Described as the country’s conscience and moral touchtone, Cardinal Sin’s memory will again be cherished with fondness by the Catholic community he served.
Ranking Catholic bishops are now preparing to hold this Saturday a concelebrated Mass for Cardinal Sin to presided by his successor Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
The Eucharistic celebration will be held at 7:30 a.m. at the Metropolitan Manila Cathedral-Basilica in Intramuros, Manila.
Cardinal Sin died on June 21, 2005, two months before his 77th birthday. He was archbishop of Manila for 29 years.
Concelebrants at the Mass will include Sin’s former protégé and now Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas and other bishops, priests based in Manila archdiocese.
It is expected that other priests who will not be able to make it to the 7:30 a.m. Mass will be holding the liturgical celebration at other times during the day at the crypt, which is open for visitors.
During his pastoral stewardship of the archdiocese, he erected 109 parishes in Metro Manila with a Catholic population of almost 12 million.
He also ordained 530 men to the priesthood and was principal consecrator for 15 bishops.
Cardinal Sin was appointed as Manila archbishop on Jan 21, 1974, where he played a key role in the ouster of presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada.
The prelate fought with then president Fidel Ramos over the population control issue, being one of the most vocal critics of the Ramos government's liberal approach to population management.
He served as president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines for two terms, from 1977 to 1981.
At the time of his retirement in 2003 on reaching his 75th birthday as mandated by Canon Law, the archdiocese had been subdivided to five new dioceses, namely, Cubao, Pasig, Parañaque, Kalookan and Novaliches. (Roy Lagarde)