According to Theo Cruz of San Bartolome Parish in Novaliches, there’s a Facebook campaign asking for Vatican approval of the Lipa apparitions that took place in 1948-1949.
“Mama Mary Mediatrix Cause: Lay Devotees Initiative” is open for devotees of the Mediatrix here and abroad.
Cruz, a member of the campaign, told me that as of 4 p.m. on July 13, the date of publish of my column about the Marian message on China during the Lipa apparition, the article had been trending with 6,000+ likes.
The message was revealed in Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Ricardo Vidal’s letter, “Statement of Support for Prayer to Pueblo Amante de Maria,” to Philippine bishops and cardinals dated June 19.
Bro. Marwil Llasos, OP, of the secular order, Companions of St. Dominic, said that for updates on the campaign, visit www.knowthetruth.ph.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Vidal said Lucena Bishop Emilio Marquez presided over the transfer of the remains of Servant of God Bishop Alfredo Maria Obviar from his tomb in the compound of Missionary Catechists of St. Therese (MCST) in Tayabas, Quezon, to the altar in the chapel on June 28.
Bishop Obviar was priest of the Diocese of Lipa and its first auxiliary bishop during the Lipa apparitions. He was also the first bishop of the Diocese of Lucena and founder of MCST.
In June 2000, Cardinal Vidal, who was archbishop of Lipa, Batangas, before he became head of the Cebu archdiocese, proposed to the CBCP the initiation of the cause for canonization of Obviar.
On Aug. 28, 2000, Mo. Rene Rarela, MCST, superior general of the congregation founded by Bishop Obviar, petitioned then Lucena Bishop Ruben T. Profugo to instruct the cause on the occasion of the 111th birthday of Bishop Obviar.
If, by the mercy of God, a favor has been granted through the intercession of Bishop Obviar, text cell phone no. 0920-9504904 or e-mail [email protected]
Visit www.obviar.bravehost.com. For prayers, please write to me c/o Phil. Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for easier mailing.
The Sto. Niño de Cebu visited the newly restored St. Joseph Church in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, on July 3.
It took almost four years to restore the church from its ruins, but it happened through the help of natives of Dingras based in Metro Manila headed by Ester Albano Garcia, president of University of the East.
Dingras, Ilocos Norte, is about 20 km inland from the provincial capital of Laoag. Here used to lie the ruins of what was once a magnificent church. Affectionately referred to by its townsfolk as “Rurog” (Ilocano term for skeleton), it dominates the center of the town.
Dingras was one of the oldest and biggest ministries of the Augustinians in Ilocos Norte during the Spanish regime. Its patron saint is St. Joseph. Built around the 17th century, St. Joseph Church was damaged by an earthquake on Nov. 11,1620. Another church was built but got burned down in 1838, during a fire that gutted the whole town.
In 1879, Fr. Damaso Vieytez built the present massive church (32 meters wide, 32 m high and 90 m long). It was restored by Fr. Saturnino Franco in 1895. The church was ruined by a powerful earthquake and fire in 1931. Only the walls of the building survived. The church proved financially difficult to restore and a much smaller church was built.
Several generations of parishioners have attempted to restore the church but failed due to lack of funds. In 1973, the Rurog was declared an important cultural property by the National Historical Institute and National Museum.
In the 1980s a decision was made to restore the old church. Through financial assistance sent by Dingreños overseas, a roof was placed over the old ruins and the church was slowly restored.
The partially restored Rurog is now the Catholic Church of Dingras. However, it continued to face serious problems. In 2009, the church was ordered to be closed by town authorities because of the alleged danger posed by the falling façade.
A small group in Manila decided to reorganize the foundation, elected new officers headed by Albano Garcia, and raised funds to restore the façade.
Getting technical assistance from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the restoration plan was approved by the NHCP and the work started in 2011.
After four years, the façade is almost fully restored, including the wooden cross at the top which had gone missing during a fire in the 1930s.
“We are now in the final stages of the restoration,” Garcia said. “The doors and windows of the façade have to be replaced; the roof that was partially destroyed due to the leaning façade repaired; the arches under the choir loft finished; and the brick finishing on the back side of the façade and wooden railing of the choir loft and stairs put in place. These should all be finished in a month or two.”
La Merced at Radio Veritas
The pilgrim image of Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy), patroness of Bahay Pare, Candaba, will visit Radio Veritas July 28-Aug. 1. Parish priest is Fr. Peter Sitchon.
Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez will officiate the concelebrated Mass on July 25, feast of St. James the Apostle, 8 a.m., in Plaridel, Bulacan.
Other feasts: July 26, St. Anne and
St. Joachim; and July 29, St. Martha.
La Manaoag visits Ilagan, Isabela
The Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Manaoag (Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario de Manaoag) will visit the Parish of St. Ferdinand in the City of Ilagan (Isabela) July 22-28.
According to parish priest Fr. June C. Castaneda, activities include motorcade from North Star Mall, Alibagu, to Centro Problacion, July 22, 4 p.m.; weekday Masses, July 22, 5:15 p.m., July 23-26, 6 and
8 a.m., 4 and 6 p.m.; procession, July 26, 7 p.m.; Rosary, July 22-27, 3 p.m.; Sunday Masses, July 27, 5:30, 7, 8:30, and 10 a.m., 4:30 and 6 p.m.; departure Mass, July 28, 7 a.m.