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New Archbishop of Jaro: ‘I will walk with you’

New Archbishop of Jaro: ‘I will walk with you’

Solemn entrance and installation of Archbishop Jose O. Lazo at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Metropolitan Cathedral, National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, Iloilo City VINCENT VALENCIA

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

April 28, 2018


The 6th Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Jaro has officially taken the reins as head shepherd of the more than two million Catholic faithful in the country’s fifth oldest diocese.

Bishop Jose Romeo Orquejo Lazo, former bishop of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique, was canonically installed by his predecessor, Jaro Archbishop-Emeritus Angel N. Lagdameo, in a solemn Eucharistic celebration and canonical installation on April 17 at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral.

According to Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, the new archbishop’s episcopal motto ‘Vobiscum Ambulare’ (To walk with you), signifies the archbishop’s desire to “walk with” the faithful of Jaro. “He wants to be considered as a companion in a journey; one who walks with us,” said the prelate. “The shepherd is one who affirms his love for Jesus and because of that love, he loves the flock,” he added referring to the bishop’s foremost task.

Message of joy, thanksgiving

He also exhorted the faithful of Jaro during his homily to “thank God for His tremendous love for sending His shepherd to the local Church of Jaro.” He noted that the sending coincided with the celebration of Good Shepherd Sunday.

Lagdameo, in his message after the turnover of the cathedra and the bishop’s staff, assured Lazo of the faithful’s love for the bishop.

“He will surely be loved,” said Lagdameo.

In his message, Archbishop Romy, as the bishop is fondly called, expressed joy and thanksgiving for God’s goodness, love, mercy, and compassion and for the Pope’s decision to send him to Jaro. He also thanked Lagdameo for his “selfless service” to the archdiocese.

“I will miss you. But I have to share my love to the other clergy of Jaro. This is what we are called for – sharing our love. It is in sharing that we set God’s love and kindness,” Lazo told his former priests in Antique. The archbishop likewise assured his priests in Jaro of his presence as the Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.

Lazo also emphasized to the lay faithful their being the “crown of glory of the Church.” “Without you, we will not be here,” he said. He ended with a strong assurance of God’s accompanying presence in the archdiocese. “He is trying to tell us, ‘I am with you. I will not leave you orphans.’ Be assured of His love; He is always there,” the prelate said.

Building on the heritage

Meanwhile, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia thanked Lagdameo for his 18 years of service in Jaro. In a message read by his secretary, Msgr. Gabriel Viola, the papal nuncio thanked Lagdameo for “his service to the Church, the poor and the common good.”

“May the blessing of the successor of Peter encourage and inspire, Your Excellency, as you take your ministry as Archbishop of Jaro leading the flock in the work of the New Evangelization as you build on the heritage passed on to you by your august successors,” added the nuncio.

Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and lay faithful from Jaro, neighboring dioceses, and other parts of the country attended the canonical installation.

Prior the installation, the new archbishop was welcomed by his new flock in a ceremony held at the cathedral and at the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary on April 16. Leonil T. Salvilla/CBCPNews