OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY CATHEDRAL
REV. FR. MARIO BELTRAN M. PATANGAN
REV. FR. WILSON T. LAGARE
(065) 212-3258 Parish Convent
(065) 212-8420 Parish Office
Old but young—that’s one way of describing the church in Dipolog City. Turning a century-old in 1996, it possess traits characteristics of a traditional church. The mandated organizations, like the Apostleship of Prayer which is ten years older than the parish, are very much in place providing strong support to the parish. The Eucharist is celebrated regularly anywhere, not only in the church and chapels but also in schools, office and public market. Popular devotions, like dawn rosary flourish. Processions are well-participated and fiestas are vigorously celebrated.
However, a re-orientation of the parochial vision and sense of mission had taken place. The religious organizations have been assigned specific areas of social apostolate. Devotional activities have been modified to be more in line with new trends in social services and developments. Seminars are not only about faith (Bible, church, Christians Doctrines) but also about present burning issues (environmental concerns, poverty, malnutrition, etc.). Child-care and nutrition program have been added to the traditional catechism.
Moreover, media has been utilized to air programs dealing with catechism, family life apostolate, charistmatic movement and Catholic faith dialogue. With the assistance of the Diocesan Social Action, cooperatives among farmers and fishermen have been set-up in order to undertake income generating projects. Barangay chapel leaders have been encouraged to formulate with other members policies to awaken the communitarian consciousness among the people. These are some ways that the church in Dipolog is making real the BEC (Basic Ecclesial Program) Program of the diocese. Being in an urban setting, the parish, led by Msgr. Esteban C. Gaudicos, has tried to be creative in its modification and implementation of the program. The road has been a struggle but not in vain. In age, the parish is nearing 100 years. But in spirit, it is forever young.
The Society of Jesus provided the first parish priest of Dipolog. But the Order of the Augustinian Recollects built the first “convento”. They were then serving the parish of Lubungan (the present Katipunan) to which Dipolog belonged. The “convento” became a Jesuit Residence in 1870 upon their return to their old Mindanao mission after their expulsion a century earlier. The Jesuit Jose Vilaclara became the first parish priest. From him until the parochial administration was handed on to diocesan clergy, more than fifteen Spanish, American and Filipino Jesuits served Dipolog as pastors or parochial vicars.
Providently, a Dipolognon and a Jesuit-trained diocesan priest took the stewardship of Dipolog from the Jesuits. Fr. Nicasio Patangan led his flock for twenty-seven years, from 1940 through World War II until the creation of the diocese in 1967. When Bishop Felix S. Zafra took over the administration of the parish, he managed it directly until Fr. Ubaldo Basoc became the Rector of the Cathedral in 1980. Msgr. Salvador Mora was the pastor of Dipolog when Bishop Jose R. Manguiran arrived. Since 1989, Msgr. Esteban C. Gaudicos has administered the parish for the bishop.
Even years before Dipolog became a parish, Our Lady of the Rosary has been its main patroness. At the beginning of this century, however, the people began to place themselves also under the care of Saint Vincent Ferrer after they attributed to his intercession the miraculous end and their cure from a cholera epidemic (1903).
The church building is a fitting symbol for the church in Dipolog. Started to be built in 1893, it has undergone various renovations. Lately, the altar has been reconstructed. Marbles are used to modernized and make it firm. But it is re-designed according to its original form.
Old but not worn-out. Traditional but not antiquated. Young and progressive. That’s the church in Dipolog as she continue to mature in the vineyard of the Lord!