CBCP chief endorses “Year of the Laity” highlight

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PASIG City, July 31, 2014—Seeing it as a very important highlight capping this “Year of the Laity”, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) invites the faithful to a symposium organized by the Don Bosco Center of Studies called “Saints and Heroes No Less” on August 21, Thursday, at the PhilSports Arena (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.

In a circular he released endorsing the theological-pastoral symposium, CBCP chief Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas stressed the event will [also] be the Church’s “ecclesial participation for the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, “Apostolicam Actuositatem”, on November 2015”.

As the Philippine Church looks forward to the five hundredth anniversary of the first mass and first baptism in the country, the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate expresses hope that the symposium will “raise even more the consciousness and commitment of the Filipino laity to participate in the life and mission of the Church”, especially among diocesan lay leaders, pastoral workers, youth ministers, and catechists.

2014 being a year especially dedicated to the faithful, Villegas urges all Catholic Filipinos to reflect on the challenging message of Pope Francis in his “Evangelii Gaudium” (EG).

In paragraph 102 of the apostolic exhortation, the pontiff says: “Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the people of God. The minority—ordained ministers—are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay persons, although still not nearly enough, who have a deeply-rooted sense of community and great fidelity to the tasks of charity, catechesis and the celebration of the faith. At the same time, a clear awareness of this responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places. In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities.”

The “Saints and Heroes No Less” symposium, Villegas believes, will take on the challenge posed by the Holy Father in giving extensive formation to the Filipino Catholic laity.

The event is open to the public.

For Inquiries contact Event Secretariat: Tonette Pangan (02) 718-2213 /(02)726-7989. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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