Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, former Archbishop of Manila, celebrated Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Sunday, October 4, eight months since he left for the Vatican to assume a new post.
The cardinal left the country in February to serve as Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
In May, Pope Francis promoted Cardinal Tagle to the rank of cardinal bishop, the highest title of a cardinal in the Catholic Church.
“I am very grateful to be back here in our beautiful cathedral to join you in the Eucharist eight months after my last Mass here,” said the prelate.
Father Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral rector, thanked the cardinal for his visit, describing it as “the Lord’s big blessing this morning.”
“We are happy that he is with us today,” said the priest.
“We wish Cardinal Tagle, first welcome home to the Manila Cathedral, and be assured always of our prayers to your very important mission,” he added.
The cardinal thanked everyone for the support and prayers and “expressions of concern and support” especially when he was reported to have tested positive of the new coronavirus disease.
The cardinal tested positive of the disease when he arrived in Manila from Rome on September 10. On September 23, he pronounced recovered from the disease.
In a video message recorded earlier, Cardinal Tagle stressed the importance of the month-long celebration of the Season of Creation, which ends on Sunday, feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi.
“It is a season which is liturgical … to celebrate in prayer, and especially in the Eucharist, the goodness of creation, signs of God’s bounty and love,” said the cardinal.
He said it is “a celebration with a clear social ecological message, for the way we deal with creation is also carried over to our attitude toward life and human beings.”
“It is also a call to rediscover our vocation as stewards of creation,” he said, adding that very often “we behave like owners and forget that we are caretakers.”
He urged the faithful to celebrate in the Season of Creation “the interconnectedness in the family of creation and in the human family, especially with the poor.”