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Filipinos are lucky as they have spiritual vacation during Holy Week, says Catholic priest

MANILA, March 26 — A Catholic priest has noted that Filipinos are lucky as they have spiritual vacation during Holy Week as compared to other countries where there no Lenten holidays.

With this, Fr. Anton Pascual, president of Radio Veritas urged the faithful to take advantage of the vacation to bond with the family and also to reflect on his/her relationship with the Lord, his/her family, and his/her neighbors, particularly the less fortunate.

“Basically, we are fortunate since here in the country, we have spiritual vacation. In other countries, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday are working days,” he said in a press briefing in Manila on Thursday during the launching of the 2nd Penitential Walk to be held on April 3.

“It is better here in the Philippines since many people are on vacation on those days. It is a very good time for us to bond as a family, that is why there are many family outings…but let us not forget it is a spiritual vacation to assess our relationship with God, to oneself, family and the poor,” Pascual added.

He noted that people should consider why they are in this world, their purpose and where the Lord will bring them.

On the other hand, Fr. Jerome Secillano, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Public Affairs Committee, appealed to the people to go out of their homes and go to Church, saying it is important to interact with other people instead of staying inside their houses.

“Our appeal is go out of your houses and go to Church. It is different if you are inside the house of God, where you will feel the spirit of the season and to also be one with other worshippers. It's more of personal experience compared to merely watching from television,” he said.

Secillano noted that since Holy Week activities can be accessed online or on television, people tend to stay at home.

“I think before we have social media, people were going to church to really see all the activities and participate, but nowadays that we have the television, the Seven Last Words are being beamed and so the people would just stay in their houses…," the Catholic priest added.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Manila and Radio Veritas will be holding the Penitential Walk early next month.

The walk will cover seven kilometers and feature the Way of the Cross composed of 14 stations to start in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City to the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila. It will start at 4 a.m. on April 3, Good Friday.

Last year, some 10,000 devotees participated in the Penitential Walk while doing the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) en route to the Manila Cathedral for the final reflection and communal led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

The various stations of the cross, which are 500 meters apart, are as follows: 1st Station, San Juan de Dios Hospital; 2nd Station, COKO 1 Building/Patio Madrigal; 3rd Station, 7-11 Convenience Store (between Cuneta Astrodome and Department of Foreign Affairs); 4th Station, Philsmed Foundation; 5th Station, Lourdes St. (East Ave. Bar and in front of Boom na Boom; 6th Station, CCP Fountain; 7th Station, corner of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and in front of Manila Yacht Club first gate;

The 8th Station, abandoned building before Aristocrat; 9th Station, the Pan Pacific (White bldg., before Ramon Magsaysay Bldg.); 10th Station, Coffee Bean/Asia United Bank, Ermita; 11th Station, UN Ave. corner Roxas Blvd.; 12th Station, Manila Hotel; 13th Station, Philippine Ports Authority; and 14th Station, Anda Monument going to Manila Cathedral. (PNA)

SCS/FGP/EDS

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