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Posts Tagged ‘my Catholic life’


Fr. Louie, the chief administrator of our page, Filipino Catholic is so fond of having those games online which he posts every day for his friends to answer. Sometimes, he just posts photos of sellers whose products are named and misspelled incorrectly and we just laugh. A few minutes ago, he posted some photos of our native fruits which are now seldom seen in the market nowadays. It reminds me of those days some years ago, when most members of our page enjoyed our group called Tambayan. We had those hot seats where most members are allowed to question one particular member – anything goes. It was fun.

Our page, the Filipino Catholic has been in existence for ten years now and I was appointed by Fr. Louie as one of the admins a few months after he created it. Back then, he was still studying for his doctorate degree in Rome. We are still at it until now and we have added another admin a few months ago. We are four in all taking care and running the site at Facebook. It’s one reason why I could not give up Facebook because I have to update daily Bible readings for our members. One good thing about it is that we have loyal followers.

Some of them have become my friends over the years and those who are residing abroad who are OFWs sometimes contact me and I invite them to visit me here. We always have those nice and lovely chats about their works and our families, serious discussions about our Catholic faith, food and many more. We had two previous gatherings at Santo Domingo Church – the joy of seeing each other personally and sharing our meager talents in making the events successful. What bliss!

I met a friend who used to work in the US but she has come back home and retired here. Odette is the one who regularly supplies me with those lovely favorite books over the years. She is a member of our page.

I miss seeing them personally, not just through messages on FB. I miss those days of laughter and sharing our lives with each other. Come to think of it, I haven’t ventured out of our gate for almost three months now. The number of those found positive of COVID-19 is still rising every day. May we be all spared from this pandemic.

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Today, 103 years ago, Our Lady appeared before three shepherd children at Fatima in Portugal. Here’s a picture I took of the image of Our Lady of Fatima nine years ago in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite. Proud of this shot, just reduced its size to save on space.

Here’s another photo that one of our volunteers took  early this morning during the Marian procession at  our village, an image of our Blessed Lady.

Another image of Our Lady of Fatima

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Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), is  also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40 which is the gospel today.

We had a short procession after the blessing of candles outside the church.  We had to light at least one candle while going inside the church. It was a lovely celebration with our good friend Fr. Aly officiating.  All my candles at home were previously blessed and we usually use them at the altar during prayers at home.   It is better to light a candle than to stumble in the dark.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Blaise. Blaise is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic church. A doctor, he is a patron saint of those sufferers from throat diseases. I told Nissa to hear mass too so her throat would be blessed.

I love these Catholic rituals that we observe throughout the year.  They strengthen my faith and beliefs.

 

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They say that the devotion to the Sto Niño in the Philippines is as old as the history of Christianity in the country. Today we celebrate the Feast of Sto Niño, the child Jesus. “Pit Señor” is the short form of “Sangpit sa Señor,” a phrase in Cebuano that means, “to call, ask, and plead to the king.” We celebrate the  Feast of  Sto. Niño every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among  us Filipinos.  It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity.

There are so many celebrations in the Philippines during the Feast. We have the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, the street dances in Tondo, Manila and many other places where the Sto Niño is their patron saint.  These are famous celebration usually seen by tourists from other countries as well. We venerate the image of the child Jesus. Sto Niño is a Roman Catholic title of the child Jesus.

Given the humility of a child, the frank  and straight to the point way  they say what they think, the honesty written in a child’s face, the loving and lovable way they accept things without question, these are the lovely traits we often envy. Sometimes we wish we were little kids again.

Viva Pit Señor!

 

 

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Last night was the start of our yearly Simbang Gabi or Dawn mass.  Back in the days, it used to be called Rooster Mass because  4am or 5am were usually when the rooster in your neighborhood crows.  Simbang Gabi is a beautiful nine-day novena masses in Thanksgiving for all the blessing one received in the year. It’s traditional for us Filipino Catholics. I think it is only in the Philippines where you could find this. Times has changed, nowadays these Simbang Gabi are celebrated early, usually the night before the next day to give way for those who want to attend the novena after office.  They are also brought to some malls where they are celebrated at noon and most offices also hold these masses during lunch break.

I was overjoyed seeing the Pope opening the Simbang Gabi tradition. The mass readings were read in Tagalog  but there was a translator in English. Even the songs were sung in Tagalog  by the Filipino community. I’d like to think we are special because they have adapted one of the lovely traditions in our Catholic life.

Although our country is now in the brink of…..how do you put it….the ship is sinking fast because of these non-performing powers that be in our government, I still have high hopes that this will end eventually and we will rise up again. It may just take one brave soul to start it, right now though, we are at the mercy of one man who holds everything from the Supreme Court to the Legislative Branch to our National Police down to the barangay level. I need not elaborate, perhaps you also read them online.

I digress.

We were talking about Simbang Gabi, right? There are many churches now and several congregations too that televise the celebration of the nine-day novena masses. They end the day before Christmas day.

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I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear.

 

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I promised myself I won’t start the week in front of my PC and I didn’t. Know what? Our service provider Globe did it for me. We didn’t have internet connection yesterday. It was quiet around the house with only the radio on playing some old songs.

Today is Holy Tuesday. Most shows on television are about the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The best times to watch and reflect. Holy Week is that time of the year where we need more of these – reflections and spiritual readings.

I started on The First Phone Call From Heaven.  I guess this is not one of the best books by Mitch Albom. Except for his two latest books, I read all starting from Tuesdays With Morrie which I like the best. Like the rest of his books, this is an inspirational one. A glimpse of how we perceive what life is like in Heaven.

Gotta start The Seven Storey Mountain in a while, a book by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk. Accordingly, is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. I encountered his works the first time when I was in college working as a student librarian at  the Humanities Section of the UST Library.  And this book used to be on my wish list but a friend gave me a copy when she went home for vacation a month ago. I completed posting the whole Bible readings for the month of April  at our Catholic page on Facebook.

It’s a nice start for the Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here.

 

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One of the highlights of our Black Saturday was visiting Santa Clara de Montefalco Church in Pasig City.  Santa Clara de Montefalco is the patroness of those with heart illnesses.  She was also called St. Claire of the Cross.

It is one of the loveliest churches I ever visited.  This was renovated about a decade ago, I  used to pass by the place when I  went to La Consolacion College where my kids spent their high school years.  It was only today that I had the chance to visit it with Mom, Josef and Jovy.  I didn’t bring my cellphone and tab  to take photos but I liked the big dome and the wide entrance and angle of the altar. According to their page, it is the Philippines’ tallest church. Josef took some photos of the altar and the facade of the church.

Santa Clara de Montelfalco church

The  wide entrance to the church.

Sta. Clara de Montefalco4

You can see the big dome  in the second photo. This is the altar.

Sta Clara

The facade of the Church.

It also houses the Santuario del Amor  Divino ossuary that serves as a resting place of our departed loved ones.” This contains 3,912 crypts (2,848 crypts ready for interment) built within a 2,028 square meter-floor area and is situated beneath the church proper. Its lower plan is partitioned into sections dedicated to a saint each.”

We had dinner at Savory Restaurant  then dropped by Breadtalk   again to buy  their fire floss.  When it comes to bread and pastries, Breadtalk is the best.  They are just more pricey than those you find in other bake shops.

Tomorrow is the first of  April which happens to be our much-awaited Easter  Sunday.  the day of Resurrection.  Let us celebrate Resurrection with joy in our hearts.  It’s Christianity’s most important holiday.

While we were on the road (facing East of course), Josef got excited when he saw the   full moon partly hidden by clouds. Jovy told him to take a picture but when you are in a running car, taking photos is not good. I told them, “did you know that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon?” 

Happy Easter to all!

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