San Jose Filipino Ministry Sponsors Advent Events in Orange County
In its inaugural year, the San Jose Filipino Ministry is on a roll welcoming the holidays with two main events this year – an Advent Retreat and “Paskuhan ng Pamilyang Pilipino”.
The Advent Retreat with Bishop Timothy Freyer was held on Saturday, Dec. 4th at St. Pius Church Parish Hall in Buena Park. Some 200 Filipino faithful from Orange County and neighboring cities attended the retreat which was followed by a Mass celebrated by the Bishop.
A superb speaker, Bishop Freyer related very well
with his Filipino audience. He started his talk with
a background on the coming of Christianity to the
Philippines 500 years ago in 1521. This is an event
that Filipinos all over the world are celebrating this
year, and in Orange County this big anniversary
celebration at the Christ Cathedral on June 25, 2021
attended by more than 2,000 guests, was sponsored
by the SJFM. He also talked about the gift that
Christianity brought which is the Good News of our
salvation and God’s never ending love for mankind
which is so great that He sent to the world His only
begotten Son who died on the cross as the ultimate
sacrifice for our redemption.
Bishop Freyer also spoke on a variety of topics such
as evangelization and the gift of the sacraments
particularly the sacrament of reconciliation and
anointing of the sick. We were reminded that Jesus
Christ came in humble beginnings as a babe in a
manger. We were also reminded to be prepared for
His second coming as well.
“I found this Advent recollection very uplifting and appropriate for our preparation for the coming of our Savior”, remarked Liz Juan, a parishioner from Holy Family in Artesia, after hearing the Bishop speak at the retreat.
The SJFM’s second holiday event, “Paskuhan ng Pamilyang Pilipino”, was held on Friday, Dec. 10th at St Irenaeus Church Parish Hall in City of Cypress. “Paskuhan” from the word “Pasko” (Pascua), roughly means “gathering for Christmas”. It is the Ministry’s first attempt at a diocesan-wide Christmas event aimed at bringing together Filipinos from parishes all over the Diocese of Orange in one big celebration. Paskuhan started with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Binh Nguyen, Pastor of St. Ireneaus. He commended the SJFM for its goal of unification of Filipinos in the Diocese of Orange. After Mass, festivities were held in the Parish Hall which featured a choir caroling contest, giving of gifts to children (“mano po” pamasko for kids), vocal solo from a young singing talent, a short video clip of Filipino artists singing Christmas carols, community singing, and a free raffle drawing. A light food fare of pancit, empanada, fruit and coffee was served to some 180 guests in attendance. A modest but good start, according to Fr. Anthony Bautista from Alagad in Maria, the congregation of priests behind the establishment of the SJFM.
Paskuhan program emcee Rico Lagman gave a brief background on the founding and organization of the San Jose Filipino Ministry. The newest ministry under the Ethnic Ministries of the Diocese of Orange, the San Jose Filipino Ministry was officially established and recognized by the Diocese on June 1, 2021. It was named in honor of St. Joseph, whose jubilee year we celebrated in 2021. The SJFM’s mission is to assist in the spiritual growth, provide resources and help enrich the faith, culture and tradition of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the Diocese of Orange. Its vision is to unite and bring together all Filipinos and Filipino Americans to live as witness of the Good News with faith, hope and charity. For more information on the SJFM and its programs, please visit our website at www.dosjfm.org. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DOSJFM.
By Becky Tamondong