UCA News


Fisherman's son is new bishop of Mindanao

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle ordained Father Raul Bautista Dael as bishop of Tandag

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Fisherman's son is new bishop of Mindanao

Father Raul Bautista Dael (center) leads Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila (left) and Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro to the altar during the priest's ordination his ordination as new prelate of Tandag Diocese on June 7. (Photo by Froilan Gallardo)

Share this article :
A son of a poor fisherman from a coastal town in the southern Philippines was ordained bishop of Tandag in Mindanao's Surigao del Sur province on June 7.

A priest for the past 25 years, Bishop Raul Bautista Dael, a native of Misamis Oriental province, was ordained by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

He will replace 77-year-old Archbishop Nereo Odcimar, who retired earlier, as Tandag prelate.

In his message during the ordination ceremony, Cardinal Tagle reminded Bishop Dael that being a bishop "is not just an honor (and) is not a promotion, it is not a career."

"It is not climbing a ladder and getting up there before the others. No, it is all about mission, in the same way that Jesus was sent," said Manila prelate.

Cardinal Tagle told the new bishop "not to fret" and to soldier on despite the trials that will come his way as a church leader.

For his part, Bishop Dael said he was "trembling in fear" upon hearing the news of his appointment from the papal nuncio in February.

"It was as if the mystery entered through my flesh and penetrated my whole being that I could feel my innermost flesh tremble," he told reporters after the ordination.

Bishop Dael said he could not imagine himself being trusted with such a "very sublime mission."

"I felt unworthy. I know my own inadequacies. But at the same I also felt the Lord was pleased with my efforts despite my weaknesses," he said.

Bishop Dael said he will not rush things in his diocese but would take the time out to acquaint himself with the people he will be serving.

"At the moment, I would not yet go into heavy stuff. I simply would like to listen and observe," he said.

Bishop Dael chose "Duc in Altum (put out into the deep)," a verse from the Bible, as his episcopal motto to remind him of his humble beginnings.

He said his motto also highlights "the centrality of my intimate friendship with the Lord in whom my entire ministry and life depend."

Prior to joining the seminary, Bishop Dael spent most of his adolescent years at a local school in his hometown. He took up philosophy at the Jesuit-run Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.

He began his religious and priestly formation at the San Jose de Mindanao College Seminary in 1983. For his theological studies, he enrolled at the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and graduated in 1993.

He obtained his licentiate in sacred theology at the Loyola School of Theology in Manila and took up his doctoral studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."