Wednesday, December 28, 2011
MANILA, December 28, 2011—A Catholic bishop urged his flock to place their trust in the maternal guidance of Mary in the face of uncertainties and fear spawned by proliferation of crimes around them.
Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, in a pastoral letter, exhorted the faithful to imitate the example of Mary, saying that “God will continue to lavish us with His choicest blessings through the powerful intercessions of Mary, our Mother.”
“Like Mary, we are being called to be vigilant lest evil forces overwhelm us. As a popular adage would put it ‘For evil to triumph, it is enough that good men do nothing’,” Garcera said.
“She guides and protects us as we tread the treacherous roads of this world that seek to draw us away from Jesus,” the bishop added.
Garcera noted that reports of a number of crimes committed within the province have been spreading in the past months sowing fear in people.
“Some of us must have experienced personally these crimes that disturbed our peace and our sense of security in the province of Camarines Norte,” he said.
The province has recently had a spate of robbery and murder targeting business establishments and businessmen.
Mining sites in the province particularly in the towns of Paracale, Jose Panganiban and Labo had also its share of violence and killing.
Garcera urged the people to do their share “in working for peace in our province and in our country by being pro-active.”
“Let us join hands with our local government and the different law enforcement agencies in driving away the dark clouds of evil from our midst so that justice and peace will reign once more in our locality,” he said.
“It seems that ours is a time that is constantly buffeted by the stormy winds of greed, violence and the unbridled quest for riches and power,” the bishop added.
The pastoral letter, released in time for the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary on January 1 and the World Day of Peace reiterates a previous papal message to ask Mary’s intercession for peace, especially where violence is rampant.
Garcera said the Filipinos’ devotion to Mary has reaped numerous benefits on the people.
He said this devotion is also manifest in the local Church of Daet, saying that the Vatican approval of the canonical coronation of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria during the closing ceremonies of the quadricentennial celebrations of the diocese’s first three parishes was in itself a distinctive gift that highlights the people’s love and devotion to the Blessed Mother.
As the diocese aims to accomplish two events for 2012 to revitalize the spiritual life of the faithful, Garcera hopes that the said occasions “will bring us closer to God’s plan for us.”
The diocese will celebrate in 2012 the Year on Liturgy which aims to bring the faithful to worship God “with more dignity and solemnity.”
Another event is the reorganization of the Parish Pastoral Councils and the Parish Finance Councils “to become more effective and efficient in responding to the peculiar needs and challenges of the present times.” (CBCPNews)
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