24th of March – exactly two years ago when I attended a Holy Week Retreat in Tagaytay, listening to people wanting to move on – everyone opening up different stories and has their own version of pain. It made me realised that while most grab the chance to rest and spend the holidays for vacation – only few uses it wisely for reflection and self-affirmation. From then on, I shut down my thoughts for my own’s peace of mind.
“Visita Iglesia” literally means Church Visit and it is the usual practice in the Philippines to visit seven churches to recite the Stations of the Cross. This time around, I joined this pilgrimage organised by the Single Youth Adults of the Santuario de San Antonio Parish. We left Forbes Park as early as 6AM not knowing that we’re on our way to Laguna as they’ve kept the destination a secret. I might have lived here for more than 20 years but these are the churches I’ve never been to. Common denominator for these seven churches visited is that they were built by Franciscans. The thing I commend the most is that the organisers asked a representative to share a brief history on how each church originated.
Location: Pakil – Saint Peter of Alcantara Parish Church
1st Station: Jesus Prays in the Garden
2nd Station: Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested
Location: Paete – Saint James the Apostle Parish Church
3rd Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin
4th Station: Peter Denies Knowing Jesus
Location: Kalayaan – Saint John the Baptist Church
5th Station: Jesus is Condemned by Pilate
6th Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Location: Lumban – San Sebastian Church
7th Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross
8th Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus
Location: Pagsanjan – Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church
9th Station: Jesus Meets the Weeping Women
10th Station: Jesus is Crucified
Location: Pila – San Antonio de Padua Diocesan Shrine
11th Station: Jesus Promises Paradise to the Crucified Thief
12th Station: Jesus Cares for His Mother
Location: Bay – San Agustin
13th Station: Jesus Dies
14th Station: Jesus is Buried
Again, gratitude to the Parish Pastoral Council and Single Young Adults for this year’s Visita Iglesia.