Mass baptism in cathedral of Manila to send message that the poor are welcome to receive the sacraments.
The archbishop of Manila in the Philippines is due to baptize 450 street children this coming week.
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle will welcome the kids into the Manila cathedral and give them the Church’s primary “sacrament of initiation.”
The children to be baptized are under the care of the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation (TNK), which assists street children. The foundation has been serving poor children, who often have to scavenge for food, developing programs aimed at restoring their dignity. Each year volunteers welcome a total of 1,500 children in 36 centers in Metro Manila and Bataan.
The foundation and the Archdiocese of Manila are collaborating in staging the mass baptism in part to send a message to the poor of the Philippines—that the sacraments are for all, not just those who are well off.
According to Asia News, many indigent in the Philippines have a mistaken notion that one must pay in order to receive the Church’s sacraments, even Baptism.
“They often think that there is a fee, although Sacraments are for free. Moreover, they don’t even know how and what to do,” TNK said in a statement.
Fr. Matthieu Dauchez, executive director of the foundation, and 10 other priests will assist Cardinal Tagle in the Baptism ceremony, which will take place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Over the past 21 years, TNK has helped more than 55,000 children, including a young man named Darwin Ramos, who died in 2012 at the age of 17 due to a serious degenerative disease. On August 28, his cause for beatification opened in the Diocese of Cubao.