Last Saturday, September 22, our community had the happiness to receive the visit of Bishop of Novaliches, Antonio Tobias and to spend the whole morning with him. The first part of the meeting was led by the Bishop, introducing us to some aspects of the Diocese of Novaliches, where the Xaverians are serving since 1992 mainly through the Parish of Saint Francis Xavier. The second part was a very intense question and answer time about different aspects of his personal life and the life of the Church in Novaliches and in the Philippines. In short, it has been a great opportunity to know better not only him as a person but also some other traits of our Diocese which we are serving with our apostolic activity.
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Most Reverend Antonio R. Tobias, JCL, D.D., is already 71 years old, and has been Auxiliary Bishop in Zamboanga in 1982; Bishop of Pagadian from 1984 to 1993; Bishop San Fernando, La Union from 1993 until 2003, when on November 2003 he was formally appointed Bishop of Novaliches.
The Diocese of Novaliches – canonically erected on the 16th of January 2003 – comprises the whole Northern part of Quezon City and Southern part of Caloocan City, and has a population of 2.3 million, of which 1.9 million are Catholics. There are 10 vicariates and 64 parishes. The flock to serve is huge and there is no shortage of pastoral and missionary challenges. It is one of the typical peripheral areas of Metro Manila where it can be seen how the image of “”mission ad gentes” is changing. New customs and styles of living arise together with new forms of culture and communication. (cf. RM 37b) So to speak a new humanity is emerging; new models of development are taking shape and poverty has assumed a heavier anguished face. For a more detailed information about the Vision and Mission of the Pastoral plan of the Diocese of Novaliches, see: http://www.novalichesdiocese.net/vision_mission.htm