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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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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.

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“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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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.

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“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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