The popular mission is a simple form of preaching the Gospel of Christ to summon all Christians to a more fervent practice of faith and calling them to repentance ‘for the kingdom of God is at hand’.
During the first week of April, the Institute of the Incarnate Word carried out a popular mission in the historic town of Kawit, Cavite. (Kawit, in Tagalog means ‘hook’). During Spanish Times, Kawit was called ‘Cavite El Viejo’, the place where the Christianity begun to spread to all parts of the province. Later, Jesuit missionaries began working in area, placing the whole town under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene. The Declaration of the Philippine Independence from Spain was declared in the same city by one of its residents. Now, we are trying to catch more men back to the fold of Christ and declare to them freedom from the slavery of sin especially in these turbulent times in the Philippines, whose leaders are trying to wipe out Catholicism from this blessed land.
The current parish priest, Father Andy Manaog, assigned us three subdivisions in Baranggay Toclong (which means ‘chapel’). We began the Mission Week with a Mass celebrated by the parish priest who sent the missionaries, asking God to ‘Make their words the echo of Christ’s voice, so that those who hear them may be drawn to obey the Gospel.’
Each day begins with a rosary procession followed by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The mornings were spent with the home visitations and receiving applications for Baptism and First Communion. Then the afternoons were spent with children and the youth mission, giving catechism and providing an environment for wholesome recreation. The sick were also visited and were given anointing and their confessions were heard.
Then, we gather once more with the Lady of Fatima to pray the Rosary while processing with her image. The procession ends in the chapel, where the Doctrines and Controversial topics were discussed. The celebration of the Holy Mass with the missionary sermon followed.
The people attended these missionary activities with great enthusiasm. There were people who lined up for confessions. One day was dedicated for children, and the chapel was filled with infants and toddlers while during the day for the sick, many of the the infirm came to ask for blessings. The mission day concluded with a festive fogón, enjoyed by both the missionaries and the crowd.
The mission concluded last Palm Sunday, April 9. Before the mass, 15 children and adults were baptized while during the Holy Mass, 30 youth and children received the Holy Communion for the first time.
We thank everyone who contributed to this popular mission. We pray that we could return there once more and shake the foundations of the earth again with a strong faith in Christ.