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Archdiocese of Newark Celebrates 500 Years of Filipino Christianity with Vibrant Festivities

Photos by Julio Eduardo Herrera/the Archdiocese of Newark:

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, following a year-long jubilee, hundreds of Filipino Catholics from throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties filled Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart for the Archdiocese of Newark’s final celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines on May 1.

 

The festivities began with a massive procession that highlighted some of the Philippines’ many faith traditions, including Simbang Gabi and Santacruzan. This procession was meant to embody the pageantry that is a hallmark of Filipino worship. As a result, many of the participants carried in intricately designed statues of religious figures, while others dressed in elaborate, vibrantly colored costumes and cultural attire. It all culminated in the observance of Flores de Mayo, a Filipino institution in which numerous people placed flowers on a large effigy of the Virgin Mary.

Once the procession concluded, Bishop Michael Saporito blessed those gathered during a joyful Mass. He also delivered an impassioned homily in which he urged everyone to embrace Jesus’ teachings communally rather than succumb to the secularism and “radical individuality” of today’s society.

“Faith, family, and community are essential to disciples of Jesus, and I know that the Filipino people know that so incredibly well,” Bishop Saporito said. “It has been 500 years of tradition, faith, and culture. So, together here, let us all… follow Christ with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds.”

Though the Archdiocese’s 500th anniversary celebration is over, local Filipino Catholics will have plenty more opportunities to honor their faith and culture through the recently relaunched archdiocesan Filipino Apostolate. In the coming months, the Apostolate plans on holding a picnic at Liberty State Park, guest speaker presentations, and other faith-based events. Those interested can learn more by visiting the Archdiocese of Newark Filipino Apostolate’s Facebook page.

The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes and 73 schools throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit www.rcan.org.

Video Highlights of Procession and Mass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr7GCVncjPE&t=1s

 

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