Bishop-elect Napoleon Sipalay will be ordained to the episcopate and assume his role as the new shepherd of the Diocese of Alaminos this coming March.
The general secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced that Sipalay, a Dominican, will be ordained to the episcopate on March 18.
Several bishops from across the country are expected to grace the historic event at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan province’s Manaoag town.
On the following day, March 19, Sipalay will be installed as the fourth bishop of Alaminos at the diocese’s St. Joseph Cathedral.
The diocese was “sede vacante” for four years now, since its former bishop, Ricardo Baccay, assumed as archbishop of Tuguegarao on Jan. 14, 2020. Since then, it has been under the care of Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog of Lingayen-Dagupan as apostolic administrator.
Pope Francis appointed Sipalay as Alaminos bishop on Sunday, the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar and Doctor the Church.
The bishop-elect said it was “mixed emotions” when he learned about his appointment.
“I was overwhelmed with fear, but the trust and joy given to me was so much,” he said. “And I really need all your prayers. That really means a lot to me.”
Born in Davao City, the 53-year-old entered the Order of Preachers in 1988 and made his First Profession in 1991.
After completing his institutional studies, he was ordained a priest on April 5, 1997. Since then, he has faithfully served in various capacities, including as a formator, spiritual director, and missionary to Sri Lanka.
Sipalay is currently the Vice Rector of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Central Seminary.
He previously served as the prior provincial of the Dominicans in the Philippines from 2016 to 2021. Before that, he was the prior of the Priory of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Manaoag.