Pope Francis names his second appointee in the catholic hierarchy in the country

MANILA, (PNA) — The third bishop to head the San Carlos diocese in Negros Occidental has been named by Pope Benedict on Saturday.

The Holy Father announced in Rome at 12 noon of September 14 (6:00 pm, Manila time) the appointment of Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza as the new bishop of the diocese, which serves around a million Catholics.

According to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website, this was the second appointment of the pontiff in Catholic hierarchy in the country since he was elected as the new Pope last March.

The San Carlos diocese, which was established in March 1987, has been in a period of “sede vacante” since January 2012 when Most Rev. Jose Advincula was installed archbishop of Capiz.

The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Jaro.

The 54-year old prelate was born in San Jose, Sipalay, Negros Occidental on August 14, 1959. At 27, he was ordained priest for Bacolod diocese in April 1986 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro, Iloilo in June 2008.

He took his Philosophy at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Bacolod and completed his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Alminaza also had post-graduate studies at Fordham University in New York and obtained his Doctorate in Educational Management at the University of Negros Occidental in Bacolod City.

The bishop is the head convenor of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group. No date yet has been set for the installation of the new bishop of San Carlos.

Pope Francis’ first appointment in the country was last April after naming Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista as the new bishop of the Diocese of Imus in Cavite.