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‘Pray, fast and give alms’ during the 40 days of Cuaresma

/ 05:36 AM March 17, 2013

IBA BISHOP Florentino Lavarias crowns the “Ina Poon Bato,” patroness of Zambales, on Jan. 23 in her shrine in Botolan.

In his recollection for the parishioners of Our Lady of the Assumption at the St. Martha Chapel in Harrison Plaza, Fr. Gennie Diwa, chair of the Liturgy Commission of the Archdiocese of Manila, said:  “We are traveling for 40 days  during this season of Cuaresma, so we can give up sin and at the end of the journey, we can embrace God through the renewal of our Baptismal promises on Easter Sunday.”

But we do this, according to Father Gennie, by “prayer, fasting and almsgiving.” And one cannot go without the other.  Listening to this good priest who will mark his 25th year in the priesthood on Sept. 18, I am persuaded to follow what he said, since I have not been faithful in following these steps.


I am sure other people feel the same way. So pray, fast and give alms this Lent. The money you save from fasting by not buying the usual foods can be given to an elderly or poor child in the streets.

Lent is also the time to forgive those who have offended us or hurt us. Without forgiveness, our conversion to embrace Christ comes to nothing.


Episcopal coronation of ‘Ina Poon Bato’

Bishop Florentino Lavarias of the Diocese of Iba, Zambales, performed the rites of episcopal coronation of “Ina Poon Bato” on Jan. 23 in her shrine in Loob-Bunga, Botolan, Zambales.

“Ina Poon Bato” is the patroness of Zambales, and the propagation of her devotion nationwide and overseas has been led by Roselynn Magsaysay for over 30 years now.

Although she is a native of Cabadbaran in Agusan, Roselynn’s devotion to “Ina Poon Bato” knows no bounds. She is organizing a Marian Congress and pilgrimage to the shrine set for March 21-23 in Iba and Botolan. Interested devotees may contact 0926-8522967 or  0939-9395950.

San Jose de Navotas Parish

Fr. Constantino de Conti, parish priest of San Jose de Navotas Church, will lead parishioners in the following Holy Week activities: March 24, Palm Sunday, procession, 7 p.m.; March 29, Good Friday, 5 p.m. procession; and March 31, Easter Sunday, at 1 a.m., is the “Salubong” of the “Cristo Resuscitado” (the Risen Christ) and His Sorrowful Mother. The Pahati-Pascual family is the “recamadero” of the image of the Risen Christ.

L’Eau Vive


L’Eau Vive (the Living Water), run by the Missionary Workers of the Immaculate of “Donum Dei,” will be the venue for the free consultation by Dr. Teresa Bitanga Valeros, a natural wellness doctor, today,  4 p.m.

Sick people, who are willing to try natural therapies and food supplements to get well, are welcome. Dr. Teresa also offers a program of anti-aging and staying healthy. The food supplements can be bought  at   L’Eau Vive. It is at 1499 Paz Mendoza Guazon Ave., Paco, Manila, across Robinsons Otis.

The missionaries run the restaurant as a means to do   their apostolate and to generate funds to finance their various religious and social work. When you come to L’Eau Vive, you don’t just eat, but help the least of your brothers, giving them love, hope and joy.

The restaurant can be a venue for meetings and seminars and baptismal receptions.  Call 5638559, 0905-3347188 or e-mail

San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Cebu

The San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Cebu, built with the support of Henry Sy Sr. and  wife Felicidad, will be busy this Holy Week and will be full of Mass-goers; it can accommodate 800.

The church, in the SM Seaside Complex at the South Road Properties in Cebu, was blessed last Nov. 29, the eve of the National Thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the canonization of our second Filipino  saint, San Pedro Calungsod.

It was blessed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. Ms Sy was accompanied by two of her children, Hans and Elizabeth.

The chapel, designed by US-based architect Carlos Arnaiz, sits on an elevated 5,000-square-meter lot. Msgr. Vicente Tupas is the rector of the SM Seaside’s Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod.


Our Lady of Guibang in Gamu, Isabela

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Visitation of Guibang in Gamu, Isabela, is one  popular church that people from the North like to visit during Holy Week.

Known for her miraculous intercession, Our Lady of Guibang was canonically crowned by Papal Nuncio Carmine Rocco on May 26, 1973, at the St. Ferdinand Cathedral in Ilagan.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in its 52nd annual meeting on Jan. 24-26, 1986, in Tagaytay approved the petition of Most Rev. Miguel Purugganan, bishop of Ilagan, that the church of  Our Lady of Guibang in Gamu would be called a National Shrine.

Those who want prayer cards can write me c/o the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.  Please enclose a self-addressed envelope for easier mailing.

St. Joseph Church in Cabalantian

Dr. Willian Olalia and his wife Dr. Salve, with their friends, continue to raise funds to complete the construction of the St. Joseph Church in Cabalantian in Bacolor, Pampanga.   The old church was covered with lahar when Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 1991. The feast of St. Joseph will continue to be celebrated with Novena Masses in a temporary chapel, until the new church is finished.

Happy Feast Day, St. Joseph!

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TAGS: Easter Sunday, Fr. Gennie Diwa, Harrison Plaza, Liturgy Commission of the Archdiocese of Manila, Our Lady of the Assumption, St. Martha Chapel
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