By Christina Hermoso
Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has cited overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East as “outstanding faith witnesses.”
Santos, who is on a pastoral visit to OFWs in Amman, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon said, Filipino migrants continue to practice their faith and always find time to go to church.
“Our OFWs here in Jordan usually gather at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Church at 12 noon every Friday or at the Saint Joseph Church for the 11:30 a.m. Sunday mass,” said the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI).
“Holy mass are also held at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) office every Thursday at 7 p.m. with dinner together with the sheltered OFWs,” Santos said.
The prelate, in one of his holy masses at the POLO-OWWA office, encouraged the Filipino workers to “turn to Jesus when their journey becomes rough and rugged.”
“Whenever your journey is rough and rugged or whenever you are burdened, don’t forget the invitation of Jesus: ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11,28). Go first to Jesus. Turn to God and trust Him. Pray always to God. And remember that we are always praying for you,” Santos told the OFWs.
“We come to tell you that you are loved. Our Church cares for you. You are a blessing to all of us. With your sacrifices and services here in Jordan, the lives of your loved ones back home are much better and so much brighter. And with your dedication to your work and devotion to God, you have shown the Filipinos’ true character, that is, God fearing, honest, and hardworking. Thank you so much for being outstanding faith witnesses,” he added.
Santos is accompanied by Rev. Fr. Restituto Ogsimer, secretary of the CBCP-ECMI. They will be in Amman, Jordan until August 13; and in Beirut, Lebanon until August 20. There are about 26,000 to 28,000 migrant Filipino workers in Jordan and around 30,000 OFWs in Lebanon, many of them working as foreign domestic helpers.