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Bacolod City, PhilippinesSaturday, January 19, 2008
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Bishop to open Cathedral
door to kick off jubilee celebration

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra will liturgically open the San Sebastian Cathedral door in Bacolod City at 5:30 p.m. today to signal the start of the Jubilee celebration of the diocese.

Navarra will also declare the Cathedral as the pilgrimage site of the Jubilee and announce the granting of plenary indulgences to the religious pilgrimages that will be organized throughout the year.

Upon opening the door, the Bishop enters the cathedral which is a symbolic way of crossing the threshold of the Jubilee and leading the diocese and the faithful into the heart of the church and into the next Jubilee, Diocesan Chancellor Fr. Brethen Rye Gamala said.

The liturgical opening of the Jubilee Door follows the tradition during the start of the Holy Years in Rome where the Pope opens the St. Peter's Basilica door, also known as the Holy Door, for the occasion, he said.

Navarra said the diamond jubilee of the diocese should be the time for the faithful to come together and destroy the walls of division among Christian communities.

The Jubilee year is also the time to reflect on the journey of the diocese with the four past bishops --Bishop Casimiro Lladoc, the first bishop of Negros Occidental, Bishop Manuel Yap, Bishop Antonio Fortich and Bishop Camilo Gregorio, historian Modesto Sa-onoy said.

He recalled that it was during the time of Lladoc that the Cathedral and the Sacred Heart Seminary were established while Yap made his mark by creating the Catechetical Institute and facilitating the 1 st Diocesan Synod.

Fortich was best remembered for his pioneering efforts in response to the social issues in the 80s while Gregorio put emphasis on Christian spirituality and strengthening of renewal groups in the diocese, Sa-onoy said.*NAB




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