The new Catholic Archbishop of Manila has been installed in a ceremony at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Intramuros, Manila on Thursday.
Cardinal Jose Advincula succeeds Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle who became Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
At the Mass, a letter from Pope Francis that appointed him archbishop of Manila was read.
Advincula was then given the crozier, or shepherd’s staff, and presented to his cathedra, the high-backed “chair” of the archbishop in his cathedral.
In his homily, he appealed for prayers “that I may have a heart after that of Christ our Good Shepherd — a listening shepherd to Christ’s bidding — ever ready to suffer for and serve Christ’s sheep”.
“I am deeply aware how I fall short of people’s expectations of me, how unworthy and inadequate I am in many ways,” Advincula said.
“I pray that Christ grant me the grace to be a listening shepherd to His flock so that I can journey with you and lead you all back to Christ our Good Shepherd,” he said.
Addressing the priests, consecrated persons and the laity of the archdiocese, the cardinal made an emphatic appeal, “let me be a listening shepherd to you all”.
“And let us learn from one another how to listen after the heart of Christ our Good Shepherd,” Advincula said.
“On the Day of Judgment, we are but Christ’s servants; and how blessed are we to have such an opportunity to serve Him in our respective capacities and ministries,” he added. “We are no more than Christ’s heralds and instruments.”
The cardinal turned emotional as he thanked the priests, consecrated persons and the laity of the Archdiocese of Capiz where he served for the past nine years.
“Thank you so much for teaching me to be a shepherd who listens,” Advincula said.
“For 20 years of being your bishop, I tried to be a listening shepherd to you; yet, as you know well, there are still a lot that I should learn,” he said.
The congregation at the Manila Cathedral included faith leaders and civic leaders invited from within the archdiocese.
More than 30 bishops and around 200 priests from all over the archdiocese, and some from Capiz, took part in the service.
Among those in attendance were retired Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales of Manila and Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato and Papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown.
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who administered the archdiocese until the installation of Advincula, said the appointment of their new archbishop was an answered prayer.
“Do not be afraid. We are ready, as always, to cooperate and collaborate with our shepherds. You are not in this alone,” Pabillo said.