• Isolation, the hardest struggle for COVID-positive patients--Cardinal Tagle


    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, shared how his being connected to the people and to the Lord have helped him coped up with isolation during the time when he was in quarantine after testing positive with Coronavirus.

    “Getting out of the quarantine I realized that for you to survive you need a deep, deep sense of interconnectedness. Deep sense kasi your enemy will be the feeling that you are isolated, that you are a threat now, that you don’t even trust yourself, that you are a danger to yourself. And you could be a danger to others and then you feel like baka nga better na lang to isolate yourself and then the isolation also bothers you but it is the sense that you are interconnected, you are connected to God,” Cardinal Tagle said.

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    The former archbishop of Manila was the keynote speaker during the 2020 Online Catholic Education Association of the Philippines Congress (CEAP) on September 25. He expounded on the topic “Mission: Dialogue of Faith & Life and Culture Beyond Creed, Beyond Borders, Beyond COVID.”

    CEAP is a non-stock, non-profit organization. It is the national association of Catholic Educational Institutions in the Philippines founded in 1941. It now has more than 1,525 member-schools and more than 120 superintendents of Catholic Schools. It is a voluntary organization which operates through regional educational associations located in the 17 regions of the country.

    The Cardinal’s talk also focused on the significance of dialogue among Christians now that the country is in tough times. He said that a lack of communication among people would worsen the situation.

    “But when there is lack of dialogue when there are borders that we set up if I do not see a neighbor, a brother or a sister or someone who is in need how could we address a pandemic, wala, the pandemic will just continue. A pandemic also requires a pandemic response as well a general response and it has to be done with dialogue,” said Cardinal Tagle.

    On September 11, 2020, Cardinal Tagle tested positive for COVID-19 after his arrival in the Philippines to have a short visit to his family in Imus, Cavite. He underwent a 14-days quarantine. He tested negative after a swab test on September 23, 2020.

    “In my case, I am very grateful to the many, many people who pray, assuring you that you are not alone, that’s why I could say for the survival either mentally of those who go through this crisis this connectedness what we call dialogue is important, your existence depends on a rediscovery of the reality that you are not alone,” said Cardinal Tagle. (Jheng Prado / RCAM – AOC)

  • Caritas Manila celebrates 67 years of providing aid to poor and needy


    Caritas Manila, the Social Service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila celebrated its 67th year anniversary through an online Mass presided by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila on September 26, 2020, at 8 in the morning.

    With the theme, “Thriving In Crisis Through Faith And Charity”, Caritas Manila for the past 67 years has developed programs such as Caritas Margins, Restorative Justice Ministry, Segunda Mana, Youth Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) which educates 5,000 scholars all over the country. This year, YSLEP will extend its assistance to the children of the jeepney drivers who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic to enter college and technical vocational courses.



    Fr. Anton CT Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila said in his message to Radio Veritas, that the social service arm will continue to respond to the needs of the people especially during this time of crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    “Sa harap ng pandemyang ito huwag takot ang manaig kung hindi ang kapangyarihan ng pagkawanggawa; pag-ibig at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa ang papawi sa takot at pangamba na dulot ng krisis na ito,” Fr. Pascual told Radio Veritas.

    For the past six decades of helping the poor and the needy, Fr. Pascual expressed his gratitude to all the donors and benefactors including various groups, public and private institutions and even individuals who consistently support all the programs of Caritas Manila.

    “Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga donors at benefactors throughout the years walang sawang nagtitiwala at sumusuporta sa Caritas Manila para matulungan ang poorest of the poor,” said Fr. Pascual.

    When the government implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Manila in March, Caritas Manila through the help of business groups have distributed one billion gift certificates to more than one million individuals in the country.

    Fr. Pascual also acknowledged all the priests and lay volunteers who fearlessly went out their way to help despite the danger of acquiring the virus.

    “Nagpapasalamat din tayo sa mga pari at mga lay volunteers na hindi ininda ang takot at pangamba na lumabas upang matulungan ang poor communities; walang sawang bumababa para maramdaman ng mga mahihirap na hindi sila nag-iisa sa krisis na ito,” said Fr. Pascual. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC)

  • "Zero Waste" - The bright side of Cemetery lockdown on Undas



    As the Todos Los Santos approaches, environmental groups were pleased about the temporary closure of cemeteries in the country due to the health risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The increasing amount of wastes in cemeteries every Undas has become a perennial problem as people flock to visit their departed loved ones. According to Rodney Galicha, Living Laudato Si Philippines Executive Director, aside from the safety of people from virus exposure, there is also the ecological benefit of this move.

    “Kapag wala tayo dun sa sementeryo, marami ‘yung mababawas na mga basura at karamihan naman doon siyempre ‘yung pinagbalutan ng ating pagkain, pinagbalutan ng kandila at marami pang iba,” Mr. Galicha said in an interview in Radio Veritas.

    He also pointed out that remembering and offering prayers for their departed loved ones, which is the essence of the tradition, may still be done in their homes.

    “Ang espiritu naman kasi nung ating pag-aalaala sa ating mga yumao, espiritu naman talaga ‘yun ng tunay na pakikipag-ugnayan sa Panginoon, ay ‘yung siyempre pagpapanalangin sa ikabubuti at ikakapayapa nung kanilang mga kaluluwa,” he added.

    In 2018, 8 garbage trucks were collected from Manila North Cemetery which  accommodated 1 million people. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

     

  • How 25-centavo coins are helping during Pandemic


    Pondo ng Pinoy, a Church-based organization that gathers fund to support social service programs was able to contribute cash donations on the programs to Caritas Manila as well as to different dioceses that are affected by the CORONA virus pandemic. This was through the help of the 25-centavo coins that the organization has been gathering in their fund-raising program, according to former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa, sub-committee chairman of the community foundation in a release from Veritas News.

    Aside from cash donations, Pondo ng Pinoy also distributed relief goods and face masks.

    In the news article, Ambassador de Villa shared how Pondo ng Pinoy caught the imagination of the people that inspired them to gather their unused 25-centavo coins and to donate them to Pondo ng Pinoy fund raising advocacy to help those who are in need.

    “Ang pag-iipon ng 25-sentimos para sa Pondo ng Pinoy ay pinanggagalingan ng katuwaan, feeling of fulfillment. Caught the imagination of the people, kaya marami ang nagbabahagi. The habit become a virtue,” said de Villa.

    She also assured that Pondo ng Pinoy is constantly doing its mission to guide individuals to God and also to love others fostering unity in society.

    “Hangarin ng Pondo ng Pinoy na itaguyod ang pagbabago sa sarili para sa kabutihan ng iba. Tatlong P: Pagtataguyod, Pag-aaruga at Pagmamalasakit sa kapwa,” she added.

    Pondo ng Pinoy was established by Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in 2004 and was formed through Cardinal Rosales’ motto and principle: “Anumang magaling kahit maliit basta’t malimit ay patungong langit.” (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle recovers from COVID-19


    Former Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle has recovered from the infection caused by the coronavirus.

    According to Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome where Cardinal Tagle resides after he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in February said that Cardinal Tagle tested negative for COVID-19 and his recovery is “indeed a great joy for the whole Church.”

    “God wants him to continue serving in the Vatican's office for the Missions, to bring God's Good News of love, joy, peace, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation -- all of which the world needs in a special way these days,” said Fr. Gaston.

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    “The Collegio Filippino in Rome has witnessed his hard work, dedication and prayers,” he said. “We wish him all the best in his short visit to the Philippines, to rest a bit and be with his family back home,” he added.

    Cardinal Tagle who is also the president of Caritas Internationalis has tested positive last September 11, 2020, after he arrived in the Philippines to have a short visit to his family in Imus, Cavite.

    Though he shows no signs of the infection, he was immediately placed under quarantine for two weeks. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass on September 30, 2020, Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia at the Most Holy Trinity Parish in Balic-Balic.


    An Misa ta sa aldaw na ini, inorganize ng mga Bicolano para sa selebrasyon kay Ina ng Peñafrancia. Digdi sa magayon na simbahan kan Balic-Balic, Holy Trinity Parish. Pinag-gigibo ta ini ta kita mga deboto sa pagselebrar kang Ina kan Penafrancia. Makisaro kita sa gabus na mga Kristiyano especially na hali sa Bicol, mga Bicolano, sa satuyang pagharani sa satuyang Ina.
     

    Sinasabi ko po na nandito tayo sa parokya ng Holy Trinity, magandang simbahan ng Holy Trinity sa Balic-Balic upang i-celebrate po ang patron ng mga taga Bicol, ang Ina at ang Divino Rostro. Kaya nakikiisa po tayo sa mga Bicolano na nandito ngayon at nakikinig sa atin, sa atin pong pag-dedebosyon sa ating Mahal na Ina.

    Mahigit anim na buwan na tayong nasa lockdown kaya anim na buwan na rin tayong nag-o-online Mass. Salamat po sa pakikiisa sa ating online Mass tuwing alas diyes dito sa TV Maria. Siguro napansin ninyo na sa mga homily ko sinisikap ko na iugat ang mensahe sa Salita ng Diyos na matatagpuan po natin sa ating First Reading at sa ating Gospel at kung minsan sa Second Reading din.

    I also try to point out the relevance of the readings to our present social issues and not only to our personal lives. We are following the Gospel of Matthew this year. The First Reading which comes from the Old Testament is chosen in view of the Gospel passage. The two therefore are connected to each other.


    The Second Reading, on the other hand, has its own continuous reading taken from the Letters of Paul. In the past few months, we have been following the Letter to the Romans. And now we start from the Letter to the Philippians.

    The Second Readings are not intended to connect with the Gospel. Para mas ma-appreciate ninyo ang message, I suggest that you read the Readings before Mass so that you have an idea what you are about to hear.

    Let us place special attention to the Word of God so that we may know the ways of the Lord. This is not easy because we are told in the First reading, “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are my ways your ways,” says the Lord. Kung paano ang langit higit na mataas sa lupa, ang daa’t isip ko hindi maaabot ng inyong akala.

    Because of this, many times we need to adjust and change our natural way of understanding in order to know and accept God’s message. Hindi sana natin i-adjust ang mensahe ng Diyos sa ating pananaw. Babaguhin natin ang ating pananaw ayon sa mensahe ng Diyos. This is why the Word of God invites us to conversation. It is our way that you change not the message of the Lord.

    Kitang kita itong pagkakaiba nitong pagkakaiba ng pananaw natin sa paraan ng Diyos sa ating gospel reading today. Para sa marami, parang unjust ang Diyos. Bakit naman pinareho niya ang suweldo ng nagtrabaho ng buong araw sa nagtrabaho ng isang oras lang? Unfair.

    Bago natin talakayin ito, mabuting ipaalam sa atin na noong panahon ni Jesus, ang isang araw ng tranbaho ay hindi otso oras kundi labing dalawang oras from sunrise to sundown. Ang sahod sa isang araw ay isang Dinaryo, that is the day’s wage.

    Noong pinadala ng may-ari ng ubasan ang mga mangggawgawa noong alas sais ng umaga, nagkasundo na sila sa suweldo na isang Dinaryo. Kaya tama ang sinabi niya sa mga ito noong magreklamo sila, “Kaibigan, hindi ko naman kayo dinaya. Hindi ba nagkasundo tayo ng isang Dinaryo?” Pero ganun ka-generous ang may-ari ng ubasan. Nagpadala pa siya ng ibang manggagawa ng alas nueve, alas dose, alas tres at pati ng alas isngko ng hapon.

    So many people were jobless. It is not because they were lazy. Noong tinanong niya sila, “Bakit kayo tatayo tayo dito ng buong maghapon?” Ang nakaklungkot na sagot nila ay, “Wala pong magbigay sa amin ng trabaho.” Hindi ba ito ang kalagayan ng maraming tao ngayon? Marami ay nakatengga, walang trabaho dahil sa wala naming mapagtrabahuan. In the vineyard of the Lord, however, there is always work. And he is generous in constantly sending workers to His vineyards.

    I admire many owners of the business who keep their business open in spite of the hard times. Not so much for them but for the sake of their workers. To sustain the workers in their work is to give life and hope to them and to their families. So they burn midnight candles thinking how to keep their business going for the sake of their workers.

    I also admire and praise the companies who gave salaries to their workers for several months even if they could not work because of the pandemic. These companies reflect the generosity of the owner of the vineyard. He did not just pay the workers for their work. He paid them because they are their workers.

    Dito po magkaiba ang pananaw ng Diyos sa usual na pananaw ng mga may-ari o mga managers ng mga businesses o mga paggawaan. Ang binabayaran nila aya ng trabaho ng manggagawa nila. Ito lang ang nagawa mo, yan lang ang matatanggap mo. Halatang halata ito sa mga arrangements na ang bayad ay by the number of pieces produced. Eighty pieces lang ang nagawa mo, babayaran kita ayon sa halaga ng eighty pieces. Trabahao ang binabayaran. O kaya nagtrabaho ka ng anim na oras, anim na oras lang ang sahod mo.

    Pero pwede ba nating tignan that we pay not the work but the worker? Hindi trabaho ang binabayaran natin kundi ang manggagawa. Ibig sabihin hindi trabaho, hindi yung ginawa niya ang binabayaran, kundi ang taong gumagawa ang binabayaran. We pay not the work but the worker.

    In our Philippine constitution, the just wage is not simply the minimum wage but the living wage. The living wage is the amount of salary that a worker and his family can decently live on in a day.

    Sa Pilipinas ang ating minimum wage sa Metro Manila ay P537.00. Pero ayon sa pagsasaliksik, ang living wage, the amount that can decently support a family of five in a day is P1,022.00. Hindi pa tayo sumusunod sa  Constitution.

    Bakit naman pumasok sa usapin ng sweldo? Kasi sa ebanghelyo, iba ang pananaw ng ubasan kaysa nakasanayan nating pananaw. Ang isang Dinaryo ay ang sahod sa isang araw. Ang sahod na makakasuporta sa manggagawa ng isang araw. Kahit na nagtrabaho siya ng anim o tatlo o isang oras, kailangan ng manggagawa na mabuhay ng isang araw. Kaya minabuti ng may-ari na bigyan sila lahat ng tig-iisang Dinaryo kahit na sa ilang oras lang sila nagtrabaho. Ang binayaran niya ay hindi ang oras ng trabaho kundi ang nagtarabaho, ang taong manggagawa.

    Can we adopt this way of looking at work? We do not calculate the salary just according to the amount of work done. But we pay the wage to support a human person, a brother and sister who work.

    Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyayari sa ating pamilya? Hindi lang natin pinapakain ang nagtrabaho sa bahay. Pati si baby na hindi nagtratrabaho, si lola na mahina na ay nakikibahagi sa mga resources ng pamilya. In the family, it’s received according to each one’s need and each gives according to one’s capacity.

    In the Church in Jerusalem, this way of life, this is the way of life of the early Christians. We are told in the Acts of the Apostles, “There was no needy person among them for those who own the property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale and put them at the feet of the apostles”. And they were distributed to each according to need.

    Siyempre nagreklamo ang mga nagtrabaho ng buong araw. Pero palagay ba ninyo magrereklamo sila kung walang ibang manggagawa na dumating na magtrabaho? Hindi. Iyan naman kasi ang kasunduan nila. Nagreklamo sila kasi nasilip nila na ang mga nahuli ay isang Dinaryo din ang tinanggap. Ang pagrereklamo nila ay bunga ng pagkainggit. Nainggit sila kasi mapagbigay ang may ari sa iba. Envy is a very dangerous sin. It blinds us to goodness. It is actually a form of selfishness.

    We can get many insights from this parable of Jesus. First, there is a lot of work in the vineyard of the Lord. Ang iba ay bata pa tinawag na ng Diyos. Ang iba ay nasa kalagitnaan na ng kanilang buhay. Ang iba ay sa bandang huli na sila tinawag tulad ng magnanakaw na pinakos a krus sa tabi ni Hesus. Late na niyang nakilala niyang nakilala si Hesus at siya pa ang unang nakapasok sa paraiso. Talagang naging totoo sa kanya ang sinabi ni Jesus, “The last will be first. The first will be last.”

    Makikita din natin sa pagbasa natin ang generosity ng Panginoon. Tapat siya sa Kanyang pangako. Ibinigay niya ang nararapat pero mapagbigay din siya sa iba. Let us not be envious. Let us allow God to be God. We are not short-changed because others are favored. God also gives us what is due to us and sometimes even more. Huwag lang tayo maging mapaghambing. In our highly competitive world, there are lots of hurts because we tend to compare. Compare positions, money, possessions, favors, etc. So, we are never contented. We are never satisfied. And we are never happy and contented.

    But on another level, it is good to examine our view on salaries and wages. It is not just a strict tooth for tack. A more humane way of looking at work is that it is a way to care for each other as human beings. And to distribute the wealth of the company, we do not just pay the work or the number of hours of work, we pay the worker who is a human person.

    Let us not just be contented to give the minimum wage and sometimes even less. We strive to give the living wage which is found in our Philippine Constitution.

    Corollary to this, let us not view labor as an expense. If it is viewed as an expense, we cut it down. Thus, the ways and means being used to cut down the expense of labor like contractualization. Can we not see labor as an asset? As capital? As a resource? Is a person an expense or a resource? We cut down on our expenses. But we build up our resources.

    Ay, malaki pang pagbababgo ang dapat magbago sa ating pananaw. “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor my ways your ways,” says the Lord. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Mental Stress caused by Pandemic can be addressed by strengthening Spirituality


    In an interview by the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications with Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, he encouraged the faithful to strengthen their faith especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic where many people are threatened of physical health and devastation on the emotional and the well-being of a person.

    “Hindi lang naman ito medical issue ng karamdaman. Ang dami ring emotional, mental issues na kasama dito kaya mahalaga din yung pananampalataya,” he said.

    “Yung medical, yung physical concerns natin matutugunan yan ng doctor, matutugunan yan ng siyensiya. Pero yung emotional, yung mental malaking bagay magagawa ng pananampalataya natin para diyan,” he added.


    Earlier in September the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has lifted the restrictions to religious activities allowing churches to reopen with 10% seating capacity under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

    The reopening allows the faithful to come inside the church and attend the celebration of the Holy Mass, which was placed on hold when the government declared the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Manila because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    According to Fr. Malicdem, it is best to be physically present during Mass but the faithful are not forced to go out of their homes and attend if they don’t feel they are not yet safe to do so because of the risk of the virus.

    “Recently naglabas ng letter ang Vatican office yung Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments na nothing beats, nothing compares to the physical presence doon sa misa. Kaya ine-encourage ng Vatican na as long as it is already safe and possible to allow the people to attend Mass, talagang mas maganda nandon physically ang mga tao. But of course we have to consider din yung safety ng mga tao at yung mga tao na hindi talaga makakalabas ng bahay at hindi makakapunta ng misa dahil hindi pa nila nararamdaman yung safety,” he said.

    Fr. Malicdem further added that their online services and online masses are made available through their Facebook page and YouTube channel.

    As of September 19, 2020, the total coronavirus cases in the country is 283,460. There were 4,930 who died while 209,885 recovered from the virus. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop urges Common Family Prayers at Home for All Souls’ Day


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila issued a Pastoral Instruction encouraging families to stay in their homes and pray for their loved ones who have gone ahead of them. The Pastoral Instruction entitled, “One with Our Beloved Dead” was released on September 21, 2020.

    “Instead of going to the cemeteries on November 1 and 2, we can also set aside time together as a family in our homes and pray for those who have gone ahead of us. It is a good and holy thought to pray for the dead,” Bishop Pabillo said.

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


    He also added that “It would also be good if we can share with the family members our recollections about our beloved dead so that their memory can bind us closer to each other."

    He, however, explained to the faithful that they can still remember and pray for their departed loved ones by visiting the cemeteries on the other days before October 31 and after November 3.

    Earlier in September, Metro Manila Mayors agreed to close all public and private cemeteries and memorial parks including columbaria from October 31 to November 3, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Bishop recognizes the prudence of the decision made. “I commend our local executives for their care to prevent any upsurge of the disease. This was extended nation-wide by the IATF resolution 72 which came out on September 15,” he said.

    In the Pastoral Instruction, the Bishop encouraged the faithful to attend the celebration of the Holy Mass on November 1 and 2 noting that “the Holy Eucharist is the best prayer that we can offer” because “all of us, living and dead, are united in the offering of Jesus in the Holy Mass”.

    Parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila according to him, will celebrate more Masses on those days to accommodate more churchgoers observing proper physical distancing. The faithful are also requested to light candles for the dead as an external manifestation of prayers. According to the Bishop, “this can be done in areas provided by the parishes during the month of November.”

    As the spread of the coronavirus in the country continues, many have lost family members who died because of the infection. And as protocol dictates, all those who have died were immediately cremated. The Bishop reminds the faithful not to keep permanently the urns containing the ashes of their loved ones in their homes.

    “There is great danger of desecration in the future, especially when we are no longer around to look after and care for these ashes. So the ashes should be laid to rest in columbaria in the cemeteries or in churches. In this way too, other people outside of our families who would like to visit and pray for them can freely do so any time,” he said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

     

  • Parishes put up specialized health protocols as Churches reopen


    Earlier in September, the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has eased the restrictions on religious gatherings allowing up to 10% of seating capacity of churches and other places of worship under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila issued earlier a Pastoral Instruction called “Protocol for religious services in the Archdiocese of Manila.” The document provided some guidelines to make the religious gatherings safe and do not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

    Responding to the 10% seating capacity restriction, San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila has implemented measures, on top of the minimal health protocol, as to how to keep religious gatherings safe in their church.

    “The faithful are requested to register if they want to attend Mass. If they are walk in, they should fill-up the contact tracing form located at the door of the church and upon entering the church, ushers will direct them to their assigned seats, and the faithful are reminded to maintain a one –meter physical distancing from one another,” Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, parochial vicar of San Fernando de Dilao Parish told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    Photo Credit: The Manila Cathedral

     
    During communion, he said, the faithful remained in their seats and the priest and minister will approach them and distribute communion by hand. Prior to that he said, the Greeters and Collectors Ministers and the ushers sanitize their hands.

    After the Mass the faithful are not allowed to go out randomly, rather they are led row by row to the exit doors of the church at the side because the main doors only serve as the entrance.

    Fr. Del Rosario also stressed that all the ministers follow and observe the prescribed safety and health protocols. Lectors and cantors as well as the priests have their own respective microphone cover.

    At the Manila Cathedral, there is no more registration of those who wish to attend mass. The faithful may attend on a first come first serve basis until maximum capacity is reached. The attendees are required to wear not just a face mask but also a face shield.

    According to Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of Manila Cathedral, they see the online registration as a “disadvantage” to some because many of their mass goers are not familiar or knowledgeable with online operations.

    “Itong sa Manila Cathedral medyo basic palang yung ginagawa namin like paper and pen then kanya kanyang ballpen, kanya kanyang papel sa pagsulat. Although we are looking at it at gawin nang online, pero pinag-aaralan din namin kasi may mga mass goers talaga na hindi marunong sa online. Disadvantage yun siyempre kung gusto nila magsimba pero kung halimbawa hindi naman sila marunong sa QR code, mahihirapan sila,” Fr. Malicdem said.

    He said that even though the cathedral has a maximum capacity of 2,200 (including monoblock chairs), they only accommodate 80 persons (counting the wooden pews) inside the Cathedral. The Cathedral, according to him, has made the necessary coordination with the Intramuros Administration to provide tents at the Plaza Roma, the park in front of the church, for those who will not be able to come inside and there they can also receive communion.

    For Quiapo Church, following the 10% seating capacity, it is able to accommodate 200 mass goers that can come inside the church maintaining a 1-2 meters physical distancing both on seating and standing positions, said Fr. Danichi Hui, parochial vicar of the church.

    Fr. Hui added that they have provided a medic area inside the church and they disinfect the whole church every after mass or after churchgoers leave. A mass goer also fills up a contract tracing form as part of the measure.

    “Before the people leave the place after a mass, the ushers of the church direct them according to their seating arrangements. The people cannot go out unless the church’s ushers would tell them so to avoid crowding the exit gates,” said Fr. Hui.

    Quiapo Church provides huge LED monitors outside the church for those faithful who will not be allowed to come inside to hear Mass while observing proper physical distancing.

    After the government lifted some restrictions on religious activities, many parishes in the country are still in lockdown due to continuous coronavirus cases.

    Earlier in September, three parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila announced its temporary closure because some of its staff fell ill with the virus.

    Amidst the lockdowns and temporary closures, the parishes in the Archdiocese are doing their best to open and make available a place where people can pray and contribute to their spiritual support and peace of mind.

    “The church is doing everything para mapanatiling ligtas, maayos, mapanatili pa rin ang kasagraduhan ng pagdiriwang ng bawat banal na misa. Patuloy tayong magdasal na matatapos din ang lahat ng ito, na sa awa ng Diyos, ipagdasal natin na sa madaling panahon ay magkaroon tayo ulit ng biyayang magkatipun tipon na magkakasama na,” said Fr. Del Rosario. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: One with Our Beloved Dead


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,


    A few weeks ago, the mayors of Metro Manila came out with a resolution to
    close the public cemeteries from October 31 to November 3 this year to avoid
    large crowds congregating and thus spread the Corona 19 virus. I commend our
    local executives for their care to prevent any upsurge of the disease. This was
    extended nation-wide by the IATF resolution 72 which came out on September
    15. It states: “All public and private cemeteries, and memorial parks, including
    columbariums and the like throughout the country shall be closed to visitors
    from October 29 to November 4, 2020.” I enjoin everyone to cooperate.


    We hold on to our faith in the Communion of Saints and to our oneness with our
    beloved dead. We believe that death does not totally separate our loved ones
    from us. In physical death life is changed, not ended. Our relationship with our
    beloved dead, however, is no longer material but spiritual. In fact, we go to the
    cemetery during the UNDAS to remember and pray for them. Remembrance and
    prayers are spiritual activities. We can still do these. We can go to visit them in
    the cemeteries on other days, not just in the first two days of November. So we
    can schedule our family visit to the cemetery on any day before October 29 and
    on any day after November 4. What is to be avoided is that we congregate
    together and form large crowds only on certain days.


    On November 1 and 2, all are encouraged to go to Church and offer Mass for our
    beloved dead. The Holy Eucharist is the best prayer that we can offer. All of us,
    living and dead, are united in the offering of Jesus in the Holy Mass. Our
    parishes will celebrate more Masses on those days to accommodate more church
    goers with proper physical distancing. Lighting of candles for the dead can also
    be done in areas provided by the parishes during the month of November. The
    lighting of candles is an external manifestation of our prayer.


    Instead of going to the cemeteries on November 1 and 2, we can also set aside
    time together as a family in our homes and pray for those who have gone ahead
    of us. It is a good and holy thought to pray for the dead. It would also be good if
    we can share with the family members our recollections about our beloved dead
    so that their memory can bind us closer to each other.

    During these past six months, many have experienced death in the family, and
    for hygienic reasons many of our dead were cremated. I would like to remind
    everyone that it is not allowed for us to keep the urns containing the ashes in our
    homes permanently. There is great danger of desecration in the future,
    especially when we are no longer around to look after and care for these ashes.
    So the ashes should be laid to rest in columbaria in the cemeteries or in churches.
    In this way too, other people outside of our families who would like to visit and
    pray for them can freely do so any time.


    We give due respect to the remains of the dead because we believe that “just as
    in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life” (1 Cor. 15:22). So we
    all await our coming together into God’s house at the resurrection of the dead.
    We believe in the words of our Lord Jesus: “In my Father's house there are many
    dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to
    prepare a place for you? And 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 may be” (Jn. 14:2-3).
    Our regular visits to cemeteries and our remembrance and prayers for the dead
    are deep signs of our longing to be with them forever in our Father’s house.




    Yours truly in Christ Jesus,

    BISHOP BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila
    September 21, 2020



     




  • We pray for our departed amidst temporary closure of cemeteries in Undas


    Apostolic Administrator of Manila, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, has emphasized the importance of remembering their departed loved ones even though people are not permitted to visit cemeteries this year, as directive of the government to arrest the continuing spread of the Virus in the Philippines.

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


    Bp. Pabillo clarified that the prohibition of visiting departed loved ones in the cemeteries is only temporary. This is a way to avoid the influx of people in the cemeteries and the rapid transmission of the virus especially in public places.

    “Kahit na hindi kayo makabisita sa sementeryo, tandaan natin na ang mas mahalaga ay ang maalaala yung mga namatay at saka ipagdasal sila,” said the Bishop during the Pastoral Visit on-air of Barangay Simbayanan.

    He then reminded the faithful that remembering and offering prayers for their departed loved ones can be done in their homes homes as well as attending mass in the Churches.

    The bishop proposes that visiting cemeteries can be done, in accordance to health protocols and under regulation, in other days apart from November 1 and 2 as how the Catholic tradition has been observed.

    “By coming to the cemetery, not necessarily on November 1 and November 2 so maybe before… or the whole month of November. Ang mahalaga maalala natin sila at ipagdadasal natin sila,” the bishop said.

    Mayor Francisco “Isko" Moreno Domagoso of Manila has announced earlier the temporary closure of cemeteries, memorials parks, and columbariums in the city from October 31 to November 3. Last Sunday, 16 cities from Metro Manila have also decided to close cemeteries during the period of Undas to prevent the spread of the virus. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Black Nazarene Procession was with LGU permission--Quiapo Church


    An investigation about the Black Nazarene procession last September 14, Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, is being held as it was put under scrutiny by the Philippine National Police for violation of the quarantine protocols.

    According to Rev. Fr. Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of Quiapo Church, the Church is ready to take responsibility if any violations are proven with regards to the procession of the Black Nazarene.

    “Haharapin namin at makikipagtulungan kami sa imbestigasyon na gagawin nila at handa kaming akuin ang buong responsibilidad kung sakaling mayron kaming nilabag sa quarantine protocols,” said Fr. Badong during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Procession of the replica of the Black Nazarene on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, 2020. | Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page


    In an article posted on the website of Radio Veritas, the priest said that there might have been some devotees who, intentionally or unintentionally, were not able to follow strictly the health protocols during the procession, which lasted for 3 hours.

    Quiapo Church explained that they have actually fulfilled the required procedure before they conducted the event. They informed and secured the permission of the local government of Manila and that they also requested assistance from the Quiapo Police for the implementation of strict physical distancing and other health protocols.

    Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, Manila Police Department Director, had already issued an order to the Quiapo Police Station to meet with the head of Quiapo Church to discuss about the issue.

    The Basilica assures to cooperate with the Joint Task Force COVID Shield concerning the investigation. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Sacrament of Confession brings inner peace amidst fear and uncertainties


    Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila exhorted the faithful to practice once more the reception of the Sacrament of Confession even in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    In his Sunday Mass last September 13 in Kambal na Krus Chapel (St Joseph the Worker Parish) in Tondo, Manila, Bishop Pabillo reminded the faithful that the Sacrament of Confession is an essential component for spiritual growth.



    "Sa panahon ng pandemic na ito, maraming mga religious services ang hindi natin nagawa sa loob ng anim na buwan. Isa sa mga ito ay ang pagkukumpisal. Kaya hinihikayat muli ang lahat na bumalik na sa pagkukumpisal. Mahalaga ang pagkukumpisal kasi dito natin nararanasan na pinatawad tayo ng Diyos. This is the Sacrament of the encounter with the mercy of God," he said.

    Beyond the many difficulties being experienced during the pandemic, the bishop described the relief imparted by the Sacrament of Reconciliation which becomes the avenue to God's mercy.  And as the penitents receive mercy and compassion from God in the sacrament, it also enables them to become compassionate and become sensitive to the needs of others.

    "Hopefully, because we have experienced God’s mercy, we can also become more patient and more merciful to others. Dahil sa mahabang pagkakulong sa bahay at sa walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan, marami sa atin ay madaling mawalan ng pasensiya. Nagiging magagalitin at bugnutin sa iba. We need to be more merciful to one another," he added.

    The Apostolic Administrator noted that as the sacrament aims to bring inner peace, it also makes the faithful reflect on their shortcomings and distressing situations in life, particularly the emotional burden which needs to be lifted.

    "The Sacrament of Confession helps us in being merciful after we ourselves experience the mercy of God. Hindi ba gumagaan ang loob natin kapag tayo’y nakapagkumpisal? Dahil sa magaan na ang loob natin, madali ng pasanin ang mga pabigat sa buhay natin," he said.

    The Bishop explained that those who have received forgiveness through the Sacrament, they are also able to build rapport with one other.

    "Dahil sa napatawad tayo, madali na rin magpatawad sa iba. Dahil sa inunawa tayo, magdali na ring mag-unawa sa iba. At kung tayo ay nagpapatawad sa iba, madali rin tayong pagbigyan ng patawad ng Diyos," the bishop added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Priests also vulnerable to depression--Bishop


    Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), calls on Diocesan Bishops in the country to check on and extend moral support to their priests during this pandemic.

    “I am also calling on my brother Bishops na alalayan din natin ang mga pari natin lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” said Bishop David said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan and Acting President of CBCP | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

     

    His statement was after some reports in the media of alleged suicide cases among the clergy.

    The Bishop explained that priests are not exempted in suffering for they are also human beings. They are also victims of mental health issues like anxiety, trauma, and depression during this pandemic. This is mainly because they cannot perform their pastoral duties as priests due to the strict rules being implemented by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

    “Many of them are also very vulnerable; I know some of them feel depressed and very guilty dahil hindi sila makalabas and they cannot attend to their pastoral duties,” the Bishop added.

    Radio Veritas priest-anchor, Rev. Fr. Victor Sadaya, CMF, which is the Executive Director of Porta Coeli Center for Psycho-trauma Management, has called for the initiation of mental health programs for priests.

    Bishop David also encouraged the minsters of the Church to use the new technology and new means of communications especially through the internet and social media to reach their parishioners in creative ways.

    Rev. Fr. Dan Cancino, the Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care, emphasized that mental health should also be an important concern during this pandemic. According to the data of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), there were 33 suicide-related calls from January to March this year, but the number soared and went up to 115 calls this July.

    Also, the Social Weather Station released a survey last July wherein 84 percent of the Filipinos are experiencing stress due to this COVID-19 pandemic.  (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Manila Cathedral reopens for liturgical services


    The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or Manila Cathedral reopens its door to the public on September 16, 2020, with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for religious activities.

    After 6 months of being closed, Fr. Reginal Malicdem, Rector of The Manila Cathedral, said that The Manila Cathedral, also known as the Mother Church in the Philippines, is open for those who wish to attend Mass and come for private prayers.


    The faithful are reminded to wear face masks and face shields when entering the Cathedral.

    “We assure you that safety measures are in place and we request for the cooperation of everyone. We know that now more than ever we need to strengthen our faith in God in order to survive these difficult times. We also entrust ourselves to our Blessed Mother Mary. We are excited to welcome you back home,” Fr. Malicdem told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    Following the guidelines set by the IATF for religious activities, the Cathedral can accommodate only 80 persons inside for each Mass, on a first-come-first-served basis. Those, however, who cannot be accommodated inside the Cathedral on Sundays, may go to Plaza Roma, the park in front of the church,  where communion will also be distributed.

    The schedule of the Manila Cathedral is as follows:

    Masses
    Monday to Friday: 7:30 am and 12:10 pm
    Saturday: 7:30 am
    Sunday: 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 6:00 pm

    Private Prayers
    8:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    All Masses will continue to be streamed live on the Facebook Page and YouTube channel of The Manila Cathedral.

    The public celebration of Masses at the Cathedral has been suspended since March after the government declared the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as effect of the outbreak of the coronavirus in NCR. But on September 8, 2020, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary, the Cathedral opened for a day for the said celebration in honor of its patron. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Manila initiates cooperative program for jeepney drivers


    Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), commended Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila for its initiative to create a cooperative intended for jeepney drivers.

    Photo Credit: Caritas Manila Facebook Page

    Bishop Ambo pointed out how livelihood is so vital and challenges pertaining to it must be addressed immediately to support the transports sector who are among the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    “Itong pangkabuhayan dapat iprioritize talaga natin; ang ganda ng kanyang panukalang kooperatiba para sa mga jeepney drivers palagay ko malayong malayo ang mararating nun,” said the Bishop during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Meanwhile, Caritas Manila assisted 300 jeepney drivers in Caloocan, Navotas, and Malabon last September 11, 2020, as an aid to show care  continuation to care to the transportation sector who lost their income.

    Bishop David also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the initiative of Caritas Manila to also help the children of the jeepney drivers to study through its Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program or YSLEP. Although donations are badly needed, educations still must be given more importance for a long term and sustained support to the families of the drivers.

    Bishop David also encouraged the the recipient of the aid to strengthen their faith and not to forget to often pray for the end to the pandemic that all may revert to what is normal.

    “Huwag kayong mag atubili na lumapit sa Simbahan, nandito kami para sa inyo. Magdasal tayo na itong krisis na ito ay matapos na. Gusto kong maramdaman ninyo [jeepney drivers] na hindi kayo nag iisa, kasama ninyo ang Simbahan, kasama ninyo ang Panginoon at kasama natin ang isa’t isa,” the bishop added.

    Caritas Manila is targeting to assist 10,000 jeepney drivers in Metro Manila. (Fatima Llanza)

     

     

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at Kambal na Krus Chapel on September 13, 2020, at 10 am.


    Nakikiisa po ako dito po sa Kambal na Krus sa pagdiriwang nila ng pasasalamat ng pagtatagpo ng kanilang krus. Kahit na ito’y isang maliit na chapel lamang, matagal nap o ang kasaysayan nito. Kaya ito’y ika-98th year ng pagdiriwang nila ng kanilang chapel.

    At tamang tama naman na ang pagdiriwang na ito ay kaugnay sa piyesta natin bukas sa simbahan, the “Triumph of the Cross”, ang “Tagumpay ng Krus ni Hesus”. Sa pamamagitan ng krus, tayo’y naliligtas. Sa pamamagitan ng krus, naranasan natin ang awa ng Diyos.
    |


    Malupit po ang mundo natin. Puno ng galit at puno ng paghihiganti. Ganun na lang ang galit ng tao na handa siyang magpasabog ng kanyang sarili at mandamay sa ibang mga inosenteng tao. Kaya mayroon tayong mga suicide bombers na ngayon ay pumasok na sa Pilipinas.

    Ganun na lang ang galit na nasa tao na handa silang pumatay at magpasakit ng milyong mga tao. Nangyari yan sa Europa sa extermination ng mga Armenians noong World War I at mga hudyo ng World War II.

    Nangyari yan sa Africa sa patayan ng mga Tutsi at mga Hutu sa Rwanda.

    Nangyari sa Cambodia sa pagpatay ng mga Khmer Rouge.

    Nangyayari yan gnayon sa Tsina sa pagpapatay at pagsisira ng kultura at relihiyon ng mga Tibetans at ng mga Uyghurs.  Nangyayari yan sa Middle East sa pagpapatayan ng mga C-Aids at mga Suits.

    Nangyayari yan sa Pilipinas sa mga...na nangyayari at sa pagpapatay ng mga drug addicts at mga tinaguriang rebelde without any judicial process.

    Puno ng galit at paghihiganti ang mundo. Kaya sa panahong ito ang mensahe ng Diyos ay mercy, habag, awa. Kaya sa simbahan, nandiyan yung debosyon at popular na debosyon ng Sacred Heart of Jesus, debosyon ng Divine Mercy.

    Hence, the calls of the popes. St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis on mercy and compassion. This is what we need now. God’s response to human sinfulness is mercy. Kaya sinabi sa atin ni San Juan, “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world may be saved through Him.”

    There is enough reason for God to punish the world. But no, He does not punish. He does not take vengeance. Instead, Jesus the Son of God was pierced for our sins, crushed by our inequity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole. By His wounds, we were healed. Yet, all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way. But the Lord laid upon Him, the gift of us all. God is indeed merciful.

    Sa ating gospel, napatawad ng hari ang servant na may utang sa kanya ng sampung milyong piso. Imagine, sampung milyong piso. Hindi lang siya binigyan ng panahon. Ayon sa kanyang hinihingi, bigyan mo ako ng panahon ay babayaran ko ang lahat. Ngunit pinatawad siya, wala ng utang. Deleted na ang sampung milyon na dapat bayaran niya.

    Pinatawad ang sampung milyon dahil sa naawa sa kanya ang hari. Kaya galit nag alit ang hari sa kanya na wala siyang awa sa kanyang kapwa alipin. Sabi sa kanya ng hari, “Napakasama mo. Pinatawad kita sa utang mo sapagkat nagmakaawa ka sa akin. Nahabag ako sayo. Hindi ba dapat ka ring mahabag sa kapwa mo?”

    Ang pinatawad ng sampung milyon ay hindi makapagpatawad ng limang daang piso. Talagang napakasama niya. Ganyan ang pagpapatawad ng Diyos….dahil sa awa ng Diyos pinatatawad tayong lagi. Ito ang dahilan bakit palagi tayong magpatawad.

    Ang tanong ni Pedro, “Ilang beses ko bang patatawarin ang kapatid kong paulit ulit na nagkakasala sa akin?” Akala niya generous na siya kapag nagpatawad siya ng pitong beses. Hindi lang pito. Seventy times pa dito. Ibig sabihin walang sawa, walang hangganan kasi ganyan din tayo pinatatawad ng Diyos at higit pa.

    Sa panahon ng pandemic na ito, maraming mga religious services ang hindi natin nagawa sa loob ng anim na buwan. Isa sa mga ito ay ang pagkukumpisal. Kaya hinihikat muli ang lahat na bumalik na sa pagkukumpisal. Mahalaga ang pagkukumpisal kasi dito natin nararanasan na pinatawad tayo ng Diyos. This is the Sacrament of the encounter with the mercy of God.

    Hopefully, because we have experienced God’s mercy, we can also become more patient and more merciful to others. Dahil sa mahabang pagkakulong sa bahay at sa walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan, marami sa atin ay madaling mawalan ng pasensiya. Nagiging magagalitin at bugnutin sa iba. We need to be more merciful to one another.

    The Sacrament of Confession helps us in being merciful after we ourselves experience the mercy of God. Hindi ba gumagaan ang loob natin kapag tayo’y nakapagkumpisal? Dahil sa magaan na ang loob natin, madali ng pasanin ang mga pabigat sa buhay natin.

    Dahil sa napatawad tayo, madali na rin magpatawad sa iba. Dahil sa inunawa tayo, magdali na ring mag-unawa sa iba. At kung tayo ay nagpapatawad sa iba, madali rin tayong pagbigyan ng patawad ng Diyos.

    Ito naman ang narinig natin kay Ben Sirach sa ating Unang Pagbasa, “Patawarin mo ang kapwa sa kanyang pagkukulang. At pag ikaw ay dumalangin sa Diyos, patatawarin ka rin naman. Ang nagtatanim ng galit sa kanyang kapwa, pag tumawag sa Diyos, walang makakamtang awa.”

    When we pray the Our Father we say, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.” Of all the seven petitions of the Our Father, Jesus gave a commentary only on this petition. He said, “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither with your Father forgive your transgressions.”

    Kaya makikita natin na may mahigpit na kaugnayan ang habag ng Diyos sa atin at ang habag natin sa kapwa. Dahil mahabagin tayo sa kapwa, kahahabagan tayo ng Diyos dahil sa malaki ang awa sa atin ng Diyos, kaya maging maawain din tayo sa ating kapwa.

    Ito ang message ng devotion to the Sacred Heart and devotion to the Divine Mercy – God is so merciful, let us also be merciful. Kaya sinabi ni Jesus, “Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.

    Sa ating panahon ngayon, maraming mga taong nananawagan ng katarungan. We call for justice. Pero maging maingat tayo. Para sa marami, ang panawagan ng katarungan ay tutungo sa totoo lang panawagan ng paghihiganti.

    Katarungan. Pasakitan sila kasi pinasakitan niya kami. Patayin sila kasi pinahirapan kami. Is this real justice? Then we go back to the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth – a practice that the Lord Jesus has rejected. Kaya kung naniniwala pa tayo sa paghihiganti, hindi tayo Kristiyano. Hindi tayo tagasunod ni Kristo.

    Hindi maka-Kristiyano ang manawagan ng death penalty. Kapag pinatay mo na hindi mo na siya bingyan ng pagkakataon na magbago. For the follower of Christ, justice is always tempered with mercy. Hindi dapat mawawala ang awa sa katarungan. Pero maraming nananawagan ng death penalty is just because of vengeance. Dapat patayin kasi nakagawa ng masama.

    Noong May 13, 1981, binaril ni Mehmet Ali Agca si John Paul II sa St. Peter’s Square sa Roma. Malapit ng mamatay noon ang Santo Papa, apat na bala ang pumasok sa kanyang katawan.

    Noong December 27, 1983, two yers and ahlaf later, binisita ni John Paul II si Mehmet Ali Agca sa bilangguan at doon pinakita ang kanyang habag sa kanya at pagmamahal sa kanya. Walang galit sa kanya si John Paul II.

    Nilapitan ng Santo Papa ang nagtangkang pumatay sa kanya at pinadama sa kanya ang kanyang pagmamahal. Pero hindi pinalaya si Mehmet Ali Agca. Binuo niya ang kanyang pagkabilanggo sa Italy at sa Turkey. Nakalaya siya sa bilangguan noong 2010. Halos thirty years siyang nabilanggo. Noong siya’y nakalabas ng bilagguan, pumunta siya sa libingan ni John Paul II at nagdasal doon.

    Noong buhay pa si John Paul II, napalapit siya sa pamilya ni Agca. Nakatagpo niya ang kanyang nanay at ang kanyang kapatid at madalas silang nagkaroon ng contact. Iyan ang halimbawa ng restorative justice. Justice that restores relationships that brings harmony.

    Sa ating panahon ngayon, pinag-uusapan ang absolute pardon na binigay ng presidente kay Joseph Scott Pemberton, ang pumatay kay Jennifer Laude. Maraming mga pag-uusap kung tama ba ang pagpapatawad kay Pemberton. May nagsasabi na hindi pa nga niya nabuo ang six to ten years na sentence sa kanya noong 2015 at special pa ang kanyang kulungan sa Camp Aguinaldo at hindi sa bilibid.

    Ang presidente ng bansa ay mayroon ngang karapatan at kapangyarihan na magbigay ng absolute pardon. He exercise this power to Pemberton and also to other prisoners as well. Pero ang daming mga Pilipino sa mga bilangguan natin na natutulog ang mga kaso nila. Bakit hindi gamitin ang prerogative na ito na magpatawad para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga nabilanggo at ma-decongest ang ating mga bilangguan na umaapaw na higit na limang beses sa kanyang capacity ang laman ng mga bilangguan natin. Maraming napapabayaan sa mga bilangguan na matatanda na at may sakit pa.

    Should not pity be shown to them? If really there is such a virtue as forgiveness in our government, why not exercise this for so many who are languishing in our jails?

    So, as we see, ang usapin ng pagpapatawad ay hindi lang usapin ng relasyon natin sa Diyos at ng relasyon natin sa ating kapwa. Ito’y usapin din sa kalagayan sa lipunan. Forgiveness comes out of pity and compassion. May we never lose the sense of pity in our society. We Christians who claim to have experienced God’s mercy, may we also be merciful in our dealings with each other in society.

    Let us pray for this grace in this Holy Mass. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Church continues to extend aid to Jeepney Drivers


    More than 300 hundred jeepney drivers in the Diocese of Caloocan received aid from Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila in partnership with Caritas Caloocan.

    Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who is also the acting President of the Catholic Bishops’ of the Philippines (CBCP), expressed his gratitude for the assistance Caritas Manila has provided to the transport sector which was among the most affected by the pandemic.

    "Huwag kayong mag atubili na lumapit sa Simbahan, nandito kami para sa inyo. Magdasal tayo na itong krisis na ito ay matapos na. Gusto kong maramdaman ninyo [jeepney drivers] na hindi kayo nag iisa, kasama ninyo ang Simbahan, kasama ninyo ang Panginoon at kasama natin ang isa't isa," Bishop David to Radio Veritas on a Facebook post.

     Photo Credit: Radio Veritas Facebook Page


    Fr. Moises Ciego of Caritas Manila and Fr. Marcelo Andamon Jr. of Caritas Caloocan led the distribution of goods to the jeepney drivers held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace Parish, 11th Avenue Caloocan City.
     

    In the past weeks, Caritas Manila was able to distribute manna bags and other in-kind donations to jeepney drivers in Santa Cruz, Manila, Makati, Taguig and Pandacan.

    Aside from the jeepney drivers, Caritas Manila also extended its support and assistance to some employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) and the San Juan City Male Dorm. Both received hygiene kits and manna bags from the Caritas.

    Caritas Manila continues to collaborate with different organizations and institutions to help those affected by the lockdown, most especially the poor people to help them cope up with the struggle brought about by loss of livelihood as effect of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Cardinal Tagle tests positive for COVID-19


    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People has tested positive for the coronavirus after his arrival in the Philippines.

    In a post published on the Vatican News, Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed on Friday, September 11, that Cardinal Tagle has tested positive for COVID-19 after a swab test.

    "Cardinal Tagle actually tested positive for Covid-19 with a pharyngeal swab carried out yesterday on his arrival in Manila,” Bruni said in a brief statement.

    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle | File Photo: RCAM-AOC

     

    Cardinal Tagle, former Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila and President of Caritas Internationalis becomes the first head of the Vatican dicastery infected by the coronavirus’.

    According to Bruni, Cardinal Tagle “does not have any symptoms and will remain in mandatory self-quarantine in the Philippines, where he is located”.  He added that “necessary checks are being carried out among those who have come into contact with His Eminence in recent days.” 

    Bruni said that Cardinal Tagle “had undergone a swab test in Rome on September 7, which turned out negative.”

    In a statement released by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Acting President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), he said that Cardinal Tagle came to Manila to have a late summer break and might have picked up the virus at the airport or in the plane.

    “In all likelihood, he may have picked up COVID 19 right in the airport or in the plane. He probably could not avoid being greeted by people, especially OFWs, who recognized him at the airport or inside the plane,” he said.

    Bishop David added that Cardinal Tagle, who is asymptomatic, also came home to visit his elderly parents in Imus, Cavite, and is now in isolation in the next 14 days. He asked his brother priests and the faithful for the Cardinal’s recovery.

    “May I ask you to please have him included in all your daily Mass intentions until he recovers fully from COVID19 so that he can resume his important ministry for the universal church?” he said.

    On September 8, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he led an online recollection called “Kaunting Pahinga,” organized by Caritas Philippines and the Dilaab Foundation. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily of Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord on September 6, 2020, at 10 am.


    May mga taong naguguluhan bakit pa nagsasalita ang simbahan sa mga issues ng panahon natin ngayon. May iba pa nga na parang nanunumbat, bakit nakikialam ang simbahan sa mga usapin ng lipunan?

    Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ipagpatuloy ang misyon ni Hesukristo. Si Hesus na anak ng Diyos ay pinadala ng Ama upang ipadama ang pag-ibig ng Diyos at upang manawagan sa lahat na ibigin ang Diyos at ibigin ang kapwa.



    Love is the core of the message of Jesus. But love is not just a sweet feeling, an emotion. Jesus is very clear, if we love God we keep His commandments. So, there is a clear relationship between love and the law.

    The Commandments have been given to us not to limit our freedom but to show us the way to love. And the laws are given to be fulfilled. Kaya maganda ang sinabi ni San Pablo na narinig natin sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, “Huwag kayong magkaroon ng anumang sagutin maliban na magmahal sa isa’t isa.” You should have no obligation, no debt except to love one another.

    This tells us that love is an obligation that we have to do. It is not something optional. In fact, the whole of the Bible is summarized by Jesus into two commands: love of God and love of neighbour.

    When we love our neighbour we fulfill the other commandments of God. If we truly love, we do not steal, we do not lie, we do not say bad words, we do not kill, we do not kill adultery. Ikanga, ang pag-ibig ay kabuuan ng kautusan.

    Our Gospel reading today tells us another manifestation of love. If we love, we correct our neighbour. We cannot just stand by and see our neighbour doing wrong thus, harming himself and harming the community.

    May isang grupo ng mga bata na naglalaro, nagsisigawan, nagsisitakbuhan at nagmumurahan. Napadaan ang isang nanay at nung makita niya ang anak niya ay naroon, kinuha niya ang bata at pinagalitan.

    Sabi ng bata, “Nanay, bakit naman ako ang iyong pinagalitan? Tignan mo ang mga kasama ko sila rin ay nagmumura at malulutong pa nga ang mga salita nila.” Paliwanag ng nanay, “Pinagagalitan kita kasi anak kita.” Tinutuwid natin ang mga mahal natin. Mahirap ito na aspeto ng pag-ibig. Correcting is not easy.

    Tayong mga Pilipino may likas tayong kaugalian. Nasanay tayo sa SIR – Smooth Interpersonal Relationship. Ayaw nating magusot ang ating relationship. Ayaw natin na magkasamaan ng loob. Iniiwasan natin ang anumang conflict. We do not confront. Dahil dito, pikit mata na lang tayo kapag nakakita tayo ng masamang ginagawa ng iba. Baka magalit pa sila na sila’y pinapansin. Baka sabihin pakialamero pa ako. Tatahimik na lang tayo. Hayaan na lang ang kasamaan.

    Dahil dito, lumalaganap ang kasamaan. Hindi dahil sa marami ang masama. Sa totoo lang, marami ang mga taong matuwid, iilan lang naman ang masasama. Pero ang karamihan na matutuwid ay hinahayaan nalang ang masasama. Mas matapang ang masasama na gumawa ng masama kesa mga matutuwid na ituwid ang masasama. Evil spreads because the majority who are good do nothing to stop the few who are bad. Kaya mahalaga ang pagtutuwid.

    May proseso si Hesus paano gawin ang pagtutuwid. Una, personal na sabihan ang gumagawa ng masama. Pangalawa, kumuha ng dalawa o tatlong tao para may patunay na tama ang puna sa kanya. Kung hindi pa makuha, isumbong na sa kapulungan ng simbahan. At kung ayaw pa talaga, i-deadma na siya. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng ituring siyang hentil o makasalanan. Have nothing to do with him anymore.

    Mahirap sa atin na mga Pilipino ang prosesong ito. Dahil nga sa ayaw nating magusot ang ating relationships, smooth interpersonal relationships, ayaw natin na komprontahin ang kapwa. Iniiwasan natin ang one on one na pag-uusap kaya mas madali sa atin na iwasan agad ang gumagawa ng masama, i-deadma na siya. Kaya madalas nagtataka na lang tao na iniiwasan siya. O kaya i-tsitsismis na lang natin sa iba. Marami na ang pinagsabihan at malalaman na lang ng tao ang bintang sa kanya mula sa iba o mula sa Facebook.

    Last week, we heard Jesus said that we have to die to ourselves if we want to follow Him. If we truly love, we are ready to face the wrong doer at the risk of losing face. In the first place, he may not be a wrong doer after all. He may have not done what is imputed to him. Or there may be an aggravating circumstance why he did it. Kailangan natin ang pagtutuwid upang maging maayos ang ating mga samahan.

    Anumang samahan yan, barkada man kaya o pamilya o isang grupo sa simbahan o sa simbahan mismo o sa pamahalaan. Kailangan natin ang correction because no one of us is perfect. We all make mistakes so we help one another to overcome our shortcomings. We help one another grow that’s why correcting is loving.

    Correcting, yes, is a manifestation of love. Ganun din sa lipunan kaya ang tanong natin sa simula, bakit nagsasalita ang simbahan? Bakit pumupuna ang simbahan? Ito ay dahil sa pagmamahal. Mahal natin ang bayan. Ayaw natin na ito ay malugmok sa kasamaan kaya pinupunan natin ang mga katiwalian na makasasama sa bayan.

    Pero may isa pang dahilan. Sa Unang Pagbasa, si Propeta Ezekiel ay binigyan ng Diyos ng tungkulin na maging bantay ng bayan. As a watchman, he should sound the alarm to the wicked not to condemn the wicked but to warn him that he may change his ways. Sabihin sa masama na siya ay mamamatay. Not to wish him dead but to warn him to change. If he does not listen, he will indeed die. But the prophet will save himself. Pero kung ikaw ay natakot o nagwalang kibo, at hindi mo sinabi na siya ay mamamtay, talagang mamamatay siya dahil sa kanyang kasamaan. Pero mananagot ka sa kanyang kamatayan.

    As Church, I mean I say Church, it’s not only the priests, the bishops but all the baptized, we have to speak out. And to speak out loud and clear in order to bring people to repentance. If we keep silence, pananagutin tayo ng Diyos sa kapahamakan ng masasama at sa kapahamakan ng bayan.

    Huwag lang sana masamain ng mga tinatamaan ng puna, dapat huwag magpersonalan. Listen to reason, look for the common good. And those in public office should not be onion skinned. Sila ay public figures and they should serve the people and the people see them. And because they are in office because of the vote and the money of the people, the people have the right and the duty to make their views known to those who represent them. The people more than those who govern them know what is good for them. Kaya huwag maging balat sibuyas kung may mga puna laban sa kanila at sa kanilang ginagawa.

    Ngayong buwan, ay nasa Season of Creation tayo. Hinihikayat tayo na alagaan at bantayan ang ating kaisa-isang tahanan – ang mundong ito. Kaya obligasyon natin na magsalita kung ito ay sinisira. Bahay yata natin ang sinisira. Obligasyon din natin ito sa ating mga anak at sa mga inapo.

    Should we not speak when there are short-sighted projects that are just done for the sake of money? And short term solutions to current problems that should have long term consequences to the earth, our common home?

    Maaari ba tayong manahimik sa mga coal powered plants na bumubuga ng carbon dioxide na nagdadala ng global warming? All these talks about clean coal energy is a big lie.

    Mananahimik ba tayo sa paggawa ng Kaliwa Dam sa Quezon Province na papatay sa ilang ektaryang gubat? Sisisira sa bio-diversity ng Sierra Madre? Lalamunin ang ancestral domain ng mga katutubo doon na may alternative water sources naman na hindi gaano magastos at hindi destructive?

    Do we keep silent when our mountains are being stripped because of large scale mining? The promise of prosperity due to mining is a myth. Look at the places that have been heavily mined like Benguet, Rapo Rapo in Bicol, Marinduque, Surigao just to name a few. Where is development in these places? They are made poorer because of mining.

    Tayo ay bantay ng bayan. Alamin natin ang nangyayari sa bayan at punahin natin ang mga katiwalian na nangyayari dito. Silence is not an option. This is true for the church. This is true for everyone who loves – who loves nature, loves the country, loves the poor and the next generation. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Parishes to prepare provisions for COVID-safe Sacrament of Confessions


    Parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila will open its doors again to allow the faithful to receive God’s mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    In a Pastoral Instruction entitled, “Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy” released on Tuesday, September 8, Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila encouraged the faithful to receive the grace of forgiveness amidst the fear to be infected by the coronavirus.

    “Because of the continuing threat of the Corona Virus there are still people who are hesitant to come to church, much more to come to confession. But we should not allow fear to dictate on our actions. We always have to take necessary precautions, but there are important matters of our life that we have to attend to even with the presence of Covid 19, and confession is one of them,” he said.


    According to the Bishop, “parishes are instructed to set aside time for confession and to make provisions for places for confessions that are hygienically safe for both the priest and the penitent.”

    He also added that the faithful can make an appointment in the parish office if they would like to receive the sacrament.

    “Each one may also make an appointment in the parish office for confession and the priests will readily accommodate you. Confession cannot be done online. It has to be done personally. So I invite all to take time to receive this sacrament in the coming weeks,” he said.

    The Bishop at the end of his pastoral instruction reminded the faithful of the need to make a sincere act of repentance to allow the pouring of God’s grace and generosity.

    “But let us take away the blocks that can hinder the flow of God’s love to us. This block is sin, and sin can be taken away by turning away from it through sincere repentance. The ordinary way of exercising repentance is the sacrament of confession. Let us go to confession that the grace of God’s love and his assistance may rush into our lives and our families,” the Bishop said.

    At the start of the quarantine period, religious activities were suspended and online masses were held as substitutes for masses held in churches with the congregation.

    Last week, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) allowed religious activities at 10 percent of the church’s seating capacity under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ). (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • COMMUNAL PENITENTIAL CELEBRATION
  • Pastoral Instruction: Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy


    Communal Penitential Celebration
    (English and Tagalog)


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

     

    We are almost in the 6th month of quarantine. During this time we had limited

    access to the celebrations of the sacraments. Now that there is a gradual opening

    up in all activities of our life, so also in the Church we can slowly come back.

    One of the sacraments that we had limited access to in this pandemic is the

    Sacrament of Reconciliation, or commonly known as the Sacrament of

    Confession. We missed the Kumpisalan ng Bayan of Lent, so also the opportunity

    to confess during the Easter Season. Because of the continuing threat of the

    Corona Virus there are still people who are hesitant to come to church, much

    more to come to confession. But we should not allow fear to dictate on our

    actions. We always have to take necessary precautions, but there are important

    matters of our life that we have to attend to even with the presence of Covid 19,

    and confession is one of them.

     

     

    In extraordinary circumstances we can receive the grace of forgiveness, even of

    grave sins, by making sincere acts of sorrow, or perfect contrition. Part of the

    condition for a sincere act of sorrow is the resolve to come to sacramental

    confession as soon as possible and to confess each and every one of our grave

    sins that are not yet confessed (cf. CCC 1452). So I invite all the faithful to come

    to avail of the great mercy of God that is poured on us by the sacrament of

    reconciliation. The parishes are instructed to set aside time for confession and to

    make provisions for places for confessions that are hygienically safe for both the

    priest and the penitent. Each one may also make an appointment in the parish

    office for confession and the priests will readily accommodate you. Confession

    cannot be done online. It has to be done personally. So I invite all to take time to

    receive this sacrament in the coming weeks.

     

    We all ask God to pour on us his graces. And God is generous in helping us. But

    let us take away the blocks that can hinder the flow of God’s love to us. This

    block is sin, and sin can be taken away by turning away from it through sincere

    repentance. The ordinary way of exercising repentance is the sacrament of

    confession. Let us go to confession that the grace of God’s love and his assistance

    may rush into our lives and our families. May Mary, the Refuge of Sinners, help

    us be prepared to receive this sacrament well.

     

     

    Yours truly in Christ,

     

    +BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

     
    September 8, 2020

     

  • Throwaway Culture destroying Creation, Bishop reminds faithful


    The Archdiocese of Manila opened the 8th Season of Creation and the 5th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation with the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Manila Cathedral on September 1, 2020, presided by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila.

    Reflecting on the theme of the celebration, “Jubilee of the Earth,” Bp. Pabillo in his homily reminded the faithful the meaning of Jubilee in relation to the gift of creation.


    “Jubilee – that means it is a special time for rejoicing. So, during this time we are asked to rejoice over the earth and if we rejoice on something, we value that something and we take care of it,” he said.

    “So, we are asked to rejoice for the gift of creation because we know that creation is a gift of the wisdom and the love of God. Hindi naman obligado ang Diyos na lumikha ngunit nilikha niya ang lahat ng ito dahil sa kanyang karunungan, dahil sa kanyang pagmamahal,” he added.According to the Bishop, God’s creation has a capacity to restore itself if given enough rest.

    “We have seen that during this time of the lockdown. Luminis ang ating hangin. Nawala ang polusyon. Hinayaan natin hindi natin ginambal at naging malinis. Nalinis ang mga karagatan kaya creation has a capacity to restore himself if we give him enough rest,” Bp. Pabillo pointed out.

    Part of the restoration of creation he said, is to refrain from the so-called “throwaway culture” which according to him is one of the destructive practices that we do that really hurts creation.

    “Ang dami nating binibili at itatapon lang naman pagkatapos. Kaya nga medyo nakapahinga ang daigdig kasi hindi tayo masyadong makabili, sarado ang mga malls at kaunting natatapon natin at mas gumaan para sa daigdig,” he said.

    The prelate then reminded the faithful of their role as stewards of God’s beautiful creation.

    “At tayong mga tao ay nilagay ng Diyos upang pangalagan – to cultivate it and care for it. Kaya yan po yung papel natin sa mundo, alagaan ang kagandahan na ibinigay ng Diyos. Ang nakakalungkot, hindi po ganyan ang ating ginawa. Sa halip na alagaan, ito’y sinira natin,” he said.

    The Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecology will conduct weekly online Laudato Si seminars and workshops on September 12, 19, 26 and October 3 and 10, 2020.

    The Season of Creation starts on September 1 and culminates on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

    In 2015, His Holiness Pope Francis proclaimed September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Creation. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo during online Mass at the Manila Cathedral for the Opening of Season of Creation on September 1, 2020.


    Today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This has been declared by Pope Francis a few years ago. And it is also the opening of the Season of Creation starting today, the first of September up to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  And this is a celebration not only of the Catholic Church. Actually, the Season of Creation celebration started with the Greek orthodox. ...Bartolomew then followed by the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches. So, this is an ecumenical movement. And it is good that all Christians in the world are giving importance to creation during this month. And as you have heard, the theme of the Season of Creation this year is “Jubilee of the Earth.”


    Jubilee – that means it is a special time for rejoicing. So, during this time we are asked to rejoice over the earth and if we rejoice on something, we value that something and we take care of it.

    So, we are asked to rejoice for the gift of creation because we know that creation is a gift of the wisdom and the love of God. Hindi naman obligado ang Diyos na lumikha ngunit nilikha niya ang lahat ng ito dahil sa kanyang karunungan, dahil sa kanyang pagmamahal.

    At talagang maganda ang nilikha ng Diyos so we are asked to rejoice at the beauty of creation. Creation is so beautiful that whenever we come in touch with it, whenever we observe it, we are refreshed. And creation nourishes us.

    Siguro si Hesus madalas din siyang magnilay, magmasid sa kalikasan kaya ito’y lumalabas sa kanyang mga aral. Natutuwa siya sa kalikasan kaya sa narinig natin ngayon sa ating ebanghelyo, binigyan niya ng halimbawa.

    Ang mga ibon nakikita niya ang liliit ng mga ibon pero ang gaganda at hindi naman sila pinababayaan. Hindi naman tayo nakakakita ng ibon na nahulog mula sa langit dahil sa gutom. Binibigyan sila ng pagkain ng Panginoon.

    Ganun din ang mga bulaklak sa parang, simpleng bulakla na not cultivated but they just grow by themselves and they are beautiful. Kahit na nga si Solomon ay hindi nadamtan tulad ng mga parang na ito. So, Jesus contemplated and admired the things of creation and became part of His own teachings.

    Jubilee also means restoration. Restoration, before restoration of the slaves, they were given freedom. Restoration of the land, ibinabalik ulit sa dating may ari. Restoration yung mga utang ay pinapatawad na.

    And somehow the Jubilee of the earth invites us also to restore, to give back to the earth. We have seen the earth as something to be exploited, na kukunin. Ngayon ang paanyaya sa atin i-restore natin siya. And creation has a capacity to restore itself. We have seen that during this time of the lockdown. Luminis ang ating hangin. Nawala ang polusyon. Hinayaan natin hindi natin ginambal at naging malinis. Nalinis ang mga karagatan kaya creation has a capacity to restore himself if we give him enough rest.

    Therefore, let us stop the destructions that we do to bring down creation tulad ng ating throwaway culture. Ang dami nating binibili at itatapon lang naman pagkatapos. Kaya nga medyo nakapahinga ang daigdig kasi hindi tayo masyadong makabili, sarado ang mga malls at kaunting natatapon natin at mas gumaan para sa daigdig.

    Ganun din po ang mga projects na pumapatay sa kalikasan tulad ng mga dams, yung mga malalaking dams na binabaha ang ating mga kabundukan. Tulad ng balak nilang gawin sa Kaliwa Dam sa Quezon. Tulad ng mga pagmimina at nakakalungkot nandito tayo sa quarantine ngunit patuloy ang pagmimina. Pagkasira ng ating mga kabundukan at nandiyan din yung mga reclamation. Reclamation, talagang nasisira sa ating West Philippine sea. Ang mga ni-reclaim na mga Chinese ng mga isla doon. Saan naggaling yung mga tinambak nila? Galing sa ilalim ng dagat kaya sinira ang marine ecology. Galing sa mga bundok natin sa Cavite, sa Zambales na sinira ang mga kabundukan natin. Sana po ay tumigil na ang mga gawaing ito. Nakakasira iyan sa ating kalikasan. Jubilee of creation, restoration.

    And as I’ve said, the Pope has declared that September 1 is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation so, ngayong araw ay inaalay natin ang misang ito sa diwa ng prayer for repair of creation.

    Prayer for the Care of Creation means prayer for our government and business leaders that they may see the long term effects of what they are doing and not only jobs and activities from the monetary results that will come about. Hindi po natin maitutumbas lamang sa pera ang ating mga ginagawa. It is not progress to destroy the earth. It is not progress to destroy the earth. Kaya kailangan nating ipagdasal ang ating mga government at business officials na gumagawa ng ganyang desisyon.

    Kailangan din nating ipagdasal ang pang karaniwang tao, lahat tayo. Na sana makita natin na magkadugtung dugtong ang buhay natin tulad ng ipinamukha sa atin ng pandemic. Magkadugtung dugtong ang buhay natin. Ang nangyari sa Wuhan China ay kumalat sa buong mundo. Apektado hindi lang ang ating trabaho, pati na yung travel, pati na yung tourism, pati na yung business, pati yung pag-aaral natin, pati ng health natin. Talagang magkadugtung dugtong.

    Kaya kung magkadugtung dugtog ang buhay natin, ang ating pangangalaga sa kalikasan ay nangangahulugan din ng ating pangangalaga sa mga mahihirap. Kasi ang mga mahihirap ang unang naaapektuhan ng anumang climate change.

    At kung dugtung dugtong ang buhay natin, dapat pumunta din sa ating kamalayan na may pananagutan din tayo sa susunod na henerasyon. Hindi dapat natin gamitin ang daigdig na ito para sa atin lang. Let us think for the long term of the next generation. Your children and your grandchildren have also a right to this earth. Hindi lang po tayo.

    So, this is a time of consciousness. And consciousness should bring about a change in lifestyle. Let us value what we have and not long for what we do not have. Pahalagahan natin yung mga mayroon tayo at hindi tayo maging malungkot sa mga bagay na wala  tayo. Yung ating lockdown nagturo sa atin nito. Maraming mga wala tayo. Hindi tayo makabili, hindi tayo makapunta sa mall ngunit marami naming nandiyan na napahalagahan natin.

    Pero pagpapahalaga sa ating relationship sa isa’t isa at hindi sa mga bagay bagay na mayroon tayo na mahalaga itong relationship na ito. Kasi kung ano yung pinapahalagahan natin ay pinoprotektahan natin. At yung pinoprotektahan natin ay pinagtatanggol natin sa pang-aabuso.

    Yung liham ni Papa Francisco, Laudato Si, ang pamagat is to “Take Care of Our Common Home.”

    Ano kaya pag gising mo sa umaga, nakita mo na ang iyong bahay ay sinisira ng isang tao na binibuksan na ang iyong pintuan, ang iyong mga pader. Siyempre magagalit ka. Siyempre ipagtatanggol mo yung bahay mo, bahay ko yata yan!

    Ganyan din dapat tayo. Nakikita natin sinisira ang ilog, ang kabundukan pinuputol ang mga puno, hinuhukay ang ating mga karagatan ay dapat magalit tayo. Bahay natin to. Tahanan natin to. Ipagtanggol natin to.

    Kapag ang ating bahay ay binobombahan ng mga usok, magagalit tayo. Kaya ganun din magalit tayo sa mga nagtatayo ng mga coal powered plants. Wala pong tinatawag na clean coal. Lahat ng coal, lahat ng uling ay madumi. At yan po ang nangyayari kapag nagpapabuga ng mga coal powered plants – dinudumihan ang ating atmosphere. At napakarami naming renewable energies na clean energy kaysa sa mg dirty energy na ginagamit ng lahat.

    Nakita po natin sa ating Unang Pagbasa ang second account of creation, chapter two of Genesis at ipinaliwanag sa atin na ang ganda ng nilikha ng Diyos tulad ng isang hardin – the Garden of Eden. Ang daming mga ilog, apat na ilog na nagkri-criss cross lang sa bawat isa. Maraming mga precious metals. Maraming mga tanim. Maganda ang ginawa ng Diyos. Kung sa first chapter of Genesis, anim na beses na sinabi nakita ng Diyos ang kanyang ginwa at siya’y natuwa.

    At tayong mga tao ay nilagay ng Diyos upang pangalagan – to cultivate it and care for it. Kaya yan po yung papel natin sa mundo, alagaan ang kagandahan na ibinigay ng Diyos. Ang nakakalungkot, hindi po ganyan ang ating ginawa. Sa halip na alagaan, ito’y sinira natin.

    Kaya talagang kailangan natin ng ecological conversion. Yung sinasabi sating…pagbabago ng pananaw na ang mundo ay hindi nandiyan upang samsamin. Ay nandiyan upang alagaan at sapat ang mga bagay sa mundo para sa lahat kung ito’y napapangalagaan at ibinabahagi natin para sa lahat.

    Kaya yan po yung panawagan din sa atin ngayon – solidarity. We have to work together kaya maganda na ang Season of Creation ay gawain ng mga Christian religions. Iba iba man ang kanilang Christian tradition, nagkaisa tayo sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan. Pero sana po’y hindi lang ito pangalagaan ng mga Kristiyano ngunit ng lahat. May relihiyon man o wala kasi iisa lang ang ating tahanan.

    Ipinakita po sa atin ng pandemya na kung hindi tayo magsama sama wala tayong magagawa. Kaya ano man ang ating bansa, magsama sama tayo. Mga scientists, mga sociologists, magsama sama tayo upang sugpuin ang virus na ito. At gayundin ang mas malaking problema ng climate emergency. Magsama sama tayo upang ito’y sugpuin.

    Mas madaling mawala ang coronavirus kaysa ang climate change. At patuloy ang emergency ng climate change kung hindi po tayo kikilos. Kaya sa loob ng limang linggong ito ng Season of Creation, sana po maging bahagi ng ating panalangin araw araw ang pagpapanibago ng isipan nating lahat at ang pagkilos nating lahat at ang ating lifestyle.

    Sana po sa loob ng Season of Creation mas lalo nating alamin ang ating pananagutan at pakinggan ang daing ng kalikasan at ang daing ng mga mahihirap. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass at the St. John Bosco Parish in Makati, on August 30, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    I congratulate Fr. Ronnie as the new parish priest of St. John Bosco parish here in Makati. Thank you, Fr. Ronnie for accepting the responsibility. I also congratulate the community of St. John Bosco Parish. Every installation of a new parish priest shows us the fidelity of God, that God is faithful in providing shepherds for His own people. So, this is a sign of the continuous love of God for the community in this parish.

    And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fr. Greg Dicomong for serving also in this parish. He has been parish priest of this parish for two years but six years as the rector of the community here in this parish Salesian community. So, he has been involved in the life of the parish in the past six years. Thank you, Fr. Greg and we wish you all the best.  We wish you all the best in your new assignment as provincial in Papua New GuineaIt will be a totally new experience but thank you also for your generosity of accepting this. And we have Fr. Gerry here Martin who is the provincial of the Salesian community here in the north of the country. Thank you for giving Fr. Ronnie to serve in this parish for the archdiocese.

    Most Rev. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila delivers his homily during the online Sunday Mass at St. John Bosco Parish in Makati on August 30, 2020. | Photo Credit: St. John Bosco Parish, Makati Facebook Page

     

    May mga misunderstandings na nangyayari kahit na pare pareho ang sailta na ginagamit natin kasi iba iba naman ang pagakakaintindi natin. May mga tumututol na mga NGOs sa mga projects ng pamahalaan at malalaking korporasyon na sabi ng gobyerno, yan daw ay para sa kaunlaran. Pero sabi ng mga NGOs yan ay hindi kaunlaran. Tulad ng KALIWA Dam, gagawa ng malaking dam sa Quezon Province para sa tubig ng Metro Manila. Development daw yan. Tinututulan ito ng simabahan ng Infanta at ng maraming NGOs kasi ayon sa kanila hindi development ang pagkasira ng kagubatan. Ang paglapastangan sa lupa ng mga ninuno ng katutubong Dumagat at ang sa pagbabanta na look pout sa libu libong magsasaka sa tabi ng ilog. Both speak of development but they understand development in different ways.

    This is also the case with Peter and Jesus in our gospel. Last Sunday, Peter correctly gave the answer that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus affirmed that He is blessed because He was chosen by the Father to know this.

    Today, we hear that immediately after that incident, Jesus called Peter, Satan which means the temper, the accuser because he did not want Jesus to suffer and die in Jerusalem.

    Totoong si Hesus ay ang Kristo pero iba ang pagkaintindi ni Hesus kung ano ang Kristo kaysa kay Peter at sa mga maraming hudyo noong panahong iyun. Ang Kristo ay ang ipinangako ng Diyos at inaabangan ng lahat na darating para ipadadala ng Diyos para iligtas ang mga tao.

    For many of the Jews at that time including probably Peter, salvation meant liberation from the oppressive powers of the Romans, the occupying force and this will be done by military conquest. So, Christ for them was supposed to be a fighter. Maybe a revolutionary leader.

    This was not the way that Jesus understood His role of as the Christ. He accepted in the affirmation that He was the Christ. But He was more in the line of the prophet Isaiah who wrote about the suffering servant of the Lord. Isaiah predicted, “He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole. By his wounds, we were healed.”

    The victory of the Christ would have by taking the punishment for us in order to feel us. Kaya ang pagpunta niya sa Jerusalem ay ang pagpunta niya sa tagumpay. Pero dadaan muna siya sa paghihirapa at kamatayan. Iba ito sa pagkaunawa ni Pedro kay Kristo kaya itinabi niya si Hesus at pinagwikaan, “Hindi po ito mangyayari sa iyo, sabi niya.”

    Jesus had to brush him aside because he was a hindrance. Naging sagabal siya sa kanyang misyon kasi, “Aang iniisip mo’y hindi sa Diyos kundi sa tao,” wika ni Hesus.

    Totoo, tayong mga tao natural sa atin na ayawan ang kahirapan at kamatayan. Tinatakasan natin ito at inirereklamo tulad ng ginawa ni propeta Jeremias sa ating Unang Pagbasa. Pinagtatawanan siya at kinukutya at kinakalaban ng mga tao dahil sa kanyang pagpapahayag sa Salita ng Diyos.

    Noong panahon niya, sinasalakay ng mga taga Babylonian ang taga Jerusalem. Ang mga tao ay abala na binabantayan at ipninagtatanggol ang lungsod, umaasa na makaliligtas sila dahil nandoon ang temple ng Diyos. Pero si Jeremias ay nagsisigaw, “Hindi tayo maliligtas ng temple. Sumuko na tayo. Parusa ito ng Diyos dahil sa mga pagsaway sa atin. Kailangan tayong magbagong buhay kung gusto tayong maligtas.” Natural, galit ang mga kababayan sa kanya.

    Ayaw man ni Jeremias na magsalita ng ganito, hindi niya mapigilan ang kanyang sarili. Ang Salita ng Diyos ay parang apoy na nasa dibdib niya na kailangang lumabas. Mas gusto niyang maging tapat sa Diyos kaysa magsalita sa gustong marinig ng kanyang mga kababayan.

    May Pedro din sa loob ng bawat isa sa atin. Naniniwala tayo kay esus. Kristiyano tayo. Kinikilala natin na si Jesus ang Christ at ayaw natin ng kahirapan. Pero maliwanag ang sabi ni Jesus, ang krus ay bahagi ng pagsunod natin sa kanya.

    Mahatma Gandhi wrote that there are seven things that are destroying our world: Politics without principles, business without ethics, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, and religion without suffering.

    Let me stress the last one - religion without suffering. All authentic religion teaches suffering such as fasting, self-denial, generosity, sacrifice, authenticity in serving the Lord, denying ourselves.

    Pero ngayon, marami ay nakikiisa sa gawaing pangrelihiyon. Either hoping to be consoled for their sufferings or to ask the  Divine to spare them from suffering. Sa mga makamundong tao, walang kahulugan ang kahirapan. Inaayawan nila ito. Yan ang pananaw ng tao as if suffering is the absence of God. Iba ang pananaw ng Diyos. Kaya sinabi ng Diyos, “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are my ways your ways,” oracle of the Lord.

    Ano ang pananaw ng Diyos? Sinabi ni Hesus, “Amen, amen, I say to you. Unless a grain of wheat falls down to the ground dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life, loses it. Whoever loses his life in this world will deserve it for eternal life.”

    Kapag may formula na “Amen, amen, I say to you.” Ito ay mahalagang katuruan ni Hesus. Magkakaroon lang ng buhay kapag namatay. Magkakaroon lang ng bunga kapag kapag nabulok. We have to empty ourselves in order that we can receive and give much more.

    Ito rin ang narinig natin kanina sa bibig ni Hesus, “Ang naghahangad ng magligtas ng kanyang buhay ay siyang mawawalan nito. Ngunit ang nag-aalay ng kanyang buhay alang alang sa akin, ay siyang magkakamit noon.”

    The natural tendency is self-preservation. But self-preservation is achieved not by self- isolation but by opening ourselves up up the others. This is a good reminder in this time of the pandemic. We can be so concerned about ourselves, about our safety, about our health that we close ourselves up. We no longer care about others. We can easily fall into self-centeredness.

    But, we can also see it in another way because we know the dangers of the virus. We know the economic difficulties that everybody is going through. We can become more open to others. Embracing them in our circle of concern. at least that, that we are concern not only about ourselves but about others. So, we open ourselves up in prayer, in our acts of charity towards them.

    Pero maaari nating sabihin, hirap na nga tayo tutulong pa tayo sa iba. Sa ating pag-uugali, itanim natin ang gawain ng Pondo ng Pinoy. Walang makasasabi na wala siyang magagawa para sa iba. Sino ba sa atin ang walang beinte singko na maiambag sa iba? Ipunin natin ang mga mumo na hindi natin pinapansin. Ang mga twenty five centavos, ang mga piso, ito’y makakatulong din sa iba kung gagawin ito ng marami at palagian, malaki rin ang aabutin nito.

    Sa sixteen years ng pagpo-pondo ng Pinoy, sixteen years ng pagpapatak patak ng twenty five centavos, nakalikom tayo ng higit na four hundred million pesos. Marami ang napa-aral nito, ang mga nabigyan ng bahay, ang mga napagamot, ang mga nabigyan ng puhnan. At hanggang ngayon hindi lang masyadong nakakaabot sa balita sa lahat, marami ang mga dioceses ang nakakatanggap ng tulong ngayong panahon ng pandemic sa Pondo ng Pinoy. Kasi may mga ordinaryong tao na nagbigay ng beinte singko araw araw.

    While we are concern about our difficult life now, let us also look around and be concern about the situation of others and the situation of our country. Kawawa naman ang ating mahal na Pilipinas. Kino-COVID na, lumulutang pa ang korapsiyon. Patuloy pa ang extra-judicial killings. Pinapatay pa ang mga human right advocate.

    Bukas ay gugunitain natin ang National Heroes Day. Ang ating kalayaan ngayon ay bunga ng pagsisikap at pagbubuwis ng buhay ng mga bayani natin noon at mga bayani natin ngayon.

    Sa ating bansa marami ang mga nagkakasakit ng COVID, higit ng two hundred thousand. Pero higit ng three thousand lang ang namamatay, mga 1.5 percent ng mga na-infect. Ang mababang bilang na ito ay dahil sa modern day heroes natin. Ang mga medical frontliners na kahit na mababa ang sweldo, kahit na mapanganib sa kanila at sa kanilang pamilya ang trabaho, kahit na kulang sa mga gamit ay nagtataya ng buhay nila para sa bayan.

    Yan yung pagiging bukas sa iba. Yan nga ang isang tao ay nagiging bayani kapag siya ay nagtataya. Nililimot ang sarili para sa iba. Yan yung pagtulad kay Hesus. Yan yung mamatay upang magbigay ng buhay.

    St. Paul wrote, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But for us who are being saved, it is the power of God. The cross is the power of God.”

    Kaya huwag na tayong umayon sa takbo ng mundo s or takot sa mga kumukuha ng karapatan natin. Maging handa tayong mag-alay ng ating buhay para sa iba. Ito ang pagpasan ng ating krus. Ito ang pagsunod natin kay Hesus na siya ang Kristo. Si Hesus na Kristo na anak ng Diyos, hindi niya inayawan ang krus. Niyakap niya ito. Iyan ang paraan para sa kaligtasan at sa ating nakikiisa sa kanya at sumusunod sa kanya, yaan din ang paraan ng ating kaligtasan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Frontliners keep our nation afloat amidst many shortcomings in COVID Response--Bp. Pabillo


    As the country celebrates the National Heroes Day, the Archdiocese of Manila paid tribute to all the frontliners in a Mass held at the San Felipe Neri Parish on August 31, 2020, at 12 noon and was presided by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila.

    The Mass was attended by representatives from different sectors who serve as fronliners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic--government leader, medical practitioner, media personality, law and order personnel and service provider personnel.

    A medical frontliner offers a lighted candle on a “Wall of Fallen Heroes” after the celebration of the Holy Mass for frontliners held at the San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City, on August 31, 2020, National Heroes Day. | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    Among the frontliner representatives were Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita Abalos and GMA news correspondent Mariz Umali.

    The other frontliner representatives were PSSg. Hesus Sumang (DCADD), Sgt. Ruel Nicolas (Phil. Navy), SF01 Julius Freolo and SF03 Celso Matanguihan (Bureau of Fire), George Wayne E. Molina, Noel Fraxides, Raymart Juria (Grab Food/Grab Express) and Marilou Olanga (Caritas Manila Volunteer)

    In his homily, Bishop Pabillo said the celebration is intended to honor and pray for all the frontliners who tirelessly and selflessly fight the pandemic that is brought about by the outbreak of coronavirus in the country and around the world.

    "Kilalanin natin sila at kailangan natin sila. Humingi tayo ng tulong sa Diyos na gabayan sila, palakasin ang kanilang loob at ipagdasal natin na makayanan nila at hindi sila magkasakit, hindi sila sumuko” he said.

    Bp. Pabillo put into light that because of the frontliners' sacrifices they are able to keep the nation afloat especially amidst the many corruptions and inadequacies in responding to the pandemic.

    "Dahil sa kabayanihang ito, lumulutang ang bayan. Nakakagalit na may mga tao na nagpapalubog sa bansa. Lubog sa utang, lubog sa korapsiyon, lubog sa kahirapan at ngayon dahil sa walang plano at kulang ng prayoridad, lubog sa infections ang ating bayan. Pero kahit na may humihila pababa, lumulutang ang bayan dahil po yan sa mga modern day heroes natin ngayon."

    He commended all the frontliners in the field of medicine, transportation, school administrators, teachers and parents who exert effort to keep a positive outlook and perspective about the pandemic that we are battling.

    He as well thanked all the frontliners in the church who make the Word of God heard especially during this time when people are losing hope and are discouraged.

    “Nandiyan din yung mga tao sa ating mga religious sectors, sa simbahan, mga pari, mga volunteers, mga parish workers, mga pastor na palagi ring nakikiisa at nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa mga tao. Nagpapaalaala, hindi tayo iniiwanan ng Diyos,” he said.

    At the end of the Mass, the representative frontliners offered a lighted candle on a “Wall of Fallen Heroes” with the photographs of frontliners who succumb to the coronavirus. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • HOMILY | National Heroes Day Mass


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online National Heroes Day Mass for all the frontliners at the San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong on August 31, 2020, at 12 noon.

    …Meron po tayong fiesta ng lahat ng mga santo kasi alam po natin na yung mga santo ay hindi lang yung mga santong kilala natin. Napakaraming mga santong sa langit ang hindi natin kilala. Maaaring ang iba dun ay mga kamag-anak natin, mga lolo natin, mga kaibigan natin. Kaya ipinagdiriwang din natin sila sa All Saints Day, November 1 kasi naniniwala po tayo na naganap ang kabanalan. Ang kabanalan ay para sa lahat at maraming mga banal, maraming laman ang langit.

    Ganun din po sa bayan, hindi lang naman ang mga bayani natin ay si Aguinaldo, si Mabini, si Rizal yung mga may pangalan. Alam po natin napakaraming mga bayani at marami nga diyan ay mga kamag-anak natin, mga lolo natin, mga kaibigan natin. Sila po ay mga bayanin rin. Marami nagbuhos ng buhay para po sa bansa. Marami ang nagtaya para sa bansa. Naganap din ang kabayanihan lalung lalo na sa dugo ng mga Pilipino.

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo delivers his homily during Mass for all the frontliners at the San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong on August 31, 2020, National Heroes Day. | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     
    At yan po ang ating inaalaala ngayon, National Heroes Day. At tulad ng mga santo, ang mga bayani ay hindi lang natin tinitingala, hindi lang natin hinahangaan dapat natin silang tularan. Kaya mayroon tayong mga ganitong araw para sa kanila dahil sa patuloy pong kabanalan na nasa simbahan at dahil sa patuloy na kabayanihan para sa ating bayan.

    Dahil sa kabayanihang ito, lumulutang ang bayan. Nakakagalit na may mga tao na nagpapalubog sa bansa. Lubog sa utang, lubog sa korapsiyon, lubog sa kahirapan at ngayon dahil sa walang plano at kulang ng prayoridad, lubog sa infections ang ating bayan. Pero kahit na may humihila pababa, lumulutang ang bayan dahil po yan sa mga modern day heroes natin ngayon.

    At yan po yung misa natin ngayon habang tayo ay nagpapasalamat sa Diyos sa mga bayani natin noon. Kung ganito tayo dahil po may mga taong nagtaya para sa bayan noon. Pinasasalamatan natin ang Diyos at pinasasalamatan natin sila kahit na hindi sila kilala ng lahat.

    Pero sa misa natin gusto din nating bigyang halaga ang mga patuloy na kabayanihan sa ating panahon ngayon dahil sa kanila, lumulutang pa ang bayan. Ipasalamat natin sa Diyos at ipagdasal natin sila na hindi na sana mawala sa puso ng mga tao, ng mga kababayan natin ang hangarin na magpakabayani. Ibig sabihin na ang ating pansinin ay hindi lang ang ating personal na kagalingan. Dapat ang pansinin din natin ay ang common good. Ano bang ikabubuti ng lahat? Kinabubuti ng bayan, ikabubuti ng Pilipinas. Itinataya natin ang ating sarili para sa bayan.

    Hingin natin ng tulong din sa ating Banal na Misa ngayon na iligtas ang mga modern heroes natin ngayon. Kasi ang daming mga pagsubok at kahirapan na kanilang dinadaanan. Sinu sino ba ang mga iyun? Magbabanggit lang ako ng iilan para mabigyan ng mukha itong mga modern heroes.

    Nandiyan po yung mga medical frontliners natin. Kahit na mababa ang sweldo, kahit na pagod, kahit na kulang sila at kung minsan discriminated pa kasi nagdadala raw sila ng virus sa kanilang komunidad at kung minsan sinisisi pa (galingan nyo lang ang trabaho niyo) at kahit na mapanganib ang kanilang gawain, patuloy po sila sa pagsisilbi sa bayan. Ang daming mga dinadaanan nila.

    Ngayong panahong ito, nababalitaan din natin ang mga maraming kapalpakan ng mga nasa gobyerno. Pero huwag natin sabihin na ang mga tao sa gobyerno ay mahina kasi marami rin sa mga tao sa gobyerno ang tapat at mabubti. Parang nawawalan lang sila sa focus kasi ang napo-focus ng media, ng ating pananaw yung mga palpak. Ngunit napakarami pong mabuti. Kung nagpapatuloy ang gobyerno ngayon dahil sa mga civil servants natin na tapat sa kanilang paglilingkod.

    Lumalabas sa ating panahon ngayon ang mga katiwalian. Ngayon ang malaking katiwalian sa Philhealth ngunit sa iba pa. Pero lumalabas yung katiwalian kasi may mga whistle blowers. Kasi may mga tao sa gobyerno na hindi na nila masisikmura ang mga nangyayari at nagsasalita sila. Ibig sabihin napakaraming mabubuting tao din diyan. Kung may mga mambabatas na walang paninindigan na sunud sunuran lang sa mga sinasabi sa kanila sa itaas, may mga mambabatas din na kahit na hindi sila mabigyan ng project, na hindi sila magkaroon ng pork barrel, hindi sila mabigyan ng mga committees, sila ay naninindigan para mabuhay ang ating demokrasya. Yan din ipagdasal natin sila. Kilalalanin natin ang kanilang mga ginagawa at pahalagahan.

    At ganun din kahit na mayroong COVID virus na kumakalat na hindi natin alam kung saan saan. Ngunit nagpapatuloy ang ating buhay sapagkat sa araw araw may mga nagbebenta sa mga palengke, may mga tao na nasa groceries, may mga taong nagtratrabaho sa bangko, may mga nagji-jeep, nagtra-tricycle para mapagpatuloy ang buhay. Sila’y mga frontliners din natin sa ating transportation.

    At ganun din magbubukas na ang paaralan. Ang ibang mga paaralan ay nagbukas na pero nandiyan din ang mga frontliners natin. Nakabukas ito kasi may mga administrators ang paaralan na talagang pinag-aralan paano ba yung online teaching.

    Nandiyan yung mga guro na bagong pamamaraan, mas mahirap sa kanila ay pinapasukan din nila upang ang mga kabataan ay patuloy na makapag-aral.

    Nandiyan yung mga magulang. Mahirap na buong twenty four hours, twenty four seven nandoon yung mga anak sa bahay at kahit na nga mag-aaral na, nasa bahay parin at tatawag pa minsan sa mga magulang. Sila yung pangalawang guro ng kanilang mga anak. Pero patuloy pa rin ang kanilang pagkalinga sa mga anak nila.

    Nandiyan din yung mga tao sa ating mga religious sectors, sa simbahan, mga pari, mga volunteers, mga parish workers, mga pastor na palagi ring nakikiisa at nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa mga tao. Nagpapaalaala, hindi tayo iniiwanan ng Diyos.

    So, ito po yung mga modern heroes natin. At marami pa diyang iba na dahil sa kanila nagpapatuloy ang buhay natin. Kaya sa Banal na Misang ito, ipasalamat natin sila sa Diyos. Humingi tayo ng tulong sa Diyos na gabayan sila, palakasin ang kanilang loob at ipagdasal natin na makayanan nila at hindi sila magkasakit, hindi sila sumuko. Lalo’t higit para sa atin, irecognize natin sila. Kilalanin natin sila at kailangan natin sila.

    Kapag may problema at yung pandemya ay malaking problema, akala natin wala sa atin ang Diyos. Na hindi siya kumikibo, na natutulog siya. Para ba tayo ng mga alagad sa ating ebanghelyo kanina na dahil sa malakas na unos, parang sinisi pa nila si Hesus noong pagkagising sa kanya. Hindi ba alintana sayo? Wala ka bang kibo? Hindi ka ba nababahala? Lulubog na tayo.

    At ang sabi ni Hesus, “Bakit kulang ang inyong pananalig?” At pinakita ni Hesus na may kapangyarihan siya kahit na sa kalikasan, pinatahimik niya ang hangin, pinatahimik niya ang mga alon. Mga kapatid, ang Diyos natin ay makapangyarihan. Maiaayos niya itong pandemyang ito. Ang problema lang may tiwala ba tayo sa kanya na magagawa niya ito?

    Isipin natin malaki na ang itinaya ng Diyos para sa atin. Kaya nga sa Unang Pagbasa sinabi sa atin, “Sino ang makapaghihiwalay sa atin sa pag-ibig ng Diyos?” Maaari ba nating sabihin dahil sa maraming nagkakasakit, dahil sa magulo ang bansa hindi na tayo mahal ng Diyos? Hindi. Kung itinaya na ni Hesus ang kanyang buhay para sa atin, ano pang hindi niya ibibigay? Ano pang hindi niya gagawin para sa atin?

    At iyan po yung tiwala sa Diyos. Ang tiwala sa Diyos ay hindi lang tiwala na may Diyos. Pati ang demonyo naniniwala na may Diyos at nanginginig pa siya sa harap ng Diyos. Ang tiwala sa Diyos ay ang tiwala na mahal tayo ng Diyos. At yan hindi naniniwala ang demonyo na mahal siya ng Diyos.

    Kaya tayo, hindi lang tayo maniwala na may Diyos. Maniwala tayo na mahal tayo ng Diyos at nababahala siya at kumikilos siya para sa atin. So, yan po ang ating tiwala na hindi po sana mawala sa ating lahat.

    Kanina po, sa ating pambungad na panalangin, ito po yung ating dinasal, “Lingapin mo kami ng lubusan at iyong pagkalooban.” Ano ang hinihingi natin na pagkalooban tayo? Kaligtasang walang hanggan sa mga yumao. Ipagdasal po natin. Dito po sa harap natin may mga larawan tayo ng ilang mga frontliners na yumao - ang talagang mga bayani natin na nag-alay ng kanilang mga buhay para sa atin.

    Ihingi natin sa Diyos, bigyan sila ng kapahingahang walang hanggan, kaginhawaan sa mga nagdadalamhati, mga may sakit na nagdadalamhati, mga kamag-anak na mga may sakit na nagdadalamhati.

    Ang hirap po ng ating panahon kapag ang isang mahal natin sa buhay may sakit. Hindi nga natin siya mapaglingkuran, hindi nga natin siya makatabi sa ospital. Parang hiwalay at maraming mga namamatayan na hindi man natin makausap. Hindi man natin mayakap yung mga namamatay na mahal sa buhay.

    Humihiling tayo ng kagalingan sa mga may sakit. At marami po ang mga maysakit, hindi lang may sakit ng COVID. Kasi maraming mga may sakit na hindi naman COVID. Kapag may sakit ka parang ang tingin ay COVID na pero dahil sa sila’y may sakit, hindi na sila mabibigyan ng atensiyon kahit na ng mga doctor, kahit na ng mga ospital dahil sa puno sila sa mga COVID cases. Kaya ihiningi ng kagalingan para sa kanila.

    Kapayapaan sa mga naghihingalo na mapayapa ang kanilang loob. Kaya dito mahalaga talaga ang gawain ng simbahan na bigyan sila ng kapayapaan sa mga huling sandali ng kanilang buhay.

    Kalakasan ng mga manggagawang pangkalusugan. Yan, mga medical frontliners natin na maging malakas sila kahit na punung puno ang kanilang sarili ng pagsisikap para sa iba. Sana manatili silang malakas.

    At ang kalakasang hinihingi natin ay hindi lang po kalakasang pangkatawan. Mas lalong kailangan natin…..online Mass.

    Magkaisa po tayo sa panalangin. Huwag po tayong tumigil sapagkat ang Diyos ay nandiyan. Baka binabantayan lang Diyos, dagdagan ninyo ang inyong pananalug. At bahagi po sa pagdagdag ng ating pananalig ay iwasan na natin ang kasamaan kasi yan po yung hadlang sa pagkilos ng Diyos ang ating mga kasalanan. Kaya sa Bibliya kapag mayroong salot, ang panawagan ng mga tao ay magsisi at magpenitensiya. Magsisi upang dumaloy ang grasya ng Diyos sa atin. Hindi mapigilan ng kasalanan at yan din ang panawagan natin. Kumikilos ang Diyos at kikilos pa ang Diyos, huwag nating hadlangan ng ating kakulangan sa pananalig na ang ating kasalanan ang pagdaloy ng grasya ng Diyos. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archdiocese of Manila statement on Philhealth issue at Cardinal Santos Medical Center


    The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila (RCAM) is the registered owner of the property where Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) is located. RCAM decided to engage services of a third party which is the Hospital Managers, Inc. (HMI) to professionally manage and operate CSMC, on August 1, 1988, for a period of 10 years, renewable for another 10 years, until 31 July 2008.

    Thus, in that period, RCAM was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the hospital, and hence was not involved in any transactions with Philhealth.

      

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, DD
    Administrator



  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at San Fernando de Dilao on August 23, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po dito sa parokya ng San Fernand de Dilao. Ito po ang kapistahan ng bayan dito sa lugar na ito. Medyo masalamuot bakit San Fernando de Dilao at ang ating fiesta ay sa Santo Intierro o Santo Sepulchro.
     

    San Fernando de Dilao, si San Fernando ay isang hari ng Espanya. Yan po yung patron ng simbahan at de Dilao kasi maaari noong panahon dito po nakatira ang mga Hapones. Pero ang talagang debosyon ng mga tao sa lugar ay debosyon kay Hesus. Si Hesus na namatay, namatay para sa atin kaya Santo Sepulchro. Ngunit hindi siya napigilan ng kamatayan kaya ang Sepulchro ay walang laman – the empty grave. Siya po ay muling nabuhay. Kaya ito pong pananampalatayang ito kay Hesus ay pananampalataya ng pag-asa kahit na tayo ay nasa kamatayan, tayo’y muling mabubuhay.


    Ito po ay katuparan ng sinabi ni propeta Ezekiel, “I will open your graves and rise you up from your graves, O my people.” Kailangan po natin itong mga salitang ito sa panahon ng COVID, ng pandemic kasi para nakita natin parang walang pag-asa. Hanggang kalian ba mangyayari ito sa atin? Makakaahon pa ba tayo? Kaya dito po pinapakita sa atin na ang Diyos ay mas makapangyarihan kaysa kamatayan, kaysa kalagayan ng kawalang pag-asa. Mas makapangyarihan po ang Diyos.

    Kaya happy fiesta po sa taga rito, sa Paco at gayun din po sa mga sumasama sa atin sa online na nakikiisa sa kapistahang ito.

    Bakit ba may simbahan? Gawa lang ba ito ng tao? Ito po ginusto mismo ni Hesus. Hindi ito bunga ng pagkakasundo lamang ng mga apostol na magsama sama sila. Kaya maliwanag po sa ebanghelyo natin ang sinabi ni Hesus, “On this rock, I will build my Church.” Itinatag ni Hesus ang simbahan upang ipagpatuloy ang kanyang misyon sa pagpapalaganap ng Mabuting Balita.

    So, before He went up to heaven, He said to His apostles, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.”

    Gusto ni Hesus na maabot ng mga aral niya ang lahat ng mga tao sa buong mundo hanggang sa wakas ng panahon. Siya ang daan, ang buhay at ang katotohanan. Ang aral niya ay nagdadala ng buhay na walang hanggan at ito ay inaalok niya sa lahat.

    Sinabi ni Pablo, “God wills everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” At ito nga ang simbahan, ipinagpapatuloy ang misyon ni Hesus para sa kaligtasan. Ito po ang ginusto ni Hesus.

    Upang hindi tayo malihis sa katotohanan, God puts Himself on record kaya ang mga gawa at salita ng Diyos ay nakasulat upang ito’y mabalik balikan natin at masaliksik natin kaya meron tayong Banal na Kasulatan, ang Bibliya. Ito ay hindi naluluma kahit ito ay matagal ng panahon ng naisulat because God is the same yesterday and forever. At dahil sa ito’y nakasulat, hindi na ito mapapalitan. Pero kahit na may nakasulat, kailangan pa rin ng may kapangyarihan na mag-interpret ng tama sa nakasulat.

    What is written remains but it is a reference and it has to be interpreted to new situations. Thus, a living authority is needed. Tulad din yan ng konstitusyon. Ito ay kailangan i-interpret at meron tayong Supreme Court na naatasang mag-interpret nito. Sa Simbahan, mayroon tayong Bibliya at nagtalaga si Hesus na mag-interpret nito at ito ay si Pedro at ang kanyang mga kahalili.

    Kay Hesus mismo noong kanyang panahon, iba iba na ang pananaw ng mga tao sa kanya. Nangangaral siya at gumagawa ng kabutihan at mga himala. Pero iba iba ang pagkakilala sa kanya ng mga tao noong panahon niya. Sabi ng mga religious leaders na mga Hudyo, na siya raw ay si Biel Sibul, ang leader ng mga demonyo. Kaya nakakapalaya siya ng mga demonyo. Para naman sa mga tao, siya naman ay si Juan Bautista. Yan ang pananaw ni Haring Herodes na pumatay kay Juan Bautista. Para sa iba siya ay si Elias o si Jeremias o isa sa mga propeta.

    Ang tunay na pagkilala kay Hesus na siya ang Kristo, ang anak ng Diyos na buhay ay nasabi ni Simon. Hindi dahil sa mas magaling siya sa iba kundi dahil sa ayon kay Hesus, si Simon ang pinili ng Diyos na makilala siya.

    Totoo ang sinabi ni Hesus, “No one knows the Son except the Father.” At si Simon ang ginamit ng ama bilang paraan upang makilala ng tumpak ang anak. Dahil sa si Simon na anak ni Jonas ang pinili ng Ama, kaya siya rin ang pinili ni Hesus. Bato na Kefas sa Aramaico, Pedro sa Griyego ang pangalan niya. At sa kanya sa batong ito, sa Pedrong ito, itatayo ni Hesus ang kanyang simbahan.

    Ang simbahan ni Hesus ay matatag. Hindi ito nakatayo sa buhangin kundi sa bato. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. Hindi ito matatalo ng kapangyarihan ng kasamaan at ito nga ay napatunayan sa kasaysayan. 

    Sa loob ng dalawang libong taon, napakarami ng kasamaan ang umatake at umaatake sa simbahan. Kasamaan sa loob ng simbahan mismo – mga eskandalo ng mga leaders ng simbahan, mga Santo Papa, mga obispo, mga kasalanan ng mga Kristiyano, kasamaan na galing sa labas, mga pag-uusig laban sa simabahan at mga intriga laban sa kanya. Kung ito ay isang human institution lang, matagal na itong nabuwal tulad ng maraming mga empires at maraming mga institutions sa kasaysayan. Pero ang simabahan ay nananatili at lumalago dahil sa proteksiyon at gabay ng Diyos. Hindi lang ito isang human institution, it is a divine institution.

    Dahil sa mahalaga si Pedro sa simbahan, sa kanya binigay ni Hesus ang susi ng kanyang kaharian. Sa ating Unang Pagbasa, naging ambisyoso Shebna, ang tagapamahala ng palasyon noong panahon ni Haring Hezekias na nabuhay ng mga pitong daang taon bago pa dumating si Hesus. Nagalit sa kanya ang Diyos at ang susi na tanda ng kanyang kapangyarihan sa kaharian ng Juda ay ibinigay kay Eliakim. Sa kanya ipinagkatiwala ang pangangalaga sa palasyo ng hari. Ang susi ay tanda ng pangangasiwa at si Eliakim nga ang katiwala. Kasama ng susi ay ang kapangyarihan ng pagpapahintulot at pagbabawal. The power of the binding and losing of accepting and preventing. Napakahalaga ang kapangyarihang ito.

    Ang papayagan ni Pedro sa simbahan sa lupa ay papayagan sa langit.  Ang ipagbabawal niya sa lupa ay ipagbabawal sa langit. This kind of power is beyond any human capacity. This is only possible because the power is entrusted to him by Jesus, by God himself. Why? Bakit ipinagkatiwala sa kanya? In order to guide the people to heaven. This power is in the service of salvation. Ang kaligtasan na bigay ng Diyos ay hindi lang pagkamundong ito. Nagsisismula ang kaligtasan sa buhay na walang hanggan dito sa lupa pero ang kaganapan nito ay nasa langit

    At napakahalag po ang landas para sa kaligtasan. Maaaring mawala tayo sa ibang mga gawain natin sa lupa pero makakabalik ulit tayo. Pero ang landas tungo sa katotohan, sa kaligtasan, ay napakahalaga kaya ibinigay ng Diyos ang isang mag-iinterpret, maggagabay sa atin.

    So, Peter and the Church are given this power to lead people to eternal life. Here on this earth and coming to its fullness in heaven.  This power of being rock, this power of the keys, this power of binding and losing, are given not only to Peter as a person. For him alone, it was given to him because of his mission in the Church as a shepherd of the flock of Christ which extends to the end of time. So, these powers are passed on to his successors who are the popes.

    Ang espesyal na papel ni Peter ay ipinahayag din ni Hesus sa ebanghelyo ni Juan doon sa dalampasigan ng lawa ng Tiberias. Pagkatapos ng almusal na inihanda ni Hesus, tinabi niya si Peter at tatlong beses siyang tinanong kung mahal niya si Hesus. At tatlong beses din sinabi sa kanya ni Hesus, “Pakainin mo ang aking tupa.”

    Gayun din sa ebanghelyo ni San Lucas. Sa huling hapunan sinabi niya kay Pedro, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to see all of you.” Sasalain kayo lahat ni Satan. But I have prayed that your own faith may not fail. And once you turn back, you must strengthen your brothers. Alam ni Hesus ang kahinaan ni Pedro na ipagkakanulo niya si Hesus pero ipinagdasal niya si Pedro para sa kanyang misyon sa simbahan na patatagin at gabayan ang pananampalatay ng simbahan. Kaya makikita natin na sa mga Banal na Kasulatan, sa iba ibang paraan, ipinahayag ang espesyal na papel ni St. Peter sa simbahan at ito ay nagpapatuloy hanggang sa ngayon sa kanyang mga kahalili, ang mga Santo Papa na ngayon ay si Papa Francisco.

    Tayong mga Fiipino, malalim ang ating paggalang at pagmamahal sa Santo Papa. Noong dumating si St. John PauL II noong World Youth Day ng 1995, ipinakita natin ito sa buong mundo. Sa Misa niya sa Luneta na dinaluhan ng higit na limang milyon, ang pinakamalaking bilang ng mga taong sama sama sa isang religious gathering. Ang record na ito ay nalampasan lang noong 2015, noong nagmisa si Papa Francisco sa Luneta na higit na pitong milyon ang dumalo. At noon ay magdamag pang umulan. Marami ang mga nasa ilalim ng ulan sa higit na pitong oras para lang makasama ang Santo Papa.

    Those were extraordinary manifestations of devotion and love. But more than being physically present where the Pope is, we show our devotion and love by listening to his teachings and following him. His role in the Church is precisely to guide us so let us follow his guidance. Kinikilala natin na ang mga katuruuan niya ay ag mga katuruan ni Kristo sa ating panahn ngayon. Ang kanyang sinasabi sa lupa, yan yung paninindigan sa langit.

    At may mga katuruan siya na sumasalungat sa pananaw ng maraming tao ngayon. Nandiyan ang death penalty. Maliwanag na paulit ulit na sinabi ng Santo Papa na ang dignidad ng tao ay hindi maaaring tanggalin sa kanya at ang lahat ay may kawakasan sa pagbabago.

    Ang katuruan sa abortion. Ito ay pagpatay kasi ang buhay ng tao ay galing sa Diyos. Mula sa paglihi sa kanya hanggang sa kanyang natural na kamatayan.

    Nandiyan ang divorce. Ang paninindigan ng simabahan laban sa divorce ay hindi mababago kahit na ng Santo Papa kasi hindi ito katuruan lang ng simabahan.  Ito ay katuruan mismo ni Hesus. Ano ang pinagsama ng Diyos ay huwag paghiwalayin ng tao. Maliwanag na sinabi yan ni Jesus. Ang katuruan na ito ni Jesus ay hindi sumasang ayon sa katuruan ni Moses na pinaniniwalaan ng mga hudyo noon, pero pinanindigan niya ito.

    Nandiyan ang katuruan ng Santo Papa sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan na ito ay biyaya ng Diyos na dapat na pangalagaan at hindi sirain tulad ng mga ginagawa ng maraming mga pagmimina sa ating bansa ngayon na sinisira ang inang kalikasan.

    Sabi din niya na mahalaga ang buhay ng bawat tao kaya igalang at ang karapatang pantao ng lahat. Dito sa atin, patuloy ang pagpapapatay sa extra-judicial killings. Nandiyan ang EJK sa mga pinagbibintangang drug addicts hanggang ngayon. Narinig natin ang anim na pinatay sa Bulacan at ngayon ang pagpapapatay sa mga human rights advocates tulad nina Randy Echanis at Sarah Alvarez.  Sinusumpa ng Banal na Kasulatan ang mga pumapatay ng ganito at ang mga nag-uutos na ito’y gawin.

    Tinututulan ng simabahan sa Pilipinas ang Terror Law at ang pagpapasara ng ABS CBN kasi dahan dahang tinatanggal sa mamamayan ang kanilang mga karapatan.

    My dear friends, it is not romantic to say, I love the Pope and I believe in Peter as the holder of the keys. It takes commitment. Kailangan manindigan at huwag tayo matakot na manindigan. May pangako ang Panginoong Hesus. Nakatungtong tayo sa matatag na pundasyon kapag sumusunod tayo kay Pedro.

    Gaano man kalakas ang kasamaan, hindi nito matatalo ang simbahan. Nakita natin sa kasaysayan na marami sa mga kumokontra sa simbahan ay nangamatay na. At ganyan din ang mangyayari sa mga kumokontra sa simbahan ngayon. May hangganan din ang kanilang buhay at sila ay mamatay. Ngunit ang simabahan ay mananatiling buhay at matatag. Manatiling nakatayo. Hindi ito mabubuwag. Yan yung pangako ni Hesus. Ang turo sa atin ng Santo Papa ay nakabase sa wastong pag-unawa ng Banal na Kasulatan. At ito rin ang paninindigan sa langit. (Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC

  • Archbishop Cruz succumbs to COVID-19


    Archbishop Emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan Oscar V. Cruz died on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City, at 6:45 am. He was 85.

    According to the post of Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Cruz succumbed to “multiple organ failure caused by critical Covid-19 infection”.

    The remains of Archbishop Cruz was cremated immediately as part of the health protocols mandated by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Archbishop Villegas added and was brought to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City.

     
    Archbishop Cruz was the third Filipino prelate to contract COVID-19, after Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, and Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez of the Diocese of Kalookan. Both Bishops have already recovered.

    According to Archbishop Villegas, the faithful may pay their respects to the late archbishop on August 27, from 6 am until 8 pm.

    He also added that Masses will also be celebrated by the diocesan and religious clergy of the archdiocese the whole day.

    The funeral Mass of Archbishop Cruz will take place on Friday, August. 28 at 9 am at the Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan. He will be laid to rest at the Santuario de San Juan Evangelista.

    Archbishop Villegas said that only the priests and bishops together with the archbishop’s family will be allowed to attend the funeral Mass in adherence to prevailing health protocols.

    “We encourage the Catholic faithful to follow the liturgical rites on social media livestream,” he said.

    Born in Balanga Bataan in 1934, Archbishop Cruz was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Manila in 1962. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Manila with Jaime Cardinal Sin in 1976 and was named archbishop of San Fernando in 1978.

    Archbishop Cruz who was known for his campaign against gambling particularly “jueteng”, served as archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan from 1991 until his retirement in 2009. He founded the Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng in 2004.

    In 1991, he was appointed archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan for 18 years and served as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) from 1995-1999.

    It was also during his term that the CBCP released important statements like the Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Economy in July 1998 and the Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics in September 1998.

    He also wrote 54 books, including the CBCP Guidelines on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: A Critique, and Call of the Laity.

    When he retired at the age of 75, Archbishop Cruz remained as judicial vicar of the CBCP National Appellate Tribunal of Appeals and director of the Legal Office. 

    On August 10 of this year, he suffered from pneumonia and it was then that his condition deteriorated. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Manila sends aid to Masbate after earthquake


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, has donated one million pesos in aid for the victims of the 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Masbate on August 18, 2020.

    In an article posted on the website of Radio Veritas, Fr. Anton CT Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila and president of Radio Veritas said that the residents of Masbate have been suffering a lot because of the earthquake and the present pandemic that they are experiencing. 

    Photo Credit: Facebook Page of 98.3 Spirit FM Masbate

     
    According to Fr. Pascual, Caritas Manila is doing its best to extend help and assistance to the families who were victims of the earthquake. It has already launched “Shelter Assistance Program” in collaboration with the Diocese of Masbate and its Social Action Ministry.

    “Matindi ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan sa Masbate na alam natin na isa sa mga mahihirap na probinsya tapos ay naapektuhan pa ng lindol kaya tayo ay nakipag-ugnayan kay Bishop [Jose] Bantolo at sa Priest in Charge [Social Action] kay Fr. Jenious Mansalay upang ipagkaloob yung tulong, meron tayong almost a million na budget natin para sa rehab ng mga victims ng Masbate Earthquake,” Fr. Pascual said.

    The priest further added that Caritas Manila, aside from helping the earthquake victims, continues its program of helping the poor people especially those that are directly affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus. He said that the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila has reached more than 1 billion pesos of help and assistance from various individuals, donors and private business groups.

    “Yung mga naitulong na so far umabot na tayo sa P1.7Billion pesos na yun ang ating na distribute heavily sa Metro Manila at 24 na Probinsya na humingi ng tulong sa Caritas Manila,” he said.

    The Diocese of Masbate is among those who received five hundred thousand pesos COVID assistance from Caritas Manila.

    Caritas Manila continues to organize donation drives for victims of the earthquake and for those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. At the same time it continues to encourage the faithful to take part in giving donations that more people may also be assisted. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

    HOW TO DONATE ONLINE: (Online bank transfer)

    Savings Account Name: Caritas Manila, Inc.

    Banco De Oro – Savings Account No.: 000-5600-45905

    Bank of the Philippine Islands – Savings Account No.: 3063-5357-01

    Metrobank – Savings Account No.: 175-3-17506954-3

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass on August 16, 2020, Feast of San Roque, at 10 am.


    During times of great difficulties such as during plagues and pandemics, we use all the resources we have in order to survive. One of the great resources that we have as a people of faith is prayer. So, we pray for one another and ask one another for prayers.

    Noong lumabas ang test result ko na ako ay may COVID at pinaalam ko ito para maiwasan na ang anumang sabi sabi, kaagad napakaraming mga tao na nangako na ako ay ipagdasal. I attribute my having passed through this crisis in a relatively mild way without even any symptom of sickness and weakness to the prayers of so many people. Prayer really works.

    If we are able to support and strengthen one another with our prayers, would not the prayers of those who are near to God, those who are already in heaven, help us all the more. So, we call on the saints to pray for us.


    May mga paboritong mga santo na tinatawagan tayo sa panahon ng mga salot. Sila ay naging paborito dahil sa sila mismo ay nakaranas ng salot o sila ay naglingkod sa mga dinapuan ng salot o ang ilan sa kanila ay namatay sa salot sa kanilang pagtulong sa iba at sila’y nakakatulong sa mga taong nagdadasal sa kanila.

    Kaya mayroon tayong tinatawag na fourteen Holy Helpers. They are saints Georgge, Blaise, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius, Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine. Nandiyan din si Saint Rosalie at si Saint Aloysius Gonzaga na bata pang namatay, twenty three years old sa pagtulong niya sa mga may sakit sa salot sa Roma noong 1591.

    Pero dito sa Pilipinas, ang kilalang nilalapitan ng mga tao at tinatawagan natin ay si San Roque. At ngayon, August 16, ay kanyang kapistahan. Hindi natin maipagdiwang ngayon kasi araw ng Linggo pero sa Archdiocese of Manila, ipagdiriwang si San Roque sa lahat ng mga Misa, sa lahat ng mga simbahan bukas. Ang mga misa natin ay parangal at paghingi ng tulong kay San Roque sa panahon ng salot na ito. At sa Archdiocese, may apat na parokya tayo na nagtataglay ng pangalang San Roque.

    Si San Roque ay isang French noble man na tumanggi sa kanyang pagiging maharlika at iniwan ang kanyang palasyo sa Montpellier upang maging isang pilgrim. At ang pilgrim noon ay naglalakbay, naglalakad sa kanyang pag-pilgrimage papuntang Roma, marami siyang nadaanan na mga bayan sa Italy na nakararanas ng salot. He always tapped and attended the people who were sick.

    In one town, he himself got the wounds that are the signs of the plague.  He went to the forest to die alone without bothering any people and without infecting anyone. He quarantined himself in a makeship hat. But he did not die. A dog came and brought him food and leak his wounds until he got healed.

    Noong siya ay gumaling, patuloy pa rin siya na kumakalinga sa mga nagkakasakit dahil sa mga salot sa mga bayan na dinadaanan niya. Namatay noong 1327 A.D. Dahil sa kanyang kababaang loob, pagkamatulungin at pagiging mapagbigay, ang kanyang kayaman ay ipinamigay niya sa mga dukha. Kinilala siyang santo ng mga tao.

    Dumating ang mga black plague in 1347, twenty years after his death. Maraming mga tao ang tumawag sa kanyang panalangin at marami ang gumaling. Napakatindi po ng pandemia ng black death. In six years, from 1347 to 1353, between seventy five million to two hundred million people died in Europe, Asia and North Africa, almost one third of the population of those lands. Marami ang nailigtas sa mga tumawag kay San Roque.

    Ang pagtawag sa Diyos sa panahon ng kagipitan ay ipinakita rin sa ating ebanghelyo ngayon. Lumapit ang isang dayuhang babae na humingi kay Hesus ng tulong sa kanyang anak na pinahihirapan ng demonyo. Hindi siya pinansin ni Hesus. Dineadma siya ni Hesus. Hindi siya Hudyo at sabi ni Hesus, siya ay dumating lang para sa nawawalang tupa ng Israel. Pero nagpumilit siya, nananlig siya, pinagtiyagaan niya, nangulit siya. Nagpumilit siya kahit na itinuring lang siya na isang tuta. Ganun kalakas ang kanyang tiwala dahil malaki ang kanyang pag-ibig sa kanyang anak na babae. Ang malaking pag-ibig ay nagdadala ng malaking tiwala. At ito ang kahinaan ng Diyos, ang ating pag-ibig at ang ating pananalig. Faith and love are the weaknesses of God. Kahit na wala sa plano ni Hesus, pinagbigyan niya ang babaeng Cananaita. Wika niya, “Napakalaki ng iyong pananalig, mangyari ang hinihiling mo.”

    Ang punto ng ebanghelyo ay hindi lang ang pananalig na nagpapagaling. Ang isang punto ng mga pagbasa ngayong Linggo, ay ayon sa Diyos, ang kaligtasan ay para sa lahat ng mga tao. Walang dayuhan sa mata ng Diyos. Yan din ang sinabi niya sa aklat ni propeta Isaias na ating narinig pati ang mga alay ng mga dayuhan ay magiging katanggap tanggap sa Diyos, sa kanyang templo dahil aniya, “Ang templo ko’y tatawaging bahay dalanginan ng lahat ng lahat ng bansa. Anu man ang lahi ng ibang tao basta sila ay sumusunod sa kasunduan sa Diyos – sila ay nangingiling, sila ay makatarungan at matuwid sa kanilang kapwa, sila ay kukupkupin ng Diyos.

    Gayun din po ang sinabi ni San Pablo sa ikalawang pagbasa. Siya’y apostol ng mga Hintil at gusto ng Diyos kahabagan ang mga Hintil at ang mga Hudyo. Lahat ay may karapatan sa kaligtasan.

    Is this not also what Saint Paul wrote in his Letter to the Galatians? “There is nether Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person. There is not male and female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. We are reminded of this universality of the Catholicity of salvation. At ito po ang ibig sabihin ng Katoliko - bukas sa lahat. Ang grasya ng Diyos ay para po sa lahat. Kailangan po natin na itoý ating matutunan.

    Kaya ngayong taon sa ating simbahan sa ating Pilipinas ay pinapaalalahan tayo nito - this is the Year of Ecumenism. Ang ibig sabihin ng Ecumenism ay ang pagsisikap ng pagkakaisa ng lahat ng mga kumikilala kay Kristo. Ang nakakalungkot, kumikilala tayo kay HesuKristo na tagapagligtas na siya ay tunay na Diyos at tunay na tao, pero, nagpapangkat pangkat naman tayo. Kami ay Katoliko Romano sila aya mga Methodists, sila ay mga Evangelical o kaya mga Pentecostal at marami pang iba.

    This year is the Year of Interreligious Dialogue. Kahit na ano pa man an gating relihiyon, tayo ay mananampalataya. We are believers in God. We do not need to keep away from each other much less be antagonistic to each other. Christians against Moslems, Buddhists against Hindus, Hindus against Moslems at iba pa.

    This is the Year of Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples. Ang mga katutubo, ang mga Lumad ay mga Pilipino rin. Iba lang ang kulay ng kanilang balat. Iba ang kanilang pananamit. Iba ang pamumuhay nila pero kapwa tayong Pilipino. Ang ating pagkakaiba ay nagpapayaman sa ating kultura. God accept us all. God created us all and we will all meet in God.

    We have also to learn this inclusivity even us Filipinos. Kasi dito nagkakapangkat pangkat pa rin tayo. Malakas sa atin ang regionalism. Ang unahain sana natin ay ang ating bayan hindi ang ating region. Marami ang nagbubulag bulagan dahil sa kanilang region. Kahit na hindi tama ang ginagawa ng kanilang politiko o ng kanilang kandidato, okay lang sa kanila kasi galing sila sa aking region – Bisaya yata yan o taga Mindanao yan, o Ilocano yan, o Bicolano yan. Ang uunahin natin ay ang common good – pangkalahatan, kabutihan ng pangkalahatan at hindi ang good ng aking pamilya, ng aking region, ng aking ka-batch, ng aking ka-eskuwela.

    It is really a challenge to be Catholic, to be universal. Lalo ngayong nasa krisis tayo, kailangan natin ng pagkakaisa. COVID-19 is teaching us to be one. Let each one be counted. Isa lang ang magpabaya, mai-infect ang lahat kaya hindi natin sasabihin, ay ayaw ko ng facemask mainit. Gusto kong lumabas. But we are always connected to each other. Our concern hindi yung gusto ko kundi yung kapaligiran ko yung ibang mga tao. Because of this, we should always be concern about the common good.

    Nakakagalit ang eskandalo sa Philhealth. Sa panahon na marami ang nagkakasakit, na kailangan ng mga ospital ang pondo, ang pera ng bayan at ang pera ng Philhealth ay pera ng mga Pilipino ay winawaldas and it runs into billions.  Where is the care for the common good here? God have mercy on us. “

    So much injustice is being discovered now. Let us hope and pray that there is no cover up that those responsible be held accountable and that the Philhealth system be cleansed and be entrusted to trustworthy and competent people. Sana hindi mauwi ang imbestigasyon sa wala tulad ng nangyari noon sa mga dialysis centers anomaly. At tulad ng mga anomaliya sa over pricing ng PPEs sa DOH. Ano ang nangyari sa mga ito? Nagtatanong lang po.

    There are people who may say, namumulitika na naman si Bishop. Panghihimasok ba ito? Na ito’y dapat concern ng lahat ng mananampalataya? Si Hesus ay nagpagaling noon at nagpapagaling pa siya ngayon sa pamamagitan ng mga kamay ng mga doctors at nurses natin. Kasama ng ating mga dasal ipaglaban din natin na ang mga doctors at hospitals should receive the necessary support and budget which Philhealth partly provides.

    God wants all to be saved. Hindi dapat mapahamak ang mga mahihirap na kailangan ng treatment at ng gamot. Hindi ba dapat concern ng ating pananampalataya na ang mga resources ng gobyerno para sa may sakit ay magamit ng maayos? Hindi ito usaping politika. Usapin ito ng katarungan at pagmamahal sa mga mapapabayaan kung patuloy na mawawala ang pera ng Philhealth.

    Pope Francis wrote in his document Evangeli Gaudium, “The Church’s pastors have the right to offer opinions on all that affects people’s lives since the task of evangelization implies it and demands integral promotion of each human being.”

    The issue of health, the issue of corruption, the issue of good governance affect people’s lives. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Churches in the Archdiocese of Manila re-opens for Mass as GCQ is Implemented


    (Updated)


    In a message sent to Radyo Veritas by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, he said that the archdiocese will follow the rules of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with strict compliance to health protocols to ensure the safety of the faithful.
     

    “We follow the GCQ guidelines with strict implementations,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    This was after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his late-night public address on Monday, August 17, 2020, made the announcement placing Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal back to GCQ from August 19-31, 2020, as proposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on
    Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) in the midst of the increasing number of people infected by COVID-19.

    Under the GCQ guidelines, the opening of some establishments are allowed as well as religious gatherings but is limited to ten persons only.

    On August 1, the Archdiocese of Manila has released a Pastoral Statement titled “We Hear the Call” in response to the call of medical frontliners to have a “time out” for a period of two weeks.

    As of August 18, there are 169,213 total cases of COVID-19 in the country with 53,665 active cases. There are 112,861 who recovered from the virus while 2,687 died. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Canonically Crowned in the Shrine in New Manila


    The venerated image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Mount Carmel in Quezon City was canonically crowned last August 15, 2020, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    The coronation was led by Most Reverend Honesto Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop of Cubao, with the authority given by Pope Francis through the Congregation of the Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments and Coronacion Canonica.

    Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao during the canonical coronation of the image of Our Lady of Carmel at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Mount Carmel in Quezon City, on August 15, 2020
    Photo by Leahnna Villajos/Diocese of Cubao

     In his homily, Bishop Ongtioco emphasized that the coronation is a call to renew our faith as Mary is crowned to be the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

    “Indeed, she was destined to become the Mother of the Redeemer. She was chosen to be the closest associate of Jesus in his work of redemption…The Lord wants Mary to reign with Him in heaven forever. The woman who called herself handmade of the Lord is now exalted far above the cherubim and she is enthroned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.” said the Bishop.

    The Bishop also explained that despite the coronation of Mary as queen, she continues to sympathize with the faithful especially during this time of the pandemic.

    “Although she is enthroned as queen she remains to be our mother… Therefore, to her, we entrust our difficult time. We know that from her heavenly thrown she continues to turn her eyes of mercy towards us and she shows to us the blessed fruit of her womb, Jesus our King.” the Bishop added.

    Rev. Fr. Joey Mabborang, Outgoing Parish Priest and Rector of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped make the celebration successful in spite of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

    “It is with the humble heart that I express my deepest gratitude for sharing your time, talent, resources and generosity for the benefit and ultimate success of all the projects and endeavors and visions and brought to fruition in our Parish, Shrine and Basilica,” said Fr. Joey Mabborang

    In 1954, the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built when the Order of Discalced Carmelites came in the archdiocese of Manila. It became a parish in 1975 with its first parish priest, Rev. Fr. Paul O’ Sullivan. In December 2015, the parish was declared as a National Shrine. Then, in November 2018, it was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • TV Maria now on Cignal TV and Digibox

     



    TV Maria, the Filipino Catholic Television channel is now airing on Cignal TV. The broadcast started on August 14, 2020, a day before the Feast of the Assumption.

    True to its mission of leading the faithful to the fullness of life, TV Maria has become the source of inspiration and hope to many Filipinos who are in the phase of coping with anxieties and uncertainties brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.

    “This welcome development is also very timely as more and more Filipinos are drawing strength from spirituality during this time of pandemic when there is so much uncertainties and anxieties.”

    “In recent time, many in the Philippines, which is predominantly a Catholic nation, are looking for inspiration and source of strength in the media, in whatever platform—TV, radio, social media and print—to overcome fear and the feeling of hopelessness that has afflicted, not just the nation but the whole world. This is the mission that TV Maria hopes to fulfill as it airs programs which are spiritually uplifting.”

    In 2006, TV Maria started its first broadcast via Dream Satellite and later was included in the list of Sky Cable and Destiny Cable’s channels. Through Sky Direct and SatLite, TV Maria’s programs were catered to viewers in the province. After they lost its satellite broadcast from Dream Satellite in 2017, they begin partnerships with various religious groups and different companies to be able to regain and further expand its reach.

    Through the years, TV Maria was able to established partnership with different dioceses, parishes, Catholic universities and Catholic organizations all over the Philippines and has allowed them to build a network of Catholic media producers that help them sustain its 24-hour programming. TV Maria airs Catholic programs, live Masses, devotional prayers, formation series, apologetics and Catholic news.

    Currently, TV Maria airs its programs through the following media channels: Sky Cable (channel 210), Destiny Cable (channel 96), Cignal TV (channel 188), SatLite (channel 102) and Cablelink (channel 18). Aside from these media channels, their programs are now airing on ABS CBN TV Plus (channel 29) and GMA Affordabox (channel 23). It has also responded to the call of digital evangelization by penetrating the internet through their social media accounts (Facebook - @tvmariaphils and Youtube - @tvmariaphils).

    Now that the country is preparing for the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in 2021, “TV Maria hopes not just to be a Filipino Catholic Chanel in the Philippines, but a channel to bring the light of Christ in the world wherever Filipinos are.”

    “As the Philippines prepares for its 500 years of Christianity celebration in 2021, TV Maria has become a prominent media portal for many Catholics as it provides not only Spiritual nourishment but also social and intellectual contents. These programs keep the Filipino faithful updated and connected to the Filipino Catholic heritage wherever they are in the world.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • CBCP asks faithful to take part in Massive prayer campaign vs COVID


    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is inviting the faithful to a “collective prayer action to lift the lockdowns and help heal the nation,” according to the Joint Pastoral Message on COVID-19 released on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

    “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,” the statement said.


    The document was endorsed by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Acting President of CBCP and the Bishop of Kalookan, and is addressed particularly to the Commission on Seminaries and the Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education in time for the opening of the school year 2020-2021.

    CBCP also expressed its gratitude to the medical frontliners who daily make risks and sacrifices as they take care of the COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, the bishops appeal for “the upgrade of the capacity of hospitals and rationalize the use of limited hospital spaces.”

    Parents and teachers are also called to attend to the special needs of their children during the pandemic time.

    “There is a bigger and brighter world beyond the virtual world that our children have been accustomed to during the lockdowns.”

    The document also calls on the Catholic colleges and universities to help in spreading truthful and accurate information to address the propagation of fake news.

    “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,” according to the statement.

    The CBCP also urges the government leaders “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.

    At the end of the joint statement, the bishops asked the faithful to resist the culture of death by being hopeful.

    “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. (Psalm 23:4)”’ (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • 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.
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    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