Santa Rita town opens parish museum on religious heritage

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Ian Ocampo Flora

SANTA RITA -- The Santa Rita de Cascia Parish opened over the weekend its heritage museum showcasing religious art, antiques and historical artifacts of the parish and the town.

Santa Rita parish priest Monsignor Abel Basilio led the blessing and opening of the Museo ning Parokya nang Santa Rita de Cascia at the second floor of the old convent building attached to the old parish church. The building, which was restored in 1994 now houses the historical artifacts, contemporary and antique images, as well as old furnishings of the church and its old rectory.

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The event was attended by Mayor Yolanda Pineda, museum sponsors and dozens of parishioners of the town.

Basilio said that most of the items have been donated by parishioners under his term to fill the exhibit halls and rooms of the museum. The facility boasts of a main gallery hall for regular exhibits, a room for antique images and another for processional Holy Week images.

The museum currently holds the images of the Confradia ning Cintas, a lay organization of religious devotees of Augustinian saints. The group hosts the annual Grand Augustinian Procession that features the images of Augustianian saints, which are now currently on display at the halls main gallery.

Two of the works of Presidential Merit Awardee for Ecclesiastical Art Wilfredo Layug are also on display in one of the rooms of the museum.

The facility also offers a tour of the church, which houses the first-class relic of Saint Rita. Tourists may also visit the recently restored bell tower of the parish, which is accessible through the museum.

"This is our way of preserving the tangible heritage of the parish. As much as we would like to preserve the religious art that is stored here we also like to remind our parishioners of the faith of their forebears that have produced these items that symbolized their faith," Basilio said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Yolanda Pineda said that the museum will be an addition to the tourism attractions of the town. She added that tourists will now have an expanded choice on places to visit while in town.

“We have old houses, food tours and an eco-tourism park. The parish museum will be an addition to our tourist attractions in Santa Rita,” Pineda said, adding that the faith of the local parishioners is also a highlight of the facility.

Victoria Tayao, prime mover and donor for the said facility, said that they have pooled resources to make the facility ready for pilgrims and tourists. She added that they are thankful for the support of parishioners who have donated items for the facility despite the short notice.

The facility is open on weekends and accommodates group tours on ordinary days for free.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 21, 2014.

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