Songs of praise and stories of faith highlighted JMM’s (Jesuit Music Ministry) “Ave Maria: A Choral Festival for Our Lady” online concert, streamed live last Saturday evening, October 30 on the social media pages of Jesuit Communications and Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM.
“Tonight, we hear songs that celebrate Mary as our intercessor, as Queen of Heaven and Earth, and as our beloved mother. We are also staging this concert to raise funds for our Pamaskong Handog project. Last year, we were able to provide food packages to nine selected communities during Simbang Gabi, thanks to our viewers and friends,” mentioned JesCom Executive Director Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso SJ in his opening remarks, as he appealed for more support for the charitable initiative that aims to reach even more families in the peripheries and marginalized sectors.
Raising the curtain for the evening’s festivities, as well as co-hosts Romar Chuca and Maxine Cruz’s winding search for the missing Miraculous Medal, were Young Voices of the Philippines’ “Ave Maria” and Lighter Side Movement’s “Awit sa Ina ng Santo Rosario” renditions. On their quest to retrieve the October Medal, the Catholic comedian and Radyo Katipunan’s ‘New Wave’ anchor, would soon encounter inspiring stories on Marian devotion, seamlessly interwoven with soulful musical segments.
In between stirring performances from SJ Tañong Choir, Disciples Choir, Manila Chamber Singers, and Hangad, vlogger Enrico Macrohon- popularly known by his YouTube moniker ‘Rix the Seminarian’- explained the beauty behind the Rosary’s repetitive, unceasing nature.
After musician and “Mary’s Table” podcaster Vanya Castor relayed how her growing devotion to the Blessed Virgin has brought about an outpouring of love in many aspects of her life, Mater Dei Music Ministry, Cantus, Solemne, and Kilyawan Consortium of Voices each delivered standout numbers on the virtual stage.
Delighting audiences after the short intermission, were Ateneo Chamber Singers’ “Aba Ginoong Maria”, Loboc Children’s Choir’s “Prayer of St. Aloysius Gonzaga”, and Bukas Palad’s “Awit ng Pagsuyo”– paving the way for special guest and Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz’s powerful faith testimony.
“Pag kinakabahan ako sa laro, doon ako nagdadasal, humuhugot ng lakas. Ito yung nagpapaala ng lahat-lahat ng nagdadasal para sa akin. Panatag ako na may mga taong nagdarasal para sa akin,” said the history-making weightlifter about her Miraculous Medal and rosary, the Zamboagueña’s treasured companions through heavy training sessions and international competitions.
As the tandem of Maxine and Romar celebrated their successful October Medal search, Koro Ilustrado, Philippine Madrigal Singers, and VC6 Philippines closed out the joyful evening in style, impressing viewers with “Inang Mahal”, “Ave Maria”, “Dona Nobis Pacem”, and “Salve Regina” respectively.
By the end of the broadcast, “Ave Maria: A Choral Festival for Our Lady” raised a grand total of 702 gift packages, promising a Noche Buena to remember for hundreds of grateful families this coming Christmas.
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