Santuario Celebrates Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with Baptism

Our active communities in Zone 2 Carmen, Oro Chain Village and Binonoan, celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with a Fiesta Mass and Baptism last July 15, 2017.

A few weeks before the fiesta, the community of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan attended a Pre-Baptism seminar given by Sr. Marge P. Manabat, TMM and our parish catechists as preparation for their Fiesta Celebration. They had willingly participated in the seminar and are now ready to receive the Sacrament of Baptism which is the basis of the whole Christian life and doorway to all the other Sacraments.

On the 15th of August 2017, the whole community of Carmen celebrated Mass in Honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Our active parishioners of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan had separate celebrations. The Baptism was help in Oro Chain Village where our Shrine Rector and Parish Priest, Fr. Froilan R. A. Briones, SSS baptised 17 infants. In Binonoan, the mass was presided by one of our assistant priests in the shrine, Fr. Clifford Barrios, SSS.

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Santuario Eucaristico in partnership with the community of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan is truly grateful to the divine providence of our Lord and the intercession of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for another successful fiesta celebration and welcomes our new brothers and sisters to Christianity! In Fr. Froilan’s homily, he gave us a reminder that “True devotion to Mary consists of leading holy lives in conformity with her virtues of humility, gentleness, love, penance and prayer.” Happy fiesta to all!




EASTER: the SEASON of the NEWNESS of LIFE

Resurrection is the victory of Jesus from His death on the cross and his way of giving to man the gift of new life. From the darkness of our sins we receive the light of the newness of life and it is freely given to us by our Lord and Savior. We experience this and we feel like being new creations free from the stain of sin. Oftentimes we wonder why the Lord is offering his life on the cross for us. Is it because we are worthy? Precisely we are not. But why the Lord is offering his life on the cross for us? It is because of one thing- he loves us. And this love brings him to the cross so that we can have life. Jesus can show us his love for us without dying on the cross. Yes, he can do that. However, he prefers to die on the cross so that we can understand that his love for us is not only in words but in deed. And through this death on the cross he teaches us further that to love is to sacrifice even to the point of death for the sake of the beloved. And St Peter Julian Eymard is right in saying that, “True love is self -forgetful, devoted, perpetually self- sacrificing, not through self-interest and effort but with joy, finding its sole happiness in pleasing others.” He endures the pain and shame on the cross and we enjoy the fruit of this and that is the new life. He embraces death that we may have life, a life to the full.

This newness of life that we oftentimes called Easter grace makes us pleasing before the eyes of the Father once again. Therefore it is but good for us to celebrate and thank the Lord. The whole creation must be shouting for joy and must be in a state merriment because of this wonderful gift that is received.

Some reflections are showing the links between the Season of Easter and the Season of Spring. They have similarities actually. Easter is the move from death to the resurrection and is linked with spring when flowers begin to burst forth from the soil. And by seeing the link we can observe that both reveal and point to the newness of life after waiting, planting, hoping, and watching. While autumn may seem more beautiful, we hear it said that as we get older, we enjoy and appreciate spring even more than autumn. Spring points the way to new life. And in spring the season is very inviting for us to experience outdoor, to come to new life, and so be in accord with what is going on in nature around us. We have managed, survived, and even conquered the winter of our life.

Emily Dickinson once talking about the season of spring and connects it to the resurrection. She describes the season of spring as “this whole experiment of green…” And by saying “this whole experiment of green”, she is talking about life that the said season brings. And just as the season of spring brings life, so as the resurrection brings the newness of life to the rest of the humanity. Life is bursting forth, with fragrance and color, and above all with green in this Easter season. It is but good to discover, recover, and keep the greenness of life alive deep within us.

And as we receive this Easter grace we are also challenged to remain faithful to Him so that we can keep this grace of new life, the greenness of life in us alive. And like what one author says, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song,” let us be forever singing the love and goodness of the Lord in us. Happy Easter!

Written by:
Rev. Fr. Muriel A. Uy, SSS
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament




Reflection on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ

We can read in the Gospel of Luke that after the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives and prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” This was an intense moment between the Son and His Father. Jesus prayed so intensely to His Father because He knew the sacrifice that was set before Him. This sacrifice, starting from the agony in the garden, betrayal of His friends until His death on Calvary, was never devoid of physical suffering and emotional pain because He is fully human like us yet he endured and embraced it whole-heartedly.

We are once again in the Season of Lent. This season brings us again to the Passion and Death of our Lord. We will be confronted once again to the bloody and brutal scene of his immolation. His Passion and Death is the greatest act that only He could supply to please the Father. This act was finally accomplished on the Cross. Jesus` Passion and Death is not for Himself but for mankind. There is no sacrificial lamb that can be offered as a perfect sacrifice on the altar of the cross to wash away our sins but Jesus` own blood. Through the Lamb of God, man`s communion with God was restored pouring out His own blood for many for the forgiveness of sins. He paid for our freedom with the price of his own blood–His suffering and death.

As we journey in the Season of Lent, let us contemplate the Holy Week recalling to mind what our Lord endured for our salvation. Let us remind ourselves that the redemption worked by Christ on the Cross requires personal recognition of our own responsibilities. The fruits and merits of Christ’s Passion and Death need to be applied in our life by means of practice of faith, reception of the sacraments, conversion of heart, and accepting all the hardships in life. Meditating on His Passion and Death should strengthen us to be more faithful, should move us to reconcile with God through the reception of the sacrament of Confession, and keep us on the path of doing the will of the Father. Christ achieved a great redeeming value for us by enduring and embracing whole-heartedly all that He had to face. Jesus crucified on the cross is the greatest love story that is ever told—Jesus’ self-sacrifice for humanity. Therefore, it is only when we identify with the sufferings of Christ that we can merit and achieve a great redeeming value during our own sufferings and pains and fervently say, “… not my will but yours be done.”

Written by:
Br. Mark Divine B. Pangilinan, SSS
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament




The Stations of the Eucharist

In order to promote greater devotion to the Holy Eucharist, stained glass windows of the Stations of the Eucharist were installed at Santuario Eucaristico. A conference on the Eucharistic Stations was then conducted last March 25, 2017.

Santuario Eucaristico Stations of the Eucharist

A Prayer Booklet was provided to our parishioners during the conference where Fr. Froilan R. A. Briones, SSS, our speaker, introduced the Stations of the Eucharist. In his talk, he stated that the stations was originally designed by the Poor Clare Nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama. They have a monstrance-like garden which leads one around the twelve (12) stations with corresponding image and scriptural texts from the Old Testament and continuing into the New Testament. As stated in the website of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament:

“The purpose of the Stations of the Holy Eucharist is to help the Faithful deepen both their understanding and appreciation of the Source and Summit of our Faith: The Most Holy Eucharist. Through the whole of salvation history, God Our Father has prepared His people for the Gift of His Beloved Son, and also for the Gift of His Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist. Throughout the Old Testament, the Eucharist was prefigured. And in the New Testament these shadows gave way to Reality.”

We are glad to have finally provided our parishioners more information about the Eucharist. It will surely help one where to find references of the Eucharist in the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament. These references are proof of the doctrine of the Eucharist; that the Eucharist is not only a Sacred Tradition but is significantly found in the Sacred Scripture.

Below are the 12 Stations of the Eucharist with it’s corresponding image and scriptural text.

The Stations of the Eucharist

To those who would like to see and have their prayer booklet, you may come and visit Santuario Eucaristico anytime.

Sources:
https://www.olamshrine.org/sites/stations-of-the-most-holy-eucharist/
http://www.holyhillcross.com/stations%20of%20the%20eucharist.htm




CBCP Pastoral Statement on Death Penalty

“God proved his love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

On this third Sunday of Lent, the Gospel of John tells us how the Samaritan woman—having found in Jesus the “living water” she had longed for—left her jar of water by the well (John 4:28). Like this woman, the stubborn Israelites in the first reading, who are dying of thirst in the desert, have been led to a rock (Exod 17:6). Perhaps we can think of this rock as Christ himself, stricken and afflicted on the cross but gushing forth with life-giving water, making it possible for God’s people to cross over the barren desert of hatred, sin and death into the promised land of fullness of life. Dear sisters and brothers in Christ—let us not allow our wells to be poisoned by bitter water; let us uphold the sanctity of life and make a stand against death penalty.

We are not deaf to the cries of the victims of heinous crimes. The victims and their victimizers are both our brothers and sisters. The victim and the opressor are both children of God. To the guilty we offer a challenge to repent and repair the harm of their sins. To the grieving victims, we offer our love, our compassion, our hope.

On the day the death penalty law was repealed by the Philippine Congress on June 24, 2006, the lights were turned on in the colosseum in Rome. History tells us how many people–among them, countless Christian martyrs–were publicly executed in that infamous arena. Perhaps to erase the darkness of inhumanity that the said colosseum has been associated with, the citizens of Rome have since made it a point to have it illuminated, each time another country decides to repeal its capital punishment law. Each illumination has been made to symbolize another advancement in human civilization. Are we to reverse that advancement by restoring death penalty again in the Philippines?

It was Ash Wednesday when members of the lower house, on the second reading of the death penalty bill, outvoted by voice-voting the nays with their ayes. Ironically, they were captured on television shouting in favor of death with their foreheads marked with crosses made of ashes. Could they have forgotten what that cross meant? Could they have missed out the contradiction between their vote and the crosses on their foreheads, which were supposed to serve as a loud statement of faith in the God who, for love of us, chose to give up his life for our salvation, rather than see us perish (John 3:16)?

No doubt, death penalty has been in existence in many countries all over the world. It is often justified by a principle of justice based on retribution–“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:3), which Jesus challenged and replaced with the higher principle of non-retaliation of evil for evil, with justice founded on mercy (Luke 6:36). We know from history how capital punishment has so often been used by repressive governments as a way of stifling dissent, or of eliminating those whom they regarded as threats to their hold on political power. Think, for instance why Herod Antipas had John the Baptist beheaded, or why Pilate had Jesus crucified. Think of the thousands of Christian martyrs who were put to death for sheer hatred for the faith.

To the people who use the Bible to defend death penalty, need we point out how many other crimes against humanity have been justified, using the same Bible? We humbly enjoin them to interpret the Scriptures properly, to read them as a progressive revelation of God’s will to humankind, with its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, God’s definitive Word to the world. He came “not to abolish the law but to bring it to fulfillment” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus was never an advocate of any form of “legal killing”. He defended the adulterous woman against those who demanded her blood and challenged those who were without sin among them to be the first to cast a stone on her (John 8:7).

Even with the best of intentions, capital punishment has never been proven effective as a deterrent to crime. Obviously it is easier to eliminate criminals than to get rid of the root causes of criminality in society. Capital punishment and a flawed legal system are always a lethal mix. And since in any human society there is never a guarantee of a flawless legal system, there is always the great likelihood that those without capital will get the punishment more quickly because it is they who cannot afford a good lawyer and a guarantee of due process. As a law, death penalty directly contradicts the principle of inalienability of the basic human right to life, which is enshrined in most constitutions of countries that signed the universal declaration of human rights.

Let us pray fervently for the legislators of our country as they prepare to vote on death penalty in the Philippine Senate. Let us offer all our Masses for them, asking our Crucified Lord who offered his whole life, body and blood, for the salvation of sinners, to touch their consciences and lead them to abolish capital punishment once and for all.

From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, 19 March 2017

+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, D.D.
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

Article Source:
http://cbcpnews.net/cbcpnews/cbcp-pastoral-statement-on-death-penalty/




Santuario Celebrates 25th World Day of the Sick

Last February 11, we had a Special Mass for the Sick and Medical and Dental Clinic in celebration to the 25th World Day of the Sick held on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

In Pope Francis’ message for the 25th World Day of the Sick, he stated: “On this Twenty-fifth World Day of the Sick, I once more offer my prayerful support and encouragement to physicians, nurses, volunteers and all those consecrated men and women committed to serving the sick and those in need. I also embrace the ecclesial and civil institutions working to this end, and the families who take loving care of their sick. I pray that all may be ever joyous signs of the presence of God’s love and imitate the luminous testimony of so many friends of God, including Saint John of God and Saint Camillus de’ Lellis, the patrons of hospitals and healthcare workers, and Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, missionary of God’s love.” In response to this call, we had our Special Mass for the Sick that was celebrated at 8:00am where our sick brothers and sisters were granted the Sacrament of Healing: Anointing of the Sick during the mass. Then followed by the Medical and Dental Clinic which our parish usually do every month at 9:00am.

Mass for the Sick

Medical and Dental Clinic

Read the Message of Pope Francis for the 25th World Day of the Sick here.