Filipino woman presents recycled stole to cardinal

Cynthia Cabrera finally fulfills challenge Cardinal Tagle set her 10 years ago
Filipino woman presents recycled stole to cardinal

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila shows a stole made out of scraps of cloth by Cynthia Cabrera, a woman who lives in an urban poor community in the Philippine capital. (Photo by Angie de Silva)

July 31, 2017
A woman from an urban poor community in Manila has presented a stole made of scraps of cloth to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle ten years after the prelate challenged her to make it.

After years of waiting, Cynthia Cabrera presented the Manila prelate the stole she made at the end of the annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization on July 30.

In a letter read by Cardinal Tagle before about 6,000 participants of the conference, Cabrera reminded the prelate that she met him in 2007.

She recalled that the cardinal challenged her to make a stole for him out of scraps of cloth, but she said it would be heavy. 

Cabrera recalled that the cardinal told her not to worry about the weight because she would not be wearing it.

When she finished the stole in 2009, she did not know how to hand it to Cardinal Tagle. She decided to give it instead to a priest.

One day, she saw the stole being worn by a Jesuit priest saying Mass in a local chapel.

"I told the priest about the stole," said Cabrera.

"I'm not sure if my small gift would be able to reach you, but I'm hoping that you will like it," the woman told Cardinal Tagle in a letter.

After ten years, the stole finally reached its rightful recipient.

In front of thousands of people, Cardinal Tagle pulled the stole from his bag and called Cabrera to the stage.

"This is made of scrap cloth made by people who sometimes feel that they are just scraps," said the Manila prelate.

The emotional encounter drew a loud applause from the audience.

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