Shrine of St. Therese, Doctor of the Church
|Shrine of St. Therese, Doctor of the Church
Shrine of St. Thérèse and Columbarium
The church's massive northeastern façade.
|Location||Newport Boulevard, Barangay 183, Zone 20 Villamor,
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Military Ordinariate of the Philippines|
The Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Doctor of the Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Pasay, Philippines, across the main entrance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Dedicated to Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, the church is classified as a diocesan shrine governed by the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.
The Shrine began in 1947 as a makeshift chapel in Nichols Air Base (now Villamor Air Base) constructed by Rev José Alberto, the first military chaplain assigned to the Philippine Air Force. Originally dedicated to Michael the Archangel, it was expanded several times to meet the spiritual needs of the increasing numbers of Philippine Air Force servicemen. After undergoing major renovations in the 1980s, it was consecrated on 16 December 1983 and dedicated to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus by Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani, then-Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
The Shrine was spared destruction during privatisation of some parts of Villamor Air Base under President Joseph Estrada, in a memorandum signed on 10 April 2000, and by the deed of usufruct granted to the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority on 9 November 2000 during the chairmanship of Rogelio L. Singson. After the visit of the pilgrim relics of St Thérèse in 2000, the Shrine again underwent a major reconstruction initiated by the reigning Ordinary, Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, to promote the saint's spirituality and to encourage devotion to the "Millennium Saint" amongst servicemen. From 8 March 2005, this project continued towards its completion under a new Ordinary, Most Rev Leopoldo S. Tumulak.
On 6 January 2007, Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales approved the request of Bishop Tumulak to hold liturgical services for the Military Ordinariate in the Shrine, which was collocated within the territory of the Archdiocese of Manila. The newly refurbished Shrine was consecrated and rededicated to St Thérèse on 17 May 2007. The presider at the consecration service was Archbishop of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, while among the other co-celebrating bishops was Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines President, Archbishop Ángel Lagdameo. Also on that day-the 82nd anniversary of the canonisation of St. Thérèse–the church was declared a Diocesan Shrine of the Ordinariate by Bishop Tumulak. Present at the service were President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who unveiled the historical marker; high officials of the Department of National Defense; and the top brass of the Armed Forces, Police and other uniformed services under the canonical jurisdiction of the Military Ordinariate.
View of the Shrine's nave towards the high altar.
Devotees of St Thérèse hold up roses to be blessed. The flower is symbolic of the saint's intercession.
Columbarium located at an outer level of the church, lined with statues of St Thérèse.
- Cf. Deed of Usufruct of Lot 6 of Swo-007605-00162-D in Favor of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines dated 9 November 2000.
- Cf. Ibid.
- Cf. Letter of Cardinal Rosales to Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak, dated 6 January 2007.
- The other Bishops present during the consecration of St. Therese Diocesan Shrine were Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo; Bishop Bernardino Cortez-Auxiliary Bishop of Manila; Bishop Antonio Galang of San Jose, Mindoro; and Bishop John Du of Dumaguete.
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