Saint Paul Seminary (SPS) organized its second Marian Festival on September 10-11, 2016 at the Alberione Formation Complex in Silang, Cavite. Themed “Full of Grace”, over 230 participants from seminaries, religious houses, schools, parishes and Marian devotees attended, starting with the cutting of ribbon and blessing of exhibits led by Fr. Norman Melchor Pena, Jr. SSP, Seminary Rector and Dean of Studies with Celing Reyes, head catechist of John Marie Vianney Parish.
Speakers for the festival were: Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr, SThD on “Mary in the Media and the Filipino Public Sphere” detailing historical origins and significance of Mary in the Philippines and her role in Filipino faith who were dubbed as Pueblo Amante De Maria (People in love with Mary); Mr. Jim Ryan Sumbilla, SPS student, on “Deconstructing the Virgins of Cavite” that reflects on the religiosity of Cavitenos towards different devotions they have on Mary; Fr. Norman Pena, SSP on “Mercy in the Magnificat” that analyses the different aspects of God’s mercy in Mary’s magnification of God’s greatness; Cl. Buen Andrew Cruz, SSP on “Mary, the Galilean”, a socio-anthropological look of Mary as a woman of Galilee.
Other highlights included: the workshop of “Marian Liturgical-Floral Arrangements” by Sr. Ma. Benedict Basanes, PDDM; the showing of “Mary in Exorcism, a Mother in the Spiritual Warfare”, a documentary by Cl. Anthony Capirayan, SSP of Society of Saint Paul ensued to focus Mary’s role in spiritual conflicts; making a cameo, late Fr. Gabriele Amorth, SSP, Vatican chief exorcist, shared that “even the devil is afraid to speak the name of Mary”; the recitation of the Eco-Rosary that encourages the planting of trees rather than using plastic “balloons” in living rosaries inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si; and, performances by the SPS seminarians and Seven Archangel Choir who graced the whole weekend with different games in between talks sponsored by Ablaze Communication, Radio Maria, St. Paul Bookstores and Youth Pinoy
Marian and Rosary exhibits consisted of 34 different titles and devotion to Mary including: Our Lady of Pillar, Nuestra Senora de Soledad de Portabaggo and Nuestra Senora de Caracol provided by parishes and devotees. Rosaries made and owned by seminarians were viewed along with inspiring stories behind the latter. Marian paintings by the renowned, Fr. Armand Tangi, SSP where showcased as well.
Attendees includes John Marie Vianney Parish, Our Lady of Candelaria Parish, Holy Family Parish (Laguna), Mary, Mother of God Parish, St. Joseph Parish, Parokya ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo (Sta. Ana, Manila), Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS), Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP), Blessed Korean Martyrs (BMC), Salvatorian Sisters, Daughters of Divine Zeal (FDZ), Daughter of Charity, Somascan Sisters, Claretian Missionaries, Catholic Women’s League, Mother Butler Guild, Couples for Christ-Cavite, Divine Word Institute for Mission Studies, Sacred Heart Villa School and Jesus Good Shepherd School.
Closing the event was a prayer presentation by SPS seminarians that rendered an original song entitled: Ave Maris Stella by Sem. John Paul Olea.
The Marian Festival started off as a simple exhibit held during the previous seminary open house, with the success of this year’s event, SPS looks forward for its third year to be more “full of grace”.