Community

Diocese of Orange Welcomes the Poon Jesus Nazareno



On Friday, March 1, 2024, some 1500 Catholic faithful flocked to the Christ Cathedral in
Garden Grove, CA defying the threat of rain forecast for that day, to welcome the Mahal
na Poon Jesus Nazareno. Instead of rain, beautiful sunny skies prevailed so the planned
procession took place around the Cathedral Campus. The procession consisted of the
“carosa” (decorated flat carriage) bearing the Black Nazarene statue, hundreds of men
and women praying the rosary in synchronized fashion as they followed the statue, and
trumpeters for musical effect. The procession ended in the Cathedral where the Poon
Nazareno was carried by the Hijos de Nazareno to the front side of the altar. A solemn
Mass concelebrated by Bishop Kevin Vann, Christ Cathedral Rector Fr. Bao Thai, and the
Alagad Ni Maria priests formally welcomed the Poon to the Diocese of Orange.

Highlights of the liturgical celebration included the Holy Rosary Chamber Chorale of the
Federation of Rosary Groups of Orange County (FFRG-OC) which provided liturgical
music during the Mass. Deacon Cole Buzon, who did the gospel reading, will be
ordained priest on June 8, 2024 and will become the first home-grown Filipino priest in
Orange County. Everyone was invited to attend his ordination to be held at Christ
Cathedral. Ike Quiaoit, Chair of the Diocese of Orange San Jose Filipino Ministry
(DOSJFM), the sponsoring organization of this event, welcomed the congregation and
thanked those who have been instrumental in bringing over the Poon Nazareno to
California: Josephine Bautista, Roy Militante and Fr. Peter Lavin. In her closing remarks,
Becky Tamondong, DOSJFM Vice Chair, thanked everyone present for supporting this
endeavor aimed to deepen the faith of the Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in Orange
County. She also announced the ongoing recruitment of the Hijos and Hijas de
Nazareno – Catholic men and women who will primarily be in charge of the proper care
and maintenance of the Poon Jesus Nazareno, which is here with us to stay. Contact us
at info@dosjfm.com if interested.

The Poon Jesus Nazareno is known for the miraculous healing it bestows to believers in
need of healing. This replica of the Black Nazarene revered in Quiapo, Manila, was
brought to Orange County through the benevolence of Josephine Bautista, a long time
devotee of the Poon Nazareno. Through her devotion to the Poon, she herself was
miraculously cured from cancer. She has since made it her mission to promote devotion
to the Poon Nazareno. The Poon will be visiting various parishes. Communities or
ministries interested in hosting a visit of the Poon in their parish may contact the
DOSJFM via email at inter-parish-coordinators@dosjfm.org.
By Becky Tamondong, DOSJFM, 3.7.24