MANILA, Oct. 3, 2016 — Bishop-elect Victor Bendico will be making some adjustments in the Baguio diocese but says he is looking forward to his new mission.
“I am looking forward to serving the people of Baguio and that we will be able to work hand in hand,” said the priest.
The Roxas City-born monsignor said his appointment as Baguio bishop was a “big surprise”, saying it was with “great humility” and a “deep sense of unworthiness” that he accepted his new role.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Capiz for 32 years, the bishop-elect said he is aware that many challenges await him.
At 56, Bendico said he had been to Baguio, located in the mountainous province of Benguet, for only about 6 times so he is not familiar with the place, language, and the culture.
“So this is really a big challenge on my part,” he said.
Pope Francis on Saturday named Bendico as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, one of the oldest ecclesiastical territories in the country.
Bendico, who is currently the rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Roxas City, thanked the pope for having confidence in him to lead the new office.
“I would like to thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the trust and confidence he has given me to shepherd the people of Baguio,” he said.
“I also express my gratitude to the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Capiz for a very fruitful [ministry] with their support,” Bendico added.
Bendico took his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary in Manila. He also holds a doctorate in sacred liturgy from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, Rome.
He had served in a number of pastoral roles, including seminary spiritual director, parish vicar, rector of the Maria Mater et Regina Major Seminary, and pastor of various parishes.
He also served as member of the Commissions for the Clergy and for the Liturgy, member of the Board and Senate of the clergy, and as member of the board of the Colegio de la Purisima Concepción in Roxas City.
The bishop-elect will succeed 77-year old Bishop Carlito Cenzon, whose resignation was accepted by the pope.
Accompanied by Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula, Bendico will visit Baguio City on Oct. 6 to meet Cenzon and discuss the dates and activities of his ordination and installation. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)