May you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter, everyone! Yes, we're now into the Holy Week with today's commemoration of Jesus Christ, our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem, known as the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.
Away from home since yesterday afternoon, we're one of the parents who attended the annual "Barrio Fiesta" of the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA) at the University of Virginia where our daughter has been a student member-leader for years, like her brother (now an alumnus, Class of 2010). As the culminating activity of OYFA for the year, the "Barrio Fiesta" celebration is usually held at this time of the year, Lenten/Easter Season, prior to the college graduation or commencement exercises for graduating leader-members of the organization. Undoubtedly, it highlights and profiles the overall participation and involvement, and achievements of all the student officers and members of the organization, especially the graduating student leader-members whose time has come for them to pass on the baton of leadership to the next generation. It's also the reunion time for the alumni and current membership of the organization. Likewise, it also serves as a networking initiative for OYFA and other FilAm student organizations from different colleges/universities in the state and other states.
With it's theme, "Paglalakbay" or Journey, this year's Barrio Fiesta 2012 was held yesterday, March 31st, at 2 P.M., same venue (a public high school in C-ville, with a performing arts center) as the previous years. As always, there were speeches by the student organization leaders/officers (outgoing and incoming), singing of U.S. and Philippine national anthems, the acknowledgement of other FilAm students from different colleges and universities, i.e. Virginia Tech, ODU, College of William and Mary, then cultural performances with a short skit or play (or drama), and Filipino folkdances (like the famous "Tinikling" in the video above) and modern dances, and awarding of this year's OYFA's Scholarship recipient (our daughter was once an awardee), and video presentation about last year's involvement and activities of the student organization. After the cultural show, we ate Filipino food (early dinner) served by FilAm students, as usual, at the high school's cafeteria. Excellent show, entertaining, lots of people, lots of good food! As usual, lots of parents showed up to support their students. Lots of their friends were there, too. That's my observations about OYFA's Barrio Fiesta 2012. As always, we enjoyed the show and the food and the camaraderie among students and parents and guests. (This will possibly be our last Barrio Fiesta since our daughter will be graduating this May 2012. The fact is, we've been attending/participating and supporting this event since our son started his first year membership in the University in 2007? )
With Palm Sunday, today starts the beginning of the Holy Week leading to Easter, for all Catholics and other Christians all over the world. Our family participated in the 9:00 o'clock A.M. Palm Sunday liturgy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church where we always attend Mass each time we're in C-ville. This Catholic Church is within the University campus. (Now, this time, I've got to answer the questions posed by one of the Catholic bloggers I've been following. I just happened to read his Sunday blog post about Palm Sunday prior to writing this blog post.) Yes, our Mass began with the opening of Jesus's triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the Gospel was read at the Garden of the Church where we gathered and afterwards processed into the main church. Yes, our Mass had the blessing of the palms by the presiding priest.
A trained young man, possibly a student of the University, assumed the role of the narrator. For the parts of the Gospel spoken by Christ, the presiding priest took those parts. A specific lector, an older man, took the parts of the Voice (specific words of certain individuals like Peter, Judas or Pontius Pilate). Yes, the parts of the Gospel assigned to the Crowd, specifically the line, "Crucify Him!" were proclaimed by the crowd or congregation. Yes, the long version Passion was read or proclaimed today. And yes, there was a homily today by the presiding priest. He spoke about disappointment and sacrifices and suffering, and taking part in Jesus' passion, suffering and death, and resurrection and glory. I don't know what to say whether his homily was shorter than normal because this is the first time we encountered the presiding priest today. I was touched, though, by his homily. Indeed, the Mass was a solemn one.
Thanks to God that our family had the opportunity to be together yesterday and today's Palm Sunday. Thank you, Jesus! May we share in your life, death and resurrection, and glory! Jesus, remember us when you come into your Kingdom! Amen.
As always, thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos I embedded with this blog post. Thanks Google and Blogger.
Until next time around, folks. Hope you have had a blessed day and Holy Week! Take care, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 01April2012