St. Thérèse and Columbarium: A Moment of Sadness, a Lifetime of Peace

MANILA, OCTOBER 24, 2010 (STARweek) By Abby Rebong - St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is beloved by many because of her “Little Way.” She taught us that it is not the greatness or the littleness of the work we do but the Love we put in it that matters in the eyes of God. She believed that we all have the capacity to become holy in the eyes of our Maker for we are loved by Him and there is great value in our little sacrifices in the name of Love.

It is in the spirit of this simple yet incredible philosophy that the modern Columbarium named after her and located below the Shrine of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, a diocesan shrine owned by the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP) at Newport Boulevard in Pasay City, was built. The company behind St. Thérèse Columbarium, Magnificat Ventures Corporation (MVC), believes that all those we have lost in this life should be remembered with the same, if not greater, love with which they accomplished simple yet wonderful things when they were still with us.

Sometimes, the loss of someone dear comes to us when we least expect it or when death is farthest from our minds. Sometimes, we are given time to prepare as we struggle with our loved ones to overcome sickness or infirmity. Yet, no matter how much time we are given, we are never truly ready for the passing of someone we love.

The loss of a parent, a child, a friend or a personal hero can be overwhelming. In the face of such sadness, we may feel that recovery or healing is almost impossible. Those who have experienced it liken it to drowning in an abyss of immeasurable sorrow and darkness, where no light appears to offer warmth or comfort. Yet hope springs eternal and it comes from the love and concern of family or friends who do not forsake us and who understand what we are going through.

The people behind St. Thérèse Columbarium have witnessed how hard it is for a person to lose someone they love. Yet they have also seen the strength and resilience with which people try to work, heal and recover from such difficult times, for which they have deep respect and reverence. Photos courtesy of St. Therese Columbarium. Photos by Hub Pacheco & Walter Bollozos

This awareness, inspired by a calling to welcome all who need assistance and comforting much like what St. Thérèse had done, prompted MVC to come up with a one-of-a-kind program that aims to help people find a way to give their departed loved ones a sanctuary where their families are always welcome and where they can rest in the loving arms of a beloved Saint, always remembered and always prayed for.

The program, aptly named Kalinga ni Sta. Teresita, is a comforting response to the immediate need of those who have lost someone they love and want to make the best decisions for their families.

“Kalinga ni Sta. Teresita, is a new program that we’ve developed to provide a simple yet thoughtful solution for those who want to give their loved ones an ideal, peaceful place to rest,” shares Ma. Victoria Ungco, MVC Communications Director.

“It is a lease-use program that enables those who are in immediate need of columbarium space but don’t have enough money or are constrained financially to avail of and use vaults at St. Thérèse Columbarium by just paying the 30 percent down payment,” she continues.

She says that it is especially for those who have lost a family member or a relative and are still dealing with their grief without the comfort of any practical preparations like funeral plans, or readily available cemetery plots or columbarium vaults.

“The program is also ideal for those who wish to transfer their departed family members to a better place or a more accessible location than say, a crowded cemetery, a leased cemetery plot, or even their home,” Ungco says.

In keeping with St. Thérèse’s call to loving service, MVC also developed this program to be accessible to everyone. For as low as almost P2,000 a month, you can inurn or transfer loved ones to the premier columbarium of the country, complete with amenities like electronic security access, basement parking, a virtual video library (Archive of Memories) for your loved ones’ photo and video memorabilia, an Ecclesiastical Museum featuring life-sized artwork about the life of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and a Remembering Chapel where masses for the dearly departed are held daily.

Ungco says that this kind of program has never been done before in the Philippines and that its launch is a large part of MVC’s mission to provide the best services to those who want viable interment alternatives.

MVC also believes that for families who have loved ones inurned in the St. Thérèse Columbarium, there remain reasons to celebrate life.

According to Ungco, “What we really want to emphasize to those who are already part of the Columbarium is that they are also a part of a growing, lively community. This is why, aside from coming up with programs like Kalinga ni Sta. Teresita, that aim to welcome everyone with open arms, we also provide them with venues where they can come together as families and as a bigger community of Theresians.”

Just a few of these venues are events like Mother’s Day celebrations, painting competitions for children for Father’s Day, touching recollections for grandparents on Grandparents’ Day, Bendita ni Sta. Teresita masses for All Souls’ Day and an annual festival in honor of St. Thérèse, the Talulot Festival.

This Christmas, they are also planning to host a Christmas concert for the members of the Shrine and Columbarium community.

Carrying the slogan, “A comfort from life’s thorns,” the St. Thérèse Columbarium, with its desire to build a thriving community and its programs like the Kalinga ni Sta. Teresita, brings its mission to the next level by providing everyone accessible interment alternatives and the chance to rest in a sanctuary inspired by the touching legacy of love of the “greatest saint of modern times.”

It inspires us to remember those we love with the same dedication and to celebrate life always with a deep reverence for the past and a renewed hope for the future.

For more information on The Shrine of St. Thérèse and Columbarium visit; and for inquiries about the Kalinga ni Sta. Teresita program and the St. Thérèse Columbarium you may visit or contact the following: Magnificat Ventures Corporation, 22/F Galleria Corporate Center, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City 1100, Tel. Nos. (632) 636-MARY (3279), Fax: 687-1477; and the Shrine of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus And Columbarium Newport Blvd., Bgy. 183, Zone 20 Villamor, Pasay City 1308, Tel. Nos. (632) 853-9187 to 90, Fax: 853-3168

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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