Belen scene from the "Belenismo" exhibit in Tarlac City in 2009.
Source for the picture: Dennis Capulong's blog.
His Excellency MOST REV. PEDRO N. BANTIGUE, JCD, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of San Pablo, was born on the 31st of January, 1920 at Sta. Monica Hagonoy, Bulacan. The son of Marcos Bantigue and Eusebia Natividad.
He was ordained priest in the Archdiocese of Manila on May 31, 1945. On May 29, 1961, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila and Titular Bishop of Catula. Finally, on July 25 of the same year, he was ordained Bishop by Rufino Jiao Cardinal Santos.
On April 18, 1967, six years after being lifted to the Episcopate, he was appointed the First Bishop of San Pablo (Laguna) and remained in the same office until July 12, 1995. He retired at the age of 75.
|Consecration of the Philippines to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by President Ramon Magsaysay, December 2, 1956. Picture scanned from the souvenir album for the Second National Eucharistic Congress of the Philippines, November 28 - December 2, 1956.|
...the Archbishop paid attention to what our constitution, and what the Church law state that “there should be inviolable separation of the Church and the State…Hindi dapat pagsamahin ang gobyerno at simbahan. Hindi puwedeng ilipat ang katedral sa kapitolyo, at hindi puwedeng mag-office si governor sa katedral…Mayroong separation of Church and State.”
But he also stressed that that separation is not absolute, because there is no separation between God and citizens, between God and man. When we separate God and man, it is not only immoral, it is also unconstitutional, because in the constitution we all recognize that all of us have a God. Citing the late Cardinal Sin, the Archbishop said that the Church and the State are like railroad tracks parallel all throughout and not too near, not too far from each other so that the train could move forward. The train is our country, our nation.
Then Archbishop Villegas mentioned several areas of collaboration and cooperation between the Church and the State:
The First is Peace. Everyone is longing for peace. It is the responsibility of the State to promote peace, and it is also the mission of the Church to take care of peace. Stating it in Filipino, he said: There will be no peace if the people are fighting against each other; there will be no peace if God is not there. There will be no peace if we do not treat each other as brothers and sisters, and there will be no peace if we destroy our environment and natural resources.
The Second is Progress. As the election campaign progresses, all candidates promise to work for progress. We will not vote for any candidate who does not guarantee progress when he/she is elected. But this progress that the candidates promise to promote, this progress of the people is also the concern of the Church. When people progress, the Church is also happy with the progress. But it is not an absolute progress. It should be a progress with God; it should be a progress walking with God, because the Gospel says: What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his soul. “Anong kuwenta ng progress kung nahiwalay tayo sa Diyos; anong kuwenta ng pag-unlad kung nawala ang Diyos sa ating kaunlaran. Progress of the people is the duty of the government, and the Church supports governments in promoting total human progress."
The Third is People. It is the people that relate the Church and the State. “’Yung taong nagsisimba, ‘yun din ho ang bumuboto; ;yung taong nagpapa-bless, ‘yun din po ang nagbabayad ng buwis. Ang ibig sabihin po, ang ating pagmamalasakit sa tao ay hindi lamang pagmamalasakit ng gobyerno; ang pagmamalasakit sa tao ay pagmamalasakit ng Diyos para sa atin. Thus, there must be proper distance between the Church and the State so that we can serve the people best. There is what we call in the Church “Common Good”, the good of all, of the many. And this is the duty of both the Church and the State.
He concluded by saying that “before the Lord, we are only brothers and sisters. And in the presence of the Lord, let us promise together, government and Church, munisipyo and Kapitolyo, and the Cathedral and the parishes, let us work together, hand in hand, for peace, let us work together hand in hand for true, Godly progress, let us work together keeping in mind the people always. Because it is only in caring for one another that we can show our love for God...
Pedro Calungsod was born around the year sixteen fifty-four, in the Visayas region of the Philippines. His love for Christ inspired him to train as a catechist with the Jesuit missionaries there. In sixteen sixty-eight, along with other young catechists, he accompanied Father Diego Luís de San Vitores to the Marianas Islands in order to evangelize the Chamorro people.
Life there was hard and the missionaries also faced persecution arising from envy and slander. Pedro, however, displayed deep faith and charity and continued to catechize his many converts, giving witness to Christ by a life of purity and dedication to the Gospel. Uppermost was his desire to win souls for Christ, and this made him resolute in accepting martyrdom. He died on the second of April, sixteen seventy-two. Witnesses record that Pedro could have fled for safety but chose to stay at Father Diego’s side. The priest was able to give Pedro absolution before he himself was killed. May the example and courageous witness of Pedro Calungsod inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and to win souls for God!
If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven" (Mt 10: 32). From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr Diego, but as a "good soldier of Christ" preferred to die at the missionary's side. Today Bl. Pedro Calungsod intercedes for the young, in particular those of his native Philippines, and he challenges them. Young friends, do not hesitate to follow the example of Pedro, who "pleased God and was loved by him" (Wis 4: 10) and who, having come to perfection in so short a time, lived a full life (cf. ibid., v. 13).
It would be useful to arrange for the preparation of pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature (cfr. 1 Pt 3:15), which should be done with the help of theologians and authors. Every member of the faithful would then be enabled to respond better to the questions which arise in difficult contexts – whether to do with sects, or the problems related to secularism and relativism, or to questions “arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries,” or to other specific issues. (Recommendations II.8)
Showcase of great architecture, great art
Measuring 85 meters in length, 40 meters in width and 25 meters in height, with a total floor area of 3,300 sq m, Santo Domingo Church is the biggest in Metro Manila and one of the biggest churches in Asia.
The massive church is a unique blend of Spanish colonial and modern architecture.
It was designed by José Ma. Zaragoza, who was still a student of architecture at UST when the Dominicans commissioned him to design the church.
Unlike the huge Baroque churches of the Hispanic period, the Santo Domingo is modern. But it follows the Mission-style architecture—with shades of Romanesque and Gothic designs—which welcomes more space.
Aside from being an architectural jewel, the Santo Domingo Church houses artistic treasures.
In the nave are eight colorful murals by National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco depicting the life and times of Santo Domingo de Guzman, the Spaniard who founded the Order of Preachers, whose members are now called Dominicans. Legend has it that it is to Saint Dominic that Our Lady gave the Rosary for the Dominicans to promote.
Francisco’s murals are just below the equally brilliant murals of the Four Evangelists in vivid brown tones by Vicente Garcia Llamas.
|Coat of Arms of Most. Rev. Sofronio Bancud SSS, DD, Bishop of Cabanatuan from the 2005 to the present|
One such talented priest is Msgr. Agustin ”Ting” Ancajas. He entered the priesthood only after finishing a degree in communication from the Ateneo de Manila University.
Ordained a priest in 2000, he was first assigned to the Lonergan Communication Center at the Seminario Mayor. Then, until the retirement of Rufino (sic) J. Cardinal Vidal, he became the cardinal’s secretary.
... playwriting is his passion. He started to write plays in 1998 under the pen name Angelo (his favorite name) Zige (the family name of his great, great grandfather who—shhh—was a Portuguese friar, whose picture is with one of Msgr. Ting’s aunts). So far he has written 15 one-act plays. He explains: “I grew up with radio shows. I just love to write plays because of that. Sometimes when I am inspired, I write non-stop from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. When I’m inspired to write, and I get the momentum to do so, it’s hard to stop.”
His two latest plays are Laptop and Living Downstairs. He wrote Laptop in 2010 when he was in London taking a six-month course, from September 2010 to March 2011, on acting and directing at the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London. Living Downstairs is about domestics living in London, for which he actually became a domestic for two weekends to get the feel of their life.
Laptop is a contemporary play about two brothers and a sister in London.
“It’s about family relationships,” Msgr. Ting says. “The laptop is an important gadget to connect people, to break or mend relationships, especially for people who move around. It’s the laptop, especially through Skype, that connects them.”
Msgr. Ting says his plays have been shown in the seminary, as well as in other parishes when their priests ask to borrow the plays. He will show Laptop on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Marcelo Fernan Cebu Press Center. He originally wrote Laptop in Tagalog, a language he grew up with during his childhood days in Manila, but he has had to translate it in Cebuano for this presentation, which will see him as a better-prepared director honed in the “Method Acting” to “be natural, be realistic as much as possible.”
Can. 1246 §1 The Lord's Day, on which the paschal mystery is celebrated, is by apostolic tradition to be observed in the universal Church as the primary holyday of obligation. In the same way the following holydays are to be observed: the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of St Joseph, the feast of the Apostles SS Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints.
§2 However, the Episcopal Conference may, with the prior approval of the Apostolic See, suppress certain holydays of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.
Can. 1246, 2: Holy Days of Obligation
1. With reference to Canon 1246,2, the following feasts are holydays of obligation in the Philippines:
a. January 1 - Motherhood of Mary (New Year)
b. December 8 - Immaculate Conception (Patroness of the Philippines)
c. December 25 - Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Note: The Feast of Corpus Christi is not recommended by the CBCP because it always falls on a Thursday which is a working day; for this reason the solemnity of the feast will not be fostered because only very few people can go to church and the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, instead of being enhanced, will be diminished. Why? Because the people who usually go to the church only on Sundays can no longer celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi because it is already observed on a Thursday and cannot join the procession.
2. All other feasts mentioned in Canon 1246, 1, are transferred to the nearest Sunday, preceding or following the feast.
Note: Three other feasts are celebrated on the nearest Sunday, namely: Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi. The reason why the Bishops do not want to change the present discipline is because, pastorally, they find it hard to have to explain to the people that it is again a mortal sin not to go to Mass on Epiphany or Ascension or Corpus Christi, when all these past years we have been preaching that it was not, because these feasts are no longer Holy Days of Obligation.
3. The parish priest has the obligation to apply the Missa pro populo for his parishioners on Sundays and holydays as stated above, in accord with Canon 543, 2.Ironically, while December 8 (an official Holy Day of Obligation) is not an official holiday in the Philippines, November 1, All Saints' Day, which is not recognized by the Philippine hierarchy as a Holy Day of Obligation, is an official holiday. As a result many Filipinos go to church on November 1 in the belief that it is a Holy Day of Obligation.
The primary and singular distinction of SSC (St. Scholastica College - CAP) is its pioneering introduction of formal music education in the country through Sr. Baptista Battig, student of Ludwig Deppe, then the last living pupil of Liszt.
Born in 1870, Sr. Battig marked her centennial in the Philippines in 1970. She had just began in her native Breslau, Silesia, an auspicious concert career when she answered a call to the religious life. At age 30, she became a nun in the Benedictine Order founded by St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica. Sr. Battig was sent to the Philippines in 1907, leaving the Benedictine headquarters in Tutzing, Germany. She was to teach music in this country for the next 35 years.
Her first music classes in Manila were in a modest room in Singalong with a single, second hand, borrowed piano. To demonstrate her theories — beauty of tone being the most important of these — she gave two concerts whose overwhelming success drew countless pupils to her classes which were later held in an impressive building adjoining St. Scholastica College, the St. Cecilia’s Hall.
Much later, as interns we were allowed to leave our study period so we could attend the recitals of the students of Sr. Battig or of her own graduates. The earliest of these were Barbara Cuaycong, Eugenia and Marcela Agoncillo, Blanca Castillo (later Mrs. Dinglasan) all of whom became my piano mentors, Imelda Katigbak (later Mrs. Dayrit) mother of pianists Menchu Padilla and Amelita Guevarra, Pilar Blanco, mother of Ingrid Santamaria. Eugenia Agoncillo gave me valuable pointers on reviewing music performances. Luz Katigbak, who graduated under Marcela Agoncillo’s tutelage lectured to us on music theory and composition, music history and music appreciation.
All music schools in the country directly or indirectly trace their beginnings to Sr. Battig who introduced Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin et al, their works, to quote Celine Olaguer Sarte, forming the backbone and the glory of piano literature. Way back in 1933, as the zealous, pioneering Sr. Battig marked her 25th year of piano teaching in the Philippines, she wrote: “Great is my desire to see the dear children of the East rise in the musical world to the same level as those of the West. May all my earnest endeavor bear fruit and lead to a plentiful harvest; and may my profound desire be realized some day.” There is absolutely no doubt that Sr. Battig’s desire has been more than fulfilled.
|The Nicene Creed in Latin|
|The original Greek text of the Nicene Creed|
1) The Nicene Creed must be taught in all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan beginning August 1, 2012 in preparation for the opening of the Year of Faith;
2) Parishes and schools must reproduce copies of the Nicene Creed in order to help our Catholic faithful pray the profession of faith daily beginning October 11.
3) The Nicene Creed must be prayed by all pupils in our Catholic schools at the start of each class day either in the classroom or after the flag ceremony.
4) Beginning October 14, 2012, the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Nicene Creed will be the form of the profession of faith that we shall use in all Sunday Masses and solemnities.
|The Sto. Nino de Cebu, whose sweet countenance converted |
the first Filipino Catholics to the faith
|Pope John Paul II at the Baclaran Shrine, 1981|