The Year of the Clergy and the Religious
THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared the Year of the Clergy and the Religious from December 03, 2017 to November 25, 2018. This is to prepare the faithful for the March 16, 2021 5th centenary or 500 years of the coming of Christianity in the Philippines. We are now on the 6th year of the nine-year journey (Novena) to 2021.
In July 2012, the CBCP announced the “nine-year journey for the New Evangelization,” with a different theme for each year: Year of Integral Faith Formation (2013); Year of the Laity (2014); Year of the Poor (2015); Year of the Eucharist and the Family (2016); Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities (2017); Year of the Clergy and Religious (2018); Year of the Youth (2019); Year of Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue (2020); and Year of Missio ad gentes [mission to the nations] (2021).
The first Mass in the Philippines was celebrated in Limasawa on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521. It was also then when Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Amihan were baptized and given the Christian name Carlos and Juana, respectively. History stated that Ferdinand Magellan gifted these two first Catholics in the country with the image of Santo Niño de Cebu. The year 2021 will be “a year of great jubilee for the Church in the Philippines.”
Most Rev. Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia S.T.D., J.C.L, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, has just arrived as of press time. On September 12, 2017, Archbishop Caccia was appointed by Pope Francis as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines replacing Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto who was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Croatia on July 1, 2017.
A research about him discloses that he was born on February 24, 1958 in Milan, Italy but lived for many years in Cavaria con Premezzo. He was ordained priest on June 11, 1983 and served in St. Giovanni Bosco Parish in Milan until 1986. Then he was sent to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, where he obtained a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) and a Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Upon graduation in 1991 he joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was appointed an attaché in the Apostolic Nunciature in Tanzania.
On June 11, 1993 he returned to Rome to work in the General Affairs Section of the Vatican Secretariat of State. On December 17, 2002 he was appointed Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State where he worked under Archbishop Leonardo Sandri and, after 2007, under Archbishop Fernando Filoni. On July 16, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon and Titular Archbishop of Sepino. He was consecrated by the Pope on September 12, 2009, with Cardinals Tarcisio Bertone and William Levada as co-consecrators.
The Philippines bagged a back-to-back win in the international beauty contest where both beauty and brains of the candidates are considered. Congratulations to both Ms. Earth 2017 Ms. Karen Ibasco and Reina Hispano-Americana 2017 Ms. Teresita Ssen “Wynwyn” Marquez.
Ms. Ibasco won the country’s 4th Miss Earth title, the other 3 Ms. Earth winners in the past were Karla Henry (2008), Jamie Herrell (2014) and Angelia Ong (2015).
Ms. Ibasco claimed that “it was not by my own abilities that made me standout during the coronation night; it was by the Spirit of God that led me through. Apart from Him I could not have done it. He was the One who gave me confidence and wisdom in presenting myself as a whole package in front of the whole world. I don’t take this crown for myself, It is for the whole Philippines. This battle was not mine alone but ours. I am proud in raising our flag for the whole world to witness.”
Ms. Marquez, on the other hand, is the Philippines’ first candidate and the first Asian to join and win the Reina Hispano-Americana 2017 held in Bolivia. She is a TV celebrity. The pageant promotes Hispanic heritage, language and culture, thus also tagged “La Reina De Asia.” She studied Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Marketing Management.
In the question and answer portion, Ms. Marquez wowed the audience on her answer to the question “How would you promote Hispanic Americana culture with language barriers?” She answered: “Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other. The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture and love for family.