HomeChurch in ActionPhilippine Catholic Church holds biennial social action national assembly 

Philippine Catholic Church holds biennial social action national assembly 

The Catholic Church in the Philippines, through its humanitarian arm, has gathered more than 250 social action workers from 67 dioceses in its biennial National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) in Iloilo City. 

“So far, this is one of the largest assemblies we have held in the history of Caritas Philippines. One of the reasons is that our programs have expanded. We engage and collaborate with many people to serve the poor and the environment,” said Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines. 

The 41st NASAGA, themed “Social Action Network: Journeying to Empower Communities in Faith, Love, and Justice”, runs from June 17 to 21. 

In a video message, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, encouraged social action workers “to take very seriously” the Church’s social teachings.

“Our motivation for social action work in the Church is never ideology or any political foundation, but only the love of Christ,” he said. 

Bishop David highlighted the role of faith, love, and justice in the work of Caritas Philippines. He discussed how “caritas,” the Latin word for charity, symbolizes the organization’s commitment to the marginalized.

He stressed that genuine faith prompts actions that support justice. While emergency relief is essential, Bishop David warned against allowing such efforts to foster a dependency culture that undermines justice.

Over 250 social action workers from 67 dioceses pose for the camera during the 41st National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA), organized by Caritas Philippines, in Iloilo City on June 18. Photo by Mark Saludes
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“Therefore, I advise you, dear brothers and sisters, to please soak yourselves in the social teachings of the Church, which alone can orient you to the foundations of social action,” the prelate said.

Bishop David also expressed the need for shifting social efforts towards long-term societal transformation, including in politics, economics, and culture, aligned with Gospel values and the Church’s social doctrine.

The biennial NASAGA provides a vital platform for social action workers from Catholic dioceses to convene, discuss, share experiences, and strategize solutions to address critical social issues.

Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag, the new executive director of Caritas Philippines, said NASAGA is “a critical opportunity for social action leaders… to share experiences, learn from each other, and develop effective strategies to address the challenges facing our communities.” 

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