Archive for September 2016
September 1, 2016
RE: Day of Prayer for Life
My dear people of God:
Caritas Christi urget nos (2Cor. 5:14)
The love of Christ urges us to invite you to come together in prayer to share our common grief at the deaths that we have been seeing in the past months. Let us turn to the Lord of Life and beg for His mercy that we may look at the recent events in our society with His eyes, to love another with His love and act together through His Spirit dwelling in our hearts.
On September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, we proclaim a DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING for the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. I invite all our priests, men and women in consecrated life and the laity to abstain from meat, partake of only one meal instead of the usual meals and receive Holy Communion on September 14. On September 15, the memorial of the Sorrowful Mother, I invite you to share with the poor the food we did not eat the day before.
Our archdiocesan observance of this Day of Prayer for Life will be held at 5:30pm with a concelebrated Mass at the Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City. This Mass will be offered for the souls of those who died violently in the past months through police encounters, vigilante killings or accidental gunshots. We shall pray for the departed peace keeping government personnel, for killed suspected criminals, for the victims of drug addicts and even more for innocent victims. I request the parish priests to invite the families of the dead to join this Mass.
Within this same Mass, we shall hold a mission sending ceremony for the duly trained Ministers of Mercy who will provide pastoral care for drug users who want to reform their lives.
The bells in all our churches will ring simultaneously at 8:00pm from September 14 to September 21, the feast of Saint Matthew. Eight o’clock at night is the traditional time to ring the bells for Nunc Dimittis of the night prayers. It is also the customary De Profundis moment to pray for the dead. The bell ringing is an appeal to conscience. It is not a threat of death for the offenders but a call to return to the peace of the Lord by spiritual reform.
On September 14 too, the parishes will be requested to put up “Huwag kang papatay” signage to remind our people of our Christian duty to observe the Fifth Commandment.
As we stand up for the dignity of every human person and the sacredness of every human life, let us ask the Lord to win this battle for us. May the Lord give peace to the dead! May the Lord give peace to the living! Not as the world gives but as the Lord gives!
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan