Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Jose Alan Dialogo of the Manila archdiocese as the new bishop of Sorsogon.
The bishop-elect will succeed Bishop Arturo Bastes, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 last April. He served the diocese for 16 years.
Dialogo’s appointment was made public by Bastes himself during the ordination of three men to the priesthood at the Sorsogon Cathedral on Tuesday morning.
The news was supposed to be announced in Rome at 12 noon today (6pm, Manila time) but Bastes sought permission from Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia to announced it earlier.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila also announced the appointment during their clergy meeting at San Carlos Seminary in Makati City today.
Bastes said the bishop-elect originally hailed from Naga City so “he is a Bilocano himself and can speak our language at once”.
Dialogo is currently the Director of the Jaime Cardinal Sin Welcome Home, a facility for retired priests of Manila, in the city’s Sampaloc district.
In the meantime, the pope has also named Bastes as Apostolic Administrator “sede vacante” of the diocese until Dialogo formally assumes his new post.
Born in 1962 in Laganoy, Camarines Norte, Dialogo finished a degree in psychology at the Nueva Caceres University in Naga City before entering the seminary.
After his philosophy and theology courses at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, he was ordained priest for the Manila archdiocese in 1996.
In 1999, he also obtained his Licentiate in Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
A priest for 23 years, he served as parochial vicar at the San Roque Parish in Mandaluyong in 1996; Vice-Rector at the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas in 2015; and parish priest at the St. John of the Cross Parish in Makati in 2018.
He also served as Dean of Seminarians and Rector at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
In 2008, he became a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Manila.
No date has been announced for the episcopal ordination of Dialogo and his installation as the fifth bishop of Sorsogon.