As part of the Tricentennial closing activities of Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish, the church will be visited by the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Manaoag on Nov. 2, first Saturday, to Nov. 9.
It will be a reunion of the Holy Mother and her Holy Child, and devotees are welcome to join the ceremonies on Nov. 2 at 5 p.m., to be followed by Holy Mass at 6 p.m.
At 7 a.m. on Nov. 22, the “Misa de Baño” will be celebrated, commemorating the discovery of the image of the Child Jesus by children in the fields of Pandacan 300 years ago.
Before the Mass, the image will be dressed in new vestments. After that, children will dance the Buling-Buling as a way of venerating the Sto. Niño.
The Holy Mass will be presided by parish priest Fr. Lari Abaco, with Fr. Ikon Supremo, Fr. Joel Rescober, CM., Fr. Max Perreira, MHM, and Fr. Bong Bayaras as concelebrants.
‘Buling-Buling’ and Masses
At 4 p.m. on Nov. 22, the hermanos mayores will lead the dancing of the Buling-Buling together with members of the different parish ministries and the teachers and students of St. Joseph School. Msgr. Sabino Vengco will celebrate Holy Mass at 6 p.m.
At 8 a.m. on Nov. 23, the different barangays led by their chair will dance the Buling-Buling. This will be followed by the Eucharistic celebration at 9 a.m. led by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.
The second group of barangays will dance the Buling-Buling from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, after which Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani will say the Mass.
The third group will dance from 2 to 4 p.m., after which Cardinal Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, will say the Mass.
The fourth group will dance 4-6 p.m.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will officiate the closing ceremonies of the Jubilee Year on Nov. 23 with a Eucharistic celebration at 6 p.m.
Our Lady of Biglang Awa
Metro Manila devotees of Our Lady of Biglang Awa, patroness of Marinduque, will gather at the Layforce Chapel of San Carlos Seminary on Edsa in Guadalupe, Makati, for the Triduum of Masses Nov. 8-10. Devotees will be led by Leonardo Gonzales, president of Our Lady of the Biglang Awa Foundation.
Masses will be preceded by the praying of the Holy Rosary. The schedule: Nov. 8, 5:30 p.m. Rosary and 6 p.m. Mass, with devotees from Sta. Cruz, Torrijos and Buenavista; Nov. 9, 4:30 p.m. Rosary and 5 p.m. Mass, with sponsors from Boac, Gasan and Mogpog; and Nov. 10, 2:30 p.m. Rosary and 3 p.m. Concelebrated Mass, with Fr. Rene Sapungan as celebrant.
The Biglang Awa Foundation provides financial assistance to poor seminarians, Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Biglang Awa, and Volunteer Sisters in the Parish of Buenavista. It helps in the maintenance of the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Biglang Awa in Boac in front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Other churches the foundation helps are in the towns of Torrijos, Maklibago, Balimbing, Marcooper, Poras and Sayaw.
Pilgrimage to Padre Pio
Last Tuesday, Sonia Gonda Gloria and I traveled to Sto. Tomas, Batangas, early in the morning to catch the 6:30 a.m. Mass of Fr. Jojo Gonda at the Shrine and Parish of St. Padre Pio in Barangay San Pedro. We went to say “thank you” to God for answered prayers through the intercession of San Padre Pio.
It was my first time to be there and I was amazed by the beautiful open church with no walls and the altar made of strips of bamboo from floor to ceiling.
A huge painting of St. Padre Pio by Jun de Torres hung on the left side of the altar. At the center was the Crucifix flanked by the statues of St. Joseph and the Immaculate Conception. On the right side was the icon of the Divine Mercy.
It felt so peaceful to just be there, hearing Mass, whispering prayers, and saying “thank you.” Through the generosity of people, there is now a place dedicated to Padre Pio. Healing Masses take place there on the 23rd of every month at 9 a.m.
Sonia told me about a woman who suddenly developed a bloated stomach.
When she went to the shrine, she fetched water from the well with a bottle and brought it home.
(Alhough Fr. Jojo has warned that the water is not potable, people still drink it and claim to have been healed.)
The woman rubbed the water on her stomach until her apparent tumor was healed.
There was also a devotee who went there to pray so he could pass the board exam, and his prayer was granted.
The shrine sits on a 1.6-hectare lot that used to be a coffee plantation, but the late Ernesto and Adelaida Gonzaga, parents of twins Dr. Edna Gonzaga and teacher Evie Gonzaga, closed the company and donated the lot, so the shrine could be built there.
The shrine was consecrated last Sept. 23, in the presence of Fr. Ermilindo di Capua, Franciscan Capuchin who took care of Padre Pio in the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1965-1968. (Padre Pio passed away on Sept. 23, 1968.)
Fr. Di Capua, 79, traveled to the Philippines all by himself for the consecration. During the three years that Fr. Jojo Gonda had been making pilgrimages to San Giovanni Rotondo to ask for the help of Padre Pio in building the shrine, Fr. Di Capua always told him: “Don’t worry, Padre Pio will help you.”