Iligan Diocese prepares for new bishop

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ILIGAN CITY — The Iligan Diocese is now getting ready to welcome its fifth bishop to be installed on September 5, this year, after one year and six months that the diocese was “vacant”.

Bishop-elect Jose Rapadas, 47, the incumbent Vicar General of the Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, was appointed by Pope Francis in Vatican on June 13, this year.

Rapadas will be ordained on August 20 in Ipil and will be the youngest bishop in the Philippines.

The previous bishop, Most Reverend Elenito Galido, died on December 5, 2017 because of an illness. He was 64 and was on his 11th year serving as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Iligan.

Most Reverend Severo Caermare, Bishop of Dipolog, has been overseeing the diocese after he was named by Pope Francis as apostolic administrator a day after the death of Galido.

Msgr. Rey Patian, Vicar General of Iligan Diocese said, the preparations include the making of the bishop’s coat of arms, his cathedra or throne and the selection of the people or priest who will take every part of the installation.

Fatherless diocese

Iligan City will be celebrating again it annual fiesta on September 29 with a new bishop to lead.

In 2018, the annual Pakanaug rite or the start of the fiesta of its patron saint, St. Michael de Archangel, was lead by Bishop Caermare.

Patian said a bishop plays a very important role in a diocese as he is the person in authority to oversee the local church and “a diocese is not a diocese unless it is supervised or overseen by a bishop”.

“He is the guardian of faith in his local jurisdiction since the diocese is territorial. A diocese without a bishop is not complete,” Patian said in a press briefing held on Saturday

The details

Glemend Stained Glass Fabrication Services, a Cebu-based company that designs stained glass windows for churches in the Visayas and Mindanao, was contracted to enhance the altar design, including the making of the commentator’s podium, the bishop’s thrones and his coat of arms, the kandelabra or candle holders.

A reliable source said it all cost P4 million.

Patian did not confirm the amount but answered “close to that” when ask to confirm it.

The commentator’s podium is made of dura board in white and brown. On it are carved intricate gold swirls and patterns.

A worker said, it took them almost a month to finish the podium as it required a steady hands and patience to put on the gold foil as coloring.

As of August 17, the bishop’s coat of arms is still unfinished.

Guests and visitors

Ambassador of Vatican to the Philippines, Papal Nuncio Gabriele Giordano Caccia, twenty bishops and around 200 priests from all over the Philippines are expected to arrive during the installation according to Patian.

“Aside from representatives from the different religious community, we are also expecting political personalities to attend the event because we are extending our invitations to the governor and two congressmen and municipal mayors of Lanao del Norte and congressman and mayor of Iligan City.

Iligan Diocese covers Iligan City and the whole province of Lanao del Norte.

This will make the security in the city proper tightened and telecommunication signals will be cut shortly before 9 am on September 5 until after or before 12:00 noon of the same day.

“We have requested the telecommunication companies to jam the signal although it is always SOP (standard operating procedure) for them to do so if there are big events,” Patian said.

During paying of homage to the new bishop, after the enthronement to his cathedra or chair called canonical taking position, Fr. Tim Ofracio will serve as the canonical emcee to be assisted by Fr. Elija Sansona.

Requested by Rapadas, Bishop Caermare will be the homilist of the celebration while seminarian Jodel Sansarona will be the floor emcee.

Who is who?

Archbishop Martin Jumoad will be the installing prelate of Rapadas on September 5.

Jumoad is the archbishop of Ozamiz that covers 14 towns and three cities of Misamis Occidental with ecclesiastical territories that include the dioceses of Iligan, Pagadian and Dipolog and the prelature of Marawi.

Fr. Eduard Labadisos will read the Papal Bull or the “mandate from Rome” in Latin, English and in vernacular.

The Papal Bull contains the appointment of the person being installed as bishop.

Media accreditation

The Iligan Diocese, according to Patian, will make sure that the solemnity of the installation will be preserved.

Journalist covering the event must be accredited by the diocese media ministry.

They will be given a car pass, a button pins and a wrist band “for inclusivity purposes”.

Journalists are not allowed to do a facebook live or do a live report, in the case of those who are working for a radio station, while inside the cathedral and the event is going on.

The installation will last for about two hours according to Patian.

Be informed