New Virac bishop appointed

MANILA. Rev. Fr. Luisito Audal Occiano was named the new bishop of Virac.
MANILA. Rev. Fr. Luisito Audal Occiano was named the new bishop of Virac.Photo from Dominus Est Facebook page

THE Diocese of Virac in Catanduanes lost and gained a bishop on the same day.

In a report by CBCP News, the Virac diocese lost Bishop Manolo de los Santos due to retirement, while Fr. Luisito Occiano has been appointed as the new prelate.

On late Thursday, February 29, 2024, Occiano was appointed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Virac.

"I ask for your prayers and support in my new ministry. May the Holy Spirit guide me in shepherding God's people with wisdom, compassion, and integrity," said Occiano.

CBCP News said the retirement of de los Santos has been accepted by the Pope.

"De los Santos, who is now 76 years old, served the island diocese in Catanduanes province since 1994," noted the official news agency of the CBCP.

Born on June 21, 1971, Occiano was ordained a priest on November 10, 1996.

Following his ordination, he pursued further studies in religious formation and catechesis at the Ateneo De Manila University. He also holds the Master of Arts degree from the Ateneo de Naga University.

He served as a parochial vicar at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral before later becoming the secretary to the then shepherd of Caceres, the late Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi.

Occiano also served as the director of the archdiocese’s catechetical ministry and as vice rector of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

In 2003, he became the parochial vicar of the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Naga City.

From 2015 to 2021, he served his first assignment as parish priest at St. Bartholomew Parish in Baao, Camarines Sur.

Prior to his latest appointment, he has been serving as the rector and parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Joseph in San Jose, Camarines Sur.

Occiano is also the director of the Caceres Commission on Communication. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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