Archdiocese of Cebu to spend more than P25M for Calungsod

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Sunday, January 22, 2012


THE Archdiocese of Cebu is in the thick of preparations for a nationwide celebration of the canonization of the second Filipino saint, Pedro de Cebu.

After Pope Benedict XVI’s expected announcement of the date for the canonization of teenaged martyr Pedro Calungsod, the local church is eyeing the opportunity to welcome local, national and international guests to an elaborate celebration.

Expenses are expected to surpass the P25 million spent for the beatification of Calungsod in 2000, according to Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree acknowledging the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of Calungsod, which is the last step toward canonization or being declared a saint.

The only thing needed is the announcement of the date of canonization by Benedict after all cardinals vote whether or not Calungsod should be declared a saint.
A beato is venerated only in a certain locality while a saint is recognized by Catholics all over the world.

Beato Pedro was a teenager when martyred in Guam in 1672 with Spanish Jesuit priest Diego Luis de San Vitores.

The promulgation of the decree for his beatification was on Jan. 27, 2000. But the actual liturgical rite, led by Blessed Pope John Paul II, was held on March 5, 2000.

Cardinal Vidal said expenses for the beatification reached P25 million for the local celebration. This included the construction of the Beato Pedro Calungsod Shrine located inside the compound of the Archbishop’s residence.

“We would need a bigger budget this time,” said Vidal, who was appointed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as chairman of preparations for the celebration of Calungsod’s canonization in December last year.

The Cardinal said a meeting was held last week where priests who will head the working committees were identified.

There are three committees to handle the nationwide celebration. One will be stationed in Manila, another in Cebu and another in Mindanao.

Msgr. Roberto Alesna, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral parish priest and episcopal vicar, will head the finance committee. Chancellor and National Shrine of St. Joseph parish priest Msgr. Adelito Abella and Fr. Marvin Mejia will head the secretariat committee.

Mejia is the assistant Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) assistant secretary general. Vidal said he would be the liaison of the Cebu archdiocese with the Filipino bishops.

The other committees will tackle other necessities such as transportation, venue, procession, liturgy, protocol and liaison that will handle visiting dignitaries, medical services, reception and accommodations.

There will be a separate committee for the preparations in Rome in charge of preparations that will coordinate with the Filipino communities and pilgrims.

Cardinal Vidal said the important task for the church is to educate the people about the canonization and its significance to one’s spiritual life.

“So they will understand what we are doing, what we are celebrating,” Vidal said.

“The Holy Father will use his gift of infallibility in declaring that person is now in heaven, that he was able to achieve the mission of man on earth, that is, to love God, to serve God and to be with Him forever in heaven,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 22, 2012.

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