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Mount Carmel shrine elevated to minor basilica

Mount Carmel shrine elevated to minor basilica

The Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Manila, Quezon City. PHOTO COURTESY OF SABINS STUDIO

By CBCP News

March 26, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Catholic devotees and parishioners of an already vibrant church in suburban Quezon City took things to a whole new level on Monday evening.

Highlighted with a mini orchestra and a choir, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel welcomed some new symbols that could only be displayed in a basilica.

As part of the opening procession, the church’s new “tintinnabulum” rang for the first time and the “umbraculum” was placed at the right side of the main altar.

“Today is a historical moment not only for this church but for the whole Diocese of Cubao as well,” said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco in his homily.

More than 2,000 faithful attended the ceremony elevating the church to a minor basilica.

The decree was granted by Pope Francis through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on Nov. 30, 2018.

By virtue of the elevation, Ongtioco said the shrine would have special link with the Vatican.

The elevation also makes the shrine the first minor basilica in the Cubao diocese and the 15th in the Philippines.

“Our diocese is blessed with three national shrines… Today, the diocese is blessed even more because we now have this church as our first minor basilica,” he said.

With its new status, the church also enjoys “all the attached rights and liturgical concessions”. These include the granting of plenary indulgence to whoever visits the basilica under the usual conditions.

The concession also grants the church the use of “the papal symbol, that is, crossed keys,”which may be exhibited on banners, on furnishings, and on the official seal of the basilica.

Bishop Ongtioco also said that a minor basilica is literally “an edifice for the poor”.

“Our new basilica must show in itself to be a mother to the poor by being attentive to their needs,” he added.

“A basilica must be marked not only by the excellence of its liturgy and devotions… a basilica must also show excellence in charity,” Ongtioco said.

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