Filipinos in Rome join Philippines’ celebration of 500 Years of Christianity

The Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy (SPC) in Rome is in solidarity with the Philippines in celebrating the 500 Years of Christian Faith.

“Filipinos all over the world are commemorating the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines and we, the Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy under the Diocese of Rome would like to participate in this historical event,” according to the press release of SPC.

Fr. Ricky Gente, Chaplain of SPC, told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications that the Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy is a parish for Filipino migrants in the Diocese of Rome, and is based at the Basilica Sta. Prudenziana. Currently, he added, the active members of the chaplaincy are 54 communities spread all over the region of Lazio where Rome is a part.

As a parish, SPC is committed to the well-being of its members to live the Filipino ideals of being maka-Diyos, maka-Tao, maka-Pamilya, maka-Bayan and maka-Kalikasan. They also provide spiritual services to Filipinos such as baptism, marriage, confirmation and others.

Pope Francis will preside over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Saint Peter’s Basilica on March 14, 2021, at 10 a.m. (Rome time), which will be attended by only 100 people due to the COVID-19 restrictions, including Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and former archbishop of Manila, and Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope’s vicar for Rome.

Aside from the celebration of the Mass, the SPC has also prepared activities like catechism and information dissemination within the Eucharist, online triduum, ongoing activities of the youth such as Live Pure program, online liturgical Bible study and Love Rocks mid-year congress.

Filipino communities who will attend at St. Peter’s Square are encouraged to bring flags and are requested to observe health protocols by wearing a face mask and maintain social distancing. After the Mass, Pope Francis will deliver the Angelus and Filipinos will receive a special blessing from the Pope.

The 500 years of Christianity celebration according to Fr. Gente is also a thanksgiving of the faithful especially the Filipino migrants for the gift of faith.

“Ang pakay po ng selebrasyon ay pasasalamat sa Diyos sa kanyang biyaya, noon at magpasa hanggang ngayon. Nais naming magpasalamat sa Diyos sa mga biyaya niya, mula noon at hanggang sa ngayon, na buhay pa ang aming pananampalataya,” he said.

“Kahit gaano kahirap mamuhay na malayo sa ating mahal sa buhay at malayo sa bansa! Ang panampalataya ang nagbibigay kahulugan sa lahat ng aming nararanasan bilang migrant workers. Dahil dito, buhay ang aming pananampalataya, buhay din ang aming kalooban,” he added.

The Papal Mass will be live-streamed in the Philippines at 5 in the afternoon at the following channels of TV Maria: Sky Cable Channel 210, SatLite Channel 102, Destiny Cable Channel 96, Cablelink Channel 18, CIGNAL Channel 188, ABS CBN TV Plus Channel 29, GMA Affordabox Channel 21. It can also be viewed on the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications (https://web.facebook.com/RCAMAOC/). (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

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