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Published by Sis. Rosalinda Igna in News Update · 16/2/2015 10:02:36

The local Church of the Philippines is truly committed to respond actively to the call of the New Evangelization.  It was for this reason that the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE II) was held last January 15-17, 2015 at the Pontifical and Royal Catholic University of Santo Tomas (UST) Quadricentennial Pavilion which coincided with the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines. It was attended by more than 5,000 participants from all over the country from different parishes and dioceses, catholic schools and church organizations.

Delegates from Sta Teresita Parish were Bro. Edwin Aguila (Parish Pastoral Council President), Ardie Pescador (PPC Vice President), Linda Igna (PPC Secretary), Edith Porquez (Lector/Commentator), Rory Jane Caneba (Couples for Christ-Handmaids of the Lord) and from the Youth Ministry, Jessica Mapa, Clemence Bulayog and Jemelson Ansay.  Fr. Richard Magararu, SMM accompanied the STP delegation.

This year’s theme is “Blessed Are You…” which aims to reflect on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12 and its challenges which coincides with the theme of the Papal Visit, Mercy and Compassion, and 2015 as the Year of the poor.  The participants are expected to understand the true meaning of blessedness as modelled by Jesus; to explore avenues and pathways that lead to a blessed life; to offer opportunities for individual and communal living out of the Beatitudes.

The conference kicked off with the Misa ng Bayang Pilipino officiated by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the convenor of the said conference.  With him were more than a hundred concelebrating priests.  After the mass, there was a Heart-to-Heart Talk with the Cardinal - a talk show hosted by his Eminence featuring celebrities and known personalities who shared their being blessed despite of all the difficulties they hurdled. This interview is an example of a new way of communicating the Gospel and how the trials and pain in life turned into blessing.  This is the “Portrait of Blessedness”, the theme for the first day of the conference.

On the second day, January 16, the theme was “Pathways to Blessedness.” From the teachings and talks of guest speakers, the participants were led to the best pathway to blessedness which is the eight (8) Beatitudes of Matthew. Beatitudes are the path to true happiness and perfect joy which was given by Jesus Himself.  Sharing of experiences was heard from a spiritual leader, a couple, the Council of Elders and the youth.  Blessedness could also be expressed thru arts, dances and music. To demonstrate this, Fr. Manoling V. Francisco composed a song on Beatitudes impromptu much to the delight of the delegates.  A group of elders from Batangas danced the “Subli” which pays homage to the image of the Holy Cross.  A youth dance troupe also performed and a beautiful folk dance which was well applauded.

On the last day of the conference, the participants reflected on various programs of blessedness which would enable them to recognize the blessings that Jesus has offered them.  There was an ecumenical prayer for peace and lighting of candles.  As a closing activity, the participants pledged to use their Cellphones to send text messages on Beatitudes to friends who needed it most.  PCNE II urges everyone to share in the Church’s mission of being blessed in God’s eye. The final Eucharistic Celebration was then officiated by Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D.

The whole program was a spiritual experience and served as motivation for every Catholics to live their faith and to share it with others. This task brings joy that the world cannot give.  Humility is the key word for evangelization.  The STP delegation was very happy to learn many things from this conference.  They are challenged to integrate their learnings to the pastoral program of the parish.

-Sis. Rosalinda Igna

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