It is said the Philippines and East Timor are only the two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia. The Philippines has the 3rd biggest number of Catholics and is the most present all over the world. Due to about 500 years of the Christianity, it is no surprise that the country has so many beautiful churches. Some of the nicest include:
- St. John the Baptist in Liliw, Laguna (built 1605)
- St. Peter and Paul in Calasiao, Pangasinan (est. 1588)
- Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte (b. 1894)
- Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miagao, Iloilo (b. 1797)
- Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Sagada, Mountain Province (b. 1904)
How are these treasures maintained? Mostly through the support of parishioners here and abroad.
During the time of Jesus it took a lot of money to maintain the temple. There were morning and evening sacrifices which involved a one year old lamb. Wine, flour and oil were offered, incense had to be burned every day, and the high priest wore a special robe. Hence a tax had to be paid.
The issue that arose was whether Jesus paid the temple tax or not. Logically, since He was the son of the Father, he didn’t need to pay temple taxes but he wanted to set a good example of supporting the temple.
Three ways we can support our Churches
- Sharing our Time and Talent. From the maintenance to the daily celebrations, the Church needs people. From singing, to reading, to fixing, to praying, the Church needs people. Remember the parable of the Talent? God blesses those who know how to share their talent. More so for God’s greater glory and to help out people.
- Sharing of Treasure. Yes, there are bills to pay and there are things to buy. God, however, cannot be outdone in generosity.
- Pray for your Priest. Without the priests, there will be no celebrations. The number is going down and the demand of the ministry is ever increasing.
We pray for our Church. May it be truly beautiful, not only the structure but most importantly the people who make us the true Church. True beauty is when we become true Children of God.