Newly installed Bishop Jose Ramirez Rapadas of Iligan says he will work for peace, the environment and young people
Bishop Jose Rapadas, right, is installed in Iligan Diocese on Sept. 5. (Photo by Richel Umel)
The Philippines’ newest bishop was installed in Iligan Diocese in the southern region of Mindanao on Sept. 5, vowing to be "a servant who is willing to listen."Bishop Jose Ramirez Rapadas, who at 47 is the country's youngest prelate, arrived in his diocese escorted by police and soldiers. In his message to Catholics upon his installation, Bishop Rapadas said a church that stops to listen "loses her youth and turns into a museum."
Jeemar Vera Cruz, vice mayor of the city of Iligan and a Catholic priest on leave, said the new bishop is "young but full of wisdom" and a "very intelligent guy.""We will try our best to build a strong city just as our church will try build a strong Church," he said.After his appointment early this year, Bishop Rapadas became the youngest member of the College of Bishops in the Philippines.He now heads Iligan Diocese, which has about a million Catholics in 26 parishes. Iligan has had no bishop since December 2017 when Bishop Elenito Galido died.Before he was named bishop, he was the vicar general of Ipil Diocese, also in Mindanao.Bishop Rapadas was ordained a priest in 1999 after finishing his studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City.He had his licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Loyola School of Theology at Ateneo de Manila University.As a priest, he served as seminary professor and rector, director of catechesis, parish vicar and coordinator of the diocesan social pastoral ministry.
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