The parishioners of Santisima Trinidad Parish in Malate, Manila, recently celebrated two significant events: the completion of the renovation of the more than 60-year-old church and its solemn dedication and consecration.
Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula led the ceremonies with a Mass on March 26.
He led the anointing of the altar with aromatic oil while some priests did the same on parts of the walls “to make them holy.” Then the altar was covered with white cloth and candles were lighted.
Advincula and Parish Priest Fr. Joselito Buenafe unveiled the marker of the newly renovated church.
“Your church is very beautiful. But you should remember that the beauty of the church building is borrowed from the beauty of the church of God,” Advincula said in his homily that he delivered in Filipino.
He said, “The sign in the Dedication of a Church is like the sign in the Sacrament of Baptism which we all received.” Thus, the anointing of the altar, covering it with white cloth and lighting of candles.
“If we honor the holiness of this parish church, we are challenged to take care of each member of this Church of God. We should take care and guide each other to Jesus,” he said.
Buenafe said the face masks on the parishioners who attended the event did not hide their happiness in seeing the beautiful church.
“You make this church radiant. You were the reason why we have a church. You are the church,” Buenafe said in Filipino as he recognized the support many people, including the parishioners who helped in surmounting the financial problem by giving from P1 to P1 million.
“This church is the symbol of the unity of the Parish of Santisima Trinidad,” he said.
The renovation that also faced the challenges of the two-year Covid-19 pandemic was designed by Arch. Mikko Martelino.
The original church was built in 1935 by the Iglesia Independista de Santisima Trinidad, a break away from the Aglipayan Church, or Philippine Independent Church.
But after it was neglected, then-Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, upon the request of the parishioners, converted it into Catholic—the Santisima Trinidad Parish on March 25, 1994, with Fr. Domingo Baybay as its first parish priest.
But the church experienced a legal challenge on the ownership of the land on where the building was erected. Through the persistence of Father Baybay, the church won the legal battle that lasted for two decades.
Image credits: Arch. Mikko Martelino/ STP Facebook