Construction has started for the templete or small temple for the Nov. 21 national thanksgiving Mass for soon-to-be-declared saint Pedro Calungsod.
“This will become a historical place,” said Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who led the groundbreaking rites yesterday at the South Road Properties (SRP), where the pyramid-like structure will rise.
He said half a million to one million Cebuanos and guests, high dignitaries in the church and the government are expected to attend “so we really have to make this beautiful.”
“This is a fulfillment of our dreams, therefore we thank God for allowing us to witness this day.”
The 81-year-old prelate signed the building plan before it was placed in a time capsule that was buried in the ground.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is hoping the templete, where the altar table will be placed, will be preserved as a landmark after the event, a suggestion supoorted by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia who attended the rites.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the decision rests with the City Council.
The templete will rise on 1,200 square meters of reclaimed land of the Cebu City government .
The venue was chosen after SM tycoon Hans Sy offered to backfill and prepare the site for free. The site is located beside the proposed SM Seaside City, an 80-hectare complex which Sy hopes to open in 2014.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, who helped design the templete, said the committee on venue is working to have it preserved.
“We will ask the Cebu City government that a portion of this lot would be given and entrusted to the church for the memory of the celebration,” he told reporters.
The centerpiece will be the sanctuary where the altar table will be placed. About 300 bishops will occupy the temple.
Also present in the groundbreaking were Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, philantropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, SM Prime Holdings vice president Marissa Fernan, local church officials, architects, and engineers. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter