Collegio Filippino launches countdown for 60th anniversary

Collegio Filippino launches countdown for 60th anniversary

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, unveils the official logo of the 60th founding anniversary of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, Italy on May 3, 2020. SCREENSHOT/PCF

By CBCP News

May 3, 2020

Rome, Italy

The Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) on Sunday launched its 17-month countdown for another milestone of its foundation.

The PCF will turn 60 in 2021. Pope John XXIII, who later became a saint, blessed and inaugurated the facility on Oct. 7, 1961 to serve as “home in Rome” for Filipino diocesan priests pursuing further studies.

The launching was held during the “Collegio Day” that is usually celebrated every first Sunday of May, coinciding the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Traditionally, the annual event includes a procession and feast with the Filipino community but the strict quarantine due to Covid-19 crisis forced the collegio to celebrate privately.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, led the event after officiating the Mass at the PCF’s chapel.

The cardinal also spearheaded the unveiling of the official logo of the PCF’s 60th founding anniversary.

After 59 years of its establishment, the cardinal noted how the collegio has also become a home “to an increasing number of priests from other parts of the world”.

Fr. Gregory Gaston, PCF Rector, said that there are currently 50 priests residing at the collegio— 35 of them are Filipinos and 15 are of different nationalities.

As a pontifical institution, the collegio is directly under Pope Francis, through the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.

At the same time, it also reports directly to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, which created a body to administer the PCF.

The PCF has also been serving as the de facto Filipino Chaplaincy, with one office coordinating several Filipino clusters in Rome.

Every Sunday, about 50 to 60 Masses in Filipino, English, Ilocano, Cebuano, and Bicolano are held in different parishes with PCF priests assisting the “Sentro Filippino”.

The PCF priests also cater to the pastoral needs of OFWs in other European countries such as Switzerland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Spain, Norway and France.

Last February, the Italian bishops’ conference appointed Fr. Gaston as the coordinator for the pastoral care of OFWs in Italy.