Installation & Blessing of the Chapel for Senyor Sto Niño (Gratitude List)



July 18, 2014 was a historic event, another milestone, in our devotions

to Senor Santo Nino in New Zealand – the Installation and Blessing of

a Chapel for Senor Santo Nino and Mass of Thanksgiving at St Benedict’s Church, Auckland, New


First and foremost, I would like to thank my beloved family: Mary Anne, Kristoffer

(Kit), Oscar Jr, AJ, Michael and Vincent , Thea, Tania, Bubbles and Peter. I look

back to the twenty years that our whole family came together, rain or shine, to

help out in the 9-days novena-masses and fiesta celebrations for Senor Santo

Nino until the wee hours of the morning (3 AM at the latest) and have a very

short sleep of another 3 hours (the most) and get working again at 6AM for the

big fiesta celebrations which took all day until clearing up at 6pm.

Dad and I Thank you for supporting us all the way in our commitment to serve

God thru devotions to Senor Santo Nino and the Blessed Mother Mary. Thank

you for sharing our faith with us. We acknowledge the hard work that everyone

in the family has done and we admire you for your very caring and loving attitude.

We thank Senor Santo Nino for bringing the whole family to New Zealand and for

making us instruments to help spread devotions to Him in this foreign land.

I thank all the other people who put their trust in me & your Dad and our family

and who have helped us in this big endeavor from the start in 1994, the original

Sinulog Ladies: Alice Smith (the one who started it earlier than 1994 and who is

now back to our Creator), Mila Rigby, Gloria Noblejas, Prescy Suerto, Mary Ann

Lovelock, Ohwa Cook, Vicky Van Uden, Allen Villamor, Joy Caballero and Mila

to Sto Nino in New Zealand. Time sometimes dictates different lifestyle for

different people. We thank these ladies for committing their time for 10 solid


The task of promoting devotions to Senor Santo Nino continues up to the present

moment (now on its 20th year) with the commitment of the next set of devotees


We thank all the Trustees, Area Coordinators, Hermanos-Hermanas, our Bishop

Patrick Dunn, our Filipino priests (especially Father Ruben Elago who had guided

us for 12 years), ALL our Devotees, Working Committee members, ALL our

Benefactors, Donors and Sponsors who have made each and every annual

celebrations (a solid 10 days celebration from the 9-days novena-masses to the

big Fiesta celebration) a great success and a very memorable one. Kindly visit our

website,, to see who these wonderful and very special

people are.

As the devotions grew from strength to strength, we got requests from a large

number of devotees to set up a place where they can visit and pay homage to

Senor Santo Nino any time, any day of the week. This was a very challenging task

and indeed, Senor Santo Nino has heard our prayers and has made possible the

Installation of the Chapel of Senor Santo Nino at St Benedict’s Church, #1 St

Benedict’s Street, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand. The church is open every day.

We thank everyone who joined us for this joyous occasion. There are so many

people to thank for and it will take whole book to list down all their names but

God knows who they are.

However, there are some people whom we would like to acknowledge for

making this event possible and help made this event a historic one:

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD (for his spiritual guidance)

Monsignor Paul Farmer (Parish Priest of St Benedict’s – for giving approval to

build the chapel in St Benedict’s & Blessing the chapel)

Parishioners of St Benedict’s Church and St Patrick’s Cathedral (for their support

and prayers)

MSGR Bernard Keily (Administrator of St Patrick’s Cathedral & Parish Priest of St

Peter’s Church, Waiheke)

MSGR David Tonks (Parish Priest for St John the Baptist, Parnell)

Father Larry Rustia (Assistant Priest at St Patrick’s Cathedral – for celebrating the

Mass of Thanksgiving and for his continued support)

The priests who concelebrated at the Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Gilbert Ramos,

Father Rodney Smythe, Father Joseph Parkinson, MSGR Paul Farmer

Philippine Honorary Consul General Paulo Garcia (for his attendance)

Mr Lito Banal, President of NZ Philippines Business Council, for his attendance

Catherine Van Veen (St Benedict’s Parish Secretary)

Rebecca Knibbs (Parish secretary, St Patrick’s Cathedral)

Joseph Folau (St Benedict’s Custodian)

Sto Nino Liturgical Dancers (especially Eloise Gantuangco for the choreography

and Diane G Edmonds for coordinating the dancer-volunteers)

Divine Mercy- Queen of Peace Choir

Readers, Commentators (especially Aljane Estrada & Ferdie Esclamado) and

Ministers of the Eucharist; Offerors; Collectors

Alex & Carmela Andales for providing the sounds and Kriez & Tetet Cuevas for


Very special thanks to Jess Enoncillo who made the layout and design for the

chapel and the Enoncillo Family who did a lot of handwork to its completion.

We thank France Martirez for the curtain making.

Very special thanks to Chichi Abadingo, Sto Nino Website and Facebook

Administrator and to Cherry-Thelmo Fernandez for our Media Communications

and Press Releases.


Beyond history, Filipino and Hispanic Catholics continue to nurture a rich cultural

folk devotion to the “Nino Jesus” (the tern used by Latin Americans) or the “Sto

Nino” (the devotional title preferred by Filipinos) because they testify that the

devotion to the Child Jesus is a powerful channel to obtain various material

favours from the heavens. Among Filipinos, the folk devotion has been

embellished with various local festivities of merrymaking and street dancing.

The Vatican has recognized this uniqueness of devotion among the Filipinos such

that it has issued an indult (a permission, or privilege, granted by the church

authority – the Holy See for an exception from a particular norm of church law in

an individual case) allowing the Filipino Church to celebrate the third Sunday of

January as a liturgical feast for the “Sto Nino”.

In the “Sto Nino” we have the image of fullness and majesty of God who wants to

enter into a real and personal relationship with us. Hence in Jesus, God decided

to make Himself visible as an appealing child to draw us to Himself.

Closer to God through the devotion to the mysteries of Jesus’ Infancy, we are

called to be like God who is a lover of peace, a father of life, and an advocate of


Keeping our goal in mind:

With the devotions to Sto Nino in our hearts, we ponder on what we

can do to the small people, the nobodies, those who are easily put

aside in our midst.

This is drive that moves our Devotions to Senor Santo Nino in New


Our devotions continue:

We hold Rosary and Novena prayers to Senor Santo Nino every Friday at

6:30pm with Mass on a 3rd Friday here at St Benedict’s church.

Our 9-days novena in 2015 will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral from Jan 9

– Jan 17, 2015 with the fiesta mass on January 18, 2015.

We have an ongoing daily prayer crusade where you can make prayer


We hold quarterly community events, held between May/June; September;

November/December = at least three times a year with a focus on the

young people and families.

If you require details of all activities, please visit our website www.santo-

Our next project is to build a Pilgrim Centre for Senor Santo Nino. We

need your continued support and prayers.

Lastly, we thank you all for your strong faith and devotion to Senor Santo


We thank Boboy and Joy Caballero & Family for gifting us with the big

ad beautiful image of Sto Nino. The original statue gifted by Alice

Smith is being preserved and is in good hands.

May Senor Santo Nino bless and protects us always.

Oscar and Miriam Batucan