Mass celebrates Filipino migrants around the world

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

NEW YORK — St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, played host to hundreds of Filipino Americans who trooped to the city to hear the Filipino Apostolate Mass in honor of the feast day of San Lorenzo Ruiz on Sunday, Sept. 23.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of the first Filipino saint, and all Filipino migrants all over the world,” Fr. Erno Diaz, director of the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz said as he welcomed everyone.

Rev. Onesimo Gordoncillo, archbishop of Capiz, was the principal celebrant and he was joined by about 20 pastors and priests who concelebrated the mass. Ambassador Hilario Davide and his wife Virginia and Deputy Consul General Millie Thomeczek led the list of officials representing the Philippines in the event.

The feast’s theme, “Celebrating Filipino Migrants Around the World” focused on the Filipino diaspora and how Lorenzo Ruiz, himself a migrant, is considered the patron saint of Filipino migrants and Overseas Filipino Workers.

Fr. Diaz also announced the launching of The San Lorenzo Ruiz Global Hour which means bringing the Holy Mass, complete with bilingual hymns in Tagalog and English via The Filipino Channel (TFC). “This is our way of bringing the mass to our brothers and sisters here and elsewhere who otherwise would not be able to attend mass and listen to the word of God,” Fr. Diaz added.

Various Filipino parish groups from different parts of New York and New Jersey joined in the processional march dressed in their Filipiniana best as the liturgical celebration went underway.

Ambassador Davide led the congregation in reading the prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz.

“You, who died in a foreign land and left a family in our dear motherland / Take special care of all Filipinos living and working here in the United States and in other parts of the world / And of their loved ones left behind in the Philippines / Inspire them, as well, to serve as envoys of our Faith and of Filipino family values,” the prayer read.

Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 15, 1981 and was canonized along w ith four Spaniards, nine Japanese and one Italian on October 18, 1987.   (

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