Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish – Biñan



Southwoods Interchange, Brgy. San Francisco, 4024 Biñan City, Laguna, Philippines

Priest Name

Rev. Fr. Wilboy D. Bracamonte, OSA

Assistant Priest Name

Rev. Fr. Reo G. Cabahug, OSA

The History of the Santo Niño de Cebu Church

The Beginnings of a Parish

It was in the year 1984 when the all-Filipino Augustinian Friars from the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu-Philippines in Cebu accepted the offer of La Paz Housing and Development Corporation to cater to the educational and spiritual needs of the growing community in what was Barangay San Francisco, previously Brgy. Halang, in Biñan, Laguna. At the time, as mentioned by pioneering residents and parishioners during the interviews, the area was nothing but grass lands where tuba, or sugar cane, grew and carabaos grazed. According to them, no one but farmers tending to the land and the animals would dare handle the terrain, especially in the rainy season where the area would easily flood and get muddy. It was even joked that other wild animals, such as snakes, would roam around and suddenly pop out whenever the weather was gloomy and the ground was soft from the rain. In an article written by Reneirio B. Minguez, the first PPC President of the parish, in the 1992 souvenir program, he referred to the area surrounding the Silmer and Meriño Villages as “seemingly filthy.”

The land was owned by the La Paz Housing and Development Corporation and was still well under development at the time. It had, and still has, four (4) major subdivisions, namely: Juana Complex, which is divided into three villages, Juana 1, Juana 3, and Juana 6, and the Meriño, Silmer, and Silcas subdivisions. Prior to the establishment of the parish, the residents of these subdivisions were under the jurisdiction of the San Isidro Labrador parish in the center of Biñan, Laguna. The distance, however, between these villages and the SIL church is quite considerable and proved to be inconvenient for their parishioners in Brgy. San Fransisco. Some would attend the liturgical services there, others would opt to attend mass in the, then, newly erected Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Rosario Complex or the Santo Rosario Parish church in Pacita, San Pedro either out of convenience or personal preference. It was never specified why the La Paz Housing and Development Corp. made the decision to offer their land to a religious order and to the Diocese of San Pablo itself, however it can be speculated in a letter addressed to the then Bishop, Most Rev. Fr. Pedro Bantigue D.D., that it was the will of the community to have the parish be under a religious order by the virtue that a school was already being erected by one, specifically the Augustinians. The notion of the parish being placed under Augustinian care was petitioned, as mentioned in the letter, and was later approved in a Memorandum of Agreement between the Diocese of San Pablo and the Augustinian Order, witnessed by Very Rev. Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, Prior Provincial to the Sto. Niño de Cebu Province, and the Bishop of San Pablo. It was even mentioned in an interview with Ma’am Carol Molina, one of the pioneers of the parish as well as the school, that La Paz reached out not only to the Augustinians, but to other orders like the Salesians of Don Bosco.

In donating the land to the Augustinians, the only condition of the La Paz group as previous owners of the land was for them to establish a school and a church meant to address the spiritual and educational needs of the growing communities in the area. The land allotted for the construction of both amenities is a total of six (6) hectares, five (5) for school grounds and one (1) for the church. The details of which are stated in the memorandum of agreement between the La Paz Housing and Development Corporation and the Order of San Augustin, Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, signed and executed on the 24th of October, 1983, stating that a portion of the land on which the Juana Complex is located will be donated to the Augustinians with the previously mentioned, and fixed, condition. The agreement was witnessed by Federico O. Campos and Antonio B. Barredo, respectively the President and Chairman of the Board of the La Paz group, and Fr. Eusebio Berdon, OSA, and Fr. Bernardino Ricafrente, OSA, Secretariats from the Order of San Agustin. It was on the 29th of June 1984 when the Bishop of San Pablo approved the founding of a religious house in area and the construction of the school and a temporary chapel for the use of the community. The initial chapel was constructed by the donors, with other details to its structure gradually added and refined by the parishioners themselves, such as the finishing paint and the mono-block chairs that would act as the pews of the chapel, as reminisced by one of the old parishioners when inquired.

The Birth of an Augustinian Community in Biñan, Laguna

When the Augustinian community was approved by the Bishop of San Pablo, a meeting was conducted on the 13th April, 1984 at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City wherein the Provincial Council of the Augustinian Province discussed who would be given the responsibility to preside over the establishment of the community. The duty to handle the planning over this endeavor was given to the following people: Very Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Sicio, OSA, the Provincial Counsellor, as the Prior-Rector and Treasurer of the community, Rev. Fr. Danilo Dagsaan, OSA, as its Chaplain, and Rev. Fr. Alfredo Jubac, OSA, as the Asst. Treasurer. The certification granting their approval was granted on the 4th of July, 1984 by Very Rev. Fr. Eusebio Berdon, OSA, the Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu, and Rev. Fr. Melchor Mirador, OSA, the Provincial Secretary. In accounts given by long time parishioners, the above-mentioned priests were very active in the establishment of the community, and were hands on in the construction of both the school and the church/chapel.

In compliance of the condition for them to cater to the educational and spiritual needs of the community, the Augustinian fathers established the Biñan branch of the Colegio de San Agustin and the Sto. Niño de Cebu parish, situated right beside each other. According to interviews conducted with members of the Parish Finance Council at the time, construction began almost immediately for the school, the chapel coming soon after and ground breaking for the church proper happening a full five (5) years after construction on the school began. Upon the approval to found a religious house by the Bishop of San Pablo, Most Rev. Fr. Pedro Bantigue, D.D., in the following two months, on August 15, 1984, the Prior General, Most Rev. Fr. Martin Nolan, OSA, would approve the creation of an Augustinian community in the area.

The Community with Nothing but a Humble Chapel

Prior to the erection of the parish in 1986, the community of the Juana Complex Subdivision, Merino Subdivision, Silmer Subdivision, and the Silcas Subdivision, the areas now under the jurisdiction of SNDC, were under the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Biñan, Laguna. In interviews conducted with long-time parishioners of SNDC, before its creation, it was found that while there were some who did attend mass in the San Isidro Labrador Parish, others would go to the Santo Rosario Church in Pacita Complex or even the, then, newly erected Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Rosario Complex to attend to their spiritual needs. When the La Paz group donated the land to the Augustinians, they were also the company who built the initial chapel with the help of the residents of the surrounding subdivisions and the guidance of the Augustinian fathers. What they ended up building was a small, bungalow-type chapel, reminiscent of the other houses constructed by the La Paz group in the subdivisions. The chapel’s main structure took about a month to finish, with it only being able to hold about 50 people within its walls. Though still technically under the San Isidro Labrador parish, liturgical services were already being held in the newly constructed chapel. The first mass celebrated here was held sometime in June, 1984 and was presided over by the three first priests in the newly founded Augustinian community, Very Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Sicio, OSA, Rev. Fr. Danilo Dagsaan, OSA, and Rev. Fr. Alfredo Jubac, OSA34. Since then, mass had been celebrated every Sunday in that chapel, along with other important feasts and occasions in the liturgical calendar. It was also utilized as a space for other events, most notably fund-raising events such as livelihood workshops and social programs or pageants that could entice a sizable crowd. This was the situation of the community until the time the finalized church structure could be completed. In spite of its size and minimal capacity to attend to those who wanted to celebrate mass there, many were still very much willing to hold liturgical services there, these services include the sacraments of Marriage, for the couples in the community, and First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation for the students studying in the newly erected Colegio San Agustin.

Holding liturgical services in the chapel was not always easy; this was especially true during the rainy season. Though having cement walls and a roof was of definite help in preventing animals and the elements from fully affecting the chapel, it did not completely stop disaster from happening. The area at the time was very much susceptible to flooding, with waters sometimes even reaching a person’s waist, as recounted in one of the interviews. This forced the parishioners to have the chapel’s floor level adjusted so as to avoid extreme flooding. However, this did not essentially stop a flood from happening, nor did it particularly help with the muddy aftermath of one. It was even mentioned in one interview that these floods were the primary cause of destruction in regards to keeping the early records of the parish, with many documents and photographs perishing due to the water and the damp. Though this hindered more than its fair share of activities for the community, it did not stop them from celebrating these. However, as the city of Biñan and the Pacita Complex continued to urbanize, and with the community steadily growing in population due to these developments, a need to erect a larger and more accommodating structure was felt for the developing neighborhood. And so, with this expansion in mind, the Augustinian and village community filed a petition to the Diocese of San Pablo, a year after the chapel was built, for them to be granted permission to establish their very own parish and to build a parish church around the area of the school. The response they got from the Diocese was on a whole positive, culminating to the decree of erection signed by the Bishop on the 29th of July, 1986.

A Parish is Born

In the decree establishing the parish, the following stipulations were put to identify the territory and boundary of the newly founded Sto. Niño de Cebu parish: Apart from this, the patron of the parish was also officially recognized, Señor Santo Niño, with the parish’s personal image brought all the way from the provincial house in Cebu. Even before the SNDC was declared a parish, the image of the Sto. Niño was already an important figure in the community, having drawn people from the neighboring villages of Rosario Complex and even Barangay Halang. The image brought over by the first Augustinians of the community, and was officially enthroned on the 27th of January, 1985. From this day of enthronement came the parish’s designated feast day, which is to be held every fourth Sunday of January, making January 26, 1986 the first anniversary in celebration of the image’s fiesta. Much like the celebrations in the church’s mother province, many festivities will spring from the feast day of Biñan’s very own Señor Sto. Niño, developing well over the years. As early as this is in the life of the parish, religious organizations were already put in place where members of the community could actively participate in parish activities. These include the creation of the Parish Pastoral Council, with a Sir Reneirio B. Minguez as the parish’s first PPC President, the Parish Finance Committee, who would continuously oversee the allocation of funds given by the community and utilize it during the construction process of the church itself. In addition to this, the Cofradia del Santo Niño de Cebu, an extension of the organization of the same existing name from Cebu, was also formed – these are the people charged with the care of the parish’s patron and are also the de facto organizers of events in regards to celebrating the feast of Sto. Niño. Other religious organizations were also established at this time, such as the Mother Butler Guild, designated keepers of the sacristy and those who aid the priest about to preside over a liturgical celebration, as well as the Music Ministry of the parish, including the Juana Complex Choral named The Fishermen and the One Voice Choir, as well as the church Youth Ministry. By 1993, about a dozen church organizations would be fully operational and active in the church.

Though, in going back, one must note that for practical reasons, Fr. Sicio, the Prior-Rector of the Augustinian community, can be considered to be the parish’s first parish priest, as he was the present supervisor during the time the Diocese of San Pablo declared SNDC to be a working parish. However, as planning for the construction of the soon to be parish church was being undergone, Fr. Sicio would have a transfer in duties to the school as its director and a Fr. Ramon C. Pedrosa, OSA would be given the title of Prior and a Fr. Gerardo S. Pechayco, OSA as the

parish priest. Even in the eyes of the parishioners, Fr. Gerardo, nicknamed Fr. Gerry for short, is who they consider to be the very first parish priest of the newly founded parish. Throughout his term, three (3) people would serve as the PPC presidents, namely Sir Reneiro B. Minguez, who served from 1985-1986 followed by Sir Rolly Peñamora, from 1986-1988, and Sir Reneiro’s wife, Ma’am Vilma E. Minguez (recently deceased), whose term as PPC president lasted from 1988-1991.The designing of the church was left to the hands of Architect Manuel Mañosa, a lay-affiliate to the Augustinians, whose design was approved on the 23rd of May, 1989. It was described as “simple and conventional,” with the capacity to hold 2,500 parishioners, yet “elegant”. In line with this, the author was able to find a perspective drawing of the proposed altar for the church- the basis of the final design for which the first altar of the church. The church’s cornerstone was laid on the 13th of August, 1989, with construction being officially kicked off four (4) days later for the soon to be erected parish church.

As will be the trend for the duration of the church’s structural development, funding was an issue in the advent of the church’s founding. The capital allotted for the church was a little over one million Pesos, with the administrators believing that donations will gradually trickle in, from not only the local community, but from abroad as well, as construction was underway. Apart from this, the parish also held a number of fund-raising events, like the Prinsesita ng Parokya, and Mutya ng Parokya pageants, later on adding the Niño ng Parokya pageant as well, and livelihood, feeding, and medical programs/missions with aims to help the community.


Building a Church from the Ground Up

Construction on the church kicked off on August 17, 1989, under the guidance of the Augustinians and the Parish Finance Council. As is the common problem in building up any kind of institution, funding was a large delay in all of the plans in regards to the church. As previously mentioned, donations were being waited upon by the parish administrators to add to the relatively small capital given for the construction of the church. During interviews conducted with past members of the Parish Finance Council, it was mentioned that this was a major set-back for the continuous building of the church. It was said that due to this, they were unable to properly hire engineers to oversee the construction of the church, and so the process of building it up was rather slow, though steady. By 1990, the massive church structure was half-way finished, with the floor roughly cemented, three out of four walls, and an iron sheeted roof ready to shelter around a thousand people – it was even teased to look more like an aircraft hangar than an actual church by the parishioners because of its gaping mouth of an entrance. During this time, though the church was far from complete, the parish decided to hold that year’s Christmas liturgy within its walls, including the traditional Simbang gabi.

By 1991, construction on the parish had advanced enough that around 874 meters of the floor were already properly cemented, enabling the church to seat around half of the proposed number of parishioners the church could hold, however the front of the church, where the main entrance is to be found, was still gaping and completely unfinished. Though the building process was at a point where stained-glass windows could, and were, installed, one depicting the image of Our Lady of Consolation and another showing the parish’s patron, Señor Santo Niño, along with the back of the altar area which was enclosed using metal grills. The altar itself was placed on an elevated platform, with a decorative stained glass window piece, which looked akin to a keyhole, serving as the background of the giant, wooden cross directly behind the altar. At this point, almost all of the special liturgical services were being held inside the church, like the celebratory mass on the Feast of Sto. Niño, and the presenting of confirmation rites to the youth of the community, as well as the regular Sunday mass; the old chapel, situated behind the church structure itself, was vacated at this point and utilized by the various religious organizations as a kind of hall for events and storage. Though as 1992 would come in, construction on the church would be temporarily halted due to a change in administration. At this point, the church was easily a three-story building, with two roofed side entrances, on the left and the right side of the church, and the front still very much agape, but with the workings of an extended patio.

In 1992, Fr. Baltazar L. Belocura, OSA, would be assigned by the Augustinian Province of Cebu as the church’s new parish priest. With this change in administration came revisions to the original design of the church – this was to help lower the construction costs of building the church. At the time, funds were already lacking for the continued building of the parish structure, hence the need to place further development on hiatus. This was a time when the PPC, the PFC, and the entire community were making efforts to raise money for the church’s continued construction. According to the testimonies of the parishioners during this time, not much was changed in terms of the exterior structure of the church – nothing but the fundamental aspects of the church’s outer appearance were touched, or in this case, finished, as it was deemed a necessity for the security of the church. This, is in comparison to the original plans of the church, was slightly less grand the original idea. Originally, they had plans for the church be the biggest in Laguna, as an echo of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu in Cebu City, the seat of the Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu. As this goal could no longer be achieved due to the lack of funds, the initial idea to create the large structure was scrapped in favor of sticking with what was already built and finishing the structure then. Internally, the changes made on the inside structure of the church was mostly centered on the church altar, where the metal grates which was once used to protect the back of the altar where the sacristy was originally placed, a kind of shrine was put up to hold the image of the parish patron Señor Santo Niño. Throughout Fr. Belocura’s term as the parish priest, two people became the PPC Presidents, Sir Tom Oscares who served from 1992-1993 and Sir Danny Gibe who served well into the next parish priest’s term. Though minimal changes to the church happened during the time of Fr. Belocura, it was during the administration of the next parish priest when changes would gradually increase and develop into the church structure still standing today.

Following Fr. Belocura as parish priest was Fr. Donato Estrañero Ellazar, OSA, respectfully, though affectionately, nicknamed Fr. “Donat” or Fr. “Donut” due not only to his name ‘Donato’ but also because of his rather big stature. He was appointed as parish priest in 1996, with Sir Danny Gibe as his partner PPC president. It was during his time when the major revisions to the church’s original design were worked on. Efforts to finish the structure were doubled, so as to finish the front façade of the church. It was during his term when the 16th National Convention of the Cofradia del Santo Niño was celebrated in the parish, wherein other members of the Cofradia, from the Iloilo chapter and the Sta. Monica Guild amongst others, were welcomed in homage of the Señor Sto. Niño. The festivities included a two-day celebration where the various members of the organization socialized with each other over dinner and had meetings regarding the affairs of the association. It was also during his term when the Jubilee Year of 2000 was welcomed by the world-wide Catholic community. Though no souvenir program of the time could be procured by the author, testimonials of the time account that it was a transitional time for the church, as movements to bring major changes to the structures of the church were felt by the parishioners. These movements would continue to develop well into the time of the next parish priest, Fr. Ed Polotan, OSA, and even the one who came after him, Fr. Danny Dagsaan, OSA.

Fr. Edgar A. Polotan, OSA, nicknamed Fr. “Edpo,” would be one of the priests embedded in the minds of the parishioners as one of those who instilled the most structural and notable change in the history of the parish. It was during his time when the outer façade of the church was finally completed, with the outer walls cemented and even decorated with crown-molding and a banner baring the name of the parish situated over the main entrance of the church, along with a statue-marker of the church patron in front of the church entrance. But this is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of development for the structure of the church. It was during his time when the parish retable, more commonly known in the Philippines as an altar retablo, was constructed. Planning and designing what the finished retable would be was the personal project of Fr. Edpo, said Sir Rey Sotelo, the Chairperson of the Parish Finance Committee during this time. Overseeing and guiding the continued building of the church was credited to Mr. and Mrs. Cris Gonzales, the contractors in charge of construction. Building the retable was not an immediate process, as there were still disputes between the Parish Pastoral Council and the parish priest regarding its construction. It was reasoned out, from the perspective of the Pastoral Council, that this major change in the altar’s structure was premature, that it was “still good”. Though, in the end, construction on the retable pushed through, with Arnel Cardinal, a professional retablo and wood carver from Santa Rosa, Laguna, was commissioned by the parish to create the design made by Fr. Ed Polotan, as well as matching flower holders, and a complimenting altar, ambo, and Credence Tables. Parallel to the creation of the altar retablo was the continued completion of the parish’s ceiling, however for varied reasons, construction on the church’s retablo finished faster than its ceiling. The unveiling of the completed retablo with the new ambo and altar was timed to coincide with the church’s 15th anniversary celebration on the 26th of January, 2003. The celebration of the Eucharistic feast that day had a dual purpose of not only commemorating the fiesta of the parish’s patron and the anniversary of the church, but also with the blessing of the newly remodeled altar. The blessing the retablo, ambo, altar, and the other additional, and new, paraphernalia for the sacristy was done by the then Bishop Emeritus of Bacolod, Most Rev. Fr. Camilo D. Gregorio, DD, PhL, STD., who also officiated the mass and was greeted by the full force of the parish’s local Knights of Columbus. The retable itself is a massive structure, practically reaching the church’s ceiling, made of gold painted and varnished hard-wood. At its center, going down in a column starting at the very top is a white dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, followed by the cross of Jesus Christ, then the image of Señor Santo Niño, the very same one brought over from Cebu back in 1984, encased in glass, and the church Tabernacle situated directly underneath the patron, right in front of the altar table. On the top right is a statue of San Agustin with his mother, Sta. Monica on the opposite side, while on the bottom left is a statue of Our Lady of Good Council, with St. Joseph the Carpenter on the other side51. Additional, finishing details to the church’s altar area was slowly added throughout the rest of Fr. Edpo’s term, such as the top cap of the ambo, which holds a white dove at its center to represent the Holy Spirit over all who speak in it, the custom chairs for the parish priest and other mass presiders, and carved, wooden images of the four gospel writers spread across four corners of the church’s ceiling, amongst others. Although, an important, yet unfortunate, detail to note during this change in altar dynamic is the removal of the stained-glass windows that used to be situated to the left and the right of where the retable is presently, along with the key-hole window, and large wooden cross that can still be found directly behind the retable but hidden in obscurity. This major over-haul of the church’s interior was such a huge development in the parish’s history, rendering it almost unrecognizable from what it once looked like, and made Fr. Ed Polotan one of the most memorable parish priests in the minds of the parishioners. Following in his wake is yet another priest who holds a dear place in the hearts of many parishioners, Fr. Danilo Cinco Dagsaan, OSA.

Prior to his appointment as the parish priest of the SNDC parish, Fr. Danilo “Danny” Dagsaan was already a prominent and active figure from the very beginning of the church’s history. He was one of the very first Augustinians in the community, being a member of the initial party who came over from the Province with Fr. Sicio and Fr. Jubac, and brought with them from Cebu the image of Señor Sto. Niño still in use by the parish today. In spite of his long-standing presence in the parish, he was only appointed parish priest in 2004. However, regardless of when he was given the position, in the history of the parish, he was the longest standing parish priest – keeping the position for over ten consecutive years upon the request of the parishioners. Just like the term of Fr. Edpo, many changes were afoot during Fr. Danny’s time as the parish priest. Practically all the beautification changes made to the church’s outer appearance were through his efforts, such as the current façade of the church, the completion of the church balcony/choir loft, the installment of the church’s Jubilee doors, and the building of the two belfries. Similar to the case of the previous parish priest, Fr. Danny was the one who designed the changes, with the technical assistance from the Parish Finance Committee and the Pastoral Council. Unfortunately, due to a lack of documents that properly record exactly when during Fr. Danny’s term were certain beautification changes made, a generalization of these events based off of the testimonials of the parishioners and the PFC members will have to suffice for the rest of the narrative.

Compared to the previous, boxy structure that the church had, a new more elegant design, characteristically with a Mission-style look to it, was set for the building and where plans were swiftly put into motion in the transition period from Fr. Edpo’s term to Fr. Danny’s. Beginning the process of re-constructing the façade of the church was the groundbreaking of the plot where the bell towers and the adjacent choir loft were to be built on. Though no record of the exact date could be found, by the testimonials of the parishioners and the souvenir program released at the time, it is estimated that they broke ground in January 2007, around the time of the feast of Sto. Niño which is typically celebrated on the last Sunday of the month. The plots were situated at the two front corners of the parish church, where the left and right extensions were separated from the front extension of the church entrance. From these empty corners would the parish belfries rise, with the top of the adjacent front extension of the church serving as the foundation on which the choir loft will be situated in. While keeping the original three-story structure of the church, a hole in the front wall was made to accommodate the space needed for the loft. The main roof was then extended to create the flattened, straight walled entrance with a balcony that people see today. It is unclear exactly when construction on the belfry finished, but by December of 2007, they were finished enough for the parishioners to put up lights lining the arch windows of the tower itself, the wall finished with the three stained glass windows already installed, and the raised shelves for the statue figures of St. Augustine and St. Monica were put up. Within the next year, the finishing touches to the façade would be completed and the scaffolding taken down. Another highlight during the term of Fr. Danny is the installation of the Jubilee door, blessed during the 2008 fiesta by Bishop Emeritus Camilo Gregorio, OP, D.D., former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu, and the same Bishop who blessed the altar and parish retablo.

Throughout the coming years, more touches would be added in the beautification process of the church. The inside of the church would gradually be decorated with carved accents and crown molding that fit the almost regal theme of the retable. This would include decorative carvings used to ornament the movable, metal poles for the electric wall fans across the church’s aisles, the crown molding on rood beams supporting the roof of the side extensions of the church, and on the choir loft, as well as the golden dragon egg-like fixtures placed on all the corner bends of the staircase leading upstairs to the loft and bell tower itself. Further additions that added to the aesthetic value of the parish is the installation of eight (8) chandeliers, and the construction of a European-style fountain in the center of the courtyard in front of the church’s main entrance.

The journey undergone by the parish is extensive, paved with many difficulties but also marked with many victories, but is a source of pride for a community that sprung from a rural area even they themselves acknowledged as being hard terrain. Starting from the small chapel that could only accommodate around fifty people, the parish has evolved into the massive church that serves a thriving and modern community. As the vision for the parish-community was always that of a great church, with aims to become an echo of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu in Cebu City, the uphill climb of achieving these goals is an understandable one. Even during the early years of the parish, parishioners were always told by the priests that it would take a minimum of twenty-five (25) years to truly establish a true, fully-fledged parish – little did the parishioners know how true this saying would be. In 2013, the SNDC parish celebrated its 25th year anniversary and published a coffee-table book that displayed images of the parish throughout the years. Though no one can really call the church “finished” even at this predicted 25-year mark, it can, however, show exactly how much the parish has grown, not simply as a physical structure, but as an entire community.

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