MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — It might be “unbelievable” to people in other countries, but a Catholic chapel inside a shopping mall and thousands of people attending Mass there have become a new norm among Filipinos.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, the incoming prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said evangelization can happen even in shopping centers, ucanews.org reported.
“Many (at the Vatican) cannot believe that in the Philippines there is a chapel in a mall,” he said during the celebration of the second of nine days of early morning Christmas Masses in the Philippines.
“They cannot believe that evangelization can happen in commercial centers,” added the prelate, who celebrated a Mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in a shopping mall in Manila on Dec. 17.
“They cannot believe that every first Friday there is a Mass in offices, banks,” he said.
“(People at the Vatican) probably want to understand why this is so,” added the cardinal, who Dec. 8 was named head of one the Vatican’s most influential offices.
“This is your fault,” Cardinal Tagle joked, drawing laughter from the faithful. He then appealed for prayers for his new church assignment.
“I ask for your prayers,” he said, adding that “everything is still unclear. … But when is life clear? It is not always clear.”
He said the observance of Advent by Catholics “is good because we have Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist all operating in the darkness of faith in the hope that the light will come.”
As head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Tagle will direct mission work in most areas of Africa, Asia and Oceania. The congregation is also tasked with “re-evangelizing” the old Christian world.
Church leaders across Asia have welcomed Cardinal Tagle’s appointment, describing it as a “blessing” not only for the Philippines but for the region.
“He can bring his wisdom to the work of evangelization,” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the outgoing papal nuncio to the Philippines, said Cardinal Tagle is “in a position to take care … of the evangelization of people.”
Bishop Salvador Lobo of Baruipur, India, said the appointment comes at the right time when the “propagation of faith … is taking place much more effectively” compared to other areas.
He said the church’s evangelization work, especially in Asia, will “stand out” and will be given more attention under the leadership of Cardinal Tagle.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103