BU CITY – The Roman Catholic Church in Cebu on Tuesday welcomed 100 new members in baptismal rites for adults during the third day of Triduum leading to the 500th anniversary of the First Baptism in the country.
Prelates led by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones baptized the 100 adults in the presence of their parents and godparents at the National Shrine of the Our Lady of the Rule in Lapu-Lapu City.
Safe physical distance was maintained among churchgoers to avoid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) transmission.
Other church officials present in the solemn Christian ritual were Archbishop Jose Palma, Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, Bishop Antonio Rañola, Maasin Bishop Preciosio Cantillas and Talibon Bishop Daniel Patrick Parcon.
The mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, Junard Chan and its lone district congresswoman, Paz Radaza also graced the occasion.
Bishop Parcon, the assigned homilist in the mass for the ceremony, commended the catechumens (candidates for baptism) for embracing the Catholic faith, citing their age enough to understand the teachings of the Church.
“Mga hamtong na kamo (As you are already adults), you are old enough to listen to the words of God, you are old enough to understand the teachings of the Church and you are old enough to experience the beauty of the Holy Spirit entering into your life. We call it a gift because unworthy as we are, the love of God will be conferred to each one of you,” he said.
He told the 100 adults that they will receive a special gift upon baptism, saying “this holy baptism is the gateway to life in the spirit and the door which give access to the other sacraments”.
According to Catholic teachings, the seven sacraments of the church are baptism, confirmation, Eucharist or Holy Mass, penance or confession, anointing of the sick, marriage and holy orders or ordination of priests and bishops.
“My dear brothers and sisters, especially those who are going to be baptized today, you will never leave this church the same person. You will be a totally different person because today you will be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… You will never be the same because today you will become children of God,” Parcon said.
The 100 adults also received their sacrament of confirmation shortly after the baptismal rites.
The national shrine in Lapu-Lapu City where the baptism was held is among the 13 churches in the Archdiocese of Cebu declared as jubilee churches.
Last February, Pope Francis decreed to grant plenary indulgences to Filipinos visiting any of over 500 jubilee churches across the country to mark the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines on Wednesday (April14).
In the afternoon of Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Cebu conducted the third mobile procession of the miraculous image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu and the Jubilee Cross around north district of this city, the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and the town of Cordova. (PNA)