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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Updated: 42 min 44 sec ago

April 29, 2017

17 hours 33 min ago

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 ACTS 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:

R. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, who made all things;
he has shown mercy on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

‘True love’-seeking youth continue to turn pro-life

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:20
Young people join the annual Valentine’s candy-giving project of several pro-life groups in Manila’s Dangwa flower district. FILIPINOS FOR LIFE

MANILA – Young and looking for your “forever”? You’ll probably end up standing up for the culture of life, love, and traditional marriage in the long run.

Pro-life advocates observe this trend of more young people getting drawn into the “pro-life vision.”

“The pro-life vision … is ever-new and ever-fresh because it is about the true meaning of love in a time that has reduced love to material things and sex. This vision will always attract those who are looking for something more than what the media and popular culture have to offer, and they include many of the young,” said Pro-life Philippines board member Carlos Palad in an interview.

Pro-life culture

According to him, the pro-life movement is “far from merely defending a supposedly outdated set of values that should be discarded for the sake of being modern” but about something more central to the human person. “It shows that the vision of a pro-life culture appeals across generations.”

For Edwin Valles, a member of Filipinos for Life, it is possible that the shift shows Divine Wisdom at work.

“Maybe the Holy Spirit sees that the gap is in the youth…and He calls more young people to witness to their peers on the beauty of life,” he explained.

Sexual revolution, media

According to Valles, today’s youth “influenced heavily by media and sexual revolution think that sex is just one of the things that one must go through in life — like any young person’s to do list that needs to be ticked off.”

“It has lost its meaning and significance and special value. It has been commoditized.
Relationships have a tendency to devolve towards utilitarianism and too focused on taking than giving, on self-centeredness than self-giving,” he added.

“…In the end, we need to trust the Holy Spirit who is behind all these. There’s Divine Wisdom behind having a predominantly younger set now in pro-life,” said Valles. CBCPNews

Youth told: ‘Renew friendship with Jesus’

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 01:01

Young people share laughter and insights at the 10th Regional Youth Day (RYD). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ROXAS City – The chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Youth reminded the participants of the 10th Regional Youth Day (RYD) to renew their friendship with Christ.

“In every Regional Youth Day, Jesus invites you, my dear friends, to renew your friendship with Him,” said Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian in his homily during the second day of the RYD here on April 26.

He also stressed the important role the youth play in the Church as she continues her mission.

“Your presence, my beloved young, really tells the whole world that our Church is the Church of the young,” explained the prelate.

Addressing the youth who had just finished their pilgrim walk to the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, which is located on top of a hill in Lawa-an village, Jaucian explained the relevance of the activities lined up during the duration of the four-day gathering.

“The pilgrim walk that you just had tells us of our mission, my dear young, that you are sent by Jesus to be on a pilgrimage and tell the whole world of His love,” he said.

After mentioning modern trends and describing some of the characteristics of today’s youth, Jaucian gave clear examples of how the youth should respond to prevailing challenges.

“Through Jesus, there is forever. That through Him, we receive direction in all the things that we do. And it will give us His peace and His love,” he stressed.

After talking about how Christ works in the life of the youth, the bishop explained their responsibilities as His messengers.

“The mission of the youth…whatever your experiences of God’s great love for you, go and share of His love in your family, in your parishes, in your schools, to whatever situation you are in,” he said.

He ended his homily by quoting Pope Francis: Get out of your comfort zone. Share the love of Jesus to those who need you most—to the peripheries, to the marginalized, to those excluded by society, because this is the mission of the youth today. Sems. Christian Barnard Delfin and David Solomon Cuñada/CBCPNews

Church and gov’t should collaborate, not clash— Cardinal Rosales

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 00:46

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila. FILE PHOTO

Collaboration — no other way to go.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, the retired Archbishop of Manila, said the effectiveness of serving the people can only be enriched if the Church and the government work together.

“Church and State leaders must always work together because they are serving the same people,” Rosales said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas on Thursday.

“It cannot be done separately because, whether rich or poor, the Church and the State serve the same people,” he said.

The prelate said dialogue and respectful collaboration are still essential even if the Church and the government serve people differently.

“The State helps the people materially while the Church does so spiritually and morally. They are linked to each other in helping the people,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been at loggerheads with the Church, whose leaders he has tagged as “hypocrites” for criticizing his bloody war on drugs.

The bishops, on the other hand, said they cannot remain silent as the body count in the administration’s drug war reaches nearly 9,000. CBCPNews

April 28, 2017

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 00:01
Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 ACTS 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm PS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.

R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia MT 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Pope donates rent for beach serving people with disabilities

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 21:35

Pope Francis greets disabled persons at the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Nov. 11, 2015. DANIEL IBANEZ/CNA

VATICAN— Pope Francis has donated the rent for a private Italian beach that allows disabled people to enjoy the shore, the charity that manages the project announced this week.

The group Work of Love, a Catholic non-profit, has rented part of the Little Madonna beach located near Rome since 2012 in an effort to give disabled people better access to the beach. It is equipped with ramps, walkways and specialized beach chairs and water-friendly wheelchairs, and includes amenities such as a snack bar, changing rooms, and showers.

The beach is run by a group of volunteers and specialized FINP (Italian Swimming Federation Paralympic) staff and is open every day of the week during peak summer swimming season.

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, told CNN Pope Francis gave the group an undisclosed sum to “support the project that helps disabled youth and in particular to cover the cost of the annual rent for the beach known as the Little Madonna.”

The beach is the only one of its kind in the region, and was created to allow all people to enjoy the beach “without architectural and mental barriers,” the group states on their site.

In a statement, the charity said they received the donation with “enthusiasm and astonishment.”

It is not the first time Pope Francis has sponsored trips to the beach. Last summer, Archbishop Krajewski told Vatican Insider that the Holy Father had been treating Rome’s homeless to beach trips followed by pizza parties, sometimes with the Pope himself serving up a slice.

He said the van would take about 10 people each day to go swimming on the Italian coast, nearly 20 miles from Rome. The archbishop drove the van, while passengers sang and listened to the radio. At the beach, each guest was offered a swimsuit and towel and afterwards was treated to pizza.

“We certainly are not saving the world with some of these initiatives, we are not solving the problems of the homeless in Rome, but at least we are restoring to them a little dignity,” Archbishop Krajewski said at the time.

Other initiatives carried out by Archbishop Krajewski on behalf of the Pope include a dormitory, barber services and showers for those in need. In 2015, the Pope invited a group of homeless people in Rome to the Sistine Chapel. In 2016, he invited 2,000 homeless people and migrants to the circus. Pope Francis also sent an electronic scooter to an elderly couple with disabilities, who had difficulty getting around. He has also given Christmas gifts to poor migrants and umbrellas to the homeless.

Church continues efforts vs death penalty

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 21:33

Rodolfo Diamante, ECPPC Executive secretary

MANILA— The Catholic Church’s prison ministry saw no room for complacency when it comes to fighting the the proposed reinstatement of the death penalty in the country.

Mr. Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of CBCP-Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said the growing opposition against capital punishment in the Senate gave them strength to intensify their ministry.

“We are more than ever challenged to continue making the public and our policy makers aware of the issues surrounding capital punishment,” Diamante said.

The Church’s restorative justice ministry official was reacting to Senator Franklin Drilon’s assessment that the death penalty bill is unlikely to pass the Senate.

To prove his point, he revealed that 13 of the 24 Senate members are voting against the revival of the capital punishment.

Diamante said what the Church and other organizations want is to raise awareness of arguments against the death penalty.

“We will continue our advocacy for life thru various activities like March for Life and Summit for Life,” he said.

Death penalty, he added, has failed to deter others from committing even the most heinous of crimes, as he called on supporters of the measure to consider alternatives to capital punishment.

The Church has been pushing a shift in the paradigm of justice from litigation to mediation, prosecution to healing; punishment to reform and rehabilitation; and from the retributive to the restorative.

“We will inform the people about alternatives to death penalty by adopting the restorative justice paradigm,” Diamante said. CBCPNews

Smaller changes expected from Council of Cardinals’ latest meeting

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 21:31

Pope Francis meets with the Council of Cardinals, Feb. 13, 2017. L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO

VATICAN— Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals met this week to continue discussion on reforming the Roman Curia, focusing on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council Promoting the New Evangelization.

According to an April 26 communique, during their 19th session the cardinals studied texts to propose to Pope Francis regarding the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and the three courts.

No big changes are expected out of this latest round of meetings – those changes were the new dicasteries formed last fall, Greg Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists at a briefing Wednesday.

This time, Burke said, the cardinals and Pope focused on regulation within the departments, hoping to arrive at something like a “new Pastor bonus,” the 1988 apostolic constitution of St. John Paul II that regulates the competencies and work of the Roman Curia.

In the meetings they inspected texts for the three courts of the Roman Curia: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Apostolic Signatura, and the Roman Rota.

The Apostolic Penitentiary is the tribunal in charge of cases involving excommunication and serious sins, including those whose absolution is reserved to the Holy See, while the Signatura functions as a sort of Supreme Court. The Rota, for its part, is akin to a court of appeals or court of “last instance,” and is also where marriage nullity cases are judged.

They also spent a significant amount of time discussing the selection and training of staff of the Holy See, both laity and clerics.

In addition to the nine members of the council and Pope Francis, officials of the State Secretariat, the Council of the Economy, and the Office of Work of the Apostolic See (ULSA) also took part.

Cardinal George Pell gave an update on the Secretariat for the Economy, particularly on the monitoring of budgets and “the formation of personnel and human resources.”

The cardinals, in addition to speaking about the tribunals and bishop selection, continued to discuss points brought up during the last round of meetings, including the possible restructuring of the Congregations for the Evangelization of Peoples and Oriental Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley gave an update on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which he heads, speaking about their plenary meeting in March and their visits to various ministries.

Carrying over from previous meetings, the council of cardinals also discussed decentralization, the relationship between bishops’ conferences and the Roman Curia, and how to be more in service to local bishops.

Established by Pope Francis shortly after his pontificate began in 2013, the council serves as an advisory body on Church governance and reform, with special emphasis on the reform of Pastor bonus.

Keywords that have come out of the cardinals’ meetings so far and which have emerged as guiding principles for the ongoing Curial reform are harmonization, simplification, synodality, and the Church’s “missionary drive.”

The council of cardinals is set to meet again June 12-14 to continue discussion on moving forward in reforming curial structures.

Filipino Fr. Moreno named new head of Jesuits in Asia

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:09

Fr. Antonio Moreno SJ

MANILA— Society of Jesus’ Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa has appointed a Filipino priest as the new President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP).

Fr. Antonio Moreno, who is currently Provincial of the Philippine Jesuit Province, will succeed Australian Fr. Mark Raper who served the post since 2008.

Raper is expected to move to Myanmar where he has been the major superior of the Jesuit mission since 2011.

Assuming office within the next six months, Moreno will work with an assembly of major superiors to coordinate and facilitate the Jesuit mission in Asia.

In his letter dated April 22, Sosa expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Province and asked that its members accept his decision “in the spirit of generosity and trust in God’s Providence”.

“The fact that the Society relies so much on the Philippine Province at this time is surely an indication of the maturity and quality of the Province, which is itself the product of so many fine missionaries from other Provinces who were sent to, began and built up the Philippine Province,” he said.

Prior to his appointment in 2013, Moreno was the President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

After his ordination in 1993, Moreno did a brief teaching stint at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and doing pastoral work in Culion, an island in Palawan province which was once the world’s largest leper colony.

The priest also served as assistant to the Novice Master for three years before he went for studies in the United Kingdom.

In 2005, Moreno was appointed Dean of Arts and Sciences and Vice President for Social Development at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, the post he held just before Ateneo de Zamboanga.

In recent years, Moreno has represented the Jesuit Conference on the Commissio Interprovinciale Permanens (CIP), a board of Provincials or Presidents from each Conference that assists the Superior General with the governance of the inter-Provincial houses and works in Rome, such as the Gregorian University. CBCPNews

Procession of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:46

Devotees surround the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help during a procession as part of the International Pilgrimage-Conference in Baclaran, Parañaque City on Wednesday evening, April 26, 2017.

Cenacle Sisters mark jubilee year

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 08:14

MANILA – Celebrating 50 years of “goodness and grace”, the Cenacle Sisters invite the public on April 30 to the launching of Sr. Bubbles Bandojo’s latest album titled Of All The Things and to a fair showcasing the products made and sold by friends of the Cenacle, at the Cenacle Retreat House, #59 Nicanor Reyes street, Varsity Hills Subd., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

The launch of Bandojo’s Jesuit Communications-produced album will feature  performances by Sr. Susay Valdez, Veepee Pinpin, and Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ.

Attendees can avail of Cenacle favorites like tapa and tinapa during the “afternoon of reunions”, which will run from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m. CBCPNews

Cardinal Quevedo: Imitate Mary’s ‘inclusive compassion’

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:51

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato delivers his homily during Mass at Baclaran Church in Parañaque City, April 26, 2017. ROY LAGARDE

MANILA— Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato praised the rich devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help seeded in the hearts of many, and told them to be as merciful as her in that same unconditional way.

“Mary hears the cry of the poor. She is the model of the compassionate disciple. May we follow her in her love that is open to all, the rich and poor alike, the marginalized, those that are cast out of society,” he said.

Recalling that Mary is the merciful mother who suffered with her Son on the cross, he said that she is also “our mother who suffers with us and shares our sorrows and pain.”

Like Jesus, Quevedo said Mary’s compassion has no boundaries even for drug addicts— an apparent swipe at the spate of killings of suspected users and pushers of illegal narcotics.

“… May we imitate her compassion that embraces all those who suffer as victims of many injustices, addiction, victims of killings, those who suffer including ourselves,” he said.

The cardinal spoke to the thousands gathered at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for Mass to end the third to the last day of the Baclaran International Pilgrimage-Congress.

With the theme, “Icon of Compassion: Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the 21st Century,” the gathering was organized to celebrate the 150th Jubilee of the Icon of the Blessed Mother.

In his homily, the cardinal said there is no mother on earth who can withstand the suffering of her beloved Son, “with indifference, without tears”.

And because the Blessed Virgin suffered the “depths of human suffering,” Quevedo said Mary can suffer with victims of calamities, crimes, human trafficking, poverty, social injustice, among others.

“And she cries when she hears the cry of the poor,” he also said.

“Our Lady is the face, the icon of compassion. If Jesus her Son represents or is the compassion of God, as theologians would say, then Mary perfectly reflects the compassion of her Son.”

He added: “Her love forgives even those who had led her Son to the most excruciating and humiliating slow death on the cross.” CBCPNews

Bishop calls for ‘active compassion’ for poor

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:29

Tandag Bishop Emeritus Ireneo Amantillo, CSsR, delivers his homily during Mass at Baclaran Church, April 25, 2017. LORENZO ATIENZA

MANILA— A Redemptorist bishop has urged Catholics to overcome indifference and “actively” show compassion for the poor.

Preaching to thousands gathered for Mass at Baclaran Church on Tuesday, Tandag Bishop Emeritus Ireneo Amantillo said Christians cannot turn a blind eye to those who are suffering.

“We have to be really active and not just be timid, not to be unconcerned,” said the prelate.

Concern for Lumads, farmers

“Are we concerned on what is happening in the Philippines? To our farmers, the Lumads, our indigenous peoples, those who are lowlifes and those who are hungry, are we concerned of them?” he said.

Among the churchgoers were the more than 300 local and foreign delegates of the Baclaran International Pilgrimage-Congress.

The gathering, which started on Monday, is a four-day series of discussion and sharing highlighting the devotions and the missions inspired by Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

“Some of us must be getting very tired of it, but not only is our Lord reminding us (to show mercy to others), Our Lady herself,” he said.

‘Followers of Christ’

And that compassion, Amantillo added, is all inclusive as he asked the faithful to be concerned even about issues outside the country.

“There are people who are persecuted, people killed and condemned both here and outside our country. Are we also in trouble?” said the prelate.

“Sometimes, we grow tired of preaching the Gospel, and sometimes we ourselves are getting lazy. The Holy Father reminds us to be a Christian, [be] a follower of Christ, be really active,” he said. Niceforo Vince A. Balbedina III, CSJL intern/CBCPNews

In TED talk, Pope says sowing solidarity will reap hope for the future

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 00:12
VATICAN— Early Wednesday morning Pope Francis addressed the TED 2017 conference, telling participants that to have a hopeful outlook for the future, we must plant seeds of humility, solidarity and tenderness today.

Referencing his 80 years of life, the Pope opened his talk saying that “quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.”

“We all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent ‘I,’ separated from the other,” he said.

“We can only build the future by standing together, including everyone,” the Pope continued, adding that that while we might not think about it often, “everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state.”

“Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me.”

This “flare” embedded deep within our hearts “needs to be extinguished before it goes up in flames, leaving only ashes behind.”

Pope Francis gave his TED Talk April 26 at 3:30a.m. local time in Rome for TED 2017, which is taking place April 24-28 in Vancouver, Canada.

TED is an international media organization that posts brief talks online that are for free distribution and run under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” The organization was founded in February 1984 as a conference, which has been held annually since 1990.

The talks are typically run between 10-20 minutes, and are given by influential speakers who are experts in various fields such as business, science and technology, among others. Subtitles are available in more than 100 languages.

Pope Francis is the first pontiff to give a TED Talk, however, just days before announcing his resignation in 2013 Benedict XVI was given the “Charter of Compassion” by the organization’s European director, Bruno Giussani.

This year’s TED conference holds the theme “The Future You,” and is dedicated to addressing the pressing questions of our time.

In his talk, which lasted 18 minutes and was filmed inside Vatican City, Pope Francis offered a response to today’s challenges, focusing on how to maintain an attitude of hope through solidarity with one another.

He noted that for many people a happy future is something that seems distant and at times impossible to achieve.

However, while these concerns must be taken seriously, they are not “invincible,” he said, explaining that happiness can be discovered when looking to the harmony that exists between the whole and each individual part.

Francis then moved to his second point, saying it would be ideal if scientific and technological growth were coupled with greater equality and social inclusion.

“How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries,” he said.

Only a thorough education in solidarity can overcome the “culture of waste” prevalent in today’s society, turning people’s attention not so much toward goods and food, but toward people.

“Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary,” he said, but noted that solidarity “is not an automatic mechanism.”

“It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone,” he said, explaining that to truly do good to another person, courage, memory and creativity are needed.

“I know that TED gathers many creative minds,” the Pope observed, but stressed that when it comes to developing projects and ideas, “good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough.”

Rather, a concrete and “ingenious” attitude is needed, he said. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The ‘you’ is always a real presence, a person to take care of.”

Pope Francis then pointed to the parable of the Good Samaritan, explaining, as he often does, that while the two powerful men of the day ignored the man on the side of the road, it was the Samaritan, a “despised ethnicity” at the time, who had compassion and paid for the man’s healing out of his own pocket.

The story of the Good Samaritan can easily sum up the state of humanity today, Francis said, explaining that many people’s paths are “riddled with suffering,” as if everything centered around money and things, rather than people.

“And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves ‘respectable,’ of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.”

Pointing to Mother Teresa, whom he canonized in September 2016, Francis said she is an example of the people who are “creating a new world” based on care for others.

“We have so much to do, and we must do it together. But how can we do that with all the evil we breathe every day?” he asked.

While not everyone can achieve the scale of Mother Teresa or the Good Samaritan, the Pope stressed that we are all precious and irreplaceable in the eyes of God, and that amid today’s conflicts, each of us “can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.”

“To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is hope,” he said, explaining that hope doesn’t mean being “optimistically naïve,” ignoring suffering or dwelling on the past, but is a virtue that is able “to see a tomorrow.”

“Hope is the door that opens onto the future,” he said, noting that it is like the hidden yeast that makes bread grow, and as such “can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness.”

“A single individual is enough for hope to exist,” telling conference participants: “that individual can be you.”

“And then there will be another ‘you,’ and another ‘you,’ and it turns into an ‘us,’” he said, explaining that hope begins with a “you,” and when an “us” develops, “there begins a revolution.”

The Pope then repeated his frequent call for a “revolution of tenderness,” which is “the love that comes close and becomes real.”

“Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need,” he said, noting that God himself descended to our level, which is the same thing the Good Samaritan did.

To have tenderness, he said, “the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.”

Pointing to a common phrase in Argentina, Francis said “power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach. You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.”

Pope Francis closed his speech saying the future of humanity isn’t just in the hands of politicians or great leaders or big companies, but is primarily in the hands “of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us.’”

“We all need each other, he said. “So, please, think of me as well with tenderness, so that I can fulfill the task I have been given for the good of the other, of each and every one, of all of you, of all of us.”

April 27, 2017

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 00:01

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 ACTS 5:27-33

When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2 AND 9, 17-18, 19-20

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe?
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.

Church counts on you, archbishop tells youth

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 16:51

Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula presides over the opening Mass of the 10th Regional Youth Day at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Roxas City, April 25, 2017. DENNIS A. EUDELA/CONTRIBUTOR

ROXAS City– Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula on Tuesday opened a gathering of young people by encouraging them to lead the Church’s future.

Presiding over a Mass in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, he told the more than a thousand delegates of the 10th Regional Youth Day (RYD) that they are the present and the future of the Church.

“As young citizens, you are the bearers of hope for our country. But in particular, the future of our Church lies on you,” Advincula said.

Addressing the youth from the archdioceses of Capiz and Jaro; and the dioceses of Bacolod, Kabankalan, Kalibo, Romblon, San Carlos and San Jose de Antique, he noted that the continuity of Christ’s mission is laid on their shoulders.

“The Church counts on you. We your bishops and priests count on you,” the archbishop said.

“I challenge you then to persist to heed God’s call, which is irrevocable, to journey with firm conviction that God has indeed called you to be missionary-disciples,” said Advincula.

He also cited the youth’s faith, energy and enthusiasm as an inspiration for “seniors” to be vibrant in their ministry and service to God and His Church.

‘Digital natives’

Jumping from the story of “Lucia Joaquin,” the prelate noted that today’s youth are the “digital natives” and born into a world were radical changes take place in communications.

“These days, it is the media of social communications that provide new sources of knowledge and culture, with their considerable power of moving men’s feelings and minds, together with the train of ideas and stirrings of the imagination carried by the sounds and sights they transmit,” he said.

He challenged the youth to channel their energy to share with other people the faith they received, especially to those who are experiencing spiritual emptiness, “a consequence of their inability to communicate to and with Jesus.”

“Bring them back to the Eucharist, the source and summit of Christian life that they may relive and re-experience the dynamism of how it feels to be loved by Jesus…become messengers of hope of the resurrection of Jesus.”

“Do not scare people like ‘Lucia Joaquin,’ but attract people, yes win people for Christ,” Advincula said.

He also exhorted the young people “to spread His word through your active, energetic and dynamic life.”

“Young people, seek Christ in order to remain young,” he quoted Saint Augustine. With reports from Sems. David Solomon Cunada, Ray Gabrelle Toledo and Hammil Rainard Distor/CBCPNews

Turn devotion into action, faithful told

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 16:40
Participants of the Baclaran international Pilgrimage-Congress pose for a group photo in front of the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque City, April 25, 2017.

MANILA– A Catholic priest called on devotees of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH) to put their devotion into action through various works of mercy.

Hundreds of delegates are currently gathered at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for the 4-day Baclaran international Pilgrimage-Congress, which started on Monday.

With the theme, “Icon of Compassion: Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the 21st Century,” the event is in celebration of the 150th Jubilee of the Icon of the Blessed Mother.

In his message to the delegates, Baclaran Church Rector, Fr. Carlos Ronquillo, said the gathering seeks for a deeper understanding of “debo-misyon” (devotion-mission) and its implications into people’s lives.

Specifically, according to him, it’s a “summons to discover God in the thousands of muted voices of the poor who come to the Shrine to ask the prayers of Mary in their needs and struggles”.

“Debo-misyon calls us not only to strengthen our devotion to the Blessed Mother, but also to re-invigorate our missionary commitment to make God’s mercy alive in our time,” Ronquillo said.

“Likewise, let us affirm in this pilgrimage that any devotion devoid of mission would not be genuine, it could be tantamount only to a big show,” he said.

More than 300 local and international pilgrims are attending the Congress, deemed by organizers as an occasion not only to celebrate and be thankful, but also to continuously discern the significance of the devotion to the realities happening in the world.

Fr. Victorino Cueto, the Convenor of the Joint Commission OMPH 150, said that when Pope Pius IX entrusted the Icon to the Redemptorists, “his instruction was very specific— make her known throughout the world”.

“Since the event is missionary in character, we are hoping that all of the participants would have the inspiration that they are now devotee-missionaries,” he said. Niceforo Vince A. Balbedina III, CSJL intern/CBCPNews

Pope Francis refuses bullet-proof vehicle for Egypt trip

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 15:45

Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Sept. 7, 2016. DANIEL IBANEZ

VATICAN– Pope Francis will not use a bulletproof vehicle during his trip to Egypt this weekend, despite recent terror attacks against Christians in the country, according to Reuters.

“The Pope will use a closed car to move around, but not an armoured one,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed yesterday. “That’s how he wanted it.”

This is not the first time Pope Francis has done so – he typically prefers to travel in more open vehicles, or ones that are not bulletproof, because he feels that allows him to better interact with the people on the streets.

Pope Francis will be traveling to Cairo, Egypt, April 28-29 for his first international trip of the year. Interfaith dialogue with Muslims and showing solidarity with persecuted Christians will be main priorities of the trip.

His trip comes after several recent attacks on Christian in the country.

In December, a bombing at Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens of others, most of them women and children.

On Palm Sunday, the bombing of two Coptic churches killed 43 and injured more than 100 others.

Last week, gunmen attacked security forces near the famous St Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai desert, killing a police officer and injuring three others. This attack and the church bombings were all claimed by ISIS.

Egypt’s president has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country following the Palm Sunday attacks. Despite the risk, the Vatican announced earlier this month that the Pope’s trip to Egypt would continue as planned.

Pope Francis was invited to visit Egypt by Coptic Catholic bishops during their visit at the Vatican Feb. 6. The Pope had also received an invitation to visit Egypt from the country’s president and from the Grand Imam of al Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayyeb, after his visit to the Vatican in the spring of 2016, marking a thaw in Vatican-Muslim relations in Egypt.

During his trip, Pope Francis will meet with the Grand Imama state officials, leaders of Egypt’s Catholic Coptic and Orthodox Coptic churches, and Catholic priests and religious of the country.

Father of Knights of Columbus in the Philippines

 

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