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IFI Hong Kong Celebrates Church’s 111th Anniversary

| August 15, 2013
IFI Hong Kong members with Rev. Fr. Dwight Dela Torre

IFI Hong Kong members with Rev. Fr. Dwight Dela Torre

Members of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente celebrated their church’s 111th Anniversary with a series of sharings and conversations led by The Very Revd Eleuterio Revollido, SThD,  Dean of the Aglipay Central Theological Seminary in Urdaneta City, Philippines.  He talked on the different aspects of the theme, “The Church in the People’s Struggle for Justice & Peace.”

Fr. Revollido sharing his thoughts with the audiience.

Fr. Revollido sharing his thoughts with the audiience.

Fr. Revollido almost always began his many sharings [at KUC Space, on 9 Aug; Li Hall, on 10 Aug and  at the Mariner’s Club, on 11 Aug] and  even in his sermon at the Thanksgiving Service at 2PM at St. John’s Cathedral,   with his understanding of who God is — not somebody who was at a distance observing detachedly the goings on on earth, but one who is the God-with-us, one who engages the world by Incarnating himself in Jesus Christ.  For him, in the Incarnation  hinges our ministry as well as the nature of the church:  not the bishops nor priests; not the sacraments nor the institution but rather, as the “people of God” — which he considers Vatican II’s greatest contribution to ecclesiology or the understanding of nature and the work and mission of the church. As such, church people specially its leaders should not and cannot detach themselves from the “groaning of creation” – the plight of the masses and the threats to the environment and the ecology — but rather be engaged with the world.

Fr. Revollido with other guests during the celebration

Fr. Revollido with other guests during the celebration

Fr. Revollido also traced the history of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente as having been proclaimed on 3rd of August 1902 at a labour rally led by the Union Obrera  Democratica the first labour union in the Philippines and within  the wider context of the tumultuous and repressive years of the American colonialization of the Philippines when anti Filipino laws were passed or promulgated such as the Anti Sedition Law, The Brigandage Act the Reconcentration Act as well as the Anti Flag Law.

These are the contexts which shape his ministry and his own involvement in people’s organizations and struggles.

He mentioned about  the modern day martyrs of the IFI specially Frs. Jerry Aquino, Narciso Pico and William Tadena as well as Bishop Ramento and Benjamin Bayles  who tried to approximate in their lives the IFI faith and heritage.

Fr. Revollido  shared his personal experiences of harassments and acts of intimidation perpetrated by unknown armed men riding on motorcycles as early as 2006 when he was the Chairman of Bayan Pangasinan which opposed the construction of San Roque Dam resulting to the assassinations of both his Vice Chairman and General Secretary.

IFI Hong Kong members

IFI Hong Kong members

Early this year and in the middle of this year harassments and intimidations have come back. The latest of which a man was seen to have scaled the fence of the seminary and have entered the seminary grounds were it not for the alarm raised by persons who saw the incursion thus causing the person to run away. The worst was the presence of a rifle carrying person riding in tandem on a motorcycle parked in front of the seminary.

Despite these threats and intimidation against Fr. Revollido, he encouraged IFI migrants on their part, to be consistent with their faith and history and to struggle for justice and for their well being as well as the well being of the Filipino people.

The anniversary celebrations culminated with the Thanksgiving Service at 2PM on 11 August and the Cultural program following the Service.

The program was participated in by the SJC Filipino Fellowship who sang polyphonic the Igorot  song “Salidumay”, the Mindanao Federation (MinFed) which performed a modernized version of a Manobo Dance and the Likha Migrants’ Cultural Orgnization who did an Interpretative Dance of “Awit ng Mga Bayani”.  The IFI HK Fellowship Choir sang “O Ilaw” as well led in the comminity singing of the ‘Mabuhay Ka Iglesia Filipina.”

contributed by: Rev. Fr. Dwight Dela Torre, Filipino Chaplain, St. John’s Cathedral

Cultural performance during the celebration at St. Johns Cathedral

Cultural performance during the celebration at St. Johns Cathedral

Category: Announcements

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