Editor’s note: As a tribute to Josephine Darang, who passed away Dec. 28, 2014, feast of St. John the Evangelist, patron of writers and journalists, the Sunday Inquirer will continue her well-read column, Purely Personal, as a service to the Church and to the faithful. Those who would like to have their announcements published in this column should e-mail [email protected] or [email protected].
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary-Manaoag in Pangasinan formally received the title “minor basilica” on Valentine’s Day.
Presiding over the solemn ceremony were Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI.
Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, graced the event.
Triduum Masses were celebrated by Naga Archbishop Orlando Tria-Tirona, O. Carm, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, and Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles.
Last Oct. 11, the Dominican community of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag received the news from Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas that Pope Francis had granted the shrine the title of “minor basilica.”
Pope Francis formally opened the Lenten season by making the traditional stational visit of Santa Sabina Basilica of the Dominicans.
The Pope arrived at the San Anselmo Basilica of the Benedictines at the Aventine Hill in Rome at 4 p.m. on Feb. 18. He was met by the Benedictine abbot and Fr. Bruno Cadore, the master-general of the Dominican order.
They then marched to the nearby Santa Sabina Basilica of the Dominicans where the Pope led the Mass in observance of Ash Wednesday.
“The traditional stational visit of His Holiness to Santa Sabina every Ash Wednesday is always a joy to the Dominican community,” said Fr. Gaspar Sigaya, a Filipino who is archivist of the Dominican curia in Rome.
Paris choir in Bohol
The Gregorian Choir of Paris will perform tomorrow (Feb. 23) at 7 p.m. in the Latin Mass to be celebrated by Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Bohol.
The choir is in the Philippines under the auspices of the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise, with the Ayala Malls and Stores Specialists Inc., in connection with the 450th anniversary of the arrival of the Augustinians and the start of the evangelization of the Philippines (1565-2015).
Gregorian music is a plainchant, a monophonic and unaccompanied sacred music, which is the central musical tradition of the Latin or western Catholic Church. France seeks to preserve and promote the tradition through its Gregorian Choir of Paris.
Although the choir is funded and maintained by the secular state and will be performing mainly in Ayala Malls, the choral group’s visit is supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Fr. Ted Milan Torralba, executive director of the CBCP Permanent Commission on Cultural Heritage, said the Gregorian chant should be performed in its ideal setting in the Church, especially in the Mass.
“Nonetheless,” he added, “performances of the Gregorian chant in non-traditional settings, such as malls, are supported to gain traction for its promotion by publicizing the Gregorian chant as a privileged form of prayer one can utilize especially in the world’s marketplaces.”
Also head of the Diocese of Tagbilaran’s cultural heritage program, Father Torralba said the visit of the Gregorian Choir of Paris was welcome, especially since Bohol is still recovering from the deadly Oct. 15, 2013 earthquake, which destroyed many of the island-province’s ancient churches.
“The earthquake,” said Father Torralba, “left a profound earthquake-like turmoil in our collective soul that we hope could be quieted by the soothing effects of the Gregorian chant.”
A Marian Encounter seminar on March 8 at the University of Sto. Tomas Tan Yan Kee Student Center will discuss Mary’s role in God’s mercy toward man.
In line also with the declaration of 2015 as the Year of the Poor, there will be a talk on “Mary, Mother of the Anawim Church.” Other topics are “Mary, the Woman in Genesis and in Revelation” and “Mary, Mater Misericordiae.”
Resource persons are Fr. Edwin Mercado, Fr. Louis Niez, A.M., and Fr. Aloysius Alino, parish priest of the Santo Nino Shrine in Bago Bantay, Quezon City. The Eucharistic celebration will be presided by Fr. Jun Luna.
Seminar is organized by the Missionaries of Mary, a lay Marian community, in partnership with Radio Veritas (846 AM). Seminar fee of P150 includes lunch and snacks. For more information, call tel. 7438729 or 7412830.