By Ferdinand Patinio

HELP THE NEEDY. The Baclaran Church in Parañaque City is packed with Catholic faithful who attended the 7 a.m. Mass in this Nov. 2, 2022 photo. Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula called on the faithful to support the Catholic Church’s donation drive dubbed “Alay Kapwa 2024”. (PNA file photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – The Archdiocese of Manila appealed anew to the faithful to help the less fortunate in remembering the life and passion of Jesus Christ this Lenten season.

In a pastoral letter released on Friday, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula asked the faithful to support the Catholic Church’s donation drive dubbed “Alay Kapwa 2024”.

“The Church, through Alay Kapwa 2024, seeks to help us live out compassion by sharing our blessings with the needy. Alay Kapwa has long served as a channel for generosity to support our social services to the poor and marginalized, victims of calamities and disasters,” he said.

Advincula noted that churches in his archdiocese will be holding second collections in all Sunday Masses starting Feb. 18.

“The charitable donations raised during the second collection for the six Sundays of Lent (18 February 2024 to 24 March 2024) will be sent to Caritas Manila’s Damayan Program, our social service arm for relief assistance and humanitarian aid for our brothers and sisters in need,” he added.

Last year, the archdiocese reported that the donations collected helped provide food to some 10,000 persons.

“Through the Damayan Program, we helped feed more than 10,000 malnourished children/pregnant or lactating mothers and extended relief and rehabilitation assistance to urban poor families severely affected by the victims of natural and man-made disasters in 2023,” Advincula said.

Catholics around the world are observing the 40-day Lenten season which started on Feb. 14 (Ash Wednesday). (PNA)