Some 300 people joined the celebration of the Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila on Sept. 29, 2017 at the St. Thomas a’Becket church in Canton.
The fiesta goers, mostly Filipino Americans, came from various parishes in Michigan, including those in Wayne, Ann Arbor and Belleville. They responded favorably to the invitation extended by the San Lorenzo Ruiz group-Canton headed by Lee Vargas.
Mabuhay San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day
The feast day celebration was made more meaningful with messages on the occasion by the Holy Father Pope Francis, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.
In his message, Pope Francis sends his love to the St. Lorenzo Filipino group and gave his assurance of remembrance in his prayers.
Cardinal Tagle commends the group, saying “I am glad that you promote the devotion to St. Lorenzo Ruiz, and at the same time, you immerse yourselves in charitable activities. It is good that works of piety are accompanied by works of charity.”
Detroit Bishop Vigneron is grateful for the strong presence of Filipino Catholic community throughout the archdiocese. He prays that the group’s time together will strengthen its commitment to growing in holiness and fidelity in Christ. In our work of Unleashing the Gospel in Southeast Michigan, he is greatly encouraged, knowing that the group is willing to take up the challenge of bringing the message that Christ is our loving savior. He thanks Father Chris Maus for working devotedly as the group’s spiritual advisor for three years.
San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day 3rd Year Celebration
The celebration, now in its third year, was highlighted by a 6 p.m. mass said by Fr. Chris Maus. In his homily, Father Maus cited the importance of handing down the Filipino culture, values and traditions to the younger generations, saying that if this is not done, this beautiful heritage would die.
Father Maus praised the dedication and commitment of the San Lorenzo Ruiz group-Canton to the celebration of the annual feast day, noting “they have been planning and making preparations for many months.” He commends the many volunteers from other parishes for joining hands with Filipinos of St. Thomas a’Becket parish to make this event a success. He welcomes different cultural groups that work together to enrich spiritual well-being and bring unity of faith in our diversity.
Assisting Father Maus in the celebration of the mass was Filipino-American Msgr. John Vargas. Also in attendance was Fr. Manny Chircop.
The Isang Binhi and Friends choir sang the hymns and psalms in Filipino. The choir was so impressive in its performance that people asked from what parish the members come.
The celebration was capped by a cultural show highlighted by song and dance numbers. Some of the numbers were presented by children as young as six years old.
The children, dressed in Filipino outfit, offered roses to St. Lorenzo, sang and acted out the “Ama Namin” (Our Father), danced “Bulaklakan” (Flower Dance) and joined the group in singing “Yesterday’s Dream” and “We say Mabuhay.” The little kids looked cute and adorable.
The youngsters, who called themselves “Young Filipino-Americans,” choreographed their own dance, and the young mothers were graceful dancing “Lawiswis Kawayan” (Swishing Bamboos).
There were over 20 different kinds of food and dessert served. Filipinos from other parishes brought favorite food. Ichiban of Canton donated sushi. The dishes include different kinds of pansit (noodles), adobo, caldereta, chicken, laing (gabi leaves), litson (roasted pig), cassava cake, leche flan, buko-pandan and puto.
Lee Vargas commended the Food Committee for doing an excellent job. She also praised the young and new members for a tremendous job in coordinating and recruiting Filipinos to donate food through FaceBook.
San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day Sponsors
The St. Lorenzo Ruiz group-Canton thanked the sponsors and friends for their financial assistance. They included Rick St. Peter, Kevin Ryan, Jen Monforton and Barb Palazzolo.