HomeDiocesan ReportsArchbishop Tirona marks 50 years as priest

Archbishop Tirona marks 50 years as priest

Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona celebrated a milestone on Sunday by marking the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

He was ordained priest for the Order of Discalced Carmelite on April 21, 1974, in Rome.

Today, he is the archbishop emeritus and outgoing apostolic administrator of Caceres, which includes 93 parishes in Camarines Sur province.

Pope St. John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Manila on Nov. 15, 1994. Cardinal Jaime Sin ordained him to the episcopate at the Manila Cathedral on Dec. 29, 1994.

He adopted the motto, “Christi Sumus” or “We belong to Christ” for his episcopacy.

“I must be honest to tell myself: I’m far from being a perfect priest,” Tirona said of his 50th anniversary.

“Nonetheless, I’m proud of the scars I carry as a priest… But most of all, I’m very proud to say that God, out of His merciful love and compassion, has healed me,” he said.

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Addressing the congregation gathered for his thanksgiving Mass at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Minor Basilica, he emphasized that “priesthood is not a comfortable life, but [rather] a life that makes one vulnerable to all kinds of wounds and pain.”

“It cannot be less, because the one whom the priest follows went through the same process to an extreme and superlative degree,” he added.

In December 1996, Tirona was appointed bishop of Malolos, serving until June 2003 when he was appointed prelate of Infanta.

On Sept. 8, 2012, he was named the fourth metropolitan archbishop of Caceres, and was installed on Nov. 14, 2012.

For the past 11 years, the archbishop “shared his life” for the spiritual nourishment and pastoral care of his flock.

Bishop-elect Luisito Occiano of Virac said Tirona has exemplified the qualities of a “Good Shepherd” throughout his ministry.

“He mastered the art of serving the poor; his love for the clergy abounds. He knows how to make difficult decisions, always finds time for prayer, and has never been afraid to speak the truth in love,” Occiano said in his homily.

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