Cardinal Jose Advincula has recently dedicated a newly reconstructed church in Manila’s Sampaloc district, reminding the faithful that the place of worship must be a sacrament amongst the people.
He said the parish church must be a place of unity, love and welcome for all people, especially those who feel alone and abandoned in society.
“Let us not give up on them. Let’s not get tired of understanding and giving them hope,” Cardinal Advincula said in his homily during Mass at the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish Church on Oct. 29.
“The parish must be a sacrament of God’s unconditional hospitality. In the church, our doors and hearts are open to embrace and accept everyone,” he said.
Archbishop Gabriel Reyes decreed the creation of NSPS parish in August 1951, appointing Fr. Candido Bernal as first parish priest. For some years, church services were held in a small wooden chapel.
In 1966, the parish was able to build a small concrete church. As the community grew, the dream of having a bigger church was sown in the hearts of the parishioners.
After 40 years, the parish was able to build a bigger concrete church that can house at least 500 people, with a three storey multipurpose building.
Fr. Rene Nadua, NSPS church’s second parish priest, was credited in building the parish rectory and the adoration chapel.
In 2001, the parish celebrated its 50 years with a new church altar under the administration of Msgr. Celso Ditan.
During the term of Fr. Jerome Secillano as parish priest, he saw the need to renovate the church as flood waters during the rainy season destroyed some parts of the religious edifice.
The priest built a church courtyard where services can be held as the reconstruction began in 2012.
Reconstruction took nearly six years and a lull of three more years were added due to the Covid-19 pandemic, extending the wait to almost nine years.
“This church is not my work. It is God’s work through the many different people He used to be involved in this project,” said Father Secillano, who is leaving for his new assignment at the EDSA shrine this month.
“The church is now finished. I can now go and start my new mission at the Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace more popularly known as EDSA Shrine,” he said.