New bishop’s reflection: ‘Mary guided me’

New bishop’s reflection: ‘Mary guided me’

Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly C. Buco visited his alma mater, Immaculate Conception Major Seminary (ICMAS), where he celebrated a thanksgiving Mass with priest formators, seminarians, and alumni, Sept. 17, 2018. ICMAS IUBILAEUM MULTIMEDIA

By Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban and Sem. Rey David A Gayas

Sept. 21, 2018

GUIGUINTO, BULACAN

In thanksgiving Mass with alumni of the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary (ICMAS) on Sept. 17, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly C. Buco reflected on the Blessed Virgin’s presence and guidance in his life.

The newly-ordained prelate noted how his ministry was all through “Mary who guides me.” He lately realized that he grew up in a barrio named De la Paz (in honor of Mary as Queen of Peace) in San Francisco, Southern Leyte. Buco also reflected on how he was led to serve the Diocese of Antipolo, dedicated to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje).

The bishop said it was a “great deal” for him to be led by God through Mary. Buco called himself a biyahero (traveller) for being been born in Mindanao, growing up in the Visayas, and being ordained a priest in Luzon. He expressed deep joy that studying and serving the Church in different places made him realize that it was “God’s way” for him to realize who God is in his vocation.

‘Lamp of life’

The first alumnus of the institution ordained a bishop reflected on his own new status, asking, “Who am I to become a bishop?” He continued jokingly, “Yet, when I see you here, I am now convinced, I am a bishop.”

According to the new prelate, he realized that the events of his life are miracles from God. Buco added, “Who am I to have this miracle of the priesthood?” Yet he stressed that he believes God’s grace has truly been working in his life and in his ministry. He linked this to his episcopal motto “Lex Dei vitæ lampas”, which means “The law of God is the lamp of life.”

After 35 years

In a message to the new bishop, ICMAS rector Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz praised Buco for his “humility, which is a remarkable gift for a priest and for a bishop.” He added, “Bishop, you are not only a miracle. You are a great sign for all these people present here. You have let yourself become an instrument of God.”

After 35 years as a house of formation, ICMAS was honored to have Buco as its first bishop alumnus. He finished his theological studies in ICMAS in 1993 after which he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Antipolo. He was ordained a bishop at the Antipolo Cathedral on Sept. 8, memorial of the Mary’s nativity.