PARAÑAQUE City, May 19, 2014— Soon the faithful will be greeted by the smiling image of the “Father and Teacher of the Youth” at the Skyway-SM Bicutan area, says the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) rector.
According to Fr. Vitaliano Chito Dimaranan, SDB, to highlight his role as patron of Barangay Don Bosco, the statue of St. John Bosco, displayed prominently on the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) grounds, is set to be relocated to the Skyway-SM Bicutan area where more people can appreciate and venerate it.
Even as he is awaiting reassignment to another mission, as rector/president of the Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong, Dimaranan talked about the project, a joint one between the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), the Don Bosco barangay government, and the Federation of Homeowners in the four communities of Parañaque City.
Another aim of the move is to emphasize the National Shrine as being that of “Mary, Help of Christians”.
Dimaranan noted that small groups of pilgrims have come to use the St. John Bosco Chapel on the ground floor of the Shrine’s Marian Pilgrims’ Center.
“This gives a certain flexibility to the pilgrims who can now pay the Shrine a visit any time of the day, and still do their pilgrimage even if the big church is in use by parishioners,” he said.
There are several new developments in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) anniversary preparations in Don Bosco, Parañaque as well.
Shrine anniversary updates
“We have ordered a new statue of MHC from Bacolor, Pampanga. We also procured a secondhand carroza that would match the new statue and will be used during the ‘Grand Marian Procession’ on May 24,” Dimaranan said.
Dimaranan also shared that thousands of copies of the new and revised edition of the MHC devotional booklet, in both English and Filipino, have already seen print.
“These are usually given free to pilgrims,” he said, adding that versions of the booklet in Pampango and Waray are coming off the press soon, while the Cebuano and Hiligaynon versions of the MHC devotional are coming out soon.
The National Shrine is scheduled to celebrate its 40th anniversary on May 24, Saturday, which coincides with the feast of its patroness, “Mary, Help of Christians”.
A “Grand Marian Procession” at 5:00 p.m. is expected to cap the special occasion, followed by a concelebrated mass at 6:30 p.m. with Parañaque Bishop Jesse E. Mercado as main celebrant. (Raymond A. Sebastián)