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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Updated: 51 min 37 sec ago

October 19, 2017

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 21:00
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Reading 1 ROM 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 130:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB

R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Alleluia JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Homilies Today's Readings

Pope Francis mourns death of Cardinal Vidal

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 20:58

Pope Francis is greeted by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal as he meets the cardinals for the first time after his election, at the Vatican, March 15, 2013. L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO

MANILA— Pope Francis has joined in mourning the death of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, a leader of Catholics in Cebu for 29 years, commending his “untiring and devoted service to the Church”.

In a letter to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, the pope said he was “deeply saddened” to learn the death of the retired cardinal.

“I extend my sincere condolences to you, and to the clergy religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Cebu,” Francis said.

The pontiff praised the cardinal “for his constant advocacy of dialogue and peace for all the people in the Philippines”.

“I commend his soul to the infinite love and mercy of our heavenly Father,” he said.

“As a pledge of consolation and hope in the Lord, to all who mourn his passing in the certain hope of the Resurrection, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing,” the pope added.

Msgr. Joseph Tan, the archdiocese’s spokesperson, said Vidal died on Wednesday at 7:26am “due to infection leading to septic shock”. He was 86.

The cardinal became seriously ill and was admitted to the city’s Perpetual Succor Hospital on October 11.

His wake started tonight at Cebu cathedral and will be held for eight days except on October 21 wherein his remains will be brought to the St. Pedro Calungsod Shrine, located inside the archbishop’s residence compound.

Vidal’s funeral will take place on October 26 at 9am at the cathedral. He will be buried at the mausoleum at the back of the sacristy. CBCPNews

US bishops laud attorney general’s new religious freedom protections

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 18:20
Credit: Bobkeenan Photography

Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News).- Following an announcement by the U.S. Attorney General detailing 20 principles of religious liberty for all government agencies and executive departments to follow, the U.S. bishops have praised the government’s reaffirmation of religious freedom protections.

“The Attorney General’s guidance helpfully reaffirms that the law protects the freedom of faith-based organizations to conduct their operations in accordance with their religious mission,” said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, in a statement.

“The guidance also reaffirms that the federal government should never exclude religious organizations from competing on an equal footing for government grants or contracts, and religious entities should never be forced to change their religious character in order to participate in such programs,” he continued.

“We appreciate the Attorney General’s clarification of these matters, which will protect faith-based organizations’ freedom to serve all those in need, including the homeless, immigrants, refugees, and students attending religious schools.”

The guidance was issued on Oct. 6 by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to an executive order to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law.” The document highlights key issues surrounding religious freedom in the United States and points to the importance of religious freedom in the country, as well as existing laws and precedents which protect the fundamental right.

At the memo’s outset, the document notes that religious freedom “is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place. It also encompasses religious observance and practice.” The guidance reaffirms a broader definition of religious freedom, which has come under pressure as the previous Obama administration promoted the much narrower phrasing “freedom of worship.”

‘Miracle of the sun’ broke darkness of Portugal’s atheist regimes

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 18:17
Crowds looking at the Miracle of the Sun, occurring during the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions. Public Domain

Fatima, Portugal (CNA/EWTN News).- On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness to a miracle that not only proved the validity of the Fatima Marian apparitions, but also shattered the prevalent belief at the time that God was no longer relevant, according to one theologian.

What crowds witnessed the day of the miracle was “the news that God, in the end, contrary to what was said in the philosophy books at that time, was alive and acting in the midst of men,” Dr. Marco Daniel Duarte told CNA.

If one were to open philosophy books during that period, they would likely read something akin to the concept conceived by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who boldly asserted in the late 1800s that “God is dead.”

Yet as this and other philosophies like it were gaining steam in the life and thought of society, the Virgin Mary appears and tells three small shepherds that “God is alive and still attentive to humanity, even though humanity is waging war with one another.”

Duarte, a theologian and director of the Fatima shrine museums, spoke about the cultural significance of the Miracle of the Sun given the atheistic thought prevalent in Portuguese society at the time.

In 1917, Portugal, like the majority of the world, was embroiled in war. As World War I raged throughout Europe, Portugal found itself unable to maintain its initial neutrality and joined forces with the Allies, in order to protect colonies in Africa and to defend their trade with Britain. About 220,000 Portuguese civilians died during the war; thousands due to food shortages, thousands more from the Spanish flu.

Compounding the problem, government stability in the country had been rocky at best following the revolution and coup d’état that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and subsequent establishment of the First Portuguese Republic in 1910.

A new liberal constitution separating Church and state was drafted under the influence of Freemasonry, which sought to omit the faith – which for many was the backbone of Portuguese culture and society – from public life.

Anti-Catholicism in Portugal had initially begun in the 18th century during the term of statesman Marquês de Pombal, and flared up again after the drafting of the new constitution.

Catholic churches and schools were seized by the government, and the wearing of clerics in public, the ringing of church bells, and the celebrating of popular religious festivals were banned. Between 1911-1916, nearly 2,000 priests, monks and nuns were killed by anti-Christian groups.

This was the backdrop against which Mary, in 1917, appeared to three shepherd children – Lucia dos Santos, 10, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, 9 and 7 – in a field in Fatima, Portugal, bringing with her requests for the recitation of the rosary, for sacrifices on behalf of sinners, and a secret regarding the fate of the world.

To prove that the apparitions were true, Mary promised the children that during the last of her six appearances she would provide a “sign” so people would believe in the apparitions and in her message.

What happened on that day – Oct. 13, 1917 – has come to be known as the “Miracle of the Sun,” or “the day the sun danced.”

According to various accounts, a crowd of some 70,000 people – believers and skeptics alike – gathered to see the miracle that Mary had promised. After appearing and speaking to the children for some time, Mary then “cast her own light upon the sun.”

The previously rainy sky cleared up, the clouds dispersed and the ground, which had been wet and muddy from the rain, was dried. A transparent veil came over the sun, making it easy to look at, and multi-colored lights were strewn across the landscape.

The sun then began to spin, twirling in the sky, and at one point appeared to veer toward earth before jumping back to its place in the sky.

Duarte said the miracle was a direct, and very convincing contradiction to the atheistic regimes at the time, which is evidenced by the fact that the first newspaper to report on the miracle was an anti-Catholic, Masonic newspaper in Lisbon called O Seculo.

The Miracle of the Sun, he said, was understood by the people to be “the seal, the guarantee that in fact those three children were telling the truth.”

Even today, “Fatima makes people change their perception of God,” he said, explaining that for him, one of the most important messages of the apparitions is that “even if man has separated God from his existence, God is present in human history and doesn’t abandon humanity.”

With World War I raging, a war the likes of which the world had never seen, Mary appeared to tell the children that “that story can have another ending, when the power of prayer is stronger than the power of bullets.”

The Miracle of the Sun is also the heart of a special exhibition called “The Colors of the Sun” the shrine is offering for the duration of the centenary year of the apparitions, which focuses on the symbolic nature of the miracle and its cultural significance.

Displayed are “various objects, some older, others more contemporary, some more modern, some made of textile, others of organic materials, paintings, sculptures,” but which are all “placed with a narrative,” he said.

Beginning with a set of black umbrellas used by people who had gathered at the Cova de Iria (Cave of Iria) where Mary appeared Oct. 13, the exhibit aims to build a narrative of what people saw that day, and is supplemented with different works that express the various elements of Mary’s message to the children.

It also shows how the shrine developed over the years, showing the transformation of what used to be a small, simple chapel into what is now two basilicas: the Basilica of Nossa Senhora do Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) and Basilica da Santissima Trindade (Basilica of the Holy Trinity), with an open chapel in between where the statue of Our Lady of Fatima resides.

Pieces come from all over the world – some from the Fatima shrine, some from the State of Portugal, and some even hail from Germany and France.

One of the highlight pieces is a giant heart made by Joana Vasconcelos, a well-known Portuguese artist who crafted the piece entirely out of red plastic ware, such as spoons and forks.

“It’s material that isn’t important for anyone, but which after everything is united, forms the image of a heart and can be the image of reparation,” Duarte said.

The exhibit closes with white parasols, rather than umbrellas, in order to show the fruit of the miracle, Duarte said, adding that it can also signify “the presence of God, the Eucharistic Christ.”

In this sense, the parasols “can be for us a symbol that also we can be God’s tabernacles and can be the place where God dwells,” he said. “This is the true shrine that God wants. The shrine of Fatima is precisely the image of what God wants: to dwell among men.”

This article was originally published on CNA May 12, 2017.

Don’t ignore children suffering war and separation, Holy See tells UN

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 18:12
12-year-old twins stand near garbage outside a building in the old city of Homs, Syria. Credit: UNICEF

New York City, N.Y. (CNA/EWTN News).- Armed conflicts brings out “the most vicious forms of violence against children” and the world must act to aid the young victims of violence and all unaccompanied children worldwide, the Holy See has said at the United Nations.

“Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such violent brutality: children used as soldiers, suicide bombers, sex slaves, and disposable intelligence-gatherers in the most dangerous military operations,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza lamented. “The deliberate destruction of their schools and hospitals in total disregard of international humanitarian law has become a strategy of war.”

Archbishop Auza, the apostolic nuncio heading the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations, spoke Oct. 10 to the U.N. General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, also known as the Third Committee. He spoke regarding the promotion and protection of the rights of children.

The Holy See and the Catholic Church have worked with the U.N. and others to oppose the use of children as combatants and violence against children. They aim to help relieve their suffering and “accompany them on the road to full reintegration with their families and society.”

“Children are first and foremost human beings with fundamental human rights,” Auza said. “They cannot be left voiceless and invisible. Their best interests must be recognized and respected. Their protection and integration must therefore be a primordial concern for all.”

He cited a 500 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children from 66,000 in 2010 to at least 300,000 in 2016. The proportion of children among migrants and refugees is growing, the nuncio added.

“An estimated 535 million children live in countries suffering from conflicts, ethnic or religious persecutions, violence, natural disasters and extreme poverty,” he said. “Millions of desperate children are fleeing their home countries without the protection of their families. Parents are constrained to see their children leave without them, hoping that after a perilous journey they will find welcome and protection somewhere.”

Unaccompanied children are among the 250 million migrants who have crossed international borders, and 65 million of these are refugees.

“They have fled from their countries desperate to find safe haven from persecutions and violent conflicts,” Auza continued. “They have abandoned once fertile lands which are turning into deserts, or they simply want a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, most especially for their children.”

Auza recounted Pope Francis’ emphasis on the importance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to provide a basis to protect child migrants from homelessness and exploitation. Its legal obligations for states that adhere to it cannot be disregarded arbitrarily.

These include measures like proper identification and registration for children, the designation of guardians, and the rights to education and health care.

Specific efforts to protect child migrants include family re-tracing and reunification, education, and other long-term programs. There are child migrant advocacy efforts in schools and parishes. Many efforts also target the root causes of child migration.

“The Holy See and the Catholic Church throughout the world always strive to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate those who flee from adverse conditions, in particular children who are most vulnerable,” Auza said.

PH’s oldest cardinal dies at 86

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:02
Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Ricardo Vidal

MANILA— Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the former Catholic archbishop of Cebu and the oldest among the four Philippine cardinals, has died at the age of 86, a church spokesman said.

In a message, Cebu archdiocese’s spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan said the prelate died earlier today, Wednesday, at 7:26 a.m. “due to infection leading to septic shock”.

Requesting prayers for the prelate’s soul, Tan said the wake will be at the Cebu Cathedral. Details of funeral rites will be made available as soon as possible.

Vidal became seriously ill and was admitted to the city’s Perpetual Succour Hospital on Oct. 11.

In a statement released shortly after Vidal’s death, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas stressed Vidal’s legacy will live on despite his passing.

“Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die. He now joins the immortal ones who served the Lord faithfully here on earth. His wisdom and his humility, his love for priests and his devotion to the Virgin Mary must live on in us whom he has left behind,” he said.

Villegas also expressed hope in Vidal’s intercession for the faithful. “Rest well Eminence. Pray for us in the Father’s House.”

Meanwhile Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo praised Vidal for being a “true servant-leader rather than a ‘prince.’”

“For me his legacy is his own outstanding character. Some of these are: Humility, low profile style; Simplicity and Approachability; Ability to listen even to opposing views; Prudence in political issues; Courage in presenting and defending the CBCP position leading to the 1986 People Power; Charity for those considered as ‘enemies,’” he said in a message to CBCPNews.

A native of Mogpog, Marinduque, Vidal was ordained a priest in 1956 by Bishop and Servant of God Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar.

Then Pope John Paul II appointed Vidal head of the Cebu archdiocese in 1982. He retired in 2011. With reports from Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews

United laity, great for local Church

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 00:34
Laity Week assembly of lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups of Baguio. Together they explored the diocesan vision for BECs and the various pastoral programs. FR. ROSITO PEDRO, JR.

BAGUIO City – For a priest, the enthusiastic participation of lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups during the diocesan celebration of National Laity Week held at the CRC Hall, Bishop’s House in this city was an “eye-opener” on the great contribution of lay persons when they strive to be united with the Church in carrying out her mission.

“It is in this ‘Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities’ when, for the first time in our diocese, we had together all mandated organizations and charismatic groups for ‘Laity Week’. For me, this was an eye-opener on how rich we are in human resources for the implementation of the Church’s programs,” remarked Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr., Vicar for the Laity of the Diocese of Baguio, in an interview with CBCP News.

Alignment of vision and collaboration

According to the priest, the Diocese of Baguio “is doing its best” to organize the Diocesan Council for the Laity, which was part of the thrust of 2016 with Baguio Bishop Emeritus Carlito Cenzon, CICM.

The aim to encourage lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups to be more closely united with diocesan programs continues under the current head of the diocese, Bishop Victor B. Bendico, D.D., explained Pedro.

In this year’s celebration of Laity Week, lay organizations and covenanted communities, in collaboration with their officers, were oriented about the diocesan pastoral programs on LIFORSA (Liturgy, Formation, and Social Action) as well as the diocesan vision to form Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).

“The experience during the orientation assembly encouraged us to see how the laity can collaborate and participate with our pastoral initiatives and programs and also learn to collaborate among themselves in spite of their different groupings,” said the Vicar for Laity.

“On a personal note, I can say it was a joyful experience of interaction with the various lay groups,” the priest added.

Strength in unity

National Laity Week in the Diocese of Baguio started Sept. 24, with the Holy Mass headed by the Vicar General, Fr. Benedict Castañeda, as main celebrant, and Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr. and social action director Fr. Manuel Flores, Jr. as concelebrants.

A Holy Mass presided over by Pedro concluded the event on Sept. 30.

During the homily, the Vicar for the Laity posted this challenge to all present: “How do we reach out to each other? How do we build community inviting each other to go together for the mission?”

“In unity, there is strength and that through this strength, there will always be success!” the priest also emphasized. CBCPNews

Need a plumber, repairman? Call the parish

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 23:57
Fr. Uldarico “Dari” Dioquino, assistant parish priest of Immaculate Conception parish in Marikina, talks to a parishioner

MARIKINA City – A parish in Metro Manila has opened a hotline for parishioners in need of skilled workers who can fix leaky plumbing or repair home appliances.

The Immaculate Conception parish in this city is providing its parishioners a pool of accredited plumbers and repairmen they can trust to deliver good service, said Fr. Uldarico “Dari” Dioquino, assistant parish priest.

The parish serves as a third party that processes transactions between clients and the service provider.

“Our parishioners can call a hotline, then we connect them to our plumbers and repairmen,” said Dioquino.

According to the priest, an identification card authenticated by the parish authorizes the plumbers and repairmen to offer services to parishioners.

Skilled workers, even retired ones, regardless of age, gender, and religion may be duly accredited by the parish, as long as they meet specified standards and requirements, said Dioquino.

He said this program is part of the parish’s efforts to help the unemployed earn from their skills, and keep jobless youth off the streets.

It is also an effort to protect unemployed young people from the dangers of abuse which, Dioquino noted, often happens at home. CBCPNews

CBCP condemning killings of top terror leaders is ‘fake news’

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 23:07

MANILA— The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has expressed concern about a fake news report purporting to reflect its view regretting the death of two terrorist leaders.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, categorically denied issuing such statement regarding the killing of Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon who led the siege in Marawi City.

An article titled “CBCP condemns the ‘brutal killing’ of Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon” and was posted on www.okd2.com went viral Tuesday sparking mixed reactions from the netizens.

In the article, the site also quoted Villegas as supposedly saying that the gory photos of the two terrorists should not have been shown in public.

The article, which was shared by the Facebook page “Rodrigo Duterte Supporters with around a million followers, quoted Villegas as saying that the gory photos of the two terrorists should not have been shown in public.

It also blatantly lied about the CBCP head as supposedly lamenting that deaths of Hapilon and Maute should be treated as another case of extrajudicial killings in the country.

“The CBCP never made such a statement. On the contrary, we laud the gallantry of our soldiers and their heroic efforts to free Marawi,” Villegas said.

While the CBCP has not made any statement yet on the matter, at least two bishops from Mindanao have immediately reacted to the killing by the government troops of Hapilon and Maute.

Among them was Bishop Edwin dela Peña of Marawi who said that the death of the Maute Group leaders signals the “beginning of the end” of the hostilities in the Islamic city.

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz, for his part, said that the incident “serves as a lesson that evil must be conquered so that goodness may reign”.

“May those who plan evil realize that there are so many good people who will oppose them,” he said.

The bishops again cautioned the public against fake news sites and other platforms that peddle lies intended to confuse and cause harm, rather than inform the public.CBCPNews

Indonesian bishop resigns amid embezzlement, affair accusations

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 22:25
Bishop Hubertus Leteng, who resigned as Bishop of Ruteng Oct. 11, 2017. Aid to the Church in Need

Ruteng, Indonesia (CNA/EWTN News).- An Indonesian prelate resigned Wednesday as Bishop of Ruteng amid mounting concerns surrounding an alleged mistress and reportedly stolen funds.

Bishop Hubertus Leteng, 58, was accused of borrowing $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops’ conference, as well as $30,000 from the Diocese of Ruteng.

Leteng said the money was being used to fund a poor youth’s education, although he failed to give any further details or information, according to Ucanews. He was additionally criticized for reportedly taking a mistress – an allegation which Leteng called “slanderous.”

In June, more than 60 priests of the diocese resigned from their assignments in protest of Leteng’s administration of the diocese.

A year earlier, 112 of the diocese’s 167 priests had signed a letter of no confidence in Leteng, citing their suspicions of financial mismanagement and incontinence.

The Vatican has been investigating the accusations brought against Leteng since April, and Pope Francis accepted Leteng’s resignation Oct. 11.

Following Leteng’s departure, Bishop Sylvester San of Denpasar will serve as apostolic administrator of Ruteng until a bishop is named.

Leteng was ordained a priest of the Ruteng diocese in 1988, and was appointed its bishop in 2009. He was consecrated a bishop April 14, 2010.

Though Indonesia is a heavily majority-Muslim country, the island of Flores, on which Ruteng is located, is largely Catholic. Flores was colonized by Portugal, and nearly 89 percent of the population of the Ruteng diocese is Catholic.

October 18, 2017

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 21:00
Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist

Reading 1 2 TM 4:10-17B

Beloved:
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.

R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Alleluia SEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'”

Homilies Today's Readings

We laud the gallantry of our soldiers

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 17:54

Once more, CBCP is the hapless victim of fake news. Going viral on social media is a “report” that the CBCP regrets the killing of Messrs. Hapilon and Maute.

The CBCP never made such a statement.

On the contrary we laud the gallantry of our soldiers and their heroic efforts to free Marawi. We will gladly join government in rebuilding the city in the measure we are able.

We pray for all the dead, and for lasting peace in Mindanao.

 

+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
President, CBCP

Clergy, laity to discuss IP struggles in Davao meet

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:00

Refugees find shelter at the city’s grandstand. MSPCXVI

DAVAO City—Church leaders from different parts of Mindanao are gathering to look into the plight of indigenous peoples (IP) as well as the issues confronting the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) in Mindanao.

More than 200 bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders working in BECs in Mindanao and Sulu are participating in the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSCPC) XVI from Oct. 16 to 20 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

MSPC is a forum of ideas that facilitates the communion of local churches in Mindanao. As stated in its vision statement, MSPC aims to promote indigenous cultures and to foster a dialogue of life among Christians, Muslims, and Lumads in Mindanao and beyond.

Possible solutions

MSPC XVI will focus on the relationship between BECs and faith communities, the growth of BECs and their best and failed practices, inter-religious dialogue, plight of the indigenous peoples, among others.

Fr. Leonardo Dublan, Jr., Davao’s social action director said the conference aims to explore ideas and possible solutions for problems arising in the ecclesial communities and in society as a whole.

Leading the pool of speakers are Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato who will give a Mindanao situationer and Bishop of Digos Guillermo V. Afable who will deliver the keynote address on the conference’s theme: “Parish as Communion of Communities”.

“I look forward to it because that depicts very well the Mindanao situation,” said Bishop of Marawi Edwin Dela Peña about the conference in a message sent to CBCPNews.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Davao Romulo G. Valles officiated the Holy Mass at San Pedro Cathedral on Oct. 16. A welcome dinner and program at the Grand Menseng Hotel showcasing the tribal culture of Davao, reminiscent of the Kadayawan sa Dabaw celebration every August, followed.

Origins

The first MSPC was held in Davao City in 1971 with the theme: “Building Christian Communities: Worshipping, Teaching, Serving,” and the following conferences were held every three years.

A statement signed by the bishop as current chairman is issued at the end of the conference.

Though it is a forum of ideas, the MSPC cannot dictate how bishops will implement policies in their dioceses since every bishop in his own diocese is independent and is not answerable to any bishop but to the pope.

The local church of Mindanao used to be under the Archdiocese of Cebu until the erection of the prelature of Zamboanga until it gave birth to some 21 dioceses in Mindanao, including Zambonga that comprises the five ecclesiastical sub-regions of Mindanao.

Valles expressed joy that the Archdiocese of Davao is once again hosting the MSPC after it was held in the Archdiocese of Zamboanga in 2014 with the theme: “Celebrating the Giftedness of the Laity in the Church” in time for the celebration of the Year of the Laity. CBCPNews

October 17, 2017

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 21:00
Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Alleluia HEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Homilies Today's Readings

Philippines to join global praying of rosary for peace

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:02

MANILA— Children in the Philippines will recite the rosary in their homes and schools for world peace and unity on Wednesday, October 18.

The kids will join children from all over the world in the annual event organized by the international pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (CAN) to foster peace and understanding.

In the Philippines, activities will be held at 9am through the initiative of the dioceses and religious communities all over the country.

ACN Philippines has sent out info packets to all the dioceses, communities and schools to encourage their children’s participation in this prayerful activity.

“October is the month of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic Church. This year, the prayer campaign is dedicated to the children in Syria, the innocent victims of a never-ending war,” it said.

“In many areas of the world, lessons will even be interrupted for half an hour so that the children can participate,” ACN added.

ACN Philippines started the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” campaign after it began its operation, as one of only two national offices in Asia, last year.

Organizers asked Catholics to do their part in the global prayer campaign by joining children in every part of the world in praying.

This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Blessed Mother appeared to three children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – at Fatima in Portugal asking them to pray the rosary for world peace.

ACN President Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said that “the best thing ACN can do for peace in this world is to take the message from heaven seriously.”

“Shouldn’t we be doing so much more to teach children and support them in playing a part in this peace plan, a plan that is more topical than ever today?” Piacenza said.

Last year, children in 69 countries took part in the prayer campaign, which was first initiated in Venezuela in 2005.

Materials for the prayer campaign ACN be downloaded here: http://www.millionkidspraying.org. CBCPNews

Church leaders react to deaths of top Marawi siege leaders

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:55
Government troops guard their positions outside damaged houses in Marawi City, September 19, 2017. VINCENT GO

MANILA— The deaths of key leaders behind the deadly siege in Marawi City is making an impact on the Catholic community.

Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were killed in gunbattle with the government troops past midnight on Monday.

Omar and his brother Abdullah aligned themselves with Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and supposed emir of Islamic State group in Southeast Asia.

Bishop Edwin dela Peña is hoping that the death of the terrorist leaders will finally bring an end to the hostilities in the city that erupted since last May.

“Crumbling leadership signals the beginning of the end. I’m beginning to feel relieved,” Dela Peña said.

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz said the death of the key terror is “victory for peace and order in our society”.

“This serves as a lesson that evil must be conquered so that goodness may reign. May those who plan evil realize that there are so many good people who will oppose them,” he said.

For his part, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ Committee on Public Affairs, said extremism will not end in the death of the two leaders alone.

The priest said a “holistic approach” and not just military offensive is needed in battling terrorism.

“Education, employment, poverty eradication and infrastructure development should only be some of the measures that this government should undertake if only to dismantle or at least weaken the influence of terrorist cells,” he said.

More than 1,000 lives have been lost in the nearly five-month war, including 163 soldiers, 822 militants and 47 civilians. CBCPNews

Bacolod holds 2nd Diocesan Pastoral Assembly

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:00

Participants of the recently concluded 2nd Diocesan Pastoral Assembly of Bacolod, composed of 315 official delegates from the clergy, laity, and the religious. PHOTO COURTESY OF FR. DEOGRACIAS CAMON

BACOLOD City— The Diocese of Bacolod marked a milestone in its history as it formally concluded its 2nd Diocesan Pastoral Assembly with a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in the San Sebastian Cathedral on October 13.

Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, S.D.B., officially closed the assembly after three days of prayer, reflection, and deliberations with 315 official delegates composed by the clergy, religious, and laity and which resulted to the formulation of the mission–vision statements of the diocese.

The vision statement speaks about the diocese as a “listening church journeying towards holiness” while the mission statement indicated “the Diocese of Bacolod is called to bring forth God’s kingdom through a spirit of communion and integral faith”.

The ‘bringing forth’ is understood in the sense of “sharing in the role of Mary who carried Jesus to the world”. This will specifically be expressed through “responsible stewardship, new evangelization and lived worship”.

Active lay participation

Three months prior to the pastoral assembly, more than 3,500 faithful of the diocese were consulted to prepare the working documents of the diocesan meet.

The gathering opened on Oct. 10 with a Mass presided by the Bacolod Bishop Emeritus Vicente Navarra.

In the homily, Navarra talked about the need for silence and “set aside any personal agenda” and the authenticity that comes as its fruits.

He also exhorted the delegates to participate in the deliberations so that the current diocesan pastor will have a guide on how to take care of the local church.

Time for discernment

Bishop Buzon in his opening address explained that the assembly is listening to the “sense of faith” of the faithful.

As he stressed that the “Holy Spirit is with the laity as it is with the bishop and the clergy”, he pointed out that the pastoral assembly is “the time of listening to the people particularly to the laity since they too are anointed by the Holy Spirit due to their baptism”.

The bishop said that the assembly is also the time for discernment of “what the Lord is telling us regarding His plan for the diocese”.

“It is sharing in the dream of God for us. The dream of God for us is more important than our own plans,” he underlined.

Buzon hoped that the assembly be “like the Cenacle when Mary, together with the disciples, experienced a new springtime”.

Blueprint

The 2nd Diocesan Pastoral Assembly was held at the John Paul II Diocesan Cultural Center in the Sacred Heart Seminary, Bacolod City.

Its resolutions will serve as the Strategic Plan that the Bishop will implement in the local church in the next five years.

The results of the meeting will also serve as the blueprint for the commissions and centers of the diocese in creating programs for the various parishes and chaplaincies. WITH REPORTS FROM FR. DEOGRACIAS A. CAMON

Our Lady of Fatima procession in Cebu

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:14

Thousands of devotees join the grand Marian procession along the streets of Cebu City to honor the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions in Portugal, October 13, 2017. CBCPNews

Father of Knights of Columbus in the Philippines

 

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