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A NATION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION. Miserando atque Eligendo (Lowly but Chosen)

When the Pope comes, he will bring with him the message of the mercy and compassion of God. When he meets us, may he see in us a people touched by the mercy of God, living out the compassion of God, a people truly rich in mercy and compassion and grateful to those who have shown mercy to us especially after various calamities hit our country. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Aurora Samson-Reyna Receives Papal Award

Dagupan City – Another milestone for the Church has been recognized as one of her daughters, Dr. Aurora Samson-Reyna in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan was conferred the Papal Award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice on June 24, 2014 at the St. John the Evangelist Metropolitan Cathedral.

The event was a Concelebrated Mass with Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan as the main celebrant. Attended by the honoree’s immediate family, relatives, friends and colleagues both in the church ministry and in the academe, students and visitors, the celebration was marked with happiness, solemnity and gratitude.

During the Homily, the Archbishop said that “God revealed Himself to us through three important persons (of today’s Gospel): Elizabeth (God has promised), Zechariah (God always remembers) and John the Baptist (God is gracious). And these three characteristics has also been embedded in the Church: first, the Church has promised – the Church promises mercy, the Church promises blessing, the Church promises presence, the Church promises the Lord; the Church always remembers – second, the Church remembers what God has done, the Church remembers what Jesus did in the upper room, the Church remembers the Eucharist and every time the Church remembers what Jesus has done, Jesus comes down to earth and becomes food and drink for us. And third, the Church is also gracious –the spiritual treasures of the Church has no price tag; God is gracious, the Church is gracious so as the Lord has given us freely so must also give freely.”

Furthermore, the Archbishop reiterated that the Church has seen in Dr. Aurora Samson Reyna these characteristics; the very reason why she has been given the Papal Award: a woman who has promised, a woman who remembers and a woman who is gracious. (Monica Mae Paragas/LingayEdTawag)

IN THE YEAR OF THE LAITY… A MONTH FOR MERCY!

Meditation for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus during the Year of the Laity

Responding to the urging of not a few of our lay faithful, men and women – young people among them! – we would like to consecrate this month of June 2014, during this  YEAR OF THE LAITY, to the Heart of Jesus.

But urged also by the example of Pope Francis, as well as by the recent canonization of Saint John Paul II,  who created the Divine Mercy feast, we would like to focus  this month of  renewed Sacred Heart devotion to the Divine Mercy, — as incarnated, embodied, symbolized in the Pierced Heart of Jesus,  the crucified and risen Lord.

Pope Francis, from the first days of his papacy, has been preaching insistently and passionately on God’s constant and untiring mercy, and on the primacy of the Church’s mission of mercy and compassion.  Mercy – both divine and human, — is so much needed today in a troubled, confused, and divided world, with so much brokenness, sin and injustice, with a secularized culture that has no place for God.

Pope Francis speaks of our world’s urgent need to return to the unbounded mercy and untiring patience of God towards sinners, toward our human weaknesses and failures. And “it is Jesus who shows us this merciful patience of the loving and forgiving God.”  “It is there, in the wounds of Jesus, that … we encounter the boundless love of his Heart.”

The Holy Father also reminds us that we encounter Jesus by living out his compassion and mercy towards our brothers and sisters who are in need of our own compassion and mercy, — brothers and sisters in poverty, suffering, loneliness, brokenness, difficulty and despair.

Like Thomas the Apostle in the Gospel (John 20), our life will only be changed when we touch Christ’s wounds present in the poor, the sick and the needy. . . . The path of our encounter with Jesus is his wounds. There is no other.” (Pope Francis, 3 July 2013)

The Church, People of God and Body of Christ on earth, must thus also become more and more truly “the Church of Mercy”.

Where may we then draw the profound grace and spirituality which can and will renew the primacy of Mercy – both divine and human – in and for our own lives and the life of the Church?  Christian  spiritual tradition; the constant teaching of  so many of our  Popes;  and the lives of the Saints give us one  clear and certain answer– from the Pierced Heart of Jesus on the Cross.

This in turn urges us to seek from the Lord a renewed, genuine conversion of heart, and a true reviving and deepening of “the spirituality of the Heart of Jesus” in our lives! This must necessarily involve a renewal and intensification of prayer and devotion in faith and interior life, yes, but it will also call for ongoing earnest, self-sacrificing deeds of love, justice and compassion toward our brothers and sisters.  We need to go out from our “comfort-zones” and go forth to give ourselves to others – to “the poor” – in deeds of charity, sharing; in deeds of justice and merciful love.

We are called to consecrate ourselves and our lives anew to the Pierced Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; earnestly to return to the Eucharist and the sacramental life, and the practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Dear faithful people of God, above all – dear lay people, — men and women, adults and young people:  Can we make June 2014 of this Year of the Laity a “really special month dedicated to MERCY from the PIERCED HEART OF JESUS”? Can we make this a month wherein by God’s grace the Divine Mercy can fill out our own hearts and lives, can bring conversion into our lives, and through us radiate in some very true way in our communities, our parishes …?  A month when we will earnestly ask the Hearts of Jesus and Mary to change us – yes, even little by little – to the likeness of their own hearts, through prayer and devotion, and through deeds of self-giving mercy, compassion, justice and self-sacrifice?

Dear brothers and sisters, our laity and young people above all, what will our response be? The Lord’s Pierced Heart awaits the sincere response of our hearts.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, June 8, 2014, Pentecost Sunday

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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COMMUNICATION AT THE SERVICE OF AN AUTHENTIC CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER

A SUMMARY BASED ON THE MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER, POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 48TH WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY ON ASCENSION SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014

BY FR. JOSELITO JOPSON, ECE, M.A. COMM, SICL Executive Secretary, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications

We are enamored by all sorts of gadgets and technological advancements right within our reach.

The world of internet contains the most exciting arena for communications like social networking and establishing links anywhere around the global in an instant.

But despite such advancements, division is still run deep. “The world suffers from exclusion, marginalization, and poverty that borders around the combination of economic, political, ideological and even religious motives.” (Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day Message)

For this year marking the 48th World Communications Day on Ascension Sunday, the Holy Father Pope Francis underscores an authentic culture of encounter among the people among the vast world of social communications.

Dubbed with the theme, “Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter”, the Holy Father stresses on communication as an “ultimately human rather than a technological achievement.”

Quoting from the document, “A culture of encounter needs a listening ear and an understanding heart that listens to different cultures and traditions.” According to the Holy Father, the parable of the Good Samaritan provides the key to the very heart of communications: “Who is my neighbor?”

The document states: “Communication is not aimed at promoting consumption or manipulating others… We are dealing with a form of violent aggression like that suffered by the man in the parable, who was bitten by robbers and left abandoned on the road. The Levite and the priest do not regard him as a neighbor, but as a stranger to be kept at a distance. Nowadays, there is a danger that certain media so condition our responses that we fail to see our real neighbor.”

“It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters.”

The Holy Father explains, “We need to love and be loved. The world of media is called to tenderness… The digital highway is teeming with people who are hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope.”

The Hole Father Pope Francis encourages all Catholics to practice neighborliness to all even in the vast world of social networks.

“Show that the Church is open to all. The social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ.

Neighborliness demands that we dialogue with men and women, understand expectations, doubts and hopes, and bring them the Gospel, Jesus Himself.

Let our communication be a balm reliving pain and fine wine to gladden our hearts… the challenge of media is to share with others the beauty of God.”

Let us practice neighborliness in social networks and let he beauty of God emanate from this wonderful technology!

Obligatory Prayer against Calamities

May 11, 2014

Good Shepherd Sunday

Circular 2014-15

RE:  OBLIGATORY PRAYER against CALAMITIES

Dear brothers in the priestly ministry, men and women in consecrated life, brothers and sisters in Christ:

At all times we must pray and invoke the protection of God against every evil and against all troubles. We have been forewarned by experts and scientists that the rest of the year 2014 may be challenging months for the country bringing exceptionally strong typhoons, rains and winds. Let us turn to prayer and beg the Lord for deliverance and protection.

Invoking my authority as head pastor and primary intercessor of the Church in Lingayen Dagupan, I am obliging everyone in our archdiocese to pray the enclosed prayer against calamities and disasters starting May 15, 2014, Memorial of San Isidro Labrador until September 29, 2014, the Feast of the Archangels, in all Masses, after the Liturgy of the Hours and before the first class period in all our Catholic schools.

We cannot control the wrath of nature but we believe that God has power over all creation. Even now, we claim from the hands of Our Lady of Manaoag her motherly protection for her children in Pangasinan.

I enjoin everyone concerned to observe this mandate to pray.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

  Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan

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ORATIO IMPERATA

In the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan

To be prayed BEFORE the Post Communion Prayer

In all Masses from May 15, 2014, Memorial of San Isidro

Until September 29, 2014, Feast of the Archangels

Leader:

Almighty God, Lord of the universe, Creator of everything, we come to you seeking your divine protection as we face our fears and confront the threats that cause us anxiety.

After every invocation let us say

“DELIVER YOUR PEOPLE LORD”.

From strong typhoons

From relentless rains 

From destructive earthquakes

From drought and pests

From deadly floods and storm surges

From red tides and fish kills

From deadly lightning

From violence and wars

From corruption and sin

From criminality and terrorism

From selfishness and indifference

Leader:

Divine Jesus, you calmed the storms and walked over the waters. Give us fine weather. Shield us from distress. Drive away from our land all calamities and disasters of nature. We entrust ourselves you now and forever.

Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, pray for us.

 

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