Bishop Luisito Occiano requests prayers as he assumes leadership of the Diocese of Virac

VIRAC, CATANDUANES – Bishop Luisito Occiano of Virac has issued a call for ongoing prayers as he assumes his new role as shepherd of the Diocese of Virac. The prelate made this plea following his installation at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Parish in Virac on June 26, 2024.

Drawing inspiration from his episcopal motto, “Cum Gaudio Praedicare” or “To Proclaim the Good News with Joy,” Bishop Occiano emphasized the importance of prayer for the success of his ministry.

“My episcopal ordination is a mission, a call to shepherd, to guide, and to proclaim the good news of Christ with unwavering faith and boundless joy. Inspired by my motto, to proclaim with joy, I am committed to fostering a spiritual life—a spirit of love, hope, and joy within my diocese.” Bishop Occiano stated. “Together, we will work to uplift the marginalized, nurture the faith, and build a community that reflects the light and love of Christ,”

He expressed gratitude to the people of Catanduanes for their warm reception as he assumed pastoral responsibilities. “I must express my deep appreciation for the welcome I have received. Your kindness and hospitality have made me feel immediately at home, and I am very eager to begin this journey with you,” he added.

Bishop Occiano’s ordination ceremony occurred at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga, presided over by Caceres Archbishop Emeritus Rolando Tria Tirona, Caceres Archbishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, and Filipino Archbishop Tito Yllana, the current Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus.

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Occiano as successor to retired Bishop Manolo Delos Santos on February 29. The bishop will be supported in his pastoral duties by 72 priests and missionary religious individuals in the province.