Archbishop Palma: ‘Be grateful for 2019’

LOOK to the past with gratitude.

This was the message of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to the Catholic faithful for the New Year celebration.

“It is good to look back a bit to the past and thank the Lord for the many wonders of His love,” he said.

In 2020, Palma will be celebrating the 10th year of his appointment as Cebu archbishop. On Oct. 15, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI named Palma as the successor of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal.

The Archdiocese of Cebu, the prelate said, spearheaded big events in 2019, including its hosting of the National Youth Day last April, which gathered at least 12,000 Catholic youth.

Palma also mentioned Pope Francis’ appointment of then Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo as the new bishop of the diocese of Malolos, Bulacan in Luzon last May, calling it as Cebu’s gift to the Malolos diocese.

The year 2020, he said, is also the right time for the faithful and the archdiocese to prepare for the fifth centenary of Christianity in the Philippines.

Palma further said: “The year 2020 is also the launching of the many jubilees—the jubilee years of media people, professionals, doctors, the young, students, the sick, the poor and many others.”

Ecumenical events, including dialogues among religions and indigenous peoples, will also be prioritized by the Roman Catholic Church in 2020.

Palma urged the faithful to work for unity, regardless of race, religious orientations and age.

“We can all strive to become sisters and brothers and we can look at what unites us,” he said.

As 2019 saw several strife in the country and abroad, the archbishop urged the faithful to continue to seek peace by relaying the message of Pope Francis: “Peace is a great and precious value, the object of our hope and the aspiration of the entire human family... We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God and exercise in dialogue and mutual trust. The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this.” (KFD)