Pope Francis appointed Father Rex Ramirez, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Palo, as new bishop of the diocese of Naval in the central Philippines, replacing Bishop Filomeno Bactol, whose retirement takes effect end of the year. The Vatican
announced the appointment of Father Ramirez on Oct. 13. "We are very happy to have a new bishop," said Archbishop John Du of Palo. He said the appointment of a new bishop from Palo is an affirmation of the "commitment shown by our local priests." "I am very proud of my priests in the archdiocese of Palo," said the prelate. "What we are witnessing is a communion among the priests, and because of that, God has blessed us to be privileged, a gift to have a bishop," said Archbishop Du. Father Ramirez, 49, currently rector of the Transfiguration of our Lord Cathedral, took up Philosophy at the Sacred Heart Seminary of Palo. He finished his theology
studies at the Jesuit-run Loyola School of Theology in Manila. He was ordained a priest in 1995. From 1997 to 2007 he studied at the Pontifical St. Anselm Athenaeum in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in liturgy. He worked at the San Leone Magno parish in Rome until 2002 then became resident chaplain of the Suore Missionarie del Sacro Costato in Rome and chaplain of the Filipino community of La Storta in the Diocese of Porto-Santa Rufina. When he returned to Leyte
in 2007, he served as professor and spiritual director at the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology in Palo while acting as coordinator of the lay apostolate in the archdiocese. In 2013, he became rector of the Sacred Heart Seminary of Palo and in 2014 became rector of the metropolitan cathedral and vicar general of the archdiocese.