IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay -- Some 500 priests, bishops and deacons from all over Mindanao and Sulu are expected to attend the annual convention of The Diocesan of Clergy of Mindanao (DCM) on February 6-8 here.

The seven-year-old Diocese of Ipil takes the challenge to be this year's host of the convention, which has the theme "Priest Building Community and Posterity."

Fr. Mark Anthony Vaguchay, chancellor of the Diocese of Ipil, said the theme is in line with the pastoral direction of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which declares 2017 as the "Year of the Parish."

He said the clergies will come from Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Ipil (Zambasuli); Dipolog, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Iligan, Marawi (Dopim); Davao, Digos, Tagum, Mati (Daditama); Cagayan, Butuan, Surigao, Tandag, Malaybalay (Cabustam); and Kidapawan, Marbel and Cotabato (Kidmaco).

Bishop Julius Tonel will welcome the delegates in the opening mass to be held at the St. Joseph "The Worker" Cathedral.

Bishop Tonel was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as first bishop of the new diocese, when it elevated the Prelature of Ipil to a full diocese, the 58th in the Philippines on May 1, 2010.

Mindanao has 21 archdioceses and dioceses. (Sunnex)