Pope Francis appoints Oblate priest to head Jolo vicariate
COTABATO CITY – Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Romeo Saniel of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) as Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate of Jolo, replacing Bishop Angelito Lampon, OMI, who was earlier appointed as Archbishop of Cotabato.
Monsignor Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio of the Philippines, said in a communiqué to Bishop Lampon that Father Saniel, president of Notre Dame of Jolo College, had been appointed by Pope Francis to the new post on December 16 last year.
Father Saniel will be installed as administrator of the Jolo Vicariate on January 30.
“I humbly accept this appointment,” Father Saniel told the Inquirer by phone.
“I thank the Holy Father through Monsignor Caccia, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, for the trust given to me to continue the good work that the Oblates have started here in the vicariate,” Father Saniel said.
He will lead the Vicariate as officer-in-charge until a new bishop is named by Pope Francis.
As administrator, Father Saniel said he would push for the OMI missions of building bridges among Jolo Vicariate’s diverse cultures and faith.
“The OMIs built Notre Dame schools that helped bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians because not only did the schools stress respect for the Muslim religion and culture, they also provided affordable education to Muslim Filipinos, settlers and indigenous people,” he said.
“I will continue promoting social development through housing, livelihood, cooperatives, and health care projects which to this day, contribute to the peaceful coexistence between Muslim and Christian communities,” Father Saniel said.
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