Christmas vigil mass
We are celebrating the joy of Christmas while our hearts are filled with grief over the death of a member of our community - Fr. Abdon. He died of cancer in Cebu five days ago. This is the first time that we celebrate Christmas without him. He went to Cebu for a check-up four months ago and he was not able to come home since he was confined at the Perpetual Succour Hospital. His body lies in state at the Redemptorist Church. The funeral mass and burial will be at 9:00 am on December 28, 2009. Cardinal Vidal will be the principal celebrant and I have been asked to give the homily. We will be flying to Cebu this Sunday.
We had our community Christmas party this evening. We placed Fr. Abdon's picture on the top of the refrigerator, together with flowers, candles, a plate with some food (ham, turkey, lechon) and a glass of red wine. This expresses our belief that death has not separated him from us. After the meal, program and exchanging gift, we all faced the picture, holding our wine-glasses and singing the traditional Redemptorist hymn: "Vivat in eternum."