Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
Philippine Embassy leads the celebration of Simbang Gabi in Canberra
20 December 2022, CANBERRA - The celebration of the nine-day Simbang Gabi in anticipation of Christmas commenced at St. Peter Chanel in Canberra on 15 December 2022. Most Reverend Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, presided the first night of the Simbang Gabi.
Simbang Gabi, also known by its Spanish name, Misa de Gallo or "Mass of the Rooster” is usually held at dawn. It is a tradition celebrated by Filipino Catholics as it is a spiritual preparation for Christmas and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
Filipino priests, Fr. Luis Viovicente, Fr. Anthony Riosa and Fr. Renoir Oliver joined Archbishop Prowse in presiding the first night of Simbang Gabi.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia H.E. Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega participated in the liturgy along with other Embassy personnel. She thanked Archbishop Prowse and Fathers Viovicente, Riosa and Oliver for continuing to provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care to the Filipino community. She also commended the community for their resilience and generosity despite the challenges of the pandemic over the past two years. According to the 2021 Australian Census, there are over 400,000 Filipinos and Australians of Filipino descent in Australia making them the fifth largest migrant community in the country.
Stella Maris, a Filipino choir, sang during the mass. The Embassy also hosted a simple fellowship with chicken arroz caldo (rice porridge) after the mass.
The Simbang Gabi in Canberra is held every 7:00 pm at St. Peter Chanel, Yarralumla until 23 December 2022. -- END