OLMCP-R @ 50: Archbishop Palma blesses newly renovated Parish Church; launches Parish Jubilee Year
by Ms. Celina M. Uraca, Vice President, Parish Pastoral Council, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos, Cebu City
CEBU CITY—One of the most awaited events in the history of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos is its Golden Year anniversary. 50 years of unwavering of dedicated faith, love and service. Just three years ago, sometime on August 2018, the parish started preparing for the coming celebration through series of meeting conducted by the Parish Priest Fray Joseph D. Granada, OAR, and his Parochial Vicar, Fray Nelson S. Plohimon, OAR, with the Parish Pastoral Council.
It was planned and decided to have a major renovation of the Parish Church. Several projects were aligned such as Church repainting, repairing and refurnishing of the church pews; changing of the stained glass window; repair of the church’s roof; installation of a retablo at the church’s altar; renovation of comfort rooms; purchasing of new sets media board (flat screen TVs and camera for the Mass); and purchase of new sets of CCTV camera among others.
The parish had officially launched such grandiose project that would cost around Ten Million Pesos. The renovation was estimated to be finished in a year. As the project started on November 2018, the Parish Pastoral Council, together with the parishioners, extended all their efforts in finding sponsors and benefactors to help defray the costs of the projects.
The parish have raised funds by conducting “LIGHT A BELEN ” – A CHRISTMAS GIFT for the church’s project. The year 2020 also triggered the global unrest because of the Corona Virus Pandemic that infected millions of people, hundreds of thousands deaths, global recession and lockdown in many parts of the world including the Philippines. This Pandemic also affected the renovation project that sometime on March 2020, it came to a halt when Cebu City was under the state of Enhanced Community Quarantine.
With so much anxiety and uncertainties for over six months, finally on August 2020, Cebu City was under General Community Quarantine (GCQ )–the renovation resumed under the strict compliance of health protocols set by the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
With these developments, the engineers, contractors and the workers exerted all efforts to finish the renovation. On the other hand, a documentary film regarding the 50 years history of the parish was made with Fray Nelson S. Plohimon, OAR as the speaker.
After months of untiring work, the dedication of the Church and the Altar finally happened on November 16, 2020 with His Excellency, Most Rev. Jose Serofia Palma, D.D. of the Archdiocese of Cebu who solemnly dedicated the Church and the Altar. Together with the Archbishop were Bishop-Emeritus Antonio Ranola, D.D. and priests from OAR communities, diocesan and other religious congregations.
It was broadcasted live through the parish’s Facebook Page, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish–Recoletos Cebu, and over Radio DYRF. The blessing of the renovated Parish Office, Parish Social Hall and Parish Pastoral Council Office took place on the same day.
The parish also purchased new sets of liturgical vestments, and stoles for the priests, vessels, and many other things.
Aside from the celebration of the dedication of the newly renovated parish church, other activities were set in connection with this momentous event. On November 26, 2020, the parish launched the Logo Making contest for the 50th founding anniversary of the parish. Judging of entries was made on December 17, 2020 at 2:00 PM during the meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council. The announcement and awarding of the winning entries were made on December 24, 2020 during the Christmas Vigil Mass at 6:00 PM.
The following activities were made on December 31, 2020 during New Year Mass: unveiling of the official logo for the 50th founding anniversary; opening of the Photo Exhibit with the history of the Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines and old photos of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos; and Reading of the approved request of the Plenary Indulgence of the Parish that was granted by the Archbishop of Cebu stating that the Parish will be a place of Pilgrimage and will celebrate the “Year of Grace” that will commence on January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. All Pilgrims who will visit the parish will be granted with Plenary indulgence when under the usual conditions.
Other activities that were lined up for the celebration are as follows:
- July 4, 2021 – opening salvo for the 50 yrs. anniversary
• Solemn procession of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel , St. Joseph, Our Lady of La Salud, St. Lucy and St. Ezekiel Moreno
• Marian Exhibit of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Images
• Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Vestments Exhibit
2. Highlight of the 50 Golden years anniversary
• Novena days-July 7-15,2021 – Rosary/Novena at 3:00 PM; Holy Mass at 4:00 PM
• July 15,2021 – celebration of the 50th year founding day with Archbishop Jose S. Palma, D.D. as the main presider of the Eucharistic celebration
• Fiesta day – July 16,2021 – celebration of the 50th Patronal Fiesta
• Mass schedules: 6:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM
• Pontifical Mass: 9:30 AM with Bishop Midyphil Billiones,D.D.
• Solemn procession at 5:00 PM
3. Closing of Plenary Indulgence on January 1 ,2022 – Thanksgiving Mass.