CEBU CARITAS HOLDS “PAKIGHIMAMAT SA ANAWIM”
“My heart was consoled when the bishops and priests listened to our stories,” says Carbon Market vendor Arlene Subingsubing. She was grateful for the privilege of participating in the Church’s celebration of the 6th World Day of the Poor on Novembe 13, 2022. It carried the theme, “For your sakes Christ became poor.” (cf. 2 Cor 8:9) Our Holy Father Pope Francis, in his message, says, “Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated.”
In the Archdiocese of Cebu, Cebu Caritas, Inc – Commission on Service has made the celebration more meaningful through various activities of the 2nd Cebu Caritas Week from November 6 – 13, 2022. These highlighted the humanitarian, developmental, and justice and peace programs and services of Cebu Caritas as the Archdiocese of Cebu’s social action arm.
To cap the weeklong caravan of social services for the Anawim, a fellowship and dialogue dubbed “Pakighimamat sa Anawim” involving the service-related ministries and commissions, as well as sectoral representatives from the urban poor, vendors, farmers, fisherfolk, porters, youth-scholars, and persons with disabilities was held at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, together with Cebu Auxiliary Bishops Midyphil Billones and Ruben Labajo and Cebu Auxiliary Bishop-Emeritus Anotnio Rañola, presided over the Closing Mass of the Cebu Caritas Week 2022 and in celebration of the 6th World Day of the Poor.
In his homily, Archbishop Palma noted “all our gifts are given by God and, in Caritas, we give glory to God… It is really putting into service our gifts, translated into actions.” He added, “In the parish, in our communities we are inspired to put up a Caritas office which organizes, coordinates and leads programs and Caritas services.”
Small group discussion circles were formed to create an avenue of sharing and listening to the concerns and current situation of the sectoral representatives.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Cebu Chapter Chairman Nicholas Abasolo said, “I am hoping that the issues we [farmers] are facing will be addressed and will be supported by the Church.” Meanwhile, Youth Servant Leadership Education Program (YSLEP) Scholar Cyril Nathaniel Orbeta assented, “when we are able to talk and share our concerns, there will always be people who are willing to help in unexpected ways.”
Cebu Caritas President Fr. Alex Cola was grateful for the success of the gathering and said Caritas looks forward to the Archdiocese’s response to the concerns of the poor.
Cebu Caritas Inc. is the mandated social action arm of the Archdiocese of Cebu. It serves the Anawim through its Humanitarian, Developmental, and Justice and Peace programs.