Occasional breeze blows inside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church to the delight of the crowd which packed the Cathedral despite the afternoon heat. They were there to honor Our Lady, the Immaculate Concepcion.
This annual celebration has already been part of the local tradition of the diocese that no matter the circumstances, the faithful wanted to celebrate the solemn Mass and the traditional Lukao in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Once again, the students of Mt. Carmel School headed by their school president, Mr. Galvin Leon Guerrero and their staff and teachers, take the lead in the Liturgical celebration. Bishop Ryan Jimenez, presided the Eucharist and concelebrated by all the priests and deacons in Saipan. The faithful from all parishes were also present as they prayed the Holy Rosary by parish during the procession around Chalan Kanoa. CCD students from different parishes also attended.
During the homily, Bishop Ryan reflected on the FirstReading from the Book of Genesis when God look for Adam and Eve who were hiding after they first experience sin. “Where are you?, God asked Adam and Eve then as he ask all of us today”, he said. “Where are we today with regards to our faith? Like Mary, may we all respond positively and generously to God!”
The Lukao this year was especially meaningful in the light of the recent Super Typhoon Yutu. The route of the procession passed by many ruined homes and families living in tents. While praying, many faithful recalled their own experiences of the typhoon and how they felt the BlessedVirgin Mary protected them during the storm.