Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pope Francis Reflecting on His Visit to Cuba and the USA

at the General Audience St. Peter's Square, August 26, 2015
September 2015 saw Pope Francis bringing the message of Jesus Christ and His Church to Cuba and the United States.  The month prior to his trip Pope Francis had received a beautiful copy of the Holy Face of Manoppello.  A few weeks  before the start of his visit  the 2015 Holy Face Mission arrived on the West Coast of the USA even to the city which could be called the "metropolis of the West Coast" -- Los Angeles.  Let's take to heart the words which Pope Francis spoke at his General Audience at St. Peter's Square today

"The climax of the trip was the Meeting with Families at Philadelphia, where the horizon extended to the whole world through the “prism”, so to speak, of the family. The family, namely the fruitful bond between man and woman, is the answer to the great challenge of our world, which is a double challenge: fragmentation and massification, two extremes that coexist and sustain one another, and together they sustain the consumerist economic model. The family is the answer because it is the cell of a society that balances the personal and the communal dimension, and which at the same time can be the model of a sustainable management of the goods and resources of Creation. The family is the leading subject of an integral ecology, because it is the primary social subject, which contains within itself the two basic principles of human civilization on earth: the principle of communion and the principle of fecundity. Biblical humanism presents this icon to us: the human couple, united and fecund, placed by God in the garden of the world, to cultivate and protect it."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Holy Face at University of Santo Tomas in Manila on September 15

Students and staff of the University line up to venerate a replica of the Holy Face of Manoppello 

Fr. Carmine speaking in the University church with Fr. Ted translating

photos by Paul Badde

Friday, September 11, 2015

You Shall Be My Witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria to the End of the Earth (Acts 1:8)

from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

                                                                  Psalm 67

                         May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us

            that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.

                             Let the peoples praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you!

                       Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you O God, let all the peoples praise you!

                      The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God has blessed us.  God has blessed us;
                                                        let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Acts of the Apostles 1:9-11   And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  And while they were gazing into heaven as they went, behold two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand  looking into heaven?  This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Photos by Paul Badde

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Novena in Nampicuan in Preparation for First Anniversary Celebration of Holy Face Enthronement

street poster announcing Nampicuan Holy Face celebration

Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija 
Immaculate Conception Parish 
Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines 

11 12 August 2015 
NAMPICUAN, Nueva Ecija - A grand and festive array of activities await the Catholic Laity, Faithful and Pilgrims when the Parish of Immaculate Conception in this town under the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija celebrates the first Anniversary of the enthronement of the Holy Face of Jesus on September 16. 
The replica of the Holy Face of Jesus, the veil that was used to cover the face of Jesus after dying on the Cross, was brought to the Philippines last year and permanently enshrined in the Parish church by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, the official Caretaker of the original relic in Manoppello, Italy. 

It could be remembered that the arrival and enthronement activities last year gathered a throng of Catholic faithful never before witnessed by Pilgrims and Parishioners whose living testimonies and miraculous accounts related to the Holy Face have since been notably told and retold. 

Awareness to the calendar of Events kicks-off on September 7 through daily Novena Masses until September 18 spearheaded by the Parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Parish-Home of the Holy Image.

Most Rev. Roberto Mallari D.D., Bishop of the diocese will celebrate the Mass in the morning of September 16 at 10:30 in the morning which will also be concelebrated by priests coming from neighboring Dioceses. It will also be the launching of the celebration of the Year of Mercy activities of the Diocese and the blessing and opening of the Fountain of Mercy Garden within the parish compound. 

As a prelude to the celebration,the 9-day event will also feature Poster-Making Contest, Medical Mission coinciding with the birthday of Mama Mary on September 8, Jesus Festival on September 14 and a Solemn Procession in honor of the Holy Face on September 15. 

A much awaited part of the occasion will be the anointing of the Holy oil of Manopello to the sick and devotees by Fr. Cucinelli in the evening of September 16. This rare activity is expected to become a major part of the occasion even as Fr. Christian Magtahas echoes his invitation to everyone not to miss this event. 
The whole activity will be capped by songs and dances in the evening. 

Parish Priest 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vancouver Welcomes Holy Face Mission 2015

photos courtesy of Paul Badde and Ethelyn David

Here are some first photos of the Holy Face Mission to Vancouver, British Columbia showing some of the many memorable meetings and liturgies with Church officials, clergy, consecrated religious and the lay faithful.

Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap. with Msgr. Joseph Nguyen, Vicar General of Archdiocese of Vancouver

    Fr. Bonifacio (Ted) Lopez , Msgr. Nguyen, Fr. Carmine at Mass at Vancouver Archdiocese Chancery Chapel

Altar of Vancouver Archdiocese Chancery Chapel

Poor Clare Sister Marie Celine with Fr. Carmine

Paul Badde, Fr. Carmine, Ethelyn David, Ellen Badde

Fr. Ted,  with pastor Fr. Gino Aloisio,  Fr. Carmine and Paul at St. Francis of Assisi Church

Fr Carmine, Fr. Aloisio, Fr. Ted

Fr. Carmine, Benedictine Abbot John Braganza, Fr. Ted

Daisy Neves, Paul Badde, Ethelyn David, Ellen Badde

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

International Mission for the Holy Face of Manoppello

by Antonio Bini
Head of Communications for the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Vancouver, Los Angeles and Manila the most significant stops

Vancouver, Canada, is where the new international mission of the Holy Face will begin, bringing to ever more people the knowledge of this extraordinary image venerated at the Shrine of Manoppello and considered the true-icon of Christ. On September 5, Father Carmine, rector of the Shrine of Manoppello, will be busy in the church of Saint Patrick at Vancouver, British Columbia. After the Mass, concelebrated by Fr. Bonifacio (Ted) Lopez, a priest originally from the Philippines, who will accompany Fr. Carmine for the entire mission, an artistic reproduction of the Holy Face will be enthroned in the Church. This act will begin the reverence of the extraordinary image. Representing Archbishop Michael Miller will be Fr. Joseph Nguyen, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.   This gathering will be preceded by a similar one to be held the day before in the city of Delta,  followed by a meeting with Fr Abbot John Braganza in the Abbey of Westminster of Mission City, British Columbia. It must be recalled that in the early nineteen seventies  it was the emigrants from Abruzzo who were the first to introduce the cult of the Holy Face in Canada, at Richmond Hill, a town in the metropolitan area of ​​Toronto, where every first Sunday of August is held a procession of the Holy Face.  

After the meetings in Canada the mission will continue on to the United States, to Duarte close by to Los Angeles on September 8 and the next day in the city of Los Angeles, as already announced on August  15 by the newspaper Asian Journal. A reproduction of the Holy Face, coming directly from the Shrine of Manoppello, will be honored throughout the day of September 9 at the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral of the American metropolis. The date coincides with the 165th anniversary of the admission of California as the 31st state of the United States of America.  The days in Southern California dedicated to the Holy Face come just two weeks before the pastoral visit of Pope Francis to the USA,  during which- among other things - Pope Francis will canonize Fr. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan founder of a number of missions in California. Among the first missions Fr. Junipero founded was San Juan Capistrano (1776), which he dedicated to the Franciscan saint of Abruzzo, St. John Capistrano, named for the town of Capestrano in Abruzzo located a short distance from Manoppello which is twinned with the eponymous California town -

In the USA and Canada there are spreading Facebook pages and websites which are dedicated to the Holy Face, often drawing on the information and images on the blog started in 2008 by Raymond Frost of San Francisco.

But it is mainly in the Philippines that the mission will develop intensively on the following dates: September 12: Bulacan, Bethlehem House of Bread Orphanage Baliuag; September 13 - Lipa, Batangas - Montemaria, "Mother of All Asia" Shrine; September 14 and 15 - Taguig, Enthronement of the Holy Face of Manoppello at Sagrada de Familia Church; September 16 - Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija - September 17 - Quiapo, Basilica of the Black Nazarene,  September 18 - Baclaran Church; September 19 - Manila, San Augustin and Manila Cathedral; September 20 - Bagumbayan, St. Martin Chapel Mahogany.

Carmine and Fr. Bonifacio (Ted) Lopez, will be accompanied by Paul Badde, veteran journalist and writer, author of two books on the Holy Face published recently in the United States, "The Face of God" and "The True Icon" ( both by Ignatius Press of San Francisco) who will illustrate for the public a  historical outline as well as his own research of the Holy Face, which is identified with the legendary Veronica, and in close relationship with the Shroud of Turin. Paul Badde, who is currently on assignment in Rome for the American Catholic television network EWTN, will be accompanied by his wife Ellen, who collaborates with him in the historical research. The dioceses being visited were informed of the Mission by Bruno Forte, archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, the diocese to which the Holy Face shrine of the Capuchins of Manoppello belongs.

Before departure Fr. Carmine Cucinelli stated "I remember with emotion the previous mission in 2014, especially in the Philippines, for the warmth and the enthusiasm with which the Holy Face was greeted by thousands of devoted people. The organization of the program required the involvement of many volunteers to whom I extend my most heartfelt thanks. I can not forget the role played by Mrs Daisy Neves, an American of Filipino origin, to whom we owe  not only significant financial support for the project but also the indefatigable network of relationships with host groups in the various cities visited by the mission, composed of people who are devotees of the Holy Face ". What do you consider the most significant stage of your journey? - we ask Fr. Carmine: "I think it is the town of Nampicuan, where I will be present on September 16 to celebrate one year from last year's visit, which turned the church into the Shrine of the Holy Face, the first in Asia honoring the image of Manoppello."

establishment of Shrine of Holy Face at Nampicuan by diocesan Bishop Roberto Mallari 

The shrine has become a pilgrimage site for people from throughout the Philippines and has established on May 31 a volunteer group "Servants of Holy Face" - as well as a website for purposes of spreading devotion to the Holy Face and welcoming pilgrims. "In recent months some miracles were also registered," reports Fr. Carmine. "It 's amazing what is happening. It's as if the Holy Face had decided the time and manner of dissemination of his image by involving people from different countries, each with their own participation and contribution of faith."  On the feast of the Holy Face of Nampicuan, which will see the presence of Mrs. Mercedes Tuason, Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, the use of a new precious reliquary for the image of the Holy Face will be inaugurated. 

Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican Mrs. Mercedes Tuason and Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap.

 According to writer Paul Badde "the mission will be a trip to the future. It's very important to bring a copy of the image of the Holy Face, the true icon, to Los Angeles, which is the world metropolis of images and of the digital revolution, very close, by the way, to Hollywood and Silicon Valley. In my opinion, this pilgrimage will be an essential step forward in the process of the rediscovery of the Most Holy Sudarium of Jesus Christ. It is really an "iconic turn"  in the history of Christianity that makes one think of "the living image of the Father's mercy", as Pope Francis recalled during his announcement of the upcoming  extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy ".

The initiative is promoted by the Shrine of Manoppello with the financial and organizational support of a group of devotees in the US and the Philippines. In addition to Mrs. Daisy Neves there can not be forgotten the spouses Lenlen and Ernest Alzate, all to be regarded as generous and tireless pioneers of the devotion of the extraordinary image in the world, which is registering the participation of hundreds of people in the organization of the events. The movement that is being created is the most obvious result of the international mission begun last year with the effects most pronounced in the Philippines, a country of reference for Catholics of the Asian continent.

Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (photo from Wikipedia Italia)

Before concluding their trip to the Philippines Fr. Carmine and Paul Badde will meet with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila and leading figure of Catholicism in Asia.  With a message of greeting on August 19, 2015 Cardinal Tagle expressed his satisfaction for the anniversary of the enthronement of the Holy Face at Nampicuan begun last year and stated his encouragement for the new mission of Fr. Carmine.