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Homily of Bishop Almoneda at Rougemont's parish church

on Friday, 01 October 2004. Posted in Homilies

on the occasion of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8, 2004

"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this Child has been conceived in Her" (Matthew 1:20.).

Dear friends, we are commemorating today the birthday of the Virgin Mary. For us, and surely also for you, the birthday of our "Mama" is a family feast which is filled with joy. It is with this familial spirit that we are gathered this morning at Mass. Mary, according to our Holy Father John Paul II, "is the woman of the Eucharist".

The great news announced to St. Joseph by the Archangel Gabriel in that little, unknown village of Nazareth — "it is through the Holy Spirit that this Child has been conceived in Her" — may have an echo in this little village of Rougemont.

God is always in a habit of choosing the little ones — the poor — in the history of salvation. Rougemont is like Nazareth, very small and unknown to many. But I think the Holy Spirit is here, very active.

Last night, I saw the video of Mr. Louis Even and Mrs. Mercier, the founder and cofounder of the Maison Saint-Michel and the Social Credit program. It was a witnessing of the presence of the Holy Spirit active through them.

A very holy priest I know, who wrote a book, "I want to see God", said, and I quote: "The Holy Spirit seized the apostles, enkindles them with zeal, and gives them to the Church, so that, in suffering and works, they becomes apostles and saints."

I am happy to have seen these words concretized last night when I saw the video of Louis Even and Mrs. Mercier, talking like they were on fire with the Holy Spirit. Well, we will follow their example, not just in words through the Social Credit theory, as recommended by the speaker of Australia, but lived in our daily activities. And, through the intercession of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose birthday we celebrate today, you and I will humbly and quietly spread the doctrine of Social Credit throughout the world. But we must work together, hand in hand, in the spirit of "communio" (with and for). We must be reminded by the words of St. Augustine: "For you I am a Bishop, and with you I am a simple Christian.".

As Pope John Paul II told us Filipinos through our ambassador to the Vatican, Mrs. Leonida Vera: "Let us work together in search of solutions to the great scourge of poverty." Together, the Pope, the Bishops, priests, religious and laity as one. With Social Credit as a program of apostolate, we have the right solution in hand to liberate ourselves from the scourge of poverty, in communion with the poor.

Before I end, may I share with you what I told my people in our diocese, where the devotion to St. Roch is so popular. I said that we should now change the disturbing picture of St. Roch who, during the plague where he was also a victim, his companion and helper was a dog. Let us now be accompanied by fellowmen, not just by a dog... God bless you. Amen.

+ Bishop Benjamin J. Almoneda

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