1st Day of Simbang Gabi (December 16, 2022)

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Something More than our Wishlist

The Philippines is not just fun for its wonderful and breathtaking tourist destinations. There are a lot of traditions and practices that are in itself is very much Filipino and identified with the Filipinos. These practices, that were handed down from one generation to the next generation make an occasion even more special. One of the pious traditions that we have as Filipinos that make the celebration of Christmas more meaningful and joyous is the Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo. It is an occasion, where almost all the churches, are flocked by people from all walks of life. This year’s Simbang Gabi is even more special after the restrictions brought about by the pandemic is raised.

With the people coming in great numbers, it cannot be denied that some of us bring with us our own personal wishes that we ask to be granted after the sacrifices (waking up early in the morning) that we make for nine consecutive days. Some would pray for good health, recovery from illness, financial stability, success in business and examinations, love life etc. Whatever we are praying for, we are given the assurance that in that gathering of faithful, God is in the midst. And what better way of assuring us of his presence than the Holy Eucharist? It is for this very reason why many would sacrifice for many days, to encounter Jesus in a very special way.

In the Gospel we see the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus. John sent his disciples to Jesus to confirm if he indeed is the Messiah. The confirmation was given and for sure the disciples went away with the assurances of their faith. In that encounter between the disciples of john and Jesus, something happened with them. We can assume that John knew who Jesus is even in their first encounter in the womb of their respective mothers. We can reflect on the reason why John sent his disciples to Jesus. The reason is that his (John) disciples would know Jesus in a personal way and turn their faith to him. Here, we see John decreasing and Jesus increasing.

In the same way when we faithfully attend Simbang Gabi, the invitation for us is to let Jesus increase in our lives. Often, without us knowing it, the focus of our nine-day sacrifice is ourselves together with our request. It is not wrong to ask or pray for something. However, if this would be focus and center of our endeavor, then we are in one way replacing Jesus this Christmas. All our attention even our motivation would be on our requests. We replace Jesus with our requests and petitions. Perhaps, it would be valid to say that the purpose of Simbang Gabi is for the granting of our wishes. This way we make Jesus like Santa Clause who looks into our wish list and gives what we ask for. The very purpose of Simbang Gabi is defeated.  

John showed Jesus to his disciples so that they may turn to him and have faith in him. In the same way, this Simbang Gabi should usher us to see and encounter Jesus in a personal way and grow in his relationship. The very purpose of Simbang Gabi, more than our wishes, is for us to renew that relationship that we have with him. We sacrifice no longer for our wishes but for us to be able to follow him more dearly and grow in his love and companionship. If we have this as our motivation for our sacrifice, then we make our Simbang Gabi even more meaningful for us. All our sacrifices would be worth the while; and whether or not our wishes were granted, it would not affect our relationship with him. We are given a reminder that there is something greater than our Christmas wishlist, and that is Jesus Christ himself, the very reason why we have and celebrate Christmas.

Let us pray that this Simbang Gabi may truly be an avenue to discover Jesus who patiently waiting to be visited by us.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Paul Demillones, OAR

Fray Paul Demillones, OAR

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< 2023 >
February
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   1
  • All day
    February 1, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 2: KINSHASA
    9:30      HOLY MASS at “Ndolo” Airport
    16:30   MEETING WITH VICTIMS FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY at the Apostolic Nunciature
    18:30   MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOME CHARITIES at the Apostolic Nunciature

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ramon Monroy, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Zaragoza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Corazon Timones, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Miguel, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Brigida Gabriel, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    +Sis. Dorotea Sarmiento, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2023

    FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA

    DAY 3: KINSHASA
    09:30   MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND CATECHISTS in Martyrs’ Stadium
    16:30   PRAYER MEETING WITH PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral “Notre Dame du Congo”
    18:30   PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature

    27th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE PATRONAL FIESTA
    OF OUR LADY OF SIERRA LEONE PARISH (Kamabai) Time: 1100H (Sierra Leone)
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Natale Paganelli S.X.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR
    Sis. Josephine Bangura (Trialer / Kamalo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA THEN TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 4: KINSHASA / DAY 1: JUBA

    8:30     MEETING WITH BISHOPS at CENCO
    10:10   FAREWELL CEREMONY at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    0:40     Departure by airplane from Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport to Juba

    The Holy Father is making the Journey to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    15:00   Arrival at Juba International Airport
    15:00   WELCOME CEREMONY
    15:45   COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC at the Presidential Palace
    16:15   MEETING WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC
    17:00   MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Sis. Celerina Santos, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Celerina Jaurequi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Miraña, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Filomena de Jesus

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 2: JUBA

    9:00      MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral of Saint Therese
    1:00       PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature
    16:30     MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS in the “Freedom Hall”
    18:00    ECUMENICAL PRAYER at “John Garang” Mausoleum

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN FRATERNITY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY BERNARD AMPARADO, Prior Provincial
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR
    Sis. Erlinda Dionela, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Diana Concepcion, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 3: JUBA – ROME

    08:45    HOLY MASS at “John Garang” Mausoleum
    11:00    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Juba International Airport
    11:30    Departure by airplane from Juba International Airport to Rome
    17:30    Arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport

    36th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2023)
    OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 1100H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR
    Sis. Purificacion Rallos, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Trina Genicet Zamora (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Ofelia Cruz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Rosario Manese, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2023

    GENERALATE: MEETING OF THE DIGITAL EVANGELIZATION TEAM (ONLINE)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR
    Sis. Marlin Regalado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Dorothy Joy Balcueva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Br. Christian Peralta (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR
    Sis. Jaena Lascano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Cecile Pedregosa (RAY-Urbiztondo)

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2023

    9th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR
    Sis. Lydia Morales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Crestita Pabon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Cajes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Miranda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.
    Br. Kirvie Bodiongan (aspirant)
    Bro. Romeo Reyes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Florentina Alambra, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2023

    24th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2023) OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Virginia Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2023

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    31st WORLD DAY OF THE SICK Theme: “Take care of him” (Lk 10:35) / Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES QUASI-PARISH
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental
    Time: 1000H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    CHARTER DAY OF TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

    CLOSING OF RED EDUCAR 2023 MEETING
    Venue: Colegio de San Agustin, Costa del Este, Panama
    Date: Jan 20 – Feb. 11, 2023

    GENERALATE: AUGUSTINIAN CLASSROOM OF EDUCATION (MADRID)
    Date: Feb. 11-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR
    Sis. Edelyn Celeste, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2023)

    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Romana Caballero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Heart Danielle Nakila (RAY-Balamban)
    Sis. Moonyen Llorca, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Bonifacio, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2023

    INSTALLATION OF FRAY JULIUS JAMES TINAPAO AS PRIEST IN-CHARGE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    QUASI- PARISH, CAIDIOCAN

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Erlinda Vergara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Catalina Matahum, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Victoria Maniago, SAR (Manila Chapter)

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Pedro Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Filomena Duro, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Mena Quiambao, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Serena Principio, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Era Santos, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lucresia Samson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Josephine Palanca, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mary Grace Escayo, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    +Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR
    Bro. Julius Cayabyab, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 1: Feb. 16-18, 2023)

    GENERALATE: GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING (ROME)
    Date: Feb. 16-17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR
    Sis. Herminia Villanueva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cecilia Cabildo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2023

    5th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF PIONEER RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN CUBA

    GENERALATE:  ONLINE MEETING OF THE GENERAL TREASURER WITH THE PROVINCIAL TREASURERS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.
    Sis. Lourdes Tupaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Albina Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolone Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Segundina Valderama, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Helen Villarin, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes
    Sis. Erlinda Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Walthrode Conde, OAR
    +Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena
    Bro. Gavino Bucao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Laguisma (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2023)

    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Pia de San Sebastian
    +Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan (simply prof.)
    Sis. Reba Pacres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Mary Rose Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Sis. Betty Sinon, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Vallejo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Buletic, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Fernanda Kintanar, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Nellie Cabutotan (Trialer / Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR
    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2023

    SEASON OF LENT STARTS: ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jay-R Vailoces (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR
    Sis. Emiline Navera, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Margarita Gamboa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Soledad Baraya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 2: Feb. 23-25, 2023)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    +Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2023

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU CITY

    ANNIVERSARY (2022-2023) OF ACCEPTANCE AS
    BROTHER-GENERAL OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL
    MORENO

    Prof. Emmanuel Luis Romanillos
    Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Sis. Ma. Magdalena Ramos, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR+Sis. Fedelina Escalante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2023

    37th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2023)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR
    Sis. Edna Mariano, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Adrian Gonzales (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2023

    FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Br. Ren Hard Rodriguez (aspirant)
    Sis. Gloria Gaviola, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2023)
    +Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR
    +Sis. Lilia Lepasana, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anita Paloma, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2023

    GENERALATE: SPIRITUAL EXERCISES (MONTEAGUDO)
    Date: Feb. 27-March 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR
    Sis. Clarita Cortez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Casimera Griarte, SAR (Provincialate Chapter

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS

    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATOR WITH THE LOCAL PROCURATORS
    Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City / Feb. 28 – March 1

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Bro. Fulgencio Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter / Brother-General of the Order)
    Sis. Macaria Decena, SAR (Manila Chapter) Sis. Maria Semine, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Perlita Narag (Urbiztondo Chapter) Sis. Emma Basul (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Maria Torralba, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Waltrudes Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    

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