With the grace of our Lord, we were able to visit the damaged church of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Clarin, Bohol last Monday, May 5, 2014, after we went to Maribojoc’s patronal fiesta.
Clarin parish priest Father Johnson Inte brought us to the place, showed us the damage on the parish church, and discussed with us how the local community intends to reconstruct the edifice. It will be a new structure, and the cost involved is so much, estimated at 30 to 40 million pesos. The local industry is fishing and farming, and despite the limited resources, the parish community was able to raise a considerable amount of three million pesos, which they will use to start building their new church. They hope to do this by September, in time for the feast of their Patron, Saint Michael the Archangel.
But so much financial help is need to complement their local fundraising, and upon Bishop Leonardo Medroso’s request, Bahay ng Diyos Foundation Inc. will help raise funds for the church construction.
Only the facade and wall behind the sanctuary were left standing, and the most part of the church caved in when the strong quake of October 15, 2013 hit Bohol. Fortunately, no one was inside when the destruction happened.
They now have a makeshift ‘church’ erected on the right side of the ruins, and they have salvaged the religious images, including the image of Saint Michael, from the rubble. Also retrieved were most of the wooden pews and stained glass on the church facade, all of which are now installed in the makeshift church.
Father Inte was also enterprising enough to use the iron bars retrieved from the rubble into twisted steel works and turn them into useful bed frames, shoe racks, animal cages, and clothes hangers, among others, and sell them to tourists and souvenir collectors. Yes, these reused steel bars, after all, are souvenirs from the revered church that once stood there.
Here are some of the steel works they have made out of the iron bars from the rubble:
Bahay ng Diyos Foundation Inc. joins the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel and other partners in rebuilding their new church. We appeal to your generosity and spirit of giving. You can help us by sending in your donations, in whatever amount you can share, through our secure site on Paypal. Please copy the following URL on your browser to access our Paypal page: http://bit.ly/1iqgknW
Clarín church is a Class C heritage church of the Tagbilaran diocese, meaning it was built during the American colonial period, although Clarin church was founded first as a visita in 1881. The parish was established in 1924 and the church structure that collapsed due to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on 15 Oct. 2013 was built in 1929 and remodelled in 1991.
Below are two photos that show how previous edifices looked like:
Below is the proposed design of the new church to be constructed: