Building on its opening day success, Day Two of the 7th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) continued to highlight powerful stories connecting people of varying faiths, belief systems, and religions, last January 29, Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The morning activities began with the segment “Weaving Hearts”, facilitated by DZMM 630 Usapang Kapatid co-host Ms.Ilsa Reyes and Rev. Fr. Richard Babao.
Guided by PCNE 7’s theme “At Sino ang aking kapwa?”, Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple Head Abbess Ven. Miao Jing, Ms. Haidi Fajardo, Pastor Aldrin Peñemora, Shia Muslim Youth Leader Ms.Isnihayah T. Binumbaran and Greek Orthodox priest Fr. Alexei Smith, eagerly shared their personal testimonies on the role of dialogue in fostering harmony.
Prior to closing the discussion with a colorful Maypole Dance performance from St. Scholastica’s College Manila, PCNE founder Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reflected on the beauty of inter-connectivity amidst diversity.
“It is easier to disentangle than to weave. Mahirap maghabi, but how easy it is to pull one thread and destroy the whole fabric. We recognize that we cannot weave with only one thread. Kailangan nating tanggapin, kailangan din ng iba’t-ibang sinulid. We need diversity and even diverse colors.”
In the eye-opening Magkaugnay segment, Bishop Prudencio Padilla Andaya, Jr. C.I.C.M, helped shed light on the unique bond shared by Catholic faith and tribal customs, especially for the natives of the Cordillera highlands.
“Evangelization came in full blasts in the mountains only during the 1920’s. The Word of God has been sown in the heart of the Kalinga and today we continue to serve our people to deepen their faith in God; and to find the God of love and compassion in the cultural practices and Indigenous belief that have been intact even until this day,” explained the Apostolic Vicar of Tabuk.
Kalinga Binurawan Group, Jose de Piro Kabataan Orchestra, Koro Bangkal and Joey Ayala delighted the gallery with musical performances. Meanwhile, Mr. Tubag Jugatan and Lubos na Alyansa ng Katutubong Ayta ng Sambales (LAKAS) recounted the struggles, hopes and dreams of their indigenous brothers and sisters.
Following his conference synthesis in the afternoon, Cardinal Tagle welcomed the emotional and heartfelt tribute from PCNE committees, volunteers, family and friends, as they all bid farewell to the Archbishop of Manila, who was recently named as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Presiding over the concluding mass, Cardinal Tagle underscored the essence of our mission to be true neighbors to one another.
“The ground of humanity, even the dust and mud of humanity on which Jesus received fell, even until death, it is from this earth that the seed grew, bore fruit and hopefully we are those fruits,” he reminded.
“Kapatid kita, Kapwa kita, Mahal kita. Magkasama tayo sa misyon ni Hesus.”