Filipino Catholics in Melbourne remember 500 years of Christianity

“In all the darkness and painful experience, there is always a way out because Christ came to give us life, a life in abundance. This is the good news in the morning of the resurrection, truly a gift from God.” This is the Easter Sunday message of Monsignor Joselito Asis, head of the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy of Melbourne (FCCM) on 4 April 2021 in a Holy Mass to celebrate the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines (1521-2021).

The Holy Mass was led by Scalabrini Father Provincial Delmar Silva, a Columbian priest who spent 4 years in the Philippines, and concelebrated by Monsignor Joselito Asis, head of the FCCM, and Father Alfred Yap of the St. Francis Catholic parish.

Scalabrini Australia has a focus on the achievement of excellence in the delivery of residential aged care. The FCCM, meanwhile, aims to look after the spiritual needs of Filipino Catholic migrants in Melbourne as well as to promote and preserve the traditions and practices of the Filipino Catholics like the devotion to Sto. Nino, Black Nazarene and the Mother of Perpetual Help.

In his homily, Father Silva spoke of the important mission of Filipino migrants, that is to spread the joy of their faith, wherever they may be. “I see a lot of similarities between Columbians and Filipinos. Our Christian faith, which we inherited from Spain, is probably the most precious gift we share in common,” he said.

From left: Fr Alfred Yap, Virginia Kalong, Deputy Consul General Anthony Mandap, Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo, Monsignor Joselito Asis and main celebrant Fr Delmar Silva.

Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo who was invited by Monsignor Asis to the special Eucharistic celebration quoted Pope Francis during a thanksgiving mass in Vatican for the 500th anniversary of Christianity among the Filipino people. “God’s love is evident in you as a people. We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayer. I want to thank you then, for the joy you bring to the whole world and to our Christian communities,” the Pope was quoted in his message.

At the start of the Holy Mass, ConGen Salcedo was assisted by Deputy Consul General Anthony Mandap helped unveil a poster to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. END

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