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By Sister Mary Moylan SSC
Sister Mary Moylan, who worked before in the
One of the most colorful May processions in the
Today’s Santacruzan procession continues to include Helena, as Santa Elena, and the boy Emperor Constantine, combining the memory of that pilgrimage with the Flores de Mayo, the Philippine devotion honoring Our Lady with floral offerings. She has a special place in Filipino hearts.
The zagalas, beautiful young ladies in magnificent dresses, walk in procession under arches of flowers, accompanied by their escorts dressed in the traditional Barong Tagalog. At the end of the procession, with music and prayer, each zagala offers her garland of flowers to Our Lady.
For several years on the last Sunday of May,
The police escorting the procession through the street traffic compliment the organizers on the good order they achieve. ‘Your demonstrations are always so peaceful. We never have trouble with them. We really like them.’
Filipino migrants working in
A great back-up team included Linda Roxas and her husband Cesar, of Couples for Christ (CFC), and the Filipino chaplaincy in the Archdiocese of Westminster,
Bring back the Faith
On the Saturday prayer groups across
Spreading the Gospel
There was no mistaking the high level of energy among the participants who shared their experiences of migration and adaptation. They were overjoyed to have their experiences of lived faith confirmed. God was felt to be very present in their lives. Despite all the hard work and homesickness in a foreign country, His Providence is very real. So is the sense of God’s call to mission, and deep gratitude for His blessings. Filipinos in
Father Albert reminded his mga kababayan that they had come to find a livelihood, not a way of dying. The hard truth is that many overwork – and even die – in the effort to send money home to their families. The costs of migration, the suffering and the pain of loss, have to be acknowledged. Their coming together to celebrate the Santacruzan suggests that the challenge now is to discover in our times the mystery of human suffering, the mystery of the cross.
In the course of the day young British Filipinos met their counterparts from continental
Filipino migrants today are scattered worldwide. We Columbans who worked in Pangasinan were delighted to spot in the procession a banner from
A public religious procession through the streets of London is such a rarity that a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) team attracted by the CFC banner of Our Lady wanted to interview them along the route. Clearly, a new sense of God’s call and God’s providence emerged during the festival in the shared experience of being migrants.
As Father Albert said, ‘Not one of you is here in
You may contact Sr Mary Moylan at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Columban Sisters,