Veritas PH

The WORD. The TRUTH.

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Thank you for coming. Thank you for praying. Thank you for walking with me towards God. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for testing me and challenging me. Thank you for correcting me and helping me to see our blessedness. Thank you for understanding me when I was weakest. Thank you for your kindness to me when I was confused. Thank you for the hurts and humiliations. You helped me purify myself.

Thank you for dreaming with me. Thank you for allowing me to love you. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for trusting me with your hurts and pains. Thank you for sharing with me your joys and triumphs. Thank you for inviting me to your meals. Thank you for your gifts even if there were no occasions. Thank you for your letters and phone calls to ask me “How are you?” Thank you for your text messages.

Your Eminence, thank you for ordaining me a priest fifteen years ago and ordaining me today as a bishop of the Church. Thank you for your love of God. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Church. Thank you for giving me the crozier that your great mentor Archbishop Antonio Maria Cuenco handed over to you. Thank you for your commitment to the nation. Thank you for suffering for us.

Sixteen years ago when you asked me to work for you, I saw in you a great man of faith, joy, and zealous service. That faith is still there, that inner joy I can still see, and that zest for service still inspires me. This time, though it is mixed with so much suffering. Your Eminence, you are a true servant of the Church. With my eyes, I captured your life. With your life, you captured my heart. You suffer for us, because of us, instead of us.

Your Eminence, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Your Excellency, Archbishop Franco and the Archbishops and Bishops of the Philippines, thank you for your presence and your heartwarming messages of welcome and encouragement. Please be patient with me should I stumble. I am still young. In fact, I am too young. Teach me how to become a shepherd. I look up to all of you for guidance and example.

My brother-priests, thank you for your steady support. I am and will always be, and only be Soc for you. I am only that. I am only Soc, your brother. God gave me the name Soc on the day of my baptism. By that name, God called me to follow Him. By that call we became brothers. Let us remain only that—brothers. Nothing can be better than that. Let us be brother-saints in the priesthood. Let us be saints together.

My beloved EDSA Shrine community, my one and only, I love you all. You met me as Father Soc almost twelve years ago. Let me be your father, only your father, always your father. If you grew in the faith at the EDSA Shrine, it is because of God. If I am a bishop now, it is because of God and you. EDSA Shrine, I love you!

Thank you, my loved ones from Pateros, my fellow Letranites, my brothers from San Carlos Seminary. Thank you, young people of the Church. Thank you, Nanay and family. You cannot see Tatay but I know you can feel him. Thank you for your silent support. Thank you for advising me and reminding me always to be a good priest. How hard it is to be a good priest. Now you have to pray that I be a good bishop. It is the love that you gave me as a child that has taught me to love everybody without cost, without measure, without favor.

I thank the honorable government officials led by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the two former presidents, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Hilario Davide, for their presence and prayers.

My thanksgiving will not end in words. I promise to translate my utang na loob to all of you by working for peace. For you, I offer this prayer:

Lord, I believe in peace because I believe in You. Help me to make peace and be ready to pay its price.

I will make peace through dialogue. I do not believe in peace without justice. I will make peace through love. I do not believe in peace without repentance. I will make peace through prayer. I do not believe in peace without You.

In a culture obsessed with power, popularity, and promotion, peace cannot thrive;

In a Church where uniformity is mistaken for unity, where gossip prevails over dialogue, and rituals are devoid of sacrifice, peace cannot be born;

In a society where people get rich without work and commerce is conducted without morality, peace cannot survive;

In a school where knowledge is separated from character and science is learned divorced from humanity, peace becomes the victim.

In my life, may the world receive the peace of Jesus. Let my life be for peace. When I die or if they kill me as they killed Jesus, may the world receive new peace in my sacrifice. Amen.

Episcopal Ordination
August 31, 2001

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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