Rosales to be ordained cardinal at Vatican today
- Edu Punay () - March 24, 2006 - 12:00am
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales is set to receive his official appointment as cardinal today in a consistory at Vatican City in Rome, Italy.

In a ceremony facilitated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Paul VI Auditorium, Rosales will receive his red cap and be formally elevated to the College of Cardinals along with 14 other newly appointed cardinals from other countries.

The new cardinals will then make a courtesy call on the Pope at 4:30 p.m. before they attend a dinner celebration for the birthday of former Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Antonio Franco.

Tomorrow, a Mass will be celebrated for the new cardinals at St. Peter’s Basilica where they will be bequeathed their cardinal rings and have lunch with the Holy Father.

Cardinal Rosales will lead on Sunday a thanksgiving Mass with Filipino priests and migrants in Italy at Santa Maria Maggiore and also meet with Ambassador to Vatican City Leonida Vera.

Rosales will have an audience with the Pope on Monday before he flies back to Manila on Wednesday night.

Before the Manila archbishop left for Rome last March 17, he met with journalists and confessed that he felt unworthy of his new assignment and incompetent "in the sense of the expectation of some people but not incompetent in the sense of what God wants me to do."

Rosales, who expressed eagerness to meet with the Pope, was joined by his staff, including Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Sr. Elsa Belen, and Fr. Genaro Diwa, Minister of the Ministry of Liturgical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila.

The delegation that will witness the consistory also includes members of the Board of Consultors and some priests of the Archdiocese of Manila; bishops headed by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu; Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; some bishops of the suffragans of the Metropolitan See of Manila; his relatives led by his three sisters and two brothers, some of whom will be coming from the United States where they reside; and lay leaders headed by former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa.

Immediately after Rosales arrived in Rome, he went on retreat at the convent of the Little Sisters of Jesus in Tre Fontane until last Tuesday.

In Manila, priests of the Archdiocese of Manila and its suffragan dioceses showed their support for Rosales in a retreat yesterday at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City.

The retreat was also held to celebrate the 48th priestly anniversary of the new cardinal.

In his circular to priests of the archdiocese issued before he left for Rome, Cardinal Rosales encouraged priests to "attend the recollection and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in your minds and hearts His wonder and grace."

Rosales tasked the archdiocese’s priests to reflect on the upcoming celebration of Holy Week.

The new cardinal also called on members of the clergy "to be in solidarity, in prayer and thanksgiving to God for the wonderful gift of the priesthood that He has given us."

The recollection was led by three of the country’s leading theologians: Imus, Cavite Bishop Antonio Tagle, former Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani and Fr. Catalino Arevalo.

A Mass highlighted the event with Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez as main celebrant.

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