Simbang Gabi being readied in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO – On its ninth year, the Filipino community’s Simbang Gabi Mass with Commissioning Rites has become prominent in life of the Catholic Church in San Francisco. This year’s Mass will be held on Dec. 6 at 7: 30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.
It was in 2008 that then-Archbishop George H. Niederauer initiated this celebration at the Cathedral and it has been held annually ever since.
No less than Pope Benedict XVI sent a message in 2008, stating his “prayerful support and apostolic blessing to all Filipinos on the occasion of Simbang Gabi…in San Francisco…”
In the succeeding years, other Main Celebrants included Bishops William Justice and Robert McElroy (now Bishop of San Diego) and Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Filipino Vatican Envoy to the UN, and the current San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Established in 1853, the Archdiocese of San Francisco had as its early parishioners Irish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese immigrants, who had no known devotional and cultural tradition that impacted the life of the local church as much as Simbang Gabi.
Early next month, a schedule of Simbang Gabi Masses throughout the Archdiocese will be available.
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