An Evening with Cardinal Tagle: Patron of the Arts 2019
By: Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ
Every year, Jesuit Communications puts together a concert entitled Patron of the Arts, a benefit for the chosen beneficiary of Cardinal Tagle, primarily the various projects of the Archdiocese of Manila. The concert is held on December 12, his episcopal ordination anniversary.
Cardinal Tagle was installed as Archbishop of Manila on December 12, 2011, the same date he was consecrated as Bishop of Imus back in 2001 (December 12). Aside from being a moving evangelizer and inspiring pastor, he is also an exceptional singer. Hence, the idea for a thanksgiving concert where His Eminence also sings a few songs.
This year, the beneficiary will be the Office for the Promotion of New Evangelization (OPNE).
OPNE was created as a response to the call for New Evangelization.
Its current head is Fr. Jason Laguerta.
At the dinner hosted by Cardinal Tagle last October 22 for the real patrons (sponsors) of the event , Fr. Jason explained the mission of OPNE:
“There is a need to evangelize: not just to preach the Good News but to convince people of the truthfulness of faith,” Fr. Jason explained.
“There is a need for families to become bearers and transmitters of Good News,” Fr. Jason added. “The vision is clear: The Lord wants this very moment to be a new Pentecost to us. Let us evangelize our families and communities. By doing so, we proclaim Jesus to them.”
Fr. Nono Alfonso, Executive Director of Jesuit Communications, who emceed the dinner last October 22, added, “Among the OPNE’s most successful programs is the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), an annual three-day gathering first organized by Cardinal Tagle in 2013. What Fr. Jason described as a ‘manifestation to the call for renewed evangelization’ draws an average of over 6000 participants yearly, including foreign delegates, who experience communion with God, in the context of the new millennium.”
Cardinal Tagle also shared how Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization commended PCNE. Cardinal Tagle recalled, “He told me that it is only in Manila that there is such institutionalized gathering on New Evangelization. With our little effort, the Vatican has recognized something great is happening in Asia, and has to be taken seriously.”
Patron of the Arts is now running on its 7th year, thanks to the efforts of Jesuit Communications, producer of the show.
Aside from the objective of raising funds for Cardinal Tagle’s pinpointed causes, the event also honors a chosen individual for his contribution to the arts with an award.
“It is fitting of the church to celebrate this,” Fr. Nono explained, “as historically (the Church) has been a legitimate patroness of the arts. Through the support and generosity of the Church, many of the world’s greatest artists flourished.”
Past awardees include sculptor Napoleon Abueva, film director Marilou Diaz-Abaya, composer Ryan Cayabyab and, last year, playwright Dr. Onofre Pagsanghan.
Fr. Nono also notes that since the benefit concert’s first staging in 2012, donations and proceeds from Patron of the Arts have retrofitted the Manila Cathedral, built social housing for the Archdiocese’s employees, sustained parochial schools, established medical funds for the poor as well as aging priests, and helped families of victims of extrajudicial killings.
Last year, Cardinal Tagle’s chosen beneficiary was the Archdiocesan Commission on the Youth. The concert raised P7.5 Million. The check was officially turned over by Fr. Nono to Cardinal Tagle and Msgr. Clem Ignacio, Moderatos Curiae of the Manila Archdiocesan Offices, at the dinner last October 22.
There is no final line up yet of performers for this coming December 12 concert but as usual, Cardinal Tagle will be performing a few songs.
This year’s Patron of the Arts will be held at the Meralco Theater on December 12. For updates on the concert, please visit the Jesuit Communications (JESCOM) Facebook page.