World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo is a large administrative diocese of the Catholic Church in the town of Palo in Leyte province, Philippines. It was formed as a diocese on the 28th of November, 1937, and became an archdiocese in 1982, with Calbayog, Borongan, Catarman and Naval Diocese serving as suffragan to it. The archdiocese encompasses and an overwhelmingly Catholic population of 1,165,565. The archdiocese has two districts, Eastern and Western, which are divided among the languages Waray and Cebuano. The Eastern District has seven vicariates of 34 parishes. 13 parishes are in the Western District, with one chaplaincy. The archdiocese contains two seminaries. The elder of these is the Sacred Heart Seminary, which was founded in 1944. Founded in 1988, the St. John Evangelist School of Theology serves additional dioceses. Jose S. Palma, a priest from the Archdiocese of Jaro was the Archbishop of Palo until he was appointed as Archbishop of Cebu

The Archdiocese of Palo will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year, since it was created as a Diocese on November 28, 1937 and elevated to as Archdiocese November 15, 1982 with four neighboring dioceses of the Metropolitan, to include Borongan, Calbayog, Catarman and Naval.


  • History 1
  • Archbishop of Palo 2
  • Ordinaries 3
  • Seminaries 4
  • Parishes 5
  • Suffragan dioceses 6
  • See also 7
  • Sources 8


The province of Leyte to which the Archdiocese of Palo belongs was the scene of the first Mass in the Philippines celebrated by Fr. Pedro de Valderrama on March 31, 1521, Easter Sunday. The exact spot is the small island Limasawa on the southernmost tip of Leyte Island. However, formal work of evangelization did not start until after seventy four years later when the Jesuits arrived in Kangara or Carigara, led by Fr. Pedro Chirino, S.J. with four priests and one brother companion on the 16th of July, 1595. At that time there were settlements connected with each other by dirt roads. The missionaries had to work for the formation of the towns since the people were spread out over the lowlands and into the mountains. The population of about 70,000 came under the general control of local officials called encomenderos assigned to collect the tribute from the people. A constant difficulty the missionaries encountered in their efforts of spreading the Faith was the greediness of the tribute collectors and the carrying out of the Moro raids. These raids usually came during the monsoon season. The object of the raids was to capture slaves, to inflict physical damage to the towns and countryside, and to carry away any crop or booty. The captured slaves were to be later sold in Malaya, Macassar, or Java. The first major raid on record was made on October 28, 1603, composed of seventy ships and two thousand men. Palo and Dulag were burned, and captives were taken. A raid in 1613 resulted in the capture of four hundred people in Dulag alone. Another raid in 1634 brought heavy damage to Cabalian, Sogod, Baybay, and Ormoc. Members of the clergy were at times among the captives with death being at the times the punishment meted out to victims. The first missions were Carigara (1595), Dulag (1595), Palo (1596), Alangalang (1597), and Ormoc (1597). Early structures were light materials, but eventually they were replaced by stone structures, e.g. Tanauan (1714) and Abuyog (1718). The missionaries insisted that the structures be built by hired laborers, not by forced labor. Baptisms were preceded by a period of training in the Christian way of life. This period of training would often last for several months. In the Palo missions a small catechetical text was printed in the Visayan by Fr. Cristobal Himenes, as an aid in the preparation of candidates for baptism. By 1600 there were an estimated 6,000 people in the Palo Community with 1000 having been baptized. The same ratio was found in the twenty-five villages where the missionaries had chapels; a total of 4946 Christians were found among the over-all population of 24,500. Most of the residents of Leyte were baptized by 1768. There were twenty established parishes in that year. Four of the parishes were in the North: Carigara, Barugo, Alangalang, Jaro. Eight of the parishes were in the west and south: Palompon, Ormoc, Baybay, Hilongos, Maasin, Sogod, Cabalian, and Hinunangan. Another eight parishes were in the east: Palo, Tanauan, Dulag, Abuyog, Dagami, Burauen, Basey and Balangiga ( the last two being across the gulf in Samar Island). A hospital and boarding school were built in Dulag, while Carigara conducted a day school.

In 1796, the Jesuits were commanded to leave the Philippines. This was due to the unfortunate circumstances in Europe at that time. They were replaced in Leyte by the Augustinians. In the nineteenth century the Franciscan began working in the northeastern part of Leyte while the diocesan clergy were given the parishes in the west and the south. In 1896, the Franciscans, as Spanish citizens, had to leave the country and the diocesan clergy took over. Leyte had belonged to the Diocese of Cebu from 1595 until 1910 and then belonged to the Diocese of Calbayog from 1910 until 1937. On November 28, 1937 the Island of Leyte was created a Diocese of its own. It was canonically erected as a diocese with the seat in Palo. After thirty-one years, on March 23, 1968, Palo was divided into two dioceses, the other diocese based in Maasin with the Most Rev. Vicente T. Ataviado, D.D. as its first Ordinary. The diocese of Maasin comprises the whole province of Southern Leyte including six municipalities southwest of Leyte. In 1988, the diocese was again divided with the creation of the Diocese of Naval. This new diocese comprises the island north of Leyte called Biliran and four towns northeast of the province of Leyte facing the island of Biliran. The Diocese of Palo was elevated to an Archdiocese on November 15, 1982. It was canonically erected as an Archdiocese on February 14, 1983 As an Archdiocese. It comprises the whole island of Leyte except 10 municipalities. It has four suffragan dioceses: Calbayog, Borongan, Catarman, and Naval. Its titular patron is the Transfiguration of Our Lord.

Archbishop of Palo

Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du, the newly appointed Archbishop of Palo was installed on May 9, 2012 at 9:30AM by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, His Excellency Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Palo, Leyte.

After more than a year the Archdiocese of Palo finally has a new Archbishop, to the delight of all the faithful of the local Church when Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop John F. Du, as officially announced last February 25, 2012 to be the Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Palo.

The New Archbishop, His Excellency Archbishop John F. Du was born in Bantayan, Cebu City, on October 18, 1954. He completed his High School studies and attended a special course at Pope John XXIII Seminary. From 1971 to 1975 he took his Philosophy at San Carlos Junior College of Cebu, and then his Theology in St. Augustine Major Seminary, under the SVD Fathers in Tagaytay City. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cebu on June 1, 1979. After his priestly ordination he was assigned as Assistant Pastor for three years. In 1982 he was appointed Professor at the Minor Seminary of Cebu, becoming later its Procurator and Rector. He became the spiritual director of the Missionaries of Charity in Cebu and a member of the Committee of the ongoing formation of the clergy of the Archdiocese.

He was elected titular bishop of Timici and auxiliary bishop of Cebu on November 21, 1997, and was consecrated on January 6, 1998. On April 21, 2001 he was transferred to the Diocese of Dumaguete. He is currently the Treasurer of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the Chairman of the CBCP Pension Plan.

As the new Archbishop of Palo, he will head around 1.2 million Roman Catholics in his care. He will be serving 63 parishes, 1 Chaplaincy and 13 Mission Stations, divided into two districts: the Eastern District (the waray speaking, comprising the vicariates of Tacloban, Carigara, Burauen, Chancery seminary, Abuyog and Palo), and the Western District (Cebuano speaking people which consist of the vicariates of Ormoc and Palompon)


Bishops of Palo
Picture Name From Until
Most Rev. Manuel M. Mascariñas, D.D. December 16, 1937 November 12, 1951, Appointed, Bishop of Tagbilaran
Mos Rev. Lino R. Gonzaga, D.D. November 12, 1951 August 12, 1966, Appointed, Archbishop of Zamboanga
Most Rev. Teotimo C. Pacis, D.D. November 18, 1966 May 23, 1969, Appointed, Bishop of Legazpi
Most Rev. Manuel S. Salvador, D.D. October 21, 1969 September 25, 1972, Appointed, Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu
Most Rev. Cipriano V. Urgel, D.D. April 12, 1973 November 15, 1982, Elevated, Archbishop of Palo
Archbishops of Palo
Picture Name From Until
Most Rev. Cipriano V. Urgel, D. D. November 15, 1982 April 22, 1985, Died
Most Rev. Pedro R. Dean, D.D. October 12, 1985 March 18, 2006, Retired
Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, D.D. March 18, 2006 October 15, 2010, Appointed, Archbishop of Cebu
Most Rev. John F. Du, D.D. February 25, 2012 present


  • Sacred Heart Seminary, Palo, Leyte
  • St. John The Evangelist School of Theology, Palo, Leyte


Eastern District

Vicariate of Palo

  • Cathedral of Our Lord's Transfiguration Parish, Palo, Leyte
  • Saint Joachim Parish, San Joaquin, Palo Leyte
  • Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Tanauan, Leyte
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Tolosa, Leyte
  • Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Pastrana, Leyte
  • Saint Anne Parish, Santa Fe, Leyte
  • Holy Trinity Parish, Alangalang, Leyte
  • St. Peter the Apostle Parish Tolosa, Leyte
  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary Mission Station(Libertad, Palo, Leyte)
  • Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish(Pawing, Palo, Leyte)
  • Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Mission Station(Dap-Dap, Alang-alang, Leyte)
  • Divine Lord and Saviour Quasi-Parish(Salvador, Tanauan, Leyte)
  • St. Vincent Ferrer Parish(Canramos, Tanauan, Leyte)

Vicariate of Tacloban City

  • Santo Niño Parish, Tacloban City
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Tacloban City
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Tacloban City
  • Saint Vincent Ferrer, Babatngon, Leyte
  • Saint Jude Parish, PHHC, Tacloban City
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, V&G Subdivision, Tacloban City
  • Saint Joseph Parish, San Jose, Tacloban City
  • Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Fatima Village, Tacloban City

Vicariate of Burauen

  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Burauen, Leyte
  • Saint Joseph Parish, Dagami, Leyte
  • Saint Paschal Baylon Parish, Guinarona, Dagami, Leyte
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Tabon-Tabon, Leyte

Vicariate of Abuyog

  • Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Abuyog, Leyte
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Javier, Leyte
  • Saint Isidore the Laborer Parish, MacArthur, Leyte
  • Saint Michael the Archangel, Mahaplag Leyte
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Mayorga, Leyte

Vicariate of Dulag

  • Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Dulag Leyte
  • Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, La Paz, Leyte
  • Saint Roch Parish, Julita, Leyte
  • Saint Joseph Parish, San Jose, Dulag, Leyte

Vicariate of Carigara

  • Holy Cross Parish, Carigara, Leyte
  • Saint Matthew the Apostle Parish, Jaro, Leyte
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Tunga Leyte
  • Saint Joseph Parish, Barugo, Leyte
  • Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Capoocan, Leyte
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, San Miguel, Leyte

Western District

Vicariate of Ormoc City

  • Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Ormoc City
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Ipil, Ormoc City
  • Mother of the Redeemer Parish, Cogon, Ormoc City
  • San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish, Simangan, Ormoc City
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Valencia, Ormoc City
  • Saint Isidore the Laborer Parish, Mérida, Leyte
  • Saint James the Apostle Parish, Albuera, Leyte
  • Holy Family Parish, Kananga, Leyte

Vicariate of Palompon

  • Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Palompon, Leyte
  • Holy Infant Jesus Parish, Palompon, Leyte
  • Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, Cantuhaon, Palompon, Leyte
  • Holy Infant Jesus Parish, Villaba, Leyte
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Matag-ob, Leyte
  • Holy Spirit Chaplaincy, LIDE, Isabel, Leyte

Suffragan dioceses

See also


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.