Remembering Vidal on his 87th birthday

By: Fe Marie D. Dumaboc February 07,2018 - 12:25 AM

Cebu AuxilIary Bishop Dennis Villarojo together with other bishops and priests bless the tomb of the late Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, with holy water, during a Holy Mass held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral mausoleum to celebrate Vidal’s 87th birthday. CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

Less words, more heart. Prayer above all.

That, in a nutshell, was how Cebu’s beloved Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was remembered during a Holy Mass offered on what would have been his 87th birthday, yesterday.

It was the first time for the Archdiocese to celebrate Vidal’s birthday without him after the prelate passed away only last October.

A Mass led by Vidal’s former private secretary, Cebu Auxiliary bishop Dennis Villarojo and concelebrated by Palo Leyte Archbishop John Du, Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Florencio, Bishop Emilio Bataclan and 15 other monsignors and priests close to Vidal was held at the mausoleum of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, where Vidal’s remains rest.

In his homily, Bataclan described the cardinal as a “man with a big heart for all” who was always ready to take care of others.

More than just words, Vidal, he said, put more weight on cultivating his heart by loving and serving his flock and showing a good example to his fellow priests.

“Mao na nga lisod sundon, pero dawaton nga challenge kay siya man gayud ang atong labaw, superior (It’s difficult to follow him but we have to take this as a challenge because he was above us, our superior).” Bataclan said.

Bataclan also reminded people about the importance of prayer just as Vidal had kept on reminding about prayer even during his retirement years, and asking the lay to pray for all priests.

“We have memories in our hearts. We have to go on remembering Ricardo,” said Bataclan, “ so that even during difficult times, we know that we have a shining light, we have a beacon to urge us to go on forward for the glory of the Lord,” he added.

Vow of obedience
For his part, Villarojo remembered the late archbishop for being a stickler for the law.

He urged the people to pray for Vidal’s soul and to keep in mind and at heart the good deeds and teachings of the cardinal.

“I remember the Cardinal was one who was a stickler for the rules, nga mosunod gyud to sya unsay balaud (he always followed the law),” said Villarojo.

“Kon atong tan-awon sa iyang pagkabata, sa iyang pagka-seminarista, A1 student gyud to sya, kay obedient kaayo. Ug bisan cardinal na sya, in one of his talks, motuman siya sa sulti sa doctor niya, sa iyang nurse, kay in-anang paagiha, in a little way, maka-exercise siya sa vow of obedience (If we look at his childhood until he became a seminarian, he was an A1 student because he was very obedient. Even when he became a cardinal, in one of his talks, he said that he followed the advice of his doctor and his nurse, because in that little way, he could exercise his vow of obedience) ,” Villarojo added.

At the end of the Mass, the congregation led by the bishops and priests, sang a lively birthday song for Vidal as the whole mausoleum full of churchgoers came alive.

Celestino Tumale, a long-time member of Vidal’s household staff, fought back his tears as he remembered how they would celebrate Vidal’s birthday before.

According to Tumale, they would all wake up at dawn for “mañanita” to serenade Vidal with special songs and then have an early breakfast followed by a Holy Mass in a chapel at the prelate’s retirement home in Banilad, Cebu City.

Throughout the day, the cardinal would be happily entertaining his visitors and greeters.

“Gimingaw gyud ko, kinsa bay di mingawon sa kaayo ni Cardinal Vidal, sakit unta pero happy na sad ko, kay kahibaw ko nga he is with our Creator na (I really miss him. Who wouldn’t miss the Cardinal when he was such a good man. It hurts but at the same time, I am happy because I know that he is now with our Creator),” Tumale said.

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