Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Online visit to Pilgrim Churches

MANILA, March 29, 2010—Don’t have the chance or enough time for the traditional “Visita Iglesia” [Spanish literally meaning Visit of the Church] this Holy Week? Do it online.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines reached out to the digital generation again with the launch of their “online Visita Iglesia” to help them reach people with the Scripture.

The website, a creation of the CBCP’s Media Office, allows faithful to visit seven famous churches in Metro Manila where they can carry out the fourteen Stations of the Cross. It maybe accessed at [actually this is the direct link]

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media Director, said the portal is only intended as an “alternative” on an “extreme situation” that someone cannot make the church visit for some valid reason. [well, couch potatoes and the "excusables", those who went to have a good time at the beach during the Holy Week would find this an excellent excuse for doing two things at the same time.  In the corporate world, they call it "multi-tasking"]

“There is no liturgical activity that is not communitarian. But there are exceptions such as in the case of OFWs working in a non-Catholic country,” added Quitorio.

“For the sake of our brothers and sisters who are out of the country, the OFWs and the others, or those who are sick and homebound, we are offering this online visita iglesia,” Quitorio said.

The Visita Iglesia is a traditional Filipino custom of visiting at least seven churches on Holy Thursday.[NO!  It is a Roman custom adopted throughout the universal church since not everyone can possibly visit the seven pilgrim churches of Rome.  So evidently the writer does not know anything about our Catholic heritage.  Well...I guess most do not which includes some of our brothers, sisters, priests and bishops. *Sigh*  And this practice is probably not too popular in other places in the country like Mindanao.  Last year, I was in Mindanao to observe Holy Week and there are not enough nearby churches to make it to 7.  Peace and order are also a major concern in the island so it is not easy for Catholics to practice this devotion.]

Among the churches featured in the portal include the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church in Intramuros; Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo; San Lorenzo Ruiz Church and Santo Nino de Tondo Parish in Tondo, Manila; Nuestra Senora de Remedios in Malate, Manila; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Parañaque City.

“All one has to do is click on the churches presented in the web pages,” said Quitorio.

One may also click on the audio and accompany the praying of the station of the cross, he added, or simply read the text of the Via Crucis. (Roy Lagarde)

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