Archdiocesan Shrine of Espiritu Santo
History and museums
Espiritu Santo Parish, now known as the Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Espiritu Santo, is a Roman Catholic parish belonging to the Archdiocese of Manila that is located along Tayuman Street corner Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila, Philippines. It was declared an Archdiocesan Shrine by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle on June 8, 2014, the Solemnity of the Pentecost. Rev. Fr. Wilmer R. Rosario, JCD is the present parish priest and rector of the church, succeeding Rev. Msgr. Albert G. Salonga, PC, who has been its parish priest from 1998 to 2015.
In 1913, a public cemetery where the church now stands, was closed due to health concerns. Espiritu Santo Parish was established on December 19, 1926, and placed under the administration of the Divine Word Fathers (SVD). Fr. William Finneman, SVD was its first parish priest.
In December 1931, Fr. Jose Duserhund took over as parish priest. A crypt containing 444 niches built underneath the altar were sold to local residents. The proceeds were used to construct the church. Its church was fully completed and solemnly blessed on May 14, 1932, on the occasion of the Parish fiesta.
The church remained standing and unscathed during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines and battle for the liberation of Manila.Mr. and Mrs. Jose G. Lopez of Job Lema donated the image of the Blessed Trinity in 1951, sculpted by the popular Maximo Vicente including its carriage.
On September 29, 1952, a Tabernacle costing eight thousand pesos arrived from The United States of America.
In November 1955, the beautiful edifice of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the corner of Rizal Avenue and Tayuman Street was blessed by Archbishop Rufino J. Santos. In 1956, a baptismal font was donated by Mr. Jose Pablo and Company In July 11, 1958, the marble main altar was consecrated by Cardinal Santos. Inside the tomb of the main altar were the relics of Saint Matias the Apostle, Saint Irmina and Saint Maria Goretti. The "Descent of the Holy Spirit" upon the apostles on the ark in the sanctuary was painted by Mr. Jose Santos. A beautiful Monstrance which was made in 1899 and church ceiling with Gothic design were donated by the relatives of Fr. Matias.
The marble altar at the middle of the sanctuary was completed and blessed in 1968. At the same year, the pipe organ costing seventy-two thousand pesos was acquired and installed by Rev. Fr. H. Schblitzki, SVD and was solemly blessed by the Most Rev. Bienvenido M. Lopez, DD on November 24, 1968.
The SVD Fathers turned over the Espiritu Santo Parish to the diocesan clergy on May 2, 1973 with Msgr. Gorgonio Encarnacion as first diocesan parish priest. A four-story multi-purpose building was constructed to replace the old convent.
Under Msgr. Emmanuel Sunga's three-year service from 1990, church facilities were improved and a big generator at the back of the church was installed.
Msgr. Norberto Habos' five-year service from 1993 was dedicated to continuous improvement in church facilities. Because of his eye of beauty and artistic taste, the magnificent retablo of the Holy Spirit at the dome of the main altar, the chapel of Saints, and the stained glass windows which depicted the 15 mysteries of the Rosary were installed.
Under the incumbency of Msgr. Albert G. Salonga (1998–present), the computerized church bells were put to use. The two-storey Formation Center was constructed; the Adoration Chapel, parish office, candle stand corner, coffee shop and Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help were renovated. The image of Rosa Mystica was acquired for the May flower offering. More importantly, the 43-year-old pipe organ was fully rehabilitated through the help of fund-raising projects. The rehabilitation costed two hundred forty-five million pesos.
On June 8, 2014, the title Archdiocesan Shrine of Espiritu Santo was granted in the dedication held during the 88th fiesta anniversary officiated by Cardinal Tagle. Twelve crosses were dedicated in the church posts, The altar was dressed with linens and red roses, and white Malaysian flowers decorated the altar. Kissing of the newly consecrated altar was opened to the public. Msgr. Albert G. Salonga lit the candles and passed them to La Liga and BEC parishioners to light the twelve posts.