New rector of Basilica bares plans

Posted on July 22, 2012

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Fr. Jonas Mejares, OSA

THE new rector of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño will not introduce major policy changes in Cebu’s major pilgrimage haven, but will work to put a roof on the pilgrim center so that devotees will be protected from the weather.

Fr. Jonas Mejares, OSA, who is known as one of the singing Agustinian priests told Cebu Daily News that he would still follow what had been the policy of his predecessor in the Basilica.

He said he wants to strengthen the relationships and services of all mandated organizations..

Fr. Mejares had been the OSA Director, General Services Office of University of San Agustin in Ilo-ilo.

Fr. Mejares was installed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as the new rector on July 7 before the launching of the 100-day countdown of the canonization Beato Pedro Calungsod.

He replaced Fr. Rodulfo Bugna who is now the provincial treasurer of Agustinian province.

Mejares said he planned to start repairs in the Basilica structure as it suffered some cracks during the February 6 earthquake.

He won’t introduce changes in policy but building the Pilgrim’s Center’s roof will be his priority.

Fr. Mejares who hails from Loon Bohol and served as a priest for 22 years said of all the places he had been, it was only in Cebu where he was touched by the strong devotion and faith of the Cebuanos to the Señor Sto. Nino.

Fr. Mejares’ family led by his mother Sophia and father Agapito were present during the installation.

“We are very happy he has become the Rector of the Basilica. That has always been our dream for him,” said Sophia Mejares in

Cebuano.

As one of the Augustinian singing priests, Mejares also wants to have a concert for different causes here in Cebu. He said he also wants to bring popular musicians to serenade devotees of the Sto. Niño. /Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc

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