Being a ‘Jubilee church’, a great honor, responsibility – priest

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ILOILO City, April 14, 2016 – The pastor of the Navalas church sees the formal opening of its Holy Door for the Extraordinary Jubilee as both a “great honor and great responsibility” for his parish.

“Being a ‘pilgrimage church’ is a sign and a reminder that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice,” said Navalas parish priest Fr. Nonito C. Pelobello, noting the big responsibility the honor of being named a Jubilee church entails.

Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo knocks on the Holy Door accompanied by Navalas parish priest Fr, Nonito C. Pelobello, April 8, 2016. (Photo: Gemma Flores Sarduma)

‘People of mercy’

For the priest, the role of his a parish as a “Jubilee church” does not only refer to the physical upkeep of the church or of the “Holy Door” but “the greater responsibility of being a people of mercy”.

Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo opened the “Door of Mercy” of St. Isidore the Worker Parish in Navalas, Buenavista, Guimaras on April 8 in the presence of San Carlos Bishop Gerardo A. Alminaza, former Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro, other concelebrating priests, and thousands of faithful among the laity and the religious.

The Navalas church is the sole “pilgrimage church” designated in the island province of Guimaras for the Jubilee of Mercy. The other “jubilee churches” of the Archdiocese of Jaro are located in Iloilo, in the island of Panay.

Spiritual preparation

The parish priest noted that while his parish is already used to receiving many visitors due to the fact that the Navalas church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church and the only existing heritage church on the island of Guimaras, its designation as “Jubilee church” with its “door of mercy” adds a new dimension that his parishioners and pilgrims ought to keep in mind.

For this, he advised the faithful to spiritually prepare by making a good confession, even before setting out to visit the “Jubilee church”.

In the course of the Jubilee of Mercy, a plenary indulgence can be gained by pilgrims by passing through the “Holy Door” and by also fulfilling the following conditions:

  • being in a state of grace;
  • receiving the sacrament of Confession;
  • reception of Holy Communion;
  • having an interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, and praying for the intention of the Pope. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)

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