17th-Century Parish Church is Elevated to Diocesan Shrine in the Philippines

The Church of Baras is the fifth to be declared a diocesan shrine in the Year of St. Joseph in the Philippines.

Newsroom – Philippines – Antipolo (December 17, 2021, 9:50 AM, Gaudium Press) The Church of Baras, belonging to the Diocese of Antipolo, Philippines, has been officially elevated to the category of Diocesan Shrine. The ceremony took place on the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, celebrated on December 8.

Reasons why the Church of Baras was elevated to the category of Diocesan Shrine

The elevation rites were presided over by the Bishop of Antipolo, Bishop Francisco Mendoza de Leon, and were attended by the clergy, parishioners, and devotees of the Diocese. The Year of St. Joseph also ended on this occasion, and pilgrims from six other churches dedicated to Jesus’ adoptive father also attended the event.

In his homily, Father Randy Marquez of the Oblates of St. Joseph presented three reasons why the Church of Baras was elevated to the status of a diocesan shrine. “First of all, we all love St. Joseph. Secondly, we love to promote St. Joseph. And third, we hope to imitate St. Joseph in his virtues and actions,” he said.

Fifth Philippine Church Declared Diocesan Shrine in Year of St. Joseph

According to Father Rodney Cruz, rector of the new Shrine, this is the oldest parish dedicated to St. Joseph in the southern Tagalog region, with 335 years of existence, making it a historic place for devotion to Jesus’ adoptive father.

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The Church of Baras is the fifth to be declared a diocesan shrine in the Year of St. Joseph in the Philippines. The others are the Diocesan Shrine of San Jose de Navatos in the Diocese of Kalookan, the Cathedral and Shrine-Parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Tagbilaran, Bohol, the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph in Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental, and the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph the Worker in Baggao, Cagayan. (EPC)

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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