My dear People of God in the Archdiocese of Manila:
After more than one year of being sede vacante, we rejoice in thanksgiving to God for the gift of a new shepherd to our local Church, His Eminence Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, who will be the 33rd Archbishop of Manila. He comes to us with his episcopal motto, Audiam, I will listen, which is derived from the response of the young Samuel to the call of God, “speak, Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:10). As a listening shepherd, Cardinal Advincula invites us to be a listening Church, a community of faith that is always ready to heed and obey the will of God revealed to us in the Scriptures, in the teachings of the Church, in the liturgy and prayer, in the community, in the least of our brothers and sisters, in creation, and in our daily experiences.
The solemn installation of our new Archbishop will be on June 24, 2021, the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist, at 8:30 in the morning, at the Manila Cathedral. On this day, we also celebrate the 450th anniversary of the founding of the City of Manila and of the first parish in Manila that will later become the Manila Cathedral.
The following day, June 25, at 9:00 in the morning, Cardinal Advincula will preside at a Mass with the representatives of the laity and young people in the Archdiocese of Manila. On June 26, at 5:00 in the afternoon, he will pray the Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) with the religious men and women. And on June 27 morning, he will visit the community of Maricaban in Pasay City and celebrate Sunday Mass at the Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted Parish.
Because there are pandemic-related limitations on the capacity of churches these days, we invite you to join the live broadcast of these celebrations on the cable channels of TV Maria and on our Archdiocesan and parish social media pages.
I also invite you to a 9-day spiritual preparation from June 15 to June 23. Let three elements mark this novena:
- Prayer: Let us spend these days listening to God in prayer. In our Masses during the novena, we will use special Mass formularies in line with the theme for the day. We will also pray the Prayer of Thanksgiving for a New Archbishop after the Post-Communion Prayer of the Mass. On the evening of June 23, we encourage all parishes and communities to spend an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and pray together for Cardinal Advincula.
- Catechesis: Let us spend these days listening to the teachings of the Church. Let us study and reflect on the mystery of the Church, the role of the bishop, and the realities of the Archdiocese of Manila. Our Commission on Catechesis and Education is preparing short catechetical video presentations on these topics which we could show before our Masses.
- Charity: Let us spend these days listening and responding to the cries of the poor. We ask all parishes to dedicate some days during the novena to organize activities that would promote charity and generosity, like feeding programs, distributing of food bags or gift certificates. Caritas Manila will distribute gift certificates for 50,000 families (worth PhP 50 M) to the parishes. Let this be a gift of Cardinal Advincula to our needy brethren in the Archdiocese.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you, especially our priests and lay leaders, for your collaboration and support during the 16 months that I was tasked to administer the Archdiocese. Through prayer and hard work, we were able to carry out the Lord’s mission, especially during this challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the coming of our new Archbishop, let us pledge to him our filial obedience and love.
Yours truly in Christ Jesus,
+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO
Apostolic Administrator of Manila
9 June 2021