Sunday, April 14, 2013

White Vote Movement Endorses 6 Senatorial Candidates. CFC-FFL Included 3 Kapatiran Candidates.

Bro. Mike Velarde, spokesperson of the White Vote Movement announced Saturday, April 13, before a huge crowd of more than 500,000 people in Amvel Business Park in Paranaque City, the first batch of six (6) senatorial candidates for this May 13, 2013 election.  All six (6) were present last night: JV Ejercito, Gringo Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Trillanes and Cynthia Villar.

The White Vote Movement, is a coalition of Catholic lay organizations initiated by the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (LAIKO) and which was formed in response to perceived mounting sentiment among different lay groups in the country regarding the lay faithful’s role in preserving core family values.

Most Rev. Teodoro Bacani, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches led the Mass.

Taken just before the Mass presided by Bp. Ted Bacani


CFCFFL Servant General Frank A. Padilla says in his follow-up letter... "We endorsed the following for the Senate: JV Ejercito, Gringo Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Trillanes and Cynthia Villar. Notice that 3 are from Team PNoy and 3 are from UNA. We are not siding with particular political parties. We are simply on the side of faith, family and life."

CFCFFL Servant General Frank Padilla with Senators Tito Sotto
and Gringo Honasan
Bishop. Ted Bacani during his homily.

As he continues... "In addition, we are endorsing the 3 senatorial candidates of the Ang Kapatiran Party: Lito David, JC de los Reyes and Marwil Llasos. Collectively, these 9 candidates are known as TEAM BUHAY."

Senatorial candidate Rizalito "Lito" David,
one (1) of the three (3) Ang Kapatiran candidates.
Photo taken during the Laiko consultation last
February 23, 2013.

He also asked the Filipino people to... "NOT vote for the following who voted in favor of the RH Bill: Sonny Angara, Teddy Casino, Alan Peter Cayetano, Jackie Enrile, Chiz Escudero, Risa Hontiveros and Loren Legarda. These candidates also cut across party lines. Collectively, these 7 are known as TEAM PATAY."

SG Frank says... "As there are 12 seats in the Senate, we have endorsed 9 and there are still 3 slots that you can fill up. There are other pro-lifers running for the Senate and we ask you to seriously consider them as well."

Panoramic photo taken just before the start of the Mass.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Most Rev. Jesse Mercado, Bishop of Parañaque,
celebrated mass last Saturday April 6, 2013.
During the huddle with Rev. Fr. Melvin Castro,
Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
Ready for April 8 launching.


White Vote Movement

The election of our new Pope marks a new beginning.
A new journey.
A renewed Church.
The humility of his actions serves as an example
It's about love of family.
It's about serving...
...and saving lives.
Our new Pope is a timely inspiration.
Can we adopt Pope Francis' principled humility... the coming elections...
...our respect and love for the family...
...for life...
...should guide us in choosing our nation's leaders?
That our spiritual leaders can humbly remind us... vote for candidates who will stand up for family and for life.
Instead of allowing issues to divide us...
...let the Pope's example unite us!
White Vote... Vote for family. Vote for life.
White is the symbol of purity.
And solidarity.
It also symbolizes a new beginning.
A clean slate.
A fresh start.
White Vote... Going back to the start.
White Vote... Protect all life.
Whether it's the life of the poor...
...the sick...
...the aged...
...the hungry...
...the abused...
...the helpless...
...and yes, the unborn.
Let us come together as a nation of Catholics.
And show the world that we are still powerful force for change.
For while a divided vote changes nothing...
...a united vote changes everything.
And makes sure that every one of our votes counts.
let us pray for discernment. But let us vote right.
Let us remember not just the campaign ads.
Let us remember our faith.
Let us vote to protect the family.
And to protect life.
Calling all families. Join the Movement.
White Vote. Vote for family. Vote for life.

The launching of White Vote Movement

White Vote Movement

April 8, 2013. 

Lay Solidarity for the Preservation of Life and the Filipino Family (SOLIDARITY FOR LIFE AND FAMILY) 

Big church groups unite, form Solidarity for Life and Family - White Vote Movement launched. 

Some of the biggest charismatic groups in the country and from among the parish-mandated organizations within the Catholic Church have joined forces to form what they call as the Lay Solidarity for the Preservation of Life and the Filipino Family (Solidarity for Life and Family) and have announced their plan to actively participate in the scheduled May 13, 2013 mid-term elections. 

This was disclosed by Bro. Mike Velarde, founder and head servant leader of the El Shaddai Prayer Partners Foundation, Inc., who today also announced the formal launching of the WHITE VOTE MOVEMENT that will operate as the political support group of the Solidarity for Life and Family in line with its decision to endorse and support the candidacies of senatorial candidates who by their actions and conviction have fought for the preservation of life and the Filipino family. 

Bro. Mike, who has been designated as the official spokesman of the movement, said that the Solidarity for Life and Family and the White Vote Movement are positioned to become a purveyor of truth in the face of the social ills that plague the country today and also because the church and the Filipino laity need to defend itself from the introduction of the so-called “death bills” that will make a mockery of the sacredness of life and destroy the sanctity of the Filipino family.

He said that the launching of the Solidarity for Life and Family and the White Vote Movement is a shining moment in the country’s secular and temporal history because this is the first time that church-based organizations have agreed to put their God-given gifts towards a discerned purpose and this is manifested by the outpouring of support the movement has received from other parish-mandated organizations, non-governmental organization and other people’s organizations throughout the country. 

Bro. Mike said this is also one of several ways the Filipino laity can testify to the resurrection of Christ and that is by uniting our ideals with the ideals of the church to which we belong. 

He stressed that in recent months, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines have met and have reached the conclusion that the corruption pervading in our government and society today precedes from the electoral process. This was seen by the church-based organizations as a call to action and this gave birth to the idea of creating an advocacy movement to protect and preserve the sacredness of life as a God-given gift and the sanctity of the family. 

For her part, Atty. Aurora Santiago, president of the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) which is the arm of the CBCP that coordinates the church-related activities of the different parish and lay organizations nationwide, said that the Solidairty movement was created when the different movements that have signified their desire to get actively involved in the electoral process approached Laiko for sanctions. 

And this is what the Laiko did as it gave its blessings to the different organizations within the church to form a group of convenors that will form the core of what is now known as the Solidarity for Life and Family which means that “this is a purely a lay initiative that is separate from the church as an institution and the only underlying objective is to create a mechanism in which the Christian values are adequately protected and preserved.” 

The Laiko, said Atty. Santiago, was brought into the picture because the CBCP per se is barred by Canon Law to get involved in partisan politics and it became the responsibility of the Laiko to give its sanction to the different movements that are promoting a Catholic vote to gather together in one umbrella but that the participation of the Laiko is to ensure that the movement will adhere to the basic tenets of the social teachings of the Church.

Bro. Mike also stressed that the birth of the Solidarity for Life and Family also came into view when Congress passed the controversial RH Bill that was signed into a law by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and “today the church has to brace itself against what it calls threats to life and family with plans to introduce the legalization of abortion, divorce, same-sex marriage and euthanasia.” 

The Solidarity for Life and Family, said Bro. Mike, has two primary objectives – one is to support candidates who fought against the RH Bill and the other is to operate as an advocacy group that will stand against any attempt to destroy both the flow of life and the sanctity of marriage through abortion, divorce, same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

The Solidarity for Life and Family, Bro. Mike stressed, will be governed by its vision to act as a catalyst that would contribute positively to the life of the Filipino nation by humbly proposing and effectively incorporating the social teachings of the Catholic Church into the moral, spiritual, social and political life of the nation. 

In the pursuit of its mission, Bro. Mike said that in response to the challenges we are now experiencing in the spiritual, social and political life of the nation, the Solidarity for Life and Family will strive to encourage measures that promote flourishing of individuals and the communities in which they live, and will act to challenge injustice whether it arises from government actions, economic and business practices, in the education system, in religious institutions and through the political exercise. 

For Filipino families, the Solidarity for Life and Family will help evangelize Filipino families and build communities of faith by promoting personal and family prayer, pro-life values, Catholic social teachings, and stewardship. 

The movement is also committed to actively participate in the life and mission of the Church in accord with our God-given gifts to promote subsidiarity, human development and true peace and it will work to alleviate poverty where it exists, housing for the poor, and advocacies for the protection of life from death bills, the preservation of the Filipino Family, adherence to Christian values and dignity without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or class. 

Bro. Mike said the Solidarity for Life and Family shall also promote the protection of the environment and good governance through an active participation in the democratic processes such as public forums, social media, communications and more importantly through the ballot. 

The involvement of the Filipino laity in politics, according to Bro. Mike, is expressly stated in Paragraph 899 of the Cathechism if the Catholic Church which says: “The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the mans for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.” 

The participation of the laity in political activities is also stated in Art. No. 8, No. 1 of the Plenary Council of the Philippines II that says: “The mission of the laity is the same as that of the entire church which is to renew the political order according to gospel principles and values.” 

The PCP-II in fact also provided specific guidelines for the political involvement of the laity and these are that: 

1. The basic standard is the pursuit of the common good. 

2. It must be characterized by a defense and promotion of justice. 

3. Inspired and guided by the spirit of service. 

4. Imbued with a love or preference for the poor. 

5. And to empower people as a process and as the goal of political activity. 

And more recently, even the Synod of Bishops that was held last year at the Vatican saw the need for the laity to participate in politics and this was contained in Paragraph No. 10 of the Closing Message of the Synod of Bishops: “A field in which the light of the Gospel can and must shine in order to illuminate humanity’s footsteps is politics. Politics requires a commitment of selfless and sincere care for the common good by fully respecting the dignity of the human person from conception to natural end, honoring the family founded by the marriage of a man and a woman and protecting academic freedom; by removing the causes of injustice, inequality, discrimination, violence, racism, hunger and war. Christians are asked to give a clear witness to the precept of charity in the exercise of politics.” 

Thus Bro. Mike said that there shouldn’t be any doubt in the minds of every Filipino laity of the righteousness of their getting involved in political activities and this is particularly crucial because the participation of the laity in the coming elections on May 13, 2013 is what will lead the Filipino people in crossing the threshold of poverty and this can only be possible if the people will use their right of suffrage wisely and by way of an informed choice to elect capable and qualified leaders who will defend life and the Filipino family. 

The Filipino nation, Bro. Mike pointed out, should look for leaders who will protect and preserve life and the Filipino family which is enshrined in the Constitution; who will execute its laws; who will dispense justice to every man; and most importantly to consecrate themselves to the service of the nation according to Gospel values. 

This is also the reason why the Solidarity for Life and Family is now in the process of discernment and will announce its choice of eight (8) senatorial candidates that it will support in the May 13, 2013 pols and this will be announced on April 13, 2013 during the overnight vigil of the El Shaddai Prayer Partners at the Amvel Complex in Paranaque City. A separate committee on education has also been going around the different Archdiocese and Dioceses throughout the country and has been conducting workshops to educate the laity on how to come up with an informed choice that will guide them in electing the right leaders. 

The list of candidates the movement will support may be increased to 10 or even to the full complement of 12 candidates depending on the process of discernment that is now taking place, said Bro. Mike, who added that the White Vote Movement which has established its network nationwide will also actively campaign to support the candidates it has endorsed to ensure their electoral victory at the polls. 

For Bro. Mike Velarde, pls. call Bro. Ray Vargas@09158789590

Bro. Mike Velarde, spokesman of the Solidarity for Life and Family answering the questions from the media during the press conference.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Relics of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply, "The Little Flower". (from wiki - Admin)

The beautiful reliquary of St. Therese - containing some of her bones.
Taken inside the St. Andrew Cathedral.

(Text below was written and prepared by Deity Lim - Admin)


For the third Philippine visit of the pilgrim relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who we also refer to as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the Diocese of Paranaque is blessed to have her at the St. Andrew Cathedral, La Huerta, Paranaque City from April 5, 2013 until the morning of April 7, 2013.

A farewell mass  was held at 5:30 AM today, officiated by St. Andrew Cathedral’s parish priest, Rev. Fr. Rolly Agustin, and his homily focused on her life and how it relates to the Year of Faith which the Catholic Church is presently observing.   Declared by Pope John Paul II in 1997 as a “Doctor of the Church” – the only Doctor of his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world, her life of faith is what all Catholics should follow.  A LIFE OF FAITH is anchored on: BELIEFS as catechized by the Catholic Church, TRUST that it is the truth, and OBEDIENCE to follow.  This is what the expression of faith should be.

The homily also focused on God’s love for us through his DIVINE MERCY for all humanity.  In return, we need to open ourselves up to FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION and HEALING.

Rev. Fr. Rolly Agustin during his homily.

What was amazing is what Rev. Fr. Rolly mentioned, that both of her parents have been beatified, and all her siblings are on their way to beatification as well.  Saint Therese and her family led a holy life.

Life of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus:

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelle Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France.  However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood.  Precocius and sensitive, Therese needed much attention.  Her mother died when she was 4 years old.  As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese.  She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life.  From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love.  At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God.  She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.  Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God.  Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love.  After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.  Her last words were the story of her life.  “My God, I love You!”

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of Soul”.  She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood”.  She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love.  “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.”  Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love.  She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love.  Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God’s love affair with us.  She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden.  Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly.  She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925.  Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

“My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death,” she said.  “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.  I will let fall a shower of roses.”  Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese’s signature.  Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her “little way.”  She has been acclaimed “the greatest saind of modern times.”  In 1997, Pope John Paull II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church – the only Doctor his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

Prayer to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Glorious Saint Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and counsel mankind, I implore your Miraculous Intercession.  So powerful are you in obtaining every need of body and soul.  Our Holy Mother Church proclaims you a “Prodigy of Miracles … the Greatest Saint of Modern Times.”  Now I frequently beseech you to answer my petition (mention specifics here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good upon the earth … of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses.  Henceforth, dear Little Flower, I will fulfil your plea “to be made known everywhere” and I will never cease to lead others to Jesus through you.  Amen.

Update from The Philippine Star newspaper

For all devotees of Saint Therese who were unable to visit her at St. Andrew, her relics is set to arrive at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Newport Boulevard, Pasay City (near Resorts World), at 5:30PM on April 11.  Here are the schedules:

April 11 - 5:30PM – Mass (to be presided by Bishop Leopoldo S. Tumulak). Veneration will follow until 10PM

April 13 – 6:00PM – anticipated Sunday Mass. Candlelight procession along the Villamor community.

April 14 – 5:00PM – farewell Mass. Tribute program.

April 14 – midnight – departure for Lisieux, France