"Old Barrio Santa Monica Chapel",
photo by Doris Simpao
This small chapel was built by the efforts of the Don Sixto Alfonso and Dona Epifania Mercado and the residents of Barrio Santa Monica in Santa Rita, Pampanga, in the year 1926. This shot was taken during the "pámandálo" (visitation) of the "cruzada" of the Santo Cristo del Perdon and Nuestra Señora de los Remedios de la Pampanga, in the early days of the crusade.
The reredos of the chapel depicts Saint Monica, the titular, with Saint Augustine on her right and (probably) Saint Rita on her left. Attached to it is a Tridentine altar, with the Tabernacle on the middle and three altar cards (or diptych): the Center Card, where the "Gloria", "Credo" and the "Canon Missae" are inscribed; the Right Card where the "Last Gospel" (Jn. 1) is found; and the Left Card where the prayer "Lavabo inter innocentes" is inscribed.
The chapel also has its communion rails, where the Christfaithful receives the Lord after the absolution of their sins during the communion part of the Mass.
In its entirety, the chapel is simple, yet extravagant in design. The simple arañas (chandeliers) with the accents of drooping flower arrangements give a classic ambiance in the interior.
After the closing of the Vatican II, it was abandoned and a new, larger, modern chapel was built. The remaining parts of the chapel, including its sacred vessels, are nowhere now to find.
Sadly, this house of God was left lonely, filled with bulky furniture and stuff. Hope this would be revived in the future.