Saint Christopher’s Church (SCC) in Taipei, which is heavily involved with the migrant community in the city, celebrated its 61st anniversary Sunday, with morning mass services, food, street stalls, a pageant, a dance competition, and culture performances by Filipinos, Vietnamese and Indonesians.
After morning services, including a High Mass officiated by Archbishop John Hung (洪山川) of the Taipei Archdiocese, the church band rocked the crowd with popular English songs that got people on their feet dancing to the music.
教區負責越南籍移民的助理神父Gioan Tran Van Thiet，宣布開始接下來一連串精彩的表演與比賽。
Father Gioan Tran Van Thiet, SCC assistant parish priest and chaplain to Vietnamese migrants, officially opened the following program of performances and competitions.
“Welcome to SCC’s 61st anniversary fiesta held here at the parish, a place where migrants come together to share their joy and sorrows, happiness and frustrations,” he said. “The following program is about helping one another in the migrant community where we feel at home (while) away from home.”
在新北市三重區工作的Leo Ramos ，站上了為喚醒大眾環保意識，以「Recyshion」環保為主題的時尚競賽，參賽者都穿上由回收材料再製的衣服，Ramos在最後脫穎而出贏得了Recyshion 頒發的獎項。
Leo Ramos, who works in New Taipei’s Sanchong District, won the male fashion pageant “Recyshion,” which sought to raise awareness of protecting the environment, by having contestants compete on stage in clothing made from recycled materials.
The 31-year-old Ramos clinched the top prize over six other competitors with clothing made out of recycled potato chip packets.
Harmony and melody filled the church as students from Indonesia’s Telkom University Choir, in Taiwan to take part in the Taipei International Choral Competition held from next Tuesday to Friday, put on a special performance.
同時，Mega Mixers Dance 舞蹈團以地板舞蹈動作與驚險的特技，力抗其他競爭者，獲得了同一天舉辦的舞蹈比賽冠軍殊榮。
Meanwhile the Mega Mixers Dance Crew overpowered three other dance groups to win a dance competition held on the same day. The dance crew included break dance power moves and acrobatic flips in their performance.
自2016年1月開始服務於聖多福教堂的Fr. Franco Lacanaria 主教表示，這次的週年紀念對於教堂成員與移民非常重要，因為這是向「保護旅行者」聖多福致上最高的敬意。
Fr. Franco Lacanaria, outgoing SCC parish priest who has served at the church since January 2016, said the anniversary was a very important day for members of the church and migrants because it honors the patron saint of travelers.
“It is a big celebration in the parish as it is an annual celebration of the feast day in honor of the patron St. Christopher,” he said. “St. Christopher is the patron saint for travelers and here we are all travelers and migrants on a journey or quest for a better life and a better relationship with God.”
新進的神父Fr. Edward Pacquing表示，這場盛會有超過1千人共襄盛舉，且大家一致認同這次的活動非常鼓舞漂泊他鄉的移工，充滿正向的能量。
Fr. Edward Pacquing, the new SCC parish priest, said over 1,000 people attended the anniversary and commended the events and activities held by the church as being positive for the mind, body and spirit of migrant workers.
“This is a good thing for them because they will have memorable experiences here in Taiwan instead of going to some other places, which may cause harm and danger,” Pacquing said.
“And with this experience in Taiwan, when they go back home, they can also recall good memories,” he added.
身為電台主持人與教堂成員的Kaibigan Jay 說道，聖多福教堂幫助在台灣的移工調和心情，帶給身在異鄉的移工許多溫暖。
Kaibigan Jay, a radio program host and member of SCC since childhood, said the church plays a heartwarming role for migrant workers, helping them channel their emotions while they work in Taiwan.
「教堂給予移工們的支持是別具意義的，來到這裡就像回到各自的家鄉，非常溫暖。」Kabigan Jay 補充道。
“The support the church gives to migrant workers to make them feel as if they are in their respective hometowns is very meaningful,” she said.
Often referred to as “our home away from home” by migrant workers, over the past 61 years SCC has become a place of worship for people from all walks of life, Lacanaria said.
The church was built by Americans and opened in July 1958 to hold religious services for the United States military and allied forces stationed in Taiwan at the time, he said.