5 PH prelates to attend compatriot's ordination as auxiliary bishop

By Ferdinand Patinio

May 17, 2024, 6:40 pm

<p>Incoming Sacramento auxiliary bishop, Fr. Reynaldo Bersabal <em>(Screengrab from Diocese of Sacramento YouTube channel)</em></p>

Incoming Sacramento auxiliary bishop, Fr. Reynaldo Bersabal (Screengrab from Diocese of Sacramento YouTube channel)

MANILA – Five Filipino prelates in the United States are set to attend the ordination of their compatriot, Fr. Reynaldo Bersabal as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, California in the United States on May 31.

In an interview with Church-run Radyo Veritas Friday, Pontificio Collegio Filippino Rector Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston said Cotabato Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, three other cardinals and Papal Nuncio to the US Cardinal Cristophe Pierre will witness the rites to be held at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

Aside from top Church officials, four Filipino bishops in the US -- Salt Lake Bishop Oscar Solis, Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Alejandro Aclan, El Paso Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Celino, and Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Efren Esmilla -- will be at the episcopal ordination.

Gaston said the new duty of Bersabal is not only a blessing to the new community he will be serving but also for the Philippines as Filipino priests become global agents of evangelization.

“It is a big blessing that Filipinos all over the world not only maintain their faith but also become agents of evangelization. In Sacramento, they are very much incorporated in the local parishes, contributing their Filipino traditions as well,” he added.

Gaston is in the US to give the zucchetto (skull cap) to the incoming bishop, from Fr. Coke Prieto of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

About 200 priests, 40 of whom are Filipinos from the Diocese of Sacramento, are also attending the May 31 event.

On April 20, Pope Francis announced Bersabal's appointment as the diocese's auxiliary bishop.

Bersabal would assist Bishop Jaime Soto in shepherding at least a million Catholics in the diocese. (PNA)