Praying for the success of CBCP Plenary Assembly

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Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum


THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) started its mid-year Plenary Assembly last Saturday at the Pope Pius Center at U.N. Avenue, Manila. Several issues involving not only the Church but also those affecting the country will be discussed.

We can only surmise that among the topics that will be taken up are the RH Law, D.E.A.T.H. bills (Divorce, Euthanasia or mercy killing, Abortion, Total population control, Homosexual or same sex marriage), poverty problem, climate change, respect and protection of the environment to solve flooding, relocation of informal settlers, plight of our modern heroes or OFW (Filipino Overseas Workers) and may be comments on the recently concluded May 13 elections. We await with interest the Pastoral Letter that our shepherds will issue at the end of the Plenary Assembly.


The CBCP, during its January 2013 Plenary Assembly, adopted the Archdiocese of Manila’s plan to hold the Philippine National Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) from October 16 to 18, 2013. The venue is at the Quadricentennial Hall of the University of Sto. Tomas, España, Manila. It is the culmination of the Year of the Faith which ends on November 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King.


Due to the holding of PCNE, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) rescheduled its 18th Biennial Convention from October 25-27, 2013 to October 19, 2013; from the original venue in Puerto Princesa to Bayview Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

The activities during the Convention will be the President’s Report, the Treasurer’s Report, address of the keynote speaker on the 9 Pastoral Priorities and other emerging areas of evangelization, workshops among the delegates, proposed resolutions to be presented for approval at the Plenary Session and election by the voting delegates of the 2014-2015 Laiko Board of Trustees.

Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations members may submit the name of their nominee together with a one-page Resume, written endorsement by the Archbishop/Bishop/Spiritual Director. They can send as many delegates, 3 of whom will be voting delegates.

The theme of the Convention is “Responding to the call of Christ now”: (“To do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God” (Micah 6:8). Dr. Amelita Dayrit-Go is the Convention Chairperson.


Laiko also scheduled the celebration of the National Laity Week (NLW 2013) from October 21 to 28, 2013. The NLW is celebrated annually during the week of the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, one of the patron saints of the Laiko, together with San Pedro Calungsod. Both saints are lay faithful who were martyred when they defended and stood firm on their Catholic Faith.

The theme this year is “Taon ng Pananampalataya sa Diwa ni San Pedro Calungsod” (The Year of the Faith in the Spirit of San Pedro Calungsod).

The opening activities will be held on October 21 at Puerto Princesa in Palawan in coordination with Most Rev. Pedro Arigo, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, and the Council of the Laity led by its President, Bro. Roland Baldonado.

The closing activity will be held on October 28, the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, at Batangas City Convention Center in coordination with Most Rev. Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lipa, and the Archdiocesan Council of the Laity headed by its President, Bro. Loreto Guinhawa.

Chairpersons of Laiko’s NLW 2013 Committee are Dr. Ma. Julieta Wasan, Laiko’s Vice President for the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila, and Bro. Loreto Guinhawa, Laiko trustee.

All the Laiko members—Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations—including all Catholic lay faithful are encouraged to attend not only the NLW 2013 Opening and Closing activities but also to plan a celebration in their respective archdioceses/dioceses/parishes to gather more interest and devotion to the new Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod. The youth, catechists and OFW made San Pedro Calungsod their patron saint. Some constructed chapels and named them after him.


The Supreme Court rescheduled to July 9 the oral arguments on RH Law. Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, Bishop of Antipolo and Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, issued circular inviting all Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and National Lay Organizations to mobilize their members and attend the Eucharistic Celebration at 9 a.m. at Nuestra Señora de Guia Shrine, M.H. del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila before proceeding to the perimeters of the Supreme Court for a prayer rally. He is the main celebrant, with other clergies as concelebrants.

Those who will participate in the oral arguments will attend the Holy Mass. Let us all pray the Oratio Imperata so that our lawyers will be guided by the Holy Spirit during the oral arguments. Let us also pray for the Supreme Court Justices to listen and see the merits of the Universal Church position. Let us also pray for the respondents’ lawyers so that they will realize the harm that could be done by the RH Law to the Filipino people and to our beloved country.


In behalf of the Laiko Board of Officers and Trustees, I request the readers to pray for strength and good health of our very dear Engr. Nida Ruiz, Laiko Vice President for Visayas and former President of WAF (World Apostolate of Fatima), who had been recently diagnosed of stage 4 lung cancer.


Happy Birthday to my niece, Mary Gretchen Rosales-Castro, the only daughter of my sister Violeta Santiago-Rosales. Also Happy Birthday to Noel Patalinhog.

Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to the following from the Diocese of Kalookan: Monsignor Alex Amandy, Vicar General; Fr. Rey Amante and Fr. Christopher Tibong.

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