Card Tagle launches appeal to generosity: Lent, a time to return to God

The archbishop: "Almsgiving helps us to recognize the Lord Jesus in the poor and needy. It is a path that can lead to true conversion ". In Lent, a second collection is scheduled for Sunday Masses: the collected offerings will be used as emergency funds for disasters.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Lent is a special moment for renewal and conversion, a time to return to God: card. Luis Antonio G. Tagle (photo), metropolitan archbishop of Manila and president of Caritas Internationalis, in his last pastoral letter.

In the document, the cardinal urges the faithful to be more generous and support the humanitarian effort of Alay Kapwa, an annual program of evangelization and fundraising that for decades the archdiocese has dedicated to the most needy, especially during times of calamity.

"“The practice of almsgiving helps us to grow in charity and generosity. It helps us, too, to recognize the Lord Jesus in the poor and needy. It is a path that can lead to true conversion: in drawing close to our brothers and sisters, we draw close to God Himself,” Cardinal Tagle said.

The Philippines is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters in the world. Every year, an average of 20 storms and typhoons hit the nation. Caritas Manila responds to crises and calamities through Caritas Damayan. The offerings collected for Alay Kapwa during Lent will be used as emergency funds for natural and man-made disasters such as typhoons, floods, fires, earthquakes and other tragedies and crises, as well as disaster prevention and mitigation programs.

In all the parishes and for each of the six Sundays of Lent (10 March - 14 April 2019), during the masses the Church encourages the faithful to participate in a second collection.

"The funds raised will be remitted to Caritas Manila for our Damayan program," explains the cardinal. "Last year - he adds - Caritas Damayan has extended aid to the victims of the typhoons Agaton, Josie and Ompong, as well as to the victims of the numerous disasters caused by the fire in Metro Manila. We have also provided assistance to the rehabilitation of Marawi, the tribal Lumad of Tandag and the families affected by the eruption

“With the increasing number and magnitude of disasters and calamities being responded to by Caritas Damayan, our Alay Kapwa funds get immediately depleted,” Cardinal Tagle said.