MANILA, Oct. 13, 2014— The Archdiocese of Pampanga will welcome a new leader.
Bishop Florentino Lavarias, 57, will be officially installed as the fourth archbishop of San Fernando in the city’s metropolitan cathedral on Oct. 27.
Thousands of faithful are expected to attend the rite, which symbolically starts with the archbishop-elect entering the front door, initiating a service that will culminate with Lavarias “taking possession” of the cathedral and the entire archdiocese.
Archdiocese officials estimate that the ceremony, to be presided by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, will take about two hours.
Last July 25, Pope Francis appointed Lavarias, who had been the bishop of the diocese in Iba, Zambales, to head the Pampanga archdiocese with about 3.3 million Catholics.
He will succeed Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, now 77 years old, who is stepping down after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Lavarias was born in Barangay Sta. Ines, Mabalacat town, also in the Pampanga province. He was ordained a priest on Sept. 26, 1985.
In August 2004, he was ordained to the episcopacy, or just around a month after Saint John Paul II appointed him bishop of Iba.
Lavarias also held some vital posts at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He chaired the Commission on Vocations and most recently, the Commission on Clergy. (CBCPNews)