The Roman Catholic Diocese of Alaminos
Suffragan of Lingayen-Dagupan
Created and Erected: January 12, 1985.
Comprises: 14 municipalities in the western part of the province of Pangasinan.
Titular: St. Joseph the Patriarch, March 19.
Msgr. Rey Jose D. Ragudos
2404 Alaminos, Pangasinan
Tel. No. (075) 552-7062
Fax No. (075) 654-0043
JESUS A. CABRERA, DD
Born: December 12, 1940 in Manila.Ordained Priest: April 11, 1964.
Appointed titular Bishop of Tisiduo and Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan: May 9, 1980.
Ordained Bishop: July 1, 1980.
Appointed first Bishop of Alaminos: April 22, 1985.
Installed: June 28, 1985.Retired: July 1, 2007.
PAST AND PRESENT ORDINARIES
- Jesus Aputen Cabrera (22 Apr 1985 Appointed – 1 Jul 2007 Resigned)
Born: December 12, 1940 in Manila. Ordained Priest: April 11, 1964. Appointed titular Bishop of Tisiduo and Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan: May 9, 1980. Ordained Bishop: July 1, 1980. Appointed first Bishop of Alaminos: April 22, 1985. Installed: June 28, 1985. Retired: July 1, 2007.
- Marlo Mendoza Peralta (1 Jul 2007 Succeeded – 30 December 2013 Appointed Archbishop )
Born: July 13, 1950 in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Ordained Priest: March 31, 1975. Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Alaminos: January 14, 2006. Ordained Bishop: March 31, 2006. Installed: April 28, 2006. Bishop of Alaminos by succession: July 1, 2007. Term Ended: December 30, 2013 (Appointed Archbishop of Nueva Segovia)
- Ricardo Lingan Baccay (20 February 2016 Appointed – )
Born: April 3,1961 in ,Tuguegarao Cagayan. Ordained as Priest: April 10,1987. He was Appointed Auxillary Bishop of Tuguegarao and Titular Bishop of Gabala on February 27, 2007. Ordained Bishop: April 10,2007. Appointed Bishop of Alaminos: February 20, 2016. Installation Date and Canonical Possession Date: May 4, 2016.
|St. Joseph, Principal Patron of the Diocese of Alaminos
Saint Joseph, the Patriarch, is the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the foster Father of our Lord Jesus; the Patron of Workers, being the village carpenter but of the royal line of King David; the Patron of Vatican Council II by Pope John XXIII; and the Patron Saint for a happy death, who died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, the Mother of God.
St. Joseph has been the city’s patron since 1610 [according to the Catholic Directory of the Philippines]. Devotees recall the many miracles he has bestowed the city through his powerful intercession.
According to legend, an old, half-blind gravedigger was digging the ground at a burial site, the same spot where the St. Joseph Cathedral now stands, when he saw a bearded old man tinkering with his tools. The old man didn’t say a thing but just smiled at the gravedigger. The gravedigger dismissed it as a product of his defective eyesight or a figment of his imagination.
But the old man appeared to him for the second time and he told everyone what he saw. People flocked to the site to see the ‘apparition’ but nothing happened. Some even stayed until darkness fell, waiting for hours to see the old man appear. Toward midnight, they saw on a pavement leading to the top of the knoll an image of an old man, then it disappeared, leaving only the sound of his tools, clink-clank of chisel and the echoes of hammer, saws and spades.
Most of the faithful believed it was the shadow of St. Joseph who appeared to them and the sound of his carpenter tools were regarded as a sign of his wish that a church be built on the spot where he appeared.
And so in 1776, they started building the foundation of a church on the spot where St. Joseph appeared, under a newly formed locality called Sarapsap (now Alaminos City).
The Miracle of St. Joseph
In 1895, a fire broke out in what is now Barangay Palamis. Due to strong winds, the fire spread rapidly. Some devotees confidently brought out the venerable image of St. Joseph from the church and posed it facing the fire. Suddenly, the wind weakened and the raging fire stopped.
March 1896. Some revolutionists killed Spanish soldiers who were having lunch in Alaminos. In retaliation, the Spanish general and his soldiers came to town and ordered the inhabitants to surrender or else. The capitan municipal, Don Francisco Reinoso, pleaded to the general for the people and publicly invoked St. Joseph. The general then listened as clarifications were made, revealing that the townspeople had nothing to do with the attack on the Spaniards. The general ordered his soldiers back to their barracks. Thus Alaminos was saved from the so called ‘Juez de Cuchillo’.
In 1944, an unexpected downpour in an otherwise starry night providentially dispersed the people who were then enjoying themselves at a New Year’s reception and ball. They were unaware that Japanese soldiers secretly mounted machine guns at the corners of the Alaminos Rizal Auditorium, ready to strike at a moment’s signal.
January 1945.Japanese officers discovered a guerilla unit in town which provoked the Japanese officers to burn the town. The chief of the local Kempetai boasted ”that no prayers could save Alaminos as no force is mightier than the Japanese Imperial Army’. It is believed that prayers in St. Joseph led to the bombing of Fabella wharf on January 6, 1945 and the landing of the American forces on Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945, which caused consternation and panic in the Japanese army.
Through these happenings which were not easy to explain without patronal intervention, devotees remain faithful and grateful to St. Joseph, the silent Wonder-worker, Intercessor and Protector.
Source: St. Joseph Parish Office
|St. Joseph Cathedral
The first town church in Alaminos [known then as Sarapsap] was built in 1770 but was unfortunately burned together with the convent and municipal hall by the fire that razed the town in 1817. Six years later, the Augustinian Recollects formally established a parish, with Fr. Toribio Raymundo as the first parish priest and a resident pastor for 37 years [1778-1815].
1834. The church was burned again together with other buildings. It was painstakingly reconstructed under the term of Fr. Manuel Busqueto from 1837 to 1849. He invited Maestro Cenon, the same architect-engineer who made the classic church of Aguilar. Fr. Busqueto mobilized the entire town to contribute in rebuilding the church. He served for 16 years but died without seeing his masterpiece get finished.
Fr. Jose Tornos [1849-1878] continued the construction work for the new church and in 1857, it rose with stone walls, nipa roofing, a tabernacle and a niche for the church’s patron, St. Joseph. In 1872, the town’s name was changed into ‘Alaminos’ in honor of the country’s Governor-General, who visited the town that year.
In 1879, Fr. Victoriano Vereciano came to serve as parish priest and became the most popular Spanish priest in town, beloved by the people. In 14 years, he made many improvements in the church and convent. With solicited funds, he bought the best available hard wood: agaro from the forests of Zaragoza and tindalo from Alos; the church’s nipa roofs became galvanized iron sheets. Other improvements included wood parquet for floors of the loft, new coat of paint for the ceiling, iron grills for communion and a lovely choir loft at the back of the chair.Also added were a silver altar, a huge sanctuary light, cemented floors, and heavy large bells. Parishioners helped complete the project by preparing meals for the construction workers.
Fr. Vereciano died in 1893 and was succeeded by Fr, Andres Romero who enlarged the cemetery and reconstructed the chapel. He was captured and executed during the Philippine revolution.
By 1901, the Augustinian Recollects had left the parish’s administration to the local clergy. Fr. Toribio Macazo, a Diocesan priest established the Institute of San Jose [affiliated with the Lyceum of the Philippines], the first of its kind in the province of Pangasinan.
From 1926 onwards, various improvements were undertaken for the church by the priests that were assigned to serve the parish. Among the improvements include: statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus , grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes which was sculpted by the late Filipino artist and clergyman, Archbishop Mariano A. Madriaga,construction of new church pews, concreting of church belfry, fences for the church’s frontyard, installation of a new tabernacle, Our Lady of Carmel chapel and mortuary and the installation of large Stations of the Cross, done by a local artist.
June 28, 1985. Alaminos became a Diocese and the church became St. Joseph Cathedral, with the town’s first bishop, Jesus Cabrera overseeing more improvements such as the marble altar and floors, new sacristy, the rise of Alaminos Pastoral Center,Perpetual Adoration Chapel and repainting of the whole church .
At present, the cathedral stands on the spot chosen by the town’s pioneers more than 200 years ago, ever welcoming of parishioners, a survivor of fire, raids,and natural disasters. It remains a beacon of hope, a reminder and a lasting testament of the enduring strength and unshakeable faith of Alaminians.
Augustinian Recollect Cathedrals and Churches in Luzon
Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Alaminos City, Pangasinan. In the past the Alaminos City had various names (San Jose de Soyang, San Jose de Casborran, Sarapsap) and underwent several transfers and locations except, for a gap of half a century, the Recollects stayed at Alaminos since its foundation in 1610 until the Philippine Revolution of 1896. A great fire reduced the town into ashes and it was thereafter renamed Sarapsap. The actual name was taken after Governor General Juan de Alaminos who visited it in 1872.
Among other edifices constructed by Recollects is the majestic cathedral dedicated to Saint Joseph. Father Manuel Bosquete who was at the helm of the San Jose de Casborran mission from 1838–1849 started the construction of the divine temple. His successor Father Jose Tornos, who was proficient in Pangasinense, inaugurated it in 1857. This Recollect minister who tool over the parochial administration in 1849 remained in Alaminos for almost thirty years and endowed the church with the best ornaments. Father Tornos died in 1878 and was buried in the future cathedral. At the church pavement one can view his tombstone in Spanish.
Father Patricio Marcellan writes in 1879: “The present church and parochial house are made of brick manufactured in the same town. The first oven for brick-making making was built under the supervision of Father Manuel Bosquete, the first Recollect parish priest of this town [sic], and the edifices are the tallest and most spacious in the province, which draws naturally any visitor’s attention.” The church still attracts attention up to this day, already as a cathedral since it’s the erection of Alaminos Diocese in 1985.[clarification needed] Alaminos is not a big city in terms of population, with only about 75,000 inhabitants. But the faithful can boast of the structure of their cathedral—spacious, majestic and well-proportioned—and equally stable belfry made of bricks.
by Pablo Panedas Galindo OAR Translated, edited and enriched by Emmanuel Luis A. Romanillos