MESSAGE OF ARCHBISHOP
My Dear People of God in the
Archdiocese of Zamboanga
We are deeply grateful to our Almighty God and to our beloved Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar for the gift of Faith. On April 10, 1910, His Holiness, Pope Pius X formally created our local church a Diocese, establishing us as the first ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Mindanao that covered the entire islands of Mindanao and Sulu, thus making the Archdiocese of Zamboanga the Mother Diocese of the Church in Mindanao. It was only proper that we were erected a Diocese because by the year 1910, Zamboanga was a flourishing Catholic community.
This immensely beautiful gift of Faith, however, was bestowed on our ancestors, the early Catholics of Zamboanga, far back beyond 1910 when the early Jesuit missionaries and the Augustinian Recollects evangelized here. Since then, our Catholic Faith has grown and blossomed to what we are today. We have kept the Faith. We have kept this precious gift and heritage. We are God's people.
What a great blessing it is to be God's chosen people! For this, we are deeply grateful. And we shall rise up to the calls and challenges of being God's people, to be present in our world as God's people; to proclaim the Lord's Gospel; to live out his Gospel of love and peace.
Our Centennial Jubilee Year - beginning with a special celebration on April 12, 2010 and culminating on April 10. 2011 - will certainly be a time of renewing, deepening, and celebrating our Faith!
May our centennial commemoration hold us firmly rooted in Jesus and our Blessed Mother. May it be an occasion to propel us to respond generously to God's great love for us and to make our gift of Faith fruitful in the love of our fellowmen and ail of God's creation.
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Romulo G. Valles, DD
Archbishop of Zamboanga