Madrid, Spain. In the Province of Santiago the missions of Paris and Zurich have a special value, but the Claretian missionaries share life and journey with emigrants in many other places. One of them is the Parish of Nuestra Señora del Espino in Madrid, where Tahanan, a large Filipino Catholic community recognized as a chaplaincy by the Archbishopric of Madrid, has been meeting for twenty-five years.
The shared journey, by which the Filipino community has become more and more integrated into the life of the parish, makes everyone celebrate this presence. In the words of the parish priest, Father Jorge Domínguez, CMF, the Filipino community is a testimony of faith for other Christians: “a blessing for the parish and for the whole Church in Madrid”. The Filipino community participates in the pastoral council, celebrates Easter with the other parishioners and actively participates in Caritas campaigns and solidarity actions promoted by the parish and the vicariate. The generous presence e of the community has been very visible in these times of pandemic, very hard in these neighbourhoods of Madrid.
The Filipinos are also very happy with their relationship with the Claretians in Madrid, which intensified since 1985 through missionaries like Frs. Alfonso Mateo and Pedro M. Sarmiento, and has been very visible in El Espino since 1996. In the words of Tahanan, “we are called to thank God for the gift of Christianity brought to us by the Spanish missionaries and we want to continue to share this gift with others and offer it to others”.
A beautiful video expresses the joy of this quarter century of shared faith and journey: