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news & events
Aug. 25, 2013

Ten years today, Blessed John Paul II signed a document which would forever leave a landmark in the life of the Philippine Church. On June 28, 2013, the blessed pope signed the Apostolic Constitution Quo satius provideretur… (in order to provide for the spiritual good and guidance of Christ’s faithful) elevating what was then the Quezon City South District of the vast Archdiocese of Manila to a new diocese – the Diocese of Cubao.

Ten years by any institutional standards is too young to be celebrating, even to infantile to be even looking back. But we are consoled with the fact that when the Lord called us to be a diocese, He did not establish a corporate institution functioning in the world but as a Church, as a community of believers, as a guide for the faithful – as a city set on a hill. In truth we were born from the pierced side of Christ on the Cross. Even before its creation as a diocese, the Diocese of Cubao has been in the mind and heart of God. Jesus was praying for us with His first disciples during the Last Supper. He wants us to be His instrument to gather the scattered children of God which is the mission of the Church. Yes, God has destined us to be part of His saving plan. Yes we are meant to be a light and a sign in the world to guide, inspire and lead people to Him.

And, indeed after ten years of existence, we have much to be thankful for. It was like yesterday when, in taking our initial steps coupled with the adventures of growing, we took courage to begin setting the direction of our young church, we commenced setting diocesan policies, establishing programs not only for the spiritual good of our faithful but we also took strides in taking care of their temporal welfare. There were many challenges along our sojourn and what appeared to be impossible at times there were moments that shaped who we are as a church. After all, “the Church as God Himself foretold, is a flock where He would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, although ruled by human shepherds, are continuously led and nourished by Christ Himself.” (Lumen Gentium, 6). What is important, moreover, is to allow ourselves to be led by Him and that would not be easy. We asked to turn away from our comfort zones and to go into the deep (duc in altum) trusting the Lord of life.

But what could have sustained us through the years? FAITH! It was faith that we, like Mary who conformed herself to the will of God, responded to the Lord’s invitation ten years ago. By faith, we moved forward with the guidance of the spirit to journey towards our vision-mission, “a community of Christ-like disciples empowered and sent through effective servant-leadership moving towards becoming a Church of the poor”. And by this same faith we anticipate with much hope a future ever filled with the grace and providence of God’s incorrigible faith in our worth manifested in His love for us – this belief gives us the necessary strength to ever move forward.

Yes, we know who we are (sinners and weak) and where we come from, With St. John in the preceding verses of the gospel today, we repeat the words, “It is the Lord!” This is grace to recognize and proclaim Him! With Peter in the gospel, we can only say, “Lord you know everything, you know we love you.” God made His life and love flow through us into the world.

From roots to Fruits as our theme in our celebration, indicates, is quite telling. In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us that a tree is known by its fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit. While this gospel episode narrates our journey as a diocese from our origins to what we have become – it is more than a story of beginnings traced through an enumeration of achievements and trailblazing distinctions. It is a call for a deeper reflection on where we are truly rooted as a local church. Truly, “the Church is governed not according to the personal capacities of her members, but through an intimate union with Christ” (Apostolorum Succesores 6). It is therefore only through our close identification with Christ that we will be able to see with clarity our identity and life as a diocese – our roots. It is then at the very heart of our diocese, truly present and operative is Christ Himself – not just through the bishop and priests, not just through the religious, not just through the lay faithful but through within all of us, members of His body – members of His Church. It is then by judging the fruits – revealed through our pastoral priorities and agenda that we come to knowledge of our proximity to everything that is Christ-like. The higher then our hard work would lead us, the loftier and nobler our aspirations would allow us, deeper still, should our roots be firmly grounded in Christ – “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12) – the vine, where by only “remaining in Him will we ever bear much fruit” (Jn 15).

In our 10th Anniversary Prayer and Song, we sing and raise our voices to God for His mercy, light, life, and all His countless blessings. We are much blessed that our 10th year celebration comes at a time when the universal church observes the Year of Faith. That is also the challenge for us today. The call to rediscover our faith is a call of renewal of the Church. This is achieved through “the witness offered by the lives of believers… to radiate the word of truth” (Porta Fidei 6)

Cubao is a city set on a hill and a city set on a hill can never be hidden (civitas supra montem posita non abscondi). We are challenged more than ever to “radiate the word of truth,” guide the faithful by the light of faith we receive from Christ. But faith without charity bears no fruit (Porta Fidei, 14). We are them equally challenged not just for the Year of faith, not just for the anniversary of our diocese but for always, to “intensity the witness of charity” (Porta Fidei, 14) – the stewardship of love.

Quo satius provideretur, by these words, God designed to ordain what was to be the new diocese’s reason for being – the very moving force of this local church: in order to fully provide for the spiritual good and guidance of Christ’s faithful (spirituali bono atque regimini Christifidelium). While our 10th year anniversary may be celebrated therefore in many ways, eventually it boils down on how we have been faithful to this mandate.

When the cross of the Franciscan missionaries was planted in Cubao, faith took roots among our people, but it is only in charity, only in charity will we ever bear fruit – “fruits that will last.” (Jn 15)

May our Mother Mary intercede for us, bring us closer to her Son Jesus as we go forth renewed, to renew our nation, our world, our Church.


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