With its unique architectural design, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul commands attention as it stands imposingly along Tandang Sora Avenue. The beautiful structure whose construction started in 2003 has been gradually moving toward its completion especially in recent years. Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona which has been in the process of construction for over a century now, is a testimony that the best things in life, those that last and endure, do not really happen too fast. Patient waiting, coupled with sacrifices and self-giving have become characteristic features of those who have taken part in the realization of the dream of a Shrine in honor of St. Vincent de Paul.
The construction of the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul Church building started as a Millennium Project of the Philippine Province of the Congregation of the Mission. It was in the 2000 Provincial Assembly that the initial concept was given an approval. Earlier proposals advocated the maximization of the vacant lot in front of the seminary. Since the Seminary Chapel was open to the public and had become smaller with the increasing number of mass-goers, a bigger Church structure that would include a Pastoral-Social Center was seen as the best project for the said space. With the go-signal and permission coming from the Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal L. Sin to build a shrine, the ground-breaking took place on March 25, 2003.
The building of the Church’s physical structure coincided with the building of the community of faith. With the Seminary Chapel torn down along with the Administration-Priests Building of the SVS, masses had to be held at the Covered Court that was put up also for that. It was only when its roof was installed in 2005 that the Santuario became the venue for weekly Eucharistic celebrations.
Formation programs have been designed by and implemented for members of the different ministries, as needed. Programs such as summer Sports Clinic for children (2010) and the tutorial classes for street children (2011) and Urban Gardening tie-up with the QC Vice-Mayor’s Office. All of these efforts and initiatives point to the Santuario as becoming a true Shrine for the poor.
In keeping with the original intention of the Philippine Province for the project, early attempts were made in order for the diocese to recognize the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul as a Shrine and as a Parish. Last 2011, the Bishop of Novaliches Most Reverend Bishop Antonio Tobias was formally requested to grant this special favor for the Vincentians. This is to coincide with the 350th Death Anniversary of Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. However, the petition was denied in the Presbyteral Council. It was suggested that it would be wiser to wait for a little more time until an increase in the number of devotees to St. Vincent de Paul and more progress in the construction project become visible.
After a year another petition letter was sent to the Bishop of Novaliches reiterating a similar request to declare the Santuario as a Shrine and even requesting further for Parish Status. The appeal was made in view of the Closing Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the CM and DC Presence in the Philippines (1862-2012). His Excellency Bishop Antonio Tobias listened to the proponents and brought the matter up in the Curia and Presbyteral Council meetings which found the proposal favorable. The declaration of Santuario as a new Shrine of the Diocese of Novaliches was announced on July 22, 2012 during the Grand Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Presence of the CM and DC in the Philippines.
Two weeks after the canonical erection of the parish and the declaration of the Shrine, the incumbent project director and administrator, Fr. Rolando A. Tuazon, CM, was installed as the first and new parish priest and Shrine rector on August 5, 2012. The parish and the Shrine has now taken the necessary steps to put all the structures of the parish in place.
Vicariate: San Isidro Labrador
Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. Mario T. Castillo, CM
Preceding Pastor/s: Rev. Fr. Rolando A. Tuazon, CM
Date Established: July 22, 2012
Feast Day: September 27
Address: 221 Tandang Sora Avenue, 1107 Q.C.
Contact Number: 926.8063, 455.6152(telefax)