This year the Archdiocese of Caceres through the Office for Religious Movements (OREMOS) celebrated the Feast of Pentecost last June 7, 2019 at the St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church. The occasion was grand and joyful. For the lay faithful who flocked to the occasion, it was also a double celebration: an intimate fellowship among ecclesial communities/religious movements and the 2019th birth anniversary of the Catholic Church. Like in a festive social gathering and notwithstanding the intense summer heat, the lay faithful were all buoyed up with love, peace, renewed faith and unity strong in their belief that the Holy Spirit was present and alive in their midst. It was a day just like “2,018 years ago when Jesus breathed on them (apostles) and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” (John 20: 22-23)
Registration started at 8:00 am. Praise and Worship followed led by Bro Rene de la Cruz and Bro Mel Matias with the CRC-LLFCC Youth Ministry. The OREMOS Director, Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Juan B. Jarcia III welcomed the attendees warmly.
The feast was revitalized by the fiery, resounding declaration of faith of the two guest talkgivers who were once hardcore Protestants, now converted Catholics - Bro Noe Dura and Bro Jonathan Dura. They both shared their journey from being cast out of their Protestant communities to finally influencing their families and other pastors of the beauty, completeness and authenticity of the Catholic faith. Convincingly, they declared that there is divine justice in Catholicism by stating the gift of the Sacraments especially to the dying. In their previous faith, according to them, “when you commit sin, you immediately go to Hell”.
In closing, they both challenged the participants especially the youth to always invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to bring more souls to Jesus and to serve the church with a joyful heart.
Three youth sharers namely, Bro Oscar Estevez, Adonais Love; Bro Joven Teope, El Shaddai and Sis Catherine, Neo Catechumenal Way gave their testimonies on how they embraced the Catholic faith and how serving their communities until now gives them joy.
At 4:00 p.m., a Eucharistic Celebration was officiated by the Archbishop of Caceres, Most Rev. Rolando Octavus J. Tria Tirona, OCD,DD with OREMOS Director, Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Juan B. Jarcia III, Rev. Fr. Eric P. Bobis and Rev Fr. Daniel R. Vegas, concelebrants.
In his homily, the prelate reminded the attendees to always invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit who is alive in the church. There is freshness, divine energy and assured salvation if we always welcome the Holy Spirit in our hearts. He also urged everyone to have a personal devotion to Him.
The occasion registered a total number of 487 participants to wit; Adonai’s Love, 54; Neo Catechumenal Way, 70; Familia, 32; Families for Christ, 100; Women for Christ, 34; El Shaddai, 30; Our Lady of Penafrancia Healing Ministry, 16; Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Charismatic Community, 20 and CRC, 131.
This year’s Pentecost Feast rallied the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Reaching Out and Transcending Barriers in the Year of Pentecost”.
With Bro Mel Matias, CRC head elder at the helm, the festive occasion was emceed by Sis Biby Decena and Sis Aimee Lazaro.