Francisfest 2020: Build My Church On A Song
The annual fundraising concert this year goes online and features world class Asian opera singers, Rachelle Gerodias and Byeong-In Park
Though we live in rather unsettling times, there's always hope for a brighter tomorrow. Something we may have all realized during this time in our collective lives, facing a pandemic together, is that it is in our darkest hours that we discover the brilliant light within ourselves and in each other, through Christ, which can never be dimmed.
It is of this sentiment that Santuario de San Antonio Parish (SSAP) pushes forward with its annual Francisfest which the parish does in celebration of the feast of their patron, St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order. Happening on October 4, Francisfest 2020: "Build My Church On A Song" is free and open to all and will feature world class opera singers Rachelle Gerodias and Byeong-In Park.
"In the past, we would have live concerts held in our Main Church, with guests like Cecile Licad, Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra, etc.. The event is attended by parishioners and guests. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to have an online concert was our only option to reach our audience," shared Bingbing Quiros, head of the marketing committee and member of the sponsorship committee for the upcoming event.
The Francisfest 2020 performances would not be possible without singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan, an active parishoner at Santuario de San Antonio, who lent his help by connecting the church to this year's fantastic talents. "We are privileged, honored, and grateful. Thanks to him, we were able to invite this year's talents—world-class Asian opera singers—Rachelle Gerodias, our country's premier soprano, and her husband, Byeong-In Park, South Korea’s well-renowned baritone," Quiros revealed. She further adds that it has been a joy working with such an inspiring couple, with both being friendly, down-to-earth, and highly professional.
Premiering on October 4, the concert will see Gerodias and Park serenading their online audience for an evening of entertainment and make us fall in love with songs from the opera, musical theater, Kundimans, and prayers. The concert will be accessible for 8 days (beginning Oct 4 at 8pm and until Oct 11 at 11pm) on the Santuario de San Antonio Parish YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Watch a preview of the amazing performances by the Francisfest 2020's featured talents below:
This year's beneficiary—the St. Clare Parish in Dagat-dagatan, Malabon-Navotas—has needed help in constructing their own church for mass, prayer, formation, counseling, and community building. "Through the years, SSAP has been supporting poor Franciscan parishes. St. Clare of Assisi is one of them. It caters to 40,000 families in Navotas and Malabon and the church can no longer accommodate them. [Building a church] has been held off for many years but this time, we are determined to bring it into a reality. This will be our lasting gift to commemorate the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines this coming 2021," shared Quiros.
This project will also support the various ministries of other SSAP Outreach Programs—Hospital (Philippine General Hospital and Rizal Medical Center), Restorative Justice (Makati City Jail and Taguig City Jail), Scholarship, Livelihood, Eco-Justice, Relief and Rehabilitation, and Pastoral Care for Franciscan Vocations.
Here is how you can be a part of this momentous moment for St. Clare of Assisi and help:
"We would like to invite you to help us in this great undertaking, as we feed the spiritual needs of the people during this unprecedented, seemingly dark time. Let us all join hands as a community to build His church!" smiles Quiros.
It's no small feat to build His church, especially in a time such as this. But the Santuario de San Antonio Parish doesn't let fear, worry, and even this pandemic stop them from doing His work.