Archbishop: ‘Communion should lead to commitment’

Archbishop: ‘Communion should lead to commitment’
Lead to Heal program fellows and guests gather to share about rekindling faith through positive collaboration at the Astoria Plaza Suites, Sept. 22,2017. KRITZIA SANTOS

PASIG City – Giving an opening message during the launching of 24 “Change Projects” or stories of personal and community transformation yesterday, Sept. 22, CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines national director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona reminded the faithful that communion demands commitment.

“Communion should lead us to commitment, so that what we have learned may find beneficial fruits …And we can only do so when we commit our time our talent … to what is noble, what is good, what is true as demanded by the Gospel,” said the prelate in a video message during opening of the launching of the project, which was organized by CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines, Development Academy of the Philippines, and Future By Design Pilipinas, at the Astoria Plaza.

‘Agents of communion’

The prelate, who also heads the Archdiocese of Caceres in Bicol, lauded the NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ 14-month long Lead to Heal leadership program, which trained 24 social action leaders to initiate change in how their respective dioceses do social action work.

“Lead to Heal empowers us first to be agents of communion and this is the call of the Church today to be in communion with our communities, especially among the poor,” he added.

Tirona also stressed the need to be inclusive in the way the faithful embrace and welcome “all our kababyans, all our fellow Filipinos,” especially by being in communion with the rest of the Church.

24 stories of transformation

According to him, social action and authentic change is not possible without God’s action.

“….Our communion and commitment should lead us to tansform society to make it a better place to live in …to transform our inner selves and the inner selves of others and here we depend on the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Tirona called on some 200 attendees to become “constant visionaries”.

“….Today, we need visionary leaders, leaders who see beyond what is the now… what is the best for our people…what is achievable… what will transform us and make us a better nation.”

The 24 fellows of the Lead to to Heal program were able to share stories about their “change projects” across 4 conversation platforms:

  • Formation of leaders and strengthening volunteerism;
  • Citizenship and participation as a way to sustainability;
  • Rekindling faith through positive collaboration; and
  • Institutionalizing humanitarian responses and sustainable development

Stories ranged from making generosity “contagious” through small donation bottles, helping build farmer leaders’ self-confidence, and designing a formation program for scholars. CBCPNews