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New Ipil Bishop Appointed

MANILA, July 2, 2007 - The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Julius Sullan Tonel as the new Bishop-Prelate of Ipil.

The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Fernando Filoni, in a statement released to the CBCP Media Office said Msgr. Tonel’s appointment was published in Rome at 12:00 Noon or 6:00 P.M., Manila time on July 1.

Msgr. Tonel, born on August 31, 1956 to Filipino Sullan and Primitivo E. Tonel in Davao City, was parish priest of San Pablo Parish and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Davao until his appointment.

He was ordained to the priesthood on April 12, 1980 at Sta. Ana Parish, Davao City.

He studied high school and Philosophy at the San Francis Xavier Minor Seminary and Theology at the Central Seminary of the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.

The newly-appointed bishop has a licentiate degree in Liturgical Theology at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Liturgy in Rome.

He served the Archdiocese of Davao in various capacities, from assistant parish priest to Director of the Archdiocese of Davao’s Family Apostolate, Prefect of Discipline and later on Rector of the College Seminary and the Regional Major Seminary both in Davao City and has been Vicar General since 2002.

The newly-appointed Bishop-Prelate of Ipil will have episcopal jurisdiction over 16 towns of Zamboanga-Sibugay and three other towns form Zamboanga del Sur.

No date has been set for his ordination to the episcopate and installation at the Prelature of Ipil where PIME missionary Giancarlo Bossi was abducted by unidentified armed men last June 10, Feast of the Corpus Christi. (Melo Acuña)