Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle bid farewell to his hometown of Imus in Cavite on January 20, 2020, before his expected transfer to Rome, reported CBCP News.
In a Mass at Our Lady of the Pillar, he thanked all those who attended the celebration, including some public officials.
“This kind of celebration gives me strength,” a teary-eyed Cardinal Tagle said.
It was the same cathedral where the cardinal was baptized a Catholic, and where he was ordained priest in 1982 and bishop in 2001.
“From here, I will be an overseas Filipino worker (OFW),” he said. “Please continue praying for me, especially for Pope Francis.”
The cardinal is expected to assume his post as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome early this year.
Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista of Imus announced that Pope Francis will soon appoint a new leader for the Manila archdiocese.
“Manila will have a new archbishop as our cardinal will take a bigger role in the Church,” he told the congregation, including the diocese’s clergy.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle has warned against the tendency of self-promotion, saying that mission without spirituality has no value.
According to him, even good deeds without the right disposition lacks purpose.
“Mission is spirituality. We might be doing something but not a mission,” he said.
The cardinal also stressed that there is a link between action and spirituality. “We can’t also have spirituality without action,” he said.
Also present during the Mass were retired Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa and the cardinal’s parents.
Cardinal Tagle is expected to attend the bishops’ plenary assembly in Manila on Jan. 25 to 27.
He will also lead the 7th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City on Jan. 28 to 29.
A brainchild of the cardinal, the PCNE was introduced in 2013 as a local response to the call of the new evangelization.
PCNE is normally held in July.
Since Tagle is reportedly set to assume his new Vatican post in February, the PCNE was moved to January.