Cardinal Tagle: Evangelization happens in Philippine shopping malls

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, shown during a 2014 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, said evangelization can happen even in shopping centers. The cardinal celebrated Mass in a shopping mall in Manila on Dec. 17 with hundreds of people in attendance. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- It might be "unbelievable" to people in other countries, but a Catholic chapel inside a shopping mall and thousands of people attending Mass there have become a new norm among Filipinos.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, the incoming prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said evangelization can happen even in shopping centers, reported.


"Many (at the Vatican) cannot believe that in the Philippines there is a chapel in a mall," he said during the celebration of the second of nine days of early morning Christmas Masses in the Philippines.

"They cannot believe that evangelization can happen in commercial centers," added the prelate, who celebrated a Mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in a shopping mall in Manila on Dec. 17.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

"They cannot believe that every first Friday there is a Mass in offices, banks," he said.

"(People at the Vatican) probably want to understand why this is so," added the cardinal, who Dec. 8 was named head of one the Vatican's most influential offices.

"This is your fault," Cardinal Tagle joked, drawing laughter from the faithful. He then appealed for prayers for his new church assignment.

"I ask for your prayers," he said, adding that "everything is still unclear. ... But when is life clear? It is not always clear."

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

He said the observance of Advent by Catholics "is good because we have Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist all operating in the darkness of faith in the hope that the light will come."

As head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Tagle will direct mission work in most areas of Africa, Asia and Oceania. The congregation is also tasked with "re-evangelizing" the old Christian world.

Church leaders across Asia have welcomed Cardinal Tagle’s appointment, describing it as a "blessing" not only for the Philippines but for the region.

"He can bring his wisdom to the work of evangelization," said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the outgoing papal nuncio to the Philippines, said Cardinal Tagle is "in a position to take care ... of the evangelization of people."

Bishop Salvador Lobo of Baruipur, India, said the appointment comes at the right time when the "propagation of faith ... is taking place much more effectively" compared to other areas.

He said the church's evangelization work, especially in Asia, will "stand out" and will be given more attention under the leadership of Cardinal Tagle.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.


The latest from america

Pope Francis welcomes Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi to the Vatican Jan. 17, 2020. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
The Vatican revealed that the pope and president discussed “the good existing bilateral relations” between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and expressed “satisfaction” at the ratification of the framework agreement between the two countries on matters of mutual interest.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2020
(CNS photo/Warner Bros.)
“Joker” is more than just another comic book film. It has hit a nerve with an already nervous American public.
Jake MartinJanuary 17, 2020
Rev. Matthew F. Malone, S.J., president and editor in chief of America Media, announced today the appointment of Traug Keller as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mr. Keller currently serves as senior vice president of ESPN, the global sports network, which announced his
America StaffJanuary 17, 2020
Scene from "The Trojan Women" at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club
Since 1975, a touring production of “The Trojan Women” staged by New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theater Club has played in more than 30 countries.
Deniz DemirerJanuary 17, 2020