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Remembering Our Dearly Departed

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in altum

 

Atty. Aurora A. SantiagoThe Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Vatican has released new guidelines for the cremation of the remains of Catholics. Prior to 1963, the Catholic Church recognized burial as the only means to bury the dead due to the Christian hope in resurrection. However, in 1963, the Vatican explicitly allowed cremation “as long as it did not suggest a denial of faith about resurrection.” There are various reasons why the Catholic Church allowed cremation such as incidents of plague, spread of virus and the high cost of burial.

Funeral Mass should be held prior to the rite of cremation when the mortal remains of the deceased is still present. Likewise, Vatican stated that the cremated remains and bone fragments should not be kept at home because it would deprive the Christian community from remembering the dead. Neither should the ashes be divided among family members or put in lockets or other mementoes. The ashes cannot also be scattered in the air, land or sea because it would give the appearance of “pantheism, naturalism or nihilism”. These courses of action cannot be legitimized by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation.” The Church should designate a sacred place to hold them, such as a cemetery, columbary or church area. The Vatican further stated that “the body is not the private property of the family. A dead person is a son of God. It is part of the body of Christ, it is part of God’s people. Thus, it is not only a private rite for the deceased but it is a public ceremony.”

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The Diocese of Kalookan, Diocese of Novaliches and Archdiocese of Manila launched its respective project to rehabilitate drug dependents or persons with substance abuse disorder.

Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan, launched in mid-October “Task Force Salubong”, a community-based Rehabilitation Program for drug dependents who surrendered to the authorities (“surrenderers”), through holding of Diocesan Forum on Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation attended by the representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Office of the Mayor, the Anti-Drug Abuse Council and the Chief of Police of the three cities of Navotas, Malabon and Caloocan which are within the jurisdiction of the Diocese. Each of them presented their respective rehabilitation program while Fr. Ruben Maybuena, the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs of the Diocese, presented Task Force Salubong Program which is a community-based rehabilitation program to include Patient Care, Family Care and Community-based Care.

Task Force Salubong is biblically-inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The surrenderers, like the prodigal son, might have personal or family or career problems and resorted to the easiest solution, go into drugs. There is a need to help them since by their voluntary surrender, they want be reformed, desired to live a drug-free life and wished to return to the mainstream of society. They were lost and now were found. As part of the pastoral care and concern in this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, the clergy and the laity of the Diocese of Kalookan banded together to help in the elimination of the problem through an entirely different and more humane approach so that the surrenderers will once again become productive members of their community.

The Council of the Laity of Kalookan, headed by Atty. Aurora Santiago, responded to the call to implement Task Force Salubong by embarking on Layko si Pads Level Up Concert (Habag at Awa) that will raise funds to finance the Rehabilitation Program. The Concert will be held on November 18, 2016, Friday, 7pm at PICC Plenary Hall, Pasay City. The Kalookan Clergy will perform together with guest celebrities Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Awardee Ms. Ai-ai Delas Alas, Gerald Santos, Michael Angelo Lobrin, Mr. Dingdong Avanzado including Ms. Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub. Tickets may be obtained from the respective Parish Pastoral Councils of the Diocese or may contact Gigi at 288-0935 or 287-3693.

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The San Roque Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Kalookan sponsored the yearly Marian Exhibits during the Rosary Month of October. It also held its March of Saints where participants wore costume of saints instead of the usual witch, devil, ghosts and other “trick or treat” Halloween costumes. The Parish Pastoral Council chaired by John Patrick dela Cruz is on top of the two events.

Likewise, the San Nicolas Sub-parish of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Diocese of Pasig held its Parade of Saints 2016, on its 3rd year. It started in 2013 where children wore costume of saints, not Halloween costumes. This year’s winner is the boy who wore St. Michael the Archangel costume. The parade of saint is spearheaded yearly by Bro. Khing Latoja Macaranas.

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