Construction of clergy home in Puerto Princesa underway

Construction of clergy home in Puerto Princesa underway

Bishop Socrates Mesiona recently conducted an ocular inspection of the ongoing construction of Clergy House in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa, a project of the vicariate. KATYA SANTOS

By Katya A. Santos

March 9, 2019

Puerto Princesa City

The Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa is currently building a house for the retired, aging, and sick priests of Palawan.
Bishop Socrates Mesiona said it is an “urgent need” at the moment.

“We want to provide our priests a decent place to stay when they retire,” he stressed out.

The prelate explained that majority of the priests in the vicariate are seniors with around 5 to 7 of them retiring soon.

Currently, there are 38 diocesan priests presently serving the vicariate.

Leap of faith

Bishop Emeritus Pedro Arigo initiated the building of clergy house project since the early 2000s but was put on hold because of budget constraints.

An estimated Php 40 million is needed for the completion of project, which according to Mesiona, will also serve as a transient house for priests assigned to far-flung areas.

“We really have no sure budget, we just leave it God, praying that there will be many kind people who are kind enough to support the project,” concluded the bishop.

Clergy population

Palawan has a geographical area of more than 14,000 square kilometers. Around 1,700 islands and islets comprise the province with 23 towns and 1 independent city.

Based on records, when there was only one vicariate in the province, most of the young priests were assigned to the islands towns, while the seniors were based in the capital or in nearby municipalities.

“When the province was divided into two vicariates, the assignment of priests remained, that’s why, most of the senior priests belong to Puerto Princesa,” Mesiona explained.