On Friday, August 20, 2010, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, BCBP, held a Metrowide Metro Manila (North and South Chapters) Prayer Assembly at the Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish Hall, Forbes Park, Makati. The joint assembly celebrated a thanksgiving Mass and extended their prayers over the BCBP brothers and sisters presently in government service . Pictures of the assembly can be viewed at the GALLERY on this website.
Fr. Herb Schneider SJ, BCBP’s Spiritual Director, celebrated the Holy Mass attended by about 300 members. Fr. Herb mentioned in his Homily that no readings were more appropriate for the occasion than the timely First Reading from Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Gospel from Matthew 22:34-40. The vision of dry bones coming to life by the power of the Holy Spirit was an appropriate picture of what we all want to happen in our country. He said that the BCBP men and women who have bravely accepted the challenge of serving in this new administration should be hopeful that only through the love for God can they also love and serve their countrymen and arrive at justice and peace.
Immediately after the Holy Mass, Area Managing Director – Luzon, Manny Jimenez explained the reason for the Metro Wide Prayer Assembly, mentioning that across the nation, the BCBP community had already started supporting those in government with their prayers. Now referred to as “BCBP in Government Brothers” or “BiG Brothers”, emcees NSC-PSD Director Joey Avellana and Beth Ginete, both from BCBP Makati, invited special guests, BIG Brothers, to address the members and share what they feel about their new assignments and how the community can be supportive of their new assignments.
After the BIG Brothers each had shared their thoughts with the assembly, all brothers and sisters present led by Fr. Herb prayed over them, invoking the Lord to bless them with wisdom, courage, perseverance and strength to carry out their respective responsibilities for the good of the Filipino people.
Here are some snippets from their sharings:
Sec. of Dept. of Energy – Rene Almendras (BCBP Cebu – CLP 1)
“This assignment was totally unexpected. My immediate reaction when I received the invitation to serve in the Department of Energy was that I have to discern this. Together with my wife, Marides, we sought a priest to help us in the decision. We were led to Fr. Manoling Francisco SJ who said to us, ‘maybe the latest song I have composed is really an answer to your prayer. The song entitled “Kailan Pa Man” is about God’s infinite love and protection.’ This song was indeed the confirmation we needed before my saying “Yes” to the invitation.” Bro. Rene and Sis. Marides both agreed, “that this is our turn to “give back” for all the blessings we have received from our faithful and loving God. We expect our BCBP community to help us find solutions together and to move things forward.”
Sec. of Dept of Public Works and Highways – Rogelio “Rogie” Singson, (BCBP Makati- CLP 11/Ligaya ng Panginoon Community-District Coordinator)
“The text invitations came while I was attending a retreat conducted by Fr. Herb Schneider SJ. My immediate reaction to the invitation was a resounding “No”. Surprisingly, the retreat was aptly entitled ”Heroic Leadership”. My discernment process resulted in identifying all cons, i.e. sacrifice for family, financial and loss of private time, but on the side of the ‘pros’ was the all important love of God and love of country. In the following days, several other scriptural readings affirmed the call until the final Scriptural reading clearly spoke about “Entering the narrow gate”. That was instrumental in my answering the call to government service.
“From where I am holding office, I cannot see everything happening around our country. So since BCBP is all over the country, I need your help in giving feedback about what is happening in your respective areas. We cannot afford to be mere bystanders and I encourage all of you to help me.”
Sec. of Dept. of Science & Technology – Mario Montejo (BCBP Greenhills-CLP 36)
He described himself as a ‘techno-preneur’ with a record of many technology innovations that make use of and substitute indigenous materials for imported ones. He believes his forte is thinking up doable projects that would give immediate benefits to people in the varied fields in his area of responsibility – science and technology. He proposed back-to-fundamental approaches to technical problems now facing the country, believing that we Filipinos have the creativity and basic skills to solve these technical problems ourselves. He encouraged all BCBP members to fire up their innate creativity to help him in his innovative programs for the good of the Filipino people.
Congressman of 1st District Bukidnon, Jesus Emmanuel “Jess” Paras (BCBP Cagayan de Oro – CLP 1/Makati)
“Together with my wife Nena, my children , and with the help of some BCBP members, I campaigned across almost 130 plus barangays in the first district of Bukidnon. This is my first time in Congress and I have not yet delivered any privileged speech there, so this short speech here in BCBP is my first as a new Congressman. In those travels across Bukidnon, I became very aware of the needs of our people; some of them are as basic as electricity, water and infrastructure. I am encouraged by the presence of our brothers here (referring to the other BIG Brothers present) and together we hope to collaborate, not only in satisfying the basic needs of my district, but also in spreading the values of Jesus Christ as I serve my constituents.”
Executive Director, Toll Regulatory Board, Manny Imperial (Chapter Head of Legazpi Chapter- CLP 7)
“I head one of the more controversial boards, presently dealing with pending planned increases in tollway fees. The challenges and difficulties are part of my work and but in all things, my prayers are always, “ Thy will be done, Lord”. We hope to always exercise transparency in our dealings and we pray for the understanding and support of the people who benefit from our services. “
President of National Power Corporation – Froilan “Lanny” Tampinco (BCBP Baguio – CLP4 and member of BCBP Board of Trustees)
“When the Lord gives you an assignment, he expects a lot, and you should expect it goes with great responsibilities. Since I had held this position during the previous administration, I was prepared to turn over and ensure a smooth transition to the new appointee of the present government. It’s not easy to serve in government, and since my term was over, I was gladly looking forward to giving up the position and continuing my service in other ways. However, unknown to me, my new boss was also a member of BCBP and, although my position has yet to be confirmed, I am ready to serve.
“I believe it’s easy to love people when you like them, but difficult to do when you are raring to get back at them. But I know that it is expected that pains, hurts, misunderstandings and challenges come while in government service. So in my prayers I ask the Lord that I, together with my brothers and sisters in the BCBP, be ready to support change and also to be part of that change. Let us take comfort in Pope John Paul II’s favorite verse, “Be not afraid.”
Philippine Navy Commodore Jose Miguel “Mike” Rodriguez (Palawan – BCLP1/ Quezon City)
“Many of you are probably wondering how one can reconcile working in the Army while being a member of BCBP. In my own experience, BCBP has made a difference in my life. So I encourage you all to make sure your daughters marry husbands from BCBP. BCBP truly makes us better military officers. The presence of BCBP nationwide makes it easy for me to be assigned from one place to another as I know I can come home to a Chapter and feel the support and prayers of our members in any part of our country.”
Deputy Regional Director for Administration NCRPO, General Robert Rongavilla – (BCBP Alabang-CLP 29)
“I ask BCBP to help us change the image of PNP. Amidst another controversial case, I now spearhead the investigation of alleged police brutality. But rest assured, this is more of an exception and not a trademark of PNP. Inspired by BCBP, we start any assembly or meeting with an invocation even before the National Anthem. We are trying to build up a new face of the PNP and we would like to ask you to give PNP a chance to accomplish its mission.”
In addition to those BIG Brothers who shared their thoughts during the assembly, more than 60 other BCBP brothers and sisters from different chapters serve the new government in varied capacities as Governors, Mayors, Vice Mayors, Councilors, and Regional Directors.
Newly announced appointees include: Chairperson of the Sugar Regulatory Board, Gina Bautista Martin of BCBP Bacolod, Chief Superintendent, Noel delos Reyes (BCBP Greenhills), and PRC Board Examiner for Electrical Engineers Francis Mapile (BCBP Makati –BCLP 22/Manila Chapter).
Report filed by Beth Ginete, BCBP Makati. View pictures of the Prayer Assembly in the Gallery.