Rev. Fr. Rolly Garcia, our chaplain; beloved brother priests and deacons; the administrators and staff of Powerplant Mall, dearly beloved in Christ,
It gives me great joy to join your community in thanking the Lord for the gift of a new chaplain here at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapel in the person of Fr. Rolly Garcia.
Pope Francis envisions the Church as a Church of closeness, tenderness, and mercy. The Church with the smell of the sheep, with open doors. The Church which goes forth, that enlarges the space of her tent. This chaplaincy aims at bringing the church closer to the people, not just in terms of “physical space” but more so in the “lived space.”
The church wants to be close to you. She wants to accompany you where you are and whenever you need her maternal guidance. Fr. Rolly is assigned here so that he can minister to your spiritual needs. The sacraments will be available here so that you can be nourished in your faith.
The Sacred Heart Chapel is a “spiritual oasis” in the heart of the city of Makati. The spiritual nourishment provided by this church is a great service to the employees and working people of Makati, to those who live in urban spaces, and to those who come here for relaxation and leisure. A remarkable number of people come here to attend Mass, go to confession, participate in activities, or simply sit and find peace in the presence of Jesus.
Fr. Rolly, congratulations on your installation. Thank you for accepting this assignment. Earlier, during the rite of installation, you professed your faith. You made your oath. You renewed your priestly promises. That was Jesus’ way of asking you, “Do you love me?” Thank you for saying “Yes.” Jesus then tells you, “Feed my sheep.”
While the priestly ministry is indeed a task that we are to fulfill conscientiously, may we not reduce it to a mere obligation. Fr. Rolly, let your priestly ministry be borne of your intimate encounter with our merciful Lord. While it is true, that bearing the sheep on our shoulders includes carrying the cross, this synodal and compassionate shepherding is not a burden to us because we are to serve out of love. Strive to echo Saint Peter’s response to the merciful invitation of the Risen Lord, “You know, Lord, that I love you” (John 21:15-17). Like Saint Paul, we gratefully recognize that we are entrusted with ministry because we know that we are first and forever mercifully loved by our Lord amid our human failing and frailty (cf. 1 Tim 1:12-17).
My dear people of God, this rite of entrusting this chaplaincy to a new shepherd is a manifestation of God’s never-ending care for his flock. Your pastor is a reminder of God’s love for his people, a fulfillment of his promise that he will continue to send shepherds after his own heart. We entrust to your care Fr. Rolly. Love him and take care of him. Teach him to be a good priest. Your deep faith in God, your fidelity to prayer, your daily struggle to be faithful, your love and concern for the church and for each other, will help Fr. Rolly to be a good shepherd to this community.
We entrust your new shepherd and the whole community to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the maternal embrace of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)