Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle baptized children in Rome and reminded parents of the deeper meaning of the sacrament, “which is at times reduced to custom”.
During April 12 Thanksgiving Mass, he administered the sacrament on two Filipino toddlers — a boy and a girl — at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
In his homily, the prefect of the Propaganda Fide told parents that baptism is the beginning of a journey of faith.
“To the parents of the baptized, raise your children in proper upbringing, food, education, good manners and faith,” Tagle said. “Train them to unite in prayer and the life of the Christian community.”
The cardinal lamented how some people are more focused on the gifts or the “party” after baptism.
Tagle also said there is more to being godparents than just giving “pakimkim” (cash gifts) to their godchildren.
“You don’t become a good godfather and godmother with such a gift,” he said. “The depth of faith is not measured by the size of celebration.”
“The role of godparents is to help the parents in raising their children in faith,” Tagle added.
Sunday’s Mass was part of the celebration for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines of the Filipino chaplaincy in Rome.
Due to health protocol, only a limited number of persons were accommodated inside the basilica.
And to reach out to more faithful, the Mass was streamed on Facebook and a live telecast was shown in the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana, the national church of Filipinos in Rome.
More than 150,000 Filipinos are spread all over Italy, most of them are in the cities of Rome and Milan.