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San Diego Pro-cathedral

Avinash Kumar, · Categories: St. Didacus

The San Diego Pro-cathedral ( St. Didacus Parish Church) formerly known as San Diego Parish Church is an early 20th century church. It was completed in 1927. In that year the church was also inaugurated . Located at the very heart of the city of Silay just beside the Silay City Hall and fronting Silay City public Plaza.

The ruins of old churchThe parish of Silay was established in 1776 it is built from light materials such as bamboo, nipa palm (a local palm) and cogon grass. But unluckily it fell into ruin by fire. Fr. Eusebio Locsin initiated the construction of a permanent church made of stone and wood in 1841. In 1925 a more grander structure is meant to replace the old church.

The ruins of the oldc hurch today is just at the back of the Pro-cathedral where the prayer room is located. The altar is still visible until now.The Prayer RoomA wealthy sugar baron and a resident of Silay, Don Jose R. Ledesma and his family, donate a substantial funds needed to build the new edifice. Locals and parishioners donated to complete the church of Silaynon’s. Lucio Bernasconi, an Italian architect was picked to design the new church.Bernasconi based his design in his native Italy. The church layout is in the shape of a Latin Cross, with a cupola rising forty meters above the nave.

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The dome with its big cross lighted up at night and serve as a beacon to seafarers. In 1938 the Montilibano family donated the clock for the church. Almost  noting change since then. The parish maintained it well to preserved for the future. Its bells and fence is still original.Monsignor Camilo gregorio, Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod declared the San Diego Parish Church as Pro-cathedral on December 25, 1994. It is the second Catholic Church to be declared as Pro-cathedral in the Philippines after San Miguel Pro-cathedral of San Miguel, Manila. San Diego Pro-cathedral is the only Pro-cathedral outside Manila.