down upon us, your children, who are trying to serve You with all our hearts, in our beloved land, the Philippines. Deign to raise Fr. George J. Willmann, of the Society of Jesus, to the honors of the altar. He is the wise, strong, cheerful, dauntless model that all of our Filipino men need in this new era, in this new millennium. He was your Knight, Your gentle warrior, especially in his ministry with the Knights of Columbus.
A man leading other men, in the war of good against evil, in the war of the Gospel of Life against the Culture of Death. Make him the lamp on the lamp stand giving light to all in the house. Make him the city set on the mountain, which cannot be hid, so that all of us may learn from his courage, his integrity, his indomitable spirit in the struggle to lead men to God, and to bring God to man. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
KC gives hope to people, says bishop
A FORMER president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said he was pleased with the impact the Knights of Columbus had on the people especially those who are in need. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, former CBCP president, said the K of C have been “bringing hope to other people” through various programs and charity works. “What you have been doing have generated hope to other people,” Lagdameo said. The archbishop made the statement during the second day of the 9th K of C National Convention held at the Manila Hotel on April 28. “Hope in the aspect of theology is the capability of man as a man linked with, founded upon and based on the promise which is described as the action of God as God. Their hope is but a response to the promise of God where hope is founded on the theology of promise,” he said. “As long as there is promise, you Knights of Columbus generate hope but when one fails to fulfill it, you generate disappointment and despair,” said Lagdameo, who is also the K of C Visayas State Chaplain. The prelate also cited the K of C's scholarship programs to less privileged students. “As we become Christ’s body, we care for one another and because we are His body, you members of the Knights of Columbus care for the least of your brothers and sisters,” he said. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)
Guillermo N. Hernandez
BASED on historic records the Declaration of Philippine Independence was made by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. It was the first time that the Philippine Flag was flown and the Philippine National Anthem was played. However, the independence was short lived because Spain and the United States did not recognize it. It was only on July 4, 1946 that the United States recognized our sovereignty. From then on we have marked July 4 as our Independence Day until a law was passed in 1964 setting June 12 as the Philippine Independence Day. Independence Day celebration has always been significant and festive. Classes were suspended and offices were closed. Most people are in the park. In Manila there were military parade and display of floats of government and private groups. The finale was the speech of the President of the Republic followed by a 21-gun salute. Elsewhere in our country and even Filipino communities abroad celebrated annually the Philippine Independence Day. In the past, the Knights of Columbus have joined in the parades with the Honor Guards in front of the contingent Councils and Assemblies, organized flag raising, symposia on the lives of heroes and essay writing contests on patriotism. Some of these activities have enjoyed the support of KCFAPI. In our own small way we can do patriotic things and value or preserve the independence, which our forefathers fought to achieve. No matter how simple our actions are, we must start with our own selves, like paying our taxes with all honesty and obeying the simplest traffic rules. A more fitting way is to build up a strong family which KCFAPI has been protecting for generations. Vivat Jesus!
FBG holds service training program
THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day fraternal service training program on May 22-23 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. Training participants were from Bicol, Metro Manila, Cavite, Abra, Southern Luzon, and South-Western Luzon. The participants learned KCFAPI’s featured plans like KC Cares and other insurance. Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office Manager, Edwin B. Dawal and Underwriting Department Manager, Carmelita Ruiz discussed the various functions of their office, while KCFAPI Medical Director, Dr. Jaime Talag discussed about medical underwriting. Fraternal Benefits Group Vice President, Gari San Sebastian and Marketing Staff, Jemwel Santillan tackled about the fraternal service program, sales technique, and about the product and compensation. The FBG also familiarized the participants with the primary objective of the Order of the Knights of Columbus, which is to provide optimum mutual benefits to all its members and their immediate families. (KCFAPI News)
KC Phl backs global prayer for Pope
THE Knights of Columbus in the Philippines backs the call of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson to hold a global prayer in honor of the 35th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's episcopal ordination. Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap used the power of the social media to reiterate the call of SK Anderson. “To all brother knights and their families, please pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be before or after Mass on June 3 for Pope Benedict's intentions in celebration of his 35th year as a bishop,” Yap posted at K of C Luzon facebook account (http://www.facebook.com/groups/ kcluzon/). The Luzon Deputy also requested their councils to sponsor one Sunday Mass this June 2012 for the Holy Father. “May I also call on all our councils to dedicate all their activities for the whole month of June in honor of Pope Benedict's 35th episcopal ordination and if possible to conduct a special day/night/activity honoring their chaplain in line with our stand "In Solidarity with our Priest". Let us also heed the call of our Supreme Knight to commit ourselves to prayers. And may I add that we include our chaplains and bishops in all our prayers. Vivat Jesus,” Yap said. Pope Benedict was consecrated a bishop on May 28, 1977. (Yen Ocampo)
Knights, Squires join Wagayway Festival 2012
KCFAPI gets P501M total insurance contribution
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association in the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) has exceeded its P500 million threshold for the year 2011. The KCFAPI Total Insurance Contribution for 2011 has reached P501.7 million, according to KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez. “KCFAPI has grown by leaps and bounds throughout its almost 54 years of existence. The year 2011 marked significant milestones in the performance of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines. Inspired by the virtues of its
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founder, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, your association has once again displayed a remarkable feat despite hurdles brought about by national disasters and catastrophe and financial difficulties experienced globally...” Hernandez said. Hernandez added that through the guidance and support of the KCFAPI Board of Trustees and its staff and field representatives in meeting the demands of the ever changing economic environment, the fraternal association of the K of C stood up to the challenges and emerged stronger and more
stable than ever in 2011. He also specified that the growth of KCFAPI into a group of organizations moving towards specific goals represents the realization of the four cardinal principles of the Order, which are the Charity as the focus of the Foundations; Unity as demonstrated by the entire KC group; Fraternity as reflected in their committed services to their fellow Brother Knights; and Patriotism through their contribution in building a better nation and better men of the society. “As we move on towards the year 2012, more challenges lie
ahead. The economic growth attained in the past year was attributed to a strong domestic demand; however, events in the international business community indicate a bleak trend and are bound to influence the pace of our country’s economic growth. Despite all these, our unwavering pursuit for superior service, and more importantly your trust and confidence, you, our valued Benefit Certificate holders have bestowed on us, KCFAPI will hurdle these trials to emerge as a more stable and stronger Association,” said Hernandez.
MEMBERS of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and the Columbian Squires Circle in Cavite joined the annual celebration of Wagayway Festival in Imus, dubbed as the “Flag Capital of the Philippines” on May 25. With Mayor Emmanuel L. Maliksi of Imus as host, the Knights of Columbus and the Columbian Squires participated in the fourday National Celebration of Wagayway Festival 2012, according to District Deputy Manuelito Putong. The First Wagayway Festival in 2008 marked Imus as
the country’s flag capital and as a tourist destination. “This festival will push Filipinos to be more patriotic to our flag and unlike other festivals which are religious in nature, this is a festival with historical and nationalistic theme,” said Maliksi. Meanwhile, the Malacañan Palace signed Proclamation No. 373 Series of 2012, declaring May 28 as special (non-working) holiday in celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Alapan or the “Pambansang Araw ng Watawat.” (KC News)
active and voluntarily organize basic core groups to help spread the knowledge about the importance of life. He is the Deputy Grand Knight and Program Director of his council. Aside from being the Parish Pastoral Council President, he is also a choir member and a member of the Basic Ecclesial Community of their parish. Derilo also introduced a simple Pro-Life slogan “Remember 329:36 days” as a constant reminder for every married couple that God has given 329 days out of 365 day a year to enjoy marital bliss with only 36 days to decide whether to control/abstain or let the love of life reproduction be done. The Board of Jurors for the search
include the leaders of KCFAPI and the Order of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines namely KCFAPI Chairman Hilario G. Davide Jr; KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez; State Deputies Arsenio Isidro G. Yap-Luzon; Rodrigo N. Sorongon-Visayas; Balbino C. FauniMindanao; KCFAPI- EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia; and K of C Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III. It also includes two independent jurors, Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao and Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa; both known for their integrity and competence. The project aims to recognize the K of C members who exemplify the inspiring characteristics, virtues and role model
qualities of a good Catholic father through responsible parenting; to project a strong public knowledge of the Mission of the Order of the Knights of Columbus as a means to attract new members; and to provide inspiration to all members to live up to the cardinal principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The 2011 search for Fathers for GoodPhilippines is a joint project of the three K of C State Jurisdictions, KCFAPI, and Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Foundation to recognize Brother Knights who have shown by their life and examples the exemplary values of a model Catholic father. (Yen Ocampo/KC News)
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
Answering the Bishops' Call
The witness of Knights during the persecution of the Church in Mexico provides lessons as we defend religious freedom today
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
DURING my recent trip to Korea, I had the opportunity to pray at the Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine overlooking the Han River in Seoul. On that site, as many as 10,000 Korean Catholics were martyred in the 1860s, nearly two decades before the founding of the Knights of Columbus. These ordinary men and women of extraordinary faith were tortured and decapitated, and their bodies were then thrown over the cliff into the river. Catholics in Korea will tell you that this is one of the most sacred places in their country. I believe it is one of the most sacred places in the world. Today, South Korea has one of the fastest growing Catholic populations, with thousands of converts to the faith each year. We see there once again the mystery of salvation. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. It was an especially moving experience for me to be there since I had arrived in Seoul from Washington, D.C., after delivering an address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on the new threats to religious liberty in the United States. My visit to the Jeoldusan Shrine brought home the truth of what our bishops have recently written: “Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.” The U.S. bishops have sounded a warning of emerging threats to religious liberty, threats to the integrity and continued existence of many Catholic institutions. The bishops ask, “Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do without having to compromise that very same faith?” This question must be of utmost concern to every Catholic and especially to the Knights of Columbus. The bishops have directed a clear call to action: “Once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense … and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.” As Knights of Columbus, we are proud of our reputation as “the strong right arm of the Church.” In 130 years, that arm has never tired, nor has it wavered. I am confident that in the days ahead we will increase our efforts to shield the Church and her institutions from the heavy hand of those who now seek to restrict what Pope Benedict XVI has called “that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.” I urge every brother Knight and every state and local council to participate in the upcoming “Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21 to July 4 by contacting their local parish and diocese in support of this program. And I ask every K of C family to take part in a novena for religious liberty beginning June 21, using the prayer that our bishops have asked us to pray: Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Together we can safeguard our most cherished freedom. Vivat Jesus!
Joseph P. Teodoro
For Brother Knights by Brother Knights
THEY say that a good start is half battle won. We look into the records of the Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) and have noted four (4) fraternal counselors who made a remarkable start in their sales performance. Bro Jeffrey Rey S. Guillermo or Jeff to most of his friends is an active member of council 4073 in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija and as fraternal counselor he has been a consistent awardee since 2008. A diamond jewelry appraiser before he became a fraternal counselor. He is married to Kathleen Ramirez who is a daughter of a consistent awardee, Bro. Pete Ramirez. Bro. Jeff is one of those Central Luzon Conquerors who responded to the proddings of Area Manager Manuel L. Naldoza to take the lead as early as the first quarter of the year. Last year, a very notable sales performer in the person of Bro. Rodante B. Sultan was appointed on August 17, 2011. He attended the fraternal service training in Manila and after 5 months, he was able to surpass the requirements of the Chairman’s Circle and even qualified in the Fr. George J. Willman Knights of the Round Table. Bro. Rodan is a member of the Eastern Visayas Fighter under AM Eldito Nabong. His father, the late Antonio Sultan was also a consistent Annual Awardee. Bro. Luis F. Ferrer of the Central Luzon Believers (CLB) is the incoming grand knight of his Council 9491 in Marulas, Bulacan. At first, he was worried that his position might be an impediment to his work as fraternal counselor. After the assurance of his area manager, Bro. Efren Casupanan, Bro. Luis is now confident that he can continue his impressive work in the 1st mark of the year. Bro. Luis is married to Sis. Judith, with whom they are blessed with two (2) children.
Featured Fraternal Counselors - Part 2
After the exciting trip from Singapore. Bro. Luis, Rodan and Jeff have promised to deliver better results in the days ahead. Bro. Benedicto A. Burgonio a past grand knight of Council 11184 of Santa, Ilocos Sur failed in his first attempt for membership in the Chairman’s Circle. In fact his appointment was withdrawn in 2011. After the assurance of his Area Manager, Bro. Josefino Valencia that he will be an FBG asset, he was reinstated. True to his promise, Bro. Ben became one of the 2011 Annual Awardees. To date, Bro. Ben has attained the minimum FYCI requirements to inscribe his name in the annual awards honor roll. Only retention ratio and the numbers of lives insured requirements stand on the way. There is a Filipino saying which goes “daig ng maagap ang masipag.” The four fraternal counsellors featured in this issue subscribe to it.
Angelito A. Bala
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When can one surrender a benefit certificate without losing too much of the contribution payments?
A. The answer will depend on the insurance plan chosen and the length of time the benefit certificate has been in force. It takes time for the equity or cash value to grow into substantial amount. A portion of the contribution is allocated for paying the death benefit and other promised benefits while the remainder is pooled with the other investment assets. If one will look at the table of cash values on the benefit certificate (BC), the cash values on the early years are so small. Per Insurance Code, cash values are
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mandatory starting on the third benefit certificate year. But with the onset of limited payment plans like single payment plan or five payment plans, the Code imposes availability of cash values at the end of the first or second benefit certificate year. It is often not advisable to allow the BC to avail continuously of the automatic contribution loan (ACL) during the first five years from effective date as the BC risks termination due to numerous application of cash/loan value as contribution (contribution loan) that may
eventually lead to exhaustion of cash value. Term insurance plans with less than twenty years of insurance coverage and payment period normally do not offer any cash surrender option. Check the BC if it has a surrender provision attached to it under General Provisions. A portion of the Association’s earnings are declared by the Board of Trustees and distributed to BC holders in the form of certificate dividends. Over time, they grow in considerable amount, augmenting the total
cash surrender value of the benefit certificate. A word of advice: Should you wish to surrender your BC for its cash equivalent, keep in mind that you will not get the same coverage on your new benefit certificate for the same amount of contributions you have religiously made on your previous benefit certificate. More importantly, if your health condition had deteriorated since the last time you took an insurance contract, you run the risk of not being able to get insurance coverage or protection anymore.
Anderson enjoyed a close relationship—and the strong campaign in the Philippines for the beatification of KC founder Fr. Michael J. McGivney as sources of inspiration and much graces to encourage Knights with the work of bringing new hope to the world by being authentic witnesses to hope and faith. The crusade for a culture of life was a recurring theme throughout the three-day event, and Davide was no exception when it came to pointing out the priority that must be placed on opposing anti-life legislation. He included the rejection of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill among specific reminders
as to how the Knights should practice the principles of the organization in day to day living. “You must begin immediately by—among other things—making yourselves exemplary models of virtue of values in your community, strengthening your councils by increasing membership, dividing suspended councils and establishing new ones, and pursuing with unparalleled courage and vigor the cardinal principles of columbianism and the various Knights of Columbus programs by taking full advantage of the Knights of Columbus party protection benefits, and by promoting and protecting the sanctity of life,
of marriage and the family. The campaign against the RH bill must be given the utmost priority by the members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines!” He then urged his brother Knights again to take to heart the call to spread new hope to the world. “This 9th National Convention will be an empty gesture, an exercise in futility, unless as Knights of Columbus or better yet as Knights of Christ or as Ambassadors of Christ, we unconditionally embrace with all our hearts the full meaning of our theme by becoming leading visible fearless instruments to help make known to the world the new hope.” (Diana Uichanco/CBCPNews)
Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., is an established mutual benefits association and a scientifically designed insurance system organized exclusively for the members of the Knights of Columbus and their immediate families. At present, the Association is looking for professionals in the field of: Training • Real Estate • Audit • Accounting • Corporate Communications • Marketing & Sales • Management • Administrative Services 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 hand-carry resume’ with a 2x2 photo and transcript of records to:
KC Family . . . Our Concern
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES INC. Gen. Luna cor. Sta. Potenciana Sts., Intramuros, Manila You may also call 527 – 2223 local 202 for queries and look for Ms. Ma. Kristianne Pascual or or Ms. Gladys Lovette Luis
The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc., is an established and progressive mutual benefits association operating for almost 54 years, has been highly committed to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their immediate families. KCFAPI firmly believes that the continued progress and success of the association depends to a great extent on its human capital KCFAPI 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 inviting 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.
THE Mindanao State Jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines sees hope in 2012 by focusing on their membership growth plan despite the tragedies brought by Typhoon Sendong in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. “The Mindanao Jurisdiction is focusing now on our Membership growth, Reactivation of suspended councils and our Columbian Squires Circle. We have already organized 28 new councils and this greatly helped the jurisdiction in our membership growth. As of April 20, 2012 we are 78.08 % on our jurisdiction intake and we are confident our brother knights will do their share in inviting new members to join our Order,” said Mindanao State Deputy Balbino Fauni.
“As of April 20, 2012 they have 84,506 K of C members in Mindanao from 144 Districts and their strength comes from their continuous dialogue and communication with the Bishop and Council Chaplains,” Fauni said on his report during the K of C 9th National Convention last April 27 to 29 at the Manila Hotel. He was also thankful for the major donors during calamities like the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), Brother Knights from Luzon and Visayas led by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap and Visayas Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon, and one Council from the U.S.A. which donated $500 or P21,000.00, among others. “Closer ties with them are of utmost importance. To thresh out issues or problems that sometimes may occur between the Council officers, the Parish priest and Chaplains—Grand Knights should align their activities with the church,” Fauni said. The latter added that the recent calamities and their faith in God led them to see and identify their strengths and weaknesses as a jurisdiction and guided them to come out with corresponding recommendations and suggestions. The Pope said, “to strengthen our faith in Christ and to joyfully announce Him to the men and women of our time’’. This Year of Faith will be a great challenge for us. We will exert more effort and focus on our membership growth and “One Member, Per Council, per Month is just so timely,” Fauni added. Despite the catastrophe, the Mindanao State Deputy proudly announced that his jurisdiction was on track in their Membership Growth and New Council Development for the past five months of 2011. He pointed out that the Joint Council First Degree Exemplification and the Creation of New Councils greatly helped and improved their growth. “The Food for Families project, for example, could help us reach more families and be able to evangelize through recruitment of new members,” Fauni said.
Vol. 16 No. 12
June 4 - 17, 2012
2012 offers new hope for Mindanao Jurisdiction
Among their major Church activities were the elevation of the Iponan Chaplaincy into a full pledged Parish and the visit of the relics of St. Clare of Assisi from Vatican to Zamboanga. Fauni also invited the attendees of the convention to be part of the 10th K of C National Confab in 2015, tentatively scheduled in Davao. “Let’s support our Order. Defend Life and invite members of our families to become one of the gentle Knights! To the Filipino people…be Proactive! Let’s do our share by being involved! To our Church…K of C will always be there to support and defend our priests and the religious. To the Government…focus on education of our youth and poverty…” Fauni concluded. (KC News)
KC Priest-Scholar bags international award for his fight against mining
A PRIEST-SCHOLAR of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines was one of the six recipients of the prestigious 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize, the highest award that a grassroots environmental “hero” or “heroine” could receive. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, who is also the Executive Secretary of the CBCPNational Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (CBCP-Nassa) was bestowed an award for his exemplary work in advocating environmental protection and preservation. Fr. Edu, as his colleagues from the Church and environmental protection movement fondly call him, is a staunch critic of large-scale mining in the Philippines. Advocating for a ban in the “destructive” mining practice, he co-founded the Alliance Against Mining (Alamin) while serving as the chaplain of Mangyan Mission Catholic Church in Mindoro. “We had lunch with some members of US Congress on April 19 (US Time), hosted by Nancy Pelosi. And she sat with me during lunch before she gave her speech. During our one on one conversation, I emphasized the need for the World Bank and IFI to follow strictly the social and environmental standards that she herself advocated (by filing the Pelosi Amendment), and as the WB is in the process of revising the standards, the US Congress must see to it that the safeguards are not watered down or emasculated. And the fund that US government is giving through capitalization must have this condition as an essential requirement,” Fr. Edu said. Gariguez also had a meeting with Ambassador Jose Cuisia at the Philippine Embassy. Aside from receiving the prestigious awards last April 16, Gariguez had also participated in the World Bank’s forum on extractives last April 24 to 25. Gariguez was a scholar of the Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. He was ordained in 1992 for the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. The Fr. George J. Willmann Charities, Inc. is the foundation arm of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of
Visayas Region strengthens recruitment campaign after calamities
“AFTER the calamities that visited the Visayas Regions, the Jurisdiction is back to fulfill its commitment in contributing to the recruitment campaign of the Supreme Office and to support the worldwide pro-life activities of the Order.” This was the statement given by the Knights of Columbus Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon during his initial report on the K of C 9th National Convention last April 27 to 29at the Manila Hotel. Sorongon reiterated that with the help of the local Brother Knights, people began to look for resources in order to recover what was lost after calamities that affected their region. The Visayas State Deputy also reported that they attained 80.87% membership recruitment as of April 26, 2012. The Visayas Jurisdiction spearheaded the Fund Raising for the Victims of Typhoon Sendong, which left thousands of families homeless, and thousands more died in the areas of Mindanao and Visayas. The Jurisdiction was able to raise P232,000.00. Of the total amount, P150,000.00 was given to Mindanao Jurisdiction and the remaining P82,000.00 to the victims in Visayas area. Several sacks of rice, clothing and canned goods were also donated by the Jurisdiction as immediate response to fire victims in Tanza, Iloilo City which left about 300 families homeless. Sorongon added that when the Visayas area was shook by a 6.9 intensity earthquake and the areas of Negros Oriental was heavily affected, various members of the Knights of Columbus were left homeless and thus, fellow Brother Knights initiated a fund raising to address the concerns of the people in Negros Oriental. He added that the Visayas Jurisdiction was able to deliver donations amounting to P162,000.00 to the victims of the earthquake. Luzon Jurisdiction donated P50,000; Mindanao, P50,000; KCFAPI, P50,000, and KCFAPI employees, P10,200. Among other national activities of the Visayas Jurisdiction was the March For Life, which was held simultaneously in all areas of Visayas. A total of 6,000 Knights and some Pro-life activists joined the March to show their support to the ProLife Advocacy of the Knights of Columbus. “The Knights of Columbus as an organization has so much to offer to this country of ours. As the predominantly Catholic Country in Asia, we can be a source of strength to our church. Let us remain steadfast in our faith. Only this way, we can bring the Church to every home of the people we encounter every day,” Sorongon added. (KC News)
the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), which supports seminarians in their theological studies; and priests who wish to take up licentiate degrees locally. (KC News)
First Venerable Fr. McGivney statue inside Church compound unveiled
Teresita Parish Church in Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City. McGivney was the founder of the Knights of Columbus, whose cause for canonization is being investigated by the Vatican. No other than Fr. Rally Gonzaga requested that the American-born priest’s Sta. Teresita Parish Priest, Fr. Rally Gonzaga (center) flanked statue be built inby Luzon Deputy, Arsenio Isidro Yap (4th from left) and Faithful side the church’s Navigator, Danilo Del Rosario (7th from right) together with PGK compound, sayAtty. Ruel Cadeleño (leftmost), GK Greg Tumbagahon (second ing McGivney’s from left) and other officers and brother Knights from Council life inspired him 12308 during the unveiling of the Fr. Michael McGivney statue more to serve the last June 2, 2012. (Full story on C2) Church. The parish THE world’s first Venerable Father Mi- church is surrounded with statues of chael J. McGivney statue inside a parish various saints except McGivney. church’s compound was unveiled in “He is not yet a saint but he is in the Metro Manila last June 2, 2012. process of sainthood. We can say that The 4-feet statue of the “Venerable even if he is only a Venerable, we have Servant of God” can be found at the Sta. already put him on the pedestal in front of church and we honor him,” Fr. Gonzaga said. “He is, we can say, a gift to the church, a gift to the Knights of Columbus,” he added. The project was initiated by incoming Faithful Navigator Danilo del Rosario of Maharlika Assembly ANC 1881, incoming Grand Knight Francis Layag of Sta. Teresita Council 12308 and other K of C officials from different councils. Bro. Arsenio Isidro Yap, K of C Luzon State Deputy, said the statue would help raise awareness about McGivney. He also hopes that other councils will adopt such kind of project. A movement to raise the awareness about McGivney is currently underway in the Philippines. Last month, the K of C has launched a website that serves as an online portal in the Philippines to gather accounts of miracles or answered prayers attributed to its founder, Fr. Michael McGivney, in a bid to promote his beatification. The website www.fathermcgivney. ph was set up to allow Filipinos, among others, to post the favors they received through the intercession of Fr. McGivney. (Ronalyn Regino)
Venerable McGivney website launched
Telaje San Vicente Co. 9157 donates building to Tandag Diocese
A TWO-STOREY building owned by the Knights of Columbus Telaje San Vicente Council No. 9157 in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur was recently donated to the Diocese of Tandag headed by Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar. Council Grand Knight Ernesto T. Cubero said they approved a resolution together with the other local members, “resolving to convey the ownership of the K of C Building to the diocese of Tandag for all intents and purposes.” The building which has a chapel adjacent to it will serve as a rectory when the Telaje chapel is converted into a quasi-parish of the diocese, as proposed by Church authorities. The building’s fully air-conditioned conference room has been used by the Brother Knights for meetings and functions, but it was also open for other Church-mandated organizations. The ground floor served as the extension of the chapel during Sunday’s Holy Eucharistic celebrations. Built in 1992 during the incumbency of the late Senior Knight Jaime L. Molina, the building was expanded through the voluntary efforts, services and financial contributions of the Brother Knights.
THE official website of the Venerable servant of God, Father McGivney Office – Philippines was launched last May 3 at the Conference Room of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The website www.fathermcgivney. ph showcases various news and feature stories about Father McGivney and the latest updates on the Cause for his Canonization. Members of K of C may submit for posting to the website their
prayers and favors obtained through the intercession of Father McGivney. Present at the launching were Vice Postulator Brian Caulfield, Supreme Director Alonso Tan, Luzon State Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap, Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr., KCFAPI President Guillermo Hernandez, and Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, K of C Assistant State Chaplain – Luzon, among others. (Ronalyn Regino)
Unity, fraternity seen in Filipino Knights, says Luzon State Chaplain
UNITY and fraternity which characterized the Knights of Columbus here in the Philippines are experienced with an intense manner that gives peace and hope to people, said Cubao bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Luzon State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. “The presence of the fourth degree Knights in their uniform during different occasions and celebration, even in parochial or trans-parochial setting makes the celebration more solemn and dignified,” Bishop Ongtioco said during the 9th K of C National Convention held at the Manila Hotel. The bishop thanked the brother Knights for their commitment in the mission of the Church and filling the world with Christian spirit and values through their witness. “In a world where consumerism and materialism are the main concerns of many people and where many people are indifferent to the needs of others, we are called to live differently and become instruments of charity and show faithfulness to the teachings of the Church”, he also said. He expressed concern for the young who are the hope of the country, he trusts, that in due time, they will become mature Christians and responsible citizens of our country. Ongtioco also mentioned about the charitable works that the Knights of Columbus and KCFAPI carried out through its foundations. “The K of C and KCFAPI have already supported 158 priests and seminarians including 32 seminarians and four (4) priests who are now bishops. The Knights of Columbus help supply the Church with the priests she needs to serve her faithful,” he added. The bishop also pointed out that the KCFAPI has been generous to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He thanked the Knights for giving them hope and security especially in times of need. And he also emphasized that the Knights are always there to assist people in time of disasters and calamities. (Jandel Posion)
Photo shows the K of C building owned by the Telaje San Vicente Council No. 9157 in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur , which was recently donated to the Diocese of Tandag headed by Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar.
The lot on which the chapel stands has been officially donated to the Diocese early this year by Gov. Johnny T. Pimentel. Cubero said members of the Telaje San Vicente Council No. 9157 sacrificed to
complete the fully furnished building. He added that they never regretted their donation knowing it is for the good of the Church and the spiritual development of the people in the community. (KC News)
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