As I deliver this piece I cannot but recall how our beloved founder, St. John Bosco, showed his tender devotion towards his own bishop.
When he was still a young diocesan priest, Don Bosco never failed to speak about His Eminence Louis Fransoni, his archbishop, with reverence and love. Don Bosco always turned to him for advice whenever he was faced with difficulties in his ministry. He never embarked on any apostolate without the knowledge and consent from his archbishop.
With these recollections, I deliver this piece to you with a filial attitude like that of a son to his dear father.
This is the first time that I have met you, but ever since I was a young kid, I have already associated the archbishopric of Cebu to the name Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
Some years ago, If Sin spoke about a burning issue that had something to do about the country, people would be delighted to hear what Vidal of Cebu had to say.
One of our seminarians who hail from Cebu told me that he had the privilege to meet you last year, and he was awestruck by your holy persona: A majestic simplicity that is filled with peace and humility.
I did a little research about you and I realize that you mark your 25th year as the archbishop of Cebu this year.
It must have been tiring to serve the Church especially because we know that you're not getting younger each day. However, we know that Shepherds don't rest. They are always anxious to see that even the lowliest of his sheep is taken care of.
And we thank you, our dear Eminence, for being a shining example of how it is to live a life of service. We thank you for setting a good example of a leader who is sought by the people, not because of his position, but because people believe in his wisdom.
The Church is constantly in need of people like you. And we, the younger generation of ministers, are delighted to find icons from whom we can find a source of inspiration.
In our discussion of our Rules last week, our venerable Novice Master quoted the Canon Law about our primary duty as religious. The Church expects us to "pray and to contemplate God's presence."
And taking a cue from this let me end this piece with an assurance of our prayers for you and for the whole archdiocese.