02/25/2009, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Archbishop of Manila: For Lent, let us overcome the hunger of poor children

by Santosh Digal
The cardinal calls upon the faithful to offer their fasting and abstinence on behalf of malnourished children. A donation "will go a long way." Caritas Manila has initiated a project that has helped more than 24,000 minors in two years.

Manila (AsiaNews) - "We appeal to you to support the feeding program in its efforts to care for hungry and malnourished children. Your donation, no matter how small, will go a long way." This is the appeal issued to the faithful by Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, archbishop of Manila, on the occasion of Lent.

"We invite you then, fellow Christians," Cardinal Rosales urged, "to live out a deeper meaning of Lent this year by performing acts of good deeds and almsgiving. These acts may be creatively joined with your practices of fasting and abstinence, such that the cost of food you forego and are able to save, be it 50 centavos or less, may be donated to programs or institutions which are dedicated to feeding of hungry and malnourished Filipino children."

The nutrition program for malnourished children is an initiative of Caritas Manila, and is supported by five Suffragan Dioceses. Over its two and a half years of existence, the project has helped approximately 24,000 children, guaranteeing them food and assistance. This year, the food program has set a goal of feeding at least 12,340 children scattered all over the area of metropolitan Manila.

Cardinal Rosales recalled that "good works" are acts that help to "engender in us the virtues of generosity and compassion" and promote a model of "justice in our society." "Whenever and wherever they are lived out," the cardinal concluded, "they enable people to share God’s blessings more equitably, and make the goods of the earth available especially to those who are suffering because of poverty and its dire consequences - hunger and malnutrition."

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