Aquino, Tagle, Pinto to attend mass to be celebrated by Cardinal Quevedo
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – All roads lead to Cotabato City as His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo on Tuesday will have his five-in-one celebration as the first Mindanao cardinal.
President Aquino, Manila Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, will be among his special guests.
A senior member of the missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation, Quevedo, who is turning 75 years old Tuesday, will have his thanksgiving mass at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral here, weeks after Pope Francis officially elevated him to the College of Cardinals together with 18 other bishops from other countries.
The new cardinal will also offer a thanksgiving mass for his golden anniversary as a priest and as bishop who served in various areas in the country.
The celebration also coincided with the jubilee year celebration in the Philippines of Quevedo’s congregation, the OMI.
The mass would be held at 4 p.m. to be followed by a testimonial dinner at Southseas Mall.
Cardinal Tagle, the first person who informed Quevedo that he had been named a prince of the Church by Pope Francis in late January, will deliver the homily.
Also expected to grace the occasion are bishops from all over the country, political leaders and friends of Cardinal Quevedo.
Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, Cotabato City police director, said security measures have been put in place for the event.
Quevedo is not only known as the first cardinal from Mindanao but as a defender of justice and peace on the island, a peace advocate and the brains behind the organization of the Ecclessial Community (BEC), the Catholic Church’s groupings of Catholic faithful at the grassroots level.
He defended and promoted justice and peace issues, grassroots empowerment, and the BECs during the Law years in the Diocese of Kidapawan where he risked his life against implementers of military rule.
In one of his media interviews, Quevedo had said that before his appointment as a cardinal was announced, he was already set to write his resignation letter as archbishop of Cotabato to Pope Francis, as provided for in the Canon Law that has mandated bishops to retire upon reaching 75 years old.
“When I informed the Papal Nuncio about it, he simply smiled and did not say anything,” Quevedo said.
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