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Sto. Niño feast highlights rights of children

Submitted by: regina
On: 20/01/2010


The Feast of the Sto. Niño on January 17 was celebrated in Cebu City and in various parishes and chapels in the Philippines.

At the Good Shepherd Convent in Quezon City, the Mass began with the dance of Sisters and lay persons carrying various images of the Holy Child.  While dancing, the faithful also chanted "Pit Señor!" which is short for "Sangpit sa Senyor" or loosely translated as Hail the Lord! The celebration also highlighted the rights of children that each one must respect.

In his homily, Fr. Noel O Carm, enjoined those gathered to remember the thousands who died during the earthquake in Haiti, many of whom were children. He also prayed that the Filipino people will continue to grow in faith.

Sr. Maureen Catabian of the Women, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (WJPIC) Office led the prayers that emphasized that the feast should also remind the faithful that many children suffer injustices and are victims of abuse. The United Nations Secretary General has always stressed the promotion and protection of the rights of children.

Migrants from Sto. Niño  Filipino Community
in Rome visit Sisters in the Philippines

On January 12, migrant workers from the Sto. Nino Filipino community in Casilina district in Rome, visited the Good Shepherd Provinciate  in Quezon City. 

The migrant workers and their family members led by Ms. Sabina Garcia were met by Good Shepherd Sisters Guadalupe Bautista, Jane Pineda, Rose Tapia, Evelyn Coronel and Regina Kuizon who all attended Masses at the Sto. Nino Filipino community when they were still in Rome. The reunion was an occasion for the migrants to celebrate with the Sisters the feast of the Sto.Nino.

Sr. Cecilia Torres, province leader, Sr. James Wilson and sisters from the Provincialate Amelia David, Teresa Danganan, Teresa Mahinay, with Mrs. Reynoso and her staff made the occasion a joyful celebration of friendship.

Since 1996, the Good Shepherd Congregation has been affiliated with United Nations and is in consultative status with Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC). The purpose of this affiliation is to further our mission of reconciliation, particularly in its orientation toward girls and women. Through this means of collaboration we work to bring about change in whatever conditions condemn others to a marginalized life. Through our affiliation with the goals of the UN, we seek to extend mercy to the poor and to the oppressed, awakening our world to the dignity and value of each person.

Traditionally celebrated in the Philippines on the third Sunday of January, the feast of the Sto. Niño honors the Holy Child. The original image of  the Sto. Niño is in Cebu City.  It was a gift of Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his wife in 1521 when they were baptized Catholics and took the names Carlos and Juana.

In 1565, another war broke out and the natives to flee to the mountain leaving behind their villages burnt to the ground. As Spanish soldiers inspected the burnt village, one soldier found an image of the Child Jesus under the pile of ashes unscathed inside the wooden box. The same Image now lies in the Basilica del Sto. Niño.

There are more than 60 Sto. Niño parishes in the Philippines.