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ADNU Junior High Community Celebrates Blessing of New Chapel

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“In everything, love and serve the Lord.”

The Ateneo de Naga University Junior High School community celebrated the blessing of the Chapel of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on 25 July 2022.


A Brief History
The chapel was initially conceptualized by then-Junior High School Principal Fr. Angelo Silerio, SJ (†) during SY2018-2019, converting an ordinary classroom into a humble space for prayer, reflection, and mass for the community. During the early season of the pandemic, it served as the venue for the online mass. The current Junior High School Principal Fr. Martin Licup, SJ augmented the concept by relocating the chapel to a strategic area and pooling in resources and donations for expansion and redesign. The new location — right at the lobby of the Junior High School building, near the Four Pillars — brings forth the memory and tradition of the old campus life, when students, faculty, and staff would pass by the chapel at the administration building right before class or work.

Art & Memory
Inside the new chapel is an assembly of history and memory—manifested by the carefully curated combination of art and interior design.

The rows of chairs, altar, and lectern were made from the remnants of an acacia tree felled by the trio of typhoons back in 2020. The tree was planted in ADNU by the Jesuit community of the school’s early years. Reiterating the concept of the Bikolanos and their relationship with storms, the angular and geometric design of the venue illuminates hope found in the Lord amidst calamities and trails.

Several features also added to the spirit of history and memory of the chapel, such as the Crucifix at the retablo by renowned Filipino sculptor Eduardo de los Santos Castrillo (thanks to the donation of the Co family), the statue of St Francis Xavier which used to be a part of the old chapel at the main campus (gifted by St. Paul de Chartres Sisters), the statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola (commissioned by former Principal, Fr. Gabriel Jose Gonzalez, SJ), and the portrait of the titular patron (painted by Meljohn Tatel). There is also the St. Peter Faber Room which serves as the sacristy of the chapel and center for student lay liturgical ministries.

Spiritual Heart
Serving as the spiritual heart of the Junior High School, the chapel is built as a memorial to Archbishop Pedro Paulo Songco Santos, DD — the first Archbishop of Caceres and co-founder of the Ateneo de Naga University. The blessing is also part of the 80th Foundation Anniversary of the campus, the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, as well as the 500th Anniversary of the Conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The community welcomed Most Reverend Rolando Octavus Joven Tria-Tirona, OCD, DD, Archbishop of Caceres to mark the special occasion, officially opening the doors of the chapel and leading the Rite of Dedication. Also accompanying the archbishop were the Naga City Jesuit Community and ADNU Alumni Priests.

The entire Junior High School Community expresses its gratitude to all the people and groups who contributed to and supported the project. The Chapel of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was made possible thanks to their generosity and dedication!

Credits & Sources:
Photos courtesy of Eduardo Flores Jr
Details are from the collated write-ups c/o the Junior High School organizing committee