A Filipino priest has been appointed by Pope Francis as new bishop for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa on Friday.
Fr. Ryan Jimenez will be the second bishop of the diocese located in Saipan, the largest island in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, a United States territory.
His episcopal ordination is set for Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 at the island’s cathedral.
With 12 years on his sleeve as a priest, Fr. Jimenez will succeed Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho who retired in 2010 after 25 years.
The new bishop is 44 years old, was born in Dumaguete City, and raised in Larena, Siquijor province.
He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Divinity from the Ateneo de Manila University before going to Saipan in 1997.
While being a major seminarian for the Chalan Kanoa diocese, he continued his studies at the St. Patrick Seminary and University in Menlo, California, USA where he earned his Masters Degree in Theology in 2003. By June of the same year, Jimenez was ordained priest for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa.
For more than a decade as priest, he had served a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar, special secretary to the bishop, rector of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral, president of the diocesan commission for the cultural heritage of the Church.
He has been serving as the apostolic administrator of the diocese with 15 priests and 21 female religious serving more than 40,000 Catholics.
Archbishop Martin Krebs, Apostolic Delegate to the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands and Papal Nuncio to various island countries in the Pacific, will be the primary consecrator at the ordination.