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LGU Naga, CamSur officials welcome Caceres’ 5th archbishop

By Ana-liza Macatangay

IN a collaborative welcome ceremony, following the Archdiocese of Caceres’ liturgical reception of His Grace, Archbishop Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D. held Wednesday, May 1, the provincial government of Camarines Sur and City of Naga jointly presented a resolution in welcoming the new archbishop.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines, in a collective motion, adopted Resolution No.340, series of 224, to extend gratitude and express profound respect to His Grace, Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D., on his assumption as the new Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Caceres.

In his speech, Camarines Sur Governor Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte expressed that the civic reception, serving as a precursor to the solemn canonical ceremony, stirs a “profound sense of nostalgia within him.”

“This ceremony does not only celebrate the arrival of the new leaders in the Archdiocese of Caceres, but also fosters a deep connection between our family and the church. My family’s history of having welcomed the previous archbishops of the Archdiocese of Caceres, fills me with immense gratitude and excitement as I am given the golden opportunity to welcome His Grace His Grace, Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon,” Villafuerte said.

The governor also expressed his full support to upcoming church endeavors under Alarcon’s stewardship.

“Through his spiritual leadership and insights, I hope to deepen my own faith and find solace and strength in the face of adversity. I believe that by embracing the principles of faith, and working in harmony with the church, we can create a more just, compassionate, and prosperous future for the people of Camarines Sur,” the governor added.

Naga City Mayor Nelson S. Legacion also emphasized the deep connection between the city government and the Archdiocese of Caceres. Dubbed the Pilgrim City, the biggest Marian event and the successful observance of the annual feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia have been attributed to the collaborative effort and mutual dedication between the city and the archdiocese.

“It is with great pleasure and honor that we, the local government unit of Naga, extend our heartfelt congratulations, and best wishes and welcome Most Reverend Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D., the new Archbishop designate of the Diocese of Caceres. We are always grateful for the profound relationship that exists between our local government and the Diocese of Caceres, a relationship that is built on a foundation of mutual respect, collaboration, and shared commitment to the well-being of our community,” Legacion said.

As a testament to their appreciation and gesture of gratitude, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod presented Resolution No. 2024-176, welcoming Alarcon as the 5th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Caceres.

“As we embark on this new chapter with Archbishop designate Alarcon at the helm, I am filled with hope and optimism for the future of our partnership. Your leadership, wisdom, and unwavering commitment to serving the people of Naga and the Diocese of Caceres inspire all of us. I am confident that under your guidance, our partnership will continue to thrive, and together, we will overcome any challenges that may lie ahead,” Legacion added.

Following their respective addresses, Villafuerte and Legacion handed a symbolic key to Alarcon to entrust the archbishop with the trust and responsibility of overseeing the community, particularly in its spiritual journey.

“This is also our commitment to pray for you. We are open to dialogue. I, as Archbishop, am open to dialogue, to discussions. We have come to a time where we need synergy, interdependence, and collaboration; that we must resist working in silos because the phenomena that we face cannot be overcome by a single individual or by a single group. It requires the confluence, the collaboration of people,” Alarcon said.

Alarcon officially assumed post at the new archbishop of Caceres and was formally installed as the 5th Metropolitan Archbishop following his installation and canonical possession held Thursday, May 2 at the St. John the Evangelist Parish and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The momentous occasion was attended by religious organizations comprising 7 male religious congregations and 23 women religious communities in the Archdiocese of Caceres.

His Excellency, the Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines who served as installing prelate, shared the Holy Father’s contemplation on the vocation of service, as shared in March 2023. He drew a parallel between this reflection and the motto Servus Tuus Sum chosen by Alarcon.

His Excellency, the Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines (left) during the solemn installation and canonical possession of His Grace, Most Reverend Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D. held Wednesday, May 2 at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. (Photo credit || Archdiocese of Caceres)

“Last year, in March of 2023, the Holy Father, Pope Francis was reflecting on the vocation of service and he said on March 15th in the general audience, he made the following statement, ‘The vocation that Jesus gives to everyone, but also to those who seem to be in the highest places is service. Serving others, humbling oneself.’ And isn’t that exactly what we have been experiencing in the beautiful liturgy this morning, this theme of service, and this wonderful liturgy of Installation and Canonical Possession-- and of course, as all of you know the motto chosen by His Grace, the Most Reverend Rex Andrew Alarcon, ‘Servus Tuus Sum’, I am your servant.”

Archbishop Brown , in his message, stressed that the calling Jesus extended, not only to those in the priestly vocation but also to those holding positions of great authority, is considered as service – serving others and humbling oneself. LSM/PIA5


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