500 Years of Christianity and the Quincentennial Cross
CEBU CITY, Philippines – This April, Cebu will be celebrating the quincentenary arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Aside from the week-long activities and re-enactment of the First Baptism, another highlight for the 500 Years of Christianity (500 YOC) celebration is a hand-held commemorative cross called the ‘Quincentennial Cross’.
The Quincentennial Crosses will be given not only to key individuals behind the 500 YOC events but also to Cebu’s marginalized. They are part of the Bags of Hope project initiated by the non-profit organization Five Loaves and Two Fish – Cebu Inc. (FLTF-Cebu).
FLTF- Cebu president Ernesto ‘Ben’ Chua, in a recent press conference with the Archdiocese of Cebu, said at least 12 parishes situated in remote areas in the island province are expected to receive the Bags of Hope.
Each Bag of Hope contains five kilograms of rice, canned goods, cooking oil, noodles, coffee, snacks, and one Quincentennial Cross.
“We’re trying to give the joy of this celebration, the 500 Years of Christianity, to the (people in) far-flung areas,” said Chua.
The Quincentennial Cross, measuring 7-inch by 4-inch, is made from recycled palochina wood, which Chua said is in line with Pope Francis’ call for the care of nature.
At least 2,500 of these commemorative crosses were produced and designed with the help of experts from the University of the Philippines – Cebu FabLab.
The Quincentennial Crosses will also be blessed by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown during the Pontifical Mass for the reenactment of First Baptism this April 14.
Chua said they already identified 12 parishes in Cebu’s far-flung areas that will receive the Bags of Hope.
“Initially, our plan was only to visit five parishes. But we get overwhelming support from various sectors and organizations so we decided to visit seven more, so that’s 12 parishes,” explained Chua.
FLTF-Cebu’s first stop this April 18 will be Barangay Pamutan, a hinterland village in Cebu City, which is under the jurisdiction of the Mary Help of Christian Parish.
At least 100 recipients from Barangay Pamutan will be the first to get the Bags of Hope.
“This activity will span up to one year as we already planned to visit one parish per month,” Chua added.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is slated to launch the beginning of all activities related to 500 YOC this Easter Sunday, April 4. / rcg
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