Celebrating Christmas in Manila

The Manila community of sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus celebrates Christmas Filipino-style, bringing prayer and song with young people to various places in their neighborhood. 

Christmas is definitely something we look forward to in the Philippines each year – at least, until mid-way through the pre-Christmas novena (known as Simbang Gabi), when the exhaustion sets in and we start longing for it to be over!

That aside, it’s great to feel the excitement in the air. We have a lively, faithful bunch of FCJ college scholars and youth who work very hard with us to bring joy and peace to those around us every Christmas season. From caroling in the streets and singing at 5am Simbang Gabi masses, to hosting Christmas parties for children and youth, our Christmas activities are hard work but most rewarding when we see the smiles on people’s faces.

 

No doubt the most moving experience for most of us each year is our visit to patients in a nearby orthopaedic hospital, bringing gifts and carols, but most importantly offering our compassionate presence to those who suffer and struggle. It is a gentle reminder for us to walk with and keep especially in our hearts those who are still waiting for God’s light when the rest of the world seems wrapped up in holiday joy.

Caroling in a hospital

 

May the birth of Jesus bring light to your life and to our world this Christmas.

In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1: 78 – 79