by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES — January is a busy month for devotees of the Santo Nino. Here, the Catholic faithful hold their images of the infant Jesus high, as they celebrate the “Sinulog” tradition.
“It’s very special, and especially, it’s our 30th,” says Tess Pecson Edbao, from Santo Nino Santacruzan USA.
“No words could describe how special it is to be here in the Cathedral of Los Angeles, one of the biggest churches of the world,” said Luke Arong, from the Southern California Sinulog Dance Company.
The Sinulog procession has now spread throughout the LA archdiocese — bringing its festive colors, dances, and traditions, which originated in Cebu.
While the Filipino faithful carry on with the festivals, they’re also bidding farewell to the country’s highest ranking Filipino bishop, Oscar Solis.
Said LA’s top Archbishop Jose Gomez, “Today we tell Bishop Solis congratulations. You are in our prayers.”
Throughout his 12 years as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, Bishop Solis has spent many Philippine holidays, devotions, and occasions front and center. This month, it was announced that Pope Francis has appointed him as Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Archdiocese made sure he was with Filipinos for at least one more Sinulog celebration.
“I need your blessing. That’s why we celebrate mass today, to ask a blessing from our Lord and Santo Nino. Keep me in your prayers please,” Bishop-Elect said.
While it’s not known when Bishop Solis will leave and how often he will be able to return, his are hoping this isn’t the last they’ll see him.
“It’s very sad that he’s going to leave Los Angeles, but we are also very excited for him that he’s going to go to Salt Lake City,” said Jo Solomonson. “We know he’s going to do a remarkable job.”
Solis will officially be installed as Bishop of Salt Lake City in March.