SAN MIGUEL , Leyte July 12, 2015 — The Archdiocese of Palo launched on Sunday, July 5 the Alay Kapwa 40/40 drive at the St. Michael Archangel Parish in San Miguel, Leyte, together with other parishes.
The archdiocese joins the rest of the Church in helping CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) raise as much funds as possible in 40 days or until Aug. 15.
Parish priest Fr. Elmo Manching said: “Since it is a solidarity contribution, the little that we offer and remit to NASSA becomes sizable when at times it is our turn to receive the portion of assistance, like what happened after Yolanda.”
The priest also expressed hope that the launching of AK 40/40 will likewise “re-launch” the crusade of Jesus in Palo.
“We hope to make present again his compassion and concern for the poor and the marginalized. We hope to revive his love and care for the least, lost and last in the community. The offering that we commit to give to the many faceless brothers or sisters these forty days of the campaign will hopefully embody all things hoping,” he said.
Manching explained the significance of the program’s culmination on Aug. 15, saying, “The date is liturgically and pastorally meaningful as the Assumption of the Blessed Mother is our sign of sure hope and an invitation to connect our mundane and earthly ventures and affairs with the celestial and heavenly.”
“Our social functions, ministries and activities can only assume relevance and meaning when we tie them with the transcendence. Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do it to me,” said the priest, quoting a gospel verse.
Maximizing Alay Kapwa
According to Manching, the Archdiocesan Office on Social Action with its new director also aims to maximize Alay Kapwa collections this year “so that we can push and make functional the various Social Action programs and services of the archdiocese.”
Starting this year, the archdiocese endeavors to activate its initiatives for nutrition and healthcare; livelihood and poverty alleviation; scholarships; disaster response and rehabilitation; farming and sustainable agriculture; political affairs and good governance; ecology; and other pastoral programs for the prisoners, women, children, and elderly in the community, explained Manching.
He explained that the delay of the program’s launch was due to the clergy’s reshuffling, changes in pastoral assignments, and the visit of the Holy Father in January this year.
The Alay Kapwa is a program of the CBCP – NASSA, initiated in 1975 by NASSA as an annual solidarity contribution which aims to finance the various social services of the local Church in the Philippines. It is normally done during the Lenten season to concretize the call to do charity and give alms to those in need. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)