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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has designated the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe a national shrine, the seventh in Manila.
The church located in Makati City becomes the only national shrine in the country dedicated to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Manila said church will be officially declared national shrine on May 31 [today!] coinciding the installation of its new rector Fr. Roderick Castro.
“To declare a parish church a National Shrine is indeed a great honor,” the statement read.
The designation puts the parish on par with the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Antipolo City and fifteen others across the country.
The archdiocese said the church will likely see a significant increase in the number of visitors to the shrine.
It added many Catholics may now view the church as a place of pilgrimage where they can have their spiritual lives nourished.
The process of declaring a parish church into a national shrine entails several steps and requirements. [This process most Catholics and surprisingly most priests do not know. I know this for a fact. I know one a priest who doesn't.]
First, the archdiocese said, it has to be already a diocesan shrine or archdiocesan shrine. It is reserve to the bishop of the diocese to pronounce a parish a shrine upon a petition from priests, parish councils, parishioners and frequent church-goers.
After several years, when devotion has grown deemed and it is possible, the faithful involved in the shrine may apply for its elevation to national level to the CBCP.
Msgr. Salvador Jose, attached priest of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, stated how intense the inquiry would be before declaring a church into a national shrine.
He said, as in their case, its application will pass through a lengthy investigation by three Commissions of CBCP; namely the Commission on Canon Law, where the application will pass through a legal consultation, the Commission on Liturgy, which will scrutinize the frequency of the shrine in rendering liturgical services, [uh-huh...This means you have to be friendly to the liturgical tastes of Frs. Chupungco and Diwa! Ugh! Has anyone noticed in the photo above that the tabernacle is located to the side? Is this what Vatican 2's Sacrosanctum Concilium calls "a place of honor" for the tabernacle? But...the presider's chair is in the center! I think the presider, in the minds of the liturgists, deserve more honor don't you think? Kinda sarcastic...But I digress.] and lastly, the Commission on Doctrine, to ensure the conformity of the shrine’s devotional practices to the teachings of the Universal Church.
The National Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe was declared a Archdiocesan Shrine by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin on August 15, 2002. On April 5, 2004, the petition to elevate the shrine into national level was made to Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, then CBCP President.
Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, then head of the Commission on Canon Law assigned Msgr. Romulo Vergara to head the investigative committee.
On January 23, 2010, the CBCP approved the petition and February 5 the decree of establishment of the national shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was signed by the CBCP President Bishop Nereo Odchimar. (CBCPNews)
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