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Old man remembers 1937 congress

CEBU (Agencies): One of the old men of Manila, the former archbishop, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, is one of the remaining few who had the opportunity to be part of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress held in the city of Manila in 1937. He was a five-year old boy.

He reminisced on the writings of the Jesuit historian and scholar, Father Horacio dela Costa, saying that what he wrote during the late 1930s still holds true today—Filipinos have faith and love music.

The 83-year-old told CBCP News that Catholics across the country have their own devotions to their favorite saints, but while 80 to 90 per cent may not have received formal instruction in faith, they have a profound theology of touch, expressed through physical contact with sacred images, pointing out that this form of religiosity, common in 1937, still prevails today.

He was referring to the Filipino practice of touching sacred images whenever they visit churches.

In calling it a form of prayer, Cardinal Rosales said it also explains the manner in which they value feasts.

He added that while most people do not attend Mass regularly, sometimes due to geographical location, they do remain steadfast in their faith in a way that scholars will never be able to measure.

He added that contrary to what some people say, Church attendance has gone up in metropolitan areas and he praised the custom of celebrating the Eucharist in shopping malls, banks, offices and prisons.

Cardinal Rosales says that over the years, the message at every congress is clear and stresses the understanding that Jesus Christ is with everyone during Eucharistic celebrations wherever they are.

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