SAN PABLO City, Laguna, Dec. 3, 2015 – The Diocese of San Pablo kicked off a year-long celebration of its Golden Jubilee on Nov. 28 with the clergy, religious, and laity coming in full force at the Cathedral of Saint Paul the First Hermit for the official opening of the Cathedral’s newly-constructed Golden Jubilee Door.
San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico, who led the congregation, also officially inaugurated the 50th anniversary of the canonical erection of the Diocese of San Pablo at 10 a.m.
The prelate earlier expressed his hopes that many would participate and experience the goals of the historical celebration, saying in Filipino: “Just like the theme ‘Pasasalamat, Pagpapalaganap at Paghahangad sa Paghahari ng Diyos’ – I hope a lot of people join in and experience this (celebration).”
Reaching Laguna’s peripheries
The Diocese has laid down a year-long list of activities with the aim of making the fruits of the past fifty years felt even in Laguna’s peripheries.
“We have been preparing for this for quite sometime now,” said Fr. Jerry Gaela, the Rector of the Cathedral. “We are prepared materially and spiritually.”
The cathedral in San Pablo City has been undergoing renovations since 2010, the latest of which is the Golden Jubilee Door at the left side of the structure, just at the rear of the belfry.
The priest addeed, “We have been preparing the people of San Pablo spiritually through our Dalaw Patron, regular recollections, and similar activities.” On the diocesan level, the people have been preparing for the past three years. The preparation period dates back to late November 2012 when the Diocese officially launched the “Year of Faith”, followed by the “Year of Hope” (2014), and the “Year of Love” (2015).
Blessed Pope Paul VI officially erected the Diocese of San Pablo on Nov. 28, 1966 through his Apostolic Constitution “Ecclesiarum per ampla.” The document severed the province of Laguna and the City of San Pablo from the Archdiocese of Lipa. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Natividad Bantigue was later on named its first residential bishop on Jan. 6, 1967.
Today, the Diocese of San Pablo is composed of 2.8 million Catholics out of the province’s 3.2 million population. This is a huge increase compared to its more than five hundred thousand Catholics in the 1970s. (David O. Reyes, Jr. / CBCP News)