Radical Poverty, Presence, and Self-Honesty: Learnings from WACOM 4 Day 2

Sem. John Harvey Bagos (In black) with his seminarian friends from the Diocese of Kalookan during Day 2 of WACOM 4 held in UST last January 17, 2017

The need to practice self-honesty, to live out radical poverty, and to be present to others in need are important learnings from Day 2 of the 4th World Apostolic Congress On Mercy (WACOM4) held in the University of Santo Tomas’ Quadricentinnial Building last January 17, 2017, according to two delegates from the Diocese of Novaliches.

“Yung sa akin, una yung kay Bishop Pabillo kasi yung kanyang experience of mercy hindi lang pinag-aralan, hindi lang yun yung pinag-uusapan on mga conference na ganito,” shared Diocese of Novaliches Sem. John Harvey Bagos when asked on which speaker touched him most for Day 2.

He was actually pertaining to the Testimonial of the Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo for Talk 1, “The Church is Called to be a Communion in the Love and Mercy of God in Jesus Christ”.

“Ang mercy na sinasabi ni Bishop Pabillo is experience of real Mercy of God in the people–doon sa mga mahihirap,” continued the ongoing 4th-Year Theology Student from the Saint Vincent School of Theology in Tandang Sora, Q.C.

Ms. Clemencia Dela Torre (2nd  from front, 1st row) with her co-delegates to WACOM 4

He added that he actually finds it very challenging to live out this radical poverty revealed by Bishop Pabillo since it doesn’t approach poverty on a theoretical but on an experiential aspect and intends not to “fix” it but to “live it out” through simplicity and self-sacrifice for others just as the bishop did when he joined hunger strikes.

“Kasi hindi mo masasabi yung experience of mercy, yung experience of justice hangga’t wala yung sa sarili mo,” Bagos said.

He also cited realizing that God’s mercy will never abandon you even if the world does, especially during times of trials. This was after being moved by the sharing of Palo Archbishop John Du, D.D’s representative Rev. Fr. Erby Lajara on the experiences of those afflicted by Typhoon Yolanda when they were left unattended by Leyte’s government officials. Fr. Lajara actually gave the Testimonial for Talk 3, “The Church is Servant and Witness of God’s Mercy”.

On the other hand, Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd Divine Mercy Apostolate Member Clemencia Dela Torre shared her realization on the need for self-honesty.

“What touched me the most is I have to be true to myself,” the 82-year old began, “I have to–‘Di ba minsan dinadaya natin (ang ating sarili), aminin natin ano. Yung ganon, magsisinungaling ka.”

Often kidded by peers as a “Mother Superior”, the oldest WACOM 4 Delegate added, “Kapag nakita ko yung mga kasamahan namin, sabi ko nagkakasala tayo, we are not the Divine Mercy, let’s stop talking about this person. We should pray for them.”

Dela Torre is one of the 71 Official Delegates of the Diocese of Novaliches and one out of the approximated 5,000 worldwide delegates present during Day 2 of WACOM 4. Being hosted in the oldest Catholic school in Asia, Day 2 was meant to “teach” the delegates through 4 Talks and 9 Testimonials on the truths of God’s Divine Mercy. While Bagos was able to attend providentially only one day of the Conference thanks to his seminarian friend from the Diocese of Kalookan.

Day 3, held in the Padre Pio Shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas is meant to make delegates experience God’s Divine Mercy as the event focused on the forgiveness of God through the Talks and Testimonies and through the whole day Confessions given by priests and Bishops. (~Minnie Agdeppa)