Lay Pinoys one with Pope in praying for volunteers

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Pope Francis during the concluding Mass of his pastoral visit to the Philippines, Jan. 18, 2015 (Photo: Alexander Josef)

MANILA, August 3, 2015—Echoing his call for more selfless people willing to serve others, some Catholic Filipinos have promised to include in their prayers the Pope Francis’ intentions for August, bothered by a world becoming numbed to the plight of the poor.

Looking beyond self

“In his prayer intentions, the Holy Father wants us all to look beyond ourselves. It’s very timely given that we now find ourselves living in a society that glorifies the self so much that ‘the other’ has been put to the sidelines,” noted Darwin Beceril, a theology graduate and volunteer catechist from the Diocese of Novaliches.

“The Pope’s prayer intentions this month brings to mind an earlier message where he condemned the ‘culture of indifference prevailing today.’ Thinking only of themselves, many of us have become indifferent to the needs of their fellow humans,” he lamented.

READ: Pope Francis with ‘Jesus of the Poor’ 

God’s plan

For Queenamor Monserrat, a young professional who volunteers as a Sunday school teacher at Baclaran’s National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, one of the things that brings about God’s plan is prayer.

“As a volunteer, prayer is very essential in my life. In this world that is fast-paced, we tend to care less and less about our neighbors, especially those who have less,” she explained.


Meanwhile, religious educator Nestor Limqueco related the Pope’s prayer intentions to the forthcoming national election in 2016, stressing that those who aspire for a seat in government must first deny themselves in order to become true “servant leaders.”

READ: Humility key to effective evangelization – CBCP president 

“Every individual who wishes to serve the public should practice self-abnegation. It’s time they shun pride and self-love, and commit themselves to working for the interest of the many, not of their own,” he said.

Servant leadership

Limqueco, however, pointed out that servant leadership must be the goal of everyone, not just politicians.

“This is the challenge for all of us: that we may strive to become leaders by example, and that we give ourselves to others without expecting anything in return,” he added.

Service of the needy

Pope Francis’ universal prayer intention for August 2015 is: “That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.”

Moreover, his intention for evangelization is: “That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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