Events and Activities

Filipino Ministry Calendar of Events for 2023

Note: This page is under construction.
Calendar of events for 2023 will be published soon.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint who was canonized by St. Pope John Paul II. He is also the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith. St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the patron saint of Filipino youth, people working overseas, and altar servers.  His feast day is September 28.

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born around the year 1600 in Binondo, Manila in the Philippines.  He was the son of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. Both were Christians and took care to raise Lorenzo as a Catholic. He served happily in his parish church as an altar boy and calligrapher.  As a young man, Lorenzo joined the Dominican Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.  Later, he married a woman named Rosario. The happy couple had three children, two sons and one daughter. By all accounts, the family was ordinary and happy.

In 1636, Lorenzo was accused of murder. Allegedly he killed a Spaniard. To protect his safety at the time, he fled home and found refuge on board a ship with three Dominican priests and a leper. There are no details of this alleged crime other than a journal entry by two Dominican priests, that he joined their group to escape possible arrest. The ship departed the Philippines on June 10, 1636, bound for Okinawa.

A shock awaited the passengers when they arrived in Japan. At the time of their arrival, the rulers of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate, were persecuting Christians. Lorenzo and his companions were arrested by Japanese officials for the crime of being a Christian and ordered them to recant his faith. When they refused, they were imprisoned. On September 27, 1637, Lorenzo and his companions were taken to Nagasaki to be tortured and killed if they would not recant their faith.

Lorenzo refused to recant. According to the record of his death, his last words were, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please.” His traveling companions were all killed, steadfast until the end.

Lorenzo was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981. The beatification ceremony was held in the Philippines making it the first beatification ceremony ever held outside the Vatican. A miracle attributed to his intercession occurred in 1983. A two-year-old girl, Alegria Policarpio, suffering from hydrocephaly, a condition she had since birth, was miraculously cured.

His canonization took place at the Vatican on October 18, 1987.

A Free In-Person and Virtual Webinar: A Journey of Faith Conference Celebrating the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines

The virtual conference was held on July 31, 2021. The theme of this year’s conference focused on the significance of the 500 years of Christianization of the Philippines. The speakers provided an overview of Filipino Catholicism from a historical, immigrant and pastoral perspective. It also brought to the forefront the challenges faced by Filipino-American youth and young adults in practicing their Catholic faith in a secular environment. Click here to read more information.

Annual Parol-Making Workshop

Thanks to the vaccines and the easing of the strict Covid restrictions, FMCB’s annual parol-making workshop was held in person on Saturday, November 12, 9 AM to 3 PM at St Monica’s social hall, located on 470 24th Avenue in San Francisco.  Parishioners of all ages across the Archdiocese of San Francisco participated. It was well attended, and the event turned to be a fun family event! See photos below.

The parol is a Filipino lantern in the shape of a star meant to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem that guided the three Magi to Baby Jesus.  It’s a fun workshop that provides the techniques on how to make a parol.  The workshop starts with a catechesis on what the parol symbolizes and its relevance to the birth of Jesus. 

Annual Simbang Gabi Commissioning

The Annual Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass will be held on December9, 2022 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. This event heralds the beginning of Simbang Gabi novena of masses in preparation for Christmas in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  The Commissioning Mass gathers representatives from various parishes in the Archdiocese that are participating in the novena of masses.  They are “commissioned” or sent forth to be the light in their respective parish and community.

2018 Simbang Gabi Commissioning at St. Mary’s Cathedral.