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Pope Francis names Bishop Almedilla for Butuan, Bishop Dalmao for Basilan

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Pope Francis has named two new Filipino bishops who are both from Bohol.

According to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website, the Holy Father announced on Monday the appointments of Fr. Cosme Almedilla, 60, as new bishop of Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Claretian Fr. Leo Dalmao, 49, as Isabela, Basilan prelate.

Almedilla, a native of San Miguel, Bohol takes over as the new head of the Diocese of Butuan, succeeding Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos who died in October 2017.

Since 2015, Almedilla, who is also known for promoting the Basic Ecclesial Community movement, has been assistant pastoral director of the Talibon diocese.

The bishop-elect attended the St. John XXII College Seminary in Malaybalay City and the Loyola School of Theology (LST) at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.

On Aug. 4, 1987, Almedilla, was ordained a priest. Prior to his appointment, he has been serving the Holy Child Parish in Ubay, Bohol.

He was the spiritual director of the John XXII College Seminary, director of the Holy Child Academy in Bohol, and chaplain of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City.

On the other hand, Dalmao replaced Archbishop Martin Jumoad, who was appointed to head the Archdiocese of Ozamiz in October 2016.

He is currently serving as consultor and the Prefect of Formation at the Istituto Guiridico Claretiano in Rome, Italy and will be the first Filipino Claretian to become bishop.

Dalmao was born in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. He entered the Congregation in 1986 and studied philosophy at the Claret Formation Center, now known as St. Anthony Mary Claret College.

He finished his theology studies also at the LST and was ordained priest in 1997 by the late Bishop Emeritus José María Querejeta Mendizábal of Isabela, who was a Spanish missionary and served as the first Claretian bishop in the Philippines.

The bishop-elect is not a stranger in the province since he served in Basilan, after his ordination, as project coordinator for indigenous people, Samal-Badjau.

In 2010, he was elected as superior of the Philippine province of the Claretian missionaries.

While serving the post, Dalmao was also elected as co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines until he was transferred to Rome in 2015.

He remains to be the first and the only Filipino priest elected to the general government of the Claretians worldwide. (PNA)

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