Digos’ 1st bishop-son ordained

Digos’ 1st bishop-son ordained

Bishop of Digos Guillermo V. Afable hands over to Bishop Ronald I. Lunas the pastoral staff as symbol of his authority as bishop. Lunas is the 5th Bishop of Pagadian. BRENDA MILAN

By John Frances Fuentes

Feb. 11, 2019

DIGOS CITY

The first bishop from the clergy of the Diocese of Digos was ordained earlier today, Feb. 11.

Bishop Ronald I. Lunas received the sacrament through the laying on of hands of ordaining prelate Bishop of Digos Guillermo V. Afable during the rites of ordination held at the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral in this city.

Bishop of Ipil Julius S. Tonel, his former rector served as homilist.

Relying on prayer

“The bishop is God’s continuing Emmanuel to us,” he said, referring to Lunas’ motto, ‘Emmanuel’.

He said Lunas should consecrate himself to the Lord, adding “As bishop, it is our first duty to pray.”

“Ampo ra gyud atong saligan (We can only rely on prayer),” added Tonel.

Bishop Emeritus of Pagadian Manuel Cabajar, CSsR and Archbishop of Ozamiz Martin Jumoad served as co-ordaining prelates.

Mary, ‘designer of ministry’

“This episcopacy is not about me, in the first place. It is about the mercy of God on me his unworthy servant,” said Lunas during his message of thanks after his profession of faith and oath of fidelity, Feb. 10 at San Isidro Labrador Parish where he once served as parish priest.

Lunas said his episcopacy is about God preserving his faith in him despite his weaknesses and always being faithful to him despite his sinfulness.

“The Lord expects me not to be successful but to be faithful in keeping pure and teaching pure and teaching in word and in deed the faith contained in the Sacred Word of God, written or handed on, and the teachings and discipline of the Church as well,” Lunas added.

He said this new ministry is a difficult task, but he is consoled by the thought that he will not be alone in his mission, saying “Together we keep the faith; together we live out this faith.”

As a Marian devotee, the new prelate attributed his ministry to the Blessed Mother.

“Mary is the designer of my ministry and life,” Lunas said.

He thanked the faithful of Pagadian who were present during the rite of profession of faith and oath of fidelity and also during the rite of ordination.

“To my brothers and sisters here in the Diocese of Digos, thanks for accompanying me with your prayers. Please continue praying for me that I may remain faithful to God and to His Church,” he said.

The first bishop from Digos in its 40 years of existence, Lunas was appointed Bishop of Pagadian, Nov. 22, 2018.

He will be the 5th bishop of Pagadian, succeeding Cabajar who resigned after reaching the mandatory age of retirement of 75.