Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father Pope John Paul II has, 19 March 2004, accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe (Philippines) presented by the Vicar Apostolic Bishop Francisco F. Claver SJ, emeritus Bishop of Malaybalay, in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, canon 401 § 1.
The Pope has appointed, 19 March 2004, Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe (Philippines) Rev Father Cornelio Galleo Wigwigan, assigning to him the titular see of Vagrauta.
The new Vicar Apostolic was born on 28 May 1942 at Sabangan, in the apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe. He studied philosophy and theology at the San Carlos Major Seminary at Metro Manila. He was ordained a priest on 26 December 1966 for the apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe. He has since been: assistant priest at Pudtol, Kalinga-Apayao (1967/68); Rector of the Catholic Mission at Flora (1969/71); Rector of St. Vincent’s Mission Baguio City (1972/73); Rector of St. Francis Xavier’s Seminary at Baguio City (1974/76); Director of the Catechetics Centre in Baguio City (1976/82); School supervisor in Baguio City (1982/85); Rector of the Immaculate Conception Church, Aurora Hill, Baguio City (1985/87); Rector of St. Francis Xavier’s Seminary in Baguio City (1988/90); Rector of St. Rita Catholic Mission at Bontoc (1991/93); Rector of St. Magdaline Catholic Mission at Lagawe (1994/97); since 1997 Rector of St. Rita Catholic Mission at Bontoc and Pro-Vicar of the Vicariate apostolic; Vicariate Bursar (1993/98); since 2000 Director of the pre-College Seminary at Bontoc.
The Apostolic Vicariate di Bontoc-Lagawe, established on 6 July 1992, is situated in the central part of Luzon Island. It covers two provinces :Mountain Province and Ifugao. It has an area of 4.615 sq. km, a population of 302,062, of whom 199,343 are Catholics, gathered in 20 parishes, looked after by 30 priests (23 diocesan and 7 Religious), 23 women Religious, 40 major seminarians, 34 catechists. Evangelisation began in 1907 with the arrival of the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM). Today 90% of the population is Christian: 65% Catholics and 30% Protestants mainly Episcopalians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 15/4/2004; Righe 25; Parole 317)