MANILA, Jan. 14, 2016— Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle led the baptism of 400 children at the Manila Cathedral on Saturday, advising families to help their children to grow closer to God.
He reminded the parents from the slums of Metro Manila that by asking for the Sacrament of Baptism, the gift of faith, they have a responsibility to help it deepen.
“May we not forget to guide them to Jesus. Introduce Jesus and teach them how He showed compassion for others especially the neglected and abandoned in society,” Tagle said
“Let us bring them closer to God and do not forbid them to come to Jesus,” he said. “On this day, we are reminded of the important role of faith.”
At one point, the cardinal also reminded the churchgoers of the role of godparents should play in the lives of their godchildren.
He stressed that their duty is not to give gifts but to support the parents on forming their child to the Catholic faith.
“Godparents are there to be the partners of the parents. We are celebrating not commerce or gifts, but the spiritual growth of a child,” Tagle added.
The children, whose ages ranged from two months to 13 years old, came from the slums of Tondo and Navotas fish port which was devastated by a huge fire last week.
They were all beneficiaries of the Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK) Foundation which has serving Manila’s poorest children since 1998.
Fr. Matthieu Dauchez, TNK Executive Director, said families living the slums are not only exposed to danger and threats but also lack regular access to the sacraments.
“We observed that poor families think that they cannot get access to Sacraments because of their poverty. they often think that there is a fee, although Sacraments are for free,” he said.
“We aim that changing that (wrong impression) by offering baptism to greatest number of children,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)