For the past eight years, Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) has been at the forefront of assisting the Archdiocese of Manila in its noteworthy projects, while celebrating the beauty and wonder of art.
Proceeds from the pioneering Patron of the Arts annual concert, initiated by the esteemed Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, have helped sustain parochial schools, garnered medical funds for the poor and benefitted families victimized by Extra Judicial Killings. Its latest beneficiary is the Office for the Promotion of the New Evangelization (OPNE), and its mission of transmitting the Catholic faith to today’s youth, through its banner program, the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE).
Embracing the Catholic Church’s historical role as a haven and repository for artists and their masterpieces, Patron of the Arts also honors the creative brilliance of exemplary individuals, including maestro Ryan Cayabyab, playwright Dr.Onofre Pagsanhan and most recently, 2019 Catholic Award for the Arts recipient, Sister Ma. Anunciata Sta. Ana of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC).
“Thank you to Fr.Nono Alfonso and JesCom for the past eight years of staging the Patron of the Arts for the Archdiocese,” acknowledged Cardinal Tagle at the 2019 edition of the Christmas spectacle held last December 12 at the Meralco Theater.
“We have witnessed inspiring stories of ‘opening doors’, of loving people when we learn to open the most guarded corners of our heart,” added the Cardinal while reflecting on the evening’s traditional Filipino theme of the “Panunuluyan”.
Speaking from his encounters with refugees and how these echoed the Holy Family’s own fateful journey on the first Christmas eve, Cardinal Tagle reminded the gallery of faith’s life-changing power.
“We hold on to our faith that what we welcome will be of far greater value than what we keep out. Even the act of knocking, takes an incredible act of faith, that someone will hear us, someone will help us. Always remember that even the smallest acts of kindness can bring about the greatest gifts to the world.”
After delighting audiences with his rendition of “Payapang Daigidig”, Cardinal Tagle was visibly moved by the tremendous message of support by Fr.Nono Alfonso, for his new assignment as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
“Dear Cardinal, this marks a new chapter in your life of service to the Church. Once again, the Lord has knocked on the door of your heart, and you have humbly accepted another path. Know that you carry all our hopes and prayers,” encouraged JesCom’s Executive Director.
With his brother priests and longtime friends consoling him on stage with loving embraces as they sang “Paglamig ng Pasko”, Cardinal Tagle opened his heart out to his guests as he spoke of acceptance and disposition to the Lord’s will.
“This advent season for me, is about waiting to welcome not something, but someone. Our God who is there, pulls us towards our future. He asks you to ‘remain in me’ but at the same time, He sends you. He says, it is time to ‘go and bear fruit”.
As the country’s beloved Cardinal fought back the tears while bidding goodbye to his tatay and nanay, the gifted preacher and humble spiritual leader of millions of Filipino Catholics offered his farewell wish and parting words.
“I hope and pray that this would not be the last Patron of the Arts. Please continue to support the partnership of JesCom and the Archdiocese, and their service in the Church’s mission.”
“From now on, I will be an OFW. I have learned to appreciate the silent, quiet yet heroic mission of countless Filipinos, who in their humble work, the Gospel continues to be passed on.”