Just like his episcopal motto Audiam: “I will listen,” newly installed Manila Archbishop of Cardinal Jose Advincula wants to be a listening shepherd to the flock entrusted to him in the Archdiocese of Manila.
“You must have heard something about me already, about my ministry as priest and bishop, and especially how I have tried to live up to my episcopal motto, Audiam – I will listen,” he said during his installation as the 33rd Archbishop of Manila, Thursday, June 25, at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.
“My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I have nothing new to tell you today, except my commitment to renew my heart’s desire to be a listening shepherd to the flock entrusted to my care: especially the priests, consecrated persons, and laity of the Archdiocese of Manila,” added Advincula.
He asked the faithful to pray for him so that he may have a heart after that of Christ, the Good Shepherd.
“Please pray for me that I may have a heart after that of Christ our Good Shepherd – a listening shepherd to Christ’s bidding– ever ready to suffer for and serve Christ’s sheep,” Advincula said.
“And Christ bids me to feed His sheep. Feeding Christ’s sheep implies knowing them and their needs,” he added.
Knowing them, Advincula said, implies listening to them, paying attention to the distinctive sound of every sheep.
He said for Pope Francis, it is a call to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”
The Cardinal said it is his ardent desire to listen to all especially to the lambs which represent the youth and other people in the peripheries.
“Because of less attention given them by the Church, their faith is as fragile as the health of a lamb – they are the first target of the marauding wolves. I cannot feed my flock unless I listen first to their needs, their longings,” said Advincula.
“While listening to them, I would be able to journey with them – in their sorrow and joy, in their suffering and glory – and collaborate work with them, to bring them closer to Christ,” he added.
“I pray that Christ grant me the grace to be a listening shepherd to His flock, so that I can journey with you and lead you all back to Christ our Good Shepherd,” said Advincula.
He thanked the faithful in his former dioceses, San Carlos and Capiz for teaching him how to be a listening shepherd but said “there are still a lot that I should learn.”
And so his appeal to the priests, consecrated persons and the laity of the Archdiocese of Manila is: “Let me be a listening shepherd to you all.”
“Let us learn from one another how to listen after the heart of Christ our Good Shepherd,” Advincula said.
Before the solemn installation and Mass at the cathedral, Cardinal Advincula together with the five city Mayors under the Archdiocese of Manila namely, Francisco Moreno Domagoso of Manila, Imelda Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay, Carmelita Aguilar-Abalos of Mandaluyong, Abigail Binay-Campos of Makati, and Francisco Javier Zamora of San Juan, had a civic reception for the new Archbishop at the Ayuntamiento, now the office of the Bureau of the Treasury.