Bishop-elect Rolando Santos CM
VATICAN CITY, 6 APR 2011 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father:
Appointed Fr. Rolando Santos, C.M. provincial superior of the Lazarist Fathers, Philippines , as Bishop of Alotau-Sideia (area 20,000 [square kilometres], population 245,000, Catholics 41,137, priests 23, religious 43), Papua New Guinea . The bishop-elect was born in Rizal, Philippines, in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1974.
The priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Mission, to which Bishop-elect Santos belongs, are known in the English-speaking world as the Vincentians, after their founder, St Vincent de Paul. They are widely known elsewhere as the Lazarists, from the priory of St Lazarus in Paris, which they were given shortly after their foundation.
Before he was appointed Provincial in the Philippines Bishop-elect Santos had been working in Papua New Guinea.
As far as I know, Bishop-elect Santos will be the second Filipino bishop to be ordinary, ie, the person in charge, usually a bishop, of a jurisdiction in the church. The other is Bishop Wenceslao S. Padilla CICM of the Prefecture Apostolic of Ulaanbaatar, which covers the vast country of Mongolia (1,566,500 square kilometres, compared to the 300,000 of the Philippines) with a Catholic population in 2004 of 168 out of 2,400,000 people. Bishop Padilla is the first bishop ever in Mongolia and the first Filipino to be appointed bishop of a jurisdiction outside of the Philippines.
Fr Ronald Magbanua CICM, ordained in his native Silay City, Negros Occidental, with some of his CICM confreres from the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Mongolia.
Father Raymundo Sabio MSC, who grew up in Negros Occidental, has been the ordinary of the Prefecture Apostolic of the Marshall Islands since December 2007. He had been in Korea for many years. The prefecture, in contrast to that of Ulaanbaatar, has a land area of only 161 square kilometres, made up of small islands spread over a wide area of the Pacific. Catholics number around 4,600 out of a population of about 51,000.
Fr Raymundo Sabio MSC (center) at his installation as Prefect Apostolic of the Marshall Islands.