Around three hundred fifty people, including pre-school children, their parents, ODN Youth Encounter participants, Niña Maria scholars and alumni, staff and core group, the ODN sisters, benefactors and friends participated in the celebration of the Feast of Niña Maria last November 21, 2010. The day began with a procession at 8:30 in the morning from Niña Maria Learning Center (NMLC) to San Lorenzo Chapel where Mass followed at 9:00 o’clock. The Holy Eucharist was officiated by Fr. Andrew, SCJ. The Niña Maria Choir led the singing during the whole liturgical celebration.
After Mass everyone went back to Niña Maria Learning Center for the program where we witnessed the different beautiful presentations not only by the kids but also of the ODN youth from both Cagayan Oro and Iligan, the mothers and NMLC staff. The whole celebration ended with a simple lunch around 12:00 o’clock noon.
Like the rest of the Company of Mary in many parts of the world, the activities of the day were simply a culmination of a series of activities organized for this year’s 400th year celebration of the Feast of Niña Maria. Few days before, the Niña Maria Learning Center held Laro ng Lahi (Indigenous Games) with Niña Maria scholars; Sports Festival and Family Day in the preschool; Dental Program, Financial Literacy and Family Planning Seminar with the parents. In the evening of the Feast Day itself, the Youth for Better Future (YBF), an organization of Niña Maria scholars and alumni, had a party commemorating its sixth year of existence in the Center. On November 20, Saturday, from 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon to 10:00 in the evening, the Sisters organized a Youth Encounter at Lestonnac Youth Center in Saint Ignatius Village, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.
We are very grateful that all activities went well. The Lord blessed us with good weather and everyone went home very happy and with deeper sense of gratitude to God for the chance to participate in the celebration and of honoring the Child Mary the ODN way.