The cuase for the sainthood of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — How Camomot brought together 4 men to build his chapel.

They may not have known one another but their fates were intertwined under one common ground – to build a chapel for who may become the third Filipino saint.

The four are Father Brian Brigoli, head of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and the chapel's ecclesiastical design; Architect Arnold Saballa, architect of the Domus Teofilo museum and chapel; Bryan Manubag, stone sculptor; and Aguinaldo Pangkatipunan, wood sculptor.

With the exception of Pangkatipunan, who hails from Manila, Brigoli, Saballa, and Manubag are all Cebuanos.

“Kaming upat (we four), we do not know each other. But maybe the hands of Archbishop (Teofilo) Camomot helped us bring together for one purpose. That is to help build this chapel,” said Father Brigoli.

Located atop an elevated area and standing parallel to the museum Domus Teofilo (House of Teofilo), the Sta. Teresa de Avila Chapel in Valladolid, Carcar City began construction last year to further accommodate the ever-growing number of devotees of the late Cebuano Archbishop Teofilo Camomot, who is a candidate for sainthood.

Devotees continue to flock at the five-hectare Daughters of Sta. Teresa compound where the body of Camomot was laid inside the Domus Teofilo. His memorabilia are also on display inside.

Many of these devotees come from far places and have ventured to the resting place of the prelate to seek intercession. Camomot, according to believers, heals sick people and grants favors to petitioners, such as those who want to pass government-administered examinations.

Mother Superior Louella Grace Buscato said that Sta. Teresa de Avila is their patron saint and DST is the congregation founded by Camomot some 60 years ago.

Buscato said that Camomot was also a third order Carmelite and also known for his Teresian spirituality.

“This chapel, once Archbishop Camomot becomes a saint, for sure this will become a pilgrim site or a pilgrim center,” Architect Saballa said.

Jose “Dodong” Gullas, a staunch supporter of Camomot sainthood, was moved to tears when he visited the chapel last week with his wife, Nena.

Gullas said that he was just so happy to see how “such beautiful chapel is coming to reality.”

According to Saballa, the entire area is about two hectares and the chapel itself has a floor area of around 2,000 square meters.

“At a time, it can accommodate around 1,500 people and our parking area can accommodate at least 200 cars at a time,” the architect said.

The chapel broke grounds last Sept. 27, 2019 on the occasion of Camomot's 31st death anniversary. It is scheduled to be blessed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma this March 3 in time for Camomot's 106th birth anniversary.

Saballa said the design of the all-white chapel is modern and minimalist.

“Unlike the traditional design, this chapel will have no chandeliers. It’s modern and minimalist. It is open and very breezy, no need for air conditioners,” he said.

Manubag, for his part, said that he is sculpting the images of the Stations of the Cross in stones.

“Because stones symbolize eternity,” he said.

Pagkatipunan, who made the bronze life-sized replica of Camomot standing at the Domus Teofilo, will sculpt the chapel’s religious artworks.

The multi-million chapel was made possible by the generosity of some donors who wanted to leave a legacy and footprints of kindness, especially among the poor whose lives were changed due to Camomot's various miracles.

Buscato said that the DST congregation is beyond thankful to these donors as more devotees can now be accommodated and feel more comfort when they pray.  JMD (FREEMAN)

TEOFILO CAMOMOT
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