Visita Iglesia reminds us of our Christian mission – priest

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IEC Visita Iglesia participants walk towards the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral  (Photo by: Dominic Barrios)

IEC Visita Iglesia participants walk towards the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
(Photo by: Dominic Barrios)

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 – A missionary delegate was reminded of our Catholic mission in his Visita Iglesia experience.

Fr. Thomas Gomez, a Bangladeshi missionary to Canada shared his reflection on the Visita Iglesia, comparing the ‘way delegates walk toward the churches taking different routes’ to how God ‘sends us to mission in different ways.’

He also notes that they stride on different paths but towards one church just like how we have different mission, all leading to the path towards the Kingdom of Heaven.

“All roads go to the church and all the roads from the church sent us to the mission – we are walking to the church now just [like how] the Lord sends us to the mission in different ways,” he said in an interview with CBCP News.

“It can be a family mission, priestly or religious life, and social work mission. God loves us [and] He has chosen us – chosen us to the mission,” he added.

Both IEC delegates and non-IEC delegates walk together en route to the Visita Iglesia participating churches (Photo by: Johann Mangusad)

Both IEC delegates and non-IEC delegates walk together en route to the Visita Iglesia participating churches (Photo by: Johann Mangusad)

 

Faith for All

The International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Visita Iglesia was an open-to-all activity where even non-IEC delegates can join the pilgrims and delegates.

Each group visited four of the seven participating churches.  The delegates were shuttled by IEC buses and dropped off on one point and from there they walk their way to the other churches included in the itinerary.

“The Visita Iglesia experience was even more powerful because it was open to all. It was all the more welcoming and the local parishioners were gleeful,” Michael Laxina, a participant recounted.

“We had communal prayer and it felt like a ‘global Visita Iglesia’ because of the International delegates,” he added.

The participants were also given a glimpse on how Filipinos practice the Catholic Faith and this Visita Iglesia delivered a message of unity in the same faith.

 

Experiencing the Filipino faith

“Each country, even though the faith is [the] same, the practice is different. Here, the people are more church going, for some – even though they are poor they are rich in heart – they want to become richer and so they go to the church,” Fr. Thomas said.

“Now we are practicing here all together, we are journeying with the Lord, I think now we are living the same faith and the same way of faith,” he added.

Cebu is wonderful!” Fr. Gomez also noted.

Seven of the churches visited in this walking pilgrimage were the: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Escario, Asilo de la Medalla Milagrosa, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Sacred Heart Parish in Jokosalem, the Santo Rosario Parish, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. (Chrixy Paguirigan / CBCP News with Reports from Berna Manipon)

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