Fifty-nine (59) priests (43 diocesan, 16 religious) attended the 13 April recollection held in the new, air-conditioned conference hall – Chapel, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Acta: morning praise and silence within the exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; overview of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”; Paris Agreement; Commission on Election; Mass; snacks and lunch.
(1) Bishop Dinualdo gave an overview of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (Joy of Love). Signed 19 March 2016; released 8 April 2016.
“Amoris Laetitia” (AL) has 325 paragraphs. It deals on the vocation and mission of families in today’s world with its complexities and crises.
AL exhorts shepherds to accompany married couples and families with relevant concrete actions inspired by love, joy and compassion.
It is, therefore, a pastoral program of accompaniment. Although it reminds us of the teachings of Scripture and Church’s Magisterium, AL is not a doctrinal, moral nor canonical document. However, it deepens our understanding of the Christian Faith as lived in today’s concrete realities.
Pope Francis wisely delegates to national/regional conferences of Bishops the authority to solve issues related to marriage and families in their respective jurisdictions.
“The Bible is a source of comfort and companionship for every family that experiences difficulties or sufferings” (AL 22) (Chapter One: 8 – 30).
Experiences and challenges regarding families; migration, ideology of gender, anti-birth mentality, biotechnology in procreation, abuse of minors, treatment of persons with disabilities and elderly, divorce, violence against women. Need to have a deeper understanding of marriage and the family. Marriage is a “dynamic path to personal development and fulfillment”; openness to grace. We form consciences; not replace them. (31-37)
Looking to Jesus. The Vocation of the Family (58-88). Indissolubility of marriage. Sacramental nature, transmission of life. Education of children (GS, HV, FamiliarisConsortio).
Love in marriage (89-164). 1 cor. 13: 4-7. Love in concrete terms. Love grows. Love to be frequently renewed.
Love made fruitful (165-198). Pregnancy, birthing, parental love. Expanded family. Social character of marriage.
Some pastoral perspectives (199-255). From evangelized to evangelizer. Prepare engaged couple for marriage, accompaniment of newly weds. Care for the abandoned, separated, divorced. Speedy procedure for declaration of nullity of marriage, attention to suffering children. Mixed marriage. Disparity of cult. Respect for homosexuals. Dying gracefully. Improved formation of seminarians in accompaniment of married couples and families.
Better education of children (259-290). Ethical formation, discipline, sex education, passing on the faith. Ability to lovingly help children grow in freedom, maturity, overall discipline and real autonomy.
Guiding, discerning and integrating weakness (291-312). Three important verbs to address complex or irregular situations. Gradualness, prudence, openness in pastoral care. Importance of discerning God’s will in these situations. Integrate as much as possible in Church’s life, persons in these irregular situations, while avoiding any form of scandal.
Spirituality of marriage and the family (313-325). Simply stated spirituality means living the faith to lead married couples and families “to the heights of mystical union” (310). Prayer, exclusive and free love, growing old together – these reflect God’s fidelity” (319). Care, consolation and incentive. Shepherding in mercy. “Contemplate our loved ones with the eyes of God and to see Christ in them” (323). “Fullness of love and communion with God” (325).
AL concludes with a Prayer to the Holy Family.
(2) Elpidio Pernia, an official delegate of the Philippines to the World Summit on Climate Change held in Paris, France, 30 November – December 2015, spoke on the Paris Agreement.
The 196 countries present in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC) agreed by consensus to:
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to less than 2 degrees Celsius (oc) compared to pre-industrial levels;
- Zero net anthropogenic (caused by humans) GHG emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century;
- Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 o The 1.5oc goal will require zero emissions between 2030 and 2050.
This Agreement will take effect if signed by at least 55% of countries with global greenhouse emissions in New York between 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) and 21 April 2017 and adopted within their legal system (through ratification, acceptance, approval or accession).
(3) Mr. Romy Gallo, Assistant COMELEC Registrar/Officer, Polomolok Municipality.
- PECOS were upgraded.
- Vote counting machines are friendly users.
- Voting time: 6am – 5pm
- Receipts immediately given to voters after casting ballots. Voters look at the receipts; deposit it in another box. Cannot be taken out.
- Candidates were also briefed, especially regarding posters.
- Voter’s education already conducted in majority of polling places.
- Final testing and sealing of ballot boxes will be made 3 days before election.
- Giving of goods is prohibited; except in cases of emergency –but COMELEC must be consulted. Distribution by Red Cross & DSWD; not by LGUs. (Fr. J.O.C.)
Main celebrant was Fr. Ricky Emboltorio, Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Polomolok. The newly ordained deacon, Rev. Ludy B. Baldonado delivered his homily “with feeling”.
Bishop thanked the hosts, Fr. Rey Mission, Fr. Ricky and parishioners for a comfortable venue, delicious food in abundance and warm welcome.