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Year of Faith to be marked by exposition of St. Peter relics


Novena of Prayer and Charity for Victims of Typhoon Yolanda and Earthquake


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ


Filipinos faith is stronger than any typhoonCBCP head

NO typhoon or flood can diminish the strength of the Filipino soul. The typhoon that devastated central Philippines may be the strongest in the world, but the faith of Filipinos in God is even stronger, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Jose Palma said, in a message of hope to all Filipinos. Highlighting the resilience of Filipino
Faith / A7

Pope sends donation to typhoon victims

November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Php 20.00

By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

The historic Church of the Immaculate Conception (left) in Guiuan, Eastern Samar lies in ruins after typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall, morning of November 8. Only the stone walls and the belfry remained of the centuries-old church. As of press time, the governments official death toll registers 2,000, with most fatalities in Eastern Visayas particularly in Tacloban City.

The donation was released November 11 through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vaticans charity arm. In a press statement from the Pontifical Council coursed through the Apostolic Nunciature, it says the funds will be distributed to the regions severely hit by the typhoon, and will be dedicated to supporting actions in favor of those displaced and those affected by the flooding. It added that the sum represents an initial and immediate concrete expression of the sentiments of spiritual closeness and encouragement of the Supreme Pontiff towards the persons and the areas devastated by the storm. The pope earlier expressed his deep sadness on the massive destruction and loss of lives brought by the typhoon and asked the faithful to pray for the victims. Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin also sent a telegram No-

POPE Francis has sent an initial donation of US$150,000 to victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) as an expression of his fatherly concern and spiritual closeness with them in the midst of suffering.

Photo courtesy of AFP Central Command

Donation / A6

CBCP declares nine-day prayer, fund drive for typhoon victims

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines declared a nationwide nine-day prayer and charity drive from November 11 to 19 for the victims of typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake in Central Philippines, which happened a few weeks ago. Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, in a circular said all Masses and prayers for the following nine days will be offered for the dead and the grieving families they left behind. He also encouraged dioceses and parishes to conduct a charity fund collection within the same week and have the collection transmitted as soon as possible to the bishops in the calamity stricken provinces. About 22 out of 86 archdioceses, dioceses and apostolic vicariates in the country were affected by Yolanda which packed 235 kilometer per hour sustained winds and gustiness of 275 kph. The strongest cyclone to strike the Philippines in several decades, typhoon Yolanda has left in its wake massive destruction as it battered and flattened several towns and knocked down communications lines in many provinces in Central Philippines. As government reports of death and missing come trickling in, some news reports pegged death toll and number of missing persons could reach to thousands even in Tacloban City alone because of the massive devastation. (CBCPNews)

Church opens staging area for relief ops

THE Catholic Church has opened a new base in Calbayog to increase aid being delivered to victims of super typhoon Yolanda in Samar island. The social action center (SAC) of the Diocese of Calbayog in Western Samar has established on November 11 an emergency relief operations center where aid intended for the parishes in the Dioceses of Borongan and Calbayog will be coordinated and dispatched. Fr. Cesar Aculan, SAC director of the diocese said the facility will provide a critical staging area for emergency relief operations because the city also has an airport to receive aid from all over the world. Organized relief operations started on Nov. 13, although meager relief distribution was done earlier to immediately accessible parishes. As of press time, the governments official death toll registers 2,000, with most fatalities in Eastern Visayas particularly in Tacloban City. Earlier on Nov. 10, the church said that those who wish to distribute relief items to Samar and Leyte are invited to coordinate with stage center in order to maximize the impact of assistance. As of press time, the diocese is yet to open a special bank account for those who wish to send in cash donations. Fuel crisis A worsening fuel shortage is weighing down emergency relief assistance to thousands of people affected by the super typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar, a Catholic priest said. Fr. Neil Tenafrancia of the DiRelief / A7

A family in Capiz stays in makeshift shelter along the road after typhoon Yolanda sowed destruction and isolated the province for days.

Tagle laments over youths disconnection with church

WHAT would the future of the Catholic Church be like without the youth to champion its cause? Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle lamented over the weakening ties of the Catholic Church with todays youth, noting the important Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle talks role played by the lat- with young people during a celebration held in ter in sustaining the one parish in Manila. ideals of Catholicism and making the Church alive in Marian Conference held at the the generations to come. San Carlos Seminary. It is very saddening to celWhile expressing joy over the ebrate mass in churches, espe- unwavering piety and popular cially in Europe, that are not religiosity of the elderly, the anymore filled to capacity or cardinal expressed concern over when those who are hearing the decreasing number of young masses are (only) the pious and peoplemostly in other counelderly people, Tagle said in his trieswho actively participate talk during the First Saturday Disconnection / A7

The city is closest to the affected areas in the island that are not yet accessible by road or phone. The base in Samars oldest

city is operating five days after the disaster, which is estimated to have killed more than 10,000 people, with thousands still missing.

Catholic schools assert tax-exempt status after BIR imposes new tax exemption policy
THE Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) is asking exemption from the Bureau of Internal Revenues new guidelines for Tax Exemption Rulings. Citing Catholic schools tax-exempt status under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, CEAP urged BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares to acknowledge the exemption of non-stock, non-profit (NSNP) religious and educational institutions, particularly CEAP memberschools, from the implementation of BIR Revenue Memorandum Order No. 20-2013. Issued last July 22, BIR RMO 20-2013 prescribes the policies and guidelines in the issuance of Tax Exemption Rulings to qualified nonstock, non-profit corporations and associations. It requires NSNP educational institutions to submit certifications of government recognition to operate as an educational institution, of operation or of good standing, and of utilization of revenues and assets. In a statement, CEAP said its lawyers have met with BIR officials last October 18 to discuss the organizations position. The CEAP is yet to hear from the agency on its decision. In essence, CEAP is requesting the exemption of NSNP religious and eduTax / A7

Boring homilies unfair to God, people Archbishop Soc


Photo courtesy of Archdiocese of Capiz

DELIVERING boring sermons during Mass is unjust to God and the churchgoers, a Catholic archbishop said, admitting that he himself is guilty of it. Archbishop Socrates Villegas

of Lingayen-Dagupan said that priests should always prepare and think carefully about the content of their homilies. It is unfair to God. It is unfair
Homilies / A6

Illustration by Brothers Matias

BALTIMORE, USA, Nov. 11, 2013 New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan called upon his brother bishops to champion the cause of people around the world being persecuted because of their faith even as the bishops continue to prevent what he described as infringements upon religious practice in the United States. In his final address as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the opening of their fall general assembly Nov. 11 in Baltimore, Cardinal Dolan outlined a series of steps the bishops can take to protect religious freedom around the world. Calling actions to protect religious freedom a central social and political concern of our time, Cardinal Dolan urged the bishops to make the protection of religious liberty around the world a priority in their work. We as bishops, as shepherds of one of the most richly blessed communities of faith on the planet, as pastors who have spoken with enthusiastic unity in defense of our own religious freedom, must become advocates and champions for these Christians whose lives literally hang in the balance, as we dare not allow our laudable battles over religious freedom at home to obscure the actual violence being inflicted on Christians elsewhere, the cardinal said. Citing recent incidents of attacks on

World News
Christians during Syrias civil war and in Egypt, India, Nigeria and the semiautonomous island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania, the USCCB leader encouraged intercessions for persecuted people, comparing the action to prayers for the conversion of Russia in the mid-20th century. Muslims, Jews and Buddhists in some part of the world also are facing persecution, but not on the same scale as Christians, he added. We are living in what must be recognized as, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, as a new age or martyrs, Cardinal Dolan said, noting that as many as 1 million Christians have been killed in the first 13 years of the 21st century because of their faith. The cardinal suggested that bishops can create awareness of the great suffering of our brothers and sisters with all the means at our disposal including columns in diocesan newspaper, blogs, speeches and pastoral letters. He said bishops can ask parish priests to preach on religious persecution and to stimulate study sessions or activist groups in their parishes and encourage diocesan newspaper to report on todays new martyrs. Just as importantly, the cardinal explained as the bishops began applauding, is contacting political leaders to urge them to make the protection of at-risk Christians a foreign policy priority. Our good experience defending religious freedom here at home shows that, when we turn our minds to an issue, we can put it on the map, Cardinal Dolan said. Its time to harness that energy for our fellow members of the household of faith hounded for their beliefs around the world. Cardinal Dolan cited the words of Pope Francis, who in a Sept. 25 general audience invited the world to an examination of conscience to the plight of Christians around the world. The pope at the time asked people to ask themselves if they were indifferent to the suffering of Christians and if prayers were offered for them. I am convinced that we have to answer those questions from Pope Francis not merely as individual believers, but collectively as a body of bishop, Cardinal Dolan said. In his address as the assembly opened, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, reflected on Pope Francis call to have a church that is built on the love of Christ and keeping him at the center of daily life. He told the bishops that the pope often recalls Pope Paul VIs love of the church and how his faithful witness to the world. Quoting Pope Paul, the archbishop said that evangelization requires be-

CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Cardinal Dolan urges bishops to make religious freedom a priority

ing a faithful witness. Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses, Archbishop Vigano said, recalling Pope Pauls words. It is primarily by her conduct and by her life that the church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus, the witness of poverty and detachment or freedom in the face of the powers of this New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. world, in short the Conference of Catholic Bishops, addresses the annual fall witness of sanctity, meeting of the bishops Nov. 11 in Baltimore. (CNS/Nancy he said. Phelan Wiechec) Further, Archbishop Vigano explained, Pope Francis is living the truth of our message, he added. by that witness. The Holy Father wants bishops in While each of us must take into con- tune with their people. When this past sideration our adaptability to the many June I met with (Pope Francis) in his different circumstances and cultures in simple apartment at the Casa Santa which we live and the people whom Maria for a fruitful discussion, he made we serve, there has to be a noticeable a special point of saying that he wants lifestyle characterized by simplicity pastoral bishops, not bishops who proand holiness of life. This is a sure way fess or follow a particular ideology, he to bring our people to an awareness of said. (Dennis Sadowski /CNS)

Vatican Briefing
Rome sabbatical aims to renew priests through prayer, formation

Nigerian doctor laments growing plague of human trafficking

ROME, Italy, Nov. 8, 2013 Human trafficking is a major scourge to women and children that needs greater international attention, the head of a Catholic medical group in Nigeria told a gathering of experts in Rome. Dr. Henrietta Williams explained to CNA that there is a lot of human trafficking going on throughout the world. A lot of measures have been put in place you know, laws, border controls, all sorts of things, she acknowledged. But weve also noticed that the situation is getting worse. Its not getting better, and theres a lot of suffering. As a gynecologist and the head of the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Williams was invited to present at a Vatican study group entitled, Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery, held on Nov. 2-3 in Vatican City. The conference was held at the request of Pope Francis for the purpose of further investigation into the practice of human trafficking. I think what Pope Francis has done is an excellent initiative, Williams said, citing the importance of education and awareness on the gravity of trafficking. According to the International Labor Organization, the majority of victims affected by human trafficking tend to be women and children. The group estimates that 20.9 million people have been victims of forced labor globally from 2002-2011, although the exact number of human trafficking victims remains unknown. With the practice of human trafficking on the rise, Williams said, the problem is much deeper than people think. People think, oh, human trafficking, prostitution. Just from todays talk, weve found that there are a lot of players in the backgroundwe dont know (exactly) who they arewho are making a lot of money: so called respectable members of society, multinational companies, exploiting women not just for sex for labor. Moreover, mode r n t e c h n o l o g y Henrietta Williams, president of the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, at adds new levels the Vatican Nov. 2, 2013. of complication, the doctor has found herself she continued, pointing to internet recruit- at the Nigerian senate, where ment of women and children, some organizations have which is extremely difficult gone to try to get countries to pass laws or to change to monitor. Williams own work in laws which allow them to medicine has given her in- further exploit these young sights into the exploitation women for their eggs, for of women in her home coun- their organs. When asked why sub-Sahatry, including lesser-known forms such as egg harvesting. ran Africa sees so much trafAs a doctor, Im actually ficking, Williams described a very concerned with these set of cultural circumstances young girls in Africa, in Ni- that leaves many people at risk. West Africa and East Afgeria, she said, noting that special clinics called fertility rica have had a culture of centers recruit young girls slavery over the centuries, so they dont see it as evil beages 15-18 to donate eggs. The girls are paid some cause it is something that has paltry sum about 50 euros been happening and so its a so the clinics can harvest eggs different type of slavery, she from them after hyperstimu- recounted. Parents might lation, which is actually a sell their daughter to recover dangerous medical procedure. money for debt, to build a And the girls eggs are used house, to buy land. The practice of bonding for experimentation abroad, is also very common. Its like the gynecologist explained. A l t h o u g h t h e w o m e n borrowing money, in that a know that something is be- family bonds their daughing done to them medically, ter to a person or group and the clinics dont tell them (they) expect that the girls are what they are going to use the going off hopefully to make eggs for. Because the women some money and bring some are illiterate, they often un- money back. Others go as domestic dergo operations without workers, housemaids, to true informed consent. Williams finds it repugnant people abroad, continued that many of the procedures, Williams, but in actual fact which are actually banned the girls are exploited. They in Europe and America, are used and their passports are still being carried out in are seized and taken away and they have no freedom. Africa. Nigeria itself houses a viShe and others are fighting these practices. In addition cious center of human trafto combating illegal activity, ficking. Many of the girls from there end up in Italy as sex slaves. Sex slavery is more common in East and South Africa, says Williams, where there is a link between the tourist industry and pedophilia. Another group of victims involved in trafficking are those who are just trying to run away from conflict and unemployment, she stated. Their risk levels are particularly high because they have no papers, no identification. All of these people are very susceptible to all these traffickers who are making a lot of money out of them, warned Williams. To combat these problems, the Catholic Church is working with womens organizations, and the reverend sisters, and homes, to try to help women who are victims of sex slavery. They try to rescue them, rehabilitate them, teach them a new way of existing, before repatriating them, noted Williams. In the future, she hopes for a more united, inter-disciplinary, global response to trafficking at large as a result of this weekends conference. From all the different experts we have coming in herewe have social workers, we have police, we have NGOs, we have FBOs, weve even got people from the Anglican church, you know, all the people who are working at grassroots levelswere hoping that at the end of this meeting at least well know exactly the next step to take. Behind all of this research and activity, added Williams, must be prayer. I would like to pray to our Blessed Motherthat she should pray for us so that we can actually find a solution to this problem because the amount of suffering, misery, ruined lives of young children, ruined lives of young womenits just got to stop. (CNA/EWTN News)

The sick are not merely objects of charity, Pope reflects

In a meeting with an Italian organization dedicated to helping those in poor health go on pilgrimage, Pope Francis reminded the ill and infirm that they have a true role in the Church.Dear sisters and brothers who are unwell, dont consider yourselves only as objects of solidarity and charity, but feel integrated fully into the life and the mission of the Church, he told the members of U.N.I.T.A.L.S.I., the National Italian Union for Transporting the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines, on Nov. 9.You have your place, a specific role in the parish and every ecclesial sphere. Your presence, silent but more eloquent than many words, your prayer, the daily offering of your suffering in union with that of Jesus crucified for the salvation of the world, patient and even joyous acceptance of your conditionsthese are a spiritual resource, a patrimony for every Christian community, the Pope explained. (CNA)
New book aims to re-kindle biblical meditation

The American Bible Society has released a new study guide on how to pray Lectio Divina with the hope that the manuals readers will obtain a deeper appreciation for the Word of God. It has made me appreciate the Bible much more first of all. I think that for me its a way of anchoring my prayer in the word of God that is transmitted to us through the Bible, Fr. Stephan Pisano. Fr. Pisano, a Jesuit priest from California who has been teaching at the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome the past thirty years, was one of those presenting on the new book Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word, at the Oct. 30 release. The book, written by Fr. Gabriel Mestre, is an initiative of the American Bible Society based in New York City, and offers guidelines for using a traditional method of praying with Sacred Scripture called Lectio Divina. (CNA)
God may scold, but he never slaps, pope says

Gods hands are never used for violence, Pope Francis said. I cant imagine God slapping us, the pope said. Scolding us, yes, that I see, because he does do that, but he never, ever hurts us. God shows love and tenderness, even when he must scold us; he does it with a caress because he is (our) father, the pope said in his homily Nov. 12 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Let us put ourselves in the hands of God, like a child puts himself in his daddys hands. That is a hand that is sure, the pope said, according to a report in Vatican Radio. (CNS)
Cardinal Bartolucci, former Sistine Chapel Choir director, dies at 96

Italian Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, who had devoted most of his priestly life to music and served as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir for more than 40 years, died Nov. 11 at the age of 96. In a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Bartoluccis family and friends, Pope Francis described him as a dear and esteemed priest, illustrious composer and musician, who exercised his long ministry particularly through sacred music, which is born of faith and expresses faith. The pope said Cardinal Bartolucci valued and promoted polyphony, aimed at elevating the heart in praise of God. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, was scheduled to preside over Cardinal Bartoluccis funeral Nov. 13 in St. Peters Basilica. Pope Francis was to join mourners at the end of Mass and preside over the final commendation. (CNS)
Vatican rejects claims of Pope polling Catholics on marriage

Church in Brunei, a young and missionary reality

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Nov. 9, 2013Despite being one of the youngest and smallest churches in South - East Asia, and the whole continent, the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei is actually a prosperous and vibrant reality with spiritual activities that continue to grow and enrich the life of the community. This is confirmed by the Apostolic Vicar Msgr. Cornelius Sim in an interview with Catholic News Agency (CNA). Beginning with the motto Duc in Altum, the prelate describes the on the ground projects to strengthen and sustain the missionary dimension of the Church. We are one of the smaller dioceses of Asia, he points out, with only one bishop and three priests, but we hope to have new vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. The Sultanate of Brunei is a small state located on the island of Borneo, which is also home to parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. It is a developed country, and one of the richest in the world. Malay is the official language, but English and Chinese are both widely spoken. About 70% of the population of this nationwhich is an absolute monarchyis Muslim, around 10 % of the population is atheist, 13 % is Buddhist, and a small number have indigenous beliefs. Christians, half of whom are Catholic, constitute 10 % of Bruneis population. Recently, the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah introduced Sharia law, which applies to Muslims and includesaccording to the Koranthe sentencing to death by stoning for adultery, amputation for thieves, flogging for other crimes such as abortion and alcohol consumption. Among other things, the sale and consumption of alcohol in public is strictly prohibited and authorities carefully monitor the activities of other religions. Despite these strict rules, Catholics live their faith with depth and devotion. This is according to Fr. Arin Sugit, assistant to the bishop at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Almost 70% of the faithful are migrants from the Philippines, another 20% are also migrants from Indonesia, India and Malaysia, with the remaining 10% of the indigenous population of Brunei. Bishop Sim explains that they are fortunate to have a Filipino community that makes our church so active and lively. They contribute to enrich us and our faith with a sincere and popular devotion. Fr. Sugit speaks of vibrant and growing faith activities although the process of testimony and the spread of Christianity is still slow. The bishop and three priests serve a community of about 20 thousand people all over Brunei, and the minority is free to live their faith at home and in places of worship, but there are heavy restrictions on public worship. Every Sunday, says Fr. Sugit, there are between 5 and 6 thousand people for Mass in the cathedral. The apostolic vicariate was established in 2004 by Pope John Paul II, who elevated Msgr. Sim to the rank of bishop, consecrated January 21, 2005 by the then Nuncio Msgr. Salvatore Pennacchio. Its a humble beginningMsgr. Simbut we must continue to enrich our faith based on the principle of community. (AsiaNews)

The director of the Holy See press office has clarified that Pope Francis has not presented a questionnaire to Catholics worldwide to consult on homosexual unions and divorced persons, as some news outlets have reported. This assertion, made by Italian daily il Fatto Quotidiano among others, is not true and in fact the basis is only a document sent to bishops conferences throughout the world by the secretary general of the synod of bishops, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, in preparation for the synod of bishops, Fr. Federico Lombardi told CNA Nov. 2. The synod, which will be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, will be dedicated to the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization. The synod will focus on pastoral responses to the problems of divorce and gay marriage, as well as other challenges to the health of families. (CNA)
Decreases in religious life could prompt canon law reform

In the context of a discussion on the exodus of religious and priests, the heads of the congregation for religious have said that Pope Francis is open to a reformation of the Code of Canon Law. At a conference on vocational perseverance held at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome Oct. 29, Archbishop Jos Rodrguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, noted that in the last five years the congregation dispensed nearly 12,000 people from religious life. (CNA)

Emanuele Princi

A special sabbatical program invites priests to come to the Eternal City to rest and receive classes on topics relevant in the Church today in order to give new ardor to their pastoral ministry.We want them to stir into flame the gift they received on the ordination day, to rediscover that zeal they had, Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo said. Figueiredo is the director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and plays a key role in deciding which topics will be discussed during the program each year. (CNA)

CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013

News Features
ously served as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The faith of Peter, encouraged the archbishop, therefore will confirm once again that the door for encounter with Christ is always open and waits to be crossed with the same enthusiasm and conviction of the first believers. Benedict XVI instituted the Year of Faith, running from Oct. 11, 2012 until Nov. 24, 2014, during his pontificate with the aim of fostering a fresh momentum in the New Evangelization. It will be a moment of grace and commitment to a more complete conversion to God, to strengthen our faith in Him and proclaim Him with joy to the people of our time, the retired pontiff stated in the fall of 2011 upon the announcement of the event. The enthusiasm of the first believers, Fisichella remarked, is a path that the Christians of today know they need to pursue untiringly, as they are strong and reassured by the contemplation of the face of Christ. Archbishop Fisichella also revealed that as symbol of faith and in anticipation of the close of the year dedicated to this virtue, Pope Francis has chosen to travel to a cloistered monastery on Nov. 21 for a moment of prayer. The union between action and contemplation is one of the cardinal points that the faith

expresses and that always needs to be repeated he stated, adding that the faith lives principally of adoration. Pope Francis will visit the monastery of the Camaldolese monks on the Aventine hill, located in ancient Rome, and is an order which conjugates the life of prayer and work in a peculiar way through their service to the poor. Exposing the remains of Saint Peter will be a unique epilogue to the Year of Faith, insisted Archbishop Fisichella, because it has been marked in particular by the profession of faith that millions of pilgrims have made to the tomb of Peter. (CNA/ EWTN News)

Year of Faith to be marked by exposition of St. Peter relics

VATICAN City, Nov. 8, 2013A Vatican official announced that in anticipation of the close of the Year of Faith, the relics of the first Bishop of Rome will be exposed with the aim of re-awakening the faith of the first Christians. A final culminating sign will consist in the exposition for the first time of the relics that tradition recognizes as those of the apostle that gave his life for the Lord, Archbishop Rino Fisichella stated in a Nov. 8 article published in the Vaticans daily newspaper LOsservatore Romano. Archbishop Fisichella is the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and has previ-

Statue of Saint Peter outside of Saint Peters Basilica.

Vatican releases preparatory document for synod on family

VATICAN City, Nov. 5, 2013At a press conference Tuesday, the Vatican released the official preparatory document on the upcoming synod of bishops on the family, revealing key topics of the meetings discussions. The document contains, as well as a general presentation on the matter, various essential Biblical and Magisterial quotations on the theme as well as a questionnaire on the main challenges regarding the family, Cardinal Pter Erdo said Nov. 5. Cardinal Erdo, who is the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest in Ungheria, and was appointed as the new General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops by Pope Francis on Sept. 21, made the announcement at the conference earlier this morning. The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is slated to occur Oct. 5-19 of next year, and will explore the theme of The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization. During the press conference, the cardinal explained that In order to initiate the process of consultation, an invitation has been sent out to circulate the document among diaconates and parishes within Dioceses to complete with the aim of obtaining concrete and real data on the synodal theme. Amid the claims of some news organizations that the questionnaire is a Vatican survey asking (Catholics) opinions on church teachings which has been presented to Catholics worldwide in order to consult on homosexual unions and divorced persons Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi stressed that the questions are not regarding the doctrinal position of the Church. The topics of the questions, which

Pope chooses beatitudes as themes for coming World Youth Days

VATICAN City, Nov. 8, 2013Pope Francis has asked Catholic young people around the world to read, meditate and act on the beatitudes as they celebrate World Youth Day in their dioceses in 2014 and 2015 and as they prepare to join him in Poland in 2016. Taking the text of the beatitudes from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Pope Francis has chosen the themes for World Youth Day celebrations for the next three years, the Vatican announced Nov. 7. World Youth Day is celebrated annually on a local level and every two or three years with an international gathering with the pope. At the end of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis announced the next international gathering would be held in Krakow, Poland, in 2016. The annual Rome diocesan celebration with the pope is held on Palm Sunday each year; the date of the celebration in other dioceses varies. The themes chosen by the pope, the Vatican said, were: For 2014: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the king- Pope Francis dom of heaven. (Mt 5:3). For 2015: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Mt 5:8). For 2016: Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. (Mt 5:7). In addition to being the former see of Blessed John Paul II, the Archdiocese of Krakow is home to the Shrine of Divine Mercy, encouraging the devotion promoted by St. Faustina
Alan Holdren/CNA Marta Jimenez/CNA

Cardinal Peter Erdo, relator general of the 2014 Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on pastoral challenges to the Family at a Nov. 5 press release.

Marianne Medlin/CNA

have been issued to the bishops in all of the worlds dioceses, have been announced and will center on the Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Churchs Magisterium, Marriage according to the Natural Law, and the Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization. Other topics that the survey intends to address are the Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations, the Union of Persons of the Same Sex, the Education of Children in Irregular Marriages, the Openness of the Married Couple to Life, and the Relationship between the Family and the Person. Due to the limited time-frame of the Synod preparations, Cardinal Erdo announced the request that all entities who have been consulted on the questions have been required to send their answers to the General Secretariat by the end of January of next year. A meeting of the Consistory of the Secretariat, a group of around 15 clergy who are in charge of preparations for the next assembly, is scheduled to occur in the month of February in order to analyze the questionnaire responses. (CNA/EWTN News)

Kowalska, a Polish nun. The saint said she had a vision of Jesus, who said he would show mercy to those who pray for it and who share that mercy with others. Announcing the themes, the Vatican noted that during World Youth Day in Rio, Pope Francis asked young people to read the beatitudes and make them a blueprint for their lives. (CNS)

Follow Marian example in transmitting Catholic faith, Tagle tells laity

MANILA, Nov. 10, 2013A high-ranking official of the Catholic Church on Saturday called on the Filipino faithful to follow the example set forth by the Blessed Virgin Mary in sharing and passing on their Catholic faith to others. Speaking before participants of the First Saturday Marian Conference, Tagle urged the laity not just to open themselves to the call of the Lord, but also to respond to it by acting toward the fulfillment of His plan. For Mary, the beginning is listening to God who has a beautiful plan that we call salvation for the whole world, for the whole of Christians, and for the whole of creation, Tagle said in his talk dubbed as Mary, Star of the New Evangelization for the Transmission of Christian Faith held at the San Carlos Seminary. God speaks, but will we listen? God utters a word, but will we hear? In the case of Mary, there was this disposition of listeningbecause she was immaculately conceived, she had this disposition of openness to Gods communication, he added. However, Tagle said that listening does not simply mean hearing the Lords call, but having a certain focus and attentiveness that is tantamount to actively searching for Gods communication. It is not just the ear that listens. The heart continues to listen, even to the words that the ear and the mind cannot comprehend. It is the continuous listening and absorbing of the message, evangelization, noting that it is through the example of Mary that the people are convinced how the Lord expresses love to His people. Part of evangelization is solidarity with those who are in needSolidarity with the many poor and hungry in the land. Through the lips of Mary, hope for the poor is proclaimed, he said. Shes telling the poor and lowly to believe in God, to look at her for she is a living proof that God loves us. She is testifying based on her own experience, he added. Coping with the darkest moment In coping with the challenges that weaken ones faith, Tagle called on the laity to act upon the word of God through imitating the loyalty manifested by the Blessed Mother. It is not enough to hear the word of God and respond to it by agreeingA true disciple is someone who hears the word and does the word, he said. According to Tagle, the Blessed Mother remained loyal to her son and kept listening to His words in the midst of all the uncertainties and confusion that filled her. When other people were denying Jesus as a friend, as a companion, she was proclaiming, This is my son and I will remain here, I will behave as his mother. If youll arrest me, then arrest me. I am his mother. She kept listening and doing the will of God until the end, Tagle said. He added: Even at the darkest momentone must be able to preach whether convenient or inconvenient, in season or out of season, whether it is the joy of Bethlehem or the darkness of the cross. Listen to the word of God and act on it. During times when ones faith weakens, Tagle said the faithful must not lose hope that the Lord will fulfill what must be done at the right time. Hope is the humble stance of someone who knows God is dependable, but God cannot be constrained by us. I depend on God but He has His time, He has his ways, He has His hour. He will fulfill it, but I have to wait, he said. According to Him, prayer is an essential part of evangelization and the transmission of faith, noting that it is through living a life of prayer that the Holy Spirit may lead the people to Jesus. We listen to Mary, we listen to her example, we enter her heart. By the power of the Holy Spirit, even if faith is not clearly stated in scriptures, if we know the whole of the Catholic traditions, we can surmise that these are part of the memories of the faith of Mary transmitted to us, he said. Like her, we should listen, we should respond in humility and generosity, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us, being in solidarity with the poor and the suffering, bringing Christ who is truly good news to the poor, acting on the word that we have heard, praying hard, and waiting in hope for the fulfillment of the promise, he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Villegas: Church should never be a kingmaker, power broker

MANILA, Nov. 7, 2013Amid the increasing involvement of the Philippine Church to the political affairs of the state, the incoming president of the collegial body of Catholic bishops in the country reminded members of the ordained ministry not to directly involve themselves in partisan politics. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that instead of basking in the political limelight, deacons, priests, and bishops must instead focus on their role of bringing Christ closer to the people and fulfilling the churchs mission of becoming the conscience of society. The church should never be a kingmaker, a power broker in the world because if the church will marry a political party, the church will become a widow in the next generation, Villegas said in the fourth episode of his The Life of Faith videos posted in video-sharing website YouTube. The church can never do that because it is the bride of Christ(It) was founded by Jesus Christ, and it has a spiritual mission in the world. The church is in the world, but the church does not belong to this world for it belongs to the world of God, he added. He said that above all, the church must focus on fulfilling its mission of total evangelization and promoting goodwill among humanity, primarily through teaching them to become more sensitive to the plight of less fortunate individuals. Villegas also noted that the church is responsible of urging the laity to engage in business, economics, politics, and all other straits of society in a manner that is configured into Christ. When you speak of society, you speak of the government, peace and order, and economicsThe church composed of lay people should encourage the lay people to engage in economics, business, and politics the way Christ would do it, he said. So that more and more, our society will be configured into Christ, so every human being will act, talk, and think like Jesus, Villegas added. Negative perception The initial findings of the National Filipino Catholic Youth Survey (NFCYS) 2013 showed that the youth negatively perceives the involvement of the church in various political advocacies, especially concerning the Reproductive Health Law seeking to use taxpayers money to fund artificial forms of contraception. Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, outgoing chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY), earlier expressed lament over the survey results and said that it is time to understand why the youth negatively perceives the involvement of the church to the political affairs of the state. 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? Baylon said. The survey involved a sample population of 2,016 young people with single civil status from 18 universities and schools, 34 archdioceses, dioceses and vicariates, and 192 parishes all over the country, according to an article posted in the CEAP website. Conscience of society Expounding on the church as the conscience of society, Villegas said that is through the fulfillment of this role that the church influences society to shun materialism and be more concerned with the enrichment of humanity. He also emphasized the importance of pondering over the spiritual mission of the church manifested through the care and concern given to ones neighbors. At the end of our lives, we will only be judged according to what we did to the body of each onefeeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the lonely. These are the works that are truly spiritual because this is the work of Jesus, he said. What is the mission of the church? To become Jesus for the world because the world is looking for meaning, the world is looking for God, he said. We pray that everybody in this world looking for God will look at the church, the people of God, and will say, See those believers, see those Christians, how they love one another, he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle encourages faithful to imitate Marys example in living their Catholic faith.

eventually keeping it as a treasure, he said. Who can evangelize? Who can transmit the faith? Like Mary, only the hearer and the listener of the word of GodMay I invite all of us not only to develop this desire to listen to Gods word but to help others develop this disposition of listening, he said. Noting the great fascination of Filipinos to telenovelas (television series), Tagle urged the laity to instead channel their attentiveness to the realization of the true meaning of scriptures. We have the capacity to listen, but we are selective. How come we can memorize lines in the telenovelas that we watchI hope that we would be able to bring such kind of attentiveness and receptiveness to the word of God, he said. Tagle emphasized the importance of solidarity and unity among the people in fulfilling the task of new

Bishop challenges faithful to heed universal call to holiness

MANILA, Nov. 3, 2013As the Philippine Church celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, a Catholic bishop challenged the faithful to become social saints who embody virtues of holiness that go against the different forms of political corruption plaguing the society. In a statement, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of San Carlos Gerardo Alminaza reminded the laity of the universal call to holiness, urging them to inspire a collective and widespread effort to abolish all forms of pork barrel through the peoples initiative and to abolish this political cancer that breeds patronage politics and perpetuates political dynasties. The kind of holiness we need today is not privatized, that is, confined only to our private lives and does not affect nor challenge our ways of doing business, politics, and practically all the other aspects of human life, including how we care for our environment, Alminaza said. Alminaza, who was appointed by Pope Francis as the new bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos last September 14, made the remark amid the ongoing investigation on the pork barrel scam involving the alleged diversion of government funds to bogus non-governmental organizations and foundations. Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, is set to face the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on November 7. Alminaza added that possession of saintly attitudes could be the solution to address the social sins present in the society such as graft and corruption, double standard of morality, and abuse of environment, among many others. As we pray for all our faithful departed, we remember in a special way not only members of our immediate and extended families, but those most forgotten, those who simply disappeared, tortured and killed for their work for social justice and defense of human rights, and those who were victims of natural calamities that recently hit our country, Alminaza said. Millions of Filipinos trooped to cemeteries on All Saints Day to pay respects and honor their dead. This Christian tradition dates back during the Roman times wherein saints and martyrs were honored for standing by their faith. May our faith in the communion of saints spur us on to become saints togetherMay our love for our beloved dead make us value, honor, and continue the good deeds they have begun and left us, he added. May our commemoration of our faithful departed inspire us to make sure that we leave this world of ours a much better place than what we have inherited from them, Alminaza noted. (Jennifer Orillaza)

Jennifer Orillaza



CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Hope and confidence on the Filipino

TOO consolingand perhaps spiritually assuring, too, for the most of us who are at the grips of fear, grief and uncertainty brought about by the Super Typhoon Yolandawas the pastoral advisory issued by the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu. While he called for a novena of prayer and charity from November 11-19 for the victims of typhoon Yolanda and the earlier calamities, he assured the faithful that, paraphrasing St. Paul, the earthquake has no sting for one who hopes in the Lord. These are his powerful words: The typhoon was the strongest in the world according to the reckoning of scientists, but our faith in the Lord is even stronger. No typhoon or flood can diminish the strength of the Filipino soul. No calamity or natural devastation can quench the fire of our hope. The Filipino soul is stronger than Yolanda. On the anthropological side of things, a netizen, perhaps a foreigner who immediately posted a comment on the feature story of CNN about the super storm that was published online while the storm was raging on November 8invested confidence on the Filipino psyche. Going by the alias Dudesk001, he wrote: Time to get to know the hardy Filipino peopleunbelievably resilient, long suffering, good natured, uber friendly, loyal, ingenious, and a bunch of survivors. At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes and thongs and go about their businessand smile. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can. Maybe this is why they were given the privilege of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. The indomitable spirit at its finest. On the ground, however, six days have already passed since this most devastating typhoon in history left the country. And yet, dead bodies still litter with the debris in the streets of Tacloban City and neighboring towns as if, in the global reports of CNN and BBC, apathy has suddenly dawned on a people famed for family values and care for their deador perhaps everybody are just too preoccupied with survival and the government going in circles and blaming others instead of lifting a finger. People, getting hungrier and desperate by the day, are desperately clamoring for food and water which despite government promises of immediate relief have yet to be realized. A Tacloban resident was quoted by ABSCBN saying that while he survived typhoon Yolanda, he is not sure to survive hunger due to governments inaction. Lawlessness that may have been triggered by hunger and need, or sheer criminality as two senators involved in pork barrel anomaly pointed out, has driven people to loot business establishments perhaps because the national government has just been talking on TV instead of executing a crisis management plan. The breakdown in communications is a catastrophe in itself, especially for Filipinos abroad whose loved ones are residents in heavily devastated areas. For days now, they have been calling radio stations no end asking for updates. A priest from Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Fr. Edgar Abucejo, drove on his motorcycle all the way to Manila just to be able to communicate the situationer of this town which was the first landfall of typhoon Yolanda. Since cell sites operate on wireless microwave or satellite technologies, mobiles sites could have been temporarily installed in a day or two by telephone companies or the national government if this were given due attention. In a situation such as this, hope is seemingly illusive especially for a government leadership that thinks differentlyor sluggishly. It may not be easy then to shake off the dirt from thongs and go about regular business with a wide grin.
Illustration by Brothers Matias

Silence better than noise

TIME and again it has been proven that there are times that to be quiet is much better than to make noise, to observe silence is more prudent than to talkespecially so when the talk is neither asked for much less needed nor sensible and much less acceptable. And this was precisely what recently took place one otherwise relaxed evening at prime time media coverage: someone spoke what he was told, read what was written for him. And the thereafter effect was certainly not surprising, much less pleasing. No clapping of hand was heard. No cheering in any way was made. There were those who missed their preferred regular news or sought-after entertainment programs. There were others who did not feel nor see the relevance of the talk, much less its importance in their day to day life. Worse, many others felt not only offended but even disgusted with the surprised address. So it was that there were

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

as symbols versus the amoral System that made huge amounts of public funds go into private pockets? Is it so difficult to understand that the now on-going Peoples Initiativenot to mention the cases filed before the Supreme Courtare all against exactly the same Pork Barrel System that has been gradually but surely placed at the command of the Executive Department? Is it difficult to understand that such a practice is against the Philippine Constitution that gives the Power of the Purse to the Legislative Department? Is it so demanding to realize that even the enormous Presidential Pork Barrel is non-acceptable and should therefore be renounced and done away with? Is it so exacting to get rid of such a special porky practice, considering the already tired and tiring claim of someone as supposedly treading nothing less than the Matuwid na Daan?

Our economic and political context

IT is in the field of economics and politics that we see most clearly how our socio-cultural conditioningor more correctly, its negatives aspectsstrongly affects behavior. It leads to, in a word, inequalities, often of the grossest kind. Thus, on the economic side: The poverty and destitution of the great mass of our people are only too evident, contrasting sharply with the wealth and luxury of the relatively few families, the elite top of our social pyramid. And on the political side: Power and control are also elitist, lopsidedly concentrated on established families that tend to perpetuate themselves in political dynasties, The problem is universally recognized, the causes analyzed to death, their solutions known. The Constitution of 1987 itself has set down some prescriptions to respond to the problem, negate its worst aspects. But somehow every measure, every attempt taken is blocked at every step. The entrenched few are not willing to give in to reforms (like those touching landed property and taxes) that will redound to the greater good of the many. Fortunately, not all is darkness. Dissatisfaction with the old order is growing and positive responses are being attempted. We should be especially heartened by the growth of NGOs (Non-government organizations) and POs (People organizations) that have sprung up, slowly in the 50s and 60s, more copiously within the past decade, to foster and organize initiatives, among ordinary citizens, to face up to our many grave and interlocking social problems. Their efforts cover a wide range of interests: ecological concerns, health and livelihood projects for the poor, national sovereignty and non-traditional politics, gender equality, protection of the rights of children and the disabled, peace-making and conflict resolution, gun-control, human rightsthe list is long. Much of the development we speak of here is going on with little fanfare and slow results, but that it is happening at all is cause for great hope, for it strikes at the root of the inequalities of Philippine society. And in its single-minded intent of empowering the powerless to act for themselves for the good of all (with or without the help of government and the traditionally powerful), it is a concrete putting into practice of two key ideas much stressed in recent papal teaching on social issues: solidarity and love of preference for the poor. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 23-27) Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

many phone calls made and much more text messages sent that signified not merely dismay but also anger. Some of the less indecorous observations made or the kinder things said were the following: The speaker did not even know what the problem was, what the issue was, what wrong with the government was. The speaker spoke and acted precisely as the boss incarnate, with everybody else at his feet seeking his precious attention, begging for alms. The speaker seemed to be in Cloud 9 by practically claiming infallibility and assuming sainthood. Is it so hard to know that it is the Pork Barrel System that people denounce avidly and repeatedly, after knowing the gross graft and corruption that accompany it as a matter of course? Is it too hard to know that all the big rallies and long marches that begun in Luneta were infallibly accompanied by pigs in various looks and sizes precisely

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

and thats the truth

tSOMETHING strange happened to me one afternoon I was on my knees praying in a small obscure chapel somewhere in Italy. I was alone, wrapped in the silence and the faint smell of incense, when the door flew open, somebody rushed in and noisily knelt down on the pew opposite mine. I turned to see an adolescent boy in school uniformthen he started sobbing shamelessly. And then I started weepingfeeling nothing, but weeping. Lord, what is this? I thought, judging my situation as weird. Im not a cry baby, I didnt know the guy; for all I know he was sobbing because the school principal had reprimanded and sent him home off time, so why were tears coming down my face when I was numb as a stone? Not understanding my tears I simply thought: Lord, whatever it is causing him so much grief, come and comfort him, that he may know You are real. I dont know how long it took but I stopped weeping when he calmed down. Tears. I was to later hear that there is such a thing as gift of tears but over the years I have not had the slightest interest to google its definition or purpose. I did not care if my tears were a gift or notit was enough to let it be, content to believe that in His own time, IF He so wishes, He would let me know what my weeping meant. That involuntary tear jerking incident was to recur in Sta. Cruz church (in Manila, Philippines) where I sat next to a woman crying while I was savoring solitude in a crowd of strangers. I again

Intimate sharings
wept without feeling anything but found myself thinking I have no idea what this woman wants from You, Lord, but please make her feel Your love before she leaves this church. This passive-commiserative crying-praying experience would be repeated a few more times so unexpectedly, and my one-of-a-kind prayer response would vary, from Please solve his problem fast so he and his family will know Your power! to What if I stroked the old mans back to comfort him, would it be Your touch hed feel, Lord? Everything was so crazy and off the cuff that I just learned to accept these incidents without question. Its humbling for a hard-boiled heart like mine to be unable to control my own tears, but God is God and has every right to be weird and wonderful. Next episode, in my office: two persons were conversing within earshot about Fr. Soand-so wanting to leave the Church. I didnt know the priest in questionapparently a mutual friend of theirsbut again, I wept with zero feeling. Good thing I was poring over my computer and had my back to them, thus they didnt notice I was blotting off my tears. No impromptu prayer came out of me that time, but on a similar occasion, when the priest being talked about was someone I knew, something different came. My tears waited until I was alone, taking a break with the Blessed Sacrament in the CBCP chapel. I remembered what wed discussed about the
And Thats The Truth / A6

God never leaves us

WE just had a double whammy of a natural calamityan Intensity 7.2 earthquake and the now-touted strongest typhoon in history, Yolanda. Its understandable that we are at our wits end as to what to get from these two disasters. And so many of us fall into all sorts of predicamentsfear, anxiety, self-pity, depression, bitterness, etc. The worst part of it is when we lose our faith in God. We have to avert all these, because they really have no basis. They come about precisely because our understanding of things is not completed by our faith in God. In short, these calamities are special moments of exercising our faith. Remember what Christ said quite often, reproaching those very close to him for their lack of faith. O you of little faith, why did you doubt, he told Peter when Peter started disbelieving that he was walking on water. (Mt 14,31) When the disciples were in a boat tossed wildly by a strong wind and lashing waves while Christ was asleep, Christ also reproached them similarly. O you of little

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
things and events. Even when we commit mistakes or when nature suffers its limitations, God continues to be around, drawing things to himself. This is the truth of faith we have to relish, revisiting it often in our meditations so that it may sink deep in our consciousness and give shape and direction to our attitudes, thoughts, desires, words and deeds. This is the truth that will save us from being victimized by our own imperfect understanding of things or by the mere play of our emotions and other natural conditions that cannot take on the whole of the rich reality that is meant for us. It might be good to review what the Catechism says about divine providence. Point No. 55 says, What is divine providence? Divine providence consists in the dispositions with which God leads his creatures toward their ultimate end. God is the sovereign Master of his own plan. To carry it out, however, he also makes use of the cooperation of his creatures. For God grants his creatures the dignity of acting on their
Candidly Speaking / A6

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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

faith, why are you fearful. (Mt 8,26) Then he calmed the raging sea. We are human, and we tend to see things solely from the point of view of what our senses only perceive, what our feelings tell us, what our limited understanding of things show us. We need to go beyond these levels and categories, and learn to think, feel and behave according to what our faith tells us. And what does our faith tell us? It tells us that God never leaves us. He is always at the very core of our being, and of things in general, taken individually or collectively, or in whatever consideration we see and take them. And to be sure, his presence in us and in everything else is not just passive, but very active, full of wisdom, love, mercy and omnipotence even as he allows us and the whole world of creation to act and behave according to their nature taken in both their positive and negative sides, in their powers as well as in their limitations. We are in Gods hands always. Nothing happens without him in the middle of

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013

Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ Fr. Francis Ongkingco

Whatever F.U.N. 10 Beauty Faith Tips
AS the Year of Faith draws to a close, I pondered on what I could probably write about to end it with a twang! I then reread Benedict XVIs Apostolic Letter and the following words once again caught my attention: Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lords invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples. Believers, so Saint Augustine tells us, strengthen themselves by believing. The saintly Bishop of Hippo had good reason to express himself in this way. As we know, his life was a continual search for the beauty of the faith until such time as his heart would find rest in God. (Porta fidei, no. 7) Then it dawned upon me, Why not write on the beauty of faith? But surely Pope Francis could spice this idea more? I took the Encylical Lumen fidei found yet another wonderful passage that described how the saints add, so to speak, the richer ingredient of faith to make the grandeur and beauty of life increase: Because faith is a way, it also has to do with the lives of those men and women who, though not believers, nonetheless desire to believe and continue to seek. To the extent that they are sincerely open to love and set out with whatever light they can find, they are already, even without knowing it, on the path leading to faith. They strive to act as if God existed, at times because they realize how important he is for finding a sure compass for our life in common or because they experience a desire for light amid darkness, but also because in perceiving lifes grandeur and beauty they intuit that the presence of God would make it all the more beautiful. (Lumen fidei no. 35) These two inspiring insights from two Popes, I thought, are intimately connected. They reveal two aspects of our faith: as an entrance leading to a place and light guiding our journey in this life. "If I will have to go through a door leading into Heaven," I said, "then I might as well enter it beautifully prepared to meet our Lord in the most important moment in every persons life." Thats when the idea hit me! What about listing down some helpful points that would make our faith (not only our face) beautiful? And who might be an authority on beauty? Naturally, women! I asked a few acquaintances if they could send me at least ten helpful beauty tips. I didnt explain what I needed them for. All I asked were tips ranging from cosmetics, fashion and health pointers. Women are an eager bunch! In a few seconds, the replies came in through text and email. I excitedly read through their ideas. They coincided in many external tips related to putting on make-up, dressing up, and a few healthy reminders. But I was surprisingly pleased to read how they added many other suggestions related to beautifying ones soul. Here is what I have compiled and tweaked to beautify our faith. Lets start with the more cosmetic-health related advice and move on to the more soulful tips. a) Basic rule: cleanse, tone, moisturize. The gift of faith always begins with cleansing, that is, with our Baptism. It is then strengthened or toned by means of our spiritual life (i.e. our constant prayers and sacrifices). It is maintained alive or moisturized with frequenting the sacraments, living virtues and the beatitudes. b) Choose quality over quantity and keep make-up simple and natural. Dress up according to your age. Plastic surgery is never an option. Never sleep with make-up on. Ones faith isnt simply knowing a lot of information, memorizing of fulfilling a compilation of devotions. Ones faith is never put on or artificial, it must be a living faith and must struggle against the slumber of sin, vice and mediocrity. c) Keep up with the times. Its important to constantly rediscover the perennial beauty of ones faith. One cannot be misled by trying to keep up with trendy-fashionable ideas of spirituality that will only pass. What is traditional may be old, but if it is kept alive, it is never irrelevant but always treasured and passed on. Know and participate with whats going on in the Church, be interested in the teachings of the Pope, the Bishops and the lives of holy people. d) Study your body and what flatters it. Each persons body, like his personal life of faith is unique. Although the contents of faith are unchangeable, the richness of its application in each persons life is unlimited. Its up to each one to study his faith and discover its inner beauty that converts us to be more identified with Christ. e) Find stylish friends who will be your true mirror. Our faith isnt something we live alone. We were introduced to it through others, and its beauty will also grow with the help of others. There is no better mirror than friends who will tell you truthfully what looks good on you and what doesnt. And this is especially true when Christ our friend, guides and purifies through the sacrament of Reconciliation through His priests. f) Develop inner joy and peace. Keep all negative thoughts, feelings, and negative people far, far away. Forgive everyone including yourself. No make-up or expensive attire can replace eyes and a demeanor arising from these. Real beauty [faiths inner attraction] has an aura that welcomes and attracts people to friendship, joyful and meaningful moments. Thus, the saints drew many souls to God through the beauty of Jesus through their faith. g) Play! Be engaged in life, do things you like to do, help others. Exercise, laugh, and see your friends regularly. A well maintained faith will naturally lead one to share the joy and peace that are fruits of faith. It will fill one with a divine optimism to face and change the world. h) Be in the moment! People beautified by faith enjoy each moment or are completely present in it. Moments well lived add up to a life well lived. And that is real beauty. The saints were men and women who savored every moment with an eternal sense because they were always living it in the presence of God. Thus, they were able to inject something far more beautiful to earthly realities and engagements. i) Never forget to pray! This is something we can never do without in our faith beauty-kit. Prayer always gives inner peace, and continues to cleanse, tone and moisturize our faith. Thus, it keeps it radiant, young and fresh. j) Believe in yourself because God believes in you! Smile, because life, no matter how challenging, is beautiful! Once again, each one has to place himself before the divine make-up artist: God. Who constantly showers us with His grace and mercy. k) Bonus tip: Last but not the least, ask our Lady to help you put on your faith daily. These are some helpful faith beauty tips that will hopefully enhance our personal faith and allow its radiance to illumine our path towards Heavens gates. Our beautiful faith will also, with the help of grace, be a gateway for others to follow and enter through, because they are attracted to the beauty of our Lord made visible through our faith-full lives.

Priests for all seasons

OVER the past weekend, I was glad to be part of four events that depict the varied roles of a priest today. Last Saturday, I was invited to celebrate the fiesta Mass in Tuod, a mission station or sub-parish of Manticao. The barangay is ten kilometers from the highway. It has become the center of about 17 kapilya communities in the interior and upland areas of Manticao. As we approached the church of Tuod, we encountered a long procession of delegates coming from the surrounding kapilyas. Fr. Eli Datoy, the resident parochial vicar, was there to greet us. He brought us to the newlyconstructed convento by the side of the church, with a landscaped frontage and a terrace soon to be completed with pavers. He described how Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) were being formed in the far-flung barangays. He was also planning to put up a formation center on the other side of the church. Here then was the role of a priest as shepherd, formator of BECs, and builder of structures in one of the more remote areas of the archdiocese. On that same Saturday in the afternoon, I joined the Vicariate Youth Day for the two City East vicariates. There were about 440 young people participating from 11 parishes. Together with Sweet Adorio, a youth leader and archdiocesan secretary for the youth apostolate, I shared our experiences at the World Youth day held in Brazil last July. The VYD adopted the same theme of the WYD: Go and make disciples of all nations. (Mt. 28:29) After supper, the youth participants spent an hour of Taize contemplative prayer in silence and rhythmic chanting. After this came the live portrayal of parish patron saints, a unique cultural show suggested by the youth themselves. It was a joy to see how several young women were able to portray Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, or Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The male youth portrayed San Vicente Ferrer and San Nicolas de Tolentino. But the most outstanding depiction was that of Seor Jesus Nazareno, reinforced by an abbreviated passion play. On the following Sunday, before the closing Mass that I celebrated, there were also some vocation talks and challenges to the youth presented by seminarians and religious sisters, including Sr. Roxanne Sarmiento, CM, Archdiocesan Youth Apostolate Coordinator. Throughout the two days, a number of parish priests dropped by to accompany their youth delegates. Here then was another role of the priestto be a companion of the young in their search for the presence of God in

Pastoral Companion
their lives. By Monday morning, I received from Fr. Raul Dael a text message of the successful delivery of some relief goods gathered by the archdiocese for the victims of the earthquake in Bohol. Fr. Daels brother had offered his fishing pumpboat to deliver much-needed food, water, and shelter supplies to affected families in Loon. The boat carrying Fr. Dael and several social action volunteers made the crossing on Saturday and returned over choppy waters by Monday morning. Here was a third image of a priest, who is ready to come to the aid of families in emergency situations despite formidable odds. This was actually a repetition of the many instances of relief and rehabilitation efforts by our priests, sisters, and lay co-workers during the Typhoon Sendong calamity in Cagayan de Oro two years ago. A fourth image of the priest came to the fore yesterday in the precinct poll-watching during the barangay elections. While bringing a visitor to the Calaanan relocation site for Sendongaffected families, we located the two Barnabite parish priests, Frs. Ferdinand Dagcuta and Rosauro Valmores, at the elementary school which served as the polling place. The priests were accompanying some PPCRV volunteers and showing their concern for clean elections and good governance. As we thank the Lord then for this ordination day of a new priest, we can reflect on the varied roles that a priest may be asked to take up in our society today. 1. As parish priest, he is called to be a shepherd for his flock. He helps form BECs. He builds houses of worship as well as conventos and formation centers. He catechizes, preaches, and celebrates the sacraments for the People of God. 2. A priest is oftentimes asked to be a companionof the young as well as of other parishioners. This can be called the apostolate of presence or of accompaniment. The priest may not be able to contribute anything else but his presence. And yet, this accompaniment can be a living reminder for others of what it means to be church or to be a Christian in todays world. Thus, a church-sponsored youth day is very different from just another youth festival. 3. A priest can act as a good Samaritan in joining Civil Society groups in their concern for victims of calamities, such as what happened in Bohol or earlier in Zamboanga. A priest can also join or even lead civic groups in working for good governance and clean elections.
Pastoral Companion / A7

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum
NATURAL and man-made calamities are happening again in the country. It happened during the term of Ex-President Tita Cory Aquino eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, earthquake that toppled hotels in Baguio and schools in Nueva Ecija, typhoons, floods, coup detat, brown-outs, violent protests resulting to death of participants. This year, meteorologists announced that typhoons which visited the Philippines exceeded the number that normally enters the country. Typhoons and Habagat or west monsoon rains coincided with high tide, thus, floods and storm surges beleaguered not only the coastal areas but even inland and city streets. Typhoons devastated Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Mindanao. A 7.2 intensity earthquake destroyed historical churches and buildings in Bohol and Cebu. The almost two weeks armed conflict in Zamboanga between the government forces and the MNLF-Misuari faction resulted to several casualties and injuries to soldiers and residents, not to mention destruction of schools, buildings, houses and infrastructure projects. While several protests against pork barrel, disbursement acceleration program (DAP) and Presidential discretionary fund are continuing, super typhoon Yolanda with international name Haiyan had 6 landfalls in Visayas and parts of Luzon. Packing a strength of 225kph and a gustiness of 250 kph, Yolanda was called the monster storm, the strongest typhoon in the planet this year. It was even stronger than hurricane Katrina that destroyed most of New Orleans in Louisiana in the United States. Days before Yolanda reached the Philippine area of responsibility, text brigade

Natural and man-made calamities

fragan dioceses. The NCR and Southern Luzon dioceses had just finished it, where this columnist was a participant and member of the JOY Team. The last two seminars are scheduled in the Arch/Dioceses of Visayas on November 18 to 20 at the Saint Francis Seraph Retreat House, Maghaway, Talisay, Cebu; and the last is on November 25 to 27 for the Arch/Dioceses of Mindanao at the Mother Francisca Spirituality Centre, Lagao, General Santos City. The Holy Heroes Formation Team Coordinator is Monsignor Jose Antonio Jojo Galvez (Parish Priest of La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Sta. Maria, Bulacan), together with Rebecca Rica Lavilla, Isidoro Syd Baradi IV and Sr. Lydia M. Collado, RSCJ. *** We request the pious readers to offer prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of our dear Engr. Nida Ruiz, Vice President for Visayas of Laiko, Vice President of Council of the Laity of the Archdiocese of Cebu and Past President of World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF). Nida does not only play the guitar, she also composed songs for the Blessed Mary, one of which is titled Mary, Model of My Soul. Nida died of lung cancer five months after she was diagnosed. While she was alive, she offered her pains and sufferings for the sanctification of priests. During her illness and her wake, His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, and Outgoing CBCP President Most Rev. Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, offered Masses for Nida. Priests from the Archdiocese of Cebu and nearby dioceses also said Mass. Before the Necrological Services, the Mass was presided by Most Rev. Jesse
Duc in Altum / A6

had been running in Metro Manila requesting prayers that our country be spared of Yolandas devastations and catastrophe. Yolanda caused destructions in the places it hit but they were not as worst as expected, 3 casualties. Friends text from Cebu said their prayers saved them. Prayers, being alert and ready save everyone. Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. (God gives mercy to people who help themselves). Thanks God! Ave Maria! *** The Year of Faith will end on November 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King. A week after, or on December 01, 2013, the First Sunday of Advent, the Year of the Laity (YOL) starts. Incoming CBCP President His Grace Socrates Soc Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and Chairman of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCE) and the Episcopal Commission on the Laity (ECLA), together with the Board of Officers and Trustees of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas or Laiko, have been preparing for the YOL since August this year. The theme of the celebration is Called to be Saints Sent Forth as Heroes. The Year of the Laity is a preparation for the 500th year of the first baptism and first Mass in the Philippines. Five formation programs on YOL, called Holy Heroes, have been scheduled in various parts of the country to bring about a renewed appreciation of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation among our lay faithful and animate them for the mission of social transformation. Formation seminars were conducted in the Arch/Dioceses of Northern and Central Luzon, Archdiocese of Caceres and suf-

'Lumen Fidei' for families

JOY! That was my immediate reaction when I heard that Pope Francis was releasing his first encyclical on the topic of faith. I know papal letters are not often the cause of rejoicing, but there are many reasons to be happy over this document, Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith). First: This is the work of four hands, as Francis himself described it. In issuing the encyclical, Pope Francis finished and continues the masterworks of his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Our beloved Benedict wrote on love (Caritas Deus Est), hope (Spe Salvi), and the relationship of love and truth (Caritas in Veritate). He had begun this most recent encyclical on the theological virtue of faith but did not finish it before stepping down in February. We Catholics can rejoice that Francis saw fit to build on his predecessors body of work and complete this letter on faith, as a teaching document and also as a sign of continuity from one papacy to another. The Pope is the Successor of Peter, who was established as vicar by Christ himself, and holds his Chair by the grace of God. He is not an elected functionary or bureaucrat. He holds the keys of the kingdom, handed on from one pope to another for the salvation of souls. Francis, in the humility that has graced his papacy, chose to underscore these facts by following the path Benedict blazed. Second: There is so much in the text of Lumen Fidei to engender joy in the believer and even in those who do not share in the fullness of the Catholic faith. The encyclical opens the door to faith, leading the reader through faith history, beginning with Abraham, our father in faith, and the patriarchs of Israel, and proclaiming that all the promises made by God in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, true God and true man. That is to say, the Light of Faith is first of all the faithfulness of God throughout history toward the human race. He is a God, a Father, who keeps his

Brian Caulfield

Half-a-world away
promises. This is the light that shines in the darkness, which leads humanity on the way of truth and salvation, and thus we need fear no evil as we go forward in life, uncertain though the path and our own strength may be. The Good News is that God is faithful, he has become one of usa man in all things except sinand has given us the means through Jesus Christ to make it back to the Father, to heaven. Pope Francis also stresses the connection between faith and reason (it is not irrational or unreasonable to believe) and the very tangible good that people of faith have brought and continue to bring to mankind. Third: The family has an honored place in this papal document. This fact is a particular joy for all those whose vocation is marriage and family life. We are the primary educators of our children, and we have a special duty to keep the Catholic faith alive and vibrant in our families and to hand it on to our children. I quote from the section Faith and the family (Nos. 52 and 53), which is very personal in tone: The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. The love of a man and a woman in marriage requires faith and faithfulness, and in its expression there is reflected some of the aspects of faith in God. In fact, God must be present in that love for it to be constant and purified. The encyclical continues: Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. I am reminded of St. Pauls teaching that the love between spouses is a reflection of the TrinHalf A World Away / A6

THE Catholic Churchs social arm has tapped its vast network of social action centers in various dioceses to help the areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda. NASSA-Caritas Philippines of the Catholic Bishops Conference is linking with diocesan social action centers for a more coordinated and organized relief efforts. Dioceses spared from the typhoon are providing relief efforts to help typhoon victims in the spirit of Alay kapwa, it said. In the Diocese of Antique, Diocesan Social Action director Fr. Edione reported that 60% of houses in the area have been either totally or partially damaged by the typhoon. But the southern-part of Antique

Local News
was spared and is providing relief to the affected areas, he said. The local government is also doing its best to provide food rations while the Church is looking at transitional shelters, and shelter support materials for roof. NASSA also said the Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte is providing rice supplies for 2,000 families in Tacloban. Church organizations like the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) also called in to provide relief goods like rice and canned goods to the affected dioceses. Affected provinces The strongest typhoon this year to batter the country, Yolanda packing with sustained winds of 215 kph and gustiness up to 250kph, made six landfalls on November 8 and totally devastated the towns of Guiuan, Samar; Tolosa, Leyte; Bantayan Island and Daanbantayan in Cebu; Concepcion, Iloilo; and Coron, Palawan. In Tacloban City alone, an 18 foothigh storm surges totally destroyed the city and killed unconfirmed number of people. A total of 4.5M individuals were reportedly affected in 1,741 barangays in 343 municipalities and 39 cities in 36 provinces. As of November 12, the governments National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported 1,774 deaths, 2487 injured and 82 still missing. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

NASSA rallies diocesan social centers to aid typhoon victims

The seaside town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar looks like a wasteland after typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall on morning of November 8.

Boholanos make sense of tragedy at 72nd diocesan anniversary

CELEBRATING the dioceses 72nd anniversary in makeshift tents buffeted by Yolandas winds, Boholanos realized that good can come out of tragedy. Celebrating the holy mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral November 8, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, D.D. said that for 72 years the diocese has pilgrimaged and walked in faith and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the province can only be a call to a higher level of faith. Purifying hearts I would like to purify you more. I would like you to give Me more of yourself. Oh, yes. We dont understand that, Bishop Medroso imagined God to be telling the Boholano faithful. He said, it is precisely because Boholanos are very, very good Christians, are charitable and religious that God is calling them to a higher level of spirituality. Medroso compared the Boholano peoples experience to Christs where he started off by can be a springboard to greater giving of self. Suffering with Christ In a separate interview, he said, at present 11 bishops hail from Bohol; including past and deceased Bohol bishops that brings the count to 16. You are no longer giving gifts, but give yourself, he added. Medroso, who despite having recently turned 75 years old insisted on visiting even the most far-flung towns in his diocese to check on the Boholanos most seriously affected by the earthquake, talked about victimhood and suffering with Christ. Assume the guilt of your brothers and sisters, dying on the Cross as a criminal, he said, explaining how offering up suffering like Christ is something not easily understood or done, but can be highly redemptive. The Diocese of Tagbilaran is set to celebrate its Diamond jubilee or 75th anniversary in 2016. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Priest urges PHL govt to probe ill treatment of OFWs in Saudi

A CATHOLIC priest urged the Philippine government to investigate the claims of some undocumented Filipino workers in Saudi that they suffered abuses from authorities. Fr. Edwin Corros, CS, executive secretary of CBCPs Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said the government should investigate the abuses allegedly suffered by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Saudi after the deadline for them to stay in the country lapsed last November 3. We heard from the news that some undocumented Filipinos were harassed by authorities there. The government should investigate the claim of harassment in order to know the real reason behind their detention or imprisonment, Corros explained during a Church forum in Intramuros, recently. He pointed out whether undocumented or legal worker, they too have basic human rights and should be treated humanely. The Saudi government on November 3 declared it will not extend anymore the deadline given to undocumented Filipino workers to correct their status and that it will impose a crackdown. Meanwhile, Corros urged Filipino workers abroad to update their families on their status and conditions in countries where they are working. We are also asking them to update their loved ones here in the Philippines about what is happening in their lives. This way, they would prepare their families on what they have to do if they are in trouble, he furthered. (Jandel Posion)

Since the earthquake that shook Bohol, people in the Diocese of Tagbilaran continue to find strength in the faith.

giving himself to others through works of service, healings and miracles, but that ultimately, his mission was to die on the Cross for the salvation of others. Yes, we are charitable. Yes, we appreciate the gifts that God has given to us. But probably our Lord is saying, it is not yet

enough, he explained during the 7 a.m. Eucharistic celebration. Medroso specifically mentioned the great number of vocations coming from Bohol and how parents wholeheartedly offer their sons and daughters to the religious life and how this

Yolanda traps original Fatima image in E. Samar

THE international pilgrim statue of the Our Lady of Fatima was trapped in Eastern Samar after supertyphoon Yolanda battered Central Philippines. The image arrived in the town of Dolores, roughly 46 kilometers north of the provinces capital city of Borongan, November 7 and stayed there for an overnight vigil. The icon was supposed to be brought to Borongan November 8, for another overnight vigil but it is not sure if the plan pushed through as communication and power is down in the area. Dozens feared dead as the strongest typhoon in the world this year and poised to be the most powerful ever to hit land smashed various areas in Visayas on November 9. In Eastern Samar alone, at least two people were killed, 9 injured, and 11 were still missing when a vessel capsized off Borongan.
Duc In Altum / A5

Nirva Delacruz

The first landfall happened in Guiuan town in the provinces southern tip at 4:40 a.m. with its maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 275 kph. The typhoon then pummeled nearby Leyte island, where a storm surge as high as 16 feet was recorded in Tacloban City, and other regions in Visayas. Video footage from the ground in affected areas showed monster winds tore roofs off houses and whipping debris down streets. Massive flooding and landslides were also reported in several provinces. According to the original schedule, the statue of the Our Lady of Fatima was set to be brought to the Archdiocese of Palo, which was also lashed by the typhoon, on November 9. The image arrived in Manila, coming

Half A World Away / A5

The original image of the Our Lady of Fatima upon its arrival at the St. Joachim Parish Church in Dolores, Eastern Samar, November 7.

ity, two persons begetting a third in love (see Ephesians 5:22-35). Finally, the encyclical offers a ringing challenge to our secular age, which claims to know all about love but misses its deeper meaning: Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives. It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation to love. I am afraid that our age, our culture, has failed to discern and respond to that magnificent
Homilies / A1

calling to lovelook at broken marriages, abandoned children, abortion, contraception, assisted suicide and the most basic denial of sexual difference in the begetting of new life. We have failed to love, and that failure is related to a lack of faith in God and in one another. Yet to move forward as a people, we need faith, hope and love. By Gods grace, the four hands of our two popes have given us a map to these three virtues, in word and by example.

directly from Fatima, Portugal, last Sept. 16 to visit 41 archdioceses and dioceses all over the country until December 18. (CBCPNews)

Fr. Romeo Lito Cardoso

Mercado, Chairman of CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, Bishop of Paraaque, and National Spiritual Director of Laiko, with concelebrants Msgr. Ruben Labajo, Chaplain of WAF Cebu, and Fr. Rico Ayo of the Diocese of Paraaque. Family and friends of Nida shared how Nida touched their lives. Speakers were Laiko National President Atty. Aurora A. Santiago, Nidas sisters Sr. Christine Ruiz and Fely Ruiz, friends Boyie Mansueto, Christine Paglinawan, Atty.
Candidly Speaking / A4

Pat Acabodillo, WAF President Reynald Andales, Msgr. Labajo and Bishop Mercado. Nidas nephew Fra. Didacus Ruiz, Franciscan friar of the Immaculate which congregation was assigned at Sta. Maria Maggiore Basilica in Vatican City, came home for Nida. Nidas Laiko Family was represented by Bishop Mercado, Fr. Rico Ayo, National President Atty. Aurora A. Santiago, Vice President for Ecclesiastical Province of Manila Dr. Marita Wasan and Vice President for Luzon Dr.

Amelita Dayrit-Go. To you dear Nida, when you reach the Lords Kingdom, He will tell you, Nida, job well done. Welcome to my home. Nida, God speed, God bless, we love you; remember us whom you left behind. Ave Maria! *** Let us also pray for the eternal repose of the soul of activist priest Fr. Joe Dizon of the Diocese of Imus who died Nov. 4 due to complications from diabetes. He actively fought the martial law regime and known to be dedicated fighter for social jus-

tice. He was at the forefront of the campaign against the pork barrel. His remains stayed at San Roque Cathedral, Diocese of Kalookan before it was transferred to Diocese of Imus. *** Happy Birthday to my sister Victoria Santiago and sisterin-law Ma. Loreto Santiago; also to Fr. Ildefonso de Guzman Fr. Mhandy Malihan, OP and Kathy de Leon and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Luisito Alhambra of the Diocese of Kalookan.

own and of being causes for each other. Then on the question of evil, Point No. 58 says, Why does God permit evil? Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest
And Thats The Truth / A4

of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption.) These doctrines of our faith may be a nosebleed in the beginning. But to be sure, thats only in the beginning. We just have to wade through them and familiarize ourselves with them, just like anything that is precious but arduous in our life. In the end, they will become second nature to us, a working principle in our thinking

and action. On a personal note, I would venture to say that these calamities we are having are mere expressions of the natural course of nature that has its limitations. God allows them to happen, among many other reasons, to prepare us for our own death and the end of time that will surely come, and our own meeting with God in the Last Judgment.

to the people. It is also unfair to me because Im depriving myself of the good encounter with God, Villegas said. The Mass is the highest form of prayer for every Catholic and I, as a priest, should go into the Mass with the utmost preparation, he said. In the third episode of his The Life of Faith videos on YouTube, the archbishop cited reasons why he sometimes failed to deliver better quality preaching. These include, he said, his failure to prepare for the liturgy and because he did not pray before the Mass. I have done that a few times in the past when I rush into the Mass because of the many schedules that preceded it, Villegas said.
Donation / A1

The incoming president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also attributed his long and winding homilies to his failure to know my people well. In other words, I was speaking about hunger when I did not feel the hunger myself. I was speaking about death, sorrow and loneliness but I have not felt the loneliness, the death and the sorrow that the parishioners are going through, said Villegas. We priests can preach to empty stomachs but only if our stomach is as empty as our parishioners. When our life is so different from our parishioners, then we end up giving long and winding homilies. I dont speak about anyone. I speak about myself and Im guilty, he said. (CBCPNews)

priest, and I wept as usual without emoting. And then an unspoken question dawned on me: Why, Lord? Do I weep like this because somethings going on thats hurting You? I realized it was a question that did not expect an answer. Since then my secret weeping over persons or situations acquired a tenderness, a poignancy that was neither personal nor impersonal. I would come to see or hear about something that would trigger the weeping and revive the question, Do I weep like this because somethings going on thats hurting You, Lord? I need not be emotionally involved with the person or in a situation for the tears to be shed. There would be no casual prayer, no words uttered, although I

know Im praying somehow, somewhere deep. There would simply flow quiet tears blending sadness and serenityas I had shed a couple of hours ago (and which would continue despite my replying to mundane texts), while watching footages of super typhoon Yolanda on television. Certain images of devastation combined forces to tamper with my heartbeat and spur my imagination. Fallen electrical posts seemed like public servants powerless and helpless before natures wrath. The mad scramble for wet sacks of rice spilling out of a damaged warehouse made me wish people would rest from posting food picture on Facebook. Coconut trees with their tops blown off

standing erect against the sky but shorn of glory, like defrocked cardinals. A teenage boy confessing to the world, I am not a thief, but yes, I stole from that storewere hungry! We will die from hunger! An odd Pieta came to mind as I watched a young mother cradling a baby in her lap and inconsolably sobbing on global television Ive lost my husband and my two other children; where are we to go now? One elderly man was just as remorseful, Child, I am sorry, forgive me, forgive me, I could not save you! A young husband tried to sound strong but his broken voice betrayed him, as he addressed his wife, Youre in Australia, but I know you will see this I only want

to let you know our children, our two boys theyre gone theyre gone. Small children huddled together in sleephow will this experience affect their future? Just as Yolandas victims direly need food and other materials to help rebuild the devastated provinces, they also need healers to rebuild their lives. They need shock absorbers to nurse them back to normalcy, and to prevent their faith in God from being snuffed out by this tragedy. A wild desire wells up within me: I want to be there to help carry their crossI cant offer much but I can listen to anyone who desperately needs a listener. I am prepared to weep with them, too.

vember 11 to President Benigno Aquino expressing the Holy Fathers assurance of prayers and deep solidarity with all those affected by the storm and its aftermath. Exact number of casualties is not yet confirmed although initial reports pegged death toll may run into the thousands because of the massive destruction that the typhoon has left in its path. Operation Alay-Kapwa Meanwhile, the NASSA-Caritas Philippines of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appealed for solidarity assistance from its various Social Action Networks in the countrys 86 dioceses. In a press release, NASSA said it is maximizing its vast network to link and coordinate relief efforts in different dioceses. In the past 3 weeks, we have had 1 major earthquake and 3 typhoons affecting every island in the archipelago, and yet help has

been pouring in since the communication lines have opened. Even the Diocese of Talibon in Bohol, still reeling from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, has been calling to ask where to send their donations for Leyte. This is the true spirit of Alay-Kapwa! Miss Jo Ignacio, NASSA Emergency Coordinator noted. Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) made six landfalls on November 8 in Central Philippines, ploughing the towns of Guiuan, Samar; Tolosa, Leyte; Bantayan Island and Daanbantayan, both in Cebu; Concepcion, Iloilo; and Coron, Palawan. A total of 4.5M individuals were reportedly affected in 1,741 barangays in 343 municipalities and 39 cities in 36 provinces. Tacloban City suffered the worst as it was battered also by 18 foot-high storm surges, leaving 95% of the city destroyed, with thousands of people feared dead, scores missing and injured.

AFP Central Command

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013

Diocesan News
To the advice for us to stop some diggings and all development projects affecting the church building, I say we cannot stop anything that has never been started, he said. The archbishop made the statement this week amid growing protests that even reached the Vatican through signature and media campaigns. Arguelles admitted that it has come across the archdiocesan finance administrators mind to toy with the idea due to an interested party to make optimal use of the space. He said the oeconomus then asked some priests to study about its feasibility a move that immediately triggered a barraged of angry responses. At this point, he said, the finance officer was advised to take the course of silence, hoping that the issue would not have worsened to such uncharitable proportion but it did not stop from there. Certainly, because of these misrepresentations, we are pained that the parish and the archdiocese are immediately placed in a bad light in the eyes of our unknowing and misinformed faithful who are men and women of goodwill, he said. He reiterated the archdioceses intention to preserve and to propagate the historical and cultural importance of its churches. Allow me to clearly declare to everyone: more than the consideration of the Historical Commission, it is not part of the intention of the Archdiocese of Lipa to lease a portion of the building for a commercial end, convinced of its intrinsic evangelizing force and cultural valence, Arguelles said. To the advice for us to stop some diggings and all development projects affecting the church building, I say we cannot stop anything that has never been started, he added. (CBCPNews)


Bishop refutes alleged plan to lease part of historic church

LIPA City A Catholic archbishop has refuted allegations that his archdiocese is planning to use a portion of a heritage church for commercial purposes. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said there is no truth to stories that they are going to lease part of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Balayan town to a grocery chain. More than the consideration of the Historical Commission, it is not part of the intention of the Archdiocese of Lipa to lease that portion of the building for a commercial end, convinced of its intrinsic evangelizing force and cultural valence, Arguelles said.

Jaro Carmel declared pilgrimage site

JARO, Iloilo The first Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Jaro has been declared a Pilgrimage Site as it celebrates its 90th anniversary of foundation from November 9, 2013 to November 9, 2014. Archbishop Angel Lagdameo made the declaration on November 9 during a Pontifical Mass celebrated to launch the yearlong celebration themed Celebrating the Gift of Presence, Sharing the Gift of Prayer. Sister Mary Cecile of the Trinity, O.C.D., said the declaration of Jaro Carmel as a Pilgrimage Site is aimed to make people more aware of the presence in Iloilo of the first Discalced Carmelite Monastery founded in the Philippines. The nun said that, although the monastery is open every day, Wednesdays and Saturdays have been set as Pilgrimage Days during the whole celebratory year to welcome parishes, schools and other groups to Jaro Carmel. On display is an exhibit of the foundational years of the first Carmelite community that includes the accounts of the first four Carmelite Sisters who arrived in Iloilo 90 years ago and the history of the Father and Founder of Jaro Carmel, Bishop James McCloskey. Pilgrims will also have the chance to speak with the Carmelite nuns so that they can learn about the life inside a Carmelite Monastery. It is hoped that, given the chance to pray in Jaro Carmel and to speak with the Sisters, many people, especially the youth, will be able to discover the Faith and even discern their vocation. Presently, the community is consists of 16 Sisters which includes one Postulant and one Novice. Carmelite Monastery in Jaro People who will visit Jaro Carmel Bishop McCloskey was known to throughout the 90th Year celebration have a great devotion to Our Lady of will also have the opportunity to gain Mount Carmel and St. Therese of the Indulgences when they come as pil- Child Jesus. grims and fulfil the usual conditions set The numerous natural and manby the Holy See. made disasters, such as earthquakes, Jaro Carmel was founded 90 years typhoons, the RH Law, the Pork-barrel ago to answer the request of Bishop scam and other forms of corruption that McCloskey, then bishop of Jaro to have the Philippines confront today make a Carmelite Monastery in Iloilo to pray more significant the gift of presence and day and night for the needs of the dio- the gift of prayer that the Jaro Carmel cese, of its Bishop and priests, and also community offers to the Church and to for the needs of the whole Philippines. the country. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles

Tandag diocese builds new cathedral


Sr. Celeste Parilla, PDDM explains to the media the theological and cultural aspects of the new cathedrals design.

PHL delegates to worlds consecration in Rome share experiences

MUNTINLUPA City Filipino Marian devotees who flew all the way to Rome to participate in Pope Francis consecration of the world last October 13 talk about experiences that range from physical healing to a sense of unity with the Church. Erlyn Sison, a member of the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace who went to Rome for the consecration of the world with her husband, Jun, shared how she was healed from a terrible flu that forced her to eat and drink very little for around 10 days. Physical healing Then just like a miracle, that night I was able to eat. All my nausea went away. I had appetiteI was so happy being there,
Disconnection / A1

I was as so happy with the feeling that I was able to see Mother Mary and I really felt her presence as well, Sison shared during a recent assembly of the Confraternity, describing what she experienced after seeing the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima was paraded throughout St. Peters Square for what seemed like an hour and a half. Sison, who went with 6 others from the Metro Manila-based Confraternity to Rome for the consecration, said she remembered praying upon seeing the image of Our Lady, Jesus, through Mary, please save us and the whole world. Our Ladys tenderness For Pinky Sandoval, who went with her sister Marcelle

to Rome, described feeling a special closeness to the Blessed Virgin during the ceremony. [The image of Our Lady] isnt even close yet, but you will already feel goose bumps. You will feel her tenderness and youll feel like crying, Sandoval shared last Tuesday. Sandoval said, she could sense the Blessed Virgin Mary making her presence felt by everyone attending the Marian Day and noted how the estimated 150,000 pilgrims present were truly international and not just made up of Rome residents. It was really a heartwarming and very fulfilling feeling just to be there, just to be part of the group, she said of the experience.

Praying the rosary on the bus For Jun Sison, he first felt the impact of the trip in Poland where the group visited a number of Marian sites as part of a pilgrimage, which would have Rome, Italy as its last stop. According to Sison, seeing the deep Marian devotion of the Polish people touched him deeply. Their Marian devotion will really surprise youI noticed people there on the bus praying the rosary. Can you imagine that? he shared during the Confraternitys assembly last October 29. The Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace is a private association promoting true devotion to Our Lady as taught by St. Louis de Montfort. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur A new cathedral rises in the diocese of Tandag. With the recent destruction of heritage churches in Bohol due to 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Bishop Nereo Odchimar has raised concerns on the structural integrity of the cathedral of San Nicolas de Tolentino in Tandag. He revealed that construction of a new cathedral is now a necessity in as much as the present cathedral is already crumbling and is already a danger hazard for the people who are attending masses and other religious services. Odchimar, who is a former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) explained they opted to build a new cathedral because retrofitting a church is much more expensive than constructing a new one. He said they have been warned by site inspectors as early as four years ago that the cathedral structure is already weakened and might not hold on in the event of a strong quake. Site inspection revealed cracks on the pillars and we are afraid that it might collapse if there is a strong quake or strong typhoon that will hit our province, Odchimar added. Construction will be finished by

October next year depending on the funds that will be obtained from possible sponsors and benefactors. Odchimar disclosed that they already tapped Catholic funding agencies particularly from Rome but was denied because the center of assistance has shifted from the Philippines to Africa and Middle East. Their funding is now more focused on human development rather than any structures. If there has been any help from Catholic funding agencies, it is very minimal, the bishop furthered. Sr. Celeste Parrilla, PDDM, who designed the new cathedral, explained the design is based on four aspects: geographical, cultural and historical, liturgical and theological, and pastoral aspect. The new cathedral which will be built within the 1.3 hectare compound will have a 1,000 seating capacity. An estimated P200 million pesos will have to be raised for the ongoing construction of the new San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral. To give way to the ongoing construction, Masses in the cathedral will be said only until November 3, afterwards all Masses will be celebrated in the covered court adjoining the Catholic College. (Jandel Posion)

Pastoral Companion / A5

in the activities of the church. It is good that even until the end, the elderly attend masses religiously. But a part of me also gets concernedto whom will this beautiful faith of the elders and ancestors be passed on? Tagle said. What happens when all of these pious senior citizens are gone? Maybe the parish will have to close if there is no transmission of faith, he added. Tagle said that this realization broadened his perspective on the characteristics manifested
Relief / A1

by todays youth, as well as the manner on how they relate and establish connections with other people. Before, I was easily distracted by children who cry or run around during masses, but when I was able to visit such parishes, my perspective changed. (Even if the childrens noise can cause distraction), at least there is an assurance that they are present in the church, he said. The child may not yet understand the reason why people celebrate masses, but I know

they would still be able to pick up something no matter how small it may be. At least we have someone to pass our faith to, he added. I am not saying that aging is bad. But when you do not see any sign of the next generationthe transmission of faith becomes a real concern, Tagle noted. In becoming effective transmitters of faith, he said that the faithful must accept evangelization as the proclamation of the good news who is Jesus Christ.

When we are proclaiming Jesus, we are really passing on our faith in Jesus Christ to another person, to another community, or to another generation, he said. Evangelization is really sharing who Jesus is and providing a space for relationship with HimWe who have encountered him, we ask all things by proclaiming who Jesus is and proving the space for people to encounter Him and accept Him in their lives, he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

4. But most of all, a priest is a man of prayerin his celebration of the Eucharist and in his personal contemplative prayer. For this union with God is the source of his strengthand his humility. A priest also manifests a deep love for Mary, his mother and Mother of the Church. May the newly-ordained priests and their companions in the ministry be filled constantly
Tax / A1

with the Holy Spirit to follow their polyvalent calling in serving the People of Godas shepherd, companion, helper, and a man of prayer. (This column was originally delivered as homily at the Ordination Mass of Fr. Der John Faborada, St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral, Cagayan de Oro city, 29 October 2013)

ocese of Borongans social communication office said there is no let up in the church and other organizations relief efforts but the fuel crisis limits their operations. Thats our problem here because we remain isolated. Many roads were destroyed by the typhoon, Tenafrancia said in a phone interview from Catbalogan, Western Samar. The priest also lamented that food items are running out particularly in the provinces capital city of Borongan. So even if you still have money, you cant buy anything, he said. According to him, the problem also triggered fuel overpricing in the province. Tenafrancia also appealed on the national government to help bring relief aid to the province. He said among the immediate needs include water, food, medicine and basic medical supplies. He said that Borongan and Guiuan, where the strong typhoon made its first landfall on Nov. 8, have airports where airplanes carrying relief goods can land.

Aside from Guiuan, Tenafrancia said other areas that were washed out were the towns of Balangkayan, Hernani, Balangiga, Lawaan and Giporlos. He said the typhoon also killed many people particularly in Hernani but he could not give an estimate. He added that properties and churches were also severely damaged. The typhoon also left the provinces 22 towns without power or telecommunications until now. Supplies running out Food, water and candles, these emergency necessities are running short in Catbalogan City, Western Samar, days after super typhoon Yolanda devastated Central Philippines. Aculan said in case of donations, they prefer goods because supplies are running short, not just in this city, but in nearby city of Calbayog as well. Typhoon victims here in Western Visayas need food, they are already hungry.

What we need right now are water, easy to open foods or canned goods, candles, and matches. These are the immediate concerns, Aculan added. Affected areas and parishes are St. Michael de Archangel in Basey, Sta. Rita de Cascia in Sta. Rita, and St. Joseph the Apostle in Osmea, Marabut. Aculan also raised concerns of over pricing because of stocks running out not just in the two cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, but in all towns of Western Samar Province. Catbalogan is the center of trade in the province; you can see long queues in grocery stores, drug stores, etc. And prices are high because of diminishing supply and higher demand, he said. In Osmea, Marabut for example, people there are complaining because a small bottle of water now is P50.00 and gasoline price is increasing. A Tsunami prank has triggered panic buying among Samareos prompting supplies to run short and prices to skyrocket. (Jandel Posion/Roy Lagarde)

cational institutions from the implementation of BIR RMO 20-2013 based on the grounds (1) CEAP and its member-schools are exempt from taxation under the Philippine Constitution and the NIRC and (2) RMO 20-2013 invalidly restricts the tax exemption granted to NSNP religious and educational institution, CEAP said. Pending Henares decision on CEAPs position paper and
Faith / A1

request, CEAP is requesting its member-schools to defer compliance to the BIR RMO 20-2013 until November 8. The CEAP is an organization of over 1,400 Catholic schools, universities and colleges nationwide. More than 3,250 Catholic educators representing memberschools gathered in Cebu last September to elect the organizations new set of officers. (YouthPinoy)

people in time of adversity, Palma said no calamity or natural devastation can quench the fire of our hope. The Filipino soul is stronger than (typhoon) Yolanda, he stressed. Palma assured typhoon victims of the Churchs deepest concern and solidarity amid the gloom, uncertainty and grief that has beset our countrymen due to devastation wrought by the typhoon. He urged the faithful to turn to

God in this moment of national calamity, just as every Filipino has done for the past four hundred years. The strongest typhoon that slammed the Philippines in decades, Yolanda made six landfalls and left massive destruction in several provinces in Central Philippines as its forceful winds and storm surges flattened towns and knocked down infrastructures and communication lines. (CBCPNews)

Jandel Posion

File Photo


People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Ordination for Pope Francis first Filipino bishop set for December
FATHER Narciso Abellana of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) on Dec. 11 will become the first Filipino priest to be ordained a bishop under Pope Francis. The pope appointed Abellana on Oct. 15 as Bishop of Romblon, central Philippines. He succeeds Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc, who was transferred to Aklan diocese in July 2011. At the time of Abellanas appointment, the priest was serving as chaplain of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Nueva Ecija Province, northern Philippines. San Jose dioceses chancery staff in Nueva Ecija confirmed that the Cathedral of Saint Joseph has been booked for Abellanas ordination on December 11, 2013. He will be installed in Romblon on January 9, 2014. Abellana from Talisay City, Cebu, completed AB Philosophy at Ateneo de Manila University in 1973. He continued his studies at the Loyola School of Theology in the Ateneo campus before working for his Licentiate in Church History at the Gregorian University in Rome. He had served as parish priest on Cebus Camotes Island and was later placed in charge of formation of seminarians at MSCs minor seminary in Cebu. In 1999, his confreres elected him Philippine provincial, a post he served until 2005 while acting as consultant to the societys Communication Foundation for Asias Catechetical Center, CFA president Father Filemon Pelignon said. This ended when Abellana was elected First Assistant to the MSC Superior General in Rome. He returned to the country after his term in the General Council in 2011 and took up his assignment at CLSU. In an interview, Abellana said his appointment as bishop was shocking. The last MSC bishop, Pedro Magugat, died in 1990, he said from the MSC headquarters in Quezon City. The secretary of the nuncio called up CLSU and was told I was here, so they called up the MSC provincialate to ask me to go to the nunciature. I went, and was told that Pope Francis has appointed me bishop, Abellana narrated. Why me? he asked. He remembers telling the nuncios secretary that he had just attended a seminar on aging gracefully, and pointed out that he would be 60 come Nov. 9. He (nuncios secretary) said, Father, 60 is young in the Church. Then I told him Im asthmatic. He said, You look dun, France in 1854 as an international group of consecrated religious men, brothers and priests called to be missionaries of Gods love revealed in the human heart of Christ, the Societys website says. Today, MSC missionaries serve in missions in various countries, including Argentina, where Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires when he was elected pope (Francis) in March. We run a school there for free in the slums of Buenos Aires, Pelignon said. The priest, who had served with Abellana in the MSC general council in Rome, said the bishop-elect has demonstrated attitudes of a priest Pope Francis has been advocating. Pelignon explained Abellana is a very simple and humble man, very unassuming even when he held high positions in the MSC. He never had a car, and would ride a jeepney and other public transportation. He lived a simple life even as Provincial, and never showed off that he was in authority. He was always a pleasant person to work with. At the same time, he notes, Abellana was a bright person, a teacher of history in the seminary and Maryhill School of Theology of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the MSC General Council, he was involved in the justice and peace work of the Society, Pelignon added. Abellana said, As a missionary, Im open for anything, and with the grace of God I suppose I can function as bishop. Asked about his vision of mission, he said, For me, it is both ad-intra and ad-extra - foreign mission and local mission. He said while he still had to learn of the situation of Romblon diocese, we can consider it also as, at least for my part, a local mission, with people needing evangelization. Romblon Diocese, erected in 1975, comprises the civil province of Romblon where nearly 30 percent of the families were reportedly living in poverty in 2012. Most rely on fishing, Pelignon said, noting its renowned marble quarrying industry. More than 75 percent of the 286,000 people are Catholics, and most of the rest are other Christians, the latestCatholic Directory of the Philippines, reported. Talaoc described the diocese he used to head as a vibrant Church because of many lay leaders and the many Sambulig (groups or cells) in the Basic Ecclesial Communities. (NJ Viehland)

Fr. Narciso Abellana

healthy, Abellana chuckled. People who know the priest and Romblon diocese lauded the popes choice. In a text message, Tala-oc wrote, Im happy that my prayers are answered to have a religious bishop for Romblon, and belonging to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion I started to propagate in Romblon. A young French priest, Father Jules Chevalier, established MSC in Issou-

Bishop urges youth ministries to hold national youth day locally

AS the annual celebration of the National Youth Day (NYD) slated on December 16 fast approaches, the incoming bishop chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Youth encourages youth ministers and leaders in archdioceses and dioceses around the country to celebrate the event locally. In a message to the youth, Bangued Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, invited the youth ministers to join the rest of the Church in the Philippines in the local celebration of NYD 2013 which coincides with the start of the traditional Misa de Gallo, the immediate preparation for Christmas. This years theme Go and make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:19), is taken from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIs message for the 28thWorld Youth Day 2013 celebration last July 23-28 which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Inspired by this message, Pope Francis, our present pope, addressed the young people in his homily at the WYD2013 Closing Eucharist in Rio de Janeiro with the words Go, Do not be afraid and Serve. He exhorts us: If you follow these three ideas, you will experience that the one who evangelizes is evangelized; the one who transmits the joy of faith receives joy. Do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel, Jaucian said. In the recent months, all of us have seen events that directly hit at the core of who we are as a country: the seemingly unending issues of graft and corruption, immo- Youth delegates share during a group workshop in this file photo of National Youth r a l i t y a n d Day celebration. licentiousness, and down evil and violence, to ministers to join him in the destruction of lives and destroy and overthrow the prayers and good wishes for properties brought about by barriers of selfishness, intoler- a continued fruitful ministry calamities natural and those ance and hatred, so as to build to Legazpi Bishop Joel Z. that were products of human a new world, he added. Baylon, his predecessor as error. The displaced families He pointed out that words ECY-chairman, and thank in Zamboanga, the families and actions help instill hope him for the years he has led affected by the typhoons, and strengthen the faith of the Episcopal Commission the families in Bohol and in one person and that of others on Youth and journeyed with Cebu that were torn by the as well. the young. earthquake, and the families Let our words and acThe ECY secretariat has alwho day by day struggle with tions help instill hope and ready sent copies of the NYD poverty and discrimination: strengthen our faith and that 2013 Formation Program for they all need our attention, of others. Let our prayers and the use of youth ministries he said. acts of charity reach them, around the country in celJaucian urged the youth Jaucian said. ebrating NYD on December to imitate the examples of The prelate is hoping that 16 or on any date near it. Jesus by serving and bearing the NYD 2013 celebration, The formation program witness of the love of God to aside from being a festive with content and cover pages others. day for young people to cel- including the message of Overcome selfishness, ebrate in the Church, would Bishop Jaucian together with serve by bending down to also be an opportune time to the message of the Holy Fawash the feet of our breth- deepen each and everyones ther for WYD 2013 will also ren, as Jesus did. Bringing commitment to Jesus as His be available on ECY website the Gospel is bringing Gods disciples. www.cbcp-ecy.ph. (Jandel power to pluck up and break He also asked the youth Posion)


Youth share faith stories during nationwide tour

YOUNG people have been gathering to listen to personal testimonials of faith from their peers during a national tour event organized by a youth community. As the Year of Faith ends we want to re-affirm our members that their commitment to live out the faith doesnt end with the Year of Faith, international CFC Youth for Family and Life (CFC YFL) coordinator Dylan Reyes said in an interview, explaining the purpose for the groups annual Youthfest. Fear, rejection and insecurity to love According to Reyes, the Youthfest, which had its first run for Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Southern Mindanao last October 26, features personal sharings from young people and how their experiences of rejection, fear, insecurity and being unloved eventually led them to a limitless experience of Gods love. We want to highlight stories of young people whose faith has made them limitless. We want to feature community members who meet the Lord and have committed to have a personal relationship with Him, he added, explaining the rationale behind the Youthfests theme for this year, LIMITLESS: Faith Never Ends. The Youthfest has several runs lined up before the year ends, with the Metro Manila Youthfest happening this November 10, 11a.m. to 7 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. Youthfest runs Thousands of young people from South Luzon are expected to gather the following weekend on November 17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Batangas State University, Batangas City, Batangas. Lastly, the North and Central Luzon Youthfest is set on December 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Tarlac City. Reyes added, it is also the communitys belief that young people should always find an avenue where they can discover the beauty of their faith, especially during these times when many young people are falling away from the faith. It is important, he explained to inspire young Catholics to live their faith, receiving encouragement from other young believers. For more information, contact Ms. Kaye Matignas at +63 2 718 2213, or message through text at +63 935 163 3821, or through e-mail at kmatignas@cfcyfl. org (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Roy Lagarde/CBCPMedia

Novaliches to hold 1st diocesan youth congress

IN a bid to bring the young people closer to the Church, the Commission on Youth of the Diocese of Novaliches (COY Nova) will be holding its 1st Diocesan Youth Congress on December 14, 2013 at the BestLink College of the Philippines in Millionaires Village, Novaliches. Dubbed iBelieve, the whole-day event will gather youth leaders and ministers who will work together to present and ratify the COY Novas vision, mission, by-laws and guidelines aimed at further improving its service to the youth of the diocese through essential, impactful and responsive programs. According to diocesan youth coordinator Ann Roselle Cortes, a pre-congress activity called Vicariate Sessions has been held in view of the upcoming event, participated by vicariate youth coordinators, parish youth coordinators and the vicariate priest coordinators. The activity in the vicariate aimed to serve as a venue for collaboration of stakeholders, by instilling ownership within them and validate the current structure in which COY operates and to have a co-ownership of the COY by-laws, thus, involving all the leaders from the ground to the diocesan level. Vicariate sessions were held every Saturdays and Sundays from September 21, 22, 28, 29 and October 5, 6, 12, and 13. Activities during the sessions were divided into 4 parts: sharing the COY big picture, creation of vision for COY, discover COY values, and COY structure. Each activity aimed at defining and validating what COY Nova is currently doing and discover other great ideas useful to the youth ministry that might be considered. (Jandel Posion)

Fr. Joe Dizon laid to rest

ACTIVIST priest Father Jose Joe Dizon was laid to rest on Nov. 11 in Imus, Cavite. Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista presided the funeral Mass at 9:00 a.m. at the Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral. After the funeral services, Dizon was buried at the dioceses clergy burial site beside the cathedral. Dizon, 65, died last Nov. 4 due to complications from diabetes at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. The priest just celebrated his 40 years in the priesthood last October 15 and adopted the words of Pope Francis as his theme: How I would like a Church of the poor, for the poor. Indeed, we can say that in your 40 years as priest, you, Fr. Joe, have shown us how to live as a priest of the poor, said San Carlos Bishop-elect Gerardo Alminaza, chairperson of the Churchpeople Workers Solidarity. Dizon was the lead animator of Solidarity Philippines, a movement that proactively advance the social teachings of the Church. He was a convenor of the National Clergy Discernment Group and a leader of the election watchdog Kontra Daya. In his last days, he actively joined the campaign to abolish the controversial

Fr. Joe Dizon

pork barrel system. In probably his last press statement last October, Dizon said President Benigno Aquino III should be held accountable for the pork barrel mess because he has the last say to approve or suspend its release. We are holding President Aquino ultimately accountable for the entire pork fund mess, he said. It is within his power to push for changes in the system yet he stubbornly refused to do so, and instead promote the system of pork. (CBCPNews)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013

Pastoral Concerns


Telegram of the Vatican Secretary of State to the President of the Philippines on the recent calamity
His Excellency BENIGNO AQUINO III President of the Republic of the Philippines Manila DEEPLY saddened by the destruction and loss of life caused by the super typhoon, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this storm and its aftermath. He is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes. In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm. He invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the Nation. ARCHBISHOP PIETRO PAROLIN Secretary of State

Alay Kapwa spirit links dioceses amid destruction of typhoon Yolanda

Novena of Prayer and Charity for Victims of Typhoon Yolanda and Earthquake
TO my Brother Bishops and Priests, Brothers and Sisters in Christ: In the midst of the gloom, uncertainty and grief that has beset our countrymen due to the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda, we bring you our message of hope. The typhoon was the strongest in the world according to the reckoning of scientists, but our faith in the Lord is even stronger. No typhoon or flood can diminish the strength of the Filipino soul. No calamity or natural devastation can quench the fire of our hope. The Filipino soul is stronger than Yolanda. In this moment of national calamity, we turn to the Lord as we have always done for the past four hundred years. We turn to the Lord and cling to him and beg Him to stay by the people who call on His mighty name. The whole Catholic Church in the Philippines declares a NOVENA OF PRAYER AND CHARITY from November 11 to 19, 2013 for the victims of typhoon Yolanda this week and the earthquake in Central Philippines just a few weeks ago. We will offer all our Masses and prayers for the dead and the grieving families they left behind. I encourage all our bishops and priests to conduct a charity fund collection within the same week and transmit them in the fastest possible way to the brother bishops in the calamity stricken provinces. Paraphrasing the Apostle Paul Earthquake where is your victory! Typhoon where is your sting! Our hope is in the Lord and we shall overcome because love is stronger than typhoons and earthquakes and death! Given at the CBCP Headquarters, Intramuros, Manila this 10th day of November 2013. +JOSE S. PALMA, D.D. Archbishop of Cebu CBCP President

Photo courtesy of AFP Central Command

CONSIDERED the strongest typhoon for the year with sustained winds of 215kph and gustiness up to 250kph, Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) made six landfalls on November 8 in Central Philippines, ploughing the towns of Guiuan, Samar; Tolosa, Leyte; Bantayan Island and Daanbantayan, both in Cebu; Concepcion, Iloilo; and Coron, Palawan. As of November 10, 7pm, the government reported 229 individuals dead, 45 injured and 28 are still missing. The numbers can still spike as clearing operations continue and communications are revived. In Tacloban, Leyte alone which was battered by 18 foot-high storm surges, the number of casualties can go beyond 1,200 as 95% of the city is destroyed. A total of 4.5M individuals were reportedly affected in 1,741 barangays in

343 municipalities and 39 cities in 36 provinces. Reports from the Social Action Network The winds were powerful! It battered us for 2 hours, it fell silent for a few minutes, then it came back as if grinding everything to the ground for another 2 hours, told by people in the Central and Northern parts of Antique in Panay Island where Yolanda made its 5th landfall. Fr. Edione, Social Action Director of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique, reported that 60% of houses in that area are totally and partially damaged. Cell sites and power are down. Fr. Edione credits the low number of casualties to their past experience with TY Frank in 2008. People evacuated early, except in one distant island. The southern-part of Antique was spared and is providing relief to the affected

areas. The local government is doing its best to provide food rations. The Church is looking at transitional shelters, and shelter support materials for roof. The Archdiocese of Jaro in Iloilo reported that Municipalities of Concepcion, Ajuy, Estancia and Balasan, were completely isolated. 95% of homes in one of the towns were completely damaged. 30 dead bodies were also found on a boat, which was suspected to have come from Cebu. In response, the Social Action Center of Jaro is coordinating with Municipal Mayors and MSWD for any collaboration and assistance. N e e ds i de n t i f i e d i n cl u de temporary shelter and food. Archdiocese of Palo in Tacloban is still inaccessible for assessment. Reporting from Manila, Monsignor Alex Opiniano of Sto. Nio Shrine of Tacloban, has called for the

local government to establish a crisis committee for the 150,000 residents affected by the typhoon. Once communication is revived, the 15 parish chapels all over Tacloban City will be the distribution points. For now, he assigned the Sto. Nio Shrine in Real Street, Tacloban City, which is closest to the airport, as the drop-off point of all relief goods coming from generous donors. Sr. Mapet Bulawan, DC, in Bogo, Cebu, where Yolanda made its 3rd and 4th landfall, called NASSA for help. People from Bogo, Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island are left homeless. They were linked with the Archdiocese of Cebu Social Action Network which promptly prepared a truckload of relief goods. The parish priests stationed in the islands of Busuanga and Coron Palawan, where Yolanda

Alay Kapwa / B4

Photo courtesy of Borongan Diocese

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.


CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Is cremation alright?

The Previous Legislation was against Cremation The old Code of Canon Law of 1917 (also called the PioBenedictine Code, in honor of the two Popes directly involved in its redaction and promulgation) expressly prohibited the practice of cremation of cadavers, denying ecclesiastical funeral to those who have been cremated or who had willed themselves to be cremated. Other documents of the Holy See of the epoch provided the same thing.1 This was based on a long-standing tradition from the early days of Christianity whereby the cremation of cadavers was considered anti-Christian (in fact it was really a pagan practice), while inhumation (or burial in the earth) was deemed as the normal Christian practice. The reason for this Christian tradition in favor of burial stems from the latters strong religious symbolism. The paschal meaning of Christian death--faith in the resurrection of the body: that


THANK you for the clarification regarding the proper place to keep exhumed remains. A related question is the propriety of cremation in the first place. I was brought up to believe that the only proper way to treat the mortal remains of deceased Catholics is to consign them to the earth from whence they came. Lately, however, there seems to be a proliferation of cremation, for whatever reason of practicality or economics there might be. To top it all, I have noticed that more and more churches seem even to be encouraging the practice by constructing crypts and columbaria and the pre-selling of the niches for ashes there, especially as a means of raising much-needed funds for the parish. Has the Church teaching on this matter changed?

as previously seen.4 In the same vein, those who chose cremation for themselves were no longer denied the sacraments and--in its time--a Christian funeral. The only limitation to this acceptance of cremation is that which is stated at the end of c.1176, 3: unless [cremation] has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching. The full breadth of this limitation can be gleaned from the 1963 Instruction of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith alluded to in the previous paragraph, which first allowed cremation, provided the reason for choosing it does not stem from a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church. In this case, Canon Law expressly prohibits ecclesiastical funeral, as stated in c.1184, 1: Unless they have given some sign of repentance before their death, the following are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites: 2 persons who had chosen the cremation of their own bodies for reasons opposed to the Christian faith. Liturgical Guidelines on Cremation To complete this discussion, it is good to know that the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has issued Liturgical Guidelines on Cremation, the dispositive part of which can be summarized in the following norms: 1. Cremation may take place after or before the funeral Mass. 2. When cremation is held after funeral Mass, the rite of final commendation and committal concludes the Mass. While cremation is taking place (a process that may take several hours), the family and friends of the deceased are encouraged to gather in prayer. A liturgy of the Word may be celebrated or devotional prayers like the holy rosary may be said. After cremation, the ashes are placed in a worthy urn and carried reverently to the place of burial.

one day all the saints will rise from the dead for eternal glory, as Jesus Christ has risen from the dead--is better expressed with the burial of the cadaver. 2 On the other hand, there are very numerous Old Testament texts showing the practice of burial of the dead (cf. Gen 23,9-20; Jos 24,32-33; Tob 1,18), and the same is true in the New Testament (cf. Lk 7,12; Jn 19,40-42; Acts 8,12). Finally, burying the dead--it was argued--follows the example of Christs own will to be buried.3 The Present Legislation Earnestly Recommends Burial Can. 1176, 3 of the actual Code of Canon Law is quite clear: The Church earnestly

recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed; it does not, however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching. As can be seen from the first clause of c.1176, 3, the practice of burial (or inhumation) is earnestly recommended, for the reasons previously mentioned-i.e., its religious symbolism, its concordance with Sacred Scripture and its long practice in the Christian community. but Allows Cremation without any Reticence. As the aforementioned canon states: [The Church] does not, however, forbid cremation Thus, the previous contrary

discipline has been derogated. Whats more, the present Code of Canon Law does not require any special reason for the choice of cremation, thereby coming into line with the praxis that is legally authorized and progressively more frequent. Such practice, on the other hand, may be motivated by varied reasons--of both public and private nature, of hygiene, of economics, etc.--that have nothing to do with religion. For such reasons, as early as 1963 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had already introduced the new criterion of accepting cremation as an option, considering that it was neither bad in itself, nor contradictory to Christian doctrine, nor against religion--

3. When cremation precedes the funeral Mass, the rite of final commendation and committal may be performed in the crematorium chapel before cremation. After cremation the funeral Mass may be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains. If funeral Mass is not celebrated, the funeral liturgy is held in the presence of the remains. The rite of final commendation and committal concludes the Mass or the funeral liturgy, if such rite had not taken place before cremation. Adaptations such as remains in place of body are made in the liturgical formularies. 4. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave, mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering the ashes in the sea or from the air is not in keeping with the Churchs norm regarding the proper disposal of the remains of the dead. Likewise the urn should not be kept permanently at home or family altar. If there is to be a delay in the proper disposal of the ashes, these may be kept temporarily in an appropriate place. 5. For the sake of reverence for the remains of the dead, it is recommended that in churches or chapels, a worthy container be provided in which the urn is placed during the liturgical celebration. 6. Columbaria should not be constructed in the main body of the church, but in a separate chapel adjacent to the church or in a crypt.
(Endnotes) 1 Cf. Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (formerly called the Inquisition and now called Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith), Decree, 15.XII.1886; Decree, 27.VII.1892; Decree, 19.VI.1926, in AAS 18 (1926), p.282. 2 Cf. I Cor 15:37, 42-44; Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn.2300, 999 & 1006). 3 Congregation for Divine Worship, Rite of Funerals: Introduction, 15.VIII.1969, n.15. 4 Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instr. Piam et constantem, 8.V.1963, in AAS 56 (1964), pp.822-823.

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

Holy Hours

Q: In our seminary, every time we have a Holy Hour it goes something like this: 1) exposition, O Salutaris, opening prayer; 2) additional prayers such as the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, hymns; 3) Tantum Ergo, Divine Praises, Benediction, reposition, closing hymn. Some of us would like to have a simple, silent Holy Hour in the mornings, without the extra prayers. Is this possible, or should some extra devotions and prayers always be added? S.M., Canada A: The great promoter of the daily Holy Hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament was the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He carried out this practice, sometimes with great personal sacrifice, for more than 60 years. It must be remembered, however, that the vast majority of these Holy Hours were made before Christ reserved in the tabernacle and not before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Indeed, the tabernacle is the natural place for such prolonged periods of silent prayer in Christs presence. This is a practice that many priests continue today, and many bishops encourage their priests to follow this example. Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed is also highly recommended, but expositions, especially for relatively short periods,

are essentially public acts in which Christs presence is proclaimed and honored. One of the first documents in this respect was Eucharisticum Mysterium (1967). Regarding shorter expositions it says in No. 62: If the exposition is to be only a short one, then the monstrance or ciborium should be placed on the altar table. If exposition is over a longer period, then a throne may be used, placed in

a prominent position; care should be taken, however, that it is not too high or far away. During the exposition everything should be so arranged that the faithful can devote themselves attentively in prayer to Christ our Lord. To foster personal prayer, there may be readings from the Scriptures together with a homily, or brief exhortations which lead to a better understanding of the Mystery of the Eucharist. It is

also good for the faithful to respond to the Word of God in song. It is desirable that there should be periods of silence at suitable times. At the end of exposition, Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament is given. If the vernacular is used, instead of singing the Tantum Ergo before the blessing, another Eucharistic hymn may be used, as laid down by the episcopal conference. Except for some minor details this document is the basis for much of the later legislation regarding this form of exposition. Thus the ritual for Eucharistic worship outside of Mass says: 89. Shorter expositions of the eucharist are to be arranged in such a way that the blessing with the eucharist is preceded by a reasonable time for readings of the word of God, songs, prayers, and a period for silent prayer. Exposition merely for the purpose of giving benediction is prohibited. Therefore, it would appear fairly clear that for shorter expositions, such as a Holy Hour with exposition, the seminary is following sound liturgical law. Regarding the activities that can be carried out during these expositions, the Compendium Eucharisticum issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 2009 makes several suggestions for songs and prayers as well as the possibility of restoring some older

customs which had been left out of the ritual. For example, it has restored the possibility of the exclamation Panem de caelo praestitisti eis. R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem after the Tantum Ergo or other song at Benediction and before the prayer Deus qui nobis sub sacramento . It also offers some litanies and prayers to be used during exposition such as the litany of the Sacred Heart, Precious Blood, Jesus Christ Priest and Victim, and the litany Iesu Dulcis Memoria based on an ancient hymn. As well as these, three litanies are offered that were composed in preparation for the Great Jubilee of 2000: the litanies of Our Lord Jesus Christ; of Jesus Christ, God and Man; and of Jesus Our Redeemer. These texts were published by the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee. The texts can be found, among other sources, in the official organ of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Notitiae 32(1996) 613-618). Unfortunately, this useful collection of Eucharistic texts has yet to be translated from Latin into most modern languages. Finally, what we have said does not preclude the possibility of long periods of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Official documents, however, foresee this possibility above all in the context of prolonged or perpetual expositions in which people take turns in adoring Christ in the monstrance.

Bringing Pets into Church

Q: I have sought some clarification on a point, that is, about bringing a dog into the church during Mass. -- T.K., Maharashtra state, India A: A search in several languages has failed to produce much in the way of Church norms on this point. Even civil legislation varies widely. An Italian law, for example, allows dogs on leash into most public spaces except where food is prepared. Guide or service dogs for the blind are allowed even into these. In other countries entrance to public spaces is more or less restricted, or the decision is left to the owners of the premises. Local culture and attitudes toward animals is also an important factor. Some societies have a very positive attitude towards the presence of pets, while others are less welcoming. It does not appear that any universal norm can be established. This would also hold true, more or less, for churches. From what I have been able to glean from various sources, it would appear that in most cases the final decision would fall upon the priest, who should decide in accordance with general principles and local situations. In most cases, however, the response of priests would be to discourage the faithful from bringing their pets to church, except for the case of service animals. Indeed, this feeling would be shared by the majority of the faithful. Most people would consider it inappropriate to bring their own pets to church and would be uncomfortable in a situation where those of others were present. Among the reasons for this reluctance are the following: -- Most members of the faithful come to church to worship God with their full attention. If they want to be entertained, then they go to a concert or a play. If they desire to enjoy a pets company, then they go to the park. Likewise they probably leave their pets alone at home on many other occasions such as when they go to work, the theater, or attend a formal social event. Therefore, there is even more reason not to bring them along to church where they could be a source of distraction to themselves or others. -- The pets do not benefit from the celebration, and indeed the close-packed environment might even be a source of stress for the animals themselves. The exception is, of course, the annual blessings of animals that are carried out on the feasts of certain saints such as Francis of Assisi. On these occasions, however, the entire celebration or the blessing ceremony is usually held outdoors and not inside the church building. -- Even the best-trained and cleanest pets can still cause allergic or phobic reactions for no small number of people young and old. Most Christians would wish to avoid being an agent, even involuntarily, of such difficulties for fellow worshippers. These are just some reasons why both priests and faithful would be generally unfavorable toward bringing dogs and other animals into church. There may be some exceptions and more or less tolerance in some places, but I believe this is the overall view. This fact does not mean that the Church has a negative view of animals and does not appreciate them as part of Gods creation. As the Catechism says: 2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Mans dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation. 2416. Animals are Gods creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals. 2417. God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. 2418. It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons. Not having animals in church means simply that the context of worship is not the usual or proper place for showing such respect and kindness toward them.

Pinky Barrientos, FSP

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013



By Fr. Lenjenie Arcan

Yolanda devastates 95 percent of Capiz province

Commission on Social Action Through the initiative of Capiz Archbishop Jose F. Advincula, D.D., The Archdiocesan Social Action Office headed by Fr. Mark Granflor set up a Relief Operations Coordinating Center at the Cathedral Rectory. They took to Social Media also to reach possible donors from the different parts of the world. Immediate outside help was scarce for a few days because the airport and seaport were shut down for days in the aftermath of the super typhoon. The main road from Iloilo city was impassable which left Capiz and Roxas City isolated for days. There was no media coverage, no electricity, no communication lines and no help coming from the outside because of its inaccessibility. The nights were pitch dark and the days were a vision of desperation The Mission Station churches of GabuanandBaybayarenotonlydamaged but are reduced into nothingness. These churches are situated near the coastline and are made of light materials only as they are just starting as a small Christian community. There is still no news of other churches as Msgr. Joes team can only start with the inspection when the roads start to clear. Some old churches like the parish churches of Mambusao, Dao, Dumalag and Panay are brutally damaged. Tapaz church is only halfway in its construction when the typhoon struck. It has left the parish church roofless and damaged also. One of the severely damaged edifices the seminarys present rector upon consultation, said that classes will tentatively resume in 2014 already giving way to its construction considering

is the St. Pius X Seminary. An Apostolic Visitator in the past once said that it is the best located seminary in the Philippines because it is situated atop a hill in Lawaan, Roxas City. The late Cardinal Jaime L. Sin was the first Rector of this institution and it prides itself to have produced more than 120 priests serving the Archdiocese. Now, the sight is horrifying as the seminary is virtually inhabitable. Fr. Freddie Billanes,

the shortage of funds and lack of construction materials. The priests take temporary shelter inside the chapel and as narrated by one of them, he said that the super typhoon is nothing he has ever seen. I was literally fighting for my life, said Fr. Anthony Aguason who lost everything in the typhoon. Some priests are left with tears in their faces as they see their beloved Alma Mater ruthlessly damaged by Yolanda. But the greatest damage to the province is on the lives of the people. Many are left homeless in the aftermath of the typhoon. Some hospitals could not accommodate sick people anymore because they are badly hit also. Many people built makeshift houses along the highway so that they could easily be reached once the relief goods arrive in their locality. Clean potable water, food and medicines are scarce. It is disheartening to look at the situation they are in but the people of Capiz have great faith in God. They know that amidst this seemingly insurmountable difficulty, they will

duties as Christians, to be of help to our fellowmen. As Filipinos, we have always been one, and what better way to make our presence felt by them than by concretely helping them in any way possible. Appeal for help The archdiocese has also posted its appeal for help on social network through its Arch Capiz Facebook account, the official account for the relief operations of the Archdiocese. We are humbly asking for your help and generosity. We accept foods, water, medicines and basic construction materials for our people in the different parishes of the Archdiocese of Capiz. You may call these numbers for your donations: (+6336) 6210-617 or +639297540020, +639176888138, +639999910668 or email at rcapiz@ yahoo.com . May Mother Mary, patroness of the Archdiocese, bless your heart.

Tents become centers for sacraments in Bohol

By Nirvaana Ella Delacruz
STILL suffering from the effects of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake nearly a month ago, the Church in Bohol demonstrates resiliency and creativity by turning makeshift tents into centers for the sacraments. Its just makeshift, we have our masses in tents, Fr. Aurelio Luzon, parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer parish in Calape, said in an interview, describing the adaption the local churches have made to deal with completely damaged churches or parishes that are no longer structurally sound. Open air confessions Face to face confessions, which are offered every Wednesday, are also heard on benches in the parking lot. For the rest of the 38 chapels under the parish, spread throughout 25 barangays, regular monthly masses will only resume in January 2014 because of impassable roads. My instruction to them is that even if they dont have a chapel, well celebrate mass under the shade of a tree or beside the chapel where its shady, said Fr. Luzon, who is assisted by his parochial vicar, Fr. Dennis Leornas. Weddings that have been postponed because of the earthquake are pushing through and will be held in tents as well. According to Fr. Luzon, a bride and groom-to-be recently decided to get married in their hometown of Calape, as planned because even the St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran City can only offer tents for the administration of the sacraments. Relief and spiritual center Presently, the outer half of the Cathedral is only open to the faithful during Sunday masses to accommodate the throngs that continue to flock to the church. During the rest of the week, the Cathedral is part spiritual refuge with masses also held in tents outside and part relief center with boxes of food and water lining the walls. The destruction of Spanish-era heritage churches like the nearly 500-year old Our Lady of Assumption Church, also known as Dauis church remains painful even if the surrounding neighborhoods were unaffected by the earthquake. According to Fr. Joselito Clemen, parish priest of Dauis church and Tagbilaran diocesan youth director, the sacramental life of his parishioners goes on by celebrating holy mass in tents near the church. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated Bohol last October 15.

SEVERAL towns in Iloilo province in Western Visayas suffered destruction from typhoon Yolanda with some coastline communities completely washed out by the powerful storm. According to Msgr. Meliton Oso, director of Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center (JASAC), the coastal communities of Estancia, Concepcion and Ajuy have been completely wiped out by the super typhoon. The people of these towns are in urgent need of whatever help you can extend, especially food, clean water and temporary shelters, such as tents, will be highly appreciated, Oso said. Yolanda passed through the island of Panay on afternoon of November 8, knocking down power supply, communications lines and road systems, leaving a path of destruction along its way. Oso and JASAC staff travelled to

Typhoon Yolanda destroys several towns in Iloilo

the various towns of Iloilo for ocular inspection once the major roads were cleared, November 10. Aside from Estancia, Concepcion and Ajuy, other affected towns are Janiuay, Barotac Viejo, Carles, Batad, San Dionisio, San Rafael, Balasan, and Sara. In another development, due to the alarming cases of looting and violence that have been reported in the highly devastated areas, such as Tacloban City, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, in a Radio interview in Iloilo, appealed to the people to keep calm and to think more of the needs of others before ones own. He said that resorting to violence to get goods for oneself is not very Filipino and is not very Christian. In one island in Iloilo, there were reports today that a rescue team that was distributing relief goods was held-up at gunpoint by armed men. Alminaza renewed his appeal to all

Archdiocese of Capiz

people of goodwill to do their part in the relief efforts to help provinces that are presently suffering the effects of super-typhoon Yolanda. Individuals or organizations that would like to help the people in the most devastated towns of Iloilo, may contact directly the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center (JASAC) at telephone number (033) 320-2425 or (033) 509-7155. Financial donations may also be coursed to the JASAC through the following bank accounts: Donations in Philippine Pesos: Development Bank of the Philippines, Jaro, Iloilo City branch, Account name: JASAC, Inc., Account number: 0756009642-032. Donations in U.S. Dollars: Development Bank of the Philippines, Jaro, Iloilo City branch, Account name: JASAC, Inc., Account number: 0756-009642-535. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Emotional first aid training held in Bohol

By Nirvaana Ella Delacruz
IN the aftermath of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that devastated Bohol, a series of emotional first aid trainings was held to address the resulting emotional and psychological damage suffered by Boholanos. In partnership with the local leaders of Couples for Christ (CFC), clinical psychologist Leo Deux Fils Delacruz recently gave the first in a series of emotional first aid trainings scheduled in the provincial capital to 33 faculty members and staff of BIT International College. No psych training needed A special session was also given for the leaders of CFC while another training was held November 9 at the Holy Infant Parish, Valencia, Bohol from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Emotional first aid is a simple protocol of questions that is designed to revisit seemingly meaningless, terrifying, tragic, shameful experiences, and transform these into raw materials for emotional growth, social empowerment, hope, spiritual, deepening and fullness of life. Delacruz emotional first aid is largely based on the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), but includes a few steps that recognize the universal spirituality of people or a core belief in a Higher Being. In his book, Emotional First Aid Kit: Psychospiritual Model, Delacruz says, Spirituality is the core of psychology. If people are unable to access this rich internal resource, secular psychological interventions will be incomplete. ALWAYS. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

According to Delacruz, having Boholanos trained in giving emotional first aid has a lot of advantages because they themselves experienced the earthquake and are in the best position to empathize with others who were more seriously affected by the calamity.

One need not be a counselor or a psychologist to be able to do emotional first aid. Whatever your job is, even if you dont have a job, you can give emotional first aid, he explained. Social empowerment, emotional growth

Nirvaana Ella Delacruz

Archdiocese of Capiz

Typhoon Yolanda wrecked havoc to the Philippines last November 8, 2012 leaving behind a trail of massive destruction and unimaginable devastation. One of the hard- hit areas apart from Leyte, is the province of Capiz. The province is composed of 16 municipalities and 95% of which are affected by the super typhoon which caused massive damage to agriculture, infrastructure and livelihood. Six persons were killed while 10 are missing. This figure is expected to rise as the clearing operations go on. Some roads going to other towns from Roxas City are virtually impassable and communication lines are erratic, if not down. Electricity is expected to be restored still two months from now. A State of Calamity was declared prior to Pres. Aquinos declaration of the State of National Calamity to expedite relief operations and to better facilitate its distribution. Aerial survey by the Philippine Army and the Philippine Air Force reveals that Capiz suffered terrible damages which would take months or even years for the province to recover.

rise again. It is a hike going back to normalcy, but the grace of God is clearly manifest in the help that we can give them. Let us remember our



CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

By Kris Bayos

Leveled-up Pedrito fundraising to benefit typhoon victims too

THE youth group that earlier relaunched the sale of limited-edition Pedrito Dolls to support Church-led relief operations in Bohol and Cebu after the killer earthquake last month has decided to upgrade its fundraising project to also benefit the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar and Leyte. YouthPinoy has gotten in touch with selected parishes in Metro Manila, looking at the possibility of directly selling Pedrito Dolls to parishioners as well as quickly raise funds for the displaced typhoon victims. The group has reportedly sold 500 dolls for the first three weeks of its fundraising via online sale. YouthPinoy officers April Frances Ortigas and Nirvaana dela Cruz have flown to Tagbilaran to remit the proceeds of the sale to Bishop Leonardo Medroso last November 7. With all the recent events now in the Visayas, our task became bigger. The call to help out our brothers and sisters in need became more urgentnot only in Bohol and Cebu but to the whole island of the Visayas, she said. Ortigas said the decision also stemmed from the request of followers of the Saint Pedro Calungsod Facebook fanpage which YouthPinoy administersfor Pedrito Dolls to be readily available in the market. As of press time, ordering Pedrito Dolls is still done online and payment is coursed through the banka process which patrons find tedious and inconvenient. In an online poll, Facebook users supported the idea of selling Pedrito Dolls in the parishes. More than 1,000

Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso met YouthPinoy online missionaries and expressed his gratitude for the groups fundraising efforts for Bohol through Pedrito.

fans have liked the idea of aggressively marketing the Pedrito Dolls a day after the online poll was mounted. A certain Facebook user Ruby Beloved Joy said yes please, that would be a lot easier to avail them. Not all parishioners have online access plus the fact that those of the purchasing age are not that techie to order online. The feedback from netizens has

convinced the group to upgrade the sale of Pedrito Dolls, especially as proceeds are meant for the relief drive for the Visayans. Calungsod himself was a Visayan, who was claimed as a native of Cebu, Bohol and even Iloilo. Theres a lot of people who are willing to help and many of them sent us message through social media, text and email, requesting to have more Pedrito

Dolls available. Theres a flood of orders, and we are grateful that these orders not only comes from people who wants to have a Pedrito Doll, but people who have generous hearts for the Filipinos, she added. Ortigas said that YouthPinoy volunteerswho tag themselves as Online Missionaries for using social media as a tool for evangelizationare

offering their time and energy not only to raise funds for the victims of calamities in the Visayas, but to also continue promoting the life and martyrdom of Calungsod. The call to help, the call to reach out and the call to extend this mission is strongly present in our hearts because too many have lost their lives and properties. Too many people need help so we are extending more of St. Pedro. Through these dolls, we could help more people and we could touch more lives. Letting them know that St. Pedro Calungsod is praying for us and is with us amid these trying times, Ortigas said. YouthPinoy adviser Msgr. Pedro Quitorio said proceeds of the upgraded Pedrito doll sale will be channeled primarily to the dioceses of Borongan in Eastern Samar and Palo in Leyte. This sets aside temporarily the dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon in Bohol and the archdiocese of Cebu, which were the initial beneficiaries of the fundraising after being hit by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15. Meanwhile, thousands of Visayans are reeling from the aftermath of the devastation caused by Yolanda, which made land fall in various Philippine islands over the weekend. At least 10,000 unidentified people are feared to have perished due to the strongest typhoon recorded in world history. Each Pedito Doll is sold at P650 and under the YouthPinoy fundraising project, the P100 proceeds of each doll will be donated to Church-led relief operations in the affected dioceses. Pending the announcement on which parish will host the Pedrito Sale, placing of orders is still coursed through www. youthpinoy.com.

Twitter feeds a new journalism

By John Jewell
TWITTERS Initial Public Offering (IPO) is due to take place on Wednesday. The company values itself at US$12 billion and expects to raise up to US$1.3 billion in sales. But lets forget about the money and think about Twitters impact in its relatively short lifetime of seven years. On average there are now 500m tweets a day. You dont even have to tweet to be on Twitter. Some 40% of users simply use Twitter as a curated news feed of updates that reflect their passions. News feed is important because Twitter has clearly changed the way news is gathered, disseminated and consumed. This years biggest story, the Edward Snowden/NSA leaks, provides an instructive example. A senior Guardian executive pointed out that, the story really broke from us and on Twitter. It took an hour before the breaking
Alay Kapwa / B1

news stations got this. Twitter drives traffic to The Guardians sites from areas where there is no print edition. According to Nicky Wolf in The Atlantic, June 10, the day after Snowden revealed his identity on The Guardians website, was the biggest traffic day in the papers history, bringing the site 6.97 million unique browsers. On June 10, for the first time in the papers history, their US traffic was higher than their UK traffic. In this sense, Twitter facilitates the global expansion of The Guardian into previously difficult-to-reach markets. This is key to the business models of most modern news outlets reaching new markets is of course a major demand of advertisers. Newsrooms go social Social media has transformed newsrooms, speeding up newsgathering and enabling recourse to wider ranges of sources and material. The corollary of the ubiquity of Twitter is that journalists

roles have changed significantly. Twitter never sleeps and neither does the modern journalist, who is scanning updates 24/7, posting and retweeting. This is often a hostile environment. As journalist and blogger Amy Cassell said: One small error can compound itself instantaneously, thanks to the eager efforts of wouldbe investigators lurking in the comments section and armed with instant search. Corrections are no longer an afterthought processthey happen in real time for the world to see. This also means that the audience will penalize wrong reporting harshly. So you had better make sure your reporting is ironclad. Where once correspondents were reachable only through the letters pages, the illusion of journalistic omniscience has been challenged. News can be broken on Twitter by the participants in, or observers of, a particular event. The journalist often becomes an interpreter, reacting to events

quickly and frequentlyand he or she often has to sift through swathes of information and opinion before deciding on what to report. As technology journalist Alex Masters argues, Twitter interaction has become synonymous with news reporting. Media outlets rely heavily on crowd sourced content to help provide realtime information, reaction and public opinion during breaking news stories. Consider that this process is relentless and we may begin to sympathize with the modern reporter. Twitter becomes the news? There are those who suggest that Twitter has had a trivialising effect on journalism. That it is lazy and convenient for journalists to rely on Twitter outrages for news. A quick look the newspapers in the last few weeks gives some credence to that view. A the Twitter spat between Lord Sugar and Nick Clegg made it into The Guardians politics

section, for instance, and during the recent vicious British weather various newspapers printed the tweets of celebrities who had ridiculed the effects of the storm. These are just two examples of very many instances and as US media analyst Jeff Sonderman points out: It is possible to overuse Twitter to the detriment of your other reporting; it is possible to pursue trivial tweetable scoops to the detriment of insightful journalism. But, he says, the solution isnt to not use Twitterits to not use Twitter that way. Perhaps this is the key. Its the way in which Twitter is used that determines its worthand the power of the medium should not be underestimated. Productive usage There are numerous examples of this sort of productive use of social media. Perhaps most famously, Twitter was successfully used in the Arab Spring of 2011 to mobilise support for change both locally

Nirvaana Ella Delacruz

and internationally. Closer to home, it could be argued that in the early days of the phone hacking scandal it was the campaign on Twitter urging advertisers to refrain from dealing with the News of the World that quickened the papers demise. Genuinely perturbed by the situation and the potential damage by association, one by one major companies began to distance themselves from the newspaper. Just a day after The Guardian broke the story, General Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, the Co-Operative and Lloyds Bank were among those who suspended advertising. In May the Everyday Sexism Project, Women, Action and the Media,launchedaninternational campaign against Facebook content that they felt incited rape and domestic violence. After more than 60,000 tweets using the #FBrape hashtag and another coordinated campaign aimed at advertisers, Facebook was forced
Twitter / B6

made its last landfall, reported that 600 families from the Tagbanua tribe have lost their houses and are appealing for food. Another 1,000 families in Coron are appealing for help as food will run out in a few days. Assessment teams deployed The Catholic Relief Services, together with the staff of the Dioceses of Catarman and Borongan in Leyte have teamed up to conduct rapid assessment in the Samar nd Leyte area. The rest of the NASSA staff are going down to Coron, Palawan; Calapan and San Jose, Mindoro;

Romblon; Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan and San Jose Mindoro; Archdiocese of Jaro in Iloilo; while for Dioceses not yet accessible from Manila, NASSA will tap the help of nearby Dioceses which are capable of providing the needed relief goods and assessment. Operation Alay-Kapwa NASSA-Caritas Philippines sent out an Appeal for Solidarity Assistance to the Social Action Network in 86 dioceses to come to the aid of the affected areas. In the past 3 weeks, we have had 1 major earthquake and 3 typhoons affecting

every island in the archipelago, and yet help has been pouring in since the communication lines have opened. Even the Diocese of Talibon in Bohol, still reeling from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, has been calling to ask where to send their donations for Leyte! This is the true spirit of Alay-Kapwa! Miss Jo Ignacio, NASSA Emergency Coordinator noted. The Alay Kapwa (AK) is the Lenten campaign program of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to educate people on the true spirit of giving and solidarity. The funds raised

are used by local churches for immediate relief operations in times of calamities. Maximizing NASSAs vast network and comparative advantage, it has been linking and coordinating dioceses relief efforts. Already, the Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte will provide rice supplies for 2,000 families in Tacloban. The Social Action Center of Cebu has been linked with communities in Bogo, Cebu through the Daughters of Charity. NASSA is assisting the parish of Coron to establish distribution points and links with Manila in order to send immediate relief to the isolated communities in the

island. Organizations like the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) have already called in to provide relief goods like rice and canned goods to the affected dioceses. To fully maximize this Operation Alay Kapwa, NASSA/ Caritas Philippines will continue to play its role at the National level by facilitating information and order through coordination of the Dioceses, which is also the main role of the Church in many cases. (CBCPNASSA)

During her younger days, Engineer Zenaida Bejosanos daily routine basically comprised home- school-church. At age, 20, Zenaida started reading the Bible. Two years later, she had the honor of having read the whole Bible four times. Nonetheless, Zenaida still felt deficient in her knowledge and experience of the power of the Word. In 2012, a friend started a Bible sharing group in her office under the May They Be One Bible campaign. The sessions gave Zenaida confidence in her stance as a Christian. She was now unafraid to take a firm position on the issues of monogamy and of Gods design of the gendersdespite rampant immorality around her. At home, Zenaida shares her

More desirable than gold

Bible lessons to her family, who in turn have themselves become readers of the Word. As a family, they now submit to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to control their temper and tongue. This has made them more loving and harmonious towards each other. The Word of God has made this lady engineer more caring of the environment. She now contributes her little part in the upkeep of her community by diligently throwing her candy and food wrappers into the trash bin and segregating her garbage. Knowing the Bible has also added vibrance to Zenaidas prayer life. An experience that stands out was when God miraculously averted big flames that were about to engulf her house from an adjoining paint shop. Helpless to do

May They Be One

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

Bible Campaign

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, Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco and Atty. Jose Tale. Praise God for the thousands of people who joined the Bible Run on March 9 in a show of unity for the Bible Cause. Praise God for good weather and for a beautiful and encouraging program. Pray that more people in the business and corporate world will participate in the May They Be One Bible campaign to bring the Word of God to every poor Filipino home. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make significant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecba-cbcp. 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 521-5803 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)

anything, Zenaida just closed her eyes and prayed earnestly for 5 minutes, holding on to Gods promise of protection. When she opened her eyes, all the flames had vanished, leaving only a small smoke behind! The Word of God has indeed brought blessings to many facets of Zenaidas life. Together with David, Zenaida could say that the Word of the Lord is more desirable than the finest gold and sweeter than the purest honey. (Psalm 19:10 Good News Bible)

No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign 85 out of 86 Dioceses Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2013 - Mar 6, 2013): 52,966 copies Bibles Distributed by Languages - Bicol (502 cps.) Cebuano (10, 279 cps.) English TEV (6,076 cps.), English NABRE (1,070), Hiligaynon (5,640 cps.), Ilocano (1,461 cps.), Pampango (601 cps.), Parishes/Communities served: 1,353 Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- Mar. 6, 2013): 861,585 cps. Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2013: 600,000 cps.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013



Dear Brother Priests, We in the Archdiocese of Manila are in solidarity with the whole nation in responding to the devastation caused by the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda. Please extend our gratitude to the faithful in your parishes for their generous support. We need to continue responding. 1. Our Liturgy Commission will prepare a short prayer to be said at an appropriate moment at every mass. 2. Yesterday we started taking up a special collection for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Let us continue this special collection even on daily masses during the coming two weeks. Information and cries for help are just pouring in from different parts of the country.

Letter of Cardinal Tagle to priests of Archdiocese of Manila re response to devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda
3. Let us be prompt in remitting the special collections to the Treasury Department. 4. If your parish is already helping a particular town or parish in an affected area, please inform Caritas Manila. We could either add to what you are sending to them or look for other communities that have not received any help. 5. Please mobilize the parochial schools and religious communities in your parish (if there are any). The parents association should be consulted and tapped. Associations of the lay faithful and ecclesial movements are to be asked to coordinate with our efforts. 6. The donations we got for the earthquake victims in Bohol will be utilized mainly for their relocation and housing needs. We have sent a technical team to help the Diocese of Tagbilaran in this crucial aspect of the rehabilitation efforts in Bohol. 7. If some celebrations are scheduled in our parishes or schools, please review them in light of the enormous suffering and needs of the victims and make the necessary adjustments. Thank you very much. Through our prayers and effective solidarity, the faith will rise stronger in the midst of ruins! Our Blessed Mother is watching over us. The God who is Love is near us. Sincerely yours in Christ, +LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE Archbishop of Manila 10 November 2013

Letter of solidarity
To the CBCP President: IT is with much sadness and heartbreak that we have heard of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. According to reports, it is believed that thousands have been killed, many more thousands left homeless or evacuated from their homes. We have been shocked at the images of destruction and the mayhem caused by the storm. We wish to assure you of our thoughts and prayers at this troubled time as the people of the Philippines face such a severe crisis. We will call on all Catholics in our countries of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland to pray for you and to respond to this humanitarian disaster in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon. It is clear that once the immediate needs of people have been catered for, there will be a long and arduous process of rebuilding not only infrastructure but the lives of people, as they come to grips with what has happened. We know that the people of the Philippines will respond to that challenge with courage and determination. Yours sincerely in Christ, ARCHBISHOP STEPHEN BRISLIN President, Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference November 12, 2013

Appeal for solidarity assistance for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda

Address of Pope Francis to the Participants in a Conference Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pacem In Terris
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Good morning, Today I am sharing with you the anniversary of the historic Encyclical Pacem in Terris, promulgated by Blessed John XXIII on 11 April 1963. Providence wanted this meeting to take place just after the announcement of his canonization. I greet everyone and in particular Cardinal Turkson, whom I thank for the words he has addressed to me on behalf of you all. The most elderly among us can remember well the era of the Encyclical Pacem in Terris at the peak of the Cold War. At the end of 1962 humanity was on the brink of an atomic world war and the Pope raised a dramatic and heart-rending appeal for peace, thus turning to all those in positions of power; saying: With your hand on your conscience may each one hear the anguished cry which is raised to the skies from all parts of the earth, from the innocent children to the elderly, from the people of the communities: Peace, peace! (Radio Message, 25 October 1962). It was an appeal to men but it was also a petition to Heaven. The dialogue that began with difficulty between the great rival Blocs during the Pontificate of another Blessed, John Paul II, led to surmounting that phase and opened space for freedom and dialogue. The seeds of peace sown by Blessed John XXIII bore fruit. Yet, in spite of the fall of walls and barriers, the world continues to be in need of peace and the call of Pacem in Terris continues to be extremely timely. 1. But what is the foundation of building peace? Pacem in Terris makes us recall this: it consists in the divine origin of man, of society and of authority itself which calls individuals, families, different social groups and States to live out relations of justice and solidarity. It is the duty of all men and women to build peace following the example of Jesus Christ, through these two paths: promoting and exercising justice with truth and love; everyone contributing, according to his means, to integral human development following the logic of solidarity. Looking at our current reality, I ask myself if we have understood the lesson of Pacem in Terris? I ask myself if the words justice and solidarity are only in our dictionary or if we all work so that they become a reality? The Encyclical of Blessed John XXIII clearly reminds us that there cannot be true peace and harmony if we do not work for a more just and integral society and if we do not overcome every level of selfish, individualistic, and group interests. 2. Lets move forward a little bit. What consequences does recalling the divine origin of man, society and authority itself have? Pacem in Terris focuses on a basic consequence: the value of the person, the dignity of every human being, to be promoted, respected and safeguarded always. It is not only the principle civil and political rights which must be guaranteed affirms Blessed John XXIII but every person must also be effectively offered access to the basic means of sustenance, food, water, housing, medical care, education the possibility to form and support a family. These are the goals which must be given absolute priority in national and international action and indicate their goodness. It is also important that space be made for the wide range of associations and intermediary bodies that, in the logic of subsidiarity and in the spirit of solidarity, pursue these objectives. The Encyclical certainly affirms the goals and elements which have already been absorbed into our way of thinking, but we must ask ourselves: do they really exist in practice? After 50 years are they reflected in the development of our societies? 3. Pacem in Terris did not intend to affirm that the duty of the Church is to give concrete directions on themes which in their complexity must be left

OUR dear Bishops, SAC Directors, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, T yphoon Yolanda (International name Haiyan), dubbed the strongest typhoon in the world this year, affected 4 million families and caused major damages to lives and properties in 29 provinces mostly in the Visayas region.

Today, at least 229 deaths have been officially registered, mostly in Tacloban City where TY Yolanda caused an unprecedented level of destruction. The number of casualties is expected to rise as retrieval operations continue. Our prayers and sympathy go out to all those families who lost their loved

ones in this tragic event. Our concrete acts of solidarity can raise their hopes. In just three weeks, we have had one major earthquake and 3 strong typhoons. Our Bohol relief operations continue for the earthquake survivors. To support the relief operations of the dioceses affected by TY Yolanda, although NASSA has

its Alay Kapwa Lenten Campaign fund readily available, thanks to the solidarity of all Dioceses, we need again to ask our diocesan and overseas network and partners to mobilize resources and funds to come to their aid. Donations can be sent directly to the affected Dioceses
Appeal / B7

open to discussion. It is not dogma which indicates practical solutions in political, economic and social matters but rather dialogue, listening, patience, respect for the other, sincerity and also readiness to revise ones opinion. Basically John XXIIIs appeal for peace in 1962 aimed to orient the international debate according to these virtues. The fundamental principles of Pacem in Terris can fruitfully guide the study and discussion on res novae, the topic of your convention: the education emergency, the influence of the means of mass communication on peoples conscience, the access to the earths resources, the positive or negative use of results from biological research, the arms race and the national and international security measures. The global economic crisis is a grave symptom of the lack of respect for man and for the truth with which governments and citizens have taken decisions, they tell us this clearly. Pacem in Terris draws a line that goes from the peace to be built in the hearts of men to reviewing our model of development and of action at all levels so that our world may become a world of peace. I ask myself, are we willing to accept this invitation? Speaking of peace, speaking of the inhuman global economic
Address / B7

Address of Pope Francis to the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus

Pope Clementine Hall, October 10, 2013
DEAR Friends, good morning, I am pleased to welcome the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus on the occasion of your meeting in Rome. I thank you once again for the prayers which you, and all the Knights and their families, have offered for my intentions and the needs of the Church throughout the world since my election as Bishop of Rome. On this occasion I also wish to express my gratitude for the unfailing support which your Order has always given to the works of the Holy See. This support finds particular expression in the Vicarius Christi Fund, which is an eloquent sign of your solidarity with the Successor of Peter in his concern for the universal Church, but it is also seen in the daily prayers, sacrifices and apostolic works of so many Knights in their local Councils, their parishes and their communities. May prayer, witness to the faith and concern for our brothers and sisters in need always be the three pillars supporting your work both individually and corporately. In fidelity to the vision of the Venerable Father Michael McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel and a force for the spiritual renewal of society. As the present Year of Faith draws to its close, I commend all of you in a special way to the intercession of Saint Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who is an admirable model of those manly virtues of quiet strength, integrity and fidelity which the Knights of Columbus are committed to preserving, cultivating and passing on to future generations of Catholic men. Asking a remembrance in your prayers, and with great affection in the Lord, I now willingly impart to you, and to all the Knights and their families, my Apostolic Blessing.

Caritas Manila Facebook page

Courtesy of Atty. Neil Jerome Rafatan


Ref lections
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Luke 21:5-19 November 17, 2013

CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

The time we have left

By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino

THEIR forty year old son had attacked his father. For years he had treated him as though he were an ignorant old man. But this time he pushed the envelope. He called his father stupid. The mans wife was livid. After all they did for this son, he should act like that. Nothing could hurt her worse than seeing how her husband was treated. But she was shocked when her husband said, Dear, let it go. They are only words. How can you say, that? she screamed. He is going against everything we raised him to be. Where is his respect for his parents? Darling, the man responded, You and I are not going to be on this world a whole lot longer. Why spend the time we have left at war with one of our children? He can choose to destroy himself with his anger, but we dont have to destroy ourselves. Eventually, he may move on from this. But I will move on. I dont intend to stay upset for the rest of my life. There is only so much time that we have in this world. There is only so much time that we are both physical and spiritual. We have to use it the best we can. Todays readings speak about the time that the world has left as well as the time that we have left. The prophet Malachi says that the Day of the Lord is coming. In Sacred Scripture, the Bible, The Day of the Lord refers to the last days of the world. In the Gospel Jesus speaks about the trials that will come before the end of the world. As the Church year comes

to an end, the readings speak about the end, the end of time. When we hear these readings we are tempted to dismiss them as something in the far future, something we most probably will not experience. We forget that the end of our own days will certainly come, and much sooner than any of us anticipate. So the father in the story is correct: None of us can allow hatred, anger or upset to destroy the time we have left to serve the Lord. Besides, Malachi and Jesus say, God will take care of all those who put him first in their lives. This is not limited to those who lay down their lives for God, the martyrs like Ignatius of Antioch and Agnes, Sebastian and Agatha, Isaac Jogues and Cecilia, although it is certainly referring to them. But the promise also is given to all who put the way of the Lord before the way of the world. You see, the way of the world is to seek vengeance on those who hurt us, to get them back in a manner they will never forget. My Italian ancestors call this a vendetta. This is not the way of the Christian. The way of the Lord is to forgive and move on. Love your enemies, we read Matthew 5, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Many wags have added, it will drive them crazy. It will drive them crazy because none of us expect to be loved by others as Jesus loves us. None of us are prepared to handle people who love us for no apparent reason. But that is how Jesus loves us. It is how he expects us to treat others. Malachi concludes by saying, for you who fear my name, there shall arise the sun of justice with its healing

rays. Justice belongs to the Lord. We will experience justice when He sees fit, not when we feel it needs to be shown. We very well may experience the one who hurt us doing well in the world and seeming to enjoy the blessings of God while living in a way that destroys the presence of the Lord. But God sees, God knows, and God will deal with the situation in due time, His time. In fact, rather than wait for them

to get theirs, we have been given the mandate to pray for those who persecute us. We are to pray for their conversion, their reform, before their opportunity to seek forgiveness comes to an end. Whoa! The Gospels tell us not just to love our enemies but to pray for them? Yes, that is all part of picking up our cross and following the Lord. We are called to pray for that guy who mocks us and has turned us into the butt of all

jokes at work. We are called to pray for that woman who made up a story about us, got us fired and took our job. We are called to pray for that kid who is so jealous of us, that she devised a scheme to destroy us and we fell for it. So we went with the in crowd at the party and tried some drugs. Then the kid who offered them to us told enough people about it that the word carried through the whole school and worked its way to our coach, our parents and even our priest. We are called to pray for that kid. We are called to pray for that woman, that man, fifteen years younger than us, who flirted with our spouse and stole him or her from us. The Gospels are telling us not to hold vendettas. They are telling us to pray for those who have hurt us. Our time on earth is limited. We have to make the best use of it. Sure, we live in the turmoil created by those elements of the world that have rejected, or simply ignored the spiritual. The Day of the Lord will come for the world. We have a role in this. We are told by the Lord to give testimony to God and His way in our lives. Is this difficult? You bet! Will those around us who love us, particularly our family and friends, question our actions? Probably. But, as the Gospel concluded, when we are questioned, we need to trust God to provide us with His answers. And always, always, no matter what the situation, no matter how intense the injury we suffer, we need to stand for the Lord. That is the way of the Christian. Jesus is our Savior. He saves us from the hatred that would destroy us. Today we pray for the courage to live our Christianity.


Bishop Pat Alo

The day of retribution and fulfillment

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) November 17, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
JERUSALEM was particularly dear to all the members of the Chosen People. And in the whole City, the dearest part of all was the Temple. This was the pride of every generation; the source of inspiration for every young Israelite; the most sacred place where every pious Jew could experience Gods special presence and favor. For many generations, the Temple had been a source of security and hope, for many thought that the Lord would never allow His House to be profaned, and even less to be destroyed. When Jeremiah dared to question that certitude, he was accused of treason and blasphemy (see Jer 7:3-15.26:2-11), but the events of history vindicated him: the whole of Jerusalem, including its Temple, were razed to the ground. (See 2 Kgs 25:9.) For a time, the people of Judah learned to put their trust in the living and all-holy God, rather than in buildings, no matter how majestic and sacred. They learned that what matters most in the eyes of God is the heart of man what he chooses and what he rejects, what he treasures and what he despises. But soon they forgot it again. Their pride blinded them. As a consequence, they were not able to recognize the time of the Lords visitation. They rejected the Messiah of God the terrible crime, in punishment for which the reconstructed Temple and the whole of Jerusalem would be reduced to rubble and ashes. Jesus foresaw it with tearful sadness. He wept over the Holy City. (See Lk 19:41.) He wept over all those who fail to set their hearts on the values of Gods Kingdom. Only those who choose and treasure God and His will can count on His protection. They become His living Temple. No lasting harm will touch

Sure formula
IN our frantic search for solutions maybe we miss the point many times. We keep on searching aimlessly but dont hit the target because we are wrongly motivated. We aim at the wrong target. If only we lend a listening ear to the words of Jesus we would not be failing to reach our target of life everlasting and behaving therewith in accordance to Christian morals. Jesus has clearly assured us His support and guidance if we follow Him. That He says in Jn. 8:12He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. If till now you are a confused person, enslaved by pride or false pleasures, come to Jesus, the fountain of life, then you will find out why the Saints whose only purpose was to live according to the words of Jesus, living in humility, became the happiest people on earth, as they endeavored to learn His life and teachings of love and humility. That indeed was a sure formula of Jesus which is mentioned in Lk. 14:11 and Lk. 18:11, Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and the man who humbles himself will be exalted (Lk. 18:11, also in Lk. 14:11). Its worth adhering to a sure formula, after all there are countless examples in history, proud people who became humbled by the untoward happenings in life just because they missed the lessons of humility lived and taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God sitting at the right hand of the Father, being likewise true God and true man, the Savior of the world, as expressed in the Catholic Creed, usually recited on Sundays and Feast days of the Catholic world.

Pinky Barrientos, FSP

Let small problems remain small
BENJAMIN Disraeli said, Little things affect little minds. I know of people who treat every little conflict, every little irritation, every little obstacle as a life-and-death emergency. I pity them. Because if we want to win in life, a master skill that we need to learn is the ability to let small problems remain smalland believe me, most of our problems are small. Wisdom is knowing what to overlook. Many years ago, before I became a personal finance teacher, a friend of mine asked for help. He was working for a credit organization and wanted me to invest there so that he could earn a little from the commission of my investment. So I liked the interest rates he was giving me and dumped half of my life savings in his company (I repeat: At that time, I still had zero financial literacy.) One morning, I learned that his whole company collapsed and I saw all my money disappear in a wink of an eye That was half of my net worth. Zapped to oblivion. But I was amazed at my reaction. I sighed and shook my head and said, Oh well, thats just money anyway. Ill earn it back. I then prayed, Lord, can I ask a favor? Can you give back to me the same amount sevenfold? After that, I walked home with peace in my heart and continued to live my happy life. I could have reacted differently. I could have blown up, focused on the negative, and gone to depression. I could have panicked about my future, punished myself eternally with regret for not being more careful, or stirred up resentment for that darn company. But I chose not to because life is beautiful. There were still so many things to be thankful for! Has someone criticized you unfairly? Did it rain during your out-door party? Has a friend taken you for granted?

Bo Sanchez

them, for they belong to Him and He to them. Even when their earthly Jerusalemwhat they hold most dear and sacred on earthis torn down, they are able to find consolation in the thought that the enduring and more splendid Jerusalem is the one that awaits them in heaven. That is where they belong. Persecutions of many kinds may strike fiercely those who have vowed their hearts to Christ. As long as they do their best to live up to their commitment, the Lord will never forsake them. Nothing of what they ARE will be lost, even when they lose their physical life. The world may end (and the world does come to an end for millions of humans, every day), but for those who have set their hearts on loving God and neighbor, and do what is

right, the world of Gods eternal love will never come to an end. Such are the truths and fundamental attitudes that should be paramount in us when we reflect on the passing splendor of this earth, and the inevitable end that will come for everything that is temporal, and for everybody. Reckoning time need not be a time of terror. It can beit should be!a time of trust, hope, and fulfillment. The time of that wonderful face-to-face encounter with the One that in our earthly days we have perceived only in a vague manner from behind the veil of our limitations and suffering. It is up to us to transform an inevitable end into the beginning of an endless fulfillment.

A kingdom, rooted in love, as vast as the universe

Solemnity of Christ the King (C) November 24, 2013
God the Father, that was surely His eternal Son who became a human being known by the name Jesus of Nazareth. Unlike most earthly rulers, however, Jesus was not after the title king. He never claimed it, and actually he seemed bent on concealing his royal dignity under the appearances of a life lived in poverty and obedience to family and religious authorities. Indeed, there were no signs of kingly pageantry in the cave of Bethlehem; in his flight and stay in Egypt as a child refugee; in his life at Nazareth, where everybody knew him as the carpenter (Mk 6:3) and the son of the carpenter (Mt 13:55). During his apostolic life, when at the height of their enthusiasm, the crowds wanted to proclaim him king, Jesus simply made appearing on social media during the Arab Spring would have missed the primary providers of news, both written and visual. That situation is unthinkable. Twitters importance to the future of journalism is evident. Paul Lewis, The Guardians Washington correspondent and himself irretrievable. (See Jn 6:15.) And when Pilate questioned him about his kingship, Jesus answer was so evasive, that the Procurator himself could not find in it any ground for the charge of conspiracy or insurgency. Though in his earthly life Jesus refused to be called king and avoided appearing like one, he did exercise his kingly power to subdue Satan, the great enemy of his Kingdom. (See, for instance, Mk 1:23-27 and 9:25-26.) And, just a short while before he breathed his last, he granted entry into his heavenly kingdom to the repentant criminal, the only one on Calvary who made an explicit profession of faith in his kingly role. (See todays Gospel passage.) Jesus kingship is not like the dominions of this world, limited to one nation, perishable, and to winner of the best Twitter feed in the Online Media awards said in 2012: Twitter is the digital footprint of things that are happening around the world. If Twitter becomes as ubiquitous as the mobile phone theres 4 billion mobile phone users in the worldthats huge.

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

THE title King of the Jews written on the name board hanging over the head of the crucified Jesus was meant to be a mockery of Jesus and an insult to the whole Jewish nation Pilates mean revenge against the religious authorities whose demands he had been forced to grant! Yet, in spite of the wrong intention and of all appearances, the title king given to the man agonizing on the cross was absolutely appropriate and well-deserved, for Christ, indeed, was and is king. He was born king before all ages, the only begotten Son of the eternal King of the universe. If anyone on earth ever deserved the royal title after
Twitter / B6

be defended by armies . . . . His kingdom is universal and eternal. Its power shares in the omnipotence of God, but allegiance to it depends totally on the freedom of every individual. Membership in Christs kingdom depends solely on faith and the keeping of the rule of love. Only those who love and trust him can belong to his reign. That is why the seat of his kingship is the heart of any human being who loves and obeys him. The reign of Christ will reach its full manifestation at the end of the world, in the new age when all will be subjected to the Son and he will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father. . . so that God may be all in all (1 Cor 15:24.28). Blessed will be those who have acclaimed Christ as their king already in this life. As a journalist who wants to find out things people dont want you to know, thats very exciting. (Dr John Jewell is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Cardiff University BA in Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. This piece if republished by special arrangement with MercatorNet)

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to issue a statement promising to act upon each of the stipulations called for by Everyday Sexism. While these are examples of activism and not journalism, they are certainly sources of information. Any news organization which ignored or completely discounted what was

Anthony Vincent Manding

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013

Social Concerns
children on the internet chat rooms arouse their sexual desires to abuse real children in their own countries. Its a warm up for sexual assault on children even their own children. As a result, incest is spreading too. Preda social workers rescued a 3 year-old girl raped and infected with gonorrhea by a relative. The local and international pedophile demand of cyber sex shows it is a grave danger to children in the Philippines and everywhere. The pedophiles pleasure themselves while watching before going child hunting. When the Preda child protection and rescue team applied for funding to church and government agencies it was met with silence or excuses. No funding for that. The rescue and campaign work is funded by the sale of dried mangos. We thank our Preda fair trade partners and supporters. In the Philippines, the internet service providers and government regulating agencies are supposed to implement the law blocking such images but they have spectacularly failed to implement the law. Its corruption of the worst kind. Its likely most of these officials go to church every Sunday posing as pious parishioners. Its an evil that caters to the depraved men and plagues societies everywhere. The trafficking and sale of children for sexual exploitation and slavery is a worldwide crime and practice. Its an estimated $32 billion business every year. 2.3 million children are abducted, lured and forced into brothels, sex bars and cyber sex dens and child porn studios annually. Its rampant in the Philippines due to the widespread poverty, corrupt practices by police and prosecution. Many Philippine government officials are mired in corruption and no interest to help except set up well paid committees with huge budgets staffed by cronies. The President who has positive successes is honest but appears helpless against such entrenched apathy. This modern slave trade will go on indefinitely unless we can persuade government to have good moral governance, respect and protect children and womens rights and dignity and the Mayors are not giving permits and licenses to sex bars and clubs. The citizens of the sending countries must know that these sex tourists get in an addiction to underage sex and return to their country addicted and will abuse more children there. Its not a problem far away but right in every country in the world.
Soulfood / B6


Saving the victims of human trafficking

By Fr. Shay Cullen
SHE was only 14 years old when brought from a distant town, and she was lured into a relationship with a middleaged American and became his live-in sex partner. He called her Chocolate, a racist term. In a conversation with reporters from ABC Television New York using a hidden camera, he told them how he got his 14 year-old Chocolate so he can do it anytime he wants and if she doesnt like it he can throw her out and get another. He set up a sex bar named Crow Bar in Calapandayan, Subic Town, and there he had other underage girls trapped as sex slaves controlled by Lulu, the Mamasan (manager) and recruiter. The trafficked young girls are given advance payments, loans, and threatened with arrest for not paying their debts so they cant leave the sex bar. They are sold to foreigners of every nationality and sexually abused. The Preda Foundation social workers and undercover paralegal professionals investigated the Crow Bar and verified the facts that there were underage children there and called in the authorities to arrest him and the Mamasan. With the NBI and the US ICE agents, a raid was carried out to rescue the children and arrest the suspects. The video report is on www.preda.org video gallery named The Raid. Many more trafficked children and youth could be saved from sex slavery and more bars closed if the Philippine government was serious in stopping the trafficking of the young girls and close down the sex trade by canceling operating permits and licenses given to these foreigner sex bar operators. Huge bribes are allegedly paid to get an operating permit. Its the worst kind of living death to be a victim of sex slavery. Now cyber sex is expanding. Small rooms with internet connections and cameras can show small children forced to strip naked and act out sexual fantasies ordered over the internet by pedophiles and paid for by credit cards. A recent research project in the Netherlands showed a computer generated image of a 10 year-old Filipina child available for contact in an internet chat room. As many as 10,000 men from 65 countries tried to get her to perform sex on camera that they could watch. Full report on www. preda.org, courtesy of Jubilee Campaign UK. These images of naked
Address / B5

crisis that is a grave symptom of the lack of respect for man, I cannot but recall with great distress the victims of the umpteenth tragic shipwreck which occurred off the shore of Lampedusa today. The word disgrace comes to mind! It is a disgrace! Let us pray together to God for those who lost their lives: men, women, children, for their relatives and for all refugees. Let us unite our efforts so that similar tragedies are not repeated! Only through the concerted collaboration of everyone can we help to prevent them. Dear friends, may the Lord with the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace help us always to welcome in ourselves peace which is a gift of the Risen Christ, and to work always with commitment and creativity for the common good. Thanks.
Appeal / B5

Is the office air conditioner conking out again? Has another car just cut you in traffic? Did your husband forget to fix the faucet? Did the washing machine rip your favorite shirt? You could decide to make a big issue out of it, use it to destroy your day, make it an excuse to be bitchy towards your family, and allow it to complicate your life. O r you could choose the simple path. The choice is really yours. Question: How do you react to problems? Try to think of a current problem now and then look at the bigger picture of life. Ask yourself: Will this problem matter twenty years from now? Let small problems remain small.


Name _________________________________________________
(Family Name) (Given Name)

(Middle Name)

Social Action Centers, or you can deposit your donations through NASSA, with the details below: For donation in PhP from overseas: Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Branch: Intramuros Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation Inc. Account Number: 4951-0071-08 Swift Code: BOPIPHMM For Donation in USD or EUR from overseas: Bank Name: Philtrust Bank Branch: Head Office Account Name: CBCP Caritas

Filipinas Foundation Inc. DOLLAR Account: 00340001716-6 EURO Account: 0035-0000008-6 Swift Code: PHTBPHMM For those with internet access, you may also go to the link below for online donation: <http://ushare.unionbankph. com/caritasfilipinas/> In the service of the poor and the needy, +BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD National Director, NASSA 11 November 2013

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Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Technical Assessment

Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary

Poor Below average Average Above average E xcellent TITLE: Captain Phillips LEAD CAST: Tom Hanks, Barkhard Abdi DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass SCREENWRITER: Billy Ray PRODUCER: Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin, Kevin Spacey GENRE: Drama DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures LOCATION: United States RUNNING TIME: 134 minutes Technical assessment: 4 Moral assessment: 2.5 MTRCB rating: PG CINEMA rating: V 14 (For ages 14 and up)

Captain Richard Phillips is skipper of a US-flagged container vessel Maersk Alabama, sailing via pirate-infested Somalia Sea with a crew of 20 unarmed men. A band of Somali fishermen piratesto-be led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi) hijacks the ship in the horn of Africa and holds Capt. Phillips hostage. After a harrowing chase when Phillips and his men think the pirates have given up, Muses determined bunch succeeds in boarding the ship using a crude ladder. Phillips, whose primary concern is to deliver the goods intact to their destination, tries to negotiate with the pirates but his good intentions are no match to the money-hungry Somalis. The movie is based on a true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. Another Oscar-worthy performance by Tom Hanks in another Everyman role

an ordinary character played extraordinarily well. Matching Hanks line by powerful line is Barkhad Abdi in his first movie roleimpressive for a newbie, and definitely qualified for a Best Supporting Actor award. There are very few actors but they come across so real the viewer cannot but feel for them. Captain Phillips is a good story in a tautly edited film; the screenplay is suspenseful, and the cinematography makes sure the tension is seen and felt by the viewer, from the opening scene (Phillips and wife Andrea, played by Catherine Keener) to the devastating last frame. Due perhaps to the fact that it could happen to anyone, the story of Captain Phillips has that unique pull on the viewers empathy. For one thing, there is no need of CGI, an indispensable sci-fi device, but the story is most demanding of gut level acting. The film presents various moral dilemmas but holds judgment. Its in a way a rescue story

but praises no hero; rather it underscores power disparity, particularly military power: the pirates are but amateurs working for a warlord; their captors are US navy SEALS directed by politicians. It clearly shows piracy as a crime, but also pricks the viewers sense of justice by subtly asking if it is not a crime, too, to neglect the poor and ignorant in our midst.

Buhay San Miguel

Brothers Matias

Vol. 17 No. 23

CBCP Monitor

November 11 - 24, 2013


The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

Missionaries Join1 Philippine Conference on New Evangelization

journey and a Spirit-filled experience. It later dawned on me that the concept of New Evangelization is best understood when it is actually experienced. More than the classroom experience, it was the marketplace and be with the people outside experience that defined New Evangelization for me. Truly, New Evangelization is not something you can box nor predict. New Evangelization is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, and that wherever the Holy Spirit blows that is where we must go. Adrian Enaje SFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker I was a late registrant to the PCNE. The day before the conference, I realized there was no Handmaids of the Lord PFO delegate and felt the Holy Spirit prodding me to attend. Looking back, I praise the Lord that I listened to that small voice telling me to go and leave work for a while in exchange for time to listen to the Lord. And how He spoke to me during the conference! Bernie Cuevas CFC HOLD Elder Humilitythat was the lesson

By the CFC Docu Team

THE FIRSt Philippine Conference on New Evangelization was truly a brand new experience for the 50 delegates from the CFC Global Mission Center, as well as the CFC representatives from the Sectors and parishes. The PCNE, which was held last October 16 to 18, 2013 at the University of Sto. Tomas, added new flavor to the lives of these participants in the light of their mission, inspired by no less than His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. During the 3-day conference, the celebration of the Eucharist

became the central source of inspiration, from the Misa ng Bayang Pilipino on the first day, the Eucharistic Celebration with Confessio Pecatti et Laudis during the second day, and the Concluding Eucharist with Lumina Pandit of the third day. Cardinal Tagle, who was dubbed the Rockstar of the Archdiocese of Manila because of his intellect and magnetism, put together a stellar conference that would be very hard to beat. Here are some insights from among the participants from the CFC GMC: From the 1st day to the 3rd day, the PCNE was a Spirit-filled

BCOP Planning Yields Common Areas of Engagement

Couples For Christ as well as the general directions in support to the CFC International Council Strategic Priorities for 2014-16. In the afternoon, each ANCOP and SocDev Program Heads presented the vision/mission, program objectives and key results of their various programs, after which, all participants were given groups and asked to identify shared objectives and areas of engagement. During the second day, Ting presented some learning from Matthew 13 to help lay the groundwork for engagement. In summary, Jesus story suggests that leaders need to promote the following: Clarity (Solid Base of Understanding), Realistic Expectations and the Priority of the Undertaking. Hizon then presented the summarized output of all the groups. The following were the common objectives of the BCOP Programs: 1. To create awareness and appreciation of all the programs among all members in the sectors and provinces; 2. To encourage both leaders and members to an acceptance of the programs as part of the CFC mission and to have the passion for the work; 3. To identify, appoint, and empower leaders to each or all of the BCOP programs; 4. To generate and source funds for the programs operation over and above the funding for our poor clientele; and 5. To do needs assessment and to develop training and operations manual that can be used for info dissemination and training in all areas.
Fruitful two days, clockwise from bottom right: early birds register to the BCOP planning; Mindanao leaders in full force; Eric delos Reyes and Rudy Gaspillo lead the Lords Day Celebration; Fr. Tony Pegon, SVD, exhorting the CFC leaders: If you serve the poor, you serve God.; CFC leaders serving in BCOP ready for 2014; group workshop and reporting of common strategies.

pastoral leaders; 9. Appointed leaders to be given training and equipped with materials; 10. CFC to allocate funds for SocDev programs; 11. Monitor, support, and manage the social development programs; an office with staff similar to ANCOP should also be set up; 12. Programs with training (Values Formation), facilitators and trainors shall support the capability building needs of the provinces. Eric Delos Reyes, BCOP Deputy Director and CFC ANCOP President, raised additional 4 actionables for 2014, which was agreed by the planning body & International Council (IC) in attendance: 1. Provide a BCOP (Ancop/SocDev) office space in the GMC building; 2. Create & maintain a BCOP website linked with the CFC Global Communications Office; 3. Develop and mainstream BCOP Pastoral Formation Tracks; 4. Rationalize & schedule a joint BCOP programs roadshow. The session ended with positive responses from the ICs, Arnel Santos and Ricky Cuenca, who capped the activity with a prayer for empowerment.

By Alma Alvarez
AFtER the positive turn out of the Building the Church of the Poor (BCOP) engagement activity a few months back, Couples for Christ leaders and heads of ANCOP and the Social Development (SocDev) Programs came together for a weekend BCOP Planning last October 26 and 27, 2013 in Tagaytay City. Thelma Hizon, CFC HOLD BCOP Coordinator, facilitated the activities during the event. BCOP Director Ricky Cuenca once again enkindled the participants passion to be catalysts of engagement in the various BCOP programs, not because the leaders tell them to, but because

it is Gods call for each CFC member to have preferential love for the poor. Cuenca echoed Fr. Tony Pegons exhortation in his homily during the morning Mass: Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Who is the poor? Jesus could be referring to Himself, who was born poor. Didnt He say, Whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto Me? If we serve the poor, then we serve God. Rizal Ting, CFC ANCOP Operations Director and Social Development Coordinator, then presented a brief status update of our BCOP engagement as of 3rd Quarter of 2013 and the effort in reviewing the mission statement of each program as it relates to the overall vision and mission of

Also highlighted were twelve common strategies for BCOP engagement for CFC: 1. Conduct BCOP appreciation workshops for leaders and members in the sectors/provinces; 2. Organize Road Shows (Regional or Provincial); 3. Bring discussion and sharing of the benefits of the BCOP program/s to the household level; 4. Provide leaders with manuals and materials of all the BCOP programs; 5. Appreciation and understanding for the work should start from the top leadership down to the Households; 6. Top leaders with passion for the work should inspire the membership; 7. Serving the poor is a means to spiritual growth, thus PFO should include this in our teachings; 8. Appointed BCOP leaders should be empowered and given support by top leaders and other

Ricky Cuenca

A Call for an Intensified Work with the Poor

CBCP Monitor
November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

CouplES for Christ exists for the mission of Building the Church of the Home and the Poor. Let us first consider why in such sequence home then poor. Since 1981, couples have been called to renewal through CFC. We have been blessed with exponential growth starting with only 16 couples. In 1993, the Family Ministries was launched and it reinforced our call to family renewal. By Gods grace, we peaked to about 1.4 million members and spread to more than a hundred countries. God intended CFC to be built as an army with a strong spiritual and pastoral foundation and a passion for family renewal to prepare us for the great work of Building the Church of the Poor. Without this foundation, our endeavors will fall short and will not be sustainable. As early as 1995, CFC started to do its work in Bagong Silang through ANCOP and side by side build up the different Social Ministries. In 2000, during the Jubilee year the bigger CFC community started to embrace the Work with the Poor and officially launched it in 2003 through Gawad Kalinga. We went through difficult phase in understanding the CFC way of answering the cry of the poor. In 2009, we let go of GK to pursue the CFC way of helping the poor, making Christ the face of our work, and evangelization as our primary purpose through ANCOP. In 2013, the efforts to societal renewal were merged under the banner of BCOP or Building the Church of the Poor. BCOP is now presented in two branches, namely ANCOP and the Social Development Programs (formerly Social Ministries). A basic appreciation of the history of BCOP is essential to our continuous growth, the deepening of our convictions, and in increasing our confidence that what we are doing is truly Gods will for CFC. A Preferential Love for the Poor The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Luke 4:18-19. Through this verse, we are reminded that Jesus chose to be poor, from the manger all the way to the Cross. He declared bringing glad tidings to the poor as His mission. He is biased for the poor. In fact in our Orientation talk, we point out the differ-

ent types of poor people the blind, the lame, captives, etc. In CFC, we have to address the different types of poverty: a. The Spiritually poor Growing to holiness in Christ; b. The Emotionally poor Building the Church of the Home; c. The Physically and Materially poor Building the Church of the Poor. CFC is called to the work of Total Christian Liberation. God has come to liberate us fully and totally. Gods love is not partial, it is always complete it is perfect. And as the Lord has a bias for our poverty, we too, as Altus Christus or Another Christ must develop a preferential love for the poor. The way to do this is to seek the face of Christ in the poor. Loving the poor means loving Christ. If we are truly lovers of Christ, we are lovers of the poor. Intense Love for Jesus The work we do is only a means, not an end in itself. No matter how beautiful the work may be, it is still just a simple means. After all, what matters is to belong to Jesus. The work we do is our love for Christ transformed into deeds. (One Heart full of Love, Mother Teresa of Calcutta) The intensity of our love for Christ is manifested in the way we love the poor. Are we truly lovers of Christ? If we cannot see the sufferings of Christ in the marginalized, in the unjust social structures, in the prisons, in the degradation of the environment, in the victims of calamity, then we have to look into our own hearts and renew our love for Jesus. Have our hearts become calloused? Are we so used to see poverty around us that we have been desensitized of the obvious need of our fellow man? Are we afraid of the kind of commitment needed to serve the poor? Let us accept the challenge to love fully. An intensified work with the poor requires an intensified love for Christ. How can we respond concretely to BCOP? First, simply your life. One of the major reasons why there is widespread poverty is a lack of sharing. What things do you have that you no longer use? Many of us have unused clothes that are in our closets for over a year. A lot of us spend much money in eating unhealthy food instead of simple and nutritious food. We also waste a lot of food that we could have easily shared

with those who have none. We also unnecessarily buy expensive things to simply entertain us. It is not to cast judgement on what we spend on, but to apply social justice in our own simple ways. Second, give your best to the poor. The poor does not deserve scraps, but the fines we can offer. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-23 depicts how the rich man suffered in hell not because he maltreated the poor, but because he gave scraps to the poor. Often, our tendency is to give what we do not need that can be considered junk. We have to offer the best for the least because it is Christ to whom we are offering. Third, commit to the work of BCOP. All of us have a role to play in Building the Church of the Poor. The growth of our mission is highly dependent on the commitment you have to the Lord through the service that he has called you. The Lord has made us accountable, not to burden us, but to save our own souls. Our commitment also translates into the salvation of our souls. It is not that we are a blessing to BCOP but BCOP can lead us to our own salvation. Then they will answer and say, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs? He will answer them, Amen I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me. And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. Matthew 25:44-46. Intensified Work with the Poor What does it mean to be intense? Intensity means to be expressive of great zeal, energy, determination or concentration. Intense love for Jesus should be translated to an intensified service! How? Through serving with great zeal for ANCOP, and serving with energy and determination in our Social Development Programs. Let us look upon our Mother Mary as our model. In her poverty, she followed and served Jesus. With a pierced heart, she endured many sufferings and remained faithful to the Lord. The work of BCOP will not be easy. It will require much love and sacrifice. Together let us serve with passion and intensity and ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Banneux, the Virgin of the Poor who said, I come to relieve suffering. Like Mary, we are called to relieve suffering in the world brought by the evils of poverty. Let us ask for Gods grace and Marys help.

COUPLES FOR CHRIST thru its Global Mission Center in Manila is accepting donations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), most especially our affected CFC brethren. For cash donations: ACCOUNT NAME: Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc., BANK ACCOUNT: BPI Account No. 0120-1101-01, BRANCH: Aurora Cubao, SWIFT CODE:BOPIPHMM or www.cfchomeoffice.com/calamityfund for credit card. Thank you and may we all be one in prayers that the SON will SHINE once again in their lives.

CFC North B Welcomes New Parish Priest

Standing from left are: Dr. Rene Reyes (NB SGT-BCOP), Bong Bongcac (NB SGT-Evangelization/Mission and Church Integration) , Ermie Sebastian (NB SGT-PFO), Rev. Fr. Marlou LeMaire (Parish Priest, St. Peter Parish Shrine and Treasurer of the Diocese of Novaliches), Ernie Balarbar (North B Sector Head), Jake Ayson (NB2 Cluster Head), Bobot Bautista (NB SGT- Mission Support and Treasurer-St. Peter Shrine), and Andy Palma (NB2 Chapter Head and St Peter Shrine Parish Pastoral Council President); Seated from left are the leaders wives: Cynthia Reyes, Alice Bongcac, Pat Ayson and Echie Bautista.

CFC Metro Manila North B Sector Leaders met with Rev. Fr. Marlou V. LeMaire, the new Parish Priest of St . Peter Shrine, last October 16, 2013 at the Maxs Restaurant along Commonwealth Avenue, Q.C. Fr. Marlou and the North B leaders agreed to work hand in hand in spreading the good news of the Lord through the CLPs, teachings, and other activities of the St. Peter Shrine.

CFC Migrants Program Holds Family Fun Run

Roger Santos

Strengthening CFCs Church Relations

THE GREat Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 states, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Fulfilling the Great Commission isnt always easy, especially in areas where we are starting our Couples for Christ communities with limited resources. Partnering and developing relationships with the local dioceses/ parishes typically pose a challenge. Last year, I was asked to help out our Church Relations office in securing CFC recognition and developing partnership with our local parishes all across the USA. When hurricane Sandy hit the New York/ New Jersey area in 2012, it gave CFC ANCOP USA the opportunity to help out through fundraising for the Sandy victims by working with the Catholic Charities of New York. This helped pave the way for CFC to secure a recognition from the Archdiocese of New York, include a meeting with His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan to discuss our CFC mission and how we can help the NY parishes through our CFC communities. The meeting gave me the courage and inspiration to try to explore different ways to reach out to the lost for Jesus Christif we want to build Gods kingdom by spreading His Word, if we want to serve those living in desperate poverty while offering hope for the future, then developing a partnership with our local parishes/ dioceses can be an avenue to help us pursue the Lords call to missions. It is evident that we need a multi-pronged approach in our evangelization work. The first part involves understanding the key importance of a CFC recognition to work in the local diocese/ parish. The second part involves utilizing our work with the poor as an entry point. Our mission to Build the Church of the Poor is a special call that promotes the love of children and those in need, through Gods love and compassion. The third part involves assessing the needs of the local diocese to find the best program. According to Polands Statistical Institute of the Catholic Church, weekly church attendance has dropped from 53% of the population in 1987 to less than 40% in 2011. It is the lowest number ever recorded, said Bruce Porter-Szucs, a history professor at the University of Michigan who writes extensively about Poland. This statement holds true across Europe. It is therefore imperative that we should encourage household groups to openly welcome their Priest or Deacon in one or more of their regular household meetings. For example in Athens, Greece, Luis Ilagan and the CFC team work closely with the Archdiocese of Athens Fr. George and Archbishop Faloskos in reviving interest and promoting vibrancy in the local parishes. Partnership and collaboration with the church helps us achieve the clergys appreciation of our CFC life and mission. Together, let us make a big difference in our evangelization work, not only in the United States, in Europe, and other developed countries, but across the globe. Let us strengthen our Church Relations team. And let us make our presence felt in our Archdioceses, Dioceses, and Parishes as we approach the Year of the Laity. Roger Santos is a member of the CFC USA National Council, Executive Director of ANCOP Foundation USA Inc. and Country Coordinator of Greece.

THE Couples for Christ Migrants Program, one of our BCOP Social Development Programs, is inviting everyone to the 1st CFC Migrants Family Fun Run to be held on the 24th of November, 2013, Sunday, 5:00 AM at the Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Sta. Rosa Laguna. The Fun Run will have 3 eventsthe 10K (P500 entry fee), 5K (P400 entry fee), and 3K (P300 entry fee) with cash prizes. The activity aims to create awareness on the Migrants Program. Proceeds will fund the various activities of the Program in its effort to bring the Values Formation programs to the different Parishes, Schools, Barangays, Recruitment and Manning/Crewing Agencies and Organizations and Government Institutions involved with migration. For those interested to join, you may contact Jess M. Ferrer at 09189134628 or jmferrer8356@yahoo.com, or Tony Obien at 09178632481 or tonyobien65@yahoo.com.

that stuck to me the most during the entire PCNE. Since Day 1, Cardinal Tagle had somehow con stantly reminded his fellow Archbishops, Bishops and Priests to allow the laity to take communion first before they did. And when His Eminence asked for forgiveness from the leaders of other faiths for the shortcomings of the Catholic Churchthat truly floored me! However, on a more personal note, I felt God giving me a dose of the humility pill as well. After getting bored during the Streams and Faith sharing sessions, thinking, I dont need this, I know this already!, one of the catechists shared about how the workshop had changed her. It was as if God was telling me, Not everything is about you, my child. And thats when I realized how easy it is for us in ministry work to fall into the sin of pride. But through the model set before me in the person of Cardinal Tagle, I was somehow tamed. Deo Oliveria Visual Artist, CFC Comm After I learned about the 8 stages of life and how each person experiences brokenness in every stage in the workshop I attended, I am now more aware of every individuals character, and why some are very easy to get along with, while others take time to warm up. A persons traits and reactions to certain situations may be brought about by how they grew up or how they were raised as children, and in my new mission as a Recruitment and Employee Relations Officer, the lessons I learned became an eye opener for me not to judge people on how they handle or react to circumstances. These new learnings will help me to do my mission more effectively by being more understanding of the people I work with. Jing Jing de Guzman Human Resource I was drawn by the passion of Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ who gave us a fresh perspective on the

topic Popular Religiosity and New Evangelization. Popular religiosity is an expression of Catholic faith as well, and that it is also the work of the Holy Spirit. I am reminded not to lose these practices especially in these modern times. I will try my best to preserve and share what I have learned because through these teachings, Christ is also shared to others. Also learned from Fr Arevalo that, You do not know that there is much holiness in the ordinariness of life, in the poor. As a YFC serving in advocacies where we encounter different stories of the young, especially the less fortunate, I am now mindful that every encounter with them is definitely a step towards holiness. On Fr. Arevalos closing statement, I learned that victory comes from God. When it comes from God, it comes through the hands of Mary. Regina Luy YFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker In the faith and group sharing circles, I met people from different places and different communities and ministries. As I was sharing joyfully what CFC has given to me as a community, I was also inspired and amazed with their stories and ways of serving God. In one reflection, I saw a vision of myself on a journey, lifting up a heavy cross. That journey wasnt that hard for Jesus was also with me, also lifting His cross. Though I fell and got tired, and put down my cross, Jesus kept on, inspiring me more and more. I believe that as a missionary, we are like Jesus who will bring joy and peace to an ever-changing world. This conference helped me to be united with the other servants of the Catholic Church, believing that God makes all things new. Cardinal Tagle said, You are not just the future, but also the present Church. We are called to embrace our religion, spread the faith and be more effective evangelizers. We are the saints of the New Millenium. Jonathan Polinar KFC Fulltime Pastoral Worker

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 23
November 11 - 24, 2013



CFCUAE Sponsors Baybay, Leyte Surgical Mission

Christ@Home: Being Family Evangelizers

An empowering weekend for everyone serving in Kids for Christ; Fr. Lousito Alambra celebrating the Holy during Day 1 of the event; CFC Executive Director George Campos welcoming all the participants; Mannix Ocampo, CFC Family Ministries Director.

By Ramuel Garcia
A tEam of CFC surgeons, doctors, and nurses led by Dr. Joe Yamamoto and Dr. Bernie Cueto, Provincial Area Head for Abra and a surgeon from Makati Medical Center, arrived at the Tacloban Airport on 12 September, 2013 and braved a 2 hour road trip to reach Baybay, Leyte for a surgical mission. The team included 5 senior surgeons, 1 plastic surgeon, 1 OBGYNE, 1 ophthalmologist, 1 otorhinolaryngologist, 1 internist, 5 junior surgeons, and 5 nurses. Demy Pascual, CFC Servants of the Lord United Arab Emirates National Coordinator and a nurse by profession employed with

the Dubai Police, joined the surgical mission team. The team completed at least 45 major surgeries, 60 minor surgeries, and gave out 300 reading glasses. All patients were verified indigents. Conservative present day estimates based on the type of surgeries performed is PHP 2.2 million to have the major surgeries done, another PHP 300,000.00 to do the minor surgeries, and PHP 45,000.00 for the reading glasses. The CFC Surgical Mission was made possible via a partnership with the Provincial Government, the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital, and the CFC UAE community for generously funding the surgical mission.

By Pearl Barretto, Maryknoll Maagad and Erika Enaje

CHRISt@HomE: Family Evangelizersthis was the theme of the 2nd National Couple Coordinators Conference, where 650 Couple Coordinators of CFC Kids for Christ all over the Philippines gathered for another Spirit-filled weekend with God and with the members of the community. The conference was held at the Kaban ng Hiyas in Mandaluyong City last 18th of October, then at the Amoranto Sports Complex last October 19th and 20th 2013. Friday evening started with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Lousito Alambra, followed by the opening worship led by Rico Gamogamo. The KFC Couple Coordinators were welcomed by George Campos, CFC Executive Director. On the same night, Coordinators showcased their talents through the different creative competitions: Modern Cultural Dance Showdown, Tunog-tao Acapella, and Harana Duet. The night ended with a closing prayer led by Badz Dimacutac. On the second day, Fr. Joel Jason celebrated Mass, exhorting the participants with this powerful message: to evangelize the kids, we do not start with rules but we start with our lives. The opening worship was then led by Raffy Mundo, followed by the 1st Session titled Christ at Home, given by Bong Arjonillo. The session reminded everyone that aside from having a caring, loving, and sharing home, families should especially have a Christ-centered home. After the session, the Couple Coordinators joined in the Special competitions: R.A.K. Race, Captured (Photography), Minute to Win It, Family Evangelizers Short Film Competition, Trophy-Making Contest and in the fun games. The highlight of the day was the Top ModelCoordinators Edition, where the Coordinators themselves donned and modeled gowns made of indigenous materials. In the afternoon, Jason Briones and Nice Geraldez, along with 70 ROCK Facilitators of Metro Manila, conducted a workshop wherein the Coordinators enjoyed acting like Kids for Christ members in a mock KFC assembly. Come evening, Nic Escalona Jr., KFC Intenational Coordinator, delivered the 2nd session, Evangelized Families. In this session, Escalona stressed that the family is regarded as the primary place for transmitting faith. Moreover, as families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth, CFC is given the task to nurture faith in God and develop growth in holiness at the family level. Even if the family is under attack, the family should always remain faithful to God amidst all the challenges. The session was capped by the praise fest led by Andrew Macatangay. For the last day of the event, Fr. Francis Lucas reminded the Coordinators in his homily, being faithful to your faith is the most extreme challenge. After the opening worship led by Gilbert Ocampo, Voltz Lizardo gave the 3rd session entitled Family Evangelizers, motivating the participants to become family evangelizers by being united in faith and love, as well as becoming the L-I-G-H-T! of Christ as a family.

JPMC Visits Cornerstone Kids

Running the Race, the ANCOP Way

By Pat Villanueva
ANCOP USA volunteers and marathon participants from the Southwest Region, hit the streets before sunrise on Sunday, October 13, for the Long Beach Marathon. The Long Beach Marathon started in 1982 but this year was made extra special because of ANCOP USAs participation after a long hiatus. In addition to the marathon, half-marathon, and 5K walk/run, a bicycle tour began by going south on Shoreline Drive and continued on to the final 20 miles of the marathon course. All of the proceeds will go to the beneficiaries sponsored by ANCOPUSA. For some racers, the event was a family affair. Bong Cristobal came with his wife Nette and both of them participated the bike tour. Eric Picazo and his wife, Gretchen, along with their daughter Leslie Ann walked the 5K course. A few more couples from CFC joined the half marathon. The father and daughter tandem of Sonny and Sarah Berberabe were the top donation-getter based on the online web donation page. The event organizer for ANCOP USA, Noli Calingo, participated in more than one event. After finishing the bike race, he mustered enough strength and participated in the 5K run. Eric Villanueva, ANCOP USA President and National Director for Couples for Christ USA, together with wife Pat, was one of the participants. Festive music and a lot of supporters from various organizations and community groups offered runners an encouraging push. Members of Couples for Christ from different chapters and different ministries manned water stations and distributed water to the runners. The runners, bikers, and walkers were rewarded with a sumptuous lunch lovingly prepared by the Handmaids of the Lord of Southern California together with CFC members and the rest of Southwest-B Region ANCOP volunteers. As of this writing the total donation collected through the website is close to breaking the 20K barrier. This is not counting thousands of donations that have gone by way of cash and checks. Chito Noriega, one of CFC Chapter Leaders, and many others are already looking forward to next years marathon and are envisioning a bigger participation of Couples for Christ in the Long Beach Marathon to raise funds for a good cause, all for the love of the poor, and for the greater glory of God!

JP MoRgan and Chase distributed back-to-school kits to Cornerstone children from Northville Elementary School, Pampanga (October 4, 2013), Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School, Quezon City (October 11, 2013), Bubukal Elementary School, Laguna (October 14, 2013), and Kapitan Eddie Reyes Memorial Elementary School, Taguig City. The activity marked the beginning of a long-term partnership between Cornerstone and JP Morgan and Chase. A simple program accompanied the kit distribution, wherein the students and JPMC volunteers sang and danced and had a great time together. (Sherryl de Leon)

CFC Handmaids of the Lord Environmental Efforts Recognized by NHA

THE CFC Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) received the Housing Award from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and National Housing Authority (NHA) during the 2013 Housing Fair at the SM Mega Trade Hall last October 25, 2013. The award, given by Vice President Jejomar Binay and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz, was accepted by Thelma Hizon on behalf of the CFC community. CFC HOLD was given the award for its vital role in promoting efficient delivery of housing strategies and programs thus enhancing the provision of housing services truly responsive to the needs of the Filipinos. During the awarding, recognition was given to the CFC HOLD specifically for its contribution to the

NHA Relocation Areas as the most dynamic group that contributes to the environmental needs of the NHA housing. As provided for in a MOA with NHA, CFC HOLD has been donating seedlings and planting these in almost all the relocation areas around Metro Manila for the last 2 years. Values Formation on Stewardship of Gods Creation, Climate Change and Waste Segregation has been conducted in these housing projects. Its latest project was donating 2,000 fruit bearing seedlings and 2,000 malunggay cuttings for the NHA Tanay Housing Project last July, 2013, as well as a one day Values Formation Seminar held at the Tanay Municipal Hall for all the officers of the Housing project.

The News Supplement of Couples for Christ

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




CBCP Monitor

November 11 - 24, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 23

Beloved Conference Goes to the Middle East

Retreat Prepares CFC UAE Mission Core for 21st Anniversary

By Ramuel and Beth Garcia
CFC International Council Spiritual Director, Msgr. Allen Aganon, conducted a Spirit-filled retreat last October 18-19, 2013 for 220 members of CFC United Arab Emirates Mission Core Group to prepare their hearts for the upcoming CFC UAEs 21st anniversary celebration this November. Bishop Paul Hinder generously allowed CFC to use the newly constructed St. Anthony De Padua Catholic Church located in the Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Msgr. Allen celebrated Holy Masses for the Mission Core and led the group into adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Msgr. Allen gave four talks during the two-day retreat. In Talk 1, Msgr. Allen gave an introduction to the CFC Spiritualityfollowing Christ under the direction of the Spirit and beneath the guidance of the Catholic Church. He discussed the changing times from pre- to post-modernism and the resulting insecurity and hopelessness which leads to a desire to return to the past, a hunger for spirituality, and a hunger for healing. During the guided meditation, the attendees paused and pondered where each one was in their relationship with God and their path to holiness. In Talk2 (CFC as Christ the Beloved Son), Msgr. Aganon discussed the Lord Jesus Christs relationship with God the Father and how the participants can deepen such relationship with God through prayer life. Msgr. Allen likewise exhorted everyone to follow Jesus example of always wanting and excited about being with the Father at the end of the day in prayer, of having monastic hearts regardless of how tiring, busy, or stressed out ones day had been. He further stressed that there must be a conscious awareness of ones identity as beloved sons and daughters of God, (alter Christus) by

By Mel Torralba
It waS yet again another very memorable experience for Singles for Christ members who attended the 15th SFC Middle East Conference. Entitled Beloved, the conference whose anchor verse is taken from 1 John 4:19 (We love because He first loved us.), was held last October 25-26, 2013 in the lush green oasis city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Over a thousand delegates from Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Seychelles, Manila, and UAE attended the conference. SFC leaders gathered the night before the conference for the Singles Core Group (SCG) Summit. All SFC leaders in the region came together for a night

of empowerment leading to oneness and a common understanding of the principles and morals SFC stands for as a ministry. SFC fulltime missionaries, headed by Noli Manuel, who is also the SFC International Coordinator and SFC Middle East Region Head, facilitated the SCG Summit. The Conference started with the Holy Mass celebrated at St. Marys Church, with CFCs Spiritual Director, Msgr. Allen Aganon officiating. God faithfully blesses each SFC conference with a different experience of Jesus. Every year leaves a mark and every year leads to an enriching life in Christ. The theme Beloved was expressed so profoundly during the conference, making participants realize that they

are indeed Gods beloved in the truest sense of the word. Hosting a major event in a conservative community like Al Ain presented many hurdles for the service team. Surpassing these many challenges during the planning stages, preparation, and execution of the event made the conference and the theme even more meaningful. For instance, despite having the necessary permit to hold the event, local authorities still came by a number of times during the day for spot checks. Everyone present took this positively, making Jesus shine further. The realization that all are Gods beloved sons and daughters strengthened ones resolve to be like Christ and bring His love to the far ends of the earth as all have been commissioned.

Alaska Conquered!
By Pat Villanueva

THE vERy 1st CLP in Barrow, Alaska graduated 17 new members dedicated into the CFC Alaska family. With the support of Fr. Nelson (who himself attended and became one of the Servants of the Lord members), the Mission Team composed of Eric & Pat Villanueva, Bert and Chary Araneta and Giovi Paras had an enjoyable time. In spite of the below zero weather (negative 7), the team was welcomed with the warmth and hospitality of the participants. Barrow, Alaska is so remote that Fr. Nelson only comes by twice a month to hold Mass in the area. It is the northernmost City in the whole of the US. With Gods grace, our courageous mission team braved the elements and was rewarded by the vibrancy of our new members here in Alaska. After the CLP, the word spread like wild fire and potential participants already expressed their interest in joining the next CLP. Join us in welcoming the 37th State in the CFCUSA family!

pure grace and the need to deepen that precious gift of the Fathers love given freely and generously. Talk 3, CFC as Christ the Beloved Spouse, discussed in detail Christs love for the Church and how as bridegroom, His love is consummated on the cross, giving himself fully to his beloved. Msgr. Allen exhorted CFC to follow Jesus example of self-sacrificial love for spouse. In post-modernism, people tend to doubt or question institutions like marriage. The enduring love, happiness, and solid relationship as married couples in CFC challenges those who question marriage as each couple lives out their identity as beloved spouses. Concluding that having a missionary spirit is the strongest element in CFCs spirituality, Msgr. Allen encouraged everyone in the Mission Core to go on mission in his last talk titled CFC as Christ the Missionary. During the Mass of the second day, every participant was sent off empowered, aware of his identity as another Christ (ad extra), ready to proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth.

Namibia Embraces Couples for Christ

Bishop Paul Hinder Appoints Spiritual Advisers for CFC Areas

By Ramuel and Beth Garcia

By Bads and Agnes Ellica

AFtER several attempts to visit Namibia, a mission team from CFC United Arab Emirates finally reached the rugged but very fertile land of this predominantly Christian country. In Namibia, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church are the biggest faith groups representing over 90% of the populace, while the remaining 10% is evenly distributed between Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus. The total land area of Namibia is about three times the size of the Philippines but has only 2.2 million people, compared to the 95 million people that inhabit the latter.

Archbishop Liborius N. Nashenda, OMI shepherds this growing community with two other Bishops sharing the responsibility of guiding 89 parishes. In an audience granted to Bads Ellica and Fr. Max Jacobs (Parish Priest of Omaruru), his Excellency shared his vision that all families in every parish shall eventually become members of Couples for Christ. More than two years ago, a missionary team from CFC South Africa visited the Archdiocese of Namibia and conducted a CLP. However, due to the far distances of the homes of members from each other, the CFC culture and way of life was not given the chance to flourish. This time around, a CLP was conducted among participants

organized by Sr. Aida Manlucu, National Head of the Family Life of the Namibian Bishops Conference, in coordination with the nearby parish of St. Augustine at Soweto area with Bads & Agnes Ellica, Fulltime Missionaries for CFC Middle East, as the speakers and with the communities of Middle East and South Africa as the prayer warriors. The 2-day CLP was conducted at St. Charles Lwanda Seminary on October 12-13, 2013 and garnered 17 CLP graduates. What is exciting to note is that the mission team left Namibia with a plan of organizing a series of CLPs with over 30 couples to join, hopefully by January 2014.

A Celebration of Love

THE Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder, met with the CFC United Arab Emirates National Council and Area Governance Teams in the presence of CFC International Council Spiritual Director, Msgr. Allen Aganon, and Rev. Fr. Troy Dos Santos on October 26, 2013 at the Bishops House and spoke about the work and ministry Couples For Christ throughout the country and beyond. CFC UAE National Director and Country Head, Ramuel Garcia, presented in detail the organizational framework, life and mission of CFC, and the current status of the community as CFC UAE celebrates with grateful hearts twenty one years of Gods grace and blessings. Garcia expressed CFCs desire to work even more closely with the various parishes in the Vicariate and extend to all parishioners the many values formation teachings and youth programs of CFC and its Family Ministries. Msgr. Aganon, on the other hand, explained the role of a Spiritual Adviser, how they connect CFC to the Catholic Church, give guidance and suggestions on how CFC can improve and provide more services in the various parishes, provide

spiritual guidance and help leaders discern major decisions and actions. Bishop Paul Hinder thanked the CFC leaders for the work being done in the Vicariate, as well as extending to mission countries in the Middle East and Africa. He gave an exhortation based to the days first reading, Romans 8:5-11, and touched on the importance of spiritual guidance by priests. At the request of the assembly, Bishop Paul Hinder appointed and confirmed the following as Spiritual Advisers for Couples for Christ and its Family Ministries: Fr. Antonio Gob Yapchiongco for CFC Northern Emirates (Sharjah, RAK, Fujairah);Fr. Tomasito Tom Veneracion for CFC Dubai (Dubai and Jebel Ali); andFr. Troadio Troy dos Santos for CFC Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ruwais). CFC UAE welcomes the newly appointed Spiritual Advisers with much joy and gratitude and look forward to working more closely with the Parish Priests in the Vicariate all for Gods glory. The CFC National Council and Area Governance Teams also met last November 9, 2013 for the 2014 Planning Session, led by CFCs Executive Director, George Campos. Included in the mission plans and schedules are the new programs and services to be proposed to the parishes.

By Roni Van Tassel and Angie Magsisi

It waS raining outside but the mood inside Cristo Rei was festive and full of excitement. The church and the reception hall were decorated in red and white but these paled in comparison to the beaming, elegantly-clad couples who arrived with their families to renew their wedding vows. As they went down the hall, they were greeted by flashing lights from the paparazzi led by Bert Yu and his wife, Brenda. The mass and the renewal of vows were officiated

by Fr. Carlos with ardor and with a burning fire in his heart. He seemed inspired with this particular celebration as it epitomized a lasting marriage, a blessed legacy to children of all generations. As he reminded the couples to be careful with his/her heart, be faithful, forgive and accept because God is watching you, Fr. Carlos also called on their children when he said, you may not be present when your parents said their I dos but today you are witnesses to the renewal of their vows, an expression once again of their love for each other. When you go home tonight thank your

parents and congratulate them. The affair saw a procession of 54 couples assisted by the Knights of Columbus and flowers girls who handed a rose to each wife as the couple marched towards the altar to the tune of Cherish the Treasure. Reception and fellowship followed with a beautiful, 3-layered, red velvet cake taking center stage giving the couples a chance to take souvenir photos. The smooth flow of the program was adeptly managed by Marisa Gozun and Mel Riazo, the emcees for the night. Upon completion of a scrumptious dinner buf-

fet, a well-scripted video of the couples original wedding and family photos were shown. Quite irrefutably, this was one of the favored highlights of the night before each couple was introduced. As they were called, each couple walked their way to the dance floor enjoyed their special moment ... a special dance ... while the rest watched enthralled. Truly, these celebrants were living witnesses to the parish, to the community and to the whole world that marriage does work. What an eventful affirmation of CFCs theme for 2013, Obey & Witness indeed!