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Integrity should start in self – bishop on DAP and PDAF

BACOLOD City, August 1, 2014 – In the midst of the “post-SONA” rush of analyses and commentary, a bishop reminded the faithful that integrity and transparency begins with the self, in one’s own home.

“What change is needed in me?” Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra said July 28 in his message during a prayer vigil at the San Sebastian Cathedral after the 6 p.m. Holy Mass.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra (Photo: CBCP News)

Navarra said during the vigil, integrity should start in “ourselves, in our family, and our offices.”

“Our fight against injustice is useless if we too are contributing to it,” he warned.

In line with the challenge of the Year of the Laity “Choose to be Brave”, Navarra said the faithful should not be “limited” to criticizing, but should “put into effect real means for change.”

To bring about personal and societal transformation, the Bacolod prelate reminded the people of the primacy of prayer. He said this was the reason the gathering was a prayer vigil and not a rally.

Lastly, Navarra emphasized the recourse to peaceful means, not to violence, especially in these times of widespread public outcry for truth, transparency and change.

“If you personally know public officials, reach out to them. Share with them the Good News. If they are involved in corruption, help them be converted,” he encouraged the public.

The prayer vigil aimed to raise awareness on the need for authentic public service that is marked with integrity, accountability and transparency, not with cover-ups, corruption, or a self-serving agenda.

To explain the rationale of the event San Sebastian Cathedral Rector Fr. Felix Pasquin said the faithful are looking for the truth, especially in the present issues on the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

He also explained the prophetic concern of the Church in working against injustices and oppression of the poor. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Catholics urged to recite prayer for papal visit

MANILA, August 1, 2014— A special prayer will be said during Masses nationwide for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBPC) came up with the “national prayer for the papal visit” starting on Friday, August 1 until January 14 of next year.

The Philippines is set to welcome the Holy Father in January 2014. (Photo: CNA)

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, said the prayer is to be recited “before the post communion prayer of every Mass.”

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Tuesday announced that Pope Francis will be in the country for at least four days from January 15 to 19.

The CBCP earlier called on the faithful to prepare “spiritually” for the papal visit and make one act of mercy each day.

The bishops also encouraged priests to make themselves more available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession.

“Let us make mercy our national identity. Trust in God’s mercy is part and parcel of our traditional Filipino Christian culture,” the bishops said in a pastoral letter.

The prelates said acts of mercy may include giving food to a hungry beggar, visiting those in prison or helping the recovery efforts for the typhoon victims.

“Let us make the practice of mercy our gift to the pope when he comes to visit us,” they said.

The full text of the prayer reads:

“Leader: God of mercy and compassion, we come to you in our need and lift up to you our nation as we prepare for the apostolic visit of Pope Francis.

After every invocation we say together: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be faithful to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth
All: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be eager to meet and listen to Pope Francis
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be compassionate with the poor and the needy
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be merciful with the weak and the lost
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may humbly confess our sins and return to God
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may frequently and devoutly receive Holy Communion
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: Let us pray

God our Father, we are all your children. Make of us a nation of mercy and compassion eager to meet Pope Francis. Make us a nation of holiness and heroism through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (CBCPNews)