LIPA City, April 12, 2011?The Archdiocese of Lipa ended its year-long Centennial celebration with a solemn Mass presided by Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles together with other bishops.
Concelebrating with Arguelles were two former Lipa Archbishops Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of Manila and Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu; CBCP Vice President and current Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, 30 other prelates and about 200 diocesan and religious priests from the archdiocese.
Before the 3:00 p.m. Mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral grounds, Archbishop Arguelles unveiled a historical marker from the National Historical Institute, represented by its Executive Director Ludovico Badoy.
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, both Batanguenos, assisted Archbishop Arguelles in the simple unveiling rites. Cardinal Rosales presided over the markerâ€™s blessing.
His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal also presided over the blessing of a wall marker, earlier unveiled by Lipa Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Salvador Quizon and Lipa City Mayor Meynard Sabili.
Archbishop Arguelles, in his homily, traced Lipaâ€™s history as St. Pope Pius X established it along with Zamboanga, Tuguegarao and Calbayog as separate dioceses in 1910. The Prefecture of Palawan was also established in the same year.
The evangelization of Southern Tagalog began with the first missionaries that accompanied Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo, who both undertook various expeditions around Lake Taal, from where the evangelization of the different nearby provinces started.
â€œAfter Cebu, (the province of) Batangas can boast of having served as gateway of the Gospel to these islands of evangelical importance,â€ he said.
He also referred to the â€œGlorious Crossâ€ which his predecessor, Archbishop Rosales, launched during the Great Jubilee Year 2000 which had two sides, the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family.
â€œHardly did anyone imagine that ten years later, during the local Jubilee, the focus will again be the Glorious Cross,â€ he said.
He added the whole ecclesial province was drawn to a deeper reflection on the depth of the mystery of Consecratio ad Trinitatem Sanctam and Transformatio ut Sancta Familia.
The archbishop invited the faithful to prepare for the next centennial event as he urged them to become steadfast in carrying out three â€œmissionsâ€ that requires Sanctification, Evangelization and Communion.
A dinner-reception at the Lipa City Youth Center followed the liturgical celebration. The Lipa Diocesan Catholic Schools Association (LIDICSA) took charge of the program and video presentation. (Fr. Nonie Dolor/CBCPNews)