ARCHBISHOP Antonio Ledesma’s arrival from Zamboanga del Sur was greeted with a rousing fanfare in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro on Sunday.
Thousands waited as a caravan organized for the new archbishop passed by parishes until it reached St. Augustine Cathedral.
People waved white and yellow flags and hung welcome streamers along the highway.
Priests and parishioners, including local politicians, greeted Ledesma as he dropped by the towns.
He spent about 10 minutes in every town he visited just to talk to people, said Monsignor Rey Monsanto.
From the Our Lady of Peace Parish in Lugait town, Ledesma visited at least nine other Misamis Oriental towns––Man-ticao, Naawan, Initao, Libertad, Gitagum, La-guindingan, Alubijid, El Salvador and Opol––before proceeding to Caga-yan de Oro.
Archbishop emeritus Jesus Tuquib greeted his successor at the Arch-bishop’s Palace past 5 pm. The two visited a chapel where they briefly prayed. They then sang ‘‘Te Deum,’’ an early Christian hymn of praise.
From the chapel, Monsanto said Ledesma and Tuquib had dinner with priests, nuns and lay leaders.
Last night, a pre-installation reception for Ledesma was hosted by relatives and friends of the new archbishop, said the Rev. Fr. Butch Zayas.
The fanfare continues today with the official installation of Ledesma as the fourth archbishop of Cagayan de Oro by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio
Cardinal Rosales at the St. Augustine Cathedral. Some 11 bishops are expected to grace the event, including Bishop Angel Lagdameo, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Senate President Franklin Drilon, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and former Social Welfare secretary Dinky Soliman as well as local politicians are expected to witness Ledesma’s installation.
Ledesma and the local archdiocese would also honor Tuquib who served here for 22 years.
Ledesma hails from Negros and served as the dean of the College of Agriculture of the Jesuit-run Xavier University from 1983 to 1993. He was also dean of the Xavier’s College of Arts and Sciences for three years before he was named the bishop of Ipil in l996.
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