Filipino-American Ministry


For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another ………. Romans 12:4-5



The Filipino-American Ministry is comprised of both Filipinos and Americans who, in one way or another, share a common bond of heritage to the Philippine Culture and the Catholic faith.  Although the majority of active members come from Our Lady of Refuge Church, our community is embraced and supported by Filipino-American Catholics from other churches of the Los Angeles Archdiocese including St. Philomena Church, St. Cornelius Church, St. Anthony Church, St. Matthew Church, Holy Innocents Church, and other neighboring parishes.   These members participate in all our community endeavors, whether they be Prayer Ministry, Small Church Communities, Garden Angel Ministry, Our Lady of Guadalupe Ministry or fund-raising efforts for our OLR parish.




 In the Philippines, we use the word “Balikatan”, which means “shoulder to shoulder” to communicate the idea of cooperation in order to meet common goals.   The mission of the Filipino-American Ministry is to journey together in faith, adhering to the many beautiful devotions and religious traditions inherent to the Filipino culture. 


We, as part of a culturally diverse community, believe that promoting, celebrating and achieving equity, inclusion, and diversity strengthen the community and are vital to OLR’s mission and vision.


The Filipino-American Ministry welcomes not only our Filipino friends but all who are interested to join our activities.   We hope you discover the joy that we share when we come together to worship God in spirit and in truth.





Under the leadership of Fr. Gerard O’Brien, the Ministry organized and celebrated its first Simbang Gabi last December, 2018.   Fr. O’Brien brought his enthusiasm and love for cultural diversity and inclusion and challenged parishioners of Latino and Filipino heritage to form “Our Lady of Guadalupe Ministry” and “Filipino Ministry”.


The Filipino-American Ministry hosted two Simbang Gabi Masses at OLR  with a grand reception after mass service.   We also introduced the younger generation of Filipino-Americans to Parol (lantern) making and used these parols as decoration in the church for Simbang Gabi.


We also led the Divine Mercy Rosary Prayer for Easter 2019.    And we held our first Fil-Am Festival in June 2019.


Philippine kinship uses the generational system in kinship terminology to define family.  One’s genetic relationship or bloodline is often overridden by the desire to show proper respect that is due in the Philippine culture to age and the nature of the relationship, which are considered more important.  The “Kumare Circle”  (Girlfriend Circle) was organically formed as a direct result of the kinship and “family” within our Ministry Group.


KUMARE is a Tagalog term of endearment for a female friend.  Rooted in the Spanish word “comadre” (co-mother or godmother).   The Kumare Circle is a community of Filipinos fostering authentic connections.    The Kumare Circle does not distinguish between generation, age, or gender.  

Parol Making 2021
Setup 2019 Simbang Gabi