"When people tell me, 'You just got a promotion.' Hindi. I will now be an Overseas Filipino Worker." - Cardinal Tagle
His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle held his first Advent Recollection for 2019 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, organized by Jesuit Communications (JESCOM), last Sunday, December 15 at 9:00 a.m.
After the mass but before the final blessing, Fr. Nono Alfonso SJ, Executive Director of JESCOM, surprised Cardinal Tagle with a tribute and words of thanks for the many years that the Archbishop of Manila was Recollection Master of the Jescom Advent Recollection and for his many years as host of the show The Word Exposed.
Fr. Nono said this is probably the last time that Cardinal Tagle would be the Advent Recollection Master, to which the audience pleaded, "No!" and the new Prefect for the Evangelization of Peoples likewise chimed in.
Referring to Cardinal Tagle, Fr. Nono said, " ... this tireless, brilliant, holy servant of God is not ours to keep."
The audience was then requested to raise their right hand as a blessing was led by Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco of the Diocese of Cubao, after which Cardinal Tagle was in tears. Many in the crowd of almost 2,000 were also in tears, as His Eminence will soon be leaving for the Vatican where he will be based as head of Propaganda Fide.
Sharing his sentiments about having to leave soon for the Vatican after being appointed by Pope Francis to be the new Prefect of Propaganda Fide or the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Tagle with classic humility said in closing, "When people tell me, 'You just got a promotion.' Hindi. I will now be an Overseas Filipino Worker."
But the Cardinal was quick to bring the audience's attention back to Christ, reminding the audience to remember that the recollection was not about him. "Merry Christmas muna!" (Merry Christmas first!) he said earnestly. "And please continue supporting the evangelization programs of your parishes, dioceses, your religious orders, in whatever form. We come together and we are united in proclaiming through word and deed and through our persons the nearness of God. Emmanuel! God is with us."
The audience included the Cardinal's parents, Manuel Tagle and Mila Gokim Tagle, who joined in blessing His Eminence as he prepares for this new chapter in his life of service to the Lord.