Bishop Tagura hopes to model the Good Shepherd in his new ministry
28 February 2023
Some scenes during the episcopal ordination of Bishop Pablito Tagura at the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus the Divine Word in Quezon City on Feb. 17, 2023. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News
February 17, 2023
Manila, Philippines

Calling upon the model of Jesus the Good Shepherd for guidance, newly ordained Bishop Pablito Tagura on Friday said he looks forward to serving the Church as the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose’s new prelate.

Around a thousand faithful attended Tagura’s episcopal ordination at the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus the Divine Word in Quezon City and cheered as he was presented to the congregation.

“Please pray for me and with me as I journey in faith with the laity and the clergy of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro,” Tagura, 61, told the crowd during the three-hour service.

“May we grow together in love as missionary disciples of the Lord and that I may always look at them through the ‘graced-filled eyes of compassion’ like that of the Good Shepherd,” he said.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was the principal consecrator, with papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa as co-consecrators.

Also in attendance were about 20 bishops and around 200 priests, mostly Tagura’s confreres at the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) and the clergy of San Jose.

During the Mass, Tagura, whose episcopal motto is “I lay down my life for the sheep,” was presented with the Book of Gospels as a symbol of his commission to evangelize.

He also was invested with a ring symbolizing his fidelity to Christ and that he is wedded to the Church; a miter which signifies the bishop’s role as a herald of truth; and a pastoral staff as a sign of his ministry as a shepherd.

In his homily, the pro-prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization said the new bishop must be “watchful” to God’s active presence in our lives.

“If you allow yourself to be distracted and you lose your focus that you don’t watch Jesus anymore, it will be difficult for you to watch over the community,” Tagle said. “So watch over yourself that you will always watch Jesus.”

Pope Francis appointed Tagura, who was serving as the Rector at Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City, as the new apostolic vicar of San Jose on Dec. 22, 2022.

The apostolic vicariate has been without a prelate since March 2018 after the resignation of the late Bishop Antonio Palang. Since then, it has been under the care of Bishop David William Antonio of Ilagan as apostolic administrator.

Born in Abra province’s Lagangilang town, Tagura was ordained a priest in 1985. For the last 28 years, he spent his priestly life teaching in the seminary.

Archbishop Brown will formally install Tagura as San Jose apostolic vicariate’s new shepherd on February 25.

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