Pope Francis appoints new Baguio bishop
June 20, 2024 11:31pm

Pope Francis has appointed a priest from the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan as the new bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, according to the announcement of the Vatican through the Holy Press Office.

Msgr. Rafael T. Cruz, the parish priest of Saint Ildephonse, Malasiqui, Pangasinan, and vicar forane will be the third bishop of the diocese.

He succeeds Archbishop Victor Bendico, who was assigned to the Archdiocese of Capiz.

Cruz was born on the March 12,1960 in Mapandan, Pangasinan, in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

The Diocese of Baguio administrator, Fr. Roladn Paris Buyagan, has encouraged parishioners to prayer for the Bishop-elect.

He took up Philosophy at the San Pablo Regional College Seminary, Baguio City, Bangued, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. He took up theology at the Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, receiving a Bachelor of Sacred Theology.

Cruz was ordained a priest on September 8, 1985 for the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

He was then awarded a Master of Arts in counselling psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. He had his residency training programme at the Loyola University of Chicago and the Carl Jung Institute of Evanston, Illinois.

He served as deputy parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul, Calasiao, Pangasinan, chaplain of Our Lady of Remedies Chapel, Quezon City, visiting professor at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University (1999-2004), and spiritual director and psychologist advisor to seminarians of the territorial prelature of Batanes

He was also a teacher at the Center for Family Ministries, Ateneo de Manila, spiritual director and teacher at the Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary and the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary, parish priest and vicar forane of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Mangaldan, Pangasinan and since 2022 he was vicar forane, member of the Permanent Committee for the Protection of Minors, among others. — BAP, GMA Integrated News

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