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Ilocos Region

PIA Press Release
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cristo Rey draws thousands

Lingayen, Pangasinan (November 24)—Some 30,000 Catholic faithful from the four vicariates of the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese gathered at the Capitol grounds for the celebration of this year’s Christ the King last Sunday with Archbishop Socrates Villegas officiating the mass.

Archbishop Villegas stressed in his homily that the gathering brought together people of the same faith regardless of status in life, the ordinary ones and those in power. But “the real power,” he said, is in the power of love manifested by Christ the King.

Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. said in his opening speech prior to the holy mass that the event was not just a “renewal of commitment to Christ the King” but also a manifestation of stronger bond between the Church and government.”

The governor thanked the entire clergy of Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese led by Villegas for giving the provincial government an opportunity to host the event even as he added that holding the celebration at the provincial capitol, which is the seat of power and authority, was made possible by a “Divine design” to remind everyone that all human power and authority are subject to the supreme power and authority of God.

He said that apart from the development thrusts of the provincial government, it is also introducing Christian values in the workplace.

Aside from the traditional first Friday mass at the Urduja House, the provincial government in collaboration with the local parish conducted the traditional Simbang Gabi, a nine-day novena in anticipation of Christ’s birth last year at the capitol grounds.

This year, the anticipated Simbang Gabi will again be held in the same venue on December 15 to 23 to uphold the Catholic tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ.

Shortly after the Eucharistic mass was concelebrated by all priests of the Archdiocese, a solemn procession and recitation of Holy Rosary followed.

Despite a heavy downpour, a 15-minute fireworks display was held at the Lingayen beachfront simultaneous with the thanksgiving fellowship at the Sison auditorium. (PIO/PIA Pangasinan/dos)

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