Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Penafrancia celebration

Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia 2009

The feast of our Lady of Penafrancia was celebrated on the Third Saturday of September at 10:30 in the morning at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, in Beaverton. The Rosary was recited by the children and some of the youth, a total of 62 participants. Each bead was represented by a child to complete the formation of the Living Rosary. Since it is the "Year of the Priests", we dedicated each bead to pray for our priests in the Archdiocese. The children did a wonderful job praying and were asked to continue praying for our priests who minister to us from the different parishes. After each decade, the children sang "Ave, Ave, Ave Maria" and offered their flowers to give honor to our Blessed Mother, our INA. Grateful to all the parents who help their chilren to practice praying the rosary.

The solemn mass was started at 11:00 o'clock. There were 5 priests and 2 deacons who concelebrated during the mass. Fr. Cary Reniva, our newly ordained priest was the main celebrant. Fr. Maro Escano, our other newly ordained priest concelebrated along with Fr. Tony Ong, the chaplain at the St. Vincent Hospital, Fr. Beda Martinez, a visiting priest from Bicol and Fr. Dave Gutmann, our Pastor at Holy Trinity. The two deacons who assisted as Deacons of the Word and the Eucharist were Deacon Rally Bien and Deacon Joey Frez. The Mt. Angel Seminarians Choir sang joyfully with their angelic voices the song "Lord, I lift up Your Name on High" while Carlo Tejano and Jeremiah, the two seminarians did an amazing job with their sign language during the gathering rite. Readers from Bicol, Pampanga, Cebu, Ilocos, and Manila proclaimed the readings in their own vernacular languages aside from English. Since we are rich with our cultural heritage, the youth performed a cultural dance during the preparation of the gifts and several couples from the Bicol Region offered baskets of fruits. After communion, our seminarians at Mt. Angel Seminary were introduced. The congregation extended their hands while Fr. Dave blessed them with a prayer as they start their new year of study.

Well, the celebration was not complete without the bountiful reception prepared for the occassion. The food was sumptuous and delicious starting from the main dishes, the famous Lechon, Laing, Bicol Express, Pansit, Lumpia, Pinakbit, Dinuguan, Caldereta, Minudo, Salmon and Langkang may Gata. The variety of desserts filled up the two long tables. All our guests were fully satisfied. And guess what, we even had left overs and it was given to the seminarians to take home.

While dining, the CFC-FFL Youth performed a song and a hip-hop dance. Boy of boy, they were terrific, if you weren't there you missed a lot. We truly enjoyed their performances. The fine fellowships continued to lingere and it seemed for others was like a re-union. We had more than 500 attendees and had some guests as far as Blaine, Washington and Idaho who joined in the festivity. They had so much fun . The following day, I got a phone call from them and said, "We plan to come back for next year event." What a good feeling to hear them said that.

One might ask why we continue to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia. About 7 years ago, we are grateful that Fr. Wilmer Tria, the prefect at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Naga City visited the Portland Area promoting the book of "INA"to benefit the seminarians who cannot afford to study. When he celebrated mass in our place, his homily was so powerful and touched me deeply. When he came back to the Philippines, he sent the image of "INA" to Lulu Ruperto from Bicol who is one of the core leader in our community. When Lulu and her family moved to Fresno, California, she left the image of "INA" to the Bicolano families here in Beaverton. Then, about five years ago we celebrated the first mass, we noticed that more and more Bicolano Seminarians are entering the Mt. Angel Seminary for the Archdiocese of Portland. This year, two newly ordained priests and one deacon are from Bicol. Another two seminarians from Bicol are doing their pastoral year and yet, the other two new seminarians who entered at the Mt. Angel Seminary this year are also from the Bicol Region. One might say, this is just a coincidence, as for me, I would say Our INA is returning the favor to her people in the Archdiocese of Portland. The Filipino Community is honored to have these young fine men from the Bicol Region and at the same time, we are humbled by the grace of God. It is just right and fitting to give praise and glory to our loving God.

We owe the success of the event from our INA and from the big Bicolano families here in the Beaverton area, the Fabricantes and the Turianos' clan who continue to pour their hearts into this celebration since day one. We are grateful indeed, and of course to the rest of the Holy Trinity Parishioners who were so eager to help out in anyway they can. Thank you to the choir from the Mt. Angel Seminary directed by Manolito Jaldon Jr. who sang joyfully praising our loving God. We are indebt to Fr. Cary Reniva from driving all the way from Medford for gracing the occasion and for celebrating mass with us and we extend our gratitude to the other priests who concelebrated. We thank Fr. Dave Gutmann for allowing us the use of this venue. We are grateful to everyone for your presence and for your continued support to our festivity. Special thanks to Matthew and Lulu Stevenson for capturing the event with photos and video. In addition, thanks to Dennis Mayers for editing and creating the above video clip.

Kindly continue to pray for our Priests and Seminarians so they can serve their parishes and parishioners with loving and joyful hearts for the greater glory of God.

Maraming Salamat Po!

Viva La Virgen!

God Bless,

Franz & Monette Mallari