Catholic Population: At present, Caceres has a total population of 1,443,367. 93.9 % or 1,356,565 are baptized Catholics distributed in 84 parishes.
Seminaries: At Present the Archdiocese is blessed with __ number of priests. With three seminaries: the Holy Pre-College, Minor and Major Seminaries, the average number ordained priest per year is eight (8). Last 2013 – the High School Minor Seminary was re-opened.
Ratio of Priests and Population: The Archdiocese has 274 Diocesan and religious priests and deacons and a Catholic population of 1,356,565. Thus, the ratio is 1: 4,950 or One ordained minister per 4,950 Catholics.
Parishes: It has 90 parishes. 50 of these were opened since 1990.
The Diocese of Cáceres was established as the suffragan of Manila on August 14, 1595. This was by virtue of the Papal Bull “Super specula militantis ecclesiae” issued by Clement VIII. The diocese extended over the provinces of Camarines and Albay as far as and including the islands of Ticao, Masbate, Burias and Catanduanes; the province of Tayabas as far as and including Lucban; and, in the contracosta of Mauban to Binangonan, Polo, Baler and Casiguran. The official name given to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction is “Ecclesia Cacerensis in Indiis Orientalius.” The name was taken from “Ciudad de Cáceres,” also indicated as the seat of the diocese. Friar Luís de Maldonado, OFM was appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of Cáceres. It was elevated to the status of archdiocese on June 29, 1951 through the virtue of the Papal Bull “Quo in Philippine Republica” by Pope Pius XII. The Papal Bull also created its two Suffragan Sees: The Diocese of Legazpi and Sorsogon.
The Archbishop Leonard Legaspi O.P., who was also the first Filipino Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, and the first Vicar of the Dominican Province of the Philippines.
According to a Holy See Press Office Vatican Information Service (VIS) online news release, on Saturday, September 8, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Bishop Prelate of the Roman Catholic Territorial Prelature of Infanta Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., as Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cáceres, to succeed the retiring Archbishop Legaspi.
Foundation of the Diocese and the Territory
Evangelized first by the Augustinians in 1569, then by the Franciscans in 1578 who did the systematic evangelization, the ‘Diocesis de Caceres’ was established by Pope Clement VIII in 1595 along with the Dioceses of Nueva Segovia and Cebu as suffragans of Manila. It later came to be known as ‘Diocesis de Nueva Caceres’. The ecclesiastical territory of Nueva Caceres included the whole Region of Bikol, the Quezon Provinces, up to Palanan, Isabela. It was the smallest of the four ecclesiastical territories at the time.
Highlights and Contributions
The history of the Diocese includes the following highlights:
- In 1706, Bishop Andres Gonzales, O.P., ordained the first Bicolano and second Filipino priest in the the person of Don Gregorio Cabalquinto.
- In 1710, Padre Miguel Robles de Covarubbias introduced the devotion to Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia.
- In 1797, the Casa de Clerigos (seminary) was estalished during the incumbency of Bishop Domingo Collantes, O.P.
- In 1865, Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P., invited the Vincentians to sytematize seminary formation and the Daughters of Charity to open the Colegio de Sta Isabel, the first normal school for girls in the Philippines. The seminary and the colegio were best centers of learning outside Manila. Bishop Gainza initiated ecclesiastical reforms and fostered closer relationship with the Holy See.
- In 1905, Msgr. Jorge Barlin was appointed Bishop of Nueva Caceres. He was the very first Filipino Bishop. Barlin prevented the growth of a Nationalist schismatic movement when he won the supreme court case against the aglipayans.
Mother of New Dioceses
- After more than three centuries since its foundation, Caceres gave birth to the Diocese of Lipa in 1910, from which later came forth the Dioceses of Lucena San Pablo Gumaca and Infant . Caceres became a purely Bikol territory.
- In 1951, Caceres was elevated into an Archdiocese, giving birth to the Dioceses of Legaspi and Sorsogon. From these two came the Dioceses of Masbate and Virac.
- In 1974, the Diocese of Daet was separated from Caceres.
- In 1990, the first District of Camarines Sur, came to be the Prelature of Libmanan. Last year, 2009, Libmanan was elevated into a Diocese. From the 56 original parishes of the Archdiocese, 18 were given to the newly created prelature.
|DIOCESE OF DAET||DIOCESE OF LEGAZPI||DIOCESE OF LIBMANAN||DIOCESE OF MASBATE||DIOCESE OF SORSOGON||DIOCESE OF VIRAC|
|Luis Maldonado, O.F.M.||1595||–|
|Francisco Ortega, O.S.A.||13 Sep 1599||1602 Died|
|Baltazar de Cobarrubias y Múñoz, O.S.A.||1603||6 June 1605 Appointed, Bishop of Antequera, Oaxaca|
|Pedro de Godinez, O.F.M.||12 Dec 1605||–|
|Pedro Matias||17 Sep 1612||–|
|Diego Guevara, O.S.A.||3 Aug 1616||1623 Died|
|Luis de Cañizares, O.M.||1 Jul 1624||19 Jun 1628 Appointed, Coadjutor Bishop of Comayagua|
|Francisco Zamudio y Abendano, O.S.A.||10 Jul 1628||1639 Died|
|Nicolas de Zaldivar y Zapata||2 May 1644||1646 Died|
|Antonio de San Gregorio, O.F.M.||17 Nov 1659||1661 Died|
|Andres Gonzalez, O.P.||10 Sep 1685||14 Feb 1709 Died|
|Domingo de Valencia||10 Jan 1718||21 Jun 1719 Died|
|Felipe Molina y Figueroa||20 Nov 1724||1 May 1738|
|Isidro de Arevalo||29 Aug 1740||1751 Died|
|Manuel de Matos, O.F.M.||11 Feb 1754||24 Feb 1767 Died|
|Antonio de Luna, O.F.M.||19 Dec 1768||16 Apr 1773 Died|
|Juan Antonio Gallego y Orbigo, O.F.M.||14 Dec 1778||15 Dec 1788 Appointed, Archbishop of Manila|
|Juan García Ruiz, O.S.A.||26 Jun 1784||2 May 1796 Died|
|Domingo Collantes, O.P.||15 Dec 1788||23 Jul 1808 Died|
|Bernardo de la Inmaculada Concepción García Hernández (Fernandez Perdigon), O.F.M.||23 Sep 1816||9 Oct 1829 Died|
|Juan Antonio Lillo, O.F.M.||28 Feb 1831||3 Dec 1840 Died|
|Vicente Barreiro y Pérez, O.S.A.||19 Jan 1846 Appointed||14 Apr 1848 Appointed, Bishop of Nueva Segovia|
|Manuel Grijalvo y Mínguez||14 Apr 1848||13 Nov 1861 Died|
|Francisco Gainza y Escobás, O.P.||1861||1880 Died|
|Casimiro Herrero y Pérez, O.S.A.||1 Oct 1880||12 Nov 1886 Died|
|Arsenio del Campo y Monasterio, O.S.A.||25 Nov 1887||20 Jul 1903 Resigned|
|Jorge Barlin y Imperial||14 Dec 1905||4 Sep 1909 Died|
|John Bernard MacGinley||2 Apr 1910||24 Mar 1924 Appointed, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, California|
|Francisco Javier Reyes||20 Jun 1925||15 Dec 1937 Died|
|Pedro Paulo Santos||21 May 1938||6 Apr 1965 Died|
|Teopisto Valderrama Alberto||6 Apr 1965||20 Oct 1983 Resigned|
|Leonardo Zamora Legaspi, O.P. D.D||20 Oct 1983||8 September 2012 Resigned|
|Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D. D.D||8 Sept 2012||Present –|