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Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

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Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro
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In a land area of 3,799 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers comprising the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin and one municipality of Bukidnon.

Misamis Oriental is one of the five provinces of Northern Mindanao. The province is located along the northern coast of the island of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Macajalar Bay, on the west by Iligan Bay, on the south and southwest by the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte, and on the east by Agusan del Norte.

Camiguin Island is located at the northern tip of Mindanao. The island province is bounded to the north by Bohol Sea, to the west by Macajalar Bay, to the southeast by Gingoog Bay and to the east by Butuan Bay. Camiguin is the smallest province in Northern Mindanao, with a land area of approximately 30,000 hectares. The island province is composed of five towns: Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Sagay and Mambajao, which is the island-province's capital town.


As of year end 2016 the total population of archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro is 1,435,098 of which 75 percent are Catholics.

In the mountains of Misamis Oriental there are some indigenous Filipinos popularly known as lumad. Lumad is the local term used to refer to indigenous ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines who were neither Christianized nor Islamized.


  • The Establishment of the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro
    When Zamboanga was made into a Diocese in 1910 (April 10), it comprised the whole of the island of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. Thus, Cagayan de Oro became part of the Diocese of Zamboanga detaching it from Cebu.

    On Jan. 20, 1933 Pope Pius XI created a second diocese in Mindanao, that of Cagayan de Oro, separating it from Zamboanga and giving it jurisdiction over the then provinces of Surigao, Oriental and Occidental Misamis, Bukidnon, and part of the province of Lanao. Together with Zamboanga it became a suffragan of the new ecclesiastical province of Cebu.

    In 1939 the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro was divided again with the creation of the Diocese of Surigao comprising the provinces of Surigao and Agusan; and in 1951 was divided again with the creation of the Diocese of Ozamiz comprising the provinces of Lanao and Misamis Occidental.

  • The Elevation of Cagayan de Oro into an Archdiocese
    On June 29, 1951 Pope, Plus XI elevated Cagayan de Oro to an archdiocese, coinciding with that of Jaro. The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro became the first archdiocese in Mindanao, thereby separating Mindanao from the Ecclesiastical Province of Cebu. It had as its suffragans all the dioceses and prelatures then in Mindanao: Surigao, Cotabato, Sulu, Davao, Ozamiz, and Zamboanga which had been its mother diocese. It became an archdiocese seven years ahead of its mother diocese.

    On June 29, 1951 by the Apostolic Constitution "Quo Philippina Respublica" which reorganized the ecclesiastical provinces in the Philippines, together with Nueva Segovia of Ilocos Sur, Caceres of Camarines and Jaro of Iloilo), Cagayan de Oro became the first Archdiocese in Mindanao. It comprised all the then existing dioceses and prelatures of Mindanao (Surigao, Cotabato, Sulu, Davao, Ozamiz) including Zamboanga, its Mother diocese, which became an archdiocese only in 1958. Thus, at that time Cagayan de Oro became one of the six Ecclesiastical Provinces in the Philippines and the only one in Mindanao.

    Its first Archbishop was Archbishop James T.G. Hayes, S.J. who was the Archbishop until the acceptance of his retirement in 1970.

    With the creation of the Archdioceses of Zamboanga (May 19, 1958), Davao (June 29, 1970), Cotabato (Nov. 5, 1979) and Ozamiz (Jan. 24, 1983), the present suffragan dioceses of Cagayan de Oro now are: Malaybalay (Province of Bukidnon), Butuan (Provinces of Agusan Norte and Sur), Surigao (Province of Surigao Norte) and Tandag (Province of Surigao Sur).

    The Patron Saint of the Archdiocese is St. Augustine of Hippo whose feast falls on August 28. The choice of St. Augustine as Patron Saint can perhaps be explained by the fact that the Augustinian Recollects came to Cagayan de Oro in 1624 and worked in earnest for the spread of Christianity.

  • The Archdiocesan Vision
    "A renewed community of believers fully knowing, loving and serving Christ, proclaiming the Good News and actively participating in the building of a society of Justice, peace and love."

    And Its Mission
    "We, the servant-leaders of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, in collaboration with and in participation of the fullness of the Bishop's priesthood, and making our own the call of the Plenary Council of the Philippines II for renewal and transformation, commit ourselves: 1) to live a life that is rooted in Christ; 2) to live the life of evangelical poverty, celibacy and apostolic obedience; 3) to serve as pastoral leaders with the compassion and humility of the Good Shepherd; 4) to celebrate the Eucharist as authentic presiders and to proclaim the Word credibly; 5) to live as brothers respecting each one's freedom and fostering a sense of belonging; 6) to be in the midst of our people to know their plights, anguishes, hopes and aspirations; 7) to be imbued with deep love of preference for the poor, defending and vindicating their rights; 8) to nurture a filial devotion of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother."

    History of the name Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro
    The name Misamis Oriental was derived from the word Misa, a Spanish term for mass or a church rite. When Christianity was still new in the Philippines, the converts were usually heard to shout "Misa!, Misa!" every time the priests traveled in the area. Thus, over a period of time, the Spanish missionaries called the province "Misamis". Other sources revealed the word "Misamis" is derived from "KUYAMIS", a variety of sweet coconut which was the staple food of the earliest known Negrito settlers of the territory. The word "KUYAMIS" was corrupted to Misamis when the Spanish colonizers came.

    The Cagayan de Oro City's name can be traced back during the arrival of the Recollect friars in 1622, the area around Himologan was already known as "Cagayan". In fact, early Spanish documents in the 1500s already referred to the place as "Cagayan". The area of Northern Mindanao, which included Cagayan, was granted as an encomienda to a certain Juan Griego on Jan. 25, 1571. How did this name originate, when we also know that there is a Cagayan in Luzon and a Cagayan in Sulu Language researchers trace the etymology of the name "Cagayan" as coming from the Proto-Philippine language, the root of many Filipino languages? In this language, which was Malayo-Polynesian, the word for water was "ag". "Agus" was the "flow of the water" hence "agusan" was "the place where there is a flow of the water". In that same language, "kagay" meant "river". "Kagay-an" meant "the place of the river". That is the root of the name of Cagayan, derived from the great river that runs through the city.


Literacy rate (simple literacy) in the diocese is in Camiguin 96.44 percent and in Misamis Oriental 91.68 percent.

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