ST. CATHERINE of Alexandria Parish in Carcar City, Cebu has its old “retablo,” or altar screen, back.

The restored retablo was unveiled to the public last Wednesday after five months of work.

The inauguration mass was officiated by Bishop Emilio Bataclan, auxiliary bishop of Cebu.

Fr. Brian Brigoli, who is the parish’s team moderator and also chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage, said the process started last January after a month-long preparation and planning.

Brigoli said they also had to explain to the community what they were doing.

Heritage preservation

He said they decided to make a new retablo based on the original design after the latter was destroyed by termite infestation.

Brigoli said the old parish administrators had tried to fix the old retablo several times, but these were not considered genuine restoration work.

“We conducted the restoration work as we want the parishioners to appreciate the heritage aspect of their church. This would serve as a legacy for their children,” Brigoli said, adding that the restoration cost around P1.5 million.

St. Catherine of Alexandria’s retablo was admired for its Greco-Roman design.

It consisted of three elements: the niches, the tabernacle and the iconography.

The niches refer to the semi-arches where the statues of the saints are placed; the tabernacle is the repository of the Blessed Sacraments; and the iconography refers to the signs and symbols of the faith.

The church was built by the Augustinians between 1860 and 1875.