Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag on Tuesday, February 22, invested Father Joel Reynold Castillo, parish priest of St. John the Baptist Parish of Badoc in Ilocos Norte with the “mozetta” as sign of his other office as Rector of the Badoc Basilica, Shrine of “La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc,” Patroness of Northern Ilocos.
Father Castillo was assigned to both posts by Bishop Mayugba in June 2021. The priest’s reception of the vestment was witnessed by the faithful in a solemn ceremony integrated in the Mass to mark the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
The “mozzetta,” the Italian term for the cape that covers the shoulders and is buttoned over the frontal breast area, is proper to popes, cardinals, bishops and other ecclesiastics like a Basilica Rector.
The norms for the Granting of the Title of Minor Basilica set on November 9, 1989, by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, says that among the privileges conceded to a basilica is for its rector “to wear in the exercise of his office — over the cassock or the religious habit and the surplice — a black mozzetta with red piping, buttons, and button holes.”
In connection with this garment of honor, Bishop Mayugba, in his homily, stressed that “authority is based on love, but it has a fruit of service for the sheep, for the flock.”
“You are placed…not to glory in your title or honor but to glory in the call for service,” the bishop said.
He added that “substantial for your fund-raising is for the good of the poor, for works of charity.”
Father Castillo was installed as Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Parish of Badoc and Rector of the Basilica on June 29, 2021; however, it was only on Feb. 22 that he formally received the mozzetta.
Before assuming his new post, he was the rector of St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in Laoag.
As a seminarian, he finished his Theological Studies at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and was ordained for the Diocese of Laoag in 1997.
Father Castillo also served in various diocesan ministries including Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Parish Priest of Divine Mercy Parish in Laoag City, and St. Anne Parish in Piddig town.