MEMBERS of the Order of Preachers were urged to “journey and not merely symphatize” with families of the victims of extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war in a gathering last Dec. 2.
Fr. Butch Bombase, O.P., regional promoter of the Dominican Families for Justice and Peace and Care for Creation, highlighted the importance of genuine listening in accompanying the victims’ families in their journey towards healing.
“Listening is to go beyond condemnation. Narito kami [at] hindi lang nakikiramay kung ‘di nakikipaglakbay. Hindi na natin maibabalik ang buhay ng mga nasawi nating mahal sa buhay, pero importante na mayroon kayong kasama sa paglalakbay,” Bombase said during the Eucharistic celebration.
Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr., O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, told attendees and families that the Dominican Order is a refuge to their cries.
“Hindi kailanman isang mabuting sagot ang maging tahimik sa harap ng katotohanang pinapatay sa ating harapan ang maraming buhay ng ating mga kapatid,” Sipalay said.
A prayer and candle-lighting ceremony, spearheaded by Sr. Luz Mission, O.P., followed the Eucharistic celebration.
The head of the UST Simbahayan Community Development Office said families of drug war victims should be empowered and given justice.
“Without justice, there could be no prosperity. Iyon naman ang turo ng Simbahan, ‘yung Social Teachings of the Church; there must be equality, [and] respect for human life,” Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir said in an interview with the Varsitarian.
The Mass, which was held at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Navotas, marked the beginning of the Dominican Month for Peace.