Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Most Rev. Pedro N. Bantigue, D.D.

Pedro Bantigue y Natividad, (January 31, 1920 – November 20, 2012) was a Filipino prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is notably the first bishop in the Philippines to come from Hagonoy, as well as the Province of Bulacan.


Pedro N. Bantigue was born in Sta. Monica, Hagonoy, Bulacan by Marcos Bantigue and Eusebia Natividad and was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Manila on 31 May 1945. Shortly after his priestly ordination in 1945, he served as Private Secretary to three archbishops of Manila: Archbishop Michael J. O’Doherty, Archbishop Gabriel Reyes, and Cardinal-Archbishop Santos. 


When one searches his name in the Internet you will discover one of his literary works on a thesis on Canon law he has taken in Catholic University of America on The Provincial  Council Of Manila 1771 (Its Text Followed by a Commentary on Actio II De Episcopis).

He was ordained bishop on 25 July 1961 by His Eminence Rufino Jiao Santos, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila, and was given the Titular See of Catula and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila. As a young prelate, he participated as one of the 48 bishops and one laity in the third session (14 September to 21 November 1964) of the Second Vatican Council .



Another indelible Vatican II imprint of the late bishop was his acquisition in 1975 and management of a mainstream Regional Community (Secular) Newspaper to widen the Church’s scope of bringing the Catholic faith to a far-reaching audience.

This newspaper (very unique only to San Pablo Diocese) which was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary for over 50 years now bears the name “The Barangay” newsweekly.

“The Barangay” had sought to honor the native counterpart of the Blessed Mother, the “Birhen ng Barangay” (Our Lady of the Village). An old icon of this image is presently enthroned inside the EDSA Shrine Convent in Ortigas, Metro Manila and many others at the newspaper’s office in San Pablo City and homes of Catholics in Laguna.

The 52-year-old newspaper, truly a humble response to the Vatican II’s challenge has withered and still trying to overcome all internal and external trials through the years.

On 25 January 1967, he was appointed the very first bishop of the Diocese of San Pablo by Pope Paul VI but installed later on April 18, 1967 and would remain in office until his retirement on 12 July 1995. Upon becoming the first Bishop of San Pablo, Bishop Bantigue guided the newly erected diocese in its early years. One of his hallmark acts as its Bishop is the convocation of the First Diocesan Synod of San Pablo in 1994.

He established the Minor Seminary of the Diocese named as San Pablo Diocesan Seminary which he considered the heart of the Diocese in the land donated by Paz Cornista Catipon in June 5, 1967.  A major seminary followed suit to make sure that those who have been called as Christ's disciples  will surely continue to the priesthood by building the seminary for higher education on July 6, 1981 called as St. Peter's College Seminary. He also acquired a piece of land for those who wish to continue the priesthood in Tagaytay as a Formation House which later known as San Pablo Theological Formation House.

He was once a member of the Marriage Tribunal, chairman of the CBCP Commissions on Life, Clergy and Prisoners' Welfare. He was Treasurer of the CBCP in 1976.

After twenty eight years of being the Pastor of the flock of San Pablo diocese, Bishop Bantigue retired at the age of seventy five years and four months.

Bantigue’s motto is Dei sumus adjutores which means “We are God’s co-workers,” taken from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.

Bantigue died on 20 November 2012, at the age of 92.



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