by Margaux Salcedo
Filipinos rejoiced as Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle held his first Sunday mass in Rome with Filipino OFWs.
The mass was held at Santa Pudenziana, also known as Sentro Filippino, which is the designated Pastoral Care Center (Missio Cum Cura Animarum) for Filipinos in Rome.
Santa Pudenziana has its own Filipino clergy. This is also where the Simbang Gabi masses are held (although last December 2019, for the first time, the first Simbang Gabi was held at St. Peter's Basilica, officiated by the Pope himself) for Filipinos in Rome.
Filipinos were overjoyed to be with the inspiring Cardinal, who began his homily in Tagalog (Filipino) by complimenting how beautiful everyone looked, to the delight of everyone (see video) :"Mga minamahal na kapatid sa pananampalataya ... ang gaganda ninyo! Ang kikisig nitong mga kalalakihan! Ganyan din ba kayo kapag Lunes, Martes, Miyerkules? (Brothers and sisters in Christ ... you are all so beautiful! The gentlemen look very dapper! Are you also like this when it is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday?)"
But Cardinal Tagle was quick to bring attention back to the Lord, saying when we are before the Lord, we must always bring our best:
"Pero para sa Panginoon, all the best ang ating dala-dala, at lalo na pag araw ng Linggo dahil ipinagdiriwang natin ang tagumpay ng Panginoong Hesukristo laban sa kamatayan." (But when it is for the Lord, we must always bring our best, especially when it is Sunday because on this day we celebrate the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over death.)
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle also reminded everyone to be faithful to God’s commandments, emphasizing that these “are not meant to burden upon us, but to guide us in our relationship with Him and with others”.
He also gave this insight: “Obeying God’s commandments shows that we are committed to him. But in the first place, his giving us the commandments shows his commitment towards us.”
FR. GREGORY GASTON APPOINTED COORDINATOR FOR PASTORAL CARE OF OFWS
It was also a notable mass wherein the appointment of Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston by Italian bishops as the new coordinator for the pastoral care of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Italy was announced.
With this appointment, Fr. Gaston will now head Sentro Filippino, which coordinates around 50 to 60 masses for Filipino OFWs in Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Bicolano as well as English in different parishes, convents and chapels every Sunday.
Fr. Gaston has been rector of the Coleggio Filippino. He was also present and thanked Cardinal Tagle at his first mass as Prefect of Propaganda Fide at the Coleggio Filippino on February 11 (watch: https://www.dominusest.ph/post/cardinal-tagle-s-1st-mass-as-prefect-of-propaganda-fide).
Fr. Gaston succeeds Fr. Paulino Bumanglag SVD.
Video: Noli Yceman Griego
Photos: Marlon S. Landicho