Sunday, April 10, 2005

Impact at 39

The National Secretariat of Social Action (NASSA), which is the present Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, published Impact following the enthusiasm of the clergy who attended the Priests Institute of Social Action (PISA) held in Hong Kong in August of 1965.

Its maiden issue came shortly, if not indeed, simultaneously with the birth of NASSA in 1966, brandishing the euphoria of the social teachings of the Church that came trendy with the new perspectives of the Second Vatican Council.

It was the flag bearer of the National Congress for Rural Development which was organized by the Philippine Catholic Hierarchy in 1967. It became the official organ of the National Social Action and Economic Development Year, proclaimed by then President Ferdinand Marcos the following year.

After his stint as Executive Secretary of NASSA, Fr. Cornelius Breed, MHM, the Impact’s editor, could not contain the magazine which already had gained a life of it own as it tackled issues on land reform, rural development, cooperatives, and the concretizations of Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio not only in the Philippines but throughout East Asia. It withstood the Martial Law, and witnessed the Vietnam War to the finish. It saw the collapse of the USSR, the Berlin Wall and the splintering of communist and sundry ideologies.

Now, Impact is 39. It is still not too old, and not too weary, if you may, for a mission such as working for human transformation through education, social advocacy and evangelization.

This issue marks a new beginning for Impact as it treads into the new millennium of fresh challenges. Read on.

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