Mount Angel Seminary photo by Brother Lorenzo Conocido, OSB
Samoan seminarians sing during Filipino celebration at Mount Angel.
Mount Angel Seminary photo by Brother Lorenzo Conocido, OSB
Samoan seminarians sing during Filipino celebration at Mount Angel.

Filipino students at Mount Angel Seminary and the Oregon Filipino community celebrated the annual Santo Nino Feast in January at the hilltop school. About 400 people attended the event. 

The celebration started with a special Mass in honor of the Santo Nino de Cebu with Father Rodel de Mesa, a seminary alumnus, as the main celebrant. Priests from the seminary and some Filipino guest priests were also there to concelebrate. The liturgical music was provided by the Filipino community choir from Portland, led by Ken Canedo of Oregon Catholic Press, who was also the organist.

A procession was held after the liturgy. During the procession, Filipinos were carrying images of the Santo Nino and danced in forward-backward steps, a traditional festival movement, while exclaiming, "Viva, Pit Senyor Santo Nino!" (Hail! We invoke thee, Santo Nino!) 

The reception program started with a prayer and the blessing of Santo Nino statues and images which were displayed on the stage. The seminarians and members of various Filipino groups provided traditional Filipino food, dance and music. The program was a diverse cultural presentation with each group singing or dancing something from their cultural background.

At Mount Angel Seminary, this year's Filipino seminarian community president is Frankie Villanueva.

The devotion to the Santo Nino de Cebu is the oldest and most popular in the Philippines, and the Holy See has granted the Philippines permission to celebrate the feast on the Sunday following the Baptism of the Lord.