“Siete Palabras,” the traditional commemoration of Jesus’ last words on the Cross, held annually at the historic Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City on Good Friday, will have a woman among its seven preachers on April 3.
She is Sr. Catherine Edith Cruz, OP, dean of Colegio de San Juan de Letran de Manaoag (formerly Our Lady of Manaoag College) in Pangasinan and member of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic.
Testimonials of faith will be given by women as well: Sr. May Escalano, OP, who serves farmers and people with disabilities in Pampanga; Lourdes Ukila, a teacher of poor children in Dagat-dagatan, Navotas; Lucy Guya, who works with indigenous peoples; Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, OP, who ministers to victims of human trafficking; Catherine Ramos, OP, a dedicated teacher of Aquinas School; and Sr. Elvira Delfonso, OP, a survivor of two critical ailments.
“Siete Palabras” producer is Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, OP.
Being an annual production of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, “Siete Palabras” has had mostly Dominican friar-preachers through the years. But its inclusion of a woman-preacher, a diocesan priest and a lay person in the past years “drew positive feedback,” said Father Aytona.
“The Order of Preachers (or the Dominican Order) believes that, as a family, preaching should not be limited only to the friars,” he says.
This year, the Lenten special will focus on the celebrations of the Year of the Poor and the Year of the Consecrated Life, and the yearlong preparation for the 800th foundation anniversary of the Order of Preachers in 2016.
Partnering with Radio Veritas and the Catholic Media Network, “Siete Palabras” will have live Internet streaming on April 3, 12-3 p.m. It will be aired live by GMA 7.
The other preachers: Fr. Gallardo Bombase, OP, from Albay; Fr. Norman Quilaquil, OP, Davao; diocesan priest Fr. Carlo del Rosario, Manila; Fr. Enrico Gonzales, OP, Santo Domingo priory, Quezon City; Fr. Filemon de la Cruz Jr., OP, University of Santo Tomas; and Fr. Allan Lopez, OP, Pangasinan.
Via Dolorosa in Alabang
The traditional 10-kilometer Via Dolorosa Pilgrim Walk will be launched on March 30, Holy Monday, at the courtyard of St. Jerome Church in Alabang.
Assembly will be at 3 p.m. after Divine Mercy prayers at the church.
The walk will start at 3:30 p.m. and pass through the eight Marian grottos of Ayala Alabang Village. First station is the Our Lady of Manaoag chapel in District 2. The walk will end at the Our Lady of the Pillar Courtyard of St. James, before the talk of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at St. James Ayala Alabang’s main church at 8 p.m.
The youth of the Vicariate of Our Lady of the Abandoned, covering 11 parishes, will join the walk.
Villagers of Ayala Alabang will also join this interactive Way of the Cross.
The pilgrims will have a chance to pick up pebbles at Our Lady of Manaoag, representing special intentions for the walk. They can present their healing petitions with bottled holy water at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and help carry the cross at some point.
The arrival of the Santo Niño de Jesus to Cebu through the Magellan expedition in 1521 and its finding by the Legazpi expedition more than 40 years later will be reenacted on April 27 at 3 p.m.
This was disclosed by Augustinian friar Fr. Harold Rentoria, executive director of the 450th-anniversary celebration of the “Kaplag,” which is the Visayan word for “finding.” The feast celebrates the finding of the Santo Niño de Cebu by the Legazpi expedition in 1565.
The arrival of the Santo Niño will be dramatized at Pier 1 of Cebu City. The street drama proceeds to Magellan’s Cross and ends at the nearby Pilgrim Center of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de
To direct the production is prize-winning dramatist Floy Quintos.
Those who have requested prayer cards and estampita from this column include Josefina C. Punzalan of Parañaque City, Jose G. de Jesus of Malabon City, Eilisa Sena of Muntinlupa City and Elsa Divinagracia of Makati City.
For those who would like to receive free prayer cards, write to “Miss Josephine Darang c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.” Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for easier mailing.