– Advertisement – The blaze that started on 9 June, following a gas blowout in Baghjan area, has raged for about 150 days now, making it the longest such fire in India. Three people have died in trying to contain the fire, which initially forced 3,000 people in neighbouring villages to leave their homes and take shelter in makeshift camps.
Chapel communities and parishes would be better off if every fiesta became an occasion to attend to the forgotten ones in society – beggars, street children, disaster survivors, prisoners, wayward youths and the poor.What if Saint Francis of Assisi’s feast were devoted to planting mangroves and trees and Saint Thomas More’s feast were spent by lawyers giving free legal assistance?What if the run-up to Saint Luke’s day became a privileged season for doctors to conduct medical missions and Saint Sebastian’s day were a time to run sports clinics?Last Sunday’s procession-cum-relief drive was thankfully different.If we have more of these meangingful twists added to tradition, they could spell a great transformation in the faith of people as lived in this part of Asia.Read Next The foot procession, which marked the feast of Christ the King, was also a countdown to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in 2016.MORE STORIESnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewnewsinfo‘Aquaman’ Jason Momoa visits protesters blocking new Hawaii telescopenewsinfoCourt: Non-native Guam residents can vote on status with USMORE STORIESnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewnewsinfo‘Aquaman’ Jason Momoa visits protesters blocking new Hawaii telescopenewsinfoCourt: Non-native Guam residents can vote on status with USThe prayer walk down Osmeña Boulevard to the Magellan’s Cross may very well herald a profound turn in the festive culture of Filipino Catholics, especially in the Visayas.We refer to the thousands, especially young people, who equate fiesta with fun and self-indulgent revelry, rather than an occasion to reach out to the less fortunate.We mean those people who have come to associate fiesta with heavy traffic, late night noise, money-making and getting wasted.In many places, fiesta novenas have deteriorated into front acts for nine nights of drag shows or stage plays that entertain but are woefully out of step with the virtues of the saint being honored.ADVERTISEMENT At first blush, the Cebu archdiocese’s collection of canned goods and water bottles for survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda gathered from participants of last Sunday’s religious procession capping the Year of Faith looked novel.The relief drive, on hindsight, hewed closely to the Gospel’s basic call for the faithful to provide for the poor.ADVERTISEMENT PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities PLAY LIST 03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension An adobo upgrade: Add rosemary Tolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal What’s new in town: Eggplant parmigiana deep-dish pizza, tofu ‘kakigori,’ ‘kamias’-date sticky toffee pudding Sen. Pia Cayetano: Judge our clan based on performance Pagasa: Rain expected as LPA enters PAR SMC bags Bulacan airport project MOST READ LATEST STORIES Indeed, calamities like the superstorm and the Oct. 15 earthquake are turning out to be signs prompting churches to get more involved in social concerns.There has been no dearth of priests who are active in nation building, from activist Redemptorist Fr. Rudy Romano in the martial law era to Augustinian Fr. Tito Soquiño, who advocates ecological stewardship in this age of climate change.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOPalace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spikeSunday’s procession, where people were asked to bring “one can more, one bottle more” for calamity victims, was refreshing. It involved clergy and lay persons who form the bulk of the Church.The organic relationship between ritual and social action should spur more people to be good Samaritans. PM Boris Johnson visits Belfast as Brexit woes hurt UK economy Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments