Philippines cardinals team up to promote Eucharistic Congress

Four Philippines cardinals with nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto (in black) helped Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, 51st IEC Chairman, and his team present the congress to media at the June 10 press conference in Arzobispado de Manila, Intramuros. - NJ Viehland Photos

Four Philippines cardinals with nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto (in black) helped Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, 51st IEC Chairman, and his team present the congress to media at the June 10 press conference in Arzobispado de Manila, Intramuros. – NJ Viehland Photos

MANILA – The four Philippine cardinals who faced media last month drew the connection between everyday life and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu, central Philippines, in 2016.

The first International Eucharistic Congress held in the Philippines was in 1937.Cardinals Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato and Luis Tagle of Manila, with retired Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales and Ricardo Vidal, at a June 10 press conference in the Manila archdiocese’s chancery building helped launch the theme, logo, prayers and the song for the meeting, which will be held Jan. 24-30, 2016.

With nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, they shared reflections on the meeting’s theme, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The cardinals and Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu (chairman of the gathering), priests and lay partners answered media’s questions, watched popular Philippine singer Dulce and her son sing the congress song and viewed videos, including a promotional video in which Tagle, Quevedo, media personalities, an actress and Congresswoman Grace Poe appear.

The International Eucharistic Congress is a church event where people from different parts of the world gather to celebrate the Eucharist, reflect its richness and pray before it.

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

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. –  N.J. Viehland Photos

Children, teachers, staff, volunteers, nuns, novices, joined in thanksgiving at Mass onFatima Center for Human Development's 30th foundation anniversary / N J Viehland Photo

Children, teachers, staff, volunteers, nuns, novices, joined in thanksgiving at Mass onFatima Center for Human Development’s 30th foundation anniversary – N J Viehland Photos

Read the full report and insights of the Church leaders on the upcoming congress, the first to be held under Pope Francis.

Cardinal Tagle: Upcoming synod will reflect clear picture of families

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, president of the Synod on the Family, at the June 10 press conference on the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress discussed the synod in his response to National Catholic Reporter's question: What can Catholics who are not allowed to receive the Eucharist hope for in the upcoming synod. - NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, president of the Synod on the Family, at the June 10 press conference on the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress discussed the synod in his response to National Catholic Reporter’s question: What can Catholics who are not allowed to receive the Eucharist hope for in the upcoming synod. – NJ Viehland Photo

For Philippines Cardinal Luis Tagle, the two stages of the Synod of Bishops on the family that Pope Francis will convene in Rome are “hopeful signs” that the Church is willing to listen not only to the success stories and joys of families, but also to the difficulties families experience worldwide.

At a June 10 press conference in Manila, Cardinal Tagle pointed out various reasons why Filipino spouses separate, some of them because of marital problems, but many others “because of poverty that leads to forced migration.” He described the latter as “separation because they love.” 

Daniel and Evita Licardo (seated) celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with their daughters, relatives and friends grateful for "blessings" they received especially while Daniel was away, working in Kuwait since one year after they were married. - Photo by Noriza Licardo published with permission.

Daniel and Evita Licardo (seated) celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with their daughters, relatives and friends grateful for “blessings” they received especially while Daniel was away, working in Kuwait since one year after they were married. – Photo by Noriza Licardo published with permission.

 

Cardindal Tagle said Pope Francis wants various voices on the matter of separation of spouses to be heard.

Read full report

 

Gov’t hosts meeting for Pope Francis’ Visit to Sri Lanka, ahead of PH

Sri Lanka’s Inter-Ministerial Task Force preparing for Pope Francis’ “state visit” from January 13 to 15 next year gathered together  public, civic, private business and Church leaders for the first time June 24 at the External Affairs Ministry, its Daily News national newspaper reported.

Sri Lankan unofficial source for dates of the papal visit to the south Asian country has also been cited saying the pope would arrive in the Philippines from Sri Lanka on January 15 in a report which the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website  and Facebook account cited.

For the Sri Lanka visit, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris welcomed Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Apostolic Nuncio Nguyen Van Tot, Bishop of Chilaw Most Rev. Valence Mendis, Bishop of Galle Most Rev. Raymond Wickramasinghe, Bishop of Kurunegala Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Law and Order Ministry Secretary Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi, Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary Dr. Charitha Herath, Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya, Army Commander Lt. General R.M.D. Ratnayake, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Air Force Commander Air Marshal K.A. Gunathilake, Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon and representatives of other stakeholder institutions including the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry, the Highways Ministry, Airport and Aviation Services Ltd., SriLankan Airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Immigration and Emigration Department and the Colombo Municipal Council.

All arrangements regarding the State Visit of His Holiness the Pope were discussed comprehensively at this meeting.

It was agreed that a further discussion would take place with the advance team from the Vatican due to visit Sri Lanka next week.

Read report, view meeting photos 

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis would be travelling to Korea from August 14 to August 18 this year during which he will visit with and address young people from around the region gathered for Asian Youth Day, persons with disabilities, leaders of religious and lay groups. The pope will also hold private meetings with South Korean president and public officials as well as Catholic bishops of Korea.

No formal announcement has come from the Vatican concerning exact dates of Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, which the pope told an inflight press conference would be on January.

Sri Lanka media, quoting Cardinal Ranjith reported the January 13 – January 15 visit to their south Asian country. Catholic News Agency report later cited Monsignor Nevin Perera, coordinator of Sri Lankan migrants in Italy, saying that Pope Francis will leave Sri Lanka for Manila on the morning of January 15.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also expressed confidence that the papal visit will push through. In an early June press conference on the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress attended by CiA, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo told reporters a Vatican representative is expected to attend the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines July plenary assembly to discuss the pope’s visit to the Philippines.

Palo Archbishop John Du, said the papal visit would boost the morale of ‘Yolanda’ (super typhoon Haiyan) survivors, especially those who are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

He said the typhoon survivors in Leyte await the pope’s visit and anticipate eagerly Pope Francis’ arrival in their province.

“The pope’s visit is another big blessing. We are happy for the blessing that come to us– the pope is coming, the people’s solidarity and the overwhelming generosity of the people,” Du said.

According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, which reports worldwide church figures as of Dec. 31, 2011, the increase in the number of Catholics in Africa (4.3 percent) and Asia (2 percent) greatly outpaced their regions’ population growth, which was 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

 

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Photo archive – Cardinal Tagle and Mother Mila blowing cake, video

Mrs. Milagros Gokim-Tagle (in red) helped Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila blow the candle on his cake on June 21, 2012, his first birthday anniversary after being appointed archbishop of Manila. - NJ Viehland Photos

Mrs. Milagros Gokim-Tagle (in red) helped Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila blow the candle on his cake on June 21, 2012, his first birthday anniversary after being appointed archbishop of Manila. – NJ Viehland Photo

What did it take for a woman to raise a son like Luis Antonio Tagle, now cardinal of Manila?
What was the role of Milagros Gokim-Tagle in the growth of her son’s priestly vocation?
How did she support him and what role does she play now that he is a bishop?

Milagros Tagle, “Nanay Mila” to family, friends and the public, spoke to Family Rosary Crusade TV’s “Church Alive” program about what it is like to be a bishop’s mother. The video was recorded two years before Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Tagle, then bishop of his home Diocese of Imus, Cavite, south of Manila, as Archbishop of Manila in 2011 and three years before the pope created him a cardinal in the Nov. 2012 consistory in Rome.

Speaking her own views in Tagalog, “Nanay” (mother) Mila talked about Cardinal Tagle’s wish to be a doctor, and how her sibling who was a doctor turned over to the Cardinal his medical books in case they would prove useful to him.Â

However, his priest friends accompanied him to take the entrance test in the Jesuit Ateneo University, and he passed.
His mother told Church Alive program  with her son already a bishop, he still follows their advice on certain personal matters  especially regarding care for his health.

She said as a bishop, her son does not dictate to her. He advises on people approaching them to bring matters to the cardinal.
“We advise people to write a letter and give to his (cardinal’s) secretary. Everything goes through his secretary,” Nanay Mila said.

Concerning her role as Cardinal Tagle’s mother, she sees this as just a way that God is using her as instrument of his will.
“It’s just like Jesus. Mary did not know that the child she was going to give birth to is the son of God,” the bishop’s mother said.

The slogan popularized by Congregation of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, the Irish-born priest who started Family Crusade in the Phiippines, “The family that prays together stays together,” is this still relevant today?

Nanay Mila says even if they are separated, families could pray wherever they are. “It is my weapon. That is what I tell my fellow mothers and my friends who have changed religion. You don’t know, it’s a weapon? No matter where you go, you will be safe from harm.”

Nanay Mila as a mother would look in on her children when they went to bed and again in the morning before the get up. She believes mothers should be able to do the same to their children and laments that women have to go abroad to earn a living.

The summary is based on summary of unofficial translations of the interview.

View full Family Rosary TV video of the interview  with Nanay Mila in Tagalog.

E ND

 

AMOR XVI Conference in photos

"A mystic is a prophet in contemplation..." Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious 16th Conference (AMOR XVI) final statement, Nov. 17, 2013, St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines . / By N.J. Viehland

“A mystic is a prophet in contemplation…” Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious 16th Conference (AMOR XVI) final statement, Nov. 17, 2013, St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines . / By N.J. Viehland

"A prophet is a mystic in action" - AMOR XVI Conference final statement. Participants listened to environmental and human rights activist Sister Stella Matutina, a Filipino Benedictine, share about her work and challenges she faces on Day 5 of the conference that gathered more than 70 nuns and representatives of partner groups in St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, NOV. 10-27 , 2013. / By N.J. Viehland

“A prophet is a mystic in action” – AMOR XVI Conference final statement. Participants listened to environmental and human rights activist Sister Stella Matutina, a Filipino Benedictine, share about her work and challenges she faces on Day 5 of the conference that gathered more than 70 nuns and representatives of partner groups in St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, NOV. 10-27 , 2013. / By N.J. Viehland

TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – Sixty-five religious women from Asia and Oceania concluded an eight-day conference with a commitment to deepening their spiritual bonds and strengthening cross-cultural and international cooperation to better serve the needy.Held Nov. 10-17 at St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality here, the AMOR XVI (Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious) conference’s theme, “The Mystic-Prophetic Dimension of Religious Life,” led the women to combine their spiritual and prophetic ideals.

[ Read full report here ]

Holy Spirit Sister Eden Panganiban, Chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines welcomed participants and guests to the 16th Conference of Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious (AMOR XVI) during the opening Mass Nov. 11, 2013 in St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines  / NJ Viehland Photos

Holy Spirit Sister Eden Panganiban, Chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines welcomed participants and guests to the 16th Conference of Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious (AMOR XVI) during the opening Mass Nov. 11, 2013 in St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines / NJ Viehland Photos

AMOR South Asia Postulants NJ Viehland Photos

Nuns of various congregations and territories in Asia and Oceania recited prayer petitions during the opening Mass of AMOR XVI Conference celebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 11, 2013 in Tagaytay City, south of Manila. /By N.J. Viehland

Nuns of various congregations and territories in Asia and Oceania recited prayer petitions during the opening Mass of AMOR XVI Conference celebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 11, 2013 in Tagaytay City, south of Manila. /By N.J. Viehland

AMOR nuns speak out NJ Viehland Photos

– More photos to come –

Day of Lament and Hope in pictures

Consecrated women in this white and blue sari filled many pews in San Fernando de Dilao church in Paco on Saturday, Nov. 16 where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle led the special liturgy for the Day of Lament and Hope to reflect on recent calamities in the country and pray for victims and survivors.

Members of Missionaries of Charity, which is among those whose houses of charity were ruined by Typhoon Haiyan in Palo archdiocese, Leyte filled many pews on the Day of Lament and Hope service led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila Nov. 16. NJ Viehland Photo

Members of Missionaries of Charity, which is among those whose houses of charity were ruined by Typhoon Haiyan in Palo archdiocese, Leyte filled many pews on the Day of Lament and Hope service led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila Nov. 16. NJ Viehland Photo

The service began with the procession of the crucified Christ and installation of the crucifix at the altar of the candle-lit church packed with people, some of whom had to stand outside. Reflections, readings and songs referred to this experience of Jesus and the meaning and impact of his suffering on the salvation of the world.

Manila archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 16 began in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, with the procession of the crucified Christ. NJ Viehland Photo

Manila archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 16 began in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, with the procession of the crucified Christ. NJ Viehland Photo

Tagle on reaching the altar went down on his knees with his knees then lay face-down on the floor with his servers for some minutes of quiet and stillness in the church.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the 'Day of Lament and Hope' closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the ‘Day of Lament and Hope’ closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

Youth sitting in front of the altar in the candle-lit San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led the archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope prayer service for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Youth sitting in front of the altar in the candle-lit San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led the archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope prayer service for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Maryknoll Missioner Fr James Ferry, long-time vicar of religious in Manila archdiocese [extreme right] and Fr Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte joined the service capping the Nov 16 Day of Lament and Hope, a day of prayer and fasting set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in Manila for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the country, and for all Filipino people. By NJ Viehland

Maryknoll Missioner Fr James Ferry, long-time vicar of religious in Manila archdiocese [extreme right] and Fr Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte joined the service capping the Nov 16 Day of Lament and Hope, a day of prayer and fasting set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in Manila for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the country, and for all Filipino people. By NJ Viehland

Fr Erwin Balagapo returned from Rome where he was studying and went straight to Tacloban City on a military plane after arriving in Manila to scan the situation in the archdiocese and help with spiritual needs of people. At the prayer service, he shared his reflections on his experience of that visit to his devastated archdiocese. 

Father Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte after returning from the ravaged province shared his reflections at the liturgy for Manila archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Nov. 16 at San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco for fasting and prayer for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Father Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte after returning from the ravaged province shared his reflections at the liturgy for Manila archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Nov. 16 at San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco for fasting and prayer for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Psalms and Santo Nino highlighted the prayer service for the Day of Lament and Hope led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila Nov. 16 in San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco. By NJ Viehland

Psalms and Santo Nino highlighted the prayer service for the Day of Lament and Hope led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila Nov. 16 in San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco. By NJ Viehland

[Part 2, More to follow]

Cardinal Tagle closes Day of Lament and Hope

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the 'Day of Lament and Hope' closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the ‘Day of Lament and Hope’ closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

A Day of Lament and Hope on Nov. 16 in the Archdiocese of Manila

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle has called for a “Day of LAMENT and HOPE: Solidarity in Prayer” (Panaghoy at Pag-asa: Damayan sa Panalangin) in the Archdiocese of Manila to express communion and solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering, grieving and confused because of the successive calamities that afflicted the country.

In a letter to priests, religious and lay faithful, Cardinal Tagle invites all to spend the whole day in penance, recollection, and fasting.

 He will lead in a Prayer Service and Holy Hour to cap the Day at 8 p.m. at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish church, Paco, Manila, the temporary official church of the Archdiocese of Manila.

With Jesus, the Blessed Mother, the Martyrs, and Saints, the victims, the dead and creation, let us “groan inwardly while we await redemption… for in hope we are saved” (Romans 8:23).  “The Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). Lament and Hope: Solidarity in Prayer,” the Cardinal concluded his letter. #

Release from Archdiocese of Manila Office of Social Communication

[Part I]

Coco Martin, Judy Ann Santos and Christopher de Leon Exposed

UST, Manila – So you think actors and actresses are nothing but shallow, empty creatures of glitz and glamor ?

You should have heard Coco Martin, Judy Ann Santos, and Christopher de Leon, three bright television and big screen stars share about their particular Catholic devotion on the second day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization today Oct. 17, 2013 at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

TV and film actor Coco Martin share about his devotion to the Black Nazarene at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas on Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

TV and film actor Coco Martin share about his devotion to the Black Nazarene at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas on Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Judy Ann Santos, popular movie/tv actress and tv game show host, narrated the development of her devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag during today's faith sharing at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Judy Ann Santos, popular movie/tv actress and tv game show host, narrated the development of her devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag during today’s faith sharing at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Award winning actor, Lorenzo Ruiz play producer Christopher de Leon closed the sharing session with "Amazing Grace" song after he told the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas, Oct. 17, 2013  the role of the first Filipino Saint in his journey from drug addiction to producer and acting awards. NJ Viehland Photo

Award winning actor, Lorenzo Ruiz play producer Christopher de Leon closed the sharing session with “Amazing Grace” song after he told the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas, Oct. 17, 2013 the role of the first Filipino Saint in his journey from drug addiction to producer and acting awards. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Tagle thanked Judy Ann, Christopher and Coco for taking time off to contribute to the Stories of Faith section of this morning’s conference with experiences with the shrine of  Our Lady of Manaoag,  the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and an offer to play Lorenzo Ruiz in a planned movie on the first Filipino saint. De Leon said even if the movie was never produced, he had a lingering preoccupation with the life of St. Lorenzo that drove him decades later to produce a musical play that drew good reviews in Manila recently.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle thanks Film/tv actress and game show hostess Judy Ann Santos for sharing about her devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag on the second day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the pontifical University of Santo Tomas on Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle thanks Film/tv actress and game show hostess Judy Ann Santos for sharing about her devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag on the second day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the pontifical University of Santo Tomas on Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle thanks tv and film actor Coco Martin for sharing about his devotion to the Black Nazarene while Actor, producer Christopher de Leon looks on at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas, Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle thanks tv and film actor Coco Martin for sharing about his devotion to the Black Nazarene while Actor, producer Christopher de Leon looks on at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at University of Santo Tomas, Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila thanks Christopher de Leon, award-winning film actor and producer of Lorenzo Ruiz Play for sharing about his journey from drug addiction to successful come-back to show business. TV/movie actor Coco Martin looks on at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization Oct. 17, 2013 at pontifical University of Santo Tomas. NJ Viehland photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila thanks Christopher de Leon, award-winning film actor and producer of Lorenzo Ruiz Play for sharing about his journey from drug addiction to successful come-back to show business. TV/movie actor Coco Martin looks on at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization Oct. 17, 2013 at pontifical University of Santo Tomas. NJ Viehland photo

Monsignor Clem Ignacio of Quiapo Church also shared about how he used to be so ashamed about his mother’s devotion to the Black Nazarene. “Mommy, get up, people are looking at you,” he remembered telling his mother who would get on her knees and go down the long aisle to the altar praying for her special intentions. In hindsight, “For all I know I was the one people there were looking at,” Monsignor Ignacio said.

He recalled his struggles and “rock bottom” moments as a priest until Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as Archbishop of Manila assigned him rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.  While serving this assignment, the Monsignor Ignacio said he came to see the sincerity and devotion of people to the suffering Christ.

Cancer-stricken retired Archbishop Leonardo Legazspi of Caceres, northern Philippines also gave a faith reflection on how his medical tests showed he was clear of cancer after people prayed with him to Our Lady of Penafrancia  during the filming of the movie project “Ikaw ang pag-ibig (you are love) to commemorate the tercentenary of the devotion in 2010. The cancer originally in the lungs later showed up again at stage 4 after all anniversary activities had been completed. Archbishop Legaspi said he was leaving his fate all up to God.

Retired Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres, a member of the Dominican order who had served as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, talked about his prayers to Our Lady of Penafrancia with emcee Boots Anson-Roa, movie and tv actress and hostess, during the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Retired Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres, a member of the Dominican order who had served as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, talked about his prayers to Our Lady of Penafrancia with emcee Boots Anson-Roa, movie and tv actress and hostess, during the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila Oct. 17, 2013. NJ Viehland Photo

Still to come: more photos and reports on this and Fr. Catalino Arevalo, S.J.’s discussion of popular religiosity

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at First Gathering of Metro Manila Clergy [text]

By N.J. Viehland

POWER PLANT MALL, Makati City, PHILIPPINES – Let me share my transcript of the homily of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila for the closing Mass for the Oct. 3 First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila. It ended with priests singing “you are the answer to my lonely prayer.” This is what Cardinal Tagle said the priests are to their flock. He asked priests not to disappoint Church members.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila's homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”,  October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests' reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila’s homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests’ reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

Text of homily:

The Levites in the first reading declare to the people today is holy, we must not be saddened. I can only say, “Amen. Today is truly holy, and there is no room for a sad face and a sad heart.” I guess we can spend the whole night, if we ever fall asleep tonight, and even the whole day tomorrow reflecting on the significance of today. It’s only around 3:00 and already I can consider these past hours a real feast: a feast for all the senses – a feast for the mind, the spirit and the heart.

We have been fed not only by deep thoughts and wonderful words, not only by good food, but also the witness of the nobility of the human spirit – even through jokes – even through those two crazy men (see following photo)

Comedian Michael Angelo Lobrin, an ex-seminarian and author of Laugh with God [left] with Comedian/musician Brod Pete sent priests, bishops and guests at the Rockwell Tent in Makati on Oct. 3 for the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” laughing for about an hour with their jokes and songs, including commentaries on seminary life and Philippine culture, language and society. N.J. Viehland Photo

Comedian Michael Angelo Lobrin, an ex-seminarian and author of Laugh with God [left] with Comedian/musician Brod Pete sent priests, bishops and guests at the Rockwell Tent in Makati on Oct. 3 for the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” laughing for about an hour with their jokes and songs, including commentaries on seminary life and Philippine culture, language and society. N.J. Viehland Photo

Somehow I feel the Spirit could work through them. (laughter) And so, I don’t think I need to add to the possible spiritual indigestion that we might get.

But this Mass being offered for us and for all the ordained ministers of the Church and the readings  for today give us valuable lessons. Pardon me if I don’t expound on them. I will let the Holy Spirit just speak to us regarding these thoughts.

It is very clear from what we heard from Vatican II, from Bishop Mylo and the reflection on the Gospel presented to us also by Bishop Nes Ongtiocothat from the Bible up to the recent Ecumenical Council, there is a consistency of insight, of doctrine, even, that we the ordained inherited the apostolic mission. As Jesus sent the apostles so we are sent. And if we want to understand better what it means for us to act in persona Christi capitis,  [In the person of Christ, the head] I think we have to go to those very clear words of Jesus, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you. If I your Lord and Master washed your feet, then you should wash each other’s feet.”

We can only act in the name of Christ in the area of mission and ministry. Yes there is sacred authority, but without mission and ministry, acting in persona Christi could end up being an ideology and not anymore the grace of ordination. We know from the history of the Church how fatal it would be whenever acting in the name of Christ, in the person of Christ is located on sheer power forgetting the sending, the mission, and the call to serve.

And that’s precisely the Gospel for today . They were sent. Aside from the 12, another 72. And let me just indicate another few things for our reflection.

First, he sent them in pairs – sacramental brotherhood. Yes, the calling and the sending are intimately personal, but because they are personal, they open our hearts to other people. And so the calling is also communal. We cannot walk alone. There is no room for lone rangers in Jesus’ view of the ministry. There are only pairs… sent in pairs.

More than 130 priests from the Metropolitan See of Manila concelebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle  the closing Mass for the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests from the Metropolitan See of Manila concelebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle the closing Mass for the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

“Kaya kung minsan, ang mga pari who cannot live and work in pairs, ang solution natin pag hiwalayin. Baka hindi tayo sumusunod sa mga turo ni Hesus. Parang gusto ko sabihin, [ That’s why sometimes, with priests who cannot live and work in pairs, our solution is to separate them. We might be violating the teachings of Jesus. I want to tell them…] ‘Work it out! Work it out, you were sent in pairs.'” Who are we to violate Jesus’ way of sending?

The second point is he sent them in pairs as lambs among wolves. He did not send wolves among lambs. The lamb of God sends his ministers and missioners as lambs. In persona Christi . If he is a lamb, then those who act in his person should also be lambs. In the way Jesus describes being a lamb, it is total vulnerability. No body bag, no sandals, not greeting anyone on the way because it is not my purpose to form a fans’ club. I have only my companion and the message of peace of the kingdom. And when you have your brother minister and the message of the Gospel you have all that you need.

Third is part of being lambs and laborers is eating and drinking what is offered to you for the laborer deserves his pay. Normally, we interpret this part, “for the laborer deserves his pay” in terms of we can demand something. But in the teaching of Jesus, “the laborer deserves his pay” means if you are given something to eat and drink, eat it and drink it and do not go to another house that will offer a better meal or a better drink. That is what you deserve – what the house is able to offer. Para bang ano ito? Good news ba ito o ano? [It’s like what’s this? Is this good news or what?] But it’s in the Gospel. I cannot change this.

It is surprising that what is often used to recall a principle of justice – a laborer deserves his payment – is actually, in the mind of Christ as “Whatever the people could give you for payment in terms of food or drink, accept . You do not set it. What they can offer, that is what you deserve.”

And finally, in the first reading, it is not enough to imitate Ezra in proclaiming the word of God to people. I think we should also imitate the people. They open themselves to the word of God and the people upon hearing the word of God were in tears. They were weeping when they heard the words of the Lord. They were mesmerized by the words that they had missed during their exile. And they probably repented for their lack of fidelity to the word.

I ask myself, countless of times I have been opening the book of the law of Moses, proclaiming. But how many times have I wept listening to the word of God. Have I allowed my heart to be vulnerable to this two-edged sword called the word of God? Do I allow myself to be affected by the word of God? Do I allow the word of God to judge me, to disturb me, to cause me discomfort, to lead me to repentance so that I do not only proclaim. I also listen and I am judged by the word of God – another form of vulnerability.

Let us thank God for the gift of this mission and ministry to ordained life. Let us appreciate our companion priests for we were sent in pairs. Let us be like lambs – vulnerable – if you want to embrace the person of the lamb of God who was persecuted by wolves.

Let us be simple, content with what people have to offer. What they can give us is what we probably deserve – a different type of measuring what we deserve.

And finally, we are not just proclaimers of the word, but real servants, hearers of the word, allowing ourselves to be hit, to be touched unto tears by the word of God.

We said this is a holy day. We should not be sad. I can see Jesus really happy and it goes with this: he said to them, to the disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. So ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest.” We are mysteriously those laborers. But we are not just sent. We are the answer to the prayer directed to the Master. “Send laborers.” And the prayer was answered through us.

When I was much younger, there was the song – You are the Answer to my Lonely Prayer.  Yung nakakaalam po paki kanta lang yung tono… [Those who know it, please sing the tune] For the sake of the young ones. (laughter)

“You are the answer to my lonely prayer. You are an angel from above…”

(priests sang part of the song …)

We call the priesthood a gift, and for many people a priest or pairs of priests sent to the community is the answer to their lonely prayer. And then they see us, we are like angels sent from above. Let us not fail Jesus. May we be truly answers to the prayer sent by the community to the Lord of the Harvest. May it never be told that we will pray again because God sent the wrong answer. Let us be the answer to people’s prayer to God.

END

* Part II of III
 ( photos/articles available on request : newsdatabank@yahoo.com)
* Readers’ comments convey opinions, positions only of the posters

Cardinal Tagle to First Gathering of Metro Manila Clergy: “Let’s not fail our flock”

[updated Oct. 9, 2013 10:23 p.m.]
          “Let’s not fail our flock,” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila appealed to priests in his homily for the Mass that closed the First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila last Thursday at Rockwell Tent in Makati City.
          He reminded fellow clergymen, “For many people a priest sent to the community is the answer to their lonely prayer and when they see us, we are like angels sent from above. Let us not fail them. Let us not fail Jesus.”
           Some 200 priests belonging to and serving in the greater Archdiocese of Manila, or what is officially known as the Metropolitan See of Manila, gathered Oct. 3 at the Power Plant Mall for a special reunion to mark the 10th year of the new dioceses that were carved out of it.
           The Metropolitan See of Manila is now composed of the mother Archdiocese of Manila headed by Cardinal Tagle,
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila's homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”,  October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests' reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila’s homily for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 celebrated with some 130 priests bishops in the chapel of Rockwell Tent, Power Plant offered points for priests’ reflection of themes during the days activities at the Makati City mall, including mission of the Church, servant priesthood and discipleship. NJ Viehland Photo

            Diocese of Cubao led by Bishop Honesto Ongtioco,
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao Diocese laughing along with other participants watching professional comedians Brod Pete and Michael Angelo Lobin spoof priests and joke around at the "First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao Diocese laughing along with other participants watching professional comedians Brod Pete and Michael Angelo Lobin spoof priests and joke around at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

            Dioceses of Kalookan, Novaliches, Parañaque, and Pasig
Bishop Jesse Mercado of Paranaque, Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, apostolic administrator of Kalookan during the procession to the altar for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Bishop Jesse Mercado of Paranaque, Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, apostolic administrator of Kalookan during the procession to the altar for the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Antipolo Auxliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, Administrator of Kalookan diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle celebrated Mass to close the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”,  October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

Antipolo Auxliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, Administrator of Kalookan diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle celebrated Mass to close the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. NJ Viehland Photo

             Before the Archdiocese of Manila was divided in 2003, it had 272 parishes and 402 diocesan priests and almost 11 million Catholics under its care, the archdiocese’s office of communications reported. The late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin as archbishop of Manila initiated the split to allow priests to minister better to the region’s growing population due largely to migration from rural areas.  Today the Metropolitan See of Manila has 631 diocesan and religious priests.
More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

More than 130 priests and bishops concelebrated at the closing Mass of the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, October 3, 2013 at the chapel of Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

             Aside from Eucharistic adoration and reflections by Bishop Ongtioco, Pasig Bishop Hubert Mylo Vergara and group reflection and sharing among priests in the morning, lay professional artists shared their impressions of Filipino community life, culture, expression of faith and aspirations using music and humor. Performers included:
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila poses with Brod Pete (right) and ex-seminarian Michel Angelo Lobin (author of Laugh with God) after the professional comedians entertained the "First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila" with spoofs on priests, seminarians, Philippine culture and language and more on Oct. 3, 2013 at Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila poses with Brod Pete (right) and ex-seminarian Michel Angelo Lobin (author of Laugh with God) after the professional comedians entertained the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila” with spoofs on priests, seminarians, Philippine culture and language and more on Oct. 3, 2013 at Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

           Composer, singer, musician of inspirational music Noel Cabangon shared his music and his experiences as a man with a family, talent and aspirations for a full life for Filipinos and the world.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle poses with Noel Cabangon after the professional singer/composer sang inspirational songs at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle poses with Noel Cabangon after the professional singer/composer sang inspirational songs at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City. N.J. Viehland Photo

Priests at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City laugh during the stint of professional comedians Brod Pete and ex-seminarian Michael Angelo Lobin, author of Laugh with God. N.J. Viehland Photo

Priests at the “First Gathering of the Clergy of the Metropolitan See of Manila”, on October 3, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Makati City laugh during the stint of professional comedians Brod Pete and ex-seminarian Michael Angelo Lobin, author of Laugh with God. N.J. Viehland Photo

* Part I of III
 ( photos/articles available on request : newsdatabank@yahoo.com)
* Readers’ comments convey opinions, positions only of the posters