Roman Catholic Diocese of Mati
|Diocese of Mati
Diyosesis ng Mati
|Area||5,146 km2 (1,987 sq mi)|
|(as of 2004)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||16 February 1984|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of St Nicholas of Tolentino in Mati, Davao Oriental|
|Bishop||Patricio Hacbang Alo|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Romulo Valles|
|Vicar General||Jacinto L. Ortiza|
The Christianization of the Davao area in Mindanao is attributed to the arrival in the area of the Augustinian Missionaries in 1848. This was followed by the Jesuits and the PIME Fathers of Quebec. But it was the Maryknoll Fathers who finally arrived in the area in 1958 and settled down to the arduous task of evangelizing the inhabitants.
Early Spanish exploration of the Davao area can be traced back to 1528 when Saavedra visited the Sarangani Islands on the southwestern entrance to the Davao Gulf. He coasted along the shores of Davao Oriental where he established the first settlement, that of Caraga.
The early missionaries later settled in places like Caraga, Baganga, Cateel and the nearby areas, baptizing, giving the sacraments, building churches and convents. Some of these old structures can still be found today, and some of them are still serving their Christian communities.
The entire Davao Province was politically subdivided into three in 1967. From this subdivision emerged the provinces of Davao del Norte with Tagum as its capital, Davao del Sur with Digos as capital, and Davao Oriental with Mati as capital.
Ecclesiastically, the entire Mindanao area was under the Diocese of Cebu since 1595, until some parts were placed under the jurisdiction of Jaro in 1865.
In 1910 the Diocese of Zamboanga was created and took all ecclesiastical territories in Mindanao away from Cebu. Other dioceses were established over the years, including the then Prelature of Davao which eventually became a diocese. In 1962 the Prelature of Tagum was created, taking its territory mostly from the then Prelature of Davao.
On Feb. 16, 1984, Pope John Paul II created the new Diocese of Mati, taking part of its territory from that of the Diocese of Tagum. In November of the same year, the Most Reverend Patricio Alo, until then the Auxiliary Bishop of Davao, was appointed First Bishop of Mati. Meanwhile, the Diocese of Davao had become an archdiocese, and Tagum and Mati were made its suffragans.
The faithful of the Diocese of Mati envision for themselves a full Christian maturity, giving Christian service to all, especially the poor and the oppressed, in accord with the Gospel Words of Jesus Christ. .
The diocese has experienced no jurisdictional changes, and is currently a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Davao.
The first and only bishop is Patricio Hacbang Alo. He was born on December 2, 1939, in Cebu City. He was ordained a priest on March 14, 1964 of the Archdiocese of Cebu and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Davao on April 14, 1981. His episcopal ordination was on June 7, 1981. Pope John Paul II appointed him as the first bishop of the Diocese of Mati on November 9, 1984 and has now served 24 years.
Religious of Men
- Salesian Society of Don Bosco ~ SDB
- Society of Divine Vocation ~ SDV
- Order of St. Camillus ~ MI
- Order of San Agustin ~ OSA
Religious Institutes of Women
- Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary ~ OP
- Order of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel ~ OCD
- Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception ~ MIC
- Carmelite Missionaries ~ CM
- Order of Saint Ursula ~ OSU
- Living the Gospel Community Sisters ~ LGC
- Catechists of St. Joseph ~ CSJ
- Theresian Daughters of Mary ~ TDM
- Religious of the Virgin Mary ~ RVM
- Patricio Hacbang Alo (9 Nov 1984 Appointed - )