Blessing of the newly renovated parish church in Bataan, Philippines

On November 28, 2021, as a new liturgical year began, the newly renovated St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Dinalupihan, Bataan, was finally open to the public and officially blessed by no other than the Bishop of Balanga, Bishop Ruperto Santos. The Parish started its renovation through the leadership of Fr. Joseph Cremona, MSSP, parish priest, in 2018. It took quite a long time because of the pandemic, but the renovation was made possible with the help of many generous parishioners and benefactors.

The Bishop of Balanga expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Missionary Society of St. Paul (MSSP) for the pastoral ministry they carry out in the diocese. He mentioned that “You are God’s gifts for us, and with you, we have progressed, we have grown in graces. With your congregation, we have seen the heart of God. We witness the love of God. What we have here in this new church building is a manifestation of the commitment of your congregation. You are gifts for us.”

It is truly a blessing for St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish as the church now can cater to more parishioners. But more than that, the newly renovated church symbolizes the hope of the parish in this trying time. Bishop Santos reminded the parishioner in his homily that what you are seeing is not just a beautiful church but your cooperation, unity, and love for God. He also pointed out, “that you can do something and you can give something. You show that you are rich in mercy, and you trust in the Lord.”

As we are facing this difficult time of pandemic and everything seems uncertain in this time of Advent, the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish is giving us hope. Indeed, the parish is giving a place for Jesus to be born, not in a church building but in every heart that will see and experience God’s love through the renovated church.