QUEZON City, March 12, 2015—Bishops, including Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, from all over the country have given their blessing to the forthcoming “Congress on Prayer,” inviting the Catholic faithful to take part in the “first-of-its-kind” spiritual gathering on March 15, Sunday, at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, which aims “to herald prayer as an experience of friendship and a deepening encounter with Christ.”
Dubbed “Prayer, a Dialogue of Love,” the event is just one among many in store to commemorate the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila, teacher of prayer and first woman Doctor of the Church, on March 28, 2015.
No less than Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Tarlac Bishop Florentino P. Cinense, Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Parañaque Bishop Jesse E. Mercado, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, Imus Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista, Cubao Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, and many others from various Philippine dioceses are one in endorsing the Prayer Congress.
“I appeal to the parish priests, religious communities, schools and various lay associations, organizations, and movements to welcome the Organizing Team of the Centenary so they could share with you the abiding teaching of St. Teresa of Ávila,” shares Tagle, who was recently appointed head of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), in a letter.
Liturgical and contemplative prayers through the Liturgy of the Hours, chants, silent prayer, and presentations on prayer are some of the activities lined up.
Talks are as follows:
- “Prayer of Jesus, Prayer of the Church”
Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara
- “Spiritual Life: the Point of Attraction”
Imelda D. Ramos, OCDS president
- “Spiritual Life: When the Word of My Friend Prevails”
Fr. Mariano Agruda III, prior, Our Lady’s Hill Center for Spirituality
- “On the Tracks of St. Teresa: Her Way, Our Way”
Sr. May Catherine Salvatierra, president, Association of Discalced Carmelite Nuns in the Philippines
Speaking with God
In her book “Way of Perfection,” St. Teresa of Ávila, also known as Teresa of Jesús, notes that prayer gives one the opportunity to “speak with Him as with a father, or a brother, or a lord, or as with a spouse; sometimes in one way, at other times in another; He will teach you what you must do.”
Meanwhile, in “The Book of Her Life,” she explains prayer is “nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”
One of the Congress’ highlights is the Eucharistic celebration to be presided over by Tagle.
Fr. Reynaldo Sotelo, commissar of OCD Philippines-Vietnam Circumscription, is set to give the welcome remarks, while Fr. Danilo D. Lim, National Commission chair will wrap up the occasion.
Gathering of religious, lay
Friars, nuns, and seculars of the Carmelite family, as well as of other religious orders, priests and seminarians, professionals and college students, lay associations, parish-mandated organizations, parish pastoral council members and commissioned ministers, and transparochial communities, are expected to attend the event organized by the National Commission for the Celebration of the Fifth Birth Centenary of St. Teresa of Ávila.
Admission is free but participants are advised to secure tickets in advance to be assured of seats.
For application forms and the list of outlets where tickets may also be availed, visit http://teresa500philippines.com.
Interested parties may also contact Joy or Froi at (02) 722-4667; (02) 721-4252; (02) 710-2641; 0939-9207365; and 0906-5732305. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)