By Mits San Jose
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Most Reverend Gerald Eugene Wilkerson, D.D., V.G., Bishop of the San Fernando Valley Pastoral Region until his retirement two months ago at age 75, will preside over a concelebrated High Mass to highlight the Kaaldawan (Feast Day) of the 41st Annual Peñafrancia Fiesta in this city, 10 o’clock in the morning, Saturday, September 19, under the auspices of the United Bicolandia Los Angeles (UBLA).
The Bicolanos are inviting all Marian devotees, Filipinos and other Catholics regardless of ethnicity, to join them in the whole-day fiesta in honor of their regional patroness, Our Lady of Peñafrancia , in the open air of Lincoln Park and Lake, 3529 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031 (corner E. Valley Blvd.).near the downtown area.
The eucharistic mass, set to the music of the Saint Anthony Claret Holy Rosary Choir and attended by thousands of the faithful, is the most solemn part of the fiesta. The rest of the activities is socialization among old friends and new acquaintances, including strangers and visitors.
The kaaldawan schedule, approved by the UBLA board chaired by Tony Martires, was announced last week by the 2015 overall Peñafrancia Executive Committee Chairman Serry Sabocor, as follows:
8 a.m. – 9th day novena, a continuation of the daily novenas of the previous 8 days.
9 a.m. – Fluvial parade, the aquatic event during which the Virgin’s image is placed onboard a pagoda (improvised gaily decorated barge) that is rowed around the lake, accompanied by a foot procession at the perimeter of the lake.
10 a.m. – High Mass. Bishop Wilkerson is just the latest of a succession of top LA prelates and some visiting Bicolano bishops to grace the occasion. Most prominent was LA Archbishop Roger Cardinal Mahony in 1999, and again last year when he had already retired.
12 noon – Lunch. Food for all fiesta-goers is served hometown style by some 30 hospitality booths put up by Bicolano support organizations.
1 p.m. – Cultural entertainment presentation of songs, dance, comedy skits and other solo or group numbers highlighting Bicolano and Filipino themes.
3 p.m. – Anticipated mass.
The festival actually starts in the afternoon of Friday, September 11, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (IHMC), 4954 Santa Monica Blvd., LA in Hollywood, with the “traslacion” which transfers the Virgin’s image from its side altar shrine to the main altar, followed by a mass and the first day novena. The prayers are said for the next 8 novena nights until Friday, Sept.18. Details of the IHMC novenas may be had from UBLA president Lanie Berrei (818) 281-3169.
There are 4 more venues for devotees who live or work too far from Immaculate Heart:
Carson/Torrance: Private Residences. Contact Vic Martires (310) 618-0837.
Anaheim: Saint Anthony Claret Church, 1450 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Contact Mercy Eslinger (929) 254-4861.
West Covina: St. Martha Catholic Church, 444 N. Azusa Ave.,, La Puente. Conrtact Linda Angeles (626) 641-5938.
Long Beach: St. Cyprian Church, 4714 Clark Ave., Long Beach. Contact Evelyn Enriquez (562) 298-3839.
The 2015 Peñafrancia fiesta culminates on Sunday, September 27, 5:30 in the evening, with a fellowship ball at the Montery Hill Restaurant (next to Luminarias), 3700 W. Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754.
For further info, please contact Serry / Zeny Sabocor 323-222-6531.