Tagle to faithful: Practice charity, fasting
Ahead of the Catholic Church’s observance of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 14, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle appealed to the faithful to practice acts of charity and fasting to help feed hundreds of thousands of hungry and malnourished Filipino children this year.
In a statement, Tagle sought the Catholics’ active and full support in the relaunch of the archdiocese’s Fast2Feed program, the flagship program of Pondo ng Pinoy’s Hapag-Asa, which aspires to combat the growing problem of hunger and malnutrition among children in the country.
The program feeds hungry and malnourished children, age 6 months to 12 years, with nutritious food once a day, five times a week for six months.
The program also encourages the people to fast during Lent and to donate the money they save to feed the children.
“We are called to love God, and our love for God is best expressed by the love we have for our brothers and sisters,” said Tagle, who is expected to issue a pastoral statement on Ash Wednesday that will underscore the importance of heeding God’s call to pray, fast and practice charity.
Tagle also pointed out the importance of charity, especially during this season of Lent.
Charity, he said, is the “very heart of Christian life.”
“In this season of Lent, we are especially called upon to exercise charity in our dealings with our neighbor—that is to say, to have a genuine concern for those who are needy and who suffer, and to perform concrete good works,” he said.
Early childhood education
Hapag-Asa was able to feed about 2 million hungry and malnourished children from Pondo ng Pinoy dioceses and other dioceses, nongovernment organizations, local government units and schools since it started in 2015.
Last year, the campaign was able to help 18,000 children from all over the country.
Aside from their supplemental feeding program, Hapag-Asa has been providing the children with early childhood education. It has also strengthened the values education, livelihood components and skills training of the children’s parents.
According to Tagle, “it only takes P1,200 for six months—or P10 per day to bring back a hungry and undernourished child to a healthy state.”
In his circular to priests in the archdiocese, Tagle said that Fast2Feed 2018 Fund Campaign envelopes would be distributed to parishes and schools.
He encouraged the faithful to offer the Fast2Feed envelope with their donation during the Mass, or to turn it over to the parish office any day after Ash Wednesday.
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