On Saturday 10th September a Mass was celebrated by the Bishop at the Cathedral, in honour of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Patron Saint of the Philippines, attended by large numbers of Filipinos from across the Diocese. The Bishop was joined by Fr. Claro are Fr. Richard Magararu SMM, Fr. Nelson Cabanero SMM, Deacon Kim Cabatana and Deacon Andrew Philpott.
Part of the Bishop’s homily said, “If the world hates you Jesus said in the Gospel remember that it hated me before you. I’ve never been to the Philippines, but I have admiration for your Filipino culture. I have to overlook politics, Bongbong Marcos and all that. What I mean is that warm and sweet Filipino generosity, respectfulness and reliability that surely comes from the blending of your Catholic faith with your native humanity. Listen again to St. Paul in that 2ndR: the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. St. Lorenzo teaches us that Jesus Christ must be the centre of our lives. He is the Way to happiness and so we must keep the Faith, even under pressure.
So take care in Britain’s seductive secular culture to protect your Catholic Faith. Find time each day to pray. Love going to Sunday Mass. Support your parish and develop a friendship with Jesus in your prayer. In this Mass, today, we pray for the Filipino peoples, for family and friends back home and abroad, and for those who live here on the other side of the world. We pray especially for those who are beloved to us as members of our Diocese of Portsmouth. Indeed, let us ask St. Lorenzo Ruiz, a migrant and a missionary, to help us always to be ready to share the joy of the Gospel with those we meet. Salamat sa pakikinig.”
A reception was held in the Discovery Centre after the mass.