By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing editor .
OVER a hundred Roman Catholic priests accepted new assignments in the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro which comprises Misamis Oriental and Camiguin provinces, according to Archbishop Antonio Ledesma Wednesday.
Ledesma said several consultations, with the help of an eight-member human resource board, were held before the list of parish assignments for three pastoral years, June 2019 to May 2022, could be finalized.
The reassignment order for all priests in the archdiocese could be the last act for the 76-year old Society of Jesus before his retirement, once his replacement will be appointed.
“I would like to thank the members of the human resource board who helped me in the discernment process in making these parish assignments,” he said.
He said that while the archdiocese has 129 priests, only 110 were reassigned while nine others were retained in their posts for three more years. Three are on sabbatical, one on a missionary work, while six others have already retired.
The movement of priests included six senior ones, those who carry the monsignor honorific in their names, being papal court officers.
Msgr. Abelardo Cabillan, whose previous post was in Camaman-an, is the now the parish priest of Iponan in lieu of Msgr. Cirilo Isnani who has moved out to Nazareth.
From Nazareth as parish priest, Msgr. Columbus Villamil has assumed as parish administrator of Puntod while Msgr. Rey Monsanto, who was previously the parish priest of Nazareno, is now in Camaman-an.
Former Bulua parish priest Msgr. Eutiquiano Legitimas has been moved to Gusa parish while Msgr. Elmer Abacahin, parish priest of Alubijid Holy Cross Parish, opted to take a vacation (sabbatical).
“It’s a personal decision,” Fr. Max Ceballos, the archdiocese vice-chancellor, said on Acabahin, who was also the archdiocesan social communications ministry director, overseeing publications, radio and television programs.
Other than Abacahin, Frs. Allan Chavit and Roger Almonia are also on sabbatical.
“They do not have parish assignments but they still perform the sacraments,” said Ceballos, who heads the special education ministry and resides at the archbishop’s house.
Those who kept their assigned parishes and would stay as parish priests for three more years are: Fr. Nathaniel Lerio in Gitagum; Fr. Jessie Namocot of Molugan (El Salvador); Fr. Daniel Coronel of Macanhan (Balulang); Fr. Garry Igot of Xavier Heights (Upper Carmen); Fr. Rufino Cabatingan of Macabalan; Fr. Gil Escalante of San Lorenzo Ruiz (Gusa), also St. Patrick’s House rector); Fr. Jose Alan Pulgo of Bugo; Fr. Cesar Ramantin of Villanueva); and Fr. Rene Soldevilla of Lunao (Gingoog).
Ledesma’s five-page parish assignments document included the names of those who have either reached 75 years old or medical condition: archbishop emeritus Jesus Tuquib, Msgr. Rodulfo Roa, Frs. Pedro Sombilon, Othelo Polinar, Vicente Cervantes, and Ramon Hinlo.
“Tuquib could be the oldest since he will turn 89 on June 27th,” Ceballos said. The retired archbishop has been residing at the House of Ars situated at Camaman-an Hills since 2006.
Aside from diocesan priests, included in the list of parish assignments are those belonging to various religious groups, among them are the congregation of the blessed sacrament, clerics regular of St. Paul, missionaries of the sacred heart, missionary society of St. Columban, and the congregation of the sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Formed in 1951, the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro will mark its 68th anniversary on June 29, this year.