Church to celebrate 2014 as ‘Year of the Laity’

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma urged lay people to “go into the world and make a difference.”

In his New Year’s message, Palma said the lay can make a difference in different fields, such as business, economics, politics, education, mass media and social media.

Following the declaration of the year 2014 as “the Year of the Laity” by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Palma urged the lay people to “become saints” and be heroes of evangelization in the world.

Palma said it is through the “integral faith” of the laity that the country’s problems can be solved.

He encouraged the faithful to strengthen their faith through reading the Gospel, seeking recourse to the sacraments and contributing to the mission of new evangelization.

Two saints

Palma said the country’s two saints, San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod, were lay people.

“Both tell us that all Filipinos, old or young, married or single, are called to be saints. As missionaries, they encourage us to know and spread our Catholic faith here and abroad. As martyrs, they challenge us to strive to live our faith every day even if it would entail suffering and death. As saints, they intercede for us,” Palma said.

Aside from the role of the laity, Palma reminded the faithful of another important milestone for next year, which is the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II.


The late pope, who died in 2005, canonized Lorenzo Ruiz and was instrumental in the beautification of then Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

After beatifying Calungsod on March 2000, John Paul challenged the Filipino youth to be heroic in their Christian faith.

Palma said he hopes Blessed John Paul II, who visited the Philippines twice during his reign, continue to inspire and guide the country’s faithful.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 31, 2013.

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