JARO, Iloilo City, April 5, 2016 – Now, Guimaras has a Jubilee Church!
In response to the petition of the Catholic faithful on the island province of Guimaras, Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D. designated the Parish of St. Isidore the Worker in Navalas, Buenavista, also known as the Navalas Church, as a “pilgrimage church” for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
The “holy door” in the Navalas Church will be opened on April 8, 2016, preceding the 9:00 a.m. Eucharistic celebration in thanksgiving for the 25th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of its pastor, Fr. Nonito C. Pelobello.
The naming of his parish as a “Jubilee church” was considered by Pelobello as “the greatest gift given to him on his silver anniversary as a priest and also the best gift given to his parishioners for the Jubilee of Mercy.”
The priest explained that many Catholics on the island province of Guimaras would like to avail of the Jubilee indulgence but since, at the time, all the jubilee churches of the Archdiocese were located in Iloilo, on the island of Panay, they still had to take the boat in order to reach Iloilo.
Pelobello sees a two-fold benefit in the naming of St. Isidore the Worker Parish as a “Jubilee Church” with its own “Holy Door”.
“Now, the Jubilee indulgence can be availed by more people in Guimaras, not only among the ‘locals’ but also among many foreign and domestic tourists and pilgrims because our island is famous for both eco-tourism and religious heritage destinations.”
In naming the parish as a “pilgrimage church” Lagdameo, in an earlier Circular wherein he designated the first four “Jubilee Churches” in the Archdiocese, explained, “Pope Francis, in his Bull of Indiction, “Misericordiae Vultus”, granted to all cathedrals of the local church, and at the discretion of the local ordinary, to shrines frequented by pilgrims and other churches of special significance, a “Door of Mercy” in order that everyone may avail of the “medicine of mercy.”
“Through this “door” the Church’s faithful are offered an “extraordinary path” toward spiritual renewal and a moment of grace, not just in Rome but even in our local church,” the archbishop stressed.
Oldest Guimaras church
Built in 1880, the Navalas Church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church and the only existing heritage church on the island of Guimaras.
The Archbishop earlier designated four “Jubilee Churches” in Iloilo are:
- National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles (Jaro Cathedral)
- Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (Alta Tierra, Iloilo City)
- Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer (Leganes, lloilo)
- Parish Church of St. Anne (Molo, Iloilo City)
The prelate explained that by passing through their “Holy Door”, and fulfilling the usual conditions, the faithful can obtain plenary indulgence, which can be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the faithful departed, which fulfills one of the spiritual works of mercy. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)