Catholic dioceses across the Philippines will declare “jubilee churches” this year as part of the observance of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
The decision was reached during the plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines this week.
“We discussed about the jubilee churches to be designated in each diocese, the opening of holy door in the cathedral, and other activities,” said Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao in an online media briefing on January 28.
The ‘Jubilee Year’ will open on April 4, Easter Sunday, and will close on April 18, 2022, with the Second National Mission Congress in Cebu.
Archbishop Valles said parishes will have to be more creative in their celebrations because most of the faithful cannot be accommodated in churches due to the pandemic.
“On the liturgical side of celebration, we will celebrate it according to the present health protocols,” said Archbishop Valles, adding that many of the observances will be done online.
“The bishops are very concerned of the possible participation of many people … I hope the time will not come that authorities will say the public cannot attend,” said the prelate.
The bishops have earlier announced that the “Great Jubilee” will be extended for another year due to the pandemic.
The original culmination of the celebration in April 2021 will now be the launch of a yearlong celebration that will end in April 2022.