This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Roman Catholic Diocese of Balanga" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Diocese of Balanga

Dioecesis Balangensis

Diyosesis ng Balanga
Diócesis de Balanga
Diocese of Balanga coat of arms.svg
Coat of arms
Location
Country Philippines
TerritoryBataan
Ecclesiastical provinceSan Fernando
HeadquartersDiocesan Shrine and Cathedral-Parish of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, Aguire Street, Poblacion, Balanga City, Bataan
Coordinates14°40′45″N 120°32′24″E / 14.6792°N 120.5400°E / 14.6792; 120.5400
Statistics
Area1,373 km2 (530 sq mi)
Population
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2018)
747,960
647,350 (86.5%)
Parishes37 parishes, 1 chaplaincy, 1 minor basilica, 1 quasi-parish, 1 chapel
Schools11
Information
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedMarch 17, 1975
CathedralDiocesan Shrine and Cathedral-Parish of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
Patron saintSt. Joseph, Husband of Mary
Current leadership
PopeFrancis
BishopRuperto Cruz Santos
Metropolitan ArchbishopFlorentino Galang Lavarias
Vicar GeneralJosue V. Enero
Map
Ph fil bataan.png
Website
http://www.balangadiocese.com
http://diocesisdebalanga.org/

The Diocese of Balanga is one of the 72 dioceses of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It was established on March 17, 1975 by Pope Paul VI.

The diocese comprises the whole civil province of Bataan, with 37 parishes, one minor basilica, chaplaincy, quasi-parish and chapel, and 4 vicariates. It has 11 schools as of 2017, with 10 are operated by the diocese's Diocesan Schools of Bataan (DSOB). The Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral-Parish of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary in Aguire Street, Poblacion, Balanga City, serves as the seat of the diocese. It is the suffragan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga.

The titular patron of the diocese is Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary, whose feast day falls on March 19. The city fiesta is celebrated on April 28.

The diocese, under the name "The Roman Catholic Bishop of Balanga, Inc.", has a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) account.

Brief history

The Diocese of Balanga was established on March 17, 1975 by Pope Paul VI through the Papal Bull “Quoniam Recte Universum”. It comprises the entire civil province of Bataan, the smallest among the provinces of Central Luzon. The province is a peninsula jutting out to sea, with Manila Bay to the east, South China Sea to the west, and the province of Zambales to the north.

Before this, the region was divided into two parts: the Corregimiento of Mariveles and the Province of Pampanga. The towns of Mariveles, Bagac, Morong and Maragondon, Cavite, comprised the Corregimiento of Mariveles that was under the jurisdiction of the Recollect Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The province of Pampanga included the towns of Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Abucay, Samal, Orani, Llana Hermosa and San Juan de Dinalupihan. The latter group was under the charge of the Dominican Order. Limay, the twelfth town of Bataan, was named only in 1917.

The topography of the province has made most of the inhabitants farmers or fishermen, with a sprinkling of merchants, factory workers and professionals. Recent years, however, have seen the development of manufacturing industries in the province, particularly the Free Zone in Mariveles which has brought an influx of workers from other provinces and improved living conditions of its own workers.

Historically, Bataan is most remembered, along with the island of Corregidor, as the main scene of action in the Philippines during the Second World War. These places are strategic in guarding the entrance to Manila Bay. The surrender of Filipino and American soldiers to overwhelming Japanese forces marked the Fall of Bataan in 1942. A war memorial, Dambana ng Kagitingan, now stands to honor the men who fought and died in that last stand.

Vicariates and parishes

Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph, Balanga
Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph, Balanga
St. Michael Arcangel Parish Church, Orion
St. Michael Arcangel Parish Church, Orion
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary of Orani
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary of Orani
Saint Dominic Parish Church, Abucay
Saint Dominic Parish Church, Abucay
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church, Limay
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church, Limay

Vicariate of St. Peter of Verona

Vicariate of St. Dominic De Guzman

Vicariate of Our Lady of the Pillar

Vicariate of St. Michael the Archangel

Schools

Bishop and Apostolic/Diocesan Administrator

The cathedra of the Bishop of Balanga (January 2013). It has the coat of arms of Bishop Ruperto Santos that is placed on the cathedra since he became bishop of the diocese on July 8, 2010.
The cathedra of the Bishop of Balanga (January 2013). It has the coat of arms of Bishop Ruperto Santos that is placed on the cathedra since he became bishop of the diocese on July 8, 2010.

The diocese is headed by a bishop which is appointed by the pope like other dioceses and installed as bishop of the diocese on his installation date, with his installation makes him become Bishop of Balanga and marks the start of his term as the diocese's bishop. The seat of the Bishop is at the Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral-Parish of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, also known as Balanga Cathedral, in Aguire Street, Poblacion, Balanga City which is under the patronage of the Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary. The bishop's residence, however, is located at P. Paterno Street, also in Poblacion, Balanga City. When the diocese becomes vacant or a successor is not yet installed, either an apostolic administrator which is appointed by the pope or a diocesan administrator may temporarily govern the diocese until a successor is installed.

Bishop Celso N. Guevarra was appointed by Pope Paul VI on June 4, 1975 and became the diocese's first bishop on November 8, 1975 eight months after its founding. He served as bishop of the diocese until his retirement on April 8, 1998. Guevarra is the longest-serving Bishop of Balanga, served for 22 years and 308 days.

Due to the retirement of Bishop Celso Guevarra, Pope John Paul II appointed Honesto Ongtioco as the diocese's second bishop and became bishop of the diocese two months later on June 18, 1998. Ongtioco served as bishop of Balanga until he became Bishop of Cubao on August 28, 2003. On May 3, 2004, Socrates Villegas was appointed by the same pope as the diocese's bishop and became the third bishop on July 3, 2004. Villegas served as the bishop of the diocese until he became archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan on November 4, 2009. Bishops Honesto Ongtioco and Socrates Villegas both served as the diocese's bishop for 5 years.

Due to Socrates Villegas became archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan on November 4, 2009 which ended his term as bishop of Balanga, Msgr. Victor de la Cruz Ocampo (later became Bishop of Gumaca in Quezon six years later on September 3, 2015) was named as the diocesan administrator of the diocese and served the position until Bishop Ruperto Santos, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as bishop on April 1, 2010 and ordained on June 24, 2010, became the diocese's fourth and current bishop on July 8, 2010.

The diocese is currently headed by Bishop Ruperto Santos since July 8, 2010. Santos is the diocese's second-longest serving bishop after Bishop Celso N. Guevarra since December 2015, and the longest-serving living bishop of the diocese. He is also the first bishop to serve as parish priest of one of the diocese's churches, as he serves as parish priest of St. Nicholas of Tolentino parish church in Mariveles since June 5, 2020 to serve the unexpired term of Fr. Gerry Jorge where the latter was stepped down as parish priest on the said month of 2020.

Timeline of bishops and apostolic/diocesan administrators

Ruperto SantosSocrates VillegasHonesto Ongtioco

List of Bishops of Balanga and Apostolic/Diocesan Administrators

Order Image Name Place of birth Period in Office Age at start/end of episcopacy Formerly Bishop of Notes Motto Coat of Arms
1
Diocese of Balanga coat of arms.svg
Celso Nogoy Guevarra Capas, Tarlac November 8, 1975
– April 8, 1998
(22 years, 308 days (8344)
52 / 75 Titular Bishop of Vannida, Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando, Philippines Died August 13, 2002, tomb in the bell tower of the cathedral Pacem et veritatem diligamvs (Love, Truth, and Peace)
Coat of Arms of Bishop Celso Guevarra.svg
2
FvfStPaulManilaInvestiture8914 34.JPG
Honesto Flores Ongtioco San Fernando, Pampanga June 18, 1998
–August 28, 2003
(5 years, 71 days (1897)
49 / 54 Priest of San Fernando, Pampanga Installed as Bishop of Cubao on August 28, 2003 Maior autem caritas (The Greatest (Thing) is Love)
Coat of arms of Honesto Ongtioco as Bishop of Bataan.svg
3
JfStAugustineFiesta4065PatronalesBaliuagfvf 02 (cropped).JPG
Socrates Buenaventura Villegas Pateros July 3, 2004
–November 4, 2009
(5 years, 124 days (1950)
43 / 49 Titular Bishop of Nona, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, Philippines Installed as Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan on November 4, 2009 PAX (Peace)
Coat of Arms of Socrates Villegas as Bishop of Balanga.svg
Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator Victor de la Cruz Ocampo Angeles, Pampanga November 4, 2009
–July 8, 2010
(246 days (246)
N/A Installed as Bishop of Gumaca on September 3, 2015 N/A
4
BishopStude.JPG
Ruperto Cruz Santos San Rafael, Bulacan July 8, 2010
–present
(12 years, 73 days (4456)
52 / — Priest of Manila, Philippines Ad Seminandum (To Sow)
Coat of Arms of Ruperto Santos.svg

Priests of the diocese who became bishops

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.balangadiocese.com/coat.htm COAT OF ARMS of Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D.Bishop of Balanga paragraph 4
  2. ^ http://www.balangadiocese.com/coat.htm COAT OF ARMS of Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. Bishop of Balanga paragraph 5

Coordinates: 14°40′45″N 120°32′24″E / 14.6792°N 120.5400°E / 14.6792; 120.5400