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New auxiliary bishop for Cebu ordained

New auxiliary bishop for Cebu ordained

Auxiliary Bishop Ruben Labajo imparts his blessing to the faithful during the Mass for his episcopal ordination at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Aug. 19, 2022. SAMMY NAVAJA/CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

August 19, 2022

Cebu City

With “To walk humbly before God” as his episcopal motto, Msgr. Ruben Labajo on Friday, Aug. 19, was ordained auxiliary bishop of Cebu.

Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful welcomed Labajo during a solemn liturgy held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu was the ordaining prelate while papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos served as co-consecrators.

Villarojo, the homilist, said Labajo’s motto “resonates loudly in our times where there is so much confusion about goodness, about justice and how to walk humbly before God”.

“He asks you to bring peace to every home you visit but perhaps you could also announce justice, without which there could be no peace,” Villarojo told the new bishop.

“He asks you to leave behind your sources of insecurity, to trust in God’s providence alone for that is what it means to walk humbly with your God,” he said.

Villarojo and Labajo were classmates in philosophy at the San Carlos Seminary College in Cebu. They were also ordained priests at the same time in 1994.

Labajo, 55, was named bishop June 23 by Pope Francis to assist Archbishop Palma and Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billlones in shepherding the clergy, religious and laypeople of the archdiocese.

At the time of his appointment, he was serving at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Balamban, Cebu and as vicar general of the archdiocese since 2019.

“I stand before you honored, yet humbled by this sacred office that Mother Church has entrusted to me,” Labajo said.

“This gift from God is indeed a cause of rejoicing for me and for many, yet at the same time there is trepidation in my heart considering the weight of this tremendous responsibility placed on my shoulders,” he said.

The bishop also thanked the pope for the appointment, which he described as a “new call of duty”.

“I hope and pray that, with God’s grace, I will prove myself worthy of his faith and trust in me,” he said.

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