By Kristine Gestano
An overwhelming number of attendees took part in the celebration of the first monthly Filipino Mass in the south east of Melbourne.
The mass, presided by Father Joselito Asis, was held at St Michael’s Parish in Berwick. Philippine Honorary Consul of Victoria Felix Pintado was present to support the occasion.
Seeing the growing number of Filipinos in the south east area prompted husband and wife Alvin and Lucille Patricio, both parishioners of St Michael’s Parish, to start a petition requesting the parish to accommodate the holding of a Filipino Mass every third Sunday of the month. Hundreds of signatures later and with the support of Parish Priest Father Jeff Kleynjans of St Michael’s Parish and the diocese, the dream became a reality.
Consul Pintado acknowledges how such an occasion strengthens the Filipino heritage. He also took notice of the many young people amongst the crowd and saw this as a very encouraging sign.
Catholic Fil-Aussies from other parts of Melbourne joined the mass celebration, ensuring that this first staging was warmly received and well-attended.
The Filipino Mass is held every third Sunday of the month, at 3:00 pm at St Michael’s Parish in Berwick.