The St. Dominic Parish Church in the northern Luzon city of San Carlos has been designated a minor basilica by Pope Francis, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan announced on Tuesday, July 26.
The official title of the church will be changed to the Minor Basilica of St. Dominic at a liturgical rite to be scheduled in the coming weeks.
Basilicas are assigned by the pope to certain Catholic churches because of their antiquity and historical significance as centers of worship.
The first Dominican church in Pangasinan province was a simple chapel of bamboo and nipa built in 1587 in Binalatongan, now the city of San Carlos.
The original site was moved to higher locations three times in the 17th and 18th centuries due to seasonal flooding.
In the 18th century, most churches were built of bricks and the largest bricks produced then were from San Carlos.
After the Palaris Revolt in 1765, a new church in its current site was built and completed in 1773. The church is now 250 years old.
“The parish has offered 34 sons to the Church to become priests in recent history,” the archdiocese said.
Santo Domingo Ybanez de Erquicia who received the crown of martyrdom in Japan’s Nagasaki and San Francisco Gil de Federich who died for the faith in Vietnam’s northern region of Tonkin were both Dominican missionaries who ministered in the Parish of Saint Dominic.
On the same day, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig also announced the Vatican’s approval of their petition to grant the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anne in Taguig City with a minor basilica status.
The designation also made the shrine the diocese’s first minor basilica in its 19-year history.