Parish welcomes converts on Easter vigil
Some 17 catechumens entered the Catholic Church during the Easter vigil at the St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Pililla, Rizal. SMMP-PARISH SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY
By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
April 6, 2018
Seventeen catechumens were welcomed into the Catholic faith on Saturday evening during the celebration of Easter vigil at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in this town.
Parish priest Fr. Alfredo Meneses, Jr. expressed much joy during the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) traditionally held during the Easter vigil in remembrance of the new life received through Sacrament of Baptism.
“It is such a joy that there is a significant increase in baptisms this Easter vigil,” said the priest, who noted the last year saw 3 adult baptisms.
Significant increase in baptisms
Surprisingly, in recent years, the parish of Pililla’s town center has been receiving a number of adults baptisms, given the area is also home to other Christian denominations such as the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI-Aglipayans), Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) and other evangelical churches.
“Now we have 17, which we attribute to the encouragement given by the different lay organizations working together to build up the Church,” explained Meneses. He noted that organizations such as the Catechetical Ministry, the Divine Mercy Family Evangelization Promoters, and the Daughter of Our Mother of Peace paved the way for more converts to be baptized into the Catholic faith.
One with Jesus
In his reflection during the Easter vigil, Meneses stressed the importance of looking up to Jesus as the inspiration for all endeavors as believers. He said, “We look up to Jesus because he is our idol. He has shown us the importance of love in our lives. He has shown us how we are called to imitate Him and to become one with Him. It is only in being one with Jesus that we recognize the joy of Easter.”
Reminded in the days leading to the Paschal Triduum that Easter vigil is the “Mother of all Vigils,” thousands of parishioners and pilgrims came to the parish in recognition of the vigil as the climax of the celebration.
“We are called to remember that the blessings of Christ’s life do not end in His death. Most Catholics would end their Holy Week with the Passion but do not fulfill to the Resurrection. Therefore, it is important that the faithful should understand that Easter is the fulfillment of all the traditions and devotions done during the Holy week,” added the priest.
The Christian Initiation and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows is the third of four parts in the rite of the Easter vigil. In this year’s celebration, the catechumens were former members of the IFI, INC, and unbaptized persons from Catholic families.