It is with great happiness that we announce our Francisfest Chair for 2022:
The Men of the Sacred Heart will be having the Holy Hour in Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, every First Friday at 5:30 PM, starting this Friday, July 1, and will include:
- The Exposition of the Most Holy Eucharist
- Prayers and Hymns to the Sacred Heart
- Holy Mass
All devotees are invited to attend at Santuario de San Antonio, Forbes Park, Makati. This will also be live-streamed on FB and on YouTube.
In the Parish Bulletin, this week…
By Cesar Inducil
This time last year, I had the joy of working on the production of one of Netflix’s newest limited series “Lost Ollie”. The series tells the tale of a lost toy and his epic journey back home. While not shying away from darker themes of loss and grief, the show also presents through the hopeful Ollie that persistent and determined spirit in us to find our way home. It’s this same deep desire for belonging that motivates the immigrant whom we celebrate today, Migrant Sunday.
The theme of immigration really resonates with me since I am a migrant. In 2003, my family and I packed up everything we had and moved from Manila to Vancouver, Canada. It was extremely hard for us to leave behind all our family and friends and to start from the ground up. Grace has a funny way of working amidst adversity though. It was because we moved away that I ended up growing so much more in my faith. Not knowing anyone upon arriving here, I found my first friends in both my Parish and University Catholic community. I found, in the Church, the home that I thought I left behind. Thanks to the Church and the witness of the Catholics I met here, I learned that regardless of where I was in the world, I was always somewhere where I belong. I was always home.
The welcome of immigrants is actually a really important part of the Church’s mission. Giving shelter to travelers is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy. It finds its roots in Jesus’ words in the judgment of the sheep and goats: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35). Throughout the centuries, the Church has championed the rights of the stranger. St. Benedict, for example, devoted an entire chapter of his rules to the welcome of guests. The monks are to welcome all strangers to their door as if they were welcoming Christ himself. The Church’s teaching on the importance of the stranger continues to this day. Four months into his pontificate, Pope Francis’ first Papal Visit outside of Rome was to an immigration reception center in Lampedusa, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea which serves as the entry point into Europe for all migrants and refugees. While there, Pope Francis lamented a ‘globalization of indifference’ saying: Today no one in our world feels responsible; we have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters (Pope Francis, Homily, 07/08/2013). He urged us to share in the Church’s mission of caring for the immigrant.
Ultimately, the Church’s teaching on immigration goes a little bit deeper than simply the welcome of the stranger. We welcome the immigrant because we are all immigrants. We’re all on that lifelong journey home. This is a point that’s driven home beautifully in this letter written by a 2nd century Christian to a pagan named Diognetus. The anonymous Christian attempts to explain this strange, new religion to a non-believing Roman. It is with these ancient words of meditation that I end this reflection on the immigrant:
Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign. And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country.
A Reflection on St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Feast Day: September 28
By Sandi Suplido-Adalem
St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the Patron Saint of the Philippines and Filipino youth, people working overseas, and altar servers. He was born in Binondo, Manila around the year 1600. Even at a young age, he was eager to serve in his Parish as an altar boy and calligrapher. He also joined the Dominican Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary when he was a young man. Eventually, he got married and had a family with 3 children.
Unfortunately in 1963, he was accused of murdering a Spaniard. To avoid arrest, he fled to Japan with three Dominican priests and a leper. Upon arrival in Okinawa, Japan — they were shocked to discover — that Christians were being persecuted.
There he was arrested for the crime of being a Christian and was ordered to recant his faith. St. Lorenzo refused, and was brought to Nagasaki to be tortured and killed. Even as he faced extreme torture and pain, his last words were, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please.”
Much like St. Lorenzo Ruiz, our faith is tested in many ways and even in modern-day trials. It begs the question, are we also wholehearted in offering our life to God? St. Lorenzo Ruiz was alone and a long way from his family and loved ones when he was tortured. Are we able to remain steadfast in our faith, even when we feel alone? May we ask for St. Lorenzo Ruiz’ intercession not only on his Feast Day, but every day for all the Filipinos as we work together to make our country a stronger and united nation.
Read more heartwarming stories
from this week’s issue of the Parish Bulletin.