November 26, 2022 (9:53 AM)

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Underscoring the urgency of peacebuilding amid global, national, and local conflicts, representatives of different sectors and religious and cultural groups convened for the Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP) launching program and forum.

Organized by the Bishops-Ulama Conference, Davao Association of Catholic Schools, Inc. (DACS), and Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), this year’s MWOP is anchored to the theme: “Enduring Peace: Mindanawons living in Solidarity, Service, and Security towards a Sustainable Future.”

Resource speaker Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. started the forum by emphasizing the attainment of peace in the document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.

Tabora said that enduring peace happens when Mindanaoans live together as brothers and sisters in an enduring fraternity for each individual life.

“Whether Muslim, Catholic, Protestant-Christian, Islamized or non-Islamized Lumad, or settlers from the North; even Buddhists, Sikhs, or Hindus, peace can only endure only if we recognize that we are brothers and sisters created by one compassionate God,” Tabora said.

He added that promoting world peace is living together “through the culture of dialogue as the path, collaboration as the code of conduct, and mutual understanding as the method and standard of attaining fraternity and social friendship.”

Meanwhile, Protestant Representative Rev. Grace Bangisan of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) urged everyone to value the lives of those who are “the least, the last, and the lost.”

“How could it be possible and true to love our God when we are detached with people in the community? When we cannot even extend services to them. Let’s make it as our ultimate goal of journey to live in solidarity with them,” she said. 

According to the Archdiocesan Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media Director Rev. Fr. Ritsche J. Gamaya, peace is attainable despite religion, race, or status but as creatures of one God gifted to serve others.

“Peace is attainable if we can only magnify and multiply the good experiences of our efforts toward peace. I believe that every living thing we do makes a difference,” Gamaya said.

DACS and Holy Cross of Davao College President Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C. shared that this event hopes to rekindle the dedication to peace and will to build a just and caring society, where the rights of others are defended, the voiceless are given voice, and our common home is protected. 

The launching of the annual celebration was held at the Calungsod-San Vitores Center, 11th Floor of the AdDU Community Center of the First Companions, and was streamed virtually via Zoom and Facebook Live on November 24. The weeklong celebration will last until November 30.



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