News & Events

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) 

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) 

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) 

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)



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)

“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)


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