Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

THE Filipino Catholics lost two of its bishops who passed away on the same day due to cancer. Most Reverend Leopoldo “Leo” Tumulak, 72, of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, died of pancreatic cancer at the Cardinal Santos. Most Reverend Rodolfo “Rudy” Beltran, 68, Bishop of San Fernando, La Union died 6 hours later at the University of Sto. Tomas Hospital due to prostate cancer. May you both rest in peace.

Bishop Tumulak served as ecclesiastical pastor of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard personnel, their dependents and the civilian employees of all branches of the armed forces. He was ordained priest in March 1971; Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu for 5 years until 1992 when he was named Bishop of Tagbilaran. He was Chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care at the time of his death. He served as the first Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church from 1996 to 2005. In 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed him as a Consultor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church until 2005. He was laid to rest at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Pasay City, his personal request.

Bishop Beltran was on his 4th year as Bishop of San Fernando when he died. He was ordained to the priesthood in March 1976 under the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao; Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe for 6 years until he was named Bishop of San Fernando, La Union in 2012. He was head of the CBCP’s Commission on Ecumenical Affairs from 2013 to 2015. He was former member of the Commission on Health Care and the Office on Women.

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We condole with the family of the men in uniform of the AFP and PNP who were killed in action at Marawi City. They gallantly fought for peace in the country; they offered their lives to protect the Filipinos from the terrorists led by the Mauti group, which is now joined by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Stories had been told how these young and brave men fought the battle in Mindanao. We salute you and may you all rest in peace.

I was I surfing the Facebook Page of the Civil Relations Service of AFP to find out how I can buy the “Support our Troop” T-shirt, one way of giving financial assistance to the families of those soldiers and police killed in Marawi. I came across this very moving and touching message: “We recognize the pain and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform as they defend our safety, security and way of life in the discharge of their duty in pursuit of peace. We pledge to support our troop.” There is also a picture of a soldier carrying a child to a safe place with this caption “Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.”
Let us also pray for the safety of our government troops who left behind their parents, wife, children brothers, sisters, love ones and family members in order to fulfill their sworn duty and commitment to preserve peace and order in the country. Mabuhay po kayo!

The AFP warned the public to beware of fraudsters who hold benefit dinners or lunch to supposedly raise money for the victims of the crisis in Marawi City.

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Weeks after the Maute group desecrated the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians in Marawi, the BIFF vandalized and desecrated the Chapel of San Jose in Barangay Malakagit, Parish of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. The BIFF gunmen used hammers to destroy religious icons and fixtures in the chapel and scattered the Consecrated Hosts. His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato condemned the “wicked desecration of the Catholic Chapel most especially of the Sacred Hosts. These are irreligious acts that cry out to heaven. Such acts are similar to the desecration of a mosque and the sacred Qur’an by non-Muslims. Both desecrations are gravely sinful.” The BIFF’s action was done to sow division between the Muslims and Catholics. A public school nearby was also ransacked and looted by another group of bandits. The gunmen even raised on a flagpole an inverted Philippine flag, red flap on top. They also destroyed portraits of President Rodrigo Duterte that they found in the classrooms. The BIFF should punish its members who committed such desecration of the Chapel and disrespect to the Philippine flag and the President of the Philippines. Cardinal Quevedo urged the Catholic faithful of Malagakit “to restore the sacredness of their chapel and ask all the faithful of the Archdiocese to pray for peace and harmony among all believers of different religions.”

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The Council of the Laity of Kalookan, headed by this representation, will launch in the Vicariate of San Jose de Navotas its local version of the “Walk for Life” on July 2, 2017 at 5:00 o’clock in the morning. It condemns the Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) that have been happening in the Diocese of Kalookan, especially in Navotas. Prayers will be offered to the EJK victims and the families they left behind. Those who are sick due to use of illegal drugs need help through Community Based Rehabilitation Program, for them to live a new life. They should not be killed.

All the 6 parishes in Navotas City—San Jose, San Roque, San Ildefonso, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Exequiel Moreno and Santa Cruz will converge at San Ildefonso Parish at Estrella corner M. Naval Streets, Navotas East. From there, the group will walk to San Jose Parish Church for the 6:15 a.m. Mass to be presided by Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, Bishop of Kalookan, and concelebrated by the clergy of Navotas and other priests of the Diocese. Invited are the families of EJK (extra judicial killing) victims from Navotas, the Mayor and other officials of Navotas, PNP, NADAC. Everyone who wish to join are most welcome.
Let us not be complacent, let us not be numb to the killings in our city of Navotas. Let us drive away the death squad. Let us WALK for LIFE!