Manila archbishop calls for penance and fasting
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the Catholic faithful to spend all of Saturday in penance, recollection and fasting in solidarity with the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda.
In a letter addressed to priests, religious and lay leaders, Tagle called for a “Day of lament and hope: Solidarity in prayer (Panaghoy at Pag-asa: Damayan sa panalangin) in the Archdiocese of Manila.
According to him, the day of prayer is an expression of communion and solidarity with fellow Filipinos “who are suffering, grieving and confused because of the successive calamities that afflicted the country.”
Tagle will lead a prayer service and holy hour to cap the day at 8 p.m. at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish church in Paco, the temporary seat of the Archdiocese of Manila, while the Manila cathedral undergoes structural repairs and renovation.
In a separate message, Tagle expressed solidarity with the typhoon victims even as he encouraged everyone to show concern and console the suffering.
“We are one with our suffering brothers and sisters. You are not alone and will never be alone,” Tagle assured victims of Typhoon “Yolanda”.
Tagle also called on the clergy to conduct a special collection to aid typhoon victims.
He called for mobilization and coordination of efforts among parochial schools, religious communities in helping those affected by the calamity.
The cardinal said that in times of disaster, one should think less of oneself and more of others.
“It is a time to console and embrace our neighbors. It is a time to show a love that is stronger than an earthquake or a typhoon. With this love, human lives would be restored and our nation rebuilt,” Tagle said.
Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines observed its 50th anniversary Friday in a somber mood.
“We decided to tone down the commemoration of our jubilee in solidarity with our people who have faced the wrath of the storm” said NCCP general secretary Reverend Father Rex Reyes Jr.
“Instead of a grand celebration, we have transformed our commemoration into an act of solidarity with those who are suffering,” he said, adding that the NCCP has been actively distributing food and water in the affected areas.
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