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St. Clare Church hosts Advent novena

Nine-day event celebrates birth of Jesus in Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi
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St. Clare Catholic Church in Roseville invites everyone to join in nine evenings of prayerful celebration, known as Advent novena, to commemorate the birth of Jesus. This novena will be in the Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi, which translates to “Mass at dawn.” This custom originated in the Philippines after the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. Catholics celebrated Mass early so farmers could participate before going to the fields and fishermen could join after their morning catch. St. Clare, however, will host the event at night. “We are thankful to the Filipino community for taking the lead in this project and for the many communities who have come forward to represent their cultures while celebrating our unified faith community,” said church pastor, Father Steven Foppiano. St. Clare, a parish with more than 4,000 members, is hosting the novena for the first time, which runs Wednesday, Dec. 15 through Thursday, Dec. 23. Parishioners from different cultures will participate and eight cultural groups will sponsor an evening event, including Filipino, Indian, Polish, Italian, Hispanic, Korean, Nigerian and Vietnamese communities. “St. Clare tries to serve and honor all of the various cultures that make up the Roseville area,” Foppiano said. “We are thankful for this nation, which is so rich in culture yet unified in purpose. At St. Clare we especially celebrate the unity of those who serve and love Jesus Christ.” Foppiano, whose family came to California in 1850, is a fourth-generation American but said he values his Italian heritage. “As pastor, I feel it is important to form a unified community in discipleship while honoring our various traditions,” he said. Foppiano was appointed pastor in July but also served as deacon and then newly ordained priest from January 2002 through March 2003. He then spent seven years as pastor at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paradise before returning to St. Clare. Stay after Mass to visit other parishioners and enjoy desserts, snacks and beverages representative of the sponsoring community. On Thursday, Dec. 23rd, guests are asked to bring their favorite dish to share in an international potluck feast. The bilingual Mass takes place at 7:30 p.m. each night from Wednesday, Dec. 15, through Thursday, Dec. 23, at St. Clare Catholic Church, 1950 Junction Blvd. in Roseville. For more information, call (916) 772-4717 or visit www.stclare-church.org. ~ Sena Christian ---------- Advent novena schedule at St. Clare Catholic Church Wednesday, Dec. 15: Filipino Thursday, Dec. 16: Indian Friday, Dec. 17: Polish Saturday, Dec. 18: Italian Sunday, Dec. 19: Hispanic Monday, Dec. 20: Korean Tuesday, Dec. 21: Nigerian Wednesday, Dec. 22: Vietnamese Thursday, Dec. 23: Filipino