By Fr. John Emerson L. Tepait
Last September 25, 2018, the Diocese of Masbate celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation. The highlight of the celebration was the Holy Mass held at the St. Anthony of Padua Cathedral – 9 o’clock in the morning with His Excellency Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D., Archbishop of Davao and CBCP president, as presider, and His Excellency Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D., as preacher and homilist.
The atmosphere truly reflected the grandeur of its joyful celebration as it was filled in attendance with almost five thousand lay faithful, 200 priests, 29 bishops and no less than the Nuncio to the Philippines himself, Archbishop Gariele Giordano Caccia, D.D. The celebration ended with the word of thanks given by Bishop Jose S. Bantolo, D.D., the 3rd Bishop of Masbate, as he greatly emphasized the service and contribution of his predecessors, the late Bishop Porfirio R. Iligan, D.D., (1st Bishop) and Bishop Joel Z. Baylon, D.D. (2nd Bishop).