• Cathedral set for April 9 formal reopening

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    An official of the Manila Cathedral Basilica Foundation announced on Wednesday that the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, will formally reopen on April 9, a few days before Holy Week.

    Henrietta de Villa, vice chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation, said the Manila Cathedral will then be open for all Holy Week services beginning April 9.

    She added that the reopening program will begin at 6 p.m. with a short video presentation of highlights of the two years of repair and restoration of the church.

    Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will lead the Holy Mass after the video presentation.

    The reopening will be attended by some of the donors to and delegates from the Archdiocese of Manila.

    The Manila Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, was closed on February 7, 2012 for major repairs.

    A survey showed that the cathedral was unstable because of soil liquefaction, which had caused cracks in walls and ceilings.

    Construction experts sounded the alarm and warned of a possible collapse should a strong earthquake hit Manila.

    The survey also showed signs that groundwater was seeping into the church flooring, darkening the marble in some places.

    De Villa said the foundation was able to get funds from private donors for the restoration of the church.

    She added that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila did not have to spend for the restoration of the Manila Cathedral because “several donors” pitched in.

    De Villa believes that the people’s overwhelming response to the restoration is a strong proof of the people’s faith in the church.

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