COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

No. 877         Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                               01 May 2016


Several traditions link the month of May to Mary Alfonso XI, King of Castille, Spain wrote in the 13th century “Cantigas de Santa Maria” which deals with specific dates in May to honor Mary.  Eventually, the entire month of May was filled with observances and devotions to honor Mary.

Frederick Holweck wrote that May devotions in its present form originated in Rome around the end of the 18th century when Fr. Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus initiated this May devotion to counteract the infidelity and immorality among the students.  From Rome May devotions spread to other Jesuit Colleges in several countries.  By 1813 May devotions were held in as many as twenty churches in Rome. (

Flores de Mayo in the Philippines

This devotion originated in the Tagalog region after the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and after the publication of Mariano Sevilla’s translation of the devotional “Flores de Mayo” in Tagalog.

Santacruzan is a popular activity during May.  The procession to honor the Holy Cross is a popular feature in the May celebration. Instead of commemorating the finding of the true cross, c. 326, by St. Helena, Mother of Emperor Constantine, the Santacruzan has become a fashion show with movie personalities as “Zagalas”, richly attired.  So, the CBCP in 2012 reminded us that the procession “Santacruzan” is to honor the Holy Cross and to honor Mary with her virtues such as purity, love, justice, power, peace, truth, etc.



From Pope Francis.

As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.  In this way they will help preserve the rich human and natural resources with which God has blessed this country.

Thus will they be able to marshall the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace.

Essential to the attainment of these national goals is the moral imperative of ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity.  The great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor.

It bids us break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise toglaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities. Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart.

  • Pope Francis’ speech (excerpt) at Malacañang after his courtesy call on President Aquino on Friday, January 16, 2015.

From the CBCP

here are indispensable requirements that will serve as democratic instruments for establishing and securing societal changes.  “The first requirement is a wise, informed and formed electorate.  The second requirement is the existence of conditions that will enable voters to choose freely.  The third requirement is the organization of our people down to the precinct level to combat the age—old practices calculated to falsify the expressed wishes of the people and to attain victory at any cost.  (CBCP Pastoral Letter on Preparing for the 1992 Elections, 22 July 1991).

From Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez


Positives:  Christian leaders are servants, shepherds and stewards (3S), who are committed to the common good, competent, credible and compassionate (4 Cs).

Negatives: No to Gold, Guns, Goons and Guile (Deceit).


Pope Francis’ message is summarized by Fr. Joselito Jopson, Executive Secretary, CBCP, ECSC (Episcopal Commission on Social Communications)

His Holiness Pope Francis invites all faithful to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy in 50th World Communications Day Message of the Holy Father to be delivered in all masses this Ascension Sunday, May 8. 2016.

Dubbed with the theme “Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter”, the Holy Father stressed, “If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, “divine love”, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.”

“Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus, to enrich society, avoiding misunderstanding, healing wounded memories, and building peace and harmony. Words can be possible in the digital world and the material world.”

Pope Francis recommended examining three sectors of society by which communication and mercy can be lived: the political sector, the Church, and the family.

“I ask those with institutional and political responsibility, and those charged with forming public opinion, to remain especially attentive to the way they speak of those who think or act differently or those who may have made mistakes,” appealed the Holy Father while quoting Matthew 5, 7-9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

To the pastors of the Church, he reminded them to overcome a mindest that neatly separates sinners from the righteous.

“We can and we must judge situations of sin – such as violence, corruption and exploitation – but we may not judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts. It is our task to admonish those who err and to denounce the evil and injustice of certain ways of acting, for the sake of setting victims free and raising up those who have fallen,” he explained.

As regards the family, the Holy Father underscored the need to dispel the notion of mercy as hopelessly idealistic or excessively indulgent. “I would like to encourage everyone to see society not as a forum where strangers compete and try to come out on top, but above all as a home or a family, where the door is always open and where everyone feels welcome,” said the Holy Father.

He also recommended the use of social networking to be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing. “I pray that this Jubilee Year, lived in mercy, “may open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; and that it may eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, 23),” quoted the Holy Father.

In closing, he called on all to develop a sense of “closeness” that cares, comforts, heals, accompanies, and celebrates. “In a broken, fragmented and polarized world, to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family,” Pope Francis concluded.

Back to: 2016 COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop


About bishopdinualdo

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