Pope Francis appoints Filipino as new Saipan bishop

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Bishop-elect Ryan Jimenez

MANILA, June 24, 2016— Pope Francis has appointed a Filipino priest as new bishop for the Church in Oceania on Friday.

Born in Dumaguete City, and raised in Larena, Siquijor, Fr. Ryan Jimenez will be the second bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands.

A priest for only around 12 years, he will succeed Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho who served the the diocese for 25 years until his retirement in 2010.

Since then, Jimenez has been serving as the apostolic administrator of the diocese with 15 priests and 21 female religious who are working to serve more than 43,000 Catholics.

The 44-year old bishop-elect finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Divinity from the Ateneo de Manila University before going to Saipan in 1997.

As a major seminarian for the Chalan Kanoa diocese, he continued his studies at the St. Patrick Seminary and University in California, USA where he earned his Masters Degree in Theology in 2003.

In June of the same year, Jimenez was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa.

For more than a decade as priest, he had served a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar, special secretary to the bishop, rector of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral, president of the diocesan commission for the cultural heritage of the Church, and diocesan chancellor.

Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete has welcomed as “great news” the appointment of Jimenez.

“Let us rejoice and pray for Bishop Ryan as he takes on the apostolic responsibility,” Cortes said.

Jimenez’s episcopal ordination is set for Sunday, August 14, 2016 at the Chalan Kanoa cathedral.

Archbishop Martin Krebs, Apostolic Delegate to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Papal Nuncio to various island countries in the Pacific, will be the primary consecrator at the ordination. (CBCPNews)

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