By Leslie Ann Aquino
It was in October, 2013 when Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle initiated the holding of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization. Since then, the event has become an annual gathering .
On Wednesday, Tagle attended his last PCNE as he will soon leave the country to assume his new post in the Vatican.
The cardinal was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples by Pope Francis last December.
Being his last, PCNE organizers and participants paid tribute to him before and after the concluding Mass.
“Minamahal naming cardinal, bilang bayan ng Diyos, kami naman ang magsusugo sayo,” Fr. Carlo del Rosario, parochial vicar of San Fernando de Dilao Parish, said.
“We will not say goodbye. There are no goodbyes in the language of mission because for us disciples and missionaries, home is not about familiar places and faces. Home is where God sends us to (to do) mission. Home is where we do God’s will,” he added.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat sa inyo. Ang PCNE ay hindi tungkol sa akin lalo na itong PCNE7. Ito ay tungkol aa ating natanggap sa Panginoon na panawagan at misyon na atin po sanang isaloob at isagawa,” said Tagle.
He also took the opportunity to ask forgiveness for his shortcomings.
“Patawarin niyo po at pagpasensyahan ang aking kamalian, pagkukulang sa isip, salita, gawa…at sa mga bagay na dapat ginawa pero kulang,” Tagle said.
At the end of the mass, participants were given an image of the Sto. Niño and a bottle of holy water.
The country will celebrate in 2021 the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity.