Archive for the ‘Pope John Paul II’ Category

The Traditional man-woman marriage

November 10, 2008

Love the family! Defend and promote it as the basic cell of human
society; nurture it as the prime sanctuary of life. Give great care to the
preparation of engaged couples and be close to young married couples, so
that they will be for their children and the whole community an eloquent
testimony of God’s love.”
–Pope John Paul II, 2001

Marriage is the foundation of the family and the family is the foundation of society: if we strengthen marriage, we strengthen the family, we strengthen the children and we strengthen the community. If your goal is to help improve the world, marriage is as good a place as any to start.”—Diane Sollee, Grand Rapids Family Summit, 1998

(Photo Credits: msbernal; msbernal; bloomsdayflowers)

RELATED BLOG:Moral Challenge: angry gays protest ban of same-sex marriage in California” Posted by mesiamd at 11/10/2008

Miss Sister 2008 courts one of Christianity’s deadliest sins?

August 26, 2008

Vanity is so secure in the heart of man that everyone wants to be admired: even I who write this, and you who read this.”-Blaise Pascal

Like the movie Sister Act, it’s an amusing tale that comes with the shaking of the head and a smile. As we get serious about organizing beauty contests for nuns, Fr. Antonio Rungi’s idea of an “inner” beauty derby for nuns seems very secular, even raunchy, especially if Christians consider vanity, along with pride, as one of humanity’s deadliest sins.

Fr. Rungi, a theologian and school teacher in Naples, Italy, believes nuns need a boost in visibility and an online voting contest may be the answer.

The “Miss Sister 2008” contest will start in September on a blog run by the Rev. Antonio Rungi and will give nuns from around the world a chance to showcase their work and their image….Nuns will fill out a profile including information about their life and vocation as well as a photograph.

We are not going to parade nuns in bathing suits,” Rungi said. “But being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. External beauty is gift from God, and we mustn’t hide it.” AP (O8/25/08)

The controversial beauty contest gets mixed reactions. There are those who ask if there’s really a need to improve a nun’s visibility and if it needs a competition to do that. The liberals think the “pageant,” a part of modern life, is just fine, but some suspect it can can lead to a non-religious a business franchise like the Miss Universe contest.

Evil-conscious Christians fear the derby is Satan’s way of wagging its tail into the nunnery’s door. The beauty competition can become a butt of jokes and a topic of wild speculations. Another thinks beauty contests among the religious can be “habit-forming” and may be addicting.

“It’s an initiative that belittles the role of nuns who have dedicated themselves to God,” says president of Association of Catholic Teachers, Alberto Giannino, told Italy’s ANSA news agency on Sunday. AP (08/42/08)

The line separating propriety and vulgarity is thin. Whatever goes on in the minds of Catholics, Fr. Rungi might be subliminally touched by secularism, making him a bit cozy with the world. With Vatican’s traditionally conservative stance many wonder what the late Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI think of his idea. (PhotoCredits: Lovemetwee;Bsidez)=0=

Update: Facing strong pressure from the clergy and lay people against the nun beauty contest, on August 28, 2008, Fr. Rungi decided to stop the plan. Interested in projecting the inner beauty of nuns, he said he didn’t mean to have the nuns do a catwalk, like in a physical beauty pageant. He claimed he was misunderstood. =0=

Taking Responsibility and the Kaya Natin Movement

August 5, 2008

“Be not afraid!”is the wise counsel of Pope John Paul II to a world troubled by uncertainties. We need a moral figure like him who is not stranger to suffering to assure us that we’re not alone. What better memory can we have than recall Pope John Paul II, in the fading days of his life, displayed his harrowing battle with age and infirmity. Seeing him as a suffering human being makes us understand our own life’s vexing contradictions. We think what we can do about them.

To be pessimistic and afraid are likely reactions to the Kaya Natin movement—that group of well-intentioned, ethical and hardworking Filipinos formed by Jesse Robredo, Sonia Lorenzo, Eddie Panlilio and Grace Padaca in order to unite and save the country. They have a dream to improve our lot. In our most difficult time (now that inflation has steeply climbed to 12.2% last month,) they ask us to join ranks in helping save the nation. They are campaigning for accountability, honesty, integrity, and hard work to change the pernicious ills we have in our government.

Surely, attempts to make our country move forward encounter setbacks. It’s no different with Kaya Natin. Faced with herculean problems, we wonder what will come out of this movement. We question the credibility of the people who lead us. Our discouragement must be overriding considering our doubts. Many see a dreary landscape ahead. There’s this looming darkness in our future. This might have bothered Joe (not his real name) who wrote me his reaction to my blog entitled “The Challenge of Kaya Natin: Sabi baga ni Mayor Jesse Robredo, Kaya Ta!

Unfortunately, Grace Padaca is not the mayor of Isabela. She’s the Governor.
I just have a little concern about “basic education.” I do not know if I understand it completely, as we have leaders who were educated in the exclusive schools from the Philippines, the best even here in the US… but look! Why? As they say, “There is no value in education without education in values. Thanks
!” —Joe

This is how I answered Joe:

“Calling Gov. Padaca “Mayor” is underserved and I need to say sorry for my error. Thanks for the correction. It afforded me a chance to make a revision on the blog I posted.

Well, I think there’s truth in your quote “There is no value in education without education in values.” I presume all of us have some kind of value formation when we were in school. However, there must be some variability on the hierarchies we place on the values we learned. We imbibe and apply them at different vantage points in various periods of our lives.

Except perhaps for Jesse Robredo whom I know a bit because of Naga Parochial School, Ateneo de Naga, & UP many years back, I don’t know the people who spearhead the Kaya Natin Movement. I take their word with a grain of salt just as I listen to Barack Obama’s message which surely needs validation. Though they aren’t perfect, the remarkable thing about them is their hopeful outlook and their willingness to take responsibility and do something about a problem. Isn’t this part of the cornerstone of the values we desire? Whether Kaya Natin will be successful is something we reserve for the future.

I wonder if you have your misgivings about those Filipinos educated in the best schools. If you do, I share your feelings. Despite my exposures to those exclusive schools in RP plus my US education, I basically have a plebeian background. And I have a lot to desire for our leaders, including those in the FilAm community. I thought one way of helping is to post this blog and share my commentaries (maybe better than attending those induction balls, conventions and reunions of the associatons.)

So if one desires to help RP, there are many ways depending on one’s time, commitment, and talents. Our “values” will be mirrored by what we do, just as we judge the plants around us by the fruits they bear… Hopefully, by starting with ourselves, we can make the world better.

I appreciate your input. I welcome you to visit the UP Ibalon Bicol Blog where I make my posts:

N.B. You can join Kaya Natin! A Movement for Genuine Change and Ethical Leadership by sending an email to or you can reach us at (02) 426-5657.