• Joint Pastoral Message on Covid19 to Teachers, Educators, Seminary Professors and Seminarians and the Catholic faithful at the opening of the school year

    Lord What Must We Do? (Mark 10:17)
     

    Brothers and sisters in Christ:

     

    In the midst of the pandemic agitating us to restlessness and fear, we greet

    you “Peace be with you”.

     

    We are going on a stormy journey and our boat seems too fragile for the strong

    winds.

     

    Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him,

    “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the

    wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was

    great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have

    faith?” (Mark 4:38-40)

     

    It is His peace, His assurance, His power that we need right now. In you our

    students and seminarians, we can read the questions of your heart “What

    must we do?”

     

    STRUCK DOWN BUT NOT DESTROYED

     

    As a people, we have all suffered a lot from almost five months of lockdowns.

    Fear of illness and death surround us. Our basic freedoms have mostly

    vanished. Over two million of us have lost our jobs and over 93,000 businesses

    have closed down or severely restructured. Our economy plunged 16.5%,

    losing P1.5 trillion a month, and is in technical recession, the first since 1991.

    We have an epidemic of depressions and increasing reports of suicides. We are

    being asked to allow all these as the “new normal”.

     

    We need to discern the truth behind the appearances of seeming unstoppable

    increasing infections. We must make appropriate decisions on the basis of this

    truth. We shall then be free from the massive ills that are gnawing at our

    nation, our collective soul and affecting our faith in God.

     

    What is the Lord telling us? We grope for meaning. The search for meaning

    and purpose is the great need of our time. Our hope is in the Lord but we need

    clarity of purpose and certainty of direction from our leaders in this stormy

    journey. We deplore the marginalization of religious values in the programs to

    fight this pandemic. The Covid19 program must be rooted in ethics, an ethics

    which is people-centered.

     

    "The exclusion of religion from the public square hinders...collaboration for the

    progress of humanity. Public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on

    a domineering and aggressive character." (Caritas in Veritate, 56).

     

    MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE

     

    We are making these Gospel appeals to you as shepherds so that we may

    respond to this pandemic with the eyes of faith, with the heart of charity and

    with the armor of truth.

     

    Our first call is to ourselves. God has given us a very powerful defense system

    within our bodies to deal will all kinds of pathogens including viruses. This

    defense capability is called the natural immune system with its innate and

    adaptive capacities. It is our responsibility to ensure that we nurture and

    make full use of our God-given immune system. With Pope Francis, we can

    declare that I am vaccinated by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. No virus can

    touch me.

     

    We call for circles of study and discernment within our faith communities. We

    need to be critical and discerning against the many false narratives prevalent

    in media and the many unscientific unreasonable public policies. Once you

    understand the issues better, find creative ways to be active in bringing a

    solution in the light of the Gospel. This is our Christian social responsibility.

    We also call on Catholic colleges and universities and their research offices to

    make sure that scientific studies about COVID-19 are widely shared in the

    general public using reason, science and Catholic social teachings. Although

    medicine is not our expertise in seminaries, let us drink from the well of

    Catholic social teachings how to face this worldwide pandemic. These will give

    our countrymen an access to the truth that will free them from baseless fears

    and unnecessary anxieties.

     

    We encourage our Catholic communications networks to disseminate a holistic

    perspective about the epidemic and encourage responsible and reasonable

    voices to be heard, even if these are contrary to the prevailing narrative. We

    must hold on to and protect our freedoms of thought, movement, speech, and

    assembly.

     

    CALL TO PRAYER

     

    We also invite all to a collective prayer action to lift the lockdowns and help

    heal the nation. God always listens and nothing is impossible with Him. Pope

    Francis said in March “We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we flounder: we

    need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into

    the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer

    them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be

    no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that

    happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because

    with God life never dies”.

     

    We appeal for a massive and nationwide campaign for TEN HAIL MARY’S

    DAILY, in our schools and seminaries, parishes and communities, starting

    August 15 the Solemnity of the Assumption until September 15, the feast of

    Our Lady of Sorrows to be prayed at 12:00 noon wherever you may be.

     

    TO THE NATION AND TO SOCIETY

     

    To all our brethren who share our concern for the nation and the world even if

    we do not share a common Christian faith, we also make these appeals.

    We plead with our friends in media to balance their coverage of the COVID-19

    crisis. The science and facts have evolved away from the original narrative that

    caused and surrounded the lockdowns. Be truly independent and fearless.

    Follow the truth wherever it may lead.

     

    We call on government officials to be more open to the new scientific insights

    and global experiences around COVID-19, even if these may challenge one’s

    belief systems and preferred approaches to managing the epidemic. Let us

    learn from the success stories of our ASEAN neighbors with political humility

    and collective honesty. We appeal to the IATF for a more participatory

    approach that is open to the wisdom and experience of various professionals,

    scientists and physicians as well as genuine and constructive representatives

    of business, civil society, and local government units.

     

    The nation understood that the government had no choice five months ago but

    to roll out extreme measures of quarantine to protect the lives of its citizens

    from a little-understood threat. Continued endless lockdown is unnecessary

    given the declining and comparatively insignificant death rates and faulty

    tests. A cure for COVID-19 is already available. Dozens of countries around

    the world have lifted their lockdowns and schools have opened.

     

    We appeal for the upgrade of the capacity of hospitals and rationalize the use

    of limited hospital spaces. Be more precise in targeting who should receive

    priority in hospital care. Focus our strategy in protecting the most vulnerable

    sectors of society including the senior citizens and people threatened with

    other morbidities. More than anyone else, we bow in homage and gratitude to

    our medical front liners who have laid down their lives that others may live.

     

    We plead to parents and teachers to attend to the special needs of our children

    under these extraordinary times. Our children will be children only for a few

    years. Let us insure their balanced growth and formation of the mind, body

    and soul. They need sufficient physical activities, enough sleep and right

    nutrition. Their neural, mental, emotional, and social development are

    primary. There is a bigger and brighter world beyond the virtual world that our

    children have been accustomed to during the lockdowns.

     

    RESIST THE CULTURE OF DEATH

     

    The long shadows of death have fallen upon our country. The summary

    execution of the defenseless poor, the violence against women and children at

    home and in public life, the reckless tampering of our nation’s ecological

    balance, the puzzling unabated increase of illegal drugs, the unsolved plunder

    of public funds, the glorification of contraception and abortion, the growing

    number of jobless and hungry families, the erosion of basic courtesy and

    respect and the numbness to the vulgar —the long shadow of death is cast

    upon our land. This is a regime of death and darkness seems to be enjoying its

    fine hour.

     

    Refuse to get discouraged. Rise up to hope in the Lord. With firm faith we

    declare “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will

    fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”

     

     

    Sincerely yours,

     

    +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
    Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
    Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Seminaries

    +ROBERTO C. MALLARI
    Bishop of San Jose de Nueva Ecija
    Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education

     

    Endorsed by:
    +PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID
    Bishop of Kalookan
    Acting President, CBCP

     

    14 August 2020, Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

     

  • Archbishop Villegas, Cardinal Tagle to lead launch of ACN Philippines’ recollection concert for coronavirus cause


    The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
     will hold its first-ever online recollection prayer concert on August 15, 2020, the feast of the Assumption, at 8 p.m. as a response to the widespread impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Our physical activities have undeniably taken a toll due to the restraints caused by the pandemic, but our mission for faith and evangelization must continue. We have shifted our ways in order to adapt. We also consider social media as the easiest channel to reach the faithful, in a manner that is also convenient for them,” Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN-Philippines told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.


    The online recollection prayer concert will be hosted by Filipino performance artist Cris Villonco together with ACN Philippine President Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. The event will also be graced by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

    With the theme Hoping, Healing, Helping: One Church Against COVID-19, the event according to Mr. Luciano is “a way of encouraging our brethren into navigating back and realigning our compass of faith back to Jesus Christ.”

    “It is time to pause and reflect; time to pause and reevaluate our relationship with God. This is our way of encouraging our brethren into navigating back and realigning our compass of faith back to Jesus Christ,” he said.

    “It is our collective prayer, partnered with songs and hymns sung from our hearts that will lead us into positively hoping, healing, and ultimately, helping - especially to those who remain vulnerable, those who remain in need,” he added.

    Mr. Luciano said that the concert is a reminder that God is with us especially during these times where the people are struggling to fight the pandemic.

    “At some point, we all hope. But we must hope with Jesus Christ. Some are healing, and we must heal with Jesus Christ. Some are fortunate to help, and if we all are, too, then we must help with Jesus Christ,” he said.

    The C5 Singers, The Levites from the Diocese of Malolos, Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, OP, priests from the San Carlos Seminary and priests from the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will be among the guest performers. Cris Villonco and renowned inspirational singer, Jamie Rivera will render special songs during the concert.

    The event will be aired live via ACN’s official Facebook page and through Archdiocese of Manila’s Social Communications Ministry (SOCOM) platforms: TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications Facebook page.

    According to the website of ACN, “they will be allotting 5 Million Euros for parishes and communities struck by the pandemic’s adverse effects around the globe.”

    Hoping, Healing, Helping: One Church Against COVID-19 is a fundraising concert dedicated to this cause (DSWD-SB-SP-00105-2020). (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo shares experience and insights after recovering from COVID-19


    Show love and compassion and not fear to those people who suffered from coronavirus during this time of pandemic.

    This was the message of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo in an interview at Radio Veritas. The Prelate recalled and shared his experience as he underwent quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

    “Tayo naman na malakas, tulungan natin yung mga nagkakasakit. Alam ninyo, malaking tulong ‘yung pagtetext sa kanila, malaking tulong rin ‘yung pagpapaalala sa kanila. Minsan ‘yung pagbibigay ng mga prutas at mga pagkain ay nakakapagpagaan ng loob sa mga taong may sakit. Sa panahong ito, kailangan nila ng contact hindi man physical contact, ngunit contact ng pag-aalaga at pagmamalasakit,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    On July 13, Bishop Pabillo announced to the Clergy of Manila that he was infected by the virus after he was tested positive for COVID-19.

    During his quarantine period, he recounted how he took care of himself while he battled with the virus in his body.

    “Nung lumabas ang swab test result, ako ay isolated na sa aking kwarto at ‘yan po ay tumagal ng mga halos dalawang linggo. Pagkatapos po noon ay nagpaswab test ulit ako at lumabas na negative na pero nanatili pa ako sa kwarto ng mga isang linggo bago ako makapagmisa. Wala naman akong nararamdaman sa aking sarili. Araw-araw kinukuha ko ‘yung temperature ko, pinagmamasdan ang aking sarili at sa awa ng Diyos wala naman akong nararamdaman. Alam ko lang na may sakit ako dahil sinabi lang ng test,” he said.

    The Bishop also shared how he was able to keep himself busy and pre-occupied using social media. According to him, the technology helped him to continue his work as Apostolic Administrator of Manila even though he was under quarantine.

    Bishop Pabillo celebrated his first Mass after his quarantine period at Radio Veritas on August 9, at 6 a.m. He offered the Mass as a thanksgiving to the Lord and to the people who prayed for his recovery as well as for those who are sick.

     “Ako po’y nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat sa inyong panalangin nung ako ay nagkasakit at salamat sa Diyos na napagtagumpayan ko itong sakit na ito, kaya inaalay ko po ang Banal na Misa bilang pasasalamat at kasama na rin sa lahat ng inyong mga intensyon at patuloy pa natin ipagdarasal ang mga nahihirapan, ang mga may sakit at ang ating mga frontliners,” he said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator during the online Sunday Mass on August 9, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Ang Panginoong Diyos ay Panginoon ng kasaysayan. He is Lord of history. Ang ibig sabihin nito, ay ang Diyos ay bahagi ng kasaysayan. He is not only up there but he is here with us. He walks with us in our story and He guides our story. May patutunguhan ang mga pangyayari sa ating buhay at sa ating kasaysayan because He is leading us toward salvation. Kaya hinahanap natin ang kanyang presensiya sa mga nangyayari sa atin.


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri Parish Facebook Page 

    Ganun ang nangyari kay propeta Elias noong siya ay hanapin ni Reyna Dyesebel upang ipapatay. Naglakbay ang propeta ng apat napung araw papunta sa Bundok ng Horeb na siya ring Bundok ng Sinai. Gusto niyang makatagpo ang Diyos doon. Ang Diyos na nakipagtagpo kay Moses, mga limang daan taon na ang nakaraan.

    Noong bumaba ang Diyos sa Bundok ng Sinai noong panahon ni Moses, dumating siya sa gitna ng mga kulog, ng kidlat, ng malakas na lindol, ng malakas na hangin. Pinadama niya ang kanyang kapangyarihan at natakot ang mga Israelita kaya sinabi nila kay Moses, “Ikaw na lang ang makipagtagpo sa Diyos sa itaas ng bundok. Sabihin mo na lang sa amin ang mensahe niya. Takot kaming makaharap siya.”

    Pero ngayon sa kaso ni Propeta Elias, ang Diyos ay wala sa malakas na hangin ni sa malakas na apoy, ni sa lindol. Natagpuan ang Diyos sa mahinahon na ihip ng hangin. Kakaibang paraan pero nakipagtagpo ang Diyos.

    Ganun din sa ating ebanghelyo, dumating si Hesus sa mga alagad na binabayo ng malakas na alon at hangin. Dumating siya sa paraan na hindi inaasahan. Lumalakad sa tubig kaya napasigaw sila ng, “Multo! Multo!” Oo, dumarating ang Diyos pero handa ba tayong tagpuin siya sa paraan na hindi natin inaasahan?

    Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, pinakita sa atin ni San Pablo ang kanyang pagmamahal sa kanyang mga kalahi, sa kanyang mga kababayan. Sa mga sulat ni San Pablo, dinidiin niya na tayo ay maliligtas hindi dahil sa ating pagsunod sa batas ni Moses. Hindi lang ang mga Hudyo ang maliligtas pati na rin ang mga Hentil, ang mga hindi Hudyo kasi maliligtas tayo not through circumcision but through faith in Christ Jesus. It is not belonging to one race that is important. We should belong to Christ in faith in Baptism.

    Kaya tuloy maaaring masasabi ng iba na si San Pablo ay walang pagmamahal sa kanyang kapwa Hudyo. That is not true. St. Paul recognized the privilege position of the people of Israel. To them belongs the covenant. They are the chosen people. From them would come the Messiah in the flesh. Oo, si Hesus mismo ay isang Hudyo.

    Ganun na lamang kamahal ni San Pablo ang kanyang bayan na handa siyang mapahamak basta lamang maligtas ang Israel. St. Paul had a great love for his people.

    Ngayon po nasasaksihan natin ang mga masasamang pangyayari sa ating bansa. Tayo na ang nauuna sa Asya sa bilang ng coronavirus cases. Nakakahiya ito at nakakabahala. Ang ibig sabihin matatagalan tayo bago magkaroon ng maaayos ng economic recovery. Patuloy ang matamlay o naghihingalong ekonomiya.

    Nakakalungkot pa walang pinapakitang kpanipaniwalang paraan ang ating gobyerno para sugpuin ang health at economic issues na ito. Sa halip, inaaarangkada pa sa kongreso at sa senado ang pagpasa ng death penalty. Sinisisi pa ng ibang tao ng pamahalaan ang mga health care workers natin na hindi daw maayos ang trabaho o naglalayon lang daw sila na pabagsakin ang pamahalaan. Nakakahiya ang ating bayan ngayon.

    Ano ba ang attitude natin sa bayan sa ganitong kalagayan? Marami ay walang kibo. Hayaan mo na sila diyan sa pamahalaan basta ang mahalaga ay maka-survive kami. Sana naman mabahala tayo dahil sa mahal natin ang ating bayan.

    Sa ganitong kagipitan dapat lumabas ang pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa bayan. Yan ang ginawa ng mga doctors, nurses at health care workers sa kanilang open letter na lumabas nong nakaraang Sabado. They wrote because they cared. They cared that seemingly our response to this health crisis is not enough. They called for a time out not just to rest but to evaluate better our approaches. They do not want that we become like New York where people just die in their homes and in the streets because hospitals could not accept them anymore.

    Hinahanap natin ang Diyos. Nandito siya pero dumadating siya sa paraan na kakaiba na hindi natin inaasahan. Maaari kayang matatagpuan natin siya sa ating pagmamahal sa bayan?

    We are told in the letter of John, “Where love is, there is God because God is love.” So, St. John wrote, “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in him.”

    When we think of love, we often think of personal love, the one on one love or the love in a small group as in our families and among our friends. But love also has a macro aspect, a social aspect. Love of country is also love. And when there is love of country, God is there. But do we have this love of country in us? Love for our kababayans?

    There are so many people who suffer. Many are sick. Many have no jobs. Many are hungry. This is not just because people are pasaway. There is something wrong in the governance. May mali sa pagpapalakad ng pamahalaan kaya tayo ganito. Hindi ba tayo mababahala? Magwawalang kibo na lang ba tayo?

    Handa si San Pablo na mapahamak ang sarili niya basta lang maligtas ang kanyang kababayan. Bakit tayo umiiwas na magsalita? Umiiwas na kumilos. Takot tayong mapagbintangan ng mga trolls? Mabagbintangan na mga rebelde? Takot baa ng dapat magpakilos sa atin o pag-ibig? Pag-ibig sa bayan. Kasama din sa pag-ibig sa bayan ay ang pagsikap na tayo mismo ay hindi makahawa ng sakit kaya nga may mga protocols tulad ng wastong paggamit ng facemask, na hindi lalabas labas ng walang dahilan, na magkaroon ng physical distancing, na malimit maghugas ng kamay. Mga maliliit na bagay pero kung gagawin ng lahat, ng lahat tayo, malaki ang maitutulong para sa bayan.

    Mga kapatid, hanapin natin ang Diyos. Bahagi siya ng ating kasaysayan. Nakikilakbay siya sa atin. Tinatagpo niya tayo pero marahil sa mga paraang hindi tulad ng dati tulad ng pakikipagtagpo niya kay Propeta Elias sa Bundok ng Horeb. Kakaiba sa pagpapakita niya kay Moses tulad ng paglalakad ni Hesus sa tubig na pinagkamalan siyang multo. Pinapakita sa atin ni San Pablo na kahit na tinutuligsa tayo, tinutuligsa siya ng kanyang kapwa Hudyo, malaki ang pagmamahal niya sa kanyang bayan.

    Sa ating pagmamahal sa ating bayang Pilipinas dito rin matatagpuan natin ang Diyos. Huwag tayong magwalang bahala sa mga nangyayari sa atin. Huwag nating hayaan ang ating mga senador at kongresista na gumawa ng batas na immoral, ng batas na pumapatay. Sabihin natin sa kanila, pansinin ninyo, sagutin ninyo ang daing ng mamaayan na naghahanap ng trabaho, ng pagkain, ng sapat na gamot. Yan dapat ang pagkakaabalahan ninyo.

    Baka ito na ang Diyos na lumalapit sa atin. Diyos na nagpaparamdam sa atin sa pamamagitan ng kawawang kalagayan ng ating bayan. Pasakayin natin siya sa ating bangka. Mahalin natin ang bayan. Yakapin natin ang Diyos ng kasaysayan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis urges support for Lebanon


    "Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country." 

    These were the words Pope Francis said when he appealed to the international community for their support and assistance for Lebanon after the catastrophic explosion in Beirut on August 4. The message was delivered at the Sunday noontime Angelus of August 9.




    Addressing the Church in Lebanon, the Supreme Pontiff encouraged them to bring compassion to their people.

    "To be close to the people on their Calvary, as she has been doing in these days, with solidarity and compassion, with heart and hands open to sharing," he added.

    He also urged the priests, and the religious men and women to be more rooted in evangelical poverty especially when their people have suffered enough in every crisis.

    According to Vatican News, the Pope described Lebanon as a country that has its own 'particular identity' which evolved as a model of living together. He, however, acknowledged the country's vulnerability during this difficult time.

    He gave an assurance to Lebanon and its people of the whole Church's prayers and solidarity of entrusting them to God. The Pope prays that Lebanon "may be reborn free and strong." (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archdiocese of Manila’s Clergy Statement against the Re-imposition of Death Penalty


    ‘’For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone.’’
    (Ezekiel 18: 32)

    Archdiocese of Manila’s Clergy Statement against the Re-imposition of Death Penalty

     



    The country is once again in the throes of dealing with the specter of death penalty as both the House of Representatives and the Senate are now preparing for its immediate reimposition as a State policy.

    We, the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Manila, are both alarmed and disturbed at the ease with which our lawmakers responded to the call for its re-imposition and to the dangers such penalty poses to life and society.

    While we agree that it is the duty of Legislators to enact laws and State policies, we condemn the lack of independence and imprudence of some of them who decided to immediately bow to the wishes of President Rodrigo Duterte by filing death penalty bills while we are still mired in this seemingly insurmountable crisis brought by COVID-19.

    We see such acts as betrayal of the people’s interests and an implicit support to the creeping authoritarian tendencies exuded by this administration.

    We agree that crime deserves punishment. We agree, further, that the State has authority to administer appropriate punishment to those judged guilty of crimes.

    HOWEVER, based on our faith conviction, moral belief and socio-cultural and political understanding of the impacts of death penalty, we object to its re-imposition on the following grounds:

     

    1.) International Law prohibits the Philippines from withdrawing its 2007 ratification of the United Nations Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR) which aims to abolish death penalty. Doing so will weaken our moral and legal standing in other International Bodies or Treatises. Our assertion of victory in the West Philippine Sea will be the height of hypocrisy if we cannot even honor this commitment with the UN ICCPR.

     

    2.) Death Penalty does not effectively deter crime. What deters crime is the certainty of conviction and the imposition of punishment. What the country needs, therefore, is a reform of the criminal justice system with the eradication of crooked, corrupt and unprincipled practices in law enforcement agencies, judiciary and penal systems. To reimpose death penalty in the face of these monstrous problems in our criminal justice system is a violation of the fundamental rights. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it  is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267).

     

    3.) Death Penalty is biased and unfair. Much like the dreaded war on drugs that victimizes mostly the poor, death penalty unfortunately legalizes simply the extermination of the marginalized in our society. Fairness, above all, requires competent counsel for the defendant. But studies suggest that wrongful convictions of poor defendants are high because they cannot afford to hire the best counsel, thereby, settling merely with inept and underfunded defense both during trial and appeal.

     

    4.) Death Penalty is an unjustified form of retribution. We believe that only God has the right to take life away from us. Hence, we condemn criminals who took the lives of their victims and they must be punished for it. Punishment, however, should not anymore include death because there are other means already available to punish criminals and to protect society from them (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995). Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2266).

     

    5.) The fallibility and imperfection of our justice system is enough reason to reject death penalty. There are many indicators suggesting that miscarriage of justice is unavoidable: erroneous or perjured testimony, defective police work or operation, forced confessions, faulty evidences, corrupt judges, community pressure and the defendant’s previous criminal record or status. When the State approves, orders and carries out the execution of a criminal under these circumstances, it lends support to the destructive side of a flawed system.

     

    As pastors, we recognize the heartache, distress and anguish experienced by victims of violent crimes, and we deeply empathize with them. We feel the anger and despair of victims’ families who are ignored by the criminal justice system and even at times by the Church. We preside over the funeral rites for victims. We comforted their bereaved families and even assist them in their needs. Indeed, they deserve our compassion, understanding, love and support. We want to help them in their search for justice.  However, our support for victims and their families does not oblige us to push for the re-imposition of the penalty of death. Instead, we call the attention of our leaders and lawmakers to make every effort to establish a system of justice that brings restoration and harmony and not death.

    David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13).

     

     

    Signed:

    CLERGY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
    4 August 2020
    Feast of St. John Marie Vianney
    Patron of Priests


     

     

  • Pope appeals for concerted effort to eradicate human trafficking


    Pope Francis describes the contemporary time within the perspective of utilitarianism wherein it is motivated by self-serving interests which results to many abuses against human rights.

    In an online seminar focused on the exploitation of human dignity, the Pope delivered his message in the conference to commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.



    The Pontiff said that the exploitation of the human person has become the modern-day slavery. It, hence, destroys the human dignity of each person, "This selfish point-of-view, keeps others from experiencing the fullness of their unique and unrepeatable humanity."

    According to Vatican News, the Pope expressed his support for "efforts to assist survivors and collaborate decisively in building paths that lead to the common good and the full realization of human life."

    The online conference was hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Argentina with 600 participants from the various sectors such as Church representatives, politicians, humanitarian workers, and officials from Argentina’s judiciary. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo recovers from COVID-19


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, is now fully recovered from COVID-19.

    “Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa inyong patuloy na dasal para sa akin. Damang dama ko ang inyong mga dasal. Wala naman akong nararamdaman na sintomas at sa awa ng Diyos, ngayon ay COVID free na ako ayon sa second swab test ko this week.”

    Photo from Bishop Broderick Pabillo’s Facebook Page


    Bishop Pabillo made the announcement in the homily he prepared delivered by Fr. Carmelo Jek Arada, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish during the online Sunday Mass last August 2, 2020, at 10 a.m.

    Bishop Pabillo expressed his gratitude to the Lord as well as to all the people who prayed for him while he was healing from the virus.

    “Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat na nagdasal sa akin. Naramdaman ko na mabisa ang inyong mga dasal,” Bishop Pabillo said on Radio Veritas.

    He also urged the faithful to include Kalookan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iniguez in their prayers for the bishop’s speedy recovery who also tested positive for COVID-19.

    “Ngayon isama natin sa ating dasal si Bishop Deogracias Iniquez na ngayon ay may sakit din,” he said.

    According to him, after he completed his fourteen-day quarantine period, he will return to his normal activities, like his regular on-air and online Sunday Masses.

    On July 23, 2020, Bishop Pabillo announced to the Clergy of Manila that he was infected by the coronavirus after he was tested positive for COVID-19. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Sto. Nino, Larawan ng Liwanag at Pag-asa


    Masayang sinalubong ng pamayanan ng Kambal na Krus ang Motorcade ng orihinal na imahe ng Sto. Nino de Tondo bilang paggunita sa ika-48 taong anibersaryo ng Pagkakabalik ng Imahe ng Sto Nino sa Simbahan ng Tondo.


    Sa unang pagkakataon ay naisama ang Raxabago Street sa ruta ng Motorcade. Ang Kapilya ng Kambal na Krus na nasa ilalim ng pangangalaga ng St. Joseph Parish Gagalangin ay nasa ilalim noon ng pag-iingat ng Sto Nino de Tondo Parish bago maitalaga ang St Joseph Parish Gagalangin noong 1905.


    Taos-pusong nagpapasalamat ang Pamunuan ng Kambal na Krus Chapel Community at ang Kura-Paroko ng Parokya ng St. Joseph Parish Gagalangin, Rev. Fr. Joselino B. Tuazon sa Pamunuan ng Archdiocesan Shrine of Sto Nino de Tondo, sa pamumuno ng kanilang Rektor at Kura Paroko, Rev. Fr. Estelito E. Villegas sa biyayang ito na nagdulot ng pag-asa at Liwanag sa puso ng mga mananampalataya. (Eijay Valerio de Paz/SOCOM/Kambal na Krus Chapel) 

  • Homily prepared by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila and delivered by Rev. Fr. Carmelo Jek Arada, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Penafrancia Parish during online Sunday Mass on August 2, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa inyong patuloy na dasal para sa akin. Damang dama ko ang inyong mga dasal. Wala naman akong nararamdaman na sintonas at sa awa ng Diyos ngayon ay COVID free na ako ayon sa second SWAB test ko this week. Your prayers are really powerful. Sa susunod na Linggo, magsasama-sama na tayong muli sa M
     

    Ngayong Linggo ay St. John Marie Vianney Sunday. It is the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. John Marie Vianney which is August 4. He is the patron saint of parish priests. 

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    Photo from Facebook Page of Bishop Pabillo

    Today, we pray for our priests that they may strive to holiness according to the example of St. John Marie Vianney. Let us not be contented to have only good priests, we want to have holy priests. So, let us also contribute for the ongoing formation and renewal of our priests.

    Ang Mabuting Balita sa atin ngayong Linggo aya ng alok ng Panginoon sa pamamagitan ni Propeta Isaias, “Ang mga walang salapi ay kumuha rito at bumili ng pagkain. Bumili kayo ngunit walang bayad.” Ang alok na ito ay tinupad ni Hesus sa ating ebanghelyo. Ibig ng pauwiin ng mga kasama ni Hesus ang mga tao kasi maggagabi na. At upang sila ay magkanya kanya nang maghanap ng makakainan. Ang utos ni Hesus ay maliwanag, “Kayo ang magbigay sa kanila ng pagkain.”

    Because of big problems and lack of means, the usual solution is magkanya kanya na. And we may be tempted to do the same these days. We are faced with big problems – the rising infections and deaths because of COVID-19, the joblessness of the people, the lack of food.

    According to a survey conducted by SWS from July 3 -6, an estimated 5.2 million families suffered involuntary hunger at least once in the last three months that is 20.9 percent of our population going back to the 2014 level of hunger in our land.

    The big temptation is kanya kanya na lang tayo. Bahala na ang bawat isa na maghanap ng makakain. No. We hear the clear call of Jesus, “Give them something to eat.”

    Ano ang maibibigay natin? Tayo nga ay hirap na. Ang mga business ay nalulugo na. We may repeat the words of the disciples, “We have nothing but five fish and two loaves of bread. What is this for so many?” Because we have little, we equate them to nothing? They are nothing compared to so great a need. Pero para sa Diyos, walang maliit, walang kakaunti. Ilagay natin ang kakaunti sa kamay ng Diyos at mararanasan natin ang milagro. Precisely, miracles….because we put our trust in God who can do more that we can imagine. Nothing is impossible with God.

    Sa totoo lang, hindi naman talaga wala na tayo, hindi lang natin inilalagay sa wastong paggamit ang mayroon tayo. Kaya nga ang tanong ni propeta Isaias ay, “Bakit ginigugol ang salapi sa mga bagay na hindi nakakabusog? Bakit inuubos ang pera sa mga bagay na walang halaga?”

    Ngayong panahon ng kahirapan, inaanyayahan tayo na huwag gumastos ng hindi nag-iisp. Gamitin ng maayos kung ano ang mayron tayo. Ang paggamit ng maayos ay hindi iyung para lang sa atin. Kapag tumutulong tayo, ginagamit natin ng maayos ang mayroon tayo.

    In the kingdom of God, what is given multiplies. What is given returns to us. Yes, there is concrete hunger for material food, we cannot deny this. However, whereas 5.2 million families have experienced hunger these days, many more millions which are not caught by any survey suffer hunger for…and right direction in life.

    Mas marami ang naguguluhan. Saan pa pupunta ang lahat ng nararanasan natin? Matatapos pa ba itong pandemic? Makakabalik pa ba kami sa trabaho? Sa pag-aaral? Yung namatayan lalo na sa virus, paano na ang buhay nila ngayon na nawala na ang naghanap buhay.

    Kaya si Hesus bago nagbigay ng tinapay at isda ay nangaral muna sa mga tao. Jesus is known more as a teacher than as a provider for bread. He multiplied food a number of times but always he was going around to teach. Kaya narinig natin sa Unang Pagbasa, “Makinig kayo sa akin at sundin ang utos ko at matitikman ninyo ang pinakamasarap na pagkain. Pumarito kayo, kayo ay lumapit at ako ay pakinggan. Makinig sa akin ng kayo ay mabuhay.”

    Hindi ba sinabi din ni Hesus, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” In fact, Jesus suffered voluntary hunger. He fasted so that he may be true to the Word of God.

    Kaya ngayong panahon ng pandemya, habang kailangan ng marami ang pagkain, ang bigas, kailangan nating lahat ang Salita ng Diyos. Kaya patuloy na nangagaral ang simbahan, maging katanggap tanggap man sa mga tao o hindi, kailangang ipahayag ang Salita ng Diyos. Ito ang magbibigay ng tunay na buhay sa bawat isa sa atin at sa bayan.

    Noong Lunes, nakinig ang marami sa ating SONA, sa State of the Nation Address. Marami ang sinabi doon at hindi naman natin ito i-a-analyze dito sa homiliya. Isang bagay lang ang ibig kong punahin sapagkat may kinalaman ito sa katuruan ng Diyos.

    Sa panahon na ang mga tao ay nagsisikap na mabuhay na hindi sila mahawahan ng virus na nakamamatay, na sila ay makapag hanap buhay, ang isinusulong ng Pangulo ay kamatayan – death penalty. Iyan ba ang kailangan ng bayan ngayon? Parang sintunado sa hinahanap ng tao. Wala siyang maliwanag na paraan para sugpuin ang kumakalat na virus. Wala siyang klarong programa para sa kawalan ng trabaho kundi gumamit naman ng slogan na sa halip na build, build, build na bigo naman kaya nga ang slogan naman ay plant, plant, plant. Paano ito gagawin? Walang programa kasi sloganeering lang.

    Pero sa death penalty nandiyan yung plano. Within the same week, the senators are busy filing bills on death penalty. And now. There are eight such bills in the Senate and this will be another thing that will be fast-tracked.

    Alam na sa mga pag-aaral na ang death penalty ay hindi nakakasugpo ng krimen. Ang mga bansa na may death penalty ay patuloy pa rin ang pagbitay kasi hindi naman natatakot ang mga tao sa parusang kamatayan. Kaya taun taon may mga tao na binibitay sa Tsina, sa Pakistan, sa Saudi Arabia, sa USA, sa Iran.

    Ang mas kinatatakutan ng mga tao ay ang kapulisan na mabisa at hindi nabibili at ang justice system na malinis at mabilis. Hanggang hindi maaayos ang ating kapulisan at ang ating justice system, pagtatawanan lang tayo ng mga big drug lords sa death penalty. Kung mahina naman ang pulis, mababayaran naman ang judge, sa bandang huli ang mabibitay lang ay ang mga mahihirap na walang pera na pambayad sa abogado at pangsuhol sa pulis. Salungat sa utos ng Diyos ang death penalty sa panahon natin ngayon. God clearly said, “Though shall not kill.”

    Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, narinig natin ang sinabi ni San Pablo, “Walang makapaghihiwalay sa atin sa pag-ibig ng Diyos.” Kahit na paghihirap, kahit na espada, kahit na nga kasalanan pa natin, hindi tayo nito mahihiwalay sa Diyos na nagmamahal sa atin. Kahit na ano mang kasalanan natin, hindi natin masasabi na hindi tayo mahal ng Diyos. Mas malaki ang kasalanan, mas mahal tayo ng Diyos. Kapag sinabi ni Hesus na naparito siya hindi para sa mga matuwid kundi para sa mga makasalan. He came not to judge and not punish but to save.

    Who are we then to judge that a person can no longer be saved? And when we have killed him, so we can save him? We fight against any bill promoting death penalty because it is promoting something that is morally wrong. Gusto ba natin ng buhay? Magtulungan tayo upang ang lahat ay mabigyan ng pagkain.

    Nag-aalok ang Diyos ng pagkain para sa lahat. Masagana ang mundo ng nilikha ng Diyos. Kahit ngayong panahon ng pandemic may pagkain para sa lahat. Magbahaginan lang tayo. Gusto ba natin ng buhay? Sundin natin ang mga utos ng Diyos. Huwag tayo magsulong ng mga patakaran at mga batas na nagdadala ng kamatayan. Death is never a solution… (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archdiocese of Manila heeds the call of Medical Frontliners for a “Time Out”


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila has released on Saturday, August 1, 2020, a Pastoral Instruction titled “We Hear the Call” in support of the appeal of the medical frontliners to have a “time out” for a period of two weeks.

    “We share the compassion of the medical front liners for the many sick people being brought to our hospitals. We have witnessed their dedicated service to those who come to them. Many among them are tired and even discouraged by their heavy responsibilities. So we support their appeal for a ‘time out,’” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “We understand that they call for this not only for their own respite, though they truly need one. They call for a period of time to reassess the response that we as a country have to this pandemic. It seems that the current responses are not working because the cases are rising after four months and a half of quarantine,” he added.


    Earlier, in a press conference held by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), medical associations and societies have appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Health (DOH) to re-impose to the Greater Manila Area the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) because of the continued rise of the number of infections.

    According to Dr. Jose Santiago, President, Philippine Medical Association (PMA) the said period will serve as a “time out” to the exhausted doctors and nurses who work for almost five months as well as a time for the government to diversify its strategies in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As a response to the call of the medical people, the bishop said all the churches and shrines in the Archdiocese of Manila will revert to the period of the ECQ) protocols.

    “We will not hold public religious activities from August 3 to August 14 but we continue our online religious activities. We will also use this time to evaluate our church response to the pandemic and see how we can improve them,” he said.

    The Bishop also encouraged the faithful to be generous to its neighbor even though many families suffer from the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    “So we appeal for generosity. We hear the call of Jesus: “Give them something to eat” (Mt14:16). Let us give whatever we can, however little it may be, so that no one may suffer the pangs of hunger,” he said.

    At the end of his Pastoral Instruction, Bishop Pabillo urged the people to continue praying for the safety and protection of all the people and to lift everything to the Lord.

    “Let us intensify our prayers that our frontliners may be kept safe, that those who are sick may get well soon, and that all our families be protected from the virus. We offer our prayer and fasting with trust because “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). He is powerful and He loves us,” he said.

    As of August 1, 2020, DOH announced through its Facebook page that there are 4,963 new cases of COVID-19. The total confirmed cases in the Philippines are now 98,232. Of the confirmed cases, 30,928 are active. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: We Hear the Call


    My Dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    The infection rate of COVID-19 has already reached more than 5,000 a day.

    More than 2,000 people have died because of the disease. Many hospitals in

    Metro Manila are nearing full capacity. Earlier today more than 80 medical

    associations and societies have brought out a common open letter asking

    for a “time out” for a period of two weeks, that is, an appeal to a return to

    the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for the Greater Manila Area

    where the infections are most pronounced. We in the Church hear their

    call.

      


    Jesus had compassion on the crowd when he saw them bringing their sick

    to him (cfr Mt 14:14). We share the compassion of the medical front liners

    for the many sick people being brought to our hospitals. We have

    witnessed their dedicated service to those who come to them. Many among

    them are tired and even discouraged by their heavy responsibilities. So we

    support their appeal for a “time out.” We understand that they call for this

    not only for their own respite, though they truly need one. They call for a

    period of time to reassess the response that we as a country have to this

    pandemic. It seems that the current responses are not working because the

    cases are rising after four months and a half of quarantine. So all the

    stakeholders really need this time to come together to evaluate and

    improve our approaches to fight this pandemic. We echo their call that

    each individual and each family take seriously the health protocols to keep

    safe, such as the proper use of face masks, the required physical distancing,

    the frequent hand washing, and not going out of the house unless truly

    necessary. These may be simple things but they help a lot in stemming the

    spread of the virus.

    As a response to the call of our medical people, all the churches and shrines

    in the Archdiocese of Manila will revert to the period of the ECQ protocols.

    We will not hold public religious activities from August 3 to August 14 but

    we continue our online religious activities. We will also use this time to

    evaluate our church response to the pandemic and see how we can

    improve them.

    We all suffer from this pandemic economically. However, there are many

    families who are more badly impacted than others. So we appeal for

    generosity. We hear the call of Jesus: “Give them something to eat” (Mt

    14:16). Let us give whatever we can, however little it may be, so that no one

    may suffer the pangs of hunger.

    Finally, brothers and sisters, let us intensify our prayers that our front

    liners may be kept safe, that those who are sick may get well soon, and that

    all our families be protected from the virus. We offer our prayer and fasting

    with trust because “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). He is

    powerful and He loves us.

     

    Yours truly in Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    August 1, 2020

     

  • Caritas Manila warns the public of Scammers during pandemic


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, warns the public regarding scams that have been circulating that drags the institution by unscrupulous individuals. In particular, Caritas Manila is warning about a membership fee being charged to those who seek to solicit for assistance from the organization.


    According to a statement from Caritas Manila, they have received a complaint about a fee being charged to person who would want to receive a promised financial assistance worth 5,000 to 10,000 pesos.

    “Since last week, we have been receiving complaints that some people have been going around collecting membership fees to qualify for the alleged “financial assistance” from Caritas Manila. Please be informed that we do not collect any membership fees and we are not providing financial assistance amounting to PhP5000 to 10000,” this was the statement of Caritas Manila during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Caritas Manila is encouraging the public to inform their office in case any suspicious individual approaches them asking for money or donation with the name of Caritas Manila. The public may call at 8-562 00 20 until 25 local 131.

    According to Veritas News, the public may also send a private message to Islas-Caritas Manila page or Caritas Islas Facebook account. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo reminds importance of Virtues as Nation prepares for SONA


    "Ayaw natin na nililinlang ang bayan. Dahil sa katotohanan, nakikita natin ang kabulukan at pagsasamantala.”

    This was the message of Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila in his homily delivered by Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel in the mass celebrated at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), at 12:15 noon on the day of SONA. The mass was broadcasted online as well as through TV Maria and Radio Veritas. Although Bp. Pabillo was not present during the mass, he was the one who prepared the homily that was delivered by Msgr. Coronel, Rector and Parish Priest of Quiapo Church.

    “Mga kapatid, may apat na social virtues. Kailangan ang mga virtues na ito ng isang maayos na lipunan – Love, Truth, Justice and Peace. Magkakaugnay ang mga ito. Dahil sa pagmamahal sa kapwa, minamahal natin ang bayan. Kaya tayo nagsasalita ng katotohanan," the Bishop said.

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | File Photo of RCAM-AOC


    The Mass was offered for the preservation of peace and justice on the day of the Fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on July 27, 2020.

    “Kaya nananawagan tayo para sa katarungan na magdadala ng tunay na kapayapaan. Love, Truth, Justice and Peace. Ipagdasal natin ang mga ito para sa ating bayan,” he said.

    Also in his homily, Bishop Pabillo spoke of the love of God and love to our fellow human beings who he referred to as our family, neighbors and even enemies. He stressed that the fifth SONA of the President is a reminder of our love for our country and its people.

    “Pero kasama din sa kapwa tao ay ang ating mga kababayan, ang ibig sabihin, ang ating bansa. So love of country is part of the command to love one another. Buhayin uli natin sa ating kalooban ang pagmamahal sa bayan. Kung nasaan ang pag-ibig nandoon ang Diyos. Huwag tayo magwalang kibo sa nangyayari sa ating bansa!,” he said.

    As President Duterte delivers his SONA, the Bishop urged the faithful to carefully listen and analyze the report of the President and how the government should respond to the various problems the country is currently enveloped with like the plight to fight the pandemic, the OFWs who lost their jobs, the students who have no means to undergo online study and how those business enterprises can start all over again.

    “We care enough to know what is happening among us now and what our elected officials are doing. So we will listen carefully and we will analyze conscientiously because, unfortunately in our times, not everything that is said, even by the highest official of the land and his official spokespersons, is credible and true. Kaya susuriin natin,” he said.

    Earlier, Bishop Pabillo said that the Mass on the day of SONA is one of the things that the Catholic Church can offer especially during these times of trials and hardships. In his homily, he encouraged the faithful to pray for the leaders of the country.

    “Kaya nga kailangan nating magdasal, at malakas na magdasal, upang mabuksan ang mga mata at tainga ng ating mga leaders.  Sana makakita at makarinig na sila.  Higit pa rin kailangan tayong magdasal na lumambot ang kanilang puso at tumibok ito ayon sa hibik ng maraming nahihirapan na ngayon,” he said.

    Bishop Pabillo who is also the Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, announced on July 23, 2020, to the Clergy of Manila that he was tested positive with COVID-19. He is asymptomatic and follows the protocol set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). He is presently under quarantine and recuperating from the sickness. Although in isolation, his condition was not able to stop him from fulfilling his duties and responsibilities as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese. He continues to attend online meetings and remain in touch with the clergy and the faithful. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • FULL TEXT | Homily during the online Mass for Peace and Justice prepared by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila read by Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector, Quiapo Church on July 27, 2020, at 12:15 noon.


    Homily July 27  2020

    SONA

    Amos 5:12-15   Jn 18:33-40

     

    Pahayag ni Bishop Broderick Pabillo, ang tagapangasiwa ng arkidiosesis ng Manila:

     

    Matagal nating binalak na sa araw na ito tayong lahat ay magdasal para sa bayan. Kaya sa lahat ng misa sa archdiocese ng Maynila ang misa para sa pag-iral ng katarungan at kapayapaan ay dinadasal. Kahit na hindi ninyo ako kasama dito ngayon nakikiisa ako sa inyo sa pagbibigay ng ganitong pahayag tungkol sa Salita ng Diyos.

    The core of the Christian message is love – love of God and love of our fellow human beings. There is no problem about love of God.  It is clear. There is only one God to love. Either we love him or not. But love of our fellow human beings? Sino ba sila, iyong kapwa tao? Madalas kapag sinabi nating kapwa tao ang tinutukoy natin ay si nanay, si bunso, iyong kapitbahay, o even iyong kaaway. We take each one of them as individual persons. That is correct. Pero kasama din sa kapwa tao ay ang ating mga kababayan, ang ibig sabihin, ang ating bansa. So love of country is part of the command to love one another. Buhayin uli natin sa ating kalooban ang pagmamahal sa bayan. Kung nasaan ang pag-ibig nandoon ang Diyos. Huwag tayo magwalang kibo sa nangyayari sa ating bansa!


    Today we are reminded of our country. It is the day of the SONA – State of the Nation Address. Mamaya ang attention natin ay nakatuon sa president. Maglalahad siya ng kalagayan ng ating bayan at ng programa niya para sa bansa. Iyan dapat ang SONA. Hindi iyan panahon ng pagmamayabang, o pambabatikos  o pambobola sa taong bayan. Gusto nating malaman the real score. Nasaan na ba tayo sa paglaban sa corona virus? Nasaan na ba tayo sa pagbigay ng trabaho sa mga nawalan ng trabaho at sa mga OFW na umuuwi na walang trabaho. Nasaan na ba tayo sa mga estudyanteng walang pang-online study? Paano ba mabubuksan ang mga business enterprises?  Ano ba ang gagawin ng gobyerno para masagot ang mga problemang hinaharap ng taong bayan ngayon?

    Interesado tayong malaman ang mga ito kasi tayo ay mga mamamayang Pilipino. Interesado tayong sumubaybay sa mga ito kasi tayo ay mga Kristiyano. Hindi tayo maaaring maging mabubuting Kristiyano kung hindi tayo mabubuting mamamayan. Hindi natin masasabi na mahal ko ang aking kapwa kung wala tayong pagmamahal sa bayan. Kung may pagmamahal tayo sa bayan at least man lang inaalam natin kung ano talaga ang kalagayan ng bayan. We care enough to know what is happening among us now and what our elected officials are doing. So we will listen carefully and we will analyze conscientiously because, unfortunately in our times, not everything that is said, even by the highest official of the land and his official spokespersons, is credible and true. Kaya susuriin natin.

    Ano ang batayan ng ating pagsusuri? Dahil sa tayo ay mananampalataya, ang basehan ay ang ating pananampalataya na galing sa Banal na Kasulatan. Our Holy Mass today is For the Preservation of Justice and Peace.  These two are connected because there cannot be peace without justice. In our opening prayer we entreated God:  “We pray, that we may work without ceasing to establish that justice which alone ensures true and lasting peace.” Magtrabaho tayo upang mapairal ang katarungan na siyang maasahang tuntungan ng kapayapaan at kaayusan. Ang kapayapaan ay hindi matatamo ng dahas, ng baril o ng pananakot. Peace can never be achieved by unpeaceful means. Simple logic, hindi ba? Pero hindi ito naiintidihan ng mga armadong grupo, kasama na diyan ang mga police at ang military. Only when there is justice, then there will be peace.

    Napakahalaga po ng katarungan. Sinigaw ni propeta Mikas: “Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail and you will live, and God will be with you as you claim.” Ang ibig sabihin ng justice ay naibibigay sa tao ang nararapat, ang kanilang mga karapatan – nararapat na trabaho, na pagkain, na gamot, na edukasyon. At sino ba ang dapat magbigay nito? Di ang gobyerno na kumukuha sa atin ng buwis! Kaya nga nagkokolekta sila ng buwis kasi may tungkulin silang bigyan ng  nararapat na serbisyo ang bayan. Kung hindi naibibigay ang mga ito – walang katarungan; naiisahan nila ang bayan.

    Kaya nga kailangan nating magdasal, at malakas na magdasal, upang mabuksan ang mga mata at tainga ng ating mga leaders.  Sana makakita at makarinig na sila.  Higit pa rin kailangan tayong magdasal na lumambot ang kanilang puso at tumibok ito ayon sa hibik ng maraming nahihirapan na ngayon.

    Namumulitika ba ang simbahan kapag siya ay nanawagan ng katarungan para magkaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan? Namumulitika ba ang simbahan kapag sinasabi niya ang mga katiwalian at kapalpakan na nararanasan ng bayan? Pero tinatanggap na namin sa simbahan na may tutuligsa sa amin sa pagsasalita ng  ganito. Si Jesus mismo ay inakusahan ng political crime that he was setting up another kingdom, that he was undermining the rule of the Roman emperor. Kahit na maliwanag na sinabi ni Jesus na siya nga ay hari pero ang kanyang kaharian ay hindi sa mundong ito – inakusahan, hinatulan, pinarusahan at pinatay pa rin siya. Jesus himself foretold to us: “They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.” (Jn. 16:2-3) Hindi bago ang mga pinaparatang at panunuligsa sa mga mananampalataya.

    Pero hindi dahil sa dinala si Jesus kay Pilato at pinagbintangan, nanahimik siya. Siya ay nagsasaksi hanggang sa wakas. Nanindigan siya sa katotohanan. In front of Pontius Pilate, Jesus clearly said: “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Iyan lang naman ang ating pinapahayag: ang katotohanan. Kaya huwag tayong matakot na magsalita at kumilos. Kailangang sabihin ang katotohanan. Kailangang pairalin ang katarungan. Ginagawa natin ito kasi mahal natin ang ating bayan. Sa mga pagkilos na ito inaasahan natin na darating ang kapayapaan at kaayusan.

    Mga kapatid, may apat na social virtues. Kailangan ang mga virtues na ito ng isang maayos na lipunan – Love, Truth, Justice and Peace. Magkakaugnay ang mga ito. Dahil sa pagmamahal sa kapwa, minamahal natin ang bayan. Kaya tayo nagsasalita ng katotohanan. Ayaw natin na nililinlang ang bayan. Dahil sa katotohanan, nakikita natin ang kabulukan at pagsasamantala. Kaya nananawagan tayo para sa katarungan na magdadala ng tunay na kapayapaan. Love, Truth, Justice and Peace. Ipagdasal natin ang mga ito para sa ating bayan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily prepared by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila delivered by Msgr. Bong Lo during the online Fil-Mission Sunday Mass on July 26, 2020, at the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish in Mandaluyong, at 10 a.m.


    Ikinalulungkot ko na hindi ako makapagmisa sa inyo ngayong Linggo kaya hiniling ko na lang na basahin itong homiliya na aking inihanda para sa inyo.

    Thank you for your prayers. As you pray for me, I also pray for you.

    Today is Fil-Mission Sunday kaya dito tayo nagmimisa sa Parokya ng Our Lady of the Abandoned sa Jolo, Mandaluyong. Ito ay pinaglilingkuran ng mga pari ng Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP). Ito po ang grupo ng mga paring Pilipino na itinatag ng mga obispo ng Pilipinas noong 1965 upang magpadala ng mga Pilipinong missionaries. Kaya sila ngayon ay may mga seventy five na, na mga members at naglilingkod sa labing apat na countries.

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    Sa Fil-Mission Sunday na tumatama sa ika-apat na Sunday ng July, inaalaala natin ang mga MSP at ang iba pang misyonerong Pilipino. Tulungan natin sila sa ating panalangin at sa ano mang financial support na maibibigay natin.

    Ang pandemic ng COVID ay worldwide. Kung hirap tayo na nandito na tayo sa ating bansa, sa ating pamilya at mga kaibigan, ano pa kaya ang mga misyonero natin na nasa mission territories. Among people of different cultures and languages, we wonder how they are surviving in their work. Let us support them because they remind us of the missionary commitment of our being Christians. The Good News is for all.

    Now for the reflections based on our Readings.

    We are free because we can choose whhhat is good without restraint. Ngunit may mga pumipigil at nagpapahina sa ating kalayaan. Isa na diyan ay ang kamangmangan – kulang sa kaalaman. Ignorance keeps us from being truly free. Kung hindi sa…ng ating kaalaman, paano tayo makapipili ng maayos.

    Another constraint to our freedom is weak character. Maraming beses na alam naman natin na mali, pero nagagawa pa rin natin kasi mahina ang ating loob na iwasan yun. O kaya naman alam natin na dapat gawin ang isang bagay pero nadadala tayo ng katamaran o ng katakawan. We lack character. You’re not able to control ourselves.

    Another thing that keeps us from achieving real freedom is fear. Natatakot tayo o tinatakot tayo kaya hindi nakagagawa ng tama o nakakaiwas sa masama. O, how many people today are in slave by fear.

    Our Readings today speak about choice about freedom. Choice for what is good no matter the cost. In the Gospel, the man finds treasure of great value sold all his property joyfully in order to buy that field with the treasure in it. The merchant finding a pearl of great price sold everything to get that pearl.

    Iyan yung kaharian ng Diyos, napakahalaga na handa tayong ipagpalit kahit ano man upang yan ay makuha. Hindi ba sinabi na mahalin natin ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat.

    The man and the merchant were truly free to possess the kingdom. They knew the value of the treasure and of the pearl. They were not held by any attachment. They sold everything in exchange for the treasure. They were people of character. They decided promptly and decisively.

    Para mapasa-atin ang paghahari ng Diyos, kailangan ng kaalaman, lakas ng loob at malayang pagkilos na walang humahadlang. Ganyan ang mga santo at ganyan ang mga martir ng simabahan at mga bayani ng bayan - mulat sila sa nangyayari, malakas ang kanilang loob at may commitment silang magpasya at sila’y nagpasya.

    Si Solomon ay batang hari pa lamang. Pinili siya ng Diyos dahil sa kaniyang tatay na si David. Dakila si David sa mata ng Diyos at sa mata ng mga Israelita. Pinag-isa niya ang labindalawang tribes of Israel, pinalawak niya ang nasasakupan ng kanilang kaharian, tinalo niya ang mga Filisteo at ang lahat ng mga kaaway ng Israel. Tinatag niya ang lungsod ng Jerusalem at ginawa itong kanyang capital city at pinaikutan ito ng malakas na moog.

    Siguro naging insecure si Solomon. Matutumbasan ba niya ang kadakilaan ng kanyang tatay? Maniniwala ba ang mga tao sa kanya? May mga kapatid siya na baka nagmamanman para agawin ang trono sa kaniya. He has to feel that he choose of his father David.

    Tinanong siya ng Diyos kung ano ang kailangan niya? Dito niya pinakita ang kanyang kadakilaan. He said, “Give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.”

    He made the right choice. He use his freedom rightly. And God was pleased by his choice. Hindi niya inisip ang kanyang sarili. Hindi siya humingi ng kayaman para sa sarili. Hindi siya himingi ng mahabang buhay o ng buhay ng kanyang mga kaaway para manatili siyang ligtas. Ang hiningi niya ay ang karunungan upang makapagpasya ng makatuwiran para sa kanyang nasasakupan. His concern was the people not his own.

    Binigay ng Diyos ang kaniyang hiningi kasama pa ng iba pang mga biyaya – kayamanan, kadakilaan at mahabang buhay. Solomon chose well. He exercise his freedom well.

    Bukas ay ang SONA, State of the Nation Address ng ating pangulo. Mag-uulat siya ng kalagayan ng ating bayan. Ang atensiyon natin ay hindi gaano sa president kundi sa bayan.  Ano nga ba ang kalagayan ng bansa pagkatapos ng apat na taon ng kanyang pamumuno? Suriin po natin ang kalagayan ng ating bayan. Natutugunan ba ang kalagayan nito ng mga leaders natin sa gobyerno?

    The first requirement of true freedom is through freedom. Let us want to know. Hindi na kailangnan ng Diyos na ibigay sa mga leaders natin ang kakayahan upang mamuno. Nasa puwesto na sila - hinahawakan na ang mga sangay ng pamahalaan; hawak na ang kapulisan; nadidiktahan na ang kongreso; tinatakot na ang tayong bayan.

    Pero bakit hindi pa umuunlad ang bayan? Lumalala pa ang paglaganap ng virus, napupuno na ang ating mga ospital, marami na ang walang trabaho, nababawasan ang sahod ng tao, marami na ang gutom, hindi na nakapag-aaral ang mga kabataan.

    Marahil mali ang choice ng gobyerno. Hindi katarungan at ikabubuti ng bayan ang hinahanap. Hindi nila nagaya si Solomon. Ang hinahanap ay pang sarili na sila’y yumaman kaya may mga bago … na lumilitaw na ang mga kumokontra sa kanila ay madaling mapagbintangan kaya nandiyan ang Terror Law. Na manatili sila sa puder kaya binubuksan na naman ang usapin ng Charter Change.

    Ang mga ginagawa ba nila ngayon ay nakakatulong sa bayan? Ang pagtanggal ng prangkisa sa ABS CBN ay nakatulong ba sa bayan? Ang pagsasabatas ba ng Terror Law ay magbibigay ba ng lunas ng paglawak ng COVID-19? Ang Constitutional Change ba ay tutugon sa kawalang trabaho ng tao? Mali yata ang choice. Mali kasi ang puso ay wala sa paglilingkod sa bayan kundi sa sarili.

    Kakaiba si Solomon. His concern was for the people. He told God, “I serve youin the midst of the people whom you have chosen. A people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.” His attention was focused on the people so he asked for wisdom to govern them in righteousness to know what is right and what is wrong in his governance.

    Hindi natin ito nakikita sa mga leaders natin na ang hinahanap ay ano ang tama at ano ang mali. Imbes ang hinahanap ay anong batas na maibabato laban sa mga ayaw nila even stretching the law to absurdity as what happened to cojuaranto case against CJ Sereno and the cyber libel case against Maria Ressa.

    Our reading is about choices. After explaining the law to the people, Moses also told the people, “I have set before you, life and death. The blessing and the curse. Choose life then that you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 13:19).

    This same choice is set before us. Let us use our freedom well. We are now experiencing the wrong use of freedom, the wrong choice of those who govern us. Let us not confront this mistake with our own misguided use of freedom.

    Sinabi na natin sa simula para makapili tayo ng maayos, palalimin at palawakin ang kaalaman, palakasin ang loob at pagdedesisyon ng matatag.

    Freedom is such a precious gift. Our heroes have offered their lives for it. Jesus died that we may be truly free. As we thank the Lord for this gift of freedom, as sons and daughters of God, let us use and not misuse it. Let us use our freedom. Magpasya at magpasya ng mabuti. Let us not misuse it. Huwag natin itong gamitin para sa ating sarili lang. Gamitin ito para sa kabutihan ng lahat. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo tests positive with COVID-19


    Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo released a statement to the clergy of Manila about his situation of being COVID-19 positive. The letter was released and made public on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

    “It is in this spirit that I announce that I am tested positive with Covid-19 with the RT-PCR test. Although I do not feel anything, I follow the protocol that is set.”


    After his appointment as Apostolic Administrator of Manila, following the appointment of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to the Vatican, Bishop Pabillo continued to be actively involved in the pastoral works in the archdiocese.

    Aside from his regular online masses as well as online lectures, Bishop was engaged in many other activities especially in taking care of the poor and those badly affected by the pandemic.

    The Bishop took care of families who were found in the streets amidst the virus outbreak and provided assistance and support through the different services of the Archdiocese of Manila, particularly through Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the archdiocese with which relief efforts are made. He also opened Catholic School for the homeless and street dwellers to provide them with food and shelter.

    During the quarantine period, Bishop Pabillo continued to be in touch with the faithful with the celebration of online Masses in various parishes for the fiesta and pastoral visitations.

    He also visited the families that were victims of the fire that broke out in Happyland in Tondo in May 2020. And just recently, he was quick to visit the Santo Niño de Pandacan parish after hearing that the church was engulfed with fire.

    According to a recent study released by the World Health Organization (WHO), most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

    Bishop Pabillo is currently in quarantine and is not experiencing any symptoms.

    “I am now in a designated area for quarantine observing strict protocol as required. My condition is being monitored and I take healthy foods and vitamins and do physical exercise,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    His staff as well as the people he interacted were tested and were negative of the virus but were also advised to place themselves in quarantine.

    Even in quarantine, Bishop Pabillo continues to do his work by holding meetings via zoom and gives instructions to his priests and faithful for information and guidance.

     “I know this virus will pass, so please do not worry about me, although prayers would be very much appreciated. Since I am in my normal self, thank God, the scheduled online meetings that we have set will continue. Life must go on,” he said.

    The bishop ended his statement with a quote from St. Paul to Timothy: “Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching (2 Tim 4:2)." (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Mass for Peace and Justice to be held on the day of SONA


    The Archdiocese of Manila will celebrate Mass for Peace and Justice at the Manila Cathedral on July 27, 2020, at 12:15 p.m.

    According to Veritas News, this was announced by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila as the Archdiocese’s contribution in line with the 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte also on July 27.


    “Magkaroon po tayo ng sama-samang pagdadasal kung pwede kayo ng alas-dose kinse ng tanghali sa July 27, yan po ang misa ay gaganapin sa Manila Cathedral na doon sama-sama tayong magdasal, mas maganda not only during the day but at the same time we pray together for the sake of the country and reflect about the state of the country asking the wisdom coming from the Lord Jesus,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    The Bishop said that prayer is one of the most important things that the Church can offer especially during these times when the country is facing a lot of hardships.

    “Kami po sa Simbahan ay mag-aambag sa araw ng SONA. Ang aming maibibigay at ang pag-ambag ay ang aming panalangin, mahalaga din ang espiritwal na component ng ating bansa. Kaya dito po sa Archdiocese of Manila lahat ng mga misa sa araw na ito sa umaga, sa tanghali, sa hapon, iyan po ay misa upang ipagdasal ang bayan,” the prelate said.

    Following the Holy Mass, there will also be an Inter-confessional Ecumenical Inter-religious Prayer in which various religious denominations will offer prayers for the common good and welfare of the country and the people. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archbishop Valles recovering well after stroke


    In an official statement released by the Archdiocese of Davao, Rev. Msgr. Paul Cuison, vicar general of the archdiocese, said that Archbishop Romulo Valles is recuperating at the Bishop’s Residence after he suffered from a stroke on May 23. He said that the archbishop was released from the hospital last July 6.

    Archbishop Romulo Valles | File Photo: RCAM-AOC

    “As a close aide to the archbishop, I am happy to let you know that he is getting back to normal self again in an almost miraculous way, with only a slight problem of his physical movement which is also showing great improvement,” he said.

    “For clarification, he was admitted in the hospital on the evening of May 23 and was discharged last July 6. The prolonged days in the hospital was due to some complications like the hospital acquired pneumonia. But he has long time been declared by his physician as stable," he added.

    The Archbishop has already celebrated Mass, according to Msgr. Cuison, on the occasion of his 69th birthday.

    “I am optimistic that it would just be a matter of days and he will be back to celebrate public masses for the faithful,” said Msgr. Cuison.

    As Archbishop Valles is recuperating from stoke, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David was appointed acting President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass on July 19, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Ang madalas na impresyon ng mga tao ay malakas at marami ang masasama at kakaunti lang ang mabubuti. Napapatibay ang imresyon na ito dahil din sa mga balita. Kapag nagbukas tayo ng radyo, ng TV o ng newspapers, ang mga headlines ng mga balita ay tungkol sa kasamaan. May pinatay, may scam na nangyari, may barilan at marami pang iba. Pati na nga sa kalikasan, ang nababalita ay bagyo, landslides, tag-tuyo o baha. Hindi naman nababalita ang magagandang isda sa karagatan, ang mga bulaklak sa parang o ang mga prutas na masasarap.

    Ang sabi ko nga, yan ay impresyon kasi sa totoo lang marami ring kabutihan ang nasa mundo at nasa tao. Pinasasalamat natin ang mga ito tuwing tayo ay nagsisimba kaya nga ang tawag natin sa ating pagdiriwang ay Eukaristiya na ang ibig sabihin ay pasasalamat. Kaya kapag naiimbitihan na magsimba tayo, ang talagang sinasabi natin ay pagpasalamat tayo.


    Pero kahit na totoo pa na kakaunti lang ang mgabubuti, hindi dapat yan dahilan upang mag-give up na tayo. In fact, good things start small. We all start as tiny babies and the big Mango tree started as a small seed, the size of our palm.

    The Jesuit Society started from one man, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Christianity started with Jesus and His twelve disciples. This is why Jesus compares the kingdom of God which is the work of salvation that is meant for all to small things – yeast, seed, salt, light. These are small but they have big effects.

    Ang kaunting lebadura ay nakakapaalsa ng ilang takal na harina. Ang maliit na binhi ay nagiging mayabong na tanim na pinipugaran ng mga ibon. Ang ilang butil na asin ay nagbibigay ng lasa sa buong ulam. Pero ang mga ito, para magkaroon ng epekto ay kailangang sumisiksik at mawala. Ang ilaw ay dapat nasa gitna ng dilim at hindi nakatago. Sa pagbibigay ng ilaw, ang kandila, ito ay nauubos. Ang asin ay dapat matunaw upang makapagbigay ng lasa. Ang binhi ay dapat mabulok sa lupa upang maging malaking puno. Ang lebadura ay manoot sa harina para makapang alsa.

    Ganun din ang kabutihan at ang mga taong pinaghaharian ng Diyos. Kahit na kakaunti lang sila, magkakaroon sila, magkakaroon tayo ng effect kung tayo ay nakasiksik sa takbo ng kasaysayan at kumikilos ayon sa makakayanan natin – magsalita kaya, magpost sa Facebook, manghikayat ng iba, mag-ingay sa kalye tulad ng noise barrage natin o magsindi ng kandila. Maliliit na bagay ngunit may malaking effect. Ang importante ay hindi tayo tatabi-tabi lang at hayaan natin na dumaloy ang kasaysayan ng bayan na hindi tayo nababasa kasi hindi tayo nakikialam, kasi hindi tayo nakikiisa.

    Pero bakit ba hinahayaan ng Diyos ang masasama sa mundo o sa bayan o sa simbahan man kaya? Tulad ba tayo ng mga alipin sa ebanghelyo na nagtatanong, “Hindi po ba mabuting binhi ang inihasik ninyo sa inyong bukid? Bakit po may mga damo ngayon? Hindi ba mabuti ang Diyos? Bakit mayroong masasama sa mundo?”

    First, let us not suppose that these evil people come from God. The Book of Wisdom tells us, “For God warned us to be imperishable. The image of His own nature He made us but by the envy of the devil, death entered the world and they who are feel allied with Him experienced Him. Ito ay galing sa kaaway. Ang kasamaan ay galing sa masasasma.

    Secondly, when the slave suggested to pull out the weeds, He did not allow them. Hayaan ninyong sabay sabay silang lumaki. Kaya sa mundo, at kahit na simbahan, sama sama ang mabuti at ang masama. Pero darating din ang paghihiwalay. Hindi pa nga ngayon pero dadating din yan. Hindi pabaya ang Diyos, may parusang dadating sa mga damo, sa mga masasama at may gantimpala sa mga nabibilang sa pinghaharian ng Diyos. Sigurado yan kaya yung gumagawa ng masama, yung makasarili, yung mga traydor sa bayan, mag-isip isip habang may panahon pa.

    St. Peter wrote, “The Lord does not delay His promise as some regard delay but He is patient with you. That we shame that any should perish but all should come to repentance. Therefore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.”

    Mapagpasensiya ang Diyos pero masyado naman yatang mapagpasensiya ang Diyos. Maaaring magreklamo tayo, hindi ba niya nakikita na bugbog na kami sa coronavirus? Patuloy na tumataas ang mga na-i-infect at namamatay. Puno na ang mga ospital namin, hindi ba niya nakikita na bugbog na kami sa kawalang trabaho kaya marami na ang nagugutom at mga bata na hindi na makapag-aaral? Hindi ba nakikita ng Diyos na bugbog na rin kami sa mga manhid na mga kongresista na ang priority ay patayin ang ABS CBN at dagdagan pa ang unemployment na ang priority ay ipasa ang Terror Law para madaling hatulan na destabilizers at terorista ang mga magbabatikos sa kanilang kapalkapan?

    Bakit ba masyadong mapagpasensiya ang Diyos? Gusto natin ng Diyos na mag-react agad at magalit. Gusto natin tauhan siya pero hindi siya matatauhan, hindi naman siya tao, siya’y Diyos na makapangyarihan sa lahat.

    Our First Reading from the Book of Wisdom tells us, “O, God your might is the source of righteousness. Your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. Though you are master of might, you judge with clemency. With much lenience, you govern us for power whenever you will…you.

    Hindi natin ito nakikilala. Akala natin ang makapangyarihan ay yung madaling magalit, yung mabigat ang kamay, yung ayaw sa mga kumokontra sa kanya. Hindi yan ang kalakasan. Yan ay kahinaan. Yan ay insecurity. So, those who cannot take any opposition and any ideas contrary to their own, these are very insecure people. They are gasping in weakness so they silence or eliminate those who are against them. They make us believe that the critics are against the people when in fact these brave independent souls are just against their ineptitude.

    So, they will call them terrorists, sooner or later and sooner or later, they will find an iota of law to pull them down to give their actions a semblance of legality, they weaponize the law. Ito ang pananaw na namamayani sa may kapangyarihan ngayon dito sa ating bayan.

    Pero hindi ito ang pananaw at paraan ng Diyos. Para sa Diyos ang kapangyarihan ay naipapakita sa pag-uunawa at sa pagbibigay ng habag. Ang Diyos ay makapangyarihan sa lahat kaya siya ay mahabagin sa lahat. Pinakita ni Hesus ang kanyang kapangyarihan sa kanyang pag-aalay ng sarili sa krus. In-absorb niya ang lahat ng puwersa ng kasamaan – ang pagsisinungaling, pagtratraydor, ang lakas, ang kasakiman ang kamatayan at hindi siya natumba. Tumayo ulit siya muling nabuhay. Wala nang magagawa ang kasamaan sa kanya. Wala na itong ilalaban pa sa kanya. Naghahanap ang mga tao ng kapangyarihan at ng karunungan.

    Sinabi ni San Pablo, “Ang pinapahayag natin ay si Hesus na nasa krus. Ang kapangyarihan at ang karuningan ng Diyos para sa lahat na nasa landas na kaligtasan.”

    Sa pagpapasensiya mo, O Diyos, itinuturo mo sa mga taong makatarungan na dapat din silang maging maawain. At binigyan mo naman ng pag-asa ang iyong bayan na pagkalooban sa kanila ang pagkakataong makapagsisi.

    Nananawagan kami sa inyong mga nasa kapangyarihan, magsisi na kayo habang may pagkakataon pa. Dadating ang parusa hindi ninyo matatakasan ang Diyos. Sa mga pagsisinungaling, sa mga pagsasamantala, sa kasamaan na ginagawa nyo, dadating ang parusa. Maaaring hindi pa sisiklab ang galit ng Diyos pero maaaring sumiklab na ang galit ng taong bayan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Sobreviñas dies at 96


    Retired Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas of the Diocese of Imus passed away on Saturday, July 18, 2020. He was 96.

    According to CBCPNews, the bishop died at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City at 12:45 p.m.

    Retired Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas of the Diocese of Imus | Photo Credit: Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews


    Bishop Sobreviñas was born in Dinalupihan town in Bataan province and was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Manila in 1951.

    He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in 1979 and chaired the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education from 1991 to 1993.

    In 1993, he was appointed as the third bishop of Imus and retired in October 2001 at the age of 77.

    With the prelate’s death, retired Bishop Jose Sorra of Legazpi, age 91, is now the oldest living Filipino bishop, according to the website Catholic Hierarchy. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • A Pastoral Letter and a Call to Prayer


    Sow for yourselves justice, reap in mercy.  Break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the Lord, till he comes and rains justice upon you. 
    Hosea 10:12


    Dear Fellow Filipinos,

    A few days ago, we received a letter from His Eminence, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. It was an ardent request for prayers for Hongkong, on account of the signing into law of a new National Security Act.  He explained in his letter how this new law poses a threat to the basic freedoms and human rights of the people of Hongkong, and how it potentially undermines especially their freedom of expression.


    Apparently, the Chinese government assures the people of Hongkong that they have nothing to be afraid of, as long as “they don’t get involved in any activity that threatens national security.”   Why does this sound eerily familiar to us Filipinos? Because we are in a similar situation. And so, while we responded with an assurance to  His Eminence, Cardinal Bo, that we would join him in praying for the people of Hongkong, we also asked him to pray for the Philippines and explained why we are as seriously in need of prayers as the people of Hongkong.  Like them, we are also alarmed about the recent signing into law of the Anti-Terror Act of 2020.

    We are still in disbelief about the manner in which the contentious Anti-Terror Bill was fast-tracked and approved in both Houses of Congress while the whole country’s attention was focused on the Covid-19 pandemic. They did not even seem to care that many of the people they represent were against it—lawyers’ associations, the academe, the business sector, labor groups, youth organizations, NGO’s, political movements, faith-based communities, and even the Bangsamoro government.

    The dissenting voices were strong but they remained unheeded. None of the serious concerns that they expressed about this legislative measure seemed to be of any consequence to them. Alas, the political pressure from above seemed to weigh more heavily on our legislators than the voices from below. It only made more evident the blurring of lines between legislative and the executive branches of our government.

    In particular, the legal experts and constitutionalists in our country are seriously concerned that this newly signed law has many elements that are “oppressive and inconsistent with our Constitution.” They have pointed out convincingly how this new law poses a “serious threat to the fundamental freedoms of all peaceful Filipinos.”

    And yet, the people in government and their allies have dismissed these fears as unfounded.  The assurance that they give sounds strangely parallel to that which the Chinese government gave to the people of Hongkong: “Activism is not terrorism. You have no reason to be afraid if you are not terrorists.” We know full well that it is one thing to be actually involved in a crime and another thing to be merely suspected or accused of committing a crime.

    Have we not heard of people active in social advocacies who are accused of being communists?  Have we forgotten the bishops, priests and religious who were included among those falsely charged by the Philippine National Police with crimes of sedition and inciting to sedition?  Are we not aware of the thousands of people who have been killed in police operations on the basis of mere suspicion of involvement in criminality and illegal drugs?  Have we not followed the news about Senator Leila de Lima who continues to languish in jail, also on the basis of mere allegations?  Have we not heard of media personalities being harassed by a multitude of criminal charges?  Have we not felt the chilling effect of the closure of the country’s biggest broadcast network, the ABS-CBN, after being denied renewal of its franchise?  Is it not evident to us how this pattern of intimidation creates an atmosphere detrimental to the freedom of expression in our country?

    In the midst of this bleak political landscape, we draw consolation from the groups of lawyers and ordinary citizens that have filed petitions before the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the newly signed law.  Will the highest level of our Judiciary assert its independence, or will they, too, succumb to political pressure?

    The return of “warrantless detentions” through this new law cannot but remind us of the initial moves in 1972 that eventually led to the fall of democracy and the rise of a dictatorial regime that terrorized the country for fourteen years.   It all began when an elected president also legalized the  “ASSOs” (arrest, search and seizure orders).  It was from there that we gradually sank into the mire of authoritarian rule.  Knowing how, in just the recent past, the law has been used too many times as a weapon to suppress legitimate dissent and opposition, we cannot but share in the apprehensions expressed by the lawyers and ordinary citizens that filed the petition against the said infamous law before the Supreme Court.

    While a semblance of democracy is still in place and our democratic institutions somehow continue to function, we are already like the proverbial frog swimming in a pot of slowly boiling water.  We draw encouragement from the belief that in various government agencies we still have many people of good will whose hearts are in the right places, and who remain objective and independent minded.  We have nothing but admiration for these public servants in all branches of government who do only as conscience dictates and do not allow themselves to be intimidated or prevented by political pressure from performing their constitutionally mandated duties.  We can only wish that there would be more of them.  They are an important element to the strengthening of our government institutions, and are an essential key to a stable and functional democratic system.

     

    Allow us then to end this letter by inviting you to pray with us,

     

    “Be with us O Lord our God, as we continue to face the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the recent political developments that have deeply divided our country.  You know how desperately we need to be united in order to fight a common unseen enemy that has caused a lot of sufferings and uncertainties, widespread infections, an overwhelmed health care system, loss of jobs, hunger immense losses in business, and loss of lives.

    We pray for our public servants, our people in government, especially those among them who remain upright and continue to be motivated by a genuine sense of duty and love for country.  Protect them, Lord, and give them the courage to stand their ground on the side of truth and justice.

    May the crisis brought about by the pandemic bring about conversion and a change of heart in all of us.  May it teach us to rise above personal and political loyalties and make us redirect all our efforts towards the common good.  May we be guided by your Spirit to respond with mercy and compassion for the poor, the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable sectors of our society. For we know that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do for you. AMEN.”

     


    For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:
    Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D.
    Bishop of Kalookan
    Acting President, CBCP
    16 July 2020, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

  • Bishop David appointed as 'acting president' of CBCP


    Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan, will temporarily be acting president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

    According to Bishop David, who is next in line as vice president of CBCP,  the transition is due to health reason of Archbishop Romullo Valles, president of CBCP and Archbishop of Davao. The Archbishop needs to rest after experiencing a mild stroke.

    File Photo: RCAM-AOC

     

    “Well actually, more than a month already, dahil nagka-stroke ang ating presidente sa Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. And while he was recovering, ay nagkaroon sya ng hospital-acquired pneumonia. So yung pneumonia had to be treated bago sya nakapagrehab bago doon sa kanyang stroke,” said the Bishop during the radio program Barangay Simbayanan at Radio Veritas.

    He also assured that Archbishop Valles has already been discharged from the hospital but still needs to rest. Hence, the helm of CBCP is temporarily entrusted to Bishop David.

    “He wrote a letter appointing me as the acting president in his absence habang nagre-recuperate siya sa kanyang kalagayan o health condition ngayon. Kasi ako iyong vice president, kaya ako ang acting dahil ako ang vice president. So temporary lang naman ito. Si Archbishop is recuperating very well,”  the bishop added.

    The CBCP has also opted to cancel their scheduled plenary assembly this July due to the high risk caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Bishop David stated that the CBCP Permanent Council has already conducted two meetings online to discuss important topics regarding the Church and the nation. Among the topics discussed was the response of the Church to the needs brought about by the pandemic. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • New Jolo bishop installed


    Bishop Charlie Inzon has been installed as the sixth apostolic vicar of the southern Philippine vicariate of Jolo on Thursday.

    The ceremony took place during a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel during her feast day in Sulu province’s Jolo town.

    Photo Courtesy: CBCPNews


    “I rejoice in the mercy of God and trust in his assurance of strength and consolation as I take up this ministry of service in the Church in the Vicariate of Jolo,” Inzon said.

    The prelate succeeds Archbishop Lampon, who was transferred to the Cotabato archdiocese in 2018.

    The apostolic vicariate covers the southernmost islands of Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

    Also in attendance were priests from Jolo and Cotabato and some lay people.

    Thursday also marked the first year anniversary of the rededication and reopening of the Jolo cathedral after its closure due to the January 2019 bombing.

    The installation took place nearly two months after his episcopal ordination at the Cotabato cathedral.

    Originally scheduled on May 28, a week after his ordination, the installation was delayed due to quarantine measures during these times of the coronavirus pandemic. (CBCPNews) 

  • How a hurting ego killed a franchise

    By Jerome R. Secillano, MPA

     

    I am hardly surprised at the non-renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN for the simple reason that President Duterte repeatedly promised in the past not to grant it.

    I have compelling reasons to believe that members of the House of Representatives did not act in good faith in denying the network’s bid for continued operation.

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) belied the allegations hurled against the network but the House panel practically ruled them out and decided instead to focus on the network’s perceived biases and the Lopez family as an oligarch that is bad for the country.

    Rev. Fr. Jerome Secillano, MPA   

    ABS-CBN is no saint. Officials of the network admitted the company’s flaws, apologized and then promised rectification.  While the gesture may not be enough to soothe a hurting ego, the arbitrariness for which the law was applied to them was too much and gravely appalling.

    I heard rants, imbecile remarks, irrelevant questions, grandstanding comments and sarcastic guffaws, but the thirteen (13) hearings failed to give me the crucial information related to the guidelines for franchise renewal.

    Members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises decided the fate of the embattled network based on the nationality of the network’s chairman Eugenio Lopez III, tax avoidance, non-regularization of employees as well as supposed foreign ownership through the selling of Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs) to foreign firms.

    While tax avoidance is not illegal(as opposed to tax evasion), it was hypocritical for  members of Congress to appeal to the immoral nature of the practice. Many of the bills deliberated in Congress hardly dwell on their moral implications even if some of them are obviously moral in nature.

    Divorce Bill, same-sex union, death penalty, and the reproductive health law are just some of the measures that morality was sidetracked as guiding principle in their formulation. I know where I speak of because I was there in the many deliberations concerning these measures. Legislators would merely utter ‘’noted’’ once moral issues would be raised.   

    In a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling on July 26, 2018 with regards to Rapplers’ issuance of PDR to a foreign firm called Omidyar, the court noted that it is  unconstitutional but said Rappler ought to be given reasonable time to correct the deal, “In cases where the articles of incorporation of any amendment thereto is found by the SEC to be non-compliant with the requirements of the Corporation Code, under Section 17 of the Corporation Code, the SEC is mandated to give incorporators a reasonable time within which to correct or modify the objectionable portions of their articles of incorporation or amended thereof.”

    The CA further opined that the SEC even allowed other entities such as GMA, Globe and ABS-CBN to issue PDRs.

    Instead of allowing the facts of the case and the law to weigh heavily on the matter, the House panel members forced their whimsical and twisted opinion to not give ABS-CBN a chance to rectify itself.

    The House panel would also like the public to believe that they are pro-labor and sided with disgruntled employees who were either terminated or not regularized by the network. But by closing ABS-CBN and the fate of its eleven thousand (11,000) employees, Congress merely showed its true motive. It is not about the rights of workers that they are after but the closure of the network itself.

    The hundreds or maybe the thousands of labor cases should have been remanded to DOLE or to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for proper disposition and if found guilty, ABS-CBN should be made to pay these employees or regularize them.

    Congress tried to play a hero’s role to a hundred but then insensitively doused the hopes and future of the eleven thousand including their families not to mention the millions of Filipinos who benefitted from the network’s many charitable works.

    The administration’s repeated use of the word ‘’oligarch’’ put on the spot the role played by a small group of elite, powerful and moneyed individuals in running our country. They are often seen as wielding power and influence to the detriment of national interests.

    More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle used the term ‘’oligarchy’’ when he discussed the different forms of state governance. He said simply that “It is a rule by a few in contrast with democracy, which is rule by the people’’.

    For Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Oligarchs are those who use their proximity to the authorities to receive super profits’’.

    The Lopez family maybe an oligarch but I do not know where to put them in the context of what were said above.

    The closest to the network’s wielding political power was when ABS-CBN helped Companero Renato Cayetano, the father of the current House Speaker, secure a seat in the Senate as well as helping Loren Legarda and Noli De Castro grabbed the number one spot in their respective senate races with De Castro ultimately clinching the Vice Presidency during the incumbency of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Ted Failon, Sol Aragones, Mon Ilagan and Angelo Palmones were the others who may have benefitted from their association with the network as they went on to embark in their political careers.

    Whether the network influenced public policies or the manner of running the affairs of the state from the time of Pres. Corazon Aquino to Pnoy Aquino III is debatable. But one thing is clear, the network can sway public opinion and it can demand accountability from public officials in their shows and programs. This is what makes ABS-CBN ‘’dangerous’’ and the Lopezes’ independence and non-proximity to the current administration makes them a thorn in the government.

    The media conglomerate must go if this administration plans on nationalizing a wholesale propaganda. Fake news, false accusations and controlled media are part of a planned scheme to advance the administration’s agenda.

    The Nazi regime, with Joseph Goebbels at the helm of its propaganda strategies, told lies repeatedly until all lies appeared to have the semblance of truth in the eyes of the people. The Germans believed in the nobility of Hitler’s plans that they denied the regime’s atrocities committed against the Jews even when Gen. Dwight Eisenhower already brought them to different concentration camps around Germany to see rotten dead bodies piled up one after the other.

    The sordid experience of some critics who either ended up in jail or rendered jobless by being ousted from government service is just one of the many indications of a creeping authoritarianism unravelling in our country. This is not to mention the dead bodies sprawled everywhere as a result of  the dreaded drug war waged earlier by this administration.

    The public is still not convinced that something wrong is happening because the government makes it appear that it is doing what is best for the country.

    By appealing to law, the government creates the impression that it is reasonably putting order and discipline above all else. In truth though, the government is bastardizing the law with its whimsical interpretations and is applying it unfairly and unjustly.

    On Sept. 2, 2000, Republic Act (RA) No.8954 lapsed into law after not having the signature of Pres. Joseph Estrada and it paved way for another 25 years of IBC 13 operation.  In the same manner, RA 11320 also lapsed into law on April 22, 2019 as it was not signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and it gave TV 5 another 25 years to operate. On April 21, 2017, RA 10925 was passed by Congress renewing the franchise of GMA 7 for another 25 years.

    On May 5, 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) immediately ordered the shutdown of ABS-CBN as its franchise expired the day before. On July 10, Congress killed whatever hope ABS-CBN had for its franchise renewal.

    Either the three aforementioned networks, whose franchises were renewed, were perfectly compliant to government regulations or ABS-CBN must have really done all the wrong things to deserve such swift congressional punishment.

    In the eyes of the government, the continued operation of ABS-CBN is bad for the country. So, it dismantled a media empire and have yet to put the finishing touches to completely destroy an oligarch. What a perfect way for Duterte to establish his own brand of oligarchy and groom his own set of cronies.

    ABS-CBN is not perfect. It hurt a lot of public officials by exposing their shenanigans. Too bad for the network, it can’t appease their hurting egos.

  • Efficiency and Humility in time of Covid-19


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, reflected on the importance of humility within the culture of efficiency in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic during the Online Mass on July 5, 2020.

    In his homily, Bishop Pabillo described the moments where the faithful felt the immense weight of their responsibilities which led them to feel tired. However, he affirmed that the faithful are called to humble themselves and ask help from one another as it would ease the feeling of being alone. 


    “Naging mabigat ang buhay hindi dahil sa pasanin. Naging mabigat ang buhay dahil sa akala natin tayo lang ang nagdadala ng lahat na nakapatong sa atin ang buong responsibilidad. At bakit kasi sinosolo natin? Kasi wala tayong tiwala. Kulang tayo sa kababaang loob na hindi tayo nag-iisa,” he said.

    The prelate stressed that those who feel superior to one another often feel discontentment which affects relationships with work, family, friends and their communities.

    “Sa totoo lang, ang nagpapahirap sa ating buhay ay hindi ang ating responsibilidad o ang ating pasanin kundi ang ating kayabangan, ang ating mataas na pagtingin sa ating sarili. We always try to live us to the expectation of others that maybe form the boss, from colleagues and friends, the peer pressure or from competitors or even from our family members or relatives who unfortunately, nothing for them is enough,” he said.

    “This is especially true in our world which promote a cult of efficiency and productivity. You are only as good as the work that you can deliver. So, we struggle to show to others that we can produce and so, we are reliable and needed,” he added.

    He pointed out how the pandemic enables the faithful to connect through the means of technology in the current time. Nonetheless, he also warned the faithful against the motive of self-centered use of technology.

    “We thought we know many things that we can explore the stars, that we can thinker with life, that we can…knowledge with our computers and our artificial intelligence. The coronavirus puts us in our place. It humbles us. Our globalized world crumbles. Our economy limpers. We are humbled and we should stay humble if we want to become great,” the bishop said.

    When faith is challenged during the pandemic, the bishop encouraged the lay faithful to keep their feet on the ground by following the example of Jesus’ humility despite the hurdles that they encounter even after the lockdown.

    “Kaya tinatawagan tayo ngayon ni Jesus, lumapit tayo sa kanya. Matuto tayo sa kanyang kababaang loob. Papahingahin niya tayo not only during this time of the lockdown but always even after na bumalik na tayo sa ating mga gawain, patuloy siyang magpapahinga sa atin,” he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass on July 12, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Nasaan ka, O Diyos? Naririnig mo ba ako? Magsalita ka.

    We may have expressed these similar words one time or another in our life especially when things get desperate. We feel the absence and the silence of God. Jesus also felt this kind of desperation when He cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    Nananahimik ba ang Diyos? Pinababayaan ba niya tayo?

    One of the names of God is the Word. So, we hear at the beginning of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

    The first action of God in the Bible is, God created. And the second is, God spoke. Binigyan ng Diyos ng porma ang kanyang nilikha sa pamamagitan ng kanyang salita. Nagsalita siya at nagkaroon. Sabi niya, “Magkaroon ng liwanag.” At nagkaroon nga ng liwanag. “Magkaroon ng halaman.” At nagkaroon nga ng mga halaman. Kaya masasabi ba natin na nananahimik ang Diyos?


    Ang salita ay hindi nananahimik kaya naniniwala tayong mga Kristiyano that our God is a revealing God. He continues to reveal. He continues to speak. Siya ay Diyos na nagpapahayag palaging nagsasalita. Ganito siya sapagkat ang Diyos ay pag-ibig. Walang pag-ibig kung walang komunikasyon. Ang opposite ng pagmamahalan ay hindi pag-aaway. Ang opposite ay ang pag-de-deadma. Mabuti pa ang nag-aaway, nagco-communicate pa sila pasigaw lang nga. Pero kapag hindi mo na pinansin, dineadma mo na, hiwalay na kayo. Sira na ang relasyon.

    Because God is Word, He constantly communicates with us. He speaks to us in various ways, iba’t ibang paraan. He speaks to us through creation. Our Second Reading speaks of creation, how it is growling for salvation. So many people for centuries and even up to now know God through creation.

    Kaya sinabi ni San Pablo, “Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived by what He has made.”

    Kaya pinaaalalahanan tayo ni Pope Francis sa kanyang liham na Laudato Si na pakinggan natin ang iyak, ang hibik ng kalikasan na binabale wala at sinisira na natin. Ang iyak ng kalikasan, iyan ay panawagan ng Diyos.

    Ang Diyos ay nagsasalita rin sa pamamagitan ng mga pangyayari sa ating personal na buhay at sa kasaysayan. May sinasabi ang Diyos sa nangyayari sa atin ngayon sa pandemyang ito, sa ating pagkasakit, sa ating pagtratrabaho, sa usapin ng ABS CBN, sa madaliang pagpasa ng Terror Law, sa pagkasunog ng simbahan ng Sto. Niño sa Pandacan. Ano kaya ang mga sinasabi ng Diyos sa mga pangyayaring ito? Ano ang ipinagagawa niya sa atin?

    God is the Lord of history. And through happenings in time, He is telling us something.

    Nagsasalita ang Diyos sa ating konsensiya. Ito ng tinig ng Diyos na nakatanimsa kalooban ng bawat isa sa atin. Nakikinig ba tayo sa ating konsensiya? Pinapansin ba natin ito? Ang pagbibingi bingihan sa konsensiya natin ay ang pagbibingi bingihan sa Diyos.

    Nagsasalita ang Diyos sa mga taong kanyang pinapadala. Noon nagpadala siya ng mga propeta, ng mga apostol. Ngayon ay nagpapadala siya ng mga taong banal na mga taong sinusugo niya sa simbahan lalo’t higit nagsalita siya sa salita ng Diyos na naging tao – si Hesukirsto. He is the definitive word of the Father.

    Ang lahat ng gustong sabihin sa atin ng Ama ay sinabi niya na sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang anak na si Hesus. Ang ginagawa ng simbahan ay walang iba ay walang iba kundi intindihin at ipalaganap ang mensahe ni Hesus.

    Ang Diyos ay nagsasalita din sa atin sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Kasulatan. He puts Himself on record in the Bible which is the written word of God. Dahil sa ito’y written, ito’y mababalik balikan natin at masasaliksik natin ang Salita ng Diyos sa Bible. Kaya po nakikita natin na ang Diyos ay hindi nananahimik. Palagi siyang nag-re-reach out sa atin at pinaaabot niya ang Kanyang salita sa pamamagitan ng kalikasan, ng mga pangyayari sa ating buhay, sa pamamagitan ng ating konsensiya, sa pamamagitan ng mga taong pinapadala niya lalo na si Hesus na tagapagdala ng buong katotohanan tungkol sa Diyos at sa kaligtasan, sa mga aral ng simbahan at sa mga nakasulat sa Bibliya.

    Nagsasalita nga ang Diyos at ang salita niya ay mabisa. Inihambing ito sa bulag ni propeta Isaias, “Kapag pumapatak ang ulan sa lupa, parang walang nangyari.” The earth of absorbs the rain. The water sips into the ground. But soon the earth becomes green with grass. The plants grow and the flowers bloom.

    Ganyan po ang Salita ng Diyos. Ito ay mabisa. Ginagawa nito ang balak ng Diyos. Ang Salita niya ay hind lang nagbibigay sa atin ng impormasyon o kaalaman. The Word of God is not only informative but it is performative. It brings about the effects that God wants that it should have.

    Kaya nga sinabi ni Propeta Isaias, “The Word shall not be turned to me empty but shall do what pleases me achieving the end for which I sent you,” sabi ng Panginoon.

    Itong pagkamabunga ng Salita ng Diyos ay inilarawan din sa atin sa talinhaga ni Hesus. Inihambing niya ang salita sa binhi na masaganang inihahasik ng magsasaka na walang iba kundi si Hesus. Kapag ito ay napapunta sa matabang lupa, bumubunga ito ng thirtyfold, sixtyfold and a hundredfold. Wala pa tayong alam na binhi na amumuna ng tatlongpung ibayo.

    Yes, the seed has the power of abundant life in it. But it has to fall on good ground. Huwag natin sisishin ang Diyos na hindi siya nagsasalita. Kung ang salita niya na walang bias baka ang tignan natin ay ang ating sarili. Do we see? Do we hear the Word of God? Or do we have ears but do not hear? Do we have eyes but do not see?

    Tinatanggap ba natin ang Salita ng Diyos? Baka tulad tayo ng daanan ng mga tao o ng semento kahit na gaano karaming tubig na ibuhos doon hindi ito makakaag-penetrate sa lupa. Kahit gaano pa karaming binhi ang mahulog sa daanan, hindi naman ito makapupunta sa ilalaim ng lupa. Aapak apakan lang ito o tutukain ng mga ibon.

    O kaya baka matigas ang ating puso. Natatanggap na ba natin ang Salita ng Diyos? Pero kung ang sinasabi nito ay salungat sa ating paniniwala. Hindi ito nakakaugat sa atin. Sinasala natin ang Salita ng Diyos ayon sa ating paniniwala o kaalaman. Hindi. Dapat nating baguhin ang ating paniniwala o kaalamanan ayon sa sinasabi ng Diyos.

    Hindi ba Salita ng Diyos na huwag tayong papatay? Na huwag tayong magsisinungaling? Na igalang natin ang ating kapwa? Pero kapag ito’y ginagawa ng ilang politiko, nagsisinungaling, nagmumura, sumasang-ayon naman tayo sa kanila, pinapalakpakan pa kahit na ito ay taliwas sa Salita ng Diyos.

    O baka naman marami tayong pinagkakaabalahan na madaling masakal ang Salita ng Diyos. Masyadong busy kaya walang panahon na magbasa ng Bible. Nakababad sa video games kaya hindi nakakapag dasal. Busy sa hanap buhay na nakakalimutan nang hanapin si Hesus ang tunay na buhay na nagbibigay ng buhay na walang hanggan.

    Those are the different kinds of soil that would not allow the Word of God to grow within us and bear fruit. The pathway, the rocky ground and the one fully of thorns. But when the seed falls on fertile ground, it bears fruit extraordinarily.

    Anong klaseng lupa ba ang puso at isip ko upang malaman ko. Tignan natin, ano ba ang bunga ng Salita ng Diyos sa buhay ko? Ano nga ba ang dapat bunga? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

    Dahil ba sa pakikinig ko sa Salita ng Diyos o sa pagnanamnam sa Diyos na nagsasalita, lumalago ba ang pag-ibig, ang kapayapaan, ang katapatan, ang…sa buhay ko?

    May isang taong nangumpisal sa isang pari. Napakaganda ng kumpisal niya – buong katapatan at pagsisisi. Pagkatapos ng kumpisal tinanong siya ng pari, “Napakaganda ng kumpisal mo, pero sinabi mo na ang huling kumpisal mo ay twenty years ago. Ano ba ang naging dahilan na nangumpisal ka ngayon?” At ang sabi ng matandang lalaki, “Ang isang sermon na nanrinig ko twenty years ago.” It took twenty years for that homily, that Word of God to bear fruit. Pero namunga nga.

    So, let us expose ourselves to the God who speaks. Magdasal. Magbasa ng Bible. Pagmasdan ang kapaligiran. Suriin ang mga pangyayari sa buhay natin. Gawin ang udyok ng ating budhi. Makinig sa mabubuting aral. Huwag lang isawsaw kundi ibabad natin ang ating sarili sa Salita ng Diyos. Hindi kalaunan, makukuha natin ang lasa ng Diyos.

    Sinulat po ni Pope Benedict XVI, “The disciples in a certain sense become drawn into intimacy with God by being emerge in the Word of God.”

    Pero ang Salita ng Diyos ay hindi lang po pakinggan. Yan ay dapat gagagawin kaya hinahamon tayo lalung lalo na po sa ating panahon ngayon. Ang daming paghamon sa atin. Hindi lang po paghamon ng coronavirus, corona COVID-19. Baka din ang hamon sa atin na pangyayari sa ating pamahalaan. Hindi po sana natin pagbubulag bulagan ito. Itong madaliang pagpasa ng Terror Bill upang takutin ang mga opposition, ang mga aktibista at bansagan na sila ay mga terorista. Yung pagtanggal ng franchise sa ABS CBN na walang pakundangan sa maraming taong mawawalan ng trabaho, na walang pakundangan sa milyun milyon na umaasa sa mga balita at mga entertainment na binibigay nito. Talagang nakakalungkot ang marami pong mga leaders natin ay hindi na tumitingin sa kapakanan at kabutihan ng karamihan ng mga tao. Nagpapadala na lang sa political agenda at kung hindi po tayo mag-iingat, kung hindi tayo kikilos, babalik po tayo sa atas military.

    Kaya ano kaya ang sinasabi ng Diyos sa pangyayaring ito? Hindi lang ano ang sinasabi niya. Paano ba tayo kikilos? Paano ba tayo tutugon sa mga hamon ng panahon kasi ito rin ay ang Diyos na humahamon sa atin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Webinar on “Human Dignity and Environmental Rights” set on July 13


    The Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecology will hold a webinar on Human Dignity and Environmental Rights on July 13, 2020, at 10 a.m., via Zoom.

    The webinar is a collaborative initiative of the Commission on Human Rights and Living Laudato Si Philippines. It is aimed to provide a platform for discussing the relationship between human dignity and environmental rights. The discussions will also highlight the basic principles of human rights to a healthy and safe environment. The gathering hopes to help the participants to understand more Laudato Si, the church document on protecting the environment and biodiversity especially during this time of crisis.

    Atty. Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz, Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights will give the Welcome Remarks while Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will deliver a talk on the topic, “Laudato Si and Human Dignity During this Time of Crisis.” Atty. Antonio A. Oposa, Jr., Ombudsman for Future Generations International Council of Environment, will tackle the Relationship Between Human Dignity and Environmental Rights.

    The Archdiocese's Ministry on Ecology has always advocated for the close collaboration of different organizations to achieve safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, which in turn leads to the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights.

    Since the establishment of the ministry, it has focused on the promotion of fair human rights as well as the protection of environmental rights. The youth sector is also a priority for the ministry to raise their level of awareness that they are also part of the ecology and so become a generation that genuinely cares for nature.

    Those who are interested to join may register via this link https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vDvdu0NYRfq8nE9eUPCeeA (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


  • Church bells tolled in parishes in support for Press freedom


    In solidarity with the media sector in their plight for press freedom, the Archdiocese of Manila urged the ringing of church bells on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at 7 p.m., that lasted for 10 minutes.

    The ringing of the church bells, according to the clergy, was their expression of support and call to prayer for peace and justice in lieu of the rejection of the House of Representatives for the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN.

    San Fernando de Dilao Parish


    On July 10, 2020, the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress of the Philippines denied the application of ABS-CBN’s franchise with the vote of 70 to 11.

    In his Facebook post dated July 11, 2020, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila said that the past few weeks, the Filipinos were “mercilessly punched by adversaries.”

    “The Covid infection has been rising in the country. Joblessness continues to hit the people. More and more businesses are closing down or downsizing. The economic situation of the country is bleak,” he said.

    Added to these, the Bishop said, “the power of authoritarianism is rising.”

    “Maria Ressa was convicted, guilty of cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15, a decision that is very much contested by lawyers and press people alike. It was a way to curtail press freedom. On July 3, President Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law. Many dub it as TERROR LAW because it is seen by not a few as a way of terrorizing the opposition than really fighting terrorists,” he said.

    “Then on July 10, the lower house committee killed the bid for franchise renewal of media outlet ABS-CBN. It is viewed by many as a political vendetta of the present administration, no matter the consequences – the thousands of people who will lose their jobs precisely in this trying time and the millions of viewers among the poor who will be deprived of an important source of information and entertainment,” he added.

    Msgr. Rolly dela Cruz, one of the parishes that joined in tolling the bells, expressed his dismay at the result of the congress deliberation pertaining to the ABS CBN franchise, but more so his support for the media practitioners who are going through difficulties.

    "Once again, our leaders in Congress did not listen to our pleas. It was rather their biases and self-interests that won the day and we lost another source of information. We shall ring our church bells at 7 o'clock tonight to express our disappointment and protest. Let the bells ring, too, to wake up those who sleep and are indifferent. Finally, the bells will ring to call us to prayer that the Lord may grant us justice and peace!"

  • Fire hits Sto. Niño Parish in Pandacan


    Fire broke-out in Sto. Niño Parish in Pandacan, Manila around 1:19 pm last Friday, July 10, 2020, that reached third alarm according to the Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR). It was declared under control at around 1:44 p.m., according to BFP-NCR.

    Sto. NIño de Pandacan Parsh l Photo Credit: Jaypee Villegas

    It is still yet to be confirmed whether the historical image of the Sto. Nino de Pandacan, which is an object of devotion to many Filipinos most especially in the old district of Pandacan, was among those that were engulfed by the fire.

    The image of the Sto. Nino of Pandacan is believed to be more than 400 years old. It is carved out of dark wood that is similar to the dark Mexican wood of the images of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo and the Black Madonna of Antipolo. It was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards via galleon trade from Acapulco Mexico to Manila, Philippines.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila personally visited the area and urged the faithful to pray for and support the immediate recovery of the parish. He is thankful that no one got hurt during the fire.

    “Ipagdasal natin na sana itong parokya ay makabangon kaagad, mabuti na wala namang nasaktan, wala namang ibang bahay na tinamaan pero yun nga malaki siguro ang damage ng Simbahan kaya titingnan ko ngayon kung papaano ngayon yun,” Bishop Pabillo told Radio Veritas. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Open letter to the members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises of the 18th Philippine Congress



    The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications, together with the Filipino people, watched and listened intently to all the 12 hearings held by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises of the Philippine Congress. And now the final verdict on the future of the ABS-CBN Media Network depends on the votes of the honorable men and women of the 18th Congress of the Philippines. Their votes will affect, not only the network’s future, but also all those who depend on ABS-CBN for their livelihood, the millions who depend on it for their news and information, and even those who consider it their daily leisure and temporary escape from the daily grind of their ordinary lives.

    We continue to express our position on ABS-CBN, as well as our belief in the importance of its role as a vital source of information in the Philippine society. The network forms part of the whole Philippine democratic landscape as it continues to help in making the latest news available to Filipinos in the country and abroad, and contributes to the people’s capacity to make informed decisions.

    After having listened to the many deliberations during the 12 hearings, we have come to the conclusion that the unbiased and impartial pronouncements and official manifestations of the different resource speakers from various government agencies did not only answer the accusations against the network, but also proved that the network has not violated any law, rule or regulation that would be reason enough not to grant the renewal of their franchise.

    Be that as it may, it is not our intention to pressure you, our honorable lawmakers, to vote for the approval of the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN. The only thing that we humbly ask of you is that you vote according to your conscience and do what you truly believe is right.

    We are aware that there is so much more at stake here than the mere approval of a network franchise. We take to heart the words of the chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, who, in his closing statement said, “…As our speaker has always reminded us to do what is right, let us continue to live up to the commitment of the 18th Congress to be a relevant, responsible and responsive institution… As we ask that our members be continuously guided by the principles of fairness, justice, honesty and respect, and we cast our final vote on the issue, we shall all vote according to our conscience.”

    We pray for the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, to guard all our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! (Phil 4:7)

     

     

    Most Rev. Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit Jr., D.D.
    Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications
    9 July 2020

     

  • Start of 10% Capacity in Churches set in Manila

     
    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, welcomed the non-objection position of the local government of the City of Manila as compliance to the directive given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) of allowing religious gatherings with congregation of 10% percent of church seating capacity.


    This is in lieu of a letter dated July 7, 2020, from the office of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso which was addressed to Bishop Pabillo. In the letter, the mayor expressed his approval to allowing the more people to participate in religious activities, from the initial 10 people to 10% seating capacity in churches within the City of Manila.

    “Please consider this writing as the city’s expression of non-objection to your religious gatherings provided that all the requirements and conditions set forth in the afore quoted provision are duly observed and complied with,” Mayor Isko said.

    The IATF-EID Resolution No. 51 issued July 2 allows religious gatherings up to 10% percent seating capacity which is effective after July 10. However, during such gatherings, there will be strict observation and implementation of health protocols, social distancing, wearing of face masks and availability of hand hygiene necessities.

    In an interview made by Radyo Veritas with Bishop Pabillo last July 4, the prelate said that the clergy has already been preparing for this day when religious gatherings are allowed.

    “So it’s a good development at ang mga kaparian natin ay naghahanda na para sa July 10 ay maka-accommodate na sila ng 10-percent ng capacity ng Simbahan, so it’s a good development congratulations sa IATF na nakita nila ang kahalagahan noon,” he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Tagle as new member to Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue


    Former Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, and present Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples was appointed as new member to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue by His Holiness Pope Francis.

    The appointment was announced on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Vatican.

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle l File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    Together with the Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, the Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was also appointed member to the council.

    The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue functions as the Church's central office of the for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the declaration Nostra Aetate.

    It is also "responsible for promoting mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between Catholics and followers of other religious traditions; encouraging the study of religions; and promoting the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue."

    According to the recent news released by the Vatican, the other newly appointed members of the council were Cardinals Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Vicar Apostolic of Vientiane; Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop Jakarta and Ordinary of the Military Ordinariate of Indonesia; and Jean-Claude Höllerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg.

    A number of Bishops from different parts of the world were also named as members of the Council: Lawrence Huculak, Archbishop of Winnipeg of the Ukrainians; Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, Bishop of Vasai; George Frendo, Archbishop of Tiranë-Durrës; Mark Tin Win, Archbishop of Mandalay; Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille; Paul Yoshinao Otsuka, Bishop of Kyōto; Thomas Chung An-zu, Bishop of Kiayi; Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Allahabad; Ambrogio Spreafico, Bishop of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino; Michael Joseph McKenna, Bishop of Bathurst; William Hanna Shomali, titular Bishop of Lidda; Denis Chidi Isizoh, titular Bishop of Legia; Patrick Joseph McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham; James Massa, titular Bishop of Bardstown; Paul Desfarges, Archbishop of Alger; and Joseph Đình Đúc Đao, Bishop of Xuân Lôc.

    Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot is the current President for the council. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Sunday Mass on July 5, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Sa mga pangangamusta natin ngayon, madalas ang natatanggap natin na sagot ay, ang hirap ng buhay. Kahit na nasa lockdown tayo at halos walang ginagawa, pakiramdam natin ay pagod tayo. Ang bigat nito ay hindi dahil sa maraming ginagawa ngunit dahil sa pasaning pangamba - kung ano kaya ang kinabukasan natin? Ano kaya ang kahihinatnan natin? Ng ating business? Ng ating trabaho? Ng ating pag-aaral? Ng ating pamilya?

    Yan yung mga mas mabigat na dinadala natin. Iilan lang naman ang nagpapasan ng karamdaman ng sakit ng COVID-19. Mas marami ay nagpapasan ng walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan.

    That is why the words of the Lord Jesus today is like a refreshing water on a hot day, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” We need this comforting words so we long to come to Jesus, we long to receive Him. This is why religious services are essential services.


    But we are surprised. Ang karaniwang pagkakaalam natin sa kapagpahingahan at iyun ay walang ginagawa. Natutulog lang. Bakit sabi ni Hesus, nabibigyan niya tayo ng kapahingahan pero kaagad dinugtong niya, “Pasanin ninyo ang aking pamatok.”

    Ang pamatok, the yoke, ay ang nakalagay sa leeg ng Kalabaw upang mahila niya ang karga o kaya makapag-araro siya. Kaya ito ay tanda ng trabaho ng pasanin.

    Jesus gives us rest but He does not want us to be lazy. To rest in Jesus is to take His yoke and to follow Him. And here, He precisely tells us how to follow him: His meekness and His humility. It is these that will keep us from a burdensome life.

    Naging mabigat ang buhay hindi dahil sa pasanin. Naging mabigat ang buhay dahil sa akala natin tayo lang ang nagdadala ng lahat na nakapatong sa atin ang buong responsibilidad. At bakit kasi sinosolo natin? Kasi wala tayong tiwala. Kulang tayo sa kababaang loob na hindi tayo nag-iisa.

    This is why Jesus said, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” We have the impression that meekness is weakness, that it is softness.

    Nagpapabaya lang kahit na anong gawin sa kanya. Yan nga ba ang mababang loob? Natatanggap ng tao ang mababang loob ang pinaparatang sa kanya at kahit na ang pasakit sa kanya kasi malakas ang kanyang tiwala na hindi siya mababayaan.

    We find the picture of the meekness of Jesus in this description of the prophet Isaiah, “I gave my back to those who beat me; my cheeks to those who tore out my beard; my face I did not hide from insult and spitting. The Lord is my help therefore, I am not disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like flint knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” Hindi siya nag-re-react sa anumang gawin sa kanya – hampasin, duraan, insultuhin kasi napakalakas ang kanyang tiwala sa Diyos. Hindi siya mapapahiya.

    Yan ang kababang loob ni Hesus. Yan ay kalakasan. Hindi dahil sa dahas, sa sariling tapang, sandata o lakas kundi dahil sa kanyang tiwala kaya siya’y malakas kaya mababa ang kanyang loob.

    Ang ating Unang Pagbasa ay hango sa Aklat ni Propeta Zecharrias na binabasa din natin tuwing Linggo ng Palaspas. Dito inilalarawan ang isang haring matagumpay na pumasok sa lungsod. Pero kakaiba siya sa mga matatagumpay na mga hari at heneral na upang ipakita ang kanilang kadakilaan, sila’y nakasakay sa chariot o sa isang Kabayong pandigma. Matagumpay yata siya. Pero ang haring ito ay nakasakat sa Asno, isang hayop na pangkarga at hindi pandigma. Haring matagumpay pero mababa ang loob. Hindi ba yan si Hesus pagpasok niya sa Jerusalem? Kinikilala siya ng mga tao. Pinupugayan ng mga palaspas pero hindi siya pasikat na sakay lang sa isang hiram na Asno.

    Sa totoo lang, ang nagpapahirap sa ating buhay ay hindi ang ating responsibilidad o ang ating pasanin kundi ang ating kayabangan, ang ating mataas na pagtingin sa ating sarili. We always try to live us to the expectation of others that maybe form the boss, from colleagues and friends, the peer pressure or from competitors or even from our family members or relatives who unfortunately, nothing for them is enough.

    This is especially true in our world which promote a cult of efficiency and productivity. You are only as good as the work that you can deliver. So, we struggle to show to others that we can produce and so, we are reliable and needed.

    Jesus said, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart. And you will find rest for your soul.” Yes, it is not so much our bodies that need rest but our souls. The aches of our soul just manifest psychomatically into our bodily pains. Kailangan natin matanggap ang ating sarili. Gawin ang ating makakayanan at ipaubaya sa Diyos ang ating gawain at ang ating kinabukasan.

    Mahal ng Diyos ang mga may mga mababang loob. Hindi ba sabi ni Hesus na kung hindi tayo magkakaroon ng kababaang loob tulad ng isang bata, hindi tayo makakapasok sa kaharian ng langit.

    Noong ako’y batang pari pa, sinasamahan ko ang mga seminarista sa kanilang exposure trip at isa sa mga exposure trip na yun ay sa Bundok ng Banahaw. Ang mahiwagang bundok ng mga espiritista.

    Minsan, may pinasukan kaming isang maliit na kuweba na ang tawag ay “Pinto ng Langit”. Napakababa ng butas at kailangang talagang dumapa upang makapasok doon at sa loob ay may malaking kuweba na may malinis at magandang ilog na mapaglalanguyan.

    Sabi ng guide namin, “Ang tawag dito ay ‘Pinto ng Langit’ kasi kailangan mong magpakababa. Talagang dumapa para makapasok doon tulad ng sa langit hindi makapapasok doon ang mga mapagmataas.”

    Jesus prays and thank God in His prayer that we heard today. He praise God and He Himself is happy about it that the Father reveals the secret of the kingdom to the simple and the humble, the learned in the things of God are not those who have doctorate in universities but those who are lowly and who trust God.

    We hear His words from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, “My hand made all these things when all of them came to me oracle of the Lord. This is the one whom I approved, the afflicted one crushed in spirit who trembles at my word.” Ang Diyos na may likha ng lahat ay natutuwa sa mga mababang tao na umaasa sa Kanyang salita.

    One of the highlights that we had during this lockdown was a Consecration to Mama Mary that we did on May 13, in the Manila Cathedral led by the five mayors of the cities of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan and Pasay.

    May 13, was the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Noong nagpakita si Mama Mary, nagpakita siya sa Fatima na isang maliit na sitio lang noon at hindi kilala at nagpakita siya sa tatlong maliliit na bata na siyam, sampu at labindalawang taong gulang pa lamang. Mary gave the secrets of Fatima to mere children. Talagang natutuwa ang Diyos sa mga maliliit na bata. Humility attracts God. Maraming mga tao na dahil lang sa kaunting nalaman hindi na naniniwala sa Diyos; hindi na nagdarasal; kaya na niya ang lahat hindi nila kailangan ang Diyos.

    Now, in this pandemic, we are shown how fragile the world and its systems that we are trying to build. Dahil lang sa maliit na virus, tumigil ang lahat. Takot na tayo sa kaaway na hindi natin nakikita. At hanggang ngayon kahit na ang ating mga doktor at dalubhasa ay hindi pa rin alam kung ano itong COVID-19 na ito. We thought we know many things that we can explore the stars, that we can thinker with life, that we can…knowledge with our computers and our artificial intelligence. The coronavirus puts us in our place. It humbles us. Our globalized world crumbles. Our economy limpers. We are humbled and we should stay humble if we want to become great.

    Kaya yan nga ang kinasasama ng loob natin sa tinatawag na Terror Bill na kapipirma lang ng president ng naging Terror Law ay talagang na-terrorize tayo. Kasi po akala nila malalaman nila kung sino yung terrorista. Sila ang magdedecide kung sino yung may balak na magpabagsak ng gobyerno kaya nakakatakot ang batas na ito. Yan ay batas na tinatanggap ng mayayabang upang maapi ang mga mamayanan.

    Kaya tinatawagan tayo ngayon ni Jesus, lumapit tayo sa kanya. Matutuo tayo sa kanyang kababaang loob. Papahingahin niya tayo not only during this time of the lockdown but always even after na bumalik na tayo sa ating mga gawain, patuloy siyang magpapahinga sa atin.

     

    If we realize that we are not alone, He carries our burdens not only He carries us. Do we allow Him? Do we trust Him? (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Let the Crisis be Occasions for Generosity


    "Sana hindi magbago ang magagandang ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemic. Ang ating hospitality, ang ating generosity, ang ating pananaw na hiram lang sa Diyos ang buhay natin kaya hindi tayo natatakot o nanghihinayang na ibalik ito sa kanya."

    This was how Bishop Broderick Pabillo exhorted the lay faithful to share their time and efforts to voluntarily help those in need in order to alleviate those who suffer because of the crisis. This was at the heart of Bp. Pabillos' homily last June 28, 2020.


    The prelate, who currently stands as the Apostolic Administrator of Manila, described the contemporary time as changing because of fear of the threat of the coronavirus, affecting how people and communities interact because of the imposed health protocols since the quarantine period.

    "Isang asal o ugali na nagbabago dala ng panahon ay ang ating hospitality o pagtanggap sa ating kapwa. We are known to be a hospitable people. Maluwag tayong tumatanggap sa iba ngunit ngayon ay hindi na," the bishop said.

    "Natatakot tayo sa ating kapwa. Hindi na tayo gaanong nagpapapasok sa ating mga bahay kahit na nga mga kakilala o kamag-anak, baka may virus sila. Baka magdala sila ng sakit sa atin. Sana, itong pag-iwas sa kapwa ay pansamantala lamang. At hindi maging isang bagong ugali."

    He noted the difficulties experienced by the faithful because of poverty and unemployment and went on to appeal to the faithful to remain sensitive to the needs of others. This calls for them to be selfless, and it is not easy during these times when everybody is affected.

    "Totoo na mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero ang kahirapan na ito’y hindi sana maging dahilan na maging sarado tayo sa pangangailangan ng iba. Dapat nga mas maging bukas tayo sa kanila kasi alam natin na mahirap ang panahon. Huwag tayong mag-alala, may isang nakakakita ng bawat kabutihan na ginagawa natin," he added.

    The bishop encouraged the communities to emulate the faithfulness of the Blessed Mother by being constant to the will of God.

    "Dito po binibigyan kayo ng halimbawa ng ating Mahal na Ina. Ang kanyang katapatan kay Hesus hanggang sa kanyang pagkapako sa krus, nandoon ang Mahal na Ina.  Sana ganun din tayo katapat kaya hilingin natin ang tulong ni Mama Mary hindi lang sa ating mga pang araw araw na pangangailangan kundi lalo’t higit hingin natin ang tulong niya na maging tapat tayo kay Hesus at hindi mawala ang mabubuting ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemya," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • July 10: From 10 persons to 10 percent Capacity for Churches


    Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) said that Malacañang’s decision to allow religious activities under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas, although still with some limitations, is a welcome development to many parishes in Manila, especially in Quiapo Church.

    “Welcome development yun. Dati ten persons. Yang ten percent, bale ang ibig sabihin niyan meron ng makakaupo bawat pew. So, close to two hundred yun from ten to two hundred, matutuwa na ang mga tao,” Msgr. Coronel told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.
    |

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
    Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page


    On Thursday, during the Laging Handa program aired over the state-run PTV4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the resumption of mass gatherings including religious activities in GCQ areas but only to ten percent of the church’s seating capacity that will take effect on July 10, 2020.

    With the said development, Msgr. Coronel stressed that they will embrace the challenges it entails while complying with the safety protocols provided by the IATF-EID. He said that they will implement strict social distancing, temperature checking, wearing of masks, and hand sanitizing as soon as the new rule takes effect. They will also be disinfecting the pews regularly and the equipment used during the online activities of the church. Consequently, he noted, there might be an increase in the number of lay volunteers who will assist during the new normal.

    Quiapo Church prioritizes the protection and safety of its parish workers, the Rector said, as they render their service to the faithful and attend to the needs of the devotees during the religious activities. These, according to him are the two primary concerns the parish recognizes during GCQ.

    “Galing kami ng quarantine. Walang trabaho. Wala pati rector’s office, walang finance. Sarado. Isasara ko talga ang simbahan kapag may nag-covid na naman. Yan ang experience namin. On the one hand, proportektahan mo ang health…Sa mga deboto,

    maraming makukulit, mga pasaway. Kapag nagbukas…pagsasabihan mo pa. Marami ring elements na basta nagble-bless kusang lalapit yang mga yan, makikipagsiksikan talaga. May mga taong ganun,” Msgr. Coronel said.

    Msgr. Coronel, who held position as an officer of the Archdiocese of Manila, continues to recognize the importance of online Masses especially during the quarantine period. He in particular said, that the Quiapo Church's online masses being cross-posted on the Facebook pages of other parishes and religious groups and organizations helped increase viewership and at the same time encourage more faithful to donate online, providing support to the church.

    “Ito yung tuluy tuloy na mga bagong tinatawag na pastoral innovation. We have to adapt eh. Kailangan mag-adapt ka sa mga new pandemic circumstances,” Msgr. Coronel said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Quiapo Church reopens after lockdown


    The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church reopened to the public on Friday, July 3, 2020, after 14 days of lockdown.

    "Ito yung simula nung quarantine, June 19 to July 2. Kasi itong July 3, first Friday ay nagsimula na kami ng Misa," Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector of Quiapo Church told the Archdiocese of Manila - Office of Communications.

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
    Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page

    The priests and staff of Quiapo Church underwent rapid testing that yielded negative results, and went through a quarantine period after a visiting priest tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    After re-opening, Msgr. Coronel said that Quiapo Church has five Masses a day (5 and 6 am, 12 noon, and 3 and 4 pm).

    They allow 10 persons to come inside the church to hear Mass as set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

    Those who are not able to come inside may watch the mass in the LED monitors placed outside the church while observing physical distancing. Msgr. Coronel added that they have social distancing markers placed in Quezon Boulevard, Plaza Miranda and Carriedo to guide those who will attend mass outside the church.

    He also said that those who are not able to attend Mass inside the church may enter every after mass for 15 minutes to say their private prayers before the image of the Black Nazarene.

    The Church has started accepting religious services as well like funeral blessings and wedding ceremonies (conducted according to the guidelines of IATF). The Sacrament of Confession is also available in the morning and in the afternoon. Confirmation, however, is not yet celebrated.

    Other religious activities like morning and afternoon prayers, praying of the rosary, and novena prayers to the Black Nazarene and San Roque are done online. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Mass on June 28, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po dito sa inyong sambayanan. Nakakalungkot kasi alam ko kapag fiesta ay punung puno ng tao ang ating simbahan, dinadayo pa kayo pero ngayon iilan lamang tayo.

    Pero alam ko marami rin nasa online ay nakikisama sa atin sa fiestang ito ng Perpetual Help, Inang Laging Saklolo. At lalung lalo na kailangan natin ang tulong ng ating Mahal na Ina sa panahon ng kahirapang ito. Kaya patuloy po tayong tumawag sa kanya, alam natin siya ay ating laging saklolo.

    Napakatindi ng karanasan nitong coronavirus pandemic na ito. Binago nito ang takbo ng ating buhay. Hindi lamang sa loob ng isang daang araw ng higit. May mga dalubhasang nagsasabi na maaaring abutin pa tayo ng isa o dalawang taon sa ganitong buhay.

    Ang malaking pagbabagong ito ay magdadala rin ng pagbabago sa ating mga ugali, sa ating mga pananaw, sa ating value system, sa ating mga gawi.

    Isang asal o ugali na nagbabago dala ng panahon ay ang ating hospitality o pagtanggap sa ating kapwa. We are known to be a hospitable people. Maluwag tayong tumatanggap sa iba ngunit ngayon ay hindi na. Natatakot tayo sa ating kapwa. Hindi na tayo gaanong nagpapapasok sa ating mga bahay kahit na nga mga kakilala o kamag-anak, baka may virus sila. Baka magdala sila ng sakit sa atin. Sana, itong pag-iwas sa kapwa ay pansamantala lamang. At hindi maging isang bagong ugali.


    Isa pang pagbabago na dumadating sa atin ay yung ating pananaw sa kamatayan. Bakit ba tayo takot sa virus? Kasi takot tayong madapuan ng sakit na ito na wala pang lunas. Takot tayong mamatay at ang posibilidad ng kamatayan ay malapit kung pati na ang mga doktor at mga nurse ay namamatay, tayo pa kaya? 

    So, let us confront ourselves. How do we see death? This question is related to how do we see life. Life and death are related to each other. There is this paradox, “Acceptance of death make us live fully and freely. Whereas fear of death and avoidance of death diminishes our enjoyment of life.”

    Hindi na siya nabubuhay kasi wala nang ginawa kundi umiwas sa kamatayan dahil nga sa takot sa kamatayan, hindi na lumabas ng kuwarto. Buhay nga pero nasa loob ng kuwarto. Buhay ba yan? Dahil sa takot sa aksidente hindi na naglalakbay, kinulong niya ang buhay niya dahil sa takot sa kamatayan.

    Jesus said, “Whoever finds life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    Yang walang ginagawa kundi nagpapasarap lang sa buhay, masaya ang buhay, ayaw ang hirap, ayaw mag-effort kasi mahirap, ayaw mahirapan sa pag-aaral, mahirapan sa trabaho, hindi yan aasenso. Yung kain ng kain kahit na ano kasi masarap na walang control sa pagkain, yan yung madaling magkasakit.

    You have to die to yourself, to deny yourself, to confront yourself so that you will succeed. Para makagawa ng mabuti kailangan paghindian ang ating hiling lalu na kung ang mga yun ay masama.

    This is the meaning of the cross for us. The cross is something that is adherent, something that we do not like because it is difficult. Maybe our duties, our assignments, a difficult person we have to deal with but we have to take it up and carry it. Jesus died on the cross and then he got new life. The resurrection is not only a return to his former life. It is new life. We first joined in this process of dying and having new life when we were baptized. We died to our own sinful selves in the waters of Baptism so we will rise up to the life of God.

    So, St. Paul wrote, “You must take yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus. Dead to sins – hindi na nabubuhay sa kasamaan. Tinatalikdan na natin ang anumang masama kahit na itoý masarap.

    Living for God, para sa Diyos. Para sa Diyos na ang buhay natin. Handang itaya para sa Diyos at dito talaga natin mararanasan ang buhay na masaya at buong sigla.

    Kung handa tayo sa kamatayan, hindi tayo gaanong matatakot sa iba. At magiging bukas tayo sa iba. Every act of generosity and hospitality always brings about some risk - baka maloko tayo, baka magkasakit, baka mawalan tayo.

    Unfortunately, we have been so calculating and this prevents us from being generous and open to others. We have to let go, kailangan tayong magbitaw upang tayo ay makatanggap. Kung sarado tayo sa pagbibigay, sarado din tayo sa pagtanggap.

    Ito yung sinasabi sa atin na kahit na sa panahong ito ay dapat maging maluwag ang ating loob sa pagbibigay. We need to sow in order to harvest. And the more we sow, the more we can harvest.

    St. Paul wrote, “Consider this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

    In our First Reading, we have heard the generosity of the unnamed woman of influence. May kaya ang babaeng ito at tinanggap niya ang propetang si Eliseo. Palaging pinapatuloy sa kanyang bahay at pinaghahandaan ng kwuwarto upang kapag dumaan doon ang propeta ay may mapagpapahingaan siya. Tulad ng sinabi ni Hesus sa ebanghelyo,”Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.

    Ang Diyos at ang mga taong malapit sa Diyos ay marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob. Kahit na may kaya ang pamilya, may mga bagay na hindi makukuha ng kanilang kayamanan tulad ng isang anak. Walang anak ang mag-asawa at ito ang ibinigay ng Diyos sa kanila dahil sa panalangin ni propeta Eliseo.

    At kung ipagpatuloy natin ang pagbabasa ng kuwento, paglaki ng bata, isang araw ito’y nagkasakit at biglang namatay. Siguro na-heat stroke. Pinatawag ng babae si Eliseo at ito’y dali daling dumating at binuhay ang bata. Talagang sinusuklian ng Diyos ang anumang kabutihan na ginagawa natin sa kanya at sa kanyang mga alagad.

    Hindi ba sinabi ni Hesus, “Kung sino mang magbigay kahit na isang basong malamig na tubig sa isa sa mga maliliit na tao dahil sa siya’y alagad ko, hindi siya mawawalan ng gantimpala.

    Totoo na mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero ang kahirapan na ito’y hindi sana maging dahilan na maging sarado tayo sa pangangailangan ng iba. Dapat nga mas maging bukas tayo sa kanila kasi alam natin na mahirap ang panahon. Huwag tayong mag-alala, may isang nakakakita ng bawat kabutihan na ginagawa natin.

    Many of us when we were growing up were told by our parents and elders that God can see all the bad things that we do. This often was their way to admonish us so we do not misbehave. It is true but let us not forget that God sees all. Nothing is escape his knowledge but...

    Nakikita ng Diyos hindi lang ang lahat ng kasamaan na ginagawa natin. Nakikita din niya ang lahat ng kabutihan kahit ang pinakamaliit na ginagawa natin sa pinaka aba, alam yan ng Diyos.

    Kaya yung ating pagpo-Pondo ng Pinoy, yung mga beinte singko na inilalagay natin para sa mga mahihirap, yan ay bilang ng Diyos. Yan ay alam ng Diyos.

    Hindi ba sinabi sa Banal na Kasulatan in the Book of Proverbs, “Whoever cares for the poor, lends to the Lord who will pay back the sum in full.” Magbabayad ang Diyos sa kanyang mga utang. Marunong siyang magbayad sa utang nya.

    Sana hindi magbago ang magagandang ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemic. Ang ating hospitality, ang ating generosity, ang ating pananaw na hiram lang sa Diyos ang buhay natin kaya hindi tayo natatakot o nanghihinayang na ibalik ito sa kanya.

    Isa pang bagay na pinapaalaala sa atin ngayon ay ang wastong pag-prioritize. Hindi naman masama ang magmahal sa pamilya, sa ating buhay mismo kaya nga may utos na igalang mo ang iyong mga magulang, mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa, huwag kang papatay at kasama na diyan ang pagpatay sa sarili, ang suicide. Pero alalahanin natin ang unang utos – “Mahalin mo ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat ng buong puso ng buong kaluluwa ng buong pag-iisip.”

    Uunahin natin ang Diyos kaya kung inuuna natin ang iba kahit na ang ating pamilya, ang ating buhay mismo, hindi na tayo karapat dapat kay Hesus.

    Paalaala ito ni Hesus sa kanyang magulang noong siya’y labindalawang gulang pa lamang. Nagpaiwan siya sa Templo ng Jerusalem at nung makita siya ng kanyang mga magulang pagkatapos ng tatlong araw ng pag-alala ay pinagsabihan siya, “Anak, bakit naman ginawa mo ito sa amin?” sabi ni Maria. “Alalang alala kami ng iyong ama.” At ang sagot ni Hesus, “Bakit ninyo ako hinahanap? Hindi ba ninyo alam na ako ay dapat nasa bahay ng aking Ama?” Conscious si Hesus na mas mahalaga sa kanya ang kanyang relasyon sa Ama. Sa Ama niyang nasa langit kahit na siya ay masunurin sa mga magulang niya sa lupa.

    Mahalaga ang katuruang ito. Ang Diyos ang uunahin natin at ibig sabihin nito ay huwag tayong gumawa ng anumang bagay o sumunod sa anumang utos na salungat sa kanya. Sa bandang huli sa kanya naman tayo mananagot at hindi sa kanino mang boss o kahit na sa president pa. Let us be true to God. This means let us be true to our right conscience guided by the Word of God so that we can be true sons of Jesus.

    At dito po binibigyan kayo ng halimbawa ng ating Mahal na Ina. Ang kanyang katapatan kay Hesus hanggang sa kanyang pagkapako sa krus, nandoon ang Mahal na Ina.  Sana ganun din tayo katapat kaya hilingin natin ang tulong ni Mama Mary hindi lang sa ating mga pang araw araw na pangangailangan kundi lalo’t higit hingin natin ang tulong niya na maging tapat tayo kay Hesus at hindi mawala ang mabubuting ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemya. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle: Be a constant gift to others


    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, who celebrated his 63rd birthday on June 21, encouraged the lay faithful to value life by being a 'gift' to one another.

    The Cardinal gave the message as he was being interviewed for his birthday by Fr. Reginald Malicdem, his former secretary in the Archdiocese of Manila and Rector of the Manila Cathedral. The interview, or what was called "Kumustahan with Cardinal Chito," was live-streamed on the social media channel of the Manila Cathedral on June 21. 

    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle l File Photo by RCAM-AOC


    One of the questions asked to the Cardinal, who is the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was how the lay faithful can contribute through their own ways in his mission to the Catholic Church.

    "Kung nasaan man tayo, lalo na yung mga katulad ko na OFW, na ito yung maging contribution natin na yung sa ating simpleng paraan, ipakita yung ganda ng pananampalataya at seryosohin ang ating pananampalataya. Maging marangal [at] mabuti na tao, na manggagawa. Ipakita natin ang ating community. Iba-iba man tayong isla, iba-iba man lenggwahe, pero puwede tayong magkasama-sama. Iyan ang isang napakalaking tulong sa misyon na aming ginagawa," he said.

    He emphasized that the diversity amongst the faithful and their resilience, hard work is helpful and encouraging for him in his work for the Propaganda Fide.

    The prelate added that the lay faithful must also look for a person that embodies the Catholic faith who can constantly inspire them in the missionary vision of the Church.

    "Kasi, naghahanap lagi ng kumbaga ng model at inspiration na papaano ang mga Kristiyano, lalo ang mga lay, layko, ay maging missionary, maging mga tagapagsaksi sa kagandahan ng Mabuting Balita. Kaya, iyon ang pakiusap ko sa ating mga kababayan," the cardinal said.

    Cardinal Tagle appealed for prayers not only for him but also for the whole Catholic Church. He described that his mission is in the service of the Church, especially in the far-flung areas where the Church provides selflessly for missionary work.

    "So, yung pananalangin, yung katulad nga ng pananalangin na may kasabay din na acts of charity. So, kung nasaan man kayo, isabuhay yung misyon sa pamilya, sa neighborhood, na maging tagapagdala ng Mabuting Balita," he said.

    In his final message, the Archbishop Emeritus of Manila expressed his gratitude for those who greeted him for his birthday. He addressed the faithful to appreciate the gift of life they have received, and to become a source of strength to one another, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Ang regalo ay dapat nananatiling regalo. Yung ibinigay sa atin, ibibigay rin. Kapag hindi na iyan naging regalo, wala na, eh. Iyon ang kamatayan. Pero, ang buhay ay ibinigay para maging biyaya na ibibigay din. Kaya, iyan ay panalangin ko para po sa ating lahat. Treasure life, be grateful, nourish it, nurture the lives of other people, and let life be a constant gift to others," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during the online Sunday Mass on June 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Our time now is characterized by fear. Takot sa coronavirus at dahil sa takot sa coronavirus, takot na rin tayo sa isa’t isa na baka may virus sila.

    Takot para sa ating hanap buhay. Matatanggal ba ako sa trabaho? May pagkakakitaan pa ba? 

    Takot sa kinabukasan. Makakatapos ba ako sa pag-aaral? Makakatapos ba ang aking anak?

    Takot sa ating financial situation. Makakabayad ba ako sa aking utang? Mababayaran ko ba ang upa sa bahay?


    Itong mga takot na ito ay dinagdagan pa ng mga nangyayari sa ating bayan. Takot para sa ating kalayaan. Ano ba ang maiiwan sa ating kalayaan na nandyan na naka-umang ang Terror Bill. Kahit na sino ay maaaring mapaghinalaan na subersibo or terorista. Nakakatakot ang nangyari sa ABS CBN at kay Maria Ressa ng Rappler. Nakakatakot na ngayon ay magsalita. Anu anong kaso na lang ang ginagawa upang pabagsakin ang mga pinaghihinalaan na kumokontra.

    Malaki ang panganib na ang Terror Bill ay gamitin sa mga pagsasalita. Nakakatakot din ang Tsina. Hindi ito gumagalang sa mga international na kasunduan tulad ng paglalabag nila ng kasunduan para sa Hongkong. At ng Law of the Sea sa kanilang pagsasamsam sa ating teritoryo.

    Nakakatakot din ang nangyayari sa kalikasan. Patuloy ang pagkasira nito. Hindi naman tumigil ang global warming dahil sa coronavirus. Kung hindi magbago ang ating lifestyle at ang mga business na walang pagsang-alang alang sa kalikasan tulad ng paggamit ng coal o ng iba pang fossil fuel. Tulad ng pagmimina na hanggang ngayon ay pinahihintulutan. Higit pa ang pinsala sa daigdig ang mangyayari kesa dala ng coronavirus.

    Yan po ang buhay natin. Nababalot sa lagim ng pagkatakot. Kaya ang Salita ng Diyos sa atin ngayon ay talagang mabuting balita. In only seven verses the gospel reading repeats three times the phrases from the Lord’s mouth, “Do not be afraid.”

    Jesus does not hide the problems that His disciples will be subjected. The persecutions even from one’s own families and friends, the life that will be thrown against His disciples and even death. Hindi tinatago ni Hesus ang problema na haharapin natin pero sinasabi niya, “Huwag kayong matakot.”

    What are the reasons why we should not be afraid?

    One reason is that the truth will come out. Walang sikreto na hindi ibubunyag. Yung mga sinungaling, yung mga paninira, yung mga pagtatakipan, ang lahat ng iyan ay mabubunyag tulad ng nangyayari ngayon. Sisimula nang mabubunyag ang mga korapsiyon sa DOH, sa DBM na ngayong nasa coronavirus tayo, may krisis ngunit patuloy pa rin ang pagsasamantala sa taong bayan, lumalabas na ngayon yan. There is a lot of fear in our times because we do not know the truth, what the real score is.

    Unfortunately, even government data and government pronouncements cannot be trusted. Pati na nga ang sinasabi ng Science ay hindi maaasahan. Hindi natin alam kung Science nga ba talaga ang nagsabi nun. O ito ay manipulated na ng mga interested news. But the assurance is given to us. Mabubunyag na ang katotohanan. Truth will...

    The Buddha said, there are three things that cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. So do not be afraid, the truth will come out.

    Pangalawa, huwag tayong matakot sa tao at sa pangyayari sa mundong ito. Hindi nila magagalaw ang iyong tunay na pagkatao, ang iyong kaluluwa. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who will kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul and cast them to hell.”

    Ang mga martir noon at ngayon at maraming mga martir ngayon at may tapang na humarap sa mga kaaway kasi may takot sila sa Diyos. Kaya mayroon tayong Lorenzo Ruiz na nagsalita, “Na kahit may isang libong buhay man ako ibibigay ko ang lahat para kay Hesus.” Kaya may mga martir na umaawit at nagdarasal habang palapit sa kanila ang mga leon.

    Hindi lang ito ang buhay. May kabilang buhay na nag-aantay sa atin. St. Paul wrote, “The sufferings of this present age are nothing compared to the glory that will be ours.” Ang takot sa Diyos ang nagpapalaya sa atin sa mga takot sa mundong ito. Dahil takot tayo sa Diyos, hindi tayo takot sa anumang magagawa ng sino mang tao o ano mang kapangyarihan.

    Thirdly, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. You are worth more than...”  Bilang ng Diyos ang bawat hibla ng ating buhok. Alam ng Diyos ang lahat ng nangyayari sa atin at hindi lang niya alam, nababahala siya. Kung nababahala siya sa bawat maliit na Maya, hindi ba siya mababahala sa bawat isa sa atin? God care. If God is with us, if He has given us His only son, who can be against us? Ang laki na po ng pinuhunan ng Diyos sa bawat isa sa atin. Walang iba kundi ang kanyang anak. ang laki na ng itinaya ni Hesus para sa atin. Ang kanyang buhay. Pababayaan pa ba niya tayo? Bakit tayo natatakot? Nasa kamay tayo ng Diyos.

    Sa ating Unang Pagbasa, narinig natin ang mga banta ng mga kaaway ni propeta Jeremias. Nagmamanman sila na magkamali lang si Heremias at siya’y pababagsakin nila. Madulas lang sila, madulas lang siya at lagot siya. Alam ito ng propeta pero malakas ang kanyang loob. Ika niya,”My persecutors will stumble. They will not triumph. In their failure, they will be put to shame.”

    Saan nanggaling ang kanyang confidence? “The Lord is with me,” he said. “To Him, I have been casted my cause.” Yan ang paniniwala ni propeta Jeremias kaya matatag ang kanyang loob. Kaya mga kapatid, kailangan ng malaking tiwala upang hindi tayo matangay sa anumang takot.

    Sinabi ni propeta Isaias kay Haring Ahaz, “Unless your faith is firm, you will not be hurt.” At the time Jerusalem was about to be attacked by two kingdoms. The kingdom of Syria and the Kingdom of Israel. But the prophet Isiah assured the king that nothing will happen to Jerusalem. But he has to believe that the Lord will help. Unless your faith is firm, you will not be hurt. Ang tiwala sa Diyos ang nagpapalakas sa atin.

    Maraming mga dayuhan ang nagtataka sa tinatawag nating Filipino resilience. Nagtaka sila sa ating katatagan nung dinaanan tayo ng pagsabog ng Pinatubo noong 1991. Noong dumaan ang bagyong Sendong at Pablo noong 2011, 2012. Noong lumindol sa Bohol noong 2013. Ang pagdating ng Yolanda after one month, 2013. At marami pang kalamidad na dumadating sa atin. Natutumba tayo ngunit tumatayo ulit. Nadadapa pero hindi nabubuwal. We are a resilient people.

    Maraming nag-aaral kung saan ito nanggagaling. Ngunit nakakasigurado tayo na isa sa pinanggalingan nito ay an gating malakas na tiwala sa Diyos. Kumakapit tayo sa kanya. Hindi tayo bumibitaw kaya nahaharap natin ang anumang takot, pangamba at kasamaan.

    Narinig natin sa sulat ni San Pablo sa ating Ikalawang pagbasa na galing sa isang tao dumating ang kasalanan at dahil sa kasalanan, ang kamatayan. Ngunit kahit marami nang kasalanan dahil sa isang tao, dumating ang pagpapatawad at ang buhay.

    So, where sin increased grace increased all the more.  Hindi natalo ng kasamaan ang kagandahang loob ng Diyos. Nagwawagi pa rin ang grasya ng Diyos. Ang kanyang pag-ibig, kahit gaano na karami at kakapal ng kasamaan. Dito nanggagaling ang ating pag-asa at buhay. And that was our celebration last Friday, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart that even if that heart of Jesus was wounded, yet it continues to burn. It is steadfast love. And that is our assurance that God’s love is steadfast.

    Kaya mga kapatid, sa gitna ng mga takot natin, mas kailangan natin ang Diyos. Kaya sinasabi natin na religious activities are essential services. Mas kailangan nga natin ng Diyos dahil sa mga krisis na dinadaanan natin. Ang nakakalungkot, one sided ang paningin ng ating mga tao sa gobyerno. They are very...

    Kapag sinasabi nila na essential service ang tinutukoy nila ay essential economic service kaya kailangan bukas ang bangko, bukas ang business. Kailangan buksan ang manufacturing para ito’y mga essential service.

    But man does not live by bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God. Hindi lang naman ekonomiya ang kailangan ng tao. Hindi lang naman laman ng tyan ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa tao. Maraming mga tao na busog ngunit mahina ang loob, walang direksiyon sa buhay, walang sigla sa kanilang buhay. Itong lakas ng loob, itong sigla at direksiyon sa buhay ay hindi naibibigay ng ekonomiya. Malalim ang pinaghuhugutan nito. Ito ay galing sa ating kundisyon sa Diyos.

    Noong 2012, ako’y napunta sa Diocese sa Mati doon sa Mindanao upang magbigay ng tulong sa mga sinalanta ng bagyong Pablo. Sa isang barangay, ang kwento ng mga tao, may mga nagbigay sa kanilang ng mga materials para sa kanilang pagtatayo ng bahay, natumba ang mga bahay nila. Nagkaisa ang mga tao nag-contribute ng tig-iisang yero sa bawat pamilya upang itayo nila agad ang kanilang kapilya.

    Kapag nakita nilang kapilya nila’y nakatayo, lumalakas ang loob nila. Doon sila nagdadasal linggu linggo. Inuna nila ang kanilang kapilya kaysa kanilang mga bahay.

    There are values that are beyond material possessions and material needs. These also should be promoted so that we can overcome our fears. Jesus brings to us His clear message, “Do not be afraid that truth will be fully... Do not be afraid. Trust in God who knows you and cares for you. Do not be afraid God is with you and is …you. Do not be afraid the saving grace of God is more powerful than sin and death. Do not be afraid of all these things. Only fear the Lord.”

    Ang takot sa Diyos, ang pagsang-alang alang sa Diyos ang magpapalayas sa atin sa lahat ng mga takot. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Parishes placed under lockdown due to COVID-19


    Several parishes in Metro Manila have recently been locked down because of COVID-19 exposures.

    The Santisima Trinidad Parish in Malate, Manila announced its temporary closure because some of its staff and priest were tested positive from COVID-19.

    “Minarapat naming isara ang ating simbahan at ang opisina ng ating parokya upang mapigilan agad ang pagkalat ng sakit. Dahil din dito, kami ay nagsagawa na ng contact tracing sa mga taong aming nakasalamuha."


    In a statement posted on the Facebook page of the parish on June 26, 2020, the parish priest, told the faithful that he and a parish staff were infected by the coronavirus.

    “Kasalukuyan akong nagpapagaling sa aking silid at malayo sa aming mga kasama sa kumbento na nakapailalim din sa voluntary quarantine at walang iniindang sintomas. Samantalang [ang aming cook] naman ay nakaconfine ngayon at nagpapagaling sa San Juan de Dios Hospital,” the priest said in the statement.

    As of Monday, June 22, 2020, the parish has been in contact with its barangay head for coordination of protocols set by the government and the church. The parish also coordinated with the Ministry of Health Care of the Archdiocese of Manila for medical needs and assistance.

    The parish priest also asked the faithful’s understanding and prayers.

    “Hinihingi ko po ang inyong pasensiya at pang-intindi sa pangyayaring ito. Gayundin, hiling ko na kami ay inyong ipagdasal upang mabilisan kaming gumaling sa sakit na ito at aming malampasan ang pagsubok na ito,” he said.

    In Quezon City, the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Quezon City also announced its temporary lockdown beginning June 25, 2020.

    “It is with deep regret that we announce the temporary lockdown starting today, June 25, 2020, of our Parish Church for at least two weeks,” according to the announcement posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

    The lockdown of the parish was due to the report that one of the parish office staff tested positive from COVID-19.

    “This temporary measure has been immediately has been decided and implemented, in addition to subsequent swab testing of parish personnel, for the protection of everyone,” according to the announcement.

    The parish has scheduled the disinfecting of the church and assured the faithful that they will continue with their online Masses during the two weeks lockdown. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Statement of the Archdiocese of Manila against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020


    "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers’’. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

    We, the clergy of the Archdiocese of Manila, are against any form of terror or lawlessness and we condemn those engaged in these activities that are meant to destroy lives, properties and the peace we all deserve to experience. We believe that it is the duty of the government to ensure the safety and security of each citizen.

    However, after prayerful discernment, diligent study, critical analysis, and prudent discussion of the nature and implications of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, we strongly oppose the passage of House Bill 6875 and Senate Bill 1083 and humbly urge President Rodrigo R. Duterte to heed the plea of different concerned groups calling for the Bill’s rejection.



    Moreover, allowing the passage of a Bill that has vague, amorphous and deleterious provisions will only do more harm than good to our people.

    1. The Bill very clearly and concretely derogates from some established legal principles that are aimed at protecting our fundamental human rights. One’s freedom of expression, rights to privacy, property, ownership and freedom of movement are not anymore guaranteed under this Bill as it allows spying, confiscation of properties and detention beyond the legally allowable time. So, while our rights have been extremely limited, this Bill gives draconian powers to State agents, which, as history will tell us, are almost always abused and mis-used.

    2. We can all argue that we should not fear specially if we are not guilty of anything that violates the laws of our land. But we have reason to fear because of the Bill’s ambiguous and expansive provisions leaving them open to arbitrary and whimsical interpretations which can advertently make us all vulnerable. Even legitimate dissent or criticisms, which are signs of a healthy and working democracy, may be misconstrued as inciting to commit a terror act. Weaponizing this measure to silence critics and detractors will give this government a free- pass even for its inefficiency, ineptness and abuses.

    3. The proponents of this measure should not trivialize the concerns of those opposed to it. We are concerned not simply because of what they alleged as ‘’trust issues’’. Even if we presume full regularity in the implementation or enforcement of this measure, it is the measure itself that poses grave concerns.

    So, while we agree that the government is responsible for the protection of its citizens from any form of harm or terror, it shall do so within the bounds of existing democratic principles and processes. The government should not make as an excuse the upholding of national security while undermining human rights and civil liberties. To do so makes the government terrorist against its own people.

    Guided by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we are duty-bound to oppose such measure as it is contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of man and to the teachings of the Gospel (CCC 2242).

    O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10:17-18)

     

     

    Signed:

     

    CLERGY of the Archdiocese of Manila
    June 25, 2020

     


  • Pope appoints new archbishop of Cagayan de Oro


    Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Jose Cabantan as the next archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.

    Cabantan, who currently serves as bishop of Malaybalay, will replace Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, who has retired at the age of 77.

    Archbishop-elect Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro. COURTESY OF BRENDA P. MILAN via CBCPNews

     

    The appointment was made in Rome at 12 noon Tuesday or 6pm in the Philippines.

    Cabantan, 63, was born in Lagonglong town in Misamis Oriental, and ordained priest at the age of 32 for the Cagayan de Oro archdiocese.

    The bishop took a “late vocation” after a few years of working as a licensed chemical engineer.

    As priest, he led for several years the archdiocese’s social action center before he was named Malaybalay bishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

    The archbishop-elect also holds a degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Loyola School of Theology in Manila.

    In the Philippine bishops’ conference, Cabantan currently heads the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). (CBCPNews)

  • CBCP to meet Online for Plenary Assembly





    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will meet online for their regular gathering of the Bishops’ Plenary Assembly in July as response to the health risk caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
     

    CBCP had announced the cancellation of its plenary assembly last June 5, 2020. Then, it was re-scheduled to be held on July 11-13, 2020 at Pus XII Center.

    Most Rev. Jose Colin Bagaforo, Bishop of Kidapawan and also the CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines Chairman, stated that they are hoping that aside from the Permanent Council Officers, the leaders of the different commissions of CBCP will also participate in the online conference.

    “Canceled yung aming Plenary Assembly ngayong July, indefinite pa baka sa January baka matuloy na. So ang number 1 na gagawin ng CBCP ay magkakaroon kami ng online na pagpupulong ang mga Permanent Council officers together with the heads of the different commissions, naka-schedule pa hindi pa namin alam kung kailan but it will be schedule pa ngayon sigurong June o July,” said the Bishop during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    The plenary assembly of the CBCP is held twice a year, which usually falls every January and July.

    According to Bp. Bagaforo, before postponing the plenary assembly, NASSA/Caritas Philippines agreed on three concerns to be discussed on the plenary.

    One is the response and the contribution of the Church amidst the crisis caused by the pandemic to further assess the appropriate procedures for the new normal.

    “Maaring maging agenda at aming ipi-present with the permanent council, number 1 yung response natin yung ano yung mga nagawa natin, at saka ano yung mga na-contribute natin at saka ano yung ating pananaw, reflections natin that will lead us to our pastoral action, pastoral approaches with regards sa isyu ng new normal in effect ng COVID-19 sa whole society including yung ating Simbahan,” said the Bishop.

    Also, the position of the Church regarding the controversial Anti-Terror Bill of 2020, which includes the provisions of setting aside the right of each citizen and the constitution.

    On the other hand, the NASSA/Caritas Philippines is expected to discuss the continuous preparation of the Church for its 500 years of Christianity in 2021.

    Bishop Bagaforo said that “ang pinaka-urgent na issue which is palagay ko yung stand natin sa Anti-Terror Act na maaring maging batas na, siguro pangatlo diyan yung pag-uusapan namin yung usual yung aming preparations for the 2021–500 years celebration ng ating Simbahan.”

    This is the first time that the bishops’ plenary assembly was canceled in accordance/compliance with the safety health measures implemented by the government that religious gatherings are still not allowed.

    The Bishops' Annual Retreat, which usually occurs every July before the assembly, will also be moved to January next year. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Corpus Christi Mass at Sta. Cruz Parish, on June 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po dito sa community sa Sta. Cruz, ang Archdicoesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. Ito ay dakilang kapistahan ng parokya, ng komunidad. At gayundin po, happy feast day din po sa Blessed Sacrament fathers and brothers na siyang namamahala nitong community dito sa Sta. Cruz.
     

    During this community quarantine, we have been deprived of many things. We are deprived of travel, of visiting friends, of our work and for us religious people, we have been deprived of the Holy Mass. 

    Yes, we have these online Masses but these are not the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It is the same as watching a birthday party or a Christmas party online. It is not the same as being in the party itself. Besides, in these online Masses, we are deprived of the Holy Communion. We may do with this very temporary arrangement of online Mass because of the extraordinary situation we are in.  But it is not the Mass itself.


    Participating in this online Mass, yes, helps you spiritually. You’ll hear the Word of God, it helps you to pray, you become part of a worshipping community. But deep down we know that it is not the Mass. Our celebration with God and our relationship with Him is something that is real, actual and cannot be reduced to virtual. We all long to go back to participate in the Mass in the Church. Virtual is not enough. We want the real thing.

    Totoo, makakarinig tayo ng Salitang Diyos sa virtual. Pwede tayong makipag-usap sa virtual. Kumanta kasabay ng iba sa virtual pero hindi tayo makakakain sa virtual. At ibinigay sa atin ni Hesus ay ang kanyang katawan na tunay na pagkain at ang kanyang dugo na tunay na inumin.

    Marami pong mabibigat na salitang binitawan si Hesus na natanggap ng mga alagad niya. Noong sinabi ni Hesus na siya ang tunay na pagkain na galing sa langit, natanggap ito ng kanyang mga disciples. Noong sinabi niya na ang kakain nito ay magkakaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan, natanggap din ito ng mga disciples. Ngunit noong sinabi niya na ang pagkaing ito ay ang kanyang laman na magbibigay ng buhay sa mundo, umalma na ang kanyang mga disciples. Paano niya maibibigay ang kanyang laman bilang pagkain? Yan po yung protesta nila.

    Noong nagsimula nang umalis ang kanyang mga disciples, mind you, they were disciples and not just part of the crowd. Hindi sinabi ni Hesus, “A, mali lang ang pagkaunawa niyo. Hindi ko naman talagang tinutukoy ang aking laman. Hindi.” Diniin pa ni Hesus, “You heard right. It is really my flesh.” So, he repeated, “Amen, Amen, I say to you and this means truly, truly I say to you.” Totoong sinasabi ko sa inyo, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have no life in you.” Ang aking laman ay tunay na pagkain. At ang aking dugo ay tunay na inumin.

    So, we really receive the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe this because Jesus said so. He also said clearly at the Last Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took bread and said the blessing, broke it, gave it to His disciples saying, “Take this, this is my body.” Then, he took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “Drink this all of you for this is the blood of the covenant which will be shared on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”

    Hindi ba ito ang mga salita na naririnig natin tuwing tayo’y nagsisimba? Naniniwala tayo kasi sinabi ni Hesus. Ginagawa natin ito sapagkat ito’y pinagagawa ni Hesus.

    This is the firm belief of the Church that is why St. Paul reminded his Christians in Corinth, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

    So, this has been taken by the early Church as part of their belief. It is but right then, that there is this great longing among us. Now, to soon participate in the real Mass and to receive the body of Christ. The Eucharist is so important for us and we have been deprived of this for the past three months, exactly ninety days today. We need it. The Eucharist sustains us in our journey.

    Ang mga Israelita ay nakatawid ng disyerto dahil sa may pagkain ng Mana na nagpalakas sa kanilang paglalakbay. Ang Komunyon ay higit pa kesa sa Mana.

    Those who ate the Mana, all died in the desert whereas the promise of Jesus is that, who eat his body will live forever. This is essential for us. Jesus told us clearly, “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” We will get life, real life because of Jesus whom we receive in Holy Communion.

    For this, we clamor to the IATF to consider religious services as essential services and not just consider us in the category of entertainment among movies and beauty salons.

    Online Masses are not the same as the real Eucharist. Religious activities also should not necessarily be considered as Mass gatherings because we have safeguards to control the people who come to our Masses and religious activities.

    So, it is not fair for them to limit our attendance in the GCQ to only ten persons irrespective of the sizes of our Churches. Where is the scientific basis for limiting us to ten persons only? How come when people were allowed to go to work in the offices, they do not put a limit to only ten persons in an office? They say one meter or even six feet apart. Why not say the same for the Churches instead of saying of only ten persons can come to attend in the Mass?

    Kailangan magsalita kasi para sa atin mahalaga ang Eukaristiya. Mahalaga ang Misa at ang mahalaga ay ipinaglalaban. Kung hindi nila ito nakikita na mahalaga, igalang nila ang ating paniniwala na ito ay mahalaga para sa atin.

    So, Jesus did not water down his statement that his body is real food when his disciples were leaving. Not only that, he really gave up his life even dying on the cross so that we can partake on his body. From his fierce side, his body’s blood was poured out for us. This is how serious Jesus has taken the giving of his body for us. I hope we are also that serious in receiving him.

    Mahalaga ang katawan ni Kristo kasi ito ay nagbibigay ng buhay sa atin. Anong klaseng buhay? Eternal life. Ang eternal life ay hindi lang buhay na kadugtong ng sa buhay natin ngayon na ito ay magsisimula kapag namatay na tayo. No, eternal life is not only a prolongation of this life as we know it. It is another kind of life. It is the life of God himself. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

    This is the life of Jesus that we receive when we receive Communion.  It is not like the ordinary food that we eat. When we eat food, the food is transformed in us. In the Eucharist, we are transformed into what we have eaten. Nabubuhay tayo dahil kay Hesus.

    This is the challenge for us. We allow Jesus to transform us into His likeness.  We become Christ-like if we allow Him because we receive Him. At ano ba si Hesus? Ano ba ang buhay niya? Siya’y matulungin sa kapwa. Siya’y malakas ang tiwala sa Diyos Ama. Naninindigan sa katotohanan. Siya’y nagdarasal. Siya’y nakikiisa sa mga dukha. Ginagawa niya ang kalooban ng Ama at hindi yung gusto niya. Ganyan ba ang buhay natin? O kung hindi pa naman, patungo ba tayo sa ganyang katangian? Ganyang klaseng buhay?

    The presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is not limited during the Holy Mass. He remains with us in the tabernacles of our Churches. We reserve the presence of Jesus in our Churches so that people can come and adore Him when they visit the Church.

    Our Churches are now open as quarantine rules are... Ugaliin po natin na dumaan sa simbahan at magdasal sa harap ng Blessed Sacrament. Maraming mga Adoration Chapels ay sarado pa kasi ang mga ito ay maliliit at airconditioned kung saan madaling kumalat ang virus. Pero ang mga simbahan natin ay maluluwang. Dalawin natin si Hesus. Ang mga larawan ng mga santo ay yan nga, mga larawan, mga sagisag, mga paalaala sa mga santo. Ang Eukaristiya ay hindi lang paalaala kay Hesus, ito’y si Hesus mismo. Kaya dalawin natin siya at magdasal sa harap niya. At dito po sa atin sa Sta. Cruz, sa gitna ng Maynila mismo ay mayroong exposition ng Blessed Sacrament ng buong araw kaya lumapit po tayo. Dalawin natin. Ugaliin natin na kausapin mismo si Hesus sa Blessed Sacrament.

    While the Eucharist is a great privilege, it is also a great responsibility. The privilege is that we have God as food. God enters into us. We are so united with Him in a very intimate way. The responsibility is we allow God to transform us. We become like Jesus by following Him day by day.

    I like that music in the play and the movie Godspell, “Day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray, to see the more clearly, to love the more dearly and to follow the more nearly, day by day.” Hindi ba maganda? At yan nga ang buhay Kristiyano na lalo nating makilala si Hesus. Lalo natin siyang mahalin. Lalo natin siyang tularan. Maging tulad tayo ni Hesus.

    We become and when we follow Him, maging tulad tayo ni Hesus, we become truly who we are as God the creator intended us to be. Magagawa kaya natin ito? Maging tulad ni Hesus? Oo, kasi si Hesus mismo ay nananahan sa atin. Yan ang Eucharist sa atin – ang katawan ni Kristo. Si Kristo mismo na sumasaatin. Talagang siya ay ang Emmanuel - the God who is with us and always with us. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Prayers of elderly not just important, but indispensable in the Church


    Most Rev. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila has called on the elderly to become prayer intercessors during this time of pandemic.

    In his Pastoral Instruction called “Our Eagerness to Serve” released on June 11, 2020, Bishop Pabillo stressed the importance of the service of prayer that the elderly can still do is not only important, but indispensable in the Church.

    “Though still kept in your houses for the time being, please accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis,” the Bishop said.


    The Bishop also commended the tireless effort of the lay faithful who continue to serve the parishes and the Archdiocese. But he reminded them to take the necessary precautions and follow the instructions given by the Department of Health so as not to be infected and to avoid the contamination.

    He discouraged the elderly and the senior citizens from doing voluntary services in the church for safety reasons. He asked them to make it a sacrifice and assured them that it is only temporary.

    “My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family,” he said.

    “Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many it is a sacrifice, not to serve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over. This is just temporary. The time will surely come when you may again be able to come and serve, which we hope and pray will be soon,” he added.

    Bishop Pabillo asked the elderly to recruit young volunteers to take their place while the pandemic is not yet over.

    “I would appeal to our elderly parish volunteers that if you truly love your parish, you will recruit one or two young volunteers to take your place in the church.

    We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation, such as the Health Ministry and the Social Communications Ministry,” he said.

    Due to the present situation, more volunteers are needed who could assist the church to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. They would also be needing volunteers who could facilitate the observance of proper physical distancing, and also those who will regularly sanitize the churches every after mass. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "Manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba"


    “Yes, let us try to know God but we accept the fact that we cannot fully grasp Him. He is so great, so much beyond us. Such is the mystery of God. Such is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. That’s why we end up praising Him – pinupuri natin siya.”

    These were the words spoken by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during his homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on June 7, 2020, explaining the mystery and the faithful’s connectivity with the Triune God.


    In his homily, Bishop Pabillo reflected on the story of Saint Augustine who wanted to understand the mystery of the Triune God so he spent time thinking, praying, reflecting and meditating on a beach for some time until he became tired. On the beach, he saw a young boy going back and forth to the sea carrying a (tabo). The boy wanted to put the water he got from the sea in a hole he made from the sand. Later on, St. Augustine found out that the boy was the angel sent by the Lord to give him a lesson.

    This was the same message the Bishop wanted to impart the faithful during the Mass. According to him, the mystery of the Lord is beyond the things we know. But during Baptism, he said, the faithful become related to God and becomes part of His family.

    “Pero ang Diyos ay hindi lamang natin inuunawa, siya ay ating isasabuhay kaya ibinigay niya ang kanyang divine life sa atin noong tayo ay bininyagan dahil nakiisa na tayo sa buhay ng Diyos kaya may kaugnayan na tayo sa kanya. Siya ay ating ama, ating kapatid, ating patnubay,” he said.

    The celebration of the Most Holy Trinity Bishop Pabillo added is also the celebration of the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC).

    “Kaya nga itong ating kapistathan ng Sangtatlo ay kapistahan ng BEC ng small Christian communities. God as community is also the model of all human communities – from the family to our BECs to our church organizations to our Church. We belong to one family,” he said.

    At the end of his homily, Bishop Pabillo stressed to the faithful the challenge of the Holy Trinity.

    “Ang pinakahamon ng Isang Tatlong Diyos ay manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba. Iyan ang ating Diyos. Iba ang Diyos Ama sa Diyos Anak. Iba siya sa Diyos Espiritu Santo pero iisang Diyos lang sila kumikilos bilang isa. Isa lang ang balak nila sa ating kaligtasan. Isa lang ang kanilang mensahe,” he said.

    The Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after the Pentecost. It celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • RCAM Chrism Mass 2020 set on June 19


    Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, announced that the celebration of Chrism Mass for the archdiocese is scheduled on June 19, 2020, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, at 9 in the morning. The Chancery Office of the Archdiocese made this announcement in a circular released last June 4, 2020.

    Chrism Mass is usually held on Holy Thursday of the Holy week held at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. But because of the coronavirus outbreak, the celebration was postponed after the government's declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon which prohibited public gatherings including liturgical services.


    According to Father Malicdem, the said celebration will have certain limitations in accordance with the protocol set by the government.

    “We will announce later who can attend the Chrism Mass. This will depend on the quarantine classification by then,” he said.

    The renewal of priestly promises, which usually happens during Chrism mass,  is scheduled on August 4, 2020, Feast of St. John Mary Vianney with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Manila Cathedral, at 9 a.m., to celebrate Clergy Day.

    Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the Bishop’s priesthood. During this Mass, all the priests gather at their respective diocesan cathedrals as a sign of unity with the bishop as well as the brotherhood among the priests. It is also during this mass that the chrism oil and the oil of the sick are blessed. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: Our Eagerness to Serve


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    We are expecting the gradual opening of our church activities, which we believe to be essential services to our people in order to make us resilient in times of crisis such as this corona virus pandemic. We eagerly await this. We not only want to come back to take part in the church services, but for those of us who serve in the different ministries and organizations, we are very much excited to resume our services.



    I truly appreciate the time and treasure given by our lay faithful in serving the church. With our very limited number of priests, we really need the services of the lay people in our parishes and in the Archdiocese. But as we want to serve, we are aware that not because the quarantine notices have been downgraded, the corona virus has weakened or has altogether disappeared. The hidden enemy is still around us. So, necessary precautions have to be taken not to be infected, all the more now that people freely roam around. Thus, we follow the instructions given by the Department of Health to minimize the contamination.

    Hence, we discourage the elderly, those who are senior citizens, to do voluntary service in the church for the time being. My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family. Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many it is a sacrifice, not to erve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over.

    This is just temporary. The time will surely come when you may again be able to come and serve, which we hope and pray will be soon. Our parishes will surely miss you and your service. In many of our communities, a good number of lay volunteers are among the elderly. So we sorely need younger volunteers. I would appeal to our elderly parish volunteers that if you truly love your parish, you will recruit one or two young volunteers to take your place in the church.

    We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation, such as the Health Ministry and the Social Communications Ministry. We will have to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. We will need people to help keep the proper physical distancing and to regularly disinfect our churches. Please help us to get more volunteers.

    An important service that the elderly can still do is the service of prayer, which is not only important, but indispensable in the Church. Though still kept in your houses for the time being, please accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis.

    Let us keep in mind that in the Church “there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:5-6).




    Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,


    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    June 11, 2020

     

     

     

       

     

     

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Sunday Mass for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on June 7, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po sa inyong lahat! At talagang ito’y isang dakilang kapistahan sa buong simabahan at sa parokyang ito kasi ito po yung katangi-tanging kapistahan ng Diyos mismo.

    Tayong mga tao ay hindi nabubuhay na mag-isa. We are social beings. Sa simula ng ating buhay, may mga tao na, na nag-aantay sa atin at magiging maayos ang buhay natin kapag may pamilya na mag-aaruga sa atin. Lalung nabatid natin na tayo ay social beings ngayong panahon ng quarantine. Napagtiyagaan natin ang halos tatlong buwan ng lockdown dahil may kasama tayo sa bahay. At dahil naka-connect tayo sa iba sa pamamagitan ng internet at ng mga cellphones. Ano kaya ang kalagayan natin kung nag-iisa tayo sa loob ng halos tatlong buwang ito? Iyan ang kahirapan ng parusang solitary confinement – gawin kang mag-isa, mababaliw ka kasi tayo ay social beings.


    Sinabi ng Diyos noong paglikha niya sa tao, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Ganito tayo sapagkat tayo’y nilikha ng Diyos na kaniyang kawangis.  God created us in his image and in his likeness. Tulad tayo ng Diyos at ang Diyos ay iisa ngunit siya ay community.

    Ito ang dakilang kapistahan na ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon. God as Trinity. The Triune God. God one in three. One God in three persons. Ang translation sa Trinity sa Pilipino ay Sangtatlo. Ibig sabihin, Isang Tatlo o kaya Isatlo na ibig sabihin, Isa at Tatlo.

    Totoo, ang Diyos ay isa. Wala nang ibang Diyos. Siya ang pinakamakapangyarihan at siya ang pinagmumulan ng lahat. Siya ang simula ng lahat. Pero noong nagpakilala siya kay Moses sa Bundok ng Sinai, ang katangiang kanyang ipinakita ay hindi ang kanyang kapangyarihan o ang kanyang lakas kundi ang kanyang pagiging ubod ng kabaitan.

    The Lord, the merciful and gracious God. Slow to anger, rich in kindness and fidelity. Nobody else nothing else is more merciful than he. This is His uniqueness.

    Sa Lumang Tipan, palaging pinaninindigan ng mga propeta na ang Diyos ay iisa kasi ang mga tao sa paligid ng Israel ay naniniwala sa maraming mga Diyos. Sinabi ng mga propeta na hindi sila mga Diyos, mga diyus-diyosan lamang sila kasi iisa lang ang tunay na Diyos. Sa halip na maglinkod sa iisang Diyos, ang mga Israelita ay paulit ulit na sinasamba ang mga diyus-diyosan sapagkat ang mga ito ay walang mga utos na dapat nilang sundin. The Gods have no demand over them. Sumasamba sila sa mga diyus-diyosan at ginagawa nila ang gusto nila.

    But the one God has revealed himself has demands. The one God has a moral will. If we serve him, we do what He wants not what we want. The Israelites did not want this. They preferred their likes over the will and the ways of God.

    Huwag natin pagtawanan ang mga Israelitas sa kanilang kahangalan kasi ganyan din tayo. Mas gusto natin ang ating hilig kaysa kalooban ng Diyos. Gusto natin pagbigyan ang ating layaw, ang ating pag-iisip, ang ating mga pananaw kaya iba’t ibang diyos din ang ating pinaglilinkuran.  Ibig kong sabihin ang binibigyan natin ng ating panahon, ng ating pera at ng ating atensiyon. Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyayari? Binibigyan natin ng atensiyon, ng panahon, ng pera ang ating bisyo? Ang ating kayamanan, ang ating kaaliwan o mga tao o mga sistema na dini-diyos natin? Kaya hanggang ngayon, marami pa ang mga tao na sumasamba sa mga diyus-diyosan.

    Para sa ikabubuti ng lahat, sabi ng Diyos na magpatawad tayo sa mga nagkakamali. Ang gusto natin ay mawala na sila kaya gusto natin ang bitay. Wala tayong kibo sa extra-judicial killings. Sabi ng Diyos maging tapat tayo sa inyong asawa. Gusto ng iba ay divorce o wala nang kasal.

    Ang Diyos ang katotohanan ngunit tayoý nagpapakalat ng mga false news o naniniwala sa mga fake news. Hindi natin sinusunod ang kalooban ng Diyos kaya malayo sa atin ang kaharian ng Diyos.

    Itong iisang Diyos na puno ng awa at pag-ibig ay pinakilala sa Bagong Tipan na isang pamilya, isang community kaya narinig natin sa ating Ebanghelyo na ganun na lang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sanlibutan na pinadala niya ang kanyang kaisa-isang anak upang ang tao ay hindi mapahamak kundi maligtas. God sent his son.

    Last Sunday, we heard that Jesus pray to the Father to send another advocate to lead us to the whole truth and that the Spirit will teach us. What the Spirit will teach us comes from Jesus which really comes from the Father. So, Jesus the son of God who became man is the one who tells us that this one God is Father, Son and Spirit. Our God is a relational God. He himself relates that is why he is Trinity.

    This teaching has been clearly accepted by the apostles that they spoke about the Trinity and even use this in their blessings and prayers. In our Second Reading, we hear the ending of the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians which is a blessing and he wrote, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

    Is this greeting not familiar to you? Ito’y ginagamit din natin sa pagbati sa simula ng ating Misa, “Ang pagpapala ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos Ama at ang pakikipagkaisa ng Espiritu Santo ay sumainyong lahat.”

    We believe in the Triune God. The God who is three in one because it has been revealed to us. Hindi naman natin ito maisip kung hindi ito ipinahayag kung hindi ito sinabi ni Hesus mismo. Ito ay hindi natin inimbento. Ito’y tinanggap natin sa anak ng Diyos.

    Pero isa at tatlo? Ano ba ito? Paano ba ito? Hindi natin ito lubos na maintindihan. Napakahiwaga ang katotohanang ito. Ito ay Diyos. Maiintindihan ba natin ang Diyos? Kung maunawaan na natin ng lubusan ang Diyos, hindi na yan Diyos kasi mas mataas tayo kaysa na-gets natin. Hindi naman maaaring mas mataas tayo sa Diyos kaya talagang may misteryo, may hiwaga na higit pa kaysa sa atin.

    Alam natin ang kuwento tungkol kay San Agustin. Gusto niyang maintindihan ang hiwaga ng Santatlo kaya mahabang oras siyang nagdarasal, nag-iisip, naglalakad sa isang beach upang ito’y pagnilayan. Sa katagalan ng panahon at noong pagod na siya sa kaiisip, napalingon siya at nakita niya sa malayu layo ang isang batang pabalik balik sa dagat na may dalang tabo. Sumalok ito sa dagat at dinadala ang tubig sa isang butas na kaniyang ginawa sa buhangin. Nang malapit na si Agustin, tinanong niya ang bata,

    “Ano bang ginagawa mo? Ano bang balak mo?”

    “Gusto ko pong ilagay ang tubig ng dagat sa butas na ginawa ko.”

    “Dong,”ani Agustin, “Tingnan mo ang lawak ng dagat. Hindi mo yan maikakasya sa butas na ito.”

    Ganun din po ang ginagawa ninyo. Gusto ninyo ilagay ang hiwaga ng Diyos na higit pang malawak kaysa dagat na ito sa ulo ninyo. Yan palang bata ay isang anghel na pinadala ng Diyos upang magbigay ng leksiyon kay Agustin.

    Yes, let us try to know God but we accept the fact that we cannot fully grasp Him. He is so great, so much beyond us. Such is the mystery of God. Such is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. That’s why we end up praising Him – pinupuri natin siya. 

    Pero ang Diyos ay hindi lamang natin inuunawa, siya ay ating isasabuhay kaya ibinigay niya ang kanyang divine life sa atin noong tayo ay bininyagan dahil nakiisa na tayo sa buhay ng Diyos kaya may kaugnayan na tayo sa kanya. Siya ay ating ama, ating kapatid, ating patnubay. He is the God who is above us, who is the God who is with us. He is the God who is within us. Galing tayo sa Diyos at tayo’y babalik sa kanya. Siya ang may likha sa atin kaya tinitingala natin siya at sinasamba natin siya. He is the God above us.

    Si Hesus ang anak ng Diyos ay naging tulad natin. Siya ay ating kapatid at halimbawa na matutularan kaya siya’y nakikilakbay sa atin. He is God with us – the Emmanuel.

    Ang ating lakas, ang ating liwanag, ang ating sigla ay ang Espiritu Santo na ibinigay sa atin. He is the God within us. May kaugnayan tayo sa Sangtatlo. Kasama tayo sa kanilang pagsasamahan. We are part of the community of the God. The community that is God.

    Kaya nga itong ating kapistathan ng Sangtatlo ay kapistahan ng BEC ng small Christian communities. God as community is also the model of all human communities – from the family to our BECs to our church organizations to our Church. We belong to one family. Isa lang ang ating apelyido. Ikanga, pareho ang dugo na lumalatay sa ating katawan pero iba-iba ang katangian ng mga miyembro ng pamilya. Iba si tatay kay bunso. Iba si ate kay kuya. Iba-iba ang ating ugali at kakayahan. Isa lang tayo, isang pamilya ngunit magkaiba. Kung talagang tayo ay nagmamahalan, sinisikap natin manatili ang pagkakaisa pero ginagalang natin ang ating pagkakaiba.

    Ganun din ang simbahan, iba-iba tayo. Ako ay obispo. Siya ay madre. Siya ay tatay. Ako ay lalaki. Siya ay babae. Ako’y matanda. Siya’y bata. Ang iba’y may pinag-aralan. Ang iba ay wala. Ano man ang kalagayan natin, bawat isa sa atin ay anak ng Diyos. May iisa tayong pananampalataya. May isa lang tayong patutunguhan at ang iisang Espiritu ang nagpapakilos sa ating lahat. Isa at marami.

    Ang pinakahamon ng Isang Tatlong Diyos ay manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba. Iyan ang ating Diyos. Iba ang Diyos Ama sa Diyos Anak. Iba siya sa Diyos Espiritu Santo pero iisang Diyos lang sila kumikilos bilang isa. Isa lang ang balak nila sa ating kaligtasan. Isa lang ang kanilang mensahe. Hindi ba sinabi ni Hesus ang Espiritu ang magpapaalaala sa inyo ng aking mga katuruan at ang katuruang ito ay galing sa Ama. Paano ito mangyayari? Nagkakaisa pero magkaiba. Ito ay mangyayari kung mayroong pagmamahalan. That’s why God is love. We are united because we love one another but the love for each does not erase our individualities but respect our identities. 

    So, the Trinity is not only to be known but to be lived. Isabuhay natin ang Diyos na Isatlo. Sa bandang huli sa kabilang buhay, mas magiging maliwanag ang ating pakikiisa sa daloy ngpagmamahalan ng Isatlo. We need the infinity of time to reflect on God. Pero ngayon pa lang isinasabuhay na atin ito sa ating pamilya, sa ating BEC, sa ating samahan, sa ating simbahan ang Isatlo. Kaya ang lahat ng ating gawain ay gawin natin sa ngalan ng Ama at ng Anak at ng Espiritu Santo. (Archdiocese of Manil – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Quiapo Church holds mass after ECQ

    Quiapo Church has reminded the faithful to strictly follow the safety health protocols implemented by the government with the recommendation of medical health experts.

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, re-started their public celebration of masses last June 5, Friday after the 3-month lockdown in Metro Manila.

    “Sa ating mga deboto na dadalaw sa Quiapo, sundin po natin ang mga safety protocols yung guidelines, pumila tayo ng maayos at maghintay upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagdasal sa loob ng simbahan,” said Rev. Fr. Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of Quiapo Church, during an interview at Radio Veritas regarding the opening of public masses in Quiapo Church.

    Photo Credit: Radio Veritas Facebook Page


    Fr. Badong, who is also anchor of Radyo Veritas Program Barangay Simbayanan, explained that 10 people are allowed to attend mass inside Quiapo Church accordingly to the guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

    If there is no celebration of the Mass, the Church allows 50 people to pray inside but they are asked to stay only 15 minutes to give way to other devotees who want to see and pray to the statue of the Black Nazarene.

    Fr. Badong stated that the faithful must pass through the main entrance of the Church to enter and have their body temperature checked by personnel. After that, they are required to sanitize their hands before entering the Church.

    The Church has also strictly implemented measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the church, such as wearing face masks and observing physical distancing. The tradition of kissing the Black Nazarene Statue is not yet allowed.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed religious gatherings but with limited attendees to a maximum of 5 in the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) areas, a maximum of 10 in the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas, and 50 percent capacity in Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) areas.

    The Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared on March 15, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit, allow the Catholic faithful to uphold their mission in the Church


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila reflected on the mission of the Catholic faithful during the Online Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 31, 2020.
     

    “Jesus is faithful. He has not taken back the gifts that he has given. The Holy Spirit acts in us now in our daily…. And we understand him although we have different tongues, we experience the same gifts of the spirit. The same charisma that is given to us from time passed up to now. The great proof that the spirit acts in us is the flowering of holiness that we find in the church,” he said.


    Bishop Pabillo emphasized that the seven gifts from the Holy Spirit is enduring until the end times such as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts lead the lay faithful on recognizing their mission to become Holy, thus, making them an instrument for the common good and the Church in general.

    During this time when people are seeking authenticity and accountability, Bishop Pabillo acknowledged the difficulty when Christians face persecution as much as temptations in the digital age. It requires willpower to become a good person in order to purify one’s intentions to serve the Church.

    “In spite of the scandals in the Church and the sins of the people in the Church that are being magnified by social media, still, there are numerous people who are striving to be good. People who want to know God. People who serve others selflessly, who stand up for the truth,” he added.

    The bishop also says that the blessing given to the faithful through the gifts becomes a reminder that they are strengthened and renewed by God in the course of time. He is hopeful that the faithful may truly benefit from these gifts by allowing themselves to be moved by it despite the obstacles they encounter in life.

    “Ang kapistahan ng Pentecost ay nagpapaalaala sa atin na buhay ang Diyos sa piling natin. Nasa atin ang kanyang energy. Nasa atin ang kanyang kapangyarihan, ang kanyang force. Kung ganito nga, huwag dapat tayong dapat manghina at huwag tayong magpabaya. Let us be hopeful and vibrant. God’s spirit is renewing the face of the earth in a way that we can hardly imagine,” he said.

    The prelate reminded the faithful that the gifts from the Holy Spirit is never limited but limitless, thus he encourages them to trust the will of the Lord that these gifts may eventually bear fruits.

    “These gifts are not exhaustive. They are representative. Marami pang ibang gifts. Let these gifts flow in our lives. Huwag nating hadlangan at ito’y mamumunga. Let the fruit of the spirit in us blossom which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” the bishop added.

    Pentecost Sunday is significant because it is recognized as the birth of the Catholic Church and primarily as the beginning of the Church's mission to the whole world. In the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended to the Apostles. The Holy Spirit was also described as "sounded as a strong wind; tongues of fire." Hence, the Apostles were able to speak in different languages. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Church Growth and the Significant Contribution of the Laity


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila described how the early Church grew and expanded exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that all the believers have taken part.

    This was the content of the reflection given by the bishop in one of the sessions during Online Retreat last May 28, 2020.

    According to the bishop, parishioners have to be taught and involved to become good stewards, that is, helping them discover the calling entrusted to everyone by the Creator.

    "In the parish, an important service that a parish can do is to make people aware of their being stewards. This is part of our vocation. Part of our call as human beings. When God created us, He created us to take care of the rest of creation. So let us be aware of this. So the parish should make people aware of their being blessed and so of their being grateful," he said.


    Bishop. Pabillo pointed out that the faithful would, later on, recognize that being a steward leads to being responsible for God's creation. This means contributing to one’s time, talent and treasure. Moreover, it is a mission that is given to the faithful to fulfill within their particular situation by helping other people like families, co-workers, neighbors and most of all the poor.

    "When we are aware of the gifts being given to us, we become grateful because it has been entrusted to us so that's part of the work of the Parish and the Parish makes us know our identity as human beings in front of the Creator and as I have said, as human beings, we are given a mission, a mission to be the image of God in the rest of Creation. That is to be able to take care of the rest of creation in the name of God," he added.

    In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prelate explained that Parishes should encourage the faithful to assist the Church in their pastoral priorities such as volunteer work which enables them to value the community they are involved in. This is also true of the love offerings that they contribute which benefit the needy.

    "Part of also the work in the Parish is to make people generous and when people are generous they grow in love. So let us not be afraid to ask people to volunteer especially after this COVID experience, we need a lot of young volunteers for the work in the Parish because when they volunteer, they grow in love. Let us not be afraid to ask for contributions, anyway the contributions don't come to us but to the Church, to the people whom the Church serves," he said.

    The Apostolic Administrator appealed to the parishes to utilize their resources. He mentioned that in the early Church, stewardship was already being practiced. In the contemporary time, parishes are in the same way called to carry out the early Church's mission of serving the needy.

    "Let us help one another. Some parishes are capable, some are not. Let us share our resources together. If we do this, there will be no poor among us and people will believe and this is a testimony of the early Church. The early Church grew and expanded exponentially, more than exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that they had," the bishop said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during the online Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 31, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Binabati ko po ang mga Charismatic groups na kasama natin sa Banal na Misang ito. Iba’t ibang uri ng mga Charismatic groups dito po sa Archdiocese at sa buong bansa at kahit na sa ibang bahagi ng mundo. Yung mga office base, yung mga parish base saka yung mga transparochial groups. At binabati ko rin po ang mga kabataan natin na sumama po sa online vigil mula pa kahapon na inaabangan ang pagdating ng Banal na Espiritu. Talagang ito’y isang dakilang kapistahan para sa ating lahat.

    Last Sunday, Ascension Sunday, pinagkatiwala ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad ang kanyang misyon bago siya umakyat sa langit. Pero bago sila lumabas sa buong mundo upang dalhin ang Mabuting Balita, sinabihan muna sila na maghintay sa may Jerusalem upang tanggapin ang ipadadala niya sa kanila.

    Jesus laid how everything necessary for the work of the disciples by his teachings. He had stayed with them so that they may observe them and learn from his examples for three years. He had given witness to his love by his suffering and by dying for them. He had shown that he has the power to surpass his enemies, to surpass the power of sin and even of death by His resurrection. He stayed with them for forty days after his resurrection to assure them that he is truly alive and to tie any loose ends if there were any in their understanding of him and his mission.


    Okay na ang lahat pero may isa pang kulang, takot pa rin ang mga alagad. Nagkulong sila sa isang kuwarto. Siguro ayaw nilang makilala sila ngmga awtoridad na sila ay mga alagad ni Hesus. Baka ang ginawa kay Hesus ay gawin din sa kanila.  Sinamahan sila ng Mahal na Ina sa panalangin marahil pinalalakas ang kanilang loob. Ano ang kulang sa mga alagad? Ang lakas ng loob at energy at tapang, ang sigla, ang kakayahang lumabas na makilala at magpakilala sa dala dala nilang balita. Dumating ang lakas na ito noong araw ng Pentekostes sa Jerusalem.

    Ang Pentekostes ay isa nang matandang dakilang kapistahan ng mga Hudyo. Ito ay nagaganap fifty days after the Passover feast. The Jews celebrate in Pentecost the giving of the Law of Moses at Mt. Sinai after having freed from the slavery from Egypt, they traveled to Mt. Sinai. Malaya na sila pero ano ang gagawin nila sa kanilang kalayaan? Ginawa silang malaya upang maglingkod sa Diyos bilang kanyang bayan. Doon sa Bundok ng Sinai biniyayaan sila ng batas na mapanatili bilang isang malayang bayan ng Diyos.

    Being such a great yearly feast, many Jews from all over the Roman Empire gathered in Jerusalem. Pentecost is one of the three great feasts of the year that the Jews would go to Jerusalem. The other two are the Passover Feast and the Feast of Shelters. Kaya maraming tao noon sa Jerusalem. Natutuwa ang mga Hudyo na mayroon silang batas na galing sa Diyos. Maganda ang batas galing pa naman ito sa Diyos. Hindi na nila kailangan hulaan pa ano ang gusto ng Diyos. Nakasaad na sa batas. Ang problema lang hindi nila masunod ang batas. Wala silang kakayahan na gawin ito kaya sa kanilang kasaysayan, palagi silang inaakusa ng mga propeta sa kanilang paglihis ng landas.

    So, it is not enough to have the law. It is not enough to know the law. We need to follow the law. Kaya para sa ating mga Kristiyano sa Pentekostes, inaalaala natin hindi na ang pagbigay ng batas na nakasulat sa bato kundi ang batas na nakasulat sa puso ng bawat isa sa atin.  Iyan ang espiritu ng Diyos na ipinagkaloob sa atin. Sa espiritung ito ay magpapaalaala sa atin ng turo ni Hesus. Ang espiritong ito ay nagdadala sa atin sa buong katotohanan. Ang espiritong ito ay magbibigay sa atin ng kakayahan na gawin ang kalooban ng Diyos. So, it is now within our power to fulfill the law and to follow Jesus.

    Ang Pentekostes ay ang kapistahan ng Espiritu Santo. Hindi na natin masyadong nabibigyan ng diin at pansin ang Espiritu Santo dahil sa ito ay espiritu kaya mahirap maintindihan, mahirap ma-i-imagine ang espiritu. Sa maraming larawan natin ng espiritu, pinapakita ang isang taga…Ito ay dahil sa sinabi ng lahat ng apat na mga Ebanghelyo na bumaba ang espiritu kay Hesus sa anyo ng isang kalapati noong sya’y bininyagan. Pero may mg images pa ng Holy Spirit sa Banal na Kasulatan na makabuluhan. Ang espiritu ay inihahalintulad sa tubig, sa apoy at sa hangin.

    Now, what is in common among these three? – Fire, water and wind?

    Una, ang tatlong ito ay dynamic. Hindi mapanghahawakan. Palaging gumagalaw. Ang tubig ay dumadaloy at kinukuha niya ang porma ng baso, ng palanggana, ng hukay sa lupa, ng patak sa dahon o bulaklak. Hindi natin mahahawakan ang tubig.

    Ang apoy ay palaging gumagalaw. Tignan lang natin ang pagtatalon talon, ang pagsasayaw sayaw ng apoy sa kandila o sa pugon.

    Ang hangin ay nandiyan at nararamdaman natin pero hindi natin nakikita. Hindi natin mapanghahawakan. It blows wherever it wills. Ganun ang espiritu. Always dynamic. Full of life, ang unpredictable.

    Isa pa na common sa tatlo, sa apoy, sa tubig at sa hangin. Sila’y kailangang kailangan sa buhay. Hindi tayo mabubuhay ng tatlong araw ng walang tubig. Ano kaya ang buhay natin ng walang apoy? Hindi tayo makakapagluto. Giginawin tayo. Wala tayon liwanag. Hangin. Ilang saglit lang mamamatay tayo kung kulang sa hangin kung walang hangin. Ganun natin din kailangan ang espiritu.

    So, St. Paul wrote, “That we cannot even say that Jesus is Lord if it were not for the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is compared to life. We do not see life but it is a force that keeps us alive and allows us to function. The life in the finger is the same life in the kidney. It is the same life in the rain.

    So, also in the Church, we have different functions and different gifts but it is the same spirit that animates all. The mother teaching the children to pray, the priest celebrating the sacraments, the charismatic groups having prayer meetings, the youth helping others, the volunteers feeding the children, all these are able to work in the Church because of the Holy Spirit.

    There is another thing in common – fire, wind and water. Naranasan ito natin. Hindi natin na-control ng ilang buwan ang bushfire sa Amazon at sa Australia. Wala tayong magawa pagdating ng baha kundi umakyat sa taas. Nagtatago tayo kapag dumating ang malakas na hangin ng bagyo. So, also we are not able to control the strength and the energy of the Holy Spirit.

    Fortunately, the strength of the Holy Spirit is not destructive. It is there to give life. In our Responsorial Psalm, we repeatedly implore God, “Lord send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Panibaguhin mo ang lahat. He is the source of renewal and transformation. We have seen this in our First Reading from being fearful men, the apostles became courageous and proclaimed out openly to all the wonderful things that God is doing.

    The Holy Spirit is also the source of unity. People coming from different places in the Roman Empire and speaking different languages were gathered together and could understand the message. We have heard the people saying, we can hear them in our tongues and this is the theme of the gathering of the youth since yesterday. We can hear, we can discern, we can understand in our own tongues. Together, we could understand the message lalung lalo na ang kapangyarihan ng magpatawad ng kasalanan. Iyan ang regalong binigay ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad. Kaya sinabi niya sa mga alagad, “Receive the Holy Spirit, for sins you forgive, they are forgiven.” Hiningahan niya at sinabi, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    Mga kapatid, ang Espirtu Santo ay binigay ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad sa araw ng kanyang pagkabuhay. Ang Espiritu Santo ay bumaba sa pamamagitan ng malakas na hangin at mga dilang apoy sa simbahan sa araw ng Pentekostes. Ang Espiritu Santo ay kumilos noon sa simabahan sa panahon ni San Pablo ay siya ring Espritu Santo na nasa bawat isa sa atin at kumikilos sa simbahan ngayon.

    Jesus is faithful. He has not taken back the gifts that he has given. The Holy Spirit acts in us now in our daily…. And we understand him although we have different tongues, we experience the same gifts of the spirit. The same charisma that is given to us from the time passed up to now. The great proof that the spirit acts in us is the flowering of holiness that we find in the church. In spite of the scandals in the church and the sins of the people in the church that are being magnified by social media, still, there are numerous people who are striving to be good. People who want to know God. People who serve others selflessly, who stand up for the truth.

    We even experience just a few days ago, many people following the online retreat. All of these are manifestations of the desire for holiness. And the efforts to be holy in our times. This is the work of the spirit. In our recent history, we also see the flowering of Charismatic Movements in the Church among Evangelicals, among Protestants, among Catholics. This is a powerful force in the world now coming from the Holy Spirit.

    In the Church, many non-practicing Catholics have been renewed in their commitment to the faith by means of the Charismatic Movements and they continue to reach out to others.  There are many religious congregations now that came from the Charismatic Movement and in fact, it is so dynamic that people have predicted that in a hundred years' time, the Catholics would be characterized as poor, black and Pentecostal. Kasi nasa kanila po aang madalas na lumapit sa simabahan at kumilos at maging active. Ang mga mahihirap, ang mga black sa Africa at ang mga Pentecostals. Kaya talagang kapag  kumilos ang espiritu matatangay tayo. At nararamdaman din natin yan sa mga kabataan. Akala natin ang mga kabataan ay hindi nagpapahalaga sa Diyos ngunit napakaraming mga nagahahanap din at kumikilos. Yan po yung espiritu na nagpapakilos sa kanila.

    Ang kapistahan ng Pentecost ay nagpapaalaala sa atin na buhay ang Diyos sa piling natin. Nasa atin ang kanyang energy. Nasa atin ang kanyang kapangyarihan, ang kanyang force. Kung ganito nga, huwag dapat tayong dapat manghina at huwag tayong magpabaya. Let us be hopeful and vibrant. God’s spirit is renewing the face of the earth in a way that we can hardly imagine.

    Napakarami pong mga scenarios, scenario building sa panahon natin ngayon ng pandemic na ito ay tatagl ng dalawang taon, na ekonomiya natin ay nasa recession na, na wala nang vaccine na matutuklasan, na ito ay pakana ng Tsina o pakana ni Bill Gates, na ito ay hindi malulunasan. Hindi natin maintidndihan. Naguguluhan tayo at baka nadidiscourage.

    Palakasin natin ang ating loob. Kumikilos ang espritu ng Diyos sa mundo at sa simbahan. Papanibaguhin niya ang mundo. Sa atin naman, kung kumikilos ang Diyos sa mundo, kunikilos din siya sa bawat buhay natin. Allow the Holy Spirit to move us. Saint Paul told us, “If we live in the spirit, let us follow the spirit.” We have heard about the gifts of the spirit the gift of understanding, counsel, wisdom, knowledge of the Lord, fear of the Lord, fortitude, piety. Masagana ang mga binibigay ng Diyos sa atin sa Binyag at sa Kumpil.

    And these gifts are not exhaustive. They are representative. Marami pang ibang gifts. Let these gifts flow in our lives. Huwag ating hadlangan at ito’y mamumunga. Let the fruit of the spirit in us blossom which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

    Let me repeat and you repeat after me. Love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Hindi ba maganda?

    Iyan dapat ang buhay natin. Mahirap kaya? Huwag tayong umasa sa ating kakaytandaan natin sa ating retreat, the primacy of grace which is the primacy of the spirit of God renewing the face of the earth. Renewing each of us in our lives.

    Ang Espiritu Santo ang kumikilos sa Misang ito at nagbabago ng tinapay at alak sa katawan at dugo ni Kristo. Siya rin ngayon ang magbabago sa buhay natin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Ascension Sunday Mass on May 24, 2020, at the ur Lady of Remedies Parish (Malate Church), at 10 a.m.


    It is already sixty-nine days since the lockdown. We have spent most of the season of Lent and all of the season of Easter in our homes. It is such a long time. But we are seeing glimmers of hope. Businesses are slowly opening up, more people are going to work and in the Church, we are hoping that soon we can have our religious services which are essential for our resiliency and for our mental and psychological health. Let us not lose hope then.

    Ito nga ang mensahe ng pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit na ipinagdiriwang natin, pag-asa. Tulad ng mga alagad ni Hesus, tumingala tayo sa langit, nandoon ang Panginoon – ang ulo ng simbahan. Pumasok na ang ulo sa langit susunod na tayo ang kanyang katawan. However difficult our times are, a bit of heaven will fix everything up. St. Paul wrote, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed to us.” So, we are told by St. Paul that let us ask for the wisdom and revelation that the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened. And that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call. Whatever are the riches of his glory that we inherit with the Holy Ones.


    Iyan po ang kailangan nating pag-asa. Makukuha natin ang kaluwalhatian ng Panginoon. Dakila ang kaluwalhatian na nag-aantay sa atin.  Ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit ay nagpapaalaala sa atin - makalangit tayo. Pansamantala lang ang buhay natin dito sa lupa. Kung tayo ay tapat sa ating pagtulad kay Hesus, duroon din tayo. Hindi ba yan din ang pangako niya? “In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If they were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself so that where I am you also maybe.”

    Pero ang buhay Kristiyano ay hindi lang isang buhay ng pag-aantay sa pagbalik ni Hesus at pag walang kibo sa mundong ito. Noong si Hesus ay umakyat sa langit hindi pa tapos ang misyon at hindi siya umalis na nakatiwangwang ang gawain niya. Ito ay ipinaubaya niya sa atin. Maaari na siyang umalis kasi nandito tayo na ipagpapatuloy ang kanyang sinimulan. Ang utos niya sa mga alagad ay, “Humayo kayo at maging saksi ko mula sa Jerusalem papunta sa Judea sa Samaria hanggang sa dulo ng daigdig.”

    Ito rin ang narinig natin sa Ebanghelyo. Ang mga huling habilin ni Hesus, “Humayo kayo. Gawin nyong alagad ko ang lahat ng bansa. Binyagan sila at ituro ang lahat ng narinig nyo sa akin.”

    “Go, make disicples. Baptize and teach.” Nangako siya na kahit hindi na natin siya nakikita, nandiyan siya kasama nila hanggang sa wakas ng panahon. Jesus is with us through his power that is through his spirit. Part of the prayer of St. Paul ay ito po, “Not only that we may not lose hope that we may understand the hope that is prepared for us but that what is surpassing greatness of his power for us to believe which you work in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right in the heavens.”

    Ang kapangyarihan na bumuhay kay Hesus, ang kapangyarihan na nag-akyat sa kanya sa langit ay siya ring kapangyarihan na kumikilos sa atin. Iyan ang kapangyarihan na pinaiintay ni Hesus na tatanggapin ng kanyang mga alagad sa Jerusalem sa araw ang Pentekostes na ipagdiriwang natin sa susunod na Linggo.

    Ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa- makalangit tayo. Pupunta din tayo doon pero bago yan dumating, may tungkulin tayo sa lupa – palaganapin ang paghahari ng Diyos. At ito ay magagawa natin sapagkat ibinibigay ni Hesus ang kapangyarihan na kumilos sa kanyang buhay ang kanyang espiritu. Kaya habang palapit na ang pagtatapos ng lockdown, hindi lang sana tayo nananabik na lumabas. Nananabik tayo na lumabas na may misyon – ang misyon ni Hesus.

    Tuwing Ascension Sunday, ipinagdiriwang natin ang World Communications Sunday. Ang misyon natin ay to communicate the message of Jesus. At sa ating panahon, malaki ang papel ng komunikasyon lalo na pagdating ng mass media at ng social communication. Naranasan natin ito ngayong panahon ng quarantine. Ano kaya ang naging buhay natin sa loob ng dalwang buwan ng lockdown kung walang internet? Kung walang TV? Kung wala si TV Maria? Kung walang radio? Kung walang Radio Veritas? Magpasalamat tayo sa Diyos na binigyang kakayahan ang mga tao na lumikha ng mga paraan ng komunikasyon na ngayon ay lalo pa lumalawak.

    Sa simabahan, naranasan natin ang kabutihan at kapakinabangan ng media. Dahil dito napaabot sa marami ang impormasyon na kailangan natin kaya ang mga media people ay mga frontliners. Natulungan tayo na manatili sa Diyos sa ating mga online Masses, online reflections at ngayon pa nga mayroon pa nga mayroong online Flores de Mayo.

    Naiimbitahan ako na pumunta sa mga parokya na magdiriwang ng kanilang piyesta. At napansin ko sinusubaybayan ng mga parokyano ang kanilang mga online fiesta Masses. Sa isang parokya pa nga, pagkatapos ng online Mass, mayroon silang online palaro sa mga bata. Ewan ko kung paano nila ginawa iyun.

    Talagang maraming gamit ang online ngayon. Sana naman nagamit natin ang internet ng maayos kasi ito ay nagagamit sa masama tulad ng pagka-addict sa video games o sa pornography o sa cyber sex o pagkalat ng mga false news. Kaya sa World Communications Sunday, pinapaalaala sa atin na gamitin ang social media sa pagpapalaganapng kabutihan at hindi ng kasamaan.

    Isa pa ring pananagutan na pinapaalaala sa atin sa linggong ito, ay ang pangangalaga sa Inang Kalikasan. Five years ago, Pope Francis came out with a much appreciated love letter, Laudato Si. Maganda ang mga aral na makukuha natin dito kaya mayroon tayong Laudato Si week taun taon pang balik balikan ang mga aral at hamon ng liham na ito.

    Ngayong taon, ang Laudato Si Week ay nagsimula noong May 16 hanggang May 24. At ngayon ang huling araw nito. Kaya ipinagdiriwang natin ang Misang ito dito sa parish of Our Lady of the Remedies sa Malate kasi matagal ng kilala ang parokyang ito sa pagsusulong ng usaping pangkalikasan kaya congratulations sa mga Columbans at sa kanilang mga kasama. At congratulations sa GCCM, Global Catholic Climate Movement na siyang nag-organisa ng maraming mga gawain ngayon Laudato Si Week at ng Misa natin dito ngayon sa Malate

    Isa sa mga bagay na matingkad nating naranasan ngayong panahon ng coronavirus ay ang pagkadugtung dugtong ng buong mundo. Magka-ugnay tayong lahat. Nagulo at tumigil ang buhay ng mga tao sa lahat ng continents dahil sa virus. Ganun pala karupok ang mundo na itinatayo natin. Bigla na lang nawala ang air travel. Nagsara ang mga malls sa ating mga lungsod na noon ay dinadagsa ng mga tao. Pati ang Olympic Games ay ipinagpapaliban. Biglang nawala ang traffic. Ang traffic na hindi ma-control, control noon, biglang nawala. Itong katotohanang ito na magka-ugnay ang buong mundo at ang lahat ng buhay ay matagal ng sinasabi ng Laudato Si. Pangalagaan natin ang mundo. Iisa lang ito. Wala na tayong matatakbuhan pa kung masira ito. Nagyon nga sa virus pwede pa tayong magtago sa ating mga bahay pero kapag dumating ang baha, kapag dumating ang global warming, saan tayo tatakbo? Hindi magbibigay ng proteksiyon ang mga tahanan natin at dahan dahan ngang sinisira natin ito sa uri ng pamumuhay natin na maaksaya. Sana matauhan na tayo. Let us take care of our common and only home – this beloved Mother earth.

    Matagal nang nanawagan ang Santo Papa at mga environmentalists na kailangan nating magbago ng lifestyle upang mapangalagaan ang mundo. Our lifestyle, the way we live, the way we conduct business, the way we produce and consume are unsustainable pero ayaw nating magbago ng lifestyle. Sabi natin mahirap, ito na talga anag takbo ng buhay. Hindi na ito mababago. Ngayong dumating si COVID-19 biglang nabago ang lahat. Naging malinis na ang daan, nawala ang traffic, nawala na ang consumerism na nagresulta at least sa mga buwang ito, naging malinis ang hangin natin. Saan pa tayo bibili kaya nawala ang consumerism, mga palengke na lang ang bukas. Kaya naman pala natin maging simple at hindi maging magastos. Naging mabuti ito sa ating kalusugan, nakatulong. Marami sa atin ay nakakatulog ng mahaba, nakakakain ng sama sama at regular. Naging malinis ang hangin na hinihinga natin. Nakakakain ng tunay na pagkain at hindi na mga junkfood. Ngayong natikman na natin ang simple at matipid na buhay, sana manatili ito sa atin.

    Isa rin na naranasan natin na kaugnay sa katuruan ng Laudato Si is the need to be connected. Good that we have the internet to connect us to the rest of the world even if we are under quarantine. But hopefully we have experience the joy of connectedness among our families. At ang sinabi ni Papa Francisco ngayong World Communication Sunday, kailangan din maging connected ang mga grandfathers sa mga grandchildren upang ma-facilitate ang ating pagakaintindi sa takbo ng mundo. We have to know one another better.

    We have seen that we do not go to the mall to watch movies together, to eat outside or to have vacation in other places in order to be bonded to each other. Hindi naman maging magastos to be connected. By simply talking with each other, playing with one another, doing simple chores together in the house, eating together, we become closer to each other.

    Mas lalo siguro nating naranasan ang pangangailangan ng maging connected tayo sa Diyos. May panahon na tayo. Nakakapag dasal tayo, sana nakapagbabasa ng Bibliya, nakakadalo tayo sa mga online Masses – may iba pa ngang dalawa o tatlong online Masses ang pinupuntahan. Mawala man ang iba, sa Diyos makakakapit tayo at hindi niya tayo bibitawan.

    It is indeed not expensive and difficult to be connected. Kahit na pinahirapan tayo ni COVID-19, marami ding kabutihan na naidulot ito sa atin. Mga realizations na kaya pala nating maging simple, kaya parin nating magbago, kaya pala natin maging connected sa bawat isa. Sana panghawakan natin ang mga ito kapag wala na si COVID-19.

    Kaya sa Banal na Misa natin ngayon, inaanyayahan tayong tumingala sa langit kung nasaan si Hesus, duroonin din tayo. At habang papunta tyo roon, ipagpatuloy natin ang misyon ni Hesus na ipalaganap ang paghahari ng Diyos lalung lalo na sa paggamit ng maayos ng mga bagong kakayahan na ibinigay sa atin – the means of social and mass communications.

    At habang papunta tayo sa langit, pangalagaan natin ang mundo natin na galing sa kamay ng ating Diyos na manlilikha. God the creator is our Father. If we love him, we take care of the things, the difficult things that he has given and his beautiful and fragile earth is a gift of his wisdom and his love. He lives into us to take care of …and pass it on to the next generation. Hindi lang po para sa atin ang mundo, ito’y para sa lahat ng mga taong para rin sa susunod na henerasyon.

    We have a lot to thank and praise God for in this Mass. Let us celebrate this Holy Mass with great…(Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Holiness, an essential part in missionary vision of the Church


    In one of his reflections during the Online Retreat "Pentekostes: From Crisis to Renewal,  From Lockdown to Mission" which was broadcasted on May 25-28, 2020, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila meditated on Holiness as an integral part to the pastoral priority of the Church.

    Holiness, according to Bishop Pabillo, is an essential aspect in a Catholic's daily life. A faithful also plays an important role in being able to lead others to holiness because of their upbringing and closeness to the Church.

    "Our unique mission is to make people holy.  We cannot do this if we ourselves do not strive to be holy. We, people who are connected with the Church should have that eagerness to be holy. To bring holiness to other people, this is our service in the world," he said.


    The bishop also noted how technology has enabled the faithful to connect more with one another. Just as with technology we have connected with loved ones, Bishop Pabillo is hopeful that it also keeps us connected to Jesus especially during the quarantine period, to lead us to holiness.

    "One thing that made us survive the lockdown is the internet because we are connected with our friends, with our other relatives and with the world because of the internet. So we always look for the internet. The Pope [Francis, Christus Vivit 158] makes use of this image to tell us also the necessity and the importance of being always in touch with Jesus so that we can be holy," he said.

    Parishes, therefore, are challenged, according to the bishop, to make efforts to help people pray more especially popular piety and devotions to overcome spiritual mediocrity.

    "In our own parishes, are our activities in the parishes leading people to holiness? Madalas po nating tanungin, 'Kamusta po ang piyesta?' Mabuti naman. Nakaraos din. 'Kamusta ang Mahal na Araw? ' Mabuti naman. Nakaraos din. Nakaraos din ang Simbang Gabi. Yan lang ba ang gusto natin?  'Nakaraos din.' But did our Fiesta celebration bring more holiness to people? Do our Christmas activities bring more holiness to people?  Hindi lang sana nakaraos," he said.

    The online retreat of Bishop Pabillo was intended to stand for the Annual Retreat of the clergy of Archdiocese of Manila. It is usually scheduled in the month of July. Through the online broadcast, the retreat's attendance was extended to the guest priests, to the Religious priests, brothers and sisters, and even for Lay leaders in the Archdiocese. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Charity as ‘Entrance Point’ to Holiness


    “Kapag mayroon kayong pangangailangan, idulog niyo sa Diyos sa inyong mga panalangin.’ At yan po ang halimbawa sa atin ni San Felipe Neri. Siya po ay Santong masiyahin. Sabagay, wala naman talagang santong hindi masiyahin dahil ang kabanalan ay nagbibigay sa atin ng kagalakan. At walang iba, kundi kagalakan ni Hesus.” This was the message of Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, during his homily in the fiesta Mass at San Felipe Neri Parish, Mandaluyong City.

    Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri SOCOM


    Bishop Pabillo pointed out that Saints were given to us by the Church to be our role model just like St. Philip Neri, who received many blessings from God.

    The bishop underlined that the entrance point to holiness of St. Philip Neri was charity. He lived it out when he went out to help the poor people in Rome while at the same time evangelizing them.

    “Sinabi ni Propeta Isaias, that ‘the Holy Spirit has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor, to bring freedom to the captives, to bring healing to the sick.’ ‘Yan ay talagang ginawa ni San Felipe Neri, ang entrance point niya sa trabaho sa simbahan ay ang mga mahihirap na ‘yan,” Bishop Pabillo said.               

    St. Philip became attractive to the crowd regardless of his society status because of his joyful and humble character. Because of his traits, he was able to influence people to help others and to follow his ways. He reached the hearts of the people through his charitable works rooted in faith.

    Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri SOCOM

    In the homily, Bishop Pabillo also encouraged the faithful to give thanks to the Lord always, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We should find the goodness in the people and the situation.

    “In all circumstances, give thanks to the Lord. ‘Yan yung kalooban ng Diyos at makakapagpasalamat tayo in all circumstances kahit na po ngayon sa corona virus sa pandemic na ito makakapagpasalamat tayo hanapin lamang natin ang kabutihan kasi sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng pangyayari, mayroon pong kabutihan dyan na makikta natin kung hahanapin lamang natin at mahahanap natin ang kabutihang iyan kapag tayo’y nagdadasal at nagdi-discern.”

    Finally, Bishop Pabillo calls the faithful to be holy by having a joyful character just like St. Philip Neri. This we are able to do when we find God as the source of joy within us.

    “Tumawag tayo kay San Felipe Neri habang sinisikap nating tularan siya, tumawag din tayo sa kanya. At ang ating patron sa langit ay patuloy pong nakikidasal at pinagdarasal tayo.” he said.

    St. Philip Neri was born on July 21, 1515 and died on May 26, 1595. He is an Italian priest and one of the outstanding mystics during the Counter-Reformation and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. He is the patron saint of the City of Rome and the Patron for those who seek for joy. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • PASTORAL INSTRUCTION: MOVING FORWARD


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese,

     

    We, in the NCR, are now placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) but we

    continue to appeal to the government to consider religious activities as essential

    services to our people. There is no scientific basis at all to limit religious activities to

    only 10 persons during the GCQ without considering the different sizes and capacities

    of our church buildings. While we make the appeal, we also need to be ready to put the

    necessary safeguards that our archdiocesan guidelines have spelled out to us a month

    ago. These guidelines have been seen and reviewed by the Department of Health

    (DOH) with minimal comments. I include in this instruction a checklist of all the

    materials that should be in place.

     


    But more than the materials needed, we should already be preparing our people for

    public religious activities through our online communications with them. All of us,

    including the people, need to adjust and should have consideration not only for what

    we want, but also for the health and protection of others. I hope our online retreat last

    week has helped in setting the right perspective to accept changes. I reiterate that all of us

    should be concerned that we do not spread the virus during our services. This is part of our

    stewardship of the gift of health – our health and the health of those around us. I would stress the following:

     

    1. Those who are not yet allowed to go out (20 years old and below, and 60 years

    old and above) should stay at home and use instead the ongoing online religious

    services. The parishes will see to it that they can receive Holy Communion which

    will be distributed to them in designated places or outside their homes.

     

    2. Those who serve in the church, including the priests, should be honest enough

    that if they do not feel well, they should refrain from their service, get themselves

    tested, and stay home for self-quarantine until the test results come out. Our

    services are meant to do good to others and not to cause harm.

     

    3. Now is the time for all to help one another, listen to each other and not insist on

    our own ideas only. Pope Francis is asking us to be a synodal church. This means

    a church that is characterized by collaboration and openness to each other so that

    we can decide together and walk with each other in this new situation. For the

    priests, this can mean greater consultation and listening to the ideas of the

    faithful; and for the churchgoers and lay leaders this can mean active

    participation in planning, and not just be passive implementors.

     

    4. Our first concern now is how to open up our church services in a safe way. But

    little by little each parish and each church organization have to undergo

    planning on how to do their activities and programs in this new situation,

    considering the pastoral priorities that St. John Paul showed us in our retreat.

    They should also consider the new needs of the people now in the pandemic and

    afterwards that the Church should address.

     

    5. Let each parish create a ministry of health to extend services to the elderly and

    the sick in the parish. They will identify the parishioners who want to receive

    Holy Communion outside the Church. This ministry may also be assigned to

    screen churchgoers by the use of thermal scanners and to attend to those who

    may later on be found to have high temperatures and other illness. Later on, this

    ministry will also be in charge of promoting a healthy lifestyle in the parish so

    that the people would develop immunity to diseases.

     

    6. An archdiocesan guideline is given to help people, priests and lay faithful alike,

    on whether or not he or she is to be tested for Covid 19. However, the decision

    to be tested or not, and what test to use, rests on each individual. We shall also

    follow the government guidelines on this matter.

     

    The research arm of the Archdiocese has come out with a manual that gathered together

    in one volume all the instructions and guidelines that came out since the start of the lockdown

    up to yesterday, the Solemnity of the Pentecost. It is meant to be a reference point because

    many of the things written there are still useful for us.

     

    God is alive! We are now called to this new situation, where also God’s Spirit is

    blowing. Let us discern and follow the Spirit’s lead.

     

     

    Yours truly in Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator

    1 June 2020

  • Foundation organizes Stage Play to help poor cope with Pandemic stress


    “Hanggang may taong lansangan na nangangailangan ng kalinga, buhay din po ang aming iaalay.”

    This was the message of Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, SVD, founder of Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation after the online theatrical play entitled, “Paglaya mula sa Kulturang Kalye, Pagyakap sa Buhay Kalinga” held in Paco Catholic School last May 28, 2020.


    Fr. Villanueva stressed in his message that everyone has to partake to mission and that is to show love and affection to those who need it.

    "Tao sila. Tao sila na pinagdamutan ng pag-ibig. Tao sila na ginulangan ng ibang makapangyarihan. Tao sila na itinaboy ng mga taong dapat magmahal sa kanila. Kaya sino? Sino pa ang tutulong sa kanila kundi ang salita na nagkakaroon ng katawan sa tinatawag na kalinga,” Fr. Villanueva said.

    “Ang kalinga po ay hindi si Fr. Flavie o ang center. Ang kalinga mula sa Diyos na nagkatawang tao. Kaya ang bawat tao po ay may misyon na mangalinga sa mga taong wala,” he added.

    The stage play was participated by the homeless beneficiaries of AJ Kalinga Foundation who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, living together under the shelter of Paco Catholic School for the past two months since the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Manila.

    Jonathan Acosta Mangada, one of the performers came from a broken family. At age 7, he left his home and went to Manila. He shared and recalled how painful it was to be judged by people.

    “Pag napaligid po kami sa mayayaman, sasabihan ang kanilang mga anak, ‘Anak, huwag kang dumikit diyan dahil magnanakaw yan,’” Mangada shared.

    According to him, he was also accused of a murder he did not commit but was forced to admit it. Since then, he started to plant anger and hate in his heart.

    “Doon ko po natutunan kung paano mahalin ang aking kapwa, paano po magkaroon ng respeto, paano magkaroon ng kilos may pinag-aralan kahit wala kang ipagmamayabang. Sa Kalinga naranasan ko po magkaroon ng isang ina at isang ama,” he said.

    The event was created to address integrally the needs of the homeless, that they are not only being fed and housed in safe shelters but also being accorded with psycho-spiritual interventions. The activity also helps lessen their fear, anxiety and boredom during the pandemic.

    The AJ Kalinga Foundation was founded to provide hope, second chances and a venue to empower the homeless to turn their lives around. It provides a holistic, systematic and dignified approach to help its members improve their lives and contribute to society.

    The event was organized by Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation Inc. in coordination with Paco Catholic School, Malate Catholic School and San Fernando de Dilao Parish.

    To date, there are 150 beneficiaries of AJ Kalinga Foundation that are housed and being taken cared of by the shelter of Paco Catholic School. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pentecost: A time for Renewing our Mission in the midst of COVID-19


    "We are nearing the time of the Pentecost and hopefully there will be the opening up of our Churches by the time of the Pentecost. Little by little. Yes, with restrictions."

    This is the hope expressed by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila in one of his reflections during the Online Retreat, "Pentekostes: From Crisis to Renewal, From Lockdown to Mission" which was broadcasted May 25-28, 2020.


    Bishop Pabillo noted that the current crisis really affects the faithful and their families. He, however, also affirmed that the faithful can experience a change of perspective during the similar crisis that can help them face the "new normal".

    "We have undergone crisis. The crisis of the quarantine and many of us, this has really been a crisis. A crisis of our relationships. A crisis of our finances. A crisis of our plans and maybe crisis of faith but may this crisis bring us to renewal that we can come out of this situation renewed," he said.

    The prelate acknowledged that the faithful have a truly difficult experience because of isolation as an effect of the threat of the coronavirus. It has even caused some a feeling of hopelessness. However, he hopes that somehow a spiritual comfort is felt through the retreat and consequently lead them to recognize their mission in the Church.

    "We have been lockdown, unable to move but now little by little, we'll be able to go out. Hopefully, it's not just to enjoy ourselves but we go out to mission," he said.

    "We have suffered. Our plans have been curtailed by the lockdown, by this virus, the economy has suffered but there's also something good here, that we can maximize, so we can go out in this experience enlightened and renewed rather than discouraged and despondent. Hopefully, in this retreat we can bring this out," he added.

    The online retreat was intended to stand for the Annual Retreat of the clergy of Archdiocese of Manila which is usually scheduled in the month of July. Through the online broadcast, the retreat's attendance was extended to the guest priests, to the Religious priests, brothers and sisters, and even for Lay leaders in the Archdiocese. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis and Catholic Shrines to pray the Rosary for Mary’s help amid COVID-19


    On May 30, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. (Rome time), His Holiness Pope Francis will lead the praying of the Holy Rosary to implore the help of the Blessed Mother Mary during the pandemic. The event was given the theme, "Devoted and with one accord to prayer, together with Mary (cf. Acts 1:14)".

    Together with the Pope, shrines all over the world will simultaneously pray including the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, San Giovanni Rotondo, and Our Lady of Pompei.


    According to Vatican News, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which is in charge of the promotion of the initiative, gave dozens of rosaries to families and individuals who represent the areas with most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. They include doctors and nurses, recovered patients, people who lost loved ones, hospital chaplain, pharmacist and journalist. Also, praying with the Pope is a Civil Defense volunteer with his family, and a family who welcomed a new member amidst the spread of the disease.

    The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which has been in charge of Marian shrines since 2017, will broadcast the event via online live-streaming at the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens.

    Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, sent out letters addressed to the rectors of the shrines inviting them to organize and promote the special moment of prayer for the world in accordance with current health regulations and relevant time zones.

    “In light of the emergency situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic that has caused the stoppage of the normal activity of all Shrines and the interruption of all pilgrimages, Pope Francis wishes to express a gesture of closeness to each of you with the recitation of the Holy Rosary,” Archbishop Fisichella said in his letter.

    Last May 13, 2020, the feast of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the Archdiocese of Manila has strongly expressed its Marian devotion as it consecrated the whole archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, asking for her mantle of protection from the coronavirus pandemic. The prayer of consecration was led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Reverend Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass at the Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila Parish Paco, Manila on May 17, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Sa mga pamilya na sanay mag-celebrate ng Mother’s Day, nahirapan sila last week na ipagdiwang ito. Paano nila ipahahayag ang pagmamamahal nila sa kanilang nanay? Hindi naman sila makapag-shopping para sa kanya. Hindi sila makakain sa labas. Mahirap din pati na bumili lamang ng bulaklak. Ang hirap manghula ng gusto ng minamahal natin at mapaligaya siya. Ito ang problema natin tuwing birthday, anniversary at pasko. Ang hirap maghanap ng regalo. Ang hirap gumawa ng isang activity na magugustuhan ng mga mahal natin.

    Si Hesus, hindi niya tayo pinahirapan. Sa ating Ebanghelyo, dalawang beses niya inulit, “Kung ibig ninyo ako, gawin ninyo ang aking utos.” Ilang beses natin matatagpuan ito sa Banal na Kasulatan. Hindi na natin kailangan manghula paano ba liligaya ang Diyos. Diyan liligaya si Hesus, kung ginagawa natin ang utos niya. Ang pag-ibig sa Diyos ay konkreto hindi ito nasusukat sa mga luha na ibinubuhos natin o sa tibok ng ating puso. Ito ay pracktial, mahal natin siya kung ginagawa natin ang kanyang utos.


    Aling mga utos? Hindi rin niya tayo pinahirapan dito. Although there are six hundred…in the Torah in the Law of Moses, Jesus summarized the commandments into two: love of God and love of neighbor. So, St. Paul can say, “O, nothing to anyone except to love one another for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall covet and whatever other commandments there may be are summed up in these namely: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does know no evil to the neighbor hence love is the fulfillment of the law.

    Yan po yung sinabi sa atin ni San Pablo at kung mahal natin ang ating kapwa mahal din natin ang Diyos. Hindi natin maaaring mahalin ang Diyos na hindi natin nakikita kung hindi natin minamahal ang kapwang ating nakikita. Kaya maliwanag ang paraan upang mahalin ang Diyos – sundin ang kanyang utos. Maliwanag din ang kanyang utos – mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa.

    Ngayon ang tanong, paano natin gagawin ito? Nagbigay ang Diyos ng halimbawa at yan ay walang iba kundi si Hesus mismo. The son of God became man so that he may know and see how God loves in a human way. Kaya ang paanyaya ni Hesus sa atin ay,”Come follow me.” Halikayo, tularan ninyo ako at tignan natin ang buhay ni Hesus paanong siyang lumalakbay at tumutulong sa mga nangangailangan sa mga dukha, sa mga…., sa mga bulag, sa mga inaalila ng demonyo. Kung paano siya nagpapatawad kahit na nga sa pumapatay sa kanya at paano pinagbigyan niya ang maraming tao. Yan po yung pagmamahal sa kapwa. Pero kaya kaya natin gawin ang ginawa ni Hesus?

    Nung ako’y batang pari pa, na-assigned ako sa isang parokya sa Laguna kasama ang isang matandang pari na masipag magtrabaho pero madaling magalit sa mga hindi nakakasunod sa kanyang trabaho.

    Isang araw habang kumakain kami dumating siya sa kainan at galit na galit. Hindi ko na nga maalaala ano ikinagagalit niya. Inaamo amo namin siya para humupa ang galit at ang sabi ko, “Father, tingnan mo si Hesus nakapagtimpi siya.” Nagkamali ako mas lalong nagalit. “Si Hesus, aniya, Diyos naman siya tao ako. Tandaan mo, tao ako.” Ako pa tuloy ang napapagalitan. Matutularan ba natin si Hesus kahit na maliwanag ang kanyang salita kahit na nagbigay siya ng halimbawa? Magagawa ba natin ang kanyang ginawa? Oo, kasi ibinigay niya sa atin ang kanyang espiritu. The Holy Spirit which is the energy of God. The power of God that empowered Jesus is the same power that is empowering us. Kaya nating magawa kahit ang mga maka-Diyos na ginawa ni Hesus dahil nasa atin ang energy na yan. Kahit tao lamang tayo, we are empowered to follow Jesus.

    Ito yung regalong hiningi ni Hesus sa Ama upang hindi tayo mangulila. Sabi niya magpapadala ang Ama ng isa pang katulong, another advocate another helper.  Ang espirito ng katotohanan upang dalhin tayo sa kaganapan ng katotohanan upang paalalahanan tayo ng mga aral ni Hesus upang bigyan tayo ng lakas para ituwid ang mali sa buhay. We can be Christ-like because that of the spirit that is in us.

    In our First Reading, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people in Samaria had accepted the message through Philip, they sent Peter and John to visit them. They laid their hands on them and prayed over them when they knew that they have not received yet the Holy Spirit. They need the Holy Spirit to enable them to live the new found faith that they have. Ganun din tayo, pagkatapos na tayo ay mabinyagan, kailangan natin ang Sakramento ng Kumpil upang palakasin at palaguin ang pananampalataya na naitanim sa atin sa binyag. Hence, with Confirmation we become mature Christians able to be his witnesses to the world and to defend the faith.

    Ito rin ang sinabi ni St. Peter sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa – to defend and explain the faith. Sabi niya, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who ask you for a reason for your….but do it with gentleness and reverence.” Yan ang witness na paninindigan natin ang dahilan bakit tayo naniniwala, umaasa at umiibig. Pero hindi palaban ang ating pagpapaliwanag ngunit puno ng kahinaunan at paggalang. Hindi lang kaalaman ang ibinibigay ng Espiritu Santo sa atin ngunit magandang pag-uugali. Kaya ba natin yan? Sa ating sarili lang, maaring hindi pero hindi lang naman tayo umaasa sa ating sarili, nandiyan ang espiritu ng Diyos na kumikilos sa atin.

    Nagsisimula na ang mga Pagbasa natin na magsalita tungkol sa Espiritu Santo kasi pinaghahandaan na natin ang Pentekostes – ang pagbaba ng Espiritu Santo sa simabahan na ipagdiriwang natin sa May 31, two weeks from now. Next week ang ating kapistahan ay ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit and after that the coming down of the Holy Spirit.

    Pero ngayong Linggo, isa pang bagay na pinapaalaala sa atin. Five years ago, the Holy Father came out with a record breaking letter, Laudato Si, The Care for Our Common Home. It is record breaking not only because it is so far the longest encyclical letter of a Pope. It is record breaking because it is the most awaited by many people and when it came out, it was read and acclaimed worldwide. The most read pastoral letter of our Holy Father even by non-catholics. In a way, it was a great influence for the…of the poor in 2015. It is really a clear call to all to open our eyes and make a commitment to care for our common home. It is the only hope that we have - the Mother Earth.

    This week from May 16 to May 24, we are celebrating the Laudato Si Week. Totoong nakukuha ang ating atensiyon ngayon ng COVID-19 pero hindi dapat mawala sa ating pansin ang iba pang mahahalagang usapin sa ating mundo at isa sa mahalagang usapin ay ang usapin tungkol sa ating kapaligiran kasi iisa lang nga ang ating tahanan. Marami ngang nagsasabi na may kauganayan ang usapin ng virus sa pagkasira ng ating kapaligran. At kung hindi tayo mag-ingat may mga iba pang virus o bacteria na hindi natin alam na kakalat sa atin dahil sa ginagalaw natin ang mga tirahan ng mga hayop o mga ibon na maaaring pagmumulan ng mga virus at bacteria na hindi natin kilala.

    Kung may isang bagay na naparamdam sa atin ng pandemic na ito, yan ay magkakaugnay ang buhay natin sa mundo. We are all connected to each other. Ang virus na nagsimula sa isang palengke o sa isa kayang laboratory kung naniniwala kayo ay nakapagtigil sa takbo ng mundo dahil dugtung dugtong ang buhay natin.

    Yan din ang mensahe ni Pope Francis sa Laudato Si. Ano man ang lahi natin, ano man ang ating relihiyon, ano man ang social status – mayaman man tayo o mahirap, iisa lang ang tahanan natin at ano mang gawin natin dito ay babalik sa atin. Ang pag-alaga natin sa mundo ay may pakinabang sa lahat at ang pagkasira naman nito ay damay din tayong lahat.

    At isa ring pinakita sa atin nitong virus na hindi lang dugtung dugtong ang buhay natin, kaya naman pala nating magbago. Kaya naman pala natin maging simple ang buhay sa ating pagapapahinga sa ating mga tahanan, huminga rin ang mundo. Mas luminis ang ating environment. Kaya naman pala nating magkaroon ng panibagong lifestyle. Hingin natin ang lakas ng Espiritu Santo na panibaguhin tayo at ng mundo.

    Makiisa tayo sa mga gawain ng maraming ecology groups at dito sa ating archdiocese meron tayong Ministry on Ecology. Meron din tayong Global Catholic Climate Change Movement (GCCM). Sana makiisa tayo sa mga gawain nito upang mas lalong maisabuhay natin ang panawagan ng Laudato Si. Kaya ang dasal natin, “Come Holy Spirit. Come renew the face of the earth.”

    May isa pa akong ibig sabihin, ito naman ay para sa inyong parokya. Happy Feast Day po sa inyong lahat dito sa parokya ng Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila dito sa Paco.

    Kapag binabanggit ang Peñafrancia, ang kaagad na pumapasok sa isip ng maraming Pilipino ay ang ina ng Bicol. Ang Peñafrancia ng Naga City, Camrines Sur. May kaugnayan ang Peñafrancia dito sa Paco at ang Penafrañcia sa Bicol. Maaari pa ngang mas nauna ang debosyong ito dito sa Paco. Pero hindi yan gaanong mahalaga. The important thing is that it is the same devotion to our Blessed Mother. Whatever title she carries, she is the Blessed Mother. We give her so many titles because we experience her in so many different ways all over the world. She manifests her care and love in diverse ways. This is how fruitful and manifold the love of Mary is.

    Itinalaga natin ang ating sarili sa kanya noong Miyerkules, May 13. Ipagpatuloy natin ang ating pag-ibig sa ating ina. Sinabi ni Hesus, “Kung iniibig ninyo ako, gawin ninyo ang aking utos.” Ganun din ang sinasabi sa atin ng Mahal na Birhen, “Kung iniibig niyo ako, gawin niyo ang aking utos.” At may isang utos lang si Maria sa Bibliya. Yan ang sinabi niya sa Cana, Galilea, “Gawin ninyo ang ipapagawa niya, ni Hesus sa inyo.” Ang paglapit kay Maria ay ang paglapit kay Hesus. Dinadala tayo ni Mama Mary na mas maging malapit kay Hesus. Yan ang kanyang tanging kahilingan…kaya kung mahal natin siya, sundin natin ang kanyang utos. Gawin natin ang ipinagagawa ni Hesus sa atin. Maging malapit tayo kay Hesus at matututwa ang Mahal na Birhen sa atin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Social Communications as ‘lifeline’ of the Church


    “May misyon tayo at isa sa epektibong pamamahayag ay ang social communications kasi we cannot remain conservative with regard to communications,” said Bishop Pablo "Ambo" Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan, during the program “Pastoral Visit on-the-air” at Radio Veritas.

    Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish Facebook Page

    Bishop David, who is also the Vice-President of Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Philippines, emphasized the important role of the Social Communications Ministry in proclaiming the Good News amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Bakit natin hahayaan na ang Mabuting Balita hindi makaabot sa kamalayan ng mga tao, kapag pinanood ng tao sa online, livestream they are watching upclose malinaw, naririnig ng mabuti. They get every word,” he said.

    The Bishop also pointed out how the ministry has become a "lifeline" of the Church through which it unifies the faithful and minister to their needs during the enhanced community quarantine.

    “But we have to cooperate with the government para masupil natin ang pandemya. Ngayon biglang naging lifeline ng simbahan ay ang social communications ministry,” said the bishop.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed some religious gatherings in areas placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ). Under the guidelines of the MECQ, religious gatherings would be highly restricted and limited to not more than five persons while religious gatherings under GCQ are limited to ten persons.

    The many churches in the Philippines are now preparing for public celebration of masses with provisions for the strict compliance of the guidelines released by the task force.

    CBCP particularly exhorted the faithful to adhere to health policies such as social distancing, no-touch policy, wearing of face mask, and the use of foot bath at the entrance of the Churches. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Church Communicators celebrate 54th World Communications Day with Full Online Activities


    May 24, 2020, Sunday, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. It is also when Catholics worldwide celebrate the 54th World Communications Day with the theme “'That you may tell your children and grandchildren' (Ex 10:2) Life becomes history."

    “I would like to devote this year’s message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories. Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together. Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another,” Pope Francis said in his message for the 54th World Communications Sunday.


    Since the faithful are confined within the premises of their homes because of the quarantine period, the Archdiocese of Manila Commission on Social Communications, in partnership with different organizations, has prepared a series of online activities where social communicators from all over are to participate.

    On May 23, 2020, a series of activities will be featured from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The day will commence with the greetings of the diocesan directors of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila. It will be followed by the message and reflection of Bishop Marcelino “Junie” Maralit of Boac who is also the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ESCS) on the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day.

    TV Maria production "Lakbites" will feature a video tutorial on online Mass using a web camera. Other video tutorials will also air on how to set up simple live-streaming of Mass using mobile phones and video cameras.

    These activities aim to help SOCOM ministries of parishes who are the frontliners in delivering to the faithful the Word of God through online masses during this time of crisis on coronavirus, as the faithful are not yet able to attend mass in churches.

    On May 23, at 7 p.m., Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog, SOCOM Director of the Diocese of Malolos will conduct an online interview with the award-winning veteran broadcast journalist, Jessica Soho. It will be live-streamed at the Diocese of Malolos – Social Communications Facebook page.

    On May 24, World Communications Day and Solemnity of the Ascension of Christ, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will preside the online celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 10 in the morning.

    Also on May 24, the dioceses of Cubao and Antipolo is coming up with a talk show entitled “Usapang SOCOM” that will discuss the present situation of Social Communications (SOCOM) Ministry in diocese/parish during the quarantine period via Zoom at 11 a.m. (Radio Veritas) and 2 p.m. (RCAM-AOC).

    Still part of the special celebration of World Communications Day, a spiritual retreat in preparation for the faithful as they face the "new normal" after the quarantine period. The retreat takes place on May 25-28, 2020, to be facilitated by Bishop Pabillo, with sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. On the same day at 4-5 p.m., there is the online Flores de Mayo.

    The above-mentioned events will be live-streamed via the RCAM SOCOM platforms – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications (AOC).

    In the last part of his message for World Communication's Day, Pope Francis urges the faithful to ask help from the Blessed Mother as they continue to write and tell stories of faith, hope, and love.

    “O Mary, woman and mother, you wove the divine Word in your womb, you recounted by your life the magnificent works of God. Listen to our stories, hold them in your heart and make your own the stories that no one wants to hear. Teach us to recognize the good thread that runs through history. Look at the tangled knots in our life that paralyze our memory. By your gentle hands, every knot can be untied. Woman of the Spirit, mother of trust, inspire us too. Help us build stories of peace, stories that point to the future. And show us the way to live them together.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Lay Leaders urge faithful to support Parishes to continue Spiritual and Frontline Services


    In his proposed guidelines titled "Protocols for Religious Services," Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila stressed the need to resolve financial difficulties experienced by the parishes since the declaration of the quarantine period.

    Bishop Pabillo emphasized that Priests can continue their improvement projects at a later time because there is no prospect for it to be prioritized since they are helping the needy in times of crisis due to COVID-19.


    The collections gathered from mass donors are the source of funding to sustain the Parishes in their expenses, such as utilities, wages of the parish personnel and improvement projects. The faithful, being confined in their homes, are unable to attend mass and give their contributions as the effect of the community quarantine, thus leading to financial difficulty for the parish.

    "We expect our revenues to fall. People have no money and we have to do a lot of charitable works. Thus let us minimize our expenses, especially our capital expenses. Improvements and projects can wait but proper maintenance should be done so as not to incur greater expenses later on," he said.

    The prelate mentioned that the Finance Department of the Archdiocese will create guidelines for parishes concerning online donations while online masses are celebrated.

    Parishes also contribute to the Curia which funds the salaries of the Catechists and apostolic fund for Priests.

    In lieu of this, Bishop Pabillo, in an interview with CBCP News, said that he has given instructions to parishes with more financial security to support parishes in need of financial assistance.

    "The parishes help one another. Those who have resources help those who do not have enough,” the bishop said.

    The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas appealed to the Catholic faithful to assist parishes for support as they are also working at the frontlines to during this pandemic.

    "Nananawagan ang Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) sa kapwa naming mga Katolikong mananampalataya na huwag nating pabayaan ang ating mga Parokya at mga gawain nito sa panahon ng pandemya at kuwarantin. Nasaksihan din po natin na kahit na walang koleksyon, nangunguna ang simbahan sa pagtulong sa mga nangangailangan, Katoliko man sila o hindi," they said in a written statement. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Online Spiritual Retreat Set in preparation for re-entry to New Normal


    In his latest Pastoral Instruction called “We go out renewed,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila urges the clergy and the faithful of the archdiocese to participate in an online spiritual retreat to become renewed as they face the new life that awaits after confinement in the quarantine brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We do not go out of the quarantine just to return to our old self and the usual way of doing things. We go out renewed - with new perspectives, with new zest, and with greater commitment. In order to make this happen we prepare ourselves for the post quarantine life and ministry by a spiritual retreat,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    The Spiritual Online Retreat is set on May 25 morning to May 28 evening. This will be broadcasted to homes and thus open to all, especially for priests, religious men and women and lay leaders in the archdiocese but also to those who are interested to participate beyond the archdiocese.

    According to Bishop Pabillo, the structure of the retreat is simple and somewhat similar to the usual retreat that one makes. Each day, there will be two conferences for reflection, 10 am and 3 pm. After each conference participants will set aside at least an hour of solid prayer. For the priests and religious, the bishop said, it can be done in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Each one is encouraged to spend thirty minutes in reading the Bible, with which plenary indulgence can be obtained. Participants are also asked to pray the Holy Rosary. The retreat will be concluded by a confession where the faithful and religious can ask priests to hear their confession in the parish or in their religious house.

    “This retreat will be a good preparation for our re-entry into the new, and hopefully better, normal that awaits us after this quarantine. Covid 19 will still be around and we do not yet know when this pandemic will end, but this will not stop us from serving our people,” the Bishop said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Online events mark 5th anniversary of Church Document on Ecology

     

    In a video message released on March 3, 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis invited the faithful worldwide to take part in the Laudato Si Week from May 16-24, 2020, to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of his Encyclical, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home" with the theme, “Everything is Connected.”

    “I would like to invite you to participate in Laudato Si' Week from 16-24 May 2020. It is a global campaign on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical letter Laudato Si': On the care of our common home. I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis." 



    The Pope's message was to remind people how the current pandemic should impel us more to care for our planet.

    "The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue. Let's take care of creation, a gift of our good Creator God. Let's celebrate Laudato Si' Week together."

    According to Global Climate Catholic Movement (GCCM), from May 16 to 24, Catholics are encouraged to take part in interactive and collaborative online training centered around eco-spirituality, sustainability, advocacy, and community-building. Laudato Si’ Week will end on Sunday, May 24, with a global day of prayer at noon, local time.

    “The lessons of the encyclical are particularly relevant in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought many parts of the world to a halt. Laudato Si’ offers a vision for building a more just and sustainable world,” according to a press release by GCCM.

    In the Archdiocese of Manila, the celebration of the Laudato Si week was launched online on May 16, 2020, via Radio Veritas.

    Several online activities were prepared by the Ministry on Ecology of the archdiocese that the faithful can participate. On May 16, 18, 21 and 24, a webinar with Living Laudato Si Ph will be held online and a Presentation of Doable Actions to Living Laudato Si towards Season of Creation on May 20, at 7:30 p.m.

    A Night of Laudato Si Prayer and reflection will be held on May 23, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom (link: https//uso2web.zoom.us/j/8765077651) with Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo. Apostolic Administrator of Manila giving a reflection on the “Lessons Learned for the Care of Our Common Home given by the Corona Virus.”

    Fr. Yulito Ignacio will expound on the topic “Rosary and Message of Fatima” at 8:30 p.m. It will be followed by the simultaneous online praying of the rosary (via zoom) with each mystery to be led by the parish representatives from the five cities within the archdiocese at 9:00 p.m.

    The celebration of the online Mass will culminate the event on May 24 at the Malate Church to be presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo at 10 a.m. via the Social Communications platforms of the Archdiocese of Manila – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    “The whole purpose of these is to bring about what Pope Francis calls for which is ecological conversion. Very much part of ecological conversion is us, the human species realizing the world is not for us. We are here to serve the biological world and the whole world of creation. We’re not behaving that way and now it’s going back against us,” said Fr. John Leydon, SSC, GCCM-Philippines Chairperson, during the online launch. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Neglect of Rural areas cause poverty in Cities


    Why are people moving to cities only to find themselves in deeper poverty?

    "Farmers are Essential". This was the title of the social media post that Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, made last May 14, 2020. His write up reflected on the importance of the agriculture sector.


    In his reflection, Bishop Pabillo said that in provinces farmers and fisherfolks are often deprived of the necessities and services that are supposed to be provided by the local governments. This sad reality is caused by the national government to focus more on cities. 

    "Most of our people live on agriculture and fishery. These sectors do not get the budget and the services that they need. So we have the phenomenon of farmers and fisherfolks among the poorest in the country, and consequently many of them flock to the urban centers which receive the bulk of services and government attention. Hence we have rapid urbanization which brings along with it congested urban poor communities, pollution, and even lawlessness," he said.

    The bishop pointed out that because of the lack of services in rural areas, like healthcare, this puts pressure on poor people to migrate to near cities with the hope of finding better opportunities. 

    "People come to the cities because they have no livelihood in the provinces. But this is not enough. The government and businesses should pour massive investment in rural areas so that they get adequate human services and jobs in the provinces. There are still areas without electricity," he said. 

    "Many areas have no health clinics, and if they happen to have, they are just empty buildings because there are no healthcare workers – no doctors and nurses, and poorly trained and supervised barangay healthcare workers," the bishop added.

    This unfortunate situation of rural areas is aggravated because they are cut off from more developed places due to the underdeveloped network of transportation.

    "Many rural roads are impassable during rainy seasons and dusty on dry seasons. Because of the bad roads the transport system is unreliable and expensive."

    The Apostolic Administrator appealed to lawmakers to create development plans inclined to the needs of rural areas since both the agricultural and fisheries sector need adequate funding for the improvement of their methods.

    "In a word, the development plan – and the budget – should all be aligned to give importance to the rural areas in order to develop the agricultural and fishery sectors of our society," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Manila provides Financial assistance to 21 Dioceses amidst COVID-19


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila has provided 5.7 million pesos financial assistance to 21 dioceses and archdioceses in the country. This is to support families affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    According to Veritas News, among dioceses to which funds were given, were the Diocese of Tagum in Davao del Norte, Diocese of Antique and Diocese of Romblon. Each diocese received P500 thousand pesos and P300 thousand pesos was given to the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga, Diocese of Isabela and Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe in Mt. Province and Ifugao.


    The Dioceses of Tarlac, Laoag Ilocos Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate, Libmanan, Daet Camarines Norte, Mati Davao Del Sur, San Jose Nueva Ecija, Virac Catanduanes, Legaspi Albay, Kalibo Aklan and Archaeologists have also received P200 thousand pesos as well as Lipa in Batangas, Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur and Caceres in Camarines Sur even the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

    The data was released by Caritas Damayan, the Disaster Response Crisis Program of Caritas Manila.

    “Tayo ay tumulong sa mahigit dalampung probinsya sa Luzon, Visayas at Midanao para maitulong din nila sa mga nangangailangan at sa mga mahihirap na ngayon ay lalong nahihirapan dahil sa paghinto ng kanilang mga hanap-buhay maging sila ay nasa mga probinsya,” Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Executive Director ng Caritas Manila said to Radio Veritas.

    At the start of the ECQ, Caritas Manila already distributed gift certificates amounting to 1.3 billion pesos in the Mega Manila area where families were significantly affected by the pandemic. The initiative was in collaboration with the business sector.

    Caritas Manila continues to distribute Ligtas Covid-19 Kits and Manna Food packs in many parts of the country. To date, there are more than 630 thousand individuals or 120 thousand families in different parishes, congregations and church organizations that have received the in-kind aid.

    According to Caritas Manila data, the Catholic Church in the Philippines has already provided assistance to around 10.8 million individuals all over the country, and continues to gather resources to reach more who are in need. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Appeal to review for IATF Guidelines on Religious Gatherings


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila appealed for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to review and reconsider the guidelines to be implemented with regards to religious gatherings. According to him consultations with religious leaders should also be done. This was expressed in the Prelate's social media post last May 17, 2020.

    Bishop Pabillo pointed out that the parameter set on religious gathering is inconsistent because the restrictions to be observed has been based on limiting the number of people and not on the two-meter social distancing health protocol. Seemingly, the guidelines that are to be implemented for religious gathering already imply that Church services are still not allowed during the quarantine period.

     Photo Credit: Facebook Page of Bishop Broderick Pabillo

    The limitations would be 5 people during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and 10 people for the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

    "In the church we are happy that in both, religious activities are allowed. But at the same time the limitations they set to religious activities are unreasonable - 5 persons for MECQ and 10 persons for MGCQ! It is just another way of saying that you do not have religious activities," he said.

    "Where did they get these numbers? Why is it that they do not give the absolute numbers of persons who can enter a store, or work in the office, or in the factory? Do they say that only 10 persons should be in an office, or that 20 persons work in a factory, or that only 5 persons can enter a store at a time? This would be preposterous!" he added.

    The prelate is hopeful that the government propose a more reasonable directive for religious services since the religious sector has been involved and compliant to health protocols since the start of the lockdown.

    "This directive on religious activities was surely taken without any consultation with the religious sector. This is a problem with the government. They make arbitrary decisions without proper consultation with the sectors involved. So they come out with unreasonable directives!" the bishop said.

    According to Veritas News, the Archdiocese of Manila submitted a proposed set of guidelines to IATF through the Department of Health (DOH) two weeks ago but no initial feedback was given. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Pastoral Instruction: We go out renewed


    My dear priests of the Archdiocese of Manila,

    This quarantine has been so unexpected. It has been for many a long dark tunnel of uncertainty. And it has happened during the most solemn and meaningful seasons for us Christians: the season of Lent and the season of Easter. But at last we see light at the end of the tunnel, however faint it may be. We now see that the quarantine is ending, though we do not exactly know when.


    The lock down has been for us like being put in a tomb. We experienced the helplessness and darkness of the grave. But our faith tells us that with Jesus we will go out of the tomb. Hopefully, however, we go out from this two-and-half- months of lock down experience with new life. We do not go out of the quarantine just to return to our old self and the usual way of doing things. We go out renewed - with new perspectives, with new zest, and with greater commitment. In order to make this happen we prepare ourselves for the post quarantine life and ministry by a spiritual retreat.

    I foresee see that we priests will not be able to make our annual spiritual retreat as scheduled in July, and when we miss that schedule it will be difficult to set another time for it this year. As new situations call for new responses, this time I invite all of you to make our spiritual retreat together online. It will be from May 25 morning to May 28 evening. It will be done in your homes. Being online we can open the retreat to all priests in the archdiocese, including the guest priests, to all religious men and women in the archdiocese, and to all the lay collaborators in our parishes and ministries. In a way this can help unite all who are involved in the archdiocese, being one in prayer and listening to the same reflections that can help form among us a common mind. Let each priest invite those he closely works with to join in this retreat.

    The structure of the retreat will be simple. What is important is that each one enters into an atmosphere of prayer and reflection. We will unite ourselves to each other every day in the Eucharist. The lay people can do this online. There will be two reflection talks per day, one in the morning at 10 am and one in the afternoon at 3 pm. During the day, each one will set aside at least one hour of solid prayer. For the priests and the religious, it is good if this can be done in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Let each one spend thirty minutes reading the Bible. By doing so you will get a plenary indulgence. Each also prays the rosary, not necessarily limiting ourselves to one mystery per day. Finally, let each one conclude the retreat with a good confession. The lay leaders and the religious can ask priests to hear their confession in the parish or in their religious house. The schedule will then be very flexible, according to your own situation. What is important is that we set aside these days to encounter the Lord. The big challenge is the effort “to fast” from the social media to let the peace of the Lord reign within us. This retreat will be a good preparation for our re-entry into the new, and hopefully better, normal that awaits us after this quarantine. Covid 19 will still be around and we do not yet know when this pandemic will end, but this will not stop us from serving our people.

    Let us be generous, open, and available in doing this spiritual retreat. Our Blessed Mother to whom we are consecrated will be with us and pray with us.

     

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    May 16, 2020

  • Church urges IATF to clarify the guidelines on Modified ECQ


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, has requested the Inter-Agency Tasks Force (IATF) to look into the national guidelines that will be implemented during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

    This is the Bishop's response to the confusion as to whom to talk with and make negotiations regarding the allowing of regulated religious gatherings. The bishop noted that according to IATF the Church should have close coordination with the Local Government Units (LGU) to secure permission to hold religious activities. But the LGUs, in turn, would respond to Church request that they have to follow the national directive. This causes confusion as to which authority the Church should approach to initiate dialogue.


    “Kung gusto ng IATF ilagay nila sa General norms na depende sa mga LGU, kasi ang mga LGU kapag nilalapitan namin sabihin na hindi naman pwede kasi sinabi sa national na bawal muna [religious activities]. Wala namang guidelines sa national na depende sa LGU,” the bishop said during an interview on Radio Veritas.

    Bishop Pabillo expressed his disappointment in the government's decision to gradually open commercial stores, malls, banks, and mining while holding back religious activities and even classified them among entertainment activities such as concerts and cinema.

    The bishop emphasized that the Archdiocese of Manila had submitted a document proposing rules to IATF through the Department of Health. The Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, stated that he has not yet received the document.

    The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on Luzon and other parts of the country is supposed to be lifted on May 15. Yet, the government announced that the National Capital Region, Cebu and Laguna will be placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine on May 16 to May 31 because of the continued rise of cases of COVID-19, in spite of current quarantine measures.

    Under the MECQ, the government allows individuals who have essential responsibilities in society and the economy to move around and be able to provide basic services to help in restarting the economy.

    The Catholic Church hopes that the government would reconsider the request on allowing religious activities, as it promises to implement necessary measures and precautions like wearing facemask, frequent hand washing, establishing a ministry for sanitation and strict compliance to physical distancing to address the risk of spreading the virus. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Church and Local Government entreat Mary's Intercession Amidst Pandemic


    Bishops from different parts of the Philippines have led the faithful in prayer to consecrate the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2020. This was to ask for intercession for the end of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged not just the Philippines but the whole world.

    The common prayer was called the “National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: We pray as one. We heal as one. We renew the world as one”. It was joined by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles together with 6 other bishops who led in praying the rosary at 8:30 in the morning.


    The bishops who also took part in the simultaneous consecration were Bishop Dennis Villarojo (Diocese of Malolos), Bishop Broderick Pabillo (Archdiocese of Manila), Bishop Bartolome Santos, Jr. (Diocese of Iba), Archbishop Jose Palma (Diocese of Cebu), Archbishop John Du (Archdiocese of Palo) and Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo (Diocese of Kidapawan).

    After the praying of the Rosary and the prayer for consecration, a mass was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City, which was presided by Bishop Villarojo.

    At 12 noon, at the Manila Cathedral, Bishop Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila led another celebration of Mass on the occasion of the 103rd anniversary of the apparition of the Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. The celebration also became the occasion for the consecration of the whole Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, together with the 5 cities that consist it.

    The Mayors of the five cities were also present and led the prayer of consecration with Bishop Pabillo. Present were Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagaso, Mayor Carmelita Abalos of the City of Mandaluyong, Mayor Abigail Binay of the City of Makati, Mayor Imelda Calixto Rubiano of the City of Pasay and Mayor Francisco Zamora of the City of San Juan.

    “We thank the Lord for the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that he gives to us. Sama sama tayo bilang isang simbahan dito sa Archdicoese of Manila na ipaubaya at italaga ang ating sarili sa ating Mahal na Inang si Maria. We consecrate ourselves to her immaculate heart,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    “Tanggapin din natin ang hamon na dahil sa ating pagtatalga, tayo ay magdadasal, pagpepenitensiya at magbabagong buhay. Isang buhay na lumalayo kay satanas at sa lahat ng kasamaan.isang buhay na lumalapit kay Hesus na ating tagapagligtas,” he added.

    At the end of the celebrations, the five mayors together with Bishop Pabillo offered flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign of trust and devotion.

    In his homily, the Bishop expressed his gratitude to the mayors for responding to the invitation to come and join the faithful during the significant Church feast.

    “Thank you, my dear Mayors for coming and leading your constituents to this consecration that even if you are busy you have taken time to be here with all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila for this important event of our life of faith in this Archdiocese,” he said.

    The events were live-streamed via the Facebook page of different platforms of the Archdiocese of Manila – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila - Office of Communications in partnership with the Dioceses of Cubao and Malolos. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Priests' Retirement House of Diocese of Balanga opens for Children with Cancer


    The provincial government of Bataan expressed its gratitude to Most Rev. Ruperto Santos, Bishop of the Diocese of Balanga, for opening the Residencia Sacerdotal Retirement Home of the priests of the diocese, to serve as a place for chemotherapy sessions for children who have cancer.

    15 children with cancer were already temporarily transferred to the retirement house from Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center.

    Photo Credit: Diocese of Balanga Facebook Page

    The move was to secure the children from exposure to COVID-19 as patients who were identified as positive with the virus have already been admitted to the hospital.

    Bishop Santos assured that the Diocese of Balanga is willing to help the local government and other sectors to give aid to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Bishop Santos has also declared that other facilities in the Diocese such as seminaries and diocesan schools were also opened to serve as place for rest not just for frontliners but also for persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigations (PUI).

    “Open ang Diocese kahit kanino basta makatulong we will collaborate and cooperate, lahat open dito lalo na yung aming diocesan schools para sa frontliners at kung may pagkakataon pa rin talagang kasi maraming mga ospital din dito kung kailangan din sa PUMs, PUIs the schools will be open for them and we will open our college seminaries, yung aming retirement home at saka yung diocesan schools” the Bishop said during an interview in Radio Veritas.

    The Bishop and the priests of the Diocese has also offered their monthly allowance of March to May as fund to be to help those who are in need during this crisis.

    The Diocese of Balanga, which has about  650,000 Catholic faithful is served by 55 priests. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

     

  • Mass Schedules to be adjusted for the "New Normal"


    In his Pastoral Instruction "Protocol for Religious Services," Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila proposed the adjustment of mass schedules of parishes when the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) is lifted in NCR. 

    Bishop Pabillo explained that Sunday Masses will have to be lessened to give way for 30-minutes intervals which will be the period to sanitize the church after each service.

    Photo Credit: Romain Garry Evangelista/Manila Cathedral


    Live streaming of the Eucharistic Celebration will continue especially for those who are limited to participate physically due to health considerations or other circumstances, according to the bishop.

    "The presence of difficulty, and in some cases impossibility, of fulfilling the Sunday obligation renders the obligation suspended during these extraordinary circumstances," the bishop said.  "While Sunday and weekday Masses will already be celebrated in parishes, the live streaming of Masses, at least on Sundays, will continue for those who are unable to participate in the community celebrations due to sickness, old age, fear and caution."

    The prelate recommends that the Mass Schedules such as an anticipated mass on Saturdays be moved to 3 pm to accommodate more masses. It is, however, optional for parishes to have more than 2 masses on Saturdays. This is to give the faithful more options as to which mass they would attend in fulfilling their Sunday obligation. 

    Baptisms are advisable to have more schedules to avoid big gatherings in the churches, especially on Sundays. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily of Bishop Broderick Pabillo - Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2020


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima at the Manila Cathedral, May 13, 2020, 12 noon.



    Early this morning we have had the simultaneous consecration of our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary led by our bishops from all over the country.

    Now, this noon we will have the consecration of the Archdiocese of Manila to the same Blessed Virgin Mary with the mayors of our five cities comprising the Archdiocese here present. Honorable Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso of the City of Manila, Honorable Mayor Carmelita Abalos of the City of Mandaluyong, Honorable Mayor Abigail Binay of the City of Makati, Honorable Mayor Imelda Calixto Rubiano of the City of Pasay and Honorable Mayor Francisco Zamora of the City of San Juan.

    Thank you, my dear Mayors, for coming and leading your constituents to this consecration that even if you are busy you have taken time to be here with all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila for this important event of our life of faith in this Archdiocese.

    But, we may ask what is the fuzz over the consecration?

    To consecrate can mean two things. One, it can mean to entrust – pagpapaubaya. Pinauubaya natin ang ating sarili sa Mahal na Birhen. We put ourselves under her maternal hands because she cares for us and the protection of her intercession is powerful before God. Second, to consecrate means to set aside – pagtatalaga. In the strict sense, it is only God who consecrates. It is only God who makes us holy, who dedicates us, who sets us aside for him. But in a wider sense, we consecrate ourselves to God. We offer ourselves to him and to do his will. Kaya ang pagtatalaga kay Maria ay ang pag-aalay ng ating sarili sa kamay ng Mahal na Ina upang tayo ay kanyang magabayan patungo sa Diyos.

    We, all of us are already consecrated to God when we were baptized. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng binyag. Ibinigay na natin ang ating sarili sa Diyos. At ang Diyos naman, tinanggap niya ang bawat isa sa atin na kanyang maging anak.

    Now, why then consecrate to Mary? We recognize the singular role of Mary for our salvation. Dumating si Hesus sa mundo sa pamamagitan niya. Iyan ang gusto at plano ng Diyos. Maaari naman ang anak ng Diyos ay bumaba diretso mula sa langit o sumibol sa lupa gaya ni Adan. Pero hindi yan ang ginusto ng Diyos. Siya ang naging tayo sa pamamagitan ng isang babae at ang babaeng pinili niya ay si Maria. Kaya siya yung babaeng pinagpala sa lahat ng mga babae. It was the free choice of God. So, by honoring her, we are just honoring the one who was greatly honored by God. This is why Mary can say, “The Almighty has done great things for me.”

    The choice was done by God but on her part, Mary cooperated fully in God’s plan. She said clearly and freely, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Sa pagtatalaga natin kay Maria, ibinibigay natin ang ating sarili sa kanyang kamay upang hubugin niya tayo ayon sa kanyang puso na isang pusong masunurin and totally available to God.

    Mahalaga ang papel ni Mama Mary para sa ating kaligtasan. Ang anak ng Diyos ay naging tao dahil sa pagsunod ni Maria sa Salita ng Diyos. Si Maria ay nandoon sa simula ng buhay ni Hesus. Sa simula ng misyon ni Hesus at sa simula ng buhay ng simbahan.

    Sa simula ng buhay ni Hesus, sapagkat tumira si Hesus sa kanyang sinapupunan ng siyam na buwan. Sa kanyang dibdib nabuhay ang anak ng Diyos. Siya at si Jose ang gumabay sa bata sa kanyang paglaki. Pero si Maria ay nandun din sa simula ng misyon ni Hesus. In truth, it is at her prodding that Jesus did his first miracle and manifested himself to his disciples as we are told in our gospel reading. Jesus first manifested his glory because of the miracle that he did at the request of his Blessed Mother. We see here the intercessory power of the Mother of God. Jesus was hesitant. It was not yet his time but in a way, Jesus anticipated his time because of the intercession of Mary.

    Si Maria ang nakakita ng pangangailangan. Yan ang maka-inang mata ni Maria. Alam niya ang pangangailangan bago pa napansin ng iba. Hindi ba ganyan din ang ating mga nanay sa bahay? Ang nanay ang nauunang nakakapansin na wala na palang mantika, na kulang na ang budget, na may punit ang mga damit ng mga anak. At naghanap siya ng solusyon. Ang solusyon niya ay lumapit kay Hesus. Napakaganda ng pakiusap niya kay Hesus. Hindi man siya nag-utos sa kanya. Hindi siya nangulit ng sinabi niya kay Hesus at kahit na sinabi ni Hesus ang kanyang objection, para bang ang tono ng salita ni Hesus ay ano ang pakialam natin dito? Sabagay, ano ang pakialam nila bisita lang sila.

    Sa pakiusap ni Maria dalawa ang kanyang ginawa. Sinabi niya ang pangangailangan - wala na silang alak. At inihanda niya ang mga tao sa ipagagawa ni Hesus, gawin niyo ang sasabihin niya sa inyo. Alam ni Maria may gagawin si Hesus kaya inihanda niya ang mga taong gawin ang ipagagawa ng kanyang anak.

    While Mary expresses our needs to God, she also prepares us to do what God asks from us. She knows that Jesus would something. Just do what he tells you. Mary knows our difficulties during this lockdown na wala na tayong pera, na inip na tayo, na nababahala na tayo sa ating kinabukasan. Alam niya ang mga yan sapagkat siya ang ating Mahal na Ina. Sinasabi niya rin sa atin, gawin ninyo ang ipagagawa sa inyo ng Diyos. Malalaman natin ang ipagagawa sa atin ng Diyos kung tayo ay magdarasal. Kung tayo ay nagbabasa ng Biblya at kung tayo’y nananahimik. Mga bagay na magagawa natin ngayong panahon ng quarantine. May panahon tayong manahimik. May panahon tayong magdasal, sana may panahon din tayong magbasa ng Bibliya.

    Mary was also there at the beginning of the life of the Church. After the ascension of Jesus to heaven, the disciples suddenly found themselves alone. Jesus sent them out to preach to all the nations. But how would they do this? Sa totoo lang, takot sila dahil nakakulong sa isang kuwarto pero nandoon si Maria sinasamahan sila. Kasama nila siya sa kanilang pagdarasal. Sa panahon ng pangangamba, ang tanging magagawa natin ay magdasal at magdasal ng sama sama. Kaya hinihikayat ang lahat na magdasal bilang pamilya sa ating mga tahanan. Sa ating pagdarasal ay kasama natin ang Mahal na Ina. She is a mother who is always present to her children. Ang iyan naman talaga ang kanila.....the presence of the mother. Mary is our mother. She is with us.

    And the presence of Mary is not a weak presence. She is powerful. This is clearly illustrated to us in her struggle against the dragon that we have heard from the Book of revelation. The might of the dragon with its seven heads and ten horns does not frighten her.  The power of the woman was not in her mighty arms. Wala naman siya ng army nor in her wit nor in her wealth. The might of the woman was that she allowed the Almighty God to protect her.

    This is also our power. Hindi tayo malakas dahil sa tayo ay mayaman o may kakilala o may mga armas. Tayo ay malakas kung hinahayaan nating protektahan at gabayan tayo ng lakas ng Diyos na makapangyarihan.

    Let us pray with the prophet Jeremiah, “Lord, my strength, my fortress, my refuge in the day of this rest.” Tinuturuan tayo ni Maria paano maging malakas. Ang lakas natin ay ang Panginoon. Our strength is in the Lord.

    Ngayong panahon ng pandemic, we are confronted with our helplessness kaya nga itinatalaga ang ating sarili kay Mama Mary. Sa ating kahinaan at pagkalito, hindi tayo nag-iisa nandiyan si Maria na nababahala at kumakalinga. Ipaubaya natin ang ating sarili sa kanyang pangangalaga. Ibigay natin ang ating sarili sa kanya hindi niya tayo pababayaan. Kaya nga ginagawa natin itong Act of Consecration – pagpapaubaya, pagtatalaga ng ating sarili.

    Ang taong 1917, ay hindi madaling panahon. Sa totoo lang, napakahirap ng panahong yun. Patapos pa lang ang First World War na pumatay na higit na 20 million na mga tao at pasimula na ang tinatawag na Spanish.....na babawi ng 50 million na mga buhay. Malaki ang insecurity ng marami pagkatapos ang digmaan. Malaki ang insecurity pagdating ng flu virus na hindi rin nila kilala noong panahon. Ito ang panahon na nagparamdam si Mama Mary sa Fatima, 1917. Hindi lang sa tatlong bata kundi sa harap ng higit na 70 thousand people with the phenomenon of the dancing sun. Hindi sila nag-iisa. Nandiyan siya but she did not just assure them of her presence. She gave them the solution. Not a vaccine but the weapon to fight evil – prayer, especially the praying of the Rosary, penance and conversion – a change of life.

    Ito pa rin ang mensahe ng Mahal na Birhen na magagawa natin ngayon kaya hindi tayo helpless. Subukan naman natin ang solusyon ng Mahal na Ina – tayo ay magdasal, tayo ay magrosaryo sa ating mga tahanan, tayo ay magpenitensiya, pagtigil sa ating sarili – pagtitimpi, tayo ay magbagong buhay. And we have a lot of time to reflect. Paano tayo magbagong buhay? Yan din ang hamon sa atin ng ating consecration.

    Sana po dahil sa dumaan tayo sa apoy ng pandemic ng quarantine na aabot ng mga tatlong buwan, hindi tayo lalabas sa quaranting ito tulad ng.....Sana lumabas tayo ng may pagbabago – bagong pananaw, bagong pananampalataya, bagong pagtititwala at bagong pakikiisa sa ating kapwa.

    Sa Banal na Misang ito, kahit na para sa marami ay online lang, you are all represented by your beloved mayors. Kaya talaga lubos ang aking pasasalamat na dumating sila kasama natin ipinagdarasal kayo. They are praying for you and they are praying together as five mayors of our archdiocese.

    We thank the Lord for the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that he gives to us. Sama sama tayo bilang isang simbahan dito sa Archdicoese of Manila na ipaubaya at italaga ang ating sarili sa ating Mahal na Inang si Maria. We consecrate ourselves to her immaculate heart. Tanggapin din natin ang hamon na dahil sa ating pagtatalga, tayo ay magdadasal, pagpepenitensiya at magbabagong buhay. Isang buhay na lumalayo kay satanas at sa lahat ng kasamaan.isang buhay na lumalapit kay Hesus na ating tagapagligtas.

    Ito po ang pangako natin sa Binyag. Isabuhay natin ang ating Binya na itakwil si satanas at manampalataya sa Diyos. Mamuhay tayo bilang mga tunay na anak ng Diyos at si Mama Mary na siyang humubog kay Hesus ay siyang huhubog sa atin paano ba tayo maging mga anak ng Diyos ayon sa landas na walang iba kundi ng ating Panginoong Hesus. (RCAM-AOC/Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications)

     

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Sunday Mass last May 10, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Every group at one point or at even several points of its life encounters problems. There are even times that these problems are created by their very own successes not necessarily by their failures. What do we do when we meet these problems whether that be our families, our associations or church groups, the barangay, business ventures, or another organization.

    The experience of crisis can drag the group down or can also be a great push for growth. Hindi rin naiiba ang simbahan sa kalagayang ito kahit na ang simbahan ay hindi lang organisasyon o institusyon. Tulad ng ibang grupo, siya rin ay nakakatagpo ng krisis ng problema. Isa sa mga ito’y nakasaad sa atig Unang Pagbasa. Isa sa mga unang krisis na kinaharap ng mananampalataya.


    Ang ganda ng samahan ng simbahan noon. Nagkakaisa sila sa diwa’t puso. Walang mahirap sa kanila dahil sa wala naming mayaman. Ang mga may-ari tulad ni Bernabe ay pinagbibili ang kanilang bahay at lupa at ibinibigay ang pinagbilhan sa mga apostol na sila naman ang nagbabahagi nito sa mga nangangailangan.

    Ang pagbibigayang ito ay hindi sapilitan. Kusang ginawa ito dahil sa naniwala sila na sila ay tunay na magkakapatid at nagbabahagi sa bagong buhay na ibinigay sa kanila ng Espiritu Santo. If they are one in God’s spirit, why can’t they be one in supporting each other even materially. Because of this way of life, many joined the church. The Church grew not only because of the message reached by the apostles but also by the witness of life that the members of the group showed by living a life of communion.

    Ngunit nangyayari na ang success ay ang nagiging dahilan sa ating mga problema. Ganyan ang nangyari sa simbahan. Dahil sa napakarami ang sumali, hindi na magampanan ng mga apostol ang mga gawain kaya nagreklamo ang isang grupo – ang mga Helenist. Ibig sabihin ang mga miyembro na nagsasalita ng Griyego na ang mga balo nila ay hindi natutulungan tulad ng mga balo ng mga nagsasalita ng Hebreo. “Unfair,” ang sinigaw nila. “May favoritism.” Hindi ba yaan din ang  daing ng mga grupo kahit na sa ating mga pamila. Unfair! Bakit siya lang ang napapansin ni lola? Bakit sila lang ang nakakatanggap ng gift certificate o ng bigas at hindi kami? Bakit sila’y work from home at kami ay papasok pa sa opisina? Malaking problema. Nasisira ang harmony ng samahan.

    Maganda ang ginawa ng leadership ng simbahan. Kinilala ng mga apostol na may problema. They recognized that there is a problem. No crisis can be solved if it is not first of all recognized. Yan ang nangyari sa coronavirus. Lumagananp ito ng mabilis sa ibang mga bansa kasi hindi agad kinilala na ito’y isang malaki problema. Nagpabaya sila. Ganun din, maraming nagbibingi-bingihan, maraming nagbubulag-bulagan sa mga problema ng daigdig.

    The apostles recognized there was a problem and they did not blame anybody. They accepted the responsibility. Hindi na naming kaya na gampanan ang gawaing ito. Marami na ang paglilingkuran. Nag-suggest sila ng solution. Hindi namin magagawa ito pero dapat hindi pabayaan ang magandang gawain ng pagtulong sa mga balo.

    So, they created a new ministry. This work is to be given to others. They delegated the job. They delegated because they were unable to prioritize their own responsibility - magdasal at magpahayag ng Salita ng Diyos.

    There are so many things that we can learn from here. The apostles did not only recognized the problem, they offered a solution. O, there are so many people who just point at problems but make no effort to find solutions. They look for problems and blame others for them. Inako ng mga apostol na hindi na nila kaya, kaya pinauba sa iba. Hindi naman maaaring pabayaan ang gawaing ito because the work of charity is essential to the church from the very beginning. In fact, it was one of the works of Jesus. He went around doing good taking care of the needs of others.

    So, the apostles set up the Ministry of the Diaconate, that is the ministry of service. Service at tables, pagbibigay ng sustento sa mga balo. We see here that from the very beginning, the church has already been taking care of the vulnerable members of society. The apostles were able to delegate because they were able to prioritize what is proper to them. Kinilala ng mga apostol ang kanilang limitasyon at ayaw nilang maiwanan ang mga gawaing mahalaga sa kanila – ang pagdadasal at ang pagpapahayag ng Salita ng Diyos.

    Nabibigyan pa ba ng priority ang mga ito lalung lalo na sa ating mga kaparian? Do they take time to pray? Do they take time to study the Bible and prepare their homilies? Minsan lang nangyari sa akin na sa pagdalaw ko sa isang parokya at hinahanap si father, ang sagot sa akin sa opisina, “Bishop, nasa chapel po ngdadasal.” Saan busy si father? Nandoon nagca-canvass ng semento para sa construction. Nandoon nagba-budget ng mga gastos sa opisina o nandoon nakikipag-usap sa barangay. The priest is busy with the myriad of things which are also important to make the parish run. Because probably that he is not able to delegate these activities so that he can pray and know the Word of God or there are no lay people who can help him and be entrusted with these jobs.

    Now, we are adjusting many things to make our churches safe when we will be allowed to make our religious services. We will be looking for younger people to volunteer in the church. Marami sa masisipag nating volunteers ay matatanda na, na ipinagbabawal munang lumabas. Will we get enough young volunteers? Baka naman pagdating ng araw si father pa ang magdidisinfect ng mga upuan. Magandang sabihin, “Father ako na muna diyan para makapagdasal ka.” Kung mas matapang pa sasabihin, “Ako na po munang gagawan niyan para makapaghanda ka ng homily mo.”

    Minsan mahirap din kumuha ng mga volunteers dahil sa marami tayong requirement sa kanila. Ano ang qualifications ng magiging deacons? Sinabi ng mga apostol, “Select among you seven reputable men filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom.” The qualifications ay hindi ano yung alam niya, ano yung kanyang experience, ano yung kanyang pinag-aralan. Pero mga inner qualities at honorable man. Isang maaasahan isang may integridad hindi kilalang masama, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Ginagabayan ng espiritu ng Diyos at hindi ng espiritu ng mundo na tinatawag ni Pope Francis the “Spirit of Worldliness.”  At may karunungan na hindi galing sa pag-aaral ngunit galing sa karanasan.

    Inner qualities are important to serve the church. It was the same at the job interview of Jesus to Peter by the shore of Tiberias. Jesus gave him the commission to feed his flock only after asking him, “Do you love me?” And keeping the assurance of Peter’s answer, “Yes Lord, I love you.” Para kay Hesus mahalaga ang pag-ibig – pag-ibig sa kanya. Kapag mahal si Hesus handa tayong maglinkod sa kanyang simbahan.

    The selection was done by the community. They presented the seven whom they chose and these the apostles ordained by praying over them and laying their hands on them.

    Last Sunday, ito po ay World Day of Prayer for Vocation. Ang Diyos ang tumatawag, siya ang nagbibigay ng bokasyon pero sana kasama ang komunidad sa paghikayat sa mga candidates.  Have we invited someone to serve the Lord even not as priest or religious even just as parish volunteers. Ngayong nangangailangan tayo ng mga bata pang volunteer, dapat tumulong tayo sa paghikayat sa mga kabataan na mag-serve. Marami diyan na pasiga siga parang maton, pero kung imbitahan, ay sasagot naman willing naman na mag-serve. Bring them forward so that the church can form them. And commissioned them for the many services that we need.

    Marami ang gawain ng simbahan at mahalaga ang misyon ng simbahan kaya tutol tayo sa pamahalaan sa desisyon nila sa IATF na ipapahuli ang pagpayag sa religious activities. Binuksan na ang bangko, ang mga tindahan, ang mga salon, pinayagan na nga ang pagmimina at hindi pa ang simabahan. Itinuturing lang ito kasabay ng concerts, movie houses at iba pang entertainment. No! The church is not entertainment. The church services are essential services. Why so? Because the mission of the church is to bring us to where Jesus is. Sinabi ni Hesus sa ebanghelyo, “Ibig ko na kung nasaan ako duruin din kayo.” Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ang misyon ni Hesus na dalhin tayo sa ama, “No one comes to the father except through me.” Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ipagpapatuloy ang gawain ni Hesus. Jesus affirms, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.”

    Sa government paper, isa sa mga principles na nakalagay doon is to bring about physical, mental and psychological resilience of the people. Ang gawain ng simbahan, ang religious activities upang magkaroon ng mental at psychological resilience ang mga tao. Kaya ito’y essential service na dapat payagan na kagad ng pamahalaan ayon din sa mga sapat na tuntunin sa ating physical distancing.

    Sana mga kapatid sa krisis na ito ng coronavirus at sa dahan dahang pagbubukas ng simbahan ay mas malakas tayo, masigasig at masigla. Tulad ng simbahan sa Herusalem, the Word of God continued to spread and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly. Ito po ay mangyayari kung hahanapin natin na ang krisis na ito ay tulad sa paghaharap ng unang simabahan sa kanilang problema – pagkilala sa problema, paghahanap ng solusyon at hindi pagbibintang, pag create ng bagong ministries, magdelegate sa mga tao na gaganap dito at pag prioritize ng mga leaders ng mga trabaho na mahalaga sa kanila at pagbibigay ng tiwala sa mga taong kasama ng komunidad na pumili. Huwag nating pabayaan ang simbahan. Mahalaga ang gawain nito. At ito’y simbahan nating lahat. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocols to be observed for Confession


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila recently released pastoral guidelines pertaining to the celebration of the Sacraments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines, which was released last May 6, 2020, is entitled the "Protocol for Religious Services."



    The document reminds the faithful of the importance of the sacrament of confession and how it should properly be observed. To protect the sacredness and the seal of Confession (secrecy), it requires a personal encounter between the priest and the penitent, and thus "online confession" will not be possible. However, for granting a blessing or counseling, teleconferencing applications or telephone may temporarily be practiced.

    "When the sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible, for example, to a patient who is isolated or in quarantine, they can make an Act of Perfect Contrition. An Act of Perfect Contrition always has been a part of our Catholic tradition. God is always present to us, even when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible," he said.

    The priests may guide the faithful in doing the "Act of Perfect of Contrition," which aims to temporarily suffice as Sacrament of Reconciliation at this time when it is not yet possible to receive due to the quarantine period and the threat of spreading of the virus.

    The bishop also pointed out that small confessional boxes are to be remodeled to comply with the necessary distance for interaction. When it is impossible for the parish, they can conduct the confession outside the confessional box but with observance to proper social distancing. Moreover, the priest and penitent are required to use facemasks.

    Once the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is lifted and public worship is allowed, parishes are encouraged to organize their Kumpisalang Bayan within their respective Vicariates, for the priests to be able to support one another in hearing confessions.

    "Proper social/physical distancing should be observed as during the Mass. The parishes in the vicariates can help one another here," he added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Radio Veritas, CBCP issue statement on ABS CBN's closure


    In a statement released by Radio Veritas 846, the church-owned radio station by the Archdiocese of Manila, the management emphasized the importance of press freedom in delivering information that people have the right to receive and share. This was in relation to the ABS-CBN network which signed off on May 5, 2020, due to franchise issue.

    "As we have historically protected the FREEDOM of the Press since the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, Radio Veritas 846 still stands for Press Freedom as a crucial safeguard of Fact vs.Fiction; Truth vs. Lies; Objectively Viable vs. Subjectively Satisfying and Honestly vs. Duplicity," the statement said, which was signed by Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, President and CEO of Radio Veritas 846.

    "Authentic Press Freedom is important in the delivery of news, stories, insights, and spiritual reflection to our countrymen," Fr. Pascual said.


    Fr. Pascual also appealed to the faithful to pray for the lawmakers regarding the decisions that they would be making prior to the pending renewal of the said franchise.

    "We pray that our lawmakers would expeditiously resolve the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN, most especially in this time when our current health crisis entails the collective solidarity of every Filipino; and not divided nation posed by this unnecessary situation," he said.

    Meanwhile, The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines also issued a statement on May 7.  Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President and Archbishop of Davao, mentioned that because of the network's closure during COVID-19 pandemic, the faithful experience difficulty in receiving information which is very crucial during these times.

    "My first thought in the currently much talked-about closure of ABS-CBN is our people – our people who are in these extremely difficult and trying times because of the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

    "Because of the closure of this broadcast station, our people have lost one of our country’s major sources of information which is crucial to our people in this present situation. If I may add, they also have lost a source of entertainment and diversion during these days of confinement in their homes for more than two months already due to the lockdown measures," he added.

    Archbishop Valles stressed that legislators of the government should communicate and collaborate among themselves to address the issue, especially that many netizens have expressed their dissatisfaction in social media regarding the issue.

    "These days our people truly need more than ever broadcast services that would bring them the much-needed information in this time of crisis," he said.

    "With this consideration, I sincerely hope and pray that our government, especially our Congress, will work together to resolve the issue so that ABS-CBN may be allowed to resume its broadcast the soonest to the benefit of our people who really need as many as possible sources of good and reliable information in this time of suffering and distress," the archbishop added.

    In his Facebook account, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila also expressed his thought on the issue.

    According to him, the decision of NTC to shutdown ABS-CBN is “very unbecoming at best and traitorous to the people at worst.” ABS-CBN, he said, has been a great help to many Filipinos especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

    “ABS-CBN is helping a lot of Filipinos in the country and abroad in updating the people about the corona virus, in entertaining the people in the time of lock down, and in uplifting the spirits of many through its broadcasts,” he said.

    He also stated in his post that “freedom of information in this country is threatened. It sends the chilling message that news and information outlets should kowtow to those in power or else they will be brought down, just as ABC-CBN.”

    The Bishop also added that the issue is beyond ABS-CBN; it is all about defending press freedom.

    “We are defending freedom because the grip of power is getting tighter around us. Nasasakal na kami! The specter of Martial Law is coming up! This action of the government is not uniting the people. In fact it is using the pandemic as a cover for its dastardly deed,” he said.

    The ABS-CBN franchise expired on May 4 as upheld by the Department of Justice (DOJ). It was followed by a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on May 5. ABS-CBN is currently using its social media platforms to be able to broadcast. Their social media accounts are able to continue delivering news and other relevant information during this crisis. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Pope Francis sets Day of prayer, fasting and charity with People of all faith


    On May 14, 2020, the Catholic faithful are asked to Pray, Fast and do Acts of Charity to end COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the call made by Pope Francis on Mary 3 after praying the Regina Coeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace .

    Pope Francis | Photo from Vatican News

    Bishop Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila heeds the call of the Holy Father as he released a Pastoral Instruction entitled, “Let us be one with the whole Church”.

    “I ask our faithful in the Archdiocese to fully participate in this activity. To make our act of charity concrete.  I invite everyone to extend material help to at least one person within your reach, no matter the amount, to make that person/s feel the care we have for each other,” he said.

    The prelate said the event is in line with the celebration of the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue as it will be participated not only by Christians but also by people from faith to implore the Almighty to end the coronavirus pandemic that is has been ravaging the whole world.

    “Being in the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, this is a very concrete sign of common activity of all religions since prayer, fasting, and acts of love are common to all, and we are all affected by this pandemic,” he said.

    According to Vatican News, Pope Francis accepted the Proposal of the celebration on May 14, 2020, from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.

    “Since prayer is a universal value, I have accepted the proposal of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity so that next May 14 believers of all religions unite spiritually in a Day of Prayer and Fasting and Works of Charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Remember: May 14, all believers together, believers of different traditions, to pray, fast, and do works of charity,” Pope Francis said.

    The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity is an organization that was created after Pope Francis met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and together signed the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019. The document is a joint statement that calls for the reconciliation of people of goodwill in service of universal peace. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Government and Church Leaders unite for Day of Consecration on May 13, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima


    “Let us be one with the whole Church.”

    This is the title of the recent Pastoral Instruction released by the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila for parishes, religious communities and families.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo encourages the faithful of the Archdiocese to participate in the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13, the 103rd anniversary of Our Lady's apparition in Fatima, Portugal.


    In his instruction, the Bishop laid down a few activities for the event that will allow the faithful to be personally connected with the Lord and with each other “in and through the Church as the Body of Christ.”

    On that day, there will be the praying of the rosary at 8:30 am and to be followed by the prayer of consecration of the whole country to the Blessed Virgin. The prayers, which will be simultaneous in different places all over the country, will be led by bishops from different dioceses. The National Shrine of Our lady of Fatima in Valenzuela will be the venue for the culmination with the celebration of the Holy Mass, to be presided by Bishop Dennis Villarojo, Bishop of the Diocese of Malolos.

    The whole celebration will be streamed online with Radyo Veritas and TV Maria as main platforms for broadcast, with the help of the Diocese of Cubao.

    A celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 12 noon on the same day will also be held at the Manila Cathedral. The mass will be attended by the 5 Mayors of the different cities within the Archdiocese of Manila and presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, its Apostolic Administrator. At the end of the mass the 5 Mayors together with the bishop, will lead the prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Archdiocese and all its people.

    The five Mayors who will attend the celebration are Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Domagoso (Manila), Mayor Carmelita Abalos (Mandaluyong), Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (Pasay), Mayor Abigail Binay (Makati), and Mayor Francisco Zamora (San Juan).

    Still part of the Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, On May 10-12, a Triduum of fasting, prayer and reflection will also be held and aired via live stream through TV Maria and Radio Veritas. The Triduum will include praying of the Rosary and the Flores de Maria devotion at 3:30 p.m. followed by the reflection of Bishop Pabillo at 4:30 p.m. The prayers will be led by different sectors of the Church.

    “I invite the social communication ministry of the parishes to hook in to broaden the reach of these broadcasts. Even individually please invite your friends and relatives in the Archdiocese to participate in these activities,” Bishop Pabillo said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "Let 'Pagkakawang-gawa' be our celebration of Fiesta this year"


    The town of Malibay is known for its deep devotion to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno. Before the parish was even established, the devotion was already present as it paved the way for the faith that flourished in Malibay.

    When the month of May begins, the Malibayeños prepare for the nine-day Novena Masses and Grand Fiesta celebration. The streets are lined up with colorful bantings, families ordering Lechon and other special foods to be prepared for the Fiesta.


    A Comite de Festejos de Malibay and the Parish Community become very busy and are on top for the preparations of the activities for the fiesta. Every May 16, hundreds, or even thousands, of people come in and out of Malibay and make their way to the Church for the Fiesta Mass. They also join the processions and watch the marching band parade.

    This year, the festivities are different as the Parish Community embraces the new normal since the declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine. Due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, churches in the country are advised to suspend all public worship services. In San Juan Nepomuceno Parish, the celebration this year will be the Novena Masses live-streamed via the official Facebook Page, Parokya ni San Juan Nepomuceno and their affiliate accounts.

    The Comite de Festejos de Malibay has announced on their Facebook page that there won't be any processions and parades this year as part of the safety measures to be observed during this quarantine period. They also encouraged the faithful to extend help to the needy aside from their daily prayers.

    "Hinihikayat ng Comite de Festejos de Malibay ang pagdulog ng tulong at panalangin sa ating mga Patron at higitan ng pagkakawanggawa sa mga panahong ito sa diwa ng malasakitan sa ating kapwa. Patuloy po tayong sumunod sa alintuntunin ng pamahalaan para sa kaligtasan ng lahat," they said.

    Rev. Fr. Edgardo C. Coroza, Parish Priest of San Juan Nepomuceno Parish led the first day of the Novena Mass. In his homily, he stated that the faithful must learn to love God by being a humble servant just as how the Lord washed the feet of his disciples, which is done by servants in order to be an example of love and humility.

    "Dapat laging manatiling matatag ang pagmamahal sa Diyos," he said.

    He added that like the example of San Juan Nepomuceno who died because of his great love for God and the Sacrament of Confession, the faithful are encouraged to love the Lord just as he did by being his humble servant.

    Novena Masses will proceed as usual with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, praying the novena for the said day that will conclude to a Eucharistic Celebration. Even with limitations, the parishioners of Malibay will continue their devotion to give thanks to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno in their own homes as a fulfillment of a vow to celebrate yearly the feast of their beloved "Tata Juan."

    The parishioners are advised to stay home and participate in prayer through the live-streamed novena masses from May 7 to May 15, and the Fiesta Mass on May 16.  (Mio Hermoso and Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Crisis reveals what kind of Leaders we Have


    In his homily during the 4th Sunday of Easter, also called the Good Shepherd Sunday, last May 3, 2020, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, laid down that good leader should emulate the characteristics of Jesus the Good Shepherd who lays his life for his sheep.

    "The shepherd is the guide, the protector, the healer and the one who gathers the flock. Thus, in the Bible, the leader of the people is presented as a shepherd. The leader of the people whether it be the king, the priest or the officials in the court should be concerned to provide for the people, to protect them from their enemies, to keep them united as a people, and to take care of the weak and the oppressed,” he said.

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    “If the shepherd is good, it goes well with the flock. If the leader is good, it goes well with the nation," he added.

    The prelate mentioned that leadership is not limited to prominent leaders alone; it is given to all people who are called to serve others. And the moral authority of a leader is put into question when their motivation is vested with personal interest.

    The bishop pointed out that the work accomplished by leaders reveals their priorities, that is if they have set the welfare of their people as their utmost concern. And social media plays an important role in scrutinizing leaders and their priorities.

    "This is also true in this coronavirus pandemic. We see what kind of leaders we have not only here in the Philippines but in other countries as well. Not only among political leaders but also among business and religious leaders as well. The consequences of their leadership or lack of it are enormous. It could spell the health and even the lives of their people. Their decisions impact the economic well-being of their constituents. They can make the lives of the people hard or healthy in the long run,” he said.

    The Apostolic Administrator urged leaders to be transparent with the people they serve by giving clear instructions and decisions especially during this time where some areas in the country are still under a lockdown or under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    "In times of crisis, people long for leaders who are transparent. They have confidence when they see their leaders doing the right things and there are no hidden agenda behind their decisions. Transparency is very much promoted when the leaders are clear in the instructions and directions that they give," he said. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Communities warned against fraudulent activities during COVID-19 pandemic


    Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen, Vice President for Operations of Radio Veritas 846 gave an advisory to communities on fraudulent activities specifically on donations bearing the name of Church institutions especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Radio Veritas, a Church-owned radio station, and Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, are among those institutions which fraud perpetrators have used to lure donors to give money.

    Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen, Vice President for Operations, Radio Veritas | File Photo of RCAM-AOC


    According to Veritas news, Fr. Bellen informed the faithful to be vigilant by doing fact-checking of credible sources in social media and other media platforms. He also urged them to contact the respective organizations in order to confirm if the information they have received are legitimate or not.

    “Nais kong ipaalala sa ating mga Kapanalig na mag-ingat po tayo; mas maganda ma-confirm kung saan po galing ang balita, yung panawagan o request; kung ito ba talaga ay galing sa simbahan,” he said. 

    He told the faithful that they can follow updates and know factual information through the official social media accounts of Radio Veritas (Veritas846.ph), Caritas Manila and other Church offices.

    “Mas maganda na we are always aware sa mga main platforms, mga official accounts ng Veritas, Caritas at mga Diocese; nang sa gayon we are aware na official ang mga panawagan,” he added.

    Even public figures of the Catholic Church in the Philippines are not spared from these fraudulent activities. High ranking church officials like Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo and Archbishop Jose Palma, to name a few, were among those used to make fake social media accounts to solicit money.

    Names of priests from various parishes were also being used with the same motive.

    Fr. Bellen advised the faithful that it will be wise to call and confirm institutions if donations are to be made, to avoid falling victim to frauds. Here are the official contact information of Caritas Manila, Radio Vertas and The Archdiocese of Manila:

    Caritas Maritas
    2002 Jesuss Street Pandacan, Manila
    8563-9311, 8564-0205, 0905-4285001, 0929-8343857
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Radio Veritas
    Veritas Tower 162 West Avenue, cor. Edsa, Quezon City
    (632) 8-925-7931 to 40, (632) 8-928-3068, (0918)837-4827, (0918-veritas)
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Archdiocese of Manila

    121 Arzobispo Street Intramuros, Manila
    8527-3962
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)


    Ang ika-apat na Linggo ng panahong ng pagkabuhay ay tinatawag na Good Shepherd Sunday dahil sa ang paksa ay tungkol sa mabuting pastol.  This is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocation because on this day, we ask the Lord to send us shepherds molded in the heart of Jesus - the Good Shepherd.

    Sa Bibliya, ang larawan ng isang lider ay pastol o kaya shepherd. Si Abraham, si Isaac, si Jacob at ang mga anak niya ay mga pastol sa matagal na panahon. Ang pagpapastol ay isang pangkaraniwang hanap buhay sa Israel. Sa ganitong pamumuhay, napakahalaga ang papel ng shepherd. Siya ang gumagabay sa kanyang mga tupa upang sila ay magkaroon ng tubig at damo na mapagpapastulan. Siya ang nagbabantay upang hindi atakihin o kunin ang tupa ng mababangis na hayop. Siya ang nangangasiwa na hindi kumalat ang tupa at wala sa kanila ang mawala. Siya ang nag-aalaga sa mga napipilay o sa mga mahihina.



    So, the shepherd is the guide, the protector, the healer and the one who gathers the flock. Thus, in the Bible, the leader of the people is presented as a shepherd. The leader of the people whether it be the king, the priest or the officials in the court should be concerned to provide for the people, to protect them from their enemies, to keep them united as a people, and to take care of the weak and the oppressed. If the shepherd is good, it goes well with the flock. If the leader is good, it goes well with the nation.

    Moments of crisis, we feel the…of our leaders – business leaders, political leaders, religious leaders from all levels even the barangay leaders and the parents who are leaders of their families as well. The difficult times show which so-called leaders really help the good of the people at heart which are ready to go out of their way to protect and guide the people or which leaders think only of themselves or do not care much about their responsibilities.

    This is also true in this coronavirus pandemic. We see what kind of leaders we have not only here in the Philippines but in other countries as well. Not only among political leaders but also among business and religious leaders as well. The consequences of their leadership or lack of it are enormous.  It could spell the health and even the lives of their people. Their decisions impact the economic well-being of their constituents. They can make the lives of the people hard or healthy in the long run. And in this age of social media, the actions of the leaders can easily be scrutinized and compared with others.

    There are so many leadership textbooks and books, we will not go through them. Let us allow the Word of God this Sunday to guide us in our reflections on leadership.

    Ngayong Good Shepherd Sunday, hindi naman natin susuriin ang mga leaders natin sa homiliyang ito. Tinatawag ang ating atensiyon sa Good Shepherd na walang iba kundi si Hesus mismo. Siya ang papansinin natin. Paano ba siya naging mabuting pastol. Anu ano ang katangian ng kanyang leadership? Tayo na ang tumingin pagkatapos ng misa sa mga leaders natin. Are they up to the standards of the leadership that Jesus the Good Shepherd presents to us?

    Maliwanag sa ating Ebanghelyo na ang Good Shepherd ay transparent. Wala siyang tinatago at hindi siya gumagawa ng liku-likong paraan. Dumadaan siya sa pintuan at hindi tumatalon sa pader. Kilala siya ng tagapagbantay ng pintuan. Tinatawag niya ang kanyang mga tupa sa kanilang pangalan at dahil sa transparent siya at malapit siya sa kanila, kilala ang kanyang tinig ng mga tupa

    In times of crisis, people long for leaders who are transparent. They have confidence when they see their leaders doing the right things and there are no hidden agenda behind their decisions. Transparency is very much promoted when the leaders are clear in the instructions and directions that they give.

    Nakita natin ito kay Pedro sa ating Unang Pagbasa. Ang kanyang mga salita ay straight to the point, “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ. This Jesus whom you crucified.” Walang paliguy ligoy. Diretso ang kanyang salita kahit na may tamaan pa dito. At noong tinanong siya, “Kapatid, ano ang dapat naming gawin?” Diretso din ang sagot niya, “Repent and be baptized. Everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.”  His directions were so ambiguous that the people got his message loud and clear. Marami ang nakapag-decide agad. Higit na tatlong libo ang nagpabinyag sa araw ding yun.

    Matutulungan ng mga leaders ang mga tao kung maliwanag ang kanilang paliwanag. Napakaraming paliwanag na malalabo. Ang dami na sinasabi na hindi naman kaugnay sa ibig nilang sabihin. Alam natin to, madalas tayong ma-expose sa social media. Ang daming paliwanag na malabo. Mas nakakagulo pa. Ito ba ay dahil sa lito rin ang nagsasalita? O may iba siyang agenda na hindi niya masabi ng diretso o hindi mahalaga sa kanya na maging maliwanag siya. Ibg sabihin hindi mahalaga sa kanya ang mga tao kung maintidihan siya o hindi.

    Isa pang mahalagang katangian ng mabuting pastol ay siya ay nangununa. The good shepherd does not push the sheep to a direction, he leads the way because the sheep trust him, they follow behind him. They trust him because he goes first where he wants the sheep to go. Ika nga, he walks the talk. Isang salita na hindi na natin gaanong ginagamit sa leader ngayon ay ruler. Ang leader ay ruler. Alam natin ang salitang ruler sa school o sa opisina. Ito ay ginagamit natin bilang panukat, one inch ba o five centimeters? Ganyan din dapat ang leader. Siya ang ruler. Hindi yung tagabigay ng utos kundi siya yung sukatan. Yung sinusundan, yung ginagayahan. Ilan ba sa mga leaders natin ang gusto nating gayahin? Gayahin sa kanyang ugali, sa kanyang pamumuhay, sa kanyang pananalita?

    Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, sinabi ni San Pedro, “Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” Conscious si Jesus sa kanyang role as leader that is why when he calls his disicples he says, “Come follow me.” Hindi lang ito siguro sundan niyo ako pero tularan niyo ako. Kaya narinig natin si Hesus ay ininsulto. Hindi siya nang-insulto. Nung siya’y pinahirapan, hindi siya nagbanta. Nagdusa siya kahit wala siyang kasalanan. Kaya sabi ni San Pedro, maging handa rin dapat tayo lalo na kung wala tayong kasalanan. So, he wrote, “If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace from God.” 

    So, who is a leader? Who is a good shepherd? The one who is transparent. The who is clear in his instructions. The one who sets himself as an example to follow, he leads the way.

    May isa pang katangian na napakahalaga sa isang leader. Bakit ba siya leader? Anong dahilan sa kanyang pagiging leader? Hindi upang makinabang sa kanyang posisiyon. Hindi para sa kanyang sarili. Jesus clearly said, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Siya ay naparito para magkaroon tayo ng buhay hindi para sa kanyang sarili para sa kanyang tupa.

    Katatapos lang natin ng Mahal na Araw. Pinaalaala sa atin kung paano natin nakuha ang buhay na maka-Diyos – sa pag-aalay ni Hesus ng kanyang sarili. We are once again reminded by his wounds, we were healed. Yan ang…test ng tunay na leader. Siya ba ay handing magbigay ng buhay para sa iba? Handang mag-sakripisyo para sa iba? Sinu ang nakikinabang sa kanyang pagiging leader? Siya ba o ang mga taong pinamumunuan niya? Kung ihambing natin ang ating mga leaders kay Jesus na good shepherd, malayo pa sila sa kanyang standard kahit na sa mga leaders sa simbahan mismo.

    Kaya ngayon ay Day of Prayer for Vocations. In the Church, instead of just lamenting at the leadership of our bishops and priests, let us pray and pray hard that they may continually set their side on Jesus as their example.

    We are also praying this Sunday that God may send good shepherds to this Church.  Napakaraming aanihin kakaunti ang mag-aani. Magdasal kayo sa may-ari ng ubasan na magpadala pa ng mga manggagawa sa kanyang bukirin.

    Lord, send us good shepherds, make our shepherd good shepherds. Give us more shepherds for your church. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocol for religious services in the Archdiocese of Manila


    To make our religious activities safer from the spread of the virus

    Protocol for religious services in the Archdiocese of Manila



    Note: These guidelines are given due to our extraordinary situation. They are therefore

    temporary in nature. Furthermore, the situation is so fluid that we foresee that there

    will be other guidelines that will follow when the situation changes or when there are

    other directives that will come from the government or from the church hierarchy.

    These guidelines are given so that we are prepared when religious services will already

    be allowed.

     

    Schedules:

    1. There should be at least a half hour gap between Masses to allow the church to

    be disinfected after each service.

    2. Since we have lesser Masses on Sundays, we can have more services on

    weekdays.

    3. Ask the people to come on the times when there are lesser people. Encourage the

    faithful to come on weekday Masses if they cannot come on Sundays.

    4. The presence of difficulty, and in some cases impossibility, of fulfilling the

    Sunday obligation renders the obligation suspended during these extraordinary

    circumstances. While Sunday and weekday Masses will already be celebrated in

    parishes, the live streaming of Masses, at least on Sundays, will continue for

    those who are unable to participate in the community celebrations due to

    sickness, old age, fear and caution.

    5. Because we will have lesser Mass schedules on Sundays and less people can

    come on Sundays, the parishes may start their “anticipated Masses” on

    Saturdays at 3 pm, thus have three or four Masses on Saturdays and invite the

    people to join in these Masses.

    6. We can have more schedules of baptisms during the week so that people will not

    congregate on Sundays.

     

    Physical structure:

    1. Clearly mark the entrance and exits to the church so that incoming people will

    not meet outgoing ones. Have marshals who shall man the entrance and exits on

    Sundays to keep order.

    2. Each entrance and exit should have footbath container.

    3. There should be hand sanitizers at the entrances.

    4. The places to be occupied in the pews should be indicated to help people keep

    social/ physical distancing. The people should strictly occupy only those places

    indicated.

    5. There should be notices in front of religious images telling people not to touch or

    wipe the images. Short prayers can be posted in front of the images to help the

    people pray in front of them.

    6. All holy water fonts should be emptied and covered so that they may not be

    used.

    7. If the adoration chapel is small and enclosed, it is better not to open it. Encourage

    the people to pray in church instead.

    8. Let there be non-touch garbage disposal bins in parish offices and around the

    church and remind the people to dispose their waste in the proper places. The

    maintenance people in the parishes are to be taught to properly dispose the

    garbage.

    9. Let the parish comfort rooms be properly maintained and soap be available for

    proper hand washing.

    10. For those churches which are air-conditioned, it would be better if the airconditioning is not used during this time. It will not be so hot after all because

    there will not be any over-crowding. Explain to the people that open areas are

    better than closed spaces to ward off the virus.

    11. For those parishes with mortuaries, do not accept clients who have many days of

    wakes. These days, the shorter the wake, the better. Anyway, they cannot expect

    distant relatives to travel these days and online services are available for them to

    participate without being physically present at the funerals.

    12. If we allow less people to participate physically in baptisms, weddings, and

    funerals, let the parish be ready to offer to the people online services. So the

    parishes should have their own equipment, good internet connection, and

    properly trained people.

     

    Services of the RCAM:

    1. We will ask RCAM to buy mask, alcohol, and sanitizers in bulk to get them

    cheaper and the parishes will just have to buy them from RCAM.

    2. Since online Masses will have to continue for quite some time, let the

    Commission of Social Communion help the parishes how to technically

    improved their online capability, like what gadgets to use for better output and

    how to improve their internet connections. Let the Social Communication

    Ministry of the parishes be given added training.

     

    During the Holy Mass:

    1. All the people attending the Mass and other church services should wear face

    mask. In fact, the marshals and ushers should see to it that all people in the

    Church and its offices should wear face masks. For those who do not have, low

    priced face masks should be available in the parish offices.

    2. The body temperature of all those who enter the church building shall be taken,

    by thermal body scan, which will be a standard equipment in all parishes.

    3. The person/s who prepare/s the hosts, water and wine for consecration need/s

    to observe proper hygiene and health protocols.

    4. Let there be only one or two altar boys serving in the Mass. If possible, the Mass

    servers should not be children, and if they are below 18 years old, they should

    have the written permission of their parents.

    5. If the Mass servers are all children, let the extraordinary lay ministers be trained

    to serve also as Mass servers.

    6. Instead of choirs, we will just request a song leader and an instrumentalist to

    lead the people in singing. There can be less singing in the Mass.

    7. The ushers and marshals shall be going around the church to remind people of

    the social distancing.

    8. Once the indicated spaces to be occupied are filled, we will no longer allow the

    people to enter the Church. They can stay outside but with proper social

    distancing. Because of this, the sound system should also be clear to the people

    outside and TV monitors can be set up so that the people outside the church can

    also know what is happening in the Mass.

    9. In parishes where there are parking spaces within the church compound, if there

    is need and if their budget would allow, they can set up big monitors in the

    parking lot and a loud sound system so that if the church is full the people can

    participate in the Mass in their cars.

    10. If there are enough priests, Masses can be celebrated outside of the church, like in

    gymnasiums, still observing social distancing.

    11. We need to recruit younger people as volunteers to help in the ministries, like

    collectors, lay ministers, and ushers to lessen possibilities of infections among the

    elderly. If the elderly volunteers insist to serve they may be allowed but with

    proper warning and precautions. Their time of service, however, should be

    shortened to limit the possibility of exposure to any infection.

    12. In the church lecterns, the microphones should have coverings; these are to be

    changed after each Mass.

    13. Things used in the Mass should be washed with hot water and properly ironed.

    This can be one way of disinfecting them.

    14. There will no longer be offertory processions. The offerings can be dropped in a

    basket at the back of the church or in a box and one or two persons will bring

    these in front during the offertory. There will be no offering of the bread and

    wine coming from the people.

    15. The collection during the offertory will be done through bags attached to sticks,

    and not bags that are passed around.

    16. There will be no holding of hands at the Our Father and no handshakes at the

    giving of peace. A bow with a smiling face can already be a good sign of peace.

    17. Before communion the priest shows the Sacred Host to the people and says: “The

    Body of Christ” and the people answer “Amen”. When the communion is given

    to the hands to each communicant, there will no longer be any conversation

    between the minister and the communicant.

    18. If the congregation is small enough especially on weekday Masses, only the

    priest will give communion.

    19. The lay ministers and the priests will wash their hands with alcohol before and

    after they give communion. It is good that this is done in view of the people to

    give them assurance of the hygienic practice.

    20. The flow of the communicants should be so directed that there be no meeting of

    people. They come from one side and go to the other side after communion.

    21. All the ministers and the priests should wear face masks during the giving of the

    communion.

    22. The face mask should be worn by all the Mass servers – the altar boys/girls, the

    lay ministers, the sacristans and the lectors when not reading.

    23. After the Mass, the people would not be immediately allowed to enter so that the

    pews can be disinfected. A group of volunteers can be organized to do this. It can

    be called the SANITATION MINISTRY.

    24. Ministers can bring communion to the sick and the elderly. Arrangements can be

    made that communion be distributed in chapels for those who are not disposed

    to join the community celebrations due to fear and caution.

    25. People will be catechized on the need for internal disposition before receiving

    communion, like participation in the live stream Masses, short liturgy of the

    Word with the family, and personal prayer. These prayers can also be printed in

    tarpaulins outside barangay chapels where communions outside the Mass will

    be given.

    26. In those areas without nearby chapels, communion can be given but outside the

    house. Let the communicants, dressed in a decent way, wait for the ministers to

    pass to give communion. It would be good if there is a small table with sacred

    images or a crucifix as an indication that someone in this house is receiving

    communion. The parish should be advised beforehand and the people be told

    around what time the minister will be coming to give communion.

    27. Young and healthy women religious and seminarians will be requested to help in

    distributing communion to the sick and the elderly.

    28. The “Mass in Time of Pandemic” [Recently provided by the Holy See] can be

    celebrated, according to the rubrics given for Masses and Prayers for Various

    Needs and Occasions, on any day except Solemnities, the Sundays of Advent,

    Lent, and Easter, days within the Octave of Easter, the Commemoration of All

    the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day), Ash Wednesday and the days of Holy

    Week. Please see again the communication from the Holy See regarding the text

    and the use of this Mass.

    29. The Oratio Imperata is to be prayed in every Mass.

    30. Children and the elderly will be advised to stay at home and join in the online

    Mass. They may receive communion which will be distributed outside the Mass

    at the places indicated.

     

    For Baptism:

    1. Only the parents and one set of godparents will be allowed per child for the

    baptism. If there are many to be baptized, the children to be baptized can be

    organized by smaller batches.

    2. Let the parishes allow baptisms to be celebrated during set times on weekdays to

    decongest baptisms on Sundays.

    3. The Holy Oils should be applied, using cotton, on the one baptized. The cotton

    with holy oils should be burned after the celebration. The cotton applied to one

    child should not be used for another child. One cotton ball per child.

     

    For confirmation:

    1. We can forgo Mass confirmations this year. Those who are to be baptized as

    adults or who get married can be confirmed by the parish priest as church

    discipline dictates.

     

    For confessions:

    1. The small confessional boxes should be reconfigured to allow social distancing. If

    this cannot be done then have the confessions done outside the confessional box,

    with one meter distance between the penitent and the priest. A special place

    should be designated for this where people can see that confessions are available.

    2. Both the priest and the penitent should wear face masks.

    3. Priests may not hear confessions via telephone or Zoom teleconferencing, though

    they may use these methods to offer the penitents spiritual counsel.

    4. When the sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible, for example to a patient

    who is isolated or in quarantine, they can make an Act of Perfect Contrition. An

    Act of Perfect Contrition always has been a part of our Catholic tradition. God is

    always present to us, even when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible.

    While a priest cannot give absolution over the phone, he can use the phone to

    give a blessing and even guide a person through an Act of Perfect Contrition.

    This is done when the person expresses faith in and love of God above all things

    and resolves to make a sacramental Confession as soon as possible. All his/her

    sins, even mortal sins, are forgiven.

    5. The parishes can organize kumpisalan ng bayan with penitential service to enable

    the people to come to confession, which they were not able to do last Lent. If

    there are too many people, then two or three kumpisalan na bayan can be done.

    Proper social/physical distancing should be observed as during the Mass. The

    parishes in the vicariates can help one another here.

     

    For weddings:

    1. We allow only simple weddings this year, with only the bride and the groom

    with one set of sponsors and the immediate family. Wala na munang mga abay.

    For Anointing of the Sick

    1. The appropriate protocols like the wearing of face mask, gloves, and the necessary

    preparation and post-visit guidelines must be followed.

    2. The laying on of hands may be done without physical contact on the head of the

    sick.

    3. Sanitize the oil stock before and after each anointing to avoid contamination of the

    sacred oil.

    4. A cotton ball or cotton buds/tips can be used instead of the thumb for anointing.

    For each anointing, use a new cotton ball/tips and new oil on the cotton.

    5. It is permitted that only the forehead be anointed.

    6. For communion of the sick and viaticum, enough consecrated hosts must be

    brought to avoid unnecessary contamination of the host/s.

     

    For Funerals:

    1. Only let the immediate family be allowed during funeral Masses in the church,

    observing proper social distancing.

    2. Avoid having several dead people for one funeral Mass to avoid large crowds.

    This would mean more funeral Masses or telling the people not to bring their

    dead to the church anymore if a Mass has already been done during the wake.

    3. Proper social distancing is to be observed during wake Masses.

    Blessing of sacramentals:

        1. A place should be indicated where people can have their medals, rosaries,

         statuettes, and other materials blessed. The place should be big enough so that

         the people need not congregate as they wait for the priest for the blessing.

        2. The parish can have containers with holy water available for people to bring

        home. They should be properly instructed that this holy water can be used in

        their homes to remind them of their baptism.

     

    Parish Ministers and Volunteers

    1. Our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, and other ministers

    need retraining considering the extraordinary circumstances and the appropriate

    protocol. The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission will provide instructional

    videos. Parish Priests and ministry coordinators will be responsible for their retraining.

     

    In parish offices:

    1.    Parish offices should be so designed that proper distancing is observed.

    2.    There should be thermometer check for all who enter the parish office.

    3.    There is sanitation handwash facility upon entering the office.

    4.    Let the parish offices set up facilities for online donations and let these by transparent and user-friendly.

    5.    An important work of the parish office now is to build up the data base of the parishioners so that text or email blasts can be given to them inform them of what is happening in the parish. This can also create a sense of belongingness to the parish.

    Recollections:

    1. Organize more online recollections, talks and Bible studies and tell the people to

    attend these for their spiritual nourishment. Encourage the people to tune in

    more to Radio Veritas and to TV Maria which can broadcast these talks.

    2. The spirituality of stewardship should be promoted in the talks. In this

    spirituality all the faithful are reminded that we belong to the family of God,

    which is the Church. Each is obliged to support the church according to one’s

    capability. We give to the church not because we have received a service from it.

    We support it regularly and voluntarily because we are part of it.

     

    To get in touch with the parishioners:

    1. Let the parish have Zoom capability so that it can organize meeting with some

    parish leaders without asking them to physically come to the church.

    2. Let each parish invest in its social communication infrastructure and have people

    properly trained for its social communication ministry.

     

    Health Ministry:

    1. Let all parishes set up a functional health ministry whose activities could include:

    • to identify the sick and the elderly in the parish and minister to them;

    • to help comfort the sick and their family;

    • to help people make referrals when they get sick;

    • to take care of health care workers within the parish and have good

    relations with them;

    • to guide people to have healthy lifestyle; and,

    • to minister to the mentally sick.

    2. When volunteers join the ministries in the parish, health precautions should be

    given to them by this ministry. The would-be volunteers should be made to

    understand that their health is their responsibility, so they have to observe

    necessary precautions.

    3. A part of the work of this ministry is to help bring communion to the sick and

    the elderly. Only young volunteers are to be asked to do this.

     

    Social Communication Ministry:

    1. Every parish should have a social communication ministry, with proper

    equipment and well trained people.

    2. Let the parish have their own online Mass every Sunday.

    3. Let each parish maintain its own Facebook page where people can get relevant

    information about and from the parish.

    4. The task of the SoCom ministry is also to help the people to be responsible users

    of the social means of communication and not be addicted to it or be

    manipulated by it.

     

    Maintaining good relationships:

    1. Let the parish priests and parish leaders maintain good relationships with the

    barangay leaders and the LGU officials.

    2. We follow up the relationships we have established during this quarantine

    period and maintain long term engagements with them.

    3. Inform our donors of what we have done and maintain good relations with

    them.

     

    Parish personnel:

    1. The general policy is that as much as possible we do not lay off regular personnel

    so as not to add to the unemployment problem of our people. If need be, we have

    to retool or reschedule our personnel to take on new jobs that the new situation

    calls us. However it should be properly explained to them that if the financial

    situation of the parish does not improve, then their work load – consequently

    their wages – will be diminished and some other benefits may no longer be

    given. All of these however should be done in consultation with our legal office

    and thus done according to law and charity.

     

    Finances:

    1. We expect our revenues to fall. People have no money and we have to do a lot of

    charitable works. Thus let us minimize our expenses, especially our capital

    expenses. Improvements and projects can wait but proper maintenance should

    be done so as not to incur greater expenses later on.

    2. The finance department of RCAM will set up guidelines for online donations. All

    the parishes should be open to online donations but the transparency and proper

    accounting of the donations should remain.

    3. Let the parishes strive to give their contributions to the Curia because these go to

    the salaries of our catechists and to the apostolic fund of the priests. We priests

    and the catechists continue to receive our allowances even in this situation.

     

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    May 6, 2020

     

  • Pastoral Instruction: Let us be one with the whole Church


    My dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    As we strive to be personally connected with God, let us also be connected with each other in and through the Church as the Body of Christ. Let us join then in the activities that draw us closer to one another and to God.

    I invite the parishes, religious communities, and families of the faithful in their homes to participate in the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13, the 103rd anniversary of the apparition in Fatima.


    1. At 8:30 in the morning, let us follow the live stream of the praying of the holy rosary and the prayer of consecration of the whole country to the Blessed Virgin. This prayer will be done simultaneously all over the country. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City will be the center of this activity.

    2. At 12 noon, let us unite our hearts as an Archdiocese for the live streaming of the Eucharistic Celebration at the Manila Cathedral. At the conclusion of the Mass, the bishop together with the Mayors of the different cities within the Archdiocese will consecrate the Archdiocese and the cities to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    In preparation for this important event, let us be one through a triduum of fasting, prayer, and reflection on May 10, 11, and 12 through TV Maria live stream and Radio Veritas:

    3:30 PM Praying of the rosary and the Flores de Maria devotion
    4:30 PM Reflection of Bishop Broderick Pabillo
    Prayers to be led by different sectors of the Church

    TV Maria will live stream all these activities (TV Maria facebook page, Sky Cable – Channel 210; Destiny Cable – Channel 96; SatLite – Channel 102; Sky Direct – Channel 49; Cable Link Channel 18). You can also tune in to Radio Veritas. I invite the social communication ministry of the parishes to hook in to broaden the reach of these broadcasts. Even individually please invite your friends and relatives in the Archdiocese to participate in these activities.

    Let us entrust ourselves to the maternal protection of Mary, our Mother during this time of crisis. We pray that through her prayers as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial.

    The Holy Father is calling for a day of prayer, fasting, and acts of charity on May 14 to be participated in not only by Christians but by all religions to implore the Almighty to end this pandemic. Being in the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, this is a very concrete sign of common activity of all religions since prayer, fasting, and acts of love are common to all, and we are all affected by this pandemic. I ask our faithful in the Archdiocese to fully participate in this activity. To make our act of charity concrete,

    I invite everyone to extend material help to at least one person within your reach, no matter the amount, to make that person/s feel the care we have for each other. May this sign of unity among us draw us all to the One Source of all Goodness.

    Thank you very much.

     

    Sincerely yours in the Lord Jesus,

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    May 6, 2020

  • Pope Francis: Vocation, a response of Gratitude to God's Love


    His Holiness Pope Francis reflected on four things--pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise--as his way of giving thanks to the priests and their ministry in his message for the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations celebrated on May 3.

    “The first word of vocation, then, is gratitude.” This is how the Pope reminded the faithful that a person can find fulfillment in their lives especially when they are called to respond in gratitude to a vocation since it is rooted from the love of the Lord.

    “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. 'Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call' (Letter to Priests, 4 August 2019),” the Pope said.


    With regards to encouragement, Pope Francis offers this verse: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear” (Mt 14:27).” expressing how Jesus immediately reassures his disciples when He walks with them towards the sea while they have filled themselves with fear.

    When the faithful are called to embrace a state of life such as marriage, ministerial priesthood and consecrated life, there are often “ghosts of disbelief” that creates confusion in their goal towards discovering their vocation.

    Pope Francis explained that these first-hand reactions can, in a way, fill them with doubts such as: “Surely, this vocation is not for me!  Can this really be the right path?  Is the Lord really asking me to do this?” 

    In his letter to Priests, the Pope also mentioned that every calling given by the Lord is a responsibility. Like Saint Peter, a person’s willingness to serve the Lord is sometimes accompanied by challenges such as failure and even fear.

    “The Lord calls us because he wants to enable us, like Peter, to 'walk on water', in other words, to take charge of our lives and place them at the service of the Gospel, in the concrete and everyday ways that he shows us, and specifically in the different forms of lay, priestly and consecrated vocation. Yet, like Saint Peter, our desire and enthusiasm coexist with our failings and fears,” he said.

    Pope Francis asked the Church to unceasingly promote the vocations. He pointed out that when it is the moment that the faithful will be able to discover their vocation, they will be unafraid to say their “yes” to God and to overcome their doubts by clinging on to their faith in the Lord.

    “Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations. May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say “yes” to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ, and to make of their lives a song of praise for God, for their brothers and sisters, and for the whole world. May the Virgin Mary accompany us and intercede for us,” he added.

    The World Day of Prayer for Vocations affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concern vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.  While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "KAPIT KA SA AKIN: Nothing Grand, but a Helping Hand”


    (Feature Stroy)

     

    “We rise by lifting others.”  --Robert Ingersoll

    Taft Avenue has always been a busy street filled with people--commuters, sellers, buyers, and numerous other people of different walks of life doing their own errands from. It was a place of transactions, a place of interaction. Until the outbreak of COVID-19. it suddenly was transformed into a deserted place, quiet, closed centers of businesses, and filled with poor people who hope to beg something to help them get by.

    A member of the Cofradia ng Mahal na Poon ng Sto. Sepulcro distributes food and other basic necessities to poor people around Manila. | Photo by Carl Joshep Dela Cruz/San Fernando de Dilao Parish

     

    The place was once a street full of life, but it is now full of seemingly lifeless people who are homeless and lying on the pavement of the center island. These people hold heavier baggage in the midst of the pandemic as they lack shelter, livelihood and basic commodities. They rely on the carton boxes as their comforter, to ease the dusty, cold and hard cement they are sleeping on. The only thing they carry is their unending faith, hope and courage that this suffering will come to an end soon, and that the smiles on their faces be revived through the mercy of the Lord.

    Seeing the face of Jesus on the faces of these poor people, the San Fernando De Dilao Parish Community headed by Msgr. Rolando R. Dela Cruz, Parish Priest, Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, and other Priests, together with SFdDP-Cofradia ng Mahal na Poon ng Santo Sepulcro, initiated collaborative efforts to deliver joy and hope to them by distributing relief goods and basic necessities to help them get through the crisis.

    A Cofradia volunteer narrated, “Gutom na gutom sila noong pagkabigay namin ng pagkain, binuksan agad nila at kinain.” This clearly describes the suffering and agony they experience as they struggle with the pandemic. They have no shelter to protect themselves from the virus, as well as medicines to improve their immunity.

    We know that this simple act of charity cannot change their lives or make their suffering go away. Nevertheless, it is a simple reminder to our marginalized brothers and sisters that even in the midst of crisis, there are people who are thinking of them, there are will people who will reach out to them to deliver the message that they are not alone and that there are people who care. We will rise by lifting others, we can move forward by lending a helping hand. Through persistence and resilience, we strengthen our bond. And with the common love of Jesus we will be united to rise again.

    Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister of Italy  once said, “We will stay separated today, so we can hug each other tomorrow.” This pandemic is just a challenge to us, but our faith will not be shattered. Our brethren will not be left behind, for we will offer our helping hand, with our Catholic faith and virtues of love, peace and joy. Jesus’ love and mercy will freely flow, as we continue to lift others and watch them grow.

    We will stand with greater vigor and determination, while Jesus Christ heals our nation. (Richard A. Fajardo and Vream Crishin S. Dorig/SOCOM - San Fernando de Dilao Parish, Paco Manila)

  • Priests called to be Good Shepherds in time of COVID-19


    In his message to priests on May 1, 2020, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, reminded priests that they are called to share the sacrifice offered by Jesus in the presence of a Eucharistic celebration commemorating His life and death to the Holy Cross.

    The message, with the title "How can we be Good Shepherds during the Quarantine Period?" was posted on his personal Facebook page as a reflection for Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter.

    "We have always been reminded that the priesthood is not ours. It is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We share in his priesthood; we exercise his priesthood. Jesus is our High Priest, and his priesthood is forever, because he offered that one perfect sacrifice to God once and for all to reconcile us to God," the bishop said.

    File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    Since churches are closed due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period and the faithful rely on live streamed masses, Bishop Pabillo appealed to his brother priests to offer their sufferings, along with their respective communities to the Lord especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "We do this especially when we offer the mass. So even if there are no mass intentions, even if there are no people, even if there are no cameras, we celebrate the mass because here we exercise our priesthood by offering our pains, anxieties and difficulties, and those of our people, together with the offering of Jesus Christ," he said. 

    "We exercise the priesthood not only during the mass but also when we pray. Here we unite ourselves with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Spend time in prayer, and we have time during the lock down. We can do now an important part of our priesthood – to be intercessors for our people," he added.

    The prelate also stressed the relevance of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this time the crisis to supplement the pre-occupation of external pastoral activities. Moreover, becoming a Good Shepherd also entails them to help the needy in their difficulties.

    "We do not lose our priesthood nor diminish it because we cannot do external pastoral activities. The pastoral work that we can do, and is very effective though hidden, is to offer the sacrifice of the mass and to pray for our people, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Here we are united in a special way to Jesus, the chief shepherd and guardian of our souls," he added.

    The 4th Sunday of Easter was also designated as the World Day of Prayer. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction to, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10). (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Pado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle appointed as Cardinal Bishop in Rome


    His Holiness Pope Francis, has appointed Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as Cardinal Bishop according to a Rescript published on Friday, May 1, 2020.

    The Holy See Press Office released a Rescript about Pope Francis' decision of adding Cardinal Tagle to the highest order of the College of Cardinals, the Order of Cardinal Bishops.

    Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle | File Photo of RCAM-AOC 


    The College of Cardinals is composed of 3 levels--the Cardinal Deacons, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Bishops. The lower level of Cardinals are the Cardinal Deacons, those Cardinals who usually work in the Roman Curia. Cardinal Priests are those who are assigned in the more important dioceses in the different parts of the world.  Most Cardinals are in this level. Some of them also hold office at the Roman Curia. Cardinal Bishops are those who are at the highest level in the College of Cardinals and usually hold suburbicarian titles of important churches around Rome.

    Together with Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, was also elevated to the Order of Cardinal-Bishops.

    The Filipino Cardinal is now among the only 11 Cardinal-Bishops of the Catholic Church.

    Cardinal Tagle was previously the Archbishop of Manila before he was appointed as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on December 8, 2019. He left the Philippines in February 2020 to assume his post at the Vatican. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass on April 26, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Saan natin matatagpuan si Hesus? Maaaring may nagrereklamo sa atin, “Mabuti pa nong panahon, nakita ng mga tao si Hesus. Nagpakita siya at narinig nila ang kanyang tinig. Siya ay nahipo nila.

    But now, where is Jesus? Mula noong muling nabuhay si Hesus, parang naging mailap siya. He no longer stays with his disciples as before. Where is he? How can we get in touch with him? This was also the sentiment of the two disciples leaving Jerusalem. Him, they did not see.

    We can be so preoccupied about seeing him and dealing with him as they had before that this may be the reason why they were blinded to see the new reality of the resurrection.


    Tulad po ni Maria Magdalena, buo ang kanyang paniniwala na patay na si Hesus. At kung wala ang kanyang bangkay sa libingan, ito ay ninakaw. Na hindi na niya na-realize at na-recognize si Hesus kahit na may dalawang angels pang nagsabi sa kanila na siya ay muling mabubuhay, kahit na nga si Jesus mismo ang tumabi sa kanila at nagtanong sa kanya. She was so blinded by her own belief that she was oblivious to a new reality that is now in front of her.

    Ganun din ang dalawang alagad na lumakad paalis ng Jerusalem. They were so sad because their expectation was not fulfilled. They were hoping that he would redeem Israel. Their hope was not wrong. Indeed, Jesus redeemed Israel but probably the manner in which this redemption would happen is not what they were expected. They were expecting a redemption with power, with the defeat of the Romans, with the destruction of the power of oppression.

    Pero hindi yun ang nangyari. Kahit na may nagbalita sa kanila na si Hesus ay wala na sa libingan at may mga angels na nagsabi na muli na siyang nabuhay. Even if what the women saw at the tomb was verified by some of them, still, they were sad and disheartened. Nasa kanila na ang facts ng pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. The facts of the Kerygma na si Hesus ay makapangyari sa kanyang salita at sa kanyang gawa na siya’y pinahuli, na siya’y pinasakitan, na siya’y pinatay, na siya’y muling nabuhay. Pero hindi nila nakita ang magandang balita. Nasa bibig nila ang kuwento ni Hesus ngunit wala sa kanilang puso ang magandang balita.

    How many times this happens also to us? We know the story of Jesus and sometimes by heart, we know the creed, we know our prayers, we can even recite some Bible verses but there is no fire in our hearts, there is no Good News.

    The Good News is not a set of teachings, it is not a story. It is not prayers and rituals.  The Good News is a person whom we have to encounter. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Verbum Domini, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea but the encounter with an event, with a person which gives a new horizon and a definitive direction to our lives.” Sana makatagpo natin si Hesus. Nasaan ba siya? Where we can find him?

    Pero hindi siguro where can we find him? Where can he find us? Kasi si Hesus siya mismo ang lumalapit sa atin. Tandaan natin si Hesus ay hindi nagtatago sa atin. He does not play hide and seek, nagtataguan sa atin. Nagpapakita siya kaya narinig natin ngayon nagpakita siya. Naglakbay siya kasama ng mga alagad at kasama din natin. Minsan nga nakisiksik pa siya upang siya’y pansinin. Ayaw nga siyang pansinin ng dalawa noong nagtatanong siya kung ano ang pinag-uusapan nila sa daan. Sabi nila dismissively, “Ikaw lang yata ang dayuhan sa Jerusalem na hindi alam kung ano ang mga nangyari sa mga araw na ito.” Ngunit nagpumilit si Hesus na ikuwento nila ang bigat na nasa kanilang puso.

    Huwag po tayong mag-alangan na ikuwento kay Jesus ang bigat ng nasa puso natin, ang sama ng loob sa ating mga magulang, ang takot sa kinabukasan, ang mga utang na kailangang harapin, ang ating kalusugan. Napakaraming kumikirot sa puso natin. Gusto ni Jesus na ikuwento natin sa kanya. He journeys with us. He listens to us. He accompanies us along the way. He is with us. Remember that Jesus took the initiative to journey with his disciples. He took the initiatives to ask the questions.

    Why did Jesus insist that the disciples tell him everything? He insists to make them realize that he is present in the realities that they are in no matter how ugly they may be, he is there. He is not absent from them. If he is present on the cross no matter how ugly and painful it was. Also, he is present where we are now even in our sinfulness, in our limitations. Kung nasaan ang kasamaan, kung nasaan ang kalungkutan, nandun si Hesus upang gamutin ang sakit natin, upang hilumin ang sugat natin. Nakikilakbay siya sa atin.

    Si Hesus ay nandun din sa Banal na Kasulatan. Si Hesus na Salita ng Diyos na naging tao ay gumamit ng Salita ng Diyos na nakasulat mula sa aklat ni Moses, ang Pentateuch, ang Torah hanggang sa mga prophets upang magbigay ng liwanag sa kadiliman na dinadaanan ng kanyang mga alagad.

    Hindi ba ganun din ang nangyari sa bundok ng Transfiguration? Moses and Elijah that is Moses and the prophets were conversing with Jesus about what would happen to him in Jerusalem. Kailangan natin ng Bibliya upang maintindihan si Hesus at ang kahulugan ng mga pangyayari sa buhay niya at sa buhay natin. Ito ay hamon sa atin. Let us read, study and understand the Bible. Jesus himself took pains to explain the scriptures to his disciples. Even now whenever we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit works to make us understand what were written under his inspiration.

    Ito rin ang sinabi ni San Pedro sa ating Unang Pagbasa. Dito po narinig natin ang unang sermon sa simabahn, ang paliwanag ni Pedro sa araw ng Pentecostes upang maintindihan ang pangyayari noon at ang pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. Gumamit si Pedro ng mga nakasulat sa Aklat ng mga Awit. In fact, he quoted and explained Psalm 16 na sinabi niya ito’y sinulat ni David hindi tungkol sa kanyang sarili, na hindi siya mabubulok sapagkat alam nila na ang kanyang libingan ay nasa Jerusalem. Sinulat ito ni David ukol sa isang manggagaling sa kanya na siya ay hindi mabubulok. Ang Bibliya rin ang naging susi upang maintindihan si Hesus noong panahon ng Pentecostes. Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Banal na Kasulatan.

    Ang kaalaman sa Bible ay nagdadala ng sigla sa ating puso. Yan ang naramdaman ng mga alagad, “We’re not our hearts burning within us when he spoke us along the way and opened the scriptures to us. Dahil sa kanilang Bible study, nagkaroon din ng bonding ang mga alagad ka Hesus. Hindi na nila itinataboy. Hindi na siya isang dayuhan sa Jerusalem. Kaibigan na ang turing nila sa kanya kaya inanyayahan nila si Hesus na samahan sila sa kanilang hapunan. Hindi lang basta basta sino ang iniimbita natin upang saluhan tayo sa kainan. Marami ang naidudulot ng Bible sa atin. Malaki ang maitutulong ng Bible study sa atin. Pero mas makikilala natin si Jesus kung matagpuan natin siya sa mga banal na sakramento. Sa pagpipiraso ng tinapay namulat ang mga mata ng alagad. Ang Panginoon pala yun.

    Alam ko na isa sa na-mi-miss natin ngayong lockdown ay ang Banal na Komunyon. Matagal tagal na rin na hindi tayo nakatanggap ng komunyon mga limang linggo na. Sana, ito ay magdadala ng matinding pananabik na tanggapin si Hesus sa lalong madaling panahon. Alam natin maraming bagay ay nababalewala natin dahil lang nandiyan lang naman ang mga yan. Kaya ang Misa, ang Komunyon, ang Simbahan ay nababalewala natin kasi nandiyan lang naman yan. Hindi natin na-imagine noon na maaaring mawala ito ng bigla bigla sa atin tulad ngayon. Pero alam naman natin pansamantala lamang ito na i-extend ang quarantine but it will not be extended forever. Pinapadanas lamang ito sa atin pra sana ngayon ay huwag nating balewalain si Jesus na nasa Blessed Sacrament.

    Noong nakilala na ng mga alagad si Hesus. Hindi lang sila nagsaya. Bumalik silang excited sa mga alagad sa Jerusalem…   ang nilakbay nilang labing isang kilometro ng dahan dahan sa loob ng apat o limang oras ay tinakbo nila ng isang oras lang pabalik nung gabi ding yun. Ang community na kanilang malungkot na iniwanan ay kanilang masayang binalikan. Hindi natin maaaring makatagpo si Jesus na muling nabuhay na hindi tayo sa samahan ni Jesus. 

    Receiving the body of Christ in a Eucharist, we become more inserted into the body of Christ – the Church. It is the Church that will confirm our experience. Tulad nung mga alagad sinabi nila, “Yes, the Lord is truly risen.” He has appeared to Simon that’s why Christ continues to guide us in our Christian communities.

    Ang tanong natin kanina, nasaan ba si Hesus ngayon? Dahil sa Resurrection, lumawak ang presensiya ni Jesus. Hindi lang matatagpuan ang Diyos sa isang tao, sa isang laman, sa isang lugar. Matatagpuan natin si Jesus ngayon sa daan, along the way nasaan man ang daang yan. Sa ating paglalakbay sa buhay na ito, gaano man kasalimuot, kahirap, kadilim nandyan si Hesus. Siya ang naghahanap sa atin at nakikilakbay sa atin.

    Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Banal na Kasulatan at sa ngayon panahon, the Bible is accessible to all of us. Sana po ito’y buksan natin at matagpuan natin si Hesus.

    Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Eukaristiya at sa mga sakramento at itong ating inaabangan na makabalik na tayo at matanggap ang mga sakramento.

    Si Hesus ay matatagpuan natin sa kanyang sambayanan, sa ating mga Christian communities, mga samahan ng mga pananampalataya. Malawak ang presensiya ni Hesus ngayon na siya’y muling nabuhay. Hindi siya nagtatago. Nandiyan siya kasama natin siya. (RCAM-AOC)

  • City Mayors to join Archdiocese of Manila in Prayer for Healing on May 13


    On May 13, 2020, the 103rd anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will preside a Eucharist celebration at the Manila Cathedral, at 12 noon. The mass will also be an act of consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    The five Mayors of the cities within the Archdiocese will be attending the mass--Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Domagoso (Manila), Mayor Carmelita Abalos (Mandaluyong), Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (Pasay), Mayor Abigail Binay (Makati), and Mayor Francisco Zamora (San Juan).  After the Eucharistic celebration, each mayor will offer a flower as a sign of filial trust and devotion to the Blessed Mother.

    “The presence of the five mayors will be a deep sign of togetherness as an Archdiocese in imploring our Mother’s help. Your personal presence in the said event will be very much appreciated by your constituents,” Bishop Pabillo wrote in his letter to the five mayors," Bishop Pabillo said.


    In his Pastoral Statement titled “Consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary” released on April 28, Bishop Pabillo encouraged the faithful to intensify their devotion to Mary especially this month of May which is the Marian month, amidst the enhanced community quarantine brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    “As we enter the month of May, what comes to our mind is the Blessed Virgin Mary. May is the month of Mama Mary. We have many fiestas of our Lady on this month. We have the Flores de Mayo celebrations. We will all miss these this year. Nevertheless, let us keep the month of May as a Marian month,” he said.

    “During this month let us intensify the devotion to our Blessed Mother in our homes. We can decorate the altar of Mama Mary. We can daily pray the Holy Rosary as a family. We may not be able to offer flowers but we can daily offer some small good deed to Our Mother,” he added.

    The prelate also stated in his Pastoral Statement that from the first week of May, a series of catechetical instructions will be available online explaining the meaning and implication of the consecration. A triduum (three days) of daily penance and rosary will start from May 10 and will culminate on the common Act of Consecration on May 13.

    “We do this to implore the protection of the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine. We need strength from above, and we have a powerful intercessor in Mama Mary to get that heavenly help,” he said.

    The Mass will be streamed online via RCAM SOCOM platforms: TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila-Office of Communications.

    On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared before three children – Lucia Abobora, 9, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, 6 and 7. They were tending a flock of sheep outside the tiny village in Fatima, Portugal, when they saw Our Lady wearing a white mantle, edged with gold they described as "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light", and held a rosary in her hand. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Statement: Consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    We have started the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) last March 15.

    Now the month of May is upon us. We never thought then, that the quarantine

    would be so long. We have accepted the lockdown for the sake of the common

    good, though by now it is taking its toll on us. There is restlessness, and even

    fear, mostly because of its economic effects. Many people are unsure of their

    future. It is in this situation that we need to be strong with the strength that

    comes from above. St. Paul wrote: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor.

    12:10). This strength no longer comes from him.


    As we enter the month of May, what comes to our mind is the Blessed Virgin

    Mary. May is the month of Mama Mary. We have many fiestas of our Lady on

    this month. We have the Flores de Mayo celebrations. We will all miss these this

    year. Nevertheless, let us keep the month of May as a Marian month. During this

    month let us intensify the devotion to our Blessed Mother in our homes. We can

    decorate the altar of Mama Mary. We can daily pray the Holy Rosary as a family.

    We may not be able to offer flowers but we can daily offer some small good deed

    to Our Mother.

    As we try to do these individually in our homes, let us also do something

    together as an Archdiocese. The main patron of our Archdiocese is the

    Immaculate Conception. We are a Marian local church. On May 13, which is the

    103rd anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, at 12 noon, we will

    have a Holy Mass in the Manila Cathedral during which we will consecrate the

    whole Archdiocese of Manila to the Blessed Virgin. The prayer of consecration

    will be done by all of the faithful of the Archdiocese to be led by the mayors of

    the five cities that comprise the Archdiocese: Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasay,

    Makati, and San Juan. It will be beautiful when all the people God, led by their

    civil and religious leaders, put themselves under the protection of the Blessed

    Virgin.

    In order that this act of consecration be meaningful, from the first week of May,

    there will be a series of catechetical instructions online explaining the meaning

    and implication of such consecration. Then from May 10, we will start a triduum

    (three days) of daily penance and rosary which will culminate on the common

    Act of Consecration on the 13th. We do this to implore the protection of the

    powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as

    we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine. We need

    strength from above, and we have a powerful intercessor in Mama Mary to get

    that heavenly help.

    Already I thank the honorable mayors of our cities, Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’

    Domagoso, Mayor Carmelita Abalos, Mayor Abigail Binay, Mayor Imelda

    Calixto-Rubiano, and Mayor Francisco Zamora, for showing their willingness to

    join us in the Holy Eucharist to pray together in filial devotion to the Blessed

    Mother. We thank them for their gigantic effort to serve their constituents in this

    difficult time.

     

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

    + BRODERICK PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

     

    April 28, 2020

  • Religious Services also a Frontline in COVID-19 pandemic


    In his reflection called "Religious Services are Essential Services," posted on his Facebook account, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila emphasized the importance of Church services and identifying them as an important frontline during the outbreak of COVID-19.

    The prelate explained that hope and resilience are strengthened and are received by the faithful through spiritual nourishment obtained in religious services. This makes it easier for them to manage fears and anxieties brought by the threats of coronavirus pandemic.

    "At this time, after more than 5 weeks of being cooped up in our houses, and with the great uncertainly about our future, people need hope. They need the assurance of a benign higher power on whom they can depend in this time of uncertainty. This is given by religion, more so in the Philippines, where the people are very religious. Religion is very important for Filipinos. For the vast majority, it is faith that gives them strength especially in difficulties," he said.

    Photo Credit: Most Holy Trinity Parish Facebook Page

     
    Bishop Pabillo affirmed that, due to the current circumstances, the streaming services of Holy Mass is a good option for the faithful at the moment since the declaration of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Moreover, It is also a way for the faithful to continuously develop a connection with God in difficult times. 

    "People turn to online masses and church services. They find in them great comfort and strength to carry on. These services give meaning to their struggles and assure them that they are not alone, that all these will pass away. There is a loving God in whom they can depend. All of these keep them spiritually strong and psychologically sane, even," he said.

    The Bishops points out, however, that the actual services in Churches remain very important. He expressed his hope that after the quarantine period, the faithful would remain eager to go to Mass in the same way when they participate in the regular Sunday masses either online.  

    "We cannot therefore say that religious services are peripheral to the people. They see them as essential, and the sign that things are going back to normal is when they are again able to go to church and attend the services. This will uplift their spirits to a great extent," he said. 

    Following the "new normal" when the ECQ will be lifted, Bishop Pabillo stressed that the Church is willing to adhere to safety measures in order for policymakers to consider the Church to be open again for the faithful.

    "So when the decision makers consider the essential services to be allowed, they should also consider the opening of the churches and its services as important. Of course, necessary precautions should be taken, like the proper social distancing and the sanitation practices to be done in the churches. We cannot also just go back to the old practices as before. Many things will also change in the way we do our services in the Church," he added. 

    Bishop Pabillo also stated in his Post COVID Ministry II reflection that safety protocols and constant sanitation of the Churches will be implemented when there are Church gatherings or activities. 

    On April 24, the national government declared an extension of the enhanced community quarantine starting May 1 until May 15. The National Capital Region is considered as one of the high-risk areas in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno)

  • Priest shares experience being with Frontliners combatting COVID-19


    “Mga frontliners huwag po kayo susukong tumawag lagi kay Hesus dahil Siya ang kasa-kasama ninyo kumikilos at gumagalaw sa ginagawa ninyong paglilingkod at pagliligtas ng buhay” said Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar at San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City when he visited and blessed the medical frontliners at VRP Medical Center on April 17, 2020.

    Amidst the enhanced community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the VRP Medical Center in Mandaluyong City provided a floor that serves as a temporary room for their front liners to rest and sleep as well as providing place of refuge and safety for the medical workers.

    Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao/San Felipe Neri Parish


    Despite the fearsome threat of COVID-19, Fr. Hans said he was honored and glad that he had an opportunity to bless the frontliners in each floor, although with precautions and limitations. The hospital also provided him a complete set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use during the blessing of their personnel.

    “Ganon pala yung pakiramdam non na parang isa bang patikim. Maganda nga kasi bago mag-kapistahan ng Banal na Awa ay parang pinaramdam din sa akin ng Diyos yung higit pa…‘yong konting patikim lang yung isa’t kalahating oras lang ako naka-PPE pero alam natin may sampu o labing-dalawang oras na frontliners na naka-PPE.” He said.

    He also explained that during the blessing, they were not allowed to go inside the hospital rooms for their safety and the safety of the patients. Instead, they were instructed to walk and bless the front-liners who are in the corridors, elevators, stairs and nurse stations only.

    In his message, he stated that the Church is praying with the medical front liners and all other kinds of front liners. It is also a call to strengthen their will in serving and saving lives infected by the COVID-19 virus.

    “Tatagan po ninyo ang inyong kalooban. Tatagan po ninyo at ingatan rin ang inyong katawan. Makakaasa ho kayo na hindi rin kami mapapagod. Sisikapin namin na ‘wag mapagod sa pagdarasal… ingatan ninyo ang inyong buhay pananampalataya” he added.

    The San Felipe Neri Parish also gave food, drinks, face shields and gloves to the frontliners in VRP Medical Center and National Center for Mental Health. Other frontliners during the ECQ were also given provisions by the parish--delivery men, garbage collectors, security guards, etc. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Divine Mercy Sunday Mass on April 19, 2020, at 10 a.m.

    The Divine Mercy is a new devotion that spread rapidly in our time. It was promoted by St. Maria Faustina Koalska who was canonized only in the year 2000. She lived between 1905 and 1939. A contemporary of many elderly people among us. And she wrote her visions and conversations with the Lord in a book called “Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul.”

    Ang mga nakasulat sa diary na ito ay bahagi ng tinatawag nating private revelation. Hindi tayo obligado na maniwala dito pero huwag din nating balewalain ang mga sinasabi ng mga private revelations.  Sinabi po ni Papa Benedicto sa kanyang liham -  Verbum Domini, “A private revelation can introduce new emphasis, give rise to new forms of piety or deepen older ones. It can have a certain prophetic character and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the gospel in our time. And it should not be treated lightly. It is a help which is offered but its use is not obligatory.”


    Mabilis ang pagkalat ng debosyon ng Divine Mercy dahil sa ito ay angkop na angkop sa ating panahon ngayon. Mula noong year 2000, itinalaga ni John Paul II na ang Second Sunday of Easter will be known as the Divine Mercy Sunday. At ito nga ang nagbigay ng malaking tulak upang makilala ang Divine Mercy.

    Ang isa pong katangian ng ating panahon ngayon ay ang pagiging malupit natin dahil po sa technology at competition. Ang hinahanap ng mga tao ay ang mga magaling, ang efficient, ang productive. Sa paaralan kinikilala lang ang mga matatalino, ang mga nasa top ten. Sa mga kompanya ang na-pro-promote ay yung mga effective, ang mga nagdadala ng malaking kita. Napaka-competitive po ang sports ngayon kaya may mga gumagamit nga ng mga steroids para maging malakas at bumilis.

    This situation pushes people to give their best but unfortunately in this situation there are few winners and a lot of users. Ilan lang naman ang tumatanyag. Ilan lang naman ang napro-promote. Ang karamihan ay naiiwanan. Marami ay napapabayaan. Kapag walang pakinabang o kaya nagkamali, pupulutin ka na lang sa kangkungan. Ito rin ang maaaring maging pananaw natin sa ating spiritual life. Ang mga nagkakamali ay hindi na pinapansin. We may feel that we are not good enough because we have failed or we have sinned.

    Ganun din kalupit ang buhay sa mga drug addicts na pinapatay nalang na wala na silang pag-asa. Ang mga naghahanap ng katarungan ay pinagbibintangan ng maka-kaliwa. Ang mga nakakagawa ng krimen ay dapat ng bitayin. Nawala na ang awa ng tao sa kanyang kapwa kaya tuloy ang mga matatanda, ang mga mahihina, ang mga may sakit ay napapabayaan na.

    At hindi lang po upang tayoý makilala, kailangan meron tayong credentials - saan ka ba nakapag-aral? Ano ba work experience mo? Dapat may ipakita tayong mga certificates. Parang ganun din ang naiisip ng iba para tayo’y mapansin ng Diyos, dapat meron tayong credentials – kasama ka ba sa simbahan? Nakakagawa ka ba ng mabuti? Pero makakalapit ba tayo sa Diyos sa credentials natin?

    The message of the Divine Mercy is that God does not deal with us in this way. He does not look for credentials, for achievements, for certificates. Because the joy of God is to give and to forgive and to show mercy. He reaches out to those who don’t deserve him. At ito’y nakikita natin sa muling pagkabuhay. Itong mga alagad na duwag na tinalikuran siya. They don’t deserve him. And yet, Jesus looked out and search for them noong siya’y muling nabuhay.

    Kaya nga ang larawan natin sa Divine Mercy tulad nito ay ang mga liwanag na nanggagaling sa puso ni Hesus na inaabot yung mga tao. The first gift that Jesus gave to his disciples at his resurrection was the gift of peace and the gift of peace which is the result of forgiveness.

    As I’ve said, all of them failed him but he did not…them for having abandoned him. In fact, he forgave them and not only did he forgive them, he entrusted to them the power also to forgive.

    Ganun po kadakila ang habag ng Diyos. At pinaramdam niya ito kay Tomas. Nagmatigas si Tomas, “Kung hindi ko mailalagay ang aking daliri sa kanyang kamay, kung hindi ko mailagay ang aking kamay sa kanyang tagiliran sa butas ng kanyang sugat, hindi ako maniniwala,” sinabi ni Tomas.

    Hindi ni Hesus pinarusahan ang pagmamatigas ni Tomas. Pinagbigyan niya ang kahilingan ni Tomas, “Sige, ilagay mo ang iyong kamay sa aking tagiliran. Tignan mo ang butas ng sugat ng aking kamay. Iwanan mo na ang iyong pag-aalinlangan. Maniwala ka na,” ang pakiusap ni Hesus kay Tomas.

    Sa ating pangkaraniwang paraan, kapag tayo ay napatotohanang tama, ibig natin ipamukha sa iba na mali sila, na tama tayo. Pero hindi ito ang ginawa ni Hesus. Noong siya’y muling nabuhay, hindi siya nagpakita kay Pontio Pilato at pinamukha sa kanya na mali ang hatol mo. Hindi siya nagpakita kay Kaifas at Anas at sa mga leaders ng mga hudyo na hinahamon siya, “Kung ikaw ang Kristo, bumaba ka diyan, at maniwala kami.” Hindi niya pinamukha sa kanila na mali siya.

    His purpose was not to prove his enemies wrong. His purpose was to strengthen his disciples and to give them life. He did not waste his time proving others wrong.

    For the past 2000 years, the message of the resurrection has been passed on one from one generation to the next. At hindi nalalaos ang message na ito. Ito ay hindi lang pinalaganap ng mga preachings ng mga apostles. Ang muling pagkabuhay ay buhay na buhay dahil sa buhay ng mga Kristiyano.

    Napakinggan natin sa unang pagbasa ang uri ng buhay ng mga Christians. Ramdam ng mga tao na kakaiba ang community na ito. Nagkakaisa sila at nagtutulungan. Walang mahirap sa kanila dahil walang mayaman. Ang mga mayroon pinagbibili ang ari-arian nila at ibinabahagi sa mga walang wala. Dito nakikita na may power, the power of sharing sa komunidad na iyon. Ang pinagkakaisahan nila ay hindi lang ang material na bagay ngunit ang buhay panalangin; ang buhay na naaayos sa aral ng mga apostol; ang buhay ng pagpipiraso ng tinapay; ibig sabihin ang banal na misa; at ang buhay ng pagkakapatiran, pagtutulungan. Ito rin sana ang magbuklod sa atin bilang bayan ng Diyos hanggang ngayon. Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat nagkakaisa tayo sa dasal.

    Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat nagkakaisa tayo sa banal na Misa. Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat iisa ang paniniwala natin – ang katarungan ng mga apostol. Tayo’y isang sambayanan sapagkat tayo’y nagtutulungan. These are the things that make us Church hanggang ngayon.

    Ang message of the Divine Mercy is good news to us. That means that God does not deal with us because we deserve it. Even if we do not deserve it, God loves us. Kaya wag tayong mag-atubili na lumapit sa kanya kung ganoon ang pakikitungo natin sa Diyos ganun din dapat ang ating pakikitungo sa isa’t isa kaya the Divine Mercy devotion is not only receiving the mercy of God but also sharing the mercy of God to the others especially the vulnerable.

    Kaya part of the devotion of the Divine Mercy is to perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy which we can all do. Kahit na ngayon panahon ng quarantine, we can do the spiritual works of mercy, ano ba yun?

    Admonishing the sinner – itutuwid natin yung mga mali. Kapag sinasabihan natin ang gumagawa ng masama na mali ang kanilang ginagawa, we are performing a spiritual work of mercy. Instructing the ignorant – turuan sila sa mga bagay tungkol sa katotohanan tungkol sa Diyos. Counselling the doubtful, …patiently, forgiving offenses willingly. Nagkamali yung iba, patawarin natin sila. Comforting the afflicted and so many people are afflicted these days and praying for the living and the dead. Already in this Mass, when we pray for the living and the dead, we are exercising a spiritual work of mercy.

    At ganun din po kailangan din natin ipadama sa iba ang corporal work of mercy. Corporal sapagkat yan ay kailangan ng katawan tulad ng feeding the hungry. Maraming tao ngayon ay gutom. Sa ating pagbabahagi ng pagkain, we are doing a corporal work of mercy. Giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick or caring for the sick, visiting the prisoner, burying the dead.

    So, ito yung mga gawain po natin ngayon na kailangan natin i-promote because of our devotion to the Divine Mercy.

    Sa ating panahon ngayon, talagang naaangkop ang mga spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Talagang maraming mga tao na kung titignan lang natin sa kanilang kakayahan, parang hindi na nila kaya. Gusto na nilang bumigay. But God is rich in mercy and compassion. Kahit anong pagkakamali natin, nandiyan siya upang tayo ay tulungan. And we are grateful to God’s compassion to us. And as we are grateful to God’s compassion, let us on our part make others feel God’s mercy to them through our care. We have seen this and we are seeing this these days through the selfless dedication of our frontliners. Yung mga tumutulong sa atin sa mga ospital, sa mga palengke, yung mga pulis. Marami po yung nagbubuwis ng buhay nila para makatulong sa kapwa. Yung mga voluneers na nagbibigay ng mga pagkain sa mga mahirap sa mga parokya natin. This is a sign of mercy that we are giving to others.

    My dear friends, let us praise and thank the Lord. God is merciful. Let us do what we can on our part to spread God’s merciful love to others. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Internationalis to provide support for local Churches


    Caritas Internationalis initiated a “COVID-19 Response Fund” to extend support and assistance to the local Churches that respond to aid those directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to Caritas Internationalis website, the fund will be disbursed for priority health care services, particularly for prevention and control of infections, access to clean water and sanitation, procurement of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc).



    Aloysius John, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis emphasized that the goal of the response fund is to reach the local Churches and fund their small projects to express solidarity with the people, especially during this coronavirus crisis.

    “The coronavirus solidarity fund is a means to assist small projects which will allow Caritas to help the people who are confined. We are there to help them create solidarity. We are all in solidarity before the virus, but I think we also have to be in solidarity with people to help them live with dignity,” he said.

    The secretary general invited the faithful to be one with them in this cause.

    “Let us join hands in helping us to help the poor, the needy, and the most vulnerable. Pope Francis wants us to be ‘educators of solidarity’ and, at the same time, actors in the field of solidarity,” he added.

    John reiterated the Pope's message urging the faithful to be united in these challenging times especially by helping the needy as a way of the Church to be with the people.

    “Pope Francis is very much preoccupied with Covid-19, and he wants the Church to express solidarity with the local Churches and help them at this moment as a gesture of witnessing the universal love and care of the universal Church for the local Church,” he said in an interview by Vatican Radio.

    The Supreme Pontiff created a commission that focuses on battling the coronavirus pandemic led by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The aim of the commission is to “to express the church’s concern and love for the entire human family in the face of the of COVID-19 pandemic.”

    The commission is composed of five working groups. Caritas Internationalis serves as the first working group in the commission which is tasked with attending the needs of the local Churches.

    In the Philippines, Alay Kapwa sa Pamayanan: Caritas Kindness Stations are being set up in parishes to respond to those who are affected by the pandemic.

    Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of over 160 members who are working at the grassroots in almost every country, and it is headed by H.E. Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Archbishop-Emeritus of Manila. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Bishop Pabillo visits Shelter and Assures Support to the Poor


    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, visited the poor families living in the streets of Manila affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that are in the shelter of Paco Catholic School (PCS) on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.

    PCS is one of the Catholic facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila that has been made available to help the poor families affected by the worldwide outbreak of the corona virus. The school opened not just to give shelter but also to feed the homeless and street dwellers. 

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila visits the poor families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under the shelter of Paco Catholic School on April 13, 2020 (Easter Monday).

     

    According to Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, chaplain of PCS, Bishop Pabillo gave a short Easter message to the families to inspire and assure them of the Church’s support for them during this time of crisis.

    At present, PCS shelters 178 homeless and street dwellers coming from the different areas in Manila.

    Aside from PCS, Bishop Pabillo said on the third part of his reflection titled “Post COVID-19 Ministry,” the Church was able to give shelter to 440 street people in 8 facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila and 510 medical frontliners were given lodging in 23 parishes, schools, hostels and convents.

    The Church was also able to distribute gift checks and food packs to more than 400,000 families in different parishes in the archdiocese. As of April 14, 2020, Caritas Manila’s Oplan Damayan has released 1,367,495 gift certificates to 1,277,372 poor families within Metro Manila as well as to the other neighboring provinces. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Works of Charity Characterize Lent and Easter 2020


    On the third part of his reflection entitled “Post COVID-19 Ministry”, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, noted how during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila have been busy preparing not just for liturgical celebrations of Holy Week but also in helping the people who are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In the past month, most of the work of many parishes was not that of liturgical celebrations. Of course, we had to prepare our churches and ourselves for the online masses and other religious services. Those did not take much time,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “What took most of our time was organizing how to distribute the gift certificates (GCs) and in large part, the actual giving of the GCs to the poor families together with our volunteers and barangay officials. Some parishes also spent time packing rice and other goods to distribute to the people,” he added.

    Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish

    According to the prelate, during this time of pandemic, the Church’s important expression of work is to help the poor. The Church, according to him, did its best to help people. In particular, he cited giving shelter to more than 440 street people in 8 facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila. There are also 510 medical frontliners who were given lodging in 23 parishes, schools, hostels and convents.

    Aside from the housing and shelter offered, the Church also received help in the form of food items and sleeping materials from religious communities and generous parishioners. They were also able to distribute gift checks and food packs to more than 400,000 families in different parishes in the archdiocese.

    As of April 14, 2020, Caritas Manila’s Oplan Damayan has released 1,367,495 gift certificates to 1,277,372 poor families.

    Bishop Pabillo also stated in his reflection that even after the quarantine, the church should set up structures that should maintain its relationship with those who were helped as well as those who helped during the pandemic. He pointed out to the reality that even after May 1, when the ECQ is projected to be lifted, the virus will still be around so the need to contain it shall continue.

    “After the quarantine days, it would not be right to just toss the street people back to the streets and to let the hospitals take care of their medical staff. We have to maintain the good will and the relationships that we have created with the beneficiaries, with the donors and with the administrations of various medical institutions,” he said.

    Despite the situation, the Bishop reminds the priests in the archdiocese that apart from helping those affected by the quarantine, parishes should also fulfill their obligations to their staff. A careful planning should be made with their finance councils on how to make ends meet in the coming months.

    “As we have decided at the start of the lock down, as much as possible we will not dismiss people from our workforce. If people are not able to work, it is not that they do not want to work. Everyone among us is a victim of these hard times,” he said.

    As the faithful faces the hard times of the quarantine period, the Bishop asked them to be patient with the situation.

    “As we try to help our parish and school personnel, let us also explain to them to be patient and not to demand the same treatment as before, as if nothing had happened,” he said.

    “The challenge now is how to keep the morale of our people high in spite of the fact that we all face hard times. Let us all face this new situation with generosity and trust,” he added. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 3)


    In the past month, most of the work of many parishes was not that of liturgical celebrations. Of course, we had to prepare our churches and ourselves for the online masses and other religious services. Those did not take much time. What took most of our time was organizing how to distribute the gift certificates (GCs) and in large part, the actual giving of the GCs to the poor families together with our volunteers and barangay officials. Some parishes also spent time packing rice and other goods to distribute to the people. In a word, works of charity characterized our church activities during this time.


    We have done a lot to help many people during this lock down. We now house more than 440 street people in 8 facilities in the archdiocese of Manila. Some 510 medical front liners are given lodging in 23 parishes, hostels, and convents. We have generously received help in the form of food items and sleeping materials from many religious communities and generous parishioners. Helping the poor has been an important expression of our work as church during these days. We were able to reach more than 400,000 families through our gift checks and food packs.

    After the quarantine days, it would not be right to just toss the street people back to the streets and to let the hospitals take care of their medical staff. We have to maintain the good will and the relationships that we have created with the beneficiaries, with the donors and with the administrations of various medical institutions. The parishes, schools and religious communities need to set up structures that can create a continuous relationship with the people. Besides, it would not mean that come May 1, there would no longer be any COVID 19. This virus will be around for some time so our effort to contain it should also continue.

    Another consideration that we have to look deeply are our financial situation. People will give to the church once the public services start, but surely not as much as they had been doing. Everyone’s pocket has been affected by the quarantine. Thus the parishes are to plan very carefully with their finance councils how to make ends meet in the coming months. It is good that there are already vicariates who help the poor parishes meet their obligations to their personnel. As we have decided at the start of the lock down, as much as possible we will not dismiss people from our workforce. If people are not able to work, it is not that they do not want to work. Everyone among us is a victim of these hard times.

    As we try to help our parish and school personnel, let us also explain to them to be patient and not to demand the same treatment as before, as if nothing had happened. The challenge now is how to keep the morale of our people high in spite of the fact that we all face hard times. Let us all face this new situation with generosity and trust.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 14, 2020

  • Media Ministry plays vital role in the Catholic Church


    "The media apostolate is here to stay and will play a greater role in the life of the Church from now on."

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila wrote this in his reflection called "Post COVID Ministry" which was released on April 13, 2020.

    Bishop Pabillo pointed out how the Church saw the significant contribution of the media ministry in every parish and religious institution during the Holy Week liturgical celebrations while in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, thus, urges parishes and communities to "set up good social media ministries."

    "Some realizations become clear to us. First, the importance of the social media. Parishes who have well-developed social media ministry are able to reach their people easily and offer them services. Thus we should develop our social media ministry," he said.

    "Online religious services are here to stay. Many of our elderly people will hesitate to go to church; the social distancing cannot be easily done in our churches because we do not have that many churches," he added.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during his pastoral visit to San Roque de Manila Parish in August 2019. | Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish Facebook Page

     

    He also stated in his reflection how important the media has become in the ministry for the sick, and this is one of the things the coronavirus outbreak has allowed the church to take into consideration.

    "We should seriously think as an archdiocese to strengthen our ministry to the sick, even down to the parochial level. This ministry does not only cater to the sick in the hospitals but also to the medical staff, and also to the sick and the elderly in their homes," he said.

    The Bishop also sees the need to recruit and deploy more lay ministers that will give communion to the sick and the elderly. He sees the possibility of more elder people being able to participate at Mass online amidst the lockdown and also be able to receive Holy Communion in their homes.

    "In many parishes, we either do not have enough lay ministers, or many of our lay ministers are old, or both. The elderly ones can no longer give communion in the homes because they themselves are susceptible to be infected. Thus we need to recruit more and younger lay ministers," he said.

    On the issue raised by those who criticized the Catholic Church on the money to be used to help the poor, Bishop Pabillo said that it died down because the churches,  schools and religious houses were the first to open its doors to feed and shelter those who were affected by the pandemic - the homeless and street dwellers, the medical frontliners and all the other uniformed personnel who battle COVID-19.

    He also lauded Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila and its partnership with the business community and the government for the efficient and rapid mobilization of extending help and assistance to the poor families.

    Caritas Manila distributed more than P1billion worth of gift certificates to poor families. Each family received one thousand pesos worth of gift certificate. This was made possible through the help of the 668 parishes in mega Manila and its volunteers.

    He also recognized the good networking of the parishes with the barangay, which helped them identify the poor families in different areas. This, according to Bishop Pabillo, is through the establishment of the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities (BEC).

    "Naging mabango ang simbahan sa buwang ito dahil sa ang simbahan ay bumaba sa mga tao. Talagang naramdaman nila ang simbahan, hindi sa kanyang gawaing pangsamba ngunit sa kanyang pagtulong sa mahihirap."

    In the last part of his reflection, the Bishop informed the faithful that he will be releasing more reflections that "would set some paths for the ministry of the church after the lock down."

    He asked them to "deepen and widen the conversation on this topic of challenges to the ministry these coming days. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocols for Church Gatherings proposed in view of ECQ lifting


    In the second part of his Post COVID-19 Ministry reflection series, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Archdiocese of Manila's Apostolic Administrator, proposed how parishes could start again having mass gatherings once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted in Luzon, but remaining conscious about the continued threat of Corona virus.

    An important point emphasized by the Bishop is to continue to follow the social distancing protocols when the Mass or any other liturgical gatherings are celebrated again in churches. This would of course have implications.


    “This can also mean the re-training of our ushers. We should get younger ones who can politely ask the people to keep social distancing. Each parish is to determine the adequate spaces to be observed between the mass attendees,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “Perhaps big celebrations should be done outdoors to follow the social distancing protocols. The churches can also invest in big LCD screens and a good outdoor sound system so that people can remain outside and still be part of the celebration,” he added.

    Another safety practice that Bishop Pabillo recommends is the regular sanitation of the church and other parish buildings as well as the faithful themselves who come into the church.

    “Another thing that is here to stay is our consciousness of the need for constant handwashing. A regular feature of our churches will now be the alcohol bottles or hand sanitizers that will be made ubiquitous at the door of our churches and offices. A foot bath is to be provided at the door steps of our churches and offices,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    In addition, he suggested that every parish should have a “sanitation ministry” that would have the main task of disinfecting or cleaning the pews in between masses.

    The Filipino custom of “mano po” (blessing the hands of elders) can also be changed. “Instead of getting the hand of the elderly or the priest and putting it on one’s forehead, or much worse, kissing the ring of the bishop,” he said, the people may opt to show their respect by a polite bow and similar gestures.

    On the touching of statues which Filipinos are also fond of doing, Bishop Pabillo said that the faithful should “be educated to do without this form of reverence anymore.” He said that “a slight bow or a moment of silent prayer in front of a statue is also a worthy expression of our desire to commune with God and his saints.”

    Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the declaration of ECQ, the faithful are not able to receive the Sacrament of Confession. Instead, they are advised to pray an act of contrition with firm resolve until they are able to go to confession to a priest when the situation allows them to.

    After the lockdown, the Bishop encourages that Vicariates and parishes should organize a "Kumpisalang Bayan" (Penitential service) where the faithful can avail of the sacrament of confession. The re-designing of confessional box should also be considered for it to give enough room for social distancing.

    The prelate at the end of his reflection encourages the priests to practice other safety measures and also to give instructions to the faithful as to why these protocols have to be observed.

    "Let us use our creativity on how to serve our people in the new situation that we are now in. If the new practices that we will adapt are properly explained to the people, they will understand. They will even appreciate that we are making changes so that we can serve God without jeopardizing our loved ones," he said.  (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 2)


    An effect of the Corona virus pandemic that is here to stay is social distancing. The consciousness and the practice of social distancing will be with us long after the quarantine is lifted. What would this imply in our ministries in the Church? How do we limit the attendance of the people in our services? This may mean additional masses on Sundays and asking the people to come on the times when there are less people in order to reduce the density of mass goers in any given time. This can also mean the re-training of our ushers. We should get younger ones who can politely ask the people to keep social distancing. Each parish is to determine the adequate spaces to be observed between the mass attendees. Perhaps big celebrations should be done outdoors to follow the social distancing protocols. The churches can also invest in big LCD screens and a good outdoor sound system so that people can remain outside and still be part of the celebration.

     


    Another thing that is here to stay is our consciousness of the need for constant handwashing. A regular feature of our churches will now be the alcohol bottles or hand sanitizers that will be made ubiquitous at the door of our churches and offices. A foot bath is to be provided at the door steps of our churches and offices. A new ministry can be started in the parishes – perhaps to be called “sanitation ministry” – whose task is to disinfect or clean the pews in between masses. This would mean that masses should no longer be on an hourly basis. Some time should be given between services for the cleaning of the pews and other “high touch” surfaces much used in the church.

    An important Filipino social custom may also change – that of the mano po. Instead of getting the hand of the elderly or the priest and putting it on one’s forehead, or much worse, kissing the ring of the bishop, the people would be taught to show their respect by a polite bow and similar gestures.

    As Filipinos we are a tactile people. We want to express our nearness by touching. This we do to one another and also to the objects of devotion. Thus we see people lovingly and devotedly touching the statues and even the casing of the statues. We have to be educated to do without this form of reverence anymore. A slight bow or a moment of silent prayer in front of a statue is also a worthy expression of our desire to commune with God and his saints.

    We have been telling the people during lent that if we cannot go to confession, we can obtain God’s forgiveness by a sincere contrition of our sins with firm resolve to come to confess our sins to a priest as soon as there is the opportunity. One of the conditions to fulfill in order to receive the plenary indulgence is to confess our sins to a priest. After the lockdown, it would be good if the vicariates can organize a kumpisalan ng bayan in all the parishes so that the faithful can avail themselves of this sacrament. Perhaps it would also help if parishes can re-design their confessional boxes that it would no longer be stuffy but that there be enough room for social distancing during confession. Proper physical distance should still be kept during the kumpisalan ng bayan.

    Let us use our creativity on how to serve our people in the new situation that we are now in. If the new practices that we will adapt are properly explained to the people, they will understand. They will even appreciate that we are making changes so that we can serve God without jeopardizing our loved ones.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 13, 2020

  • Jesus' Resurrection: A time for Renewed Values

    "We have to live behind our usual way of thinking and doing. But think and do things where Jesus is. We live his values."

    This was the reflection of Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Archdiocese of Manila when he delivered his homily, urging the faithful to renewed perspective, during the Easter Vigil celebration at the Manila Cathedral on April 11, 2020.

    The prelate explained that in Baptism, the faithful denounces the works of evil. In the Resurrection, Jesus' triumph reveals a new life that challenges the faithful to follow the life lived by Jesus, exemplifying an authentic life.


    "Noong tayo ay bininyagan, namatay tayo sa mga makamundong bagay. Tulad ni Hesus na namatay sa mga taong kalagayan niya.Kaya tayo’y binaon sa tubig. Ang buhay natin ngayon ay pakikiisa na sa resurrected life of Jesus which is a new kind of life.  Kaya ang mga konsiderasyon natin ay hindi na ang mga makamundong bagay kundi ang mga bagay kung nasaan si Hesus," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo expressed his hope for the faithful to be inspired by Risen Lord to be Christians who strive to live the values that the Resurrection embodies. These values call the faithful to a change of mindset.

    "These and similar things are the values where Jesus is now. Seated at the right hand of the Father. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth. Dahil sa muling pagkabuhay, hindi na tayo nag-aalalinlangan, hindi na tayo natatakot na sundin ang values ni Hesus tulad ng paninindigan para sa katotohanan at sa katarungan. These values may bring persecution, may bring difficulties as it did to Jesus. But Jesus is risen. These values of Jesus will ultimately bring us new life as it did to Jesus," he said.

    In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, the Bishop points out the positive effects that this situation has brought, that is, the Church is mad present and alive in the Christian Homes, that families pray together and recognize the small things with great value.

    "This year, the disciplines of Lent have been imposed on us by the corona virus," he said. "The pandemic has made us stay home; has made life more simple; has forced us to relate with our loved ones; has given us a lot of time to pray and to read the scriptures; it brought the worship of God into our homes by online service; it hopefully has made us more generous to others especially to our frontline people. I hope we have undergone this discipline not gradually but with a sense of inner liberty, inner freedom."

    Following the example given by the Risen Lord, the Bishop urges the faithful remain steadfast in their faith and that it may nourish their spiritual lives even more.

    "At ngayon na Linggo na ng Pagkabuhay, may mga pagbabago na sana na dala ang Kuwaresma natin. Namatay tayo sa maraming bagay noong nakaraang buwan. Ngayon naman pangalagaan natin ang ating bagong buhay at bagong values na natanggap," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 1)


    After about a month of quarantine, many people have gotten used to it. Now, the challenge to us in the church is no longer on adjusting to the lock down. We should instead start looking forward to what we will do after the quarantine!
     

    It would be too naïve to imagine that come May 1, we will all jump back to the life that we had before the quarantine. No! There will be a very gradual period of adjustment. Many of our ways of doing ministry will change. This early let us already project the changes that can come about based on our experiences during this past month and plan for them accordingly.

     
    Some realizations become clear to us. First, the importance of the social media. Parishes who have well-developed social media ministry are able to reach their people easily and offer them services. Thus we should develop our social media ministry. Online religious services are here to stay. Many of our elderly people will hesitate to go to church; the social distancing cannot be easily done in our churches because we do not have that many churches. So the media apostolate is here to stay and will play a greater role in the life of the Church from now on. Thus all Church institutions are encouraged to set up good social media ministries.

    If many of our elderly people would prefer to participate in the mass online after the lock down, we should be able to offer them the possibility of receiving communion in their homes. We should deploy more our lay ministers to bring communion to the sick and the elderly. In many parishes, we either do not have enough lay ministers, or many of our lay ministers are old, or both. The elderly ones can no longer give communion in the homes because they themselves are susceptible to be infected. Thus we need to recruit more and younger lay ministers. Can we fast track their recruitment and their formation? We can get from the older altar servers, or older choir members, or even ask the religious sisters and brothers to help in this ministry of bringing the Body of Christ to the elderly.

    The pandemic has shown us the importance of the ministry to the sick. Not many parishes have this. In Manila we have only five priests of the archdiocese who are in the hospital chaplaincy. Most of our hospital chaplains are either religious or guest priests. We should seriously think as an archdiocese to strengthen our ministry to the sick, even down to the parochial level. This ministry does not only cater to the sick in the hospitals but also to the medical staff, and also to the sick and the elderly in their homes.

    At the beginning of the lock down there were criticisms that the church should use its reputedly big money to help the poor. These criticisms soon died down when it became apparent that we have churches, schools, and religious houses who were the first ones to open their facilities to house and feed the street people, the medical front liners and the uniformed personnel. People will not fault us for having big and good facilities as long as they see that these are open to serve those in need in times of emergency. This should be a deliberate choice by our institutions from one on since nowadays emergencies are a new normal in our life.

    One thing that caught the admiration of the business community and the government is our silent but rapid mobilization to distribute more than 1 billion pesos worth of gift certificates (GCs) to the poor. Each family was given 1,000 pesos worth of GCs. This was done through the organizing capacity of Caritas Manila and the enthusiasm of more than 668 parishes in MegaManila and their volunteers. Our parishes would not be able to identify the poor families if there was no good networking with barangay officials. Many times the good relations with the barangay are forged because of the BECs. This is one thing that we have to develop more – better relations with the barangay especially through the BECs. Naging mabango ang simbahan sa buwang ito dahil sa ang simbahan ay bumaba sa mga tao. Talagang naramdaman nila ang simbahan, hindi sa kanyang gawaing pangsamba ngunit sa kanyang pagtulong sa mahihirap.

    These are my reflections as of now. Others are to follow, that is why this is entitled PART I. I offer them as jumping points that can lead to still other reflections that would set some paths for the ministry of the church after the lock down. Please join, deepen and widen the conversation on this topic of challenges to the ministry these coming days.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 13, 2020.

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during online Easter Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral on April 12, at 10 a.m.

     If you were given only ten minutes to proclaim the Christian message to a non-Christian, what would you say? Will you give the Ten Commandments? Will you explain one by one the Seven Sacraments? Will you speak about Mary and the saints? You have only ten minutes to summarize the Christian message.

    Ano ba ang sasabihin mo? Itong summary ng Christian message ay tinatawag natin na Kergyma at iyan ang ipinahanyag ni San Pedro sa ating unang pagbasa. Ito ang ipinahayag ni Pedro kay Kornelio, na isang roman officer at sa kanyang household. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay hindi doktrina and hindi code of ethics or rituals of worship. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay ang kuwento ni Hesus.

    The Kergyma is the story of Jesus, how he was baptized by the Holy Spirit through John the Baptist. He was powerful in his deeds and words doing good to all people. He was caught by the Jews, hanged on a tree and put to death but was raised up by God.

     

    The apostles are all witnesses to all these. Jesus is appointed by God to bring forgiveness to all who believed in him through the testimony of the apostles. This is the Kergyma. This is the proclamation of the Good News and as you see, the resurrection is part and parcel of the Good News.

    Ito po ang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon. Kung walang resurrection wala pong Good News, wala pong Kerygma. Dahil sa resurrection, nagkaroon ng bagong kulay ang lahat ng pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. Kahit na si Hesus ay matagal nang nagsasalita sa mga alagad tungkol sa resurrection na siya ay papatayin at mabubuhay nang muli sa ikatlong araw. Kahit na siya ay bumuhay sa mga patay tulad ng anak na babae ni Jairo, ang anak na lalaki ng balo sa Naim, ang kanyang kaibigan na si Lazaro. Pero itong muling pagkabuhay ay malayo sa isip ni Maria Magdalena at ng mga alagad ni Hesus.

    Si Maria Magdalena ay pumunta sa libingan upang tumangis. Para sa kanya, patay na si Hesus. Magluluksa na lang siya kaya’t nung makita niya na bukas ang libingan, ang unang paniniwala niya ay kinuha ang bangkay ni Hesus. Bakit ba hindi makuntento ang mga kaaway ni Hesus na siya ay patayin pati ang bangkay niya ay lalapastangan pa rin. Ito siguro ang naglalaro sa isip niya. Nung isinumbong ito ni Maria kay Pedro at kay Juan, sila rin ay naguluhan. Wala naman sa kanila ang nakakita ng resurrection. Ang tanging ebidensiya lang ay walang laman ang libingan. Para kay Maria Magdalena at marahil kay Pedro walang laman kasi kinuha ang bangkay.

    John saw it differently. If the body was taken away why were the burial clothes left behind and the cloth around his head set apart.  John saw and believed. What he believed in we do not know because we are told that they did not understand the scriptures that he had to rise from the dead.

    My dear friends, we are fortunate that history and a lot of theological thinking all through these centuries make us understand the resurrection a little bit more. Pero tungkol po sa bagay na ito at tungkol sa maraming bahagi ng ating pananampalataya, hindi po gaano ang pagintindi ang mahalaga. Ang mahalaga ay ang pagsasabuhay nito.

    It’s not so much understanding the mystery. We cannot fully understand the mystery. It is participating in the mystery. Living the mystery.

    Ang resurrection ay hindi lang tungkol kay Jesus. Ito ay tungkol sa ating lahat na naniniwala sa kanya. Tayo ay nakikiisa sa buhay at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesus.

    Jesus participated in our human condition by taking up on human flesh. Thus he suffered. He was tired. He was thirsty. He was angry. He was sad. He died just like all of us. But he shared his divine life with us when we were baptized. So, we participate in his resurrection. We live our life now, our human life but heightened, elevated by his divinity. So, we can say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who lived but Christ who lives in me.”

    Napakaganda po ng sinabi ni St. Paul sa ikalawang pagbasa na ating narinig kanina, “If then we will raise with Christ seek what is about, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth for you have died and your life is...with Christ in God.”

    Noong tayo ay bininyagan, namatay tayo sa mga makamundong bagay. Tulad ni Hesus na namatay sa mga taong kalagayan niya. Kaya tayo’y binaon sa tubig. Ang buhay natin ngayon ay pakikiisa na sa resurrected life of Jesus which is a new kind of life. Kaya ang mga konsiderasyon natin ay hindi na ang mga makamundong bagay kundi ang mga bagay kung nasaan si Hesus.

    We have to live behind our usual way of thinking and doing. But think and do things where Jesus is. We live his values.

    Mahirap ba itong isipin na magbago ang value natin? Na magbago ang buhay natin? Marahil ang karanasan natin nang halos isang buwan na ng quarantine ay makakatulong. Bago dumating ang buwan ng Marso, halos hindi natin maisip na makukulong tayo sa bahay, na hindi tayo makakabiyahe. Ano kaya ang buhay na walang mall, walang barkada, walang trabaho sa opisina? It was unthinkable to think of that kind of life at that time.

    Pero isang buwan na ang nakaraan at nakayanan naman natin. Harinawa, mas mabuti ang buhay natin ngayon. Hindi na nagmamadali. Mas simple na lang. mas nakikilala natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay. May panahon tayong magdasal. This is another kind of life. The life we live now is different from the life that we were used to before.

    Parang ganun din huwag isipin na hindi natin kaya ang buhay na hindi naaayon sa mundong ito. Sapagkat alam po natin, ang mundong ito ay lilipas. Maaari ring mabuhay na mas maayos ang relationship at walang masyadong pera; na natutuwa sa mga maliliit na bagay; na nagbibigay ng panahon sa panalangin bilang pamilya; na mas nababahala sa iba at hindi lang sa sarili ang iniisip.

    These and similar things are the values where Jesus is now. Seated at the right hand of the Father. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth. Dahil sa muling pagkabuhay, hindi na tayo nag-aalangan, hindi na tayo natatakot na sundin ang values ni Hesus tulad ng paninindigan para sa katotohanan at sa katarungan. And going out of our way to help the poor and the down…

    These values may bring persecution, may bring difficulties as it did to Jesus. But Jesus is risen. These values of Jesus will ultimately bring us new life as it did to Jesus.

    Every Easter, every year, Easter is prepared by forty days of Lent. The disciplines of Lent are meant to make us celebrate Easter with a new life – a life closer to Jesus.

    This year, the disciplines of Lent have been imposed on us by the coronavirus. The pandemic has made us stay home; has made life more simple; has forced us to relate with our loved ones; has given us a lot of time to pray and to read the scriptures; it brought the worship of God into our homes by online service; it hopefully has made us more generous to others especially to our frontline people.

    I hope we have undergone this discipline not gradually but with a sense of inner liberty, inner freedom.

    At ngayon na Linggo na ng Pagkabuhay, may mga pagbabago na sana na dala ang Kuwaresma natin. Namatay tayo sa maraming bagay noong nakaraang buwan. Ngayon naman pangalagaan natin ang ating bagong buhay at bagong values na natanggap.

    Totoo hindi pa tapos ang quarantine, pero alam natin na malapit na itong magtatapos. Nababalitaan na natin sa China na bumabalik na dahan dahan ang normal na buhay. Sa Europe, pumapantay na ang curve. Lumagpas na ang pagdagsa ng contamination. Darating din yan sa atin. Sana hindi tayo datnan pagkatapos ng quarantine sa dating pagkatao natin na walang nangyari sa ating pag-uugali, sa ating relationships, sa ating pakikiisa sa Diyos.

    Jesus is risen. Let us live the new life that is his which is also ours by baptism. That’s why we renew our baptismal promises in this mass and in the other masses in order to remind us of the new life and the new values that we now have as baptized. We still have three weeks to consolidate and firm up the new values that we have taken during this forced discipline of Lent that the pandemic has imposed on us.

    Hindi man natin ito inasahan at ginusto, pero may mabuti rin itong idinulot sa atin. Talagang ang Diyos ay magaling. He can write straight with crooked lines. He can bring out good. e can bring good out of evil. He can bring light out of darkness; health out of sickness.

    Purihin natin ang Diyos at sumakay tayo sa daloy ng pamamaraan na palaging patungo sa buhay at sa ikabubuti natin.

    May isa akong suggestion na activity na pwede ninyong gawin ngayong araw. Bilang pamilya o bilang magkaibigan, mag-sharing na kayo sa isa’t isa kung anong mga values ang natutunan ninyo sa quarantine experience na ito. Pakinggan natin ang sharing ng bawat isa pati na ng mga anak, ng mga apo, ng mga bata. Ang mga values na ito ay ang liwanag ng resurrection na sumisilay sa lockdown na ito. Pati na dito ay nagbibigay kulay sa atin ang resurrection.

    Happy Easter po sa inyong lahat! (RCAM-AOC)

  • Easter reminds us we are bigger than this Pandemic


    "I begin to believe that we, as Filipinos, together with all the peoples in the world, are bigger than the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic," said Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao and CBCP President, in his Easter message released on April 11, 2020.

    "Together, with hearts filled with goodness and love, filled with deep sense of service and sacrifice, I begin to see the hope of Easter in us, and this hope is stronger when we, together, have hearts like that of Jesus in his sacrifice in Calvary," he said.

     Photo Credit: CBCPNews

    He explained that Easter calls for a celebration with the Risen Lord. It is understood that Jesus died because of His never-ending love for His people.

    People in the frontline, particularly those individuals who are trying to save lives, extending aid the poor and those who put their lives on the line so that others maybe served, are the “concrete manifestation of the Easter Spirit”.

    “Yes, no doubt, we are in an extremely grim situation, but I see clear sparks of the spirit of Easter in the hearts of thousands in the midst of this pandemic,” said the Archbishop.

    The spirit of Easter is very much alive in the hearts of the faithful giving them strength and hope to do acts charity during this pandemic.

    “We can still celebrate with profound thanksgiving in our hearts the solemn commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus: the triumph of Jesus over death. This is the Easter that, I believe, we can celebrate together in these difficult days.” He added.

    Easter is the great feast for Christians as they celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Ash Wednesday, which marks the Season of Lent. Easter Sunday marks the end of Holy Week and the last day of the Easter Triduum--Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday marks the beginning of the Easter season which also lasts for 7 weeks, and ends with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo: We Will Rise up with this Pandemic


    Reflecting on the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic COVID-19 to the lives of many, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, assured the faithful in his Easter Message that just as Jesus overcame death, we will also be able to overcome the pandemic with the grace of God.

    “We do not know what will happen in the coming three weeks. We do not know what will be our life after the lock down. Surely, many things will change. What will they be? Of this we are sure, though: we will rise up from this pandemic,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “We will rise up, hopefully not to go back to our former way of life. We will rise up stronger and more confident. We will rise up with greater care for our health and our families. We will rise up strengthened in our relationships. Most especially, we will rise up with greater trust in our God who never leaves us and who sustains us in difficult times. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God,” he added.

     Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish

     The prelate also emphasized that the resurrection of Christ from the dead can be a source of profound meditation for Easter where one can find encouragement as well as a source of inspiration amidst the enhanced community quarantine.

    "The resurrection tells us that God is faithful. He is powerful. He overcomes evil and even death. This gives us hope and joy. We can say this with greater conviction this year. The quarantine period was hard, but we have lived through it renewed and with new realizations in life. It has given us new life," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo also reminded the faithful to celebrate and rejoice with the risen Christ who will be the source of strength to overcome the crisis.

    "Let not the monotony of the quarantine put off the joy of Easter. The basis of this joy is not what we can do, but that the Risen Jesus is with us. He is acting among us and renewing us. Because of him, we shall overcome!" he said in the message.

    For Catholics, Easter Sunday is the commemoration of the resurrection of Christ three days after his death on the cross. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • 2020 Easter Message of Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis


    Dear Friends,

    As we prepare to celebrate Easter 2020, finally the world is united. We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and if we or our family members will survive this terrible moment.

    We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to turn as science, our governments and the knowledge we have developed to this point in history offer us no solutions.

     Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis | Photo file: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     

    The pandemic is making the suffering of vulnerable people – migrants and refugees, the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed – even deeper. We urge our governments to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable. We pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility in all of our countries.

    At this point in history, this turning point which is throwing our lives and societies into chaos, can each of us have the honesty and courage to say “I alone do not have the answer”? Can our governments admit that many of them got it wrong when they didn’t allow everyone to belong to the human family in a dignified way? Can our societies put aside economic concerns and show that they care for everyone without exception?

    In the midst of loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening: we are noticing the bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.

    It is as though the stone that covers the tomb is slowly being rolled back to allow a light of recognition. This light heralds Easter and the Risen Christ.

    Meanwhile, changes that would have been unthinkable three months ago are actually happening: air quality has improved in a number of countries and warring parties in some others have called ceasefires. These may be temporary, but they remind us that seemingly irresolvable human problems aren’t eternal. We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final say when you make space for hope.

    Caritas organisations are facing this global emergency as one confederation and by working in unity, sharing what they have learned with other countries and offering a helping hand to each other. One by one, Caritas organisations around the world have activated to warn, prevent and take care of those affected by the Coronavirus.

    My deepest thanks go to Caritas workers and volunteers and all those who are by the side of people who have fallen sick or who are vulnerable and isolated in the midst of this crisis. I feel immense gratitude towards all those who trustingly open their hearts and give themselves fully to bring the lights of love and hope into people’s lives at this dark time. Caritas staff and volunteers and their families are in my prayers as our communities face this enormous challenge.

    “Caritas christi urget nos” – the love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14). This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. COVID-19 knows no borders but neither do faith, hope and love.

    The answer to this crisis lies in all of us and in our unity. As people around the world face Easter without the possibility of physical communion, without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together, we have a time of slow down where we can reflect deeply on what “Body of Christ” means for each of us. In the darkness of this crisis, the light of Christ will shine. Jesus is truly risen! He will not die again. May Jesus rise for people around the world through our love!

    Let us pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge that is facing the whole of humanity and which is calling us to faith and to resurrection.

    I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.

     

    Yours in Christ,

    Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle

  • CBCP message for Easter 2020


    What kind of Easter message can I give in these difficult days? If one watches news on television, both national and international, and watches them not only with one’s eyes and mind but with one’s heart, one can easily be overwhelmed by this grim worldwide situation; it is as if, literally, death brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic is staring at you and me.

    Easter, that is, our joyful celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is best understood by not forgetting Calvary, by not forgetting His death on the cross. He died for us when his hour had come; he faced death. He faced death consciously, willingly, with his heart filled with love for us, filled with the mercy of God for us. But then, Jesus rose from the dead; he is victorious over death. His victory over death he shares with you and me. This is Easter for me.



    Yes, no doubt, we are in an extremely grim situation, but I see clear sparks of the spirit of Easter in the hearts of thousands in the midst of this pandemic. Indeed, it is so moving and so heartwarming to see individuals trying to save and protect the life of ailing patients, whose hearts are filled with selfless goodness for others, especially for the sick and the poor, individuals who have the courage to offer heroic service and sacrifice with the clear risk of losing their very own lives. Moreover, we see people of all walks of life, men and women, old and young, manifesting simple acts of appreciation and gratitude to all those who offer their lives so that others may live. Are these not concrete manifestations of the Easter spirit? Looking at all these, isn’t it that our hearts begin to fill up with hope?

    Then I begin to believe that we, as Filipinos, together with all the peoples in the world, are bigger than the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic. Together, with hearts filled with goodness and love, filled with deep sense of service and sacrifice, I begin to see the hope of Easter in us, and this hope is stronger when we, together, have hearts like that of Jesus in his sacrifice in Calvary. We see that, together, our life is more powerful than the menace of death that this pandemic brings: together, with hearts inspired by God’s grace, with hearts inspired by the love of the Blessed Virgin Mother, who stood at the foot of the cross in Calvary. Together, seeing the countless acts of sacrifice and service, acts of kindness and compassion, we begin to see that the spirit of Easter is still very much alive in our hearts. This is a spirit which is born out of faith and conviction that Jesus has defeated death and has risen back to life – for all of us. It is a spirit that springs forth from both convictions, the conviction that the Lord truly and deeply loves us and the conviction that we are a people truly capable of loving and caring for each other in the worst of times.

    We can still celebrate with profound thanksgiving in our hearts the solemn commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus: the triumph of Jesus over death. This is the Easter that, I believe, we can celebrate together in these difficult days.

    And because of this, with sincerity and deep conviction, I say, A BLESSED EASTER TO ALL!

     

     

    Devotedly yours in Christ,

     

    +ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
    Archbishop of Davao
    CBCP President

    Easter Vigil, 11 April 2020

  • Easter Message 2020


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    An Easter Message is supposed to be a joyful message. Can there be joy when we

    have heard that the Enhanced Community Quarantine has been extended till the

    end of April? Can there be joy when the resources of many people have

    dwindled while the quarantine continues? Can there be joy when the news

    continues to speak about new infections and new deaths?



    The joy of Easter is not a joy because there are no problems. It is a joy which

    surprises all of us, because when God acts, he acts in unexpected ways. In spite

    of the announcement of the Lord Jesus that he would rise again, the idea of the

    resurrection did not register among his disciples. So when Jesus was killed and

    buried, for the disciples, Jesus is over. He is dead. So when they saw the tomb

    empty, their first thought was, who took his body? And when they finally saw

    him, they were afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost! Jesus had to

    assure them that it was he. He had to show them his wounded hands and side.

    He had to eat in front of them. The resurrection was totally unexpected to the

    disciples.

     

    Easter for us this year is also totally unexpected. Not only because we are not

    able to do what we usually do on Easter – go to the Salubong, attend Mass, and

    celebrate with friends. As at the first Easter, are we open to be surprised by God?

    We do not know what will happen in the coming three weeks. We do not know

    what will be our life after the lock down. Surely, many things will change. What

    will they be? Of this we are sure, though: we will rise up from this pandemic. We

    will rise up, hopefully not to go back to our former way of life. We will rise up

    stronger and more confident. We will rise up with greater care for our health and

    our families. We will rise up strengthened in our relationships. Most especially,

    we will rise up with greater trust in our God who never leaves us and who

    sustains us in difficult times. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God.

     

    The resurrection tells us that God is faithful. He is powerful. He overcomes evil

    and even death. This gives us hope and joy. We can say this with greater

    conviction this year. The quarantine period was hard, but we have lived through

    it renewed and with new realizations in life. It has given us new life. Let not the

    monotony of the quarantine put off the joy of Easter. The basis of this joy is not

    what we can do, but that the Risen Jesus is with us. He is acting among us and

    renewing us. Because of him, we shall overcome!

     

    May this Easter give us greater trust and hope. Jesus is risen! He is with us! We

    will overcome! We will live a new life with Jesus! Happy Easter to you all.

     

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    11 April 2020

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Mass for the Lord’s Passion held at the Manila Cathedral on April 10, 2020, at 3 p.m.


    For us Filipinos the two holiest days of the year are Christmas Day and Good Friday. Dinudumog natin ang simbahan sa mga araw na ito.  Both of them are centered on the Lord Jesus. Si Jesus na naging tao at si Jesus na namatay para sa atin. Mahalaga ang birthday ni Jesus. Higit ito sa ibang birthday dahil si Jesus ay ang Diyos na nakikiisa sa atin. At ganoon na lang ang pakikiisa niya sa atin  na namatay siya dahil sa at para sa atin. So, we have heard in our first reading: It was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. (Isa. 53:4); He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. (Isa. 53:5); and The LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all (Isa. 53:6)

    Kaya mahal natin ang sanggol na si Jesus na isinilang noong Pasko dahil sa kanyang ginawa sa atin sa Biernes Santo! Ang Biernes Santo ang nagbibigay ng kahulugan sa araw ng Christmas.

    May apat na bahagi ang pagdiriwang natin sa simbahan, na ngayon ay inyong nasusundan online. Ito ang unang bahagi, ang pagpapahayag ng salita ng Diyos. Narinig natin muli ang pagbabasa ng Passion Narrative. Noong Linggo binasa natin ang version ni Matthew. Ngayon naman binasa natin ang version ni John. Pagkatapos ng Salita ng Diyos, dudulog tayo sa Diyos sa pamamagitan ng mahabang panalangin ng bayan. Sa karaniwang Biernes Santo mayroon tayong sampung (10) petitions. Ngayong taon, dinagdagan ito ng isa pa – tungkol sa Covid 19 pandemic na bumabalot sa buong mundo.

     

    Matapos ang mahabang panalangin ng bayan, susundan ito ng pagpaparangal sa Krus. Ito ngayon ang sentro ng ating pagsamba. We venerate the cross because it is through Jesus on the cross that we are freed from our sins.

    Tatapusin natin ang ating pagdiriwang sa pagtanggap ng Banal na Komunyon na ngayon ay hindi ninyo magagawa. Makiisa na rin lang kayo sa inyong spiritual communion.

    Ang sentro nga ng selebrasyon natin ay si Jesus na naka-pako sa krus. Ito ang magiging sentro ng ating pagninilay. Para sa ating mga Kristiyano ang krus ay ang simbolo ng kasamaan at galit ng tao at ito ay simbolo rin ng kabutihan at pag-ibig ng Diyos.

    Kasamaan ng tao: Inimbento ang pagpapako sa krus dahil sa kalupitan at kasamaan ng tao. Ito ay isang uri ng parusa na kalkulado na magbibigay ng labis na pagpapakasakit sa tao. Una nito ay ang pagbibigay ng kahihiyan. Kita ng marami ang tao na hubad na nakapako sa krus. Ang paratang sa kanya ay kitang-kita ng lahat at kinukutya siya ng mga tao. Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyari kay Jesus? Ang paratang sa kanya na siya ay hari ng mga hudyo. At para maging maliwanag ito sa lahat, ito ay nakasulat pa sa tatlong lingguahe na ginagamit ng mga tao noon – sa Latin, sa Griego at sa Hebreo. Kinutya si Jesus ng lahat habang siya ay nasa Krus – ng mga Judio, ng mga sundalong Romano, ng isa sa mga tulisan na nakapako kasama niya. Ang Krus ay isang parusa na kalkuladong magbigay ng mahabang kahirapan bago dumating ang kamatayan. Those who are in the nobility are not crucified when they are punished. They are beheaded or they are made to drink poison – deaths that are sudden. Pero iba ang nasa krus na itinakda sa mga mababang uri na mga tao at mga rebelde. Maaaring tumagal siya ng ilang oras o ilang araw doon. Mamamatay siya sa uhaw, sa gutom, sa impeksiyon, o sa pagkalagot ng kanyang hininga. Kaya para madaliin ang pagpatay sa araw na iyon, dahil ayaw nila na may nasa Krus sa dakilang kapistahan ng paskua, binali nila ang paa ng dalawang kasama ni Jesus, para malagutan kaagad ng hininga. Hindi na ito kailangang gawin kay Jesus. Maaga na siyang namatay at upang siguradubing patay na siya, sinibat ang kanyang tagiliran. How cruel man can be to his fellow human beings. He invented death on the cross. Kaya ang krus ay simbolo ng kasamaan at galit ng tao. Ganoon siya magpahirap sa kanyang kapwa.

    Hanggang ngayon, ganyan ang kasamaan ng tao sa kanyang kapwa. Wala awa! Gustong magpasakit! Gustong pumatay! Hindi ba ganyan pa rin ang nangyayari sa mga tortures na ginagawa sa tao, sa mga pagpatay ng mga inosenteng tao, na sila ay collateral damage lang sa mga digmaan at pagbobomba, sa mga extrajudicial killings, sa mga pananalitang patayin sila na galing sa mga bibig ng makapangyarihan? Nandiyan pa rin ang kasamaan ng pagwawalang kibo o indifference sa kahirapan ng iba; para kami maligtas, itinataboy ang mga dayuhan, itinataboy ang mga hinihinalang may virus dahil sila ay nasa frontline na tulungan ang mga tao sa mga ospital at mga tindahan! When we see the cross let us beat our breasts and be sorry for the great inhumanity that is happening around us. Ganito kabigat ang kasamaan.

    But the whole picture changes when we see that Jesus is on the cross. Ginamit ng Diyos ang kasamaan ng tao – dinanas o na experience niya ang kasamaan ng tao upang ipaabot sa atin ang kanyang kabutihan – na ganoon niya tayo kamahal. He underwent the depth of human cruelty to tell us that he will not leave us. Hindi niya tayo iiwan. Ano man ang mangyari nandiyan siya. Kasama natin siya. As we have heard in our second reading: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way.” (Heb. 4:15) In fact he experienced such suffering and cruelty that none of us has ever experienced.

    But we are saved not just by the pains that Jesus suffered. Being a punishment for lowly criminals, the Romans had been crucifying thousands of people at the time of Jesus. None of these people crucified saved us, although they suffered the same or even worse pains than Jesus had. Bakit ang pagkapako kay Jesus ang nakapagligtas sa atin? Oo, dahil wala siyang kasalanan. Hindi siya nagbabayad sa kanyang pagkakamali. Pero sa libo-libong pinako sa krus ng mga Romano, siguradong marami din diyan ay walang kasalanan, tulad ng sa mga libo-libong pinatay ng bitay o ng EJK, marami din sa kanila ay walang kasalanan.

    Naligtas tayo ni Jesus dahil tinanggap niya ang pagkapako sa krus dahil sa pagmamahal. Pagmamahal sa Ama, that he was obedient unto death, and death on the cross. Hindi ba ito ang kanyang paulit-ulit na dasal sa Hardin ng Gethsemani: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." (Mt. 26:39)

    Si Jesus na nasa krus ay tanda ng Pagmamahal sa atin. Narinig natin kanina sa unang pagbasa: “We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.” (Isa. 53:6) St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome: “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) Hindi lang sa namatay siya dala-dala ang ating kasalanan. Namatay siya sa atin noong kaaway pa natin siya, noong nasa kasalanan pa tayo. Hindi naman siya namatay dahil mabuting tao tayo. Namatay siya noong nasa kasalanan pa tayo, at kahit na patuloy tayo sa ating pagkakasala, patuloy pa rin ang pag-aalay niya ng sarili niya sa atin. So, our sinfulness should not be a reason to keep us away from Jesus. Our sins should be the reason to bring us back to God, because as Jesus taught: “I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Lk. 15:7)

    Kaya ng mga kapatid, kapag nakita natin ang krus, magalit tayo sa kasalanan. We should have that hatred for sin, that none tolerance for evil. Ganyan kasama ang kasalanan. Kapag nakita natin si Jesus na nakapako sa krus, yakapin natin siya – ganyan niya tayo kamahal!

    Sa Pilipino ang tawag natin sa Biernes Santo ay Mahal na Araw. Sa araw na ito pinakikita sa atin ng Diyos gaano tayo kamahal. Mahal tayo, mahalaga tayo. Ang halaga natin ay ang dugo ng Diyos na naging tao. Mahal tayo, mahalaga tayo, mahal tayo ng Diyos. Iniibig tayo, ang bawat isa sa atin, ng Diyos mismo. My dear people of God, we are loved, and loved so much, by no one else than by Jesus himself, Jesus the Son of God!

    To believe in God is not just to believe that there is a God. Even the devil believes in the existence of God, and he trembles before him. To believe in God is to believe that God loves us. Thinks about that. God loves you. (pause) He loves you so much that he gave you his son. And Jesus loves you so much that he gives his life for you, and on the cross!

    Seen from this perspective of Jesus on the cross, let us not doubt the love of God, even in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ginagamit din ng Diyos ang pandemic na ito upang ipaabot sa atin ang kanyang pag-ibig tulad ng ginamit niya ang krus upang ipadama sa atin na mahalaga tayo para sa kanya. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even the cross, not oven the corona virus!

    Spend the rest of this day being aware of Jesus’ love for you. Spend some time in front of the crucifix. Gaze on it lovingly and pray softly but deeply…. Thank you Jesus, for loving me so much! (RCAM-AOC)

  • Frontliners honored in Holy Thursday Celebration


    Frontliners who represent different sectors, which are at the forefront of the battle against corona virus, were honored during the Holy Thursday Celebration at the Manila Cathedral on April 9, 2020. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila washed the feet of representatives from the Health care sector, law enforcement sector, Media sector and the auxiliary services sector.

    Among those whose feet Bishop Pabillo washed were Roland Solis (Driver) and Sharon Joy Isla (media practitioner); Dr. Aileen Rotor (doctor); and Lt. Col. Rowena Acosta (police officer).

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila washes the feet of Lt. Col. Rowena Acosta during the washing of the feet at the Manila Cathedral on Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

    The Washing of the Feet is part of the Liturgy of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It is the commemoration of the Jesus's Last Supper where he also washed the feet of his apostles, reminding the faithful that as disciples of Christ we are called to serve others in the spirit of humility.

    The Bishop recognized the sacrifices that the frontliners are making in the battle to fight the pandemic COVID-19 that has already taken many lives in the country and around the world.

    In his homily, he also gave emphasis to the desire of the faithful to receive the body and blood of Christ. But because of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, they are forced to stay in their homes and participate in the Holy Week liturgy of the Church via online streaming.

    Like the Filipino frontliners who serve their fellow countrymen, according to Bishop Pabillo, the faithful can be in communion with the Lord through the services they offer to one another in their homes.

    “My dear friends, we cannot be at the Lord’s table tonight because of the corona virus but we can still accept the Lord in our lives through that deep desire to receive him by our spiritual communion and surely we can live the Eucharist in our lives by serving one another, washing each other’s home, each other’s feet in our homes,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    In 2019, former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle washed the feet of 12 young people in light of the celebration of the Year of the Youth. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • May our Hunger for Jesus make us eager to go to Mass again and Receive Holy Communion


    At the Holy Mass during the Celebration of the Lord's Supper last April 9, 2020, which was livestreamed from The Manila Cathedral, His Excellency Broderick S. Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila meditated on “living” the Holy Mass.

    The Bishop pointed out the irony of this year’s celebrations of Holy Thursday of Lord's Last Supper in the midst of the COVID-1. The mass is celebrated that people may partake of the Lord’s Body, as embodied by the Holy Eucharist, and yet because of the pandemic the faithful are not be able to receive Holy Communion, instead they receive Jesus through a spiritual communion.

    "Tonight, the Lord Jesus gives his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk and we cannot receive communion. This is really very extraordinary. The situation itself, itong sitwasyon na bumabalot sa atin hindi sana maging dahilan ng galit o kaya ng kalungkutan kundi maging dahilan ng malaking pananabik – tatanggapin kita Panginoon sa Banal na Komunyon sa lalong madaling pagkakataon," he said.

    File Photo: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    This also enables the faithful to be eager in receiving Jesus in Holy Eucharist, allowing the faithful to welcome Jesus in their weary hearts, the Bishop stated. Especially when the opportunity comes that there is an immediate chance to receive Him again. In the meantime, the bishop encourages the faithful to do spiritual communion.

    "’Ngunit ngayon, ngayong gabi pumasok ka sa aking puso. Alam kong mahal mo ako ibinigay mo ang sarili mo sa akin. Halika ka na pumasok ka sa buhay ko’. Ito sana ang pananabik natin sa Panginoon sa gabing ito," he added.

    Bishop Pabillo appealed to the faithful that the Holy Mass, which the faithful participate online, should not be perceived as a "source of entertainment." Instead, allowing it to be a source of inspiration to live out good deeds for one another.

    "Yes, the Holy mass is the offering of Jesus, but this too is the offering of each one of us. We do not just attend the Mass as we are attending a concert. Hindi lang natin ito pinanonood tulad ng pinanood ninyo ang online Mass. We do not just participate in the Mass by being there in the Mass. Not even just by answering the prayers and singing the songs. We live the Mass. Hindi lang pinanonood, hindi lang nakikiisa, isinasabuhay natin ang Banal na Misa," the bishop said.

    Since families are confined in their homes, the prelate is encouraging the faithful by doing "acts of service" that focus on living love through compassion like Jesus did.

    "In this way, we live the Mass. In these days, you cannot participate in the Mass in the church but you can live the Mass in your homes by living your acts of service with love just as Jesus did," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo also pointed out that even the small acts of service in the house hold, disregarding any position, rank or seniority, one is able to live out the Mass as exemplified by Jesus.

    "Nakikiisa tayo, isinasabuhay natin ang Misa kapag nag-se-serve tayo sa isa’t isa. Gaano man kataas ang posisiyon natin kahit na gaano man kababa ang ating pag-se-serve na iyan – paghuhugas kaya ng plato, pagwawalis ng bahay, pagpupunas ng lamesa o pagbibili ng mga patis at mga gulay. Yang service na iyan, yan po ang pagsasabuhay natin ng Banal na Misa," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during the online Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Manila Cathedral on April 9, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    It is very ironic we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Mass, the institution of the Holy Mass and yet most of the Christians can only watch it online.

    Tonight, the Lord Jesus gives his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk and we cannot receive communion. This is really very extraordinary. The situation itself, ito ang sitwasyon ay bumubuo ng atin hindi sana maging dahilan ng galit o kaya ng kalungkutan kundi maging dahilan ng malaking pananabik – tatanggapin kita Panginoon sa Banal na Komunyon sa lalong medaling pagkakataon. Ngunit ngayon, ngayong gabi pumasok ka saaking puso. Alam kong mahal mo ako ibinigay mo ang sarili mo sa akin. Halika ka na pumasok ka sa buhay ko. Ito sana ang pananabik natin sa Panginoon sa gabing ito.

    With this celebration this evening, we start the sacred Paschal Triduum. Big words. We know sacred which means holy, we know Triduum this means three days. So, this would be today, tomorrow and Saturday evening. The key word here is paschal. It comes from past translated in Tagalog Pascua. This word comes from the Hebrew - “Pesah” meaning the crossing over.


    This is a celebration of the crossing over or the passing over of the angel of death on the houses of the Hebrews while they celebrate the meal of their liberation. Kumakain sila sa loob ng bahay ng nilitsong kordero o tupa. Ang dugo nito ay nangawisik sa kanilang mga pintuan. Naligtas sila hindi sila namatayana habang sa lahat ng bahay ng mga Ehipsiyano ay may panganay na anak na namatay.

    The passing over also refers to the Hebrew people’s passing over o pagtawid sa dagat sagisag ng pagtawid nila sa pagkaalipin patungo sa kalayaan. Pero sa ating mga kristiyano, Passover is the crossing of Jesus from this life to the life of the resurrection which is not just a restoration to life but a coming to new life. Ito rin ang karanasan natin ng bawat isa sa atin sa pagtawid natin mula sa kasalanan tungo sa bagong buhay bilang mga anak ng Diyos nung tyo ay bininyagan. We were divinized because of Baptism. Living a life of the children of God.

    We will be undergoing this crossing over these three days. Today, we are celebrating in this suffer the meal that Jesus instituted as the memorial of his death and resurrection. It is a memorial not a souvenir. A memorial because it is a participation in a sacrifice, death and resurrection. Hindi lang ito isang alaala isang souvenir, ito’y pakikisa. We do this in obedience to what he said, “Do this in memory of me.” Tomorrow, this offering will be actualized in his offering of himself on the cross. On Saturday evening, the crossing over from this life to his death to a new life will be completed with his resurrection.

    Ito po ang buod ng ating pagiging Kristiyano – ang pakikiisa natin kay Hesus sa kanyang kamatayan tungo sa bagong buhay na ibinibigay niya sa atin.

    In the First Reading, we heard the origin for the Paschal Meal. The first Paschal Meal that the Jews celebrated as they awaited their salvation from slavery. In the Second Reading, we heard the earliest account of the Last Supper which is found in the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. He clearly said that he himself received this tradition that they were then doing. So, it was handed over by the apostles and being practiced by the Christians since the Last Supper of the Lord. Jesus transformed the yearly Paschal Meal of the Jews giving him new meaning. It is no longer partaking of the meal of the lamb. Siya na ang Kordero ng Diyos ang tinapay na naging kanyang laman ay siya ngayong pinagsasaluhan natin. Naligtas tayo sa kasamaan hindi na ng dugo ng isang hayop kundi ng dugo ni Hesus sa pamamagitan ng alak na ating iniinom. Since the Last Supper of Jesus up to this time we keep the memorial of the Lord every time we go to the Holy Mass whenever we celebrate tis then, we are one with all the billions of Christians ahead of us who have partaken of this sacrifice in the past two thousand years and with the rest of the Christians who will come after us until the Lord comes again. Kaya wag nating isipin ang Misa bilang Misa ko lang o Misa lang ng aming parokya. Ang bawat Misa ay Misa ng buong Simbahan mula kay Hesus hanngang saw akas ng panahon.

    Yes, the Holy mass is the offering of Jesus but this too, is the offering of each one of us. We do not just attend the Mass as we are attending a concert. Hindi lang natin ito pinanonood tulad ng pinanood ninyo ang online Mass. We do not just participate in the Mass by being there in the Mass. Not even just by answering the prayers and singing the songs. We live the Mass. Hindi lang pinanonood, hindi lang nakikiisa, isinasabuhay natin ang Banal na Misa.

    All the four gospels have the narration of the Last Supper. But in the Gospel of John, there is no narration of the Institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper account. We have instead, chance account in the Gospel and we have heard it proclaimed just now. Instead of the Institution of the Mass, he has the narration of the washing of the Feet of his disciples. This is found only in John at tulad ng utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng pag-aalay ng tinapay at alak na ptuloy natin itong gawin, ganun din ang utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng paghugas ng mga paa.

    I have given you a model to follow so that what I have done for you, you should also do. At tulad na-conscious na conscious si Hesus ng kanyang kinuha ang tinapay at ginawang pagkain na pinakain sa atin, ganun din, conscious na conscious si Hesus sng paghugas ng paa ng kanyang mga alagad.

    Ulitin ko ang aking narinig kanina, “Fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper took off his outer garments, he a towel and tied it around his waist.” Alam ni Hesus ang kanyang karangalan. Alam niya ang kanyang kapangyarihan. Alam niya na galling siya sa Ama ngunit nagpakababa siya. Ginawa niya ang gawain ng inaka-abang alipin – ang paghuhugas ng paa ng mga bisita. At ito ang pinagagawa niya sa atin – lowly service, this makes us great. This is the way we live the Mass.

    Ang paghuhugas ng paaangkatumbas para kay John ng pagbibigay ng kanyang laman at dugo sa atin. Nakikiisa tayo sa Misa hindi lang kapag sinusunod natin ang utos niyang kainin ang kanyang katawan at inumin ang kanyang dugo. Nakikiisa tayo, isinasabuhay natin ang Misa kapag nag-se-serve tayo sa isa’t isa. Ano man katas ang posisiyon natin kahit na gaano man kababa an gating pag-se-serve na iyan – paghuhugas kaya ng plato, pagwawalis ng bahay, pagpupunas ng lamesa o pagbibili ng mga patis at mga gulay. Yang service na iyan, yan po ang pagsasabuhay natin ng Banal na Misa.

    Kaya ngayong gabi, isasadula natin we will dramatize once again the Washing of the feet. At ito po ay may pinili tayo na mga iilan na kumakatawan sa mga taong nagse-serve sa atin na siyang paghugasan natin ng paa. Ang aking driver na si Roland na kumakatawan sa mga…in service; si Sharon na nagse-serve sa atin sa TV Maria na siya po ay kumakatawan sa media na nagpapadala sa atin ng maraming mga balita at nakikiisa sa atin sa mga pagdiriwang; si Rowena na isang pulis na patuloy na nagse-serve nagbibigay ng kaayusan sa ating mga komunidad; si Aileen na isang doctor na alam natin na tinataya ang kanilang buhay para po sa pagpapagaling ng mga may sakit. Mga frontliners natin sila at sila’y naglilingkod sa atin at sila po yung paglilingkuran natin.

    Not only do we do this - to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion or to serve others even in a lowly way but we do this with love. It is love that gives meaning to our communion. Let us be…not to receive communion just out of habbit na hindi na napapansin kung sino ang tinatanggap natin si Hesus ito. Hindi lang ito isang ostiya na sinusubo natin. Tanggapin natin siya ng may pagmamahal at pananabik. Ganun din ang ating pages-serve, wag nating gawin ng padabog o kaya napipilitan lang. Gawin natin ito ng may pag-ibig at hindi lang pag-ibig sa ating magulang o kapatid na pinaglilingkuran ngunit pag-ibig kay Hesus. O how differently we would do our service if