The central Philippine archdiocese of Cebu has approved the creation of a service center in every parish that will cater to the concerns of the parishioners, especially the poor.
Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu said the “Parish Caritas” aims to localize the creation and implementation of programs based on the actual needs of the faithful.
According to him, the parishioners are in the “best position” to identify which programs can truly address their concerns.
“Through this process the lay (person) in the parish can be truly empowered to formulate concrete and doable solutions that are relevant and responsive to their needs,” Archbishop Palma wrote in his decree.
Parish Caritas, he said, will particularly carry programs on humanitarian, developmental, and justice and peace.
While it is a parish-based ministry, he explained that its activities and projects will still have to be reported and coordinated with Caritas Cebu.
The creation of Parish Caritas was formally announced during the closing Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral of the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.
“May the gift of faith we receive be translated into action for we are gifted to serve the Anawim— the lost, the last and the least,” Archbishop Palma said.
In November last year, the archbishop also encouraged the establishment of a “Parish Ecological Ministry” in all the parishes of the archdiocese to lead efforts for environmental conservation.