Thursday Dec, 01 2022 05:52:06 AM

Auxiliary bishop ordained for Zamboanga

Church • 08:00 AM Fri Aug 28, 2020

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Forty-six-year-old Moises Cuevas was ordained as Zamboanga’s newest auxiliary bishop on Monday, becoming the youngest Filipino bishop in active service.

The ordination was held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral before a limited group of attendees, as well as some bishops from Mindanao.

An auxiliary bishop assists the residential bishop, in this case Archbishop Romulo Dela Cruz, in meeting the pastoral and administrative concerns of the archdiocese.

Cuevas was ordained by Archbishop Dela Cruz, with Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz and Bishop Julius Tonel of Ipil as co-consecrators.

In his first address as bishop, he admitted feeling of “uncertainty and trepidation” as he took his new ecclesiastical task.

“But I take comfort that it’s not about me but about God,” said Cuevas, who chose “Your rod consoles me,” as his episcopal motto.

The ordination was also witnessed by five other bishops, dozens of priests, nuns, seminarians and lay people.

In his homily, Bishop Ronald Lunas of Pagadian reflected on Cuevas’ episcopal motto and emphasized that ‘a bishop is a shepherd and a sheep at the same time’.

While a bishop takes care of the flock, Lunas said that a shepherd also “needs the Lord to protect and guide him”.

“A bishop is a shepherd and a sheep. Let this be now and always,” Luna said.

Typically, an ordination Mass draws dozens of bishops and massive churchgoers. In contrast, only 50 percent of the church’s seating capacity was allowed for the gathering in the city, which is under the modified general community quarantine status due to coronavirus pandemic.

Cuevas, who had been serving as the Zamboanga cathedral’s parish priest, was appointed auxiliary bishop by Pope Francis in March, assigning him the titular see of Maraguia.

He is the fourth auxiliary bishop of the southern Philippine archdiocese with about a million population, around 70 percent of which are Catholics.

Born in Batangas City, Bishop Cuevas took his philosophy at the Pastor Bonus Seminary in Zamboanga and theology at the Regional Major Seminary in Davao City.

He was ordained a priest for the Zamboanga archdiocese in 2000, at the age of 27.

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