Talisay shrine: ‘Worthy before God’ | Inquirer News

Talisay shrine: ‘Worthy before God’

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 08:29 AM October 04, 2012

Prayer, mercy and God’s love.

These pastoral themes spoken by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma were typical for a Mass but his presence yesterday afternoon in a shrine in Talisay City gave it a special meaning.

Palma celebrated Mass in an altar surrounded by members of the Societas Angeli Pacis or Society of the Angel of Peace (SAP) in their brown-and-white vestments.


Talisay residents filled wooden pews of the church in barangay Cansojong.


The annual feast day of the Angel of Peace was celebrated without the congregation’s founder Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, who is in Manila in poor health seeking medical attention, according to church officials.

He was removed from all positions in the Cebu Archdiocese last June, including leadership of the SAP, pending an investigation by the Vatican on a 1985 complaint of alleged child abuse involving a teenage altar boy in California, an inquiry made public after Garcia’s past was mentioned in the National Geographic magazine’s October issue on ivory smuggling.

Palma’s presence yesterday confirmed that the SAP would continue to have his pastoral guidance amid the controversy.

The custodian of the archdiocesan shrine is now Fr. Romeo “Marco” Vitor, who was ordained a priest in 2010 after his formation in SAP’s seminary.

Amid a tight schedule, Palma attended the liturgical celebration, his last public Mass in Cebu before flying to Rome for the World Synod of Bishops and the Oct. 21 canonization of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

Palma will leave for Manila today and will proceed to Rome on Friday.


Among those who attended the Mass yesterday were Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and her son Miguel, member of the Provincial Board .

Hymns in Latin, English, and Cebuano were sung by the SAP choir.

Before the end of the Mass, Palma incensed the image of the Angel of Peace decorated with flowers at the altar’s left side.

In his homily, Palma explained the role of the Angel of Peace in preparing three children–Lucia, Francesco, and Jacinta—for the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

“Theologians say, before the holy one, we feel we are unworthy. But thanks be to the Angel of Peace who elevated the dignity of the children to make them feel ready to meet Mary,” he said.

In Catholic belief, an angel gave wafers of holy communion to Lucia, while the two other chidren drank from a chalice.

“As we meet around the altar of the Lord, we should thank God for the dignity (he has given us). Although we are not worthy, the Lord made us his children. Thank God for this love, to lift us up, and elevate us to something higher to what we used to be so we will become less unworthy to be at the presence of the Lord,” Palma said.

Palma said Cebu will the host the International Eucharistc Congress in 2016 which the Philippines last hosted in 1937.

He reminded the faithful to pray without ceasing and repent one’s sins.

“Many of us forget the Lord. But the good news is God’s love and mercy is great,” he said.

SAP was founded by Msgr. Garcia on March 25, 1992 with a focus on litiurgical services. It is listed in the UCAN website as one of several “religious institutes of men” in the Cebu archdiocese.

The brothers and sisters of SAP have been assisting the Catholic clergy during liturgical celebrations.

SAP has a seminar in Talisay and has produced three priests who were ordained last December 2010 – Fr. Romeo Vitor, . Fr. Alvin Medina, and Fr. Rhanmar Singuran.

The shrine was recently placed in the limelight after Msgr. Garcia was linked to the ivory trade in a National Geographic magazine which described his well-known collection of religious icons in the Talisay compound.

Araceli Bacus, a 40-year-old widow, said parishioners like her worry about the priest’s wellbeing and what would become of the Archdiocessan Shrine of Hesus Nazareno.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“Naguol og nasubo ming tanan. Maayo og buotan man gyud na si Msgr. Cris. Wala gyud mi ikasulti niya. Daghan kaayo siyag nahimo nga kaayohan. (We are all sad. Msgr. Cris is a good man. We have nothing bad to say about him. He has accomplished many good things here),” Bacus told Cebu Daily News.

TAGS: Talisay City

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.