golden jubilee celebration 2017
The Splendor of Faith and Retablos
The grandness of the retablos in the diocese and their massive sizes, the attention to detail placed in sculpting each one, and the images themselves-often comes as striking to the everyday churchgoer.
The wooden set in St. Joseph Cathedral was installed on the 22nd of June, 2010, a day before Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos' 25th Episcopal Anniversary. Historian Fr. Joesilo Amalia, with the nod from the bishop, commissioned his friend the renowned artist and sculptor, Wilfredo Tadeo Layug, to build the retablo. Layug conceptualized and constructed of the retablo in his workshop at his hometown in
Betis, Pampanga in the span of one year. It was shipped to Butuan and assembled over 22 days.
Architect Gervasio Amistoso, through Renaissance Woodmasters Corporation, designed and built the fiberglass retablo in the Shrine of Santo Nino in Libertad. Architect Amistoso had a Mexican priest for his mentor and has developed his art through studying churches around the world and designing them in the Philippines for over 40 years. Noticing a lack in the finished retablo in the cathedral, Architect Amistoso with the permission of Willy Layug tasked Javier, his son, to paint the backdrop. Javier painted a rendering of Jerusalem, placing the crucified Christ at the foreground, an imagined Golgotha at the altar.
Retablos serve as frames through which the faithful are encouraged to see the images in front. Older retablos often house dozens of saints, animating the dogma of the communion of saints in the Eucharist. The retablos in Butuan, however, focus on the story of the Holy Family, often housing only Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Retablos place images of the sacred in a rightful place. They are testaments to what men and women can build with their hands; testaments to the great things our faith allows us to do.