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New Filipino shrine in Canungra to take on shape of traditional hat

New shrine

Blessed place: The proposed shrine for Filipinos at Marian Valley.

MARIAN Valley’s largest connected Catholic community will receive an upgrade on their “rundown” shrine in Canungra in the shape of a hat.

The Catholic Filipino community has welcomed a donated shrine in the shape of the traditional workers’ hat, salakot.

The announcement came during the community’s annual pilgrimage with Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and the Pauline Monks in Canungra, and coincided with a farewell of their 11-year-old shrine.

Chaplain Fr Terri Neuva said the design of the new shrine, donated by Gold Coast Filipino chaplaincy member Mary Ann Boehme, reflected the dedication and hard work of Catholics from the Philippines.

“Salakot is the bamboo-thatched hat often worn by rice farmers under the searing sun in the Philippine rice farms,” Fr Neuva said. 

“Hence it carries with it meanings of community hard work and dedication.”

Mrs Boehme, who has experience in the building industry, said one of the Pauline Fathers at Marian Valley had inspired the renovation.

“It was Rev Father Oskar Osinski from the Pauline Monastery who once pointed out to me that Filipinos are the largest Catholic Community at Marian Valley,” Mrs Boehme said. 

“Yet our shrine was the one that appeared to have much needed work to be done due to old age. 

“This situation really inspired me to be involved.”

Architect Marlon Pueblos, who was born in the Philippines, will help bring the shrine to life.

“We will infuse the native Philippine design with the building requirements in Australia,” Mr Pueblos said. 

“We will retain the slabs and use metal roofs due to fire safety issue, this area being surrounded by the bushland.”

Mr Pueblos said that the Filipino Shrine would imbue the inviting and open mood for everyone to enjoy. 

He said the demolition of the current Shrine will begin in the last week of October and the Salakot-inspired one should be completed by mid-2017.

The annual Filipino pilgrimage at Canungra is often held in the last weekend of September, which conjoins with the feast of the First Filipino Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, canonised by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2007.

Another saint from the Philippines St Pedro Calungsod is also honoured in the event, along with the devotions to Mary – Mother of Perpetual Help, Jesus – the Black Nazarene and Santo Nino – the Holy Infant Jesus. Icons of these holy saints and devotions will be displayed at the new shrine.

By Erwin Cabucos

Catholic Church Insurance

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