Struggling with prayer? Want to talk to God but don’t know how? Buy the book Pockets of Grace: An Ignatian prayer guide, which introduces the reader to how prayer can be “exciting, consoling and enlightening,” will be both spiritually and socially uplifting, as proceeds from the book will help fund the construction of a school library for an IP school for Subanon children in Monte Central, Brgy. Patalon, Zamboanga City.
“I might be selling books, but I am not. What I am selling is a worthy cause for the benefit of the Subanon students…,” said the book’s author, Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson, SJ in an interview. While the first batch of Subanon children graduated from the said Mission School for Indigenous People last year, the school still needs a decent school library “to study, read and re-create,” said the priest.
The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) community started building a mission grade school for the Subanon children of Patalon in 2011. “The idea came after realizing … the need to build one IP school in the mountain, so that their children will no longer need to walk for hours just to go to school,” shared Samson, who is also the AdZU vice president for formation.
According to Samson, the book, which is “not a typical religious book,” will deepen one’s prayer life. “Many of us wanted to pray, but we don’t know how. How do we listen to the voice of God? How do we dispose ourselves to silence and prayer? The book is a prayer guide and it will help anyone to pray the easy way,” he said. “It’s interactive, dynamic and exciting. But we need your desire and good disposition to really meet and commune with God. After all, a good open heart is needed to hear God’s voice.”
Sera del 20 maggio 1992. Zamboanga, nelle Filippine. Padre Salvatore Carzedda, bittese, figlio di Antoneddu e di Antonia Cossellu, torna a casa dopo una giornata di lavoro. È missionario del dialogo: “Pregare assieme e collaborare” tra cristiani e musulmani. Testimone del proprio operare, Battore Carzedda avvertiva una costante esigenza di “riconciliazione e pace nel tempo della globalizzazione che rende sempre più insopportabili, assurdi, la guerra, la violenza, il terrorismo, le divisioni ideologiche ed economiche che separano i popoli” (Piero Gheddo). Tanto il pericolo, molteplici le insidie. Quella sera, l’auto guidata da Battore si schianta contro un palo della luce. Non poteva essere più governata. Battore era già morto, ucciso a colpi di pistola sparatigli da motociclisti che si erano accostati, integralisti islamici. Battore Carzedda aveva 48 anni. Lo riportarono a Bitti a un mese esatto dalla morte, chiuso dentro una bara con il coperchio di vetro, vestito dei paramenti sacerdotali, il rosso del martirio. I funerali furono una cosa solenne, di immensa folla. La madre, tzia Tonnedda ‘e Broccale in accezione bittese, lo pianse con gli attitos. “Dae sa terra antzena/M’ar ghiratu, Battore,/De gloria una parma./Dae sa terra antzena/Dolore e pena manna/M’ar ghiratu Battore/Pena manna e dolore/De gloria una parma/Dolore e pena manna“. Dolore e grande pena riportati da una terra straniera. La gloria e la palma del martirio si intrecciano nel canto. Cosa può la gloria di fronte al dolore di una madre? Eppure s’attitu di Antonia Cossellu contiene un grande lascito.”E a sas Filippinas” è la seconda e ultima stofa, “Precabi pake e calma/E sar Filippinas/Annabi ke a prima/Precabi pake e calma/Ke a prima bi anna“. Prega pace e calma per la Filippine. Va’, torna nuovamente alla tua missione. Come prima, come sempre.
Battore Carzedda fu ordinato prete nel 1971 e alla prima messa bittese, sa sacra, il 16 luglio del 1971 va da sé che partecipò l’intero paese. Quando nel 1977 partì la prima volta per le Filippine anche allora la madre inventò versi augurali. “Battore, izzeddhu meu/ non b’idas prus tormentu/ Issu locu ki sese“, che tu non debba patire oltremodo tormenti nel luogo in cui ti trovi”.
Ha scritto Piero Gheddo, direttore dell’ufficio storico del Pime (Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere) nella prefazione al libro Testimone del dialogo, pubblicato nel 2002 dalla Emi di Bologna: “Di padre Salvatore Carzedda ho un solo ricordo, luminoso, gioioso”. Il libro è un’opera interamente dedicata a Battore. L’introduzione è di padre Sebastiano D’Ambra, confratello e amico del missionario bittese, fondatore nel 1984, a Zamboanga, del gruppo “Silsilah”, parola araba che significa “catena”, per il dialogo tra cristiani e musulmani. Seguono nel libro “un’affettuosa biografia di Lucia Carzedda”, sorella di Battore, e poi l’epistolario e il lascito spirituale di una persona che, sostiene Gheddo, “non è martire per caso”. Nonostante la “totale consapevolezza dei pericoli cui andava incontro”, padre Carzedda “decise con tutto se stesso di portare avanti il dialogo, causa del suo assassinio”. Il libro può essere considerato come una interpretazione e insieme un rovescio della tradizione de s’attitu. Il richiamo all’esperienza missionaria di Battore nelle Filippine, tragicamente interrotta, non è fatto per invocare vendetta, la “lunga catena” della tradizione barbaricina. Al contrario, come nella lamentazione funebre della madre Antonia Cossellu, c’è l’incitamento a che altri continuino a mandare avanti l’opera del figlio. Che fu ragazzo e giovane di grande ingenuità, ricorda Gheddo, di fascino, di sorriso e di “rapido brillare negli occhi”, ma anche missionario a tutti gli effetti: animatore e organizzatore. Conosceva bene dove e come intervenire, con chi stabilire dialogo. Era nelle Filippine dal 1977. Nel 1986 fu mandato dal Pime a Chicago per compiti formativi. “Ma intanto”, ancora Gheddo, “studia al Catholic Theological Center Union. La sua tesi di laurea, in inglese, è Il Gesù del Corano alla luce del Vangelo. Alla ricerca di una via di dialogo. Nel 1990 ritorna nelle Filippine. Quotidianamente si batté per un impegno. Padre Salvatore Carzedda resta una figura carismatica. Era impegnato sul fronte del dialogo interreligioso: far parlare e far vivere insieme cristianesimo e islam, la moschea e la chiesa nello stesso luogo. C’è una fotografia che ritrae Battore e il suo confratello padre Sebastiano D’Ambra con l’allora presidente delle Filippine Cory Aquino, il giorno che al movimento “Silsilah” venne consegnato il premio per la pace, il 24 settembre del 1990. Battore era un uomo pieno di entusiasmo, un organizzatore. Credeva in quello che faceva. “Aveva l’orgoglio dei sardi e l’umiltà dei santi” ha scritto padre D’Ambra. A Zamboanga, prima che la salma venisse imbarcata per la Sardegna, Battore fu onorato anche dai musulmani, quelli nella sua stessa idea di pace
Il progetto, che si svolge a Zamboanga, sull’isola di Mindanao, ha come obiettivo l’accoglienza delle donne vittime della droga e di altre forme di abuso. Per questo, l’associazione cattolica Emmaus vorrebbe avviare dei corsi della durata di una settimana, ripetuti ogni due mesi, per gruppi di circa trenta donne ciascuno riguardanti temi sociali, culturali, psicologici e, soprattutto, spirituali e formativi. Alla fine del corso, le donne saranno incoraggiate a restare presso l’Harmony Village (è il centro presso cui si svolgeranno i corsi), per diventare loro stesse animatrici dei nuovi corsi.
It was by chance that two Italian doctor experts in acupuncture, Paola Poli, president of AGOM and Carlo Moiraghi, vice president of AGOM and president of ALMA school of acupuncture in Milan, offered to Silsilah the possibility to serve our people in Zamboanga City for two weeks. They left Zamboanga on August 20, 2016 and now, after a few days, we are happy to share with friends and our readers of OASIS NEWS around the world our reflection and the new challenge that we have taken as a new beginning to serve through the Center for Holistic Health Care (CHHC), one program of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement based in Harmony Village.
For a very touching coincidence we were already planning to develop the acupuncture service through the CHHC by sending some of our staff for a special training outside Zamboanga, and the providence arrived though the two doctors from Italy. The two doctors were our guests in Harmony Village for two weeks. They accepted the challenge to train six of our staff and serve the people of Zamboanga according to our requests. After informing the proper authority of this plan we invited the two doctors with a team of the six staff/members of Silsilah to go to the city jail of Zamboanga where, at present, there are about two thousand five hundred inmates, majority of them men. The Silsilah staff gave on regular basis, three times a week, formation to the inmates. We know the great need for them to be helped and we gave the priority to them. It was a very friendly atmosphere where inmates and security guards availed of the same service together. The doctors and the team were able to serve hundreds of people in the city jail working hard in the spirit of mercy. It was a simple gesture of love and many were cured. The two Italian doctors and the team also served many at the Zamboanga Medical Center, at the City Health and the Center for Holistic Health Care in Harmony Village.
At the end of the experience our team developed confidence and expertise to practice alone the acupuncture and each received a certificate from the two Italian doctors. We also gave the doctors Certificates of Appreciation. The two doctors expressed joy to find in Silsilah a very good atmosphere of friendship expressing their satisfaction of contributing to the training of the Silsilah team which now has the responsibility to continue the mission of acupuncture to serve those in need.
The two doctors were able to visit the areas destroyed by the siege in 2013 in Masepla, Mampang, Paniran extension and St. Catalina/Padayon center. Silsilah is present in all these places offering different programs, including kindergarten education for the Muslim and Christian children.
We gave to the two doctors the opportunity to visit Santa Cruz Island where Silsilah has an elementary school and to meet the mayor of Zamboanga City, Hon. Isabelle Climaco Salazar. The mayor was happy to see them and expressed her gratitude on behalf of the city for the service done to the people of Zamboanga.
One common reflection and commitment during the closing program and sharing with the two doctors was that we now have a responsibility to continue and for us this will be taken as a new beginning going on regular basis in some communities in the spirit of mercy. There are so many who need and this service is an additional one that Silsilah started with the hope that many will benefit and we can train more people to continue this mission. We never stop to explore possibilities to express our mercy to others and in doing this we express our gratitude to God who put in our hearts the desire to serve and to love. This is the dialogue of Silsilah: love for all to build a new society where we can call each other brothers and sisters.
The missionary is the founder of Silsilah, a movement for interreligious dialogue in Zamboanga. The formation of young Christians and Muslims open hearts of even more traditionalist Muslims. In 25 years, over 2 thousand young people become active leaders in their communities.
Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – “Spreading a culture of dialogue between Christians and Muslims means educating young people to get to the bottom of their faith and encourage them to work together for the good of their communities”, says Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Zamboanga (Mindanao) and founder of Silsilah, a movement for interreligious dialogue speaking to AsiaNews. Active since 1984, over the years Silsilah has become a beacon for Muslims and Christians in Mindanao, for forty years, victims of the war between Islamic rebels and the Philippine military.
Fr. D’Ambra says: “After years of meetings with Muslim and Christian leaders, we realized that our task was not simply to speak of dialogue, but way to respond in a concrete to the reality around us.”
In 1986 Silsilah kicked started the Summer Course of Muslim Christian Dialogue to form young leaders of both faiths. For 25 years, the summer courses are organized every year between April and May and the classes continued even in during the most difficult for Christians in Mindanao, such as the murder in Zamboanga of Fr Salvatore Carzedda (PIME) in 1992.
“Over the years we have trained more than 2 thousand young people – says Fr D’Ambra – who now work as a leaders in various areas of the island, in turn creating groups and initiatives between the two religions. ” On 20 September, the movement opened a center for dialogue in Manila, in the district of Quiapo home to the Nazarene sanctuary and the Golden Mosque, symbols of the presence of the two religions in the archipelago.
In Mindanao the initiatives of the Summer Course has also affected areas with Muslim majority hostile to Christians and characterized by ongoing violence. In Basilan, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremists, a few months ago a relationship between the bishop and high Islamic authorities began. They are working to address concrete problems of the city, led by some Silsilah graduates.
“We teach our youth the dialogue and respect for nature – said the missionary – explaining the passages of the Bible and the Qur’an that speak of these matters.” In Balun, a protected area in the center of the island, Christians and Muslims, have joined forces to block mining in the area. With the help of Silsilah volunteers they have collected signatures throughout Mindanao. In January 2010, more than 10 thousand people demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the Manila government against pollution and destruction of protected areas.
The concrete proposal of Silsilah and its work with the new generations has drawn even the most reluctant and conservative Muslim leaders to the movement. Recently the movement translated the letter sent to 138 Muslim scholars to Benedict XVI in 2006 to seek common ground for collaboration between Christians and Muslims into the local language. Fr. D’Ambra noted that the publication of the document, together with the concrete testimony of Silsilah among the Muslims of Mindanao, many Islamic leaders began to question whether their communities are open dialogue with Christians.
“The letter is signed by many Islamic leaders of the world – he stresses – and this has also pushed even the most entrenched characters to consider the possibility of interreligious dialogue, love of God, love of neighbor, All content common to both faiths. ” In a meeting with more than 500 ulema that took place recently in Zamboanga, a prominent Islamic leader, who has never had direct relations with Silsilah, praised the movement citing passages on the relationship between Christians and Muslims in the Koran.
The priest said the opening of Islamic leaders is possible if dialogue is transformed from a simple strategy in the form of spirituality on which to base one’s life. For nearly 20 years through the Emmaus group the movement has proposed chastity and community life to young people as an opportunity to give one’s life to interfaith dialogue. The proposal is spreading even among Muslim women (Muslim women for dialogue and peace), who take a vow of chastity, and without leaving their families, begin the same spiritual journey of serious dialogue with God and neighbor. (SC)
GOVERNOR Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) strongly condemned the killing of Canadian John Ridsdel by the Abu Sayyaf bandits on Monday, April 25. The Abu Sayyaf bandits beheaded Ridsdel on Monday after their ransom demand was not met. The bandits have reportedly demanded ransom for P300 million for the release of the victim. The decapitated head of the victim was recovered late Monday in the village of Walled City, Jolo, Sulu.
Hataman described the killing of Ridsdel by the Abu Sayyaf bandits as an act against humanity. “As a nation, we have to rise against this horrendous act of terrorism. Our faith and our humanity demand that we collectively and strongly condemn this act of terrorism,” Hataman said He said the incident is tragic and “as peace-loving Muslims of Mindanao, as Filipinos tired of senseless deaths and violence, we stand against this.” “With heavy hearts, we express our condolences to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel. Our thoughts are with you in this dark moment of sorrow and grief,” he said. “Like you, we also hope that the reign of terror on the island provinces of Mindanao will face its end the soonest as we pray that justice is done,” he added.
Ridsdel, who is from Calgary, Alberta, was kidnapped along with three others, a fellow Canadian, a Norwegian and a Filipina, on September 21, 2015 at a resort in the Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte.
Yesterday, February 7, 2016, was the culminating program of a week-long activity of solidarity and dialogue a movement for love and peace by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement with Fr. Sebastiano D’ Ambra, PIME, convenor United Nations Interfaith-Harmony Partners- Zamboanga (UNI-HP-Z). The movement has been going on every year in Zamboanga City being attended and joined by different faiths and religions, government offices and the religious sector, in search for total peace and love among neighbors and religions through dialogue and spiritual approach. The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution in October 20, 2010, because the community of nations felt an “imperative need for a worldwide dialogue for peace through the spiritual approach.”
In Zamboanga City, different religious leaders from different faiths joined together for a continued dialogue in search of peace, harmony and love. The movement in Zamboanga is spearheaded by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement (SDM) which started many years back and became a national movement supported by the National Government when President B.S. Aquino III signed into Law Republic Act No. 10525, declaring the first week of February every year as as World Interfaith Harmony week and enjoined all government office to join the search for peace and harmony among all faiths through spiritual approach and dialogue. Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar also sponsored a city council resolution when she was still a city councilor supporting the move of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement for harmony and peace in Zamboanga City.
Today in Zamboanga City there are almost 30 government, non-government organizations, private organizations and civic associations and religious groups who are active supporters and partners of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony week celebration. These groups contributed in their own way the search for harmony and peace in Zamboanga City, though constant dialogues in a spiritual approach. The Muslim Council of Ulamas, and some Catholic and Christian leaders are also active supporters of the interfaith movement.
In 2014, the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WHIW) brought the Zamboanga partners led by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement to win the First Prize for World Harmony Week activity sponsored by H.M. King Abdullah II of the kingdom of Jordan. “The prize will be awarded to those events or texts that are judged to have been most successful in promoting Interfaith Harmony and imparting religious understanding”.
PIME’s Fr. Sebastiano D’ Ambra, the spiritual force behind the Sisilah Dialogue Movement (SDM) is enjoining everyone in Zamboanga City to join him in looking for a lasting peace in Zamboanga City through constant dialogue and built up trust and harmony. Right now the SDM is represented by the following civic and religious leaders in Zamboanga City, like, Atty Arsenio L. Gonzales Jr. coordinator for the Christians. Atty. Mohamad Taha S. Arakama, coordinator for the Muslims and Elizabeth L. Solis, EDC, Secretary. These are the prime movers of the dialogue movement for peace and harmony in Zamboanga City.
Scoop: Indeed Zamboanga City needs a dialogue for peace and harmony among its people. The city is on the heels of unstable peace and order situation, because the city’s peaceful citizens are constantly haunted by rumors of lawless elements movement out to sow disaster and chaos in the city even today and information reveals that those who wanted to disturbed the tranquility and peace of the city are allegedly Moro lawless elements. We needed dialogue and the freedom to live peacefully and harmoniously. Perhaps it is time to reflect both government forces and rebel factions. Agree or disagree.
On Tuesday three suspects behind local kidnapping incidents in Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte were arrested by the local Police. They were identified as Rudy Lim, Alerin Lim and Jolo Lim. The police said the suspects have a standing warrant of arrest issued by presiding Laarni Dajao of Regional Trial Court Branch 27 based in Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte for kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
The court also recommended no bail for the suspects who were detained at Liloy Police Station.
Police are also investigating possible participation of the suspects in the previous kidnapping incidents that occurred in the west coast border of Zamboanga City, three towns away from Baliguian.
Monsigñor Crisologo Manongas, administrator of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, said Papal Nuncio Guiseppe Pinto, the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines, will lead the installation of Bishop Romulo Dela Cruz on May 14, 2014. Manongas said the installation ceremony will be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion. Dela Cruz, 66, was named by Pope Francis as this city’s archbishop last March 15.
Prior to his appointment, Dela Cruz served as bishop of Kidapawan City since June 2008, replacing Bishop Romulo Valles when the latter was named archbishop of this city. Valles was made archbishop of Davao City last 2012 and since then Zamboanga did not have an archbishop. Dela Cruz had also served as bishop of nearby Basilan province from 1988 and of Antique in the Visayas from 2001 until his appointment as bishop of Kidapawan.
He was born on June 24, 1947 in Iloilo but at an early age he and his parents migrated to Mindanao. Dela Cruz is currently a member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media and vice chairman of the Episcopal Office on Women. Dela Cruz’s appointment is Vatican’s second major act this year for the church in Mindanao. The first one was last month wherein Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was elevated and named as member of the Vatican’s College of Cardinals, the eighth Filipino to be named to the high office. Dela Cruz, as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, will have supervision over the Prelature of Isabela in Basilan, Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, and the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo in Sulu.