Pope appoints priest as 5th Pinoy bishop in United States

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
Pope appoints priest as 5th Pinoy bishop in United States
Pope Francis presides over the Easter Mass as part of the Holy Week celebrations, at St Peter's square in the Vatican on March 31, 2024.
AFP / Tiziana Fabi

MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis appointed a priest from Mindanao to become an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Sacramento, California, making him the fifth Filipino to join the episcopate in the United States.

According to a report posted on CBCPNews, the official news service provider of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Reynaldo Bersabal, 59, was appointed by the pontiff as auxiliary bishop-elect of the Diocese of Sacramento.

The diocese, one of 12 in California, covers the northern and eastern regions and has a population of 3.7 million, including more than one million Catholics.

Under the diocese are 102 parishes, 40 missions, 36 elementary schools and six high schools.

Since 2022, Bersabal has been serving as pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Sacramento.

The bishop-elect was born in Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental on Oct. 15, 1964.

He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in 1991.

Among his previous assignments include being the parochial vicar at Our Lady of Snows parish, parish administrator at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish and parish priest at St. Francis Xavier parish.

He also served as assessor of marriage cases for the metropolitan tribunal of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City as well as chancellor and archdiocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines.

In April 2004, Bersabal was incardinated into the Diocese of Sacramento and had served various posts, including as parochial vicar at St. James parish in Davis from 1999 to 2001, parochial vicar at St. Anthony parish in Sacramento from 2002 to 2003, pastor at St. Paul parish in Sacramento from 2003 to 2008, pastor at St. John the Baptist parish in Folsom from 2008 to 2016 and pastor at St. James parish in Davis from 2016 to 2022.

He also served as treasurer of the diocesan presbyteral council from 2007 to 2010 and is currently a member of the diocesan priests personnel board, the diocesan liturgical commission and the diocese’s independent review board.

Since 2012 to the present, Bersabal has been the liaison for the Filipino presbyterate.

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