Bishop ‘happy, nervous’ on appointment as head of Iba diocese

MANILA Newly appointed Bishop of Iba, Zambales, Bartolome Santos, Jr., admitted that he was happy and at the same time scared about the appointment which was announced by the Vatican on Saturday.

He noted that he cannot explain his feelings upon learning about his new position to head the Diocese of Iba, Zambales which has been vacant for almost four years now.

I can't explain (the feeling), mixed reactions. I feel happy, scared, nervous and excitement but at the end of the day I know God is calling me for another mission. I am His servant simply I obey, the bishop-elect said in an interview.

Santos, 50, will succeed Archbishop Florentino Labaras who was appointed to head the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga in 2014.

He is currently the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Malolos in Bulacan.

On the other hand, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, the one who announced Santos' appointment, said they are happy since another Catholic prelate from the province has been named.

Of course we are all very happy that after more than 30 years we have a Bishop coming from Malolos in the person of Msgr. Bart Santos. I was the one who announced the appointment on Saturday at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima 10 minutes after it was announced in Rome. There was a standing ovation and cries of joy from the people, he added.

Since 2009, Santos has also served as the rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City.

He was born in Santa Maria, Bulacan on Dec. 1, 1967. After his philosophy and theology studies at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, he was ordained priest on Aug. 27, 1992.

Santos is the third Filipino to receive an appointment from Pope Francis this year, all within one week.

On Feb. 10, Pope Francis named Msgr. Abel Apigo of the Davao archdiocese as bishop of Mati in Davao Oriental. Four days later, the Pope appointed San Jose de Antique Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo as the new archbishop of Jaro in Iloilo.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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