CNS image
Painting of St. Pedro Calungsod
CNS image
Painting of St. Pedro Calungsod
The Filipino Catholic Community of Oregon is gearing up for a special event in its faith life, along with the universal church. On Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Vatican, Pope Benedict will canonize the second Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod.

The community will hold a special Mass at 2 p.m. the same day at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland with Filipino priests and youths highlighted.

Calungsod, a catechist from Cebu martyred at age 17 in 1672, is being promoted as a patron of youth. He was hit by a spear in the chest thrown by local tribesmen while protecting his Spanish Jesuit companion on mission in the Mariana Islands. A Chinese trader had spread rumors about baptismal waters being poisonous.
"He is a role model for Filipino youth and young people everywhere," says Ken Canedo, a Filipino American composer of sacred music and a parish worker who helped organize the observance.

Canedo and Neil Turiano, a member of the youth group at Holy Trinity Parish, have composed a song for the liturgy about the new saint called "Faithful Friend."
Here is the refrains: "O Saint Pedro Calungsod, faithful friend,/Called in loving service till the end,/ Come, give us the courage to witness to God’s Word./Help us to be faithful to the Lord."

During a Mass this fall at Christ the King Parish in memory of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, Monsignor Richard Paperini said, "The Filipino Church in Portland is alive."  

Filipino Catholics have been praying a novena leading up to the canonization, but doing it via email. Each day, leaders discuss a bit more about Blessed Pedro's life.  

During the day, Filipino Catholics will introduce a faith formation series entitled "Understanding the Mass, Understanding the Faith." That is the community's response and commitment to the call of Pope Benedict for renewal during the Year of the Faith, says Pia de Leon, a community leader.

Those involved in the series will focus consecutively on each part of the Mass during sessions in December, February, April, June and August or September.

Leaders say the Catholic faith is grounded in the paschal mystery of Jesus and is Eucharistic.  "The hope is that in understanding the Mass, we may appreciate it even more and be transformed by it so that we may move about in our daily lives living out the Word of God and loving our Lord Jesus Christ even more making him truly central in our lives," de Leon explains. "In doing so, we then as migrants and residents of this archdiocese can become effective missionaries where God has brought us specifically as a people."

The series includes a video featuring the newly installed Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio "Chito" Tagle. Archbishop Tagle offers reflections and catechesis on the parts of the Mass, incorporating the meaning of the new translation of the Roman Missal. A meeting of Filipino group leaders is set for directly after the Oct. 21 Mass in lieu of a reception.