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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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Manifest

‘God does not tolerate indifference’—Tiongco

“Many who are powerful and influential do not procure nor promote a better future for everyone, all this is an insult to God, who has created everything with the desire of the wellbeing of all,” Tiongco said.

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Rev. Fr. Isias Tiongco O.P. during the anticipated 1st Sunday of Advent Mass at the University's plaza mayor

The University vice-rector emphasized that God does not want the faithful to just be “passive” with their faith on Saturday, Nov. 27.

In an anticipated mass for the first Sunday of Advent, Rev. Fr. Isias Tiongco O.P. said that God does not expect the faithful to be “actively seeking Him” while having the attitude of not caring and doing nothing. 

“The Lord knows our shortcomings and struggles, and he gives us the grace to bear our burdens as we walk along the way of holiness. But there is one thing he does not tolerate, indifference—ang pagwawalang bahala or kapabayaan,” he said.

“His [God] grace is sufficient, but at the same time, he expects us to be actively watching for his visitation,” he added.

Tiongco also pressed on exploitation which “created unemployment and inequity” which he pointed to “the powerful and influential people that do not procure a better future for everyone.”

“While millions of humans live in poverty, others live in opulence, injustice has brought humanity to its own suffering,” he said.

“All this is an insult to God, who has created everything with the desire of the wellbeing of all,” he added.

Advent is the liturgical season for the preparation of Christ’s nativity which celebrates four masses each Sunday before Christmas. 

The mass was followed by the lighting of Christmas decorations in the University, signaling  the start of its annual Paskuhan season.

Ian Patrick Laqui
Reports Editor, Reports Writer | + posts
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Halloween is not aligned with the Church’s celebration — Tiong

Contrary to the celebration filled with ghosts and scary creatures, Tiong reminded that All Saints’ Day is deeply rooted with people’s faith in God.

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Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong in today’s mass at the Santísimo del Rosario Parish. Courtesy of Santísimo Rosario Parish Facebook page

Echoing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ campaign for All Saints’ Day solemnity, Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. urged the Thomasian community to remember the true essence of this day.

Contrary to the celebration filled with ghosts and scary creatures, Tiong reminded that All Saints’ Day is deeply rooted with people’s faith in God.

“When we come together on this feast, ‘yung communion of saints ay maiintindihan natin kung makikita natin ang ugnayan… koneksyon ng mga nasa langit na na mga anak ng diyos, tayong church militants, mga nasa purgatoryo, and the church triumphants,” he said during his homily on Monday, Nov. 1.

Tiong also emphasized that Halloween celebration does not conform with the Church’s celebration of the communion of saints.

“Iyong pong umiiral na halloween ay malayo po ‘yan at hindi sang-ayon dito sa ating selebrasyon,” he said.

The Vice Rector reiterated that this day must be celebrated with solemnity and peace.

“We are connected together with faith, hope, and love,” he added.

Today’s online mass was part of the three-part Mass in Suffrage for the deceased members of the Thomasian community.

The next two eucharists will be held on Nov. 2 and 8.

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Vice-Rector urges Thomasians to be like Mary

“As we thank God and as we thank the Blessed Mother for her intercession, we must also look upon ourselves. Still, we can offer more by the grace of God and by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Tiong said.

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Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. during his homily in celebration of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The University’s Vice-Rector urges Thomasians on Wednesday, September 8, to dedicate their lives in intercession with the Lord, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary did.

At the mass in honor of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. said that people should also have a “gift” for Mary just like how they usually do at birthdays.

“On the birthday of the Blessed Mother, certainly that is a very good question. Ano naman ang birthday gift natin sa ating Blessed Mother?” he said.

Tiong said Mary, herself, offered something to the people by praying and interceding for them.

He also added that she carries the grace and greatest gift of God.

“It is through Mary that Jesus was born, she is the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.

Tiong emphasized that the word of God incarnated when Mary agreed to conceive Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. He said that the fruit of her womb is the people’s redeemer.

People’s offering to the Blessed Virgin Mary

In return, Tiong said that people should dedicate any transformation of their lives to Mary, however big or small.

He added that there will always be something that people can change from themselves. May it be the way people think or a bad habit that can badly affect one’s faith and service to God, Mary’s birthday is a good day to offer this transformation.

“As we thank God and as we thank the Blessed Mother for her intercession, we must also look upon ourselves. Still, we can offer more by the grace of God and by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” he said.

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Tiong ended his homily urging people to renew their commitment with God, and declaring to them His spiritual transformation.

Tiong presided over the mass entitled, “Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The livestream can be found on the Santísimo Rosario Parish Facebook page.

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