Bataan parish to be officially declared as a national shrine on April 1

The Diocesan Shrine of Saint John Paul II in Hermosa, Bataan will be officially declared as a national shrine on Saturday, April 1.
  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David will preside over the liturgical celebration at 9 a.m.
   Bishop of Balanga and Episcopal Coordinator of Divine Mercy-Philippines and Asia Ruperto C. Santos expressed his gratitude for the elevation of the diocesan shrine into a national shrine.
   “I would like to express our sincere gratitude and profound appreciation to the caring ways and affirmative response of our beloved bishops who have unanimously elevated our Diocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II during the CBCP Plenary Assembly on Jan. 29,” said Bishop Santos in a pastoral statement.
   “Let us be one and united with Fr. Anthony Sibug, our dedicated rector; the hardworking parish pastoral council headed by Ms. Vilma Gonzales; all devoted religious mandated organizations; and especially our courageous, compassionate and charitable lay faithful of now the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II in thanking and praising God for this grace-filled event and historic occasion,” the Church leader said.
   The prelate said the majestic shrine is the Diocese of Bataan’s gift to the Philippine Church which recently marked the 500 years of Christianity in the country.
   “This Diocesan Shrine of Saint John Paul II is our immense gift to the Diocese of Balanga. Likewise, it is the precious gift of the Diocese of Balanga to the Philippine Church on the occasion of her memorable and monumental 500 years anniversary of our Christianity, a best and beneficial example of our theme Gifted to Give,” said Bishop Santos.