GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
THE Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan celebrated its golden anniversary on February 16 with a mass at the Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist in Dagupan presided by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.
About 50 archbishops and bishops of the Philippines attended the event, which Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas described as a celebration of praise and thanksgiving to God.
“Dayew tan pisasalamat,” said Villegas as he rallied the Catholic faithful to translate this praise and thanksgiving into communion for the mission.
“May our praise and thanksgiving strengthen our communion and may this communion make us surge forth to share the faith so that the world may believe,” he said.
Msgr. Oliver E. Mendoza of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan Media Office said the Diocese of Lingayen was created on May 19, 1928 with Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero as the first bishop.
It was renamed Diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan on February 11, 1954 following the destruction of the Lingayen Cathedral during the Second World War.
On February 16, 1963, it was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese with the late Archbishop Mariano Madriaga as the first archbishop.
The other archbishops who served here were: Archbishop Federico G. Limon, SVD, a native of Mangaldan, Pangasinan who succeeded Archbishop Madriaga; Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz, who became archbishop upon the retirement of Archbishop Limon. Msgr. Cruz was Archbishop from 1991 to 2009.
The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan currently has 92 priests (70 diocesan and 22 religious), with 15 congregations of Religious Sisters ministering to 33 parishes, three chaplaincies and two pastoral stations.
It has 15 Catholic schools, with two seminaries (high school and college) and a third seminary, the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary in Barangay Palapad, San Fabian is under construction and set to open in June 2013.—Eva Visperas