‘Volumus Iesum Videre’ – We would like to see Jesus!

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Then apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Fr. Ryan P. Jimenez meets Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican in Rome two years ago. Jimenez was appointed as bishop for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa last Friday on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. (Photo courtesy of the North Star)

Bishop-elect Ryan of Diocese of Chalan Kanoa selects episcopal motto

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

It is used with permission and edited accordingly.

By North Star Staff 

Bishop-elect Ryan Jimenez has chosen “Volumus Iesum Videre” (Latin for “We would like to see Jesus”) as his episcopal motto.

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

The Episcopal ordination and installation of Fr. Ryan will be 9 a.m. August 14, 2016, during the Solemnity of the Assumption, at Mt. Carmel Cathedral Church in Saipan.

Regarding his episcopal motto, “Volumus Iesum Videre”, Father Ryan said, “I like that image of seeing, of seeing the goodness the beauty of each one of us.”

“I think it reflects the desire of every people to seek the truth in their lives. To seek the true joy of Jesus in their lives,” he explained during a press conference held at the offices of the Diocesan Curia earlier this month.

The verse is taken from John 12:21, when the Greeks approach Philip with the request to see Jesus.

Father Ryan noted how the announcement of his appointment coincided with the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

“Towards the end of the Gospel reading for that day, the question was asked: ‘What the will this child be?’ I found the question rather striking because I was asking the same thing: ‘What then will I be?’ What kind of bishop will I be?” Father Ryan said.

Indeed, the prophet ended up being beheaded in prison as was the fate of all the prophets. But Father Ryan highlighted the joy that surrounded the life of John the Baptist. The Gospel tells us about the joy the John the Baptist felt at the presence of Jesus in the womb of the Virgin of Mary which caused him to leap for joy. It also mentioned how “many rejoiced at the birth of the child.”

Father Ryan recalled what he felt upon receiving the call from the Apostolic Nuncio informing him of his appointment.

“I felt a variety of emotions the feeling of unworthiness, of lowliness, the sense of being humbled at the trust given, fear, and apprehension,” he recalled. “But then I was being called to serve. Even with fear, apprehension and some misgivings, but full of trust and hope to the Lord, I said yes!”

“While I have been an Apostolic Administrator for some years now, the appointment from Pope Francis meant something else,” Father Ryan said. “It is not just a call to do some administrative work but a call to episcopate ministry, a call to serve as a bishop.”

What kind of bishop will I be?

“My answer is still incomplete,” Father Ryan said. “But I think part of my role as a bishop is to bring this joy to others. The joy of the Gospel, the joy that is Jesus Himself. That kind of joy, seeing the goodness of God’s creation in every human person.”

Father Ryan was set to leave for the Philippines in July to personally share the news with his family. Then he will go to St. Patrick Seminary at Menlo Park, California to do his episcopal retreat under the guidance of Fr. Joe McHugh SJ.

We have come a long way as a diocese

Bishop Emeritus Thomas Camacho was also present at the press conference and he began his message by recounting the day he also received his appointment as the first bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa and the establishment of the Northern Marianas Islands as a separate diocese on November 1984.

“That was the beginning and to compare to what we have today, this is great!” Bishop Camacho said. “We have come a long way as a diocese.”

Bishop Camacho recalled how Mr. Ryan Jimenez first came to Luta as a teacher at Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja where his vocation blossomed. He was then accepted by Camacho as a seminarian and the diocese sponsored him to study at St. Patrick Seminary.

“He is our own! He belongs to this diocese! When he was ordained deacon, he was incardinated to the diocese”, said Bishop Camacho.

“I am a retired bishop now but we have a new bishop. We thank our Holy Father Pope Francis for appointing Bishop-elect Ryan Jimenez to be our shepherd. And I would really like all the people of Rota, Tinian and Saipan and all parishioners of the diocese of Chalan Kanoa to give Bishop-Elect Ryan Jimenez all the beautiful support and cooperation you have given me these past 30 some years,” Bishop Camacho said.

“I have nothing but praises to our people here at Northern Marianas. And I really pray to God that you give him the same support you have given me!”

The recent press conference was attended by the clergy and religious of the diocese. The local government officials in attendance were headed by Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan and Governor Ralph Torres, the First Lady Diann Torres and Saipan Mayor David Apatang. Also present were representatives from various local media and business.