COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

No. 835     Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                                 12 August 2015



Bishop Dinualdo presided during the Eucharistic celebration in honor of St. Clare, Foundress of the Poor Clares, on 11 August 2015, at the Poor Clare Monastery, Polomolok, South Cotabatao.  Fifteen priests, Franciscans, Capuchin, Claretian and diocesan concelebrated.

Theme: “St. Clare Mirroring the Poor: Christ and the Poor.”

Bishop’s homily.

Jesus Christ lured St. Clare to leave home one evening in order to be espoused to him in simple ceremony conducted by St. Francis and witnessed by some Brothers.  She took off her fine clothes and put on a penitential tunic of sackcloth.  Francis cut short her beautiful hair (Hosea 2: 16-17, 21-22).

St. Clare’s relatives and friends came to the convent of Benedictine Nuns and tried to force her to return and marry a rich man.  But she had no eyes for things visible – only for the invisible and eternal – Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4: 6-10, 16-18)

Thus was St. Clare espoused to Jesus Christ – united to him like a branch to the vine, living in Jesus as Jesus lived in her (Jh. 15: 4-16).

The theme is based on St. Clare’s letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague.

St. Clare wrote: “He (Christ) is the splendor of eternal glory, the brightness of eternal light, and the mirror without cloud.”

“Queen and bride of Jesus Christ, look into that mirror daily and study well your reflection, that you may adorn yourself, mind and body, with an enveloping garment of every virtue…”

“In this mirror blessed poverty, holy humility and ineffable love are also reflected.  With the grace of God the whole mirror will be your source of contemplation.”

Who is Jesus Christ, the source of contemplation?

From the Gospels we learn that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man for our salvation (Lk. 1: 32-35).

When Jesus was born Mary “laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn” (LK. 2: 8).  Shepherds were his first visitors (v. 16).

Two turtledoves, instead of a lamb, were offered when Jesus was presented at the temple. (2: 25).

When he started his ministry in Nazareth he went into the synagogue on a Sabbath day and read from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed (Christ) me.  He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor…” (Lk. 4: 18)

In his discourse on the Beatitudes he called the poor happy, “How happy are you who are poor, yours is the Kingdom of God.” (Lk. 6: 20)

And he identified himself with the poor. “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine you did it to me.” (Mt. 25: 40)

Thus, Jesus Christ tells us to help the poor. “Our faith in Christ” Pope Francis writes, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our common concern for the integral development of society’s most neglected members.” (Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium”, 20 Nov. 2013, n. 186).

In the Philippines, 11.2 million Filipino families (or 51% of the total population) consider themselves poor (SWS, ABS/CBN).

Pope Francis in “Evangelii Gaudium” urges us to “eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter.” (n. 188)

a. Economic Structure

Our model of development ismainly economic, profit-driven and exclusive – it does not benefit everybody.

Blessed Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter on the Development of Peoples, 26 March 1967, writes: “Development cannot be limited to mere economic growth.  In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every man and of the whole man.  We do not believe in separating the economic from the human.” (n. 7)

b. Political Structure

Philippine politics is characterized, generally, by elitocracy (rule by the elite), corruption and inefficiency. Ex. PDAP, DAP, Yolanda victims, etc.

c. Socio-cultural

Root causes of poverty are found in our culture: greed (for wealth, power, pleasures); apathy/unconcern; individualism; and ignorance.

To eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote authentic, integral development we need to do: (1) massive education (adequate knowledge, Christian values, relevant skills) aimed at personal conversion and structural transformation (from unjust to just); (2) solid organizing (for planning, staffing, directing, monitoring/evaluating), programs and projects; (3) continuous, faith-motivated, communal actions; (4) networking and advocacies.  International networking has been found very effective in the case of Glencore/Xstrata proposed copper and gold project.

Personal witnessing to Christ or mirroring Christ, the Man for others, is necessary if we want change for the better.  St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina said: “Only by good example can you change the world.”

May St. Clare of Assisi bless our efforts to mirror Christ in his poverty, humility, obedience, chastity and love for all, especially the poor.



Lourdes Friary, Purok Masagana, Lower Baluan, Gen. Santos City

  • Rogelio Calaor, OFMCap.
  • Eligio Landungin, OFMCap.
  • Renante Sasi, OFMCap.



St. Francis Retreat House, Purok San Jose, Upper Baluan, Gen. Santos City

  • Fe Valledor, SFSC –  Superior
  • Rhia Jomandre, SFSC
  • Mabel Hebionada, SFSC

St. Agnes of Montepulciano Children’s Home (Tel. # 826 9114)

Prk. San Jose, Upper Baluan, Gen. Santos City

  • Joelita Preagido, SFSC –  Superior
  • Elsie Peticaros, SFSC
  • Christine Vitor, SFSC

Back to: 2015 COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
This entry was posted in Bishop Gutierrez' Homily, Feast, OSC - Order of St. Claire, Poor Clare Monastery, Poverty, Saint Clare, Vow of Poverty, Vows and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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