The papal announcement that he would be the next bishop of the Diocese of Butuan came as a surprise to Rev. Fr. Cosme Almedilla, parish priest of the Holy Child Parish in Ubay.
“Nagpalugdang pa ko sa akong gibati kay mura’g katingalahan…Sige pa ko’g pamalandong kung unsa may katuyuan sa Ginoo ani nga naapil ko sa han-ay sa linya sa mga obispo, considering sa human na pagtan-aw I’m not qualified,” said Almedilla in an interview over station dyRD’s Inyong Alagad program.
Almedilla despite his belief that he lacks qualifications to be ordained a bishop has nonetheless shown dedication in his work as priest and servant of the Church throughout his 32-year priesthood.
The 60-year-old bishop-elect, fondly called “Father Ming” by his parishioners, has been known for promoting the Basic Ecclesial Community movement, which was adopted as a pastoral priority of the Church throughout the country.
“Naghimo lang ko sa suma sa angayan kay mao man nay gikahiusahan sa mga obispo sa ika-duhang Plenaryo Konsilyo sa Pilipinas…ang pari dili lang siya presider of the Holy Eucharist na tighimo sa mga sakramento, kinahilanglan pud siya usa ka pastoral leader,” he said.
Almedilla, a native of San Miguel, Bohol, supposed that he may have been appointed by Pope Francis as bishop of the Diocese of Batuan as he has been actively doing pastoral work in small communities—a practice called for by the Church.
“Mao na ang tawag ni Pope Francis na mo-agto g’yud kung aha ang karnero ug manimaho sama sa baho sa karnero,” he said.
Among Almedilla’s previous assignments include being the spiritual director at the John XXII College Seminary, Director of the Holy Child Academy in Bohol, and chaplain at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City.
On Monday night, Pope Francis announced his appointment as bishop of the Diocese of Butuan in the CARAGA Region to replace Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos who died in October 2017.
Almedilla was appointed bishop together with fellow Boholano priest, Fr. Leo Dalmao who has been assigned to take over the top post of the Prelature of Isabela in Basilan.
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Dalmao who is a native of Tagbilaran City is currently serving as Consultor and the Prefect of Formation at the Istituto Guiridico Claretiano in Rome, Italy.
At 49, Dalmao, will be the first Filipino Claretian to become bishop. (RT)