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Feb 03rd
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Cardinal George Celebrates Simbang Gabi
Cardinal George Celebrates Simbang Gabi PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Friday, 25 December 2009 10:09


(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)



Cardinal George Celebrates Simbang Gabi


C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, greeted a jampacked predominantly Filipino faithful with “Maligayang Pasko” when he presided over as a main celebrant at the Simbang Gabi mass Wednesday (Dec. 23) to highlight the last day of the nine-day novena called Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass in the Philippines, Evening Mass in Chicagoland) ushering in Christmas at the St. Lambert Church in suburban Skokie, Illinois.


One of the five cardinals leading a large U.S. archdiocese, Cardinal George was assisted by more than a dozen priests, including Bishop Francis Kane, who was celebrating “every night” Simbang Gabi masses during the past nine days in different churches.


Also assisting him was Rev. Ronald S. Plomillo, associate pastor of St. Lambert, who was due to return to the Philippines.


An elaborate mass also featured numerous Filipino Christmas carols, featuring Filipino Families of Skokie Choir co-lead by Steven Weyand Folkers and Christopher Gualberto, director and associate director of music of St. Lambert Church; Lou Alog, director of the choir.


The Cardinal has been celebrating Simbang Gabi masses since he took over from the late Joseph Cardinal Bernadine in the 1990s.


In his homily, Cardinal George was very glad that the Catholic Filipinos in Chicagoland area are very enthusiastic and devoted in the observance of a Filipino tradition that welcomes the birth of Jesus Christ.


He also appealed to Catholics, who had stayed away from the church, “to come home.” He said there would be no better season than this time of the year to return to the church when Christ will be born.


Mrs. Teresita L. Nuval, director of the Office of Asian Catholics in the Chicago archdiocese, spoke near the end of the mass to thank Cardinal George and his Archdiocese for accommodating the holding of the Simbang Gabi in more than 70 churches during the last 24 years. She also thanked the Filipino community for attending the masses.


The slightly limping Cardinal nearly lost his balance when another priest assisting him missed a step while taking a turn towards the altar at the start of the mass.


The Simbang Gabi is a spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. Some look at it as a way of requesting blessings from the Lord. Some believe that if they pray and complete the novena, their personal wishes/requests will be granted.


After the mass, everybody was invited to join the meal.

Also in attendance was outgoing Consul General Blesila Cabrera of the Philippine Consulate General in the
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Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 10:12

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