Visita Iglesia not about sightseeing, Church official tells pilgrims
- Dino Balabo () - April 4, 2012 - 12:00am

HAGONOY, Bulacan, Philippines – Visita Iglesia is not about sightseeing but is a sacrifice.

Monsignor Andres Valera, vicar general of the Diocese of Malolos, issued this reminder to pilgrims who will join the Lenten tradition on Maundy Thursday.

Valera said pilgrims can visit as many churches as they can or may follow the old tradition of visiting seven churches.

The Diocese of Malolos led by Bishop Jose Oliveros is bracing for the influx of pilgrims to 12 identified jubilee churches in Bulacan.

These include the Cathedral Basilica Minore of the Immaculate Conception and the Parish of the Santisima Trinidad, both in Malolos City; the National Shrine of St. Anne in this coastal town, and the Parish of St. John the Baptist in Calumpit, the oldest church in Bulacan.

Others are the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City which used to be part of Bulacan but has remained under the Diocese of Malolos, the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Samabao in Obando, the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Marilao town, the Diocesan Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and Grace in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Maria town.

The Diocesan Shrine of Krus sa Wawa in Bocaue town, Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Sta. Maria town, Diocesan Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Barangay Cruz na Daan, San Rafael town, and the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Pandi town round out the 12 Bulacan churches.

In San Fernando, Pampanga, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday warned parents that they could be jailed if their children are found engaging in bloody Lenten practices such as flagellation.

“It could be mere penitence for minors (engaging in flagellation) but for their parents, it could mean penitentiary,” said DSWD regional information officer Evelyn Manalo.

Hundreds of penitents, some of them minors, have started their vows of flagellation, either self-inflicted or done by others, in various parts of Pampanga.

She said parents of those below 18 years of age could be held criminally liable for violation of Republic Act 7610 or “An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination and for Other Purposes.”

For his part, CBCP media office director Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III urged parents to encourage their children to watch religious shows on television. – With Ding Cervantes, Evelyn Macairan

AN ACT PROVIDING BARANGAY CRUZ BARANGAY SAN VICENTE BISHOP JOSE OLIVEROS BULACAN CATHEDRAL BASILICA MINORE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION AND THE PARISH OF THE SANTISIMA TRINIDAD DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DIOCESAN SHRINE OF KRUS DIOCESAN SHRINE OF MARY DIOCESE OF MALOLOS PARISH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
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