[#AwaNgDiyosPH] Can faithful be with the poor?



MANILA (The Filipino Connection and Philstar.com)–A Salesian priest urged people from a country with steep income divides to find a “calling” and “be with the poor”.

This togetherness with the cash-strapped had to be prayed for, said Fr. Marciano Evangelista, S.D.B., more than what Philippine visitor Pope Francis wants.

The president and founder of the Tuloy Foundation told a crowd of mostly middle-class Catholics that living a life for and with the poor is “a fulfilling life”.

Of course, Evangelista’s mission–as a priest–is aligned to what he just said: “I have never encountered Christ as much nor as vividly as I had in the past 21 years working with and for the poor.”

However, Evangelista explained that “encountering Christ” could happen “everywhere” and “to encounter Christ is to be continuously transformed.”

“What I have seen from working with the poor is that it gives us endless countless opportunities for such transformative encounter.”
Encountering Christ is not only present in the “beauty of nature, conflict and joyous moments,” but also in poverty, says Evangelista.

This Catholic nation of 100 million has a poverty incidence rate of 24.9 percent, but this consumer-driven economy is also noted to have a visibly-high inequality rate.

Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church and its popes past and present have emphasized an embracing of the poor. The current Pontiff, for his part, chose a name, Francis, that symbolically –and purposively– wants the Church to be in the frontlines, with the poor.

“I encounter Christ in those who derive joy in giving. I encounter Christ when I witness the poor given hope and privilege to have richness in poor,” said the head of the Tuloy Foundation, a comprehensive rehabilitation program for street children in Manila, its official website stated. It was established in 1993 with only a dozen of students. Now, it has more than 600 street children students.

Evangelista was a speaker at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization 2 being held at the University of Santo Tomas.–The Filipino Connection and Philstar.com.


The Filipino Connection covers the visit of Pope Francis in partnership with Philstar.com.



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