Mass celebrated again in Marawi cathedral, first since war erupted

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – A Mass was celebrated at the St. Mary's Cathedral in this city on Sunday, October 1, the first since war erupted last May. 

The Mass, officiated by a military chaplain, was attended by military ground commanders led by Joint Task Force Marawi Major General Rolando Bautista and Special Operations Command chief Major General Danilo Pamonag.

Gunfire from a distance could be heard during the Mass, as troops continue push to end war that has dragged on for more than 4 months.

MASS AMID RUINS. A military chaplain holds mass inside the ruined St Mary's Cathedral in Marawi City, October 1, 2017.

Photo by JTF Marawi

The cathedral was where former Maute hostage Father Teresito Soganub and several church staff were taken on the night of May 23. The priest was held captive for 117 days.

"Today is also significant because it is the feast of St. Therese, a patron saint of the military," said Colonel Romeo Brawner, Task Group Ranao deputy commander.

The military is also marking the 4th anniversary of the Liberation of Zamboanga City after a siege in 2013. –