The key to understanding, Cardinal Jose Advincula Jr.—the first prince of the Church from Capiz—is found in his motto as bishop: ‘Audiam’, which means ‘I will listen’. File photo shows the new archbishop of Manila with Pope Francis in the Vatican.
MANILA — On his appointment by Pope Francis as the new archbishop of Manila just a few days before Holy Week, Cardinal Jose Advincula Jr. thanked the Pope for his confidence in him and quoted from the pontiff’s Lenten message of humility and charity.
The 68-year-old prelate, who was archbishop of Capiz before he was tapped to replace Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said that in Lent, people should be increasingly concerned with “speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation, and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn.”
Quoting from Pope Francis, the new Manila archbishop said: “In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the ‘living water’ of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes, and decisions of the followers of Christ,” he added.
It was only in November last year that the Pope named Advincula cardinal, making him the ninth Filipino to become a ‘prince of the Church’ in a ceremony held at the St. Peter’s Basilica.
Advincula was born in Dumalag, Capiz, and ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Capiz in 1976. He became the spiritual director of the St. Pius X Seminary, where he was also a professor and dean of education.
Advincula studied psychology at the De La Salle University in Manila and canon law at the University of Santo Tomas before obtaining a licentiate in canon law from the Angelicum in Rome. He previously served in the seminaries of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and in the regional seminary of Jaro.
In 1995, he was appointed rector of the St. Pius X Seminary of Capiz and became the defender of the bond, promoter of justice, and finally judicial vicar of the archdiocese. He was appointed Bishop of San Carlos in 2001. Ten years later, Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of his home province of Capiz.
As part of his elevation to cardinal last year, he was assigned the titular post of cardinal-priest of Parrochia San Vigilio in Rome. Last December, he was also appointed to the curial Congregation for the Clergy.
“Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives, and allowing him to ‘make his dwelling’ among us (cf. Jn 14:23). Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false—in order to open the doors of our hearts to the One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet ‘full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14): the Son of God, our Savior,” Advincula continued, still quoting from the Pope’s Lenten message.
As a final word, Advincula stressed that “to experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you (Is 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters,” he concluded. (AI|MTVN)