Church officials name thanksgiving chapel at SRP after new Filipino saint

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SM PRIME Holdings Inc. decided to name the chapel, where the national thanksgiving rite for the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod will take place, after the second Filipino saint.

The chapel, designed by New York-based Filipino-American architect Carlos Arnaiz, was supposed to be named Shrine of Mary, Mother of God.

Maria Teresa Mempin of SM Prime Holdings said they also hope to have the site for the thanksgiving mass declared a national shrine.


Fr. Brian Brigoli of the committee on venue of the Cebu Archdiocese said church officials are proposing to have the site declared a historical or heritage site.

“(But) we were told that a declaration cannot be made until after the event. Since the lot is not owned by the Church, with the declaration comes the donation (of the lot to the Church),” he said.

The completion of the chapel and thanksgiving site, located within the 30-hectare property of SM Prime at the South Road Properties, is set on Nov. 15, well ahead of the Nov. 30 event.


Bad weather hampered work on the thanksgiving site but Fr. Raul Gallego, head of the committee on venue, said the target completion of the backfilling, compacting, installation of pavers on roads will be on the second week of November.

Work will also be suspended on Nov. 2 so that construction workers can be with their families to observe All Souls’ Day.

The committee in the Cebu Archdiocese that oversees the preparations of the thanksgiving venue received another setback when Cebu City Hall backed out from its pledge to lay asphalt on the entrance road.

“The (City) Council did not approve the work of backfilling. The original plan was an asphalt road that costs about P4 million. We were told two weeks ago that it would not push through,” said Gallego.

The City Government, though, will shoulder food expenses of workers at the venue, and make arrangements with the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) and security personnel to maintain order during the thanksgiving.

Top brass

The Cebu Archdiocese expects as many as 130 bishops, archbishops and cardinals to attend the national thanksgiving mass.

Committee on liturgy chairman Fr. Glenn Guanzon said they are also preparing vestments more than 1,000 priests, 800 lay ministers and 400 religious nuns and brothers.

The liturgical commission would need 1.5 million pieces of communion wafers and more than 2,000 ministers to distribute these to the participants.

Among those who are expected to attend the thanksgiving are Vice President Jejomar Binay, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

President Benigno Aquino III’s sisters may also attend.

The 2,220-square meter venue of the thanksgiving can seat about 1,000.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2012.

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