Thousands of Filipino Catholics who attended a conference on new evangelization paid tribute to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila.
The Manila prelate, who has been appointed new prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, initiated the annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization in 2013.
The meeting, which is usually attended by thousands of people, is a response to the Church's call for new evangelization.
This week's gathering could be the last one the cardinal attends as he is due to leave for the Vatican to assume his new post soon.
Organizers and participants of the event paid tribute to Cardinal Tagle.
"We will not say goodbye," said Father Carlo del Rosario, parochial vicar of San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Manila.
"There are no goodbyes in the language of mission because [for] disciples and missionaries ... home is where God sends us to mission. Home is where we do God's will."
Cardinal Tagle in turn thanked everyone, saying that the annual gathering on new evangelization is not about him.
"This is about the call that we receive from God and the mission that we have to do," he said. "Forgive me and be patient with me for my mistakes, for my shortcomings ... and for all the things that I should have done."
Earlier, the cardinal called on Catholics to engage in dialogue. "I hope that will be one of our takeaways from this [annual gathering]," he said.
"Dialogue is not just a style, it is following God. It is really following the way of the spirit ... it is following the will of God the Father," added the cardinal.
This year’s annual conference focused on the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, which is part of preparations for the celebration of 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.
Father Roy Bellen of Manila Archdiocese said whether the annual gathering will continue would depend on the cardinal's successor.