Circular No. 21-29
Your Eminences, Archbishops and Bishops and Diocesan Administrators:
In my previous short message of 28 March 2021, Palm Sunday, I appealed for more fervent prayers. I also included the following at the end of the message: “…let us not forget those suffering most from this pandemic, especially the poor families and those who lost their daily income in order to put food on the table. Together, let us put our efforts to bring mercy and compassion to them.”
In short, I was saying that there is an urgency to pray to the Lord and also the urgency to manifest our charity to those most in need.
In the current situation of the pandemic, in many places, especially in areas comprising what we call the “NCR Plus”, the anxiety and fear and suffering of our brothers and sisters are more pronounced because of the intensity of the spread of Covid-19 infections. One consequence of this situation is the restriction on the mobility of people. Among those greatly affected are the daily-wage earners who have to go out to work to bring food to their tables every day.
I know that beginning last year, through our parishes and religious communities, we have been helping poor families without much publicity. We are all suffering, but let us again challenge ourselves to continue helping the most needy families in our midst. Let us continue bringing food packs and other form of assistance to them. We are happy to know that in recent days, in true bayanihan spirit, neighborhoods and communities have organized themselves to help needy families, especially with food and other basic necessities.
Another distressing situation is this: many areas and communities have been adversely affected by the Typhoon Bising, which has compounded the suffering of these people by adding great inconvenience and hardships to them in this time of the pandemic. Bp. Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, our Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace, has informed me that the staff of the Commission have already initiated bringing assistance to the communities in these areas.
The love of Christ compels us to act. It is difficult when all of us have to deal with our own difficulties and sufferings. But our faith in Jesus tells us to look first to those who are most in need. I would like to believe that true charity does not stop even when that charity and care come from people who themselves are in great need.
May Mary our Mother and Help of All Christians continue to accompany us.
+ Romulo G. Valles, D.D.
Archbishop of Davao
21 April 2021