Jaro renews commitment as ‘Church of the Poor’

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JARO, Iloilo, May 27, 2015 – The Archdiocese of Jaro renewed its commitment to the “Church of the Poor” as it celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the dedication of its Cathedral and 150 years as a diocese on May 26 and May 27, respectively.

Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Photo: Felipe Uygongco)

“We need to intensify our dedication and efforts to achieve the vision of renewal that the PCP II and Third Diocesan Synod of Jaro drew up: a vision of a Church that is renewed, alive, and participative, evangelized and evangelizing a church of the poor,” Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo told the clergy and the rest of the faithful during a Eucharistic celebration on the anniversary of the dedication of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Cathedral on May 26.

A Church for all

The prelate said the vision and goal of the “Church of the Poor” is not a Church that excludes the rich, or any sector of society, but one that includes everyone: “the poor and the rich, the educated and not educated, the professionals and non-professionals…”
He stressed that to reach this goal everyone in the archdiocese should work to evangelize every parish by building up the “new way of being Church by giving witness of our faith to others” through the Magagmay nga Kristianong Katilingban (MKK) or BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community).

Significance of dedication

To explain the significance of the anniversary of the dedication of its Cathedral, Msgr. Alejandro P. Esperancilla, Special Assistant for Liturgical Affairs of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, made reference to the rite of dedication that coincided with the three-day celebration of Jaro’s Centennial on May 25-27, 1965.

According to the priest, the rite began in the afternoon of May 25 with a solemn procession of the relics of St. Elilzabeth of Hungary from the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary to the Cathedral grounds, where it was placed for the veneration of the faithful.
“Dedication means taking possession of a place solely for God and for worship,” he explained.

Living stones, people of God

The dedication of the Church is the feast of all the people of God called to gather each Sunday for the celebration of the Eucharist, Esperancilla said, noting that the altar is anointed with oil since it will come to symbolize Christ, “the anointed”, who remains “the priest, the altar and the lands offered as a worthy sacrifice to the Father for the redemption of all.”

He asked the faithful present to reflect on the symbolic value which the altar and the Cathedral walls communicate, saying, “We are the Church made of living stones and Christ is the cornerstone – the altar from which flows the living waters of grace.”

“This church building which was dedicated solely for God, symbolizes the dedication and consecration to God of every Christian born in the community throughout the ages. She was, is and will be a mother to us all,” Esperancilla added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)

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