By ROSE ALBANO RISSO
For years, people always called the office of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Manteca to ask, “What time does the midnight mass begin?”
For just as long a span of time, this was part of many a priest’s homily humor.
That is no longer the case. The traditional midnight mass ushering in Christmas Day at St. Anthony of Padua is taking place tonight starting at 11 o’clock.
Father Patrick Walker, the church pastor, wanted parishioners to be able to go home and be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with their families at midnight, or shortly thereafter, instead of at one o’clock or 2 o’clock, explained Father Dante Dammay, the parish’s parochial vicar. This is especially true for many Hispanic families who celebrate the traditional Noche Buena on the birthday of Jesus at midnight. Filipino families also observe the same religious event.
The pastor was off on Monday and could not be reached for comment.
The 11 o’clock service is being called a Night Mass or Christmas Eve Mass. This is actually the second year St. Anthony of Padua has conducted the previously known Midnight Mass at 11 p.m.
As always, parishioners planning to attend the Night Mass are encouraged to come early to get a good seat and parking space in the parking lot.
The Christmas Eve Mass Wednesday night will be trilingual, with the English, Portuguese, and Spanish choirs providing the service music. Liturgy readings and the homily will be in these three languages as well.
In addition to the choral music, there will be chimes, handbells and other instruments joining in the celebratory worship.
Offering the concelebrated mass will be Father Walker, Father Dammay, and Father Jairo Ramirez.
Other Christmas Eve Masses will be the Children’s Mass at 4 p.m.; Spanish masses at 6 and 8 p.m.
Christmas Day masses will be at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. in Spanish, and at noon in Spanish.
St. Patrick’s Church on East Highway 120 in Ripon will have its traditional Midnight Mass in English starting at 12 a.m. Other Masses on Christmas Eve will be held at 5 p.m. in English, and 8 p.m. in Spanish.
Christmas Day Masses will be at 10 a.m. in English, and 11:30 a.m. in Spanish.
Top contact Rose Albano Risso, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3536.