GAMU, Isabela — Bishop David William Antonio was formally installed on Tuesday as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Ilagan, which covers 34 towns and three cities of Isabela province.
The 54-year-old bishop, who was Apostolic Administrator of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro, asked for prayers from the Catholic faithful to support him in his new responsibility.
“I am one with you as one of your servants of God. I vow for my commitment,” he told some 6,000 Roman Catholic Church members who jam-packed the St. Michael Archangel Cathedral here for the installation ceremonies.
Believing that the faithful would help him in his new vocation, Antonio prayed to God for the gift of holiness and responsibility.
Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Giordano Caccia, who officiated the installation, encouraged the new bishop to fulfill his duties by praying to be a better person.
“Take care of (your duties as bishop) because it is a treasure of God,” he said.
Bishop Antonio formally succeeded Bishop Joseph Nacua, 73, who resigned from the post for health reasons in 2017. Nacua, the first Filipino Capuchin bishop, served the diocese for almost eight years.
It was in March 2018 when Antonio was appointed apostolic administrator of San Jose after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Antonio Palang.
Born in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur, Antonio was ordained priest for Nueva Segovia in 1988. He was appointed to the episcopacy in 2011.
He was also Pope Benedict XVI’s last appointee who was ordained to the episcopate in the Philippines before he resigned in 2013. He is also the chair of the CBCP Commission on Vocations. (PNA)