Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Philippine edition of "Alive to the World" values education series published with the blessing of the CBCP

The following untitled media release is from the website of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan:

The Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) in collaboration with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and Rex Publishing Company has launched a twelve-volume book series for children and youth entitled “Alive to the World”.

Centered on twelve books that can be used in or out of elementary and secondary school over as many years, this course presents an ongoing story about a group of friends who confront typical situations as they grow up. The program makes young people think about choices and consequences. At age appropriate levels, they have to consider family, friendship, peer pressure, romance, sex, love, marriage—and implications like loyalty, team work, personal responsibility, and respect for property, to name but a few.

 Over time, they learn that universal values make sense, that they form a coherent system, and, most importantly, that they open up a world of possibilities of health, happiness, and progress.

This book series on personal, social and health education has been tested successfully in Latin America, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Archbishop Socrates B Villegas, the chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and Catholic Education “admits that this is a pro active response to the steady deterioration of Catholic values among our youth. The Church is not an “anti” institution. The Church is a teacher and caretaker of truly positive universal human and Christian values. The way to overcome the anti-family and anti-life bills in congress is to teach our youth and children what are truly human and Christian values.”

The books teach about sex and family in an age appropriate manner and using universal human values. Even non Christians can benefit from this book series.

“We will fight the anti-life and anti-family and anti-women bills in Congress by winning the minds and hearts of our youth. We will overcome these evil bills by the power of good, dedicated and well formed young leaders. The hope of the nation is the pro-family pro-life youth not the anti-life and anti-family congressmen.”

“I encourage all our Catholic universities, colleges and schools to avail of the book series from Rex Publishing Company and start using the series when the school year opens in June. It has a series for students and another series for teachers to assist them in the classroom instruction.”

"Alive to the World" was originally designed and produced in Spanish by Christine de Marcellus Vollmer, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life. It is currently being promoted internationally by Alliance for the Family and has been widely distributed (in adapted form) in South America and in Sub-Saharan Africa

More information on this program can be found in the Alive to the World UK website and in the following article by Zenit: VALUES-BASED SEX ED APPEALS TO HEAD, HEART - "Alive to the World" Program Called an Effective Alternative

Mercator.Net also has the following laudatory article on this program: Alive to the World: a character education programme that works

The Zenit article mentions that this program has enjoyed the support of the late Alfonso Cardinal López Trujillo and his successor as President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Ennio Cardinal Antonelli. 

The following is the promotional video for 'Alive to the World' in the United Kingdom:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

The tears of Cardinal Sanchez

Cardinal Sanchez celebrating Mass. Source
What I admire most about Cardinal Sanchez was his deep reverence towards the sacred liturgy. Despite the certain limitations of his body, he would somehow find that inner strength and force his body to function properly just for him to be able to express the proper reverence ought to be given. At his age, he would forcefully genuflect when passing the tabernacle and during the consecration and he would even bow whenever Jesus Christ, Mother Mary and the Holy Trinity is mentioned. But what strikes me the most is that this man cries during the consecration at every mass. Such passion, love and commitment can only be read in books on the lives of saints and martyrs, yet I was one of the lucky ones, despite my unworthiness, to have witness such holiness and purity.
 ~ Testimony of Leopoldo Eduardo Nievera II (Cardinal Sanchez's "unofficial official photographer") on his blog, "Profratribus" (from the post "Discovering Cardinal Sanchez through my camera lens", March 11, 2012)

...He so identified with the suffering and passion of our Lord that many times during Mass, which he always celebrated with great solemnity, his eyes would fill with tears, his voice crack and tremble, as he pronounced the words of consecration and he would have to pause long and hard to regain control of his emotions before he could go on. 

~ CBCP Monitor, Editorial (p. A4), March 12 - 25, 2012, Vol. 16. No. 6. 

Jose Cardinal Sanchez was a man truly in love with God and with His Church. Although he was noted for his earnest demeanor, he was in reality a person very much in touch with his feelings. But while emotional men may cry over painful and sad events, Cardinal Sanchez sheds tears at the consecration of every mass. 
It may confound some observers, why his voice cracks as he pronounces the words of consecration. But Cardinal Sanchez was invariably moved by the tremendous reality that takes place at every Eucharistic celebration, when bread and wine turn into the Body and Blood of the Lord.  
He was a man of profound faith. Only the man who sees with the eyes of faith can appreciate the profound mystery of the Eucharist. This faith founds him on the solid rock of certitude, a quality not too many people possess today...

~ From Ricardo Cardinal Vidal's homily at the funeral of Jose Cardinal Sanchez. (Front page, CBCP Monitor, March 12 - 25, 2012, Vol. 16. No. 6.)