Borongan diocese starts countdown to 2021 Jubilee
Bishop Crispin Varquez and Msgr. Lope Robredillo unveil the official logo of the Borongan diocese’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines March 17. ALREN BERONIO
By CBCP News
March 18, 2020
Borongan City, Eastern Samar
A Catholic diocese in central Philippines commemorated online the landing of the Christian faith on their island amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan led the simple celebration on March 17, while abiding by the precautions imposed by health authorities such as “social distancing”.
Highlighted with an online Mass, the event also marked the diocese’s one-year countdown to the 500th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
“In our preparation for the 500 years of Christianity, let us celebrate and give thanks. Let us celebrate with full of faith, hope and love,” Varquez said in his homily at the Nativity of Our Lady College Seminary chapel.
“Let us continue with passion, enthusiasm and courage in proclaiming our Catholic faith,” he said.
The gathering was supposed to be held on Homonhon Island, where Christianity first arrived in the predominantly Catholic Philippines 499 years ago.
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men first landed on the island when they reached the archipelago on March 17, 1521, which prefigured the birth of Christianity in the country.
“Our faith pushed us to continue this celebration as we continue to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic,” Varquez said.
The bishop stressed that the faith brought by Christian missionaries to the lives of the people of Eastern Samar “is not only an accessory to life but an identity”.
“Is is the source of our strength and is giving us hope and endurance in times of crisis like what is happening in the world today,” he said.
“This, if this faith is what we truly need in this time of pandemic, we must share to others, especially to people living in fear and are losing hope,” Varquez added.
The event also launched the official logo and theme song of the diocesan celebration of the 2021 Jubilee.