Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, pro-prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization, ordained Bishop Pablito Tagura, 61, of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro on Friday, February 17.
About a thousand faithful attended the episcopal ordination at the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus the Divine Word in Quezon City, according to a report on CBCP News.
“Please pray for me and with me as I journey in faith with the laity and the clergy of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro,” said the newly ordained prelate.
“May we grow together in love as missionary disciples of the Lord and that I may always look at them through the ‘graced-filled eyes of compassion’ like that of the Good Shepherd,” he said.
Cardinal Tagle was the principal consecrator during the ordination with Archbishop Charles Brown, papal nuncio to the Philippines, and Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa as co-consecrators.
About 20 bishops and 200 priests, mostly members of the Society of the Divine Word, attended the event.
Bishop Tagura, whose episcopal motto is “I lay down my life for the sheep,” was presented with the Book of Gospels as a symbol of his commission to evangelize.
He also was invested with a ring symbolizing his fidelity to Christ and that he is wedded to the Church; a miter which signifies the bishop’s role as a herald of truth; and a pastoral staff as a sign of his ministry as a shepherd.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle said the new bishop must be “watchful” to God’s active presence in our lives.
“If you allow yourself to be distracted and you lose your focus that you don’t watch Jesus anymore, it will be difficult for you to watch over the community,” said the cardinal.
“So watch over yourself that you will always watch Jesus,” he added.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Tagura, who was serving as the Rector at Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City, as the new apostolic vicar of San Jose on Dec. 22, 2022.
The apostolic vicariate has been without a prelate since March 2018 after the resignation of the late Bishop Antonio Palang. Since then, it has been under the care of Bishop David William Antonio of Ilagan as apostolic administrator.
Born in Abra province’s Lagangilang town, Bishop Tagura was ordained a priest in 1985. For the last 28 years, he spent his priestly life teaching in the seminary.
Archbishop Brown will formally install Bishop Tagura as San Jose apostolic vicariate’s new shepherd on February 25. – from a CBCP News report
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