Jaro cathedral becomes late Archbishop Lagdameo’s final resting place
ILOILO CITY—The ashes of retired Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo were laid to rest on Tuesday at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, where he served for 18 years.
Jaro Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo celebrated the funeral Mass with other archbishops, bishops, Lagdameo’s family, clergy, and laity.
Archbishop John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, conveyed the condolences and message of Pope Francis.
Lagdameo passed away on July 8 in a hospital in Iloilo City due to a lingering illness. His remains were cremated the following day.
“Amid our sadness, we are joyous because of our faith in resurrection and everlasting life. We hope that his journey will give us more strength in caring for our fellow human beings, especially the underprivileged, deprived and lost,” Lazo said in a statement.
The 81-year-old prelate, a native of Lucban town in Quezon province, served as archbishop of Jaro from March 2000 until he retired in 2018. The Jaro Archdiocese, one of the biggest and most prestigious, has 92 parishes.
Lagdameo also served two terms as president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines from 2005 to 2009.
Priests celebrated Lagdameo’s life as a charismatic leader who was known for his wit and humor.
Lagdameo can “harness laughter to become a blessing of healing, hope, and transformation,” said Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones in his homily.
He said Lagdameo kept a black pocket-sized notebook where he wrote down text jokes and text messages.
The jokes and text messages range “from the irreverent and naughty to the most sublime and holy.”
The entries were numbered and annotated with the sender’s names and date.
“That’s how organized he was,” Billones said.
Billones also recalled how Lagdameo faced challenges when he implemented the first total reshuffling of the clergy in the archdiocese, which drew opposition from some priests.
In a statement sent to the INQUIRER, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, who served as Jaro auxiliary bishop, said Lagdameo was a much sought-after speaker “because of his progressive, prophetic and bold leadership.”
“He was a patient listener and he was a good mentor who prepared me well…by word and above all by example…,” Alminaza said.
Lagdameo’s life and service were also celebrated in the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Jaro Commission on Social Communications.
The posts include a video of Lagdameo singing one of his favorite songs “Handog” by folk singer Florante.