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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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Lent, the time to return to God—Vice Chancellor

“When we receive the discipline of Lent, we are reminded of our mortality. We are reminded that we are for Christ, and we return to Him.”

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Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb

Dominican Prior Provincial Very Rev. Fr. Napoleon B. Sipalay, Jr., O.P. urged Thomasians to take Lenten season as the way to go back to God and practice self-discipline.

“The very question I believe [that] is important to ask now is, ‘Why are you here? Not in UST alone but why are you here in this life?’” the University’s Vice Chancellor posed the question during the Ash Wednesday mass at the Plaza Mayor on Feb. 26, 2020.

He explained that the cycle of one’s journey is coming from God, going to His side, and returning to Him despite many diversions along the way.

“When we receive the discipline of Lent, we are reminded of our mortality. We are reminded that we are for Christ, and we return to Him.” Sipalay said.

He encouraged everyone to pray for the weapon of self restraint—fasting, abstinence, and alms giving.

“When we say fast, we don’t eat not only to remember Christ [but also] to heighten our senses [and] to be very aware…Sometimes we fast with food. We fast on something that is very good and needed by our body,” Sipalay said.

“If you can say no to those things, maybe you can start to say no also to things that bring us away from God—bad habits, laziness, maybe gossiping, sinful pleasures,” he added.

Self-discipline, according to Sipalay, may be difficult but it only serves as a preparation for the greatest celebration, as observed in the Holy Week towards the end of Easter Sunday.

“I hope when that Holy Week would come [and] that Easter Sunday would come to us [which is] a new life, amidst all the challenges we have, and I hope we don’t lose track,” Sipalay said.

“We have different ways to follow the Lord, but we have only one destination in his love, so we start that this Ash Wednesday,” he added.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, a 40-day period of fasting, penance, and abstinence before the celebration of Easter Sunday. 

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CBCP: Avoid holding hands during ‘Our Father’ prayer

CBCP also implemented a set of guidelines and the mandatory prayer of the “Oratio Imperata” amid the growing fear and threat of the novel coronavirus.

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Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) discouraged the Catholic faithful in holding hands during the singing or praying of the ‘Our Father’ during eucharistic celebrations in a statement released Wednesday, Jan. 29.

They also implemented a set of guidelines and the mandatory prayer of the “Oratio Imperata” amid the growing fear and threat of the novel coronavirus.

Upon the instruction of CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles, all parishes are prompted to pray the Oratio starting Feb. 2, in all weekdays and Sunday masses, after communion.

Furthermore, CBCP recommends, “in this moment of uncertainty about the illness caused by the virus,” to practice receiving communion in the hand, regularly change the holy water in the fonts, and install protective cloth in the grills of confessionals. 

It also exhorted, meanwhile, parishes dedicated to patron saints in times of pestilence and incurable illnesses St. Raphael the Archangel and St. Roch to conduct special prayers and processions.

The Oratio Imperata reads:

God our Father, we come to you in our need to ask your protection against the 2019 N-Corona Virus, that has claimed lives and has affected many.

We pray for your grace for the people tasked with studying the nature and cause off this virus and its disease and of stemming the tide of its transmission. Guide the hands and minds of medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion, and of those governments and private agencies that must find cure and solution to this epidemic.

We pray for those afflicted may they be restored to health soon.

Grant us the grace to work for the good of all and to help those in need.

Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Mary Help of all Christians, pray for us.

St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

St. Rock, pray for us.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.

St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us.

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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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