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Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) - Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a 6:30 p.m. Mass on Friday, December 23, at St. Catherine Laboure Parish, 3535 Thornwood Avenue in Glenview, in celebration of Simbang Gabi, a nine-day novena of masses in preparation for Christmas celebrated by Filipino Catholics. 

Over 75 parishes will be participating in Simbang Gabi Masses in this, the 26th annual celebration, in the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

Simbang Gabi (“Masses of the Night”) is a novena of Marian Votive Masses that are celebrated on nine days immediately preceding Christmas on December 25. Even though the Liturgical Season is Advent, the vestments used are white, not purple, and the Gloria is sung. This Philippine Christmas tradition has roots similar to the Posadas of Mexico, when both countries were colonies of Spain. Simbang Gabi is a multicultural celebration shared with the entire archdiocesan community.

The complete Simbang Gabi schedule is posted in the Advent Resources box on the Archdiocese’s website  Also, Teri Nuval, Director of the Office for Asian Catholics, has authored this week’s Catholic Chicago Blog, SIMBANG GABI: A Catechetical Moment.

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