MANILA, Philippines - Papal Nuncio Fernando Filoni says a church without a bishop cannot exist; neither can a bishop without a church.
The archdiocese of Tuguegarao, Cagayan got a new bishop when the Most Rev. Ricardo Lingan Baccay was ordained auxiliary bishop by Papal Nuncio Filoni on April 10 in the city's Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Peter.
At least 3,000 people, including almost 150 priests and 12 bishops, attended.
The rector of the San Jacinto Minor Seminary, Bishop Baccay became the youngest Catholic bishop in the Philippines at age 46. April 10 was also his 20th anniversary as a priest.
He was ordained in 1987 by Bishop Diosdado Talamayan, who became archbishop of Tuguegarao on April 10, 1986. The archbishop's friends Bea Zobel, Maribel Ongpin, Mercy Tuason, Carmen Carag and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile attended Bishop Baccay's ordination.
April 10 seems to be significant in the history of Tuguegarao. The Holy See made it a diocese in 1910, separating it from the archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.
In 1975, it became an archdiocese with the late Most Rev. Teodolfo Domingo as first archbishop. Today, the archdiocese has 43 parishes and has ordained 80 priests.
All priests in Cagayan are devoted to Our Lady of Piat, according to Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, rector of the Ermita de San Jacinto. Fr. Aquino offered his priesthood to the Virgin when he was ordained in 1987.
Bishop Baccay is also a devotee. His coat of arms bears the letter "M." On the first Sunday of the month, he says Mass at the Basilica of Piat.
Litany in Ibanag
When the new bishop prostrated himself in front of the altar, the Litany of Saints was sung in Ibanag with Alboy Narag as cantor. It was composed by the late Msgr. Narciso Allag.
The choir consisted of the Coro de Jacinto and the St. Paul University Chorale, with Sister Corazon Querubin, SPC, as director. Fr. Aquino conducted and provided accompaniment.
Coro de Jacinto, with Dr. Ramon Pinson as president, is a choir of professionals that aims to bring Christ's message in song. Soloists were Dr. Amy Mamba and Doy Golayan.
Fr. Andy Dumangan sang the Responsorial Psalm. "The Priest," sung during the "Kiss of Peace," was composed by Fr. Lacordaire, a Dominican priest in the 19th century.
Father to all
Using his motto "Pater Benignus Ad Omves," which means "father to all," the new Bishop thanked the people of Tuguegarao, his birthplace, for the chance to serve them and to share with them their burdens. He also assured his brother priests he would be there for them.
He said, "Never will I give up on my brother priests. Never will I give up on a weak layman."
He thanked his mother Filomena and paid homage to his late father Jacinto who encouraged him to be a priest.
In the evening, after the reception prepared by Msgr. Ben Lasam, the Tennis Club of Tuguegarao, to which Samia and Dev Henrage belonged, performed song and dance numbers at the Bishop's Palace. Bishop Baccay is a club member, playing tennis at the court beside the cathedral.
Anniversary: The religious order Eucharistic Healers of Mary will mark its seventh anniversary with a Holy Mass at 6 p.m., April 26, at its formation house, 43 Morning Star Drive, Sanville Vilage, Culiat, Quezon City. Celebrant is founder Archbishop Talamayan.
Fr. Lorenzo Marzo, its first priest and formator, said the order needed financial help. Their house was getting overcrowded with 12 seminarians and one deacon. They needed to rent another house. Please text Fr. Marzo at 0918-7171017.
Former Miss Caltex Elsa Payumo donated her winnings of P1.175 million in the TV game show "Deal or No Deal" to the Buklod ng Pag-ibig Community, where she is an elder, to complete the roof of its building on Balete Drive Ext., New Manila.
We knew Elsa in the '70s as the glamorous beauty queen and travel agent who was then one of Manila's most eligible bachelorettes.
She now looks so happy and peaceful, having dedicated herself to the Lord by being a servant leader.
Her friend Sandra Mijares, who also belongs to the community and gives recollections, feels the same way, too. Text her at 0920-9122487.
Elsa trusts in the Lord's promise found in Zephaniah 3:20: "The time is coming. I will bring your scattered people home; I will make you famous throughout the world and make you prosperous once again."
For schedule of Life in the Spirit seminars and healing Masses, text Elsa at 0920-8220537 or call 7247546 or search www.buklodngpagibig.com
The new roof was completed April 15, thanks to Elsa and other generous sponsors. Buklod ng Pag-ibig Community was founded by Fr. Pascual Adorable, SJ, 35 years ago. Its anniversary is Nov. 18.
Pilgrims are gathering in Manaoag, Pangasinan to attend Novena Masses for Our Lady of Manaoag's fiesta on April 25, third Wednesday after Easter. Hourly Masses are held from 5 a.m. to 12 noon. Another Mass is at 4:30 p.m. Procession is at 5 p.m., April 25, after a 4 p.m. Mass. The Mass at 6 a.m., April 22, will be aired live by RPN 9. Fr. Rafael Quejada, OP, is celebrant.
Concert: Dr. Bob Aquino, a devotee of the Holy Face of Jesus, is organizing a concert where celebrities will give testimonies of the Holy Face in their lives. "Sail On" is set for 7 p.m., April 27, at the SM Pampanga Cinema One. Text 0919-6036498. Tickets are at P300 each.
Exhibit: The Kahayag Community Cultural Foundation of South Cotabato will be the beneficiary of Tito Parayno Estrada's one-man art exhibit "Capiz" April 23-27 at the Podium Lounge, Podium Mall, Ortigas Center.
Kahayag aims to nurture the cultural diversity of the province through the Kahayag Community Dance and Theater Company.
Feast day: The people of Las Piñas will celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, whom they call "Tata Husep," on May 6, first Sunday of May.
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