THE Archdiocese of Zamboanga City and its over half-million Roman Catholics are set to celebrate starting next year a grand, double jubilee – its golden anniversary as an archdiocese on May 9, 2008 and centennial as a diocese on April 10, 2010.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, DD formally announced the jubilee celebration during the New Year’s Eve Midnight Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in the evening of December 31, 2007.
During the Mass, Archbishop Valles read the full text of his “Proclamation of a Year of Favor from the Lord – On the Occasion of the Centennial of the Diocese (1910-2010) and the golden Jubilee of the Archdoicese (1958-2008)”.
Zamboanga was declared a diocese by Pope Pius X through a papal bull issued on April 10, 1910, together with the dioceses of Lipa, Tuguegarao, and Calbayog, said Msgr. David Alonzo, who heads the jubilee’s Committee on Publicity and Promotions.
“Zamboanga City was the first diocese in Mindanao and so is the mother of all the dioceses in southern Philippines”, Msgr. Alonzo said, which he added is a fact that lends a special significance and pride to the celebration. Plans are being set to involve other dioceses in Mindanao and the three other dioceses observing the centennial in the jubilee’s three-year long events.
In his proclamation, Archbishop Valles emphasized that the anniversaries are “a season of grace for us, a time of favor from the Lord”.
“Following biblical and church tradition”, the 55-year old prelate said, “now is the moment to look back to the past and to remember the original grace with gratitude, to reflect on and sanctify the present, and to shape the future and usher in a new beginning with renewed hope and spirit”.
The celebrations will formally start on April 10, 2008 with various activities. The archdiocese will soon put up a webpage to enable Catholics and others interested to easily access information about the archdiocese and the jubilees.