Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Cotabato City
11 March 2014

In grateful recognition and appreciation to the first Cardinal from Mindanao, President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the Thanksgiving Mass in honor of His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, D.D. held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato City.

Noting Cardinal Quevedo’s contributions since he created the Basic Ecclesial Communities during martial law, President Aquino shared in his remarks the Cardinal’s eagerness to uplift society when he supported the peace agreement in Mindanao.

“Lumalakas po ang loob nating ipagpatuloy ang ating agenda ng malawakang reporma dahil sa mga tulad niyang nananalangin, naninindigan at laging nakapanig sa malasakit at katwiran,” he said.

The Eucharistic celebration was also being held to mark Cardinal Quevedo’s 34th Episcopal anniversary, Golden Saserdotal anniversary and birthday. Dubbed as the “Cardinal of Peace” by Cotabateños, Cardinal Quevedo is one of the few bishops in Mindanao who sees that the long-running insurgency in the island is rooted from injustice.

In his homily, Cardinal Quevedo said that as a Cardinal, he is bound to servanthood and that he has to be a promoter of the development of the poor, especially in Mindanao, and lift them up from everything that oppresses them.

A former Secretary-General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and a former President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Philippines, the 75-year old Cardinal Quevedo is known to be close to the hearts of both Christian and Muslim residents in Cotabato.

Also present were Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Giuseppe Pinto, Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila, members of the Presidential party, 31 bishops nationwide and 60 priests from the Archdiocesis of Cotabato and Nueva Segovia.

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