By Christina Hermoso
Diocese of Butuan bishop-elect Cosme Almedilla asked the faithful for prayers in his new mission in the Catholic Church.
“I was surprised when I learned of my appointment. I did not apply for this, neither did I aspire to be a bishop. But this is a call, another task, and greater mission in His Church. I am asking the faithful for prayers,” Almedilla said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Pope Francis appointed two Boholano priests Cosme Almedilla as bishop of Butuan and Leo Dalmao as bishop of Isabela in Basilan Monday last week. Almedilla of the Diocese of Talibon will succeed Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos who died in October 2017.
Almedilla said he is just a “simple parish priest in the Diocese of Talibon, living with and serving the poor in their community.” He shared that he initially intended to lessen his work load as he turns 60 this year and devote more time to farming and organic gardening.
“But the Lord has other plans for me. I am ready to respond to my new mission to lead the Diocese of Butuan, together with the more than 100 priests in the diocese, in serving the over a million Catholics in the province,” Almedilla said.
“I support a participative leadership because we are moving towards a more participatory Church. We will move as a team, or as a body, not only me. I’ll be sent there as overseeing bishop and shepherd to be with them in the journey of faith,” he added.
Ordained priest in 1987, Almedilla is currently the parish priest of the Holy Child Parish in the town of Ubay, where he pursues programs for Basic Ecclesial Communities. He also served as spiritual director of the St. John XXII College Seminary, director of the Holy Child Academy and chaplain of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City.