MANILA – The Sto. Niño Parish Church in Tacloban City is set to be elevated to an archdiocesan shrine.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website reported on Thursday that Palo Archbishop John Du has approved the petition regarding the measure.
The canonical establishment of the archdiocesan shrine will be held on November 1.
“The bishop has already given his positive response and we are just waiting for the issuance of the decree,” said parish priest Fr. Kelvin Apurillo.
The parish made the petition to make the church as a pilgrim site “for those who want to experience not only physical healing, but also spiritual healing”.
“We want to make our church as a place where people can experience the mercy and compassion of God,” said Msgr. Erlito Maraya, parish priest moderator.
According to the parish, the archdiocesan shrine is envisioned as a place where people can encounter “the boundless and unconditional love of God”.
Before the November 1 event, a motorcade carrying the image of the revered image of the Sto. Niño will go around the city on October 15 and 16.
The image will also visit various parishes in other towns under the archdiocese — Palo and Carigara, October 20; Abuyog and Burauen, October 21 and Palompon and Ormoc City, October 22.
The elevation of a parish into a diocesan shrine or archdiocesan shrine is upon the discretion of the bishop of the diocese.
For a parish church to be elevated, it must be above other churches when it comes to worship, Christian formation and social services.
Once all these standards are met, the priests together with the Parish Council, parishioners and frequent churchgoers should petition the bishop to canonically elevate the church into a diocesan shrine. (PNA)