Some few years ago, my cousin and I used to go to the annual Bamboo Organ Concert in Las Piñas.  I had wondered why the audience stands during the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus” portion of Handel’s “Messiah.”  I’d found out that the custom dates back to the 17th  century when England’s King George II heard the presentation for the first time, he was so moved by the “Hallelujah Chorus” that he stood on his feet in honor of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  Since no one remains seated when royalty stands, the rest of the audience have stood ever since.  During that time the King of Persia was the greatest king and referred himself as the king of kings.

“Teach them to observe all

that I have commanded you;

And I am with you always

until the end of time”.

Matthew 28:20

 

After becoming a catechist in our parish almost twenty years ago, I have an ever-increasing desire to share my faith with others.  Our parish priest then, Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Sunga called to ask me to coordinate a parish evangelization program.  We started with a small band of amateur evangelizers who really didn’t know what we were doing, but we learned along the way.  We started with a “Welcome Home” program for inactive Catholics and a “Welcome to our Parish” program for new comers who will eventually serve the parish.  Later on, we put up the Sunday School to develop in these little men and women of tomorrow a deep sense of being loved by God and His presence in their life.  They were prepared to receive their First Holy Communion.

In celebration of All Saints Day, the Sunday School children of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish presented a brief “Parade of Saints” who have made it to heaven.  It was presented worthily to divert the idea of “Halloween” though in rituals are rooted in pagan practice centered on death and the coming of evil spirits.

Today most Christians follow that pagan festival decorating their homes with morbid images and dressing themselves like demons, devils, witches, vampires, zombies, ghost and other spooky characters.

Contrary, All Saints Day is the festival par excellence.  Catholics honor, cherish, and pray for the intercession of canonized saints and celebrate the communion of saints – all the baptized in heaven, purgatory and on earth remain connected and are one part of the one Body of Christ.  It is a day of awakening in all community members hope and joy in their solidarity with the friends of God and prophets of all ages.

 

This is the story of Msgr. Daniel B. Sta. Maria. He grew up in Barrio Hulo, Mandaluyong, near the banks of the Pasig River. He remembers spending summers catching “talangka” and shrimp in the river, with his childhood friend, Joven. He studied chemical engineering under full scholarship at the University of Santo Tomas.

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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