Bishop De Leon is Antipolo Diocese’s Apostolic Administrator

Retiring Antipolo Bishop Francis Mendoza de Leon will be the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Antipolo until incoming Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos is formally installed.

The Antipolo Diocese, in a post on its official Facebook page, issued the guidelines for the eucharistic prayer in mentioning the name of Bishop De Leon during Eucharistic celebration, as he has resigned from the pastoral ministry after reaching the mandatory age of retirement of 75 years old.

The guidelines stated that “until Bishop Ruperto Santos is installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo, the name of Bishop Francis will continue to be mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayers of Masses celebrated in the Diocese of Antipolo.”

The Antipolo Cathedral announced on Wednesday the appointment by Pope Francis of Bishop Ruperto C. Santos of the Diocese of Balanga as the new bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo.

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral ministry of Bishop Francis De Leon, therefore, Bishop Francis will be the Apostolic Administrator until the Canonical Installation of the new Bishop of Antipolo,” the announcement said.

Fr. Reynante Tolentino, the current rector of the International Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, or commonly referred to as the Antipolo Cathedral, the seat of the Antipolo Diocese, revealed to Manila Bulletin of the excitement of the prelates and the staff serving at the international shrine over the assumption of their new bishop.

Tolentino, who had the chance to speak to Bishop Santos prior to the official announcement of the Vatican about his appointment, said the cathedral staff and the priests were happy to receive the news about Santos’s new assignment as it did not take too much time before a new bishop is appointed following the retirement of a bishop.

Fr. Tolentino said there has been no date set yet on when the canonical installation of the newly appointed bishop of Antipolo would be.

Tolentino said the cathedral staff and the priests have expressed their gratitude to retiring Bishop De Leon who has served the diocese starting in 2007 as auxiliary bishop before being appointed as Coadjutor Bishop in 2015 before becoming the Bishop of Antipolo on September 10, 2016.

De Leon hailed from La Huerta, in Paranaque City while Bishop Santos was born in San Rafael, Bulacan.