and liturgical reception at St. James the Elder Cathedral
Bishop Pol with the Northern Philippine Bishops
led by Archbishop Ernesto Salgado (left of Bp Pol) of Nueva Segovia
March 31, 2007
Bishop Pol Jaucian took his seat as bishop of the Diocese of Bangued this morning at 9:30 at the Cathedral of St. James the Elder here in Bangued. Metropolitan Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, Ernesto Salgado led the bishop to his "cathedra" (seat) and thus formally making him the fourth bishop of Bangued (after the SVDs Etspueler, Raval, and Rillera). This canonical possession was also the occasion in which the faithful of Abra formally received the new bishop. The bishop was led by a Tinguian dance to the altar and the mandate to serve the Diocese was proclaimed with the sounding of the carabao’s horn, the ancient Abra way of announcing important news.
The Eucharistic liturgy was celebrated in mixture of English, Ilocano, Tinguian, Tagalog, Mandarin, and Cantonese. The first reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah was chanted in Binongan, one of the Tinguian dialects. A high school student prayed in Cantonese, representing the Cantonese speaking Chinese in the province. The languages reflect the richness of the culture that is shaping Abra today.
More than sixty high school seminarians belonging to St. Joseph Seminary, the diocesan minor seminary led the singing under the direction of Frs. Floro Bautista and Cecilio Tupasi. The preacher was Fr. Linus Nicasio, SVD who gave a powerful reflection on the role of a bishop today in the Christian community. Before the closing of the mass, a letter from the Papal Nuncio was read thanking Msgr. Nilo Peig for serving the Diocese as administrator for two years while waiting for the appointment of a bishop.
Bishop Pol’s thanksgiving speech was opportune and allegorical. He narrated a story of two brothers who were always fighting and finally sued each other in court. Strangely, the judge before pronouncing the verdict, asked them to drink a glass of milk. They soon realized they were brothers who sucked milk from the same mother's breasts. Was the new Bishop referring to the series of violence, killings among Abrenians themselves , brothers and sisters themselves, because of politics? One woman told me later in Ilocano, "nagpasagid ni Apo Obispo" (loose translation, "The Bishop was referring to someone").