The Catholic Faith Defenders Manila Chapter thru its cooperation and unity with the Catholic faith Defenders National conducted its National Convention last May 27-28, 2017 at the prestigious Siena College Hall, Siena College Quezon City. The gathering which was participated by Priests and Nuns, Catholic Lay Apologists, Theologians, Catechists, Youth, ordinary men and women from across the country had a theme about Mary being the Mother of the Church and of the Parish.
In the afternoon of the first day of the convention, it was the retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani who delivered theological discussion about Mary being the Mother of the Church. He welcomed the minds of the listeners by giving first a vivid mental picture of how the Ever Virgin looks like based on a racial trace as to being a Jew. He honed it with a description of beauty and radiance and then attributed it to his own mother when it was still alive. The Bishop shared with everyone his own experience about having a good and loving mother just as everyone has.
He then went on the assigned topic by citing that the title “Mother of the Church” for Mary is one declaration by Pope Paul VI in an assembly about a Dogmatic Constitution then. Debates took on the floor during the assembly, yet as the retired Bishop reviewed; it was the Pope at the end of the day who proclaimed from Chair that Mary is the Mother of the church even if she is one among members of it. She is a member but the highest one. As the immutable truth revealed Mary as part of the mystery of the Church and of Christ, She plays an important role in every Christian life as the Bishop stressed it. The title also got cleared on mind when the Bishop stressed it more out that what the Church means there in the title is in regard to a community of believers. Mary being the Mother of Church is being the very Mother of a community of people. Mary is not a Mother of the Church as an Institution because it was not Mary who gave us the sacraments but Christ.
At the end part of the talk, the Most Reverend overseer welcomed questions and reactions from the audience. One AB Philosophy student from UST raised a thing about Mary’s presence during the Holy Communion. He asked: “If we do partake from Jesus’ Blood and Body during Holy Communion, don’t we also partake from Mary in the same way?” Bishop Teodoro Bacani delivered a response by recalling one hymn being taught at Seminary then until today, as He said: “Hail oh Body born of the Virgin Mary! He continued, “What Mary delivered from womb is blood of her blood and flesh of her flesh. Mary knew who and what she bore into the world. And so, each time we partake from Jesus’ blood and body, we enter into communion with Mary and with all other faithful to Christ.”
Another questioner took the floor by voicing out the most typical attack by the anti-Marian heretics as it went: “If Mary is just a created being and a Jew then how can Catholics assure that praying to her in different languages will be acknowledged? Won’t it be a hilarious contradiction, Bishop?”
The Most Reverend with logic delivered an answer with the same stream of humor by saying that if one of his friends from the south can understand a different language, then there is no reason for Mama Mary not to understand all tongues. Mary is with God and the same God helps her understand people regardless of languages.
The talk ended with the same joyful recognition to the presence of the Bishop. The CFD Manila advisor and mentor, Atty. Marwil Llasos together with the President, Michael Vincent Suico and a member Bro. Roman Jacinto presented a certificate to formally express thanks on behalf of the CFD National.
Terrence Gil Relucio