COTABATO CITY- The Archdiocese of Cotabato has welcomed news from the Vatican City wherein Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was named by Pope Francis as one of the 16 new cardinals on Sunday.
He will now be addressed as His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo.
Quevedo was born March 11, 1939 at Laoag City, Ilocos Sur and then moved to Baya, Marbel where his parents were teachers.
He is the youngest among four siblings.
His high school years were at Notre Dame Marbel before he entered the San Jose Seminary in Manila.
He studied Theology at San Antonio, Texas.
He was ordained as a priest June 5, 1964 and got his episcopal ordination in October 28, 1980.
Quevedo told ABS-CBN News that he is still in shock and could not believe he will among the new cardinals.
Previously, only seated archbishops in Manila and Cebu were chosen as cardinals.
He said it's an honor for him to be the first in Mindanao.
"Cotabato maybe was chosen because of its a small scale of all the problems like under developed, poverty, peace and relationship among Christians and Muslim," Quevedo said.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato says they were also surprised.
Quevedo said they thought he will be retiring as he will be turning 75 this year.
"Kami ay masaya, nagagalak at nagpapasalamat kasi nagkaroon tayo ng new cardinal na from Mindanao which we prayed for a long time, " Bishop Colin Bagaforo said.
Quevedo is a simple person, approachable, and a thinker, according to Bishop Bagaforo.
Now that he is a cardinal, there'll be more responsibilities.
He will part of the conclave that votes for the next pope.
He will also be part of running the churches or called as Varica Curia wherein he will be helping the pope oversee the Roman Catholic Church.
He will also run a diocese church in Rome.
Meantime, the staff of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and its parishioners feel blessed on the good news, especially that the new cardinal came from Mindanao.
Those who also served as altar boys of the cathedral called feel proud for serving the church with Quevedo.
Quevedo hopes and prays that he will be an instrument in helping peace efforts in Mindanao.
He asked for prayers on his new journey and responsibility.