Minor Basilica of Manaoag gears up for pilgrims’ visit


THE Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manaoag, one of the most popular religious sites in the North, is gearing up for the expected arrival of pilgrims during the observance of the Holy Week from March 28 to April 3.

“Nothing’s changed in the preparation inside the church. We continuously strictly implement health protocols. It is the people’s decision to come here,” Father Anthony Eudela, chaplain of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag, said.

He said the pilgrims should understand that following the guidelines set by the national IATF, the church can only accommodate a limited number at a time, limitations including prohibition of minors and senior citizens inside the church.

Eudela said a 50-percent maximum capacity, meaning only 400 persons inside and 160 outside, will be accommodated during Masses. Seats, audio and video screen will be provided outside the church.

Visitors will be required to fill out tracing forms, their body temperature checked and hands sanitized before they can proceed to be seated.  Single entrance to the church and various exit points will be designated.

Pilgrims who for any reason could not be in Manaoag, still can join the celebration of the Holy Mass via the live streaming online of the celebration.

He said their online daily Masses live-streamed via Facebook reached 130,000 viewers worldwide.

For the benefit of pilgrims, travel to Manaoag from Metro Manila has become faster and easier with the opening of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) that exits in Binalonan town.

Before the pandemic, they had 300,000 pilgrims every week, Eudela said.

He said visitors and pilgrims should expect the strict implementation of all health protocols including the compliance with circulars from the Vatican and their archdioceses. (Eva Visperas)

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