Anticipating Simbang Gabi on a University Campus

Anticipating Simbang Gabi on a University Campus

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From left: Annie Bui, Administrative Assistant for the Liturgy and Youth and Young Adult Office; Yesi Magdaleno, Campus Ministry Intern; Father Ricky Manalo, CSP, liturgical composer and professor in the SCU Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries; Kenny Van Tilburg, Bellarmine High School Campus Ministry; and John Michael Reyes, Santa Clara University Campus Minister, gathered during salu-salo time at SCU’s Multicultural Center.

The calendar did not stop students from gathering to celebrate a beloved cultural tradition.

On the evening of November 28, Santa Clara University’ (SCU) Filipino Club, BARKADA, and Campus Ministry gathered in Mission Santa Clara to celebrate “Anticipating Simbang Gabi,” an anticipated Simbang Gabi Mass in preparation for the yearly novena and upcoming Advent season.

SCU Campus Minister, John Michael Reyes, said that it was planned early (Nov. 28) because schools are not in session during the usual time of Simbang Gabi. “We wanted to give students a chance to celebrate and explore the spiritual tradition together and encourage them to attend in their own parishes when then return home for the Christmas break.”

Father Ricky Manalo, CSP, a national liturgical composer, and professor in SCU’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries preached and presided. Father Manalo spoke about his own experience of Simbang Gabi, particularly when he was in the Philippines in December years ago and lauded the students for gathering.

Also in attendance were members of San Jose State University Newman Center, led by Annie Bui and Mary Gandeza.

John Michael states, “We hope to build upon this celebration for our university and area schools, including our local Catholic high schools.”