Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations, officiated at the Holy Mass. (Filipino Reporter photos by Manny Caballero)
The Philippine Consulate General New York, in coordination with 10 sponsoring Filipino-American community groups under the Coalition of Schools and ANCOP opened the nine-day Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado on Dec. 6, 2016.
The main mass celebrant was Papal Nuncio to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza and concelebrated by Fr. Ed Jocson. An overflow crowd packed the Kalayaan Hall and the Kalayaan Annex for the first night of Simbang Gabi.
Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega welcomed the more than 200 Filipino-American community members who attended the first day of Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado.
Now on its 29th year, the Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado’s theme for 2016 is “MapayapangPasko Para sa Maunlad na Pagbabago” (A Peaceful Christmas Towards Progressive Change).
The Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado provides a venue for the Filipino-American community to continue celebrating Filipino Christmas traditions overseas, as well as gives them an opportunity to collaborate, coordinate and work together to organize masses, salu-salo and other events like gift-giving and community Christmas caroling.
In her remarks, Consul General Theresa Dizon-de Vega thanked all the sponsoring organizations throughout the nine-day activity as it allows the different community organizations to work together for a distinctly Filipino Christmas tradition.
She likewise noted that while the Simbang Gabi is now on its third decade, by opening our hearts to the genuine meaning of Simbang Gabi the ritual will remain fresh and meaningful.
In his homily, Archbishop Auza emphasized the significant role of the Filipino community in addressing the cultural challenges that migrants face in particular the transitions and gaps from one generation to the next.
He thanked the community for sharing traditions like Simbang Gabi alive in New York and sharing it with the younger generation and mainstream U.S. society.
The Couples for Christ Music Ministry provided the music for the first night of the Simbang Gabi mass.
Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado will be held at the Philippine Center until Dec. 14, 2016.
This year’s edition will be co-sponsored by more than 50 Filipino organizations and five business organizations owned or headed by Filipinos.
More than 200 members of the Filipino-American Community attended the first day of the traditional Simbang Gabi at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.
Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega and Archbishop Auza joined by the representatives of the co-sponsoring groups during the first day of traditional Simbang Gabi at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.
Consul General de Vega with members of the Couples for Christ Music Ministry which provided the music for the first night of Simbang Gabi.