Drumming “future” nuns welcome delegates to the FABC’s 10th plenary assembly in Vietnam

Vietnamese women in formation to be religious sisters welcomed bishops and other delegates and guests to the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) at Xuan Loc Pastoral Center, east of Ho Chi Minh during opening of formal sessions on Dec. 17, 2012.

Tran Ngoc Khoa captured their fiery performance here

Related stories:

Vietnam Diocese Grateful for “Miracle” of Hosting 10th FABC Plenary Assembly

 

Advent in Vietnam during the 10th FABC Plenary Assembly 2012

N. J. Viehland Photos

 

A symbol of the Star of Bethlehem hanging around Xuan Loc Pastoral Complex remind delegates and guests attending activities of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences about the meaning of Advent, the season during which the assembly commemorating the 40th anniversary of effectivity of FABC's Statutes and studying together challenges to the Church in Asia. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

A symbol of the Star of Bethlehem hanging around Xuan Loc Pastoral Complex remind delegates and guests attending activities of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences about the meaning of Advent, the season during which the assembly commemorating the 40th anniversary of effectivity of FABC’s Statutes and studying together challenges to the Church in Asia. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai led the opening Eucharist for the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) . The statutes of the voluntary association of episcopal conferences in South, Southeast, East and Central Asia was approved by the Holy See on Nov. 16, 1972. The federation has been created to foster among its members solidarity and co-responsibility for the welfare of Church and society in Asia, and to promote and defend whatever is for the greater good. Filipino Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales served as Pope Benedict XVI's official representative to the assembly whose activities were held in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City from Dec. 10-16. (N.J. Viehland Photo)

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai led the opening Eucharist for the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) . The statutes of the voluntary association of episcopal conferences in South, Southeast, East and Central Asia was approved by the Holy See on Nov. 16, 1972. The federation has been created to foster among its members solidarity and co-responsibility for the welfare of Church and society in Asia, and to promote and defend whatever is for the greater good. Filipino Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales served as Pope Benedict XVI’s official representative to the assembly whose activities were held in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City from Dec. 10-16. (N.J. Viehland Photo)

Filipino Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales (in front), Archbishop Emeritus of Manila was welcomed by a drum and bugle corps and a reception line stretching through the main roads of Xuan Loc Pastoral Complex in the diocese east of Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 11, 2012, after he delivered his address citing Pope Benedict XVI's message to the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). He is accompanied by Assistant of the Papal Legate Father Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit, Jr. (N.J. Viehland Photo)

Filipino Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales (in front), Archbishop Emeritus of Manila was welcomed by a drum and bugle corps and a reception line stretching through the main roads of Xuan Loc Pastoral Complex in the diocese east of Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 11, 2012, after he delivered his address citing Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). He is accompanied by Assistant of the Papal Legate Father Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit, Jr. (N.J. Viehland Photo)

The Grand Chapel is one of five chapels on the block of buildings in Xuan Loc Pastoral complex where Saint Joseph Seminary stands. The seminary's introductory booklet says this chapel is built in the shape of three rice buds indicating the impending rich harvest of the Church. In front of the chapel Vietnamese Catholics, mostly from Xuan Loc diocese, lined the pastoral complex road to welcome bishops and other delegates from around Asia, the Vatican and other continents, at the opening of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference on Dec. 11, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

The Grand Chapel is one of five chapels on the block of buildings in Xuan Loc Pastoral complex where Saint Joseph Seminary stands. The seminary’s introductory booklet says this chapel is built in the shape of three rice buds indicating the impending rich harvest of the Church. In front of the chapel Vietnamese Catholics, mostly from Xuan Loc diocese, lined the pastoral complex road to welcome bishops and other delegates from around Asia, the Vatican and other continents, at the opening of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference on Dec. 11, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Xuan Loc was created in 1965 from places under the pastoral care of Ho Chi Minh City archdiocese. In 2010, more than 35 percent of the 2.34 million people living in the diocese had been baptized Catholics. Today, more than 1,700 women religious are helping in Church ministries diocesan officials say. Many of them contributed to discussions, services and operations in support of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences Dec. 10-16, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Xuan Loc was created in 1965 from places under the pastoral care of Ho Chi Minh City archdiocese. In 2010, more than 35 percent of the 2.34 million people living in the diocese had been baptized Catholics. Today, more than 1,700 women religious are helping in Church ministries diocesan officials say. Many of them contributed to discussions, services and operations in support of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences Dec. 10-16, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Philippines Archbishop Jose Palma was among 13 presidents of Catholic Bishops Conferences in Asia who joined the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Dec. 10-16, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Philippines Archbishop Jose Palma was among 13 presidents of Catholic Bishops Conferences in Asia who joined the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Dec. 10-16, 2012. (N. J. Viehland Photo)

Participants, including Ursuline Sister Mary Walter Santer processed from the Xuan Loc diocesan offices building to the auditorium for the opening of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) on Dec. 11, 2012. Sister Santer was honored at the assembly for her long-time service as Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Consecrated Life, a post now held by Religious of the Assumption Sister Deanna Maria Villavert Combong. (N. J. Viehland photo)

Participants, including Ursuline Sister Mary Walter Santer processed from the Xuan Loc diocesan offices building to the auditorium for the opening of the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) on Dec. 11, 2012. Sister Santer was honored at the assembly for her long-time service as Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Consecrated Life, a post now held by Religious of the Assumption Sister Deanna Maria Villavert Combong. (N. J. Viehland photo)

On Friday, December 14, the plenary hall during the evening prayer filled with voices of hope singing:

“Waiting in silence, waiting in hope; We are your people, we long for you, Lord. God ever with us, Emmanuel, Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha! –  “Waiting in Silence” by Carey Landry

Reports from the FABC plenary assembly are posted on the FABC’s website with photos on the website Gallery

Cardinal Tagle’s Advent appeal to RH law makers, encouragement for the anxious

Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle launched traditional advent Simbanggabi (night mass) novena in the archdiocese yesterday with an appeal to all to focus on Jesus at this time of anxiety over the push to pass the reproductive health (RH) bill, which Philippine bishops had opposed for more than a decade.

His statement makes reference to escalated actions of law makers to amend and vote on the amended version of the RH bill, after President Benigno Aquino certified it as urgent last week. 

To evaluate for yourself Cardinal Tagle’s message, the text arriving from his Manila archdiocese (in English and Tagalog) is posted below:

December 16, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is the first day of Simbanggabi! During these nine days we symbolically join the Blessed Mother in her nine months of joyful expectation for the birth of Jesus. Today happens to be Gaudete Sunday, a day of Rejoicing for the Son of God is near. He is truly Emmanuel (God is with us). His name is Jesus for God saves. That is why in the first reading Zephaniah could say, “Be not discouraged!” That is why in the second reading St. Paul could say, “Dismiss all anxiety.” The assurance that Jesus saves is the reason for our joy in the midst of uncertainties, suffering and conflicts. We cannot save ourselves. Jesus will save us.

Joy in Christ leads to conversion to Christ and His ways. Conversion to Christ in turn leads to conversion to love of the poor, truth, justice and humble service as St. John the Baptist said. I call on all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila to make their joy complete by turning away for what is contrary to the Gospel in order to follow Jesus. As the issue of the RH bill heats us again, I appeal to our legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate to welcome Jesus with joy. His Word and Wisdom (and not just any human word or wisdom) is needed to form consciences. I pray that you may prepare a straight path for the Lord so that the Filipino people of today and those of coming generations may find true and lasting joy.

To all of you I say again, “Rejoice!” “Be not discouraged!” “Dismiss anxiety!” Jesus sees the secrets of the heart. He will set things right. Jesus is near!

+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle

Archbishop of Manila

Pahayag sa Simbanggabi

December 16, 2012

Mga Kapatid ko kay Kristo

Unang araw na po ng Simbanggabi! Sa siyam na araw na darating sasamahan natin ang Mahal na Birhen sa siyam na buwan niyang pananabik sa kapanganakan ni Jesus. Ngayon din po ay Gaudete Sunday o Linggo ng Kagalakan dahil malapit na ang Anak ng Dios. Tunay Siyang Emmanuel (Ang Dios ay nasa piling natin). Ang pangalan Niya ay Jesus sapagka’t Nagliligtas ang Dios. Kaya sinabi ni Sofonias sa unang pagbasa, “Huwag kang matakot. Huwag manghina ang iyong loob.” Kaya sinabi ni San Pablo sa ikalawang pagbasa, “Huwag kayong mabalisa tungkol sa anumang bagay.” Ang kasiguruhan na ililigtas tayo ni Jesus ang dahilan ng ating kagalakan kahit humaharap tayo mga kabalintunaan, pagdurusa at hidwaan. Hindi natin kayang iligtas ang ating sarili. Si Jesus ang magliligtas sa atin!

Ang kagalakan kay Kristo ay umuuwi sa pagbabalik-loob kay Kristo at sa Kanyang daan. Ang pagbabalik-loob kay Kristo naman ay umuuwi sa pagbabagong-loob tungo sa pag-ibig sa dukha, sa katotohanan, sa katarungan at sa paglilingkod na may pagpapakumbaba. Ito ang mga sinabi ni San Juan Bautista. Nananawagan po ako sa inyo mga Katoliko sa Arkidiyosesis ng Manila na gawing ganap ang inyong kasiyahan sa pamamagitan ng pagtalikod sa mga taliwas sa Ebanghelyo upang sumunod kay Jesus. Ngayong umiinit na naman po ang usapin tungkol sa RH Bill, nananawagan ako sa mga mambabatas sa Congreso at Senado na tanggapin si Jesus nang may kagalakan. Ang Salita at Karunungan ni Jesus (at hindi ang kung anu-anong makataong salita o karunungan) ang kinakailangan upang mahubog ang buhdi o konsensiya. Panalangin ko po na maihanda ninyo ang daraanan ng Panginoon upang makaranas ang mga Pilipino sa kasalukuyan at sa darating pang mga pahanon ng tunay at wagas na kaligayahan.

Sa inyo pong lahat sinasabi kong muli, “Magalak kayo!” “Huwag manghina ang inyong loob!” “Huwag mabalisa!” Darating na si Jesus. Nababasa siya ang nakatago sa puso ng tao. Iwawasto Niya ang lahat ng mali. Malapit na si Jesus!

+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle

Arsobispo ng Manila

For some perspectives on the Cardinal’s message, read:

Inquirer report