Archdiocese of Lipa

Archidioecesis Lipaensis

Arsidiyosesis ng Lipa
Arquidiócesis de Lipa
Coat of arms
Country Philippines
Ecclesiastical provinceLipa
Area3,165 km2 (1,222 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2018)
3,073,400 (95.3%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established10 April 1910 (Diocese), 20 June 1972 (Archdiocese)
CathedralMetropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian
Patron saintSt. Joseph the Patriarch (Primary Patron)
Our Lady of Caysasay (Titular Queen of the Archdiocese)
St. Sebastian (Patron Saint of Lipa City)
Current leadership
ArchbishopGilbert Armea Garcera[1]
Vicar GeneralRuben Dimaculangan
Bishops emeritusRamon Cabrera Arguelles (Archbishop Emeritus)

Jurisdiction of the metropolitan see within the Philippines.
Website of the Diocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa is an archdiocese in the Philippines comprising the civil province of Batangas and with its cathedral located in the city of Lipa. First created in 1910 from the Archdiocese of Manila, the diocese was elevated into its present status in 1972. Today, the Ecclesiastical Province of Lipa covers Batangas and suffragan territories in the civil provinces of Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Aurora. The archdiocese itself is divided into 14 vicariates further comprising a total of 64 parishes.


Historical marker installed at the cathedral by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2011 commemorating the diocese.
Historical marker installed at the cathedral by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2011 commemorating the diocese.


Former Coat of arms of then-diocese of Lipa(as illustrated in Philippine Studies)
Former Coat of arms of then-diocese of Lipa(as illustrated in Philippine Studies)

The Diocese of Lipa was created on April 10, 1910, separating it from that of Manila under the supervision of Pope Pius X and with Giuseppe Petrelli as its first bishop. The diocese then covered the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Tayabas (now Quezon, Marinduque, and Aurora), and Mindoro (now Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro). There were initially very few priests for the large diocese.

Bishop Petrelli invited different Roman Catholic religious institutes to come to his diocese and help minister to the spiritual needs of the faithful. He also conceived the building of a seminary in the diocese. In June 1914 a diocesan seminary was built in Bauan, which was later transferred to San Pablo in Laguna. This initiative of the first bishop was continued by the next bishop, Alfredo Verzosa, the diocese's first Filipino bishop, who served a long term from 1916 to 1950. He invited priests from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help in the administration of the new seminary.

On July 2, 1936, Mindoro was separated and came under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Prefecture of Calapan. On March 28, 1950, Lucena became a diocese of its own covering the southern portion of Quezon and Marinduque. About a month later on April 25, the Prelature of Infanta was created, comprising the remaining part of Quezon, including the Polillo Islands and what is now the province of Aurora.

In 1950, Rufino Santos took over the diocese. Described as a financial administrator of great acumen, Bishop Santos applied for bank loans to help construct some buildings. This way he continued the construction work of the Lipa Cathedral and built a major seminary beside it.

Laguna became a separate diocese on November 28, 1966, seated in the city of San Pablo and becoming a suffragan of Manila. This left the Diocese of Lipa covering only the province of Batangas.

Elevation into an archdiocese

With the departure of Monsignor Rufino Santos for the Archdiocese of Manila came a young bishop, Alejandro Olalia, D.D., who stayed with the diocese from 1953 to 1973. It was during his term that the Diocese of Lipa, on June 20, 1972, became the country's tenth Archdiocese and Ecclesiastical Province by order of Pope Paul VI. This same order elevated Bishop Olalia to the rank of archbishop on August 15, 1972.

Bishop Olalia died in 1973 and was replaced by Bishop Ricardo J. Vidal who stayed with the diocese until 1981. During his incumbency. Bishop Vidal organized the Pastoral Council, and initiated the construction of the Lipa Archdiocesan Formation Center.

Bishop Vidal was replaced in 1981 by Bishop Mariano Gaviola, who stayed with the diocese from 1981 to 1993. He was at the helm of the archdiocese as it celebrated its 75th anniversary and on March 19, 1993, the reins of the archdiocese were again transferred, this time to Bishop Gaudencio Rosales, a native of Batangas City. He was ordained priest in Lipa in 1958, became Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in 1974, served as bishop in Malaybalay in 1982, and on December 30, 1992 he was elected Archbishop of Lipa. Archbishop Rosales founded Aral Batangueño and the small giving foundation Pondong Batangan.[2]

With the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Sin in 2003, Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales was chosen by Pope John Paul II to be the Manila's new prelate, leaving the See of Lipa under the apostolic administration of its Auxiliary Bishop Jose Paala Salazar (d. 30 May 2004). On May 14, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, another native of Batangas City as the fifth Archbishop of Lipa.

In his 13 years in office, Archbishop Arguelles canonically erected new parishes in Lipa City, Lemery, Taysan, Tanauan City and Batangas City and organized Marian events such as the annual Taal Lake Marian Regatta and National Days of Prayer in Lipa, both held every September. He is a strong opponent of the passage of RH Law, the operation of motorist lodges in the province, the possible mining activities in the municipality of Lobo, and the construction of a coal-fire power plant in Batangas City. He also led the establishment of a local election watchdog separate from the Church-based PPCRV.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Argüelles on February 2, 2017 and then appointed Bishop Gilbert Garcera, the Bishop of the Diocese of Daet, Camarines Norte as its sixth Archbishop and eighth Local Ordinary.[3]

Coat of arms

The cross and arrows are symbols of Saint Sebastian the Martyr, patron of the cathedral. The two white long-stemmed lilies are symbols of Saint Joseph, head of the Holy Family, to whom the faithful of the diocese are ardently devoted. [4] The bottom of the shield shows the lake and volcano of Taal in Batangas.


Metropolipan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa
Metropolipan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa

The archdiocese has jurisdiction over the Catholic faithful in the province of Batangas. The province's land area is 3,165 square kilometers (1,222 sq mi) and the population as of the 1994 census is 1,668,480 of which 99.5 per cent are Catholics. The archdiocese also has general supervision over the suffragan dioceses and territorial prelatures for the provinces of Quezon and Marinduque.

The archdiocese is divided into 14 vicariates, each headed by a vicar forane. Except for the parishes in the 4th District of Batangas (excluding Taysan) which are run by the Oblates of St. Joseph, all other parishes are run by the diocesan clergy. There are 64 parishes in all, served by 143 priests. 122 of them diocesan. There are 13 religious brothers, and 197 religious sisters. Catholic schools number 23, high school seminaries 2 and college seminaries 3. Two pastoral centers are being maintained.

Suffragan dioceses and apostolic vicariates


The seat of the Archbishop is in Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian. The Archbishop is also overseer of several suffragan dioceses of Lipa.

List of Archbishops of Lipa

No. Picture Name From Until Notes
1 Giuseppe Petrelli, D. D. April 12, 1910 March 30, 1915 Appointed as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Lipa; later appointed as official to the Roman Curia
2 Servant of God
Alfredo Florentin Versoza, D. D.
September 6, 1916 February 25, 1951 Retired from office
3 Alejandro Ayson Olalia, D. D. December 28, 1953 January 2, 1973 Elevated to the rank of Archbishop when Lipa became an Archdiocese on 20 June 1972; died in office
Ricardo Jamin Vidal, D. D. August 22, 1973 April 13, 1981 Later appointed Archbishop of Cebu, and Cardinal
5 Mariano Garces Gaviola, D. D. April 13, 1981 December 13, 1992 Retired from office
Gaudencio Borbon Rosales, D. D. December 13, 1992 September 25, 2003 Later appointed Archbishop of Manila, and Cardinal
Ramon Cabrera Arguelles, D. D. May 14, 2004 February 2, 2017 Retired from office
8 100px Gilbert Armea Garcera, D. D. February 2, 2017 present

Auxiliary bishops


On August 18, 1995 after much review, and meetings presided over by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales himself, the archdiocese's vision was conceived:

A people of God called by the Father in Jesus Christ to be communities of totally developed human persons in the world, witnessing to the Kingdom of God by living the Paschal Mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the News

On April 10, 2010, the Archdiocese of Lipa celebrated the 100th anniversary of its elevation as a diocese by launching the coffee table book, A Century of Faith: The Local Church of Lipa. The event was held at the historic Basilica of St. Martin of Tours in Taal, Batangas.[5]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ admin. "Pondong Batangan Community Foundation, Inc". Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e nomine". Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  4. ^ Madriaga, Mariano (1957). "The Coats-of-Arms of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions in the Philippines: Part II. The Suffragan Sees in the Luzon Area". Philippine Studies. 5 (4): 420–430. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  5. ^ "A Hundred Years' Journey in Faith," Starweek Magazine, July 8, 2012

Coordinates: 13°56′27″N 121°09′47″E / 13.9408°N 121.1630°E / 13.9408; 121.1630