|Alfredo Ma. Obviar|
|Bishop of Lucena, Founder of the Missionary Catechists of Saint Thérèse of the Infant Jesus|
|Born||29 August 1889
|Died||01 October 1978
|Honored in||Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||Saint Ferdinand Cathedral,
Alfredo María Obviar (29 August 1889 – 1 October 1978) is a Filipino Servant of God venerated in the Catholic Church. His cause for beatification is currently underway; he was declared Servant of God on 6 March 2001 with saint protocol number 2398. He is the founder of Missionary Catechists of Saint Thérèse of the Infant Jesus, and was Bishop of Lucena until his death.
He received his early religious instruction at the College of St. Francis Xavier in Manila run by the Society of Jesus, where he graduated in 1901. He earned his degree in Bachelor of Arts at the Ateneo de Manila in 1914. He then proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas Pontifical Seminary for Theological Studies.
Obviar received the sacerdotal ordination on 15 March 1919. His pastoral ministry began that same year at Luta (now Malvar, Batangas) and continued as Pastor of the Cathedral Parish in Lipa from 1927 to 1944. In both parishes, he established Catechetical Centers at the población and the barrios. He was also Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Lipa, and was also appointed as Confessor and chaplain of the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa.
After 25 years in the ministry, Fr. Obviar was elevated to the episcopate on 29 June 1944, with Archbishop Guglielmo Piani SDB, Titular Archbishop of Nicosia, Cyprus as Principal Consecrator, and with Pedro Paulo Santos Songco, Bishop of Caceres (Naga) and César Marie Guerrero, Titular Bishop of Limisa, Tunisia as Co-Consecrators. He served as the first Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa, and also became Titular Bishop of Linoë, Turkey from 11 March 1944 to 21 June 1959. When Linoë was an active diocese, it was part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Nicaea.
On 22 January 1951, Bishop Obviar was installed as Apostolic Administrator of the new Diocese of Lucena. Motivated by his great work for catechesis, he founded the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese (MCST) on August 12, 1958. He established the Missionary Catechists of Saint Thérèse of the Infant Jesus (MCST), with the help of Mother Mercy Medenilla , became the first superior of the MCST, and has four other women. The earliest monastic MCST was founded in San Narciso, Quezon.
To compensate for the shortage of priests in the new diocese, he also founded the Mount Carmel Seminary and later turn it into the Saint Alphonsus School of Theology. The establishment of this increased the number of priests attending from 1951 to 1975. In the year of his retirement, it had increased by more than 100 priests. Bishop Obivar ordained Ricardo Jamin Vidal to the priesthood on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 1956, in Lucena; Vidal would later become a cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
From 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1962, Bishop Obviar was a Council Father at the first Session of the Second Vatican Council.
After more than 18 years as Administrator, Bishop Obviar was declared the first Residential Bishop of the Diocese of Lucena on July 15, 1969.
Bishop Obviar has Saint protocol number 2398, and was declared nulla osta Servant of God in 2005.
Here is Bishop Obviar's Beatification Process by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Nihil Obstat: 6 March 2001
- Opening of Diocesan Inquiry: 28 May 2004
- Closing of Diocesan Inquiry: 30 April 2005
- Decree on Validity of Diocesan Inquiry: 27 April 2007
- Submission of Prositio to CCS:
- Particular Meeting of Theological Consultors:
- Session of Cardinal and Bishop Members of the CCS:
- Postulator: Sr. Renata Rarela, MCST
- Petitioner: Missionary Catechists of Saint Therese, Tayabas, 4327 Quezon, PHILIPPINES
- Website: www.mcst.com.ph
Prayer for the Intercession of SERVANT OF GOD, ALFREDO MARÍA OBVIAR
Father, in your loving compassion, lead us always to do your will, even as we ask you the grace (say your petition or favour), wherein you have always be praised and your faithful servant, ALFREDO MARÍA OBVIAR, can be presented as another example of holiness in the Church. This we ask through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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