The Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Tagbilaran City was built on a promontory overlooking the city’s scenic bay.
The church’s structure was originally a clubhouse of the Knights of Columbus Council 3290. Erected in 1955, this was the venue of the K of C’s social and religious functions, foremost of which were the Holy Masses held regularly for the members and the families of this fast-growing organization. With Boholanos being well-known for their religiosity, these masses were a great boon to nearby communities.
Eventually, the church became a chaplaincy, whose primary goal was to provide for the spiritual needs of the increasing number of the Filipino-Chinese populace. Rev. Fr. Thomas Chao, a refugee from mainland China, was the first resident chaplain. In 1995, it finally became a full-pledged parish.
From a clubhouse, the structure of the church building has metamorphosed into a work of art -- reminiscent of old Gothic designs -- with its roof sharply pointing heaven-ward and with three gables in each side. This well-ventilated church can properly seat 500 people at a time.
The altar differs sharply from the altars of ancient churches that abound in Bohol. The main altar is a landscape painting on the wall, of sea, clouds and sky as backdrop to a sculpted heaven-ward rising Christ in its midst. Beneath the bronze figure of the Risen Christ is the sepulcher from which He emanated, with its half-opened tomb and stone cover.
Midway on the right side wall is a beautifully-made rock grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, with St. Bernadette kneeling beneath, among the rocks where a real fountain flows. Across the aisle, in the middle of the left side wall, stands a life-sized Crucified Christ. A portrait of Jesus of the Divine Mercy is placed nearby.
The lovely stained glass windows reflect Biblical scenes. Above the right wall is that of the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Presentation of the Child at the Temple. On the left wall are clearly shown Mary and Joseph Finding the Lost Child at the Temple amidst synagogue elders questioning Him, Jesus Changing the Six Jars of Water into Wine, and the Crucifixion Scene, with St. John and the Blessed Mother looking up at the Crucified Christ.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES PARISH
Gov. C. Gallares St., Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol
Telephone: (038) 411-2413, (038) 235-3600
Feast Day: February 11th
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