Work starts on ‘holy, historic’ site-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
THE construction work officially started yesterday on the site of the national thanksgiving mass for the sainthood of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
The mass will be held on Nov. 30 or almost a month after Pope Benedict XVI leads the canonization rites for Calungsod and six other blessed persons in Rome, Italy.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the head of the national preparations committee for the canonization activities, led the blessing at the South Road Properties (SRP) where a templete or place for mass is being built.
“This place will now become a historical site,” the prelate said in his message to the participants. He also called on the people to join the celebration and “make the place holy and historical.”
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and church officials including Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, Vicars General Monsignori Roberto Alesna and Cayetano Gelbolingo.
Cardinal Vidal and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma earlier sent a letter to Rama seeking the declaration of the templete as a heritage site.
In a separate interview, Rama said he supports the prelates’ stand but the letter of request still had to be sent to the City Council and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC).
“It is not a problem with the mayor, as long as everything is complied with,” he told reporters.
Governor Garcia also expressed support for the request, telling the reporters that “we believe he comes from the province of Cebu. He (Blessed Pedro Calungsod) should be given a monumental honor.”
“The canonization, which happens once in many generations, deserves a landmark,” she added.
Calungsod was a teenaged catechist who served with the Jesuit mission in the Marianas from June 1668 until his death on April 2, 1672.
The template, or shrine, is the structure where the mass and other spiritual activities after the canonization rites of Calungsod in Rome will be celebrated.
Cardinal Vidal also presided over the meeting of the preparations committee held at the Archbishop’s Residence after the groundbreaking rites at the SRP.
He told reporters the committee is moving to the next phase after all the preparatory works of the various committees were approved yesterday.
“We have not seen any obstacle (in the preparations). Everybody is trying to do their work assigned to them,” said Cardinal Vidal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 08, 2012.