Church ordains new bishop for Novaliches

Church ordains new bishop for Novaliches

Bishop Roberto Gaa reacts to applause from the congregation and his fellow bishops as he takes his place among them after the ordination rite at the Manila Cathedral Aug. 22. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

August 22, 2019

Manila, Philippines

More than a thousand people gathered in Manila on Thursday to celebrate the ordination of a new bishop of the Catholic Church.

Churchgoers at the Manila Cathedral applauded when Roberto Gaa prostrated himself in front of the altar and was anointed as the new bishop of Novaliches.

At 57, he is also one of the eight Filipinos appointed by Pope Francis as bishops this year.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said the archdiocese is grateful to receive the “beautiful gift” in Bishop Gaa “who is now asked to share that gift to others”.

“And we hope that your ordination as a bishop on the queenship of Mary would constantly remind you that the royal people must be led in faith,” Cardinal Tagle enjoined him.

“That’s your personal mission and mission as a bishop,” he said.

Bishop Gaa was also the first prelate that Cardinal Tagle consecrated in the Manila cathedral since taking over as archbishop in 2011.

Before his appointment, the bishop had been serving as rector of the Manila archdiocese-run Holy Apostle Senior Seminary (HASS) in Makati City.

He is also the second bishop who graduated from HASS after Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig.

The new prelate admitted he feels “so inadequate” because he served most of his priestly ministry as a seminary formator.

“There are so many challenges ahead, but with your prayers [and] God’s guidance, everything will fall into place,” Bishop Gaa said.

Several top church officials attended the ceremony including Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales and Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, was also among the 40 prelates in attendance.

The new bishop will be installed as the third head of Novaliches diocese at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd on Saturday, Aug. 24. CBCPNEWS