November 18, 2017

The Year of Parishes, Communion of Communities

With the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Eucharist and the Family, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will open the Year 2017 as the “Year of Parishes, Communion of Communities.”

It is part of the “novena-years” of the Philippine Catholic Church in preparation for the 500th anniversary as a Catholic country in 2021. The first Mass and first Baptisms in the Philippines happened in 1521. Our motto, “Live Christ, Share Christ!”

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan stated “As we open the Year 2017, we pray that God may grant us abundant grace to make it a year of fuller fulfillment of that motto and that hope. 2017 has been programmed to focus on the parish, “a community of communities”. As a center and fountain of missionary discipleship and zeal for renewed evangelization, “a genuine center of constant missionary outreach.” in “Evangelii Gaudium” Pope Francis insists that the parish “is not an outdated institution and can possess great flexibility still, depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community.”

The Second Plenary Council provides that “the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC’s), usually emerging at the grassroots, consciously strive to integrate their faith and their daily life. They are guided and encouraged by regular catechesis. Poverty and their faith urge their members towards solidarity with one another, action for justice, and towards a vibrant celebration of life in the liturgy. (PCP II, 139)”.

In the Diocese of Kalookan, the “Year of Parishes, Communion of Communities” will be launched on October 26 at Notre Dame of Greater Manila in Caloocan City. The whole day activity will be attended not only by the members of the clergy but also by the members of BEC’s and parishioners from the different parishes in the Diocese.

The highlight of the day is the Eucharistic Celebration to be presided by Bishop of Kalookan Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David with the Kalookan clergy. Bishop David will announce on that day the new parish assignments of the incardinated priests in the Diocese. For 13 years or more, the parish priests have stayed in their respective parishes. This will be first time that the parish priests will be transferred to another parish assignment. We, therefore, request the readers to please include in your prayers the blessing of our Lord on our Diocese; that the priests will be able to expand their evangelization in their new parish. May the parishioners welcome their new parish priest, with whom they can work together and be in close collaboration for the good of their parish, the Diocese, and the Universal Church.

As Archbishop Soc stated “May Our Lady of Fatima whom we also invoke as Mother of the Church pray for us that every parish truly become oases and wellsprings of renewal and mercy!”

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In less than a week, the Diocese of Kalookan will hold its Layko si Pads Level Up Concert (Habag at Awa) which will finance the Diocese’s “Task Force Salubong”, the community-based Rehabilitation Program of the Diocese for drug dependents or persons with substance abuse disorder, who surrendered to the authorities, who wished to lead a new life that is drug-free. The Diocese will closely coordinate with the local government units, the Philippine National Police, the DILG of the three cities under its jurisdiction–Navotas, Malabon and Caloocan.

The President of the Council of the Laity of Kalookan, Atty. Aurora Santiago, stated that the proceeds of the Concert will go to Task Force Salubong. The Concert will be held on November 18, 2016, Friday, 7pm at PICC Plenary Hall, Pasay City. The performers will be the Kalookan Clergy with guest celebrities Ai-ai Delas Alas, Gerald Santos, Michael Angelo Lobrin, Dingdong Avanzado, Lawrence Calderon, Fr. Nilo Resco,MSP, Fr. Jeff Aytona,OP including Maine Mendoza or Yaya Dub. Tickets are still available at the respective Parish Pastoral Councils of the Diocese or Gigi of Curia – 288-0935 or 287-3693.

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We would like to congratulate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for having won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight Division title bout against Jessie Vargas of Mexico. In a unanimous decision, Manny got the coveted WBO belt. He set a historic precedent in the world for being the first senator to win a championship in boxing.

Sen. Pacquiao rushed home to get back to his work as a member of the Philippine Senate. Upon his arrival from the Las Vegas bout, he spoke on the floor of the Senate: “The bruises are still apparent on my face, but I don’t mind it, just to bring joy to my countrymen and bring honor to our country”. He decided to donate his title belt to the Senate as a gesture of gratitude.

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As of presstime, the 2016 Metro Manila Filmfest Committee is screening several films which were submitted for qualification. We wish the Committee will choose the movie “Across the Crescent Moon” as one of the 8 official entries. It is an action/drama movie written, produced and directed by multi-awarded Baby Nebrida. It deals about human trafficking and the rescue of the victims, a medium to expose the horror of modern day slavery. It also highlights the interfaith relationships and promotes peace and harmony among Christians and Muslims. It tackles all persons as one family of God and we are all Filipinos. There is a need to respect each other’s beliefs and faith and learn to co-exist in peace and harmony. The movie was shot in the boondocks of Tanay, Rizal; Subic, San Felipe and San Antonio in Zambales; Metro Manila; Bonggao, Tawi-Tawi and the island of Simunul. The movie stars Christopher de Leon, Matteo Guidicelli, Joem Bascon, Dina Bonnevie, Sandy Andolong, Gabby Concepcion, Alex Godinez, Leo Martinez, Rezz Cortez, Jackie Aquino and many others.

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