Sunday, June 26, 2005
His Eminence Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, D.D.
Cardinal Sin's death did not make me break out into sobs and tears, but it still saddened me greatly. It affected me because I'm a regular churchgoer at Villa San Miguel. Not many people can boast that they hear mass at the Cardinal's residence and they see him whenever he hears mass with us, especially when he still was of good health. He would sometimes grace us with his presence, especially during special occasions (Fr. Jun Sescon's -- his private secretary for seven years -- birthday or feastday, feastday of Villa San Miguel etc).
I served this morning and Fr. Jun celebrated the second mass. Fr. Jun has been a regular fixture at Villa San Miguel and he's the only priest that I have ever known to have lived there (other than Bishop Soc). He and I share the same service time at Villa. Other than the Cardinal's private secretary, he is also our spiritual advisor.
During Fr. Jun's homily, he described the goodness of Cardinal Sin and emphasized the generousity of the late Cardinal. He broke down in tears at the end of his homily and that made me cry as well. I don't need anyone else to tell me how generous he is. For the uninformed, Villa San Miguel is located at the edge of a barangay where mostly low-income people live. During the Cardinal's birthday, they hold medical or dental missions, and they give out gifts during Christmas. He opens his home to people for them to hear mass daily and weekly. Not many official residences do that.
At the end of the mass, he asked us to pay a visit and say our last farewells to the man who opened his house to us and who has gifted us with his generousity and hospitality. Being the obedient sheep that I am, I went to Manila Cathedral all by myself and fell in line. I waited for 45 minutes before I managed to say my goodbyes (in less than 5 seconds) in front of his casket. It was like saying goodbye to the Pope and my tears fell again.
Cardinal Sin is a great man. Not many people may agree with what he preached or said, but nevertheless, he did many great things. I will mourn his passing and for the loss of the Filipino Church.
Picture taken from http://www.btinternet.com/~m.shade/glove/images/sin2001.jpg