We have to two important reasons to celebrate Christmas 2010.
First reason, the birth of Jesus-the feast of the Nativity. Jesus became the God Incarnate, born of the Virgin Mary in the little town of Bethlehem. It was the first Christmas. While the Gospel of St. John ( John 1:1-2) tells us that the Word (referring to Jesus) was with us since the beginning, the first Christmas tells us that Jesus physically dwelt in us, becoming one of us and living with us. In Matthew 1:23, a virgin will conceive and will give birth to a son, and He will be called Emmanuel ( which means “ God With Us”). Jesus is the Emmanuel.In Heb-rew, “emmanu” means “with us,” and “el ” means “God.”
Second reason, the birth of our news magazine Emmanuel. Indeed, there could have not been a better time for this news magazine to come out in print than this Advent season when we com-memorate the coming of the real Emmanuel. And there could not have been a better title for it than the very word where the name of our beloved patron “Lolo Uweng” came from – Emmanuel. (Lolo literally means grandfather, a Fili-pino term used to express reverence and endearment to an elder.
Uweng is the traditional Filipino nickname for Emmanuel.) This publication will, fromthis day forward, become one means of communication between and among us. We will communicate two-way from me, your parish leaders, and your fellow devotees to you, and vice versa.
It is said that God communicates to us in so many different ways and forums through the Holy Scripture, the Mass, our Priests and Bishops, our fellow Ca-tholics,and through a wide variety of communication channels. Expect that Lolo Uweng will be bringing forth his message to us through this news magazine from the information that you will read from it.
As we therefore rejoice the coming of Jesus this Christmas, let’s also rejoice that our Emmanuel news magazine has finally saw light. My sincere gratitude goes to those who have persevered to make this meaningful dream a successful reality. My special recognition to our editor Bro. Sonny A. Ordoña, Bro. Willie A. Monzon, Bro. Cesar de Sagun and those who contributed to put out this news magazine.
Our banner story in this maiden issue highlights the significant events and accomplishments for this year that is now about to end. All these happened in the midst of the 40th anniversary celebration of Sto. Sepulcro as a parish. It was a year – long celebration that was meant to make this year special and extraordinary for our parochial community and the legion of Lolo Uweng devotees within and outside our parish.
Let me thank first and foremost our pilgrim devotees and benefactors whose magnanimous support has ena-bled the parish to undertake several major projects through the years. Many of them have repeatedly and generously donated to the parish but have requested anonymity. Well deserved praise goes to past and present parish priests and lay leaders for their exemplary leadership in bringing this parish into this historic milestone.
Equally deserving of our gratitude are our Catholic faithful in Landayan, Cu-yab and San Roque, whose support and participation in parish programs and activities have greatly contributed to the transformation of our Parish into a community that is full of life and overflowing with grace from our patron Lolo Uweng.
We will continue to pursue spiritual and temporal growth in the years to come, taking inspiration from those who already did their part before us. We hope to build on their achieve-ments. I believe that success should not stop, but rather push us forward to new and higher goals as a community of God. With His grace and our lasting unity, we will rise up to new challenges.
May joy and peace be with you this Christmas, and may the goodness and blessings of the Almighty God be with you in the coming year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.