Nov. 1, 2011—The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) of St. John the Baptist parish reiterated their strong rejection against the reproductive health bill by launching the Living Rosary for Life and Peace. The Living Rosary was a culminating activity held for October as month of the Holy Rosary in cooperation with Family and Life Apostolate, Marian groups and other parish organizations.
As a spiritual weapon against the culture of death espoused by the RH bill, the Parish BEC, with the Our Lady of Guadalupe as the advocacy patroness, had been conducting Rosary for Life in vigils, prayer meetings, and even in private devotions. The BECs have integrated the “1 Million Roses for World Peace” campaign with their “Life agenda”, calling their advocacy “Rosary for Life and Peace.”
At 3 p.m., BECs from Barangays and Sitios coming from all directions started praying the Joyful mysteries while trekking to the poblacion’s Kalayaan Park, the assembly point. Each mystery was accompanied with a pro-life reflection and offering of intention. Other groups at the park also prayed simultaneously the chaplet of the Divine Mercy at 3 p.m. followed by the recitation of the mysteries of Light at 3:20 p.m. also with corresponding reflections and intentions.
At 4 p.m., about 500 had already converged at the park and began praying the Sorrowful mysteries in reparation for the sins committed against the holiness of life and peace. The people solemnly prayed the rosary during the half kilometer procession towards the Church. The parish youth led at front row holding up high the banner that read “ROSARY for LIFE and PEACE, Reject RH Bill” followed by Marian devotees who were carrying a huge Rosary replica. Images of our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of Life and patroness of the unborn, were displayed. The Cross was at the tail-end symbolizing our faith that “through Mary we are led to Christ, and Rosary leads to the Cross and the Eucharist.”
Meanwhile, at 4:00 pm at the Church’s patio, the praying of the Light and Sorrowful mysteries intended for the elderly, sick, disable and pregnant lined up sitting to form as the crucifix of a much bigger Living Rosary. It was completed by the arrival of the procession which encircled the crucifix to form as beads of the giant Living Rosary for the Glorious mysteries.
The BEC also issued a public statement which in part says, “Peace is at the heart of the Church’s seeking…that humankind may increasingly become the family of God bonded in love. Yet, our modern materialistic world risks in detaching us from ethical living and transcendental values…” “The quest for peace resides in the vast spiritual horizon—in the will, heart and mind of the human person…that Jesus worked with human hands, thought with human mind and loved with a human heart…” “Only Jesus can give the kind of peace the world cannot give. There can be no genuine human development and authentic peace without God in our life. Hence, we now go to the public square as we pray for God’s mercy. We plead for Mother Mary’s powerful intercession through the Holy Rosary as we defend human Life and seek universal Peace. The event concluded with a Eucharistic mass presided by parish priest, Msgr. Peter Cañonero, who lauded the Living Rosary and admonished the parishioners to become defenders of God-given life and witnesses to the Catholic faith as taught by the Church. (Ding Fernandez)