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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Thursday, July 4, 2013


LAST Sunday, June 30, I attended the Joint Oath taking and Inauguration of our new Cagayan de Oro City officials at the historic Kiosko Kagawasan in Plaza Divisoria at 7:00 AM. A historic celebration indeed.

Our Archbishop Tony Ledesma officiated the Holy Eucharist in their honor. I felt so inspired by the speeches of our new government officials, especially that of Mayor Oscar Moreno, who became very emotional during his speech. You could sense, that their words came straight from their heart. Clearly, it was not the hollow talk and promises of the traditional politicians. Their words ‘seem to come from God’ (1 Peter 4, 11), because all of them must have felt inspired also by the sermon of Archbishop Ledesma.

During their oath taking all subscribed to the 5-point program for renewal of the city of Cagayan de Oro. Significant also was the ecumenical character of the celebration. Pastors, Bishops and Imams participated equally in the whole celebration.

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The 5-point program is as follows:

(1) To give proper attention to the security and development of all Kagayanons;

(2) to pay attention to the preservation of our natural environment and resources;

(3) to respect the culture of people of different faiths in One God, and to work for the proper development of all;

(4) to work for the economic development of all the citizens of Cagayan de Oro by providing them economic security and proper job opportunities, especially to the poorest among them;

(5) to respect the power of the people and their democratic rights to participate in the development of our country.

I feel, there is a fortunate coincidence between the election of our new government officials and the election of our new Pope Francis in Rome. Francis said at his inauguration Mass: ‘authentic power is service.’ That papal message was reinforced on Holy Thursday when Francis washed the feet of inmates at jail in Rome, including the feet of a Muslim woman. Such Christ-like gestures focus not on position and status but on those who benefit from the gifts of those called to serve.

The inauguration program last Sunday is a challenge to all of us Kagayanons to work together as brothers and sisters in Christ in serving God and humanity. Together we truly can make our City again the City of Golden Friendship.

(For your comment email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 05, 2013.

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