Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekly News (Fourth Week of April 2012)

1. Christians Must Harmonize Work and Prayer, Pope Teaches

Vatican City, Apr 25, 2012 / 10:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On April 25, Pope Benedict XVI told over 20,000 pilgrims that they must commit themselves to works of charity, without neglecting prayer as a source of spiritual life. [Read More]

2. Retired Bishop Tags RH Bill as Foreign Intervention

MANILA, April 26, 2012–Retired Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz tagged the Reproductive Health (RH) bill as a form of foreign intervention in reaction to reports of foreign agencies’ push for the proposed legislative measure. [Read More]

3. HLI Documentary on PH Makes It to Int’l Pro-Life Film Fest

MANILA, April 27, 2012–A documentary produced by Human Life International (HLI) on the Philippines’ struggle for the preservation of the value of life and the familywas selected as part of the roster of films thatwill be showcased in the second annual Life Fest Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, from May 4 to 6. [Read More]

4. Spanish Bishop Publishes Ex-Gay Testimonies on Diocesan After Attacks from Homosexual Groups

April 25, 2012 ( - Juan Antonio Reig Plà, the Catholic bishop of the Spanish diocese of Alcalá De Henares, has responded to recent attacks by homosexual groups by posting testimonies on his website of individuals who rejoice in their abandonment of the homosexual lifestyle. [Read More]

5. Teen Born With No Arms, Legs Addresses UN on Disabilities

A teenager from Ireland is one of several people with the rare medical condition known as Total Amelia syndrome, which caused her to be born without arms and legs. That hasn’t stopped 16-year-old Joanne O’Riordan from making the most out of life. [Read More]

6. When You Want to Be Celibate, But Can't [Read More]

7. Two Manly Men – Mike Heath and Paul Madore – Battle ‘Sodomy-Based Marriage’ in Maine

Folks, how did we get to the point in our society where opposition to homosexuality became more “controversial” than homosexuality itself? [Read More]

8. Glee Celebrates Gender Rejection [Read More]

9. Gambian President: We Would ‘Rather Eat Grass’ Than Accept Homosexual Behavior

“If you want us to be ungodly for you to give us aid, take your aid away, we will survive,” said Jammeh, in comments that were reported by the Daily Observer. “We will rather eat grass than accept this ungodly evil attitude that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-creation.” [Read More]

10. The New Pangenderism:

Transgenders, Polysexuals and Sex Reassignment Surgery

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 25, 2012 ( Here is a response to questions on bioethics regarding issues related to sex and gender, answered by the fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation. [Read More]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Isang Taon ng Eukaristiya, Isang Taon ng Tagumpay

Bro. RM's testimony for 2011

Masasabi ko ako ay tunay na pinagpala sa kadahilanang ako ay laging inaanyayahan ng ating Panginoong Hesus sa kanyang Banal na Misa.  Despite my sinfulness, unworthiness, imperfections and weaknesses, God continuously invites me everyday to receive Him through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  Jesus has already arranged for victory, and it might be just around the corner.  To give us confidence, He reveals Himself at every Mass when the bread and wine become literally his Body and Blood.  Since he can do that, he can surely transform my tragedies into triumphs.  The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist serves as my strength, a source of inspiration and a place of healing for all my spiritual wounds.  Hindi ko kaya at hindi makukumpleto ang aking buong araw na hindi nasisilayan at higit sa lahat di natatanggap si Hesus.  Subalit hindi naging madali ang pagsunod sa kanya sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Misa.  Nasubok ang aking pananampalataya dahil naramdaman ko na hindi ako karapat-dapat tanggapin Siya, pero bigla kong naisip ang isang verse sa Bible na “You don’t choose me, it is I who chose you.”  Muli nabuhay ang aking desire para sundan si Hesus.  Nagging kaagapay ko rin ang Banal na Kumpisal.  Ito ang nagturo sa akin na magpakababa at humingi ng tawad sa ating Panginoon para sa lahat ng aking kasalanan.  As the Proverbs 24:16 says for a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.  The occasional disappointments and failures of life are inevitable.  When we encounter the inevitable difficulties and stress of life here on earth, God stands ready to protect us.  Our responsibility of course is to ask him for protection.  When we call upon Him in heartfelt prayer, He will answer – in His own time and according to His own plan – and He will heal us.  What is required on this battle and journey is perseverance and not perfection.

Aaminin ko napapagod na ako at nagsasawa sa laban na ito.  Minsan may mga araw na gusto ko na sumuko pero sa bawat pagkakataon nararanasan ko ito mas lalo ako pinatatatag ni Hesus na muling bumangon at lumaban.  Aaminin ko rin sa digmaan na ito, ay nasusugatan ako ng kalooban at nadadapa pero sa bawat sugat at pagod na aking nararamdaman ay mas lalo ako pinatatapang na muling lumaban at tumayong matatag upang tapusin ang laban.  Just like in the scene of Kung Fu Panda movie it says “We should have inner peace, to heal our wounds and even our scars.  You got to let go of that stuff from the past because it just doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now”.  I can also relate to this line in the movie of the life of St. Francis and St. Claire, it says “Don’t look back Francis, and move”.  These movie lines, inspire me and accept the fact that I will never be perfect if there is no grace from God.  Learn from your fall and start moving forward.  I believe these are the secrets of becoming a saint.  While in the midst of trials, it’s difficult to feel the closeness of God and see his plan of action and understand why He is allowing us to suffer.  We miss seeing the truth because we’re focused on who is causing the problem and what is happening in this visible world.  We need to put our focus back on Jesus.  Since he loved us so much that He sacrificed his life for us.  We have proof that his love is strong it will always embrace us.  Jesus will always take good care of us, doing what is best for us, as well as for all those who are involved in the same situation.  I believe that Christ’s perfect love for me is the reason why I am always staying on His side.  Whatever is causing us to feel anguish or distress, whatever we’re worried about, thanks to our relationship with God, it’s really never bad as it seems.  Evil can never succeed.

No troubles can come between us and our Lord.  God’s love won’t fail to intervene and protect us and guide us to best solutions.  Even while it seems to take too long he is helping us.  Saint Paul assures us that in reality, it’s not the problems that are overwhelming. It’s our victory over the problems.  We conquer overwhelmingly through Jesus who loved us.  Hindi ko masasabing tagumpay at nagsilbing lakas at inspirasyon.  Mga taong nagdasal at hindi ako kailanman iniwan at isinuko.  Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos dahil ibinigay nya sa akin ang mga taong naging instrumento: ang Regina Coeli Healing Community, Pink Sisters, Lectors’ Guild, Charismatic group, Courage family at higit sa lahat ang pagmamahal at suporta ng aking pamilya.  Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating Mahal na Inang Birheng Maria na patuloy na nagpapaalala na hindi ako nag-iisa kaya naman bawat taon ako ay inspirado sa kanyang mga salita.  Mahal na Ina, muli ninyo po akong tulutan gamitin ito at bilang pangwakas at kabuuan ng aking paglalakbay sa taon na eto nais ko magsilbing kanta na aking buhay: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.  For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness, behold from now on will all ages to come call me blessed.  The mighty one has done great things for me and holy is his name.  his mercy is from age to age to those who fear him”.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Courage 2011 Testimonials

Year-end testimonies from Courage Philippines members.

Bro. ANP’s Testimony

Since 2010, my journey with Courage towards healing has been good so far.  Since then, I had no sex with others and I was able to manage porn and masturbation.  Frequent attendance on sharing meetings, Sacrament Sundays, Eucharistic Adorations, film showings and lectures had helped me to feel secure and that I was never alone in this struggle.  The Lord is always there to lift me up every time I fall.  The lecture on HIV provided an eye opener on this dreaded disease and encouraged me more to live a chaste life.  The lecture of Dr. Melvin Wong and the self-taught books provided hope that I can be transformed into a man that God created me to be.  The sports activities, camping and gym workouts that I joined with my friends had affirmed my masculinity.  By revealing my SSA struggle to some of my select friends, it provided great help at times when I’m not with my Courage support group.  I would like to thank Kuya Rollie for the constant reminder of our Courage activities and for being a good company.  Looking forward to a great 2012.  To God be the glory and praise forever!


Bro. C’s Testimony

2011 has been a healing year.  Jesus led me in my struggle for sobriety.  Courage has been a big support.  Attending the meetings and fellowship with the brothers and sisters has been a joy.  I can’t imagine how I could have survived the year without Courage.  I was also able to attend the Living Waters – the 25 week program and the leadership training.  Both have been an “aha!” experience.  I have found a home in these two communities and with God’s help I have been sober from homosexual acting out since January 14 of this year 2011.


M & M’s Testimony

Noong una akala ko walang katapusan ang mga di magagandang karanasan ko.  Pero thank God kasi “natapos na”.  Natapos na ang mga araw na akala ko hindi matatapos dahil na rin sa mga tulong at dasal ng buong Courage family.  Bagama’t hindi ako nakakarating ng madalas sa mga fellowship at sharing meetings, pasasalamat dahil alam kong lagi nila akong sinasama sa mga dasal.  Sa ngayon, masasabi kong tapos na lahat ng mga agony ko sa SSA kasi I’m a resurrected person.  As of now, I’m happy with what is happening around me.  Everything goes well with my work, with my family, but with the grace of God I know I can overcome them.  I have my greatest fear – myself.  2011 also marks the beginning of nothing.  I have plans this year that were not accomplished, but I promise myself that for the coming year I can accomplish them.  Thank you for the support of my brothers and sisters in Courage.


Bro. D’s Testimony

For the year that was – 2011 – blessings and graces have been poured out to me by the following Courage events.  They have left deep spiritual imprints within me:
          Courage Fun Run at the CCP and Fun Swimming at Taytay Rizal
·         The Theology of the Body “Freedom to Love” by Christopher West at the Ultra
·         The Courage Annual Retreat at the St. Joseph Retreat House in Legarda, Sampaloc Manila
·         The NARTH Conference at the Philippine Heart Center
·         The Catch Fire Evangelization Rally
·         Teachings on the following topics:
o        Shame and its effects on persons
o        The Reality of HIV/AIDS
o        Developing our Personality
o        Overcoming Sexual Addiction
·         Film showing of the following:
o        Philadelphia
o        Tuesdays with Morrie
o        The Three Idiots

The sharing meetings, reparation and Sacrament Sundays, fellowships have all been sources of spiritual strength, perseverance and patience especially during moments of frequent falls, trials and struggles.  The outreach to Hospicio de San Juan de Dios and the visit to Sister Boggs made me more conscious of others apart from myself and my SSA issues.  Also, I have been blessed with two communities in our parish and the guidance of another priest counselor.

For all of these blessings and graces for the Courage year 2011 I am truly grateful to the Lord.  They have been the sources of my harmonious relationship with my family, relatives, friends and benefactors.

Thanks be to the Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, and all the holy archangels, angels and saints for interceding for me during the year that was.


J’s Testimony

The foundations of my spiritual and religious life had been strong since I was a child; however, during adolescence, because of my discoveries in sex, like masturbation, it became less strong.  Later on, people started getting involved in my sex life.  Partly because of shame, partly guilt, partly confusion, and partly rebellion, from being lukewarm towards my religion, I started to drift away. 

Because of friends, friends who were maturing, friends who matured, friends who have been touched – I started coming back to God.  But it was still off and on.  It would come and go, with different intensities in between.

Today, I’m still in one of the greatest trials in life.  Several painful incidents have led me to where I am right now.  Instead of rebelling, I chose to cling to Him.  Since I had no more job, I had more time for myself.  More time to reflect, more time to be at peace with myself, and more time for prayer.

I go to mass every morning, visit the Blessed Sacrament, and read about spirituality and religion.  At the same time, because of what happened to my job, I have been praying novenas to St. Jude, St. Anthony, St. Therese, St. Joseph, San Pancracius, St. Pio, St. Josemaria Escriva etc.  To make my petitions and my prayers more pleasing to the Lord, and as a pledge of sincerity in making these novenas, I had to go to communion everyday.  But how could I, if I was sinning everyday – several times a day.  I was an addict to masturbation.  And I was only addicted to that.  It was my sleeping pill, my wake-up pill, my sedatives, my outlet for frustration, loneliness, pain.  It calmed me down, it was my warm-up, my exercise – you name it.

I just had to give it up so I could receive the sacraments.  I had to give it up for the love of God.  It was a struggle.  Together with that, I had to give up doing it with people especially my very special someone – a woman.

There were several struggles.  Big, small, medium, painful, some were nakakasira ng ulo.  I felt the graces come.  I was also invited to enter a religious society and from there, I was introduced to a support group and we all thought was Courage.

On my own, upon learning about Alcoholics Anonymous, I just wondered if there would ever exist a sort of Sexaholics Anonymous, or Homosexual Anonymous, or whatever of that sort.  Little did I know that soon, it would exist, and it really existed.

It’s a good idea that when we are being tempted we can call on our brothers in Christ to pray for us, or to join us in prayer as we struggle to not do it, or to comfort us in our loneliness.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly News (Third Week of April 2012)

1. Bishop Cites ‘Compartmentalized’ Faith

MANILA, April 19, 2012—While the Philippines is reputed to be the world’s most godly country, a Catholic bishop said this faith is not consistent among many Filipinos. [Read More]

2. Women's Religious Conference 'Stunned' by Vatican Reform Announcement

Washington D.C., Apr 20, 2012 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) says that it “was stunned” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent assessment of the group. [Read More]

3. Wanted: 'Spiritual Producers' For 'Most Important Film' Ever

Executive producer David Wood describes The Resurrection as a sequel to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. [Read More]

4. RH Bill Denies Freedom of Religion, Choice – Lawyer

MANILA, April 19, 2012—As pro-lifers in the United States gear up for another nationwide rally for religious freedom in June to protest the birth control mandate, numerous Filipinos still need to open their eyes to the fact that one of the Philippine government’s proposed measures violates the freedom of religion. [Read More]

5. Melinda Gates Promotes Abortion at Mtg, Attacks Catholics

New York (LifeNews/CFAM) — Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a Catholic, is telling governments to dismiss the controversial link between contraception and population control and explicitly rejects Catholic social teaching along the way. Her rhetoric is part of her multi-billion dollar foundation’s new “NoControversy” campaign to reinforce universal access to birth control as a priority in the developing world. [Read More]

6. New York Times Op-ed: Cohabitation Can Lead to Divorce

April 19, 2012 ( - The belief that living together before marriage helps to avoid divorce is “contradicted by experience,” says a New York Times Op-Ed by clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay, published this past Saturday. [Read More]

7. UK Clients Not Allowed to Ask for Help Leaving Homosexuality: Professional Therapist Guidelines 

LONDON, April 19, 2012 ( – While most medical ethics throughout the western world has adopted the primacy of patient autonomy as its guiding principle, the psychiatric and psychological professions in the UK are becoming increasingly authoritarian in matters of sexuality, according to one would-be therapist. [Read More]

8. Pray, Date, Marry

“Become the woman of your dreams, and you’ll attract the man of your dreams,” Sarah Swafford advises young women. [Read More]

9. Two Things Conservative Catholics Should Stop Doing  [Read More]

10. Greedy Governments and Gambling Reports Spell Out Social Costs

ROME, APRIL 20, 2012 ( With economic growth still anaemic and tax revenue down, governments are hoping that they can find additional funds by allowing more gambling. [Read More]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Many Traumas I Survived

Story of Bro. Manny, as told to Courage.


One day, walking on my way home, I suddenly saw a vision of myself as a fetus. Inside the womb, I felt all alone and threatened by abandonment or some kind of an impending danger to my existence. Unexplainably and involuntarily, tears flowed down from my eyes. I couldn’t control the gushing flood despite the presence of other people out in the street. I felt relieved soon after, though I couldn’t explain why.

A counselor and a trauma expert were both quite dismissive of this experience of mine. I felt disappointed, but I understood them, having no knowledge and experience on the matter. It would take a third psychologist to point out to me that it was a repressed material from my unconscious finally emerging out to the conscious level. Apparently, I had a fetal trauma issue I wasn’t even aware of.

Did my mother attempt to abort me? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. Did she herself had bouts of fear of being abandoned by my father when she had me, and I absorbed her fear while inside her womb?

I heard from my mother’s older relatives that my mother and father had eloped. Most probably, theirs was a case of romance that didn’t gain parental approval. Was I an accident from their moment of weakness? If I examine my birth certificate, I can see additional evidence: My mother had one count of stillbirth prior to my birth. I wonder if it was an attempt at abortion. I wonder if I survived a similar attempt.

Whether my worst suspicion is true or not, I choose to forgive my mother, who is otherwise a saintly woman, but a person filled with so much fear. I believe she did what she had to do under the circumstances.

The damage to me, though, was profound. I struggle now with a morbid fear of death, a fear of death that’s more than what’s normal for most. I try to fight off this fear with common sense and faith.


I was born premature by seven months. This means I spent the earliest moments of my life outside the womb not in the warmth of my mother’s embrace, but inside an incubator. It must have been traumatic for me. I hope I am mistaken, but as a newborn, I must have felt totally abandoned too. To me, it must have felt like dying, being left all alone, and disappearing into nothingness – ironically shortly after birth. I suffered greatly for this, needless to say, by becoming a person with a tendency to ask a lot of whys (why did it happen? why did it have to be me?), and given to blaming my parents for it, maybe even God.

I know now that I wasn’t abandoned. I was placed inside an incubator precisely to spare me from possible death. My parents clearly were out to save my life, sparing no expense for that purpose!

I should feel sorry for blaming my parents at all, but I can’t blame myself either. I was a newborn, and that was how I felt. I won’t apologize for what I felt. I can only apologize for my wrong-headed reaction to it many years after the incident. But I am not even sure if I should, knowing that I had no idea I might have misinterpreted the incident at all.

Meanwhile, any after-effects of the trauma of perceived abandonment and impending death at birth are crosses I will have to bear all my life. But the blaming has to stop, including my tendency to blame God. There’s no point in resenting my mother and father and God for this little tragedy that’s only known to me, having no any ill intention on their part. What happened was what happened. God must have allowed it for a purpose. I am not sure what His purpose is. I am not so eager to know, but I choose to trust in Him that it is for the good.

Age 1

When I was in my toilet-training years, there were two instances that I remember I was shamed in public. We were living in a depressed area in the city, where the houses are cramped together like sardines. A neighbor, a woman who’s a distant relative, once called my attention while I was moving my bowels along a corridor she shared with us. It could be that I couldn’t use the toilet because someone else was using it. The woman greeted me aloud and mentioned something about the business I was having, and there were other people who could hear it. I felt so embarrassed, young as I was, to be greeted about my private business that I didn’t know how to hide my head in shame.

Looking back, I must have been deeply angered for being forced to do something private in public, in full view of nonfamily members. I was hurt, but there’s no point either in blaming and resenting a culture that saw a child answering the call of nature in public to be perfectly normal.

Another time, I was discovered by my father to be doing the same thing using an upturned coconut scrub which I mistook for the toilet. As was his usual self, my father uttered angry words at my caretaker at the time (an older male cousin who lived with us), but I could feel his anger at me too. I felt the dressing down I got was a very public one.

I understand him now why he or anyone for that matter would get angry. These two little episodes strike me now as funny.


In the same dingy two-story affair, my family shared accommodations with my aunt (my father’s sister) and her own family. The rooms above had such high stairs, at least ten steps, and it would be inevitable that I would fall at least three times when the assigned caretakers failed to take notice of me. Maybe I was too playful yet too clumsy to know that stairs posed real danger. I must have been shocked each time I fell off.

This must partly explain why I harbored acrophobia for years up to age 26, the year I finished a Life in the Spirit seminar that seemed to have healed me from this particular fear.

Age 2

At age two, I got the shock my life when my father hit my buttocks after I did something that he and my mother were not so glad about. I think this was the first time I detached myself emotionally from my father, seeing him as a harsh man, someone I should fear and avoid.

This, I believe, is the root cause of my same-sex attraction, my problem with homosexuality. By unknowingly rejecting my father, I also rejected all of masculinity, his and my own. The act of rejection is my own doing, in a way. He had a hand, too, of course, but it was the young me who made that choice.

Since God allowed everything, I trust that He has a good purpose in it, even as I also believe that the original offense -- physically punishing a baby boy -- was against His will (for I believe God is kind and incapable of conceiving evil).

Age 3

When I was three years old, I got another shock of my life when I realized how poor my family was. One day, I was sitting on a window sill at the upper room of our house when, from afar, I witnessed a children’s party being held in a place that was so unlike ours. The yard was wide and secured by a tall cement fence. All the children and older guests wore fine clothes. There was a clown and brightly colored balloons. The scene made me think I was different in an inferior way. It was the first time I felt ashamed of my family’s humble station in life.

Years later, I’d get to visit wealthy people’s homes, especially those of our well-to-do relatives. It only reinforced my self-imposed shame.

Of course, I know better now than to judge people by what they have, or to overestimate the rich and underestimate the poor.

Age 4

Around this age, an older boy, a friend from the neighborhood, went to my place one day to play house. Among the hazy things I can still remember is that he asked me to pull my shorts down and told me to enter him by the rear. I felt hesitant to do it, finding it too absurd to even contemplate.

This must have led me to mistake male nudity for male intimacy.


In the same house, an older (teenage) cousin one day came out of the bath fully naked and walked around the room where I was playing, and paraded his erect penis in my full view. I was too shocked to know what the engorged object was that I denied to myself I saw anything.

Today, I feel some fear and revulsion at the thought of a man with his penis erect. I would also learn to reject that part of me which I have realized to be an essential part of who I am as a male.

Maybe the incident was my cousin’s way of telling me, "Hey, I am a man, like you will be someday." Maybe he didn’t mean any harm, for if he knew how damaging it could be, I doubt if he’d even do it. One could say I am rationalizing evil now, but no. I have already wept over this one.


On another day in perhaps another year, a group of elder cousins discovered a secret pornographic magazine that our uncle, who worked as a seaman abroad, had apparently brought home and stashed somewhere. I saw about three of them inspecting it in detail, wide-eyed and whispering, their hands restraining their open mouths. Nothing prepared me for what I saw: a line-up of naked men standing up as though waiting for their turn to service a totally naked woman who was crouching on the ground waiting for them. I had no idea what it all was.

Years later, I realized that I was exposed to the first instance of pornography I had ever seen. My cousins unknowingly violated my innocence, for allowing me to see what I shouldn’t. Decades later, I’d develop a fascination for pornography, which further evolved into an addiction. It was confined, however, to naked young men or fratmen playing pranks on each other in a natural (as opposed to staged) setting. (For some reason, materials originally meant to be pornographic turned me off.)

My cousins were apparently at fault for not sparing my innocence. I could do all the blaming I could possibly want. But I figured that wouldn’t change anything. It was I and my own response that had to change.


Also around this age, I was hit by a man on a bicycle in the middle of the street in front of our house where I was playing. It was a head-on collision. Needless to say, it was a shock. My father, to be fair, ran out of the house seething with angry words, his face frozen in fear for me and in anger at the perpetrator.

I think now that that was an exhibition of fatherly love that escaped me the first time. He rescued me from physical danger. Having sustained no serious injury, I came off unscathed, though it was yet another close brush.

Age 5

Later, I discovered that I have another issue with nudity today because of something that happened around this age. Maybe it came from my natural sense of dignity being violated.

This is how it happened: With my family now living in a separate house elsewhere, I occasionally visited my aunt in the during summer vacations together with my younger brother. One summer, I don't know what came over my aunt, but she decided to give us a bath at the same time in front of the house where there was a faucet and a hose, right along the neighborhood street where friends and neighbors converged. At some point, she asked me to take off my shorts, which I was hesitant to take off. She hit my butt when I hesitated to undress fully out of shame. I had never bathed naked outside the bathroom before, and now I had to do it right by the sidewalk in full view of the public.

Today, I have such a fascination for male communal baths where I imagine all the men are naked and no one is ever bothered by it, or such equivalent situations. I have this wish or fantasy that, if I ever get into that kind of situation, I will not experience the shame of being discovered to be ‘gay’ because I am fully accepted as a fellow man, a ‘real man’ like everyone else.

Sometimes, I also dream of being in the middle of an exam wherein I was unprepared or doing my private bathroom business in full sight of total strangers. I have learned that these two dreams mean that I had been violated, exposed to something I was not ready for and left feeling helpless and vulnerable.


Around this age, I had a taste of sibling rivalry, involving my brother who came after me. A lot of little incidents between us and our parents made me feel like he was more loved than I was despite his naughtiness and despite my receiving good grades in school. It struck me how he was found to be lovable by everyone just the way he was, while I was the opposite: I had to earn it hard by being behaved, kind, silent, always at home, studious and excellent in school. (The truth is I was naughty, too, though I hid my own naughtiness in the dark.)

I also resented it that he was treated like the firstborn oftentimes, always the one being confided with the most important family business matters, while I was the one always being protected, the weak one. I thought they saw me as someone of a more delicate emotional constitution, and in need of special protection. They must have thought they were giving what I needed, not knowing they were hurting me bad.

Today, while I see this observation as quite truthful, I also realize that I missed to mention the good part: They were trying to be protective of me, always keeping me out of harm’s way, though they must have done it in an excessive manner. They were also trying to protect my little brother because he was bound to get jealous of me and my achievements in school, which became many and consistent with each passing year.

Kinder grade

The first time I tried school, I was crying fitfully. I was afraid to leave home, afraid of the unknown. No one could possibly make me go. I was that stubborn. It was only when I noticed how my mother was shaken and broke into tears herself over her frustration with me that I stopped crying and agreed to go to school for the first time.

I was walked to school and later fetched by an older cousin every school day. In the first few days that she left the classroom so she could return home, I would bawl like I was being abandoned, never to be reclaimed. I even infected my neighborhood friend who was a classmate. It’s ridiculous now to recall how he also once broke into a loud cry when I cried.

I don’t know how I was weaned from that fear eventually. I recognize this to be the after-effect of my feelings of abandonment at prebirth and right after birth.

Grade 1

My newborn brother, the fourth child in the family, was suddenly gone from our house after seeing him brought home from the hospital, wrapped in swaddling clothes and all.

Later, it turned out he was given up for adoption to a childless uncle of mine. I never received any word about it directly from my parents, and I asked no questions. But the sudden loss unknowingly left a big hole in my heart. I longed for my lost brother unknowingly. I loved him dearly, and now he suddenly vanished without a trace as though he suddenly died. He was too young. I was too young, too, to take in all that.

This must have resulted in my sexualized longing to have him back, to win his affection. I never realized until much later that my own parents, in connivance with my grandmother and uncle and his wife, were up to something good. My parents and grandmother wanted the childless couple to have a child after years of being childless. Also, my grandmother was allegedly afraid of a superstition involving a fourth child. She was, in a way, protecting our family.

The biggest twist here is I got my brother back. When he lost his adoptive parents to illness (his adoptive mother) and to a violent road accident (his adoptive father), he had no choice but come back home.

Grade 2

Another close brush with death was when I took penicillin after catching an infection or fever, and soon after broke into itchiness all over. I was rushed to the hospital, and the doctor’s irked reaction did not ease my fears. He said, “Be careful with penicillin! You will die!”

Well, to me now, his fear could also have meant concern for his little patient.


When I was growing up in our third home, I sustained several ugly scars on my legs and arm after mosquito bites turned into ugly eruptions filled with pus. Maybe I was too vain, but I suffered greatly from shame because of the scars left by these wounds. I was afraid to walk around with my legs exposed. I developed low self-esteem as a result, as if I already didn’t have enough.

It is still difficult to deal with the pain of loss, the pain of lost opportunities to enjoy life, but I know now that I am more than my scars. These little physical imperfections also make me humble.

Grade 3

I bet this event was the most horrifying of them all: On our way home, my schoolmates and I saw a decapitated corpse of man laid out beside the municipal hall of our town. Someone near him said he had been run over by a train, and thus was cut into several pieces like meat in the market. I couldn’t finish my dinner that night.

I wish I could someday get used to the thought of death. If I truly believed that my life was in God’s hands, not mine, then why such morbid fear? Despite several scrapes with it, I am still afraid.

These days, I deal with little traumas now and then, whenever my heart throbs like crazy, can’t sleep and have anxiety attacks. I die a little each time. No amount of preparation is adequate to help me survive or get over the next blow.


At around nine years old, my family went to the beach, along with our relatives and neighbors. At one point in the water, my father suddenly pulled me. Then, after holding me in a tight embrace, he all of a sudden dunked himself and all of me underwater. Feeling helpless, I gulped down some seawater. “It tasted salty,” I thought, wanting to throw up. Worse, I felt like my own father wanted me dead. After emerging from underwater, I gasped like a fish out of water, and was pretty angry at him.

I realize now that he meant well -- he wanted me not to be afraid of the water and hoped that I would learn how to swim. But I hated the way he did it. At any rate, I forgive him for that. I give him one point for the effort. If only he told me in clear terms what he wanted for me to do.

Grade 4

At 10 years of age, I was made fun of and bullied by my brother and two male cousins for being effeminate. For the first time, I was called gay. I felt rejected by my own, no less. It was painful.

I felt I had to win their respect and acceptance. They would give me that eventually, but they had been a big part of my cross. It would take a miracle for me to entirely get over the tremendous pain done to me. I hope I have forgiven freely and completely.

I blame their bullying for feeling uninitiated into the fraternity or brotherhood of men, of my peers. They are the cause of my special fetish for naked frat scenes and scenes involving young men playing pranks on each other. It is as though I want to be accepted as part of the team.


The scene at home was repeated in minor but many ways outside, in the neighborhood and in school. The incidents are too numerous to mention.

I’d like to think I understand all of them, my tormentors, now. They couldn’t help it: I was different. I struck them as weird, so unlike them, and thus a great target for teasing. I would have done the same if I was in their shoes.


In one related episode, I was being my lazy self, too lazy to fix my bed waking up. Naturally, my parents got angry at me. But their choice of words was too hurtful. I can’t remember the exact upbraiding words now, but I remember how I was made to feel that we their children should grow up fast so we could be of use someday, for we were becoming too much a pain in the neck. Apparently, they were no longer enjoying our company, in case they ever did. We kids were no longer God’s gift to them. Instead, they now saw the reverse: they spawned little horned demons. I felt we owe everything to them.

I carried that baggage for so long. I thought I was who I was because of what I could give. My identity lay in what I did, not in what I was. To steal the words of someone wise, “I was a doing, not a being.”

I am so thankful for having reached at all a changed mindset today.

Grade 5

Another close brush with death occurred to me when I was in Grade 5. One afternoon after class, I was enticed by a classmate to try munching on dried jatropha seeds at the adjoining school herbarium. She had already tried it, she said, and they were tasty and creamy, like peanuts. Another classmate, a close friend, showed up and we both gave in, like Eve, to temptation.

When our teacher learned about it later, she got alarmed and agitated. We were shocked to know the seeds were poisonous. On our way home, my friend and I stopped by the church to pray hard, thinking it could be the last day of our lives. When I reached home, I began vomiting hard. (The other two fools like me reported the same thing the next day.) My mother told me to drink a glass of milk with a lot of sugar in it. I did, and I threw up all all over the place. My grandmother, when she heard what happened, was all panicky and angry.

I am glad I survived.

Other incidents spanning my grade school years

The incidents in which my mother’s comments hurt me were few, but the impact was great. She didn’t come to my defense in at least five major incidents when I was put on the spot and placed in a bad light.

The first time I tried biking and failed, she was there for the wrong reason. When I pedalled my way and didn’t seem to move anywhere, she laughed at me in front of the neighbors, my friend, his mother, and his sister. She said, “Ha-ha, he doesn’t know how to do it.”

On another occasion, she smiled conspiratorially with another neighbor when, visiting the neighbor’s house with her, I told her privately in a gushing tone how I found the woman’s immaculate-white serving plate to be nice and expressed my wish for us to have one too at home. When told what I told my mother, the lady smiled back, in a way that said what a weird boy I was, how very much like a little girl. I felt betrayed when I heard my mother tell the woman what I told her which I meant to tell in confidence – though I admit I didn’t explicitly tell her it’s confidential. It was a pretty embarrassing episode.

In some instances, my mother was the first one to put me down for being dark-skinned, when someone said I was intelligent or handsome. I guess it’s my mother’s way of bringing me down to earth, lest I became proud.

Another time, a hostile classmate called me a crybaby, and instead of defending me, my mother blamed me for telling her I was hurt. It was as though to say my hostile accuser was right to call me names, and I was just being a sissy.

At yet another time, she criticized me about my shyness in front of a vendor in the public market, to which the vendor, a total stranger to me, agreed loudly, saying, “Don’t be shy! Be more outgoing!” They both meant well, sure, but the public embarrassment was quite devastating.

My mother also once put me down when I watered the ornamental plants around the yard one afternoon, my chosen chore for the day out of many other possible chores that I didn't felt like doing. He called me something demeaning like ‘social-climber,’ as though to say, “Know your place, you’re nothing but a poor person. You should be chopping firewood instead or cleaning after the pigs.”

It could be that she only meant for me to choose a more manly and useful chore around the house. The damage had been done, though.

Perhaps the most hurtful is when she threatened me not to ask her for my needs after I did something bad, like answer her back or shout at her. She made me feel guilty for being alive, for being under her care. It opened my eyes to the thought that I owed her everything, and I must repay someday.

These days, I often have to remind myself that I am not what my mother thinks I am, or thought I was.


Some of the worst commentaries I have heard in my life I heard from my own father. When I was in third grade or so, a big dark man who was one of our neighbors far down the block, told my father when he saw the two of us walking down the street, “Is that boy a son of yours? Why, he’s so dark, like coffee, (so unlike you)!”

The shame I felt for having the wrong color of skin stung like a bee. And my father didn’t defend me.


When I was around 13 years of age, my father, who was about to return abroad for work, asked my mother what I wanted him to buy for me. The question traumatized me because he was never like that before. I guess I was too embarrassed. I would’ve appreciated an intimate one-on-one, but he never tried. It was like he didn’t know how to communicate with his own child except when conveying his anger, shame and frustration and when delivering his punishment.

In my humiliation, I missed the bigger point: he was trying to reach out, trying to break the ice. He cared. For once, he loved me enough to ask me what I wanted without conditions!


There was one time, however, that I made a specific request to my father, by way of a letter I sent to him by mail. It was one request that I never expected would be turned down because it meant the world to me. I asked for a whole set of encyclopedia. I was disappointed when he replied that it was too expensive.

When he came back home, what would he bring but a lot of expensive cigarettes, the choicest liquors, and playing cards for his friends. I was deeply hurt. To me, it meant his happiness had more weight than mine.

I try to be more understanding about it now. When he was a child, he had acute deprivation because of poverty. He was apparently making up for great loss. His issue is not a problem I should solve, I know, but because he's my father, I am willing to forego of my own needs. After all, I have already cried this off, it's part of a past that is gone, and I have been repaid by life and other people’s generosity in many wondrous ways.


He just got back from abroad at another time, when, in the middle of the night, he asked for no one in particular to go fetch something outside the house. My brother and I were listening back then to a radio program that featured ghosts and other scary creatures. Of course, no one of us wanted to go out and bring him the thing he was asking. In his anger, he blurted out, “I shouldn’t be the one interested in you!”

True, we were being hard-headed, but we were faced with a difficult errand in the middle of the night that we were so scared. My father discovered our fear of the dark, but he also revealed the darkness that was inside his own heart.

It hurt so much to know that he’s not very happy he had us. Maybe he felt his authority was somewhat disregarded or disrespected. Maybe he found our fear of the dark too ridiculous for boys our age.

Whatever his reason was, I’ll try to forgive and understand where he was coming from. People in the grips of anger are capable of saying the worst things.


He was about to leave for abroad again, to return to work, when he treated my mother and me to lunch in a little cafe in the city before proceeding to the airport. He seemed to be overwhelmed by the sight of us as a family having a nice lunch, spending so much on food prepared for us by others. Then, out of the blue, he said in a vaguely threatening tone, “Look how much we love you!”

Maybe the very idea was too novel and a luxury to him, something he never experienced before with his own parents. But in the context that he uttered the line, I was offended because it seemed to suggest that I had to pay for his love someday.

It took me a very long time to get over this one.


Whenever I remember all of the above, I have to remind myself that I am not what my father thinks of me either.


One day, while cleaning up old stuff at home, I found the diaries I kept in high school, notebooks that I had long forgotten. I remember having sealed them with scotch tape when I left home for college. I was shocked to find them tampered with.

I was filled with rage, the quiet rage of someone violated and exposed, utterly naked with nothing left to hide. The journals, which were meticulously updated with daily entries, contained the most intimate details about my life and those of my friends in school. It named names and all the naughty things done, including what the bad boys did in school.

But what had been read by eyes other than mine could no longer be unread. I burnt my beloved diaries in fury. I guess I had trusted too much.


I experienced a terrible earthquake at this time too. For the first time, my eyes were forcibly opened to the fragility of life on earth. Upon seeing entire buildings, both lofty and small, shake and sway and lean toward a catastrophic fall, then crack and crash to the ground, I got the message loud and clear: Nothing was permanent in this world. Everything could be taken away in an instant, and quite literally too.

But life is like that, I found. It’s a good thing to go through that, in a way. It always reminds me that my existence here is but temporary. I’m just a passing pilgrim, like the rest. What a beautiful ‘shaming’ and humiliation this time, for behind it is the other truth, which I choose to believe: True life is on the other side, and it is an everlasting one.

After College

One day, in exasperation, my father called me a coward. It’s because he suggested I apply for work to become a policeman in town. I had attempted to apply for a position at several private companies and government organizations, but received no response so far. The mere thought of my father’s suggestion was too laughable for me, but it wasn’t funny.

I flatly told him, "No, I am afraid I might die in an encounter." For giving that answer, he answered back, “Coward!,” a response that felt like a mighty slap on my face, which only reminded me of all the hurtful words he had told me and all the shaming I had received from him. How he shamed me, exposing me as a useless person and, worse, less than a man.

I felt doubly rejected, as though I failed to win his approval. Worse, I must have seen myself as a failure of a son.

But after the passing of so many years, it could also be that he wanted very badly for me to have a stable job. It could be that he wanted a solid government career for me. It could be that he couldn’t countenance me being jobless or being in a job that wouldn’t be able to give me a good life, the life that he never had. Maybe he also wanted to take pride in me as a son with a manly job. Maybe he wanted me to become a 'real' man.


Who knows what else?

There are other traumatic events in my life that hark back to some other hidden traumas of the past. I guess this is the nature of unresolved griefs: they lie there waiting all along at the back of the mind, resurrecting again and again at the proper time.

When I was about to enroll in college, I had this resolve to erase my effeminate past and become more manly. I wanted to be known in college to be a new, different person, somebody nobody knew to have gone through what I have been through. One way to do this, I thought, was to learn how to drive a motorbike. When I found the slightest opportunity through a high school friend, I grabbed at the chance.

In my eagerness, however, I forgot that I never learned how to bike. To cut the long story short, my motorcycle-driving lesson ended up in a ditch after I panicked at the sight of an oncoming bus. I and my friend tumbled over the road and landed with our faces kissing the hard farmland. I was fortunate I only got bruises, minor cuts, and sprain here and there. In my shock, however, I forgot to pay for the damage to my friend's motorbike. My humiliation brought back the memory of the first time I was humiliated by my own mother at my inability to bike.

I am still afraid of bikes until now, but at least I no longer blame anyone, and I'm okay with this handicap, though I am still open to learning.


In college, one of the things I couldn't do, apart from undressing down to my trunks in front of other, was swim. A lot of people didn't know how to swim (an ironic fact in archipelagic Philippines), but my story was quite unique: my fear of the water may be traced back to my womb trauma and that seaside incident with my father. Aside from being ashamed of showing my body and skin, worst of all, I didn't have a sense of balance/equilibrium due to a slight damage in my ear. Nobody told me until much, much later that my right eardrum got perforated for some reason when I was a little child. I remember the many rounds of hospital trips my mother and I had to make just to find out why I was quite hard of hearing and to cure some recurrent ear infections.

Today, whenever there was a chance to dip in a pool or the beach, I could only content myself with floating or bobbing up and down, careful that water wouldn't get into my ear too much.


Lastly, I never had a girlfriend, although there were some girls who reportedly liked me. I am still unable to form a romantic relationship with any woman today, and I notice I easily get turned off by strong women.

Looking back, I had a grandmother on the father side with such a strong personality. Since she lived with my family, I had to get used to her ways. She became my second mother, who had an opposite personality compared with my mother. Around the house, my grandmother was very particular about so many things, and she made no fuss in declaring it. Her preferences, wants, and needs had to be accommodated as top-priority, or else there would be hell to pay. Like my father, she also had a short fuse and resorted to physical punishment when we kids were being a pain in the neck. Most likely I got my secret hatred for strong women from her.

She's long past gone when I realized that she was not particularly cruel, but typical of her age and culture at the time, a society that treated children harshly because it believed it was the best way to bring up children so they turned out fine in the end.


All of the above had a hand in forming and reinforcing my homosexual inclination for long stretches of years, resulting in the complications of shame, low self-esteem, anxieties, phobias, anger, envy, defensiveness, Atlas complex, perfectionism (and the strong drive to blame and criticize everything), the drive to make great achievements to solicit approval, overspirituality and good boy syndrome, and addiction to life's thrills for the narcotic 'high.'

Through all these dark events in my life, I have learned the value of grieving. I've learned that to grieve is the beginning of acceptance, the road away from harmful repressions and denials.

But after the grieving, what? I believe that revisiting the past with new, more expansive eyes will keep it from controlling me.

Meanwhile, I am just happy to have survived it all. God's grace is real.

Lastly, I thank all of my perceived tormentors, abusers, and punishers. One by one, they have unwittingly become my teachers, teaching me about myself, about love and life, about God's love, teaching me to be closer to God.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Facing My Issues

Bro. Rollie's testimony for 2011

I started the year with a lot of questions, and a lot of confusion about my direction in life – knowing that this year I would turn 35 years old, 5 years short of being a middle-aged man. Where was I at the beginning of the year?

I was still in the IT industry, still single and not looking for anyone, still struggling with same sex attractions, and still sinning the same sins. Was I going anywhere?

I had several opportunities to think about my life – had participated in Living Water’s 25-week program for sex addicts, came to an overnight retreat in Taytay Rizal also with my Living Waters family on grieving losses, and a weekend with Singles for Christ in Camarines Sur in an international conference themed “I Stand”. I had one ringing question: Lord, where are you leading me?

Three years ago I had a revelation by God that he would show me a woman who will love me for who I am, and that it would happen in three years time. No woman came – at least to my knowledge. I began complaining to him saying “where is that woman that you have promised me? Should I just pull a woman from one of my communities and declare her as ‘the one’?”

At work, I began to experience tremendous pressure – to perform and to prove that I can be the business analyst that they have called me to be. Every night including weekends I would labor finishing document after document needed by the project I was into. Every day I would be afraid of the expectations of my female boss towards me – she was a woman. And in once instance I have submitted my resignation from work at 3am, being stretched to the full physically and emotionally. But after an overnight retreat I received word from the Lord asking me to “finish what I have started”. Truly finishing what we have started is not a character of a person with SSA like me, who so often would want to flee from responsibilities and find excuses for tasks that remain undone or unfinished. So I was to finish majority of the project until October.

October came and I began working as a guidance counselor. It was my dream work – but in an institution that was riddled by misgivings from employees, I began to question if I was in the right job. I love my work, but suddenly I realized I was co-worker to five women with different personalities, and under a female supervisor who triggers my good boy image. Added to this, I had relatively more time to be at home and experience the nagging strong voice of my mother.

One time, my mother (again) opened the door of the bathroom while I was taking my shower. She just called me for breakfast, but knowing my boundaries I commented “Could it not wait until I finish my shower?” She did not take my comment lightly, and when I came down for breakfast, she started her barrage of guilt tripping statements. I was surprised to see myself trembling and breaking down, saying to her “Stop making me guilty! Stop treating me as a child!” I had to leave the house in tears. Now as I am writing, I understood that it was my five-year old boy within shouting “freedon!” from my mother’s side. I am a 35-year old man that is now forced to face my issues- especially with women, especially with my mother. I have to ask God to give me the grace to stand as a grown-up man yet to be gentle towards my aging mother, who does not have a clue, and maybe will never understand what I am going through.

Years ago, after I have transferred from Mandaluyong to Las Pinas, Jesus whispered in my heart “Welcome to the school of my Mother”. I understood those words then to mean the many churches around my neighborhood dedicated to our Blessed Mother. But now I understand that Mary has called me not only literally to be in the school that has been dedicated to her, and in a neighborhood that values her – but she now calls me to finally face my issues with women – with my mother, with female bosses and co-workers. Only as I start to live separate from mother and in the knowledge that women are “the other” from me, will I truly start to appreciate women as a true gift, and be a gift of man to them as well.

All these are difficult, as I have tried to evade and avoid confronting myself with these issues – but now I must grow up and abandon my childhood, and start living the manhood that has always been designed for me. I pray for God to help me, our Blessed Mother to guide me, and the saints to assist me in my journey towards significant healing of my relationships with women.

Maybe this was the promise given me by the Lord – to send me a Woman who will love me for who I am.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekly News (Second Week of April 2012)

1. Divine Mercy Promotes ‘Chaplet 1st Habit’

MARILAO, Bulacan, April 14, 2012—Aside from praying the Three O’clock prayer during the Hour of Mercy, the Catholic faithful is called to make it a habit to also pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy during their waking hour. [Read More]

2. Contraception Not The Solution To Teen Pregnancies, Says UK Economist

MANILA, April 3, 2012–Sex education, and ultimately, contraception and abortion, are not the solutions to the growing number of teenage pregnancies in the United Kingdom, said Dr. David Paton, chair of Industrial Economics at Nottingham University Business School. [Read More]

3. Study: Couples With Children Live Longer Than Those Without

A new study seems to corroborate the notion that having children, and not abortions, is better for both women and children. Now, a new study from Australia shows women with six or more children were about 40 percent less likely to die during the 16-year follow-up than women with no children. [Read More]

4. Life After Lesbianism

In January, I wrote about my struggles with same-sex attraction (SSA), while living out my vocation as a Catholic wife and mother. The article was picked up by several Catholic websites and secular blogs. I wrote the article anonymously and considering the vitriol of the comments that followed, I’m glad I did. [Read More]

5. When Truth Becomes a ‘Crime Against Humanity’ [Read More]

6. Sex, Sanity, and Eternity [Read More]

7. 30% of Web’s Total Traffic Is For Porn: Tech Magazine

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2012 ( – Anyone who uses Google knows that porn is all over the web. But how pervasive is it really? [Read More]

8. The Day of Silencing

On April 20, in thousands of schools across America, your hard-earned tax dollars will help underwrite the homosexual indoctrination of your kids. [Read More]

9. The Road to Emmaus: Meeting Men Where They Are At

Human beings have a strong tendency towards social conformity, that is, they are inclined to do what others are doing. This tendency is even stronger than our instinct to help others in need. An overwhelming temptation is to associate truth with what the greater number of people believe. [Read More]

10. Adam and Eve After The Pill: The Devastating Fallout of The Sexual Revolution

Mary Eberstadt tells her new book proves the libertine ethic hurts men, women, students, children, and society. [Read More]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Come To the Feast of Divine Mercy!

I felt moved today to post this reminder to reach out to fallen-away Catholics and invite them back to the practice of their faith. Jesus desires to pardon us sinners and be restored in His friendship. All we need to do is to accept His gift of mercy, repent of our sins, and put our trust in Him completely. If you are living in Metro Manila and nearby areas, I highly recommend going to the Archdiocesan Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Maysilo Circle, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City because the Sacrament of Reconciliation is made available the whole day of Divine Mercy Sunday.

Calling all Catholics to the Feast of Mercy on the Sunday after Easter, April 15th. Did you know that the Lord said that this feast would one day be the “last hope of salvation”? Have you considered what would happen to you if you suddenly died in the state of mortal sin?

Did you know that in the 1930’s Our Lord Jesus requested through Saint Faustina that a very special Feast of Divine Mercy be established and then solemnly celebrated in His Church on the First Sunday after Easter every year?

In the year 2000 after many years of study by the Catholic Church, The now Blessed Pope John Paul II fulfilled the will of Christ and officially established this special Feast of Divine Mercy and named it Divine Mercy Sunday.

What is so special about this new Feast of Divine Mercy you might be asking yourself? It is the promise of the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment for any soul that would go to Confession and then receive Jesus in Holy Communion on that very special Feast of Divine Mercy!

Why would Jesus offer us something so great right now? Jesus told St. Faustina that she was to prepare the world for His Second Coming and that He would be pouring out His Mercy in great abundance before He comes again as the Just Judge and as the very last hope of salvation.

If you have been away from the practice of your Catholic faith and if you would like to come back into the one true Catholic Church, then this is the most perfect opportunity for you, if you are prepared to repent of all your sins.

Many former fallen-away Catholics have taken advantage of this great Feast of Mercy to get a brand new start in life and to be totally prepared to stand before the Lord. Don’t miss out on this incredible gift of mercy that is available in every Catholic Church on Sunday, April 15th of this year!

If you have been away from the Catholic faith and if you have any questions about coming back home, then come in and talk to a priest at any Catholic Church. The beauty of the Catholic Church is that its teachings and procedures are the same at all parishes.

You may have concerns, such as: marriage outside of the Church; un-confessed abortions; or other issues that could be preventing you from receiving Holy Communion or you may have questions about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, often referred to as making a good Confession to a priest.

Don’t consider yourself as without hope. Our Lord Jesus wants to pardon completely even the worst sinners possible. Remember, Jesus has come for sinners, not the righteous.

Jesus said that even if our sins were as numerous as the grains of sand, they would be lost in His Ocean of Mercy.

If you are truly repentant of your sins and are well prepared to confess your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you will experience a tremendous peace. You will experience a great weight lifted from you. And a brand new start in life!

When you have confessed your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation then you must continue to practice your faith as a good Catholic. This involves attending Mass every Sunday, on Holy Days of Obligation, supporting your local parish, and confessing your serious sins on a yearly basis.

Don’t expect to receive the forgiveness of sins and punishment if you don’t intend to continue to practice your faith.

Jesus is in the Confessional

One of the most reassuring things Our Lord Jesus revealed to us through Saint Faustina includes the several times when He indicated to her that He is really there in the Confessional when we are making our individual Confessions to the priests. Jesus said that every time we enter the Confessional that He Himself is there waiting for us, and that He is only hidden by the priest. Jesus said never to analyze what sort of a priest that He is making use of, but for us to reveal our souls to Him and that He will fill us with His peace and light.

Some have wondered why Jesus would want us to confess our sins to a priest, but the answer is in the very first instruction that Jesus gave to His Apostles directly after His Resurrection from the dead. On the evening of the Resurrection, Jesus walked through the door of the Cenacle where the Apostles were hiding and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit, what sins you forgive are forgiven them, what sins you retain are retained”. This was the very beginning of the Sacrament of Confession. For sure that command was not only for the Apostles, and then to be forgotten, but for that power to be passed on to the ordained priests of today in the Catholic Church.

Jesus said that the greater the sinner, the greater the right they have to His mercy! Doesn’t this sound like a very Merciful Savior?

To celebrate properly the Feast of Divine Mercy and to receive the forgiveness of all sins and punishment, you must go to Confession to a Catholic priest within 20 days before or after Divine Mercy Sunday. Or if you are in the state of very serious or mortal sin, you must always confess them before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion or you will also commit a sacrilege which is also a very serious sin. If you haven’t been going to Sunday Mass without any good reason, you may be in a state of serious sin and you must confess before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.
For more information about the Feast of Divine Mercy and a Confession Guide, go to:

In A Nutshell—To Prepare for the Feast and Receive These Promises:

1. Celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy on the Sunday after Easter;

2. Sincerely repent of all our sins;

3. Place our complete trust in Jesus;

4. Go to sacramental Confession, preferably before that Sunday; preferably during the Lenten season.

5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast;

6. Venerate the Image of The Divine Mercy;

7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.

(Sources: &

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How To Celebrate Mercy Sunday

by Robert R. Allard, Director Apostles of Divine Mercy

Dear Fellow Apostles,

After being established in the Catholic Church for almost 12 years, how is Divine Mercy Sunday being celebrated in parishes throughout the world? Are parishes broadcasting the good news of the special plenary indulgence, and are they using Divine Mercy Sunday as a great tool for evangelization, like they should be doing?

For too many years, before the Feast of Mercy was established, parish celebrations usually took place outside of Mass. Many parishes had devotions around 3 pm in the afternoon which included the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and perhaps adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. While this is all good and beneficial, isn’t it time that we start celebrating it correctly and get real serious about helping Jesus save souls?

Unfortunately, too many parish celebrations focus on having afternoon devotions that only devotees attend. Just think about it, how many poor sinners, Easter- only or fallen- away Catholics are going to attend a long prayer service in the afternoon and then attend a Mass afterwards to be able to receive Holy Communion? Have these parishes forgotten the real purpose of this Feast of Mercy is for poor sinners?

Let’s recall Jesus’ words in the diary of St. Faustina (#699): “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”

If Jesus told St. Faustina (diary entry #1397) that the loss of each soul plunges Him into mortal sadness, then why aren’t we focusing on those souls who are in danger of perishing? If we are truly Apostles of Divine Mercy, then we need to be getting really serious about helping Jesus to save sinners and to ease the Lord’s sadness. It hurts the Lord Jesus when devotees haven’t even thought about these poor sinners.

So what is your parish doing this year? Are they focusing all of their energy on what we call “parties for devotees” at 3pm in the afternoon or are they focusing on saving poor sinners? Isn’t it time that we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in such a way that would bring many Easter- only, luke- warm and fallen- away Catholics back to the practice of their faith? Isn’t it time to think about the pain that Jesus suffers?

Many priests have been turned away from these devotional parties because all they usually see are devotees, not poor sinners. Sure, we are all sinners, but Jesus wants those who are in danger of perishing. Devotees usually ask for a number of things on the Feast of Mercy that Jesus never asked for, including Confessions on that day, the recitation of the Chaplet, sometime Masses at 3pm, and sometimes adoration.

We have heard many priests grumble about Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of these complaints are caused by miss- directed devotees asking for things that Jesus never asked us to do on the Feast of Mercy. This is hard for many to swallow, but isn’t it better for us to focus on the things that would help Jesus save poor sinners instead?

Just think about it: priests had already heard the Confessions of devotees just before Easter and now they are demanding for them to hear their Confessions again. Add to that, setting up the church just so that devotees can have their private devotions.

Jesus didn’t tell us to have devotions at 3pm on the Feast of Mercy. Sure, He gave us the Hour of Mercy, the Chaplet, and the Novena, but that is not what Jesus asked us to do for His feast. Sure, we are to recall the Hour of Mercy daily, we are to say the Chaplet often, and Jesus asked for the Novena of Chaplets, starting on Good Friday, ending on Easter Saturday, but He never asked for these on the feast itself.

It is time to focus on saving poor sinners, right now in full force, before it is too late. We can’t wait another minute. How would you like to be one of those poor souls that ends up in hell for eternity, because you weren’t told about the feast? If you did end up in hell, how much would you pay to get out, if you could pay? Then how much time and effort should we spend to prevent souls from ending up there?

As Apostles of Divine Mercy, we shouldn’t worry so much about our own salvation as much as we should be focusing on helping Our Lord to save those that are about to perish. In the diary, Jesus told St. Faustina “Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior.” (Diary # 1075)

Jesus told St. Faustina what to do on the Feast of Mercy, and this should also be our guidelines. Jesus said “Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls…. On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.” (Diary #206)

Notice, that Jesus said to “go”, and not to stay in. He clearly wants us to go out and to get poor sinners to come to His feast. Jesus wants us to do the very best that we can, and like He said, He will make up for what we lack (Diary #1074). I can attest to the many miracles that have happened in my efforts to help Jesus save souls. We have to give 100% of all of our strength, not 99%, for Jesus to perform the miracles.

In 1993 I saw the Lord Jesus amidst great pain and suffering and He pleaded for Me to help Him. Three years later, I understood why He was pleading. Parishes are not paying attention to the enormous potential of Divine Mercy Sunday. They do not realize the great potential for evangelizing poor sinners that are about to perish. They do not believe that Jesus is alive and is still in great pain and agony.

So what should we do? What should the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday look like? To find these answers, we should look in two places: the diary of St. Faustina and the decrees establishing Divine Mercy Sunday and the plenary indulgence.

We already have a good idea what Jesus requested through St. Faustina for the Feast of Mercy: going out and bringing sinners to the feast; telling everyone about His mercy and the promise of the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment; and solemnly blessing and venerating the Image of Divine Mercy; and acts of mercy.

The Church gives us guidelines in the decree establishing Divine Mercy Sunday by telling us to use the same readings for that Sunday, that are already in place, and to call it “Divine Mercy Sunday”. The decree for the Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday gives us more instruction: the last paragraph in the indulgence is entitled, “Duty of priests: inform parishioners, hear confessions, lead prayers”.

These instructions were given by the Vatican to all of the bishops in August of 2002. In the US, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) went even further and published these instructions in the February 2003 BCL Newsletter.

In summary the decree requires that parish priests “should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church’s plenary indulgence. They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions. On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating all of the Masses they should lead the prayers for the indulgences.”

So here we have the guidelines: Priests should tell everybody about the indulgence, they should be generous in hearing Confessions, and they should lead the prayers for the indulgences after all of the Masses on Divine Mercy Sunday and the vigil. Add to that the solemn blessing and veneration of the image. Venerating the image actually helps the priest to portray what is in the Gospel and other readings that day.


Guidelines for Priests and Bishops

First and foremost, we must realize that this feast is a refuge for sinners and not a “party for devotees”. Up until the establishment of this feast in the universal Catholic Church, parishes in many parts of the world would have separate Masses as to not “interfere” with the flow of regular Sunday Masses.

Today, there is a great need for educating our priests and bishops in how to correctly plan for a very fruitful and beneficial celebration of this feast of mercy. This feast should, in fact, be celebrated at each and every Mass.

The Vatican has laid out all the details in the decree for the special plenary indulgence that was issued specifically just for Divine Mercy Sunday. A lot of emphasis was placed on the last paragraph entitled “Duties of Priests” and it includes the following requirements which can be found at

A: Informing Parishioners in the most suitable method of the plenary indulgence.

B: Hearing Confessions: Priests should be prompt and generous in hearing confessions.

C: Leading Prayers for the indulgences after celebrating Mass and other liturgies.

D: Encourage the Faithful to do Works of Mercy as often as they possibly can.

Let’s look at what these duties involve:

A: Informing all the faithful about the plenary indulgence in the most suitable manner. This duty, no doubt, points to the proclamation of it, particularly on Easter, when our churches are full to overflowing with souls who have not confessed yet. What could be a more appropriate time? They are the ones who can most benefit.

Suggestion: Use the Bulletin Insert and the Confession Guide in all Easter Bulletins. It can be found at: .

Consider these words for the Easter Homily: *“If you haven’t had a chance to make your yearly confession, don’t miss out on this great opportunity, because next Sunday is our new feast called Divine Mercy Sunday, and what our Church is offering next Sunday, is called a plenary indulgence, and what this means, in very simple terms, is that, if we will go to Confession, and then receive Jesus in Holy Communion on next Sunday, we can obtain the complete forgiveness of all sins and all of the due punishment”.

We also can’t forget all the other Catholics that do not even attend Sunday Mass at all. These souls also need to hear the Good News of the special Plenary Indulgence. We could place articles in all the local newspapers, use every form of media including radio and TV spots telling everyone about the opportunity to obtain the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment. Don’t let anyone get away without hearing about the great gift that the Church offers on Divine Mercy Sunday.

B: Hearing Confessions in a prompt and generous manner. Many people will want to take advantage of the total forgiveness of sins and punishment and will be asking our priests to hear their confessions. Be ready for an onslaught of people who have been away from Confession for decades. Many priests will be uplifted with this experience and will want to hear many more of these confessions.

Suggestion: Schedule extra time and extra priests for confessions and advertise them verbally, in the bulletin, and in the media. Encourage those who have already gone to Confession to make room for others to go. The Church is now allowing up to twenty days, before or after, to go to Confession to obtain this very special plenary indulgence.

C: Leading the Prayers after all Masses and the other liturgical ceremonies on that day. The Church wants everybody to be able to receive the grace of the plenary indulgence and has instructed priests to lead the prayers.

Suggestion: On Divine Mercy Sunday after all the Masses, lead the recitation of prayers for the indulgence which are: the Our Father, Apostles Creed, and a prayer for the Pope, (perhaps a Hail Mary). Add an invocation such as “Merciful Jesus, I trust in You”.

D: Encourage the Faithful to practice works of Mercy and Charity as often as they can, following the example of, and obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Suggestion: Encourage the faithful to go out and to seek that which was lost and to bring them to this Feast of Mercy. What better act of mercy could there be than to help their fellow man to gain eternal life?

Follow these 8 simple steps:

1. Prepare a Homily for Easter Sunday using the suggested words (A*) in this leaflet.

2. Copy and Print the Bulletin Insert and the Confession Guide from the web at the website. Put them into all of the Easter bulletins.

3. Remind those that have already gone to Confession (within 20 days) to Make Room for others that haven’t confessed yet.

4. Schedule Extra Time for Confessions with all available priests, on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday, if possible.

5. Place Articles in all local Newspapers telling everyone about the forgiveness of all sins and punishment that is now available. Include the times for Confession. Involve other parishes if they are in the same area.

6. Obtain an Image of Divine Mercy if the parish does not have one, to help with the liturgy on Divine Mercy Sunday, and as a permanent installation in the church.

7. Prepare a Homily for Mercy Sunday to focus on the forgiveness of sins and tell everyone again about the special plenary indulgence. Remind everyone of the need for a sacramental Confession of all grave sin before receiving Holy Communion. Include the Act of Contrition, at some point before receiving, for those who have forgotten it.

8. On Divine Mercy Sunday after all the Masses, Lead the Prayers for the plenary indulgence, which include: the Our Father, Apostles Creed, and a prayer for the Pope.

First of all, we must recognize the need to get all Catholics back to the practice of their faith. We have a grand opportunity and a duty, on Easter Sunday, to catechize all of the Easter-only Catholics, and invite them, back into participation in the sacramental life of the Church. We must not, and can not, let these souls continue to receive Communion in the state of mortal sin, it is a sacrilege.

Canon Law #768, 769, 777.1, and 773 clearly state the responsibilities of our priests. It is imperative that we use this great opportunity to instruct these souls with a basic catechesis on why they should confess their serious sins before receiving the Eucharistic Lord.

We should also reach out to those inactive Catholics in our local areas who no longer attend Mass at all. We can do this through every method possible, including TV, radio, and the newspapers. We also need to reach out and share the good news of the Gospel to all those who live within our territory, who are non-believers, as we are called to do, as evangelists, as it is stated in Canon #771.2.

If we will but humbly turn to the Church and follow her direction, no doubt, we will help to save many sinners. Our Lord Jesus reminded us of the need to leave the 99, to get the 1 that was lost, and how much all of Heaven rejoices, when just one of those sinners repents and returns (Luke 15: 4-7).

Apostles of Divine Mercy
801 S.E. Forgal Street, Port St. Lucie
Florida, United States 34983-2737
Call toll-free 1-888-732-0722