San Sebastian Parish in Manila celebrates 400th Anniversary
As early as December of 2020, coordination meetings were conducted to prepare for the 400th Anniversary of San Sebastian Parish in Manila. Activities were lined up to add colors to the said celebrations namely:
- (1) Virtual concerts featuring the compositions of Fray Domingo Carceller, OAR
- (2) Marian exhibits featuring various images of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as well as old photos of San Sebastian Basilica
- (3) Public veneration
- (4) Motorcade
- (5) Solemn concelebrated mass to be presided by the Bishop Administrator of Manila.
However, due to lockdowns and strict implementations of health protocols against Covid 19, the prepared activities could not be implemented. Thus, the decision to move the celebrations to the following year May 5, 2022.
The Eucharistic celebration dedicated for the events was presided by Fr. Dionisio Selma, Augustinian Recollect, Prior Provincial of the Province of Saint Ezekiel Moreno, together with OAR priests as concelebrants.
In the homily, the main celebrant underscored that the church as well as the installation of Our Lady of Mount Carmelat San Sebastian Church are gifts of God to his people and a manifestation of his love. These gifts are to be accepted and appreciated but most of all to be lived and shared with the rest of the people.
Forming part of the year-long celebration was the revival of the Cofradia of Our lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebastian. Orientation talks as well as spiritual formation were given by Rev. Fr. Emilio Quilatan, OAR as facilitator.
There are at present 32 devotees who signified their intentions to undergo spiritual formation and to be officially enrolled later on as members of the Cofradia. Promotions of the devotions to Virgen del Carmen is intensified through the reproduction and distribution of scapulars as well as the giving away of the statues and images of the Lady of Mount Carmel de San Sebastian.
We give thanks to our forefathers, the brave and vibrant Recollect missionaries, who 400 years ago formed part of the Christian evangelization to the first san Sebastian church and spread the devotion of the brown scapular in the Philippines.