Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa today comprises the civil province of Batangas located in the southwestern part of the island of Luzon in the Philippines.


It is bounded on the north by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna, on the east by Tayabas Bay, and Quezon Province, on the west by the China Sea, and on the south by the Balayan and Batangas Bays. Its land area is 3,165 square kilometers (1,222 square miles) and the population as of the 1994 census is 1,668,480 of which 99.5 per cent are Catholics.

The province surrounds Lake Taal from which Taal Volcano rises in the center. The rich soil of Batangas was formed from volcanic tuff coming from the active volcanoes of Taal. The terrain is characterized by rolling hills, plateaus and low mountains, the highest of which is Mount Makiling which is only 1,109 meters (3,600 ft) in elevation.

The Province

The province is rich in natural resources. Almost 80 per cent of Batangueños have a piece of land to cultivate, and the Batangas farmer is a model farmer known for his intensive cultivation of land. This was brought about in large part by big landowners selling portions of their land, thus eliminating social unrest.

Fishing and mineral reserves abound in the province which also has a number of manufacturing industries including petroleum refineries, sugar centrals, food and beverage companies, and countless cottage industries. The coastline is dotted with beach resorts often frequented by local and foreign tourists. it is popular with foreign diving aficionados.

As they have a stable source of income, most families in Batangas can afford to send their children to schools and colleges in Batangas or in Manila. This explains why 90 per cent of the population is educated.

Batangas was originally called Balayan, with Taal as its first capital. In 1754 the capital was moved to Batangas City, its capital today. Historically, Batangas is known as the birth place of Apolinario Mabini, a Filipino hero known as the "Sublime Paralytic" who became Secretary of State of the First Philippine Republic. The last Filipino general to surrender to Americans in the Philippine American War, Miguel Malvar, was also from this province.

Creation of the Diocese

The Diocese of Lipa was created on April 10, 1910, separating it from that of Manila under the supervision of Pope Pius X. The diocese then covered the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Marinduque and Mindoro, with Most Reverend Joseph Petrelli, D.D., as the first bishop. He was faced with a monumental task because the diocese was large and there was but a handful of priests.

Bishop Petrelli invited different religious congregations to come to his diocese and help minister to the spiritual needs of the faithful. He also conceived the building of a seminary in the diocese. In June 1914 a diocesan seminary was built in Bauan, which was later transferred to San Pablo in Laguna. This initiative of the first bishop was continued by the next bishop, Alfredo Verzosa, D.D., who served a long term from 1916 to 1950. He invited priests from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help in the administration of the new seminary.

In 1950 the Most Reverend Rufino Cardinal Santos took over the diocese. Described as a financial administrator of great acumen, Bishop Santos applied for bank loans to help construct some buildings. This way he continued the construction work of the Cathedral of Lipa and built a major seminary beside it.


With the departure of Monsignor Rufino Santos for the Archdiocese of Manila came a young bishop, Most Reverend Alejandro Olalia, D.D., who stayed with the diocese from 1953 to 1973. It was during his term that the Diocese of Lipa, on June 20, 1972, became the tenth Archdiocese and Ecclesiastical Province by order of the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI. This same order elevated Bishop Olalia to the rank of archbishop on August 15, 1972.

Bishop Olalia died in 1973 and was replaced by Bishop Ricardo J. Vidal who stayed with the diocese until 1981. During his incumbency. Bishop Vidal organized the Pastoral Council, and initiated the construction of the Lipa Archdiocesan Formation Center.

Bishop Vidal was replaced in 1981 by Bishop Mariano Gaviola, D.D. who stayed with the diocese from 1981 to 1993. He was at the helm of the archdiocese as it celebrated its 75th anniversary on March 19, 1993, the reins of the archdiocese were again transferred, this time to Bishop Gaudencio Rosales, a native of Batangas City. He was ordained priest in Lipa in 1958, became Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in 1974, served as bishop in Malaybalay in 1982, and on December 30, 1992 he was elected Archbishop of Lipa.

With the death of Jaime Cardinal Sin in 2005, there was a vacancy at the Holy See of Manila. Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to be the new Archbishop of Manila. With Archbishop Rosales' appointment, the Vatican appointed Bishop Ramon Arguelles to the new Archbishop of Lipa.

Past and Present Prelates of Lipa

*Joseph Petrelli † (12 Apr 1910 Appointed - 30 Mar 1915 Appointed, Official of the Roman Curia - Other)
*Alfredo Verzosa y Florentin † (6 Sep 1916 Appointed - 25 Feb 1951 Retired)
*Alejandro Olalia † (28 Dec 1953 Appointed - 2 Jan 1973 Died)
*Ricardo Cardinal Vidal (22 Aug 1973- 13 Apr 1981)
*Mariano Gaviola y Garcés † (13 Apr 1981- 30 Dec 1992)
*Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (30 Dec 1992 -15 Sept 2003)

* Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles (14 May 2004 -present)
# Archbishop Ramon Arguelles was born in Batangas City, Philippines on November 12, 1944. He attended Batangas South Elementary School from grades 1 to 4 (1951-1955) and St. Bridget's College from grade 5 to 2nd year high school (1955-1959). He finished 2nd to 5th year high school at Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary in Makati City (1959-1963). He studied philosophy (1963-1966) and theology (1966-1970) at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City.
# On Dec. 21, 1969, he was ordained to the priesthood. He was ordained bishop on Jan. 6, 1994. On May 14, 2004, he was appointed Archbishop of Lipa.
# He studied for the Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome (1972-1976) where he also studied sociology (1974-1976)
# Other Studies: French, Universite d'Ete in Paris, France (1973); German, Goethe Institute, Passau, Germany (Summer 1976); Teresa de Avila, Centre Spirituel, France (1981-1982); Tertianship, Nemi Renewal Institute, Rome (July-December 1988); Poustinia, Madonna House, Comberemere, Ontario, Canada (December 1988-February 1989); Apostolic Spirituality, St. Bueno's, North Wales (February-May 1989)
# His priestly ministry began when he served as assistant parish priest at San Jose de Navotas in Navotas City, Metro Manila (1970-1972). He also served at these parishes in Germany: Hoxter 1 Luchtringen (1973-1974); Clemenskirche, Hannover (1975); Grosskollnbach/Isar (1976)
# He was also former prefect and acting pastor of the Guadalupe Minor Seminary (1977-1978). For three years he was priest-in-charge of the Fil-Mission (Mission Society of the Philippines) Seminary in Tagaytay (1978-1981) where he was also professor of Introduction to the Scriptures. He served as rector of San Carlos Seminary in Makati City (1982-1986) and professor of Spirituality at the Summer Institute (1983-1985). He was parish priest and chaplain at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City (1986-1988) and then became parish priest of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Quezon City.
# He served as rector of the Colegio Filipino in Rome (1990-1994) and became chaplain of Filpinos in that country for two years (1990-1992).
# Pope John Paul II appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop of Manila on Nov. 27, 1993 and was ordained at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He was appointed Military Ordinary of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines on Aug. 25, 1995 and served until 2005.
# From 1995, he has been chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (ECMI). Since 1988 he has been spiritual director of the National Service Committee of the National Charismatic Renewal Movement.Address: Archbishop's Residence, St. Lorenzo Ruiz Drive, 4217 Lipa City, Batangas, PhilippinesPhone: (63) 43-756-2573Fax: (63) 43-756-2964Email:

Religious Congregations, Societies and Institutes

A. Religious Institutes of Men
# Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer ~ CSsR, Redemptorists
# Brothers of the Christian Schools ~ FSC, De La Salle Brothers
# Order of Friars Minor Capuchin ~ OFM Cap
# Oblates of St. Joseph ~ OSJ
# Salesian Society of St. John Bosco ~ SDB
# Order of Preachers ~ OP, Dominicans
# Society of the Divine Word ~ SVD
# Oblates of St. Francis de Sales ~ OSF

B. Religious Institutes of Women
# Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters ~ AR
# Clarisas Capuchinas Sacramentarias ~ CCS, Contemplative
# Canossian Daughters of Charity ~ FdCC
# Daughters of St. Paul ~ FSP
# Daughters of St. Francis of Florence ~ DSFF
# Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Infant Jesus ~ FMIJ
# Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart ~ MCSH
# Missionary Catechists of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus ~ MCST
# Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima ~ MSOLF
# Discalded Nuns of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel ~ OCD, Contemplative
# Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation ~ OSA-ASOLC
# Benedictines of the Incarnate Word ~ OSB
# Sisters Oblates of the Holy Spirit ~ OSS
# Oblates of Sisters of St. Joseph ~ OSSJ
# Congregation of the Mother of Sorrows Servants of Mary ~ OSM, Servite Sisters
# Pious Worker Sisters of the Immaculate Conception ~ POIC
# Congregation of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd ~ RGS/CGS
# Missionary Sisters of the Catechism ~ SMC
# Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres ~ SPC
# Minim Nuns of St. Francil of Paola ~ OM
# Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate ~ FSI
# La Salle Sisters of Guadalupe ~ HGS
# Congregation of the Daughters of St. Dominic ~ OP-DSD
# Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth ~ CSFN

C. Lay Religious Organizations/Movements and their Heads
# Pondong Batangan Community Foundation, Inc
# Cursillo Movement
# Adoracion Nocturna Filipina
# Apostleship of Prayer
# Archdiocesan Charismatic Movement
# El Shaddai Movement
# Knights of Columbus
# Basic Ecclesial Communities
# Legion of Mary
# Barangay Sang Birhen
# Mother Butler's Guild
# Holy Name Society
# Daughters of Mary Immaculate:
# Catholic Women's League
# Propagation of the Devotion to St. Lorenzo Ruiz
# Prisoner's Welfare
# Defenders of the Faith

Territorial re-organisation

As the Archdiocese of Lipa changed hands over the years, changes too were happening to its territorial jurisdiction over certain areas. These were proud moments for the archdiocese, when a number of provinces had acquired the capability to stand on their own. Thus in 1936 Mindoro was separated and became the Apostolic Prelature of Calapan. In 1950 Lucena became a diocese of its own, and also in 1950 the Prelature of Infanta was created, comprising the northern part of Quezon Province, Polilio and Aurora, Laguna's turn came next and became a separate diocese in 1967, that of San Pablo. The Diocese of Boac in Marinduque was created in 1977 and that of Gumaca in 1984. Both dioceses were part of the Diocese of Lucena before their establishment. In 1983 the new Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro was created.

Today the Archdiocese of Lipa is for the province of Batangas alone. But the population has multiplied many times over. The archdiocese is divided into 6 vicariates, each headed by a vicar forane . Except for the parishes in Vicariate IV which are run by the Oblates of St. Joseph, all other parishes are run by the diocesan clergy. There are 49 parishes in all, served by 143 priests. 122 of them diocesan. There are 13 religious brothers, and 197 religious sisters. Catholic schools number 23, high school seminaries 2 and college seminaries 3. Two pastoral centers are being maintained.


On August 18, 1995, after much review, and meetings presided over by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales himself, the archdiocese's vision was conceived:

"A people of God called by the Father in Jesus Christ to be communities of totally developed human persons in the world, witnessing to the Kingdom of God by living the Paschal Mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit."


* [| CBCP Article on the Archdiocese of Lipa] "
* [| Archdiocese of Lipa Official Website] "

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.