Celebrating 40 years: Mati diocese commemorates milestone

Celebrating 40 years: Mati diocese commemorates milestone

Papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown presides over Mass commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of Mati at the San Nicholas de Tolentino Cathedral on February 16, 2024. DIOCESE OF MATI

By CBCP News

February 16, 2024

Mati City

Papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown led the 40th anniversary celebration of the southern Philippine diocese of Mati on Friday, exhorting the clergy, consecrated persons and lay faithful to ‘live your vocation to the full’.

Speaking during Mass at the Mati Cathedral, he emphasized that Catholics — whether called to the priesthood, religious life, or lay ministry — have different vocations to fulfil.

“Our responsibility is to live our vocation to the full,” Brown said. “Do your vocation the way God wants you to do.”

Reflecting on the ongoing synodal process, the archbishop stressed that this is what the Church is about: to respect everyone’s vocation and to value your vocation.”

The celebration’s theme is, “Diocese of Mati: Four Decades of Synodal Journey in Faith, in Gratitude, and in Mission”.

In moving forward with the mission, Brown encouraged the faithful to remember the early missionaries and Catholics who lived before them.

“Imitate their faith… that means walking in their footsteps. That is what the synodal path of the Church is all about,” he added.

The diocese was established on Feb. 16, 1984, with the late Bishop Patricio Alo as its first shepherd. It comprises the province of Davao Oriental, the easternmost part of Mindanao’s bustling Davao region.

Currently, the ecclesiastical territory has 19 parishes and 2 quasi-parishes, overseen by approximately 48 diocesan priests. Over the years, the diocese has also established 10 Catholic schools.

Its current bishop, Abel Apigo, has been shepherding the diocese since 2018.


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