The Philippines is the home to the largest population of Catholics in Asia. As of 2010, the Philippines had roughly the same number of Catholics (~76 million) as the United States. More than 80% of Filipinos are Catholic.
So it is not surprising that St. Patrick's Seminary has a strong and active Filipino community. Leading the community are seminarians – William Mamangun (President), Ian Quito (Secretary), and Jerald Geronimo (Treasurer). The community accomplishes many various activities during the school year.
In September, the entire St. Patrick's Filipino community came together to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, who is the patron saint of the Philippines and the Filipino people. We had a procession around the main circle, a Holy Mass in the main chapel, and a wonderful reception in Riordan Hall.
The group also follows the Filipino Advent tradition of Simbang Gabi Masses in the area. From December 16 to December 24, they went to different parishes in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento and sang in the Holy Mass as well as Christmas carols during the reception that followed. As part of their outreach ministry, they also went to a hospice facility, Missionaries of Charity in Pacifica, on December 22 to bring food to the residents and sing Christmas carols.
Finally, also during the busy Christmas break, they also sent much-needed books to the Philippines to two seminaries: Mother of Good Counsel Seminary in the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga, Philippines) and St. Joseph Regional Seminary in the Archdiocese of Jaro (Iloilo City, Philippines). The books were gifts from different St. Patrick's seminarians and our very own Gellert Memorial Library.
The group has plans for the Spring term, too. They are coordinating with Catholic Charities to do other outreach ministries. Also, they are planning to send some additional books to various seminaries in the Philippines. Filipino Catholics are known for their fervent devotion to Our Lord; that devotion is clearly present in the activities of our Filipino community at St. Patrick's Seminary. Please see the slideshow below for some interesting snapshots.