Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, has urged Catholics to help clergy minister to the Philippine capital's poor, especially internal migrants fleeing disasters and conflicts in their rural home communities. Tagle said Catholics should go beyond formal parish organizations and give help to "transients, the many poor, and victims of different calamities, natural or man-made calamities," during his homily at a Nov. 30 Mass to open the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons
. The cardinal heads one of the world's largest archdioceses with around 3.5 million Catholics in about 85 parishes. Many of the capital's residents, he pointed out, are migrants from the provinces. "What is the role of a city in the plan of God and how do you evangelize big cities and metropolitan areas where the original messages are from the rural areas?" Tagle challenged 3,000 lay leaders and parish workers. The cardinal stressed the need for lay Catholics to carry out bigger roles in evangelization. "We [clergy] are not the only ones who are called to spread the Good News," Tagle said. "I hope that in this year, you would help us priests and the religious on how to become more effective in spreading the Gospel," he said. The language of evangelization, Tagle stressed, needs to meet the needs of modern, sprawling cities. Tagle also called on the Basic Ecclesial Communities, and church organizations to continue promoting the vocations of priesthood and religious life. He said priests and religious are the "fruits" of evangelization within the families, in schools and through other people. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
has dedicated the year 2018 to the clergy and consecrated persons and lined up activities for "renewed servant-leaders for the new evangelization".