Cardinal Urges Catholics to Support Alay Kapwa Collection

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

MANILA, March 27, 2010-Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has encouraged all Filipino Catholics to support the Alay Kapwa collection this Sunday, as the Church ushers in the Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday.

In a statement, Rosales said contributions collected on Alay Kapwa Sunday are used to support the various programs of the Church. For the archdiocese, the collection proceeds go to the disaster-preparedness fund drive of Caritas Manila.

"This fund is used in times of major crises like we experienced [during typhoon] Ondoy. We were also able to extend help to Haiti through this program of Caritas," the Cardinal said.

The cardinal said Alay Kapwa Sunday, also called Caritas Sunday, is designated to raise funds for social services and programs for the less fortunate.

"Alay Kapwa Sunday has always been about the less fortunate. But with the seriousness of the climate crisis and these calamities, we, all of us, become the less fortunate," he cited.

A Lenten evangelization program of the Philippine Catholic Church, Alay Kapwa was created in 1975 by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The program is now being implemented by the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) as part of "its commitment to bring out a society enlivened by the Gospel values of justice, peace and love for our less fortunate brothers and sisters."

"As we make our offering, let us pray that God spares us from such calamities and disasters, and for God to rule our hearts," he said.

He also asked them to seek for God's wisdom choosing the right leaders the upcoming May elections.

"We must also pray that we, as a people, select leaders who will never compromise the environment for economic gains, leaders who can help protect and nurture what little we have left, leaders who we can depend on in times of calamities and disasters."

Rosales said the Lenten season also provides an opportune time to reflect on one's share of responsibility towards caring the environment.

"The season of lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on our lives. It is also a time to reflect on how we have served as stewards of God's creation," he said. (Kate Laceda/CBCP News)