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  • Writer's pictureCaceres Media

Caceres Prelate celebrates five decades of priestly commitment

By Myrna S. Bermudo



Caceres Apostolic Administrator Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD during the Chrism Mass on 28 March 2024 at The Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. CCCom Photo/Vince Carlo M. Puno


Five decades of priestly commitment will be highlighted during the Thanksgiving Mass of the Fourth Archbishop of Caceres, Rolando Octavus J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D, D.D., as he celebrates his 50th Sacerdotal Ordination Anniversary on April 21, 2024. This will be held at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Minor Basilica and National Shrine, Naga City, at 9:30 in the morning.


The Archbishop received his ordination as a priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelite (OCD) in Rome, on April 21, 1974.


Born in Sampaloc Manila, he received basic education at the Centro Escolar University in 1952 to 1958, took political science in San Beda before he entered San Carlos Seminary for his degree in philosophy which he completed in 1968.


Attracted to silence, he joined the Order of the Discalced Carmelites (OCD) on August 15, 1964. He made his final profession or final vows as a Carmelite on February 10, 1968.


In 1970, he completed his degree in Theology at Mount Carmel Carmelite Monastery in Haifa, Israel. He has a licentiate in spirituality which he earned at the Institute of Spirituality in Rome.


As a Carmelite priest, he was entrusted with the following roles: novice director, postulant director, superior of the Carmelite community in Manila and provincial superior of the Philippine province until his ordination as bishop in 1994.


His episcopal motto is Christi Sumus, We Belong to Christ.


He was the 34th Bishop and 4th Archbishop of Caceres. Basic ecclesial communities, Catholic education through parochial schools accessible to poor families, social action activities especially during the pandemic and immediate response to victims of natural calamities were given emphasis during his episcopacy.


He has a soft heart for the youth and the marginalized. He is also a voracious Bible reader. Biblical narratives from the old and new testaments mark his homilies and talks. He was the head of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, the CBCP Commission on Biblical Apostolate and NASSA, the CBCP social action commission.


He was the Bishop of Infanta from 2003 to 2012. On September 8, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Tirona to Archbishop of Caceres, replacing the retiring Leonardo Legaspi. On November 14, 2012, Feast of All Carmelite Saints, he was installed as the 4th Archbishop of Caceres at the Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Naga City.


When he celebrated his 75th birthday, he thanked his supporters and those who prayed for his ministry saying: “I am truly grateful that I have wonderful friends remembering me, praying for me, encouraging me in my life and in my ministry. At the end of the day, our treasure is our friends who journey with us day by day.”


Pope Francis accepted his resignation on February 22 and appointed Daet Bishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D. as his successor.


On April 16, he was feted during the monthly clergy assembly. “With you my dear clergy of Caceres, you made my episcopacy easiest. It was indeed a great blessing being assigned here in Caceres,” he said in response.


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