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Pope Francis names Filipino priest Sacramento diocese auxiliary bishop


Pope Francis names Filipino priest Sacramento diocese auxiliary bishop

Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Reynaldo Bersabal, a Filipino, as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento in the United States of America, the Vatican Press Office announced.

Bersabal, who is currently the parish priest of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Diocese of Sacramento, will be assigned the titular see of Balecio.

Father Bersabal was born on 15 October 1962 in Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental. He was ordained a priest on 29 April 1991 for the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro where he served as parish vicar of Our Lady of Snows (1991), parish administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe (1992), parish priest of Saint Francis Xavier (1995), chancellor (1998).

He was incardinated in the Diocese of Sacramento, United States of America, in 2004.

"In the diocese of Sacramento, he has served as parish vicar of Saint James in Davis (1999-2001) and Saint Anthony in Sacramento (2002-2003), and parish priest of Saint Paul in Sacramento (2003-2008), Saint John the Baptist in Folsom (2008-2016), Saint James in Davis (2016-2022) and Saint Francis of Assisi in Sacramento (since 2022). In addition, he has held the roles of vicar forane and member of the Presbyteral Council," according to the statement posted by the Vatican.

The Diocese of Sacramento, meanwhile, announced that Bersabal will begin his new duties on May 31, 2024 after his ordination as bishop the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

 “I am grateful to His Holiness for giving me a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus as an able co-worker in this favored part of His vineyard,” said the Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento in a statement.

“Bishop-elect Rey came as an immigrant priest bringing the rich cultural heritage of the Filipino people.  He became part of a presbyterate and people that is a global Catholic kaleidoscope of faith and charity radiating the historic credal customs from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, China, Poland, Africa and more.”

The diocese also provided more details about 59-year-old Bersabal, who is the youngest of three children born to Juanita Guzman Bendijo and Ananias Amparo Bersabal. He also speaks English, Tagalog, Visayan and Spanish.

"He attended both Catholic and public schools before entering the diocesan seminary of San Jose de Mindanao. He obtained his degree in Philosophy from Ateneo de Cagayan Xavier University."

It was in 1999, upon the invitation of Bishop Emeritus William Weigand, Bishop-elect Bersabal came to the Diocese of Sacramento.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to His Holiness Pope Francis and to Bishop Jaime Soto, for the recognition and trust bestowed upon me.” said Bersabal was quoted as saying. “I am humbled to be chosen to serve God’s people in this capacity. I vow to uphold the responsibility to demonstrate Christ’s holiness to the people of the Diocese of Sacramento.”

The diocese also announced that as Auxiliary Bishop, Bersabal will also serve as Vicar General for the Diocese of Sacramento and will continue to serve as parish priest of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish. — BAP, GMA Integrated News

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