What did it take for a woman to raise a son like Luis Antonio Tagle, now cardinal of Manila?
What was the role of Milagros Gokim-Tagle in the growth of her son’s priestly vocation?
How did she support him and what role does she play now that he is a bishop?
Milagros Tagle, “Nanay Mila” to family, friends and the public, spoke to Family Rosary Crusade TV’s “Church Alive” program about what it is like to be a bishop’s mother. The video was recorded two years before Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Tagle, then bishop of his home Diocese of Imus, Cavite, south of Manila, as Archbishop of Manila in 2011 and three years before the pope created him a cardinal in the Nov. 2012 consistory in Rome.
Speaking her own views in Tagalog, “Nanay” (mother) Mila talked about Cardinal Tagle’s wish to be a doctor, and how her sibling who was a doctor turned over to the Cardinal his medical books in case they would prove useful to him.Â
However, his priest friends accompanied him to take the entrance test in the Jesuit Ateneo University, and he passed.
His mother told Church Alive program with her son already a bishop, he still follows their advice on certain personal matters especially regarding care for his health.
She said as a bishop, her son does not dictate to her. He advises on people approaching them to bring matters to the cardinal.
“We advise people to write a letter and give to his (cardinal’s) secretary. Everything goes through his secretary,” Nanay Mila said.
Concerning her role as Cardinal Tagle’s mother, she sees this as just a way that God is using her as instrument of his will.
“It’s just like Jesus. Mary did not know that the child she was going to give birth to is the son of God,” the bishop’s mother said.
The slogan popularized by Congregation of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, the Irish-born priest who started Family Crusade in the Phiippines, “The family that prays together stays together,” is this still relevant today?
Nanay Mila says even if they are separated, families could pray wherever they are. “It is my weapon. That is what I tell my fellow mothers and my friends who have changed religion. You don’t know, it’s a weapon? No matter where you go, you will be safe from harm.”
Nanay Mila as a mother would look in on her children when they went to bed and again in the morning before the get up. She believes mothers should be able to do the same to their children and laments that women have to go abroad to earn a living.
The summary is based on summary of unofficial translations of the interview.
View full Family Rosary TV video of the interview with Nanay Mila in Tagalog.