LEGAZPI City, Nov. 26, 2013—The Diocese embraced into the fold of Roman Catholic faith more than a hundred unbaptized adults and children several times as much, blessed the poor scattered in the different parishes and gathered the faithful at the Mother Church during the Triduum of Faith Pilgrimages on November 21 to 23, Diocese Vice-Chancellor-Secretary Fr. Joseph A. Salando said.
On time for the closing of the Year of the Faith, the three-day religious activity started with the Pilgrimage to the Church of Baptism where Bishop Joel Zamudio Baylon asked the faithful to retrace their roots as Roman Catholics, he said.
“The Bishop invited the people to visit the church where they received baptism to renew their faith, thank the Lord for the gift of baptism and pray for the priest who baptized them and for their baptism sponsors,” Fr. Salando said.
With more emphasis laid on unbaptized adults, a mass baptism was given for free in the parishes, he said. Unbaptized children seven years old and above, and a number of people previously professing another religious faith were also baptized.
The Diocese encompasses 48 parishes. The parish in Ligao City alone baptized 152 individuals during the pilgrimage, six of whom are adults.
The second day of the threefold religious activity was the Pilgrimage to the Church of the Poor, Fr. Salando said. Parishes fed their less fortunate people, especially the young, through the assistance of charitable individuals and organizations in the Diocese.
Bong Aspe, a Bicolano philanthropist, who has been helping seminarians and street-children finish school, provided indigent people with free lunch during St. Gregory the Great Parish medical mission.
“Faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life,” he said.
The St. Rafael Parish in Legazpi also brought to its poor medical and dental mission, Fr. Salando said. It also fed them.
Parish priests reached out to the poor in coastal areas to beseech God’s grace by blessing their fishing boats and nets, he said. Some visited the farms that the grassroots till and prayed for their abundant crop-year. The Parish in Tabaco blessed pedicabs so that its drivers bring home more food and other family needs.
The Pilgrimage to the Mother Church, which is the Cathedral, concluded the three-day religious activity, where five priests were ordained at 4pm, the Vice-Chancellor-Secretary said. Seven will also be ordained to the diaconate on December 12.
The Diocese regards these new servants of God as His gifts in the Year of the Faith, he said. (Oliver Samson)