Starting a new job always involves a learning curve, but Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle got much more than he bargained for when he moved to Rome in February to begin his duties as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Not only did he have a new position after being the archbishop of Manila for almost nine years, his first month coincided with the start of Italy’s lockdown and global travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cardinal Tagle is living the lockdown — and working mostly from home — at Rome’s Pontifical Filipino College where, he said, “I feel safe and supported by a community of Filipino, Asian and African young priests studying in Rome. I hope my presence among them also makes the CEP (Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples) close to them, since their countries and dioceses are served by this dicastery.”
“Coming to Rome for a universal mission at a time when the lockdown occurs — I am still in awe at the surprises of God,” the cardinal said April 1 in an email response to questions.
“I bring this paradox to reflection and prayer,” he said. “The situation is re-educating me about the dynamic tension between the local and the universal.”
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With thanks to Catholic News Service (CNS) and Cindy Wooden, where this article originally appeared.