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The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

7 June 2013


World Day of Prayer

for the Sanctification of Priests




My dearest friends and brothers in the priesthood,


On the occasion of the coming solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 7 June 2013, on which we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, I cordially greet each and every one of you, and thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of the priesthood and for your fidelity to the love of Christ.


The invitation of the Lord to “remain in his love” (cf. Jn. 15:9) is valid for all the baptised, but on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it resounds with a new power in us, his priests. As the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI reminded us at the opening of the Year for Priests, quoting the Holy Curé of Ars, “the priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus” (cf. Homily at the celebration of Vespers of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 19 June 2009). We must never forget that from this heart sprang the gift of the priestly ministry.


We know from experience that “to remain in his love” pushes us forcefully towards holiness. This holiness, as we know well, is not based in doing extraordinary actions, but in allowing Christ to act in us and in making his attitudes, his thoughts and his behaviour our own. The extent of holiness derives from the extent of Christ’s presence in us, insofar as we model the whole of our life on him, by the strength of the Holy Spirit.


We priests have been consecrated and sent to make present the salvific mission of the incarnate Divine Son. Our function is indispensable for the Church and for the world and demands from us complete fidelity to Christ and constant union with Him. Thus, by humble service, we are guides who lead to holiness the faithful entrusted to our ministry. In this way, we reflect in our life the desire expressed by Jesus himself in his priestly prayer after the institution of the Eucharist: “I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours… I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one… sanctify them in the truth… for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth” (Jn. 17:9,15,17,19).


In the Year of Faith


Such considerations assume a special importance in relation to the celebration of the Year of Faith – announced by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in the Motu Proprio Porta Fidei (11 October 2011) – which began on 11 October 2012, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and which will end on the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November next. The Church with her pastors, must be on a journey, to lead people out of the “desert” towards communion with the Son of God, who is the Life of the world (cf. Jn. 6:33).


In this perspective, the Congregation for the Clergy addresses this letter to all the priests of the world, to help each one to renew his commitment to live this event of grace to which we are called, and in a particular way to be leaders and animators eager for a rediscovery of the faith in its entirety and with all its attraction, and therefore motivated to believe that the new evangelisation is directed towards the genuine transmission of the Christian faith.


In the Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, the Pope interprets the sentiments of priests in many countries: “In the past it was possible to recognise a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people” (no. 2).


The celebration of the Year of Faith presents itself as an opportunity for the new evangelisation, to overcome the temptation to discouragement, and to let our own efforts be directed more and more under the influence and the guidance of the present Successor of Peter. To have faith means principally to be certain that Christ, conquering death in his flesh, has also made it possible for those who believe in Him to share this destiny of glory, and to satisfy the yearning for a perfect and eternal life and joy, which is in the heart of everyone. For this, “the Resurrection of Christ is our greatest certainty; he is our most precious treasure! How can we not share this treasure, this certainty with others? It is not only for us, it is to be passed on, to be shared with others. Our testimony is precisely this” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 3 April 2013).


As priests we must prepare ourselves the lead the other members of the faithful to a maturity of faith. We know that we are the first ones who have to open our hearts more fully. We remember the words of the Master of the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem “Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said: Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’. Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7:37-39). Also from the priest as alter Christus, rivers of living water can flow, inasmuch as he drinks with faith from the words of Christ, opening himself to the action of the Holy Spirit. Not only the sanctification of the people entrusted to him, but also the satisfaction of his own identity, depends ultimately on the movement from the priest “opening” himself, to being a sign and instrument of divine grace: “The priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little – I won’t say ‘not at all’ because, thank God, the people take the oil from us anyway – misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager, ‘has already received his reward’, and since he doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks. This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad, sad priests, in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with ‘the odour of the sheep’. This I ask you: be shepherds, with the ‘odour of the sheep’, make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men” (Idem, Homily for the Chrism Mass, 28 March 2013).


Transmitting the Faith


Christ has entrusted to his apostles and to the Church the mission of preaching the Good News to all people. St. Paul heard the Gospel as “the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith” (Rm. 1:16). Jesus Christ himself is the Gospel, the “Good News” (cf. 1Cor. 1:24). Our task is to be bearers of the power of the boundless Love of God manifested in Christ. The response to the generous divine Revelation is faith, the fruit of grace in our souls, which demands the opening of the human heart. “Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God” (Porta Fidei, no. 7). After years of priestly ministry, with its fruits and its difficulties, the presbyterate can say with St. Paul: “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ!” (Rm. 15:19; 1Cor. 15:1-11; etc.).


To collaborate with Christ in the transmission of the faith is the task of every Christian, in the characteristic organic cooperation between the ordained faithful and the lay faithful in the Holy Church. This joyful obligation implies two profoundly united aspects. The first, the bond with Christ, which means meeting Him personally, following Him, having a friendship with Him, believing in Him. In today’s cultural context, the testimony of our lives is particularly important – a condition of authenticity and of credibility – which makes it evident how the power of the love of God makes his Word effective. We must not forget that the faithful are looking for the priest to be a man of God and of his Word, his mercy and the Bread of Life.


A second element of the missionary character of the transmission of the faith is found in the joyful welcome of the words of Christ, the truths that he teaches us, the content of Revelation. In that sense, a fundamental instrument will be the ordered and organic exposition of Catholic doctrine, anchored in the Word of God and in the eternal and living Tradition of the Church.


In particular, we must commit ourselves to live the Year of Faith and to make it a providential occasion to understand that the texts of the Second Vatican Council, which are the heritage of the Council Fathers, according to the words of blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition… I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as, the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning” ” (John Paul II, Ap. Let. Novo millennio ineunte, 6 January 2001, 57: AAS 93 [2001], 308, no. 5).


The Content of the Faith


The Catechism of the Catholic Church – called for by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops of 1985 as an instrument of service to catechesis and brought about through the collaboration of the whole Episcopate – illustrates to the faithful the strength and the beauty of the faith.


The Catechism is an authentic fruit of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which makes the pastoral ministry easier: attractive, incisive, deep, solid homilies; catechetical courses and courses of theological formation for adults; the preparation of catechists, the formation of different vocations in the Church, particularly in the Seminaries.


The Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith (6 January 2012), offers a full list of initiatives for living this privileged time of grace in full unity with the Holy Father and the Episcopal College: pilgrimages for the faithful to the See of Peter, to the Holy Land, to Marian shrines, the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro this coming July; symposia, conferences and gatherings, also on an international level, and in particular those dedicated to the rediscovery of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council; the organisation of groups of the faithful for reading and the communal in-depth study of the Catechism with a renewed commitment to spreading its teaching.


In the current relativist climate it seems appropriate to stress how important is the knowledge of the content of authentic Catholic doctrine, inseparable as it is from the encounter with appealing testimonies of faith. The Acts of the Apostles recounts that the first disciples in Jerusalem “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).


In this sense the Year of Faith is a particularly favourable occasion for a more attentive reception of the homilies, the catechesis, the allocutions and the other statements of the Holy Father. For many of the faithful, to have available the homilies and discourses from the audiences will be a great help for passing on the faith to others.


This concerns the truth by which we live, as St. Augustine said when, in a homily on the redditio symboli, he describes the handing over of the Creed: “You therefore have received and returned it, but in your minds and in your hearts you must keep it ever present, you must repeat it in your beds, think of it again in the squares and not forget it during meals: and also when your body sleeps, your hearts must be watchful” (Augustine of Hippo, Discourse 215, on the Redditio Symboli).


In Porta Fidei there is a path to help understand more deeply the content of the faith and the act by which we freely entrust ourselves to God: the act with which we believe and the content to which we give our assent are signposted in a deeply united way (cf. n. 10).


To grow in Faith


The Year of Faith represents therefore, an invitation to conversion to Jesus, the only Saviour of the World, to grow in the faith as a theological virtue. In the prologue to the first volume of Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI wrote on the negative consequences of presenting Jesus as a figure from the past about whom little is certain: “Such a situation is difficult for the faith, because it makes its authentic point of reference uncertain: the intimate friendship with Jesus, on which everything depends, threatens to fumble in the emptiness” (p. 8).


It is worth meditating more on these words “the intimate friendship with Jesus, on which everything depends”. It concerns the personal encounter with Christ, an encounter of each one of us, and of each one of our brothers and sisters in the faith, whom we serve in our ministry.


To encounter Jesus, like the first disciples – Andrew, Peter, John – like the Samaritan woman or like Nicodemus; to welcome him into our own house like Martha and Mary; to listen to him reading the Gospel again and again; by the grace of the Holy Spirit, this is the sure path to growth in the faith. As the Servant of God Paul VI wrote: “The faith is the way by which eternal truth enters into the soul” (Insegnamenti, IV, p. 919).


Jesus invites us to feel that we are children and friends of God: “I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (Jn. 15:15-16).


Means to grow in faith – The Eucharist


Jesus invites us to ask with full confidence, to pray with the words “Our Father”. He proposes to everyone, in the Sermon on the Mount, a goal which to human eyes seems like madness: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). In order to exercise a good pedagogy of holiness, capable of adapting itself to the circumstances and the pace of the individual person, we must be friends of God, and men of prayer.


In prayer we learn to carry the Cross, that Cross open to the whole world for its salvation which, as the Lord revealed to Ananias, would accompany the mission of the newly converted Saul: “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:15-16). Also to the faithful of Galatia, St. Paul presents this synthesis of his life “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:19-20).


In the Eucharist the mystery of the sacrifice of the Cross is made present. The liturgical celebration of the Holy Mass is an encounter with Jesus, who offers himself as a victim for us and transforms us in Him. “By its nature, the liturgy can be pedagogically effective in helping the faithful to enter more deeply into the mystery being celebrated. That is why, in the Church’s most ancient tradition, the process of Christian formation always had an experiential character. While not neglecting a systematic understanding of the content of the faith, it centred on a vital and convincing encounter with Christ, as proclaimed by authentic witnesses. It is first and foremost the witness who introduces others to the mysteries” (Benedict XVI, Ap. Exhort. Sacramentum Caritatis, 22-II-2007, no. 64). It should not be surprising therefore, that in the Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith, it is suggested that the celebration of the faith in the liturgy be intensified, and in particular in the Eucharist, where the faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and reinforced (cf. no. IV, 2). If the Eucharistic liturgy is celebrated with great faith and devotion, the fruits are certain.


The Sacrament of Mercy that brings forgiveness


If the Eucharist is the Sacrament that builds up the image of the Son of God in us, Reconciliation is that which makes us experience the power of the divine mercy, which liberates the soul from sin, and enables it to sense the beauty of the return to God, the true Father loved by every one of his children. For this the sacred minister is the first person who must be convinced that “only by behaving as children of God, without despairing at our shortcomings, at our sins, only by feeling loved by him will our life be new, enlivened by serenity and joy. God is our strength! God is our hope!” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 10 April 2013).


The priest must himself be a sacrament of this merciful presence in the world: “Jesus has no house, because his house is the people, it is we who are his dwelling place, his mission is to open God’s doors to all, to be the presence of God’s love” (Idem, General Audience, 27 March 2013). We cannot therefore bury this marvellous supernatural gift, nor distribute it without having the same sentiments as He who loved sinners, all the way to the Cross. In this sacrament, the Father gives us a unique opportunity to be, not only spiritually, but also in ourselves and with our own humanity, that welcoming hand which, like the Good Samaritan, pours oil which gives relief to the wounds of the soul (Lk. 10:34). We hear, as our own, these words of the Pontiff; “A Christian who withdraws into himself, who hides everything that the Lord has given him, is a Christian who... is not a Christian! He is a Christian who does not thank God for everything God has given him! This tells us that the expectation of the Lord’s return is the time of action — we are in the time of action — the time in which we should bring God’s gifts to fruition, not for ourselves but for him, for the Church, for others. The time to seek to increase goodness in the world always… Dear brothers and sisters, may looking at the Last Judgement never frighten us: rather, may it impel us to live the present better. God offers us this time with mercy and patience so that we may learn every day to recognise him in the poor and in the lowly. Let us strive for goodness and be watchful in prayer and in love. May the Lord, at the end of our life and at the end of history, be able to recognise us as good and faithful servants” (Idem, General Audience, 24 April 2013).


The sacrament of Reconciliation is therefore also the sacrament of joy: “While he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry” (Lk. 15:11-24). Every time we go to Confession, we find the joy of being with God, because we have experienced his mercy perhaps many times, when we manifest to the Lord our shortcomings due to tepidity and mediocrity. Thus our faith is strengthened as sinners who love Jesus, and we know we are loved by him: “When someone is summoned by the judge or is involved in legal proceedings, the first thing he does is to seek a lawyer to defend him. We have One who always defends us, who defends us from the snares of devil, who defends us from ourselves and from our sins! Dear brothers and sisters, we have this Advocate; let us not be afraid to turn to him to ask forgiveness, to ask for a blessing, to ask for mercy! He always pardons us, he is our Advocate: he always defends us! Don’t forget this!” (Idem, General Audience, 17 April 2013).


In Eucharistic adoration, we can say to Christ, present in the Sacred Host, with St. Thomas Aquinas:


Plagas sicut Thomas non intúeor

Deum tamen meum Te confiteor

Fac me tibi semper magis crédere

In Te spem habére, Te dilígere.


Also with the apostle Thomas, we can repeat with our priestly heart, when Jesus is in our hands: Dominus meus et Deus meus!


Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Lk. 1:45). With these words Elizabeth greeted Mary. We appeal to Her, who is Mother of priests and who has preceded us in the journey of faith, that each one of us may grow in faith in her divine Son, and thereby bring to the world the Life and the Light, the warmth of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.




Mauro Cardinal Piacenza





Summer Apostolate Program 2013 - Bro. Lander Sanchez



Sem. Alexander Trinidad A. Sanchez



Ang nasabi ko noong una akong dumating sa Parokya ni Sto. Tomas de Villanueva sa Santolan, “Buhay –parokya na naman... hoo.”

 Sa totoo lamang, mahirap ang buhay parokya. Oo nga at marami ang mga makikilala mong mga bagong personalidad na maari mong kapulutan ng aral at inspirasyon sa buhay, marami ring nakatutuwang karanasang nakahain, subalit ang parokya ay ibang iba sa katahimikan at comfort ng seminaryo, o maging ng sarili mong tahanan.

Ang parokya sa aking pagkakakila, batay na rin sa aking mga nakaraang karanasan, ay napaka-hectic. Bukod pa sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan ng mga tao na ipagdiwang mo ang Banal na Misa, tambak ng Pastoral meetings, invitations at iba pang suliraning kaugnay ng pangangailangan ng iba. Ang pari, sa kanyang sarili ay nangangaialnagn din namang tugunin ang kanyang pangangailangan, bilang tao at higit sa lahat bilang pari. Napakahirap maglingkod ng mahusay kung sa palagay mo ay may kailangan ka ring gawin para sa sarili bilang isang pari. Ang isang konkretong halimbawa ay ang pangangailangan ng pari ang magdasal... bilang kanyang pagkukunan ng lakas at motibasyon para sa mga hamon ng paglilingkod. Kung tambak ang kailangan ng parokya, idagdag pa riyan ang hamon ng kapaligiran, suliranin sa mga taong kailangang ituwid ang pagkaunawa sa mga bagay--- sa mga ito pa lamang, kung tutugunan ng pari ang lahat ng ito, ubos na ang kanyang oras, ubos na ang kanyang lakas, wala na siya sa disposisyon.

Sa Santolan, being an urban parish, ibang iba ang katatayuan sa mga parokya sa probinsya... mas matindi ang challenge, mas malaki ang hinihingi sa pari, mas kailangang ibigay ng pari ang buo niyang pagkatao para lamang tugunin ang mga suliranin at pangangailanagn ng mga parokyano. Magkagayunman, mas kailangan pala ng pari na magdasal sa ganitong klase ng environment, mas malaki pa nga ang tungkulin niyang ipagdasal ang lahat ng kanyang kailangang gawin alang-alang sa simbahan. Mas malaki ang magiging problema kung puro meeting lamang, planning at pastoral response lamang ang nasa isip ng pari, mukhang mas mawawalan ng direksyon.

Sa Santolan, nakita ko kung paano isalit ang panalangin sa pang-araw-araw na demand ng parokya. You don’t find time for prayer, you make time for it, mahirap, pero lalong kailangang, ideal, pero narito ang kasagutan. Mas nakakatakot pa nga yata ang parokyang masaya, maunlad, subalit hindi nagdarasal, sa ganitong kalagayan, walang laman ang mga gawi, walang saligan ang mga gawain.

Hindi mayamang parokya ang Santolan, subalit masasabing parokya sila, sa pangungunan ng Kura Paroko, unti-unting natututong manalanagin ang sambayanan, lumalapit sa Diyos, humihingi ng gabay sa kabila ng maraming pananagutan sa buhay...

Parish life... It’s more fun in Santolan   


Summer Apostolate Program 2013 - Bro. Kim Mariano


Ang Parokya sa Pananaw ng Isang Seminarista


Tuwing dumarating ang bakasyon ng ordinaryong mag-aaral, matapos ang isang taon ng samu’t saring karanasan sa loob ng paaralan, kaming mga seminarista ay ipinadadala sa mga parokya. Kapag nagbibiruan, ang summer apostolate ay ang practicum ng pagpapari, sapagkat bukod pa sa mga pangangailangan ng kaluluwa ng panalangin at pakikipagniig sa Diyos, ang isa ring aspeto ng pagkatao ng mga tupang ipinapastol ang mahalagang mapag-ukulan ng pansin-- iba’t iba ang ugali ng tupang alaga ng bawat paring nagpapastol, may madaling ipastol, may pasaway at ayaw magpapastol, mayroon din namang naghahanap ng ibang pastol. Iba’t iba, pero kailangang alagaan, ingatan, dahil kabilang sila sa iisang kawan.


Madaling sabihin, napakagandang isipin ang mag-alaga at magmahal sa lahat ng ipinagkatiwala sa iyong pangangalaga, pero ang hirap gawin! Ano ‘yun, kahit nanunuwag ang tupa, lalapitan mo? Kahit nagpakita ka na ng motibong ingatan pero nagpupumiglas sa mga kamay mo, susuyuin mo? Kahit na gusto mong ituwid ang landas, kung ayaw ng itinutuwid, paano mo mapagiging tugma at matuwid? Parang madaling maging pari, pero ang hirap magpakapari... “Lord, pwede po bang misa-misa na lang? ”


Sa ilang taon ng pagsailalim ko ng mga summer apostolate programs, iba’t ibang mga parokya na ang napuntahan ko, iba’t ibang kura paroko na rin ang nakita ko kung paano patakbuhin ang parokya at silang lahat ay may kani-kaniyang pamamaraan ng pagsasabuhay sa kanilang pagkapari. Pero tanging ang parokya lamang na ito ang aking nakitang bukas para sa lahat ang kumbento. Opo, maaaring ang iba ay nakapapanhik sa kumbento ng ilang mga parokya, pero hanggang sala o komidor lamang, at kung may importanteng pangangailangan o okasyon lamang. Pero dito sa parokyang aking napuntahan, kahit ordinaryong araw at wala namang mahigpit na kailangan, ang mga tao, diretso sa kumbento. Ito ay sapagkat para sa Kura, “ang parokya ay ang tahanan ng puso at buong pagkatao ng mga mananampalataya.” Kung kaya nga ang lahat ay malugod na tinatanggap sa kumbento ng parokya.


Hindi ko man lubusang naitanong ang dahilan kung bakit patuloy itong ginagawa ng Kura Paroko sa kanyang parokya, pero sa aking pananaw, ito ay isang magandang hakbang upang makilala ang bawat tupa. Sakali mang palagay ang loob ng mga tupa sa kanilang pastol sapagkat nakikita nilang bukas siya sa kanila, magiging mas madaling makilala ang mga tupa sa kanilang tunay na gawi. The more they feel at home and comfortable, all the more that they will act naturally, with no pretentions, just being them.  Sino nga ba naman ang nagkunwari sa sarili nilang bahay? Sino nga ba naman ang nahiya sa sarili nilang bakuran? Wala, sapagkat tahanan mo ‘yun, alam mong uunawain ka ng mga nakapaligid sa’yo sapagkat sila ay pamilya. Kung ano man ang kanilang dinaramdam, makapagbubukas sila sa pari ng walang pag-aatubili, gayundin naman, nalalaman nila ang mga gusto at ayaw ng pari. The understanding and familiarity is more healthy and mutual. Samakat’wid, ang lakas at kahinaan ng bawat isa ay mas nakikilala sa pamamaraang ito, at ang bawat problema ay nauungkat at nalulutas sa tamang lugar, sa parokyang tahanan ng kanilang puso at buong pagkatao.


Mahirap nga talagang magpakapari at alagaan ang iba’t ibang ugali at gawi ng iba’t iba mo ring pinapastol, subalit kung palagay ang loob sa’yo ng iyong ipinapastol, makikilala mo rin ang loob ng iba pang sa iyo’y ayaw papastol, sapagkat ang pastol mismo ay bumababa sa pagpapaka-tupa, nakikihalo, nakikiisa at nagiging tupa rin sa gitna nila, nang sa gayon, kahit ang mga nagpapasaway sa kawan ay maakay sa pamamaraang sila ay nakakapalagay (identification).

Hindi sapat ang misa lamang ng misa ngunit walang nagsisimba, hindi dapat ang magandang kumbento kung alam mong walang makain ang parokyano, idagdag pa riyan ang punto na mula sa kabutihang-loob ng tao ang nagpapakain sa pari. Mahirap magsabuhay ng pagpapaka-pari ngunit kung may malasakit at palagay ang loob mo sa mga aalagaan mo, anong hirap doon? Ang pari ay dapat magpakapari sa piling ng mga tao, hindi maasahan ng pari na tao ang unang lalapit sa simbahan. We must have the initiative!


Iba’t iba man ang ugali ng mga tupa, ngunit gusto kayong kilalanin ng inyong lingkod-pari, ang inyong kura paroko. Kayong lahat na kabilang sa kanyang pinapastolang kawan.     




Pastoral Statement for the Diocese of Pasig





It is election time once again.  In the past and even now, there have been pastoral letters and statements written by your Catholic Bishops either as a conference or as a shepherd of his diocese to guide the catholic populace on how to responsibly choose and vote those who will serve us in public office.  Our sacred right to vote demands that we elect for public service, both in the national or local levels, persons who choose God as their core principle in whatever they do and who vote for the common Good instead of their self-interest, all for the benefit of the Filipino people.


As your bishop, allow me to offer some simple guidelines in discerning your choice of public servants. 


1.     Choose G.O.D.  Choose candidates who are:


God fearing: nangangahulugan sila ay Pro-life, Pro-Family at Pro-Marriage.


Offering their time, talent and treasure for the needy: hindi sa makasariling interes, lalo na ang pagpapayaman sa puwesto, kundi para sa tunay na paglilingkod sa tinaguriang “the least, the last and the lost” sa ating lipunan, lalo na ang pag-aangat ng kalagayan ng mga mahihirap.


Duty-bound to protect the integrity of creation and be their guardians: laban sa illegal logging, irresponsible mining at anumang immoral na gawain na pang-aabuso at pangwawasak ng ating mga likas-yaman.


Isang paalala mula sa yaman ng aral ng pananampalataya:


“It must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no. 4).  Ito’y nangangahulugan na anumang adhikain ng isang Katolikong kandidato ay hindi maaaring sumalungat sa kabuuan ng katuruang ng ating Simbahan.


2.     Vote G.O.O.D. Vote candidates who:


Govern with transparency and accountability: lalo na sa paggamit ng pondo ng bayan.


Oppose any opportunity of graft and corruption: tulad ng suhol, lagay at komisyon na nakasisira ng kanilang reputasyon.


Organize their campaigns with integrity and fairness: hindi sa tulong ng pambibili ng boto at paninira ng kalaban, kundi may malinaw at maaasahang plataporma tungo sa kabutihan ng mga tao.

Desire only what is best for our nation: hindi ang para sa sarili o sa kanyang pamilya lamang, at handang magpakumbabang isuko ang posisyon at kapangyarihan kapag lumitaw na ang tunay na pinili ng bayan at binigyan ng tiwalang maglingkod ng nakararami.


Para sa inyong pagninilay mula sa mga aral ng pananampalataya:


“Today’s democratic societies . . . call for new and fuller forms of participation in public life by Christian and non-Christian citizens alike. Indeed, all can contribute, by voting in elections for lawmakers and government officials, and in other ways as well, to the development of political solutions and legislative choices which, in their opinion, will benefit the common good.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no. 1) Samakatuwid, ang pakikilahok at pagboto sa darating na eleksyon ay isang magandang pagkakataon upang makatulong tayo sa pambansang pagbabago at sa pagsulong ng kapakanan ng lahat ng mamamayang Pilipino.


Choose GOD and Vote GOOD. Nawa ang liwanag ng ating konsiyensya, na walang iba kundi ang Panginoong Hesukristo ang gumabay upang pumili at bumoto tayo ng mga kandidatong may karapatang maglingkod para lalong umangat ang bayang Pilipinas, at harinawa ay maging ilaw at pag-asa para sa ibang bansa sa buong daigdig.


Nawa si Maria, ang Immaculada Concepcion na nanalangin: “Ako ang lingkod ng Panginoon. Maganap nawa sa akin ayon sa iyong Salita…” (Lk 1:38) ang maging inspirasyon ng ating magiging mga lingkod bayan at ng bawat isa sa atin.


+Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD

Bishop of Pasig

Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker

1 May 2013

Lectio Divina: Fifth Sunday of Easter C

By Monsignor Francesco Follo

PARIS, April 26, 2013 ( - The gift of a new command: the law of Charity

"Love one another". This command given to us by Christ is the "Magna Carta" of the People who, born from his pierced chest, are transformed by Love. Christ’s charity pushes us not only to acts of love, but also to a life of Charity in Him.

Unfortunately in ordinary speech and writing the meaning of the word "love", giver of life, is diminished to that of a sentiment of sweet goodness or of a passion, often sexual. In the Gospel the word love is always characterized by the cross, which indicates a passionate goodness whose aim is not the "possession," but the gift of oneself to the other person. When Christ says, "I love you", the cross is included. He means the cross, the passionate gift of his own life. Doing so He shows us that pure and sincere love is a love that gives oneself freely.

Christ reveals his love in a passionate way: with his Passion and Death on the Cross. The love that Christ reveals and proposes with a "command" is told with delicate words and with the act of going to the Cross after having demonstrated it with the washing of the feet, the institution of the Eucharist, which fortifies and makes love stable, and many fraternal teachings.

Many times we have read and listened to the sentence of today’s Roman liturgy gospel: "I give you a new commandment: love one another as I’ve loved you" (Jn 13:33). To help our meditation I’d like to propose as a foreword a synthetic explanation of the terms.

First of all we must remember that for the Evangelist John, the term "commandment" means the word that reveals the love of God the Father. In the Greek text, he uses the word  "entole’ " that means precept, advise, instruction and prescription. It is like the prescription that a physician writes to get the medicine needed to cure an illness. It is up to the patient to follow or not to follow what it prescribes. In this case a command is not a peremptory order or something we must do. The countercheck that this is the meaning that John wants to give to the word commandment is in his gospel where, to define Moses commandments, he doesn’t use entole’ but nomos. To follow and to serve Christ we don’t need nomos. Our relationship with God is much more than to follow some rules even if they are good. God has given us commands (entole’) that guide us, shape us and takes us on His path, indications that manifest His willingness of salvation.

In fact the word used by John is in relationship not only to the field of law, but also to that of responsibility. Jesus doesn’t indicate a rule, but on the contrary he reveals a mission of salvation and calls to responsibility. The Latin translation is correct and puts " mandatum novum" which comes from mittere=to send. Jesus invites the disciples of that time as well as the disciples of today to practice this mandate and to create this mutual charity. He then says, "The world will see that you are my disciples." The World will see that the Gospel is alive and "in force" (of the law we say that it is in force) if we will be friends and brothers and sisters to each other. The miracle of the first centuries of Christian life, testified by Tertullian who wrote that the pagans were amazed and observed,  "Look how they love one another; look how big love is among them" ( Apol. 19),  will then be renewed.

This love "commanded" by Christ has two characteristics indicated by "new" and" how".

Jesus defines "new" the command of a reciprocal and fraternal love. It is not only a chronological novelty, but also a qualitative one. The command of love is new in the same way Jesus is new. He is the new Moses that writes the law of love not on stone, but in our heart. The reciprocal, fraternal and free love is the novelty of God’s life that bursts into our old world and renews it. It is the anticipation of the eternal life for which we all aim.

The gift of a command that invites to love without measure.

The Greek adverb "kathos" used in today’s Roman liturgy Gospel is translated with the term as:  "Love one another as I’ve loved you". How to understand this as? Should the disciples imitate the Master’s behavior? This would be reductive because we would make Jesus somebody of the past from whom to inherit some orders to fulfill, so that the disciples’ actions perpetuates in time the one of Jesus. On the contrary we can give a more profound interpretation. In this context kathos doesn’t have the meaning of a similitude but that one of an origin. It can be translated to "With the love I’ve loved you, love one another," which is the translation more pertinent to the meaning of the written text. The love of the Son for his disciples produces their movement of charity; it is His love, the love of Christ that goes through them when they love their brothers and receive love back.

It is the love with which Jesus loves every man that makes fraternity possible and pushes every Christian community to commit to it. It is a love always new, always free and deep like the alliance that in loving humanity and the world God manifests. (Jn 3:6, Ez 34-37, Jer 31:31).

To love one another with Christ’s heart: this is the new command. If the measure of the charity of the Redeemer is to love without measure (Saint Bernard of Clairveaux De diligendo Deo , 16) how can we be up to Christ’s love? It is an unequal task. Christ has loved completely to the point of giving his life. How can we do the same? He has given his life for us and had a thief as first companion in paradise. Christ’s love is a love where the other person comes before oneself.

How it is possible to have and to live this love.  We must surrender to this love. If we accept to be totally his, as the prophet Jeremiah had understood: " My God you have seduced me and I let myself to be seduced", we will be his sons forever.  The Love that chose us from the moment in which He made us, calls us to be the shoots that adhere to the vine and produce the fruits of true life for the others.

Roman Rite

Acts 14:21b-27, Ps 145 ;Rev 21: 1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35


Monsignor Francesco Follo is permanent observer of the Holy See to UNESCO, Paris.

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dumalo sa parish youth ministry,

ang kilusan ng mga kabataan ng ating parokya. 

magkita-kita tayo sa parish hall tuwing sabado

simula alas-7 ng gabi

para sa kwentuhan, pagdarasal,

pakikipag-kaibigan sa diyos at sa isat-isa. 






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followed by Sto. Tomas Devotion

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