Parish run by Recollects elevated to Archdiocesan shrine

·2 min read

A CATHOLIC parish in downtown Cebu City has been elevated to an archdiocesan shrine on Friday, April 29, 2022.

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Recoletos Parish, which is managed by the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), was elevated to an archdiocesan shrine by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

Palma’s signing of the decree of declaration was timed for the culmination of the OAR’s 400 years of presence in Cebu.

With its elevation, the parish will now be called the Santuario Arquidiocesano De Nuestra Señora del Carmen, La Limpia or Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mt.Carmel, the Clean One.

The parish is situated on the corner of Magallanes and Leon Kilat Streets beside the University of San Jose-Recoletos Main Campus.

The ceremony started with a solemn procession and was followed by a pontifical mass led by Palma.

The decree of the archbishop will bestow all privileges and rights that an archdiocesan shrine is entitled to.

In his homily, Palma said the elevation of the church is a reminder that the Virgin Mary has been with the Cebuano faithful for many years already.

“What a wonderful reason for us today to honor Mama Mary, Virgen del Carmel, La Limpia. What a wonderful way for us to gather and thank the Lord for the gift of His Son Jesus but likewise for choosing Mary as the instrument of the presence of God’s Son in our midst,” Palma added.

The Cebu archbishop also expressed his gratitude to the OAR for their 400 years of presence and ministry in Cebu.

Based on church records, the original image of the “La Limpia Concepcion” was brought by the Augustinian Recollects during the 1700s.

The elevation of a parish into a diocesan shrine or archdiocesan shrine is upon the discretion of the bishop of the diocese.

In a recent interview, Parish priest Rev. Fr. Joseph Panaligan said the petition to elevate the status of the church was made since the parish is the center of the Carmel devotion in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The 300-year-old venerated image underwent restoration for nearly five months last year and was returned to its altar on Dec. 8, 2021

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