New bishop Dael dines with poor after ordination

New bishop Dael dines with poor after ordination

Photo. Bishop Raul Dael of Tandag dines with a street child at a public park after his episcopal ordination at the St. Augustine Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City, June 7, 2018. PHOTO FROM DXGN SPIRIT FM-DAVAO

By Richard de Leon

June 7, 2018

Cagayan de Oro City

After his episcopal ordination, Bishop Raul Dael has chosen to dine with the city’s often overlooked population: the poor and the homeless.

Dael was ordained bishop Thursday at the Saint Augustine Cathedral then moved to a nearby park as poor people gathered for a meal held by the archdiocese.

The new bishop of Tandag had wanted to hold the reception at the Gaston Park outside the cathedral “where the poor are not considered as gatecrashers”.

Dael’s soft spot for the less fortunate is understandable, having been raised from a poor family in Jasa-an, Misamis Oriental.

The Latin phrase “Duc in altum” (cast out into the deep), in Dael’s coat of arms, re-echoes the call of the Church to evangelize the people, especially the marginalized sectors of society.

In his thanksgiving message, he pointed out that the poor are “part of the banquet of the Church”.

“It is good to realize that, most often, it is the poor who feeds the Church,” said Dael. “How I wish that this cathedral has no pillars and walls so that I can see people outside—people touched by the mystery of God.”

At one point of his speech, he shared that, during his childhood days, he would use the five peso birthday gift from his mother to buy “pan de sal” for the whole family instead of spending it for himself.

“I remember my mother every time I celebrate my birthday,” he added, honoring his deceased parents.

More than 2,000 people, including the clergy, nuns and local government officials attended the the ceremony rite led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

Dozens of other bishops also graced the occasion including Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato and Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Pope Francis appointed Dael as bishop of Tandag on Feb. 26, replacing retired Bishop Nereo Odchimar who served the diocese for 17 years.

Prior to his episcopal appointment, he has been serving as the Vicar for the Clergy of the Cagayan de Oro archdiocese.

On June 14, Dael will be officially installed as the third bishop of Tandag in Surigao del Sur, located approximately 300 kilometers east of Cagayan de Oro.