Philippine Daily Inquirer
CHURCH IS GOV’T PARTNER IN HELPING POOR
NO true Catholic would ever claim to be perfect. But our imperfections do not hinder the Catholic Church in bringing and witnessing Christ’s love and goodness to other people, especially the impoverished and abandoned sectors of society.
The Diocese of San Pablo in Laguna, for instance, has been feeding about 20,000 malnourished children daily in the past 10 years or so. It has also maintained an institution called “Bahay Pag-ibig” to care for the abandoned and neglected elderly in the city streets, providing them basic material and spiritual needs, decent lives and a caring environment until they die.
There are also religious congregations for women that care for victims of sexual abuses, maltreatment, etc., giving them shelter as well as moral, spiritual and psychological assistance. I know of Catholic universities and colleges that accept poor, marginalized working students and help them become future professionals through their student assistance programs.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro has an orphanage for abandoned kids called the House of Friendship, which eventually evolved into the Balay Canossa Orphanage (managed by the Canossan Missionaries); it accommodates and protects abandoned, neglected and or- phaned street children.
These are only few of the countless services Catholic churches and religious congregations provide the poor and the marginalized, those that cannot be reached by the government. All of these have been happening without fanfare and are seldom reported by local or national media.
For the longest time, Catholic churches all over the country, imperfect and wounded as the institution may be, have been active partners of the government in uplifting the plight of the poor and the forgotten.