Filipino community in Amman celebrates Christmas with fervou...| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 04 December 2022 04:42 GMT

Filipino community in Amman celebrates Christmas with fervour

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — Spreading the Christmas spirit, the choir sang: 'Hark! The herald angels sing', and the faithful joined the ensemble in a packed church. Amid the brightly lit candles and an illuminating Christmas tree next to the nativity scene, prayers echoed through the parish.

Hailing from the Philippines, the bastion of Catholic faith in Asia, and braving a chilly rain on Sunday night, more than 500 faithful, mostly domestic workers, flocked to the St Joseph Church, also known as the Rainbow Church, to celebrate the Christmas mass.

And for those who were left behind at work, the church offered a live streaming of the Christmas mass.

Leading the mass, Fr Gerald Metal, chaplain of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Jordan, invoked the biblical story of Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay. Drawing a parallel to the migrant community, the priest urged the congregation to cling to their faith despite difficulties.

With prayers for Jordan, the Royal family, the Philippines, which is reeling from a devastating typhoon, and for world peace, the Christmas mass progressed with the choir belting out well-loved carol songs intermittently.

In her Christmas message,Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Junever M. Mahilum-West called on fellow citizens to remember Jordan in their prayers as they enjoy 'a good living' in the Kingdom.

'Despite scarce resources, the Kingdom is rich in its bountiful hospitality; it opened its doors to thousands of refugees. Let's pray for Jordan, its leadership and the very hospitable Jordanians,' she said.

The ambassador also had a word of cheer to the domestic workers, emphasising that they should not look down on their jobs.

'You are providing a valuable service, a meaningful service and you contribute a lot to the wellbeing of the household.'

There are an estimated 26,000 to 28,000 Filipino nationals presently living and working in Jordan, according to the Philippine embassy estimates.

For Chona Castro Verde, who has been working in Jordan for the past 18 years, attending the Christmas mass is a must do.

'It's an occasion of joy. I am alone here, and this is a chance to meet with friends. After the mass, I will go home and talk to my family via video chats,' she said.

Maiicel Damicano was content that she completed the nine days of special prayers or Novena prior to Christmas day.

'It's a blessed occasion, I called my family today, I prayed for them, prayed for myself and for my employer,' she said.

As the mass ended, the community gathered around the church courtyard enjoying traditional porridge and ginger tea; the chilly weather failed to hamper the festive mood.


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