By Christina Hermoso
Preparations are underway for the ordination and installation of new Filipino bishops who have recently been appointed to the post by Pope Francis to fill in vacancies.
Bishop Jose Rapadas, the youngest Filipino bishop at 46, will be ordained on August 20 at the St. Joseph the Worker, Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga. He will be installed as the new bishop of the diocese on September 5.
On August 21, Bishop Dennis Villarojo, the former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu, will be installed at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Malolos.
Bishop Roberti Gaa will be ordained on August 22 at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila. He will be installed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches on August 24.
The Holy Father Pope Francis has named eight new Filipino bishops since January this year to fill in vacancies. These include, aside from Bishops Rapadas and Gaa, Diocese of Pagadian Bishop Ronaldo Lunas, Diocese of Daet Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, Diocese of Antique Bishop Marvyn Maceda, Archdiocese of Ligayen-Dagupan Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog, Prelature of Isabela Bishop Leo Dalmao, and Diocese of Butuan Bishop Cosme Damian Almedilla.
Only three dioceses remain vacant to date – the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo in Sulu, San Jose in Mindoro, and Taytay in Palawan.