Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle was installed as the new archbishop of Manila in festive ceremonies. At 7 a.m., the people of Cavite brought Tagle, who used to be bishop of Imus, in a “caracol” from the Arzobispado de Manila to the steps of the Manila Cathedral. His parents, Manuel and Milagros Tagle, danced in the “caracol,” symbolic of how the archbishop’s parents were offering him to the Lord.
After being given the symbolic keys to their municipalities by the different mayors of the archdiocese, Tagle knelt and prayed in front of the closed door of the Manila Cathedral.
When he assumed the position of Bishop of Imus years back, Tagle focused his ministry on Jesus as the Shepherd of his flock, adopting the passage “It is the Lord!” from the Gospel when the apostles recognized Jesus walking on the water.
Tagle has adopted the same motto as the new archbishop of Manila. He says it is the Lord who is the true Shepherd, while he is only a disciple.
“Now I face my new mission in this great Archdiocese of Manila that is rich in tradition, culture, history and religiosity,” he said in his homily. “I tremble before the love that calls me to lead the people to the Lord. But my poor sinful person finds rest in Him who is the Church’s true Shepherd. I am also consoled to know that we would be building on the legacy of loving service of 31 bishops, notably those of the recent past: Archbishop Gabriel Reyes, Cardinal Rufino Santos, Cardinal Jaime Sin, and my immediate predecessor, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales.
“As I look at the clergy, the religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, I feel humbled. There is much that I will learn from you. Teach me. Be patient with me. Let us love one other at all times. Extend your love to all, especially the poor and to the Churches in Asia. As one Church, we will journey together even if the night is long and wearisome. We will welcome the ever new dawn who is the Lord, the light and shepherd of the Church. Every day will be an advent of the Lord.
Trust in “Guadalupe”
Since his installation fell on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, second patroness of the Philippines, Archbishop Tagle entrusted the Philippine Church to her.
He said, “To you, dear Mother, I entrust the Church of Manila, the Church in the Philippines, the Churches in Asia, the entire Church and my Episcopal ministry. You come to us, as I have experienced so many times. Bring Jesus to us. Take us to Jesus. In the never-ending advent of life and mission, help us to see your Son coming to us as our loving Shepherd to dispel all fear. We hope for the day when the Church and the whole creation would joyfully declare with one voice, ‘It is the Lord! Amen.’”
San Ildefonso fiesta
Dr. Virgilio Villacorte Jr., founder of the Hermandad de San Ildefonso, is once again the president of the fiesta committee organizing next year’s fiesta of San Ildefonso, Bulacan, (Jan. 23).
Novena Masses will begin on Jan. 14, which is also the opening of the “Relics of San Ildefonso and other Saints Healing Exhibit,” at the museum building near the church. Helping organize the exhibit from the collection of Allan Tengco is Fr. Johann Sebastian, parish priest of the quasiparish of the Holy Eucharist at the foot of Sierra Madre.
The newly installed parish priest of San Ildefonso is Fr. Dennis Santos. Parochial vicar is Fr. Ronald Roy Mongon. Helping in the preparation of the fiesta are Mayor Carla Galvez-Tan and Manny Padilla of the town’s Tourism Council.
Taking care of God’s people
Fr. Rex Hidalgo, who is in charge of the youth ministry of the Archdiocese of Naga, is spreading the Christmas cheer in several social welfare homes. Last Dec. 17, he held a Christmas party for the 58 girl residents of the Hablon Dawani Center.
Today, Dec. 18, he’s holding a Christmas party for the 300 deaf and mute residents of the Guadalandi Formation Center for Deaf and Mute.
On Dec. 28, Father Rex will hold a party for the 1,000 children housed in the Divine Mercy Apostolate.
Father Rex said he celebrates the Holy Mass with the residents before the party, which he organizes with the help of kin and friends. Teaching them the Catechism is also part of the apostolate. He said he has been doing this since 2001 when he was parish priest of Garchitorena and when he was in Pili, Camarines Sur.
Little Angel Orphanage
Tarlac Bishop Florentino Cinenze blessed the Little Angel Orphanage in Mendez, Cavite, last Dec. 10. Managed by the Handmaids of the Risen Lord, headed by Sr. Pauline Cortez, the orphanage is a happy home for abandoned children or children who are orphans.
Sister Pauline’s brother, Fr. Archie Cortez, SRC, celebrated his 22 years as a priest on Dec. 2 at the Monasterio de Tarlac Chapel in San Jose, Tarlac.
My prayers go to Fr. Sanny de Claro, rector and parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia, for marking his 19th anniversary in the priesthood.
Ambassadors of Light
Catch the Ambassadors of Light at the Atrium of the Century Park Hotel tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. where they will sing Christmas songs. By the way, if you will to sponsor a scholar of AOL, text Sonia at 09l7-87l8870.