MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle served as the spiritual director of the 2016 Special Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on June 13-17 in the Diocese of Orange in California.
Cardinal Tagle was invited ly by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of USCCB. According to Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, chair of the USCCB Special Assembly Planning Committee, the bishops of the United States gather in special assembly every third year in June.
“The spiritual director serves as the central figure of the assembly, delivering daily reflections and homilies on a theme central to the episcopal ministry,” he said.
Theme of the special assembly was “The Bishops as Missionary Leader for the Human Family.”
The US bishops in inviting Cardinal Tagle cited his “wide-range of pastoral experiences, your gift for joyful communication and your courage as a Bishop leading the Church in the Philippines.”
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, condemned the mass killing in Orlando, Florida. “We, bishops of the Philippine Church, unite ourselves with those who mourn in prayer,” he said in a statement.
Villegas said the incident was a “hate crime.”
“Bearing in the depth of his or her soul the image of the Creator, no human person should ever be the object of disgust,” he said. “While we may have reasons to disagree with sexual preferences, or reprove certain forms of sexual activity, this can never justify hatred, let alone, murder of another human being.”
The Order of Preachers (OP), better known as the Dominicans, has a mission in Sri Lanka under the Dominican Province of the Philippines (DPP). The OP has had at various intervals of history a presence in Sri Lanka in South Asia, starting with the Portuguese Dominicans in the 17th century. In the new century, the mission has been canonically restarted under the DPP.
In January 2015, Filipino and Sri Lanka Dominicans were among tens of thousands who welcomed the pastoral visit of Pope Francis in Sri Lanka.
DPP has put up the Saint Dominic’s House in Kandy, a college for philosophy and theology.
To accommodate young OP candidates who are not yet students of philosophy and theology, DPP has been building since 2013 the Holy Rosary Seminary at 290 Kaluwarippuwa, West Katana, which is very near to the Catholic community of Negombo. Construction is ongoing as the DPP has finished only the first phase-sleeping quarters and a library. Service areas and most important, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, have yet to be built.
Second phase of construction is ongoing and it will cost at least P8.7 million. DPP welcomes donations from Filipino Catholics and Dominican supporters and alumni of Dominican schools to help spread Christianity in South Asia.
Donors may issue check to: Dominican Province of the Philippines, Inc.; peso account no. 0211-0000-15; Bank of the Philippine Islands, No. 1 Biak na Bato and Quezon Avenue Streets. Bahay Dominiko is at Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City; tel. 7437763.