Bishop Sorra, PH’s youth ministry figure, laid to rest

By CBCP News


Worshippers and mourners paid their last respects to retired Bishop Jose Sorra of Legazpi, who was laid to rest at a crypt in the Virac Cathedral on Monday.


The interment took place after a funeral Mass presided over by Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of Caceres.


As the funeral took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the diocese had arranged it to comply with health protocols.


Sorra, who died at a hospital in Legazpi City on Jan. 21 at the age of 91, was buried in Virac where he served as its first bishop from 1974 to 1993.


While in Virac, he was the first bishop to systematize youth formation in the Philippines.


The Youth Encounter (YE), which he founded, was also adopted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as a formation program for the youth.


He also served as the first chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth, which was established in 1986.


In his homily, Tirona said that Sorra has achieved many goals “but above all, he has touched many hearts”.


“That is why his memory will leave lasting moments in our hearts,” Tirona said.


“Of all the good things that we are saying about Bishop Sorra, one thing is certain, that he is a son of God who dedicated his life serving the least and the most vulnerable,” he added.


Sorra was ordained for the Legazpi diocese in 1956.


Before his elevation to episcopacy, he served as CBCP Secretary General and National Director of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines from 1972 to 1974.


After serving Virac for 19 years, he was appointed the fourth bishop of Legazpi.


Under his term, he set up a welfare plan for the clergy, and built the Bethlehem Pastoral and Retreat Center, an edifice for continuing formation of the lay and the priests.


Sorra also caused the celebration of the historic First Diocesan Synod of Legazpi, where he served until his retirement in 2005.