Gift giving to the one we love is the best expression of that love. This was exemplified by God Himself when He sent His only Son to become man to later die on the cross to save mankind. That He sent Him to be born just a few days before New Year makes ushering and welcoming the new year doubly significant because now man can look forward to it with the assurance of salvation.
Something new always brings the message of hope, a renewal of strength, vim, vigor and vitality. Anything new adds life to whatever we do. This is what happened and is happening to the journey of the Church and the people that make it in the Diocese of Tagbilaran. For 75 years now the Diocese of Tagbilaran saw six (6) bishops leading it one after the other and each one bringing and inspiring new hope to the faithful guided only by the word of God.
Last Friday, this diocese that has earned a name for having produced the most number of priests in the country, has once more been gifted by God with its 7th Bishop in the person of Bishop Alberto ‘Abet’ Uy, a true Boholano with Chinese descent.
Bishop Uy who was ordained bishop by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila only last Thursday, January 5, 2017 in the Diocese of Talibon, where he served as Vicar General, was immediately installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran the following day. He succeeds Bishop Leonardo Medroso who has reached the age of retirement but who is very much up and around spreading the Gospel of Jesus.
What is there to hope for and look forward to in the ministry or administration of Bishop Abet Uy? Bishops have their personal coat of arms. As for Bishop Abet’s coat of arms, at the base of it is inscribed “OMNIA FACIO PROPTER EVANGELIUM.” It means “I do everything for the sake of the Gospel.” This will be the character and personality of the Bishops ministry and will serve as his guiding light in carrying out his episcopal responsibility in the coming years.
This coat of arms will be very significant and will play a great role especially since the Church has decreed 2017 as the Year of the Parish. A fresher look may be directed towards how our parishes are faring in bringing the Gospel to each Christian family with the help of the basic ecclesial communities (BEC) or Gagmayng Simbahanong Katilingban (GSK).
Year 2 (last year) of the Diocesan Five-Year Pastoral Program to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee was focused on Pamilyang Bol-anon described in a book Katesismo Pamilyang Bol-anon that contains 26 sections that are supposed to be taught and explained to every family in the GSK cluster.
I don’t know what happened to the other parishes and their GSK clusters, but in mine I only remembered having attended one cluster meeting to discuss and learn the teachings in the sections of the book. I hope what has happened to my GSK cluster is an exception to the overall situation in other GSKs and parishes.
Nevertheless a closer look at the GSKs and how they perform as arms and instruments of the Gospel may be necessary. With a new shepherd who is young, full of enthusiasm and charisma we hope to see the Diocese of Tagbilaran not only sustaining its high place in the hierarchy of the Church but excelling even more in bringing each Catholic Christian family to live an demonstrate their faith in their actions everyday of their life. A success in this means solving the myriad of problems that weigh down the Filipino and Boholano society.
To our dear friend Bishop Leonardo Medroso, as you retire, may you continue to have a full life ahead in the vineyard of the Lord.
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