Tour of Redemptorist Catholic Church

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The Redemptorist Church is a pre-war structure built by the Redemptorist priests, mostly from Ireland, of the C.Ss.R (Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris, Spanish for Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer). During World War II, this church became the home of the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu after it was kept inside a bomb-proof vault in the church.

According to church rules, we should ideally have our wedding in our respective parish. Jurisdiction-wise, we are not Redemptorist parishioners but to us, it almost seem like we do in practice, since it is where we hear Mass every Sunday. There is a sense of homely comfort and connection that we have for this church that we don't mind so much if it meant having to commute almost an hour and taking a five -minute walk from Asilo to the Redemptorist Church just to hear Mass every Sunday.

There are a lot of churches to choose from in Cebu. My parents wanted it at Sacred Heart but we choose the Redemptorist Church for many reasons.

Reason 1: Officiating Priest

We wanted not just a priest to solemnize our vows but someone familiar and dear to our hearts. For this, we choose Father Martin who is currently the Rector of the Redemptorist Congregation , but most importantly, is, a very close family friend of my maternal grandparents whom he fondly know so well as "Meding and Nene Vercide."

Father Martin as I can remember had always been with us in almost major aspects of our religious and personal lives. On birthdays, fiestas and house blessings, he would always be there to say the blessings. When a major family problem arise, we turned to him for spiritual advice and support. When my grandparents and my father were ill, he was there to give them confessions, communion and anointing, and in their wakes and funerals he was also there with us to console our grief and say the Mass.

Father Martin is more like a father to us, so we felt really sad when two years ago we learned that he had cancer and had to go home to Ireland for treatment. We thought we would never see him again but God is so good and he brought him back to us all well and so much full of life. We are so happy and thankful that he can be part of another family celebration.

Reason 2: Lighting and Ventilation

The church is always brightly lit with its cream painted walls which seemed to contain and reflect the brightness of the sunlight that filters though its windows. All the bright light we shall need to look radiant for good photography.

The church is also well ventilated always filled with the soft touch of the breeze flowing through the windows and the doors. The most airy part is on the right wing and that's where our favorite seat is.

Reason 3: Architectural Design

We are not both architects but we really do love and appreciate the architectural designs of the church which is Romanesque with some modern modifications. Its interior is a combination of modern and classical design with the grandeur of Roman columns, arcs, rose windows, and vaulted ceilings which can be distinctly seen at the nave leading to the main altar. Care and detail of design are given to the main altar and the communion rail. Small radial chapels dedicated to some saints can be found on the sides of the main entrance. The church stands tall and imposing with its facade holding twin bell towers with a clock. Overall, I just love the way this church looks. Perfectly divine.

Reason 4: Practicality

We canvassed for cost of church ceremony reservation of two other churches and Redemptorist Church came out to have the most practical price of Php 4,000 compared to Sacred Heart Church with Php 8,500 (their lowest rate) and the Archbishop Palace Chapel with Php 5,000. Of the three churches, Redemptorist Church is the most spacious of them all not to mention, (in my personal opinion) it is also the most beautiful of them all.

Also in other churches there is a limit of number of sponsors and you have to pay for the excess pairs. At Redemptorist there is no limit and no extra charge

Reason 5: Tree Shaded Parking Lot

I once went into this wedding and I had this real bad experience associated with open parking lots. The ceremony ended at 4 pm and as we go inside the car and.... awwww!!!!...oh so feels like you're inside an oven. This usually happens when your car is parked in an open parking area under the heat of the blazing sun.

We don't want this to happen to our guests and with this experience we came to realize that its not enough to have spacious parking area. The Redemptorist Church parking area offers more than space. With large acacia trees, there's so much of a shade with a cool refreshing breeze you are assured that you will never have to go through the oven experience.

Reason 6: Sentimental Reasons

Being in that church also brings back fond memories. There was this big cross near the entrance of the church and I remember always being lifted up by my father to kiss Jesus hanging on that cross. That cross still remains on the same spot to this day and each time I see it, it reminds me of my father.

I am an alumna of St. Theresa's College and the Redemptorist Church is no more than a few meters away, During my college days, my father would sometimes come to fetch me and if it happened to be the First Friday we had this agreement to meet at the left wing of the church. He would park the car there and would wait for me among the pews and we would hear the First Friday Mass together.

When I also learned that my father was terminally ill with cancer, this was the first church where I came to pray since it was the nearest church to the Cebu Doctor's Hospital.

And on my wedding day, when I walk down that aisle every step will be offered in his memory.

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