Sunday, April 21, 2024

Last Supper’s Washing Of Feet A Humbling Experience


Last Supper’s Washing Of Feet A Humbling Experience


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Twenty-nine-year-old Nico, a person deprived of liberty, could not contain the joy he was experiencing after his feet were washed, dried and kissed by a priest during Last Supper mass on Maundy Thursday.

“I have never experienced anything like this when a man of great position would go down on his knees to show that he cares,” he said, referring to Rev. Fr. Matias Rendon, who performed the Last Supper’s mass at the Negros Oriental Detention and Rehabilitation Center (NODRC).

“Nico” was among the 12 PDLs who volunteered to perform as one of the “12 Apostles” during the reenactment of the Last Supper.

“Darwin”, a 49-year-old who has been in the provincial jail for about seven years, said “naulaw ko kay wala damha nga ang pari maoy magpaubos nako (I felt ashamed because I never expected that a priest would humble himself before me).”

The other “apostles” agreed that they felt embarrassed when Fr. Tata (as he is fondly known) washed their feet with soap and water, toweled them dry, and kissed them.

“Stephen”, another PDL, said it was the second time he became an “apostle” during the Last Supper celebration on Maundy Thursday, and he cherished every moment of it.

He said he would continue to volunteer as one of the “chosen 12” until he is released from jail.

“I know I am a sinner and that is why I am in jail, but I hope that one day, I will be free. For now, I endeavor to attend mass inside the jail whenever possible, if only to give me hope each day,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

The Commission on Prison Pastoral Care of the Diocese of Dumaguete is chaired by Rendon, who, with his Prison Ministry Team, caters to the spiritual and other liturgical/pastoral needs of the provincial jail as well as the city jail here.

Rendon said they are thankful that the provincial government has allowed the diocese to celebrate the Last Supper mass every Holy Thursday for more than 10 years now, except during the pandemic.

This year, the reenactment of Jesus Christ’s suffering at the Last Supper inside the detention facility has been made more meaningful with a meal shared by the priest and the “apostles”.

Sponsors pitched in for lechon and other dishes that were served not only to the “apostles” but were shared with more than 400 other PDLs in the NODRC.

Rendon said that aside from the Holy Thursday mass, his ministry celebrates at least two other masses every month at the “Sagrada Familia” (Holy Family) chapel inside the provincial jail.

“We are currently focusing on the spiritual and liturgical aspects of our ministry to help these PDLs deepen their faith but the commission will soon embark on other areas of assistance, such as financial and legal which were not realized due to pandemic restrictions,” he said. (PNA)