Going out-of-town this Holy Week? Make it ’spiritual vacation’

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MANILA, March 27, 2015— For those going out-of-town for some much-need down time this Holy Week, it should be a “spiritual vacation” as well.

While there is “nothing wrong” with going on Holy Week vacation, Fr. Anton Pascual of the Archdiocese of Manila urged the faithful not to forget the season as an opportunity for prayer and reflection.

Most retreat houses offer a relaxing ambience, comfortable accommodations and peace and quiet to facilitate personal retreats during the Holy Week. (Photo: CBCPNews)

“Basically, we are lucky here in the Philippines because we have this vacation but let us look at it as spiritual vacation. It is a very important time for us to reflect on ourselves and our relationship with God, our families and with other people, especially the poor,” Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, parish priest of Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Sampaloc, is hoping Catholics will learn the importance of silence in the observance of the Holy Week from Palm Sunday up to Easter Sunday.

He said the occasion is not for rest and recreation, rather it is a time for prayer and sacrifice.

Social media influence

With the advent of social media and technology, many people have very little time to build authentic community and deepen relationship with God.

He said, in effect, the participation of people in church activities, especially during Holy Week has also “lessened”.

“They would rather stay inside their houses in the comfort of their home and watch everything that is happening,” said Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs.

“Our appeal is to go out of your houses and still go to church. It’s different when you’re inside God’s house. The experience is more personal compared to merely watching it from television,” he said.

‘Penitential walk’

The Archdiocese of Manila also invited the faithful to join Radio Veritas’ 2nd Penitential Walk for the country’s safety from future calamities and for peace on April 3, Good Friday.

The 7-kilometer walk will start at San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City and will culminate at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle encouraged the faithful to ask for God’s forgiveness and make a difference by helping the poor, not only those crippled by recent calamities, but also due to corruption and injustices. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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