Bishop Emeritus Nereo Odchimar, who led the Diocese of Tandag for almost 17 years and served as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, died Thursday, Feb. 1. He was 83.
The diocese said the bishop died at 10:27 a.m., at San Pedro Hospital in Davao City after a long battle with diabetes and kidney complications.
“He died of metabolic encephalopathy due to end-stage renal disease and diabetic nephropathy,” the diocese said in a statement.
Born in Surigao del Norte province’s Bacuag town, he was ordained priest on Dec. 19, 1964. He was appointed as the second bishop of Tandag on Oct. 18, 2001.
“True to his episcopal motto ‘Duc in Altum’, he served the Diocese of Tandag with utmost zeal and dedication,” according to the diocese.
“He extended the work of evangelization by creating mission stations, devotional chapel, quasi-parishes, and parishes, and conducting pastoral visits reaching the far-flung areas of the diocese,” it said.
The bishop, it was added, began implementing the financial management system of the diocese and also initiated to build the new San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral.
He served the diocese for around 16 years until his retirement in 2018.
In addition to being the 18th CBCP president from 2009 to 2011, he also served as the chairman of its Episcopal Commission on Canon Law.
Odchimar is the third Filipino bishop to die this year. Bishop Ronald Lunas of Pagadian died on Jan. 2, and Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao passed away on Jan. 6.