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Prayers are ‘perceiving God’s will,’ says priest

Diocese of Novaliches priest urged alumni on Saturday, Nov.21, to recognize prayers as a discernment of God’s will in overcoming the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo from UST Center for Campus Ministry

Diocese of Novaliches priest urged alumni on Saturday, Nov.21, to recognize prayers as a discernment of God’s will in overcoming the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Christian prayer is not a wishful thinking and a wishful sharing…[W]e pray on asking him to guide us, and then we walk on that prayer,” Fr. Luciano Felloni said in an annual advent recollection. 

While it is acceptable to have a clear request, people, according to Felloni, must “leave their comfort zones” and have the courage to believe in God. 

He said that regardless of all the doubts and questions people have for God, he will always save and rescue each and everyone of us. 

“He will not let you go down…[T]he lord will be there for you, but he will also sit you down and ask why did you doubt,” Felloni said. 

The Argetenian priest encouraged everyone to go beyond prayers, make tangible actions to find purpose in this pandemic. 

Felloni also reminded everyone to strengthen their faith in this year’s Christmas since it will most likely be “difficult and quiet” due to the global health crisis. 

The recollection titled, “Rediscovering the meaning of Christmas,” was spearheaded by the UST Alumni Association and College of Education Alumni Foundation as a part of the annual advent recollection.

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Manifest

‘No contact’ Ash Wednesday, says Bishop Pabillo

According to Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo, the Vatican instructed the ash to be sprinkled on the heads of churchgoers instead of the traditional rite of marking their foreheads. 

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Photo by TomasinoWeb

Philippine churches will be implementing a “no contact” observance of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17, which marks the start of the 40-day Lenten season. 

The churches have observed this practice last year as a COVID-19 precaution.

According to Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo, the Vatican instructed the ash to be sprinkled on the heads of churchgoers instead of the traditional rite of marking their foreheads. 

“Wala nang contact. Lalapit sila at bubudburan ng abo ang kanilang ulo,” Pabillo said in an interview in Teleradyo.

Pabillo noted that the traditional dictum, or the “repent and believe in the gospel,” will still be included. However, the directive said that instead of repeating the formula from the Roman Missal to each attendee, it will only be said once by the ministers. 

“At ‘yung formula na sinasabi na ikaw ay tao, tandaan mo sa abo ka babalik, magsisi ka sa iyong mga kasalanan…[‘Y]an po ay sasabihin na lang ng minsanan sa lahat,” he said.

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Pabillo urges faithful on Black Nazarene feast: ‘Put Jesus in your struggles’

The bishop also said that devotees became more intimate with Jesus despite the changes in the Quiapo church’s traditional celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene. 

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Archdiocese of Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo says Jesus on the cross is not punishment but faithful's salvation. (Photo from Manila Bulletin livestream of fiesta mass for Nazareno 2021)

The Archdiocese of Manila auxiliary bishop urged Catholic devotees yesterday, Jan. 9, to include Jesus in their struggles during the mass for the feast day of the Black Nazarene.  

“We do not deny the suffering that are with us, but put Jesus there at magtratransform po ang ating kahirapan sa ating kaligtasan,” Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo said. 

Pabillo used the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to further amplify his message. According to him, it was Jesus’s struggle that led people to salvation. 

“[A]ng krus ay instrumento ng pagpaparusa, ng pagpatay…[H]indi tinanggihan ni Hesus na siya ay i-akyat sa krus. Si Hesus na nasa sa krus ay hindi na parusa kung hindi kaligtasan para sa atin,” he said. 

The bishop also said that devotees became more intimate with Jesus despite the changes in the Quiapo church’s traditional celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene. 

Although health professionals warned devotees to stay at home, thousands of Filipinos flocked to Quiapo Church which astounded netizens as videos and photos of the festivities surfaced online. 

The Manila Police District estimated that around 400,000 visitors were seen in Quiapo today. Quiapo church announced that it would hold at least 15 masses, with only 400 visitors allowed for each mass.

The scheduled mass will also be livestream at Quiapo Church’s official Facebook account for non-physical mass goers. 

Unruffled devotion

Prior to the pandemic, devotees walked through the streets of Manila, with some attempting to kiss or wipe the image of the Black Nazarene with a cloth in hopes that their prayers would be granted. 

Thomasian Nazareno devotees, however, remained unruffled amid cancellation of the annual Traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene. 

“Kahit di tayo physically present, sa ating pagdadasal sa ating mga tahanan, sa online connection lang, ay lumalapit tayo sa Diyos,” Pabillo said. 

Thomasian devotees resorted to alternative ways to practice their devotion to the Black Nazarene. 

“I try my best to attend their online mass everyday,” first-year Communication Arts student Chiqui Cabrera told TomasinoWeb. 

READ  Faithful urged to find hope, move forward amid pandemic

“If you really have faith with him kahit nasaan ka kaya mong pakita na devoted ka sa kanya,” second-year journalism major and devotee since nine-years of age Kyle Llamas told TomasinoWeb. 

Another journalism student, who wished to be known as “an unworthy servant of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” practiced his devotion this year differently as well. 

“This year, since it is the pandemic, I went out of the door to greet the car procession of Señor Nazareno, which was held by my parish as I waved a napkin, venerating the image of the suffering Christ,” he told TomasinoWeb. 

He also said that he feels sympathetic to the devotees who were not able to practice their devotion due to COVID-19 constraints. 

The City of Manila cancelled the annual Traslacion last year, Oct. 23, due to the pandemic. Devotees hold a grand procession each Jan. 9 to commemorate the 1767 transfer of the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from Intramuro to Quiapo. 

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Faithful urged to find hope, move forward amid pandemic

In the online institutional advent recollection, Professor Emeritus Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P. said that one should not hold back on making decisions for himself because life could lead them to an unwanted destination instead. 

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Professor Emeritus Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P. delivers his speech during the university-wide advent recollection.

Thomasians on Monday, Dec. 7, were urged by the former dean of Faculty of Philosophy to find hope and move forward amid pandemic instead of confining themselves in the past. 

In the online institutional advent recollection, Professor Emeritus Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P. said that one should not hold back on making decisions for himself because life could lead them to an unwanted destination instead. 

“[A]ng buhay ay dumadaloy kaya dapat magdesisyong ka sa inyong paghakbang. Kung hindi ka magdesisyon, ‘yung agos ng buhay ay maaaring dalhin ka sa destinasyong hindi mo ibig,” 

He stressed that the timeframe of hope exists now and not in the past. 

“Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is ready cash. Ang timeframe ng pagasa ay di nakalipas at di kinabukasan, kundi ngayon,” Gonzales said. 

Gonzales also stressed that although we are in the middle of a pandemic, there is still a light that guides us into seeing things that were often unnoticed before.

“Kahit tayo ay nasa pandemya, mayroong liwanag sapagkat tayo’y may mga bagong mata para tigna ang mga pamilyar na dati-dati ay isinisawalang bahala natin,” he said. 

The institutional advent recollection was organized by the Office of Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs and was streamed in the University’s official Facebook account. Ian Patrick Laqui

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