TACLOBAN CITY – Repair of Sto Niño Church is expected to be finished before the first year commemoration of supertyphoon Yolanda this November 8. This was learned from Father Amadeo Alvero, social communications officer of the archdiocese of Palo. The Sto Niño Parish, the biggest parish under the 71 churches of the archdiocese, sustained major damaged during the massive typhoon as its roof was blown away. Alvero said that the repair of the church is being rushed not only before Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda, marked the first year anniversary but before the arrival of Pope Francis on January 17, 2015. Repair of the church started when the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation donated P30 million to the church officials last May, coinciding with the start of the church over-all repair including its rectory.
Under the memorandum of agreement signed between officials of the Tzu Chi Foundation and the Sto Niño Parish, the church officials must also look for additional fund for the repair.
The church still need P15 million to complete the P50 million total budget for the church reconstruction said Fr Alvero, a former assisting priest. According to him, they will source the needed funds from the donations of their parishioners and those who are willing to help the parish. With the ongoing repair, the architectural design of the church was change, like the pointed stained glasses were changed into circular, symbolizing the eye of the storm, the Holy Host and the present altar of the Sto Niño image. Sto Niño Parish was also used as evacuation center during Yolanda but the evacuees were immediately transferred when water started to rise at the nearby Rizal Central School.
Currently, masses are held at the makeshift church inside Rizal Plaza. (ROEL T AMAZONA)