Filipinos’ local pilgrimage in New Jersey fetes 500 years of PH Catholicism
Filipinos in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey are in the midst of a year-long jubilee pilgrimage marking the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Catholicism in the Philippines.
A replica of Ferdinand Magellan’s cross – which he erected during the first Mass in the Philippines on March 31, 1521 — and statues of Santo Nino de Cebu and Our Lady of Manaoag are brought from parish to parish throughout the archdiocese each month.
Hundreds of Filipinos join the religious icons in the local pilgrimage, according to JerseyCatholic.org.
The cross and statues are currently at St. John the Evangelist Church in Bergenfield until the end of March.
Nearly 300 Filipinos attended a special Mass in Pilipino on Dec. 5, nearly twice the number of Catholics who worship at the parish’s monthly Pilipino Mass.
Participants in the devotion have special Pilgrim Passports that are stamped at different parishes each month.
When the pilgrimage concludes in March 2022, passports with at least 10 stamps will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win one of several major prizes.
Two winners get a trip to the Holy Land, one winner gets a visit to the Philippines, and two winners earn free shipping on numerous balikbayan boxes (care packages) they send to loved ones.
Jubilee organizer Fr. JM Manolo A. Punzalan, however, insists that The real reward for Filipinos is getting the chance to give thanks for their religion.
Father Manolo, is pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Mahwah, New Jersey and was recently named coordinator of the Filipino Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Newark.
He is planning a grand culmination Mass in May for the jubilee at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.
To request a Pilgrim Passport, inquire at one of the participating churches or contact Father Manolo at 973-570-6088 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to access the full program for the year-long 500th-anniversary celebration, which includes the schedule for when each church will host the Jubilee Cross.