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National Newsbits for July 21, 2014

ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI FEAST

The Catholic Church commemorates today the Feast of Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) of Brindisi, the greatest Capuchin preacher and the first Capuchin-Franciscan to be honored as a Doctor of the Universal Church. The Order of the Friars Minor (OFM) Capuchin will offer special masses and prayers for special intentions in honor of the popular Italian saint. Known as the Apostolic Doctor and doctor of conversions and missions, St. Lawrence became famous across Europe as an effective preacher. With the ability to speak eight languages, he was able to convert thousands to the faith through his effective preaching and extensive knowledge of the Holy Bible. He was appointed as a Papal emissary and peacemaker as he traveled to foreign lands to settle royal disputes. In 1602, he was elected vicar-general of the Capuchins, the highest office in the order at that time. He died in 1619 and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1881. (Christina I. Hermoso)

CANADIAN MINISTER VISITING MANILA

The Canadian Minister of International Trade is scheduled to visit the Philippines this week to promote Canada’s interests in the agriculture, defense, information and communications technologies and sustainable technologies sectors. The Canadian Embassy in Manila said Minister Ed Fast is expected to arrive today as the head of a trade mission to the country to advance the interests of Canadian companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While in Manila, Fast will meet with Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and senior business leaders to discuss how the Philippines is driving domestic and international economic development, trade and investment by partnering with Canada and Canadian companies to fuel its economic growth. This is Minister Fast’s fifteenth visit to Asia and his second to the Philippines. (Roy C. Mabasa)

ONLINE EVANGELIZATION

The local Church has intensified its call for Catholics to “encounter Jesus” online through the various social media platforms. “We must return to our encounter with Jesus and to the joy of this abiding encounter, which, in the light of the Paschal mystery, is always deeper than our tribulations,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president. In a CBCP News post, the prelate reminded the faithful to always seek divine intervention and “to encounter Jesus online and everywhere” in the face of the many problems confronting the country today. He also called on the faithful, particularly the youth, whom he referred to as “among God’s most precious gifts both to the Church and society in the Philippines” to participate in the Catholic Social Media Summit Version Three (CSMSV3) on September 13 and 14 at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center in Lingayen. (Christina I. Hermoso)

MORE SPECIAL REGISTRATIONS

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may hold another special registration for persons with disabilities (PWDs) next year. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said this is in order to get more PWDs to register for the May 2016 polls. “If we think its necessary, maybe we can hold another one of this activity for our PWDs next year,” Brillantes said in an interview at the local Comelec Office in Manila. “We held this activity and made it more accessible to our PWDs to get them to register,” he said. He said Comelec aimed to register 120,000 PWDs in addition to the 79,000 who already registered. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)