A Theological-pastoral Congress To Welcome The Extraordinary Jubilee Year Of Mercy

logoThe Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy was held on December 12, 2015, 7:30 am-3:30 pm in the Shrine of St. Paul. Its conscience-stirring theme was: “If God Is Merciful, How Could We, the Church, Not Be? Meeting the Challenge of the Special Holy Year of Mercy”.

The Faith and Formation Commission of the Diocese, assisted by the Divine Mercy Apostolate, organized the Congress. There were 470 lay, religious, and clergy participants from 52 parishes in eleven vicariates of the diocese.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, presided over the Holy Mass with 16 concelebrating priests to usher in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in the diocese. In his homily, Bishop Tobias pointed out that moral rectitude is not enough for salvation. We need God’s mercy and compassion. It is not what we do, but what God does for us. He purifies us and gives us boundless grace. We can emulate the saints who did the extraordinary by God’s grace.

Sr. Emelina Villegas, ICM, religious coordinator of the Faith and Formation Commission, gave the Opening Remarks on behalf of Msgr. Romy Ranada, priest director of the Commission. She thanked the participants and exhorted them to be merciful, quoting Pope Francis, “We have to show mercy, if we are to be credible, especially to the needy and lost”.

The first speaker, Rev. Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr., H.P., S.Th.D, is the founding chair of Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, Inc. that works for taking care of old and sick priests across the country. He cited Pope Francis’ “Misericordiae Vultus” (The Face of Mercy) or Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which started on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary this year and will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2016 (December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2015).

The Jubilee is extraordinary, being proclaimed only 15 years after the last Jubilee which normally takes place every 25 or 50 years. In this Jubilee year, plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful in visiting shrines of mercy and cathedrals with opened holy door, after going to confession, praying for the intentions of the Holy Father, praying Our Father, Hail Mary, the Creed, and doing at least one corporal or spiritual work of mercy.

God’s mercy is meaningless without repentance on our part. Msgr. Vengco traced the events that made Pope Francis declare the Jubilee of the Year of Mercy. He recalled when Pope Francis was a young man who went to confession and was overwhelmed by the goodness of the priest. He had questions in his mind about God, mercy, and love. The experience motivated him to pursue priesthood.

When Pope Francis became Bishop of Buenos Aires, he chose “Miserando atque eligendo” (lowly but chosen) as his motto and had it in his coat of arms. He saw himself in the publican on whom Jesus showed mercy. God chose Matthew, the tax collector on whom He showed mercy.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, concelebrated the Holy Mass with the Clergy during the Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy held on December 12, 2015 at the Shrine of St. Paul, Q.C.

 

Jesus calls each one of us in different ways. He came to show the mercy of the Father, so that we can be merciful, too. God is the God of Mercy and He gives this to everyone. We can only give mercy if we have it in our hearts. We were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness (Exodus 34:6). Anyone who refuses to be merciful cannot be a child of God.

Msgr. Vengco urged the practice of corporal and spiritual works of mercy, especially in the Holy Year of Mercy. He gave concrete examples of showing mercy, such as catechizing children whenever and wherever possible, talking with the neglected elderly, and listening to others without interrupting them.

Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ talked about “How God’s Mercy Can Help Us in Our Search for Peace in Mindanao.” He was born in Mindanao, grew up in Bulacan, got ordained and did pastoral work in Bukidnon, authored books, taught anthropology at the Ateneo de Davao and Zamboanga, and became an ardent advocate of the peace process and Lumad (indigenous people) agenda.
Having served as a missionary in the hinterlands of Mindanao, he knows, feels, and experiences the aches and pains of the native Mindanaoans. He lamented textbook put-downs of the Lumads and mass media label of some Filipino criminals as Muslim, but never Catholic or Christian.

He traced the roots of the conflicts that brought unrest among the people there. The influx of migrants from Luzon started in the early fifties. Today, Mindanao is dominantly populated by the Christian migrants. The Muslim natives and the Lumads have become the minority.

Mindanao contributes significantly to the national economy but it remains poor (below the national average of poverty). Its share of the tax proceeds is a measly amount. If there is peace in Mindanao, it can contribute more to the country’s income. Father Albert believes that dialogue among the Lumads, Muslims, and the Christians, initiated by credible people from the government, will help bring about the peace we long for.

He fervently hopes that mercy and compassion in this Holy Year of Mercy will bring about the real peace in the hearts of all people and among the conflicting groups in Mindanao. He ended his talk by singing his touching composition in Visayan that pleads to allow a baby (Mindanao) to sleep, dream and wake up to a beautiful morning.

Fatima Soriano gave her life testimony, interspersed with melodic and meditative songs, on how God’s mercy has transformed her. Blind since five months old, she grew up with deep trust and faith in God. She started having dialysis when she was ten years old. Due to her health condition, the family suffered financially but they constantly prayed for God’s mercy. In 2004, she had a kidney transplant and was completely healed. God heard her plea for mercy and healing. She now goes around to share her physical and spiritual transformation.

Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation Founding Chair Rev. Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr., H.P., S.Th.D, cited Pope Francis’ “Misericordiae Vultus” (The Face of Mercy) or Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as part of his talk during the Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy held on December 12, 2015 at the Shrine of St. Paul, Q.C.

 

Fatima said that some sick people may be asking: If God has mercy, why am I suffering? We complain, because we see only ourselves, our sufferings, and not our blessings. Every pain has a reason. Our life has a mission. Sickness is one of the ways the Lord shows mercy. We must offer our sufferings to the Lord which He will turn to blessings. Trust in His mercy and share it with others.

She asked: How many times has God embraced you? Let us forgive people and ourselves for the sins that have never left us. Christmas, she adds, brings God’s joy, even while some ask: “May Pasko pa ba”? Christmas is God saying: I love you; I am with you. Let us remember that God is the greatest healer of physical, emotional and spiritual pains. Start thanking God. Be thankful every day. Stop worrying about tomorrow. She repeats the famous line: The more you worry, the more you hurry to the cemetery. The earth is not our home.

One of her songs intones: Jesus, You are mercy and compassion. Make us mercy and compassion.

The last speaker, Mrs. Edita T. Burgos, a widow since 2003, shared her long and continuing search for justice for her missing son, Jonas, and how God’s mercy has given her strength to bear her trials.

She struggled to forgive the perpetrators of the disappearance. Yet, she thought, they are God’s children. God loves them and she felt, she must love them and pray for them. To her, this is evidence of God’s mercy on her. She seeks justice, not vengeance. The anguish of the non-closure of her son’s situation resurfaces whenever she talks about her son here and abroad.

Mrs. Burgos has gone to several countries through the kindness and generosity of other people to promote an indie movie, titled, “Burgos”, which is about her and her search for justice for her missing son. She is painfully reminded of Jonas when she sees in others what he lovingly did to her: a man offering a flower to his mother, and a son saying goodbye to her mother by holding her cheeks and kissing her forehead.

In 2013 the Supreme Court granted her petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus and Writ of Amparo in relation to the enforced disappearance of her son in 2007. However, the son remains missing. The mercy of God gives her hope that one day she will find her son.

Animation songs and dances before the start of talks, between talks, and at the end of the Congress were provided by the Kalipaya Group. Fr. Aristeo de Leon of the Divine Mercy Apostolate, and Carmelita Dizon and Louie Galindez of the Faith and Formation Commission served as emcees of the Congress.

Rev. Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr., Vicar General for Pastoral gave the Closing Remarks and presided over the rite of commissioning for the Congress participants to be heralds of God’s mercy in the diocese.

The Kalipaya Group in one of their animation songs and dances before the start of talks.

Rev. Msgr. Jesus Romulo Ranada. Fr. Labiao led the closing prayer, the Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee of Mercy.

Part of the prayer beseeches Jesus Christ, our Lord: “Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and Your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind”. May God awaken in us, the people of God of Novaliches, the spirit of mercy and make us instruments of God’s mercy. May we be merciful as the Father is merciful. May we lead lives of forgiveness, charity, and compassion. Amen. (~Sally Carino, Ham dela Torre, and Vivien Talisayon)

logoThe Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy was held on December 12, 2015, 7:30 am-3:30 pm in the Shrine of St. Paul. Its conscience-stirring theme was: “If God Is Merciful, How Could We, the Church, Not Be? Meeting the Challenge of the Special Holy Year of Mercy”.

The Faith and Formation Commission of the Diocese, assisted by the Divine Mercy Apostolate, organized the Congress. There were 470 lay, religious, and clergy participants from 52 parishes in eleven vicariates of the diocese.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, presided over the Holy Mass with 16 concelebrating priests to usher in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in the diocese. In his homily, Bishop Tobias pointed out that moral rectitude is not enough for salvation. We need God’s mercy and compassion. It is not what we do, but what God does for us. He purifies us and gives us boundless grace. We can emulate the saints who did the extraordinary by God’s grace.

Sr. Emelina Villegas, ICM, religious coordinator of the Faith and Formation Commission, gave the Opening Remarks on behalf of Msgr. Romy Ranada, priest director of the Commission. She thanked the participants and exhorted them to be merciful, quoting Pope Francis, “We have to show mercy, if we are to be credible, especially to the needy and lost”.

The first speaker, Rev. Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr., H.P., S.Th.D, is the founding chair of Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, Inc. that works for taking care of old and sick priests across the country. He cited Pope Francis’ “Misericordiae Vultus” (The Face of Mercy) or Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which started on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary this year and will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2016 (December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2015).

The Jubilee is extraordinary, being proclaimed only 15 years after the last Jubilee which normally takes place every 25 or 50 years. In this Jubilee year, plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful in visiting shrines of mercy and cathedrals with opened holy door, after going to confession, praying for the intentions of the Holy Father, praying Our Father, Hail Mary, the Creed, and doing at least one corporal or spiritual work of mercy.

God’s mercy is meaningless without repentance on our part. Msgr. Vengco traced the events that made Pope Francis declare the Jubilee of the Year of Mercy. He recalled when Pope Francis was a young man who went to confession and was overwhelmed by the goodness of the priest. He had questions in his mind about God, mercy, and love. The experience motivated him to pursue priesthood.

When Pope Francis became Bishop of Buenos Aires, he chose “Miserando atque eligendo” (lowly but chosen) as his motto and had it in his coat of arms. He saw himself in the publican on whom Jesus showed mercy. God chose Matthew, the tax collector on whom He showed mercy.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, concelebrated the Holy Mass with the Clergy during the Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy held on December 12, 2015 at the Shrine of St. Paul, Q.C.

 

Jesus calls each one of us in different ways. He came to show the mercy of the Father, so that we can be merciful, too. God is the God of Mercy and He gives this to everyone. We can only give mercy if we have it in our hearts. We were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness (Exodus 34:6). Anyone who refuses to be merciful cannot be a child of God.

Msgr. Vengco urged the practice of corporal and spiritual works of mercy, especially in the Holy Year of Mercy. He gave concrete examples of showing mercy, such as catechizing children whenever and wherever possible, talking with the neglected elderly, and listening to others without interrupting them.

Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ talked about “How God’s Mercy Can Help Us in Our Search for Peace in Mindanao.” He was born in Mindanao, grew up in Bulacan, got ordained and did pastoral work in Bukidnon, authored books, taught anthropology at the Ateneo de Davao and Zamboanga, and became an ardent advocate of the peace process and Lumad (indigenous people) agenda.
Having served as a missionary in the hinterlands of Mindanao, he knows, feels, and experiences the aches and pains of the native Mindanaoans. He lamented textbook put-downs of the Lumads and mass media label of some Filipino criminals as Muslim, but never Catholic or Christian.

He traced the roots of the conflicts that brought unrest among the people there. The influx of migrants from Luzon started in the early fifties. Today, Mindanao is dominantly populated by the Christian migrants. The Muslim natives and the Lumads have become the minority.

Mindanao contributes significantly to the national economy but it remains poor (below the national average of poverty). Its share of the tax proceeds is a measly amount. If there is peace in Mindanao, it can contribute more to the country’s income. Father Albert believes that dialogue among the Lumads, Muslims, and the Christians, initiated by credible people from the government, will help bring about the peace we long for.

He fervently hopes that mercy and compassion in this Holy Year of Mercy will bring about the real peace in the hearts of all people and among the conflicting groups in Mindanao. He ended his talk by singing his touching composition in Visayan that pleads to allow a baby (Mindanao) to sleep, dream and wake up to a beautiful morning.

Fatima Soriano gave her life testimony, interspersed with melodic and meditative songs, on how God’s mercy has transformed her. Blind since five months old, she grew up with deep trust and faith in God. She started having dialysis when she was ten years old. Due to her health condition, the family suffered financially but they constantly prayed for God’s mercy. In 2004, she had a kidney transplant and was completely healed. God heard her plea for mercy and healing. She now goes around to share her physical and spiritual transformation.

Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation Founding Chair Rev. Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr., H.P., S.Th.D, cited Pope Francis’ “Misericordiae Vultus” (The Face of Mercy) or Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as part of his talk during the Diocesan Theological-Pastoral Congress in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy held on December 12, 2015 at the Shrine of St. Paul, Q.C.

 

Fatima said that some sick people may be asking: If God has mercy, why am I suffering? We complain, because we see only ourselves, our sufferings, and not our blessings. Every pain has a reason. Our life has a mission. Sickness is one of the ways the Lord shows mercy. We must offer our sufferings to the Lord which He will turn to blessings. Trust in His mercy and share it with others.

She asked: How many times has God embraced you? Let us forgive people and ourselves for the sins that have never left us. Christmas, she adds, brings God’s joy, even while some ask: “May Pasko pa ba”? Christmas is God saying: I love you; I am with you. Let us remember that God is the greatest healer of physical, emotional and spiritual pains. Start thanking God. Be thankful every day. Stop worrying about tomorrow. She repeats the famous line: The more you worry, the more you hurry to the cemetery. The earth is not our home.

One of her songs intones: Jesus, You are mercy and compassion. Make us mercy and compassion.

The last speaker, Mrs. Edita T. Burgos, a widow since 2003, shared her long and continuing search for justice for her missing son, Jonas, and how God’s mercy has given her strength to bear her trials.

She struggled to forgive the perpetrators of the disappearance. Yet, she thought, they are God’s children. God loves them and she felt, she must love them and pray for them. To her, this is evidence of God’s mercy on her. She seeks justice, not vengeance. The anguish of the non-closure of her son’s situation resurfaces whenever she talks about her son here and abroad.

Mrs. Burgos has gone to several countries through the kindness and generosity of other people to promote an indie movie, titled, “Burgos”, which is about her and her search for justice for her missing son. She is painfully reminded of Jonas when she sees in others what he lovingly did to her: a man offering a flower to his mother, and a son saying goodbye to her mother by holding her cheeks and kissing her forehead.

In 2013 the Supreme Court granted her petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus and Writ of Amparo in relation to the enforced disappearance of her son in 2007. However, the son remains missing. The mercy of God gives her hope that one day she will find her son.

Animation songs and dances before the start of talks, between talks, and at the end of the Congress were provided by the Kalipaya Group. Fr. Aristeo de Leon of the Divine Mercy Apostolate, and Carmelita Dizon and Louie Galindez of the Faith and Formation Commission served as emcees of the Congress.

Rev. Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr., Vicar General for Pastoral gave the Closing Remarks and presided over the rite of commissioning for the Congress participants to be heralds of God’s mercy in the diocese.

The Kalipaya Group in one of their animation songs and dances before the start of talks.

Rev. Msgr. Jesus Romulo Ranada. Fr. Labiao led the closing prayer, the Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee of Mercy.

Part of the prayer beseeches Jesus Christ, our Lord: “Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and Your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind”. May God awaken in us, the people of God of Novaliches, the spirit of mercy and make us instruments of God’s mercy. May we be merciful as the Father is merciful. May we lead lives of forgiveness, charity, and compassion. Amen. (~Sally Carino, Ham dela Torre, and Vivien Talisayon)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: