2. Role of Communities
- The dioceses and parishes where we live or celebrate Masses and other activities abroad are always grateful for our presence and efforts. In Canon Law they are tasked to care for the migrants, along with the other residents in their territories. For this reason, Filipino lay leaders and Filipino chaplains always need to coordinate with the parish priest. (EM 74)
- To formalize your activities, please ask the parish priest (or the diocesan priest in charge of migrants, if you celebrate in a chapel run by religious Congregations) of their requirements, which could include:
- an official letter requesting for recognition
- Constitution and By-Laws
- elected officers or coordinators
- updated financial report
- a minimum number of members and actual Mass goers (or at least a core group to coordinate activities)
- that the Masses are open to all Filipinos who wish to join (rather than exclusive for a specific group) and that there is no other Mass for Filipinos nearby
- If you lack any of the above, please do not worry. Ask your Filipino chaplain to help you, so that you could complete them little by little. Please submit a copy of the documents to your Filipino Chaplain and to your local parish priest.
- Groups maintain their own spirituality, officers, finances, activities, etc. But when it comes to the Mass, they should celebrate together, instead of separately.
- This unity when we all come together for Mass is a fruit of the Eucharist that we celebrate.
- This way more Priests could be available to reach out to Filipinos in other cities that still do not have Filipino Masses.
- And also this way, the priests can not also hear confessions, hold recollections and offer many other means of formation, aside from celebrating the Mass.
- When inviting a priest to celebrate Mass, kindly inform him as well of the name and celphone of your local parish priest, and of the priest in charge of Migrants in the diocese.
- Officers have special missions in the community.
- Just like any other Christian, they strive to strengthen their life of prayer, receiving God’s grace in the Sacraments.
- They are to study the Catechism well, and guide other members to do the same. As reference, they may use the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, familiarizing themselves especially with its Appendix.
- They are true servant leaders, instruments of unity among the members and with other communities, be they religious, civic or even of other faiths.
- They encourage all community members to have the special missionary role of reaching out to our kababayans who might not yet be in touch with the Church in their area.
Reference: “EM” = Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi (The Love of Christ Towards Migrants, an Instruction by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Vatican City, 2004)