Pope Francis names new Caceres archbishop

February 23, 2024 - 10:37 AM
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Archbishop-elect Rex Andrew Alarcon of Caceres. (Nikko Balbedina/CBCP News)

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon as the new archbishop of Caceres, his home archdiocese.

Alarcon, currently serving as the bishop of Daet, will succeed Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, who retired at the age of 77.

Tirona has led the archdiocese since November 2012.

As archbishop of Caceres, Alarcon will oversee the pastoral care of Catholics in Naga City, considered the economic, cultural, educational, and religious center of the Bicol region.

The archbishop-elect was born in Daet, the provincial capital of Camarines Norte, on August 6, 1970.

After completing his high school education and philosophy courses at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Naga, he studied theology at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Central Seminary in Manila.

Alarcon was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Caceres on November 9, 1996.

The 53-year-old also holds a licentiate in Church history, which he obtained from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2001.

Before becoming a bishop, he led the Bicol Association of Catholic Schools and served as the president of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

On Jan. 2, 2019, the pope appointed him as the bishop of Daet. He was ordained to the episcopate on March 19 of the same year and formally assumed his new role the following day.

As metropolitan archbishop, he also meets with the suffragan bishops to discuss matters of importance to the region. The suffragan dioceses of the Caceres archdiocese include Daet, Legazpi, Libmanan, Masbate, Sorsogon and Virac.

Within the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Alarcon currently serves as the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth.