Happy Lunar New Year of the Sheep, Asian families

Good Shepherd rice mural - NJ Viehland PhotosXuan Loc, VIETNAM – This mural of the Good Shepherd made of rice grains hung in the dining room of the Pastoral Complex of the Diocese of Xuan Loc, in Dong Nai, Vietnam, when the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) officials gathered there with delegates and resource persons from around east, south, southeast and central Asia on Dec. 2012 for the Xth FABC Plenary Assembly. 

This year’s celebration of Lunar New Year on Feb. 19 pulls the mural photo out of Catholic in Asia’s media library because the Chinese Zodiac sets the date as the start of the Year of the Sheep until Feb. 7, 2016, and sheep is one of the prominent symbols used in the Christian faith.

Some of the earliest depictions of Christ show him as the Good Shepherd. 

At the same time, lamb also represents Christ as sacrifice (Paschal Lamb) and also a symbol for Christians.

As Christ is Shepherd, Peter, as head of the Church, was told to “feed His sheep.”

For example: 

Jesus gave Peter a three-fold command to “feed my sheep” in John 21:15-17. Each time Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” it was in response to Peter’s three-fold declaration of love for Jesus. 

The three commands, although often translated the same way, are subtly different. The first time Jesus says it, the Greek means literally “pasture (tend) the lambs” (v. 15). The Greek word for “pasture” is in the present tense, denoting a continual action of tending, feeding and caring for animals. Believers are referred to as sheep throughout Scripture. “For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care” (Psalm 95:7). Jesus is both our Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and the Door of the sheepfold (John 10:9). By describing His people as lambs, He is emphasizing their nature as immature and vulnerable and in need of tending and care.

The second time, the literal meaning is “tend My sheep” (v. 16). In this exchange, Jesus was emphasizing tending the sheep in a supervisory capacity, not only feeding but ruling over them. This expresses the full scope of pastoral oversight, both in Peter’s future and in all those who would follow him in pastoral ministry. Peter follows Jesus’ example and repeats this same Greek word poimaino in his first pastoral letter to the elders of the churches of Asia Minor: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers” (1 Peter 5:2).

The third time, the literal translation is “pasture (tend) the sheep” (v. 17). Here Jesus combines the different Greek words to make clear the job of the shepherd of the flock of God. They are to tend, care for, and provide spiritual food for God’s people, from the youngest lambs to the full-grown sheep, in continual action to nourish and care for their souls, bringing them into the fullness of spiritual maturity. The totality of the task set before Peter, and all shepherds, is made clear by Jesus’ three-fold command and the words He chooses.

from http://rosemarieberger.com/2014/11/07/pope-francis-the-holy-people-of-god-living-on-the-peripheries-of-history/

from rosemarieberger.com click photo for full blog post

Pope Francis has also used the symbol of shepherd on various occasions. At his first Chrism Mass in 2013, he used the imagery to stress the need for priests to go out of themselves, reach out to their people in the name of Jesus, and also to allow their people to be media through which Jesus can touch and teach priests.

Pope Francis said:

A priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little – I won’t say “not at all” because, thank God, our people take our oil from us anyway – misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager, “has already received his reward”, and since he doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks. This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, become sad priests, lose heart and become in some sense collectors of antiques or novelties – instead of being shepherds living with “the smell of the sheep”, shepherds in the midst of their flock, fishers of men.

And so it is along these lines of Scripture and Pope Francis’ message to priests that we wish families in and from Asia celebrating Lunar New Year of the Sheep : may prosperity, peace and justice reign in everyone’s lives and in the world through our sacrifices, mercy, compassion and full pastoral care from our Church.

Samar youth orchestra in papal Mass – built to “touch life through music”

CKY orchestra playing Carl Bordeos

Contributed photo of Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra in concert. From Carl Bordeos

The coordinator of a youth symphony orchestra in Samar province, Central Philippines, northwest of where Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) first hit land last year says the young musicians are gearing up to play in Pope Francis’ Mass at Luneta Park on Jan. 18.

Carl Bordeos, coordinator of the 60-member Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra, from Calbayog, Samar, said his group is scheduled to arrive in Manila by January 9, for the general rehearsal with the choir on the 10th & 17th.

In his story of the orchestra sent to Catholic in Asia, Bordeos called the young musicians “missionaries of classical music”. 

Read on to know about this section of the orchestra for the Papal Mass.

Young Musicians from Samar to perform during Pope Francis’ mass in Luneta

By: Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos

The 60-member CHRIST THE KING COLLEGE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (CKC YSO) from the City of Calbayog in Samar will join other instrumentalists from Manila to provide music in one of the Eucharistic Celebrations when Pope Francis visits the country come January 2015. These young musicians from Samar Island, given the special privilege to perform in the papal mass in Luneta, are high school & college students of the Christ the King College, a Franciscan educational institution.

IEC Palma crucifix NJ Viehland

Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu (left) / NJ Viehland Photos

Musical Journey & History

It was Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu Archdiocese who conceptualized the group when he was still bishop in the Diocese of Calbayog in 2005. Through the efforts of Fr. Prisco A. Cajes, OFM, the former CKC President, and the Calbayognons in the United States headed by Walter Rumohr and Tomas Gomez who donated most of the musical instruments, the CKC-YSO was inaugurated during the Solemnity of the Christ the King on November 25, 2007.

After a 5-month rigorous training of the first members by Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM, its Music Director and Conductor, the first concert was launched at the Poor Clare Monastery in Calbayog City. Since then, it has developed into a dynamic group performing in different places in the country. To date, it has performed at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA); New Port Mall of Resorts World Manila; Century Park Hotel; Concert at the Park at the Open-air Auditorium, Rizal Park-Manila; Sabin Resort Hotel in Ormoc City; outreach concerts in far-flung barangays in Calbayog City; and at the Paco Catholic School for the Pondo ng Pinoy upon the invitation of His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, DD.

CKC Youth Orchestra mash up Carl Bordeos

Contributed by Carl Bordeos

Sharing the Gift of Music

Funds raised from the concerts have also financed the Share God’s Gift of Music Program, which comprises the scholarships, values formation and music training of the young-member musicians, upgrade and maintenance of the musical instruments, and outreach concerts in far-flung communities.

Since 2007 and up to the present, Fr. Marlowe seemed marvelous and successful in training the youth of Samar. In fact, two particular life stories of its members were featured in Mel and Joey of GMA-7 last December 12, 2010; an article ‘Youth and Music’ written by a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist last December 13, 2009; ‘Trip to Samar’ written by a travel writer for an online website-based in California, USA; another article ‘Franciscan Friar honored for Music that touches lives’ featured in [CathNews Philippines].

Touching Lives Through Music

Two (2) inspiring stories of its members were featured on national TV: one, was about an orchestra member, who, because of one of CKC-YSO concerts in Manila, met her mom after 10 long years; and, an orchestra member who planned to stop his studies to work for a bakery store in Catbalogan, Samar. Because of the priest-missionary’s encouragement and help, the young man continues his studies. Fr. Marlowe promised to keep him as a student scholar of CKC-YSO.

Because of these as well as other inspiring stories of the orchestra members, the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP, city council) of Calbayog passed a resolution in 2010 declaring Fr. Marlowe as ‘Adopted Son of Calbayog City’ for his dedication and zealous service in developing the orchestra.

In addition, the resolution says“, the City gratefully recognizes and appreciates Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales’ vital contributions to our youths for sharing his knowledge and skills in music, thus bringing pride and honor to the city….”

The Missionaries of Classical Music

The CKC-YSO has not only entertained people in big cities like Manila, Cebu, Tacloban, and Dumaguete. They also have visited remote barangays (barrios) through their music outreach program, bringing the orchestral music closer to the rural folks, who may not have the opportunity to experience it.

Profile of CKC YSO’s Music Director

Born in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, on October 16, 1972 to parents Nestor R. Rosales and Erma A. Rosales, Father Rosales graduated in 2001 from Conservatory of Music of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST) with 2 degrees, Bachelor of Music in Music Education and in Conducting.

His previous assignments were at Saint Francis School in La Libertad, Negros Oriental (Central Philippines) in 2002, as Parochial Vicar of San Vicente Parish in Cebu City in 2003, and in Saint Mary of the Angels Parish in Santa Teresita in Cagayan Valley (northern Philippines) in 2004. In all these places, he organized choirs of high school students.

Currently, he is serving as Missionary of the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista on Samar Island fulfilling his great mission for the youth, touching their lives through the music of his orchestra.

Pope Francis thanks Filipina actress

 

 

Rita Avila YouTube

Rita Avila, actress  http://youtu.be/63Uus-v4BsY

MANILA, Dec. 11, 2014 – Pope Francis, through a high-ranking Vatican official, thanked Rita Avila, a local actress and book author, for recently sending him personal copies of her two books, CBCPNews reported.

What are the books about, why is this actress writing books, and what did Pope Francis tell Rita?

Read full report

Remembering Sri Lankan Catholic cinematographer Andrew Jayamanne – Hector Welgampola

Andrew Jayamanne - screen grab, YouTube, Anura Amarasingha

Andrew Jayamanne – screen grab, YouTube, Anura Amarasingha

A Catholic cinematographer’s unscreened trail of service and travail

“My faith is my life and I will never betray it,” said Andrew Jayamanne in a message to friends soon after leaving Sri Lanka over two yeas ago. It clarified the truth about media distortion of an interview he had given before joining his sons working in Italy.

Witness to truth was the consistent criteria in the life and work of this Catholic cinematographer and media guru, who passed away recently in Italy, at age 71. After colleagues, pupils and fans farewelled him at Colombo’s National Art Gallery, his remains were interred in his native village on Sept. 7.

Though values of truth and transparency are not too popular in today’s media world, the late Jayamanne had assimilated them as part of faith life. Heir to a value heritage so eminently evidenced by the life of his granduncle, the late Cardinal Thomas Cooray, his spirituality was nurtured in Periyamulla parish. His father, Vincent Jayamanne, led the parish as lifelong Church warden. Beatrice, his gracious mother, was a model of Catholic motherhood, and their home was a stoic school for life.

Jayamanne had his early education at the village Catholic School and Colombo’s Minor Seminary. He began honing cinematic skills under the guidance of another great son of Periyamulla, Father Ignatius Perera, founder director of Radio Electronics, Colombo. The priest’s home-grown holistic spirituality had made him equally at ease in conducting the Vatican choir as in solving technical problems of then Radio Ceylon. And Jayamanne was blessed with the privilege of assimilating the techno-artistic versatility and simplicity of that many-talented genius.

As young Jayamanne graduated from cameraman, to scriptwriter, filmcritic cinedirector and media guru, his Christian simplicity and genuine humanity outshone all talents and attributes. Even as a top cinematographer, he was equally available to high-brow professionals as to no-brow amateurs.

Being very much a people person, he drew no distinction between classical cinema and popular cinema. His professionalism echoed what Pope Francis said recently about film culture. Antonio Spadoro’s book “Pope Francis” summed up the preferred papal view of media in these words: “The classic work is the one that everyone can somehow feel as their own, not something that belongs to a small group of refined connoisseurs,” That indeed was part of the media values Jayamanne sought to cultivate through the pioneer media training courses he ran for OCIC. His teaching skills came to be much valued throughout the country as well as beyond.

Andrew Jayamanne - screen grab, YouTube, Anura Amarasingha

Andrew Jayamanne – screen grab, YouTube, Anura Amarasingha

From the 1970s onward, his career peaked over three decades. With some 30 movies and an equal number of teledramas to his credit, Jayamanne’s accolades included a dozen media awards. But accolades never went into his head, and his heart never swayed from his steadfast value base. His reluctance to trade principles for opportunism, however, gradually undermined his career. Bowed but not broken, he found much rewarding experience as a media guru until he decided to take a break away from the local media minefield.

Jayamanne’s decision to leave Sri Lanka did cause a major flutter in local filmdom as well as in political circles. A sense of guilt prompted attempts at last-minute remedial measures. But they were too little too late. The cancer of professional undercutting and opportunism had already begun to erode his spirit. His final ailment was only its physical manifestation. However, the million dollar question remains whether both his welfare and the training of future artistes could not have been better achieved if Church and State media agencies had continued to better harness his energies. Therein also lies the cue to this media mahatma’s unscreened saga of witness to truth.
May the Divine Artiste unravel its lessons while Andrew Jayamanne returns to the heavenly embrace of his ancestors.

Hector Welgampola

Veteran Asian Church journalist Hector Welgampola from Sri Lanka retired Executive Editor of the former Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) based in Bangkok. Before joining UCAN, Hector headed editorial teams of newspapers in Sri Lanka. Since retiring from UCAN Hector has lived in Australia with his wife, Rita. He authored the resource book Asian Church Glossary and Stylebook.

Veteran Asian Church journalist Hector Welgampola from Sri Lanka has retired as Executive Editor of the former Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) based in Hong Kong, then Bangkok. Before UCAN, Hector headed editorial teams of newspapers in Sri Lanka. Since retiring Hector has lived in Australia with his wife, Rita. He authored the resource book Asian Church Glossary and Stylebook.

 

 

Franciscan Sisters’ school expands education to Aeta

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Sr. Mary Francis Borje, 75, looks in on the culture class of the indigenous Aeta cultural group of students at St. Francis Learning Center in Subic, Zambales, which she started and coordinates, after serving four years in mission among Dayak tribespeople in Indonesia. She was assigned to Subic in 1990, more than a decade after returning to the Philippines.. (N.J. Viehland)

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Sr. Mary Francis Borje, 75, looks in on the culture class of the indigenous Aeta cultural group of students at St. Francis Learning Center in Subic, Zambales, which she started and coordinates, after serving four years in mission among Dayak tribespeople in Indonesia. She was assigned to Subic in 1990, more than a decade after returning to the Philippines.. (N.J. Viehland)

Coming to Subic just before the rampage of Mt. Pinatubo volcano was more than coincidence. The Lord knows many things I do not know. – Sister Mary Francis Borje, SFIC

Read full story   Franciscan Sisters’ school expands education to Aeta

 

Thy will be done…even on The Voice!

Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia’s success in The Voice certainly breaks stereotypes, including,
nun = spinster (to borrow from Pope Francis’ message to some 800 women religious representing International Union of Superiors General (UISG in May 2013)

 

CNS Blog

ROME — Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia’s landslide victory on The Voice of Italy last night wasn’t as big a surprise as much as what she did with her winner’s platform.

prize

She thanked everyone on the talent show for their help and support, but left her highest praise for God.

“My final and most important thanks go to the one who is up there,” she said to applause.

thank him

She said her presence on The Voice wasn’t to walk away a winner or a music star, but to show people a different kind of victory:

“My dream is to recite the Our Father together, maybe we can all hold each other’s hands and pray. I want Jesus to come right here inside!”

It left most people perplexed and unsure, but Sister Cristina was in charge, telling the band to strike up a soft melody to set the mood.

Half-joking, the MC said…

View original post 409 more words

Caritas Manila, Ryan Cayabyab & foundations team up in “tribute to people’s faith”

In pictures

Caritas Manila Chairman Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila and Executive Director Father Anton Pascual (left) with renowned composer-musician and papal awardee Ryan Cayabyab and Esther Santos, President of PLDT-Smart Foundation present "RISE! Rebuild from the Ruins" benefit concert they organized to support Caritas Manila's rehabilitation of churches and chapels destroyed by Haiyan in Samar and Leyte provinces. By NJ Viehland.

Caritas Manila Chairman Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila and Executive Director Father Anton Pascual (left) with renowned composer-musician and papal awardee Ryan Cayabyab and Esther Santos, President of PLDT-Smart Foundation present “RISE! Rebuild from the Ruins” benefit concert they organized to support Caritas Manila’s rehabilitation of churches and chapels destroyed by Haiyan in Samar and Leyte provinces. By NJ Viehland.

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila was saying Mass in typhoon ravaged Palo cathedral at the close of the archdiocese’s diamond jubilee celebration last November when he witnessed with admiration the “unshakable faith” of people amidst suffering.

This, Cardinal Tagle told a press conference on Friday, was what the fund raising concert of sacred music of renowned composer and musician Ryan Cayabyab called “Rise! Rebuilding from the Ruins” on June 11 hopes to recognize. 

Cardinal Tagle recalled his Mass last year inside the church whose roof had been blown away by typhoon Haiyan. People just covered the top of the church with tarpauline material so when rain poured during Cardinal Tagle’s Mass, people and things inside got wet.

“At the end of my homily the wind blew. It rained and people panicked. They seemed allergic to the wind,” Cardinal Tagle told journalists, artists, co-organizers and partners for the concert. “One thing I appreciated was people stayed through the rain and finished the Mass,” added the cardinal who chairs the Board of Caritas Manila. 

“This is the church – the building – but this is also the living church which stays firm even when the roof blows away,” Cardinal Tagle remembers thinking to himself.

He said the “effort to rebuild the buildings made of stone and steel and iron sheets is actually not only a tribute to God or to the faith, but also a tribute to the living community and their living faith.”

Organizers, talents and supporters of the upcoming concert to be held in Manila Cathedral are also paying tribute to the physical church that serves as refuge, sanctuaries, evacuation centers and dormitories in times of crises like Haiyan, locally named Yolanda, Cardinal Tagle said.

Read full report 

 

Musician-composer Ryan Cayabyab is 60 years old and he has his "Philippines senior's card" to show journalists and guests at the May 30 press con at Arzobispado de Manila, in Intramuros to prove it. To show gratitude for his talent and to "give back to the church", Cayabyab is working with Caritas Manila, which is also celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year, to stage the June 11 benefit concert "RISE! Rebuilding from the Ruins" at the Manila Cathedral that aims to raise 20 million pesos to help rebuild 20 churches and chapels in Leyte and Samar devastated by Yolanda (Haiyan). - NJ Viehland Photos

Musician-composer Ryan Cayabyab is 60 years old and he has his “Philippines senior’s card” to show journalists and guests at the May 30 press con at Arzobispado de Manila, in Intramuros to prove it. To show gratitude for his talent and to “give back to the church”, Cayabyab is working with Caritas Manila, which is also celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year, to stage the June 11 benefit concert “RISE! Rebuilding from the Ruins” at the Manila Cathedral that aims to raise 20 million pesos to help rebuild 20 churches and chapels in Leyte and Samar devastated by Yolanda (Haiyan). – NJ Viehland Photos

 

Ryan Cayabyab singers perform at press con at Arzobispado for RISE! Rebuilding from the Ruins, a benefit concert of sacred music on june 12 at Manila Cathedral to raise funds for reconstruction of churches and chapels in Leyte and Samar destroyed by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). - by NJ Viehland

Ryan Cayabyab singers perform at press con at Arzobispado for RISE! Rebuilding from the Ruins, a benefit concert of sacred music on june 12 at Manila Cathedral to raise funds for reconstruction of churches and chapels in Leyte and Samar destroyed by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). – by NJ Viehland

 

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Day of Lament and Hope in pictures

Faith-based movie hits it big in US box office

[Update April 26, 2014, 8:23 a.m.]

Heaven is for Real, a controversial movie based on the book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent raked in US$21.5 million over the Easter weekend placing it 3rd in the box-office for that period.

Billed as a “true story”, Heaven Is for Real is a story of Colton, a four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives his appendectomy and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.

Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.

To watch the trailer video click here

“Told by the father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle,” Amazon.com’s description of the book says.

Hollandsentinel.com’s monitor records Heaven is for Real as the fourth “overtly faith-based hit of the year.”

The story has also fueled discussion and controversy over near-death experiences with some critics calling these “figments of the human imagination,” and even “products of demonic deception.” Questions it triggered touched a wide range of issues, including whether non-Christians can go to heaven.

Nepal student group forms media club – Robert Urau report

Kathmadu: A group of students in Nepal has become the first to start a video production club in Salesian South Asia Region. They are part of a media club spread out over three continents and in four countries (Poland, Ghana, Israel and Nepal).

The newly formed club in the Himalayan kingdom started off with a group of 15 boys who underwent two weeks training in basic photography and film making under the direction of Polish Salesian Fr. Roman Sikon, a member of “Art 43” Film School.

After the completion of the film making course, Fr Sikon, a professional film maker, organized photo competition for the students.

Seeing the enthusiasm and talent of the students Fr Sikon introduced them to the Salesian media club called “Art 43 Club,” which was started in the Salesian theology study institute at Krakow in Poland.

The name “Art 43” derives from Article 43 of the Constitutions of the Salesians of Don Bosco which says “by creating awareness of the importance of communication in the Salesian mission and of its educative and apostolic effectiveness.”

“The students of Don Bosco Thecho in Lalitpur district of Kathmandu formed their own group of “Art. 43 Nepal” on April 15 along with some of their teachers,” says Director of the Technical Institute Fr. Jijio John proud of the achievement of his boys.

To see their first video production please click here

The Article 43 Movement started off as an experiment in social communication that involved the four provinces of Poland involving Salesians, the Salesian Family and young people from all over Poland who are committed to the social communication ministry. It all started way back in 2006 when the former Rector Major Pascuale Chavez preached a retreat to the Salesian Rectors who in turn motivated some young Salesians to get into media ministry.

“Article 43 is a movement comprising different groups of Salesians and lay people of the Salesian Family and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in Poland and elsewhere. Each group retains its identity and achieves its specific objectives in the area of social communication,” says Fr Sikon.

In 2008, after the reorganization of the houses of formation in Poland, the post-novices of the Lad and Warta community published a bulletin called Lenda, produced a film about the life of the community, started the community website, and extended their activities in collaboration with the local youth centre.

With the help of the young people of the Salesian Youth Volunteer Movement, Article 43 was exported to Ghana in Africa.

Soon other local groups were started in Poland and the formation activities of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) began to spread with Radio Desert as well as the Salesian Youth Movement newsletters Czas Laski and Kontakt.

There is an Art 43 group also in the International Theology study house at Ratisbonne, Jerusalem, in Israel.

“One of the characteristic features of this experience is a passion for formation, professional training in the field of social communication, and spiritual and theological formation,” recalls Fr Sikon who has recently joined Nepal mission.

“Formation is at the basis of all their activities that now reach schools, universities, youth centres, parishes, digital browsers, television viewers, radio listeners, readers of the bulletins,” explains Fr Sikon.

[This story appeared in Matters India]

Philippines parish takes Way of the Cross to the streets

Good Friday at San Isidro Parish, Bagong Silangan community, Quezon City, in pictures:

san isidro Mary NJ Viehland

Youth and Worship committees of San Isidro Labrador Parish in the Diocese of Novaliches took the Stations of the Cross to the streets of their teeming community northeast of Manila on this steamy Good Friday and was met with this:


san isidro kids climb NJ Viehland

Boys climb to catch a glimpse of actors re-enacting Jesus’ crowning with thorns. NJ Viehland

san isidro kids on jeep NJ Viehland

san isidro youth senakulo kids NJ Viehland

san isidro senakulo children bus NJ Viehland

Curious children take refuge from scorching sun and watch from inside a parked bus. NJ Viehland

Children and elders among the 100,000 parishioners wanted to catch a glimpse of “Jesus Christ” and his “tormentors, followers” and his “mother.”

Parish priest Father Aris Escobal of the Order of Carmelites (OCarm), Philippines, agreed to hold the Good Friday activity called “Senakulo” around the parish this year. “Older parishioners resisted, but the youth were eager,” he told Catholic in Asia. Eventually the Parish Youth Group and Worship Committee worked together also in collaboration with Basic Ecclesial Communities that set up the stations of the cross and Titus Brandsma Media Center of the Philippines OCarm.

After catechesis on the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, youth worked out their scripts, prayers, music, props, routes, decorated their costumes and re-enacted the story of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.

san isidro costume NJ Viehland

san isidro group pic NJ Viehland

san isidro alindayu NJ Viehland

Rev. Arnold Alindayu, OCarm deacon lent a hand (with Krisna Furing as Herod). NJ Viehland

Most of the short dramas were staged in the streets after short processions up and down the hilly Bagong Silangan community under the scorching sun

san isidro way of the cross NJ Viehland

san isidro soldiers NJ Viehland

The community prayed their last stations in their favorite place to hang out – the basketball court near the church.

San Isidro youth Way of the Cross point NJ Viehlandsan isidro labrador Youth senakulo NJ Viehlandsan isidro youth senakulo crowd NJ Viehland

“Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world,” they prayed together. The look on these children’s faces remind me of Pope Francis’ tweet : @Pontifex How beautiful it is to stand before the Crucifix, simply to be under the Lord’s gaze, so full of love. (EG 264)

san isidro fr escobal youth NJ ViehlandFr. Aris Escobal, OCarm (center in brown) with San Isidro Parish Youth

[more to follow on these “Easter people” of San Isidro parish)