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CBCP President: New Year’s Message 2012

My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ:

Maayong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan!

As we thank God for the many blessings He bestowed on us last year, we offer Him praise and thanksgiving as He brings us to another year, the New Year 2012.

That God has given us yet another year, is both a gift and a task. We are here for a reason; we have a mission. As we embark on life’s journey, we pray for courage and hope. Surely, the task which God has given us is meant for our own good and for the good of the church and the community. We know there is much to do considering life’s challenges in our imperfect society with us who are poor or frail people. Yet, we move forward with contrite hearts and with firm faith knowing God will not abandon us because he loves us (cf. Isaiah 49:15) and convinced of what we are able to accomplish because of the goodness and power in our hearts.

For us Catholics, the year 2012 promises abundant divine graces. This coming October 7 to 28, there will be the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome to discuss the topic: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The aim of the approaching synodal assembly will be to examine the present situation in the particular Churches. It will trace, in communion with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Church, the new methods and means for transmitting the Good News to people in our world today. It hopes to direct evangelization with a renewed enthusiasm.

This year will also see the canonization of our very own Blessed Pedro Calungsod. We envision efforts towards renewal because of the preparations which come with canonization. If we know him better and emulate his virtues, particularly his zeal for learning, living, spreading and even dying for the faith, we become a better people. Let us, imitate his love for the Eucharist and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us learn from him how to trust our Provident God and how to be a true friend who brings people closer to God. May Blessed Pedro journey with us so that like him we truly become “mga katagilungsod”, fellow citizens of our beautiful land, and fellow citizens of the saints in heaven.

Once again, a grace-filled New Year to you all!

Archbishop of Cebu
CBCP President