ANTIPOLO City, June 25, 2013—Acknowledging one of the spiritual pioneers of the diocese, Antipolo officially honored its first bishop in a simple ceremony during its 30th anniversary celebration at noon today.
After a special midday Eucharistic celebration at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Msgr. Peter Cañonero, Chancellor of the Diocese of Antipolo, in behalf of the faithful, presented a plaque of recognition to its Bishop-Emeritus Protacio Gungon, DD “for being a source of inspiration for the clergy and the lay faithful” and “for his humble service to the people of God.”
Manifestation of God’s love
Bishop Gungon, who was the local ordinary of Antipolo from 1983 to 2001, was also honored for “being a concrete manifestation of God’s love and faithfulness even after his retirement.”
Giving a message of thanks, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes made mention of “men who have gone before us on whose shoulders we stand”, referring to his predecessors, one of whom is Bishop Gungon.
Looking after the diocese longer than both of his successors combined, Bishop Gungon was also lauded by Bishop Reyes, for being “an instrument of unity in the diocese during its pilgrimage here on earth.”
First Diocesan Synod
Bishop Gungon also historically presided over Antipolo’s First Diocesan Synod in 1993, where the diocese’s mission-vision was clarified – to be a community of disciples and a Church of the poor.
Bishop Gungon’s niece and nephew received the plaque in behalf of their uncle who was unable to attend the celebration.
At present, Antipolo is the fifth largest diocese in the country in terms of Catholic population. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]