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Churches destroyed by ‘Yolanda’ now pilgrim churches

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Palo Archbishop John Du opens the Porta Sancta (Door of Mercy) of the Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban gravely destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. (Photo: Sr. Gemma Ria Dela Cruz/Paulines Media Center)

PALO, Leyte, Dec. 17, 2015 – Two churches in the Archdiocese of Palo severely destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013 have recently been declared pilgrim churches for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

In a decree issued by Palo Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du, the renovated Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration here and Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban City were pronounced pilgrim churches among the eight other churches in the archdiocese.

Chancellor Ric Marpa read the decree during the presbyterial Mass at the Palo Cathedral on Dec. 9.

Other churches are:

  • Redemptorist parish (Tacloban City)
  • St Joseph (Dagami, Leyte)
  • St. Francis Xavier (Abuyog)
  • Holy Cross (Carigara)
  • Saints Peter and Paul (Ormoc City)
  • St. Francis Xavier (Palompon)

Conditions for plenary indulgence

The designation of these pilgrim churches was in accordance with the decree of Pope Francis enjoining each diocese to name its cathedral and other big churches as such for the Jubilee and to open the Door of Mercy (Porta Sancta) for the pilgrims.

In his April 2015 papal bull of indiction, Misericordiae Vultus (Latin for The Face of Mercy), the Supreme Pontiff declared the year from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2015, to the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016, next year as Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (Year of Mercy).

Fr. Wilson Chu, co-parish priest of Sto. Niño Church, disclosed the designation of the church during the first day Simbang Gabi.

According to Chu, churchgoers, who are in the proper disposition, received the sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, prayed for the Holy Father’s intentions, and entered the Door of Mercy on the same day, will gain a plenary indulgence.

Fr. Virgilio Cañete, parish priest of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Telegrafo, Tolosa, Leyte explained indulgence as a “remission of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”

He added that the faithful Christian who is truly disposed gains this indulgence under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.

Fr. Ronel Taboso, parish priest of SNP disclosed that during the Jubilee year, all priests will be allowed to grant absolution for abortion reserved to bishops in places outside North America.

Palo’s ABC

Du urged all the faithful to take on the ABC mandate on this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that is:

  • Ask for the Mercy of God.
  • Be Merciful.
  • Create a Structure of Mercy.

Msgr. Rex Ramirez, vicar-general of the Archdiocese, advised “in the Year of Mercy there has got to be practical ways or actions that will help actualize or give results to the theme.”

Giving aid to the poor and those in need is among the ways to show of mercy.

The SNP officially launched on Dec. 16 the first-ever foundation of the parish intended to raise funds for its weekly La Mesa ni Marta, outreach program, scholarship for the indigent youth in the parish, disaster response and youth ministry activities among others.

In the nine-day Simbang Gabi and Misa de Gallo this month, the SNP adapts the theme “A Family is an Oasis of Mercy”.

This is the same theme take on by the launching of the three-fold celebration of Years of Family, Eucharist, and Mercy in the archdiocese. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)


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