Simbang Gabi offering: How to help Filipino priests help and serve Kababayans back home

CHRISTMAS is less than two weeks from now, and this wonderful season is just opening the hearts of people to give more, in gratitude to all the blessings we have received in the past year.  Our generous spirit goes beyond giving to our family and friends, as we are also compelled by love and sense of purpose to support causes we believe in.

One of these causes that are close to the hearts of Filipinos is to help our kababayans go deeper in their faith. Among the means to fulfill this is to help our Filipino priests, so they may be in the position to reach out to Filipinos even in the remote areas of the Motherland.

Last November, I got to meet Father Greg Gaston during my husband’s University of the Philippines College of Medicine Class of 1990 mini-reunion in Austin, Texas. Fr. Greg used to be one of their classmates until he heeded his true calling — to be a priest and help heal people not only physically but more so, spiritually as well. Fr. Greg is now the Rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino and is based in Rome. He reports directly to Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

As I have learned from Fr. Greg, “Pontificio Collegio Filippino (Pontifical Filipino College) is the home in Rome of Filipino priests. Here they reside and undergo formation, while doing further studies in the best Catholic Universities in Rome — close to the Holy Father physically, spiritually and doctrinally. Upon returning to the Philippines, they serve in the seminaries to train our future priests, and in other specialized ministries.”

This Christmas season, please find in your heart the desire to help our Filipino priests by helping Collegio Filippino. Your tax-deductible gift will go along way in the spiritual development of Filipinos back home. God will bless us all abundantly! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Here is the appeal from Cardinal Tagle and Fr. Greg Gaston:

“Please assist the Collegio’s operations, programs, and upkeep. Help build our Scholarship Fund for board and lodging ($10,000 a year per priest), tuition ($5,000 a year) and other needs.

“Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila suggests a monthly love offering, the equivalent of an hour of your salary. This way, without leaving your place, you VOLUNTEER AN HOUR to help our student priests!

“In a special way, we need your help for the renovation of our heavy duty kitchen, which will eventually serve up to 80 persons, plus hundreds of guests at times. Our kitchen also reaches out to our Overseas Filipino Workers who volunteer, undergo culinary training, interact and learn from each other, and are nourished spiritually.

Donate online or contact us:

For checks, pay to: “Friends of the Collegio”, and mail to Friends of the Collegio, 1819 Ridgeview Ct., Dupont, WA 98327 USA.”

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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to,

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