By Christina Hermoso
The construction of the Diocesan shrine of Saint John Paul II in Bataan is almost finished, and is expected to be completed this year.
Dioceses of Balanga Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos said work on the shrine, which started in 2015, was 80 percent done, and is expected to be completed within the year.
“With God’s grace, we are praying and hoping that our Diocesan Shrine of Saint John Paul II will be finished by the end of this year. It is now 80 percent complete. We have here a first class relic of Saint Pope John Paul II, who visited the country twice in 1981 and in 1995, that was given to us by the Archdiocese of Krakow in Poland through Archbishop Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The groundbreaking rites for the construction of the diocesan shrine was held on March 17, 2015 to coincide with the 40th founding anniversary of the Diocese of Balanga.
“Aside from serving as a place of worship, the diocesan shrine is seen as a way for the religious formation and cultural renewal of the faithful devotees who will visit the place,” the bishop said.
Located in Barangay Culis, Hermosa, Bataan, the diocesan shrine is the second in Bataan that is dedicated to the well-loved and popular saint. The first was the Morong Shrine, also known as the Blessed John Paul II Memorial Shrine, which was inaugurated in May 2011. Then Pope John Paul II visited the area in 1981 which was then the Philippine Refugee Processing Center (PRPC).