Archdiocesan Social Action Ministry turns 50
By Tere Esmeralda - Medina with Caritas - Caceres staff
The Social Action Ministry of the Archdiocese of Caceres will celebrate its 50th jubilee year on June 23. This was announced by Rev. Fr. Marcel Emmanuel DP. Real, Executive Director of CARITAS – CACERES (NAGA), INC. the Social Action Commission of Caceres during the radio program CASARIG over DWRV-FM Radio Caritas Mariae. The theme for the celebration is: “Synodal Church through Social Action in 50 Years and Beyond.”
Fr. Real together with Rev. Fr. Erwin B. Bismonte, Caritas – Caceres Assistant Director, gave details about the jubilee celebration which will start with a concelebrated Liturgy at 3:00 P.M. to be led Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD. He will be joined by Bishops of the Bicol Region Social Action Centers (BRSAC) and the ministry heads of the Social Services Cluster members.
The liturgy will be followed by a program which will mark the launching of the Social Action Ministry coffee table book entitled CARITAS IN OPERE 1973 - 2023, Five Decades of God’s Love Through Social Action”. Another program to be launched is DAWANI (Diosnon na Winaras, Iheneheras), a charity fund intended as response to the walk-in destitutes who seek help for emergency medical needs, fare money for those who seek to return to their province or even a day’s food.
The keynote speech will be given by no other than Most Reverend Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, DD, current Bishop of the Diocese of Kidapawan and National Director of ECSA JP-Caritas Philippines. Caritas-Philippines is the secretariat of the diocesan network of social action centers in the Philippines. Gov. Miguel Luis M. Villafuerte is expected to grace the occasion with a message of support to the initiatives being undertaken by the Social Action Ministry.
The Social Action Ministry was established in 1973 by the late Caceres Archbishop Teopisto V. Alberto, D.D. and was then known as the Caceres Social Action Center or SAC occupying a small space in what is now the Archbishop’s Residence. Eventually, SAC moved to a bigger space along Liboton St. (now Magsaysay Ave.) in Naga City and continued operations as a dole-out institution providing for the needs of the poor. Its first director was the late Msgr. Alberto N. Nero. Years later, the center adapted the developmental approach and encouraged participation of its clients in different projects.
In July 1989, the center was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as the Caceres Social Action Foundation, Inc. (CASAFI) enabling the institution to source out funds for more development projects. During the leadership of the late Rev. Fr. Jose L. Cortes, Ll. B., the second director of the institution, partnerships with government agencies were formalized for the implementation of projects for fisherfolks, farmers and communities.