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January 19 - February 1, 2015




Pope reminds laity:

Show concern for
WITH the effects of climate change
threatening the world, Pope Francis
on Sunday called on the Filipino faithful to take care of the environment,
reminding them of their role as responsible stewards of Gods creation.
This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely
to be seriously affected by climate
change. You are called to care for creation, not only as responsible citizens,
but also as followers of Christ! the
Pope said in his undelivered speech
during his youth encounter at the
University of Santo Tomas.

Caring for the beautiful land

The Holy Father reiterated the
call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on
environmental stewardship, urging
the faithful to think about the moral
dimension of our activities and lifeEnvironment / A7

Spiritual tears: Why Pope
Francis makes people cry, A3

STORM Amang, the cold weather and the long hours of waiting, some 18, did not deter hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Tacloban City from attending the Eucharistic celebration with Pope Francis who told them,
When I saw, from Rome, that catastrophe, I felt that I had to be here. And on those very days, I decided to come here. I am here to be with you. A little bit late, I have to say, but Im here. I have come to tell you that
Jesus is Lord that he never lets us down. Aira Purificacion

Pope to faithful: Corruption

is a plague that robs, kills
By Jennifer M. Orillaza

The poor is at the center

of the Gospel, B1

POPE Francis on Monday lambasted corruption as a plague

that destroys both societal and
ecclesiastical institutions, urging the faithful to pray for those
who have fallen into the trap of
corrupt acts and practices.
Corruption is taking from the
people. The corrupt person who does
corrupt deals or governs corruptly
or associates himself with others in
order to do corrupt deals robs the
people, the Holy Father said, answering the question raised by journalists

onboard the papal flight back to

Rome from the Philippines.
Corruption is not closed in on
itself; it goes out and kills, he added.
The Holy Father added that encouraged by complexity of todays
institutions, corruption has become
a normal way-of-life for most people.
Today, corruption is a worldwide
problemIt is the order of the day
in todays world, and the corrupt attitude easily and immediately finds
a nest in the institutions, he said.

Corruption, a plague
Recognizing corrupt practices
committed within the Church, Pope

Francis called on the faithful to pray

for the forgiveness of church people
who have engaged into greedy acts
and practices.
Does corruption happen easily?
Lets remember thisSinners, yes.
Corrupt, no. Never corrupt, he said.
We must ask pardon for those
Catholics, those Christians who
scandalize with their corruption. It
is a plague, he added.
The Holy Father likened corruption to a wound that destroys the
When we speak of corruption, we
speak either of corrupt persons or of
institutions in the Church that fall into

Reflect on papal visit messages,

Tagle urges Filipinos
WITH the Popes visit over, where do we go
from here?
In answer to this, Manila Archbishop
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle encouraged the
Catholic faithful to spend time to meditate
on the messages of the Pope Francis through
silence and prayer.
May I recommend first of all that we
spend time relishing the event. The event is so
deepso deep. There is so much to reflect on,
so much to pray over, so much to learn. And it
is only in meditation, in prayer, in silence, that
we can really get to the depths of the profound
meaning of this event, he said.

In his message to Filipinos delivered at the Malacaang Palace last

Friday, the Pontiff urged the faithful
to reject every form of corruption
which diverts resources from the
poor, and to make concerted efforts
to ensure the inclusion of every man
and woman and child in the life of the
He noted the need to rebuild the
foundations of the Philippine society
based on solid human values, dignity,

and rights to prepare the country

from facing the many political and
ethical issues surrounding it.
The Philippinesfaces the challenge of building on solid foundations a modern societya society respectful of authentic human values,
protective of our God-given human
dignity and rights, and ready to
confront new and complex political
and ethical questions, the Pope said.
As many voices in your nation
have pointed out, it is now, more than
ever, necessary that political leaders
be outstanding for honesty, integrity
and commitment to the common
good, he added.

Mindanaoans virtually participate in

papal visit
ALTHOUGH disappointed that Pope Francis
could not visit Mindanao during his brief stay
in the Philippines, the Catholic faithful in the
southern part of the country thank media for
broadcasting the progress of the Holy Fathers
activities in Manila.
Davao is very far from Manila and from Tacloban, but with the help of mass media, television, radio and internet, people from Mindanao
are very much updated with the events of the
Papal visit as if they are present at the event,
said Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles.
Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles. File photo

Pope meets PHs religious leaders

In a press briefing after the departure of

the Holy Father back to Rome, Tagle said
Pope Francis visit to the country will have a
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. File photo

Nuncio thanks Pinoys for Pope gives PH atlas amid

best hospitality for Pope ongoing territorial disputes

Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto was one of

the first to greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at the Villamor Air base, Jan.
15. Natalie Quimlat

and best hospitality everywhere

they went during Pope Francis
five-day visit to the country.
Hospitality / A7

Ten leaders, who are active in ecumenical activities,

were chosen to briefly meet
the Holy Father at 9:45
a.m. at the iconic Arch of the
Centuries, a monument on
the campus grounds, some
15 meters away from the
Universitys main vehicular
entrance along Espaa Boulevard.

The meeting with the inter-religious leaders signified

goodwill and unity among all
The leaders tapped by the
Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines-Episcopal
Commission on Interreligious Dialogue (CBCP-ECID),
who met with Pope are:
Religious / A7

Pope impressed by parents who

had babies blessed

During his visit to Malacaang Palace last Friday, the Holy

Father gave President Benigno S.
Aquino a nautical atlas attributed
to Batolom Oliva, a Majorcan
Disputes / A7

Blessed / A5

Holy See Press Office

ASIDE from the gift of his mere

presence, Pope Francis gave the
Philippines an antique atlasnotably at a time when the countrys
sovereignty is threatened by territorial disputes.

SOME of the groups most vocal

about their admiration and respect for Pope Francis are those
of religious leaders of other
are probably doubly happy with
the rare meeting of the pontiff
with inter-religious leaders
before the Youth Encounter,
at the University of Sto. Tomas
held last Jan. 18.

IF you were one of the

parents who struggled
to get a papal blessing
for their babies, children
while the Holy Father was
in the Philippines, then
Pope Francis wants to
give you a pat on the back.
Answering questions
from members of the
media aboard the papal
flight back to Rome, the

The Holy Father gifted President Benigno S. Aquino with a nautical atlas attributed
to Batolom Oliva, a Majorcan mapmaker who worked between 1538 to 1588.

THE Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines said the Holy Father and
the authorities in the Vatican have
received the widest collaboration

Reject corruption

Virtually / A7

Papal visit impact

Reflect / A5

corruption, he said. Its a wound in the

Church. But there are so many saints
and sinner saints, but not corrupt.

Illustration by Brothers Matias

Kiss for Sabrielle, Pope

Francis picked her out from
a sea of faces, A3


January 19 - Februay 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

Details of the proposal for

Pope Francis US visit revealed

CBCP Monitor

Vatican Briefing
Kids in poor countries suffer when West pushes sex agenda, Pope says

Pope Francis cautioned on Monday that gender ideologies from the wealthy
western world are being imposed on developing nations by tying them to
foreign aid and education, in a form of ideological colonization. A people
enters with an idea that has nothing nothing to do with the nation and
they colonize the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a
mentality or a structure, he said Jan. 19 during a press conference on his
return flight to Rome from the Philippines. They use the need of a people
to take an opportunity to enter and grow strong - with the children. The
Pope referred to the imposition of foreign ideas into a culture as ideological
colonization, adding that it is sometimes tied to financial assistance. (CNA)

Pope Francis to canonize evangelizer of the Wild West

In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is
planning to canonize the founder of Californias first missions, Bl.
Junipero Serra. In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero
Serra in the United States, declared Pope Francis aboard Sri Lankan Air
Flight UL4111 on the way to Manila. Bl. Serra, a Franciscan priest, lived
in what is now California in the 1700s. A Spanish-born missionary, he
founded the first nine of 21 eventual missions in California. He worked
tirelessly with the Native Americans, and is said to have baptized more
than 6,000 people, and confirmed 5,000. He was the evangelizer of the
west in the United States, Pope Francis beamed. Bl. Serras canonization
will be the latest in a systematic action from Pope Francis to give a boost
to evangelization efforts throughout the world. (CNA)

An environment encyclical in March? Pope Francis hopes so

MANILA, Jan. 18, 2015Archbishop Bernardito
Auzaa member of the organizing committee for
Pope Francis upcoming visit to the U.S.has
revealed details of the proposed schedule, which
includes visits to three cities.
He would arrive on the 22nd and he would leave
the evening of the 27th. Its really a full six days,
plus the travel, so its really one week, Archbishop
Auza told CNA/EWTN News in Manila on Jan. 18.
A Philippines native, Archbishop Auza is the
Holy Sees permanent observer to the U.N. in New
York and to the Organization of American States
in Washington. He is back in his homeland this
week participating in the events of Pope Francis
Jan. 15-19 apostolic journey.
The archbishop spoke of a meeting held last
Monday by the U.S. trips organizing committee
appointed by Pope Francis, during which the details
of the visit were discussed.
After a projected arrival to Washington, D.C.
on the evening of Sept. 22, theyre proposing that
Pope Francis visit the White House the following
morning, where the official welcoming ceremony
would take place.
Following his stop at the White House, the pontiff would go on to celebrate Mass at Washingtons
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate
The Mass, the archbishop observed, would be
primarily for bishops, consecrated and religious
men and women, seminarians and representatives from humanitarian and Catholic charitable
And we might say really the highlight of the
Washington visit might be his speech to the jointmeeting of Congress, so the Senate and the House of
Representatives, Archbishop Auza said. According
to the proposal, Pope Francis would leave for New
York City on the afternoon of the 24th.
The U.N. general-assembly would be his destination on the morning of the 25th, which is also
the opening of the 3-day Post-2015 Sustainable
Development Summit.
Practically all of the heads of states and governments will be around and they will all be there on that
day, so if the Pope were to finalize this visit to the U.S.
that means that he would address all the heads of
states and of governments, who will be sitting with
their official delegations, the archbishop explained.

We certainly are looking forward to that, he

said, noting how everyone involved is anticipating
what the Pope might say, particularly U.N. secretarygeneral Ban Ki-moon, who is extremely thrilled.
The papal address at the U.N. would take up the
entire morning of Sept. 25, Archbishop Auza said.
He added that proposals for what the pontiff may
do afterward include an interreligious meeting, and
of course the Pope will visit St. Patricks (Cathedral).
Thats for sure.
The visit to the historic church wouldnt likely
mean the celebration of Mass there, the archbishop
said. Mass has been proposed instead for another
area of New York. He named the Madison Square
Garden as a possibility.
Our plan is not to have a huge Mass outside of
Philadelphia, because the focus will really be Philadelphia, because the Pope is going to the United States
for the World Meeting of Families, he explained.
Perhaps the most unique ingredient of Pope
Francis proposed schedule for New York would
be an interethnic meeting with the pontiff, which
is significant given the diverse ethnic background
of the city.
Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attack
on Sept. 11, 2001, which brought down New York
Citys twin World Trade Center towers, is another
foreseeable stop on the Popes itinerary, Archbishop
Auza noted.
Benedict XVI visited the site during his 2008
visit, but the Archbishop mentioned that since
then the official memorial has been inaugurated,
the museum has been finished, and the metal cross
found in the wreckage of the towers is there.
But these are just proposals. At the end of February there will be the first organizational visit (from
a Vatican delegation), and then we will see what we
could really fill in, the archbishop said.
Pope Francis could spend a couple of nights in
New York, but it depends on what else comes up.
From New York the Roman Pontiff would head to
Philadelphia in the early morning of the 26th as his
last stop, where he is set to participate in the World
Meeting of Families from Sept. 26-27.
Philadelphia is confirmed. Thats for sure, the
archbishop observed, explaining that the two big
events set to take place with the Pope are a prayer
vigil on the 26th and Mass Sunday, the 27th.
There is also an encounter planned with grand-

parents and children, however the archbishop said

he does not know whether or not the Pope will
Pope Francis himself confirmed his presence
at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia
during the Nov. 17-19 Humanum Conference in
Rome, saying that he will attend if God wills it.
Besides the encounter with families, Archbishop
Auza said that the Philadelphia visit will likely
include a visit either to a childrens hospital or a
juvenile prison.
Members of the organizational committee for
the visit, he said, include himself; papal nuncio to
the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano;
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington; Cardinal Sean Patrick OMalley, archbishop
of Boston; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville,
also president of the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops; Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York; Archbishop Charles Chaput
of Philadelphia; Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, secretarygeneral at the bishops conference, as well as a team
of various secretaries and assistants.
On his Jan. 15 flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Pope Francis also made the surprise announcement that he would canonize the founder of
Californias first missions, Blessed Junipero Serra.
When asked whether or not the Popes itinerary
for his U.S. trip would include a visit to California
for the canonization, Archbishop Auza said that
although it would be the ideal place, the state will
most likely not be on the agenda.
I think he may do that in Washington, he
said, noting how there is a statue of Bl. Serra in
the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol building,
honoring him as one of the founders of California.
The pontiff would most likely preside over what
they call a brief canonization, not the formal solemn canonization, he said.
On a final note, Archbishop Auza spoke of the
possibility that the Pope would go to Mexico as
part of his trip to the U.S., saying that they might
skip Mexico this time because it becomes a very,
very long (trip).
The pontiff might make another visit to Latin
America, the archbishop noted, although he did
not know when that would be.
So thats more or less the plan. Its a plan, well
see how it will pan out. (CNA)

Kenyan bishops insist no more tetanus

vaccines until further tests
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan. 16, 2015
Kenyas bishops insisted that no
further mass tetanus vaccination
campaigns take place in the country until the vaccines have been
appropriately tested and proven
to be safe.
The Jan. 14 statement signed by
all of the bishops followed a recent

report that one-third of the vials of

the tetanus vaccine tested contained
a hormone linked to birth control.
At the direction of the bishops, the
vials were tested at five different
laboratories in Kenya. The government rejected the results, citing
poor methodology.
The Ministry of Health said it

tested 10 vials and found them to

be free of the hormone. In their
statement, the bishops said the
Catholic Church had been at the
forefront of promoting an investigation into these vaccines and
that initial requests by church
officials to test the vaccines were
rejected by the countrys health

In November, the bishops charged
that the vaccine, targeted to women
of child-bearing age and not to
men, was being administered in a
campaign sponsored by the World
Health Organization and UNICEF
that had been guarded by secrecy
and deception. (CNS)

Jesuits mark 400 years in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH, Jan. 19, 2015M ore
than 3,000 people joined 210 Jesuits
in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday for
the climax of yearlong celebrations
marking the arrival of the first Jesuits
in Vietnam 400 years ago.
Bishop Cosmas Hoang van Dat, the
Jesuit bishop of Bac Ninh diocese near
Hanoi in Vietnams north, celebrated
the Mass at the main Jesuit compound
in Thu Duc, a suburb of Ho Chi Minh
Fifteen bishops and Jesuits from
Vietnam joined a congregation from
across Asia and from Europe, including the Superior-General of the Jesuits, Fr Adolfo Nicolas.
Many celebrations took place over
the last year with seminars, retreats
and pilgrimages to places that were
once significant Jesuit centers in the
17th and 18th centuries and Masses
in parishes across Vietnam.
The gatherings and events focused on the missionary experiences and strategies of the early
Jesuits from their arrivalby an
Italian and two Portuguesein 1615
in the company of Japanese Christians who went to Cua Han near Da
Nang to escape the persecution of
Christians in Japan.
While initially coming to serve
the Japanese, the first Jesuits soon

Cardinal Designate Charles Bo. UCAN

turned their attention to the Vietnamese people who were split into
two kingdomsTonkin in the north
and Cochinchina in the south.
The Jesuit arrival in Vietnam came
shortly after the death of Matteo Ricci
in Beijing in 1610 and followed his
approach to missionary work. Riccis
revolutionary way of spreading the
Gospel started with making friends
among the local population and learning their language and culture before
any effort was made to share faith in
Jesus Christ.
The most famous early Jesuit was

a Frenchman, Alexandre de Rhodes

(15911660), whose work led to the
adoption of Romanized script for the
Vietnamese language which is still
used today.
In 1661 he published the first
Vietnamese-Portuguese-Latin dictionary and his Catechism in eight
days, which presented the Catholic
faith in the context of the traditional
moral and spiritual beliefs of Vietnamese people.
Some 158 years after arriving in
Vietnam, the Jesuits were suppressed
by the pope and disappeared from

the country until their return in

1957 at the invitation of the South
Vietnamese government to help
develop universities. That was followed by requests from bishops in
Vietnam to assist in training local
That all changed in 1975 when the
Vietnam War ended with victory for
communist North Vietnam.
Forty-one foreign Jesuits were
expelled, leaving twenty-six Vietnamese Jesuits, half of whom went to
jail almost immediately. The others
were drafted into the army or put to
work on state farms.
Today there are 210 Jesuits in
Vietnam with as many as 140 of them
in training.
The government restricts their
activities so they are barred from
working in schools, universities or
social work, except if it is done in a
clandestine way.
As a result, many Jesuits have undertaken missionary work to Japan,
Greater China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and European
The Jesuits are also preparing for
the future in Vietnam by sending
their young students for postgraduate studies in Europe and the United
States. (UCAN)

Pope Francis said he plans to have his much-anticipated encyclical on

mans relationship with creation finished in March. At the end of March,
I think it will be completed, he said. I think that if the translations go
well, in June or July, it could come out. A year ago this month, the Vatican
had announced the Popes plans to write on the theme of human ecology a phrase that was originally coined by retired pontiff Benedict XVI.
This expression, spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said at the time,
describes not only how the faithful must respect the environment, but
also how the nature of the person masculine and feminine as created
by God must also be defended. Pope Francis said that the first draft of
the encyclical was completed by Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, head
of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Then I worked on it, the
Pope said. Then some theologians worked on the third version. The
document was then reviewed by the Vatican Secretary of State as well
as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Three weeks ago, I
received the responsessome rather vague, he added. Now Ill take a
week out in March to look at it. (CNA)

Pope tells diplomats to work for peace amid a world rife with conflict

Pope Francis told Vatican diplomats that peacewhich is a communal

responsibilityis the only solution to global issues like war, terrorism
and social problems such as unemployment and slavery. Today I wish to
repeat a word quite dear to us: peace! the Pope told the diplomats on Jan.
12. He said that peace is a common theme we think about during Christmas, but cautioned that the holiday also makes us think of another tragic
reality: that of rejection, which is visible in Herods killing of the infants
in Bethlehem as well as in Jesus ultimate death on the cross. Rejection,
the pontiff observed, is an attitude that we all share, and is one which
refuses to see and accept others as brothers and sisters, but rather views
them as unworthy, and as persons we can bend to our own will. (CNA)

Pope Francis is all about the new evangelization, says expert

With a style that meets the need for a new missionary zeal, Pope Francis is representative of the new evangelization, says one theologian
and guest speaker for the upcoming annual gathering of Ratzingers
former students. The new style represented by Pope Francis is the
first to merit the title of new evangelization, said Msgr. Tomas Halik
in an interview with CNA. If this progress, which has aroused so much
hope in the Church and outside [it] -- were to stop, it would have tragic
consequences, both for the Church and for the world, he said. A Czech
priest who was persecuted during the Communist era, Msgr. Halik has
dedicated most of his theological research to the dialogue with non
believers and faith seekers. (CNA)

Charity isnt just helping others its a way of life, Pope says

Pope Francis told an audience of Haiti earthquake survivors and relief

agencies that restoration is only possible when communities unite in
charity, tearing down walls of individualism and focusing on others.
Charity is even yet more authentic and more incisive when it is lived in
communion, the Pope told audience attendees Jan. 10. Communion,
he said, shows that charity is not merely about helping others, but is a
dimension that permeates the whole of life and breaks down all those
barriers of individualism which prevent us from encountering one
another. The Roman Pontiff offered his words to participants of a Jan.
10 conference he called for in the Vatican to commemorate the earthquake that devastated Haiti five years ago, and to draw attention to the
restoration that both has been done, and still needs to be done. (CNA)

Nigerian bishop calls for Western intervention to stop Boko Haram

Underlining the failure of the Nigerian government to stop the violent

rampage of Boko Haram, a Catholic bishop has called for Western military
intervention. The Muslim militant groups increasingly deadly assaults
and expanded recruitment from countries across North Africa mean a
concerted military campaign is needed by the West to crush Boko Haram,
said Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, capital of the troubled
Borno state. The West should bring in securityland forcesto contain
and beat back Boko Haram, he said in an interview Jan. 19 with the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. Boko Haram, which
the U.S. has labeled a terrorist organization, claims it seeks to overthrow
the Nigerian government and create an Islamic state. More than 11,000
people have died since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009,
engaging in a campaign of terror, mass killings and abductions, carrying
out suicide bombings, burning villages and forcing hundreds of thousands
of people to flee. Some reports from human rights groups say as many as
2,000 people may have been killed when militants captured Baga in early
January, razing thousands of homes in their path. (CNS)

Catechism, yoga, Zen cannot open peoples hearts to God, pope says

Courses in yoga, Zen meditation, even extensive studies in church teaching

and spirituality can never free people enough to open their hearts to God
and his love, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Only the Holy Spirit
can move the heart and make it docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom
of love, the pope said Jan. 9 at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The
pope looked at how Jesus disciples could fail to recognize and be open to the
Lords miracles, like his walking on water, the multiplication of the loaves
and encountering him on the road to Emmaus. They were the apostles,
those closest to Jesus. But they didnt understand, he said, according to the
Vatican newspaper, LOsservatore Romano. It was because their hearts had
been hardened, he said. But how does a heart harden? How is it possible
with these people who were always with Jesus, every day, who listened to
him, saw him ... and their heart was hardened. (CNS)

Markets cannot be the answer to economic inequities, pope says in book

The world cannot wait for an economic system that will cause poverty to fix
itself, Pope Francis said. Markets and financial speculation cannot enjoy
absolute autonomy, he said. There must be programs, mechanisms and
procedures aimed at a better distribution of resources, job creation and
the integral advancement of those who are excluded, he said in a recently
published interview. We cannot wait any longer to fix the structural causes
of poverty, to cure our society from a disease that can only bring on new
crises, he said. The latest interview, conducted in October 2014, was
published in a new book, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills by Italian
journalist Andrea Tornielli. While the book was released Jan. 13, excerpts
from the interview were published in the Italian newspaper La Stampa
Jan. 11. (CNA)

CBCP Monitor


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

Non-Catholics on
Francis: Goosebumps,
joy and more

Spiritual tears: Why Pope

Francis makes people cry
MANILA, Jan. 17, 2015Filipinos
from all walks of life came in throngs
to meet Pope Francis, waiting under
the heat of the sun or cold rain just to
catch a glimpse of the bishop in white.
And when he passes by, tears flow
spiritual tears, as they are called.
During the regular press briefing for the Papal Visit held at the
Diamond Hotel, Manila Archbishop
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle revealed
that those who shed tears when they
see the pope could be experiencing a
profound spiritual moment.

Divine, profound
In Christian tradition there is a
thing called the gift of tears, the cardinal said. He added that people who
experience the divine and profound
express the moment by shedding tears.
Tagle said people who see and witness
the pope shed tears of joy and consolation after realizing that they matter
and [are] considered important.
Vatican Press Office Director Fr.
Federico Lombardi, SJ added that this
is especially true for the survivors of
Typhoon Yolanda who wept openly
during the papal Mass at Tacloban
airport. He said what the people were
experiencing was a feeling of being
comforted and not being alone.
The Holy Father is greeted by crowds at the Manila Cathedral, Jan. 16, 2015. Clifford Kintanar

MANILA, Jan. 16, 2015True

enough, Pope Francis appeal cuts
through religious and ideological
boundaries, with many non-Catholic
Filipinos sharing in the excitement
and an unexplainable feeling of joy
brought about by Pope Francis recent
coming to the country.
Speaking on behalf of his Protestant brothers and sisters, Paean M.
Taripe said, We Protestants welcome
the Pope!
A Pope-struck Mary Jane Silang
Alvarez asked, Bakit ganito ang naramdaman ko nang makita ko si Pope
Francis. Masaya ako at kinikilabutan
kahit hindi ako Catholic (Why do I
feel this way when I see Pope Francis.
Im happy and get goose bumps even
if Im not even Catholic?)
Janeroy Ugpo Duquila, a Muslim
convert, confessed online to getting
emotional on seeing Pope Francis.
Isa na din akong convert sa Islam.
Noong nakita ko si Pope, hindi ko
napigilan napaluha. Super bless siya sa
atin. Sana magkaisa na tayong lahat.
Welcome, Pope Francis, she said.
Glenn Mark Madon added, Im
not a Catholic. But as a Born-Again
Christian, under the mighty banner
of Christianity founded by Jesus
Christ, [I] welcome Pope Francis in
the Philippines.
Bill Ford, who identifies as a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)
posted, calling on all religious denominations not to use theological
differences as an excuse against unity,
saying, We dont have anything to
fight over.

True Christian, true Muslim

It is a great honor for our country to be visited by the head [of the
Catholic Church], who is respected,
not only Catholic countrymen, but
by Catholics all over the world. We
respect his coming and we hope
that he will bring peace and unity to
the country. You are welcome, Pope
Francis, Ford.

Muslim Hanna Kalmag Sarap

shared she loves the leader of the
Catholic Church for his sincerity, as
well as for living the true Christian
Im a Muslim, but I love Pope
Francis because he has a good and
pure heart. And he is a true Christian.
We have a saying, the true Christian is
a true Muslim and a true Muslim is a
true Christian, she shared.
She thanked the Argentine pontiff for uniting Filipinos due to his
Basta masasabi ko maraming
salamat sayo, Pope, sa pagdating mo
sa aming bansa. Nagkaisa ang mga tao
kahit sandali (I just want to say thank
you, Pope, for coming to our country.
There is unity even for a while), Alvarez declared.

Heart-felt weeping
Pope Francis spoke about the gift
of tears in his homily during the Feast
of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in
Sept. 14, 2013.
The pope said the mystery of the
Cross can only be understood, a little

bit, by kneeling, in prayer, but also

through tears: they are the tearsthat
bring us close to this mystery.
Without weeping, heart-felt weeping, the Holy Father emphasized, we
can never understand this mystery of
the Holy Cross.

Saints noted to possess this gift

are Sts. Catherine of Siena, Ignatius
of Loyola, and the stigmatist Pio of
Pietrelcina, who was witnessed and
filmed weeping at the moment of
consecration at Mass. (Rommel
Lopez / CBCPNews)

Kiss for Sabrielle: Pope Francis picked

her out from a sea of faces

Atheists respect
Even former Catholics who now
profess other creeds welcome the
Holy Father, even as they feel dismay
over what he called the disrespect of
anti-Catholic groups which he did
not name.
As former Catholics, now members of INC, we respect and welcome
the Pope. Nakakadismaya ang pambabastos ng ibang relihiyon, (The rudeness of other groups is dismaying),
Erickson De Leon De Asis stated.
Nelma Lamar Layug, also an INC
member, stated, Iglesia ako pero
ramdam ko ang gaan sa pakiramdam
nang makita ko na si Pope Francis at
ngumingiti at kumakaway kahit sa
TV lang.
Thomas Gerard Edillo, an atheist, did not let his non-belief in God
prevent him from admiring the Holy
I dont believe in God, but this guy
is awesome. All of my respect, he said.
Pentecostal Edgar Jandayan
summed up his admiration for the
Vicar of Christ in the following statement, I love Pope Francis as I love
Jesus. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

What this couple gave up to sing at

the papal Mass
TACLOBAN City, Jan. 17, 2015 Service to God or job security?
For Eric and Lanie De Leon, who are
said to be the best tenor and soprano
in Tacloban, the offer to sing at the papal Mass set on Jan. 17 at the Tacloban
Airport meant giving up their jobs in
Manila after recently moving to the
city from Tacloban.
When they still lived in the province, the affable couple, choir psalmists since their college days, had goodpaying jobs in Tacloban City and their
only child, Patrice, was about to start
school. Life was good; the couple felt
blessed to be able to serve God through
their choir, the Praise Chanters.
But by force of circumstances,
the couple moved to Metro Manila
and were blessed with jobs there,
while their daughter entered preschool. The call to sing for God proved
irresistible. The De Leons found
themselves back in Tacloban for an
important event. Lanie admitted
the possibility of singing during the
Tacloban papal Mass never crossed
her mind.

Responsorial Psalm on Jan 17 during

His Holiness Pope Francis high mass
at the airport. It is worth giving up everything (my career) sand going back
to where our heart is SERVING THE
LORDLife may not be perfect but
am still grateful. Thank you Sr. Sto.
Nio for all the blessings!
Eric and Lanie have been back
in Tacloban and were among the
250-member grand choir that sang
during the papal Mass on Jan. 17.
Sacrifice seems to be the overarching theme of the papal Mass choir with
choir master Melvin Corpin also taking a reprieve from work just to devote
more time to perfect the grand choirs
Corpin is a known liturgical songwriter, mostly of Waray compositions, even before his family migrated
back to Tacloban from the United
In Sambuhay TVs interview with
Fr. Raymund Cipriano Mazo, the
priest in-charge of the choir, he
explained the grand choirs composition.

Sacrifice, service

During Archdiocesan celebrations, we form the grand choir coming

from parish choirs, so that every time
there is an Archdiocesan gathering
I can call them anytime, he said.
(Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/

It was obvious Divine Providence

was rushing in a different direction
and that movement would bring them
back to where they started.
In a Facebook post, Lanie posted: It
is official; Eric De Leon will sing the

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during the daily press conference on the papal visit with members of the media, Jan.
18, 2015. Basilio Sepe

Jona May Rosete carries her baby Sarielle shortly before Pope Francis picked her out
of the crowd and kissed during a motorcade on the way to the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Pope Francis kissed baby Sabrielle on the forehead during the motorcade before the
Meeting with Families, Jan. 16, 2015. Chrixy Paguirigan

Chrixy Paguirigan

PASAY City, Jan. 16, 2015It was a moment

many were looking forward to: When would
Pope Francis stop to kiss his first Filipino baby?
Well into his motorcade towards the SM Mall
of Asia Arena, Pope Francis stopped and motioned for one of his security personnel to carry
8-month baby girl Sabrielle La Salette Rosete
who was carried by her father Stephen Janssen
Rosete, far-off from the railings. Viewers following the livestream would recognize her as
the baby in a red hood, who drew oohs and ahhs,
when she was swung briefly into the popemobile
for a kiss from the Holy Father.
Both real time and live stream viewers were
ecstatic over the sudden turn of events, Sabrielles parents even more so.

The Rosetes werent expecting the Pope to
actually stop and bless their baby daughter but
it was worth the try.
We feel very blessed, very, very lucky,
Jona, Sabrielles mother, stated, while an overwhelmed Stephen answered, I just raised her

(baby Sabrielle) very, very high.

It was my prayer, as grandma. Sinabi ko na
we have to go and baka makita (ni Pope Francis
si Sabrielle). Sobrang answered prayer, Lina
Rosete, the babys grandmother said. The little
family was clearly bowled over by what happened,
raining kisses on their little baby as they held her.
Baby Sabrielles uncle, Aaron Lu, was the one
who gave the family their passes to the South
Parking Space. He tried to convince the parents
not to bring Sabrielle, because, he said, she
would not be able to stand the heat, the crowd
and the waiting, but they didnt have any of it.
Sabrielles parents, with hopeful hearts, brought
their darling baby.

Dreams for the family

Sabi kagabi ni tita, kung pwede daw ba dalhin
si baby. Sabi ko, wag, baka kasi mainit. Pero sabi
niya, Hindi isasama na namin, kaya yan ni baby,
(Last night, auntie asked if they could bring the
baby. I told them not to because it might be hot.
But she said, no were bringing her, she can take
it, Aaron added.

After the Holy Father kissed the forehead of

his niece, he felt really joyful for the once in a lifetime event. Syempre masaya. Kaya pala tumigil
dun, si Sabrielle na pala yun. Sobrang blessing
(Of course, [Im] happy. Thats why he stopped
there, it was because of Sabrielle. Such a blessing).
Papa Francesco in his speech during the
Meeting with the Families at the SM MOA
Arena talked about how parents dream of their
sons and daughters, even while they are in the
womb, and how it impossible to build a family
if one does not have such dreams of and for
ones children.
He reminded families: When you lose this
capacity to dream then you lose the capacity
to love, and this energy to love is lost. It is so
important to dream, and to dream in the family please dont lose this ability to dream in
this way.
The familys wish for baby Sabrielle started
out as prayer and a dream, and now with the
Holy Fathers very inclusive personality, it has
come true. (Tina Matanguihan/Chrixy

The blessing of not seeing Pope Francis

TAGUIG CITY, Jan. 18, 2015So
near yet so far this phrase could aptly describe the thoughts of policemen
who formed human barriers along
the papal convoys route, missing the
chance to see Pope Francis up close.
Despite getting up early like the
rest, who had to wait for hours just
to catch a quick glimpse of the Holy
Father, policemen had to face the side
opposite as Pope Francis passed by.
But there is no trace of disappointment, at least for Police Officer
3 Darlene Possas from Taguig City
Police Department, who had to be
on her post along Andrews Avenue
in Pasay as early as 12:30 p.m., hours
ahead of Pope Francis 5:45 arrival at
the Villamor Air Base last Thursday.

Blessing for all

Hindi namin nakita si Pope Francis
kasi nakatalikod kami sa kanya (We
couldnt see Pope Francis because our
backs were turned to him), Possas said.
But the lady law enforcer claims
that she does not regret foregoing the
chance to see Pope Francis.
Hindi ako nanghihinayang, mapapanood ko naman siya ulit sa
telecast. Pagod kami pero okay lang
kasi pag nagbigay siya ng blessing,
para sa lahat yun, hindi lang dun sa
mga nakakita sa kanya (I dont regret
it because Ill watch him again in
the telecasts. Were tired but its ok
because when he gives a blessing, its

Thousands of policemen were mobilized for Pope Francis state and apostolic visit to the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015. Ruel Tenerife

for all who are there, not just for those

who see him), she pointed out.
Despite being pulled out of her
regular assignment to help secure
the Pope, Possas said the deployment
is incomparable to her previous ones.
Mas excited kami dito sa papal security kaysa sa ibang deployment namin
kasi involved ang faith namin dito (Were
more excited about papal security than
other deployments because our faith is

involved here), she explained.

Manageable crowds
Possas likewise said that the crowds
along the Papal convoys route were
manageable and cooperative, making
the job easier for them.
Cooperative naman sila at hindi
nanggugulo. Pag sinabi naming
hanggang saan lang sila, doon lang
talaga sila at hindi lumalampas sa

linya (They were quite cooperative.

When you tell them their boundaries,
they wont go beyond them), she said.
The Philippine National Police
(PNP) reportedly deployed 25,000
policemen along the papal convoys
route throughout Metro Manila. For
the duration of the papal visit, the
PNP is on full alert, which means that
all leaves of its 150,000 personnel are
cancelled. (CBCP News)


January 19 - Februay 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

CBCP Monitor


Message in a storm
WEATHER forecasters were certain that tropical storm
Amang was going to barrel through the islands of Samar
and Leyte with maximum sustained winds of 100 kph
near the center and gustiness of up to 130 kph. But
Pope Francis was determined. As scheduled, he had to
proceed to Tacloban, ground zero of super storm Yolanda
that left over 6,000 dead and 4.1 million homeless on
November 8, 2013.
Id like to tell you something close to my heart. When I
saw this catastrophe (typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan) from Rome,
I felt that I had to be here, he told hundreds of thousands
pilgrims that waited for his Mass for many hours under
the rain. And so those very days, I decided to come
here. I am here to be with you. A little bit late, I have
to say, but I am here.

In the midst of the storm, the Holy Father proclaimed to

them the kerygma. I have come to tell you that Jesus
is Lord that he never lets us down. Father, you might
say to me, I was let down because Ive lost so many
things, I lost my house, my livelihood, my family. Ive
illness. Its true if you would say that. And I respect those
sentiments. But Jesus there nailed to the cross. And from
there, he does not let us downThat is why we have a
Lord who is capable of crying with us, capable of walking
with us in the most difficult moments of life. So many
of you have lost everything. I dont know what to say to
you. But the Lord does know what to say to you. Some
of you lost part of your families. All I can do is keep
silence. And I walk with you all with my silent heart.
Many of you have asked the Lord, Why Lord? And to
each of you, to your heart, Christ responds from his heart
upon the cross. I have no more words to tell you. Let
us look to Christ. He is the Lord. And he understands
us because he underwent all the trials that we, that you
have experienced.
In Tacloban, Pope Francis did away with his prepared homily.
He spoke from his heart filled with the Spirit. He did not
assure them of rehabilitation efforts or anything structural.
He proclaimed to them the Good News that can only be
well understood in the midst of the stormalmost in the
same breath as what he told the clergy and the religious
at the Manila Cathedral, The poor are at the center of
the Gospel, at the heart of the Gospel. If we take away
the poor from the Gospel, we cannot understand the whole
message of Jesus Christ.

Social dialogue as a contribution to peace

EVANGELIZATION also involves the path of dialogue. For
the Church today, three areas of dialogue stand out where
she needs to be present in order to promote full human
development and to pursue the common good: dialogue
with states, dialogue with societyincluding dialogue with
cultures and the sciencesand dialogue with other believers
who are not part of the Catholic Church. In each case,
the Church speaks from the light which faith offers,
contributing her two thousand year experience and keeping
ever in mind the life and sufferings of human beings.
This light transcends human reason, yet it can also prove
meaningful and enriching to those who are not believers
and it stimulates reason to broaden its perspectives.
The Church proclaims the Gospel of peace (Eph 6:15) and
she wishes to cooperate with all national and international
authorities in safeguarding this immense universal good.
By preaching Jesus Christ, who is himself peace (cf. Eph
2:14), the new evangelization calls on every baptized person
to be a peacemaker and a credible witness to a reconciled
life. In a culture which privileges dialogue as a form
of encounter, it is time to devise a means for building
consensus and agreement while seeking the goal of a just,
responsive and inclusive society. The principal author, the
historic subject of this process, is the people as a whole
and their culture, and not a single class, minority, group
or elite. We do not need plans drawn up by a few for
the few, or an enlightened or outspoken minority which
claims to speak for everyone. It is about agreeing to live
together, a social and cultural pact.
It is the responsibility of the State to safeguard and promote
the common good of society. Based on the principles of
subsidiarity and solidarity, and fully committed to political
dialogue and consensus building, it plays a fundamental
role, one which cannot be delegated, in working for the
integral development of all. This role, at present, calls for
profound social humility.
In her dialogue with the State and with society, the Church
does not have solutions for every particular issue. Together
with the various sectors of society, she supports those
programmes which best respond to the dignity of each
person and the common good. In doing this, she proposes
in a clear way the fundamental values of human life and
convictions which can then find expression in political activity.
-- Evangelii Gaudium, #238-241, 2013



Pedro C. Quitorio

Ronalyn R. Regino


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Illustration by Bladimer Usi

The millions of Yolanda victims were searching for

answers, for meaning. Just like Glyzelle Palomar who
used to live on the streets until rescued by the Tulay Ng
Kabataan Foundation. In the encounter with the Youth at
the University of Santo Tomas, she broke into tears while
addressing the Holy Father, I now want to ask you these
questions: There are many children neglected by their
own parents. There are also many who became victims
and many terrible things happened to them like drugs or
prostitution. Why is God allowing such things to happen,
even if it is not the fault of the children? And why are
there only very few people helping us?

The work begins

Views and Points

Oscar V. Cruz, D.D.

AFTER a truly successful pastoral

caring, teaching, leadingvisit of the
good and lovable, wise and holy Pope
Francis, the renewed pursuant implementing Pastoral Ministry of the
Church in the Philippines begins by
working for the deeper understanding and consequent observance of his
reminders, advisories and mandates.
It was great to see him! It was a big
experience to witness his kindness,
humility and concern! It was a blessing to listen to him! According to him:
The poor are crying for help.
They are all over the landin urban
and rural areas, in the slums, in the
streets begging, in the pavements
sleeping. Children are begging for
food, shelter and clothing, for care,

safety and education. Their parents

have no work. Meanwhile, there is
much gambling among the people,
not to mention the reign of criminals, the proliferation of drugs and
addiction thereto.
The families are threatened by
parents leaving their children behind
to find work abroad. Decent housing,
they do not have. How to satisfy their
needs, they do not know. How to send
their children to school, they have not
the means. So is it that the answer
of the government to all these is to
prevent the birth of children through
all possible ways and means to impede
the coming of life.
The country is suffering not only
from corruption and consequent mal-

And Thats The Truth

development, but also from ideological colonization. While the former

guarantees the continued poverty of
the Filipinos, the latter undermines
their sound cultural traits and moral
value system. Un-Filipinos they ultimately become.
So the work begins:
The Clergy have to minister to the
people, not only by attending to their
spiritual, but also material needs, not
simply by catering to their heavenly
quest, but also by looking after their
earthly preoccupations. This pastoral
ministry is in perfect accord with the
two fundamental commandments of
love of God and love of neighborneither simply one or the other but both.
The Religious have to look after the

The priests

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

YOU have no idea what we priests think about
in bed Fr. Segrettos words would pop back to
mind every now and then, until I began to wonder
if his pleaPray for mehad something to do with
what he himself would think about in bed. Before
the prince of mischief could fuel my curiosity to
dangerous flames, my inner ear was opened to
listen in the silence. In that ineffable way the Lord
unveils anothers secret sins and plants in us seeds of
compassion for the sinner, I bowed to Fr. Segrettos
plea as though it were the Lord Himself asking for
my prayers.
Once when he crossed my mind at prayer, I was
transported about 12 years back to an experience
I had had at a Trappist monastery. Having been
granted by the monks permission to spend 10
days at their guest housea period that combined
spiritual refreshment with professional pursuitI
was able to virtually live with the monks, rising at
2:15 a.m. and going to bed at 7 p.m., and praying and
working in silence in the hours in between. Because
the monks knew that I was there to also write about
my experience (for an international magazine),
they welcomed whatever questions I asked. One of
them was, Why do you choose to end your day as
you dosinging Salve Regina and being sprinkled
with holy water?
The monks individual cells were 2x2-meter struc-

tures made of bamboo and nipaliterally, a bahay

kuboand had nothing inside except a bare papag
(a narrow bed made of split bamboo), a crucifix, a
flashlight, and a bolo. The bolo was for snakes that
might crawl in to share their beds at night in search of
warmth. Yes, of course, the night holds terrors for
us all, thus the nocturnal blessing with holy water. So,
why the Salve Regina and not any other hymn? The
monks answer was so simple even a kindergartener
could digest it: Our Blessed Mother should be the
last person in our mind before we sleep.
Last November, I met a 72-year-old priest, who
from experience knows that a priest must guard his
heart against all kinds of snakesnot just those that
want to share the monks beds at night. These are
the serpents that crawl around and about the person of the priest, day and nightlike hungry lions
on the prowl, ready to devour himthe same species
that desperately tried to tempt our Lord as He fasted
for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. This priest
suggests clothing oneself in Mary, in addition to
the Salve Regina at bedtime. He has found a most
potent protection for his ministry to pray 2,000
Hail Marys each day: I pray 100 Hail Marys every
hour for 20 hours; I sleep only four hours a day.
It would dawn upon me that Fr. Segrettos request
for prayer was meant to bear for me such grace that
I had never asked for. I would pray for any priest at

Getting down to
brass tacks
ITS truly a blessing, and therefore
very heartwarming, to see the earnest,
simple manifestation of faith among
our countrymen these past days with
the pastoral visit of our Holy Father,
Pope Francis. Thanks be to God, its
happily and healthily contagious.
Some intellectuals and those who
consider themselves as educated,
knowledgeable about things and
armchair analysts in their ivory towers may wonder whether this is true
faith and piety or mere superstition
and mass delusion.
I was amused when a CNN report,
for example, presented the event
more as a joke than anything else,
since according to them the Philippines is 80% Catholic. What can you
And so, they took the spin of the
Philippine Church facing the danger
of getting increasingly irrelevant if it
would not allow same-sex marriage,
contraception and abortion. Well,
thats CNN, not worth getting mad
at. Just to be prayed for.
The media will always have some
spin, depending on their political or
ideological color. And lets just be sport
with this fact of life. But we just have to

proclaim the Gospel as it is, adapting

it to the minds and current needs and
conditions of the people. This, in itself,
is already a formidable task and should
not be unnecessarily hindered by some
unavoidable spoilers.
As to whether all that expression of
faith and piety is genuine, only God
knows. We cannot judge. What we already know is that even in the time of
Christ, big crowds also followed him
with all sorts of motives, and some of
these were not even good.
In fact, there were those who spied
on him, trying to get something from
his words to pin him down at an opportune time. Besides, many of those
in the crowd were the same ones who
shouted: Crucify him, crucify him!
later on.
But Christ did not reject anyone.
On the contrary, he had great compassion for them, since he regarded them
like sheep without a shepherd. And
so he preached the Good News to them
and performed some miracles.
Those with faith benefited from
all these. Those without, of course,
did not receive anything. He also did
some scolding, if only to clarify matters. In the end, he offered his life for

human welfarethe mental, ethical,

socialrequirements of those committed to their care, those who ask
and/or need their attention, those
who are lost and need their care.
More than anything else, the active
religious vocation is meant for serving others. It is in serving others that
they find their real selves.
The laity have to be attentive to the
cries for help of their fellow laymen
and women, their fellow married
couples, their fellow fathers and
mothers. More than the clergy and
the religious, they understand better
the aspirations of those who have the
same vocation. The laity is the wealth
of the Churchparticularly in the

any instance I would be moved to, such as: Fr. Buboy

who resents his assignment in so poor a barrio that
his average collection at Sunday Mass is 70 pesos;
Fr. Dondi, who as a student in Rome would be overwhelmed by nonstop exposure to eye candy (those
gorgeous Italian women who are all centerfold material); Fr. Rey, the eternal headache of his bishop
for being a Lothario victimizing pretty sisters
assigned in the parish; Fr. Edgar who devotes more
time to his profitable leisure-oriented business
than to the needy parishioners; Fr. Joey who causes
trouble and gives a bad example to seminarians in
whatever community his superior assigns him to;
Fr. Dylan who is known to have sired two children
with different partners and is unrepentant about
it; Fr. Sonny whose breath always reeks of alcohol
at the confessional; and a few others.
I have received communion from all of these
priests, fully aware of their weaknesses. I have
prayed for all of them, too. A change in me surprised me that it had taken place under radar (so
to speak)I suddenly realized that I had been freed
from the notion that the state of the priests hands
could affect the value of the host I am receiving. I
was not even aware that for the longest time I had
been wholeheartedly receiving communion from
laymen, seminarians, and nuns. This realization
And Thats The Truth / A5

Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala

everyone, bearing all our sins and

Lets remember that Christ came to
save all, and not to condemn anyone.
It would really be a waste of time if we
have to bother about whether all that
explosion of faith and piety we have
just witnessed was genuine or not.
Lets just be most thankful that
we still have them, and then take this
occasion to let them grow some more,
deepening and strengthening and
broadening it as much as we can, with
Gods grace. We have to make them
mature and fruitful.
That is what Christ himself would
want. He told us to enter by the narrow
gate and avoid the easy way of life. He
told us to love one another the way
he loved us, all the way to the Cross.
He told us to pray without ceasing, to
deny oneself and carry the Cross, to
go out to all nations and to proclaim
the Good News to all.
The Holy Father told us many
things. As Vicar of Christ, as the sweet
Christ on earth, he was transmitting
to us what Christ would have told us
at these times. We have to protect
and strengthen our families. We have
to show mercy and compassion with

everyone, including those who are not

yet with Christ.
We need to be vehicles of the love
of God for all of us, showing this by
proclaiming the truth with constant
affection, abiding spirit of mercy and
compassion that should be expressed
in the most immediate, direct and
tangible way.
We need to be wary, of course, of
the usual dangers. The Pope talked
about the evil of corruption and some
ideological colonization that is going
on in our country. He also talked to us
about the danger of complacency, fear
of change, petty compromises with
the ways of the world, and spiritual
We need to get down to business to
tackle all these points that the Pope
told us. Lets consider them slowly
in our prayers, and start to make the
necessary adjustments and changes.
There is always something to adjust
and change in spite of what we may
consider already as our accomplished
level of wisdom and holiness.
If we truly have God and everybody
else in our mind and heart, we will
always feel the need to adjust and
change, to grow for the better.

CBCP Monitor


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

The Pope Francis mission

Along The Way

By The Roadside

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

EVERY papal visit usually has an
agenda that is not explicitly stated. In
his first trip outside of Rome after his
election, Pope Francis went to Lampedusa to offer prayers for the victim of
the tragic shipwreck that claimed the
lives of refugees coming from North
Africa. At a first glance, it was a gesture of his compassion and solidarity
with the victims. A deeper analysis
would show that it was also meant to
draw attention to the plight of refugees and the indifference of European
nations that have adopted restrictive
policies that made it difficult for
people escaping poverty and violence
in their homeland to migrate to the
European continent in search for a
better life. His Lampedusa visit was
a prophetic act meant to awaken the
conscience of governments and the
people of Europe and other wealthy
countries. The pope tied the tragedy to
the inhuman global economic crisis,
a serious symptom of a lack of respect
for the human person. Calling the
tragedy shameful, he asked everyone
to make sure that it will never happen again. So, his visit was not just an
expression of his mercy and compassion. He also asked people to look at
the causes of such tragedy and act so
that it will never happen again.
The theme of the papal visit to our
country is mercy and compassion.
Everyone presumes that the pope
is coming to express his sympathy

and compassion for the victims and

survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. This
is why the highlight of his visit is the
Mass in Tacloban and lunch with
representatives of the victims and
survivors. It was reported earlier
on that he was deeply moved by the
tragedy. This is why he immediately
sent Cardinal Robert Sarah as his
personal representative to express his
solidarity with the victims and paved
the way for his coming. But there is
much more to that. He is coming not
just for the victims and survivors of
Yolanda but for all of us as a people
and as a nation. We are on top of the
list of countries most vulnerable to
climate change. We have been visited
by a series of super-typhoons and
floods through the years not only
Yolanda but Sendong, Pablo, Ruby,
Seniang. There is to more come. All
these are manifestations of the effect
of climate change.
And the most vulnerable are the
poor. The Yolanda victims and survivors represent all of us and the rest of
the worldespecially the poorthat
are vulnerable to the effects of climate
change. Pope Francis awareness of
the link between Yolanda and climate
change is evident in his address to the
Vatican diplomatic corps in January
2014: I wish to mention another
threat to peace, which arises from the
greedy exploitation of environmental
resources. Even if nature is at our

Rev. Eutiquio EulyB. Belizar, Jr., SThD

disposition, all too often we do not
respect it or consider it a gracious
gift which we must care for and set at
the service of our brothers and sisters,
including future generations. Here
too what is crucial is responsibility
on the part of all in pursuing, in a
spirit of fraternity, policies respectful
of this earth which is our common
home. I recall a popular saying: God
always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when naturecreationis
mistreated, she never forgives!. We
have also witnessed the devastating
effects of several recent natural disasters. In particular, I would mention
once more the numerous victims and
the great devastation caused in the
Philippines and other countries of
South-East Asia as a result of typhoon
Previously an analyst wrote: the
new pontiffs role in assisting the
worlds disadvantaged will be inextricably linked to the ravages of climate change, the fast-growing global
crisis that will hit the rising global
impoverished populations hard with
increasingly deadly droughts, floods
and storms as heat-trapping carbon
pollution continues to build in the
atmosphere. (Rocky Kistner). Pope
Francis took name of St. Francis of
Assisi because of his love for the poor
and the environment.
It has been reported that Pope
Francis will soon publish an encycli-

Viva il Papa, Santo Padre

HIS Holiness Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines
ahead of the arrival time, amidst the joy, excitement
and hope of the Filipino people. Tens of thousands
of people lined and waited at the Villamor Air Base,
Paraaque City and along the roads where the Papal
motorcade passed from the airport, to the Apostolic
Nunciature in Taft Avenue, Manila. Security was
very strict; since the Papal Visit is both a State Visit
and Pastoral Visit, the Presidential Security Guards
were involved in the safety and security preparationfor the Pope, his entourage and the people
who would welcome the Santo Padre (Holy Father).
Thousands of policemen were assigned to provide
security by containing the crowd lined along
the streets to avoid stampede and prevent the
people from rushing to the Popemobile.
Actually, I planned to discuss in this column the
strong messages delivered by Pope Francis during
the courtesy call at Malacaang, Holy Mass at the
Manila Cathedral and also at the Encounter with the
Families at Mall of Asia Arena where I was blessed
to be present. However, the events that happened
on Day 3 of the Papal Visit made me discuss the
Tacloban Visit, where one can see Pope Francis
compassion and love to his people.
Because Typhoon Amang (Filipino word for
Father) was not getting any better, the morning
Papal flight to Tacloban was moved an hour earlier.
The Pope said that meeting the victims of Typhoon
Yolanda was the reason for his visit and the trip
must push through. Strong winds and heavy rains
welcomed him at Tacloban Airport. Despite the
inclement weather, thousands of people camped
at the airport; the bad weather did not stop them
from seeing the Pope. However when the weather
got worst in the late morning, the pilot informed

cal on climate change. I believe that

his visit to the Philippines is part of
his agenda regarding climate change
and its effect on the poor. Once again
like his Lampedusa visit, this is a
prophetic act that will draw attention
to the effects of climate change, link
it to the global economic system and
the consumerist-materialistic culture
that is destroying this earth in the
name of economic progress.
The gaze of world is not only on
Pope Francis but on us. Pope Francis is here, not to draw attention to
himself but to our plight as a nation
and as people especially the poor in
our midstwho are most vulnerable
to climate change. Im sure that the
pope would be embarrassed to see his
images plastered all over the country.
The pope does not want us to focus our
gaze on him but rather on the poor
and the victims and survivors of the
calamities in whose faces we see the
face of Christ.
As we welcome Pope Francis we too
are invited to share his concern about
the environment and about climate
change. We need to look at our own
lifestyle and to act to mitigate or
reverse climate change. As PCP II reminds us, we are called to care for the
needy and care for the earth. Mercy
and compassion must therefore be
concretely expressed not just in our
care for the poor but through our
action to care for the environment.

Duc In Altum
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

the Pope that they must leave by 1:00pm.

The Holy Father forego the reading of his prepared Homily. He told the people that he wants to
talk to them and speak with them from the heart.
He spoke in Spanish and translated in English by
his staff. He said that upon hearing the devastation
of Typhoon Yolanda, he decided that he should
be with them. He said it is a bit late, but he is now
in Tacloban. He told them that he is one with the
victims of Yolanda, in their pains and in their
anguish for the many people they lost to Yolanda.
He told them to look to the Lord, who is capable of
crying and capable of walking with us in the most
difficult moment in life. So many of you have lost
everything. I do not know what to say to you, but
the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of
you lost part of your families. All I can do is keep
silent and I walk with you all with my silent heart.
Many of you have asked the lord Why Lord?
And to each of you, in your heart cries response
from His heart on the cross. I have no more words
to tell you. Let us look to Christ. He is the Lord. He
understands us because he underwent all the trials
that we, that you have experienced. And beside the
cross was his Mother. We are like little child just
there. There are moments with so much pain and
say Mom that a child says to a mother when he is
afraid. It is perhaps the only word we can say in
difficult moments Mother. Let us together keep
silent, look at the cross. He understands us and
endears everything. And like little child, let us grab
her hand and call her Mother. Say to the Mother
what you feel in your heart. We have Mother Mary
and a brother in Jesus. We are not alone. He said
Jesus and Mother Mary never let us down. We have
to move forward.
He said I would like to tell you about something
that displeases me. The plan today was for the plane

to leave at 5pm, but there is a second-grade storm

(Signal No. 2) that is around us and the pilots have
insisted that we leave at 1:00pm. So I apologize to
you all. I am sad about this, truly saddened, because
I have something prepared especially for you. But
let us leave everything in the hands of Our Lady
because I have to go now.
The people love the witty banter of Pope Francis.
Before he left Tacloban, he requested two things
from the crowd. First is for them to pray for him.
Second, he told the crowd to keep quiet, jokingly
because of the loud but warm welcome of the people.
The Palo Cathedral gave Pope Francis the image
of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, made
from the debris of the church when it was damaged
by Typhoon Yolanda. Pope Francis, in return, gave
the mosaic of La Madonna Del Populo.
I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to
Kalookan Dioceses clergy Fr. Leo Gilbero and Fr.
James Ty, and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to
Fr. Alberto Caballero, Fr. Benedict Cervantes and
the 5 new priests Fr. Joey Enriquez, James Anthony
del Rosario, Richard Omol, Carlos Ida and Kennedy
Neral. The new priests were ordained on January
18, 2014, thus, their first anniversary coincided
with the Concluding Mass and Feast of Sto. Nio
of Pope Francis in Luneta. Early on, the 5 priests
requested Bishop Francis de Leon, the Apostolic
Administrator of the Diocese, that they celebrate
their First Anniversary by allowing them to concelebrate with Pope Francis at Luneta Mass. Since the
Diocese is allowed to send only 20 priests, Bishop
Francis consulted the members of the Consultores
and Finance Council during its Joint Meeting. The
members granted their request. Congratulations.

Pope Francis and Me

Fr. Wilfredo Samson, SJ

THE four-day visit of Pope Francis in

the Philippines is generating a spontaneous spiritual renewal in the Filipino
nation. Everybody is excited. Somehow
his visit to the Philippines is a big lift to
our tired and weary spirits. The past
two years are not good years for many
reasons: the Zamboanga siege, typhoon
Yolanda, earthquake in Bohol and the
Visayas, typhoons and floods all over,
graft and corruption cases, and other
natural and man-made catastrophes.
Many are tired and almost hopeless.
Our life is already burdened with many
bad stories. Unfortunately, less good
news is being told and shared. In the
battle of telling stories, sad to say, the
bad news is winning. And the bearers
of good news are getting fewer. We have
few storytellers of good news around,
compared to newspapers and social media practitioners who are more inclined
to tell sensationalized bad stories.
When Pope Francis was elected as the
266th Pontiff of the Catholic Church,
a new lease on life and inspiration has
dawned upon us. Suddenly, an inspiring
leader and a bearer of good news was
born. When Pope Francis was elected,

instead of traditionally blessing the

people, he asked the crowd to bless him.
When the world saw it, everybody knew
this was the beginning of the renewal
and revival of the Church. The following
months that followed were moments of
inspiration, consolation and healing.
We agreed. We finally found the shepherd, our good shepherda leader who
could govern the Church with love and
compassion, towards the renewal and
transformation of the faithful, including the Church hierarchy.
Pope Francis is not only a perfect
bearer of good news of God; his life is a
perfect manifestation of Gods mercy
and compassion. And his inspiring
words coupled with action compel
the lost sons and daughters of God to
return to the Church fold.
When it was announced that he
would visit the Philippines, everyone
was thrilled with his coming. Everyone
wants to seein flesh and bloodthe
new champion of good news in our
modern times. We feel so blessed
and fortunate! For Pope Francis who
inspired and challenged the whole
world with his simple but profound

teaching, will finally visit us this week.

Unfortunately, not every Filipino
is lucky enough to see him face to face.
The sea and the distance that divides
us to islands and regions will hinder
the majority of the population from
experiencing the energy and charisma
of Pope Francis. Yet, even those who
are in Manila and Tacloban are not
assured of a full view and face-to-face
encounter with Pope Francis. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a
privilege pass to Malacaang, Manila
Cathedral, Mall of Asia Arena and the
UST field. Our last option to see him in
person is at the Quirino Grandstand,
but with the millions hoping to get a
glance of Pope Francis, it will be like
winning a lottery to see him closer.
So whats the next option? To stay in
the comfort of your home, watch him
on TV or on the internet, join him in
prayer, and listen attentively to his
message. In other words, allow Pope
Francis to visit you in your hearts.
The question isif you are not in
Manila or Taclobanhow can one profit
from Pope Francis pastoral visit this
week? For the majority, to see Pope Fran-

cis in person is not possible. But lets look

at the positive side. The fact that he will
be in our country for four days is already
a big blessing. His presence in our midst
for few days is enough to thank God for
this rare opportunity.
Yes, to see him in person is a big blessing. But to listen to him attentively and
allow his message to touch our hearts
and transform our lives are better
blessings. He may not visit our towns or
cities, we may not be on the Vaticans list
of people he will meet, but if we allow his
message to visit our hearts this is better
and deeper. Yes, it is awesome to meet
the Pope Francis in person, but to treasure his message in our hearts is much
better and beneficial than to remember
the happy memories of his visit.
The euphoria of Pope Francis
visit will fade away when he returns
to Rome. But for those who have
learned to transcend the physical
distance between them and Pope
Francis, and have united themselves
spiritually with him in the liturgies,
prayers and his messages, they will
remain genuinely joyful, inspired and
transformed for life.

Watching Pope
Francis from afar:
some considerations
1. It was a long, multi-faceted preparation, from spiritual to physical to
choreographic to fashion-oriented to artistic to security-meticulous.
Sometimes one would wish that those who did the artistic or physical
or security preparations also did the spiritual preparations as well. It
would have helped avoid egregious things, such as the alleged detention of street children to remove, as it were, potential eyesores to the
papal vision. Trouble is, if true, the utter lack of spirituality in a onedimensional preparation more often than not results in authorities
doing an Imelda instead of a Fr. Flanagan to street children and other
eyesores of the republic.
2. Pope Francis is a living proof that there is a Holy Spirit and that he is
still very active in the Roman Catholic Church. His election to the Chair
(not throne please, popes are not kings but pastors) of St. Peter in a world
filled with the massive shadows of terrorism, hatred, injustice, racism,
economic-social-political inequities (as ever) truly brings the smile of God
on people tired of the dark horizons. Obviously his papal election belongs
in the realm of light and light comes from the Spirit of the Living God.
3. It is truly amazing how people among even those unable to personally
encounter the Holy Father but who watch him on television confess to
feeling truly happy and joyful by the mere sight of him. I know. The
social media broadcast that fact. Reactions to him are more often than
not trending. I believe it is because the papacy is truly a testimony to the
sacramentality of the Church. Catholics often take it for granted that
they encounter Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament defined fundamentally as a visible material sign that convey and effect an invisible
immaterial grace. In a sense the Holy Father, being the visible head of the
Roman Catholic Church, by the sacramentality of that same Church, brings
to us the invisible presence of our invisible Head, Jesus Christ. No wonder
he elicits joy in a way reminiscent of how Jesus presence in Mama Marys
womb elicits joy in John the Baptist still in his own mothers womb. This is
what a Catholic loses when he leaves the Church. This is what non-Catholics
miss by the fact that they simply center on the Word.
4. Pope Francis is often mistakenly characterized as a cool celebrity
with humble, easy and non-judgmental ways oozing mercy and compassion to the suffering and the marginalized, however unpleasant
sometimes to the naked eye some of those he hugs or kisses. But he is
also a tough prophet even with his gentle manners. This is, for example,
shown in his Malacaang visit when in the face of a president who prides
himself in being the epitome of anti-corruption politics he called on all
Filipinos to stamp out corruption in all levels of their society. It was like
telling the janitor to have his house swept thoroughly before he would
even think of saying what he does for a living.
5. I was struck when he urged the clergy to shun compromises with
the materialistic mindsets of the world by kicking the complacency
that makes them accepting of the scandalous inequalities/inequities of
society. I was wondering if the Holy Father was also indirectly referring
to the scandalous inequities among the Filipino clergy themselves.
The fundamental illness of Philippine society can be traced, in clerical
theological lingo, to the lack of real working communion within the
Philippine Church. We preach with enthusiasm and righteous gusto on
communion through faith that does justice, the very foundation of charity or Christian love. But as to whether we walk the talk we see concretely
in priests in urban centers having multi-million worth SUVs, condos
and other properties plus regular trips outside the country while their
counter parts in the provinces barely make ends meet. Diocesan priests
from the provinces migrating to urban centers or outside the country
then is hardly a surprising reality but its scandalous character is almost
on par with wealthy clergymen who stay blind to their brethrens conditions. Real working communion must start with the clergy. Bishops and
decision-makers in the Church must truly allow the full implications
of the gospel to shake our very institutions to the tune of love founded
on justice done by faith. But we must walk before we talk and talk only
because we walked it first. Tall order. But very much like Pope Francis.

Blessed / A1

pontiff lauded gestures of parental

love as shown by Filipino fathers and
mothers who endured all sorts of hardships and sufferings just to get near the
Pope so he may bless their child.
That gesture of fathers who think
of their children so that the Pope will
bless them [touched me]A gesture
which in other places one does not
see, Pope Francis revealed.
According to the Holy Father, it
was as if the parents were saying: This
is my treasure, this is my future, this is
my love, for this one its worth work-

ing, for this one its worth suffering.

Then there were the gestures of
the mothers who brought their sick
childrenThen many disabled children, with disabilities that make some
impression; they did not hide the children, they brought them to the Pope so
that he would bless them, he added.
Pope Francis flew back to Rome
early Monday on board Philippine
Airlines flight Shepherd One PR
8010, concluding his week-long trip
to Asia. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/
CBCP News)

Reflect / A1

significant impact to Filipinos like the

visit of Pope John Paul II back in 1995.
The last Papal visit was in 1995
so this event happens like once every
20 years [but] look at how people still
react when they hear the song Tell
The World of His love. You see how
deeply that visit of Pope John Paul II
has touched the Filipinos. Im sure
this visit of Pope Francis already has
that effect but we need to allow that
to deepen, he pointed out.
Tagle urged the Filipinosregardless of religionto reflect particularly
on Pope Francis message concerning
the poor, the youth, and the family.
Let us spend time reflecting on the
spiritual message and the missionary
message of loving the poor; the centrality of appreciating children who
are helpless, he said.

Message for all

This message is not just for Christians. His message is for all, like
cherishing the poor. Even if you do
not belong to the Christian faith, the

poor must touch our hearts. When he

talks about bridging the gap between
the rich and the poor, you dont have
to be a Christian to say that that is
important, Tagle stressed out.
The prelate said the Church will
continue to echo the message of the
Holy Father to remind people of the
important points Pope Francis made
during his visit.
The message is clear and I
think the priests, the religious
and the lay have been challenged
by the Pope. Now, implementing it
is not for the Pope anymore to do.
It is a decision that all of us have
to make. And as far as the leaders
of the Church are concerned, we
will reiterate, we will repeat that
message and we will call on the
priests and the religious and the
lay people also to implement the
message of the Pope, he added.
Pope Francis flew back to Rome
early Monday on board Philippine
Airlines flight Shepherd One PR
8010. (CBCP News)

And Thats The Truth / A4

was illumined by the memory of a week in the

desert when I, then an agnostic, experienced
extreme thirst.
On a seven-day trip called the Sahara Safari,
venturing into the desert between Egypt and
Libya with a dozen German scholars, I came
to appreciate the value of water. We had to
travel light; loading our Moogs with more than
the barest necessities could get us stuck in the
sand. Thus, we were each allowed to use only
two liters of water every day, to drink and to
perform our ablutions. So when we came to an
oasis, the crew advised us to drink as much as

we wanted for the next day we would be back to

our 2-liter water ration. The villagers led us to
a well, the communitys sole source of drinking water. The water stank of sulfur and we
all had to drink from one worn-out, chipped
cup used by all the villagers. Elsewhere I
would have fussed over the broken cup and
the waters offensive odor, but in the desert
with a parched throat, I couldnt care less if
the water smelled of sewage or if the person
drinking before me had TB. I was thirsty, and
it was all that mattered.
Many years later, after the undeserved

miracle that brought me back to the Church, I

would see the desire for communion as a hunger
for God thats not unlike the thirst for water
in the desert. I need it to remain alive; deprive
me of the Eucharist and Ill die. I no longer care
whether or not the hands feeding me are pure or
his person holy. In communion, the Lord gives
Himself to me; that is all that matters.
We do not turn away from the Church
simply because some of her pastors fall short
of our expectations. We wish they would all
be Christ-like but we pray for them even (and
more intensely) when they are not.

In his homily shortly before he retired,

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that nothing causes more suffering for the Church, the
Body of Christ, than the sins of her pastors, especially the sins of those who become thieves
and robbers of the sheep, lead them astray by
their own private teachings, or ensnare them
in the toils of sin and death. Those of us who
are aware of the sins of our priests may in a
way said to be privileged, but what is more
important is with that privilege we assume a
grave responsibility. Becoming aware of the
infidelities of priests, the ingratitude, the

coldness and sinfulness of these men of the

cloth means we are given the privilege of being
invited, as it were, into the very depths of the
sorrows of the Sacred Heart. Leaning on His
mercy we do not judge priests for what we perceive to be their imperfections; rather, out of
compassion we pray that they be strengthened
in their journey to union with God.
At the very least, gratitude to God should
prompt us to pray for His priests. When
we strengthen a priest with our prayers, we
strengthen the hands, lips, eyes of Christ; we
strengthen the whole Church.


January 19 - Februay 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

CBCP Monitor

PHs ex-street kids meet Pope after online campaign

IT STARTED as a wish, and that wish
came true today.
Children and staff members of Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK) Foundation, a
charity that supports abandoned and
former street children, were originally just expecting to catch a glimpse of
Pope Francis when he passes by Gen.
Luna St. in Intramuros on board his
pope mobile, after months of lobbyingmostly through the mediation
of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio
Cardinal Tagleto personally meet
the Holy Father.
But they got much more than that
when no less than the leader of the
worlds 1.2 billion Catholics said yes
to meet the TNK kids in a short yet
intimate encounter that was closed
to the mediaan undisclosed part of
the papal itinerary.

Surprise visit
According to Alexandra Chapeleau, Communications and Partnerships Coordinator of TNK, it was
only a few minutes before the end
of the
Holy Fathers Mass at the Manila
Cathedral that they received final
confirmation from the papal security
team that the Holy Father would be
visiting the foundation, which is a

stones throw away from the said

Twenty minutes before the end of
the mass, the security guards of the
Pope came and informed us that he
will enter the center after the Mass,
Chapeleau said.
It was really a surprise. We were
just very lucky to have a center just
on the side of the Cathedral. So let us
say it was providential that the Holy
Spirit guided us, TNK Executive Director Fr. Matthieu Dauchez said in an
interview with CBCP News.
Pope Francis visit to the TNK
center, which lasted for a short but
meaningful fifteen minutes, was
characterized by jubilant singing,
dancing, hugging, and gift-giving
from the children of the foundation.

Cathedrals back-door
Chapeleau said after receiving
confirmation of the Popes visit, the
children could not contain their joy
and excitement to see their Lolo
Kiko in person.
After the Mass, Pope Francis used
the back door of the Manila Cathedral
to get to the TNK center located on the
left side of Gen. Luna St. across Manila
Upon reaching the gate of the

The Holy Father makes a surprise visit to Tulay ng Kabataan, a charity that aims to support abandoned and abused children, after
his Mass at the Manila Cathedral, Jan. 16, 2015. TNK

TNK center, the Supreme Pontiff was

greeted by a warm hug from 10-yearold Alvin Alis.
Your visit to us is very meaningful.
You are the representation of Christ to
us who are poor. You are the one who
gives us hope, out dear Holy Father.
Thank you very much, Alis said in
Filipino as he welcomed the Pope
and accompanied him to the centers
makeshift stage, where the latter was
embraced by other TNK children
When I got the chance to hug the
Pope, I was very happy. It was the first
time that I was able to hug him; it was
the first time that I was able to hug
a pope, said 13-year-old John Paul
Delos Santos, another one of the TNK
According to James Caparas, 10,
being given the opportunity to hug
Pope Francis was a life-changing
experience for him.
I suddenly began to tear up. It was
as if I told myself, this is probably
my chance to hug a pope, my hope to
live according to my inspiration, he
explained in Filipino.
The Holy Father arrived in the
country late Thursday, kicking off his
five-day pastoral visit to the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19. (Jennifer
M. Orillaza/CBCPNews)

Militants laud Popes love Student journalists call on Pope to

for poor
help stop killings of media men
A LOCAL militant group has joined the rest
of the country in supporting the head of the
worlds more than a billion Catholics, praising him for his compassion for the poor and
downtrodden, especially as detailed in his
Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium).
In an official statement, Renato M. Reyes,
Jr., secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (Bayan), expresses appreciation
for the deep concern Pope Francis has shown
to the Filipino people, especially survivors of
Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), most
of whom have not yet fully recovered over a
year after the disaster.
We value his compassion for the poor and
downtrodden peasants, indigenous peoples,
women and youth, he shares.
We take comfort in his support for human
rights and social justice. We welcome the fact
that he is striving to establish the Church of
the Poor and encouraging the youth to change
the status quo, he adds.
According to Reyes, Bayan agrees with the
Holy Fathers critique of the oppressive and
exploitative global economic system that continues to put profits above people, describing

it as an economy of exclusion and inequality.

We hope that during his visit, the Pope will
come to know the real situation of the Filipino people. Our country remains economically
backward and underdeveloped, with poverty,
unemployment, hunger and migration on the
rise. Human rights violations persist, in the
form of militarization, extrajudicial killings,
and enforced disappearances, similar to those
that took place in Latin America. Social services
are being privatized, and our natural resources
plundered by foreign corporations, he explains.
Let the Pope know the real situation of our
country. Let not the security arrangements
prevent the poor from welcoming the Pope
and let not the barricades and barriers prevent
the Pope from knowing the plight of the poor,
he declares.
The Filipino people are struggling for
genuine freedom and democracy, for peace
based on justice. We are struggling daily
against corruption and corporate greed and
for a better future. We warmly embrace the
solidarity of the Pope and wish him a safe arrival, he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastin/
CBCP News)

UNIVERSITY student journalists stood for

hours with thousands of people outside the
gate of Malacaan yesterday to greet Pope
Francis before meeting President Benigno
Aquino III and other government officials for
official welcome rites.
They wished the Pope would have the
chance to know the extent of the killings
of local journalists, hoping the Holy
Father would ask Aquino to address the
issue of curtailed press freedom in the
country, said Erol Nataniel G. Rico, Far
Eastern University (FEU) Advocate news
With faith in the Pontiffs capacity to
prompt change, they also wished he would
personally witness the poverty gripping million of Filipinos and would do what he can to
help address it.

Pray for journalists

Jess Miranda, FEU Advocate news editor,
hoped the Pope would pray for every journalist in the country and elsewhere in the world,
whose lives are at times put in danger due

to the nature of the

The student journalists also hoped his
visit would inspire
press freedom advocates to continue and
intensify their work,
Rico said.
Meanwhile, Lyka
Cabungcag, FEU
Advocate photographer, wished the
Pope would continue
his apostolate for the
poor and world peace.

Popes message

Student journalists from FEU Advocate, official publication of Far Eastern

University: (L-R) Erol Nathaniel G. Rico, Jess Miranda, and Lyka Cabungcag
wait outside Malacaan to greet the Holy Father, Jan. 16, 2015. Oliver Samson

Filipinos should
continue to mull over Pope Francis words
even after his pastoral and state visit to the
country ends to get a full sense of his message, he noted.
They lined for hours outside Malacaan
to personally see the Pontiff and also to cover

the event for the FEU community, Rico said.

The Holy Father flew back to Rome
on Monday, Jan. 19, from Villamor Air
base, ending his apostolic and state visit
to to the Philippines. (Oliver Samson/

CBCP Monitor


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

Well tell future generations about Bacolod artists, students

create Pope mural
Popes 2015 visitCBCP chief

DIHON artists and students create a mural representing Pope Francis, the Pope of the People in Bacolod,
Negros Occidental. DIHON

Young ones were among those who lined the streets leading to Villamor Air base to bid goodbye to Pope Francis before his flight back to Rome, Jan. 19, 2015.
Gerald Cenir

DAGUPAN City, PangasinanThe head

of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP), Archbishop Socrates B.
Villegas, was all gracias to the Argentine
pontiff on behalf of the Filipino faithful for
the success of his recently ended apostolic
visit, telling him that Filipinos today will
tell future generations about the stories and
messages from the pontiffs 2015 visit to
the country.
Gracias Santo Padre! We will never forget these five days. Our children and their
children will never forget these five days,
because we will tell them the stories of these
five grace-filled days and they will tell them to
their children, says the prelate in a statement
released earlier today.
According to Villegas, Pope Francis words
will live on in Filipinos stories, embedded
in our and their hearts, something that constantly reminds the faithful about Jesus love.

Pricking the collective conscience

He described the pontiffs messages as
pricking the collective conscience of Filipino
Catholics, especially about loving the poor,
praying always, hoping amid challenges and

keeping the faith.

It is the voice of Jesus telling us, I am with
you and I will not leave you orphans, stresses
the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate.
The prelate noticed one more thing in particular: the paternal affection Pope Francis
showd to survivors of typhoon Yolanda
(international name: Haiyan).
In Tacloban, Holy Father, your voice
pierced through the rains and strong winds.
From your heart you intoned, Gracias!, looking up to the dark skies but clearly to heaven,
and your gaze moving from the people patiently standing in the rain, to the image of
the Blessed Mother tenderly holding the baby
Jesus in her arms. Gracias! Villegas says.
Villagas thanks the Pope for the tenderness
with which he comforted Filipinos, reassuring
them that Jesus will never abandon them.

Not orphans
You thanked the Lord for not leaving us
orphans amidst desperation, loss, misery
and pain. And at that moment we were one
with you in your thanksgiving to God. But we
were also lifting up our own gratitude to God
for sending you to us. We know that you, too,

will not leave us orphans. That you will be

with us, suffering with us who are poor, aged,
sick, disabled, deaf, crippled, abandoned and
ignored, he adds.
The head of the bishops conference also
thanked the pontiff for what many are calling
Pope Francis ministry of presence
Gracias Santo Padre for your warm smile
that also came from your eyes, penetrating
our heart, even our soul. How easily your
smile came when you caught sight of the
people jubilantly gathered to greet you in the
streets, especially, unmindful of the heat, and
in Tacloban and Palo, unmindful of the rain
and wind, he says.
Villegas takes note of how the Holy Fathers
face would brighten up at the sight of young
people and of the children whom he embraced
and carried in his arms.
Pope Francis left the Philippines for the
Vatican at around 10:45 a.m. Monday after
a successful five-day apostolic and state
visit, which allowed him to see and be seen
by millions of cheering Filipinos who braved
extreme weather conditions to welcome him
and take part in the event. (Raymond A.

Bishop amazed by tabernacles unexplained

protection during Ruby
BORONGAN CityOne month
of typhoon Ruby, the unexplainable protection of the tabernacle in the Diocese of Borongan
Priests Home despite massive
flooding in the area is creating a
sense of awe and wonder among
survivors of the said typhoon,
including a bishop.
Sometimes we just ignore and
dont really appreciate the presence of the Holy Sacramentof

the Lord in our very midst. But

the incident at the Priests Home
powerfully points out to us the
fact that He is alive, He is here
and that He is the King even over
the ood, said Borongan Bishop
Crispin Varquez during a recent
homily, highlighting Gods protection during calamities.
The tabernacle covered with an
immaculately white veil was discovered miraculously untouched

by super typhoon Ruby on Dec.

6, 2014, even while the rest of
the Borongan Priests Home in
Campesao, Borongan City, E.
Samar was marred by mud and
dirt from rain and flood.
According to eye witnesses, the
tabernacle had no trace of being
wet or stained and the vigil candle
beside it was miraculously lit even
while the storm raged for six hours,
leaving the place wet and ruined.

Varquez, together with some

priests and seminarians, inspected the storms damage, seeing
first-hand the water level on the
walls, which stopped just below
the base of the tabernacle.
He is with us especially during
our times of troubles. And He always
reminds us that He is the Master of
all creation, He is the Lord of all the
earth, the prelate reminded the
faithful. (Vanessa M. Puno)

BACOLOD CityFor Bacolod artists and students, the real face of Pope Francis is shown
through a 35-meter Pope of the People
mural, which they themselves created in time
for the papal visit.
We are translating the words and messages
of Pope Francis in the grassroots lives of the
Filipinos that is truly pro-poor and pro-people, stated the Dibuhista nga Naghiliugyon sa
Negros (DIHON)
According to Revo Yanson, newly-elected
chair of DIHON, the mural, which is located
on the wall of the the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos in Bacolod City, Negros
Occidental, speaks of the of the visual signature
image of Pope Francis at the center: the Pope as
pedicab driver; as peacemaker between the rebels
and the military; as a sacada worker; doing selfie
with the youth; smiling with the young people.

Ecumenical group asks Popes

help in peace efforts
QUEZON CityAn ecumenical group wants to
bring to the attention of Pope Francis the lack
of peace in parts of the country, requesting for
his help in inviting local warring factions to
return to the negotiating table.
[In this regard,] we would like to appeal
to Your Holiness if you might reinforce our
calls to both parties for them to return to
the negotiating table and honor previous
agreements to help resolve the roots of the
armed conflict and attain a just and lasting
peace in the country, shares Rev. Ephraim
S. Fajutagana, Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia
Filipina Independiente, who also chairs the
National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), in a statement.

45 years of conflict
According to him, an armed conflict has
been raging in the Philippines for 45 years and
has affected thousands of lives.
Our peoples cry for peace is deeply rooted in
their daily struggle for survival. A just and lasting
peace would mean for us food on the table, just
wages and job security, land for the landless and a
respect for Gods gift of human dignity, he says.
NCCP, whose members include mainstream
Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches
committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and
the Gospel call to faithfulness and justice, have
been active in calling for a resolution to the
armed conflict between the Government of the

Disputes / A1

mapmaker who worked between 1538

to 1588.
According to the Holy See Press
Office, the Pope gave the President
one of the 50 faithful reproductions of the nautical atlas Urbinate
Latino 283 of the Vatican Apostolic
Bought by the Vatican Apostolic Library in 1657 together with
other manuscripts of the Urbinate
Library, the atlas, whose pages

This is the only mural in the country that

translates Pope Francis charism in a comical way. Any ordinary passerby appreciates
the message of the mural. With the mural,
we can feel that as if Pope Francis is here in
Bacolod, said Marvin Blanco.The mural also
includes elements of Negros history and culture, highlighting the Diocese of Bacolod, as a
pioneering diocese of the Church of the Poor.
DIHONs history is rooted in peoples
struggle; this is our tribute to the Pope who is
close to the hearts of the poor, said Jam Bayoneta, one of the younger DIHON members.
The participating DIHON artists are: Revo
Yanson, Jolen Resuma, Jam Bayoneta, Karlo
Burdeos, Larry Guillema, Stephen Basoy,
Rodel Rojo, Larry Occea, Zardo Saballa,
Brother Tagoy, Jude and Agustin Jakosalem.

Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic

Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Fajutagana explains the formal peace talks
between the GPH and the NDFP which resumed earnestly in February 2011, after more
than six years of impasse, have been stalled
again since June 2011.

Impunity, human rights abuse

Over recent years, there are many human
rights defenders, including clergy and lay
people of our member churches who have been
extrajudicially killed, disappeared, tortured,
imprisoned on trumped up charges and have
suffered other forms of abuse, he notes.
According to Fajutagana, the group hopes
that if the Holy Father gets to talk to those in
power in our country, he would raise the issue
of why advocates of the poor are subject to
human rights abuses and their perpetrators
enjoy impunity.
Speaking for NCCP, he also thanks God that
the Holy Father has come to the Philippines with
a Gospel heart full of compassion for the poor.
We praise God for your humility and
faith, and ask God that just as your presence
has blessed our nation, that the people of the
Philippines may also be Gods blessing to you.
Our Council and our member churches will
continue to hold Your Holiness in our prayers
as you continue to speak truth to power, he
tells the Pope.(Raymond A. Sebastin)

Hospitality / A1

measure 33 x 23 centimeters, is
composed of 14 colored nautical
maps in parchment.
The Vatican Apostolic Library
believes that the atlas dates back to
1562, based on a note on Map V and
the Holy See Press Office said it is
characterized by a certain sobriety,
and by the accuracy of the geographical data that distinguishes it from the
luxurious specimen produced for the
collection or libraries of those who

commissioned them.
It is written in humanistic round
hand by one hand, except for a few
integrations by a second, in Castilian
with some different linguistic influences that reveal the origin of Oliva,
the Holy See Press Office said in a
Like the medieval atlases, the atlas
that Pope Francis gave the countrys
leader depicts the world as known by
the 16th-century Europeans.

Without any introduction by a

title page, the maps that follow show
the world as it was known by the
Europeans of the 16th century. They
are drawn within a rectangular red
frame; the colors prevalently used
for toponyms and hydronyms are
black and red; among the various
indications, there are also those of
latitude, the Holy See Press Office
added. (Raymond Sebastian/
CBCP News)

Virtually / A1

Equally excited
Even if Mindanao is not part of the papal itinerary while in the country, Valles said the faithful in
Southern Philippines still prepared for the Holy
Fathers historic visit by praying for the Pope
after each Mass, as well as holding vigils and Holy
Hour devotions.
According to the prelate, Catholics in Mindanao
are equally excited to see Pope Francis and also understand why the Holy Father could not take time
out of his hectic schedule to fly south.
They are all very excited with the visit of the
Holy Father as everybody else in the country, said
Valles, who was one of the Catholic Bishops Confer-

ence of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Council

members who greeted the pontiff on his arrival at
Villamor Air Base on Jan. 15.
Valles admitted being asked by his flock if
Pope Francis is coming to Davao like Pope John
Paul II did when he went visited the country in
February 1981.

Main purpose
I said no, because we also know that the main
purpose of the Popes visit is to spend time with
people who were affected or still suffering due
to Typhoon Yolanda. And they understand,
he said.

On Saturday, Pope Francis and his entourage will

to fly to Leyte to preside over a 10 a.m. Eucharistic
celebration at the Tacloban Airport, which was
heavily damaged during the onslaught of typhoon
By lunch time, the Holy Father will dine with
the poor and survivors of typhoon Yolanda at the
Residence of the Archbishop of Palo. The Pontiff
will also lead the blessing of the Pope Francis Center
for the Poor in Palo.
Aboard Philippine Airlines fligth PR 8010, Pope
Francis flew back to Rome on Monday, Jan. 19, from
Villamor Air base, after a 5-day apostolic and state
visit to to the Philippines. (CBCP News)

In a press briefing upon the departure of the Pope and his entourage
for Rome earlier today, Archbishop
Giuseppe Pinto thanked all the sectors of the Philippine government for
collaborating in the success of Pope
Francis state and apostolic visit.
We received the best and the
widest collaboration. In fact we had
the opportunity to get in touch with
everybody and everywhere in the
government, both national and local. And this has been noticed by everybody, and the collaborator of the
Holy Father said thanksv because
they received the best hospitality
everywhere they went, Pinto said.
The Nuncio also said the mere size
of the papal entourage is proof that
authorities in the Vatican are happy
to have accompanied the Holy Father
in his visit to the Philippines.
According to those who accompanied the Holy Father, normally they
have less people, but this time they
are a big delegation of 12 people. So
almost all the authorities in Rome,
except for one who just arrived, were
here with us. And they were happy to
be with us, he added.

Pinto likewise thanked the Filipino

bishops, whom he said have supported
him during his first experience of arranging a papal visit.
Fraternally, I would like to say
thank you to my brother bishops
who sustained me. This was my first
experience of a papal visit because in
two occasions I arrived late in Papua
New Guinea about 30 years ago and
in Argentina about 25 years ago. But
now the Pope said, Now you have this.
Im satisfied, he added.
Pope Francis, his entourage and
Vatican-accredited media personnel
have departed from this city at exactly 10 a.m. The Philippine Airlines
Airbus A340-300 jet carrying them
reportedly took off from the Ninoy
Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
at 10:12 a.m.
Thousands of greeters lined the
streets to bid Pope Francis goodbye
right before his scheduled trip back
to Rome on Monday, Jan. 19. He
flew back to Rome aboard Shepherd
One together with his entourage and
members of the Vatican Accredited
Media Personnel (VAMP). (CBCP

Environment / A1

styles, our consumption and our use

of the earths resources.
Today, I ask you to do this in the
context of your own lives and your
commitment to the building up of
Christs kingdom, he said.
Noting the gravity posed by the
earths destruction to the well-being
of people, the Pope exhorted young
Filipinos to be concerned about the
plight of their surroundings.
Dear young people, the just use
and stewardship of the earths resources is an urgent task, and you
have an important contribution to
make. You are the future of the Phil-

ippines. Be concerned about what is

happening to your beautiful land!
Pope Francis said.

Beautiful garden
Calling the world a beautiful
garden created by the Lord, the Pope
lamented about how the sins of men
have ravaged its natural beauty.
He created the world as a beautiful
garden and asked us to care for it. But
through sin, man has disfigured that
natural beauty, Pope Francis said in
his homily during the concluding
Mass of his visit held at the Quirino

Through sin, man has also destroyed the unity and beauty of
our human family, creating social
structures which perpetuate poverty,
ignorance and corruption, he added.
The Pontiff noted that genuine
concern for the environment means
more than just cleaning ones surroundings and recycling garbage,
but through the important aspect of
recognizing Gods saving plan.
We need to see, with the eyes of
faith, the beauty of Gods saving plan,
the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human
person, he said.

Pope Francis reminded the laity

that since they are made in the image
and likeness of God, they are given
dominion over creation.
As stewards of Gods creation,
we are called to make the earth a
beautiful garden for the human
family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our
seas, we betray that noble calling,
he added.
Pope Francis flew back to Rome today from Villamor Air base onboard
Shepherd One PR 8010 at 10:00 a.m.
(Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP

Religious / A1

Metropolitan Nektarios (Tsilis)

of the Orthodox Metropolitanate
of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
Venerable Master Hsing Yun, a Buddhist monk from the Fo Guang Shan
Monastery in Taiwan Rabbi Eliyahu
Azaria, who heads the synagogue in
Makati Maharaj Rajesh Sharma, a
Hindu priest Ephraim Fajutagana,
obispo mximo of the Philippine
Independent Church and chairman
of theNational Council of Churches
in the Philippines Bishop Cesar
Vicente Punzalan III, chairman of
the board of the Philippine Council of

Evangelical Churches Lilian Sison,

former UST Graduate School dean
Julkipli Wadi, dean of the Institute
of Islamic Studies at the University
of the Philippines Imam Ibrahim
Moxir Alhaj, of the Imam Council
of the Philippines Reynato Puno,
former Chief Justice and chairman of
the Philippine Bible Society
Pope Francis flew back to Rome on
Monday, Jan. 19, from Villamor Air
base, ending his apostolic and state
visit to to the country. (CBCPNews
with reports from Jennifer


January 19 - Februay 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 1

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Apostolic journey of pope francis to the Philippines B1

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2


CBCP Monitor

The Holy Father pays a surprise visit to former street children of Tulay ng Kabataann (TNK) after his Mass at the Manila Cathedral, Jan. 16, 2015.

The poor is at the center of the Gospel

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis at the Eucharistic Celebration held at the Manila Cathedral
with the Filipino Bishops, Priests and Religious on January 16, 2015
DO you love me? [the crowd answers yes
and Pope Francis laughingly said, Thank
you very much as the crowd applauded
and he explained that he was quoting
Jesus words] said the Lord. Do you love
me? Tend my sheep (Jn 21:15-17). Jesus
words to Peter in todays Gospel are the first
words I speak to you, dear brother bishops
and priests, men and women religious, and
young seminarians. These words remind us
of something essential. All pastoral ministry is born of love. All consecrated life is a
sign of Christs reconciling love. Like Saint
Therese, in the variety of our vocations,

in this country, but also to forge a society

inspired by the Gospel message of charity,
forgiveness and solidarity in the service of
the common good. Today you carry on that
work of love. Like them, you are called to
build bridges, to pasture Christs flock, and
to prepare fresh paths for the Gospel in Asia
at the dawn of a new age.
The love of Christ impels us (2 Cor
5:14). In todays first reading Saint Paul
tells us that the love we are called to proclaim is a reconciling love, flowing from the
heart of the crucified Savior. We are called
to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20).

each of us is called, in some way, to be love

in the heart of the Church.
I greet all of you with great affection. And
I ask you to bring my affection to all your
elderly and infirm brothers and sisters,
and to all those who cannot join us today.
As the Church in the Philippines looks to
the fifth centenary of its evangelization,
we feel gratitude for the legacy left by so
many bishops, priests and religious of
past generations. They labored not only to
preach the Gospel and build up the Church

Ours is a ministry of reconciliation. We

proclaim the Good News of Gods infinite
love, mercy and compassion. We proclaim
the joy of the Gospel. For the Gospel is the
promise of Gods grace, which alone can
bring wholeness and healing to our broken
world. It can inspire the building of a truly
just and redeemed social order.
To be an ambassador for Christ means
above all to invite everyone to a renewed
personal encounter with the Lord Jesus
(Evangelii Gaudium, 3). This invitation

Russell Palma

The poor are at the center of the

Gospel. At the heart of the Gospel.
If we take away the poor from the
Gospel, we cannot understand the
whole message of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis shares a laugh with the congregation when he reads from his homily, Jesus words to Peter, Do you love me? and everyone answers, Yes! at
the Manila Cathedral, Jan. 16, 2015.

must be at the core of your commemoration of the evangelization of the Philippines. But the Gospel is also a summons
to conversion, to an examination of our
consciences, as individuals and as a people.
As the Bishops of the Philippines have
rightly taught, the Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat
the causes of the deeply rooted inequality
and injustice which mar the face of Filipino

we take away the poor from the Gospel, we

cannot understand the whole message of
Jesus Christ.
As ambassadors for Christ, we, bishops,
priests and religious, ought to be the first
to welcome his reconciling grace into our
hearts. Saint Paul makes clear what this
means. It means rejecting worldly perspectives and seeing all things anew in the
light of Christ. It means being the first to

Russell Palma

Only by becoming poor ourselves, by

becoming poor ourselves, by stripping
away our complacency, will we be
able to identify with the least of our
brothers and sisters.

Little Swiss guards are deployed to serve the Holy Father during his Mass at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, Jan. 16, 2015.

society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ. The Gospel calls individual
Christians to live lives of honesty, integrity
and concern for the common good. But it
also calls Christian communities to create
circles of integrity, networks of solidarity
which can expand to embrace and transform society by their prophetic witness.
The poor. The poor are at the center of
the Gospel. At the heart of the Gospel. If

examine our consciences, to acknowledge

our failings and sins, and to embrace the
path of constant conversion. Constant
conversion. Every day conversion. How
can we proclaim the newness and liberating
power of the Cross to others, if we ourselves
refuse to allow the word of God to shake our
complacency, our fear of change, our petty
compromises with the ways of this world,
Poor / B7

B2 apostolic journey of pope francis to the philippines

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

CBCP Monitor

The challenge of building modern society

on solid foundations
LADIES and Gentlemen,
I thank you, Mr. President, for your kind
welcome and for your words of greeting
in the name of the authorities and people
of the Philippines, and the distinguished
members of the Diplomatic Corps. I am
most grateful for your invitation to visit the
Philippines. My visit is above all pastoral.
It comes as the Church in this country is
preparing to celebrate the fifth centenary
of the first proclamation of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ on these shores. The Christian
message has had an immense influence
on Filipino culture. It is my hope that this
important anniversary will point to its
continuing fruitfulness and its potential
to inspire a society worthy of the goodness,
dignity and aspirations of the Filipino
In a particular way, this visit is meant to
express my closeness to our brothers and
sisters who endured the suffering, loss and
devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda.
Together with many people throughout the
world, I have admired the heroic strength,
faith and resilience demonstrated by so
many Filipinos in the face of this natural
disaster, and so many others. Those virtues,
rooted not least in the hope and solidarity
instilled by Christian faith, gave rise to an
outpouring of goodness and generosity,
especially on the part of so many of the
young. In that moment of national crisis,
countless people came to the aid of their
neighbors in need. At great sacrifice, they
gave of their time and resources, creating
networks of mutual help and working for
the common good.
This example of solidarity in the work
of rebuilding teaches us an important
lesson. Like a family, every society draws
on its deepest resources in order to face
new challenges. Today the Philippines,
together with many other countries in
Asia, faces the challenge of building on
solid foundations a modern societya
society respectful of authentic human
values, protective of our God-given human dignity and rights, and ready to
confront new and complex political and
ethical questions. As many voices in your
nation have pointed out, it is now, more
than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity
and commitment to the common good.
In this way they will help preserve the
rich human and natural resources with
which God has blessed this country. Thus
will they be able to marshal the moral
resources needed to face the demands
of the present, and to pass on to coming
generations a society of authentic justice,
solidarity and peace.

Roy Lagarde

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the meeting with civil authorities and
the Diplomatic Corps at Malacaang Palace, January 16, 2015

The Holy Father was officially welcomed in a formal ceremony at the Malacaan where he also gave a message to the Philippine government, Jan. 16, 2015.

We know how difficult it is for our democracies today to

preserve and defend such basic human values as respect
for the inviolable dignity of each human person, respect for
the rights of conscience and religious freedom, and respect
for the inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the
unborn and extending to that of the elderly and infirm.
Essential to the attainment of these
national goals is the moral imperative of
ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity. The great biblical tradition
enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear
the voice of the poor. It bids us break the
bonds of injustice and oppression which

give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous,

social inequalities. Reforming the social
structures which perpetuate poverty and
the exclusion of the poor first requires a
conversion of mind and heart.
The Bishops of the Philippines have
asked that this year be set aside as the Year

of the Poor. I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels
of society, to reject every form of corruption
which diverts resources from the poor, and
to make concerted efforts to ensure the
inclusion of every man and woman and
child in the life of the community.

A fundamental role in the renewal of

society is played, of course, by the family
and especially by young people. A highlight of my visit will be my meetings with
families and with young people here in
Manila. Families have an indispensable
mission in society. It is in the family that
children are trained in sound values, high
ideals and genuine concern for others.
But like all Gods gifts, the family can also
be disfigured and destroyed. It needs our
support. We know how difficult it is for
our democracies today to preserve and
defend such basic human values as respect
for the inviolable dignity of each human
person, respect for the rights of conscience
and religious freedom, and respect for the
inalienable right to life, beginning with
that of the unborn and extending to that
of the elderly and infirm. For this reason,
families and local communities must be
encouraged and assisted in their efforts to
transmit to our young the values and the
vision which can help bring about a culture
of integrityone which honors goodness,
truthfulness, fidelity and solidarity as the
firm foundation and the moral glue which
holds society together.
Mr. President, distinguished authorities, dear friends: As I begin my visit to
this country, I cannot fail to mention the
Philippines important role in fostering
understanding and cooperation among the
countries of Asia. I would also mention the
oft-neglected yet real contribution of Filipinos of the diaspora to the life and welfare
of the societies in which they live. It is precisely in the light of the rich cultural and
religious heritage of which your country is
proud that I leave you with a challenge and
a word of prayerful encouragement. May
the deepest spiritual values of the Filipino
people continue to find expression in your
efforts to provide your fellow citizens with
an integral human development.
In this way, each person will be able to fulfill his or her potential, and thus contribute
wisely and well to the future of this country.
I am confident that the praiseworthy efforts
to promote dialogue and cooperation between the followers of the different religions
will prove fruitful in the pursuit of this noble
goal. In a particular way, I express my trust
that the progress made in bringing peace to
the south of the country will result in just
solutions in accord with the nations founding principles and respectful of the inalienable rights of all, including the indigenous
peoples and religious minorities.
Upon all of you, and upon all the men,
women and children of this beloved nation, I cordially invoke Gods abundant

The family threatened by the growing effort

to redefine the very institution of marriage
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the Meeting of Families held at the
Mass of Asia Arena in Manila on January 16, 2015
THE angel of the Lord revealed
to Joseph the dangers which
threatened Jesus and Mary, forcing them to flee to Egypt and
then to settle in Nazareth. So too,
in our time, God calls upon us
to recognize the dangers threatening our own families and to
protect them from harm. Be
attentive, be attentive with the
new ideological colonization.

able to say no to t he period of

colonization, as families we have
to be very wise and very strong
wit h fortitude to t hese initiatives of ideological colonization
t hat could destroy t he families
and to ask t he intercession of
St. Joseph, who is a friend of t he
angel, to know when to say yes
and when to say no.
The pressures on family life

This is the ideological colonization. The family is also threatened

by growing efforts on the part of
some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by
the culture of the ephemeral, by a
lack of openness to life.
[In Spanish] I t hink of Blessed
Paul VI, in a moment of t hat
challenge of the growth of populations, he had t he strengt h

The family is also threatened

by growing efforts on the part
of some to redefine the very
institution of marriage, by
relativism, by the culture of
the ephemeral, by a lack of
openness to life. Our world
needs good and strong families
to overcome these threats!
today are many. Here in the Philippines, countless families are
still suffering from the effects of
natural disasters. The economic
situation has caused families to
be separated by migration and
the search for employment, and
financial problems strain many
households. While all too many
people live in dire poverty, others
are caught up in materialism and
lifestyles which are destructive
of family life and the most basic
demands of Christian morality.

When families bring children

into the world, train them in
faith and sound values, and
teach them to contribute to
society, they become a blessing
in our world. Gods love
becomes present and active
by the way of love and by the
good works that we do.

Noel Lavin

[In Spanish] There is an

ideological colonization t hat
we have to be careful of t hat
tries to destroy t he family. Its
not born of t he dream t hat we
have wit h God from prayer
and from t he mission t hat
God gives us. It comes outside.
And t hats why I say its colonization. Let us not lose t he
freedom to take t hat mission
forward t hat God has given
us. And just as our peoples in a
moment in t heir history were

about t he wolves t hat were

approaching. And from t he
heavens, he blesses us today.
Our world needs good and
strong families to overcome
these threats! The Philippines
needs holy and loving families
to protect the beauty and truth
of the family in Gods plan and
to be a support and example for
other families. Every threat to

The Holy Father approaches and blesses little performers during the Meeting with the
Families at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Jan. 16, 2015.

to defend openness to life. He

knew t he difficulties t hat families experienced and t hats why
in his encyclical, he expressed
compassion for particular cases.
And he taught professors to
be particularly compassionate
wit h particular cases. But he
went furt her. He looked to t he
peoples beyond. He saw t he lack
and t he problem it could cause
families in t he future. Paul VI
was courageous, he was a good
pastor and he warned his sheep

the family is a threat to society

itself. The future of humanity,
as Saint John Paul II often said,
passes through the family (cf.
Familiaris Consortio, 85). The
future passes through the family! So protect your families! See
in them your countrys greatest treasure and nourish them
always by prayer and the grace
of the sacraments. Families will
always have their trials, but may
you never add to them! Instead,
Family / B7

Apostolic journey of pope francis to the Philippines B3

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Analyn Perucho

CBCP Monitor

A pilgrim brings her Sto. Nio to the papal Mass at the Tacloban Airport, Jan. 17, 2015. The Eucharistic celebration pushes through despite rain and strong wind.

When I saw this catastrophe from Rome, I felt

that I had to be here
Homily of his Holiness Pope Francis at the Eucharistic Celebration
held in Tacloban City on January 17, 2015
on that throne and there he experienced all calamities that we
experience. Jesus is Lord. And he
is Lord from the cross. He is there
for you. Therefore he is capable of
understanding us, as we heard in
the first reading. In everything, the
same as us. That is why we have a
Lord who is capable of crying with
us, capable of walking with us in
the most difficult moments of life.
So many of you have lost everything. I dont know what to say to
you. But the Lord does know what
to say to you. Some of you lost part
of your families. All I can do is keep
silence. And I walk with you all with
my silent heart.
Many of you have asked the
Lord, Why Lord? And to each of
you, to your heart, Christ responds
from his heart upon the cross.
I have no more words to tell you.

our great brother, Jesus. We are

not alone. And we also have many
brothers who in this moment of
catastrophe came to help you. And
we too, because of this, we feel more
brothers and sisters because we
helped each other.
This is what comes from my
heart and forgive me if I have no
other words to express this.
But please know Jesus never lets
you down. Please know that the love
and tenderness of Mother Mary
never lets you down. And holding on to her mantle and with the
power that comes from Jesus love
on the cross, let us move forward,
always forward. And walk together
as brothers and sisters in the Lord,
[In English:] Thank you very
[After Communion, the Pope

By your presence and your

charity, you bore witness to the
beauty and truth of the Gospel
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the
meeting with the clergy and religious in the
Palo Cathedral on January 17, 2015
THANK you for your very warm welcome. The
cardinal walking in now together with Cardinal
Tagle is the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal
Parolin, and it is his birthday. Will you sing
him something? [Clergy and religious sing
birt hday greetings] Thank you.
I have to tell you something that makes me
unhappy: the problem is that the way things
were planned was that the plane would leave at
5pm this afternoon. But theres a second grade
typhoon, or storm thats around us and the pilot
of the plane has insisted we have to leave at 1pm.
We just have time to get to the plane because the
weather forecast says after 1pm it will get much
worse. So I apologize to all of you.
I am so sorry about this because I had something especially prepared for you. Let us leave
everything in the hands of Our Lady because I
have to go now. Do you know what the problem
is? Airplanes cant land here, thats the problem.
Lets pray the Hail Mary together and then I
will give you my blessing.

Analyn Perucho

IF you allow me, I prefer today to

speak in Spanish. I have a translator, a good translator. May I do
this? May I? [Applause] Thank you
very much.
[Translation from Spanish] The
first reading that we heard says
that we have a high priest who is
capable of sympathizing with our
weaknesses, one who has similarly
been tested in every way but without sin. Jesus is like us. Jesus lived
like us. He is the same as us in every
respect, except sin.
Because he was not a sinner, but to
be more like us, he assumed our condition and our sin. He made himself
unto sin. This is what St. Paul tells
us. And Jesus always goes before us.
And when we pass and experience a
cross, he passed there before us. And
if today we find ourselves 14 months
afterward here, 14 months precisely

The Pope arrives at the Tacloban Airport to spend time with the people of the Visayas, Jan. 17, 2015.

I am here to be with you.

A little bit late, I have to say,
but Im here.
after the typhoon Yolanda hit, it is
because we have the security of knowing that were not going to weaken in
our faith because Jesus has been there
before us. [applause] In his passion, he
assumed all our pain.
Id like to tell you something
close to my heart. When I saw, from
Rome, that catastrophe, I felt that I
had to be here. [applause]
And on those very days, I decided
to come here [applause].
I am here to be with you. A little
bit late, I have to say, but Im here
I have come to tell you that Jesus
is Lord that he never lets us down.
Father, you might say to me, I
was let down because Ive lost so
many things, I lost my house, my
livelihood, my family. Ive illness.
Its true if you would say that. And
I respect those sentiments. But Jesus
there nailed to the cross [indicating the crucifix]. And from there,
he does not let us down. [applause]
He was consecrated as Lord

Let us look to Christ. He is the Lord.

And he understands us because he
underwent all the trials that we,
that you have experienced.
And beside the cross was his
mother. We are like this little child
just there, who in moments when
we have so much pain, when we
no longer understand anything,
all we can do is grab hold of her
hand firmly, and say, Mom, as a
child does to his mother when he
or she feels fear. It is perhaps the
only word that we can say in such
difficult times: Mother, Mom.
Let us together hold a moment of
silence. Let us look to Christ on the
cross. He understands us because
he endured everything. And let us
look to our mother, and like that
little child, let us grab hold of her
mantle, and with a true heart, say
Mother. In silence, let us say this
prayer. Say to the mother what you
feel in your hearts.
We are not alone. Let us know
that we have a mother Mary and

added a prayer in Spanish. Here

is the simultaneous translation
provided by his translator:]
We have just celebrated the
passion, death, and resurrection of
Christ. Jesus preceded us. He went
there before us on the journey.
And he accompanies us every time
we come together to pray and celebrate. Thank you Lord for being
with us today. Thank you Lord for
sharing in our pain. Thank you
Lord for giving us hope. Thank you
Lord for your great mercy. Thank
you Lord because you wished to
be like one of us. Thank you Lord
because you are always near to us
even in the moments of the cross.
Thank you Lord for giving us hope.
Lord, may hope never be robbed
from us, taken away from us. Thank
you Lord because in the moments
of greatest darkness in your life, on
the cross, you remembered us and
you left us a mother, your mother.
Thank you Lord for not leaving us

Here, in a special way, I would like to thank the

many priests and religious who responded with
such overwhelming generosity to the desperate
needs of the people of the areas hardest hit. By
your presence and your charity, you bore witness
to the beauty and truth of the Gospel. You made
the Church present as a source of hope, healing
and mercy. Together with so many of your neighbors, you also demonstrated the deep faith and the
resilience of the Filipino people. The many stories
of goodness and self-sacrifice which emerged
from these dark days need to be remembered and
passed down for future generations.
A few moments ago, I blessed the new Center
for the Poor, which stands as another sign of the
Churchs care and concern for our brothers and
sisters in need. How many they are! And how
much our Lord loves them! Today, from this place
which has known such profound suffering and
human need, I ask that even more be done for the
poor. Above all, I ask that the poor throughout
this country be treated fairlythat their dignity

Many of you showed heroic generosity

in the aftermath of the typhoon.
I hope that you will always realize
that true happiness comes from helping others,
giving ourselves to them in
self-sacrifice, mercy and compassion.
(The following is t he undelivered address)
DEAR Brot hers and Sisters,
I greet all of you with great affection in the
Lord. I am happy that we are able to meet in this
Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
This house of prayer, along with many others,
has been repaired thanks to the remarkable generosity of many people. It stands as an eloquent
sign of the immense effort of rebuilding which
you and your neighbors have undertaken in
the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon
Yolanda. It is also a concrete reminder to all of
us that, even amid disaster and suffering, our
God is constantly at work, making all things
Many of you have suffered greatly, not only
from the destruction caused by the storm, but
from the loss of family members and friends.
Today let us commend to Gods mercy all those
who have died, and invoke his consolation and
peace upon all who still grieve. May we remember
in a particular way those among us whose pain
makes it hard to see the way forward. At the same
time, let us thank the Lord for all those who
have labored in these months to clear away the
rubble, to visit the sick and dying, to comfort the
grieving and to bury the dead. Their goodness,
and the generous aid which came from so many
people throughout the world, are a real sign that
God never abandons us!

be respected, that political and economic policies

be just and inclusive, that opportunities for employment and education be developed, and that
obstacles to the delivery of social services be removed. Our treatment of the poor is the criterion
on which each of us will be judged (cf.Mt25:40,
45). I ask all of you, and all responsible for the
good of society, to renew your commitment to
social justice and the betterment of the poor, both
here and in the Philippines as a whole.
Finally, I would like to say a word of sincere
thanks to the young people present, including
the seminarians and young religious. Many of
you showed heroic generosity in the aftermath of
the typhoon. I hope that you will always realize
that true happiness comes from helping others,
giving ourselves to them in self-sacrifice, mercy
and compassion. In this way you will be a powerful
force for the renewal of society, not only in the
work of restoring buildings but more importantly,
in building up Gods kingdom of holiness, justice
and peace in your native land.
Dear priests and religious, dear families and
friends, in this Cathedral of the Transfiguration
of the Lord let us ask that our lives continue to
be sustained and transfigured by the power of his
resurrection. I commend all of you to the loving
protection of Mary, Mother of the Church. May
she obtain for you, and for all the beloved people
of these lands, the Lords blessings of comfort, joy
and peace. God bless you all!

B4 apostolic journey of pope francis to the philippines

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

CBCP Monitor

Encounter with the Youth

University of Santo Tomas, January 18, 2015

Welcome Message
By Most Rev. Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, DD
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Youth

John Paul Autor

YOUR Holiness,
We thank God for the grace of your visit to us now. The Filipino
youth sees in you as the Good Shepherd showing compassion to
the lambs, especially to the lost, the least and the last. Our young
people comprises majority of our Philippine population. They are
full of innocence and idealism, with creative talents and big dreams
for a better future. We thank you, Holy Father, for believing in
their energy and eagerness, their honesty and hope, that they are
gifts of the Church and treasures for the world.
Some of them experience different forms of poverty, the lack
of basic needs, food, shelter and clothing, becoming victims of
abuse, calamities and conflicts. They see in you as their Father who
listens to their crises, their hopes and their dreams. They have full
trust and confidence in the cross of Christ, as the manifestation
of Gods boundless mercy and compassion. Amidst the different
crosses they bear, they remain religious, faithful and loving sons
and daughters of Holy Mother Church.
As Jesus embraced, blessed and placed his hands on the children,
the Filipino Youth seek your Fatherly blessing and by Gods grace
be renewed in telling the world of His love.
Welcome! Mabuhay ang Santo Papa!

Testimonies from the youth

Trisha Remigio

Mr. Jun Chura

Out of School Youth
Tulay Ng Kabataan Foundation, Inc.
Archdiocese of Manila

They were pretending to give

us money to catch attention
and approach the children and
let them think that they will
be given something to eat, or
the opportunity to study and
care, but the truth is that they
have other goal and they will
use you, like for cleaning their
homes, and sometimes they
have malicious goals like sexual
abuse. There are so many abuses
happening in the street!
After a certain number of
days, suddenly I found back
hope because there is a street
educator from Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation, who asked
me if I want to join this agency
helping children living in the
street. He asked me if I wanted
to join, and at first I decline
the proposal. Few days after,
when I learned that Tulay ng
Kabataan is really taking care
of street children who are not
anymore with their families,
I realized that not all people
have no heart. There are still
people with hearts ready to help
children in need.
When I joined Tulay ng Ka-

to be able to utilize what we have

learned from the University. So, I
challenged myself and other students to do something. Make them
realize that what good is it to know
something but not be able to benefit our country from it especially
at times of calamities.
I told them: What we create does
not have to be high tech. That is
not what innovation is all about.
Innovation is about being able to
change other peoples lives. And so
we did. With the help of experts and
NGOs, sectors of the government
and UST, we were able to make the
portable Solar Light.
However, I didnt want it to end
there. I wanted to be able to share
the technology selflessly. Part of
the project was to be able to teach
the locals to be able to make it on
their own. So instead of just giving
it to them, we taught them how to
make it. For them to appreciate the
value of work and that despite all
these there was still hope and that
no one will be able to help them
recover spiritually but themselves.
It was difficult, time consuming,
out of our comfort zone and even,
to a certain extent, putting our
lives on the line. I was in Davao

with a handful other students when

Yolanda hit. I could still recall the
rumbling of the plane as it landed
on the airport.
Regardless, it was not for us. It
was for these people who already
lost so much. It is also not every
day that you have the opportunity
to help people in a great deal. With
hard work, patience and working together, we were able to do
something even in our capacity as
students. We were able to help not
only several communities such as
Davao, Leyte, Cebu, Laguna, Tarlac, Tondo, Aklan but also parts of
Pakistan and India.
I guess that is what living is all
about. That we are not isolated entities but part of something bigger.
And at times, we may have to leave
everything behind momentarily to
share part of ourselves.

TNK / B7

ily bring, are appreciated by many

as validation. The small amounts
of contentment these distractions
bring are being enough for some
to live-by not considering the fact
that this is in exchange of the unimaginable potentials we could get
if only we are to focus on the things
that matters.
Dear Holy Father, we need help.
We need guidance. We need to learn
to accept that the only validation we
need is the one coming from Him.
In this particular moment, in the
ever changing world, we the students
need our values reassessed.
Reassessing our values as students
is crucial if not the most crucial in
the formation of our being. That in
order to accomplish and live up to
the expectations and responsibility
we have towards the community,
our values must be intact. And these
values can only be best determined
by making effort to hear God. Our
neglect of the teachings of the
church is what attracts and draws
us to distraction. The absence of His

Carl Castillo

Beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis:

Good day! I am Leandro Santos II,
a student of the Faculty of Civil Law,
from the University of Santo Tomas,
Manila. Honored and pleased are
statements that fall short in capturing the emotions that I now feel. I
only wish that the words that I am
about to utter be representative of
the true heart and soul of all the
Filipino Students out there in the
landscape of todays culture.
Holy Father, we, the students of
today, are so fortunate to have the
abundance of information available
before us. Because of the emergence
of the Internet and the boom of social media, information and knowledge has been readily available. The
traditional learning coupled by the
reinforcement provided by technology appears to be so promising
that community expects better and
brighter breeds of students.
Heroes that built nations and

helped shaped the world were born

in a time without all of these supports. If their promising values were
molded in such a time where sources
are limited, society demands that
more heroes should rise up now
due to the amount of support that is
already served in front of us.
But the emergence of information
also caused the emergence of sources
of distraction. The students of today
have more excuses now than our
Filipino heroes had before.
With all of these, there exists
a struggle on the way we use and
process these pieces of information.
A lot of them are going to waste,
many of us are overwhelmed, we
are distracted and our initiatives are
scattered. Despite the advantages we
have, we still feel lost and most of
the time our focus is compromised.
The end purpose of technology,
which is to equip and prepare us
for the future ahead, is greatly challenged. As a young working student
myself, I can personally attest that
the distractions are difficult to
avoid. The pleasures it temporar-

Law / B7

Mr. Rikki Macolor

Electronics Engineer
Yolanda Relief Volunteer
Inventor of Solar Night Light for
Typhoon Yolanda Survivors

Vitorio Flojo

Mr. Leandro Santos II

Civil Law Student, University of
Santo Tomas

Dear Holy Father,

My name is Jun Chura, I am
fourteen years old, and I am a
former street child.
Because of the fact that my
family was not anymore able to
send me to school, I went away
from home and left my family.
Then I was feeding myself
with what I can find in the
garbage. I did not know where
to go and I was sleeping on the
I was looking for a piece of
carton to make a mat. And I
was trying to overcome this
situation even if my body was
so dirty like my companions
in the street. They were also
overcoming their situations in
spite of the fact that their bodies were dirty also.
I did not know also how to
find food day after day, and
what I was doing was just to wait
for people to finish their meal in
restaurant, then I was asking for

their leftover. Also sometimes I

was roaming around just to find
broken material that I could
sell: I was looking for plastic
bottles, or papers and when my
bag was full, I was selling it to
make some money to buy some
food. It happened also that I was
knocking at doors in the neighborhood to beg for food but
often they had nothing to give.
When I was in the street, I
witness also things I dont like,
terrible things that happened to
my companions in the street: I
saw that they were taught how
to steal, to kill also, and they
have no respect anymore for the
adults. Sometimes they were
quarreling because of the things
they stole. I saw also some children who were taught how to
use drugs like shabu, cigarettes
or marijuana.
I saw also some of my companions sniffing solvent or
glue. These are drugs also. This
is what I have often seen happening to my companions in
the street. When I was in the
street I was also very careful
because I saw also some of my
friends being fooled by adults.

Dear Pope Francis,

My name is Rikki Macolor. I
am 29 years old from Manila. I
am a fresh graduate from the Faculty of Engineering, University of
Santo Tomas. It has been over a
year since the Yolanda incident
has happened. However, my body
could still remember the sensations that I felt when I alighted a
cargo plane in Leyte; The stench,
distraught and despair. I started
to question myself if our research
would even have any impact to
any of the communities. I hope it
would. I prayed it would.
Our project was simple: To provide lighting and, somehow, to
also shed some light of hope to the
calamity stricken communities.
It was not high tech and I didnt
expect it to be big. I did neither
dreamt of a flying robot nor a really
fancy gadget. I just wanted to create
something with my colleagues to
be able to help the best way that
we could. Additionally, I wanted

Questions to the Pope:

Dear Pope Francis, how can we be
successful without being blinded by
earthly pursuits? How can we pursue success and prosperity without
being worldly? What more can the
youth do? How can we, especially
the youth, be agents of mercy and

CBCP Monitor

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Apostolic journey of pope francis to the Philippines B5

Marginalized people weep

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at his meeting with the youth
at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on January 18, 2015
DEAR young friends, when I speak spontaneously, I do it in Spanish. No? Because I
dont know the English language. May I do
it? [Applause.] Yes! Thank you very much.
He is Fr. Mark, a good translator.
First of all, theres sad news today: Yesterday as Mass was about to start, a piece
of the scaffolding fell and upon falling, it
hit a young woman who was working in
the area. And she died. Her name is Kristel. She worked for the organization and
preparation for that very Mass. She was 27
years old, young like yourselves. She worked
for [an organization called Catholic Relief
Services], a volunteer worker. I would like all
of you, young like her, to pray for a moment
in silence with me and then we pray to our
[mother], Our Lady in heaven.
Let us pray. [Ave Maria Hail Mary]
Let us also pray for her parents. She was
the only daughter. Her mom is coming from
Hong Kong and her father has come to Manila to wait. [Our Father who art in heaven]
[In English, from t he prepared text:]
It is a joyfor me to be with you this morning. I greet each of you from the heart, and
I thank all those who made this meeting
possible. During my visit to the Philippines,
I wanted in aparticular way to meet with
young people, to listen to you and to talk
with you. I want to expressthe love and the
hopes of the Church for you. And I want to
encourage you, as Christian citizensof this
country, to offer yourselves passionately

question, as Ive said, almost doesnt have a

reply. Only when we too can cry about the
things which youve said are we able to come
close to replying to that question. Why do
children suffer so much? Why do children
suffer? When the heart is able to ask itself
and cry then we can understand something.
There is a worldly compassion which
is useless. You spoke something of this.
A compassion which moreover leads us
to put our hand into the pocket and give
something to someone, to the poor. If Christ
had had that kind of compassion he would
have walked by, greeted three people, and
moved on [returned to the Father]. But it
was only when Christ cried and was capable
of crying, he understood our lives, what is
going on in our lives.
Dear girls, boys, young people, in todays
world there is a great lack of capacity of
knowing how to cry. The marginalized
people weep. Those that are left to one side
are crying. Those who are discarded are crying. But [those of us who live a life more or
less without needs dont know how to cry.]
Certain realities in life we only see through
eyes that are cleansed through our tears.
I invite each one of you here to ask yourself, have I learned how to weep, how to cry?
[When I see a child with hunger, a child on
drugs on the street, a child who doesnt have
a house, a child abandoned, a child abused, a
child used by a society, as a slave]? Unfortunately, there are those who cry because they

of becoming [museum-youth], who have

everything but dont know what to do. We
dont need youth-museums, but we do need
[wise youth]. You might ask me, Father
how do we become [wise]? This is another
challenge. The challenge of love.
Which is the most important subject that
you have to learn in university? What is the
most important subject you have to learn
in life? To learn how to love. This is the
challenge that life offers you: To learn how
to love. Not just accumulating information
without knowing what to do with it. But
through that love, that that information
bear fruit.
And for this the Gospel offers a serene
path and way forward. To use the three languages: the language of the mind, the lan-

selves to the love that wants to come to you,

which causes surprise in us. If you only have
information, then the element of surprise
is gone. Love opens you to surprise and is a
surprise because it presupposes a dialogue
between the two, [between the one loving
and the one being loved.] And we say that
God is a God of surprises because he always
loved us first and he awaits us with a surprise. God surprises us.
Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by
God. Let us not have the psychology of the
computer to think we know it all.
All the responses on the computer screen
but no real surprise. In the challenge of love,
God reveals himself through surprises.
Lets think of St. Matthew, a good financier, and he let people down because he

tant than all the money that Matthew had.

Allow yourselves to be surprised by God.
Dont be frightened of surprises. They shake
the ground from under your feet, and they
make us unsure. But they move us forward
in the right direction. Real love leads you
to spend yourselves in life. [Even with the
risk of finishing with your hands empty].
Let us think of St. Francis. He died with
empty hands, empty pockets, but with a very
full heart. Not youth-museums, but wise
youth. To be wise, use the three languages:
To think well, to feel well and to do well.
And to be wise, allow yourselves to be surprised by the love of God. That is a good life.
Thank you.
And he who came with a good plan to
show us how to go in life was Ricky. With

guage of the heart and the language of the

hands. And the three languages, to use them
in harmony. What you think, you must feel,
and put into effect That information comes
down to your heart and you realize it in real
works. And this, harmoniously. Think what
you feel and what you do. To feel what you
think and do. To do what you think and
what you feel. The three languages.
Can you repeat this? To think, to feel and
to do. [Youth repeat three times] And all of
that, harmoniously.
Real love is about loving and letting
yourselves be loved. [It is more difficult to
let yourselves be loved than to love.] That is
why it is so difficult to come to the perfect
love of God. Because we can love him, but
the important thing is to let yourselves be
loved by him. Real love is opening your-

imposed taxes against his own citizens, the

Jews, to give to the Romans. He was full of
money and charged these taxes. But then
Jesus goes by, looks at him, and said, follow
me. He couldnt believe it.
If you have time, go and see the picture
that Caravaggio painted of this scene. Jesus
calls him and those around him said, This
one? Hes betrayed? Hes no good. And he
holds money to himself. But the surprise
of being loved overcomes him and [he follows Jesus.]
That day when Matthew left his home,
said good-bye to his wife, he never thought
he was going to come back without money,
and concerned about how to have such a big
feast, to prepare that feast for him who had
loved him first, who had surprised Matthew
with something very special, more impor-

all the activities, the multiple facets that

accompany young people. Thank you Ricky,
for what you do, and your friends. But Id
like to ask you Ricky, a question: You and
your friends are going to give. Give help. But
do you allow yourselves to receive? Ricky,
answer in your heart.
In the Gospel we just heard, there is a
beautiful phrase that for me is the most
important of all. The Gospel says that he
looked at the young man, Jesus looked at
him, and he loved him. When one sees a
group of friends, Ricky and his friends, one
loves them much because they do things
that are very good. But the most important
phrase that Jesus says, You lack one thing.
Let us listen to this word of Jesus in
silence. You lack only one thing. You lack

and honestly to the great work of renewing

yoursociety and helping to build a better
In a special way, I thank the young people
who have offered words of welcome to me.
Thank you very much.
And only a very small representation of
females among you. Too little, eh?
[Laughter. Note: There were three young
men who spoke and one young woman,
who accompanied the first speaker, a child
who had been rescued from the street. She
asked the question to the Pope, regarding
the injustices suffered by children such as
prostitution and abandonment, Why is God
allowing such things to happen, even if it
is not the fault of the children? And why
are there only very few people helping us? ]
Women have much to tell us is todays
society. [Applause] Sometimes we are
too machistas and we dont allow room
for the woman, but women are capable of
seeing things from a different angle to us,
with a different eye. Women are able to
pose questions that we men are not able
to understand. Look at this fact today. She
[Glyzelle] is the only one who has posed a
question for which there is no answer. And
she wasnt even able to express it in words,
but rather in tears. So when the next Pope
comes [to Manila], please more girls/women
among the number. [Applause]
I thank you Jun that you have expressed
yourself so bravely. The nucleus of your

want something more. This is the first thing

Id like to say. Let us learn how to weep, as
she has shown us today [indicating the girl
who asked the question]. Let us not forget
this lesson. The great question of why so
many children suffer, she asked crying.
And the great response that we can make
today is, let us learn, really learn how to
weep, how to cry.
Jesus in the Gospel, he cried. He cried for
his dead friend. He cried in his heart for
the family that had lost its daughter. He
cried when he saw the poor widow having
to bury her son. And he was moved to tears,
to compassion when he saw the multitude of
crowds without a pastor. If you dont learn
how to cry, you cant be good Christians.
This is a challenge. Jun and Glyzelle have
posed this challenge to us today. And when
they pose this question to us, why children
suffer, why this and that tragedy occurs in
life, our response must either be silence or
a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous. Dont be frightened of crying.
Then came Leandros Santos II and his
question. He also posed questions. The
world of information. Today with so many
means of communication we are overloaded
with information. And is that bad? No. It
is good and it can help. But there is a real
danger of living in a way of accumulating
information. And we have so much information. But maybe we dont know what to
do with that information. We run the risk

Dominic Barrios

Only when we too can cry about the

things which youve said are we able to
come close to replying to that question.
Why do children suffer so much? Why
do children suffer? When the heart is
able to ask itself and cry then we can
understand something.

Weep / B7

It was a frail child who brought Gods goodness,

mercy and justice into the world
Homily of Pope Francis at the final mass of his Apostolic Journey to the Philippines,
Quirino Grandstand, January 18, 2015
A CHILD is born to us, a son is
given us (Is 9:5). It is a special joy
for me to celebrate Santo Nio
Sunday with you. The image of the
Holy Child Jesus accompanied the
spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed
in the robes of a king, crowned

10:15). The Santo Nio continues

to proclaim to us that the light
of Gods grace has shone upon a
world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom
from slavery, and guiding us in the
paths of peace, right and justice.
The Santo Nio also reminds us

Gods children, members of Gods

family. Today Saint Paul has told
us that in Christ we have become
Gods adopted children, brothers
and sisters in Christ. This is who
we are. This is our identity. We
saw a beautiful expression of this
when Filipinos rallied around our

nance in the Philippines, for it

is the foremost Catholic country
in Asia; this is itself a special gift
of God, a blessing. But it is also a
vocation. Filipinos are called to
be outstanding missionaries of the
faith in Asia.
God chose and blessed us for a

The Christ Child is the protector

of this great country. When he
came into the world, his very
life was threatened by a corrupt
king. Jesus himself needed to
be protected. He had an earthly
protector and an earthly family.

and holding the scepter, the globe

and the cross, he continues to remind us of the link between Gods
Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this
in todays Gospel: Whoever does
not accept the Kingdom of God
like a child will not enter it (Mk

brothers and sisters affected by

the typhoon.
The Apostle tells us that because God chose us, we have been
richly blessed! God has blessed
us in Christ with every spiritual
blessing in the heavens (Eph 1:3).
These words have a special reso-

of our call to spread the reign of

Christ throughout the world.
In these days, throughout my
visit, I have listened to you sing
the song: We are all Gods children. That is what the Santo
Nio tells us. He reminds us of
our deepest identity. All of us are

Dominic Barrios

Santo Nio reminds us of our

deepest identity. All of us are
Gods children, members of
Gods family. In Christ, we have
become Gods adopted children,
brothers and sisters. This is who
we are. This is our identity.

purpose: to be holy and blameless

in his sight (Eph 1:4). He chose
us, each of us to be witnesses of
his truth and his justice in this
world. He created the world as
a beautiful garden and asked us
to care for it. But through sin,
Child / B7

B6 apostolic journey of pope francis to the philippines

CBCP Monitor


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Thanksgiving Message
His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of
Manila, Quirino Grandstand, January 18, 2015
MOST Holy Father,
In the name of the Archdiocese
of Manila, the people who worked
tirelessly for your pastoral visit, and
the Filipinos whom you have been
strengthened in faith these past
days, I once again say Thank You.
I say Maraming Salamat po
(Thank you very much) on behalf
of the street children, the orphans,
the widows, the homeless, the
informal settlers, the laborers, the
farmers, the fisher folk, the sick, the
abandoned elderly, the families of
missing persons, the victims of discrimination, violence, abused, exploitation, human trafficking, the
Filipino migrant workers and their
families, the survivors of natural
calamities and armed conflicts, the
non-Christian Catholics, the followers of non-Christian religions,
the promoters of peace especially
in Mindanao and creation that
groans. We say again, Maraming
salamat po, Santo Padre.

You often end you encounters

with people by saying, I ask you to
pray for me. We promise to pray
for you. But we want to assure you

Romebut to the peripheries,

to the shanties, to prison cells,
to hospitals, to the world of
politics, finance, arts, sciences,
culture, education, and social
communications. We will go to
these worlds to bring the light
of JesusJesus who is the center
of your pastoral visit and the
cornerstone of the Church. We
will go where the light of Jesus
is needed. Here in Luneta, the
Quirino Grandstand, where heroes are revered, newly elected
presidents take office and popes
meet the Filipino faithful, here
in a place of new beginnings,
send us forth as missionaries of
the light. Before you go, Holy
Father, send us to spread the
light of Jesus. Wherever the
light of Jesus shines, you and the
Filipino people will always be
united. Mabuhay, Santo Padre!
Mabuhay si Kristo! Let the light
of Christ shine!

you are blessed. Jesus prays for you.

We your beloved Filipinos unite
ourselves with Jesus in praying for
you to God the Father.

Every Filipino wants to go with

younot to Romebut to the
peripheries, to the shanties, to
prison cells, to hospitals, to the
world of politics, finance, arts,
sciences, culture, education, and
social communications.
that Jesus prays for you. Jesus himself declared to Peter, I have prayed
for you that your own faith may not
fail. (Luke 22:23). Your Holiness,

You arrived in the Philippine three days ago. Tomorrow you will go. Every Filipino
wants to go with younot to

Post-Communion Message
Most Holy Father:
The sun is now setting on Manila Bay.
The romantic poets among us call the Manila Bay sunset view as the most beautiful
sunset in the world. The setting sun ends
the day. The sunset ushers in the twilight.
Some of us are afraid of the sunset as we
are afraid of the dark. But we are not afraid
anymore. In the many days and months
and years ahead, we will always bask in the

lights; we will be the lights of Jesus for Asia

and the world. We will light the world with
the mercy and compassion of Jesus. We will
light the world with the joy of the Gospel.
On behalf of the bishops of the Philippines please receive Most Holy Father our
message of gratitude for celebrating the
fiesta of Santo Nio with us today. We are
a nation of children, beautiful children,
holy children, God-loving children. The

Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, Archbishop of LingayanDagupan, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines, Quirino Grandstand, January 18, 2015

sunrise because you have brought us awesome sunshine to last us many lifetimes.
Holy Father you are our sunshine!
For many days since you came last
Thursday, it has been always sunrise of
smiles for us Filipinos. You have brought
us joy. You have brought us hope. You
brought us warmth. You have brought
us Jesus. When you give us the blessings
tonight, we promise you We will be your

children of the Philippines are our sunshine

too. Children are our happiness. Children
are our hope. Children are our wealth!
We are all children of our loving Father
in heaven.
Thank you for being a child of God with
us, among us. You are our Father. You are
our brother. You are our friend. You are
our inspiration. You are our sunshine! Pope
Francis we love you!

Johann Mangussad

The children of the Philippines are

our sunshine too.
Children are our happiness.
Children are our hope.
Children are our wealth!
We are all children of our loving
Father in heaven.

An estimated 6-7 million people flocked to Luneta Park in Manila to attend the concluding Mass of Pope Francis visit to the Philippines. The faithful were asked
to bring their Santo Nio images to the Eucharistic celebration.

Post-communion Word of Thanks

Jesus is Lord! He will never let
us down. Thank you very much
for that inspiring word most Holy
Father. Praise be Jesus Christ!
And our Blessed Mother to accompany us on this very trying
moment of our life.
Most Holy Father, I would
never have imagined that I would
be able to say these words in this
very place in front of Your Holiness in the presence of so many
pilgrims. We are on Yolanda
ground zero. In this very place
where we are standing on that
fateful day of November 8, 2013,
aside from the more than 300
kilometer-per-hour of howling
winds, storm surge of over 6 meters in height, crushed over the
placed destroying thousands of
homes and killing an enumerable
number of people. Many bodies
were even washed ashore to the
other side of the city across the
Cancabato Bay.
The suffering of our people
defies imagination. Yet in the
midst of pain and suffering it was
our Christian faith that helped us
through. The prayers, solidarity
and the material help from many

people from all over the world

that came the following days
boosted our dropping spirits and
inspired us to move on. That is
why your presence here inspires
me to give praise to God who out
of untold catastrophe has gifted
us with this once in a life time
opportunity to come as one with
you in joyful thanksgiving.
Our deep appreciation for your
presence most Holy Father, you
come in spite of this weather here
in Leyte, the Archdiocese of Palo.
We could hardly express in words
our thanksgiving to you. Let our
unity then on this blessed day,
in this hallowed place be the supreme manifestation of our faith
that inspires one to thank God
and to rejoice always even amidst
trials and tribulations.
We are deeply filled with joy
and consolation that you have
celebrated this Eucharist with us,
this great act of thanksgiving to
God, which is a constant source
of strength and fount of hope in
our Christian life. We know that
you have been with us all this
time since the time when you
knew that we have been hit by a

Analyn Perucho

Archbishop John Du, Archbishop of Palo, Tacloban City, January 17, 2015

Thousands of pilgrims, many of whom stayed overnight at the venue, attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Tacloban
Airport, Jan. 17, 2015.

very strong typhoon. And your

coming here culminates the great
outpouring of spiritual and material assistances from the church
for us. Your Holiness you have
come to us with the fathers compassion and loving concern. And
thus, have brought us to God, the
Father of all. You have also come
as a shepherd of the Lords flock,
and thus has brought us closer to
the Good Shepherd himself. Your
visit strengthens and consoles
us. May your humble presence
among the poor and among us
here gathered with you who have
suffered the tragedy of the super
typhoon ever lead us to the restful
waters of Gods mercy and love.
We will always be grateful.
For, indeed, as the psalmist says
The Lord will not abandon his
people nor will he forsake his
inheritance. Jesus will never let
us down. Thank you. Thank you
very much for that inspiring
and really bring us moving
us forward. And thank you very
much for coming. And you have
just experienced the realidad of
our life here. Thank You. Blessed
be God forever!

CBCP Monitor

Apostolic journey of pope francis to the Philippines B7

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Statement at Departure of Pope Francis

from the Philippines
Gracias Santo Padre!

Johann Mangussad

of Jesus Christ, the joy of the Good

News in your words.
Gracias Santo Padre! We will
never forget these five days. Our
children and their children will
never forget these five days, because we will tell them the stories
of these five grace-filled days and
they will tell them to their children. Your words in our stories
will be imbedded in our and their
hearts; a constant reminder of
the love of Jesus; a voice pricking
our conscience: love the poor,

always have hope amidst trials,

keep faith in the Lord, and pray,
always pray. It is the voice of Jesus
telling us, I am with you and I will
not leave you orphans.
Gracias! Gracias! Thank
Salamat po! Pope Francis sa
pagbisita sa amin. Mahal ka namin! Salamat!
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
CBCP President

Jun Bayot

In Tacloban, Holy Father, your

voice pierced through the rains
and strong winds. From your
heart you intoned, Gracias!, looking up to the dark skies but clearly
to heaven, and your gaze moving
from the people patiently standing in the rain, to the image of
the Blessed Mother tenderly
holding the baby Jesus in her
arms. Gracias!
You thanked the Lord for not
leaving us orphans amidst desperation, loss, misery and pain.
And at that moment we were one
with you in your thanksgiving
to God. But we were also lifting
up our own gratitude to God
for sending you to us. We know
that you, too, will not leave us
orphans. That you will be with
us, suffering with us who are poor,
aged, sick, disabled, deaf, crippled,
abandoned and ignored.
Gracias Santo Padre for your
tenderness as you comforted us
and reassured us that Jesus will
never abandon us.
Gracias Santo Padre for your
warm smile that also came from
your eyes, penetrating our heart,
even our soul. How easily your
smile came when you caught sight
of the people jubilantly gathered
to greet you in the streets, especially, unmindful of the heat, and
in Tacloban and Palo, unmindful
of the rain and wind. How spontaneously did your face brighten at
the sight of the young people and
the children whom you embraced
and carried in your arms.
Gracias Santo Padre for personally showing us the face of mercy
and compassion; the human face

Basilio Sepe

Thank you!

Law / B4

Family / B2

Poor / B1

our spiritual worldliness (cf. Evangelii

Gaudium, 93)?
For us priests and consecrated persons,
conversion to the newness of the Gospel
entails a daily encounter with the Lord in
prayer. The saints teach us that this is the
source of all apostolic zeal! For religious,
living the newness of the Gospel also means
finding ever anew in community life and
community apostolate the incentive for an
ever closer union with the Lord in perfect
charity. For all of us, it means living lives
that reflect the poverty of Christ, whose
entire life was focused on doing the will of
the Father and serving others.
The great danger to this, of course, is a
certain materialism which can creep into
our lives and compromise the witness we
offer. Only by becoming poor ourselves,
by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping
away our complacency, will we be able to
identify with the least of our brothers and
sisters. We will see things in a new light and
thus respond with honesty and integrity to
the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism
of the Gospel in a society which has grown
comfortable with social exclusion, polarization and scandalous inequality.
Here I would like to say a special word
to the young priests, religious and seminarians among us. I ask you to share the joy and
enthusiasm of your love for Christ and the
Church with everyone, but especially with
your peers. Be present to young people
who may be confused and despondent, yet
continue to see the Church as their friend
on the journey and a source of hope.
Be present to those who, living in the

midst of a society burdened by poverty and

corruption, are broken in spirit, tempted to
give up, to leave school and to live on the
streets. Proclaim the beauty and truth of
the Christian message to a society which
is tempted by confusing presentations of
sexuality, marriage and the family. As you
know, these realities are increasingly under
attack from powerful forces which threaten
to disfigure Gods plan for creation and
betray the very values which have inspired
and shaped all that is best in your culture.
Filipino culture has, in fact, been shaped
by the imagination of faith. Filipinos everywhere are known for their love of God,
their fervent piety and their warm devotion
to Our Lady and her rosary. Their love of
God, their fervent piety and their warm
devotion to Our Lady and her rosary. This
great heritage contains a powerful missionary potential. It is the way in which
your people has inculturated the Gospel
and continues to embrace its message (cf.
Evangelii Gaudium, 122). In your efforts
to prepare for the fifth centenary, build on
this solid foundation.
Christ died for all so that, having died in
him, we might live no longer for ourselves
but for him (cf. 2 Cor 5:15). Dear brother
bishops, priests and religious: I ask Mary,
Mother of the Church, to obtain for all
of you an outpouring of zeal, so that you
may spend yourselves in selfless service to
our brothers and sisters. In this way, may
the reconciling love of Christ penetrate
ever more fully into the fabric of Filipino
society and, through you, to the farthest
reaches of the world. Amen.

be living examples of love, forgiveness and

care. Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life
from conception to natural death. What a
gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation!
So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on
the path the Lord traces for each of you.
Finally, the Gospel we have heard reminds us of our Christian duty to beprophetic voicesin the midst of our communities. Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord
and responded to Gods call to care for Jesus
and Mary. In this way he played his part in
Gods plan, and became a blessing not only
for the Holy Family, but a blessing for all
of humanity. With Mary, Joseph served
as a model for the boy Jesus as he grew in
wisdom, age and grace (cf.Lk2:52). When
families bring children into the world,
train them in faith and sound values, and
teach them to contribute to society, they
become a blessing in our world. A family
can become a blessing to the world. Gods
love becomes present and active by the way
of love and by the good works that we do.
We extend Christs kingdom in this world.
And in doing this, we prove faithful to the
prophetic mission which we have received
in baptism.
During this year which your bishops
have set aside as theYear of t he Poor, I
would ask you, as families, to be especially
mindful of our call to be missionary disciples of Jesus. This means being ready to
go beyond your homes and to care for our
brothers and sisters who are most in need.
I ask you especially to show concern for

those who do not have a family of their

own, in particular those who are elderly
and children without parents. Never let
them feel isolated, alone and abandoned,
but help them to know that God has not
forgotten them.
[In Spanish]: I was very moved by t he
Mass today, when I visited t hat t hat
home for children who had no parents.
How many people in t he Church work
so t hat t hat house can become a home,
a family! This is what it means to take
forward prophetically t he mission of
t he family.
You may be poor yourselves in material
ways, but you have an abundance of gifts
to offer when you offer Christ and the community of his Church. Do not hide your
faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into
the world and offer the witness of your
family life!
Dear friends in Christ, know that I pray
for you always! I pray today for the families.
I do it! I pray that the Lord may continue to
deepen your love for him, and that this love
may manifest itself in your love for one
another and for the Church. Dont forget
Jesus sleeping, dont forget Joseph sleeping.
Jesus slept under the protection of Joseph.
Dont forget to sleep is the prayer. Dont
forget the prayer of the family.
Pray often and take the fruits of your
prayer into the world, that all may know
Jesus Christ and his merciful love. Please,
sleep also for me, pray also for me, for I
truly need your prayers and will depend
on them always!
Thank you very much!

guidance makes us weak and vulnerable. It

eventually affects the way we handle information and learning. We need to accept that
it is only by knowing God that we can have
true fulfillment.
I saw this saying once, Values compromise the things that are most important to
us. They are deep-seated pervasive standards
that influence almost every aspect of our
livesfrom the books we read to our religious beliefs. Our values are at the core of
our personality. They influence the choices
we make, the people we trust, the appeals
we respond to and the way we invest our
time and energy. (American Management
To the Filipino students of today, a challenge is confronted before us. Let us see pass
these distractions. Let us fully utilize the gift
of education and have the values that honors
and glorifies our God Almighty. Thank you
and May God bless us all.
Questions to the Pope:
Holy Father, please allow me to ask you
these questions in behalf of all the young
people of the Philippines: in a world where
the youth is exposed to fast internet connection, smart phones, unlimited texting,
instant romantic relationships and busy
lifestyles, how can we take time to stop,
reflect and listen to Gods will? And lastly,
Holy Father, what is true love? In this generation, the definition of true love seems to
lose its meaning. Most of us are engrossed
with what we see in the movies and social
media. How can we find true love in these
modern times?

Child / B5

man has disfigured that natural

beauty; through sin, man has also
destroyed the unity and beauty
of our human family, creating
social structures which perpetuate
poverty, ignorance and corruption.
Sometimes, when we see the
troubles, difficulties and wrongs all
around us, we are tempted to give
up. It seems that the promises of
the Gospel do not apply; they are
unreal. But the Bible tells us that
the great threat to Gods plan for us
is, and always has been, the lie. The
devil is the father of lies. Often he
hides his snares behind the appear-

ance of sophistication, the allure of

being modern, like everyone else.
He distracts us with the promise
of ephemeral pleasures, superficial
pastimes. And so we squander our
God-given gifts by tinkering with
gadgets; we squander our money
on gambling and drink; we turn in
on ourselves. We forget to remain
focused on the things that really
matter. We forget to remain, at
heart, children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have
their own wisdom, which is not the
wisdom of the world. That is why
the message of the Santo Nio is so

important. He speaks powerfully

to all of us. He reminds us of our
deepest identity, of what we are
called to be as Gods family.
The Santo Nio also reminds
us that this identity must be
protected. The Christ Child is the
protector of this great country.
When he came into the world, his
very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus himself needed to
be protected. He had an earthly
protector: Saint Joseph. He had
an earthly family, the Holy Family
of Nazareth. So he reminds us of
the importance of protecting our

families, and those larger families

which are the Church, Gods family,
and the world, our human family.
Sadly, in our day, the family all too
often needs to be protected against
insidious attacks and programs
contrary to all that we hold true
and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.
In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes
children, he embraces them and
blesses them (Mk 10:16). We too
need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping
them to build a society worthy of
their great spiritual and cultural

to him, to Jesus who came among

us as a child. May he enable all the
beloved people of this country to
work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building
a world of justice, integrity and
peace. May the Santo Nio continue to bless the Philippines and
to sustain the Christians of this
great nation in their vocation to
be witnesses and missionaries of
the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and
in the whole world.
Please pray for me! God bless
you all!

TNK / B4

Weep / B5

only one thing. [Youth repeat] What

is it that I lack? To all who Jesus
loves so much, I ask you, do you
allow others to give you from their
riches to you who dont have those
riches? The Sadducees, the doctors
of the law, in the time of Jesus, gave
much to the people, the law, they
taught them. But they never allowed
the people to give them something.
Jesus had to come to allow himself
to feel compassion, to be loved. How
many young people among you are
there like this? You know how to
give and yet you havent yet learned
how to receive. You lack only one
thing: [In English] Become a beggar. Become a beggar to become

heritage. Specifically, we need to

see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected.
And we need to care for our young
people, not allowing them to be
robbed of hope and condemned to
life on the streets.
It was a frail child, in need of
protection, who brought Gods
goodness, mercy and justice into
the world. He resisted the dishonesty and corruption which are the
legacy of sin, and he triumphed
over them by the power of his
cross. Now, at the end of my visit
to the Philippines, I commend you

a beggar. This is what you lack. To

learn how to beg. And to those to
whom we give.
This isnt easy to understand. To
learn how to beg. To learn how to
receive [from the humility of those
we help]. To learn to be evangelized
by the poor. Those we help. The
infirm, the orphans. They have so
much to offer us. Have I learned
how to beg also for that? Or do I
feel self-sufficient, and I am only
going to offer something. You give
and think that you have no need
of anything. Do you know that
you too are poor? Do you know
your poverty and the need that you
receive? Do you let yourselves be

evangelized by those you serve, let

them give to you? And this is what
helps you mature in your commitment to give to the others. To learn
how to offer your hand from your
very own poverty.
There were some points that I
had prepared.
To learn how to love and to learn
how to be loved. There is a challenge
which is a challenge of integrity.
[In English, returning to his
text:] This is not only because this
country, more than many others,
is likely to beseriously affected by
climate change.
There is the challenge, the concern for the environment. And

finally, the challenge of the poor.

[ Spanish:] To love the poor.
[Your bishops want you to look
upon t he poor in a special way
t his year.] Do you think of the
poor. Do you feel with the poor,
do something for the poor. And do
you ask the poor that they might
give you the wisdom that they have?
This is what I wished to tell you
all today. Sorry, I havent read what
I prepared for you. [But t here is a
phrase t hat consoles me]: Reality
is superior to ideas. And the reality
that [you have proposed] that you all
have is superior to the paper I have
in front of me.
Thank you very much.

bataan Foundation, I was very

surprised to see that there are
people really ready to help and
then I started to dream again.
I told myself that when I will
finish my study, I will be the
one helping street children like
me before.
I will be able also to help my
own family and the Tulay ng
Kabataan Foundation which
w a s the o n e hel p i n g me t o
continue my study.
I know today that I will be
able to continue my study because TNK is at my side, and
do not stop helping me and my
companions from the street.

Thank you so much!

Questions to the Pope by
Glyzelle Palomar
Dear Holy Father, I now want
to ask you these questions: there
are many children neglected by
their own parents. There are also
many who became victims and
many terrible things happened to
them like drugs or prostitution.
Why is God allowing such things
to happen, even if it is not the
fault of the children? And why
are there only very few people
helping us? (The girl broke into
tears and proceeded to hug t he
Holy Fat her)

B8 apostolic journey of pope francis to the philippines

Buhay Parokya

January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

CBCP Monitor

Look for the image of the Holy Cross, Dove and Chalice.
(Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

The Cross

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

CBCP Monitor. Vol. 19. No. 2

January 19 - February 1, 2015

Popes Visit rekindles our

faith K of C Philippines
We felt emotional as Pope Francis
was shown leaving the Nunciature
on his way to the Mall of Asia
Arena. I thought, finally the long
wait is about to end and meeting
him would soon be a reality. As his
entourage gets nearer the Arena, the
feeling of ecstasy reverberated both
inside and outside of the Arena. The
roar of the crowd gets louder and
louder and much louder everytime
his face is shown on the screen with
that infectious smile. A smile that
somehow eases whatever pain that
aches us, whatever problem that
stresses us and whatever it is that
worries us.
AS shared by Brother Arsenio Isidro
G. Yap, President of the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Association of
the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) and
at the same time, the incumbent
Luzon Deputy of the Order of the
Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, this was what he felt during
his encounter with the Pope.
Yap together with his wife attended the Popes Meeting with
Families at the Mall of Asia Arena
last January 16. He added that the
Popes Visit gave them hope and
strengthened their faith a hundred
if not a thousand fold.
Lets Hope and Pray that Pope
Francis visit will make us a nation
that is not only strong in faith but
is also able to show Mercy and
Compassion to the least of our
brethren, Yap cited.
There were 15 slots given to the
Knights of Columbus for the Meeting with Families.
The couple delegates were Brother Arsenio Isidro G. Yap and wife
Ana Maria R. Yap; Alonso L. Tan,
KCFAPI Chairman/Supreme Director and wife Teresita H. Tan; Raoul
A. Villanueva, State Secretary and
wife Araceli T. Villanueva; and Ma.
Theresa G. Curia, KCFAPI Executive
Vice President and husband Harry
R. Curia.
Other individual delegates were
Joseph P. Teodoro, State Treasurer;
Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., State Advocate; Pascual C. Carbero, State Warden; Bonifacio B. Martinez, State
Membership Director; Ramoncito
A. Ocampo, State Program Director; Vicente V. Ortega, State Church
Director; and Teodulo C. Sandoval,

District Deputy A-15.

In his speech addressed to the
families, Pope Francis said: During
this year which your bishops have
set aside as the Year of the Poor,
I would ask you, as families, to be
especially mindful of our call to be
missionary disciples of Jesus. This
means being ready to go beyond
your homes and to care for our
brothers and sisters who are most

in need.
His Holiness asked every Filipino
Family to show concern for those
who do not have their own, in particular those who are elderly and
children without parents.
Never let them feel isolated,
alone and abandoned, but help them
to know that God has not forgotten
them, Pope Francis said.

KCFAPI joins the nation in welcoming Pope Francis

Employees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the
Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) waited
for the coming of Pope Francis
with much anticipation as early as
November of last year when the Association first welcomed the media
and information committee to its
Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Memorial

Building to serve as the Media and

Information General Headquarters
for the Papal Visit.
Hence, as expected, KCFAPI employees along with their families
marched to the different locations
included in the Popes itinerary to
take part in this momentous event.
It [encounter with the Pope] was
so magical. I cannot explain the feeling I had when I saw the Pope, said

KCFAPI Executive Vice President

Ma. Theresa G. Curia.
Curia, who is also the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI)
Diocesan Regent cited the value of
Charity as one of the learning she
obtained from the Popes message,
The act of giving changes your
life. You feel helping yourself when
you give.
Rekindles / C3

Pope Francis Brings Message of Love and Faith Congratulations Ms.

Carmelita Bong Ruiz!
At the concluding Mass of his five-day trip to
the Philippines, before a crowd of some 6 million
participants, Pope Francis said, All of us are Gods
children, members of Gods family. He urged
Filipinos to build a just society at home and serve
as missionaries of love and peace throughout Asia.
Despite the hardships of poverty and social
exclusion being suffered by many, the Philippine
people are blessed by their faith, the pope said in his
homily at the Mass offered in Manilas Rizal Park
on Sunday, Jan. 18. Under a light but steady rain,
the faithful packed shoulder to shoulder into the
park and spread out along surrounding streets as
far as the eye could see.
The Mass was the final public event of Pope
Francis first trip to the Philippines, which included
meetings with the clergy, religious, government officials, diplomats, families and youth. He also made
a trip to Tacloban City in the central portion of the
country, which is still recovering from the effects
of a devastating typhoon that hit the province in
November 2013.
With more than 332,000 members in the
Love and Faith / C3

KCFAPI, Knights of Columbus hold Eucharistic

Adoration for papal visit
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI) together with the Order
of the Knights of Columbus held a
Eucharistic Adoration novena exactly
nine days before the Popes arrival to
the Philippines.
The Eucharistic Adoration Novena
was held from Jan. 7 to 15, 2015, from
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Fr. George
J. Willmann, SJ Memorial Bldg. chapel
located inside the KCFAPI Center in
Intramuros, Manila, where the Media
and Information Headquarters of the
papal visit can also be found.

Catholic Bishops Conference of

the Philippines Media Office director
and Papal Visit Accreditation and Media Sub-Committee head, Msgr. Pedro
Quitorio III who also happens to be
KCFAPIs spiritual director initiated
the said activity.

Successful papal visit

He explained that the purpose of
the novena, which is sponsored by
the Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI), is to pray for the success of
Adoration / C3

Various organizations and individuals attended the Eucharistic Adoration novena

conducted by the KCFAPI and K of C in preparation for the Papal Visit. Yen Ocampo

KCFAPI Underwriting Manager,

Ms. Carmelita S. Ruiz was elected as
the new President of the Home Office Life Underwriters Association
of the Philippines (HOLUAP) for the
year 2015 during their recently held
General Assembly in Makati City.
The said organization is composed of field underwriters from
various companies in the Philippines and is directed in the development and promotion of sound underwriting principles and concepts

through educational
conferences and
lectures in
accordance with applicable laws and
ethical norms.
Congratulations Ms. Bong! We
are so proud of you! (KC News)

Hall of Fame Awardee,

Dr. Ruperto Somera!
THE Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) National Board of Directors
awarded DR. RUPERTO P. SOMERA the prestigious
the 69th PICPA Annual National Convention held
last November 27, 2014 at the Waterfront Hotel,
Cebu City.
This is PICPAs highest award given to a CPA who has devoted in a significant and outstanding manner a major part of his life to the promotion and
advancement of the accountancy profession in the Philippines.
The following are the most significant factors considered for granting Dr.
Somera the said prestigious award:
- He has always been actively involved in PICPA events either as Chair of
a committee, lecturer or participant. He is also an author of books, research
papers and modules.
- For 41 years now, he has conducted lectures for PICPA chapters, ACPAE,
ACPACI and ACPAPP for which he constantly earned Excellent ratings.
- He continues to be a very active member of GARCA for so many years
now and never failed to participate in the evaluation of reports of chapters,
regions and GAOs to check on their respective compliance and achievements.
- He served many times as Director for Education in the PICPA National
Board, a position requested of him by the education sector as he is strongly
considered as a staunch supporter and defender of the accounting educators.
- He is an internationally renowned tax practitioner, advisor, and fellow
Awardee / C3


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Alonso L. Tan

Ma. Theresa G. Curia

Chairmans Message

Curia Settings

New Year Message

First of all, I would like to greet everyone a
Happy, Prosperous and Productive New Year
this 2015. Once again, the year has started and
most of us are preoccupied with our New Years
Resolutions that we all hope will usher in a new
beginning for an improved and much better life
for each of us.
With this common tradition, one is expected
to list down his or her ambitious goals/ promises
to be achieved during the next twelve months.
We can all easily declare to one another our
respective New Year resolutions, but the crucial point here is if we will be able to
seriously accomplish and maintain these personal goals or promises during the
whole year. To answer this, we have to honestly evaluate the level of discipline
and commitment that we will personally demand from ourselves.
How many percent of those who proudly declared their New Years Resolutions at the start of January actually remember to evaluate themselves in the
second half of the year to honestly check if they indeed accomplished their
personal targets?
Of course, we must admire those who are so disciplined and committed that
they are able to fulfill their resolutions even long before the year ends. The key
to success for them are their wholehearted commitment and non-negotiable
discipline and resolve to reach their goals.
For 2015, KCFAPIs Corporate Theme is: KCFAPI Cares!! It is the Associations
resolve for this Year of the Poor that KCFAPI will help, not only its Brother
Knights of Columbus and their families, but extend its service and assistance
especially to those who are in dire need - regardless if they are part of the K of
C Order or not.
Let us all help KCFAPI transcend its normal operational boundaries to reach
out to our underprivileged countrymen and neighbors. This is the New Years
resolution of our Association for 2015. Let us therefore help one another
maintain and preserve a high level of discipline and commitment to pursue and
complete whatever various projects will be lined up. We also need to be aware of
how each of us can contribute towards attaining our corporate goal of showing
how KCFAPI cares. Once awareness is established, we can then help and guide
each other in fulfilling our respective roles.
Let us therefore remember that 2015 consists of twelve full months and we
must ensure that we remain persistent and faithful until the very end of December 2015 to the goals we set this New Year.
Finally, the Knights of Columbus and the KCFAPI group of companies
warmly welcome His Holiness, Pope Francis in His Papal Visit to our country
from January 15 19, 2015. We are truly inspired by His Holy Presence and His
wholehearted mercy, compassion and love for the poor. We are all very grateful
that we will experience seeing and being with Pope Francis in the various activities that He will grace during his four-day papal visit.
Vivat Jesus!

Today I Begin
THE New Year is a beautiful symbol. It is a symbol
that if we enter into it, it becomes true to us and
for us. As a symbol, it tells us something and even
leads us to do or become what it tells us.
It symbolizes newness. Because it is new, it
signals the end of the old. We accept that we have
to leave behind something of the past and move
on to something different. Its newness brings in
fresh air, fresh ideas, fresh spirit. But it requires
a readiness to leave behind, end, cut clean from
old ways to give in to new approaches, attitudes,
It speaks of beginnings. It demands political
will to start something different. We cannot escape from the shadows of the past if we cling to old
ways of doing things; if we are lazy to start anew.
Why do many people light firecrackers and
rejoice at the blinding light and deafening sound
of New Year? They say these frighten the evil
spirits that lurk over us. They stop the monsters
and dark energies from entering our lives and
our surroundings.
However, more powerful than the firecrackers are our resolve to put an end to bad habits,
vices, addictions be they things, substances or
relationships that poison our lives. What drives
the evil spirits away from our own spirit is our
decision to change. But the real champion against
evil in our lives, is Grace, the Indwelling of the
Spirit in our lives.
So perhaps the New Year should invite us to
be more present to the God who is within us. The

IT was 20 years ago during the last visit of a Pope to

the Philippines. It was Pope John Paul II who visited
us then and made history when he attracted more
than five million at a mass he celebrated at Luneta
on January 15, 1995 during the World Youth Day
Celebration. I was then part of a four-man team that
served as part of the water brigade of the Knights
of Columbus-Luzon. We were tasked by then Luzon
Deputy Dr. Alfredo V. Silva to take care of the water
distribution, one of several committees that served
for Pope John Paul IIs visit.
Our Chairman then was Paeng Tan of Bulacan; Logistical support was
handled by Jack Joaquin also from Bulacan, the incumbent Assistant to the
Luzon Deputy; Carling Rances of Quezon City handled Finance and was directly in-charge and responsible in the solicitation of One Million Pesos for
the purchase of purified water for the Luneta attendees; and I, who was not
even a State Officer was in-charge of the Volunteers in the water distribution.
I was also the Liaison Officer at that time who would coordinate our activities
with government agencies handling the Popes Visit.
We were so successful and so coordinated that we became like friends for a
lifetime. Sad to note Carling is no longer around while Paeng Tan is no longer
a knight nor a Catholic. But Jack and I are still around still enjoying working
together for the good of the Order.
It was not my first encounter though with a pope visiting the Philippines.
Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the Philippines and my chance encounter with him was at the grounds of the University of Santo Tomas (UST)
in 1970 when I was in my third year high school. His entourage was cruising
along Quezon Drive from the Espaa Gate and the crowd was not that heavy
then. I was so mesmerized when his gaze wandered in my direction. Thats
why I felt I was the only person around when he gazed at me and imparted
his blessings. The feeling was of absolute ecstasy. His deep set eyes seem
to penetrate into my very soul. I cannot explain the feeling nor can I fully
comprehend what happened to me. I felt so blessed. I felt so lucky. It was a
wonderful overwhelming feeling.
I was not fortunate enough to see Pope John Paul II whether by choice or
by chance during his first visit to the Philippines in 1981. I could not even
remember why I failed to do so.
I was given a second chance to see Pope John Paul II during the 15th World
Youth Day held in Rome in August of 2000. The pilgrimage I joined was organized by LAIKO wherein we had about 500 delegates, the biggest delegation
from the Philippines.
The third Pope I was fortunate to see was Pope Francis. I was a part of the 15
official delegates of the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction fortunate
enough to be at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena for the Encounter with the
Families. Eight of us were seated directly at the entrance gate of the MOA
Arena where Pope Francis entered at around 5:30 PM of January 16, 2015 to
meet with the families. The Arena has a capacity of about 20,000. Sad to say
20,000 or more people were seated in the open parking space beside the arena
under the heat of the sun and under the threat of rain. Patiently they waited
for the Popes arrival.
Most of the delegates at the Arena and at the parking space started to arrive
as early as 6 in the morning. Our delegation left the assembly place at around
9 am and arrived at the Arena an hour later. At that time, the gates wont be
opened until 11 but the queue started to get longer. There were around 200
people ahead of us or so we thought. When the gates were opened and our lines
started to move, we realized that we were at around 5,000th in line as the queue
was snaking around the grounds adjacent to the gate of the Arena.
We felt emotional as Pope Francis was leaving the Nunciature as shown
on live video, that finally the long wait is about to end and meeting him
would soon be a reality. As his entourage gets nearer the Arena, the feeling
of ecstasy reverberated both inside and outside of the Arena. The roar of
the crowd gets louder and louder and much louder everytime his face is
shown on screen with that infectious smile. A smile that somehow eases
whatever pain that aches us, whatever problem that stresses us and whatever
it is that worries us.
There were three families who shared their story to Pope Francis and to
those in attendance. The first one was the Dizon Family who talked about
poverty, how difficult life was for them but still had the time to serve their
church because of their strong faith in the Lord. The second was the Pumaradas Family whose breadwinner had to leave the Philippines to seek greener
pasture and earn enough for his family. Prayers were their weapon to help
them survive the many problems and difficulties that are usually being
encountered by migrant families. Third was the Cruz Family who shared
their very difficult situation as both husband and wife are deaf mutes. The
father told his story in sign language which was interpreted by one of the
daughters. All their children were born without hearing impairment. Theyre
very thankful that the Lord has pulled them through such a very difficult
situation to raise a family.
One gets emotional as each family unfold their life stories. One cannot help
but realize how difficult life must be for the three families. The feeling of empathy was in the air and many had shed a tear or two as their stories were told.
The Popes Visit gave us Hope and strengthened our faith a hundred if not a
thousand fold. Lets Hope and Pray that Pope Francis visit will make us a nation
that is not only strong in faith but is also able to show Mercy and Compassion
to the least of our brethren.

Emmanuel whose birth we just celebrated never

leaves us. But we are the ones who forget that we
are in his holy presence.
As soon as we learn to live in the shadows of the
Holy Spirit hovering over us, how can we be slaves
to the toxic, the negative energies, the crooked
vision? If God is with us, who can be against us?
We know this truth, yet it takes us a long time to
conform to it.
Every New Year signals to us the possibility of wanting to start anew on the right track.
St. Augustine taught us the prayer: Now I begin.
Year after year, we like to live in the presence
of God so that we do not make many mistakes.
But we progress very slightly as the years go by.
However, we console ourselves by saying that we
will not get tired, even if we see that we get better
only little by little.
How do we know that there is progress no
matter how slight it may be? When we become
conscious that only God is the Only Absolute in
our life. When at night before we fall asleep we
remember whom we have hurt, whom we ignored,
whom we have taken for granted. And then we
whisper Im Sorry.
We know the Spirit of God comes as we find
hope and new strength to go on, even if our work,
projects, our relationships pass through dark
moments and bottle necks. When we do not get
totally discouraged; when we do not get despondent nor depressive moods despite the setbacks
and contradictions, despite the conflicts and

seemingly endless woes and failures..

If we can trust that tomorrow will be better
than yesterday and today, then perhaps this Hope
is from Above. Then perhaps this is the meaning
of Emmanuel... God is with us. And everyday we
can trustingly say: Today I begin.
We thank the Lord Almighty for a successful
2014. Once again, KCFAPI is able to deliver and
even surpass its targets. It is on its 57th year of
successful operations and we are counting on its
60th birthday in 2018.
KCFAPI begins 2015 with the Theme: KCFAPI
Cares. The Churchs declaration of the Year of
the Poor in 2015 and the inspiration from Pope
Francis are big driving forces for KCFAPIs choice
of this theme. This highlights its thrust towards
helping also the poor, to sacrifice and live a simple
life, to experience real change spiritually, and
in the course to practice humility. What sets
KCFAPI apart from others in terms of helping
the poor is its Spiritual or Religious desire to
help. Our conviction is to be able to extend help
in its entirety, beyond the physical state of an
individual. We pray that the Lord continue to
shower us with the Graces that we need to be able
to deliver the best for His Glory. (The author,
Sis. Ma. Theresa G. Curia is the Executive Vice
President & COO of the Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(KCFAPI) and is also the Diocesan Regent of the
Daughters of Mary Immaculate International
(DMII) Diocese of Malolos.)

Michael P. Cabra

My Brothers Keeper

Enjoy life more this 2015!

Arsenio Isidro G. Yap

Presidents Message

The Cross

NOW that the New Year parties and

celebrations are finished lets take
a look at the following common
Spend more time with friends
and family
Improve fitness
Lose weight
Quit smoking
Enjoy life more
Lets tackle the last resolution enjoy life more. Perhaps you might
enjoy life, just a little more, knowing
that your loved ones would be taken
cared of, financially, no matter what
happens. With this in mind and
knowing that this time of the year is
popular for people getting an additional insurance protection, here are
the top ten tips and points so you can
easily avail of an insurance policy, to
help you achieve your resolution. We,
at KCFAPI, insurance policy is termed
as Benefit Certificate (BC).
Top 10 tips in availing a Benefit
Certificate (BC) with KCFAPI

Who should get a BC?

Every Brother Knight and his

family members with human economic value should have a BC. If
you value life but you do not have
an insurance coverage, well think
again. Does anyone rely on you
for financial support? If so, life
insurance will help to protect their
financial well being. Do you have
a mortgage, car loan or any other
outstanding debts? If so, a benefit
certificate can provide a way to
take care of these outstanding bills,

along with others like medical expenses, funeral expenses, legal fees
and taxes. Do you own a business?
If so, you are liable for the debts
your business owes. Your personal
assets could be liquidated to pay
these debts, which could leave little
for your family. Do you want to
leave money to an institution? You
can use benefit certificate to leave
money to your favourite charity.

How long will you need a BC


Who would you like to insure?

What type of BC plan do you


If you are single, you can get a BC

for your own life and for the life of
your parents. If you are married, you
can get a BC for yourself, your spouse
and your children.

What would you like your Benefit Certificate to achieve?

Some of the things a BC can
take care of include: pay funeral
expenses, pay outstanding balances
on your mortgage and other debts,
offset the loss of your income for a
period of time, and/or contribute
to the future education of your

How much BC do you need?

Well, that will depend on what

you would like your BC to accomplish. As a result, there is no onesize fits all answer. However, your
friendly Fraternal Counselor can
help. He will help you estimate how
much life insurance youll need to
have in order to ensure that your
family, loved ones and your debts
are looked after in the event of your
untimely demise.

Again, this is often determined

by what you would like your BC
to achieve. You can estimate the
timing of your BC needs by asking
yourself questions like: When will my
mortgage be paid off, when will my
children finish school, and when will I
retire? Again, your friendly Fraternal
Counselor (FC) can offer guidance.

There are two kinds of life insurance: term and permanent. Term
life insurance offers protection for
a set period of time, usually 10 to 20
years; while permanent insurance
provides a lifetime of protection.
Term insurance is more affordable
than permanent insurance, offering
you an opportunity to get a large
amount of coverage at a lower cost.
Permanent life insurance on the
other hand is more expensive than
term, as it offers lifetime coverage
along with possible savings and
maturity options.

What medical information will

you need to provide to obtain
your BC?
Typically, the more medical information you provide, the better
the price. A BC that asks few or no
medical questions will likely be
far more expensive than a BC that
asks for your medical information.
Plus, depending on your age and the
amount of coverage you want, you
could be asked to provide blood or

urine samples. For these, KCFAPI will

not charge you any cost.

What are the renewal options

and requirements of the BC?
Council Mortuary Benefit Plan
(CMBP) is one good example of a
group term plan. It is renewable
until you reach the age of 75. If your
council failed to renew it on time, you
lose certain significant benefit. For
2015, all CMBP Contracts should be
renewed on or before January 31 only.
Check with your council officers if
you have renewed your CMBP contract already.

What are the conversion options and restrictions of the BC?

As your life changes, when you
reach 75, you may want to convert
your CMBP from term to permanent. When you purchase your BC,
find out if there are any limitations
for conversion, like age or into what
type of permanent policy you can
convert to - the fewer limitations the
better. Still, getting an additional BC
is highly recommended.

What will the cost be?

Well that depends on the individual. The best way to get the cheapest
rate is to get it at an early age. If you
are charged with a high contribution
rate due to poor health or old age, getting a BC for your children is the next
best option. I am sure, they will make
your life more enjoyable anyway.
Heres to an enjoyable life to you
and your loved ones in 2015. Vivat

Roberto T. Cruz

Touching Base with the Foundations

A More Significant 2015

A HAPPY and Prosperous New Year to everyone!!!
2015 has been dubbed by the Catholic Church
as the Year of the Poor and our two KC Foundations have resolved to adopt a more proactive
approach for the coming year. Actually, KCFAPI, our Foundations parent entity initiated this
process when it formulated its 2015 corporate
theme, KCFAPI CARES in support of the Year of
the Poor. As part of its implementation of this
theme, the KCFAPI Board allowed more flexibility and leeway for the two Foundations, both
the KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the
Knights of Columbus Fr. George J. Willmann
Charities, Inc. by approving last December
2014 the lifting of the prescribed restriction on 50% of its 2015 donations to both
Foundations. Traditionally, KCFAPI donations
cannot be spent and only its earnings together
with dividends are earmarked for scholarship
grants to Priests and Seminarians as well as to
Collegiate students.
With this development, the Executive Committees of both KCPFI and KCFGJWCI approved
a joint Plans and Programs for 2015 for their
respective Foundations that will utilize the
KCFAPI-approved Lifting of Restrictions to
implement various projects in support of the
Year of the Poor.
This January 2015, one such project, the K
of C BAHAYNIHAN (A Fr. Willmann Housing
Project) is nearing completion by month-end
where KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. will

award sturdy, typhoon-resistant BAHAYNIHAN houses made of bricks and cement in

Tacloban, Leyte to six (6) certified Yolanda
victims all of whose houses were totally destroyed. A joint endeavor among KCPFI, the
beneficiaries and Lego Builders, Inc. (LBI),
KCPFI provides 83% of total capital funding for
each BAHAYNIHAN house while the beneficiaries will be responsible for the remaining 17%
as their equity contribution. Lego Builders, on
the other hand, provides all the materials and
labor at a subsidized amount for each 20sqm.
BAHAYNIHAN house. The Project was also targeted to be a visible evidence during the Papal
visit of the K of C, KCFAPI and KCPFIs common commitment to help calamity victims in
Leyte. Unfortunately, construction timetables
were adversely affected by typhoons Ruby and
Seniang, an unprogrammed Yuletide break and
most recently, typhoon Amang.
With the Foundations more determined
approach to be an effective implementing arm
for the projects for the poor, KCFAPI officers
and possibly even retirees and BC holders will
have more formal roles in the operations of the
Foundations that will allow decentralization and
more focus to be given for the implementation
of various projects during the year.
To ensure available funding for projects for
the poor, different fund-raising activities have
already been lined up for the whole 2015. These
include: a Charity Cruise by the Bay; a Charity Birthday Ball in honor of Luzon Deputy

and KCFAPI President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap;

Bingo Socials; a Tax Seminar, a Fun Run and a
Fr. Willmann Charity Dinner and solicitation
of year-round donations for the use of KCFAPI
Scholarship grants, however, will still remain
as the main thrust of both Foundations. To augment existing funds for scholarships, key K of C
personalities will be approached to sponsor five
(5) Professorial Chair grants. At the same time,
the continuous search for new Fr. Willmann
Fellows will be pursued for which an updated
scheme for Fellows will be formulated.
2015 promises to be an exciting and ambitious year for our Foundations as well as the
whole KCFAPI group of companies in pursuit
of the theme: KCFAPI CARES during this Year
of the Poor. Let us all join hands to welcome the
socially-relevant challenges we have set for this
year. To this end, we can all give our own personal
contributions, whether these are in the form of
monetary donations, our individual time and
physical effort coupled with sincere prayers for
the success of each well-intentioned project.
Let us all help make our Foundations more
meaningful and relevant especially to our poor
brothers. We all have been blessed with the
recently-concluded papal visit of our beloved
Pope Francis! Let us heed his call for Mercy and
Compassion by helping and participating in the
noble activities and projects of the Foundations!
Please make 2015 a truly significant year for all
of us! Happy New Year!

The Cross


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

Great Expectations
As we look to the New Year and beyond, we recall Father McGivneys vision for the Knights of Columbus
By SK Carl A. Anderson
DURING his 2008 visit to the United
States, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of
the missionary spirit of Catholics in
19th-century America who have, he
said, left us a lasting legacy of faith
and good works. In his homily at
New Yorks St. Patricks Cathedral,
he singled out Venerable Michael
McGivney as an exemplary priest
whose life embodied the unity
of vision and purpose and selfsacrifice that led to the impressive
growth of Catholicism in North
Last August, in his message to our
Supreme Convention, Pope Francis
similarly recalled, In the complex
social and ecclesial situation of late
19th-century America, the vocation
of the laity found particular expression in principles of faith, fraternity
and service that guided the establishment of the Knights of Columbus
and the fraternal spirit inculcated
by Father Michael McGivney.

Given the extraordinary situation

of the Catholic community today, it
is easy to forget the hardships that
Catholics faced in Father McGivneys
day. In his world, Catholics were
mostly an immigrant population,
often the victims of violence and
bigotry, and generally offered the
lowest paying and most dangerous
jobs. Men, women and children were
all expected to work often in factories, as did young Michael McGivney.
There was no social safety net, and
educational opportunities were few.
In founding the Knights of Columbus, Father McGivney sought
to respond in both a temporal and
spiritual way to this crisis affecting
Catholic family life. This was not an
abstract crisis; it was one that he had
experienced firsthand.
As a child, McGivney saw six of
his 12 siblings die as young children.
Later, the death of his father caused
him to suspend seminary studies for
a time. His two brothers followed
his example and entered seminary,

and as a young priest, he witnessed

the challenges that his mother confronted as a single parent who had to
raise a family by herself.
As an associate pastor at St. Marys
Church in New Haven, Conn., Father
McGivney daily confronted the
problems affecting the families of
his parish arising from poverty,
violence, substance abuse, prejudice,
discrimination and unemployment.
With creative genius and determination, he responded to this situation
with a variety of pastoral initiatives.
He developed practical programs to
reach out to youth, raised funds to
assist widows and orphans, and spent
many hours in prison ministry.
In addition, he also found time to
engage in a respectful but effective
ecumenical dialogue with Protestants efforts that led to at least
one very publicized conversion to
Of course, he also responded
to this situation by empowering
generations of Catholic laymen to

support the practical Catholic life of

their families and parishes by founding the Knights of Columbus.
As Pope Francis reminded us, The
fidelity of the Knights to these high
ideals of Father McGivney, and to
what we might say is his way of living the Christian life, has ensured
the continued vitality of [the] Order.
This fidelity, the pope added, has
also contributed, and continues to
contribute, to the mission of the
Church at every level and, in particular, to the universal ministry of
the Apostolic See. And for this the
pope said he is profoundly grateful.
As we begin the New Year, we
look forward to 2015 with great
expectations. Already we have been
preparing for the upcoming World
Meeting of Families in Philadelphia,
not only with financial and volunteer support, but also with our new
program, Building the Domestic
Church: The Family Fully Alive (see
page 14). Throughout 2015 and into
the future, we will reach out in a very

The Gentle Warrior

By James B. Reuter, SJ
Part XV of Chapter One of The Gentle Warrior series


4. Woodstock, Maryland

WILLIAM Willmann was terribly upset by the

death of his wife. But he married again, later. The
girl named in Georges letter Elsie was the woman
he married. The six children did not approve of this
wedding. Dorothy, years later, expressed regret for
their lack of charity to their father.
Ed and George became very close, later. Ed was
sickly, and died in 1965.
The four years of Novitiate were beautiful in
many ways, but stormy and painful. There were
storms and pain in the soul of George Willmann.
But that is how a warrior is trained for battle. He
learns how to live in the rain.

George Willmann travelled by train from

Saint Andrews on the Hudson, in Poughkeepsie,
to Woodstock College in Woodstock, Maryland.
There he studied philosophy, for three years, from
September of 1919 until June of 1922.
The place was beautiful. Solemn brick buildings
with tall grey towers. Acres and acres of rolling
ground a nine hole golf course; a little forest which
was kept clean and attractive by the young Jesuit
Scholastics who cut down the trees and cleaned out
the underbrush and cut the grass and trimmed the
bushes; a quarry which had a deep area filled with
water, for swimming in the summertime; a mile
path running around the cluster of main buildings.
It was quiet and peaceful, conducive to study, an
ideal place for prayer.
It was the largest religious house in the world,
sheltering three hundred Jesuits, engaged in seven
years of study. It was clearly divided into two the
philosophate, which was the last two years of college
and another year for a possible Master of Arts; and the
theologate, which was the four years of study immediately preceding the priesthood. The Jesuit philosophers, like George, were generally between the ages of
twenty two and twenty five. Philosophy was followed
by regency three years of teaching. The Scholastics
who came back to Woodstock were normally between
the ages of twenty eight and thirty-two.
Because the buildings were filled with young
men, who were vigorous and energetic and in love
with life, the mood of Woodstock was joyous. After
lunch each day the men poured out of the house to
play basketball, or handball, or tennis. They would
walk across the golf course to get to the quarry, for

swimming. They went into the woods with long

saws and axes, to cut down trees. They ran around
the mile path. And in the kitchen they mopped the
floors, and washed the dishes, and then set the tables
in the great dining room for the next meal. The
house overflowed with the energy of youth. The
paths and the playgrounds were filled with laughter.
The young men felt that life was good, that life was
beautiful, that serving God was an adventure.
Their principal occupation was study. And they
took this seriously. George was grateful for the
classes in Logic. The course appealed to his orderly
German mind. He was fascinated with Cosmology
the study of the universe and with psychology,
the study of the human spirit, the human soul.
Study was not hard labor; it was not distasteful; it
was a joy. George went to his books, at study time,
eagerly. He felt that studying philosophy was a great
opportunity, a wonderful chance to learn. Natural
theology appealed to him the study of God. It was
all so reasonable!
The Jesuit Scholastics laughed a lot, and because
they were young men they laughed most of all
themselves. When a nun asked one theologian:
What are you doing at Woodstock? He answered:
Four years. In colloquial American language, that
is how a jailbird would describe his prison term: I
am doing four years.
Another Sister, very emotional, said to Father
Walter Hogan when he was leaving Woodstock:
You will miss Woodstock! Walter Hogan, who
was a good friend of George Willmann, answered:
Not if I take good aim, I wont!
(To be continued on the next issue.)

Lay org appeals for all to be true agents of Mercy and Compassion
THE Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, the largest Catholic fraternal
service organization in the country
is calling out all brother knights and
other lay organizations to help in
gathering donations for the victims
of Typhoon Ruby.
We would like to appeal to you
our brother knights in the 260 Districts and more than 1,200 Knights
of Columbus Councils in Luzon to
please send your donations of at
least P500.00 to help the victims of
Typhoon Ruby in the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar, said Arsenio
Isidro G. Yap, Luzon Deputy, Knights
of Columbus in the Philippines.
He stated that the K of C Philippines has immediately dispatched
300 sacks of rice to the victims of typhoon Ruby in Borongan through KC
Philippines Foundation, Inc. (KCPFI).
Yap, who is also the President of

the Knights of Columbus Fraternal

Association of the Philippines, Inc
(KCFAPI), the insurance arm of the
K of C Philippines added that the
province of Borongan was also one of
the beneficiaries of the K of C Luzon
Jurisdiction during last years efforts
to help victims of Super Typhoon
Thru KCFAPIs foundation, the
Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, provided support to the
victims of Typhoon Yolanda by donating cash, relief goods and power
chainsaws that helped convert fallen
coconut trees into usable coco lumber
used for building temporary shelters
for the typhoon victims. Along with
these, motorized wooden boats for
the livelihood of the fishermen were
also supplied while hollow-block
making machines both powered and
manually operated will be provided

this month of January to help in the

reconstruction efforts in the Diocese
of Borongan, Eastern Samar.
This only goes to show that Knights
of Columbus goal is not only to be
able to distribute relief goods but
more importantly, to provide livelihood programs for the typhoon victims and to help in the rehabilitation
of damaged houses and churches in
their area. Yap cited.
With the recent onslaught of Typhoon Ruby, let us exercise our Virtue
of Charity and continue to help our
fellow Filipinos in Borongan. I therefore enjoin everyone, including non
KC members to help in the fund drive
we are organizing. This is one of the
ways we can best exemplify the theme
of the papal visit. Let us be true agents
of Mercy and Compassion. Yap cited.
Donations can be sent thru the
following bank accounts: BDO Salas

Roxas Blvd. Branch Current Acct.

# 005128004143 Account Name:
Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction or at Land Bank Aduana Branch
Current Acct. # 0012107188 Account
Name: Knights of Columbus Luzon
Still in line with its Calamity-assistance project, the Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation, Inc. has
recently launched its housing project,
K of C Bahaynihan (A Fr. Willmann
Housing Project). This aims to provide
assistance to selected Yolanda victims
residing in a heavily-devastated
barangay in Leyte by providing the
bulk of funds for the construction of
new permanent brick houses in place
of their destroyed residences.
The project also serves as a visible
evidence of K of Cs involvement in
the rehabilitation efforts for calamity
victims. (KC News)

Love and Faith / C1

Philippines, Knights of Columbus participated in

all public events during the Holy Fathers visit to
the country, whose population is 86% Catholic.
The popes message of love and hope, and his insistence that believers should live out their faith
in practical acts of charity, held special meaning
for the Knights. Throughout the Philippines, the
Order of the Knights of Columbus is engaged in
charitable programs that meet the needs of the
poor and neglected, and offer an image of Gods
love for all people.
During the popes trip to Tacloban City last
Jan. 17, the Knights highlighted their Livelihood
Project, which is being supported by grants from
the Supreme Council. With permission from
Archbishop John Du of Palo, three motorized
boats, with the Knights of Columbus emblem,
were placed on the grounds of the new Pope
Francis Center for the Holy Fathers visit to the
facility. The boats which were constructed by
local builders underlined the charitable reach of
the Livelihood Project. A total of 200 boats were
provided to fishermen who lost their vessels due
to Typhoon Haiyan.
Also, in honor of the popes visit to the Philip-

pines, the Supreme Council recently announced a

donation of $200,000 to the Archdiocese of Palo
for rebuilding St. John the Evangelist School of
Theology, the major seminary that was destroyed
by Typhoon Haiyan.
The closing Mass in Manila was celebrated on
the feast of Santo Nio the Holy Child Jesus a
devotion which has a deep roots in the Filipino
life and culture. Many in the crowd held statues of
the Santo Nio image, and the Gospel read at the
Mass related the words of Jesus that his followers
must accept the kingdom of God with a childs
humble spirit.
Pope Francis called the Philippines the foremost
Catholic country in Asia, pointing out that this is
itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is
also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.
The country is blessed with youth, he said, and
he urged Filipinos to keep alive their strong family
spirit by welcoming children with love, concern and
care for their welfare.
His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle,
Archbishop of Manila and a member of the Knights
of Columbus since his youth as a Columbian Squire,

offered a final tribute to Pope Francis at the end of

the Mass. He said the Holy Father had brought the
light of Christ even on a rainy day, and had given
the Filipino people a great gift of his presence and
his love.
Earlier, the pope spent the morning at a lively
Encounter with the Youth held on the athletic field
of the University of Santo Tomas. Joining the festivities were more than 60 Columbian Squires and
their adult leaders, who participated in the prayers
and songs during the program.
Addressing a question from a participant about
why children suffer in this world, Pope Francis
replied that he could not explain with words. Certain realities in life can only be seen through eyes
cleansed by tears, he said. I invite each one of you
here to ask yourself, Have I learned to weep and
cry when I see a child cast aside, when I see someone
with a drug problem, when I see someone who has
suffered from abuse?
He added, What is the most important subject
that you have to learn in the University, what is the
most important subject you have learned in life? To
learn to love. This is the challenge that life offers
you. (kofc.org)

practical way to our own families

and to those among our councils,
parishes and dioceses.
Finally, we will be in Philadelphia
to welcome Pope Francis to America
next September, and we will do all

we can to advance his message of

joy, reconciliation and hope so that
the Holy Father may continue to be
grateful for the work of the Knights
of Columbus.
Vivat Jesus!

Rekindles / C1

Strengthened by Christs teachings and inspired by the challenge

given by Pope Francis, KCFAPI
will continue to put into practice
simplicity, service, conviction and
devotion of serving with a heart,
just like what our Founder, Fr.
George J. Willmann, SJ taught us.
And as we take care of our Benefit
Certificate Holders, so we must
also take care of our bigger family,
which is KCFAPI, said Curia.
Underwriting Manager, Carmelita S. Ruiz has this to say about
her experience of the Papal Visit:
At the start, I was envy of those
who had seen and had close contact with the Pope. But seeing and
hearing Pope Francis even from
a far distance, amidst millions of
devotees while soaked in rain and
feeling cold, I felt more blessed
because I consider myself soaked
in holy water.
When asked what lessons theyve
learned during the Papal Visit, the
following employees shared:
Service Office Staff Cabanatuan, Cherryl B. Baluyot: Be
humblesubmit everything to
Him and He will surprise you.
Dream with the Lord; Always find
time to pray.
Fraternal Benefits Associate,
Floralin C. Bohol: Pope Francis in
His homily in Tacloban City said,
In your sufferings, I will walk with
you with a silent heart. For me, this
means everything happens for a
reason and somehow good things
fall apart, so that better ones would
come. Learn to appreciate things
while you still have them, especially
the gift of life.
Financial Management &
Accounting Services Assistant,
Aquilina M. Jaranilla: Seeing
Pope Francis even just on the
television screen gave me a wonderful feeling. I was amazed at
how he treats the children. The
power of love that I received
from God thru Pope Francis was
so overwhelming and marvelous
and I felt contentment right at
that very moment. I felt peace
and happiness from his smile. His
smile just brings back the feeling
of being in love again.
From an Anonymous em-

ployee: The papal visit has opened

the eyes of my family to the work of
charity in action. This is a great gift
which we hope to start and sustain
as a family.

Mindanao Jurisdiction honors

Pope Francis
Pope Francis had no chance to
visit Mindanao, nevertheless, local brother knights dedicated all
first degree exemplifications for
the month of January 2015 in his
honor as a gesture of their love and
respect to the Pope.
His Holiness Pope Francis is a
well-loved Pontiff. The Pope is the
face of Mercy and Compassion.
May his healing message of Hope
fill up the needs of the Filipino
people especially those who suffered from disasters, injustice and
poverty, said Mindanao Deputy,
Balbino Fauni.
He added that Pope Francis has
uncommon love for the poor and
he has that inspiring humility and
May his five-day Pontifical
visit bring us Filipinos unity, love
and understanding and may our
Christian Faith be renewed firmly,
Fauni ended.

Squires join Papal Encounter

with the Youth

Preparatory program and activities were held by the Luzon

Jurisdiction Columbian Squires
together with the young knights
(mostly former Luzon State officers) before the Papal Encounter
with the Youth last January 17 at
the Aurora A. Elementary School,
Quezon City.
More than 80 Columbian
Squires led by District Deputy
Noel Lacanilao participated in
the actual event held at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) last
January 18.
Participants from the Columbian Squires came from different
communities of Cubao, Nueva
Ecija, Pangasinan, Manila, Kalinga
Apayao, Baguio, Batangas, Lucena,
Bulacan, Caloocan, Pampanga,
Ilagan, Antipolo, Zambales, Cavite,
Novaliches and Bataan. ( Y e n

Adoration / C1

the papal visit.

Msgr. Quitorio, hopes that Catholics, who were not able to come to the
Willmann chapel, likewise offered
their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament in their own parishes for this
particular intention.
Let us storm the heavens with our
prayers. We have a friend in Jesus. Let
us talk to Him in the Blessed Sacrament, he said.
The Fr. Willmann Chapel of the
Knights of Columbus Fraternal
Association of the Philippines, Inc.
was made available for Eucharistic
Adorers from January 7 to 15, 2015.

Strong right arm of the Church

Knights of Columbus Luzon
Deputy and KCFAPI President Arsenio Isidro Yap said the Knights did
not have any second thoughts about

sponsoring the event, especially

since supporting the needs of the
Church is the primary mission of
the Knights.
The Knights of Columbus has
been called the strong right arm of
the Church by St. John Paul II specifically when the Church, especially the
Holy Father and the clergy, calls for
our help, be it spiritual or material,
the Knights always respond positively and swiftly, he said.
Yap earlier called on the 1,200
Councils of the Knights in Luzon
to conduct their own novena of
Eucharistic Adoration in their own
The chapel and building is dedicated to the memory of Fr. George J. Willmann SJ, the father of the Knights of
Columbus in the Philippines. (Rommel Lopez / CBCPNews)

Awardee / C1

who has already won numerous awards

and recognitions here and abroad.
- He served as a member of the
Board of Accountancy.
Dr. Ruperto P. Somera, Ph.D,
DBA, DBE, CPA - is a tax consultant,
professor/lecturer, former director
of the BIR, former member of the
Board of Accountancy, Fellow tax
management, Fellow tax Research,
Fellow tax accounting, international
visiting professional fellow and diplomate in business education.
Despite his loaded schedules, Dr.
Somera still finds time to serve the
Church as Mass Commentator and

the community thru the Knights

of Columbus and the Knights of
Columbus Fraternal Association of
the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) and
its wholly-owned and/or majorityowned corporations and Foundations as Trustee/Treasurer of the
KC Philippines Foundation & KC
Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Charities,
Inc. and Treasurer of Mace Insurance Agency, Inc.
Dr. Ruperto P. Somera is married
to Ofelia Caluncanguin, M.D. with
three children: Maria Ofelia, Ruperto Aniceto, M.D. (+) and Ruferick.
(Annie M. Nicolas)


January 19 - February 1, 2015 Vol. 19 No. 2

The Cross

Corporate Theme for 2015: KCFAPI Cares

In line with the Year of the Poor

theme of the Roman Catholic Church
for 2015 and inspired by the Popes
message of love and hope and his
insistence that believers should live
out their faith in practical acts of charity, KCFAPI came up with its 2015
corporate theme: KCFAPI CARES
About the corporate logo:
KCFAPI is about providing protection to and safeguarding the needs
of the family.
KCFAPI provides peace of mind

and soul, the intangible service or

product is beyond and without measure. The white dove and an olive
branch depict this value.
In times of need and emergencies,
KCFAPI is always present, ready
to render service with concern and
compassion. Similar to an expensive
jewelry, every BC holders request is
handled with utmost care. The heart
symbolizes love, affection, warmth in
the handling and delivery of services.
The hand with a rosary corresponds
to KCFAPIs readiness to extend a

helping hand, a hand of care and

support to the needy and the helpless.
The rosary represents the Church to
show that KCFAPI is closely associated
with the Roman Catholic and apostolic
Church, the Church of the Poor.
The logo conveys the message
that KCFAPI is all about giving,
serving and caring in every little yet
tangible way it can with a cheerful and
compassionate heart.
Make KCFAPI your first choice of
benefit provider. Make KCFAPI your
preferred choice.

DO you care about the widening gap

between the rich and the poor? Do you
care about the environment? On these
frightening issues, are you indifferent
or ambivalent? Are you unwilling or
reluctant to commit?
We, at KCFAPI, dare to be different, we are committed to serve. We
dare to CARE. KCFAPI is all about
CARING and protecting our dear
brothers and sisters in Christ at a critical when mercy and compassion are
challenging us to go beyond ourselves.
Charity As it enters its 57th
anniversary, KCFAPI will carry on
fraternally serving the needs of BC
holders with compassion. KCFAPIs
two foundations will be unrelenting
in its mission to narrow the great
divide between the poor and rich by
providing educational opportunities
to deserving but less privileged members of our society. It is this tradition
of service, conviction, and devotion
of serving with a heart, first taught
to us by our Founder Fr. George J.
Willmann, SJ that endeared KCFAPI
to its BC holders and scholars.
Accountability Global warming
is upon us, it is affecting climate
patterns and we need to respond

to changing weather conditions as

accountable guardians of Gods creation. KCFAPI must swiftly respond
to change. Banking on its lean size
and vast resources, a nimble KCFAPI
is ready to face challenges to help
and assist its stakeholders to weather
various economic storms and political
disturbances. To our BC holders, you
are assured that KCFAPI will expedite
the release of benefit claims.
Resilience Through ups and
downs, KCFAPI has persevered and
continues to stand proud and strong.
Because of its strong association
with the Roman Catholic Church
through the Order of the Knights of
Columbus, KCFAPI has withstood
winds of change and tough challenges,
brought about by natural or manmade calamities and cultural, social
and political upheavals. Motivated
and inspired by Fr. Willmanns legacy
of love and care for the young, poor
and sick and working side by side
with the Order and with the support
of the Catholic community, KCFAPI
will be a dominant servant - leader in
practicing, spreading and living the
Gospel and a courageous participant
in the spiritual revolution and spiri-

tual renewal of the Church of the Poor

under the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Excellence KCFAPI has been and
will be an indispensable ally of our
brothers and sisters during good or
bad times. KCFAPI will continuously
search and apply prudent measures in
managing capital resources to achieve
an optimal balance of yield and safety.
With an efficient financial management, its BC holders are always
assured of a secured, fast and professional settlement of benefit claims.
Stability KCFAPI is not about
making unfulfilled promises. KCFAPI vows to protect you and your
familys present and future. It has a
long unblemished history of excellent
service and vast resources to prove
its financial strength and soundness.
KCFAPI is synonymous with consistency, predictability and reliability.
The KCFAPI is the tie that binds
together K of C families, whether poor
or rich; in prayer, faith, hope and love
and in enjoying peace, joy and happiness and the heart that cares for the
environment to ensure humanitys
Be part of a family that CARES, be
part of KCFAPI.

Knights of Columbus
Traditional Visit to the members
sponsors baptism in
of the FMC
honor of the Holy Father
THE Knights of Columbus of the Diocese of
Antipolo sponsored a free mass baptism or
Binyagang Bayan last January 11, 2015 in
honor of the Holy Father.
K of C District A-12 and Council 15370 of
Sto. Nio Parish, San Mateo, Rizal organized
and sponsored a mass Baptism for poor children with the theme: Sharing Mercy and
Compassion, in honor of the feast of Sto.
Nio. The event was likewise dedicated to the
pope himself as he visits the Philippines from
January 15 to 19.
Brother Charlie Maghanoy, District
Deputy of District A-12, said the goal of the
project is to give the poor families the opportunity to have their children receive the
Sacrament of Baptism. Our participants live
along the riverside of barangay Sto. Nio in
San Mateo, Rizal. Some of our beneficiaries
were our free ultrasound patients last March
25, 2014, he said. The Knights of Columbus

conducts free ultrasound screening for poor

pregnant women year-round.
Rev. Fr. Benedict B. Lagarde M.J, the
council chaplain of Sto. Nio Parish,
whose father was a Past Grand Knight of
the Knights of Columbus, administered
the Sacrament.
The Binyagang Bayan underwent a feasibility study before it was announced. Different
seminars such as Pre-Mapping activity at
Riverside, dialogue with Brgy Health Workers, and a spiritual conference were conducted
after the feasibility study. Families of children
to be baptized are slated to attend other preparatory seminars such as Catechism seminars
for parents and children.
The baptism project was led by Grand
Knight Benjamin O. Vito Jr. and Project Committee Chair Dr. Miguel B. Talaue, past Grand
Knight of the said council. (Alain Fusana
/ CBCPNews)

Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines and FMC member, Fr.
Antonio F. Moreno, SJ (in blue polo shirt) flanked by the officers of KCFAPI led
by Chairman Alonso L. Tan, President Arsenio Isidro G. Yap and Executive Vice
President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia during the courtesy visit held last December
29 at the Jesuit Residence in Loyola, Quezon City. (KC News)

KNIGHTS of Columbus Fraternal Association

of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) Chairman
Alonso L. Tan along with President Arsenio
Isidro G. Yap, EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia, VP
Fraternal Benefits Group Gari M. San Sebastian, VP Actuarial & Business Development
Angelito A. Bala, Executive Secretary Annie
Nicolas and KC Foundations Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz paid courtesy visits to the
members of the FMC (FOUNDER MEMBERS
The FMC was organized by KCFAPIs Found-

KCFAPI officers led by Chairman Alonso L. Tan (center), President, Arsenio Isidro
G. Yap (4th from left) and Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia (4th
from right) together with CBCP President and Dagupan Archbishop Socrates
Villegas (5th from right). (KCFAPI News)

er, Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ to distribute the

control of the Association to seven (7) members,
consisting of three (3) clerics and four (4) leaders
of the Order of the Knights of Columbus.
As a tradition, KCFAPI Officers would pay
annual visit to the cleric members of the FMC.
First to have been paid a courtesy visit was the
Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus in
the Philippines, Fr. Antonio F. Moreno last
December 29, 2014 at the Jesuit Residence in
Loyola, Quezon City.
Then on January 6, 2015, the KCFAPI of-

ficers went on to visit Dagupan Archbishop

and Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) President Socrates Villegas
at the Arzobispado de Manila. Visit to another
cleric member of the FMC, His Eminence Luis
Antonio Cardinal Tagle on the other hand will
be set after the papal visit.
KCFAPI on its 57th year of successful operations, pledges its unwavering support to the
programs of the Roman Catholic Church and
the Order of the Knights of Columbus. (Ma.
Kristianne G. Pascual)

DMI 2015 Planning Conference

The KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Group held their Christmas Party last December 22 at the KCFAPI home
office complete with area managers and fraternal counselors in attendance. FBG News

THE Officers of the DMI (Daughters of Mary Immaculate) led by

Diocesan Regent and (KCFAPI
EVP), Ma. Theresa G. Curia held
their planning conference recently at the 3rd Floor Social Hall
of the KCFAPI Center in Intramuros, Manila.
The message of His Eminence
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
to the Pope during the beloved
Pontiffs concluding mass at
the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, which states: You arrived
in the Philippines 3 days ago.
Tomorrow, you will go. Every
Filipino wants to go with you.
Dont be afraid. Every Filipino
wants to go with you not to
Rome but to the peripheries.
We want to go with you to the
shanties, to the prison cells, to
hospitals, to the world of politics, finance, arts, the sciences,
culture, education, and social
communication. We will go to
those worlds with you to bring
the light of Christ. Jesus is the
center of your pastoral visit and
the cornerstone of the visit. We

Officers of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) headed by Diocesan Regent Sister Ma. Theresa G. Curia of the
Diocese of Malolos (seated, leftmost) during their planning conference held recently at the KCFAPI Center in Intramuros,
Manila. Also in photo are the Vicarial Regents of the Diocese of Malolos, the incumbent RR Sister Fely Gallardo and the
Past RRs and DRs Sister Violy Luna, Sister Prising Hermogenes and Sister Flor Barcial.

will go, Holy Father, with you

where the light of Jesus is neededv served as an inspiration to
the DMI in coming up with their
official theme for the year 2015:

DMI loves the poor, the lost and

the abandoned.
Using the above theme as
guide, the officers of the DMI
pledge to anchor all their plans

and programs for 2015 on love

and care for those who are financially, emotionally and spiritually
challenged. (Ma. Kristianne
G. Pascual)

KC Foundation scholars hurdle the 2014 CPA Board Examination

The KCFAPI Fraternal Benefits Group conducted an opening salvo sale rally last January 12 at the KCFAPI
home office. Incentive programs for the whole year and updates were discussed in the said event. FBG News

Photos of Ms. Ruth Arlin C. Gomez and Mr. Jan Carlo A. Oblepias with KC Foundations Executive Director, Mr. Roberto T. Cruz.

he Daughters of Mary Immaculate International (DMII) Rosarian Council headed by Diocesan Regent
Sister Ma. Theresa G. Curia of the Diocese of Malolos (seated, 2nd from right) paid a courtesy call to
Rev. Fr. Winniefred Naboya, parish priest of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Makinabang,
Baliuag Bulacan.

TWO foundation scholars passed the CPA

Board Examination given last October 2014.
They are Ms. Ruth Arlin C. Gomez (Our Lady
of Atocha Parish Council 8537 Alicia, Isabela)
and Mr. Jan Carlo A. Oblepias (Sanctissimo
Rosario Council 13274 Luisiana, Laguna).
Ms. Gomez is the daughter of Bro. Arturo
L. Gomez and Sis. Linda C. Gomez from Alicia, Isabela. She graduated as the Salutatorian

of her batch in high school at the School of

Our Lady of Atocha. She was likewise recognized for her active involvement in various
activities and organizations in their school.
Ruth Arlin was a scholar-beneficiary of KC
Philippines Foundation, Inc. from schoolyear 2009 to 2013.
Meanwhile, Mr. Oblepias, son of Bro. Carlito Oblepias and Sis. Resurrecion Oblepias

of Luisiana, Laguna was an active member of

Columbian Squire Circle 13274. He wishes to
become a CPA-Lawyer someday. Jan Carlo was
a scholar-beneficiary of KC Philippines Foundation, Inc. from schoolyear 2010 to 2014.
Both scholars devoted all their time and efforts in their studies and are now reaping the
fruits of their labor setting good examples to
their fellow scholars.