150th anniversary of Lourdes apparitions marked today

Today is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes. At the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourds on Retiro Street, Quezon City under the Franciscan Capuchins, the High Noon Fiesta Mass to be celebrated by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.

Theme of the feast is “Mary in the Life of Priests and Consecrated Men and Women.”
Before the Fiesta Mass at 12 noon, hour-long Masses started at 5 a.m. In the afternoon, Masses will be at 2-4 p.m., and at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m.
Grand procession will be at 6 p.m.
Radio Veritas (RV) 846 aired the fiesta Mass at 6 a.m.
RV president Fr. Anton CT Pascual urged the Catholic faithful to join the celebration.
“Let us profess our faith to Almighty God through our prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Father Pascual. “Let us all remember that she is the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that she is also our only way to reunite with Him.”
The feast commemorates the Marian apparition in 1858. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, near the grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France.
The apparition identified herself as the “Immaculate Conception.” She urged the conversion of sinners and the constant prayer of the rosary.
Aid for Mayon victims
RV and Caritas Manila (CM) are raising funds for the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the eruptions of Mayon volcano in Albay, Bicol.
Fr. Rex Paul Arjona of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Legazpi is appealing for aid for the evacuees.
“Most evacuees are farmers who live and work within the 6 km radius permanent danger zone,” Arjona explained. “Their lives are disrupted and their means of livelihood suddenly became inaccessible. That is why they need all the help we could give,” Fr. Arjona said.
Legazpi Bishop Joel S. Baylon said the Church would need to augment the relief goods provided by government and non-government agencies.
A total of 7, 252 families and 27, 643 individuals from 32 barangays have been evacuated as of of Jan. 20. This does not include the evacuees from Legazpi City.
Donations can be made online via or by bank deposit (account name: Caritas Manila):
Banco De Oro savings account no. 5600-45905;
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) savings account no. 3063-5357-01;
Metrobank savings account no. 175-3-175069543.
For dollar accounts:
BPI savings account no. 3064-0033-5 (swift code: BOPIPHMM);
Philippine National Bank savings account no. 108566600025 (swift code: PNBMPHMM).
Donations can also be made via Cebuana Lhuillier (free of charge) or dropped off at CM office: 2002 Jesus Street, Pandacan, Manila; or at RV at Paramount Building, West Avenue and Edsa, QC.
For proper acknowledgment of donations, donors may fax copy of deposit slip to 5639306 or e-mail a scanned copy to Donor’s name and address should be indicated.
New book
Award-winning Catholic author José Mario Bautista Maximiano’s new book is “The Church Can Handle the Truth: Mercy Healing of Historical Wounds.”
The book tackles the crises the Catholic Church has had to face across the centuries, including clerical abuse cases, and how the institution could heal from them and renew itself.
Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR,  executive secretary of the basic ecclesial committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, praises the book: “Scholarly and engaging, full of interesting details, and very readable… The author was able to explain the various historical issues and crises facing the Church in very simple and understandable terms and show how the popes in recent times have brought about healing and changes in the Church – ad intra & ad extra… Congratulations for this excellent work.”
Maximiano’s “Pope Francis, Catholic Bishop and Priest,” published by Claretian Communications, was named Best Book in Theology in  the 2015 Catholic Mass Media Awards.
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