January 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 16

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    Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

149.   Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal
    Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal is the youngest of the three Filipino cardinals. Like his colleagues Cardinal Jaime L. Sin and Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez he was born on the islands with Cardinal Vidal's homebirth taking place in Mogpoc on February 6, 1931 in the Diocese of Boac where he attended the minor seminary at Our Lady of Carmel, which was then the Seminary of the Most Holy Rosary. From there he matriculated to the major seminary in Manila operated by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at San Carlo. Though he was trained by the religious order, he became a Diocesan priest on St. Patrick's Day in 1956 when he was ordained and was assigned as Spiritual Director of his alma mater minor seminary in Boac. Here he gained a widespread reputation for his simple, pious spirituality and ability to convey this to so many through his special gifts.

    He remained on the faculty there until Pope Paul VI named him Titular Bishop of Claterna and Coadjutor Bishop of Melalos on September 10, 1971. He was ordained and installed on November 30, 1971. Two years later he was promoted to Archbishop of Lipa on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary - August 22, 1973. Here he assisted in forming the Catechist Missionaries of St. Therese of Lisieux which was a religious order with their main thrust of Catholic education with a special emphasis on spirituality. After eight years in Lipa Pope John Paul II named him Coadjutor Archbishop of the See of Cebu on the island of the same name in the central Phillipines archipelago on April 24, 1981. A year and a half later on August 24, 1982 he was promoted to Archbishop of Cebu where he has remained ever since.

    Three years after taking the reins of the Archdiocese of Cebu, the Holy Father named him in his Consistory of May 25, 1985 receiving the prestigious red-hat and the titular church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Via Ostiensi. In addition to his duties in the Philippines, he enjoys curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Congregation for Catholic Education as well as the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers. In two weeks he will turn 69 and is relatively assured of remaining in Cebu for at least another six years, bringing tremendous stability to the Island of Cebu which has witnessed an increase in vocations during his 18 years as shepherd there. The Philippines, first discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who brought the Faith to this archipelago of 7,000 islands, is today 84% Catholic, remaining one of the most Catholic countries in the world.


January 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 16

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