The Laoag Clergy


Visit St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Marcos, Ilocos Norte.

The CHRONOS: Monthly Diocesan Schedule for FEBRUARY 2009

July 26: Laoag's foundation anniversary and St. Anne Parish fiesta

Today, the Diocese of Laoag celebrates her 48th birthday. Today, too, is the launching of activities in commemoration of the diocese's golden anniversary in 2011.

Let us pray for our diocese. Let us pray for the increase of faith and the deepening of love and commitment to God and the Church.

Happy fiesta to the Piddiguenos!

Click here to read CBCP news on the launching.

July 25: Fiesta greetings!

Today is the feast of St. James the Greater.

Happy fiesta to our brothers and sisters in Solsona and Pasuquin!

Cadaratan Church: A Miracle in Progress

Cadaratan Church: A Miracle in Progress

The Dream Church of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Cadaratan, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte

The Dream Church of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Cadaratan, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte

Foundation for the church-construction project in Cadaratan, Bacarra put up!

The construction of the OUR LADY OF FATIMA PARISH CHURCH started anew, September 8, the birthday of Mama Mary. Very crucial in this project is the financial consideration being tacked by the whole parish community. To address this concern, we, the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils, together with our newly-appointed parish priest, Rev. Leonardo L. Ruiz, planned to put up a FOUNDATION for the continuation and completion of the construction of the parish church.

The Foundation is chaired by our beloved Bishop, Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, D.D. and the members of the Board include Victor R. Bolosan, M.D., Rosalina R. Javier, Flordelina T. Cadelina, Eugenia M. Mendoza, Emilia B. Agonoy and Dante Subia, all from Our Lady of Fatima Parish.

Registration of the Foundation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is under way.

Architects and Engineer: Arch. Coleen Cajigal and Arch. Joemar Bolosan, Engr. Eduardo Cid.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED. For those who wish to send their donations directly through the bank, this is our bank: PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Batac Branch, Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. DOLLAR ACCOUNT NUMBER: 158881300038; Account Name, Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, D.D., Victor R. Bolosan, M.D. and Flordelina T. Cadelina. PESO CHECKING ACCOUNT: 158881300020, with the same above-mentioned account name.

The Happy Priests

The Happy Priests
The clergy during their annual retreat with Bp. Mylo Vergara of the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija as retreat master at Betania Retreat House in Baguio City, November 10-13




For financial assistance or donations in-kind, please contact the Bishop or the Curia at (077)770-5210, or Fr. Lorenzo Torreflores (Baresbes, Dingras) at 0917-5701085, Fr. Danny Devaras (Carasi) at 0920-5537806, Fr. Lester Menor (Davila, Pasuquin) at 0915-7879701, Fr. Leo Ruiz (Cadaratan, Bacarra) at (077)670-3801, and Fr. Anthony Dimagiba (Sta. Rosa, Sarrat) at (077)782-2031, Fr. Antonio Calautit, SVD (Pancian, Pagudpud) at 0918-5228902.

Listen to DZEA-CMN Radio Totoo, 909 khz!

Pray for your priests. They need your prayers as much as you need theirs.

Pray for your priests. They need your prayers as much as you need theirs.
The clergy of Laoag with the lone cardinal of Thailand and the bishop of Changmai

PHILIPPINES Themes of Friendship And Sacrifice, Not Prejudice, Come Through Shakespeare Play, by Leilani Adriano

December 11, 2008

LAOAG CITY, Philippines (UCAN) - High-school student Sharmaine Mata was among more than 1,000 people laughing and chattering as they watched William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice staged in Filipino at a local college.

The 15-year-old Santa Rosa Academy student was filled with "excitement" and "curiosity," she said, because it was her first time to watch a live play.

Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte province, is 340 kilometers north of Manila.

Mata remembered vividly the character Antonio, who was willing to "sacrifice his life" to help his friend, Bassanio, who needed a large sum of money. Antonio was able to borrow the money for him from Shylock, a greedy moneylender, by agreeing to give a pound of flesh if he failed to pay it back.

Fellow student Jan-Jan Decano, 14, another person UCA News interviewed in connection with the play, was also impressed by Antonio's commitment to his friend. The boy told UCA News it was hard for him "to imagine someone would sacrifice his life just to help out a friend."

Actors' Repertory Theater staged the play on Nov. 29 at Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City, in collaboration with local tourism and education officials. The Manila-based theater group has been touring cities and towns outside the national capital region to promote appreciation of Filipino culture and Christian values through stage plays.

Group member Don Umali said he hopes students in areas where the medium is not popular will deepen their appreciation of theater arts.

The Merchant of Venice, written in the late 1590s, has stirred debate over the Jewish identity of its villain, Shylock. The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League provides on its website ( a discussion guide for educators on anti-Semitism and The Merchant of Venice. The website says the league seeks to stop defamation of the Jewish people, and secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike.

However, Father Joel Castillo, superintendent for Catholic schools in Laoag diocese, noted that the local audience found the nature of the characters "more important" than their religion and did not express any prejudice.

"In Ilocos Norte, people of all religions live in harmony and without prejudice," the school superintendent said on Dec. 11.

Laoag diocese serves Ilocos Norte province. Roughly 67 percent of 658,454 people are Catholics, according to the 2005 Catholic Directory of the Philippines. Most of the rest are other Christians.

Santa Rosa English teacher Mercy Reyes told UCA News teachers appreciated The Merchant of Venice as well. She said it showed students values "we have been teaching them in the classroom."

According to provincial education department records, there are about 20,000 high-school students in Ilocos Norte.

Catholic schools require students to take Christian Life Education where values are taught. The public high-school curriculum integrates values education in Filipino, English literature and other subjects.

On Dec. 8, Father Nolasco Pacua Jr., Laoag's catechetical director, told UCA News each parish provides optional weekly catechism classes for students in public elementary and high schools in their area that have values formation in their curriculum.

The director said about 140 catechists teach 15,000 students.

From UCAN News



Responding to the Call of the 2nd Vatican Council and the 2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines for Communion, Participation and Co-responsibility in the Church; and desirous to realize the Commitment of the First Diocese of Laoag Plenary Assembly to renew and revitalize our Diocese toward making it a veritable Kingdom of God and a Community of Disciples of Jesus Christ; through the intercession of Mary Our Blessed Mother and St. William the Hermit our Patron Saint, we promulgate this Constitution of the Parish Pastoral Councils in the Diocese of Laoag.


Section 1. The Parish Pastoral Council (henceforth PPC) is a Representative Group of the Christian faithful of the parish that acts as the official policy-making, planning, implementing and monitoring body of the Parish.
Section 2. The PPC is an advisory and consultative body to the Parish Priest (or Pastor, henceforth PP) who has the final and accountable decision in parochial agenda in accord with the provisions of Church Law and in line with Diocesan policies and norms.



Section 1. To draw a parish pastoral plan in line with the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
Section 2. To approve the Budget of the Parish which is made and presented to it by the Parish Finance Council.
Section 3. To foster participation and communion among the People of God with one another in the parish and with the other Parishes in the Diocese.
Section 4. To give support to the PP and undertake any appropriate project or task given to it by the PP.


Section 1. Membership in the PPC is by:
a. Ex officio:
The PP and Parochial Vicar/s
Religious Sister (the Superior of the Community)
Principal or President of the Catholic School
b. Appointment by the PP:
One member from each of the Parish Commissions
Two Representatives of the Youth
c. Election by their own constituents
One Representative of (Mandated) Religious Organizations
One Representative of (Charismatic) Religious Movements
One Representative from each Barangay Pastoral Council. (In big parishes, there will be one representative from each Cluster of BPCs.)


Section 1. The group of officers of the PPC shall be known as the Executive Board (henceforth EB).
Section 2. The members of the PPC shall elect among themselves, by secret ballot, the officers or members of the EB, composed of the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Other officers can be added to the EB (from among the members of the PPC) as deemed necessary by the PP or PPC, but they should not exceed seven in number.
Section 3. The functions of the EB are:
a. To make recommendations for the good of the parish, to be approved
by the PPC en banc.
b. To prepare the Agenda for the PPC en banc meeting. This involves prioritizing the needs of the parish.
c. To act as the Secretariat and Steering Committee of the PPC.
d. To undertake any task given to it by the PP and the PPC.
Section 4. The duties of the Officers are as follows:
a. President – presides in the PPC and EB meeting when delegated by the PP and to represent the Parish in appropriate occasions.
b. Vice-President – assumes the duties of the President in the latter’s absence.
c. Secretary – takes the minutes of meetings and keeps the records.
d. The Treasurer keeps and accounts for the funds of the PPC, but not
necessarily of the Parish.

Term of Office

Section 1. The term of office of officers is two years, renewable for another term. No officer can serve for more than two consecutive terms. However, they are eligible again to be officers after a break in their officership.
Section 2. In case a member ceases to be a member because of resignation, incapacity or disqualification, the PP will appoint somebody from the same sector to serve out his/her unexpired term.
Section 3. Current PPC officers as of February 2009 are considered to be in their first term. Therefore, they can be reappointed or reelected for their second term during the coming election.


Section 1.
Only those Christian Faithful who are outstanding in the practice of the Faith in their parish, and who can commit themselves and are able to work with others, can be members of the PPC.
Section 2. No elective official in the Government from Barangay Captain upwards can be a member of the PPC, much less be an officer.
Section 3. No member of the PPC can be a member of the PFC and vice versa.


Section 1. The meetings of both the PPC and the Executive Board shall be presided over by the PP, although he may delegate the PPC President to preside. The PP can call a special meeting whenever he deems it necessary.
Section 2. The PPC en banc meets bi-monthly, and so does the Executive Board. Hence, their meetings alternate every month. The meetings are held on the ______ Sunday (or another day) of the month, at ______ o’clock in the Parish Hall..
Section 3. All meetings must be formal in nature, and minutes are to be duly recorded and kept. It is encouraged that a short bible-based prayer should precede every meeting.

Parish Pastoral Commissions

Section 1. Worship and Liturgy
Section 2. Christian Education
Section 3. Social Action
Section 4. Temporalities
Section 5. Youth
Section 6. Family and Life
Section 7. Vocations

Election, Organization and Cessation

Section 1. The PPC should have already been constituted by the end of January of 2009, and every other year thereafter, i.e. on an odd-ending year. The election of the Executive Board is to be held simultaneously in all parishes of the Diocese on the fourth Saturday of February also on an odd-ending year.
Section 2. The members and officers of the PPC will take their oath of office on the Monday of Holy Week, after the Chrism Mass. They start their office and assume responsibility after they take their oath.
Section 3. In case the PP is changed, the PPC members and officers are considered ipso facto resigned. However, the new PP may reinstate them in writing to serve their unexpired term.

Amendments in this Constitution may be made by the Bishop in consultation with the Priests’ Assembly, who will in turn make recommendations in consultation with their parishioners. The Bishop may also consult other groups.

This Constitution and By-Laws is hereby promulgated and takes effect today, the First Sunday of Advent, the 30th of November, 2008 and will remain effective until it is abrogated by the Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese.


+ Sergio L. Utleg, D.D
Bishop of Laoag
November 30, 2008

The Chronos for December 2008

1: Monday: Advent Weekday. WHITE.

2: Tuesday: Advent Weekday. VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Attends the Northern Vicariate Meeting in Pagudpud

Let us pray for:
Rev. Florante B. Rigonan + (Birthday)
Rev. Romualde D. Batoon (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)
Rev. Adriano Lagoc + (Birthday)

3: Wednesday: St. Francis Xavier, priest. WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Presides over a wedding in Manila

4: Thursday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET. or m. of St. John Damascene, priest, religious and doctor. WHITE.

Let us pray for
Rev. Jaime B. Jose (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)

5: Friday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the City Hall, 5:00 p.m.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Victor P. Hernando (Birthday)

6: Saturday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET, or m. of St. Nicholas, bishop, WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Presides over the Holy Mass with the Mother Butler’s Mission Guild


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral

8: Monday: THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Principal Patroness of the Philippines. WHITE.

Bishop's Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral, 5:30 a.m.
Presides the Patronal Fiesta of Immaculate Conception Parish, 8:00 a.m.;
Officiates the Anniversary of the coronation of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, 2:30 p.m.

9: Tuesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
ECIP Staff Meeting with the bishop, Bishop’s Residence (9-10)

10: Wednesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral
Meets with the Commission on Youth, 3 p.m., Bishop's Residence

11: Thursday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET. or m. of St. Damasus I, pope. WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Presides over mass at the Clarisas Capuchinas Monastery

Let us pray for:
Rev. Damaso Argel + (Birthday)
Rev. Mariano Pacis + (Birthday)

12: Friday: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Philippines, WHITE.


Let us pray for:
Rev. Tranquilino T. Santos, Jr. (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)

13: Saturday: St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, RED.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the CFC Christmas Family Day, DWCL Gym, 4 p.m.

Recollection and Program of Tenants, Bishop’s Residence
Recollection and Program of Apostleship of Prayer, Bishop’s Residence

Let us pray for:
Rev. Hermogenes G. Saturnino, Jr. (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)
Rev. Lorenzo G. Torreflores (Birthday)
Rev. Henry Josue + (Birthday)

National Youth Day

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral, 6:00 a.m.;
Presides over mass with the Confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. John Sahagun Parish, Burgos, 3:00 p.m.; The bishop attends book launching in Batac.

Launching of the Book, “Out of the Depths-Revisiting the ‘Epicenter’ of Aglipayanism” venue: Kalipi Training Center, Batac City, Time: 7:00 p.m.

Recollection and Program of the members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at St. John Sahagun Parish, Burgos

Let us pray for:
Rev. Primo Cabanos, Jr. (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)
Rev. Ericson M. Josue (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)

15: Monday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule :
Officiates a wedding at the cathedral, 2:30 p.m.;

Christmas Recollection and Program of Catechists

16: Tuesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.
Start of Misa Aguinaldo

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Nicholas Parish, San Nicolas

17: Wednesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Andrew Parish, Bacarra

18: Thursday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Balatong, Laoag City

19: Friday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. John the Baptist Parish, Badoc

Let us pray for;
Rev. Noel Ian G. Rabago (Birthday)

20: Saturday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Marcos

Recollection and Christmas Program of ARWIN, Bishop’s Residence
Recollection and Christmas Program of Lay Ministers at SMS GYM

Let us pray for:
Msgr. James A. Bonoan (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Joseph Parish Laoag City. He also celebrates the mass at the Regional Conference of Youth for Christ at the Bacarra National High School, 9:00 a.m.

22: Monday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at the Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish, Sta. Rosa, Sarrat

23: Tuesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Gabriel Parish, Nueva Era

24: Wednesday: Advent Weekday, VIOLET.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates the Aguinaldo Mass at St. Anne, Piddig;
Presides over the Midnight Mass at the Cathedral


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral

26: Friday, Stephen, First Martyr, RED.

Christmas Recollection and Program of PRIESTS’ PARENTS, Bishop’s Residence (a.m.)
Christmas Recollection and Program of Diocesan Employees (p.m.)

Let us pray for:
Rev. Ercison M. Josue (Birthday)

27: Saturday: St. John, apostle, evangelist, WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates wedding in Manila


Fr. Fred Lamprea Child of Hope Memorial Project, Christmas Program and Gift Giving, SAJPC

29: Monday: FIFTH DAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS, WHITE. or. m of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr. WHITE.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Jesus Cirilo R. Bala, Jr. (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates a wedding in Cagayan

Let us pray for:
Rev. Noel Ian G. Rabago (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)

m. of St. Sylvester I, pope, WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates mass at the cathedral

Let us pray for:
Rev. Damaso Argel (Death Anniversary)

THE DIOCESE OF LAOAG: The Faith Grows From the Ashes of the Aglipayan Schism, by Rev. Danilo R. Laeda

The turn of the 20th century saw the Church in the Philippines being put asunder. The once monolithic faith established by the zealous and indefatigable Castilian missionaries three centuries and a half before was shaken due to the Religious Revolution as an offshoot of the nation’s quest for sovereignty to shake away the yoke of colonialism in the last decade of the 19th century. This was a fight in the religious sphere of the Filipino clergy towards self-determination, that is, an all-Filipino hierarchy. Of the five ecclesiastical jurisdictions then existing in the country, the then Diocese of Nueva Segovia suffered the most. The epicenter of the tremors was in Ilocos Norte. This was understandable since the man whose name was stamped in the schism, Gregorio Aglipay y Labayan, was a native of the province. Practically the whole province, with the exception of few families, was swept by the tide of national feelings. Only one priest of the seventeen then assigned in the province remained in the fold.

A hundred years later and with an ecclesiastical jurisdiction comprising the whole province of Ilocos Norte, the Roman Catholic faith has grown considerably. The once moribund Church loyal to the Roman Pontiff is now more vigorous than ever.

Colonization of Ilocos Norte and Christianization

Long before the coming of the Spaniards, there already existed an extensive region (consisting of the present provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union) renowned for its gold mines. Merchants from Japan and China would often visit the area to barter beads, ceramics and silk with gold. The inhabitants of the region believed to be of Malay origin, called their place Samtoy from saomi ditoy, which literally meant “language spoken in this place”.

Like other parts of the Philippines, Ilocos Norte before the advent of Spanish colonization was inhabited by different tribes. Settlements were located along the river systems. Most people preferred to settle down near their farming or hunting grounds. Trade between seashore communities and nearby China must have been present considering the proximity of the place with mainland Cathay. Religion was mainly animistic with the belief in Supreme Being like “Kabunian” and other minor spirits which were collectively known as di-kataotao-an.

The Diocese of Laoag shares the early history of its mother see, the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. Christianity came to this part of the country in June 1572 during Northern Luzon “pacification” campaign led by the Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo and his Augustinian chaplain Alonzo de Alvarado. It is said that the cross was first planted on top of what is now known as Ermita Hill in Laoag. However, it was not until 1575 when Vigan was finally “pacified” by the Castillians that effective evangelization campaign reached this part of the newly established Province of Ilocos. During this last quarter of the 16th century, mission centers were established in Laoag, Bacarra, San Nicolas, Batac and Dingras. Towards the end of Spanish rule in the Philippines, there were 13 towns. The evangelization of this northern part of Ilocos Province was done by the Augustinian friars. They did their apostolate here until the end of Spanish rule in 1898.

Ilocos norte was so remote from the central government in Mnaila during the Spanish Regime. It was rural and rustic. Owing to the abusive practices of many Augustinian friars, a number of Ilocanos revolted against their colonizers. A number of uprisings erupted. Noteworthy of these were the Dingras uprising (1589) and Pedro Almazan revolt (San Nicolas, 1660). One in Bacarra led by a certain Juan Magsanop was triggered by a series of revolts in the south in the 17th century. The Augustinian parish priest of the town Juan de Arias was killed by the rebels. In the first quarter of the 19th century three rebellions in a row erupted in a period of fifteen years, which prompted the colonial government to divide the Ilocos province in 1818. One of these revolts in Piddig town was caused by the government’s attempt to put a monopoly on the production of basi, a locally produced wine fermented from sugarcane juice.

The Rise and Decline of Aglipayanism

Three quarters of a century later this rebellion was experienced in the religious sphere. The Philippine Religious Revolution at the turn of the 20th century that gave rise to the Philippine Independent Church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente [IFI]) made Ilocos Norte as the epicenter. Only one of the seventeen Filipino priests then assigned to the province remained steadfast to the Catholic faith. This was mainly because the former guerilla padre Gregorio Aglipay, now the religious leader of the new schismatic movement was from Batac and both his lieutenants, Simeon Mandac and Santiago Fonacier were from Laoag. The “Independientes”, (to distinguish them from the “Romanos”) as they were subsequently called, brought with them about 95% of the total population of Ilocos Norte.

It was a slow and painful recovery for the “Romanos” in this part of the Philippines. The years following 1902, the foundation year of the IFI, were difficult. All church properties except the Laoag Cathedral were taken over by the schismatics. However, the Philippine Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 1905 (Barlin vs. Ramirez) ordering the return of properties belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, which were taken over by the Independientes, saved the day for the Romanos. By 1908 appointees for the parishes in Ilocos Norte took their billet. Practically all of them were soon withdrawn because they suffered indignities from the “Aglipayanos”. A strategy was worked out by the then American Bishop of Nueva Segovia, the Most Rev. Dennis Dougherty. Priests were soon assigned to their hometown to bring back to the fold their relatives and their tenants. Hence, we have the likes of Luis Cortez of Badoc, Mariano Pacis of Vintar, Clemente Edralin of Sarrat, who was later murdered in his convento of mysterious causes, Atanacio Albano of Bacarra and others.

The Canonical Erection of the Diocese of Laoag: Antonio Ll. Mabutas as Bishop

The Civil Province of Ilocos Norte became the Diocese of Laoag in 1961. The first bishop was the former chancellor of the mother see of Nueva Segovia, Antonio Lloren Mabutas of Agoo, La Union. The next decade saw the building up of the new diocese. Infrastructure had to be built and the people spiritually prepared and clergy had to be united.

The St. Mary’s Seminary opened its doors to the first batch of seminarians in 1963, although the construction was still going on. The bishop’s residence soon stood up along Gomez Street in the then outskirts of Laoag City. The Catholic Center Building near the cathedral replaced the old Knights of Columbus building, Catholic Schools were opened (St. Anne in Piddig, St. James in Pasuquin, St. Lawrence in Bangui and St. Jude in Pagudpud) to add to those already existing at the time of the separation. Two parishes were erected: St. Anthony of Padua in Marcos and St. Gabriel in Nueva Era.

Lay formation was centered on the Cursillos de Christianidad. This was a weekend lived-in retreat. Then came a new trend in catechesis, the Christian Community Program. This was a different approach from the Baltimore-type of traditional catechism. The Diocese of Laoag was one of the experimental centers for the whole Philippines.

A good number of priests from La Union (6) and Ilocos Sur (6) were “trapped” in the Diocese of Laoag as a result of the separation. Unity and spiritualization among the clergy had to be worked out. The monthly recollection and meeting had to be consistently held. Priests from every nook and cranny of the diocese were urged to go to Laoag every month for this event. These were the times when coming to the center was still a feat considering the dust and bumpy roads to the interior parishes in the eastern and northern vicariates.

Bishop Rafael Montiano Lim: A Tagalog in the Heart of Ilocandia

When the 1970s came, storm clouds were looming in the horizon for the Diocese of Laoag. In 1970, Bishop Mabutas was elected coadjutor Archbishop of Davao. Archbishop Juan Sison of Nueva Segovia was apostolic administrator during the months of vacancy. The following year Bishop Rafael M. Lim of Boac, Marinduque (then a part of the Diocese of Lucena) came to Laoag. This was a difficult decade everywhere: the first and second quarters saw the storm of activism, the “hippie” generation, martial law and dictatorship, the changes brought about by Vatican II were now being felt.

It was Bishop Lim who introduced the first reshuffle of priests’ assignments in the diocese, thus moving the well-entrenched “immovables”. The general reshuffle in 1973 also tried to standardize the finances of the parishes with priests theoretically receiving equal remunerations. A system of parish financial reporting was established with transparency as the end in view. this did not progress in the ensuing years, and it was eventually dropped to give away to the quota system, that is, each parish was assessed and the amount to be submitted to the curia was fixed.

The Diocese experienced the exodus of priests in this decade. Many priests either left the diocese or left the active ministry. By 1978 five parishes were already without priests. In the middle of this year, Bishop Lim became the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Boac, Marinduque, his home province. The Rev. Jose F. Agustin served as diocesan administrator.

Edmundo Madarang Abaya: The shepherd for 20 years

By early 1979, the diocese had its third bishop in the person of Edmundo M. Abaya of Candon, Ilocos Sur. The next two decades saw the diocese on the rise. New orders of Sisters came mainly to do pastoral work. At its highest number, there were 17 religious orders of sisters working in the diocese. The priestly identity crisis brought about by the shift of things by Vatican II was on the wane. More vocations, hence more ordinations, were coming up. The catechetical program of the diocese was beefed up with a more centralized management. However, the once thriving Catholic Schools in the diocese were on the run because of many factors.

The strong earthquake of 1983 wrought havoc and destruction to the centuries-old churches of the diocese. Two years later all the destroyed churches and rectories were rebuilt or restored.

The diocese of Laoag celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation in 1986 with much fanfare. Archbishop Antonio Mabutas of Davao, the first ordinary, presided over the opening Eucharist. The San Lorenzo Medical and Dental Charity clinic was also inaugurated to serve the indigents who need medical and dental treatment. About the same year, the Foyer de Charite in the compound of the St. Mary’s Seminary was slowly rising to serve as a retreat house for the diocese.

In 1994, Bishop Abaya convoked the First Diocese of Laoag Pastoral Assembly. This was in response to the renewal of the Philippines called for by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991. This was a week-long gathering of clergy, religious and lay faithful of the diocese to pray, to reflect on the pastoral situation and to offer solutions and remedies. It was geared towards creating a community of disciples in the Diocese of Laoag. The Vision-Mission Statement with the Acts and Decrees of the Pastoral Assembly reflects the pastoral situation of the diocese and the kind of response to be addressed to such.

Bishop Abaya’s episcopal ministry in the Diocese of Laoag came to an end when he was installed as the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia on September 8, 1999. The diocese was again without a pastor. The months of interregnum were under the leadership of the Rev. Rodolfo R. Nicolas, who served as administrator for 16 months.

Fourth Bishop: Another Ilocano From the Southern Ilocos Province

On January 30, 2001 Bishop Ernesto A. Salgado became the fourth Bishop of Laoag. A native of Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, he was originally a priest of Nueva Segovia. When he took possession of the See of Laoag he was already a veteran in the mountain missions of the Cordilleras having served as Apostolic Vicar of the Mountain Provinces for 14 years.

Bishop Salgado steered the 40th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Laoag with the Church as Mystery of Communion as its theme. The celebration was held on July 28, 2001, a Saturday, to allow more faithful in the celebration. The biblical exegete Fr. Gerardo Tapiador was the main speaker.

There are three things the bishop Salgado wanted to do in his episcopal ministry in the diocese of Laoag. First is the security of priests to make them veritable servant-leaders of this particular church. Priestly solidarity and fraternity was the second, to create a community of servant-leaders reminiscent of the primitive Christian community in Jerusalem. And the third was the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) to create a community of disciples.

Indeed, this was a gargantuan task. But the life of the priests and the faithful is what makes the Church. Talis sacerdos, quails grex, so the old Latin Maxim goes. A dedicated and unified presbyterium would be the first witnessing of the priests towards BEC. Basic Ecclesial Communities could only endure for as long as they are served by dedicated and selfless priests.

Four new parishes were erected during Bp. Salgado’s term: St. Francis of Assisi in Davila, which was carved out of St. James in Pasuquin; Our Lady of Fatima in Cadaratan from St. Andrew in Bacarra; Divine Mercy in Pila, comprising the 10 barrios in the northwestern portion of Laoag; and, St. John Bosco in Baresbes, covering three barrios at the eastern side of Dingras. St. Joseph the Worker in Carasi was being prepared but events did not permit its formal erection as parish during the tenure of Bp. Salgado.

After much rev up, Bishop Salgado was still taking off when he was named to his mother see, the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, which he took possession on May 31, 2005. The former Vicar General, the Rev. Jacinto A. Jose, was elected by the Board of Consultors as the diocesan administrator. He could not wait for the coming of the new Bishop of Laoag, though. He was ordained Bishop of Urdaneta on November 26, 2005. The Rev. Policarpo M. Albano continued to steer the diocese in the months of vacancy.

Bishop Sergio L. Utleg: Coming Back to His Roots

The diocese was sede vacante for 16 months. On November 13, 2006, the then ordinary of Ilagan (Isabela) Bishop Sergio Lasam Utleg was named to the See of Laoag. Bishop Utleg was formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, being a native of Solana, Cagayan. He was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Ilagan in 1996 and eventually took possession of the see a couple of years later. The appointment of Bishop Utleg to the See of Laoag is a homecoming of sort. His paternal grandfather was a native of Laoag who migrated to Cagayan. He was installed the fifth Bishop of Laoag on January 11, 2007.

To prepare for the forthcoming reshuffle of priest’s assignment and to have a firsthand knowledge of the whole diocese, Bp. Utleg immediately embarked on a pastoral visit. This commenced in February and completed in September of 2007. The bishop’s advocacy for environmental protection was immediately made manifest. He is practically making waves with the mountain climbing that he organizes to conquer the highest peaks of Ilocos Norte: Mt. Siminublan in Nueva Era, Mt. Masadsadoc in Vintar, Pico de Loro in the boundary of Pagudpud and Adams. Cycling buffs flock to him in his trek of the highways and the byways of the province.

The general reshuffle of priests’ assignments went through in April 2008, thus continuing a tradition of periodic transfer since 1973. Diocesan commissions were reorganized and the parish councils are being given a new direction with a uniform constitution and by-laws to be adopted in the whole diocese. Streamlining of the financial management of the parishes is now being prepared to adopt a uniform system thus paving the way towards a standardized remuneration of the clergy.

The 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese of Laoag is two and a half years away. This early Bp. Utleg has already started to lay down the groundwork for the celebration. He has tasked the presbyterium to craft a five-year diocesan pastoral plan. The 1994 First Diocese of Laoag Pastoral Assembly will soon be revisited for a reorientation to the present pastoral needs of this particular church.

The Roman Catholic faith has come a long way in this part of the Philippine archipelago. Thrown in the abyss of a schism a century ago there was only a flicker of light at the end of a long tunnel as the virus of apostasy spread in an epidemic proportion like the Bubonic plague. The recovery was slow but steady. The erection of the Diocese of Laoag in 1961 weaned from the mother see of Nueva Segovia exacerbated the growth of the faith. Although few shock waves are still felt at times relationship with our Aglipayan brethren has become more friendly if not cordial. Things are now seen in the lens of ecumenism espoused by Vatican II.

Foundation for the church-construction project in Cadaratan, Bacarra put up!

The construction of the OUR LADY OF FATIMA PARISH CHURCH started anew, September 8, the birthday of Mama Mary. Very crucial in this project is the financial consideration being tacked by the whole parish community. To address this concern, we, the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils, together with our newly-appointed parish priest, Rev. Leonardo L. Ruiz, planned to put up a FOUNDATION for the continuation and completion of the construction of the parish church.

The Foundation is chaired by our beloved Bishop, Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, D.D. and the members of the Board include Victor R. Bolosan, M.D., Rosalina R. Javier, Flordelina T. Cadelina, Eugenia M. Mendoza, Emilia B. Agonoy and Dante Subia, all from Our Lady of Fatima Parish.

Architects and Engineer: Arch. Coleen Cajigal and Arch. Joemar Bolosan, Engr. Eduardo Cid.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED. For those who wish to send their donations directly through the bank, this is our bank: PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Batac Branch, Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. DOLLAR ACCOUNT NUMBER: 158881300038; Account Name, Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, D.D., Victor R. Bolosan, M.D. and Flordelina T. Cadelina. PESO CHECKING ACCOUNT: 158881300020, with the same above-mentioned account name.

When man becomes a god

You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with honor and glory.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.(Ps. 8,6-7)

Such is the dignity of man. To him is entrusted the care of creation, the expression of God’s love. And this free act of God of choosing man to be the steward of all his works is consequent upon his (man’s) being fashioned after the divine image and likeness.

God is omniscient. Sharing in God’s goodness, man is thus gifted with knowledge so that he may be able to accomplish the holy task of stewardship over creation. Nevertheless, he is not given to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (Gen. 2,9). He may taste of the fruit of any of the trees in the garden except of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the middle (Cf.Gen 2,16). God does not let man eat of it by reason that it is the sort of fruit reserved only for God.

The knowledge which God gives man is more than adequate for him to carry out his task. Be that as it may, the prospect of becoming as God or as knowledgeable as he is (Cf. Gen. 3,6) intrigues him and appeals to him. But there is a sort of knowledge that only belongs to the economy of God. Now, man wants to cross the boundaries into the divine realm and mess with the affairs of God in the process. Quite unfortunately, he employs this knowledge not according to God’s designs but to his mere selfish follies.

With this sort of knowledge at his disposal, man, indeed, becomes a god . . yet without a heart, without compassion, without understanding, without respect for life – that singular gift of God. Yes, man as god loses the divine image and likeness.

It is very appalling how this godless god places his rule over the produce of God and puts life under his feet. Man tramples upon life as well as God's reproductive designs; life is reduced to a machine, a commodity, a toy on the hands of mindless minds and heartless hearts, a specimen on the laboratory table, a by-product of exploratory ventures, a mere deliverance of frail human choice.

O, when will man remember God and be truly man – again – and in prayerful admission, pronounce:

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
Nor was my frame unknown to you
when I was made in secret.
Your eyes have seen my actions;
in your book they are all written (Ps. 139,13.15a.16a) [?]

(by Fr. Tom Pascua)

DZEA Vision-Mission and History


Realizing the intense power of Broadcast Media in the promotion of Renewed Integral Evangelization and aware of the social responsibilitiesplaced upon all Catholic Broadcasters, we, broadcasters of DZEA “Radyo Totoo” Evangelization On The Air, envision ourselves as a community of disciples, evangelized, united in the Eucharist, determined to build God’s kingdom oflove, peace, justice, truth andfreedom in this world, in harmony with God,with one another, and with the rest of creation.


In the early 80’s, the mushrooming of Catholic Radio Stations all throughout the Philippines became a phenomenon. Realizing the great help of the use of airwaves as medium for evangelization, Bishop Edmundo Abaya applied to Philippine Congress the granting of a franchise to operate radio and television network. His application became a law with the franchise awarded to the Diocese of Laoag in 1986. Plans for the radio station became the main menu at priest’s meetings at all levels. Fr. Jacinto A Jose was given the task of preparing the feasibility study of the project while Fr. Rock Bonoan, who was the Oeconomus then, was tasked to exert all efforts for the resources needed.

As soon as Fr. Jack had submitted the required documents and Fr. Rock had provided for the equipments and building of the radio studio. DZEA was born with its initial broadcast on April 11, 1991. Fr. Jack became the first station manager with sacrificing staff consisting of skilled technicians and daring broadcasters. Fr. Rock, together with his brother Fr. Tito on the other hand, was given tasks to support the station manager especially in the programming and the involvement of the clergy in its program. The priests were very eager to go on the air and were willing to sacrifice not just their talents but also their time and treasure realizing the affectivity of this medium of bringing the Good News to every household even in far–flung areas.

The eagerness in putting up a radio station was not as quite in maintaining it. Soon, the eagerness waned and involvement has been curbed gradually by the difficulties that the radio station owned, managed and operated by the Diocese of Laoag, has undergone.

Fr. Rock took over the management of the station contacting here and there friends and benefactors just to remedy the ailing situation of the station. Bishop Abaya was always behind him. The time came when all when all Catholic radio stations all over the country desired to form network and thus resulted to the birth of the Catholic Media Network. Meanwhile, the CBCP has re-activated the Episcopal Commission on Mass Media and Social Communications, in keeping with the Vatican II declarations in Inter Mirifica. The veteran Jesuit Fr. James Reuter became executive secretary of the commission and formed the Philippine federation of Catholic Broadcasters, whose composition is almost the same with CMN.

For sometime, the CMN has become the marketing arm of all radio stations in the country. However, marketing was not as fine as in the beginning. National advertisers withdrew patronage of the network, one after the other. All CMN stations left the backlog. Advertisers, being capitalists and profit – oriented, opt to ask the services of the networks who could gain more popularity and share in the weakness of Filipinos. CMN cannot compromise the truth and its evangelistic mission with rumored broadcast putting weight on manipulative politics, sex, violence and sho0wbiz blitz. This common media practice in the Philippines is the very reason why the Church has come up an alternative radio station that tend to rectify a situation where media practitioners think that what is commonly practices is the right thing in the profession.

During the interregnum of Msgr. Rodolfo Nicolas, he appointed Fr. Noel Ian G. Rabago to manage the ailing radio station. When Bishop Ernesto Salgado arrived to hid new see, the problem of the station became the first taste of headache and anxiety. Optimistic as he is, he knows DZEA will survive through thick and thin On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the station on April 11, 2001, from the management of the staff to the listeners, the following words were words of consolation and hope, “If DZEA is God’s work, and He will never allow it to close down.”

Re-owning is the key for the clergy to be once again involves in the radio apostolate. Recently, the station experienced the care of the clergy through their monthly pledges and participation in the different programs. They lay were also involved through the participation of volunteers correspondents from the parishes and programs sponsored by the Religious Organizations and Movements of the Diocese. With these development, Bishop Salgado promise to prioritize DZEA in the mission appeals he plans to pursue in the near future.




5:00 AM DZEA PRIMETIME BALITA News & Public Affairs Anthony Dumlao
5:30 AM TI BIAG SAO/ ANGELUS Gospel Reading/Reflection - Host Priest
6:00 AM CMN VERITAS PILIPINAS - News & Public Affairs -(Network Program - Nationwide)
7:00 AM ILUKO BALITA EXPRESS - News Parade - Rod Sadian/Lubelyn Guillermo
7:30 AM ENTRA AKSYON - News & Public Affairs - Rod Sadian/Rommel Sagucio
9:00 AM SILAW TI PAGTAENGAN - Household Tips - Lubelyn Guillermo
9:30 AM SILAW (Wednesday) - INEC (Blocktime) - William Marders
10:00 AM IDI KALMAN KEN ITA Ilocano - Music/Dedication - Maricel Laeda
11:00 AM RISIRIS TI PANAWEN - News & Commentary - Rommel Sagucio
11:45 AM ILUKO BALITA EXPRESS - News Parade - Rommel Sagucio
12:00 NN ANGELUS/ SAO TI BIAG (Replay) /BIAG TI SASANTOS - Religious - Lubelyn Guillermo
12:15 PM TALDYAP TI NAGRUPSAN A KALMAN - Letter Reading - Leonard Villa
2:00 PM HALO-HALO ESPESYAL - Music/Dedication - Jovy Curammeng
3:30 PM ENTRA AKSYON - News & Public Affairs - Rod Sadian
5:15 PM NASANTOAN A MISA - Religious Cathedral Priests - (Live from Cathedral)
6:00 PM ILUKO BALITA EXPRESS - News Parade - Maricel Laeda/Jovy Curammeng
6:30 PM GIL-AYAB - Commentary - Rommell Sagucio
7:00 PM PUNTO KUWADRADO - News & Commentary - Leonard Villa
8:30 PM NASANTOAN A ROSARYO - Religious Taped


5:00 AM DZEA PRIMETIME BALITANews & Public Affairs - Anthony Dumlao
5:30 AM TI BIAG SAO/ ANGELUS Gospel Reading/Reflection - Host Priest
6:00 AM SAGIP BUHAY Disaster Preparedness Anthony Dumlao - (Network Program - Nationwide)
7:00 AM ILUKO BALITA EXPRESS - News Parade - Rod Sadian/Lubelyn Guillermo
7:30 AM ENTRA AKSYON - News & Public Affairs - Rod Sadian/Rommel Sagucio
9:00 AM PANANGIPATEG TI BIAG - Religious Program - Frankie Bitagon
9:30 AM MUMUNTING KUTITAP - Drama (Blocktime) - Transworld
10:00 AM RANIAG TI NAMNAMA - Drama (Block time) - Transworld
11:45 AM ILUKO BALITA - EXPRESS News Parade - Rommel Sagucio
12:00 NN ANGELUS /SAO TI BIAG (Replay)/ BIAG TI SASANTOS - Religious - Lubelyn Guillermo
12:15 PM TALDYAP TI NAGRUPSAN A KALMAN - Letter Reading - Leonard Villa
2:00 PM HALO-HALO ESPESYAL - Music/Dedication - Jovy Curammeng
3:30 PM ENTRA AKSYON - News & Public Affairs - Rod Sadian
5:10 PM NASANTOAN A MISA - Religious Cathedral Priests (Live from Cathedral)
6:00 PM ILUKO BALITA EXPRESS - News Parade - Maricel Laeda/Jovy Curammeng
6:30 PM GIL-AYAB - Commentary - Rommell Sagucio
7:00 PM PUNTO KUWADRADO - News & Commentary - Leonard Villa
8:30 PM NASANTOAN A ROSARYO - Religious Taped


5:00 AM KANTA MISA Liturgical Songs Automation
5:27 AM SAGID TI DIOS Religious (Blocktime) Transworld
6:00 AM NASANTOAN A MISA Live Mass Bishop Utleg
7:00 AM DAMAG SIMBAAN Church News Parade Maricel Laeda
7:30 AM SINGGALUT NI AYAT Religious Mr & Mrs Singson / Family & Life
8:30 AM TIMEK TI PASTORTAYO Gospel Reflections Bishop Utleg
8:45 AM AGRIMAT DAGITI BITUEN Talent Shows Luby Guillermo /Catechists
10:30 AM PROGRESO / KUMUSTAKA Religious Fr. Pitz / Winnie Velasco
11:45 AM TIMEK TI PASTORTAYO Gospel Reflections Bishop Utleg
12:04 PM LUBONGMI A DAGA Ecology Fr. Ted Remigio / Social Action
1:00 PM AGRAKSAKKA, TI DIOS ADDA KENKA “Evangelization 2008” Religious Fr. Richard Antonio
2:00 PM PASAKALYE Religious Jesuit Comm.
2:30 PM TALUGADING AGTUTUBO Talent Shows Luby Guillermo / Catholic Schools
3:00 PM 3 O’CLOCK PRAYER / TIMEK TI PASTORTAYO Gospel Reflections Bishop Utleg
3:45 PM BABAI GAMENGKA Religious Mrs. Rose Giron / CWL, MBG, AP & PUSA
4:30 PM O MARIA, NALIBNOSKA Religious Fr. Melchor Palomares /COLPH, LOM, DMI & OLFRC
5:30 PM AWAG KRISTYANO Religious Fr. Rey Respicio Rene Paguirigan & Seminarians
6:30 PM DAP-AYAN Talk Show Rommell Sagucio / DYC
8:00 PM TIMEK TI PASTORTAYO Gospel Reflections Bishop Ulteg
8:15 PM NASANTOAN A ROSARYO Religious Taped

DZEA Facilities


- NAUTEL ND10S 5,000 Wa


- Broadcast Electronics
- CR 10
- Motorola GM


ON-AIR COMPUTER (duo core2)


1 COMPUTER (duo core2)


OtsDJ 170
Mega Mix Radio Edition
Adobe Audition 1.5 and 2.0 Version


MOTOROLA GR500 (Repeater)

DZEA Board of Directors, Administration and Staff

909 kHz. 5K
Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Apayao, Cagayan

Bishop Sergio L. Utleg, D.D.

Fr. Nolasco Pascua Jr.
Fr. Ronald Bonayon
Atty. Nestor Corpuz
Mr. Francisco Bitagon
Ms. Lina Tan
Mrs. Evelyn Velasco
Mrs. Rose Giron

Station Manager
Rev. Fr. Rock Guy N. Bonoan

Assistant Station Manager
Robert T. Acidera

Program Officer
Fr. Melchor Palomares

Traffic Officer
Lubelyn Guillermo

Accounting Officer
Nancy Sampiloc

Technical Department
Bernard Curammeng
Gilbert Acidera

Broadcast Department
Jovelyn Curammeng
Rommell Sagucio
Maricel Laeda
Rodrigo Sadian
Florante Tariga
Anthony Dumlao


(Surat a Pangngeddeng ti Pannakabangon ti Our Mother of Perpetual Help Quasi-Parish)

Kalpasan ti naunday a panawen a pannakisarsaritak kadagiti Tattao ti Dios, nangnangruna kadagiti maseknan iti ili a Pagudpud ken Adams, ken ti panangipeksada iti iyaannamongda babaen iti pannakisaritada kaniak; kalpasan ti naincararagan a panangpampanunotko maipanggep ti kasapulan ken pagimbaganda; ken, kalpasan pay ti pannakiyumanko kadagiti papadi ti diocesis, kas Obispo iti daytoy a Diocesis ti Laoag,Code of Canon Law, canons 515-516 par. 1, ti panangipasdekko kadagitoy sumaganad a barangay ken ili:

Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud
Brgy. Pancian, Pagudpud
Brgy. Pasaleng, Pagudpud
Brgy. Caunayan, Pagudpud
Ili ti Adams

a kas maysa a QUASI-PARISH iti panangibabaet ti napili a patron, INA TI AGNANAYON A TULONG, iti daytoy maikawalo (8) nga aldaw ti Setyembre, 2008, ken ti simbaan a naipasdek iti Brgy. Pancian, Pagudpud ti simbaan daytoy a kagimongan.

Isaadko a kas Parochial Administrator daytoy a quasi-parish ni REV. ANTONIO CALAUTIT, SVD, ket maipaay kenkuana dagiti amin a pagannongan ken kalintegan a kas maysa a pastor segun iti sagudayen dagiti linteg ti Simbaan (canon 519). Maidawat kadagiti amin a kakabsat iti daytoy a gimong ta itedda ti umno a tulong ken pannakikaysa iti Apo Padi nga agserbi kadakuada.

Obispo ti Laoag

Sinaksian ni:


Outreach in Adams held

The Catechetical and Mission Office conducted an outreach in Adams, Ilocos Norte in celebration of the Mission Month, October 29.

Located on top of a mountain, Adams remains one of the economically challenged towns of Ilocos Norte. This town and Barangays Balaoi, Caunayan, Pancian and Pasaleng of Pagudpud make up the recently established quasi-parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, whose church is in Pancian. Rev. Antonio Calautit, SVD administers the parish.

The office, in collaboration with the parishes' catechetical coordinators, began planning for the outreach as early as July. That same month Bishop Sergio Utleg and the clergy approved the plan as a course of action for the whole diocese.

Catechesis on the Church's missionary life was given in schools and in parish churches from August to October. Donations in cash and in kind were submitted to the parish offices and ultimately to the Catechetical and Mission Office as part of the people's response.

A Eucharistic celebration presided over by the bishop, with Rev. Nolasco Pascua, Jr., Catechetical and Mission Director, and Rev. Calautit concelebrating, at the St. Isidore Chapel formally opened the day's mission.

In his homily, Bishop Utleg said the outreach is a way to show God’s love for the least of our brethren.

He also said Adams is a perfect place to conduct such activities because of its distance and the presence of indigenous people. He admitted, “When they said that the outreach will be in Adams, I approved it because it would not only be in celebration of the Mission Month but also of the indigenous peoples who are honored during the Mission Month."

Bishop Utleg is the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

A catechetical instruction for the children followed the mass. Meanwhile, more than 300 adults and children availed of the medical and dental clinic offered by the San Lorenzo Ruiz Medical-Dental Charity Clinic of the Social Action Commission, at the Adams Central Elementary School hall.

The office prepared lunch for all. A gift-giving ended the outreach.


By these presents be it known that


born in Pinili, Ilocos Norte on June 16, 1980, baptized on December 19, 1981 at the Church of St. Isidore, Pinili, Ilocos Norte, having presented all the required documents and having been approved by Examiners, after a spiritual retreat, has been promoted to the Order of


Incardinated to the Diocese of Laoag during the Solemn Mass at the Church of St. Isidore, Pinili, Ilocos Norte, on the 11th day of May, 2008 by Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, Bishop of Laoag.

Bishop of Laoag


Sta. Rosa, Sarrat Parish History

Founded: 1999
Patronal Fiesta: August 23

Sta Rosa is a district of the municipality of Sarrat, comprising Barangays San Lorenzo, San Nicolas and Sta. Rosa, a barangay named like the district. The present church of this parish is situated at Barangay San Nicolas along the road going to eastern Ilocos Norte. The name of the barangay confused mailmen to the name of the municipality adjacent to its immediate west. Aside from assuring that their letters would reach their residences, the people opted to change its name into San Miguel, to perpetuate their affinity to the mother parish, which was first named after the archangel.

St. Rose of Lima Parish of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte is the youngest parish in the Diocese of Laoag. It comprises the 13 barangays south of the Padsan River. For centuries, the area was under the mother parish of Sta. Monica established in 1724 by the Augustinian missionaries. Its history therefore is concomitant to its mother parish. The great river Padsan divides the town of Sarrat; the town proper being located in the northern part. The Augustinians would simply go to the southern portion of the town through bangka. In the dry season, barangay folks as far as Pandan used to go for Church services through their karison. With the advent of modern means of transportation, going for mission to the south became a burden for pastors passing through Laoag and San Nicolas.

The earlier priests who have served in Sta. Monica have done their part in the evangelization of the people in the baliw (the other side) or abagatan ti karayan (south of the river). The late Rev. Rosario Lopez built the first chapel made of galvanized iron. This chapel was located in Sitio Tibunay. Later after seeing the growth of the population and their need for a bigger place to worship, Fr. Lopez built a bigger chapel in a piece of land given to the church in Brgy. San Nicolas. The late Rev. Gil Albano, Jr. made improvements of the sanctuary of the second chapel.

In 1993, Rev. Jacinto Jose became the pastor of Sarrat. He initiated programs such as the work of the lay missionaries in forming BEC’s (NASA). The Christian Education Program in the schools, and through the help of the seminary fathers, the community of this district had Holy Week celebrations. Chapels of concrete and good materials were also built for the communities in Patad, San Antonio, Pariir and Parang. Eventually, due to the growing faith of the people and their generosity, the old chapel in Sta. Rosa was replaced with a more spacious and sturdier building. On December 28, 1997, Bishop Edmundo Abaya blessed and inaugurated the new house of prayer. Meanwhile, in Sta. Monica, Rev. Leobardo Lorenzo was assigned parochial vicar.

On September 5, 1999, the new parish of Sta Rosa de lima was created. This new parish includes all the barangays south of the Padsan River. Rev. Leobardo Lorenzo was appointed first pastor of the new parish. Fr. Bardz turned the choir loft into a residence (convento), procured the things needed for the parish office and for liturgical celebrations. He organized the parish pastoral council and the parish finance council and the barangay pastoral coordinators.

Rev. Pitz Acoba, who replaced Rev. Bardz as pastor, intensified the work of BEC formation in the parish.

Rev. Anthony Dimagiba is the present pastor.

Banna Parish History

Founded: 1936
Patronal Fiesta: August 16

Motorists going to this parish for the first time must be careful in reading the road signs and markers, they may not find the name of the place they have in mind. The town and parish is more popularly known as Banna but was changed to “Espiritu”, after a former governor of Ilocos Norte and native of the place, through a congressional act. The sentiments of the people are common in retaining its old name even without a repeal to the former legislation.

As a town, it was part of Batac, which is adjacent to its west boundary. As a parish, it was formerly a visita of Dingras, and a Catholic chapel was erected in this town in 1935 through the initiative of Rev. Fortuna, pastor of Dingras. It was canonically erected in April 1936 with the Rev. Pomposo Pimentel as its first pastor.

During the term of Rev. Policarpo Albano, the old church was replaced with a new one, modern in style and more spacious. This is to accommodate the ever-growing faithful of the town. The priests assigned after him continued the construction of the new church, which is exquisitely unique creating a different feeling of awe for worshipers accustomed to the structure of traditional churches.

At the height of the Aglipayan Schism in 1902, about 97 percent of Ilocos Norte were enticed to join the religious sect. The return of the faithful to the Catholic fold began its gradual phases with the landmark Supreme Court decision of 1905 returning properties of the Catholic Church taken over by the Aglipayans. Since that time, Banna still remains a predominantly Aglipayan town. This challenge was the constant struggle of priests assigned in the parish under the tutelage of the miraculous San Roque. The presence of the Pastorelle Sisters (Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, Pastorelle) collaborating in the pastoral work, gave new hope for Catholicism in the town. For the first time, school children in remote areas saw women in religious habits. The parish is the ideal site of a mission area conceived by their Father Founder. Despite meager means, the sacrificing sisters throughout the years are determined to realize their mission. The parish will remain a part of the continuous unfolding of the history of this Italian-born religious congregation.

Since the foundation of Laoag as a diocese, the following have served as pastors: Rev.Damaso Argel (1957-1963); Rev.Andres Respicio(1963-1969); Rev. Saturnino Rafada (1969-1971) Rev. Antonio Molina (1971-1973); Rev. Jose Agustin (1973-1977); Rev. Mario Garaza (1977-1980); Rev. Policarpio Albano (1980-1985); Rev. Emil Valenciano (1985-1986); Rev. Victor Hernando ( 1986-1993); Rev. Manuel Lamprea, Jr. (1993-2001); Rev. Augusto Acob (2001-2004); Rev. Joel Bruno Barut (2004-2008); Rev. Frederick Astudillo (2008 to present).

Ilocos bishop blames officials for jueteng resurgence

by Roy Lagarde, CBCP Monitor, October 15-28, 2007 Vol. 11 No. 21.

JUETENG is alive in Ilocos provinces because some local officials and even law enforcers are supporting it, a Church official said.

Laoag bishop Sergio Utleg alleged that some of these officials were even running the illegal numbers game themselves and stepping up operations.

“They are in favor of jueteng of course because they profit from it,” he said.

Utleg said they are planning to release another pastoral statement against jueteng to show their continuous opposition and remind the people about its negative impact
to society.

“Jueteng is bad because it promotes graft and corruption and disrespect for the law. It really has to be stopped,” he said.

In another development, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday hailed Manila mayor Alfredo Lim in his effort to stop jueteng operations in his jurisdiction.

“In Manila I know there’s no jueteng,” said Cruz who heads the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal (People’s Crusade Against Gambling).

But the prelate said Lim’s effort should continue because jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling remained pervasive in other areas.

“I will encourage anybody to do away with it because jueteng is an exploitation of the people,” he also said.

Bangui Parish History

Founded: 1624
Patronal Fiesta: August 10

The town of Bangui was an encomienda of Captain Riberos (1605) who requested for a minister from the flourishing town of Bacarra to come and work among the people. Thus the encomienda was converted into a visita of Bacarra, and a priest was sent there “for the consolation of the natives.” Since Bangui was nearer to Cagayan, it was annexed to the mission of Cagayan. On October 31, 1624, a council of the Augustinians separated Bangui from its previous matrix, and Fr. Francisco de Valenzuela was named prior-vicar of the parish. This new parish was placed under the patronage of St. Lawrence the Deacon, Martyr.

The years that followed saw different events in the parish. In 1635, Bangui was reduced again into a visita due to the lack of priests. Then after few years, it was considered again
a parish according to the number of souls. During the Malong-Magsanop uprising (1660-1661), a religious priest by the name of Fr. Jose Arias was assassinated in Bangui. Several priests were imprisoned in the years that followed.

After those turbulent years, Fr. Benito de Mesa made Bangui the “spiritual center” of his missionary expansion to the Apayaos. He was considered the founder of Bangui.

In 1668, Bangui was separated from Bacarra, together with Bangbangon, Vera and Adams. Fr. Domingo Soler was named vicar to all these towns.

During these years, the church in Bangui was made of stone and wood, materials which were easily worn out in the course of time. In 1877, Fr. Antonio Garcia rebuilt the church and made used of stones. The earthquakes of 1880 and 1891 damaged the old church and the convento which Fr. David Diez repaired. Again during the Japanese occupation, the church was heavily damaged. Recently, it has been retored and half of its original edifice is now utilized. Its nearby indigenous town of Dumalneg is also within the jurisdiction of this parish.

Three priests native of the town have been ordained: Rev.Peter Acoba (1982), Rev. Ronald Bonayon(1999) and Rev. Abraham Aguino, CICM (1999).

Since the foundation of the Diocese of Laoag, the following have served in the parish: Gaudencio Dacuycuy, Rev. Pedro Santos, Rev. Rosario Lopez, Rev. Dionisio Rios, Rev. Saturnino Rafada, Rev. Amador Foz, Rev. Teodoro Remigio, Rev. Noel Vander Plaetsen, CICM, Rev. Gaudencio Dacuycuy, Rev. German Cabillo, SVD, Rev. Artemio Rillera, SVD, Rev. Stanislao Ros, Rev. Tranquilino de Ocampo, Jr. SVD, Rev. Vicente Tiam, SVD, Rev. Pedro Acoba, Rev. Carlito Ranjo, Jr., Rev. Manuel Lamprea, Jr., Rev. Leobardo Lorenzo.

The Chronos for November 2008


Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop officiates mass at the Floral Garden, 5:00 p.m.


Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop presides over mass in Banna.

3: Monday: 31st Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN. or m. of St. Martin de Porres, religious. WHITE

4: Tuesday: St. Charles Borromeo, bishop. WHITE.

5: Wednesday: 31st Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

6: Thursday: 31st Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN

Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop officiates Confirmation at St. Mary’s Seminary, 10:00 a.m.

DLACS Office:
CEAP Regional Board Meeting, Bishop’s Residence, 9:00 a.m.

7: Friday: 31st Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Catechetical Office:
Catechetical Coordinators Meeting, Cordero Hall, 9:00 a.m.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Engelbert B. Elarmo (Birthday)

8: Saturday: 31st Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN. or m. of BVM. WHITE.

Bishop's Schedule:
The bishop officiates wedding at St. Augustine Parish, Paoay, 3:00 p.m.

9: Sunday: Feast of Dedication of Lateran Basilica, WHITE.

10: Monday: St. Leo the Great, pope and doctor, WHITE.

CLERGY RETREAT, Baguio City (10-14)

11: Tuesday: St. Martin of Tours, bishop, WHITE.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Northern Luzon Bishops' Meeting, San Pablo Seminary, Baguio City.

12: Wednesday: St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr, RED.

13: Thursday: 32nd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

14: Friday: 32nd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

15: Saturday: 32nd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN. or m. of St. Albert the Great, bishop and doctor, WHITE. or m of BVM, WHITE.

DSAC Office:
Bike for Ecology: Cadaratan to Baresbes.


17: Monday: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious. WHITE.

18: Tuesday: 33rd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN. or m. of the Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter and Paul, WHITE.

19: Wednesday: 33rd Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Cipriano L. Alnas, Jr. (POA)

20: Thursday: 33rd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop meets with Mr. JF Breaud, Foyer.

21: Friday: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. WHITE.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Nolasco M. Pascua, Jr. (POA)

22: Saturday: St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr. RED.

Bishop’s Schedule
The bishop attends the Investiture of Neophytes at St. Mary’s Seminary, 10:00 a.m.


Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop officiates Confirmation at St. Andrew Parish, Bacarra, 8:00 a.m.

CHRIST THE KING CELEBRATION, ST JOHN OF BOSCO PARISH,Baresbes, Dingras, Concelebrated Mass, 1:30 p.m.

24: Monday: St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and companions, martyrs. RED.

25: Tuesday: 34th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr, RED.

26: Wednesday: 34th Week, Ordinary time, GREEN.

27: Thursday: 34th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Bishop’s Schedule:
The Bishop officiates mass at the Clarissas Capuchinas Sisters, 6:00 a.m.

28: Friday: 34th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Commission on Vocation:
Vocation Jamboree, St. Mary’s Seminary (28-29).

29: Saturday: 34th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Patronal Fiesta:
Feast of ST. ANDREW PARISH, Bacarra, Concelebrated Mass, 8:00 a.m.

30: Sunday: 1st Sunday of Advent, VIOLET.
Catholic Handicapped Day

Bishop’s Schedule:
The bishop meets with the Neocatechumenate Community, p.m.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Ruben V. Abaya (POA)

Pastoral Letter, No. 2, Series of 2008 ( A Pastoral Letter on Vocations)

October 1, 2008

TO: Brother Priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters, the Lay Faithful in the Diocese of Laoag

RE: Diocesan Vocation Months (October-November 2008)

To be read in all masses on October 5

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in Christ!

Our Lord Jesus Christ, during his preaching in Galilee, while he went about the cities and villages was moved to compassion for the people because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9, 36). From this look of love, flowed the invitation to his disciples: PRAY therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9, 38).

Today as ever, we know that this invitation of our Lord remains constant and becomes even a stronger call to every baptized Christian. Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, in his message for the 45th World youth Day of Prayer for Vocations chose the theme: “Vocations at the Service of the Church-Mission” in which he highlighted the statement: “Although every disciple of Christ, as far in him lies, has the duty of spreading the faith, Christ the Lord always calls whoever he will from among the members of his disciples, to be with him and to be sent by him to preach to the nations (AG#23).

We all need to pray for Vocations and above all to encourage and nurture them in our families, parish communities and schools so that there will never be a lack of those who preach the Gospel. I, therefore, encourage every parish and every school to cooperate in the work of promoting vocations within the Months of October and November.

During these months, our diocesan Commission on Vocations has lined up a series of activities that would make people especially the young become more aware of this program. Please engage actively in all or at least some of these activities. I have entrusted to Rev. Rey Magus Respicio, the Vocation Director of the Diocese, the task of coordination regarding this matter.

Let us help create a culture of vocations in our diocese, and ask our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Vocations, to help us implore the Lord for the flowering of new apostles who are willing to serve the church.

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Bishop of Laoag

The Chronos for October 2008

1: Wednesday: St. Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor. WHITE.

Feastday of MCST Sisters, Concelebrated Mass, 9:00 a.m.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Presides over the Eucharistic Celebration on the Feastday of MCST Sisters


Bishop’s Schedule:
Collates Reports of Diocesan Audit Team
Officiates the Blessing of the Windmills in Bangui, 2:00 p.m.

3: Friday: 26th Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

4: Saturday: St. Francis of Assisi , WHITE.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Davila, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, Concelebrated Mass, 9:00 a.m.


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates Mass in Marcos

Commission on Vocation:
Launching of Diocesan Vocation Awareness Activity and Reading of the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter in all masses in the different parishes

6: Monday: 26th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. Bruno, priest, WHITE.

7: Tuesday: Our Lady of the Rosary, WHITE.

8: Wednesday: 27th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Bishop's Schedule:
Attends the IP Meeting in Manila (8-9)

Commission on Social Action:
The San Lorenzo Medical Dental Charity Clinic Doctors, Nurses, Volunteers and Staff headed by Rev. Leonardo L. Ruiz and Rev. Jaime B. Jose goes to Olongapo, Zambales for a Pilgrimage visit at “Ina Poon Bato” (8-9)

Let us pray for:
Rev. Ruben V. Abaya (Birthday)

9: Thursday: 23rd Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. Denis, bishop, and Companions, martyrs, RED, or m. of St. John Leonardi, priest. WHITE.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Jose Vernon C. ILano (Birthday)

10: Friday: 27th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Catechetical Office:
Catechetical Coordinators’ Meeting, Cordero Hall, 8:30 a. m.

11: Saturday: 27th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates wedding in Sarrat, 10:00 a. m.

Commission on Social Action:
Orientation Seminar on Parish Commission on Service of St. William Parish, Janssen Hall, 2:00 p. m.

Indigenous People’s Sunday

Extreme Poverty Day

Bishop’s Schedule:
Presides over a Eucharistic Celebration dedicated to the IP’s at St. James Parish, Ayala, Alabang

Let us pray for:
Rev. Franklin D. Gorospe (Priestly Anniversary)

13: Monday: 28th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

14: Tuesday: 28th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. Callixtus, Pope and Martyr, RED.

15: Wednesday: St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor, WHITE.

Let us pray for :
Rev. Joel C. Barut (Birthday)

16: Thursday: 28th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN. or m. of St. Hedwig, religious, WHITE, or m. of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin, WHITE.

Let us pray for:
Rev. Rey Magus S. Respicio (Priestly Anniversary)

17: Friday: St. Ignatius of Antioch , bishop and martyr, RED.

Commission on Youth:
Youth Encounter (17-19)

18: Saturday: St. Luke, evangelist, RED.

Commission on Social Action:
Bike for Mama Mary and Mother Earth, from Bantay, Ilocos Sur to Luna, La Union


Bishop’s Schedule:
Officiates Mass at Brgy. Isic-Isic, Vintar

20: Monday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Catechetical Office:
Northern Luzon Regional Catechetical Council Meeting in Abra (20-22)

Let us pray for:
Rev. Melchor B. Palomares (Priestly Ordination Anniversary)

21: Tuesday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.


22: Wednesday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

23: Thursday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. John Capistrano, priest, WHITE.

24: Friday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop, WHITE.

Commission on Youth:
Youth Encounter (24-26)

25: Saturday: 29th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m. of BVM on Saturday, WHITE.

Prison Awareness Sunday

Bishop’s Schedule:
Attends the CFC Regional Youth Assembly in Bacarra

Let us pray for:
Rev. Pitz Acoba (Birthday)

27: Monday: 30th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

28: Tuesday: Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles, RED.

Bishop’s Schedule:
Officates the Fiesta and Installation of Rev. Gregorio A. Apuya

Patronal Fiesta:
Feast of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Concelebrated Mass, 9:00 a. m.

Installation of Rev. Gregorio A. Apuya

29: Wednesday: 30th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Mission Office:
Outreach in Adams

Let us pray for:
Rev. Gregorio A. Apuya (Birthday)

30: Thursday: 30th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

31: Friday: 30th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

Homily of Most Rev. Sergio Utleg, Bishop of Laoag, on the occasion of the Installation of Most Rev. Joseph Amangi Nacua as Bishop of Ilagan

Most Rev. Joseph Nacua, Bishop of Ilagan,
Most Rev. Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines,
Most Rev. Archbishops and Bishops,
Rev. Fathers and Sisters,
Honorable Government Officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Recordatus Misericordiae Suae, Ever Mindful of His Mercy. The motto in Bishop Nacua’s Coat of Arms reminds us that God has indeed shown his love and mercy for this Diocese. For the last 20 months, Ilagan had no bishop. But because of God’s mercy and providence, the Diocese remained alive, people have kept the faith, the clergy continued to serve the people of God. This is no reason, however, to say that a diocese is better off without a bishop. And the reason for this is, as the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, Apostolorum Successores, quoting Vatican II, puts it: the bishop is the visible source and foundation of the unity of the particular church.

Without a bishop there is no local church. In a diocese, there may be zealous priests busy with their work, the Gospel may continue to be preached eloquently, the diocesan programs may be efficiently implemented, but without a bishop the diocese will be unreconizable as a local church and will eventually disintegrate. That is why, we are doubly grateful to God for his infinite goodness and mercy, because he has finally provided the Diocese of Ilagan with its Pastor and Bishop.

To be a visible sign and guarantee of unity in the Church! What a terrifying idea! This is the reason for the exalted dignity, the over-arching power, the unprecedented prestige of the Bishop, all summed up in two words when he is addressed as: His Excellency! But I doubt if there is any man, who upon learning that he has been chosen by the Holy Father to be a bishop will not stand in fear and trembling at the thought of the heavy responsibility that he is about to bear on his frail shoulders.

The responsibility is tremendous because the Bishop is being asked to personify the Most Holy Trinity to his flock. The same document, Apostolorum Successores says: “through his life and episcopal ministry (the bishop) manifests to the people of God the Fatherhood of God… the loving care, mercy, gentleness and authority of Christ… and the vitality of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Church and sustains her in her human weakness.” The bishop has to be a father, a brother, a shepherd, a manager, an inexhaustible source of hope, a guide, a rock of strength, a fountain of life. Who then can be worthy to be a bishop? Who can even aspire to be a good bishop? The answer is: nobody. Nobody because the bishop is expected to configure Christ, and nobody can ever be like Christ himself.

Yet, it is also true that our christian life is a mixture of what is human and what is divine, of body and spirit, of immanence and transcendence, of sinner and saint. The Church is a paradox, and no one has expressed this truth in a better way than Vatican II itself when it says about the church that it is: ecclesia sancta sed semper reformanda. The church is holy, but always in need of reform. It is as though the church and all of us who compose the church have been given two grades simultaneously: E and NI. E because we the church are excellent, holy, divine… but at the same time NI, needs improvement, because we are always making wrong choices, falling into arrogance, committing sin, breaking promises, and coming short of our goals.

When I was asked by Mons. Marino Gatan to be the homilist for this Mass, I was sure that I was chosen to do this difficult but privileged task not because of my profound insights on Ecclesiology and the nature of the Episcopacy but because, as the former bishop of this diocese, I would be in the best position to give advice to the new bishop.

And so my dear Bishop Nacua, I know that you have a Doctorate in Spirituality but since I am two years your senior in age, and eleven and a half years older than you in the episcopacy, allow me to give you some unsolicited advice. Bear in mind always that the life and mission of a bishop, as that of the Church herself, is a paradox.

 Paradox number one: power and servanthood. As a bishop you have almost absolute powers in the executive, legislative and judicial forum. Yet many times you will find yourself obeying and doing what others want and tell you to do. There is nothing strange about that. You are given power so that you will have greater capacity and freedom to serve.

 Paradox number two: readiness and preparation. There is no school that prepared you to be a bishop, yet you are expected to know what to do. After this installation, with the barest of instructions, you are thrown into the job in full gear. Yet there is so much for you to learn, and skills that you have to acquire and points of view that you have to be familiar with. But do not worry. By the grace of your ordination, the Holy Spirit will be there to help you. Apostolorum Successores says: As teacher of the faith, sanctifier and spiritual guide, the Bishop knows he can count on a special divine grace conferred upon him at his episcopal ordination.

 Paradox number three: grave responsibility and letting go. You are responsible for the growth of the church, the preaching of the Gospel, the harmony of all the different groups within the diocese. Yet sometimes you feel that things are happening, and many times doing well, without your knowledge or control. You get the feeling that things go on without you; they are, in fact, prospering not because of but in spite of you. This only tells you that what you are doing is really God’s work. You are there only as his instrument. You sow the seed but God makes the plant grow and bear fruit.

 Paradox number four: agony and ecstasy. Sometimes you will feel like you are in heaven because of the adulation of the flock and all your plans are flourishing and running smoothly; other times you feel you are at the fringes of hell because you are misunderstood, maligned and everything you say and do is wrong. The life of a bishop is sometimes colorful and exciting, but oftentimes it is grey and monotonous. Sometimes you want to shout to the whole world: God is good. Life is wonderful. At other times you are forced to say, as Jesus on the cross: My God, My God, why have you forsaken me. It is a life that is exhilarating and fulfilling, but at the same time it is demanding, exhausting and humiliating. But that is something that should not scare you or surprise you, because it is also the life of Jesus Christ, the Head and Shepherd of the Church, of whom you as Bishop is the struggling image.

 Paradox number five: losing and finding yourself. He who loses himself will find it, as Jesus says. People will want you to be this and to be that. Yes, you are supposed to lose yourself among your people, but paradoxically, the best way for you to do that, is just to be yourself. The world will want to carve you according to its image, but the most precious thing you can offer to the world is YOU.

I like your motto: ever mindful of his mercy. Had I known better, I might have adopted it for my own. As a bishop, like Christ, you will preach the good news to the poor, give sight to the blind, and set captives free; but your journey will be strewn with thorns, rocks, storms and sleepless nights. Be consoled that anything that happens to you will always be an act of God’s love for you. There will be times when you will find yourself floundering in a stormy sea with waves big enough to drown you. In the end, God’s mercy and compassion will be the only reality you can rely on and will ever need. May our good and merciful Lord be always with you.

Ilagan, September 9, 2008.

Ti Krus ket Bendision

"Ti agtarigagay a sumurot kaniak masapul nga ibaklayna ti krusna...”

Iti daytoy a gundaway malagipko ni Manny Pacquiao gapu ta sakbay ken tunggal rikos ti boksing, agtandaan. Adda met dagiti basketbolista ti PBA nga agtandaan sakbayda nga agay-ayam. Kasta met kadatayo, no lumabas ken umunegtayo iti simbaan, agtandaantayo met iti krus. Amin dagitoy ipakitada ti kinasiasinotayo - pasurotnatayo ti krus!

Agpayso unay, kakabsat, a ti Krus ti maysa kadagiti kapatgan a ramen ti biagtayo a Cristiano. Ti kinapudnona, maaw-awagantayo a relihion ti Krus agsipud ta ti tanda ti kina-Cristianotayo ket ti Krus.

Ti kinapudnona, idi nabuniagantayo kastoy ti kuna ti padi: “Felimon, iti nagan ti nacristianoan a gimong awatenka nga agpaay ken Cristo ket yugisko kenka ti tanda ti krus ni Cristo a nangisalakan kadatayo.” Naimaldit ngarud kadatayo ti tanda ti Krus manipud iti dayta a kanito. Manipud met laeng iti dayta a kanito, nagbalintayon a pasurot ti Krus. Isu't gapuna a no irugitayo a rambakan ti Nasantoan a Misa, agtandaantayo iti krus. Sakbay a mabasa ti evanjelio, agtandaantay manen, agsipud ta awan sabali a tanda wenno pagilasinan a Catolicotayo, no saan a ti Krus!

Ngem ti yanna a rigat, adu kadagiti Cristiano ti madi iti krus. Adu kadagiti Catolico ti agkedked a ma-addaan iti krus. Kayatda piman nga itarayan ti krus. Yes, we run away from danger because we must preserve ourselves, but we must not run away from the cross. The cross is not our danger, the cross is our salvation! We do not run away from the cross, we run away from sin. We do not run away from Jesus Christ, we run away from the evil one. Wen, itarayantayo ti peggad tapno mailisitayo iti didigra, ngem saan a rumbeng nga itarayantayo ti krus agsipud ta ti krus ti salakantayo! Ti basol ti rumbeng nga itarayantayo, saan ket a ti krus. Ni Satanas ti rumbeng nga itarayantayo, saan ket a ni Apo Jesus!

Laglagipentayo a no mangted man ti Apo iti pakarikutantayo, saan a gapu ta binaybay-annatayon, saan a gapu ta nalipatannatayon, saan a gapu ta tinallikudannatayon ken saan met a gapu ta naliwayannatayon, ngem gapu laeng iti ayatna nga iparaman kadatayo ti kapatgan a gamengna – ket daytoy awan sabali no di ti Krusna! We should, therefore, rejoice in the cross. Remember that in every blessing is a cross, and in every cross is a blessing!

Wen, kakabsat, tunggal mangbendision ti padi – adda latta ti krus. Awan ti bendision nga awan ti tanda ti krus. Isu a no malpas ti tunggal misa agtandaantayo iti krus, saanen a tapno iparangarantayo ti kinasiasinotayo ngem tapno mabendisionantayo. Gapuna a ti siasinoman a madi iti krus, awan met kalinteganna a mabendisionan!

Ibaklayyo ti krusyo, kakabsat. Wen, ibaklayyo ti krusyo ken dikay kad ibbatan lattan. Awitenyo ti krusyo ken dikay kad ibati lattan iti uray sadinoman. Awitenyo ti krusyo ken dikay kad satsaten lattan. Awitenyo ti krusyo ken dikay kad ipadpadawat lattan! (Fr. Walde Batoon)

St. Nicholas of Tolentino: A Biography

The Journey of a Great Confessor

At times God desires that the design for sanctity in a soul be etched early in life. Born in 1245, in Sant' Angelo, a town in the Italian Marches, a province east of the Central Appennines, Nicholas was the answer to the prayers of his middle-aged parents. He displayed a desire for prayer and solitude at an early age, and at seven began various practices of penance and mortification. He was tutored by a local priest and made rapid and gifted progress, which brought him to the attention of the bishop of Fermo.

While still a boy, Nicholas received minor orders. Refusing a career in the secular clergy, he desired a way of life in which he could consecrate himself completely to God. He chose the order of Hermits of Saint Augustine after hearing one of the friars preach, and made his profession before he was eighteen. He was sent to San Ginesio for his theological studies and while there was given the charge of distributing food to the poor at the gate of the monastery. So great was his generosity with the food of the house that the procurator complained and reported him to the prior. It was here, too, that Nicholas performed the first of his many miracles by placing his hand on the head of a sick child who had come to the gate. Nicholas said, "The good God will heal you," and the child was cured. Nicholas was ordained about 1270 and during his first Mass was rapt in ecstasy. From this time on, he had the gift of conversions through his sermons and his instructions in the confessional.

While visiting a relative who was the abbot of a monastery near Fermo, Nicholas was invited to give up the hard life he had chosen and stay at this more comfortable monastery, but while he was praying in the church, he seemed to hear a voice saying, "To Tolentino, to Tolentino. Persevere there."

And so Nicholas went to Tolentino. Tolentino at this time was still suffering from the Guelf and Ghibelline struggle, and the weakening of religious faith that resulted from war and heresy. A campaign of street preaching was necessary to revitalize Tolentino, and Nicholas was put to this work, making a great success of it. Even those who tried to drown out his voice and disband the crowds that gathered to listen to him finally stayed to hear him and to repent their own sins. Nicholas also worked in the slums of Tolentino, comforting and caring for the sick and appealing to sinners. Miracles always accompanied this work.

Less public than this apostolate to the sinners and to the suffering were the practices of penance and the long hours of prayer that were the source both of his success and of his sanctity. Always exceptionally faithful to the community office in the monastery church, he added many more hours of prayer both day and night, in the church and in his own cold cell. Only humble obedience to his superiors kept him from the strict fasts and harsh self-denial that threatened to make him an invalid.

Nicholas died in 1305, and the miracles that followed were so numerous that the case for his canonization was immediately drawn up. The grave difficulties of the Holy See that resulted from the transfer of the papacy to Avignon delayed any action on his cause until 1446, when he was canonized by Pope Eugenius IV.

Source: Welcome to the Catholic Church 3.0 by Harmony Media, Inc., PO Box 9179, Salem, OR 97305 USA.

San Nicolas Parish History

Founded in 1584

The beautiful church of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish speaks of the numerous people who kept the Catholic faith alive despite the turmoil of the past 400 years brought about by calamities that destroyed the church building and by the Aglipayan schism, which threatened the Christian community.

The community began as a visita of Vigan in 1575. Every year, an Augustinian missionary visited this community of Malay origin that settled south of the Padsan River. Under the patronage of St. Lawrence the Deacon, the first chapel of bamboo and cogon was built for the visita. This was replaced with a small church of masonry, wood and cogon. But this was soon destroyed by earthquake and typhoons.

In 1701, Fray Antonio de Villanueva constructed a bigger and more massive church about half the size of the present one. This construction was completed in 1703 only to be toppled down by a strong earthquake on November 14, 1707.

In 1733, a strong typhoon ravaged Ilocos Norte, and many of the townspeople took refuge in the church. They asked for the help of St. Lawrence, but the typhoon did not stop. Later, they turned to St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and the typhoon and ensuing flood miraculously subsided. This was the time that the town and the parish took the name of St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

In 1895, the church belfry was constructed under the leadership of Fray Victoriano Garcia, himself an architect and an engineer. Molasses was mixed with lime as a strengthening chemical for the stones and bricks.

During the revolution of 1898, the Katipuneros occupied the church. A year later, the American forces took over the church and used it as headquarters. However, the U.S. government ordered that churches be vacated by military forces. Gregorio Aglipay, together with renegade priests, took this opportunity to take over the church. Majority of the Catholics in the town embraced the Aglipayan Church. However, the Supreme Court decreed that the sequestered properties of the Catholic Church be returned by the Aglipayan rebels. The building was returned, but its records and movable properties could not be retrieved anymore.

During World War II, the church was occupied by Japanese forces, and its belfry became a watching post. After the war, Rev. Catalino Racca started the repairs of the church.

Before the turn of the millennium, the church fa├žade and belfry went through a major facelift. New bells were added to the old set. Today, the parish boasts of having the only automated belfry in Ilocandia.

In 2004, the church underwent yet another makeover. But more than the physical transformation which is immediately palpable is the fervor of the faithful to wield greater zeal and strength of spirit to renew and be renewed and courageously walk the stretch ahead. Moreover, the faithful, motivated by their pastors, are invigorated with the spirit of charity and unity that fires up their hearts and spurs them on to do what they can for the good of the Church. Now, all they have to do is stay on course.

Since the creation of Laoag as a diocese, the following priests have served in the parish: Rev. Catalino Racca, Rev. Mauro Resurrecion, Rev. Juan Ballesteros, Rev. Policarpo Albano, Rev. Sylvio Lacar, Rev. Gil Albano, Jr., Rev. Rodolfo Nicolas, Rev. Amador Foz, Rev. Domingo Albano, Rev. Jose Agustin, Rev. Ruben Abaya (with Rev. Rey Magus Respicio then Rev. Engelbert Elarmo as assistants), Rev. Mario Garaza (with Rev. Joel Reynold Castillo then Rev. Nolasco "Tom" Pascua, Jr. then Rev. Lorenzo Torreflores as assistants), Rev. Ramon Danilo Laeda (with Rev. Melchor Palomares as assistant).

CATECHETICAL AND MISSION OFFICE: Outreach in Adams, October 29, 2008

CATECHETICAL AND MISSION OFFICE: Diocesan Catechetical Day, September 20, 2008, Part 1 (2)

CATECHETICAL AND MISSION OFFICE: Diocesan Catechetical Day, September 20, 2008, Part 2 (2)

COM. ON THE CLERGY & OFF. ON CH. HERITAGE: Convocation (Playa Tropical, Currimao, Aug.18-20, 2008)