COTABATO CITY — To show his appreciation for the gift of life and the gift of being Mindanao’s first ever cardinal, His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, will celebrate a thanksgiving mass here on his 75th birth anniversary on Tuesday.
Among the invited guests are President Benigno S. Aquino III, Manila Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, bishops from all over the Philippines and from overseas.
A senior member of the missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation, Quevedo will also celebrate his 50 years priestly ordination and as bishop.
His four-in-one celebration will take place at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral at 4:00 p.m. to be followed by a testimonial dinner at Southseas Mall along SK Pendatun Avenue, Cotabato City.
Pope Francis officially elevated Quevedo to the College of Cardinals together with 18 other bishops from other countries.
The celebration also coincided with the jubilee year celebration in the Philippines of Quevedo’s congregation, the OMIs.
Cardinal Tagle, the first person who informed Quevedo that he was named a Prince of the Church by Pope Francis in late January, will be the homilist.
Also expected to arrive to grace the occasion are bishops from all over the country, political leaders and friends of Cardinal Quevedo.
All is set as far as security of the activity and visitors are concerned, Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, Cotabato City police director, said.
Quevedo is not only known as the first cardinal from Mindanao but as defender of justice and peace in the island, peace advocate and the brainchild of Basic Ecclessial Community (BEC), the Catholic Church’s groupings of Catholic faithful at the grassroots level.
He defended and promoted justice and peace issues, grassroots empowerment, and BEC’s during Martial Law years in the Diocese of Kidapawan where he risked his life against implementers of military rule.
In one of media interviews, Quevedo has said he will write his resignation letter as archbishop of Cotabato to Pope Francis.
“When I informed Papal Nuncio about it, he simply smiled and did not say anything,” Quevedo said, quoting the Code of Canon Law which requires that Catholic bishops tender their resignation on their 75th birth anniversary. (PNA)