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Pope entrusts world to Immaculate Heart of Mary


Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ


Churches ring bells in pork barrel protest

SEVERAL parish churches across the country sounded a wake-up call to the government amid the pork barrel controversy. The churches are demanding governments action against abuses of public funds and for the Congress to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program. To highlight their case, the churches rung their bells simultaneously at 1:00pm on October 11. At the chapel of the Catholic Bishops ConBells / A7

Task force formed to rescue, rehab damaged churches

By Roy Lagarde
Officials of at least three national cultural agencies met in Manila, few hours after the quake, and formed the Heritage Task Force for the rescue and rehabilitation works as soon as possible. The lead agencies include the National Historical Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission for the Philippines (NCHP) and National Museum. Starting on Oct. 17, a joint team of experts will visit Bohol and Cebu provinces to inspect and evaluate the historical structures that were damaged by the quake. In a statement, the NCCA said the action is intended to identify properties that immediately need to be secured and draw up priorities for restoration. It also seeks to estimate the amount of human and financial resources necessary and establish important linkages with stakeholders. The Heritage Task Force, as the joint group is called, shall coordinate closely with the Church, national and local government agencies in the rescue and restoration effort, the agency said. The NCCA added that it would provide a mobilization fund for the initial assessment, pending the national governments decision on the wider rescue and rehabilitation efforts. After the task forces assessment, the
Rescue / A6

October 14 - 27, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 21

Php 20.00

THE countrys cultural agencies created a task force to handle rehabilitation efforts of old churches destroyed by a strong earthquake that struck Central Visayas.

AFTERMATH. From top counterclockwise: Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso (in black polo) inspects the damage to the Tubigon Church; the ruined portion of the Cortes Church; the rubble and debris left by a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake at the Clarin Church. All of the 58 parish churches of the diocese suffered damages with 5 heritage sites totally destroyed. At least 132 people were reported killed when the quake destroyed buildings in and around one of the countrys tourist hubs alone.

Tagle calls for rebuilding of the Church

LIKE the heritage churches damaged by a powerful earthquake in Visayas, a top churchman said the Church must be rebuilt, that is, rooted in Jesus. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila said he could almost hear the message of God to St. Francis: Build my Church, rebuild my Church, while looking at the church crumbling due to the temblor. But how can we reconstruct the church apart from Jesus the cornerstone. How can we construct the church without His life giving word? How can we strengthen the Church without the Holy Spirit who will transform hearts of stones into living flesh and all of us into a living temple? asked Tagle. How can we construct the church without love that enables us to breakfrom egoism and self interest in order to embrace God, neighbor society and all of creation? he said. this Conference on New Evangelization with celebrating the Eucharist, a memorial of someone Jesus whose life led to ruins, culminated on the cross. That His love, which is greater than the sense of the world, prevented a total collapse and the ruin of humanity...love brought a new hope, a new heaven, Tagle said. We want to revive that love for that is the truth of the Good News of salvation, he added. The church official earlier said that rejuvenating the Christian faith is what he hopes to achieve during the three-day conference, which ends on Oct. 18. The PCNE was convened by Tagle to seek new approaches to keep the churchs mission to evangelize in synch with the modern times. The cardinal earlier said the conference also aims to win back dissident Catholics to the church and those who think that
Rebuilding / A7

Survey shows youths negativity over Churchs political activism

A CHURCH official lamented the youths negative perception about the Churchs intention in meddling over political issues, saying it is high time to understand where the young is coming from. Echoing the initial findings of the National Filipino Catholic Youth Survey (NFCYS) 2013, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said young people generally dont like the Church getting involved in political advocacies, especially concerning the controversial Reproductive Health Law, which seeks to use taxpayers money to fund family planning using artificial means of contraception. There seems to be a negative attitude (among the young) when the Church goes along this line. We need to understand why. Is it because they feel that the Church is venturing into an area where She should not be? he said. The outgoing chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), Baylon said the respondents negative experience with priests, bishops, their religious formators or school

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the opening of the Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization (PCNE) in Manila, October 16.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Arnold Beltran Pingoy

New evangelization This, the cardinal emphasized, is the whole point of the Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization, which started on Oct.16 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

It is a humble contribution to the construction and strengthening of the church rooted in Jesus, His words, in the spirit, in the midst of ruins, faith in the midst of ruins, he said. It is just proper to go with

Activism / A7

PMS organizes Friends of the Mission

TO help in promoting mission consciousness and foster collaboration with mission partners, the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) Philippines organized a group of lay collaborators called Friends of the Mission. Aside from supporting mission consciousness and foster cooperation with mission partners, the group also encourages the faithful to help the PMS according to their means, participate in the promotion of the four Pontifical Mission Societies and help in the recruitFriends / A6

Tagle urges CSMS youth organizers to be online evangelizers

A MONTH and a half before the Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0 (CSMS v2.0), a high ranking official of the Catholic Church urged young people to be online evangelizers and bearers of the Good News in the world wide web. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in a video message to the youth for CSMS v2.0, stressed two things that young people should remember; to be an online evangelizer and evangelize the means of social communications. Thanking the organizer YouthPinoy together with the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, Tagle said the theme The Revolution is beautiful and timely in terms of using the revolution of social media in

Group promotes saints, instead of zombies for Halloween

PUT back the holy in Halloween by encouraging children and young people to dress up as saints and martyrs on the eve of All Saints Day, instead of the usual zombie and Dracula costumes, a religious group Children dressed up as their favorite saints said. during the March of Saints pre-launch Dressing up children last July 27 at the Immaculate Conception
Halloween / A6 Cathedral in Cubao.

Illustration by Brothers Matias

Carlos Oda


World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Catholic Charities faces challenges from government shutdown

WASHINGTON D.C., Oct. 10, 2013As the U.S. government shutdown continues, nonprofit aid groups such as Catholic Charities are feeling an added strain on their work at the national and local levels. While some may wonder what effect political disagreements in Washington, D.C., could have on people in need across our country, explained Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, the truth of the matter is that uncertainty, furloughs, and limited resources at federal agencies directly hinder the vital work Catholic Charities agencies do every day. The impact of this shutdown is being felt in communities across the nation, he explained in an Oct. 4 blog post. The government shutdown began on Oct. 1, when federal lawmakers failed to agree on spending authorization bills for the new fiscal year. This stalemate prompted a shutdown of government services deemed non-essential, including education programs for at-risk preschoolers, scientific research, and grants to charitable organizations. As a result, federal workers working for non-essential services have been furloughed, placed on unpaid leave, until furloughed workers. Michael Burrus, executive director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Wichita, told the Wichita Star when the shutdown started that the organization would try its best to continue running its programs. However, he said, if the government is out of business, Catholic Charities cannot expect to continue to receive funds to support these programs or to pay staff to run them. Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C., is also facing challenges to its programs, a situation which is compounded by the citys close relationship to the federal government. Due to the unique ways that D.C. is funded, were running into a lot of problems or funding delays that no other states or Catholic Charities are encountering, communications director Erik Salmi told CNA. Because the budget of the nations capital requires congressional authorization, many of its programs and services are placed on hold during the shutdown. Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. is in the midst of assessing our situation, Salmi continued, adding that the organization has the capacity for a short while to continue providing services. (CNA)

Vatican Briefing
Curia vision will be one of service to Pope, local Churches

After the conclusion of their meetings, two cardinals from Pope Francis group of eight reveal that curia reform will largely focus on service to Pope Francis and the universal Church in its various areas. We want to change the look that the curia be at the service of the Pope, and also at the service of the local Churches, the universal Church, and the episcopal conferences, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India told CNA on Oct. 7. Cardinal Gracias was appointed by Pope Francis to be among the eight members to the council of cardinals instituted by the pontiff in April to advise him on matters regarding church reform and governance. The vision of the Pope is an open and merciful Church, Cardinal Gracias said, also touching on the upcoming Synod of Bishops slated to take place in October of 2014. (CNA)
Real prayer is always insistent, courageous, Pope Francis notes

legislators can agree on spending bills. The shutdowns impact on aid programssuch as food stamps and the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition programhas been mixed. Some programs are protected from the effects of the shutdown, while others are subject to a freeze in federal administration funding. Across the country, Fr. Snyder said, furloughed workers are relying upon Catholic Charities to help feed their families while they are not receiving pay due to the shutdown. At the same time, funding for programs such as Meals on Wheels, initiatives to help atrisk youth, and other activities

that rely upon federal grants are on hold. Our agencies are being forced to choose between shutting the doors to much-needed programs or opening them at a severe loss while waiting for government reimbursement that may or may not ever come, Fr. Snyder explained. The longer this stalemate continues, the wider the ripples of Congress failure to compromise will spread. The shutdown is also affecting Catholic Charities affiliates throughout the country. Many of these affiliates have been forced to go without government funding during the shutdown, while at the same time seeing increased need in their community due to

During his daily Mass homily, Pope Francis reflected that authentic prayer involves knocking at the heart of God with a strong, unwavering faith that he will respond. Do we pray out of habit, piously but unbothered, or do we put ourselves forward with courage before the Lord to ask for the grace, to ask for what were praying for? he asked during the liturgy at St. Marthas residence Oct. 10. Prayer that is not courageous is not a real prayer, Pope Francis emphasized. The Lord says: For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. But you have to ask, seek, and knock. (CNA)
Interaction, dialogue needed to end religious violence, priest reflects

Head of Comboni Missionary Sisters urges renewal

ROME, Italy, Oct. 13, 2013Ten years after the canonization of Saint Daniel Comboni, the head of the Comboni Missionary Sisters has exhorted the congregations members to deepen their focus on Christ as they pursue their founders work. Sister Luzia Premoli, the missionary sisters general superior, in an Oct. 5 letter to the congregation, encouraged the sisters to continue to become women of the Gospel, mothers and sisters of humanity in order to regenerate life and life in abundance. I am convinced that we live in a precious time, which invites us to revive our hope, a time in which our thirst for authenticity can be abundantly satisfied, if we allow ourselves to be guided by the Risen Lord, by the holiness of our founder and father, by the words and gestures of Pope Francis. St. Daniel Comboni, an Italian-born 19th century missionary, was the first bishop of Central Africawhat is now the Archdiocese of Khartoum. He founded the Comboni Missionaries in 1867, and the Comboni Missionary Sisters in 1872. The saint encouraged African Christians to participate in the evangelization of their continent and fought for the abolition of slavery. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 5, 2003. Sr. Premoli said that the canonization has been a great gift from the Church to the order. She encouraged the sisters to reflect on what the canonization has meant in their lives, and in the life of their congregation. Where are we in the journey towards living holiness in our daily lives as a response to the Word of God and of Comboni? Without a doubt, there is a crisis of human and spiritual values which does not spare religious life, she continued, criticizing egoistic and self-referential attitudes. She said that many commentators have said that religious life needs a qualitative leap and must be converted, in order to be re-centered on Christ and on his word. The congregation feels the need to return to the sources of our charism in order to incarnate it in history today, she said. Sr. Premoli said the missionary sisters need to pay deeper attention to our spiritual life. She encouraged them to become docile and open to the words of St. Daniel Comboni and to the signs that God is showing them in the world. The general superior encouraged the sisters to live the virtues of obedience and humility. Obedience includes listening to the cry of the poor, of suffering humanity and allowing this cry to call into question my, our, lifestyle, she explained. In the context of a congregation, it means adherence to a common vision and the availability for ongoing community discernment. Humility is an attitude of the heart learned from Jesus, she said. It follows the Virgin Marys declaration, I am the handmaid of the lord. Humility is a virtue of those who are strong, who keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, the suffering servant. Humility sustains the faith and the trusting abandonment in God who is Love, Sr. Premoli reflected. Humility allows its practitioners to grow in trust and mutual respect while recognizing their own gifts and putting them to best use. Humility enables us to accept our own weaknesses and sinfulness and to learn to trust in the mercy and pardon of God who makes us compassionate and merciful towards all, the general superior added. She said this virtue is necessary to face the inevitable conflicts of community and missionary life. Sr. Premoli prayed that through the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni, God will give the congregation the grace of a renewed commitment to live in holiness our consecration to God and to his mission, forever. There are over 4,000 men and women in the Comboni missionary congregations. The Comboni Missionary Sisters will hold their inter-chapter assembly this November at their mother house in Verona, Italy. (CNA)

In a recent interview, theology professor Fr. Bryan Lobo urged that dialogue itself is not enough to end religious violence, and stressed the importance of coming together as a community to resolve tensions. Today dialogue has become a repeated word, so I would like to call it interreligious interaction, the theologian explained in a Sept. 27 interview with CNA. Its not just asking questions about each others religions and concepts, but its working with each other, helping each other for world peace and harmony to a better world. Fr. Bryan Lobo S.J., originally from India, is the Dean of Faculty at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has just begun a new course on the theology of religions. (CNA)
Vatican to issue collector coin marking Pope Francis first year

The Vatican has announced that an official, commemorative coin marking the first year of Pope Francis pontificate was released on Oct. 8. Collectors will be able to purchase the coin, which on one side bears the image of Pope Francis giving a blessing and smiling with the Latin words, Franciscus Pont. Max An. I., inscribed above. The coins other side contains the Holy Fathers personal motto, vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi: sequere me, which translates to Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me. Near the text, this side of the coin visually depicts the Gospel scene from the book of Matthew, when Jesus first calls the disciple to follow him. Designed by Mariangela Crisciotti, the coin is available in gold, silver, and bronze. (CNA)
Vatican takes another step in promoting financial transparency

Australian bishop warns of problems for rural population

SYDNEY, Australia, Oct. 10, 2013Addiction problems are a major issue, particularly those related to pornography, warned the bishop of Bunbury, in Western Australia, Gerard Holohan, in a pastoral letter he published at the end of September Bunbury is a primarily rural diocese and he said that the Rural Financial Counseling Service has advised that there is a growing number of rural people in Western Australia who are struggling with Internet pornography addiction, drug use and depression. The letter was limited to dealing with the issue of Internet pornography. It is far from being a local problem, he noted. In fact, he said, Internet pornography addiction is cited as a factor in half of divorces in the United States. Bishop Holohan offered suggestions as to how Christ could help those who suffer from this and other addictions. He commented that in his public ministry Christ cure the sick and helped those in need. By his miracles, Jesus was showing his power to be greater than the kingdom of Satan, he said. Those who commit sin are slaves to sin, but through his death on the Cross Jesus has redeemed us from sin, Bishop Holohan explained. As we relate personally with Jesus as Savior, our relationship with God is healed. Jesus power also strengthens our souls spiritual faculties so that inner harmony and harmony with others is restored, he added. The pastoral letter went on to explain the problems related to pornography addiction, including the effects it has on the human brain. In the long term such an addiction leads to a loss of personal freedom, depression and leads to difficulties in personal relationships. God shows mercy to all who seek to return to God, the letter emphasized. We are invited to repent and believe in the Good News, Bishop Holohan said. Yet we also need to have faith in Our Lord. The person addicted to internet pornography needs to strive to keep deepening his or her

With the adoption of a detailed new law on financial transparency, vigilance and information, the Vatican has almost completely revamped its finance laws in less than three years, the Vatican spokesman said. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, released a statement Oct. 9 on the 58-page text of a new Vatican City State law incorporating, but also broadly expanding retired Pope Benedict XVIs December 2010 document establishing the Vaticans Financial Intelligence Authority to monitor Vatican financial operations and make sure they meet international norms against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The text of the new law, approved by the commission governing Vatican City State, said the revamping was necessary because financial crimes threaten the integrity and stability of economic activity, not to mention the reputation of those who work in the financial sector. (CNS)
Muslim leader says pope is model of what religious leader should be

Mongolia catechists reflect on God Father and Creator

ULAANBAATAR, Oct. 12, 2013Understanding that God is Father and Creator, understanding what Catholics believe and what they want to proclaim to the world and what original sin is. These are the themes of the last meeting for Mongol catechists that took place in early October in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The meetings are monthly and are used to form lay people of the small community of Catholics Mongols who then will go to the various parishes to educate catechumens of all ages. The October lesson was opened as usual by Msgr. Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Administrator of the young Mongolian Church, and conducted by Sister Clara Lee SPC. The nun pointed out that since the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, God has sent the world patriarchs, prophets, and in the end even His son to redeem mankind. Thisshe addedis the Good News that we proclaim to the world. According to the latest estimates, Christians of all denominations represent slightly more than 2 per cent of the Mongolian population, which is largely Buddhist with shamanistic beliefs. It also has a high number of non-religious people, almost 40 per cent of the total. Few Mongolians are Catholic (835 in 2012) but the number of baptised has now topped 900. At the same time, Catholics have set up facilities for orphans, the destitute and elderly, medical clinics in a country with a poor health infrastructure, as well as various educational and technical schools. In 1992, when the first foreign missionaries (especially Filipinos) arrived, including the future Msgr. Wenceslao Padilla of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, there were no parishes. A few months ago, there were four in the capital; now there are six, a sign of growth.

personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he said. Addictions can be reversed, he commented, although it is not easy and it may be that a person will suffer relapses, which is why people need support and help from others. Personal prayer, the Sacraments, and meditation on the Scriptures are also essential means to help people change their behavior. We need too to encourage addicted people to seek the help of Christ, the Savior, the letter concluded. We also need to prevent such problems occurring and to urge governments to take steps to protect people from such a harmful product, he said. (Zenit)

Pope Francis, like Islams Sufi mystic theologians and poets, is trying to do good for the sake of the Good One, motivated by love and compassion, said the president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland. Mohamad Bashar Arafat, a Syrian who has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, was visiting the Vatican and speaking to groups in Rome in early October as a guest of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See as part of the U.S. State Departments international speakers program. In an interview with Catholic News Service, Arafat said he sees Pope Francis acting as all truly religious leaders should: reaching out with respect for the human person and open to dialogue. (CNS)
Cardinal Dolan, in Rome, lauds popes new strategy of evangelization

Pope Francis recent warning against overemphasizing moral teachings against abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception means that U.S. bishops should emulate his positive approach to evangelization, not shift the priorities of their public policy agenda, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York. What hes saying is that if the perception of the church is of a scold whos always nagging and always negative and always fearful, were not going to make many converts, because nobody wants to join the church out of fear or (join a) a paranoid group, the cardinal told Catholic News Service Oct. 8. If we emphasize the positive, the gracious, the embracing, the warm, inviting side of the church, then were going to attract people, he said. And that of course is what Pope Francis is saying and doing on steroids. (CNS)
Pope meets Rome Jews, commemorates deportations to Auschwitz

In his pastoral letter marking 20 years of the Church in Mongolia, the apostolic prefect noted that, at present, there are 81 missionaries from 22 different countries. He also wrote that Mongolias first two native seminarians were training for the priesthood in Daejeon, South Korea. (AsiaNews)

At a meeting with members of Romes Jewish community, Pope Francis denounced anti-Semitism and recalled the 1943 deportation of more than 1,000 of the citys Jews to the most notorious Nazi death camp an incident that has proven a major source of tension between the papacy and Jewish leaders. Its a contradiction for a Christian to be anti-Semitic, his roots are in part Jewish, the pope said Oct 11. May antiSemitism be banished from the heart and the life of every man and woman. Pope Francis gave a delegation led by Rabbi Riccardo Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, a message commemorating the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Romes Jews Oct. 16, 1943. Of the more than 1,000 people sent to Auschwitz by the German occupiers that day, just 16 eventually returned. (CNS)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

News Features
Our Lady of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence, we join our voice to that of all the generations that have called you blessed, Pope Francis said at the close of Mass in St. Peters Square Oct. 13. We celebrate in you the great work of God, who never tires of bending down with mercy to mankind, afflicted by evil and wounded by sin, to heal and to save it. The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima was moved from its home shrine in Portugal to St. Peters Square especially for the entrustment. The act marked the culmination of a weekend of Marian prayer and devotion. About 150,000 people attended the Sunday Mass. The Pope asked the Virgin Mary to welcome the entrustment with the benevolence of a mother. We are certain that each of us is valuable in your eyes, he said. Guard our lives in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for goodness, revive and grow faith, sustain and illuminate hope, arouse and enliven charity, guide all of us on the path of holiness, Pope Francis asked Mary. He asked the Virgin Mary to teach mankind her special love for children and the poor, for the excluded and suffering, and for sinners. Gather everyone under your protection and deliver everyone to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus, the Pope said. Dave Corollo, executive director of the World Apostolate of Fatima in the United States attended the Sunday Mass and the preceding evenings prayer vigil with Pope Francis. He said that the Popes entrustment of the world to Mary shows Christians that the ancient devotion to praying the rosary is a worthy practice. Prayer moves mountains, Corollo told CNA Oct. 13. Through the grace of actions like today, history can be changed. It has happened before, and

it can happen again. During his Sunday homily, Pope Francis had reflected on the importance of Marys faithfulness even in moments of difficulty. He said she shows the Christian response to God. Mary said her yes to God: a yes which threw her simple life in Nazareth into turmoil, and not only once, he said. Any number of times she had to utter a heartfelt yes at moments of joy and sorrow, culminating in the yes she spoke at the foot of the Cross. The Pope encouraged the crowd to think on the full extent of Marys faithfulness despite seeing her only Son hanging on the Cross. The faithful woman, still standing, utterly heartbroken, yet faithful and strong, he said. At the conclusion of the Mass, Pope Francis led the crowd in the traditional Angelus prayer. He then greeted the various groups present, which included delegations from many international Marian organizations. (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope entrusts world to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Pope Francis entrusts the world to the Virgin Mary, Oct. 13.

VATICAN City, Oct. 13, 2013Pope Francis on Sunday entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and

to her maternal care before the image of Our Lady of Fatima, asking Marys help to revive and grow in faith.

Biblical tithing should be born out of lovepriest

Pope praises special roles of women

VATICAN City, Oct. 12, 2013 Pope Francis met with experts on womens issues today in Rome, affirming that the Church must continue to work for a more profound understanding of women and their roles. Also in the Church it is important to ask ourselves: what presence does woman have? Can it be valued more? the Pope asked. He met with experts who had participated in a seminar marking the 25th anniversary of Blessed John Paul IIs apostolic letter, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women. The three-day seminar was sponsored by the Pontifical Council of the Laity. Pope Francis said the presence of women in the Church is a reality that is very much on my heart. He said he wanted to meet the seminar participants and bless you and your task. He noted that John Paul IIs apostolic letter teaches that God entrusts man, the human being, to woman in a special way. What does this special entrustment mean? asked Pope Francis. I think it is evident that my predecessor refers to motherhood, he explained. And this is not simply a biological fact, but it involves a wealth of implications both for woman herself, for her way of being, and for her relationships, for a way of extending respect for human life and for life in general. The Pope then warned of two ever-present dangers, two extreme opposites that degrade woman and her vocation. The first is to reduce motherhood to a social role, to a task, however noble, but in fact sets apart woman with her potential, not fully valuing her in the construction of the community, he noted. The second peril is that of promoting a type of emancipation that, in order to occupy the space stolen by the masculine, abandons the feminine with its priceless elements. He said women can help provide better insight into the nature of God. Woman has a particular sensibility for the things of God, above all in helping us to understand the mercy, the tenderness, and the love that God has for us, he emphasized. Pope Francis then abandoned his prepared remarks to convey


Jennifer Orillaza

Fr. Anton Pascual of Caritas Manila encourages faithful to share their blessing to others from the heart.

MANILA, Oct. 6, 2013Giving is an act that must be born out of love for without the willingness that springs from the heart, the act of sharing ones blessings loses its true essence, a priest said. Fr. Anton C. T. Pascual said that like Christ who sacrificed his life out of love, the faithful must also be propelled by love in sharing the blessings that they have. Christ sacrificed His life because of love. This is also how our spirituality of giving should be. We should not give just because we have a personal interest to fulfill. When we give, it should be out of love, he said in his talk during Caritas Manilas Generosity Conference held last September 28 at the San Carlos Seminary. Even if you give all your riches, if it is not born out of love, it still remains senseless. That is how strict the word of God is. Do not give if it is not love that propels your act, he added.

Pascual noted that tithing or sharing a definite portion of ones wealth to the church is the way of God to mold people in His own image and likeness. Giving is not the way of God to raise money. The reason why we are asked to give is for us to grow in the person of Christ, he said. The priest also called on the faithful not to be lured by the appeal of wealth and riches, noting that the excessive inclination to earthly riches causes ones heart to be numb. Mammonolatry pertains to ones idolatry of money. This disease makes people numb that even if they are being asked to help others, they do not do so for money has made them so numb, he said. If you follow the Lord, He will bless you with all your needs, but not necessarily all your wants, he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

his sadness at the situation of women who are reduced to roles of mere servitude, distinguishing it from the servanthood to which all Christians are called. I suffer speaking truthfully! when I see in the Church or in some ecclesial organizations that the role of service that we all have, and that we must have but that the role of service of the woman becomes role of servitude. He then encouraged the experts to continue their work in order to better understand the role of women in the Church.

Let us move forward together! he exclaimed. May most holy Marya great woman, eh?the Mother of Jesus and of all Gods children, accompany us. Thank you! The Pope then took the time to greet each person in the hall, including the families of the experts present. One little girl began to cry mama! as she stood near Pope Francis. He smiled and turned to the women in the room, joking thats maternity, eh? (CNA/ EWTN News)

Pope calls synod to discuss families, divorce and remarriage

VATICAN City, Oct. 8, 2013The predicament of divorced and remarried Catholics will be a major topic of discussion when bishops from around the world meet at the Vatican in October 2014. The Vatican announced Oct. 8 that an extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops will meet Oct. 5-19, 2014, to discuss the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization. The pope had told reporters accompanying him on his plane back from Rio de Janeiro in July that the next synod would explore a somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage, including the question of the eligibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Pope Francis added at the time that church law governing marriage annulments also has to be reviewed, because ecclesiastical tribunals are not sufficient for this. It is complex, the problem of the pastoral care of marriage. Such problems, he said, exemplified a general need for forgiveness in the church today. The church is a mother, and she must travel this path of mercy, and find a form of mercy for all, the pope said. The announcement of the synod came amid news that the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, had issued new guidelines making it easier for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said that such matters were more properly dealt with at a church-wide level, under the guidance of the pope and the bishops. For persons or local offices to propose particular pastoral solutions runs the risk of generating confusion, he said. The Holy Father is placing the pastoral care of the family at the heart of a synod process that will be larger, involving the reflection of the universal church. The October 2014 gathering will be an extraordinary general session of the synod, which according to the Code of Canon Law is held to deal with matters which require a speedy solution. It will be composed for the most part of the presidents of national bishops conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and the heads of major Vatican offices. Only about 150 synod fathers will take part in the session, which will run for two weeks, Father Lombardi said, compared with about 250 bishops who attended the three-week ordinary general assembly on the new evangelization in October 2012. This will be only the third extraordinary synod since Pope Paul VI reinstituted synods in 1965, to hold periodic meetings to advise him on specific subjects. A 1969 extraordinary session was dedicated to improving cooperation between the Holy See and national bishops conferences; and a 1985 extraordinary session, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, recommended the compilation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published seven years later. Pope Francis, who replaced the synods secretary-general Sept. 21, has suggested that he wants to make it into a permanent advisory body. On Oct. 1, Pope Francis and the new Council of Cardinals advising him on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing synod reform. On Oct. 7-8, the pope attended meetings of the synods governing council. Instead of summoning the council officers, according to the usual protocol, the pope visited them at their office a few blocks from Vatican City. (CNS)

Shun apathy, embrace sensitivity to needs of othersbishop

MANILA, Oct. 2, 2013Noting the negative effects of apathy to a nation, a Catholic prelate on Saturday called on the Filipino faithful to act against the various social ills plaguing the country by being more sensitive to the needs of others. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that the long-standing problem of poverty in the country does not root from the countrys lack of resources, but because of the peoples lack of concern to the affairs of the state and plight of their neighbors. The Philippines has a lot of human, financial, and environmental resources but why are we still marred by poverty?Pabillo said in his homily during the Generosity Conference held at the San Carlos Seminary. One reason for this is the lack of equal partitioning of the countrys riches to both the rich and the poorsome are living in abundance, while some have literally nothing, he added. We do not care if our country is breaking down in shambles and if a lot of our brothers and sisters are suffering in poverty, he said. Avoiding apathy Pabillo also criticized the indifferent nature of Filipinos with the plight of others, noting that this kind of apathy will lead the country to its downfall. Let us remember that we are all accountable to our brothers and sisters. Sins are constituted not only of the acts that we commit, but also of the acts of goodness that we fail to do, he added, noting that the same principle applies to the vigilance of the people to the affairs of the state. This is a call that we must fulfill by the virtue of our being Christians and Filipinos. If we will remain indifferent with the issues faced by our country, if we will do nothing and continue with our lives as if nothing is wrong, this constitutes a grave shortcoming on our part, he said. The indifference of the majority results to the victory of the dominating few who desire to manipulate others, the prelate noted. This will not happen if we will do something. The indifference of the majority turns all of us into victims. If we will not sacrifice, things will just remain the same, he added. The prelate also urged the faithful to spread their generosity so they may become instruments of the Divine in reaching out to others. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Cardinal Tagle urges laity to express love for country, world

MANILA, Oct. 8, 2013As political and economic issues continue to hound countries around the world, the highest official of the Philippine Church on Saturday called on the faithful to express love and loyalty to their country, noting that simple acts of nationalism may help counter the negative influences buffeting the present generation. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the expression of love for ones country is a Divine act that completes ones discipleship, leading a person away from egoism and making him more concerned to the plight of others. Our devotion to our country is not only a godly and holy act. Love of country and nationalism, these things do not counter our love for God, church, and faith, Tagle said in his talk during the Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (MAGPAS) held at the Cardinal Sin Auditorium of the Paco Catholic School. Citing the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes, Tagle said that love for ones country must lead to the openness of ones mind to the plight of other people in a global perspective. Faith can only be real if you are not filled by self-interest, egoism, and selfishness. It is through this mindset that faith and loyalty to

A lay leader takes notes as he listens to the talk of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on how to best express ones love for the country.

our country, as well as faith and love for the family of humanity really blend and come together, he said. Competence, Professionalism, Patriotism Expressing love to ones country can be achieved through fair institutional governance, which springs from a culture characterized by competence, professionalism, and patriotism, Tagle said. According to him, competence and not connection must be the value that rules an organization in order to gain the best results that will lead the country to progress.

To make the governance of an institution fair and just, we must seek the value of competence among our people. If you want to be part of an organization, do your best by devoting your competence and skill to whatever it is that you are doing, Tagle said. The prelate urged the faithful to develop their skills for the improvement of their respective ministries. Work and develop your competence. This is a challenge for all of usBe the best that you can and develop your ministry, he said. Tagle also emphasized the importance of professionalism, noting that individuals must learn to abide by operational rules to maintain stability and order in an organization. Disorder and corruption happen because rules are applied in a selective manner those who have connections are usually exempted, thus resulting to unprofessionalism, he said. Tagle also urged the laity to keep the virtue of patriotism in whatever degree they possibly can. Do things for the improvement of others and for the honor of your country, no matter if it just involves a small sari-sari store or a large-scale business, he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Noli Yamsuan / RCAM

Elise Harris / CNA


Rebuild my Church

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

AT the Prayer Vigil of the 28th World Youth Day held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pope Francis retold the story of St. Francis of Assisi to over a million young people from all over the world. Presumably, he saw two things: one, that the Church needs rebuilding; two, that the youth are the best agents of an ecclesial reconstruction. Here is how the Holy Father said it: Seeing you all present here today, I think of the story of Saint Francis of Assisi. In front of the crucifix he heard the voice of Jesus saying to him: Francis, go, rebuild my house. The young Francis responded readily and generously to the Lords call to rebuild his house. But which house? Slowly but surely, Francis came to realize that it was not a question of repairing a stone building, but about doing his part for the life of the Church. It was a matter of being at the service of the Church, loving her and working to make the countenance of Christ shine ever more brightly in her. That the Church hereabouts needs serious rebuilding has been clearly pointed out by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991 and by the National Pastoral Consultation for Church Renewal in 2001. The former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, cites three rubrics that aptly describes the shadows of the pastoral situation of the Philippines: an unbalanced economic structure (the gap between rich and poor, and massive poverty as the social problem); an unbalanced political structure (elitist politics of personalities and patronage, corruption); an ambivalent and negative cultural factors (mentalities, values). Quoting an old French philosopher, the late Bishop Francisco Claver, SJ, tersely summarized the Philippine situation with The more things change, the more things remain the same. After going around his parishes in the diocese of Tagbilaran shortly after the 7.2 magnitude temblor that hit central Visayas in the morning of October 15, Bishop Leonardo Medroso was overheard telling a priest over the phone: I am so sad. But certainly there must be a meaning to all of this. His diocese suffered the most with 132 dead as of press time and more injured; 50 parish churches heavily damaged including 8 heritage churches with 3 of them in total wreck and impossible to restore. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila gave it meaning. At the opening mass of the Philippine Conference of the New Evangelization held in Manila on October 16-18, 2013, he echoed the Popes pastoral challenge of rebuilding the churchin the face of natural calamities that toppled several churches made of stone and man-made social disasters that have wrecked the church made of women and men. This is the whole point of the New Evangelization. The good cardinal poses: But how can we reconstruct the church apart from Jesus the cornerstone How can we construct the church without love that enables us to breakfrom egoism and self interest in order to embrace God, neighbor, society and all of creation?

Local bishops conference

THE Catholic Churchwithout the least claim of supremacy or the assumption of superiorityis now more than two thousand years old and counting. She is but one church yet universal in existence and having members from all races, colors, and tongues. After a long and tedious expert study on the matter of managementfunded by a well-known industrial entity based in North America the finding was conclusive that the Catholic Church is the best structured entity as well as the best managed institution in the world. This phenomenon should neither be a source of pride, much less a reason for contentment and presumptionespecially among the member of the Church hierarchy from the local, to the regional, up to the universal levels. Reason: Ecclesia simper reformanda est i.e., the Church should be undergoing a continuous renewal in order to give a proper tribute to her founder and to extend a better ministerial service to the

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

casteriesone of which is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What are those cases? The cases have relevance to orthodoxy, which are basically about authoritative and accept doctrinal matters and practices in the Church. What is a local bishops conference? This is the conference of bishops in a given nation, with their respective Constitution and by-laws. A concrete example is the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines commonly known and called as CBCP. The novel thinking of Pope Francis is that instead of sending to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican for their resolutions, all questions, issues and doubts about local doctrinal matters and practices, these could be left instead to the competence of the likewise local Bishops Conference to decide on. This would be a real and interesting novelty in the Universal Church. And this demonstrates the expanded and creative thinking of Pope Francis!

Movements of renewal
THE Cursillos de Cristianidad, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, lay covenant communities, the Neo-catechumenal Way, the Christian Family Movement, Marriage Encounter, Focolare, the Movement for a Better World, the Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) and other similar movements have helped greatly in the renewal of the local Church. They are able to impart to their members Catholic teaching, a sense of fraternal belonging, a love of the World of God, and a love of prayer. They are instruments of genuine conversion, venues of life-changing encounters with the Lord. They are schools of evangelistic zeal. Members of such renewal groups should realize that the Spirit has raised them up to renew the local Church. Movements of renewal are not only for their members but for the whole Church. Movements of renewal with similar charisms should network for stronger impact locally, nationally and globally. However, when they develop loyalty to their leader or group loyalty stronger than their loyalty to the wider Church, they become sects. Priests should welcome, encourage, and support these renewal movements whenever they could be led into the mainstream of parish and diocesan pastoral priorities and programs. When properly guided they draw attention to the continuing presence, power and activity of the Spirit in the Church and in the world. They foster an intense Christian and apostolic life, move passive Catholics by their witnessing, and prevent the lapse of many Catholics into other Christian groups. They are at present, in certain areas, most effective in countering the attraction exerted on Catholics by fundamentalist groups. Catholic action, traditional Church associations and movements of renewal have been drawn to cohesive collaboration with each other, and have been linked more closely to the members of the hierarchy in a spirit of partnership through the Council of the Laity of the Philippines. This Council, headed and run by lay persons with the guidance of the hierarchy, has inspired greater participation of a great number of Filipino lay faithful in the apostolate of the Church. It is itself a very good example of lay participation and of clergy-laity collaboration. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 610-613) Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

peopleCatholics, non-Catholics, antiCatholics, all included. On the occasion of the recent rather prolonged and inquisitive interview of Pope Francis, as expected, he was asked about the Church he is precisely in tenure of her universal leadership. The following is among other things he said: The dicasteries of the Roman Curia are at the service of the pope and bishops In some cases however, they are not functioning well... I think cases should be investigated by the local bishops conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. (America, The National Catholic Review, September 30, 2013) What are the dicasteries? The territorial center of the Catholic Church is known as the Vaticanwhere the Pope has his residencewhich is also a State. She has a total of fifty two (52) Offices. Among these are nine (9) Congregations, twelve (12) Councils and ten (10) Commissions. These are usually called di-

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Year of Faith Reflections

CATHOLICS readily assent to the Churchs Marian teachings. Although they probably are unable to explain the nuances of individual doctrines, their Marian faith is deep and strong. Personal Experience. Allow me to begin this reflection by recalling an experience I had as a boy which manifested the deep Marian faith of my father, an ordinary farmer. Henry Lippert, my fathers very close friend, fell in love and married a Lutheran lady. Henry stopped going to the Catholic Church. Many years later Henry suddenly died of a heart attack while working in the fields on his farm. My father was called to retrieve Henrys body; then, it was discovered that he had a well-worn rosary in the pocket of his pants. My father told me: We dont have to worry about Henry; he will reach heaven. He was faithful to Mary, so she will assure his entrance into heaven. Such is the deepand admirable Marian faith of many ordinary Catholics! Assumption of Mary. This is the most recently defined dogma of the Church (1950). Pius XII declared: Mary ever Virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven. The Churchs faith affirms that Mary in the fullness of her historical personality now lives in union with the risen Christ. This beautiful article of faith has universal significance: Mary fully participates in the new and everlasting life promised for the human race through the saving death and resurrection of Christ. Ordinary Catholics readily ac-

Living Mission

Ordinary Catholics and Marian Faith

cept this teaching which assures that we with Mary will share in Christs ultimate victory over death. Marys Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854 wrote: we declare, pronounce and define: the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. Pope Paul VI described Marys Immaculate Conception by noting that It was the Holy Spirit who filled Mary with grace in the very first moment of her conception, making her the Immaculate One. The Catholic faithful readily accept the words of Mary to Bernadette at Lourdes: I am the Immaculate Conception. Mary: Star of Evangelization. In 1975 Pope Paul VI issued his beautiful apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (EN). In EN 82 Paul VI graces Mary with a new title: Star of Evangelization. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI frequently note that Mary is the Star of the New Evangelization. Mary is the Star of Evangelization because she brought forth Jesus to the entire world. She carried the Word of God in her womb, not only on her lips; she radiated Christ by her very presence. Her one missionary desire was to lead people to Jesus. Mary, you are our Star of Evangelization! Indeed, the Churchs Marian teachings are among the most beautiful elements of our faith!

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Aftershocks afterthoughts
I WAS coming home from saying Mass in Lahug, Cebu, when it happened. All of a sudden the car I was driving shook abnormally. I tried to ignore it at first, but it persisted. When I saw the posts swinging and the building nearby swaying, the idea came to me in a flash. This is an earthquake! A shot of terror suddenly hit me. I was hoping it would just be a brief spasm. But it took long, like an eternity, and the temblor became wilder. People started to come out into the street, all looking alarmed. The women passengers in the jeepney in front of me were crying and holding tightly on whatever their hands could get hold of at that moment. Immediately all sorts of thoughts came to mind. Will the ground open up? Will I see things falling down? Is this it? Am I prepared? It was amazing that at that moment I was expecting and preparing myself for the worst and yet also hoping and praying for the best. The here and now got automatically related to the ultimate. All in an instant!

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
Then I bombarded my relatives with pieces of advice and suggestions that I could think of at the moment. Stay outside the house but keep an eye on it. Secure all the children. Check as soon as possible the stores, etc. But first, pray, and then all the while, pray, I told them. Later on, I found out that the epicenter was in my beloved province of Bohol itself. Oh no! The stage of denial was suddenly on me. I never experienced an earthquake when I was growing up in Bohol. Then the usual questioning, why this earthquake, why Bohol? As I busied praying and calming myself and the others around me, I tried to get more information and to go around inspecting places of interestthe school buildings, the seminaries, etc. I texted my friends to see how they were doing. Thank God, not much of major concern was reported. Then the seemingly endless series of aftershocks came. These gave me occasions to think more deeply on this disaster. I know
Candidly Speaking / A5

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

When the quaking stopped, I pushed the idea on myself that the worst, for now, is over. That idea came from experience, though I must say that this earthquake was the strongest so far for me. I drove slowly home, looking around and especially at the people, and praying all the time. My heart both pumped heavily and bled profusely as I saw the faces of the people. When I arrived home, my neighbors, especially the children, met me with expressions tingling with fear. I tried to comfort them, kind of reassuring them that the worst is already past. Then I started to call my relatives in Bohol and Manila. Thank God, there was no earthquake in Manila where I have a lot of relatives. It was a different story when I called Bohol. It was my first time to hear my brother sounding afraid. He was always the cool guy, very good at hiding things like fear or alarm. He always projected the image all was under control. This time, no. He sounded like it was the end of the world. I must have prayed double or triple-time.

Illustration by Brothers Matias

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Bonus given despite P1.1 Trillion SSS unfunded liability
Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, who talked about the Family and the Eucharist. The other speakers were Most Rev. Teodoro Bacani, Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches who talked about the New Evangelization while Bro. Karlo Lara shared his experience as a family man. The event was capped with the Eucharistic celebration presided by the Dioceses Apostolic Administrator Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, together with the Diocesan clergy. The different vicariates presented the intermission numbers and together with the efficient and articulate emcees Seminarians Rene Richard Bernardo and Paul Woo from De Paul House St. Vincent School of Theology, kept the more than 1,000 participants alive. *** Congratulations to the Daughters of St. Paul in celebrating their Diamond (75th) Jubilee of Foundation with no less than Most Rev. Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu and Outgoing CBCP President as main celebrant of the Eucharistic Celebration. Their theme The love of God impels us (2 Cor.5:14), celebrating fidelity, counting blessings, reinvigorating service. Happy Birthday to my brother Roberto Santiago and son Patrick Robby Santiago, my nephew Michael Gerald Rosales and grandnephew Charleroi Guillaume Castro or C2, the baby boy of our niece Mary Gretchen Rosales and husband Charlie Castro. Birthday wishes also to Hello Father 911 Saturday Edition Music and Technical Director Dr. Jojo Robles and to Laikos Executive Assistant Director Joseph Jesalva, Fr. Gau Sustento and Fr. Larry Toledo and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Octavio Bartiana and Fr. Martin Guarin of Kalookan Diocese.

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
IN his 2013 SONA (State of the Nation Address), Pres. Benigno Aquino III declared that SSS members must sacrifice because their contributions will have to be increased. True enough, there will be 11% increase effective January 2014. Then last week, the SSS Management declared that bonus will be given to its 9 Commissioners at the rate of P1.1 Million to P1.3 Million each or an average of P1.2 Million, multiply it by 9 Commissioners, or a cool P10.8 Million bonus. Malacaang Spokesman Edwin Lacierda justified that the bonus were sourced from the revenues of the SSS and not from the contributions of its members. Since when and where did SSS get funds separate from the members contributions. All the moneys of SSS come from the members contributions. If the SSS management invested such contributions to incomegenerating project, it is because they are expected to invest excess SSS funds. The income derived from such investments belongs to the members and should be used for members benefits, not for the benefit of the commissioners. Granting that the commissioners deserve bonus, should it be in millions? Spokesman Lacierda further stated that the SSS contributions must be increased because the unfunded liability of SSS is estimated at P1.1 Trillion in 2011. If members contribution is not increased, the Funds liability will increase by 8 percent per year and its actuarial life is projected to last until 2039. It is very ironical indeed! SSS has unfunded liability of P1.1 Trillion and such liability will increase by 8% per annum. Then, why is SSS Management giving bonus in millions

Spaces of Hope Jesse

I WAS having supper with Fr. Leo Nedic and his team at Halo Halo de Iloco in San Fernando, La Union that fateful evening of Saturday 18 August 2012 when I received a text message from Fr. Tony Labiao of Novaliches. It read: Something happened to the plane of Sec. Robredo. Please pray for him. I could not believe my eyes. I first met Jesse in a gathering of nonprofit organizations in Manila about seven years ago. He had been our main speaker. During the open forum, I asked him how he managed to be reelected several times as mayor. He answered, Good governance. His former boss at San Miguels Magnolia Division, Mr. Mario Nery, tells me that his former subordinate, after being elected as mayor in the late 1980s shared to him his secret for being considered unbeatable: Simple lang boss, Transparency, and because of this, we have reduced our costs by 40%, and my enemies have filed 9 cases against me and I have won all of them. In our dysfunctional political culture where the first order of business for many newly-elected officials is how to get reelected rather than effective delivery of services, Jesse formula makes eminent sense. Elected officials should focus on good governance and transparency and make these their ticket to reelection. Jesse proved this could be done. Yet getting reelected, however pragmatic and needful for sustaining good programs, really becomes secondary when one becomes immersed in the joys and travails of governance. After all politics means giving birth to the city from its Greek etymology. Each one of us, from elected officials to voters, from public servants to citizens, has a role to play in the birthing process of our nation. Giving birth is a full-time job with no room for mediocrity and distraction. A few months after we met, I texted Jesse for some tips on good governance. He responded. His insights, together with those of other champions, like Heidi Mendoza, Sonny Marcelo, Cesar Binag, Alex Lacson, and others became the basis of what came to be known as the LASER test, which stands for Lifestyle, Accomplishments, Supporters, Election conduct, and Reputation. Like the amplified light of laser that cuts through steel and heals visual defects, the LASER test cuts through the superficial rhetoric of much of campaign politics and provides a more objective framework for discerning the right candidate to choose. Last election at least 20 dioceses utilized the test. Jesse was more than pasado for me he is a LASER man. Consider his answers to the following question, How did or will you try to remain a person of integrity once you were or are elected into office? Please be specific. Never spend what you cannot earn legally. This unburdens you the pressure to get the funds from some other sources. Avoid bad company. Limit your social life. Live a frugal life. Request relatives and family members to stay away from all transactions with your local government. This might entail some sacrifices because they might have been dealing with the local government before you got elected. Leaders should not only be honest but should be perceived to be honest as well. Or What mechanism/systems did or will you set up in your office for it to be transparent and accountable to the public? Two local ordinances, the People Empowerment Ordinance and the i-Governance Ordinance. These provided avenues for NGO participation in all the activities of the local government unit and kept the constituency informed of the goings-on in the LGU. We maintain an open door policy in all the offices of the city government. Response time standards together with the accountable employees on all services provided by each office are 2 posted beside the doors of each office. A system of redress is openly publicized. It is our way of life. As a mentor of mine on good governance used to tell me, Resources, when the hearts and systems are not in the right place, are a curse. Jesses proactive and innovative responses to good governance tell me that his heart and systems were in the right place. Such governance also gets one reelected. Besides heart and system, Jesse also believed in networking. In January 2011, Sec. Robredo wrote a letter to the CBCP inviting bishops and their local churches to collaborate with him on grassroots good governance. The bishops of Quezon City responded. The result was UBAS: Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan, a partnership between the barangays and the parishes to pool resources and synchronize efforts in the advocacy of good governance and the pursuit of projects and services for community development, as the DILG website puts it. UBAS was launched April 7, 2011 at St. Peters parish, Shrine of Leaders with the DILG secretary and bishops signing. UBAS brings together barangay officials, police officers, and parish priestsstarting with a cup of coffeefor the common good at the barangay level. There are, after all, concerns common to all three groups of leaders: welfare of women and children, poverty alleviation, and disaster preparedness and management, to cite just three. Like parallel railroad tracks that seem to fuse in the horizon, each sector has a distinct contribution to make even as the common good merges as a common goal. (To be continued)

of pesos to the 9 commissioners. This is not done in the real corporate world! As one media practitioner said, integrity, honesty, accountability in public service, all these qualities have been flushed down the drain by the Board of Directors of the SSS. On the other hand, it was really a matter of why do we need to be left behind. Senators, Congressmen and even the executive branch of the government are doing it, bakit naman kami magpapaiwan (why should we be left behind)? It is the height of greediness on the part of the 9 commissioners to get the millions of bonus at the expense of the poor working members of SSS. To the SSS Commissioners, if you have delicadeza, you should return those bonus. Can you in your conscience feed your family with those bonus knowing that the money came from the hard-earned money of construction workers, minimum wage earners, farmers, fisherfolks, working students and the middle class who are trying very hard to have both ends meet? Can you still sleep peacefully at night or are you not having nightmares already? Shame on all of you if you would not return those millions of bonus. That is a big amount of money which can be used at the very least in hiring additional staff so that the members need not wait in long line to transact business at SSS. You are so callous! Do not wait for the people to do another EDSA. Sobra na, tama na! *** The Diocesan Family and Life Ministry of Kalookan held its First Family Eucharistic Congress last October 12, 2013 at St. Marys Academy, Caloocan City. Keynote speaker was His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal

Following Christ also means going against the prevailing (political) culture
THE raging pork barrel controversy has also in its wake unwrapped the face of our political culture. What we see is hardly a charming countenance a la Megan Young. It rather unmasks an ugly culture that sees and uses elections not to acquire the authority to serve but the power to privilege and wealth and, if one is already in power, to more privilege and more wealth. Public money over which power is exercised becomes a bounty one feels entitled to access in various pretexts otherwise known as projects or services. That lawmakers decide or select the projects or services to espouse as well as the agencies or organizations to implement them is clearly a violation of the separation of powers, no matter how you look at it even from an untrained eye, and makes many wonder how this system has plagued us for so long with scarcely anyone complaining until it hit us with the shock of a scam. Call it the dulling of the conscience or intentional myopia. But the whole scam involves outright stealing conveniently whitewashed in terms such as commissions, share, por ciento or other similar verbal calisthenics. I distinctly remember a then newly-elected lawmaker admitting being scandalized by what he called a travesty by politicians of the term S.O.P. which he said simply means Standard Operating Procedure in government acts but which actually transmogrified to mean giving an incumbent politicians share or por ciento of a projects budget. Not long after that, it became the peoples turn to be scandalized when he succumbed to the practice himself. In fact, the least our lawmakers should do is to make public how they spent their PDAF or any pork-related deal. Given the history of how public money has been misused and misspent by government agents and politicians, they must be assumed guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Any unwillingness to be transparent must be treated with utmost suspicion. This is a call particularly for our local lawmakers, past and present, to bare all or abandon all. The root of the problem, to my mind, is beyond mere myopia or the dulling of the senses. The crux lies in the radical shift of viewpoint and standpoint people make. How we see things often motivates or justifies how we act in their regard. If I radically shift my view of stealing public money into a mere taking of my commission and/or my

Rev. Eutiquio Euly B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

By the Roadside
share in some transaction, that totally changes robbery into an income-generating enterprise. And if I have the law to back me up, with no less than myself having been instrumental in crafting the same, what is to stop my forays other than public outrage? Will a sudden attack of conscience, the specter of an imminent electoral defeat, a media (print or social) vilification or a million march do the trick? All of the above, we surely hope so. But most of all, large doses of self-examination. Who are we and what are we for? Does not Jesus Christ and following him define who we are? Then we must ever bear in mind how Jesus Christ the Master went against the prevailing political culture of his time. When the mother of James and John, reflecting the all-time prevailing culture of power as status symbol, asked him to grant her sons important positions in his kingdom, Jesus demanded that they drink the cup (of suffering) that I have to drink (Mt 20:22). Then he unleashed his most counter-cultural strategy: You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the powerful make their importance felt. It cannot be like that among you. Whoever wants to be important among you shall make himself your servant. And whoever wants to be first must make himself the slave of all. For such is the case of the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for the many (Mt 20:25-28). This brings us to my most favorite title for the pope which is Servant of the Servants of God (Servus Servorum Dei). Actually it is not simply meant for the Holy Father. It is also meant to remind us to always radically shift our points of view and standpoints, not according to the prevailing culture, political or otherwise, but according to those of Jesus of Nazareth. Power is the authority to serve, the privilege of assuming the humble position of being last so that those being served become first, and neither least not last (as is the case of the vast majority of the Filipino masses). Jesus himself followed his own advice. That we may have the first shot at being People of God, he made himself last in his Incarnation and Crucifixion, even making us share in the victory of his Resurrection. Now, what follower of Christ worth the name will refuse to do the same?

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

ONE day, I was explaining to some boys how important the sacrament of baptism is. Not only because it removes the greatest obstacleoriginal sinto a life of grace and union with God, but also because it is the door through which the person enters the Church and receives infinite spiritual perks to later enter Heaven. The boys were all wide-eyed attentive. I encouraged them to always remember and celebrate the day when they became Gods children. Likewise, it is also an occasion to be grateful to their parents and godparents. These have handed down to the most marvelous gift they could ever leave as an inheritance here on earth and for Heaven. As I paused to prepare the next part of the class, one of the fellows excitedly raised his hand, Father, may I tell you something? Sure Alden, what do you have? You know, Father, I can still remember my baptism. Really? Werent you just a baby then? I said. Yes, I woke up when the water wet my head, Alden gestured how water trickles down ones forehead. Well, thats a cool thing to remember, I answered. Unfortunately, most of us were just snoring ourselves through that graceful moment, God may have wanted to mark your spiritual birth with that special remembrance. ***

F.U.N. (Faith Up Now!): Baptism

Each time we pray the Creed, it links us to the miracle of grace God worked in our souls through baptism. Benedict XVI thus taught, Not without reason, Christians in the early centuries were required to learn the creed from memory. It served them as a daily prayer not to forget the commitment they had undertaken in baptism. (Porta fidei) In fact, St. Augustine already reminded the early Christians about the treasure of faith they have received. The bishop of Hippo says: the symbol of the holy mystery that you have all received together and that today you have recited one by one, are the words on which the faith of Mother Church is firmly built above the stable foundation that is Christ the Lord. You have received it and recited it, but in your minds and hearts you must keep it ever present, you must repeat it in your beds, recall it in the public squares and not forget it during meals: even when your body is asleep, you must watch over it with your hearts. (Ibid.) With all these wonderful ideas, we cannot forget one more important lesson. If Baptism ushers us into the life of communion with God and entry into the Church (Ibid.) we must remember that we cannot enter alone. Baptism confers on the person a concrete apostolic mandate from Christ: Go out to all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
Whatever / A7

Looking back at this anecdote, I dont think I have ever doubted Aldens experience. In fact, there may be other wonderful folks who have had such a divine memory of Gods grace touching their souls then with plain tap water. For the great majority of us who may not have Aldens super-baby-memory-recall, we still have a chance to relive this milestone of grace in many other ways. Pope Francis, in a recent audience said: The faith is a gift, it is a gift from God given to us in the Church and through the Church. And the Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God. The date on which we were regenerated in the baptismal waters, in the name of and by the power of the Most Holy Trinity, is a very important day in our earthly life. (September 11, 2013) The Holy Father added, How do I see the Church? As I am grateful to my parents for giving me life, am I grateful to the Church for generating me in the faith through Baptism? (Ibid.) Thus, for example, when we attend the baptisms of our children, nephews and nieces and other relatives we can now recall and imbibe deeper the nature of this sacrament, the graces and the obligations we are entrusted with by God through His Church. Another way to relive our baptism is by piously and lovingly reciting the Apostles Creed. We often recite the Creed when we pray the Rosary or attend Sunday Mass.

Candidly Speaking / A4

God has his mysterious ways that are always full of wisdom, goodness and mercy. Most of them are beyond our perception and understanding. But how can I transmit this message? Many of the good things that come our way are usually taken for granted. We seldom take the bother to thank him for the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the water that we drink, the many dangers that were kept from us, many of them unknown to us, etc. Its when disasters, like this earthquake, happen when we sometimes ask God why do they have to happen? Cant you, God, not have prevented them? Though we still like to stick

to our faith, we seem unable to resist from questioning, if not from complaining. I suppose thats part of our human condition. God understands all this unavoidable predicament of ours. But we should learn the lessons of Job whenever disasters erupt. Heavily tested, suffering all kinds of misfortune, he persisted in his faith and love for God. Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. (1,21) Lets always react with faith in all events of our life, whether good or bad.


Local News
THE protracted labor dispute between the ground crew of Philippines Airlines (PAL) and management has reached the doorsteps of the Vatican. Nassa executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez personally handed to Pope Francis during an audience the PALEAs letter asking the popes support in their campaign to restore justice to the working people. Gerardo Rivera, PALEA president, in a letter to the pontiff, said we seek the intercession of Your Holiness to achieve a just conclusion to the labor dispute. The union believes that an appeal from the pontiff to the stakeholders in the dispute will exercise moral suasion and may prove decisive in a settlement fair to the workers. Gariguez was in Rome to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the Encyclical Pacem in Terris held from October 2-4. The said Church document underlines the need to respect the rights of peoples and to ensure justice and the promotion of common good as a prerequisite to genuine global peace. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace organized the event in Vatican with a conference titled Peace: new challenges. Gariguez joined various Church leaders and representatives all around the world during the three-day event. In one of the conferences sessions that focused on Conflicts over access to resources (water, food, land and energy), Gariguez made a presentation on the experience of the Church in the Philippines particularly the Mindoro campaign. In an email letter, Gariguez narrated his personal encounter with the pontiff

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Caritas Manilas 60th year features conference on generosity

PAL labor row reaches Vatican

AIMING to espouse the importance of generosity among the Catholic faithful, Caritas Manila drew together hundreds of its volunteer workers in a two-day convention dubbed as Generosity Conference held at the San Carlos Seminary last September 28. Caritas Manila executive director Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual said the conference intends to deepen the spirituality of giving among the laity in time for the organizations 60th anniversary. We are doing this conference to strengthen the spirit of sharing our blessings and living the virtue of stewardship through giving ones time, talent, and treasure for the poor, Pascual said. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, in his keynote speech during the conference, urged the laity to live the virtue of generosity in their lives by imitating the actions of the Divine in extending help to those who are needy. He added that those who recognize the Divine as the source of every blessing must strive to follow His ways in sharing their blessings to others. We learn how to give by first receiving and learning from God the giver. We do not have any other model but the Lord for all of us have experienced His generosity, Tagle said. The challenge is if we are aware of how God blesses us. Have we thought of how much God has bestowed us with blessings? If yes, you would not just be thankful. You would also be changed. How you receive from our generous Lord is also how you should give to others. Learn from God who is the Father, he added. Two-day conference During the first day of the conference, Catholic lay preacher, author, and musician Arun Ocop Gogna gave a testimonial on living an inspired life, focusing on the virtue of joy as the fruit of sharing ones blessing. Kidae Lee, chief executive officer of The Beautiful Store in Korea, tackled the different factors that motivate the act of giving, further emphasizing that the heart and not the mind must be the source of ones generosity. The concept of friend raisers was introduced by Association of Foundations executive director Norman Joseph Jiao, noting how the act of friend raising builds the act of charity. Meanwhile, the discipline and ethics of friend raising was discussed by Marianne Quebral, Asian Institute of Management vice president for institutional advancement. Donald Patrick Lim, Mc Cann World Group Philippines vice president and managing director, gave a testimonial on the traditional, creative, and nonHalloween / A1

conformist ways of giving to help the lay faithful fulfill their mission of being more charitable to those who are needy. On the second day, financial coach Christian Roman gave a talk on the importance and evolution of Biblical Tithing in the modern generation, noting how this act of generosity changes people and their lives. Philanthropist and professional architect Felino Palafox Jr. tackled ways to sustain philanthropy while achieving development through the adaptation of sustainable architecture in the country. The spirituality of giving was expounded by Pascual as he noted the various implications of charitable acts to ones neighbor. 60th anniversary As Caritas Manila celebrates its 60th anniversary, Pascual said it is through the grace of God that the organization was able to surpass the challenges that came its way. The Lord has used Caritas Manila to let the poor feel that they are not alone in this journey for they have always been loved by the church of the Lord, he said. For the past 60 years, we have evolved from being a social welfare group to a social development organizationwe strive to help the poor help themselves. The dole-outs are still present as an act of mercy, but we do not settle on that. We have developmental programs for the sectors of education, preventive health, and livelihood to help the poor, Pascual added. Caritas Manila is also in the process of strengthening their social entrepreneurship programs and income-generating projects to help the organization sustain itself, making it more self-sufficient and not 100 percent income-dependent, he noted. Pascual added that the organization is gradually extending its reach nationwide to help impoverished Filipinos in farflung areas, especially during instances of disasters. Its social development and entrepreneur programs involving scholarship and livelihood grants will also be extended to a nationwide scope. We just continue to practice good governance by means of fairness, accountability, transparency. Through maintaining our integrity, we could solidify the trust of our people that out of the amount they donate, 70 to 80 percent really goes to our poor beneficiaries. Only 20-30 percent goes to our operational expenses, he said. He added that they are spreading the social marketing program of the organization to increase the awareness of the Catholic faithful to use Caritas Manila, a credible church organization, in extending help to the poor. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Fr. Edwin Gariguez gives to Pope Francis the letter of PALEA.

during an audience on October 3. When I came face to face with him, I greeted the Holy Father by saying that he is very much loved in the Philippines, and a labor group who had been on strike for two years wants to send him a letter. And the Pope just said: Thank you! And I cannot forget his warm and gentle smile, Gariguez said. The good news is I was able to successfully deliver the letter to the Pope, Gariguez exclaimed. Biggest labor row The PALEA has been embroiled in the countrys biggest labor dispute for the past two years. In September 2011, more than 2,600 regular workers were laid off as part of an outsourcing scheme.

Nassa and other bishops have been behind the labor unions campaign for the dignity of decent work, regular jobs and against contractualization at PAL. The support of Church officials and laity has given us utmost hope amidst the despair of a protracted dispute. The solidarity of the Church has indeed assisted us in innumerable ways, said Rivera. We were fired with the intention of being hired as contract workers doing the same jobs without security of tenure, less wages, longer hours of work but without benefits, Rivera added. Our only appeal is to restore justice to the working people. Unfortunately, the talks have not yet led to a settlement that is fair and just to the workers, he said. (PB/CBCPNews)

Bishops to help gather signatures vs pork

MORE bishops are supporting the call for a peoples initiative to abolish the pork barrel system and even willing to help in the groundwork. At least five bishops said they can mobilize their parishes to implement former Chief Justice Reynato Punos call for a peoples initiative and help gather the needed signatures. Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro in Iloilo said he is willing to help in the signature campaign through his archdioceses social action center and other lay organizations. The former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, however, said it would be better if instructions on the signature drive is coursed through the CBCP secretariat in Manila. Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon also assured the support of his diocese to Punos call to scrap all forms of pork barrel. All of us in Sorsogon are very angry with this pork whatever it is named. I always include in my homilies a prophetic exhortation against this social and political evil, he said. Other bishops who are willing to help gather signatures in their pastoral jurisdictions are Bishops Carlito Cenzon of Baguio, Reynaldo Evangelista of Imus and Martin Jumoad of Basilan. Yes Im willing with the help of our priests, religious and lay faithful, Evangelista said. In Cebu, the countrys second archdiocese, church officials have also joined local efforts for a peoples initiative to push for legislation to scrap the pork barrel. (CBCPNews)

Relief supplies running out in Zambo

A CHURCH official warned that relief supplies are running out amidst growing humanitarian needs in Zamboanga City. Msgr. Crisologo Manongas of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga said there are around 8,000 people languishing in evacuation centers that need emergency relief assistance. We need food, clothing, and medicines. Many people are getting sick in evacuation centers. Our food supplies are getting low, Manongas told Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas last October 9. Heavy rains and flooding have caused more misery for those displaced
Rescue / A1

by a bloody standoff between the military and the Moro National Liberation Front. As flooding hit several villages, thousands more people were forced to vacate their homes and now staying in different evacuation centers. The evacuees from war cannot return to their homes so we have a longer time to feed them and here are additional evacuees from the floods, Manongas said. The priest admitted that the double crisis is giving them a hard time as more families continue to suffer from floods and the aftermath of the conflict.

We have another set of evacuees running away from floods. Thats our situation here. Another set of people to feed and another set of homes to repair, he lamented. We already have the place for relocations for those who cannot go back (to their homes) anymore. We will start building the temporary homes and even permanent homes. We allocated 2-hectares from the archdiocesan property for relocations, Manongas added. The priest thanked those who gave donations and those who continue to give support to the archdioceses relief effort. (CBCPNews) The assistant parish priest called and said the sacristy was severely damaged while its belfry may soon collapse, Mejia added. He said the municipal mayor already cordoned the area from onlookers. The convent is inhabitable due to the possibility of structural collapse. Meantime, Fr. Tito Soquio, OSA, called on the military and police to prevent ordinary people from gathering anting-anting (amulet) from the belfry that fell. He said he fears aftershocks may also affect what remains of its belfry. Mejia added that the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral has also been closed to the public until further notice. Meanwhile, the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), Caritas Manila and other dioceses vowed to help the quake victims and the affected communities.

as zombies, devils and the like for Halloween gives them the impression that evil spirits are fun and friendly and that there is nothing wrong with keeping their company or imitating them, said Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, spiritual director of Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls (PWHS), in an interview. Real people, real stories Zerrudo, who helps promote PWHSs March of Saints, a campaign to promote the practice of having children and young people dress up as saints and martyrs during Halloween, explained that saints, on the other hand, are real people with real stories who could serve as models to young people and kids. These are persons not fictitious characters like the superheroes who are worth emulating because these are men, women and children who have struggled against the world in order to be faithful to the Lord, he explained further. According to Zerrudo, young people need to be reminded more than ever, following Christs teachings is possible and within our reach. The saints tell us that holiness does not demand superhuman strength and powers, he added, saying young
Friends / A1

people can begin living out holiness in everyday life at home, in school, in the work place. Parishes adopt March of Saints Several parishes have began the March of Saints practice like St. John the Evangelist Parish, Sta. Maria, Bagbaguin in the Diocese of Malolos through the support of Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II; St. James the Great Parish, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa through the efforts of its parish priest, Msgr. Albert A. Venus; and the Holy Family Parish, Roces District, Quezon City where Fr. Zerrudo serves. Zerrudo also promotes the March of Saints during his Radio Veritas talk show and also gives talks specifically about it when invited by organized groups. The PWHS, an apostolate of the Monfort Foundation, has been communicating with the different dioceses in the country to formally adopt the March of Saints as a regular event. For more details and for copies of the March of Saints kit, interested groups and parishes may contact the PWHS through email, info@pwhs.ph. (Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz)

culture agencies would then submit an official report to Malacaang. The 7.2 earthquake struck Central Visayas on Oct. 15 causing heavy casualties in lives and damaging properties including centuries-old churches in Bohol and Cebu provinces. The NCCA said majority of these structures have been declared National Cultural Treasures, National Historical Landmarks and Important Cultural Properties. All of which are protected by the Heritage Law, the agency added. The temblor was also felt in Leyte, Samar, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Iloilo, Masbate, Antique and some parts of Mindanao. As of Oct. 16, the death toll from the destructive earthquake reached 142132 in Bohol, nine in Cebu and one was recorded in Siquijor. There were 181 persons injured, while 22 were still missing.

3 natl treasures irreparable Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said the quake was so strong and caused real damage to many centuries-old churches in the diocese. According to him, all the dioceses 58 parish churches suffered damages including the eight national treasures, the highest recognition a country can bestow on cultural properties. He said that five of the heritage sites are total wreck and three of these churches in the towns of Loon, Loboc and Maribojoc seem beyond repair. Among the other heritages sites in Bohol that were badly damaged include the churches in the towns of Baclayon, Dauis, Panglao, and Laoay, While the Tagbilaran cathedral only suffered minor damage, several antique statues of saints were destroyed. Bohol is home to a number of heritage churches, dating back to the early years of the

Spanish colonization of the island. Medroso also asked for prayers for those who have died and their loved ones who survived, for those left homeless and in shock, for the healing of the affected areas. Sto. Nio Church belfry collapse Several churches in the Archdiocese of Cebu also suffered structural damage. Msgr. Marnel Mejia, the archdioceses Social Communications director, said the Sto Nios Basilicas belfry has collapsed because of the powerful temblor. He added the St. Catherine of Alexandria parish church in Carcar City was also damaged. It is a heritage and historical place where old churches and homes still exist, Mejia explained. The St. William de Aquitane Parish church and convent also had sustained damages.

ment for membership of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood Association. The group currently has 12 members who work together for the implementation of Vatican II Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes Divinitus). They offer prayers and assistance to the PMS national office in all its activities and carry out the thrust and objectives as a mission collaborator.

The group also attends quarterly meetings scheduled by the PMS national director, prays regularly the mission rosary (individual or as a group) for the intentions of the Holy Father, for all the missionaries and for all members of the pontifical societies. Any baptized Catholic who would like to volunteer by sharing their time, talent and treasure to the PMS can be a member of the group. You may contact PMS at (02) 731-3208. (Jandel Posion)

bringing the Good News of God. I know you young people are experts in the use of social media. But if you will use it for Evangelization, you first make sure that you are an Evangelizer. So train yourselves not only in the use of the means of social communications, but train yourselves, form yourselves to be good bearers of the Good News of God, Tagle said. He added that as online evangelizers,

the youth should evangelize the means social communications. Social communications have developed a culture which brings with it a mindset, priorities and values. So its not enough to just use the means, make sure you also evangelize the means and the culture that it generates, Tagle added. The cardinal hopes that the two points will help the youth experience real revolution and that the social media

would be used for evangelization. CSMS v2.0 will be held on November 23-24 at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications of the Vatican will be the keynote speaker. Additional details about the event, are available on the website www.catholicsocialmediasummit.com. (Jandel Posion)

Fr. Edu Gariguez

Caritas Manila helps impoverished Filipinos through its social development and entrepreneur programs, scholarship and livelihood grants.

Jennifer Orillaza

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Diocesan News
losing their freedom and selfdetermination. He noted that the Diocese of Marbel is home to several indigenous communitiesBlaan, Tbolis, Tagakaulo, Ubo and Manobowho possess their unique cultural tradition and value system. However, encroachments on ancestral domain due to mining and other development projects threaten the preservation of the IPs cultural tradition and value system. Gutierrez, together with other Mindanao bishops have been very vocal in their opposition to mining in South Cotabato because of its negative impact on the life of the communities and the environment. In a statement released last July by the Episcopal Commission on the Indigenous People (ECIP), the Church agency called for the passage of the Alternative Mining Bill to replace the Mining Act of 1995 and a faithful implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) with the IP communities with any development project that will affect their ancestral lands, among other things. The same statement also called for a careful study of the IP educational system that would respect and give due credit to their cultural practices, knowledge system and spirituality. The group also urged for participation of IP leaders in local governance; resolution of conflicting issues between IP communities and government agencies like DENR, DAR, NCIP and Land Registration Authority (LRA); and respect for the dignity and rights of the IP in their ancestral home especially in cases involving mining, plantation and other related activities. The theme of this years Indigenous Peoples Sunday is Evangelization and Inculturation. (CBCPNews)


Bishop calls for promotion of IP rights

MARBEL, South CotabatoAs the Church commemorated the Indigenous Peoples Sunday on October 13, a Catholic bishop called on the faithful to protect and promote the rights of the indigenous people. Quoting the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCPII), Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said, Our Indigenous Peoples are among those who should receive our special concern because as the greater majority of our Filipino society strives to become genuinely sovereign economically and politically, the Indigenous Peoples are
Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia

In this file photo, some members of the Aeta group perform a ritual dance during a rally against mining.

Mati launches Vocation Month

Riot caused by overcrowding NBP chaplain

by overcrowding, a prison chaplain has claimed. NBP Prison chaplain Msgr. Bobby Olaguer believes that overcrowding and hot, unventilated cells are among the causes of disturbance, warning of more tension if prison population is not reduced. Around 13,628 inmates are currently incarcerated in the National Penitentiary. Even a car if its overloaded MUNTINLUPA CityA recent riot at there will be a breakdown, Olaguer said. One NBP inmate was killed and 12 the National Bilibid Prison was caused
Roy Lagarde / CBCPMedia

MATI CityThe month of October ushered in the traditional Vocation month for the Diocese of Mati. Themed Vocation: Awakening Hearts to Faith!, this years vocation month was simultaneously launched on Oct. 2, in all the parishes for the faithful to participate in the activity. Bishop Patricio Alo, presided the Vocation Launching Mass at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral. DXHM-AM, Heart of Mary station, also set an hour every Saturday and Sunday from 4-5pm throughout the month of October for vocation talks to be shared by different religious congregations. The diocese also noted that side-by-side with Vocation Month, the month of October would also be covering other important Church activities related to the month of the Holy Rosary, the missions, the indigenous peoples, and the prison apostolate. (Sr. Marietta, OND)
Dominican school launches month of Holy Rosary

STO. TOMAS, Davao del NortePrivate catholic schools here managed by the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines launched on Oct. 2 its Holy Rosary month celebration with the theme, Mary: Queen of Peace. Sr. Ma. Evelyn Oqueza, OP, Regional Superior of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines, said the month of October is a good time to commit to praying the Rosary every day, adding that the rosary will bring great peace and holiness to your life since it is a powerful instrument for conversion as the Rosary is the best method of honoring Mary. During the launching, more than 600 people, composed of parishioners, students, religious groups, Marian devotees as well as civil society groups, assembled at the ground of San Miguel Parish Church armed with their rosaries and prayed the different mysteries of the rosary. (Aurel Larabaster)
Jaro archdiocese celebrates Laity Week

were reportedly injured in a riot inside a cell block on October 8. Olaguer said it did not need to come to this and the incident could have been easily avoided if the problem had been addressed. The latest incident started from minor and personal conflict that worsened and many got caught up (in the fight) because of overcrowding, he added. Olaguer stressed the urgent need to decongest and improve the facilities in the countrys biggest prison to avoid more riots. First is the need to decongest and the need for better condition of prison cells, he said. The prison chaplain also lamented the slow judicial process for inmates who are still awaiting trials particularly for those who are already old. (CBCPNews)

Bishop urges faithful to pray the Rosary for peace

MARBEL, South Cotabato A Catholic bishop urged the faithful to pray the Rosary daily for peace in the country especially this Octobera month dedicated to Holy Rosary. Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, in a pastoral statement said, it is only by praying the Rosary and asking Marys intercession that we would be able to overcome the gigantic problems the country is facing at present. Today, he said, we are confronted with many concerns: the attack against Zamboanga City by MNLF elements which caused destruction of lives and properties, the Pork barrel scam the ecological crisis caused by greed, etc. In these turbulent times, Mary is our hope and companion, the bishop added. With Marys intercession we are confident we will win the battle against evil forces. As a compendium of the Gospel, praying the Rosary leads Catholics to reflect more deeply on Christs person, His life and mission. Praying the rosary also is in line with the aim of the Year of Faithto bring us closer to Jesus Christ and to follow Him faithfully, Gutierrez said. Mary helps us become more intimate with her Son, Jesus Christ. (CBCPNews)

JARO, IloiloThe Archdiocese of Jaro highlighted Laity Week with a threefold celebration last Sept. 28, at the John Paul II Hall of the Archbishops Residence. Fr. Midyphil Billones, Director of the Jaro Archdiocesan Commission on Laity, said this years theme Linked in Faith, Linked in Communion was inspired by the words of Pope Francis in his first encyclical Lumen Fidei showing us the intimate connection between faith and communion. The event started with a Mass presided by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, and was followed by Istoryahanay Kay Tatay wherein the archbishop and representatives of the laity held a dialogue in a family-like and intimate atmosphere regarding various concerns in the life and mission of the laity in the church today. The third part of the days program was the launching of the Archdiocesan Laiko Directory Linked in Communion the realization of the Acts and Decrees of the 3rd Archdiocesan Synod of Jaro pertaining to the role of the Laity. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)
Prison chaplains, volunteers to gather for pastoral updating

Iloilo hosts National Catechetical Month in Western Visayas

JARO, IloiloIn celebration of the National Catechetical Month, the Archdiocese of Jaro hosted the 25th anniversary of the Western Visayas Regional Association of Catechetical Commissions, Training Institutes and Schools (RACCTIS) on October 11. Themed WV-RACCTIS@25: Working in Faith and Mission, the celebration was highlighted with a 9 a.m. Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles presided by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president. Following the Mass was an Agape and program hosted by the Jaro Archdiocesan Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ACCCE) at the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary of Jaro. Bishops, past and present Catechetical Directors, Catechist-delegates coming from the eight Western Visayas dioceses (Jaro, Capiz, Aklan, Bacolod,
Rebuilding / A1

TAGAYTAY CityJail chaplains and prison volunteers from all over the country are set to gather for the 9th General Assembly of Chaplains and Volunteers in Prison Service (VIPS) at the Carmelite Mission Center for Spirituality in Tagaytay City on Dec. 10-14. The event, held every three years aims to gather about 200 volunteers and chaplains from the different dioceses, prelatures and mission areas throughout the country, for pastoral updating and to enable them to share their best practices in their work for the prisoners. The assembly will also be filled with activities that will strengthen the camaraderie and fellowship, which the VIPS have been known to share among each other. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, incoming CBCP president, leads the roster of speakers who will speak on New Evangelization. Other speakers include Manla Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga. (CBCPNews)
Prison ministry holds seminars on Restorative Justice

ILOILO City The Catholic Churchs Prison Ministry held a series of seminars on Restorative Justice in Western Visayas, October 10 and 14. The seminar on Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Imprisonment, held on Oct. 10 in Iloilo City and Oct. 14 in Bacolod City, was in observance of the World Day Against Death Penalty. Organized by the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC), the forum tackled salient features of Restorative Justice and UN Tokyo Rules or the Non-custodial Treatment of Persons Deprived of their Liberties. In a declaration issued recently by Restorative Justice advocates, the group affirmed the need to adopt a Restorative Justice paradigm that promotes healing, apology, understanding, accountability, personal and collective responsibility, forgiveness, reconciliation and reintegration. (CBCPNews)

San Carlos, Kabankalan, Romblon, and San Jose de Antique), and other guests are expected to attend the event. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo highlighted the significance of 2013 in view of two important Church events that happened during the year. For us in the Visayas region, the Year 2013 is doubly significant as we do not only celebrate the 25thanniversary of the collaborative inter-diocesan evangelization services of RACCTIS but also because of the newly canonized Bisaya Catechist, St. Pedro Calungsod, Lagdameo said. The WV-RACCTIS is set to publish a historical souvenir book, which will feature the catechetical realities in each of the parishes in the West Visayas Region. This historical book is expected to serve as a rich document for the Chanceries, seminaries, school libraries and

catechetical centers of the region. Looking beyond the celebration of the Catechetical Month this October, Lagdameo suggested that a Congress on the CBCP Pastoral Exhortation Integral Faith Formation: Towards Maturity in Christ be held in every Vicariate and, if possible, among the diocesan and congregational schools in Iloilo. Lagdameo indicated that the Archdiocesan Commissions on Catechesis, Family and Life, Laity, and Mission, together with the Vicars Forane will collaborate to realize the Vicarial Catechetical Congress. May this celebrative event in the Year of Faith, in the catechetical life of Western Visayas as hosted in our Archdiocese become a renewing experience and joyous celebration of the Catechetical vocation, he added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

going to the church is already obsolete. Heartbreaking Tagle said the loss of lives and the damage on properties including the old churches in Cebu and Bohol provinces caused by the 7.2 magnitude quake were heartbreaking.
Activism / A1

Whatever / A5

With the Year of Faith drawing to a close on November, it is worth examining ourselves: in this grace-full year, how have I renewed my faith through concrete apostolic goals? How many people have I helped or guided to journey with greater conviction and a deeper spiritual commitment to their calling as Gods children and as soldiers
Bells / A1

of Christ in the Church? If we take these ideas to heart, mind and action, perhaps, there are others who like Alden will experience a reawakening in and a deeper remembrance of their faith as they encounter our constant faith-filled words, example and joy in the midst of our ordinary duties and circumstances.

Its heartbreaking to see how these heritage churches, which became a foundation of faith for hundreds of years, have now turned into rubble. We dont even know if it can still be used again, he said. What is more saddening, he said, is that the tragedy occurred at a time when

the country is still reeling from the effects of standoff in Zamboanga City, recent typhoons, including the pork barrel controversy. We cannot forget what happened to the people in Zamboanga, Jolo, Basilan, and Cotabato. Some are just recovering from the effects of the monsoon and Typhoon

Santi, the farmers of Nueva Ecija, farmers of Aurora, Quezon and the people of the Philippines were still grappling with the horrendous revelations these past months of the misuse of government funds, contributions of simple Filipinos meant for social service, he said. (CBCPNews)

ference of the Philippines in Manilas Intramuros district, a nun led the pealing of the bell for around three minutes. A Mass was also held first at the Sta. Cruz Parish Church in Manila before the bell rang. In Bataan province, the Diocese of Balangas 34 parishes sounded their church bells to highlight their opposition against the pork barrel. The national sounding of church bells against pork barrel added to waves of protest against the Aquino administrations refusal to abolish the PDAF totally. It was on October 8 when the Church Peoples Alliance Against Pork Barrel, an interfaith group, called on churches to toll their bells in a show of solidarity

against the pork barrel. The new group is composed of bishops, priests, nuns and laypeople from different denominations. Catholic priest Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC, the groups convenor, said the recent action signals their deep attachment to the cries and struggles of the poor for justice, peace and prosperity. The prophetic ringing of bells represents our call to the leaders of the country to repent and stop deceiving the people with criminal schemes means to steal what belongs to them, Alforque said. The prophetic ringing of bells affirms our condemnation of the acts of bribery, corruption, and abuse of power, he said. (CBCPNews)

administrators have something to do with their negative perception. We acknowledge that we have to understand this further thats why we are having focus group discussions with the respondents for the second part of the survey, he added. The partial results of the NFCYS 2013 were presented during the recently concluded convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Cebu City. The conducts of the survey was a joint initiative of the ECY and CEAP. According to an article posted at the CEAP website, initial findings of the FCNS are as follows: 1) Religiosity significantly predicts socio-political participation; 2) Mothers education is not a significant predictor of religiosity; 3) The youth whose dads have better schooling appear more religious than those whose fathers have lower educational attainment; 4) As socio-economic status increases, religiosity of the youth also increases; Youth whose parents are

both Catholics seem to be more religious compared to those who have parents with different religion; 5) Older Filipino youth appear to be more religious compared to the younger youth; and, 6) Females exhibit higher religiosity compared to males. Baylon said he finds the findings very interesting and eye-opening although they may not be absolutely new. According to the ECY, the survey aims to gather a substantial set of data concerning Filipino Catholic youth, leading to a better understanding of these youth which will be important for a relevant and effective ministry among them: in our parishes, schools, youth groups, etc. The ECY disclosed that the survey had a total of 1,067 respondents, selected using proportionate sampling by size based on the Catholic population per ecclesiastical territory as of year 1999. After a long and careful process of preparation and necessary trainings, the Local Survey Teams (per diocese), com-

posed of youth ministers and leaders, conducted a face-to-face oral interview with the respondents, using a structured questionnaire, which lasted from 20 to 30 minutes, the ECY explained in its website http://cbcp-ecy.ph. Survey participants hail from the schools under the randomly selected dioceses that include Holy Angel University, Angeles City; St. Louis University, Baguio City; University of the Assumption, City of San Fernando; Adamson University, Manila; University of Santo Tomas, Manila; De La Salle University, Manila; Divine Word College of Calapan; Divine Word College of Legazpi; Aquinas University of Legazpi; Ateneo de Naga University; University of San Agustin, Iloilo City; University of San Carlos, Cebu City; St. Peters College, Ormoc City; Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City; University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City; Ateneo de Davao University; Ateneo de Zamboanga University; Notre Dame University, Cotabato City. (YouthPinoy)

Pinky Barrientos, FSP


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 21

October 14 - 27, 2013

Marian devotion must lead faithful to Christ, prelate tells laity

RESPONDING to criticisms regarding the Filipino faithfuls deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother, a Catholic bishop urged the laity to ground their Marian piety in proper context by ensuring that it leads them closer to Christ. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that deep devotion to the Madonna must not solely focus on the Blessed Mother. Rather, it must be used as a means to get to know Christ in a deeper perspective. The devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary should be understood in a proper way. There are a lot of devotees of the Blessed Mother but sad to say, the devotion of many is either very shallow or altogether not proper, Pabillo said in his talk during October 5 Marian Conference held at the San Carlos Seminary. Sometimes there is an over expression of the peoples devotion that those who are not very much acquainted with (it) gets confused, he added. He also reminded Marian devotees that the right kind of devotion to the Madonna is not through worshipping her, but by giving her proper veneration. Let us not believe the criticism of others that we are worshipping Mary. We venerate and give praise to her. Those are different things because it is only the Lord that we worship, Pabillo said. We praise Mary because she was chosen by the Lord to be the mother of His sonShe was greeted by the angels and respected by the apostles. We are just continuing the same kind of veneration, he added. Manifestations of devotion While popular expressions of Marian devotion such as the praying of the rosary and joining various Marian congregations are widely accepted, Pabillo said it is only through listening to her call that the faithful may express true devotion to the Madonna. We should not only think of what we want to do. Rather, we must also consider what the Blessed Virgin Mother wants to do to usShe will accompany us in our prayers so pray to her with devotion and great trust It is not enough to tell the people to pray and ask from the Lord. They also have to be prepared for whatever it is that the Lord will give to them, he said. Pabillo added that being unprepared to receive blessings coming from the Divine is among the reasons why people fail to get what they are asking for. Many times, we do not receive what God is willing to give because we are not ready. We blame God, asking why He doesnt answer our prayers, he said. But God is not an unwilling God. He is a loving father and He is willing to give more than what we are asking for. But the problem is, are we ready to accept what He is willing to give? he added. Not a hindrance The prelate also noted the interconnection of devotion to the Blessed Mother and to Christ, noting that the former does not serve as a hindrance for the actualization of the latter. He gave this remark in light of criticisms noting that devotion to the Blessed Mother lessens ones love and devotion to the Lord. Mary is not a competitor to our devotion and love for Jesus. And this is a good test on whether our devotion to Mary is real or notdoes it lead us to Jesus? he added. Pabillo said that like Mary who centered her life to her son, the faithful must also imitate her actions and make Christ as the center of their lives. The whole life of Mary is centered on her son and that is the example that our life could also be centered on Jesus. This is the meaning of Marys virginityit is not just something that is physical. A virgin is one whose attention is only on the beloved, he said. Mary is the surest guide and help in our journey to Jesus because that is what she wantsto bring us closer to Christ, he said. He encouraged the faithful to share their devotion to the Blessed Mother so others may also feel her intercession in their day-to-day lives. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Nuestra Seora de la Naval, is one of the most popularly known Marian devotions in the country, whose feast is celebrated every October.

and she will hear you, he said. According to Pabillo, proper Marian devotion may be manifested in three waysasking for her intercession in prayers, listening to her teachings, and imitating her ways. Mary is the closest to Christ. The more we are like her, the closer we will be to ChristIf we will follow her teachings and

imitate her, then we will know her better (through) examples and words, Pabillo added. Do whatever He tells you In bringing people closer to Christ, Pabillo said that part of Marys actions is to prepare the people in receiving the blessing to be bestowed by the Lord upon them.

Paulines commend positive values in TV dramas Pope names new bishop for Romblon
THE Daughters of St. Paul publicly recognized the positive values present in some drama serials currently shown on national television in a simple awarding ceremony held at the FSPs Alberione Auditorium in Pasay during its 75th anniversary celebration Oct. 13. The activity, dubbed Telefest 2013, was conceptualized to acknowledge and commend the best and worthwatching telenovela, and to encourage the advancement of stimulating and formative broadcasting. Four television dramas were cited for the implicit Christian and formative values the programs promote. ABS-CBNs Be Careful with my Heart received the Jurys Choice Award, while Analiza also of ABSCBN, Anna Karenina of GMA7 and Cassandra: Warrior Angel of TV5, were given the Paulines Citation Award. Explaining the rationale for the awards, Sr. Consolata Manding, FSP, directress of Paulines Institute of Communications in Asia (PICA), expressed hope that through the Telefest [we would become more] aware and sensitive of our responsibility towards the TV viewers. We can make a difference to them when we promote good values that can teach people to become better persons and be united in their respective family, despite the many problems we have in our life, she said. Manding dared everyone present during the gathering to take on the challenges as it is a mission that we Christians and Catholics are called to do. Survey The winners were selected based on a survey done on a sample population of 3,200 composed mostly of elementary and high school students, teachers and parents. Respondents were asked the reasons for watching and liking a particular telenovela shown from 10-11:30 a.m., and from 2:30-11:00 p.m. between 2012-2013. Aside from face to face interviews, organizers also used Facebook, Sr. Noemi Vinoya, provincial superior of the Daughters of Email, Online Polls, Cell- St. Paul presents the Paulines Citation Award to the cast phone Texting or SMS to of Analiza, in recognition of the positive values the program promotes. conduct the survey. According to Manding, the survey companion to Filipino viewers. He challenged the TV networks to results were discussed, analyzed and evaluated by groups of parents and produce more telenovelas that are teachers who were randomly selected value laden, pointing out its power to from different schools in Luzon, and a edify, educate and develop each and group of media educators from PICA. every one of us in our families. The charism of the teleserye is She said the jury chose the drama Be Careful with My Heart as win- that it transforms us to the classroom ner because of its positive impact on of life, Villareal said. The telefest was the first initiative of televiewers. It is not only the amazing perfor- the Daughters of St. Paul, to formally mance of the cast and their consistent and publicly recognize the valuable ability to impress the audience, but it is contribution of television programs, the content of every episode and how particularly drama, as one among issues are dealt with, that is surpris- the favorite TV programs of Filipino ingly impressive, entertaining, forma- people. The Pauline sisters who use media tive and implicitly very Christian, she as means of evangelizationorganized said on the selection. the activity to acknowledge the role of television in promoting values to its Daily companion MTRCB (Movie Television Review viewers and encourage local scriptClassification Board) chair Atty. Eu- writers and directors to come up with genio Villareal, who was present in the more wholesome telenovelas which gathering, noted in his remarks how can uplift the moral standards of the the teleserye has become a day to day Filipino people. (CBCPNews) POPE Francis has appointed a new bishop to the Diocese of Romblon. Fr. Narciso Abellana of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) will be Romblons fifth bishop after it was erected into a diocese in December 1974. Abellana succeeds Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc who was transferred to the Diocese of Aklan in July 2011. The appointment was officially announced in Rome on Oct. 15 at 12 noon (6pm Manila time). The bishop-elect is currently the chaplain of the Central Luzon State University in Muoz, Nueva Ecija. Abellana was ordained priest on December 28, 1978 and has been a missionary for almost 35 years now. He took his seminary formation at the Loyola School of Theology and also earned his Licentiate in Church History at the Gregorian University in Rome. No date has been set yet for the episcopal ordination of Abellana and his installation as the new bishop of Romblon. (CBCPNews)

Anne Marie Nemenzo, FSP


In clergy reunion, Cardinal calls for unity

Manila, the reunion was held at the Rockwell Tent in Makati City. Tagle said the occasion was an opportunity for the priests to unite once again in a more formal and structured way. Even though we belong to different dioceses now, there is still one Church with one mission and one Holy Spirit, he said. It was in 2003 when the archdiocese was divided into five dioceses: Paraaque, Novaliches, Cubao, Kalookan, and Pasig. The former districts of Manila now comprise the archdiocese. Before the archdiocese was divided, it had 272 parishes, 402 diocesan priests, and almost 11 million Catholics under its care. The division was initiated by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin for pastoral reasons. To date, the Metropolitan See of Manila has 631 diocesan and religious priests. (CBCPNews)

THE head of Manila Roman Catholic Church has called for renewed efforts to fulfill the hope of unity. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged clergy in Metro Manila to seek further unity in order to bring dioceses together in mission. The effects of reclamation, poverty, and violence they cross boundaries so we are really one in mission and service, Tagle said. Let us together understand the phenomena around us, let us study and listen together to the spirit of and to the Word of God, he said. And let us work together to be able to respond as pastors. The cardinal made the statement on Oct. 3 during a Mass for the first ever reunion of the clergy of greater Archdiocese of Manila, ten years after it was divided into several dioceses. Dubbed as the First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of

Asian martyrs faith inspires upcoming Asian Youth Day

EVEN many centuries after, the powerful witness of the Asian martyrs continues to inspire, reaching a new generation of believers chosen as the main theme of the upcoming Asian Youth Day (AYD) to be held from 10-20 August, 2014 in South Korea. Walking together as witnesses In his formal invitation to the Asian churches, Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences Office of the Laity and Family Chairman Archbishop Patrick DRozario, CSC said, AYD 2014 with its theme ASIAN YOUTH! WAKE UP! The glory of the martyrs shines on you aims to gather 1,120 young people from all over Asia to walk together, in the world of today, as witnesses, with Jesus and the martyrs. Other objectives of AYD2014, which will be held in the Diocese of Daejeon, is to remember the roots of our faith and to re-discover the faith (values) that we have lost. Exchange of experiences The 6th AYD comprises the Days in the Dioceses program from August 10-13 and the main AYD event from August 13-17. This will be followed by the Asian Youth Ministers Meeting (AYMM2014) from 18- 20 August 2014. Aside from being opportunities for young Catholics to contemplate on faith realities in Asia, the AYD and the AYMM according to Bishop DRozario, have been a very effective platform for the youths of Asia to come together to reflect, to exchange views and to pray together. The AYMM, which is specifically for youth ministry leaders in the diocesan and national levels, is an AYD extension of sorts, which makes a vibrant exchange of experiences among Asian youth leaders and animators possible. A hundred youth will be handpicked from the different dioceses, the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) members, as well as from the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines to represent the Philippines at AYD2014. Young people representing 29 countries from South Asia, Southeast Asia 1, Southeast Asia 2, East Asia and Central Asia are expected to be at the AYD2014. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community

(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday 2013)

Pastoral Concerns


Dear Brothers and Sisters, This year, as we celebrate World Mission Day, theYear of Faith,which is an important opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the Lord and our journey as a Church that preaches the Gospel with courage, comes to an end. From this perspective, I would like to propose some reflections. 1. Faith is Gods precious gift, which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful. God loves us! Faith, however, needs to be accepted, it needs our personal response, the courage to entrust ourselves to God, to live his love and be grateful for his infinite mercy. It is a gift, not reserved for a few but offered with generosity. Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the Church. Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community (BENEDICT XVI,Verbum Domini, 95). Each community is mature when it professes faith, celebrates it with joy during the liturgy, lives charity, proclaims the Word of God endlessly, leaves ones own to take it to the peripheries, especially to those who have not yet had the opportunity to know Christ. The strength of our faith, at a personal and community level, can be measured by the ability to communicate it to others, to spread and live it in charity, to witness to it before those we meet and those who share the path of life with us. 2.The Year of Faith, fifty years after the beginning of theSecond Vatican Council, motivates the entire Church towards a renewed awareness of its presence in the contemporary world and its mission among peoples and nations. Missionary spirit is not only about geographical

territories, but about peoples, cultures and individuals, because the boundaries of faith do not only cross places and human traditions, but the heart of each man and each woman. The Second Vatican Councilemphasized in a special way how the missionary task, that of broadening the boundaries of faith, belongs to every baptized person and all Christian communities; since the people of God lives in communities, especially in dioceses and parishes, and becomes somehow visible in them, it is up to these to witness Christ before the nations (Ad Gentes,37). Each community is therefore challenged, and invited to make its own, the mandate entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles, to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts1:8) and this, not as a secondary aspect of Christian life, but as its essential aspect: we are all invited to walk the streets of the world with our brothers and sisters, proclaiming and witnessing to our faith in Christ and making ourselves heralds of his Gospel. I invite Bishops, Priests, Presbyteral and Pastoral Councils, and each person and group responsible in the Church to give a prominent position to this missionary dimension in formation and pastoral programmes, in the understanding that their apostolic commitment is not complete unless it aims at bearing witness to Christ before the nations and before all peoples. This missionary aspect is not merely a programmatic dimension in Christian life, but it is also a paradigmatic dimension that affects all aspects of Christian life. 3. The work of evangelization often finds obstacles, not only externally, but also from within the ecclesial community. Sometimes there is lack of fervour, joy, courage and hope in proclaiming the Message of Christ to all and in helping the people of our time to an encounter with him. Sometimes, it is still thought that proclaiming the truth of the Gospel means an assault on freedom. Paul VI speaks eloquently on this: It would be... an error to impose something on the consciences

of our brethren. But to propose to their consciences the truth of the Gospel and salvation in Jesus Christ, with complete clarity and with total respect for free options which it presents... is a tribute to this freedom (Evangelii Nuntiandi,80). We must always have the courage and the joy of proposing, with respect, an encounter with Christ, and being heralds of his Gospel. Jesus came among us to show us the way of salvation and he entrusted to us the mission to make it known to all to the ends of the earth. All too often, we see that it is violence, lies and mistakes that are emphasized and proposed. It is urgent in our time to announce and witness to the goodness of the Gospel, and this from within the Church itself. It is important never to forget a fundamental principle for every evangelizer: one cannot announce Christ without the Church. Evangelization is not an isolated individual or private act; it is always ecclesial. Paul VI wrote, When an unknown preacher, catechist or Pastor, preaches the Gospel, gathers the little community together, administers a Sacrament, even alone, he is carrying out an ecclesial act. He acts not in virtue of a mission which he attributes to himself or by a personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in her name (ibid. 60). And this gives strength to the mission and makes every missionary and evangelizer feel never alone, but part of a single Body animated by the Holy Spirit. 4. In our era, the widespread mobility and facility of communication through new media have mingled people, knowledge, experience. For work reasons, entire families move from one continent to another; professional and cultural exchanges, tourism, and other phenomena have also led to great movements of peoples. This makes it difficult, even for the parish community, to know who lives permanently or temporarily in the area. More and more, in large areas of what were traditionally Christian regions, the number of those who are unacquainted with the faith, or indifferent to the religious

dimension or animated by other beliefs, is increasing. Therefore it is not infrequent that some of the baptized make lifestyle choices that lead them away from faith, thus making them need a new evangelization. To all this is added the fact that a large part of humanity has not yet been reached by the good news of Jesus Christ. We also live in a time of crisis that touches various sectors of existence, not only the economy, finance, food security, or the environment, but also those involving the deeper meaning of life and the fundamental values that animate it. Even human coexistence is marked by tensions and conflicts that cause insecurity and difficulty in finding the right path to a stable peace. In this complex situation, where the horizon of the present and future seems threatened by menacing clouds, it is necessary to proclaim courageously and in very situation, the Gospel of Christ, a message of hope, reconciliation, communion, a proclamation of Gods closeness, his mercy, his salvation, and a proclamation that the power of Gods love is able to overcome the darkness of evil and guide us on the path of goodness. The men and women of our time need the secure light that illuminates their path and that only the encounter with Christ can give. Let us bring to the world, through our witness, with love, the hope given by faith! The Churchs missionary spirit is not about proselytizing, but the testimony of a life that illuminates the path, which brings hope and love. The ChurchI repeat once again is not a relief organization, an enterprise or an NGO, but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in this path. 5. I would like to encourage everyone to be a bearer of the good news of Christ and I am grateful especially to missionaries, to the Fidei Donumpriests, men and women religious and lay faithfulmore and more numerouswho by accepting

the Lords call, leave their homeland to serve the Gospel in different lands and cultures. But I would also like to emphasize that these same young Churches are engaging generously in sending missionaries to the Churches that are in difficultynot infrequently Churches of ancient Christian traditionand thus bring the freshness and enthusiasm with which they live the faith, a faith that renews life and gives hope. To live in this universal dimension, responding to the mandate of Jesus: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Mt28, 19) is something enriching for each particular Church, each community, because sending missionaries is never a loss, but a gain. I appeal to all those who feel this calling to respond generously to the Holy Spirit, according to your state in life, and not to be afraid to be generous with the Lord. I also invite Bishops, religious families, communities and all Christian groups to support, with foresight and careful discernment, the missionary callad gentes and to assist Churches that need priests, religious and laity, thus strengthening the Christian community. And this concern should also be present among Churches that are part of the same Episcopal Conference or Region, because it is important that Churches rich in vocations help more generously those that lack them. At the same time I urge missionaries, especially theFidei Donumpriests and laity, to live with joy their precious service in the Churches to which they are sent and to bring their joy and experience to the Churches from which they come, remembering how Paul and Barnabas at the end of their first missionary journey reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (Acts14:27). They can become a path to a kind of return of faith, bringing the freshness of the young Churches to Churches of ancient Christian tradition, and thus helping them to rediscover the enthusiasm and the joy of sharing the faith in an exchange that is mutual enrichment in the journey of following the path of the Lord.

The concern for all the Churches that the Bishop of Rome shares with his brother Bishops finds an important expression in the activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are meant to animate and deepen the missionary conscience of every baptized Christian, and of every community, by reminding them of the need for a more profound missionary formation of the whole People of God and by encouraging the Christian community to contribute to the spread of the Gospel in the world. Finally I wish to say a word about those Christians who, in various parts of the world, experience difficulty in openly professing their faith and in enjoying the legal right to practice it in a worthy manner. They are our brothers and sisters, courageous witnesseseven more numerous than the martyrs of the early centurieswho endure with apostolic perseverance many contemporary forms of persecution. Quite a few also risk their lives to remain faithful to the Gospel of Christ. I wish to reaffirm my closeness in prayer to individuals, families and communities who suffer violence and intolerance, and I repeat to them the consoling words of Jesus: Take courage, I have overcome the world (Jn16:33). Benedict XVI expressed the hope that: The word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere (2 Thes3:1): May this Year of Faithincreasingly strengthen our relationship with Christ the Lord, since only in him is there the certitude for looking to the future and the guarantee of an authentic and lasting love (Porta fidei,15). This is my wish for World Mission Day this year. I cordially bless missionaries and all those who accompany and support this fundamental commitment of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all the ends of the earth. Thus will we, as ministers and missionaries of the Gospel, experience the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing (PAUL VI,Evangelii Nuntiandi, 80). From the Vatican, 19 May 2013, Solemnity of Pentecost FRANCIS

Elise Harris / CNA



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

The Intrinsic Immorality of the RH Law and the crime of supporting it according to Canon Law
By Fr. Jaime Blanco Achacoso, J.C.D.
Introduction Time and again I have been asked by people why the Pope does not define the Church teaching against contraception as a dogma. Given how such teaching has been repeatedly trivialized in Catholic schools and universities, with a wellrespected priest columnist even putting such teaching as just another position at the same level as other equally responsible opinions of theologians (that contraception is justifiable under certain circumstances), indeed it would seem like the simplest thing might be for the Roman Pontiff to define it as a dogma and end the discussion once and for all. In fact the Holy See has done just that: not by issuing a dogmatic definition (which would be absurd), but by issuing a clarification regarding the definitive nature of such Church teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception. On 9 January 1989, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published new formulas for the Professio Fidei et Iusiurandum fidelitatis in suscipiendo officio nomine Ecclesiae exercendo (AAS 81[1989], pp.104106), to replace the previous formula of 1967. These are formulas for the Profession of Faith, and for the Oath of Fidelity upon accepting an Office exercised in the name of the Church. Canon Law mandates that both formulas be recited publicly before the competent authority by all those who take on an ecclesiastical office and all those engaged in teaching the ecclesiastical sciences in a Catholic University or seminary. These formulas were approved by the Roman Pontiff in a special Rescript dated, 19.IX.1989 (in AAS 81 [1989], p.1169). However, the new Code of Canon Law (CIC), promulgated on 25.I.1983, did not contain the new formula of the Professio Fidei, which, in addition to the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed, enunciates three categories of truths. Thus, the Code of Canon Law, and later the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO), lacked the juridical, disciplinary and penal provisions for the second category of truths. Given the compelling need to forestall and refute the theological opinions being raised against this second category of truths, the Bl. John Paul II decided to promulgate the Apostolic Letter Ad tuendam fidem on 28.V.1999, by which precise norms were established in canon law regarding the second category of truths indicated in the second paragraph of the concluding formula of the Professio Fidei, through modifications to canons 750 and 1371 n.1 of the CIC and to canons 598 and 1436 of the CCEO. Three Categories of Truths What was the reason for the confusion and accompanying abusewhich the present motu proprio came to forestall? An attentive reading of the pertinent paragraphs of the Professio Fidei shows that wayones own reasons and the possible formulations that one might suggest as being better suited for expressing the truth. b. In any case, religious submission implies the obligation to avoid every dissent; the only thing admissible is to suspend or withhold assent. If dissent is made publicly and obstinately, opportune sanctions would be in order (c.1371). Conclusion The RH Bill, now the RH Law, continues to be under discussion, not only in the Supreme Court but also in the academe. Cutting to the chaste, the refusal of the Catholic Hierarchy to budge in its position against the RH Law really boils down to one point: the Churchs teachingrepeatedly enunciated in Paul VIs Humanae vitae, Vatican Council IIs Gaudium et spes, John Paul IIs Familiaris Consortio and many other pronouncements of the last four Popesregarding the intrinsic evil of contraception, which means that no circumstance or intention can justify its practice and much less the use of public money by the State to offer it as a possibility in its family planning program. While other elements in the RH Law may also be objectionablee.g., the possible abortifacient effects of some contraceptive means, the possible negative effects of a sex education program without adequate grounding on the real meaning of conjugal love (thus reducing human sexuality to its biological aspects only), the undercurrent of population control and anti-natalist valuesall of those are arguable. The one blatant truth that cannot be argued is that the RH Law espouses the use of contraception, and the intrinsic evil of contraception belongs to the 2nd Category of Truth enumerated above. While the denial of such truths is understandable in a state university like UP (under the lame excuse of academic freedom), it is unacceptable in a Catholic university. Allowing such positions to be espoused in the classroom in such an institution is a blatant violation of the Laws of the Church. Thefailureofthecompetentecclesiastical authority to curb such violations could be the real cause of the passage of the RH Bill. As I had pointed out in a previous article, the majority of the legislators who voted for the RH Bill came from Catholic institutions. My question is: how could they think that contraception was acceptable if they came from Catholic schools and universities? From the actuations of certain professors in the Ateneo and De la Salle University at the height of the controversy, and the support they got from the academic authorities, it would seem that the fight against the RH Bill was lost not in the Legislature but in the Catholic schools and universities.
(Endnotes) 1 Ref. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Tan Books and Publishers Inc., Illinois (1960), p.9. 2 Address of 15.X.1988. In Ramon Garcia de Haro, Marriage and Family in the Documents of the Magisterium, Ignatius Press, San Francisco (1993), p.49.

the three categories of truths enunciated were as follows: 1st Category: [E]verything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed. These are truths found immediately in Revelation, which the Church vouches for as contained in Revelation. This are supposed to be held with firm faith, because their certainty has a twofold basis: the authority of God Revealing (fides divina) and the infallible teaching authority of the Church (fides catholica). These are commonly referred to in Dogmatic Theology as De fide Divina et Catholica or simply dogmas. Examples of these are the dogmas regarding the One God and the Blessed Trinity, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the nature of the seven sacraments. 2nd Category: [E]verything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals. These constitute what Dogmatic Theology has always referred to as Catholic truths or Church doctrines, which are to be accepted with a faith based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). Even if the Profession fidei did not expressly state it, these are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.1 Examples of these are the teachings summarized in Humanae vitae regarding the intrinsic evil of contraception. 3rd Category: [T]he teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act. These are the teachings for which the CIC stipulates A religious

respect of intellect and will, even if not the assent of faith (c.752). Source of Confusion As previously stated, while the 1st and 3rd Categories had their corresponding provisions in the Code of Canon Law, there was no expressed provision for the 2nd Category. Thus, cc.750 & 752 described the 1st and 3rd Categories respectively, and c.1371 provided for the penal sanction for their violation. This has given rise to not a few cases of open dissent, perhaps emboldened by a seeming lacuna in Canon Law, especially as regards the penal provisions. A more attentive reading of the Professio fidei, however, coupled with a solid grounding in Dogmatic Theology, shows that there was really no lacuna. As Ott would affirm, the 2nd Category are as infallibly certain as dogmas properi.e., the norm for the 1st Category should hold also for the 2nd. Hence, when the CIC expressly provided for the 1st and 3rd Categories, it tacitly provided also for the 2nd Category of truths. Nevertheless, since abuses have arisento cite a recent example, the teachings supporting contraception implicit in the acceptance of the RH Bill so blatantly supported by some professors in Ateneo de Manila and in De la Salle Universityand such may be legally defended against sanction with the principle of nulla poena sine lege, the Supreme Church Authority has come up with this new legislation to fill up that seeming lacuna. Infallibility of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium It is fitting to note also that almost all infallible teachings in the field of morality are contained not in solemn definitions (so called definitive acts or definitively

proposed in the language of the Profession fidei and in the CIC), but precisely in the teachings of the ordinary and universal Magisterium. This has led some to think that there are no infallible teachings in the field of morality, inasmuch as, in fact, there are no texts in which such infallibility is explicitly claimed. This assertion fails to recognize, however, that the ordinary and universal Magisterium, which by nature does not adopt such solemn expressions, is precisely the normal way in which the infallibility of the Church is exercised. As Blessed John Paul II affirmed, The Magisterium (...) includes the charism of infallibility, which is present not only in the solemn definitions of the Roman Pontiff and the Ecumenical Councils, but also in the ordinary and universal Magisterium, which can be considered the usual expression of the infallibility of the Church. 2 Practically all concrete and absolute moral norms that are under debate today (e.g., abortion, contraception, homosexual acts, premarital relations, euthanasia, divorce, masturbation), have been taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium and are hence infallible. Reach of religious respect (obsequium) of intellect and will This religious submission means more than the usual obedience required for the legitimate command of the hierarchical authority of the Church. Specifically, it means: a. The ordinary response will be a sincere adherence not only of the will but also of the intelligence. In an exceptional case, a teaching might not be intellectually convincing. Then the first duty is to doubt oneself, giving credibility to the Magisterium. This does not mean that one must stop working on research and presenting the authoritiesin a private

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)

When Putting Incense in Thurible

cor meum (May the word of the gospel wipe away our sins). Later, when dealing with concelebration, it says: No. 212. During the Liturgy of the Word, the concelebrants remain at their places, sitting or standing whenever the principal celebrant does. When the Alleluia is begun, all rise, except for a Bishop, who puts incense into the thurible without saying anything and blesses the deacon or, if there is no deacon, the concelebrant who is to proclaim the Gospel. In a concelebration where a priest presides, however, the concelebrant who in the absence of a deacon proclaims the Gospel neither requests nor receives the blessing of the principal celebrant. In my view, the key to interpreting this text lies in the lack of any exception indicated after the all rise in No. 131. If the legislator had intended the priest to remain seated, it would have been necessary to say so as indicated for the bishop during a concelebration. In other words, the text should have said, All rise, except for the priest, who puts incense into the thurible. Likewise, no distinction is made later in the document at No. 175 when referring to the actions of the deacon. Therefore, my interpretation of the text is that the priest should arise at the Alleluia and place incense in the thurible and also bless the deacon from a standing position. This interpretation was also held by some former papal masters of ceremonies. That said, I must admit that not all liturgists agree with this position. Some argue that since the Ceremonial of Bishops makes no such distinction, and this book was designed to be a guide for priestly celebrations in areas where the missal was not clear, then priests should follow the indications given in the Ceremonial. I would say that such an inference would have been correct before the publication of the third edition of the Roman Missal. This is why I stated above that the practice of remaining seated was an understandable mistake. However, since the missal is the more recent document, and it does make a distinction between priest and bishop, I think that it has clarified a disputed point and should henceforth be followed.

Q: Is it acceptable for the priest to remain seated while he places incense in the thurible during the singing of the Alleluia? A liturgist from the Archdiocese of Cape Coast has recently condemned this practice as a liturgical abuse and as an attempt to assimilate the dignity of the priest to that of the bishop. V.P., Cape Coast, Ghana A: Although I would hesitate to use the term liturgical abuse for this practice, I do believe that the liturgist is basically correct in his interpretation

of liturgical law. Rather than call it an abuse, I would classify it as an understandable error. Let us examine the relevant laws regarding this practice. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states: No. 131. Afterwards, all rise, and the Alleluia or other chant is sung as required by the liturgical season (cf. above, nos. 62-64). No. 132. During the singing of the Alleluia or other chant, if incense is used, the priest puts some into the thurible and blesses it. Then, with hands joined, he bows profoundly before the altar and quietly says, Munda

Indulgences at the Point of Death

Q: It was always said that a priest could impart an apostolic blessing on behalf of the pope to one who is on the point of death, thus granting the plenary indulgence. Is this correct? T.T., Galway, Ireland. A. Yes. This is explained in the ritual for the pastoral care of the sick and in the Handbook of Indulgences. First of all, let us say a word on indulgences themselves. According to the Catechism, No. 1471: The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of penance. An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints [Indulgentarium Doctrina,Norm 1]. An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin [ibid., Norm 2, see Norm 3]. Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead. The ritual for the pastoral care of the sick, in Nos. 195 and 201, indicates the rite followed for those approaching death. No. 201 touches on viaticum outside of Mass, which would be the usual circumstance for this blessing. The rubric states: At the conclusion of the sacrament of penance or the penitential rite, the priest may give the apostolic pardon for the dying, using one of the following: Through the holy mysteries of our redemption, may almighty God release you from all punishments in this life and in the life to come. May he open to you the gates of paradise and welcome you to everlasting joy. Or the following: By the authority which the Apostolic See has given me I grant you a full pardon and the remission of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. R. Amen. Should a priest be unavailable to impart the papal blessing, the Handbook of Indulgences, No. 28, offers another path. To wit: Priests who minister the sacraments to the Christian faithful who are in a lifeand-death situation should not neglect to impart to them the apostolic blessing, with its attached indulgence. But if a priest cannot be present, holy mother Church lovingly grants such persons who are rightly disposed a plenaryindulgenceto be obtainedin articulo mortis,at the approach of death, provided they regularly prayed in some way during their lifetime. The use of a crucifix or a cross is recommended in obtaining this plenary indulgence. In such a situation the three usual conditions required in order to gain a plenary indulgence are substituted for by the condition provided they regularly prayed in some way. The Christian faithful can obtain the plenary indulgence mentioned here as death approaches(in articulo mortis)even if they had already obtained another plenary indulgence that same day. This grant, in No. 28, is taken from the apostolic constitutionIndulgentiarum Doctrina, Norm 18, issued by Pope Paul VI on Jan. 1, 1967. Unlike the sacrament of the sick, the papal blessing at the approach of death along with its attendant indulgence may be imparted only once during the same illness. Should a person recover it may be imparted again at a new threat of imminent death. These papal blessings and indulgences were first granted to the Crusaders or to pilgrims who died while traveling to obtain the Holy Year Indulgence. Pope Clement IV (1265-1268) and Gregory XI (1370-1378) extended it to victims of the plague. The grants became ever more frequent but were still limited in time or reserved to bishops, so that relatively few people were favored by this grace. This led Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) to issue the constitution Pia Mater in 1747 in which he granted the faculty to all bishops, along with the possibility to subdelegate the faculty to priests.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013



Daily homilies of Pope Francis at the Domus Sanctae Marthae

Fleeing from God

7 October 2013
also more subtle and sophisticated ways of fleeing from God. The reference was to the Gospel passage from St Luke (10:25-37) which tells of a certain man, half dead, who had been thrown into the street. The Pope continued, referencing the scriptures, Now by chance a priest was going down that road. A good priest, in his cassock: good, very good. He saw him and looked: Ill be late for Mass, and he went on his way. He didnt hear the voice of God there. It was, the Pope explained, different from Jonahs escape, Jonah was clearly fleeing. Then a Levite passed by, he saw [the man half dead] and perhaps he thought: If I take care of him or go close to him, perhaps he is dead and tomorrow Ill have to go to the judge to give testimony, and so he passed by on the other side. He was fleeing from the voice of God in that man. It is curious to note that only a man who habitually fled from God, a sinner, the Samaritan, was the very one who perceived thevoiceofGod.Hedrewneartotheman. He bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast. Oh how much time he lost: he brought him to aninn,andtookcareofhim.Helostthewhole evening!. In the meantime, the Bishop of Romenoted,thepriestarrivedintimeforthe Holy Mass and all the faithful were content. The next day, the Levite had a peaceful day and spent it just as he had planned since he didnt have to go to the judge. And why, the Holy Father asked, did Jonah flee from God? Why did the priest flee from God? Why did the Levite flee from God?. Because their hearts were closed, he answered. When your heart is closed you cannot hear the voice of God. Instead, it was a Samaritan on a journey who saw the wounded man and had compassion. His heart was opened, he had a human heart. His humanity enabled him to draw near. Jonah had a plan for his life: he wanted to write his own history well, according to Gods ways. But he was the one writing it, the same with the priest, the same with the Levite. However, this other sinner allowed God to write the history of his life. He changed all his plans that evening because the Lord placed before him this poor, wounded man who had been thrown out onto the street. I ask myselfthe Pope continued and I also ask you: do we allow God to write the history of our lives or do we want to write it? This speaks to us of docility: are we docile to the Word of God? Yes, I want to be docile, but are you able to listen to [his Word], to hear it? Are you able to find the Word of God in the history of each day, or do your ideas so govern you that you do not allow the Lord to surprise you and speak to you? I am sure, the Pope concluded, that all of us today are saying ... the Priest and the Levite were selfish. Its true: the Samaritan, the sinner, did not flee from God! And so I ask that the the Lord grant that we may hear his voice which says to us: Go and do likewise.

TO hear the voice of God in ones life, one needs to open his heart to surprise. Otherwise, one can start fleeing from God. In fact, it happens that Christians sometimes run away from God, while people who are far away are able to hear him. This was the focus of the homily Pope Francis delivered on Monday morning, 7 October at Santa Marta. The Bishop of Rome used the story of Jonah as a paradigm in commenting on the first reading (1:1-16; 2:2-11): he had his entire life in order; he served the Lord, perhaps he even prayed a great deal. He was a prophet, a good man and he did much good. Yet he didnt want to be disturbed in the way of life he had chosen; when he heard the word of God he sought to escape. And he fled from God. Therefore, when the Lord sent him to Nineveh, he boarded a ship to Spain. He was fleeing from the Lord. In the end, the Pontiff explained, Jonah had already written his own story: I want to be like this, this and this, according to the commandments. He did not want to be disturbed. This is why he fled from God. The Pope warned that we, too, can be tempted to flee. We can run away from God, he said, as a Christian, as a Catholic, and even as a priest, bishop or Pope. We can all flee from God. This is a daily temptation: not to listen to God, not to hear his voice, not to hear his promptings, his invitation in our hearts. Although we may make a direct getaway, he also noted that there are

The joy of Christian memory

3 October 2013
WHEN the memory of the history of salvation wrought by Jesus becomes a simple recollection for a Christian, he loses sight of one of the fundamental principles of the Christian faith: memory becomes joy. As a result he is alive in the Eucharist that is, the memory becomes the Church. Pope Francis reflected upon this at Mass on Thursday morning, 3 October, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. In the First Reading from the Book of Nehemiah (8:1-4, 5-6, 7-12) we find the story of the discovery of the book of the Law that had been lost, and which Ezra reads before the People of God. The Pope described how the people were moved and cried. Crying with joy, crying with love, because the book that was lost had been found. This means that the people of God had the memory of the Law, the Pope explained, but it was a distant memory. Theirs was a cry of joy, the Pope said, not of pain. It was joyful, because they had the experience of the closeness of memory, the memory of salvation. And this is important not only in great historic moments, but also in the moments of our lives. We all have the memory of salvation, assured Pope Francis. But one might ask: is this memory close to us? Or is it a distant memory, a bit diffused, a bit archaic, as if it were in a museum? When the memory is not close to us, when we no longer experience the memory, it slowly turns into a mere recollection. When a memory comes, repeated the Pontiff, it does two things: it warms the heart and gives us joy. Instead, a memory that has been subdued, which moves away and becomes a mere recollection, it does not warm the heart, and gives us neither joy nor strength. The encounter with memory is an event of salvation, an encounter with the love of God who has made history with us and has saved us. It is so beautiful that we have been saved, and we must celebrate this. The Church makes her memory, the memory of the Passion of the Lord, which we are about to remember now. The Lord himself told us: Do this in memory of me. This means that we are close to the memory of the Church, which is the presence of the Lord in front of us. Let us imagine, he continued this beautiful scene of the book of Nehemiah: Ezra brings the book of Israels memory and the people that are close to the memory cry. The heart is warmed, it is joyful, it feels the joy of the Lord and his strength and it celebrates, without fear, simply. Let us ask the Lord, the Pope concluded for the grace to always have his memory close to us. A memory that remains close and does not become subdued into a routine, into other things, and dismissed as a mere recollection.

Photo: Vatican Radio Facebook Page

The Greatest Storm

By Fr. Shay Cullen
THE rains would not stop even after the winds had died down. Rachel was terrified for her children and herself. Juanito, her husband had gone looking for food. The typhoon blew wild and wickedly across the Philippines leaving behind rising flood waters, mangled huts and shacks, and toppled mango trees. Even sturdy coconut trees had crashed to the ground, defiant yet overwhelmed by a force never before encountered. Rachel, alone in her small, one-roomed bamboo and grassroofed shack embraced her three terrified children who were crying in fear and she prayed to be spared. Her fear was heightened by the darkness and the running water, now a few feet from the hut and was rising fast. In a moment, instinct won out, she decided to run for it. The lightning flashed and a bolt of searing lightning lit the sky for an instant through the rain and she saw a familiar landmark, the outline of a hill, high ground, and hope. Rachel abandoned her few belongings, the treasured cooking pot, the metal wok, and the thermos flask; once proud possessions but now they were of no value to her in the face of imminent death. Wealth and property become burdens on our final journey to the casket and the grave; this could be our greatest storm. Rachel had no time or capacity for such philosophical thoughts; survival was what drove her to escape to dry land like thousands of others. She gathered up her children, Miguel and Juan Jr., clinging to her rain soaked dress and baby Ester in her arms and left the hut to wade through the rising waters. She stumbled and staggered for half an hour keeping the children above water and splashed through the flooded rice fields. Mercifully, in the next flash of lightning, she saw a large building surrounded by hills. The lightning followed by a clap of thunder caused her to scream and the children to cry, she cried out Jesus help us, help us. And help appeared. A flashlight showed the rescuers the way and soon strong arms snatched Miguel from the water that was almost up to his neck and another grabbed Juan Jr. and they waded towards the tall building and to safety on the high-ground. Soon they were dried off, wrapped in blankets and sitting near a fire in a big warehouse, eating cooked rice and dried fish. It was salvation and happiness. Then even greater joy when she saw Juanito, her husband in the same shelter, his leg was broken, but he was alive. They hugged and were one family again. Rachels story is one of the thousands of people saved but there were many who were not and were buried in landslides, drowned in flood waters or perished of disease and malnutrition. The frequency and ferocity of the storms hitting Asia, north and south, is a new phenomenon. It is surely the result of the climate change that the scientists had predicted, the experts foretold, that scientific evidence confirmed. Its clear that human activity is causing it. There is no escaping the fact that the earth is warming with the gases unleashed by irresponsible industry and human energy waste and non-stop burning of fossil fuels. The rising gases are trapped by the atmosphere and they blanket the planet raising its temperature. The oceans and lakes are evaporating; the atmosphere is loaded with moisture as never before and the clouds are carried inland to unleash their deadly load. The traumatic disturbance of the planet, where all things are connected and interdependent, is evidence of our failure to protect the balance of creation, to control our greed, unsustainable consumerism and the pursuit of wealth. When the typhoon passed and the rains ceased and the sun shone, I went to the newly constructed childrens home for sexually abused and trafficked girls. It was unoccupied as the storm hit and will remain so for a while. The children are safe in their present building closer to the city. The rice fields through which the likes of Rachel escaped were still underwater. But I could not reach the new building, the access road within five hundred meters of it had been washed away. The government had failed to dredge the silt from the river and it quickly burst its banks. The small stream had become a raging torrent and overwhelmed the embankment, eroded the soil, and brought down part of the perimeter safety wall. The small bridge was clogged up with many logs that had come down from the hills with the waters, evidence of rampant illegal logging in the Subic hills. This too is causing landslides, erosion and forest destruction that brings death and loss to thousands over the years. The loss of forest is a factor in global warming. Typhoons are increasing in this beautiful yet tragic land. But we have to do more to protect Gods creation and save the planet and the people like Rachel and her family.

The humility and strength of the Gospel

1 October 2013
THE Council of Cardinals is beginning its meeting in the Vatican today. They are present here to concelebrate Mass. Let us ask the Lord that our work today might make us all humble, gentle and patient, and more confident in God. This is how the Church can be a beautiful witness to people. And seeing the People of God, seeing the Church, may they feel the desire to come with us. These were Pope Francis words as he concluded his homily at the Mass celebrated by the members of the Council of Cardinals on Tuesday, 1 October, in the Santa Marta Chapel. On the feast day of St Therese of the Child Jesus, Patroness of the missions, the Pope spoke of the witness of faith and humility. Commenting on the Gospel of Luke (9:5156), Pope Francis said: Jesus reprimands these two Apostles, James and John, because in a Samaritan village they wanted fire to come down from heaven upon those who did not want to receive him. The two apostles, the Pope explained, felt that to close the door on Jesus was a great offense, and that these people needed to be punished. But the Lord turned and rebuked them: this is not our spirit. In fact, he added, The Lord always goes ahead, making the way of a Christian known to us. It is not... a path of revenge. The Christian spirit is something else, the Lord says. It is the spirit that he showed us in the most important moment of his life, in his passion: a spirit of humility, a spirit of meekness. And today, on the anniversary of St Therese of the Child Jesus, the Pope said, it is good for us to think about this spirit of humility, tenderness and goodness. We all desire to share in the Lords spirit of meekness. Where is the strength that brings us to this spirit? It is truly in love, in charity, in the awareness that we are in the hands of the Father. As we read at the beginning of Mass: the Lord carries us, he carries us on, he keeps us going. He is with us and he guides us. Pope Francis recalled the strength of St Therese of the Child Jesus and her importance to the present day: The Church has made this Saintwho was humble, small, confident in God, and meekthe Patroness of the missions. You dont understand this. The power of the Gospel is right there, because the Gospel reaches its highest point in the humiliation of Jesus... the strength of the Gospel is humility. The humility of a child who is guided by the love and tenderness of the Father. The Church, as Benedict XVI has told us, grows by attraction, by witness. And when people, when peoples see this witness of humility, meekness and docility, they feel the need which the prophet Zechariah spoke of, saying: Let us go with you. Faced with the witness of charity, people feel this need.... Charity is simple: worshiping God and serving others. This is the witness that makes the Church grow. Precisely for this reason, Pope Francis concluded, St Therese of the Child Jesus, who was so humble and so trusting in God, has been named Patroness of the missions, because her example makes people say: we want to come with you.

Tree planting is ever fun!

By Fr. Benny B. Tuazon
IT is believed that each person must plant a tree in his lifetime. It is a responsibility and a commitment. Trees are important because they are sources of food and raw materials for furniture. They also provide shades, create valuable wildlife habitat, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and alleviate flooding among others. More than ever, the last two are significant and urgent now in relation to climate change. Trees help in purifying our air and supply the oxygen we need. Leaves, stems, and trunks of trees catch the rain, retain some of those rainwater, and delay their flow to the ground. Roots of trees absorb some of those rainwater that fall on the ground. If we have lots of trees, lots of rainwater would be retained and delayed. Not to mention the roots of trees that provide strength to the soil. They are responsible for fortifying the soil against the threat of erosion. Maintaining our forests is therefore an imperative that must never be taken for granted and neglected. Everyday, just like ice in the Arctic, we are losing trees due to deforestation. Brazil and Indonesia are heavy in burning their forests for industrialization. As a result, a great deal of carbon dioxide is emitted in the atmosphere. It becomes a double whammy because those very trees contribute to the supply of the needed oxygen. Watching and knowing our mountains and forests are being abused and destroyed like this should break our hearts and instill fear and loss in our persons. Two experiences I had in come to mind. I was having my apostolate as a seminarian in a parish. The community, led by its parish priest, was actively fighting illegal logging in the area. Flooding and soil erosion had destroyed their land and life had become difficult and tensed. This story happened at the height of the military pursuit of some rebels who were hiding and camping in the forest. In order for military vehicles that were carrying personnel and battle supplies to navigate the forest easily, they asked and were given permission to cut the trees which would block their chosen path. Indeed, trees were cut. We were fortunate enough to be given a chance to visit these makeshift roads which were created by the military engineers in pursuit of the rebels. Guess what painful sight greeted us? We were greeted by an awfully designed circuitous, directionless, and cramped road. Evaluating what had happened, we discovered that the road was constructed through a path that will always hit a tree! Of course, the cut trees will now be available for logging! We were aghast and angry due to what we saw. The other experience was equally, if not more, frustrating. Because the mountain near the parish had become almost tree-less, we decided to have a tree planting activity involving the community of Gabaldon and students of Cabanatuan City. About three thousand tree planters came and some ten
Tree / B4



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Declaration of the First National Seminar-Workshop on Restorative Education

THEME: Towards the Integration of Restorative Justice in the Criminal Justice Education
offenders and the community; 4) Restorative justice embraces an intricate and more complex system in the repair, reformation, rehabilitation and reassurance of victims, offenders and other parties concerned. 5) In Restorative Justice, we affirm the worth and dignity of the human person, individually and collectively. 6) The emerging interest in the concept of Restorative Justice promises to be the way of justice and peace of the future, a better way of life for all. In fact, the State recently passed laws which are beneficial to the correctional equipped us to know, discern and act on how to integrate Restorative Justice in our respective spheres. In the light of the foregoing, 1) We believe that education and educators play an important role in the dissemination, promotion and application of the Restorative Justice philosophy, processes and practices. Hence, the teaching of Restorative Justice must be implemented in all levels, starting from elementary to high school to college and to other associated agencies, whether governmental or otherwise. 2) We must devote our efforts to work for the inclusion of RJ WE, the 227 participants representing various schools, colleges, universities, government agencies and non-government organizations have come together at Diamond Hotel in Manila from August 16-17, 2013 for the 1st National Seminar-Workshop on Restorative Justice Education in order to acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of Restorative Justice, develop a sense of commitment in exploring the application of the same, and formulate plans of action for its implementation in our respective areas of work. The seminar-workshop addressed our needs and yearning to know more about Restorative Justice. We are grateful for the opportunity to receive input from advocatesofRestorativeJusticeand from experienced professionals in the aspects of human rights and dignity, correctional systems and policies, balanced restorative and juvenile justice, application of Restorative Justice in the academe, pastoral care to prisoners, ministry to the marginalized in society, and community development and reconciliation. We learned that: 1) The philosophy and practices of Restorative Justice are not new concepts in the Philippines or in other countries. It goes back a long way to thousands of years from its spiritual roots in the Bible to the ancient indigenous other sanitary facilities; 4) We promote the value of accountability on the part of the offenders. Hence, we encourage the offenders to write letters to their victims and/or their families to apologize for the consequences of the crimes they have committed. Through this, we hope that the healing process would commence. In relation to this we urge the prisoners, their families, the Commission on Human Rights and other similarly engaged agencies to continue writing to the President for clemency, particularly for the aging and sick prisoners subject

Jail and Prison Statistics as of September2013 Excludes those confined in the Philippine National Police and the Military Detention Centers
NATIONAL PRISONS NEW BILIBID PRISONS, Muntinlupa City Maximum Security Compound 13,628 Medium Security Compound 6,071 Minimum Security Compound 570 Reception & Diagnostic Center 992 P M A 61 CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN 2,085 (Mandaluyong City) CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN 304 (Mindanao) DAVAO PRISON AND PENAL FARM 5,806 SAN RAMON PRISON AND PENAL FARM 1,617 IWAHIG PRISON AND PENAL FARM, Palawan 2,628 LEYTE REGIONAL PRISON, Abuyog, Leyte 1,599 SABLAYAN Prison & Penal Farm, Occ. Mindoro 2,326 Total. 37,787

Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP) Sentenced 2,221 Detained 69.689 PNP MANNED Total 72,828 918

Photo Courtesy: CBCP-ECPPC

PROVINCIAL JAILS from 80 provinces 24,802 ----------TOTAL ADULT OFFENDERS 135,417

Tree / B3

Mr. Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (seated, left) and fellow advocates addressed in a recent seminar-workshop the importance of developing a paradigm of Restorative Justice.

and aboriginal systems of justice, where the focus is on healing and reconciliation, and the repair of the harm done to the victims, the offenders and the community; 2) This frontier concept and its refreshing approach sprung from the critique of the present criminal justice system that is known to be dehumanizing, punitive and retributive. It exacts justice through punishment (imprisonment and other severe penalties). In effect, the system encourages and promotes vengeance as a way to attain justice, causing stigma to offenders and trivializing the needs of the victims; 3) Restorative justice is a lifechanging concept and philosophy and its approach involves all the stakeholders in crimevictims,

community and which embody RJ principles, e.g., RA 10592 or the Law expanding the coverage of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) for inmates, RA 10389 or the Recognizance Act of 2012, and RA 10575 or the BUCOR Modernization Act; 7) I n s p i t e o f t h e s e developments, there is still a need to tackle and resolve significant issues in the dramatic move to change the landscape of the entire criminal justice system in favor of Restorative Justice; 8) We welcome the initiatives of our legislators to incorporate the RJ paradigm in the proposed Philippine Code of Crimes to replace the Revised Penal Code which was enacted in 1931; The seminar-workshop also

principles in the curriculum and in the policies of our respective communities. To do this, we must make the appropriate r e p r e s e n t a t i on s w i t h t h e Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and other pertinent government agencies to facilitate moves towards this end; 3) We strongly urge our policy makers to examine the weaknesses and failures and the plight of prisoners in the current criminal justice system and act accordingly to address the slow judicial process, human rights violations and the subhuman living conditions in our dilapidated and congested jails, among them, inadequate daily food allowance, beds, toilets and

to the requirements of the Parole and Probation Administration. 5) We also resolve to be more actively involved to assist the policy makers in formulating key legislative measures that will advance the philosophy and principles of Restorative Justice. 6) Strongly coordinate with barangay officials to apply RJ principles in addressing conflicts. 7) Todevelopcapacitybuilding of strategic actors to develop critical mass of RJ advocates in our respective communities. 8) Developing a research agenda on RJ that can be used by all stakeholders in pursuing RJ paradigm; 9) To sustain discussions on RJ through fora and symposia to further promote the RJ principles 10) Integration of RJ principles in peer jury and grievance machineries in schools 11) Sharing and documentation of success stories on RJ implementation In conclusion, we recognize that the world needs a system that promotes healing, apology, understanding, accountability, personal and collective responsibility, forgiveness, reconciliation and reintegration. We need a system that practices compassion and mercy in dealing with one another. We believe that the Restorative Justice paradigm offers such. Adopted at Diamond Hotel, Manila, August 17, 2013.

thousand trees were planted. Everyone was hopeful that these trees will get to grow fully and will be of service to the community later. Those years passed quickly and quietly until one day, five years later, I got an invitation from the priest to visit the place as soon as possible. Once freed from my schedules, I immediately travelled to that remote town. As soon as I arrived, the priest and I drove near the mountain where we can see it in plain view. The mountain was not green. It was all black due to the fire that consumed the trees two days ago. The more painful truth is that it was not caused by an accidental fire. Kaingeros (those who burn young trees and collect the charcoal residue and sell them) were responsible for the burning. I almost cried in pain and anger. Those trees, when allowed to grow, could have provided more for the community. We can be consoled by the fact that many countries around the world are conscious of the need to have trees and maintain them. Many institutions organize, sponsor, and facilitate the planting of trees. Responsible organizers of conferences are now planting trees for the carbon footprint the conference will leave. But the deforestation, kaingin industry, illegal loggers, and small time chainsaw entrepreneurs are more aggressive, unrelenting and, at times, unconcerned. We

know that it takes so much time for trees to grow. At the rate trees are being cut and used all over, they could not be replaced in time. The call to action from all sectors is again on. This should not only be the work of government, or the churches, or cause-oriented organizations. It is the work, concern and responsibility of all. Logging permits must be managed and controlled responsibly and in fulfillment of the spirit of the law. Small entrepreneurs like the kaingeros and chainsaw owners must be organized so that they may still make a living with the availability of trees for their industry while leaving some to grow. Tree planting in government institutions, schools, and in communities must not only be encouraged but must become imperative. I believe that it will be a good move to declare a dayfor example, National Tree Planting Daywhen the nation will not only be reminded of the importance of trees, but will commit to make every able citizen, by force of law, to plant a tree in a designated place. This is about stewardship. We only have one world and we live in it. God gave us this world and made us its stewards. He gave us dominion over all creation. But that dominion should not allow abuse and misuse. Dominion means service which entails good use, maintenance, and improvement. I miss climbing trees. Their gradual disappearance gives me cold feet. And I am terrified for a future when trees become collectors items!

May They Be One

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Bible Campaign
May They Be One Bible campaign. What started as a weekly gathering became a daily prayer and Bible reading event in the hospital. Individual lives were changed by the Word and so did the groups relationship with each other. Friction and misunderstanding in the past now turned to mutual acceptance, overlooking shortcomings and putting themselves in the others shoes. Helen began to see many answers to prayers, especially with regards to her children. It amazes her to think how the Lord transformed her average children to become high achievers. Julian Noel and his team won 2nd place in the My Smart Jump In dance competition. Emmanuel bagged the grand prize in the Central Escolar University dance

Dr. Helen Velasco (left) and writer and MTBO staff Helen Saldana

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, Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut, Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. Praise God for a meaningful Handwritten Unity Bible (HUB) event among the dentists and staff of the VM Dental Hospital. Pray for more students and seminarians throughout the country to be able to take part in the historic HUB project. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call Helen at PBS 524-5337, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecbacbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #3903-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 5215803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)

Making up for the Years of the Locust

THIRTEEN years ago, Dr. Helen Velasco and her husband saw the fulfillment of a long time dream the inauguration of their very own 5-storeyed dental hospital located at the heart of Cainta, Rizal. To the Velascos, the building was an icon of their success and abundance. But while riding on the crest of a thriving and glamorous career, their marriage began to crumble and eventually led to a breakup. Left with four young children to care for, Helen determined to move onkeeping up a smile behind a broken heart. In 2011, her friend and dental patient, Marifel Castriciones, started a Bible sharing among the VM Dental Hospital officers and staff, as part of the contest. Melanie Pearl became a part of a special group of potential achievers in school who would be trained to excel still more. Lenel Pearl was awarded CEUs Best in Restorative Dentistry, got 2nd place in thesis writing at an international contest held in Hong Kong. There are still missing links in Helens life at this point but with the overwhelming blessings she has been receiving, how can she complain? God has more than made up for her years of pain. Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eatenYou will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. (Joel 2:25a-26 NASB)

No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign 85 out of 86 Dioceses Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2013 - Oct. 3, 2013): 180,317 copies Bibles Distributed by Languages Bicol (2,475 cps.) Cebuano (35,804 cps.) English TEV (24,836 cps.), English NABRE (2,480) Hiligaynon (12,955 cps.), Ilocano (5,108 cps.), Pampango (1,037 cps.), Pangasinan (1,558 cps.), Samarenyo (407 cps.), Tagalog (66,384 cps.), Tagalog New Testament (2,816 cps.), Tagalog Evangelical (24,457cps.) Parishes/Communities served: 1,383 Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009 June 27, 2013): 940,713 cps. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2013: 600,000 cps.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Church towards a renewed awareness of its presence in the contemporary world and its mission among peoples and nations. Missionary spirit is not only about geographical territories, but about peoples, cultures and individuals, because the boundaries of faith do not only cross places and human traditions, but the heart of each man and each woman. This missionary task based on Jesus injunction to his disciples to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28, 19) is a mandate that is also directed to all of us according to the concrete circumstances of our lives. Each one of us has his or her particular role in bringing the Good News of salvation to all peoples, in all places at all times. Variety of ways in undertaking the missionary task There are several ways through which a baptized Catholic may participate in the Churchs missionary task according to the exigencies of his or her personal situation in life. I wish to propose some ways to fulfill this missionary mandate, namely: a) Pray for the Universal Church so that She may continue persevering in Her task of bringing the message of salvation wrought in Christ to all the ends of the earth; b) Pray for the missionaries all over the world so that they may remain faithful and steadfast in their task of proclaiming the Gospel to all the ends of the world; c) Pray for all Christians all over the world who may have difficulties in

professing their faith due to religious persecution and discrimination and other similar occasions which make it more difficult to witness to Christ and His Gospel; d) Pray and encourage young people to have that missionary zeal and spirit so that they may play a greater role in proclaiming Christ and His Gospel in the future; e) Become missionaries and bearers of the Gospel yourselves by learning to go out of our comfort zones, communities and organizations so that we may reach out to a greater number of people especially the unchurched and those who have not yet received the gift of Faith in Jesus Christ; f) Bear witness to the Gospel values and the teachings of our Lord Jesus in our homes, schools, work places and the community where we live and g) Extend Material and Moral Support to the missionary endeavors of the Church which will assist Her in fulfilling Her task of bringing Jesus Christ and Gods love and saving action to the ends of the earth. I hope and pray that this Year of Faith and the celebration of the World Mission Sunday will rekindle the flames of faith, hope and love in our lives so that the joy of salvation from God wrought in Jesus Christ will permeate not only our local Church in the Diocese of Daet but the whole world as well. +GILBERT A. GARCERA, D.D. Bishop of Daet October 20, 2013

Pastoral Letter for World Mission Sunday 2013

THIS years celebration of World Mission Sunday is made more meaningful by the Churchs observance of the Year of Faith due to the fact that it presents Faith as a gift and a challenge for all of us who were baptized in Jesus Christ. Jesus: gift of the Father to mankind In the Letter to the Galatians (3:8, 2627), St. Paul pointed out that Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faithso in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through Faith, for all of you who were baptized in Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Through the Incarnation of the Son of God, we became sons and daughters of the Father in heaven through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whom God has sent to redeem us and communicate to us His salvation. It is a gift that we need to truly appreciate and value in our lives. Faith: a personal and communal challenge Pope Francis in his message for the World Mission Sunday this year states that Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. A true Christian is someone who is willing to go out of his own self in order to reach out to others and share with them the message and the person of Jesus Christ. In the same message, Pope Francis emphasizes that The Year of Faith, fifty years after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, motivates the entire

Message on the occasion of the Prison Awareness Sunday

October 27, 2013
a truly just, peaceful and loving community centered on God. Moreover, I appeal to each one to pray for the following intentions: For Pope Francis, our bishops, priests and the religious, that they may continue to be living witnesses to the unconditional love of God. For our world leaders, that they may respond with wisdom and humility to the crises of poverty, violence, anger and hatred in our world today. For all victims of crime, may they attain peace, healing and liberation by forgiving those who have wronged them. May they be strengthened by the love of God, the support of their family and the concern of their community. For all prisoners and crime offenders, may they recognize the wrong that they have done and find ways on how to right them. For all those who are involved in ministering to the prisoners and their victims, may they be constantly renewed by the spirit of Gods love and may they be transformed into His likeness. May our loving Father continue to guide us in our journey towards His Kingdom. +LEOPOLDO S. TUMULAK, D.D. CBCP-ECPPC Chair

A Pastoral Letter on Indigenous Peoples Sunday

My dear People of God: October 13, 2013 is the Indigenous Peoples Sunday. This years theme: Evangelization and Inculturation. The Diocese of Marbel is the home of Indigenous Cultural Communities. They are the people who inhabited this Cotabato Region with unique cultural tradition and value system. They are our brothers and sisters. They are the Blaan, Tbolis, Tagakaulo, Ubo and Manobo. As we celebrate this Year of Faitha mission that Christ entrusted to his Church, the Plenary Council of the Philippines reminds us that, This is EVANGELIZATION: the proclamation, above all, of SALVATION from sin; the LIBERATION from everything oppressive to man; the DEVELOPMENT of man in all his dimensions, personal and communitarian; and ultimately, the RENEWAL OF SOCIETY in all its strata through the interplay of the GOSPEL TRUTHS and mans concrete TOTAL LIFE. THIS IS OUR TASK. THIS IS OUR MISSION (PCP-II, # 166). Such noble task is entrusted to us. The council further summons us that Our Indigenous Peoples are among those who should receive our special concern because as the greater majority of our Pilipino society strives to become genuinely sovereign economically and politically, the Indigenous Peoples are losing their freedom and self-determination. (PCP-II, # 377) In the island of Mindanao, we support the collective wisdom articulated in the statement of ECIP Mindanao Assembly last July 2013 gathering and their resolution/recommendation: 1. Support for the passage of the Alternative Mineral Management Bill to replace the Mining Act of 1995. 2. Due and faithful implementation of Free, Prior and
Indigenous / B7

BROTHERS and sisters, today the church is paying attention and asking us to remember those who are in jails and prisons. They are the new anawim who have nobody to turn to but God. They are in prison not to be punished because they have violated our laws; but they are there to be given the opportunity to right the wrong/s they have done; to change their way of living and to be able to start life anew. The Gospel this Sunday, shows us the two ways of looking at our neighbors; one is that of the Pharisee who prays Oh God, I thank you

that I am not like the rest of humanitygreedy, dishonest, adulterousor even like the tax collector; two is that of the tax collector who prays, Oh God, have mercy on me, a sinner. As we celebrate Prison Awareness Sunday, let us pray that the Lord will help us to see the goodness of our neighbors and not to condemn them even if they have committed some wrong. We also ask God to enlighten the government, the church and the private sector to help each other in improving the plight of the prisoners and their victims so that together we can build

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Declaration of Solidarity against Human Trafficking

WHEREAS, human trafficking, both sexual exploitation and forced labor, is now the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, tied for second with the arms industry and behind drug dealing; Whereas, the Philippines has been identified not only as a source but also as a transit and destination point of trafficked persons, especially children; Whereas the US State Department has placed the Philippine government in Tier 2 for the second straight year in its anti-trafficking campaign for not fully complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Acts minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; Whereas, the church has been ordained by God to be the light and salt of this world to nurture and preserve human dignity; Whereas, Jesus Christ, the head and the chief cornerstone of the church (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 2:20) has so ordered that all He commanded be taught and observed (Matthew 28:20) and that amongst these commandments are loving one another (John 13:34), setting the oppressed free and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18d-19); We, therefore, churches and organizations belonging to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), have bonded together to form the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT). We, from the non-government organizations working on behalf of vulnerable women and children, stand in solidarity with the CBCP, NCCP and PCEC in fighting all forms of modernday slavery for the preservation of human dignity. We are Filipino communities of faith working with all to end human trafficking in the Philippines, guided by our core value of upholding human dignity, justice, solidarity and freedom with courage and honesty. In witness of our common resolve and determination towards this end, and with the prayer to serve in the power of the Holy Spirit, we are affixing our signatures to this declaration during the Magkaisa, Ipaglaban
Trafficking / B7

(A Pastoral Letter on Our Lady of the Rosary)

My dear People of God: October is the month of Our Lady of Rosary. Mother Church makes available to us the rich source of spiritual nourishment by praying the Rosary. The Rosary is a Compendium of the Gospel. As we meditate on each mystery of the Rosary we recall Christs person, His life and mission. Blessed John Paul II writes: The Rosary is at heart a Christocentric prayer. (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 1) This is in line with the aim of the Year of Faithto bring us closer to Jesus Christ and to follow Him faithfully. Mary helps us become more intimate with her Son, Jesus Christ. In these turbulent times Mary is our hope and companion. Pope John Paul II declares: The Rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it I have always found comfort. (op.cit, 2). He continues:

Mary, Our Hope for Peace

The Rosarya prayer for peace (John Paul II) If you desire peace recite the Rosary (Pius XI) Rosaryweapon against the evils of the world today (Padre Pio)

The Rosary allows us to hope that even today, the different battle for peace can be won. (n. 40) Indeed, today we are confronted with many concerns: the attack against Zamboanga City by MNLF elements which caused destruction of lives and properties; the Pork Barrel Scam, an act of terrorism against our poor and our children (CBCP, Sept. 5, 2013); the ecological crises caused by greed; etc. Gigantic problems we face. But with Marys intercession we are confident we will win the battle against evil forces. Pope Francis urged the youth in Rio 2013 the pluck up and break down evil and violence. PRAY THE ROSARY EVERYDAY! May Mary, our Hope and Queen of Peace, assist us in our struggle for world peace. +DINUALDO D. GUTIERREZ, D.D. Bishop of Marbel Koronadal City 18 September 2013

IN the latest development on the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the House of Representatives approved the 2014 P2.24 trillion Budget in toto, with the announcement that the PDAF has been abolished and that the amount originally earmarked as PDAF has been transferred as line-items in the budgets of five Departments. But, while PDAF as lump-sum allocation has been abolished, the legislators will still be able to access the funds by suggesting projects to the implementing Departments, according to Speaker Belmonte. Previously, President Aquino had also announced that the PDAF had been abolished and that NGOs could no longer be recipients of government funds. The procedure to be followed in the disposition of the funds however is substantially similar to PDAF the congressmen recommend the projects for the line items and, consistent with the presidents implementing power, he would still determine if the projects qualify and whether they are in line with other projects planned for the locality, before the funds are disbursed (Philconsa vs. Enriquez). The line-item gambit is still effectively Pork Barrel under another name. The BBC is against the pork barrel under any other name or form, for the following reasons: (1) the pork barrel is an abuse of the congressional power of the purse. It is institutionalized corruption that uses the peoples money in order to serve not their interests but the personal interests of individuals: For the President a means to control the legislature and bend it to his will by releasing or withholding the funds; For the legislators: to assure their victory and/or members of their family in elections; (2) the pork barrel is also institutionalized dissipation of scarce government resources, as explained in the Human Development Report 2012-2013. Citing numerous examples [1], the Report states that when the same amounts are given to districts regardless of size and the development and integration needs of areas, there is still the problem of inefficiency and waste even when no corruption is involved. (3) the history of the pork barrel as well as the tip of the iceberg COA Report on the 2007-2009 PDAF show that once the pork barrel is in place, there is no end to the greed and collusive ways to
Pork / B7

Statement on the Pork Barrel

Photo Courtesy: CFC


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Will the poor and the weak ever get justice in a society in the hands of the moneyed and the powerful?
An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Luke 18:1-8, October 20, 2013
poor members of the Christian community, who have everything but the positive experience in life, to lose heart. This is especially so when people observe that the overwhelming forces of evil seem to make headway, despite all efforts toward them off, and when every move toward obtaining deliverance from an oppressive situation seems to end in disappointment. But the Gospel today (Luke 18:1-8) has a word for them: Christians who find themselves in that or similar situation should not lose heart (Luke 18:1). To bring home this point, Luke preserved for us the parable of unjust judge. The story characterizes the judge as unsympathetic, with no regard for what either God or man said about himwhich explains his attitude toward the widow. The judge delayed in his decision. Some suggested that the widow was a plaintiff in a case she brought to court against a wealthy opponent, and the judge did not speed up the case in order not to offend the defendant. Others, however, in keeping with the character of the judge, surmise that the judge refused to give an immediate decision in the hope that the widow could raise the sufficient bribe! But these suggestions are not essential to the story. For central to the parable is the widow. And in the normal circumstances at the time of Jesus, widows were poor, marginal, not influential, and were economically deprived. They were part of the dclass in

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD

OBSERVING how prevalent evil exists in the world, its power sometimes overwhelming, philosophers of old used to ask whether this is the best of all possible worlds. But those who experience evil do not merely look at the present and offer an explanation; rather, they look toward the future and ask whether there is any hope that we will ultimately triumph over it. For example, after years of praying that the problems of violence and war in the Middle East, Eastern Africa, Afghanistan, Southern Mindanao and other hot spots be solved, is there any guarantee that an era of peace will finally dawn for the poor in these places? In a history of exploitation and oppression, will the poor ever get a fairer deal from a society in the hands of the moneyed and the powerful? In a society in which efforts to obtain greater justice for the majority meet vigorous opposition, is there hope that the cause of the poor will ever be vindicated? These questions appear contemporary, but they make us understand the background of todays gospel. As in other synoptic gospels, Luke portrays the Kingdom of God as an experience of a community in which people are freed from hunger, thirst, persecution, injustice, poverty and other evils,

and enjoy the blessings of justice, love and peace. This summarizes the central message of Jesus. It seems, though, that after years of practicing their faith in Jesus, that faith of the Lukan Christians was being challenged by the hostile environment in which they lived. Lukes believing community

experienced persecution, injustice and violence from those who did not share its faith. Understandably enough, the members raised question that affected their faith in the context of the adverse situation: when is the Kingdom of God coming so that the poor will come into their own (Luke

17:20-21)? When will Christ return so that Israel will be reconstituted and the poor Christians will be rewarded (Luke 17:22-37)? When will the poor believers finally obtain real justice on this earth (Luke 18:1-8)? When there is no glimmer of dawn in sight, it is easy for the

the Israelite society, and being powerless, they leaned on God for protection. The widow, in other words, symbolizes the poor in the community of Luke and in our Christian communities who look on God to vindicate their cause. Powerless and marginal though she might be, yet the widow in the parable succeeded in obtaining justice from the corrupt judge through relentless persistence. But if she so got on the nerves of the judge that he was forced to vindicate her, how much more would God vindicate his faithful people, if they only pray persistently, even though he seems to delay (Luke 18:7). This is the message that Luke tries to convey. In other words, the point of the parable is that, even though they find themselves in a situation in which hope for a better future seems unobtainable, Christians are not to be discouraged or give up. On the contrary, as followers of Jesus, they are to be persistent in their prayer, trusting that God will act and vindicate his cause and the cause of the Christian community. The Kingdom of God will come, and if one is not vindicated at the moment, he will certainly be vindicated with the advent of the parousia, and justice will surely be served. Such exhortation is relevant, because in the face of opposition to all efforts to obtain justice, even time can erode enthusiasm and faithfulness. Constant suffering and oppression can destroy hope,
Poor / B7

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C World Mission Sunday; October 20, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

The faith that leads to Do our achievements and self-righteousness help us justify ourselves before God? perseverance in prayer An Exegetical Reflection on the Gospel of the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time,
Year C, Luke 18:1-4, October 27, 2013
degrees, land titles, framed citationsone needs them in order to live what people brand as respectable life. To live without themhow would one appear before our people and society if not a destitute, with nothing to survive on in this competitive world? It is interesting to note that such outlook has been transferred, or at any rate can be found, in our life of faith. In the realm of religion, it is likewise important for many people that one must have something before God. In todays Gospel (Luke 8:914), this is well illustrated in the prayer of the Pharisee and the tax collector. What the Pharisee was able to accomplish made himself respectable, and obviously he lived within a circle of people whose social stratum and achievement no one at the time of Jesus would criticize: he did not extort, did something unjust, nor committed adultery. On the contrary, he did more than what the law required: he fasted in food and drink twice a week (Monday and Thursday), although fasting was obligatory only on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:29-31; Num 29:7); he tithed all his purchases, which was more than what the law stipulated (Deut 14:22-29). He would be like a Catholic who never transgresses any of the Ten Commandments, fasts Tuesdays and Fridays, and contributes much to the Church. God would certainly be pleased with such religiosity! On the other hand, almost at the extreme end of the cultural and religious spectrum in Jesus day was the tax collector who had

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD

A DECADE or so ago, an evening television show featured the Mangyans in Mindoro. At one point, the reporter asked one of their chiefs if they had any desire to improve their situation by, say, making more money in order to buy elegant clothes, construct beautiful houses, and own the latest vehicles. The chief answered that it was not in their culture to accumulate and concentrate on wealth and that they were happy the way they were. His answer was, of course, flabbergasting to us. But that is because we were brought up in a culture far removed from the one in which the Mangyans live and survive. Culture largely defines our values, and therefore the way we look at people. But our culture has largely been defined by the West. And if we ask: who is acceptable to our community that has been shaped by Western values, the answer would be entirely different. Before the judgment seat of our culture, one must not only be good, but even more important, he must have an achievementpolitical, economic, cultural, religiousin order to be considered praiseworthy. No wonder, precisely because of our cultural make-up, many people parade their stockholdings, land titles, bank accounts, palatial houses, academic degrees tacked to their names and framed citations, among others. How they display their assets! Of course, these are important. To have bank accounts, academic

Photo: Courtesy of Urban Poor Associates

WE have to admit it: the situation is not rosy. Two thousand years after Christ commissioned his apostles to preach the Gospel to all nations, three-fourths of mankind are still to be evangelized. This simply means that more than four billion people today have not yet been made aware of the message of love and hope brought by Christ and, therefore, they lack the indispensable motivations and means to live as his disciples. Nor is the situation getting any better as the percentage of Christians becomes lower with the increase of the world population. When one compares such a trend with the tremendous growth of Christianity during the first three centuries of its history, one begins to wonder whether something has not gone wrong in the fulfillment of the Churchs evangelizing task. Indeed, several factors have contributed to the undeniable setback of the Churchs missionary effort. One is the fact that the work of evangelization has for too long a time been considered the exclusive responsibility of bishops, priests, and nuns. In most cases the other committed members of the believing community limited their participation to occasional prayers and some financial support. For their part, the nominal Christians could not have cared less about the missions and all that they stand for . . . . For centuries the task of evangelization was shouldered by a tiny missionary elite, rather than by a missionary Church. But something worse than this kept happening: many so-called Christians with their un-Christian behavior, actually destroyed what the few missionaries were bravely trying to build. The behavior of these Christians (who were often large groups, and even entire Christian nations) was a terrible counter-witness to the evangelical ideals of faith, honesty, purity, and love preached by the missionaries. Nothing has done more harm to the missionary cause than the bad example of so many Christians. Thanks to them, the devil has been having a grand time.
Perseverance / B7

nothing to his name. A known collaborator with the Romans who were the enemies of the Jews, he was avoided by his own people and excluded from the company of respectable men in the Jewish society. An extortionist, he would have to make restitutions for his ill-gotten wealth before he could ever hope to be forgiven, if one goes by the teaching of the Pharisees. Of course, even in our own society, any person like this particular tax collector would have difficulty in being accepted. The Gospel today tells us that these two went to the Temple to pray, the Pharisee reciting a catalogue of his achievements and a litany of his own praises, the tax collector an inventory of his faults and a recital of his lack of achievements. But in telling this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus surprised us with his concluding comment. What transpired was a reversal of fortune, which would not have been acceptable, since normal Judaism took for granted that the Pharisee was a justified person, and the tax collector could only be such if he made retribution in addition to giving one-fifth to all those whom he had swindled, and reformed his life. Hence the question: What went wrong? Does the parable mean that God is happier with a sinner provided he repents, than with a virtuous man with all his merits and achievements? On the surface, one may readily affirm that if God accepted the tax collector despite his sinfulness, it was because he is a God
Achievements / B7

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C; Prison Awareness Sunday; October 27, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
PRAYER is essentially opening oneself to God in love, adoration, praise, gratitude, humble petition for help and forgiveness. . . . When we pray, we gladly acknowledge that all the good things in life come from the Lord, and that everything and everybody are in His hands. Prayer, then, can come only from a humble and honest heart. This is why proud people are unable to pray. They can recite prayers, of course, use beautiful formulas and even attend Mass. But the words they utter are empty sounds, for they do not come from humble hearts. Their pride blinds them to the greatness of Gods creation and love, as well as to the value and merits of their fellowmen. But especially it blinds them to their own defects and failures. All their attitude is characterized by an all-pervading feeling of self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. This leads them to despise others, and even to condemn and reject them. (See the prayer uttered by the Pharisee in todays Gospel passage.) With such a disposition of heart toward their neighbor, what value can the prayer of the proud have? Oftentimes, it sounds like an insult to Gods love and holiness. Quite different from this is the prayer of the humble. Aware and fully convinced of their dependence on God and of their many failings, humble persons readily acknowledge the Lords greatness, his generosity, justice, and mercy. Prayer comes spontaneous to them, in whatever circumstance of life:
Humble / B7

God hears the prayer of the humble

Bishop Pat Alo


A man of sorrows

Pinky Barrientos, FSP / CBCP Media

I HEARD one description of Jesus as a man of sorrows. Certainly He had reason to be sad for the ingratitude of men who misunderstood His message of truth and salvation. His main mission in life was precisely to bring hope and salvation to ailing humanity. But for all His goodness and His many services, they had Him crucified. Being truly divine and human in nature, He rose from the dead three days after being buried in Calvary. His Resurrection, being truly the Son of God, is the greatest event in history ever. That only proves what St Peter tells us in Acts 4:12: Of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved. It is then of paramount importance for our conversion to be closely associated to Jesus in our lives and prayers and endeavor to follow the way He lived. Like Jesus we too have reason to be sad while we still journey on this earth which many have described as a valley of tears, which certainly is so till we reach the destiny God made us for, which is the kingdom of Heaven with all of Gods Saints and Holy Angels.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Social Concerns


By National Secretariat for Social Action

Caritas Singapore Builds Shelters for Pablo Survivors

THE Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives Singapore (CHARIS) mission team came to Barangay Babag, Monkayo, Compostela Valley last September 8 to 14, 2013 to build shelters and experience life among the beneficiaries of the Caritas Shelter Village, a project of Caritas Philippines and the Diocese of Tagums Operation Tabang. The beneficiaries lost their homes and livelihood to super typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha) that struck the region last December 2012. CHARIS has donated 40 shelters in addition to the 145 units constructed with funds from Conferenza Episcopale Italiana (CEI) from May to September 2013. Another need that they proposed to fund is the construction of an Emergency Evacuation area within the parish compound which can shelter schoolchildren who are often stranded for nights and days when the river which they cross everyday to go to school swells. The bridge was washed several years ago because of flooding. The team was accompanied by Fr. Emerson Luego, Director of Operation Tabang, Fr. Jerson Estose, parish priest, Harvey Luistro, Emergency Program officer of Caritas Philippines, Frank Cinco and Marlina Jamio, Caritas Philippines project staff, all throughout their stay. Dubbed Mission of Friendship, the team was headed by CHARIS Frederick Foo,
Indigenous / B5

CHARIS Team from Singapore lends a hand not only financially but also physically in building row houses for victims of Typhoon Pablo.

Director of Operations, and with him were volunteers: Stephanie Ng, Sheron Heng, Joan Tan, Don Kingsley, Galvin Tay, Michael Tan, and Simon Lim. The group also shared the technology of making durable construction materials with used plastic bottles and gravel and solar lamps using water and chlorine

solution. They were touched by the joyful and warm welcome accorded to them by the residents, especially the children who devoted late afternoons to celebrate the Eucharist with them. At the worksite, the family-beneficiaries also demonstrated to them the practice of bayanihan
Pork / B5

(volunteerism) by working together in building row-houses, assisting skilled carpenters to fast-track the construction. Towards the end of their stay, Simon Lim and Stephanie Ng shared their lifegiving experiences to the community during the Eucharistic Mass celebrated by Fr. Emerson Luego.

During the initial response of Caritas Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Pablo in the first quarter of 2013, CHARIS donated food and non-food items to more than 900 Pablo survivors in different areas in the Compostela Valley in partnership with the Diocese of Tagum

Trafficking / B5

Informed Consent (FPIC) with the IP Communities with any development project that will affect their ancestral lands. 3. Due respect and careful study of the IP educational system (their School of Living Tradition) to give due credit to their cultural practices, knowledge system, and spirituality. 4. Participation of the IP leaders in local governance and active involvement in the decision making process as true representative of their clans/ tribes. 5. To seriously resolve conflicting issues especially with the overlapping tenurial instrument affecting the IP communities issued by the different Government agencies
Poor / B6

involve like DENR, DAR, NCIP and Land Registration Authority (LRA). 6. Respect of the Dignity and Rights of the IP in their ancestral home especially in cases involving mining, plantation and other related activities that their rights must be respected and upheld. Having this in mind, may we continue to pray for peace in the Island of Mindanao. May Mary, our Hope and Mother of the faithful guide us protecting and promoting the dignity of the IP Brothers and Sisters. +DINUALDO D. GUTIERREZ, D.D. Bishop of Marbel Koronadal City 30 September 2013

ang Angking Dangal Freedom Forum held on September 5, 2013, at the Christ Commission Fellowship Center, Ortigas, Pasig City. Signed: BISHOP BRODERICK PABILLO Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) REV. REX B. REYES National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) BISHOP EFRAIM TENDERO Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

circumvent the safeguards, with the following mutations: a. I n 1 9 8 9 , s t a r t e d a s Development Funds for Mindanao (P48 million) and Development Funds for the Visayas (P240 million); b. In 1990, with Luzon also included, it was called Countrywide Development Funds (CDF) with a bigger budget (P2.3 billion); c. From 2000-2010, Various Infrastructure Local Projects (VILP) and Congressional Insertions (CI) were added; d. In 2009, the total grew to P83 billion consisting of PDAF (P10b, VILP (P23b) and CI (P50b); e. In 2010, President Aquino abolished the CI, retained but reduced, with tighter rules, the PDAF (with VILP folded in), to

a total of P25b. (4) The Local Government Code passed in 1991 should have already replaced the pork barrel system, since it prescribed a bottom-up system of development planning and project identification from the barangay council, to the municipal/city council, to the provincial council, where the congressman is required by law to be represented. There is no need for a parallel system of project identification by congressmen, whose primary function is to legislate. More so by Senators. Interference with the budget process by suggesting line items for their districts only serves to undermine the participatory system of planning and development in the context

of local autonomy. The call for the abolition of the pork barrel underlines the necessity of passing the Freedom of Information Bill, because full and correct information is the lifeblood of citizen power to effect change. As the nation continues to address the scourge of corruption and the outcry over the PDAF scam, and others still unfolding, we can heed the Psalmists plea: Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? The man with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things, who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor. (Ps 24:3-4) BISHOPS-BUSINESSMENS CONFERENCE FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT October 2, 2013

Achievements / B6

and give the impression that God is really asleep. Which recalls the experience of the Psalmist: as the people of Israel were being despoiled, God remained silent before their real pain, even though they were not conscious of any sin against the covenant: Yet for your sake we are being slain all day, we are looked upon a sheep to be slaughtered. Awake! Why are you asleep, O Lord? Arise! Cast us not off forever! Why do you hide your face, forgetting our woe and our oppression? For our souls are bowed down to the dust, our bodies are pressed to the earth (Ps 44:23-26).
Perseverance / B6

But at the same time, this serves to correct an impression on the way God answers our needs. Too often, when one sees on television big prayer rallies in parks and auditoriums, one often wonders whether the participants understanding of these prayer rallies makes sense. For what is often portrayed is that, one who has accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior easily obtains answers for the petitions he makes. All he has to do is to raise his wallet and money will come in, or raise his passport and he will find employment abroad, or hold high his umbrella and graces will flow. But if the

Gospel has anything to teach us, it is that one does not easily obtain the favor he asks, that justice is not always served, that peace is not easily given. There is a need to knock too often, to pray persistently, to wait for long, to suffer in silence, and to stand in prayer, even when praying seems meaningless and useless. A Christian may not easily obtain the favor he asks, but he can always take comfort in the thought that he is not totally helpless before God, and is entirely dependent on him, and that God will, in his own, time, answer his prayer, even though not always in the form that he wants or expects.

Such a situation has to change. With the Vatican II Decree Ad Gentes, the Church has forcefully restated that the missions are the responsibility of all its members (see AG, 6) and not just of a few enthusiasts. In the same document, but especially in Paul VIs Evangelii Nuntiandi, the point is made that the witnessing of the whole community of believers is an indispensable factor in the work of evangelization. (See AG, 11-12 and EN, 41.46.) In conclusion, the Gospel has to be
Humble / B6

proclaimed not only by the missionaries, but by all Christians. And it has to be proclaimed not simply in words, but also in deeds. The Gospel has to be witnessed to. The sublime truths it contains have to be proven by a behavior that mirrors Gods love for all, and shows that a selfless love of neighbor is not an impossible dream, but an attainable reality which can change the face of the earth. Mankind is in dire need of such a change. It needs to see the prophecy of

Isaiah come true that the nations will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again (Is 2:4). This is a tremendous miracle that the Gospel, proclaimed and witnessed to by the whole Church, can accomplish. Then will the many nonChristian nations say: Let us climb the Lords mountain, . . . that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths (Is 2:3).

who loves the humble and despises the proud and the disdainful (Luke 1:51-52). Ones achievements in religion could become a cause for pride and contempt for men and women who cannot come up to what common religiosity requires. It often happens, for instance, that those who go to church Sundays, fast, contribute sizable amount to the parish projects and programs and practice virtues think that they have enough reason to be proud of themselves as Catholics who belong to a stratum formed by the elite in religiosity and, as a consequence, to criticize those who do not reach their standard. This happens, too, in the secular world. Many think that they form an elite enclave within the greater society on account of their wealth, education and upbringing. At its marrow, however, the story is not simply about how we pray, but really about our justification before God. As J. Fitzmyer observes, one achieves uprightness before God not by ones own activity but by a contrite recognition of ones own sinfulness before him. The reason why it was the tax collector who was ultimately pleasing before God is that, before his judgment seat, human achievements,

both in religion and in the secular world, are not decisive, however important they may appear to our Western culture. God is not a God who can be controlled by any human achievements. Quite the contrary, man cannot claim to be just on account of his achievements, because these do not count before him in the first place. What man thinks important, God holds in contempt (Luke 16:15). It is not man who makes himself just. It is God, who gives justice as a gift. Man does not attain it through his own effort. What is ultimately decisive is that one puts his trust in God, abandons himself to him. And this is what the tax collector did. In terms of religious achievements, he had accomplished nothing to present before God. But by acknowledging his sinfulness, unworthiness, and nothingness, he allowed God to give him the gift of being right before him. The parable, therefore, teaches us about the failure of human achievements and of self-righteousness to justify oneself. It is God who justifies us sinners, and justification is always received as a gift from him. We have nothing to boast before him.

in success and in defeat; in good as in poor health; in poverty as well as in abundance . . . . Prayer is for the humble what breathing is for the lungs. It is a need they satisfy with joy. To be humble does not mean to be sinless. With the exception of Jesus and Mary, no human being is totally free from the stain and sting of sin. Humble persons are aware of their own moral failures, in spite of all their good will to avoid sin. They feel the need to be forgiven, but do not take Gods forgiveness for granted. They know that they do not deserve it. And when they ask Gods forgiveness and experience it, they know and acknowledge that it is a grace a pure gift of divine mercy. Such an experience of indebtedness to God disposes the heart of the humble persons to

be understanding and forgiving toward their neighbor. While doing their very best to avoid sin and practice Christian virtues, they will not condemn others harshly when they fail, for they know how weak humans are. Rather, with brotherly concern, the humble will include their sinful brethren in their prayers and never deprive them of their love. This is why the forgiving Lord will always be pleased with the prayers of these humble souls. God is constantly in love with the humble. Their words are sweet music to His ears. Their petitions will be granted because they come from hearts that endeavor to mold themselves according to the heart of Jesus, the most humble of all worshippers, and the most pious of all the humble.


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Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 21

October 14 - 27, 2013

Technical Assessment

Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary

Poor Below average Average Above average E xcellent

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a deeply religious man who prides himself in being ready for any eventuality. They live in a small town and with his wife Grace (Maria Bello) and two children, they celebrate Thanksgiving with the Birches, Franklin and Nancy (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis), who have two children of the same age. The two girls, Anna Dover and Joy Birch, asked permission to go out for a walk but didnt call their elder siblings to accompany them as instructed. While the rest of the families stayed inside, Anna and Joy disappeared. A frantic search ensued, and the only clue is a van parked on the side street on which the girls wanted to play earlier. Alex Jones (Paul Dano), the vans driver, is apprehended by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), but is found to be a mentally challenged drifter with an IQ of a 10-year old, and is soon released for lack of evidence. Alex was raised by his aunt Holly Jones (Melissa Leo). He rarely speaks. Impatient with how the police are handling the case and desperate to rescue his little girl Anna, Dover kidnaps Alex who told him earlier that, They (the girls) only cried when I left them. He uses torture to interrogate Alex to get out everything he can from him. Will he have enough time to learn his daughters whereabouts and save her? Prisoners brings together an ensemble cast where almost every actor has been awarded or nominated for awards. Each of them gives an incredible performance, thanks to the masterful handling and direction of Denis Villeneuve. Jackman and Gyllenhaal portray their multi-faceted characters with relentless intensity and Tim Lake (Domhall Gleeson) gets a rather weird gift when he turns 21: his father (Bill Nighy) reveals to him a family secret thats supposed to be kept between themall the men in the Lake family are gifted with the ability to time travel. No need for elaborate space suits and abracadabras: just find a dark secluded place (like a closet), close your eyes, clench your fists tightly, tell yourself where (or when) you want to be, and poof, youre there. Tim thinks its a joke until he tries it to rectify something that happened at a party the previous nightand it works. Time leaves Cornwall for London to study law and find the girl of his dreams. After a suspenseful and virtual blind date in a lightless bar he sees herand they fall in love. Director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral) spins a delightful rom-com that weds the whimsical and the earthbound. Despite the incredible element of time travel, the plot advances credibly and does not really capitalize on the supernatural to drive home its point. Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter series) and McAdams are naturals as a loving couple, matching chemistry and perfect comic timing; Nighy couldnt have been better cast. About time scores high in the technical department, from characterization down to costume and make-up (note McAdams bangs an inch too short of her desired look). While theres really nothing extraordinarily exciting going on, the stimulating story and the fast pace keep viewers hanging on to scene after scene till the end. It is a pleasure to find a down-to-earth movie among the sci-fis and superhero flicks in the multiplexes. About time is also a soft-sell for the joys of marital fidelity, planning a family, growing up being cared for by devoted parents, etc. The movie shows that in our time when broken families seem to be the norm, and when parents and children become strangers if not enemies, it is possible to still build your own world where children are wanted, welcome, and raised in love.
TITLE: About time LEAD CAST: Domhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie DIRECTOR: Richard Curtis SCREENWRITER: Richard Curtis GENRE: Comedy, Drama, Romance RUNNING TIME: 123 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures LOCATION: Great Britain Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: MTRCB rating: PG 13 CINEMA rating: V 14

believability. From the first scene in the forest to the cramped room where Alex was tortured, Roger A. Deakins cinematography is poetic, broody, and masterful. Aaron Guzikowski turns a simple story of abduction into a complex thriller, suspense and drama where unexpected plot twists, the inner struggles of characters and surrounding circumstances are well intertwined, keeping the viewers at the edge of their seats for 153 minutes! It would have been better if it was 10-20 minutes less, though. Johann Johannssons music adds to the anxiety, conflict and overall darkness. Prisoners, Villeneuves first English language film is simply a technical masterpiece. Prisoners draws you to relate intimately with the story long after the credits roll. It invites you to look at the gray and complex areas of life and makes you question: What is my worst fear? What am I willing to do for the sake of people I love? How far can parents protect their children from danger? Is torture and murder ever justified, no matter what the circumstances? Can I take the law in my hand? What imprisons me? What can push me to the edge? What do I run away from? What choices do I make? How do they impact the life of others? Does my faith inform my actions and behavior? The film begins with Dover telling his young son, Be ready. All that stands between you and being dead is you. A few minutes later, he finds out for himself it was not so. No one can truly feel safe, in spite of a basement full of supplies for survival. And violence, for

TITLE: Prisoners RUNNING TIME: 153 minutes LEAD CAST: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Danao DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve SCREENWRITER: Aaron Guzikowski GENRE: Drama, Crime & Thriller CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger A. Deakins DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros. LOCATION: US Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: MTRCB RATING: R13 CINEMA RATING: R18

whatever compels a person to it, demeans the aggressor and victim. Prisoners not only invites us to look at the paranoia and violence in our world but also at the pain and barricades we make to shield ourselves from uncertainty. It also encourages us too, to make peace with our prisons and make choices not from fear but out of compassion. Religious imagery appears significantly in the film crosses, a Masonic ring, an alcoholic priest A preacher is heard on the radio as Keller turns it on: Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). Plus the Our Father is prayed not once but twice. When was the last time you heard a Hollywood movie do these? Is this Villeneuves way of confronting America and the world to look beyond ourselves to a God who is Father? Because of the intense and frequent violence and emotional stress, some vulgar language, and the moral dilemmas in it, CINEMA encourages ethical and moral discussions about the movie among adults, and gives this film an R 18 rating.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

Premarital sex is implied, but considering that About time is not a Filipino movie but is rather set in a culture that permits it, this slightly off element is overshadowed by the many other positive values it depicts. Even time travel is used here as a mere device

in delivering the movies message: that while there are things in our past that we wish we could change, life sooner than later lets us glide into maturity until we reach that point when living from day to day we find joy and contentment.

Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

CBCP Monitor


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

Celebrating the CFC Family Weekend

Global Day of Service:

In line with the celebration of Family Week, Kids for Christ, together with Couples for Christ and the Family Ministries, held the annual Global Day of Service simultaneously all over the world last September 28, 2013. Parents and children came together to perform acts of kindness such as feeding programs, clean up of schools and surroundings, gift-giving, medical mission, visits to el -

derly homes and orphanages and many others. Some members of CFC Handmaids of the Lord even helped in the clean up of schools in Olongapo City after the last typhoon caused flashfloods and damage in the city. Indeed, the entire activity was an affirmation that even in our own simple ways, kindness can be expressed to many people regardless of age and culture.

Young Couples Conference Talks about the Science and Spiritual Dimensions of Marriage

The first CFC Seniors Conference

And Life Goes On!

Senior couples converge, clockwise from left: speaker Rene Punsalan; the question Where are you in CFC? is a common concern among the senior CFCs; Marasigan couple sharing a light moment. (Photos by Joey Tomas)

By Alma Alvarez
(Left photo) Lawrence Quintero, Event Head - Family Weekend Activities, giving an overview of the conference; (Right photo) Michele Santos-Alignay, Resurce Speaker, sharing insights on the realities of young couples today. (Photos by Deo Oliveria)

By Rea Santos
Young CFC couples (those married for 15 years and below) gathered last September 28 to review their Marriage Journey Experiences. Two prominent resource speakers talked about the Science and Spiritual Dimensions of young partners and most importantly the mission of CFC in making a relevance to the young couples today. In the first session, Dr. Vicky Apuan, Chairperson, Depart ment of Social Sciences of Miriam College, mentioned the stages of love in a relationship and how they affect the relationship of partners. Couple assessments were conducted to check their own Intimacy Level, Passion Level and Level of Commitment. It was followed by a workshop facilitated by Michele Santos-Alignay. The purpose of which was to gather data about the couples present situation and needs. Information gathered during the workshop will be the basis and reference of CFC to come up with pastoral formation tracks and guidelines to aid and support the young couples of CFC. The workshop dealt with the present need and relevant issues young couples today are confronted with, how CFC has been helping them, and how much more the community can offer to address specific areas of concern. To summarize the session, Rommel Ancheta, coordinator for the Young Couples Program, explained the need for such program basing his insights on the Apostolic Exhortation of Blessed John Paull II, Familiaris Consortio. Families today are affected by profound changes which affect society and culture. With the knowledge that the family constitutes human value, the church must offer help not only to those who are aware and have been unjustly treated, but also the young, who are beginning their journey to marriage and family life. Thus it is important to present new insights to help these young couples discover the beauty and grandeur of the vocation of love and service to life. Couples blessed with community support truly need to pass on the experience and transformation to other couples so they can share in the life of a happy and successful marriage.

When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now. Will you still be sending me a valentine Birthday greetings bottle of wine. If Id been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door, Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When Im sixty-four. So goes a popular Beatles song, describing someone asking another what things he or she is willing to do should he turn 64. In the local music scene, Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko asks the same questions. Couples for Christ decides to answer these concerns via And Life Goes On! The First CFC Seniors Conference held last September 28, 2013 at the Semicon Bldg., Pasig City. Speaker Rene Punsalan recognized that at 32 years, CFC continues to be a dynamic community, hence making most of the members who pioneered in CFC now finding themselves at the seniors mark. He enumerated the issues surrounding the senior members and leaders of Couples for Christ, among them spiritual burnout, personal concerns like death of a spouse, health and mobility problems, financial concerns, seeming lack of energy, as well as a few turnoffs like conflicts, reorganization, critical spirit, and

the feeling of being isolated and neglected. Punsalan also presented basic features of the Seniors Program that are being developed specifically for them. Currently, there are initiatives from CFC South A sector with the Grow Old with God (GOLD) Program, and the CFC Handmaids of the Lord, with the Cherishing Life in the Diamond Years Retreat, that help make senior members be Alive and Well!, as described in the second part of his talk. He likewise reiterated that senior members can and still have a role to play, as servants rich with wisdom, protectors of CFC, intercessors, mentors and disciplers of the younger generations, and as role models. Sharers Rudy Talosig of CFC and Grace Pasigan of CFC HOLD shared their personal experiences as seniors living life to the full in community. As a commitment of the International Council, CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca and Family Ministries Director Mannix Ocampo vowed to prioritize the Seniors Program, having in mind not only those 60 and beyond, but members who are on their way there, so to speak. This, according to them, will truly accomplish CFCs calling to be a wonb-to-tomb community, which takes care not only of the young, but also those advancing in age.

Joe Yamamoto


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013

Hearts on Fire: What It Takes to Keep Them Burning

Much has been said about the call of God, He does not call the able or the qualified but enables and qualifies those whom He calls. At the heart of this simple truth is the belief that God seeks us and holds us securely long before we even thought of seeking him. The spark of responding to Gods love has been laid down but it requires the grace of the Holy Spirit because nothing short of a Radical Commitment is needed. To sustain the fire in the hearts of the faithful, there is a necessity to go into the root of it all. In a Sunday homily during the Holy Mass on the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (September 8) , our parish priest spoke of the need for radical commitment in the lives of the faithful. To drive home his message, he used the acronym F.A.C.E.S which I adapted with modification for this article . F - Foundation of Faith A - Authenticity of Character C - Courage and Integrity E - Exemplary Life S - Strong Anchor on God (Eucharist and Scriptures) Understanding and applying the attributes outlined by the acronym in real life will be key to helping people become players in their many small spheres of influence. That their lives in turn will set other hearts on fire is a desirable goal of any Spiritled leader. To tackle the challenging task of providing help to spread and share the gospel, the Christian leader should not rely on his human effort. Early on he must learn to depend on the very source of all graces and help, and that is God. To be effective, any plan or action must take on the heart and mind of God. This can only freely flow out of a life that is submitted to God and anchored on him solely. It stems out of an intimacy that the Lord has taken the initiative to embrace us, You did not choose me but I chose you.And appointed you to go and bear much fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. (John 15:16) Foundation of Faith How does one have a daily encounter with our Lord? By following the model of Jesus, we know that we can find fellowship and communion with our Creator in prayer. For during his ministry, Jesus was never too busy to find time to commune and be with his Father in prayer. One can find and receive Jesus in the Eucharist which is his Real Presence and through his Word in the Scriptures. The need for prayer and the capacity to tap on to its limitless power, was highlighted by the apostles when they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus taught his followers to call God as Abba, Father. Such is the limitless love of God that He wants to draw into his bosom. The Church fathers suggest that the faithful must lead lives that are bathed in prayer. In his message to the Youth of the World on the occasion of the World Youth Day 2006, Pope Benedict delivered from the Vatican the following, Those who listen to the word of God and refer to it always, are constructing their existence on solid foundations. Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them, as Jesus said, will be like a wise man who built his house on rock (Matthew 7:24). It will not collapse when bad weather comes. In these times, there is widespread hunger and thirst for the Word of God to be burning in the lives of the faithful. Fortunately today, ours is one of the communities that are embarking enthusiastically to strengthen the foundation of its leaders and members by getting them to read and understand the Bible. St.Jerome, in the Fourth Century AD, observed that Ignorance of the Bible, is ignorance of Christ. It follows that the faithful will not know Christ unless they encounter him daily in the Scriptures, in prayers, in the Eucharist, and by their actions. Since last year, the Bible Journey Course has gone around locally and in other countries. It has been offered generously to thousands who have enthusiastically accepted and embraced it. After every weekend course, people feel the fire of love for the Lord whom they encounter in the Scriptures. Their hearts literally shout for joy and happiness at meeting the Lord in an intimate way as he speaks to them through his word. They are reenergized and set ablaze. Authenticity To gain a better understanding of the divine authentication or affirmation, an aspiring leader must seek to walk with God and be delighted by his presence. Reading the following quote from the book of Spiritual Leadership by Henry and Richard Blackaby (2001, page 99) is instructive: 1. God confirms the leader There should be ample evidence of Gods affirmation. For one thing, God will fulfil His promises to the leader and the leaders organization. Leaders who continually present new ideas and visions for the future but who never see those dreams come to fruition are clearly presenting their own visions and not Gods. 2. God protects the reputation or character of the leader All leaders suffer criticism during the course of their work. Provided the leader moves under the shadow of God, his reputation will be affirmed and reinforced in a timely fashion. 3. The evidence of changed lives When someone leads in the Spirits power, lives are changed. People are moved to experience God in a new dimension. Godly leaders will demonstrate the qualities that make people see how he witnesses to a transformed life. 4. God is the driving force behind the leader An important God-inspired and - centered leadership is that others recognize God is the driving force behind the leaders agenda. When God chooses a leader who is willing to submit to His will and trust Him to do what He promises, God is pleased to work powerfully through that leader. Leaders who are led by God will be willing to lead their people to accept God-sized assignments. Leaders who walk by sight, however, will never see God perform miracles as leaders will who walk by faith. 5. Becoming Christ-like The unmistakable mark of leaders who are authenticated by God is that they become Christ-like.They function in a Christlike manner and those who follow them become more like Christ. The success of a spiritual leader is not measured in money, percentage growth, numbers or attendance. A person is truly a spiritual leader when others are moved to be like Christ. Courage and Integrity Like gold and silver, the character of a leader is defined by the crucible of trials and hardships. The author of Hebrew had this written: for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves and chastises every child whom he accepts. Endure trials for the sake of discipline, God is treating you as children... (Hebrews 12:6-7) An important proof of the Character of a leader and his integrity is Courage. It is the virtue of doing the right thing, even when it is difficult. To be truly meaningful and relevant, it must also be seen and experienced in day to day lives of ordinary people. Exemplary Life In todays materialistic world where success is measured in the ways and standards of the world, and where relativism and cynicism are becoming the norms of life, there is a great need for people to lead exemplary lives. Fortunately,there are still many people and their families who have kept the flame of faith alive and strong by the lives they live. One very inspiring role model is Blessed Chiara Badano, who lived an ordinary quiet life in an ordinary town in Italy in the 1970s. At age 16, she was diagnosed to have an aggressive bone cancer on her shoulder. The pain she suffered was great, but she bravely rejected morphine injections during her treatment preferring to offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in his sufferings on the cross. While in the hospital, she took time to walk with another patient despite her own severe pain, if only to cheer that person who was struggling with depression. Chiaras faith and spirit never dwindled even as her cancer remained uncontrolled and rendered her too feeble to walk. As she suffered, she said: If I had to choose between walking again and going to heaven, I wouldnt hesitate, I would choose heaven. In life and in death , Chiara Luce, is a shining model for exemplary life for the young of our times. Strong Anchor on God (Eucharist And Scriptures) Apart from God, we can do nothing that merits eternal life. Nicodemus, in his nightime visit to Jesus, learned the key that would bring the faithful to his heavenly fate, For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, who that everyone who believes in him might not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16). The road of discipleship and leadership must lead us ultimately to Jesus, and accepting him in full as our personal Lord and Savior. To get more out of life,it is clearly not enough to be more committed; rather the overarching need is to be more submitted to God. Jesus commitment and care for his apostles were such that even as he was on his way to his ultimate sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus strengthened his followers, Abide in me as I abide in you... I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing... (John 15:1-11) Epilogue The Road to Emmaus episode in Luke 24 narrated the experience of the two downcast disciples traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Troubled by the recent events in Jerusalem, they failed to recognize the Risen Jesus. As the day wore on, their eyes were opened by the breaking of the bread (Eucharist) and the earlier exposition of the Scriptures. The message for all times remains strong , the key to a robust spiritual life is to abide and remain in Christ and with Christ. What the two Emmaus disciples uttered in bewilderment became the message that echoes through time, Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?... how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:32,35) The true disciples do not stop at their discovery of Jesus, rather like the Emmaus disciples, the faithful must move in haste to share the salvific message of the Risen Christ. May Jesus who sets our lives on fire, help us to animate others who wait for the proclamation of the Good News

MC Teaching Night

Surgical Mission A Dream Come True

Blueprint of the New Ark

By Dr. Joe Yamamoto

Matthew 5 begins with when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then, he began to speak, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Jesus spoke of blessings for such is the intent of his coming. He wanted his people to experience God first hand in the Beatitudes.One thing that stands out in the gospel is the way Jesus engages his would be disciples. His compassion and care touch the depths of people. He knew their struggles, hardships and sufferings. Jesus shared the lessons of the Good News through storiesof familiar sights, sounds, activities, places and other day to day realities. Jesus gave a new set of standards by which the disciples were to live. On a mountain top, he gently said Blessed are the poor; for his heart is always moved with compassion for the poor.Poverty and misery have been the fate of C.P., a 22 year old girl we met during the latest CFC Surgical Mission in Baybay, Leyte. Hers is the poignant story of one ordinary person who suffered quietly throughout her 22 years, without even hoping for an end to the string of her heartaches. That is, until she unexpectedly experienced a life-changing God incident. She is an orphan, having lost both her parents at a tender age. As if that tragedy is not enough, she was born with a deformity of her buttocks that she carried as a burden and a shame. Left without parents, and without any relatives to take care of her, her life seemed like a dead end. However, fate was kind to her as she was taken in and cared for by her mothers friend. At last, she found a home and a surrogate family. Growing up, she went to public school. Even from her young years, growing up was not easy for her.She grew up with an inferiority complex caused by the unsightly bulge of her

By Beth Comahig
Father Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, a doctor, professor and current President of the Ateneo de Manila University shared last 18 September 2013 to the Metro Manila Mission Core Group his Blueprint for a New Ark (A Reflection On Caring For Creation). Looking back at Noahs time, he built an ark to save his family from the big flood. Fr. Villarin said that we are facing a crisis and like Noah we need to build an ark. Not the ark that floats over water, but an ark that is a home. The crisis which humanity is facing, is not just happening here in the country, but globally. Whatever we do today affects the present and the future. Whatever we do here affects everyone around the world, Fr. Jett added. Today, the world is encountering three environmental global concerns namely, Biodiversity, Desertification (land degradation), and Climate Change. As the economy grows and technology becomes powerful, man destroys the foreststhe earths treasures. The call to stewardship as Gods ultimate creation is becoming clearer. All the more, Christians need to train and educate people. Christians need to act and contribute to save creation, to sustain this planet we call home and rebuild the ark for man to be able to continue to journey. According to Fr. Jett, there are several frameworks in rebuilding the ark: The Theological framework, which speaks about the goal of creation and the ark of creation, mans covenant; The Spirituality framework, which simply reminds mankind that the Divine is in all creation. The existence of every creature, including humans, is brought about by Gods love for all. Thus, the value given to everyone should be of equal importance. The Ethical framework, on the other hand, explains how people impact on people, the integrity of creation and incompleteness, and the environmental sin and penance. Lastly, the Pastoral framework shows the need to cultivate the aesthetic and spiritual value of the land, to reduce risks coming from environmental hazards, and to always communicate hope through balanced short and long term solutions and pointing out lifelines and death traps. Whatever framework suits us, let us not forget what Lumen Fidei tells us: faith is not only presented as a journey, but also as a process of building, the preparing of a place in which human beings can dwell together with one another(paragraph 50), Fr. Jett stressed. All of mankind should, therefore, take part in rebuilding the ark. Fr. Jett concluded, We should always be conscious and responsible with our lifestyle. We should actively listen to Gods message about our body, the environment, His creation. And we should always think of ways on how to rebuild our home and leave something for the journey, for our children.

backside, calling attention to it every time. Not a day passed that she did not have to bear the taunts and jeers of other children. One day,the CFC Surgical team came to their town to do charity surgeries. Hearing about it, she made a decision to cast her lot. Somehow, she saw a glimmer of hope from that news. For her, it was probably the one long shot for a much-awaited miracle. Mustering all the courage she could get and with much prayer, she presented herself to the team for treatment. The CFC doctors evaluated her case and decided to put her on the list and prioritized her for treatment, especially after learning the circumstances of her life. The care she received overwhelmed her and her surrogate family. She cried in gratitude to God for having brought her to the loving care of the CFC doctors. Her fear and humiliation were replaced by tears of joy and happiness. Two days after her life changing surgery, she stood erect and walked slowly yet confidently despite the postoperative pain. From here on, she knows that she has a beautiful life to live, one with a future full of hope. She knows that she has experienced up close the Beatitude, the blessing that God promises to be true for his children.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 21
October 14 - 27, 2013


CFC UAE ANCOP Hosts Grand GPSI Regional Finals

CFC ANCOP Seals Deal with Filinvest 1 Parish for Scholarship

CFC ANCOP one with the Church in education, from left: Ethel Balenton, CFC ANCOP Education Program Director; Myrna Locnen, parish Education Program Coordinator; Eric De Los Reyes, President, CFC ANCOP; and Fr. Roland Jaluag, parish administrator; Filemon Jun Uriarte Jr, member of CFC International Council and wife, Jean; Federico Acosta, North B Education Program Head.

By Ethel Balenton
To seal the partnership with CFC ANCOP, the Presentation of the Lord parish at Filinvest 1 Quezon City signed a Memorandum of Agreement last September 22, 2013 for the joint implementation of the Child Sponsorship Program for poor and marginalized students residing in the surrounding areas of Filinvest like Batasan Hills. The parish has assisted 65 scholars from its Education Program and currently supports about 48 in various levels from elementary to college. The parish learned about ANCOPs Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) from Jun Uriarte, a parishioner, and recognized the more comprehensive benefit package of CSP which include values formation and spiritual enhancement components. Consequently, the parish requested assistance from CFC ANCOP to sustain its scholars and to respond to many more applicants that are waitlisted with the parish.

CFC ANCOP Elects New 9-Man Board of Trustees

By Eugene Vilbar
Two winners were chosen to represent the Middle East in the Global Pinoy Singing Idol 2013 last September 27, 2013 in Abu Dhabi in front of a jam-packed crowd at Al Jazira Basketball Arena. Loudyryan Laturnas of Dubai and Raymund Ruben Moloney of Saudi Arabia took home cash prizes and free round-trip tickets to the Philippines when they face eight other contestants from other parts of the globe next year. CFC-ANCOP UAE co-presented this event with ABS-CBN DZMM Tele-Radyo. The partnership aims to expand public awareness on Couples for Christs Building the Church of the Poor Programs, specifically ANCOP, while at the same time showcasing the world-class Filipino singers. Celebrity guests Rachel Alejandro and Richard Poon serenaded the audience with their own respective hits. The net income of the Global Pinoy Singing Idol 2013 will support the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) of CFC ANCOP.

From L to R: Jimmy Ilagan, Arnel Santos, Ricky Cuenca, Eric Delos Reyes, Rudy Gaspillo, Rene Punsalan, Senen Reyes, and Nonoy Dalman CFC ANCOP elected a new 9-Man Board of Trustees last September 11, 2013, held at the CO-OPS Ugnayan Hall, CFC Global Mission Center. The new members of the ANCOP Board of Trustees are: Ricky Cuenca, Nonoy Dalman, Eric Delos Reyes, Manny Garcia, Rudy Gaspillo, Jimmy Ilagan, Senen Reyes, Arnel Santos, and James Solano. Arnel Santos, Metro Manila Missions Director, was elected new Chairman of the Board, while Eric delos Reyes retained his position as ANCOP President. MM South A Sector Head Rudy Gaspillo is Vice President, IC member Jimmy Ilagan is ANCOP Treasurer, and Atty. Rene Punsalan is CFC ANCOP Corporate Secretary.

Three ANCOP Scholars Included in DLS-CSB Deans List

By Teody Licarte

CFC-Cam Norte Walks the Talk during 22nd Anniversary

of CFC-Camarines Norte at the vacant field of Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel owned by Robert and Cathy Torres, AGT members. Right after the Mass, Roly Garcia, YFC-PCC led the opening worship. Even the rains did not stop the members of CFC-Camarines Norte from being on fire in praising the Lord. The Praise and Fashion and Flash Mob segments followed.

The DLS-CSB ANCOP scholars at the CFC ANCOP scholars assembly with their coordinators.

By Efren Tompong
Angela Patricia De Leon, Brian John Serioza and Anjeanette Clea Marie Reyes have two things in commonthey are all scholars of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde and they are all Deans Listers, having obtained very good and meritorious grades at the end of first trimester, school year 2013-14. Anjeanette Clea leads the 3 with a Grade Point Average of 3.4. She is currently a 2nd year student of Consular and Diplomatic Affairs. Angela Patricia and Brian John are both college freshmen, taking BS in Animation and BS in Information Technology major in Game Design and Development, respectively. As of September 2013, there are 21 ANCOP scholars enjoying free tuition fee at DLS-CSB. More poor students are expected to receive scholarships from DLS-CSB as fifteen (15) new scholarship slots are provided to ANCOP for school year 2014-15. Truly, CFCs work in building the Church of the Poor through ANCOP Education is being blessed by the Lord. In 2 years time, a new breed of graduates shall join the workforceyoung men and women who are not only academically qualified but more importantly, imbued with Christian ideals and values.

The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

CFC-Camarines Norte members, along with other concerned citizens and groups, answered the cry of the poor and filled the Daet - Bagasbas Road for the ANCOP Global Walk (AGW)2013 last August. The 5-kilometer walk started at around 5 oclock in the morning after the short program in front of the Daet Elevated Town Plaza. More than 1,000 participants from the private sector, government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the Couples for Christ, including some Kids for Christ members came to show their support to this years AGW. The said activity was spearheaded by the Area Governance Team (AGT) and was made special by the presence of Jimmy Ilagan, CFC International Council member and Philippine Missions Director; Vic Alvarez, Provincial Area Head; and Bernie Cuevas of CFC Global Mission Center. More importantly, this years AGW recorded a significant increase in the number of walkers and therefore an increase in collection to support more scholars. Shortly after the walk, members of the CFC-Camarines Norte continued to witness Gods glory by attending the Holy Mass to start the days second important activity: the 22nd anniversary celebration

The Garcia family performed their winning song, which bagged First Runner-up in the Family Acoustic Competition held during the Luzon Island Kids Village in Lingayen, Pangasinan last May. The 22nd anniversary celebration would not be complete without the inspiring messages from the CFC elders and leaders from the province and global mission center.

Jimmy Ilagan, CFC-IC member & Philippine Missions Director, Vic Alvarez, Camarines Norte PAH and Bernie Cuevas of the CFC Global Mission Center graced the CFC Cam Norte anniversary (Photo: Sis Cheryll Abcede)

HOLD Malunggay Festival Goes to Cornerstone

George B. Campos
IC Oversight

Samantha C. Manuel

Alma M. Alvarez
Associate Editor

Deomar P. Oliveria
Layout Artist

Evangeline C. Mecedilla
Circulation Staff

By Rico and Amy Gamogamo

The Ugnayan News Supplement is published by the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc., with editorial offices at 156 20th Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City. Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 23 Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856 www.couplesforchristglobal.org cfcglobalcommunications@gmail.com facebook.com/CFC.Global.Mission


Volunteers of the Metro Manila East-B Cornerstone Parents Values Formation (PVF) trooped to the Balanti Unit 1 Elementary School, Barangay Balanti, Cainta, Rizal last September 14, 2013 to showcase the Malunggay Festival to the parents of the Cornerstone tutees.

Together with the local CFC and Ministry Coordinators serving in Cornerstone, the East-B Handmaids of the Lord headed by HOLD Coordinator Myrna Vega shared their timetested recipes for Malungay Pasta, Okoy, SioMailunggay, and Pastillas de Malungay via

a cooking demo. By means of initiatives like these, Cornerstone hopes to encourage maximum participation of tutees parents in future PVF session. Soon, the sector will also come up with activities that will help entice fathers to attend PVF.



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 21

October 14 - 27, 2013

Celebrating the Queenship Good Governance: and Motherhood of Mary The Demand of Our Time

Honoring Mary, queen and mediatrix, clockwise from bottom left: HOLD International Coordinator Didi Galsim with I-Core member Bel Liboro crown our Ladys image with flowers; Mannix Ocampo leading the praisefest; George and Cynthia Campos leading the Consecration tot he Immaculate Heart of Mary; Irma Cuenca speaking about Mary as a mother and model of hope.

Lets talk about good governance, clockwise from left: economist Dr. Jesus Estanislao, main speaker for the STMA Breakfast Forum; CFC International Council members Ricky Cuenca, Arnel Santos and George Campos with Dr. Estanislao; Atty. Nolet Ladrido, STMA Program Head introducing the speaker; Cuenca and Atty. Joe Tale with Dr. Estanislao.

By Alma Alvarez
I understand that by your relaunch of the STMA Forum, you aim to build bridges between the world of faith and the world of politics, economics and civics. I am of the opinion that building such bridges is the most urgent task of any associate of St. Thomas More, and of every good son and daughter of the Church whose station in life calls for active engagement in political, economic and social issues and concerns. This was how Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, eminent economist and Chairman of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia, began his talk at the BCOP STMA Breakfast Forum last October 12, 2013 at the Gabaldon Room of Club Filipino. Leaders from CFC Metro Manila and nearby provinces came to listen to Dr. Estanislao speak on Good Governance: The Demand of Our Time. According to Dr. Estanislao, Good Governance cannot remain a nice phrase, but has to take a concrete manifestation in all areas of life. It should be established from the national government down to the last citizen, from the biggest corporation down to the smallest enterprise, from the network of civil society organizations to the last NGO. The good that each person does can strengthen the community, while any selfish ambitions can destroy the same community. It is for this reason that good governance makes this basic demand: to think and act for the long term, pursuing a clear strategy for the development and welfare of the bigger political, economic and social units around us, he stressed. And, in order to meet the basic demands of social responsibility, the following duties must be imposed: the duty of fairness, the duty of transparency, and the duty of accountability. Focusing on the common good is imperative, especially at this time in the countrys current situation. However, this is not only a concern of the governing bodies, public officials and the elite, but of those being governed, the ordinary citizens as well. In spite of each ones personal pursuit of private interests, every responsible citizen must not lose sight of the common good, and of the value of sacrifice even to a heroic degree. This is exactly what St. Thomas More had set as an example when he gave up his official title and position in the kings court and offered his life for the sake of this principleshort-term temporal gains have little value compared to eternal rewards. The ideals of solidarity, subsidiarity and the respect for personal dignity must be each persons driving force for him to remain within the road towards good governance, Dr. Estanislao said. The current issues and questions on the Napoles case, the Malampaya Fund and the DAP are reminders that we are quite far from these ideals, he added. However, these issues, according to Dr. Estanislao, are also reminders that there is an absolute need to strengthen societys moral core. We have to remind ourselves that beyond the legal, there is a much higher bar, the moral bar, and it is only by reaching that bar that we protect ourselves from corruption. What must then be done? And where can the strength to reach the moral bar come from? Start with personal governance, Dr. Estanislao stressed. The Holy Spirit can work within each of us if we allow Him to, and if we welcome the Word and the teachings of Christ into our work and life, such that they have bearing in what we do, how we work, how we live our life, and how we serve others in the community.

By Alma Alvarez
Last Octo b er 5, C F C HOLD Metro Manila, together with leaders from CALABARZON, Central Luzon (Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga), and North Eastern Luzon (Nueva Viscaya, Ifugao, Kalinga, Quirino and Cagayan) filled the Henry Lee Irwin Theater of the Ateneo de Manila Grade School as they paid homage to Mary, Queen and Mediatrix. The afternoon was opened with the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Worship was led by Nina Caunga of Metro Manila West A. In Talk 1, Jo Dao, HOLD Coordinator for Davao Oriental, spoke about the Queenship of Mary as affirmed by the teachings of the Catholic Church. There are several books written by saints that pertain to Marys queenship, and at least 14 Popes have proclaimed the same, but much emphasis was given to Pope Pius XII encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam. In this encyclical Pope Pius XII affirmed the truth of Marys queenship that has been believed for centuries by the faithful. He also discussed here two theological foundations of Marys queenship: her Divine Motherhood and her exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. Scripture references of Marys queenship were likewise taken into account, the most popular being the one in Revelations 12:1, 5: A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the

sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and His throne. In the second session, Irma Cuenca, wife of CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca expounded on Marys motherhood and how she as a mother, has be come a Mediatrix of all graces from the Father and the Son. Pope Pius IX (9TH) highlights her loving motherhood when he said Having a motherly affection for us and being concerned for our salvation, she extends her care to the whole human race. (from Ineffabilis Deus, Encyclical of Immaculate Conception) Mary is also the model

of hope, as Mary directs us to the hope to the kingdom without end, which Jesus had been sent to establish. Aileen Ocampo, wife of CFC Family Ministries Director Mannix Ocampo, Tess Cabidog of CFC HOLD West B, and Betty Talosig, HOLD Regional Coordinator for Northwestern Luzon shared on their personal encounters with the Blessed Mother. A floral offering by the HOLD leaders led by International Coordinator Didi Galsim followed, after which the CFC Executive Director George Campos and wife Cynthia led the participants into the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To end the Marian Conference, Mannix Ocampo led the Handmaids into a dynamic praisefest.

Dubai Hosts YFC Regional Leaders Summit

KFC Canada Holds Eastern Region Kids Village

By Ernie Ebringe
Carnival and circus performers filled the Mezzanine halls of City Seasons Hotel in Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. There were mimes, clowns, magicians, and more, with party music playing and balloons scattered everywhere. The jovial atmosphere added to the mood as CFC Youth for Christ leaders arrived in their costumes for the Gala Night of the YFC Leaders Regional Summit last October 3, 2013 in UAE. The last time YFC Middle East experienced such a gathering was two years ago. It was a blessing to have the YFC National Coordinators from UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait in the summit. The theme for this summit was DEO GLORIA, taken from 1 Peter 5:10-11, from where all the worship, sessions, and workshops of the second day of the summit revolved. The new five-year thrust and direction for YFC was likewise presented. It was also a time for sharing and updating of the different status of each country, as well as a time for leaders to inspire other leaders, with countries learning from other countries on their best practices.

CFC Europe Turns 18

By Ochie Pasicolan
It was the first Kids Village in Canada that implemented the involvement of both parents and children. The very first in the Greater Toronto Area. But in addition to the usual KFC Kids Vil lage activities like the play that highlighted the theme Follow Jesus, the showcasing of family talents, and the various workshops for the parents and children, there were many moments that allowed families to bond with each other, whether it was learning the action songs, reflecting in their rooms during the night, or eating together at the residency. And the most beautiful moment, as in all Kids Villages, was seeing the little ones worship God with all their innocence and purity.

Last October 1, 2013, CFC Europe celebrated an anniversary milestone. Exactly 18 years ago in 1995, 70 brethren that consisted of 12 couples, 15 handmaids, 25 singles (7 brothers and 18 sisters) and 6 servants graduated from the very first CLP held in Europe. The event took place at 18 rue Claude Lorrain, 75016 Paris, France. The service team who came from the Philippines were led by Mon and Gandie Carpio, together with Teddy and Evelyn San Juan and Dandy and Susan Calvez.