Passion and Easter Traditions

March 2024

In This Issue


The Pastoral Blessings

The declaration Fiducia Supplicans does not change the Church’s doctrine but marks a shift of pastoral outlook by responding to the spiritual needs of many couples who do not live in a sacred marriage.

WM Special

Through the Cross to the Light

Every year, Catholics commemorate and make present the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. It is prepared for 40 days during the season of Lent and goes on until Holy Thursday. In Filipino Catholicism, this is marked by religious traditions where faith and culture intertwine.

WM Special

The Processions of Holy Week

In many parishes, three processions are held during Holy Week: the procession of the Passion usually held on Holy Wednesday, the Santo Entierro on Good Friday, and the Salubong on Easter Sunday. In some parishes, the first two processions are combined and held on Good Friday.

WM Special

The Easter Traditions of Filipino Catholics

The various Easter traditions-Salubong, Via Lucis and the processions-vary across regions and communities, but collectively, they reflect the deeply rooted religious and cultural significance of Easter in the Philippines.


Silence Encourages the Tormentor, Never the Tormented

The vast majority of Catholics do not speak up and act out on behalf of countless suffering brothers and sisters. To go against this “culture of indifference,” believers are called upon to protect and enhance the life and dignity of all human beings.


Preserving Nature in a Filipino Hermitage

Four religious people have chosen to live in a hermitage community in southeastern Philippines for silence and solitude and to spark interest among people in preserving nature and making it even more productive.

Journey Moments

What’s Life All About?

We can truly live a meaningful life under the guidance of the Master, Jesus Christ. The three words that will help us achieve this objective are service, sacrifice, and sharing.


Does Religion Have To Do With Tensions in the Middle East?

We have seen a dangerous escalation in the Middle East because of the war in Gaza. Iran has attacked targets in Iraq and Pakistan. The Houthis are targeting ships in the Red Sea. Hezbollah and Israel are exchanging fire across the Lebanese border. Does religion have anything to do with it?

In Focus

Life on Our Planet is Under Siege

A group of scientists recently published a report which states that the Earth’s ‘vital signs’ are the worst in human history. Instead of pursuing war and slaughtering thousands of people around the world, we should be focusing on the distressing signs of our planet.

A Taste of Tradition

The Birth of Christian Apology

On the whole, the society of the Roman Empire had a poor concept of Christianity. To fight the prejudices and show the real face of the new religion, the Christian philosopher Saint Justin martyr invented the Apology.

Our World

Humanity is on the Move

In light of the overwhelming surge of migrants, numerous countries are implementing laws to tighten immigration controls. Pope Francis, in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, pleads on their behalf, calling for a compassionate and benevolent approach towards migrants.

Follow Me

Saint Joseph: The Dream of Vocation

St. Joseph’s strong witness can guide us in our Christian life. He suggests three keywords for our vocational journey: dream, service, and fidelity.

Follow Me

From Africa to the Philippines

Fr. Noel Sakie, a Comboni missionary priest from Togo, shares his vocation story. He recalls how being an altar server and participating in a Charismatic group were decisive in discovering his vocation to missionary life.

Mission is Fun

Faith or Jail

Not long ago, relations between Church and State in Mexico were tense. One of the laws was the absolute prohibition on clergy to wear ecclesiastical clothes and to perform religious functions outside the church. On Ash Wednesday, I was invited by the parish priest of a poor and densely populated district of the capital to administer ashes in one of the various chapels of the parish.


Nuncio Echoes Pope’s Call for ‘Year of Prayer’

Archbishop Charles Brown (in photo), the papal nuncio to the Philippines, has echoed Pope Francis’ call for a “Year of Prayer” to help Catholics prepare for the 2025 Jubilee. Addressing the Philippine bishops at their plenary assembly last January, he encouraged them “to find ways” in their own dioceses to implement the special year.

Religious Women

Sister is One of the Most Influential Women

The American magazine Forbes has published its popular annual list, highlighting influential women in fields such as science, fashion, economics, and human rights. The 2024 edition includes Sr. Nathalie Becquart (in photo), X.M.C.J., a Catholic sister who serves as undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.


Two Out of Every Five Christians are Persecuted

Two out of every five Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination on religious grounds in Asia, the largest region of the world affected by this issue, followed by Africa (one in five) and Latin America (one in 16). On a global scale, more than 365 million Christians are persecuted (one in seven), the highest figure in the last 31 years.


Increase in Human Rights Violations

Human Rights Watch, a global rights group, has slammed governments in Asia for an increase in repression and human rights violations in its World Report 2024. The report blasted Asian governments for various forms of human rights abuses.

Passion and Easter Traditions

March 2024 Issue
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