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The Diocese of Butuan was created on March 20, 1967, comprising the civil provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.  Its titular patron is St. Joseph, whose feast is celebrated on May 19 each year.  This diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.  It has a land area of 11,555 square kilometers, with a population of 884,709, of which 81 per cent are Catholics.

Butuan City, created in 1950 is one of the Philippines' largest cities in land area.  It is a large square stradding both banks of the Agusan River, which has contributed to making it the most important trading center of the Agusan Valley.  The city differs from other cities in the country in that it has a destiny western atmosphere, very urban, like that of cities abroad.

Agusan del Norte, the smaller of the Agusans, has even rainfall throughout the year, with no pronounced wet or dry season.  Agusan del Sur, on the other hand, is rainy from October to February and is prone to flooding during these months.  What both provinces have in common is rich alluvial soil which produces rice and corn mainly, and coconuts, bananas, abaca, sugarcane and rubber.

Since March of 1994, the Diocese Butuan has been preparing for a diocesan pastoral assembly originally scheduled for September in 1995.  This, however, had to be postponed due to the transfer of its bishop Most Reverend Carmelo D.F. Morelos, to the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.  At present the diocese is in the care of a diocesan administrator, Monsignor Cesar Gatela, and a board of consultors.

There are in the diocese at present 72 priests and religious, ministering to 35 parishes and 1 mission station.  It has about 10 Catholic institutions, among them the St. Peter College Seminary in Butuan City.  There are now about 600 established Basic Ecclesial Communities in the two provinces.

 

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