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TB, HIV seminar held

CALBAYOG City, Samar, Oct. 31, 2014—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC), in partnership with the Diocese of Calbayog, held a seminar on tuberculosis education on Oct. 22 to 26 in Calbayog City.

Some 68 health care volunteers from 48 parishes under the Calbayog diocese were given intensive training, which would enable them to easily detect the presence of tuberculosis and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in their communities.

Some 68 health care volunteers from 48 parishes under the Calbayog diocese attended a seminar on tuberculosis and HIV education on Oct. 22 to 26, 2014, sponsored by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC). (Photo: ECHC)

As part of the “Interpersonal Communication and Counseling on Tuberculosis” seminar, volunteers were also taught the basics of counseling set to improve TB holding and journeying with TB patients during medication.

This intervention aims to address as much as 10% of the total number of TB cases in the region.

Meanwhile, the CBCP-ECHC, in tandem with the Philippine Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (Philchan) Visayas, also conducted a pastoral training on HIV/AIDS on Oct. 16 to 18 in Cebú City.

Over 50 participants attended the seminar, which aimed to assist people living with HIV in the region, and to help create an HIV-free society.

The delegates signed a pledge of commitment signifying their involvement in the advocacy of stopping spread of HIV, especially among the Visayan youth. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

Prelate calls for ‘unity’ among lay groups

DAVAO City, Oct. 31, 2014— Like a band of different musical instruments playing in harmony. In a similar way, lay organizations, are called to unity and mutual support, says a prelate.

“This convention is important not to show off that we are better than the other. We need one another. We need to encourage one another,” said Archbishop of Davao Romulo G. Valles.

Mutual support

Prior to the closing Mass of the 4th ACLAIM Convention at the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Catalunan Grande on Oct. 18, the prelate asked representatives of some 50 lay movements and groups in Davao to “be friends and support one another.”

This year, the Church in the Philippines celebrates the Year of the Laity. (File photo)

Archdiocesan Council of Lay Apostolate and Integrated Movements (ACLAIM) vice president Eduardo Pacana noted how lay groups are “likened to a band of different instruments.”

“The archbishop is our conductor. We can only play good music harmoniously if we will follow the direction of the archbishop,” he added.

Valles also praised the laity in Davao for being “active in their faith, living their faith, trying to be holy.”

‘Blessing to the archdiocese’

ACLAIM spiritual director Msgr. Paul Cuison seconded this sentiment by saying, “…The laity is a blessing to the Archdiocese of Davao.”

Pacana added that ACLAIM existed because of the collaboration of the different lay organizations and movements in Davao, saying they share the “common purpose” of supporting the archdiocese in collaboration with the clergy.

Long before the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared the Year of the Laity, ACLAIM, which has gathered yearly for four years, existed as an organized council of the laity.

Archbishop Valles said Year of the Laity is just a passing year, but the convention of ACLAIM will be a yearly gathering that “everyone will look forward to.”

According to Pacana ACLAIM aimed to create a “solemn and festive” atmosphere for the convention as part of the celebration of the Year of the Laity. (John Frances C. Fuentes)