Diocese of Calbayog

Dioecesis Calbayogana

Diyosesis han Calbayog
Coat of arms
Country Philippines
TerritoryWestern Samar
Ecclesiastical provincePalo
Area5,069 km2 (1,957 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2021)
753,748[1] (94%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedApril 10, 1910
CathedralCathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul
Patron saintsPeter and Paul
Secular priests71
Current leadership
BishopIsabelo C. Abarquez
Metropolitan ArchbishopJohn F. Du
Vicar GeneralNiceas Abejuela

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calbayog is an ecclesiastical territory of the Catholic Church named after its episcopal see, Calbayog, a city on the western side of the province of Samar in the Philippines.


Samar and Leyte, two civil provinces in the Visayan group of the Philippines, which include the islands of Balicuatro, Batac, Biliran, Capul, Daram, Homonhon, Leyte, Manicani, Panaon, Samar and several smaller islands, once made up the diocese of Calbayog, now a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Palo. The diocesan Calbayog has a cathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.

The Diocese of Calbayog is the local church comprising the civil territorial jurisdiction of western Samar Island. The island, the third largest in the Philippines, is composed of three provinces: Northern Samar with Catarman as capital, Eastern Samar with Borongan as capital and the Samar Province with Catbalogan as the capital. The City of Calbayog is where the Cathedral of the diocese is located since its ecclesiastical foundation on April 10, 1910, by Pope Pius X. The new Diocese was before made of the whole Samar and Leyte islands.

On April 28, 1934, Pope Pius XI promulgated an apostolic constitution with the incipit Romanorum Pontificum semper separating the dioceses of Cebu, Calbayog, Jaro, Bacolod, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro from the ecclesiastical province of Manila. The same constitution elevated the diocese of Cebu into an archdiocese while placing all the newly separated dioceses under a new ecclesiastical province with Cebu as the new metropolitan see.[2]

Subsequently, Palo was ceded from Calbayog as a separate diocese in 1937, Borongan in 1965 and Catarman in 1975. The historical vicissitudes of the Diocese of Calbayog cannot be fully appreciated apart from the history of the early evangelical works of the first missionaries who came to Samar. The first Jesuit missionaries reached Leyte and Samar in 1595, the islands subsequently forming part of the Diocese of Cebu until erected into a separate diocese on 10 April 1910. The first bishop was Pablo Singzon de la Anunciacion.

It was transferred to the ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Palo, which was promoted to a Metropolitan Archdiocese on November 15, 1982.

Local Ordinaries

No Name In office Coat of arms
1. Pablo Singzon de la Anunciacion 12 April 1910 Appointed - 9 Aug. 1920 Died
2. Sofronio Hacbang y Gaborni 22 Feb. 1923 Appointed - 3 April 1937 Died
3. Miguel Acebedo y Flores 6 Dec 1937 Appointed - 25 July 1958 Died
4. Manuel P. Del Rosario 25 July 1958 Succeeded - 11 Dec. 1961 Appointed, Bishop of Malolos
5. Cipriano Urgel y Villahermosa † 22 Mar 1962 Appointed - 12 April 1973 Appointed, Bishop of Palo
6. Ricardo Pido Tancinco † 8 March 1974 Appointed - 21 April 1979 Resigned
7. Sincero Barcenilla Lucero † 10 Dec. 1979 Appointed - 11 Oct. 1984 Resigned
8. Maximiano Tuazon Cruz 20 Dec. 1994 Appointed - 13 Jan. 1999 Retired
9. Jose Serofia Palma 13 Jan 1999 Appointed - 18 March 2006 Appointed, Archbishop of Cebu
10. Isabelo Caiban Abarquez 5 Jan. 2007 Appointed - present

Sources and references


  1. ^ "Calbayog (Catholic Diocese)". gcatholic.org. Retrieved 2023-09-18.
  2. ^ Pope Pius XI, Apostolic Constitution separating some dioceses from the ecclesiastical province of Manila to form the new ecclesiastical province of Cebu Romanorum Pontificum semper (28 April 1934), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 27 (1935), pp.263-264. PROVINCIA ECCLESIASTICA MANILANA DISMEMBRATIO ET NOVA CAEBUANA PROVINCIA ERIGITUR.

12°04′00″N 124°35′42″E / 12.0666°N 124.5950°E / 12.0666; 124.5950