Whether you’re a local who owns a house in Novaliches, like Amaia Series Novaliches, or a tourist, you will understand why Novaliches Cathedral is one of the most visited churches by millions of Catholics in the Philippines. Located along Regalado Avenue in Fairview Park, Barangay Fairview, Quezon City, Novaliches Cathedral is canonically recognized as the Cathedral-Parish and Diocesan Shrine of the Good Shepherd.
Its humble beginnings
Novaliches Cathedral was established by Jaime Sin, Cardinal Archbishop of Manila and Msgr. Fidelis Ruben Limcaco, first parish priest, on August 5, 1975. The Good Shepherd Archdiocesan Shrine was a part of the Archdiocese of Manila from 1975 to 2003. Then, it was designated to be the seat of the newly created Diocese of Novaliches on January 2003 after it was elevated to the status of cathedral. Fr. Fidelis came up with the name “The Good Shepherd Parish” on the same day he was appointed as the first parish priest.
The Parish of the Good Shepherd was first located in a small chapel in Fairview Avenue (presently Commonwealth Avenue) and Regalado Avenue. However, because of the increasing number of churchgoers, a bigger church was needed to accommodate a growing community. Fortunately, the Regalado family donated a 3,650 square meter property at the corner of Regalado Avenue and Omega Street. From there, Architect Raoul Sotto began to draw plans for this christopolos or a church that caters to the people’s needs.
The parishioners dedication
It was on December 10, 1977 when Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani (the Papal Nuncio of the Philippines) led the celebrations during the monumental groundbreaking ceremony and cornerstone laying. While the church is still in its construction process, Fr. Fidelis developed spirituality of the parishioners and devoted all his time teaching them how to grow a deeper understanding of the Holy Trinity. Over time, the Churh has been nurtured by talent and treasure of the parishioners.
Pope John Paul II decreed the establishment of a new local church that includes the northern area of Quezon City and northern Caloocan City, which is when the Diocese of Novaliches was formed. The Good Shepherd Archdiocesan Shrine was then renamed the Cathedral-Parish and Diocesan Shrine of the Good Shepherd, or popularly known as the Cathedral of Novaliches.
An architectural landmark
Generally, the church itself is an architectural landmark. It has a striking facade that consists of tubular structures joined together to form a roof. On the left of the altar is the ascension chapel where wakes and necrological services are held. When it comes to parish renewal experience meetings and choir records, they usually use the basement area of the cathedral. In 2007, the altar area was renovated and expanded adding features of art deco ornamentation. It was in the next year when they installed air conditioning units in the church.
When locals plan to host any concerts, receptions and weekend markets, they usually use The Msgr. Fidelis Limcaco Hall which is right beside the church. The Pastoral Offices of the Diocese of Novaliches are on the second floor of the Hall. Every 4th Sunday after Easter, it is considered as the feast day of the Parish.
Knowing the history of the Novaliches Cathedral gives a deeper understanding why Catholic believers are willing to devote their time, effort, and money to this christopolos. Aside from its strong foundation of faith, you will also be impressed by its structure and how the church was formed.