The catechists of the Archdiocese of Manila are regular participants of the Katolikong Pinoy, a monthly gathering of the faithful sponsored by the Lay Formation of the Archdiocese of Manila. It is now on its 14th year and is regularly held at the Lay Formation Chapel in San Carlos Seminary Compound.
Last Saturday’s formation (December 9, 2017) was a bit extraordinary not just because there was a surprised free breakfast meal for all the participants but most importantly because it was the culmination of the year 2017 formation and served as the Advent Recollection for all the attendees. The speaker for that day was Rev. Fr. Kristoffer Habal, a young priest and at present is the vocation promoter for priestly vocation of the Archdiocese of Manila. He dealt on the topic “Buhay na Ugnayan kay Hesus, Tugon ng Pamayanan”.
In his talk, Fr. Kris highlighted three important personalities who served as our co-journeyers (kalakbay) during this season of Advent. First is Prophet Isaiah who is called as the “Prophet of Advent, the Prophet of Hope”. He constantly encourages us to have this unceasing hope for Jesus in the midst of our difficulties and challenges in life. Second is St. John the Baptist who untiringly calls us to repent from our sins as we prepare for the coming of Christ. The third one is no other than the Blessed Virgin Mary who is our model of faith. Her trust in God is indeed par excellence for her to put her faith in God alone.
There was also an on-going confession during the recollection and many penitent availed of this. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist culminated the Advent Recollection and was also presided by Fr. Kris. He continued his reflection with the following questions for the lay faithful, “When I pray, do I believe that God really listens to my prayer?” “Do I trust in God that he will hear my cry?”
In view of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, he appealed to the assembly on how they can also give hope to others. In prayer, he urged them to always pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers who will bring hope to his people.
The lay faithful were encouraged to bring rice to be given to the Tulay ng Kabataan. Their offerings were gathered and will be forwarded to the beneficiaries. To the delight of everyone, all were given the Katolikong Pinoy Planner for 2018. The formation of Katolikong Pinoy will resume on the 20th day of January 2018.
By Concepcion Remoroza Sanchez