ON the first Sunday of Easter, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, through its president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, issued an Easter pastoral instruction on stewardship of health titled "Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?"
This was prompted by the passage of the Reproductive Health Law which, according to the bishops, understands health differently. "While we respect and recognize the duty and right of the State to pass laws, we deem it our duty as pastors to teach you about the Christian understanding of health which the present RH law seems to misunderstand," says the pastoral instruction.
This instruction premises the Christian understanding of health on human life itself. "Human life ought to be promoted and defended from the moment of conception to natural death. Our life is in our hands as stewards of the gift of life. And our stewardship of life calls us to be responsible stewards of health. While health may not be the greatest value and good of the person, health is a gift and a task for all of us."
Fr. Escaler: When Jesus came to be baptized in the River of Jordan by John the Baptist, it was not meant to cleanse his soul from the sins of Adam and Eve for Jesus is sinless unlike all creatures, but it was meant to satisfy His thirst for His people’s love and become one of us in body and spirit. He thirsts for our love for fellowmen, especially the destitute, those who help victims of calamities, natural disasters and violence, he also thirsts for the love and concern of people who give whatever they can afford despite being poor themselves and destitute.
Cousins Malou Toga-Esmeres (left) and Ines Gabion with NDB’s Pert Toga and Carl Decleene from Colorado, USA pose for souvenir after the Biernes Santo (Good Friday) pilgrimage from the first station of the Cross in Brgy. Tangub to the 14th station in Brgy. Sum-ag last April 18, 2014.* (James Toga photo)
Christ is thirsty for those who have nothing but can manage to help the most needy people who live simply but do not hesitate to give anything at all for the survival of the poor and hungry in their midst who experience the sad and miserable among their fellowmen. They are special in the heart of our Lord Jesus.
Among the highlights of the notable reflections of the seven last words by the religious preachers:
Rev. Donasco: Ang gugma kag pagpatawad sa Makakasala duna sa aton Ginuo. Apang ang wala naga ako sang kasal-anan kag nagapangayo kapatawaran, wala sang pagbag-o kag tuyo sa pagliwat sang sala, wala man sang kapatawaran.
Guests on Good Friday. Relatives and members of the Toga and Gabion families with American friend, Mr. Carl Decleene, a retired US Army officer from Denver, Colorado, USA. The early morning visitors at the Toga residence in Fiesta Homes, Brgy. Sum-ag, Bacolod City joined the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) annual religious pilgrimage from the first station of the cross in Brgy. Tangub to the 14th Station in Brgy. Sum-ag, a 5km distance.* (James G. Toga photo)
Fr. Ledesma: Those who make sincere admission of sinfulness and confession of wrongdoing, acts of renewal of wholehearted desire to be renewed and promise to sin no more like the thief (Dimas) who admitted his sin and acknowledged the sacrifice of Jesus to die for the sins of Man, could now hope to receive the promise of Christ when he tells the thief on his right side that "today you will be with me in Paradise," The other thief (Barabas), instead mocked Jesus and refused to acknowledge his misdeeds, thus was not forgiven.
The seven young priests who are mature in their insights and understanding of religious aspects towards family life, human relations and spiritual emancipation in contemporary times, took turns during the Good Friday (Biernes Santo) rites in the three-hour interpretation and reflection on the Seven Last Words (Siete Palabras) uttered by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ as he hanged on the cross to redeem the sins of mankind.
Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, D.D. (left) poses with NDB Ed-in-Chief Pert Toga after the Bishop blessed the faithfuls and wished them Happy Easter at the close of Holy Mass which the Bishop officiated yesterday at the San Sebastian Cathedral.* (Babes Gantalao photo)
The priests of the Bacolod Diocese, with their indepth mastery of the scriptures, expressed in beautiful and understandable Negrense (Ilonggo/Hiligaynon dialect), by elucidating the call of the times for all mankind to pray and reflect on the need for all Catholics and Christians alike to reconcile and live a life of holiness and a return to decency, Godliness and fellowship.
Two Catholic popes, including Blessed John Paul II who visited Bacolod City on February 21, 1981 or 33 years ago, will be canonized during rites in the Vatican on April 27, 2014.
This was officially announced here by the Very Rev. Felix P. Pasquin, Director of Social Communications of the Bacolod Diocese and Rector of the San Sebastian Parish during the annual Lenten Recollection for Catholic Media practitioners last Saturday, April 12, 2014.
A Triduum in preparation for the canonization rites for the two popes, namely Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II, will be held in the Parish of San Sebastian in Bacolod City where the pilgrim pope stayed overnight and blessed the poor, the youth, the workers and all Negrenses at the improvised stage on the open space at what is now the site of the JP II Tower and Museum beside the huge mall, the SM City Bacolod at the Bacolod Reclamation Area which has become a tourist spot and religious landmark.
Come what may, prayer is still the greatest weapon in times of personal or national crises, says an Iloilo bishop.
"Prayer is our most powerful weapon for any and every personal, social and national concern," said Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, referring specifically to the possible crisis if the RH Law is declared constitutional by the Supreme Court today, April 8.
Lagdameo had also called on all the faithful in Iloilo and Western Visayas to pray and to offer sacrifices for the enlightenment of the Justices of the Supreme Court for their final deliberations on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10354.
NDB’s Pert Toga (2nd L) blows candles on his 73rd birthday March 27 while children and grandchildren Gabriel Zachary look curiously with his Papa Kristofer. To his left are Ana Marie Toga-Garrucho, Malou Toga-Esmeres and grandchildren Maria Lourdes and Joseph Daniel. At the back is Luis "Nonoy" Garrucho,Jr.*
The grandfather (3rd, center) with grandchildren Joseph Daniel, Gabriel, Charles, Lou Jan, Lorenz and Maria Lourdes (Bing-Bing).*
The Diocese of Bacolod under the leadership of His Eminence Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, DD will spearhead a Massive Prayer Vigil tonight in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral seeking divine intervention against the adoption of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
Msgr. Felix Pasquin, Vicar general and rector of the San Sebastian Parish in Bacolod City said the bishop has issued a call on the Catholic faithfuls to join the nationwide mass action to prevail upon the justices of the Supreme Court to declare the RH Law unconstitutional when they convene on Tuesday to hand down their en banc decision on the fate of this much-maligned piece of legislation that has been branded as the "death" law.
Pasquin, speaking on behalf of the Bacolod bishop, reiterated the firm conviction of the Catholic Church to "dump the law into the dustbin of history" as the worst piece of legislation that seeks to destroy life and works in contrast to the moral development and preservation of decency and protection of humanity in civilized society.
One of the questions being debated and taken into serious consideration nowadays in the highly-urbanized City of Bacolod is the proposed redistricting in this Capital City of Bacolod into two: the north and south districts.
There has been two conflicting arguments so far aired in the city of late, notwithstanding the fact that when the idea was first broached by former lone district congressman Anthony Rolando Golez, M.D. who filed the bill and had it passed in the lower house during his term majority of our people welcomed the proposal.
At the time, then Mayor Evelio "Bing" Leonardia and his allies in the city council were squarely behind the redistricting move, but the former Bacolod mayor who now holds the key to finally realize the long-time dream of the Bacolod constituency to have two congressmen and subsequently elect 24 City Councilors for the highly-urbanized City, has expressed a sudden turnaround and became lukewarm to the idea he once advocated while serving the city as its chief executive.
RUPERTO "Pert" GALVAN TOGA, SR.
From the Toga Clan
and NDB Family