Thursday, 31 December 2020 18:31


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!


Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila
January 1, 2021


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