By Christina Hermoso
The Diocese of Borongan in Samar has begun its one-year countdown to the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez led the countdown via an online holy mass and the unveiling of the official logo and theme song for the celebration, which will be marked on March 17, 2021.
The event was supposed to be held on Homonhon Island, where Christianity first arrived in the predominantly Catholic Philippines 499 years ago, but was cancelled amid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 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. Let us continue with passion, enthusiasm, and courage in proclaiming our Catholic faith,” Varquez said in his homily at the mass held at the Nativity of Our Lady College Seminary chapel.
“Our faith pushed us to continue this celebration as we continue to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic,” Varquez said in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.
The prelate stressed that, in times of crisis such as this, it is faith that will keep our hopes alive.
“Faith is not only an accessory to life but an identity. It is the source of our strength as it gives us hope and endurance in times of crisis like what is happening in the world today. 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.