Pope John Paul II has appointed Bishop Antonio R. Raņola,
presently Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gumaca, "sede vacante et ad nutum Santae Sedis" ("as long as the See of Gumaca is vacant, and at the discretion of the Holy See").
Bishop Raņola succeeds Bishop Emilio Marquez, who was recently appointed Coadjutor Bishop to Bishop Ruben Profugo in the Diocese of Lucena. Until now Bishop Marquez had served
concurrently as Apostolic Administrator of Gumaca.
The announcement of Bishop Raņola's appointment was made by the Holy Father in Rome last June 25, and simultaneously in Manila by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop
Bishop Raņola was born on May 16, 1932 in Manila, the eldest of three children of Aurelio Raņola and Asuncion Racelis of Lucban, Quezon. After completing his
elementary studies in Lucban, Quezon, he entered the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Tayabas and Sariaya for his early priestly formation. He
proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary, where he earned his Bachelor of Philosophy degree, magna cum laude, and completed studies leading to a
Licentiate in Philosophy and Licentiate in Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 26, 1956 by Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar at the Lucena Cathedral.
He pursued further studies in Rome and became the first Filipino diocesan priest to obtain degrees in Sacred Scriptures with advanced credits for doctorate at the Pontificio
Istituto Biblico (1965-1968). He was subsequently accepted at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise in Jerusalem in the nest year. While in Rome, he earned a
doctorate degree in Theology at the Angelicum University in 1970.
His priestly ministry included assignments in parochial work, seminary formation,
religious sisters' and laity formation, the diocesan ministry and in the service of the Apostolic Nunciature (1987-1990). He served as assistant parish priest in Lopez,
Quezon (1955-1957) and as assistant pastor in Stanford, Connecticut, U.S.A. in the early 80s.
He was a professor of Latin Prosody at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Minor Seminary, and
of Philosophy in the same institution from 1957 to 1963. He was first rector of the St. Alphonsus School of Theology, where he taught biblical exegesis and fundamental
theology (1971-80; 1985-87) and guest professor of New Testament Exegesis at the Faculty of Theology of the U.S.T. Central Seminary (1979-80).
He also taught at the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Novitiate and Juniorate (1971-79; 1985-87) and chaplain and confessor of the Carmel Monastery of St. Joseph in Lucena (1971-77).
In the diocesan ministry, he had served as personal secretary to the Bishop (1985-87); diocesan director of the Biblical Apostolate (1974-78); 1985-88); diocesan director for
Social Communications (1985-88); censor of books and pro-Synodal examiner.
He was named Honorary Prelate on June 6, 1984 and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu on February 24, 1990.