1. Easter Message

Bishop Dinualdo’s message, 27 March 2016, DXCP, General Santos City.  Delivered in Cebuano, translated here in English.

Easter’s message: joy and new life.  Joy because through Christ’s death we were saved from sin; new life, because through His resurrection Christ opened the door to a new life – a new life of obedience to God’s will, a life of loving relationships and full of hope.

Ezekiel “I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead.  I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances” (36: 26-38).

In today’s situation this means: food for the hungry; water for the thirsty’ clothes for the naked; shelter for the homeless; health care for the sick; humane living conditions for the prisoners.  Christ said whenever we do these “to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me” (Mt. 25: 35-40).

Our Passionist Fathers engaged in Mission for Indigenous Peoples informed the Bishop they have “initially identified at l\east 3,131 families living in the various sitios in the different municipalities in South Cotabato and Saranganiprovinces whose livelihood and well-being are severely affected by El Niño.  These people, especially the children, are suffering from starvation and various forms of illnesses…” (Fr. Mark Tobias, CP, Executive Director, CMIP, 21 March 2016).

Fr. Rey CarvynOndap, CP, in-charge, Passionist Center – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, in his Factsheet dated 20 march 2016, writes: T’boli – 2,211 families; Banga – 20; Tupi – 80; Malungon – 300; Malapatan – 300; and Alabel – 150.  “These communities are not usually reached by government services like health care, water and education.  Even now that a state of calamity has been declared in these municipalities, they haven’t received any help from the government agencies.

Fr. Carvyn adds: “What the affected families urgently need now is the basic subsistence such as rice, canned goods, medicines and other supplements.”  Please drop your donations at the St. Paul of the Cross Pastoral Center at Novitiate Compound, General Santos City.

These indigenous peoples are normally the forgotten, oppressed, marginalized, exploited and deprived (FOMED).

What to do?  New life means:

  • New person…personal conversion. From indifference to solidarity and involvement in the promotion of the common good.
  • New governance, from traditional politicians, most of whom are corrupt and incompetent to new leaders who are committed to the common good; competent, credible and compassionate;
  • later, new system: from morally corrupt to Godly; economically exclusive, inclusive; politically elitist, participative democracy, individualistic culture, solidarity with all; ecologically destructive (open-pit mining, coal-fired power plant, aerial spray, etc), healthy and balanced ecology.

What to do further?

  • Study qualifications and track records of candidates;
  • Pray for an honest, peaceful election;
  • Act according to God’s will.   Ensure your vote is counted.  Participate in the Voter’s Assistance Center (VAC).

Let us hope this time we elect candidates committed to promote the total well-being of everyone.

Back to: COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop (No. 874 March 28, 2016)

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About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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