THE National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City is aiming to secure approval from the Vatican to become a minor basilica by 2025.
In an interview on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, Archdiocese of Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones, said they are currently complying with the Vatican’s requirements, which include renovation of the church’s interior and baptistry.
Billones is also the team moderator of the National Shrine of St. Joseph.
To recall, Fr. Josephus Remonde, parochial vicar of St. Joseph Church, said in August 2023 that they had sent a petition letter through the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to upgrade the church’s designation into a basilica to the Vatican last January 23. They received a reply to process the requirements on March 29, 2023.
Billones shared that Fr. Genaro Diwa, head of the CBCP’s Liturgical Commission, visited the church and provided guidance on the necessary processes for their application.
Diwa will grant initial approval, which will then be submitted to the permanent council for study and subsequently forwarded to the Vatican for final approval. The church aims to fulfill all requirements by June of this year for the CBCP to endorse it to the Vatican.
Billones said they hope to receive approval before the “Panagtagbo” ceremony or the meeting of St Joseph, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Sto Niño in the next Jubilee celebration, which will be held from Dec. 24, 2024, to Dec. 14, 2025.
Billones said the upgrade of the church’s status is significant for the faithful to recognize the role of a father, particularly as a guide to the youth, through the patron, St. Joseph the Worker, who served as the father figure of the Holy Child.
Billones also said 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.