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Philippines: Pope names Divine Word Priest as new bishop of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro

Bishop-elect Pablito Tagura of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro (Photo Credit: Father Jerome Marquez, SVD)

Pope Francis chose Father Pablito Martinez Tagura of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) to be the new Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in the province of Occidental Mindoro on December 17.

Since February 2016, the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose has been temporarily entrusted by the Pope to Bishop William Antonio, concurrently the Bishop of the Diocese of Ilagan in Isabela, as Apostolic Administrator.

Fondly called "Father Pabs," Pablito Martinez Tagura currently serves as the rector of Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City.

Father Tagura was born in Tayum, Abra, on January 15, 1962. Before he went to Christ the King Mission Seminary in 1978, he went to St. Joseph Minor Seminary for three years and Divine Word College in Bangued, Abra, for a fourth.

On June 1, 1980, he went to the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City to become a novice. He professed his first vows on June 6, 1982, and his final vows on May 31, 1988. 

The sixty-year-old priest was ordained a deacon on June 9, 1988, and to the priesthood on December 17, 1988. 

At Divine Word Seminary, he got both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Philosophy, with the predicate of cum laude and manga cum laude. He earned his ecclesiastical and AB Theology (magna cum laude) from Divine Word Seminary with a degree conferred by the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana. 

In 1997, he finished his doctorate of philosophy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

In addition to teaching and being the head of the Christ the King Mission Seminary, he is also on the Provincial Council of the SVD Philippine Central Province. 

On April 5, 1983, the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose was set up. There are 525,354 people living there in 2020, and 87% of them are Catholic. 

The vicariate has 20 parishes with 11 diocesan priests, several religious priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, and a large number of active lay leaders. With Inputs from Father Jerome Marquez, SVD


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