MANILA, Philippines — No amount of “stimulus package” from the government would be enough to help the poor at this time of crisis if individual Filipinos are not willing to do their part, according to Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
In his Palm Sunday message, Rosales urged everyone to give more to charity as times become harder.
“If we feel that a simple offering for the poor is too difficult, what more the sacrifices needed to bring about change, recovery and saving one another? No amount of ‘stimulus package’ will begin recovery if change does not start where it should — the heart,” said the cardinal, whose pastoral letter would be read during Mass in all churches in the cities of Mandaluyong, Manila, Makati, Pasay and San Juan on Sunday.
“In this time of global economic crisis and ecological concern, reviving the spirit of giving in its humblest form as making a simple offering for the second collection this Palm Sunday reflects our commitment towards transformation, towards helping,” Rosales stressed.
The Archdiocese of Manila promotes the Alay Kapwa program that the Catholic Church established in 1975.
The project, implemented through the Church’s social service arm Caritas Manila, provides scholarships for over 6,000 poor but deserving students, runs charity health clinics that serve over 50,000 cases a year, provides livelihood and job placement centers and micro-finance programs for the poor; and runs a restorative justice program for prisoners, among other things.
“To have the spirit of Alay Kapwa one does not have to be wealthy or powerful or influential, you need only to be good and committed to your neighbor.
In order to give to Alay Kapwa Lenten Fund Campaign you do not have to be rich, you need only to be generous, desirous like Jesus to serve,” Rosales said.
Palm Sunday ushers in the Holy Week, the holiest week in the Christian calendar as Christians commemorate the suffering, death and the resurrection of Christ.–Dona Pazzibugan, Philippine Daily Inquirer