Papal Nuncio to grace Peñafrancia Fiesta - Archbishop Tirona
By Myrna S. Bermudo
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Most Rev. Charles John Brown, DD, will be the main celebrant and preacher during the mass after the Fluvial procession on September 16, 2023.
This was announced by Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona, OCD, DD, during the Peñafrancia Joint Operations Center Coordination Meeting and Memorandum of Agreement Signing at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Balatas Road, Pilgrim City of Naga, August 2.
“He will be joining the pagoda,” said the Caceres Archbishop.
This was the message of Archbishop Tirona to the Peñafrancia Joint Operations Center Coordination Meeting for Peñafrancia Fiesta 2023:
“For Divino Rostro festivities, the theme is a Renewed Church, journeying with Christ, through Christ and in Christ, while the theme for the solemn Peñafrancia Fiesta is Journeying with Ina in deepening our relationship with God in these challenging times.
Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona, OCD, and Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, pose for a group photo after the Peñafrancia Multi-Agency Joint Operations Center Coordination Meeting and Memorandum of Agreement Signing at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Balatas Road, Pilgrim City of Naga, August 2, 2023. (CCCOM photo)
If you noticed, there is a recurring theme of journey. The church would like to remind the faithful that we are in journey as we reach our final destiny. And the quality of the journey depends a lot in our relationship with the Blessed Mother and with God. We would like to highlight the faith dimension of our fiesta celebration.
Yes, it is a civic and religious celebration but imminently, it is a religious celebration. And there are three aspects of the celebration: the first is communion - we commune ourselves with God, and we commune ourselves as believers as a community. The second is collaboration, investing our talents, our resources to give Ina a worthy celebration. Also to exhibit to other pilgrims how devotees celebrate with collaboration and cooperation. This is no place for competition. We are asked not to compete but to complete each other. We collaborate and that “L” is love, charity. Because, a celebration without charity, is meaningless in the eyes of God. And the last is: Celebration. We celebrate. We celebrate worthily in a manner we can really give due dignity to our Blessed Mother.
We will make this a celebration that will awaken the people on issues specially those that pertain to climate change.
And finally, I would like to end with an expression of gratitude. I have been here for twelve years. This is my 12th Peñafrancia celebration.
I would like to let you know that the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Charles Brown, will be the main celebrant for the mass after the Fluvial procession. In a way, the Pope is with us during the Peñafrancia Fiesta. (The apostolic nuncio is a representative of the Pope.)
The Nuncio who came here to celebrate the fiesta was sharing how touched he was and said that he was very much impressed with how the people express their devotion to Ina.
Once again, we will tell the world how much we love Ina. So, again, thank you so much for this beautiful occasion that we partner together, we work together, to give our Blessed Mother a worthy celebration as we journey together, in and through Christ, for the glory of God. Amen. Viva la Virgen!”