Manila’s Cardinal Tagle meets briefly with Archbishop Byrnes in transit after celebration of Simbáng Gabi in Saipan


His Eminence Luis Antonio Tagle, DD, Archbishop of Manila met briefly with Archbishop Michael Byrnes Sunday afternoon, Dec. 17 during a short stopover on Guam after participating in the 40th year celebration of Simbáng Gabi in Saipan.

Archbishop Byrnes confirmed that he met Cardinal Tagle at Won Pat International Airport Sunday and the two shared an enjoyable meal and conversation with Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa and Monsignor James Benavente at a local restaurant during the cardinal’s stay of about five hours.

“We had a cordial supper,” Archbishop Byrnes said. “We shared a very enjoyable conversation about life in the Church.”

The 32nd Archbishop of Manila had been a guest of Bishop Ryan and the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa over the weekend.

“His Eminence Luis Antonio ‘Chito’ Tagle, DD, Archbishop of Manila is on island this weekend to lead the 40th year celebration of Simbáng Gabi in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa,” reported the North Star, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa’s newspaper in its on-line edition on Dec. 17.

“Simbáng Gabi is a devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipino Catholics in anticipation of Christmas and to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary,” the North Star explained. The Simbáng Gabi Group, a Filipino organization who every year coordinates this event at Mt. Carmel Cathedral invited Cardinal Tagle to be the guest of honor for this year’s celebration, the newspaper reported.

Cardinal Tagle was in transit on Guam and was returning to the Philippines. A close friend of Monsignor James, Cardinal Tagle has been to Guam before. He helped Monsignor James celebrate the 20th year anniversary of his presbyteral ordination at the Dulce Nombre de Cathedral-Basilica on July 18, 2014.