MALOLOS City, Bulacan, Oct. 20, 2016 – The remains of Bishop Emeritus Cirilo R. Almario, Jr. D.D., the second Bishop of Malolos, was laid to rest at the crypt of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Minor Basilica (Malolos Cathedral) in this city Wednesday, Oct. 19 after a 2:00 p.m. funeral Mass and Rite of Committal presided over by Malolos Bishop Jose F. Oliveros, D.D.
“Bishop Cirilo rendered us [a] ministry of presence,” said the prelate in the vernacular. In his homily, Oliveros reflected upon two characteristics of Almario, which he said he personally witnessed.
Oliveros mentioned that Almario was “always present” in diocesan events, especially during recollections, ordinations, and seminary activities. “Bishop Cirilo always came ahead of time, and I would see him praying in the chapel,” shared Oliveros.
‘Ministry of suffering’
He reminisced that their last encounter was on his birthday this year, Sept. 11. Almario concelebrated at the thanksgiving Mass to mark the event.
“Bishop Cirilo rendered the ministry of silent suffering,” added the prelate. He said that amid old age and sickness, Almario did not complain. “He willingly suffered in silence,” said Oliveros.
Further, Oliveros also said that Almario was a “man of the Word of God”. Almario served as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate as well as Asian Representative and Vice Moderator of the World Federation for the Biblical Apostolate.
The deceased prelate had also authored books on the Sacred Scriptures: “Araling Pambiblia”, “Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels,” “Jesus in the Fourth Gospel”, among others.
After the communion prayer, Msgr. Pablo Legaspi read the burial document, which contained biographical data and details of Almario’s ministry, especially his contributions to the Diocese of Malolos such as founding three local congregations, Catholic schools, and the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary.
The document also states, “He was regarded and known to be as a caring and kind-hearted shepherd who knows the sheep of his flock by name, especially his clergy and seminarians.”
Almario died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 14.
Aside from Oliveros, present during the funeral were 10 bishops, including Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D., former Bishop of Malolos and now Archbishop of Caceres, more than 120 priests and deacons from Malolos, other dioceses and religious congregations. Almario’s relatives, members of the religious congregations he founded, the religious serving in the Diocese of Malolos, and lay faithful from the diocese filled the Malolos Cathedral for the funeral. (Arvin Ray Jimenez / CBCPNews)