The Diocese of Balanga in Bataan will launch a missionary boat in March to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
“Our missionary boat will go on a pilgrimage in the diocese after our thanksgiving holy mass on March 21 in celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the country,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos.
Santos said the boat is particularly significant to the diocese because the province is known as a fishing town.
“We choose the boat because Bataan is known as a fishing and farming province. Now, we have many local and national ports and pier here in Bataan,” the bishop said.
“We commemorate the 500 years of Christianity with our missionary boat as we received our faith from Spanish missionaries who came to us from Acapulco, Mexico,” he added.
The prelate said, Bataan is also celebrating the 40th year (Feb 21, 1981) anniversary of the visit of then Pope John Paul II in Morong, Bataan to the so-called boat people.
“We have just inaugurated a church in Hermosa, Bataan in honor of St. John Paul II’s visit to the refugees who found a home then in the province,” Santos said as he called on the faithful “to follow the example of St. John Paul II’ genuine love and concern for others.”