Archbishop calls ‘Day of Reparation’ over priest’s murder

Archbishop calls ‘Day of Reparation’ over priest’s murder

The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan declares June 18, the ninth day after the murder of Fr. Richmond Nilo, a “Day of Reparation”. SABINS STUDIO

By Roy Lagarde

June 12, 2018


Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan invited the faithful to observe a “day of reparation” on June 18, urging the faithful to oppose killings.

The archbishop, in a letter to the faithful, said he was making the appeal because “murders continue without relent.”

June 18 is a Monday, the ninth day after the brutal killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo, the third priest to be killed in the Philippines in the past six months.

He said, “Today, the murderers are commended and the king is undisturbed.”

“God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests,” Villegas said.

He even invited priests from other dioceses and religious congregations to join the initiative with the consent of their bishops and superiors.

“We beg the Lord to wake up our people, now walking in darkness and numbed by fear, to stand up for the Lord and courageously correct error and sin,” said Villegas.

“May we find among our lay people the readiness to work actively for social and political changes grounded in Catholic moral teachings and Christian social ethics,” he added.

On this day, the archdiocese will do the following:

  • All the Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan will be offered as reparation for the sins of blasphemy against God, the sins of sacrilege and calumny hurled against our priests and bishops; the murders that continue without relent. The Mass presiders are to wear the penitential color of violet. It will be a day of fasting and abstinence for the priests, religious and lay faithful of our Church.
  • The parish priests should expose the Blessed Sacrament for one hour at a time most convenient for the parishioners to adore and make reparation. The priests must go to confession and in turn, hear the confessions of the faithful on this day too.
  • All the parish church bells should ring for fifteen minutes at six o’ clock in the evening on June 18 to commemorate the time when Father Richmond Nilo was killed.
  • The image of the Santo Entierro or the Black Nazarene should be brought out in procession in the evening of June 18th to close the Day of Reparation.
  • The seminarians of Mary Help Christians Seminaries will lead a dawn penitential pilgrimage on foot from San Jacinto Parish Church at 4:30 a.m. to the Basilica of Manaoag. The youth are encouraged to join.

Villegas also asked the faithful to implore God’s grace “to touch the heart” of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop “verbal persecution” of the Catholic Church.

“Such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests,” he added.

“We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our leaders in government may arrest the further erosion of law and order in the country and restore respect for human life and human dignity,” he said.