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Message of Bishop Benjamin Almoneda of the Philippines to the International Congress on Social Credit in Rougemont

on Monday, 01 August 2005. Posted in Testimonies

Dear friends, I would like to congratulate each and everyone gathered this year on the occasion of the International Congress on Social Credit, September 2-5, 2005. I am deeply sorry for not being able to join this time, although I had looked forward to come and join this Congress but, as they say, man proposes but God disposes. I regret so much that physically I am indisposed. However, spiritually I am with you, and I promise to follow your activities every day until the end of the Congress.

But looking back to the International Congress last year, I cannot but rejoice for having discovered a way to make my priestly life very meaningful in terms of serving the poor. I was amazed by the spirit which the St. Michael Pilgrims are living to faithfully promote the Kingdom of God and His justice through Social Credit. I discovered a very militant group on fire for the love of God and the good of the poorest of the poor.

I know that the mission of the St. Michael Pilgrims is formidable. Humanly speaking, it is a mission impossible, but I was impressed by the zeal of the people gathered in that Congress. I was overwhelmed with admiration on how all of the Pilgrims, young and old, were so happy to give everything for the cause of liberating the world of injustice. I felt that the Holy Spirit was present in that tiny and simple place of a vast country - Rougemont was like a little Nazareth to me. No wonder the Blessed Mother is there also. — feeling at home as the people gathered in prayer and at the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist.

For this reason, I am so grateful to have come to Rougemont. I wanted to come back. But as soon as I arrived back from Canada, I did not lose time to promote Social Credit to my priests and lay people in my diocese. Last October, 2004, I spoke and distributed copies of the journal to 200 priest formators of seminarians in the Philippines who had gathered for one week.

With the visit and sojourn of Mr. Francois de Siebenthal and Mr. Melvin Sickler, we went to 14 villages of the diocese. We wanted to start with poor people but, at the same time, we had the chance to meet with sophisticated people in the most wealthy place in the Philippines – Alabang, Muntinlupa City. We discussed with an economist, and we felt their favorable and sympathetic response to Social Credit as a method and philosophy for reform,

Social Credit is the answer to our problems in the country. I discussed the Social Credit philosophy with my fellow Bishops of our region which consists of seven dioceses, and we also succeeded in presenting the Social Credit philosophy to all the Bishops of the Philippines at their conference last January, 2005. Mr. Francois de Siebanthal and Mr. Melvin Sickler spoke and discussed with a number of Bishops who came from the North and the South. They were interested to know more. They wanted to see how it worked. Mr. de Siebanthal and Mr. Sickler wanted to accompany me to see the President of the Philippines and present Social Credit to her. Unfortunately, we did not succeed. If the quarantine line had not been so strict, we could have saved our President from the problems she is suffering now.

When Mr. Francois de Siebenthal and Mr. Melvin Sickler left us, I felt like an orphan. Nevertheless, we continue to promote Social Credit in our own way every time we gather together priests and lay people in the diocese. We find most challenging the first part of this mission, namely: education, promotion, and commitment. These are very essential in the orientation of our people.

For this reason, in my diocese, our diocesan-pastoral plan is very much in line with the principles of Social Credit. We have fused our evangelization and social-action programs into one under one director. He is the one whom I have asked to represent me at this Congress - Father Norberto Eyule. You can see he is tiny and small, but as the Lord God is in a habit of choosing the small and the unlikely for His great plans, so this is what I have also decided to do. Please accept him as my able representative. He can share with you his grace, as I know that your grace-filled Congress will also do him good. Truly yours,

+Benjamin J. Almoneda, D.D.

Bishop of Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines

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