Filipino community in Bucharest, Romania
There are over 300 Filipinos working in domestic service in Bucharest, to help their families back home financially. They come to a Mass in English once a month in our church of the Sacred Heart and sing enthusiastically in Tagalog. Afterwards they are happy to gather in the parish hall to talk to each other, to share something to eat, and to sort out any problems.
Unfortunately there are many who are exploited by the employers, and who come to the church for help. There is no Philippines Embassy now in Bucharest, it has been transferred to Budapest, Hungary.
They were very shocked and saddened by the recent typhoon disaster; more than twenty families were seriously affected, losing homes and family members, needing help with food and basics. People in our international parish were very generous and we collected enough money to be able to help each family affected.
We prayed together, before we handed out the donations; the emotion was tangible, and there were many tears, sadness but also joy and gratitude that they had some money to send home.
On Sunday 8 December, we had the last Mass before Christmas, followed by a party. The photos show how much joy these gatherings bring to our Filipino community.