Cebu (Agenzia Fides) - From the conclusion of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines on April 24th in Cebu, the Philippine Church receives new impetus for the mission of evangelization: "As we celebrate the conclusion of the Second National Missionary Congress and the celebration of the 500 years of the Gospel, let us remember that we have been given only one gift to pass on, we have been blessed only to be a blessing in turn to society and the world, like the Eucharistic Bread we have been taken, blessed and broken to feed a hungry world", said Msgr. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and President of the Philippine Bishops' Conference
According to the Bishop, "mission is not a task for individual believers, but for the whole church. We cannot grow as a church in mission without growing in communion and participation at the same time. Mission is not the work of individual missionaries or Missionary Order, but a mandate of the whole Church. A Church that is not engaged in mission is not a Church. This is one of the important lessons that we can all learn from this Congress and these celebrations".
The bishop informed the faithful on the occasion that the Holy See has allowed the Philippines to extend the granting of plenary indulgences to pilgrims visiting the Jubilee Churches until the end of December 2022.
Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, also addressed those present on behalf of Pope Francis: "At the end of this liturgy
we feel feelings of gratitude, thanks and deep appreciation for the gift of this year in which we celebrate the coming of the Gospel of Christ here in the Philippines 500 years ago", said the Archbishop. However, the 500 years of faith are not yet over. "We are preparing for a life that will never end, the supernatural life that we call the grace of God that permeates Filipino society and fills their culture with the richness that we see in so many different aspects, especially in the great love of the Filipino people for Saint Niño, the Child Jesus", the papal representative continued. .
"Let us remember to keep our faith steadfast, let us remember that the mission of the Church is to bring faith, the light of Christ, the life of God to other places and people in the world", he added. “This life - he continued - begins in our families. There are no missionaries more important than fathers and mothers, for they give their children not only the biological life but also the light and life of faith".
Spanish missionaries brought the Christian faith to the Philippines 500 years ago. Today the country has the largest Catholic population in Asia (80% of the 110 million inhabitants are Catholics) with 86 Catholic dioceses. (SD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 27/4/2022)