"Baptism is the beginning of a journey of faith". Parents, who raise their children in proper upbringing, food, education, good manners, are also called to cultivate the gift of faith "and train them to unite in prayer and the life of the Christian community": said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in a Mass celebrated yesterday, April 12, in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome, during which he administered the sacrament on two Filipino toddlers, a boy and a girl.
The Prefect of Propaganda Fide reminded parents of the profound meaning of the sacrament of Baptism, and lamented how some people are more focused on the gifts or the “party” after baptism. Cardinal Tagle also wanted to address the godfathers and godmothers of the baptized: "there is more to being godparents than just giving cash gifts to their godchildren. You do not become a good godfather and godmother with such a gift. The role of godparents is to help the parents in raising their children in faith".
Due to health protocol, only a limited number of persons were accommodated inside the basilica, organized by the Filipino chaplaincy in Rome. To reach out to more faithful, the Mass was streamed on Facebook and a live telecast was shown in the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana, the national church of Filipinos in Rome. More than 150,000 Filipinos are spread all over Italy, most of them are in the cities of Rome and Milan.
Sunday’s Mass was part of the celebration for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines of the Filipino chaplaincy in Rome (1521-2021).
The "Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy" (Chaplaincy of the Philippine Center) is a reality that provides social and pastoral assistance to Filipino migrants and their families. Reference point for the 63 Filipino Catholic communities of the diocese of Rome (with about 47 thousand members), it is based in the basilica of Santa Pudenziana, in the Monti district, since 1991. Among the objectives of the Center are: spiritual formation; participation in the activities of local parishes; the strengthening of Philippine values and cultural heritage; the promotion of sporting and socio-cultural activities. The Chaplaincy works through five different commissions, each of which deals with a specific task: Worship; Education; Socio-Cultural Action; Health and Sports; Temporalities and Finance; Youth and Family.