Last 19 April 2008, a special Thanksgiving Mass was held at the Corpus Christi Parish in Vancouver, Canada. The Mass was organized on the occasion of the visit of the School Director, Fr. Johnny Go, SJ., who was on his way to New York to attend a couple of workshops.
Three years ago, in April of 2005, Fr. Go, accompanied by the Golden Jubilee Countdown Chairman, Hero Yu (`72), first visited the growing alumni community there to meet with the group. They were happy to see that the Vancouver community of Xaverians and ICANS is one of the most organized, thanks to the leadership of Edward Chua (`65) and other pioneers like him. After that first well-attended meeting, Fr. Go returned in July 2006 to give a one-day recollection to interested Xaverians and ICANS at the St. Patrick’s Parish.
This Thanksgiving Mass is Fr. Go’s third visit, and as he said in his homily, “It is always wonderful to meet with the Xavier Family here in Vancouver.” He encouraged those present to continue strengthening their growing community in order to welcome newcomers and help those among them who may be in need. Fr. Go also said he would like to return the next year to give a recollection to the Xavier Family in keeping with the thrust of the Development and Alumni Relations Office (headed by Fr. Zuloaga) to reach out to our alumni and provide them with opportunities for spiritual formation.After the Mass, there was the usual round of picture-taking, followed by a sumptuous Chinese dinner.
Over 50 people attended the Mass, from various Xavier School batches, as well as a number of ICANS. The successful event was organized by Richard Cheng, Edward Chua, and Hector Chua.
The next day, Fr. Go flew to New York. On 27 April (Sunday), from 9:30 am to 12 nn, he met with Xavier and ICA alumni, as well as former faculty. About 40 people attended the Mass and informal get-together/brunch in Xavier High School at 30 W. 16th Street. Fr. Go also first met with the alumni here in 2005 in preparation for the Golden Jubilee, and he also conducted a retreat for them in July 2006.
Speaking of the Gospel reading in his homily, Fr. Go invited those present to reflect on their stay in New York and to thank the Lord for keeping His promise to take care of them. “The Lord promised that He would ‘not leave us orphans’,” Fr. Go said, “and He has kept His promise.”
The Mass was followed by the usual picture-taking before the salu-salo, courtesy of everyone. Many younger alumni were able to attend the affair as well, compared to previous gatherings in NY where there were more alumni from the earlier batches. Among the former teachers who joined the gathering were: Eve Baquirin (former GS and HS Principal), Cleo Perez (former GS Asst. Principal), Bobby Abundo, Ramon Razon, Jo-Ann Grande, and Ms. E. Estor.
The affair was a great opportunity for Xaverians, ICANS, and former faculty of Xavier School to gather and strengthen their Xavier connection. The New York event was spearheaded by former faculty Ramon Razon and Jo-Ann Grande.
(photos courtesy of Ian Choi and Jo-Ann Grande)