Traditional Filipino Mass helps Philippines recover - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Traditional Filipino Mass helps Philippines recover

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)--The local Filipino community mixed a cultural tradition with charity on Friday night as they celebrated the Simbang Gabi Mass.  It's a traditional service to celebrate Christmas, but parishioners came with a special intention of helping the people in the Philippines recover from a typhoon that hit the country a month ago.

Bishop John Quinn officiated at the ceremony.  For natives of the Philippines it was a comfort from home while their former country recovers from the Typhoon.

"It feels like I'm in thePhillipines," said John Verzosa.  "I'm just going to Rochester, but it feels like I'm in the Philippines."

Prayers were said for the many still suffering in the Philippines and the collection will be donated to recovery efforts.

"The celebration's even more meaningful to us because it brings to mind how we think about Christmas in our situation where our countrymen over in the Philippines are suffering," said mass organizer, Maria Lazaro-Elemos.

"There's still a lot of destruction and missing people so that's heartwarming to think we're contributing something to the people in the Philippines," said Juditha Snyder.

After the mass, the community celebrated the season with traditional food and the company of friends.  According to organizers, this is the first Simbang Gabi mass held in Rochester.

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