12 Hallelujah Moments for the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines in 2019

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

by Fr. Jason Laguerta and Margaux Salcedo

1. A Filipino Cardinal from Imus, Cavite was appointed to the Roman Curia

Cardinal Tagle reunites with Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2019. Photo: Vatican News.

His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, was appointed by Pope Francis as Prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples or Congregatio pro Gentium Evangelizatione. Also known as the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide), or simply the Propaganda Fide, this is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for missionary work and related activities.

2. A Filipino Archbishop from Talibon, Bohol was appointed nuncio to Spain

Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who has represented the Vatican at the United Nations since 2014, was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Spain and Andorra in October 2019. ​

3. A Filipino priest from Daet, Camarines Norte, became head of the Dominicans

Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III / 📷 University of Santo Tomas Website

Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III became the 88th Master of the Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans on 13 July 2019, the first Asian to hold the position.

4. The Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, who has become part of our large Filipino Catholic family, was appointed permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.​

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, papal nuncio to the Philippines, was appointed by Pope Francis to as the new permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, replacing Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Spain and Andorra. Another 2019 Hallelujah moment comes from Archbishop Caccia himself, as a record 18 bishops were appointed during his two-year stint in the Philippines.

5. An inspiring and always grateful Filipino street kid who died at age 17 from Duchenne muscular dystrophy was declared Servant of God.

Darwin Ramos, a Filipino street child who died in 2012 due to a serious degenerative disease was declared by the Vatican as a "Servant of God". This means that the Vatican has recognized the heroic virtues of Ramos and he becomes a candidate for sainthood. The Diocese of Cubao received the green light to start the process of beatification and canonization as Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, signed the nihil obstat at the start of the cause on March 29th.

6. A Filipina from Iloilo was also named Servant of God.


Maria Beatrice Rosario Arroyo, also known as venerable Maria Rosario of the Visitation, who is the founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary, was recognized by the Vatican as a Servant of God. The pope authorized the promulgation of a decree on her heroic virtue last June 11. With the promulgation of the decrees of martyrdom and of heroic virtue, the Servants of God are granted the title “Venerable”. The next stage in the “causes”, would be beatification, followed ultimately by canonization.

7. The relic of Saint Pope John Paul II, the Pope who created World Youth Day, was brought around the country on a pilgrim tour as part of the celebration of the Year of the Youth.

Blood relic of Saint John Paul II at the Thanksgiving and Commissioning / Closing Ceremony of Year of the Youth. Photo: MS/Dominus Est.

2019 was the Philippine Catholic Church's Year of the Youth.

This was inspired by the World Synod of Bishops on Young People from October 3 to 28, 2018 which had as its theme "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment".

The year-long celebration was officially kicked off on the feast of Christ the King on November 25, 2018, followed by a launch by the Diocese of Cubao at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral with a celebration of Diocesan Youth Day on December 1, 2018. The Year then officially started on the first Sunday of Advent or December 2, 2019 and carried the theme "Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered".

A highlight of the celebrations was the pilgrim tour of the blood relic of Saint Pope John Paul II who was a champion and inspiration for the youth. His relic went to parishes around the Bicol Region, Northern Luzon Region, Southern Tagalog Region, National Capital Region, then last November 20, the end of the nationwide pilgrimage, the relic of Saint John Paul II was returned to the Diocese of Balanga in Bataan.

For the first time, a National Youth Cross was also designed and joined the pilgrimage, after which it was returned to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Chapel in Manila.

The relic of Saint Pope John Paul II and the Youth were both presented at the Thanksgiving and Commissioning ceremony that closed the Year of the Youth held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary last November 23 - 24.

8. Radio Veritas celebrated its 50th Anniversary

As part of its jubilee celebration, the radio station launched the Radio Veritas Museum and a coffee table book on the historical role of Radio Veritas in Philippine history.

Voice of Truth: a coffee table book on Radio Veritas is launched by Fr. Anton Pascual of Radio Veritas and Fr. Vic Sadaya of Radio Veritas Asia with Cardinal Tagle. Photo: Margaux Salcedo.

9. The Manila Ecclesiastical Province Schools System Association (MAPSA) celebrated its 60th Anniversary.

The 60th Anniversary of MAPSA was launched at The Manila Cathedral, on November 15, 2019. MAPSA celebrates “60 years of deepening the life of faith in children and young people, of becoming centers of excellence of learning, and creating that environment in our schools where justice and development are emphasized and realized.”

Cardinal Tagle who is also the President of MAPSA, said that education plays a significant role in the mission of the Church. He added that in the Bible, Christ is called “Rabbi” or teacher whose mission is to guide, mold and teach the people of God. “According to Vatican II, the schools of the Church are supposed to form men and women through the development of their intellectual capacities, the development of their values, the development of their missionary engagement that the educational institutions form good citizens of society and also good Christians,” he said.

10. The Archdiocese of Manila launched this website, Dominus Est, for digital evangelization.

Dominus Est is launched by Cardinal Tagle at Pista ng Misyon. Photo: JP Gonzalo / Dominus Est.

More about Dominus Est here:

Follow us on Facebook: Dominus Est PH.

11. The 6th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization was successfully held.

A brainchild of His Eminence Cardinal Tagle, PCNE annually gathers over 5,000 attendees for a weekend of praise, worship, catechism and sharing to strengthen our love for the Lord

12. The first ever Pista ng Misyon (Feast of the Mission) was held.

The Pista ng Misyon (Feast of the Mission) was a grand celebration of the Extraordinary Missionary Month declared by Pope Francis, organized by the Archdiocese of Manila and the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines, held on 18 October 2019 with over 3,000 in attendance at the Cuneta Astrodome.


These are only some of the many Hallelujah moments we had in 2019. It has been a year of great blessings for the Catholic faithful of the Philippines and we can only say Thank You Lord!

Now we pray for 2020 ... may this coming year be blessed as well as we continue to love and serve the Lord.

Praise be to God! Hallelujah!

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© Dominus Est Philippines 2019