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THEIR LOVE and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary are what move the Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion to continue holding the grand Marian procession every year.

This year the procession will take place Dec. 5, 4 p.m., at Intramuros. Eighty-four carrozas bearing the different titles of the Blessed Virgin are expected to join. Both venerated images and those belonging to families will take the route set out by the Intramuros Administration headed by administrator José Capistrano.

This year?s hermanas mayores are Cecilia Manalo, Nellie Bengzon and Thelma Gana. Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will officiate in the Concelebrated ?hermana mass? on Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at Manila Cathedral.

Three days before, there will be the Triduum of Masses, Dec. 1-3, 11:30 a.m., also at Manila Cathedral.

Yesterday, the Cofradia held the First Communion of 500 public school children at Manila Cathedral with Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani as main celebrant.

Venerated images expected to join the procession are Our Lady of Piat from Piat, Cagayan; Our Lady of Soledad de Porta Vaga, Our Lady of Caysasay, Ina Poon Bato, Our Lady of La Naval, and Our Lady of Manaoag.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Cofradia, is the centerpiece of the procession.

After the procession, Our Lady of Piat will be brought to Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Leveriza, Malate.


During the procession, the relics of St. Padre Pio and St. Damien of Molokai will be mounted on the carroza of Nuestra Señora de la Verdad. The two saints are invoked for the healing of all kinds of diseases, sickness and cancer.

Five hundred rosaries individually touched to the Rosary relic of Padre Pio will be distributed during the procession.

Our Lady of Mercy

Dr. Alvin Balatbat, who told me about Our Lady of Mercy years back, affirmed his commitment to propagate the devotion to her when he saw the scapular he gave to the Master General of the Mercedarians years back hanging around the neck of the image inside the chapel of the Generalate in Rome.

Balatbat and his mother and aunt joined the pilgrimage to Europe prepared by Adam?s Travel last Oct. 18. Our Lady of Mercy from Bahay Pare, Candaba, Pampanga, will join the procession. Parish priest Stephen Susi will lead the devotees.

Adam?s Travel is 25

The hundreds who went on pilgrimages with Adams Express Travel will gather in a grand reunion entitled ?Soaring High,? marking Adam?s silver anniversary on Dec. 4 at Barbara?s in front of San Agustin Church in Intramuros.

The festivity will begin at 3 p.m. and Holy Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Nolan Que. Guests are requested to come in Hawaiian attire. They will be treated to a ?Santa Cruz de Mayo in December,? according to Mamerth Banatin, Adam?s president and founder.

The guest list is headed by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop Soc Villegas and Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales. Eighty-six gifts will be given away, other than the raffle of gift certificates from hotels, airlines, resorts and Adam?s suppliers from abroad.

Playing for Afghan children

International concert pianist Leonor Kilayko leaves on Dec. 5 for Germany, where she will play in a fundraising concert on Dec. 9 for the benefit of Afghan children in Schleswig, and on Dec. 19, the last Sunday of Advent, in Arnsberg where she has a huge following.

Leonor returns to Germany after 15 years of absence. The last time she stayed for two months in the land of her musical gods: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann. During her stay, she was welcomed by friends Sachiko Boemer, Ursula Schroeder and Angela Treeks.

Leonor had a solo concert at the Knight?s Hall in Arnsberg, capital of Cipper Sauerland. Her one other performance took place at the private home of Dr. and Mrs. Gerhard Aundeeger in Schleswig. One of the listeners was the chairperson of the International Women?s Group helping Afghan children. She was asked to go back and hold a concert.

By the way, in her concert in Arnsberg, a former student, Martin Speight, drove 100 miles to be able to listen to her. Leonor?s name appears in Speight?s biography on the Internet.

Kerygma conference 2010

Kerygma Conference 2010 closes today at the Philippine Convention Center (Nov. 26-28) where Bro. Bo Sanchez spoke on ?Restoration.?

Known as the biggest Catholic learning event, Kerygma Conference started out in 2006 as rallies of readers of the inspiration magazine under this title founded by Bro. Bo. Kerygma is the Greek word for proclamation of the Gospel. Beneficiaries of the conference are orphans, street children, unwed mothers and the abandoned elderly.

Kannawidan reunion

The Kannawidan Foundation of Ilocos Norte is holding a Christmas reunion on Dec. 4, 6 p.m., at the Clubhouse of North Greenhills. The coffee-table book ?Ili nga Nasudi,? by the way, is still available. Text Ogie at 0920-9059175.