MANILA -- A Japanese bishop will represent Pope Francis at the 60th anniversary of the Manila Cathedral's post-war reconstruction in December.
Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda, Archbishop of Osaka, will represent the Holy Father during the occasion. He will celebrate Mass at the Minor basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
“We thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for appointing Cardinal Maeda as his special envoy, as a sign of his paternal closeness to the Filipinos,” the Manila Cathedral said on its Facebook post on Monday.
Maeda, who is also vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, had celebrated Mass at the Manila Cathedral last April 12, a month after he was named a cardinal by the Pontiff.
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website, the Cardinal was born in 1949 and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Nagasaki in 1975.
Over the years, he served as a parish priest, editor of the diocesan bulletin, head of the diocesan Commission for Social Communications, and vicar forane.
He also served as secretary general of the CBCJ from 2006 until his episcopal election.
On Sept. 23, 2011, he was consecrated as bishop of Hiroshima.
Three years later, Pope Francis appointed Maeda as Archbishop of Osaka. (PNA