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Shrine and Pastoral Ministry

Ministries
About Shrine/Pastoral Ministry:

Parish ministry (pastoral care) is one of the fundamental apostolic works of the Augustinian Order. From an Augustinian point of view, (and) among the several apostolic activities of the Order, this communal and collaborative work also provides an enormous venue whereby the life of the Order is experienced and lived by an Augustinian. It is in this context that Augustinians also share the mission of Christ as participants and witnesses to the building up of God’s kingdom. Thus, the basis and the spirit of this endeavor start and end with Christ. Consequently, this particular apostolic activity can be viewed as evangelization in actuality, and should also be considered an important “means of sanctification” (Const. 145).

Since its canonical erection in December 1983, the Augustinian Province of Santo Nino de Cebu, has been actively collaborating with the local churches in the Philippines and other international circumscriptions of the Order. In the Philippines, the Province is involved in parish ministry to nine local parishes, one chapel and one shrine from different archdioceses/dioceses, of the nine parishes, only three are to be perpetually administered by the Province, namely: Santo Niño Mohon Parish, Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu; Santo Niño de Cebu Parish, Biñan City, Laguna; San Jose Parish, lloilo City; and, the rest are all under contract with the local Ordinaries. Given this fact, the Province commits itself to serve the parishes without discrimination. All parishes which the Province manages are given favourable reception. This is proven through the Province’s acceptance of new parishes and about to request renewal of contract from the Archdiocese of Manila on behalf of the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Parish in Makati City.

1. Nuestra Señora de Gracia Parish, Makati City (1601)
2. San Jose Parish Church, Iloilo City (1868)
3. Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish, Biñan City, Laguna (1984)
4. Sto. Niño de Cebu-Mohon Parish, Talisay City, Cebu (1985)
5. Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, San Pedro, Laguna (1986)
6. Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Socorro, Surigao del Norte (2004)
7. Saint Augustine Parish, Gubat Sorsogon (2006)
8. Sta. Ana Parish, Burgos, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte (2012)
9. St. Augustine of Hippo Parish, Saguday, Quirino (2012)
10. San Agustin Chapel, Jaro, Iloilo City (2012)

A. Shrine:

Basilica Minoredel Sto. Niño de Cebu

The church was founded in 1565 by Fray Andres de Urdaneta, OSA, and perhaps was constructed using light materials. It was known from the beginning as the San Agustin Church and Monastery and it is the oldest church founded in the country owing from its parallelism with the early Christianization efforts in Cebu and later to some other parts of the country. It was since then the sanctuary of the oldest icon in the Philippines, the Sto. Niño de Cebu. Fray Diego de Herrera was its first prior. The present stone structure was constructed under Fr. Juan Albarran, OSA from 1735 to 1740.

The church and monastery became an important hub not only of the devotion to the Holy Child. It was also an important missionary core and one of the principal houses of the Augustinians in the Visayas. In the said monastery, the Japanese Augustinian martyr, Blessed Thomas Jihyoe of St. Augustine, spent some time when he was ordained priest in Cebu before going back to Japan to do mission in his native place. It was damaged during World War II but was diligently repaired. In 1964, some parts of the church and convent were renovated in preparation for the 4th Centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines in 1965. It was raised as a Basilica Minore in April 1, 1965 by Ildebrando Cardinal Antoniutti.

In 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos declared it as a national shrine in recognition of its historical significance. In a recent October 15, 2013 earthquake, the belfry was badly damaged. Luckily, church and the convent suffered only minor crack.

B. Parishes:

Nuestra Señora de Gracia Parish (1601)

7440 Bernardino St., Guadalupe Viejo
1200 Makati City
Website: www.nsdg.ph

The foundation of the church and convent of Monasterio de Guadalupe can be traced during the approval of its erection during the Provincial Chapter of the Augustinians on March 7, 1601. It was founded with a designation of domusformata under the advocacy of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Lady of Grace, the oldest Augustinian Marian devotion.

In 1603, because of popular request, it was however changed to the patronage of our Lady of Guadalupe. A wooden replica of the image of our Lady of Guadalupe from Extramadura, Spain, used to be kept and popularly venerated in the church. But the said image was lost forever after the damaging earthquake in 1880. The stone structure was completed sometime in 1623 under Fray Hernando Guerrero, OSA. However, many natural and man-made calamities had devastated the structure. A series of repairs were done by the Augustinians as time went by. But, ultimately it was destroyed in February 1899 during the Filipino-American war and was left for a long time in ruins.

Some of its stones were used for the reconstruction of the Manila Cathedral leading to the demolition of the monastery building in 1950’s. After almost 70 years, the then Archbishop of Manila, Rufino Cardinal Santos, DD, invited back the Augustinians to pastorally manage the parish on June 29, 1970. The Augustinians enthusiastically rebuilt the monastery and church as they were given fifty years by the archdiocese for its pastoral care.

Today the community continues to manage the parish which was named back to its original title as the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Parish. The community also houses the formation of professional/late vocation seminarians preparing to be future Augustinian priests and brothers.

San Jose Parish Church
San Jose Parish Church (1868)

001 San Jose de Calasanz St.,
Plaza Libertad, 5000 Iloilo City

San Jose Parish Church

San Jose Parish started as a chaplaincy in La Punta (the name of old Iloilo) of the secular clergy originally stationed in the curacy of Arevalo since 1582 and later depended on Otonunder the Augustinians in 1647. This was done more so because Señor Pedro de Acuña deployed two companies of soldiers in the area in order to guard against marauding pirates infesting the channel between Guimaras and Iloilo. This area was called Estanzuela or small station. However, in 1607 the Jesuits established a small chapel in Estanzuela and ministered to the soldiers against the wishes of the Augustinians. In a council held in April 29, 1617, a house in the same place was accepted by the Augustinians. When the Jesuits were expelled from the country in 1768, the Dominicans shortly ministered the chaplaincy but in 1775, it was returned to the secular clergy. In 1868, it was given back to the Augustinians in exchange of Jaro, but ministered only starting in 1873 with Fr. Mauricio Blanco, OSA as the first prior and minister.

The early structure which was built by a secular priest Fr. Leonardo Lazaro with the assistance of Don Manuel Iznart, was enlarged by Fr. Blanco and added the two towers in 1893. After which, many other notable additions and embellishments were added by succeeding friars making up the present structure an eye catcher in front of Plaza Libertad. The parish is under the patronage of St. Joseph but it also keeps two other important icons. First, the parish venerates the image of our Lady of the Rosary miraculously discovered by Diego Quiñones during the defense of La Punta against the Dutch invaders. This happened on September 29, 1614. It also keeps a replica of the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu a gift of Fr. Sulpicio Enderes, OSA to the then Parish Priest Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, OSA. This simple gesture of fraternal regard started the devotion to the Sto. Niño in Iloilo City and gave birth to Dinagyang festivities making San Jose the religious center of the festival.

The parish also has an attached school, the San Jose Parochial School, opened as an educational apostolate in charity. It catered the children of sugar industry workers when the economic heyday in Iloilo started to decline. Fr. Manuel Diez, OSA opened the charity school in 1902 and it is still operating under the auspices of the Augustinians now renamed as San Jose Catholic School.

Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish (1984)

Southwoods Interchange, Juana Complex 1
San Francisco, 4024 Biñan, Laguna

The presence of the Augustinians in Biñan, Laguna is very observable along South Luzon Expressway. The humble beginning becomes now a looming academic and spiritual centrum in the modernizing face in that part of Laguna. It started in 1983 when La Paz Housing and Development Corporation offered a six-hectare lot in Juana Complex with the condition that the friars will establish a school and a church. The successive approvals of the Bishop of San Pablo and the Prior General of the Augustinians in 1984 to establish a canonical presence, the Augustinians then organized the founding of a school. Hence, Colegio San Agustin-Biñan opened on June 17, 1985 for 646 junior kindergarten and three primary grade pupils. Its first Prior and School Director was Fr. Rodolfo Sicio, OSA. The response of the surrounding residents was positive and it let to complete the elementary grade levels by school year 1986-1987. During the school year 1998-1999, the school offered tertiary courses and hence opening its doors for college students.

The parish on the one hand was canonically created on July 29, 1986 under the titular of Sto. Niño de Cebu. The parish started as a small chapel but on August 17, 1989, the construction of a new church started despite meager finances. Today, the majestic red brick parish with its striking baroque retablo stands noticeable from afar. The parish church is keeping also a faithful replica of the icon of the Sto. Niño de Cebu which was used during the visit of Pope John Paul II in Cebu.

Sto. Niño de Cebu-Mohon Parish
Sto. Niño de Cebu-Mohon Parish (1985)

F. Bas St., Lower Mohon, 6045 Talisay City, Cebu

Sto. Niño de Cebu-Mohon Parish

Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish was a fruit of the discernment of the Augustinians in the expansion of the Sto. Niño devotion centered at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City. Because of the dire need to accommodate the growing number of the devotees, the friars, at that time under the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Philippines, decided to establish a chapel in a lot in Lower Mohon, Talisay, Cebu in 1982.

The chapel was completed in 1983. But there were moves and recommendations from surrounding parishes that the Augustinian presence in Mohon can become a parish community itself. Thus, hearing this recommendations, Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, DD, issued in January 20, 1985, fittingly on the Feast of the Sto. Niño, the canonical erection of the parish. It covered the rural barangays of Mohon, Biasong and Pooc. Its first parish priest was the late Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, OSA. Subsequently, in December 18, 1985, the Prior General of the Augustinians declared that the parish as a religious residence. In 2003, the new friary was completed and blessed for the Augustinian community.

Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish
Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish (1986)

14-L Santos St., Chrysanthemum Village
4023 San Pedro, Laguna

Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish

The parish of Our Mother of Good Counsel was established by the Somascan Fathers in 1979 under the original titular of St. Jerome Emiliani, their religious founder and a saint acclaimed as Father of the Poor. It is located in the heart of the developing Chrysanthemum Village in San Pedro, Laguna. After ministering for some time, the Somascans left and returned to the Diocese of San Pablo the administration in 1985. The then bishop of San Pablo, Most Rev. Pedro Bantigue, DD, requested the Augustinians in the nearby Colegio San Agustin-Biñan who also ministered the Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish. In response to the need of continuing the administration of the parish community, the Augustinians finally accepted it on November 24, 1986. In July 1, 1989, the Prior General and his council declared the parish as a religious residence.

A newer parish church was decided to be constructed over the first one established by the Somascans in 1988 in order to accommodate the growing number of the parishioners. In the effort also to spread the Augustinian devotion of Our Mother of Good Counsel, Fr. Dominador Besares, OSA, the then parish priest, requested the Diocese to rename the parish under the advocacy of the Marian-Augustinian devotion. On October 6, 1995, the Bishop approved the proposal changing the patronage to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish (2004)

The Roman Catholic Rectory
8416 Socorro (Bucas Grande Island)
Surigao Del Norte
Website: www.omphaugustinians.weebly.com

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish

The Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish situated in Socorro in the island of Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte, was originally a remote mission Parish of the Society of Divine Word Fathers. At the outset of their missionary efforts in Socorro, the Augustinians were invited by Bp. Miguel Cinchez, SVD, DD in 2001. Since then, the parish was administered and experimentum until 2004, when it was definitively accepted. A new parish church was constructed under the Augustinians. Its first Augustinian Parish Priest and Prior was Fr. Sesenio Paderog, OSA.

The Province considers Socorro as a mission parish because of its situation where Catholics are considered a minority. The island is dominated by a local sect Iglesia Filipina Independiente (aka Aglipayans) with its own splinter groups. The pastoral administration of the Augustinians reenergized the Basic Ecclesial Communities’ Program into more concrete ways of helping local Catholics. As a firm sign of their dedication, in February 1, 2009, a new parish rectory was blessed. Moreover, in April 28, 2010, the Roman Catholic Consumers’ Cooperative (ROCACOCO) was established during parochial leadership of Fr. Benjamin Unabia Jr., OSA and in 2012, with Fr. Leo Mario Singco’s leadership the garment factory was established. All these are envisioned towards a more sustainable and fruitful faith integration in the parish bridging faith into action and contributed to the growth of Catholic faith in the parish and to the whole island.

Saint Augustine Parish (2006)
Saint Augustine Parish (2006)

Cogon-San Ignacio, Gubat Sorsogon

Saint Augustine Parish

The Augustinians founded a presence in Sorsogon in 2006 as a response to the Augustinian Contemplative nuns in Gubat, Sorsogon for their spiritual welfare. They settled in Bagacay, Gubat envisioning that likewise in the future, a new Parish under its pastoral care would rise up. Aside from the contemplative nuns, the friars were given pastoral responsibilities by the bishop of Sorsogon to pastoral care in Bagacay. This led to the creation of St. Lawrence the Deacon-Quasi Parish and its parish church is in Barangay Bagacay, more or less, seven kilometers away from the monastery of the Augustinian nuns.

The Augustinian effort has propagated the local devotion the theSto. Niño, a historically rich devotion which has been a part of every Bagacaynon. Fr. Arlon Vergara, OSA was instrumental to the founding of a local Sinulog-like festivity dubbed as Pag-omaw festival. A Bicolano word means to praise. This is a jovial street dancing offered to the Sto. Niño. In August 30, 2014, a nearly complete parish church was blessed and inaugurated by Bp. Arturo Bastes, DD leading the Augustinians’ dream to found a parish in Gubat, Sorsogon.

Sta. Ana Parish (2012)
Sta. Ana Parish (2012)

The Roman Catholic Rectory
Brgy. Poblacion 2, Burgos
Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Sta. Ana Parish

Sta. Ana Parish was established in 1984 as a sub-parish under Sta. Monica Parish, Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte in Siargao Island. The then Society of Divine Word missionary, now a bishop of Sorsogon, Fr. Arturo Bastes, SVD, was instrumental on its construction. Since then, it remained under the curacy of Sta. Monica that it solely depended on priests from the main parish. However, there were no priests resided permanently to celebrate regular Mass and the sacraments.

In 2010, the community of friars in Socorro were invited by Bp. Antonieto Cabajog, DD to minister Burgos. Henceforth, Burgos became an extension of Socorro community. Friar-priests were assigned alternately every month to attend to the pastoral needs of Burgos. After two years, Sta. Ana Sub-Parish was definitely accepted by the Provincial Chapter in 2012 and led to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Diocese of Surigao and the Augustinians to administer the Burgos for 25 years and renewable on the feast of St. Anne, July 26, 2012. A year after, on the same feast day of the Patroness, Sta. Ana Parish was raised into the canonical status of a parish by Bp. Cabajog.

St. Augustine of Hippo Parish
St. Augustine of Hippo Parish (2012)

Saguday, Quirino

St. Augustine of Hippo Parish

Saint Augustine of Hippo Quasi-Parish is one of the latest commitments of the Augustinians. It is also their aim to go up north of Luzon as the old Augustinian missionaries had done before. It was accepted as a mission parish during the Provincial chapter of April 2012 assigning Fr. Sesenio Paderog, OSA and Fr. Tarquin Gamao, OSA as pioneer missioners of the Province.

San Agustin Chapel-Sambag Residence
San Agustin Chapel-Sambag Residence (2012)

Villa San Paolo, Diversion Road, Brgy. Sambag,
Jaro, Iloilo City 5000

San Agustin Chapel-Sambag Residence

San Agustin Chapel is located beside the University of San Agustin-Basic Education Department in Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City. It was originally constructed in 2000 to commemorate the Jubilee Year. The chapel, hence, serves as the chapel of the extension campus in Sambag. In 2012, San Agustin Chapel was separated from the community of the University of San Agustin-Iloilo to focus on the ministerial aspect of the chapel such as daily masses not only for the students in the nearby school but also for the people surrounding the chapel and celebration of sacraments particularly of weddings.