Bulacan opens former bishop’s memorabilia gallery

Bulacan opens former bishop’s memorabilia gallery

Cubao Bishop and Malolos administrator Honesto Ongtioco blesses the new “Galeria Almario,” a museum-type hall that contains memorabilia belonging Bishop Cirilo Almario, Jr., during its inauguration at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Compound in Malolos City July 15. COURTESY OF LORENZO ATIENZA/SANDIGAN-DIOCESE OF MALOLOS

By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban

July 16, 2019

Malolos City, Bulacan

The Diocese of Malolos has opened a gallery featuring the memorabilia of the late Bishop Cirilo Almario, Jr., on Monday.

The “Galeria Almario” was built inside the newly-renovated room of Malolos’ second bishop at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Compound in the city’s Bagong Bayan district.

It was formally opened by Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao and concurrent Malolos administrator, with some priests, seminarians and lay people.

“These objects are not just memories of having a bishop like Bishop Almario. It is a testament that he continues to live on through us,” Ongtioco said.

“We have been blessed to have a bishop like him. Even if he was retired, he continued to love this diocese and pray for the people even with his own illness and sufferings,” he said.

Several nuns from the three congregations that the longest-serving Malolos bishop founded were also present.

The gallery was put up under the auspices of Fr. Emmanuel Cruz, Rector of the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, who was entrusted with the execution of the bishop’s last will and testament.

It also took at least four months to finish the gallery under the direction of the DOMVS AVREA Ecclesiastical Designs.

A long-time secretary to the late prelate, Cruz recalled his memories with Bishop Almario.

“One of the most fond memories we have of him is that even if he was already retired, he would often visit the seminarians and the nuns. He knows each one of us by name,” he said.

Bishop Almario was appointed Malolos bishop in 1977 and served for 23 years until his resignation in January 1996. He died in 2016 at the age of 85.

Among his legacy as a pastor of the diocese was the founding of the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary in Guiguinto, Bulacan in 1983; the convocation of the First Synod of Malolos in 1987; the canonical erection of three pious associations, namely the Sisters of the Divine Shepherd for the Social Action Apostolate, the Religious of the Divine Word for the Biblical Apostolate and the Religious Catechists of Mary for the Catechetical Apostolate.

Bishop Almario is also known as the founding chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate and served as CBCP Secretary General from 1976 to 1981.