SCA

People come and go, but the mission continues.

This is God’s work. His victory not ours.

We would like to thank our student servant leaders who came and took part in bringing more youth closer to God through Student Catholic Action (SCA) movement in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

We have new set of servants in the vineyard who undergone the pastoral formation program last weekend.

They said ‘yes’ to God’s call by serving others and we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower them in this mission.

SCA

“God loves us the way we are, and no sin, fault or mistake of ours makes him change his mind. As far as Jesus is concerned – as the Gospel shows – no one is unworthy of, or far from, his thoughts. No one is insignificant. He loves all of us with a special love; for him all of us are important: you are important! God counts on you for what you are, not for what you possess. In his eyes the clothes you wear or the kind of cell phone you use are of absolutely no concern. He doesn’t care whether you are stylish or not; he cares about you! In his eyes, you are precious, and your value is inestimable.” –

Special thanks to our alumni for their unwavering support in sharing their talents, treasures and time for making the program possible.

SCA is the first student Catholic movement in the Philippines that started in 1936.

SCA came to PLM in 1981 and now on its 37th year, the movement stood tall amidst challenges in the past years.

How did SCA come to the campuses? Who started the spark that ignited the passion of serving others?

Here’s an article published last year about the selfless love of the Columban clergy that inspired SCA.

The Columbans and the Student Leaders they Molded
(by Milwida M. Guevara, SCA Alumni, originally published in Manila Bulletin, December 12, 2017)

I tried to focus on the celebration of the mass yesterday but my memory kept drifting to the past. My friend, Fr. Michael Mohally, a Columban priest, celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. His years were indeed golden, having served as a missionary, and dedicated to the formation of leaders through Student Catholic Action (SCA).

The Columban Missionaries are also celebrating their centenary in the country this year. They ran parishes, established schools, served as university chaplains, and worked with the poor.

Many Columbans died as martyrs in the Philippines. Fr. Thomas Flynn died in the hands of the Huks in 1950. Fr. Rufus Hally was shot dead in 2001. President FVR was personally involved in the rescue of Fr. Des Hartford who was abducted by militants in Marawi in 1997.

But we remember the Columbans most fondly for their work with students. They had a special knack for identifying those with great potential for leadership and held their hands and hearts in their formative years. The Columbans modeled the virtues of servant-leadership, sharpened their minds through “teach-ins” and conferences, and developed their love for others through immersion in marginalized communities.

I am privileged to walk in the company of colleagues whose values and work were shaped by the Columban Fathers: Ernie Garilao, former Secretary of DAR; Carn Abella, former President of DAP; Dr. Antonio Torralba, former Dean of Liberal Arts, UAAP; Atty. Hector Villacorta, Secretary of the Commission on Appointments; Tess Villacorta, former Executive Director of Children’s Hour; Tina Monzon Palma, ANC Anchor, Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University, and of course, the great Raul Roco. We were products of “indoctrination” of the Columbans on how to live a meaningful life through service to others.

SCA was introduced in campuses at a time when students were drawn to the ideals of Communism. The Columbans adopted the cell technique in formation. It is interesting to note that the ideals of Communism were propagated through the cell method. We met regularly with a group of students where we discussed how it is to be a leader, the meaning of love, and how virtues such as humility and courage, are acquired. But our discussions were rooted not on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky, but on the examples of a much bigger leader, Jesus. We reflected on His Gospel and His life of love. It was in these cell meetings where I first listened to Raul Roco, dapper, dashing, and eloquent in flawless English and Tagalog. Every December, the Columbans gathered student leaders in every school, college and university, and “indoctrinated” them in Baguio – La Patria Hotel for the men and St. Joseph College, for the women. Coming straight from the province, you could imagine how I listened with starry eyes to Sonia Malasarte, Nonong Contreras, Tati Licuanan, Pablo Trillana, Fr. Sonny Ramirez, Imelda Nicolas,and Abelardo Cortez.

The Columbans also saw to it that student-leadership should be well-rounded. We had festivals throughout the year where we developed our talents in drama, debates, singing, dancing, arts, and sports. Those were the years when SCA sponsored college fairs where we had great fun in marriage booths, roulettes, merry-go-round, and ferris wheels. In the evenings, we swayed and boogied with the music of RJ Jacinto and the Electromaniacs.

The Columbans helped us to have a deep understanding of life. They led us in our work with communities in the peripheries. I credit my work with the public high schools and the slums in Tondo as the backbone of my obsession for justice and education. It is not strange that many of my SCA colleagues have a penchant for public service and have continued to work with the poor.

I met Fr. Michael 47 years ago. He had an innocent look on his face and was looking forward to his work in the Philippines. Little did he know that he would serve as the Director of SCA in public high schools for many years, sans any priest as assistant. He was forever running around all day in his small car saying masses all over Metro Manila, counseling hundreds of students, and guiding their activities. His heart broke (and so did ours) when SCA was outlawed by the martial law government.

But the Columbans probably will never realize how much their work with SCA has impacted on Filipinos. Their influence has multiplied a million fold through the work of former student leaders whom they have formed. Like ripples in a pond, the ideals of the Columbans have multiplied and changed the course of rivers and oceans. They have set the course for thousands of SCAns to do what is right, give without counting the cost, and work without seeking reward.

Thank you Fr. Michael and the Columban missionaries who have given their best to the country. Indeed, you made us hear the angels sing.

Media

In one of our activities during the PLM-SCA servant’s formation, we asked the young leaders on what catches their attention most in social media.

Their response showed that inspiring messages spoke to them more.

Social Media

There are plenty of significant leaders who are not on Twitter or Facebook … yet. But I think more and more people who want to have a lasting impact are joining social media. Joining social media doesn’t mean you have to play Candy Crush on Facebook. You can control how much you engage. You can interact on Twitter from your cell phone and not even worry about getting bogged down in email activity. One of the great things social media does is enables quality leaders to broaden their influence and impact.

Contrary to studies that:

  • Social websites become their first priority, rather than the things that should come first such as school, family and sports.
  • People portray themselves as someone they’re not.
  • Young people can begin to cyberbully another peer; this can lead to many things such as depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Some youth are easily influenced so they may feel the need to change their physical appearance by comparing themselves to the next person they see in the media.
  • Social media is a very powerful temptation, so it can also become addicting and begin to start sidetracking the youth.

The simple activity revealed that positive messages are big influencers online.

  • Keeps connections between friends when they’re not always able to see each other when they want to.
  • Social media also keeps you up to date with things that are going on around the world rather than just in your area.
  • It gives youth a place to express themselves in a way that a public place wouldn’t allow us to.
  • It helps to develop social skills, a lot of friendships can stem from a social website.
  • It’s a fun way to interact with your peers, other than seeing them in person.

Social media is the latest possibility to reach an audience that might never step into our churches or community.

Before parish priests or youth minsters often would go door to door for the parish census. This gave them the possibility of meeting parishioners (and nonparishioners) and drawing them into parish life.

Although door-to-door evangelization is attractive, it is no longer as viable as it was in times past.

Pope Francis has embraced this new medium and could be considered the first social media pope.

Although Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to use Twitter, Francis tweets almost daily and currently has 10.8 million followers.

You might ask why we need to use social media.

We can use social media to get out the latest parish news, post inspirational quotes to inspire our parishioners, and give people important notices regarding upcoming events.

Social media helps to get our message out and to draw people to the parish or community website if it’s used properly.

The phenomenon of social media has opened new doors for us.

People “friend” us and welcome us into their daily world.

Social media is part of a new technology that came out of what was called Web 2.0. These social networks range from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and beyond.

At the same time, the use of social media is not only for getting our message out and sharing information, it’s also about building relationships with real people who create bonds with one another, and this opens hearts to what it is we have to share.

Here is a social media discipleship pathway:

• CONNECT (network) online: social networks, blogs, chat rooms, special interest sites.

• SHARE (post) relevant material that meets the needs of people and invite them to visit and explore wholistic life together through videos
and articles.

• TALK (chat) with your online friends in order to understand their needs, and respond with the relevant messages of hope found in the Bible, and perhaps by sharing your personal story.

• MEET (offline) face-to-face to develop trust and confidence in Jesus.

• INVITE (follow) Jesus on the journey of spiritual development.

Your intention, every step of the way, should be to treat each visitor and contact as a potential disciple. You should take a personal interest in their lives. You cannot expect to disciple 500 to 1,000 people individually, but you can certainly take time to disciple a small group of people and build personal relationships.

Yes, we need to create evangelization opportunities that help bring people back to church. New media, specifically social media, has a huge part in reaching out to people we need to minister to.

Ali

A riveting film about love, family and hope kicked off the PLM-SCA servant’s pastoral formation this summer. Ninang/Ate/Dra. Laarni “Let” Fajardo-Roque led the movie reflection activity with Kuya Chad Riobuya.

This must-watch film is an eye-opener for me to value what really matters in life.

Children of Heaven, a 1997 Iranian family drama film was written and directed by Majid Majidi. It deals with a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes.

Children of Heaven

Triumph prize winner at many prestigious film festivals, this uplifting, crowd-pleasing story of family and love was also moniated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film! When Ali loses his sister Zahra’s school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: they’ll share his shoes and keep it a secret from their parents! But if they’re going to successfuly cover their tracks, Ali and Zahra must carefully watch their step on what rapidly turns into a funny and heartwarming adventure! A magical motion picture acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, Children Of Heaven is a charming treat you’ll love, too!

He takes them to the cobbler for repairs, and on the way home, when he stops to pick up vegetables for his mother, a blind trash collector accidentally carries them away.

Of course, the boy, named Ali, is afraid to tell his parents. Of course, his sister, named Zahra, wants to know how she is supposed to go to school without shoes. The children feverishly write notes to each other, right under their parent’s noses.

The answer is simple: Zahra will wear Ali’s sneakers to school every morning, and then run home so that Ali can put them on for his school in the afternoon.

But Zahra cannot always run fast enough, and Ali, who is a good student, gets in trouble for being late to class. And there is a heartbreaking scene where Zahra solemnly regards her own precious lost shoes, now on the feet of the ragpicker’s daughter.

The tale of two children in the movie communicates to us a lot of interesting values that we can somehow say similar to Christian values.

We may be are different in religious beliefs but we are sure that all of us are aiming for peace and tranquility within our community and the whole world at large.

Though the movie is set in an Islamic country yet we share the same values. We, as Christians, may be are biased on looking at Muslim lives as reported by media as any terrorist attack is always associated to them. We should not create a hasty generalization in judging the acts of their fellow because they do not represent the whole.

Majid Majidi’s film has a wonderful scene where Ali and his father bicycle from the almost medieval streets and alleys of the old town to the high-rises and luxury homes where the rich people live. The father hopes for work as a gardener, but he is intimidated by the challenge of speaking into the intercoms on the gates of the wealthy. His son jumps in, with offers of pruning, weeding, spraying and trimming. It is a great triumph.

And then there is a footrace for the poor children of the quarter. The winner gets two weeks in a summer camp and other prizes. Ali doesn’t care. He wants to place third, because the prize is a new pair of sneakers, which he can give to his sister. My guess is that the race and its outcome will be as exciting for many kids as anything they’ve seen at the movies.

“Children of Heaven” is about a home without unhappiness. About a brother and sister who love one another, instead of fighting. About situations any child can identify with. In this film from Iran, I found a sweetness and innocence that shames the land of Mutant Turtles, Power Rangers and violent video games.

This movie has showed me a side of Iran that one cannot learn about in history books. The movie portrayed life in Iran through the eyes of a little kid and the struggles he faces.The movie also showed showed different aspects of Iranian culture such as family structure and value of relationships. The father was seen as the one responsible for providing food for the family. The little girl would help the mother with preparing food and taking care of the baby. I was also able to see the Ta’arof in Iranian culture through offering food to the old and sick neighbors, and even “pretending” to refuse money after the gardening services were offered. The father took the money only after the old man insisted on it.The wide gap between the haves and the have nots have been very beautifully potrayed.

The entire story revolves around one pair of lost pink color worn out shoes.

It makes me realize that each of us in the world is responsible when a kid suffers to get basic necessities of life.

Many a times we throw money frivolously and seldom realizing that there are millions of children dying from hunger with one set of clothes battling and surviving through life.

It’s a moving story about the universal bonds of family as well as the specific circumstances of a poor family trying to make ends meet in Iran. The climax of the film is exciting reinterpretation of the “comeback kid” sports movie, and it takes many unanticipated twists and turns.

This was the first Iranian film to earn an Academy Award nomination, and with good reason. The themes and characters are universal and the story is as exciting as it is poignant. Children of Heaven is one of those magical films that breaks down perceived barriers and differences between cultures, an enlightening and entertaining cinematic journey.

La Salle

I had a chance to visit my Ninang/Dra. Laarni ‘Let’ Fajardo- Roque in De La Salle University- Manila.

Inside the chapel and etched in the main altar wall, I was struck by this beautiful quote from St. La Salle:  “Iniibig ko nang higit sa lahat ang kalooban ng Diyos para sa akin.” 

Gods will

When I was a young man, I seemed to continually wrestle with knowing God’s will for my life. I wanted more than anything to follow His plan. I still wrestle with doing His will in my life. I have come to learn that this is not just something that a young person does early in life; it is a lifelong pursuit in order to stay in the exact center of His plan. Together with Ninang/Dra. Let of PLM- Student Catholic Action and with Bro. Edward of our Light Group.

But what if God’s will for my life is not what I want? What if it involves discomfort, suffering and pain?

What if I don’t like it?

But, His will prevailed.

We are all living in a fast-paced, hard driven, “make it happen” world. Most of the time, I got distracted.

I find it difficult to see what He sees, hear the sound of His voice, and love and serve by the power of His Spirit within me.

I am still a work in progress.

Talking with Ninang Let today during my visit and also our sharing session with Bro. Edward during our Light Group, I’ve realized that:

We must migrate toward relationship with Him first and always! This is our only hope of real and lasting transformational change. Intimacy and presence is His power in you and through you.

We must examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate and reflect back to us the things that we may not be aware of. Once revealed, our love for Him should motivate us to take the steps He shows us to get healed.

We must look at our daily activities and check and see if the actions please the Father or grieve the Father. We should decide today to be “Father pleasers.” How we treat our spouses, how we love our children, how we give without having to receive, how we become absorbed with Him and others, rather than self all matter much to God.

Talk to Him often, but mostly listen. Jesus only did and said what the Father gave Him to do and say. Jesus is always our model. Sometimes Jesus would turn away the crowd, the noise, the ministry stuff, to get away with the Father. So must we. He loves to hear from you and He is big enough to listen to the gripes and complaints. He is also big enough to show you that the gripes and complaints are insignificant in light of His eternal plans for you. Take time to listen often, He will give you what you need more often than what you want.

Just love. God is love. Everything about Him oozes love. Love does not mean we ignore truth and justice. His perfect love always includes truth and justice. But how our hearts move towards truth and justice often reveals where we are in His love. Love seems to gravitate towards healing and restoration, rather than judgment. Love within you will cause you to not focus on self and you will pursue loving those who have hated and rejected you. You will pray for your enemies and you will begin relationships with those who are different than you. If anything you do is not founded on Love, then it is not founded on God.

Walk humbly before your God and with others. When I write, I am writing these things to myself as well. I thank God for my evolving development, but wow, I have a long way to go, just ask my wife Jude. The more I know, the more I don’t know and the more it keeps me pressed into Him.

No matter where you are in your life journey, God is constantly working in and through you. He is working daily in all of us.

And one day the time will come when that light bulb inside of us will click. That moment when it all makes sense. When we see and understand God’s plan for us and why certain relationships never worked out, and why others did. We will understand why our ultimate plan was not God’s.

And that moment may not be right now, and that is okay. To be honest it probably isn’t right now for a lot of us.

That is because we have to trust God and have faith that He will show us direction in our lives. That he will close doors that are not meant for us and will present us with new opportunities and open other doors that are indeed part of His plan.

Kind

One small, thoughtful gesture can make someone else’s day. This was the inspiration behind the 37th founding anniversary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (SCA) outreach activity. Alumni and members heralded random acts of kindness in the walled city of Intramuros.

Nearby residents of the university experienced a free meal with jeers and cheers – more laughters and no tears.

It inspired alumni and members to share the heart of giving not only during special occassions but daily.

It’s a lifestyle that reflects God’s goodness and grace to us with a “pay it forward” mentality.

Kindness PLM SCA

Performing random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You become an inspiration, opening the awareness of others to their own potential. Most of us want our lives to inspire love in others. A simple random act of kindness could very easily be life-giving to both the giver and receiver. When one is coming from a place of generosity, of giving and kindness that is pure and without any expectation or reward in return, what is occurring is the manifestation of a deeper reality, a deeper meaning and knowing that you are not so alone, that you are united and connected to more than you may have ever realized. Photo credits to my dear sisters Marites Villegas & Lalie Jimenez.

How great is it that our random acts of kindness and good deeds can make someone else’s entire day?

Here are some random acts of kindness that you can do to others:

  • When you see something good, share it. Manny, a friend who teaches, said that when his students are doing really well he calls their parents. Manny teaches at an alternative school where parents usually receive calls from the school when their children are in trouble. Manny said he likes to make sure he also calls with good news. How great for the kids and their parents. Keep an eye out for the positive and share it with parents, spouses, friends and so on. These are simple and great random acts of kindness.
  • Be sure to also share in a work setting. When you get great service tell the person who helped you. Then, tell a manager. Go to the corporate web site and submit an email. Write a positive online review of a business you like. It makes a difference. Our mason and electrician said that over 50% of their business comes from online reviews. And, don’t forget to point out those people at your work who do a great job.
  • Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
  • Hold the elevator. Sometimes, when I hope the elevator will shut before someone else comes and slows me down, I think, “Am I really in that much of a rush that an extra minute will hurt me?”
  • If you see someone who looks lost and might need help with directions, don’t wait for him to ask you for help.
  • Photograph tourists. See a person or a couple trying to take a photo of themselves? Offer to take it for them.
  • When people are gossiping about someone, be the person to chime in with something nice.

Valor

Are you ready to serve?

Today we commemorate the Day of Valor, formerly called Bataán Day, to remind us of the heroism of our soldiers and for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA) team, it was a day to huddle and to plan for the servant leadership training.

A group of servant alumni reflected on the relevance of the movement in evangelizing the youth in the PLM community.

Valor

A leader with a servant’s heart works tirelessly to develop his or her team and is focused on what they can do for others.

The alumni are composed of doctors, finance executives, educators, engineers and human resources management specialist to name a few.

Beyond their profession, the group aims to continue the servant leadership legacy of the movement.

Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936 in the Philippines and started in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) back in 1981.

Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university. It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • International Young Christian Students (IYCS) – with consultative status at UNESCO and UN ECOSOC
  • Philippine Network of Ecumenical Teams (PHILNet)
  • Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASYNet)

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

SCA is inspired by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s methodology SEE-JUDGE-ACT. The same methodology that is used as the REVIEW of LIFE of every SCAn. These activities follow one methodology:

  • National Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Regional Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Cluster or Archdiocesan Conference
  • National Solidarity Day/Day of Prayer for Peace
  • Leadership Youth Camps
  • Symposiums on Various Issues (Political, Educational/Cultural, Socio-Economic-Ecological, Spiritual, Media and Recreational)
  • Socio-Economic-Environmental Related Action Projects (tree planting, coastal clean-up, etc.)
  • Advocacy building

FORMATION PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS AND YOUTH

Four-Stage Formation toward Full-fledged Membership

  • eSCAPade
  • Cell Meetings (8-session PCM)
  • Basic Orientation Workshop (BOW)
  • Christ the King Leadership Recollection and Oath-taking
  • Chaplains and Animators Formation Exchange (CAFÉ)
  • Animators Team Training

FORMATION PROGRAMS OFFERED TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Youth Evangelized to Serve (YES)
  • Taize Formation and Prayer

500

Are you ready to become a missionary?

Back in 2012 the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines announced a 9-year plan to help prepare Catholics for 2021, the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel in the Philippines.

“We look forward with gratitude and joy to March 16, 2021, the fifth centenary of the coming of Christianity to our beloved land,” the bishops said in their July 9, 2012 pastoral letter.

“We remember with thanksgiving the first Mass celebrated in Limasawa Island on Easter Sunday March 31 that same blessed year. We remember the baptism of Rajah Humabon who was given his Christian name Carlos and his wife Hara Amihan who was baptized Juana in 1521. Our eyes gaze on the Santo Niño de Cebu, the oldest religious icon in the Philippines, gift of Ferdinand Magellan to the first Filipino Catholics that same year. Indeed the year 2021 will be a year of great jubilee for the Church in the Philippines.”

The bishops continued:

In the face of a secularism which in some parts of our present world has itself become a kind of a “dominant religion,” in the face of the reality of billions who live in our time and who have not truly encountered Jesus Christ nor heard of His Gospel, how challenged we are, how challenged we must be, to enter into the endeavor of the “New Evangelization!”

We for whom Jesus has been and is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life –how can we not want and long and share Him with brothers and sisters around us who are yet to know and love Him, who are yet to receive the fullness of Life for which we have all been created, and without which their hearts will be ever restless–until they find Jesus and His heart which awaits them?

To prepare the faithful for 2021, the bishops announced “a nine-year journey for the New Evangelization,” with a different theme for each year:

  • Integral Faith Formation (2013)
  • The Laity (2014)
  • The Poor (2015)
  • The Eucharist and the Family (2016)
  • The Parish as a Communion of Communities (2017)
  • The Clergy and Religious (2018)
  • The Youth (2019)
  • Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue (2020)
  • Missio ad gentes [mission to the nations] (2021)

We are now on the 6th year of the nine-year journey (Novena) to 2021.

The event will be an opportunity to revive the missionary character of the Philippine Church.

We received the gift of the Christian faith through the missionaries who came to our land; now the baptized in the Philippines are called to give it to others.

Making every baptized aware of his missionary vocation is very important: the Church in the Philippines is doing it during this period of nine years of preparation for the solemn commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in our country: 2021 will in fact be for the nation The Year of Missio Ad Gentes.

2018 was declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines as the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. Let us continue to pray for the priests and religious as they perform their humble role in the Church’s mission and all the intentions for this year.

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