ANTIPOLO CITY, June 28, 2013—The Antipolo Cathedral could not contain the crowd of an estimated 2,000 people who gathered there last June 25 to celebrate the Antipolo diocese’s 30th anniversary.
In his message of thanks, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes was particularly moved by the sacrifices of time and energy the people made to be there.
“We want to thank the people who came, those who are here now to attend the anniversary. A lot of you there at back are standing, while we are sitting here in front,” Bishop Reyes said.
Special mention was also made of the basic ecclesial communities or the “Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano” (MSK) who were at the festivities in full force.
He also expressed his gratitude to his brother priests and bishops who came, “even if they knew they would not be the main celebrant [of the mass].”
Aside from Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who presided over the Eucharistic celebration to celebrate the anniversary, several bishops from nearby and not-so-near dioceses were present like Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado , Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Pasig Bishop Hubert Mylo Vergara, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Kalookan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez, and Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen.
More than just ‘successes’
During his homily Cardinal Tagle reminded the faithful, the “fruits” of the diocese are not simply “successes or achievements”, but are seen in “remaining in the Lord.”
He also challenged everyone to continue bearing the fruits of the faith they have received, to celebrate it, and to follow the example of Mary, the Virgin of Antipolo.
Aside from the thanksgiving mass, a photo exhibit on the history of the diocese and a commemorative display of artifacts, images and other historical documents from various churches in the diocese are on display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage grounds.
Formally opened last June 21, the exhibit will run until August 31, 2013.
The Diocese of Antipolo was established on June 25, 1983 to better serve the growing Catholic population in the area, which is estimated to be more than 3 million at present. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz with reports from Fr. Joel Francis Victorino]