- San Diego Pro-cathedral
Infobox religious building
building_name =San Diego Pro-cathedral
caption =The San Diego Pro-cathedral is the only pro-cathedral in the Philippines outside of the national capital, Manila
Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
architect =Lucio Bernasconi
The San Diego Pro-cathedral, formerly known as the San Diego Parish Church or the St. Didacus Parish Church before its declaration as a
pro-cathedralin 1994, is an early 20th century church in Silay City, Negros Occidentalin the Philippines. It is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital of Manila,cite news | last =Delilan | first =Erwin Ambo S | title =Ups and down of Silay Parish now in a book | pages = | publisher =Sun.Star Bacolod | date = 2006-11-04| url =http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bac/2006/11/04/news/ups.and.down.of.silay.parish.now.in.a.book.html | accessdate = 2008-05-06] and is unique in Negros Occidental for being the only church in the province featuring a cupolaor dome.
The parish of Silay was established in 1776 and its first church was built of light materials:
bamboo, "cogon" grass and "nipa" palm. In 1841, then-parish priest Fr. Eusebio Locsin initiated the construction of a more permanent structure made of stone and wood. [cite news | last =Tan | first =Christian Irl | title =Silay parish turns 230 | pages = | publisher =The Visayan Daily Star | date = 2006-11-04| url =http://www.visayandailystar.com/2006/November/04/topstory6.htm | accessdate = 2008-05-06] In 1925, work began on a grander structure meant to replace the old church. Don Jose R. Ledesma, a resident of Silay and a wealthy sugar baron, donated a substantial portion of the funds needed to build the new edifice. The rest of the money was raised through popular contribution, including fund-raising by schoolchildren. [cite book | last =Sa-onoy | first =Modesto P. | authorlink =Modesto P. Sa-onoy | title =Parroquia de San Diego:1776-2006 | publisher =Today Printers and Publishers | date =2006 | pages =117-119 | doi = | isbn = ]
Don Jose Ledesma commissioned an Italian architect, Lucio Bernasconi to design the new church. Bernasconi was also responsible for the design and construction of the Silay Wharf, which was razed by Imperial Japanese soldiers during the
Second World War. Bernasconi took the churches in his native Italyas the model for the Silay church. The church's layout is in the shape of a Latin cross, with a cupolarising forty meters above the nave. Construction was completed in 1927, and the new church was inaugurated that same year.
The San Diego Pro-cathedral is named in honor of
Didacus of Alcalá, the Franciscansaint more commonly known in the Philippines as "San Diego de Alcalá". A local historian has conjectured that "San Diego" was given as a patron saint to the early settlement that became Silay by Fr. Diego Gomez de Covarrubias when he became the parish priest of the neighboring settlement of Bago, and Silay was his "visita" – a settlement he was responsible for attending to as a visiting priest. [cite book | last =Sa-onoy | first =Modesto P. | authorlink =Modesto P. Sa-onoy | title =Parroquia de San Diego:1776-2006 | publisher =Today Printers and Publishers | date =2006 | pages =16 | doi = | isbn = ]
December 25, 1994, then-Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod, Monsignor Camilo Gregorio declared the San Diego Parish Church a pro-cathedral, making it the only pro-cathedral outside of Metro Manila.
Didacus of Alcalá
* [http://silaycity.gov.ph/index.php?view=article&catid=37%3Atourism&id=78%3Athe-church-of-san-diego&option=com_content&Itemid=38 Page in the Official Website of the Silay City Government about the San Diego Pro-cathedral]
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04781a.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia":] Saint Didacus of Alcalá
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