BALANGA City: Pope Francis has appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca (Quezon Province) a priest from Bataan who was ordained on Saturday at the Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of Saint Joseph.
The new bishop–Victor Ocampo–has been a priest for almost 38 years.
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, was the principal consecrator in the Episcopal Ordination of Ocampo.
Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Guiseppe Pinto and Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos assisted the cardinal.
Some 40 bishops from all over the country and scores of priests and nuns from Bataan and Quezon attended the ordination.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in his homily described the Episcopal Ordination of Ocampo as historic for the Diocese of Balanga.
“This is the first ordination in Balanga of a bishop since 1739, the first in Bataan since 1754 and the first in the Diocese of Balanga since 1975. Today is a historic event because no one from the diocese has been ordained as bishop and Bishop Victor Ocampo comes from us in Bataan,” the CBCP head said.
Villegas served for years as Bishop of Bataan before his transfer to Pangasinan.
He said Ocampo was also the first to be ordained priest in the Diocese of Balanga in 1977.
Balanga became a diocese in 1975 that has control and supervision over Catholic parishes in 11 towns and one city in Bataan.
Ocampo was born on March 6, 1952 in Angeles, Pampanga.
He was assigned as parish priest in different towns in Bataan.
The new bishop had served as chancellor of the Diocese of Balanga and more recently as parish priest of Saint Dominic de Guzman in Abucay, Bataan.
He will be installed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca on September 3, 2015 at the San Diego del Alcala Cathedral in Gumaca, Quezon.
Gumaca has no bishop for two years after Bishop Buenaventura Famadico transferred to the Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna) in 2013.
“When I was informed that Pope Francis appointed me as bishop, my face glowed like that of Moses after coming out in the mountain,” the former Monsignor Ocampo said, laughing.
Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia and Mayors Jesse Concepcion of Mariveles, Antonio Raymundo of Orion, Alice Pizarro of Pilar, Jose Enrique Garcia 3rd of Balanga City, Ana Santiago of Abucay, Gene dela Fuente of Samal and Gila Garcia of Dinalupihan attended Ocampo’s ordination.