Filipino Community Honors Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag 


Archbishop Gabriele Caccia celebrated Mass as part of the Fil-Am Catholic Community of the Hudson Valley’s Marian Day of Recollection honoring Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown.

A statue of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag was in Middletown for the Oct. 22 Mass.

Archbishop Caccia, the permanent  observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, opened his homily by referring to the image everyone had received of St. Pope John Paul II and to his first homily as pope. St. Pope John Paul II, who began his pontificate on Oct. 22, 1978, visited the Philippines twice, including 1995 for World Youth Day.

“Do not be afraid, open wide the doors for Christ to his saving power,” said Archbishop Caccia of St. Pope John Paul II’s homily. “Do not be afraid, Christ knows what is in man. He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he’s uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth, he’s assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you, with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has the word of life, yes of eternal life.

“Beautiful. Beautiful. And these words are still valid today.” 

Archbishop Caccia used Mary as an example who taught us how to open the door to Christ, and explained that the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag serves as a reminder of the strong faith of the Filipino people. 

With World Mission Sunday Oct. 23, the archbishop reminded Filipinos of sharing their gift of Christ and their faith with others, which was the motto of the 500th anniversary of Christianity marked last year in the Philippines.

“It’s a great joy to celebrate tonight the greatness of the Lord but also to be reminded of what we receive, the peace, the forgiveness the Lord gave us. It’s also something we can share, we can bring to others,” he said.

Archbishop Caccia, speaking to and about the Filipino people, said, “And you are very good because you are always smiling, even when life is very problematic. That means that you recognize there is something more than our problems. There is a light in darkness, and when we share this even the problems become a little less difficult. 

“So continue to bring the light of faith in your life, in your family, within your friends, in the place you work, where you live. Do not be afraid. Never. The Lord is with us, our Mama Mary is with us, and with their help we can do great things.”

Following was a potluck dinner, which concluded a day with an opportunity for confession, quiet time for reflection, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with praise and worship, Benediction and a talk by Father Justin Cinnante, O. Carm.

“It was a very fruitful and prayerful day honoring Mama Mary (as we call her in Tagalog) under the title of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag,” said Brother Von Erick Maria Sandoval, O. Carm., who is the coordinator of the Fil-Am Catholic Community of the Hudson Valley, in an email. 

“It was providential that she was here in October, the month of the Holy Rosary. The Mass was very prayerful and solemn.”

Simplicia Yap, a member of the Fil-Am Catholic Community of the Hudson Valley, was one of the event’s organizers. She said 150 people attended, exceeding expectations.

The parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, who came to the United States from the Philippines in 1987, is hopeful the statue of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag will visit Middletown each October.

“We would be very excited to have another event next year and the year after,” she said. “We hope there will be more people coming.”