A Send Off Mass for the Diocese of Novaliches ‘ delegates to the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) 2016 was celebrated by the Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Good Shepherd in Fairview Park, Quezon City last January 17, 2016 at 3:30 in the afternoon.
Bishop Tobias presented the delegates to the assembly after giving a background on the IEC. There were approximately 40 delegates who attended the Send Off Mass, although more people from the Diocese are actually expected to go to the IEC in Cebu. The delegates present were those who responded to the invitation of the Bishop last January 15, 2016 after the Orientation / Meeting of Non-Paying Delegates held at the Caritas Office and the text blast sent to parish priests immediately after the said meeting.
As of date, there are 55 listed IEC delegates from the Diocese of Novaliches. This number is a result of delegates who called the Cathedral Shrine of the Good Shepherd to have their names listed, those who submitted their names to be part of the Diocese’s Non-Paying Delegates, and those who called the Diocesan Media Office to confirm they will be going to the Send Off Mass. The Diocesan Media Office is expecting this list will still grow once more people call in to have their names enlisted. (The actual list is shown below.)
Sent Off On The Feast Of The Holy Child
It is customary for a diocese to have a Send Off Mass for its representatives to important national or international events of the Catholic Church. Meant to bless the delegation, the Send Off Mass serves to provide diocesan representatives some pointers-for-reflection in line with or to prepare them for the important event.
During the Send Off Mass for the IEC 2016 Delegates, the Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D.’s homily revolved around three points on the life of Jesus Christ as a child or teenager being the Feast of the Holy Child or the Sto. Nino.
The bishop delved on the importance of the religious and social upbringing of a child for his/her personal growth and development, the uniqueness of each child, and God’s mission for each child–summarizing it all by connecting the Sto. Nino to the Nazareno.
“Ang inyong mga anak ay hindi talaga sariling inyo, time will come na gagawin nila ang kanilang misyon at mawawala sila sa inyo,” he said. Then added, “Ang Sto. Nino hindi naging bata all the time. Lumaki din siya–naging Nazareno na may pasang krus. Huwag nating pag-ibahin, Siya ay iisang Diyos.”
(“Your children are not really yours, time will come they will fulfill their respective mission in life and will have to leave you for it,” he said. Then added, “The Sto. Nino did not remain a child. He grew up–he became the Black Nazarene who carries the cross. Let us not separate these images for it pertains to one God.”)
The Bishop then emphasized the need of open and constant communication in the family, which present technology ensures these days, and the uniqueness of each child–relevant reminders in line with the Philippine Church’s celebration of the Year of the Family.
More over, the bishop emphasized on the virtue of humility as shown by Jesus Christ: a powerful God who became man and obeyed his parents, Mary and Joseph, while growing up.
Capturing the essence of everything the Bishop said on the occasion of the Send Off Mass, the delegates were reminded of the virtue of humility when they participate in the IEC 2016 since this is necessary to attain one’s personal growth and development, to answer God’s mission for one’s life, and to achieve the full uniqueness of being a child of God.
The delegates were then blessed by the Bishop during the Final Blessing before a parade of devotees holding images of the Sto. Nino came inside the Cathedral during the Recessional. (SocComm Nova)