Pope Francis expressed his respect for the life and ministry of former Bishop Angel Tic-I Hobayan of Catarman, who died on March 11 and was laid to rest at the Catarman Cathedral, Philippines, on March 22, 2023.
Bishop Hobayan (93) was the first Catarman bishop, who served in the Northern Samar province, he served for 30 years. He was also the country's oldest bishop when he died.
Bishop Emmanuel Trance read the Pope's letter in which the Pope expressed his closeness to the local Church and recalled the late bishop's "many years of devoted priestly and episcopal ministry."
In addition, he prayed, "that Christ the mighty Shepherd would reward him for his labours, enabling him to enter heaven in serenity and joy."
At Catarman Cathedral, the Papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, celebrated the Mass and Father Agustin Opalalic, a Filipino priest serving in the Diocese of San Diego, gave a homily.
“To be here for the funeral is an honour and privilege to be with you at this moment when we pray for him,” Archbishop Brown said.
Despite retiring 18 years ago, Bishop Hobayan did not grow tired of being called upon by his successor, Bishop Emmanuel Trance, to assist in his pastoral ministry until his physical fragility and old age overcame his desire to always be available to the people he loved as priest and bishop, according to Father Opalalic.
Many people attended the funeral service for the late prelate, including all the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Palo led by Archbishop John Du.
After the Mass, Bishop Hobayan's remains were interred on the front left side of the cathedral’s altar.
On March 25, 1955, Hobayan was ordained a priest in Taft, Eastern Samar.
In addition to serving as vicar general, the prelate served as the first rector of the Seminario de Jesus Nazareno in the diocese.
Hobayan was appointed head of the Catarman Diocese by Pope Paul VI in 1974.
On March 5, 1975, Hobayan was "ordained bishop, and on March 11, 1975, he was installed."
“Hobayan retired from the episcopal ministry on March 10, 2005, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.”
- with inputs from CBCP News
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