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THE UNIVERSAL Living Rosary Association of St. Philomena and the Most Holy Redeemer Parish on Malac St. in Masambong, Quezon City, are getting ready for the nine-day novena to St. Philomena (Aug. 2-10) and her fiesta on Aug. 11. The shrine of the saint is inside the church which was initiated by Fr. Jojo Zerrudo when he was the parish priest.

Tandag Bishop and CBCP president Nereo Odchimar has been invited to celebrate the fiesta Mass on Aug. 11, 12 noon. The Mass will be covered live by radio station dzME 1530 khz AM band. The new parish priest is Fr. Clod Bagabaldo.

The number of devotees attending the novena of Masses increases every year. Some ask for favors, while others say ?thank you? for answered prayers. I go there every year upon the encouragement of Dina Reyes, who has initiated the Living Rosary Association membership in the Philippines. Members recite the Holy Rosary everyday to make a chain with other people in the world praying it.

Novena Masses

Only bishops are invited to celebrate the Novena Masses. Bishop Filomeno Bactol of Naval (Aug. 9) was named after the saint and his homilies. He testifies to the powerful intercession of the saint who is called ?wonder worker.? Other Mass celebrants are Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio (Aug. 2, 6 p.m.), Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon (Aug. 3), Tarlac Bishop Florentino Cinenze (Aug. 4), Infanta Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona (Aug. 5), Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas (Aug. 6), Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Yñiguez (Aug. 7), Palo Bishop Emeritus Pedro Dean (Aug. 8) and San Jose de Antique Bishop Emeritus Raul Martirez (Aug. 10).

There will be a procession on Aug. 8, 3:30 p.m., organized by Vincent Teodosio and his friends. He told me that the late Joe Salazar donated the vestment for the saint before he died.

Other Masses on Aug. 11 are as follows: Msgr. Sabino Vengco (6 a.m.); Fr. Eli Mata (9 a.m.); Fr. Orlando Aceron, OP (4 p.m.); and Fr. Jojo Zerrudo (6:30 p.m.). Fr. Aceron and Fr. Zerrudo are spiritual directors of the Universal Living Rosary Association of St. Philomena with address at 430 Mayon St., QC. For estampitas, please write me through the Philippine Daily Inquirer at Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for easier mailing.

St. Mary Magdalene

Another popular saint is St. Mary Magdalene, whom the people of Kawit, Cavite, honor with three sets of novenas. Ongoing now is the third set (July 23-31, 6:15 a.m.) followed by a Mass at 6:30 p.m. Bishop Chito Tagle celebrated the fiesta Mass on July 22. Parish priest is Fr. Romeo Ner. The fiesta will culminate with a procession on July 31, 7:30 p.m., according to Alan Ilustrissimo. Thanks to Consuelo Abaya and Mila Que for encouraging me to pray to her all the time.

Remembering José Rizal

A week before the fiesta of St. James the Greater in Dapitan (July 25), the people of Dapitan, led by Mayor Jun Jalosjos, honored national hero José Rizal on July 17 with the unveiling of a beautiful monument marking the arrival of José Rizal (July 17, 1892) in Dapitan where he was exiled for four years. It was the 118th anniversary, according to Gabriel Ma. J. Lopez, executive director of the National Historical Commission. The monument was built through the fund-raising efforts of former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos. Gabby Lopez observed how Rizal was able to transform a wilderness into a civilized and comfortable community while in exile in Dapitan for four years. Congressman Jalosjos believes Rizal to be the Philippines? ?Renaissance Man.?

Oberammergau?s passion play

Every 10 years, the people of Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany, perform the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ. The first Filipino group that went last May was led by Fr. Momoy Borromeo, with Annie Lukban as tour guide. Adam?s Travel is forming another group leaving on Aug. 25 for Oberammergau. Included in the pilgrimage are Munich, Infant Jesus of Prague in Our Lady of the Victories Church, Black Madonna in Czestochowa, Krakow, Poznan, Budapest, Bled and Vienna. Call 521-1651/ 38.

Fatima image in RP

Msgr. Jun Zurbano is inviting the public to welcome the international pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima on Aug. 3, 9 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Church near the Crossing in Mandaluyong.

?Buen Camino?

Fr, Manuel Domingo, a Salesian priest at Don Bosco, Makati, took the longest walk of his life when he went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on June 25-July 31. He covered 770 km starting from St. Jean Pied-de-Port towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He walked 20 km a day for 37 days. Reaching Santiago de Compostela on July 31 in time for the l2 noon Mass at the cathedral, he was overwhelmed. Expressions of his spiritual experience during the journey appear in the ?Buen Camino? exhibit (July 24-Aug. 1) at Our Lady?s Chapel at Don Bosco, Makati. Text 0921-7749555.

Prayer Warriors for the Holy Souls

?18 years: Crossing Borders with the Holy Souls? is the theme of the foundation day celebration of the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls on July 31, 4-8 p.m., at the Worship Hall of the Spirit of Love Catholic Covenanted Community. The book ?Refiner?s Fire? will also be launched. Call 5310394 or text 0918-9290603.