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Parochial News

Desata To Cap Off 2nd Inang Desay Anniversary

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Devotees from the Diocese of Novaliches, especially the Youth, have become accustomed to tying a piece of paper containing the “knots” in their life that they would like Inang Desay to help undo. (Photo credit: Minnie Agdeppa)

A Street Dancing Festival is said to be the climax of Kristong Hari Parish’s programs that began roll out today, September 28, 2017, the Feast Day of Mary Untier of Knots.

“Aside from the Novena Masses and procession, these are the other activities: 1. Kasalang Parokya, 2. Medical and Dental Mission, (and) 3. Desata Festival,” enumerated Kristong Hari Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Roland Jaluag when asked during an interview via SMS on their Fiesta’s 2017 activities.

According to the Mary Untier of Knots Diocese of Novaliches Facebook Page, the Kasalang Parokya took place 10AM today and will be followed by a Pontifical Mass at 6PM and a Procession at 7PM today, being its Feast Day. Meanwhile, the Medical and Dental Mission is set tomorrow, September 29 at 8AM and the Desata Festival on September 30 at 11AM.

Fr. Jaluag explained that the Desata Festival is “a street dance competition depicting Inang Desay`s role as desata or untier or tagakalag ng mga buhol ng buhay”. The competition is actually based on the essence of the devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots or Maria, Tagakalag Ng Mga Buhol Ng Buhay who is often sought by those seeking relief from “hopeless” situations in their lives.

The devotion was actually introduced by Pope Francis during the start of his Papacy and eventually came into the Diocese when it was declared a Diocesan Devotion by the Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. last December 8, 2015 to help bring the “Youth closer to the Church and the Church closer to the Youth” through the Kristong Hari Parish, which the Bishop envisions to be the Future Shrine of the Youth.

So far the Parish has been able to do this as devotees have now inculcated in themselves the culture of coming to the Parish to place a piece of paper written with what they deem as the “knot” in their life to the string of “knots” the image of Mary Untier of Knots holds.

“The very act of tying one`s knots on Mary`s rope of life attracts the Youth to seek for Mary`s inspiration as they journey with and to Jesus,” he emphasized.

“It is the mission of Mary to bring her children to closer to Jesus. By Mary`s example, motherly care and prayers, the youth deepen their love and knowledge of Jesus,” reminded the previous Director of the Diocese of Novaliches’ Commission on Youth.

Aside from this culture, devotees have also become accustomed to visit the Parish every Thursday for the Novena Mass. Devotion in the Diocese have also spread through the pilgrimage of the image to its different parishes every 8th of the Month. (~Minnie Agdeppa)

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Parochial News

Parish-Based Rehab Inaasam Ng Obispo Para Sa Bansa

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Ang Pinaka Reb. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. noong anibersaryo ng Our Lady of Lourdes Parish’s Parish-Based Rehabilitation Program nitong Setyembre 1, 2017. (Larawan ni: Jaybee Penafiel)

Ipinahiwatig ng Pinaka Reb. Antonio R. Tobias, DD, Obispo ng Novaliches, ang pagkakaroon ng programa para sa mga naging biktima ng ipinagbabawal na gamot na gustong magbagong-buhay sa naganap na unang anibersaryo ng Parish-Based Rehabilitation Program (PBRB) ng Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (OLLP) noong Setyembre 1, 2017.

“Yung ginagawa natin rito (parish based rehab program) ay dapat maging larawan sa buong bansa,” ani ng Obispo sa kanyang homiliya sa Banal na Misa na siyang nagbukas sa pagdiriwang ng nasabing anibersaryo. Kasama niyang nagdiwang ng Misa ang Kura Paroko ng OLLP na si Reb. Pad. Luciano Ariel Felloni.

Ang PBRB ng OLLP ay sinumulan ni Reb. Pad. Luciano Ariel Felloni sa tulong ng Punong Barangay ng Brgy. 174 na si Eric Bunag. Ang programa ay natatangi sa buong bansa noong ito ay nailunsad noong 2016 kaya ito ang nagsilbing tulay para sundan ng ibang parokya. Naimbitahan na din sa iba’t-ibang palabas sa TV si Pad. Luciano ukol dito.

Sinundan ang Banal Na Misa ng isang maikling programa na dinaluhan ng iba’t-ibang mga tao at organisasyon na kasama sa PBRB ng OLLP gaya nina Atty. Bok Labastilla ng Caloocan City Anti Drug Abuse Council (CCADAC) at Gng. Etta Rosales na dating Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Dumalo rin ang mga “Recoveries” o mga taong sumailalim sa programa ng PBRB. Ginunita sa nasabing pagdiriwang ang mga pagbabagong naganap sa kanila at ang kabutihang idinulot nito sa kanilang buhay.

Isa sa mga nagbahagi ng istorya ng pagbabago ay si G. Paul Infante na umamin na maraming panahon siyang nakulong sa sistema ng droga pati na ang naramdaman niyang galit at paglimot sa pagsimba. Sabi niya, isang araw naisip niya na magsimba at nang marinig niya sa homiliya ni Pad. Luciano ang tungkol sa PBRB ay walang-atubiling nagpakupkop siya rito.

Simula noon, unti-unting nagkaron ng halaga ang buhay niya at ngayon ay namumuhay ng mapayapa sa kabila ng kaniyang pinagdaanan. Gaya ni Infante, ngayon ay marami nang dating “Adik” ang tinatawag na sa kanilang pangalan ng may respeto. Higit sa lahat, sila ay naglilingkod na ngayon sa Panginoon sa paraang kaya nila.

Natapos ang pagdiriwang sa isang Boodle Fight na pinangunahan ni Pad. Luciano. (~Jaybee Santos Penafiel)

 

 

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Parochial News

Fatima Messages Source Of Hope Not Doom, Archbishop

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Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo with St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe Parish’s (L-R) Willard Grageda and Glenn Velasco during the World Marian Congress in Summit Circle Hotel, Cebu last August 18-19, 2017. (Photo credit: Glenn Velasco)

In celebration of the 100 Years of the Apparition of the Our Lady of Fatima, the World Marian Congress (WMC) took place last August 18-19, 2017 at the Ballroom of the Summit Circle Hotel, Cebu City with the theme: “Our Lady at Fatima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope?”

“The messages of Fatima are messages of hope,” affirmed Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in his talk Our Lady of Fatima: Our Hope and Refuge.

He explained people have often seen the messages as a doomsday prophecy: announcing the arrival of wars, pestilence, and other catastrophes if the Blessed Virgin Mary’s instructions were not heeded. He reiterated that the messages are to be seen as how the Blessed Virgin Mary intended the messages to be received.

Archishop Lagdameo underscored the maternal instincts of the Blessed Virgin Mary who seeks to defend and prepare Her children–mankind–in an on going spiritual warfare. Thus, when taken in this light, the messages become that of hope especially after the Blessed Mother Herself assured the seers–then ordinary children of Fatima, Portugal: Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia–that in the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

To drive his point, he then revisited many of the messages of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the late Sr. Lucia and the recently canonized Sts. Francesco and Jacinta.

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Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani during the World Marian Congress in Cebu last August 18-19, 2017. The bishop emphasized how the innate Marian spirit of the Filipinos help Pinoys respond to the urgent call of the Blessed Mother during Her apparition in Fatima Portugal 100 years ago.
(Photo credit: Glenn Velasco)

Joining him were other speakers that gave their insights on the Messages of Fatima during WMC, namely: Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches Teodoro Bacani, D.D. who gave a talk on Filipino Catholics Responding to the Call of Our Lady; Ozamis Diocese’s Br. Wendell Talibong with two talks Mary and the Satanic Forces: Is the Devil Real? and Fighting the Devil with Our Lady; Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer in his talk Revisiting the Messages of Our Lady of August 19, 1917; and Fr. Melvin Castro  on Mary’s Prophecies and Its Relevance to Our Current Times.

The two-day Congress ended with a  Eucharistic Celebration lead by Fr. Christian Daok, RCJ, who challenged the almost 400 guests and participants to be Marian by living out the virtues of Mary in one’s daily life. A blessing of the oils and sacramentals followed the Mass using the Old Rite for Blessing Religious Items.

Initially organized by Sanguniang Layco ng Pilipinas Visayas’ Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, the World Marian Congress is a series of Congresses that started October of 2016 and will end October 2017.  The Daughters of St. Paul, Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of the Poor, Legion of Mary, Catholic Womens League and other organizations and congregations have now joined WMC. It was organized  to address the lack of conferences or congresses focused on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the area.

The St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe Parish’s Media Apostolate Consultant and PPC Chair Willard Grageda and Lay Coordinator Glenn Virgil Velasco were the only delegates coming from the Diocese of Novaliches in the said event. (~Glenn Velasco, MI)

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Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo during the World Marian Congress in Cebu last August 18-19, 2017. (Photo credit: Glenn Velasco)
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News Parochial News

Choose To Embrace Your Cross, Priest Says

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Holy Cross Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Albert Delvo during the Holy Mass of their 34th Fiesta Celebration last September 10, 2017. (Photo credit: Alma Vallejo)

In the 34th Fiesta Celebration of Holy Cross Parish in Amparo Village last September 10, 2017, Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Albert Delvo says choosing to embrace one’s cross is instrumental for the good of self and others.

“Jesus chose to embrace the cross,” he began in his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration, pointing that this was despite knowing it would be a difficult journey ahead.

Aligning to this year’s Fiesta theme, Banal na Krus: Simbolo ng Pagkakaisa at Paglilingkod, he stressed the Lord’s decision should serve as an inspiration as one aspires for noble things and while achieving one’s goals in life.

“Carry it with love and it becomes less burdensome and tiresome,” he urged. “It becomes lighter because you’re carrying that, embracing that with love for your family, for your Church, for our people and for God.”

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Holy Cross Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Albert Delvo during the Holy Mass of their 34th Fiesta Celebration last September 10, 2017. (Photo credit: Adrian Manangan)

Concelebrated with Rev. Fr. Romel Cruz and Rev. Fr. Dick Rocha, the Eucharistic Celebration was followed by a “boodle fight” sponsored by the City Government of Caloocan, a “Laro ng Lahi” for the children facilitated by the Parish Youth Ministry, and a Grand Solemn Procession around Amparo Village participated by the various ministries and members of the Parish’s community.

This year’s festivities was different as it held nine consecutive Sunday Masses instead of a regular nine-day novena. There was also the annual “Kumpilang Parokya” of 122 confirmands held on September 2 with Diocese of Novaliches Vicar General for Pastoral Affairs Rev. Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr. as the main presider alongside Rev. Fr. Ralph Mestosamente and Fr. Delvo.

In addition, there was the annual 3k and 5k Color Run and the Medical-Dental Mission courtesy of the Social Services Development Ministry and the City Government of Caloocan, that came with free ultrasound scanning for pregnant single mothers courtesy of the Knights of Columbus Council 9691.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated annually by the Universal Church every September 14. (~Shirly Benedictos)

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Parochial News

Int’l Pro-Life Speaker To Hold Talk In Dio Nova

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(Photo from Human Life International Website)

Out to fight the Culture of Death that has been quickly creeping into various societies across the globe, Human Life International (HLI) President Rev. Fr. Fr. Shenan Boquet will be conducting a talk entitled “Building a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love” this Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 2:00-4:00PM in Christ the King Parish, Atlas Street, Filinvest II, Batasan Hills, QC.

Fr. Boquet has been traveling around the world educating people on their Catholic Pro-Life Mission ever since he established HLI two decades ago in Virginia, USA. Their educational apostolate is focused on Contraception, Abortion, Marriage, Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide, and Reproductive Technologies.

Currently, he is the Philippines attending to various activities including their mission in Tacloban City this May and the National Lay & Life Advocacy Conference in Cebu last April.

In addition to the talk, Fr. Boquet will also be also be celebrating the Holy Eucharist at 5:00PM that will cap off his talk on Sunday.

Christ The King Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi, who has been very outspoken against the ongoing extra judicial killings in the Country through his Do-It-Yourself (DIY) MTVs that has reached Mainstream Media, is hoping every one will come to the free event to be enlightened on Catholic Teachings on Life and Family. (~Minnie Agdeppa)

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News Parochial News

The Challenge To Rise Up

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Families of EJK victims, such as those from San Isidro Labrador Parish in Bagong Silangan, QC are left with the struggle of survival beginning with financing the burial needs of the deceased. Thankfully, the Parish has opened its doors for them.
(Photo grab from Fr. Billena’s FB Page)

Ateneo Law School Professor Dean Mel Sta. Maria, during one of his lectures in the Persons and Family Law, likened the Philippines’ current situation to that of “Genocide” as an estimated 7,000 deaths have been recorded and reported in relation to extrajudicial killings (EJK) as of March 2017.

In the Diocese of Novaliches alone, the poorest of the poor has a substantially greater number of death tolls than those in gated communities. San Isidro Labrador Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Gilbert Billena, OCarm gave testimony to the plight of the merciless killing of these poor people involved or suspected to be involved in drugs.

Interviewed on the situation, he narrated how there were more than 25 people killed in cold blood around his parish ever since President Duterte’s War on Drugs campaign began through Operation Tokhang. Some of his parishioners were even killed just outside the window of the Church on the opposite side of the road.

For Fr. Billena, these extrajudicial killings should be condemned because the war on drugs must be fought with the preservation of the dignity of life through faith in the possible conversion of drug recoverers. Increasing the budget for reformations and institutions of rehabilitation centers and by addressing poverty and unemployment were other solutions he cited.

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Children left behind by EJK Victims under the San Isidro Labrador Parish are provided their daily sustenance aside from the therapy they need to overcome the trauma of witnessing first-hand the death of their parents. One of the therapies given the children is through coloring activities.
(Photo grab from Fr. Billena’s FB Page.)

More Than Just Statistics

In EJK, the effect of the death of a family member submerges the poverty-stricken surviving members into funeral debts, survival challenges, trauma, and woundedness.

Christ The King Parish, Filinvest 2 Guest Priest Rev. Fr. Arnulfo Alindayu, OCarm, whose own nephew was a recent victim of this violence, gave his observation on the “chilling effect” of this extrajudicial killing.

As a priest, he often said a funeral mass for the victims and noted how outraged the people were with the immense violence. He added that the children, mostly below 13 years of age, left by the victims are faced to survive through childhood with a violent and traumatizing experience of a first-hand witness of the murder of their parents.

He cited that “the people were also angry at the Church for being silent” out of so much fear and misery for somebody to protect them who are mostly on their own, wounded, full of hatred, animosity, and distrust.

“Violence only begets violence and that the victims of crimes, may not want the death of the offenders but their transformation,” he concluded.

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His Excellency, The Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. during his visit to the San Isidro Labrador Parish two years ago.
(Photo grab from San Isidro Labrador Parish FB Page)

The Bishop Breaks The Silence

Meanwhile, Bishop of Novaliches Antonio Tobias, D.D. denies allegations posed against the Church and instead affirms its stand against EJK.

“You cannot say that the Church is not doing anything,” he said, “We rehabilitate.”

He emphasized that we are not supposed to kill people because “they can go to a level of the human spirit” that desperately wants to change into a better person.

He said that spirituality is a very important component in the desire to change, such that “when you have taken that away, you have taken out a certain portion of the cure.”

In addition to the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program of the Diocese of Novaliches launched last September 2016, comes Rise Up as proof of the Church’s action to address the issue of EJK through the initiative of Fr. Billena and heads of other religions.

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Acupuncture is a program of Rise Up given to a Nagbabalik-loob to address their anxiety, depression, and problems in illegal drugs.
(Photo grab from Fr. Billena’s FB Page.)

Time To Really Be Like Jesus

Rise Up is an ecumenical organization comprised of people “in defense of life and protection of human rights against drug related extrajudicial killing”. With Fr. Billena as one of its convenors, he has for the past months been implementing Rise Up’s program on rehabilitation and refuge for drug surrenderees whom they call, “Nagbabalik-loob”. This is on top of his parish’s own livelihood program specially created for them.

Aware of the risk of being hunted down by securing the safety of drug surrenders and recoverers, Fr. Gilbert said that, “We have to risk, or else many will die. Many have died already, but we have to extend our effort than just to witness these carnage around us without doing nothing.”

He said that it is a priest’s prophetic role “to really be like Jesus in the Gospel”.

“Go with the sinners, find them and give them hope. And give them life. Give them chance. Yan naman ang pinunta niya sa atin,” he emphasized. (That is why Jesus came here.)

Tok-hang comes from a Visayan word “Tok-tok Hangyo,” which meant knock. Operation Tokhang is a program of the government where the police knock on the doors of the alleged drug users and/or pushers and ask them to surrender for monitoring.

However, much to the surprise and misery of everybody, Operation Tokhang, developed into what the people now call as Operation Tokbang, where the accused are not just anymore being asked to surrender with a knock but instead are killed with a “bang, bang” from either the police or the vigilante. This is what Fr. Gilbert and members or Rise Up movement vehemently oppose. (~Jyn Aragon, M.D.)

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Fr. Gilbert Billena leads a crew in documenting the realities faced by drug surrenderers and EJK victims and their families.
(Photo grab from Fr. Billena’s FB Page)

Based on the Article, “A Knock On The Door: The Tales Of The Last Silent Cry”, by the same author published in Carmel News PH January 2017

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TOFP Celebrates Pastor’s Silver Anniversary

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(Photo grab from Vilma Borja’s FB profile.)

Rev. Fr. Antonio D. dela Cruz celebrated his 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary last May 18, 2016 in The Our Father Parish, Del Nacia Ville 4, Sauyo, Quezon City. To paraphrase the homilist, Rev. Fr. Toots Buenafe, Ocarm, Prior Provincial of the Order of Carmelites – this thanksgiving mass is celebrated for God is merciful and faithful that Fr. Tony has reached this 25th sacerdotal anniversary.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias D.D.,Bishop of Novaliches, attended the anniversary notwithstanding that he was in the middle of his pastoral visit in another parish. Brotherly love from Order of Carmelites, the former congregation of Rev. Fr. Antonio dela Cruz, was manifested with the attendance of Rev. Fr. Rico Ponce, Rev. Fr. Gerard Guiterrez, and Rev. Fr. Aris Escobal. Other concelebrants were Rev. Fr. Mark Adame G. Bakari, OFM, Rev. Fr. Chris Pine, OFM, Rev. Fr. Monching dela Cruz, EHM, Rev. Fr. Arnel F. Diaz, OAR, and Rev. Fr. Hernando Batomalaque, Parochial Vicar of The Our Father Parish.

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(Photo grab from Levi Agnes’s FB profile.)

Rev. Fr. Antonio Labiao and Rev. Fr. Roland Jaluag also attended the thanksgiving mass and party. Some parishioners from former parish assignments of Rev. Fr. Antonio dela Cruz also attended. The BEC diocesan team also attended. The thanksgiving Mass and party was well attended by chapel council officers, BEC area officers, and TOFP parish volunteers.

Rev. Fr. Antonio D. dela Cruz was ordained on May 18, 1991 by then Most Rev. Julio Labayen OCD at Mt. Carmel Shrine Chapel, New Manila, Quezon City. In the Diocese of Novaliches, he was first assigned in Sagradia Familia Parish; next in San Isidro Labrador, Bagong Silangan and Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish.

All these manifestations of love and most especially God’s special love to Rev. Fr. Antionio D. dela Cruz will further strengthen him as he continues his journey of loving and serving God’s people. (~Atty. Ira Agustin)

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14 Ways to Celebrate the Year of Mercy

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THE CELEBRATION of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Christ the King Parish (CTKP) is not limited to ceremonies inside the church, the most recent being the enthronement of the Image of the Divine Mercy.

Parish priest Rev. Fr. Nonnette Legaspi has set the template on how this extraordinary year will be observed. He cites the importance of creating a culture of encounter which Pope Francis always puts emphasis on in his many Homilies. The Pope has said that “an encounter is the means chosen by Jesus to change lives.”

“It’s very easy to organize programs and reach out to people and serve them, but we forget the most important thing,” Fr. Nonnette begins. “Sometimes we don’t have our heads and hearts in doing service, just our hands.”

With this sentiment, CTKP comes up with a list of ways and means to create such culture, inclusive of everyone–young, old, rich, poor, with or without special abilities and disabilities.

 

1 MAKE IT PERSONAL

As its name implies, the Greeters Ministry is there to greet parishioners as they come to church. But this is not the usual functional Meet & Greet. This is a very personal way of welcoming them to the House of God. The greeters initiate an exchange that goes beyond hellos or handshakes and making them feel special. Through this, they are encouraged to return or form a bond of friendship with fellow parishioners.

Another activity aimed at personally reaching out to the parishioners is the Agape Mass. It is held every last Sunday of the month after the 11:15am Mass, wherein parishioners are encouraged to bring food, much like potluck, for sharing. In the process, they have more time to get to know each other or share common interests, maybe starting with the recipe of the food somebody brought.

A special feature of the Agape Mass is the ROBE (Reaching Out to the Baptized and Enrolled) in the Parish launched last March. Birthday cards are sent monthly on the first or second week of the month to greet children baptized at CTKP during Fr. Nonnette’s term. They are then invited to attend the Agape Mass where they are to be blessed.

The cards are sent through the BEC community coordinators and Chapel heads. If the child is a non-parishioner, they are sent through their parishes, mostly CTKP’s neighbor parishes, including San Antonio de Padua, Presentation of Our Lord, Kristong Hari, Sagrada Familia, and San Isidro Labrador.
This activity paves the way for both parents and children to reconnect with the parish and the baptizing priest.
“This is to tell the parents that we care about the children baptized in our parish and would like to find out how they are,” Fr. Nonnete explains, “We also would like to give the parents a sense of belonging in our parish.”

Corollary to this, young children with artistic talents are invited to design and make the greeting cards to be given out.

 

2 DON’T BE ANONYMOUS

“Another important mission is breaking the barrier of anonymity. One should be identifiable as a church servant,” says Fr. Nonnette.

In this light, parish church servants are requested to wear identification cards (IDs), big ones at that, with their photos on it and their nicknames–or exactly the way they want to be called–printed in easily readable letters.Wearing such IDs is an invitation and an indication that the person is approachable and willing to help or to listen.

“When Christ offered His life, He wasn’t anonymous. Don’t be anonymous as a servant of God,” Fr. Nonnette adds.

 

3 RECONCILE WITH GOD

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, better known as Confession, has been actively revived in the parish since last year. The schedule for Confession is every Saturday from 5pm to 7pm. Parishioners are constantly reminded that availing of this sacrament regularly delivers divine mercy and allows one to be reconciled with the Lord.

 

4 COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

When going to Sunday Mass, make sure you are not just fulfilling a holy day of obligation. Fr. Nonnette stresses that the Eucharist means thanksgiving.

“We as priests prepare for the Homily but you as parishioners should be ready with your thanksgiving,” he says. “Count your blessings and remember what you are thanking God for the week.”

Aside from the blessing the priest gives at the end of Mass, flyers or lecturettes detailing the salient points discussed during the Homily are made available. This makes for a better understanding of the day’s Gospel and Readings and parishioners have something to reflect on while at home.

 

5 SPEAK WITH SENSITIVITY

At CTKP, there is such a thing as the language of sensitivity.

“We never use ‘let us …,’ which is more of a command,” Fr. Nonnette says. “Instead, the commentators say, ‘we may’ like ‘we may rise’ or ‘we may stand.’ ”

Such language is in deference to Mass attendees who come in a wheelchair or the elderly or anybody who experience difficulty in standing up or kneeling down.

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6 QUEUE UP FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

An important activity in this extraordinary year is to lure back those Catholics who have been away from church too long. Fr. Nonnette laments the fact that other Catholics themselves have caused their fellow believers to leave.

“We have terms like ‘living in sin’ for couples not married in church or in irregular relationships and we judge them. This should stop.” he adds.

He suggests a need to practice a particular tradition in church to invite such Catholics back. He cites from Ecclesia de Eucharistia of April 2003 wherein Pope John Paul II encouraged the practice of spiritual communion. In defining the practice, he quotes St. Thomas Aquinas as saying, “it is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the most holy sacrament and lovingly embrace him at a time or in circumstances when we cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion.”

Fr. Nonnette says they can queue up for Communion and when it’s their turn, they should cross their arms in their chest, bow their heads, and the priest will bless them. Young children who haven’t received their first Holy Communion may also queue up for this.

 

7 SHARE YOUR STORY

There is something about sharing stories that connects people and promotes better interaction. Fr. Nonnette encourages everyone to tell their stories, specifically about receiving God’s mercy. There are already such stories–“Encounters of Mercy”–published in the website of the Diocese of Novaliches but more are called on to share theirs through soccommedia@novalichesdiocese.net.

He also recommends the setting up of small sharing rooms in the Diocese’s parishes for storytelling. This live venue would be conducive for truly connecting with fellow Catholics. Initial talks have been made among the parish priests and a possible place at the top floor of The Rock, a building in Don Antonio Village, is being eyed for the initial room. It is intended to become a once-a-month gathering.

 

8 DO CORPORAL WORKS

BEAM is Burial and Emergency Assistance Money, a fund created to help families experiencing financial difficulties in burying their dead. The parish also has Memorial Walls where names of the parishioners’ dearly departed are printed on tarpaulin panels and attached to a designated part at the side of the church. This is a way of remembering and praying for them all year round.

 

9 ENHANCE YOUR FAITH

KATALK is Katolikong Talakayan Kwentuhan aimed at encouraging a healthy discussion about matters of the faith. Fr. Nonnette thinks this is one way of fighting off today’s Free Thinkers who have become very active and are blatantly attacking the Catholic’s belief system.

“Let’s have conversations about our faith to enlighten us, and deepen our love for God,” he adds. KATALK is scheduled at least once a week or once in two weeks.

 

10 PROVIDE COUNSELLING

Rick Warren, in an interview, has mentioned that Catholics lack something that his Saddleback Church can offer and that is counselling. Fr. Nonnette knows this is a sad reality and so he has also made it his mission to establish a counselling service or committee that would compose people who are willing to listen to Catholics’ doubts, fears and anxieties and probably refer them for professional help.

“We could start with a hotline,” he says. This will be a good start because more often than not, most problematic people merely need someone to listen to them.

 

11 BE ACCESSIBLE

CTKP has long opened its doors not just to persons with disabilities (PWDs) but also to the sick and the elderly. They make sure the church is accessible to them with appropriate walkways and ramps and that they are comfortable while hearing Mass or doing their prayers. A new church is currently being constructed and same amenities will likewise be built for them.
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12 INTERPRET & COMMUNICATE

CTKP has a Sign Language Ministry that assists the deaf-mute attending Mass at the parish. They are trained to not just interpret the prayers and songs during Mass but to fully communicate the Word of God. Fr. Nonnette has revealed some disappointment over some priests who find the interpreters distracting during Mass. He is hoping that they would reconsider or reach a compromise so that there will be more parishes that welcome the deaf.

 

13 WEAR YOUR FAITH ON YOUR SLEEVE

Aside from enhancing our internal faith, CTKP has come up with external markers for Catholics to become readily recognizable. In January, it launched the WHITE Band which means With Him In The Eucharist. Wearing the band or baller identifies you as a Catholic who actively adheres to P.E.A.C.E. or Prayer, Education, Affirmation, Commitment and Evangelization.

In a nutshell, this White band is not just a Catholic accessory but a commitment for the wearer to make true the virtues and resolutions it stands for. You should pray at least 10 minutes every day, promote God’s Mercy through confession, and promote Sunday church service attendance and punctuality.You must educate yourself in the faith; affirm a person each day; commit yourself to selfless service; and enlarge your circle of friends and bringing them to know and love Jesus Christ.

These markers are like shout-outs declaring “Catholic & proud” or “proud to be a follower of Christ.” In fact, parishioners are encouraged to post photos of their WHITE bands in the parish’s Facebook page “to encourage others to become agents of P.E.A.C.E. during this Jubilee of Mercy.”

Even homes and places of work of Catholics are now easily identifiable. A sticker for the Vicariate of Ina ng Lupang Pangako of which the CTKP is a part, was likewise introduced.

 

14 GET INFORMED, BE INFORMED

A necessary tool towards translating the external markers into a devoted internal life is http://www.formed.org, a website that gives access to a Catholic library 24/7.

“With formed.org, you get to be informed of the Catholic faith, you get to be formed with love and mercy,” Fr. Nonnette declares, “just as the WHITE band ask us for P.E.A.C.E., formed.org will allow us to fulfill all those — Prayer, Education, Affirmation, Commitment and Evangelization.” [~Lulu Reclusado-Nario]

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PENTECOST RECOLLECTION

Pentecost-2012

PENTECOST RECOLLECTION

Mary the Queen Parish
May 23, 2015

pentecost1

 

“Sa iisang  Espiritu, bininyagan tayong lahat – Judio man o Griyego, alipin man o malaya – upang buuin ng lahat ang isang katawan. At sa iisang Espiritu
tayong lahat umiinom.”

1 Cor 12:13

 

PROGRAMME

EMCEE: Andy Endaya

 

7:00 AM Registration
7:30 AM Message to the Participants:
Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D.
Concelebrated Mass
8:30 AM Prayer Dance: Kalipaya Group
8:35 AM Testimonies:
Dolly Salvador,
Social Action Commission
Health and Nutrition Coordinator
9:25 AM Introduction of the Speaker
9:30 AM Talk: Rev. Fr. Benjamin Alforque, MSC
Cluster Director and Consultant, Communication
Foundation of Asia
10:30 AM Open Forum
11:00 AM Personal Reflection and Small Group Sharing
11:30 AM Closing: Prayer Dance of Kalipaya Group
Dance of Jubilation in Honor of the Holy Spirit

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring 
glad tidings to the poor.”

Lk 4:18

Evangelizing the Poor and being Evangelized by the Poor

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Karakol Brightens Good Shepherd Feast Day 2016

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“More fun! Karakol is more fun in the Good Shepherd!” Ate Cristy San Gabriel, a lector in the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd (CSPGS), said as she giggled and danced her way through the street, accompanied by the members of all the ministries and organizations of CSPGS.

Karakol, a devotional street-dancing procession accompanied by lively music, is a tradition in the province of Cavite. Rev. Fr. Mario Sanchez, a native of Cavite, has integrated Karakol in the fiesta activities of the Cathedral since assuming the position as parish priest of CSPGS in 2013.
Asked why he decided to incorporate Karakol into the fiesta activities of CSPGS, Fr. Mario responded, “This is to praise God…. In jubilation, in dances and laughter that comes from the heart of the people, we are celebrating the pastorship of the Good Shepherd…So, we praise God for this gift of unity and oneness, that comes from God, Himself, the Good Shepherd…(Karakol) is a wonderful way of gathering the family of Christ.”
Vibrantly dancing on top of a moving, open vehicle,  in his immaculately, white chausable with an image of the Good Shepherd embedded on the stole around his neck and the statue of the Good Shepherd on his hand, Rev. Fr. Mario Sanchez bore the scorching heat of the sun, all the while sprinkling holy water along the streets of Fairview. He was followed by approximately 700 parishioners, in their Filipiniana and floral outfits, waving their native hats or abanikos (fans) on the air, as they sway their hips and move to the rythmn of the Karakol music.
Dressed in a beautiful red Filipiniana gown, Maria Elena Cabral, Vice-President of Internal Affairs of the Divine Mercy Ministry, expressed her sentiments during the street dance, “I feel awed by the show of love for the Good Shepherd.”
In their floor length floral outfits, both Rachel Calinap, Prioress of the Lay Ministry of the Word, and Au Pamintuan, Treasurer of the same ministry,  articulated what they felt while dancing in what-felt like more than a hundred degree Celsius temperature. Ate Rachel said that this experience made her feel “blessed, at the same time, fulfilled”. While Ate Au energetically quipped, “Well, I am so happy! Very, very beautiful!”
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Rev. Fr. Mario Sanchez waves the image of the Good Shepherd during the Karakol parade on the Feast of the Good Shepherd last April 17, 2016
Such festive and jubilant atmosphere was evident last April 17 at CSPGS, as it celebrated its fiesta with a Bayanihan outlook starting with a lugaw-at-Itlog breakfast at 6 o’clock in the morning, followed by Karakol, High Mass and the salu-salo.
Bro Dinky Nievera, former president of Ministerium Altaris Servorum and a masteral student in Liturgy, explained that the feast of the Good Shepherd is celebrated every fourth Sunday of Easter, otherwise known as the Good Shepherd Sunday.
The High Mass that followed was celebrated by His Excellency, Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, and concelebrated with Rev. Fr. Mario Sanchez and Rev. Fr. Amir Zaragoza. The salu-salo was participated by the parishioners of CSPGS, with the ministries and organizations bringing in their food to share.
The fiesta activities of CSPGS was spearheaded by Family and Life Ministry through head couple coordinator Joji and Nikki Dael. Asked for comments from planning to the actual fiesta activities, Ate Nikki said, “Although mahirap ang preparation, maraming coordination, pero nakikita namin yung galaw ng Panginoon na successful pa rin yung celebration. May miracles kaming nakikita na gumagalaw (Ang Holy Spirit) para matagumpay ang celebration na ito.”
Maddie Laconico, Secretary of Corinthian Youth Movement and host of the salu-salo celebration, affirmed the joyful camaraderie of the parishioners, as she observed that their program only had 3 original group performers. However, the parishioners kept on coming to her, asking if they could also perform onstage. Maddie said she felt overwhelmed, “Feeling ko po ang nararamdaman ng lahat ng andito ay sobrang saya to be a part of the Good Shepherd community…Tapos po kahit po nagkakamali sila (sa kanilang performance), parang wala lang po. Ang saya lang po nila, kasi feeling po nila, it’s all for the Good Shepherd.” (~Dr. Jyn Aragon)
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