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Monday a Special Non-Working Holiday in Zambo City as Catholics Celebrate Diocese's Centennial

MALACANANG has declared Monday, April 12, a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga City to enable local Roman Catholics to celebrate appropriately their archdiocese’s centennial.

The announcement was made by City Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday, Saturday, while guesting in Church-sponsored activities that kicked off the anniversary’s four-day celebration.

Yesterday morning, Archbishop Romulo Valles, D.D. opened the Agro Fair at the Centro Pastoral grounds after blessing the various booths of the parishes and Church organizations. In the evening, the archbishop formally declared the start of the 3-day “fonda”, also at the Centro Pastoral.

In his homily during a concelebrated holy mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday afternoon, Archbishop Valles urged the city’s Catholics to “treasure our faith (and) show it in our behavior”. He said it is significant that the centenary is observed during the start of Easter, such that “the risen Lord is within our midst today” to inspire the celebration. He said the active participation of the faithful in the celebration is a manifestation of their strong faith and presence of Christ amongst the local Church community.

He paid tribute to the Spanish Jesuit missionaries who came to Zamboanga in the 1500’s to propagate the Roman Catholic religion. He said they “changed everything” when they gifted the local people with the “joy of the faith” and “membership in the Church”. He said the Catholic faith has transformed local citizens into being Christ-like and as such they have been the “moving force and spirit” in the development of the city even as they practice Christian virtues like tolerance, love, and respect for others, particularly residents professing other religions.

A torch parade participated in by parish organizations and schools followed the mass service. It took off from the cathedral and ended at the Centro Pastoral, where the fonda opened with various organizations contributing entertainment numbers.

In his speech at the fonda program, Mayor Lobregat said “Zamboanguenos are very proud of their rich and colorful history” and urged them to “look forward to the future with confidence”. He expressed concern over the current spate of criminalities in the city and asked people to pray for the safe and early release of long-time resident Charlie Reith, who was kidnapped from his house in Patalon barangay last Sunday, April 3.

The centennial theme is “Remembering the Past with Gratitude, Living the Present in Communion, Facing the Future with Renewed Spirit”.

On Monday, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Joseph Edward Adam, Cardinals Rosales and Vidal, and more than 40 Archbishops and Bishops from all over the country will say a pontifical mass as highlight of the celebration. It will be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral at 9 AM.

 

 
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