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  • Myrna S. Bermudo

Ordination, installation for Virac bishop-elect scheduled this June

Virac Bishop-elect Luisito A. Occiano will be ordained as bishop and will be installed this June. His episcopal ordination will be on June 21, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and his canonical possession of Virac diocese will be on June 26.

The announcement of the consecration as bishop was contained in circular Number 0015 Series of 2024 released by the Chancery Office of Caceres on May 31.

“This is to inform you that the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Luisito A. Occiano as the 3rd Bishop of Virac will be on June 21, 2024 at 9:00 AM at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Naga City,” the circular announced.

Prior to the consecration of the bishop-elect, he will make his Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity at the St. Joseph’s Chapel of the Altersheim (inside the Basilica Compound) on Thursday, June 20 at 5:00 PM.

Caceres Archbishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D signed the circular addressed to all the faithful and clergy of the archdiocese.

Bicolano bishops and some bishops from across the country are expected to grace the event at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in the Pilgrim City of Naga, Camarines Sur.

Bishop-elect Occiano’s main consecrator will be Archbishop–emeritus Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD. Archbishop Adolfo Tito C. Yllana, DD, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine and Archbishop Alarcon are co – consecrators.

The circular also disclosed that on June 25, at eight in the morning, a thanksgiving mass will be offered at the Good Shepherd Chapel of the Archbishop’s Palace, Elias Angeles St., Naga City, after which the newly consecrated bishop’s departure from Caceres will commence as he journeys to the Diocese of Virac.

It was announced by the Commission on Social Communication of the Diocese of Virac that the estimated time of arrival at the Virac Seaport will be at five o’clock in the afternoon. It shall be followed by a motorcade to Virac Cathedral.

Liturgical reception will be held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish at six in the evening while a civic reception will be conducted at the Virac Plaza Rizal after which a testimonial dinner will follow.

Occiano will be installed at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion on June 26, in Virac, Catanduanes. Archbishop Alarcon will be the installing prelate.

In its social media post on May 27, the Diocese of Virac, has welcomed the bishop-elect saying: “Dagos po maogmang pastor sa maogmang isla! With joy and gratitude in our hearts, we welcome you Bishop-elect Luisito Audal Occiano. Your appointment brings us to look forward to your compassion, commitment and pastoral care to the Catholic faithful in Catanduanes.”

On February 29, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Luisito A. Occiano as the third bishop of Virac. Vatican has also accepted the resignation of Bishop Manolo A. de los Santos from pastoral governance of the diocese, rendering the diocese sede vacante pending consecration of Fr. Occiano. Meanwhile, Bishop Manolo de los Santos is the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.

The bishop-elect said he experienced “mixed emotions” when he received the call from the Apostolic Nunciature about his appointment. “I was in Lipa attending a seminar and was filled with fear. But confident of God’s grace and the assurance of support I am receiving, grace overcame fear. I am happy with this grace of God. All is given by God. Why must I worry? God is bigger than all our fear and problems. Definitely, more than any fear, we have a God who is in command,” he revealed.

“I requested the Carmelite sisters to pray with me as I prepare for the ordination. Yes, I also pray to St. Aloysius. Prayer life is very important to have a healthy body and healthy spirit,” he said. “And I really need your prayers,” he added.


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