Pope appoints Davao del Sur priest as new Pagadian bishop
DAVAO CITY–Pope Francis has appointed a priest from Davao del Sur as the new bishop of Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reported on its website.
Fr. Ronald Lunas, the current parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur, has been called to succeed Redemptorist Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, 76, whose resignation as Pagadian bishop has been accepted by the Pope, the CBCP announced.
CBCP said the appointment of Bishop-elect Lunas and the retirement of Bishop Cabajar were both announced at 12 noon in Rome (7 am, Manila time) on Thursday, Nov. 22.
Bishop-elect Lunas was born in Bala, Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur, under the Diocese of Digos, on Nov. 27, 1966.
He obtained his philosophy degree at the St. Francis Xavier College Seminary here, after which he studied theology at St. Francis Regional Major Seminary also in this city.
He was ordained priest for the Digos diocese on April 7, 1992, and was assigned as parochial vicar at the parish of the Immaculate Conception in Caburan village in Jose Abad Santos town.
He finished his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1992.
Upon his return from Rome, he first served as Professor and then as Dean of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary. From 2005 to 2008, he was assigned as Chancellor of Digos. In 2008 he became parish priest of the parish of St. Isidro Labrador in Davao City.
Since 2013, he has been serving as the Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy, member of the College of Consultors and of the Presbyteral Council.
CBCP said the Pope has appointed Cabajar as apostolic administrator “sede vacante” of the diocese until Lunas formally takes over. /muf
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