After our quick visit in San Isidro Labrador Parish in Muzon, San Jose Del Monte, we headed next to Bocaue, Bulacan to visit both the Nuestro Señor Jesucristo Parish and the famous Saint Andrew Kim Taegon Shrine. Interestingly, i went to the shrine way back in 2017 but I failed to stop by at the nearby church.
While the current Parish of Nuestro Señor Jesucristo in Lolomboy may not be as old as the other churches in the province of Bulacan, it comes with an interesting piece of history. The town of Bocaue, along with the historic Saint Martin of Tours Parish (the church that enshrines the miraculous Holy Cross of Wawa) was established in 1606 by the Franciscan friars. During this time, Lolomboy was a hacienda run by the Dominican friars that covered a large portion of the province of Bulacan. It was, however, reduced to a barrio when Pandi and Balagtas were separated from Bocaue.
A simple and small chapel once stood at the center of the barrio that housed an image of the crucified Christ. The status was elevated on May 14, 1959, making the church the first parish-daughter of Saint Martin of Tours Parish. The church was placed under the patronage of Nuestro Señor Jesucristo de Lolomboy.
Saint Andrew Kim Taegon once stayed in Bocaue where he lived as a seminarian before he moved to Macau to study further and ordained as a priest. On May 22, 1986, the parish was made the sister parish in Korea and a new shrine was determined to be dedicated to Saint Andrew Kim Taegon. The Archbishop of Seoul at the time, gave a statue of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon to the parish. As they declared Saint Andrew as the secondary patron of the church, they also blessed the site believed to have been the place where Andrew Kim stayed when he was still a seminarian. They inaugurated a bronze monument of the Korean saint in that area. This became Saint Andrew Kim Shrine.
Further developments in the shrine started to take place in 2001 when the Korean religious congregation of the Sisters of Saint Andrew Kim arrived. Seeing the need to widen the devotion to the saint, former parish priest Fr. Avel Sampana started the construction of a bigger church and this gave birth to the so-called “Project Pangarap“. Thousands of people generously donated whatever they can to help the parish achieve its dream. The construction of the new church was completed in 2015 and the solemn dedication of the new parish took place in 2017.
Just last year, January 2021, the parish was elevated as the Diocesan Shrine of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon. Design-wise, Nuestro Señor Jesucristo Parish or the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon features a very modern-looking architectural style. The main façade is complemented with mirror curtain and ceramic tile walls. It also has an open balcony. It offers a very spacious parking lot and the church is located adjacent to many other structures and buildings including a small adoration chapel, a youth center, church office, and more.
The small adoration chapel outside the church
The interior of the adoration chapel
An Image of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
The image of Christ at the entrance
The statue of Venerable Thomas Choe Yang-Eop stood opposite the main entrance
One of the side altars of Nuestro Señor Jesucristo Parish.
The church welcomes you with a very refreshing interior. The side walls are adorned with stained glass windows with images depicting various saints. It also highlights a very unique-looking set of altars. The first thing you will quickly notice are the side altars that resemble two huge old ships. Both ship-like altars enshrine the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage of Antipolo (probably their principal Patroness in Lolomboy) and the image of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon. The ship design was to indicate how both the aforementioned images arrived in the country.
the main altar
The main altar, on the other hand, features the image of the crucified Christ with some bamboo-inspired design. For those who do not know, Bocaue or “Bukawe” is actually a type of bamboo and this is where the town got its name. So the bamboo design on the main altar as well as in the altar table makes a perfect sense. The main altar also features a beautiful gold tabernacle. It features seven little niches with symbols depicting the seven Holy sacraments.
Closer look to the altar
Image of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon enshrined in one of the side altars
Our Lady of Antipolo enshrined in one of the side altars
Another image of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon displayed in the church
At the side of the church you will find the so-called “Chapel of Hope” or the Sunken Chapel that houses various images including the Sto Entierro and the image of the Holy Face of Manoppello
The Altar of Our Lady of Fatima
At the back of the back of the church, you’ll find the Magellan’s Cross Chapel. It was created in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines. It houses a replica of Magellan’s cross, an image of Santo Niño de Cebu, and various relics
The Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes which was originally placed in the Shrine.
This image was taken in 2017 showing the same statue above.
After reciting another two stations of the cross, we decided to visit the nearby shrine. We were not sure that time if they are allowing visitors but we still took the chance and luckily, they allowed us to enter the famous shrine.
This post is part of my Bulacan Pilgrimage series. Feel free to visit my previous entries
- A Pilgrimage to Bulacan
- Saint Joseph the Worker Parish in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
- San Isidro Labrador Parish in Muzon, San Jose Del Monte Bulacan
- Nuestro Señor Jesucristo Parish / Diocesan Shrine of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
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