Diocese of Kalookan @ 17
Happy 17th Anniversary to my beloved Diocese of Kalookan!
On June 28, 2003, on the 25th year of his Pontificate, St. Pope John Paul II issued the Papal Bull disjoining from the Archdiocese of Manila the Kalookan City-South and the Municipalities (now cities) of Malabon and Navotas, establishing the new Diocese of Kalookan.
The Papal Bull established the Parish Church of San Roque in Caloocan and elevated it to the level and dignity of a Cathedral Church, granted it all the distinctions, privileges and honor which all Cathedral Churches in the Catholic world enjoy.
On August 22, 2003, in the solemn Rites of Liturgical Reception and Canonical Possession, His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin, D.D., installed Bishop Deogracias S. Iňiguez, Jr., D.D., as the First Bishop of the new Diocese, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Antonio Franco, D.D., the Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic, the Bishops of Protestant Churches, the Clergy, Religious and Catholic faithful.
With the retirement of Bishop Iňiguez in January 2013, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D. as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese. Bishop De Leon was then the Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo and now Bishop of Antipolo.
On October 14, 2015, Pope Francis filled up the vacancy, no more sede vacant Diocese. He appointed Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” Siongco David, D.D. as the Bishop of Kalookan, who was then the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga. Bishop Ambo was formally installed as Bishop of Kalookan by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on January 02, 2016, in the presence of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic, the Clergy from different Dioceses, Religious and Catholic faithful.
The motto of the Diocese is “Duc in Altum” (Lk: 5:4) or “Put out into the Deep”. These are the words spoken by the Master of the apostles as they gathered themselves before Jesus. The motto captures the spirit and direction of the Diocese. “Powered by the love of Jesus and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Diocese of Kalookan sails forth with faith and courage accompanied by Mary to cast its net so that a bountiful harvest may be reaped for the glory of God and the salvation of the souls.”
The title of this column is named after the motto of the Diocese “Duc in Altum” and approved for usage by the then Bishop, now Bishop Emeritus Ińiguez.
On the occasion of the 17th Anniversary of the Diocese, everyone can watch at the Diocese’s FB Page (Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan) the Clergy Concert entitled “LayKo si Pads, Suportahan Kita.” It was held last January 13, 2020 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as fund raising project of the Council of the Laity of Kalookan (CLK) and the Diocese for the completion of the Divine Mercy Spiritual and Renewal Center, the retirement house of the clergy and formation center for the seminarians and the laity of the Diocese. It was the 4th of a series of concerts initiated by CLK and its 3rd at PICC. The performers were the Diocesan clergy, the religious men and women, special celebrity guests and last but not the least Bishop Ambo and His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, before the latter left for Vatican for his new post as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples or Propaganda Fide.
On its 17th Anniversary amidst the covid-19 pandemic, we pray to “strengthen in us the bonds of community and forgive our misgivings brought by disunity and individualism. Grant that we may follow the example of your son, who loved all especially the least, the last and the lost, that in doing so we may fulfill our mission as the Body of Christ in the world. Enlighten us that we may become beacons to all the corners of the world and show others your love in the midst of the challenges we face, especially in this time of pandemic, through the intercession and example of Mary, our Mother, and San Roque, our patron, may we offer our lives to help build your kingdom in our community and in the whole world.”
Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to the Diocese of Kalookan and to us, its parishioners, most specially to our Bishop Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” David, who like St. Pope John Paul II, has been using the social media to communicate his messages so as to reach all sectors of society, especially during this pandemic. He evangelizes the Gospel by posting his Homilies and Reflections through his own FB account, the Diocese of Kalookan’s website and The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan FB Page. During this pandemic when the health and government authorities prohibits mass gathering like the participation of the public in Holy Masses, Bishop Ambo inspires and gives hope to the faithful through his homilies in Online Masses.
During this covid-19 pandemic, Bishop Ambo is also active in giving the parishioners of his Diocese with food packs in the form of rice, eggs, milk, vitamins, canned goods, vegetables, chicken, which the people need most specially those from the mission stations which he established in the areas in the peripheries of society of the Diocese of Kalookan. The aids and assistance of the Diocese is not limited to the Catholics; even the residents from different religions receive aids and assistance. The residents of the Diocese are really blessed to have a bishop like Bishop Ambo. The parishioners in return always pray for the bishop’s good health and safety. God bless the Diocese of Kalookan. Mabuhay!