Cardinal Tagle: ‘Bishops, priests are God’s gift to you’

Cardinal Tagle: ‘Bishops, priests are God’s gift to you’

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle leads the the Rite of Episcopal Ordination of Iba Bishop-Elect Bartolome G. Santos, Jr., D.D. at the Immaculate Conception Parish – Cathedral and Minor Basilica, Malolos City, April 30, 2018. SABINS STUDIO

By Kendrick Ivan Panganiban

May 4, 2018

MALOLOS CITY

Leading the Eucharistic celebration with the rite of episcopal ordination of Iba Bishop-elect Bartolome G. Santos, Jr., D.D. on April 30, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle stressed the idea that bishops, priests, and every person one encounters are gifts from God.

“My dear brother bishops, do you consider your priests as gifts? My brother priests, do your consider your bishops as gifts? Dear husbands, do you consider your wives as gifts? Dear wives, do your consider your husbands as gifts? Dear parents, do you consider your children as gifts? Dear children, do you consider your parents as gifts?” asked the prelate during a homily at the Immaculate Conception Parish – Cathedral and Minor Basilica in this town.

Tagle stressed how people one encounters in life are “gifts and not problems.” It is in this understanding, he noted, that the person one serves becomes part of one’s life.

‘God’s shepherds’

He particularly expressed the faithful’s joy that the diocese of Iba will be receiving the gift of a new bishop in Santos. “Our dear brother, [Bishop Santos] is God’s gift to the diocese of Malolos as she produces a new bishop. He is a gift to the diocese of Iba as he is now its new shepherd.”

Tagle noted that like Santos in his episcopal ordination, bishops and priests are given by God to the faithful through the Church as gifts. Citing the calling of the prophet Jeremiah, he explained how bishops and priests are “God’s shepherds” who have been called to become gifts “to bless the people of God.”

He then exhorted Santos to fulfill his God-given call by valuing “the sacred gift of the priesthood,” specially for the benefit of many young men being called and formed by God “through fraternal concern and pastoral charity.”

Death of a young priest

The head of the archdiocese of Manila, however, decried the consequences priests suffer for siding with the truth, mentioning the killing of Cagayan priest Fr. Mark Ventura, 37 in Gattaran, Cagayan last week.

“It has been such a sad moment for the Church to have known that young priests such as Fr. Mark Ventura from Cagayan are killed and thrown away. Are priests treated in such a way today? That they are simply taken for granted and thrown away?” added Tagle.

Together with Tagle were San Fernando Archbishop Florentino G. Lavarias, who will be Santos’ metropolitan prelate, and Malolos Bishop Jose F. Oliveros, Santos’ bishop who also served as co-consecrator during the liturgical celebration.

Officials from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), led by CBCP president Romulo G. Valles, also graced the celebration.