By Christina Hermoso
The youngest Filipino bishop to serve, newly appointed Diocese of Iligan Bishop Jose Rapadas III, has asked the faithful for prayers as he prepares to serve as the fifth bishop of Iligan.
“This is another challenge for me so I continue to ask for your prayers for the Holy Spirit to help me in my new responsibilities as the bishop of Iligan,” the 46-year-old bishop-elect said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Rapadas expressed his gratitude to his fellow priests in the diocese and to Ipil Bishop Julius Tonel “for their support in my new task to lead more than a million Catholics in Iligan and the priests serving in its 26 parishes,” he said.
The bishop-elect, likewise, thanked the Holy Father Pope Francis “for the trust and the opportunity to serve more.”
“I am very happy and thankful for the trust and confidence that has been given to me by Pope Francis,” said Rapadas, who is currently serving as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Rapadas’ appointment was announced in Rome on June 13. He succeeds Bishop Elenito Galido, who died on Dec. 5, 2017. Since then, Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog has been overseeing the diocese as apostolic administrator.
Born on July 12, 1972 in Tondo, Manila, Rapadas was ordained priest in 1999. In the last 20 years, he served in various capacities as seminary professor, Director of the Office of Catechesis for the Family and Life, rector of the Saint Joseph College Seminary, and professor of Religious Studies at the University of Zamboanga.