The Diocese of Tagbilaran will be marking another milestone of its existence as it will turn 75 yearsÂ on WednesdayÂ after having been served by six bishops while a new Boholano bishop will assume in January next year.
A three day Triduum will kick off today as the Church “breaks bread” sharing Christ’s light to the poor, the sick, the homeless, the hungry and the prisoners. Hundreds of indigent residents will gather at Plaza Rizal, in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral to avail of the free services to be extended by the diocese as a way of thanksgiving for the growth of the diocese for the past 75 years.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent representative of the Vatican to the United Nations and Rev. Fr. Anotnio Pernia, former secretary general of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) will lead visiting Boholano church leaders who will grace the occasion.
Outgoing Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso, D.D., J.C.D. who turns 78 today, officiates at the opening Holy Mass atÂ 6:00Â this morning at the St, Joseph Cathedral, this city.
During an interview with theÂ Chronicle, the bishop said it was a “journey of faith” as he will end his 10-year stint in serving the spiritual needs of the thousands of parishioners in the entire diocese with 58 parishes spread in 27 municipalities. (Read: Lifestyle)
During the “Breaking Bread,” Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog, vice general of the diocese of Tagbilaran will deliver the statement of purpose where medical, legal and a feeding program as well as turnover of a housing project will be held today.
The presentation of the Bohol Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Program (BRRP) will be done by Rev. Fr. Val Pinlac, program director.
The turnover of housesÂ will be done together with the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Catholic Womens Organization. A donated property for BRRP Housing and Livelihood component from the Bohol Quality Corp through Luisa Ong. Some of the beneficiaries will talk during the ceremony.
A Tribute to His Excellency Bishop Medroso will be tendered at 7 o’clock tonight at the Bohol Tropics Resort.Â He served as the sixth bishop of the diocese from 2006-2016.
Other bishops who served the diocese wereÂ Â Julio R. Rosales, D.D. (1946-1952); Manuel M. MascariÃ±as, D.D. (1952-1976); Onesimo Gordoncillo, D.D. (1976-1986); Felix S. Zafra, D.D. (1986-1993); Leopoldo S. Tumulak, D.D. (1993-2005 and Bishop Leonardo Medroso, D.D. (2006-2016)
TomorrowÂ is the grand reunion of Boholano bishops, priests, religious and lay evangelizers with ceremonies to be held at the newly completed Buon Pastore Evacuation and Community Training Center at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) in Taloto district, this city.
Former SVD Secretary General Fr. Pernia will keynote the grand reunion. He will be introduced by Rev. Fr. Eduardo Rocha, provincial superior of the SVD Philippine South will introduce Fr. Pernia.
Rev. Fr. Ruel Lero, SVD will moderate during an open forum.
Archbishop Auza will officiate during the Holy MassÂ atÂ 11:00 a.m.
A book launching of “Cluster Catechesis: The Journey of Faith of an Evangelizing Church” by Josefina Tortor-Cemine will be held during the day’s activity.
Bishop Medroso will deliver an inspirational message.
The diocese will award the Boholano bishops, priests and religious during the grand reunion.
The Diamond Jubilee awardees are: Most Rev. Manuel Mascarinas, second bishop of Tagbilaran;Â Â Most Rev. Mariano G. Gaviola, D.D,Â Archbishop Emeritus of Lipa(Deceased);Â Most Rev. Mariano G. Gaviola, D.D.Â Archbishop Emeritus of Lipa(Deceased);Â Most Rev. Felix S. Zafra, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Tagbilaran(Deceased);Â Most Rev. Miguel C. Cinches, SVD, D.D,Â Bishop of Emeritus Surigao(Deceased),Most Rev. Jesus B. Tuquib, D.D.Â Archbishop Emeritus of Cagayan de Oro;Â Most Rev. Juan de Dios M. Pueblos, D.D.Â Bishop of Butuan;Â Most Rev. Alfredo B. Baquial, D.D.Â Auxiliary Bishop of DavaoÂ (Deceased);Â Most Rev. Zacharias C. Jimenez, D.D.,Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Butuan;Â Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D.Â Archbishop of Davao;Â Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D.Â Archbishop of Davao;Â Â Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, D.D.Â Bishop of Sorsogon;Â Most Rev. Antonieto D. Cabajog, D.D.Â Bishop of Surigao;Â Most Rev. Antonieto D. Cabajog, D.D.Â Bishop of Surigao;Â Most Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D.Â Vicar Apostolic of Taytay (Palawan);Â Most Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D.Â Vicar Apostolic of Taytay (Palawan)’;Most Rev. BernarditoAuza, D.D.Titular Archbishop of SuaciaApostolic Nuncio,Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States;Â Most Rev. Crispin B. Varquez, D.D.Bishop of Borongan;Â Most Rev. Alberto S. Uy, D.D., Bishop-Elect of Tagbilaran;Â Most Rev. Socrates P. Mesiona, MSP, D.D.Vicar Apostolic â€“ Elect of Puerto Princesa;Â Rev. Fr. Antonio M. Pernia, SVD, Superior General, SocietasVerbi Divini.
Impressions will be delivered by Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon of the Diocese of Talibon, Cecila Rebosura, lay evangelizer and Sr. Zosima Escolano, religious sector while Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog, vice general of the Diocese of Tagbilaran will deliver his remarks.
The 75th jubilee dayÂ on WednesdayÂ will start with a diana atÂ 4:30am.
The Diamond Jubilee Eucharistic Celebration will be officiated by Bishop Medroso atÂ 10 o’clockÂ in the morning at the St. Joseph Cathedral.
A luncheon and thanksgiving program will follow at the Holy Name University gymnasium while a BEC-GSK barrio fiesta will be held at the Cathedral grounds.Â It will be capped with a fireworks display atÂ 8:00pmÂ sponsored by the Bohol Chronicle Radio Corp.
The Christian faith first came to the province of Bohol, the tenth largest island in the Philippines located in the center of the Visayas, immediately after the coming of the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1565. Legaspi had entered into a blood compact with the local chieftain Datu Sikatuna advancing friendship between Spain and the Sovereignty of the Island.
The first batch of missionaries were members of the Society of Jesus who established the municipalities of Baclayon in 1595, Loboc in 1602 an Dauis in 1697 as the first centers of Catechism. The faith spread over the island through friendship and intermarriage between the Spanish soldiers and the native women.
The Diocese of Tagbilaran was formally vested a diocese by virtue of a Papal Bull by pope Pius XII on November 8, 1941 separating it from the Archdiocese of Cebu. It originally comprised the entire civil province of Bohol with a total land area of 3,979 square kilometers.
Due to the outbreak of World War II, the newly created diocese was without a Bishop. The governance of the diocese remained in the hands of Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, D.D.,Â then Ar