by PAT SALANDANAN
A community of the Holy Rosary (Barangay Sto Rosario) celebrated the feast of its patroness,
Our Lady of the Rosary, on October 12 with the parish Mass at St Joseph’s, Upper Hutt.
Parish priest Fr Ron Bennett presided, and Kiwis, Filipinos and other ethnic communities filled
the church. The Upper Hutt Filipino choir led the singing.
Fr Bennett said one of the great blessings for the New Zealand Church is the large number of
Filipino people in parishes. “St Joseph’s Upper Hutt has gone from four Filipino families to over 90
families 12 years later,” he said.
Mass was followed by fellowship in the foyer, where everybody enjoyed finger food provided by
the Filipino community.
Outside the church, children had fun with different games, such as the piñata, sack race, tug-ofwar
and “pabitin”. (“Pabitin” is a popular game where a bamboo lattice hung with candies and toys is hung from a place where it can easily be lowered or raised. Children stand beneath the lattice to jump and grab the prizes they want.)
For nine days leading to the fiesta the community had novenas to Our Lady and, for the month of October after the fiesta, they gathered together in the church or in the meeting room to pray the Holy Rosary.