Tirona installed as 4th archbishop of Caceres

NAGA City, Nov. 16, 2012―Archbishop Rolando Joven Tria Tirona, OCD was installed November 14 as fourth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Caceres in a two hour solemn liturgical rites.

Tirona succeeded Dominican Archbishop Leonardo Zamora Legaspi who served as metropolitan bishop of Caceres for 28 years.

The new prelate called on the clergy, religious and laymen and women to further help in making the local church responsive to the needs of the times.

He also expressed his thanks to the “best clergy” he ever knew, the clergy from the Prelature of Infanta, drawing loud applause from the congregation.

The 66-year old Tirona served as Prelate of Infanta, which has the northern portion of Quezon Province and the whole Province of Aurora as territory.

Around 700 to 800 priests and laymen and women from Infanta joined Tirona to Naga City.

The prelate also acknowledged the presence of his predecessor in Infanta, 86-year old Bishop Emeritus Julio Xavier Labayen, a fellow Carmelite.

Acknowledging his new flock, Tirona also quipped “From today, the best clergy I know comes the Archdiocese of Caceres” to the louder applause from the Bicolano priests and the congregation in attendance.

The Archdiocese of Caceres has over 80 parishes with less than 300 priests serving over a million Catholics.  The average annual ordinandi for the ecclesial province is four deacons.

The provincial government of Camarines and the Naga City government passed resolutions expressing their sincere appreciation for the service rendered to the archdiocese by Caceres Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Z. Legaspi as its spiritual leader.

The Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto wished the new Caceres archbishop well even as he thanked Archbishop Legaspi for his successful ministry in the ecclesial province for nearly three decades.  He also wished Archbishop Legaspi the best of health.

Aside from the Papal nuncio, other archbishops who concelebrated with Archbishop Tirona were Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Manila Archbishop and Cardinal-Designate Luis Antonio G. Tagle, CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma and Caceres Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Z. Legaspi.

About 30 other bishops, mostly from Luzon and the Visayas attended the two-hour installation rites with hundreds of priests from the Dioceses of Daet, Libmanan, Legazpi, Sorsogon, Masbate, Catanduanes, Malolos and the Prelature of Infanta.

(Melo M. Acuna/CBCPNews)