Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia held
The Bicolanos in Canada has celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia on September 15th, 2012 at the Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough, Ontario. A good number of devotees representing the six provinces of the Bicol Region came to participate in the big festivity. The event was organized by the Bicol Canada Community Association headed by our respectable BCCA President Rafael Nebres.
The affair started in the morning with a procession to the lake’s harbor in honor of our dearly-loved Birhen de Peñafrancia. The short march to the docks was accompanied by members of the Bicol community as well as visitors from the surrounding areas while chanting prayers and singing hymns. It was immediately followed by the fluvial procesion with eight boats trailing behind the main float where our Ina is rested on her pedestal. With the Toronto Police Marine Unit escorting the fluvial procession, it made its way around the shoreline to the part where all the devotees were waiting. It then proceeded back to the marina to continue the foot procession to the park grounds.
After the procession, all the devotees gathered around the park to commemorate the feast with a Holy Mass. Officiated by Father Romy Tolentino, the mass is ended with blessings from the Lord and wishes of good life ahead. The occasion was marked with a potluck gathering that lasted a couple of hours. A banquet was also prepared by BCCA committees where people shared their food as a sign of love and unity.
The activities at the park was highlighted at the Our Lady of Assumption Church in Bathurst Street, Toronto with a concelebrated Holy Mass. The attendance of pilgrims were astounding as the church was packed in standing room only.
The full day event was then capped with an evening reception, dancing and raffle draws. All in all, it was a great day and a gratifying experience of prayer and adoration as the faithful venerated our beloved Ina with the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the patron saint of the Bicol Region.
The BCCA extends its gratitude to all who have spent their time to make the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia a great success. And our sincerest appreciation to the boat owners who unselfishly volunteered their sea crafts for the fluvial procession. May God bless us all with abundante of love and grace from our Ina.
VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA LA VIRGEN!
(By Ben-Hur Salcedo, Jr., PRESS RELEASE)