Serving Hyde Park’s Catholic Community since 1869

5472 South Kimbark Avenue,
Hyde Park, Chicago IL, 60615-5297
Phone: (773) 324-2626 Fax: (773) 891-0602

Simbang Gabi


“And seeing the star they rejoiced
with exceeding great joy” (Mt 2:10)

Simbang Gabi (Filipino for ‘Mass in the Dark’) is a devotional nine-day series of Masses in the Philippines, a time when Filipinos come together to prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The Simbang Gabi tradition began at St. Thomas in 1965 by a few Filipino families in the Hyde Park community and has grown into a huge multi-cultural celebration.

Who we are: We are a group of parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle who want to promote the vision of our parish as an inclusive family in a caring faith community by strengthening the unity among all the cultural groups through prayer, hospitality, and service.

What we do: We hosts the annual Simbang Gabi in our parish, making it a truly exciting, uniting and spiritual experience for the entire Parish family. To do so we:

  • hold fund raising to raise funds for our Simbang Gabi event;
  • care about all the aspects of the festive celebrations: Music and hymns for the Mass, traditional and ethnic Christmas carols, faith sharing, and, of course, lots of food, fun and dances afterward,
  • promote cultural exchange and appreciation by wearing our finest Philippine barongs and dresses,
  • promote friendships among the Filipino-Americans as well as among all people of different origins in our parish,
  • celebrate church values of family, hospitality and deep faith, and much more.

Time commitment: Several hours once a year, preparing for and assisting at the Celebration.

For practical reasons the celebration of the Simbang Gabi has been adapted to local conditions, with the Mass being moved to the evening hours on 2nd Saturday of December.

Requirements: Anyone willing to help and to share joy of Christmas!

Contact: Mildred Soriano at (773) 373-3970, or

“Simbang Gabi is a religious festival for all, Filipino and non-Filipino.
But no matter the language or dress, when you pray and sing during the Simbang Gabi,
you realize how truly universal the Christmas spirit is.”

Simbáng Gabi 2012