Welcome to the blog for FAMILYYA! This blog acts as an extension of FAMILYYA, giving access to our lessons and by connecting to a wider Filipino-American and Catholic audience. This blog will also inform you of special events that FAMILYYA will be hosting.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

FAMILYYA at World Youth Day This July!

FAMILYYA is proud to announce that Youth Coordinator and Chapel volunteer Jessica Abejar has been selected to perform her piece "Mother" at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this July! Jessica applied for the festival with a glowing recommendation made by Chapel moderator Rev. Dr. Joseph G. Marabe.

“This is a real dream come true for me!” said Jessica. “Performing at World Youth Day has been something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

Photo by Gilda Abejar
Jessica is a gifted performer who has been dancing for over 15 years and has been performing liturgical dance for almost 9 years. Her 20-minute solo piece “Mother” is a meditation reflection that depicts the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She first conceptualized the piece in 2004 with her own mother’s help and guidance, and first performed the piece at her sister Joelle’s First Communion party. Since then Jessica has performed the piece in full and in part at the Philippine Consulate during the reception of the San Pedro Calungsod Mass in 2012, at the Sacred Dance Guild Festival in 2005, at the Santo NiƱo Fiesta for the Infant Jesus Prayer Group of Nassau County in 2004 when she was named Hermanita, and for various parishes, groups, and events throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Photo by Gilda Abejar
In addition to “Mother,” Jessica has performed other liturgical dance pieces. Highlights include the Archdiocese of New York Bicentennial Celebration in Yonkers, NY; the 2005 Sacred Dance Guild Festival in New London, CT; the Our Lady of Antipolo Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC; the 25th Anniversary of the Canonization of San Lorenzo Ruiz Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, NY;  the Blessing of the Artists at St. Malachy’s Actors Chapel, New York, NY;  the 17th Anniversary of The Filipino Catholic at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island, Eastport, NY; the Pope John Paul II Memorial Mass at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, NY; the Young Preachers Workshop at the Motherhouse for the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, NY; and at various other events for groups, youth ministries, religious education programs, ecumenical celebrations, and local parishes including the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz, New York, NY, where she volunteers as a Youth Coordinator for the Family, Youth, and Young Adult Ministry - FAMILYYA. Ms. Abejar is also a gifted writer and dancer/choreographer in several styles of dance and has been writing and performing since she was a young child. Jessica hopes to continue to introduce audiences to an artistic expression of prayer and reflection as well as encourage others to realize their own God-given talents and how they can be used to glorify the goodness of God.

In order to perform in Brazil, Jessica will be raising funds for all her expenses by performing and hosting workshops for local parishes and group events. If you are interested in booking a performance or workshop by Jessica, you may contact Gilda via phone (212) 927-2370, or Jessica via e-mail spcyouth.nyc@gmail.com. For each performance, Jessica is happy to donate up to half of her proceeds to the presenting parish or group in addition to raising funds for her trip.

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