Fr. Heinz and the Janssenville Housing

A selfie with a resident of Janssenville subdivision (Photo Credit : Karl Fluch Photography)

 

In 1999, Fr. Heinz Kuluke, SVD founded the non-government organization Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation – Integrated Development Center, Inc (JPIC-IDC) to help the poorest of the poor in Cebu, particularly those who are into scavenging, street dwellers and young prostitutes.

His initiative kicked off the start of Janssenville housing in the province. From Mactan in Lapu-lapu City, the Janssenville subdivisions multiplied: in Mandaue City, in the Municipality of Compostela, in Bantayan Island, and in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, a total of 3,032 houses were built in far-flung barangays of the Leyte municipalities of Tolosa, Dulag, Dagami, Burawin, La Paz, Mayorga and Julita as of May 18, 2014.

Playing with the kids at the Janssenville neighborhood. (Photo Credit: Karl Fluch Photography)

 

The (JPIC-IDC) is rooted in the vision of “fullness of life in a transformed society” and it commits to three very important mission: (1) a continuing holistic education, (2) strengthening of families, protection and care of women and children, and (3) disaster preparedness and emergency response and rehabilitation.

 

Janssenville houses at Dumlog, Talisay City

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CBCP Statement on the Killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo

Fr. Richmond Nilo

 

Beloved People of God,

We are deeply saddened and terribly disturbed that another priest is brutally killed. Fr. Richmond Nilo, parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in the Diocese of Cabanatuan was gunned down and died on the spot early evening yesterday inside the barangay chapel of Mayamot, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, just as he was about to celebrate the Sunday Holy Mass.

We strongly condemn this outrageously evil act!

We pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr. Nilo. We also offer our prayer for his bereaved family. We join in prayer Bp. Sofronio Bancud, SSS, the clergy, the religious, and the lay faithful of the Diocese of Cabanatuan as they face the brutal death of their own priest at the hand of bloody murderers in this time when the whole Philippine Church is celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Clergy & Consecrated Persons.

Fr. Nilo is the third Catholic priest to be murdered in the recent months. Fr. Tito Paez in December 2017, Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura in April 2018.

We make our appeal once again to the police authorities to act swiftly in the investigation and to go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to justice. O Merciful Lord! Have pity on us!

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

(Sgd) +Romulo G. Valles
Archbishop of Davao
CBCP President
June 11, 2018

Cebu’s International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2018

#SpreadAwarenessNotVirus

 

The commemoration of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be on May 23, 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm in UCCP-CENDET, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City. There will be a forum on the update of the health situation in our country. Updates on HIV cases in our region will be presented by Dr. Van Philip Baton. After the forum, a walk against stigma and discrimination will follow. An ecumenical prayer and candle lighting at the Fuente clock will be the culminating event. Those who are in Cebu are invited.

Job Vacancy for Coastal Resource Management

Join the SVD Philippines’ largest NGO – the JPIC-IDC, Inc.! We are in need of 8 personnel for our newest project: Coastal Resource Management

***VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT***

COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECT
IN BOGO BAY

Duration: January 2018 to December 2020.

Personnel to be recruited:
1. Project Manager (1 person)
2. CRM Coordinator (1 person)
3. Community Organizer (2 persons)
4. Livelihood & Marketing Coordinator (1 person)
5. Environmental Education & Monitoring Officer (1 person)
6. Project Accountant (1 person)
7. Project Driver & Mechanic (1 person)

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

 

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

 

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

 

 

Photo Credit: JPIC-IDC

Any interested applicant could send their application to:

The Executive Director
JPIC-IDC, Inc.
c/o University of San Carlos
Pelaez Street, 6000 Cebu City

Documents to be sent:
 Application Letter (Manuscript)
 Curriculum Vitae
 Photocopies of Diplomas & Certificates

Pelaez Street, Brgy. Kamagayan, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone: +6332 253 3254; Telefax: +6332 254 7459
Email address: info.jpicidc@yahoo.com.ph

Posting Closing date: February 16, 2018

N.B. Only selected candidates will be contacted

 

Promoting Dialogue and Peace in Mindanao through Madaris Gurus and Catechists

Circa 2013 at Xavier High School, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

The new conflict in Mindanao that started last May 23 in Marawi    is becoming one of the most challenging problems in the recent history of the Philippines. The high number of victims, the destruction of the city, the people who have been forced to leave their houses, the martial law, the   fear and hatred among groups and clans and the increasing religious radicalism with violence   urge all of us to move with more courage and creativity.

Why so much violence and what will be the future of Mindanao with all the negative signs of today and  what to do to dream again the future peace in Mindanao?”

 

Circa 2013 at Xavier High School, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

These questions have challenged the Silsilah Dialogue Movement to do more in many ways in the past and now especially through the program called: “ Madaris Gurus and Catechists.
In the past years many teachers of Madaris (plural of Madrasa) and the catechists of Zamboanga, Basilan, Jolo, Davao and other places have benefited by this program of Silsilah. This is a special training to gather together madaris gurus and catechists of a certain area, by groups, inviting them to live together for a few days to build respect, trust, friendship and   teach them the concept of Christian-Muslim dialogue. Guided by this spirit they are invited to teach parts of their lesson in the spirit of dialogue.

To achieve this goal they will be guided to learn more about the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace.  For us this is a spirituality that has to be first  experienced on the personal level  to be effective on the social level. Thus, we teach  the participants dialogue  with God, with the self, with others and with creation according to to his own religion.  This includes also dialogue  in  families, communities, in the same religion and  in all aspects of life. For this reason we usually  include in the  teaching of the Culture of Dialogue the concept of personal and social transformation and what normally is presented as intra and inter religious dialogue.

Circa 2013 at Xavier High School, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

Our experience is that after these trainings   most of the participants  start to  be more dialogical among  themselves, not only in school, but also in  society. A touching experience among the many is what  the madaris gurus of Jolo shared with us on one occasion.  Jolo is a land of conflict  and the presence of the Christians is   less than  5%. Many Christians  have left  especially in recent years for the many acts of violence and kidnappings where  the victims are especially Christians.  The  positive  story is that  after the  training in Silsilah the  madaris gurus and the catechists  start to become friends and  when they meet in the market area or other places they smile and greet each other. This is  also the experience of other  participants in other areas and this can be considered  positive stories  and  signs of hope.

The  conflict in Marawi has opened    the eyes of many to a reality that in the past military and other leaders used to deny.  It is already  open news for all and the sad experience of  the increasing  conflict  justified by an increasing  intolerance of the part of  the more  radical  groups. They now do not only go against the Christians, but also against  Muslims  who are not like them and with the same orientation.  Some of the Muslims   are considered “ Kafir” ( infidel) by those who claim to be Muslims  but not of the same orientation .

Circa 2013 at Xavier High School, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

This  reality  can not be denied any more. All now know  about the ISIS/Maute group present in Mindanao and other groups who are not so  well known yet, but are  also dangerous.
In addition to this  training, Silsilah  will also intensify other programs especially  in schools in  collaboration  with   youth leaders and groups willing to share the spirit of dialogue and peace that Silsilah promotes. This  plan will start from Zamboanga and will reach  many others, especially in all the areas where Silsilah is present  with groups called SILSILAH FORUM.  At present  the active  Silsilah Forum areas are in Tawi-Tawi, Siasi, Jolo, Basilan, Sibugay, Pagadian,  Cotabato, Kidapawan, Davao, Manila, Antipolo and other places where the groups are at the first stage of growth.

It is our desire and hope to  identify among the madaris gurus and catechists those who  are willing to join  Silsilah to  share this experience  and become  Instruments of dialogue and peace in our society.

 

Circa 2013 at Xavier High School, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

We can not deny that  we continue our mission  with  sadness considering that  in spite of our  efforts and the efforts of many others  for dialogue and peace in Mindanao   there are  still many  victims of  violence. There are those who get discouraged  but for us who have   experienced in the past  also  the pain of  other friends who have been killed in their mission of dialogue and peace, we  are  renewed by God’s presence and the  spirit of  Padayon ( move on) and continue to  move and encourage all  to continue to   dream  for a future real and sincere  peace in Mindanao.

 

 

(This article is courtesy of Silsilah Dialogue Movement. Thank you Silsilah for faithfully sending me newsletters about our interfaith movement. – Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD)

 

CBCP Statement on Marawi, Terrorism and Dialogue

Text and Photo Credit: CBCP News

“Turn from Evil and Do Good,
Seek Peace and Pursue It” (Ps. 34:14)

 

TO ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL:

 

Greetings of peace in the Almighty and Most Merciful God.

 

We, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, wish to enjoin your assistance and collaboration. We all cry from our hearts: War in Marawi, never again! War in Marawi, no more! We therefore call for the return to normalcy and peace in Marawi and its environs as soon as possible. We wonder whether the continued state of Martial Law, much more its extension, will bring this about.

 

We believe that the war in Marawi is not religious. We have heard and read truly stunning stories of how Muslims have protected and helped Christians to escape from almost certain death. Even now Christians are assisting thousands of Muslims who have fled from Marawi for safety. These are indisputable signs that there is no religious war.

 

Condemnation of Terrorism and Violent Extremism

 

For this reason as Catholic religious leaders we condemn in the strongest terms possible, as did Islamic religious scholars in Mindanao, the violent extremist Maute group in Marawi. Its leaders and members have pledged allegiance to ISIS. They have contradicted the fundamental tenets of Islam by abducting and hostaging, maiming and killing the innocent.

 

Dialogue for Peace, the Common Word

 

Join us then, beloved people of good will, in conducting intra-faith dialogue among our respective co-religionists so that our various faiths may not be exploited and abused for the sake of terrorism or violent extremism. Let parents, schools, churches and mosques ensure that none may be lured by the recruitment efforts of terrorists. Let us teach the young and the old that our faiths are meant for peace. No religion teaches the killing of innocent people, simply because they belong to another religion.

 

Join us and let us continue the inter-religious dialogue called for by hundreds of Islamic leaders throughout the world. In 2007 they called for peace between Muslims and Christians when they wrote their famous open letter on “the Common Word” to Christian religious leaders. How true their words were! The Muslim leaders wrote:

 

The basis for peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God and love of neighbor.

 

This is the commandment of God in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

 

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.

 

Our Lord Jesus, who is also revered as prophet in the Qur’an, cited this scriptural text and elaborated on it in Mark 12:28-31.

 

One of the scribes … asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

 

He further commanded us: “Love one another as I love you” (John 15:12).

 

Praxis of Love and Gratitude

 

Loving our neighbor needs action. Let us together invest our resources to helping the thousands of people who have fled from the horrors of Marawi. Let us pray for the safety of trapped civilians and of those abducted and hostaged by the terrorists. Let us be vigilant and alert, helping our security forces thwart the threats of terrorism in other areas of Mindanao. Let us help the government rebuild the city of Marawi so that its citizens may return and restore their broken lives.

 

With profound gratitude we acknowledge the priceless generosity of kind donors from different faiths, both local and foreign, who promptly responded to meet the needs of the people of Marawi who have fled to safer areas. We appeal for more help especially for those home-based displaced people who are not yet adequately served.

 

Maryam, the mother of Jesus, is praised and honored in the Qur’an and by many Christians. Catholics believe that 100 years ago she appeared to three children in the village of Fatima, which is the very name of the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. To the prayers of Maryam, we commend our efforts for peace and harmony between peoples of different faiths.

 

“Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to one another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual good will” (see the Common Word letter).

 

May the God of peace be with you!

 

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,

 

+ Socrates B. Villegas, D.D.
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
July 10, 2017

 

Pursue What Leads to Peace (Statement of the Mindanao Bishops on Marawi and Martial Law)

Photo Credit: CBCP News Website

To All People of Good Will:

 

We, Catholic Bishops of Mindanao, address this Statement to every Mindanawon. We originally intended to respond to the requests of our Catholic faithful who asked for pastoral guidance on the issue of Martial Law.

 

We pray for all the murdered innocent victims in Marawi and ask the Lord to protect all the families that have fled to safety.

 

We condemn the terrorist acts that have caused the loss of many innocent lives, the burning of homes, public buildings, including a Protestant school dormitory and a Catholic Cathedral.

 

We condemn the unconscionable kidnapping of teachers and church personnel.

 

We pray for the safety of all the kidnapped, of Fr. Teresito Suganob and his companions. We appeal to the hostage takers to release all of them unharmed. The victims fear death but they also have the courage to give ultimate witness to Christ.

 

In the strongest terms we condemn terrorism in its various forms. It is an ideology that is totally against the tenets of any religion of peace. Especially so when terrorism is perpetrated while our Muslim brothers and sisters are preparing for the holy month of Ramadhan. Terrorism distorts and falsifies the true meaning of any religion. It destroys harmonious relationships among peoples of different faiths. It creates a world of suspicion and prejudice, of hatred and hostility.

 

The President of the Philippines has responded to the Marawi crisis by declaring Martial Law in the entire Mindanao. Many criticise the decision as reminiscent of the horrors of a past dictatorship. Others support the decision as justified.

 

We are aware that the problems of peace and order, of the continuing disruptive activities of other rebel groups, the problems of criminality and drugs, of corruption and underdevelopment are in every nook and corner of Mindanao. Mindanao problems go beyond the city limits of Marawi.

 

Our Catholic faithful have asked for pastoral guidance regarding Martial Law. We are guided by the Sacred Scriptures and by the social teachings of the Church. St. Paul exhorts us to “pursue what leads to peace” (Rom. 14: 19).

 

Martial Law is a means of last resort. Are moral principles fulfilled? Were other means to resolve the deep and wide serious problems of Mindanao impractical and ineffective? Will the positive effects of Martial Law outweigh the negative effects? Will there be probability of success? Will it bring about a culture of accountability and end a culture of impunity? Will Martial Law increase human rights violations? Will Martial Law be abused for evil purposes?

 

The answers to many questions are speculative. We have many fears. But at present we simply do not have solid and sufficient facts to absolutely reject the declaration of Martial Law as morally reprehensible. But we are certainly agreed that Martial Law must be temporary.

 

We shall condemn any abuse of Martial Law and as in the past will condemn it outright if it goes in the way of evil. Let us be vigilant.

 

We exhort everyone to be calm in the face of Martial Law, to be obedient to the just commands of lawful authority, and not to provoke violent reaction. We urge the government to remove the causes of terrorism, such as poverty and injustice, through just and accountable governance focused solely on the common good.

 

The focus of every religion is peace on earth, peace in heaven. Let us pursue together what leads to peace. Let all religious teachers and leaders quell the tendencies towards the terrorist ideology. Together let us pursue what leads to peace. Let us pray for peace and work for peace.

 

God bless the people of Marawi. God bless all Mindanawons.

 

With the approval of the Bishops of Mindanao,

 

 

+Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cotabato
26 May 2017