September 21, 2016
The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) together with about 300 social action workers from its local counterparts in the different dioceses all over the country gathered for its 38th National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) held in Palo, Leyte from September 19 to 22.
Led by National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, the NASAGA also coincided with the 50th founding anniversary of the organization with the theme: “Gains and pains in the past—our strength and commitment in journeying with God’s grace”.
“This general assembly is very important because it coincided with the 50th founding anniversary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines. We believe that the celebration is very symbolic here in the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the keynote address of Vice President Leni Robredo. She and her late husband former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo were actively involved in the social action work of the Archdiocese of Caceres, being one of the founders of the Ugnayan ng Bayan at Simbahan (UBAS).
The other highlights of the four-day event are the trade fair and exhibit featuring the different social action works and products of the dioceses, a holy mass at the Palo Cathedral, and the sharing of partners involved in the social action works of the Catholic Church.
Another significant part of the celebration will be the presentation of the National Caritas Roadmap on Sustainability and Resiliency on September 21, which would discuss the over-all disaster preparedness and response plans of NASSA/Caritas Philippines and its counterparts in the dioceses.
Aside from these, social action service awards will be given to diocesan and national social action workers.
The NASAGA will culminate on September 22 with an immersion and mangrove planting activity in Yolanda-affected communities and a symbolic lighting of candles for the victims of the Yolanda at the Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City.
This year’s NASAGA is hosted by the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte led by Archbishop John Du. Leyte is one of the nine provinces covered by the Catholic Church’s largest three-year rehabilitation program following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
The NASAGA is the biennial gathering of all the social action workers of the Catholic Church from the national level to the different diocesan social action centers and commissions.
Vice President Leni Robredo together with (from left) NASSA/Caritas Philippine Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez, NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres and Lourdes Alarde of Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan Social Action Center. (Photo: NASSA/Caritas Philippines)
VP Leni Robredo takes a selfie with the delegates of the 38th National Social Action General Assembly celebrating the 50 years of NASSA/Caritas Philippines. (Photo: NASSA/Caritas Philippines)
The ribbon cutting ceremony of the gallery and trade fair at the Palo Cathedral grounds with a local boy Christian Militante, 12 years old, NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona and representatives from CAFOD (Caritas UK) and Caritas Germany, Joseph Chacko and Martina Apuhn, respectively. (Photo: NASSA/Caritas Philippines)
April Ann Abello-Bulanadi