Manila (AsiaNews / CBCP) - It's the small gestures, but from showing generosity to the least we reach heaven; by taking part in the Pondo ng Pinoy fundraiser collecting 25 cents to help the less fortunate. This was the message Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, in the Philippines, gave to over one thousand catechists, students and nuns from the diocese of Malolos. The Cardinal and faithful met in recent days to mark the 10th anniversary of the creation of the special fund, strongly wanted by Cardinal.
"The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed" stressed the retired Archbishop of Manila, what can open the doors of heaven "are the little things that we do ... Do something good, no matter how small" because this will "lead to heaven." According to the cardinal, the first people that we will see heaven will be "the poor that we have helped."
Underlying the Pondo ng Pinoy is the principle that you do not need to donate large sums of money, because even a small fund "donated with love" and joined by other similar donations can create a vast network of solidarity that may also involve non-Catholics. "God will multiply the grace that comes from the poor," said the cardinal, because it is "a democratic charity " in which "we all give something."
Inspired by the words of Pope Francis meeting with the Filipino youth in January, Cardinal Rosales finally invited the faithful "to avoid wallowing in comfort" and be loyal to the suffering of the poor. "We are so immersed in our material well-being - he concludes – that we risk becoming deaf to the suffering of others."
Over the past 10 years, the Diocese of Malolos has collected more than 13 million pesos through Pondo ng Pinoy.
Established in 2004 by the then Archbishop of Manila Card. Gaudencio Rosales, Pondo ng Pinoy gave the Filipinos the opportunity to show solidarity in the simplest way possible. According to some reports dating back to fiscal year 2012-13, the program has raised a total of 15.8 million pesos, approximately 280 thousand euro. Most of the donations, an amount of Php 7.9 million, came from the parishes of the metropolitan area of Manila, followed by those of Malolos and Antipolos with 972 thousand Php each.
The Church initiative encourages people to donate 25 cents per day in the various parishes and schools, and demonstrates continued appetite for solidarity. A Philippine saying goes: "Anumang Maliit, just malimit patungong ay langit (A nice gesture, however small, if done often can lead to heaven)." This move proved to be a powerful tool for change in the lives of those in need.