• Open letter to the members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises of the 18th Philippine Congress



    The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications, together with the Filipino people, watched and listened intently to all the 12 hearings held by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises of the Philippine Congress. And now the final verdict on the future of the ABS-CBN Media Network depends on the votes of the honorable men and women of the 18th Congress of the Philippines. Their votes will affect, not only the network’s future, but also all those who depend on ABS-CBN for their livelihood, the millions who depend on it for their news and information, and even those who consider it their daily leisure and temporary escape from the daily grind of their ordinary lives.

    We continue to express our position on ABS-CBN, as well as our belief in the importance of its role as a vital source of information in the Philippine society. The network forms part of the whole Philippine democratic landscape as it continues to help in making the latest news available to Filipinos in the country and abroad, and contributes to the people’s capacity to make informed decisions.

    After having listened to the many deliberations during the 12 hearings, we have come to the conclusion that the unbiased and impartial pronouncements and official manifestations of the different resource speakers from various government agencies did not only answer the accusations against the network, but also proved that the network has not violated any law, rule or regulation that would be reason enough not to grant the renewal of their franchise.

    Be that as it may, it is not our intention to pressure you, our honorable lawmakers, to vote for the approval of the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN. The only thing that we humbly ask of you is that you vote according to your conscience and do what you truly believe is right.

    We are aware that there is so much more at stake here than the mere approval of a network franchise. We take to heart the words of the chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, who, in his closing statement said, “…As our speaker has always reminded us to do what is right, let us continue to live up to the commitment of the 18th Congress to be a relevant, responsible and responsive institution… As we ask that our members be continuously guided by the principles of fairness, justice, honesty and respect, and we cast our final vote on the issue, we shall all vote according to our conscience.”

    We pray for the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, to guard all our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! (Phil 4:7)

     

     

    Most Rev. Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit Jr., D.D.
    Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications
    9 July 2020

     

  • Start of 10% Capacity in Churches set in Manila

     
    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, welcomed the non-objection position of the local government of the City of Manila as compliance to the directive given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) of allowing religious gatherings with congregation of 10% percent of church seating capacity.


    This is in lieu of a letter dated July 7, 2020, from the office of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso which was addressed to Bishop Pabillo. In the letter, the mayor expressed his approval to allowing the more people to participate in religious activities, from the initial 10 people to 10% seating capacity in churches within the City of Manila.

    “Please consider this writing as the city’s expression of non-objection to your religious gatherings provided that all the requirements and conditions set forth in the afore quoted provision are duly observed and complied with,” Mayor Isko said.

    The IATF-EID Resolution No. 51 issued July 2 allows religious gatherings up to 10% percent seating capacity which is effective after July 10. However, during such gatherings, there will be strict observation and implementation of health protocols, social distancing, wearing of face masks and availability of hand hygiene necessities.

    In an interview made by Radyo Veritas with Bishop Pabillo last July 4, the prelate said that the clergy has already been preparing for this day when religious gatherings are allowed.

    “So it’s a good development at ang mga kaparian natin ay naghahanda na para sa July 10 ay maka-accommodate na sila ng 10-percent ng capacity ng Simbahan, so it’s a good development congratulations sa IATF na nakita nila ang kahalagahan noon,” he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Tagle as new member to Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue


    Former Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, and present Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples was appointed as new member to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue by His Holiness Pope Francis.

    The appointment was announced on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Vatican.

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle l File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    Together with the Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, the Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was also appointed member to the council.

    The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue functions as the Church's central office of the for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the declaration Nostra Aetate.

    It is also "responsible for promoting mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between Catholics and followers of other religious traditions; encouraging the study of religions; and promoting the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue."

    According to the recent news released by the Vatican, the other newly appointed members of the council were Cardinals Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Vicar Apostolic of Vientiane; Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop Jakarta and Ordinary of the Military Ordinariate of Indonesia; and Jean-Claude Höllerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg.

    A number of Bishops from different parts of the world were also named as members of the Council: Lawrence Huculak, Archbishop of Winnipeg of the Ukrainians; Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, Bishop of Vasai; George Frendo, Archbishop of Tiranë-Durrës; Mark Tin Win, Archbishop of Mandalay; Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille; Paul Yoshinao Otsuka, Bishop of Kyōto; Thomas Chung An-zu, Bishop of Kiayi; Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Allahabad; Ambrogio Spreafico, Bishop of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino; Michael Joseph McKenna, Bishop of Bathurst; William Hanna Shomali, titular Bishop of Lidda; Denis Chidi Isizoh, titular Bishop of Legia; Patrick Joseph McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham; James Massa, titular Bishop of Bardstown; Paul Desfarges, Archbishop of Alger; and Joseph Đình Đúc Đao, Bishop of Xuân Lôc.

    Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot is the current President for the council. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • July 10: From 10 persons to 10 percent Capacity for Churches


    Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) said that Malacañang’s decision to allow religious activities under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas, although still with some limitations, is a welcome development to many parishes in Manila, especially in Quiapo Church.

    “Welcome development yun. Dati ten persons. Yang ten percent, bale ang ibig sabihin niyan meron ng makakaupo bawat pew. So, close to two hundred yun from ten to two hundred, matutuwa na ang mga tao,” Msgr. Coronel told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.
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    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
    Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page


    On Thursday, during the Laging Handa program aired over the state-run PTV4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the resumption of mass gatherings including religious activities in GCQ areas but only to ten percent of the church’s seating capacity that will take effect on July 10, 2020.

    With the said development, Msgr. Coronel stressed that they will embrace the challenges it entails while complying with the safety protocols provided by the IATF-EID. He said that they will implement strict social distancing, temperature checking, wearing of masks, and hand sanitizing as soon as the new rule takes effect. They will also be disinfecting the pews regularly and the equipment used during the online activities of the church. Consequently, he noted, there might be an increase in the number of lay volunteers who will assist during the new normal.

    Quiapo Church prioritizes the protection and safety of its parish workers, the Rector said, as they render their service to the faithful and attend to the needs of the devotees during the religious activities. These, according to him are the two primary concerns the parish recognizes during GCQ.

    “Galing kami ng quarantine. Walang trabaho. Wala pati rector’s office, walang finance. Sarado. Isasara ko talga ang simbahan kapag may nag-covid na naman. Yan ang experience namin. On the one hand, proportektahan mo ang health…Sa mga deboto,

    maraming makukulit, mga pasaway. Kapag nagbukas…pagsasabihan mo pa. Marami ring elements na basta nagble-bless kusang lalapit yang mga yan, makikipagsiksikan talaga. May mga taong ganun,” Msgr. Coronel said.

    Msgr. Coronel, who held position as an officer of the Archdiocese of Manila, continues to recognize the importance of online Masses especially during the quarantine period. He in particular said, that the Quiapo Church's online masses being cross-posted on the Facebook pages of other parishes and religious groups and organizations helped increase viewership and at the same time encourage more faithful to donate online, providing support to the church.

    “Ito yung tuluy tuloy na mga bagong tinatawag na pastoral innovation. We have to adapt eh. Kailangan mag-adapt ka sa mga new pandemic circumstances,” Msgr. Coronel said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Quiapo Church reopens after lockdown


    The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church reopened to the public on Friday, July 3, 2020, after 14 days of lockdown.

    "Ito yung simula nung quarantine, June 19 to July 2. Kasi itong July 3, first Friday ay nagsimula na kami ng Misa," Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector of Quiapo Church told the Archdiocese of Manila - Office of Communications.

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
    Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page

    The priests and staff of Quiapo Church underwent rapid testing that yielded negative results, and went through a quarantine period after a visiting priest tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    After re-opening, Msgr. Coronel said that Quiapo Church has five Masses a day (5 and 6 am, 12 noon, and 3 and 4 pm).

    They allow 10 persons to come inside the church to hear Mass as set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

    Those who are not able to come inside may watch the mass in the LED monitors placed outside the church while observing physical distancing. Msgr. Coronel added that they have social distancing markers placed in Quezon Boulevard, Plaza Miranda and Carriedo to guide those who will attend mass outside the church.

    He also said that those who are not able to attend Mass inside the church may enter every after mass for 15 minutes to say their private prayers before the image of the Black Nazarene.

    The Church has started accepting religious services as well like funeral blessings and wedding ceremonies (conducted according to the guidelines of IATF). The Sacrament of Confession is also available in the morning and in the afternoon. Confirmation, however, is not yet celebrated.

    Other religious activities like morning and afternoon prayers, praying of the rosary, and novena prayers to the Black Nazarene and San Roque are done online. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Mass on June 28, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po dito sa inyong sambayanan. Nakakalungkot kasi alam ko kapag fiesta ay punung puno ng tao ang ating simbahan, dinadayo pa kayo pero ngayon iilan lamang tayo.

    Pero alam ko marami rin nasa online ay nakikisama sa atin sa fiestang ito ng Perpetual Help, Inang Laging Saklolo. At lalung lalo na kailangan natin ang tulong ng ating Mahal na Ina sa panahon ng kahirapang ito. Kaya patuloy po tayong tumawag sa kanya, alam natin siya ay ating laging saklolo.

    Napakatindi ng karanasan nitong coronavirus pandemic na ito. Binago nito ang takbo ng ating buhay. Hindi lamang sa loob ng isang daang araw ng higit. May mga dalubhasang nagsasabi na maaaring abutin pa tayo ng isa o dalawang taon sa ganitong buhay.

    Ang malaking pagbabagong ito ay magdadala rin ng pagbabago sa ating mga ugali, sa ating mga pananaw, sa ating value system, sa ating mga gawi.

    Isang asal o ugali na nagbabago dala ng panahon ay ang ating hospitality o pagtanggap sa ating kapwa. We are known to be a hospitable people. Maluwag tayong tumatanggap sa iba ngunit ngayon ay hindi na. Natatakot tayo sa ating kapwa. Hindi na tayo gaanong nagpapapasok sa ating mga bahay kahit na nga mga kakilala o kamag-anak, baka may virus sila. Baka magdala sila ng sakit sa atin. Sana, itong pag-iwas sa kapwa ay pansamantala lamang. At hindi maging isang bagong ugali.


    Isa pang pagbabago na dumadating sa atin ay yung ating pananaw sa kamatayan. Bakit ba tayo takot sa virus? Kasi takot tayong madapuan ng sakit na ito na wala pang lunas. Takot tayong mamatay at ang posibilidad ng kamatayan ay malapit kung pati na ang mga doktor at mga nurse ay namamatay, tayo pa kaya? 

    So, let us confront ourselves. How do we see death? This question is related to how do we see life. Life and death are related to each other. There is this paradox, “Acceptance of death make us live fully and freely. Whereas fear of death and avoidance of death diminishes our enjoyment of life.”

    Hindi na siya nabubuhay kasi wala nang ginawa kundi umiwas sa kamatayan dahil nga sa takot sa kamatayan, hindi na lumabas ng kuwarto. Buhay nga pero nasa loob ng kuwarto. Buhay ba yan? Dahil sa takot sa aksidente hindi na naglalakbay, kinulong niya ang buhay niya dahil sa takot sa kamatayan.

    Jesus said, “Whoever finds life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    Yang walang ginagawa kundi nagpapasarap lang sa buhay, masaya ang buhay, ayaw ang hirap, ayaw mag-effort kasi mahirap, ayaw mahirapan sa pag-aaral, mahirapan sa trabaho, hindi yan aasenso. Yung kain ng kain kahit na ano kasi masarap na walang control sa pagkain, yan yung madaling magkasakit.

    You have to die to yourself, to deny yourself, to confront yourself so that you will succeed. Para makagawa ng mabuti kailangan paghindian ang ating hiling lalu na kung ang mga yun ay masama.

    This is the meaning of the cross for us. The cross is something that is adherent, something that we do not like because it is difficult. Maybe our duties, our assignments, a difficult person we have to deal with but we have to take it up and carry it. Jesus died on the cross and then he got new life. The resurrection is not only a return to his former life. It is new life. We first joined in this process of dying and having new life when we were baptized. We died to our own sinful selves in the waters of Baptism so we will rise up to the life of God.

    So, St. Paul wrote, “You must take yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus. Dead to sins – hindi na nabubuhay sa kasamaan. Tinatalikdan na natin ang anumang masama kahit na itoý masarap.

    Living for God, para sa Diyos. Para sa Diyos na ang buhay natin. Handang itaya para sa Diyos at dito talaga natin mararanasan ang buhay na masaya at buong sigla.

    Kung handa tayo sa kamatayan, hindi tayo gaanong matatakot sa iba. At magiging bukas tayo sa iba. Every act of generosity and hospitality always brings about some risk - baka maloko tayo, baka magkasakit, baka mawalan tayo.

    Unfortunately, we have been so calculating and this prevents us from being generous and open to others. We have to let go, kailangan tayong magbitaw upang tayo ay makatanggap. Kung sarado tayo sa pagbibigay, sarado din tayo sa pagtanggap.

    Ito yung sinasabi sa atin na kahit na sa panahong ito ay dapat maging maluwag ang ating loob sa pagbibigay. We need to sow in order to harvest. And the more we sow, the more we can harvest.

    St. Paul wrote, “Consider this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

    In our First Reading, we have heard the generosity of the unnamed woman of influence. May kaya ang babaeng ito at tinanggap niya ang propetang si Eliseo. Palaging pinapatuloy sa kanyang bahay at pinaghahandaan ng kwuwarto upang kapag dumaan doon ang propeta ay may mapagpapahingaan siya. Tulad ng sinabi ni Hesus sa ebanghelyo,”Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.

    Ang Diyos at ang mga taong malapit sa Diyos ay marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob. Kahit na may kaya ang pamilya, may mga bagay na hindi makukuha ng kanilang kayamanan tulad ng isang anak. Walang anak ang mag-asawa at ito ang ibinigay ng Diyos sa kanila dahil sa panalangin ni propeta Eliseo.

    At kung ipagpatuloy natin ang pagbabasa ng kuwento, paglaki ng bata, isang araw ito’y nagkasakit at biglang namatay. Siguro na-heat stroke. Pinatawag ng babae si Eliseo at ito’y dali daling dumating at binuhay ang bata. Talagang sinusuklian ng Diyos ang anumang kabutihan na ginagawa natin sa kanya at sa kanyang mga alagad.

    Hindi ba sinabi ni Hesus, “Kung sino mang magbigay kahit na isang basong malamig na tubig sa isa sa mga maliliit na tao dahil sa siya’y alagad ko, hindi siya mawawalan ng gantimpala.

    Totoo na mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero ang kahirapan na ito’y hindi sana maging dahilan na maging sarado tayo sa pangangailangan ng iba. Dapat nga mas maging bukas tayo sa kanila kasi alam natin na mahirap ang panahon. Huwag tayong mag-alala, may isang nakakakita ng bawat kabutihan na ginagawa natin.

    Many of us when we were growing up were told by our parents and elders that God can see all the bad things that we do. This often was their way to admonish us so we do not misbehave. It is true but let us not forget that God sees all. Nothing is escape his knowledge but...

    Nakikita ng Diyos hindi lang ang lahat ng kasamaan na ginagawa natin. Nakikita din niya ang lahat ng kabutihan kahit ang pinakamaliit na ginagawa natin sa pinaka aba, alam yan ng Diyos.

    Kaya yung ating pagpo-Pondo ng Pinoy, yung mga beinte singko na inilalagay natin para sa mga mahihirap, yan ay bilang ng Diyos. Yan ay alam ng Diyos.

    Hindi ba sinabi sa Banal na Kasulatan in the Book of Proverbs, “Whoever cares for the poor, lends to the Lord who will pay back the sum in full.” Magbabayad ang Diyos sa kanyang mga utang. Marunong siyang magbayad sa utang nya.

    Sana hindi magbago ang magagandang ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemic. Ang ating hospitality, ang ating generosity, ang ating pananaw na hiram lang sa Diyos ang buhay natin kaya hindi tayo natatakot o nanghihinayang na ibalik ito sa kanya.

    Isa pang bagay na pinapaalaala sa atin ngayon ay ang wastong pag-prioritize. Hindi naman masama ang magmahal sa pamilya, sa ating buhay mismo kaya nga may utos na igalang mo ang iyong mga magulang, mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa, huwag kang papatay at kasama na diyan ang pagpatay sa sarili, ang suicide. Pero alalahanin natin ang unang utos – “Mahalin mo ang Diyos ng higit sa lahat ng buong puso ng buong kaluluwa ng buong pag-iisip.”

    Uunahin natin ang Diyos kaya kung inuuna natin ang iba kahit na ang ating pamilya, ang ating buhay mismo, hindi na tayo karapat dapat kay Hesus.

    Paalaala ito ni Hesus sa kanyang magulang noong siya’y labindalawang gulang pa lamang. Nagpaiwan siya sa Templo ng Jerusalem at nung makita siya ng kanyang mga magulang pagkatapos ng tatlong araw ng pag-alala ay pinagsabihan siya, “Anak, bakit naman ginawa mo ito sa amin?” sabi ni Maria. “Alalang alala kami ng iyong ama.” At ang sagot ni Hesus, “Bakit ninyo ako hinahanap? Hindi ba ninyo alam na ako ay dapat nasa bahay ng aking Ama?” Conscious si Hesus na mas mahalaga sa kanya ang kanyang relasyon sa Ama. Sa Ama niyang nasa langit kahit na siya ay masunurin sa mga magulang niya sa lupa.

    Mahalaga ang katuruang ito. Ang Diyos ang uunahin natin at ibig sabihin nito ay huwag tayong gumawa ng anumang bagay o sumunod sa anumang utos na salungat sa kanya. Sa bandang huli sa kanya naman tayo mananagot at hindi sa kanino mang boss o kahit na sa president pa. Let us be true to God. This means let us be true to our right conscience guided by the Word of God so that we can be true sons of Jesus.

    At dito po binibigyan kayo ng halimbawa ng ating Mahal na Ina. Ang kanyang katapatan kay Hesus hanggang sa kanyang pagkapako sa krus, nandoon ang Mahal na Ina.  Sana ganun din tayo katapat kaya hilingin natin ang tulong ni Mama Mary hindi lang sa ating mga pang araw araw na pangangailangan kundi lalo’t higit hingin natin ang tulong niya na maging tapat tayo kay Hesus at hindi mawala ang mabubuting ugali natin ngayong panahon ng pandemya. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle: Be a constant gift to others


    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, who celebrated his 63rd birthday on June 21, encouraged the lay faithful to value life by being a 'gift' to one another.

    The Cardinal gave the message as he was being interviewed for his birthday by Fr. Reginald Malicdem, his former secretary in the Archdiocese of Manila and Rector of the Manila Cathedral. The interview, or what was called "Kumustahan with Cardinal Chito," was live-streamed on the social media channel of the Manila Cathedral on June 21. 

    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle l File Photo by RCAM-AOC


    One of the questions asked to the Cardinal, who is the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was how the lay faithful can contribute through their own ways in his mission to the Catholic Church.

    "Kung nasaan man tayo, lalo na yung mga katulad ko na OFW, na ito yung maging contribution natin na yung sa ating simpleng paraan, ipakita yung ganda ng pananampalataya at seryosohin ang ating pananampalataya. Maging marangal [at] mabuti na tao, na manggagawa. Ipakita natin ang ating community. Iba-iba man tayong isla, iba-iba man lenggwahe, pero puwede tayong magkasama-sama. Iyan ang isang napakalaking tulong sa misyon na aming ginagawa," he said.

    He emphasized that the diversity amongst the faithful and their resilience, hard work is helpful and encouraging for him in his work for the Propaganda Fide.

    The prelate added that the lay faithful must also look for a person that embodies the Catholic faith who can constantly inspire them in the missionary vision of the Church.

    "Kasi, naghahanap lagi ng kumbaga ng model at inspiration na papaano ang mga Kristiyano, lalo ang mga lay, layko, ay maging missionary, maging mga tagapagsaksi sa kagandahan ng Mabuting Balita. Kaya, iyon ang pakiusap ko sa ating mga kababayan," the cardinal said.

    Cardinal Tagle appealed for prayers not only for him but also for the whole Catholic Church. He described that his mission is in the service of the Church, especially in the far-flung areas where the Church provides selflessly for missionary work.

    "So, yung pananalangin, yung katulad nga ng pananalangin na may kasabay din na acts of charity. So, kung nasaan man kayo, isabuhay yung misyon sa pamilya, sa neighborhood, na maging tagapagdala ng Mabuting Balita," he said.

    In his final message, the Archbishop Emeritus of Manila expressed his gratitude for those who greeted him for his birthday. He addressed the faithful to appreciate the gift of life they have received, and to become a source of strength to one another, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Ang regalo ay dapat nananatiling regalo. Yung ibinigay sa atin, ibibigay rin. Kapag hindi na iyan naging regalo, wala na, eh. Iyon ang kamatayan. Pero, ang buhay ay ibinigay para maging biyaya na ibibigay din. Kaya, iyan ay panalangin ko para po sa ating lahat. Treasure life, be grateful, nourish it, nurture the lives of other people, and let life be a constant gift to others," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during the online Sunday Mass on June 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Our time now is characterized by fear. Takot sa coronavirus at dahil sa takot sa coronavirus, takot na rin tayo sa isa’t isa na baka may virus sila.

    Takot para sa ating hanap buhay. Matatanggal ba ako sa trabaho? May pagkakakitaan pa ba? 

    Takot sa kinabukasan. Makakatapos ba ako sa pag-aaral? Makakatapos ba ang aking anak?

    Takot sa ating financial situation. Makakabayad ba ako sa aking utang? Mababayaran ko ba ang upa sa bahay?


    Itong mga takot na ito ay dinagdagan pa ng mga nangyayari sa ating bayan. Takot para sa ating kalayaan. Ano ba ang maiiwan sa ating kalayaan na nandyan na naka-umang ang Terror Bill. Kahit na sino ay maaaring mapaghinalaan na subersibo or terorista. Nakakatakot ang nangyari sa ABS CBN at kay Maria Ressa ng Rappler. Nakakatakot na ngayon ay magsalita. Anu anong kaso na lang ang ginagawa upang pabagsakin ang mga pinaghihinalaan na kumokontra.

    Malaki ang panganib na ang Terror Bill ay gamitin sa mga pagsasalita. Nakakatakot din ang Tsina. Hindi ito gumagalang sa mga international na kasunduan tulad ng paglalabag nila ng kasunduan para sa Hongkong. At ng Law of the Sea sa kanilang pagsasamsam sa ating teritoryo.

    Nakakatakot din ang nangyayari sa kalikasan. Patuloy ang pagkasira nito. Hindi naman tumigil ang global warming dahil sa coronavirus. Kung hindi magbago ang ating lifestyle at ang mga business na walang pagsang-alang alang sa kalikasan tulad ng paggamit ng coal o ng iba pang fossil fuel. Tulad ng pagmimina na hanggang ngayon ay pinahihintulutan. Higit pa ang pinsala sa daigdig ang mangyayari kesa dala ng coronavirus.

    Yan po ang buhay natin. Nababalot sa lagim ng pagkatakot. Kaya ang Salita ng Diyos sa atin ngayon ay talagang mabuting balita. In only seven verses the gospel reading repeats three times the phrases from the Lord’s mouth, “Do not be afraid.”

    Jesus does not hide the problems that His disciples will be subjected. The persecutions even from one’s own families and friends, the life that will be thrown against His disciples and even death. Hindi tinatago ni Hesus ang problema na haharapin natin pero sinasabi niya, “Huwag kayong matakot.”

    What are the reasons why we should not be afraid?

    One reason is that the truth will come out. Walang sikreto na hindi ibubunyag. Yung mga sinungaling, yung mga paninira, yung mga pagtatakipan, ang lahat ng iyan ay mabubunyag tulad ng nangyayari ngayon. Sisimula nang mabubunyag ang mga korapsiyon sa DOH, sa DBM na ngayong nasa coronavirus tayo, may krisis ngunit patuloy pa rin ang pagsasamantala sa taong bayan, lumalabas na ngayon yan. There is a lot of fear in our times because we do not know the truth, what the real score is.

    Unfortunately, even government data and government pronouncements cannot be trusted. Pati na nga ang sinasabi ng Science ay hindi maaasahan. Hindi natin alam kung Science nga ba talaga ang nagsabi nun. O ito ay manipulated na ng mga interested news. But the assurance is given to us. Mabubunyag na ang katotohanan. Truth will...

    The Buddha said, there are three things that cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. So do not be afraid, the truth will come out.

    Pangalawa, huwag tayong matakot sa tao at sa pangyayari sa mundong ito. Hindi nila magagalaw ang iyong tunay na pagkatao, ang iyong kaluluwa. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who will kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul and cast them to hell.”

    Ang mga martir noon at ngayon at maraming mga martir ngayon at may tapang na humarap sa mga kaaway kasi may takot sila sa Diyos. Kaya mayroon tayong Lorenzo Ruiz na nagsalita, “Na kahit may isang libong buhay man ako ibibigay ko ang lahat para kay Hesus.” Kaya may mga martir na umaawit at nagdarasal habang palapit sa kanila ang mga leon.

    Hindi lang ito ang buhay. May kabilang buhay na nag-aantay sa atin. St. Paul wrote, “The sufferings of this present age are nothing compared to the glory that will be ours.” Ang takot sa Diyos ang nagpapalaya sa atin sa mga takot sa mundong ito. Dahil takot tayo sa Diyos, hindi tayo takot sa anumang magagawa ng sino mang tao o ano mang kapangyarihan.

    Thirdly, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. You are worth more than...”  Bilang ng Diyos ang bawat hibla ng ating buhok. Alam ng Diyos ang lahat ng nangyayari sa atin at hindi lang niya alam, nababahala siya. Kung nababahala siya sa bawat maliit na Maya, hindi ba siya mababahala sa bawat isa sa atin? God care. If God is with us, if He has given us His only son, who can be against us? Ang laki na po ng pinuhunan ng Diyos sa bawat isa sa atin. Walang iba kundi ang kanyang anak. ang laki na ng itinaya ni Hesus para sa atin. Ang kanyang buhay. Pababayaan pa ba niya tayo? Bakit tayo natatakot? Nasa kamay tayo ng Diyos.

    Sa ating Unang Pagbasa, narinig natin ang mga banta ng mga kaaway ni propeta Jeremias. Nagmamanman sila na magkamali lang si Heremias at siya’y pababagsakin nila. Madulas lang sila, madulas lang siya at lagot siya. Alam ito ng propeta pero malakas ang kanyang loob. Ika niya,”My persecutors will stumble. They will not triumph. In their failure, they will be put to shame.”

    Saan nanggaling ang kanyang confidence? “The Lord is with me,” he said. “To Him, I have been casted my cause.” Yan ang paniniwala ni propeta Jeremias kaya matatag ang kanyang loob. Kaya mga kapatid, kailangan ng malaking tiwala upang hindi tayo matangay sa anumang takot.

    Sinabi ni propeta Isaias kay Haring Ahaz, “Unless your faith is firm, you will not be hurt.” At the time Jerusalem was about to be attacked by two kingdoms. The kingdom of Syria and the Kingdom of Israel. But the prophet Isiah assured the king that nothing will happen to Jerusalem. But he has to believe that the Lord will help. Unless your faith is firm, you will not be hurt. Ang tiwala sa Diyos ang nagpapalakas sa atin.

    Maraming mga dayuhan ang nagtataka sa tinatawag nating Filipino resilience. Nagtaka sila sa ating katatagan nung dinaanan tayo ng pagsabog ng Pinatubo noong 1991. Noong dumaan ang bagyong Sendong at Pablo noong 2011, 2012. Noong lumindol sa Bohol noong 2013. Ang pagdating ng Yolanda after one month, 2013. At marami pang kalamidad na dumadating sa atin. Natutumba tayo ngunit tumatayo ulit. Nadadapa pero hindi nabubuwal. We are a resilient people.

    Maraming nag-aaral kung saan ito nanggagaling. Ngunit nakakasigurado tayo na isa sa pinanggalingan nito ay an gating malakas na tiwala sa Diyos. Kumakapit tayo sa kanya. Hindi tayo bumibitaw kaya nahaharap natin ang anumang takot, pangamba at kasamaan.

    Narinig natin sa sulat ni San Pablo sa ating Ikalawang pagbasa na galing sa isang tao dumating ang kasalanan at dahil sa kasalanan, ang kamatayan. Ngunit kahit marami nang kasalanan dahil sa isang tao, dumating ang pagpapatawad at ang buhay.

    So, where sin increased grace increased all the more.  Hindi natalo ng kasamaan ang kagandahang loob ng Diyos. Nagwawagi pa rin ang grasya ng Diyos. Ang kanyang pag-ibig, kahit gaano na karami at kakapal ng kasamaan. Dito nanggagaling ang ating pag-asa at buhay. And that was our celebration last Friday, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart that even if that heart of Jesus was wounded, yet it continues to burn. It is steadfast love. And that is our assurance that God’s love is steadfast.

    Kaya mga kapatid, sa gitna ng mga takot natin, mas kailangan natin ang Diyos. Kaya sinasabi natin na religious activities are essential services. Mas kailangan nga natin ng Diyos dahil sa mga krisis na dinadaanan natin. Ang nakakalungkot, one sided ang paningin ng ating mga tao sa gobyerno. They are very...

    Kapag sinasabi nila na essential service ang tinutukoy nila ay essential economic service kaya kailangan bukas ang bangko, bukas ang business. Kailangan buksan ang manufacturing para ito’y mga essential service.

    But man does not live by bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God. Hindi lang naman ekonomiya ang kailangan ng tao. Hindi lang naman laman ng tyan ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa tao. Maraming mga tao na busog ngunit mahina ang loob, walang direksiyon sa buhay, walang sigla sa kanilang buhay. Itong lakas ng loob, itong sigla at direksiyon sa buhay ay hindi naibibigay ng ekonomiya. Malalim ang pinaghuhugutan nito. Ito ay galing sa ating kundisyon sa Diyos.

    Noong 2012, ako’y napunta sa Diocese sa Mati doon sa Mindanao upang magbigay ng tulong sa mga sinalanta ng bagyong Pablo. Sa isang barangay, ang kwento ng mga tao, may mga nagbigay sa kanilang ng mga materials para sa kanilang pagtatayo ng bahay, natumba ang mga bahay nila. Nagkaisa ang mga tao nag-contribute ng tig-iisang yero sa bawat pamilya upang itayo nila agad ang kanilang kapilya.

    Kapag nakita nilang kapilya nila’y nakatayo, lumalakas ang loob nila. Doon sila nagdadasal linggu linggo. Inuna nila ang kanilang kapilya kaysa kanilang mga bahay.

    There are values that are beyond material possessions and material needs. These also should be promoted so that we can overcome our fears. Jesus brings to us His clear message, “Do not be afraid that truth will be fully... Do not be afraid. Trust in God who knows you and cares for you. Do not be afraid God is with you and is …you. Do not be afraid the saving grace of God is more powerful than sin and death. Do not be afraid of all these things. Only fear the Lord.”

    Ang takot sa Diyos, ang pagsang-alang alang sa Diyos ang magpapalayas sa atin sa lahat ng mga takot. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Parishes placed under lockdown due to COVID-19


    Several parishes in Metro Manila have recently been locked down because of COVID-19 exposures.

    The Santisima Trinidad Parish in Malate, Manila announced its temporary closure because some of its staff and priest were tested positive from COVID-19.

    “Minarapat naming isara ang ating simbahan at ang opisina ng ating parokya upang mapigilan agad ang pagkalat ng sakit. Dahil din dito, kami ay nagsagawa na ng contact tracing sa mga taong aming nakasalamuha."


    In a statement posted on the Facebook page of the parish on June 26, 2020, the parish priest, told the faithful that he and a parish staff were infected by the coronavirus.

    “Kasalukuyan akong nagpapagaling sa aking silid at malayo sa aming mga kasama sa kumbento na nakapailalim din sa voluntary quarantine at walang iniindang sintomas. Samantalang [ang aming cook] naman ay nakaconfine ngayon at nagpapagaling sa San Juan de Dios Hospital,” the priest said in the statement.

    As of Monday, June 22, 2020, the parish has been in contact with its barangay head for coordination of protocols set by the government and the church. The parish also coordinated with the Ministry of Health Care of the Archdiocese of Manila for medical needs and assistance.

    The parish priest also asked the faithful’s understanding and prayers.

    “Hinihingi ko po ang inyong pasensiya at pang-intindi sa pangyayaring ito. Gayundin, hiling ko na kami ay inyong ipagdasal upang mabilisan kaming gumaling sa sakit na ito at aming malampasan ang pagsubok na ito,” he said.

    In Quezon City, the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Quezon City also announced its temporary lockdown beginning June 25, 2020.

    “It is with deep regret that we announce the temporary lockdown starting today, June 25, 2020, of our Parish Church for at least two weeks,” according to the announcement posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

    The lockdown of the parish was due to the report that one of the parish office staff tested positive from COVID-19.

    “This temporary measure has been immediately has been decided and implemented, in addition to subsequent swab testing of parish personnel, for the protection of everyone,” according to the announcement.

    The parish has scheduled the disinfecting of the church and assured the faithful that they will continue with their online Masses during the two weeks lockdown. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Statement of the Archdiocese of Manila against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020


    "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers’’. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

    We, the clergy of the Archdiocese of Manila, are against any form of terror or lawlessness and we condemn those engaged in these activities that are meant to destroy lives, properties and the peace we all deserve to experience. We believe that it is the duty of the government to ensure the safety and security of each citizen.

    However, after prayerful discernment, diligent study, critical analysis, and prudent discussion of the nature and implications of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, we strongly oppose the passage of House Bill 6875 and Senate Bill 1083 and humbly urge President Rodrigo R. Duterte to heed the plea of different concerned groups calling for the Bill’s rejection.



    Moreover, allowing the passage of a Bill that has vague, amorphous and deleterious provisions will only do more harm than good to our people.

    1. The Bill very clearly and concretely derogates from some established legal principles that are aimed at protecting our fundamental human rights. One’s freedom of expression, rights to privacy, property, ownership and freedom of movement are not anymore guaranteed under this Bill as it allows spying, confiscation of properties and detention beyond the legally allowable time. So, while our rights have been extremely limited, this Bill gives draconian powers to State agents, which, as history will tell us, are almost always abused and mis-used.

    2. We can all argue that we should not fear specially if we are not guilty of anything that violates the laws of our land. But we have reason to fear because of the Bill’s ambiguous and expansive provisions leaving them open to arbitrary and whimsical interpretations which can advertently make us all vulnerable. Even legitimate dissent or criticisms, which are signs of a healthy and working democracy, may be misconstrued as inciting to commit a terror act. Weaponizing this measure to silence critics and detractors will give this government a free- pass even for its inefficiency, ineptness and abuses.

    3. The proponents of this measure should not trivialize the concerns of those opposed to it. We are concerned not simply because of what they alleged as ‘’trust issues’’. Even if we presume full regularity in the implementation or enforcement of this measure, it is the measure itself that poses grave concerns.

    So, while we agree that the government is responsible for the protection of its citizens from any form of harm or terror, it shall do so within the bounds of existing democratic principles and processes. The government should not make as an excuse the upholding of national security while undermining human rights and civil liberties. To do so makes the government terrorist against its own people.

    Guided by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we are duty-bound to oppose such measure as it is contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of man and to the teachings of the Gospel (CCC 2242).

    O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10:17-18)

     

     

    Signed:

     

    CLERGY of the Archdiocese of Manila
    June 25, 2020

     


  • Pope appoints new archbishop of Cagayan de Oro


    Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Jose Cabantan as the next archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.

    Cabantan, who currently serves as bishop of Malaybalay, will replace Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, who has retired at the age of 77.

    Archbishop-elect Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro. COURTESY OF BRENDA P. MILAN via CBCPNews

     

    The appointment was made in Rome at 12 noon Tuesday or 6pm in the Philippines.

    Cabantan, 63, was born in Lagonglong town in Misamis Oriental, and ordained priest at the age of 32 for the Cagayan de Oro archdiocese.

    The bishop took a “late vocation” after a few years of working as a licensed chemical engineer.

    As priest, he led for several years the archdiocese’s social action center before he was named Malaybalay bishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

    The archbishop-elect also holds a degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Loyola School of Theology in Manila.

    In the Philippine bishops’ conference, Cabantan currently heads the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). (CBCPNews)

  • CBCP to meet Online for Plenary Assembly





    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will meet online for their regular gathering of the Bishops’ Plenary Assembly in July as response to the health risk caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
     

    CBCP had announced the cancellation of its plenary assembly last June 5, 2020. Then, it was re-scheduled to be held on July 11-13, 2020 at Pus XII Center.

    Most Rev. Jose Colin Bagaforo, Bishop of Kidapawan and also the CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines Chairman, stated that they are hoping that aside from the Permanent Council Officers, the leaders of the different commissions of CBCP will also participate in the online conference.

    “Canceled yung aming Plenary Assembly ngayong July, indefinite pa baka sa January baka matuloy na. So ang number 1 na gagawin ng CBCP ay magkakaroon kami ng online na pagpupulong ang mga Permanent Council officers together with the heads of the different commissions, naka-schedule pa hindi pa namin alam kung kailan but it will be schedule pa ngayon sigurong June o July,” said the Bishop during an interview with Radio Veritas.

    The plenary assembly of the CBCP is held twice a year, which usually falls every January and July.

    According to Bp. Bagaforo, before postponing the plenary assembly, NASSA/Caritas Philippines agreed on three concerns to be discussed on the plenary.

    One is the response and the contribution of the Church amidst the crisis caused by the pandemic to further assess the appropriate procedures for the new normal.

    “Maaring maging agenda at aming ipi-present with the permanent council, number 1 yung response natin yung ano yung mga nagawa natin, at saka ano yung mga na-contribute natin at saka ano yung ating pananaw, reflections natin that will lead us to our pastoral action, pastoral approaches with regards sa isyu ng new normal in effect ng COVID-19 sa whole society including yung ating Simbahan,” said the Bishop.

    Also, the position of the Church regarding the controversial Anti-Terror Bill of 2020, which includes the provisions of setting aside the right of each citizen and the constitution.

    On the other hand, the NASSA/Caritas Philippines is expected to discuss the continuous preparation of the Church for its 500 years of Christianity in 2021.

    Bishop Bagaforo said that “ang pinaka-urgent na issue which is palagay ko yung stand natin sa Anti-Terror Act na maaring maging batas na, siguro pangatlo diyan yung pag-uusapan namin yung usual yung aming preparations for the 2021–500 years celebration ng ating Simbahan.”

    This is the first time that the bishops’ plenary assembly was canceled in accordance/compliance with the safety health measures implemented by the government that religious gatherings are still not allowed.

    The Bishops' Annual Retreat, which usually occurs every July before the assembly, will also be moved to January next year. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Corpus Christi Mass at Sta. Cruz Parish, on June 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po dito sa community sa Sta. Cruz, ang Archdicoesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. Ito ay dakilang kapistahan ng parokya, ng komunidad. At gayundin po, happy feast day din po sa Blessed Sacrament fathers and brothers na siyang namamahala nitong community dito sa Sta. Cruz.
     

    During this community quarantine, we have been deprived of many things. We are deprived of travel, of visiting friends, of our work and for us religious people, we have been deprived of the Holy Mass. 

    Yes, we have these online Masses but these are not the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It is the same as watching a birthday party or a Christmas party online. It is not the same as being in the party itself. Besides, in these online Masses, we are deprived of the Holy Communion. We may do with this very temporary arrangement of online Mass because of the extraordinary situation we are in.  But it is not the Mass itself.


    Participating in this online Mass, yes, helps you spiritually. You’ll hear the Word of God, it helps you to pray, you become part of a worshipping community. But deep down we know that it is not the Mass. Our celebration with God and our relationship with Him is something that is real, actual and cannot be reduced to virtual. We all long to go back to participate in the Mass in the Church. Virtual is not enough. We want the real thing.

    Totoo, makakarinig tayo ng Salitang Diyos sa virtual. Pwede tayong makipag-usap sa virtual. Kumanta kasabay ng iba sa virtual pero hindi tayo makakakain sa virtual. At ibinigay sa atin ni Hesus ay ang kanyang katawan na tunay na pagkain at ang kanyang dugo na tunay na inumin.

    Marami pong mabibigat na salitang binitawan si Hesus na natanggap ng mga alagad niya. Noong sinabi ni Hesus na siya ang tunay na pagkain na galing sa langit, natanggap ito ng kanyang mga disciples. Noong sinabi niya na ang kakain nito ay magkakaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan, natanggap din ito ng mga disciples. Ngunit noong sinabi niya na ang pagkaing ito ay ang kanyang laman na magbibigay ng buhay sa mundo, umalma na ang kanyang mga disciples. Paano niya maibibigay ang kanyang laman bilang pagkain? Yan po yung protesta nila.

    Noong nagsimula nang umalis ang kanyang mga disciples, mind you, they were disciples and not just part of the crowd. Hindi sinabi ni Hesus, “A, mali lang ang pagkaunawa niyo. Hindi ko naman talagang tinutukoy ang aking laman. Hindi.” Diniin pa ni Hesus, “You heard right. It is really my flesh.” So, he repeated, “Amen, Amen, I say to you and this means truly, truly I say to you.” Totoong sinasabi ko sa inyo, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have no life in you.” Ang aking laman ay tunay na pagkain. At ang aking dugo ay tunay na inumin.

    So, we really receive the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe this because Jesus said so. He also said clearly at the Last Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took bread and said the blessing, broke it, gave it to His disciples saying, “Take this, this is my body.” Then, he took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “Drink this all of you for this is the blood of the covenant which will be shared on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”

    Hindi ba ito ang mga salita na naririnig natin tuwing tayo’y nagsisimba? Naniniwala tayo kasi sinabi ni Hesus. Ginagawa natin ito sapagkat ito’y pinagagawa ni Hesus.

    This is the firm belief of the Church that is why St. Paul reminded his Christians in Corinth, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

    So, this has been taken by the early Church as part of their belief. It is but right then, that there is this great longing among us. Now, to soon participate in the real Mass and to receive the body of Christ. The Eucharist is so important for us and we have been deprived of this for the past three months, exactly ninety days today. We need it. The Eucharist sustains us in our journey.

    Ang mga Israelita ay nakatawid ng disyerto dahil sa may pagkain ng Mana na nagpalakas sa kanilang paglalakbay. Ang Komunyon ay higit pa kesa sa Mana.

    Those who ate the Mana, all died in the desert whereas the promise of Jesus is that, who eat his body will live forever. This is essential for us. Jesus told us clearly, “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” We will get life, real life because of Jesus whom we receive in Holy Communion.

    For this, we clamor to the IATF to consider religious services as essential services and not just consider us in the category of entertainment among movies and beauty salons.

    Online Masses are not the same as the real Eucharist. Religious activities also should not necessarily be considered as Mass gatherings because we have safeguards to control the people who come to our Masses and religious activities.

    So, it is not fair for them to limit our attendance in the GCQ to only ten persons irrespective of the sizes of our Churches. Where is the scientific basis for limiting us to ten persons only? How come when people were allowed to go to work in the offices, they do not put a limit to only ten persons in an office? They say one meter or even six feet apart. Why not say the same for the Churches instead of saying of only ten persons can come to attend in the Mass?

    Kailangan magsalita kasi para sa atin mahalaga ang Eukaristiya. Mahalaga ang Misa at ang mahalaga ay ipinaglalaban. Kung hindi nila ito nakikita na mahalaga, igalang nila ang ating paniniwala na ito ay mahalaga para sa atin.

    So, Jesus did not water down his statement that his body is real food when his disciples were leaving. Not only that, he really gave up his life even dying on the cross so that we can partake on his body. From his fierce side, his body’s blood was poured out for us. This is how serious Jesus has taken the giving of his body for us. I hope we are also that serious in receiving him.

    Mahalaga ang katawan ni Kristo kasi ito ay nagbibigay ng buhay sa atin. Anong klaseng buhay? Eternal life. Ang eternal life ay hindi lang buhay na kadugtong ng sa buhay natin ngayon na ito ay magsisimula kapag namatay na tayo. No, eternal life is not only a prolongation of this life as we know it. It is another kind of life. It is the life of God himself. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

    This is the life of Jesus that we receive when we receive Communion.  It is not like the ordinary food that we eat. When we eat food, the food is transformed in us. In the Eucharist, we are transformed into what we have eaten. Nabubuhay tayo dahil kay Hesus.

    This is the challenge for us. We allow Jesus to transform us into His likeness.  We become Christ-like if we allow Him because we receive Him. At ano ba si Hesus? Ano ba ang buhay niya? Siya’y matulungin sa kapwa. Siya’y malakas ang tiwala sa Diyos Ama. Naninindigan sa katotohanan. Siya’y nagdarasal. Siya’y nakikiisa sa mga dukha. Ginagawa niya ang kalooban ng Ama at hindi yung gusto niya. Ganyan ba ang buhay natin? O kung hindi pa naman, patungo ba tayo sa ganyang katangian? Ganyang klaseng buhay?

    The presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is not limited during the Holy Mass. He remains with us in the tabernacles of our Churches. We reserve the presence of Jesus in our Churches so that people can come and adore Him when they visit the Church.

    Our Churches are now open as quarantine rules are... Ugaliin po natin na dumaan sa simbahan at magdasal sa harap ng Blessed Sacrament. Maraming mga Adoration Chapels ay sarado pa kasi ang mga ito ay maliliit at airconditioned kung saan madaling kumalat ang virus. Pero ang mga simbahan natin ay maluluwang. Dalawin natin si Hesus. Ang mga larawan ng mga santo ay yan nga, mga larawan, mga sagisag, mga paalaala sa mga santo. Ang Eukaristiya ay hindi lang paalaala kay Hesus, ito’y si Hesus mismo. Kaya dalawin natin siya at magdasal sa harap niya. At dito po sa atin sa Sta. Cruz, sa gitna ng Maynila mismo ay mayroong exposition ng Blessed Sacrament ng buong araw kaya lumapit po tayo. Dalawin natin. Ugaliin natin na kausapin mismo si Hesus sa Blessed Sacrament.

    While the Eucharist is a great privilege, it is also a great responsibility. The privilege is that we have God as food. God enters into us. We are so united with Him in a very intimate way. The responsibility is we allow God to transform us. We become like Jesus by following Him day by day.

    I like that music in the play and the movie Godspell, “Day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray, to see the more clearly, to love the more dearly and to follow the more nearly, day by day.” Hindi ba maganda? At yan nga ang buhay Kristiyano na lalo nating makilala si Hesus. Lalo natin siyang mahalin. Lalo natin siyang tularan. Maging tulad tayo ni Hesus.

    We become and when we follow Him, maging tulad tayo ni Hesus, we become truly who we are as God the creator intended us to be. Magagawa kaya natin ito? Maging tulad ni Hesus? Oo, kasi si Hesus mismo ay nananahan sa atin. Yan ang Eucharist sa atin – ang katawan ni Kristo. Si Kristo mismo na sumasaatin. Talagang siya ay ang Emmanuel - the God who is with us and always with us. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Prayers of elderly not just important, but indispensable in the Church


    Most Rev. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila has called on the elderly to become prayer intercessors during this time of pandemic.

    In his Pastoral Instruction called “Our Eagerness to Serve” released on June 11, 2020, Bishop Pabillo stressed the importance of the service of prayer that the elderly can still do is not only important, but indispensable in the Church.

    “Though still kept in your houses for the time being, please accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis,” the Bishop said.


    The Bishop also commended the tireless effort of the lay faithful who continue to serve the parishes and the Archdiocese. But he reminded them to take the necessary precautions and follow the instructions given by the Department of Health so as not to be infected and to avoid the contamination.

    He discouraged the elderly and the senior citizens from doing voluntary services in the church for safety reasons. He asked them to make it a sacrifice and assured them that it is only temporary.

    “My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family,” he said.

    “Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many it is a sacrifice, not to serve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over. This is just temporary. The time will surely come when you may again be able to come and serve, which we hope and pray will be soon,” he added.

    Bishop Pabillo asked the elderly to recruit young volunteers to take their place while the pandemic is not yet over.

    “I would appeal to our elderly parish volunteers that if you truly love your parish, you will recruit one or two young volunteers to take your place in the church.

    We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation, such as the Health Ministry and the Social Communications Ministry,” he said.

    Due to the present situation, more volunteers are needed who could assist the church to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. They would also be needing volunteers who could facilitate the observance of proper physical distancing, and also those who will regularly sanitize the churches every after mass. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "Manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba"


    “Yes, let us try to know God but we accept the fact that we cannot fully grasp Him. He is so great, so much beyond us. Such is the mystery of God. Such is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. That’s why we end up praising Him – pinupuri natin siya.”

    These were the words spoken by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during his homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on June 7, 2020, explaining the mystery and the faithful’s connectivity with the Triune God.


    In his homily, Bishop Pabillo reflected on the story of Saint Augustine who wanted to understand the mystery of the Triune God so he spent time thinking, praying, reflecting and meditating on a beach for some time until he became tired. On the beach, he saw a young boy going back and forth to the sea carrying a (tabo). The boy wanted to put the water he got from the sea in a hole he made from the sand. Later on, St. Augustine found out that the boy was the angel sent by the Lord to give him a lesson.

    This was the same message the Bishop wanted to impart the faithful during the Mass. According to him, the mystery of the Lord is beyond the things we know. But during Baptism, he said, the faithful become related to God and becomes part of His family.

    “Pero ang Diyos ay hindi lamang natin inuunawa, siya ay ating isasabuhay kaya ibinigay niya ang kanyang divine life sa atin noong tayo ay bininyagan dahil nakiisa na tayo sa buhay ng Diyos kaya may kaugnayan na tayo sa kanya. Siya ay ating ama, ating kapatid, ating patnubay,” he said.

    The celebration of the Most Holy Trinity Bishop Pabillo added is also the celebration of the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC).

    “Kaya nga itong ating kapistathan ng Sangtatlo ay kapistahan ng BEC ng small Christian communities. God as community is also the model of all human communities – from the family to our BECs to our church organizations to our Church. We belong to one family,” he said.

    At the end of his homily, Bishop Pabillo stressed to the faithful the challenge of the Holy Trinity.

    “Ang pinakahamon ng Isang Tatlong Diyos ay manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba. Iyan ang ating Diyos. Iba ang Diyos Ama sa Diyos Anak. Iba siya sa Diyos Espiritu Santo pero iisang Diyos lang sila kumikilos bilang isa. Isa lang ang balak nila sa ating kaligtasan. Isa lang ang kanilang mensahe,” he said.

    The Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after the Pentecost. It celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • RCAM Chrism Mass 2020 set on June 19


    Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, announced that the celebration of Chrism Mass for the archdiocese is scheduled on June 19, 2020, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, at 9 in the morning. The Chancery Office of the Archdiocese made this announcement in a circular released last June 4, 2020.

    Chrism Mass is usually held on Holy Thursday of the Holy week held at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. But because of the coronavirus outbreak, the celebration was postponed after the government's declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon which prohibited public gatherings including liturgical services.


    According to Father Malicdem, the said celebration will have certain limitations in accordance with the protocol set by the government.

    “We will announce later who can attend the Chrism Mass. This will depend on the quarantine classification by then,” he said.

    The renewal of priestly promises, which usually happens during Chrism mass,  is scheduled on August 4, 2020, Feast of St. John Mary Vianney with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Manila Cathedral, at 9 a.m., to celebrate Clergy Day.

    Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the Bishop’s priesthood. During this Mass, all the priests gather at their respective diocesan cathedrals as a sign of unity with the bishop as well as the brotherhood among the priests. It is also during this mass that the chrism oil and the oil of the sick are blessed. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: Our Eagerness to Serve


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    We are expecting the gradual opening of our church activities, which we believe to be essential services to our people in order to make us resilient in times of crisis such as this corona virus pandemic. We eagerly await this. We not only want to come back to take part in the church services, but for those of us who serve in the different ministries and organizations, we are very much excited to resume our services.



    I truly appreciate the time and treasure given by our lay faithful in serving the church. With our very limited number of priests, we really need the services of the lay people in our parishes and in the Archdiocese. But as we want to serve, we are aware that not because the quarantine notices have been downgraded, the corona virus has weakened or has altogether disappeared. The hidden enemy is still around us. So, necessary precautions have to be taken not to be infected, all the more now that people freely roam around. Thus, we follow the instructions given by the Department of Health to minimize the contamination.

    Hence, we discourage the elderly, those who are senior citizens, to do voluntary service in the church for the time being. My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family. Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many it is a sacrifice, not to erve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over.

    This is just temporary. The time will surely come when you may again be able to come and serve, which we hope and pray will be soon. Our parishes will surely miss you and your service. In many of our communities, a good number of lay volunteers are among the elderly. So we sorely need younger volunteers. I would appeal to our elderly parish volunteers that if you truly love your parish, you will recruit one or two young volunteers to take your place in the church.

    We need more volunteers now since there are new ministries to be created or strengthened because of our situation, such as the Health Ministry and the Social Communications Ministry. We will have to bring communion to the sick and to the elderly near their homes. We will need people to help keep the proper physical distancing and to regularly disinfect our churches. Please help us to get more volunteers.

    An important service that the elderly can still do is the service of prayer, which is not only important, but indispensable in the Church. Though still kept in your houses for the time being, please accompany the church activities with your prayers and spiritual, and even material, offerings. You be our prayer intercessors at this time of crisis.

    Let us keep in mind that in the Church “there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:5-6).




    Yours sincerely in Jesus Christ,


    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    June 11, 2020

     

     

     

       

     

     

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Sunday Mass for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on June 7, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Happy fiesta po sa inyong lahat! At talagang ito’y isang dakilang kapistahan sa buong simabahan at sa parokyang ito kasi ito po yung katangi-tanging kapistahan ng Diyos mismo.

    Tayong mga tao ay hindi nabubuhay na mag-isa. We are social beings. Sa simula ng ating buhay, may mga tao na, na nag-aantay sa atin at magiging maayos ang buhay natin kapag may pamilya na mag-aaruga sa atin. Lalung nabatid natin na tayo ay social beings ngayong panahon ng quarantine. Napagtiyagaan natin ang halos tatlong buwan ng lockdown dahil may kasama tayo sa bahay. At dahil naka-connect tayo sa iba sa pamamagitan ng internet at ng mga cellphones. Ano kaya ang kalagayan natin kung nag-iisa tayo sa loob ng halos tatlong buwang ito? Iyan ang kahirapan ng parusang solitary confinement – gawin kang mag-isa, mababaliw ka kasi tayo ay social beings.


    Sinabi ng Diyos noong paglikha niya sa tao, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Ganito tayo sapagkat tayo’y nilikha ng Diyos na kaniyang kawangis.  God created us in his image and in his likeness. Tulad tayo ng Diyos at ang Diyos ay iisa ngunit siya ay community.

    Ito ang dakilang kapistahan na ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon. God as Trinity. The Triune God. God one in three. One God in three persons. Ang translation sa Trinity sa Pilipino ay Sangtatlo. Ibig sabihin, Isang Tatlo o kaya Isatlo na ibig sabihin, Isa at Tatlo.

    Totoo, ang Diyos ay isa. Wala nang ibang Diyos. Siya ang pinakamakapangyarihan at siya ang pinagmumulan ng lahat. Siya ang simula ng lahat. Pero noong nagpakilala siya kay Moses sa Bundok ng Sinai, ang katangiang kanyang ipinakita ay hindi ang kanyang kapangyarihan o ang kanyang lakas kundi ang kanyang pagiging ubod ng kabaitan.

    The Lord, the merciful and gracious God. Slow to anger, rich in kindness and fidelity. Nobody else nothing else is more merciful than he. This is His uniqueness.

    Sa Lumang Tipan, palaging pinaninindigan ng mga propeta na ang Diyos ay iisa kasi ang mga tao sa paligid ng Israel ay naniniwala sa maraming mga Diyos. Sinabi ng mga propeta na hindi sila mga Diyos, mga diyus-diyosan lamang sila kasi iisa lang ang tunay na Diyos. Sa halip na maglinkod sa iisang Diyos, ang mga Israelita ay paulit ulit na sinasamba ang mga diyus-diyosan sapagkat ang mga ito ay walang mga utos na dapat nilang sundin. The Gods have no demand over them. Sumasamba sila sa mga diyus-diyosan at ginagawa nila ang gusto nila.

    But the one God has revealed himself has demands. The one God has a moral will. If we serve him, we do what He wants not what we want. The Israelites did not want this. They preferred their likes over the will and the ways of God.

    Huwag natin pagtawanan ang mga Israelitas sa kanilang kahangalan kasi ganyan din tayo. Mas gusto natin ang ating hilig kaysa kalooban ng Diyos. Gusto natin pagbigyan ang ating layaw, ang ating pag-iisip, ang ating mga pananaw kaya iba’t ibang diyos din ang ating pinaglilinkuran.  Ibig kong sabihin ang binibigyan natin ng ating panahon, ng ating pera at ng ating atensiyon. Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyayari? Binibigyan natin ng atensiyon, ng panahon, ng pera ang ating bisyo? Ang ating kayamanan, ang ating kaaliwan o mga tao o mga sistema na dini-diyos natin? Kaya hanggang ngayon, marami pa ang mga tao na sumasamba sa mga diyus-diyosan.

    Para sa ikabubuti ng lahat, sabi ng Diyos na magpatawad tayo sa mga nagkakamali. Ang gusto natin ay mawala na sila kaya gusto natin ang bitay. Wala tayong kibo sa extra-judicial killings. Sabi ng Diyos maging tapat tayo sa inyong asawa. Gusto ng iba ay divorce o wala nang kasal.

    Ang Diyos ang katotohanan ngunit tayoý nagpapakalat ng mga false news o naniniwala sa mga fake news. Hindi natin sinusunod ang kalooban ng Diyos kaya malayo sa atin ang kaharian ng Diyos.

    Itong iisang Diyos na puno ng awa at pag-ibig ay pinakilala sa Bagong Tipan na isang pamilya, isang community kaya narinig natin sa ating Ebanghelyo na ganun na lang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sanlibutan na pinadala niya ang kanyang kaisa-isang anak upang ang tao ay hindi mapahamak kundi maligtas. God sent his son.

    Last Sunday, we heard that Jesus pray to the Father to send another advocate to lead us to the whole truth and that the Spirit will teach us. What the Spirit will teach us comes from Jesus which really comes from the Father. So, Jesus the son of God who became man is the one who tells us that this one God is Father, Son and Spirit. Our God is a relational God. He himself relates that is why he is Trinity.

    This teaching has been clearly accepted by the apostles that they spoke about the Trinity and even use this in their blessings and prayers. In our Second Reading, we hear the ending of the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians which is a blessing and he wrote, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

    Is this greeting not familiar to you? Ito’y ginagamit din natin sa pagbati sa simula ng ating Misa, “Ang pagpapala ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos Ama at ang pakikipagkaisa ng Espiritu Santo ay sumainyong lahat.”

    We believe in the Triune God. The God who is three in one because it has been revealed to us. Hindi naman natin ito maisip kung hindi ito ipinahayag kung hindi ito sinabi ni Hesus mismo. Ito ay hindi natin inimbento. Ito’y tinanggap natin sa anak ng Diyos.

    Pero isa at tatlo? Ano ba ito? Paano ba ito? Hindi natin ito lubos na maintindihan. Napakahiwaga ang katotohanang ito. Ito ay Diyos. Maiintindihan ba natin ang Diyos? Kung maunawaan na natin ng lubusan ang Diyos, hindi na yan Diyos kasi mas mataas tayo kaysa na-gets natin. Hindi naman maaaring mas mataas tayo sa Diyos kaya talagang may misteryo, may hiwaga na higit pa kaysa sa atin.

    Alam natin ang kuwento tungkol kay San Agustin. Gusto niyang maintindihan ang hiwaga ng Santatlo kaya mahabang oras siyang nagdarasal, nag-iisip, naglalakad sa isang beach upang ito’y pagnilayan. Sa katagalan ng panahon at noong pagod na siya sa kaiisip, napalingon siya at nakita niya sa malayu layo ang isang batang pabalik balik sa dagat na may dalang tabo. Sumalok ito sa dagat at dinadala ang tubig sa isang butas na kaniyang ginawa sa buhangin. Nang malapit na si Agustin, tinanong niya ang bata,

    “Ano bang ginagawa mo? Ano bang balak mo?”

    “Gusto ko pong ilagay ang tubig ng dagat sa butas na ginawa ko.”

    “Dong,”ani Agustin, “Tingnan mo ang lawak ng dagat. Hindi mo yan maikakasya sa butas na ito.”

    Ganun din po ang ginagawa ninyo. Gusto ninyo ilagay ang hiwaga ng Diyos na higit pang malawak kaysa dagat na ito sa ulo ninyo. Yan palang bata ay isang anghel na pinadala ng Diyos upang magbigay ng leksiyon kay Agustin.

    Yes, let us try to know God but we accept the fact that we cannot fully grasp Him. He is so great, so much beyond us. Such is the mystery of God. Such is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. That’s why we end up praising Him – pinupuri natin siya. 

    Pero ang Diyos ay hindi lamang natin inuunawa, siya ay ating isasabuhay kaya ibinigay niya ang kanyang divine life sa atin noong tayo ay bininyagan dahil nakiisa na tayo sa buhay ng Diyos kaya may kaugnayan na tayo sa kanya. Siya ay ating ama, ating kapatid, ating patnubay. He is the God who is above us, who is the God who is with us. He is the God who is within us. Galing tayo sa Diyos at tayo’y babalik sa kanya. Siya ang may likha sa atin kaya tinitingala natin siya at sinasamba natin siya. He is the God above us.

    Si Hesus ang anak ng Diyos ay naging tulad natin. Siya ay ating kapatid at halimbawa na matutularan kaya siya’y nakikilakbay sa atin. He is God with us – the Emmanuel.

    Ang ating lakas, ang ating liwanag, ang ating sigla ay ang Espiritu Santo na ibinigay sa atin. He is the God within us. May kaugnayan tayo sa Sangtatlo. Kasama tayo sa kanilang pagsasamahan. We are part of the community of the God. The community that is God.

    Kaya nga itong ating kapistathan ng Sangtatlo ay kapistahan ng BEC ng small Christian communities. God as community is also the model of all human communities – from the family to our BECs to our church organizations to our Church. We belong to one family. Isa lang ang ating apelyido. Ikanga, pareho ang dugo na lumalatay sa ating katawan pero iba-iba ang katangian ng mga miyembro ng pamilya. Iba si tatay kay bunso. Iba si ate kay kuya. Iba-iba ang ating ugali at kakayahan. Isa lang tayo, isang pamilya ngunit magkaiba. Kung talagang tayo ay nagmamahalan, sinisikap natin manatili ang pagkakaisa pero ginagalang natin ang ating pagkakaiba.

    Ganun din ang simbahan, iba-iba tayo. Ako ay obispo. Siya ay madre. Siya ay tatay. Ako ay lalaki. Siya ay babae. Ako’y matanda. Siya’y bata. Ang iba’y may pinag-aralan. Ang iba ay wala. Ano man ang kalagayan natin, bawat isa sa atin ay anak ng Diyos. May iisa tayong pananampalataya. May isa lang tayong patutunguhan at ang iisang Espiritu ang nagpapakilos sa ating lahat. Isa at marami.

    Ang pinakahamon ng Isang Tatlong Diyos ay manatili sa pagkakaisa pero kilalanin at igalang ang pagkakaiba. Iyan ang ating Diyos. Iba ang Diyos Ama sa Diyos Anak. Iba siya sa Diyos Espiritu Santo pero iisang Diyos lang sila kumikilos bilang isa. Isa lang ang balak nila sa ating kaligtasan. Isa lang ang kanilang mensahe. Hindi ba sinabi ni Hesus ang Espiritu ang magpapaalaala sa inyo ng aking mga katuruan at ang katuruang ito ay galing sa Ama. Paano ito mangyayari? Nagkakaisa pero magkaiba. Ito ay mangyayari kung mayroong pagmamahalan. That’s why God is love. We are united because we love one another but the love for each does not erase our individualities but respect our identities. 

    So, the Trinity is not only to be known but to be lived. Isabuhay natin ang Diyos na Isatlo. Sa bandang huli sa kabilang buhay, mas magiging maliwanag ang ating pakikiisa sa daloy ngpagmamahalan ng Isatlo. We need the infinity of time to reflect on God. Pero ngayon pa lang isinasabuhay na atin ito sa ating pamilya, sa ating BEC, sa ating samahan, sa ating simbahan ang Isatlo. Kaya ang lahat ng ating gawain ay gawin natin sa ngalan ng Ama at ng Anak at ng Espiritu Santo. (Archdiocese of Manil – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Quiapo Church holds mass after ECQ

    Quiapo Church has reminded the faithful to strictly follow the safety health protocols implemented by the government with the recommendation of medical health experts.

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, re-started their public celebration of masses last June 5, Friday after the 3-month lockdown in Metro Manila.

    “Sa ating mga deboto na dadalaw sa Quiapo, sundin po natin ang mga safety protocols yung guidelines, pumila tayo ng maayos at maghintay upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagdasal sa loob ng simbahan,” said Rev. Fr. Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of Quiapo Church, during an interview at Radio Veritas regarding the opening of public masses in Quiapo Church.

    Photo Credit: Radio Veritas Facebook Page


    Fr. Badong, who is also anchor of Radyo Veritas Program Barangay Simbayanan, explained that 10 people are allowed to attend mass inside Quiapo Church accordingly to the guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

    If there is no celebration of the Mass, the Church allows 50 people to pray inside but they are asked to stay only 15 minutes to give way to other devotees who want to see and pray to the statue of the Black Nazarene.

    Fr. Badong stated that the faithful must pass through the main entrance of the Church to enter and have their body temperature checked by personnel. After that, they are required to sanitize their hands before entering the Church.

    The Church has also strictly implemented measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the church, such as wearing face masks and observing physical distancing. The tradition of kissing the Black Nazarene Statue is not yet allowed.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed religious gatherings but with limited attendees to a maximum of 5 in the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) areas, a maximum of 10 in the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas, and 50 percent capacity in Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) areas.

    The Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared on March 15, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit, allow the Catholic faithful to uphold their mission in the Church


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila reflected on the mission of the Catholic faithful during the Online Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 31, 2020.
     

    “Jesus is faithful. He has not taken back the gifts that he has given. The Holy Spirit acts in us now in our daily…. And we understand him although we have different tongues, we experience the same gifts of the spirit. The same charisma that is given to us from time passed up to now. The great proof that the spirit acts in us is the flowering of holiness that we find in the church,” he said.


    Bishop Pabillo emphasized that the seven gifts from the Holy Spirit is enduring until the end times such as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts lead the lay faithful on recognizing their mission to become Holy, thus, making them an instrument for the common good and the Church in general.

    During this time when people are seeking authenticity and accountability, Bishop Pabillo acknowledged the difficulty when Christians face persecution as much as temptations in the digital age. It requires willpower to become a good person in order to purify one’s intentions to serve the Church.

    “In spite of the scandals in the Church and the sins of the people in the Church that are being magnified by social media, still, there are numerous people who are striving to be good. People who want to know God. People who serve others selflessly, who stand up for the truth,” he added.

    The bishop also says that the blessing given to the faithful through the gifts becomes a reminder that they are strengthened and renewed by God in the course of time. He is hopeful that the faithful may truly benefit from these gifts by allowing themselves to be moved by it despite the obstacles they encounter in life.

    “Ang kapistahan ng Pentecost ay nagpapaalaala sa atin na buhay ang Diyos sa piling natin. Nasa atin ang kanyang energy. Nasa atin ang kanyang kapangyarihan, ang kanyang force. Kung ganito nga, huwag dapat tayong dapat manghina at huwag tayong magpabaya. Let us be hopeful and vibrant. God’s spirit is renewing the face of the earth in a way that we can hardly imagine,” he said.

    The prelate reminded the faithful that the gifts from the Holy Spirit is never limited but limitless, thus he encourages them to trust the will of the Lord that these gifts may eventually bear fruits.

    “These gifts are not exhaustive. They are representative. Marami pang ibang gifts. Let these gifts flow in our lives. Huwag nating hadlangan at ito’y mamumunga. Let the fruit of the spirit in us blossom which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” the bishop added.

    Pentecost Sunday is significant because it is recognized as the birth of the Catholic Church and primarily as the beginning of the Church's mission to the whole world. In the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended to the Apostles. The Holy Spirit was also described as "sounded as a strong wind; tongues of fire." Hence, the Apostles were able to speak in different languages. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Church Growth and the Significant Contribution of the Laity


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila described how the early Church grew and expanded exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that all the believers have taken part.

    This was the content of the reflection given by the bishop in one of the sessions during Online Retreat last May 28, 2020.

    According to the bishop, parishioners have to be taught and involved to become good stewards, that is, helping them discover the calling entrusted to everyone by the Creator.

    "In the parish, an important service that a parish can do is to make people aware of their being stewards. This is part of our vocation. Part of our call as human beings. When God created us, He created us to take care of the rest of creation. So let us be aware of this. So the parish should make people aware of their being blessed and so of their being grateful," he said.


    Bishop. Pabillo pointed out that the faithful would, later on, recognize that being a steward leads to being responsible for God's creation. This means contributing to one’s time, talent and treasure. Moreover, it is a mission that is given to the faithful to fulfill within their particular situation by helping other people like families, co-workers, neighbors and most of all the poor.

    "When we are aware of the gifts being given to us, we become grateful because it has been entrusted to us so that's part of the work of the Parish and the Parish makes us know our identity as human beings in front of the Creator and as I have said, as human beings, we are given a mission, a mission to be the image of God in the rest of Creation. That is to be able to take care of the rest of creation in the name of God," he added.

    In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prelate explained that Parishes should encourage the faithful to assist the Church in their pastoral priorities such as volunteer work which enables them to value the community they are involved in. This is also true of the love offerings that they contribute which benefit the needy.

    "Part of also the work in the Parish is to make people generous and when people are generous they grow in love. So let us not be afraid to ask people to volunteer especially after this COVID experience, we need a lot of young volunteers for the work in the Parish because when they volunteer, they grow in love. Let us not be afraid to ask for contributions, anyway the contributions don't come to us but to the Church, to the people whom the Church serves," he said.

    The Apostolic Administrator appealed to the parishes to utilize their resources. He mentioned that in the early Church, stewardship was already being practiced. In the contemporary time, parishes are in the same way called to carry out the early Church's mission of serving the needy.

    "Let us help one another. Some parishes are capable, some are not. Let us share our resources together. If we do this, there will be no poor among us and people will believe and this is a testimony of the early Church. The early Church grew and expanded exponentially, more than exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that they had," the bishop said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during the online Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 31, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Binabati ko po ang mga Charismatic groups na kasama natin sa Banal na Misang ito. Iba’t ibang uri ng mga Charismatic groups dito po sa Archdiocese at sa buong bansa at kahit na sa ibang bahagi ng mundo. Yung mga office base, yung mga parish base saka yung mga transparochial groups. At binabati ko rin po ang mga kabataan natin na sumama po sa online vigil mula pa kahapon na inaabangan ang pagdating ng Banal na Espiritu. Talagang ito’y isang dakilang kapistahan para sa ating lahat.

    Last Sunday, Ascension Sunday, pinagkatiwala ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad ang kanyang misyon bago siya umakyat sa langit. Pero bago sila lumabas sa buong mundo upang dalhin ang Mabuting Balita, sinabihan muna sila na maghintay sa may Jerusalem upang tanggapin ang ipadadala niya sa kanila.

    Jesus laid how everything necessary for the work of the disciples by his teachings. He had stayed with them so that they may observe them and learn from his examples for three years. He had given witness to his love by his suffering and by dying for them. He had shown that he has the power to surpass his enemies, to surpass the power of sin and even of death by His resurrection. He stayed with them for forty days after his resurrection to assure them that he is truly alive and to tie any loose ends if there were any in their understanding of him and his mission.


    Okay na ang lahat pero may isa pang kulang, takot pa rin ang mga alagad. Nagkulong sila sa isang kuwarto. Siguro ayaw nilang makilala sila ngmga awtoridad na sila ay mga alagad ni Hesus. Baka ang ginawa kay Hesus ay gawin din sa kanila.  Sinamahan sila ng Mahal na Ina sa panalangin marahil pinalalakas ang kanilang loob. Ano ang kulang sa mga alagad? Ang lakas ng loob at energy at tapang, ang sigla, ang kakayahang lumabas na makilala at magpakilala sa dala dala nilang balita. Dumating ang lakas na ito noong araw ng Pentekostes sa Jerusalem.

    Ang Pentekostes ay isa nang matandang dakilang kapistahan ng mga Hudyo. Ito ay nagaganap fifty days after the Passover feast. The Jews celebrate in Pentecost the giving of the Law of Moses at Mt. Sinai after having freed from the slavery from Egypt, they traveled to Mt. Sinai. Malaya na sila pero ano ang gagawin nila sa kanilang kalayaan? Ginawa silang malaya upang maglingkod sa Diyos bilang kanyang bayan. Doon sa Bundok ng Sinai biniyayaan sila ng batas na mapanatili bilang isang malayang bayan ng Diyos.

    Being such a great yearly feast, many Jews from all over the Roman Empire gathered in Jerusalem. Pentecost is one of the three great feasts of the year that the Jews would go to Jerusalem. The other two are the Passover Feast and the Feast of Shelters. Kaya maraming tao noon sa Jerusalem. Natutuwa ang mga Hudyo na mayroon silang batas na galing sa Diyos. Maganda ang batas galing pa naman ito sa Diyos. Hindi na nila kailangan hulaan pa ano ang gusto ng Diyos. Nakasaad na sa batas. Ang problema lang hindi nila masunod ang batas. Wala silang kakayahan na gawin ito kaya sa kanilang kasaysayan, palagi silang inaakusa ng mga propeta sa kanilang paglihis ng landas.

    So, it is not enough to have the law. It is not enough to know the law. We need to follow the law. Kaya para sa ating mga Kristiyano sa Pentekostes, inaalaala natin hindi na ang pagbigay ng batas na nakasulat sa bato kundi ang batas na nakasulat sa puso ng bawat isa sa atin.  Iyan ang espiritu ng Diyos na ipinagkaloob sa atin. Sa espiritung ito ay magpapaalaala sa atin ng turo ni Hesus. Ang espiritong ito ay nagdadala sa atin sa buong katotohanan. Ang espiritong ito ay magbibigay sa atin ng kakayahan na gawin ang kalooban ng Diyos. So, it is now within our power to fulfill the law and to follow Jesus.

    Ang Pentekostes ay ang kapistahan ng Espiritu Santo. Hindi na natin masyadong nabibigyan ng diin at pansin ang Espiritu Santo dahil sa ito ay espiritu kaya mahirap maintindihan, mahirap ma-i-imagine ang espiritu. Sa maraming larawan natin ng espiritu, pinapakita ang isang taga…Ito ay dahil sa sinabi ng lahat ng apat na mga Ebanghelyo na bumaba ang espiritu kay Hesus sa anyo ng isang kalapati noong sya’y bininyagan. Pero may mg images pa ng Holy Spirit sa Banal na Kasulatan na makabuluhan. Ang espiritu ay inihahalintulad sa tubig, sa apoy at sa hangin.

    Now, what is in common among these three? – Fire, water and wind?

    Una, ang tatlong ito ay dynamic. Hindi mapanghahawakan. Palaging gumagalaw. Ang tubig ay dumadaloy at kinukuha niya ang porma ng baso, ng palanggana, ng hukay sa lupa, ng patak sa dahon o bulaklak. Hindi natin mahahawakan ang tubig.

    Ang apoy ay palaging gumagalaw. Tignan lang natin ang pagtatalon talon, ang pagsasayaw sayaw ng apoy sa kandila o sa pugon.

    Ang hangin ay nandiyan at nararamdaman natin pero hindi natin nakikita. Hindi natin mapanghahawakan. It blows wherever it wills. Ganun ang espiritu. Always dynamic. Full of life, ang unpredictable.

    Isa pa na common sa tatlo, sa apoy, sa tubig at sa hangin. Sila’y kailangang kailangan sa buhay. Hindi tayo mabubuhay ng tatlong araw ng walang tubig. Ano kaya ang buhay natin ng walang apoy? Hindi tayo makakapagluto. Giginawin tayo. Wala tayon liwanag. Hangin. Ilang saglit lang mamamatay tayo kung kulang sa hangin kung walang hangin. Ganun natin din kailangan ang espiritu.

    So, St. Paul wrote, “That we cannot even say that Jesus is Lord if it were not for the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is compared to life. We do not see life but it is a force that keeps us alive and allows us to function. The life in the finger is the same life in the kidney. It is the same life in the rain.

    So, also in the Church, we have different functions and different gifts but it is the same spirit that animates all. The mother teaching the children to pray, the priest celebrating the sacraments, the charismatic groups having prayer meetings, the youth helping others, the volunteers feeding the children, all these are able to work in the Church because of the Holy Spirit.

    There is another thing in common – fire, wind and water. Naranasan ito natin. Hindi natin na-control ng ilang buwan ang bushfire sa Amazon at sa Australia. Wala tayong magawa pagdating ng baha kundi umakyat sa taas. Nagtatago tayo kapag dumating ang malakas na hangin ng bagyo. So, also we are not able to control the strength and the energy of the Holy Spirit.

    Fortunately, the strength of the Holy Spirit is not destructive. It is there to give life. In our Responsorial Psalm, we repeatedly implore God, “Lord send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Panibaguhin mo ang lahat. He is the source of renewal and transformation. We have seen this in our First Reading from being fearful men, the apostles became courageous and proclaimed out openly to all the wonderful things that God is doing.

    The Holy Spirit is also the source of unity. People coming from different places in the Roman Empire and speaking different languages were gathered together and could understand the message. We have heard the people saying, we can hear them in our tongues and this is the theme of the gathering of the youth since yesterday. We can hear, we can discern, we can understand in our own tongues. Together, we could understand the message lalung lalo na ang kapangyarihan ng magpatawad ng kasalanan. Iyan ang regalong binigay ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad. Kaya sinabi niya sa mga alagad, “Receive the Holy Spirit, for sins you forgive, they are forgiven.” Hiningahan niya at sinabi, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    Mga kapatid, ang Espirtu Santo ay binigay ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad sa araw ng kanyang pagkabuhay. Ang Espiritu Santo ay bumaba sa pamamagitan ng malakas na hangin at mga dilang apoy sa simbahan sa araw ng Pentekostes. Ang Espiritu Santo ay kumilos noon sa simabahan sa panahon ni San Pablo ay siya ring Espritu Santo na nasa bawat isa sa atin at kumikilos sa simbahan ngayon.

    Jesus is faithful. He has not taken back the gifts that he has given. The Holy Spirit acts in us now in our daily…. And we understand him although we have different tongues, we experience the same gifts of the spirit. The same charisma that is given to us from the time passed up to now. The great proof that the spirit acts in us is the flowering of holiness that we find in the church. In spite of the scandals in the church and the sins of the people in the church that are being magnified by social media, still, there are numerous people who are striving to be good. People who want to know God. People who serve others selflessly, who stand up for the truth.

    We even experience just a few days ago, many people following the online retreat. All of these are manifestations of the desire for holiness. And the efforts to be holy in our times. This is the work of the spirit. In our recent history, we also see the flowering of Charismatic Movements in the Church among Evangelicals, among Protestants, among Catholics. This is a powerful force in the world now coming from the Holy Spirit.

    In the Church, many non-practicing Catholics have been renewed in their commitment to the faith by means of the Charismatic Movements and they continue to reach out to others.  There are many religious congregations now that came from the Charismatic Movement and in fact, it is so dynamic that people have predicted that in a hundred years' time, the Catholics would be characterized as poor, black and Pentecostal. Kasi nasa kanila po aang madalas na lumapit sa simabahan at kumilos at maging active. Ang mga mahihirap, ang mga black sa Africa at ang mga Pentecostals. Kaya talagang kapag  kumilos ang espiritu matatangay tayo. At nararamdaman din natin yan sa mga kabataan. Akala natin ang mga kabataan ay hindi nagpapahalaga sa Diyos ngunit napakaraming mga nagahahanap din at kumikilos. Yan po yung espiritu na nagpapakilos sa kanila.

    Ang kapistahan ng Pentecost ay nagpapaalaala sa atin na buhay ang Diyos sa piling natin. Nasa atin ang kanyang energy. Nasa atin ang kanyang kapangyarihan, ang kanyang force. Kung ganito nga, huwag dapat tayong dapat manghina at huwag tayong magpabaya. Let us be hopeful and vibrant. God’s spirit is renewing the face of the earth in a way that we can hardly imagine.

    Napakarami pong mga scenarios, scenario building sa panahon natin ngayon ng pandemic na ito ay tatagl ng dalawang taon, na ekonomiya natin ay nasa recession na, na wala nang vaccine na matutuklasan, na ito ay pakana ng Tsina o pakana ni Bill Gates, na ito ay hindi malulunasan. Hindi natin maintidndihan. Naguguluhan tayo at baka nadidiscourage.

    Palakasin natin ang ating loob. Kumikilos ang espritu ng Diyos sa mundo at sa simbahan. Papanibaguhin niya ang mundo. Sa atin naman, kung kumikilos ang Diyos sa mundo, kunikilos din siya sa bawat buhay natin. Allow the Holy Spirit to move us. Saint Paul told us, “If we live in the spirit, let us follow the spirit.” We have heard about the gifts of the spirit the gift of understanding, counsel, wisdom, knowledge of the Lord, fear of the Lord, fortitude, piety. Masagana ang mga binibigay ng Diyos sa atin sa Binyag at sa Kumpil.

    And these gifts are not exhaustive. They are representative. Marami pang ibang gifts. Let these gifts flow in our lives. Huwag ating hadlangan at ito’y mamumunga. Let the fruit of the spirit in us blossom which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

    Let me repeat and you repeat after me. Love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Hindi ba maganda?

    Iyan dapat ang buhay natin. Mahirap kaya? Huwag tayong umasa sa ating kakaytandaan natin sa ating retreat, the primacy of grace which is the primacy of the spirit of God renewing the face of the earth. Renewing each of us in our lives.

    Ang Espiritu Santo ang kumikilos sa Misang ito at nagbabago ng tinapay at alak sa katawan at dugo ni Kristo. Siya rin ngayon ang magbabago sa buhay natin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Ascension Sunday Mass on May 24, 2020, at the ur Lady of Remedies Parish (Malate Church), at 10 a.m.


    It is already sixty-nine days since the lockdown. We have spent most of the season of Lent and all of the season of Easter in our homes. It is such a long time. But we are seeing glimmers of hope. Businesses are slowly opening up, more people are going to work and in the Church, we are hoping that soon we can have our religious services which are essential for our resiliency and for our mental and psychological health. Let us not lose hope then.

    Ito nga ang mensahe ng pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit na ipinagdiriwang natin, pag-asa. Tulad ng mga alagad ni Hesus, tumingala tayo sa langit, nandoon ang Panginoon – ang ulo ng simbahan. Pumasok na ang ulo sa langit susunod na tayo ang kanyang katawan. However difficult our times are, a bit of heaven will fix everything up. St. Paul wrote, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed to us.” So, we are told by St. Paul that let us ask for the wisdom and revelation that the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened. And that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call. Whatever are the riches of his glory that we inherit with the Holy Ones.


    Iyan po ang kailangan nating pag-asa. Makukuha natin ang kaluwalhatian ng Panginoon. Dakila ang kaluwalhatian na nag-aantay sa atin.  Ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit ay nagpapaalaala sa atin - makalangit tayo. Pansamantala lang ang buhay natin dito sa lupa. Kung tayo ay tapat sa ating pagtulad kay Hesus, duroon din tayo. Hindi ba yan din ang pangako niya? “In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If they were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 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 maybe.”

    Pero ang buhay Kristiyano ay hindi lang isang buhay ng pag-aantay sa pagbalik ni Hesus at pag walang kibo sa mundong ito. Noong si Hesus ay umakyat sa langit hindi pa tapos ang misyon at hindi siya umalis na nakatiwangwang ang gawain niya. Ito ay ipinaubaya niya sa atin. Maaari na siyang umalis kasi nandito tayo na ipagpapatuloy ang kanyang sinimulan. Ang utos niya sa mga alagad ay, “Humayo kayo at maging saksi ko mula sa Jerusalem papunta sa Judea sa Samaria hanggang sa dulo ng daigdig.”

    Ito rin ang narinig natin sa Ebanghelyo. Ang mga huling habilin ni Hesus, “Humayo kayo. Gawin nyong alagad ko ang lahat ng bansa. Binyagan sila at ituro ang lahat ng narinig nyo sa akin.”

    “Go, make disicples. Baptize and teach.” Nangako siya na kahit hindi na natin siya nakikita, nandiyan siya kasama nila hanggang sa wakas ng panahon. Jesus is with us through his power that is through his spirit. Part of the prayer of St. Paul ay ito po, “Not only that we may not lose hope that we may understand the hope that is prepared for us but that what is surpassing greatness of his power for us to believe which you work in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right in the heavens.”

    Ang kapangyarihan na bumuhay kay Hesus, ang kapangyarihan na nag-akyat sa kanya sa langit ay siya ring kapangyarihan na kumikilos sa atin. Iyan ang kapangyarihan na pinaiintay ni Hesus na tatanggapin ng kanyang mga alagad sa Jerusalem sa araw ang Pentekostes na ipagdiriwang natin sa susunod na Linggo.

    Ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa- makalangit tayo. Pupunta din tayo doon pero bago yan dumating, may tungkulin tayo sa lupa – palaganapin ang paghahari ng Diyos. At ito ay magagawa natin sapagkat ibinibigay ni Hesus ang kapangyarihan na kumilos sa kanyang buhay ang kanyang espiritu. Kaya habang palapit na ang pagtatapos ng lockdown, hindi lang sana tayo nananabik na lumabas. Nananabik tayo na lumabas na may misyon – ang misyon ni Hesus.

    Tuwing Ascension Sunday, ipinagdiriwang natin ang World Communications Sunday. Ang misyon natin ay to communicate the message of Jesus. At sa ating panahon, malaki ang papel ng komunikasyon lalo na pagdating ng mass media at ng social communication. Naranasan natin ito ngayong panahon ng quarantine. Ano kaya ang naging buhay natin sa loob ng dalwang buwan ng lockdown kung walang internet? Kung walang TV? Kung wala si TV Maria? Kung walang radio? Kung walang Radio Veritas? Magpasalamat tayo sa Diyos na binigyang kakayahan ang mga tao na lumikha ng mga paraan ng komunikasyon na ngayon ay lalo pa lumalawak.

    Sa simabahan, naranasan natin ang kabutihan at kapakinabangan ng media. Dahil dito napaabot sa marami ang impormasyon na kailangan natin kaya ang mga media people ay mga frontliners. Natulungan tayo na manatili sa Diyos sa ating mga online Masses, online reflections at ngayon pa nga mayroon pa nga mayroong online Flores de Mayo.

    Naiimbitahan ako na pumunta sa mga parokya na magdiriwang ng kanilang piyesta. At napansin ko sinusubaybayan ng mga parokyano ang kanilang mga online fiesta Masses. Sa isang parokya pa nga, pagkatapos ng online Mass, mayroon silang online palaro sa mga bata. Ewan ko kung paano nila ginawa iyun.

    Talagang maraming gamit ang online ngayon. Sana naman nagamit natin ang internet ng maayos kasi ito ay nagagamit sa masama tulad ng pagka-addict sa video games o sa pornography o sa cyber sex o pagkalat ng mga false news. Kaya sa World Communications Sunday, pinapaalaala sa atin na gamitin ang social media sa pagpapalaganapng kabutihan at hindi ng kasamaan.

    Isa pa ring pananagutan na pinapaalaala sa atin sa linggong ito, ay ang pangangalaga sa Inang Kalikasan. Five years ago, Pope Francis came out with a much appreciated love letter, Laudato Si. Maganda ang mga aral na makukuha natin dito kaya mayroon tayong Laudato Si week taun taon pang balik balikan ang mga aral at hamon ng liham na ito.

    Ngayong taon, ang Laudato Si Week ay nagsimula noong May 16 hanggang May 24. At ngayon ang huling araw nito. Kaya ipinagdiriwang natin ang Misang ito dito sa parish of Our Lady of the Remedies sa Malate kasi matagal ng kilala ang parokyang ito sa pagsusulong ng usaping pangkalikasan kaya congratulations sa mga Columbans at sa kanilang mga kasama. At congratulations sa GCCM, Global Catholic Climate Movement na siyang nag-organisa ng maraming mga gawain ngayon Laudato Si Week at ng Misa natin dito ngayon sa Malate

    Isa sa mga bagay na matingkad nating naranasan ngayong panahon ng coronavirus ay ang pagkadugtung dugtong ng buong mundo. Magka-ugnay tayong lahat. Nagulo at tumigil ang buhay ng mga tao sa lahat ng continents dahil sa virus. Ganun pala karupok ang mundo na itinatayo natin. Bigla na lang nawala ang air travel. Nagsara ang mga malls sa ating mga lungsod na noon ay dinadagsa ng mga tao. Pati ang Olympic Games ay ipinagpapaliban. Biglang nawala ang traffic. Ang traffic na hindi ma-control, control noon, biglang nawala. Itong katotohanang ito na magka-ugnay ang buong mundo at ang lahat ng buhay ay matagal ng sinasabi ng Laudato Si. Pangalagaan natin ang mundo. Iisa lang ito. Wala na tayong matatakbuhan pa kung masira ito. Nagyon nga sa virus pwede pa tayong magtago sa ating mga bahay pero kapag dumating ang baha, kapag dumating ang global warming, saan tayo tatakbo? Hindi magbibigay ng proteksiyon ang mga tahanan natin at dahan dahan ngang sinisira natin ito sa uri ng pamumuhay natin na maaksaya. Sana matauhan na tayo. Let us take care of our common and only home – this beloved Mother earth.

    Matagal nang nanawagan ang Santo Papa at mga environmentalists na kailangan nating magbago ng lifestyle upang mapangalagaan ang mundo. Our lifestyle, the way we live, the way we conduct business, the way we produce and consume are unsustainable pero ayaw nating magbago ng lifestyle. Sabi natin mahirap, ito na talga anag takbo ng buhay. Hindi na ito mababago. Ngayong dumating si COVID-19 biglang nabago ang lahat. Naging malinis na ang daan, nawala ang traffic, nawala na ang consumerism na nagresulta at least sa mga buwang ito, naging malinis ang hangin natin. Saan pa tayo bibili kaya nawala ang consumerism, mga palengke na lang ang bukas. Kaya naman pala natin maging simple at hindi maging magastos. Naging mabuti ito sa ating kalusugan, nakatulong. Marami sa atin ay nakakatulog ng mahaba, nakakakain ng sama sama at regular. Naging malinis ang hangin na hinihinga natin. Nakakakain ng tunay na pagkain at hindi na mga junkfood. Ngayong natikman na natin ang simple at matipid na buhay, sana manatili ito sa atin.

    Isa rin na naranasan natin na kaugnay sa katuruan ng Laudato Si is the need to be connected. Good that we have the internet to connect us to the rest of the world even if we are under quarantine. But hopefully we have experience the joy of connectedness among our families. At ang sinabi ni Papa Francisco ngayong World Communication Sunday, kailangan din maging connected ang mga grandfathers sa mga grandchildren upang ma-facilitate ang ating pagakaintindi sa takbo ng mundo. We have to know one another better.

    We have seen that we do not go to the mall to watch movies together, to eat outside or to have vacation in other places in order to be bonded to each other. Hindi naman maging magastos to be connected. By simply talking with each other, playing with one another, doing simple chores together in the house, eating together, we become closer to each other.

    Mas lalo siguro nating naranasan ang pangangailangan ng maging connected tayo sa Diyos. May panahon na tayo. Nakakapag dasal tayo, sana nakapagbabasa ng Bibliya, nakakadalo tayo sa mga online Masses – may iba pa ngang dalawa o tatlong online Masses ang pinupuntahan. Mawala man ang iba, sa Diyos makakakapit tayo at hindi niya tayo bibitawan.

    It is indeed not expensive and difficult to be connected. Kahit na pinahirapan tayo ni COVID-19, marami ding kabutihan na naidulot ito sa atin. Mga realizations na kaya pala nating maging simple, kaya parin nating magbago, kaya pala natin maging connected sa bawat isa. Sana panghawakan natin ang mga ito kapag wala na si COVID-19.

    Kaya sa Banal na Misa natin ngayon, inaanyayahan tayong tumingala sa langit kung nasaan si Hesus, duroonin din tayo. At habang papunta tyo roon, ipagpatuloy natin ang misyon ni Hesus na ipalaganap ang paghahari ng Diyos lalung lalo na sa paggamit ng maayos ng mga bagong kakayahan na ibinigay sa atin – the means of social and mass communications.

    At habang papunta tayo sa langit, pangalagaan natin ang mundo natin na galing sa kamay ng ating Diyos na manlilikha. God the creator is our Father. If we love him, we take care of the things, the difficult things that he has given and his beautiful and fragile earth is a gift of his wisdom and his love. He lives into us to take care of …and pass it on to the next generation. Hindi lang po para sa atin ang mundo, ito’y para sa lahat ng mga taong para rin sa susunod na henerasyon.

    We have a lot to thank and praise God for in this Mass. Let us celebrate this Holy Mass with great…(Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Holiness, an essential part in missionary vision of the Church


    In one of his reflections during the Online Retreat "Pentekostes: From Crisis to Renewal,  From Lockdown to Mission" which was broadcasted on May 25-28, 2020, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila meditated on Holiness as an integral part to the pastoral priority of the Church.

    Holiness, according to Bishop Pabillo, is an essential aspect in a Catholic's daily life. A faithful also plays an important role in being able to lead others to holiness because of their upbringing and closeness to the Church.

    "Our unique mission is to make people holy.  We cannot do this if we ourselves do not strive to be holy. We, people who are connected with the Church should have that eagerness to be holy. To bring holiness to other people, this is our service in the world," he said.


    The bishop also noted how technology has enabled the faithful to connect more with one another. Just as with technology we have connected with loved ones, Bishop Pabillo is hopeful that it also keeps us connected to Jesus especially during the quarantine period, to lead us to holiness.

    "One thing that made us survive the lockdown is the internet because we are connected with our friends, with our other relatives and with the world because of the internet. So we always look for the internet. The Pope [Francis, Christus Vivit 158] makes use of this image to tell us also the necessity and the importance of being always in touch with Jesus so that we can be holy," he said.

    Parishes, therefore, are challenged, according to the bishop, to make efforts to help people pray more especially popular piety and devotions to overcome spiritual mediocrity.

    "In our own parishes, are our activities in the parishes leading people to holiness? Madalas po nating tanungin, 'Kamusta po ang piyesta?' Mabuti naman. Nakaraos din. 'Kamusta ang Mahal na Araw? ' Mabuti naman. Nakaraos din. Nakaraos din ang Simbang Gabi. Yan lang ba ang gusto natin?  'Nakaraos din.' But did our Fiesta celebration bring more holiness to people? Do our Christmas activities bring more holiness to people?  Hindi lang sana nakaraos," he said.

    The online retreat of Bishop Pabillo was intended to stand for the Annual Retreat of the clergy of Archdiocese of Manila. It is usually scheduled in the month of July. Through the online broadcast, the retreat's attendance was extended to the guest priests, to the Religious priests, brothers and sisters, and even for Lay leaders in the Archdiocese. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Charity as ‘Entrance Point’ to Holiness


    “Kapag mayroon kayong pangangailangan, idulog niyo sa Diyos sa inyong mga panalangin.’ At yan po ang halimbawa sa atin ni San Felipe Neri. Siya po ay Santong masiyahin. Sabagay, wala naman talagang santong hindi masiyahin dahil ang kabanalan ay nagbibigay sa atin ng kagalakan. At walang iba, kundi kagalakan ni Hesus.” This was the message of Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, during his homily in the fiesta Mass at San Felipe Neri Parish, Mandaluyong City.

    Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri SOCOM


    Bishop Pabillo pointed out that Saints were given to us by the Church to be our role model just like St. Philip Neri, who received many blessings from God.

    The bishop underlined that the entrance point to holiness of St. Philip Neri was charity. He lived it out when he went out to help the poor people in Rome while at the same time evangelizing them.

    “Sinabi ni Propeta Isaias, that ‘the Holy Spirit has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor, to bring freedom to the captives, to bring healing to the sick.’ ‘Yan ay talagang ginawa ni San Felipe Neri, ang entrance point niya sa trabaho sa simbahan ay ang mga mahihirap na ‘yan,” Bishop Pabillo said.               

    St. Philip became attractive to the crowd regardless of his society status because of his joyful and humble character. Because of his traits, he was able to influence people to help others and to follow his ways. He reached the hearts of the people through his charitable works rooted in faith.

    Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri SOCOM

    In the homily, Bishop Pabillo also encouraged the faithful to give thanks to the Lord always, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We should find the goodness in the people and the situation.

    “In all circumstances, give thanks to the Lord. ‘Yan yung kalooban ng Diyos at makakapagpasalamat tayo in all circumstances kahit na po ngayon sa corona virus sa pandemic na ito makakapagpasalamat tayo hanapin lamang natin ang kabutihan kasi sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng pangyayari, mayroon pong kabutihan dyan na makikta natin kung hahanapin lamang natin at mahahanap natin ang kabutihang iyan kapag tayo’y nagdadasal at nagdi-discern.”

    Finally, Bishop Pabillo calls the faithful to be holy by having a joyful character just like St. Philip Neri. This we are able to do when we find God as the source of joy within us.

    “Tumawag tayo kay San Felipe Neri habang sinisikap nating tularan siya, tumawag din tayo sa kanya. At ang ating patron sa langit ay patuloy pong nakikidasal at pinagdarasal tayo.” he said.

    St. Philip Neri was born on July 21, 1515 and died on May 26, 1595. He is an Italian priest and one of the outstanding mystics during the Counter-Reformation and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. He is the patron saint of the City of Rome and the Patron for those who seek for joy. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • PASTORAL INSTRUCTION: MOVING FORWARD


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese,

     

    We, in the NCR, are now placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) but we

    continue to appeal to the government to consider religious activities as essential

    services to our people. There is no scientific basis at all to limit religious activities to

    only 10 persons during the GCQ without considering the different sizes and capacities

    of our church buildings. While we make the appeal, we also need to be ready to put the

    necessary safeguards that our archdiocesan guidelines have spelled out to us a month

    ago. These guidelines have been seen and reviewed by the Department of Health

    (DOH) with minimal comments. I include in this instruction a checklist of all the

    materials that should be in place.

     


    But more than the materials needed, we should already be preparing our people for

    public religious activities through our online communications with them. All of us,

    including the people, need to adjust and should have consideration not only for what

    we want, but also for the health and protection of others. I hope our online retreat last

    week has helped in setting the right perspective to accept changes. I reiterate that all of us

    should be concerned that we do not spread the virus during our services. This is part of our

    stewardship of the gift of health – our health and the health of those around us. I would stress the following:

     

    1. Those who are not yet allowed to go out (20 years old and below, and 60 years

    old and above) should stay at home and use instead the ongoing online religious

    services. The parishes will see to it that they can receive Holy Communion which

    will be distributed to them in designated places or outside their homes.

     

    2. Those who serve in the church, including the priests, should be honest enough

    that if they do not feel well, they should refrain from their service, get themselves

    tested, and stay home for self-quarantine until the test results come out. Our

    services are meant to do good to others and not to cause harm.

     

    3. Now is the time for all to help one another, listen to each other and not insist on

    our own ideas only. Pope Francis is asking us to be a synodal church. This means

    a church that is characterized by collaboration and openness to each other so that

    we can decide together and walk with each other in this new situation. For the

    priests, this can mean greater consultation and listening to the ideas of the

    faithful; and for the churchgoers and lay leaders this can mean active

    participation in planning, and not just be passive implementors.

     

    4. Our first concern now is how to open up our church services in a safe way. But

    little by little each parish and each church organization have to undergo

    planning on how to do their activities and programs in this new situation,

    considering the pastoral priorities that St. John Paul showed us in our retreat.

    They should also consider the new needs of the people now in the pandemic and

    afterwards that the Church should address.

     

    5. Let each parish create a ministry of health to extend services to the elderly and

    the sick in the parish. They will identify the parishioners who want to receive

    Holy Communion outside the Church. This ministry may also be assigned to

    screen churchgoers by the use of thermal scanners and to attend to those who

    may later on be found to have high temperatures and other illness. Later on, this

    ministry will also be in charge of promoting a healthy lifestyle in the parish so

    that the people would develop immunity to diseases.

     

    6. An archdiocesan guideline is given to help people, priests and lay faithful alike,

    on whether or not he or she is to be tested for Covid 19. However, the decision

    to be tested or not, and what test to use, rests on each individual. We shall also

    follow the government guidelines on this matter.

     

    The research arm of the Archdiocese has come out with a manual that gathered together

    in one volume all the instructions and guidelines that came out since the start of the lockdown

    up to yesterday, the Solemnity of the Pentecost. It is meant to be a reference point because

    many of the things written there are still useful for us.

     

    God is alive! We are now called to this new situation, where also God’s Spirit is

    blowing. Let us discern and follow the Spirit’s lead.

     

     

    Yours truly in Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator

    1 June 2020

  • Foundation organizes Stage Play to help poor cope with Pandemic stress


    “Hanggang may taong lansangan na nangangailangan ng kalinga, buhay din po ang aming iaalay.”

    This was the message of Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, SVD, founder of Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation after the online theatrical play entitled, “Paglaya mula sa Kulturang Kalye, Pagyakap sa Buhay Kalinga” held in Paco Catholic School last May 28, 2020.


    Fr. Villanueva stressed in his message that everyone has to partake to mission and that is to show love and affection to those who need it.

    "Tao sila. Tao sila na pinagdamutan ng pag-ibig. Tao sila na ginulangan ng ibang makapangyarihan. Tao sila na itinaboy ng mga taong dapat magmahal sa kanila. Kaya sino? Sino pa ang tutulong sa kanila kundi ang salita na nagkakaroon ng katawan sa tinatawag na kalinga,” Fr. Villanueva said.

    “Ang kalinga po ay hindi si Fr. Flavie o ang center. Ang kalinga mula sa Diyos na nagkatawang tao. Kaya ang bawat tao po ay may misyon na mangalinga sa mga taong wala,” he added.

    The stage play was participated by the homeless beneficiaries of AJ Kalinga Foundation who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, living together under the shelter of Paco Catholic School for the past two months since the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Manila.

    Jonathan Acosta Mangada, one of the performers came from a broken family. At age 7, he left his home and went to Manila. He shared and recalled how painful it was to be judged by people.

    “Pag napaligid po kami sa mayayaman, sasabihan ang kanilang mga anak, ‘Anak, huwag kang dumikit diyan dahil magnanakaw yan,’” Mangada shared.

    According to him, he was also accused of a murder he did not commit but was forced to admit it. Since then, he started to plant anger and hate in his heart.

    “Doon ko po natutunan kung paano mahalin ang aking kapwa, paano po magkaroon ng respeto, paano magkaroon ng kilos may pinag-aralan kahit wala kang ipagmamayabang. Sa Kalinga naranasan ko po magkaroon ng isang ina at isang ama,” he said.

    The event was created to address integrally the needs of the homeless, that they are not only being fed and housed in safe shelters but also being accorded with psycho-spiritual interventions. The activity also helps lessen their fear, anxiety and boredom during the pandemic.

    The AJ Kalinga Foundation was founded to provide hope, second chances and a venue to empower the homeless to turn their lives around. It provides a holistic, systematic and dignified approach to help its members improve their lives and contribute to society.

    The event was organized by Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation Inc. in coordination with Paco Catholic School, Malate Catholic School and San Fernando de Dilao Parish.

    To date, there are 150 beneficiaries of AJ Kalinga Foundation that are housed and being taken cared of by the shelter of Paco Catholic School. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pentecost: A time for Renewing our Mission in the midst of COVID-19


    "We are nearing the time of the Pentecost and hopefully there will be the opening up of our Churches by the time of the Pentecost. Little by little. Yes, with restrictions."

    This is the hope expressed by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila in one of his reflections during the Online Retreat, "Pentekostes: From Crisis to Renewal, From Lockdown to Mission" which was broadcasted May 25-28, 2020.


    Bishop Pabillo noted that the current crisis really affects the faithful and their families. He, however, also affirmed that the faithful can experience a change of perspective during the similar crisis that can help them face the "new normal".

    "We have undergone crisis. The crisis of the quarantine and many of us, this has really been a crisis. A crisis of our relationships. A crisis of our finances. A crisis of our plans and maybe crisis of faith but may this crisis bring us to renewal that we can come out of this situation renewed," he said.

    The prelate acknowledged that the faithful have a truly difficult experience because of isolation as an effect of the threat of the coronavirus. It has even caused some a feeling of hopelessness. However, he hopes that somehow a spiritual comfort is felt through the retreat and consequently lead them to recognize their mission in the Church.

    "We have been lockdown, unable to move but now little by little, we'll be able to go out. Hopefully, it's not just to enjoy ourselves but we go out to mission," he said.

    "We have suffered. Our plans have been curtailed by the lockdown, by this virus, the economy has suffered but there's also something good here, that we can maximize, so we can go out in this experience enlightened and renewed rather than discouraged and despondent. Hopefully, in this retreat we can bring this out," he added.

    The online retreat was intended to stand for the Annual Retreat of the clergy of Archdiocese of Manila which is usually scheduled in the month of July. Through the online broadcast, the retreat's attendance was extended to the guest priests, to the Religious priests, brothers and sisters, and even for Lay leaders in the Archdiocese. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pope Francis and Catholic Shrines to pray the Rosary for Mary’s help amid COVID-19


    On May 30, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. (Rome time), His Holiness Pope Francis will lead the praying of the Holy Rosary to implore the help of the Blessed Mother Mary during the pandemic. The event was given the theme, "Devoted and with one accord to prayer, together with Mary (cf. Acts 1:14)".

    Together with the Pope, shrines all over the world will simultaneously pray including the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, San Giovanni Rotondo, and Our Lady of Pompei.


    According to Vatican News, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which is in charge of the promotion of the initiative, gave dozens of rosaries to families and individuals who represent the areas with most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. They include doctors and nurses, recovered patients, people who lost loved ones, hospital chaplain, pharmacist and journalist. Also, praying with the Pope is a Civil Defense volunteer with his family, and a family who welcomed a new member amidst the spread of the disease.

    The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which has been in charge of Marian shrines since 2017, will broadcast the event via online live-streaming at the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens.

    Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, sent out letters addressed to the rectors of the shrines inviting them to organize and promote the special moment of prayer for the world in accordance with current health regulations and relevant time zones.

    “In light of the emergency situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic that has caused the stoppage of the normal activity of all Shrines and the interruption of all pilgrimages, Pope Francis wishes to express a gesture of closeness to each of you with the recitation of the Holy Rosary,” Archbishop Fisichella said in his letter.

    Last May 13, 2020, the feast of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the Archdiocese of Manila has strongly expressed its Marian devotion as it consecrated the whole archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, asking for her mantle of protection from the coronavirus pandemic. The prayer of consecration was led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Most Reverend Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass at the Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila Parish Paco, Manila on May 17, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Sa mga pamilya na sanay mag-celebrate ng Mother’s Day, nahirapan sila last week na ipagdiwang ito. Paano nila ipahahayag ang pagmamamahal nila sa kanilang nanay? Hindi naman sila makapag-shopping para sa kanya. Hindi sila makakain sa labas. Mahirap din pati na bumili lamang ng bulaklak. Ang hirap manghula ng gusto ng minamahal natin at mapaligaya siya. Ito ang problema natin tuwing birthday, anniversary at pasko. Ang hirap maghanap ng regalo. Ang hirap gumawa ng isang activity na magugustuhan ng mga mahal natin.

    Si Hesus, hindi niya tayo pinahirapan. Sa ating Ebanghelyo, dalawang beses niya inulit, “Kung ibig ninyo ako, gawin ninyo ang aking utos.” Ilang beses natin matatagpuan ito sa Banal na Kasulatan. Hindi na natin kailangan manghula paano ba liligaya ang Diyos. Diyan liligaya si Hesus, kung ginagawa natin ang utos niya. Ang pag-ibig sa Diyos ay konkreto hindi ito nasusukat sa mga luha na ibinubuhos natin o sa tibok ng ating puso. Ito ay pracktial, mahal natin siya kung ginagawa natin ang kanyang utos.


    Aling mga utos? Hindi rin niya tayo pinahirapan dito. Although there are six hundred…in the Torah in the Law of Moses, Jesus summarized the commandments into two: love of God and love of neighbor. So, St. Paul can say, “O, nothing to anyone except to love one another for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall covet and whatever other commandments there may be are summed up in these namely: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does know no evil to the neighbor hence love is the fulfillment of the law.

    Yan po yung sinabi sa atin ni San Pablo at kung mahal natin ang ating kapwa mahal din natin ang Diyos. Hindi natin maaaring mahalin ang Diyos na hindi natin nakikita kung hindi natin minamahal ang kapwang ating nakikita. Kaya maliwanag ang paraan upang mahalin ang Diyos – sundin ang kanyang utos. Maliwanag din ang kanyang utos – mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa.

    Ngayon ang tanong, paano natin gagawin ito? Nagbigay ang Diyos ng halimbawa at yan ay walang iba kundi si Hesus mismo. The son of God became man so that he may know and see how God loves in a human way. Kaya ang paanyaya ni Hesus sa atin ay,”Come follow me.” Halikayo, tularan ninyo ako at tignan natin ang buhay ni Hesus paanong siyang lumalakbay at tumutulong sa mga nangangailangan sa mga dukha, sa mga…., sa mga bulag, sa mga inaalila ng demonyo. Kung paano siya nagpapatawad kahit na nga sa pumapatay sa kanya at paano pinagbigyan niya ang maraming tao. Yan po yung pagmamahal sa kapwa. Pero kaya kaya natin gawin ang ginawa ni Hesus?

    Nung ako’y batang pari pa, na-assigned ako sa isang parokya sa Laguna kasama ang isang matandang pari na masipag magtrabaho pero madaling magalit sa mga hindi nakakasunod sa kanyang trabaho.

    Isang araw habang kumakain kami dumating siya sa kainan at galit na galit. Hindi ko na nga maalaala ano ikinagagalit niya. Inaamo amo namin siya para humupa ang galit at ang sabi ko, “Father, tingnan mo si Hesus nakapagtimpi siya.” Nagkamali ako mas lalong nagalit. “Si Hesus, aniya, Diyos naman siya tao ako. Tandaan mo, tao ako.” Ako pa tuloy ang napapagalitan. Matutularan ba natin si Hesus kahit na maliwanag ang kanyang salita kahit na nagbigay siya ng halimbawa? Magagawa ba natin ang kanyang ginawa? Oo, kasi ibinigay niya sa atin ang kanyang espiritu. The Holy Spirit which is the energy of God. The power of God that empowered Jesus is the same power that is empowering us. Kaya nating magawa kahit ang mga maka-Diyos na ginawa ni Hesus dahil nasa atin ang energy na yan. Kahit tao lamang tayo, we are empowered to follow Jesus.

    Ito yung regalong hiningi ni Hesus sa Ama upang hindi tayo mangulila. Sabi niya magpapadala ang Ama ng isa pang katulong, another advocate another helper.  Ang espirito ng katotohanan upang dalhin tayo sa kaganapan ng katotohanan upang paalalahanan tayo ng mga aral ni Hesus upang bigyan tayo ng lakas para ituwid ang mali sa buhay. We can be Christ-like because that of the spirit that is in us.

    In our First Reading, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people in Samaria had accepted the message through Philip, they sent Peter and John to visit them. They laid their hands on them and prayed over them when they knew that they have not received yet the Holy Spirit. They need the Holy Spirit to enable them to live the new found faith that they have. Ganun din tayo, pagkatapos na tayo ay mabinyagan, kailangan natin ang Sakramento ng Kumpil upang palakasin at palaguin ang pananampalataya na naitanim sa atin sa binyag. Hence, with Confirmation we become mature Christians able to be his witnesses to the world and to defend the faith.

    Ito rin ang sinabi ni St. Peter sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa – to defend and explain the faith. Sabi niya, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who ask you for a reason for your….but do it with gentleness and reverence.” Yan ang witness na paninindigan natin ang dahilan bakit tayo naniniwala, umaasa at umiibig. Pero hindi palaban ang ating pagpapaliwanag ngunit puno ng kahinaunan at paggalang. Hindi lang kaalaman ang ibinibigay ng Espiritu Santo sa atin ngunit magandang pag-uugali. Kaya ba natin yan? Sa ating sarili lang, maaring hindi pero hindi lang naman tayo umaasa sa ating sarili, nandiyan ang espiritu ng Diyos na kumikilos sa atin.

    Nagsisimula na ang mga Pagbasa natin na magsalita tungkol sa Espiritu Santo kasi pinaghahandaan na natin ang Pentekostes – ang pagbaba ng Espiritu Santo sa simabahan na ipagdiriwang natin sa May 31, two weeks from now. Next week ang ating kapistahan ay ang pag-akyat ni Hesus sa langit and after that the coming down of the Holy Spirit.

    Pero ngayong Linggo, isa pang bagay na pinapaalaala sa atin. Five years ago, the Holy Father came out with a record breaking letter, Laudato Si, The Care for Our Common Home. It is record breaking not only because it is so far the longest encyclical letter of a Pope. It is record breaking because it is the most awaited by many people and when it came out, it was read and acclaimed worldwide. The most read pastoral letter of our Holy Father even by non-catholics. In a way, it was a great influence for the…of the poor in 2015. It is really a clear call to all to open our eyes and make a commitment to care for our common home. It is the only hope that we have - the Mother Earth.

    This week from May 16 to May 24, we are celebrating the Laudato Si Week. Totoong nakukuha ang ating atensiyon ngayon ng COVID-19 pero hindi dapat mawala sa ating pansin ang iba pang mahahalagang usapin sa ating mundo at isa sa mahalagang usapin ay ang usapin tungkol sa ating kapaligiran kasi iisa lang nga ang ating tahanan. Marami ngang nagsasabi na may kauganayan ang usapin ng virus sa pagkasira ng ating kapaligran. At kung hindi tayo mag-ingat may mga iba pang virus o bacteria na hindi natin alam na kakalat sa atin dahil sa ginagalaw natin ang mga tirahan ng mga hayop o mga ibon na maaaring pagmumulan ng mga virus at bacteria na hindi natin kilala.

    Kung may isang bagay na naparamdam sa atin ng pandemic na ito, yan ay magkakaugnay ang buhay natin sa mundo. We are all connected to each other. Ang virus na nagsimula sa isang palengke o sa isa kayang laboratory kung naniniwala kayo ay nakapagtigil sa takbo ng mundo dahil dugtung dugtong ang buhay natin.

    Yan din ang mensahe ni Pope Francis sa Laudato Si. Ano man ang lahi natin, ano man ang ating relihiyon, ano man ang social status – mayaman man tayo o mahirap, iisa lang ang tahanan natin at ano mang gawin natin dito ay babalik sa atin. Ang pag-alaga natin sa mundo ay may pakinabang sa lahat at ang pagkasira naman nito ay damay din tayong lahat.

    At isa ring pinakita sa atin nitong virus na hindi lang dugtung dugtong ang buhay natin, kaya naman pala nating magbago. Kaya naman pala natin maging simple ang buhay sa ating pagapapahinga sa ating mga tahanan, huminga rin ang mundo. Mas luminis ang ating environment. Kaya naman pala nating magkaroon ng panibagong lifestyle. Hingin natin ang lakas ng Espiritu Santo na panibaguhin tayo at ng mundo.

    Makiisa tayo sa mga gawain ng maraming ecology groups at dito sa ating archdiocese meron tayong Ministry on Ecology. Meron din tayong Global Catholic Climate Change Movement (GCCM). Sana makiisa tayo sa mga gawain nito upang mas lalong maisabuhay natin ang panawagan ng Laudato Si. Kaya ang dasal natin, “Come Holy Spirit. Come renew the face of the earth.”

    May isa pa akong ibig sabihin, ito naman ay para sa inyong parokya. Happy Feast Day po sa inyong lahat dito sa parokya ng Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila dito sa Paco.

    Kapag binabanggit ang Peñafrancia, ang kaagad na pumapasok sa isip ng maraming Pilipino ay ang ina ng Bicol. Ang Peñafrancia ng Naga City, Camrines Sur. May kaugnayan ang Peñafrancia dito sa Paco at ang Penafrañcia sa Bicol. Maaari pa ngang mas nauna ang debosyong ito dito sa Paco. Pero hindi yan gaanong mahalaga. The important thing is that it is the same devotion to our Blessed Mother. Whatever title she carries, she is the Blessed Mother. We give her so many titles because we experience her in so many different ways all over the world. She manifests her care and love in diverse ways. This is how fruitful and manifold the love of Mary is.

    Itinalaga natin ang ating sarili sa kanya noong Miyerkules, May 13. Ipagpatuloy natin ang ating pag-ibig sa ating ina. Sinabi ni Hesus, “Kung iniibig ninyo ako, gawin ninyo ang aking utos.” Ganun din ang sinasabi sa atin ng Mahal na Birhen, “Kung iniibig niyo ako, gawin niyo ang aking utos.” At may isang utos lang si Maria sa Bibliya. Yan ang sinabi niya sa Cana, Galilea, “Gawin ninyo ang ipapagawa niya, ni Hesus sa inyo.” Ang paglapit kay Maria ay ang paglapit kay Hesus. Dinadala tayo ni Mama Mary na mas maging malapit kay Hesus. Yan ang kanyang tanging kahilingan…kaya kung mahal natin siya, sundin natin ang kanyang utos. Gawin natin ang ipinagagawa ni Hesus sa atin. Maging malapit tayo kay Hesus at matututwa ang Mahal na Birhen sa atin. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Social Communications as ‘lifeline’ of the Church


    “May misyon tayo at isa sa epektibong pamamahayag ay ang social communications kasi we cannot remain conservative with regard to communications,” said Bishop Pablo "Ambo" Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan, during the program “Pastoral Visit on-the-air” at Radio Veritas.

    Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish Facebook Page

    Bishop David, who is also the Vice-President of Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Philippines, emphasized the important role of the Social Communications Ministry in proclaiming the Good News amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Bakit natin hahayaan na ang Mabuting Balita hindi makaabot sa kamalayan ng mga tao, kapag pinanood ng tao sa online, livestream they are watching upclose malinaw, naririnig ng mabuti. They get every word,” he said.

    The Bishop also pointed out how the ministry has become a "lifeline" of the Church through which it unifies the faithful and minister to their needs during the enhanced community quarantine.

    “But we have to cooperate with the government para masupil natin ang pandemya. Ngayon biglang naging lifeline ng simbahan ay ang social communications ministry,” said the bishop.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed some religious gatherings in areas placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ). Under the guidelines of the MECQ, religious gatherings would be highly restricted and limited to not more than five persons while religious gatherings under GCQ are limited to ten persons.

    The many churches in the Philippines are now preparing for public celebration of masses with provisions for the strict compliance of the guidelines released by the task force.

    CBCP particularly exhorted the faithful to adhere to health policies such as social distancing, no-touch policy, wearing of face mask, and the use of foot bath at the entrance of the Churches. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Church Communicators celebrate 54th World Communications Day with Full Online Activities


    May 24, 2020, Sunday, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. It is also when Catholics worldwide celebrate the 54th World Communications Day with the theme “'That you may tell your children and grandchildren' (Ex 10:2) Life becomes history."

    “I would like to devote this year’s message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories. Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together. Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another,” Pope Francis said in his message for the 54th World Communications Sunday.


    Since the faithful are confined within the premises of their homes because of the quarantine period, the Archdiocese of Manila Commission on Social Communications, in partnership with different organizations, has prepared a series of online activities where social communicators from all over are to participate.

    On May 23, 2020, a series of activities will be featured from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The day will commence with the greetings of the diocesan directors of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila. It will be followed by the message and reflection of Bishop Marcelino “Junie” Maralit of Boac who is also the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ESCS) on the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day.

    TV Maria production "Lakbites" will feature a video tutorial on online Mass using a web camera. Other video tutorials will also air on how to set up simple live-streaming of Mass using mobile phones and video cameras.

    These activities aim to help SOCOM ministries of parishes who are the frontliners in delivering to the faithful the Word of God through online masses during this time of crisis on coronavirus, as the faithful are not yet able to attend mass in churches.

    On May 23, at 7 p.m., Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog, SOCOM Director of the Diocese of Malolos will conduct an online interview with the award-winning veteran broadcast journalist, Jessica Soho. It will be live-streamed at the Diocese of Malolos – Social Communications Facebook page.

    On May 24, World Communications Day and Solemnity of the Ascension of Christ, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will preside the online celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 10 in the morning.

    Also on May 24, the dioceses of Cubao and Antipolo is coming up with a talk show entitled “Usapang SOCOM” that will discuss the present situation of Social Communications (SOCOM) Ministry in diocese/parish during the quarantine period via Zoom at 11 a.m. (Radio Veritas) and 2 p.m. (RCAM-AOC).

    Still part of the special celebration of World Communications Day, a spiritual retreat in preparation for the faithful as they face the "new normal" after the quarantine period. The retreat takes place on May 25-28, 2020, to be facilitated by Bishop Pabillo, with sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. On the same day at 4-5 p.m., there is the online Flores de Mayo.

    The above-mentioned events will be live-streamed via the RCAM SOCOM platforms – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications (AOC).

    In the last part of his message for World Communication's Day, Pope Francis urges the faithful to ask help from the Blessed Mother as they continue to write and tell stories of faith, hope, and love.

    “O Mary, woman and mother, you wove the divine Word in your womb, you recounted by your life the magnificent works of God. Listen to our stories, hold them in your heart and make your own the stories that no one wants to hear. Teach us to recognize the good thread that runs through history. Look at the tangled knots in our life that paralyze our memory. By your gentle hands, every knot can be untied. Woman of the Spirit, mother of trust, inspire us too. Help us build stories of peace, stories that point to the future. And show us the way to live them together.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Lay Leaders urge faithful to support Parishes to continue Spiritual and Frontline Services


    In his proposed guidelines titled "Protocols for Religious Services," Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila stressed the need to resolve financial difficulties experienced by the parishes since the declaration of the quarantine period.

    Bishop Pabillo emphasized that Priests can continue their improvement projects at a later time because there is no prospect for it to be prioritized since they are helping the needy in times of crisis due to COVID-19.


    The collections gathered from mass donors are the source of funding to sustain the Parishes in their expenses, such as utilities, wages of the parish personnel and improvement projects. The faithful, being confined in their homes, are unable to attend mass and give their contributions as the effect of the community quarantine, thus leading to financial difficulty for the parish.

    "We expect our revenues to fall. People have no money and we have to do a lot of charitable works. Thus let us minimize our expenses, especially our capital expenses. Improvements and projects can wait but proper maintenance should be done so as not to incur greater expenses later on," he said.

    The prelate mentioned that the Finance Department of the Archdiocese will create guidelines for parishes concerning online donations while online masses are celebrated.

    Parishes also contribute to the Curia which funds the salaries of the Catechists and apostolic fund for Priests.

    In lieu of this, Bishop Pabillo, in an interview with CBCP News, said that he has given instructions to parishes with more financial security to support parishes in need of financial assistance.

    "The parishes help one another. Those who have resources help those who do not have enough,” the bishop said.

    The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas appealed to the Catholic faithful to assist parishes for support as they are also working at the frontlines to during this pandemic.

    "Nananawagan ang Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) sa kapwa naming mga Katolikong mananampalataya na huwag nating pabayaan ang ating mga Parokya at mga gawain nito sa panahon ng pandemya at kuwarantin. Nasaksihan din po natin na kahit na walang koleksyon, nangunguna ang simbahan sa pagtulong sa mga nangangailangan, Katoliko man sila o hindi," they said in a written statement. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Online Spiritual Retreat Set in preparation for re-entry to New Normal


    In his latest Pastoral Instruction called “We go out renewed,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila urges the clergy and the faithful of the archdiocese to participate in an online spiritual retreat to become renewed as they face the new life that awaits after confinement in the quarantine brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We do not go out of the quarantine just to return to our old self and the usual way of doing things. We go out renewed - with new perspectives, with new zest, and with greater commitment. In order to make this happen we prepare ourselves for the post quarantine life and ministry by a spiritual retreat,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    The Spiritual Online Retreat is set on May 25 morning to May 28 evening. This will be broadcasted to homes and thus open to all, especially for priests, religious men and women and lay leaders in the archdiocese but also to those who are interested to participate beyond the archdiocese.

    According to Bishop Pabillo, the structure of the retreat is simple and somewhat similar to the usual retreat that one makes. Each day, there will be two conferences for reflection, 10 am and 3 pm. After each conference participants will set aside at least an hour of solid prayer. For the priests and religious, the bishop said, it can be done in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Each one is encouraged to spend thirty minutes in reading the Bible, with which plenary indulgence can be obtained. Participants are also asked to pray the Holy Rosary. The retreat will be concluded by a confession where the faithful and religious can ask priests to hear their confession in the parish or in their religious house.

    “This retreat will be a good preparation for our re-entry into the new, and hopefully better, normal that awaits us after this quarantine. Covid 19 will still be around and we do not yet know when this pandemic will end, but this will not stop us from serving our people,” the Bishop said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Online events mark 5th anniversary of Church Document on Ecology

     

    In a video message released on March 3, 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis invited the faithful worldwide to take part in the Laudato Si Week from May 16-24, 2020, to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of his Encyclical, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home" with the theme, “Everything is Connected.”

    “I would like to invite you to participate in Laudato Si' Week from 16-24 May 2020. It is a global campaign on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical letter Laudato Si': On the care of our common home. I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis." 



    The Pope's message was to remind people how the current pandemic should impel us more to care for our planet.

    "The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue. Let's take care of creation, a gift of our good Creator God. Let's celebrate Laudato Si' Week together."

    According to Global Climate Catholic Movement (GCCM), from May 16 to 24, Catholics are encouraged to take part in interactive and collaborative online training centered around eco-spirituality, sustainability, advocacy, and community-building. Laudato Si’ Week will end on Sunday, May 24, with a global day of prayer at noon, local time.

    “The lessons of the encyclical are particularly relevant in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought many parts of the world to a halt. Laudato Si’ offers a vision for building a more just and sustainable world,” according to a press release by GCCM.

    In the Archdiocese of Manila, the celebration of the Laudato Si week was launched online on May 16, 2020, via Radio Veritas.

    Several online activities were prepared by the Ministry on Ecology of the archdiocese that the faithful can participate. On May 16, 18, 21 and 24, a webinar with Living Laudato Si Ph will be held online and a Presentation of Doable Actions to Living Laudato Si towards Season of Creation on May 20, at 7:30 p.m.

    A Night of Laudato Si Prayer and reflection will be held on May 23, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom (link: https//uso2web.zoom.us/j/8765077651) with Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo. Apostolic Administrator of Manila giving a reflection on the “Lessons Learned for the Care of Our Common Home given by the Corona Virus.”

    Fr. Yulito Ignacio will expound on the topic “Rosary and Message of Fatima” at 8:30 p.m. It will be followed by the simultaneous online praying of the rosary (via zoom) with each mystery to be led by the parish representatives from the five cities within the archdiocese at 9:00 p.m.

    The celebration of the online Mass will culminate the event on May 24 at the Malate Church to be presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo at 10 a.m. via the Social Communications platforms of the Archdiocese of Manila – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

    “The whole purpose of these is to bring about what Pope Francis calls for which is ecological conversion. Very much part of ecological conversion is us, the human species realizing the world is not for us. We are here to serve the biological world and the whole world of creation. We’re not behaving that way and now it’s going back against us,” said Fr. John Leydon, SSC, GCCM-Philippines Chairperson, during the online launch. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Neglect of Rural areas cause poverty in Cities


    Why are people moving to cities only to find themselves in deeper poverty?

    "Farmers are Essential". This was the title of the social media post that Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, made last May 14, 2020. His write up reflected on the importance of the agriculture sector.


    In his reflection, Bishop Pabillo said that in provinces farmers and fisherfolks are often deprived of the necessities and services that are supposed to be provided by the local governments. This sad reality is caused by the national government to focus more on cities. 

    "Most of our people live on agriculture and fishery. These sectors do not get the budget and the services that they need. So we have the phenomenon of farmers and fisherfolks among the poorest in the country, and consequently many of them flock to the urban centers which receive the bulk of services and government attention. Hence we have rapid urbanization which brings along with it congested urban poor communities, pollution, and even lawlessness," he said.

    The bishop pointed out that because of the lack of services in rural areas, like healthcare, this puts pressure on poor people to migrate to near cities with the hope of finding better opportunities. 

    "People come to the cities because they have no livelihood in the provinces. But this is not enough. The government and businesses should pour massive investment in rural areas so that they get adequate human services and jobs in the provinces. There are still areas without electricity," he said. 

    "Many areas have no health clinics, and if they happen to have, they are just empty buildings because there are no healthcare workers – no doctors and nurses, and poorly trained and supervised barangay healthcare workers," the bishop added.

    This unfortunate situation of rural areas is aggravated because they are cut off from more developed places due to the underdeveloped network of transportation.

    "Many rural roads are impassable during rainy seasons and dusty on dry seasons. Because of the bad roads the transport system is unreliable and expensive."

    The Apostolic Administrator appealed to lawmakers to create development plans inclined to the needs of rural areas since both the agricultural and fisheries sector need adequate funding for the improvement of their methods.

    "In a word, the development plan – and the budget – should all be aligned to give importance to the rural areas in order to develop the agricultural and fishery sectors of our society," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Manila provides Financial assistance to 21 Dioceses amidst COVID-19


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila has provided 5.7 million pesos financial assistance to 21 dioceses and archdioceses in the country. This is to support families affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    According to Veritas News, among dioceses to which funds were given, were the Diocese of Tagum in Davao del Norte, Diocese of Antique and Diocese of Romblon. Each diocese received P500 thousand pesos and P300 thousand pesos was given to the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga, Diocese of Isabela and Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe in Mt. Province and Ifugao.


    The Dioceses of Tarlac, Laoag Ilocos Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate, Libmanan, Daet Camarines Norte, Mati Davao Del Sur, San Jose Nueva Ecija, Virac Catanduanes, Legaspi Albay, Kalibo Aklan and Archaeologists have also received P200 thousand pesos as well as Lipa in Batangas, Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur and Caceres in Camarines Sur even the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

    The data was released by Caritas Damayan, the Disaster Response Crisis Program of Caritas Manila.

    “Tayo ay tumulong sa mahigit dalampung probinsya sa Luzon, Visayas at Midanao para maitulong din nila sa mga nangangailangan at sa mga mahihirap na ngayon ay lalong nahihirapan dahil sa paghinto ng kanilang mga hanap-buhay maging sila ay nasa mga probinsya,” Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Executive Director ng Caritas Manila said to Radio Veritas.

    At the start of the ECQ, Caritas Manila already distributed gift certificates amounting to 1.3 billion pesos in the Mega Manila area where families were significantly affected by the pandemic. The initiative was in collaboration with the business sector.

    Caritas Manila continues to distribute Ligtas Covid-19 Kits and Manna Food packs in many parts of the country. To date, there are more than 630 thousand individuals or 120 thousand families in different parishes, congregations and church organizations that have received the in-kind aid.

    According to Caritas Manila data, the Catholic Church in the Philippines has already provided assistance to around 10.8 million individuals all over the country, and continues to gather resources to reach more who are in need. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Appeal to review for IATF Guidelines on Religious Gatherings


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila appealed for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to review and reconsider the guidelines to be implemented with regards to religious gatherings. According to him consultations with religious leaders should also be done. This was expressed in the Prelate's social media post last May 17, 2020.

    Bishop Pabillo pointed out that the parameter set on religious gathering is inconsistent because the restrictions to be observed has been based on limiting the number of people and not on the two-meter social distancing health protocol. Seemingly, the guidelines that are to be implemented for religious gathering already imply that Church services are still not allowed during the quarantine period.

     Photo Credit: Facebook Page of Bishop Broderick Pabillo

    The limitations would be 5 people during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and 10 people for the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

    "In the church we are happy that in both, religious activities are allowed. But at the same time the limitations they set to religious activities are unreasonable - 5 persons for MECQ and 10 persons for MGCQ! It is just another way of saying that you do not have religious activities," he said.

    "Where did they get these numbers? Why is it that they do not give the absolute numbers of persons who can enter a store, or work in the office, or in the factory? Do they say that only 10 persons should be in an office, or that 20 persons work in a factory, or that only 5 persons can enter a store at a time? This would be preposterous!" he added.

    The prelate is hopeful that the government propose a more reasonable directive for religious services since the religious sector has been involved and compliant to health protocols since the start of the lockdown.

    "This directive on religious activities was surely taken without any consultation with the religious sector. This is a problem with the government. They make arbitrary decisions without proper consultation with the sectors involved. So they come out with unreasonable directives!" the bishop said.

    According to Veritas News, the Archdiocese of Manila submitted a proposed set of guidelines to IATF through the Department of Health (DOH) two weeks ago but no initial feedback was given. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Pastoral Instruction: We go out renewed


    My dear priests of the Archdiocese of Manila,

    This quarantine has been so unexpected. It has been for many a long dark tunnel of uncertainty. And it has happened during the most solemn and meaningful seasons for us Christians: the season of Lent and the season of Easter. But at last we see light at the end of the tunnel, however faint it may be. We now see that the quarantine is ending, though we do not exactly know when.


    The lock down has been for us like being put in a tomb. We experienced the helplessness and darkness of the grave. But our faith tells us that with Jesus we will go out of the tomb. Hopefully, however, we go out from this two-and-half- months of lock down experience with new life. We do not go out of the quarantine just to return to our old self and the usual way of doing things. We go out renewed - with new perspectives, with new zest, and with greater commitment. In order to make this happen we prepare ourselves for the post quarantine life and ministry by a spiritual retreat.

    I foresee see that we priests will not be able to make our annual spiritual retreat as scheduled in July, and when we miss that schedule it will be difficult to set another time for it this year. As new situations call for new responses, this time I invite all of you to make our spiritual retreat together online. It will be from May 25 morning to May 28 evening. It will be done in your homes. Being online we can open the retreat to all priests in the archdiocese, including the guest priests, to all religious men and women in the archdiocese, and to all the lay collaborators in our parishes and ministries. In a way this can help unite all who are involved in the archdiocese, being one in prayer and listening to the same reflections that can help form among us a common mind. Let each priest invite those he closely works with to join in this retreat.

    The structure of the retreat will be simple. What is important is that each one enters into an atmosphere of prayer and reflection. We will unite ourselves to each other every day in the Eucharist. The lay people can do this online. There will be two reflection talks per day, one in the morning at 10 am and one in the afternoon at 3 pm. During the day, each one will set aside at least one hour of solid prayer. For the priests and the religious, it is good if this can be done in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Let each one spend thirty minutes reading the Bible. By doing so you will get a plenary indulgence. Each also prays the rosary, not necessarily limiting ourselves to one mystery per day. Finally, let each one conclude the retreat with a good confession. The lay leaders and the religious can ask priests to hear their confession in the parish or in their religious house. The schedule will then be very flexible, according to your own situation. What is important is that we set aside these days to encounter the Lord. The big challenge is the effort “to fast” from the social media to let the peace of the Lord reign within us. This retreat will be a good preparation for our re-entry into the new, and hopefully better, normal that awaits us after this quarantine. Covid 19 will still be around and we do not yet know when this pandemic will end, but this will not stop us from serving our people.

    Let us be generous, open, and available in doing this spiritual retreat. Our Blessed Mother to whom we are consecrated will be with us and pray with us.

     

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    May 16, 2020

  • Church urges IATF to clarify the guidelines on Modified ECQ


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, has requested the Inter-Agency Tasks Force (IATF) to look into the national guidelines that will be implemented during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

    This is the Bishop's response to the confusion as to whom to talk with and make negotiations regarding the allowing of regulated religious gatherings. The bishop noted that according to IATF the Church should have close coordination with the Local Government Units (LGU) to secure permission to hold religious activities. But the LGUs, in turn, would respond to Church request that they have to follow the national directive. This causes confusion as to which authority the Church should approach to initiate dialogue.


    “Kung gusto ng IATF ilagay nila sa General norms na depende sa mga LGU, kasi ang mga LGU kapag nilalapitan namin sabihin na hindi naman pwede kasi sinabi sa national na bawal muna [religious activities]. Wala namang guidelines sa national na depende sa LGU,” the bishop said during an interview on Radio Veritas.

    Bishop Pabillo expressed his disappointment in the government's decision to gradually open commercial stores, malls, banks, and mining while holding back religious activities and even classified them among entertainment activities such as concerts and cinema.

    The bishop emphasized that the Archdiocese of Manila had submitted a document proposing rules to IATF through the Department of Health. The Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, stated that he has not yet received the document.

    The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on Luzon and other parts of the country is supposed to be lifted on May 15. Yet, the government announced that the National Capital Region, Cebu and Laguna will be placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine on May 16 to May 31 because of the continued rise of cases of COVID-19, in spite of current quarantine measures.

    Under the MECQ, the government allows individuals who have essential responsibilities in society and the economy to move around and be able to provide basic services to help in restarting the economy.

    The Catholic Church hopes that the government would reconsider the request on allowing religious activities, as it promises to implement necessary measures and precautions like wearing facemask, frequent hand washing, establishing a ministry for sanitation and strict compliance to physical distancing to address the risk of spreading the virus. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Church and Local Government entreat Mary's Intercession Amidst Pandemic


    Bishops from different parts of the Philippines have led the faithful in prayer to consecrate the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2020. This was to ask for intercession for the end of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged not just the Philippines but the whole world.

    The common prayer was called the “National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: We pray as one. We heal as one. We renew the world as one”. It was joined by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles together with 6 other bishops who led in praying the rosary at 8:30 in the morning.


    The bishops who also took part in the simultaneous consecration were Bishop Dennis Villarojo (Diocese of Malolos), Bishop Broderick Pabillo (Archdiocese of Manila), Bishop Bartolome Santos, Jr. (Diocese of Iba), Archbishop Jose Palma (Diocese of Cebu), Archbishop John Du (Archdiocese of Palo) and Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo (Diocese of Kidapawan).

    After the praying of the Rosary and the prayer for consecration, a mass was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City, which was presided by Bishop Villarojo.

    At 12 noon, at the Manila Cathedral, Bishop Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila led another celebration of Mass on the occasion of the 103rd anniversary of the apparition of the Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. The celebration also became the occasion for the consecration of the whole Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, together with the 5 cities that consist it.

    The Mayors of the five cities were also present and led the prayer of consecration with Bishop Pabillo. Present were Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagaso, Mayor Carmelita Abalos of the City of Mandaluyong, Mayor Abigail Binay of the City of Makati, Mayor Imelda Calixto Rubiano of the City of Pasay and Mayor Francisco Zamora of the City of San Juan.

    “We thank the Lord for the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that he gives to us. Sama sama tayo bilang isang simbahan dito sa Archdicoese of Manila na ipaubaya at italaga ang ating sarili sa ating Mahal na Inang si Maria. We consecrate ourselves to her immaculate heart,” Bishop Pabillo said.


    “Tanggapin din natin ang hamon na dahil sa ating pagtatalga, tayo ay magdadasal, pagpepenitensiya at magbabagong buhay. Isang buhay na lumalayo kay satanas at sa lahat ng kasamaan.isang buhay na lumalapit kay Hesus na ating tagapagligtas,” he added.

    At the end of the celebrations, the five mayors together with Bishop Pabillo offered flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign of trust and devotion.

    In his homily, the Bishop expressed his gratitude to the mayors for responding to the invitation to come and join the faithful during the significant Church feast.

    “Thank you, my dear Mayors for coming and leading your constituents to this consecration that even if you are busy you have taken time to be here with all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila for this important event of our life of faith in this Archdiocese,” he said.

    The events were live-streamed via the Facebook page of different platforms of the Archdiocese of Manila – TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila - Office of Communications in partnership with the Dioceses of Cubao and Malolos. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Priests' Retirement House of Diocese of Balanga opens for Children with Cancer


    The provincial government of Bataan expressed its gratitude to Most Rev. Ruperto Santos, Bishop of the Diocese of Balanga, for opening the Residencia Sacerdotal Retirement Home of the priests of the diocese, to serve as a place for chemotherapy sessions for children who have cancer.

    15 children with cancer were already temporarily transferred to the retirement house from Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center.

    Photo Credit: Diocese of Balanga Facebook Page

    The move was to secure the children from exposure to COVID-19 as patients who were identified as positive with the virus have already been admitted to the hospital.

    Bishop Santos assured that the Diocese of Balanga is willing to help the local government and other sectors to give aid to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Bishop Santos has also declared that other facilities in the Diocese such as seminaries and diocesan schools were also opened to serve as place for rest not just for frontliners but also for persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigations (PUI).

    “Open ang Diocese kahit kanino basta makatulong we will collaborate and cooperate, lahat open dito lalo na yung aming diocesan schools para sa frontliners at kung may pagkakataon pa rin talagang kasi maraming mga ospital din dito kung kailangan din sa PUMs, PUIs the schools will be open for them and we will open our college seminaries, yung aming retirement home at saka yung diocesan schools” the Bishop said during an interview in Radio Veritas.

    The Bishop and the priests of the Diocese has also offered their monthly allowance of March to May as fund to be to help those who are in need during this crisis.

    The Diocese of Balanga, which has about  650,000 Catholic faithful is served by 55 priests. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC) 

     

  • Mass Schedules to be adjusted for the "New Normal"


    In his Pastoral Instruction "Protocol for Religious Services," Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila proposed the adjustment of mass schedules of parishes when the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) is lifted in NCR. 

    Bishop Pabillo explained that Sunday Masses will have to be lessened to give way for 30-minutes intervals which will be the period to sanitize the church after each service.

    Photo Credit: Romain Garry Evangelista/Manila Cathedral


    Live streaming of the Eucharistic Celebration will continue especially for those who are limited to participate physically due to health considerations or other circumstances, according to the bishop.

    "The presence of difficulty, and in some cases impossibility, of fulfilling the Sunday obligation renders the obligation suspended during these extraordinary circumstances," the bishop said.  "While Sunday and weekday Masses will already be celebrated in parishes, the live streaming of Masses, at least on Sundays, will continue for those who are unable to participate in the community celebrations due to sickness, old age, fear and caution."

    The prelate recommends that the Mass Schedules such as an anticipated mass on Saturdays be moved to 3 pm to accommodate more masses. It is, however, optional for parishes to have more than 2 masses on Saturdays. This is to give the faithful more options as to which mass they would attend in fulfilling their Sunday obligation. 

    Baptisms are advisable to have more schedules to avoid big gatherings in the churches, especially on Sundays. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Homily of Bishop Broderick Pabillo - Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2020


    Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima at the Manila Cathedral, May 13, 2020, 12 noon.



    Early this morning we have had the simultaneous consecration of our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary led by our bishops from all over the country.

    Now, this noon we will have the consecration of the Archdiocese of Manila to the same Blessed Virgin Mary with the mayors of our five cities comprising the Archdiocese here present. Honorable Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso of the City of Manila, Honorable Mayor Carmelita Abalos of the City of Mandaluyong, Honorable Mayor Abigail Binay of the City of Makati, Honorable Mayor Imelda Calixto Rubiano of the City of Pasay and Honorable Mayor Francisco Zamora of the City of San Juan.

    Thank you, my dear Mayors, for coming and leading your constituents to this consecration that even if you are busy you have taken time to be here with all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila for this important event of our life of faith in this Archdiocese.

    But, we may ask what is the fuzz over the consecration?

    To consecrate can mean two things. One, it can mean to entrust – pagpapaubaya. Pinauubaya natin ang ating sarili sa Mahal na Birhen. We put ourselves under her maternal hands because she cares for us and the protection of her intercession is powerful before God. Second, to consecrate means to set aside – pagtatalaga. In the strict sense, it is only God who consecrates. It is only God who makes us holy, who dedicates us, who sets us aside for him. But in a wider sense, we consecrate ourselves to God. We offer ourselves to him and to do his will. Kaya ang pagtatalaga kay Maria ay ang pag-aalay ng ating sarili sa kamay ng Mahal na Ina upang tayo ay kanyang magabayan patungo sa Diyos.

    We, all of us are already consecrated to God when we were baptized. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng binyag. Ibinigay na natin ang ating sarili sa Diyos. At ang Diyos naman, tinanggap niya ang bawat isa sa atin na kanyang maging anak.

    Now, why then consecrate to Mary? We recognize the singular role of Mary for our salvation. Dumating si Hesus sa mundo sa pamamagitan niya. Iyan ang gusto at plano ng Diyos. Maaari naman ang anak ng Diyos ay bumaba diretso mula sa langit o sumibol sa lupa gaya ni Adan. Pero hindi yan ang ginusto ng Diyos. Siya ang naging tayo sa pamamagitan ng isang babae at ang babaeng pinili niya ay si Maria. Kaya siya yung babaeng pinagpala sa lahat ng mga babae. It was the free choice of God. So, by honoring her, we are just honoring the one who was greatly honored by God. This is why Mary can say, “The Almighty has done great things for me.”

    The choice was done by God but on her part, Mary cooperated fully in God’s plan. She said clearly and freely, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Sa pagtatalaga natin kay Maria, ibinibigay natin ang ating sarili sa kanyang kamay upang hubugin niya tayo ayon sa kanyang puso na isang pusong masunurin and totally available to God.

    Mahalaga ang papel ni Mama Mary para sa ating kaligtasan. Ang anak ng Diyos ay naging tao dahil sa pagsunod ni Maria sa Salita ng Diyos. Si Maria ay nandoon sa simula ng buhay ni Hesus. Sa simula ng misyon ni Hesus at sa simula ng buhay ng simbahan.

    Sa simula ng buhay ni Hesus, sapagkat tumira si Hesus sa kanyang sinapupunan ng siyam na buwan. Sa kanyang dibdib nabuhay ang anak ng Diyos. Siya at si Jose ang gumabay sa bata sa kanyang paglaki. Pero si Maria ay nandun din sa simula ng misyon ni Hesus. In truth, it is at her prodding that Jesus did his first miracle and manifested himself to his disciples as we are told in our gospel reading. Jesus first manifested his glory because of the miracle that he did at the request of his Blessed Mother. We see here the intercessory power of the Mother of God. Jesus was hesitant. It was not yet his time but in a way, Jesus anticipated his time because of the intercession of Mary.

    Si Maria ang nakakita ng pangangailangan. Yan ang maka-inang mata ni Maria. Alam niya ang pangangailangan bago pa napansin ng iba. Hindi ba ganyan din ang ating mga nanay sa bahay? Ang nanay ang nauunang nakakapansin na wala na palang mantika, na kulang na ang budget, na may punit ang mga damit ng mga anak. At naghanap siya ng solusyon. Ang solusyon niya ay lumapit kay Hesus. Napakaganda ng pakiusap niya kay Hesus. Hindi man siya nag-utos sa kanya. Hindi siya nangulit ng sinabi niya kay Hesus at kahit na sinabi ni Hesus ang kanyang objection, para bang ang tono ng salita ni Hesus ay ano ang pakialam natin dito? Sabagay, ano ang pakialam nila bisita lang sila.

    Sa pakiusap ni Maria dalawa ang kanyang ginawa. Sinabi niya ang pangangailangan - wala na silang alak. At inihanda niya ang mga tao sa ipagagawa ni Hesus, gawin niyo ang sasabihin niya sa inyo. Alam ni Maria may gagawin si Hesus kaya inihanda niya ang mga taong gawin ang ipagagawa ng kanyang anak.

    While Mary expresses our needs to God, she also prepares us to do what God asks from us. She knows that Jesus would something. Just do what he tells you. Mary knows our difficulties during this lockdown na wala na tayong pera, na inip na tayo, na nababahala na tayo sa ating kinabukasan. Alam niya ang mga yan sapagkat siya ang ating Mahal na Ina. Sinasabi niya rin sa atin, gawin ninyo ang ipagagawa sa inyo ng Diyos. Malalaman natin ang ipagagawa sa atin ng Diyos kung tayo ay magdarasal. Kung tayo ay nagbabasa ng Biblya at kung tayo’y nananahimik. Mga bagay na magagawa natin ngayong panahon ng quarantine. May panahon tayong manahimik. May panahon tayong magdasal, sana may panahon din tayong magbasa ng Bibliya.

    Mary was also there at the beginning of the life of the Church. After the ascension of Jesus to heaven, the disciples suddenly found themselves alone. Jesus sent them out to preach to all the nations. But how would they do this? Sa totoo lang, takot sila dahil nakakulong sa isang kuwarto pero nandoon si Maria sinasamahan sila. Kasama nila siya sa kanilang pagdarasal. Sa panahon ng pangangamba, ang tanging magagawa natin ay magdasal at magdasal ng sama sama. Kaya hinihikayat ang lahat na magdasal bilang pamilya sa ating mga tahanan. Sa ating pagdarasal ay kasama natin ang Mahal na Ina. She is a mother who is always present to her children. Ang iyan naman talaga ang kanila.....the presence of the mother. Mary is our mother. She is with us.

    And the presence of Mary is not a weak presence. She is powerful. This is clearly illustrated to us in her struggle against the dragon that we have heard from the Book of revelation. The might of the dragon with its seven heads and ten horns does not frighten her.  The power of the woman was not in her mighty arms. Wala naman siya ng army nor in her wit nor in her wealth. The might of the woman was that she allowed the Almighty God to protect her.

    This is also our power. Hindi tayo malakas dahil sa tayo ay mayaman o may kakilala o may mga armas. Tayo ay malakas kung hinahayaan nating protektahan at gabayan tayo ng lakas ng Diyos na makapangyarihan.

    Let us pray with the prophet Jeremiah, “Lord, my strength, my fortress, my refuge in the day of this rest.” Tinuturuan tayo ni Maria paano maging malakas. Ang lakas natin ay ang Panginoon. Our strength is in the Lord.

    Ngayong panahon ng pandemic, we are confronted with our helplessness kaya nga itinatalaga ang ating sarili kay Mama Mary. Sa ating kahinaan at pagkalito, hindi tayo nag-iisa nandiyan si Maria na nababahala at kumakalinga. Ipaubaya natin ang ating sarili sa kanyang pangangalaga. Ibigay natin ang ating sarili sa kanya hindi niya tayo pababayaan. Kaya nga ginagawa natin itong Act of Consecration – pagpapaubaya, pagtatalaga ng ating sarili.

    Ang taong 1917, ay hindi madaling panahon. Sa totoo lang, napakahirap ng panahong yun. Patapos pa lang ang First World War na pumatay na higit na 20 million na mga tao at pasimula na ang tinatawag na Spanish.....na babawi ng 50 million na mga buhay. Malaki ang insecurity ng marami pagkatapos ang digmaan. Malaki ang insecurity pagdating ng flu virus na hindi rin nila kilala noong panahon. Ito ang panahon na nagparamdam si Mama Mary sa Fatima, 1917. Hindi lang sa tatlong bata kundi sa harap ng higit na 70 thousand people with the phenomenon of the dancing sun. Hindi sila nag-iisa. Nandiyan siya but she did not just assure them of her presence. She gave them the solution. Not a vaccine but the weapon to fight evil – prayer, especially the praying of the Rosary, penance and conversion – a change of life.

    Ito pa rin ang mensahe ng Mahal na Birhen na magagawa natin ngayon kaya hindi tayo helpless. Subukan naman natin ang solusyon ng Mahal na Ina – tayo ay magdasal, tayo ay magrosaryo sa ating mga tahanan, tayo ay magpenitensiya, pagtigil sa ating sarili – pagtitimpi, tayo ay magbagong buhay. And we have a lot of time to reflect. Paano tayo magbagong buhay? Yan din ang hamon sa atin ng ating consecration.

    Sana po dahil sa dumaan tayo sa apoy ng pandemic ng quarantine na aabot ng mga tatlong buwan, hindi tayo lalabas sa quaranting ito tulad ng.....Sana lumabas tayo ng may pagbabago – bagong pananaw, bagong pananampalataya, bagong pagtititwala at bagong pakikiisa sa ating kapwa.

    Sa Banal na Misang ito, kahit na para sa marami ay online lang, you are all represented by your beloved mayors. Kaya talaga lubos ang aking pasasalamat na dumating sila kasama natin ipinagdarasal kayo. They are praying for you and they are praying together as five mayors of our archdiocese.

    We thank the Lord for the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that he gives to us. Sama sama tayo bilang isang simbahan dito sa Archdicoese of Manila na ipaubaya at italaga ang ating sarili sa ating Mahal na Inang si Maria. We consecrate ourselves to her immaculate heart. Tanggapin din natin ang hamon na dahil sa ating pagtatalga, tayo ay magdadasal, pagpepenitensiya at magbabagong buhay. Isang buhay na lumalayo kay satanas at sa lahat ng kasamaan.isang buhay na lumalapit kay Hesus na ating tagapagligtas.

    Ito po ang pangako natin sa Binyag. Isabuhay natin ang ating Binya na itakwil si satanas at manampalataya sa Diyos. Mamuhay tayo bilang mga tunay na anak ng Diyos at si Mama Mary na siyang humubog kay Hesus ay siyang huhubog sa atin paano ba tayo maging mga anak ng Diyos ayon sa landas na walang iba kundi ng ating Panginoong Hesus. (RCAM-AOC/Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications)

     

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo during online Sunday Mass last May 10, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Every group at one point or at even several points of its life encounters problems. There are even times that these problems are created by their very own successes not necessarily by their failures. What do we do when we meet these problems whether that be our families, our associations or church groups, the barangay, business ventures, or another organization.

    The experience of crisis can drag the group down or can also be a great push for growth. Hindi rin naiiba ang simbahan sa kalagayang ito kahit na ang simbahan ay hindi lang organisasyon o institusyon. Tulad ng ibang grupo, siya rin ay nakakatagpo ng krisis ng problema. Isa sa mga ito’y nakasaad sa atig Unang Pagbasa. Isa sa mga unang krisis na kinaharap ng mananampalataya.


    Ang ganda ng samahan ng simbahan noon. Nagkakaisa sila sa diwa’t puso. Walang mahirap sa kanila dahil sa wala naming mayaman. Ang mga may-ari tulad ni Bernabe ay pinagbibili ang kanilang bahay at lupa at ibinibigay ang pinagbilhan sa mga apostol na sila naman ang nagbabahagi nito sa mga nangangailangan.

    Ang pagbibigayang ito ay hindi sapilitan. Kusang ginawa ito dahil sa naniwala sila na sila ay tunay na magkakapatid at nagbabahagi sa bagong buhay na ibinigay sa kanila ng Espiritu Santo. If they are one in God’s spirit, why can’t they be one in supporting each other even materially. Because of this way of life, many joined the church. The Church grew not only because of the message reached by the apostles but also by the witness of life that the members of the group showed by living a life of communion.

    Ngunit nangyayari na ang success ay ang nagiging dahilan sa ating mga problema. Ganyan ang nangyari sa simbahan. Dahil sa napakarami ang sumali, hindi na magampanan ng mga apostol ang mga gawain kaya nagreklamo ang isang grupo – ang mga Helenist. Ibig sabihin ang mga miyembro na nagsasalita ng Griyego na ang mga balo nila ay hindi natutulungan tulad ng mga balo ng mga nagsasalita ng Hebreo. “Unfair,” ang sinigaw nila. “May favoritism.” Hindi ba yaan din ang  daing ng mga grupo kahit na sa ating mga pamila. Unfair! Bakit siya lang ang napapansin ni lola? Bakit sila lang ang nakakatanggap ng gift certificate o ng bigas at hindi kami? Bakit sila’y work from home at kami ay papasok pa sa opisina? Malaking problema. Nasisira ang harmony ng samahan.

    Maganda ang ginawa ng leadership ng simbahan. Kinilala ng mga apostol na may problema. They recognized that there is a problem. No crisis can be solved if it is not first of all recognized. Yan ang nangyari sa coronavirus. Lumagananp ito ng mabilis sa ibang mga bansa kasi hindi agad kinilala na ito’y isang malaki problema. Nagpabaya sila. Ganun din, maraming nagbibingi-bingihan, maraming nagbubulag-bulagan sa mga problema ng daigdig.

    The apostles recognized there was a problem and they did not blame anybody. They accepted the responsibility. Hindi na naming kaya na gampanan ang gawaing ito. Marami na ang paglilingkuran. Nag-suggest sila ng solution. Hindi namin magagawa ito pero dapat hindi pabayaan ang magandang gawain ng pagtulong sa mga balo.

    So, they created a new ministry. This work is to be given to others. They delegated the job. They delegated because they were unable to prioritize their own responsibility - magdasal at magpahayag ng Salita ng Diyos.

    There are so many things that we can learn from here. The apostles did not only recognized the problem, they offered a solution. O, there are so many people who just point at problems but make no effort to find solutions. They look for problems and blame others for them. Inako ng mga apostol na hindi na nila kaya, kaya pinauba sa iba. Hindi naman maaaring pabayaan ang gawaing ito because the work of charity is essential to the church from the very beginning. In fact, it was one of the works of Jesus. He went around doing good taking care of the needs of others.

    So, the apostles set up the Ministry of the Diaconate, that is the ministry of service. Service at tables, pagbibigay ng sustento sa mga balo. We see here that from the very beginning, the church has already been taking care of the vulnerable members of society. The apostles were able to delegate because they were able to prioritize what is proper to them. Kinilala ng mga apostol ang kanilang limitasyon at ayaw nilang maiwanan ang mga gawaing mahalaga sa kanila – ang pagdadasal at ang pagpapahayag ng Salita ng Diyos.

    Nabibigyan pa ba ng priority ang mga ito lalung lalo na sa ating mga kaparian? Do they take time to pray? Do they take time to study the Bible and prepare their homilies? Minsan lang nangyari sa akin na sa pagdalaw ko sa isang parokya at hinahanap si father, ang sagot sa akin sa opisina, “Bishop, nasa chapel po ngdadasal.” Saan busy si father? Nandoon nagca-canvass ng semento para sa construction. Nandoon nagba-budget ng mga gastos sa opisina o nandoon nakikipag-usap sa barangay. The priest is busy with the myriad of things which are also important to make the parish run. Because probably that he is not able to delegate these activities so that he can pray and know the Word of God or there are no lay people who can help him and be entrusted with these jobs.

    Now, we are adjusting many things to make our churches safe when we will be allowed to make our religious services. We will be looking for younger people to volunteer in the church. Marami sa masisipag nating volunteers ay matatanda na, na ipinagbabawal munang lumabas. Will we get enough young volunteers? Baka naman pagdating ng araw si father pa ang magdidisinfect ng mga upuan. Magandang sabihin, “Father ako na muna diyan para makapagdasal ka.” Kung mas matapang pa sasabihin, “Ako na po munang gagawan niyan para makapaghanda ka ng homily mo.”

    Minsan mahirap din kumuha ng mga volunteers dahil sa marami tayong requirement sa kanila. Ano ang qualifications ng magiging deacons? Sinabi ng mga apostol, “Select among you seven reputable men filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom.” The qualifications ay hindi ano yung alam niya, ano yung kanyang experience, ano yung kanyang pinag-aralan. Pero mga inner qualities at honorable man. Isang maaasahan isang may integridad hindi kilalang masama, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Ginagabayan ng espiritu ng Diyos at hindi ng espiritu ng mundo na tinatawag ni Pope Francis the “Spirit of Worldliness.”  At may karunungan na hindi galing sa pag-aaral ngunit galing sa karanasan.

    Inner qualities are important to serve the church. It was the same at the job interview of Jesus to Peter by the shore of Tiberias. Jesus gave him the commission to feed his flock only after asking him, “Do you love me?” And keeping the assurance of Peter’s answer, “Yes Lord, I love you.” Para kay Hesus mahalaga ang pag-ibig – pag-ibig sa kanya. Kapag mahal si Hesus handa tayong maglinkod sa kanyang simbahan.

    The selection was done by the community. They presented the seven whom they chose and these the apostles ordained by praying over them and laying their hands on them.

    Last Sunday, ito po ay World Day of Prayer for Vocation. Ang Diyos ang tumatawag, siya ang nagbibigay ng bokasyon pero sana kasama ang komunidad sa paghikayat sa mga candidates.  Have we invited someone to serve the Lord even not as priest or religious even just as parish volunteers. Ngayong nangangailangan tayo ng mga bata pang volunteer, dapat tumulong tayo sa paghikayat sa mga kabataan na mag-serve. Marami diyan na pasiga siga parang maton, pero kung imbitahan, ay sasagot naman willing naman na mag-serve. Bring them forward so that the church can form them. And commissioned them for the many services that we need.

    Marami ang gawain ng simbahan at mahalaga ang misyon ng simbahan kaya tutol tayo sa pamahalaan sa desisyon nila sa IATF na ipapahuli ang pagpayag sa religious activities. Binuksan na ang bangko, ang mga tindahan, ang mga salon, pinayagan na nga ang pagmimina at hindi pa ang simabahan. Itinuturing lang ito kasabay ng concerts, movie houses at iba pang entertainment. No! The church is not entertainment. The church services are essential services. Why so? Because the mission of the church is to bring us to where Jesus is. Sinabi ni Hesus sa ebanghelyo, “Ibig ko na kung nasaan ako duruin din kayo.” Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ang misyon ni Hesus na dalhin tayo sa ama, “No one comes to the father except through me.” Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ipagpapatuloy ang gawain ni Hesus. Jesus affirms, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.”

    Sa government paper, isa sa mga principles na nakalagay doon is to bring about physical, mental and psychological resilience of the people. Ang gawain ng simbahan, ang religious activities upang magkaroon ng mental at psychological resilience ang mga tao. Kaya ito’y essential service na dapat payagan na kagad ng pamahalaan ayon din sa mga sapat na tuntunin sa ating physical distancing.

    Sana mga kapatid sa krisis na ito ng coronavirus at sa dahan dahang pagbubukas ng simbahan ay mas malakas tayo, masigasig at masigla. Tulad ng simbahan sa Herusalem, the Word of God continued to spread and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly. Ito po ay mangyayari kung hahanapin natin na ang krisis na ito ay tulad sa paghaharap ng unang simabahan sa kanilang problema – pagkilala sa problema, paghahanap ng solusyon at hindi pagbibintang, pag create ng bagong ministries, magdelegate sa mga tao na gaganap dito at pag prioritize ng mga leaders ng mga trabaho na mahalaga sa kanila at pagbibigay ng tiwala sa mga taong kasama ng komunidad na pumili. Huwag nating pabayaan ang simbahan. Mahalaga ang gawain nito. At ito’y simbahan nating lahat. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocols to be observed for Confession


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila recently released pastoral guidelines pertaining to the celebration of the Sacraments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines, which was released last May 6, 2020, is entitled the "Protocol for Religious Services."



    The document reminds the faithful of the importance of the sacrament of confession and how it should properly be observed. To protect the sacredness and the seal of Confession (secrecy), it requires a personal encounter between the priest and the penitent, and thus "online confession" will not be possible. However, for granting a blessing or counseling, teleconferencing applications or telephone may temporarily be practiced.

    "When the sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible, for example, to a patient who is isolated or in quarantine, they can make an Act of Perfect Contrition. An Act of Perfect Contrition always has been a part of our Catholic tradition. God is always present to us, even when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible," he said.

    The priests may guide the faithful in doing the "Act of Perfect of Contrition," which aims to temporarily suffice as Sacrament of Reconciliation at this time when it is not yet possible to receive due to the quarantine period and the threat of spreading of the virus.

    The bishop also pointed out that small confessional boxes are to be remodeled to comply with the necessary distance for interaction. When it is impossible for the parish, they can conduct the confession outside the confessional box but with observance to proper social distancing. Moreover, the priest and penitent are required to use facemasks.

    Once the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is lifted and public worship is allowed, parishes are encouraged to organize their Kumpisalang Bayan within their respective Vicariates, for the priests to be able to support one another in hearing confessions.

    "Proper social/physical distancing should be observed as during the Mass. The parishes in the vicariates can help one another here," he added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Radio Veritas, CBCP issue statement on ABS CBN's closure


    In a statement released by Radio Veritas 846, the church-owned radio station by the Archdiocese of Manila, the management emphasized the importance of press freedom in delivering information that people have the right to receive and share. This was in relation to the ABS-CBN network which signed off on May 5, 2020, due to franchise issue.

    "As we have historically protected the FREEDOM of the Press since the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, Radio Veritas 846 still stands for Press Freedom as a crucial safeguard of Fact vs.Fiction; Truth vs. Lies; Objectively Viable vs. Subjectively Satisfying and Honestly vs. Duplicity," the statement said, which was signed by Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, President and CEO of Radio Veritas 846.

    "Authentic Press Freedom is important in the delivery of news, stories, insights, and spiritual reflection to our countrymen," Fr. Pascual said.


    Fr. Pascual also appealed to the faithful to pray for the lawmakers regarding the decisions that they would be making prior to the pending renewal of the said franchise.

    "We pray that our lawmakers would expeditiously resolve the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN, most especially in this time when our current health crisis entails the collective solidarity of every Filipino; and not divided nation posed by this unnecessary situation," he said.

    Meanwhile, The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines also issued a statement on May 7.  Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President and Archbishop of Davao, mentioned that because of the network's closure during COVID-19 pandemic, the faithful experience difficulty in receiving information which is very crucial during these times.

    "My first thought in the currently much talked-about closure of ABS-CBN is our people – our people who are in these extremely difficult and trying times because of the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

    "Because of the closure of this broadcast station, our people have lost one of our country’s major sources of information which is crucial to our people in this present situation. If I may add, they also have lost a source of entertainment and diversion during these days of confinement in their homes for more than two months already due to the lockdown measures," he added.

    Archbishop Valles stressed that legislators of the government should communicate and collaborate among themselves to address the issue, especially that many netizens have expressed their dissatisfaction in social media regarding the issue.

    "These days our people truly need more than ever broadcast services that would bring them the much-needed information in this time of crisis," he said.

    "With this consideration, I sincerely hope and pray that our government, especially our Congress, will work together to resolve the issue so that ABS-CBN may be allowed to resume its broadcast the soonest to the benefit of our people who really need as many as possible sources of good and reliable information in this time of suffering and distress," the archbishop added.

    In his Facebook account, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila also expressed his thought on the issue.

    According to him, the decision of NTC to shutdown ABS-CBN is “very unbecoming at best and traitorous to the people at worst.” ABS-CBN, he said, has been a great help to many Filipinos especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

    “ABS-CBN is helping a lot of Filipinos in the country and abroad in updating the people about the corona virus, in entertaining the people in the time of lock down, and in uplifting the spirits of many through its broadcasts,” he said.

    He also stated in his post that “freedom of information in this country is threatened. It sends the chilling message that news and information outlets should kowtow to those in power or else they will be brought down, just as ABC-CBN.”

    The Bishop also added that the issue is beyond ABS-CBN; it is all about defending press freedom.

    “We are defending freedom because the grip of power is getting tighter around us. Nasasakal na kami! The specter of Martial Law is coming up! This action of the government is not uniting the people. In fact it is using the pandemic as a cover for its dastardly deed,” he said.

    The ABS-CBN franchise expired on May 4 as upheld by the Department of Justice (DOJ). It was followed by a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on May 5. ABS-CBN is currently using its social media platforms to be able to broadcast. Their social media accounts are able to continue delivering news and other relevant information during this crisis. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Pope Francis sets Day of prayer, fasting and charity with People of all faith


    On May 14, 2020, the Catholic faithful are asked to Pray, Fast and do Acts of Charity to end COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the call made by Pope Francis on Mary 3 after praying the Regina Coeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace .

    Pope Francis | Photo from Vatican News

    Bishop Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila heeds the call of the Holy Father as he released a Pastoral Instruction entitled, “Let us be one with the whole Church”.

    “I ask our faithful in the Archdiocese to fully participate in this activity. To make our act of charity concrete.  I invite everyone to extend material help to at least one person within your reach, no matter the amount, to make that person/s feel the care we have for each other,” he said.

    The prelate said the event is in line with the celebration of the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue as it will be participated not only by Christians but also by people from faith to implore the Almighty to end the coronavirus pandemic that is has been ravaging the whole world.

    “Being in the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, this is a very concrete sign of common activity of all religions since prayer, fasting, and acts of love are common to all, and we are all affected by this pandemic,” he said.

    According to Vatican News, Pope Francis accepted the Proposal of the celebration on May 14, 2020, from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.

    “Since prayer is a universal value, I have accepted the proposal of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity so that next May 14 believers of all religions unite spiritually in a Day of Prayer and Fasting and Works of Charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Remember: May 14, all believers together, believers of different traditions, to pray, fast, and do works of charity,” Pope Francis said.

    The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity is an organization that was created after Pope Francis met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and together signed the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019. The document is a joint statement that calls for the reconciliation of people of goodwill in service of universal peace. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Government and Church Leaders unite for Day of Consecration on May 13, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima


    “Let us be one with the whole Church.”

    This is the title of the recent Pastoral Instruction released by the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila for parishes, religious communities and families.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo encourages the faithful of the Archdiocese to participate in the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13, the 103rd anniversary of Our Lady's apparition in Fatima, Portugal.


    In his instruction, the Bishop laid down a few activities for the event that will allow the faithful to be personally connected with the Lord and with each other “in and through the Church as the Body of Christ.”

    On that day, there will be the praying of the rosary at 8:30 am and to be followed by the prayer of consecration of the whole country to the Blessed Virgin. The prayers, which will be simultaneous in different places all over the country, will be led by bishops from different dioceses. The National Shrine of Our lady of Fatima in Valenzuela will be the venue for the culmination with the celebration of the Holy Mass, to be presided by Bishop Dennis Villarojo, Bishop of the Diocese of Malolos.

    The whole celebration will be streamed online with Radyo Veritas and TV Maria as main platforms for broadcast, with the help of the Diocese of Cubao.

    A celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 12 noon on the same day will also be held at the Manila Cathedral. The mass will be attended by the 5 Mayors of the different cities within the Archdiocese of Manila and presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, its Apostolic Administrator. At the end of the mass the 5 Mayors together with the bishop, will lead the prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Archdiocese and all its people.

    The five Mayors who will attend the celebration are Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Domagoso (Manila), Mayor Carmelita Abalos (Mandaluyong), Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (Pasay), Mayor Abigail Binay (Makati), and Mayor Francisco Zamora (San Juan).

    Still part of the Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, On May 10-12, a Triduum of fasting, prayer and reflection will also be held and aired via live stream through TV Maria and Radio Veritas. The Triduum will include praying of the Rosary and the Flores de Maria devotion at 3:30 p.m. followed by the reflection of Bishop Pabillo at 4:30 p.m. The prayers will be led by different sectors of the Church.

    “I invite the social communication ministry of the parishes to hook in to broaden the reach of these broadcasts. Even individually please invite your friends and relatives in the Archdiocese to participate in these activities,” Bishop Pabillo said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "Let 'Pagkakawang-gawa' be our celebration of Fiesta this year"


    The town of Malibay is known for its deep devotion to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno. Before the parish was even established, the devotion was already present as it paved the way for the faith that flourished in Malibay.

    When the month of May begins, the Malibayeños prepare for the nine-day Novena Masses and Grand Fiesta celebration. The streets are lined up with colorful bantings, families ordering Lechon and other special foods to be prepared for the Fiesta.


    A Comite de Festejos de Malibay and the Parish Community become very busy and are on top for the preparations of the activities for the fiesta. Every May 16, hundreds, or even thousands, of people come in and out of Malibay and make their way to the Church for the Fiesta Mass. They also join the processions and watch the marching band parade.

    This year, the festivities are different as the Parish Community embraces the new normal since the declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine. Due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, churches in the country are advised to suspend all public worship services. In San Juan Nepomuceno Parish, the celebration this year will be the Novena Masses live-streamed via the official Facebook Page, Parokya ni San Juan Nepomuceno and their affiliate accounts.

    The Comite de Festejos de Malibay has announced on their Facebook page that there won't be any processions and parades this year as part of the safety measures to be observed during this quarantine period. They also encouraged the faithful to extend help to the needy aside from their daily prayers.

    "Hinihikayat ng Comite de Festejos de Malibay ang pagdulog ng tulong at panalangin sa ating mga Patron at higitan ng pagkakawanggawa sa mga panahong ito sa diwa ng malasakitan sa ating kapwa. Patuloy po tayong sumunod sa alintuntunin ng pamahalaan para sa kaligtasan ng lahat," they said.

    Rev. Fr. Edgardo C. Coroza, Parish Priest of San Juan Nepomuceno Parish led the first day of the Novena Mass. In his homily, he stated that the faithful must learn to love God by being a humble servant just as how the Lord washed the feet of his disciples, which is done by servants in order to be an example of love and humility.

    "Dapat laging manatiling matatag ang pagmamahal sa Diyos," he said.

    He added that like the example of San Juan Nepomuceno who died because of his great love for God and the Sacrament of Confession, the faithful are encouraged to love the Lord just as he did by being his humble servant.

    Novena Masses will proceed as usual with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, praying the novena for the said day that will conclude to a Eucharistic Celebration. Even with limitations, the parishioners of Malibay will continue their devotion to give thanks to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno in their own homes as a fulfillment of a vow to celebrate yearly the feast of their beloved "Tata Juan."

    The parishioners are advised to stay home and participate in prayer through the live-streamed novena masses from May 7 to May 15, and the Fiesta Mass on May 16.  (Mio Hermoso and Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Crisis reveals what kind of Leaders we Have


    In his homily during the 4th Sunday of Easter, also called the Good Shepherd Sunday, last May 3, 2020, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, laid down that good leader should emulate the characteristics of Jesus the Good Shepherd who lays his life for his sheep.

    "The shepherd is the guide, the protector, the healer and the one who gathers the flock. Thus, in the Bible, the leader of the people is presented as a shepherd. The leader of the people whether it be the king, the priest or the officials in the court should be concerned to provide for the people, to protect them from their enemies, to keep them united as a people, and to take care of the weak and the oppressed,” he said.

    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    “If the shepherd is good, it goes well with the flock. If the leader is good, it goes well with the nation," he added.

    The prelate mentioned that leadership is not limited to prominent leaders alone; it is given to all people who are called to serve others. And the moral authority of a leader is put into question when their motivation is vested with personal interest.

    The bishop pointed out that the work accomplished by leaders reveals their priorities, that is if they have set the welfare of their people as their utmost concern. And social media plays an important role in scrutinizing leaders and their priorities.

    "This is also true in this coronavirus pandemic. We see what kind of leaders we have not only here in the Philippines but in other countries as well. Not only among political leaders but also among business and religious leaders as well. The consequences of their leadership or lack of it are enormous. It could spell the health and even the lives of their people. Their decisions impact the economic well-being of their constituents. They can make the lives of the people hard or healthy in the long run,” he said.

    The Apostolic Administrator urged leaders to be transparent with the people they serve by giving clear instructions and decisions especially during this time where some areas in the country are still under a lockdown or under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    "In times of crisis, people long for leaders who are transparent. They have confidence when they see their leaders doing the right things and there are no hidden agenda behind their decisions. Transparency is very much promoted when the leaders are clear in the instructions and directions that they give," he said. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Communities warned against fraudulent activities during COVID-19 pandemic


    Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen, Vice President for Operations of Radio Veritas 846 gave an advisory to communities on fraudulent activities specifically on donations bearing the name of Church institutions especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Radio Veritas, a Church-owned radio station, and Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, are among those institutions which fraud perpetrators have used to lure donors to give money.

    Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen, Vice President for Operations, Radio Veritas | File Photo of RCAM-AOC


    According to Veritas news, Fr. Bellen informed the faithful to be vigilant by doing fact-checking of credible sources in social media and other media platforms. He also urged them to contact the respective organizations in order to confirm if the information they have received are legitimate or not.

    “Nais kong ipaalala sa ating mga Kapanalig na mag-ingat po tayo; mas maganda ma-confirm kung saan po galing ang balita, yung panawagan o request; kung ito ba talaga ay galing sa simbahan,” he said. 

    He told the faithful that they can follow updates and know factual information through the official social media accounts of Radio Veritas (Veritas846.ph), Caritas Manila and other Church offices.

    “Mas maganda na we are always aware sa mga main platforms, mga official accounts ng Veritas, Caritas at mga Diocese; nang sa gayon we are aware na official ang mga panawagan,” he added.

    Even public figures of the Catholic Church in the Philippines are not spared from these fraudulent activities. High ranking church officials like Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo and Archbishop Jose Palma, to name a few, were among those used to make fake social media accounts to solicit money.

    Names of priests from various parishes were also being used with the same motive.

    Fr. Bellen advised the faithful that it will be wise to call and confirm institutions if donations are to be made, to avoid falling victim to frauds. Here are the official contact information of Caritas Manila, Radio Vertas and The Archdiocese of Manila:

    Caritas Maritas
    2002 Jesuss Street Pandacan, Manila
    8563-9311, 8564-0205, 0905-4285001, 0929-8343857
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Radio Veritas
    Veritas Tower 162 West Avenue, cor. Edsa, Quezon City
    (632) 8-925-7931 to 40, (632) 8-928-3068, (0918)837-4827, (0918-veritas)
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Archdiocese of Manila

    121 Arzobispo Street Intramuros, Manila
    8527-3962
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

  • Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)


    Ang ika-apat na Linggo ng panahong ng pagkabuhay ay tinatawag na Good Shepherd Sunday dahil sa ang paksa ay tungkol sa mabuting pastol.  This is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocation because on this day, we ask the Lord to send us shepherds molded in the heart of Jesus - the Good Shepherd.

    Sa Bibliya, ang larawan ng isang lider ay pastol o kaya shepherd. Si Abraham, si Isaac, si Jacob at ang mga anak niya ay mga pastol sa matagal na panahon. Ang pagpapastol ay isang pangkaraniwang hanap buhay sa Israel. Sa ganitong pamumuhay, napakahalaga ang papel ng shepherd. Siya ang gumagabay sa kanyang mga tupa upang sila ay magkaroon ng tubig at damo na mapagpapastulan. Siya ang nagbabantay upang hindi atakihin o kunin ang tupa ng mababangis na hayop. Siya ang nangangasiwa na hindi kumalat ang tupa at wala sa kanila ang mawala. Siya ang nag-aalaga sa mga napipilay o sa mga mahihina.



    So, the shepherd is the guide, the protector, the healer and the one who gathers the flock. Thus, in the Bible, the leader of the people is presented as a shepherd. The leader of the people whether it be the king, the priest or the officials in the court should be concerned to provide for the people, to protect them from their enemies, to keep them united as a people, and to take care of the weak and the oppressed. If the shepherd is good, it goes well with the flock. If the leader is good, it goes well with the nation.

    Moments of crisis, we feel the…of our leaders – business leaders, political leaders, religious leaders from all levels even the barangay leaders and the parents who are leaders of their families as well. The difficult times show which so-called leaders really help the good of the people at heart which are ready to go out of their way to protect and guide the people or which leaders think only of themselves or do not care much about their responsibilities.

    This is also true in this coronavirus pandemic. We see what kind of leaders we have not only here in the Philippines but in other countries as well. Not only among political leaders but also among business and religious leaders as well. The consequences of their leadership or lack of it are enormous.  It could spell the health and even the lives of their people. Their decisions impact the economic well-being of their constituents. They can make the lives of the people hard or healthy in the long run. And in this age of social media, the actions of the leaders can easily be scrutinized and compared with others.

    There are so many leadership textbooks and books, we will not go through them. Let us allow the Word of God this Sunday to guide us in our reflections on leadership.

    Ngayong Good Shepherd Sunday, hindi naman natin susuriin ang mga leaders natin sa homiliyang ito. Tinatawag ang ating atensiyon sa Good Shepherd na walang iba kundi si Hesus mismo. Siya ang papansinin natin. Paano ba siya naging mabuting pastol. Anu ano ang katangian ng kanyang leadership? Tayo na ang tumingin pagkatapos ng misa sa mga leaders natin. Are they up to the standards of the leadership that Jesus the Good Shepherd presents to us?

    Maliwanag sa ating Ebanghelyo na ang Good Shepherd ay transparent. Wala siyang tinatago at hindi siya gumagawa ng liku-likong paraan. Dumadaan siya sa pintuan at hindi tumatalon sa pader. Kilala siya ng tagapagbantay ng pintuan. Tinatawag niya ang kanyang mga tupa sa kanilang pangalan at dahil sa transparent siya at malapit siya sa kanila, kilala ang kanyang tinig ng mga tupa

    In times of crisis, people long for leaders who are transparent. They have confidence when they see their leaders doing the right things and there are no hidden agenda behind their decisions. Transparency is very much promoted when the leaders are clear in the instructions and directions that they give.

    Nakita natin ito kay Pedro sa ating Unang Pagbasa. Ang kanyang mga salita ay straight to the point, “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ. This Jesus whom you crucified.” Walang paliguy ligoy. Diretso ang kanyang salita kahit na may tamaan pa dito. At noong tinanong siya, “Kapatid, ano ang dapat naming gawin?” Diretso din ang sagot niya, “Repent and be baptized. Everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.”  His directions were so ambiguous that the people got his message loud and clear. Marami ang nakapag-decide agad. Higit na tatlong libo ang nagpabinyag sa araw ding yun.

    Matutulungan ng mga leaders ang mga tao kung maliwanag ang kanilang paliwanag. Napakaraming paliwanag na malalabo. Ang dami na sinasabi na hindi naman kaugnay sa ibig nilang sabihin. Alam natin to, madalas tayong ma-expose sa social media. Ang daming paliwanag na malabo. Mas nakakagulo pa. Ito ba ay dahil sa lito rin ang nagsasalita? O may iba siyang agenda na hindi niya masabi ng diretso o hindi mahalaga sa kanya na maging maliwanag siya. Ibg sabihin hindi mahalaga sa kanya ang mga tao kung maintidihan siya o hindi.

    Isa pang mahalagang katangian ng mabuting pastol ay siya ay nangununa. The good shepherd does not push the sheep to a direction, he leads the way because the sheep trust him, they follow behind him. They trust him because he goes first where he wants the sheep to go. Ika nga, he walks the talk. Isang salita na hindi na natin gaanong ginagamit sa leader ngayon ay ruler. Ang leader ay ruler. Alam natin ang salitang ruler sa school o sa opisina. Ito ay ginagamit natin bilang panukat, one inch ba o five centimeters? Ganyan din dapat ang leader. Siya ang ruler. Hindi yung tagabigay ng utos kundi siya yung sukatan. Yung sinusundan, yung ginagayahan. Ilan ba sa mga leaders natin ang gusto nating gayahin? Gayahin sa kanyang ugali, sa kanyang pamumuhay, sa kanyang pananalita?

    Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, sinabi ni San Pedro, “Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” Conscious si Jesus sa kanyang role as leader that is why when he calls his disicples he says, “Come follow me.” Hindi lang ito siguro sundan niyo ako pero tularan niyo ako. Kaya narinig natin si Hesus ay ininsulto. Hindi siya nang-insulto. Nung siya’y pinahirapan, hindi siya nagbanta. Nagdusa siya kahit wala siyang kasalanan. Kaya sabi ni San Pedro, maging handa rin dapat tayo lalo na kung wala tayong kasalanan. So, he wrote, “If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace from God.” 

    So, who is a leader? Who is a good shepherd? The one who is transparent. The who is clear in his instructions. The one who sets himself as an example to follow, he leads the way.

    May isa pang katangian na napakahalaga sa isang leader. Bakit ba siya leader? Anong dahilan sa kanyang pagiging leader? Hindi upang makinabang sa kanyang posisiyon. Hindi para sa kanyang sarili. Jesus clearly said, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Siya ay naparito para magkaroon tayo ng buhay hindi para sa kanyang sarili para sa kanyang tupa.

    Katatapos lang natin ng Mahal na Araw. Pinaalaala sa atin kung paano natin nakuha ang buhay na maka-Diyos – sa pag-aalay ni Hesus ng kanyang sarili. We are once again reminded by his wounds, we were healed. Yan ang…test ng tunay na leader. Siya ba ay handing magbigay ng buhay para sa iba? Handang mag-sakripisyo para sa iba? Sinu ang nakikinabang sa kanyang pagiging leader? Siya ba o ang mga taong pinamumunuan niya? Kung ihambing natin ang ating mga leaders kay Jesus na good shepherd, malayo pa sila sa kanyang standard kahit na sa mga leaders sa simbahan mismo.

    Kaya ngayon ay Day of Prayer for Vocations. In the Church, instead of just lamenting at the leadership of our bishops and priests, let us pray and pray hard that they may continually set their side on Jesus as their example.

    We are also praying this Sunday that God may send good shepherds to this Church.  Napakaraming aanihin kakaunti ang mag-aani. Magdasal kayo sa may-ari ng ubasan na magpadala pa ng mga manggagawa sa kanyang bukirin.

    Lord, send us good shepherds, make our shepherd good shepherds. Give us more shepherds for your church. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocol for religious services in the Archdiocese of Manila


    To make our religious activities safer from the spread of the virus

    Protocol for religious services in the Archdiocese of Manila



    Note: These guidelines are given due to our extraordinary situation. They are therefore

    temporary in nature. Furthermore, the situation is so fluid that we foresee that there

    will be other guidelines that will follow when the situation changes or when there are

    other directives that will come from the government or from the church hierarchy.

    These guidelines are given so that we are prepared when religious services will already

    be allowed.

     

    Schedules:

    1. There should be at least a half hour gap between Masses to allow the church to

    be disinfected after each service.

    2. Since we have lesser Masses on Sundays, we can have more services on

    weekdays.

    3. Ask the people to come on the times when there are lesser people. Encourage the

    faithful to come on weekday Masses if they cannot come on Sundays.

    4. The presence of difficulty, and in some cases impossibility, of fulfilling the

    Sunday obligation renders the obligation suspended during these extraordinary

    circumstances. While Sunday and weekday Masses will already be celebrated in

    parishes, the live streaming of Masses, at least on Sundays, will continue for

    those who are unable to participate in the community celebrations due to

    sickness, old age, fear and caution.

    5. Because we will have lesser Mass schedules on Sundays and less people can

    come on Sundays, the parishes may start their “anticipated Masses” on

    Saturdays at 3 pm, thus have three or four Masses on Saturdays and invite the

    people to join in these Masses.

    6. We can have more schedules of baptisms during the week so that people will not

    congregate on Sundays.

     

    Physical structure:

    1. Clearly mark the entrance and exits to the church so that incoming people will

    not meet outgoing ones. Have marshals who shall man the entrance and exits on

    Sundays to keep order.

    2. Each entrance and exit should have footbath container.

    3. There should be hand sanitizers at the entrances.

    4. The places to be occupied in the pews should be indicated to help people keep

    social/ physical distancing. The people should strictly occupy only those places

    indicated.

    5. There should be notices in front of religious images telling people not to touch or

    wipe the images. Short prayers can be posted in front of the images to help the

    people pray in front of them.

    6. All holy water fonts should be emptied and covered so that they may not be

    used.

    7. If the adoration chapel is small and enclosed, it is better not to open it. Encourage

    the people to pray in church instead.

    8. Let there be non-touch garbage disposal bins in parish offices and around the

    church and remind the people to dispose their waste in the proper places. The

    maintenance people in the parishes are to be taught to properly dispose the

    garbage.

    9. Let the parish comfort rooms be properly maintained and soap be available for

    proper hand washing.

    10. For those churches which are air-conditioned, it would be better if the airconditioning is not used during this time. It will not be so hot after all because

    there will not be any over-crowding. Explain to the people that open areas are

    better than closed spaces to ward off the virus.

    11. For those parishes with mortuaries, do not accept clients who have many days of

    wakes. These days, the shorter the wake, the better. Anyway, they cannot expect

    distant relatives to travel these days and online services are available for them to

    participate without being physically present at the funerals.

    12. If we allow less people to participate physically in baptisms, weddings, and

    funerals, let the parish be ready to offer to the people online services. So the

    parishes should have their own equipment, good internet connection, and

    properly trained people.

     

    Services of the RCAM:

    1. We will ask RCAM to buy mask, alcohol, and sanitizers in bulk to get them

    cheaper and the parishes will just have to buy them from RCAM.

    2. Since online Masses will have to continue for quite some time, let the

    Commission of Social Communion help the parishes how to technically

    improved their online capability, like what gadgets to use for better output and

    how to improve their internet connections. Let the Social Communication

    Ministry of the parishes be given added training.

     

    During the Holy Mass:

    1. All the people attending the Mass and other church services should wear face

    mask. In fact, the marshals and ushers should see to it that all people in the

    Church and its offices should wear face masks. For those who do not have, low

    priced face masks should be available in the parish offices.

    2. The body temperature of all those who enter the church building shall be taken,

    by thermal body scan, which will be a standard equipment in all parishes.

    3. The person/s who prepare/s the hosts, water and wine for consecration need/s

    to observe proper hygiene and health protocols.

    4. Let there be only one or two altar boys serving in the Mass. If possible, the Mass

    servers should not be children, and if they are below 18 years old, they should

    have the written permission of their parents.

    5. If the Mass servers are all children, let the extraordinary lay ministers be trained

    to serve also as Mass servers.

    6. Instead of choirs, we will just request a song leader and an instrumentalist to

    lead the people in singing. There can be less singing in the Mass.

    7. The ushers and marshals shall be going around the church to remind people of

    the social distancing.

    8. Once the indicated spaces to be occupied are filled, we will no longer allow the

    people to enter the Church. They can stay outside but with proper social

    distancing. Because of this, the sound system should also be clear to the people

    outside and TV monitors can be set up so that the people outside the church can

    also know what is happening in the Mass.

    9. In parishes where there are parking spaces within the church compound, if there

    is need and if their budget would allow, they can set up big monitors in the

    parking lot and a loud sound system so that if the church is full the people can

    participate in the Mass in their cars.

    10. If there are enough priests, Masses can be celebrated outside of the church, like in

    gymnasiums, still observing social distancing.

    11. We need to recruit younger people as volunteers to help in the ministries, like

    collectors, lay ministers, and ushers to lessen possibilities of infections among the

    elderly. If the elderly volunteers insist to serve they may be allowed but with

    proper warning and precautions. Their time of service, however, should be

    shortened to limit the possibility of exposure to any infection.

    12. In the church lecterns, the microphones should have coverings; these are to be

    changed after each Mass.

    13. Things used in the Mass should be washed with hot water and properly ironed.

    This can be one way of disinfecting them.

    14. There will no longer be offertory processions. The offerings can be dropped in a

    basket at the back of the church or in a box and one or two persons will bring

    these in front during the offertory. There will be no offering of the bread and

    wine coming from the people.

    15. The collection during the offertory will be done through bags attached to sticks,

    and not bags that are passed around.

    16. There will be no holding of hands at the Our Father and no handshakes at the

    giving of peace. A bow with a smiling face can already be a good sign of peace.

    17. Before communion the priest shows the Sacred Host to the people and says: “The

    Body of Christ” and the people answer “Amen”. When the communion is given

    to the hands to each communicant, there will no longer be any conversation

    between the minister and the communicant.

    18. If the congregation is small enough especially on weekday Masses, only the

    priest will give communion.

    19. The lay ministers and the priests will wash their hands with alcohol before and

    after they give communion. It is good that this is done in view of the people to

    give them assurance of the hygienic practice.

    20. The flow of the communicants should be so directed that there be no meeting of

    people. They come from one side and go to the other side after communion.

    21. All the ministers and the priests should wear face masks during the giving of the

    communion.

    22. The face mask should be worn by all the Mass servers – the altar boys/girls, the

    lay ministers, the sacristans and the lectors when not reading.

    23. After the Mass, the people would not be immediately allowed to enter so that the

    pews can be disinfected. A group of volunteers can be organized to do this. It can

    be called the SANITATION MINISTRY.

    24. Ministers can bring communion to the sick and the elderly. Arrangements can be

    made that communion be distributed in chapels for those who are not disposed

    to join the community celebrations due to fear and caution.

    25. People will be catechized on the need for internal disposition before receiving

    communion, like participation in the live stream Masses, short liturgy of the

    Word with the family, and personal prayer. These prayers can also be printed in

    tarpaulins outside barangay chapels where communions outside the Mass will

    be given.

    26. In those areas without nearby chapels, communion can be given but outside the

    house. Let the communicants, dressed in a decent way, wait for the ministers to

    pass to give communion. It would be good if there is a small table with sacred

    images or a crucifix as an indication that someone in this house is receiving

    communion. The parish should be advised beforehand and the people be told

    around what time the minister will be coming to give communion.

    27. Young and healthy women religious and seminarians will be requested to help in

    distributing communion to the sick and the elderly.

    28. The “Mass in Time of Pandemic” [Recently provided by the Holy See] can be

    celebrated, according to the rubrics given for Masses and Prayers for Various

    Needs and Occasions, on any day except Solemnities, the Sundays of Advent,

    Lent, and Easter, days within the Octave of Easter, the Commemoration of All

    the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day), Ash Wednesday and the days of Holy

    Week. Please see again the communication from the Holy See regarding the text

    and the use of this Mass.

    29. The Oratio Imperata is to be prayed in every Mass.

    30. Children and the elderly will be advised to stay at home and join in the online

    Mass. They may receive communion which will be distributed outside the Mass

    at the places indicated.

     

    For Baptism:

    1. Only the parents and one set of godparents will be allowed per child for the

    baptism. If there are many to be baptized, the children to be baptized can be

    organized by smaller batches.

    2. Let the parishes allow baptisms to be celebrated during set times on weekdays to

    decongest baptisms on Sundays.

    3. The Holy Oils should be applied, using cotton, on the one baptized. The cotton

    with holy oils should be burned after the celebration. The cotton applied to one

    child should not be used for another child. One cotton ball per child.

     

    For confirmation:

    1. We can forgo Mass confirmations this year. Those who are to be baptized as

    adults or who get married can be confirmed by the parish priest as church

    discipline dictates.

     

    For confessions:

    1. The small confessional boxes should be reconfigured to allow social distancing. If

    this cannot be done then have the confessions done outside the confessional box,

    with one meter distance between the penitent and the priest. A special place

    should be designated for this where people can see that confessions are available.

    2. Both the priest and the penitent should wear face masks.

    3. Priests may not hear confessions via telephone or Zoom teleconferencing, though

    they may use these methods to offer the penitents spiritual counsel.

    4. When the sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible, for example to a patient

    who is isolated or in quarantine, they can make an Act of Perfect Contrition. An

    Act of Perfect Contrition always has been a part of our Catholic tradition. God is

    always present to us, even when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible.

    While a priest cannot give absolution over the phone, he can use the phone to

    give a blessing and even guide a person through an Act of Perfect Contrition.

    This is done when the person expresses faith in and love of God above all things

    and resolves to make a sacramental Confession as soon as possible. All his/her

    sins, even mortal sins, are forgiven.

    5. The parishes can organize kumpisalan ng bayan with penitential service to enable

    the people to come to confession, which they were not able to do last Lent. If

    there are too many people, then two or three kumpisalan na bayan can be done.

    Proper social/physical distancing should be observed as during the Mass. The

    parishes in the vicariates can help one another here.

     

    For weddings:

    1. We allow only simple weddings this year, with only the bride and the groom

    with one set of sponsors and the immediate family. Wala na munang mga abay.

    For Anointing of the Sick

    1. The appropriate protocols like the wearing of face mask, gloves, and the necessary

    preparation and post-visit guidelines must be followed.

    2. The laying on of hands may be done without physical contact on the head of the

    sick.

    3. Sanitize the oil stock before and after each anointing to avoid contamination of the

    sacred oil.

    4. A cotton ball or cotton buds/tips can be used instead of the thumb for anointing.

    For each anointing, use a new cotton ball/tips and new oil on the cotton.

    5. It is permitted that only the forehead be anointed.

    6. For communion of the sick and viaticum, enough consecrated hosts must be

    brought to avoid unnecessary contamination of the host/s.

     

    For Funerals:

    1. Only let the immediate family be allowed during funeral Masses in the church,

    observing proper social distancing.

    2. Avoid having several dead people for one funeral Mass to avoid large crowds.

    This would mean more funeral Masses or telling the people not to bring their

    dead to the church anymore if a Mass has already been done during the wake.

    3. Proper social distancing is to be observed during wake Masses.

    Blessing of sacramentals:

        1. A place should be indicated where people can have their medals, rosaries,

         statuettes, and other materials blessed. The place should be big enough so that

         the people need not congregate as they wait for the priest for the blessing.

        2. The parish can have containers with holy water available for people to bring

        home. They should be properly instructed that this holy water can be used in

        their homes to remind them of their baptism.

     

    Parish Ministers and Volunteers

    1. Our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, and other ministers

    need retraining considering the extraordinary circumstances and the appropriate

    protocol. The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission will provide instructional

    videos. Parish Priests and ministry coordinators will be responsible for their retraining.

     

    In parish offices:

    1.    Parish offices should be so designed that proper distancing is observed.

    2.    There should be thermometer check for all who enter the parish office.

    3.    There is sanitation handwash facility upon entering the office.

    4.    Let the parish offices set up facilities for online donations and let these by transparent and user-friendly.

    5.    An important work of the parish office now is to build up the data base of the parishioners so that text or email blasts can be given to them inform them of what is happening in the parish. This can also create a sense of belongingness to the parish.

    Recollections:

    1. Organize more online recollections, talks and Bible studies and tell the people to

    attend these for their spiritual nourishment. Encourage the people to tune in

    more to Radio Veritas and to TV Maria which can broadcast these talks.

    2. The spirituality of stewardship should be promoted in the talks. In this

    spirituality all the faithful are reminded that we belong to the family of God,

    which is the Church. Each is obliged to support the church according to one’s

    capability. We give to the church not because we have received a service from it.

    We support it regularly and voluntarily because we are part of it.

     

    To get in touch with the parishioners:

    1. Let the parish have Zoom capability so that it can organize meeting with some

    parish leaders without asking them to physically come to the church.

    2. Let each parish invest in its social communication infrastructure and have people

    properly trained for its social communication ministry.

     

    Health Ministry:

    1. Let all parishes set up a functional health ministry whose activities could include:

    • to identify the sick and the elderly in the parish and minister to them;

    • to help comfort the sick and their family;

    • to help people make referrals when they get sick;

    • to take care of health care workers within the parish and have good

    relations with them;

    • to guide people to have healthy lifestyle; and,

    • to minister to the mentally sick.

    2. When volunteers join the ministries in the parish, health precautions should be

    given to them by this ministry. The would-be volunteers should be made to

    understand that their health is their responsibility, so they have to observe

    necessary precautions.

    3. A part of the work of this ministry is to help bring communion to the sick and

    the elderly. Only young volunteers are to be asked to do this.

     

    Social Communication Ministry:

    1. Every parish should have a social communication ministry, with proper

    equipment and well trained people.

    2. Let the parish have their own online Mass every Sunday.

    3. Let each parish maintain its own Facebook page where people can get relevant

    information about and from the parish.

    4. The task of the SoCom ministry is also to help the people to be responsible users

    of the social means of communication and not be addicted to it or be

    manipulated by it.

     

    Maintaining good relationships:

    1. Let the parish priests and parish leaders maintain good relationships with the

    barangay leaders and the LGU officials.

    2. We follow up the relationships we have established during this quarantine

    period and maintain long term engagements with them.

    3. Inform our donors of what we have done and maintain good relations with

    them.

     

    Parish personnel:

    1. The general policy is that as much as possible we do not lay off regular personnel

    so as not to add to the unemployment problem of our people. If need be, we have

    to retool or reschedule our personnel to take on new jobs that the new situation

    calls us. However it should be properly explained to them that if the financial

    situation of the parish does not improve, then their work load – consequently

    their wages – will be diminished and some other benefits may no longer be

    given. All of these however should be done in consultation with our legal office

    and thus done according to law and charity.

     

    Finances:

    1. We expect our revenues to fall. People have no money and we have to do a lot of

    charitable works. Thus let us minimize our expenses, especially our capital

    expenses. Improvements and projects can wait but proper maintenance should

    be done so as not to incur greater expenses later on.

    2. The finance department of RCAM will set up guidelines for online donations. All

    the parishes should be open to online donations but the transparency and proper

    accounting of the donations should remain.

    3. Let the parishes strive to give their contributions to the Curia because these go to

    the salaries of our catechists and to the apostolic fund of the priests. We priests

    and the catechists continue to receive our allowances even in this situation.

     

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    May 6, 2020

     

  • Pastoral Instruction: Let us be one with the whole Church


    My dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    As we strive to be personally connected with God, let us also be connected with each other in and through the Church as the Body of Christ. Let us join then in the activities that draw us closer to one another and to God.

    I invite the parishes, religious communities, and families of the faithful in their homes to participate in the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13, the 103rd anniversary of the apparition in Fatima.


    1. At 8:30 in the morning, let us follow the live stream of the praying of the holy rosary and the prayer of consecration of the whole country to the Blessed Virgin. This prayer will be done simultaneously all over the country. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City will be the center of this activity.

    2. At 12 noon, let us unite our hearts as an Archdiocese for the live streaming of the Eucharistic Celebration at the Manila Cathedral. At the conclusion of the Mass, the bishop together with the Mayors of the different cities within the Archdiocese will consecrate the Archdiocese and the cities to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    In preparation for this important event, let us be one through a triduum of fasting, prayer, and reflection on May 10, 11, and 12 through TV Maria live stream and Radio Veritas:

    3:30 PM Praying of the rosary and the Flores de Maria devotion
    4:30 PM Reflection of Bishop Broderick Pabillo
    Prayers to be led by different sectors of the Church

    TV Maria will live stream all these activities (TV Maria facebook page, Sky Cable – Channel 210; Destiny Cable – Channel 96; SatLite – Channel 102; Sky Direct – Channel 49; Cable Link Channel 18). You can also tune in to Radio Veritas. I invite the social communication ministry of the parishes to hook in to broaden the reach of these broadcasts. Even individually please invite your friends and relatives in the Archdiocese to participate in these activities.

    Let us entrust ourselves to the maternal protection of Mary, our Mother during this time of crisis. We pray that through her prayers as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial.

    The Holy Father is calling for a day of prayer, fasting, and acts of charity on May 14 to be participated in not only by Christians but by all religions to implore the Almighty to end this pandemic. Being in the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, this is a very concrete sign of common activity of all religions since prayer, fasting, and acts of love are common to all, and we are all affected by this pandemic. I ask our faithful in the Archdiocese to fully participate in this activity. To make our act of charity concrete,

    I invite everyone to extend material help to at least one person within your reach, no matter the amount, to make that person/s feel the care we have for each other. May this sign of unity among us draw us all to the One Source of all Goodness.

    Thank you very much.

     

    Sincerely yours in the Lord Jesus,

     

    + BRODERICK S. PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    May 6, 2020

  • Pope Francis: Vocation, a response of Gratitude to God's Love


    His Holiness Pope Francis reflected on four things--pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise--as his way of giving thanks to the priests and their ministry in his message for the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations celebrated on May 3.

    “The first word of vocation, then, is gratitude.” This is how the Pope reminded the faithful that a person can find fulfillment in their lives especially when they are called to respond in gratitude to a vocation since it is rooted from the love of the Lord.

    “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. 'Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call' (Letter to Priests, 4 August 2019),” the Pope said.


    With regards to encouragement, Pope Francis offers this verse: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear” (Mt 14:27).” expressing how Jesus immediately reassures his disciples when He walks with them towards the sea while they have filled themselves with fear.

    When the faithful are called to embrace a state of life such as marriage, ministerial priesthood and consecrated life, there are often “ghosts of disbelief” that creates confusion in their goal towards discovering their vocation.

    Pope Francis explained that these first-hand reactions can, in a way, fill them with doubts such as: “Surely, this vocation is not for me!  Can this really be the right path?  Is the Lord really asking me to do this?” 

    In his letter to Priests, the Pope also mentioned that every calling given by the Lord is a responsibility. Like Saint Peter, a person’s willingness to serve the Lord is sometimes accompanied by challenges such as failure and even fear.

    “The Lord calls us because he wants to enable us, like Peter, to 'walk on water', in other words, to take charge of our lives and place them at the service of the Gospel, in the concrete and everyday ways that he shows us, and specifically in the different forms of lay, priestly and consecrated vocation. Yet, like Saint Peter, our desire and enthusiasm coexist with our failings and fears,” he said.

    Pope Francis asked the Church to unceasingly promote the vocations. He pointed out that when it is the moment that the faithful will be able to discover their vocation, they will be unafraid to say their “yes” to God and to overcome their doubts by clinging on to their faith in the Lord.

    “Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations. May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say “yes” to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ, and to make of their lives a song of praise for God, for their brothers and sisters, and for the whole world. May the Virgin Mary accompany us and intercede for us,” he added.

    The World Day of Prayer for Vocations affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concern vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.  While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries. (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • "KAPIT KA SA AKIN: Nothing Grand, but a Helping Hand”


    (Feature Stroy)

     

    “We rise by lifting others.”  --Robert Ingersoll

    Taft Avenue has always been a busy street filled with people--commuters, sellers, buyers, and numerous other people of different walks of life doing their own errands from. It was a place of transactions, a place of interaction. Until the outbreak of COVID-19. it suddenly was transformed into a deserted place, quiet, closed centers of businesses, and filled with poor people who hope to beg something to help them get by.

    A member of the Cofradia ng Mahal na Poon ng Sto. Sepulcro distributes food and other basic necessities to poor people around Manila. | Photo by Carl Joshep Dela Cruz/San Fernando de Dilao Parish

     

    The place was once a street full of life, but it is now full of seemingly lifeless people who are homeless and lying on the pavement of the center island. These people hold heavier baggage in the midst of the pandemic as they lack shelter, livelihood and basic commodities. They rely on the carton boxes as their comforter, to ease the dusty, cold and hard cement they are sleeping on. The only thing they carry is their unending faith, hope and courage that this suffering will come to an end soon, and that the smiles on their faces be revived through the mercy of the Lord.

    Seeing the face of Jesus on the faces of these poor people, the San Fernando De Dilao Parish Community headed by Msgr. Rolando R. Dela Cruz, Parish Priest, Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, and other Priests, together with SFdDP-Cofradia ng Mahal na Poon ng Santo Sepulcro, initiated collaborative efforts to deliver joy and hope to them by distributing relief goods and basic necessities to help them get through the crisis.

    A Cofradia volunteer narrated, “Gutom na gutom sila noong pagkabigay namin ng pagkain, binuksan agad nila at kinain.” This clearly describes the suffering and agony they experience as they struggle with the pandemic. They have no shelter to protect themselves from the virus, as well as medicines to improve their immunity.

    We know that this simple act of charity cannot change their lives or make their suffering go away. Nevertheless, it is a simple reminder to our marginalized brothers and sisters that even in the midst of crisis, there are people who are thinking of them, there are will people who will reach out to them to deliver the message that they are not alone and that there are people who care. We will rise by lifting others, we can move forward by lending a helping hand. Through persistence and resilience, we strengthen our bond. And with the common love of Jesus we will be united to rise again.

    Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister of Italy  once said, “We will stay separated today, so we can hug each other tomorrow.” This pandemic is just a challenge to us, but our faith will not be shattered. Our brethren will not be left behind, for we will offer our helping hand, with our Catholic faith and virtues of love, peace and joy. Jesus’ love and mercy will freely flow, as we continue to lift others and watch them grow.

    We will stand with greater vigor and determination, while Jesus Christ heals our nation. (Richard A. Fajardo and Vream Crishin S. Dorig/SOCOM - San Fernando de Dilao Parish, Paco Manila)

  • Priests called to be Good Shepherds in time of COVID-19


    In his message to priests on May 1, 2020, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, reminded priests that they are called to share the sacrifice offered by Jesus in the presence of a Eucharistic celebration commemorating His life and death to the Holy Cross.

    The message, with the title "How can we be Good Shepherds during the Quarantine Period?" was posted on his personal Facebook page as a reflection for Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter.

    "We have always been reminded that the priesthood is not ours. It is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We share in his priesthood; we exercise his priesthood. Jesus is our High Priest, and his priesthood is forever, because he offered that one perfect sacrifice to God once and for all to reconcile us to God," the bishop said.

    File Photo of RCAM-AOC

    Since churches are closed due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period and the faithful rely on live streamed masses, Bishop Pabillo appealed to his brother priests to offer their sufferings, along with their respective communities to the Lord especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "We do this especially when we offer the mass. So even if there are no mass intentions, even if there are no people, even if there are no cameras, we celebrate the mass because here we exercise our priesthood by offering our pains, anxieties and difficulties, and those of our people, together with the offering of Jesus Christ," he said. 

    "We exercise the priesthood not only during the mass but also when we pray. Here we unite ourselves with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Spend time in prayer, and we have time during the lock down. We can do now an important part of our priesthood – to be intercessors for our people," he added.

    The prelate also stressed the relevance of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this time the crisis to supplement the pre-occupation of external pastoral activities. Moreover, becoming a Good Shepherd also entails them to help the needy in their difficulties.

    "We do not lose our priesthood nor diminish it because we cannot do external pastoral activities. The pastoral work that we can do, and is very effective though hidden, is to offer the sacrifice of the mass and to pray for our people, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Here we are united in a special way to Jesus, the chief shepherd and guardian of our souls," he added.

    The 4th Sunday of Easter was also designated as the World Day of Prayer. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction to, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10). (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Pado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Cardinal Tagle appointed as Cardinal Bishop in Rome


    His Holiness Pope Francis, has appointed Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as Cardinal Bishop according to a Rescript published on Friday, May 1, 2020.

    The Holy See Press Office released a Rescript about Pope Francis' decision of adding Cardinal Tagle to the highest order of the College of Cardinals, the Order of Cardinal Bishops.

    Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle | File Photo of RCAM-AOC 


    The College of Cardinals is composed of 3 levels--the Cardinal Deacons, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Bishops. The lower level of Cardinals are the Cardinal Deacons, those Cardinals who usually work in the Roman Curia. Cardinal Priests are those who are assigned in the more important dioceses in the different parts of the world.  Most Cardinals are in this level. Some of them also hold office at the Roman Curia. Cardinal Bishops are those who are at the highest level in the College of Cardinals and usually hold suburbicarian titles of important churches around Rome.

    Together with Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, was also elevated to the Order of Cardinal-Bishops.

    The Filipino Cardinal is now among the only 11 Cardinal-Bishops of the Catholic Church.

    Cardinal Tagle was previously the Archbishop of Manila before he was appointed as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on December 8, 2019. He left the Philippines in February 2020 to assume his post at the Vatican. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Sunday Mass on April 26, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    Saan natin matatagpuan si Hesus? Maaaring may nagrereklamo sa atin, “Mabuti pa nong panahon, nakita ng mga tao si Hesus. Nagpakita siya at narinig nila ang kanyang tinig. Siya ay nahipo nila.

    But now, where is Jesus? Mula noong muling nabuhay si Hesus, parang naging mailap siya. He no longer stays with his disciples as before. Where is he? How can we get in touch with him? This was also the sentiment of the two disciples leaving Jerusalem. Him, they did not see.

    We can be so preoccupied about seeing him and dealing with him as they had before that this may be the reason why they were blinded to see the new reality of the resurrection.


    Tulad po ni Maria Magdalena, buo ang kanyang paniniwala na patay na si Hesus. At kung wala ang kanyang bangkay sa libingan, ito ay ninakaw. Na hindi na niya na-realize at na-recognize si Hesus kahit na may dalawang angels pang nagsabi sa kanila na siya ay muling mabubuhay, kahit na nga si Jesus mismo ang tumabi sa kanila at nagtanong sa kanya. She was so blinded by her own belief that she was oblivious to a new reality that is now in front of her.

    Ganun din ang dalawang alagad na lumakad paalis ng Jerusalem. They were so sad because their expectation was not fulfilled. They were hoping that he would redeem Israel. Their hope was not wrong. Indeed, Jesus redeemed Israel but probably the manner in which this redemption would happen is not what they were expected. They were expecting a redemption with power, with the defeat of the Romans, with the destruction of the power of oppression.

    Pero hindi yun ang nangyari. Kahit na may nagbalita sa kanila na si Hesus ay wala na sa libingan at may mga angels na nagsabi na muli na siyang nabuhay. Even if what the women saw at the tomb was verified by some of them, still, they were sad and disheartened. Nasa kanila na ang facts ng pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. The facts of the Kerygma na si Hesus ay makapangyari sa kanyang salita at sa kanyang gawa na siya’y pinahuli, na siya’y pinasakitan, na siya’y pinatay, na siya’y muling nabuhay. Pero hindi nila nakita ang magandang balita. Nasa bibig nila ang kuwento ni Hesus ngunit wala sa kanilang puso ang magandang balita.

    How many times this happens also to us? We know the story of Jesus and sometimes by heart, we know the creed, we know our prayers, we can even recite some Bible verses but there is no fire in our hearts, there is no Good News.

    The Good News is not a set of teachings, it is not a story. It is not prayers and rituals.  The Good News is a person whom we have to encounter. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Verbum Domini, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea but the encounter with an event, with a person which gives a new horizon and a definitive direction to our lives.” Sana makatagpo natin si Hesus. Nasaan ba siya? Where we can find him?

    Pero hindi siguro where can we find him? Where can he find us? Kasi si Hesus siya mismo ang lumalapit sa atin. Tandaan natin si Hesus ay hindi nagtatago sa atin. He does not play hide and seek, nagtataguan sa atin. Nagpapakita siya kaya narinig natin ngayon nagpakita siya. Naglakbay siya kasama ng mga alagad at kasama din natin. Minsan nga nakisiksik pa siya upang siya’y pansinin. Ayaw nga siyang pansinin ng dalawa noong nagtatanong siya kung ano ang pinag-uusapan nila sa daan. Sabi nila dismissively, “Ikaw lang yata ang dayuhan sa Jerusalem na hindi alam kung ano ang mga nangyari sa mga araw na ito.” Ngunit nagpumilit si Hesus na ikuwento nila ang bigat na nasa kanilang puso.

    Huwag po tayong mag-alangan na ikuwento kay Jesus ang bigat ng nasa puso natin, ang sama ng loob sa ating mga magulang, ang takot sa kinabukasan, ang mga utang na kailangang harapin, ang ating kalusugan. Napakaraming kumikirot sa puso natin. Gusto ni Jesus na ikuwento natin sa kanya. He journeys with us. He listens to us. He accompanies us along the way. He is with us. Remember that Jesus took the initiative to journey with his disciples. He took the initiatives to ask the questions.

    Why did Jesus insist that the disciples tell him everything? He insists to make them realize that he is present in the realities that they are in no matter how ugly they may be, he is there. He is not absent from them. If he is present on the cross no matter how ugly and painful it was. Also, he is present where we are now even in our sinfulness, in our limitations. Kung nasaan ang kasamaan, kung nasaan ang kalungkutan, nandun si Hesus upang gamutin ang sakit natin, upang hilumin ang sugat natin. Nakikilakbay siya sa atin.

    Si Hesus ay nandun din sa Banal na Kasulatan. Si Hesus na Salita ng Diyos na naging tao ay gumamit ng Salita ng Diyos na nakasulat mula sa aklat ni Moses, ang Pentateuch, ang Torah hanggang sa mga prophets upang magbigay ng liwanag sa kadiliman na dinadaanan ng kanyang mga alagad.

    Hindi ba ganun din ang nangyari sa bundok ng Transfiguration? Moses and Elijah that is Moses and the prophets were conversing with Jesus about what would happen to him in Jerusalem. Kailangan natin ng Bibliya upang maintindihan si Hesus at ang kahulugan ng mga pangyayari sa buhay niya at sa buhay natin. Ito ay hamon sa atin. Let us read, study and understand the Bible. Jesus himself took pains to explain the scriptures to his disciples. Even now whenever we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit works to make us understand what were written under his inspiration.

    Ito rin ang sinabi ni San Pedro sa ating Unang Pagbasa. Dito po narinig natin ang unang sermon sa simabahn, ang paliwanag ni Pedro sa araw ng Pentecostes upang maintindihan ang pangyayari noon at ang pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. Gumamit si Pedro ng mga nakasulat sa Aklat ng mga Awit. In fact, he quoted and explained Psalm 16 na sinabi niya ito’y sinulat ni David hindi tungkol sa kanyang sarili, na hindi siya mabubulok sapagkat alam nila na ang kanyang libingan ay nasa Jerusalem. Sinulat ito ni David ukol sa isang manggagaling sa kanya na siya ay hindi mabubulok. Ang Bibliya rin ang naging susi upang maintindihan si Hesus noong panahon ng Pentecostes. Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Banal na Kasulatan.

    Ang kaalaman sa Bible ay nagdadala ng sigla sa ating puso. Yan ang naramdaman ng mga alagad, “We’re not our hearts burning within us when he spoke us along the way and opened the scriptures to us. Dahil sa kanilang Bible study, nagkaroon din ng bonding ang mga alagad ka Hesus. Hindi na nila itinataboy. Hindi na siya isang dayuhan sa Jerusalem. Kaibigan na ang turing nila sa kanya kaya inanyayahan nila si Hesus na samahan sila sa kanilang hapunan. Hindi lang basta basta sino ang iniimbita natin upang saluhan tayo sa kainan. Marami ang naidudulot ng Bible sa atin. Malaki ang maitutulong ng Bible study sa atin. Pero mas makikilala natin si Jesus kung matagpuan natin siya sa mga banal na sakramento. Sa pagpipiraso ng tinapay namulat ang mga mata ng alagad. Ang Panginoon pala yun.

    Alam ko na isa sa na-mi-miss natin ngayong lockdown ay ang Banal na Komunyon. Matagal tagal na rin na hindi tayo nakatanggap ng komunyon mga limang linggo na. Sana, ito ay magdadala ng matinding pananabik na tanggapin si Hesus sa lalong madaling panahon. Alam natin maraming bagay ay nababalewala natin dahil lang nandiyan lang naman ang mga yan. Kaya ang Misa, ang Komunyon, ang Simbahan ay nababalewala natin kasi nandiyan lang naman yan. Hindi natin na-imagine noon na maaaring mawala ito ng bigla bigla sa atin tulad ngayon. Pero alam naman natin pansamantala lamang ito na i-extend ang quarantine but it will not be extended forever. Pinapadanas lamang ito sa atin pra sana ngayon ay huwag nating balewalain si Jesus na nasa Blessed Sacrament.

    Noong nakilala na ng mga alagad si Hesus. Hindi lang sila nagsaya. Bumalik silang excited sa mga alagad sa Jerusalem…   ang nilakbay nilang labing isang kilometro ng dahan dahan sa loob ng apat o limang oras ay tinakbo nila ng isang oras lang pabalik nung gabi ding yun. Ang community na kanilang malungkot na iniwanan ay kanilang masayang binalikan. Hindi natin maaaring makatagpo si Jesus na muling nabuhay na hindi tayo sa samahan ni Jesus. 

    Receiving the body of Christ in a Eucharist, we become more inserted into the body of Christ – the Church. It is the Church that will confirm our experience. Tulad nung mga alagad sinabi nila, “Yes, the Lord is truly risen.” He has appeared to Simon that’s why Christ continues to guide us in our Christian communities.

    Ang tanong natin kanina, nasaan ba si Hesus ngayon? Dahil sa Resurrection, lumawak ang presensiya ni Jesus. Hindi lang matatagpuan ang Diyos sa isang tao, sa isang laman, sa isang lugar. Matatagpuan natin si Jesus ngayon sa daan, along the way nasaan man ang daang yan. Sa ating paglalakbay sa buhay na ito, gaano man kasalimuot, kahirap, kadilim nandyan si Hesus. Siya ang naghahanap sa atin at nakikilakbay sa atin.

    Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Banal na Kasulatan at sa ngayon panahon, the Bible is accessible to all of us. Sana po ito’y buksan natin at matagpuan natin si Hesus.

    Matatagpuan natin si Hesus sa Eukaristiya at sa mga sakramento at itong ating inaabangan na makabalik na tayo at matanggap ang mga sakramento.

    Si Hesus ay matatagpuan natin sa kanyang sambayanan, sa ating mga Christian communities, mga samahan ng mga pananampalataya. Malawak ang presensiya ni Hesus ngayon na siya’y muling nabuhay. Hindi siya nagtatago. Nandiyan siya kasama natin siya. (RCAM-AOC)

  • City Mayors to join Archdiocese of Manila in Prayer for Healing on May 13


    On May 13, 2020, the 103rd anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila will preside a Eucharist celebration at the Manila Cathedral, at 12 noon. The mass will also be an act of consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    The five Mayors of the cities within the Archdiocese will be attending the mass--Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Domagoso (Manila), Mayor Carmelita Abalos (Mandaluyong), Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (Pasay), Mayor Abigail Binay (Makati), and Mayor Francisco Zamora (San Juan).  After the Eucharistic celebration, each mayor will offer a flower as a sign of filial trust and devotion to the Blessed Mother.

    “The presence of the five mayors will be a deep sign of togetherness as an Archdiocese in imploring our Mother’s help. Your personal presence in the said event will be very much appreciated by your constituents,” Bishop Pabillo wrote in his letter to the five mayors," Bishop Pabillo said.


    In his Pastoral Statement titled “Consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary” released on April 28, Bishop Pabillo encouraged the faithful to intensify their devotion to Mary especially this month of May which is the Marian month, amidst the enhanced community quarantine brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    “As we enter the month of May, what comes to our mind is the Blessed Virgin Mary. May is the month of Mama Mary. We have many fiestas of our Lady on this month. We have the Flores de Mayo celebrations. We will all miss these this year. Nevertheless, let us keep the month of May as a Marian month,” he said.

    “During this month let us intensify the devotion to our Blessed Mother in our homes. We can decorate the altar of Mama Mary. We can daily pray the Holy Rosary as a family. We may not be able to offer flowers but we can daily offer some small good deed to Our Mother,” he added.

    The prelate also stated in his Pastoral Statement that from the first week of May, a series of catechetical instructions will be available online explaining the meaning and implication of the consecration. A triduum (three days) of daily penance and rosary will start from May 10 and will culminate on the common Act of Consecration on May 13.

    “We do this to implore the protection of the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine. We need strength from above, and we have a powerful intercessor in Mama Mary to get that heavenly help,” he said.

    The Mass will be streamed online via RCAM SOCOM platforms: TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila-Office of Communications.

    On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared before three children – Lucia Abobora, 9, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, 6 and 7. They were tending a flock of sheep outside the tiny village in Fatima, Portugal, when they saw Our Lady wearing a white mantle, edged with gold they described as "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light", and held a rosary in her hand. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Statement: Consecration of the Archdiocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    We have started the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) last March 15.

    Now the month of May is upon us. We never thought then, that the quarantine

    would be so long. We have accepted the lockdown for the sake of the common

    good, though by now it is taking its toll on us. There is restlessness, and even

    fear, mostly because of its economic effects. Many people are unsure of their

    future. It is in this situation that we need to be strong with the strength that

    comes from above. St. Paul wrote: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor.

    12:10). This strength no longer comes from him.


    As we enter the month of May, what comes to our mind is the Blessed Virgin

    Mary. May is the month of Mama Mary. We have many fiestas of our Lady on

    this month. We have the Flores de Mayo celebrations. We will all miss these this

    year. Nevertheless, let us keep the month of May as a Marian month. During this

    month let us intensify the devotion to our Blessed Mother in our homes. We can

    decorate the altar of Mama Mary. We can daily pray the Holy Rosary as a family.

    We may not be able to offer flowers but we can daily offer some small good deed

    to Our Mother.

    As we try to do these individually in our homes, let us also do something

    together as an Archdiocese. The main patron of our Archdiocese is the

    Immaculate Conception. We are a Marian local church. On May 13, which is the

    103rd anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, at 12 noon, we will

    have a Holy Mass in the Manila Cathedral during which we will consecrate the

    whole Archdiocese of Manila to the Blessed Virgin. The prayer of consecration

    will be done by all of the faithful of the Archdiocese to be led by the mayors of

    the five cities that comprise the Archdiocese: Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasay,

    Makati, and San Juan. It will be beautiful when all the people God, led by their

    civil and religious leaders, put themselves under the protection of the Blessed

    Virgin.

    In order that this act of consecration be meaningful, from the first week of May,

    there will be a series of catechetical instructions online explaining the meaning

    and implication of such consecration. Then from May 10, we will start a triduum

    (three days) of daily penance and rosary which will culminate on the common

    Act of Consecration on the 13th. We do this to implore the protection of the

    powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as

    we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine. We need

    strength from above, and we have a powerful intercessor in Mama Mary to get

    that heavenly help.

    Already I thank the honorable mayors of our cities, Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’

    Domagoso, Mayor Carmelita Abalos, Mayor Abigail Binay, Mayor Imelda

    Calixto-Rubiano, and Mayor Francisco Zamora, for showing their willingness to

    join us in the Holy Eucharist to pray together in filial devotion to the Blessed

    Mother. We thank them for their gigantic effort to serve their constituents in this

    difficult time.

     

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

    + BRODERICK PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

     

    April 28, 2020

  • Religious Services also a Frontline in COVID-19 pandemic


    In his reflection called "Religious Services are Essential Services," posted on his Facebook account, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila emphasized the importance of Church services and identifying them as an important frontline during the outbreak of COVID-19.

    The prelate explained that hope and resilience are strengthened and are received by the faithful through spiritual nourishment obtained in religious services. This makes it easier for them to manage fears and anxieties brought by the threats of coronavirus pandemic.

    "At this time, after more than 5 weeks of being cooped up in our houses, and with the great uncertainly about our future, people need hope. They need the assurance of a benign higher power on whom they can depend in this time of uncertainty. This is given by religion, more so in the Philippines, where the people are very religious. Religion is very important for Filipinos. For the vast majority, it is faith that gives them strength especially in difficulties," he said.

    Photo Credit: Most Holy Trinity Parish Facebook Page

     
    Bishop Pabillo affirmed that, due to the current circumstances, the streaming services of Holy Mass is a good option for the faithful at the moment since the declaration of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Moreover, It is also a way for the faithful to continuously develop a connection with God in difficult times. 

    "People turn to online masses and church services. They find in them great comfort and strength to carry on. These services give meaning to their struggles and assure them that they are not alone, that all these will pass away. There is a loving God in whom they can depend. All of these keep them spiritually strong and psychologically sane, even," he said.

    The Bishops points out, however, that the actual services in Churches remain very important. He expressed his hope that after the quarantine period, the faithful would remain eager to go to Mass in the same way when they participate in the regular Sunday masses either online.  

    "We cannot therefore say that religious services are peripheral to the people. They see them as essential, and the sign that things are going back to normal is when they are again able to go to church and attend the services. This will uplift their spirits to a great extent," he said. 

    Following the "new normal" when the ECQ will be lifted, Bishop Pabillo stressed that the Church is willing to adhere to safety measures in order for policymakers to consider the Church to be open again for the faithful.

    "So when the decision makers consider the essential services to be allowed, they should also consider the opening of the churches and its services as important. Of course, necessary precautions should be taken, like the proper social distancing and the sanitation practices to be done in the churches. We cannot also just go back to the old practices as before. Many things will also change in the way we do our services in the Church," he added. 

    Bishop Pabillo also stated in his Post COVID Ministry II reflection that safety protocols and constant sanitation of the Churches will be implemented when there are Church gatherings or activities. 

    On April 24, the national government declared an extension of the enhanced community quarantine starting May 1 until May 15. The National Capital Region is considered as one of the high-risk areas in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno)

  • Priest shares experience being with Frontliners combatting COVID-19


    “Mga frontliners huwag po kayo susukong tumawag lagi kay Hesus dahil Siya ang kasa-kasama ninyo kumikilos at gumagalaw sa ginagawa ninyong paglilingkod at pagliligtas ng buhay” said Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar at San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City when he visited and blessed the medical frontliners at VRP Medical Center on April 17, 2020.

    Amidst the enhanced community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the VRP Medical Center in Mandaluyong City provided a floor that serves as a temporary room for their front liners to rest and sleep as well as providing place of refuge and safety for the medical workers.

    Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao/San Felipe Neri Parish


    Despite the fearsome threat of COVID-19, Fr. Hans said he was honored and glad that he had an opportunity to bless the frontliners in each floor, although with precautions and limitations. The hospital also provided him a complete set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use during the blessing of their personnel.

    “Ganon pala yung pakiramdam non na parang isa bang patikim. Maganda nga kasi bago mag-kapistahan ng Banal na Awa ay parang pinaramdam din sa akin ng Diyos yung higit pa…‘yong konting patikim lang yung isa’t kalahating oras lang ako naka-PPE pero alam natin may sampu o labing-dalawang oras na frontliners na naka-PPE.” He said.

    He also explained that during the blessing, they were not allowed to go inside the hospital rooms for their safety and the safety of the patients. Instead, they were instructed to walk and bless the front-liners who are in the corridors, elevators, stairs and nurse stations only.

    In his message, he stated that the Church is praying with the medical front liners and all other kinds of front liners. It is also a call to strengthen their will in serving and saving lives infected by the COVID-19 virus.

    “Tatagan po ninyo ang inyong kalooban. Tatagan po ninyo at ingatan rin ang inyong katawan. Makakaasa ho kayo na hindi rin kami mapapagod. Sisikapin namin na ‘wag mapagod sa pagdarasal… ingatan ninyo ang inyong buhay pananampalataya” he added.

    The San Felipe Neri Parish also gave food, drinks, face shields and gloves to the frontliners in VRP Medical Center and National Center for Mental Health. Other frontliners during the ECQ were also given provisions by the parish--delivery men, garbage collectors, security guards, etc. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Divine Mercy Sunday Mass on April 19, 2020, at 10 a.m.

    The Divine Mercy is a new devotion that spread rapidly in our time. It was promoted by St. Maria Faustina Koalska who was canonized only in the year 2000. She lived between 1905 and 1939. A contemporary of many elderly people among us. And she wrote her visions and conversations with the Lord in a book called “Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul.”

    Ang mga nakasulat sa diary na ito ay bahagi ng tinatawag nating private revelation. Hindi tayo obligado na maniwala dito pero huwag din nating balewalain ang mga sinasabi ng mga private revelations.  Sinabi po ni Papa Benedicto sa kanyang liham -  Verbum Domini, “A private revelation can introduce new emphasis, give rise to new forms of piety or deepen older ones. It can have a certain prophetic character and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the gospel in our time. And it should not be treated lightly. It is a help which is offered but its use is not obligatory.”


    Mabilis ang pagkalat ng debosyon ng Divine Mercy dahil sa ito ay angkop na angkop sa ating panahon ngayon. Mula noong year 2000, itinalaga ni John Paul II na ang Second Sunday of Easter will be known as the Divine Mercy Sunday. At ito nga ang nagbigay ng malaking tulak upang makilala ang Divine Mercy.

    Ang isa pong katangian ng ating panahon ngayon ay ang pagiging malupit natin dahil po sa technology at competition. Ang hinahanap ng mga tao ay ang mga magaling, ang efficient, ang productive. Sa paaralan kinikilala lang ang mga matatalino, ang mga nasa top ten. Sa mga kompanya ang na-pro-promote ay yung mga effective, ang mga nagdadala ng malaking kita. Napaka-competitive po ang sports ngayon kaya may mga gumagamit nga ng mga steroids para maging malakas at bumilis.

    This situation pushes people to give their best but unfortunately in this situation there are few winners and a lot of users. Ilan lang naman ang tumatanyag. Ilan lang naman ang napro-promote. Ang karamihan ay naiiwanan. Marami ay napapabayaan. Kapag walang pakinabang o kaya nagkamali, pupulutin ka na lang sa kangkungan. Ito rin ang maaaring maging pananaw natin sa ating spiritual life. Ang mga nagkakamali ay hindi na pinapansin. We may feel that we are not good enough because we have failed or we have sinned.

    Ganun din kalupit ang buhay sa mga drug addicts na pinapatay nalang na wala na silang pag-asa. Ang mga naghahanap ng katarungan ay pinagbibintangan ng maka-kaliwa. Ang mga nakakagawa ng krimen ay dapat ng bitayin. Nawala na ang awa ng tao sa kanyang kapwa kaya tuloy ang mga matatanda, ang mga mahihina, ang mga may sakit ay napapabayaan na.

    At hindi lang po upang tayoý makilala, kailangan meron tayong credentials - saan ka ba nakapag-aral? Ano ba work experience mo? Dapat may ipakita tayong mga certificates. Parang ganun din ang naiisip ng iba para tayo’y mapansin ng Diyos, dapat meron tayong credentials – kasama ka ba sa simbahan? Nakakagawa ka ba ng mabuti? Pero makakalapit ba tayo sa Diyos sa credentials natin?

    The message of the Divine Mercy is that God does not deal with us in this way. He does not look for credentials, for achievements, for certificates. Because the joy of God is to give and to forgive and to show mercy. He reaches out to those who don’t deserve him. At ito’y nakikita natin sa muling pagkabuhay. Itong mga alagad na duwag na tinalikuran siya. They don’t deserve him. And yet, Jesus looked out and search for them noong siya’y muling nabuhay.

    Kaya nga ang larawan natin sa Divine Mercy tulad nito ay ang mga liwanag na nanggagaling sa puso ni Hesus na inaabot yung mga tao. The first gift that Jesus gave to his disciples at his resurrection was the gift of peace and the gift of peace which is the result of forgiveness.

    As I’ve said, all of them failed him but he did not…them for having abandoned him. In fact, he forgave them and not only did he forgive them, he entrusted to them the power also to forgive.

    Ganun po kadakila ang habag ng Diyos. At pinaramdam niya ito kay Tomas. Nagmatigas si Tomas, “Kung hindi ko mailalagay ang aking daliri sa kanyang kamay, kung hindi ko mailagay ang aking kamay sa kanyang tagiliran sa butas ng kanyang sugat, hindi ako maniniwala,” sinabi ni Tomas.

    Hindi ni Hesus pinarusahan ang pagmamatigas ni Tomas. Pinagbigyan niya ang kahilingan ni Tomas, “Sige, ilagay mo ang iyong kamay sa aking tagiliran. Tignan mo ang butas ng sugat ng aking kamay. Iwanan mo na ang iyong pag-aalinlangan. Maniwala ka na,” ang pakiusap ni Hesus kay Tomas.

    Sa ating pangkaraniwang paraan, kapag tayo ay napatotohanang tama, ibig natin ipamukha sa iba na mali sila, na tama tayo. Pero hindi ito ang ginawa ni Hesus. Noong siya’y muling nabuhay, hindi siya nagpakita kay Pontio Pilato at pinamukha sa kanya na mali ang hatol mo. Hindi siya nagpakita kay Kaifas at Anas at sa mga leaders ng mga hudyo na hinahamon siya, “Kung ikaw ang Kristo, bumaba ka diyan, at maniwala kami.” Hindi niya pinamukha sa kanila na mali siya.

    His purpose was not to prove his enemies wrong. His purpose was to strengthen his disciples and to give them life. He did not waste his time proving others wrong.

    For the past 2000 years, the message of the resurrection has been passed on one from one generation to the next. At hindi nalalaos ang message na ito. Ito ay hindi lang pinalaganap ng mga preachings ng mga apostles. Ang muling pagkabuhay ay buhay na buhay dahil sa buhay ng mga Kristiyano.

    Napakinggan natin sa unang pagbasa ang uri ng buhay ng mga Christians. Ramdam ng mga tao na kakaiba ang community na ito. Nagkakaisa sila at nagtutulungan. Walang mahirap sa kanila dahil walang mayaman. Ang mga mayroon pinagbibili ang ari-arian nila at ibinabahagi sa mga walang wala. Dito nakikita na may power, the power of sharing sa komunidad na iyon. Ang pinagkakaisahan nila ay hindi lang ang material na bagay ngunit ang buhay panalangin; ang buhay na naaayos sa aral ng mga apostol; ang buhay ng pagpipiraso ng tinapay; ibig sabihin ang banal na misa; at ang buhay ng pagkakapatiran, pagtutulungan. Ito rin sana ang magbuklod sa atin bilang bayan ng Diyos hanggang ngayon. Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat nagkakaisa tayo sa dasal.

    Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat nagkakaisa tayo sa banal na Misa. Tayo’y bayan ng Diyos sapagkat iisa ang paniniwala natin – ang katarungan ng mga apostol. Tayo’y isang sambayanan sapagkat tayo’y nagtutulungan. These are the things that make us Church hanggang ngayon.

    Ang message of the Divine Mercy is good news to us. That means that God does not deal with us because we deserve it. Even if we do not deserve it, God loves us. Kaya wag tayong mag-atubili na lumapit sa kanya kung ganoon ang pakikitungo natin sa Diyos ganun din dapat ang ating pakikitungo sa isa’t isa kaya the Divine Mercy devotion is not only receiving the mercy of God but also sharing the mercy of God to the others especially the vulnerable.

    Kaya part of the devotion of the Divine Mercy is to perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy which we can all do. Kahit na ngayon panahon ng quarantine, we can do the spiritual works of mercy, ano ba yun?

    Admonishing the sinner – itutuwid natin yung mga mali. Kapag sinasabihan natin ang gumagawa ng masama na mali ang kanilang ginagawa, we are performing a spiritual work of mercy. Instructing the ignorant – turuan sila sa mga bagay tungkol sa katotohanan tungkol sa Diyos. Counselling the doubtful, …patiently, forgiving offenses willingly. Nagkamali yung iba, patawarin natin sila. Comforting the afflicted and so many people are afflicted these days and praying for the living and the dead. Already in this Mass, when we pray for the living and the dead, we are exercising a spiritual work of mercy.

    At ganun din po kailangan din natin ipadama sa iba ang corporal work of mercy. Corporal sapagkat yan ay kailangan ng katawan tulad ng feeding the hungry. Maraming tao ngayon ay gutom. Sa ating pagbabahagi ng pagkain, we are doing a corporal work of mercy. Giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick or caring for the sick, visiting the prisoner, burying the dead.

    So, ito yung mga gawain po natin ngayon na kailangan natin i-promote because of our devotion to the Divine Mercy.

    Sa ating panahon ngayon, talagang naaangkop ang mga spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Talagang maraming mga tao na kung titignan lang natin sa kanilang kakayahan, parang hindi na nila kaya. Gusto na nilang bumigay. But God is rich in mercy and compassion. Kahit anong pagkakamali natin, nandiyan siya upang tayo ay tulungan. And we are grateful to God’s compassion to us. And as we are grateful to God’s compassion, let us on our part make others feel God’s mercy to them through our care. We have seen this and we are seeing this these days through the selfless dedication of our frontliners. Yung mga tumutulong sa atin sa mga ospital, sa mga palengke, yung mga pulis. Marami po yung nagbubuwis ng buhay nila para makatulong sa kapwa. Yung mga voluneers na nagbibigay ng mga pagkain sa mga mahirap sa mga parokya natin. This is a sign of mercy that we are giving to others.

    My dear friends, let us praise and thank the Lord. God is merciful. Let us do what we can on our part to spread God’s merciful love to others. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Internationalis to provide support for local Churches


    Caritas Internationalis initiated a “COVID-19 Response Fund” to extend support and assistance to the local Churches that respond to aid those directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to Caritas Internationalis website, the fund will be disbursed for priority health care services, particularly for prevention and control of infections, access to clean water and sanitation, procurement of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc).



    Aloysius John, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis emphasized that the goal of the response fund is to reach the local Churches and fund their small projects to express solidarity with the people, especially during this coronavirus crisis.

    “The coronavirus solidarity fund is a means to assist small projects which will allow Caritas to help the people who are confined. We are there to help them create solidarity. We are all in solidarity before the virus, but I think we also have to be in solidarity with people to help them live with dignity,” he said.

    The secretary general invited the faithful to be one with them in this cause.

    “Let us join hands in helping us to help the poor, the needy, and the most vulnerable. Pope Francis wants us to be ‘educators of solidarity’ and, at the same time, actors in the field of solidarity,” he added.

    John reiterated the Pope's message urging the faithful to be united in these challenging times especially by helping the needy as a way of the Church to be with the people.

    “Pope Francis is very much preoccupied with Covid-19, and he wants the Church to express solidarity with the local Churches and help them at this moment as a gesture of witnessing the universal love and care of the universal Church for the local Church,” he said in an interview by Vatican Radio.

    The Supreme Pontiff created a commission that focuses on battling the coronavirus pandemic led by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The aim of the commission is to “to express the church’s concern and love for the entire human family in the face of the of COVID-19 pandemic.”

    The commission is composed of five working groups. Caritas Internationalis serves as the first working group in the commission which is tasked with attending the needs of the local Churches.

    In the Philippines, Alay Kapwa sa Pamayanan: Caritas Kindness Stations are being set up in parishes to respond to those who are affected by the pandemic.

    Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of over 160 members who are working at the grassroots in almost every country, and it is headed by H.E. Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Archbishop-Emeritus of Manila. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Bishop Pabillo visits Shelter and Assures Support to the Poor


    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, visited the poor families living in the streets of Manila affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that are in the shelter of Paco Catholic School (PCS) on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.

    PCS is one of the Catholic facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila that has been made available to help the poor families affected by the worldwide outbreak of the corona virus. The school opened not just to give shelter but also to feed the homeless and street dwellers. 

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila visits the poor families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under the shelter of Paco Catholic School on April 13, 2020 (Easter Monday).

     

    According to Fr. Carlo Del Rosario, chaplain of PCS, Bishop Pabillo gave a short Easter message to the families to inspire and assure them of the Church’s support for them during this time of crisis.

    At present, PCS shelters 178 homeless and street dwellers coming from the different areas in Manila.

    Aside from PCS, Bishop Pabillo said on the third part of his reflection titled “Post COVID-19 Ministry,” the Church was able to give shelter to 440 street people in 8 facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila and 510 medical frontliners were given lodging in 23 parishes, schools, hostels and convents.

    The Church was also able to distribute gift checks and food packs to more than 400,000 families in different parishes in the archdiocese. As of April 14, 2020, Caritas Manila’s Oplan Damayan has released 1,367,495 gift certificates to 1,277,372 poor families within Metro Manila as well as to the other neighboring provinces. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Works of Charity Characterize Lent and Easter 2020


    On the third part of his reflection entitled “Post COVID-19 Ministry”, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, noted how during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila have been busy preparing not just for liturgical celebrations of Holy Week but also in helping the people who are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In the past month, most of the work of many parishes was not that of liturgical celebrations. Of course, we had to prepare our churches and ourselves for the online masses and other religious services. Those did not take much time,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “What took most of our time was organizing how to distribute the gift certificates (GCs) and in large part, the actual giving of the GCs to the poor families together with our volunteers and barangay officials. Some parishes also spent time packing rice and other goods to distribute to the people,” he added.

    Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish

    According to the prelate, during this time of pandemic, the Church’s important expression of work is to help the poor. The Church, according to him, did its best to help people. In particular, he cited giving shelter to more than 440 street people in 8 facilities in the Archdiocese of Manila. There are also 510 medical frontliners who were given lodging in 23 parishes, schools, hostels and convents.

    Aside from the housing and shelter offered, the Church also received help in the form of food items and sleeping materials from religious communities and generous parishioners. They were also able to distribute gift checks and food packs to more than 400,000 families in different parishes in the archdiocese.

    As of April 14, 2020, Caritas Manila’s Oplan Damayan has released 1,367,495 gift certificates to 1,277,372 poor families.

    Bishop Pabillo also stated in his reflection that even after the quarantine, the church should set up structures that should maintain its relationship with those who were helped as well as those who helped during the pandemic. He pointed out to the reality that even after May 1, when the ECQ is projected to be lifted, the virus will still be around so the need to contain it shall continue.

    “After the quarantine days, it would not be right to just toss the street people back to the streets and to let the hospitals take care of their medical staff. We have to maintain the good will and the relationships that we have created with the beneficiaries, with the donors and with the administrations of various medical institutions,” he said.

    Despite the situation, the Bishop reminds the priests in the archdiocese that apart from helping those affected by the quarantine, parishes should also fulfill their obligations to their staff. A careful planning should be made with their finance councils on how to make ends meet in the coming months.

    “As we have decided at the start of the lock down, as much as possible we will not dismiss people from our workforce. If people are not able to work, it is not that they do not want to work. Everyone among us is a victim of these hard times,” he said.

    As the faithful faces the hard times of the quarantine period, the Bishop asked them to be patient with the situation.

    “As we try to help our parish and school personnel, let us also explain to them to be patient and not to demand the same treatment as before, as if nothing had happened,” he said.

    “The challenge now is how to keep the morale of our people high in spite of the fact that we all face hard times. Let us all face this new situation with generosity and trust,” he added. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 3)


    In the past month, most of the work of many parishes was not that of liturgical celebrations. Of course, we had to prepare our churches and ourselves for the online masses and other religious services. Those did not take much time. What took most of our time was organizing how to distribute the gift certificates (GCs) and in large part, the actual giving of the GCs to the poor families together with our volunteers and barangay officials. Some parishes also spent time packing rice and other goods to distribute to the people. In a word, works of charity characterized our church activities during this time.


    We have done a lot to help many people during this lock down. We now house more than 440 street people in 8 facilities in the archdiocese of Manila. Some 510 medical front liners are given lodging in 23 parishes, hostels, and convents. We have generously received help in the form of food items and sleeping materials from many religious communities and generous parishioners. Helping the poor has been an important expression of our work as church during these days. We were able to reach more than 400,000 families through our gift checks and food packs.

    After the quarantine days, it would not be right to just toss the street people back to the streets and to let the hospitals take care of their medical staff. We have to maintain the good will and the relationships that we have created with the beneficiaries, with the donors and with the administrations of various medical institutions. The parishes, schools and religious communities need to set up structures that can create a continuous relationship with the people. Besides, it would not mean that come May 1, there would no longer be any COVID 19. This virus will be around for some time so our effort to contain it should also continue.

    Another consideration that we have to look deeply are our financial situation. People will give to the church once the public services start, but surely not as much as they had been doing. Everyone’s pocket has been affected by the quarantine. Thus the parishes are to plan very carefully with their finance councils how to make ends meet in the coming months. It is good that there are already vicariates who help the poor parishes meet their obligations to their personnel. As we have decided at the start of the lock down, as much as possible we will not dismiss people from our workforce. If people are not able to work, it is not that they do not want to work. Everyone among us is a victim of these hard times.

    As we try to help our parish and school personnel, let us also explain to them to be patient and not to demand the same treatment as before, as if nothing had happened. The challenge now is how to keep the morale of our people high in spite of the fact that we all face hard times. Let us all face this new situation with generosity and trust.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 14, 2020

  • Media Ministry plays vital role in the Catholic Church


    "The media apostolate is here to stay and will play a greater role in the life of the Church from now on."

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila wrote this in his reflection called "Post COVID Ministry" which was released on April 13, 2020.

    Bishop Pabillo pointed out how the Church saw the significant contribution of the media ministry in every parish and religious institution during the Holy Week liturgical celebrations while in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, thus, urges parishes and communities to "set up good social media ministries."

    "Some realizations become clear to us. First, the importance of the social media. Parishes who have well-developed social media ministry are able to reach their people easily and offer them services. Thus we should develop our social media ministry," he said.

    "Online religious services are here to stay. Many of our elderly people will hesitate to go to church; the social distancing cannot be easily done in our churches because we do not have that many churches," he added.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during his pastoral visit to San Roque de Manila Parish in August 2019. | Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish Facebook Page

     

    He also stated in his reflection how important the media has become in the ministry for the sick, and this is one of the things the coronavirus outbreak has allowed the church to take into consideration.

    "We should seriously think as an archdiocese to strengthen our ministry to the sick, even down to the parochial level. This ministry does not only cater to the sick in the hospitals but also to the medical staff, and also to the sick and the elderly in their homes," he said.

    The Bishop also sees the need to recruit and deploy more lay ministers that will give communion to the sick and the elderly. He sees the possibility of more elder people being able to participate at Mass online amidst the lockdown and also be able to receive Holy Communion in their homes.

    "In many parishes, we either do not have enough lay ministers, or many of our lay ministers are old, or both. The elderly ones can no longer give communion in the homes because they themselves are susceptible to be infected. Thus we need to recruit more and younger lay ministers," he said.

    On the issue raised by those who criticized the Catholic Church on the money to be used to help the poor, Bishop Pabillo said that it died down because the churches,  schools and religious houses were the first to open its doors to feed and shelter those who were affected by the pandemic - the homeless and street dwellers, the medical frontliners and all the other uniformed personnel who battle COVID-19.

    He also lauded Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila and its partnership with the business community and the government for the efficient and rapid mobilization of extending help and assistance to the poor families.

    Caritas Manila distributed more than P1billion worth of gift certificates to poor families. Each family received one thousand pesos worth of gift certificate. This was made possible through the help of the 668 parishes in mega Manila and its volunteers.

    He also recognized the good networking of the parishes with the barangay, which helped them identify the poor families in different areas. This, according to Bishop Pabillo, is through the establishment of the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities (BEC).

    "Naging mabango ang simbahan sa buwang ito dahil sa ang simbahan ay bumaba sa mga tao. Talagang naramdaman nila ang simbahan, hindi sa kanyang gawaing pangsamba ngunit sa kanyang pagtulong sa mahihirap."

    In the last part of his reflection, the Bishop informed the faithful that he will be releasing more reflections that "would set some paths for the ministry of the church after the lock down."

    He asked them to "deepen and widen the conversation on this topic of challenges to the ministry these coming days. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Protocols for Church Gatherings proposed in view of ECQ lifting


    In the second part of his Post COVID-19 Ministry reflection series, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Archdiocese of Manila's Apostolic Administrator, proposed how parishes could start again having mass gatherings once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted in Luzon, but remaining conscious about the continued threat of Corona virus.

    An important point emphasized by the Bishop is to continue to follow the social distancing protocols when the Mass or any other liturgical gatherings are celebrated again in churches. This would of course have implications.


    “This can also mean the re-training of our ushers. We should get younger ones who can politely ask the people to keep social distancing. Each parish is to determine the adequate spaces to be observed between the mass attendees,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “Perhaps big celebrations should be done outdoors to follow the social distancing protocols. The churches can also invest in big LCD screens and a good outdoor sound system so that people can remain outside and still be part of the celebration,” he added.

    Another safety practice that Bishop Pabillo recommends is the regular sanitation of the church and other parish buildings as well as the faithful themselves who come into the church.

    “Another thing that is here to stay is our consciousness of the need for constant handwashing. A regular feature of our churches will now be the alcohol bottles or hand sanitizers that will be made ubiquitous at the door of our churches and offices. A foot bath is to be provided at the door steps of our churches and offices,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    In addition, he suggested that every parish should have a “sanitation ministry” that would have the main task of disinfecting or cleaning the pews in between masses.

    The Filipino custom of “mano po” (blessing the hands of elders) can also be changed. “Instead of getting the hand of the elderly or the priest and putting it on one’s forehead, or much worse, kissing the ring of the bishop,” he said, the people may opt to show their respect by a polite bow and similar gestures.

    On the touching of statues which Filipinos are also fond of doing, Bishop Pabillo said that the faithful should “be educated to do without this form of reverence anymore.” He said that “a slight bow or a moment of silent prayer in front of a statue is also a worthy expression of our desire to commune with God and his saints.”

    Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the declaration of ECQ, the faithful are not able to receive the Sacrament of Confession. Instead, they are advised to pray an act of contrition with firm resolve until they are able to go to confession to a priest when the situation allows them to.

    After the lockdown, the Bishop encourages that Vicariates and parishes should organize a "Kumpisalang Bayan" (Penitential service) where the faithful can avail of the sacrament of confession. The re-designing of confessional box should also be considered for it to give enough room for social distancing.

    The prelate at the end of his reflection encourages the priests to practice other safety measures and also to give instructions to the faithful as to why these protocols have to be observed.

    "Let us use our creativity on how to serve our people in the new situation that we are now in. If the new practices that we will adapt are properly explained to the people, they will understand. They will even appreciate that we are making changes so that we can serve God without jeopardizing our loved ones," he said.  (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 2)


    An effect of the Corona virus pandemic that is here to stay is social distancing. The consciousness and the practice of social distancing will be with us long after the quarantine is lifted. What would this imply in our ministries in the Church? How do we limit the attendance of the people in our services? This may mean additional masses on Sundays and asking the people to come on the times when there are less people in order to reduce the density of mass goers in any given time. This can also mean the re-training of our ushers. We should get younger ones who can politely ask the people to keep social distancing. Each parish is to determine the adequate spaces to be observed between the mass attendees. Perhaps big celebrations should be done outdoors to follow the social distancing protocols. The churches can also invest in big LCD screens and a good outdoor sound system so that people can remain outside and still be part of the celebration.

     


    Another thing that is here to stay is our consciousness of the need for constant handwashing. A regular feature of our churches will now be the alcohol bottles or hand sanitizers that will be made ubiquitous at the door of our churches and offices. A foot bath is to be provided at the door steps of our churches and offices. A new ministry can be started in the parishes – perhaps to be called “sanitation ministry” – whose task is to disinfect or clean the pews in between masses. This would mean that masses should no longer be on an hourly basis. Some time should be given between services for the cleaning of the pews and other “high touch” surfaces much used in the church.

    An important Filipino social custom may also change – that of the mano po. Instead of getting the hand of the elderly or the priest and putting it on one’s forehead, or much worse, kissing the ring of the bishop, the people would be taught to show their respect by a polite bow and similar gestures.

    As Filipinos we are a tactile people. We want to express our nearness by touching. This we do to one another and also to the objects of devotion. Thus we see people lovingly and devotedly touching the statues and even the casing of the statues. We have to be educated to do without this form of reverence anymore. A slight bow or a moment of silent prayer in front of a statue is also a worthy expression of our desire to commune with God and his saints.

    We have been telling the people during lent that if we cannot go to confession, we can obtain God’s forgiveness by a sincere contrition of our sins with firm resolve to come to confess our sins to a priest as soon as there is the opportunity. One of the conditions to fulfill in order to receive the plenary indulgence is to confess our sins to a priest. After the lockdown, it would be good if the vicariates can organize a kumpisalan ng bayan in all the parishes so that the faithful can avail themselves of this sacrament. Perhaps it would also help if parishes can re-design their confessional boxes that it would no longer be stuffy but that there be enough room for social distancing during confession. Proper physical distance should still be kept during the kumpisalan ng bayan.

    Let us use our creativity on how to serve our people in the new situation that we are now in. If the new practices that we will adapt are properly explained to the people, they will understand. They will even appreciate that we are making changes so that we can serve God without jeopardizing our loved ones.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 13, 2020

  • Jesus' Resurrection: A time for Renewed Values

    "We have to live behind our usual way of thinking and doing. But think and do things where Jesus is. We live his values."

    This was the reflection of Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Archdiocese of Manila when he delivered his homily, urging the faithful to renewed perspective, during the Easter Vigil celebration at the Manila Cathedral on April 11, 2020.

    The prelate explained that in Baptism, the faithful denounces the works of evil. In the Resurrection, Jesus' triumph reveals a new life that challenges the faithful to follow the life lived by Jesus, exemplifying an authentic life.


    "Noong tayo ay bininyagan, namatay tayo sa mga makamundong bagay. Tulad ni Hesus na namatay sa mga taong kalagayan niya.Kaya tayo’y binaon sa tubig. Ang buhay natin ngayon ay pakikiisa na sa resurrected life of Jesus which is a new kind of life.  Kaya ang mga konsiderasyon natin ay hindi na ang mga makamundong bagay kundi ang mga bagay kung nasaan si Hesus," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo expressed his hope for the faithful to be inspired by Risen Lord to be Christians who strive to live the values that the Resurrection embodies. These values call the faithful to a change of mindset.

    "These and similar things are the values where Jesus is now. Seated at the right hand of the Father. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth. Dahil sa muling pagkabuhay, hindi na tayo nag-aalalinlangan, hindi na tayo natatakot na sundin ang values ni Hesus tulad ng paninindigan para sa katotohanan at sa katarungan. These values may bring persecution, may bring difficulties as it did to Jesus. But Jesus is risen. These values of Jesus will ultimately bring us new life as it did to Jesus," he said.

    In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, the Bishop points out the positive effects that this situation has brought, that is, the Church is mad present and alive in the Christian Homes, that families pray together and recognize the small things with great value.

    "This year, the disciplines of Lent have been imposed on us by the corona virus," he said. "The pandemic has made us stay home; has made life more simple; has forced us to relate with our loved ones; has given us a lot of time to pray and to read the scriptures; it brought the worship of God into our homes by online service; it hopefully has made us more generous to others especially to our frontline people. I hope we have undergone this discipline not gradually but with a sense of inner liberty, inner freedom."

    Following the example given by the Risen Lord, the Bishop urges the faithful remain steadfast in their faith and that it may nourish their spiritual lives even more.

    "At ngayon na Linggo na ng Pagkabuhay, may mga pagbabago na sana na dala ang Kuwaresma natin. Namatay tayo sa maraming bagay noong nakaraang buwan. Ngayon naman pangalagaan natin ang ating bagong buhay at bagong values na natanggap," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Doing Ministry after COVID-19 Lockdown (Part 1)


    After about a month of quarantine, many people have gotten used to it. Now, the challenge to us in the church is no longer on adjusting to the lock down. We should instead start looking forward to what we will do after the quarantine!
     

    It would be too naïve to imagine that come May 1, we will all jump back to the life that we had before the quarantine. No! There will be a very gradual period of adjustment. Many of our ways of doing ministry will change. This early let us already project the changes that can come about based on our experiences during this past month and plan for them accordingly.

     
    Some realizations become clear to us. First, the importance of the social media. Parishes who have well-developed social media ministry are able to reach their people easily and offer them services. Thus we should develop our social media ministry. Online religious services are here to stay. Many of our elderly people will hesitate to go to church; the social distancing cannot be easily done in our churches because we do not have that many churches. So the media apostolate is here to stay and will play a greater role in the life of the Church from now on. Thus all Church institutions are encouraged to set up good social media ministries.

    If many of our elderly people would prefer to participate in the mass online after the lock down, we should be able to offer them the possibility of receiving communion in their homes. We should deploy more our lay ministers to bring communion to the sick and the elderly. In many parishes, we either do not have enough lay ministers, or many of our lay ministers are old, or both. The elderly ones can no longer give communion in the homes because they themselves are susceptible to be infected. Thus we need to recruit more and younger lay ministers. Can we fast track their recruitment and their formation? We can get from the older altar servers, or older choir members, or even ask the religious sisters and brothers to help in this ministry of bringing the Body of Christ to the elderly.

    The pandemic has shown us the importance of the ministry to the sick. Not many parishes have this. In Manila we have only five priests of the archdiocese who are in the hospital chaplaincy. Most of our hospital chaplains are either religious or guest priests. We should seriously think as an archdiocese to strengthen our ministry to the sick, even down to the parochial level. This ministry does not only cater to the sick in the hospitals but also to the medical staff, and also to the sick and the elderly in their homes.

    At the beginning of the lock down there were criticisms that the church should use its reputedly big money to help the poor. These criticisms soon died down when it became apparent that we have churches, schools, and religious houses who were the first ones to open their facilities to house and feed the street people, the medical front liners and the uniformed personnel. People will not fault us for having big and good facilities as long as they see that these are open to serve those in need in times of emergency. This should be a deliberate choice by our institutions from one on since nowadays emergencies are a new normal in our life.

    One thing that caught the admiration of the business community and the government is our silent but rapid mobilization to distribute more than 1 billion pesos worth of gift certificates (GCs) to the poor. Each family was given 1,000 pesos worth of GCs. This was done through the organizing capacity of Caritas Manila and the enthusiasm of more than 668 parishes in MegaManila and their volunteers. Our parishes would not be able to identify the poor families if there was no good networking with barangay officials. Many times the good relations with the barangay are forged because of the BECs. This is one thing that we have to develop more – better relations with the barangay especially through the BECs. Naging mabango ang simbahan sa buwang ito dahil sa ang simbahan ay bumaba sa mga tao. Talagang naramdaman nila ang simbahan, hindi sa kanyang gawaing pangsamba ngunit sa kanyang pagtulong sa mahihirap.

    These are my reflections as of now. Others are to follow, that is why this is entitled PART I. I offer them as jumping points that can lead to still other reflections that would set some paths for the ministry of the church after the lock down. Please join, deepen and widen the conversation on this topic of challenges to the ministry these coming days.

     

    Broderick Pabillo
    April 13, 2020.

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during online Easter Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral on April 12, at 10 a.m.

     If you were given only ten minutes to proclaim the Christian message to a non-Christian, what would you say? Will you give the Ten Commandments? Will you explain one by one the Seven Sacraments? Will you speak about Mary and the saints? You have only ten minutes to summarize the Christian message.

    Ano ba ang sasabihin mo? Itong summary ng Christian message ay tinatawag natin na Kergyma at iyan ang ipinahanyag ni San Pedro sa ating unang pagbasa. Ito ang ipinahayag ni Pedro kay Kornelio, na isang roman officer at sa kanyang household. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay hindi doktrina and hindi code of ethics or rituals of worship. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay ang kuwento ni Hesus.

    The Kergyma is the story of Jesus, how he was baptized by the Holy Spirit through John the Baptist. He was powerful in his deeds and words doing good to all people. He was caught by the Jews, hanged on a tree and put to death but was raised up by God.

     

    The apostles are all witnesses to all these. Jesus is appointed by God to bring forgiveness to all who believed in him through the testimony of the apostles. This is the Kergyma. This is the proclamation of the Good News and as you see, the resurrection is part and parcel of the Good News.

    Ito po ang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon. Kung walang resurrection wala pong Good News, wala pong Kerygma. Dahil sa resurrection, nagkaroon ng bagong kulay ang lahat ng pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. Kahit na si Hesus ay matagal nang nagsasalita sa mga alagad tungkol sa resurrection na siya ay papatayin at mabubuhay nang muli sa ikatlong araw. Kahit na siya ay bumuhay sa mga patay tulad ng anak na babae ni Jairo, ang anak na lalaki ng balo sa Naim, ang kanyang kaibigan na si Lazaro. Pero itong muling pagkabuhay ay malayo sa isip ni Maria Magdalena at ng mga alagad ni Hesus.

    Si Maria Magdalena ay pumunta sa libingan upang tumangis. Para sa kanya, patay na si Hesus. Magluluksa na lang siya kaya’t nung makita niya na bukas ang libingan, ang unang paniniwala niya ay kinuha ang bangkay ni Hesus. Bakit ba hindi makuntento ang mga kaaway ni Hesus na siya ay patayin pati ang bangkay niya ay lalapastangan pa rin. Ito siguro ang naglalaro sa isip niya. Nung isinumbong ito ni Maria kay Pedro at kay Juan, sila rin ay naguluhan. Wala naman sa kanila ang nakakita ng resurrection. Ang tanging ebidensiya lang ay walang laman ang libingan. Para kay Maria Magdalena at marahil kay Pedro walang laman kasi kinuha ang bangkay.

    John saw it differently. If the body was taken away why were the burial clothes left behind and the cloth around his head set apart.  John saw and believed. What he believed in we do not know because we are told that they did not understand the scriptures that he had to rise from the dead.

    My dear friends, we are fortunate that history and a lot of theological thinking all through these centuries make us understand the resurrection a little bit more. Pero tungkol po sa bagay na ito at tungkol sa maraming bahagi ng ating pananampalataya, hindi po gaano ang pagintindi ang mahalaga. Ang mahalaga ay ang pagsasabuhay nito.

    It’s not so much understanding the mystery. We cannot fully understand the mystery. It is participating in the mystery. Living the mystery.

    Ang resurrection ay hindi lang tungkol kay Jesus. Ito ay tungkol sa ating lahat na naniniwala sa kanya. Tayo ay nakikiisa sa buhay at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesus.

    Jesus participated in our human condition by taking up on human flesh. Thus he suffered. He was tired. He was thirsty. He was angry. He was sad. He died just like all of us. But he shared his divine life with us when we were baptized. So, we participate in his resurrection. We live our life now, our human life but heightened, elevated by his divinity. So, we can say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who lived but Christ who lives in me.”

    Napakaganda po ng sinabi ni St. Paul sa ikalawang pagbasa na ating narinig kanina, “If then we will raise with Christ seek what is about, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth for you have died and your life is...with Christ in God.”

    Noong tayo ay bininyagan, namatay tayo sa mga makamundong bagay. Tulad ni Hesus na namatay sa mga taong kalagayan niya. Kaya tayo’y binaon sa tubig. Ang buhay natin ngayon ay pakikiisa na sa resurrected life of Jesus which is a new kind of life. Kaya ang mga konsiderasyon natin ay hindi na ang mga makamundong bagay kundi ang mga bagay kung nasaan si Hesus.

    We have to live behind our usual way of thinking and doing. But think and do things where Jesus is. We live his values.

    Mahirap ba itong isipin na magbago ang value natin? Na magbago ang buhay natin? Marahil ang karanasan natin nang halos isang buwan na ng quarantine ay makakatulong. Bago dumating ang buwan ng Marso, halos hindi natin maisip na makukulong tayo sa bahay, na hindi tayo makakabiyahe. Ano kaya ang buhay na walang mall, walang barkada, walang trabaho sa opisina? It was unthinkable to think of that kind of life at that time.

    Pero isang buwan na ang nakaraan at nakayanan naman natin. Harinawa, mas mabuti ang buhay natin ngayon. Hindi na nagmamadali. Mas simple na lang. mas nakikilala natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay. May panahon tayong magdasal. This is another kind of life. The life we live now is different from the life that we were used to before.

    Parang ganun din huwag isipin na hindi natin kaya ang buhay na hindi naaayon sa mundong ito. Sapagkat alam po natin, ang mundong ito ay lilipas. Maaari ring mabuhay na mas maayos ang relationship at walang masyadong pera; na natutuwa sa mga maliliit na bagay; na nagbibigay ng panahon sa panalangin bilang pamilya; na mas nababahala sa iba at hindi lang sa sarili ang iniisip.

    These and similar things are the values where Jesus is now. Seated at the right hand of the Father. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth. Dahil sa muling pagkabuhay, hindi na tayo nag-aalangan, hindi na tayo natatakot na sundin ang values ni Hesus tulad ng paninindigan para sa katotohanan at sa katarungan. And going out of our way to help the poor and the down…

    These values may bring persecution, may bring difficulties as it did to Jesus. But Jesus is risen. These values of Jesus will ultimately bring us new life as it did to Jesus.

    Every Easter, every year, Easter is prepared by forty days of Lent. The disciplines of Lent are meant to make us celebrate Easter with a new life – a life closer to Jesus.

    This year, the disciplines of Lent have been imposed on us by the coronavirus. The pandemic has made us stay home; has made life more simple; has forced us to relate with our loved ones; has given us a lot of time to pray and to read the scriptures; it brought the worship of God into our homes by online service; it hopefully has made us more generous to others especially to our frontline people.

    I hope we have undergone this discipline not gradually but with a sense of inner liberty, inner freedom.

    At ngayon na Linggo na ng Pagkabuhay, may mga pagbabago na sana na dala ang Kuwaresma natin. Namatay tayo sa maraming bagay noong nakaraang buwan. Ngayon naman pangalagaan natin ang ating bagong buhay at bagong values na natanggap.

    Totoo hindi pa tapos ang quarantine, pero alam natin na malapit na itong magtatapos. Nababalitaan na natin sa China na bumabalik na dahan dahan ang normal na buhay. Sa Europe, pumapantay na ang curve. Lumagpas na ang pagdagsa ng contamination. Darating din yan sa atin. Sana hindi tayo datnan pagkatapos ng quarantine sa dating pagkatao natin na walang nangyari sa ating pag-uugali, sa ating relationships, sa ating pakikiisa sa Diyos.

    Jesus is risen. Let us live the new life that is his which is also ours by baptism. That’s why we renew our baptismal promises in this mass and in the other masses in order to remind us of the new life and the new values that we now have as baptized. We still have three weeks to consolidate and firm up the new values that we have taken during this forced discipline of Lent that the pandemic has imposed on us.

    Hindi man natin ito inasahan at ginusto, pero may mabuti rin itong idinulot sa atin. Talagang ang Diyos ay magaling. He can write straight with crooked lines. He can bring out good. e can bring good out of evil. He can bring light out of darkness; health out of sickness.

    Purihin natin ang Diyos at sumakay tayo sa daloy ng pamamaraan na palaging patungo sa buhay at sa ikabubuti natin.

    May isa akong suggestion na activity na pwede ninyong gawin ngayong araw. Bilang pamilya o bilang magkaibigan, mag-sharing na kayo sa isa’t isa kung anong mga values ang natutunan ninyo sa quarantine experience na ito. Pakinggan natin ang sharing ng bawat isa pati na ng mga anak, ng mga apo, ng mga bata. Ang mga values na ito ay ang liwanag ng resurrection na sumisilay sa lockdown na ito. Pati na dito ay nagbibigay kulay sa atin ang resurrection.

    Happy Easter po sa inyong lahat! (RCAM-AOC)

  • Easter reminds us we are bigger than this Pandemic


    "I begin to believe that we, as Filipinos, together with all the peoples in the world, are bigger than the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic," said Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao and CBCP President, in his Easter message released on April 11, 2020.

    "Together, with hearts filled with goodness and love, filled with deep sense of service and sacrifice, I begin to see the hope of Easter in us, and this hope is stronger when we, together, have hearts like that of Jesus in his sacrifice in Calvary," he said.

     Photo Credit: CBCPNews

    He explained that Easter calls for a celebration with the Risen Lord. It is understood that Jesus died because of His never-ending love for His people.

    People in the frontline, particularly those individuals who are trying to save lives, extending aid the poor and those who put their lives on the line so that others maybe served, are the “concrete manifestation of the Easter Spirit”.

    “Yes, no doubt, we are in an extremely grim situation, but I see clear sparks of the spirit of Easter in the hearts of thousands in the midst of this pandemic,” said the Archbishop.

    The spirit of Easter is very much alive in the hearts of the faithful giving them strength and hope to do acts charity during this pandemic.

    “We can still celebrate with profound thanksgiving in our hearts the solemn commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus: the triumph of Jesus over death. This is the Easter that, I believe, we can celebrate together in these difficult days.” He added.

    Easter is the great feast for Christians as they celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Ash Wednesday, which marks the Season of Lent. Easter Sunday marks the end of Holy Week and the last day of the Easter Triduum--Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday marks the beginning of the Easter season which also lasts for 7 weeks, and ends with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo: We Will Rise up with this Pandemic


    Reflecting on the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic COVID-19 to the lives of many, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, assured the faithful in his Easter Message that just as Jesus overcame death, we will also be able to overcome the pandemic with the grace of God.

    “We do not know what will happen in the coming three weeks. We do not know what will be our life after the lock down. Surely, many things will change. What will they be? Of this we are sure, though: we will rise up from this pandemic,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    “We will rise up, hopefully not to go back to our former way of life. We will rise up stronger and more confident. We will rise up with greater care for our health and our families. We will rise up strengthened in our relationships. Most especially, we will rise up with greater trust in our God who never leaves us and who sustains us in difficult times. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God,” he added.

     Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish

     The prelate also emphasized that the resurrection of Christ from the dead can be a source of profound meditation for Easter where one can find encouragement as well as a source of inspiration amidst the enhanced community quarantine.

    "The resurrection tells us that God is faithful. He is powerful. He overcomes evil and even death. This gives us hope and joy. We can say this with greater conviction this year. The quarantine period was hard, but we have lived through it renewed and with new realizations in life. It has given us new life," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo also reminded the faithful to celebrate and rejoice with the risen Christ who will be the source of strength to overcome the crisis.

    "Let not the monotony of the quarantine put off the joy of Easter. The basis of this joy is not what we can do, but that the Risen Jesus is with us. He is acting among us and renewing us. Because of him, we shall overcome!" he said in the message.

    For Catholics, Easter Sunday is the commemoration of the resurrection of Christ three days after his death on the cross. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • 2020 Easter Message of Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis


    Dear Friends,

    As we prepare to celebrate Easter 2020, finally the world is united. We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and if we or our family members will survive this terrible moment.

    We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to turn as science, our governments and the knowledge we have developed to this point in history offer us no solutions.

     Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis | Photo file: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     

    The pandemic is making the suffering of vulnerable people – migrants and refugees, the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed – even deeper. We urge our governments to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable. We pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility in all of our countries.

    At this point in history, this turning point which is throwing our lives and societies into chaos, can each of us have the honesty and courage to say “I alone do not have the answer”? Can our governments admit that many of them got it wrong when they didn’t allow everyone to belong to the human family in a dignified way? Can our societies put aside economic concerns and show that they care for everyone without exception?

    In the midst of loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening: we are noticing the bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.

    It is as though the stone that covers the tomb is slowly being rolled back to allow a light of recognition. This light heralds Easter and the Risen Christ.

    Meanwhile, changes that would have been unthinkable three months ago are actually happening: air quality has improved in a number of countries and warring parties in some others have called ceasefires. These may be temporary, but they remind us that seemingly irresolvable human problems aren’t eternal. We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final say when you make space for hope.

    Caritas organisations are facing this global emergency as one confederation and by working in unity, sharing what they have learned with other countries and offering a helping hand to each other. One by one, Caritas organisations around the world have activated to warn, prevent and take care of those affected by the Coronavirus.

    My deepest thanks go to Caritas workers and volunteers and all those who are by the side of people who have fallen sick or who are vulnerable and isolated in the midst of this crisis. I feel immense gratitude towards all those who trustingly open their hearts and give themselves fully to bring the lights of love and hope into people’s lives at this dark time. Caritas staff and volunteers and their families are in my prayers as our communities face this enormous challenge.

    “Caritas christi urget nos” – the love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14). This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. COVID-19 knows no borders but neither do faith, hope and love.

    The answer to this crisis lies in all of us and in our unity. As people around the world face Easter without the possibility of physical communion, without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together, we have a time of slow down where we can reflect deeply on what “Body of Christ” means for each of us. In the darkness of this crisis, the light of Christ will shine. Jesus is truly risen! He will not die again. May Jesus rise for people around the world through our love!

    Let us pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge that is facing the whole of humanity and which is calling us to faith and to resurrection.

    I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.

     

    Yours in Christ,

    Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle

  • CBCP message for Easter 2020


    What kind of Easter message can I give in these difficult days? If one watches news on television, both national and international, and watches them not only with one’s eyes and mind but with one’s heart, one can easily be overwhelmed by this grim worldwide situation; it is as if, literally, death brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic is staring at you and me.

    Easter, that is, our joyful celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is best understood by not forgetting Calvary, by not forgetting His death on the cross. He died for us when his hour had come; he faced death. He faced death consciously, willingly, with his heart filled with love for us, filled with the mercy of God for us. But then, Jesus rose from the dead; he is victorious over death. His victory over death he shares with you and me. This is Easter for me.



    Yes, no doubt, we are in an extremely grim situation, but I see clear sparks of the spirit of Easter in the hearts of thousands in the midst of this pandemic. Indeed, it is so moving and so heartwarming to see individuals trying to save and protect the life of ailing patients, whose hearts are filled with selfless goodness for others, especially for the sick and the poor, individuals who have the courage to offer heroic service and sacrifice with the clear risk of losing their very own lives. Moreover, we see people of all walks of life, men and women, old and young, manifesting simple acts of appreciation and gratitude to all those who offer their lives so that others may live. Are these not concrete manifestations of the Easter spirit? Looking at all these, isn’t it that our hearts begin to fill up with hope?

    Then I begin to believe that we, as Filipinos, together with all the peoples in the world, are bigger than the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic. Together, with hearts filled with goodness and love, filled with deep sense of service and sacrifice, I begin to see the hope of Easter in us, and this hope is stronger when we, together, have hearts like that of Jesus in his sacrifice in Calvary. We see that, together, our life is more powerful than the menace of death that this pandemic brings: together, with hearts inspired by God’s grace, with hearts inspired by the love of the Blessed Virgin Mother, who stood at the foot of the cross in Calvary. Together, seeing the countless acts of sacrifice and service, acts of kindness and compassion, we begin to see that the spirit of Easter is still very much alive in our hearts. This is a spirit which is born out of faith and conviction that Jesus has defeated death and has risen back to life – for all of us. It is a spirit that springs forth from both convictions, the conviction that the Lord truly and deeply loves us and the conviction that we are a people truly capable of loving and caring for each other in the worst of times.

    We can still celebrate with profound thanksgiving in our hearts the solemn commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus: the triumph of Jesus over death. This is the Easter that, I believe, we can celebrate together in these difficult days.

    And because of this, with sincerity and deep conviction, I say, A BLESSED EASTER TO ALL!

     

     

    Devotedly yours in Christ,

     

    +ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
    Archbishop of Davao
    CBCP President

    Easter Vigil, 11 April 2020

  • Easter Message 2020


    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    An Easter Message is supposed to be a joyful message. Can there be joy when we

    have heard that the Enhanced Community Quarantine has been extended till the

    end of April? Can there be joy when the resources of many people have

    dwindled while the quarantine continues? Can there be joy when the news

    continues to speak about new infections and new deaths?



    The joy of Easter is not a joy because there are no problems. It is a joy which

    surprises all of us, because when God acts, he acts in unexpected ways. In spite

    of the announcement of the Lord Jesus that he would rise again, the idea of the

    resurrection did not register among his disciples. So when Jesus was killed and

    buried, for the disciples, Jesus is over. He is dead. So when they saw the tomb

    empty, their first thought was, who took his body? And when they finally saw

    him, they were afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost! Jesus had to

    assure them that it was he. He had to show them his wounded hands and side.

    He had to eat in front of them. The resurrection was totally unexpected to the

    disciples.

     

    Easter for us this year is also totally unexpected. Not only because we are not

    able to do what we usually do on Easter – go to the Salubong, attend Mass, and

    celebrate with friends. As at the first Easter, are we open to be surprised by God?

    We do not know what will happen in the coming three weeks. We do not know

    what will be our life after the lock down. Surely, many things will change. What

    will they be? Of this we are sure, though: we will rise up from this pandemic. We

    will rise up, hopefully not to go back to our former way of life. We will rise up

    stronger and more confident. We will rise up with greater care for our health and

    our families. We will rise up strengthened in our relationships. Most especially,

    we will rise up with greater trust in our God who never leaves us and who

    sustains us in difficult times. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God.

     

    The resurrection tells us that God is faithful. He is powerful. He overcomes evil

    and even death. This gives us hope and joy. We can say this with greater

    conviction this year. The quarantine period was hard, but we have lived through

    it renewed and with new realizations in life. It has given us new life. Let not the

    monotony of the quarantine put off the joy of Easter. The basis of this joy is not

    what we can do, but that the Risen Jesus is with us. He is acting among us and

    renewing us. Because of him, we shall overcome!

     

    May this Easter give us greater trust and hope. Jesus is risen! He is with us! We

    will overcome! We will live a new life with Jesus! Happy Easter to you all.

     

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO
    Apostolic Administrator of Manila
    11 April 2020

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during online Mass for the Lord’s Passion held at the Manila Cathedral on April 10, 2020, at 3 p.m.


    For us Filipinos the two holiest days of the year are Christmas Day and Good Friday. Dinudumog natin ang simbahan sa mga araw na ito.  Both of them are centered on the Lord Jesus. Si Jesus na naging tao at si Jesus na namatay para sa atin. Mahalaga ang birthday ni Jesus. Higit ito sa ibang birthday dahil si Jesus ay ang Diyos na nakikiisa sa atin. At ganoon na lang ang pakikiisa niya sa atin  na namatay siya dahil sa at para sa atin. So, we have heard in our first reading: It was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. (Isa. 53:4); He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. (Isa. 53:5); and The LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all (Isa. 53:6)

    Kaya mahal natin ang sanggol na si Jesus na isinilang noong Pasko dahil sa kanyang ginawa sa atin sa Biernes Santo! Ang Biernes Santo ang nagbibigay ng kahulugan sa araw ng Christmas.

    May apat na bahagi ang pagdiriwang natin sa simbahan, na ngayon ay inyong nasusundan online. Ito ang unang bahagi, ang pagpapahayag ng salita ng Diyos. Narinig natin muli ang pagbabasa ng Passion Narrative. Noong Linggo binasa natin ang version ni Matthew. Ngayon naman binasa natin ang version ni John. Pagkatapos ng Salita ng Diyos, dudulog tayo sa Diyos sa pamamagitan ng mahabang panalangin ng bayan. Sa karaniwang Biernes Santo mayroon tayong sampung (10) petitions. Ngayong taon, dinagdagan ito ng isa pa – tungkol sa Covid 19 pandemic na bumabalot sa buong mundo.

     

    Matapos ang mahabang panalangin ng bayan, susundan ito ng pagpaparangal sa Krus. Ito ngayon ang sentro ng ating pagsamba. We venerate the cross because it is through Jesus on the cross that we are freed from our sins.

    Tatapusin natin ang ating pagdiriwang sa pagtanggap ng Banal na Komunyon na ngayon ay hindi ninyo magagawa. Makiisa na rin lang kayo sa inyong spiritual communion.

    Ang sentro nga ng selebrasyon natin ay si Jesus na naka-pako sa krus. Ito ang magiging sentro ng ating pagninilay. Para sa ating mga Kristiyano ang krus ay ang simbolo ng kasamaan at galit ng tao at ito ay simbolo rin ng kabutihan at pag-ibig ng Diyos.

    Kasamaan ng tao: Inimbento ang pagpapako sa krus dahil sa kalupitan at kasamaan ng tao. Ito ay isang uri ng parusa na kalkulado na magbibigay ng labis na pagpapakasakit sa tao. Una nito ay ang pagbibigay ng kahihiyan. Kita ng marami ang tao na hubad na nakapako sa krus. Ang paratang sa kanya ay kitang-kita ng lahat at kinukutya siya ng mga tao. Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyari kay Jesus? Ang paratang sa kanya na siya ay hari ng mga hudyo. At para maging maliwanag ito sa lahat, ito ay nakasulat pa sa tatlong lingguahe na ginagamit ng mga tao noon – sa Latin, sa Griego at sa Hebreo. Kinutya si Jesus ng lahat habang siya ay nasa Krus – ng mga Judio, ng mga sundalong Romano, ng isa sa mga tulisan na nakapako kasama niya. Ang Krus ay isang parusa na kalkuladong magbigay ng mahabang kahirapan bago dumating ang kamatayan. Those who are in the nobility are not crucified when they are punished. They are beheaded or they are made to drink poison – deaths that are sudden. Pero iba ang nasa krus na itinakda sa mga mababang uri na mga tao at mga rebelde. Maaaring tumagal siya ng ilang oras o ilang araw doon. Mamamatay siya sa uhaw, sa gutom, sa impeksiyon, o sa pagkalagot ng kanyang hininga. Kaya para madaliin ang pagpatay sa araw na iyon, dahil ayaw nila na may nasa Krus sa dakilang kapistahan ng paskua, binali nila ang paa ng dalawang kasama ni Jesus, para malagutan kaagad ng hininga. Hindi na ito kailangang gawin kay Jesus. Maaga na siyang namatay at upang siguradubing patay na siya, sinibat ang kanyang tagiliran. How cruel man can be to his fellow human beings. He invented death on the cross. Kaya ang krus ay simbolo ng kasamaan at galit ng tao. Ganoon siya magpahirap sa kanyang kapwa.

    Hanggang ngayon, ganyan ang kasamaan ng tao sa kanyang kapwa. Wala awa! Gustong magpasakit! Gustong pumatay! Hindi ba ganyan pa rin ang nangyayari sa mga tortures na ginagawa sa tao, sa mga pagpatay ng mga inosenteng tao, na sila ay collateral damage lang sa mga digmaan at pagbobomba, sa mga extrajudicial killings, sa mga pananalitang patayin sila na galing sa mga bibig ng makapangyarihan? Nandiyan pa rin ang kasamaan ng pagwawalang kibo o indifference sa kahirapan ng iba; para kami maligtas, itinataboy ang mga dayuhan, itinataboy ang mga hinihinalang may virus dahil sila ay nasa frontline na tulungan ang mga tao sa mga ospital at mga tindahan! When we see the cross let us beat our breasts and be sorry for the great inhumanity that is happening around us. Ganito kabigat ang kasamaan.

    But the whole picture changes when we see that Jesus is on the cross. Ginamit ng Diyos ang kasamaan ng tao – dinanas o na experience niya ang kasamaan ng tao upang ipaabot sa atin ang kanyang kabutihan – na ganoon niya tayo kamahal. He underwent the depth of human cruelty to tell us that he will not leave us. Hindi niya tayo iiwan. Ano man ang mangyari nandiyan siya. Kasama natin siya. As we have heard in our second reading: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way.” (Heb. 4:15) In fact he experienced such suffering and cruelty that none of us has ever experienced.

    But we are saved not just by the pains that Jesus suffered. Being a punishment for lowly criminals, the Romans had been crucifying thousands of people at the time of Jesus. None of these people crucified saved us, although they suffered the same or even worse pains than Jesus had. Bakit ang pagkapako kay Jesus ang nakapagligtas sa atin? Oo, dahil wala siyang kasalanan. Hindi siya nagbabayad sa kanyang pagkakamali. Pero sa libo-libong pinako sa krus ng mga Romano, siguradong marami din diyan ay walang kasalanan, tulad ng sa mga libo-libong pinatay ng bitay o ng EJK, marami din sa kanila ay walang kasalanan.

    Naligtas tayo ni Jesus dahil tinanggap niya ang pagkapako sa krus dahil sa pagmamahal. Pagmamahal sa Ama, that he was obedient unto death, and death on the cross. Hindi ba ito ang kanyang paulit-ulit na dasal sa Hardin ng Gethsemani: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." (Mt. 26:39)

    Si Jesus na nasa krus ay tanda ng Pagmamahal sa atin. Narinig natin kanina sa unang pagbasa: “We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.” (Isa. 53:6) St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome: “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) Hindi lang sa namatay siya dala-dala ang ating kasalanan. Namatay siya sa atin noong kaaway pa natin siya, noong nasa kasalanan pa tayo. Hindi naman siya namatay dahil mabuting tao tayo. Namatay siya noong nasa kasalanan pa tayo, at kahit na patuloy tayo sa ating pagkakasala, patuloy pa rin ang pag-aalay niya ng sarili niya sa atin. So, our sinfulness should not be a reason to keep us away from Jesus. Our sins should be the reason to bring us back to God, because as Jesus taught: “I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Lk. 15:7)

    Kaya ng mga kapatid, kapag nakita natin ang krus, magalit tayo sa kasalanan. We should have that hatred for sin, that none tolerance for evil. Ganyan kasama ang kasalanan. Kapag nakita natin si Jesus na nakapako sa krus, yakapin natin siya – ganyan niya tayo kamahal!

    Sa Pilipino ang tawag natin sa Biernes Santo ay Mahal na Araw. Sa araw na ito pinakikita sa atin ng Diyos gaano tayo kamahal. Mahal tayo, mahalaga tayo. Ang halaga natin ay ang dugo ng Diyos na naging tao. Mahal tayo, mahalaga tayo, mahal tayo ng Diyos. Iniibig tayo, ang bawat isa sa atin, ng Diyos mismo. My dear people of God, we are loved, and loved so much, by no one else than by Jesus himself, Jesus the Son of God!

    To believe in God is not just to believe that there is a God. Even the devil believes in the existence of God, and he trembles before him. To believe in God is to believe that God loves us. Thinks about that. God loves you. (pause) He loves you so much that he gave you his son. And Jesus loves you so much that he gives his life for you, and on the cross!

    Seen from this perspective of Jesus on the cross, let us not doubt the love of God, even in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ginagamit din ng Diyos ang pandemic na ito upang ipaabot sa atin ang kanyang pag-ibig tulad ng ginamit niya ang krus upang ipadama sa atin na mahalaga tayo para sa kanya. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even the cross, not oven the corona virus!

    Spend the rest of this day being aware of Jesus’ love for you. Spend some time in front of the crucifix. Gaze on it lovingly and pray softly but deeply…. Thank you Jesus, for loving me so much! (RCAM-AOC)

  • Frontliners honored in Holy Thursday Celebration


    Frontliners who represent different sectors, which are at the forefront of the battle against corona virus, were honored during the Holy Thursday Celebration at the Manila Cathedral on April 9, 2020. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila washed the feet of representatives from the Health care sector, law enforcement sector, Media sector and the auxiliary services sector.

    Among those whose feet Bishop Pabillo washed were Roland Solis (Driver) and Sharon Joy Isla (media practitioner); Dr. Aileen Rotor (doctor); and Lt. Col. Rowena Acosta (police officer).

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila washes the feet of Lt. Col. Rowena Acosta during the washing of the feet at the Manila Cathedral on Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

    The Washing of the Feet is part of the Liturgy of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It is the commemoration of the Jesus's Last Supper where he also washed the feet of his apostles, reminding the faithful that as disciples of Christ we are called to serve others in the spirit of humility.

    The Bishop recognized the sacrifices that the frontliners are making in the battle to fight the pandemic COVID-19 that has already taken many lives in the country and around the world.

    In his homily, he also gave emphasis to the desire of the faithful to receive the body and blood of Christ. But because of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, they are forced to stay in their homes and participate in the Holy Week liturgy of the Church via online streaming.

    Like the Filipino frontliners who serve their fellow countrymen, according to Bishop Pabillo, the faithful can be in communion with the Lord through the services they offer to one another in their homes.

    “My dear friends, we cannot be at the Lord’s table tonight because of the corona virus but we can still accept the Lord in our lives through that deep desire to receive him by our spiritual communion and surely we can live the Eucharist in our lives by serving one another, washing each other’s home, each other’s feet in our homes,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    In 2019, former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle washed the feet of 12 young people in light of the celebration of the Year of the Youth. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • May our Hunger for Jesus make us eager to go to Mass again and Receive Holy Communion


    At the Holy Mass during the Celebration of the Lord's Supper last April 9, 2020, which was livestreamed from The Manila Cathedral, His Excellency Broderick S. Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila meditated on “living” the Holy Mass.

    The Bishop pointed out the irony of this year’s celebrations of Holy Thursday of Lord's Last Supper in the midst of the COVID-1. The mass is celebrated that people may partake of the Lord’s Body, as embodied by the Holy Eucharist, and yet because of the pandemic the faithful are not be able to receive Holy Communion, instead they receive Jesus through a spiritual communion.

    "Tonight, the Lord Jesus gives his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk and we cannot receive communion. This is really very extraordinary. The situation itself, itong sitwasyon na bumabalot sa atin hindi sana maging dahilan ng galit o kaya ng kalungkutan kundi maging dahilan ng malaking pananabik – tatanggapin kita Panginoon sa Banal na Komunyon sa lalong madaling pagkakataon," he said.

    File Photo: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    This also enables the faithful to be eager in receiving Jesus in Holy Eucharist, allowing the faithful to welcome Jesus in their weary hearts, the Bishop stated. Especially when the opportunity comes that there is an immediate chance to receive Him again. In the meantime, the bishop encourages the faithful to do spiritual communion.

    "’Ngunit ngayon, ngayong gabi pumasok ka sa aking puso. Alam kong mahal mo ako ibinigay mo ang sarili mo sa akin. Halika ka na pumasok ka sa buhay ko’. Ito sana ang pananabik natin sa Panginoon sa gabing ito," he added.

    Bishop Pabillo appealed to the faithful that the Holy Mass, which the faithful participate online, should not be perceived as a "source of entertainment." Instead, allowing it to be a source of inspiration to live out good deeds for one another.

    "Yes, the Holy mass is the offering of Jesus, but this too is the offering of each one of us. We do not just attend the Mass as we are attending a concert. Hindi lang natin ito pinanonood tulad ng pinanood ninyo ang online Mass. We do not just participate in the Mass by being there in the Mass. Not even just by answering the prayers and singing the songs. We live the Mass. Hindi lang pinanonood, hindi lang nakikiisa, isinasabuhay natin ang Banal na Misa," the bishop said.

    Since families are confined in their homes, the prelate is encouraging the faithful by doing "acts of service" that focus on living love through compassion like Jesus did.

    "In this way, we live the Mass. In these days, you cannot participate in the Mass in the church but you can live the Mass in your homes by living your acts of service with love just as Jesus did," he said.

    Bishop Pabillo also pointed out that even the small acts of service in the house hold, disregarding any position, rank or seniority, one is able to live out the Mass as exemplified by Jesus.

    "Nakikiisa tayo, isinasabuhay natin ang Misa kapag nag-se-serve tayo sa isa’t isa. Gaano man kataas ang posisiyon natin kahit na gaano man kababa ang ating pag-se-serve na iyan – paghuhugas kaya ng plato, pagwawalis ng bahay, pagpupunas ng lamesa o pagbibili ng mga patis at mga gulay. Yang service na iyan, yan po ang pagsasabuhay natin ng Banal na Misa," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during the online Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Manila Cathedral on April 9, 2020, at 10 a.m.


    It is very ironic we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Mass, the institution of the Holy Mass and yet most of the Christians can only watch it online.

    Tonight, the Lord Jesus gives his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk and we cannot receive communion. This is really very extraordinary. The situation itself, ito ang sitwasyon ay bumubuo ng atin hindi sana maging dahilan ng galit o kaya ng kalungkutan kundi maging dahilan ng malaking pananabik – tatanggapin kita Panginoon sa Banal na Komunyon sa lalong medaling pagkakataon. Ngunit ngayon, ngayong gabi pumasok ka saaking puso. Alam kong mahal mo ako ibinigay mo ang sarili mo sa akin. Halika ka na pumasok ka sa buhay ko. Ito sana ang pananabik natin sa Panginoon sa gabing ito.

    With this celebration this evening, we start the sacred Paschal Triduum. Big words. We know sacred which means holy, we know Triduum this means three days. So, this would be today, tomorrow and Saturday evening. The key word here is paschal. It comes from past translated in Tagalog Pascua. This word comes from the Hebrew - “Pesah” meaning the crossing over.


    This is a celebration of the crossing over or the passing over of the angel of death on the houses of the Hebrews while they celebrate the meal of their liberation. Kumakain sila sa loob ng bahay ng nilitsong kordero o tupa. Ang dugo nito ay nangawisik sa kanilang mga pintuan. Naligtas sila hindi sila namatayana habang sa lahat ng bahay ng mga Ehipsiyano ay may panganay na anak na namatay.

    The passing over also refers to the Hebrew people’s passing over o pagtawid sa dagat sagisag ng pagtawid nila sa pagkaalipin patungo sa kalayaan. Pero sa ating mga kristiyano, Passover is the crossing of Jesus from this life to the life of the resurrection which is not just a restoration to life but a coming to new life. Ito rin ang karanasan natin ng bawat isa sa atin sa pagtawid natin mula sa kasalanan tungo sa bagong buhay bilang mga anak ng Diyos nung tyo ay bininyagan. We were divinized because of Baptism. Living a life of the children of God.

    We will be undergoing this crossing over these three days. Today, we are celebrating in this suffer the meal that Jesus instituted as the memorial of his death and resurrection. It is a memorial not a souvenir. A memorial because it is a participation in a sacrifice, death and resurrection. Hindi lang ito isang alaala isang souvenir, ito’y pakikisa. We do this in obedience to what he said, “Do this in memory of me.” Tomorrow, this offering will be actualized in his offering of himself on the cross. On Saturday evening, the crossing over from this life to his death to a new life will be completed with his resurrection.

    Ito po ang buod ng ating pagiging Kristiyano – ang pakikiisa natin kay Hesus sa kanyang kamatayan tungo sa bagong buhay na ibinibigay niya sa atin.

    In the First Reading, we heard the origin for the Paschal Meal. The first Paschal Meal that the Jews celebrated as they awaited their salvation from slavery. In the Second Reading, we heard the earliest account of the Last Supper which is found in the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. He clearly said that he himself received this tradition that they were then doing. So, it was handed over by the apostles and being practiced by the Christians since the Last Supper of the Lord. Jesus transformed the yearly Paschal Meal of the Jews giving him new meaning. It is no longer partaking of the meal of the lamb. Siya na ang Kordero ng Diyos ang tinapay na naging kanyang laman ay siya ngayong pinagsasaluhan natin. Naligtas tayo sa kasamaan hindi na ng dugo ng isang hayop kundi ng dugo ni Hesus sa pamamagitan ng alak na ating iniinom. Since the Last Supper of Jesus up to this time we keep the memorial of the Lord every time we go to the Holy Mass whenever we celebrate tis then, we are one with all the billions of Christians ahead of us who have partaken of this sacrifice in the past two thousand years and with the rest of the Christians who will come after us until the Lord comes again. Kaya wag nating isipin ang Misa bilang Misa ko lang o Misa lang ng aming parokya. Ang bawat Misa ay Misa ng buong Simbahan mula kay Hesus hanngang saw akas ng panahon.

    Yes, the Holy mass is the offering of Jesus but this too, is the offering of each one of us. We do not just attend the Mass as we are attending a concert. Hindi lang natin ito pinanonood tulad ng pinanood ninyo ang online Mass. We do not just participate in the Mass by being there in the Mass. Not even just by answering the prayers and singing the songs. We live the Mass. Hindi lang pinanonood, hindi lang nakikiisa, isinasabuhay natin ang Banal na Misa.

    All the four gospels have the narration of the Last Supper. But in the Gospel of John, there is no narration of the Institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper account. We have instead, chance account in the Gospel and we have heard it proclaimed just now. Instead of the Institution of the Mass, he has the narration of the washing of the Feet of his disciples. This is found only in John at tulad ng utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng pag-aalay ng tinapay at alak na ptuloy natin itong gawin, ganun din ang utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng paghugas ng mga paa.

    I have given you a model to follow so that what I have done for you, you should also do. At tulad na-conscious na conscious si Hesus ng kanyang kinuha ang tinapay at ginawang pagkain na pinakain sa atin, ganun din, conscious na conscious si Hesus sng paghugas ng paa ng kanyang mga alagad.

    Ulitin ko ang aking narinig kanina, “Fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper took off his outer garments, he a towel and tied it around his waist.” Alam ni Hesus ang kanyang karangalan. Alam niya ang kanyang kapangyarihan. Alam niya na galling siya sa Ama ngunit nagpakababa siya. Ginawa niya ang gawain ng inaka-abang alipin – ang paghuhugas ng paa ng mga bisita. At ito ang pinagagawa niya sa atin – lowly service, this makes us great. This is the way we live the Mass.

    Ang paghuhugas ng paaangkatumbas para kay John ng pagbibigay ng kanyang laman at dugo sa atin. Nakikiisa tayo sa Misa hindi lang kapag sinusunod natin ang utos niyang kainin ang kanyang katawan at inumin ang kanyang dugo. Nakikiisa tayo, isinasabuhay natin ang Misa kapag nag-se-serve tayo sa isa’t isa. Ano man katas ang posisiyon natin kahit na gaano man kababa an gating pag-se-serve na iyan – paghuhugas kaya ng plato, pagwawalis ng bahay, pagpupunas ng lamesa o pagbibili ng mga patis at mga gulay. Yang service na iyan, yan po ang pagsasabuhay natin ng Banal na Misa.

    Kaya ngayong gabi, isasadula natin we will dramatize once again the Washing of the feet. At ito po ay may pinili tayo na mga iilan na kumakatawan sa mga taong nagse-serve sa atin na siyang paghugasan natin ng paa. Ang aking driver na si Roland na kumakatawan sa mga…in service; si Sharon na nagse-serve sa atin sa TV Maria na siya po ay kumakatawan sa media na nagpapadala sa atin ng maraming mga balita at nakikiisa sa atin sa mga pagdiriwang; si Rowena na isang pulis na patuloy na nagse-serve nagbibigay ng kaayusan sa ating mga komunidad; si Aileen na isang doctor na alam natin na tinataya ang kanilang buhay para po sa pagpapagaling ng mga may sakit. Mga frontliners natin sila at sila’y naglilingkod sa atin at sila po yung paglilingkuran natin.

    Not only do we do this - to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion or to serve others even in a lowly way but we do this with love. It is love that gives meaning to our communion. Let us be…not to receive communion just out of habbit na hindi na napapansin kung sino ang tinatanggap natin si Hesus ito. Hindi lang ito isang ostiya na sinusubo natin. Tanggapin natin siya ng may pagmamahal at pananabik. Ganun din ang ating pages-serve, wag nating gawin ng padabog o kaya napipilitan lang. Gawin natin ito ng may pag-ibig at hindi lang pag-ibig sa ating magulang o kapatid na pinaglilingkuran ngunit pag-ibig kay Hesus. O how differently we would do our service if we realize if we do it for the Lord Jesus.

    In this way, we live the Mass. In these days, you cannot participate in the Mass in the church but you can live the Mass in your homes by living your acts of service with love just as Jesus did.

    You have heard in the Gospel before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his hour have come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. Sabi natin kanina, na-conscious si Hesus sa kanyang kalagayan. Kaya conscious siya sa kanyang Passover –to pass from this word to the Father. Ito ang maganda, he loved his own in the world and he loved them up to the end.

    Ginawa ni Hesus ito, itong paghugas ng paa, itong pag-aalay ng kanyang katawan at dugo, itong pagbibigay niya ng sarili sa kamatayan because of his love and he loved them up to the end not only the end as chronology hanggang sa wakas ng kanyang buhay. Ngunit to the end which also means fully, completely binuhos niya ang lahat sa pag-ibig na ito.  He loved his own to the end kasama dito si Hudas. Hinugasan din ni Hesus ang paa ni Hudas tulad ng ibinigay din ni Hesus ang kanayang katawan at dugo kay Hudas. This is good news for us. Baka sabihin kasi ng ilan sa atin, oo,mahal ni Hesus ang mga alagad niya. Kasama ba ako diyan? Marami akong kasalanan. Matagal na akong nakalimot sa kanya. Kasama ang bawat isa sa atin na minamahal ni Hesus hanggang saw akas. Sinasama niya si Hudas na alam niyang magtra-traydor sa kanya.

    Yes, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Surely not our sins. He indeed gave himself because of our sins. Huwag lang sana tayong magpaka-Hudas na tanggihan ang kanyang alok na lumapit sa kanya. Si Hudas ay hudas. Hindi dahil sa nagtraydor siya kay Hesus. Siya ay Hudas dahil ayaw niyang maniwala na kahit nagtraydor siya mahal pa rin siya ni Hesus.

    My dear friends, we cannot be at the Lord’s table tonight because of the corona virus but we can still accept the Lord in our lives through that deep desire to receive him by our spiritual communion and surely we can live the Eucharist in our lives by serving one another, washing each other’s home, each other’s feet in our homes.

    After the Last Super, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked and even pleaded with his disciples to pray with him at least for an hour. We express this desire to be with Jesus in our Visita Iglesia which again we cannot do now. But can we not stay with the Lord for an hour of prayer tonight after this online Mass? Makiisa tayo sa kanya sa ating dasal. Manahimik tayo, magdasal tayo ng rosaryo, magdasal ng Bibliya. Just stay with him to watch and pray with him. Damdamin natin sa ating puso ang bigat ng damdamin ni Hesus sa pagharap ng kanyang kahirapan. Napakaraming kahirapan ng mundo na dalhin din natin sa Ama sa gabing ito. Isa-isang banggitin natin mga ito sa ating mga dasal at tulad ng dasal ni Hesus, ito din sana ang dasal natin nagyong gabi, Äma mangyari ang iyong kalooban.” (RCAM-AOC)

  • Corona virus kills more elderly because of loneliness and abandonment--Vatican


    “Let us join in prayer for grandparents and the elderly around the world. Let us gather around them with our thoughts and hearts, and when possible, let’s act, so that they be not alone."

    The Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has issued through its website a letter inviting the Catholic Church to pray for the elders and assist them with their needs during this worldwide outbreak of corona virus. More importantly, the faithful are encouraged to express maternal caress to each of them. The letter entitled “In loneliness, the coronavirus kills more” was issued on April 7, 2020.

     


    "Our concerns and grateful thoughts go out to [the elderly] today, to return at least a little of that tenderness with which each of us has been accompanied in life, and that the maternal caress of the Church reach each of them,” according to the letter.

     “Loneliness can be a disease, but with charity, closeness, and spiritual comfort we can heal it,” quoting the Holy Father, Pope Francis, The Dicastery expressed that the elders’ mental health should be one of its focus in facing the corona virus pandemic such as triggering loneliness, and a feeling of abandonment.”

     "It is important to do everything possible to remedy this condition of abandonment”. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, it carries on by “this could mean saving lives.” they added.”

    With the limitation to conduct a visit to our loved ones during the imposition of lockdown and home quarantine as well as social distancing, according to the Dicastery, the faithful recognize the use of modern technology and communication platforms to be used in order for them to reach out to their loved ones, especially the elder people.

    "We must devote new energies to defend the elderly from this storm, just as each of us has been protected and cared for in the small and large storms of our lives," the dicastery said. "We cannot leave the elderly alone, because in solitude the coronavirus kills more," the Dicastery wrote.

    The Vatican office also urged families and the lay faithful to recognize the efforts of those who assist the elderly in the residential facilities with their tireless sacrifices. According to the Dicastery, “Saving the lives of the elderly who live within residential homes or who are alone or sick, is a priority as much as saving any other person”. This is affirmed by an excerpt of the Supreme Pontiff saying, "the elderly are the present and the tomorrow of the Church.” (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Caritas Manila: P 1 billion worth of Aid to 4 million poor families


    The Oplan Damayan of Caritas Manila have reached P1 billion worth of gift certificates to urban impoverished households living within the National Capital Region area as well as nearby provinces.

    During Radyo Veritas and Caritas Manila Alay-Kapwa Telethon, Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, announced that the church-based organization has already released P 1.07 billion gift certificates to 633 parishes from the Dioceses of Cubao, Parañaque, Kalookan, Novaliches, Antipolo (Rizal), San Pablo (Laguna), Malolos (Bulacan), Pasig, and the Archdiocese of Manila.

    Photo Credit: Caritas Manila Facebook Page

     
    According to Fr. Pascual, their continuous monitoring of the relief operations yielded a record of more than 813,557 urban families (or 4,069, 285 individual family members) that were helped by the Caritas Manila's Oplan Damayan.

    The gift certificates were donated by Oplan Ugnayan, a group of businessmen, headed by Jaime Zobel de Ayala, who came together to bring aid, especially to the poor who are the most affected by COVID-19.

    Caritas Manila initiated the collaboration between different organizations to make the distribution fast and efficient while at the same time complaint to the social distancing rule that is being strictly implemented. The organization tapped the parishes of different dioceses to implement the distribution. It also coordinated with the local barangays to help facilitate the on-ground distribution and identify poor families in their respective jurisdictions.

    Here is the summary of Caritas Manila's aid distribution operation:

    NO. Of Arch/ Dioceses: 10

    NO. Of Parishes Participating: 633

    NO. Of GCs released 1, 078, 212, 500

    NO. Of families targeted 1, 078, 213

    NO. OF ACTUAL POOR FAMILIES GCs RECEIVED: 813, 557 ( 81%)

    NO. OF FAMILY MEMBERS BENEFITED: 4, 069, 285

     

    Breakdown:

    1. Archdiocese of Manila

    309,912,500 GCs distributed to Parishes

    300, 564 GCs received by poor families

     

    2. Diocese of Caloocan

    197, 500,000 GCs distributed to parishes

    117, 894 GCs received ng poor families

     

    3. Diocese of Novaliches

    109, 300,000 GCs distributed to parishes

    109, 154 GCs receivd received by poor families

     

    4. Diocese of Imus

    88, 100, 000 GCs distributed to parishes

    76, 110 GCs received by poor families

     

    5. Diocese of Antipolo

    85, 400,000 GCs distributed to parishes

    85, 164 GCs received by poor families

     

    6. Diocese of Parañaque

    77, 000,000 GCs distributed by parishes

    19,600 GCs received by poor families

     

    7. Diocese of Cubao

    66,000,000 GCs received by parishes

    25,001 GC received by poor families

     

    8. Diocese of Pasig

    60,000,000 GCs distributed by parishes

    30, 565 GCs received by poor families

     

    9. Diocese of San Pablo

    50,000,000 GCs distributed by parishes

    31,400 GCs received by poor families

     

    10. Diocese of Malolos

    35, 000,000 GCs distributed by parishes

    18, 405 GCs received by poor families

     

    Fr. Pascual assured the public that Caritas Manila, with the help of different church networks, will intensify the distribution of Manna gift packs, LIGTAS COVID kits and gift certificates to families affected by COVID-19 in the coming days as the enhanced community quarantine is extended until the end of April 2020. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Online Visita Iglesia: Continuing Catholic Holy Week Tradition amidst distance and COVID-19


    In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak where people are limited in their homes, the faithful can still participate in various Holy Week activities via online—masses, recollections, prayers. And there is also the “Visita Iglesia Online.”

    According to CBCPNews, “Visita Iglesia Online is a tool for Catholics under coronavirus quarantine to connect with their faith from even the furthest pew.” For nine years now, it has been helping the Filipinos abroad to keep their faith alive, especially during Holy Week.

    Photo from CBCPNews Website

    Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, Media Director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, invites the faithful to make use of the Holy Week online portal especially that the enhanced community quarantine was extended until the end of April 2020.

    “Today, when everybody is in quarantine and all liturgy in physical churches are closed to people, Visita Iglesia continues to be a portal for online retreats, catechesis, and liturgical celebrations,” he said.

    Msgr. Quitorio also added the portal allows one to pray the “pasyon”, Stations of the Cross, virtually visit churches, and attend streamed liturgical celebrations. The “website was originally intended for Filipinos living in non-Catholic countries and those who are sick or homebound and not as substitute to the liturgical activities done on parishes,” according to the Monsignor.

    “Since 2011, online Visita Iglesia has been serving Filipinos in foreign countries, where going to physical church or parish was difficult or impossible… It also helped Filipino seafarers, the sick and those who, for one reason or another, could not make it to churches during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter,” he added.

    In 2019, the CBCP Media Office has released a Spotify podcast on the Way of the Cross and the Holy Rosary. Spotify users can play the audio prayers in both English and Filipino versions for free. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Pope Francis initiates a COVID-19 Emergency Fund


    His Holiness Pope Francis established a COVID-19 emergency fund at the Pontifical Mission Societies. This was the statement released by the Agenzia Fides on April 6, 2020.
    Pope Francis initiates a COVID-19 Emergency Fund

    According to the statement, the funds initiated by the Supreme Pontiff will go directly to “mission countries” through the Church’s “structures and institutions” and the revenue generated in the emergency fund will be used as an “aid of those people and communities who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19”.

    Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass on April 5, 2020, at St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy. l Screenshot from EWTN’s live streaming


    Aside from establishing the emergency fund, the Pope also contributed an initial 750,000 USD. He also appealed to Church institutions and individuals to donate through the Pontifical Mission Societies in every country.

    Archbishop Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies stated that while the goal of the emergency fund is to assist the missionary territories of the Church, it is also a way to express the presence of the Church to her people, that Church be able to show love and compassion whenever people would feel alone and abandoned.

    "This fund has the aim of supporting the presence of the Church in mission territories, which also suffers the consequences of Corona Virus. Through the Church’s activity of preaching the Gospel and of practical aid through our vast network, we can show that no one is alone in this crisis. In this sense, the Church’s institutions and ministers play a vital role. This is the Holy Father’s intention in establishing this fund. While so many are suffering, we remember and reach out to those who may have no one to care for them, thus showing forth the love of God the Father," the Archbishop said.

    He also encouraged the Pontifical Mission Societies in every country, alongside their respective dioceses, to support this initiative.

    He expressed his invitation, “I call upon our network of Pontifical Mission Societies, present in every diocese around the world, to do what they can to support this important initiative of the Holy Father."

    Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, affirmed the initiative of the Holy Father that the formation of an emergency fund is a preparation for any circumstances that might come as the Church faces threats such as the coronavirus pandemic.

    "In her task of evangelization, the Church is often on the front lines of major threats to human well-being. In Africa alone, there are over 74,000 religious sisters and over 46,000 priests operating 7,274 hospitals and clinics, 2,346 homes for elderly and the vulnerable, and educating over 19 million children in 45,088 primary schools. In many rural areas they are the only providers of healthcare and education. The Holy Father is calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead," the Cardinal said.

    The Pontifical Mission Societies, known in some countries as Missio, is a Catholic worldwide network of missionary animation and cooperation that is under the canonical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. 

    Contributions can be made via bank wire transfer to: IT84F0200805075000102456047 (SWIFT UNCRITMM) for: Amministrazione Pontificie Opere Missionarie, indicating: Fund Corona-Virus (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Holy Week during COVID-19 a time to Rediscover the Essence of the Lord's Passion


    "We welcome him today. Let us continue to welcome him. He comes simply without any fanfare in our day to day lives. We recognize him in the ordinariness of our lives even when we are under quarantine, He still comes to us in the ordinariness of our lives. It’s good to pause and see, how is the Lord coming to us during these days?"

    This was the message of Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, in his homily for the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion at the Manila Cathedral, on April 5, 2020. The Bishop reflected on the unique and meaningful celebration of the Holy Week in the Philippines and different countries worldwide.

    "Patuloy pa rin ang Semana Santa. Maaaring kakaiba ang gagawin natin pero ipagdiriwang pa ito kasama ng buong Simbahan sa buong mundo. In the Philippines and in many parts of the world, yes, we will miss the externalities of the activities. This may be a good chance for us to go into the essence and the meaning of what we are doing," he said. 


    Bishop Pabillo is hopeful that the faithful may appreciate the real value of the Easter Triduum, since in the past the faithful are more preoccupied with the externalities of the Holy Week activities that Filipinos are used to participate in.

    “Ang mga panlabas na gawain at mga gayak ay maaaring magpahayag ng kahulugan, pero ito’y maaari ring magtago ng malalim na meaning ng ginagawa natin. Maaaring maging abala tayo sa panlabas na gawain at naging busy ito na gawin ito nang maayos na nawalan tayo ng panahon na usisain, 'Bakit ba natin ginagawa ang ginagawa natin?'” he said.

    The Bishop added that these celebrations must also take into account the deeper and more optimistic perspective amidst the threats of the corona virus pandemic.

    “Yes, why do we do what we do? What is the meaning of all these activities? Now that we cannot do the externalities, we can delve deeper into the meaning of what we are celebrating. There is always a bright side in what is happening, even in this COVID pandemic,” the bishop said.

    The bishop affirmed that this is a time for the faithful to open their doors to Christ without the luster and grandeur, instead a moment to contemplate the simplicity of life during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • The Lord’s Suffering Should wake us from Indifference and Inconsistency


    Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila meditated on the Lord’s Passion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic with the invitation for people to take part and help those who are in need. This was during the Online Palm Sunday Mass held at the Manila Cathedral on April 5, 2020 and was broadcasted via different platforms

    "Jesus was able to undergo his passion, his suffering because of his passion for us is great love. Without this great passion, this great love he will not be able to endure that passion, that suffering for us," he said.


    The Bishop explained that this suffering allows oneself to be moved with compassion because of the great love Jesus gave to humankind by offering His life on the Holy Cross.

    "As we hear the story of his suffering and death, let us be moved by his great passion – his love for us. Nagdusa siya ng lubos kasi lubos ang pagmamahal niya sa atin," he added.

    Bishop Pabillo contrasted the Gospel of the procession of Palm Sunday and the Gospel of the Liturgy of the Word of Passion Sunday. He pointed out the contrast of the two Gospels that highlights a striking contradiction, from Jesus being welcomed and at the same time being betrayed and led to His death.

    "Hindi ba malaki ang contrast? Nagsimula tayong masaya at pinupugayan siya at kinikilala siya at nagtapos tayong iniinsulto at pinatay siya." the bishop said. "This contrast pictures us. There are times that we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. We are happy that he is around. These are the times when we pray, go to Mass, sing his praises but as suddenly we turn our backs to him, insult him, make him suffer. This we do when we sinned. This we do when we don’t follow his commands. This we do when we cause sufferings to others."

    The invitation to the faithful, according to Bishop Pabillo, is to recognize their our shortcomings and the lack of consistency in living out our faith. Moreover, may the awareness and gratefulness to the immense love of Jesus for us make us steadfast and faithful amidst the trials that come.

    "His suffering should lead us to sorrow and should lead us to gratitude. Sorrow for our sins, for our indifference. And gratitude for his great love and solidarity with us," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Pope names new bishop of Jolo


    Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Charlie Inzon of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate as the apostolic vicar of the Jolo vicariate in Sulu province.
     

    The 54-year-old priest is currently the provincial superior of the OMI in the Philippines.

    The appointment was made public in Rome on Saturday at 12 noon (6:00 p.m. in Manila).

     
    Bishop-elect Charlie Inzon of Jolo. l Photo Credit: CBCPNews


    The vicariate has been without a bishop after Angelito Lampon was named archbishop of Cotabato in November 2018.

    Since January 2019, the ecclesial jurisdiction has been under the temporary care of Fr. Romeo Saniel, OMI, as its administrator.

    An apostolic vicariate is a local Church that has not yet been established as a diocese.  Its administration is assigned to the apostolic vicar or apostolic who governs it in the name of the Pope.

    Born in Putiao, Sorsogon on Nov. 24, 1965, the bishop-elect entered the OMI in 1982 and made his perpetual profession on Sept. 8, 1990.

    Inzon studied Philosophy at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City and Theology at the Loyola School of Theology (LST) of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU).

    He was ordained a priest on April 24, 1993 in Coloocan City.

    After his ordination, he held the following positions:

    1993-1995: Chaplain of Notre Dame College, Jolo

    1995-1998: Person in charge of the mission station of Batu-Batu in Tawi-Tawi

    1998-1999: Parish Vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Bangong Barrio, Caloocan City

    1999-2000: Parish vicar of Sto. Niño Parish, Madsayap, Cotabato

    2000-2007: Director of the O.M.I. College Seminary, Quezon City

    2007-2010: Research Director of Notre Dame College, in Jolo

    2008-2010: Chaplain of Notre Dame College, Jolo

    2009-2010: Dean of the Graduate School of Notre Dame College, Jolo

    2010-2014: President of Notre Dame College, Jolo

    2014-2018: President of Notre Dame University, Cotabato

    Inzon also holds a master’s degree in theology from LST and a doctorate in psychology from the ADMU.

    The bishop-elect has been serving as OMI’s provincial superior since 2018. (CBCPNews)

  • Caritas Manila aids 3 Million Families affected by COVID-19


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, had aided 3 million households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under the 10 dioceses of the Mega Manila Area.

    As of April 4, 2020, Oplan Damayan has already assisted 3, 258, 995, families. This is according to Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila.

    The families received P1,000 gift certificates, Ligtas COVID kits and Manna gift packs.



    Fr. Pascual, who is also the president of Radio Veritas, stated that the 631 Parishes under the 10 dioceses of Mega Manila have a huge role in responding to the needs of the community affected by the enhanced community quarantine.  Through these parishes, P999, 112, 500 worth of gift certificates was able to reach 651, 799 families.

    Fr. Pascual also expressed his utmost gratitude to those who partnered with Caritas Manila's Oplan Damayan, specifically Oplan Ugnayan, which is consisted of business men who came together to bring aid, especially to the poor who are the most affected by the community quarantine. They donated 1.2 billion worth of gift certificates that was entrusted to Caritas Manila for the distribution to poor families.

    Due to the massive impact of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, Fr. Pascual continues to appeal for donations that they may to continue extending help and assistance to those in need.

    On April 6, 2020, Caritas Manila and Radio Veritas conducted "Damay Kapanalig" Alay COVID telethon from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm. The event aims to invite more people to pledge monetary support to help the poor and the needy.

    In his message, Fr. Pascual invited everyone to join in the telethon to help other people and together win the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. (Fatima Llanza and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Vicariate of Espiritu Santo Social Com: from Church Media to Church Outreach


    In these trying times of COVID-19 pandemic that has disturbed us much, we have witnessed how the world of Social Media is not just a world of fake news, trolls, and memes, but also can become a world of kindness that promotes piety and acts of charity that could lead people to conversion and involvement, to making this world a better place to live in.

    As Social Communicators of the Church, we are called not just to "like and share" good news; we are called to be the GOOD NEWS today! With our mission to spread the Good News through means of communications, commonly done these days through social media, we are also called to do more.  In these trying times, we are impelled to act as the Good News, to be the Good News. 

    Vicariate of Espiritu Santo Social Communications Ministry conducts an outreach program for those who are affected by the enhanced community quarantine during COVID-19 outbreak l Photo Credit: Eijay Valerio de Paz/Vicariate Coordinator - Vicariate of Espiritu Santo Social Communications Ministry

     

    And as a sign of humble response to the needs of our brethren, the Vicariate of Espiritu Santo Social Communications Ministry organized an outreach program to feed those who are homeless and are presently housed at Espiritu Santo Parochial School under the Safe Shelter Project. The ministry was able to provide packed lunch, toiletries, and some biscuits not just to those who are accommodated at the school but also to the school support staff and even to some volunteers of the Kalinga Foundation.

    As once said by a noble saint, Mother Teresa: “Not all of us can do GREAT things, but we can do small things with GREAT Love”. May this small act of charity bring comfort to these underprivileged. May they always be consoled by the Love of God that surpasses everything. (Eijay Valerio de Paz/Vicariate Coordinator - Vicariate of Espiritu Santo Social Communications Ministry)

     

     

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Palm Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral on April 5, at 10 a.m.


    Today is the start of the Holy Week. This is the most spiritually charged week for us Filipino Catholics. Kakaiba talaga anag Semana Santa para sa atin. At ngayon taon lalong kakaiba ito. We will not be able to do the usual Holy Week activities that we are so familiar with. The palms of Palm Sunday, the Senakulo, the Pabasa ng Pasyon, the Visita Iglesia, the Way of the Cross in our streets, the flagellations in some areas, the procession of Santo Entierro, the solemn celebration of the light on the Easter Vigil, the beautiful Easter Vigil celebrations, and the Salubong. Ang daming mami-miss natin.

     


    This does not mean though that there is no Holy Week. Patuloy pa rin ang Semana Santa. Maaaring kakaiba ang gagawin natin pero ipagdiriwang pa ito kasama ng buong Simbahan sa buong mundo.

    In the Philippines and in many parts of the world, yes, we will miss the externalities of the activities. This may be a good chance for us to go into the essence and the meaning of what we are doing.

    Ang mga panlabas na gawain at mga gayak ay maaaring magpahayag ng kahulugan pero ito’y maaaari ring magtago ng malalim na meaning ng ginagawa natin. Maaaring maging abala tayo sa panlabas na gawain at naging busy tayo na gawin ito ng maaayos na nawalan tayo ng panahon na usisain, bakit ba natin ginagawa ang ginagawa natin?

    Yes, why we do what we do? What is the meaning of all these activities now that we cannot do the externalities, we can delve deeper into the meaning of what we are celebrating? There is always a bright side in what is happening even in this COVID pandemic.

    We open the Holy Week with Palm Sunday. We are so used this Sunday, Palm Sunday that we are not conscious that there is another name for this Sunday and equally meaningful.  This is also called Passion Sunday. It is Passion Sunday because in the Gospel we read the narrative of the Passion of the Lord. The word passion can mean two things in English. It can mean suffering. Does the passion narratives of the Gospels one of which we have just read today that of Matthew are the stories of how Jesus was caught and made to suffer and brought to his death. In all four Gospels, this passion narratives are described in great detail. In fact, they take a disproportionate coverage in the Gospels. For example in the Gospel of Matthew, which has 28 chapters. The Passion narrative which covers only the last two days in the life of Jesus is narrated in two chapters while the whole thirty-three years of Jesus' life is covered in twenty-six chapters. This disproportion tells us how important to the early Christians were the sufferings and death of Jesus. They dwelt a lot on them.

    Furthermore, for us on this Sunday, reading the passion narrative gives us a preview about what will happen to the Lord Jesus and to us during the Holy Week.

    The word passion in English does not only means suffering. It can also mean a strong emotion. A strong impetuous A great love.

    Jesus was able to undergo his passion, his suffering because of his passion for us is great love. Without this great passion, this great love he will not be able to endure that passion, that suffering for us.

    So, as we hear the story of his suffering and death, let us be moved by his great passion – his love for us. Nagdusa siya ng lubos kas lubos ang pagmamahal niya sa atin. In fact, what gives meaning to his suffering is not really the pains that he endured but the great love that he had, that enabled him to bear such pain. He really loved us to the end up to the end of his strengths and of his life.

    Pero balik tayo sa pagtawag nito ng Linggo ng Palaspas. Marami tyong nadinig, paano kaya yan wala tayong palaspas? Di hindi ma-ble-bless and palaspas natin kung meron nga taong palaspas kasi hindi makakapunta dito ngayon ang gumagawa ng mga palaspas na galing sa mga probinsiya. Pero ano baa ng ibig sabihin ng palaspas?

    Narinig natin kanina sa Pagbasa na tuwang tuwa ang mga tao sa pagdating ni Hesus sa Jerusalem na inilagay nila ang mga balabas sa daan ni Hesus, parang red carpet reception. At pumutol sila ng mga saga ay nilagay din sa daan at iwinagayway ang mga ito na nagsisigaw, “Hosanna ang dumadating sa ngalan ng Panginoon.” Kinilala nila siya bilang hari na matagumpay na pumapasok sa kanyang lungsod. Pero kakaiba sa kanila ang pagpasok niya. Kakaiba sa karanasan nila ng mga generals at mga hari na dumadating na ang mga ito’y pinangungunahan ng kanilang mga armadong kawal like a military parade. At sila ay nakasakay sa isang akabayong pandigma o kaya isang magarang chariot. Kakaiba si Hesus. Walang sandata siyang dala ni ang kanyang mga kasama. Nakasakay siya sa isang hayop na pang trabaho at pangkarga – isang asnod. Pero kinilala siya ng mga tao hindi sila natakot na isigaw,ang pagpuri sa Diyos sa pagdating ng taong ito sa ngalan ng Panginoon. Tinanggap nila siya ng buong katuwaan.

    Kaya kung wala tayong palaspas, kahit na anong sanga na may dahon ay pwede nang gamitin. Ang mga sangang ito ay tanda ng ating pag-welcome sa ating Panginoon at pagkilala na siya ang hari natin. Kaya’t pagkatapos ng pagdiriwang ang mga sangang ito ay inilalagay natin sa ating mga altar o sa ating mga pintuan bilang paalaala na welcome si Hesus sa ating abhay at sa ating buhay.

    Pero paaano yun ma-ble-bless? Ang mga sangang yun? Ma-ble-bless yan at na-bless yan ng ating panalangin kanina at ng ating pagbasa ng banal na ebanghelyo. Ang blessing ay hindi lang binibigay ng tubig, binibigay yan ng panalangin at ganun din ng pabasa ng Salita ng Diyos.

    Pero mga kapatid, tignan natin ang contrast. We started the Mass with the reading of the joyful reception of the Lord by the people as he entered the city of Jerusalem then we moved to the reading and they pictured suffering and rejection. In the First Reading, sa aklat ni Iseyas, binunot ang balbas ng lingkod ng Panginoon at dinuduraan siya. Sa Second Reading natin, nagpakababa si Hesus mula sa pagiging Diyos hanggang sa kamatayan at kamatayan sa krus. Ang ating tugon sa ating Salmong Tugunan, “Panginoon, bakit nyo kami kinalimutan? Nasaan ka Panginoon?”  At ang ating mahabang Gospel ay kuwento ng kanyang pagkahuli, pagkaparatang, pagpapakasakit, pagdala ng krus, pagkapako sa krus, at ng kanyang pagkamatay.

    Hindi ba malaki ang contrast? Nagsimula tayong masaya at pinupugayan siya at kinikilala siya at nagtapos tayong iniinsulto at pinatay siya.

    This contrast pictures us. There are times that we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. We are happy that he is around. These are the times when we pray, go to Mass, isng his praises but as suddenly we turn our backs to him, insult him, make him suffer. This we do when we sinned. This we do when we don’t follow his commands. This we do when we cause sufferings to others.

     "So, his suffering should lead us to sorrow and should lead us to gratitude. Sorrow for our sins, for our indifference. And gratitude for his great love and solidarity with us. Let us not mind so much that we are already in the fourth week of the lockdown. Let us not complain, but let us use this silence and inactivity of the lockdown this Holy Week to reflect and to pray. Hanapin natin ang kahulugan ng ating pananampalataya (ngayong Kuwaresma) at hindi ang panlabas na gawain ng mga ito."

    Wala tayong consistency. Sala sa lamig sala sa init. Our love for God is like the morning dew that easily evaporates during the day. My dear friends, should this contrast continue?

    We welcome him today. Let us continue to welcome him. He comes simply without any fanfare in our day to day lives. We recognize him in the ordinariness of our lives even when we are under quarantine. He still comes to us in the ordinariness of our lives. It’s good to pause and see, how is the Lord coming to us during these days?

    And as we will recall this week his great sufferings, let us reflect on the reasons why he suffered so much. Why did he suffer so much?

    Malaki ang kanyang paghihirap kasi malaki ang kasamaan natin. Tayo ang nagpapahirap sa atin. Ang bigat ng ating kasalanan. At malaki ang kanyang pahihirap kasi malaki din ang pag-ibig niya s atin na kahit ganun kasama, dinala niya an gating krus.

    So, his suffering should lead us to sorrow and should lead us to gratitude. Sorrow for our sins, for our indifference. And gratitude for his great love and solidarity with us. Let us not mind so much that we are already in the fourth week of the lockdown. Let us not complain, but let us use this silence and inactivity of the lockdown this Holy Week to reflect and to pray. Hanapin natin ang kahulugan ng ating pananampalataya (ngayong Kuwaresma) at hindi ang panlabas na gawain ng mga ito.

     

    Of course, after four weeks, there are already lots of complaint not only of inconvenience, not only of boredom but even for some because of great need. Baka gutom na ang marami. Let us join all these sufferings to that of Jesus. He loved us so much that he suffered for us. Can we also love him that much in return by offering our sufferings to him and for our brothers and sisters?

    Let us remember that suffering born with love is redemptive. And this is true not only of Jesus suffering but also our suffering in union with him. Ang krus lang ang kahoy na krus ay kahirapan. Ngunit kung si Hesus ay nandoon sa krus, yan po’y kaligtasan. Kaya sa ating mga kahirapan sa mga linggong ito, lalung lalo na ngayong Holy Week na marami tayong ma-mi-miss, ilagay natin si Hesus. At maaaring maging makabuluhan at mapagligtas ang kahirapang yun. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Catholics celebrate “Holy Week at Home"


    The Holy Week is the most spiritually charged time of the year, as described by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Adminstrator of the Archdiocese of Manila. It is very unique from other liturgical season as it is marked by many traditional activities like the singing of the Pasyon, Senakulo, Chrism Mass, Washing of the Feet, Visita Iglesia, Way of the Cross, Veneration of the Cross, Procession of Santo Entierro, Easter Vigil Mass, and Salubong. But due to the corona virus, these are all stripped off from the Holy Week celebration as all are forced to stay at home for the enhanced community quarantine.

    Because of this, Bishop Pabillo pointed out that this year's Holy Week is all the more "extra unique" as it will be celebrated without the presence of congregation in the churches due to the coronavirus pandemic.

     A family stays home on Palm Sunday attending Mass online while holding their palm fronds to be blessed by the priest. l Photo Credit: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     

    This does not mean, however, that Holy Week will be canceled, the bishop said. In his latest Pastoral Instruction entitled "Holy Week at Home" released on April 4, 2020, Bishop Pabillo gives guidelines as to how the faithful can still be able to celebrate a meaningful Holy Week in the context of their homes.

    In this quarantine period when the faithful are confined in their homes, Bishop Pabillo said that they can still participate in Palm Sunday Mass or Passion Sunday by allowing themselves to accept the Lord humbly into their homes through prayers and devotion to Christ.

    "Please tell the people thru social media that they can use any leafy branch instead of palaspas and these are blessed during the prayer and the reading of the Bible during the Sunday celebration. Just put them in front of the TV or laptop or radio during the online mass," Bishop Pabillo told the Archdiocesan Office of Communication in a text message.

    Palm Sunday is the triumphant entry of Jesus in the City of Jerusalem. The faithful welcomed him as a king using palms.

    In the Pastoral Instruction, he mentioned that there will be no celebration of the Chrism Mass. It can be rescheduled when the enhanced community quarantine is lifted. This celebration is where priests renew their promises. The chrism oil is blessed to be used for Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, and oil for the sick.

    The Holy Thursday liturgy will still be held in cathedrals and parishes without the presence of the faithful. The washing of the feet which is the essence of the Last Supper symbolizes humility which Bishop Pabillo said can be done in our homes by the service we give to one another.

    On Good Friday, he appealed to families to take time out from using technology and encouraged them to participate together in the Veneration of the Cross and reflect through prayer and silence.

    “Let us spend Good Friday in prayer and fasting. It would be good to turn off our electronic gadgets the whole day except to participate in the Veneration of the Cross at 3 o’clock or to listen to the Siete Palabras. Let it be a day of prayer and silence. As fasting will cleanse our bodies, silence will cleanse our souls,” he said.

    In the conclusion of the Easter Triduum, The Apostolic Administrator reflected that aside from the continued silence for Holy Saturday, the faithful may follow the Easter Vigil online via live streaming. He encouraged families to celebrate Easter night as a Feast where there are games and meals to be shared.

    “We continue in the spirit of silence and prayer on Holy Saturday. We meditate on the descent of Jesus to the realm of the dead to announce salvation to all the just people who came before him. We then join the Easter Vigil celebration online on that Saturday evening. May this celebration lead us to the passing over from darkness to light, from chaos to the Word, from sin and death to life,” he said.

    In the Archdiocese of Manila, parishes will have their Holy Week liturgies live-streamed through their Facebook pages respectively. Also, the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission (ALC) provided resource materials that may be helpful and other forms of family celebrations for Holy Week as stated in the Pastoral Instruction. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • Manila Seminarian dies from COVID 19


    The Archdiocese of Manila expresses sympathies and condolences to all who passed away due to COVID-19. Archdiocese has lost one of its own as one of its seminarians succumb to the sickness.

    Noeh Lembo, 41 years old and a second-year Theology student from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, died of COVID-19 on April 1, 2020.

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila l File Photo: Eric Paul Guanlao/RCAM-AOC

     

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, told Radyo Veritas that Lembo was on treatment for two weeks at the Philippine General Hospital before he passed away.

    “Siya po ay nasa ospital ng dalawang linggo, pero di naagapan kahit na nasa ospital na siya. Namatay po siya sa PGH. So, ipagdasal po natin siya at pamilya nya rin,” he said.

    He appealed for prayers for the late seminarian and to those who have died because of COVID-19 as there are already more than 130 deaths reported in the Philippines because of the virus, while there are more than 59,000 over the world.

    As of April 3, 2020, the Department of Health declared that there are 385 new cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines leading to a total of 3,018 active cases.  On the other hand, there are 52 cases of recorded recoveries. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Martyrdom is not Just about dying; it also about living the Faith


    Martyrdom for the faith means living through the Gospel as the Word of Life and by professing one's faith to the Lord.

    This was the homily of His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Archbishop-Emeritus of Manila delivered his homily for the Feast of the Martyrdom of San Pedro Calungsod on April 2 at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, Rome, Italy.

    Cardinal Tagle emphasized that being a Martyr is denying oneself for the sake of witnessing to the Lord, and to offer one's life for Him and the Gospel.

    "Martyrdom is an act of following Christ. It is dying to self. It is denial of self for the sake of Christ. He says it, 'Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.' That makes it martyrdom for faith. It is dying to self for Jesus. It is dying to self for the Gospel. It is not true Christian martyrdom if I just deny myself. Period. But for whom? For who? It is for Christ. And it happens that sometimes, we cling to profit to gain the whole world. Money, fame, instead of witnessing to Christ,"  the Cardinal said.

    San Pedro Calungsod


    He added that "What is important here is a living relationship with Christ. For how can I die as a martyr if I don’t have that passion for Christ if I am not convinced of Jesus as my Lord and of His Gospel as the Word of Life?"

    The Archbishop Emeritus of Manila also mentioned that San Pedro Calungsod could have made a choice of choosing to save himself, instead, he did not leave his Blessed San Diego Luis and their friendship behind which is worth emulating in sharing the same mission, witness and being a martyr for the Lord.

    "We can say that every martyr is a friend of Christ, who learned from Christ. But Pedro Calungsod and Diego Luis, they were friends. And from some accounts on the martyrdom, it said that Pedro Calungsod could have saved himself. He could have run for his life. But he did not leave Padre Diego Luis. One in mission, one in witness, one in martyrdom. And that’s a good reminder. Mission is a common, a common calling," he said.

    The Cardinal mentioned that the role of young people and catechists is to have strength in their faith and be witnesses to the Lord that they may find themselves in the same way as San Pedro Calungsod, who is a gift from the Visayan region.

    "We invite everyone to join the Filipino community, and in a special way our beloved brothers and sisters from the Visayan region, in thanking God for the singular gift of a Saint – Saint Pedro Calungsod – a catechist, a young people. So, we pray for the youth that they may have this strength of faith to be witnesses to Christ. We pray for our beloved catechists. I always say, 'How will the Church survive without our catechists?' So, we commend them to the Lord, and may the spirit of courage and mission that we find in Saint Pedro Calungsod be theirs too." he said.

    Cardinal Tagle also recognized the work of the missionaries sent from different nations, especially in those who were from Spain, the place were Blessed Luis de San Vitores comes from, the companion of the Filipino martyr. This exemplifies, according to the Cardinal, that people from different places can come together because of a common mission.

    "We thank also the missionaries, in a special way those from Spain, the companion of Saint Pedro Calungsod, Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. So, we see how countries could come together in mission and in a common witness to the Lord," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish) 

  • Pastoral Instruction: Holy Week at Home

    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    The Holy Week for us Filipino Catholics is the most spiritually charged time of

    the year. It is a special time marked by many traditional religious activities. Due

    to the corona virus, our Holy Week this year will be doubly special. But can we

    have a Holy Week without palms, without the neighborhood singing of the

    Pasyon, without the Senakulo, the Chrism Mass, the Washing of the Feet, the Visita

    Iglesia, the Way of the Cross? Without the Good Friday Veneration of the Cross,

    the procession of the Santo Entierro, the solemn Easter Vigil Mass, the much

    awaited Salubong? Stripped of all these, is there still a Holy Week?



    Our Christian faith in the Philippines has been wrapped in many traditional

    practices. These practices are the external manifestations of our faith. This is a

    great help for many to experience the faith in concrete ways, but there is also the

    danger that we identify our religion only with these practices. Indeed, if we are

    not careful, the external practices can hide the deep meaning of our Christian

    faith.

     

    Due to the virus, we are challenged this year to live this most holy week without

    the traditional external trappings. There is still the Holy Week but we celebrate it

    differently, and hopefully, more deeply.

     

    We open the Holy Week with the Palm Sunday. The palms, and any leafy branch

    for that matter, is a symbol of welcome to the Lord. We recognize him entering

    and taking possession of his city but in a lowly manner, riding not on a war

    horse but on a lowly beast of labor, a donkey. Now without palm branches in our

    hands, we can still welcome the Lord and ask him to enter our homes and our

    lives by our prayers and fidelity to his commands.

     

    Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday because of the proclamation of

    the Passion of the Lord, that is, his suffering and death. This Sunday we can take

    time to read the Passion Narrative and reflect over it. He underwent his passion,

    that is his suffering, because of his passion, that is, his love for us. From the

    narration of his suffering let us meditate on such a tremendous love that is ready

    to take our punishment. “He was being wounded for our rebellions, crushed

    because of our guilt.” (Is. 53:5)

     

    We will not be able to sing the Pasyon nor watch the senakulo. These are

    reflections on the life of the Lord Jesus. A good way to do this now is to read the

    Gospels from end to end. We may be familiar with many sayings and stories in

    the life of Jesus, but often we know them by bits and pieces, as separate episodes.

    So it would be refreshing, and revealing, to take time – and we have the time – to

    read the gospels from end to end, and so follow the flow of the life of Jesus as

    narrated by the different Evangelists. It would be rewarding to read all the four

    gospels during this week.

     

    The Chrism Mass celebration, during which the sacred oils to be used for holy

    anointing at Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination and the oil of the sick are

    blessed, will be transferred at a later date when the quarantine is lifted.

     

    The essence of the Last Supper Mass on Holy Thursday evening is the institution

    of both the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood. This will

    be celebrated in the Cathedral and in the Parish churches but without the people.

    The Gospel of John presents the washing of feet instead of the institution of the

    Eucharist at the Last Supper. The washing of the feet is an act of lowly service.

    As in the Eucharist, we receive the same command of the Lord to do likewise. “If

    I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's

    feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to

    you” (Jn. 13:14-15). We can very well do this in our homes by the service that we

    give to one another.

     

     

    We may not be able to venerate the cross in our churches but we can give a

    special prominence to our crucifix in our home on Good Friday. Let us put it in a

    special place in the home, light a candle beside it and decorate it. At three o’clock

    on Friday afternoon the whole family can venerate the cross together by bowing

    before it.

     

    Let us spend Good Friday in prayer and fasting. It would be good to turn off our

    electronic gadgets the whole day except to participate in the Veneration of the

    Cross at 3 o’clock or to listen to the Siete Palabras. Let it be a day of prayer and

    silence. As fasting will cleanse our bodies, silence will cleanse our souls.

    We continue in the spirit of silence and prayer on Holy Saturday. We meditate

    on the descent of Jesus to the realm of the dead to announce salvation to all the

    just people who came before him. We then join the Easter Vigil celebration online

    on that Saturday evening. May this celebration lead us to the passing over from

    darkness to light, from chaos to the Word, from sin and death to life. It will be a

    wonderful experience if the whole family can have some form of celebration that

    Easter night with extra food, stories and games. Let us experience together the

    joy that Jesus is indeed risen.

     

    This extraordinary situation of the quarantine affords us an extraordinary way of

    celebrating the most holy week of the year. There are other forms of family

    celebrations that the Archdiocesan Commission on the Liturgy suggests to us.

    These too can help us deepen our faith as a family. Holy Week is not taken from

    us. We just celebrate it in a different, and hopefully, in another meaningful way.

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

     

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    4 April 2020

  • Pope Francis recognizes the presence of Media amid the COVID-19 pandemic


    His Holiness Pope Francis acknowledged the media who are also frontliners in communicating the Word of God online despite of the threat of novel coronavirus. He said this during his homily on April 1, 2020, at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City.

     “For all who work in the media, who work to communicate, so that people are not so isolated; for the education of children, to help us to bear this time of isolation,” Pope Francis said.

     

     

    Pope Francis took note of the importance of media especially in this time where the faithful is confined in their homes because of the quarantine period. The media, according to him continuously deliver news, information, and knowledge to the faithful to keep them up to date on what is happening around.

    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and former Archbishop of Manila also expressed his gratitude to all the media especially in the local church media in the Philippines such as Radio Veritas and TV Maria.

    "Alam ko kayong nasa-Radio Veritas at TV Maria ay naghahatid ng Mabuting Balita ni Hesus sa panahong ito. Salamat sa pagiging daluyan ng pagmamahal, malasakit, pagdamay at pag-asa sa mga kababayan natin, lalu na ang mga may sakit, nangangamba at nangungulila. Stay well, safe and joyful. This crisis makes us bow before the only and truly Mighty One. No virus can stop God’s love from spreading. At kayo ang “carriers” ng pag-ibig ng Diyos sa oras na ito,” Cardinal Tagle said.

    In his video message, Boac Bishop Antonio Maralit Jr, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ECSC) commended the hard work all the Social Communications ministers in parishes and dioceses in the Philippines for bringing the Masses from their parishes online via live streaming. He said that these huge task of the ministers makes them frontliners in spreading the Good News.

    “Sa ganito din pong katotohanan, ako po naman ngayon ay humahamon at naghahamon sa inyo na ano, na sa panahong ito higit sa lahat ng panahon, ito na yung pagkakataon nating lahat na maglingkod ng higit sa simbahan… At dito na rin po natin pwedeng ipakita kung anong halaga ng Social Communications Ministry sa simbahan,” Bishop Maralit said.

    Fr. Roy Bellen of the Commission on Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Manila in his video message lauded the use of social media in sharing and communicating to the faithful the different advocacies they believe in.

    “Yung mga content na mayroon tayo, they become shareable, hindi lang ikaw ang makakaalam, you can share to people and they can see ano ‘yung mga facts, ‘yung mga data at figures that will support whatever position you are holding. Napakaganda ngayon ng social media kasi sabi nga in a multi-level, you can communicate your message especially if you have advocacy,” Fr. Bellen said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

  • "We don’t have enough masks but there are more than enough bullets" -- Cardinal Tagle

     

    "Could the coronavirus-19 crisis lead to a jubilee?” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, asked the faithful during his homily in an online mass at the Philippine Pontifical College in Rome on Sunday, March 29, 2020.

    Cardinal Tagle, who is also the President of Caritas Internationalis, described how people, particularly those who have scarce resources, are trying to survive during this pandemic. This, according to him could be a "tomb" of the poor countries and their people, as he reflects on the Gospel of the day.

     Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle l File Photo: Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

     

    In this period of pandemic, he called for a "forgiveness of foreign debt" to rich nations in order for the poor nations to fight the corona virus outbreak and make use of the resources they have.

    In his homily, he also looked at how countries manage their funds for primary purposes such as food, education, and housing.

    “Now we realize that we don’t have enough masks but there are more than enough bullets,” he said.

    He explained that this COVID-19 pandemic could teach us to review our priorities as individuals, nations and one human family.

    “This emergency urges all of us to help save lives,” the cardinal wrote. “Our common foe is the infection. We are not each other’s enemy. The proposed cease-fire reminds us that we must be protecting or saving each other, not killing each other. And my hope is that after the COVID-19 pandemic is over — hopefully soon! — the cease-fire would continue as a global way of life. This is my hope,” he said.

    The term “Jubilee” is used in special times of prayer and pilgrimage with a focus on forgiveness of sins. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

  • Vatican releases Holy Week Schedule of Pope Francis


    The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will preside all the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy even without the presence of a congregation. This is in accordance with the guidelines that the Vatican has recently released to address the risk of transmission of the corona virus during Holy Week liturgical celebrations.

    “Following the extraordinary situation that has arisen, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking into account the provisions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, through a Decree dated 25 March 2020, an update was needed regarding the upcoming liturgical celebrations presided over by the Holy Father Pope Francis, with regard to the calendar and participation,” said in the statement from the Office of the Liturgical Celebration of the Supreme Pontiff.


    This is the first time that the schedule of the Holy Father does not include the Chrism Mass. Since it is not formally part of the Triduum, a bishop can decide to postpone its celebration according to the decree. The Chrism Mass celebrated every Thursday is the renewal of the priests’ promises and the oils for the sacraments are blessed.

    It will also be the first time that Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St. Peter’s Basilica. In recent years, the Pope has started a practice of celebrating the Holy Thursday evening mass in hospitals, prison facilities, and similar institutions. The “washing of the feet, which is optional, is to be omitted” when there are no faithful present, according to the Congregation for Divine Worship.

    Here is the updated schedule (Rome Time) of the Holy Week and Easter celebrations to be presided by Pope Francis.

     

    - April 5, 11 a.m. - Palm Sunday Mass

    - April 9, 6 p.m. - Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper

    - April 10, 6 p.m. - Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord's passion

    - April 10, 9 p.m. -  Way of the Cross, in front of St. Peter's Basilica

    - April 11, 9 p.m. - Easter Vigil Mass

     

    On April 12, the Easter morning Mass will be held at 11 a.m. to be followed by the Holy Father’s blessing Urbi et Orbi. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • CHURCH in ACTION


    In response to the call to help those who are greatly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila extends its effort to help the poor and the needy during these trying times.

    The parishes, as well as the schools in the Archdiocese of Manila, have opened its doors to welcome the homeless and the street dwellers affected by COVID-19.


    click here

  • Let our Homes become Church in Time of COVID-19 -- Bp. Pabillo


    In a Pastoral Instruction called “The Church in Our Homes” released by the Archdiocese of Manila on April 1, Bp. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila reflected on the families' role to pray together in their homes.

    Bp. Pabillo reflected that the families are called to be Churches where they can encounter the Lord through prayer, allowing them to establish a profound relationship to God aside from the individual prayers each family members may recite.

    “What makes building a church? It is not the structure, nor the paintings or statue, much less the design. We go to church because there we are in the presence of God. We want to meet the Lord. There we experience the Lord in prayer. A building becomes a church because people gather there to pray together.” he said.

    Photo Credit: Focus on Family website

     
    The Bishop encouraged families to pray altogether the Oratio Imperata and the family rosary and by participating to the online Masses in their respective parishes since the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.

    “Let us set aside time together to pray as a family. We join as a family in the online Masses, most especially on Sundays. The church bells are rung daily at 12 noon and 8 pm, inviting families to pray the Oratio Imperata and the family rosary,” he said.

    Bishop Pabillo is hopeful that the families can organize their own Bible sharing as part of the family prayers where stories from the scripture passages are being meditated by each members of the family.

    “In our homes too, the Word of God can be proclaimed and reflected upon. It would be good to have the family gathered together to hear passages of the Bible read as part of family prayer. The family can have Bible sharing. Stories of the Bible can be told and retold within the family walls. The faith is not just a personal matter. It should be a family affair.” he added.

    The Apostolic Administrator emphasized that the families can also include in their prayer intentions as a gesture of love to the frontliners, neighbors, the needy and others who are affected in the quarantine period.

    ”This love within the family can expand to the people around us. We do not have contact with many people during the quarantine, but surely we can be kind, courteous and generous to some neighbor, to the garbage collector, to the barangay tanods, to the storekeepers, to the poor around us. Then the church in the family is in action,” he said.

    Bp. Pabillo urged the families to recognize their call to pray especially when they encounter the Church in their households wherein God is truly present to His people.

    “We can live the experience of Church in our homes. God is very much present among us even if we cannot go to Church. He comes to our homes when we pray together, let the Word of God be heard within our homes, and love is lived among us as a family," the Bishop said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)

  • Meet "Paco", the baby born and named after shelter where parents were accommodated


    Rica Morales, 20 years old, married to Rene Morales gave birth to a healthy baby boy in normal delivery in the afternoon of March 31, 2020, at Ospital ng Maynila. The baby was named “Paco.”

    Rica’s family is among the group of homeless people along the streets in Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. According to Fr. Luke Moortgart, one of the priests ministering in Paco Catholic School (PCS), they were brought to the school, which is one of the Catholic schools that provide temporary shelter for the homeless during the enhanced community quarantine, with the assistance of Fr. Flaviano "Flavie" Villanueva, SVD, of the Kalinga Foundation.

     Rica Morales with her newborn baby boy, Paco. l Photo Credit: Charles Caluza/San Fernando de Dilao Parish

    According to Fr. Carlo del Rosario, Chaplain of PCS, the parents decided to name the baby boy "Paco", although they are not yet sure if a second name will also be given to him.

    Fr. del Rosario said, the family will be discharged from the hospital in the afternoon of April 2, 2020, and will wait for further instructions from Fr. Flavie if they will still be brought back to PCS or will be transferred to another shelter.

    “PCS will be happy kung gusto niya dito pabinyagan o gusto niya kunin ninong mga pari dito,” Fr. Del Rosario told Archdiocesan Office of Communications (AOC).

    For Fr. del Rosario, it is good news that people receive the blessing of new life from the Lord with the birth of Paco amidst this time of COVID-19 crisis.

    “Unang una, in the midst of this crisis, there is a sign of hope then sa gitna nung problema at krisis may magandang balita. Mayroong sign ng bagong pag-asa at the same time ay blessing, biyaya na sa gitna ng krisis ng Corona pandemic ay merong bagong buhay na sinilang sa gitna ng maraming mga homeless saka hopeless na inaalagaan natin sa PCS,” the priest said.

    “Maging sila, hindi lang kaming mga pari, kundi maging sila mga kapwa nila mga homeless at street people ay very joyful na merong isinilang na bagong sanggol dito mismo sa PCS,” he added.

    Paco Catholic School shelters one hundred homeless people to date. On April 2, another batch of one hundred street people rescued from Lawton in Manila will be brought to Msgr. Domingo Cirilos Gym (MDCG), which is also in PCS.

    Fr. del Rosario thanked the parents, students, and alumni of PCS and the parishioners of San Fernando de Dilao who continuously share assistance to the people in need. He also appeals for donations as the number of families to support increase. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

     

     

  • Cardinal Tagle joins Pope Francis in the call for global ceasefire amid COVID-19


    His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, re-echoed Pope Francis’ appeal for global ceasefire in all corners of the world during the COVID-10 outbreak urging the faithful to help protect and save lives.

    “The COVID 19 emergency urges all of us to help save lives. Our common foe is the infection, not other human beings. The proposed ceasefire reminds us that we must be protecting each other, not killing each other. And we hope that when the pandemic is over (and we hope soon), that the ceasefire would continue as a way of life,” Cardinal Tagle said.

     Cardinal Tagle delivers his message during the Advent Recollection held last December 2019 in Smart-Araneta Coliseum. l Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

    Pope Francis made his appeal following the recitation of the Marian Prayer on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at the Vatican in support to the call of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for global ceasefire during the corona virus crisis.

    Cardinal Tagle, also the former Archbishop of Manila, reflected on the present situation of the world as it faces and battles with an invisible enemy.

    “The present crisis has revealed many disturbing things to us. It is shameful that some countries have large reserves of weapons but lack medicines, masks and protective equipment. It is scandalous that a big portion of national budgets goes to arms but very little to efforts towards dialogue and reconciliation,” Cardinal Tagle said.

    “It is unbelievable that some people in authority use the emergency for political and ethnic bashing, when the virus does not choose races and political persuasions,” he added.

    During this time of crisis, he asked the faithful to make it an occasion to live in peace and harmony with one another.

    “This crisis could become an occasion for peace and reconciliation if we, as one human family, have the humility to accept the folly of discrimination, prejudice, domination and violence and also the humility to choose acceptance, respect, compassion, service and peace," the Cardinal said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • More Catholic Schools respond to provide shelter to COVID-19 health workers


    In response to the call of the Catholic Church to provide shelter to the medical "frontliners" whose lives are at risk as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines-National Capital Region (CEAP-NCR) appealed to its affiliate schools to extend health workers temporal and spiritual support at this time of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine period.

     Paco Catholic School provides temporary shelter for the poor families affected by the CIOVID-19. l Photo Credit: Richard Fajardo/SOCOM-San Fernando de Dilao Parish)

    CEAP-NCR is composed of 150 schools in Metro Manila.   

    According to Radio Veritas news, aside from the medical frontliners, the schools are also asked to provide basic necessities and accommodation to the needy, homeless, and street dwellers.

    In his letter to the directors of the schools, Fr. Nolan Que, Regional Trustee of CEAP-NCR pointed out that as they provide temporary home for the health workers and the homeless, they also allow them to rest and reconnect with the Lord during these trying times.

    "Open our school facilities to those who are homeless, to health workers and even to persons under investigation (PUI’s) and/or persons under monitoring (PUM’s) for them to have place for resting and recreation, and more importantly for reconnecting with the Lord," he said.

    The faculty, parents, and students are also called to share their available resources to the needy, the homeless, and those who are without jobs during the quarantine period.

    Fr. Que encouraged the affiliated schools and nearby communities to reflect and collectively pray every 7:00 in the morning the Holy Rosary and the Oratio Imperata. 

    In the Archdiocese of Manila, CEAP-NCR affiliated Catholic Schools and Religious congregations have opened their doors for accommodation to the homeless and street dwellers.

    As of March 30, 2020, these are the temporary shelters for the COVID-19 frontliners that are already active. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


    Most Holy Trinity Parish
    - 50 beds available for returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) 

    Archdiocesan Shrine Nuestra Señora de Guia – Ermita
    - 19 rooms for Manila Doctors Hospital and still has 34 slots for other medical practitioners 

    EDSA Shrine
    - 6 slots available

    St. John Bosco Parish – Makati
    - 40 medical practitioners for Makati Medical Center

    National Shrine of the Sacred Heart - Makati
    - 5 slots for Makati Medical Center

    Holy Child Catholic School
    - 12 beds for female nurses of Mary Johnston Hospital

    Malate Catholic School;
    - 10 rooms for medical frontliners of Philippine General Hospital (PGH)

    Espiritu Santo Parochial School
    - 16 beds for female doctors of Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital

    St. Lorenzo Ruiz Dormitory – Legarda
    - 20 airconditioned rooms

    Pope Pius Catholic Center
    - more than 50 rooms available

  • Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the Sunday online Mass on March 29, 20202, at 10 a.m.


    Dalawang linggo na tayong nakakulong sa ating mga tahanan. Nararamdaman nating sumisikip na ang buhay natin. Parang nasa libingan tayo. Hindi lang masikip. Hindi na natin alam kung hanggang kailan. Dalawang linggo na lamang ba o tatagal pa?

    Sa Wuhan, nagsimula sila ng lockdown ng January 23 at sa April 6 pa lang magbubukas ang kanilang lungsod. Dalawa’t kalahating buwan iyan. May nagsasabing maaaring umabot ito ng anim na buwan. Kailan ba talaga? Hindi lang tayo parang nasa libingang masikip. Para din tayong patay na wala nang pag-asa.

    Sa ganitong kalagayan, napakasarap pakinggan ang Salita ng Diyos kay propeta Ezekiel. “Sabihin mong ipinasasabi Ko: bayan Ko, ibubukas Ko ang inyong libingan. Ibabangon Ko kayo.” Mga kapatid, ito ang Mabuting Balita sa atin. Babalik ang buhay. Matatapos din ang lockdown na ito. Huwag nating itanim sa puso natin ang sisihan sa panahong ito. Yung mga “sana”. Sana kung nakinig tayo sa mga early warning signs noong February. Sana hindi na pinapasok ang mga Intsik mula pa noong Chinese New Year, noong January 25 sa ating bansa. Hindi na natin maibabalik ang nakaraan. Wala nang magagawa ang sisihan. Magdadala lang ito ng negative energies. Magpapabigat lamang ito ng ating loob. Ganoon ang kalagayan ng magkapatid na Maria at Marta. Pareho ang paunang salita na sinabi nila kay Hesus nang matagpuan nila siya. “Panginoon, kung narito po lamang Kayo, hindi sana namatay ang kapatid ko.” Isang pagsisisi na may dalang sumbat. Wala Ka kasi dito, eh. Iyan din ang sumbat ng ilang mga tao noon. “Nakapagpadilat Siya ng mga taong bulag. Bakit hindi Niya nahadlangan ang pagkamatay ni Lazaro?” Parang wala nang magagawa kasi patay na. Ganoon din ba ang paningin natin? Wala nang magagawa kasi kalat na ang virus? Marami na ang namatay? Lockdown na tayo?

     

    Bishop Broderick Pabillo delivers his homily during the online Sunday Mass on March 29, 2020, at 10 a.m. l Screenshot from TV Maria's live streaming

     

    Ngunit, para kay Hesus, hindi pa tapos ang kuwento kasi patay si Lazaro. Mayroon pang pag-asa sa kabila ng kamatayan. May pag-asa sa kabila ng pandemic na ito. Iyan ang Muling Pagkabuhay. “Mabubuhay Siyang muli,” ang sabi ni Hesus kay Marta. Sumang-ayon naman si Marta, “Oo, sa wakas ng panahon, pagkabuhay ng mga patay.” Iyan din siguro ang pananampalataya natin. Oo, matatapos din ito pagkaraan ng isang taon, ng anim na buwan. Kaya, mag-antay at magtiis na lamang tayo. Ok lang na may pag-asa tayo, na naniniwala tayo sa Muling Pagkabuhay, pero, ang Muling Pagkabuhay ay hindi lang ang wakas ng panahon. Hindi doon magsisimula ang Muling Pagkabuhay. Hindi lang tayo magkakaroon ng buhay pagkatapos ng lockdown. Sabi ni Hesus kay Marta, “Ako ang buhay at ang Muling Pagkabuhay. [Ako na nasa harap mo ngayon.] Ang nananalig sa Akin ay hindi mamamatay kailanman.”Maaaring lito si Marta. Oo nga, pero patay na si Lazaro, ang kapatid ko. Apat na araw siyang nasa libingan. Nabubulok na. Nangangamoy na. Mahirap paniwalaan si Hesus, ngunit naniwala si Marta, hindi sa gagawin ni Hesus. Hindi lamang niya alam kung ano nga ang gagawin ni Hesus. Naniniwala siya Kay Hesus. She believes, not so much what Jesus can do or will do. She believes IN Jesus. Napakaganda ang sagot niya. “Nananalig ako sa Iyo. Kayo ang Anak ng Diyos, ang Mesiyas na inaaasahang paririto sa mundo.

     Itong pananampalatayang ito ay siya ring pananampalataya ni Pedro at ng mga apostol. Noong ang mga alagad ni Hesus ay isa-isang umaalis, nang sabihin ni Hesus sa Capernaum na Siya ang tunay na pagkain at tunay na inumin, at malibang kainin ang Kanyang laman at inumin ang Kanyang Dugo, hindi sila magkakaroon ng buhay. Marahil hindi rin naintindihan ng mga alagad, ni Pedro, “Ano ba ang ibig sabihin na kainin ang Kanyang laman at inumin ang Kanyang dugo?” Ngunit, nang hinamon sila ni Hesus, “Ano? Aalis din ba kayo?” Ang sagot ni Pedro, “Panginoon, kanino pa kami pupunta? Kayo ang may Salitang nagbibigay-buhay. Naniniwala kami sa Iyo, ang Banal ng Diyos.”  Naniniwala sila, hindi sa gagawin o sa biyaya ni Hesus. Naniniwala sila KAY Hesus mismo. Ito rin ang paniniwala natin. Sana, ito rin ang paniniwala natin. Panginoong Hesus, hindi po namin alam kung ano ang gagawin Mo at saan ito tutungo, ngunit naniniwala kami sa Iyo. Ikaw ang Anak ng Diyos. Ikaw ang pinadala ng Diyos. Ikaw ang Kristo. Hindi Mo kami pababayaan.

    Kaya, napakaganda ang Salmo na ating sinagot kanina sa Salmong Tugunan. “Sabik akong naghihintay sa tulong Mo, Panginoon, pagkat ako’y may tiwala sa pangako Mong pagtulong.” Oo, mga kapatid. Huwag tayong mag-alinlangan.

    Kahit na may pananalig si Marta, nag-alinlangan siya. Kaya, noong paalisin ni Hesus ang bato na tumatakip sa libingan, gusto niyang pigilin si Hesus. Apat na araw siyang nakalibing. Nangangamoy na siya. Patay pa rin ang turing niya sa kanyang kapatid at nabubulok na, kahit na nandiyan na si Hesus. Kaya, pinaalalahanan uli siya ni Hesus. “Hindi ba sinabi Ko sa iyo na kung may pananalig ka sa Akin, makikita mo kung gaano ka-dakila ang Diyos?” Pananalig kay Hesus. Iyan din ang sinasabi ni Hesus sa atin. Manalig tayo sa Kanya at makikita natin ang kadakilaan ng Diyos.

    Maaaring tanungin natin, ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng pananalig kay Hesus sa panahong ito? Una, paniniwala na nandito Siya. Iyan ang ating pananalig. Kasama natin Siya. Hindi Siya absent sa panahong ito. Iyan ang tawag sa Kanya noong nakaraang March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, na ipinagdiwang natin, na sinabi, “He is the Emmanuel.” Ang Diyos na sumasaatin. Hindi Siya absent sa buhay natin ngayon. Kung nandiyan Siya, pansinin natin Siya at damhin natin ang Kanyang pag-ibig sa atin, kahit na akala natin na nasa libingan tayo. Nasaan ang presensya Niya? Nasa pag-ibig. Hindi ba sinabi din sa atin sa Banal na Kasulatan: “Kung nasaan ang pag-ibig, naroroon ang Diyos.” Sikapin nating umibig, at ngayong nasa lockdown tayo, ang mamahalin natin sa paligid natin ay ang mga tinatawag nating mahal natin sa buhay – si Nanay, si Tatay, ang kapatid, ang mga anak, ang mga lolo’t lola. Ang ating pamilya mismo ang ating iibigin. Habang tumatagal ang lockdown, hindi sana nating pagsawaan ang isa’t isa. Ngunit, lalo pa nating matutunang mahalin sila. Tingnan niyo ngayon ang mga mukha ng inyong mga kasama niyo sa bahay – siya, siya, siya, siya ang iyong mamahalin upang madama na ang Diyos ay present sa atin ngayon. At paaano natin Siyang mamahalin? Alam niyo po, praktikal ang pag-ibig na hinihingi sa atin. And these are the characteristics of love, na sinasabi rin sa Banal na Kasulatan, “Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable or resentful”.  Let us practice love in this way and we will see God’s presence among us.

    Anong ibig sabihin ng pananalig kay Hesus sa panahong ito? Totoo, una, maniwala na nandito Siya. Pangalawa, hindi lang na present si Hesus sa buhay natin. Siya ay kumikilos ngayon. Hindi lang Siya nanonood sa atin. Hindi lang tayo lalabas sa libingan pagkatapos ng lockdown. Hindi lang Siya tatawag ng “Lazaro (o Ernie o Liza o Kulas), lumabas ka!” ‘pag wakas na ng virus, tulad ng hindi lang tayo bubuhayin sa wakas ng panahon. Ngayon ay binubuhay na niya tayo. Ngayon ay binubuksan na Niya ang ating mga libingan. Ngayon ay tinatawagan na tayong lumabas. Binabago Niya tayo ngayon. Let us not take this time as only a time of waiting. This will be very boring. Waiting for a whole month or even more. But it is a time of growth, a time of renewal. Sana, ‘pag labas natin sa lockdown, lalabas tayo na mga makabagong tao. Hindi ito basta-basta mangyayari. Ito’y pangyayarihin natin. We make this happen. It will not happen by itself. Suriin natin, suriin ang bawat isa, ano ang dapat mamatay sa kanyang sarili upang makalabas ang bagong buhay? Ito ang sinabi ni San Pablo sa Ikalawang Pagbasa natin. “Hindi na tayo mamuhay ayon sa laman.” “Live according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh.” Mamatay at mabulok na sana ang makalamang hilig, pagnanasa, makalamang ugali. Ano-ano ba ang mga ito?

    Tingnan natin ang ating sarili. Tanggalin na natin, palitan na natin ng mabuting ugali na galing sa Diyos. Kaya, sinabi rin sa atin, yamang nasa atin ang Espiritu ng Diyos, mamuhay tayo ayon sa Espiritu, which is according to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit. I repeat – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control. These will transform our graves into paradise. And we do not do this alone. Jesus’ spirit works in us.

    Kaya, pakilusin natin ang Espiritu ni Hesus, at papanibaguhin Niya tayo. Kaya, sana ang ating dasal during these days, “Come, Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth. Come Holy Spirit, renew me.” Kumikilos si Hesus sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang Espiritu sa panahong ito. Hayaan nating baguhin Niya tayo upang lumabas tayo sa ating mga libingan na may makabagong pagkatao. Ito sana ang ating sama-samang panalangin sa Banal na Misang ito. Tulad ng binabago ng Espiritu ang tinapay at alak sa Katawan at Dugo ni Kristo, baguhin rin nawa Niya tayo ang ating pagkatao sa hornuhan ng COVID-19 na ito. (RCAM-AOC)

  • Bishop Pabillo lauds Oplan Ugnayan donors


    Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, expressed his gratitude to Caritas Manila's donors who initiated Oplan Ugnayan, a collaboration of businessmen who came together to extend help to the poor in Metro Manila who are worst affected by the community quarantine.

    According to Bishop Pabillo, Oplan Ugnayan was able put together 1.5 billion pesos that has been allotted for Caritas Manila's relief operation to bring aid to those affected with the help of the Local Government Units.

    “Pasalamatan po natin ang business people, 'yan po ay inisyatiba ni Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala. At nagkuha siya ng mga kasamahan niya sa mga business. Sila po ang nagkolekta ng pera na tinatawag nilang Oplan-Ugnayan,” he added.


    According to a report from the Church-run Radyo Veritas, each family is to receive  P1,000 worth gift certificate to be able to procure for themselves necessities and basic needs during the community quarantine.

    Caritas Manila relief operation (Oplan Damayan), in partnership with the businessmen initiative (Oplan Ugnayan), targets to cover 10 Dioceses, including those in the National Capital region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Rizal and Cavite

    “Nakakatulong din tayo sa daily wage earners, ito ngang ipinamimigay na mga gift certificates na ito po ay galing sa mga negosyante at ipinadaan sa Caritas Manila na ipinadaan naman ng Caritas Manila sa mga Parokya. Hindi lang sa archdiocese, kundi sa buong NCR,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    Based on the latest update from Caritas Manila, 200,000 families had already received gift certificates coming from 628 parishes. Continuous distribution of the aid is still going on with the help of parishes to reach more families who are in need. (Fatima Llanza/SOCOM-San Felipe Neri Parish)

  • Pastoral Instruction: The Church in Our Homes


    Archdiocese of Manila releases Pastoral Instruction: The Church in Our Homes by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila.

  • Supplement to the Recommendations for Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations in Time of Covid-19





    Circular No. 20-19

     

    TO ALL THE BISHOPS AND THE DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATORS
    Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, and Reverend Administrators:

    RE: Supplement to the Recommendations for Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations in Time of Covid-19

    This present Circular is a supplement to our previous recommendations, Circulars No. 20-14 and No. 20-15. At the same time, the Congregation For Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) has also released two (2) Decrees/Instructions relevant to our Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Liturgical Celebrations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will refer to these two documents as Vatican Guidelines.

    All these instructions on the liturgical celebrations of the Church during this time of world crisis should help us find the balance between the worthy celebration of the liturgy of the Rites of Holy Week and the call of our health and civil authorities to help stem the rapid transmission of the Corona Virus Disease.

    Relative to the above, especially with the recent instructions from the Holy See, we have this present Circular containing additional observations and suggestions of Fr. Genaro Diwa, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, for the celebrations of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum:

    On the Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week

         1. Avoid Concelebrations: The recent Vatican Guidelines specifically instruct us to avoid concelebrations since our celebrations must also show our sincere efforts at avoiding the gathering of people.


         2. Omitting the Sign of Peace: The recent Vatican Guidelines indicate “omitting the sign of peace”. But we can still do the giving of the sign of peace since in our recent practice it is done now through the nodding or bowing of the head. (cf. CBCP Circular No. 20-05, dated January 29, 2020: Discourage our faithful from holding hands during the singing/praying of the “Our Father” and shaking of hands during the Sign of Peace).

         3. The Vatican Guidelines emphasize that all our Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations be made available to our faithful:

              a. That the Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations should be brought to our faithful through radio, television, and social media;

              b. That the schedules of these broadcasts should be known to our faithful so they can follow, in spirit, these celebrations;

              c. That these scheduled celebrations made available to the faithful should be LIVE coverages.

         4. On our Previous Suggestion (cf. CBCP Circular 20-15): For the presider of the celebrations to go around the parish after every celebration whether to bless the Palms, bring the Blessed Sacrament and the Cross:

    This should be considered with great caution, having in mind not to give an opportunity for our faithful to congregate outside their homes. In such a scenario, it will be very difficult to implement the “social distancing” measure. Moreover, such a scenario will be in contradiction to the lock down and “stay at home” measures now enforced in many places.

    On this matter, close coordination with local government and health authorities should be done.

         5. Palm Sunday: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

              a. “The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated within the church, the sacred building.” (Vatican Guidelines, March 25, 2020).

              b. The same Vatican Guidelines recommend the use of the “Second Form: Solemn Entrance” for the Cathedral churches and the “Third Form: Simple Entrance” for the Parish churches. However, we recommend upon closer study that we use the “Second Form: Solemn Entrance” but in a modified way. Since the blessing of the palm branches is in this form, it may be used at the Entrance Rite when the presider is already in the sanctuary.

              c. When the faithful follow this celebration through radio, television, and social media, the blessing of their palms or any leaf branches is imparted by the Scriptural Reading and Prayer of Blessing during the celebration. In their homes there is no need for holy water for the blessing of their palm branches.

         6. The Chrism Mass

              a. Both Vatican Guidelines allow us this: After thorough assessment of the situation of the diocese in the face of the threat of Covid-19 and in compliance with the call of our government and health authorities to avoid mass gatherings, each bishop may transfer the Chrism Mass to another date when this crisis has ended.

              b. Holy Oils: In this situation, if the diocese will need new Chrism, the Bishop may consecrate some amount of Chrism. The Oil of the Sick may be blessed by each priest during the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick, as the need arises. This is provided for in the Rite of Anointing of the Sick.

         7. Holy Thursday: The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

              a. Please refer to our previous Circular (cf. CBCP Circular No. 20 – 15).

              b. A Particular Note: The recent Vatican Guidelines say, “The faculty to celebrate Mass on this day in a suitable place, without the people, is granted in an exceptional manner to all priests.”

    This means that each priest may celebrate the Mass alone on this occasion. This is due to the intrinsic connection between the priesthood and the Eucharist, the anniversaries of which are highlighted in the liturgical celebration of this evening.

         8. Good Friday: Friday of the Passion of the Lord

              a. Please refer to our previous Circular (cf. CBCP Circular No. 20 – 15).

              b. The liturgy is the usual Liturgy of the Friday of the Passion of the Lord found in the Roman Missal.

              c. The recent Vatican Guidelines indicate that the Presider alone will do the kissing in the Veneration of the Cross.

              d. In the Solemn Universal Prayers in this liturgy of Good Friday, the recent Vatican Guidelines say, “The bishop will see to it that there is a special intention for the sick, the dead, for those who feel lost or dismayed (cf. Roman Missal pag. 307, no. 13).

    In the concrete, this special intention would include those who are presently sick of Covid-19, those who have died because of this disease, as well as our doctors, nurses and other medical staff, health care workers, the frontliners in the food services and relief operations, those keeping peace and order, civil servants, and the poorest among our families who are greatly affected by this crisis.

         9. Easter Vigil:

              a. Please refer to our previous Circular (cf. CBCP Circular No. 20-15).

              b. The recent Vatican Guidelines say that the Easter Vigil is to be celebrated only in Cathedral and parish churches.

              c. This can be celebrated not earlier than 5:00 p.m.

              d. The “Lucernarium” can be celebrated but within the building of the Church.

              e. In the “Baptismal Liturgy”, we only omit the “Ritual of Baptism” and we maintain the “Blessing of Water” (cf. The prayer of blessing used if no one is present to be baptized) and the “Renewal of Baptismal Promises”.

    Related Considerations:

         1. Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Family/Home Celebrations: These we offer to our faithful so that they can use them even if they cannot be physically present in all our liturgical celebrations. It is to be noted that these Family/ Home Celebrations are different and are to be used apart from the liturgies we offer to our faithful to watch and listen to.

    These Family/Home Celebrations can be used after the family has followed the liturgical celebrations of the Church through radio, television, and social media. The father or any of the elders of the household can lead the celebration.

    We will send you the PDF copy of these celebrations so you can translate these to your native language and eventually disseminate them to your parishes.

         2. The Need for Confession when No Priest is Available: The opportunity of celebrating the Sacrament of Confession is extremely difficult to have during this crisis situation.

    Thus, we remind our clergy that our faithful should be instructed on the issue of the need for Confession in a situation when no priest is available. On this problematic pastoral situation, Pope Francis has made this clarification, echoing the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Nos. 1451 and 1452):

    “I know that many of you go to confession before Easter… Many will say to me: ‘But Father…I can’t leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me… How can I do that unless I find a priest?’. Do what the catechism says. It’s very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.” (Homily, Casa Santa Marta Chapel, Pope Francis, March 20, 2020).

         3. Guidelines for Those Who Minister to those Affected by the COVID-19: We are also sending you a copy of the Guidelines for Those Who Minister to those Affected by the COVID-19.

         4. Modified Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations: We will also send you, the soonest, copies of the modified Holy Week and Paschal Triduum Celebrations, to guide our clergy and our faithful.

     

     

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

     

    + ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
    Archbishop of Davao
    CBCP President

    31 March 2020

     

     

  • Malate Catholic School opened a Center for COVID-19 frontliners


    Malate Catholic School, one of the centennial schools of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Manila Educational System (RCAM-ES) has opened one of its facilities to medical frontliners responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    A venue for the formation of
    persons through international dynamic exchanges of traditional Catholic Doctrines and Co-creations of New Social Realities, the Malate Catholic School International Regenerative Formation Center (MCS-IRFC) will serve as sleeping quarters for those qualified and healthy medical frontliners battling against the spread of coronavirus.

    The project to make the MCS-IRFC available to medical frontliners is spearheaded by its school director, Fr. Elpidio Biliran Jr.

    The Malate Catholic School Gymnasium in Manila serves as a shelter for the street dwellers affected by the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19 outbreak.  l Photo Credit:  Malate Catholic School Facebook Page

     

    According to Kenjie Eneran, the Pastoral Ministry Coordinator of Malate Catholic School, the MCS-IRCF at the moment can only accommodate 10 frontliners and they are from the UP-Philippine General Hospital. 

    The MCS-IRCF released guidelines for the medical personnel who will be using the said facility and are expected to follow some protocols based on the regulations assigned by the Department of Health. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC )

  • Social Communications Ministers Challenged to Inspire and Transmit Good News amidst COVID-19


    Social Communications (SOCOM) ministers are seen these days at the frontline in delivering information that is true and inspiring amidst many heartbreaking events brought about by the pandemic COVID-19.

    In a video message sent to all Social Communications Ministers in different dioceses and parishes in the Philippines, Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit, Jr, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ECSC), challenged them to show the relevance and significance of the SOCOM Ministry especially in this time when the country is enveloped with fear and discouragement as the effect of the outbreak of corona virus (COVID-19).

    “Sa ganito din pong katotohanan, ako po naman ngayon ay humahamon at naghahamon sa inyo na ano, na sa panahong ito higit sa lahat ng panahon, ito na yung pagkakataon nating lahat na maglingkod ng higit sa simbahan… At dito na rin po natin pwedeng ipakita kung anong halaga ng Social Communications Ministry sa simbahan,” Bishop Maralit said.

    File Photo/RCAM-AOC

    In proclaiming the truth, he asked the SOCOM ministers to offer their services to the Church through the knowledge they have gained in the training they received and to make use of the available resources they have.

    He also encouraged them to bring stories of hope for the faithful who read and watch in social media and are often exposed to rampant proliferation of bad news, and worse, to fake news.

    Bishop Maralit particularly asked the ministers to transmit three important things.

    “Kung ano mang mensahe meron una, ang ating mahal na Santo Papa para sa ating lahat… Second, transmit kung ano yung gustong iparating ng inyong mga obispo sa lahat ng mananampalataya ng ating diocese. Third, ganun na rin po, transmit also all events and activities na ngayon hindi na masasamahan ng mga tao sa loob ng ating mga simbahan,” he said.

    Another very important directive that the Bishop gave SOCOM ministers is to help the faithful take part in the Holy Week celebration in spite of the cancellation of public liturgical activities.

    “Pero online, kaya nating i-provide sa kanila ang karanasan ng pakikiisa pa rin. Kaya’t transmit activities and all events lalo na po pagdating ng Holy Week. Ang Holy Week po ay patuloy pa rin po nating gagawin at sa simbahan ito po ang rurok ng lahat ng ating mga pagdiriwang sa buong taong liturhiko. Kaya nga’t kahit walang tao sa loob ng simbahan, gagampanan pa rin ng mga obispo’t mga pari ang mga pagdiriwang na ito,” he said.

    Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine, the SOCOM ministry has exerted utmost effort to bring online the celebration of Holy Masses and other religious activities that nourish the soul and spirit of the faithful.

    With the multiplicity of tasks that the SOCOM ministers are engaged in, Bishop Maralit reminded them to pray for strength to serve the church with humility, gratitude, and joy.

    "At ang huli po, paalala ko po sa inyong lahat, pray. This is the best moment for ministers to pray. We must pray with humility. We must pray with gratitude. But also we must pray with joy sapagkat sa pagkakataong ito mapaglilingkuran natin ang ating simbahan at lalo’t higit ang ating Diyos," the Bishop said.

    Annually, representatives of the Social Communications Ministry from different dioceses all over the Philippines gather in the National Catholic Media Convention, an event organized by the CBCP-ECSC. It aims to train, update and intensify the ministers and invigorate them in their mission of evangelization.

    This year the different SOCOM Ministers led by the CBCP-ECSC are preparing for coverage and broadcast of the activities in the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Interfaith Bayanihan alive amidst COVID-19


    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, has distributed gift certificates (GCs) to the families in need within the archdiocese and in other nearby dioceses. The GCs were part of the aid given to Caritas Manila by businessmen who came together to provide resources to help the poor who are most affected by the community quarantine. Each household received a GC worth one thousand pesos that can be used to buy groceries and other items they need.

    Photo from Fr. Herbert Camacho’s Facebook Post
     

    One of the recipients who received GC was Nabil Mustafa’s family from the Parish of Our Lady of Airways in Pasay. Nabil, a Muslim, 21 years old, married with a kid works as a casual airport baggage loader whose income was severed due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

    According to Fr. Moises Ciego who shared his experience in distributing the GCs, Nabil was surprised to receive the gift certificate. He thought that being a Muslim he is not qualified to receive financial assistance from Caritas Manila, an organization run by the Catholic Church.

    “Being a Muslim he somehow surmised that he would not qualify to receive the financial help Caritas Manila distributed to all his Catholic neighbors. Little did he know, the generosity of the Church did not extend only to those who confess Her faith,” the priest said in his message to the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of Manila.

    Mustafa was thankful for the generosity of the Catholic Church who extends her help even to Non-Catholics like him.

    “Binigyan po ako ng tulong ng Caritas Manila Catholic Church. Malaking tulong po ito para sa aking pamilya. Pagpalain po tayo ni Allah para sa binigay nila sa ating lahat. Thank you po,” Mustafa said.

    On his Facebook post, Fr. Herbert Camacho, Parochial Vicar of the National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels visited barangays in San Miguel, Manila to distribute GCs for the poor families suffering from the effect of the quarantine.

    During his visit, he met Kapitan Buleg, a well-respected Muslim who leads the said barangay.

    Kapitan Buleg, who is respected by the members of his barangay and happy with the newly built friendship between him and Fr. Camacho, told the priest, ”Father, i-Facebook ko ito, ipagmamalaki ko, Kristiyano tumulong sa kapatiran.”

    In this time where the Filipinos and the rest of the world are battling an enemy that is invisible, Fr. Camacho found wisdom on some of the messages that the pandemic COVID-19 tries to impart on us.

    “Kung mayroon mang isang bagay na nagbuklod sa amin ng kapatiran ng muslim at parokya ng San Miguel, hindi ang pananampalataya, hindi ang paniniwala. Kundi ang sakit na covid 19,” he said on his post.

    “Akala ko dati kapag maganda ang programa ng parokya, maraming tao ang mahahatak, maraming kristiyano ang mamumulat. Ngayon kahit pala matinding virus, possible na magkaroon ng bagong kapanalig at kapamilya,” he added.

    This year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples as part of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.

    “Father, sigurado, magkikita pa po tayo. Hindi lang magkapit- bahay, kundi mag kaibigan,” Kapitan Buleg said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Churches will continue to celebrate Holy Week Liturgies


    Amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, the Archdiocese of Manila will proceed with the celebration of all Holy Week Liturgies without the participation of the lay faithful said Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, during his interview at Radio Veritas.

    In compliance with the declaration of the government, Holy Week liturgical Celebrations will be held without the gathering of the congregation as a safety precaution for COVID-19.

    “Tuloy-tuloy po ang mga celebrations ng mga simbahan ngayong Semana Santa but not in public, walang congregations. So mayroon po tayong pagdiriwang ng misa sa Palm Sunday pero wala pong tao,” Bishop Pabillo said.

     Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila conducts a pastoral visit to San Juan Nepomuceno Parish in March 2020. l Photo Credit: Brian Espino – San Juan Nepomuceno Parish

     

    He encouraged the faithful to just stay at home and participate in the celebration of Palm Sunday and other Holy Week Celebrations through television, radio, and live streaming online.

    He explained that the lay faithful can celebrate Palm Sunday without the palms itself because the importance of the celebration is our faith in Jesus.

    Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion is celebrated every 6th Sunday of Lent, which this year falls on April 5. It commemorates the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem before his Passion. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week.

    According to Bishop Pabillo, the Church will not rescind the provision for the spiritual needs of the faithful during this time of quarantine, particularly the Anointing of the Sick and Blessing of the Dead.

    "Patuloy po tayo sa pagbibigay ng ating mga ministries sa kanila. Kaya sa mga maysakit patuloy po ang pagbibigay natin ng anointing of the sick, magtawag lamang sila Parokya,” said Bishop Pabillo.

    The Holy Week begins on April 5, Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion until April 11, Holy Saturday that will be followed with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ or Easter Sunday. (Fatima Lllanza/SOCOM-San Felipe Neri Parish)

  • COVID-19: A time of choosing


    His Holiness Pope Francis granted an Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing for the faithful worldwide to pray for an end of the corona virus pandemic at the sagrato of St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, on March 27, 2020.

    In his meditation, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of St. Mark. He stated that the disciples' who found themselves in a sinking boat and the faithful around the world who are battling COVID-19 are in the same situation - they both feel lost and afraid. 

    “For weeks now it has been evening, Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice it in people’s gestures, their glances give them away,” Pope Francis said.

     Pope Francis delivers an extraordinary blessing to Rome and to the world on Friday, March 27, to pray for an end to COVID-19 pandemic. (Screenshot from TV Maria's Live Streaming)

    In his reflection, Pope Francis pointed out how like the disciples in the sinking boat, the faithful are now also calling on Jesus with their faith as it is tested during these trying times.

    "You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing, Now is not the time of God’s judgment, but of our own: A time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others," Pope Francis said.

    According to the Pope, the faithful can learn from medical personnel and all other frontliners who are risking their lives in fighting the battle against COVID-19 even though with the fear that they themselves can become infected with the virus. He praised the medical workers for being “the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial.”

    During the period of quarantine where families are limited to stay in their homes, the Pope reminded the faithful to make the Holy Cross as a pillar of hope, as it also reminds us of the Lord's resurrection.

    "In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things. Let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: He is risen and is living by our side,” he said. 

    Pope Francis prayed before The Salus Populi Romani - an ancient icon of the Blessed Mother housed at the Basilica of St. Mary Major and the Miraculous crucifix kept in the Church of San Marcello - two symbols of faith that have been with the people of Rome for centuries.

    Highlighting the Urbi et Orbi was the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the Apostolic Blessing and the offering of the Plenary Indulgence to the faithful. (Hazel Boquiren/San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Doctors asking for more Spiritual Nourishment


    The Archdiocese of Manila has mobilized to provide accommodations to hospital personnel who are at the front-line of responding to the threat of the corona virus. Parishes and Catholic schools near hospitals were opened to receive doctors, nurses and other medical auxiliaries to provide them place to rest as well as nourishment after exhausting duties.

    Some doctors, however, have revealed that aside from the physical rest and nourishment, they are in need of spiritual strength.

     Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar of San Felipe Neri Parish l File Photo of Eric Paul Guanlao

     
    Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar at San Felipe Neri Parish, Mandaluyong, have shared how many of those who are working in hospitals are weakened spiritually in their fight against COVID19. In an online interview with Fr. Magdurulang he said that doctors and all the others who respond to treat the sickness brought about by the virus are so grateful for spiritual nourishment when it is available for them in masses, blessing, and prayers.

    “For two Sundays now, since this community quarantine started, I celebrate a short but solemn Sunday Eucharist for the health workers and staff of Mandaluyong City Medical Center,” Fr. Magdurulang narrated. “When I thanked them they repeatedly told me that this is what they all really need more…  The doctors, nurses, medtech, security personnel who joined in our prayer outside the lobby of Sta. Ana Hospital were so emotional and they said they are uplifted especially after the sprinkling of the Holy Water. They said, ‘Please be with us through your prayers’.”

    Fr. Magdurulang also shared how emotional the people became when he led them in prayer through the public address system of the hospital so that those who were not able to join for the mass also received and felt the blessing.

    A medical personnel sent a message to the priest after visiting the hospital that said, “Salamat sa tapang mo, Father, na misahan at basbasan mo kami...yan ang magliligtas sa amin!”

    The priest visits the hospitals on regular basis in coordination with the parish close to them to bring bread, water, fruits and some medical aid. But more importantly, he is happy to be among the “frontliners” to give them blessing and spiritual strength in responding to the crisis.

    At the end of the interview, Fr. Magdurulang assured, “I will be visiting them every Monday and serve them whenever they need me. With their service, I am blessed. Through my prayer, they are uplifted. Jesus is truly with us.” (Fr. Roy M. Bellen/RCAM-AOC)

  • Archdiocese to Open more Parish Facilities to Provide Accommodation to COVID19 Responders


    The Archdiocese of Manila is stepping up to make all available facilities to be made available for Medical personnel responding to the corona virus crisis for them to have places to rest as they take breaks from their duties.

    In a message sent to priests early morning of March 29, Bp. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, instructed for all available facilities to be made into temporary accommodation places for the medical frontliners, which include not just doctors and nurses, but also the auxiliary personnel working in hospitals.

    “There are now more parishes and religious houses opening their facilities. Thanks for this availability. But the need is piling. Now not only doctors and nurses are in need of lodging but also hospital maintenance people and orderlies. Either they cannot get home or there is no physical distancing in their homes. Can parishes clean up their meeting halls and other unused spaces and offer them for night lodging - with proper physical distancing?”

     Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Sra De Guia, Ermita, Manila ( Ermita Shrine) accommodates Medical Frontliners from Manila Doctors Hospital for them to rest and sleep after their duties.

     

    Apart from the accommodation, the Bishop also requested for parishes to help transport the medical personnel and auxiliary to and from their hospital assignments.

    “You can also offer your vans to shuttle the health frontliners. They are so grateful that they can find welcome and safe haven in our churches.”

    Bishop Pabillo also put into the attention of the Archdiocese the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who have returned from abroad and have become persons under monitoring (PUM) after possible exposure to the COVID 19 in their place of work outside the country. The Ministry for Migrants, headed by Fr. Tem Fabros was tapped to spearhead the initiative for the OFW.

    In the end of his instruction, the Bishop has mentioned that he has also started tapping religious congregations within the Archdiocese to assist in the ministering the needs of those who are at risk and those who are involved in responding to the COVID19 pandemic. (Fr. Roy M. Bellen/RCAM-AOC)

     

  • Reading the Bible can bring Plenary Indulgence


    "The Bible is such a great gift of God and gives us a lot of spiritual benefits that the Church attaches a plenary indulgence to it whenever we read it in a prayerful way for at least 30 minutes." 

    This was the message of Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, as he emphasized the importance of the Sacred Scripture in the Church and its benefits for the spiritual nourishment of a person when it is read in a prayerful manner.

     


    The Bishop has quoted The Handbook of Indulgences that states, “A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who read sacred Scripture with the veneration due God’s word and as a form of spiritual reading. The indulgence will be a plenary one when such reading is for at least one-half hour” (80).

    The Archdiocese of Manila issued a Pastoral Instruction for the faithful called "The Bible: Our Light and Our Strength" since the declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.

    Bishop Pabillo stated that the very preoccupied lives of the faithful hinder them from learning the value of the Sacred Scriptures. He added that during the enhanced quarantine period brought about by the COVID-19, the faithful should take it as an opportunity to spend time reading the Bible with their families.

    "We all wanted to read the Bible, but somehow the busy lives that we led prevented us from doing so. We had no time. Now suddenly, in these quarantine weeks, we have time, a lot of time! In fact we are considering how we can spend our time meaningfully at home. We do not want to squander this rare commodity that we have now," he said. 

    In his Pastoral Instruction, Bishop Pabillo reminded the faithful to follow the five simple steps in meditating the Sacred Scriptures which is estimated for at least an hour.

    "Read. Meditate. Pray. Contemplate. Act. These are the simple steps to read the Bible in a prayerful way. It can be done approximately between 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on how long is the passage you have chosen," said.

    During this moment of trials, Bishop Pabillo said that is the time that the faithful need the Word of God.

    “The Word of God is very appropriate in our situation. Not only do we have the time. We need light to understand our state, and strength, to hang on in the face of boredom and weakness, especially for the sick,” he said. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • March 29 - Special Day of Prayer for Medical Frontliners


    The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has declared in a circular letter that March 29 is a Day of Special Prayer for all medical frontliners against the pandemic COVID-19.

    Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the CBCP, stated that the Day of Prayer will be done during the 5th Sunday of Lent. During this day, Masses, Rosaries, Holy Hour, and even in moments of personal prayer, the faithful are encouraged pray with the intention for those who serve as frontliners in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

     Camillian Priests and seminarians give Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Socio-Health Institutions and medical centers. l Photo Courtesy of Rev. Fr. Dan Cancino MI/The Camillians

    Archbishop Valles, who is the Archbishop of Davao, also reminded the faithful to observe the precautionary measures and directives mandated by the local government specifically that of staying at home during the enhanced community quarantine period.

    "Among the actions of support we can do is to remind ourselves and our people to cooperate with and obey and follow the quarantine measures that our local government directed us to follow, most especially the directive to stay at home," he said.

    The Archbishop emphasized that the frontline medical personnel--doctors, nurses and staff--are in a difficult situation especially when they feel they are not welcome in their own homes because of fear being carriers of the virus.

    "They are hesitant to go back to their families, and their families and children are hesitant to receive them at home – for the simple obvious reason: they fear that the Corona Virus Disease might be transmitted to them," Archbishop Valles said.

    "Also we heard that some landlords are now becoming hesitant to allow them to come home to their rented places for fear of the transmission of this disease," he added.

    The CBCP also hopes that the Dioceses and Parishes can move their prayers into action such as providing spaces for the frontliners where they can stay and rest.

    "As dioceses and parishes, can we start assisting them by providing facilities for them to go home to, some place for rest and sleep, and perhaps some meals – a second home for our dedicated medical frontliners – like some available buildings and rooms in our dioceses and parishes, for example, formation centers, retreat houses, and pastoral centers? And of course, with well-prepared hygienic protocols as we make these places available for them," he said.

    Recently, CBCP commended the National government's declaration of the last week of March as the National Week of Prayer in battling against COVID-19. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • Pastoral Instruction: The Bible, Our Light and Our Strength





    My dear people of God in the Archdiocese of Manila,

    When people are in the dark, they need light. When people are weak, they need

    strength. We are in the dark. We do not know when this pandemic will be over

    and what will happen to us and to our world after this. We are weak. Do we still

    have the strength to carry on in this way for two more weeks, and perhaps

    longer? We need light. We need strength. We identify with the Psalmist: “My

    heart shudders, my strength forsakes me; the very light of my eyes has failed”

    (Ps. 38:11). The Word of God in the Bible provides light and strength.

     

    The Bible gives us light because it points Jesus to us. He said: "I am the light of

    the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light

    of life" (Jn. 8:12). Because Jesus is our Rock we can say with St. Paul: “I have the

    strength for everything through him who empowers me” (Phil. 4:13).

     

    The Bible is such a great gift of God and gives us a lot of spiritual benefits that

    the Church attaches a plenary indulgence to it whenever we read it in a prayerful

    way for at least 30 minutes.

     

    We all wanted to read the Bible, but somehow the busy lives that we led

    prevented us from doing so. We had no time. Now suddenly, in these quarantine

    weeks, we have time, a lot of time! In fact we are considering how we can spend

    our time meaningfully at home. We do not want to squander this rare

    commodity that we have now.

     

    Take time to read the Bible. You will never regret the time you give to be in touch

    with God by reading his Word. Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “The disciples in a

    certain sense become drawn into intimacy with God by being immersed in the

    word of God” (Verbum Domini #80).

     

    How to immerse ourselves in the Word of God in the Bible? For more than 1500

    years we Christians have developed a simple but effective way to do this. We call

    this Lectio Divina. It is a prayerful and spiritual way of reading the Bible. With

    time in our hands, we can try this out daily until it becomes a habit.

     

    Take a biblical text, say the Bible reading of the day. Read it slowly, paying

    attention to each word. Read it several times, and as you read, ask yourself the

    question: What do these words say? You can stay on this, reading the passage three,

    five or even seven times. You then close the Bible and meditate on what you

    have read, asking the question: What does this passage say to me? When you are

    able to say in a sentence or two the meaning of the text for you, turn to God and

    pray. The message is God’s word for you and your prayer is your answer to God.

    This prayer answers the question: How does this Bible passage lead me to address

    God? Your prayer may be a prayer of praise, or thanksgiving, or petition, or

    contrition – depending on how God spoke to you in the text.

     

    After having prayed, now keep silent. Contemplate. It is creating a space of deep

    awareness of God’s presence. Just open yourself to him. Finally, reflect and

    answer this question: What does God ask me to do today? This is the action part. The

    Word of God leads us to action.

     

    Read. Meditate. Pray. Contemplate. Act. These are the simple steps to read the

    Bible in a prayerful way. It can be done approximately between 30 minutes to 45

    minutes depending on how long is the passage you have chosen.

     

    The Word of God is very appropriate in our situation. Not only do we have the

    time. We need light to understand our state, and strength, to hang on in the face

    of boredom and weakness, especially for the sick. Again Pope Benedict tells us:

    “It is in times of pain that the ultimate questions about the meaning of one’s life

    make themselves acutely felt… Faith born out of an encounter with God’s word

    helps us to realize that human life deserves to be lived fully even when

    weakened by illness and pain”(Verbum Domini #106).

     

    Let us not be afraid of the silence we are now in. In fact, it is the opportunity to

    tap on the treasure of God’s Word. “Only in silence can the word of God find a

    home in us, as it did in Mary, woman of the word and, inseparably, woman of

    silence” (Verbum Domini #66).

     

     

     

    Yours truly in Jesus Christ,

     

    + BRODERICK PABILLO

    Apostolic Administrator of Manila

    March 27, 2020

     

     

  • CBCP Commends Government's National Week of Prayer




    The National Government has declared the last week of March 2020 as the National Week of Prayer amidst the pandemic COVID-19.

    In a message released by the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Archbishop Romulo Valles expressed their appreciation of the declaration of the government of the “National Week of Prayer” as it embodies the Philippines as a God-fearing nation.

    "The declaration by our National Government for a National Week of Prayer is very much appreciated. It shows that we are a nation that is truly “Maka-Diyos”, a people with a deep sense of God," the Archbishop said.

    Archbishop Valles, who is also the Archbishop of Davao, reminded the faithful that even when they are in the midst of this COVID-19 outbreak, the Lord is aware of all their sufferings and yet he remains to be merciful and compassionate.

    The Archbishop also emphasized that the manifestation and expression of the faithful's conviction that the Lord is with them is through the nation's collective prayer.

    "It is a prayer, I hope, that keeps us close to the Lord, and I believe that when we are close to the Lord in prayer, we will realize that the Lord to whom we pray, desires for us to be with Him in looking out for those who are the weakest and the most vulnerable in this time of crisis....," he said.

    With the nation's collective prayers, Archbishop Valles is hopeful that the faithful will discover their own selflessness by paying attention to their fellow neighbors especially when challenges arise in their midst.

     “As we deepen our trust and confidence in the Lord as a nation, may our prayer also lead us to a rediscovery of our God-given capacity to look after others who are most in need in our midst. As a nation, let us continue praying together," he said.

    The National Week of Prayer, also known as Proclamation No. 934, aims to “pray for those who are now suffering from, for comfort to those who lost loved ones, and for the protection of all, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society.” (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

  • A CALL AND INVITATION TO A SPECIAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR OUR FRONTLINE MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS




    Circular No. 20-18

     

    TO ALL THE BISHOPS AND THE DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATORS

    Your Eminences, Your Excellencies and Reverend Administrators:

    RE: A CALL AND INVITATION TO A SPECIAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR OUR FRONTLINE MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS

     

    Although I am quite sure that many of us, if not all, have been remembering and keeping in our prayers, like our Oratio Imperata, those who are in the medical frontline of our collective efforts to face the menace that the Corona Virus disease has brought to our people, we make this call and invitation to all our bishops, clergy and religious, and to all our faithful, to be united in a

     

    ·  Special Day of Prayer for All our Frontline Medical Personnel in our fight against the Corona Virus Disease Pandemic

    ·  On March 29, 2020, the 5th Sunday of Lent

    ·  We do this in all our Masses, our Rosaries, during our Holy Hour, and in our moments of Personal Prayer.

     

    OUR FERVENT PRAYERS FOR THEM:

    For our doctors, nurses, medical staff, all people working in hospitals and clinics, all our medical specialists and researchers, and all those personnel in our DOH:

    ̶   Our prayer of gratitude to the Lord for their heroic service to our people in these difficult times.

    ̶   Our prayer to the Lord for their continued safety and well-being.

    ̶   Our prayer to the Lord for those among them who lost their lives, having been infected by the disease itself, the disease that they were precisely fighting against. Let us pray for their grieving families and loved ones.

    ̶   Our prayer to the Lord for those among them who are sick and those who are getting over-fatigued.

    ̶   Our prayer to the Lord that they may receive the much-needed material support and assistance to perform their duties as medical frontliners in this crisis situation.

    We leave it to each diocese and its parishes to concretize this general call to prayer in your liturgies and pastoral directives. This may be articulated in our introduction to the masses, homilies, prayers of the faithful, and intentions in our rosaries and holy hour. Of course we continue praying our Oratio Imperata.

     

    MAY OUR PRAYERS MOVE US TO ACTION:

    Among the actions of support we can do is to remind ourselves and our people to cooperate with and obey and follow the quarantine measures that our local government directed us to follow, most especially the directive to stay at home.

    Another action we can do: It has come to our attention that many medical personnel, doctors, nurses, and medical staff are now in a problematic situation. They are hesitant to go back to their families, and their families and children are hesitant to receive them at home - for the simple obvious reason: they fear that the Corona Virus Disease might be transmitted to them. Also we heard that some landlords are now becoming hesitant to allow them to come home to their rented places for fear of the transmission of this disease.

    May our prayer move us to action: As dioceses and parishes, can we start assisting them by providing facilities for them to go home to, some place for rest and sleep, and perhaps some meals - a second home for our dedicated medical frontliners - like some available buildings and rooms in our dioceses and parishes, for example, formation centers, retreat houses, and pastoral centers? And of  course, with well-prepared hygienic protocols as we make these places available for them.

    Thank you very much for your kind consideration of this call and invitation. Let us continue praying for each other.

     

    Sincerely yours in Christ,


    + ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
    Archbishop of Davao
    CBCP President

    26 March 2020

  • Catholic Schools to open as shelter for the homeless and street dwellers


    Responding to the call of the Catholic Church to extend help to the poor families who suffer from the effect of the pandemic brought about by COVID-19, the parochial schools in the Archdiocese of Manila will open its doors to shelter the homeless and the street dwellers.

    In a letter sent to parents and partners of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila Educational System (RCAM-ES) Schools by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, he expressed his gratitude to all the school directors who opened its doors to shelter those poor families who have nowhere to go because of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    “We laud this gesture of our school directors to provide quarters to the homeless and street dwellers, and health workers where they can be safe and secure,” Bishop Pabillo said.

    Among the parochial schools who will open their facilities as temporary shelters to the homeless and street dwellers during the enhanced community quarantine period in Luzon are Malate Catholic School, Espiritu Santo Parochial Schools, and Holy Trinity Academy.

    According to Bishop Pabillo, Paco Catholic School “accommodated the homeless families under the care of Fr. Luke Mortgart, CICM” and “The Nazarene Catholic School will soon accommodate the health workers from San Lazaro Hospital.”

    He also added that Fr. Flavie Villanueva who heads the Arnold Janssen KALINGA Center is coordinating the transfer of the homeless to the schools where they can be taken care of. The Center and its volunteers he said, will “provide for the basic needs of those who are taking shelter at the said schools.”

    Bishop Pabillo assured the parents and partners of RCAM-ES that the school will follow safety precautions from the Department of Health and World Health Organizations to prevent the tran