Manila Archdiocese Museum will mount “Halina sa Sabsaban,” an exhibit of the “Belen,” or Nativity in Bethlehem scene, collection of Fr. Genaro O. Diwa. It will open tomorrow, Dec. 1, at 4:30 p.m. at the Museo ng Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila, according to Peachy E. Yamsuan of the Archdiocesan Office of Communications.
Meanwhile, last Nov. 24, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), opened the Media General Headquarters for the Pope’s Visit 2015 at the Father Wilman Building. The space will be the hub for media men covering the visit next year of Pope Francis.
Joining Archbishop “Soc” in the ribbon-cutting were Alonso L. Tan and Arsenio Isidro G. Yap of the Knights of Columbus and Msgr. Pedro Quitorio of the Media and Information Committee of the CBCP.
New Dumaguete bishop
Pope Francis has appointed Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito B. Cortes as the new bishop of Dumaguete.
The Diocese of Dumaguete has been without a bishop since May 2012 after Archbishop John Du was installed as head of the Archdiocese of Palo.
Although auxiliary bishop of Cebu, Cortes had been apostolic administrator of Dumaguete since Du left. With the appointment, Cortes will become the fourth ordinary of the diocese. He will serve about 40 parishes with around one million Catholics.
The CBCP said the bishop-elect is familiar with the diocese because he was parish priest for more than five years in Bacong, Negros Oriental.
For 11 years, Cortes also served as vicar general.
Born in Parañaque in 1956, Cortes was ordained a priest in 1980.
Ordained to the episcopate in 2002, Cortes has been a member of the CBCP Commission on Culture and Commission on Liturgy. He has been chair of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Cultural Heritage of the Church since 2009.
Cortes likewise heads the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Central Seminary Alumni Association. He obtained his doctorate in theology from the Angelicum in Rome.
Indigenous people’s rights upheld
The Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the CBCP has called on the lay faithful to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples (IP), urging them to fight existing realities of physical, cultural, structural and ecological violence that cause the “severe marginalization” of Filipino ‘lumad’ or natives.
“With power of our collective strength and unity, we urgently call on all our fellow Filipinos, specially our esteemed government officials, church leaders, civil society organizations to respect and protect indigenous people’s rights and well-being,” said a statement signed by Tabuk Bishop Prudencio Andaya, Jr., chair of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (ECIP-IPA-IPs).
According to the group, this can be achieved by “fully implementing the constitutional provisions, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and other laws, issuances and international instruments that recognize and protect (the indigenous groups’) rights to the letter and spirit of these issuances.”
They highlighted the rights to ancestral domain, self-determination and self-governance, and cultural integrity as the primary means to achieve unity and equality among indigenous groups.
November has been proclaimed by government as IP Month.
CBCP sides with coconut farmers
The CBCP welcomed demonstrating coconut farmers who marched from their provinces to Manila to dramatize their plight to the central government.
“Today, I welcomed to the CBCP Compound in Intramuros our coconut farmers who came to Manila to seek the attention of the national government in alleviating their plight,” said Archbishop Villegas in a statement. “I join my voices with theirs. The Lord hears the cry of the poor!”
Villegas called on government to use the controversial Marcos “coco levy” for the amelioration of the coconut farmers.
“My fear, as president of CBCP, is that our coconut farmers are, by a cruel turn of circumstances, becoming part of the weaker if not weakest members of society—victims of those who, in an unprincipled and un-Christian manner, exploit the defenselessness of the economically harassed. I join the protest against this marginalization of our coconut farmers and call on the government to demonstrate its resolve at social justice in their favor.”
Later at UST, Archbishop Villegas urged all Thomasians and Catholics to always be on the side of the poor and to practice authentic Christian charity.
Villegas was retreat master during the 2014 university-wide retreat last Wednesday attended by 1,000 Dominican and lay officials, faculty and employees of UST. Theme of the retreat was “Ambag.”
On donations and charities, Villegas said: “It’s not about how much you give but how much you keep to yourself. Do you feel you have truly given a part of yourself?”
The Pontifical University will host next year’s visit of Pope Francis in Manila, the fourth time the oldest university in Asia will be blessed by a papal visit.
Angelicum hosts confab on homeschooling
Angelicum College of Quezon City will host the National Conference on Homeschooling on Dec. 6. Theme is “Homeschooling: Bridging Quality and Flexibility in Philippine Education.”
The conference is for school administrators, teachers, education students and parents.
Call 7322443 loc. 136 or 118. Visit www.angelicum.edu.ph.