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Cardinal Tagle urges faithful to pray for world peace in Nazareno mass

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on Nazareno devotees to pray for peace in the Middle East in his homily for the midnight mass of the Feast of the Black Nazarene Thursday, Jan. 9.

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The andas carrying the image of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno crosses the Ayala bridge | Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on Nazareno devotees to pray for peace in the Middle East amidst the growing tension of war between Iran and the United States in his homily for the midnight mass of the Feast of the Black Nazarene Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

For the commencement of the annual Traslación, Cardinal Tagle, who is bound to lead a top Vatican post, urged everyone for a moment of silence to pray for peace in different parts of the world.

“Sa ating pagtitipon na puno ng panalangin at pasasalamat, atin pong alalahanin na sa ilang bahagi po ng ating mundo ay nag-aamba ng panganib at karahasan at hari nawa ay huwag mauwi sa giyera, sa digmaan,” the outgoing cardinal said.

He also encouraged to pray for the safety of fellow Filipinos caught in between the war and their families in the Philippines.

“Ipanalangin po natin na maging ligtas ang ating mga kapuwa, sa Middle East, humupa ang mga pagnanais na sirain ang kapuwa, humupa ang mga hangarin na maghiganti. At ipanalangin natin ang ating mga kapuwa Pilipino, ang kanilang mga pamilya dito na nangangamba,” he added.

Cardinal Tagle giving his homily during the enthronement rites of Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de UST in Sept. 2019. | Robert Garcia

According to the Manila Public Information Office, at least 130,000 faithfuls attended the midnight eucharistic celebration. 

Changes in Traslación

Msgr. Hernando Coronel, PC, the Basilica’s Rector and Parish Priest, expressed his gratitude to uniformed personnels who helped in maintaining a peaceful and orderly Traslación.

“We express appreciation for their great effort, they really tried to put order to make it solemn like our thanksgiving procession,” Coronel said.

This year’s procession also saw changes in its route and security, from which the image of the Black Nazarene will cross Ayala Bridge instead of the usual newly-rehabilitated Jones Bridge.

Police also formed a barricade around the andas (carriage) during the procession, following the examples of other festivals and processions, which dismayed some devotees who could not get near the andas.

“The police and military requested if we could imitate the other formation, for example in Cebu the Santo Nino, and the Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga,” Coronel said.

Vendor Aling Jenny expressed her dismay over these new measures which affected not just her business but other devotees as well.

“Sabi nila nakakatulong pero hindi. […] Kasi una [‘yung mga daanan binakuran]. Ngayon iikot ka ng Recto para makatawid ka. […] Mga masa ‘yan sanay ‘yan magbalyahan. Kaming mga vendor sanay kami maggit-gitan,” she said.

The theme for this year’s Traslación is “Iba’t-Ibang Kaloob, Iisang Debosyon tungo sa Iisang Misyon” which is expected to have millions of Filipino devotees clad in maroon in hopes to experience the supposed miracles of the image of the dark-skinned, cross-bearing Christ. with reports from Christine Annmarie Tapawan and John Aaron Pangilinan

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‘Proclaim the Good News by defending human rights’ —Sr. Mananzan

“The call of the time is prophecy. You have to struggle with that. Dapat manindigan ka. Sasabihin mo hindi puwede ‘yan. ‘Yun ang tingin ko na call of the times sa mga tao at sa mga Kristiyano. Be prophetic. Kahit na it means a threat to your life. That’s a part of prophecy,” Benedictine nun Sister Mary John Mananzan said.

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Photo from CBCP News

Sister Mary John Mananzan, OSB urged Filipinos to “announce the Good News and denounce the bad news” amid rampant human rights violations in the country on Tuesday, Dec. 10, during the International Human Rights Day at Liwasang Bonifacio.

The former chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines and former head of St. Scholastica’s College shared in an interview with TomasinoWeb that for her, enlightening the people of their rights is a way of proclaiming the “Good News” of the Gospel.

“To announce the Good News means ipaliwanag mo sa mga tao kung ano ang karapatan nila. […] Ang bad news would be ‘yung mga lumalabag sa mga karapatang-pantao,” Mananzan said.

Mananzan stated that there is currently a call for Christians to “be prophetic” and to stand for human rights even if it may lead to threats in one’s life.

“The call of the time is prophecy. […] You have to struggle with that. Dapat manindigan ka. Sasabihin mo hindi puwede ‘yan. ‘Yun ang tingin ko na call of the times sa mga tao at sa mga Kristiyano. Be prophetic. […] Kahit na it means a threat to your life. That’s a part of prophecy,” she said.

Mananzan also stressed the importance of the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day especially when the Duterte administration seems to be “allergic” to human rights. 

“Naghihingalo na nga ang human rights dito sa atin kasi nga as I’ve said, very allergic itong administration na ‘to sa human rights. Masabi mo lang ‘human rights’ [nagkakandandarapa] na sila. Kaya ang tingin ko lalo pa dapat [i-celebrate] in the sense na let us remember that this is our right,” she said 

When asked about Sister Ellen Belardo of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, a missionary  who was filed with perjury case by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Mananzan said that it only shows effectivity and credence of priests and nun.

“So talagang nakikita mo doon na epektibo ang mga simbahan dahil kung nagsasalita ang madre o ang pari eh parang pinapakinggan ng tao kaya sa kanila, enemy sila. Parang pinapaniwalaan sila ng tao kaya sila ngayon ang pupuntiryahin,” Mananzan said.

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Rector reminds Thomasians to ‘look back at Christ’ in Paskuhan Mass

The University’s Rector Magnificus reminded Thomasians that advent is a period to remember and to anticipate, and to celebrate Christ’s coming during the Paskuhan opening mass at the Plaza Mayor Monday, Dec. 2.

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Photo by Deojon Elarco/TomasinoWeb

The University’s Rector Magnificus reminded Thomasians that advent is a period to remember and to anticipate, and to celebrate Christ’s coming.

Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. stated that remembering means honoring and recognizing the things you have received during the last Christmas of your life, and so he thanked the UST for being a wonderful community, during the Paskuhan opening mass at the Plaza Mayor Monday, Dec. 2.

Quoting the words of Soren Kierkegaard, Dagohoy O.P. said that “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

“Advent is literally coming home. […] During advent, we are asked to look back at Christ’s coming as a man while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation of [His] kingdom when He returns,” said Dagohoy.

He compared the Filipinos coming home from the other countries to advent, saying that despite the long hours of layover at the airport, they will still be waiting with happiness knowing that they will soon see their loved ones. He said that, “that feeling of estrangement, anticipation and expectant joy—that is advent.”

The Rector also urged Thomasians to recognize their insufficiency and their need for God, and to pray the prayer of advent “Come Lord Jesus” when their days are covered with dark clouds.

“God loves his people tenderly embracing their weaknesses and imperfections. For God’s loving heart, it is all about us,” Dagohoy said.

“Sa Pasko tinitingnan tayo ng Diyos. Ang sabi niya: para sa inyo ‘to, ang Pasko ay para sa’yo,” he added.

The opening of décor around the campus followed the mass led by Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Vice-Mayor Honey Lacuna, and the traditional “agape” for the Thomasian community. H. Camba

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Pabillo: Show solidarity through prayer amid persecution

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo emphasized solidarity as a response to persecutions during the Red Wednesday campaign in the University in commemoration of persecuted Christians worldwide.

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Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo emphasized solidarity as a response to persecutions during the Red Wednesday campaign in the University in commemoration of persecuted Christians worldwide.

[W]e cannot do much, but we don’t keep silent. And part of that solidarity is shown by the celebration of Red Wednesday. We show our solidarity by our prayers. Prayers for those who are persecuted—that they may remain strong, that they may persevere…” Pabillo said during the Red Wednesday mass at the Santísimo Rosario Parish Church.

People have different ways of reacting on persecutions, and according to him, there are those who would fight violently, those who would collaborate with the prosecutors, and those who just keep silent.

“Our reaction to the persecutions is not collaboration, is not fighting against, is not indifference, but solidarity. Solidarity is shown by our prayers for the persecuted, for ourselves, … for the persecutors,” Pabillo said.

Apathy, he stressed, is a common response among majority of the Christians.

“Apathy. Indifference…They don’t react when our priests are killed, when our bishops and our priests and nuns are being dragged into court, accused with cases. They don’t react. Apathetic,” he said.

Pabillo explained that persecution has been happening since Ancient Christianity in many countries, and it includes not only killings but also destruction of places of worship, lawsuits against Christians, and denigration of the Church’s teachings.

“[T]he teachings of the Church are being maligned, even in the Philippines. Our teaching about the treaty, about the bible, is being maligned…Our teachings against divorce, against abortion, and it some countries, against death penaltythey are being maligned. These are also part of persecutions,” he said.

“And even in our times, in the Philippines, there are people who clap their hands when the President malign our Church leaders and our Church teachings,” Pabillo added.

Despite the problems such as contradicting beliefs, he maintains that persecution is not the answer.

“We still ourselves in front of these persecutions that can also come our way. At the same time, during Red Wednesday, we pray for the persecutors. We pray for the persecutors that they may realize that persecution is not the answer to their problems. Death is not the answer…Persecution is not the answer.”

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