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Tagle: ‘Be missionaries of mercy’

Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle urged participants on Sunday to become missionaries of mercy, in observance of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which is slated to end on November.



Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle urged participants on Sunday to become missionaries of mercy, in observance of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which is slated to end on November.

“As the father has sent me so I send you,” Tagle said, quoting the Gospel of John in his talk, “Missionaries of Mercy” during the third Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE III) held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Tagle emphasized the need for Catholics to pattern their missionary life after Jesus who patterned His life after God.

“Jesus was sent to be the face, the living presence of God’s mercy. As Jesus was sent, so are we not as signs of condemnation but signs of mercy,” he added.

Bannering the theme “Awa, Unawa, Gawa: The Filipino Experience of Mercy,” PCNE III aims to focus on discovering and understanding God’s mercy and the Filipino narratives of mercy.

The Cardinal later defined mercy as turning betrayals into gifts. He said that betrayals can be remedied through the restoration of the sense of gift, and that “[t]here is hope in someone who even betrayed Jesus.”

“We are all used to throwing away items, not realizing it is a form of betrayal,” Tagle said.

“This is our consumerist culture, the more you grow the more you throw. Why throw when you can share?”

He concluded by reiterating his call to continue the mission of mercy and to strengthen bonds that it may last even after death.

“In a world of broken ties, let not one mistake keep us apart,” he said.

Stories of mercy

Television personalities and non-government organizations shared their stories of mercy in a segment hosted by Tagle during the opening day.

Actress-turned-writer Rita Avila testified to delegates how God changed her life while growing up.

“I was physically and emotionally hurt when I was a kid. I asked the Lord why my life like this is (sic). But somehow, I knew that I would have better life (sic) when I grow up.  God became my Father then and He never failed me,” Avila said.

“As an adult, there were still trials but He will always be there. We should learn to forgive ourselves. Always face the pain. Just pray to God and you will be okay,” she added.

After her son died in 2006 due to heart failure, Avila remained hopeful and began to write children’s stories.

Maria Fatima Lorenzo, director of Kythe Foundation, a private organization that aims to provide social and psychosocial needs of children with cancer and chronic illness, shared how their patients motivate them to continue their work.

“Sometimes it’s not the children who are wary in pain but the adults. They draw strength from the children. That’s what we are asking kung saan kinukuha ng mga bata ‘yung lakas nila,” Lorenzo said.

“Bone cancer is the worst kind of cancer and maririnig mo ‘yung mga bata na humihiyaw pero after their treatment, you will see them smile again. I think it’s from the grace of God that they get their strength.”

“We as workers, we’re able to go on with what we do, kasi nakikita naming ‘yung mga bata na kinakaya nila ‘yung pain week after week,” she added.

In another session, comedian Melai Cantiveros-Francisco encouraged victims of bullying to remain positive and humble.

“Malimit akong ma-bully ako (sic) nung bata ako dahil kulot at maitim ako.  Para sa mga nabu-bully, wag kayong mag-self pity, ang kaawan niyo ‘yung mga nambu-bully,” she said.

“Sabi sa akin ng parents ko, magpakumbaba pa rin ako. Dapat ipakita ko sa iba na masaya pa rin ako. Para sa mga kabataan ngayon, wag kayong magself-pity bagkus pakitaan niyo sila ng magandang ugali dahil sila ang mapapahiya sa sarili nila,” Francisco added.

A youth concert featuring performances of Asia’s Got Talent finalist Gerphil Flores and Jay Durias of Southborder concluded the second day.

Other guests during the talk were Maria Lina Paulino of Ang Arko ng Pilipinas Inc. and Ben Mendoza of Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees.



The promise of change can save a ‘fallen’ relationship, Rector says



Photo by Abbie Vinluan/TomasinoWeb

UST Rector Fr. Hermino Dagohoy, O.P. said the promise of change can save a fallen relationship during the Ash Wednesday Mass, which concurred with the Valentine’s Day.

“Kung tayo ay nasasawi sa pag-ibig, the best way we can actually return and save the fallen relationship is to promise to our loved one that we are going to change,” he said during the University mass held at Plaza Mayor.

Dagohoy reminded Thomasians that Ash Wednesday is not just a day to remind us of our mortality but a day that we proclaim that we belong to God.

“As we remember our love ones, today, by giving them roses, chocolates, or balloons, today God imposes on us the sign of his cross as a sign of the greatest love ever told.”

Moreover, Dagohoy said the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live although there is “no human reality that scares us the most.”

“Ang kamatayan daw ay hindi ang pinaka malaking kawalan sa tao, ang pinaka malaking kawalan ay ang pagkamatay ng ating loob hanbang tayo’y nabubuhay. Kaya yung mga tao na namamatayan ng kalooban ay mukha nang patay kahit sila ay buhay,” he said.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent season, a 40-day period of fasting, abstinence from meat, giving alms, and penance as to recall Jesus’ being taunted by the Devil in the desert for 40 days. – H.M. Amoroso 


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UST vice rector: Partial truth must find its place



Since the truth will not contradict itself, even partial truth must find its place in this age of fake news, said the University vice rector on Friday, Jan. 26.

“Pope Francis has this to say: education for truth is important. It would help people discern, evaluate, and understand, the news. Personally, I believe the truth is a form of charity,” said Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P during the Eucharistic celebration for the feast of the University’s patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Ang reminded that today’s digital age could negatively affect everybody as unverified information easily proliferates nowadays.

“This is an era when fake news and propaganda proliferate in cyber thoughts, which may cause irreparable damage to someone’s self-esteem and reputation,” he said in his homily.

“It helps to see the bigger picture, it pays to scope a hole”, he added. “St. Thomas Aquinas was in a constant search for truth because it [also] was a constant search for God.”

UST will celebrate St. Thomas’ feast day on Jan. 28, with the theme, “Non Nise Te, Domine (Nothing but Thyself, Lord): Celebrating with St. Thomas Aquinas the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.”

by Heather Marian Amoroso


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Tagle says free speech is Church’s conviction

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle stressed the promotion of upright social communication in evangelization, truthful information dissemination and social development through the help of technology.



Screen grabbed from TV Maria Facebook live of the forum "Catholic Media in Challenging Times."

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle emphasized the Church’s “conviction” that freedom of speech is significant amid concerns over the cancellation of online news organization Rappler’s license.

Tagle cited the Vatican II in stating that while people are entitled to freedom of sharing and receiving information, the press is likewise part of that right, during the forum “Catholic Media in Challenging Times” on Friday, Jan. 19.

“Walang question dun ‘no… hindi na ito opinion,  it is our conviction that there should be freedom of people to share information and the right of people to receive,” he said, answering the question of a reporter on his take on the current issue of Rappler.

While firm on their stand on the freedom of speech, both Tagle and Mylo Hubert Vergara, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Commission on Social Communications head, refused to answer the question directly, stating that facts, implications and further understanding of the issue is still needed for them to respond appropriately.

“Ito aaminin ko na po sa inyo, kasi minsan hindi ko nasusundan lahat pati detalye. Ako ay ayokong basta magbigay ng opinion sa isang bagay na hindi ko napag-aralan kasi pag nasabi na, hirap namang bawiin,” Tagle said.

The decision of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke Rappler’s license to operate on January 11 was due to the news agency’s “deceptive” violation of the Foreign Equity Restriction of the Philippine Constitution mandating 100-percent Filipino control and ownership of local mass media entities.

Rappler accepted over $1 million from foreign investor Omidyar Network Fund LLC through Philippine Depository Receipts (PDR) in 2015 which secured two-thirds of all the PDR holders on corporate matters.

PDRs are derivative instruments that permits foreign bodies to purchase into private agencies for financial returns but don’t grant ownership or any control in the company.

Also, Tagle mentioned points in the Vatican II, an ecuminical council in 1960s which tackled relations of the Church and the modern world.

He stressed the promotion of upright social communication in evangelization, truthful information dissemination and social development through the help of technology.

“Since public opinion is at stake through information and more seriously the involvement of human being in societal development, each person must be given the opportunity to be formed in the use of social communications,” Tagle added.  

Tagle also warned of the arising threats of the means of communication specifically the new form of “noise”, evasiveness, quest for stimulation and exploitation.

“Some people are proposing the digital detox, detoxification… through silence, a return to reflection and prayer life. At a time where we have multiplied the means of social communication, people are looking for silence,” he said.

SEC’s ruling has raised concerns from local and international groups, as well as from some politicians, stating that the move is an attack on press freedom, whereas the government has denied the accusations (READ: Media groups protest attacks on press freedom).

The news agency currently continues to operate since the decision of SEC was not yet final and executory.—B. Laforga


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