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Bishops call on faithful to pray, fast for ‘vacant’ dioceses

Newly appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Pagadian Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad has called on the faithful to pray for the increasing number of vacant dioceses in the country.

Manila Bulletin photo

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Jumoad as the temporary caretaker of the Pagadian diocese following the recent death of its shepherd Bishop Ronald Lunas.

Nine dioceses in the country are now sede vacante (vacant). These include the dioceses of Alaminos, Baguio, Balanga, Catarman, Gumaca, Ipil, San Pablo, Tarlac and most recently, Pagadian..

Archbishop Jumoad appeals for prayers for the Lord to bless the nine vacant dioceses with a shepherd.

“We have to pray and ask the Lord for guidance and for Pope Francis to be able to choose the right leader for the vacant posts,’ the archbishop said over Radio Veritas.

The Church leader said that all priests may be sinful and not fit to be a bishop but through Divine guidance and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the rightful shepherd will be chosen to lead the vacant dioceses.

Aside from the vacant posts, several active bishops have also reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 years old including Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona (77), Virac Bishop Manolo Delos Santos (76), Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco (75), and Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud (75).

According to Radio Veritas’ Catholink, two more bishops will turn 75 years old this year- Jaro Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo in January and Infanta, Quezon Bishop Bernardino Cortez in July.

For his part, Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe Valentin Dimoc called on the faithful to pray and fast for the vacant dioceses in the country to finally have a bishop.

“More bishops will be retiring in a few years. Those in the dioceses without a bishop, start fasting and praying.” Bishop Dimoc said over the faith-based station.

“The local Churches are the formation places for future bishops. Hence, those who receive letters from the Apostolic Nuncio should participate well in discerning who are potential shepherd as bishops,” he added.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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