MANILA – In the Philippines, much of shared life revolves around the parish, a “community of communities,” and a priest explained how true that is.
In a much-shared social media post by the Mga Simbahang Pamayanan Facebook Page, Fr. Randel Marero explains the roles of the parish as an agent to strengthen and reinforce these 6 key areas of community and church life:
- Communion, Participation & Mission;
- Communion with the Poor;
- Communion of Charisms;
- Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Communion
“May we not remember church because we need our certificates, a feast day of a saint, weddings or an occurrence of calamity. More than the borders of our parish set by the bishop, being a parish is a state of being a local Christian community within our boundaries,” the priest quotes Pope Francis’ statement at the Inter-BEC meeting in Brazil in 2013.
Marero then pointed out that parishioners should attend and participate in parochial activities, establishing “participation in the mission.”
He added that part of the mission is to work with other religious sectors to uphold the welfare of our fellow men.
“The Church recognizes the wisdom of God who lives in other faiths and traditions, we can learn from one faith to another,” he said.
Charisms, the poor, environment, and family
Marero also emphasized unity in diversity of the parish, saying, “[it] celebrates the culture of Integral-ministeriality, where we have different gifts, talents and passion but acts as one community of Christ and doing various acts of service towards one goal.”
Parishes are called to promote respect, care, and fair environmental development as underscored in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, as well as to have deeper communion with the poor, going beyond physical or material service.
“Provide [the poor] with the opportunity to showcase their knowledge, talents, and strengths and be part of the development of the parishes and communities,” stressed Marero, who cited papal documents, church catechesis, and messages of Pope Francis, to expound on the role of the parish.
Lastly, recognizing the strength of the families and quoting Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and family, Amoris Laetitia, Marero explained that families are the stronghold of the parishes because they are the first teachers of the community. (Angel Memorando)