Filipino priest named new bishop in Saipan

Pope Francis has appointed a Filipino priest as the new bishop for the Church in Oceania. Rev. Fr. Ryan Jimenez will serve as the second bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands.

He will succeed Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho, who served the diocese for 25 years until 2010 when he retired upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) welcomed the appointment of Jimenez, who has been serving for the last 12 years as the apostolic administrator of the diocese with 15 priests and 21 female religious who are working for more than 43,000 Catholics.

“Let us rejoice and pray for Bishop Ryan as he takes on the apostolic responsibility,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, CBCP president.

Born in Dumaguete City and raised in Larena, Siquijor, the 44-year old bishop-elect finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Divinity from the Ateneo Manila University before going to Saipan as a major seminarian.

He studied at the St. Patrick Seminary and University in California in the United States where he earned his Masters Degree in Theology in 2003.

Jimenez was ordained a priest for the Chalan Kanoa diocese in December 2003.

– by Christina Hermoso