The PCJ Parish, through its Commission on Catechesis and Religious Education (COMCARE), held its 3rd October Faith Fest last October 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2015. As in the past, resource persons were invited to speak in the church after the Thursday evening mass.

Most of the time, when “the poor” is mentioned, people immediately think of the material type of poverty.  Guided by the theme of the Year of the Poor: “Do Justice, Love Kindness”, the topics for this year’s talks aimed to expound on poverty’s other aspects, as emphasized by Jesus Christ in His Beatitudes – the poverty of the spirit, the detachment from the material.  

Setting the tone for the whole series was Dr. Antonio Torralba, who was the speaker last October 1. In his talk,  “Bitiw Muna Bago Dakot — Poverty, A Human Virtue”, he invited everyone to focus on the spiritual aspect of being “poor”. Understanding this, one can then respond to worldly poverty according to Jesus’ teachings and examples. A former Dean of the University of Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Torralba is also a lecturer and adviser to the CBCP, government and private institutions on programs for the education of the youth.

In Ms. Chelina Gutierrez’  talk on October 8 entitled, “Hanggang Dito Lamang — Poverty, A Condition for Justice”, she spoke about poverty and justice, social teachings of the church, and the principles of Catholic Christian Justice.  A mother who home-schools her children, she shared how she turned day-to-day encounters with injustice into faith experiences for her children. Ms. Gutierrez is a lecturer and author of a series of books on various topics such as virtues, values, and human sexuality for high school students.

Then on October 15, we were reminded by Fr. Dave Dominguez, MCCJ, in his talk,  “Bigay Todo, Hala Bira–Poverty, A Condition for Love”, of our common calling to be poor, like Christ, as a condition to love. He cited not only the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but also teachings of saints, popes and known theologians.  Fr. Dave, a familiar face at PCJ, is a Comboni missionary  who has been  in the Philippines for over 12 years. He is the editor of the World Mission Magazine, a Comboni publication, as well as a speaker and lecturer in various symposia.

Fr. John Vianney Acosta wrapped up the series on October 22 with his talk dubbed,  “Kaunti pa Igan: Poverty, A Condition for Kindness”. He reminded us that poverty should lead us all to mission, action, compassion and kindness. Fr. JV is a member of the Franciscan Order (Conventuals) and currently the Economo of the Order. A former parish priest of San Agustin Parish in Parañaque, he is a lecturer, speaker and much sought after formator.

COMCARE encourages more PCJ parishioners, church leaders and servants to attend next year’s exciting series of talks during PCJ’s October Faith Fest  as these are invaluable avenues for personal and communal formation.

 

-Nilia Martin