St. Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center has been one of the response by the Church to the increasing number of the poor particularly the homeless in the city of Manila. This was the initiative started by Rev. Fr. Flavie Villanueva, founder of St. Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center and member of the Society Divine Word (SVD) congregation, during the program’s 6th anniversary.
According to Veritas News, Fr. Villanueva had the inspiration to start the project of the Kalinga Center from his seminary formation of their society where they were taught to live the mission of Jesus and the Church.
“Kalinga was born because of the influx of the poor that we saw, Kalinga was born because by the formation that I got to the Divine Word calls me or asks me how can the Divine Word take flesh in the midst of the homeless, there are so many people in the world but the homeless people in Metro Manila remain to be the ones neglected and most recently even pushed to the edges,” said Fr. Villanueva.
The said center, according to Fr. Villanueva, was not only to provide for the immediate physical hunger but also to conduct an alternative learning system ‘to help them restore to their self-worth’.
“The mission is simple, to provide dignified, systematic, and holistic care to those in the fringes. There are three phases that they go through beginning with food and hygiene because we wish to recreate the self-image, if a person is full and clean then livable daily is once again recreated. Phase two is an alternative learning system they have a formal form of education which is now also popularly known as Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission, from the education we wish our mission holistic and that leads towards providing livelihood and employment to help them restore to their self-worth,” the priest explained.
Fr. Villanueva expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, who led the celebration of the 6th anniversary of the establishment of St. Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center.
Archbishop Brown expressed his admiration and recognition to the people maintaining the facility as a concrete way to feel the mercy of God to those who are in need.
Janssen Kalinga Center in 2015 led by Fr. Flavie Villanueva. In 2016, Fr. Villanueva also initiated the “Paghilom” program to help people who lost their loved ones in the War on Drugs. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC | Photo from CBCP)