5,000 people expected to attend Camomot thanksgiving celebration

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CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma called on the public Wednesday, July 20, 2022, to help make next week’s thanksgiving celebration for Venerable Teofilo Camomot a memorable one, as preparations are ongoing with around 4,000 to 5,000 pilgrims expected to attend.

Thanksgiving activities will be held on July 27, 2022 at the New St. Teresa Chapel, Daughters of Sta. Teresa (DST) Compound, Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City, Cebu.

“On July 27, we will gather, so let’s make it a day of thanksgiving and spiritual rejoicing. We should be hospitable to visitors and help promote the atmosphere of peace and harmony. Pasensya na if traffic, but let's contribute to making this event truly memorable,” Palma said in a press conference Wednesday.

He said Cebu should be grateful for the “many wonderful events” that happened in the island, citing the canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod in 2012 “when Cebuanos were so jubilant,” the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016, the 500 Years of Christianity celebration in 2021, and this year 2022 with the raising of Camomot to the rank of venerable.

The late Cebuano archbishop Camomot was declared “venerable” by the Vatican on May 21, 2022. This means that he is two steps away from sainthood. One miracle is needed to qualify him for beatification and another one for canonization.

“We had been at the thick of many celebrations and it’s a blessing for all of us. God loves us, all of us in the Philippines, but in particular we in Cebu,” Palma said.

“Let us celebrate with sincere thanksgiving for the gift of Camomot being raised to the level of venerable. There are so many people who worked hard for this and we thank all of them,” he added.

Activities

Part of the activities on July 27 is Palma’s reading of the Church’s decree recognizing Camomot’s heroic virtues.

Rev. Mo. Ma. Louella Grace Buscato, mother superior of the DST, said there will be a conference on the process of beatification and canonization of saints at 3 p.m. of July 27, to be followed by a Thanksgiving Mass to be presided over by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown, the reading of the decree, and then the unveiling of portrait of Camomot.

A procession, floral offering and blessing of Camomot’s tomb will also be done on the same day.

“As to preparation, we are very busy right now. As of this morning (July 20), there are already 2,834 registrants for the event,” said Buscato.

She added that they earlier targeted 2,000 registrants who will be given red wristbands, and 2,000 walk-in participants who will wear a blue wristband.

As of July 20, though, Buscato said 400 plus participants from Cebu City have already registered, while there are 1,403 pilgrims from southern Cebu, 355 from northern Cebu, 80 from other provinces and one from the United States.

She said they have already closed the online registration but more devotees are coming.

She assured that those who have registered already have seats reserved for them, while walk-in participants will also be accommodated.

Security

With the huge crowd attending the event, Buscato said they have coordinated with the Municipal Government of Carcar, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection, other agencies, medical groups, and some volunteers to ensure safety of the participants.

“For traffic management, we had a meeting with the mayor (Carcar City Mayor Patrick Barcenas) and PNP and we had the traffic management plan,” Buscato said, stressing that there will be a traffic rerouting on July 27.

“Kadtong dunay sakyanan, atong gihangyo nga didto mu-park sa City Hall grounds. There will be shuttle buses nga mutransport ninyo back and forth sa venue,” she said.

In an advisory posted on Venerable Teofilo Camomot’s Facebook page, the Archdiocese of Cebu said “vehicle parking inside the DST Compound will not be allowed on July 27, 2022 starting 8 a.m.”

It advised the public not to park vehicles in public roads to avoid traffic jam.

A “no ID, no entry” policy will be implemented. The venue will be open at 7:30 a.m.

Medical posts will also be installed at the venue to respond to the pilgrim’s medical needs, while police officers, including personnel of the Philippine Army based in Sibonga town, will be deployed to ensure peace and order.

Pilgrims are not allowed to bring sharp objects and deadly weapons, such as knives, pair of scissors, guns, etc.; flammable items; large backpacks; and pets.

“All bags are subject to inspection upon entry at the DST compound,” said the Archdiocese.

It also encouraged the pilgrims to observe the proper dress code for the whole duration of the event, which is about four hours.

“Please wear light and comfortable clothes,” it said in an advisory.

“This is a big event, so we have to dress properly,” said Buscato.

She said the beautification of the venue, including the repair of the chapel, which was damaged by Typhoon Odette in December 2021, is ongoing.

Dinner for a cause, book launching

For his part, Rev. Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, vice postulator of the canonization process of Camomot, called on the public to attend the 6:30 p.m. “dinner for a cause” and book launching of the Official Biography of Venerable Teofilo Camomot on July 25.

The event will be held at Yakal Hall, IC3 Pavilion, Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Balili said the ticket price is P1,000, inclusive of one complimentary book.

“Proceeds would go to the Cause of the Canonization of Venerable Camomot,” he said during the press conference Wednesday.

Balili said the book is the third chapter of the positio (dissertation on Camomot’s life, virtues and fame of sanctity) that made the declaration of Camomot as venerable.

The positio was submitted by the Archdiocese of Cebu to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in the Vatican in 2020.

“These books are important to us because they will give us depth into our understanding of the life of Venerable Teofilo Camomot. It will help strengthen our devotion,” said Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Camomot was born in Barangay Cogon, Carcar City on March 3, 1914. He was ordained as priest on December 14, 1941.

He has been admired for his simplicity, personal holiness, apostolic works, and spiritual gifts of healing, among others. He founded the DST just before he died in a vehicular accident in Magtalisay, San Fernando on September 27, 1988.

“Kini atong gibuhat and buhaton, and with the presence of so many people, will all inspire us to try to live the virtues that he (Camomot) lived. Muabot ang panahon nga he will be beatified and canonized. Make this event truly a source of inspiration and grace kanatong tanan,” said Palma on Wednesday, July 20. (LMY)

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