Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Black Nazarene in Cagayan de Oro City

In preparation for the Jubilee Year celebration of Narazero Parish Church of Cagayan de Oro City, I heard few announcements that made me excited. Parish Priest Mnsr. Rey Monsanto of the said church announce few of their iteneray for this year's fiesta celebration, January 9, 2009. He made mention that he already have contact person at Quiapo Church, the home of the Black Nazarene here in the Philippines. He planned to ask for clothes for Nazareno, and he made mention about their plan to borrow the replica of the pilgrim image for this year's celebration. This happened last December of 2008.

The announcements that day, in a Sunday mass, made me eager to be part of the Jubilee Year celebration of the said church. I wonder how historic it is and would also be very glad to be able to glance the replica of Black Nazarene here in our city.

Personally, I have experienced being with the Black Nazarene at Quiapo Church way back in December of 1998. But I was not lucky to encounter it as close as seeing it beautifully since it was Friday, the day devotees attend the mass, when I went there which means the church was flooded with people.

Last January 4, I attended the mass at the Parish Church of Nazreno again. During the mass the announcement made me so blessed. I learned that Quiapo Pastoral council decided to give away the replica of the pilgrim image of the Black Nazarene to Mindanao, particularly in our very own Cagayan de Oro City. They wanted Mindanao to experience the Black Nazarene, the same way people in Luzon and Metro Manila is experiencing every year. Thus this year, it was announced that there will be a simultaneous schedule of procession and mass here and in Luzon.

Last January 5, 2009 the said pilgrim image arrived in Cagayan de Oro City at around 7AM. From the airport, it was brought to the St. Agustine Catheral of this city. Priests, devotees and other religious groups went to welcome the image by a procession.

Yesterday, I came to pass by the Cathedral Church after 8PM. I was surprised that people were still lining up at that hour extending outside the church premises. The road was filled with people almost nearing the island situated along the main road.

Today, I went to attend the mass at Cathedral church. Upon entering, I saw people still lined-up and over flowing to the roads beside the church. Actually I often sit near the piano or the choir of the church, I proceed and was glad to see that the image was near my seat. I have seen that some seats were purposely disarrange to block people from getting near the image while mass is on going.

During the mass, again I felt the blessing of being able to glance at the image so close as I have experienced. I was so tempted to capture an image of it, but I respected the solemnity of the mass. During the communion, again I was tempted to get more closer or even touch the image like most people did. But I stayed lined-up for communion anyway, and I saw deligated Marshals of the image, stopped the people from getting near the image while the mass is on-going. It took us awhile to take our communion , the lay minister was thinking our line was for the Black Nazarene.

Right after the blessing of the priest upon ending the mass, some people went directly near the image. Overwhelmed with joy I felt in my heart for hearing the mass and seeing the image and devotees, I decided to finally take a picture. I did not get near it or touched it, but the image touched me. I was like crying upon leaving the church. I can fell the power of the pilgrim image touching my faith and my heart.

I thank God for the gift of being with image in our city...