The Claretian Publications has worked alongside with a lay Catholic theologian to launch a book on the importance of shrines and pilgrimages in the Church today.
The book, The Role of Shrines in view of the New Evangelization: Pope Francis’ Theology of Shrines and Pilgrimages applied in the Philippine Context, was launched in a virtual ceremony on April 8, in light of the fifth centenary of Christianity in the Philippines.
Authored by Bro. Kendrick Ivan Panganiban, the book was endorsed by both the bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (ECL) and the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) whose apostolate includes the organization of shrines across the country.
“This will surely guide our local churches in the planning, management and promotion of shrines that are effectively signs of hope, cradles of genuine worship of God, venues for conversion and renewal, and places of fraternal charity and justice,” said Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio, ECL chairman.
Besides different principles and priorities on the making of shrines part of the New Evangelization, the book also contains a first-ever comprehensive documentation of the declared cathedrals, minor basilicas, national shrines, archdiocesan and diocesan shrines and churches with spiritual bonds of affinity in the Philippines.
The Association of Catholic Shrines and Pilgrimages in the Philippines recommended the book for its evaluation schema for the administration of shrines in light of the New Evangelization.
“The association believes that his evaluation tool will help in the deepening of our commitment as shrine administrators and promoters of devotion,” said its president, Fr. Roderick Castro.
During the ceremony, a video documentary was shown on shrines and pilgrimages in the Philippines.
Titled “Banal na Dambana: Tagpuan ng Pananalig, Tagpuan ng Manlalakbay,” the documentary features Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos, Msgr. Sabino Vengco, Jr., St. Mary Magdalene Diocesan Shrine Rector Fr. Alfredo Meneses, Jr., and the author.