Mt. Carmel Shrine to be elevated into minor basilica

Mt. Carmel Shrine to be elevated into minor basilica

Preparations are underway for the declaration of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a Minor Basilica. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT M. CRUZ

By CBCP News

March 23, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A celebration will take place next week to elevate a Catholic shrine in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, to the status of minor basilica.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is expecting church leaders, pilgrims and devotees to attend the ceremony on Monday, March 25.

By this honor, the shrine becomes the first church to assume the status of a minor basilica in the Diocese of Cubao and the 15th in the country.

The Vatican has approved the petition to elevate the Marian shrine to the minor basilica status on Nov. 30. 2018.

The title is given to churches around the world to denote a particular importance in liturgical and pastoral life and a close bond with the pope.

The decision came only around two months after Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao requested the status change.

The shrine was built in 1954 at the same time the Order of Discalced Carmelites was founded in the Archdiocese of Manila.

In 1975, it was elevated to a parish church with Fr. Paul O’Sullivan as its first parish priest.

It was in December 2015 when the parish was declared a national shrine during a ceremony led Archbishop Socrates Villegas, then president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The following year, the Apostolic Penitentiary granted “a spiritual bond of affinity” between the shrine and the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

The privilege grants special indulgences to the pilgrims and visitors of the Shrine on solemnities and feasts of Our Lady.