[Blueboard] Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6, Manila Cathedral: Launch of a Year of Social Engagement

Benjamin T. Tolosa, Jr. btolosa at ateneo.edu
Sun Feb 3 18:31:02 PHT 2008

"We are asking you, our beloved people, to be with us in the
moral-spiritual reform of our nation by beginning with ourselves.
This is what we need -- conversion, real conversion, to put it in terms
of our faith, for all of us to deliberately, consciously develop that
social conscience that we say we sorely lack and to begin
subordinating our private interests to the common good.  This
conversion is for all of us: laity, religious, priests and bishops.

But we have to go about it not only as individuals, but just as
importantly, as whole communities. We have to face a common problem
and map out deliberately and communally how to go about the work of

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
January 27, 2008

Our bishops have called us "to form ourselves into real communities of
faith-discernment and -action," in order to address "the basic fault
in our communities' political and social life: the subordinating of
the common good to private good."

In response, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines
in the National Capital Region (CEAP-NCR), the Manila Archdiocesan and
Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA), the Association of Major
Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), the Inter-diocesan
Catechetical Ministry (ICM), the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) and
the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) through the
"Watch and Pray" movement, will launch "A Year of  Social Engagement" on

                         Ash Wednesday, 6 February 2008
                      at the Manila Cathedral at 1:00 pm

                        Eucharistic Celebration at 2:00 pm
                      Most Reverend Broderick Pabillo, D.D.,
                           Auxiliary Bishop of Manila

Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, Director, CEAP-NCR and President, MAPSA
Executive Council is asking the Catholic educational community to
participate actively in this project. School administrators, faculty,
students, professionals and staff are invited to attend the assembly
and Eucharistic celebration.

This project sets a period for intensive engagement in social
concerns. It calls on our faith communities, especially those of us in
the educational apostolate, to respond to the national situation by
addressing issues of social justice, political institutional reform,
transparency and accountability, human rights and peace.

A particular focus of the assembly on Wednesday will be the agrarian
reform question, especially the case of the Sumilao farmers who have
returned to Manila to renew their campaign to be given the land that
is rightfully theirs. A program of social and political formation will
also be launched, including the development of teaching-learning
modules on the issues that the CBCP has identified in its most recent
pastoral letter: agrarian reform, environmental protection, electoral
reform, corruption, extrajudicial killings and the peace process.

Benjamin T. Tolosa, Jr., Ph.D.
Chair, School Forum
Loyola Schools
Ateneo de Manila University

email: btolosa at ateneo.edu, benjtolosa at gmail.com
telefax: (632) 426-0906
trunkline: (632) 426-6001, ext. 5250, 5251

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