On March 28, Fordham University honored Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, at a Mass and celebration where he was presented with a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa. The Cardinal has worked hard to advocate for the poor and to serve as a spiritual leader for Filipino Catholics.
Initially, the Cardinal admitted that he was hesitant to receive such an honor. “Why am I being recognized? What have I done?” he stated in an interview with the Filipino news station Balitang America.
He cited Fordham President Fr. Joseph McShane, SJ, for changing his mind, “The president’s letter also explained that this is not just an honor for me but also a way to recognize the Filipino people and the faith of the Filipino people,” he continued. “And when I saw that, I said, ‘Well I’ll be more comfortable with receiving this award.’”
The Philippines and New York Jesuit Province have had a long relationship. Once a part of the New York Province, the Philippines are now an independent Jesuit province.
Fordham president emeritus Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, SJ, was at the celebration. Fr. O’Hare previously taught in the Philippines at the Ateneo de Manila University, a Jesuit school and alma mater of the Cardinal. Also present was New York Province Provincial Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, who concelebrated during the Mass.
During the ceremony the Cardinal was presented with a check for $5,000 from Fordham’s Philippine-American Club to go toward continued relief efforts followingTyphoon Haiyan.
Click below to view the Cardinal’s homily from the Mass: