Manila, The Philippines
Day Two of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life's 2009 National Conference with over 250 priests, nuns and lay delegates from more than 68 dioceses began with back-to-back talks by Fr. Gregory Gaston, SThD on "Demography and the Myth of Overpopulation" and Fr. Jose Vidamor Yu, LRMS on "New Age: A Christless Spirituality". Fr. Gaston is a friend of Fr. Pavone who also served on the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome.
Auxiliary Bishop Francis Deleon from the Diocese of Antipolo celebrated Mass and read a congratulatory message from the Vatican.
The conference organizer said that while the conference was only expected to be national in scope, the presence of Priests for Life helped raise it to the international level.
A highlight of the day for PFL International Director Bob Lalonde was talking with Sr. Pilar Verzosa, RGS, Founder of the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation (a Human Life International affiliate) and a powerhouse who has actively led the pro-life movement in the Philippines for more than 35 years. Bob first met Sr. Pilar 20 years ago and has been inspired by her pro-life fervor ever since.
The afternoon sessions were presented by Dr. Angelita Aguirre on "The Gospel of Life and Reproductive Health"; Jess Abrera, Jr, on "Pornography and Violence in Mass Media"; and Rosa Linda Valenzona on the "Moral Dimensions of the 2010 Elections".
Bob was honored to be invited by Archbishop Aniceto, President of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, to join him for dinner to discuss the work of Priests for Life and the pastoral needs of the Philippines.
The day concluded with a plenary session and evening prayers.