What a grace for the seminary community to have two new bishops being chosen from the roster of HASS alumni priests! After the episcopal ordination of Most Rev. Roberto O. Gaa, D.D., as the Bishop of Novaliches in August 22, 2019, another alumnus and former rector of HASS was chosen by Pope Francis to become a bishop, in the person of Most Rev. Jose Alan V. Dialogo, D.D.
Chosen as the local ordinary for the Diocese of Sorsogon, Bishop Alan was ordained to the episcopacy last December 12, 2019 (the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle (Archbishop of Manila), together with His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales (Archbishop Emeritus of Manila) and Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, (Bishop Emeritus of Sorsogon) as principal co-consecrators.
Bishop Alan was the director of the Cardinal Sin Welcome Home prior to his episcopal ordination. He finished his seminary formation at HASS and is a member of Fiat Batch 1996. Bishop Alan became the rector of HASS from 2003-2008.
In his ordination, he gave thankful praise to two mothers who have been there for him all his life. The first is his biological mother who was instrumental to his vocation journey. When he was young, Bishop Alan had to accompany her mother every morning to attend Mass at Naga Cathedral and this morning routine would eventually ignite his interest to the vocation to the priesthood. If not for her mother’s influence, Bishop Alan said, he would not become a priest and a bishop. The second one is his spiritual mother, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, whom Bishop Alan believes will be his company in his journey and ministry as Bishop of Sorsogon. Her manto ning pagkamoot (mantle of love) is an assurance of love and care for him and the whole diocese of Sorsogon.
Bishop Alan humbly acknowledged that he is not worthy of the gift of episcopacy. But he believed that it was God who had chosen him and had made him trustworthy to be ordained as a bishop of His Church.
Cardinal Tagle had a beautiful reminder to Bishop Alan about the power of the grace of God: “You will be graced, you are graced, and the Lord will help you. And don’t be ashamed to show God that you are terrified, that you tremble. And admit before God your limitations. And He will assure you nothing will be impossible with and for God.” After all, the episcopacy is not about the bishop. It is Jesus’. The mission of a bishop is always, and only, for Jesus.