Tagle ordains 1st bishop from Bataan diocese

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    BALANGA CITY – A priest who has served Bataan for 38 years was ordained bishop Saturday at the Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph here.

    Appointed earlier by Pope Francis as Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca (Quezon Province), Bishop Victor Ocampo, a Kapampangan native of Angeles City, received his episcopal ordination from Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, assisted by Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Guiseppe Pinto and Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos.

    Some 40 bishops from all over the country and scores of priests and nuns from Bataan and Quezon attended the ordination. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in his homily described the Episcopal Ordination of Ocampo as historic for the Diocese of Balanga.

    “This is the first ordination in Balanga of a bishop since 1739, the first in Bataan since 1754 and the first in the Diocese of Balanga since 1975.

    Today is a historic event because no one from the diocese has been ordained as bishop and Bishop Victor Ocampo comes from us in Bataan,” theCBCP head said.

    Villegas served for years as Bishop of Bataan before his transfer to Pangasinan. He said that Ocampo was also the first to be ordained priest in the Diocese of Balanga in 1977. Balanga became a diocese in 1975 that has control and supervision over Catholic parishes in 11 towns and one city in Bataan.

    Ocampo was born on March 6, 1952 in Angeles, Pampanga. He was assigned as parish priest in different towns in Bataan. He served as chancellor of the Diocese of Balanga and most recently as parish priest of Saint Dominic de Guzman in Abucay, Bataan.

    He will be installed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca on September 3, 2015 at the San Diego del Alcala Cathedral in Gumaca, Quezon. Gumaca has no bishop for two years after Bishop Buenaventura Famadico transferred to the Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna) in 2013.

    “When I was informed that Pope Francis appointed me as bishop, my face glowed like that of Moises after coming down from the mountain,” the former Monsignor Ocampo said laughing.

    Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia and Mayors Jesse Concepcion of Mariveles, Antonio Raymundo of Orion, Alice Pizarro of Pilar, Jose Enrique Garcia III of Balanga City, Ana Santiago of Abucay, Gene dela Fuente of Samal and Gila Garcia of Dinalupihan attended the ordination.

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