2 Zambales parish churches declared diocesan shrines

2 Zambales parish churches declared diocesan shrines

By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban

November 30, 2021

Iba, Zambales

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Iba in Zambales province has officially elevated two of its parish churches to diocesan shrines.

The latest was the Diocesan Shrine of San Andres in Masinloc town in a Mass presided over by Bishop Bartolome Santos, Jr. on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

In his reflection for the feast of St. Andrew, Santos reminded the faithful that like the apostle, “the faithful here in this shrine of Masinloc are called to evangelize.”

According to the shrine’s decree, the parish is the oldest in the province founded by the Augustinian Recollects in 1607.

It also served as a headquarters for the missionaries in the province during the Spanish colonial era.

In 2001, the church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.

The bishop also formally declared the St. Columban Parish Church in Olongapo City’s New Asinan village on Nov. 23.

In his homily for the feast of St. Columban, Santos noted that the declaration of the Olongapo shrines is “a sign of the heritage of evangelization that was brought to Zambales by the Columban missionaries.”

St. Columban Parish was founded in 1963 by the Missionaries of St. Columban, who arrived in the Philippines in 1929.

The Columbans were in Zambales from 1951 to 2000 and had pastoral administration of much of the parishes in the province, particularly in Olongapo and its nearby towns.

The missionaries were also responsible for the erection of Catholic schools in the province.

In October 2019, the former Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Subic town was also declared as the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Diocesan Shrine, the diocese’s first diocesan shrine.

The Iba diocese will celebrate its 40th anniversary of its canonical erection in 2022.

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