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The battle of “The Gentle Warrior” continues

The noble Cause for the Beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ is currently pushed by the Order of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) in the Philippines.

willmannSome concrete moves started to fall into place though the Father Provincial cited that it was premature for the Jesuits to promote Fr. Willmann’s Cause in 2001 due to the need to ascertain the existence of a true and widespread “fama sanctitatis” (reputation of sanctity). However, this worthy initiative slowed down and only few major activities were geared to pursue the Cause from 2002 up to present.

And now, year 2011, the big challenge for all the Brother Knights has come. Some of these to unearth additional materials and gather testimonies that will help support the Cause of Fr. Willmann.

Meanwhile, a Resolution No. 25-2011 was approved on 19 May 2011 creating a National Executive Committee For the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ. The board decided to create their Working Committee Members and approved during their first meeting on 1 July 2011 at the KCFAPI building 3/F Social Hall, Intramuros, Manila.

With more than four decades of service and compassion for the Filipino people, Fr. Willmann unselfishly devoted his life in the country such that the Brother Knights now wishes to perpetuate his model life and virtues for all Filipino men to emulate.

Men at Work

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is headed by Former Chief Justice and KCFAPI Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr. together with CBCP Media and KoC Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio as Vice-Chairman of the board. Members are Canon Lawyer Msgr. Joselito Asis; Willmann Charities Chairman Justice Jose Reyes Jr.; KCFAPI President Gellermo Hernandez; Willmann Charities President Alon L.Tan; Luzon State Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap; Visayas State Deputy Rodrigo Sorongon; Mindanao State Deputy Balbino Fauni; KCFAPI Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia; and Willmann Charities Executive Director Roberto “Bobby” Cruz.

With the mission to provide overall, top-level supervision, guidance and coordination and to help establish a deep and widespread national awareness and appreciation of the life and works of Fr. Willmann, the following are the working committees:

One of the major task of the Willmann Charities Working Committee is to consolidate and to finalize the reports submitted to the NEC, this led by Fr. George Willmann Charities Inc. and KC Phil Foundation Inc. Executive Director Roberto “Bobby” Cruz. Composed of this group is Fr. Jeronimo Ma. J, Cruz; Carmelita S. Ruiz; Edwin B. Dawal; and Denise C. Solina.

The Publications Committee which is responsible for the origination, production, organization and continuos dissemination of relevant publication materials related to Fr. Willmann and his cause is headed by KCFAPI Executive Secretary Annie M. Nicholas. Members are Annalyn D. Malong; Juno V. Mancenido; Marrianne M. Malabanan; and Ma. Loreto S. Gregorio.

Chaired by KCFAPI Vice President for Finance Mary Magdalene G. Flores, the Ways and Means Committee on the Cause is responsible for the sourcing of the required funding for the implementation and realization of all activities for the furtherance of the Cause. Members of this group areRowena M. Diapolit; Ma. Kristianne G. Pascual; Christine B. Valencia; and Jocelyn B. Panadero.

In order to promote the Cause of Fr. Willmann through available means of social communication, Promotions Committee was created. KCFAPI Vice President for Fraternal Benefits Group Joseph P. Teodoro led the group and parts of this are Ronald T. Vargas; Rudolf T. Gerard M. Elizaga; Adrian B. Boston; and Michael F. Medina.

The Research and Documentation Committee led by KCFAPI Vice President for Actuarial and Business Development Angelito A. Bala is liable for the planning, organization and complete documentation of relevant interviews and testimonies to support the Cause. Members are Ira J. Tee; Celine B. Tabin; Greg E. Asis; and Gloria O. Alegre.

The Logistics Committee which provides the necessary logistical support to the NEC and to all other Working Committees and Support Groups for the Cause headed by KCFAPI Senior Manager for Corporate Audit Pedro P. Lubenia. The latter’s subordinate are John Enri B. Danganan; Gerard Joseph C. Francisco; Lady Romelie M. Gatdula; and Rowena P. Patricio.

Support Groups were also created which composed of LUZVIMINDA State Working Committee. Headed by their State Secretary, each jurisdiction (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao) is predisposed for the effective implementation for the Cause of Fr. Willmann in their respective areas.

Moreover, the Chairpersons of the different committees are also members of the KCFAPI Working Committee on the Cause headed by devoted KCFAPI Vice President for Information and BC Holders Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante. This committee cited they will ensure that all things are consistent with the objectives of the NEC.

Serve as the “consolidator,” the KCFAPI Working Committee ensures that a proper attention and monitoring will be given to all designated groups as they seriously, effectively, and efficiently pursue their defined share of responsibilities for the Cause of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ.

The actions taken by the Working Committees emphasize that the fight for a Cause of “The Gentle Warrior” still continues. Yen Ocampo

The Legacy of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ

By Msgr. Francisco G. Tantoco, Jr.

DSC_7007-300x205Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. considered the Knights of Columbus as a university where men’s character could be molded for the greater honor and glory of God.

I first met Father Willmann in 1948 at the hall of Regina building, Escolta,Manila.  I was only nine years old then and a grade four pupil at the Ateneo in Ermita,Manila. As a young boy, I had no idea the slightest that the man behind those gathering of Knights and their children inReginaBuildingwould later greatly influence my life, my mission, my vocation.

In 1962, we organized GOMBURZA Council 5310, Brixton Hill,Quezon City, and I became its Charter Grand Knight. Then came 1964 when Father Willmann asked me to serve as Executive Director of the Knights of Columbus Community Services, Inc. (KCCS) which was involved in economic upliftment of farmers and in the establishment of Credit Unions and Cooperatives. I had to resign from my five-year old lucrative job as result engineer at MERALCO in favor of this assignment with lesser compensation but with greater fulfillment.

In 1968 Father Willmann appointed me to the position of National Secretary of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, vice Antonio Giron, Sr. All along, during my incumbency as National Secretary and at the same time Executive Director of KCCS, Father Willmann served as my private tutor in my ecclesiastical studies relative to my on-and-off desire to become a priest.

Father Willmann,  being an open-minded person, permitted me  in  1969   to   take  a  special  course  on  Theology   at  the East Asian Pastoral Institute. This study, plus the previous personal, informal tutoring of Father Willmann and Bishop Godofredo Pedernal of the Diocese of Borongan, led to my ordination as subdeacon, deacon and finally as priest towards the closing part of 1969.

With my 29 years of close association with Father Willmann, I could say with candidness that he exemplified par excellence the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, as well as the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. Words, however, could never approximate the description of his saintly virtues.

Man of Detachment

Suffice it to say here that Father Willmann was a man of detachment. He  lived  a  truly  Spartan  life,  deprived  of  all  unnecessary  luxuries  and comforts, and yet keeping his whole being strong, active and disciplined in the service of God and humanity. He could have survived for days eating biscuits or peanuts alone. His clothes were few and worn-out. He had not bothered to change his worn-out socks and a pair of ancient leather shoes, one of which was punctured with a hole. His iron bed in La Ignaciana had no cushion nor foam on it but only a mat (“banig”). The only prized possession he always carried with him were an old leather briefcase, a pair of eye glasses (mounted on a cheap plastic frame), a wrist-watch of unknown brand, a rosary and a breviary. He always gave away gifts given to him.

Man of Humility

One outstanding virtue of Father Willmann was his humility. He abhorred all external display of wealth and power. He never claimed any credit nor sought any form of recognition for whatever good he had done   for   the   Church and   community.   In his own simple ways,  he exemplified humility at its purest form. This he wanted inculcated in the Knights of Columbus.

Man Open to Change

Father Willmann was one man who could read the signs of the times. Every five to ten years he would bring up the question of whether it was time for the K of C in thePhilippinesto be independent of its American parent.  He also conducted regular surveys of seminarians (future priests) in order to find out their objections to the K of C.  To him, the organization’s main objective was to lead men to God and if a better one came along, thanks be to God.

Man of Few Words

As a man of few words, Father Willmann would always prefer to work silently. He was not inclined to give long speeches. His talks were short but straight to the point and always focused on spirituality and on the plight of the poor, the underprivileged.

Man of Compassion

As a man of compassion, Father Willmann had always an open door to anyone wanting his help. He had always something to part with to a beggar, a sick person, a widow, a brother knight in distress, a poor priest. He conducted charitable and medical services (distributed food stuffs and medicines) to the squatters of Intramuros and other areas.

It was not surprising then why Father Willmann did not want the American traditional use of extravagant and expensive K of C 4th Degree uniform. For him, what is far more important is to bring more Knights of Columbus, regardless of their economic status, closer to God.

Man of Obedience & Respect for Ecclesiastical Authorities

As a man of obedience, Father Willmann had that inner grace of accepting, without slightest whimper, whatever admonition or instruction from ecclesiastical authority.

Father Willmann once learned that Bishop Cornelio De Wit of the Diocese of Antique had some dissatisfaction with the local Knights of Columbus. Father Willmann immediately asked me to personally visit the good bishop to find out what was the matter. To a large extent, the simple gesture of courtesy, respect and obedience of Father Willmann to the Catholic hierarchy solved most amicably many problems of bishops and priests with the local Knights.

Man of Hard Work up to the End

Old age did not deter Father Willmann from the performance of his duties. In spite of his Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and other ailments, he reported daily for work at the K of C headquarters in Intramuros,Manila.  Employees were daily witnesses of the silent sufferings of Father Willmann as he would enter the main door every morning, walking slowly, with hands trembling, towards his office.  Father Willmann never complained of his ailments. He kept the pain to himself.

Father Willmann went home to God on Sept. 14, 1977. No doubt his death was a great loss to our Church, our country, the Jesuit community and the Knights of Columbus organization. But he left us a legacy for all of us to cherish and live up to amidst our present times, punctuated with growing secularism, political unrest, greed, dishonesty, and deceit.  This legacy was the story of his own life.

A Lesson from Fr. George J. Willmann

By Past Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant

council-1000-DSC_6253-300x204I remember he used to tell me when I was Supreme Secretary that I should not worry so much about collecting the per capita tax from the councils in the Philippines. His argument was that a dollar would do so much more in the Philippines providing for the welfare of the unfortunate than it could in the United States. I believed that throughout my whole career I practiced and also preached about this lesson he taught me.

I first met Father Willmann in 1966 and was associated with him until his death in 1977. I believe Father Willmann displayed Christian virtues everyday of his life. His personal health surely caused him much discomfort but he never showed any sign of despair in this regard.

Father Willmann was very concerned and involved in family life, the poor and underprivileged, the sick and the handicapped, the orphans and the desolate, the prisoners and the oppressed, and the underprivileged youth, He led the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines in working to alleviate the distress and the situations that many people found themselves in.

It would be my impression that Father Willmann was firm but charitable in all his relations with the people he worked with. Evidence of this is the tremendous growth of the Order in the Philippines based so much on the foundation that he laid down when he was Philippine Deputy and the lessons of Charity, Unity and Fraternity that he inculcated in its members.

Father Willmann certainly was a man of compassion. All his works for the Knights of Columbus related to his belief that the Knights of Columbus would involve laymen in the life of the Church and in the needs of society.

Father Willmann was too humble to accept praise or recognition for his accomplishments. I doubt that he was fond of publicity for personal reasons.

I certainly consider Father Willmann possessing all the virtues, character and traits of a saintly person. Coming from New York he spent practically his whole life working in the Philippines with the needy. Even his sister who was a professed religious went to the Philippines to assist him in much of his works. After having died in New York, the fact that he chose to be buried in the Philippines showed his love for the people in that great land.

In all my contacts with him I always felt I was dealing with a saintly person.

Strength of Soul

(Lifted from the “Gentle Warrior”)

By Rev. James B. Reuter, S.J.

George Willmann did not want his Knights to be ascetical mystics. He did not want them to be monks of the desert. But he did want them to be good husbands, good fathers, good Catholic men. The spirituality that he promoted was extremely simple. As he said to Terry Barcelon, S.J.: “The Ten Commandments…Going to Mass on Sunday.  He wanted the men to be close to God, in a practical way.

 

DSC_6281George believed that the power of the Knights came from the spirit. He said this many times and in many ways: “There is more to the Knights of Columbus than money and finance.” He communicated this belief not only by what he said, but what he did, and by what he was. He himself was immersed in a thousand different activities. People wondered how he could do it. They wondered why he did not break down.  Other priests got burned out.

This happens to the zealous priest. A young Jesuit Priest came to work with Father Willmann just before the war, and during the Japanese Occupation—Ernest P. Hartnett, S.J. As a scholastic in regency, Hartnett was an inspiration to the students.  He worked night and day, and the students loved him.  But when the war was over, George learned that Father Hartnett was in the United States, at Monroe, in New YorkState.  Monroewas the home of the Jesuits in the New YorkProvincefor those who were mentally ill.  The friend of George told him: “Ernie has become a recluse.  He doesn’t want to be with people.  He does not come to meals with the community.  In fact, you rarely see him!

George was just as sensitive as Father Hartnett. He really loved the boys with whom he worked. He loved the poor. He was surrounded by squalor, and by abject poverty, and by suffering—just as much as Ernie was. He worked just as hard, and harder. Why did he not break down? Ernie had a tremendous sense of responsibility, but so did George! Whenever he became involved in work with people who needed him, Ernie carried the world on his shoulders—he felt responsible for everything. But so did George!…. What sustained George?

Saint Ignatius Loyola is always misquoted. He had an axiom, which editors print again and again, this way:

“Pray as if everything depended upon God…
But then work as if everything depended upon you

They print it that way, because that is an attitude, which they can understand. It is a good old pagan philosophy. “Pray as if God were going to help you, but never depend upon God. Do it yourself!”

Ignatius Loyola never said that. He was a soldier, a warrior, a leader of men – but he was also a mystic. What he said was:

“Pray as if everything depended on you
— knowing that of your own strength you can not do it –
But work as if everything depended upon God
— knowing that, if you do your best,
God will take care of the outcome.”

That is the way George worked. He prayed with all his heart, knowing that he could not possibly do it by himself, but then he worked with great good cheer, smiling, confident that God would take care of the outcome.

Some of the Saints are accused of using “God will provide” as an excuse for their lack of planning. George did not do that. He planned carefully. He estimated the odds before he went into battle, as the Gospel says we should do. But once he was engaged in battle, he was the laughing warrior. He was a joy to all the other Knights, because he was sure that God was on their side. “And if God is with you, who can be against you?”

The body of George grew thin with the years, and his bones grew brittle. His eyesight dimmed a little, and sometimes he had trouble hearing. But his spirit stayed strong until the end.

He was strong, with the strength of God.

A Glimpse on the Writings of Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ

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Concern for the Poor (Personal Files)

I asked to be relieved of my work in the Ateneo in order to help a little the ghetto work with the poor of Manila.  My reason for requesting this was the uneven distribution of spiritual attention to the hundreds of thousands of poor people in Manila.  For 2000 students at the Ateneo de Manila, they had about 30 Jesuits and Scholastics and many laymen.  Whereas a single parish in Tondo had only two or three priests for perhaps a hundred thousand parishioners.

“I felt that the best way to help the poor in Manila would be to work in a parish in a poor neighborhood.”

“Auspiciously, about that time, Archbishop O’Dougherty of Manila spontaneously asked me to start a new parish in Tondo and allocated 5000 square meters of church property in Tondo for this purpose.  That was about one kilometer from the old Tondo parish church.  When I broached the offer to my Jesuit Superior, he answered that it could not be accepted for lack of personnel.

*   *   *  

“And here [Sampaloc, Manila] it was that we experimented with Cooperatives, as an economic help for the poor.  The Knights of Columbus Cooperative Committee had printed some pamphlets on the subject.  The Government Cooperative Bureau liked these pamphlets so much that it asked permission to reprint them by the thousands.

“But this was only theory.  Sampaloc was a good testing ground to practice in.  As an example of a Producers’ Cooperative, we organized an embroidery Co-op for the women of the district.  In the field of marketing, we started a Co-op store where the poor could purchase their food and household commodities.

“In all these activities we felt we were making a little progress.  We couldn’t pretend that we had actually licked the busy Devil of these various districts.  But definitely he was no longer in the driver’s seat.  The boys and young men were more friendly to the priests.  The anti-clerical lies that ‘The Church doesn’t love the poor’ were stopped.  Attendance at Mass improved in the churches.  In the playgrounds, honesty, and fair play and clean living were taught.”

Caring for the Youth (Columbia Magazine – 1948)

“We were asked to promote the Catholic Youth Organization by His Grace the Archbishop of Manila Michael J. O’Dougherty.

Back in 1938, by far the greatest need was for a youth program.  Fifty thousand Catholic boys were being more and more exposed to the lawlessness and immorality typical of every busy port.  Manila had no Catholic orphanages, no neighborhood clubs.  The clergy, sadly undermanned, could do very little for these children, almost untouched as they were by any religious or spiritual influence.

Our plan was to form clubs in various key neighborhood, not unlike those of the C.Y.O. in many United States dioceses.

As a test ‘warm-up’, we started a few vacation basketball leagues.  On the Ateneo Court in Ermita and in the densely populated districts of Tondo and Sampaloc, referees’ whistles shrilled all summer long, while the ‘dead end’ kids played and scrambled to their hearts’ content.  It was a good beginning.

Then the Religious Instruction would begin.  Special sports privileges would be given to those attending the classes or Open Forum.  If possible, a reading room would be arranged, with books and pamphlets.  Perhaps also an indoor games room.  Swimming excursions were very popular.  Our boxing and other sports gradually became known in the neighborhood, and usually some financial assistance was received from generous older people.

Attendance at Sunday Mass was, of course, insisted upon.  Reception of the Sacraments, while strongly urged, was not compulsory, to prevent any possible sacrilegious participation in the holy rites.

Within a short time, clubs were started in six sections of the city – Intramuros, Trozo, Ermita, Ayala-Paco, Santa Ana and Sampaloc.  Facilities usually were not fancy.  In Ayala-Paco, however, we had first class bowling alleys and, with our rate of two games for a nickel, cheapest in the city, they attracted big crowds.

At Sampaloc we developed a fairly full-scale social center.  Here the playground was thronged daily with boys from the nearby slums.  In the ruins of the former “convento” (rectory) we conducted a small elementary school by day and an Adult Education class at night.  We had vocational classes, too, where auto-mechanics was taught to ambitious youngsters.

             Our work began to attract public attention.  The Honorable Eriberto Misa, Director of Philippine Prisons, wrote to us:

             “I have heard of the work of your organization and I congratulate you for what it is doing for the poor boys of the City….
             “If there were more organizations like yours, we would never have the problem of overcrowding in our prisons.”

A Triumph on the Spirituality of the Poor (Personal Letters)

“Our Council may well feel that they have assisted substantially in bringing countless hundreds and thousand of young men a little closer to Christ.  Without accomplishing anything very great in the eyes of the world we can sincerely say that we have given explicit religious instruction and spiritual counsels to very many—(spiritual works of mercy); and to a far larger number we have practiced corporal works of mercy in the form of wholesome supervised recreation under the banner of Christ.  These under-privileged people whom we have helped surely must feel a little closer to Christ’s Church when they see that Christ’s followers are thus interested in their spiritual and material welfare.”

Bravery During Japanese Time (Personal Files)

 “Then came April, 1942, the Fall of Bataan, and the unspeakable Death March  to  Camp  O’Donnell.    Spearheaded  by  our  valiant  even reckless K of C Brother Enrique Albert, later executed by the Japanese, we joined the underground to smuggle medicines and other supplies into the infamous prison camp.  Braving the explicit prohibition of the Jap military, many other Brother Knights of Columbus cooperated in this glorious work.

 “With Brother Albert as manager, we also started the K of C Rest House, just outside the stockade, for the broken hearted relatives of the victims, and for the broken bodied soldiers when they were finally released.  A new Ford station wagon, ‘borrowed’ (without permission, of course) from our Japanese conquerors, was an indispensable part of these Manila-Capas-Camp O’Donnell activities.”

 With the actual outbreak of the war, December 7, 1941, we had been forced to discontinue our boys’ work.   But it was apparent that the youth problem now was greater than ever.  His Diabolical Majesty was taking no vacation during the war.  Indeed, war conditions helped him.

 We decided to reopen our clubs, try to keep at least some of these boys  busy  with  sports  reading  and  catechism   and  study   clubs.    The Japanese military professed a policy, in those days, of allowing Catholic priests, as well as Protestant ministers, to continue spiritual activities.  But our foes were very suspicious; at first they restricted gatherings and made special trouble for me since I was an American (enemy) priest.

 “On one occasion a squad of Kempeitai (Jap Gestapo) raided our Ayala Club.  I was reading my Breviary in a corner, when suddenly, startled out of my quiet, I looked up to face a furious Kempei threatening me with a drawn revolver.  Together with the others, I was forced out on the basketball floor.  There was much questioning, demanding of identification papers, rough jiujitsu in which Jap soldiers were so adept.  I received an unusual amount of questioning.  Why, they repeated, should a priest be found in such a place?  For what good purpose was I in a sports club?  It must be a subversive gathering.  But we held our ground and finally were allowed to continue.

 “I was imprisoned in Los Baños concentration Camp early in July, 1944.  Bombing of Manila began in October of the same year.  Until the Liberation of Manila the following February, starvation and terror reigned over the city.   Untold thousands were slaughtered, or died in misery and destitution during those indescribable days.

 “Amidst such bloodshed and chaos the Knights were scattered to the four winds, and ceased to exist as an organized body.”       

Post-War Social Action (Personal Files)

“The Knights of Columbus set to work again to assist the Armed Forces with the traditional Columbian work of Soldier Service… Anyone not familiar with conditions in a war-ravaged city can hardly realize the difficulties of starting such an enterprise.

 “We started with TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS CAPITAL and NOTHING ELSE.  In fact, according to usual standards, we had less than nothing.  Not only were we lacking office supplies, furniture and kitchen and dining room equipment, but the city had no telephones or transportation, no gas or electric service, and in most places no regular water supply.

 “Yet thousands – hundreds of thousands – of American G.I.s’ were pouring into what was left of our city.  We must do something!

 “A chair and table here, a cup and saucer there, some rusty silverware and battered kitchen utensils salvaged from the ruins – and we opened.  A few small money gifts were followed in a day or so by the happy sight of a young Filipino Knight hauling in half a sack of local coffee to cheer up the tired soldiers.

 “This first locale, called the Espiritu Santo Club, was a bare parish hall on Rizal Avenue generously loaned by a zealous parish priest, Father Antonio Albrecht, S.V.D.  Opening in March, 1945 it was desperately lacking in equipment and facilities.  But it antedated even the first Red Cross canteen in Manila.  While the fighting was fiercest in the nearby- Ipo-Antipolo Mountains, this local Knights of Columbus club was about the only recreation place where the battle-worn soldiers could eat, sleep, rest or play – gratis and for nothing. The club functioned on a 24-hour basis, and, in its small way, was a bright gem in the K of C crown during those hectic days.

 “But greater assistance began to arrive.  From the Knights of Columbus  Headquarters  in new Haven and from  the  Bishops’ Relief Fund in Washington, generous gifts were received.  A local friend gave a considerable sum of money.  Another contributed superb building space in the best location in the city.

 “In this latter place we now organized a larger club, sponsored jointly by the N.C.C.S., the Knights of Columbus, and local friends. It proved a tremendous success; in its busiest month, from August to October, 1945, about 10,000 soldiers and sailors made use of its conveniences daily.”

 (Note: In the Pacific Stars and Stripes of August 28, 1969, it was recorded: “The USO has honored Fr. George J. Willmann, S.J. with the organization’s 25th Anniversary Award, for his dedicated service to the American servicemen for over two decades.”)

Achievement during Recovery Period (Personal Reports)

 “We received 35,000 dollars to pay for the Catholic College education of the orphaned children of Filipino Knights of Columbus, who died during the war, as members of the USAFFE.  These include the seven children of Manuel Colayco, nine children of Benito Soliven, and four children of Enrique Albert.

 “These scholarships include board, lodging, tuition, and most incidentals, at any college teaching Catholic Philosophy, either in the Philippines, in the United States, or elsewhere.  Carlos Colayco obtained such a grant for his studies at San Jose Seminary, for four years.  If the child is not a boarding student, his mother receives the equivalent, about 30 pesos a week for forty weeks.

 “We have organized the Columbian Farmers Aid Association, duly incorporated under the laws  of  the  Philippines.   Financial  help  for  this association, during recent years, has been received from the Asia Foundation.  The amount is 40,000 pesos, with the condition – duly fulfilled – that this sum be matched by a similar contribution from the Knights in the Philippines.

 “Through this organization, the Filipino Knights are urged to engage in Christian Social Reconstruction in their own regions.  Our Councils are doing this, with works of social amelioration, or works of charity.

“In the defensive work against Communism we have organized ten conferences inBaguio, three day seminar inCebu, and lectures throughout the nation.  We have written, edited and distributed 234,000 pamphlets.

 “Food from Catholic Relief Services is now being given to 850 families in Intramuros, and to 600 families in Tondo.

 “The Knights of Columbus are working in close cooperation with the U.S.O. – the United Service Organization.  I have been the Vice-Chairman of the U.S.O for the last few years.  And since the Chairman is now on leave in the United States, I am acting as the National Chairman.

 “Mayor Lacson has appointed me as Chairman of the Community Service Committee of the Manila Youth Welfare Council.  We have an office on the third floor of the City Hall, with – presently – three staff members.

 “I have been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Manila Junior Police.

 “Medicines, worth about 30,000 pesos, are obtained each year, and distributed to twenty free clinics.  Our Intramuros clinic treats 220 patients ever day.

 “I am the Adviser of APEPCOM – the Association of the Philippine Editors and Publishers of Comic Books.  This group publishes 1,500,000 comic books a month.  I took this post at the request of the Bishops.  We have drawn up a code, which is now being followed.

“For the last six years I have been the Vice President of the Free Medical Clinic – otherwise known as the Catholic Patronatos.  About three months ago, the founder and President, Doctor Augusto J.D. Cortes, was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage, which left him paralyzed.  He requested me to accept the Presidency of the Free Medical Clinics.  Four groups of Sisters work with great dedication in these clinics.  Over the last year, together with the Knights of Columbus, they have given medical relief to a total of 583,133 patients, with a total value of 64,371.09 pesos.