The Santacruzan, the pageant on the last day of Flores de Mayo, in honor of Reyna Elena and Constantine finding the True Cross in Jerusalem, was celebrated by the Filipino Apostolate at Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on Sunday, May 22. Above, Reyna Elena (Queen Helena), represents Helena of Constantinople who found the True Cross. She stands with Rosa Mistica (Mystical Rose) on her right, and Reyna de las Flores (Queen of the Flowers) to her left. Standing in front are eight angels, each holding a letter to spell out “Ave Maria.” The celebration also was held at St. Gianna Beretta Molla Church, Northfield, on Sunday, May 15. The Filipino Apostolate celebrates Filipino “Tagalog” Masses twice a month rotating among 24 churches in the Diocese of Camden. The Filipino Apostolate of South Jersey is a religious initiative in solidarity with the diocese. It’s main concern is assisting parishes in involving Filipino Catholic migrants into local church life, with the “heartfelt desire of incorporating our own gifts of faith with others,” said Father Danilo M. Quiray, parochial vicar, Sts. Peter and Paul, Turnersville, and interim spiritual coordinator of the Filipino Apostolate of South Jersey.

Photo by Alan M. Dumoff