“And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying like sheep that have no shepherd. Then he saith to his disciples, The harvest in-deed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.” (St. Matthew 9)
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
As you can see by the cover, we cover our work in the Philippines in this issue of the APOSTLE. What can we say about this once great Catholic country? Those persons who have never visited these wonderful islands are often under the impression that this country is a fortress and bastion of the Catholic Faith. Unfortunately, this “impression” is no longer valid when speaking of the Philippines. Let us be fair, there are certainly many residual elements of Catholicism which are inter-woven into the fabric of Filipino daily life. One only needs to visit during the annual festival or a patron saint’s feast to see a vibrant devotion expressed by the Catholic population. It is quite something to walk in a procession with a beautiful statue of Our Lady throughout the streets of Manila and see how many Filipinos stop their work or shopping and come up to touch the statue and say a quick prayer to their Queen.
The traditional priests who work and live on these islands will be the first ones to admit the beautiful virtues in the souls which the Catholic Faith produced for so many years in the past. But these same priests will also be the first ones to point out the great doctrinal and moral apostasy that has occurred in the Philippines over the last 60 years or so. It doesn’t take long to conclude that the majority of the Catholic population are in serious need of catechism, good moral teaching and the social teachings of Christ the King. For this great work, we have already seen the good efforts of the Legion of Mary and the Militia Immaculatæ alongside our priests and religious to catechize and spread the Faith through the help of the Mother of God. But there are still so many souls who are living and dying without the Divine Life of Grace in their souls…
Yes, as Our Lord said nearly 2000 years ago, the harvest is great, but the laborers are so few! We ask for your continued prayers and support for this great missionary work of our apostolate here in the Philippines. We need young men and young women to send to the harvest as well-formed religious priests, brothers and sisters.
May God reward your generosity a hundred-fold!
Fr. Patrick Summers