Cardinal Tagle in BBC Hard Talk on Church, development – video clip

AMOR, NJ Viehland Photos

Aspirants from south Asia bring offerings at the opening Mass for the XVIth Asia Oceania Meeting of Religious women (AMOR) officiated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in Tagaytay City, Philippines, in Nov. 2014 – NJ Viehland Photos

Stephen Sackur of BBC’s Hard Talk interviewed the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in the Philippines, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. Is the Catholic Church helping the nation’s development?

View clips from the 30-minute BBC interview with Cardinal Tagle here

Priests apologize for shaming of unwed mom

The priest who harangued and scolded an unwed teenage mother during the baptism of her baby has apologized and his religious order has promised to discipline the priest.

Screenshot of Fr. Obach's letter of apology.

Screenshot of Fr. Obach’s letter of apology.

The baby’s grandmother recorded the incident on her cellphone and later uploaded it to her Facebook page. She also wrote about the humiliation the priest subjected her daughter to.

Read full report

The baptizing priest, Father Romeo Obach belongs to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) – Cebu Province  which issued on July 8 its statement on Fr. Obach, CSsR

Following is the full text of the Redemptorists-Cebu statement :

CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS
Provincial Superior
Cebu Province
Provincial Office
Don Ramon Aboitiz St.
6000 Cebu City, Philippines

1. We, the Redemptorists of the Province of Cebu are deeply saddened by the incident that happened on July 6, 2014 at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Jagobiao, Mandaue City. The said incident involved one of our confreres, Fr. Romeo Obach, CSsR. We were made aware that the incident was videoed and uploaded on social media and has since gone viral.

As a religious community we DO NOT CONDONE such an UNACCEPTABLE ACT as it is contrary to the Charism and Mission for which our Congregation was founded – compassion especially to the poor and the most abandoned. We sincerely feel for the family and to them we extend our heartfelt apology.

2. An INTERNAL INVESTIGATION is underway. Rest assured that appropriate SANCTIONS on the part of the involved will be applied once the investigation is complete so that justice may prevail.

3. We will reach out the aggrieved family at the appropriate and most opportune time to address this particular matter. We respect their situation at the moment and sympathize with their hurt and anger over this matter.

4. The Redemptorist Community has always upheld the rights of the poor and disenfranchised since the first missionaries arrived here in Cebu in 1906. And this has been our conviction through the decades. It is but unfortunate that the incident involving Fr. Obach occurred, as he has been a good missionary for many years. He has served in many capacities and various places heeding the challenges of the congregation, yet he is also human and prone to lapse of judgment and imprudence.

5. We appeal for calm and sobriety from everyone even as we try to assess both the outcome of the investigation of our confrere and at the same time reach out to the family. We appreciate that if you have further concerns, address them to the SUPERIOR of the Redemptorists.

6. May this also serve as a reminder to us in the religious life and the clergy of our role as pastors: that we are called to serve and not be served and to offer our lives for all (cf. Mt. 20:28). On behalf of the Redemptorist Community of Cebu, we extend our sincere and humble apologies.

Fr. Alfonso Suico, Jr, C.Ss.R
Media Liaison

 

Thais stage candlelight protest against military rule – Reuters Video

Reuters’ Sarah Toms on May 24 reported hundreds joined a candlelight protest against military rule in Thailand’s northeastern city of Chiang Mai, home to the powerful Shinawatra family.

Watch Reuters’  short video report here (1:15)

Nepal student group forms media club – Robert Urau report

Kathmadu: A group of students in Nepal has become the first to start a video production club in Salesian South Asia Region. They are part of a media club spread out over three continents and in four countries (Poland, Ghana, Israel and Nepal).

The newly formed club in the Himalayan kingdom started off with a group of 15 boys who underwent two weeks training in basic photography and film making under the direction of Polish Salesian Fr. Roman Sikon, a member of “Art 43” Film School.

After the completion of the film making course, Fr Sikon, a professional film maker, organized photo competition for the students.

Seeing the enthusiasm and talent of the students Fr Sikon introduced them to the Salesian media club called “Art 43 Club,” which was started in the Salesian theology study institute at Krakow in Poland.

The name “Art 43” derives from Article 43 of the Constitutions of the Salesians of Don Bosco which says “by creating awareness of the importance of communication in the Salesian mission and of its educative and apostolic effectiveness.”

“The students of Don Bosco Thecho in Lalitpur district of Kathmandu formed their own group of “Art. 43 Nepal” on April 15 along with some of their teachers,” says Director of the Technical Institute Fr. Jijio John proud of the achievement of his boys.

To see their first video production please click here

The Article 43 Movement started off as an experiment in social communication that involved the four provinces of Poland involving Salesians, the Salesian Family and young people from all over Poland who are committed to the social communication ministry. It all started way back in 2006 when the former Rector Major Pascuale Chavez preached a retreat to the Salesian Rectors who in turn motivated some young Salesians to get into media ministry.

“Article 43 is a movement comprising different groups of Salesians and lay people of the Salesian Family and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in Poland and elsewhere. Each group retains its identity and achieves its specific objectives in the area of social communication,” says Fr Sikon.

In 2008, after the reorganization of the houses of formation in Poland, the post-novices of the Lad and Warta community published a bulletin called Lenda, produced a film about the life of the community, started the community website, and extended their activities in collaboration with the local youth centre.

With the help of the young people of the Salesian Youth Volunteer Movement, Article 43 was exported to Ghana in Africa.

Soon other local groups were started in Poland and the formation activities of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) began to spread with Radio Desert as well as the Salesian Youth Movement newsletters Czas Laski and Kontakt.

There is an Art 43 group also in the International Theology study house at Ratisbonne, Jerusalem, in Israel.

“One of the characteristic features of this experience is a passion for formation, professional training in the field of social communication, and spiritual and theological formation,” recalls Fr Sikon who has recently joined Nepal mission.

“Formation is at the basis of all their activities that now reach schools, universities, youth centres, parishes, digital browsers, television viewers, radio listeners, readers of the bulletins,” explains Fr Sikon.

[This story appeared in Matters India]

9,000 people came to hear Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

By: N.J. Viehland

Choir in the back, Mother Butler Guild members, some people in wheelchairs, groups in the Church's ministry to the deaf and security personnel at the Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Center, Quezon City, northeast of Manila / N.J. Viehland Photos

Choir in the back, Mother Butler Guild members, some people in wheelchairs, groups in the Church’s ministry to the deaf and security personnel at the Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Center, Quezon City, northeast of Manila / N.J. Viehland Photos

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s Easter Recollection was expecting a large crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last Sunday, April 21, but 9,000 people ? That is awesome.

More than the numbers, though, the mix of people I saw and spoke to was impressive: people in their 80’s, young adults in their 20’s, children, couples holding hands, nuns…

Outside the big arena, there was a lot of excitement, especially by the food stalls and tables for book and multi-media sales. Not surprising, the chatter included admiration and pride over how their cardinal was cited in the past month as possible next pope.

But inside the huge hall, especially while Cardinal Tagle spoke, all were still and quiet, interrupted periodically by bursts of laughter and applause. At one point when Cardinal Tagle shifted to a serious tone while challenging the audience to be missionaries and witness to Christ, he asked, why did you all suddenly get quiet?

The 9,000 people who spent their Sunday in an Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 included nuns, couples, young adults shown here during the break at Smart-Araneta Center. / N.J. Viehland Photo

The 9,000 people who spent their Sunday in an Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 included nuns, couples, young adults shown here during the break at Smart-Araneta Center. / N.J. Viehland Photo

Somehow, inside the big dome noted for big league and college basketball, pop concerts and the legendary “Thrilla in Manila” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975, it seemed like everyone knew each other – like neighbors in one community.

Cardinal Tagle spoke in three parts:

Focusing on Christ’s instruction to the disciples to “Go to Galilee”, he reflected on “Galilees in our life” including the hurts and frustrations, fears and failures. Cardinal Tagle said as Jesus met the disciples in Galilee after resurrecting from the dead, he also meets us and stays with us in these places of hurt, frustration, fears and failures. He helps us to know more about Him. This prepares us to “go to the ends of the earth” to tell all people about God’s love and justice, by showing these to them in the way we live and relate with others.

Cardinal Tagle urged thousands of Catholics at the coliseum and many others listening on the radio to go out and serve in mission. [Click the link to read about it.]

Several people I spoke with said they felt “inspired” to become priests, or “challenged” to be patient and influential teachers.

Catechist Mirasol Bautista and Sherry Canchela of Pansol, Quezon City hope to have patience and be effective teacher to hundreds of students after listening to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection in Smart-Araneta Coliseum / N. J. Viehland Photo

Catechist Mirasol Bautista and Sherry Canchela of Pansol, Quezon City hope to have patience and be effective teacher to hundreds of students after listening to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection in Smart-Araneta Coliseum / N. J. Viehland Photo

Aljon Carpio [left], 22 year-old religion teacher at Notre Dame of Greater Manila with Jose Miguel Pacheco, 4th year high school at University of Santo Tomas felt "inspired" and amused with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle's storytelling at the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection in Smart-Araneta Coliseum.  / N.J. Viehland Photo

Aljon Carpio [left], 22 year-old religion teacher at Notre Dame of Greater Manila with Jose Miguel Pacheco, 4th year high school at University of Santo Tomas felt “inspired” and amused with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s storytelling at the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection in Smart-Araneta Coliseum. / N.J. Viehland Photo

Finally, Cardinal Tagle celebrated Mass with Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, which covers Quezon City, and Fr. Emmanuel “Nono” Alfonso, JesCom director.

In the end, Cardinal Tagle directed the congregation to “go to the ends of the earth” and tell others about Christ.

Here are some of the things I saw while I was at Smart-Araneta Coliseum from 8:00-past 1 p.m.

Applauding Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as he returned to the stage for the second part of his talk for the Easter Recollection April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Center in Quezon City, northeast of Manila./ N.J. Viehland Photo

Applauding Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as he returned to the stage for the second part of his talk for the Easter Recollection April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Center in Quezon City, northeast of Manila./ N.J. Viehland Photo

Orchestra playing during the break in the Easter recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Coliseum / N. J. Viehland Photo

Orchestra playing during the break in the Easter recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle April 21, 2013 at Smart-Araneta Coliseum / N. J. Viehland Photo

 

Breaktime at Smart-Araneta Coliseum during the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle - not exactly up-scale dining , but lots of a different kind of "nourishment" / N.J. Viehland Photos [display of brands not an endorsement]

Breaktime at Smart-Araneta Coliseum during the April 21, 2013 Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle – not exactly up-scale dining , but lots of a different kind of “nourishment” / N.J. Viehland Photos [display of brands not an endorsement]

Bringing the faith to the people: The 1975 "Thrilla", was in fact the legendary Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier boxing match. Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on April 21,2013 ended with Mass for Good Shepherd Sunday. N.J. Viehland Photos [Product logos are not an endorsement by this blog.]

Bringing the faith to the people: The 1975 “Thrilla”, was in fact the legendary Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier boxing match. Easter Recollection with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on April 21,2013 ended with Mass for Good Shepherd Sunday. N.J. Viehland Photos [Product logos are not an endorsement by this blog.]

 

After the Easter Recollection at Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Sunday TV program followers offered support for The Word Exposed featuring Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle / N.J. Viehland Photos

After the Easter Recollection at Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Sunday TV program followers offered support for The Word Exposed featuring Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle / N.J. Viehland Photos

Philippine Bishops and Elections

By: N.J. Viehland

Andrew Pearson’s video on The evolution of the bishops wherein late Jesuit Father James Reuter shares his views and opinions revisits  a period which many voters in the May 13 general elections did not experience.

It recalls how the government of ousted president Ferdinand Marcos pushed bishops to speak out against an “immoral” regime, and rally people to examine their consciences, pray, discern and act to stop what is wrong and enable what is good.

Bishops Antonio Fortich and Francisco Claver, who Fr. Reuter described as “progressive”  have both passed away.

In this period of “restored democracy”,  what does the Church in the Philippines need and who are the next generation bishops who will guide Filipinos to think, feel and act as Christ did in their day-to-day community life ?

Catholic Bishops of the Philippines pray the Our Father at the funeral Mass for Bishop Francisco Claver at the Jesuit Loyola House of Studies seminary chapel in 2010. / N.J. Viehland Photo

Catholic Bishops of the Philippines pray the Our Father at the funeral Mass for Bishop Francisco Claver at the Jesuit Loyola House of Studies seminary chapel in 2010. – N.J. Viehland Photos

Media Pioneer Jesuit Father James Reuter dies at 96

MANILA – Fr. James Reuter, the American Jesuit priest who built the Catholic radio broadcasting system in the Philippines and laid the foundations for the bishops’ national media network, died in hospital just south of Manila on Dec. 31, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced. He was 96.

Jesuit Father James Reuter gave a view of the Church in Asia in the 1970s and its social communication needs to a group of Philippine reporters training under Maryknoll Father Bob Astorino to report on the life of the Church in the country. Photo by N.J. Viehland

Jesuit Father James Reuter gave a view of the Church in Asia in the 1970s and its social communication needs to a group of Philippine reporters training under Maryknoll Father Bob Astorino to report on the life of the Church in the country. Photo by N.J. Viehland

Father Reuter is called by many names:

The Rosary priest,

The feisty Jesuit priest

Legendary EDSA Bandido

The priest who loved the Philippines and Filipinos in legendary scale

Mentor to generations

May his soul rest in peace. May he pray for us, especially those who he trained and taught to carry on the work of evangelization through social communication and media.

* updated Jan. 1, 2013