‘OFWs are missionaries’ – bishop

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MANILA, Jan. 19, 2016 – With millions of Filipino migrants all over the world, Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said they have become missionaries, living their faith and setting examples to their host communities.

In an interview, Garcera said aside from being the most trustworthy employees, Filipinos abroad actively participate in church activities as they practice their faith deeply.

“During my conversations with other bishops and cardinals during the recent Synod of the Family last October, they mentioned Filipinos fill their churches aside from actively taking part in church-related chores,” added the prelate.

He described how these Filipinos who leave their families behind not do so not because of incompatibility or misunderstanding but “out of love”.

He explained it was Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle who mentioned this during the pre-Synod event that Filipino husbands and wives live separate lives because they love their families which literally meant leaving their families behind for overseas employment.

Garcera said, however, while the economy benefits from foreign remittances sent back to Manila, the government should do its best to introduce and create humane and decent jobs to keep Filipino families intact.

He also recalled Popes Paul VI and John Paul II during his their visit to Manila over ten years apart, when they called on Filipinos to be “missionaries to the world.”

“That is what’s exactly happening now,” the 56-year old prelate added. (Melo M. Acuña / CBCP News)

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