Corporal Works of Mercy - Holy Communion with the Poor
To fulfill our mission of responding to the hungers of the human family especially the poor and the weak by doing the Corporal Works of Mercy out of love of God, this coming July 12, the second Friday of the Month is our monthly schedule of our 2 major Social Apostolates namely, the Medico-Dental Clinic (pastoral care for the sick) and the Feeding Program for the Poor.
Corporal Works of Mercy through The Healing Mass for the Sick
We will begin the day with the usual Healing Mass, which is liturgically called as Mass for the Sick. This Holy Eucharist, the source of the Corporal Works of Mercy, will be celebrated in Cebuano and presided by our newly ordained priest, Fr. Marlon Reyes, SSS who usually gives deep and inspiring homilies. In this Mass, all the sick are lifted up to God especially those who are participating in the celebration and our parishioners. The Mass-goers write the names of their sick relatives and friends in a record book, which is offered along with the offering of Bread and Wine during the Presentation of the Gifts or the Offertory. This book is placed at the side of the Altar. The Mass continues as usual.
After the Mass, the people are called to the center aisles to line up for the laying-on of hands. The presider prays over on each one so that all their infirmities, be it spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological and social sickness may find healing by the power of the Holy Spirit. We use a Trinitarian Formula which we draft ourselves: “Loving Father, send your Holy Spirit upon your servant and heal all his/her infirmities through Christ our Lord. Amen.” This is just a simple formula and yet filled with faith and conviction that God cares for His people and He heals them for He is a Loving God. This Mass, therefore, is an expression of our faith that true healing comes from God and that medical practitioners are God’s instruments.
The Free Medico-Dental Clinic – one of our Corporal Works of Mercy
While others are still lining up for the healing, the Medico-Dental Clinic is opened. People from all walks of life especially the poor, registers for the free medical consultation and free medicine and vitamins. We, however, ask for a very small registration fee of 10 pesos, equivalent to $.04. This is for them to feel that they at least paid for the medical consultation and medicines and not just given as dole out. It is, in a way, giving them some sense of dignity. Though many come from other parishes, they are always welcome to receive our services. The corporal works of mercy inspires us to also welcome non-Catholics and non-Christians. This clinic is open from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.
Those who are attending to them are volunteer doctors and nurses. Some are student nurses. Our Pastoral Care for the Sick team which is composed of 2 committees, the Medico-Dental Team headed by Edna Eugenio, MD and the Parish Community Health Team headed by Zuziez Rosete, RN, handles this program that fulfills the corporal works of mercy of the parish.
The Feeding Program for the Poor
Our corporal works of mercy this day extends until 11:00 o’clock with another program for the poor. Some of those who received our free medical services stayed and together with our poor parishioners they are given free lunch. The food is prepared by the Social Apostolate Commission headed by Lingling Buzon who is also our San Roque Chapel Animator. She coordinates the parish corporal works of mercy ministries. Those who come for the feeding are children together with their parents from our poor communities in the Parish and others are street people and children. They number to more than 100.
Making A Difference In Their Lives
The funding for these two apostolates is from the Parish General Fund, which is coming from the share of the parish in the over-all monthly Mass collection and office transactions. There are from time to time generous individuals who give us financial assistance; others give in kind like medicines, vitamins and a sack of rice for the feeding. But these are not enough to sustain the ministry. We need your help. If you are willing to share a little from the blessings God gives you, we are more than happy to be a channel of your graciousness to our poor brothers and sisters. You will surely make a difference in their lives you let yourself be used by God for His people to experience His Love. I can say that they are also doing their corporal works of mercy.
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