The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has adjusted the schedule for the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the country because of the pandemic.
CBCP acting president Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said the scheduled events next year have been adjusted and made to extend until 2022. “The original schedule for the culmination of the celebration in April 2021 will now instead serve as the launching of the year-long celebration that will end in April 2022.”
“Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to change the schedule of our celebration of the 500 years of Christianity. So, it is now going to be a whole year celebration until 2022,” said David said in a CBCP News post.
The year-long celebration for the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines will begin on April 17, 2021, to commemorate the first Easter Sunday mass in the Philippines at Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte. The Diocese of Maasin will lead the celebration.
On April 14, 2021, the first Baptism in the Philippines will be commemorated. This celebration will be spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Meanwhile, the CBCP said, the International Mission Congress (IMC) and the Second National Mission Congress (NMC) were also moved to April 2022. The National Retreat for the Clergy which was set on August 4 to 6, 2021, has been also canceled. Instead of a retreat, the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on the Clergy decided to organize conferences on the Church’s history in the Philippines along with the parish.
“Each CBCP Commission will also have adjustments of their plans due to the crisis that we are going through,” David said.
In 2013, the CBCP began a nine-year spiritual journey in preparation for the celebration of the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the country.