Thursday, April 21, 2011

Visita Iglesia 2011

It has been a tradition for our family to do Visita Iglesia every Holy Thursday. We have been planning to go out-of-town but considering that the kids are still small for an anticipated hot long trip, we decided to do it here in Metro Manila. Anyway, looking at the list I got from the web, there are still a lot of Catholic Churches that we have not visited for Visited Iglesia.

We have done Quezon City, I believe more than twice, same with the City of Manila. Last year, we ventured Marikina City, Pasig and San Juan for our traditional Visita Iglesia.

This year, yesterday to be more precise, our itinerary included the citi
es of Mandaluyong and Makati. Although I've listed thirteen churches, a mix of Shrines, Parishes and Chapels, we were only able to visit 8 from the list because the kids were already tired and sleepy.

Our first stop was at St. Francis of Assisi Parish along Shaw Blvd. Yes, this is the church of Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. We said the 1st and 2nd stations of the cross here. We then proceeded to the Archdiocesan Shrine of The Diving Mercy along May
silo Circle in Boni Ave., Mandaluyong. The 3rd and 4th stations of the cross were recited her. Next stop was at the San Felipe Neri Parish also along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong. To our surprise this church was an old structure made of adobe materials. Here we prayed the 5th and 6th stations of the cross. Masses just started in these 3 churches when we visited and at San Felipe Neri, well along Boni Ave., statues of Saints, Mary and of Jesus Christ were being prepared for the procession, maybe after the mass or towards dusk.

At the entrance of St. Francis of Assisi Parish

behind us is San Felipe Neri Parish

On our way to The Divine Mercy Shrine though, we saw a church, we presumed a Catholic church, was not in my list. Going towards, Makati for our next church visit, my husband M, decided to pass by the church, anyway, it was along the way. It is a Catholic church, San Roque Parish, but when we tried to stop, the streets beside it were narrow and we can't seem to find the stations of the cross. We can't really get into the church to do our prayers because there was an on-going mass. M veered the vehicle towards Makati instead.

In Makati, our 4th stop was supposed to be at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which we assumed to be at the Guadalupe area. But we
were wrong. Orense St., the address of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was on the other side of EDSA. Good thing though, that the 5th in our list, Nuestra Senora De Gracia Parish was just where we were at the moment. We mistook it to be the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, specially since the marker of the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe is still visible in one of the buildings. Here we said the 7th and 8th stations of the cross. I still have to research about the origin of both churches. A boo-boo for us here :(

Nuestra Senora De Gracia Parish
an old church and monastery founded by
the Agustinian Order in 1601

From Nuestra Senora De Gracia exactly located at 7440 Bernardino St., Guadalupe Viejo, we plied through J.P. Rizal towards Bel-Air where St. Andrew The Apostle Parish is located. It's at the corner of N. Garcia and Neptune Sts., Bel-Air II right across Manila South Cemetery.
We only reflected on the 9th station here because of too much crowd. We arrived at the church just after the Blessed Sacrament was transferred for the night's vigil.

Our 6th stop was at the National Shrine of The Sacred Heart of Jesus in San Antonio Village. Here we reflected on the 10th, 11th and 12th stations of the cross. Just like at St. Andrew The Apostle Parish, we arrived after the Blessed Sacrament was transferred. A good timing because we were able to get inside the church for more fervent prayers. Though, we found the church quite small for a national shrine. Here though, Leon started to tell us that he tired already and wanted to go home. To pacify him, we bought him P20 worth of steamed peanuts.

He munch on it until we reached our 7th stop at the St. John Bosco Parish along A. Arnaiz Ave., cor Amorsolo St., were we reflected on the last 2 stations of the cross.The parish is within the compounds of the Don Bosco School in Makati. We offered a few more prayers then went off to the last church to be visited. But before we left, Leon asked for steamed corn this time, one of his comfort food, that was selling just were we parked the car.

The last church we visited was the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel at the St. Pio Center along C5 Road in Libis, Quezon City. Since we were done with our station of the cross, we offered our personal prayers here. Just like the above 7 churches, it was our first time to visit St. Pio Chapel. Of all the churches that we went for visita iglesia, it was at St. Pio that we encountered traffic both of vehicles and humans.

St. Pio is quite known nowadays because of the numerous prayers granted through his intercession. No wonder why groups of people and individuals flock to the chapel be it during the Lenten season or on regular days. Note worthy also is the manner on how people go through the station of cross. Upon entering the garden/area where the stations were placed, organizers, hand over to the people a good size of a cross for them to carry throughout the stations. I believe, it is done for the people to go through Christ's ordeals during His time, on their reflections of the stations of the cross. Maybe we can try this next year, when the kids are big enough and more easy to handle.

Lenten season is the time for reflection of the life we lived. It can also be a good time to thank the Lord for enduring all the hardships just to save us all from our sins. It is the time to remind us of the life of Jesus and make it our inspiration to do good and be more like Him in our daily life, to proclaim His goodness and humility and His love for mankind.

Hope everyone is having a meaningful Lenten season that would lead to a glorious Easter this coming Sunday.

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