Chalan Kanoa Diocese prepares for Episcopal ordination

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Bishop-elect Ryan to be installed Aug. 14, the Solemnity of the Assumption

Editor’s note — The following article was published and provided by the North Star, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

By North Star Staff

Pope Francis appointed Fr. Ryan Jimenez bishop for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Friday, June 24. Fr. Ryan is pictured in this file photo from the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa’s website. His Episcopal ordination and installation will be 9 a.m. Aug. 14, 2016 at Mt. Carmel Cathedral Church, Saipan. (Photo courtesy of Diocese of Chalan Kanoa.)
Pope Francis appointed Fr. Ryan Jimenez bishop for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Friday, June 24. Fr. Ryan is pictured in this file photo from the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa’s website. His Episcopal ordination and installation will be 9 a.m. Aug. 14, 2016 at Mt. Carmel Cathedral Church, Saipan. (Photo courtesy of Diocese of Chalan Kanoa.)

“This is a Church event, this is not about Ryan.” This is the guiding principle, Fr. Ryan Jimenez laid out to clergy, religious, diocesan staff and all parish Finance and Pastoral Council representatives during a meeting held Tuesday, June 28 as the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa prepares for his Episcopal ordination and installation as its next bishop.

Dozens of parish representatives willingly signed up to the different sub-committees ranging from the solicitation committee to the reception and food committee and all other areas needed to welcome off-island guests and to successfully celebrate this historical event.

The Episcopal ordination and installation of Fr. Ryan as bishop is set for 9 a.m. August 14, 2016, during the Solemnity of the Assumption, at Mt. Carmel Cathedral Church.

Pope Francis appointed Fr. Ryan bishop for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Friday, June 24 on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, SDB will be the principal ordaining bishop on Aug. 14. Archbishop Hon is currently the Secretary for the Congregation of the Evangelization of People and recently was appointed by Pope Francis as the Apostolic Administrator (sede plena) of the Archdiocese of Agana.

The other two ordaining bishops will be Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho D.D. and Bishop Julito B. Cortes, D.D. of the Diocese of Dumaguete, Philippines.

“It is the dream of every bishop to be able to ordain his successor”, said Bishop Emeritus Camacho during a press conference last month. “Now my dream is fulfilled.”

He imposed his hands on Fr. Ryan when he ordained him as priest for the diocese on June 8, 2003 and now he will impose his hands once more, ordaining him as bishop and his successor.

Bishop Cortes is the local ordinary of the Diocese of Dumaguete, where Fr. Ryan was born. Several priests from Dumaguete are expected to come for the event along with Fr. Ryan’s family.

It was 31 years ago when Saipan witnessed an Episcopal ordination following the appointment of Bishop Tomas A. Camacho as the first bishop of the newly-formed Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. Many faithful and parishioners today may still have remember that historic event.

After the retirement of Bishop Camacho, the diocese waited and prayed for six years to have a new shepherd in their midst. The faithful are excited and empowered as the diocese prepares for this event.

Still being the Apostolic Administrator presently, Fr. Ryan still has to oversee all the preparation for the Episcopal ordination and installation. To help him, he established a steering committee to coordinate the volunteers from all parishes and divided the work needed to be done accordingly.

Referring to his Episcopal motto: “Volumus Iesum Videre” (“We would like to see Jesus”), Fr. Ryan reminded everyone that every decision and implementation of this event must be in line with this vision.

“The celebration must be simple yet meaningful,” he said. “Nothing elaborate. It must be simple but dignified.”

The diocesan planning however is not only limited to the actual day of the event. Even before his Episcopal ordination Fr. Ryan is already looking ahead as far as pastoral planning is concerned.

“I would like to use in my ordination the same principle I say in marriage preparation to couples: Wedding is just one day but marriage is a lifetime commitment.” In other words, the day of ordination is important but he reminded everyone that there are more important tasks ahead for the diocese.

More details regarding the preparation for the Episcopal ordination and installation will be published in the coming weeks.