Thousands of parishioners of the Diocese of Dumaguete joined the Holy Mass presided by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Most Reverend Gabrielle Giordano Caccia at the Dumaguete Cathedral during the first day of his pastoral visit to Negros Oriental, Monday.

Bishop Julito B. Cortes and Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo with his wife Atty. Cristine Cuisia-Remollo led local dignitaries, the clergy, members of the laity, the religious and parishioners in celebrating the arrival of Most Reverend Caccia, who is also the Ambassador of the Vatican to the Philippines and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

In his homily, Archbishop Caccia reminded the faithful why the Catholic Church is Apostolic: the church is built in the foundation of the 12 Apostles chosen by Jesus Christ as witnesses; the church pass on the teachings of the Apostles and the Church is guided by the successors of the Apostles through the unbroken line of Popes since Saint Peter (the first Pope) until his present day successor Pope Francis along with the Bishops in communion with Roman Church.

To underscore his point, Archbishop Caccia invokes Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Archbishop Caccia said that we are all called to receive Jesus Christ; to know him; to love him; to be loved by Him; but that we are also called to give Jesus Christ to others by passing the Gospel to the next generations.

He noted that in two years, the nation will celebrate the 500th year anniversary since the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.

Finally, the Papal Nuncio urges the faithful to rejoice being a Christian and to remain a true disciple of Jesus Christ in words, in thoughts and in deed.