Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City – Holy Spirit Parish, Barangay Holy Spirit

02 1980 Holy Spirit Parish 06Amidst the middle class houses of BF Homes Quezon City residential subdivision, the Holy Spirit Parish adds to the serene atmosphere of the thick trees that fill the neighborhood. Run by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the parish was founded in 1980, when residents asked the sisters of the nearby School of the Holy Spirit (SHSQC) to build a church. The SHSQC is run by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (Servae Spiritus Sancti  or SSpS), who are sisters of the SVD.

03 1980 Holy Spirit Parish 09

Despite the wealth of the residents of BF Homes, the Holy Spirit Parish is quite simple, with its modernist architecture. Entering the church, visitors are greeted by thick wooden doors, with an abstracted dove carved on each door.

1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar
1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar

05 1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altarpiece Pentecost 1The apse, on the other hand, cannot make up its mind if the presentation would stick to its minimalist modern design, or continue with the baroque style that is common in most Philippine churches. Aside from the very ornate columns that flank the altar, there is a grand golden byzantine inspired altarpiece that features the Pentecost, with Mary and the apostles.

1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar, Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13
1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar, Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13

The altar itself is made of pink marble, with the text from the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13 carved into the marble façade:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar, Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13
1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Altar, Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13

The lectern is also made of pink marble, with the passage from Luke 4:16-21 carved in front:

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

At the left transept is the small altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, while the right transept has the small altar of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

10 1980 Holy Spirit Parish, Narthex and Choir

At the narthex / choir loft, there is a beautiful stained glass window of the Pentecost.

At the right side of the church is a plaza, with an elevated lectern for outdoor church celebrations. Beside the plaza is the bell tower, and the Knights of Columbus’ “Monument to the Unborn Child”.

At the end of the plaza is the Pentecost Chapel, with a sculpture of St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, T.O.S.F. (1786-1859), patron saint of parish priests.

Garden of the Stations of the Cross
Garden of the Stations of the Cross

Beside the Pentecost Chapel is the Garden of the Stations of the Cross. The fourteen Stations of the Cross large resin panels, made by the Black Nazarene Company, which supplied the exact same panels to the Chapel of Saint Pio de Pietrelcina, also in Quezon City.

With such a large compound, there are many quiet places to sit and contemplate in the Holy Spirit Parish, which is open to the residents of BF Homes and the rest of Barangay Holy Spirit. However, with the parish located in such a far off secluded spot of this private subdivision, not everyone has the chance to visit, making the church truly a hidden sanctum for visitors.

1980 Holy Spirit Parish

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