• Homily | Bishop Broderick Pabillo | Mass for the Feast of Sto. Nino (Pandancan)


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during Mass to celebrate the Feast of Sto. Niño at Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish on January 16, 2021.

     

    Isang katangian ng mga Kristiyanong Katolikong Pilipino ay ang pagiging Marian. Malapit tayo sa Mahal na Ina. Marami tayong mga piyesta at mga dasal na malakas ang Marian character tulad ng pagrororsaryo natin. Talagang tayo ay Pueblo Amante de Maria. Pero isa pang katangian ng ating Filipino Christianity ay ang ating pagiging Christocentric – nakasentro tayo kay Hesus at tayo kay Hesus kaya ang malalaking kapistahan natin ay Pasko, Mahal na Araw, Poong Nazareno, Sto. Niño. Malakas din ang ating debosyon sa Sacred Heart of Jesus, sa Divine Mercy. Ito ang dahilan bakit malalim at nakaugat sa atin ang debosyon sa Sto. Niño na walang iba kundi ang batang si Hesus.

    Ganun kalaganap ang debosyong ito sa kapuluan natin  kay Niño Hesus na binigyan tayo ng pahintulot ng Roma na sa buong bansa maipagdiwang natin ang kapistahan ng Sto. Niño tuwing ikatlong Linggo ng buwan Enero tulad ngayon.

    Kaya kahit na sa lahat ng parokya, kahit na sa mga barangay chapels natin ay meron pong kapistahan ng Sto. Niño. Kaya bukas, ngayong gabi, bukas sa pagsisimba natin pinaparangalan natin siya. Hindi na kailangan na pumunta tayo sa Cebu, pumunta tayo sa Pandacan, pumunta tayo sa Tondo, kahit na sa mga lahat ng simbahan, doon po pinararangalan natin ang Niño Hesus.

    Malalim ang ating debosyon sa Sto. Niño dahil sa mahigpit ang kaugnayan ng Sto. Niño sa kasaysayan ng ating pagiging Kristiyano sa Pilipinas. Ngayong taon ipinagdiriwang natin ang ika-limaang daang taon ng pagdating ng pananampalataya sa ating kapuluan. At ang larawan ng Sto. Niño ay ang sagisag nito. Ito ay ibinigay ni Ferdinand Magellan kay Reyna Juana noong siya ay binyagan noong March 14, 1521.

    Isang pang dahilan ay ang ating katangian bilang mga Pilipino, malambot ang ating puso sa mga bata kaya madali tayong maka-identify kay Hesus na isang bata. Madali nating hayaan ang Niño Hesus na maghari sa atin. At iyan ang raniwang larawan ng Sto. Niño lalung lalo na ng Pandacan, isang batang hari may korona siya, may dalang setro sa Kanyang kamay, hawak ang mundo sa isang kamay at malahari ang Kanyang damit. Tulad ng narinig natin mula kay propeta Isaias, ibinigay sa atin ang isang bata na maghahari sa atin. Isang paghaharing magdadala ng katarungan at kapayapaan ngunit hindi sa pamamagitan ng lakas o dahas o sandata kundi sa mapayapang pamamaraan. Gusto natin na maghari sa atin ang Hesus na Sto. Niño.

    Sa ating pagiging Kristiyano na sinasagisag ng Sto. Niño ay hindi lang basta basta nangyari ito sa atin. Ito ay ayon sa plano ng Diyos. Bago pa nilikha ng Diyos ang mundo, itinakda na niya na tayo ay maging mga banal sa pamamagitan ni Hesus, na tayo ay pinili ng Diyos na magiging anak Niya. Ang pagiging Kristiyano natin ay naaayon sa balak ng Diyos bago pa likhain ang mundo. Kaya ipinasasalamat natin ito sa Diyos. Talagang malaking biyaya ng Diyos ang pananampalatayang pinanghahawakan natin. Hindi basta basta itong nangyari. Hindi lang ito by chance, ito’y nasa plano ng Diyos. Kaya iwinaski na natin ang mga Kastila 120 years ago pero mahigpit pa rin na isinasabuhay natin an gating pagka-Kristiyanong pananampalataya na ginamit ng Diyos ang mga Kastila upang dalhin sa atin.

    We are truly gifted with a Christian faith and as our slogan goes this year, “We are gifted to give.” Ang pananampalatayang ibinigay sa atin ay dapat maibahagi din natin sa iba. Ito rin ay ang hamon ng Sto. Niño ngayong Year of Missio Ad Gentes. Pagkaraan ng limang daang taon, panahn ng palaganapin natin ang mabuting balita sa ibang mga bansa, sa ibang mga tao na hindi pa nakakakilala kay Kristo.

    Isa pang dahilan bakit malapit sa puso natin ang Sto. Niño kasi ang sanggol na si Hesus ay kumakatawan sa lahat ng mga bata na malapit sa puso ni Hesus. Naguguluhan ang mga alagad ni Hesus sa mga magulang na dinadala nila ang kanilang mga anak kay Hesus. Itinataboy ito ng mga alagad. Dakilang tao yata si Hesus. Busy siya sa mga importanteng bagay. Ang akala nila ay wala siyang panahon sa mga bata. Pinagalitan sila ni Hesus. Mali ang akala nila. “Let the children come to me. Do not prevent them to such as this belong the kingdom of God.” May karapatan din sila sa kaharian ng Diyos at hindi lang, sila pa ang ginawa ni Hesus na halimbawa paano tanggapin ang paghahari ng Diyos – tanggapin ng may tiwala, ng may kababaang loob, ng may pag-asa, ng may pananalig - mga katangian ng mga bata. Kung wala tayong mga ganitong katangian, hindi tayo makakapasok sa kaharian ng Diyos.

    Ang ating debosyon sa Poong Sto. Niño ay dahil sa ating karanasan na ang pagsusumamo natin sa Kanya ay madaling pakinggan. Mabait ang sanggol na si Hesus. Malambot ang puso niya sa ating mga pangangailangan. Pero ang debosyon ay hindi lang nagpapakita sa pamamagitan ng dasal o pagsisimba. Ito’y napapakita rin natins a iba pang paraan.

    Una, sa pagpapahalaga at paggalang natin sa mga bata. Totoong mapag-alaga tayo sa ating mga anak, sa ating mga pamangkin, sa ating mga apo. Pero baka pabaya tayo sa ibang mga bata. Sa ating bansa, maraming mga bata ay biktima ng violence, ng human trafficking, ng sexual abuse, ng cyber sex. Pati nga sa simabahan nangyayari ang pag-aabuso sa mga bata. Kaya malaking eskandalo ito. Ang pedopilya sa simbahan at ito’y lubha nating pinagsisisishan at binabago. Pero mas malaki ang sexual abuse na nangyayari sa loob ng mga pamilya mismo lalung lalo na ngayon panahon ng pandemya. Kaya lalung lalo na we should all be vigilant to prevent this. Kung talagang tayo ay deboto ng Sto. Niño, dapat nagkakaisa tayo na labanan ang pagsasamantala sa mga bata.

    Pangalawa, gusto natin ma maging ligtas ang mga bata sa coronavirus. Pero ngayong pandemya, pinipigalan lang natin ang mga bata na huwag lumabas, huwag pumunta sa mall, huwag magsimba, huwag mamamsyal, huwag, huwag, huwag. Pero ano naman ang mga programang ibinibigay natin upang tulungang maging masaya naman sila. Hindi sapat na basta ikulong sila sa bahay lalo na kung ang mga bahay ay maliliit tulad ng mga karaniwang bahay natin. Kailangan tayong magbigay ng extra time na sila’y turuan, na sila ay laruin, na sila’y kuwentuhana t isama sa ating mga panalangin. We need to create programs for children during this pandemic. Maaaring yan ay panawagan ng Sto. Niño sa atin.

    Pangatlo, ngayong taon ng pagmimisyon, missio ad gentes, alam ba ninyo na ang mga bata ay maaari ring maging mga misyonero. Mayroon tayong Holy Childhood Association na tinawag na Sancta Infantia na tinatag sa France noong 1843, matagal na, one hundred fifty years ago. Ito ay asosasyon ng mga bata up to 12 years old, ay talagang mga bata na matatagpuan ngayon sa 120 countries at kasama na diyan ang Pilipinas. Ang objective nito ay children love children, children help children. Children are missionaries and inspire other children to become missionaries. Simple lang ang hinihingi sa mga miyembro nito. Una, magdasal araw araw para sa mga bata sa buong mundo lalung lalo na ang mga hindi pa nakakakilala kay Kristo. Kung ang lahat ng mga bata diyan ay turuan nating magdasal para sa kapwa bata nila, ay iyan po ay mabisa kasi mabisa ang dasal ng mga bata. Pangalawa, ang mga bata ay magbigay ng pinansiyan na tulong para sa mga batang nangangailangan kahit na maliit lang tulad ng Pondi ng Pinoy, kahit na piso lang na ibibigay ng mga bata, wala naman silang pera.

    Sa pamamagitan ng Holy Childhood Association, may mga naitayong mga ampunan, mga pagamutan, mga feeding program, mga kindergarden, at ito’y galing sa mga bata para sa kanilang kapwa bata. Children helping children. Ang mga bata ay maaari ring maging misyonero. Kaya pwede nating itatag din kung wala pa sa ating parokya, kung wala pa sa ating school ang Holy Childhood Association. Programa ng mga bata.

    Mga kapatid, malalim ang ugat at malawak ang sanga ng debosyon sa Sto. Niño. Ito ay nakaugat sa ating kasaysayan. Ang simbolo ng 500 years of our Christianity ay ang larawan ng Sto. Niño. Ito’y nakaugat sa kaugaliang mga Pilipino na malapit tayo sa mga bata. Ito ay nakaugat sa turo ni Hesus na ang kaharian ng Diyos ay para rin sa mga bata at ang katangian ng pagiging bata ay kailangan natin para makapasok sa kaharian ng Diyos.

    Ang mga sanga naman ng debosyong ito ay ang pagsugpo sa anumang uri ng pang-aabuso sa mga bata saan man ito nangyayari – sa simbahan man kaya, sa school man kaya, sa barangay man kaya o sa ating tahanan man kaya.

    Ang pagpro-promote ng pagmimisyon ng mga bata para sa kapwa bata ay isa ring resulta ng debosyong ito. Pukawin na natin sa mga bata ang missionary spirit. Sila mismo ay may kapasidad na maging mga missionaries.

    Let the eyes of our hearts be opened so that we may know the richness of the devotion that we have to the child Jesus – ang ating Poong Sto. Niño. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily | Broderick Pabillo | Feast of the Baptism of the Lord


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Tondo, Manila on January 10, 2021, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord at 10 am.

     

     

    Ngayon ay Kapistahan ng Pagbibinyag ng Panginoong Hesus. Bakit ba siya nagpabinyag kay Juan Bautista? Ito rin ang tanong sa kanya ni Juan, “Bakit lumalapit sa akin na magpabinyag? Dapat ako ang binyagan mo kasi mas mataas ka kaysa sa akin?”

    Siya yung sinabi ni Juan na darating na mas dakila sa kanya, na nauuna pa sa kanya. That he is not worthy even to carry his sandals. Si Hesus ay nagpabinyag hindi dahil sa may kasalanan siyang pinagsisihan o dapat siyang linisin sa ano mang kasamaan. Jesus, as son of God was spotless. Tinanggap niya ang buong pagkatao natin maliban sa kasalanan. Ang pagbibinyag sa Kanya ay may parehong katangian ng Kanyang pagsilang at ng Kanyang pagkamatay sa krus.

    Si Hesus ay isinilang kasi gusto Niyang makiisa sa ating kalagayan bilang mga tao. Nagpakababa Siya kaya ang Diyos ay naging tao. Si Hesus na walang kasalanan ay namatay sa krus – isang paraan ng pagpatay sa mga tulisan upang bayaran ang ating mga kasamaan. Hindi ang kasalanan Niya ang dahilan ng pagpatay sa Kanya kundi ang kasalanan natin. He was track down because of our offenses. Nagpakababa Siya, inangkin Niya ang ating kasamaan.

    Ngayon din si Hesus ay bininyagan ng binyag ng pagsisisi, hindi dahil sa may kasalanan Siyang pinagsisihan, kundi ibig Niyang ituring Siyang makasalanan tulad natin. Kaya ang pagbibinyag sa Kanya ay isa naming palatandaan ng Kanyang pagpapakababa na iugnay ang sarili Niya sa ating makataong kalagayan.

    Madalas kapag pinag-uusapan ang binyag, inuugnay natin ito sa kasalanan. Ang pagbibinyag ni Juan Bautista ay binyag ng pagsisisi sa kasalanan. Ang binyag na ibinibigay natin ngayon ay ang pagtanggal ng lahat ng kasalanan lalo na ng kasalanang mana o original sin.

    Totoo naman yan pero dapat natin ding tignan ang binyag bilang patotoo ng ating identity as beloved of God at ito rin ay ang pagbibigay sa atin ng misyon na magpahayag ng mabuting balita. Ito rin ang binyag ni Hesus.

    Noong si Hesus ay bininyagan, nandiyan  ang patotoo ng Espiritu Santo…kaya natagpuan natin dito ang Holy Trinity. Bumaba ang Espiritu sa anyo ng kalapati at may tining na mula sa langit na nagsabi, “Ikaw ang minamahal kong anak, lubos kitang kinalulugdan.”

    Totoo nga ang sinabi ni Juan sa ating ikalawang pagbasa na may mga patotoo na si Hesus ay ang tunay na anak ng Diyos. At mahalaga ang ating pananampalataya na siya ang anak ng Diyos sapagkat yan ang ating tagumpay laban sa mundo. At ang nagpatotoo ay ang tubig – ang pagbinyag sa Kanya, ang Espiritu na bumaba sa Kanya at ang dugo, ang pagkamatay Niya sa krus. At pagkatapos na mabinyagan si Hesus, iniwan na Niya ang Kanyang bayan ng Nazareth at ang Kanyang mga kamag-anak. Iniwan na Niya ang Kanyang private life at nagsimula na Siya ng Kanyang public ministry. Nagsimula na Siyang maglakad sa kanayunan ng Galilee na nagpapahayag na nandito na ang kaharian ng Diyos.

    Ganun din dapat ang tingin natin sa atng binyag. Hindi lang ito pagtanggal ng kasalanang mana, ito ay pag-ampon sa atin ng Diyos bilang Kanyang mga anak. Natuwa ang Diyos sa bawat isa sa atin noong tayo ay bininyagan. Sa bawat binyag, sinasabi Niya sa binibinyagan, “Ikaw ang aking kinalulugdang anak.”

    Noong tayo ay bininyagan, bumaba din sa atin ang Espiritu Santo kaya tayo ay naging temple ng Holy Spirit. Kaya nga mayroon tayong infant baptism – pagbibinyag sa mga baby, sa mga sanggol. Binibinyagan natin ang mga sanggol kasi ang binyag ay higit pa kesa sa ating desisyon para sa Diyos. Ito ay ang desisiyon ng Diyos para sa atin – na angkinin tayo bilang Kanyang anak at ibigay sa atin ang Kanyang buhay. So, baptism is first and foremost, grace of God. It is the decision of God for us. Siya ang pumili sa atin kaya kahit wala pa tayong malay, wala pa tayong nagawang mabuti, pinili na tayo ng Diyos na maging Kanya. Dahil sa tayo ay bininyagan, may pribilehiyo at tungkulin tayo na ibahagi ang mabuting balita. Ang bawat binyagan ay tinatawag na maging misyonero. Dahil sa nakibahagi na tayo sa buhay ni Hesus, nakikibahagi din tayo sa Kanyang misyon.

    Ngayong taon po, ang paksa ng 2021, ay mission ad gentes, misyon sa lahat ng tao. Ito po ay misyon ng bawat binyagan, ng bawat isa sa atin dito. At ang tagline natin, an gating slogan ngayon taon ay, “Gifted to Give.” Dahil sa binyag, tayo ay gifted. Biniyayaan tayo ng pananampalataya. Biniyayaan tayo ng buhay ng Diyos. Biniyayaan tayo upang ito ay ibahagi din natin sa iba. Hindi lang po para sa atin ang buhay ng Diyos.  Si Hesus ay hindi lang namatay para sa atin. Siya ay namatay para sa lahat ng tao. Ang buhay ng Diyos ay para sa lahat. Kaya ibahagi natin ang gift na ito. Now that we are celebrating in the year 2021, the 500th anniversary of our Christianity, we are reminded of the gift of faith received in baptism which we have to share also to others.

    Napakaganda ang alok sa atin ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ni propeta Isaias na ating narinig sa ating unang pagbasa, “Pumarito kayo, kayo ay lumapit sa Akin at Akoý pakinggan. Making sa Akin ng kayo ay mabuhay.” Kailangan tayong lumapit sa Kanya upang tayo’y kahabagan. Ang habag ng Diyos, ang kaligtasan natin ay nandiyan na, pero makukuha lamang natin ito kapagtayo’y lumapit sa Kanya.

    We also come to Him in order that we may know Him and His ways, so that we may follow Him. We cannot know Him by our own efforts alone because His ways  are so different from our ways. Sinabi niya kung paano ang langit ay higit na mataas kaysa lupa, ang daan at isip Koý hindi maaabot ng inyong akala. Kaya dapat tayong making sa Kanyang salita. At si Hesus ay dumating upang ipakita sa atin ang paraan ng Diyos.

    Jesus came not only to save our souls. He has come to bring salvation to all our human conditions now and at the end of life, at the other life. Kaya bilang mga binyagan, dapat nating ilapit ang lahat sa liwanag ni Kristo. At ano ba ang liwanag ni Kristo? Ito ay liwanag ng katotohanan, liwanag ng kapayapaan, liwanag ng katarungan, liwanag ng pag-ibig. And all of these, truth, peace, justice and love are needed in all our dealings be it in the Church, be it in our families, be it in business, be it in politics, be it in social media. Kaya paano masasabi ng iba na ok lang daw magsalita ang simabahan laban sa kasinungalingan sa bahay pero hindi sa kasinungalingan sa gobyerno. At ngayon may malaking issue tayo tungkol sa kasinungalingan sa paggamit ng vaccine. Exempted ba ang gobyerno o ang business sa kaligtasan na dala ni Kristo? Lahat ng institusyon na lihis sa katotohanan, sa kapayapaan, sa katarungan at pag-ibig ay kailangan po na punahin at ituwid. Ito ay tungkulin ng lahat ng binyagan, ng bawat isa sa atin.

    Jesus died because He was true to His baptism. He always remained pleasing to the Father because He always followed the Fathers will even if it meant standing against the leaders of His time – the chief priests, the Pharisees, Herod, Pontius Pilate.

    Oo, ang binyag ay isang biyaya, pero ito’y isang commitment din kaya ang hamon sa atin, ibahagi ang biyaya ng binyag – gifted to give. At panindigan ang ating binyag. Ang ating karapatan na palawakin ang paghahari ng Diyos na siyang paghahari katotohanan, nga katarungan, ng kapayapaan at ng pag-ibig. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Baptism is our Rebirth to Immortality


    “A new life which is different from the natural life that is in us because a natural life that is in us will come to an end but the supernatural life God’s divine life that comes into us through the water of Baptism will make us live forever and this is the heart of our Catholic Faith eternal life from the water of baptism that comes into us.”

    This was the Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D., explained the Sacrament of Baptism in his homily during the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church last January 10, 2021.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC

    The Nuncio reminded the faithful how the Holy Spirit as the Lord and the giver of life, is received in and through Jesus, the Black Nazarene. He also expounded on the difference between supernatural life or divine life and natural life saying that natural life is all the living things on this planet while supernatural life is the ones given to us in Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

    Archbishop Brown emphasized how the Spirit, water, and blood are interconnected.

    “Blood is the carrier of life. Spirit is necessary for life. Water is essential for life. So these things even on the natural level are talking to us about life,” he said.

    Through the water of Baptism, according to the Nuncio, each Catholic has been born again in God’s life. Baptism signifies the rebirth of the divine life.

    The Archbishop said that the new life received in baptism is nourished through the sacraments of confirmation and the eucharist. Confirmation, “is the sacrament of the spirit of the breath of Jesus” and the Eucharist, “is the sacrament of the blood of Jesus”.

    “Let’s ask him for the grace to allow his life to change us because His new life in which we have been born again makes us live in a new way,” he said. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily | Archbishop Charles John Brown | Thanksgiving Mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene

    Homily delivered by Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines during the Thanksgiving Mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene held at Quiapo Church on January 10, 2021, at 12:15 noon.


    Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines delivers his homily during the Thanksgiving Mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene at Quiapo Church on January 10. | Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery
     

    Our Father Jesus, the Nazarene we adore you we venerate you, your teachings are our life and our salvation, our life and our salvation. The teachings of Jesus the Black Nazarene.

    My dear brothers and sisters, as I said in the beginning of mass, for me as your apostolic nuncio, I am so happy to be with you this morning, now this afternoon to celebrate this Mass of thanksgiving after the Traslacion yesterday of the Black Nazarene. I have come here from the Nunciature with my two colleagues, Msgr. Cabarey from Africa, who is here with me and Msgr. Viola from South America, from Argentina who is also here with me. The three of us are very happy to be celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord with you as we heard in the gospel this morning, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John and we saw the Holy Spirit coming down onto Jesus in the form of a dove and the words of the Father, this is my beloved Son and whom I am well pleased Jesus is the beloved son of the Father so what we should see this morning? This afternoon? We heard the voice of the Father, we saw the Holy Spirit and we see Jesus, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The trinity. Three persons in one God our belief that God is Father, God is Holy Spirit and God is the Son made flesh in the womb of Mary that present with us as our Nazarene, as our guide to heaven.

    If you look at the beautiful image of the Black Nazarene and I reflect on the fact that this image has been here in the Philippines for more than 400 years, remember we are celebrating this year, 500 years of Christianity here in the Philippines but for 400 years, seem something like 1604, the Black Nazarene this image of Jesus has been here with us in Manila. And the crown or the halo on Jesus’ head has this very famous three rays if you look at the image of Jesus you see the three rays on his head. These three potensias, these three powers what does it represent? It represents what we heard in the gospel today, the trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We received God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit in through Jesus the Nazarene.

    And in a few moments my dear brothers and sisters, I want to reflect on the idea of the Holy Spirit for a moment with you, in a moment we will all sing I believe the creed of mass, the profession of faith, we will speak of the Holy Spirit in a moment when I finished preaching which won’t be too long. And when we speak of the Holy Spirit as the Lord the giver of life. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to said in Filipino but I’m sure you all do. Lord giver of life in latin dominum which is Lord, et vivi gantem is the same word as viva in Spanish or vita in Italian, it means the life-giver. The holy spirit is the one who gives us life and we received the holy spirit in and through Jesus, in and through the Nazarene, we received this supernatural life of God and this is the very important idea something that I like to reflect on a little bit on Christmas day when I was preaching in our beautiful cathedral in Intramuros, that the gift of life, God’s life that comes into us which is given to us in Jesus by the Holy Spirit what is this supernatural life?

    Divine life which we also called God’s grace. It’s a little bit like natural life. What is natural life? All of us seen natural life all around us many things are living on this planet we see trees, birds, fish, blades of grass, mosquitos which we don’t like very much, other insects some are which are also problematic. All of these things bacteria, all of these things are alive, they have life in them and as I mentioned on Christmas day, we have natural life in us all of us here in this beautiful minor basilica this morning because we are eating our breakfast and everything you ate this morning and you will have for lunch today. All those calories that come into you will something that is alive, something that was alive. Maybe you are eating a nice fish, maybe you’re having some nice bread or pancit. All of those things were alive and it gives you natural life.

    God’s life is similar, divine life is similar to natural life but it’s different and God’s life comes into us through the sacraments we heard in the beautiful second reading today which was read in English, remember these words that we heard speaking about Jesus. This is the one who came through water and blood. Jesus not by water alone but by water and blood, the spirit is the one who testifies and the spirit is truth, there are three that testified we heard in the reading: the spirit, the water, the blood. Three things, three ideas; spirit, water and blood. We see Jesus crucified on the cross at the end of his life a roman soldier came and push the sphere into his side and from his side came out blood and water and then Jesus had already died, he already given up his spirit, he gave up his spirit as we read in the gospel we say in English, he expired so when Jesus died he gave up his spirit and water and blood came from his side but these three notions, these three ideas: spirit, water and blood - all have to do with life.

    What is spirit brothers and sisters? Spirit is breath, breathing. If you don’t breathe you will not live anymore, you will live maybe 2 or 3 or 4 minutes if you don’t breathe you need to breathe which is spirit. You also need to have water, that water you can’t live and the third thing blood is understood especially in the Old Testament as the carrier of life which transmits life in fact in the Old Testament. Remember the Jewish people were not allowed to eat the blood of animals, they can eat the flesh but not the blood. Why? Because the Jewish believed if you ate the blood of the animals, then, animal life will come into you. You have animal life in you when you ate the blood of animals, so blood is the carrier of life. Spirit is necessary to live, water is essential for life. So, these things even on the natural level are talking to us about life. Now brothers and sisters, the sacraments of the Church we celebrate today the first sacrament, baptism, our birth, or I should say our rebirth in water. New life that comes to us in baptism. A new life which is different from the natural life that is in us because a natural life that is in us will come to an end but the supernatural life, God’s divine life that comes into us through the water of Baptism will make us live forever and this is the heart of our Catholic Faith, eternal life from the water of baptism that comes into us.

    Christ-life changes us, Christ life by the sacraments transforms us sometimes we have friends who have become protestant and they say to us are you born again?  I’m born again. Are you born again? We can say as Catholics yes, of course, I am born again I have been born again in baptism I have received God’s life in the water of Baptism, the life that Jesus gives me supernatural life. Every catholic that was baptized has been born again in God’s life through the water o Baptism in fact the Church sometimes speaks of the Baptismal pond, the baptismal container as the womb of the Church, the womb of Mother Church just as a mother gives birth to babies. So,  on a supernatural level, on the level of God’s grace, Baptism is our rebirth, our new birth, our being born again with this divine life and how is that life nourished in us?

    It’s nourished by the sacraments. It’s nourished by the Eucharist. The body of Jesus which comes into us which changes us, which preserves us to eternal life, giving us new life every time we received him in the Eucharist and when we commit a sin, we must go to Confession because sin especially if it’s serious kills the divine life in us. And we need to confess our sins so that life comes back into us. So, our life as Christians is very similar to our natural life. It has many similarities but all of it is operating on a higher level on a level of God’s grace.  

    Finally, my brothers and sisters, think about the three sacraments of the Church’s initiation. Baptism, which we think about today. Confirmation and the Eucharist. Baptism is the sacrament of water from the side of Jesus. Confirmation is the sacrament of the spirit of the breath of Jesus and the Eucharist is the sacrament of the blood of Jesus. So, those three things, the three witnesses that we hear about today, the spirit, the blood and the water all of those are signs of God’s life that come to us in and through Jesus, the Black Nazarene.

    So, as we received him in the Eucharist today, let’s ask him for the grace to allow his life to change us because of his new life in which we have been born again makes us life in a new way. And that’s why St. John says in the second reading, we live according to his commandments. Even cats are alive actually what has now entered into the sanctuary walking by so we have an example of a natural life God has sent to us but cats only have natural life they do not have supernatural life where you and I do.

    So, as we receive the Eucharist, today we thanked God for the gift of our catholic faith. We thanked God for the gift of the very successful Traslacion of the black Nazarene yesterday. I, on the behalf of Pope Francis, thanked all of you volunteers who worked so hard yesterday to make sure that in this time of COVID, the Traslacion was done in a safe manner as possible yesterday. So, may God bless you. I thanked you on behalf of Pope Francis let us live our catholic life to the full, receive the sacraments, live according to the teachings of Christ as we pray in those beautiful words to the Black Nazarene “Our Father Jesus the Nazarene, we adore you, we venerate you, your teachings our life and our salvation.” May God bless you. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

  • The Nazareno remains a 'magnet' amidst Pandemic


    The day-long celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene last January 9 was started with the dawn Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church by the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo.

    Photo by Rian Francis Salamat/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery

    Delivering his homily inside the basilica at 4:30 am, where 400 devotees were allowed to come in, Bp. Pabillo preached about how the image of the Black Nazarene continues to attract devotees despite the limitations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Talagang ang Poong Nazareno ay isang magnet. Napakalakas na magnet na ina-attract ang maraming tao sa Kanya at hindi mapipigilan iyung attraction na iyun. Kaya kahit na nagbago ang ating pamamaraan ng pagpahayag ng ating pagmamahal ay patuloy pa rin,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “Kaya hindi na tayo nakapunta sa Luneta, hindi tayo nagtratraslacion, nagkaroon ng prusisiyon pero yung mga tao’y lumalapit pa rin sa Poong Nazareno. At kahit na ngayon, madaling araw, na may curfew pa ay punung puno, hindi lang ang simbahan ngunit ang mga kalsada natin at ang mga kalye natin,” he said.

    “Saan ba tayo na-a-attract? Hindi lang po tayo na-a-attract sa isang imahen. Ang isang imahen yan ay tanda lamang na na-a-attract tayo sa p pag-ibig ng Diyos. Kasi yan po ang Poong Nazareno, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos,” he added.

    The Apostolic Administrator also stressed that aside from the 15 masses held at Quiapo Church, parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila as well as in other dioceses held their own Fiesta Masses in honor of the Black Nazarene. In the Archdiocese, masses were held at San Sebastian Church and Sta. Cruz Church, the 2 churches closest to the Basilica, to accommodate devotees who were not able to enter Quiapo Church because of the limited number set by the health protocols.

    Even before the feast day itself, devotees were encouraged to stay at home and participate in the Mass through live streaming, still, more than 300 thousand devotees flocked and gathered even only at the streets around the church to hear Mass wearing face masks and face shields, and observing social distancing, as required by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for social and religious gathering as the country remains under modified general community quarantine.

    Acknowledging the efforts exerted by those who worked hard to prepare and serve during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Bp. Pabillo expressed his gratitude to the clergy of Quiapo Church, the staff, the volunteers especially the Hijos as well as the local and national government.

    “Ako’y nagpapasalamat din sa ating local government pati na national government, sila din po’y abala sa atin pati na sa ating mga kapulisan, sa ating mga barangay na andito po upang tulungan tayo, salamat sa inyong lahat lalung lalo na sa inyong mga deboto, maraming salamat po sa inyo,” he added.

    Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector and Parish Priest of Quiapo Church also expressed his gratitude in an interview with the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications.

    “Tayo ay laging biyayaan ng mapagmahal na Poong Nazareno! Nawa ay patnubayan Niya and ating mga pamilya at komunidad.”

    Traslacion is the yearly procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta Grandstand to Quiapo Church. Last year’s Traslacion was attended by some 4 million devotees and lasted for 16 hours. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily | Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo | Feast of the Black Nazarene


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during the Mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene held at Quiapo Church on January 9, 
    2021, at 4:30 am.

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery

    Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. At happy fiesta po sa ating lahat.

    Talagang ang Poong Nazareno ay isang magnet. Napakalakas na magnet na ina-attract ang maraming tao sa Kanya at hindi mapipigilan iyung attraction na iyun. Kaya kahit na nagbago ang ating pamamaraan ng pagpahayag ng ating pagmamahal ay patuloy pa rin. Kaya hindi na tayo nakapunta sa Luneta, hindi tayo nagtratraslacion, nagkaroon ng prusisiyon pero yung mga tao’y lumalapit pa rin sa Poong Nazareno. At kahit na ngayon, madaling araw, na may curfew pa ay punung puno, hindi lang ang simbahan ngunit ang mga kalsada natin at ang mga kalye natin.

    At ito po’y hindi lang nangyayari dito sa Quiapo. Marami rin po ang mga nagsisimba na ngayon sa iba’t ibang mga simbahan at sa loob ng nobena natin, yung mga pari natin dito sa Quiapo ay pumunta sa ibang mga probinsiya. At ganun din yung mga tao’y lumalapit sa Poong Nazareno.

    At higit pa kaysa sa atin dito ngayon na physically nandito na nagsisimba, marami rin ang sumusubaybay sa atin sa ating online facilities at hindi lang sa Pilipinas, sa ibang mga bansa. Talagang magnet itong Poong Nazareno na-a-attract ang maraming mga tao.

    Saan ba tayo na-a-attract? Hindi lang po tayo na-a-attract sa isang imahen. Ang isang imahen yan ay tanda lamang na na-a-attract tayo sap ag-ibig ng Diyos. Kasi yan po ang Poong Nazareno, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos. Ang Diyos na nakikiisa sa ating kalagayan kaya walang Poong Nazareno na larawan na walang krus. Nandiyan siya, dala dala ang krus at nabigatan sa krus, nadapa sa krus. Yan po ang ating Panginoon, nakikiisa sa ating kalagayan lalung lalo na po na ngayon na mas maging mahirap ang buhay. Dahil sa pandemya, maraming nawalan ng trabaho, maraming nakukulong lamang sa ating mga bahay at ating mga baryo at barangay. Ngunit alam natin nandiyan ang Diyos nakikiisa sa atin.

    Kaya maganda po ang ating paksa sa ating pagdiriwang ngayong taon, “It is I, do not be afraid,”  si Hesus ito, huwag kayong matakot. Natakot ang mga alagad, akala nila multo. Sa hindi nila inaasahan na makita ang isang taong naglalakad sa gitna ng bagyo. Sino ba naman ang makaiisip ng ganon? Kaya takot sila ngunit ang assurance ng Panginoon, si Hesus ito, huwag kayong matakot. Ganon din po sa ating kalagayan, sino ba ang nakaisip sa atin noong 2019 na magkakaroon ng ganitong pandemya? Sino ba nakaisip sa atin noong nakaraang taon ng January 9, 2020, na hindi na tayo magkakaroon ng Traslacion, na hindi na tayo makakapunta doon sa Luneta? Pero si Hesus, He is assuring us, nandito pa rin Siya. Iba na ngayon ang pahayag natin ng ating paglapit sa Kanya. Hindi na sa Traslacion ngunit ang paglapit sa Kanya sa pamamagitan nitong ginagawa natin. And in a way, yun po’y isang paraan din na pinapakita sa atin ng Panginoon, makalalapit tayo sa Kanya sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang salita. Kaya nandito tayo ngayon, nakikinig sa salita ng Diyos. Nandito physically, sa mga online natin, o sa mga nasa labas sa mga LED natin. At yun po ay pakikinig sa salita ng Diyos. Yan po yung paglapit natin kay Hesus. Kasi maliwanag po ang sinabi ni Hesus, kung mahal nyo ako, sundin nyo ang Aking mga utos at hindi natin masususnod ang Kanyang utos kung hindi tayo nakikinig sa Kanyang salita, sa Kanyang sinasabi sa atin.

    Isa pang paraan ng paglapit natin sa Diyos ay sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Komunyon. At sinisikap po ng mga kaparian natin sa Quiapo na kahit na yung mga nasa labas ay mabigyan ng komunyon. At marami tayong mga lay ministers na talagang sila’y nag-alay na ng pagod sa mga araw na ito, hindi lang ngayon araw pati na nung nobena natin. at dito araw araw sa Quiapo na idala si Hesus sa mga tao sa Banal na Komunyon. At lumalapit tayo kay Hesus kapag tayo’y nagdadasal. Kaya kahit hindi tayo physically present dito ngayon sa ating pagdadasal sa ating mga tahanan, sa ating mga bahay, sa online connection lang, lumalapit po tayo sa Diyos. At lumalapit tayo kay Hesus, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa atin.

    At tanda po ng pag-ibig ng Diyos na siya rin ay lumalapit sa atin. Sa mga paraang hindi natin inaasahan. Noong ang mga Hudyo ay nagrebelde laban sa Diyos, nagreklamo pati na ang pagkain na galing sa langit, ang madna ay inireklamo nila, sawa na kami sa ganitong pagkain. Kahit na ginagabayan sila ng Diyos sa disyerto, nandiyan yung alapaap na nasa taas para hindi sila mainitan ng araw. Nandiyan yung liwanag nasa harap nila sa gabi ngunit nagreklamo pa rin sila. Kaya ang parusa yung mga ahas na makakamadag at marami ang namatay.

    Inamin nila ang kanilang kasalanan. Humingi ng tawad. Humingi ng panalangin kay Moises na ipagdasal sila sa Diyos at ginawa ni Moises at nagpadala ang Diyos ng solusyon. Ang solusyon ay larawan ng kanilang kahirapan – ang ahas. Ahas na nakalagay sa dikin ngunit kapag tumningin sila doon, tutuklawin pa rin sila ng mga ahas na nandiyan sa paligid nila. Tumingin sila doon ay hindi sila mamamatay.

    Iyan po ay sinabi rin ni Hesus sa ating ebanghelyo ngayon. Tulad ng si Moises itinaas niya yung ahas sa disyerto ganun din ang anak ng tao ay itataas. At kapag tumingin tayo sa Kanya ng may pananalig, hindilang sa maliligtas tayo ngunit mabibigyan tayo ng buhay na walang hanggan. At iyung pgtataas kay Hesus, iyan yung pagtataas sa krus. Alam naman natin na ang krus ay instrument ng parusa, instrument ng pagpatay na pahirapan ang kapwa. Hindi po tinanggihan ni Hesus na siya ay iakyat sa krus at si Hesus na nasa krus ay hindi na po parusa, yan po ay isang kaligtasan na para sa atin.

    Mga kapatid sa ating buhay, patuloy pa rin tayong naghihirap. Kahit na nagsimba tayo ngayon dito sa Poong Nazareno, pagbalik natin ng bahay kung wala tayong trabaho, wala parin tayong trabaho. Kung hirap tayo, nandiyan pa rin ang kahirapan. Ang pagkakaiba lang mga kapatid, ilagay natin si Hesus sa ating kahirap at iyan po ay magdadala sa atin ng kaligtasan. Si Hesus ang ating kaligtasan. Hindi natin tinatanggihan, we do not deny the sufferings that are with us but put Jesus there, ilagay si Hesus at matratransform po yung ating kahirapan ay naging paraan ng ating kaligtasan. Tulad ng ngayon, dahil po sa pandemic, hindi na natin nagawa ang tradisyunal na ginagawa natin pero mas lumapit ang maraming mga tao kay Hesus. Mas naipakita natin ang ating pag-ibig sa Kanya. Sa atin ngayong iba’t ibang paraan ng pagpapahayag ng pananampalataya at pag-ibig sa Diyos, yung ating pagsisismba, hindi lang sa Quiapo sa iba’t ibang mga simbahan. Kaya ako’y nagpapasalamat sa lalung lalo na sa archdiocese na maramingmga simbahan na nagkaroon ng nobena, nagkaroon ng piyesta ngayon ng Nazareno. At yung mga tao’y napalapit sa Diyos, mas maraming mga tao.

    Kaya mga kapatid, ito po ang mensahe ng Poong Nazareno – ang Diyos ay nakikiisa sa ating kalagayan. Hindi lingid sa Kanya ang krus. Dala dala niya ang krus. Nadadapa siya dahil sa krus ngunit kasama natin siya. At pangalawa ano mang krus na mayroon tayo sa ating buhay, ilagay natin dun si Hesus. Kaya ipagdasal natin, isama natin sa ating pag-aalay sa Kanya lalung lalo na sa Banal na Misa at yan po ay mapapabanal tayong lahat ay mapapabanal.

    Pagkatapos po ng ating Misa, magpapasalamat po si Msgr. Ding sa maraming mga taong tumutulong kaya siya na ang magpapasalamat.  Ngunit ngayon gusto ko lang bigyan ng pasalamat ang mga taong nagsisikap dito – yung mga kaparian natin sa Quiapo na talagang matagal ng pinagplaplano at nakikiusap para po nag-oorganize para sa piyesta natin. Ako po’y nagpapasalamat sa napakaraming volunteers dito sa atin, mga nagse-serve dito sa atin pati na sa labas pati na yung mga Hijos.

    Kanina papunta ako rito, nahirapan din ako kasi maraming mga nakaharang. Maraming mga pulis na nakaharang. At maraming mga daanan na hindi madaanan pero nakita kong pagkakaiba. Kapag kinausap yung pulis, very....hindi pwede, hindi pwede, sorry na lang. pero kapag kinausap yung mga Hijos, may puso ang kanilang paglilingkod – naghahanap ng paraan. Dito makikita natin ang pagkakaiba ng nandito lang kasi duty nila o yung isang nandito kasi deboto sila, may pagmamahal sila.

    Ako’y nagpapasalamat din sa ating local government pati na national government, sila din po’y abala sa atin pati na sa ating mga kapulisan, sa ating mga barangay na andito po upang tulungan tayo, salamat sa inyong lahat lalung lalo na sa inyong mga deboto, maraming salamat po sa inyo. Nakakataba ng puso ang inyong pananampalataya. Talagang na-a-attract tayo sa Panginoong Hesus, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos na sumasaatin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

     

  • Traslacion 2021: We Pray for end of the Pandemic


    In an interview with Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector and Parish Priest of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church at the press conference for Traslacion 2021, he told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications to look at the year ahead with hope and positivity especially that the country is still under the scourge of COVID-19.

    “We pray for an end of the pandemic. We pray for a better 2021,” Msgr. Coronel said.

    “And we thank the good Lord because there is a vaccine and especially that this vaccine be given to the poor so we can go back to our normal lives and recover our jobs, our livelihood, our economy and go back to reinforce the bond in the family and our relatives so we have missed our relations,” he said.

    Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector of Quiapo Church | Photo by Rian Francis Salamat/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery

    Msgr. Coronel added that they have asked parish priests in the Archdiocese of Manila to celebrate fiesta masses in their respective parishes as part of the activities of Traslacion 2021. Fr. Genaro Diwa and Fr. Carmelo Arada of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission have prepared the liturgy for the novena masses, according to the rector. Other parishes in the provinces and dioceses have also been invited to celebrate fiesta masses.

    “A good number of parishes responded. So they are celebrating novena and fiesta masses. Ganun din sa kalapit nating dioceses and others. Natutuwa ako, yung iba generous sa responses sa mga malalapit na mga probinsiya. Yung iba nga yung mga to be led by the bishop. Lahat sila kasi deboto ng Nazareno. Makikita natin na matindi ang debosyon,” Msgr. Coronel said.

    Instead of the devotees going to Luneta and Quiapo Church to fulfill their devotion to the Black Nazareno, because of the pandemic, Quiapo Church has decided to bring the Nazareno closer to the devotees: from December 31, 2020, to January 8, 2021, the replica image of the Black Nazarene visits different places in the Archdiocese of Manila as well as some dioceses in Northern and Southern Luzon.

    Only 400 devotees are allowed to enter inside the Quiapo Church on the feast day. Those who would not be accommodated inside the church can attend and participate in the celebration of the Mass via the LED screens set up at different locations around the church: Quezon Boulevard, Carriedo, Carlos Palanca, Plaza Miranda, and Plaza San Juan.

    The rector of Quiapo is also encouraging the devotee to hear the Mass online through the Facebook Page of Quiapo Church and in RCAM Social Communications platforms, particularly through TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications page.

    On the feast day of the Black Nazarene on January 9, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will preside the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 4 in the morning. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Entrusting ourselves into Mary’s hands this 2021


    “Ipagdasal natin na pagkalooban tayo ng Diyos ng kapayapaan. Ito po ay hinahangad ng lahat. And from experience, hindi natin maaabot ang kapayapaan sa ating sariling pgsisikap lamang. Ito po ay biyaya ng Diyos especially the peace that we are hoping for.”

    This was Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo's exhortation to the faithful during the at the New Year’s Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral last December 31. Apart from the incoming new year, the celebration was the vigil mass for the Solemnity of Mary as Mother of God, which is celebrated on January 1.

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    In his homily, the Bishop explained that Catholic faith holds that Mary is not God, but is the Mother of Jesus, who is truly God. Hence, he encouraged everyone to hold unto Mary’s hands, the Mother of Jesus, the closest to God and so can intercede for us.

    As a new year begins, the Bishop encourages the people to contemplate, pray and seek the meaning of their lives after all of the unfortunate events that happened in the country. Despite the difficulties, one must see the graces from God and keep them in their hearts to reflect on, as how Mary did especially when things became difficult for her to understand.

    “Sa simula ng bagong taon kasama ni Maria, manahimik tayo, magnilay at magdasal. Hanapin natin ang kahulugan ng mga pangyayari sa buhay natin… Let us keep all these things in our heart, reflecting on them. Kaya ang magandang pagdiriwang ng bagong taon ay tulad ng ginagawa natin ngayon, nananahimik, nagdarasal. Ipaubaya natin sa Diyos ang taong 2021,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    The Bp. Pabillo brought up the approaching celebration of the 500th year anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, and pointed out that it is actually an assurance that God is faithful and He has been with the Filipino faithful all throughout the years.

    “Paano natin nagawa ang mga ito kung hindi dahil sa Diyos. Kaya kailangan tayong magpasalamat sa Kanya sa halip na sisihin Siya. Magpasalamat tayo kasi hindi niya tayo pinabayaan. Kaya kasama ng Mahal na Ina, kasama ng bendisyon ng Diyos, mahaharap natin ang 2021 ng buong pag-asa. God is with us. We are not alone. We can face the new year together with God,” he said.

    In 1521, Christianity was brought to the Philippines when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, landed in the country. In preparation for the 500 years, the Church has been on a 9-year preparation since 2012 and in every year there is an assigned theme. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily | Bishop Broderick Pabillo | Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord at The Quiapo Church on January 3, 2021, at 10 am.


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo delivers his homily during Mass for the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord at Quiapo Church on January 3, 2021. | Photo from Quiapo Church Facebook Page
     

    Happy New Year po sa inyong lahat. At babatiin ko na rin kayong happy fiesta para sa anueve at pwede parin tyong magbatian ng Merry Christmas sapagkat nasa panahon pa tayo ng kapaskuhan.  The child is born for us. Dumating nga ang Diyos sa atin. Ang tanong: para kanino siya dumating? Para ba sa kanyang pamilya lang, ang angkan ni David? Para lang ba siya sa mga Hudyo, the chosen people of God? Para lang ba siya sa mga taong mabuti? O kaya dumating ba siya para lang sa mga Kristiyano lang? Ang kapistahan natin ngayong araw ang sasagot sa tanong na ito.

    Traditionally we call this feast, the Feast of the Three Kings. This is inaccurate. Hindi naman po mga hari ang bumisita kay Jesus. Sinabi sa atin na sila ay mga pantas, mga astrologers, mga maji, mga mag-aaral ng mga bituin na galing sa silangan. Saan sa silangan hindi naman natin alam. Sabi ng iba galing daw sila sa Arabia daw, sabi ng iba sa Ethiopia, sabi ng iba sa Persia o sa India. Sa totoo lang, hindi talaga natin alam. But the east is usually connected with wisdom in ancient Israel. At hindi man sinasabi na sila ay tatlo. Alam natin na sila ay may dalang tatlong regalo, kaya traditionally we have supposed that each of them carried a gift, but they could be two with three gifts or five with three gifts. So, to call this the feast of the Three Kings is not accurate. Besides, it does not give the real meaning of the feast. So, the ancient name of the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord is more appropriate. Epiphany means manifestation or appearance. Iyan iyong kapistahan ng Pagpapakita o Pagpapakilala ng Panginoon.

    May tatlo pong pagpapakilala si Jesus. Pagpapakilala sa kanyang mga alagad. Iyan iyong paggawa niya ng unang milagro niya sa kasalan sa Cana. Nakita ng kanyang Ina at ng kanyang mga alagad ang kanyang kaluwalhatian sa pamamagitan ng unang himala na ginawa niya na ang alak, na ang tubig ay ginawang alak.

    Nakilala din siya ng mga Hudyo noong bininyagan siya ni Juan Bautista sa ilog Jordan. Bumaba sa kanya ang Espiritu Santo sa anyo ng kalapati at may boses na nanggaling sa langit na binabanggit na siya ang kinalulugdang anak ng Ama. 

    At ngayong araw ang pagkilala sa kanya ng mga pantas na galing sa Silangan sa pamamagitan ng tala. Kaya iyan po yung tatlong pagpapakilala ng Panginoon: sa kasalan sa Cana, saKanyang pagbibinyag sa Ilog Jordan at ang pagdalaw ng mga pantas sa Kanya.

    Ang tanong natin kanina: Para kanino dumating si Jesus?

    Ang kapistahang ito sinasabi sa atin na siya ay dumating para sa lahat ng mga tao. Ang lahat ng lahi ay represented ng mga pantas na galing sa iba’t ibang mga lugar. Ang mga ito ay hindi mga Hudyo. Iba ang paniniwala nila pero kinilala nila si Jesus na hari ng mga Hudyo at hindi lang hari sapagkat sila ay dumating upang sambahin siya.

    Iyan din ang sinabi ni Propeta Isaias sa ating unang pagbasa. Dumating na ang liwanag, “Darkness covered the earth, thick clouds cover the earth; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk in your light.” Kikilalanin siya ng lahat. Dadalhin sa Kanya ang kayamanan ng mga bansa. Natupad ang mga salitang ito ni propeta Isaias pagdating ng mga pantas mula sa malalayong lugar na may dala-dalang mga regalo. Ang mga regalo nila ay nagpapahiwatig ng kanilang pagkilala sa sanggol na ito: ginto, sapagkat siya ay hari; kamanyang, sapagkat siya ay Diyos; mira, sapagkat siya ay mag-aalay ng sarili niya bilang sakripisyo.

    Itong universality of salvation ay siya ring mensahe ni San Pablo sa ating ikalawang pagbasa. Kinilala ni Pablo na binigyan siya ng katangi-tanging misyon. Siya ang katiwala ng Diyos upang ipaabot sa mga gentil, mga hindi Hudyo, na sila rin ay magmamana ng mga pangako ng Diyos para sa Kanyang bayan. Sila rin ay kasama sa katawan ni Kristo at makikinabang sa mga pangako ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ni Hesukristo. Salvation is for all peoples.

    Ito ay isang magandang balita. Ang biyaya ng Diyos ay para sa lahat, kaya si Jesus ay dumating para sa lahat. Isinilang siya para sa lahat ng tao. Pero, ang magandang balitang ito ay isang malaking hamon sa ating panahon ngayon na dahil sa maraming problema at dahil sa kasakiman, malaki ang tukso na magkakanya-kanya na lang tayo. Para lang sa atin ang biyaya. Maliwanag itong nangyayari ngayon sa agawan, at talagang agawan sa vaccine. Ang mayayamang mga bansa ay gustong sila muna ang mabakunahan kasi sila ang may pera, makabibili sila ng vaccine kasi sila ang may technology na matuklasan ang vaccine na ito.

    Pati na dito sa ating bayan, may mga tao nang nagpalusot na maunahan silang mabakunahan kahit hindi pa inaaprobahan ng gobyerno. Ang mga tao ng gobyerno pa ang lumalabag sa proseso na takda ng gobyerno. Gustong sila, sila muna. Each one for himself. And the government does nothing about it. Hindi man sila napananagot na sumusuway sila sa kalakaran ng pamahalaan. Ang kaligtasan ay para sa lahat. Kailan ba tayo matututo na kung hindi maliligtas ang lahat hindi tayo maliligtas. Hindi maliligtas ang bawat isa?

    Oo, ang sanggol ay isinilang para sa lahat. Pero sino ang nakatagpo sa Kanya? Iyong mahihirap at iyong naghahanap sa kanya. God went out of his wayto sedn His angels, to announce the birth of the child to the shepherds, mga mahihirap na tao na kahit na sa kadiliman ng gabi, sila’y nagtatrabaho. Nagbabantay sa kanilang mga tupa. Sila ang unang binalitaan. At dahil sa sila ay naniwala, pinuntahan nila ang sanggol sa sabsaban at nakita nila ang kaligtasan.

    Really the good news is preached to the poor. Ito rin ang ginawa ni Hesus noong siya ay nagpahayag. Umikot siya sa mga mahihirap, mga may sakit, mga may kapansanan, mga makasalanan at ipinadama sa kanila ang pagkalinga ng Diyos. Kaya nga ang simbahan ay may option for the poor. We give preferential love, preferential attention to the poor tulad ng ginawa ni Hesus. Hindi iyan nangyayari sa usapin ng vaccine. Inuuna ang may pera at ang may kapangyarihan.

    Natatagpuan din ang Diyos hindi lang ng mahihirap ngunit ng mga taong naghahanap sa kanya. Nakita siya ng mga pantas kahit na sila ay galing sa malalayong lugar. Maaaring mga dalawang taon sila naghahanap sa sanggol. Iyan ang kwento nila kay Herodes kaya noong hindi sila bumalik sa kanya, pinapatay ng hari ang mga sanggol sa Bethlehem at sa karatig na mga lugar na mga bata na nasa dalawang taon gulang pababa. Malayo ang kanilang pinanggalingan at matagal nilang hinanap pero natagpuan nila. Totoo ang sabi ni Jesus, “Seek and you will find.” Maghanap kayo at matatagpuan ninyo.

    Pero si Herodes at ang mga dalubhasa sa batas sa Jerusalem ay hindi nila natagpuan ang bata. Ang Bethlehem ay malapit lang sa Jerusalem, mga 10 kilometro lang ang layo siguro mga dalawa o tatlong oras na paglalakad. Alam nila kung saan ipanganganak ang bata – matatagpuan ito sa Banal na Kasulatan. Kaya noong tinanong ni Herodes ang mga experts of the law, kaagad natukoy nila. Pero hindi sila interested na puntahan ang bata. We will meet the savior not because we know but because we go out of our way to meet him.

    Puntahan ang Diyos, Pumunta ang Diyos sa Kanyang bayan at hindi siya natagpuan, hindi siya tinanggap ng Kanyang mga kababayan. Mga dayuhan pa ang nagpahalaga sa Kanya.

    Ngayong taon 2021, ang paksa natin sa simbahan ay Missio ad Gentes – misyon para sa mga hindi Kristiyano. Ito po ay isang pastoral priority natin ng simbahan kasi ito ang huling habilin ni Jesus bago siya umakyat sa langit, na tayo’y humayo sa buong mundo, na ipahayag ang mabuting balita, at gawing alagad ni Hesus ang lahat. Si Hesus ay dumating para sa lahat. Marami pa ang nag-aantay ng mabuting balita. Tayong biniyayaan na makilala si Hesus ay may tungkuling ipakilala siya sa iba. Kaya nga ang tagline natin, ang slogan natin ngayong taon ay gifted to give. We are gifted with the faith in order that we may share the faith. At limang daang taon na tayong nabiyayaan ng pananampalataya kaya ngayon na ang panahon na ibahagi din natin ang pananampalatayang ito sa marami na hindi pa nakakakilala sa Kanya.

    But gifted to give is true not only with the faith but with all good things that we have received. Ano mang biyaya na natanggap natin sa Diyos ay hindi lang para sa atin. Ito rin ay para sa iba. Ang ating kayamanan, ari-arian, talino, oportunidad, kalusugan – ang mga ito ay pinasasalamat natin at ang mga ito ay sinisikap nating ibahagi sa iba. So, we become channels of God’s goodness to others. Ang kabutihan ng Diyos sa atin ay nababahagi natin sa iba. This is the challenge of our catholicity. Iyan yung ibig sabihin ng katoliko, universal. We are called to be more universal in our outlook and in our generosity because God has come not only for a particular group but for all.  Kaya nga ang symbol ng epiphany ay ang liwanag ng bituin. Ito ay nakikita ng lahat. Nasa itaas nakikita ng lahat ang bituin. Ito ay para sa lahat. Ngunit ang makikinabang sa liwanag na ito ay yung aalis sa kanilang kinaroronan, aalis sa kanilang status quo, upang hanapin ang kaligtasan na itinuturo ng liwanag na ito. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

     

  • Quiapo Church to "localize" celebrations of the Feast of the Black Nazarene amidst Pandemic


    Every January, devotees from all over the country gather at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta for the yearly celebration of Traslacion, the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church.

    The replica image of the Black Nazarene visits the Manila Cathedra in Intramuros on January 2, 2021. Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page 

    This year, however, because of the pandemic, the Traslacion will not take place. Instead, Quiapo Church decided to "localize" the celebration of the Nazareno fiesta. Instead of the devotees going to Quiapo Church, the image will be brought to various places in the Archdiocese of Manila as well as in the neighboring dioceses to avoid the mass gathering of the devotees in Quiapo Church as required by health protocol to prevent the spread of the virus.

    “'Localize celebration', meaning sa mga provinces na pinagdalhan namin ng image ng Nazareno ay mag-cecelebrate sila doon ng novena masses at fiesta mass. We also asked them if they could facilitate a motorcade. Since provinces naman mas maluwag compared dito sa Manila. We also asked some parishes and diocese to celebrate novena,” Fr. Danichi Hui, Parochial Vicar of Quiapo Church told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    “We have the list kung anong mga parokya ang nagcecelebrate with us. Through this mas spread out ang celebration at mas malawak para hindi na kailangan pa magpunta ng mga deboto dito sa quiapo,” he added.

    Here is the list of places and dates that the image of the Black Nazarene will visit:

    Dec. 31 -  Hospicio de San Jose

    Jan. 1- San Lazaro Hospital Jan 2 - Manila Cathedral Jan 3 - Greenbelt Chapel

    Jan. 4 - Manila City Hall

    Jan. 4 - San Roque Parish (Cavite City)

    Jan. 5 - Bureau of Fire Prevention – QC

    Jan. 5 - San Isidro Parish (Las Pinas)

    Jan. 6 - Manila Police District

    Jan. 6 - Sto. Nino Parish (Signal, Taguig)

    Jan. 7 - Brgy. 394.

    Jan. 7 - Sto. Domingo Shrine (Quezon City)

    Jan. 7 - Baclaran Church

    Other places outside Metro Manila will also be visited by the pilgrim Image of the Black Nazarene:

    Dec 30-31 - Antipolo Cathedral

    Jan 2 - Shrine of Padre Pio

    Jan 3 - San Vicente Ferrer Parish (Binan)

    Jan 3 - Our Lady of Manaog (Pangasinan)

    Jan 4 - San Jose Cathedral (Nueva Ecija)

    Jan 5 - Mother of Perpetual Help (Cabanatuan)

    Jan 6 - Cathedral of San Fernando (Pampanga)

    “The pahalik” or the kissing of the image will be replaced with “pagtanaw” or the viewing of the image. Quiapo Church will also provide LED screens so that devotees can watch and participate in the mass.

    The celebration of the feast of the Nazareno commenced with the nine-day novena mass from Dec. 31, 2020, to Jan. 8, 2021. Different bishops will preside the celebration of the novena masses: Dec. 31, Iba Bishop Bartolome Santos; Jan. 1, Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches, Bishop Antonio Tobias; Jan. 2, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa; Jan. 3, Kaloocan Bishop Pablo David; Jan. 4, Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches, Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani; Jan. 5, Pasig Bishop Mylo Vergara; Jan. 6, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico; Jan. 7, Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista; and Jan. 8, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco.

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will celebrate the Holy Eucharist on the Feast Day on Jan. 9, at 4 a.m.

    Fr. Hui is reminding the devotees of the observance of proper protocol during the feast of the Black Nazarene.

    “Bilang isang deboto ang hiling namin ay una sumunod sa mga minimum health protocols (new normal protocols) second, kung pupunta ng quiapo, alamin muna ang mga entrances at exit points para di maabala. Nasa FB page po namin ang mga paalala. Third, magbaon ng mahabang pasensiya dahil madami ang bago at hindi nakasanayang practices ang mangyayari magmula sa pag pasok ng simbahan hanggang sa paglabas ng simbahan. Pang huli, kung may sakit o karamdaman wag na po tumuloy at may live streamed masses naman kami through Facebook, YouTube at Twitter. Tumutok na lang po doon,” Fr. Hui said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Nuncio: Service is best with prayer


    “In the Catholic Church, the most important people are the servants.”

    This was the reminder of Archbishop Charles John Brown, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, in his homily during the thanksgiving mass dedicated to the parish’s pandemic servers at San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City on December 30, 2020.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo by Maricar Santos/San Felipe Neri Facebook Page


    In his homily, the Nuncio expressed his appreciation to all of the servers, liturgical and non-liturgical, amid the threat of COVID-19.

    He also explained that there are different ways of serving, among which is being involved in the ministries in the parish. He reminded those involved in the parish to imitate Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve. The important aspect of service, according to the Archbishop, is to serve by prayer because faith is about service.

    “The most important thing is to serve with prayer to imbue, to permeate our service with the spirit of prayer, then our service becomes fruitful, then our service becomes beautiful,” he said.

    The Archbishop brought up the biblical character Anna, the prophetess who stayed in the temple, as an example of serving by prayer and Pope Francis as the servant of the servants of God.

    He then encouraged those who take part in bringing service to other to see their work as a participation in the service to Jesus and to fill their service with prayer, which is the “most beautiful type of service we can offer God."

    “I encourage you to continue and take this message this evening to permeate your service with prayer so your service will not simply be an external action but will be also an internal attitude of adoration, which is the most beautiful type of service we can offer God, the adoration of the heart who loves him,” he said.

    Before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Nuncio led the blessing of the mosaic painting located at the ceiling near the Jubilee Door of the parish. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily | Bishop Broderick Pabillo | New Year's Eve Mass


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the New Year’s Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 31, 2020, at 8 pm.

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila delivers his homily during New Year's Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Dec. 31, 2020. | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    Happy New Year to each one of you and this is our celebration tonight and tomorrow, the new year. But this is not the only celebration of January 1 every year. For us in the Church, it is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. January 1 is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace. Napakayaman ang kahulgan ng unang araw ng calendar year.

    Ito ang ika-54th year ng World Day of Prayer for Peace na sinimulan ni St. Paul VI noong 1967. Sa araw na ito, ipinagdarasal natin ang kapayapaan sa mundo na lubhang napakailap. Kapayapaan ang message ng angel sa mga apostle noong isinilang si Hesus sa mga pastol. Noong isinilang si Hesus, peace on earth.

    Ang Santo Papa ay nagbibigay ng mensahe tungkol sa kapayapaan tuwing January 1. Ang message ni Pope Francis this year is, “the culture of care as the path to peace.” Napapasaloob dito sa culture of care ay ang pangangalaga sa kapwa, pangangalaga sa mga mahihina, pangangalaga sa mga dayuhan at pangangalaga sa kapaligiran. Kailangan natin pangalagaan upang magkaroon po ng kapayapaan. Sa Banal na Misa ngayon, ipagdasal natin na pagkalooban tayo ng Diyos ng kapayapaan. Ito po ay hinahangad ng lahat. And from experience, hindi natin maaabot ang kapayapaan sa ating sariling pgsisikap lamang. Ito po ay biyaya ng Diyos especially the peace that we are hoping for. The peace that the world cannot give. Jesus said, “It is the peace of the Lord Himself.” Kaya patuloy natin hingin ito sa Diyos. Kaya sa unang araw ng taon, ito po ang panalangin natin.

    Ang January 1 ay ika-walong araw din ng pagtatapos ng pagsilang ng Panginoon na ipinagdiriwang natin mula noong December 25. Ito po yung pagtatapos ng tinatawag nating Octave of Christmas.

    Ayon sa kaugalian ng mga hudyo, sa ikawalong araw ng pagsilang, tinutuli ang bata kung kailang siya binibigyan ng pangalan. Ang pagbibigay ng pangalan ay mahalaga dahil ang pangalan ng isang tao ay nagpapahiwatig ng kanyang misyon o kaya ng kanyang gawain sa buhay. Kung ano ang tawag sa kanya, magiging ganyan siya.

    Ang bata ay tinawag na Hesus ayon sa sinabi ng angel kay Joseph, “You are to name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” Yan nga ang ibig sabihin ng pangalang Hesus, manliligtas.

    Ang pagtutuli sa batang hudyo ay ang pagpasok niya sa baying hinirang ng Diyos, ang lahi ng mga hudyo. Si Hesus ay isang hudyo at tinupad niya ang pangako sa mga hudyo. Siya ang ipinangakong Kristo.

    Ngayong huling araw ng Christmas Octave, the focus of our attention is given to Mary, ang ina ni Hesus. Marami tayong mga titles sa Mahal na Birhen. Dahil sa marami ang kanyang katangian, marami ang kanyang mga papel sa ating kaligtasan at marami ang kanyang pagpaparamdam ng kanyang pagkalinga sa atin sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga apparitions. Kaya mayroon tayong Birhen ng Fatima, mayroon tayong Birhen ng Lourdes, mayroon tayong Birhen ng La Salette, mayroon tayong Maria Ina ng Hapis, mayroon tayong Maria, Reyna ng mga Apostol, Ina ng Simabahan, Mary Help of Christians. Sa lahat ng mga titles na ito na mahaba at iyan po ay dinadasal natin kapag dinadasal natin ang litany of Our Lady in Loreto, ang pinakamahalaga po ay si Maria na ina ng Diyos. Yan ang pinakamahalagang papel na ginampanan niya sa kasaysayan ng ating kaligtasan. Siya ang ina ng Diyos.

    Matagal ng pinagdebatihan ang title na ito sa loob ng simbahan. May mga obispo, may mga doctors of the church, may mga pantas na nagsasabi na siya ang “Christotokos”, ibig sabihin tagapagdala ng Kristo. Pero sa kabilang panig mayroon naming mga obispo, mayroon namang mag-aaral na nagsasabi na siya ay “Theotokos”, tagapagdala ng Diyos. Ang naging opisyal na katuruan ng simabahan tungkol dito ay idineklara noong Council of Ephesus noong taong 431 AD, na si Maria ay Ina ng Diyos – siya ay “Theotokos”.

    Ang pinapahalagahan dito ay ang kanyang anak, na ang anak niya ay Diyos. Si Maria ay ina ng Diyos ay hindi Diyos kundi ang anak niya ay ang Diyos. Tulad ng kapag sinabi natin na ina ng pari, hindi ibig sabihin na siya ay pari kundi ang anak niya ay pari. Kaya sa ating pagpapahayag na si Maria ay ina ng Diyos, pinapahayag natin kung ano ang kanyang anak. Ang kanyang anak ay ang Diyos.

    Si Maria ay ina ni Hesus, ang Diyos na naging tao na ayon kay San Pablo sa ating ikalawang pagbasa, na sa takdang panahon ay isinilang ng isang babae upang tubusin at maging ampon tayo ng Diyos.

    Alam natin na ang huling pamana ni Hesus sa atin bago siya mamamatay sa krus ay ang kanyang ina mismo. Ipinagkatiwala ni Hesus si Maria sa atin na kinatawan ng minamahal niyang alagad at ipinagkatiwala din tayo sa kanyang ina. Maganda at sa unang araw ng taon, hinahawakan natin ang kamay ni Maria na ina ng Diyos at ina rin natin.

    Hindi natin alam kung saan tayo dadalhin nitong 2021, pero may assurance ngayon na nadiyan si Maria na ating ina. Hindi tayo nag-iisa. Hindi niya tayo pinababayaan. Kunin natin ang attitude ni Mama Mary sa araw na ito.

    Nasorpresa si Maria sa mga sinasabi ng mga pastol noong ang mga ito’y dumalaw sa kanila sa gabi ng pasko. Siguro nagulat siya na mabalitaang may mga anghel na umaawit sa mga pastol. Ano ang ginawa ni Maria? Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.

    Sa simula ng bagong taon kasama ni Maria, manahimik tayo, magnilay at magdasal. Hanapin natin ang kahulugan ng mga pangyayari sa buhay natin. Napakaraming nangyari noong 2020. May ibig sabihin po ang Diyos. Let us keep all these things in our heart, reflecting on them. Kaya ang magandang pagdiriwang ng bagng taon ay tulad ng ginagawa natin ngayon, nananahimik, nagdarasal. Ipaubaya natin sa Diyos ang taong 2021. Kakaiba ito sa mga taong walang ginawa kundi magpaputok, mag-ingay, tumalon at mag-inuman ng alak, umaasa silang magugulat daw ang malas sa buhay nila, sa kanilang pag-iingay. Hindi po yan totoo. Sa halip na gulatin ang malas, tanggapin natin ang grasya ng Diyos. Papasukin natin sa ating buhay, sa ating puso.

    Ano kaya ang dadalhin ng 2021?

    Noong nakaraang taon, pagpasok noong taong 2020, mataas ang ating pag-asa, simula ng bagong dekada. Ngunit hindi natin inaasahan ang dinala ng 2020. Noong Enero pa lang, sinalubong tayo ng pagsabog ng Bulkang Taal. Noong Pebrero, pumasok na ang COVID-19 sa ating bansa. Iilan pa lang at nabalitaan na natin ang lockdown sa Wuhan, China. Hindi naman tayo umaasa na maaapektuhan tayo nitong lockdown na ito. Pero sa kalagitnaan ng March, naglockdown na rin tayo. Tumigal na ang karaniwang takbo ng buhay natin. At ngayon ay nasa ika-sampung buwan na tayo ng iba’t ibang levels ng lockdown. Patuloy ang ating takot hindi lang sa COVID-19 ngayon. Ngunit ngayon yung bagong strain ng coronavirus. Dinalaw din tayo ng apat na sunud sunod na bagyo na nagdulot ng malalaking baha sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa. Mabigat na ang mga natural calamities at health problems at economic problems na dala nito. Mas lalo pang pinatindi ng mga pagsasamantala ng pamahalaan sa taong bayan. Patago at sapilitang pinasabatas ang Terror Law. Kung gaano kabilis ang pagpasa ng Terror Law, ganun din kabagal ang pag-aksiyon ng Supreme Court sa 37 petitions laban dito. Mula noong buwan ng Mayo hanggang sa buwang ito, hindi pa naaaksiyunan ang mga petitions na ito. Ganun din kabilis ang pagtanggal ng franchise ng renewal ng ABS CBN na wala namang dahilan. At mabagal din ang pagtugon ng ayuda sa mga nawalan ng hanap buhay. Ay, 2020.

    Pero kung tayo, huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa kahit na may mga banta sa 2021 tulad ng di pagkakasundo tungkol sa vaccine at kung sino ang makakatanggap nito. Banta ng second wave ng lockdown at ng new strain of the virus. Hindi tayo nawawalan ng pag-asa.

    Sa ating unang pagbasa, sinabi ng Diyos kay Moises kung ano ang blessing na ibibigay ni Aaron at ng kanyang mga anak sa mga Israelita. Si Aaron at ang mga anak niya ay ang mga pari sa bayan ng Israel.  Ang bendisyon nila ay ang pagpapala na ibibigay ng Diyos sa kanyang bayan. At yan din yung hinahangad natin, na the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord let His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.

    Sa mga blessings na ito, ang Diyos ang gagawa. Siya ang manatiling active sa atin. Siya ay magiging mabuti sa atin. Siya ang magiging mahabagin sa atin at magbibigay ng kapayapaan. Ang Diyos nga ay active sa ating kaligtasan. Hindi tayo pababayaan. Lalung lalo na ngayong 2021, ay ang ating pagdiriwang ng 500 anniversary ng pagdating ng pananampalataya sa ating dalampasigan. Ito ay isang assurance that God is faithful. God has been with us for the past 500 years. Hindi naman tayo basta bastang bibitawan niya. Yan po yung assurance sa atin kaya ang ating resiliency, ang ating pag-asa ay nanggaling po sa atin pong pananalig na ang Diyos ay nandiyan, hindi tayo pababayaan.

    Marami ang nagtatanong, nasan ba ang Diyos sa mga nangyayari ngayon. Nandiyan siya, kung sinorpresa tayo ng 2020, hindi ba tayo mas masosorpresa na nakayanan natin ang mga dinaanan natin? Nakayanan nating magampanan ang ating trabaho. Ang mga pag-aaral, iba pang gawain sa pamamagitan ng online facilities na marami sa atin noon, wala namang masyadong alam sa mga bagay na iyan. Nakayanan natin panghawakan at palalimin pa ang pananampalataya kahit na nasa bahay lang tayo ng ilang buwan. Nakayanan na tumulong sa kapwa kahit na mabigat din ang atig kalagayan sa ating buhay.

    Paano natin nagawa ang mga ito kung hindi dahil sa Diyos. Kaya kailangan tayong magpasalamat sa Kanya sa halip na sisihin Siya. Magpasalamat tayo kasi hindi niya tayo pinabayaan. Kaya kasama ng Mahal na Ina, kasama ng bendisyon ng Diyos, mahaharap natin ang 2021 ng buong pag-asa. God is with us. We are not alone. We can face the new year together with God. (Archdiocese of Manila –Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

  • NEW YEAR MESSAGE 2021



    Happy New Year to all! The greeting is HAPPY NEW YEAR not only 
    because we want this day to be happy but we truly hope that the whole year of 2021 will bring happiness and joy. We TRULY HOPE. Every New Year is a harbinger of hope. We especially need this hope in the face of the unexpected turn of the year 2020. Whoever expected at the start of the year2020 that our world would be radically changed by this time?

    Now however there are glimmers of hope for 2021 in the horizon. 
    Everybody is speaking of the vaccine and how it can be effectively delivered to all, first and foremost, to the front liners and the vulnerable. Unfortunately, the news of government people already getting the vaccine surreptitiously and without undergoing the transparent process does not abode of a good beginning. Another glimmer of hope are the voices calling for more solidarity, more fraternity, and more cooperation that are sounding ever stronger. We should not just dream of going back to the preCovid days. We should come out of this global crisis with greater solidarity and fraternity among all peoples that is shown in greater cooperation, rather than competition that leaves the vulnerable behind. Pope Francis’ encyclical FRATELLI TUTTI calls for this.

    The change that we all dream will not come abruptly nor quickly. Let us all work for it. We continue to pray to ask for God’s help and mercy. We continue to follow the necessary health protocols to protect each other from infection from any strain of the Corona Virus. We continue to extend help to the vulnerable and the poor who are disproportionately affected by this health and economic crisis.

    Let our attention not only be focused on the Corona Virus and its various strains. The climate emergency is still upon us. The new lifestyle that the new situation calls us should reject unbridled commercialism and the throw away culture. It should be more caring for the earth. Human rights should also not be set aside. There cannot be a better future if human rights and human life are not respected and valued.

    We hold on TO HOPE as we enter the new year of 2021 – hope for a cure to the virus that is transparent and equitable, hope for a no-nonsense response to the climate emergency that is upon us, hope for respect to human rights and human life for everyone.

    Then we can truly greet each other: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

     


    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila
    January 1, 2021

  • Pope Francis announces 2021 as the year dedicated to family


    Pope Francis has declared the year 2021 as a special year dedicated to the family to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. He made the announcement during the Angelus last December 27, 2020, Sunday, Feast of the Holy Family.

    The Holy Father also noted that on March 19, 2021, the Catholic Church will mark the 5th year since the signing of “Amoris Laetitia” following the synods on the family in 2014 and 2015.

    “Today’s feast reminds us of the example of evangelizing with the family, proposing to us once again the ideal of conjugal and family love, as underlined in the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promulgated five years ago this coming March 19. And it will be a year of reflection on Amoris Laetitia and it will be an opportunity to focus more closely on the contents of the document. These reflections will be made available to ecclesial communities and families, to accompany them on their journey," he said.

    His Holiness Pope Francis | Photo from Catholic News Agency

    It was on April 8, 2016, when Pope Francis released the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). The document is among the longest in papal history. It composed of nine chapters together with an introduction, reflecting on the challenges to the marriage and family life.

    In a press statement released from the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, 2021 will be called the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family.”

    “The pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and has shown the importance of community ties between families, which make the Church an authentic ‘family of families'" the statement said.

    The dicastery also announced the creation of a new website dedicated to this special year--www.amorislaetitia.va--which will start on March 19, 2021, and end on June 26, 2022.

    The new website is to help “in spreading the Christian message on the family in light of the challenges of our time; promoting a deeper understanding of the text of the apostolic exhortation and the magisterium of Pope Francis; inviting episcopal conferences, dioceses, and parishes, together with ecclesial movements, associations, and families, to devote themselves enthusiastically to the pastoral care of the family by implementing Amoris laetitia.”

    The Pope has also announced that 2021 is dedicated to St. Joseph, which started on December 8, 2020, and will conclude on December 8, 2021. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily | Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Feast of the Holy Family


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Holy Family Parish in Makati City on December 27, 2020, at 10 am.

    Mga kapatid, nasa panahon pa tayo ng pasko. Hindi po tapos ang pasko dahil tapos na ang December 25.  Christmas is such a big event of our salvation that we cannot just celebrate it in one day. We are celebrating Christmas in eight days. So, we have the so-called Christmas octave from December 21 to January 1.  During these eight days, we are focusing our attention on the different aspects of the mystery of Christmas. Sa unang linggo, pagkaraan ng Christmas day, an gating atensiyon ay nakatuon sa pamilya ni Hesus. Kaya ngayon ay kapistahan ng Sagrada Familia, ng Holy Family.


    Family is very important for each human life. Kakaiba ang tao kaysa mga hayop. Sa maraming hayop, ang mga maliliit ay maaari nang mabuhay ng mag-isa pagkaraan ng ilang araw o ng ilang linggo.  Hindi ganyan ang tao. Kailangan ng bata na siya ay alagaan ng ilang taon upang siya ay mag-survive at hindi lang upang siya ay mag-survive ng maayos. Both psychologically and physically, kailangan na siya ay alagaan ng lalaki at babae, ng kanyang nanay at ng kanyang tatay. Hindi natural sa tao na siya’y palakihin ng single parent o ng dalawang lalaki o dalawang babae lang.

    Kaya noong ng Diyos ay naging tao, naging bahagi siya ng isang pamilya. Pinangalagaan siya ng isang babae at isang lalaki, ni Santa Maria at ni San Jose. God made sure that His son would be taken care of by a mother and a human father. So, we have the annunciation both to Mary and to Joseph by an angel about their mission towards the child.

    Ang mga pamilya ay tinatawag na pugad ng buhay. Isinisilang ang maliliit sa pugad at dito sila inaalagaan at pinalalaki. Ang pamilya ay siyang pugad ng buhay ng tao. Sa pamilya siya isinisilang at sa pamilya din siya inaalagaan at pinalalaki.

    Ganun din si Hesus kaya lumaki siya sa Nazareth, Galilea at sa ilalim ni Jose at ni Maria. Dito siya lumaki sa Kanyang pangangatawan, physically. Dito siya lumago sa Kanyang karunungan at dito siya naging kalugudlugod sa Diyos at sa Kanyang kapwa tao. Dito siya nagkaroon ng magagandang ugali. Jesus matured well as a person in His family in Nazareth.

    Pero ang pamilya ay hindi lang natin kailangan kapag tayo ay bata pa. Ito’y kailangan natin kahit matanda na tayo. Ang pagmamahalan sa pamilya sustains us. The care and love given to each other in the family gives meaning and joy to our loves, young and old. Dito naaalagaan ang mga mahihina. Kapag tayo ay nagkakasakit, ang pamilya ang nag-aalaga sa atin hindi naman ang mga kabarkada o mga kainuman natin. Ang mga tao na may special needs o may kapansanan ay patuloy na sinusuportahan ng pamilya. Kapag tayo ay tumanda na, nandiyan pa rin ang pamilya na tumatanggap sa atin at umuunawa sa ating kahinaan.

    Pero ang matatanda ay hindi lang inaalagaan. Sila din ay nagbibigay ng karunungan ay gabay sa iba. Ang karunungan na bunga ng kanilang karanasan sa buhay ay hindi mababasa sa anumang aklat. Ang mga ito ay naipapasa nila. They transmit this wisdom sa kanilang mga anak, sa kanilang mga pamangkin, sa kanilang mga apo. Really, we need one another in the family and each one including the elderly and the weak can contribute to the well-being of the family.

    Sa ngayong panahon, kailangan natin pahalagahan ang mga matatanda. Dumadami at dumadami sila dahil sa advances in Science and in medicine. Mas humahaba pa ang buhay ng tao kaya dumadami ang mga matatanda. And the elderly, although they may now bring less material resources yet, they are repositories of wisdom and of faith. Hindi na material na bagay ang matatanggap nila, ang maibibigay nila. Mas mahalaga pa rin ay ang ipinapasa nila sa atin ay yuon nga ang pananampalataya at karunungan na nanggaling sa kanilang mahabang karanasan. Igalang natin sila at makinig tayo sa kanila. Mahalaga ang mga kuwento at mga aral nila sa atin.

    Ang mga pagbasa natin ngayon ay tungkol sa matatanda. Si Abraham ay matanda na at nagreklamo siya sa Diyos noong pinangakuan siya ng Diyos ng gantimpala, ng mga lupa, ng mga biyaya. Sabi niya, “Ano naman ang halaga ng mga gantimpalang ito kung wala namang magmamana na ito mula sa akin?” Nasabi niya ito kasi matanda na siya at ang kanyang asawang si Sara at wala silang anak. Ngunit sabi ng Diyos na hindi ibang anak ang magmamana sa mga pangako ng Diyos sa kanya kundi ang anak niya mismo sa kanyang asawang si Sara.

    We are told, Abraham put his faith in the Lord who credited to him as an act of righteousness. Nanalig si Abraham. Naging kalugud lugod siya sa Diyos sapagkat nagtiwala siya sa Salita ng Diyos. At iyan ang katangian ni Abraham na ipinamana sa atin. Ang kanyang pananampalataya

    This is why Abraham is known as the Father of Faith. From him came the three great monotheistic religion in the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Kaya sa ikalawang pagbasa natin, piniprisinta ang pananampalataya ni Abraham bilang halimbawa sa atin. Buo ang pananalig niya kahit na imposible sa mata ng mga tao. Nanalig siya hindi dahl posible ang sinabi sa kanya. Naniwala siya dahil malakas ang tiwala niya sa nangako sa kanya. Malakas ang tiwala niya sa Diyos. Kaya nagmula sa kanya na halos patay na dahil sa matanda na siya ang isang lahi na kasing dami ng mga bituin sa langit, na kasing dami ng buhangin sa dalampasigan. May pakinabang ang mga matatanda. At ang pakinabang na iyan ay dahil sa kanilang pananampalataya.

    Ganun din sa ating ebanghelyo. Pinakita dito ang pamilya ni Maria at ni Jose ay isang relihiyosong pamilya. Sumusunod sila sa mga patakaran ng kanilang relihiyon. Kahit na mahirap lamang sila, pumunta sila sa temple upang magdala ng kanilang handog. Doon natagpuan nila ang dalawang matatanda – si Simeon at si Ana. Ang dalwang matatandang ito ay puno ng pag-asa sa katuparan ng pangako ng Diyos na magpapapdala siya ng Kristo, ng Mesiyas upang iligtas ang kanyang bayan. Nakita nila sa sanggol na dala dala ni Maria at ni Jose ang katuparan ng pangakong ito at tuwang tuwa sila. Ganun na lang kasaya si Simeon na sinabi niya sa Diyos na handa na siyang mamatay dahil nakita na niya ang manliligtas. Tuwang tuwa naman si Ana na hindi siya makatigil sa pagsasalita tungkol sa batang ito sa mga tao na nandoon. Ginamit ng Diyos ang dalawang matatanda upang ipaabot sa lahat ang pagdating ng manliligtas kahit na baby pa lang ito. Siguro ang pahayag ni Simeon at ni Ana ay lalong nagpalakas ng loob ni Maria at ni Jose. Faith in gender’s faith. Siguradong ang sinabi ni Simeon kay Maria ay naghanda sa kanya sa mga panahon na nasaktan ang puso niya dahil sa nangyari kay Hesus lalung lalo na nung pagkapako nito sa krus.

    So, as we speak today of the Holy Family and thus focus our attention to our families, let us pay attention to the elderly members of our families. They have important roles to play even when if they are weakened by age. Let us not put them aside. Iyan ang problema sa ating kultura ngayon na nagpapahalaga sa efficiency and productivity. And when it speaks of productivity it often means material productivity.

    In this kind of culture, many times the elderly are by passed and set aside. Hindi na sila nakakaproduce. At iyan din ang nararamdaman ng maraming matatanda kaya tumatahimik na lang sila sa isang tabi. Ayaw na nilang makaistorbo pa. Ayaw nilang maging pabigat pa. Kaya yung treasure na nasa kanila ay hindi nababahagi. Ang mahahalagang payo at pangangalaga ay hindi na nila nagagawa at nasasabi sa iba. Ang kanilang pagkalinga ay hindi na rin nila naibibigay, sayang. Lilipas na lang ang mga ito kasama nila.

    Ang isang treasure nga na meron ang matatanda ay ang treasure ng kanilang pananampalataya. Kahit na iba ang expression ng kanilang faith, siguro yan ay mga nobena, mga rosary na kanilang dinadasal, malalim ang kanilang pananampalataya kasi ito ay sinubok na ng buhay.  Sana maging tulad sila ni Simeon na ibinahagi sa batang mag-asawa ang kanyang pag-asa at kaalaman tungkol sa mangyayari sa bata. Kaalaman na bigay sa kanya ng Espiritu Santo. Pati na ang mga matatanda ay ginagamit pa rin ng Diyos. Matanda na si Abraham nung tinawag siya ng Diyos, mga seventy five years old. Ganun din si Moses, eighty years old nung siya’y tinawag ng Diyos. Ganun din si Elizabeth at si Zacharias.

    Ngayon ay binibigyan tayo ng pag-asa at mga hamon ni Pope Francis, ang ating Santo Papa kahit na eighty-four years old na siya noong December 17.

    Christmas is the feast of families pero hindi lang ito kapistahan ng mga bata sa mga pamilya. May papel din ang matatanda sa pasko. Hindi na Santa Claus ang narrative ng matatanda. Hindi na regalo ang pinahahalagahan nila. Hindi na sila makakakain ng mgapampaskong pagkain, masyadong matamis, matataba at puno ng cholesterol. Ang pasko sa mga matatanda ay nandiyan tayong lahat. Nagkakaisa, masaya, nagkwe-kwentuhan at lalo na pamilyang nagdadasal. Hindi ba mas totoo ang diwa ng pasko na kanilang ikinatutuwa? (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily | Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines - 2020 Christmas Day Mass


    Homily delivered by Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines during Christmas Day Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 25, 2020, at 11 am.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines delivers his homily during Christmas Day Mass at the Manila Cathedral. | Photo by Rian Salamat/RCAM-AOC

    My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, let me begin by saying what a tremendous joy it is to celebrate my first Christmas here in Manila, here in the Philippines. Your absolutely magnificent cathedral dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. It fills my heart with joy and it fills also my mind with the splendor of this beautiful and wonderful cathedral.

    As I said at the beginning of the Mass, I’m very grateful to Bishop Broderick Pabillo for his kind words and very grateful also to Rector Father Regie for having invited me to this Mass today.

    I bring you, of course, the Christmas greetings of our Holy Father Pope Francis who as I said in the beginning has a very special love, a special place in his heart for you, the Filipino people.

    You should pray during the Mass this morning for the earthquake that took place earlier today in Balayan, in Batangas. We pray to God that there were no serious injuries. When I began Mass, I have been informed that anything serious, so pray God that everyone is safe and sound.

    We also pray God for an end to the scourge of the Coronavirus which has certainly affected the way which we live, the way which we interact and did the way which we pray. We need to be observant of the norms of health so that we can protect each other from the diffusion of this virus.

    Merry Christmas, brothers and sisters. Last night, some of you perhaps maybe one or two at the midnight Mass.  At midnight Mass, the gospel that we hear is the classic Christmas story taken from Saint Luke. It’s about Mary, Joseph going to Bethlehem, no place in the end, going out…the baby Jesus being born, the angels, the shepherds, all those beautiful symbols of Christmas. That is the story of Christmas.

    Today, however on Christmas day, as you just heard, read, the gospel is not the story of Christmas but the meaning of Christmas. Not what happened that day but the significance of what happened that day. The cosmic significance of God becoming man in the baby Jesus. The cosmic significance of all of history, all of humanity, of those advances, that we heard about last night, at midnight Mass.

    In a few moments, together we will profess and I saw creed, our profession of faith that we do every Sunday, we will kneel together, approach the words that Jesus by the Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man because today is His birthday. We will kneel during the creed in the moment.

    Let me read to you the words that we would pray. Listen to me for a moment.

    We pray that Jesus is God from God. He is might from might. He is true God from true God…from substantial from the Father through whom all things were made. Through the baby Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. All things were made for us man and for our salvation. He came down from heaven. On this day, He was born of the Virgin Mary becoming man.

    So, the gospel we read today is from the beginning of St. John’s gospel. In the beginning, was the word and the word was with God. That word today is born in Bethlehem. In fact, the beginning of the gospel of St. John is written on this beautiful…that I am preaching you from. Just allow me, only visible to the priests coz it’s on the side facing the sanctuary….in the beginning was the word. That is the Christmas message.

    In the beginning, if you think about the beginning of creation, the beginning of everything. Some of us have heard about the Big Bang. The Big Bang, how creation began. God said, “Let there be light and there was light.” This famous Big Bang was discovered or we can certainly say was investigated by a Catholic priest, Fr. George…, a priest working in Belgium, a great physicist, a great study of astronomy, a great intellectual. And he had the theory of the Big Bang, the beginning of creation where God made everything.

    Let me say…what people say that the Catholic Church is against Science, it really talking foolishness. Catholic Church has no problem with Science. They believe in everything that is true. Anything is true is for us part of our Catholic faith. It was this great priest who investigated the Big Bang, the beginning of all creation.

    In the beginning, was the word and the word was with God and it was the word that created everything. We believe that was something like 14 billion years ago. So, that’s the first moment – creation.

    What’s the second moment? The second moment we also heard in the gospel today, we heard those words in the gospel which came to be through Him, through Jesus was life, life. So, the creation of all the universe then much greater, the creation of life on earth. The creation of the universe maybe 14 billion years ago. The creation of life here on earth…3 ½ billion years ago, much more recently that life begin here.

    May I also say, Scientists, do not really know how life began on earth. It’s a mystery, even the scientist. If you ask people in the street how life began. People will often time say, Oh, it was because of evolution. Evolution doesn’t say how life began. Evolution says that once life began how it evolved, how it changed, how it developed.

    So, with these two moments creation of the universe, then the creation of life on earth, 3.5 billion years ago. And all of us on a natural method we have that life in us. We have physical, natural life that began 3.5 billion years ago. The same life that is in fish, that is in cucumbers, that’s in grass, that’s in trees. Life is all around us.

    And on a natural level my brothers and sisters, on a physical level, we are alive because we are feeding on life. Every calorie, some of you are watching your calories, I am too. Every calorie that you eat was something that was alive. Every nourishment that keeps you alive was something that was alive. Whether it is the lettuce you eat or the Lechon that you are eating for Christmas. All of it was life, natural life coming into you. So that natural life is in us. So, creation, life.

    And then the third moment. What is the third moment? The third moment we heard in the second reading, in times past, God spoke in partial ways through the prophets but in his last days, He has spoken to us through the son. His last days recently, a new form of life has come into the world because brothers and sisters, the natural life that all of us have will end. We call that end, death. But a new life has appeared in the stable at Bethlehem. A new life in the baby Jesus. Life that will be communicated to us that we will receive, that will fill us through the sacraments of the holy Church. Baptism is the water of life. Just like natural life, we believe it seems to begin in the ocean, in the seas, so super natural life. The life that Jesus brings from his birth in Bethlehem comes into us by Baptism. And that life is fed by receiving His body and His blood from the Eucharist at the altar. Another form of life is in us. That is the most beautiful gift that God can give us - eternal life.

    Our natural life brothers and sisters will end. But eternal life that we receive in Baptism, that is nourished in the Eucharist, that life will never end. So, today on Christmas, Jesus opens in the circumstance the way that leads to heaven.

    In the gospel of John, one more quotation, “Those who accepted Him, He gave the power to become children of God.” Those who accepted Jesus, He gave the power to become children of God. You have begotten by God. In this new life, we become children of God truly with God’s supernatural life. That is the gift of Christmas. That is the gift that fills us with courage and joy because a new form of life has appeared. Our life that is also described as light, a light, a life, that shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Brothers and sisters, the history of the Church is always a battle between life and death. Receiving the sacraments is a matter of life and death. Spiritual life and death, supernatural life and death. And that is why from this history we have martyrs, who are martyrs? Martyrs are people like you and me who preferred supernatural life to natural life. They laid down their natural life, their physical life so that the supernatural life they had received in the sacraments, will carry them into heavenly glory, into the life of the word to come which is what we confess at the end of the creed today. The light shines in the darkness and that light is life. And is in each and every one of us because of the Eucharist, because of the sacraments.

    Here on earth, our job is to receive that life and to live in a way that nourishes God’s life in us and in others by being compassionate, by following the teachings of Jesus and His church. Then we receive life and we pass that life to those around us.

    Here on Christmas day, we see heaven. Heaven in the baby Jesus. Heaven in the obscurity and the poverty of Bethlehem.

    Last night in his homily for the midnight Mass, which is now celebrated midnight but at 9 o’clock by Pope Francis in Rome, he quoted an American poet from the nineteenth century who spoke about finding heaven here on earth. And then if we find it on earth, that heaven will bring us into the heaven that will never end.

    Here is the short poem that Pope Francis read actually in Italian about finding heaven here in the baby Jesus.

    Who has not found heaven the love, will fail of it above. God’s residence is next to mine. His furniture is love. God’s residence is next to mine. His furniture is love. – Emily Dickenson, an American Poet.

    God’s residence is Bethlehem, next to mine here in the Philippines. Jesus is close to us. Jesus loves us. Jesus has come in to the world to give us the greatest gift possible – the gift of supernatural life, the life that will never end. And that my brothers and sisters, is why Christmas fills us with the joy that the world cannot understand. And the joy that the world cannot give. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

    A wish you a very blessed Christmas, a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.

    Let us pray for one another. Let us pray for Pope Francis as he always asks and also please pray for me your newly arrived apostolic nuncio who is very, very happy to be celebrating his first mass here in your cathedral on Christmas day. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

  • The Season of Christmas promises Joy amidst Difficulties


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila delivered a message of hope and consolation in his Christmas message that “God is with us” even during this difficult year

    The pandemic, the Bishop said,  has brought the country into trying times making it difficult to live life from the way it used to be.

    .Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    Apart from the current problem of addressing the pandemic and providing cure for those infected by the virus, the country has been experiencing continued rise in violence such as the recent murder of mother and son, Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio in Tarlac.

    Amidst all of these, the bishop has reminded the faithful to trust and remain faithful in the love and the mercy of God.

    “We are no strangers to problems and difficulties. We do not know how these can be solved, or at least averted. But Christmas assures us: God is with us. God has become man in order to share our journey in this life. This is the source of our confidence and joy,” the Bishop said.

    He also praised and acknowledged the efforts of parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila of providing online masses, recollections and other internet-based religious activities that help the people strengthen their faith. The Bishop also thanked the parishes especially those who work hard in the preparations for Simbang Gabi Masses.

    “All of these manifest the faith and devotion of our people and their great longing to welcome the Lord Jesus with the Blessed Virgin Mary. May God be praised! We thank our priests and our media people for their indefatigable work during these days,” he said.

    Bishop Pabillo presided over the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, at 8 a.m., while the newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles John Brown led the Christmas Day Mass on December 25, at 11 a.m. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily | Bishop Broderick Pabillo - Christmas Eve Mass


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, 2020, at 8 pm.

     Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC


    Good evening to you all and Merry Christmas! This is the day that we have been preparing for in the four weeks of Advent in the nine days of our Simbang Gabi.

    The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwell in the land of loom, a light was shwon. This was proclaim to us by the prophet Isaiah.

    Ito na po ang pasko. Dumating na ang liwanag na walang iba kundi ang Diyos na sumasaatin. Natalo na ang dilim. Hindi naman talaga absent ang Diyos sa ating mga tao. Our God is always a revealing God. He communicates since the very beginning of time. He makes Himself known through many ways especially through the things that He has made. We can know God through creation. And more, palagi naman siya nagpapadala ng mga tao upang ipaalam ang Kanyang kalooban sa atin.  He has always been in touch with us. Pinadala niya si Abraham, si Moises, si David, at mga pantas, ang mga propeta.

    Ang kakaiba ngayon, pinadala niya ang Kanyang anak mismo. Ito ay si Hesus. The visible image of the invisible God dahil ang Diyos ay nagkatawang tao, naging bahagi na siya ng ating kasaysayan. Nakipag kapwa na ang Diyos sa atin. What a wonderful grace. We have seen this, this evening, there in front of us, the word which is in the gospel is made flesh in the word that has been made man.

    Why did God become man? We may call this the divine madness. He empty Himself of His divinity in order to become one of us. Sino ba tayong mga tao na ang Diyos ay hindi lang dumating sa atin kundi nakibahagi rin sa ating pagkatao. Hindi lang siya bumisita sa atin, he has come to stay and live among us. The only reason of this divine madness is His divine love. He loves us so much that He joins Himself to us. He not only loves us which He has been doing from eternity. He has made His love concrete so that we can see Him, hear Him, touch Him. By these, He wants that we feel and know His love for us. And He continues this process of staying with us up to our days so He extends His stay through the sacraments especially on the Holy Eucharist. The divine presence is there not only symbolically but physically in the form of bread and wine. What a love! What a love that is always present. So, it is but appropriate that we celebrate Christmas. The word made flesh in the Eucharist. The word who stays with us, as bread, as food.

    Isa sa mga gawain natin sa pasko ay ang exchange gift. Ang pagpapalitan ng mga regalo. Madalas may mga sama ng loob sa exchange gift. Mas mahalaga, mas mahal, mas maganda ang regalong binigay ko, kesa regaling nakuha ko. Kaya may sama ng loob.

    Ang original idea of exchange gift ay ang exchange gift natin sa Diyos. Binigay natin anga ting pagktao sa Kanya upang maibigay niya sa atin ang Kanyang pagka-Diyos. Nakibagahi siya sa pagkatao natin para tayo ay makibahagi sa Kanyang pagka-Diyos. At hindi sumasama ang loob niya na talagang hindi naman pantay ang exchange na ito dahil mahal Niya tayo. He wants to share His joy and love so He shares His joy and His love so He shares His life with us. What a wonderful exchange.

    Ang nakakalungkot lang, hindi natin siya tinanggap. He came to His own people and His own did not receive Him. All of us and all of creation were made because of Him and for Him and we His creatures do not receive Him. Ganun din dumating Siya sa Kanyang bayan sa Bethlehem at walang lugar sa Kanya sa mga bahay doon. Sa sabsaban pa siya pinanganak. Hanggang ngayon nangyayari ito.

    Maraming mga tao nagsasaya sa pasko pero wala si Hesus sa kanilang kasiyahan. Ang masama pa nagkakasala sa Christams celebrations – nalalasing, nag-aaway. Nagbabatian ng Merry Christmas pero wala naman sa mga tao ang Kanyang alalaala na si Hesus ang dahilan ng Christmas. At binubura pa nga Siya sa Christmas kaya sa halip na mag-greet ng Merry Christmas, ang iba sinasabi na lang, seasons greetings. May marami pa na ang larawan ni Santa Claus ay mas marami kaysa larawan ni baby Jesus sa ating mga malls. Mas nag-aabang pa kay Santa Claus at sa kanyang mga regalo na dala kuno niya kaysa nag-aabang kay Hesus at ang kaligyahan at buhay na binibigay niya sa atin.

    We exchange the reality of God coming among us to a myth of a Santa Claus. We are sad that children no longer believe in Santa Claus but we are not bothered that they do not believe in Jesus, who is more real than anything in the world. Let us not allow people to rob us from Jesus in Christmas. He is the reason for our joy. Yes, as the prophet said, “A child is born to us. A son is given to us. Upon His shoulder, dominion rests.”

    To believe in Jesus is to believe in salvation because this is the meaning of His name, Jesus – God who saves. And this is the mission of this child – to bring God’s salvation to us.

    Kalian kailangan pa natin ang kailgtasan? Siguro naman napakasama at napakabigat ng buhay natin ngayon. Marami ang walang trabaho. Marami ang nagkakasakit at namamatay pa. Marami ay natatakot at nangangamba sa kalagayan nila ngayon at sa kinabukasan. Nandiyan ang patuloy na hindi pagpapahalaga sa buhay tulad ng karumal dumal na pagpatay ng mag-ina sa Tarlac, ng mga abogado sa Palawan at sa Cebu, ng doctor at ng human rights advocate sa Negros. Ang solusyon ng magagaling nating mga mambabatas ay matigil ang pagpatay sa pamamagitan ng pagpatay, pagbabalik ng death penalty. How foolish! We will impose death in order to stop the killings. Is this not foolish?

    Talagang kailangan natin ang kaligtasan. O, Diyos, hindi na namin kaya ito. Dumating ka na Hesus. Dumating ka na at iligtas kami. Hindi po ang vaccine ang magliligtas sa amin. Sa halip na makatulong ang vaccine, nagdadala pa ito ng pag-aaway ng mga tao at pagsasamantala ng mga kapangyarihan at ng may pera. Naging controversy pa ang vaccine. Hindi ang mga politiko ang magliligtas sa atin. Ang dami na nilang mga pangako na hindi natutupad. Wala na silang magawa kundi mangako, manisi at magbanta. Come, Lord Jesus come, and save us.

    Kaya patuloy po ang daing natin ng Adbiyento kahit na pasko na kasi ang pasko ay anino nlang. It’s only a shadow of the real coming of Jesus to us, which is His coming in fullness at the end of time. Yes, nandito na nga ang pasko, ngunit alam naman natin magiging masaya tayo ng isang araw pero babalik ulit ang riyalidad, hindi pa tapos ang kaligtasan na sinimulan ng bata na isinilang.

    We long for what the prophet Isaiah said, “Not by appearance shall He judge nor by hearsay shall He decide. But He shall judge the poor with justice and decide fairly for the lands afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with…and with the breath of His lips. He shall slay the wicked.” Iyan po yung inaasahan natin. Nagsabi ang Diyos. Gagawin niya ito sapagkat tapat siya. Kaya halina, Hesus, halina, dumating ka na.”

    There was a young woman by the name of Etty Ellison. She was a Dutch Jew who was killed in the death camp of…at the age of 29, in 1943. In her diary which made her famous, we find this entry and I quote, “I know that a new and kinder day will come. I would so much like to live on if only to express all the love that I carry within me and there is only one way of repairing the new age – by living it even now in our hearts,” end of quote.

    Ito po ang mas malalim na hamon ng pasko – namnamin natin at isulong ang kaligtasan na pinangako ng pasko ngayon at araw araw. Hindi tapos ang pasko sapagkat dumating na ang December 25. Si Hesus na dumating ay manliligtas. Isabuhay natin ngayon ang kaligtasan na dala niya at isulong natin ito. Ibig sabihin isulong natin ang katarungan. Isulong natin ang kapayapaan. Isulong natin ang katotohanan. Isulong natin ang pag-ibig hanggang ito ay magkaroon ng kaganapan sa buhay na binibigay niya sa atin.

    God has taken our life and live it fully. Our human life. Let us take the divine life and also live it fully. Yan po ang hamon sa atin ng pasko. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

  • MESSAGE FOR CHRISTMAS OF 2020



    May God be praised! The pandemic has not stopped the people to express their faith. With proper health protocols and the cooperation of our local government officials, many people have attended our Simbang Gabi Masses and received the sacraments. Many more followed our religious activities in their homes through the internet. Many parishes organized online recollections during the Advent season, with the participation of the faithful. All of these manifest the faith and devotion of our people and their great longing to welcome the Lord Jesus with the Blessed Virgin Mary. May God be praised! We thank our priests and our media people for their indefatigable work during these days.

    Now we receive the message of the angel: “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk. 2:11). The Immanuel is among us! Yes, we are beset by many problems. Many are still jobless. Uncertainties stare at us in the face. There is anger in the wake of violence, as the senseless killing of the mother and her son in Tarlac, and by a policeman at that. The vaccine which is supposed to be a solution to the pandemic is becoming a source of controversy. We are no strangers to problems and difficulties. We do not know how these can be solved, or at least averted. But Christmas assures us: God is with us. God has become man in order to share our journey in this life. This is the source of our confidence and joy. As God assured Joshua, so he assures us: “Be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go” (Jos. 1:9). Indeed God is with us. He is Immanuel!

     Merry Christmas to us all!

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila

  • Homily | Bishop Broderick Pabillo - 4th Sunday of Advent


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass  (4th Sunday of Advent) at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bacood, Sta. Mesa on December 20, 2020, at 10 a.m
    .


    Where does God stay? Where does He want to dwell?

    Apat na Linggo na tayo ng pinaghahandaan natin ang pagdating ng Panginoon kaya sinindihan na yung apat na kandila ng ating advent wreath. Ngunit ngayon saan ba siya darating? Inaalaala natin ang Kanyang pagdating noon sa sabsaban. Noon yun, two thousand years ago. Pero ngayon saan siya matatagpuan?

    Sa Unang Pagbasa, si Haring David ay nagkaroon ng magandang inspirasyon. Gusto niyang magmagandang loob sa Diyos. Natalo na ni David ang mga kaaway sa karatig na mga bayan – ang mga Pilistines, ang mga Amorites, ang mga Morbites, ang mga Syrians, ang mga Canaanites.

    Naitatag na niya sa Jerusalem, ang Jerusalem bilang kanyang capital city. Nadala na niya ang ark of the covenant sa lungsod ng Jerusalem. Nakapagpatayo na siya ng kanyang palasyon sa Jerusalem. Naisip niya na ang ark of the covenant, ang tolda ng pagtitipan na siya yung simbolo ng mga pinakapresensiya ng Diyos sa kanyang bayan, ay nandoon pa nasa isang tolda.

    Kaya nagbalak siya na gumawa ng permamnteng tahanan sa Diyos. Nagplano siya na gumawa ng isang temple. Maganda ang plano ni David pero hindi siya pinayagan ng Diyos. Iba’t ibang dahilan ang ibinigay sa Bible.

    Some Biblical texts say that God has always been staying in a tent because He is a God who journeys with His people so He never requested anyone to make Him a permanent dwelling.

    May ibang mga tekto naman na nagsasabing masyadong madugo ang kamay ni David dahil sa kanyang pakikipagdigma kaya hindi siya karapat dapat na gumawa ng isang temple. Ito ay gagawin ng isang taong mapayapa tulad ng anak ni David na si Solomon.

    Pero dito sa ating pagbasa ang sabi ng Diyos na siya ang gagawa ng pabor para kay David. Kung ano si David ngayon, yan ay dahil sa Diyos. Siya ang kumuha sa kanya mula sa ag-aalaga ng mga tupa upang maging hari ng Israel. Siya ang nagpanalo sa kanya sa mga digmaan laban sa mga kaaway. Siya ang nagbigay sa kanya ng katahimikan. Lulubusin ngayon ng Diyos ang Kanyang mga pabor. Gusto ba ni Dabid na gumawa ng temple para sa Diyos?

    Ang salitang temple sa Hebreo ay “beth” kaya Bethlehem, bahay ng tinapay, “beth.” Ang Diyos ang gagawa ng “beth” sa kanya na ang kahulugan ay sambahayan, dynasty.

    Mula sa Kanya manggagaling ang mga hari ng Israel magpakailanman. So there is here a play of words on death. Gagawa siya ng “beth,” temple para sa Diyos, hindi. Ang Diyos ang Diyos ang gagawa ng “beth,” ng dynasty, ng sambahayan para sa iyo.

    More than a dwelling in a place, even in a magnificent temple, God wants to be identified with the people, with the dynasty, with the family.

    Totoo nga ang mga hari ng Huda ay galing sa lipi ni David. Mula noong panahon ni David, mga 1,000 years before the coming of Jesus hanggang sa 586 B.C., higit na apat na daang taon.

    Pero noong pinabagsak ng mga Babylonians ang Jerusalem noong 586, nawala na ang mga hari ng Huda. Nawala na ang kaharian at hindi na ito uli naitayo. Ang mga namumuno sa bayan ay hindi na mga hari kundi mga punong saserdote, mga punong pari. Hindi ba natupad ang pangako ng Diyos? Ang pangako ng Diyos ay para lang ba sa 400 years ngunit ang sinabi ay magpakailnaman?

    Ang Diyos ay tapat. Tinutupad nya ang Kanyang pangako. Kaya sa ating ebanghelyo, narinig natin na si Maria ay itinalaga na ikasal kay Jose na galing sa sambahayan ni David. Kahit na si Jose ay isang karpintero lamang, but he belongs to a noble family. He belongs to the priestly line of David. Kahit na si Hesus ay hindi galing sa dugo ni Jose, pero sa harap ng batas ng mga Hudyo, minana ni Hesus ang mga prerogatives, ang mga pribilehiyo ni Jose sapagkat siya ang itinututring na ama ayon sa batas nila. Si Hesus ang nagmana sa paghahari ni David. Kaya nga si Hesus ay kinilala noong panahon niya as the son of David. Siya ang katuparan ng pangako ng Diyos na maghahari at maghahari magpakailanman. At iyan po ay ginugunita natin tuwing Christ the King, that Jesus reigns forever especially at the end of time.

    Pero kakaiba ang paghahari ni Hesus. Hindi sa pamamagitan ng armas, hindi sa pamamagitan ng dahas ang paghahari niya kundi sa pamamagitan ng service ng paglilingkod. Sa pamamagitan ng katotohanan at sa pag-aalay ng Kanyang sarili para sa Kanyang mga tupa. Siya ang tunay na pastol, ang tunay na hari.

    Kaya hindi dapat natakot si Herodes at si Pontius Pilate sa paghahari Niya because His kingdom is not of this world, not according to the wordly ways.

    Pero balik tayo sa orihinal na tanong natin – saan ba mag-i-stay ang Diyos? Nag-stay siya sa sinapupunan ni Maria. Doon siya safe. Doon siya at home. At bakit? Kasi si Maria ay walang bahid ng kasamaan at nanatiling walang kasalanan. God is at home where there is no evil, where there is no sin. Kasi tinanggap ni Maria ang salita ng Diyos ng buong kababaang loob,”Let it be done to me according to your word,” Mary said to the angel.

    Mary consented fully to be part of the plan of God when she accepted the word of God in her heart, the word of God took flesh in her womb. At dahil sa pagsunod ni Maria, natupad ang pangako ng Diyos kay David, 1,000 years ago na ang paghahari sa Israel ay mananatili magpakailanman. Doon siya nanatili sa sinapupunan ni Maria.

    Ngayong araw ay nasa ikalimang araw na tayo ng siyam na araw ng paghahanda para sa pasko. Yan yung ating pagsisismbang gabi. Ako po tinatalakay ko mula noong December 16 ang siyam na pastoral priorities na tinatalakay natin sa loob ng siyam na taon bilang paghahanda sa ating 500 anniversary celebration ng pagdating nga pananampalataya sa ating dalampasigan, next year sa 2021. Kada araw binabalikan natin ang mga paksa na tinalakay natin kaya noong December 16, ay tinalakay natin ay ang Year of the Faith noong 2013. Noong December 17, tinalakay natin ang Year of the Laity noong 2014. Noong December 18, tinalakay natin ang Year of the Poor noong 2015. Kahapon, tinalakay natin ang Year of the Family noong 2016. At ngayon naman, noong 2017, ay ang ating paksa ay Year of the Parish, Year of the BECs.

    Ito po ay isang pastoral priority natin kasi gusto po ng simbahan sa Pilipinas na ang lahat ng mga parokya ay magkaroon ng mga BECs. Sa totoo lang ang parish is supposed to be a community of communities, of smaller communities na tinatawagan natin na BEC o mga kawan o kaya mga bukluran ano man ang mga pangalan nito. Because we cannot be Christians unless we are part of a Christian community. We cannot be Christians alone. God does not save us alone but with the rest of the community kaya tayo’y nabibilang sa parokya. Yan yung ating community of faith. Doon tayo binibinyagan, doon tayo kinukumpilan, doon tayo tinuturuan ng katesismo, doon tayo ikinakasal at doon din tayo inililibing.

    Pero itong klase ng community kung nasaan yung mga tao ay permanenteng nandoon nakatira, ay hindi naklaro sa ating panahon lalung lalo na dito sa Kamaynilaan kasi masyado ng mobile ang mga tao. Kaya lumilipat tayo ng mga lugar kaya wala na tayo sa parokya kung saan tayo bininyagan. Kaya tayo’y ikinakasal sa parokya, hindi naman tayo nakatira roon.

    At isa pa, dito sa Pilipinas, ang ating mga parokya ay napakalaki. Karaniwan sa mga parokya natin ay may 30,000 faithful. Meron pang 50,000, meron pa nga a 100,000 faithful and you cannot form a community with 30,000 people. So, we breakdown the parish into smaller communities at yan yung mga neighborhood communities natin which we call basic ecclesial communities na binubuo ng mga magka-kapitbahayanan na magkakilala sila so it’s easier for them to form a community.

    Sa marming lugar hindi pa ito na-o-organize. Pero sana papunta tayo doon because the ideal is and ito yung pangarap ng simbahan sa Pilipinas, na ang bawat Kristiyano ay hindi lang kasapi ng parokya. Ang bawat Kristiyano ay kasapi ng BEC.

    Ito ang ating community of faith, ang mga BEC na ito sapagkat dito naninirahan ang Diyos hindi sa isang simbahan, hindi sa isang gusali ngunit sa isang sambayanan sa mga taong nakatira doon. At sa mga BECs, ang mga tao ay pinagbubuklod sa pamamagitan ng Salita ng Diyos. Pinag-uusapan nila ang Salita ng Diyos at sila ay magiging tulad ni Maria na tumanggap sa Salita ng Diyosa sa kanilang buhay kaya ang Salita ng Diyos ay nagkaroon ng laman. Kaya si Hesus ay magkakaroon ng laman sa ating mga BECs kapag ang Salita ng Diyos ay isinasabuhay doon. Hindi tayo hiwalay sa ating kapitbahayanan, doon tayo nagtutulungan.

    Sa ibang lugar na malakas ang BEC, kapag dumadating ang baha, yung mga tao’y pumupunta sa mga kapitbahay nilang matatanda, may mga bata, sila ang nagliligtas sa kanila, alam nila yun. Kasi sila’y isang sambayanan. Kapag mga may sakit, pumupunta sila, tinutulungan nila kasi sila’y isang sambayanan.

    Tandaan po natin, ang Diyos ay dumito sa mundo. Naging tao si Hesus, ang Diyos na naging tao. Ngunit bumalik siya sa langit pagkatapos ng muling mabuhay siya. Ngunit nangako siya na siya’y babalik muli. Ito ang ating inaabangan. Ito ang tinutukoy natin kapag inaawit natin sa adbiyento, “Halina Hesus, Halina, Dumating ka na.” Hindi natin tinutukoy ang December 25. Aawitin natin o hindi darating ang December 25. Ngunit ang ating inaaabangan ay si Hesus na babalik ulit. At habang inaantay natin siya, hindi naman siya absent sa buhay natin. Patuloy ang Kanyang presensiya sa atin ngunit hindi lang natin nakikita. Siya ay present sa mga sacrament. That’s why every sacrament is an encounter with Christ. Hindi lang po isang ritual ang binyag o ang kasal. Yan ay pakikipagtagpo kay Hesus. Ganun din ang kumpisal. Hindi yan pakikipagtagpo lang sa pari – pakikipagtagpo kay Hesus, siya ang nagpapatawad. Ganun din sa Banal na Komunyon, pakikipagtagpo kay Hesus, pagtanggap sa Kanya.

    Habang nasa pandemya tayo hindi tayo palaging makakasimba sa simbahan, nasa online lamang tayo. Ngunit ang online na Misa ay hindi katumbas ng tunay na Misa. Hindi natin matatanggap ang katawan ni Kristo sa Eukaristiya sa online lamang.

    At gayundin ang Diyos ay nandiyan sa bawat isa sa atin kapag tayo ay nagdadasal ng taimtim, kapag tayo ay nakikinig sa Salita ng Diyos at isinasabuhay natin diyan. Diyan nananahan ang Diyos.

    Kaya ang tanong natin, saan ba nakatira ang Diyos? Saan ba siya nag-i-stay sa ating mundo ngayon.

    Let me conclude with these two verses from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 66, “This is the one whom I approved. The afflicted one crushed in spirit who trembles at my word.” Nandun siya sa mga taong totoo, nagdurusa, hirap sa buhay ngunit kumakapit sa Salita ng Diyos? Hindi ba ganyan si Mama Mary? Hindi ba ganyan si San Jose? May problema sa buhay ngunit kumakapit sa Salita ng Diyos. Nandun ang Diyos sa kanila.

    Isaiah 57, “For thus says the high and lofty one, the one who dwells forever whose name is holy, I dwell in a high and holy place but also with the contrite and lowly spirit. To revive the spirit of the lowly, to revive the heart of the crushed.” Saan siya nag-i-stay? Doon sa mga taong mababa ang loob, doon sa mga taong nangangailangan ng kaligtasan, na kumakapit sa Diyos. Diyan naninirahan ang Diyos. Kaya hintayin po natin siya at papuntahin natin siya sa ating buhay. God stays  with us. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • New Nuncio to the Philippines Celebrates first Public Mass


    “We have to be like Joseph, listening, and obedient to God. And when we do that, God’s plan works through us.”

    This was the message conveyed to the faithful by Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines in his first public mass held at the Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Singalong, Manila last December 18, 2020. He presided over the Misa de Gallo in the parish.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    homily, the 61-year-old prelate reflected on the virtues of Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and the father of Jesus. He emphasized the important role of St. Joseph in the plan of God, although there was initial hesitance to follow God's will.

    “And that is when the angel then came to tell him, don’t be afraid. You do have a role. You will give him the name of Jesus. He will save his people from their sins,” the Nuncio recounted.

    “So, the angel told him, 'Don’t step away. Don’t let her simply raise her child with her parents. Be a father to this child. Give him the name of Jesus...' And Joseph said, yes. Joseph said, yes and became part of God’s plan.”

    Archbishop Brown also stressed that all of us, whatever vocation we undertake has a role in the plan of God. Like Saint Joseph, he encouraged the faithful to imitate the saint's virtues.

    “My brothers and sisters, on this preparation day for Christmas, on this third day of Simbang Gabi, let us ask Joseph to intercede for us during this year dedicated to him, that we would be open to God’s plan in our life. And we will do God’s will and then my brothers and sisters, we will see miracles before us,” the Archbishop said. 

    Recently the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021, as the "Year of St. Joseph", because of the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of Universal Church as declared by Pope Pius IX.

    On Sept. 28, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Brown to be the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. He succeeded Archbishop Gabriel Caccia who is now the head of the Vatican’s Permanent Observer Mission in the United States in New York. He arrived in the country on Nov. 29 and has already presented his letter of credence to President Rodrigo Duterte last December 14. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily delivered by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown during the third day of Simbang Gabi at St. Anthony Parish in Singalong, Manila on December 18, 2020, at 5:30 a.m.


    My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what a joy it is to be with you on this early morning to celebrate this Simbang Gabi Mass here in the local parish, Anthony.

    As I mentioned in the Mass, I am the Apostolic Nuncio sent by your pope, Pope Francis, our wonderful Holy Father who loves the country Philippines so deep. I was only with him about a month ago in Rome, he remembered with great affection, with great love his visit here, he came to the Philippines.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC


    Brothers and sisters, we are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. Celebration of the nativity of the Lord, Jesus, our God born as a little baby in the poverty of Bethlehem. At born in riches, in splendor, in power but born in humility and poverty in the little town of Bethlehem.

    Our Gospel today focuses on the figure of St. Joseph. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t appropriate because in this year, brothers and sisters, Pope Francis, our dear Holy Father has dedicated this year as the year of St. Joseph from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021. You’re meditating on the figure of St. Joseph because this is the 150th anniversary of when St. Joseph was declared Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX.

    This anniversary, 150 years, we meditate on the beautiful figure of St. Joseph and that is exactly who was in the gospel today. St. Joseph who learned about Mary’s pregnancy. As I read in the opening meditation for Mass, this causes a crisis in St. Joseph. 

    Let us remember what happened. Mary and Joseph were engaged. They were living in Nazareth, Mary and Joseph’s home, their town. Before the marriage celebration, Mary was found to be pregnant with the child Jesus. We don’t know from the gospel how St. Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy. The gospel doesn’t tell us but we can imagine, of course, brothers and sisters, the most normal way would be for Mary to come and tell St. Joseph, her fiancé that she was pregnant. And of course, St. Joseph would know that he was not the biological father of her child.

    This of course was a crisis, and we can imagine for a moment the thoughts that would go through Joseph's mind. Yet we heard in the gospel that Joseph decided at first to divorce her quietly and says, that means to end his engagement and not get married to her.

    But I think when we look deeply there and we don’t know exactly what was completely going through Joseph’s mind, my view, I think Joseph believed Mary. Mary came to Joseph, she said, I am pregnant. I’m pregnant in a miraculous way. An angel has come to me and told me that I am to bear a child to save all of humanity.

    I believe that Joseph believed her because remember later on when Joseph thinks…continue with his engagement, the angel comes to him and says, don’t be afraid Joseph to take Mary to your house. The angel doesn’t say that Joseph, Mary told you the truth. The angel doesn’t try to convince Joseph but Mary told him the truth about what happened with her pregnancy. Instead, he says, the angel says to Joseph, Don’t be afraid.

    I believe that Joseph believed Mary when she told him what happened. But he thought, what this has to do with me? This is a miraculous pregnancy. In his mind, we probably have the same words to be with you later on in the gospel when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The baby jumps, the baby John the Baptist jumps in the womb of Elizabeth. And Elizabeth says, who am I, that the mother of the Lord should come to me?

    In some ways, I think that was Joseph’s first reaction, who am I? What is my role? She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. I step aside. She can raise the baby with her parents, Joachim and Anne, and the baby will save…. I have no role in this.

    And that is when the angel then came to tell him, Don’t be afraid. You do have a role. You will give him the name of Jesus. He will save his people from their sins.

    So, the angel told him, don’t step away. Don’t let her simply raise her child with her parents. Be a father to this child. Give him the name of Jesus. Save us from our sins.” And Joseph said, yes. Joseph said, yes, and became part of God’s plan. Remember, baby Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, Joseph’s town where all the prophecies said that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. He is only born in Bethlehem because Joseph said yes. If Joseph instead, I step aside, this is too much for me. This is between Mary and God. I will let the baby be raised by Joachim and Ann. If he would have done that, Jesus would not have been born in Bethlehem because Bethlehem was Joseph’s town where will here in a few days Joseph went to be registered in his senses. God’s plan was accomplished because Joseph had trust in God. And Joseph did what God had wanted him to do. Joseph was part of God’s plan.

    That was what he was afraid of in the beginning. He is afraid that this child has nothing to do with me. This is between Mary and God. No, Joseph, you are part of God’s plan. You have an important role to play. You would give him his name. You would take him to Bethlehem. You would be his father in the eyes of the world.

    And brothers and sisters, isn’t that true for all of us this morning? Each and every one of us here in St. Anthony’s Parish here in Manila, each of us, each of you, we have a role to play in God’s plan. We have to be like Joseph, listening and obedient to God. And when we do that God’s plan works through us. When we are fearful, when we step aside we say, oh, no, this is too much for me. Then God’s mysterious plan cannot be worked through us. We need to have the courage of St. Joseph. We have to have the trust of St. Joseph. We need to imitate him in his obedience and then God’s plan work through us. It doesn’t matter what kind of vocation you have. Maybe you’re a father for family, maybe you’re a student, maybe you’re a mother, maybe you’re a grandmother, grandfather, God’s plan is working through you if you allow it to happen. If you obey God. If you follow his teachings. If you listen to Him. If you pray. If you’re open as St. Joseph was.

    So, this is why we love St. Joseph so much. He of course was obedient to God. He receives Mary and the child. He protects Mary and the child. He is the guardian. He is the protector of the baby Jesus. You will see that in Bethlehem. You will see that in the flight in Egypt when Herod tries to kill the baby Jesus and Joseph saves him by bringing Mary and the baby into Egypt. Isn’t beautiful?

    My brothers and sisters, on this preparation day for Christmas, on this third day of Simbang Gabi, let us ask Joseph to intercede for us during this year dedicated to him, that we would be open to God’s plan in our life. And we will do God’s will and then my brothers and sisters, we will see miracles before us.

    May God bless you, keep you and protect you. May you have a blessed and beautiful and Merry Christmas. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC) 

  • CBCP appoints new Assistant Secretary General


    The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has appointed Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, a priest from the Archdiocese of Manila, as the new Assistant Secretary General.

    According to CBCP News, Fr. Del Rosario assumed the post on Dec. 15, 2020. He will serve until July 2021, subject to the disposition of the new archbishop of Manila.   

    Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, newly appointed Assistant Secretary General of CBCP | Photo from Fr. Del Rosario’s Facebook Page

                                           

    Fr. Del Rosario succeeds Msgr. Bernardino Pantin who was recently appointed as CBCP's Secretary General.

    The priest was born in 1982 and was ordained in 2010. He studied Theology at the UST Central Seminary, where he also earned his licentiate in canon law.

    He is presently the parochial vicar of San Fernando de Dilao and chaplain of Paco Catholic School. He also holds assignment at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Manila and Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishops renew promotion of the Pondo ng Pinoy



    The National Management Office of Pondo ng Pinoy Community Foundation Inc. (PnPCFI) recently released an video presentations for Christmas showcasing PnP’s spirituality through reflections of 9 bishops and a Christmas message from His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Vatican’s prefect for the Evangelization of Peoples.
     

    The video series is a presentation for nine days focusing on the traditional religious practices of “Simbang Gabi” or Misa de Gallo.

    With the main theme “Gifted to Give” the presentations follow the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines yearly theme that  leads to the culmination of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines celebration.

    The bishops contributed their reflections in the Pondo ng Pinoy series were:

           Bishop Rey Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

           Bishop Broderick Pabillo, D.D. (Archdiocese of Manila)

           Bp. Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit, Jr., D.D. (Diocese of Boac)

           Bp. Rex C. Ramirez, D.D. (Diocese of Naval)

           Bp. Roberto O. Gaa, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

           Bp. Bartolome G. Santos Jr., D.D. (Diocese of Iba)

           Bp. Mel Rey M. Uy, D.D. (Diocese of Lucena)

           Bp. Dennis C. Villarojo, D.D. (Diocese of Malolos)

           Bp. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    Parishes nationwide have been invited to show the video reflections via live streaming during “Simbang Gabi” or share them through the social media platforms of the dioceses. PnP has also expressed their invitation to all to watch and share the online videos to reach as many people as possible.

    “A timely preparation for Christmas through the new means of communication, the internet and social media,” according to the Press Release sent by PnP.

    The video messages can be seen and downloaded through this Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_KdFBsSJLgehlclLeXb5g?view_as=subscriber.

    Founded by Archbishop Emeritus of Manila His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales and was launched in 2004, PnP continues its mission of proclaiming “Christ as the good news to the poor, encouraging the faithful to live the life of humble stewardship of whatever gifts the Lord has given as preferential love for the poor, through little but regular acts of goodness exemplified by the 'crumbs' as little as 25 centavo coins," according to the Press Release. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • New Papal Nuncio presents credentials to President Duterte


    Newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles Brown has presented his letter of credence to the government of the Philippines on Monday, December 14 as part of the protocol of international diplomats.

    According to CBCP News, Archbishop Brown presented his credentials on a virtual ceremony to President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown presents his credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte in a virtual ceremony in Malacañang on December 14, 2020. | Photo from PCOO Facebook Page

     

    Archbishop Brown, 61, was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis on Sept. 28. He arrived in the country on Nov. 29. He replaced Archbishop Gabriele Caccia who is now the head of the Vatican's Permanent Observer Mission in the United Nations in New York.

    Before his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, he served in Albania from 2017 to October 2020. His first assignment was in Ireland where he served for six years.

    An Apostolic Nuncio (also known as a Papal Nuncio or simply as a Nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or to an international organization.

    A Nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily: Bishop Broderick Pabillo | Gaudete Sunday


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass (Gaudete Sunday) at the Our Lady of Loreto Parish on December 13, 2020, at 10 am.



    Seryoso ba tayo sa pagtugon sa tawag ng adbiyento? Ang tawag ng adbiyento ay paghahanda sa pamamagitan ng paglinis at pagwaksi sa kasamaan sa buhay natin. Sa pamamagitan ng pagdasal. Sa pamamagitan ng pagpepenitensiya at ng kawang gawa. Ginagawa ba natin ang mga ito? Tandaan natin na ang paghahanda natin sa pagdating ng Panginoon ay hindi lang para sa December 25, kundi ang kanyang muling pagdating bilang hari at hukom.

    Kung talagang ginagawa natin ang panawagan ng adbiyento, ngayong nasa tatlong Linggo na tayo, marahil tayo ay medyo nanghihina na  sa pagpepenitensiya, sa pag-iintindi sa iba, sa pagtuloy na pagdarasal. Kaya ngayong ikatlong Linggo ng adbiyento, pinapaalaala sa atin kung anong klaseng pag-iintay ba ang ginagawa natin upang pasiglahin tayo.

    Maraming klaseng paghihintay. Nandiyan yung batang naghihintay ng parusa ng tatay kasi nahuli siyang nandukot ng pera. Ito ay paghihintay na may takot.

    Nandiyan yung paghihintay sa board examination. Yan ay paghihintay ng may malaking kaba – papasa ba ako o hindi. Nandiyan yung paghihintay sa nanay na naghihingalo. Puno ng kalungkutan ang paghihintay sa kamatayan. Nandiyan naman ang paghihintay sa OFW na tatay na darating na magbabakasyon. Inaabangan natin ito, may dalang mga pasalubong. Masayang makasama ulit si tatay. Anong klase bang paghihintay ang nasa adbiyento?

    Ngayon ay sinindihan natin ang pink na kandila ng ating advent wreath. Pink is a lighter and more joyful color than violet. This Sunday is called in Latin Gaudete Sunday…hindi tayo naghihintay sa parusa o sa kamatayan o sa walang katiyakan. Naghihintay tayo ng kaligtasan.

    Ang kasiyahan na inaasahan natin sa pasko ay anino lamang ng kasiyahan ng kagalakan na mapapasa atin sa muling pagdating ng Panginoon. Kaya nananabik tayo rito. Excited tayo sa kanyang muling pagdating. St. Paul wrote: “What eye has not seen and what ear has not heard and what has not enter the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

    Because of the wonderful things that are waiting for us, the same saint affirmed: “I consider that the suffering of the present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” Sa harap ng langit, sulit ang lahat ng kahirapan na dinaranas natin ngayon. Iyan ang ating hinihintay. Kaya lakasan natin ang ating loob. Huwag tayong manghina sa ating pagsisikap na maging handa. Dapat nga maging excited pa tayo.

    Kaya ng marinig kanina sa ating ikalawang pagbasa, magalak kayong lagi, rejoice always, maging matiyaga sa panalangin, pray without ceasing. Ipagpasalamat ninyo ang lahat ng pangyayari. In all circumstances, give thanks.

    This is the will of God for you. Prayer, joy, thanksgiving – these three things are connected to each other. Our prayer to leads to thanksgiving. In fact, we already thank the Lord when we pray. A heart full of gratitude leads to joy kaya kahit na may mga kahirapan na dinadaanan tayo, palaging magpasalamat. Palaging magalak, palaging magdasal. This reminder is good not only for Gaudete Sunday but for all time because this is God’s will for us – prayer, joy, thanksgiving.

    May mga pagkakataon na excited tayo pero ang inaasahan natin ay hindi nangyari. Iyan ang kalagayan ng mga Hudyo noong panahon ni John the Baptist. Excited na sila kay John the Baptist kaya kahit na nasa disyerto siya, pinuntahan pa rin siya ng mga tao. Nagpasugo pa ang mga Pariseo, ang mga leaders mula sa Jerusalem. Excited sila dahil kakaiba si Juan. Ang message niya ng pagbabago ay straight to the point. Matapang siya kahit na sa harap ng mga sundalo. Kapani-paniwala ang kanyang life style – simpleng pamumuhay… pa nga. Kaya akala ng marami na siya na ang inaantay nilang Kristo o ang propetang si Elias na darating. O ang propeta tulad ni Moises na ipinangako niya. Siya na ba? Binigo sila. Hindi siya.

    May isang mas dakila pa sa kanya na darating na hindi nga siya karapat dapat na dalhin man lang ang kanyang sandalyas. Magdadala siya ng tunay na pagbabago. Hindi lang sa tubig sila bibinyagan kundi sa espiritu santo. Kaya sinabi niya na ituon nila ang kanilang excitement o ang pananabik hindi sa kanya kundi sa mas dakilang darating.

    Marami sa atin ay tulad ng mga Hudyo – excited tayo sa pasko. Ang iba nga ay hindi pasko ang inaantay kundi ang pagkain, ang regalo, ang family reunion, ang mga bonus. Oo, nagpapasaya sa atin ang mga ito pero taas taasan natin ang ating inaasahan.

    Pagkalipas ng ilang araw pagkatapos ng December 25, tapos na ang ating kinain, naluma na ang bagong damit, nasira na ang ating laruan, umuwi na ang ating mga bisita at kamag-anak. Huwag lang tayo mag antay sa mga bagay o mga tao na pagkatapos ng ilang araw ay balik tayo uli sa dating gawi. Lilipas ang mga ito. May higit na ating pananabikan. Si Hesus na magdadala ng kaligtasan. Kaya ang sigaw natin ay, “Halina Hesus, Halina,” “Maranata,” Dumating ka na.” Nakalagay dito sa atin, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”

    Noong si Hesus ay unang nagsalita sa Synagoga sa Nazareth, binuksan niya ang Banal na Kasulatan at binasa niya ang bahagi ng unang pagbasa natin ngayon mula kay propeta Isaias, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me, He has sent me to be Good News to the afflicted, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.”

    Ito ang misyon ni Hesus. Kaya ang Kanyang sermon mula sa pagbasang ito’y napaka-iksi. Nangyayari ngayon, ngayon na ang inyong naririnig. Ito ang kaligtasan na sinimulan ni Hesus, na ipinagpapatuloy ng simbahan na maging ganap sa wakas ng panahon sa Kanyang muling pagdating.

    Tatlong elemento. Una, dalhin ang Mabuting Balita sa mga mahihirap. Sila ang kailangan ng Mabuting Balita dahil sa kahirapan ng buhay. Ang ibig sabihin ng Mabuting Balita ay matutugunan ang kahirapan nila kaya ang pagkakawanggawa ay pagpapahayag ng Mabuting Balita – napapakain ang nagugutom, nabibigyan ng katarungan ang mga inaapi, nabibigyan ng pangangailangan ang mga biktima ng kalamidad.

    You know in many places of the world, the Good News can only be proclaimed by works of charity. There are many places where it is forbidden to speak about Jesus but they accept people, even priests and sisters who work in the hospitals, who run schools, who take care of the orphans, who feed the hungry. The good news of the love of God is proclaimed in this way even without verbal proclamation. And there are many people who do not believe in religion, who do not believe in God but who admired the works of selfless people who stand for the truth, who defend human rights, who cares for the victims of calamities. Si Hesus ay ipinapahayag sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong sa kapwa.

    Pangalawa, pagalingin ang sugat ng puso. Heal the broken hearted. O, how much brokenness are coming out these days. Ang daming mga mental issues ang lumilitaw. Kaya nga patuloy tayong nananawagan na ang serbisyo ng simbahan ay essential services at tulungan dapat na ito ay lumawak, huwag pigilin, huwag limitahan ang ating pagmimisa. Mahalaga ito sa pagpapagaling ng mga puso. Huwag limitahan, hindi sapat ang mga online masses lamang. Mas sumisigla ang  tao kapag siya ay nagsisimba at nakapagkomunyon, lalo pa kapag siya ay nakapagkumpisal. Bahagi ito ng misyon ng simabahn – to heal the broken hearted and religion, religious services are important ways that people can be healed within them.

    Pangatlo, palayain ang mga bihag at bilanggo. Palayain. Ang kalayaan ay bahagi ng kaligtasan. Huwag natin kalimutan ang mga bilanggo. Isa yan sa mga dapat natin pahalagahan kasi maliwanag ang sinabi ni Hesus, “ako ay nasa bilangguan at inyong dinalaw.” It is worth noting that Jesus identified Himself with those in prison but not with those who put them into prison however righteous they may feel themselves to be. And right now it is very unfair and it is evil, the practice of planting evidences in order to justify summary executions and arrest without bail to people who are considered enemies of the state. Hindi yan gawain ng kaligtasan. Si Hesus ay nagpalaya at hindi nagpabilanggo.

    Hindi pa nangyayari ang kaligtasan na pinangako ng Diyos at sinimulan ni Hesus kaya patuloy pa tayong nananabik sa kanyang pagdating. Nananabik tayo ng may galak sapagkat mangyayari ang balak ng Diyos. Tapat ang Diyos. Nananabik tayo ng may pagsisiskap. Isinusulong na natin sa ating makakayanan ang kaligtasan na ating inaasahan. Nag-aantay tayo ng katarungan, gumawa tayo ng matuwid. Nag-aantay tayo ng katotohanan, magpalaganap ng katotohanan at labanan ang mga fake news. Nag-aantay tayo ng kasaganaan, matutuo na tayong magbahaginan ngayon ng ating resources. Nag-aantay tayo ng kapayapaan, kumikilos dapat tayo sa katarungan na nagdadala ng kapayapaan.

    As we wait in great expectation, we do now what we expect to come. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Mary as model for the 500 Years of Christianity


    In preparation for the Centennial Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, explained that the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model of mission in spreading the Good News.  The year 2021 is also called the Year of Missio Ad Gentes (Mission to the Nations).
     

    On December 12, 2020, Bishop Pabillo presided the noon fiesta mass with the theme, "Birhen ng Guadalupe - Pag-asang Tanglaw, Inang nagbubuklod sa bawat isa" at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Makati City.


    According to Veritas News, the Bishop in his homily on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe stated that Catholics must spread the light, hope and faith given by God to each and one of us.

    “Kailangan pa nating ipalaganap ang liwanag ni Kristo, kaya may tungkulin tayo diyan kaya sinasabi nga natin Gifted to Give binigyan tayo ng biyaya ng pananampalataya, ng liwanag ng pananampalataya hindi lang po yan para sa atin, yan po ay para sa lahat kaya kailangan natin ibahagi itong pananampalatayang ito at ang modelo po natin diyan sa Missio Ad Gentes, pagmimisyon ay ang ating Mahal na Ina…” said the Bishop.

    He also pointed out that Mary is actually the "first Evangelizer" when she first brought the Good News in the form of apparitions to different countries such as Latin America, India, and Mexico.

    “Si Maria the First Evangelizer na siya ang unang nagdala ng Mabuting Balita ay pinapakita po ng Mahal na Ina na pinapakita ng ating Mahal na Ina ng Guadalupe, sa totoo lang siya ang nag-evangelize sa buong Latin America, sa mga Indians, sa mga Latino ng Latin America, dahil sa kanya tinanggap ng mga Mexicano ang Mabuting Balita, bakit, sapagkat siya mismo ay lumapit sa kanila…” the bishop added.

    According to the Bishop, there are 2 aspects of the mission for Catholics - the mission to evangelize by proclaiming the Good News and the mission to serve and help those who are in need.

    During the pandemic, the Catholic Church continues to bring the Good News to every family with their online live streaming of Holy Masses. While Caritas Manila and parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila conduct donation drives to extend help and assistance to the poor and needy. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass (Second Sunday of Advent) at the Most Holy Trinity Parish in Balic-Balic, on December 6, 2020, at 10 am.


    “Comfort! Comfort my people! Aliwin! Aliwin ninyo ang aking bayan!” Iyan ang sigaw na narinig natin sa ating unang pagbasa. Hindi ba ito rin ang gusto nating marinig ngayon? Bugbog na tayo sa lockdown, sa kawalan ng trabaho, sa hirap sa internet sa ating work from home at sa ating online learning, sa pagkasira ng mga negosyo, sa sakit, sa baha, sa mga nasisiraan na ng loob, sa Covid 19. Ang haba na ng listahan at sinasamahan pa ng red-tagging at pagpapatay sa mga abogado at patuloy na EJK.

    The prophet cried to comfort the people because the Lord is coming. Ang bayan ng Israel noon ay matagal nang ipinatapon sa Babylonia. Nawawalan na sila ng pag-asang makabalik sa kanilang bayan. Ang pagkatalo nila sa mga Babylonians at ang kanilang exile ay parusa sa kanilang mga kasalanan sa hindi pagsunod sa Diyos. Ang Magandang Balita ni propeta Isaias ay: bayad na ang kasalanan ng bayan. Kaya darating na ang Diyos sa kanila. Makakauwi na sila sa kanilang bayan.  So make a highway for the Lord to come. Yes he will come with glory and power, but most of all he will come with tenderness, like a shepherd carrying the lamb in his arms. Iuuwi na niya ang mga Israelita sa kanilang lupain.


    Itong panawagan ni propeta Isaias mga 500 years bago dumating si Jesus ay ginamit din ni Juan Bautista sa ating ebanghelyo. Siya ang boses na nananawagan sa ilang. Darating na ang ipinangako ng Diyos na mesias. Sa totoo, hindi lang mesias o Kristo ang darating. Siya ay ang anak ng Diyos mismo. Labis sa ating imagination ang pagtupad ng Diyos sa kanyang mga pangako. Nangako siya na magpapadala ng taong itinalaga niya – ang tinatawag na Mesias sa Hebreo o Kristo sa Griego. Nakakagulat na ang Kristo na ipapadala ay ang anak niya mismo. Kaya tuloy nasabi ni Juan Bautista: “Hindi nga ako karapat-dapat na magkalag man lang ng tali ng kanyang sandalyas.”

    Ang daan o highway na ating ihahanda ay ang ating puso. Totoo dumating na si Jesus sa ating mundo, pero dumating na ba siya sa ating buhay?  Gusto niyang pumasok sa ating puso, sa bawat isa sa atin. Ang tanging hadlang lang sa kanyang pagdating ay ang kasalanan. Tanggalin ang kasalanan.

    Sa Tagalog may iba’t-ibang salita tayo sa kasalanan. Tinatawag natin ito na pagkukulang. Parang valley o lambak ang ating buhay na kailangang tambakan. Punan na natin ang ating mga pagkukulang sa ating pamilya, sa ating trabaho, sa bayan, o sa Diyos. Ang kasalanan ay tinatawag din na pagmamalabis. Ito ang mga bundok na kailangang tibagin. Pagmamalabis sa kasakiman. Naging uso noon ang kasabihang, control your greed. May mga tao na sobra ang yabang, masyadong mahangin. May mga tao rin na hindi nakokontento sa kapangyarihan, kaya minamata ang iba. Iyan iyong palamura, minumura ang iba, ginagawang mura ang kapwa tao. Ang mga bisyo ay pagmamalabis – sobra ang pag-iinom, sobra ang pagsusugal, sobra ang paggamit ng droga. Ang kasalanan ay kalikuan, liko-liko ang pamamaraan. Kailangan itong ituwid. Liko-liko ang transaction sa corruption. Ang mga pandaraya ay kalikuan. Iyan ang kasalanan: pagkukulang, pagmamalabis, liko-liko. Gawin na nating matuwid ang ating buhay upang matanggap nang madali ang Diyos na dumarating.

    Ano ang paraan upang maituwid ang buhay natin? Magsisi! Ang pagbibinyag ni Juan Bautista ay tanda ng pagsisisi. Ang mga tao na naantig sa panawagan ni Juan ay nagsisisi na sa kanilang kasamaan. Lumulusong sila sa ilog Jordan, at dito pinapaliguan sila ni Juan, nilulublob sa tubig. Nililinis na sila sa karumihan ng kasamaan. Tayo ay nilinis na sa tubig ng binyag. Pero nagkakasala pa rin tayo. Ang pagtanggal sa kasalanan na nagawa pagkatapos ng binyag ay ang pagkukumpisal. Pumupunta tayo sa kumpisal dahil nagsisisi na tayo. Inaamin na natin na nagkamali tayo, kaya ikinukumpisal na natin ito. Ang panahon ng adbiyento ang panahon ng pagsisisi, panahon ng pagkukumpisal. Sana maghanap tayo ng pagkakataon na makapangumpisal para pagdating ng Pasko matagpuan ni Jesus ang ating puso na handa para sa kanya.

    Sa December 8 ipagdiriwang natin ang dakilang kapistahan ng Immaculada Concepcion, ang kalinis-linisang paglilihi kay Maria. Inihanda ng Diyos ang Birheng Maria na tanggapin si Jesus. Hindi niya hinayaang mabahiran ng kasalanan ang laman na pagkukunan ng kanyang anak ng laman upang siya ang maging tao. Kaya ang kapistahan ng Immaculada Concepcion ay hindi lang tungkol kay Maria, ito ay tungkol kay Jesus. At home si Jesus sa sinapupunan ni Maria kasi ito ay hindi nabahiran ng kasamaan. Kasalanan lang ang humahadlang sa pagdating ni Jesus. Kaya sinabi ni San Pedro sa ating ikalawang pagbasa: “Samantalang kayo’y naghihintay, sikapin ninyong mamuhay na payapa, walang dungis at kapintasan.”

    Ito ang dahilan ng ating paghihintay. Ito ay panahon ng pagsisisi at pagbabagong buhay. Baka naman sabihin ninyo: “Taon-taon na lang tayo nagdiriwang ng adbiyento, palaging naghihintay, at wala naman siya. Kailan pa siya darating?” Ito rin ang reklamo kay San Pedro. Kaya sinabi niya na huwag tayong mainip, kasi iba ang pagbilang ng panahon ng Diyos. “Sa Panginoon, ang isang araw ay sanlibong taon, ang at sanlibong taon ay isang araw lamang.” Huwag tayong mainip sa kahihintay. Binibigyan pa niya tayo ng panahon upang makapagsisi at makagawa ng kabutihan. Ayaw niya na tayo ay mapahamak. So he still gives us the opportunity to be more ready. Let us not take the time that we have as simply wasting or killing time but as opportunities to grow in love of him and to be more like him. Jesus is faithful. He will surely come.

    Si Juan Bautista ay hindi lang nanawagan sa kanyang pagsasalita. Ang kanyang buhay, ang kanyang lifestyle is also a message.  Marami ang mga taong pumupunta sa kanya hindi lang dahil sa kanyang mga salita. Kapanipaniwala ang kanyang salita dahil sa kanyang buhay. St Pope Paul VI wrote: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he listens to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” (St Paul VI (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41)  Totoo nga ito kay Juan Bautista. Simple ang buhay niya. Nakatira siya sa desert, balat ng camel ang kanyang damit, pagkain sa disyerto ang kanyang kinakain – honey at mga insects. Noong nabilanggo na si Juan tinanong ni Jesus ang mga tao: " What did you go out to see in the desert? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.” (Mt. 11:8-9 NAB) Prophet si Juan Bautista sa kanyang salita at sa kanyang pamumuhay. Ipinakita niya sa kanyang pamumuhay kung paano matanggap si Jesus: in humility, in simplicity and in commitment to the truth.

    In humility. Hindi siya nagmamalaki. Handa na ang mga tao na maniwala na siya na ang Kristo. Pero sinabi niya na hindi siya. May isa pang mas dakila kaysa kanya. In fact he said: He must increase but I must decrease. I am not the main actor. I am just the companion of the bridegroom. In simplicity. By his lifestyle he tells us that it is in voluntary poverty that we are more ready to recognize and accept the Lord. In commitment to the truth. He was strong in his message to the people to repent, kahit na sa mga officials at sa mga kawal. Maliwanag din ang kanyang salita kay Haring Herodes na hindi tama na kinakasama niya ang asawa ng kanyang kapatid.

    Maganda ang balita sa atin: Sa gitna ng mga problema na bumabagabag sa atin, darating ang Diyos. Napatawad na tayo sa ating mga kasalanan at dadalhin niya tayo sa kanyang piling. Ang hamon sa atin: patuluyin natin siya. Tanggalin na ang mga pagkukulang, pagmamalabis at kalikuan sa ating buhay na humahadlang sa kanya. Pakinggan natin ang panawagan ni Juan Bautista na magsisisi at sundin natin ang halimbawa ng buhay niya: mamuhay ng simple, maging mabababa ang loob, at manindigan sa katotohanan.

  • HIV positive patients need more care during pandemic


    “If healthy individuals are having a hard time these days accessing health care be it for regular check-ups or medical requirements, how much more those with underlying conditions,” according to Fr. Manuel Abogado, Director of the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Healthcare in an interview with the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications.

    The Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrated the annual National Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Sunday on December 6, 2020.


    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, Bishop of the Diocese of Imus, Cavite led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Cavite, which is also the Cathedral of the diocese.

    This year's theme for the celebration was “Ending the HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC: Resilience and Impact”. National AIDS Sunday is celebrated “to raise awareness and express support for people living with HIV-AIDS and those who care for them our sorrow for those who have died, and our share in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” according to Fr. Abogado.

    With the presence of COVID-19, Fr. Abogado added that the people should all the more show love and care for our brothers and sisters who are infected with HIV-AIDS.

    “While it may be that today we are confronted with COVID-19, it does not negate the fact that we have our brothers and sisters suffering from other illnesses or diseases like HIV-AIDS. With COVID-19, the more that we have to be aware of their plight,” he said.

    Like Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross, Fr. Abogado stressed that there is hope for these people, and “they too can pass over from sickness to health, from death to life.”

    “Being infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS, does not necessarily mean the end, it could be a beginning of a fruitful and meaningful service and life in the Lord. We bring hope. As Christians, our resilience emanates from our relationship with Jesus himself. We pray and care for everyone as we celebrate the National Aids Day/ Sunday,” said Fr. Abogado.

    The event was organized by the Ministry on Healthcare of the Archdiocese of Manila in coordination with the Philippine Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (PHILCHAN) Luzon.

    As of August 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Registry in the Philippines reported 69,629 cumulative cases since 1984. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the St. John the Baptist Parish in San Juan City on November 29, 2020, First Sunday of Advent, at 10 am.


    Ang nasa balita ngayon ay ang tungkol sa vaccine. Maraming mga tao ang umaasa sa pagdating ng vaccine para makabalik na tayo sa normal na buhay at marami din ang balitang malapit na ang vaccine – sabi nga ng iba sa December ay may vaccine nang available. At habang nag-aabang ng vaccine, ang mga pamahalaan ay naglalaan na ng pera para bumili nito at ang pinag-uusapan, at pinag-aawayan, ay sino ang mauuna na makinabang dito. Dito tinutuon ng mga tao ang pag-asa laban sa virus. Pero ito nga ba ang solusyon? Hindi natin alam, pero at least may inaasahan, may hinihintay.

    Pag-aantay. Pag-asa. Iyan po ang diwa ng panahon ng adbiyento na sinisimulan natin ngayong linggo. Ang ibig sabihin ng adbiyento ay pagdating, at dahil sa may darating, tayo ay naghahanda. Kaya ang panahon ng advent ay panahon ng paghahanda. Ang pinaghahandaan natin ay higit pa kaysa vaccine. Hindi naman vaccine ang mag-liligtas sa atin. Una, ito ay may presyo at mahal para sa maraming bansa at maraming tao. Pangalawa, hindi pa gaano alam kung ito ay may mga side-effects at kung ano. Sa adbiyento, ang hinihintay natin ay kaligtasan at kaligayahan,a hindi lang gamot sa isang virus, at ito ay para sa lahat. Ganrantisado ito na mangyayari ng Diyos mismo.


    Ang hinihintay natin ay ang Diyos na darating. Ang sagot natin sa salmong tugunan ay: “Lord, make us turn to you; let us turn to you and we shall be saved.” Ang Diyos mismo ang ating binabalingan. Sinabi ni propeta Isaias: “Punitin mo na ang langit at bumaba ka na!” Sinabi ni Jesus: “Maging alisto! Maging mapagbantay!” Darating nga ang Panginoon, pero sa oras na hindi natin inaasahan!

    Kaagad ang pumapasok sa isip natin sa ganitong panahon na malapit na ang December na ang pagdating na hinihintay natin ay ang pasko, ang Dec 25. Oo, ang adbiyento ay paghahanda nga sa pasko ng pagsilang. Pero hindi lang. Ang Dec 25 ay isa lang ala-ala ng isang pagyayari na nakaraan na. Ang mas hinihintay natin ay ang pagdating muli ni Jesus. About 2000 years ago, Jesus came in the lowly form of a baby in Bethlehem. We remember and celebrate this. But Jesus promised before he left for heaven that he will come again, now in the form of a mighty king and judge. Sa muli niyang pagdating tatapusin na niya ang gawain ng kaligtasan na kanyang sinimulan noon. Jesus has already saved us. He died on the cross and rose again. But we do not yet experience completely the full effect of his redemption. This will happen at his second coming. Advent also prepares us for this. So as we are joyful awaiting Christmas, we should be all the more joyful in awaiting the final coming of Jesus. As we look forward to Dec 25, we should all the more look forward to the Second Coming of the Lord.

    So advent as a season of preparation is a preparation both for the coming of Jesus in history and his coming in glory. We commemorate his coming in Bethlehem while we expect his final coming for all time. We are confident for this second coming because as St. Paul told us: “You are not lacking in any spiritual gift for the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end.” Kaya hindi tayo natatakot o kinakabahan. Nasa atin na ang lahat ng biyaya na kailangan natin upang tanggapin siya. Ang dapat lang natin gawin ay huwag tayo magpabaya. Sa ibang liham ni San Pablo sinasabi niya na tayo ay mga anak ng liwanag at hindi ng dilim, mga anak ng umaga at hindi ng gabu. Tayo ay natutulog sa gabi, walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari sa paligid natin. Pero kapag tayo ay nasa araw na, dapat tayo ay gising at listo sa ating mga gawain. Kaya sinabi ni propeta Isaias: “Sana matagpuan mo kami na gumagawa ng matuwid, na kami ay sumusunod sa iyong landas.” At ganoon din ang sinabi ni Jesus sa ating ebanghelyo. Iniwan ng may-ari ng bahay ang mga alipin niya na may kanya-kanya silang gawain habang wala siya. Sana pagbalik niya matagpuan silang ginagawa ang kanya-kanyang tungkulin.

    Kaya kapag sinabi na sana hindi tayo magpabaya ngayong panahon ng adbiyento, huwag tayong magpabaya sa kanya-kanyang tungkulin sa buhay. Ang bawat isa sa atin ay may tungkulin at gawain sa buhay – bilang isang nanay, bilang isang guro, bilang isang estiyudiante, bilang isang manggagawa, bilang isang tatay. Gampanan natin ang mga tungkuling ito. Kung ang bawat isa ay gumagawa lang ng kanya-kanyang tungkulin, gaganda ang takbo ng buhay natin at ng ating bansa. Kaya may kaguluhan dahil iresponsable ang tatay, suwail ang anak, nanloloko ang may tungkulin sa pamahalaan, nagpapabaya ang may trabaho. Let us all strive to be faithful to our duties. This will do a lot of good to all of us.

    Ang isa pang pagkapabaya natin ay pabaya sa pagsunod sa paraan ng Diyos. Mga kapatid, maniwala tayo na hindi masama sa atin ang paraan ng Diyos. Pinapaalam ng Diyos ang kanyang mga utos at pamamaraan kasi ito ay mabuti sa atin. Madalas makitid ang ating kaisipan tulad ng mga teen-agers na nagrerebelde sa mga magulang. Akala nila pinipigilan sila ng mga magulang nila upang pahirapan sila. Totoo naman na may mga magulang na mali ang pagdidisiplina sa mga anak nila. Pero hindi natin iyan masasabi sa Diyos. Hindi nagkakamali ang Diyos sa kanyang pamamaraan at walang masamang intensiyon ang Diyos para sa atin. Ibinigay na niya ang kanyang anak para sa atin, ano pa kaya ang hindi niya gagawin para sa ating kabutihan? Maniwala tayo sa kanya. At hindi naman siya nagkukulang na ipaabot ang kanyang kagustuhan. Kaya ngayong panahon ng adbiyento ay hinihikayat tayong magdasal, magbasa ng Bibliya, suriin ang ating konsiyensiya, pag-aralan ang ating pananampalataya. Diyan nagsasalita ang Diyos sa atin. Ang simbahan ay wala namang ibang balak kundi ipaabot sa atin ang katuruan ng Diyos.

    Sa panahon ng adbiyento huwag din tayo magpabaya sa ating kapwa. Sila ay pananagutan natin. Let us not be like Cain who questioned God: “Am I my brother’s keeper.” Yes, we are our brother’s and sister’s keepers. We are responsible for each other. Huwag natin pabayaan ang nangangailangan. Anumang biyaya na ipinagkaloob sa atin ay hindi lang para sa atin. Katiwala lang tayo. Ipinagkatiwala ng Diyos ang mga biyayang iyan hindi lang para sa atin kundi  para din sa iba. Kung ang bawat isa sa atin ay tutulong at aalalay lang sa isa o dalawa sa paligid natin, marami ang matutulungan. Kaya ang adbiyento ay panahon din ng kawanggawa.

    Maraming nagbago sa ating panahon dala ng pandemic. Isang malaking pagbabago ay ang paraan ng pagdiriwang natin ng pasko. Sa mga taong nakaraan, sa ganitong araw na papasok na ang December, ang dami na nating mga Christmas parties na naka-schedule. Nagagastos na natin ang ating mga Christmas bonus at 13th month pay sa pamimili. May plano na tayo kung saan tayo magpapasko. Punong puno na ang mga malls. Hindi ganyan ngayong taon. Pero may isang bagay na maaari nating sabihin na mabuting idinudulot sa atin ng pandemic. Mas maipagdiriwang natin ang adbiyento. Noong nakaraan, nilamon na ng pasko ang adbiyento. Sa totoo lang pinagdiriwang natin ang pasko sa panahon ng adbiyento, in the days before Dec 25. The intense partying are done before Christmas. And when Christmas day comes, we are tired of Christmas. And after December 25 which is the real Christmas season, the joy of Christmas is gone. Mataas na ang blood sugar at ang cholesterol, broke na tayo at pagod na. Now let us go back to the true spirit of advent and Christmas. Hindi pa pasko ngayon. Mas tahimik tayo ngayon sa pagdarasal, sa pagninilay, sa pagtulong sa kapwa, sa pagbabasa ng Bible. Mas namnamin natin ang pananabik sa pagtanggap sa Panginoon. And let us celebrate the real Christmas on December 25 and the days after that. Most of all, during these advent and Christmas seasons, let our attention be on the Lord Jesus. He is the reason for the season. The memory of his coming 2000 years ago and the expectation of his coming at the end of time should be the focus of our attention. Thus we sing deep in our heart and let this be the refrain in these days: Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come! (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • New Nuncio to the Philippines arrives


    Archbishop Charles Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines arrived in Manila on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020.

    According to CBCP News, Archbishop Brown arrived at the NAIA Terminal 2 onboard Philippine Airlines from his home city, New York, at around 7:20 a.m.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, arrives in Manila on Nov. 29. | Photo Credit: Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas Tolentino Facebook Page

    The Vatican Ambassador was welcomed by Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David who is also the Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and Paranaque Bishop Jesse Mercado.

    Upon his arrival at the airport, Archbishop Brown was greeted by some government officials and staff of the Apostolic Nunciature, said the CBCP News

    On September 28, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Brown as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines and is expected to present his credentials to the Philippine government anytime soon.

    Archbishop Brown worked for the Congregation for the Faith from 1994 up to his appointment as nuncio. He became a Chaplain of His Holiness in May 2006. He was appointed Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission in September 2009.

    The 61-year old archbishop was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland on November 26, 2011, and Apostolic Nuncio to Albania on March 9, 2017. He was consecrated Archbishop on January 6, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI.

    He replaced Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, who now heads the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission in the United Nations in New York.

    An apostolic nuncio (also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or to an international organization.

    A nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • CBCP appoints Msgr. Pantin of Leyte as new Secretary General


    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has appointed Msgr. Bernardo Pantin from the Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte province as their new secretary-general.

    According to CBCP News, Msgr. Pantin’s appointment was confirmed during the CBCP Permanent Council meeting on Wednesday. He replaced Fr. Marvin Mejia of the Cebu Archdiocese who has been in the position since 2013. His term ended on October 31, 2020.

    Before his appointment on November 25, Msgr. Pantin has been CBCP’s assistant secretary-general, a post which will also be filled-in according to CBCP News.

    Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, the new Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. | Photo Credit: CBCP News

    Msgr. Pantin, 59, was born in McArthur, Leyte, took his Philosophy at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, and Theology at the UST Central Seminary in Manila, where he earned his Licentiate in Canon Law.

    He was ordained priest in 1986.

    He finished his Doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 1990.

    In December 1994, he was installed as papal chaplain and was given the title of monsignor.

    He became Rector at the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology in Palo. He also held the post of Vice President for the Visayas of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines.

    Msgr. Pantin was also the Rector of the Palo Cathedral when Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck Leyte in 2013. In 2014 he was transferred to the CBCP office in Manila. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Letter for 2021 Year of Missio Ad Gentes




    Becoming Jesus’ Missionary Disciples

     

    Dearly Beloved People of God,

    The Philippine Church rejoices as it enters a national celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in our treasured homeland. Five centuries ago we received the marvelous gift of the Christian faith; our hearts overflow with joy and gratitude. Why of all the nations and peoples in Asia was the Philippines chosen by God to be among the first to receive this precious gift? The clear answer is simply this: God’s magnanimous, overflowing love.

    We recall what God told his people Israel regarding his choice: “It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity…” (Dt 7:7-8). Only God’s freely given love can illuminate the choice of the Filipino people to receive this valuable gift of faith!

    The Christian faith arrived and prospered in our land through the dedication and heroic sacrifices of thousands of men and women missionaries from various parts of the world. They treasured the gift of faith they had received and desired to share this gift with others. As the theme chosen by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for this fifth centennial notes: all Christians are “gifted to give.” This “giftedness” motivated generous missionaries over the centuries; it must also enflame the hearts of all of us today to engage in mission here at home and in other countries (missio ad gentes). Indeed, this is part of Jesus’ mission mandate to his disciples: “What you have received as a gift, give as a gift” (Mt 10:8). We pray for a missionary renewal of our Church—both at home (ad intra) and beyond our borders (ad extra) during our celebration of the 500 years—and into the future!

    Missionary Transformation. Our beloved Pope Francis, who visited us in 2015, is committed to the missionary renewal of the entire Church; we can take inspiration from his document Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). He asserts that we need an “evangelizing Church that comes out of herself,” not a Church that is “self-referential” and “lives within herself, of herself, for herself” (cf. EG 20-24). Francis says: “I dream of a ‘missionary option,’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation…. All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion” (EG 27). We seek to renew our mission enthusiasm here at home as well as missio ad gentes, mission to other nations and peoples.

    Pope Francis continues: “Missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity…. We need to move ‘from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry'” (EG 15). “I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has programmatic significance and important consequences…. Throughout the world, let us be ‘permanently in a state of mission'” (EG 25). We must seek to “put all things in a missionary key” (EG 34). We recall the challenge of Pope John Paul II during his 1981 visit to our Church: “I wish to tell you of my special desire: that the Filipinos will become the foremost missionaries of the Church in Asia.” This is a clear invitation to engage in missio ad gentes!

    Pope Francis’ insights about Church missionary renewal come from his deep personal relationship with Christ. He writes: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ…. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day” (EG 3). A pivotal insight of Pope Francis is that “we are all missionary disciples” (EG 119); through baptism, “all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples” (EG 120). All Christians are “agents of evangelization.” Missionary evangelization “calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized…. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries,’ but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples'” (EG 120).

    Joy: A Convincing Sign. For Pope Francis, salvation history is a “great stream of joy” (EG 5) which we must also enter. Let the joy of faith be revived, because God’s mercies never end (cf. EG 6). Unfortunately, “there are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter” (EG 6). “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral” (EG 10). We must not become “querulous and disillusioned pessimists, ‘sourpusses'” (EG 85). “May the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ (EG 10; cf. EN 75). We all must not “end up stifling the joy of mission” (EG 79), both here at home and in other lands!

    Mercy: Today’s Pathway in Mission. Pope Francis continually insists that mercy is the very essence of God. In his Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy) Francis expresses it this way: mercy is God’s identity card. He says: “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace…. Mercy [is] the bridge that connects God and man” (MV 2). Francis quotes Saint Thomas Aquinas, who asserts that “mercy is the greatest of all virtues; … all the others revolve around it … it is proper to God to have mercy” (EG 37). “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love” (MV 10).

    “The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person…. As the Church is charged with the task of the new evangelization, the theme of mercy needs to be proposed again and again with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action…. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy” (MV 12).

    Conclusion. Pope Francis’ profound thoughts on missionary renewal, joy, and mercy provide a solid compass to guide us as individuals and communities during our 500-years celebration and in the year 2021 which is dedicated to missio ad gentes (mission to all peoples). With Pope Francis we ask two graces of the Lord: “Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary vigor” (EG 109). “Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm” (EG 80). We remain constant in prayer, asking our two canonized “foreign” missionary saints, Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, to intercede for us so that our loving God will always abundantly bless our Church in the Philippines and all her many missionary endeavors!



    For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,

    + ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
    Archbishop of Davao
    President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
    29 November 2020, First Sunday of Advent

     

  • New Apostolic Nuncio to arrive in Manila on Sunday


    Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, will arrive in the country on Sunday, November 29, 2020, according to the communiqué to the bishops

    According to CBCP News, upon his arrival, he will present his credentials to the Philippine government.

    Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines | Photo Credit: www.irshcatholic.com

    Bishops shall welcome the new apostolic nuncio, as the country sets to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in 2021.

    He will be coming from New York, where he had a few weeks break after his duty as nuncio to Albania.

    On October 23, 2020, Archbishop Brown met Pope Francis during a private audience in the Vatican.

    His Holiness Pope Francis appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D. as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, succeeding Archbishop Gabrielle Caccia, on September 28, 2020, at noon (Rome time) and 6 pm (Philippine time.) (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Red Wednesday for Frontliners and COVID-19 victims



    The Red Wednesday, the annual campaign for awareness for persecuted Christians organized by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), will be held online this year on November 25, 2020. With the theme “Red Means Love: One Church Against COVID-19,” the campaign is dedicated not only to those being persecuted because of their faith but also to the heroic frontliners responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, to those who got sick with virus and also for the victims of the recent typhoons that devastated some regions in country.

    According to Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN Philippines, this year’s Red Wednesday is dedicated to the "martyrdom" of frontliners who took the risk of being infected by the coronavirus during the pandemic because of their love for their service and for the people they serve.

    “For this year, we decided to go back and reflect - love, indeed is the root of everything. Of charity, of hope, of faith. Ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ang pinagmulan ng lahat. We hope that Red Wednesday, together with the Recollection Concert, will inspire the faithful. Despite hard times, there is a reminder of love,” Mr. Luciano told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    The 2020 celebration of Red Wednesday will be the first-ever institutionalized celebration in the Philippines, where all dioceses and parishes will participate.

    Aside from the churches and shrines that yearly join in the campaign, this year hospitals will be participating and will be decorated and lit in red, simultaneous with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 6 in the evening in Dagupan to be presided by Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, ACN Philippine President.

    The Mass will be followed by a Recollection Concert at 8 pm with Msgr. Gerardo Santos as the Recollection Master. Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David will also give a reflection in the vent.

    Among the guests who will take part in the concert are Kantabella, Young Voices of the Philippines, selected priests from the Archdiocese of Lngayen-Dagupan and Mr. Jose Mari Chan, who will be joined by his family.

    The recollection concert, Mr. Luciano said, is also a reminder of the coming Christ, as the Catholic has just celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King and is now preparing for the Advent Season.

    “Brothers and sisters, the love of God will remain. The recollection concert is also our way of reminding everyone that Christmas is about to come. Christ is about to come, at nararapat tayong magbunyi. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Advent is coming, and dawn is near,” said Mr. Luciano.

    The Red Wednesday campaign is an initiative of the Aid to Church in Need that creates awareness among Filipino Christians about the severity of Christian persecution and invites everyone “to make a visible statement by wearing red and, if resources allow, light their own parishes or respective buildings or local monuments in red.

    ACN is a Papal charity organization dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer, and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Bishop Broderick Pabillo during the online Sunday Mass at St. John Bosco Parish in Tondo on Nov. 22, 2020, Feast of Christ the King, at 10 am.


    May iba’t bang paraan ng pagtingin sa panahon kasi may iba’t ibang kalendaryo. Familiar tayo sa civil year na nagsisimula sa January 1. Diyan naka-base ang ating mga kalendaryo. Pero mayroon din naman tayong school year, ang kalendaryo ng mga eskuwelahan. Mayroon ding fiscal year, ang kalendaryo ng business. Alam din natin ang Chinese New Year, na ibang kalendaryo din ang sinusundan.

    Sa simbahan, mayroon din tayong liturgical year, ang kalendaryo ng simbahan. Sa simbahan, ang Linggong ito ay ang huling Linggo ng taon ng simbahan. Sa susunod na Linggo, magsisimula tayo ng bagong panahon ng simbahan – ang panahon ng adbiyento.


    Today, which is the last Sunday of the year of the Church, we remember the end of time. Lahat ng bagay ay nagtatapos pati na ang panahon ay magtatapos. At ang lahat ng bagay sa mundong ito ay magtatapos. Bilang mga Kristiyano, naniniwala tayo na ang lahat ay nasa kamay ng Diyos. Sa Kanya nagsimula ang lahat, ang lahat ay babalik sa Kanya.

    Narinig natin sa sulat ni San Pablo sa mga taga Korinto, “Kapag ang lahat ay nasa ilalim na ng kapangyarihan ni Kristo, ang anak naman ang paiilalim sa kapangyarihan ng Diyos na naglagay  ng lahat ng bagay sa ilalim ng kapangyarihan niya. Sa gayon, lubusang maghahari ang Diyos sa kalahat lahatan.”

    Dumating si Hesus sa mundo upang iligtas tayo. Hanggang ngayon patuloy ang proseso ng pagliligtas. Magtatapos ito sa wakas ng panahon at hindi mabibigo ang balak ng Diyos na kaligtasan. Ang tagumpay ni Hesus sa kamatayan at kasamaan ay magiging klaro na sa lahat kaya ngayong Linggo, pinagdiriwang natin ang dakilang kapistahan ni Kristong Hari. Ito ay paalaala sa atin sa wagas na tagumpay ni Kristo.

    Ayon sa ating ebanghelyo, uupo siya sa Kanyang maringal na trono na puno ng kaluwalhatian, na napapalibutan ng lahat ng mga anghel at lahat ng mga tao. Si Kristong Hari ay siya rin ang dakilang hukom. Tulad ng pastol, paghihiwalayin niya ang mga tupa, hahatulan niya ang bawat isa.

    Sa isang talinhaga ni Hesus, tayo ay parang mga isang bukid na sama samang tumutubo ang mga trigo at ang mga damo. Pagdating ng tag-ani, ihihiwalay ang mga trigo sa mga damo. Ang mga trigo ay dadalhin sa warehouse habang ang mga damo naman ay susunugin.

    Sa isa pang talinhaga, inihambing ni Hesus ang paghahari ng Diyos ngayon sa isang lambat na itinapon sa dagat. Lahat ng uri ng isda ay napasaloob ng lambat. Hihilahin ang lambat sa dalampasigan at doon na paghihiwalayin ng mangingisda ang mabubuti at mapapakinabang na mga isda at itatapon ang mga walang kuwenta. There will be a judgment. There will be a separation between the good and the bad.

    Napakaraming kasamaan ang nangyayari sa mundo natin. May mga masasamang tao, nakikita natin ang maraming masasama ang nang-aapi, nagssamantala at hindi napananagot. Parang maganda pa nga ang buhay nila. Umaasenso pa ang masasasama. Kung dito lang ang mundo, napakalupit ng buhay. Pero hindi lang dito magtatapos ang lahat. May matuwid na hukom. Itutuwid ang lahat. Gagantimpalaan ang mabuti at paparusahan ang masama.

    Sinulat ni Papa Benedicto, “Evil doers in the end do not seat at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction as though nothing had happened.”

    Matuwid ang Diyos, hindi siya pabaya. Pananagutin niya ang lahat. Ang Diyos na makatarungan ay maghahari. Ang katotohanang ito’y nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa mga nakikibaka sa katarungan. Hindi masasayang ang pagsisikap nila. Magtatagumpay sila.

    This is the dire warning to those who are unjust. You cannot forever hide in lies and in injustice. You will answer for your wrong doings.

    And the message this Sunday is also clear – there is a forever.  Magpasawalang hanggan ang kaligayahan sa langit na inihanda ng Diyos para sa atin. At magpasawalang hanggan ang parusa sa impiyerno na inihanda ng Diyos hindi para sa atin kundi para sa diyablo at sa kanyang mga kampon. Doon pupunta ang masasama.

    Wala pa tayo saw akas ng panahon pero papunta tayo doon at bawat sandal ay lumalapit tayo sa wakas ng panahon. Mabuti at sinabi na sa atin ngayon ng Salita ng Diyos kung ano ang batayan ng paghuhusga ng bawat isa sa atin. Magbibigay sa atin ng test ang Diyos. Ang huli at pinakamahalagang test sa ating buhay at ibinigay na niya ang test question. Kailangan na lang nating sagutin sa pang araw araw na buhay natin ngayon ang test question na ito. There will be no surprise question. Kung hindi binigay ni Hesus ang test question, magugulat tayo.

    In our usual way of thinking, in order to have good standing with God, we have to do religious things like praying, going to Mass, going into fasting, praying the rosary, reading the Bible at iba pa. Pero hindi tayo gaanong titignan sa mga pang simbahang gawain tulad ng mga ito. Tatanungin tayo sa mga ginawa natin sa ating kapwa.

    The way to God is through our fellow human beings. Yes, we do religious things, but these are only means so that we can approach and do good to our fellow human beings. The religious things and activities that we do are not ends in themselves, they are means to lead us to people. The religious activity should make us more human to others and being more human, we become more divine.

    Isa pang sorpresa kung hindi agad sinabi ni Hesus, para sa marami, mabuti na tayo kung hindi tayo gumagawa ng masama sa iba - Hindi naman ako nagnanakaw, hindi naman ako pumatay, hindi naman ako nanira sa iba. Pero ayon kay Hesus, titignan ng Diyos ang mga kabutihang ginawa natin o hindi natin ginawa. Naging masama tayo at ganun kasama na ipapatapon tayo sa impiyerno dahil sa kabutihan na hindi natin ginawa – hindi nagpakain, hindi bumisita, hindi nag-alaga.

    We should consider this seriously because many of us do not do bad things to others. However, we also do not go out our way to do good to others. And there are so many others to do good to. And who are these others? Not the big people in our society, not our relatives and friends, yung mga hindi pinapansin, yung isinasantabi, yung binabale wala. Maraming mga tao ang nandiyan pero hindi natin nakikita at hindi pinapansin. There are invisible people around us not because they are ghost but because we are so accustomed not to mind them. Maaaring yan ay ang driver, ang taga laba, ang nagbebenta ng bulaklak, ang naglalako ng taho, ang pulubi sa daan o kalsada, ang mga bilanggo – libu libo yang isinasang tabi at pinagsasamantalahan pa sa mga kulungan. Ang mga may kapansanan na itinatago pati na ng kanilang mga pamilya. Ang mga may bisyo na para sa iba ay okay lang na patayin sapagkat wala naman daw pakinabang. Ang mga matatanda na madalas ay nasa sulok lang ng bahay, kung may bahay pa nga.

    Sila ang dapat pansinin. Ang tulong na ibibigay sa kanila ay hindi naman espesyal at hindi naman magastos. Basic needs lang tulad ng food, water, clothing, shelter, pagbisita at maaari pang dagdagan -  kausapin lang, ngitian, batiin, kamustahin. Samakatwid, ituring na tao, ituring na kapwa. Ipakita sa kanila na tayo ay magkakapatid, na tayo’y magkakaibigan. Ito ang sinabi ni Papa Francisco sa kanyang liham na Fretelli Tutti – scial friendship, solidarity. Sana magkaroon ng muha at pangalan ang mga mahihirap sa ating buhay at hindi lang sila numero o statistics.

    Kung kaibigan natin ang mga nagtitinda sa kalye, matitiis ba natin na sila’y basta alisin na lang at kunin ang kanilang paninda ng mga pulis at mga MMDA? Kung nakikiramay ba tayo sa namatayan, pababayaan lang ba natin na ang nanay ay pigilan na tumangis sa kanyang baby na namatay?

    Kadalasan, nagwawalang kibo lang tayo sa mga maliliit na tao na pinagsasamantalahan dahil hindi naman sia mahalaga sa atin. Hindi naman natin sila kaano ano. Anong hindi kaano ano? Kapwa tao natin sila. Magkaisa tayo sa kanila sa ating pagkatao. Kapag ang isang tao ay hindi pinahahalagahan at sinasaktan pa nga, ang ating pagkatao ang tinatamaan. Isa lang ang pagkatao natin. Anong hindi kaano ano? Sa bandang huli, saw akas ng panahon at the last judgment, ang ngiti nila sa atin ang magpapapasok sa atin sa langit. Sana hindi naman mangyari sa atin, dahil sa simangot nila sa atin, pupunta tayo sa apoy na walang hanggan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Parishes and communities mobilized for the 4th World Day of the Poor outreach


    In the midst of the outbreak of coronavirus in the Philippines, the Archdiocese of Manila celebrated the 4th World Day of the Poor on November 15, 2020.

    The Commission on Social Services of the Archdiocese spearheaded the activity for this year’s celebration. Parishes, organizations and communities were requested to contribute rice to support families in the archdiocese that were affected by the typhoons that recently struck the country.

    Photo Credit: Most Holy Trinity Parish Facebook Page

     
    In his homily during the celebration of World Day of the Poor, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, has reminded the faithful of the challenges that this pandemic has brought. He then called on the people to rise up together and help one another.

    “In all of these, we are being challenged to stand up together and put our resources together and help. Una, ang mga kalamidad na ito ay masakit na paala-ala na hindi talaga natin mapanghahawakan ang mga ari-arian at pati na ang buhay natin. Isipin na lang natin ang mga bahay na lumubog. Ang lahat na pinundar sa bahay na iyon ay nawala na rin. Kaya kung iyan lang ang pinag-iipunan natin, kay daling nawala. Pangalawa, ang mga sakunang ito ay maaaring malakas na panawagan sa atin that we help one another. We help not only with what is extra for us, but even with what we need, because others are more in need,” said the Bishop.

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has also declared Nov. 15, 2020, as Alay Kapwa Sunday. Alay Kapwa Sunday is usually a Lenten Season Program during which a second collection is done in churches. The collections are used as funds to respond to the needs of those who are affected by calamities.

    In the Vatican City, His Holiness Pope Francis also celebrated Mass for the 4th World Day of the Poor at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. Although, according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the pandemic has forced the Vatican to scale down the activities for the poor in marking the event.

    During the Mass, around 100 people along with volunteers and benefactors were present inside the basilica wearing face masks. Others who attended wore yellow vests with the logo of the World Day of the Poor.

    Pope Francis was not able to host and organize the annual lunch for the homeless people in Rome, which he does after the Mass in the past years. The Vatican was also unable to provide a “field hospital” for the poor in Saint Peter’s Square for a week as it had in the past. But still, they were able to set up a smaller clinic under the colonnade at Saint Peter’s Square where free COVID-19 tests are provided.

    In his homily, the Pontiff reflected on the Gospel reading (Matthew 25:14-30) also known as the Parable of the Talents. He said: “Good servants are those who take risks. They are not fearful and overcautious, they do not cling to what they possess, but put it to good use. For if goodness is not invested, it is lost, and the grandeur of our lives is not measured by how much we save but by the fruit we bear.”

    The World Day of the Poor is celebrated yearly every 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time as was established by Pope Francis when he promulgated his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera on Nov. 20, 2016, to celebrate the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 6:7).

    In his message for the 2020 World Day of the Poor, the pope said: “This pandemic arrived suddenly and caught us unprepared, sparking a powerful sense of bewilderment and helplessness. This has made us all the more aware of the presence of the poor in our midst and their need for help.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: A Deeper Advent and Christmas



    My dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    Christmas is already in the air. Even with Covid-19 and the series of typhoons that visited us, we see signs of Christmas around us. The air is cooler and the light longer. Christmas decors are being set up in the streets and in the stores.

    Now and then we hear Christmas songs. However, within us we sigh, how will Christmas be this year? It will surely not be the same as the previous years. Let us not just take the Advent and Christmas seasons as they come. Let us make them happen, yes in a different but also in a more meaningful way. Perhaps the limitations that the pandemic impose on us can make us celebrate these seasons in a truer way.

    In years past, we have been accustomed to external and consumeristic ways of celebrating these seasons. The malls and the stores had dictated our Christmas. Nowadays, despite of the gradual lifting of restrictions, many of us still hesitate to go to the malls and we also have become more conscious on how to spend our money. But we continue to celebrate, though in more subdued ways. Let us bring Advent and Christmas to our families with prayers, family religious services and joy. Prayers are available that can help us pray together as a family.

    Let each family make an advent wreath that can decorate our tables or our family altars. With prayers, songs and Bible readings, the family can gather together during the Sundays of Advent to light a candle in expectant hope for the Lord’s coming. There will be many online advent recollections. Let us take time to participate in them. With the gradual easing of lockdowns, the sacrament of confession is more readily available in our parishes. Let us go out of our way to go to confession in one of the advent days. The Simbang Gabi Masses continue.

    Those who cannot yet come out to join in our Churches can participate online. Let us receive communion in those days. The Son of God physically became man to be with us. Let us also physically receive him in holy communion, if not everyday during the Simbang Gabi, at least in one of these days. Communion can be requested from the parish.

    There are many decorations that remind us of Christmas. These can be done in our homes and prayers will be provided by the Liturgical Commission when these can be blessed by the head of the family. Thus we can set up our parols, our Christmas tree, and our Belen in our homes, with appropriate Christmas lights. We need not buy them. The effort of doing them together will give special value to them. Let each family have a figure of the Baby Jesus displayed in a prominent place. This will be the center of attention during the Christmas season.

    On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day let the family be gathered together and make the day memorable by singing together Christmas carols and have some family games. We discourage parishes and parish organizations to have Christmas parties as a precaution against the spread of the virus. But Christmas parties can be done in the homes among family members. There we can sing together, share stories, and have some fun as a family. Family members can give each other handmade Christmas gifts and hand drawn Christmas cards.

    Let not Covid-19 lock down our Christmas joy and family togetherness. God has come down to be with us. We accept him together as a family in our homes. Let us be creative this year in celebrating God’s presence among us. We do not allow Covid-19 to deprive us of Christmas joy. God is with us!

     

     

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

     

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo
    Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila
    November 20, 2020

  • Pope Francis sends message of hope to PH typhoon victims


    Most Rev. Rex Andrew Alarcon, Bishop of Daet and chairman of CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Youth, expressed his gratitude to His Holiness Pope Francis for remembering and sending his message to the victims of the recent typhoons that had caused severe damage to different provinces in the country, particularly to those in the Bicol Region.

    According to Radio Veritas News, Bishop Alarcon said that while financial and material support is urgently needed, the victims also need moral and spiritual support to overcome the desolation that has come to them caused by the typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.


    “We are very glad to receive Pope Francis’ expression of closeness and solidarity. It brings hope and assurance of God’s closeness to us, especially to our brothers and sisters who suffer much from the wrath of the recent typhoons. In addition to our material needs, we need the moral and spiritual support to lift our spirits. More than our eyes can see, the moral-spiritual support and bond with the Holy Father and many others, as well as the material support, are a witness to our being Brothers and Sisters, sharing a common humanity,” the Bishop said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

    He also explained that Pope Francis’ contribution is a real practice of Fratelli Tutti, the most recent document released by the pontiff,  to give strength to those who are emotionally weakened to rise and start over.

    “Ang maramdaman na kasama natin ang Holy Father ay nagbibigay sa atin ng lakas upang pasanin ang krus at bumangon muli. Indeed, we are Fratelli Tutti, tayong lahat magkakapatid! We are very much grateful to the Holy Father. We remember, ‘he arose in haste’ to be personally with the victims of Typhoon Yolanda –braving the bad weather. We felt his closeness and solidarity. Once again, we feel we are not alone. The presence and assurance of a father is very important for the family, esp. the young, the children, and the most vulnerable,” the bishop added.

    Diocese of Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon also expressed his gratitude to His Holiness Pope Francis for his prayers to the Filipino typhoon victims. He said that the message serves as a call to the faithful to take part and to extend help to the needy.

    The Bishop hopes that the message of Pope Francis will inspire more people to help in alleviating the difficult situation of the victims.

    “Deeply grateful & appreciative of the Holy Father’s expression of solidarity & prayers for our people in the midst of this difficult time! May his oneness & sincere concern inspire in us the same spirit of solidarity to work together with renewed hope in our efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate our respective communities. God bless Pope Francis!” said Bishop Baylon during an interview with Radio Veritas

    Super typhoon Rolly, one of the 3 typhoons that recently hit the Bicol Region, was the second Super Typhoon recorded in the Philippines, according to PAG-ASA.  It followed Super Typhoon Yolanda which struck the Eastern Visayas Region last 2013. Both Yolanda and Rolly struck the Philippines in November. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass (4th World Day of the Poor) at the Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate Church on November 15, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Steward. Katiwala. Tagapamahala. Caretaker. OIC. Administrator. Ang mga salitang ito ay magkaugnay. Ang mga ito ay may tungkulin at may kapangyarihan. Pero hindi sila ang may-ari. Ang kanilang kapangyarihan ay pansamanta lang kaya mananagot sila pagdating ng tunay na may-ari. Kunin natin bilang halimbawa ang aking gampanin ngayon bilang administrator ng Archdiocese ng Maynila. May tungkulin ako at may kapangyarihan. Makakadesisyon ako. In a way, ako ang namamahala ngayon ng Archdiocese of Manila. Pero ginagamit ko lang ito bilang katiwala, caretaker, para sa archbishop ng Maynila na ibibigay sa atin, na siya ang talagang magiging tunay na pastol natin. Pagdating ng bagong archbishop mawawala na ang aking tungkulin. At mananagot ako sa bagong archbishop kung maayos ba ang aking paggamit ng pamamahala ko o hindi.


    Pinag-uusapan natin itong stewardship, o bilang tagapamahala o katiwala o administrador kasi iyan ang paksa ng mga pagbasa natin ngayon. Sa ating ebanghelyo pinagkatiwala ng may ari ang kanyang kayamanan sa kanyang mga alipin. Malaki ang tiwala niya sa kanila kasi malalaking halaga ang pinagkatiwala sa kanila. Ang salitang Talent na ginamit ay isang panukat ng bigat. Mga 33 kgs ang katumbas nito. Imagine 1 talent ng gold, or 33 kgs ng gold! Sa halaga ngayon aabot iyan ng mga 60 Million pesos! Imagine ang laking halaga na pinagkatiwala! 5 talents! 2 Talents! Kahit na ang 1 talent ay hindi biro. Kaya ang tagalog translation natin na 5,000 pesos, 2,000 at 1,000 pesos ay napakaliit. Ganoon kagalante ang may-ari. Ganoon ang tiwala niya sa bawat isa.

    Kahit na malaki ang halaga, hindi naman kanila. Bilang mga katiwala lang, alam nila na isasauli nila ang pinagkatiwala sa kanila. Ano ang isasauli nila? Natuwa ang may-ari na tunay na mapagkakatiwalaan ang nakatanggap ng 5 at 2 talento.  Alam nila na hindi lang pinatago sa kanila ang pera. Ginamit nila ito sa business – at tumubo ng 100%.

    Ang pagsisikap ng mabubuting katiwala o tagapamahala ay pinakita ng babaeng asawa sa ating unang pagbasa. Inilarawan sa huling chapter ng book of Proverbs ang isang asawa na masipag at maaasahan. Magaling siyang maybahay. Nag-aalaga ng pangangailangan ng lahat. Naninigurado na ang lahat ay may sapat na damit, at ang damit noon ay hindi binibili sa ukay-ukay o department store, kundi hinahabi pa. Sariling gawa ang mga damit. Nag-aayos ng pagkain para sa lahat, nangangalakal pa. Nagtatanim sa bukid at tumutulong pa sa mahihirap. Iyan ang magaling na asawa  na ikatutuwa ng buong pamilya. Dahil sa siya ay may takot sa Diyos, ginagampanan niya nang mabuti ang pinagkatiwala sa kanya sa tahanan.

    Ganoon din ang lahat ng mabubuting stewards. It is not just enough to give back what has been given. Nagsikap sila na lumago at tumubo ang ibinigay sa kanila. So it was with pride that they said: “Here I have made 5 talents more! Here I have made 2 talents more!” Pero nagalit siya sa nag-sauli lang ng kanyang tinanggap. Gusto ng Diyos na lumago, tumubo, mamunga ang kanyang ipinagkaloob sa atin. May pagsusulit at maghahanap siya ng bunga. Jesus said:  “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (Jn. 15:8 NAB)  “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” (Jn. 15:16 NAB) May talinhanga rin si Jesus ng isang may-ari ng lupa na sinabi sa tagapangalaga na putulin ang puno ng igos kasi tatlong taon na siya naghahanap ng bunga at wala siyang makita. Naghahanap ng Diyos ng bunga.

    Ano ba ang ipinagkatiwala niya sa atin? Ang lahat ng mayroon tayo ay galing sa Diyos – ang ating buhay, ang ating pamilya, ang ating mga talento, ang ating trabaho, ang ating pera at ari-arian. Huwag nating angkinin ang mga ito. Pinagkatiwala lang sa atin ang mga ito. Iniingatan ba natin ang mga ito at pinapalago? Huwag nating hayaang masira o mawala. Sa halip gamitin natin at palaguin. We will have to give an account of them to the Lord, the real owner of these things.

    Paano kaya mapalalago ang mga ipinagkatiwala niya? Una, gamitin natin. Ang lahat ng hindi ginagamit ay nasisira o nanghihina. Ang sasakyan na hindi ginagamit ay nasisira. Pati na nga ang muscle na hindi ginagamit ay nanghihina. Ang talino na hindi ginagamit ay nangangalawang. St. Paul wrote: “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them” (Rom 12:6) Hindi lang na gamitin ang mga gifts na ito. Gamitin natin hindi lang sa sarili kundi sa iba. Sabi ni St. Peter:” As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10). Remember that we have social responsibilities to the things that we have. Ang mga biyaya ng Diyos na ipinagkatiwala sa atin ay hindi lang para sa atin. Ito ay para din sa iba. Gamitin din natin sa iba ang mga ipinagkaloob sa atin. In fact we become happy when we use our talents to help others. We are fulfilled when we are able to share our time with others.

    Ito ay totoo din sa mga material wealth na ipinakatiwala sa atin. Minsan may sinabi si Jesus: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Lk. 16:9 NAB) He also said: “Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.” (Lk. 12:33 NAB) Let us then invest what we have so that we may gain real wealth. Itulong natin sa iba ang makamundong kayamanan natin at ito ay magkakaroon ng panibago at mas mataas na halaga, makalangit na halaga.

    Maganda ang paalaala na ito na ngayong Linggo ay World Day of the Poor with the theme: Stretch out your hand to the Poor. At ngayon din ay Alay Kapwa Sunday na magkakaroon tayo ng mga collection para sa mga biktima ng kalamidad. At sa mga araw na ito maraming kalamidad ang tumama sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng ating bansa. Dumaan pa lang si Quinta at sumunod agad si Rolly. Halos hindi pa nakakabangon kay Rolly at nandiyan naman si Ulysses. Ang daming mga bahay at mga tanim na dumapa at lumubog sa kabikulan, sa Southern Tagalog region, sa Metro Manila, sa central at northern Luzon. And all of these are happening when we are battling with Covid 19! Mamulat na sana tayo. Climate change na ito. Hindi pa tayo nagkaroon ng sunod-sunod na bagyo. Signs of climate change are not only stronger typhoons but also more frequent storms.

    In all of these we are being challenged to stand up together and put our resources together and help. Una, ang mga kalamidad na ito ay masakit na paala-ala na hindi talaga natin mapanghahawakan ang mga ari-arian at pati na ang buhay natin. Isipin na lang natin ang mga bahay na lumubog. Ang lahat na pinundar sa bahay na iyon ay nawala na rin. Kaya kung iyan lang ang pinag-iipunan natin, kay daling nawala. Pangalawa, ang mga sakunang ito ay maaaring malakas na panawagan sa atin that we help one another. We help not only with what is extra for us, but even with what we need, because others are more in need.

    Let us be convinced that whatever we give to help others is not a loss for us. Kung tayo ay pumunta sa bangko at nagdeposit ng 10,000 pesos, paglabas natin ng bangko nalulungkot ba tayo dahil wala na ang 10,000 sa ating pitaka? Hindi! Wala na nga sa ating bulsa, pero atin pa rin ang 10,000 na iyon. Nasa account na natin sa bangko. Ganoon din dapat ang isipin natin. Hindi tayo manghihinayang na nagbigay tayo ng 5,000 pesos sa tinamaan ng bagyo. Hindi nawala ang 5,000 pesos natin. Dineposito lang natin sa ating account sa langit. Hindi iyon nawala sa atin. Pinagpalit lang natin ng makalangit na halaga. Do we believe this?

    Ngayong Alay Kapwa Sunday magbigay tayo sa mga collections sa simbahan. Kung sa bahay lang tayo nagsisimba magpadala tayo sa simbahan para sa Alay Kapwa. Ang programang ito ang tumutulong sa mga nasalanta ng mga bagyo sa buong bansa. Ang Alay Kapwa ang nagcocoordinate ng tulong sa mga dioceses sa bansa, kasama na diyan sa mga dioceses sa Cagayan Valley at sa Kabikulan. Ang Alay Kapwa ay programa ng Caritas Pilipinas, Caritas Manila at Caritases ng mga dioceses para sa relief at rehabilitation ng mga biktima ng mga calamities.

    Sana pagkaraan ng mahabang panahon at bumalik na ang ating Panginoon, masasabi natin sa kanya nang may kaunting yabang: “Panginoon heto po ang 5 talento na pinagkatiwala ninyo sa akin. Heto pa po ang 5 talento na tinubo ko!”

  • Caritas Manila sends 5M assistance to typhoon-hit Dioceses




    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, has allocated financial aid of 1 million pesos for each diocese that was severely affected by super typhoon Rolly.

    According to Veritas News, Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, they still continue accepting donations even after the recently conducted Caritas Oplan Damayan Telethon last Nov. 4, 2020, which raised eight million pesos.

    The financial aid was in addition to the initial 200-thousand pesos that were allocated for the five dioceses after the initial damage assessment of the damages by the typhoon

    “Maraming tumugon sa ating Typhoon Rolly Telethon, nakalikom tayo ng seven to eight million. May mga dumarating pa. Basically tag-iisang milyon sa mga dioceses na tinamaan lalung lalu na sa Bicol Region,” said Fr. Pascual.

    The 5 beneficiary dioceses include the dioceses of Legazpi, Daet, Virac, Catanduanes and Gumaca.

    Fr. Pascual said that aside from the financial aid, they are also distributing relief goods to the families in the affected areas.

    “Tayo ay naka handang tumulong in terms of relief operations sa mga affected areas natin. Mga pagkain, gamot, damit, mga tulugan at mga tent para matuluyan ng mga mahihirap na kailangan ilikas sa mga flooded areas,” Fr. Pascual said.

    Caritas Manila is also coordinating with the different parishes in the dioceses as many of them has also served as evacuation centers for the flood victims. The priest said that they are now organizing the initiatives for the rehabilitation of some of the damaged houses caused by the typhoon.

    “Pinaplano ng Caritas Manila ang rehabilitation sa pamamagitan ng housing materials, meron din tayong budget na P5,000 per home. Sa Catanduanes palang sabi ng ng Gobyerno nasa 10,000 na tahanan ng mga mahihirap nating Fisher Folks ang tinamaan. Atleast makatulong tayo ng at least 1,000 to 2,000 homes ang ating ma-assist,” said Fr. Pascual.

    While typhoon Ulysses continues to devastate some parts of the country especially in the Bicol Region and Calabarzon, Caritas Manila is also preparing to respond to the needs of the victims of the typhoon. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archbishop Valles back as CBCP President


    Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles resumes his post as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

    In a circular released by CBCP on Nov. 5, Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that Archbishop Valles has recovered very well” and is “ready to resume his office as president”.

    “After getting a clean bill of health from his doctors, Archbishop Valles has signified his readiness to resume office as our CBCP President,” said Bishop David.

    Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President | Photo Credit: CBCP News

    Archbishop Valles was “temporarily incapacitated by a mild stroke in May 2020” and has appointed Bishop David, who is the current Vice-President of CBCP, as acting President.

    According to Bishop David, Archbishop Valles will preside the next CBCP Permanent Council meeting via Zoom on November 25, 2020.

    The Bishop assured Archbishop Valles of his continued support in whatever way he can. He also told the faithful in the circular that all communications concerning the Office of the CBCP President will again be redirected to the office of Archbishop Romulo Valles. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Mass offered for all departed religious men and women


    Manila Apostolic Administrator, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo led the celebration of the Holy Mass for the Deceased Bishops, Priests, Religious Men & Women of the Archdiocese of Manila at the Manila Cathedral last November 8, 2020, Sunday.

    According to Veritas News, Bishop Pabillo urges the faithful to remember and pray for the departed religious men and women who might have already been forgotten that they may be with Christ in heaven.



    Bishop Pabillo said that bishops, priests, nuns, and religious men and women dedicate their lives to serve the Catholic Church and for the fulfillment of the mission to evangelize and to spread the Good News.

    “We pray that all those our beloved dead in religion may reach the fulfillment of what they have struggled for, they have worked and they have committed themselves to the work of the church as we do now, many of them we don’t know but we are sure that the Lord has been in their lives, in the way of service during the years that they served as priests and as religious so we ask the Lord that they who have given their lives, their times and their concerns may be rewarded for their dedication…” says Bishop Pabillo during his homily.

    The Bishop explained that praying for the departed is a concrete symbol of the unending fellowship of the Catholic faithful as children of God. This is a continuous challenge to Christians to be a model of honesty and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ.

    “Our gathering is a sign that our fellowship in the Lord does not stop because they have died, that this fellowship continues that’s why we pray for them and we even ask for prayers and their fidelity inspire us that we also may be faithful up to the end. So our connectiveness with those who are gone ahead of us continues and at the same time our gathering together is also a push that we remain faithful up to the end as we are praying now for our beloved dead," the bishop added.

    The Vatican has earlier announced the extension of the plenary indulgences for the whole month of November amid the pandemic. This year, the indulgence can be obtained by anyone who visits a cemetery on any day in November and devoutly prays for the faithful departed. The extension was to avoid large gatherings in public places.

    A plenary indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment that remains as a consequence of sin after it has been forgiven. It is a grace granted by the Church, in the exercise of the power of the keys given to it by the Lord, and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary and the saints. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass on November 8, 2020, at 10 am.


    May isang bahagi ng Bible na hindi masyadong nabibigyan ng pansin. Iyan ay yung tinatawag na wisdom literature. Marami din ang mga aklat na nabibilang dito lalo na sa Old Testament, yung mga aklat ng Kawikaan – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus o Ben Sirach, Karunungan ni Solomon, Awit ng mga Awit. Ayon sa mga ito, ang karunungan ay higit pa kaysa ginto at pilak. Ito ay biyaya ng Diyos at ito rin ay bunga ng pagsisikap ng mga tao.

    Habang hinahanap-hanap natin ito, ito rin ay nag-aabang at humahanap sa atin. Iyan po ang nilalaman ng ating unang pagbasa ngayon na galing sa Book of Wisdom. Matatagpuan ang karunungan ng mga naghahanap sa kanya.

    Kailangan natin ang karunungan dahil sa ito ay nakakatulong sa atin na mamuhay ng maayos at maginhawa sa buhay na ito. Ang karunungan ay hindi para sa kabilang buhay kundi para sa buhay natin ngayon dito sa mundo.

    Higit pa kaysa kaalaman at katalinuhan ang karunungan. Ito ay kaalaman na isinasabuhay. May mga kilala tayo mga tao na maalam, mataas ang napag-aralan at baka matalino pa nga pero hindi marunong sa buhay. Walang diskarte sa buhay at hindi masaya. Sira ang kanilang pamilya. Hindi umaasenso sa trabaho at baka pa nga nalulong sa bisyo. Hindi sila marunong. Alam naman nila ang masama pero ginagawa pa rin nila. Tuloy, napapasama sila.

    So, wisdom is more than intelligence or knowledge. Computers can be more knowledgeable than most of us but they do not have wisdom because wisdom comes from experience and is attained by practice and practical sense. Sikapin natin na maging marunong tayo.

     


    Si Jesus mismo ay gumagamit ng wisdom sayings. Marami siyang mga matalinhagang kasabihan at mga kuwento na ginagamit ng mga wise men. Si Jesus ay nilapitan ng mga tao dahil sa siya ay magaling na mangaral. Sa totoo lang, kilala siya bilang isang guro, isang rabi – ito ay tawag sa mga taong may karunungan.

    Bakit pinag-uusapan natin ang wisdom, ang karunungan? Kasi ito ang katangian ng mga abay na nag-aantay sa ikakasal na lalaki sa ating ebanghelyo. Five of them are wise and five are foolish. These ten virgins stand for all of us because all of us are waiting for the bride, groom to come. All of us are in a state of waiting for the Lord who is to come again. Pero ganito nga ba? Talaga nga bang tayo ay nag-aabang sa pagdating ng Panginoon? This is an important question that we should first ask ourselves because nowadays, many people are so short sighted. Para sa kanila, dito lang ang buhay. Ito lang ang buhay.

    Ngayong buwan ng November, pinaalaala sa atin na may kabilang buhay. Marami na tayong kilala na nauna na sa atin doon sa kabilang buhay at siguradung sigurado na susunod din tayo pagpunta sa kabilang buhay. Walang exempted dito. Pero, saan sa kabilang buhay tayo pupunta? Yan ang tanong. Kund hindi tayo marunong, mapagsasarhan tayo ng pinto at hindi tayo makasasalo sa kasiyahan ng kasalan.

    Sa ating ikalawang pagbasa, pinuproblema ng mga Kristiyano sa Tessalonica ang mga yumao nila. Lahat sila’y nag-abang sa pagbalik ng Panginoon noong tinanggap nila si Hesus at sila’y nabinyagan. Pero ilan sa kanila ay namatay na. makakatagpo pa ba nila ang Panginoon? Hindi na niya yata sila makikita pag dating niya. Ito ang akala nila. Kaya nalungkot sila sa mga kasamahan nilang namatay na. Hindi na nila makakatagpo ang Panginoon pagdating niya.

    Sabi ni San Pablo na huwag silang mag-alala, “All of us will meet the Lord when He comes again. Those who have already died which is euphemistically referred to as those who have fallen asleep will be raised up from the dead to meet the Lord. So, whether we are still alive now or have died, we will all meet the Lord.

    Kaya nga tayong lahat ay nasa estado ng pag-aabang sa pagdating ng Panginoon. Ang ating inaaabangan ay masaya – kasalan, handaan, hindi tayo natatakot. Ang problema lang ay hindi natin alam kung kalian siya darating. Totoo ang sinabi, “You do not know the date nor the hour.” Sa katagalan ng pag-aantay, lahat ng sampung abay ay nakatulog. This is part of human weakness. But what is important is that, when he finally comes, we are ready to meet Him with lamps burning.

    Ano ba itong ilawan na nakasindi? Naalaala natin na minsan sinabi ni Hesus na tayo ay ang liwanag ng mundo. We are the light of the world. Dapat nakasindi ang ating ilawan upang makita ng mga tao ang ating mabubuting gawa at parangalan ang ating Amang nasa langit.

    Kaya ang ilawan na nakasindi ay may kaugnayan sa kabutihang gawa. Tulad ng ang kadiliman ay nauugnay sa kasamaan at kasalanan. So, we can say that the oil of the lamp is related to goodworks.

    St. Paul wrote, “God will repay everyone according to his works. Eternal life to those who seek glory, honor and mortality through perseverance in good works,” (Romans 2:6-7).

    So, as we wait for the Lord to come, let us equip ourselves by doing good at huwag tayong magsawa sa paggawa ng mabuti. Ang iba ay nagkakaroon ng donor fatigue. Tayong mga Kristiyano ay huwag sanang magkaroon ng generosity fatigue or goodness fatigue.

    Again, St. Paul wrote, “Let us not grow tired of doing good for in due time, we shall reap our harvest if we do not give up.”

    So, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith (Galatians 6:9-10).

    Matalino ang mga abay na may mga langis ng kabutihan habang sila ay nag-aabang sa pagdating ng Panginoon. Kaya ang kabutihan na ginagawa natin ay hindi lang nakakatulong sa nagawan natin ng mabuti. Iyan ay nakakatulong sa atin na gumagawa ng kabutihan. We are never the losers when we do good. Any good that we do, benefit us first of all. That is why we hear this admonition of St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles, “Keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who Himself said, it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

    By the way, this is the only direct quotation from the Lord Jesus that we do not find in the gospels but is reported by St. Paul that comes from Jesus Himself, “Blessing comes first to all of those who give. We receive more by giving.” This is a good reminder to us now that many of our brothers and sisters are in dire need because of typhoon Rolly.

    Naalaala ninyo last Sunday, mga ganitong oras, mga alas diyes, nangangamba tayo dahil sa banta na dadaan sa Metro Manila si Rolly. Nabalitaan na natin noon ang nangyayari sa Bicol. Nababalitaan natin kung gaano kalakas itong super typhoon na ito. Hindi biro. Talagang nagdasal tayo na lumihis o humina man lang si Rolly at himala, miracle nangyari nga. Lumihis at humina si Rolly, hindi tayo napinsala. Prayer really works.

    Isipin na lang natin kung tinamaan tayo ng ganung bagyo. Ang laking kasiraan siguro sa mga structures natin, sa mga buhay natin. Pero hindi, naligtas tayo. Tahimik yung araw ng Linggo. Maaari bang ito ay paanyaya na bilang pasasalamat maging generous tayo sa tinamaan? Kung napinsala tayo, gagastos tayo at maaaring malaking gastos. Ngayong ibinigay sa atin, ibigay natin ang magagastos natin kung napinsala tayo. Ibigay natin sa tinamaan ng bagyo.

    Next Sunday, November 15 is the Word Day of the Poor with the theme, “Stretch Forth your Hands to the Poor.” We commemorate this World Day of the Poor every year since 2017, which is set at the Sunday before the Solemnity of Christ the King which this year falls on November 22.

    This year, the World Day of the Poor has been declared by CBCP as the Alay Kapwa Sunday. Our Alay Kapwa program is a Lenten program during which we ask for collections that are set aside to respond to calamities. We were not able to have Alay Kapwa last season of Lent because of the lockdown. So, we do not have funds this year to respond to calamities, and typhoon Rolly hit us hard. So, please be generous. You can give your donations this Sunday or next Sunday to Caritas Manila. And this for us is our agency of helping those people in Bicol or to Alay Kapwa collections in your parishes next week. All our collections next week will go to Alay Kapwa. Medyo mabigat ito sa mga parokya na hindi pa nakakaahon sa mga gastos dahil sa matagal na sarado ang mga simbahan at hanggang ngayon hindi pa full capacity ang mga simbahan natin.

    Pero kahit na, may pangangailangan ngayon ang iba na mas higit pa sa kaysa pangangailangan ng ating simbahan. Besides, as the Lord said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Magbigay at mararamdaman natin ang kabaitan ng Panginoon mismo. Maging matalino tayo. Maging handa palagi. Magkaroon ng langis ng kabutihan habang nag-aabang tayo sa Panginoon na darating. Huwag manghinayang magbigay. Hindi sayang ang mga itinutulong natin sa iba. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas during Mass for the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, at San Carlos Seminary on Nov. 4, 2020.


    My dear brothers, my dear friends in San Carlos Borromeo and the Lord Jesus Christ, we have come together to celebrate the feast of St. Charles under the shadow of a pandemic worldwide, you can look at it that way. But we are also under the light of a beautiful theme, “Save Others, Imitate the Lord, Imitate Christ.” Let us look at the light – save others and imitate the Lord.

    The two phrases are not co-equal because the imitation of Christ takes priority. Because if we do not imitate Christ and attempt to save others, we are only false messiahs.

    The salvation of others can only come about after we, the shepherds have imitated Christ. So, the question to ask in the midst of this pandemic, my dear brothers is, but then, how do we imitate Christ? How do we imitate Christ so that we can save others?

    In the life of another reformer of the church, Santa Teresa de Jesus, maybe it was a legendary account but the account says that Teresa was tempted by the devil and the devil attempted to destruct her by looking like Jesus. But after a while, Teresa understood that this was not Jesus, this is the devil. And the devil shook his head and said, “But how did you recognized me, I look like the Lord?” And Teresa only said, “Christ has wounds, you do not have wounds.” Christ has wounds. You have none. You are not Christ. Christ has wounds.


    So, the first step to the imitation of Christ is an inclination towards those wounds. I do not say choose the wounds all time, you must be discerning. But when the pleasure and the wounds are on equal footing, you must choose the more difficult one. You must choose the distressing one. You must choose the less easy one. That is inclination to the wounds.

    My dear brothers, I say it again, Christ has wounds and where are your wounds? Christ has wounds and where are the wounds of the priests to prove that they are priests of the Lord?

    Do not be afraid of wounds. Do not be ashamed of your wounds. Do not even ask the Lord to change your wounds into scars. Because if the Lord wants you to bleed for the rest of your life, say yes. As Padre Pio bled practically his whole life, those wounds can only save. They will not make you worst, they can only make you better and deeper in holiness.

    A smile is good. St. Theresa of Calcutta says, “Evangelization begins with a smile.” But tears are also good. Jokes are good. But the sharing of our heart brokenness is also good. Fun is good. But to cry with your brothers is liberating. We can start the good news by smiling but remember, only tears can be liberating. And a priest who does not know the value, the beauty of woundedness will not be able to save others. Incline towards the wounds. Do not be afraid of the wounds. Do not be ashamed of the wounds. Do not even ask the Lord to change your wounds into scars. I say it again, our destiny is to bleed for life because the Lord sheds His blood everyday on the altar. And the priest of Jesus Christ cannot be a priest less than that. Our wounds are our proof that we belong to Him. Christ has wounds. Where are yours?

    How can we imitate Christ? The imitation of Christ is not mimicry. You do not imitate Christ by growing your hair long because Christ has long hair. You do not imitate Christ by constantly wearing sandals with dusty feet because Christ has sandals and dusty feet. You do not imitate Christ by constantly wearing a long tunic because Christ is wearing always wore a tunic. That is mimicry. That is not imitation.

    Imitation comes from intimacy. Intimacy. If you have a chance and the Lord provides, I invite you to come to Rome in the Basilica of San Ambrose and San Carlos, there, the heart of San Carlos is venerated by pilgrims. The heart. Because that heart was the rendezvous for his intimacy with the Lord. The heart.

    Imitation of Christ does not always mean to do what He did. Imitation of Christ means, the reason of Christ must be our reason. The dream of Christ must be our dream. The motivation of Christ must be our motivation. And where does that happen? Not here in the brain but in the heart. That is why that heart has been preserved from decomposition from bacteria. Why? Because that heart was the rendezvous, was the meeting place of intimacy.

    My dear brother seminarians, my dear brother priests, there is no imitation of Christ without intimacy. And that intimacy does not come about with common work. It does not come about with common writing. It comes about by opening your heart to Him and allowing your heart to be the dwelling place of the Lord and resting in the heart of the Lord because that is the only place where we can truly rest.

    Intimacy. Intimacy by prayer. We have a lot of time in the recent months during the quarantine to be intimate with the Lord. But did we choose the time for intimacy? Or more time for plantitos? More time for baking, more time for cooking. As Fr. Ben Carlos would ask us, “Anong apostolic value niyan?”

    We had plenty of time. The time was practically ours. To kneel before the Lord, to open our hearts to the Lord in intimacy. Let us not waste it. The pandemic is still with us and we are not still able to do the normal things but we have plenty of time.

    Let the agriculturists take care of the plants. Let the bakers take care of the bread. Let the chefs take care of the food. But the priest, the priest must take care of his intimacy with the Lord because without intimacy with the Lord there is no imitation of the Lord, and without imitation of the Lord, there is no salvation for others. Intimacy which comes from giving the Lord time. Inclination towards His wounds, intimacy in your heart.

    And the last I is, there is no imitation if you don’t know the power of being invisible.

    St. Charles for known for Humilitas.  If you have a difficulty living Humilitas, just choose to be invisible. Invisible not in the sense of being secretive. But invisible in the sense of, he must increase and I must decrease. Invisible in the sense that, he must shine and I must only be a spotlight focusing on Him. The invisibility of humility.

    Humility is imitation of Christ. And invisibility, not that we shine but that Christ shines through us. Not our face but the face of Christ in us. Be invisible.

    For all the apostolic works that St. Charles did in his ministry in Milan, it was not St. Charles in the streets taking care of the victims of the plagues that sanctified him. It was not his involvement in the Council of Trend that made him a saint. The bottom line of it my dear brothers is this, St. Charles, our patron, at the end of the day was not just an apostle in the pandemic, he was not just a brilliant star in the council, he was a mystic. He knew the power of hidden goodness. He knew the power of hidden intimacy with the Lord. At the end of the day, it is mystics not activist who will be the salvation of San Carlos Seminary.

    And you, my dear seminarians are here to grow in that mysticism. We need parish priests who are mystics in the midst of the noise of the world. We need priests who know the value, the power of hidden goodness who will teach the world that Christ’s work is hidden. And in that hiddenness, we are set free.

    Imitate the Lord and then be able to save souls. Imitate the Lord by not being afraid of wounds. Incline towards those wounds like the wounds of the magnet. Incline towards those wounds because those wounds have gravitas. They are attractive because wounds are beautiful. Do not be afraid, do not be ashamed, let them bleed for the Lord, it can only be for your good.

    Choose the Lord. Renew your heart for the Lord. Recognize, my dear brothers that in your woundedness, you would be able to save souls. In your invisibility, you will live Humilitas. In your intimacy in prayer, you are going to grow in holiness.

    Ecclesia Semper Reformanda – the world is always reforming. The church is always reforming. And you, my dear brothers, are called to be the agents, the apostles of that renewal. But that renewal cannot come about, that reform cannot come about, the rebooting of the world cannot come about unless we open our hearts to the Lord in imitation of Him. At the end of the day, it is the imitators of Christ who will bring about the reform and renewal. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Nino de Tondo on Nov. 1, 2020, feast of All Saints, at 10 am.


    The COVID-19 pandemic is really affecting our lives. We feel this in a special way today, November 1. It is customary for many of us to honor our beloved dead this day and tomorrow to go to the cemeteries.

    Hindi na natin ito magagawa ngayon at naintindihan naman natin bakit. Mahirap mapigilan ang pagkalat ng virus sa maraming mga tao na magkukumpulan sa mga sementeryo.

    In a way, by not being allowed to go to what we customarily do, we are forced to confront the meaning of our custom and to consider how we can express our belief in other ways.

    Kapag pinapahayag natin ang ating pananampalataya sa ating dasal, ating binabanggit, “Sumasampalataya ako sa samahan ng mga banal.” I believe in the communion of saints. Who are these saints and what does this communion consists? Ano ba ang samahang ito?


    Ang mga banal na tinutukoy ay ang lahat ng mga nasa grasya ng Diyos. Sila yung nasa kanila ang buhay ng Diyos. Ang Diyos ay naging tao upang tayong mga tao ay makiisa sa buhay niya. Ipinagkaloob sa atin ang buhay ng Diyos noong tanggapin natin siya sa ating Binyag.

    Ang buhay na ito ay winawala natin at nawawala natin kung tinatanggihan natin ang Diyos. Ang pagtangging ito ay tinatawag na kasalanan. Kung hindi natin tinatanggihan ang Diyos kahit nasaan man tayo, kahit ano ang kalagayan natin, nabibilang tayo sa mga banal.

    Ang buong simbahan ay binubuo ng tatlong kalagayan: the Victorious Church, the Suffering Church and the Militant Church. Ang mga ito’y nasa isang samahan kaya ang mga ito’y nagtutulungan.

    Yung mga nasa Victorious Church, ay yung mga nasa langit na, matagumpay at masaya na kasama ni Hesus. Yung mga nasa Suffering Church, ay yung dinadalisay pa sa purgatory. Sila’y hinahanda na pumunta sa langit. Tayong nasa lupa ay nabibilang sa Militant Church. Nakikibaka pa tayo laban sa kasamaan.

    Ang tatlong ito ay nagtutulungan. Here on earth we help one another in our struggle against evil. So, we pray for one another and we care for each other. We also ask the help of those in purgatory and in heaven so we call on the holy souls.

    Yung mga nasa purgatory ay tinutulungan din natin sa pamamagitan ng ating mga sakripisyo at ating mga dasal. Yung mga nasa langit ay hindi na kailangan ng tulong. Nasa kaluwalhatian na sila. Wala na silang kailangan, sila yung nakakatulong sa atin sa kanilang mga dasal sa Siyos dahil kapiling na sila ng Diyos.

    Ngayong araw, All Saints Day, ang ating atensiyon ay naka-focus sa mga nasa langit. At bukas, All Souls Day, ang ating atensiyon naman ay naka-focus sa mga banal sa purgatory.

    Minsan, si Hesus ay tinanong, “Marami po baa ng maliligtas?” Hindi ito sinagot ni Hesus ng diretso. Ang sabi lang niya ay, “Magsikap kayong pumasok sa daan na makipot kasi malawak ang daan papunta sa kapahamakan.” Ang tanong na ito kung marami ba ang maliligtas ay sinasagot sa ating ngayon sa Unang Pagbasa natin na galing sa Aklat ng Pahayag, the Book of Revelation, ang huling aklat sa Bibliya.

    Ang Aklat ng Pahayag ay gumagamit ng maraming mga simbolo. Nilarawan ni Juan, ang manunulat, ang kanyang pangitain sa langit. Doon nakaupo sa trono ang Diyos kasama ang Korderong sugatan, si Hesus na inalay. Sila ay sinasamba ng apat na nilalang na buhay na sumasagisag sa mga  kapangyarihan sa mundo – ang Toro ay kumakatawan sa kalakasan; ang Leon ay kumakatawan sa katapangan; ang Tao ay kumakatawan sa katalinuhan; at ang Agila ay kumakataawan naman sa kaliksihan at katayugan.

    Kasama nila sa pagsamba sa Diyos ay ang 24 elders na kumakatawan naman sa mga namumuno sa panahon ng lumang tipan at bagong tipan. Sumasamba sila sa Dyos na niluluwalhati sa langit. At kasama nila ang 144,000 na nakasuot na puti na may tatak sa noo at may hawak na mga palaspas, tanda ng tagumpay.

    Ang 144,000 ay twelve times twelve times one thousand. Ang bilang na one thousand sa Bibliya ay sumasagisag sa maraming marami. Ang unang twelve ay kumakatawan sa twelve tribes of Israel. At ang pangalawang twelve ay sa twelve apostles ng bagong tipan.

    Kaya ang 144,000 ay nagpapahiwatig ng napakaraming mga kaluluwa ng naligtas mula sa panahon nglumang tipan hanggang sa panahon ng bagong tipan na sila’y galing sa lahat ng lahi, sa lahat ng lenguwahe, sa lahat ng mga tao. Nilinis sila sa dugo ng Kordero na namatay para sa kanila kaya nakasuot sila ng puti.

    Ngayon ay kapistahan ng Todos Los Santos, lahat ng mga banal sa langit, all the saints. Pinapakita sa atin na marami ang maliligtas. Marami ang nasa langit. Hindi nasayang ang dugo ni Hesus. Ito ay mabisa kaya ang kabanalan ay para sa lahat.

    Let us be confident about salvation. Lahat tayo’y tinatawag na maging banal dahil sa lahat tayo ay tinatawag sa kaligtasan. Hindi naman tayo makakapunta sa Diyos na banal kung hindi tayo banal. Kaya sikapin natin na maging banal dahil sa iyan ang plano ng Diyos sa bawat isa sa atin. At ang kabanalan ay hindi lang kapag namatay na tayo. Ngayon pa lang inaalok na sa atin ang kabanalan.

    Alam po natin ang kalagayan natin sa buhay ngayon ay pangsamantala lang, pang mundo lang – ang ating trabaho, ang ating posisyon, ang ating pamilya, ang aking pagiging obispo, ang iyong pagiging tatay, ang iyong pagiging manager, lilipas ang mga ito. At ang mga ito ay mga tulay lamang para maging banal tayo at makapunta sa langit kung saan tayo lahat ay tinatawag.

    Noong kami ay bata pa at palagay ko’y ito’y karanasan din ng mga may edad na, hindi ko makalimutan ang pina-memorize sa amin sa katesismo. Isa sa mga unang tanong ay, “Bakit ka nilikha ng Diyos?” Ang sagot ay, “Ako ay nilikha ng Diyos upang maging banal para maging masaya kasama ng Diyos dito sa lupa at doon sa langit.”

    Bata pa kami idinidiin na sa amin ang layunin ng buhay kung saan tayo patutungo. Sa kapistahan natin ngayon, hinihiling sa atin na tumingala tayo. Para doon tayo at napakaganda ang langit. St. Paul wrote, “I consider that the sufferings of the present times are as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed to us.”

    Masusulit ang lahat ng effort natin. Kaunting langit na, Sulit na ang lahat. At lahat tayo’y may karapatan sa langit dahil sa tayo ay mga anak ng Diyos. Yan ang sinabi ni San Pablo sa ating ikalawang pagbasa, “Kaya nabubuksan ang langit sa atin dahil sa binyag. Ang karangalan natin ay tayo’y anak ng Diyos.”

    Maaaring hindi pa natin na-a-appreciate ngayon ang ating pagiging anak ng Diyos. Pero doon sa langit ay lalabas ang ating tunay na karangalan at kaningningan. Magiging tulad talaga tayo ni Hesus. Makikiisa talaga tayo sa kanyang kaluwalhatian. Hangarin po natin yan.

    Hindi lang pinakita ni Hesus kung saan tayo pupunta. Ipinakita rin niya ang paraan. At ito nga ang narinig natin sa ating ebanghelyo, the Beatitudes. These are the formulas, how to be holy and be happy, now and here after. Kakaiba ito sa mga formula ng kaligayahan na binibigay sa atin ng mundo at nakasanayan nating hanapin. Para sa marami, magiging masaya at masuwerte tayo kung tayo ay mayaman, makapangyarihan na sinisunod ng iba, nabubuhay sa layaw, pinipuri at kinatatakutan ng mga tao. Kakaiba yan sa narinig natin na sinabi ni Hesus, “Mapalad kayo, masuwerte kayo, magiging masaya kayo kapag kayo ay dukha, tumatangis, mababa ang loob, maawain, naghahangan ng katarungan, malinis ang puso, nagsisikap sa kapayapaan, inuusig at iniinsulto.”

    Bakit tayo mapalad? Ang Diyos mismo ang magpapaligaya sa inyo. Ang tunay at tatagal na kaligayahan ay hindi yung inaabot natin, kinukuha natin, ating achievement kundi iyung ibinibigay sa atin ng Diyos. May tiwala ba tayo? May kababaang loob ba tayo na tanggapin ito?

    Ngayong Undas hindi tayo makakapunta sa sementeryo pero maipagpapatuloy ang dahil bakit tayo pumupunta sa sementeryo. Bakit nga ba? Para sama samang maalaala ang mga yumao natin. Ito’y pinapakita natin sa ating pagsama sama bilang pamilya at sa ating pagdarasal.

    Magagawa din antin ang mga ito kahit hindi tayo makapunta sa sementeryo. Pwede parin tayong magsama sama bilang pamilya. Magkaroon ng family reunion sa dalawang araw na ito. Pwede tyong magkaroon ng handaan sa bahay at pg-usapan ang ating mga yumao. Our memories about our beloved dead unite us not only with them but with each other.

    Pwede pa din tayong sama samang magdasal kaya hinihikayat natin ang mga katoliko na magsimba sa araw ng Nov. 1 at Nov. 2. The Holy Mass is the best prayer that we can offer. At pwede din tayong magdasal ng rosary bilang pamilya sa mga yumao natin.

    Kung gusto nating magtirik ng kandila, pwede natin itong gawin sa mga simbahan natin. The lighting of candles is a symbol of our burning faith in God and our ardent love for our beloved dead.

    At maaari parin tayong pumunta sa sementeryo, any day of November after November 4. Ang plenary indulgence of visiting cemeteries has been extended to the whole month of November. And any time during the month of November na tayo’y pumunta sa simbahan na magdasal para sa mga yumao at magdasal sa intention ng Santo Papa, ay nakakatanggap din tayo ng indulgence.

    Ang hindi natin pagpunta sa sementeryo ngayong Undas ay nagpapalalim ng kahulugan at kaugalian natin sa Undas. Yan ay alaala sa ating mga yumao na patuloy tayong pinag-iisa bilang pamilya sa ating pagdarasal at pagsamba sa Diyos at sa ating hangarin na maging banal at magkita kita muli sa langit.

    Kapag dinadala po yung mga patay sa simbahan pagkatapos na mamisahan at nabendisyunan, may isang ritwal po ng pagbebendisyon at pamamaalam sa mga patay. Ito’y gustong gusto ko ang dasal na ito. At ganito po ang nilalaman ng ganitong dasal:

    “Paalam sayo kapatid na pumanaw, mapasapiling ka nawa ng Poong Maykapal. Ang pagpapala ng Diyos ay baunin mo, sa paraiso magkikitang muli tayo. Samahan ka ng mga santo, kahit na may nauuna, tayo rin ay magsasama upang lagi tayong lumigaya sa piling ng Diyos Ama. Amen.”
    (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Radio Veritas and Caritas Manila hold Oplan Damayan Telethon


    Radio Veritas, the Catholic radio station of the Archdiocese of Manila and Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the archdiocese will launch Caritas OPLAN Damayan telethon tomorrow, Wednesday for the victims of super typhoon Rolly.

    The theme of the telethon is “Thriving in Crisis thru Faith and Charity” that will run from 7 in the morning to 6 in the evening. Part of the Telethon will also be aired on TV Maria from 1 pm to 3 pm to reach more people who may contribute to fundraising.


    According to the latest report, about 400,000 people have fled and remained in evacuation centers while 20 people have been killed in the typhoon.

    Initially, Caritas Manila has set aside one million pesos for the dioceses severely damaged by the super typhoon or 200 thousand pesos each for the archdiocese of Caceres and the dioceses of Daet, Virac, Legazpi and Gumaca.

    At the height of the typhoon Rolly, Caritas Manila and other church institutions have called for prayers and help for the families who were victims of the typhoon. Churches also opened its doors as evacuation centers and serve as temporary shelters for the victims.

    For those who would like to pledge donations, please get in touch with Radyo Veritas, at telephone number 8925-7931 to 39 or text 0918-837-4827. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • The Unknown Journey of the Ninth Filipino Cardinal from Capiz, Cardinal-elect Jose F. Advincula Jr., D.D. - - By Msgr. Regie A. Pamposa



    THE UNKNOWN CARDINAL-ELECT

    When news broke past 7:00 pm Philippine time on October 25, 2020, that Archbishop Jose F. Advincula Jr., D.D., was named by Pope Francis as one of the 13 new cardinals from all over the world, the relatively small and less prominent but humble province of Capiz was more than surprised and thrilled, rather skeptical to some extent, if such news is real.


    On late Sunday afternoon, the skies of Roxas City turned dark because of the impending landfall of typhoon Quinta in the Bicol region. Heavy rains fell around 5:00 pm and most people were forced to stay home, some getting ready for an early Sunday dinner. But around 7:00 pm, news about a new cardinal from Capiz started to swell in the social media. All of a sudden, a surge of queries arose about an unknown and hardworking Capizeño archbishop becoming one of the newly elected cardinals.

    Seemingly stunned and in utter disbelief that his name is included in the list of new cardinals, Monsignor Joe became the focus of the incessant barrage of text messages, calls and congratulatory messages in social media. Could it not be a hoax, a prank, or a late April Fools’ Day? He later quipped. It can be a mispronunciation or a case of mistaken identity, according to him, for there are other bishops in the Visayas region carrying the name Jose: Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo of Jaro, Iloilo, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, and Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc of Kalibo.

    His companion-priests, Fathers Anthony Baustista and Mico Dellera, however, were quick to verify the news with their smartphones. In a few seconds, the recorded video clip of Pope Francis at the veranda of the Vatican apartment in Rome was played. And the pope, speaking in Italian, was unmistakably clear: Monsignor Jose Advincula, arcivescovo di Capiz, Filippine. Roma locuta est, Rome has spoken, the new Filipino cardinal-elect is no less than the humble, simple, unassuming but hard-working Capizeño archbishop, the Most Rev. Jose F. Advincula Jr., the ninth Filipino cardinal.

    Minutes later, the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Capiz, Monsignor Cyril Villareal, and some priests rushed to the archbishop’s residence where the newly elected cardinal, who just finished his dinner and was about to pray, remained calm and utterly overwhelmed, without any hint of entitlement or aggrandizement. He later admitted, in a live one-on-one interview with Father Emilio Arbatin, that the honor of being chosen as a cardinal is not all his, but a recognition as well of the pastoral work of his priests and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Capiz.  

    That fateful night of October 25, Sunday, was by far a historic moment, but surely one of his longest nights, as Archbishop Advincula was slowly absorbing and musing as well, not about the new title and honor bestowed on him, but the corresponding responsibility and expectations that lie ahead. Thus, a new journey for the cardinal-elect, at 68, begins to unfold.

     

    MONSIGNOR JOAD

    As the third Archbishop of Capiz, having succeeded the late Archbishop Onesimo C. Gordoncillo, Jose Cardinal-elect F. Advincula Jr., D.D., suddenly rose to prominence, hogging the limelight both in local and national news, including the social media. The nation celebrates in jubilation the election of another Filipino to the much respected cardinalate together with the cardinal-elect of Washington, D.C., U.S.A., and other countries. Notably, no Filipino cleric had made it to the list of new cardinals in the past three consistories summoned by Pope Francis. The last Filipino cardinal-elect was His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, of Cotabato but who is no longer eligible to vote in the next papal conclave having reached the age of 80.

    Everyone else cannot but be more than overjoyed and exceedingly proud that a Capizeño has been chosen as the newest Filipino cardinal, joining the ranks of illustrious and well-known Filipino prelates who have served and graced the Philippine Church and the country, namely, Rufino Santos of Pampanga, Julio Rosales of Samar, Jaime Sin of Aklan, Ricardo Vidal of Marinduque, Jose Sanchez of Catanduanes, Gaudencio Rosales of Batangas, Luis Antonio Tagle of Cavite, and Orlando Quevedo of Ilocos Norte and South Cotabato.

    Capiz, whose capital is Roxas City, the birthplace of the fifth president of the Philippines, Manuel A. Roxas, is a relatively small and laid-back province. On the other hand, the Archdiocese of Capiz, a less-prominent ecclesiastical province with two suffragan dioceses, Kalibo (Aklan) and  Romblom, comprises 64 parishes and missions station churches, with more or less 135 priests including a few religious priests and sisters. To many Capizeños, the cardinal-elect is simply known as Monsignor Joe, while most priests and former seminarians from Capiz, Aklan, Romblon, Iloilo, Bacolod, Kabankalan, San Carlos, Antique, including those from Pangasinan, Vigan, and other parts of northern Luzon simply call him Fr. Joad or Apo Joe, an abbreviation of his long name JOSE LAZARO FUERTE ADVINCULA  JR.

    A story goes that when Father Joe was assigned as professor at St. Joseph Regional Seminary of the Archdiocese of Jaro, Iloilo, there was another priest-professor whose name was also Jose, the former rector of the said seminary. He is no less than Monsignor Jose Palma, the current archbishop of Cebu.  To dispel the confusion between the two Joses, shorter names were used; thus, the then Father Jose Advincula became “Joad” and the former Father Jose Palma was fondly called “Jopal.” Almost two decades later, these two endearing priest-formators have emerged in the Philippine Church as equally important not only for their leadership in the see or territory they represent, but also for their exemplary service to the Church in various capacities as professor, seminary rector, and pastor of some parishes.

     

    FR. TETING

    Monsignor Joad comes from the town of Dumalag, Capiz, a deeply religious town that has also produced another revered local church leader, Archbishop Antonio F. Frondosa, D.D., the first archbishop of Capiz, who ordained another cardinal, the well-loved Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, former archbishop of Manila. Dumalag can now rightly claim its historical importance in the local history of Capiz and the nation as well, for it has now produced a cardinal of the Church, famously called “prince of the Church.”

    Cardinal Joad was born on March 30, 1952. His parents were the late Jose “Toting” Firmalino Advincula and Carmen “Inday” Falsis Fuerte. Blessed with 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls, the Dumalagnon couple, through hard work and diligence, managed to provide all twelve children with more than modest education. Two daughters have become doctors of medicine, namely, Dr. Anafe Lustre and Dr. Consolacion Feca; and one, a doctor of dentistry, Dr. Fatima Fajardo; Carmela, the fourth daughter, is an architect; two sisters became respected teachers: Josefa Dimalanta, formerly affiliated with St. Paul’s University, Manila, and Coronacion Grant, now in Canada. The Advincula boys are equally successful in their chosen fields: the late Felixberto was a mechanical engineer; the late Antonio, a chemical engineer; and Candelario, an electronics technician.

     

    PRIESTLY LINEAGE

    But what truly makes the Advincula family of Toting and Inday astonishingly remarkable is the fact that three of the 12 siblings became priests, namely, the older brother, the late Monsignor Benjamin called “Manong Ben,” Rev. Fr. Neil Peter or “Petbong,” the youngest among the twelve siblings, presently the parish priest of Cuartero, Capiz, and Fr. Jose Jr., also known as “Teting,” the cardinal-elect.

    Vocation to the priesthood is always a rare gift from God to a family, but the family of Toting and Inday Advincula seems to have gotten a better portion of such gift, for two of Monsignor Joe’s maternal uncles were also distinguished priests of the Archdiocese of Capiz. They were: the late Monsignor Sinforiano Fuerte, his mother’s only brother, who became the longest serving rector of Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion in Roxas City, and the late Monsignor Edmundo Fuerte, his mother’s first cousin, the longest serving rector of the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City.

    Another maternal first cousin is a priest, the Rev. Fr. Antonio Fuerte Arinquin, now a team minister member of the parish of Dumarao, Capiz.

    Father Teting finished his elementary studies at Dumalag Elementary School and completed his high school studies as salutatorian in 1968 and a college degree in 1972 at the venerable St. Pius X Seminary in Roxas City, the same institution once headed by the legendary Cardinal Sin, its first rector in 1957. The young Father Teting was a Latin student of then Father Jaime L. Sin. Literally, Father Teting sat at the feet of a cardinal of the Church who himself was considered a local missionary of Capiz prior to his appointment as rector. Decades later Cardinal Sin, born in Aklan but ordained for the Diocese of Capiz, was the rightful choice to deliver the homily during the episcopal ordination of Bishop Joe on September 8, 2001 at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City, Capiz.

    If he were alive today, the ever-ebullient Cardinal Jaime Sin would be beaming with pride as his former high-school Latin student now joins the ranks of cardinals. Maybe Cardinal Sin could have said it better: “arriba, Joe”!

     

    A COMPANION AND FRIEND

    After his ordination to the priesthood on April 4, 1976 having completed his theological studies at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila and priestly formation at the Central Seminary of the same university, Father Joe, the young priest, returned to his alma mater as professor and spiritual director. There Father Joe manifested his charism in dealing with high school and college seminarians aged 12 to 20. He was not just considered by most seminarians as a Latin teacher or Philosophy professor in Logic but, most of all, as a spiritual director who joyfully found time in listening to their worries and cries (literally) of homesickness, of being away from their parents and families. The young Father Joe was a priest whom the seminarians could easily relate to, someone who would joke with them like a friend inside and outside the classroom, but who would also offer constant words of encouragement.

    Father Joe, feeling a sense of inadequacy of being spiritual director at a young age, pursued a degree in Master of Arts in Education, major in Guidance and Counselling at De La Salle University in Manila that further helped him become a better priest-counselor and spiritual director to many seminarians. Through the years, the Pians, the name given to seminarians of St. Pius Seminary, have found a friend, a mentor, and an older brother, as Father Joe would sometimes call some of them not just by their first names but even by their parents’ names. This has made Father Joe truly endearing to many PIANs beyond the walls of the seminary.

    One enduring characteristic of the new cardinal-elect is his pursuit for what is best. It seems Cardinal Joe cannot afford to be lackadaisical in his pastoral ministry either as a simple priest or a less-known bishop.

    His ministry at St. Pius X Seminary, however, was cut short after he was asked by the late Archbishop Frondosa, his townmate, to study in Rome in 1984. God must have other plans for him. While residing at Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, he enrolled at the Pontificia Universita di San Tomaso, known as the Angelicum, for a degree in Canon Law, the same university where St. John Paul II also studied.

    Returning to the country in 1990, the then Father Joe was given an assignment so far away from Capiz. He was appointed canon law professor, spiritual director, and dean of studies of the Immaculate Conception School of Theology, the regional seminary of northern Luzon, in Vigan, Ilocus Sur. He was definitely back to his original love!  For the meantime, Capiz had to wait for his much anticipated come back. Though miles away from Capiz, he reckoned the thought of serving once again his home diocese.  

    After serving the Archdiocese of Vigan for three years, everyone thought that the Father Joe would finally come back to Capiz. But God sent him to another place though closer to Capiz. He was appointed professor and spiritual director of St. Joseph Regional Seminary of the Archdiocese of Jaro in Iloilo from 1993 to 1995.

    But being away from home was an opportunity for Father Joe to be acquainted with other priests from the whole Panay Island, Region VI, Negros, and the northern parts of the Philippines. He must have covered and travelled the entire archipelago! Until today, Cardinal-elect Joe  can carry a conversation in Ilocano and Cebuano. He amazingly possesses the gift of language and is blessed with a sharp memory. One may bet that, at 68, he can still recall the intricate Latin conjugations or even win a scrabble match.

     

    AUDIAM

    His episcopal motto, “Audiam” (I will listen), explains everything that Archbishop Joe does, a bishop who loves to listen, truly a discerning leader in times of crises and trials. He never gets tired of listening to his priests, seminarians, religious, and lay people in their moments of difficulties. Never quick to judge, he avoids being biased to any priest. He epitomizes an all-embracing kind of person shunning no one, giving each one a chance to be heard or listened to.

    In most monthly meetings of priests that sometimes run for more than four hours, Archbishop Joe patiently listens without losing his thought and composure, except for a bathroom break, a result perhaps of drinking too much coffee around 6:00 am, that has become his daily routine, aside from an early jog or walk around the seminary grounds surrounded by lush and tall trees. He gladly boasts that a one-hour jog energizes and prepares him for the daily grind. For instance, he would even take a quick jog at the Luneta Park, whenever he was in Manila for meetings with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as former member of its permanent council and head or member of other episcopal committees.

     

    PASSION FOR NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT

    Monsignor Joe has always been a lover of nature and environment. Up to this day, he can still identify and even name the numerous trees he once planted in the college seminary in Brgy. Cagay, Roxas City, with instructions to preserve them. In his younger years as a priest, Monsignor Joe loved to trek mountains and hills. When in the States, for instance, he would first look for mountains or hiking trails or, at least, an open park where he could jog or walk. Seldom would he look for a shopping mall, except for a sporting store where he could buy his running shoes and shorts.

    As the first rector of Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium in 1999, the major seminary of the Archdiocese of Capiz, Monsignor Joe would spend his weekends together with some seminarians and priests trekking the mountains of Tapaz that, unknown to many, brought the newly elected cardinal to be in contact with the Tapaz Bukidnons, the indigenous people of Capiz. Because of those mountain hikes, his passion for years, the would-be cardinal literally saw the sad plight of poor people in far-flung areas; and thus, recognizing the need not only to evangelize but also to help them. This is actually called the culture of encounter espoused by modern theologians as a means of bringing the gospel message to diverse people and culture. Up to this day, Archbishop Joe still shares his dream of having indigenous songs being sung in the local Church of Capiz.

     

    TRAILBLAZING WITH MONSIGNOR JOE

    Way back in 1995, Father Joe came home quietly after a long journey of seminary assignments outside the province of Capiz. He was immediately appointed rector of St. Pius X Seminary upon the retirement of Monsignor Daniel Viloria. Father Joe went back where he once belonged and where it all started.

    As the sixth rector of St. Pius X Seminary starting in 1995, Monsignor Joe persuasively and patiently introduced some radical changes in the seminary life and formation of young seminarians. Foremost of which was his emphasis on community life of seminary priests by having common recreations and annual outings. Notably, Monsignor Joe instilled to younger seminarians the need to break the so-called culture of seniority so prevalent at that time.

    Heeding the call of the late Archbishop Onesimo C.  Gordoncillo, D.D., the second archbishop of Capiz, who had already foreseen in 1995 the need of a separate building for college and theology seminarians in Capiz, Monsignor Joe supported and helped such initiative. His immediate proposal to send priests abroad for higher studies in theology and philosophy in preparation for seminary and school assignments showed his impeccable sense of foresight often seen in his ministry. He certainly thinks ahead as a leader. Inevitably, he became the first rector of Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium when it formally opened in September 1999.

    In February 2000, however, he was given his first and only pastoral assignment as parish priest of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva in Dao, Capiz. But after a year or so, a new journey began to unfold. Monsignor Joe was appointed bishop of San Carlos Diocese, Negros Occidental on July 25, 2001 by St. Pope John Paul II and was ordained bishop on September 11, 2001. It looks as if his ministry as a priest is filled with journeys outside and inside the Archdiocese of Capiz, or one may say, a continuing journey.

    Fast forward to 2012, Monsignor Joe made his third homecoming to Capiz, after serving so well the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental from September 2001 to 2012, where he initiated the building of ten mission churches and three mission schools in far-flung or mountain areas. He gladly recalled those experiences climbing mountains just to reach a particular mission church. In many ways, prior to Pope Francis, Bishop Joe has already assimilated the meaning of going to peripheries.

    On January 12, 2012, the province of Capiz did not just welcome a distinguished son but also witnessed the installation of the third archbishop of Capiz, the Most Rev. Jose F. Advincula Jr., having been appointed archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI on November 9, 2011. And immediately, new things and perspectives in leadership in the Church of Capiz began to reverberate among priests and laypeople. The late Leny Mabasa, a lay papal awardee, once mused in Hiligaynon: sa pag-abot ni Monsignor Joe, maga-arriba gid ang Capiz (with the arrival of Monsignor Joe, Capiz will soar high). Those words proved prophetic. Sadly, Leny Mabasa, the generous donor of the lot where the Cagay Seminary now stands, died a year before Monsignor Joe became a cardinal. May he rest in peace. A cardinal is now praying for him.

     

    MISSION STATION CHURCHES IN CAPIZ SINCE 2012

    Archbishop Joe’s first meeting in 2012 with the Clergy of Capiz, about 120 priests at that time, was rather more prophetic if not monumental. Usually priests expect to get new parish assignments upon the assumption of a new bishop in a particular diocese. But Archbishop Joe’s first announcement was nothing but the creation of mission station churches all over the archdiocese.

    Enriched by his pastoral experience in the Diocese of San Carlos, he is convinced that the creation of small and new churches in the mountains and far-flung barangays in the whole province of Capiz will bring the Church closer to the people and that the priests themselves will become more available to the people. He would often repeat one pastoral reminder to all his priests: not to be comfortable but readily available for people. In many ways, Archbishop Joe has stirred and eventually molded a new pastoral approach for the Church of Capiz. He remains hopeful that someday Capiz will hold its first ever diocesan synod in celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines come 2021.

    The establishment of mission churches is no less daunting for it requires financial and human resources, including the much feared breaking up of bigger parishes into small churches in some towns. But all of a sudden, growing interest and excitement ensued among laypeople upon hearing the news of having a new church nearer and closer to them. Thus, some well-meaning and generous Capizeños started to donate a portion of their lot for the construction of mission churches while most people worked hand-in-hand with their mission station-priests in various fundraising initiatives such as fun-run, raffle tickets, offering of rice-produce, selling of shirts, candles, and solicitations both here and abroad. The mission station churches have reinvigorated the whole Church of Capiz as laypeople have become more involved and participative in Church activities. Significantly, mission station churches have contributed to the growth of vocation to the priesthood, as more young men from far places or barangays have become interested in entering the seminary.

    In a span of eight years, 29 mission station churches were erected and built in far places and remote towns across the 17 municipalities of the province of Capiz. Today, the Archdiocese of Capiz boasts of 64 parishes. Archbishop Joe has increased the number of churches in less than eight years, a phenomenal growth indeed, from 35 to 64 churches. More than these, the gospel message of Christ has been brought closer to many people in far-flung, remote, obscure, and poor places. Silently yet effectively, the urgent call of Pope Francis, at the beginning of his pontificate, of bringing the Church to the peripheries finds its clearest expression in the evangelizing and trailblazing efforts of Archbishop Joe together with the clergy and the faithful of Capiz.

     

    THE PRIESTS HE LOVES

    Another expression of renewal introduced by Archbishop Joe in Capiz can be gleaned from his overarching concern towards the welfare of his priests, particularly by paying attention to the needs of old, sick, and retired priests. For this purpose, he established a religious group called Merciful Missionaries of St. Joseph to work in Capiz to primarily take care of the old, sick, and retired priests. He spearheaded the construction of a two-story facility called Lolek’s Home located inside the compound of St. John Paul II Parish in Roxas City. With the generous support and donation of Capizeños, benefactors, friends from abroad, and various fundraising activities of priests and parishes, the dream will soon become a reality.

    His concern and love for the clergy is as palpable and tangible as that of a father for his children. He would personally visit his priests in hospitals or sick beds, and even be at the side of his dying priest. He never hesitates to make an unannounced visit to a particular parish for a cup of coffee or join a simple birthday lunch for his priest. He would always make himself available by being the mass presider during parish fiestas or Misa de Gallo in far places or towns. In several instances, he did not mind waking up as early as 2:00 am just to be on time for the celebration of the Eucharist for people in far-flung parishes and newly created mission churches. Like a true shepherd to his flock, Archbishop Joe shares the joys, hurts, and trepidation of his priests. He was, for instance, exuberant when Monsignor Victor B. Bendico, the former vicar general of the Archdiocese of Capiz, was appointed Bishop of Baguio in 2017.

    Archbishop Joe’s love for his priests goes beyond the construction of a retirement home for them. Starting in 2012, he carefully planned out the continuing education and formation of his priests after ordination. Though scant in financial resources, he sends priests to various universities in Manila and abroad. He is convinced that continuing education of the clergy is needed for seminaries and schools. Aside from the usual pontifical degrees pursued by priests, Archbishop Joe encourages his priests to enroll in other sciences including civil law that would eventually help the Church of Capiz. As of now, some priests have already taken courses in Educational Management either at De La Salle University, the University of Sto. Tomas, the University of the Philippines, or St. Paul’s University. Recently, two priests have already earned their professional licenses as civil engineer and architect respectively. Despite the high cost of education abroad, he does not stop sending Capizeño priests to Rome, where one of his young priests has been admitted recently to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the school of future diplomats, papal delegates and nuncios of the Roman Catholic Church. A first in the history of the Church of Capiz.

    Archbishop Joe’s vision for the Church goes well beyond the peripheries. Aside from parochial or domestic concerns, he truly understands the universality of the Church. One, then, should not be surprised to accidentally meet a Capizeño priest studying in the famous University of Vienna or another Capizeño priest serving a diocese either in the US mainland, Guam, or England.  These priests were all sent by Archbishop Joe to other dioceses needing immediate help due to scarcity of priests abroad. At one point, he even mentioned of sending Capizeño priests to Africa as missionaries.

     

    CRISES AND DEVELOPMENT

    The international Tyhoon Yolanda in 2013 had also brought havoc to many churches and institutions under the Archdiocese of Capiz. Hours after the landfall of the said typhoon, Archbishop Joe was already calling almost all his priests, expressing solidarity and concern for those whose rectories and churches had been badly damaged. Even when national roads remained impassable, Archbishop Joe hastened to assess the actual situation on the ground by visiting churches and schools affected by the typhoon. Unknown to many, the Archbishop Joe’s residence, particularly his room, was also heavily damaged-- he himself did not know where he would stay in the following days or months.

    But the calamity has unraveled Archbishop’s Joe servant-leadership with a sense of prophetic urgency to rise above every dire situation. Wasting no time, he indefatigably looked for funds by appealing to various funding and charitable agencies and dioceses for the rebuilding of churches all over Capiz. At one point, he went abroad to personally appear before international agencies like Caritas Italiana and Caritas Vienna, armed with a development plan for the rebuilding of the Archdiocese of Capiz. Indeed, his efforts were not futile; the Archdiocese of Capiz providentially received grants and donations from abroad, countries like Italy, the United States of America, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, among others.

    Through a systematic planning creatively crafted and executed by Fr. Mark Granflor, the Social Action Director of the Archdiocese of Capiz, various housing projects in poor parishes badly hit by the typhoon were implemented, coupled with several livelihood programs for sustainability. Added to this program was the construction of three evacuation centers in typhoon-prone parishes and a new vocational and technical school for out-of-school youth and those people who cannot afford a formal college education. This newly created school is named after Archbishop Joe’s favorite saint, of course, his namesake, St. Joseph, the silent and hardworking carpenter.

     

    THE LAST JOURNEY

    One may think that Archbishop Joe, at 68, deserves to rest, a respite after all these pastoral initiatives he has endeavored throughout his episcopal ministry. Or, it is but natural for him to anticipate, as he often does in most things, his retirement. That could have been his final journey, so to speak, just fading quietly away from public ministry. He envisions a serene and rustic area planted with trees, vegetables, and perhaps raising native chicken at his backyard. Surely, he is looking forward to a place where he can still walk with verdant and tall trees around.

    However, far from the least he expects, he braces for another journey soon to begin come November 28, 2020 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome when the Holy Father, Pope Francis, during the ordinary consistory of cardinals, hands him a red hat, a symbol of martyrdom and willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the Church and not for any pomp or grandeur.

    On that day, we Filipinos here and abroad will be watching an unknown archbishop of Capiz and the ninth Filipino cardinal dressed in full regalia fit for a prince of the Church, as they say. He will be marching solemnly towards the altar, where the remains of a once hesitant but nevertheless courageous fisherman from Galilee, an apostle named Peter chosen by Christ to lead the Church, will stand as a silent witness to the unknown journey of another Filipino cardinal, His Eminence Jose Cardinal Fuerte Advincula Jr., all the way coming from an unknown, far, and remote local church, the Archdiocese of Capiz, Philippines. Mabuhay si Cardinal Teting, Mabuhay ang Paring Pilipino!  

  • CBCP to Communication Ministers: Use social media to help people during Typhoon


    “I also ask all SocCom (Social Communications) ministries to help in the dissemination information regarding the forthcoming typhoon. Try your best to provide TRUE, TIMELY and USEFUL INFORMATION to our people.” This was the message of Most Rev. Marcelino Antonio Maralit, Jr., 

    head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ECSC) during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Most Rev. Marcelino Antonio Maralit, Jr., Head of CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Communications | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

     

    Bishop Maralit, who is also the bishop of the Diocese of Boac, has called on the social communications ministry of all the parishes in the country to make use of the media, particularly the social media, in disseminating information about typhoon Rolly for people to be informed and guided. Rolly is said to be the world’s strongest typhoon so far in 2020 according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

    The Bishop pointed out the importance of being prepared as well as being informed of the situation and the advisories from various agencies during times of calamities to ensure the safety of the people, emphasizing that it is more important than any of the material possessions.

    “Try your best to prepare what we can and please listen to the warnings being given. And always remember that your life is much more important than anything we may own,” said the Bishop.

    Bishop Maralit then urged the faithful to unite in prayer and ask God’s mercy and protection from the threats brought about by typhoon Rolly in the country.

    “Sa lahat po let us pray together and ask for the Almighty’s Loving protection that we may be saved from the threat of this coming typhoon. Let us entrust ourselves to our God, and believe that even if we are hit by this typhoon, our Lord, just like in any of the trials we have already gone through, would always give us the graces we need to get back on our feet. We will survive this together,” Bishop Maralit said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • San Felipe Neri Parish holds Holy-Win: Dress Like a Saint Contest


    "Para maging banal, magdasal at magkaroon ng mabuting asal," says Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar of San Felipe Neri Parish, in his homily during the Holy-Win: Dress Like A Saint Contest 2020.

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the parish held its 8th year of the contest on Friday, October 30, 2020.

    San Felipe Neri Parish holds its 8th year of Holy-Win: Dress Like a Saint contest on October 30, 2020, in commemoration of the feast of All Saints’ Day. | Photo by Dein de Leon/SPCPM-San Felipe Neri Parish

     

    While observing the health protocol guidelines of the community quarantine, participants ages 30-60 years old gathered representing the different ministries, areas, and organizations in the parish. And so in addition to their saintly costumes, they also wore facemasks, face shields and observed physical distancing.

    The event was concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM, presided over by Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang. After the Mass, the winners of the contest were announced and awarded.

    The Holy-Win: Dress Like A Saint-Contest has become a yearly activity of the parish where participants, including children, teenagers, and adults are dressed in saints’ vestments or costumes to commemorate the celebration of the "Hallowed Eve" or the Feast of All Saints. This was a response to the usual practice of wearing scary and horrific costumes of ghosts, witches, and other evil characters, which is not part of the Catholic tradition.

    It is not only a contest but an occasion that teaches everyone to be holy and not scary. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Quiapo Church cancels "Pahalik"


    The Manila City Government earlier announced the cancellation of the Black Nazarene Procession on January 9, 2021.  In line with this, Quiapo Church has also canceled its traditional veneration ("pahalik") of the image amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    The image of the Black Nazarene during the Traslacion 2019 | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     
    According to CBCP News, Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector and Parish Priest of the Minor Basilica of St. John the Baptist or Quiapo Church, said that the traditional kissing of the image or “pahalik” would be replaced with the viewing of the image or “pagtanaw” from the Church’s balcony for two weeks.

    “The pilgrim image of the Nazarene will be brought up to the balcony of the church fronting Plaza Miranda two weeks before the actual Feast Day,” said Msgr. Coronel.

    It will be the first time in history that the annual grand Traslacion has been canceled.

    Every January 9, thousands of devotees join the procession of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church. The kissing of the image is usually held a day before the Traslacion at the Quirino Grandstand.

    Last October 23, 2020, the city government of Manila and Quiapo Church have agreed to cancel the procession of the Black Nazarene for 2021.

    "There is no harm in having none for a year or two. Because they're still a hundred years, 50 years, 20 years, ten years, five years... to continue to practice 'yung pamana, 'yung kustumbre at 'yung pamamanata,” said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Vatican extends time for plenary indulgences for All Souls' Day




    Vatican has announced the extension of the plenary indulgences to avoid the influx of people in public places such as churches, cemeteries and columbaries.

    According to the Catholic News Agency, last October 23, 2020, a decree was signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, stating that indulgences can be acquired for the whole month of November.

    Indulgences are merits received through certain pious acts, which can help revoke temporal punishment caused by sin for those who have died.

    Cardinal Piacenza said that the new provisions were made after the bishops’ request of the extension of plenary indulgence given the importance of the commemoration of the feasts of All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. He also mentioned that live-streamed Masses were beneficial for those individuals who cannot attend the liturgy physically.

    “There is therefore a pursuit by the bishops to implement all possible solutions to bring people back to the Church, always respecting everything that needs to be done for the particular situation in which we unfortunately find ourselves,” said the Cardinal.

    With the penitentiary’s new decree, individuals who cannot go outside may still receive indulgences, while others may attend mass in the Churches and visit their departed loved ones, following the implemented health protocols.

    The decree also highlights the importance of the availability of the sacraments during the whole month of November.

    “For an easier attainment of divine grace through pastoral charity, this penitentiary earnestly prays that all priests endowed with the appropriate faculties offer themselves with particular generosity to the celebration of the sacrament of Penance and to administering Holy Communion to the sick,” according to the decree.

    Every November, Catholics have two traditional means of obtaining plenary indulgences for the souls: the faithful may receive full indulgence each day from November 1 to November 8 when they visit a cemetery to pray for the departed and fulfilled other conditions, and when they go to a church or an oratory to pray for the faithful departed on November 2, All Souls’ Day.

    These plenary indulgences had been extended throughout November to avoid large gatherings in public places that may expose the faithful to the risk of COVID-19. The indulgences can thus be obtained on any day in November.

    Those who cannot leave the house, on the other hand, including the elderly, the sick, the children, and others for serious reasons may receive indulgences by reciting prayers for the deceased in front of an image of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.

    One also must fulfill certain conditions such as: having a spirit detached from sin; going to confession; receiving the Eucharist; praying for the pope’s intentions; and being united spiritually with all the faithful. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Our Lady of Penafrancia Parish on October 25, 2020, Prisoner Awareness Sunday, at 10 am.


    Maraming beses sa mga Bible study na ginagawa ko, natanong ko ang mga umaattend, “Maaari bang utusan na mahalin ang isang tao? Mauutusan ba ang pag-ibig?” Almost all the time ang sagot ay, hindi.

    Ang pag-ibig sabi nila, ay dumadating na lang. kapag tinamaan ka ng pana ni Cupid, magmamahal ka, hindi na ito mapipigilan.

    Sa ganitong pananaw, ang nasa isip ng tao ay ang romantic love. Ito ay pag-ibig na nasa damdamin lang. At ang damdamin ay hindi mauutusan. Hindi ito maco-control pero ito ay hindi ang pag-ibig na siyang pinaka-sentro ng katuruan ni Jesus Christ.

    Ang center ng ating pagka-Kristiyano ay ang pag-ibig. Ang pinakamahalagang kautusan ay magmahal. Kaya mauutusan tayong umibig kasi ang pagmamahal ay wala lang sa damdamin o sa feeling. Ito ay nasa kalooban, nasa will. Ito ay dine-desisyunan natin. Dine-desisyunan kong magmahal. Mas maaasahan at mas malalim ang ganitong pag-ibig. Love is forever if we decide it to be so. It is a commitment.

    Ang kautusan ni Moses na matatagpuan natin sa Pentateuch o sa Torah, ang unang limang aklat ng Bibliya na siyang pinakamahalaga sa lumang tipan. Ito ang Bibliya ng mga Hudyo. Ito po ay naglalaman ng 613 laws. Napakaraming batas. Hindi ito magagampanan ng lahat kaya isa sa pinaka pinagdedesisyunan, pinagdidiskusyunan ng mga dalubhasa sa batas ng mga Hudyo ay, alin baa ng pinakamahalaga sa mga ito? Kung hindi naman masunod ang lahat ng 613 laws, at least sundin ang mahahalagang batas.


    Sinubok si Hesus ng kilalang guro sa Israel, “Alin ba ang pinakamahalgang batas?” Walang pasubali at walang pagdududa ang sagot ni Hesus, “Mahalin mo ang Diyos ng hiti sa lahat.” Ito po ay galing sa aklat ng Deutoronomyo, chapter 6, na nire-recite ng mga Hudyo ilang beses araw araw. Ang tawag sa dasal na ito ay “Shema Israel.” Makinig ka Israel, iisa lang ang Diyos, si Yahweh, ang Panginoon. Mahalin mo siya ng buong puso, ng buong kaluluwa at ng buong pag-iisip. Ang ibig sabihin, mahalin mo siya ng buong pagkatao mo.

    Isa lang ang tanong kay Hesus, ang pinakamahalagang utos. Hindi lang isa ang sagot ni Hesus kundi dalawa. Ibinigay niya ang pangalawang utos. Ang pangalawa ay tulad ng una, “Mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa tulad ng iyong sarili.” Galing naman ito sa aklat ng Levitico, chapter 19. Dalawa ang binigay ni Hesus kasi hindi makatatayo ang una ng wala ang pangalawa. Walang pag-ibig sa Diyos na walang pag-ibig sa kapwa.

    Kung walang sukatan ang pag-ibig sa Diyos sapagkat siya’y iisa lang at mahalin natin siya ng buong pagkatao natin, mayroon naming sukatan ang pag-ibig sa kapwa. Ang sukatan ay ang pag-ibig sa sarili. Ang ibig sabihin nito kung ano ang ibig mong gawin sayo, gawin mo sa iba. Ano ang ayaw mong gawin sayo, huwag mong gawin sa iba. Ibig mong unawaiin ka, unawain mo ang iba. Gusto mong pakinggan ka, pakinggan mo ang iba. Gusto mong igalang ka, igalang moa ng iba. Ayaw mong dayain ka, huwag mong dayain ang iba. Ayaw mong murahin ka, huwag mong murahin ang iba. Ayaw mong lamangan ka, huwag kang manglamang sa iba. Simple lang hindi ba?

    Paano ba natin mamahalin ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat? Unahin natin siya sa ating panahon. Paano mong masasabi na mahal mo siya ng higit sa lahat kung sa halip na magdasal, inuuna mo pa ang TV. Sa halip na magsimba, inuuna mo pa ang trabaho. Minamahal din natin ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat kung ang ating material resources, ang Diyos ang inuuna natin. May mga budget tayo para sa bahay, para sa kuryente at para sa iba pang mga bilihin.  Pero wala naman tayong budget para sa Diyos. Wala tayong inilaan o isinasantabi para sa Kanya. Kung may kontribusyon para sa simbahan, kung anon a lang ang mabunot, yan ang ibinibigay. Hirap nga ang mgataong magbigay ng tithing, ang hirap naman magbigay ng ikapo. Isa lang sa sampu ang maiibibigay natin. Ang siyam naman ay naiiwan sa atin. Akala ko ba mahal mo ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat?

    Isa pang paraan ng pagmamahal sa Diyos ay ang pagmamahal sa kapwa. Kaya hindi hiniwalay ni Hesus ang pag-ibig sa Diyos sa pag-ibig sa kapwa.

    St. John tells us in his first letter, “In this is love, not that we have love God but that He loved us and sent His son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us and His love is brought to perfection in us.”

    Kapag pag-ibig ang pinag-uusapan, ang unang dapat i-consider ay ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa atin. Mahal tayo ng Diyos. Totoo ba, mahal ba tayo ng Diyos? Paano natin alam na mahal Niya tayo? Ang madalas na sagot na binibigay sa akin ay, sapagkat buhay pa tayo, sapagkat malusog tayo wala tayong sakit. Kapag namatay na tayo, hindi tayo mahal ng Diyos? Kapag nagkasakit na tayo, hindi tayo mahal ng Diyos? Hindi. Ano man ang kalagayan natin mahal tayo ng Diyos at ang tanda, ibinigay niya si Hesus sa atin. Ganun tayo kamahal ng Diyos na ang the best niya, ang kanyang kaisa isang anak ay ibinigay niya sa atin. Dahil sa ganun ako kamahal, dapat kong mahalin ang aking kapwa.

    Hindi natin nakikita ang Diyos, paano natin siya mamahalin? Nakikita natin ang ating kapwa at kasama natin ang ating kapwa, kaya sa pagmamahal natin sa kanila nagiging ganap ang pag-ibig natin sa Diyos. Nagiging konkreto ang pag-ibig natin sa Diyos.

    Sino naman ang kapwang mamahalin natin? Sabi ni Jesus, “If you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not tax collector do the same? If you greet your brothers only, what is a unusal about that? Do not the pagans do the same? Love is not a close circuit affair. I love those who love me and are good to me and in turn they love me back.”

    Kaya ang kapwa na ating unang mamahalin ay iyung mga mahihina. Yung mga hindi pinapansin. Yung mga isinasang tabi, pinagsasamantalahan. Kaya nga sa ating First Reading na galing sa aklat ng Exodo, wina-warningan tayo na huwag natin pagsamantalahan ang mga vulnerablepeople na noong panahon ay ang mga dayuhan dahil sa wala silang kakampi. Ang mga balong babae wala nang asawa na katuwang, mga ulila, mga bata na wala nang magulang na magproprotekta sa kanila at ang mga mahihirap. Walang wala na sila sa buhay.

    Sa ating panahon ngayon pwede nating palawakin itong mga vulnerable people. Nandiyan yung mga matatanda na hindi na tinatanggap ng kanilang mga pamilya. Nandiyan yung mga bilanggo, nandiyan yung mga may kapansanan. Nandiyan yung mga HIV-AIDS victims. Sila po yung mga bago nang vulnerable ngayon. Huwag natin silang apihin at pagsamantalahan.

    Dalawang beses narinig sa maiksing pagbasa natin na kapag sila ay tmatawag sa Diyos at dahil sa wala naman silang kasama, kakampi, sa Diyos lamang sila tumatawag, pakikinggan sila ng Diyos sapagkat ang Diyos ay mahabagin.

    May isang mahalagang bagay na  dapat pansinin sa narinig natin na galing sa aklat ng Exodo – yung pagpautang ng may tubo.

    Ngayong panahon ng pandemic, maraming tao ay nawalan ng hanap buhay. One way to cope is to borrow. Kung ang kapwa ay nanghihiram dahil sa kahirapan, wala ng pagkain, may sakit. Hindi tama na magkakainterest pa tayo sa kanyang kagipitan sa buhay na tayo ay kikita dahil sa siya’y naghihirap. Iba ang nanghihiram para magtayo ng negosyo. Okay lang na makibahagi tayo sa kita ng ating pera na ginagamit niya pero huwag nating pagkakakitaan ang kahirapan ng iba.

    Ito ay totoo rin sa mga bansa. Kaya nananawagan ang Santo Papa at maraming mga world leaders na magkaroon ng debt cancellation. Tanggalin na ang mga utang ng mga mahihirap na bansa upang matugunan nila ang basic needs ng kanilang mga tao, mga gamut, mga pagkain kaysa magbayad ng interest o kaya ng utang sa mga malalaking bangko at mayayamang bansa.

    Tulad ng sinabi kanina sa simula ng misa, ngayon ay Prison Awareness Sunday. Ang mga bilanggo ay mga kapwa din natin na naisasangtabi na sila ay vulnerable kasi sila ay nakakulong at sila ay dapat din nating pansinin at mahalin. Kaya nandito sa atin yung mga pari na nagtratrabaho sa Prison Ministry sa ating RJ ministry natin. So, nandito yung mga madre, nandito yung mga BJMP, nandito yung ibang mga volunteers sa iba’t ibang mga jails natin upang  mabigyan ng tunay na rehabilitation ang ating mga bilanggo. Kasi kawawa ang kalagayan ng mga nasa bilangguan nating mga kapatid. Yan ay aabot sa hindreds of thousands.

    Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit ang kalagayan ng ating mga jails. Inhuman ang kanilang kalagayan. Siksikan, madumi, walang basic services, pinagsasamantalahan at kung minsan inaabuso pa. Dapat yun ay mga rehabilitation facilities ngunit people there are not rehabilitated at all. There is very little program for rehabilitation. At sila po’y nangangailangan ng tulong. They appreciate very much kahit na sabon lang o toothpaste na inaabot sa kanila.

    At si Hesus mismo pinahalagahan ang mga nasa piitan na sinabi niya, “Ako’y nasa bilangguan, dinalaw nyo ako. Halina sa kaharian na inihanda sa inyo. Ako’y nasa piitan, hindi nyo dinalaw, punta kayo sa impiyerno.”  Kaya ang prison ministry ay malaking bahagi ng gawain po ng ating simabahan sa ating pagsunod kay Hesus.

    Sabi ng iba, hayaan na ang mga bilanggo, masasamang tao yan. Dapat naman na sila’y parusahan. Mga kapatid, hindi po totoo na ang mga nandoon ay masasamang tao. Marami na nasa jails natin ay hindi naman dapat naroon. Sila’y biktima ng injustice. Marami sa kanila ay maliliit na tao na napagbintangan.

    At ito’y totoo, lalung lalo na sa mga political prisoners. And there are hundreds of political prisoners. They are there because of their political beliefs and they are victims of injustice done by law officers who plant evidences and make cases against them.

    Senator de Lima is a clear example of this. She is in detention for four years already without any conviction. Justice delayed is justice deied. At yan ay totoo hindi lang kay Senator de Lima, napakaraming mga nasa bilangguan na dapat ay wala na doon. Ang bagal ng takbo ng ating justice system kaya kumpulan sila sa mga bilangguan natin. Sana po alamin natin ang kanilang kalagayan at panindigan sila.

    Love is not just a romantic feeling. It is not just about feeling good. It is a commitment for the good. And there are so many who are uncomfortable on the Christian message of love of God and love of neighbor. This is why even today, Christianity is the most persecuted religion.

    Bakit naman uusigin, sisirain ang mga simbahan? Ikukulong ang mga tao na naniniwala at nagsisikap na isabuhay ang pag-ibig sa Diyos at pag-ibig sa kapwa. Tulad ng ginagawa nila sa China ngayon. Bakit? Dahil sa kung talagang mahal natin ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat, uunahin natin siya at ang kanyang mga utos. Ayaw yan ng mga regimes, mga systems at mga tao who claimed that they are the greatest.

    Bakit? Dahil sa kung mahal natin ang ating kapwa, lalo na ang mga pinagsasamantalahan, malalantad ang pang-aabuso na ginawa nila at ayaw yan ng mga nang-aabuso.

    Every Holy Mass is a celebration of love, how God love us so much in Christ Jesus. He gives Himself to us that we may live. At sinabi ni Hesus sa bagong tipan, “Magmahalan kayo tulad ng pagmamahal ko sa inyo. Ang sukatan ng pag-ibig ngayon ay hindi na pag-ibig natin sa ating sarili. Ngunit ang pag-ibig ni Hesus sa atin. At paano siya nagmahal? Ibinigay niya ang sarili niya sa atin. Kaya nakikinabang tayo dahil sa Siya’y nagbigay ng sarili niya.

    The fruit of this celebration is the deep consciousness that we are loved. Dahil sa ganoon tayo kamahal ng Diyos, mahalin natin ang bawat isa. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis names Filipino Archbishop among 13 new Cardinals


    His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of the Archdiocese of Capiz as among new Cardinals together with 12 others.

    The Pope made the announcement during his Sunday Angelus in the Vatican on October 25, 2020. The new cardinals will be elevated at a consistory on November 28, 2020.

    Cardinal-elect Archbishop Jose F. Advincula 

    Born on March 30, 1952, in Dumalig, Capiz, Archbishop Advincula was ordained priest on April 14, 1976. He completed his studies in Theology and Canon Law at the University of Santo Tomas.

    He was appointed bishop on July 25, 2000, and was consecrated on September 8, 2001. On November 9, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Archbishop of Capiz after the retirement of Archbishop Onesim Cordoncillo. He has been serving as Archbishop of Capiz since January 2012.

    According to Vatican News, nine of 13 new cardinals are “younger than 80” and therefore, have the right to participate in a future conclave,” and Archbishop Advincula will be one of them. Four others are older than 80 years of age.”

    Archbishop Advincula, according to CBCPNews becomes the ninth Filipino cardinal, following cardinals Orlando Quevedo, Luis Antonio Tagle, Gaudencio Rosales, Jose Sanchez, Ricardo Vidal, Jaime Sin, Julio Rosales and Rufino Santos.

    He will also be among the four current Filipino cardinals, alongside Rosales, Quevedo and Tagle. Both Rosales and Quevedo are over 80 and are no longer eligible to take part in a conclave.

    Here is the list of the 13 new cardinals: Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Maltese Bishop Mario Grech; Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Italian Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, who has served as the Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980; Archbishop Celestino Aós Braco of Santiago, Chile; Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda; Archbishop Jose Fuerte Advincula of Capiz, Philippines; Bishop Cornelius Sim, Vicar Apostolic of Brunei; Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice, former Rome auxiliary bishop and current Archbishop of Siena-Colle di Val d’Elsa-Montalcino, Italy; Fra Mauro Gambetti, Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi; Emeritus Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Permanent Observer Emeritus to the United Nations Office and Specialized Agencies in Geneva; and Enrico Feroci, parish priest of Santa Maria del Divino Amore at Castel di Leva, Rome. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Quiapo Church reminds devotees to follow health protocols amidst easing of restrictions


    Quiapo Church expressed their gratitude to the city government of Manila for allowing the increase of the number of attendees during a public celebration of the holy mass on October 21, 2020.

    Photo Credit - Quiapo Church


    According to Veritas News, Fr. Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church, acknowledged that the health protocols being implemented are actually very beneficially primarily for the faithful. He also mentioned that this is also a way for them to practice the new normal in the celebration of the Holy Masses, especially with the upcoming Simbang Gabi.

    “Maganda rin ngayon kasi, at least nasasanay na ang mga tao, madidisiplina ang tao sa pagpasok at paglabas ng simbahan. Inihahanda tayo para sa pagdating ng Simbang gabi medyo aware na sila at kung papano kumilos at paano ang galaw natin sa misa,” said Fr. Badong during an interview with Radio Veritas

    Fr. Badong expects that church-goers must always follow the health protocols despite the easing of restrictions in Manila to prevent the transmission of the virus.

    With the lowering of the level of the community quarantine being implemented, the people must become disciplined and accustomed to the safety health measures, such as wearing of face mask and face shield as well as observing physical distancing.

    Last October 19, 2020, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced that Churches in the city of Manila are now allowed at 30 percent seating capacity.

    This was after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s executive order authorizing the increase of the percentage of seating capacity in religious gatherings. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Caritas Germany sends support to Caritas Manila


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila received 100 thousand Euros cash assistance from Caritas Germany.

    The donation, according to a news post on the website of Radio Veritas, will be used for Caritas Damayan Emergency Food and Non-Food Assistance project for COVID-19 Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine Families of Caritas Manila that started on October 19, 2020.

    Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Executive Directo of Caritas Manila | Photo Credit to Caritas Manila Facebook Page 


    The program aims to provide assistance to more than 4,500 residents in Barangay 201 in Pasay City, more particularly in the territory covered by the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, which is one of the areas declared to have the most number of families affected by the coronavirus and were placed under Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine after several months.

    Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, said that the assistance extended by Caritas Germany has provided great help to poor families affected by the pandemic. The collaboration of the two Church institutions is proof that the Catholic Church is true to its mission of serving the poor, according to the priest.

    “We are grateful to Caritas Germany for their help for the poor affected by the pandemic here in Pasay City. We know that covid19 damages not only the health of the Philippines but also the livelihood. Many today are starving and malnourished in children. The poor have increased by 8-million. Caritas Germany's response of P5-million Pesos is a big help to the urban poor in this crisis. This is the real charity in Action. We spread the CHARITY VIRUS against Coronavirus,” Fr. Pascual told Radio Veritas.

    The “poorest among the poor families” in the said area in Pasay City will receive food packs containing rice, canned goods, pancit, dried fish, legumes. They will also receive hygiene kits that include alcohol, face mask, gloves, soap and vitamins.

    Caritas Manila ensures the strict observance of proper social distancing and health protocols during the distribution.

    During ECQ, Caritas Manila has distributed more than P1.7 Billion worth of gift certificates to families affected by COVID-19 throughout Metro Manila including neighboring provinces. This was made possible in collaboration with various groups, organizations and business institutions. Caritas Manila continues to extend help and assistance to the poor through their ongoing distribution of manna gift packs. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Volunteers in Prison Ministry continue service amidst COVID threat



    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC) lauded the Volunteers in Prison Service (VIPS) who are working hard to serve the ministry despite the threat of the pandemic.

    In an interview of Radio Veritas with Fr. Nezelle Lirio, executive secretary of CBCP- ECPPC, the priests extended its gratitude to the Volunteers in Prison Service as the Prison Awareness Week commenced on October 19, 2020.

    The priest also recognized the VIPs important role in helping the prisoners feel the love and care of the Lord for them especially during this time of the pandemic

    “I am very hopeful and grateful that our VIPS are indeed very resourceful and never frightened by this situation. They can find ways on how to keep this celebration be observed to continuously spread the unconditional love of God that brings hope and restore justice. My dear VIPS, thank you in tirelessly proclaiming god’s unconditional love in every way you can,” said Fr. Lirio.

    Aimed at inspiring Filipinos to pay attention to the situation of the prisoners across the country, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Restoring Hope and Healing during this Time of Pandemic through God’s Transforming Unconditional Love.” The 33rd Prison Awareness Week will be celebrated from October 19-25, 2020.

    According to CBCP- ECPPC, there are only about 2,500 volunteers across the country who assist the church in providing various programs that give them hope and start anew. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Sta. Cruz Parish on October 18, 2020, World Mission Sunday, at 10 am.


    Ngayon nga po ay Mission Sunday kaya hingin natin ang tulong ng Nuestra Senora del Pilar sa pagkakalat ng mabuting balita sa buong mundo.

    Ang atin pong paksa ngayong Mission Sunday ay, “Here I am Lord, Send Me.” Dito po’y pinapakita natin kasama ni propeta Isaias ang ating kahandaan, an gating availability. Hindi man tayo makapunta sa mga mission territories, pero lahat sana tayo maging available sa paglilingkod sa Diyos.

    At ngayon po ay gamitin na natin ang availability na ito sa ating pakikinig sa Salita ng Diyos. Tanggapin natin ang Kanyang salita sa atin ngayong araw 

    Kailangan bang magbayad ng buwis? Kapag buwis ang pinag-uusapan, umiinit ang dugo ng marami. Masakit obligahin para magbigay ng pera, para maglabas ng pera. Mas masakit pa kung hindi ginagamit ang buwis sa makatarungang paraan. Ang buwis ay galing sa taong bayan, pinagpaguran yan ng tao upang itoý magamit sa pagserbisyo sa bayan.

    Pero kung ito ay hindi nagagamit ng maayos, tulad ng pagsasayang lang nito sa mga projects na wala naming kabuluhan tulad ng paglalagay ng puting buhangin sa beach na hindi naman napapakinabangan. O kung ang buwis ng tao ay pumupunta lang sa korapsiyon tulad ng pork barrel ng mga politico, mas lalung kumukulo ang dugo ng marami.

    Pero hindi lang isang uri ang buwis. At the time of Jesus, there were several kinds of taxes. There was the temple tax that people paid for the maintenance of the temple, the priest and the levites. Then, most probably, there were the taxes on goods and business. Ito siguro yung kinikoleta ni Mateo at Zaccheus.

     

    In our gospel reading, the issue is on the census tax. Kapag nabibilang ka sa census, ikaw ay magbibigay ng tax. Ang census ay ang pagbibilang kung ilan ang nasasakupan ng isang kaharian. Kaya sa pagbibigay ng census tax, pinapakilala mo na ikaw ay sa ilalim ng mga Romano. The Romans at the time of Jesus was an occupying force. People do not want to be under occupation. They want to be governed by their own leaders and not by foreigners. Kaya malaking issue sa mga Hudyo ang pagbabayad ng census tax.

    Ang tanong kay Hesus ay, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Lawful to whom? Surely, not to the Romans. Para sa mga Romana ang lahat ay dapat magbigay ng buwis kay Caesar, ang pangulo ng Roman empire. The question of lawfulness refers to the laws of the Jews. This question was a trap and Jesus knew this.

    Kung sasagot si Hesus na ok lang ayon sa batas ng mga Hudyo na magbayad ng buwis sa mga Romano, maaakusahan si Hesus na makadayuhan, na hindi siya makabayan. Pero kung sasagot si Hesus na hindi nararapat na magbayad ng buwis sa mga Romano, kakasuhan siya ng rebelde sa mga Romano. It would be a political crime.

    Bago siya sumagot, nagrequest siya ng Roman coin na ginagamit sa pagbayad ng census tax. At agad binigyan naman siya ng mga nagtatanong sa kanya. Ibig sabihin, ginagamit nila ang pera ng mga Romano na doon nakaukit ang larawan ng Caesar. Nakikinabang sila sa serbisyo ng mga Romano kaya ang sagot ni Hesus, “Gumagamit kayo ng mga bagay na mga Romano, dapat kayong magbigay sa mga Romano. Pera nila ang inyong ginagamit.” In a way, the answer of Jesus legitimizes support to civil authorities because they use the services of the said civil authorities. 

    Kung ganun kayo sa civil authorities, mas lalong ganun dapat kayo sa Diyos. Nakikinabang kayo sa mga bagay na galing sa Diyos at ang lahat ng bagay ay galing sa Diyos. Mas lalo tayong magbigay ng nararapat sa Kanya.

    Dahil sa ang Diyos ay Diyos ng lahat ng bagay at lahat ng tao, kumikilos ang Diyos sa kasaysayan sa pamamagitan ng mga tao at mga hari kahit hindi nila siya kilala. Ito ang sinabi sa atin sa Unang Pagbasa, si Siro ay hari ng mga Persians, hindi siya Hudyo at malamang hindi niya kilala si Yahweh. Ngunit siya ay ginamit ni Yahweh upang ang mga Hudyo ay makabalik sa kanilang lupain. Tinalo ni Siro ang mga Babylonians na bumihag sa mga Hudyo. Pinayagan niya ang mga bansa na pinatapon ng mga Babylonians na bumalik sa kanilang pinanggalingan. Nakita ng mga Hudyo na si Siro ay tinalaga ng Diyos, ginamit ng Diyos, ni Yahweh upang sila ay makalaya.

    Ganun din hanggang ngayon, ang Diyos ang nagpapatakbo ng kasaysayan at ginagamit niya ang mga tao at mga pangyayari upang matupad ang Kanyang plano. Kahit na ang mga taong ito ay hindi kumukilala sa Kanya. Pero kapag sila ay sumobra naman, mananagot sila sa Diyos because God is Lord of all.

    Maraming mga tao ay may maling pag-unawa sa katuruan ni Hesus. “Give to Caesar what beongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They see this as a verse to support the separation of Church and state. They view Caesar and God as co-equal independent powers. Wrong. Mali. Caesar and God are not co-equal powers. God is creator and He is the source of all even emperor Caesar is under Him. Caesar also belongs to God. At ayon sa utos ng Diyos, dapat mahalin ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat. Siya ang nauuna sa lahat. Mas nauuna pa siya kay Caesar. Pati ang paglilingkod natin sa gobyerno o sa civil authority ay napapasailalim sa ating paglilingkod sa Diyos. Pinapayagan ni Hesus na ibigay natin ang paggalang at pagkilala na naaayon nsa isang may kapangyarihan sapagkat lahat naman ng kapangyarihan ng authority ay galing sa Diyos.

    Pero kung ang authority na ito ay hindi na sumusunod at taliwas sa paraan ng Diyos, we must obey God rather than man. Ito ay tandaan ng mga naglilingkod sa pamahalaan kasama na ng mga kapulisan at ng mga nasa military. Ang unang loyalty nila ay sa Diyos hindi sa sino mang political or military leader. Kapag ang ginagawa o pinapagawa sa kanila ay labag na sa batas ng Diyos, ang dapat nilang pagsilbihan at katakutab ay ang Diyos. Huwag dapat nilang itaya ang kanilang kaluluwa sa sino mang leader na tao lamang na namamatay, na lilipas. Lilipas ang mga leaders na ito. Ang Diyos lang ang mananatili at lahat tayo ay sa Kanya mananagot.

    The separation of Church and state ay wala sa Bible. Ito ay nasa Philippine Constitution upang bawalan at pigilan ang pamahalaan na makialam sa gawain ng religion. The mother provision is found in article 2, section 6 of the Constitution which states, “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable,” ibig sabihin hindi maaaring i-violate.

    This principle is given in a specific provisions in the present constitution:

    1) The government is prohibited from establishing its own religion. (Article 3, Section 5)

    2) The government is prohibited from preventing the free exercise of any religion. (Same article same section)

    3) The government is prohibited from giving or showing any preference to or discrimination against any religion. (Section 5, Article 3)

    4) The government is prohibited from using any religious test for the exercise of any civil or political rights. (Article 3, Section 5)

    5) Churches, convents, mosques and all the lands, buildings and procurements that are actually directly and exclusively used for religious purposes are exempt from taxes. (Article 6, Section 28)

    6) The government is prohibited from appropriating and using any public money or property for the direct or indirect use, benefit or support of any religion, church, priest, pastor or imam. (Article 6, Section 29)

    7) The government is prohibited from registering as political party any religious denominations or sects. (Article 9, Section 2)

    And lastly,

    8) The government is prohibited from teaching religion as mandatory in public schools. Classes in religion shall only be allowed to be taught in public schools if the parents give their consent in writing. (Article 14, Section 3)

    As you see, all of the prohibitions are directed to the government. Huwag tayong maniwala sa manipulasyon na hinagamit sa atin na kapag nagsasaita na ang simbahan laban sa katiwalian at pang-aabuso ng kapangyarihan, sinasabihan na manahimik tayo dahil sa separation of Church and state. Mali. Hindi tayo pinagbabawalan na magsalita. May karapatan at may tungkulin nga tayong magsalita bilang mabubuting Kristiyano, bilang mabubuting mamamayan. Hindi tayo mapapatahimik dahil sa ang tungkulin ng simbahan ay maghayag at kumilos para sa katotohanan, sa katarungan, sa kapayapaan at sa pag-ibig.

    Kapag may pang-aapi, dapat magsalita ang Kristiyano. Kung hindi siya magsasalita, kinakampihan na niya ang nang-aapi, pinapayagan na niya ang oppression. Kung alam mong ang isang bagay ay isang kasinungalingan, at wala kang sinasabi, hinahayaan mo nang kumalat ang kasinungalingan. There is no neutral ground in front of injustice, oppression and lies.

    Sa Banal na Misang ito, habang pinagdadasal natin ang mga misyonero, ipagdasal din natin na maging tapat tayo sa ating misyon sa buhay. Nawa, maging tapat ang mga namamahala sa tungkulin nila sapagkat pinagsweswelduhan sila ng buwis na galing sa tao.

    Nawa’y maging tapat din tayong mga mamamayan na bantayan ang pinagsweswelduhan natin, ang binabayaran natin. Sila ang dapat sumunod sa atin sapagkat ating pera, ating buwis ang ginagamit nila.

    Mahalaga ang paalaalang ito na ngayon ay pinag-uusapan sa kongreso - ang budget ng bansa. Yan po, pera natin ang pinag-uusapan nila.

    Ang summary ng mga pagbasa ngayong Linggo ay sinabi ng ating Responsorial Psalm, “Give the Lord glory and honor.” Siya ang pagpugayan at paglingkura. Give to God what belongs to God and all things, everything belongs to God and is subject to Him. To Him be glory and honor forever and ever, amen. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

     

     

     

     

  • Archdiocese of Manila coordinating with LGUs for Simbang Gabi Masses amidst Quarantine Curfew


    As the Simbang Gabi season approaches, the Archdiocese of Manila has started coordinating with Local Government Units (LGU) for the guidelines in holding the evening and dawn masses in December.

    According to Veritas News, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila and Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said that the Church is also putting into consideration the order from the government regarding the implementation of the curfew hours.

    “Naghihintay kami sa mga Local Government Units (LGUs) especially about the curfew; hinihingi lang namin na gawing 3:30 am ang end of curfew during those days (Simbang Gabi) and no curfew on December 24 evening,” said the Bishop during an interview with Radio Veritas.

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


    This statement of Bishop Pabillo came after the plea of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno" Domagoso, Mayor of Manila, regarding the Church’s guidelines for Simbang Gabi last October 14, 2020, on a live video on the city's official Facebook page.

    According to the mayor, the city government of Manila is willing to coordinate with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to ensure the safety of the faithful from the risk caused by the COVID-19 pand3mic during the observance of Simbang Gabi.

    Currently, the implemented curfew hours in Metro Manila are from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM wherein 5 cities, in particular, Manila, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong, and San Juan, are within the domain of the Archdiocese.

    Simbang Gabi (Evening Mass) and Misa de Gallo (Dawn Mass) are nine-day novena masses in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus which is celebrated on December 25. It starts on December 16 and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24.

    The Online Livestreaming of the Holy Masses is continuously being held to compliment public celebration of Holy Mass in the churches in Metro Manila as there are still restrictions being implemented for minors and seniors as part of the quarantine. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Cardinal Tagle back in Rome and "works from home"


    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has returned to Rome after his recent visit to the Philippines.

    Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of Pontifical College of the Philippines (Pontificio Collegio Filipino) in Rome said that Cardinal Tagle is currently working from home as he has started his quarantine after travel as part of the health protocol. Upon arrival in Rome, he was again tested for Covid 19 and yielded negative with the virus.

    “The following day he had his swab test at the Vatican, and today (Tuesday in Rome) the results came out, negative for Covid. Earlier, two days before leaving the Philippines, he also tested negative for Covid. He will still maintain self-isolation for some days, working from home at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino,” according to a message sent by Fr. Gaston to Radio Veritas.

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


    Cardinal Tagle, who is also the former Archbishop of Manila underwent swab testing a few days before he left for Rome as prerequisite for international travel. After he had the test at the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in Mandaluyong, which was negative with the virus, he was requested to bless the new COVID-19 testing facility and thanked the people of Red Cross for their efforts as well as of all the frontliners who continuously serve the people despite the danger of the virus.

    In September, upon the Cardinal's arrival in the Philippines, he was tested positive for COVID-19. He recovered from the illness after he was placed in quarantine for 14 days. He was in the country for a short visit to his parents in Imus, Cavite.

    While in the Philippines, Cardinal Tagle who is also the president of Caritas Internationalis and Catholic Biblical Federation was the keynote speaker during the 2020 Online Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Congress on September 25, 2020. He also celebrated Mass at the Manila Cathedral on October 4, 2020, feast of St. Francis of Assisi and at the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Imus, Cavite on October 10, 2020. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • October Devotion to Mary Source of Strength during COVID-19 Pandemic


    The Catholic Church celebrates the Month of the Holy Rosary every October to honor and thank the Blessed Mother for her maternal care to all the faithful.

    On October 7, 2020, in the Vatican City during his first general audience this October, the month dedicated for the Holy Rosary, Pope Francis has urged the Catholic to pray the Marian prayer especially amid the “looming threats to the world”, such as the pandemic according to the Vatican News post.

    “Even today, in this time of the pandemic, it is necessary to hold the rosary in our hands and pray for us, our loved ones and all people,” he said.

    Image of Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario de Sampaloc de Unibersidad de Santo Tomas | Photo by Earl Jerald Alpay/SOCOM-Our Lady of Loreto Parish

     

    Also to celebrate the feast of Mary, Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao presided over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of the Holy Rosary (Santissimo Rosario La Naval de Manila) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Sto. Domingo Church last October 11, 2020.

    In his reflection during the homily, Bishop Ongtioco emphasized the role of the Blessed Mother during this time of the pandemic. Mary, according to him serves as a model of hope, healing and unity. He told the faithful to imitate the virtues of Mary in order to receive God’s blessings and be able to share it with others.

     “Dito nakikita natin ang ating Mahal na Ina bilang modelo kung paano tayo tumtugon makiisa sa plano ng Diyos at ang bunga nito hindi lamang ikaw ang pagpapalain ng Diyos,” Bishop Ongtioco said.

    During this time of quarantine because of COVID-19, the Bishop reminded the faithful to strengthen their faith through their devotion to the Blessed Mother. May this devotion according to him, bring inspiration to their fellow faithful.

     “Ang inyong debosyon ay magbunga sana ng maraming biyaya at ma-inspire din ang maraming tao sa inyo…‘Di ba sabi ng mga kabataan sana all? Sana all ng mga tao matibay ang debosyon, pananalig kay Maria,’” said the Bishop.

    The Feast of La Naval de Manila is celebrated every second week of October. The image is the very first image of the Virgin Mary in the Philippines. Its canonical coronation was in 1907.

    In Imus, Cavite, Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, Bishop of Imus presided over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of Blessed Virgin of Del Pilar at Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral Parish also known as Imus Cathedral on October 13.

    In his homily, Bishop Evangelista who is also Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines - Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (CBCP-PCPA) reflected the obedience of Mary to the plan of the Lord for her.

    According to him, the relationship between God and mankind was strengthened and restored because Mary accepted the plan of the Lord to be the mother of the savior named Jesus Christ who redeemed the people from their sin thus became the new people of God.

    “Sa pamamagitan ng Birheng Maria, Birheng del Pilar, naibalik ang ugnayan ng tao sa Diyos. Sa isinilang n’yang tagapagligtas, tayo’y naging bagong bayan ng Diyos,” Bishop Evangelista told Radio Veritas.

    The Bishop also encouraged the faithful to care, help and love one another especially during this time of crisis.

    “Inaasahan ng Diyos na humirang sa atin, tumawag sa atin para maging bagong bayan Niya na tayo’y mabuhay sa bukluran, mamuhay tayo sa pagmamahalan, pagmamalasakitan. That we live in communion with one another,” said the Bishop.

    The feast of "Nana Pilar", as how Cavitenos call Mary, Our Lady of the Pillar with endearment is celebrated every 12th of October and is the patron saint of the Diocese of Imus and the entire province of Cavite.

    Its Canonical Coronation was on December 3, 2012, presided by Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, former Bishop of Imus and now Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People in the Vatican. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Prison Awareness Week: A call to Remember inmates



    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on the Laity (CBCP-ECL) calls the faithful to remember and pray for the situation of inmates in the country during this COVID-19 pandemic.

    According to Veritas News, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila and the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity stated that the commemoration of the Prison Awareness Week is a reminder to each person to also recognize the welfare of inmates that are detained in a crowded prison.

    “Mayroon po tayong Prison Awareness Week at ito po ay ipinapaalaala sa atin ang kahalagahan ng pangangalaga natin sa mga kapatid nating nasa piitan, mahalaga po yung sinabi ni Hesus ‘ako’y nasa bilangguan at dinalaw niyo ako’. Kaya makita po sana natin itong mga nasa bilangguan hindi bilang mga kapatid na nagkamali lang, tingnan natin sila bilang mga kapatid na mahal si Hesus, at kaya nga kahit na nasa pandemic po mas mahirap ang kanilang kalagayan kasi mas sikip na sikip sila doon at sana patuloy natin silang alalahanin…” said Bishop Pabillo during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    Aside from prayers, Bishop Pabillo encouraged the faithful to assist inmates with food, medicine and hygiene kits.

    “Ngayon po ipagdarasal natin na yung mga kaso nila ay mapabilis, marami sa kanila ay pwede ng mapalaya at pangalawa po kung may maitutulong tayo sa kanila tulad ng pagpapadala ng mga hygiene kits, ng mga sabon man lang, ng mga pagkain. Makakabigay pa tayo ng paabot sa kanila para maramdaman naman nila na hindi sila nakakalimutan ng mga Kristyano…” the Bishop added.

    In the Philippines, the Catholic Church has designated the last Sunday of October as Prison Awareness Sunday to remind the faithful to offer prayers for the inmates' welfare and their conversion, especially this is part of the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy.

    This year’s theme for the 33rd Prison Awareness Week is “Restoring Hope and Healing during this Time of Pandemic through God’s Transforming and Unconditional Love” which will be celebrated from October 19 – 25, 2020. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the St. Dominic Savioparish in Mandaluyong, on October 11, 2020, at 10 am.


    Talagang mahal ng Diyos ang parokyang ito ng San Dominico Savio dito sa Mandaluyong. Binibigyan niya ngayon ng bagong pastol na mangangalaga sa parokya. Iyan po yung ibig sabihin na pagtatalaga ng bagong parish priest – ang patuloy na pangangalaga sa bayan ng Diyos.

    Salamat po sa Salesian Congregation, nandito po si Fr. Jerry, ang provincial na patuloy na nagbibigay ng mga pari na maging pastol ng parokya. At mabuti po ay nandito naman sa atin si Fr. Andreiu, ang unang parish priest, matagal na panahon na. Nandito po si Fr. Soliva, ang isa rin sa mga parish priest na nandito. At nandito rin si Fr. Mon Merino, ang parish priest ng inang parokya ng parokyang ito, ang San Felipe Neri. Kaya ito po ay pakikibahagi natin sa ating pagdiriwang ngayon.

    Ipagdasal po natin si Fr. Doods, na sana maging tapat siya sa kanyang pangangalaga sa bayan ng Diyos na ipinagkatiwala sa kanya. At ipagdasal din natin ang mga parokyano dito sa St. Dominic Savio Parish na patuloy sana tayong lumago sa kabanalan tulad po ng binibigay sa ating halimbawa ni San Domingo Savio.

    Lahat naman tayo ay may karanasan na mag-alaga. Mag-alaga ng halaman, mag-alaga ng isang hayop, mag-alaga ng baby, mag-alaga ng may sakit, mag-alaga ng isang lola o isang lolo. Kapag tayo ay nag-aalaga, gusto nating ibigay ang the best sa inaalagaan natin. Ang problema lang minsan hindi natin alam kung ano ang gagawin. At madalas wala naman tayong kakayahan na ibigay ang the best.


    Alaga tayo, ang bawat isa sa satin ng Diyos. Siya ang may likha sa atin. Siya ang gumagabay sa atin. Binibigyan tayo ng mga anghel na sumusuporta sa atin. Nandiyan si Mama Mary na ating ina. Binibigyan tayo ng mga santo na maging halimbawa natin tulad ni St. Dominic Savio. Binigay niya si Hesus, ang kanyang kaisa isang anak upang tayo ay tubusin. Kaya talagang binibigay ng Diyos ang the best sa atin. At mas maganda pa ang mga balak na ibibigay niya. We cannot just imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him.

    Itong pagbibigay ng Diyos ng the best para sa atin, ay inilalarawan sa pamamagitan ng piging, ng party sa dalawang pagbasa natin ngayon.

    In the First Reading, from the prophet Isaiah, the Lord God is inviting us to a feast where rich and delicious food and drink are prepared. It is not just a feast of food and drink, but what He prepares is a situation of joy and happiness. There will no longer be any sadness. He will wipe away the tears from every eye.

    Also, in the gospel, the King prepared a feast for the wedding of his son. And you can just imagine how grandiose the feast is. Kinatay na ang mga baka at ang pinatabang guya. Handa na ang lahat. God also wants to give us the best not only at the end of our life but already in this life. He does not want us to be sad. Tulad natin, ang Diyos din ay gusto na masaya at masigla ang kanyang inaalagaan. At bilang Diyos, alam niya ang gagawin at kaya niyang ibigay ang magpapaligaya sa atin. Do we trust Him in this? Naniniwala ba tayo na gusto ng Diyos ang kabutihan at kaligayahan natin?

    Yesterday was the beatification of the first millennial saint, the teen-ager Carlo Acutis. He died of aggressive leukemia at the age of fifteen in 2006. But otherwise, he was an ordinary boy but with an extraordinary love of the Eucharist. When he received his first communion at the age of seven, he was enamored with the Eucharist. And from the time on, never missed a chance to receive communion and to join in Eucharistic celebration in his parish. It was he, who brought his family to frequent communion. He was so happy with Jesus in the Eucharist that he could not understand why his companions took the Eucharist for granted. He said that people are lining up to watch a football game. Lining up for hours to watch a concert. But they don’t line up to come to church and receive Jesus.

    Siya po ay naimpluwensiya rin ni St. Dominic Savio. One of his models as a young teenager was Dominic Savio. You see how a saint begets another saint.

    He was good at computer so, at the age of eleven, he started a project to make a website to make Eucharistic miracles of the Lord to make people realize how real and how good the Eucharist is. This website is still circulating all over the world now translated into seventeen languages.

    Talaga bang naniniwala tayo sa kabutihan ng Diyos? Na gusto niyang ibigay ang the best sa atin? Kasama na diyan ang Banal na Eukaristiya? Ito ay mahalagang tanong kasi kadalasan nabubuhay tayo na parang walang Diyos, na parang hindi siya concern sa atin. O kaya na pahirap lang sa atin ang Diyos na hindi tayo magiging masaya kung susunod tayo sa kanya. Kaya hindi natin siya pinapansin at hindi natin iniintindi ang kanyang paanyaya sa atin.

    Tulad ng mga tao sa ating ebanghelyo, sa halip na dumalo sa piyesta ng hari, nagkanya kanyang lakad sila. Ang isa sa kanyang bukid, ang isa sa kanyang business. Hindi ba mahalaga na ang hari mismo ang nag-imbita sa’yo? Hindi ba sila excited na pumunta sa party na inihanda ng hari? Ang nakakataka pa, inabuso, binugbog, pinatay pa ang mga sinugo na mag-anyaya sa kanila.

    Iyan ang larawan ng mga Israelita. Ang mga propeta na pinadala ng Diyos upang tawagin ang pansin nila para matanggap nila ang mga pagpapala ng Diyos, ay kinailangan ininsulto, hinamak at pinatay.

    Hindi naman sila iniimbita sa masama kundi sa kabutihan at sa kaligayahan ng Diyos. Kung ang Diyos ay maghahari sa atin, magiging maganda sana ang buhay natin. But no, we want to go our own way. We want to build a tower reaching heaven by our own resources, in our terms, on our own conditions. This drama of building the Tower of Babel continues to happen today. We want to reach heaven. We want to have happiness without God, without technologies, with our ideologies, with our plans. Babagsak ang mga ito.

    Pero ayaw ng Diyos na ma-frustrate ang kanyang balak na magbigay ng kaligayahan. Handa na ang lahat para sa salu salo. So, he asked his servants to invite everyone to find that they find in the streets – mabuti man o masama. He wants the wedding hall to be filled, the wedding feast to continue.

    Kaya ang paanyaya na tinanggihan ng mga invited guests ng chosen people of Israel ay tinanggap ng mga Gentiles, ang mga hindi kabilang sa mga chosen people. Hanggang ngayon ang mga nasa periphery, ang mga mahihirap at inaapi ang mas kumakapit sa Diyos. Para sa kanila nga ang kaharian ng Diyos.

    Today is a Sunday of the Indigenous Peoples, Linggo ng mga Katutubo, ng mga Lumad. Sila na isinasantabi at inaagawan pa ng kanilang mga lupang ninuno ang mas nakakaintindi sa piyesta ng Diyos na ibinibigay sa pamamagitan ng kalikasan. At sila ang nangangalaga at nakikinabang sa piyestang ito. At sila ang marunong makipag kapwa tao.

    In our parable, the king was not seating there on his throne alone, separated from the people who were feasting down below. He joined the people in their feasting. Ang Diyos natin ay Emmanuel, the God who is with us. Kasama natin siya. Nakikihalubilo siya sa atin. And He came across one who is not dressed in a wedding garment. Hindi siya agad pinagalitan. Tinanong muna siya bakit, “My friend how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?” Hindi nakasagot ang tao. Ibig sabihin alam niya na dapat may nararapat siyang suot para sa okasyon. He was not one who only lost his way into the feast. He intentionally did not prepare. Kaya ipinatapon siya at nagdusa siya sa labas.

    Gusto ng Diyos na mapuno ang kanyang handaan. But we have to be prepared to take part in the feast. What does this garment symbolize? It is the garment of righteousness. We cannot come to God without righteousness lalung lalo na, na tayo na tinubos na ni Kristo, binigyan na ng Espiritu Santo, may kakayahan na tayo na maging matuwid, kung wala tayo nito nagpabaya na tayo. Wala tayong masasagot kapag tayo ay pinuna ng Diyos.

    Meron tayong isang magandang awit sa Aklat ng mga Psalmo, Psalm 16. This is an entrance hymn before the people came into the temple to worship. Hayaan ninyong basahin ko ito sa inyo sa Pinoy version.

    “Lord, sinong pwedeng pumasok sa temple mo? Sinong puwedeng mag-stay sa Banal mong Bundok? Yaong taong sumusunod sa Diyos sa lahat ng bagay, laging ginagawa kung ano ang tama at buong pusong nagsasabi ng totoo. Hindi niya sinisiraan ang iba. Di siya gumaagawa ng masama sa kaibigan at hindi nagkakalat ng tsismis tungkol sa kapwa. Ayaw niya ng mga ni-reject ng Diyos pero mataas ang tingin niya sa mga may takot kay Lord. Pag nangako siya, talagang gagawin niya, tutuparin niya iyun kahit gaano pa kahirap. Nagpapautang siya ngwalang interest, di siya tumatanggap ng lagay para idiin ang inosente. Ang taong ganito ang ginagawa, magiging matatag hindi matitinag.”

    So, already in the Old Testament, there were conditions for joining the worship service. This condition is righteous living. Yes, God invites everyone to His feast. He wants all to be happy. But the blessings of the Lord are not cheap grace. We need to robe ourselves with the garments of justice and righteousness to be able to partake of the feast of the Lord.

    Ngayong panahon ng pandemic, dasal tayo ng dasal sa Diyos. palagi nating dinadasal ang Oratio Imperata na ang ibig sabihin ang panalanging nagmamakaawa. Maraming mga rosaries ang ating dinadasal lalo na ngayong buwan ng Oktubre. Marahil naitatanong natin sarili, kailan pa mawawala ang virus na ito? Kailan pa darating ang mabubuting bagay na iaasahan natin? Papakinggan ba ng Diyos ang mga dasal natin?

    Maganda at nagdadasal tayo at lumalapit sa Diyos. Kasama ba ng paglapit sa Diyos ay ang ating paglapit sa kapwa? Marami ang mga bagay, mga mabubuting bagay na inaalok sa atin ng Diyos. May kahandaan ba tayong tanggapin ang mga ito? Matatanggap ba natin ito na kasama ang iba?

    The banquet is ready. The table is set. Let us participate in the good things the Lord is setting before us already in this life loaded with the garment of righteousness and justice. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • One Million Children Pray the Rosary for end of Pandemic


    Yearly, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) spearheads one million children from different countries in praying the rosary for peace in the world. This year, the children will be praying the rosary for the intercession of the Blessed Mother to end the coronavirus pandemic. This will be on October 19, 2020.

    “We invite children, parents, teachers, and all those who would like to invoke our Blessed Mother, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary to pray for peace and an end to this pandemic,” Jonathan Luciano, Aid to the Church in Need National Director told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    “Let us teach our children to pray and join them in their prayers. Let us all join millions of children around the world on October 19, wherever you may be, in a time most convenient to you and pray the rosary,” Luciano added.

    A student prays the rosary during the 2019 One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign held at Don Bosco Institute in Makati City. | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     
    For the past four years, Luciano said, ACN Philippines has been organizing the prayer campaign asking the dioceses and schools to participate in the prayer. This year, the event will be held online at the Paco Catholic School under the Archdiocese of Manila.

    “This year, because of the challenging situation we are facing due to the pandemic, we will be doing this prayer campaign online. Children from different schools were asked to pause for a certain time during their online class to pray the rosary together with children around the world,” Luciano said.

    Luciano further added that prayer is the most powerful tool the faithful have in fighting the pandemic and it is extra powerful if the children will do it.

    “God hears our prayers but God gives special attention to the prayers of children. As Padre Pio said, “’Give me one million children praying the Rosary and I will change the world!’" I believe this prayer campaign will help all of us in strengthening our resolve that this pandemic will soon end and that we can all go back to our lives with an even stronger faith,” said Luciano.

    The One Million Children Praying the Rosary” campaign was organized by ACN that started in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2005. It was launched in the Philippines in 2016.

    Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church, supporting the Catholic faithful and other Christians where they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC)

  • Strengthening Faith important for Mental Health


    Most Rev. Oscar Jaime Florencio, vice chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Healthcare and the bishop of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, is encouraging people to strengthen their faith during this time of the COVID-19, especially those who are experiencing depression. The bishop is stressing that there is something that can definitely be done to address this issue.


    According to Veritas News, Bishop Florencio said that there is the opportunity to raise awareness regarding issues on mental health and to recognize the difficulty of individuals who are experiencing psychological struggles due to the pandemic.

    “This will increase the awareness, mental awareness natin na mayroon tayong magagawa. Because the pandemic na ito, coronavirus na ito, nagdulot po ng maraming challenges sa buhay natin. On the part of the family, on the part of workers, on the part of students, on the part of yung simpleng pamumuhay natin,” a statement from the Bishop in an interview with Radio Veritas.

    The Bishop advises that individuals who are experiencing depression should strive and make efforts to strengthen their faith in God amidst the pandemic.

    “I think there is a better perspective here to cling on the faith that we have,” the Bishop said.

    On October 10, 2020, the country will be celebrating World Mental Health Day to recognize and to give awareness to each individual regarding the increasing number of people experiencing depression resulting in suicide.

    According to the data of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), the office has received more than 900 calls from March to May 2020, while their monthly average calls regarding suicides increased to 45 calls per month based on the recent data last May 31, 2020.

    The Social Weather Station survey in July 2020, also confirms that 84 percent of Filipinos are experiencing depression due to the negative effects of this pandemic. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle Visits Red Cross as he prepares to return to Rome


    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples visited the Philippine Red Cross (PRC in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

    According to a post on the Facebook page of PRC, Cardinal Tagle along with Red Cross Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard Gordon had a swab test as a requirement before flying back to the Vatican City.

    Photo Credit: Philippine Red Cross Facebook Page

      
    The former archbishop of Manila expressed his gratitude to all the medical technologists, volunteers and Red Cross staff for their dedication in their work amidst the danger of being infected by the coronavirus. He also prayed for their health and safety.

    During his visit, he blessed the laboratory facility of the Philippine Red Cross.

    Cardinal Tagle arrived in the Philippines from Rome in September 2020 and was tested positive for COVID-19. He recovered from the virus after he underwent quarantine for two weeks. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC)

     





     

  • Shrine of Loreto responds immediately to aid fire victims in Sampaloc


    151 packs of relief goods were distributed last October 5, 2020, by the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto to the families in Aranga Street in Samaploc, who were victims of the fire that broke out last October 2, before 8 in the evening.

    The fire started out from faulty electrical wiring, according to reports. It reached third alarm and was declared under control at past 11 pm.

    Msgr. Emmanuel Sunga, rector and parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto said that an estimate of 50 families were affected by the fire and were immediately transferred to a vacant lot.

    The shrine, according to Msgr. Sunga had immediately responded and extended help through its Social Services Development Ministry that has 156 community partners and has 36 active volunteers who helped them in assisting the victims not only of fire but all kinds of disasters.


    According to the Rector, as soon as they learned about the fire, the different ministries of the parish immediately prepared food for the victims.

    “Ngayon yung sa parokya mismo, ang mga ministries dito, nagbigay agad ng mga pagkain pero ang nakaktutuwa dahil nung magbigay kami ng pagkain ay ang dami pang nagbibigay na pagkain galing sa ibang organization. Kaya yung mga pagkain na bigay ng parokya ay ipinamigay namin sa lahat ng pulubi, mga vagabond diyan sa Recto Avenue,” Msgr. Sunga told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    The Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) group, the Basic Ecclesiastical Community (BEC) and choir members of the parish also responded by providing clothes they bought from the Divisoria market to the victims.

    Msgr. Sunga added that the shrine is also preparing to provide a livelihood program to the victims of the fire by allowing them to sell various items like bags and rags on Sundays at the patio of the parish.

    The Parish, however, is implementing a strict policy of not giving money. Speaking from experience, Msgr. Sunga said that there are some people who asked help but are dishonest. Some are asking for donations only to find out that the money was not spent properly but was used in gambling and even in drugs. 

    On October 3, 2020, Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila has also distributed 161 packs of relief goods to the families who were victims of the fire.

    Msgr. Sunga reminded the victims of the fire as well as all the people who are suffering especially during the COVID-19 outbreak that they are not alone because the Lord is with them all throughout this journey.

    “And our God is the most loving God, so loving that he shared our love, he shared our suffering. And that is what they call compassion. If you know the word compassion, it is not just mercy, but to suffer with,” said the pastor.

    “Christ is suffering with his people and that is why Christ carries in his body the five wounds – in his palm, in his side and his feet, reminding us that until now, he suffers with the Christians,” he added. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC)

  • Let us Review our Priorities during this Pandemic--Cardinal Tagle


    “My dear brothers and sisters, during this moment of crisis, this pandemic, when resources are scarce, when some people have even lost jobs, we are being asked to review our lifestyle, our priorities.”

    These were the words for reflection that His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples had laid down to the faithful during his Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral last October 4, 2020, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

    The Mass that the former Archbishop of Manila presided was his first after eight months since he left the Archdiocese for Rome. The mass was also the concluding day of the Season of Creation that was celebrated from September 1 to October 4, 2020.

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the evangelization of Peoples delivers his homily during the online Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral last Oct. 4. | Screenshot from Manila Cathedral

    In his homily, he asked the faithful to heed the call of Pope Francis to stop the “throw away culture” especially during this time of pandemic when many people are having hard time providing for their families' needs.

    “Pope Francis always reminds us to stop the culture of throwing away, wasting. Let us appreciate what we have and if what we have is more than what we need, share with others. The gift that we have received should be given as a gift and not be wasted,” said the Cardinal.

    He then encouraged the faithful to be grateful for the love of God manifested through his gift of creation.

    “Let us be grateful, open our eyes to how God loves us especially through other people, through creation. And every act of love is a gift that must be appreciated, nurtured, valued and not to be wasted,” he said.

    Cardinal Tagle is in the country for a short visit to his family in Imus, Cavite but then was tested positive with COVID-19 upon his arrival in September 2020. He was placed in isolation for almost two weeks. Last September 23, he was again swab tested and the result was already negative. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at the Santisimo Rosario Parish in Espana, Manila on October 4, 2020, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi 10 am.


    Ang Bibliya ay gumagamit ng maraming larawan para sa bayan ng Diyos. Kung minsan ito ay inilalarawan na kawan ng Diyos. Kung minsan naman isang building. Minsan naman isang lungsod o isang asawa.

    Ngayong Linggo sa mga pagbasa natin, ang bayan ay inilalarawan bilang isang ubasan. Sa unang pagabsa at sa ebanghelyo, ang bayan ay mahal ng Diyos. Pinakita niya ito sap ag-aalaga na ginawa ng may-ari sa kanyang ubasan. Tinanggalan niya ng mga bato ang lupang tatamnan, naglagay ng pader para hindi pasukin ng mga hayop, naghukay pa ng pisaan ng ubas para sa inaasahang ani, nagtayo pa ng bantayang tore. Ang itinanim niya ay mga piling ubas, mga espesyal na similya ng ubas. Malaki ang kanyang inaasahan sa kanyang ubasan.

    Pero sa dalawang pagbasa, nabigo ang may-ari. Sa kwento ni propeta Isaias, ang ubasan mismo ang may kasalanan. Ang naging bunga ay naging maasim na ubas. Sa kwento naman ni Mateo, ang problema ay wala sa ubasan kundi sa tagapag-alaga.ayaw ibigay ang parte ng may-ari. They abused those whom the master, the owner sent. Some thy stoned, others they beat, and some others they killed including his son. Not only did they not give the share of the owner, they even wanted to get the vineyard and make it their own.

    Sa dalawang pagbasa, dumating ang parusa. Hindi naman pabaya ang Diyos sa kasamaan. Sisirain at papabayan ang ubasan sa unang pagbasa. Lilipulin at papalitan ang tagapag-alaga sa ebanghelyo. Accountability will come. God is just. God does not take evil sitting down.

    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | Photo by Earl Alpay/SOCOM-Our Lady of Loreto Parish

     
    Para kanino nakatuon ang talinhagang ito? Sa kapwa pagbasa, ang may-ari ay ang Diyos. Ang ubasan na kanyang pinundar at inalagaan ay maaari ang bawat isa sa atin o maaari rin ang simbahan o maaari rin ang bayan. Kaya sinabi natin sa ating salmong tugunan, “The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.” Ang bayan ng Diyos noon ay ang baying Israel. Sa atin ngayon, maaari ring ito ay an gating bansang Pilipinas.

    Kung titignan ang ating bansang Pilipinas, ito ay talagang sinisinta ng Diyos. Mahal ng Diyos ito. Mayaman an gating karagatan. Mataba ang lupa sa ating bansa. In fact, we are exceedingly rich in biodiversity in our seas and in our plants and animals. Maganda an gating klima maliban sa ilang bagyo na dumadating. Sagana naman sa tubig. The Filipinos are talented people. Madiskarte tayo and we are resilient, too as a people. Our culture is rich and varied. By our history, we become the meeting point of both the east and the west. Malalim din ang ating spiritual wealth. The spirituality and religiosity of people is palpable and because of this, we are resilient in the midst of crisis. At pinapakita natin ito sa ating debosyon sa ating Mahal na Ina, sa ating debosyon sa Banal na Santo Rosaryo na dinarasal ng maraming mga pamilya. Mahalaga ang ating mga  pamilya at isa yan sa yaman ng ating bansa. Kaya dapat nating pangalagaan ang yaman na ito at huwag hayaang masira ang ating pamilya tulad ng mga nangyayari sa maunlad kuno na mga bansa.

    Bata pa ang ating populasyon sa ating bansa. Ang average age ng mga Filipino ay twenty three years old. May kinabukasan tayong inaantay. Hindi tulad ng mga bansang matanda na kanilang mga tao, palaos na sila.

    Talagang dapat nating pahalagahan at ipasalamat sa Diyos an gating baying Pilipinas. Pinagpala tayo. Inalagaan tayo at inaalagaantayo ng Diyos. Pero, ito ang mabigat na pero. Bakit ganito an gating kalagayan ngayon? Matindi ang kahirapan ng marami.

    Noong ako ay bata pa, pinaniwala ako at naniwala naman ako na walang gutom sa Pilipinas. Hindi na natin ito masasabi ngayon. Ayon sa latest survey, mga thirty million na mga Pilipino ay nakararanas ng kagutuman sa nakalipas na tatlong buwan.

    Bakit naman ang karahasan na nangyayari sa bansa? Bakit maraming Pilipino ang kailangang mangibang bansa para magkaroon ng disenteng buhay? Bakit sa ating kasaysayan nagpapaapi at nagpapauto tayo sa iba? Noon sa mga dayuhan at ngayon sa ating kababayan.

    Bakit may mga Pilipino na nang-aapi sa kanyang kapwang Pilipino? Mga alagad ng batas na hindi sumusunod sa batas, mga mambabatas na ang interest ay para sa kanilang sarili lamang at kanilang pamilya at hindi para sa bayan. Ito ba ay dahil sa ating pagka-Pilipino? – Pasaway? Matigas ang ulo? Tamad? Duwag?

    Maaaring may mga Pilipino na ganyan. But I refused to believe that we are such as a people, that this misery that we are experiencing now is due to our nature as Filipinos. Our heroes belied this. Even now we have heroes who sacrificed themselves. We have intelligent and caring Filipinos. We have many who refused to be coward by powerful institutions, organizations and personalities, people who fight back.

    In the gospel, the parable of Jesus was aimed not at the people but at the leaders of the people – sa mga saserdote at mga matatanda ng bayan. Sila ang pinagkatiwalaan ng may-ari ng kanyang ubasan. Pero hindi sila tapat na mapagkakatiwalaan. Ayaw nilang ibigay ang nararapat sa may-ari. Ibig nilang angkinin ang ubasan. God did not reject the vineyard unlike in the first reading, he rejected the leaders in the gospel.

    Yes, we are like this largely due to our leaders. They do not exercise the stewardship that is theirs. First, they do not give to God what is his due. We have always to be reminded that God is the owner. He is the source of all, he is the creator we are creatures. So, we have to follow Him. Nagpapagabay ba tayo sa Diyos? Sinusunod ba natin ang kanyang batas?

    Sabi ng Diyos na huwag kang papatay, bakit patuloy ang extra-judicial killings and even in the midst of the pandemic? Extra-judicial killings of suspected drug addicts and peace and human advocates continue.

    Bakit sinusulong ang death penalty? Ang gobyerno baa ng nagbigay ng buhay naibibigay sa kanya ang karapatang kumitil nito?

    Sinabi ng Diyos, what God join together, people should not separate. Bakit sinusulong ang divorce? Even painting the picture that those countries not divorced laws are progressives.

    Sinabi ng Diyos na huwag magsinungaling. Patuloy pa rin ang fakenews at pinapalaganap pa. nandiyan yung mga trolls at nandiyan yun red tagging.

    We do not give what is due to God which is obedience to His law. We enjoy the resources of the country but we do not give the proper worship and obedience due to the source of this wealth.

    Not only that, but there are leaders who want town what is not heirs. This is glaringly shown in political dynasties. Inaangkin na ng ilang pamilya ang posisiyon kasi sila ay nasa posisyon. Nawawala na ang kanilang pananaw na sila’y katiwala lang. So, by hook and by crook, their families cling to their position even up to the point of buying people out and even of maligning and killing them. Almost 70 percent of the congress people belong to political dynasties.

    This is why the constitutional mandate to do away with political dynasties is never acted upon by congress. And this is also the reason why even up to now, people in the House are fighting for leadership positions instead of serving the people.

    Tulad sila ng mga katiwala na pinatay ang anak para maging kanila ang ubasan. Sa kanilang ginagawa, kasama sila sa pagpapapatay sa anak ng Diyos tulad ng mga leaders ng mga Hudyo.

    The ending of the parable is a dire warning. Lilipulin niya ang mga buhong na yun at papaalagaan ang ubasan sa ibang kasama na magbibigay sa kanya ng kaparte sa panahon ng pamimitas.

    There will be an end to abusive leaders. History show us that no abusive leaders survive. So, also those who support the abusive leaders, they also will not last.

    Ibigay po natin ang inaasahan ng Diyos. At ano po ang kanyang inaasahan? Sa ating pagbasa, ang inaasahan niya ay bunga ng katarungan at kabutihan. Binibiyayayan niya tayo kasi naghahanap siya ng bunga ng kabutihan at katarungan.

    Jesus said, “I choose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And also, by this is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit.”

    My dear people and my dear leaders of the people, we are so much blessed as a country and as a nation, let us bear fruits that glorify God. Fruits that remain, not projects that are washed away by the waves and sands of time. The fruits that remain are justice and goodness. Ialay ang ganitong mga bunga sa Diyos. Ito ang kanyang hinahanap. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples during an online Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral on October 4, 2020, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi at 8 am.


    My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we give thanks to God for bringing us together in this celebration of the Eucharist on this twenty seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time which is also the concluding day of the Season of Creation.

    And on a personal note, I’m very grateful to be back here in our beautiful cathedral to join you, the Eucharist, eight months after my last Mass here.

    If I could give a title to the Readings especially the First Reading and the Gospel, it is this, “What a waste”.  Sayang. Bakit niyo sinasayang ang bigay ng Diyos? What a waste! And it is unbelievable that such a precious gift would be ignored and wasted.

    In the First Reading from the prophet Isaiah, there is a vineyard, ubasan and the owner was a great, great vine grower. We can even say that he is a great lover in the way that he took care of the vineyard, meticulously doing everything so that the vineyard will produce good grapes.

    Masuwerte itong ubasan na ito. Ang kanyang may-ari hindi pabaya. Talagang nag-aalaga sa kanya. The only thing that the vineyard had to do was to accept the love, the goodness, the caring of the owner. And then, out of this good, good, good things that it receives, it will produce good grapes. But what happened when the owner came, what did he see? - Wild grapes not good grapes.

    What is the vineyard? According to the prophet Isaiah, the vineyard is the people Israel – ang bayan ng Diyos, minahal ng Diyos, inalagaan ng Diyos pero sinayang nila ang pagmamahal ng Diyos.

    So, instead of producing the fruits of the kingdom of God, they produced sour wild grapes. And we can only say, “what a waste”.  The vineyard, the good things that the owner had given.

    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples | Screenshot from Manila Cathedral


    This is quite similar but with a certain twist in the message of the Gospel. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, we have the same image, the vineyard but the focus is the tenants to whom the land owner rented out the vineyard. So, the tenants were supposed to take care of the vineyard while the owner was away.

    Ito yung mga katiwala na babayaran ka para alagaan mo naman yung ubasan ng may-ari. And when harvest time came, the land owner sent his servants to get his share. What did the tenants do? They hurt the servants. They beat one of them. They killed another and so the owner said, I will send my son. They will respect my son.

    Anong ginawa sa anak? Pinatay. Bakit? Sabi nila, “Ah,ito yung magmamay-ari, ito yung magmamana, patayin natin para atin na ang lupa.” Kasakiman. Kasakiman.

    They were not content with being tenants having their share. They pretended to be the owner. They wanted to be the owner and they wasted lives - the lives of the servants, the life of the son of the owner. And in the end, they did not get the vineyard. The owner said, “I will give it to somebody else.”

    Sayang! What a waste! They could have gotten enough but because of their greed and because of their ambition, they killed people and in the end, they killed their own dream.

    That’s why St. Paul in the Second reading tells us, “Have no anxiety. Don’t be disturbed. Focus on God. Focus on your prayer. Focus on what is good, what is honorable. All the things that are part of the kingdom of God and the peace of God will be with you.” Do not waste the peace of God. Do not allow anxiety, your ambition and misguided ideas to lead you to wasting God’s love, wasting your inheritance, wasting God’s peace.

    My dear brothers and sisters, during this moment of crisis, this pandemic, when resources are scarce, when some people have even lost jobs, we are being asked to review our lifestyle, our priorities. Baka andami nating sinasayang. Baka andami nating itinatapon especially during this Season of Creation.

    Pope Francis always reminds us to stop the culture of throwing away, wasting. Let us appreciate what we have and if what we have is more than what we need, share with others. The gift that we have received should be given as a gift and not be wasted.

    Siguro marami sa inyo meron pang mga damit na maaayos pa naman. Pero dahil hindi na moda, ikinahihiya na ayaw ng gamitin, itatapon na. Lahat ng tinatapon natin nagiging basura. Darating ang panahon yung sinayang natin na tinapon natin, parang babalik at makakasama sa atin.

    Yung mga tinatapon natin sa mga ilog, sa mga estero, dudumi ang tubig magkakaroon ng mga mikrobyo, magkakaroon ng mga lamok, may dengue, may H-fever balik sa atin.Yung ating nilustay bandang huli, baka paglulustay ng ating buhay.

    So, let us heed the call of the readings and of the Season of Creation. Let us be grateful, open our eyes to how God loves us especially through other people, through creation. And every act of love is a gift that must be appreciated, nurtured, valued and not to be wasted. Every brother or sister is a gift. Kahit na yung pinakamakulit sa buhay ninyo, regalo pa rin iyan ng Diyos, huwag sayangin, huwag itatapon.

    Yung mga babaeng matutuklasan na buntis sila, hindi problema yan. Hindi mo ipinaglilihi ang problema. Ang ipinaglilihi mo buhay, tao regalo ng Diyos. Hindi yan dapat tinatapon. Yan ay inaalagaan.

    Yung mga may edad, may sakit, hindi sila pabigat -Regalo ng Diyos, mahalin, igalang, alagaan.

    Sana we will never say again, “what a waste” because we will all learn how to value God’s presence and love. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC

  • Manila Cathedral to Bless Cremated Remains


    The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, or more popularly known as the Manila Cathedral, will be blessing the urns of cremated departed in all the Sundays from October 4 to November 8, 2020.


    According to the statement released by the Manila Cathedral, this will serve as a response to the pastoral instruction, “One with our Beloved Dead”, of Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila.

    “From October 4 to November 8, in all our SUNDAY Masses, we will be having the Rite of Blessing of Cremated Remains. The family may bring the urn and a picture of their beloved dead, and we will celebrate a worthy liturgical blessing for them. This is in response to the call of Bishop Broderick Pabillo to make our churches welcome places of prayer and consolation especially for families who lost a loved one in this time of pandemic,” says the statement posted on a Facebook post of the Manila Cathedral.

    The faithful are encouraged to bring the urn and a photo of their departed loved ones which will be blessed after every mass.

    According to the pastoral instruction released by Bishop Pabillo last September 21, 2020, he encouraged the parishes under the Archdiocese of Manila to devote additional masses for the departed especially with the temporary closure of cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries this coming Undas. Earlier, Malacañang has issued the order to close all cemeteries in the country from October 30 to November 4, 2020,

    This move is to avoid the occasion of mass gatherings of people at the cemeteries which may cause the further spread of the virus especially in public places.

    The Archdiocese of Manila has recently released a prayer that can be recited by every family within their respective homes as observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, when Filipinos faithful practice the tradition of remembering and praying for their departed. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

  • Celebrating the Season of Creation in the New Normal


    The Season of Creation (September 1 to October 4) which started in 1989 by the Word Council of Churches and adapted by the Catholic Church in 2015 has been gaining a voice among movements – parishes, NGOs, religious in the Philippines. Several activities such as the “Walk for Creation,” fora and seminars have been well participated in different dioceses. But as the pandemic lingers this year, these activities have been put on hold, however, the spirituality remains.

    The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Santa Ana, Manila strives to do just this – keep the spirituality alive despite the limitations in mobility and social gathering.

    This season, the parish circulates though its Messenger Group Chats a Filipino translation of the “Reflection on Aqua Fons Vitae, Orientations on Water: Symbol of the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of the Earth” developed by the Office of Human Development Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). The aim of this daily posts is to make known the urgency that the Church, together with other organizations has put on the seriousness of the global water crisis and its effect especially on the poor and vulnerable, through social media platforms accessible to ministries and communities such as the Bukluran or Basic Ecclesial Communities in the parish.


    Prior to this, the parish launched several activities in the past Seasons of Creation to emphasize in the Buhay Katiwala way of life (Spirituality of Stewardship) the responsibility in caring for our common home. Urban gardening which started as a contest for the Barangay Pastoral Councils is still being continued not only on the level of the barangay but by some families as well.

    There is still so much to do in terms formation and action and the parish explores many ways to reach the communities in the context of the new normal such as maximizing social media. The stewardship of creation remains to be a continuing spirituality the parish advocates, especially under the inspiration of St. Francis of Assisi.

    On October 3, the parish will celebrate the Transitus, St. Francis’ passing over from this life to the next. The commemoration of the Transitus, that always included the “Canticle of the Sun,” from which Laudato Si’, [mi Signori] or “Praise be to You my Lord” was taken, reflects the importance and natural character of death in the life of creation. St. Francis was not afraid of what would come at his death, choosing instead to recognize in that experience, not an end, but a transition from one way of living to another. Consumeristic and “throw-away” lifestyle, therefore is just a temporary experience in this life.

    The Transitus will be livestreamed at 5:00 in the afternoon at the official Facebook Page “National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Santa Ana, Manila.”

    In addition, on October 3 Pope Francis will visit Assisi to celebrate Holy Mass at the tomb of St. Francis and to sign his third encyclical Fratelli Tutti taken from the Admonition of St. Francis #6,1: FF 155) which is about fraternity and social friendship. It is addressed to all sisters and brothers, who populate the earth. The central theme being, “blessed is our common home,” (Vatican News, September 16).

    In his message released by the Vatican on September 1, Pope Francis said; “the pandemic has brought us to a crossroads.” The Pope continues, “We must use this decisive moment to end our superfluous and destructive goals and activities, and to cultivate values, connections and activities that are life-giving.” “We must examine our habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet.” (Mayee Abear-Marzan / SOCOM-NSOLA)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Sunday Mass at San Jose Manggagawa in Manuguid, Tondo on September 27, 2020, at 10 am.


    Change. Pagbabago. Wala nang mas permanente sa buhay ng tao kundi change, pagbabago.

    Ang lahat ay nagbabago at patuloy na nagbabago. Pero hindi po lahat ng pagbabago ay mabuti. Ang mabuti ay maaaring maging masama. Gayundin, ang masama ay maaaring maging mabuti. Tignan natin ang kalagayan ng ating bansa.

    Noong 2016, nanalo ang administrasyong ito sa plataporma ng change, pagbabago. May nagbago nga ba pagkaraan ng apat na taon? Sa mabuti ba o sa masama? Kayo na ang humatol. 

    Pagbabago. Change. Iyan din angpaksa ng ating mga pagbasa ngayon. Sinabi ni propeta Ezekiel, “May matuwid na nagiging masama. May masama na naging matuwid. Ang mahalaga ay saan tayo dinatnan ng wakas.

    Ang mabuti na nagpakasama at dinantnan siya ng wakas na masama, wala siyang mapapakinabangan sa kanyang dating kabutihan. Mamamatay siya, paparusahan siya dahil sa kanyang kasamaan. Pero kung ang isang tao na masama ay naging makatarungan at nagwakas ng mabuti, hindi na isang alang alang ang dati niyang kasamaan.

    Ito ay isang mabuting balita at isang warning. Mabuting balita ito sa mga makasalanan. May pag-asa palagi. Magpakabuti sila at kahit gaano pa sila kasama noon, hindi sila parurusahan. Ito ay isang warning din sa ngayon sa mga mabuti. Huwag umalis sa landas ng kabutihan. Kapag lumihis tayo dito, wala nang saysay ang anumang kabutihang ginawa natin.


    The same idea is presented in the Gospel. The first son said no. But he changed his mind. He worked in the vineyard. He did the Father’s will. The second son started well. He said yes to the request of the Father but he did not go. He disobeyed the Father. May nagbago tungo sa kabutihan, may nagbago tungo sa kasamaan. Pero may isa pang punto sa parable na ito. Ang tinitignan ng Diyos ay hindi an gating mabuting balak o ang mabubuting salita. The road to hell is paved with many good intentions pero ang tinitignan ng Diyos ay ang ating gawa. Words can be re-assuring but it is deeds that count and not just any deed but the good works of doing the Father’s will.

    Naalaala ba ninyo na pagkatapos ng mahabang aral ni Hesus sa Sermon on the Mount, sinabi niya na, “Everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven. But only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, it will not prophesize in your name? Did we not drop out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, I never knew you. Depart from me, you, evil doers.”

    Kahit na nagpalayas ng demonyo sa ngalan ni Hesus o nagpagaling o gumawa ng milagro pero kung hindi gumagawa ng kagustuhan ng Diyos, evil doers ang tawag niya sa kanila.

    Deeds are important. Deeds in obedience to God. Iyan ang ginawa ni Hesus. Naging masunurin siya. Hindi lang sa salita. Pinakita ni Hesus ang pagiging masunurin sa kanyang pagkamatay sa krus. Iyan ang sinabi ni San Pablo sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, “Dahil sa kanyang pagiging masunurin hanggang sa wakas, niluwalhati siya, dinakila siya ng Ama.”

    Our times call for deeds. Because of the internet, there are a lot of exchanges in words and ideas. Kahit na sino ay maaaring magdagdag ng salita sa internet. There is a multiplication of words and  nice words, too. Maraming salita ay mabulaklak, mga analysis na malalim. Pero hanggang diyan na lang. There is such a thing as analysis paralysis. Dahil sa kaaanalisa, nawalan na ng ganang kumilos. Dahil sa kaaanalisa, wala nang ginawa. The Father expects us to work in the vineyard and not just to say yes.

    This Sunday is National Migrant’s Sunday. Kaya nga nandito tayo sa Parokya ng San Jose Manggagawa sa Manuguid, Tondo kasi ang parish priest dito si Fr. Tem Fabros ay ang minister Archdiocese para sa mga migrants.

    Ang maraming mabigat na naapektuhan ng pandemya ay ang mga migrants at ang kanilang mga pamilya. Mahigit na 124 thousand ang mga OFWs natin na bumalik na sa bansa at may nagtatansiya na aabot ito ng kalahating milyon pagdating ng December. Ilang mga pamilya ang naapektuhan diyan - higit na isang milyon na mga families kung bibilangin natin ang mga nawalan ng trabaho sa abroad. Hindi nga nakauwi o pinauwi sa Pilipinas pero wala namang trabaho.

    At isang usapin ngayong pandemya ay ang mga LSIs (Locally Stranded Individuals). Ayaw silang paalisin at ayaw din silang tanggapin kahit na sa kanilang mga bayan

    Ang mga issues ng migrants ay pag-uusapan lang ba natin? Ano ang ginagawa natin? May dapat gawin ang gobyerno pero may dapat din tayong gawin bilang indibidwal at bilang simbahan. Kaya nga meron tayong National Migrant’s Sunday taun taon para may gawin tayo. Pwede tayong magdasal at yan ay ginagawa natin sa ating Banal na Misa ngayon. Pwede rin tayong mag-contribute ng pagtulong sa kanila. Kaya ano bang donation na maibibigay ninyo sa simbahan sa Linggong ito ay para sa mga mirgrants at sa kanilang mga families. Mayroon tayo sa CBCP na Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples na nag-aabala sa mga migrants at sa kanilang mga pamilya. Mayroon din tayong Apostleship of the Sea na sila naman ang mga nangangalaga sa ating seafarers at mga pamilya nila. Mayroon tayong mga internal migrants tulad ng mga LSIs na mga evacuees at pati na nga sa mga taong walang tahanan tulad ng mga street people. Malaki po ang magagawa natin upang makatulong sa mga ito.

    Ngayon din ay National Laity Week, National Laity Sunday. Ang mga nabibilang sa mga layko ay ang lahat ng binyagan na hindi pari o madre. Ibig sabihin higit na 99.99 percent ng simbahan, kayo po iyun, kayo yung mga laity, mga layko.

    Kung ang mga layko ay kumilos lang, malaki ang mababago, ang mangyayari sa lipunan natin. At ang mga gawain ng layko ay ganun nga – panibaguhin ang mundo. Ang pagkikilusan nila ay ang politika, ang business, ang education, ang market place, ang sports lahat iyan ay kailangan ng kaligtasan.

    Okay na magdasal ang mga layko natin. Pero kung ang dasal nila ay sinasamahan ng pagkilos, malaki ang pagbabagong mangyayari sa bansa. Kaya kumilos na mga laity natin.

    Nasa mga huling linggo na tayo ngayon ng ating Season of Creation. Nagsimula ito ng September 1 at magtatapos sa October 4. Ang usapin sa kalikasan ay nagtatawag din ng pagkilos, ng paggawa. At hindi lang talumpati o kaya ay pag-aaral. Sapat na ang pag-aaral na sinisira ng tao ang baance ng kalikasan. Kailangan ng magkaisa na pigilin ang patuloy na pagkasira nito.

    Dito sa Kamaynilaan mayroong project na ilulubog ang higit na tatlong daang hektarya ng gubat ng Sierra Madre sa Quezon Province paa gumawa ng Kaliwa Dam para daw sa tubig ng Metro Manila. Utang yan sa Tsina ng 12.2 billion pesos, ang dam na ito. Maraming mga manggagawa dito ay mga Instik. At kung may hindi pagkakasundo sa kontrata, ang korte ng Tsina ang magpapasya at hindi korteng Pilipino. Bakit ba tayo pumapasok sa ganitong kontrata na kagubatan natin ang sinisira at ang dayuhan ang masusunod? Kailangang kumilos na tayo alang alang sa bayan, alang alang sa Inang kalikasan.

    Ngayong araw ay piyesta ni San Vicente de Paul. He is known as the Apostle of Charity and the Father of the Poor. Inilaan niya ang kanyang sarili sa pagtugon sa lahat ng uri ng kahirapan – mga may sakit, mga ulila, mga may kapansanan, mga bilanggo, mga alipin. Itinatag niya ang CM (Congregation of the Missions) o kilala dito sa Pilipinas na mga Vincentians at ang DC Sisters (Daughters of Charity) na may mga asilo, may Hospicio de San Jose, may pagamutan at mga paaralan. At ganun din sa mga layko, Ladies of Charity.

    Pero si San Vicente de Paul na malaki ang nagawa para sa mga mahihirap ay hindi nagsimula ng ganoon. Naging pari siya sa France noong 1600 na ang balak lang ay makaalis sa kahirapan kasi galing siya sa mahirap na pamilya. Gusto niya iahon ang kaniyang pamilya sa kahirapan at magkaroon ng disenteng…at ang paraan niya ay ang pagiging pari niya. Kaya padikit dikit siya sa mga may kaya noon at naghahanap ng magagandang posisiyon.

    In a way, he was a mediocre priest. Pari nga pero ang puso niya ay wala sa Panginoon. Paraan lang ang pagpapari niya, hanap buhay lang ito. Pero nagbago siya. Binago siya. Binago siya ng Panginoon at ang ginamit ng Diyos na baguhin si Vicente de Paul ay ang mga mahihirap mismo. Nakadalaw siya sa mga ospital na ang inaagawan ng may sakit ay ang mga higain ng mga kamamatay lang. Ang mga tao noon ay nasa ospital upang doon mamatay. Nandiri siya sa pagpupunta niya sa mga barrio na magbigay ng mga Anointing of the Sick dahil sa karamihan ay madudumi at talagang mababaho, mahihirap lamang na mga tao. Pero pinagtiyagaan niya ang mga gawaing ito at dahan dahan nabago ang kanyang pananaw sa buhay at ang kanyang pananaw sa mga mahihirap. Niyakap niya ang kahirapan at ang mga mamahihirap. Iyan na ang naging layunin ng kanyang buhay – tulungan sila.

    Si San Vicente de Paul ay ang taong hindi naman masama pero maligamgam sa kanyang bokasyon ngunit nagbago siya. Naging masigasig siya sa kanyang pagsisilbi. Siya yung anak na nagsimulang sumagot ng ayaw, pero nagtrabaho sa ubasan ng Panginoon. Hindi lang siya nagbalak, siya ay nagtrabaho.  Siya ay gumawa. Siya ay kumilos.

    That is the change that God asked from us – change for the better. Change not only in intentions and in words but change that is shown in our deeds. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications / RCAM-AOC)

  • Schedule for the 500 Years of Christianity celebration adjusted


    With the difficult situation that the Covid-19 pandemic has put the nation, the scheduled events for the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in 2021 has been adjusted and made to extend until 2022.

    This was the decision that has been made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP. The original schedule for the  culmination of the celebration, which was is April 2021, will now instead serve as the launching of the year-long celebration that will end in April 2022.

     In a report by CBCP news, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, acting president of CBCP, stated that the changing of the dates was necessary to lessen the health risks caused by the pandemic.

    “Due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was necessary to change the schedule of our celebration of the 500 years of Christianity…So it is now going to be a whole year celebration until 2022,” said Bishop David.

    The year-long celebration will begin on April 17, 2021, to commemorate the First Easter Sunday Mass in the Philippines at Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte. This celebration will be spearheaded by the Diocese of Maasin.

    On April 14, 2021, the Church in the Philippines will also celebrate the First Baptism in the Philippines. This celebration will be spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu

    Meanwhile, the International Mission Congress (IMC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress (NMC) was also moved to April 2022.

    Bishop David announced that the National Retreat for the Clergy which was set on August 4 to 6, 2021, has been also canceled. 

    Instead of a retreat, the bishops’ Commission on the Clergy decided to organize conferences on the Church’s history in the Philippines along with the parish.

    “Each (CBCP) Commission will also have adjustments of their plans due to the crisis that we are going through,” said the Bishop.

    Christianity was brought to the Philippines in 1521 when the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, landed, heading a Spanish expedition in his bid to reach the East Indies, sailing west. The country has about 85 percent Christian but mostly Roman Catholic. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis appoints new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines


    His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D. as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
     

    The announcement was made to the public today, September 28, 2020, at 12 noon (Rome time) and 6 pm (Philippine time.)

    His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. | Photo Credit: www.catholicnews.ie


    Archbishop Brown was born in New York, USA on October 13, 1959. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of New York City on May 13, 1989.

    From 1994 up to his appointment as nuncio, he worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On May 6, 2000, he became a Chaplain of His Holiness. Then, in September 2009, he was appointed Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission.

    The 61-year old archbishop was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland on November 26, 2011, and Apostolic Nuncio to Albania on March 9, 2017.

    He was consecrated Archbishop on January 6, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI.

    An apostolic nuncio (also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or to an international organization. A nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. The Holy See is legally distinct from the Vatican City or the Catholic Church. A nuncio is usually an archbishop. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC) 

  • 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