NAVOTAS City, Dec. 24, 2015 – Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle has encouraged parents, guardians, government officials, Church leaders, and workers to help children reach their full potential by doing everything in their power to ensure the latter’s overall well-being.
“Here’s my invitation to parents: In loving and caring for your children, think only of what’s best for them. To the Church: in giving spiritual, pastoral, and humane services, make sure these children will become faithful disciples of Christ. To barangay officials and other people in the government: come out with programs in communities that will produce law-abiding and productive citizens,” he said.
Like John the Baptist
The prelate issued this “Call to Action” on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City where children and volunteers of Tulay ng Kabataan (TnK) from various parts of Metro Manila and Luzon gathered to spend their Christmas Party this year.
In his homily, Tagle used the story of the birth of St. John the Baptist (1:57-65) to highlight the importance of expressing concern for the future of children and the youth.
Part of it reads: “Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”
Rephrasing Luke 1:65, the cardinal asked, “What will become of these children?”
‘Papal visit gift’
In Jan. 16 this year, the Catholic foundation made headlines when Pope Francis paid an “unexpected visit” to its center in Intramuros, Manila, meeting with children who used to live on the streets.
After Mass, TnK Executive Director Fr. Matthieu Dauchez thanked Tagle for that “priceless gift,” referring to their “mini papal visit.”
In impeccable Tagalog, the French priest told hundreds of his spiritual children as well as volunteers to always remember that their family, TnK, is a holy family and is more than a charitable institution but a real family.
“Huwag nating kalimutan na ang ating pamilyang tulay ay pamilyang banal. Hindi lang bahay-ampunan kundi pamilya talaga [Let us always remember that the ‘Tulay’ family is a holy family. It is not just an orphanage. It is family],” Dauchez stressed. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)