About Us

It was the Legaspi expedition with its complement of five Augustinian friars under their superior, Andres de Urdaneta, that set I motion the most extensive missionary work ever undertaken in those times.  The priests set up camp in Cebu, and thus it was from Cebu that the Christian faith spread to other islands:  Panay in 1569, Masbate, Ticao and Burias in 1570, and Manila along with Central Luzon in 1571.

Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines, founded in 1565 by Legaspi and Urdaneta.  It was the firs Spanish settlement, and also the first Catholic mission established in the then Islas Filipinas .  The city was often referred to as the "City of the Most Holy Name of Jesus."  Magellan planted a wooden cross in Cebu which still stands today.

Ironically it was Manila that became the archdiocese in 1595, and Cebu one of its suffragan dioceses along with Nueva Segovia and Nueva Caceres.  But missionary efforts to spread farther continued to utilize the Diocese of Cebu as their home base.  At that time the Diocese of Cebu included the islands of Panay, Samar, Leyte, Calamianes, all of northern Mindanao, and the remote Marianas Islands.

Almost 340 years went by before Cebu became an archdiocese.  What had started in the 1500's with only four parishes became a highly populated city and island province that was finally designated as the seat of an ecclesiastical province, the Archdiocese of Cebu, in 1934.  It had Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Tacloban, and Calbayog as suffragans and was headed by Archbishop Gabriel Reyes. 

After having served as Archbishop of Cebu since 1932, Archbishop Reyes was moved to Manila and was succeeded in Cebu by Julio Cardinal Rosales immediately after the end of the Second World War.  Cardinal Rosales lost no time in rebuilding the ruined facilities, as Cebu City was totally in ruis after World War II.  He brought the number of parishes to a total of 115 before he retired in 1982.

Julio Cardinal Rosales was succeeded by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who took over the archdiocese at a tie of great upheavals in the Philippines social and moral order, more devastating perhaps than the past global war.  His efforts have been symbolized, in very recent times, by the total renovation of the Cebu Cathedral and his promotion of the cause of the beatification of Pedro Calungsod, the teenaged companion of the Spanish Jesuit Beato Fr. Diego de Sanvitores.  The layman, an "overseas Filipino worker" who perished in the Marianas in 1672, is seen by the Cardinal as a Cebuano with a Christian courage of great relevance to our times.  A nation with a predominantly young population could look to Pedro Calungsod for a message that can ennoble its youth.

On the pastoral side, the approval of the Plenary Council of the Philippines II decrees in 1992 for implementation on a national scale was facilitated by a 3-sectioned flow chart containing the orientational principles and the operational programs for parish use.  The flow chart of the Cebu Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan is patterned after the national flow chart, and is the result of the collated flow charts of the archdiocesan commissions and the flow charts of the Cebu parishes.

There are three sections in the Cebu Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly Plan namely:  1)  the Situationer and Doctrinal Orientation, 2) Integral Evangelization, and 3) the Community of Disciples.

The Situationer is a profile of the 124 parishes in Cebu.  From chapel-based data, there are approximately 2.8 million Catholics, and of these the highest percentage are the unchurched, followed by those involved, and the least percentage comprises the exempt (sick children, old).  Almost all of the parishes have Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC's) ranging from the awareness level to the maintaining and strengthening levels.  To date there are 118 parishes with pastoral councils.  The doctrinal orientation is to be Church of the Poor.  Mission is integral evangelization, vision is updated from the Synodal vision:  maturation in faith through BEC's.  Identified key areas are worship, formation, services, youth, Catholic education, pastoral administration, mission, ecumenism, and social communication.

Integral evangelization includes ecclesial communion, inculturation of Filipino values with the Gospel, renewal of Christian communities, and a missionary thrusts as among the orientation principles.  Those principles are supported by operational programs in the key areas of worship, formation, service, youth, Catholic education, mission, ecumenism and social communication.

Section 3 covers the Community of Disciples and is best illustrated by a flow charth with the curia and councils planning out policy issues at the top of the archdiocese.  Issues and decisions filter down to the pastoral planning board in consultation with the different commissions on the key areas.  And from here implementation moves on to districts, vicariates, parishes and ultimately chapels.

Attending to the needs of the faithful in Cebu at present are 427 priests and religious in 124 parishes, 102 Catholic institutions, 2470 BEC's and 18 associations.


OBJECTIVES

  1. Genuine Ecclesial Communion through the acceptance of the Father's merciful love and compassion for the human family.
  2. Renewed Catechesis on God the Father and the Church.
  3. Authentic worship of the Father expressed in a deepened prayer life, purified popular piety, a renewed Marian devotion, and an inculturated liturgy. 
  4. A revitalized social apostolate which emphasizes our calling to be the church of the poor and promotes the service of the poor as the sign of the reign of God in our midst.
  5. Making the missionary activities as the real response to the love of the Father.


STRATEGIES

    On Ecclesial Communion:

    1.  Establishment / strengthening / sustaining of existing BECs.
    2.  Formulation of Formation Program for the Lay.
    3.  Formulation of Ongoing Formation Program for Priests / Religious.

    On Catechesis:

    4. Integration of the process of becoming a servant church, a church of the poor in the
        catechetical program for adults and families.
    5. Expansion of catechesis on sacraments and ministries focusing on God the Father
        and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
    6. Utilization of the various forms of media to deepen awareness of the love of the
        Father

    On Worship:

    7.  Promotion of varied forms of prayer which deepen our sensitivity to the    love of the
         Father.
    8.  Research on local culture and religious practices.
    9.  Promotion and intensification of the use of Scriptures in the rosary, novenas, and
         popular devotions.

    On Social Apostolate:

    10. Expansion of archdiocesan programs offering social services and establishment of
          linkages with NGOs.
    11. Implementation of sustainable programs for environmental preservation.
    12. Continuation of C-CIMPEL activities.
    13. Intensification of an  education drive on the social teachings of the Church.

    On Mission:

    14. Intensification of awareness and involvement in the archdiocesan missionary
          program.
    15. Involvement of Religious Congregations and Catholic Schools in the missionary
          programs and activities of the archdiocese.


ACTIVITIES

    A. On Ecclesial Communion:

    1.  Celebrations

      Parish Level

      a)  BEC Congress
      b)  Family Day
      c) Recollection for Fathers
      d) Feast of Christ the King 1999

      District / Vicariate Level

      a)  BEC Congress

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  BEC Congress
      b)  Christian Family Week
      c)  Celebration of  the Laity Week
      d)  Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
      e)  404th Celebration of Cebu as a Diocese
      f)  Launching of the Year of God the Father 
      g)  Launching of the Jubilee Year 
      h)  World Youth Day
      i)  Social Communication Week

    2.  Special Programs

      Parish Level

      To be arranged

      District / Vicariate Level

      a)  Establishment of District / Vicariate Pastoral Council

      Archdiocesan Level

      a) Enhancement skills program on communications and public speaking for
          priests.
      b) Paghandum sa Kaparian
      c) 5th General Pastoral Assembly (GPA V)
      d) Participation in the Festival of Conferences on God the Father in Manila 

    3.  Ongoing Programs

      Parish Level

      a)  Bible Study / Sharing
      b)  Formation of Lay Ministers / BEC Leaders
      c)  Sustainable programs for BEC

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Ongoing Formation of Priests
      b)  Clergy Monthly Recollection
      c)  Recollection / Annual Retreat
      d)  Strengthening Campus Ministry


    B. On Catechesis:

    1.  Celebrations

      Parish Level

      a)  Catechetical Congress

      District / Vicariate Level

      a)  Catechetical Congress

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Catechetical Congress

    2.  Special Programs

      Parish Level

      To be arranged

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Modules on the Social Teachings of the Church
      b)  Inclusion of CAPT '99 in the catechetical program (school based / parish
           based)
      c)  Modules on the Sacrament of Reconciliation
      d)  Modules on God the Father
      e)  Homiletics Guide on God the Father
      f)  Catechesis on God the Father through  Mass Media

    3.  Ongoing Programs

      Parish Level

      a) Retreats / Seminars / Recollection on God the Father
      b) Catechetical Program for Adults

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Publication of Cebuano Catechism for Filipino Catholics
      b)  Extention of  Catechetical Programs to non-sectarian schools


    C. On Worship:

    1.  Celebrations

      Parish Level

      a)  Communal Celebration of Penance

      District / Vicariate Level

      a)  Communal Celebration of Penance

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Communal Celebration of Penance
      b)  Trinity Sunday

    2.  Special Programs

      Parish Level

      To be arranged 

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a) Establishment of  linkages with schools and universities on research of local
          cultures and religious practices.
      b) Seminars on Contemplative Prayer
      c) Formation Program for the traditional "mananabtan"

    3.  Ongoing Programs

      Parish Level

      a)  Campaign for confessions among family groups

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Updating / formulation of liturgical novenas


    D. On Social Apostolate:

    1.  Celebrations

      Parish Level

      To be arranged

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Earth Day
      b)  National Migrant Sunday
      c)  Indigenous People Sunday

    2.  Special Programs

      Parish Level

      To be arranged

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Ecological Awareness Seminar
      b)  Feeding program
      c)  Symposium on Social Concerns
      d)  Inclusion of immersion and exposure components of the Church's social
           teachings in schools.

    3.  Ongoing Programs

      Parish Level

      a) Clean and green campaign for the restoration/preservation/development of the
          environment.
      b) Programs on social services in the parishes.

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  C-CIMPEL activities


    E. On Mission:

    1.  Celebrations

      Parish Level

      a)  Vocation Week

      District / Vicariate Level  

      a)  Vocation Week

      Archdiocesan Level

      a)  Vocation Week
      b)  Mission Sunday
      c)  Mission Awareness

    2.  Special Programs

      Parish Level

      a)   Barrio Evangelization campaign

      District / Vicariate Level

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      To be arranged

    3.  Ongoing Programs

      Parish Level

      a)  Mini-school of evangelization

      District / Vicariate Level  

      To be arranged

      Archdiocesan Level

      Cebu School of Evangelization

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