Perform works of mercy this Christmas, Catholics urged

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ILOILO City, Dec. 23, 2015 – For this Christmas, which is unique because it is celebrated within the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Archdiocese of Jaro would like to offer concrete opportunities for the faithful to reach out to ‘those living on the outermost fringes of society’ and rediscover the corporal works of mercy.

The Archdiocese of Jaro, through its Social Action Center (SAC), revealed various ongoing projects to address urgent needs of the poorer sectors of society, particularly the unemployed, the elderly and the indigenous peoples.

SAC director, Msgr. Meliton Oso, admitted that in these times of crises, both natural and man-made, there are so many areas to address but, given the limited resources of the center, they have to concentrate their efforts in the following projects.

Livelihood for families

First, is to provide livelihood packages to families of vendors who lost their main source of livelihood occasioned by the transfer of a major bus company from the Tagbak Terminal to its own private terminal at a nearby village.

“While negotiations are going on among the parties concerned to seek a solution, we have to prepare food packages to help about 100 families survive at least for the holidays,” Oso said.

Helping the elderly

“Another concern is the welfare of 207 elderly persons from the Yolanda-stricken areas of Iloilo,” the priest continued.

We would like to support them for the coming days which would entail at least 1,000 pesos for each person. They also need medical equipment such as wheelchairs, canes, and medicines,” he elaborated.

Care for indigenous families

“Aside from these projects, the Social Action Center is also currently helping the indigenous people (IP) community in Ubang, Pototan, Iloilo, where a community center and a chapel is needed,” Oso said.

“The community is raising 25 houses for the Ati families. We would also like to help them celebrate Christmas with a gathering on December 28 and, for this, we are preparing packages for the 25 families that would cost about 1,000 pesos each,” he added.

Reaching out to those in need

Throughout the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis asks the faithful to heed Christ’s words and reach out to those in need. The corporal works of mercy involve caring for the bodies and material needs of others: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead.

Individuals or organizations that would like to extend their help may contact the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center (JASAC) at telephone number (033) 320-2425 or (033) 509-7155. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)

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