New Rector Ready to Serve the Sto. Niño and His Devotees
Photo by: Lou Paghasian
Today (July 23, 2021), Rev. Fr. Nelson G. Zerda, OSA has been formally installed as the new Rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu – the home of the five- century old miraculous image of the Holy Child.
He said that becoming a priest was not part of his plan but he saw the life of being an Augustinian appealing– the idea of friends living together in one mind and one heart which charmed him.
As an Augustinian, he had his solemn profession on November 21, 2000 and was ordained priest on August 21, 2001.
Acclaimed as an introvert, he was able to overcome it with friends and one of the charisms as an Augustinian is their identity of being with friends– being with a community of brothers.
Like Saint Augustine, he claimed that he was a late comer in the sense that he was in his thirties when he stepped foot into his vocation.
“Sto. Niño in my life is the Holy Child that continues to remind me as a priest to be humble and how to fuse the responsibilities given to me. [He is] a reminder to be dependent on the grace of the Lord.” Fr. Zerda said when asked who the Sto. Niño is in his life.
Moreover, he added that the roles and responsibilities of being a Rector and a pastor are the same but there are parochial responsibilities that he is not allowed to do just like the responsibilities of being a parish priest. He also wants to give importance to his role as Spiritual Director of the Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu – the organization responsible for the propagation of the Sto. Niño devotion – especially because it has both national and international coverages.
“To the devotees of Sto. Niño, I urge you to continue this devotion to the Holy Child the Señor Sto. Niño, worthy to be emulated by His image, reminding us to remain humble of ourselves no matter what we face. We always have the promise of Sto. Niño because He is the one who blesses us. As His followers, we will not lose hope. So, continue to be an instrument of this propagation of faith to the Holy Child so that we will be faithful and believe in this humble image of God — Santo Niño.” Fr. Zerda highlighted. /Lou Paghasian, Stenus Allessandra Olid with Geralyn Mae Liston, CNU Communication Interns
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Also on Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu
Archbishop Jose S. Palma, D.D. (2nd from Left) and Fr. Vhen Fernandez (left) is joined by the Filipino Augustinians in Rome.