Southern California community commemorates 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines

Fr. Rodel Balagtas (center) with members of the Incarnation Church parish. | Photo courtesy of Incarnation Catholic Church

Parishioners of Incarnation Catholic Church in Glendale, California observed a Eucharistic celebration of 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines last Sunday, March 21.

The event started with praying the rosary. The image of Our Lady of Solitude of Porta Vaga, Patroness of Cavite, was placed at the altar while rosary was said. Immediately after completion of rosary prayers, a concelebrated mass followed. Most Reverend Alex Aclan was the main celebrant. Fr. Rodel Balagtas was the homilist.

Music Director Les M. Rangel, played the Jubilee theme song “Gifted to Give” while sacred movement/ prelude of mass was performed by Vessels of Mary Liturgical Dance Group, led by Jo Solomonson, who carried the image of Santo Nino De Cebu while the Cross was carried by Bernadette Blackshaw. The members who carried Philippine flags were: Loretta Neag, Mercy Macarina and Tess Domingo.

Christianity was brought to the Philippines in 1521 by Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan and claimed the land for King Philip of Spain. As Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Philippines mentioned in his address, “We realize and appreciate that we are GIFTED – gifted in faith from the Lord.”

The theme song’s lyrics emphasized a strong message of hope and love; that we are to continue to persevere and bring gospel to all, to evangelize and carry on with the mission of bringing Christ to others.

Bishop Alex Aclan led the church’s celebration on Sunday, March 21 alongside Fr. Rodel Balagtas. | Photo courtesy of Incarnation Catholic Church

This year’s monthly masses in Tagalog (third Sunday) will observe 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines with a devotion to the Blessed Mother before each Mass.

Next Mass will be on April 18th with Our Lady of Manaoag as lead image. She is the Patroness of Pangasinan. All are welcome to attend. Wearing mask and social distancing are observed. For more information, please call: Ben Aranda (818) 437-1406, May Mallari (323) 401-0886 or Incarnation Catholic Church office (818) 242-2579.

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