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Sep 28th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Filipino Catholics in Chino Hills Organize a “Real” Simbang Gabi and Readings for the Advent Season
Filipino Catholics in Chino Hills Organize a “Real” Simbang Gabi and Readings for the Advent Season PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 15 December 2008 04:18

T he “Filipino Catholics” Ministry of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Chino Hills, California, has come up – to our limited knowledge – with a rare but real celebration of the “Simbang Gabi,” a nine-day series of masses that has become a tradition in the Philippines. While many Filipino Catholics in the United States have introduced the “Simbang Gabi” from December 16th to the 24th to their respective parishes, almost all do it in the evening, usually at 7:00 o’clock. However, their brethren in Chino Hills opted to hold it in the traditional hour, which is between 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., as practiced in the Filipino homeland. Yes, the Chino Hills mass at dawn begins at 0530H.


The “Simbang Gabi” was called by the then Spanish colonial authorities in the Philippines and their Spanish friars as “Misa de Gallo” (mass at dawn). For more details about it, please read How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas and Christmas in the Philippines.


The St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church is located at 14085 Peyton Drive, Chino Hills, CA 91709. Its major cross street is Grand Avenue, just off the Freeway 71. It is served by the Congregation of Sacred Hearts with the Rev. Pat O’Hagan, SS.CC., V.F., as the pastor. Its telephone number is (909) 465-5503 and e-mail address is Its website URL:  Ms. Eilyn Caballero heads the “Filipino Catholics” Ministry.


We have taken also the initiative of publishing a daily spiritual reading for the Advent Season, as sent to this website by the Defensores Fidei Foundation.


H ere is the reading for Dec. 16, 2008: “Who Jesus Is, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father” (as written by Francis Fernandez):


You are my son: today I have begotten you (Ps 2:1), we read in the Entrance Antiphon for Christmas Midnight Mass, words from the second Psalm. The advent ‘today’ speaks of eternity, the ‘today’ of the Blessed and Glorious Trinity (John Paul II, General audience, 16 October 1985).


During his public life Jesus frequently spoke of the fatherhood of God in relation to men, using the numerous expressions found in the Old Testament. However, for Jesus, God is not merely ‘the Father of Israel, the Father of mankind’, but ‘my Father’ ‘My’: precisely because of this the Jews wished to kill Jesus, for ‘he called God his father’ (John 5:18). ‘His’ in a very literal sense: he whom only the Son knows as Father and by whom alone he is reciprocally known ... ‘My Father’ is the Father of Jesus Christ: the origin of his being, of his messianic mission, of his teaching (ibid, 23 October 1985).


When, in the district of Caesarea Philippi, Simon Peter confesses: You are the Christ, the son of the living God, Jesus answers, Blessed are you … for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but my Father … (Matt 16:16-17); for no one knows the Son except the Father just as no one knows the Father except the Son (Matt 11:27). Only the Son can make the Father known: the visible Son enables us to see the invisible Father. He who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9).


The baby who will be born in Bethlehem is the only-begotten Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, eternal, having his own divine nature and also the human nature which he has assumed in Mary’s virginal womb. When we look at him this Christmas and see him helpless in the arms of his mother, we must not forget that this is God, made man for love of us, every single one of us.


During these days when we read with profound wonder the words of the Gospel and dwelt among us, or when we say the Angelus, we shall have a good opportunity for making a deep and grateful act of faith, and for adoring the sacred Humanity of Our Lord. # # #


With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at (


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Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2008 04:30

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