Filipino community celebrates 500-year Christmas tradition


ARLINGTON, Va.  - Each year, the Filipino community in the Diocese of Arlington participates in "Simbang Gabi," a long-treasured Philippine tradition where worshippers attend Mass for nine consecutive days in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. It replicates the nativity story of Mary and Joseph searching for an inn preparing for the birth of Christ, which is why the Pilgrims travel from church to church every night beginning Thursday, December 15, 2016, and culminating at the ninth Mass on Friday, December 23, 2016.

All are welcome to attend. 

"We're taking an old Catholic tradition from another country and we are making it applicable to our daily lives and spiritually preparing ourselves nine consecutive days for the birth of Jesus Christ," says Corinne Monogue, Director of Multicultural Ministries for the Diocese.

A schedule of Mass times and locations can be found on the attached flyer. The last Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge:


When:           Friday, December 23, 2016
                      7 p.m.

Where:         Saint Bernadette Catholic Church
                     7600 Old Keene Mill Road
                     Springfield, VA




The Diocese of Arlington is home to more than 600,000 Catholics living in 21 counties and seven cities in central and northern Virginia. Parishioners live out their faith at 69 parishes, five missions, and 17,500 students attend 44 Catholic elementary and high schools.

Angela Pellerano, Director of Media Relations 703-841-2517 (o) 571-215-8731 (mobile)