Officials laud Pope Francis for naming new archbishop

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Friday, August 1, 2014


MABALACAT CITY -- Officials in this city have lauded Pope Francis for appointing Bishop Florentino Galang Lavarias as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Fernando.

The people of Mabalacat are proud of the Archbishop-elect, who is a native of this city, said Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales.

"We are grateful to the Holy See for appointing our townmate, the Most Reverend Florentino Galang Lavarias, D.D., as the next archbishop of the Diocese of Pampanga," Morales said.

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Lavarias' appointment makes everyone -- Catholics and non-Catholics -- proud and feel truly blessed, because not every town or city could count among its native sons the highest Catholic prelate in a diocese, the mayor said.

"I am hopeful that our local Catholics will be inspired to live by the Church’s teachings and live a life with a noble purpose," Morales added.

Vice Mayor Christian Halili said that residents of Barangay Sta. Ines, Lavarias' home village, are very proud because of the designation of the new archbishop.

"Syempre proud kami uling taga Santa Ines ya Among Dong Lavarias. Iya mu rin mengasal kekaming adwang Tsha I Among Dong Lavarias anyang March 18, 2006 keng Our Lady of Grace Parish," Halili said.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, now 77-year-old, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of San Fernando.

This is in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law, which requires the resignation of bishops at the age of 75.

Lavarias, 57, was born in Santa Ines, Mabalacat town. He was ordained a priest on September 26, 1985. Pope John Paul II appointed him Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Iba on June 19, 2004.

He was ordained bishop on August 12, 2004. Lavarias also served at the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary in various positions and was former parish priest of the Parish of the Lord’s Ascension at Lourdes Heights Subdivision in this city.

Lavarias has also held various committees at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. He was chairperson of the Episcopal Commission on Vocations and recently the chairperson of the Episcopal Commission on Clergy.

He will be the fourth Archbishop to hold the Metropolitan See upon his installation and formal canonical possession of the archdiocese, which may happen anytime soon upon his receipt of the apostolic letter of appointment from the Vatican.

Aniceto started his vocation at the Mater Boni Minor Seminary which was located in those early years in Apalit in 1954, moving later to the Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary in 1956 for his Philosophy studies, until finally being ordained to the Order of Melchisedec in December 23, 1962.

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Tuguegarao City and Titular Bishop of Tlos on April 7, 1979. He was consecrated as a Bishop on May 27, 1979. His Principal Consecrator was Saint John Paul II.

Since assuming the Archdiocese of San Fernando in 1989, Apu Ceto created new parishes to address the growing pastoral concerns of his flock.
He carved more of these after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, particularly in resettlement sites to provide for the spiritual needs of displaced Kapampangans in diaspora who bonded in small communities.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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