Archbishop becomes first novice of newly erected Chapter of Priests in the Philippines

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Most Rev. Jose Palma, DD,
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On 23 January 2018, His Excellency Most Rev. Jose Palma, DD, of the Archdiocese of Cebu, joined the Dominican Family. This was through a rite of admission in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic, with the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., OP, as presider. The rite was held within the celebration of vespers at the chapel of the Archbishop's Palace in Cebu City.

Members of the Dominican Family welcomed the Archbishop, foremost of whom was his fellow bishop in the Archdiocese, Most. Rev. Antonio Rañola, DD, himself a member of the Dominican Priestly Fraternities. The Prior Provincial was joined by other friars: fr. Quirico Pedregosa Jr., OP, Socius of the Provincial; fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., OP, General Promoter of the Priestly Fraternities; fr. Louie Coronel, OP; and fr. Dominik Jurczak, OP, a visiting friar from Poland. Also present were priests from other fraternities in the Province, secular priest-formators of the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary, Dominican sisters working in the region, as well as friends and some students of Dominican institutions.

The Chapter of St. Vincent Ferrer is one of the nine newly established local fraternities of priests in the Province of the Philippines, all of which were erected on 23 September 2017, at the Convent of Santo Domingo in Quezon City, on the occasion of the visit of the Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP. The chapter's current prior is Fr. Simplicio Pugasan Jr. of the Archdiocese of Cebu, and it has currently around 20 members

In his thanksgiving speech, Abp. Palma affirmed his affinity with the Dominicans under whose institutions he obtained his higher education. He completed his Licentiate degree in Theology at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, and his Doctorate degree in Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He served as president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines from 2011 to 2013.

(24 January 2018)