Archbishop Jose S. Palma has appointed new vicars to assist him in overseeing the 4.6-million Roman Catholic faithful in Cebu.
The archdiocesan weekly “Bag-ong Lungsoranon” on Sunday reported that among Palma’s new appointees are new faces, except Msgr. Vicente Rey Penagunda, who has been re-appointed as vicar general.
Penagunda became vicar general in 2014.
Palma also appointed Msgr. Ruben Labajo as vicar general. Labajo was parish priest of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before his reassignment as pastor of St. Vincent of Ferrer Parish in Balamban of west Cebu.
The prelate in Cebu also picked three monsignori, four presbyters as episcopal vicars, and another priest as episcopal vicar — ad extra.
He appointed Fr. Benedicto Tao as episcopal vicar of the District 1, with Fathers Joey Belciña, Aloysius Alojipan, Scipio Deligero, and Ben Alforque as vicars forane.
The Archdiocese’s District 2 has now new episcopal vicar in the name of Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes. Fuente’s has two vicars forane, Fathers Joy Danao and Leonilo Igloria.
Msgr. Jojo Dosado was appointed episcopal vicar of District 3, while Monsignori Arthur Navales and Boboi Romanillos, Fathers Prudencio Elbao and Agustin Abella, will serve as his vicars forane.
District 4 will now become under the tutelage of Msgr. Phil Tumulak as episcopal vicar with Fathers Brandit Bohol, Amador Bacotot, and Silvino Friquez as his vicars forane.
Fr. Jed Ponce Billones was appointed to oversee District 5 being its new episcopal vicar to be assisted by his vicars forane Fathers Ricardo Cañete, Julius Pilarion, Eduardo Marcellones, and Gamaliel Simbajon.
Palma also picked Fr. Socrates Saldua as his episcopal vicar supervising District 6 along with his vicars forane, Fathers Rey Talaugon and Lyndon Ruiz.
Fr. Michael Hisoler is now the episcopal vicar in District 7 to be assisted by Fathers Jun Almazol, Ace Vocales, Januario Kipling Agravante IV, and Jun Sarchez as his vicars forane.
The Bantayan Island group in Cebu will have an ad extra episcopal vicar after Palma appointed Fr. Marcelino Jorge Agravante Jr. for the position.
As Palma’s vicars general, Penagunda and Labajo will function as his principal deputies in the Archdiocese of Cebu in the exercise of administrative authority.
Being Palma’s second-in-command in their respective territory, they possess the title local ordinary and exercise ordinary executive power.
The seven episcopal vicars and an ad extra episcopal vicar will perform the functions of the vicar general under their respective jurisdictions.
The 23 vicars forane in seven districts in the archdiocese will become in charge of a subdivision of the Cebu archdiocese called forane vicariate.
According to the report, the vicars forane are also entrusted to encourage parish priests to attend lectures and theological meetings, conferences and seminars, and ensure spiritual guidance of the priests under his care.
The vicar forane, it said, are also tasked to support priests assigned in poor parishes, give spiritual and material assistance to sickly priests, and provide proper burial to the priests who will die while under his vicariate.
They also are tasked to visit parishes under his district upon the instruction of the local prelate.
“Dako ang responsibilidad nga gisangon sa mga bag-ong napili nga vicar sa artsidyosesis ug sigurado nga daghang hagit ang again nila. Nagkinahanglan sila sa pag-ampo sa Simbahan aron mabarogan nila ang dugang aspeto sa ilang pangalagad (Big responsibilities have been imposed upon the newly appointed vicars in the Archdiocese and they face great challenges ahead. They need the prayers of the Church in order for them to withstand with the new aspect of their service),” the weekly’s editorial said. (PNA)