We Salute the Troops Deployed in Marawi
WE salute all the troops deployed in Marawi during the 5 months of heavy fighting and bombing in the city. We also salute those who were left behind to do the clearing operation. May they be protected from harm, injuries and sickness. These gallant heroes left their families, went to Marawi, defended the city and the whole archipelago as well, from the Mauti and ISIS terrorists.
Some are blessed to have come out of Marawi alive and go back to their families. Some were heavily wounded, while some are partially, if not totally disabled. The others were not lucky enough to be able to see the dawn of victory and freedom from the terrorists. We pray for all of you.
Many parents, wives, children, siblings were orphaned by our valiant and brave heroes. We pray for the families of our courageous soldiers that they be able to face a new chapter in their lives and be understanding to what our military underwent during the siege of Marawi by the terrorists. We pray for the orphaned families that they be strong enough to accept what happened and that they be guided by our Lord all the days of their life.
We pray for the Marawi residents who lost their love ones, lost their properties and were displaced by war. We pray for the hostages who were rescued by our troops, and those who were not fortunate enough to join their families.
Now that Marawi has been liberated from the terrorists, it is about time to go into rehabilitation, reconstruction and rebuilding of the city. Much is left to be done, especially to the surviving families and relatives of those who were killed in the war. Much more should be done to debrief the soldiers, hostages, women and children, so that their experience in Marawi will not leave any traumatic effect on them. We also pray for all of you.
Since Day 1, the Church is continuously giving assistance to the residents of Marawi, irrespective of religion, whether they are Christians or Muslim. The assistance are either financial or in kind. Most of all, the Church is giving spiritual assistance and counselling. The parishioners of different Dioceses all over the country answered the call for help to the residents of Marawi. May everyone find solace that they are being protected by our God because they are also God’s children.
His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal J. Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, died on October 18, 2017 due to septic shock, a condition when the blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level after a severe blood infection. He was 86 and was buried on October 26, 2017 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Mausoleum.
I beg the indulgence of the readers to please allow me to pay tribute to our dearly beloved His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
There were a few instances when I had the opportunity to meet the Cardinal, up and personal; and he remembered me whenever we met. The one occasion I can clearly remember was when we paid courtesy call at his residence in Cebu during my watch as National President of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko). Some members of the Board of Trustees of Laiko went to Cebu on the occasion of the Launching of the National Laity Week. Cardinal Vidal was a very witty and lovable person. He entertained us with his stories and his role during the significant time in the history of the Philippines, on how he persuaded the political figures to give in to his requests in order to have peace and unity among the Filipinos. No less than the President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, visited his wake and kissed his coffin. The three living cardinals – Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, archbishops, bishops and the clergy came from different places and gathered together for the Requiem Mass. During his funeral, the few hundred meters of walk to the Cathedral’s Mausoleum was extended to more than one kilometer due to the many people who joined the funeral march. Cardinal Vidal is really loved by everyone.
Cardinal Vidal was born on February 6, 1931 in Mogpog, Marinduque. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1956 at St. Ferdinand Cathedral, Lucena City by Bishop Alfredo Obviar. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos on November 30, 1971, and was consecrated Bishop by Archbishop Carmine Rocco, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. On August 26, 1973, he was appointed Archbishop of Lipa by Pope Paul VI. Pope John Paul II appointed him as Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu on August 26, 1981 and he became Archbishop on August 24, 1982 and was installed on September 18, 1982, succeeding Julio Cardinal Rosales. On April 24, 1985, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. In 1986-1987, he was elected President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He was President of Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome. He held the following positions in the Roman Curia – Member, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Congregation for Catholic Education; Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. His motto is “Viam Veritatis Elegi” (I have chosen the way of truth).
For over two decades, Cardinal Vidal worked for the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod. He also started the process for the beatification of the late Cebuano bishop, Teofilo Camomot, who was known for his extreme generosity and holiness.
His Excellency, Most Rev. Juan De Dios Pueblos was the Bishop of the Diocese of Butuan. He died of severe leukemia on October 21, 2017. He was 74. He was born on March 9, 1943 in Moto Sur, Loon, Bohol. He was ordained priest on March 30, 1968 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Tagbilaran City. On April 29, 1985, Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Davao. His Episcopal Ordination was on June 24, 1985. On February 3, 1987, he was appointed Bishop of Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. Pope John Paul II appointed him Second Bishop of Butuan on November 24, 1995 and was installed on January 17, 1996. He was former CBCP President. Bishop Pueblos was popular with the tribes in Caraga Region after he organized the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development in 2000 to gather all sectors and unite for peace. His remains lie in state at the Loyola Funeral Memorial Chapel in Guadalupe, Makati City and would be flown to his hometown in Loon, Bohol, before he is brought to his final resting place. We request the pious readers to pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos. May they rest in peace.