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Stations of the Forest March 10th, 2014

We would like to thank the Columban Fathers for the powerful Stations of the Forest video. It is a compelling narrative of the destruction of the forest that has ruined ecosystems from the Philippines to Brazil – a destruction that imperils the world.

Following the format of The Stations of the Cross this prayerful resource laments the stages in the death of part of God’s Creation. It incorporates issues related to rainforest destruction: extractive industries, loss of biodiversity and climate change.

A Booklet accompanies the DVD, providing the script, an agenda for meetings, a reflection on the Stations, and prayers. (download booklet here)

Download – The Grace of Forests Lenten resource




Philippine Oblate Archbishop Quevedo Named to the College of Cardinals January 17th, 2014

Quevedo-aPope Francis has named a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal-designate Quevedo represents the large island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, which experiences all the major problems facing the Philippines, including poverty, peace and justice issues and the complex and often difficult relationship between Christians and Muslims.

The rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front said the elevation of the cardinal-designate is a “welcome development”. “It’s good for peace efforts in Mindanao,” said rebel spokesman Mohagher Iqbal. In a 2003 paper titled “Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao,” Quevedo said the root cause of the Moro rebellion in the southern Philippines was “injustice” to the Moro people’s “identity, political sovereignty, and integral development”.*

He said that as a member of the College of Cardinals he will try to contribute to Pope Francis’ vision of a church of the poor.

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Philippines’ Foreign Debt Payments Dwarf Relief Aid After Typhoon Haiyan December 20th, 2013

More than a month after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the country has paid approximately $900 million in debt repayments—more than twice as much as it’s received in pledged aid from countries around the world to support the recovery effort. 

The Philippines government will spend a total of $6.7 billion on debt repayments this year alone, some of which originates from the corrupt and abusive regime of Ferdinand Marcos, who was responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 Filipinos and the torture of 35,000.

Jubilee USA is calling for a major shift in debt policy vis a vis the Philippines. “The World Bank and international lenders have yet to cancel the debts that fueled Marcos regime corruption. While Filipinos were tortured and lived in poverty, we watched Marcos’s wife accumulating one of the world’s largest shoe collections,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “If these debts were cancelled they could rebuild the Philippines and safeguard the country from the impacts of climate change.”

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan is now at more than 6,000 people, while nearly 2,000 people remain unaccounted for. Meanwhile, more than 4 million people have been displaced. 

”The World Bank and other international lenders must be subject to an independent debt audit,” said LeCompte. “It’s also critical that lenders offer unconditional grants to the Philippines rather than loans that will further drive the country into poverty.”

Philippine Plea for Action on Climate November 19th, 2013

In the wake of Supertyphoon Haiyan, Yeb Sano, Philippine delegate to the international climate negotiations in Warsaw, made an impassioned plea to take action and “stop the madness” that is climate change. Below is an edited video of his address, with scenes of the devastation in the Philippines alongside. It is a powerful video in this second week of the climate negotiations, a major focus of which is financing for climate friendly investments for developing nations.


Oblate Priest wins journalism award in the Philippines December 6th, 2011

Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, OMI (Photo credit: UCANews)

Father Eduardo Vasquez, OMI has been recognized by the US Embassy for his video documentary work. He was awarded the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowship for Professional Development for his outstanding work in journalism. President Benigno Aquino presented the award at a ceremony in Makati City.

The US embassy instituted the fellowship in 1988 to commemorate Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino Jr’s accomplishments in journalism and public service, and to honor former president Corazon (Cory) Aquino’s contributions in strengthening the country’s democratic institutions. They were the parents of the current president.

Being recognized as a fellow also involves participation in a US exchange program — the International Visitor Leadership Program — which promotes international understanding through the exchange of information and ideas between people of the US and other countries.

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Italian Priest Killed in the southern Philippines October 25th, 2011

Fr. Tentorio, PIME (from the PIME website)

Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME, parish priest of Arakan Valley, Mindanao was shot dead on October 17th. Fr. Tentorio was an Italian priest who had been serving Mindanao since 1978 and was head of the Tribal Filipinos Apostolate of the Diocese of Kidapawan. He was gunned down at around 8:30 Monday morning just as he was preparing to leave his convent in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato, for the 9 a.m. Presbyterium in Kidapawan City.

More information…


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