Finally, after two failed attempts: one in September and another in November 2020, Josephian priests, led by SJCBI President Fr. Gerard Ariston Perez, witnessed this year the imposition of the sacred pallium upon Tuguegarao Archbishop Most. Rev. Ricardo Baccay thru the hands of Nueva Segovia Archbishop Most. Rev. Marlo Peralta during the eucharistic celebration at the St. Peter Metropolitan Cathedral last January 14, 2021.
CECM Director Fr. Leifmark Butacan and Fr. Christian Dave Remudaro, parochial vicars of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, together with Sem. Jesly Lagua and Sem. Loren Jay Posiquit, CICM, attended also the sacred ceremony.
As representatives of the Josephian community, their presence is a show of support to Archbishop Baccay as he received his pallium. The pallium, taken from the tomb of Peter and blessed by the Pope, completed the installation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tuguegarao that took place exactly one year ago.
During the homily, Archbishop Peralta explained that the pallium represents not just Archbishop Baccay’s sharing with the responsibility of the Holy Father in governing the Church but also his unity with the Pope and the Magisterium.
The Nueva Segovian bishop also emphasized the responsibility to ‘shepherd the people of Christ’ of the one who wears the pallium, a piece of garment made out of sheep wool.
“[The] image of Christ as a Good Shepherd somehow shows Archbishop Ric what it means to wear a pallium…Christ is your model,” Archbishop Marlo said.
He also reminded the three main functions of a metropolitan Archbishop, namely ‘to teach’, ‘to sanctify’ and ‘to rule’. For him, the teaching ministry is about living what you preach.
“When it comes to teaching, it is easy to give seminars, it is easy to give lectures. But we all know that it is more important [and] more effective [to] practice our ministry of teaching by believing what we teach and practicing what we teach,” the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia added.
Turning to the clergy, His Excellency urged all priests of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao to have an oratory near their bedrooms to encourage them to spend more time in prayer.
“We have seen how this has born fruit in the lives of our priests, in terms of their pastoral ministry and their spiritual life,” the Ilocano bishop shared.
Also present at the event were the Archbishops emeriti Most Rev. Diosdado Talamayan and Most. Rev. Sergio Utleg.
Ilagan Bishop Most. Rev. David William Antonio and Tabuk Bishop Most. Rev. Prudencio Andaya also graced the occasion.
Before the event, the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, together with its suffragan dioceses, launched Missio 500, an ecology initiative of the Archdiocese, at the Arzobispado nat Tuguegarao grounds.
by Reagan De Leon