Love the Poor Program: An Exemplary Capstone Project
Fr. Joel Pacquiao Agad and Chrisma Bangaoil, who participated in the second edition of the Program of Church Management (PCM) in Rome, developed and implemented with PCM’s support the Love the Poor Program, that feeds the poor both materially and spiritually. In fact, in many rural areas of the Diocese of Dipolog in the Philippines poor people work every day of the week to feed their families, including Sundays. This extreme material indigence is linked to spiritual poverty, as people are unable to access any form of spiritual nurturance or assistance.
Fr. Joel and Chrisma decided that “If the people can’t go to Church, we bring the Church to the people” and developed Love the Poor, which won first prize in the 2020 Capstone Projects Award. Capstone Projects are developed with the support of members of the faculty of the Program of Church Management, and are intended to help each participant address a particular problem related to his/her community of origin. Fr. Joel and Chrisma’s Love the Poor Program reaches out to every corner of the parish by bringing the Eucharist and the sacraments, by teaching children to make the sign of the cross and pray, and by feeding the poor. As Covid-19 protocols forbid public gatherings, Fr. Joel and Chrisma, along with all the volunteers, decided to organize street catechesis, because
“the Church cannot be asleep during a pandemic:
She needs to be all the more embracing, nurturing and available.”
Lately, the Philippines have not only been struck by the Covid-19 threat, but also by a deadly typhoon. Love the Poor is doing its best to help rebuild what was destroyed and bring hope to those who suffer, because, as Fr. Joel says,
“In our mission the Father has been our provider,
the Holy Spirit our strategist, and Jesus our model,
the blessed Virgin Mary, the saints and the angels our companions.”
This video gathers the testimony of many who benefitted from the project. The Program of Church Management is grateful to have had the occasion to help implementing this project, and hopes to inspire and support many similar projects within the Church in the future.