HomeDiocesan ReportsVirac diocese installs 3rd bishop

Virac diocese installs 3rd bishop

Bishop Luisito Occiano was installed as the third bishop of Virac on Wednesday, pledging to lead with inclusivity, compassion, and active community participation.

“Our faith compels us to act with compassion striving to be a diocese that reflects the teachings of Christ, where love, mercy, and justice are not just ideals but lived realities,” he said at the Virac Cathedral.

“I cannot fulfill this vision alone. I need your support, your active participation, and most especially your prayers,” he told the congregation.

The installation Mass took place in the presence of many bishops, priests, religious, laypeople, and representatives from the government.

Among those present were papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila, and Archbishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Caceres.

Occiano comes to Catanduanes province after serving 27 years as a priest of the Archdiocese of Caceres. For the past 20 years, he led the Caceres Commission on Communications.

Occiano took over as shepherd of the 50-year-old diocese from retired Bishop Manolo de los Santos, 76, who led the diocese for the past 29 years.

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“As your new bishop, I am committed to listening to your hopes and concerns, working alongside you, and fostering a spirit of unity and love,” he said.

The 53-year-old bishop also emphasized the diocese’s mission to spread the Gospel’s message throughout the community, serving as a beacon of hope and embodying Christ’s love in all actions.

“Our mission is clear: to bring the message of the Gospel to all corners of our diocese, to be a beacon of hope, and to reflect Christ’s love in all that we do,” he added.

His installation was held five days after he was ordained to the episcopate at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City.

Occiano’s new diocese has more than 260,000 Catholics and around 60 diocesan priests serving in 31 parishes.

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