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Lessons from Mang Felix

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I am very lucky to have known Mang Felix, from whom I learned life’s most enduring lessons. Mang Felix lost his father when he was five, then lost all his siblings shortly after. His mother became blind years later. He worked in the farm. Through sheer determination he finished his freshman year in college, and then he got married and raised a family of nine.

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Faith expressed in art

Faith expressed in art

 

Posted: April 20th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Will Cardinal Tagle advance the ‘Francis effect’?

We were at the SVD Dinner for the Missions held last March at Elements, Centris, Quezon City, which featured Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and CNN Vatican correspondent John Allen Jr. in a “conversation.” But for the time constraint, we wanted to ask the cardinal whether he agreed with Pope Francis’ position stated, on many occasions, that it’s time Catholic Church leaders and prelates moved away from being obsessed with doctrinal matters, rituals and rules (with respect to homosexuals, abortion, contraception, divorce, etc.) to manifesting simplicity, understanding, compassion and mercy toward the faithful, especially the poor. This, we think, largely sums up the essence of the “Francis effect” that Allen was referring to.

Posted: April 5th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Irreplaceable

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The story is told about a woman whose boyfriend whom she loved very much just died. Then her rich suitor of many years called her up and said: “Now that your boyfriend is dead, I would like to express my condolences and my intention to take his place.” The woman answered: “Thank you. I will now call the funeral home and tell them of your intention to take his place.”

Posted: March 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A priest on ashes, children, nuns and sisters, Fr. Suarez

Two items in the Inquirer’s March 6 issue caught my attention. The first: In the Metro section is the picture of a religious sister marking with ashes the forehead of a very young boy holding on to his milk bottle. In my 46 years as a priest, I have avoided giving ashes to babies and children, for the simple reason that it is embarrassing to tell them “Dust you are and to dust you will return,” or even the more challenging “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” What is there for a baby or a young child to repent, when we hold him/her incapable of sin? And how does he/she understand “believe in the Gospel” when obviously he/she “believes” more in the milk bottle! If at all, I would allow it for children who have made their first communion. I believe this is an example of doing ritual for the ritual’s sake, oblivious of its meaning for the individual receiving it.

Posted: March 18th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The Asian Pope Francis

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Last thursday, the Divine Word Seminary Tagaytay, in partnership with XVD Association (former SVD seminarians) and the lay society of St. Arnold Janssen, sponsored a “Dinner for the Missions.” The event marked the 50th anniversary of the Tagaytay institution and featured a conversation between Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and John L. Allen Jr., a 16-year veteran analyst of Vatican affairs for CNN and presently associate editor of the Boston Globe. Allen has been described as “the journalist other reporters (and some cardinals) look to for the inside story on how all the Pope’s men direct the world’s largest church.” By coincidence, Thursday was the first anniversary of Jorge Bergoglio’s papacy.

Posted: March 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

God’s will and Father Suarez

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Without doubt, Fr. Fernando Suarez is an instrument of the Lord who has healed thousands of people afflicted with terminal ailments. But beyond the criticism, the question is: Does he continue to retain his healing power and to be an instrument of the Lord?

Posted: March 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

At the mountaintop

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The story is told by Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD, about a husband who made a toast to his wife on their 50th wedding anniversary: “Cheers to my wife whose love for me has been tried and true!” To which the wife, who was a little hard of hearing, responded: “Yes, I’m tired of you, too!”

Posted: March 16th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Rock star

Has it been only a year? It feels much longer than that—and not because of a sense of tedium or despair, but because of the myriad little things that add up to what looks like a sea change in the Vatican ever since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope and took the name Francis in March 2013.

Posted: March 15th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Let it go!

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The story is told about a teenager who asked his father: “Dad, is it okay to smoke while I am praying?” The father replied: “That is not okay, my son.” Added the son: “But is it okay to pray while I am smoking?” The father answered: “That is okay, my son.”

Posted: March 9th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Back to basics

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The story is told about two monks who were having a hearty conversation on Christmas Eve, the only time of the year when they were exempted from their monastic rule of perpetual silence. Just then the bell rang, signaling the end of their talking time. When the two of them met again on Christmas Eve of the next year, the first monk enthusiastically started: “Ah, as I was saying last year…”

Posted: March 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The extra (s)mile

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The story is told about a rapist who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Upon hearing the verdict, he shouted in a rage: “I raped one person. How come the people of the Republic of the Philippines are now all against me?”

Posted: February 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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