MANILA, April 11, 2014 – In a fitting tribute to the spirit behind the ‘Year of the Laity’, Siete Palabras 2014, the longest-running Lenten TV program in the country, will feature a lay preacher for the first time.
“We acknowledge that not only Dominican friars can preach during Siete Palabras,” said to Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, OP, assistant director of the Dominican Province of the Philippines’ Institute of Preaching. “This year, we have a radio anchor, who is lay, and a diocesan priest to reflect on two of the Last Words.”
Support to the laity
According to Aytona, the change is an expression of the Filipino Dominicans’ support to the Church’s declaration of 2014 as ‘Year of the Laity’—of the people who are not priests.
This year, Bro. Jun “Dr. Love” Banaag of DZMM will give his reflections on the Fifth Word: “I Thirst” (John19:28). He is a member of the Lay Dominicans.
Aytona added that the laity are important members of the Church, noting that the first Filipino saints are lay people: San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod.
“We are involving other sectors of Dominican Family in our activities, as we are preparing for the 800thyear anniversary of the Order in 2016,” Aytona said.
The Dominican-sponsored event, held annually at the historic Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, will air live on GMA-7 on Good Friday, April 18, from 12nn to 3pm. It will also be broadcast over Radyo Veritas 846.
Live online streaming will be via www.opphil.org.
To reflect on the other words are: Fr. Enrico Gonzales, OP; Fr. Roman Santos, OP; Fr. Paul Julius Factora, OP; Fr. Rodel Aligan, OP; and Rev. John Stephen Besa, OP.
Personal faith stories
Also, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas will give his message on the event.
Complimenting the reflections are testimonials of faith from reporter Love Añover, sharing her return to Tacloban after the destructive typhoon ‘Yolanda’; UST College of Education Dean Clotilde Arcanghel on finding the Lord in her personal successes; and couple Marcelino and Leah Ocampo on forgiveness.
Interpretative numbers will also be highlighted with the participation of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe; Letran Filipiniana Dance Troupe; performers from Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba and the UST Conservatory of Music; and the internationally acclaimed Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir.
The Dominicans started to be involved in the broadcast of Siete Palabras with Fr. Sonny Ramirez, OP in 1984 under the program “Sharing in the City.”
In 1995, Siete Palabras began to be held at the Santo Domingo Church, now a National Cultural Treasure. Since 1998, the Order has solely produced the Lenten program, which continues to have its live broadcast every Good Friday. (CBCP News)