Manila archdiocese to open ‘Year of the Poor’

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MANILA, Nov. 19, 2014—The Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is set to officially mark the start of the “Year of the Poor” on Nov. 29, Saturday—the eve of the first Sunday of Advent—from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Paco Catholic School auditorium, Paz St., corner Pedro Gil, Paco, Manila.

In a circular, the head of the Committee for the Year of the Poor, Fr. Luke Moortgat, CICM, shares that as one of the preparations for the 500th jubilee year of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, the upcoming liturgical year invites the faithful to reflect and act on the lives of the poor in society.

“We will remember that Jesus lived poorly, not even having a stone to lay down his head, while he went around doing good, caring for the outcast of society,” he explains.

“We plan, therefore, to pray and have actions for the people at the bottom of society, that is, the poorest 25% or people living with less than P350 day for a family of five, or P70 per person per day,” the priest adds.

Moortgat admits that while removing all symptoms of poverty is a task the Church cannot accomplish on her own, he stresses each one can do her part in helping decrease its causes.

Themed “Bumangon at Manindigan” (Rise and Stand up), the Year of the Poor aims to adopt the attitude of the Apostles when they cured the poor person with disability.

Quoting Acts 3: 5-6, Moortgat states, “I have no gold or silver, but with the grace of God, I tell you, rise up and walk”.

“We are not bussing in a large numbers of students from a small number of schools, but we hope to have participants from a very large variety of entities such as parishes, schools, church offices, religious congregations, Catholic organizations, all kinds of businesses, NGOs [non-government organizations], movements, concerned Catholics, etc., etc. Please invite them,” he says.

Citing Jesus in Mt. 25:40, the priest stresses, “Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me”.

Admission is free, but prospective participants are requested to pre-register.

For registration forms and other inquiries, interested parties may call/text (+63)918-2695-420, (02) 521-58-76; or email yearofthepoor.manila@gmail.com and luke.moortgat@gmail.com. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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