Boljoon parish inventory missing

(UPDATE: I have been told by members of the parish that the inventory was in the custody of a lay volunteer who died of COVID at the height of the pandemic. It wasn’t turned over and the parish only thought of looking for it when the issue on the pulpit panels broke out. They are still looking for the inventory and for a USB drive that contained a digital version that was submitted to Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma.)

The inventory of the heritage church of Boljoon is missing, its parish secretary confirmed to me this week. They are still looking for it, she said over the phone.

A person familiar with the inventory said it went as far back as to the term of the late Fr. Faustino Cortes, the priest identified as the likely cura parroco when the controversial pulpit panels were lost.

The parish secretary said they have already started the inventory in preparation for the reassignment of parish priests next year. The photo that comes with this post shows Msgr. Arthur Navales signing the inventory when he took over the parish in 2019.

Boljoon has 3 sets of inventories when it was still under the Augustinians. The earliest was the “Libro de Alajas de esta iglesia de Bolhoon” that dates back to 1795. This inventory, according to the paper by NCCA Chair Ino Manalo, is the earliest surviving record and “begins with a record of a splendid trove of golden objects that pertained to the image of the Virgin Mary as Patrocinio de Maria.”

What is missing is the recent one, which, I am told, has not been digitized.

Sources told me it still wasn’t found as of yesterday, April 18. I have not been able to get a comment from Msgr. Navales, who is out of the country. He has also never responded to previous communications to ask questions related to the panel.

I wanted to follow the issue up this week but the parish secretary is no longer accepting my calls. Members of the parish have reportedly been instructed not to provide information.

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