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Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin

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Title: Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin  
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Subject: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu, Sogod, Southern Leyte, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tandag, Roman Catholic Diocese of Marbel, Roman Catholic Diocese of Naval
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Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin (Lat: Dioecesis Maasinensis) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Erected in 1968, the diocese was created from territory in the Archdiocese of Palo.

The diocese has experienced no jurisdictional changes, and is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

The current bishop is Precioso D. Cantillas, appointed in 1998.


On August 14, 1968, the Diocese of Maasin was canonically erected through a papal decree issued March 23, 1968. In June of the same year, the Most Reverend Vicente T. Ataviado, D.D. who was up to then a parish priest of Masbate, Masbate, was appointed as its first bishop. He was consecrated on August 8, 1968, and installed as the First Bishop of Maasin on August 14 at Our Lady of Assumption Parish Church in Maasin, the capital of Southern Leyte.

From 1595 to 1910, the area which now comprises the Diocese of Maasin belonged to the diocese of Cebu. From 1910 to 1937 it belonged to the Diocese of Calbayog. From 1937 to 1968 it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocesan of Palo in Leyte. Today it is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

The diocese comprises the entire province of Southern Leyte, and the towns of Matalom, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Baybay in the province of Leyte, with the Maasin Parish Cathedral as the seat of the diocese. Distributed within its 2,505 square kilometers of land are 38 parishes and 1 quasi-parish. To facilitate administration these parishes have been grouped under 6 vicariates.

The province of Southern Leyte is located in the southeastern portion of the island of Leyte. And the small island of Limasawa off its southern coast is historically significant as the place where Magellan landed, after having sailed from the island of Homonhon in Samar, to celebrate the first Catholic mass in the Philippines. The chieftain of Limasawa, Kolambu and his men, with Magellan and his men, attended that first mass celebrated by Father Pedro Valderrama. Until 1960, the island of Limasawa belonged to the island province of Leyte.

Leyte and Samar were once considered one single political unit by the Spanish government, falling under the administration of the government of Cebu. They were separated from Cebu in 1735 but still remained as a single province until 1768, when they were finally split into two provinces, with Tacloban as the capital of the entire island province of Leyte. In 1960 Southern Leyte was made a separate province with Maasin as its capital.

The population of Southern Leyte is made up mostly of Cebuano-speaking people because of its closeness, geographically, to Cebu and Bohol. This population has now reached a total of 558,804, of which 90 per cent are Catholics.

In recent years, awareness of their potent role in the local church has been perceived among the lay faithful – a result of diocesan programs designed to awaken the "sleeping giant" in the church. There has been a marked increase in the number of lay ministers to assist priests in every parish, as there has been in the number of volunteer catechists.

The Diocese of Maasin today has started to focus on the vision of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. Apart from the usual ministerial and sacramental functions, the clergy has succeeded to penetrate the people's conscience with concern for other issues, such as reforestation, among others.

The Social Action Center has generously offered help in livelihood projects to those who do not have the necessary capital. This has been successful in the abaca business enterprise. The Center is now in the process of opening up more opportunities for more livelihood projects.

The Commission on Youth is helping in the formation of the youth in all the parishes of the diocese through youth encounters and leadership training. It has organized three diocesan summer youth camps between 1993 and 1995, attended by more than a thousand delegates.

In 1993 the Diocese of Maasin marked its 25th anniversary as a diocese. The theme of the celebration set the direction which the diocese will follow in the next decade: "RENEWAL: the challenge of the faithful in the Diocese of Maasin."

Thus the vision that was planted and took root when Father Pedro Valderrama celebrated the first mass in the Philippines on March 21, 1521, has borne new fruit. Aside from the prospects of renewal for the entire diocese, the Chaplaincy of Limasawa was raised to that of a parish – the Holy Cross and First Mass of Limasawa Parish, on March 29, 1994, more than four centuries later.

List of Vicariates and Parish Churches

Province of Southern Leyte

Vicariate of the Assumption in the Hills - Maasin City

  • Assumption in the Hills Parish, Barangay Asuncion, Maasin City
  • Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Parish, Barangay Ichon, Macrohon
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Barangay Guadalupe, Maasin City
  • Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, Barangay Tagnipa, Maasin City
  • San Rafael Parish, Barangay San Rafael, Maasin City
  • Santo Niño de Ibarra Parish, Barangay Ibarra, Maasin City

Vicariate of the Holy Child - Malitbog

  • Holy Child Parish, Barangay Taliwa, Malitbog
  • Holy Cross and the First Mass Parish, Barangay Triana, Limasawa
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Barangay San Vicente, Macrohon
  • San Roque Parish, Barangay San Roque, Macrohon

Vicariate of the Immaculate Concepcion - Sogod

  • Holy Child Parish Barangay Concolacion, Sogod
  • Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Barangay Rizal, Sogod
  • Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Barangay Jubas, Libagon
  • Saint Isidore Parish, Barangay Divisoria, Bontoc
  • Saint James the Apostle Parish, Barangay Banday, Tomas Oppus
  • Santo Niño Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Bontoc

Vicariate of Saint Ignatius of Loyola - Liloan

  • Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Liloan
  • Saint Isidore Parish, Barangay Central, San Francisco
  • Saint James the Apostle Parish, Barangay Poblacion, San Ricardo
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Pintuyan

Vicariate of Saint John the Baptist - San Juan

  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Anahawan
  • Saint Augustine Parish, Barangay Catmon, Saint Bernard
  • Saint Isidore Parish, Barangay Himatagon, Saint Bernard
  • Saint James the Apostle Parish, Barangay Poblacion District II, Silago
  • Saint John the Baptist Parish, Barangay San Jose, San Juan
  • Saint Joseph Parish, Barangay Poblacion District II, Hinundayan
  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Hinunangan

5th District of Leyte

Vicariate of the Immaculate Concepcion - Hilongos

  • Holy Child Parish, Barangay Bagong Bayan, Bato
  • Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Western Barangay, Hilongos
  • Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Parish, Barangay Concepcion, Hilongos
  • Saint Isidore Parish, Barangay Anahawan, Bato
  • Saint James the Apostle, Barangay Cahagnaan, Matalom
  • Saint Joseph Parish, Barangay Sto. Niño, Matalom
  • Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Barangay Poblacion, Hindang

Vicariate of the Immaculate Concepcion - Baybay City

  • Holy Spirit Parish, Barangay ViSCA, Baybay City
  • Immaculate Concepcion Parish, Barangay Zone V, Baybay City
  • Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Barangay Makinhas, Baybay City
  • Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Barangay Caridad, Baybay City
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Barangay Pomponan, Baybay City
  • Saint Isidore the Farmer Parish, Barangay Poblacion Zone I, Inopacan
  • Santo Niño de Plaridel Parish, Barangay Plaridel, Baybay City


  • Vicente Ataviado y Tumalad, D.D. † (17 Jun 1968 Appointed - 4 Mar 1997 Died)
  • Precioso D. Cantillas, S.D.B., D.D. (20 Jan 1998 Appointed - )

See also

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