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Posts Tagged ‘my Catholic life’


Rejoice and be glad. He has risen.

Quite busy answering phone calls and messages. Will get back later.

A blessed and happy Easter to you all.

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Most Catholics here in our country waited last night with so much anticipation on the start of our celebration of Simbang Gabi (mass at night) and Misa de Gallo  (dawn or rooster mass) early this morning. Simbang Gabi as we usually call it is a nine-day novena before Christmas.  It is a lovely tradition we observe every year. I miss going out at night to attend it this time of pandemic.  Almost every church go online though. Attendance is still limited when you attend personally at the church, receive communion and participate in the prayers and participate in the singing. That is the limitation of attending masses online but you can choose which church and service you want to listen to.

I think, those in-charge of  tracking this Covid pandemic only allows 30% capacity of these celebrations in churches. There is even a directive now starting today that wearing face shields and face masks are mandatory. It used to be where face shields are only seen in malls because they are required by the establishments when you enter. Now, once you leave your house and go to a public place, you have to wear face shields as well with the face masks.

My goodness gracious, they are blind to the fact that most people wear both when they go out. And we’ve been doing it for almost ten months now. Some government officials break their own rules. The present chief of the Phil. National Police even had his mañanita birthday celebration at the height of ECQ some months ago. Are they doing anything? I bet…waiting for available vaccine which is even reported to have been purchased from china.

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We used to have just this group chat. Funny, but in all the months since Interaktib started, we have somehow formed a community of fellow Catholics from all over the country. Some are staying abroad, some are active in their respective parishes. We chat, post some feed backs on the twice-a-week program of Sambuhay Interaktib. Actually, we’re like one big family.

Yesterday, my friend Min formed a page for all of us including the priests and seminarians involved in the production of the program. Min is the one I have written about in my post Solitude. It is a private group and I am helping her with another member as admins.

I have been an admin at our Catholic page The Filipino Catholic for more than ten years now since its inception so it is a little easier to navigate our new page. We are actually growing as one family, sharing the same faith. I am glad I am gaining new friends in the process.

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Today we celebrate the Feast Day of  our Lady of the  Holy Rosary.   Every year there used to be a procession of La Naval of the image at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. This year though, only a few participated but they brought out the image for a shorter route because of the  pandemic.

Have I  told you that the first time I’ve seen the image of Mama Mary up close was ten years ago when Fr. Lovell (still a seminarian then) invited me to join the Dominican community to pray the rosary with them when the image  was brought down from her pedestal in preparation for the annual procession? I can’t explain the feeling touching her magnificent and dazzling robe after praying the rosary. It was then a year after my chemotherapy. Back in high school at the university, we were all  required to wear our white gala uniforms and attend the procession every year.

Early this morning, I got this message from Fr. Lovell who is assigned in Iloilo at the moment.

Mapagpalang araw po. AS we celebrate today the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I entrust you and your family to the protective and maternal care of our Mother. You will be remembered in the Holy Mass at 10 am to be celebrated at the Chapel of the House of the Most Holy Rosary Iloilo City. Keep safe.

He never forgets to include us in his masses since he was ordained eight years ago. How nice to be always remembered in prayers.

Happy Feast Day to all our Catholic friends. You are also remembered in prayers.

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Lazy, lazy afternoon! For the first time in so many days, I spent at least two hours in bed having a siesta. The afternoon was cold but it didn’t rain.

I opened the computer just to post the Bible readings for next week at our Catholic page in Facebook. Then I received this message from Fr. Pao, he is one of those anchors of Interaktib. The name of the program is Catholic Sync and they were in its first episode this morning. Catholic Sync is devoted to religious education and catechism.  Fr. Pao was  the speaker. He was introduced by  a brother at St. Paul . I was surprised when the latter said that Fr. Pao graduated Summa Cum Laude in his Theological studies. I told him he should be proud of it coz I  know how a parent feels having a child garnering  Latin honors.  He said Nissa must be a literati too. I told him in passing that she is a bookworm and very strict with grammar.

I finally finished the book I  Will Always Write Back last night. Beautiful, beautiful story. And there were real pictures of the authors which make the book more real.  Memoirs have always been fascinating reads  for me.

I set aside some books on my TBR list to read Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley. Ghosts and reincarnation? Must be  intriguing.

And it’s a lazy evening, perfect time to have that hot cup of rice coffee.

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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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