Asia-Pacific confab on Catholic response to HIV-AIDS

MANILA–Priests, religious and lay partners in health and social work as well as representatives from the HIV-positive community took part in the 6th Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV-AIDS (CAPCHA) Conference last November 13-18 in Bayview Park Hotel, Manila.

“Be merciful as the Father is merciful” [Lk 6:36] was the conference theme, in line with the universal Church’s celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  It also served as an expression of the Church’s way of responding to the HIV-AIDS issue–bringing the mercy of God to people living with HIV and strengthening greater commitment towards this advocacy.

Participants came from around 11 countries in the area (Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Australia, etc.), where already there are existing Catholic organizations and networks providing efforts at prevention, care, treatment and support of people living with HIV-AIDS and their affected families.  Catholic youth ministry in the Philippines was represented through youth ministers coming from selected regions.

Ms. Teresita Marie Bagasao, Country Director of the United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS, reported that from the 2015 UNAIDS data, there are already 5.1 million people in Asia and the Pacific living with HIV.  More than 90% increase of PLHIV and new infections from 2000 to 2015 and high HIV prevalence among key populations were noted in 12 Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines.  People who inject drugs (PWID) contribute to the rapid spread of the virus; as well, rates among males having sex with males (MSM), the largest group in the at-risk population, are rising.  HIV affects more young people, as there are now 600,000 PLHIV among youth ages 15-24 in Asia-Pacific as of 2015.

How the Catholic Church in the Philippines, through the Philippine Catholic HIV-AIDS Network (PhilCHAN), works in promoting the cause against HIV-AIDS was also showcased in the conference.  The participants visited selected schools and treatment-care and support centers where the advocacy is at work.  On the other hand, participants also had sessions to report on their respective country situations, challenges and existing programs and interventions.  In addition, issues related to HIV-AIDS–homosexuality, prostitution, human trafficking and drug abuse, among others–were presented and discussed in a series of plenary sessions.

A conference highlight was the prayer and reflection led by Fr. Jerome A. Ponce, OFM, a “missionary of mercy” appointed by no less than Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  He highlighted the significant role of people serving the PLHIV, becoming fully immersed in their misery and pain, restoring their dignity, and becoming living signs of God’s merciful love to them.

The conference, aside from broadening knowledge on the HIV situation in Asia-Pacific and deepening the understanding of the theologico-pastoral response of the Church, also challenged countries and local churches to work more closely together in developing and strengthening Catholic networks which seek to address the issue from a genuine Christ-centered, ecclesial perspective.

Furthermore, as more youth are affected by HIV-AIDS through sexual activity and drug injection, the youth ministry of the Church is strongly challenged in the education of the young: not only towards prevention, but in providing integral formation on human dignity and sexuality rooted in authentic Catholic teaching.

The Chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care, Most Rev. Julito B. Cortes, DD, during the Opening Eucharistic Celebration, said: “I pray, that through the work that we do, we make our sick brothers and sisters, as well as those disadvantaged by other circumstances, retrieve their lives, retrieve hope, retrieve their enthusiasm for life.”  The 6th CAPCHA Conference served to renew the commitment of the Catholic organizations present to the United Nation’s goal of having zero HIV infections, zero stigma and discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030.  The participants continue the mission of becoming channels of God’s merciful love to those affected by HIV-AIDS and of engaging more Catholic groups and communities to be part of this advocacy.

CAPCHA 6 participants with Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, Department of Health Secretary

CAPCHA 6 participants with Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, Department of Health Secretary

Selected participants reporting on their country HIV-AIDS situation

Selected participants reporting on their country HIV-AIDS situation

Groups of participants sharing their experiences

Groups of participants sharing their experiences

The youth minister-participants to the CAPCHA 6 with Fr. Dan Cancino, MI, Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (center)

The youth minister-participants to the CAPCHA 6 with Fr. Dan Cancino, MI, Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (center) (From left to right) Mr. Ariel Allorde (of Filipino Youth with a Mission, for the Federation of National Youth Organizations), Ms. Louise Antonette Salando (for the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines), Ms. Maria Lea Dasigan (for the ECY Secretariat), Mr. John Kit Estuya (of the Diocese of Iba, for the Central Luzon Region), Mr. Inaque Shaquille Garlet (of the Archdiocese of Cebu, for the Central-Eastern Visayas Region), Mr. Ivan Conrad Pinto (of the Archdiocese of Manila, for the National Capital Region) and Mr. James Bontia (of the Archdiocese of Cebu, for the Central-Eastern Visayas Region)

Videos of the NCYM 2016 in the Diocese of Dipolog

Opening Mass – Homily:

Day 2 – Mass – Homily:

Day 2 – Plenary Talk:

Closing Mass – Homily:

Days 0 and 1 – Video Recap:

Day 2 – Video Recap:

Day 3 – Video Recap:

NCYM Recap:

FORGIVEN AND FREE: A Festival of Mercy

How are you planning to close the Jubilee of Mercy?  Join this overnight festival with other young people!

The Archdiocese of Manila, through its Ministry on Campus (part of its archdiocesan youth ministry office), and the Adamson University Campus Ministry is putting up “FORGIVEN AND FREE: A Festival of Mercy” this November 19-20.


The festival welcomes young people in groups, whether school-based or not.  Registration online is necessary using the registration form (attached) provided by the organizers, as well as a nominal fee of only P200 per person (to cover event ID, kit, and November 19 dinner and November 20 breakfast).  No onsite registration will be entertained.

To be held in the Adamson University in Manila, this overnight vigil will begin at 4:00 PM of Saturday, and end at 8:00 AM of Sunday, Solemnity of Christ the King and closing day of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis last year.

It will be a celebration of God’s mercy, His gift to His beloved children as we close the jubilee!  As Pope Francis himself said, “The Jubilee is like a party to which Jesus invites us all, without excluding anyone.  It is a time when we discover that life together as brothers and sisters is like a great party, perhaps the most beautiful party we can imagine, the endless party that Jesus has taught us to celebrate by His Spirit.”

If you are a student in Metro Manila or nearby areas, tell your school about this; if you are from a parish or youth group, let your leaders know.  Be part of this party for mercy!

More details are available on the event’s Facebook page–

The Word of God is the Life and Mission of the Church

“It is the Word of God who has called you and who has gathered you…”

Ecba Bible Congress

Thus has the Bishop of Laoag, Most Rev. Renato Mayugba, DD, explained the gathering of some 300 from all over the country–bishops, lay people, priests and religious–for the 1st National Bible Congress.


Organized by the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate, currently chaired by Most Rev. Sofronio Bancud, SSS, DD, this National Bible Congress aims to 1) deepen the awareness of everyone involved in the different commissions of the CBCP, including the Bible Apostolate, on the importance of the Word of God in the mission and vision of the Church as found in Verbum Domini, 2) provide a venue for updating on current studies on the Bible, and 3) motivate the participants to appreciate the Word of God and be actively involved in its use and reflection in their respective ministries and commissions and also in the distribution of bibles to all parishes and dioceses.


This Congress and its objectives come as a fruit of the 21st National Bible Workshop held earlier this year in the Diocese of Marbel.


Aside from the work of the ECBA and its members and volunteers, various CBCP Commissions have been invited to take part, including the Episcopal Commission on Youth. Some youth ministers are present as part of their respective diocesan delegations to this event, such as the Dioceses of Cabanatuan and Marbel.


Various talks and sharing are slated, with Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, DD of Kalookan delivering the plenary talk. There will be sharing of the Word in BEC experiences, in a Youth Bible camp, in family life and social media. One session will be a sharing by a senior citizen, Sr. Cora Manalo, DC, on aging gracefully in the light of God’s Word.


Part of the opening of the Congress is reminding the participants about putting centerstage the Word of God: “We should not engage in (any) apostolate without reference to the Word of God”, encouraged Bishop Mayugba. This was reflected, among other ways, by placing the Bible at the center of the assembly in this opening day, and the “Dance of the Spring”, a Bibliodrama dance where the dancers go to the center to symbolize getting nourished and bonded by the incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus.

Tadhana: Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa (Live Pure Conference 2016)

live pure movement

Live Pure is a catholic youth movement committed to lead young people to a life of Real Freedom, True Love and Total Happiness by living a chaste life. A movement of the young that promotes and defends the culture of LIFE. This is not just a passing advocacy defined by the signs of the times, but rather, to Live Pure is our identity.

Annually,  young people gathered from all over the country to celebrate Real Freedom, Total Happiness and True Love through the Live Pure Conference. Already on their 5th year, they are inviting you to a Live Pure Conference entitled “Tadhana: Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa” on October 9, 2016 which will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City from 12NN to 6PM.

For more information, please visit:

Invitation to the 1st National Bible Congress

NATIONAL COUNCILS of FNYO Member Organizations
Dear fellow youth ministers,
Greetings in our Lord!
We are pleased to share with you about the 1st National Bible Congress being prepared by the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate!  It will be this October 03-05, to be hosted by the Diocese of Laoag.
Why this Congress?  “To maximize the implementation of all of the statements made in Koronadal City (formerly Marbel) after the 21st National Bible Workshop, we found it helpful to come up with a Bible Congress which aims
1) to deepen the awareness of everyone involved in the different commissions of the CBCP, including the Bible Apostolate on the importance of the Word of God in the mission and vision of the Church as found in Verbum Domini
2) to provide a venue for updating on current studies on the Bible
3) to motivate the participants to appreciate the Word of God and be actively involved in its use and reflection in their respective ministries and commissions and also in the distribution of bibles to all parishes and dioceses” (from the CBCP-ECBA Executive Secretary, Dr. NATIVIDAD PAGADUT).
Acknowledging the Word of God as the life and mission of the Church and all her ministries, the CBCP-ECY maintains a mutually beneficial relationship with the CBCP-ECBA; we believe this is mirrored in many dioceses, where the youth ministry and bible apostolate offices/ commissions in various levels are closely collaborating.  May we therefore enjoin you to two things:
1) To be part of this congress by registering and/or sending your youth leaders/ ministers to register (we are appealing especially to youth ministries within the Northern and Central Luzon Regional Youth Coordinating Councils), or by registering with the delegation of the biblical apostolate of your diocese; and
2) To share this invitation to your networks and circles of influence (e.g. parish youth ministries within your diocese, local chapters of your organization, the campus ministries within your reach, etc.).
The CBCP-ECBA has only specified that attendees should be “actively involved in a ministry of the Church and recommended by the parish priest, bishop, director/directress of that ministry” and “willing to serve his/her parish/diocese after the congress”.
The program is being prepared to become relevant in the light of the Jubilee of Mercy and our own Year of the Eucharist and the Family.  More details are available in the CBCP-ECBA website, where (online) registration is open until September 15.
Anticipating your support and cooperation in this regard, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Executive Secretary
P.S. Here is the link to the site about this event —

KAYA IDALANGIN July-Sept 2016 (WYD 2016 Special Edition)

Sharing with you the recently released issue of KAYA IDALANGIN July-September 2016, a special edition for the celebration of the 31st World Youth Day!

The “Kaya Idalangin” is a quarterly prayer leaflet for vocations published by the Congregation of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. The Kaya Idalangin is available in print and digital editions, published in English and Tagalog. Subscribers may send their requests of copy of KAYA IDALANGIN for free at


Kaya idalangin page 1

Kaya idalangin page 2

Kaya idalangin page 3

Kaya idalangin page 4

Simultaneous WYD2016 Celebrations Guidelines


Your Excellency:

Greetings in our Lord who is Mercy!

The 31st World Youth Day will take place this year, on July 26-31, in Krakow, Poland; within the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, this event becomes the Jubilee of Youth.  Aside from the international meeting taking place in Poland, simultaneous celebrations in other dioceses around the world are also encouraged.  May we then invite your ecclesial community, possibly through your youth ministry office, to celebrate this jubilee in your own particular church and the settings therein.

The Episcopal Commission on Youth prepared a set of guidelines which we hope will be helpful in planning and preparing this simultaneous local celebration.  On a related note, as we journey towards 2021, the 500th year of the Christianization of our country, we are including the conceptual plan of the Youth Forum, our proposal as the particular participation of youth ministry in this pilgrimage we are making as Church in the Philippines.

We trust that you will welcome this suggestion, making possible the participation in the WYD2016 of our young people in spirit.  After the event, we kindly ask that a report form be accomplished and sent back to us for the purpose of documentation and evaluation.

Thank you for your kind attention and continued support to youth ministry!  Imploring the Lord’s mercies upon you and your communities, especially the families, I remain

Yours in our Eucharistic Lord,

Executive Secretary

Hope abound at the Manila Prayer Gathering 2016

Around 700 people working against human trafficking gathered together for the Manila Prayer Gathering 2016 (MPG2016) held at the Victory Christian Fellowship Center, Robinson’s Galleria, Mandaluyong City last June 23.

The MPG2016 is an annual gathering hosted by the International Justice Mission (IJM) as a thanksgiving for all the victories the Lord has sent them in the mission of ending human trafficking. Attendees come from church organizations, civic groups, government agencies, who share in the advocacy to end human trafficking.

Manila Prayer Gathering

Manila Prayer Gathering

This year’s MPG focused on Hope Abounds. The night of prayer was highlighted by short sharings from Field Office Directors of IJM on three sub-themes: Hope Fulfilled, Hope Perseveres and Hope Abounds. These sharings were characterized by reports on the work of IJM, on how many trafficked victims they have rescued, how many traffickers are prosecuted and new forms of trafficking they discovered.

Manila Prayer Gathering

Manila Prayer Gathering

Each attendee was asked to pray for a department of IJM, and for a trafficking victim embodied by a stone, some of which have names, most of which do not have. These stones with names represent trafficked persons rescued and are being helped by IJM. Those stones without names symbolize trafficked persons still to be rescued by IJM.

Gathering the prayers of various churches into one, the night or prayer ended with a worship session. IJM thanked everyone who came, and who continues to join the fight against human trafficking.

Taize Prayer Schedules in the Philippines

The following are the regular schedules of Taize prayer in the Philippines:

Every Monday
Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace-Our Lady of EDSA, Mandaluyong City (Archdiocese of Manila)
After the 5:30 PM Mass

Every Friday
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Cathedral, Maasin, Southern Leyte (Diocese of Maasin)
7:00 PM

Every Saturday
San Isidro Labrador Gagmayong Kristohanong Katilingban-GKK (Basic Ecclesial Community-BEC), Davao City (Archdiocese of Davao)
7:00 PM

Every 1st Friday of the month
St. Joseph Bamboo Organ, Las Pinas City (Diocese of Paranaque)
After the 6:00 PM Mass
St. Peter Thelmo Parish, Aparri, Cagayan (Archdiocese of Tuguegarao)

Every 1st Saturday of the month
Holy Family Parish, Pasig City (Diocese of Pasig)

Every 2nd Saturday of the month
San Roque Parish, Pateros (Diocese of Pasig)
St. John the Baptist Parish, Taytay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo)

Every 3rd Saturday of the month
St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Santa Clara, Santo Tomas, Batangas (Archdiocese of Lipa)
6:00 PM

Every 4th Saturday of the month
Nuestra SeÒora del Santissimo Rosario Parish, Lantic, Carmona, Cavite (Diocese of Imus)

Every last Saturday of the month
Jesus of Nazareth Parish, Quezon City (Diocese of Novaliches)
7:30 PM

Once a month
Santuario de Santo Cristo, San Juan City (Archdiocese of Manila)