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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Updated: 55 min 11 sec ago

Lack of progress fighting hunger is shameful, pope says

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 13:21


By Anne Condodina

Catholic News Service

October 17, 2018

ROME— At a time of technological and scientific progress, “we ought to feel shame” for not having advanced in “humanity and solidarity” enough to feed the world’s poor, Pope Francis said.

“Neither can we console ourselves simply for having faced emergencies and desperate situations of those most in need. We are all called to go further. We can and we must do better for the helpless,” the pope said in a message to world leaders attending a meeting of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

The World Food Day ceremony Oct. 16 marks the date the organization was founded in 1945 to address the causes of world hunger.

The theme for 2018 is “Our actions are our future: A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible.” The 2030 agenda seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Local programs are just as important as global commitments to ending hunger, Pope Francis said in his message.

“Global indicators are of no use if our commitment does not correspond to reality on the ground,” the pope said. “This must be done in the context of suitable institutional, social and economic support that offers fruitful initiatives and solutions so that the poor do not feel overlooked again.”

According to the FAO 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, world hunger is on the rise again, and over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment.

The pope called for policies of cooperation for development that are oriented toward meeting the real needs of the people: “The struggle against hunger urgently demands generous financing, the abolition of trade barriers and, above all, greater resilience in the face of climate change, economic crises and warfare,” he said.

While one can dream of a future without hunger, the pope said it is only reasonable to do so “when we engage in tangible processes, vital relations, effective plans and real commitments.”

The poor expect real help from world leaders, he wrote, “not mere propositions or agreements.”

However, it not only requires political decision-making and effective planning, but also a more proactive and sustainable long-term vision from world leaders, Pope Francis said.

“We overlook the structural aspects that shroud the tragedy of hunger: extreme inequality, poor distribution of the world’s resources, consequences of climate change and the interminable and bloody conflicts which ravage many regions,” he said.

“Some may say that we still have 12 years ahead in which to carry this out” to meet the 2030 goal, the pope acknowledged. But “the poor cannot wait. Their devastating circumstances do not allow this.”

Sorsogon laity hold 1st diocesan congress

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 13:03

Some 585 lay people from the five vicariates of the Diocese of Sorsogon attended the 1st Diocesan Congress of the Council of the Laity of Sorsogon.

By Judith Deyto Ayo & Fr. Philippe A. B. Gallanosa

Oct. 17, 2018

Bibincahan, Sorsogon City

For the first time, the Diocesan Council of the Laity of Sorsogon through the Commission on the Laity held its 1st Diocesan Congress at the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary High School Department Auditorium in this city on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The highlight of the affair was the talk of Michael Angelo Lobrin, an inspirational speaker, actor, and author. His speech focused on three major themes: focus, gratitude, and humility. With his unique speaking style, Lobrin injected humor and wit into the topic.

Fr. Ernie D. Mendina, COL spiritual director, together with the Council’s EXECOM, chose the theme “COL/LOMAS: Called to Communion and Collaboration with the Clergy and the Consecrated for the New Evangelization.”

Some 585 lay people from the five vicariates of the Diocese of Sorsogon with 6 or 7 parishes each attended the event. The Our Lady of the Pillar sent 77 participants; Sts. Peter and Paul, 105; St. Anthony of Padua (Gubat), 247; St. Michael the Archangel and the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception both had 78. With them were a number of priests.

The Diocese of Sorsogon has nine Commissions: Family and Human Life, Laity, Youth, Media for Evangelization, Mission, Worship, Education, and Service and Temporalities (FLYMEMWEST). It is through the Commission on the Laity that COL becomes an agent of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan (DPP), now on its 6th phase.

The one-day congress included reports from the 5 commissions. Presentations demonstrated the collaboration and coordination of the COL/LOMAS with the parish’s implementation of the 5 pastoral priorities of the diocese.

Palawan youth gearing up for ‘Year of the Youth 2019’

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:59

A youth leaders makes a personal commitment to the upcoming Year of the Youth by leaving a hand print on the vicariate’s youth ministry standee. KATYA SANTOS

By Katya Santos

Oct. 17, 2018

Puerto Princesa City

The youth ministry of the Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, together with their shepherd, Bishop Socrates Mesiona, is laying the groundwork for the celebration of the “Year of The Youth 2019,” which will be locally launched on Nov. 30.

“We recognize the role of the youth, they are the hope and future of our Church,” said Mesiona, speaking in Filipino to some 40 youth leaders on Oct. 13.

As a sign of support to the vision and mission of the youth, the prelate “painted” his commitment on the vicariate’s youth ministry standee.

Bugsayan 2018

The formal launching of Year of the Youth in Palawan will take place during an annual Catholic event called “Bugsayan” on Nov. 30. It also coincides with the culminating activity of the “Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.”

Sr. Imee Cayabo, vicarial youth coordinator, called on the faithful to support Bugsayan as well as the year-long youth activities in 2019.

“This is first time for us, we will take charge of the program (Bugsayan), and we are just excited,” she said in Filipino.

Bugsayan is an annual Catholic event of the Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, which comprises 32 parishes, including 3 quasi-parishes, and 4 chaplaincies of Puerto Princesa and Southern Palawan.

Current struggles

Several youth shared their current struggles in the ministry, citing the “strong competition” between and among other youth Christian groups.

Mesiona then suggested that the youth have a regular, grand youth activity, which will enjoy the full support of the vicariate.

An ad hoc youth committee was also created to plan not only for the upcoming “Year of the Youth” celebration but for other long-term plans of the ministry.

Sagada youth learn ‘responsible journalism’

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:14

With the theme “Responsible Campus Journalists at all Times”, Fr. Marcial Marcs Castañeda, Mission Rector of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at Sagada, instructs young students of Bangaan National High School in Sagada to know, understand, and practice “wise journalism.” MT. CARMEL CHURCH SAGADA

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

Oct. 17, 2018


Pope Francis, in his message for World Communications Day, praised educators who teach young people how to read and question what they see on social media. Along this lines, the pastor of a Catholic community in Sagada, Mountain Province, is helping train young people to be responsible journalists.

“We need responsible journalists to spread the truth,” said Fr. Marcial Marcs Castañeda, Mission Rector of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at Sagada, in an interview with CBCP News, on Indigenous People’s Sunday, Oct. 14.

‘Wise journalism’

“’Fake News’ is not a language in the field of responsible journalism,” the priest stressed as he lamented the fact that the term has recently come to prominence.

Under the theme “Responsible Campus Journalists at all Times,” young students of Bangaan National High School in Sagada have been attending consecutive meetings to know, understand, and practice wise journalism. In one of the exercises, the students were divided into two groups, each given the task to pass on a message until the last person who receives it comes forward to announce it.

“Unfortunately, neither group made it,” Castañeda said, underlining the lesson: Listen carefully so that you can relay correctly!”

“Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are essential virtues for a mature and responsible journalist. The opposite is the strategy of the Evil One. Those who practice lies and those who spread fake news are the instruments of the devil,” the priest said, evoking the Pope’s reflection that the first to use “fake-news” was the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

‘You cannot give what you do not have!’

Reminding the students of an old Latin dictum, Castañeda emphasized the importance of overcoming ignorance.

“We must know in order to have something to share. Journalists must undergo continuous formation,” he stressed.

According to him, information must be validated to bring out credible truth from credible sources. “…From this, we can deter corrupt practices, warn corrupt officials, and rectify social injustices in our society. Eventually, we help promote peace,” the priest pointed out.

Help train responsible journalists

The priest also called on the faithful to help support young journalists, some of whom have qualified for regional and national campus journalism meets, by donating DSLR cameras and computers for campus journalism training.

Those interested to help may contact Fr. Marc Castañeda via email marcsongs123@gmail.com or mobile number 0905-1653 669.

‘Bayanihan’ spirit moves post-‘Ompong’ recovery in Baguio

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 22:59

Volunteers are working round the clock to help families particularly in highland communities severely affected by typhoon Ompong. BAGUIO SOCIAL ACTION MINISTRY FB PAGE

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

Oct. 16, 2018


On Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday, Oct. 14, the Social Action Ministry of the Diocese of Baguio gave an update on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in the highland communities severely affected by typhoon “Ompong,” noting how the strong community spirit of “bayanihan” has been moving locals to help each other rise again.

“In our visits, we were able to see the destruction in the area of Itogon and hear the stories of the people’s struggles and their loss. Nevertheless, we get to witness hope with the ‘bayanihan’ spirit of the community in rebuilding their area,” said Fr. Manuel Flores, Jr., Social Action coordinator of the Diocese of Baguio. He gave the latest post-typhoon assessment of communities badly hit by the typhoon, particularly by landslides.

Temporary school buildings

The local community in Goldfield, Poblacion Itogon is working on a temporary school building with permission from the Local Government Unit and the Department of Education.

According to Flores, having contacted some donors, the Diocese of Baguio – through Caritas-Baguio in coordination with St. Charles Borromeo Parish as well as Barangay Poblacion, Itogon – will help in constructing the said temporary school building.

He also shared that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has lent 10 family-size tents to serve as classrooms while a sturdier temporary school building is being constructed.

The Social Action director called on the public to help address the school’s needs by donating the following:

  • Coloring books, reading materials for elementary pupils (Grades 1-6)
  • Writing, coloring, and drawing materials
  • Electric fans
  • Water dispensers
  • Food for work rations

Flores said a concern now is the suspension of classes in eight schools in Itogon due to the findings of Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB). “They need big tents to serve as temporary classrooms,” the Social Action director added.

Cash donations preferred

Flores further announced that the organization would be having its last week of relief operations, as efforts will be focused on rehabilitation work like providing shelter and livelihood assistance to affected families.

“We are open to donations for the rehabilitation phase. While we do not have a warehouse for donations in-kind (e.g. G.I. sheets, plywood, etc.), we have an area but [it] can store only so much,” he said, noting, however, that cash donations are preferred.

“We prefer monetary donations as we have a system in place to make family recipients and the local economy benefit as well,” he explained.

How to help

Those who wish to donate may send their donations to the Caritas-Baguio Office, Diocese of Baguio, Bishop’s Residence, Fr. Carlu St., Baguio City.

Monetary donations may be deposited to:

  • Bank of the Philippines Account Name: Diocese of Baguio
  • Account Number: 0571001764

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