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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the Philippine’s “gift” to the universal Church, the head of the Catholic hierarchy said Sunday as they bid goodbye to the outgoing Manila archbishop.

CBCP President, Archbishop Romulo Valles, while addressing the farewell ceremony, said that there are more reasons to be joyful than to be sad on Tagle’s new mission.

“We would like to tell the world that he is the gift of the Filipinos to the universal Church and to Rome,” he said, drawing applause from other bishops.

“We are sad but I think that you will agree with me that one of the wonderful gifts that the Church in the Philippines (has) is in the person of Cardinal Chito,” Archbishop Valles said.

The Davao archbishop also regarded the cardinal as the country’s “national flag carrier” who carries the faith of Filipinos to the world.

“It is our prayer that the Lord will continue to bless you and keep you joyful in your difficult task,” he said.

The farewell dinner was held as more than 90 bishops from all over the country gathered for their plenary assembly in Manila over the weekend.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP Vice President, was also all praises of the cardinal.

The two were together in San Jose Seminary although Tagle was one year ahead of David.

The bishop recalled that one of the things they always look forward to as students of philosophy was the review classes facilitated by Tagle “because he could simplify complicated thoughts”.

“That was the rare gift of Cardinal Chito,” David said. “His brightness seemed to brighten other people.”

For his part, Cardinal Tagle admitted still having confusion in his heart and mind now that he will leave the country for a new mission.

One time, Tagle shared that he was in a chapel to “present this dilemma” and in the end, “the clincher is where can you follow Jesus—the poor, the crucified.”

“And it pointed me to that path,” he said. “So I really cried and cried there in the chapel but there was peace that the cross was the main criteria in the end.”

At one part of the gathering, the bishops surrounded Cardinal Tagle and sung “You’ll never walk alone.”

On Monday, several bishops, priests, nuns, and laypeople prayed over Tagle as he prepares to leave for his new Vatican post.

During the Thanksgiving Mass at the Manila Cathedral, the cardinal knelt before the congregation as they raised their hands towards him while praying.

In December 2019, Pope Francis appointed Tagle as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a powerful department at the Roman Curia.

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has approved on Saturday the institutionalization of the “Red Wednesday” campaign in the country.

The bishops unanimously agreed to make the campaign an official Philippine Church celebration to raise awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.

Red Wednesday is an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a global Catholic pastoral aid organization.

“This formally makes the Red Wednesday an official day of observance in all churches and Catholic institutions in the Philippines,” said Jonathan Luciano, ACN Philippines national director.

The decision was made during the first day of their plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.

More than 90 bishops are currently gathered for the biennial meeting, which will end on Jan. 27.

“The overwhelming support makes the Philippines the first country to do this. We will do this, and we will continue to do this for every Christian in need,”. Luciano said.

First organized in the United Kingdom in 2016, the Philippines started joining the campaign in 2017.

Red is the Christian color of martyrdom and studies have shown that Christians remain the most “persecuted” faith group in the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

Luciano said the event will be held on a Wednesday every after the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Last November, more than 2,100 Church edifices across the Philippines were lit in red to mark Red Wednesday, the largest turnout of the global event.

“May this serve as an inspiration to other countries as well, especially to nations like ours, which are of major concern when it comes to persecution,” said Luciano.

 

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Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza has formally assumed the Vatican’s top diplomatic post in Spain.

Archbishop Auza met with Filipe VI, King of Spain, to present his credentials at Royal Place in Madrid on Jan. 16.

Following the ceremony, the archbishop had a brief meeting with the Spanish monarch, who was dressed in royal military attire.

The ceremony dates back to the 18th century and maintains traditions that have remained the same to this day.

Credentials are documents that accredit a foreign ambassador as representative and maximum diplomatic authority of another country in Spain.

Born in Talibon, Bohol, Auza was ordained a priest for the Tagbilaran diocese in 1985. He was incardinated to the Diocese of Talibon in 1986.

In June 1990, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served in the apostolic nunciatures of Madagascar, Bulgaria, Albania.

He also served as a member of the Permanent Mission of the See to the United Nations before assuming his post as Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti in 2008.

In 2014, he was named permanent observer of the Holy See before the UN and before the Organization of American States (OAS).

Last Oct. 1, Pope Francis appointed Auza, who is fluent in Spanish language, as the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain and Andorra.

Auza assumed his new post around a year before the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines through the Spanish missionaries.

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In a divided and fragmented world, I want to invite all believers, and also all people of good will, to reconciliation and fraternity. Our faith leads us to spread the values of peace and mutual understanding, of the common good. We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.

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Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – “Pauline Jaricot, a French lay woman, now Venerable, who in 1822 founded the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, conceived and placed prayer at the beginning of the missionary activity. She gathered people to pray for the missions and, some years later, she created the ‘living Rosary’, a network that still exists today. These are groups of twenty people who, each month after a Eucharist, are given a Mystery of the Rosary to pray for. Each of them has a different Mystery, so all twenty mysteries will be recited in that month, thanks to the spiritual union of the group members. Today we want to emphasize that the prayer of the Rosary is still fundamental for the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which supports and finances many concrete projects of an ecclesial and missionary nature in the world. As Pope Francis remarked, the first missionary activity is prayer”: this is what Fr. Tadeusz J. Nowak, of the Oblates of Maria Immaculate (OMI), Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith (POPF) said, who spoke at the presentation of “ClickTo Pray eRosary”, launched on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019.
“ClickTo Pray eRosary” is a digital bracelet that activates by making the sign of the cross. It is an interactive, intelligent device, which works through a downloadable application at no cost, presented by the Pope’s World Prayer Network. The App is called Click To Pray, and “is aimed primarily at young people, hoping to teach how to pray the Rosary”. (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2019)

http://www.fides.org/en/news/66795

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’
Prefect of Vatican’s Propaganda Fide Tells ZENIT What Makes This Missionary Month ‘Extraordinary’

OCTOBER 21, 2019 15:55DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVINTERVIEW, INTERVIEWS
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, often simply called ‘Propaganda Fide’, has told ZENIT what makes this Missionary Month ‘extraordinary.’

Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and Make Disciples of All Nations’

In the interview, he discusses how each year, the Catholic Church celebrates Missionary Month in October, but this year, Francis called for it to be an “extraordinary one,” which is welcoming various events to commemorate it, including the Mass Pope Francis celebrated yesterday morning, on World Mission Sunday, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Italian prelate also underscores how it is necessary to rediscover love and affection for one’s faith, and how people around the world can partake in this month’s events. Moreover, he underscores, “If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops!”

Here is our interview:

***

ZENIT: Cardinal Filoni, what makes this October 2019 Missionary Month, as Pope Francis requested, “Extraordinary?”

Cardinal Filoni: First of all, there is the ordinariness of the fact that every year, the month of October is Missionary Month. The ‘extraordinary’ nature of the one of October 2019 is due to the fact that we wish to focus our reflection on a specific point, in a special way: the awareness that as Baptized–enjoying and living the very reality of Baptism, that is to say, grace–, we also become ‘sent.’

It means we cannot be selfish, we cannot shut ourselves up [be quiet and silent]! We want to make people reflect on this because we want to get out of the mentality that has always considered mission as something to be delegated to others, to people “who are a bit more generous,” to people “who have a special vocation,” to people who like to set off” and go into distant, different countries, and so on.

Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

ZENIT: And instead how should mission be conceived?

Cardinal Filoni: We want to show that perhaps this missionary idea, once did require a special vocation, but that today, everyone travels! Everyone moves for reasons of pleasure, vacation… or work or business… or to learn about and meet different cultures. It almost therefore seems that faith remains almost extraneous to all this great human mobility, when instead it should be in the first place! We are not allowed to not think about the role and the mission that we all have to bear witness to the faith. We must bring faith to others.

ZENIT: And how can we witness faith?

Cardinal Filoni: Pope Francis tells us this very clearly: we need to witness what we believe and what we love, which is part of our life, and at the same time, to announce it. This is what Saint Peter said (1 Pt 3:15): “to explain the hope you have in you.” And therefore, this is the announcement. Having this awareness takes us out of that idea of delegating mission to others, to take it instead as our mission, as an integral, essential part of our moral, spiritual life, our life of faith.

ZENIT: And people around the world, how can they take part in this month from their homes?

Cardinal Filoni: Let us first say: we can take part in many ways. An elderly or sick person can bring the contribution of the reality they live. I think of the chain of prayer, the Living Rosary conceived by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot [the founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith] in France, almost 200 years old, to pray for missions. At that time traveling, crossing oceans was a difficult experience, if not almost impossible for many people. But Jaricot said that we too can participate in the mission of the Church with this prayer, which unites us, in presenting our own prayer to God.

ZENIT: Is prayer the only way to participate in the Extraordinary Missionary Month?

Cardinal Filoni: Even Pauline Jaricot, at that time, said: is prayer not enough? Then we have those writing off on their tax returns, “here, this is the contribution I make for the needs of the missions.” But in addition to all this, we must be protagonists of the mission and not only delegate the mission to others. It is necessary to rediscover affection and love for one’s faith. And this can be done in many ways.

ZENIT: What do you mean by love for one’s faith?

Cardinal Filoni: If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops! But when I love my faith, then I become creative. Creativity is needed for mission, even with regard to the tools, the meetings, the vision ..Mission is no longer directed only to distant countries, but it is something that takes place between us. And it’s nice that so many people who have arrived in these last decades for example, in Italy, when they received the tool to learn and live a living faith, if you will, then they themselves asked for Baptism.

ZENIT: Do you know anyone of them? Do you think of anyone in particular?

Cardinal Filoni: Recently, I met a young man from Morocco. When we introduced ourselves, he told me a Muslim name and a Christian name. Then he added: “I am a Christian.” “Oh yes? And what made you decide to become a Christian?,” I asked him. He replied: “[It was] thanks to the testimony I was given here, the way I was received.”

INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’

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