22 December 2011

An Advent hymn for our time

Signs of the times. Before we finally plunge into the Christmas season, a hymn of repentance inspired by the Occupy spirit. The original post is at http://www.faith-theology.com/2011/12/we-hang-our-heads-in-shame-and-guilt.html.


A hymn by Kim Fabricius
(Tune: Mit Freuden zart)

We hang our heads in shame and guilt
for ruthless exploitation:
we heat the earth and watch it wilt
for capital and nation.
In pitiless pursuit of oil
we poison air and sea and soil –
the lords of de-creation.

“Have mercy on us, Lord!” we plead,
but is it false confession?
We mask misdeeds, we gild our greed,
as peace we spin aggression.
We’re skilful at the apt excuse,
and the dark arts of word-abuse –
the truth is in recession.

O God, this is our world of vice,
come, judge us, test us, try us;
though we deny you, Jesus Christ,
Deliverer, don’t deny us;
break down the selves in which we hide,
evict our vanity and pride –
O Spirit, occupy us!

30 November 2011

Lines written while watching Midnight in Paris

In between a busy day and a busier day next I find myself enjoying this film.

Yet at mid-movie I had to stop, in between Picasso and Gertrude Stein, after scenes with the Fitzgeralds and Hemingway. It was obviously contrived the way they talked like they wrote. But it was heady just listening to them, to Hemingway for example, and remembering how it was always a compliment to call someone’s writing Hemingwayesque. Nick Joaquin’s was a bit Hemingwayesque, or so I think; the late Bishop Pacis’ was definitely Hemingwayesque. And once in a while in my less gifted writing I try to keep the style in mind. But it is not about the style.

It is about the golden age, how every generation looks back
at one to contrast and attempt to escape from a dull present.

It was the character least liked of all, the pedantic one, who said it first early on, only to be realized near the film's end, as in a fable, by a starry-eyed Owen Wilson, playing half-naive, half-wise, for the nth time. Annoying in its irony, but that is the genius of Woody Allen. He has moved me enough to take another moment and look back at our nation's proffered golden ages, then at my busy day and the busier one ahead, and I just know in some future I shall be looking back and declare this day, amidst its dullness and turmoil, its complexity and campiness, I have a feeling that today stands in line with our generation’s current golden age.

29 November 2011
Chancery, Diocese of Legazpi

18 November 2011

Personal Mission Statement

GOD has created, loved and sustained me.
He has called me
       to deepen my friendship with Him, and
       become a priest after His own heart
      -- holy and wise, humble and loving.

Therefore, I commit myself to
       fidelity in priestly life and passion for ministry
in the service of the
       renewed integral evangelization,
and the building up of the
       communion of communities
       that is the Church.

9 November 2011
Mater Ecclesiae Formation Center
Pili, Camarines Sur

06 November 2011

God's Gift

A Wedding Homily for Emman and Sarita Kare-Telado
St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Tabaco City
15 October 2011

St. Bernard of Clairvaux says “We find a home in those we love, and we provide a home for those who love us”.  

In many ways, Emman and Sarita’s wedding is a coming to a home, a homecoming, to their hometown, and to this very church. This is where they receive the sacraments: where Sarita was baptized, were both of them had first communion, received confirmation, and attended Sunday Masses with their families. Both of them and their classmates from grade school may still remember the many First Fridays when they had to cross the street from CCS to attend Mass here. Who would have thought at that time, that Emman and Sarita would find themselves together today in this church to receive the sacrament of matrimony and found a home, a family of their own?

Their love story is also a coming home to each other. Having been classmates in grade school, they went their separate ways through high school, college and work. Until that fateful class reunion in 2007. We’re not sure if there was any love at first sight for one or both of them. But we’re sure they are glad that they took a second look. After around two years, for Emman, after mustering the courage to say the right words and do the right moves; for Sarita, after getting to know again Emman much closer this time – they became a couple. After another two years, here we are today.

02 November 2011

Restoring the Words and Repeating the Same Mistakes

Anthony Esolen at First Things belabors the over-all superiority of the new English translation of the Roman Missal over the one used for 40 years in English-speaking countries. I do get the feeling though that the majority consensus already among Catholic liturgists today is that the soon-to-be-replaced translation does need some changing.

Perhaps he is speaking to the still unconvinced crowd. Maybe it's just me, but I think the more relevant question is not so much whether the new translation is better than the old, but whether the new may be able to hold its own to scrutiny without resorting to "but it's way better than the old".

Though much may be said about its form and content, I will limit my comment on the process through which this new translation came about.

Esolen prefaced his arguments with a well-chosen passage from Orwell's novel 1984, and this rather dramatic narration of what happened years ago:

"Some forty years ago, a team of men was charged with rendering the Latin of the Catholic Novus Ordo Mass into English. They did so, dully and inaccurately, for the common prayers spoken by the people at every Mass. But when they worked just beyond the view of the people, they became different men altogether. Then they felt the fire of zeal. The prayers spoken by the priest—the collects, offertories, prefaces, postcommunions, special blessings, and even the eucharistic prayers—gave them a vast field to ply their talents."

Convincing enough if not for the fact that take away the "some forty years ago", replace it with a more recent date, and he may as well be talking about how the new translation came to be. Consider these:
  • 1998. After years of international consultation and collaboration, a new translation was finished by ICEL and approved by the bishops conferences of English-speaking countries. It followed the set criteria of hewing more closely to the Latin, without sacrificing clarity or intelligibility in English. But like the old translation that it sought to replace, it was done using the principle of "dynamic equivalence". The result: Vatican rejected dynamic equivalence and the translation itself. ICEL was reorganized with new appointments, making it accountable to the Vatican, and no longer to the various bishops conferences that created it.
  • 2001. Liturgiam authenticam was issued. It formally declared "formal equivalence" as the translation theory to be used in liturgical translations in all vernacular languages. It directed that translation work should make all Latin words accounted for, and that the vocabulary, syntax, punctuation, and capitalization patterns found in the Latin original must be reproduced as much as possible in the vernacular languages. The point was to create a new "sacral language" different from ordinary speech. Needless to say, the document was met with much criticism from all over.
  • 2002. Vox Clara, a new Vatican committee to advise on the approval of new English translations, was formed.
  • 2008. A new translation prepared by the new ICEL sticking to the new norms laid down in Liturgiam Authenticam was sent to English-speaking bishops’ conferences for approval, subsequently approved (though not without strong criticism from some sectors), and then sent to the Vatican for final approval.
  • 2010. Vox Clara introduced an estimated 10,000 changes into the text approved in 2008. Many liturgists commented that the changes impaired the text, displayed no consistent pattern, and, many times violated the very norms laid down in Liturgiam Authenticam. The altered text was declared officially approved and then returned to the bishops conferences for implementation.
Case in point: Esolen praises this new translation of the Prayer after Communion for the First Sunday of Advent 2011 (incidentally, the official start of the new translation's implementation in the US). He describes is as a "splendid work", both "accurate and profoundly scriptural":

May these mysteries, O Lord,
in which we have participated,
profit us, we pray,
for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures.

Anthony Ruff, OSB, at the Pray Tell blog describes it this way: "The word order (in the new translation) is so messed up that the prayer seems to say we learn to love the things of heaven from the passing things of this world – but the Latin prays that it be from the mysteries celebrated in the liturgy!"

The new one is, of course, better than the current (soon to be passing):
may our communion
teach us to love heaven.
May its promise and hope
guide our way on earth.

Somebody points out, a better translation could have been this:
Lord, may the celebration of these mysteries
profit us, we pray,
since through them you teach us,
on our journey through this passing world,
to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures.

The Latin prayer says:
Prosint nobis, quaesumus, Domine, frequentata mysteria,
quibus nos, inter praetereuntia ambulantes,
iam nunc instituis amare caelestia et inhaerere mansuris.

Let's read Esolen's words again (this time with some personal and arbitrary changes):

"Some four years ago, a team of men was charged with advising on the new rendering of the Latin of the Catholic Novus Ordo Mass into English. They did so, dully and inaccurately, for the common prayers spoken by the people at every Mass. But when they worked just beyond the view of the people, they became different men altogether. Then they felt the fire of zeal. The prayers spoken by the priest—the collects, offertories, prefaces, postcommunions, special blessings, and even the eucharistic prayers—gave them a vast field to ply their talents."

When will we ever learn?

17 August 2011

Prayer of Reparation for the Sin of Sacrilege and Blasphemy

Manila Archbishop Cardinal Rosales prescribes this prayer as a Catholic and Christian response to the sins of sacrilege and blasphemy that was the recent public exhibition at CCP of repulsive and obscene anti-Christian thrash/art. The prayer is to be prayed in all Masses in the Archdiocese of Manila on August 21 to 28, 2011. Also the Cardinal declares August 26 as Day of Penance and decrees that the Mass for the Forgiveness of Sins be used, with the presider in purple vestments.

Prayer of Reparation for the Sin of Sacrilege and Blasphemy

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
out of love for us, your sinful creatures,
you became man and sacrificed your life on the cross.

16 July 2011

The 10 Major Faith and Ecclesial Struggles of Our Age

Several years ago, the superior of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Rome asked Fr. Ronald Rolheiser to compile a list of the major spiritual questions bubbling in the Catholic world, based on his experience as a writer and speaker. At NCR’s request, Rolheiser recently took another look at that list, bringing it up to date in light of what he’s seen and heard in the intervening period.

The following is the “Top 10” list Rolheiser put together in late April.

1. The struggle with the atheism of our everyday consciousness, i.e., the struggle to have a vital sense of God within secularity, which, for good and for bad, is the most powerful narcotic ever perpetrated on this planet; to be a mystic rather than an unbeliever.

15 July 2011

'Pajero bishops' started with Juico interview

PCSO Chair Margie Juico lied to the people and while under oath. In a TV interview, she did say Pajero, expressing dismay that they were given to bishops and sarcastically implying that they took money away from the poor.

"Marami rin namang mahihirap na, na nakapaikot sa kanila, sa mga dioceses nila, 'no? Naghihinayang lang ako sana naman yung pondo ng PCSO na ginamit pambili lang ng Pajero, marami na sanang natulungan dun sa pondong 'yon."

She did not even bother to validate with the bishops involved and hear first their side. Or if the evidence were strong, she should have written to the DOJ to charge them in court. Instead, she chose to go direct to the media and hurl accusations not even based on their own report.

Now it has been revealed: There were no Pajeros or luxury vehicles. The vehicles were not for the personal use of the bishops involved. The donations were accepted in good faith and used for social action and charitable programs and activities. The Senate found nothing unconstitutional in the donations.

The CBCP apologized to the faithful for the pain and sadness the events have brought upon them and for undermining their integrity and prophetic stance vis-a-vis the former administration.

11 July 2011

Panahon nin Pagsakit, Panahon nin Balaog

Sarong Kapahayagan Pastoral

Namomotan niamong Banwaan kan Dios:

            An satong Inang Simbahan nakulgan na gayo huli kan mga kontrobersya sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office kan nakaaging duwang semana. May mga myembro kan Simbahan na nagtutubod na daing sala digdi an mga obispo, igwa man ki iba na dai nagtutubod. Alagad sa bilog na Simbahan namamatean an labi-labing kamundoan. Kami na saindong mga pastor nakikisumaro saindo. Bilang mga pastor na naghihingowa na mamoot saindo siring ki Hesus an Marhay na Pastor, ikanakamundo niamo an sakit asin kamundoan na namatean nindo huli kan pangyayari na ini.

            Ikinakamundo niamo na kadakul saindo, orog na an mga jovenes, an mga dukha, asin an satong mga saradit na Kristyanong komunidad, nalilibongan nin huli kan garo baga pagkasalungat kan samong mga gibo asin kan samong mga katukdoan bilang mga pastor.

            Mantang ipinapahayag niamo an samong kamundoan, minahagad kami saindo na dai tulos maghusga asin maigot na hanapon an bilog na katotoohan sa likod kan kontrobersya. Danay niatong hanapon an katotoohan na may pagkamoot.

01 July 2011

DPA Legazpi Theme Song & Instructional Video

Below is the theme song of the First Legazpi Diocesan Pastoral  Assembly (DPA). The main events of the DPA  are the Pre-DPA Gathering on 27-29 June 2011 and the DPA proper 24-26 November 2011. Before, in-between and after these events are processes of consultations, research, planning and implementation.

And here is the instructional video intended for parishes, schools and communities in order to better internalize the diocese's aspirations of a renewed Church.

Credits to: Sem. Jeronimo Sevilla, director; Fr. Manuel Camu, lyrics; Fr. Roque Patanao, music.

Videography & Editing: Mr. Jose Locsin Jr. of J&B Productions. Music recording: OK-FM studio.

17 April 2011

The Need for Enduring Hope

A Palm Sunday Reflection for the Alay Kapwa National Campaign 2011
"Kapwa at Kalikasan, Pananagutan Nating Lahat"
Lenten Action-Evangelization Program of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action - Justice and Peace

As we enter the holiest of our liturgical seasons, the story of our Lord’s passion from the Gospel of Matthew is read. This passion narrative begins with the scene that was the turning point in Jesus’ public ministry: not His triumphal entry to Jerusalem but the betrayal of Judas.

1. Betrayal

“One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over” (Mt 26,14-15).

In a way, our government’s record of pursuing national development, harnessing our natural resources and protecting the environment has been somewhat taken straight from the Gospels’ passion narratives. Time and again, we have seen hopes dashed and best efforts undone when state officials and institutions betray the people’s trust. The words of Judas ring true till today: “What are you willing to give me to hand it over to you?”

Case in point: Rapu-Rapu island in the Bicol region. The island’s long history of mining has been a history filled with corruption and callousness, greed and neglect, and a disregard both to people’s lives and the environment. The Japanese army mined the island during World War II. The Hixbar Mining Company took over from the Japanese and left it in the 1970s with three of four rivers contaminated and an extensive tract of land barren and useless. Toronto Ventures Inc. came in the 1980s and operated without the mandated public hearings and consultations. Lafayette Philippines Inc. entered the picture in 1999.

From the start, majority of the island’s residents were against the latest mining project. The Diocese of Legazpi has issued a pastoral letter condemning the move. Civil society staged protest actions. A senate inquiry was made. A few small victories were won by opponents of the mining project, but in the end Lafayette still had its way. It proceeded with its operations.

In vain, the people turned to their elected officials and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for help. In the end they would realize that it was actually the government that invited mining companies to come to their island without their knowing it. They would realize the DENR is the government’s lead mining salesman. It is the DENR that identifies sites as suitable for mining. It is the DENR that advertises those sites for mining investors, conveniently downgrading environmental harm. It is the DENR that grants MPSAs without consulting local residents and ECCs even without social acceptability. It is the same department that admits it cannot sufficiently monitor production and operation of mining companies; and connives with mining officials to cover-up incidents of mishaps and fish kills. When a company like Lafayette fails, the DENR scurries to look for other investors to “save” the project. And should the people seek legal action, it is the DENR who would first receive their complaints and judge its merits before any court could hear their case.

19 March 2011

2nd Sunday of Lent: Transfiguration

"The Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord puts before our eyes the glory of Christ, which anticipates the resurrection and announces the divinization of man. The Christian community becomes aware that Jesus leads it, like the Apostles Peter, James and John “up a high mountain by themselves” (Mt 17: 1), to receive once again in Christ, as sons and daughters in the Son, the gift of the Grace of God: “This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favor. Listen to him” (Mt 17: 5). It is the invitation to take a distance from the noisiness of everyday life in order to immerse oneself in God’s presence. He desires to hand down to us, each day, a Word that penetrates the depths of our spirit, where we discern good from evil (cf. Heb 4:12), reinforcing our will to follow the Lord."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2011

17 February 2011


Ang ika-17 ng Pebrero ay araw ng paggunita sa pagpaslang sa tatlong paring martir ng pamahalaang Kastila sa parehong araw noong 1872. Nasa talaan ng mga bayani ng bayan at mga martir ng Simbahan ang kanilang pangalan magpakailanman.

       Pde. Mariano Gomez
       Pde. Jose Burgos
       Pde. Jacinto Zamora

Ang ika-17 ng Pebrero ay araw ng pagtanaw ng utang na loob sa sakripisyo ng GomBurZa para sa katarungan, at kanilang pagtanghal sa kadakilaan ng kapariang Pilipino sa harap ng mga panganib at pagsubok, sa loob at labas ng kanilang mga sarili.

Ang ika-17 ng Pebrero ay araw ng pasasalamat sa inspirasyon ng kanilang kabayanihan, dahil sa GomBurZa naisulat ni Rizal ang El Filibusterismo, dahil sa kanila mas umigting ang pagnanasa ng kalayaan sa diwang Pilipino, dahil sa kanila mas yumabong ang pagkakakilala ko sa pagkatao at ministeryo ng isang paring Pilipino.

16 February 2011

UP faculty, students and alumni position on the RH Bill

from a http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/upiansonrhbill/ this position paper coming from secular UP responds to assumptions by proRH advocates with straight facts and reputable studies.

by individual faculty, students and alumni of the University of the Philippines*

As faculty members, students and alumni of the University of the Philippines, we state here the bases of our objection to the consolidated Reproductive Health bill that is pending in Congress.

Given the secular background of UP education, we put forward arguments from reason, to wit:

1. Population is not an obstacle to development. The bills assume that a nation’s population hinders its development that is why they push for the promotion of a two-child policy, massive distribution of contraceptives, sex education (to acquaint young people with contraception), and sterilization, all of which make use of taxpayers’ money. However, as early as 1966, Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets’ research has shown that there is insignificant empirical association between population growth rates and output per capita (economic growth). Rather, it is the rate at which technology grows and the ability of the population to employ these new technologies efficiently and widely that permit economic progress. Kuznets saw that the basic obstacles to economic growth arise from the limited capabilities of the institutions (political, social, legal, cultural, economic) to adjust. He argued instead that a more rapid population growth, if properly managed, will promote economic development through a positive impact on the society's state of knowledge. His findings have been confirmed by similar studies by the US National Research Council (1986), the UN Population Fund Consultative Meeting of Economists (1992), Eric Hanushek and Ludger Wößmann (2007), among others.

29 January 2011

Trust in the slow work of God

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
       to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
      to something unknown,
      something new.
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
      by passing through some stages of instability
      and that may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow.
Let them shape themselves without undue haste.
Do not try to force them on
      as though you could be today what time
      -- that is to say, grace --
      and circumstances
      acting on your own good will
      will make you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new Spirit
      gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
      that his hand is leading you,
      and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
      in suspense and incomplete.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
      our loving vine-dresser.


-- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin