Cotabato’s ‘March of Saints’ to replace Halloween

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COTABATO City, Oct. 9, 2014—The Archdiocese of Cotabato has decided to recapture the essence of “Undas” by encouraging its parishes to organize wholesome activities that will highlight the lives and virtues of Catholic saints, replacing the popular Halloween practices.

Several parishes are promoting the ‘March of Saints’ practice—having children dressed up as saints and martyrs during Halloween—instead of the usual scary costumes. (Photo: Carlos Oda)

Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo told Church-run Radyo Veritas in a recent interview that they will be coming out with a “March of the Saints” shortly before November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively, when Catholics honor the souls in heaven (Church triumphant), and pray for the souls in purgatory (Church penitent).

It is a values-oriented program which, the prelate explained, aims to do away with the Western-influenced tradition of scary pranks and bizarre costumes many Filipinos are used to seeing during Halloween with its focus on the “paranormal” and reemphasize the message of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Bagaforo expresses hope that his archdiocese’s lead will be taken up by other episcopal sees.

The bishop shared it will inspire the lay faithful, especially the youth, to learn from and emulate the examples of the Church’s “super heroes” whose sanctity has earned them the privilege of beatific vision.

According to Bagaforo, this March of the Saints is one way the Cotabato Archdiocese takes part in the celebration of the “Year of the Laity” before it draws to a close.

This Year of the Laity, with its constant reminder that Christians are “Called to be Saints and Send Forth As Heroes”, is due to end in November.

It will be followed by the “Year of the Poor”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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