Tag: mass

Apr 16 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in Colombia

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends who practice the Catholic faith in Colombia celebrate Mass. Thanks to Harrison Garcia Ruiz, our communications liaison in Colombia, for contributing to this article.

Mass customs in Colombia

Leidy, a child sponsored through CFCA, and her mother pray at Mass in Colombia.

The majority of the families in the CFCA Hope for a Family program in Colombia are Catholic, and they participate actively during Mass.

Boys and girls attend Mass with their families, and they sit down and they listen to God’s Word and the priest’s reflection. The Mass usually lasts for an hour, sometimes 90 minutes.

Leidy is a child sponsored through CFCA for three years. She likes to attend the Mass with her mother, father and little brother Daniel.

“We attend the Mass on Sundays, and we sit down and listen to the priest,” she said. “My favorite part of the Mass is during the sign of peace because we shake hands and we hug each other. It is a happy moment.

“Also, I like the music during the Eucharist. My favorite song is ‘Glory Hallelujah.’ It is a happy song. …

“I pray with my mother and my family, and we pray to God for our needs and I pray to do well at school. I like to talk with God, and I ask God for our health.” Read more

Mar 30 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in Guatemala

Church Mass in Nahuala, Guatemala

People in Nahuala, Guatemala, enter a church for Mass celebrations.

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends who practice the Catholic faith in Guatemala celebrate Mass. Thanks to Luis Cocon, our communications liaison in Guatemala, for contributing to this article.

The official religion in Guatemala is Catholicism. We also have Protestants and those with indigenous Mayan beliefs. Freedom of religion is practiced in Guatemala.

“Mass celebration is to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for each one of us on the cross,” said Yesica, 9, a child sponsored through CFCA. “Mass is our bread for the road to eternal life. I enjoy every moment of Mass, but especially the celebration of the Word of God and the Holy Rosary.”

Musical instruments during Mass vary depending on the church. Sometimes youth groups will lead the worship.

Yesica’s church has a choir of six, and they play instruments such as the kena (wooden flute), guitars and drums. Read more

Mar 20 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in the Philippines

Mass celebrations in Legazpi, Philippines

Communion during Mass celebrations in the Philippines.

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this special blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends in the Philippines celebrate Mass. Thanks to Gari Olavario, CFCA project coordinator in Legazpi, for contributing to this article.

Our mission at CFCA is to serve those living in poverty and recognize the God-given dignity of each person.

Most of our sponsored friends and their families in the Legazpi project are Catholic, and attending Mass every Sunday is their practice to praise and thank God.

Here are some of their thoughts about Mass: Read more

Mar 1 2011

“We the blessed should help others”: Teen travels with CFCA

Brennen, 13, went recently with his mother and grandparents on a mission awareness trip to the Philippines. His testimony is incredible and deeply moving. Read on …

Going into this trip I had no idea what to expect.

The plane ride was long and tiring. The Philippines is on a 14-hour (time) difference (from our starting point) so we got there at 1 a.m.

Immediately I noticed the climate change. I saw the difference between our driving and theirs. The transportation was so much different.

Rey and Brennen

Rey and Brennen meet during Brennen’s trip to the Philippines.

We went to a hotel to get some sleep and a shower before CFCA came and got us. On the first day all the mission awareness trip delegates got to know one another and then had Mass followed by dances.

I ended up ìtryingî the dance. My mom laughed at me.

The next morning we went to the Dumagat tribe to see how the people live. There we got to meet my grandparents’ sponsored child, Lily Mae, whom I had written to a couple of times.

We got to help plant bamboo trees with other sponsors and children and learn about tribal life.

The next day we got to visit the Manila project and see a small community. The following day we went to Naga and then to the Quezon project.

That day we walked into this giant gym filled with thousands of people who didnít even know us. They treated us like we were their own sponsors.

They put on an amazing show, and then we heard a little girlís story about what CFCA has done to change her life. That made everyone cry.

The next day we went and visited some subprojects and got to know our angels (CFCA scholarship students) very well. My angel, Mary Joy, was so fun to be around.

Toward the end of our stay in the Philippines, we went to the Legazpi project. I got to meet my sponsored friend, Rey, whom Iíd been pen pals with for years.

At first we both were a little shy; then by day two, youíd think weíd known each other for years.

The night that we met him he gave his testimony, which made me cry more than I ever had before, and as Iím writing this, tears are coming to my eyes.

Thatís how powerful CFCA really is. I never felt closer to God than during the trip.

A few weeks after the trip, I spent the night at my friendís house. On Sunday we went to Mass and in the homily the pastor talked about developing countries and that we should go out and serve.

That was the Mass where it all clicked. When he said, ìGo out and serve the Lord and try to pray a difficult prayer for those in need,î he looked at me.

I was in the middle of at least 1,000 people, and he looked at me. I know that was God telling me what he wanted me to do in my life.

Even though Iím only 13, God told me then that He wants me to be a missionary. We the blessed should help others who need blessings.

Trust me. CFCA can help.

Dec 12 2010

‘Mother of all Mexican Catholics’: Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Mexicans celebrate the Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12, beginning one day before in the shrines of our Lady of Guadalupe or the chapels that bear her name. There are Masses, confessions, dances and readings of the story of her appearances on Mexican soil.

Here is a Q-and-A with the CFCA project in MÈrida about the feast day.

In MÈrida it is a tradition that at the shrine of Saint Christopher, pilgrims are received a month before from all corners of the state of Yucat·n, neighbor states, guilds, schools, companies and diverse institutions. There is also an open air dance all night long on Dec. 11.

I have been told that some people participate in a pilgrimage to MÈxico City to celebrate at the Basilica of Guadalupe. Can you tell me about this?

The pilgrimages are carried out by groups with torches, families and even entire towns, who arrive at the basilica, to ask or give thanks for favors from the Virgin, or as a promise from a family tradition (sickness, births, etc.).

Do any members of the CFCA community participate in these pilgrimages?

People from the CFCA community participate in these pilgrimages, walks or Masses. It is a celebration in all of MÈxico for Catholic families on this day.

Virgin of Guadalupe

CFCA scholar Jes˙s Federico displays a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The pilgrimages vary, depending on the distance from the start to the final place. It can be 1 day and up to 15 days for the long ones. All are supposed to arrive on Dec. 12 to hear Mass and receive the benediction and then return.

Those pilgrimages are done on foot, on bicycles or running on one’s knees, depending on the promise offered. The Virgin of Guadalupe reminds us the promise of the mother of God to be with us in difficult moments.

She presented herself as a mestiza, with indigenous and Spanish characteristics, to include everyone under her protection.

Any other information or commentary that you would like to add?

The Virgin of Guadalupe is the mother of all Mexican Catholics by tradition. There is a faith and fervor that exists within us for her that is inexplicable. To us, she is miraculous and if you ask her for something and you have faith, we are sure that she will honor you.

Jes˙s Federico is a 15-year-old CFCA scholar. He is in the first semester of computer science and also serves in the Church as an altar boy and catechist.

Why do you participate in this pilgrimage?

It is a way of showing my faith and gratitude to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and it motivates me in my personal life to move ahead, and it is a family and community tradition.

Since when have you been participating in this pilgrimage? What is your route and distance covered?

This is the second year that I am going to participate. We go from the community where I live with a group of 30 people: family and friends.

It is about 180 kilometers (112 miles) away and we are going in a group, in which every person runs for about 20 minutes and then is replaced, and that is how we cover all the distance.

On the way we meet a lot of people who offer food to the whole group as part of their offerings to the Virgin. They give us water in the communities we pass along the way and they treat us really well.

We are always careful because we could be prone to highway accidents.

It is an unforgettable experience and all because of our dear Virgin of Guadalupe.

During the trips we sing chants to the Virgin and everyone takes offerings and promises to be fulfilled in the future. Also, a few days before the trips we have meetings in the Church where they explain to us the significance of the pilgrimage and about the love that we should have for our Virgin of Guadalupe.