Rest, Reset and Restore
In the last two issues, I discussed the churches in London, France and Italy where we had our pilgrimage and vacation. I missed to mention that we also went to the Cathedral of Our lady of Immaculate, also known as Saint Nicholas Cathedral, in Monaco, Monte Carlo. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral where Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace Kelly were married. It is also the Cathedral where couple were buried, as well as the many of the Grimaldis. The Cathedral was built in 1875-1903 and was consecrated in 1911.
It is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco built in 1252 and dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Of note are the retable (circa 1500) to the right of the transept, the Great Altar and the Episcopal throne in white Carrara marble. The Cathedral was built using white stones from La Turbie, an ancient hilltop village just northwest of Monaco, which overlooks the principality from its elevated plateau. The white La Turbie stones have a special feature; they naturally get whiter when it rains.
Pontifical services take place on the major religious festivals, such as the Feast of Sainte Dévote (27 January) and the national holiday (19 November). On feast days and during religious music concerts, one can hear the magnificent four-keyboard organ, inaugurated in 1976.
Mass is also celebrated here each year on 6 December, in remembrance of St. Nicholas’ life.
What a great way to cap my pilgrimage—a Retreat of the Curia Staff of the Diocese of Kalookan at Capuchin Retreat Center in Lipa City, Batangas, led by the Human Resources Director of the Diocese, Fr. Francis Sarmiento. Retreat Master was Fr. Romeo Tuazon, Priest Minister of Social Communications, Radio Ministry and Properties Department. As Fr. Romy said, we all need to Rest, Reset and Restore so that we may be able to remain in the image and likeness of God. Participants were allowed to Rest for four hours, allowing them to do whatever they want which they consider as rest, erasing the guilt feelings that one is away from home and from office. After rest, there is a need to Reset, in the form of sacrament of reconciliation or confession conducted by Capuchin priest Fr. Antonio B. Ala II, OFM, cap. Restore is in the form of fellowship where the participants were allowed to thank those they wish to thank for, or apologize and being sorry to those whose feelings they hurt. The most important thing is maintain Love in our everyday life to sustain our relationship with others. The Retreat was culminated by the Holy Mass presided by the Diocese’s Vicar General Fr. Jerome Cruz, who surprised the participants by being at the Retreat Center as early as 8:00a.m. Fr. Francis concelebrated in the Mass.
Happy 13th Episcopal Anniversary to our very own Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” S. David, D.D., Bishop of Kalookan. Bishop Ambo. He was ordained as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga on July 10, 2006.
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, a former Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism in 1845, together with the four Blessed, will be canonized on October 13, 2019 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He was ordained as Catholic priest in 1847 and was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, without passing the position of a bishop.
His conversion to the Catholic faith was controversial in England; he lost many friends, and even his own sister. He founded the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England and two schools for boys. He will become Britain’s first new saint since the canonization of St. John Ogilvie in 1976.
Blessed John Henry’s famous appeal for an intelligent, well-instructed laity: ‘I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.” He went on “I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. “Therefore, I will trust Him… If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him… He does nothing in vain… He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”
We thank the Vietnamese fishermen who rescued the Philippine crew on the boat sunk by a Chinese Vessel. Video of the incident was trending in FB where the Chinese vessel continuously rammed the fishing boat until it capsized throwing the crew in the waters. Bad enough, instead of rescuing the fishermen, the Chinese vessel maneuvered in reverse and left the fishermen. Luckily, there was a Vietnamese fishing vessel some kilometers away whose crew saw the incident. They rescued the Filipino fishermen.