Saturday, January 26, 2013

The First Pasig Catholic Mass Media Awards

Calling for nomination of entries in the following Categories:


Who can join?

Any person or institution, religious or secular, governmental or non-governmental, parish and school, within the territory of the Diocese of Pasig may nominate or call the attention of the Diocese of Pasig to a meritorious media production.  A person or institution may submit more than 1 entry in the each category.  Entries need not be religious in nature nor the participants be exclusively Catholics.

What are the criteria for judging?

The judging is based on the promotion of any or all of the following values: LOVE FOR GOD, LOVE FOR TRUTH, LOVE FOR FAMILY AND LIFE,  LOVE FOR POSITIVE FILIPINO VALUES, AND LOVE FOR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

What is the time table?

All entries must be those of products released from January 2012 till March 30, 2013.  Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2013.  The Screening of entries is from April 1 to May 15, 2013.  The awards ceremony will be on May 17, 2013.


   1.   TV documentaries or narratives (short or long production)
    a.  Entries must be submitted on 5 HIGH RESOLUTION DVD copies and in protective cases. 
    b.  Each DVD must contain only 1 entry.
    c.  Every DVD must contain a cue sheet indicating the title of the production, length, and category entered,
    d.  Nominations must be submitted with ½ page synopsis of the entry.
   2.  Print entries
    a.  Entries must be submitted in the form of the ACTUAL PRINTED MATERIAL.  Submit 5 original copies.
    b.  For photo entries, Submit 5 photos on a board or cartolina together with actual printed material where the photo can be found.  It should also contain the caption and the title that goes with the picture.
    c.  If the entry is a regular column, submit 2 other articles apart from the official entry, of 5 copies.
   3.   Internet entries
    a.  The entries SHOULD still be existing on a website and easily accessible on the Internet until the presentation of the Awards.
    b.  Submit 5 CD copies of the Homepage (the other pages are encouraged) which can be read by the browsers of the Internet.
    c.  Each entry must have a corresponding website summary (5 copies) containing the rationale for creating the website.

Important reminders:

   1.  The submitted materials become the property of the Diocese of Pasig.
   2.  The exhibitors agree to show their productions on a Catholic TV station, reprinted in Catholic publication, and displayed on the Internet for promotional purposes.
   3.  The PCMMA is not responsible for any material that may be damaged or lost in transit.


Log: headline news

Pasig Mediafest 2013

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3rd Sunday of the year, C

 Read, share, and live the Bible

by Fr. Lito Jopson

Gospel: Luke 1:1-4,4:14-21

From the first reading, from the book of the prophet Nehemiah, "He read from the book, and people listened to him all day long." (Nehemiah 8:2ff)

In the time of Mass Media, and now, the Social Networking, it is undeniable that the word has the power to inform, form, and transform.  The word changes people's lives.

How much more if we acknowledge that the Word came from God, and the word was God.  Through God's word everything came to be.

God is the author of the Word.  And His word is life.

This Sunday also coincides with the National Bible Week.  Here, the Church promotes the reading, reflecting, and sharing the Word, or the Holy Scriptures, more commonly known as "the Bible."

The Bible is divinely inspired.  The author is God himself through inspiration in time of different personages.  But there is harmony and unity in the Scriptures - because God is the author.  And he seeks to give us life.

Secondly, the Word became man and dwelt upon us.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Christ himself is the word made flesh, the church venerates the scriptures as she venerated his body."  May it also be enfleshed in each of us.

Third, the Holy Spirit is the interpreter of the book.  The Holy Spirit that causes us to live in unity and love, is the sole interpreter of the book.  The Him, we begin to understand God's will and live it out.  We are saved as we live out every page in the Book of life.

Read the Bible, Share the Bible.  Live the Bible.

Friday, January 11, 2013

33% of Catholics become active on their own - survey


PASIG CITY - A summary report on the first vicarial assembly released by the Office of the Vicar General reflected the responses of the vicariates of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva and Immaculate Conception Cathedral while a separate report was submitted by St. Anne Vicariate in Taguig.
   Survey questions are directed to analyze how Catholics become active in the Church, what programs are popular in the formation of the faith, and what programs the parishioners would want to suggest to deepen the faith.
   The survey results represent some 68% of the participants from the Vicariate of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva and  32% from ICC.
   The unofficial results reveal that 33% of the respondents are self-motivated how they became active in the church while 31% are invited by others and another 31% were exposed to church activities and formation seminars.  Significantly, only 5% of the respondents said they were inspired by the lives of others who are already involved in church organizations.
   Regarding programs that are helpful in the formation of the faith, 37% indicates that the direct formation is the greatest contributor to formation while 24% endorses budding BECs through block rosaries, home visitations, and street masses.  Those who stick to the usual worship practices like novenas and processions is 16%.  Each of the ministries of Family life, SSDM and Youth are effective in 6 – 8% of the respondents.
   Any suggestions for the Diocese on how to deepen the faith?  A big 42% of the respondents opted for formation through direct catechesis, recollections, retreats, PREX, and more catechists and speakers while 21% endorse the BECs through home visits, Bibliarasal, street masses, and endorsing a stewardship program like the KALOOB program of Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish and San Guillermo Parish.  Reception of the sacraments come in third with 9%.
Vicariate of St. Anne
   The vicariate assembly of St. Anne was attended by some 74 participants.
   Regarding the reasons for joining the church organization, the self motivation remains to be the stronger factor; i.e., to strengthen faith, to give thanks to God, to spread God’s work, and to have a stronger relationship with neighbors.  Circumstances and influence of others come in second.
   For the existing programs in the parishes, there seems be most appreciation for the formation programs or education-related programs like seminars, recollections, pilgrimages, and preparation for the reception of the sacraments while the rest of the ministries come equal distribution – worship, BEC, Youth, Family Life, Social Services, and the PPC.
   For the suggested activities, there is a quite equal demand for youth, education, and social services in the parish while Fiesta, PPC, worship, media, and the BEC are not far behind.
   The official report of the 4 vicariates is still being collated.

log: headline news

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

For inquiries, call 6410728.  Look for Rhea.

Watch for it!

San Antonio Abad Parish Fiesta

The San Antonio Abad Parish Fiesta Committee 2013 invites everyone to the Eucharistic celebration in commemoration of the Feast of San Antonio Abad by his Excellency, Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D. Bishop of Pasig, with parish priest Fr. Darwin Calderon on thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 9 AM at the San Antonio Abad Parish church on Maybunga, Pasig City.

Log: Announcements

Blessed are the peacemakers

Message of his holiness, Pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, Jan. 1, 2013
1. EACH NEW YEAR brings the expectation of a better world. In light of this, I ask God, the Father of humanity, to grant us concord and peace, so that the aspirations of all for a happy and prosperous life may be achieved.

Fifty years after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, which helped to strengthen the Church’s mission in the world, it is heartening to realize that Christians, as the People of God in fellowship with him and sojourning among mankind, are committed within history to sharing humanity’s joys and hopes, grief and anguish, [1] as they proclaim the salvation of Christ and promote peace for all.

In effect, our times, marked by globalization with its positive and negative aspects, as well as the continuation of violent conflicts and threats of war, demand a new, shared commitment in pursuit of the common good and the development of all men, and of the whole man.

It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism. In addition to the varied forms of terrorism and international crime, peace is also endangered by those forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which distort the true nature of religion, which is called to foster fellowship and reconciliation among people.

All the same, the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift.

All of this led me to draw inspiration for this Message from the words of Jesus Christ: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9).

Gospel beatitude
2. The beatitudes which Jesus proclaimed (cf. Mt 5:3-12 and Lk 6:20-23) are promises. In the biblical tradition, the beatitude is a literary genre which always involves some good news, a “gospel”, which culminates in a promise. Therefore, the beatitudes are not only moral exhortations whose observance foresees in due time – ordinarily in the next life – a reward or a situation of future happiness. Rather, the blessedness of which the beatitudes speak consists in the fulfilment of a promise made to all those who allow themselves to be guided by the requirements of truth, justice and love. In the eyes of the world, those who trust in God and his promises often appear na├»ve or far from reality. Yet Jesus tells them that not only in the next life, but already in this life, they will discover that they are children of God, and that God has always been, and ever will be, completely on their side. They will understand that they are not alone, because he is on the side of those committed to truth, justice and love. Jesus, the revelation of the Father’s love, does not hesitate to offer himself in self-sacrifice. Once we accept Jesus Christ, God and man, we have the joyful experience of an immense gift: the sharing of God’s own life, the life of grace, the pledge of a fully blessed existence. Jesus Christ, in particular, grants us true peace, which is born of the trusting encounter of man with God.

Jesus’ beatitude tells us that peace is both a messianic gift and the fruit of human effort. In effect, peace presupposes a humanism open to transcendence. It is the fruit of the reciprocal gift, of a mutual enrichment, thanks to the gift which has its source in God and enables us to live with others and for others. The ethics of peace is an ethics of fellowship and sharing. It is indispensable, then, that the various cultures in our day overcome forms of anthropology and ethics based on technical and practical suppositions which are merely subjectivistic and pragmatic, in virtue of which relationships of coexistence are inspired by criteria of power or profit, means become ends and vice versa, and culture and education are centred on instruments, technique and efficiency alone. The precondition for peace is the dismantling of the dictatorship of relativism and of the supposition of a completely autonomous morality which precludes acknowledgment of the ineluctable natural moral law inscribed by God upon the conscience of every man and woman. Peace is the building up of coexistence in rational and moral terms, based on a foundation whose measure is not created by man, but rather by God. As Psalm 29 puts it: “May the Lord give strength to his people; may the Lord bless his people with peace” (v. 11).

Peace: God’s gift and the fruit of human effort
3. Peace concerns the human person as a whole, and it involves complete commitment. It is peace with God through a life lived according to his will. It is interior peace with oneself, and exterior peace with our neighbours and all creation. Above all, as Blessed John XXIII wrote in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris, whose fiftieth anniversary will fall in a few months, it entails the building up of a coexistence based on truth, freedom, love and justice.[2] The denial of what makes up the true nature of human beings in its essential dimensions, its intrinsic capacity to know the true and the good and, ultimately, to know God himself, jeopardizes peacemaking. Without the truth about man inscribed by the Creator in the human heart, freedom and love become debased, and justice loses the ground of its exercise.

To become authentic peacemakers, it is fundamental to keep in mind our transcendent dimension and to enter into constant dialogue with God, the Father of mercy, whereby we implore the redemption achieved for us by his only-begotten Son. In this way mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms: selfishness and violence, greed and the will to power and dominion, intolerance, hatred and unjust structures.

The attainment of peace depends above all on recognizing that we are, in God, one human family. This family is structured, as the Encyclical Pacem in Terris taught, by interpersonal relations and institutions supported and animated by a communitarian “we”, which entails an internal and external moral order in which, in accordance with truth and justice, reciprocal rights and mutual duties are sincerely recognized. Peace is an order enlivened and integrated by love, in such a way that we feel the needs of others as our own, share our goods with others and work throughout the world for greater communion in spiritual values. It is an order achieved in freedom, that is, in a way consistent with the dignity of persons who, by their very nature as rational beings, take responsibility for their own actions.[3]

Peace is not a dream or something utopian; it is possible. Our gaze needs to go deeper, beneath superficial appearances and phenomena, to discern a positive reality which exists in human hearts, since every man and woman has been created in the image of God and is called to grow and contribute to the building of a new world. God himself, through the incarnation of his Son and his work of redemption, has entered into history and has brought about a new creation and a new covenant between God and man (cf. Jer 31:31-34), thus enabling us to have a “new heart” and a “new spirit” (cf. Ez 36:26).

For this very reason the Church is convinced of the urgency of a new proclamation of Jesus Christ, the first and fundamental factor of the integral development of peoples and also of peace. Jesus is indeed our peace, our justice and our reconciliation (cf. Eph 2:14; 2 Cor 5:18). The peacemaker, according to Jesus’ beatitude, is the one who seeks the good of the other, the fullness of good in body and soul, today and tomorrow.

From this teaching one can infer that each person and every community, whether religious, civil, educational or cultural, is called to work for peace. Peace is principally the attainment of the common good in society at its different levels, primary and intermediary, national, international and global. Precisely for this reason it can be said that the paths which lead to the attainment of the common good are also the paths that must be followed in the pursuit of peace.

Peacemakers are those who love, defend and promote life in its fullness
4. The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.

Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenceless and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offence against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment. Neither is it just to introduce surreptitiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life.

There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.

These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity. The Church’s efforts to promote them are not therefore confessional in character, but addressed to all people, whatever their religious affiliation. Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.

Consequently, another important way of helping to build peace is for legal systems and the administration of justice to recognize the right to invoke the principle of conscientious objection in the face of laws or government measures that offend against human dignity, such as abortion and euthanasia.

One of the fundamental human rights, also with reference to international peace, is the right of individuals and communities to religious freedom. At this stage in history, it is becoming increasingly important to promote this right not only from the negative point of view, as freedom from – for example, obligations or limitations involving the freedom to choose one’s religion – but also from the positive point of view, in its various expressions, as freedom for – for example, bearing witness to one’s religion, making its teachings known, engaging in activities in the educational, benevolent and charitable fields which permit the practice of religious precepts, and existing and acting as social bodies structured in accordance with the proper doctrinal principles and institutional ends of each. Sadly, even in countries of long-standing Christian tradition, instances of religious intolerance are becoming more numerous, especially in relation to Christianity and those who simply wear identifying signs of their religion.

Peacemakers must also bear in mind that, in growing sectors of public opinion, the ideologies of radical liberalism and technocracy are spreading the conviction that economic growth should be pursued even to the detriment of the state’s social responsibilities and civil society’s networks of solidarity, together with social rights and duties. It should be remembered that these rights and duties are fundamental for the full realization of other rights and duties, starting with those which are civil and political.

One of the social rights and duties most under threat today is the right to work. The reason for this is that labour and the rightful recognition of workers’ juridical status are increasingly undervalued, since economic development is thought to depend principally on completely free markets. Labour is thus regarded as a variable dependent on economic and financial mechanisms. In this regard, I would reaffirm that human dignity and economic, social and political factors, demand that we continue “to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.”[4] If this ambitious goal is to be realized, one prior condition is a fresh outlook on work, based on ethical principles and spiritual values that reinforce the notion of work as a fundamental good for the individual, for the family and for society. Corresponding to this good are a duty and a right that demand courageous new policies of universal employment.

Building the good of peace through a new model of development and economics
5. In many quarters it is now recognized that a new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. Both integral, sustainable development in solidarity and the common good require a correct scale of goods and values which can be structured with God as the ultimate point of reference. It is not enough to have many different means and choices at one’s disposal, however good these may be. Both the wide variety of goods fostering development and the presence of a wide range of choices must be employed against the horizon of a good life, an upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols.

In order to emerge from the present financial and economic crisis – which has engendered ever greater inequalities – we need people, groups and institutions which will promote life by fostering human creativity, in order to draw from the crisis itself an opportunity for discernment and for a new economic model. The predominant model of recent decades called for seeking maximum profit and consumption, on the basis of an individualistic and selfish mindset, aimed at considering individuals solely in terms of their ability to meet the demands of competitiveness. Yet, from another standpoint, true and lasting success is attained through the gift of ourselves, our intellectual abilities and our entrepreneurial skills, since a “liveable” or truly human economic development requires the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity and the logic of gift.[5] Concretely, in economic activity, peacemakers are those who establish bonds of fairness and reciprocity with their colleagues, workers, clients and consumers. They engage in economic activity for the sake of the common good and they experience this commitment as something transcending their self-interest, for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus they work not only for themselves, but also to ensure for others a future and a dignified employment.

In the economic sector, states in particular need to articulate policies of industrial and agricultural development concerned with social progress and the growth everywhere of constitutional and democratic states. The creation of ethical structures for currency, financial and commercial markets is also fundamental and indispensable; these must be stabilized and better coordinated and controlled so as not to prove harmful to the very poor. With greater resolve than has hitherto been the case, the concern of peacemakers must also focus upon the food crisis, which is graver than the financial crisis. The issue of food security is once more central to the international political agenda, as a result of interrelated crises, including sudden shifts in the price of basic foodstuffs, irresponsible behaviour by some economic actors and insufficient control on the part of governments and the international community. To face this crisis, peacemakers are called to work together in a spirit of solidarity, from the local to the international level, with the aim of enabling farmers, especially in small rural holdings, to carry out their activity in a dignified and sustainable way from the social, environmental and economic points of view.

Education for a culture of peace: the role of the family and institutions
6. I wish to reaffirm forcefully that the various peacemakers are called to cultivate a passion for the common good of the family and for social justice, and a commitment to effective social education.
No one should ignore or underestimate the decisive role of the family, which is the basic cell of society from the demographic, ethical, pedagogical, economic and political standpoints. The family has a natural vocation to promote life: it accompanies individuals as they mature and it encourages mutual growth and enrichment through caring and sharing. The Christian family in particular serves as a seedbed for personal maturation according to the standards of divine love. The family is one of the indispensable social subjects for the achievement of a culture of peace. The rights of parents and their primary role in the education of their children in the area of morality and religion must be safeguarded. It is in the family that peacemakers, tomorrow’s promoters of a culture of life and love, are born and nurtured.[6]

Religious communities are involved in a special way in this immense task of education for peace. The Church believes that she shares in this great responsibility as part of the new evangelization, which is centred on conversion to the truth and love of Christ and, consequently, the spiritual and moral rebirth of individuals and societies. Encountering Jesus Christ shapes peacemakers, committing them to fellowship and to overcoming injustice.

Cultural institutions, schools and universities have a special mission of peace. They are called to make a notable contribution not only to the formation of new generations of leaders, but also to the renewal of public institutions, both national and international. They can also contribute to a scientific reflection which will ground economic and financial activities on a solid anthropological and ethical basis. Today’s world, especially the world of politics, needs to be sustained by fresh thinking and a new cultural synthesis so as to overcome purely technical approaches and to harmonize the various political currents with a view to the common good. The latter, seen as an ensemble of positive interpersonal and institutional relationships at the service of the integral growth of individuals and groups, is at the basis of all true education for peace.

A pedagogy for peacemakers
7. In the end, we see clearly the need to propose and promote a pedagogy of peace. This calls for a rich interior life, clear and valid moral points of reference, and appropriate attitudes and lifestyles. Acts of peacemaking converge for the achievement of the common good; they create interest in peace and cultivate peace. Thoughts, words and gestures of peace create a mentality and a culture of peace, and a respectful, honest and cordial atmosphere. There is a need, then, to teach people to love one another, to cultivate peace and to live with good will rather than mere tolerance. A fundamental encouragement to this is “to say no to revenge, to recognize injustices, to accept apologies without looking for them, and finally, to forgive”,[7] in such a way that mistakes and offences can be acknowledged in truth, so as to move forward together towards reconciliation. This requires the growth of a pedagogy of pardon. Evil is in fact overcome by good, and justice is to be sought in imitating God the Father who loves all his children (cf. Mt 5:21-48). This is a slow process, for it presupposes a spiritual evolution, an education in lofty values, a new vision of human history. There is a need to renounce that false peace promised by the idols of this world along with the dangers which accompany it, that false peace which dulls consciences, which leads to self-absorption, to a withered existence lived in indifference. The pedagogy of peace, on the other hand, implies activity, compassion, solidarity, courage and perseverance.

Jesus embodied all these attitudes in his own life, even to the complete gift of himself, even to “losing his life” (cf. Mt 10:39; Lk 17:33; Jn 12:25). He promises his disciples that sooner or later they will make the extraordinary discovery to which I originally alluded, namely that God is in the world, the God of Jesus, fully on the side of man. Here I would recall the prayer asking God to make us instruments of his peace, to be able to bring his love wherever there is hatred, his mercy wherever there is hurt, and true faith wherever there is doubt. For our part, let us join Blessed John XXIII in asking God to enlighten all leaders so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may secure for them the precious gift of peace, break down the walls which divide them, strengthen the bonds of mutual love, grow in understanding, and pardon those who have done them wrong; in this way, by his power and inspiration all the peoples of the earth will experience fraternity, and the peace for which they long will ever flourish and reign among them.[8]
With this prayer I express my hope that all will be true peacemakers, so that the city of man may grow in fraternal harmony, prosperity and peace.
From the Vatican, 8 December 2012

[1] Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 1.
[2] Cf. Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (11 April 1963): AAS 55 (1963), 265-266.
[3] Cf. ibid.: AAS 55 (1963), 266. 
[4] BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 32: AAS 101 (2009), 666-667.
[5] Cf. ibid, 34 and 36: AAS 101 (2009), 668-670 and 671-672.
[6] Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Message for the 1994 World Day of Peace (8 December 1993): AAS 86 (1994), 156-162.
[8] Cf. Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (11 April 1963): AAS 55 (1963), 304.     

Source: log: Church News

Homily for Advent 2012

Homily of His Excellency, Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D. on the mass on the occasion of the Preparation for Advent,  Dec. 1, 2013, Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Our readings today give us a further challenge as we know that this evening we will be starting our Advent Season. If you observed that I’m still wearing green and this is the last time at least for this day as we move on for the next Sundays of Advent that you will see this colour because later you will see violet and rose when we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent.
The first reading gives us a powerful image of what it means to look forward to God’s kingdom. You have observed the image of a river – a river flowing and at the other end you see that the fruits of the river will be blossoming of the plants because that is the symbol of life, if not eternal life. This even hints us of our disposition for the Advent Season since we talked about the Lord’s coming. Because if you observe, you will be seeing what will take place in eternal life when the Day of Judgment comes - this river flowing and the experience of blossoming and fruitfulness. Then, awaiting the Lord’s coming motivates us to a disposition of longing for the Lord.  Sabi nga, nag-aantay tayo, ninanasa natin na siya’y dumating sa ating buhay kasi syempre kung nakikita mo yung magandang darating, sana dumating na. That’s why there is this urgent longing for the coming of Jesus in our lives – the coming of our Savior.
However, in our Gospel there is another disposition of the Lord’s coming that perhaps you should also be aware about. The key word is “beware”. Parang babala, sabi nga “Aba, maghanda kayo, kasi ito yung mangyayari.” As I said, whenever we talk about the second coming of our Lord – the parousia, it’s not easy to welcome that coming because it means death, it means the end, it means judgment day. But yet it also tells us even though there is death, judgment day, we should welcome the Lord’s coming with vigilance, with readiness so that we will all receive our eternal reward.  Nakita n’yo, “longing – vigilance”, napakaganda po nung themes because I’m sure during this next Sunday, giving those two themes of longing and vigilance, your parish priests, guest priests, priests of the diocese will be talking about preparing for the Lord’s coming – paghahanda sa pagdating ng Panginoon.
However, I’d like to enter a practical side of preparing for the Lord’s coming. If you’ve observed in my talk a little while ago, I gave you seven points of Advent in the “Year of Faith”. Now I’d like to have another memory aid because there is a powerful symbol during Advent that I’m sure we are all aware about in our parish churches and in our homes.  It is the Advent Wreath. In our Advent wreath there are four candles of advent. Notice, in the slides of my talk, may apat na kandila and at the center nandun si Mary and Joseph at si baby Jesus. Ngayon ang gagawin ko, I’m sure you have heard this catechesis on the candles of Advent that each candle symbolizes a Sunday of Advent so that it is a sign that the Lord is near. In a more practical perspective, I’d like to look at those four candles of Advent to dispose us to how we can best prepare in longing and vigilance. Iisa-isahin natin yung kandila. This reflection is sort of borrowed and the same time altered.
Many many years back there was this Jesuit priest who gave a recollection and shared that when we talk of preparing for the Lord’s coming, you can prepare it by looking at the candle and seeing the context of the lighted candle in your own experience. But he shared, meron daw tatlong candle light of preparation. Ang gagawin ko apat, because I’d like to look at the Filipino human experience. Madali n’yong tandaan para yung bawat kandila ay merong hamon sa atin.
The first candle, I call this the candlelight of prayer. Sa mga bahay natin may mga altar at sigurado ako na sa mga altar n’yo mayrong isa o dalawang kandila doon. At sa pagdadasal ay sisindihan natin ang kandila. This is a sign that we are entering our silence and solitude before God, right? So I think the first candle of advent tells us that we are called to rekindle our own intimacy with the Lord, so during this Advent season, light that candle. Literally, it may be lighting your small altars at home but really it’s lighting within your heart – your practice of prayer. Kasi yung iba nagdadasal lang pagkailangan si Lord, pag hindi kailangan, hindi magdadasal.  
The second candle is the candle of relationship.  Halimbawa, during Valentine’s Day yung mag-asawa nagka-candlelight dinner. It is an experience of a loving relationship. That is the candle I’d like you to light during Advent. This candlelight of rekindling relationship. Bakit? Kasi baka nga meron pong mga pakikipag-ugnayan kayo sa pamilya, sa parokya, pamayanan, sa opisina na mukhang patay na yung kandila. Ibig sabihin namatay na yung relasyon, hindi mo pinapansin, hindi mo binabati o kaya hindi mo mapatawad-tawad sa buhay mo. Makipag-bati ka na! That’s the second candle I’d like you to light – the candle of renewing relationship with people.
The third candle is the candlelight of solidarity. Nagsisindi tayo ng mga kandila na maramihan kapag may advocacy tayo, halimbawa, prayers for peace – nagsisindi tayo ng mga kandila sa mga bahay-bahay sa labas o kaya pag may mga rally nagsisindi tayo ng kandila – prayer rally. This is candlelight of solidarity. What does this mean? When you light this candle you become sensitive to the needs of others – the poor, the sick, the homeless, those in need, those who have no one to care for and to turn to.  Minsan may mga pagkakataon iniisip lang natin sarili natin. I’d like you to light that third candle because this is a blessed opportunity that during Advent and Christmas we go out of ourselves. Magkawang gawa naman tayo, hindi puro inisip natin pasko natin. May mga kailangan magdiwang ng pasko, na mga nangangailangan ng pagmamahal, pagkalinga – let us share, yun ang candlelight of solidarity.
The fourth candle is the candlelight of holiness.  Sa sementeryo nagsisindi po tayo ng kandila pagka Araw ng mga Patay o Araw ng mga Kaluluwa at inaalala natin ang ating mga yumaong mahal sa buhay. Why? Because when we pray for our departed love ones and friends, it is actually prayer not only for eternal life but the movement towards eternal life. During All Saints Day and All Souls Day, ang inaalala natin ang mga Santo at Santa sa kalangitan, pero inaalala din natin ang mga Santo at Santa na maaaring hindi kinikilala ng simbahan, pero mga Santo at Santang naging banal, naging inspirasyon natin para tayo maging banal din. Panalangin natin, sindihan natin yung kandila ng kabanalan. Why? Because that’s our goal. As we look forward to experience eternal life let it be our objective to live a life of holiness. Bakit parang sementeryo, kasi nga pagnagsisindi ka ng kandila sa sementeryo paalala din sa’yo – mamamatay ka rin! Kaya ngayon pa lang maghanda ka na, magpakabuti ka na, at magpakabanal ka na. Rekindle that candle of holiness. You observe four candles; the candlelight of prayer, the candlelight of relationship, the candlelight of solidarity and the candlelight of holiness.
But what’s the whole point, when you light these four candles of Advent, what happens to you, you make Christ live and be born again in your hearts not only this Christmas but always. Amen!  /dpoc20130110, log: Bishop's homilies

People, Places, Events in the Diocese of Pasig

Liturgical Conference for Parish Music Ministry

on Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 8 - 12 NN at the Pope John Paul II Pastoral Center, Pasig City

Retreat for Parish Youth Leaders

on Jan. 25 - 27, 2013

Target participants are 2 youth representatives from the parishes and the PDYM Core of 14 volunteers.

Inter-Faith and Ecumenical Affairs 

As part of our diocesan program for the Year of Faith, particularly in celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 - 25) we will have a conference on Ecumenism on Feb. 2, 2013, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Saturday, at the John Paul II Pastoral Center. The topic will be: "Pagkakaisa ng mga Kristiyano: Mithiin ng Simbahang Katoliko".  5 delegates from the Parish Pastoral Center and / or 3 delegates from schools are encouraged to attend.

Print Media Ministry updating

This seminar will focus on "The ethical aspects of writing or taking pictures".  It will be on February 2, 2012, 8 - 12 AM at the Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish Formation Center, room L.  Two media representatives from SCHOOLS, PARISHES, DIOCESAN MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS are encouraged to attend.

Launching of the Health care ministry

on Feb. 9, 8 AM at the aula minor.  Send parish representatives.

Healing Masses at the Parishes

on Feb. 11, Feast of our Lady of Lourdes.

Clergy recollection

on Tuesday, February 12, 8 - 1 PM, Bishop's residence

/dpoc20130110 log: Announcements

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Homily of Bishop Mylo on the 5th Vocfest

 Mission Accomplished

Homily of his Excellency, Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., on the occasion of the 5th Vocation Festival held at St. Paul College Pasig last Nov. 10, 2012.

I’m sure during this whole day, you have heard, you have listened, and you have gained a lot. There are many graces coming from the Lord that you have received. After all, the Vocation Festival has been successful because of the Lord who has been with us. And therefore we just have to thanks the Lord for the gifts of his presence during this whole day.  Palakpakan natin muli ang Panginoon!
I’d like to give three very powerful teachings on our readings today with three catch words; the first is gerenerosity, the second is providence and the third is entrustment. Three words I want you to carry as you go back home. And I’m sure these three powerful words will also speak about vocation.  In our first reading and in our Gospel, I think it’s quite clear that when we look at the image of the widow, in biblical literature, widows and orphans in Hebrew are called the anawim or poor of Yahweh. They are people who perhaps are relying simply on the grace of God. They are helpless people and they are those who so even perceive as hopeless ones.  That’s why they are the poor of Yahweh.  But you see, they were challenged to do one thing – they were challenged to be generous. And look at the experience of Elijah with the widow in Zarephath; he was asking for the only bread that would sustain her and her child for the day.  But Elijah with the promise of God said, “Don’t worry.  There will be more in your jar and you will not go hungry.”  So the widow was generous in giving all that she had. And that’s what Jesus was saying in the Gospel, “This poor widow gave what she had,” just perhaps two pennies or two worthless coins - the only thing that she had, but she had the generosity to give everything.
Yan po yung hamon sa atin - generosity of mind, of heart, and of will to give everything to God. Lalo na ngayon napakahirap maging generous.  Obserbahan niyo at mahirap ang mawalan ng pera sa bulsa.  Kahit isang barya kailangan meron ka para sa pamasahe. Aalis ka ba ng bahay ng walang-wala? Syempre kahit kaunting pera, kailangan meron ka.  Kahit obispo, pari, madre, minsan naghahanap ng security kaya mahirap basta ibigay lahat – lahat lahat.
And I think this is something that is an image and a teaching called to us by our Lord. Since everything came from God, can you be generous to give back everything to Him?  We do not own anything; we do not own our lives.  Sabi nga, “We live borrowed lives.”  In our identity as gifts, we are all gifts and if we are all gifts, therefore we should be gifts to others; we should be generous. But I think the challenge is more than material generosity; it is the generosity of self.  How can you have a generous, self-giving heart?  Maraming hamon iyan sa maliliit na bagay sa buhay. Generous ka ba with your time, talent, sa family mo, sa kaibigan mo, sa pag-aaral mo bilang kabataan sa eskwela o kuripot ka pagdating dyan? I think the Lord challenges us to generosity. 
Why?  I think the second teaching is very real and the teaching is providence. We are motivated to be generous because we have a providential God – God who will always provide. In the first reading, the prophet said, “Don’t worry you will not be hungry.”  And true enough. Everyday there was something in that basin and that jar.  Just when she thought she gave all, God gave everything. Ganun ang Diyos, akala natin pinag-aabot-abot natin, ang totoo, pinag-aabot-abot ng Diyos.  Have you ever been in a crisis situation?  Akala mo hindi mo kaya, pero nakaya mo pala – God provided, God always provide. Tingin mo kulang na kulang pero pinupuno pa rin ng Diyos. That’s how God loves us.  He will always fill what is lacking. And not only that, when God fills up, it will be overflowing.  Akala mo lang ang ibibigay niya ang mapuno.  Hindi, paaapawin pa niya.  That is God’s providence.  Kaya hindi nagkukulang ang Diyos.  Maaaring involved ang iba sa inyo sa mga ministry niyo sa parish o sa school, may mga projects kayo. Yung mga pari at madre, may gawain sa simbahan.  Minsan akala natin di natin kaya.  But God provides.  Kinakaya ng Diyos para sa atin, and this leads to the final point - entrustment.
What made the poor widow gave all she had compared to the rich people who gave from their surplus? And the catchword is entrustment.  Ibibigay ang dalawang kusing at sasabihin sa panalangin, “Lord, bahala ka na. I entrust myself to you because I know that You will make miracles to me. You will make all things even though impossible possible for me.” Yan ang entrusment, ipinagkakatiwala mo ang buo mong sarili sa Diyos.  Diyan tayo kulang na kulang, kasi, we trust so much for ourselves, kaya hindi tayo makapagbigay ng buo.  Minsan, gusto natin itira naman ang kaunti para sa sarili, kahit kalahati. Marami sa atin akalang may sense of security, insecurity pala, insecure kasi pinagtitiwalaan ang security para sa sarili lamang. When you entrust, you realize that God is in charge. And I think that is the challenge of this vocation festival.  God is generous and we live borrowed lives.  We are gift and everything we have is a gift.  We do not own anything and whatever we can do is because of God.  God provides even what is lacking and gives more.  So, whatever God is calling you, entrust to Him because if you’re being called to priestly or religious life, the challenge is entrustment.
Kanina po bago po ako nag-talk sa inyo ininterbyu ako ng ating mga media persons.  Tinatanong nila sa akin about vocations at papano na nga ba tinutugunan ang kakulangan sa mga pagpapari’t pagmamadre.  May crisis ba, parang yung iba ayaw nang magpari o magmadre?  Kung paano kukumbinsihin ang mga kabataan sa totoo lang ay napakahirap.
Naalala ko tuloy yung mga magulang natin nung bata pa tayo, tinatanong tayo o patuloy na tinatanong anong gusto natin maging  paglaki natin.  Bihira ang magsasabing “Gusto kong mag-pari o gusto kong magmadre.”  Minsan nga yung mga magulang, pagtinanong, ayaw din nila.  Kayong mga magulang, anong gusto niyo sa mga anak ninyo?  Gusto ko maging mayamang negosyante, maging successful accountant, engineer, maging presidente ng kumpanya o maging artista.  Pero bihira yung magpari o magmadre. Pagmeron siyang anak na pangit, “O ikaw, magpari ka nalang” o “Ikaw magmadre ka na lang.”  What will you give to God?  We should give the best to God. Pero magandang pag-isipan di ba? Kayo, anong option niyo sa buhay - magpari, magmadre o yung what is popular in the world?
I’d like to end by sharing you my vocation story. Tatanungin niyo, bakit ka ba nagpari, Bishop?  Ano bang nangyari sa iyo?  Ang nagplano sa buhay ko ay ang Diyos.
You will ask me, “Naisipan mo magpari, Bishop, nung nag-aaral ka?”  Napag-isipan ko. Pero yung vocation story ko malalim ang pinag-ugatan.  Napakalalim.  
I remember when I was having a retreat, I went as far back as the womb of my mother. Kasi nung nabubuhay pa yung lola ko naikuwento niya sa akin na yung nanay ko na panganay sa kanila, noon daw na isinilang siya ay nakapalupot ang umbilical cord sa leeg at halos namamatay na raw.  Di ba delikado yun? Ayon sa mga matatanda basta may sinilang daw na ganun lalaki o babae, ang tawag nila parang “rosary” sa leeg.  Kaya kasabihan daw ng mga matatanda, “magmamadre yan o magpapari yan.” My mother is a very religious person pero hindi siya nagmadre.  Ako ang nagpari at ako lang sa aming magkakapatid.  Kaya siguro, noong sinauna pa, pinapaplano na ng Diyos.  Even from the womb of my mother I was already being form by God to become a priest.
Pero hindi pa natatapos yun, meron pa akong interesting scoop sa inyo. Alam ninyo, noong mag-aaral na po ako ng Grade School doon sa Ateneo de Manila, bumagsak po ako sa entrance exam.  Totoo po yan.  I failed in the entrance exam for grade school. During that time and this is what my father told me, my grandfather was close to the bishop of Cabanatuan City,  Neuva Ecija – the late Archbishop Gaviola. Sabi ng lolo ko, “Tignan natin kung makakapag-appeal tayo at baka maawa sa akin.”
So they went to the Grade School at yung namumuno noong Jesuit o Head Master ang tawag, in reviewing my case, sabi niya dahil I was five (5) years old then at wala pa akong kaisip-isip, “Give me one good reason why should I accept this boy in this school; one good reason and I will reconsider him.”
Sabi ni Archbishop Gaviola, “This is my reason - I have a mission for this boy.” And you know what the head master has said?  He said, “accepted.”  At hindi niya tinanong kung ano yung mission kung mission impossible.  Tinanggap ako, pero alam niyo, yung first two years ko sa Grade School, talagang halos nasa borderline ang mga grades ko, wala akong line of eight (8) puro line of seven (7).  Totoo yan pag tiningnan nyo yung report card ko.  Hirap na hirap ako.  Talagang hindi ko alam kung makakalusot ako. 
So to cut the long story short, I was ordained a priest in 1990. And you know before ordination, I had this priestly retreat of preparing for ordination at the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa, Batangas.  Ang Obispo nun at that time was Archbishop Gaviola and I wrote to him the circumstances of my vocation.  Nagrespond siya in writing and said, “I remember well, and I thank God that you will become a priest - mission accomplished.”  Moral of the story - you never know where you will be, be generous of yourself, rely on God’s providence, entrust to Him and you will be happy. /dpoc20130106

log: Bishop's message / Homilies 2013