THE National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City is aiming to get an approval from the Vatican to become a minor basilica by 2025.
Most Rev. Midyphil Billones, the Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu Archdiocese and team moderator of the National Shrine of St. Joseph, stated on Friday, January 19, 2024, that they are currently complying with the Vatican's requirements, which involve the renovation of church's interiors and baptistry.
After receiving an initial clearance from Diwa, the proposal will be studied by the permanent council before being sent to the Vatican for the final approval.
To recall in January 2023, Rev. Fr. Josephus Remonde, the parochial vicar of St. Joseph church, sent a petition letter to the Vatican through the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to upgrade the church's designation into a basilica.
They received a letter reply on March 29, 2023, to process the requirements.
According to Billones, Rev. Fr. Genaro Diwa, the head of the CBCP Liturgical Commission, visited the church and gave them instructions on a few procedures related to their application.
The church is targeting to complete all the requirements by June this year.
Billones said they hope to receive the approval before the "Panagtagbo" ceremony or the meeting of St Joseph, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Señor Sto Niño during the next Jubilee celebration, which will be held from December 24, 2024, to December 14, 2025, as stated by the Vatican.
He emphasized that upgrading the church's status is necessary for the faithful to recognize the role of a father, particularly as guide to the youth, through St. Joseph the Worker, who served as the father of the Holy Child Jesus.
Billones also mentioned that once the St. Joseph Church becomes a basilica, it will broaden its ministry's scope.
A basilica is the highest permanent designation for a church building distinguished for ceremonial purposes such as papal visits.
The Church and Convent of St. Augustine, or now the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño is the first Basilican church in Cebu. (HIC)