Day One -

JAN 19

Day One -

It was for me the best experience of PCNE. It was also a feast for the senses: the sights, from the simple stage in the middle of the pavilion an altar table, and beautiful ambo, as if ever ready for a celebration of the Mass, to the many people, the beautiful statues of the saints honored each day and colors that beautified the whole pavilion.

On the inaugural day of the Translacion, the procession of Poong Hesus Nazareno unfolded with men clad in regal red shirts. They reverently bore the statue of the Black Nazarene, burdened by the weight of His cross. In a display of unified devotion, they swung the sacred figure in perfect harmony with the theme song of the Black Nazarene, creating a coordinated and rhythmic spectacle that added to the sacred atmosphere of the event.

The first morning of the 10th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE X), January 19, 2024, commenced with a powerful and spiritual start as participants filled the 3 levels of the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion with an experience of “Translacion, the procession of Poong Hesus Nazareno led by men clad in royal red shirts. They reverently bore the statue of the Black Nazarene, burdened by the weight of His cross, while one man was. In a display of unified devotion, they swung the sacred figure in perfect harmony with the theme song of the Black Nazarene, creating a coordinated and rhythmic spectacle, while the PCNE X participants joined in the swaying and singing that added to the sacred atmosphere of the event.

people were throwing their handkerchiefs to wipe the statue as they believed it to be miraculous and a source of blessing. This iconic religious figure, known for its rich history and deep significance in Filipino Catholicism, set the tone for a day filled with faith, reflection, and unity.

The highlight of the morning was the Holy Eucharist, a sacred and solemn celebration officiated by His Eminence Jose Cardinal Advincula, Archbishop of Manila, guiding the faithful through a spiritually enriching experience, where prayers and devotion echoed through the sacred space. In His homily, he explained clearly the connection of the theme of PCNEX: “SALYA, LET US CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE”. It is the Lord who stands behind us and pushes us forward to conversion.

Following the Holy Eucharist, the event continued with Opening Remarks by Apostolic Nuncio Charles Brown. His presence added a sense of global significance to the conference, emphasizing the universal nature of the Catholic faith. Apostolic Nuncio Brown's words resonated with the audience, setting the stage for a conference that aimed to bring people together in the spirit of evangelization. He also thanked everyone who had been part of the planning, organization, and implementation of PCNEX, as well as the participants who came from all over the country.

Fr. Richard Ang, the Rector of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), extended a warm welcome to all participants. UST, as the host institution, played a crucial role in providing a conducive environment for the event. Fr. Ang's welcoming remarks fostered a sense of community among attendees, reinforcing the idea that the PCNEX was a collective journey of faith.

Fr. Jason Laguerta, the Director of PCNE, then took the stage to provide a perspective setting for the conference. His insights delved into the contemporary challenges faced by the Church and the relevance of new evangelization in today's world. Fr. Laguerta's reflections encouraged participants to consider their role in spreading the Gospel in a rapidly changing society. He explained the theme of the conference “SALYA” crossing over to the other side, from the Biblical text based on Mark 4:35-41. He also explained the concept of “Translacion” from the rituals of Poong Hesus Nazareno of Quiapo, which was a description of the direction that motivated the activity of moving the Statue of Nazareno from Luneta to Quiapo, a symbolic movement together towards renewed life and conversion.

The keynote address for the morning session was delivered by His Eminence, Mario Cardinal Grech, a distinguished figure in the Catholic Church as the Secretary General of the Synod held recently in Rome. He shared his profound insights into the synthesis of the synod as living and experiencing the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in every moment of the encounter and a felt presence among the participants of the synod.

As the morning session concluded, participants were left with a sense of wonderment and nourishment through the devotion and inspiration drawn from the Black Nazarene, the Holy Eucharist, and the enlightening sharings of the speakers. The PCNEX Day 1, AM session laid a strong foundation for the days ahead, promising a journey of faith, learning, and unity for all in attendance especially along the path of synodality.

"The afternoon session began with a Heart-to-Heart sharing on the synodal experience led by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle. The panelists included His Excellency Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, His Eminence Jose Cardinal Advincula, Mylo Vergara, and Dr. Estela Padilla. They shared their direct experiences on particular aspects of the synod, engaging in a lively exchange of insights among themselves. The audience, in turn, enjoyed and became spiritually enriched through the profound reflections shared by the esteemed panelists."

The concluding segment of the activity involved the 'Confessio Peccati' before the Statue of the Black Nazarene. This solemn moment was led by Fr. Rufino Cescon, Jr., Rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo. As participants gathered before the iconic statue, they engaged in a sacred ritual of confession, seeking spiritual renewal and reconciliation. Under the guidance of Fr. Cescon, Jr., the act of Confessio Peccati marked a poignant conclusion to Day 1 of the conference, fostering a sense of repentance and grace among the faithful.