MANILA, September 20, 2013—The celebration of National Laity Week this September 22 to 28 will focus on the exemplary witness of San Pedro Calungsod’s faith.
“We, the laity, especially the youth, can surely learn from San Pedro Calungsod’s deep devotion of sharing and living the faith with courage and conviction every day. We can imitate the way he placed his complete truth and belief in the Lord,” the official invitation of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Council of the Laity of the Philippines) or Laiko reads.
Laiko chose the theme “Taon ng Pananampalataya sa Diwa ni San Pedro Calungsod” for this year’s week-long event, which will be formally opened in the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
According to the Laiko website, lay people’s “display of faith in action every day” like San Pedro have a particular power to inspire others to follow the example.
Another motivation behind the celebration is Laiko’s belief that Catholics need to witness to Christ in everyday life and not simply receive the sacraments as a matter of obligation.
As part of the context for the celebration this year, Laiko noted “with sadness the erosion of faith” of a number of Filipino Catholics.
The umbrella organization listed Sacred Scriptures and Tradition, Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Catechism for Filipino Catholics as “fundamental references of the New Evangelization” to help combat this falling away from Catholic living and believing.
The celebration aims to encourage the Filipino laity “to rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed and to reflect on the act of faith; to strengthen the faith in God and to proclaim Him with joy to the people of our time; and to emulate the examples and virtues of St. Pedro Calungsod and eventually proclaim the Gospel through faithful witnessing.”
Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo will celebrate the opening mass together with the clergy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan on September 22.
The whole-day opening celebration will be graced by CBCP – Episcopal Commission on the Laity (CBCP-ECL) Chairman and Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, who will also deliver the keynote address.
There will also be cultural presentations and talks on evangelization.
Organized by the the implementing arm of CBCP-ECL, the closing event will be held in the Archdiocese of Lipa in Batangas.
ECL also proposed several activities in diocesan and local levels such as having Diocesan Councils of the Laity, Diocesan Pastoral Councils and national lay organizations organize a Laity Week Celebration in their respective dioceses down to parish level.
The commission added, in celebrating the laity week, diocesan programs should give emphasis to the theme of the celebration.
Some of the proposed activities are Eucharistic celebrations, liturgy of the hours, holy hour, Bible-sharing, novena to San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod and talks or seminars about new evangelization. (Jandel Posion)