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During the Spanish era there was only the province of Misamis which included the present provinces of Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental, and was handled by the civil government from Cebu. The Recollect Missionaries came down from Cebu and started a mission in the province. Civil government of its own started only in 1901. And because one part of it was separated from the main by Iligan Bay, the government decided to divide the province into two.  Misamis Oriental is the bigger portion.

The province of Misamis Oriental is strategically situated in the center of the northern part of  Mindanao, bounded on the north by the Mindanao Sea, on the south by the borders of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte, on the east by Agusan del Norte, and on the west by Iligan Bay. Because of its geographical position Cagayan de Oro, the capital, has extensive port facilities that have made it a major export outlet for local and export products from its neighboring provinces, particularly Bukidnon where Del Monte Pineapple is Grown. There are other large manufacturing establishments in the province, among them the Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines manufacturing newsprint paper, and Resins Incorporated which produces glues for the plywood industry. All these have made the province economically well off.

The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro comprises two civil provinces, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin, an island province to the north, and a town in Bukidnon. The total land area within its jurisdiction totals 3,799 square kilometers, with a population of 1,012,820, of which 87 per cent are Catholics.

Before 1865 the whole of Mindanao and Sulu were part of the Diocese of Cebu. In 1865 the western half of Mindanao came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Jaro in Panay. Then Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Zamboanga, separating it from Jaro and making it the first diocese in Mindanao. But it was Pope Pius X who executed this in 1910. Thus from 1910 Cagayan de Oro became part of the Diocese of Zamboanga.

On January 20, 1933 Pope Pius XI created a second diocese in Mindanao, that of Cagayan de Oro, separating it from Zamboanga and giving it jurisdiction over the then provinces of Surigao, Oriental and Occidental Misamis, Bukidnon, and part of the province of Lanao.  Together with Zamboanga it became a suffragan of the new ecclesiastical province of Cebu.

In 1939 the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro was divided again with the creation of the Diocese of Surigao comprising the provinces of Surigao and Agusan; and in 1951 was divided again with the creation of the Diocese of Ozamiz comprising the provinces of Lanao and Misamis Occidental.

On June 29, 1951 Pope, Plus XI elevated Cagayan de Oro to an archdiocese, coinciding with that of Jaro. The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro became the first archdiocese in Mindanao, thereby separating Mindanao from the Ecclesiastical Province of Cebu. It had as its suffragans all the dioceses and prelatures then in Mindanao: Surigao, Cotabato, Sulu, Davao, Ozamiz, and Zamboanga which had been its mother diocese. It became an archdiocese seven years ahead of its mother diocese.

Later the Apostolic Prefecture of Sulu, the Prelature Nullius of Marbel, the Prelature Nullius of Tagum, the Diocese of Butuan, the Prelature Nullius of Malaybalay, the Prelature Nullius of Iligan and the Diocese of Tandag became suffragans of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

Eventually four other archdioceses were established in Mindanao:  Zamboanga in 1958, Davao in 1970. Cotabato in 1979 and Ozamiz in 1983. Thus there are at present five ecclesiastical provinces in Mindanao.

The first bishop and archbishop of Cagayan de Oro was the Most Reverend James Hayes, S.J. D.D., who established the Ateneo de Cagayan now known as Xavier University, among others. He was succeeded by Most Reverend Patrick Cronin, SSC, D.D. in 1971.  Bishop Cronin established the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. The third bishop was Most Reverend Jesus B. Tuquib, D.D., S.T.D., who was installed as Archbishop with right of Succession on May 31, 1984, and became the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro on January 5, 1988.

There are 46 diocesan priests manning the 46 parishes within the jurisdiction of the archdiocese, helped by 2 Jesuit and 5 Columban priests. Six others are doing non-parochial work and 3 others are in retirement. The rest of the Jesuits are in Xavier University or in the major seminary, and the rest of the Columbans, apart from the 5 involved in parish work, are in their procure house doing various apostolates such as hospital work and other activities. There are 18 religious institutes of women, one of which is a contemplative institute, the Carmelite nuns.

The archdiocese has its own diocesan college seminary, the San Jose de Mindanao Seminary which opened in 1955. It was constructed by Archbishop Hayes, was first administered by the Jesuits, then by Columban priests, and now by the diocesan clergy.

Also within the archdiocese is a theology seminary -- the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, which is mainly for seminarians of the Ecclesiastical Province of Cagayan de Oro. This was started by Archbishop Cronin and finished by Archbishop Tuquib. It opened in 1985.

The Archdiocesan Vision "A renewed community of believers fully knowing, loving and serving Christ, proclaiming the Good News and actively participating in the building of a society of Justice, peace and love."

And Its Mission: "We, the servant-leaders of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, in collaboration with and in participation of the fullness of the Bishop's priesthood, and making our own the call of the Plenary Council of the Philippines II for renewal and transformation, commit ourselves: 1) to live a life that is rooted in Christ; 2) to live the life of evangelical poverty, celibacy and apostolic obedience; 3) to serve as pastoral leaders with the compassion and humility of the Good Shepherd; 4) to celebrate the Eucharist as authentic presiders and to proclaim the Word credibly; 5) to live as brothers respecting each one's freedom and fostering a sense of belonging; 6) to be in the midst of our people to know their plights, anguishes, hopes and aspirations; 7) to be imbued with deep love of preference for the poor, defending and vindicating their rights; 8) to nurture a filial devotion of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother."

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