The Archdiocese of Zamboanga
) is a Catholic archdiocese in
the Philippines. Its present jurisdiction includes Zamboanga City,
with suffragans in Basilan (Territorial Prelature of
, Basilan), Sulu Archipelago (Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo
Zamboanga Sibugay (Territorial Prelature of
). It became Mindanao's first diocese in 1910, and was
established as the second archdiocese of Mindanao in 1958. Today
the archdiocese covers a land area of 1,648 square kilometers and
has a population of 442,345, of which 81 per cent are Catholics.
The archdiocese includes 26 parishes, served by 49 diocesan and 18
religious priests. There are also 51 religious sisters working in
The present Archbishop is Romulo
to 1910 the entire island of Mindanao was under
the Diocese of Cebu and Jaro.
On April 10, 1910, Pope Pius X
created the Diocese of Zamboanga
and gave it
jurisdiction over the whole island of Mindanao, including the
adjacent islands of the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Cagayan
Catholic faith was brought to Zamboanga by Jesuit missionaries Melchor de Vera and
Alejandro Lopez in 1635.
The efforts of the Spanish
authorities to subdue the Muslims resulted in reprisal raids in
Zamboanga and the Visayan Islands. In 1636 Fort Pilar, in honor of Our
Lady of the Pillar, was constructed by priest-engineer Fr. de
Jesuit Frs. Francisco Paliola and Alejandro Lopez died
as martyrs in their efforts to win the Muslims through diplomacy.
The establishment of Fort Pilar gave birth of the future city of
On January 20, 1933, Pope Pius XI
divided Mindanao into two areas. Southern Mindanao including the
Sulu Archipelago became under the jurisdiction of Zamboanga.
Northern Mindanao became under the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro
1951 Cagayan de Oro became an archdiocese, the first in the island
of Mindanao. All episcopal jurisdictions in Mindanao and Sulu,
including Zamboanga, became suffragans of this archdiocese.
The Diocese of Zamboanga was further divided when the Prelature Nullius of Davao
established and separated in 1949; the Prelature of Cotabato
in 1950; the
Prelature of Isabela, Basilan, in 1963, and the Prelature of Ipil
Zamboanga was established an archdiocese on May 15, 1958 by
Pope Pius XII
. As an ecclesiastical
province, the Archdiocese of Zamboanga included Zamboanga City and
had as suffragans the Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, the
Prelature of Isabela in Basilan and the Apostolic Vicariate of
Jolo. Its titular patroneses is Our Lady of the Pillar, and its
secondary patron is St. Pius X
The Second Plenary Council
Philippines adopted the Community of Disciples as the prime model
of the Church, with focus on being a Church of the Poor. The
challenge for the archdiocese in Zamboanga is to incarnate the
vision of PCP II.
An Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly was held early in 1995,
formalizing preparations for the Second Archdiocesan Pastoral
Assembly of Zamboanga in 1996.
Among the Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese of Zamboanga are
2 colleges, 6 secondary schools, 6 elementary schools, and 8
kindergarten schools. Charitable and social institutions include a
leprosarium, 5 free clinics, 1 orphanage and 1 child center.
In 2010 the Zamboanga archdiocese will celebrate the 100th
anniversary of its establishment as the first diocese in Mindanao.
The 50th or golden anniversary of its establishment as an
archdiocese (1958-2008) is part of this celebration.
Suffragan Territorial Prelatures
List of Bishops and Archbishops
The Diocese of Zamboanga (1910-1958)
- Michael James O'Doherty (1911-1916)
- James Paul McCloskey (1917-1920)
- José Clos y Pagés, S.J. (1920-1931)
- Luis Del Rosario, S.J. (1933-1958)
The Archdiocese of Zamboanga (1958-present)
- Luis del Rosario, S.J. (1958-1966)
- Lino Gonzaga y Rasdesales (1966-1973)
- Francisco Raval Cruces (1973-1994)
- Carmelo Dominador Flores Morelos (1994-2006)
- Romulo Valles (2006-present)
Parishes under the Archdiocese of Zamboanga
The Vicariate of the Immaculate Conception
The Vicariate of St. Ignatius of Loyola
The Vicariate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Vicariate of Our Lady of the Purification
The Vicariate of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Office and Residence
- Archbishop's Palace, Sacred Heart Center, R.T. Lim Boulevard,
- Archdiocesan Chancery and Plenary Hall (Centro Pastoral), Gov.
Camins Avenue, Zamboanga City
Schools and Institutions
- Ateneo de Zamboanga
University (SJ)- La Purisima St., Zamboanga City
- ADZU High School- Tumaga-Lunzuran Road, Tumaga, Zamboanga
- Saint Joseph School (Archdiocesan)- Gov. Camins Ave., Zamboanga
- Pilar College (RVM)- Justice R.T. Lim Boulevard, Zamboanga
- Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School (Archdiocesan)- in
front of St. Ignatius Parish, Tetuan, Zamboanga City
- Annex Campus- Natividad Road, Tetuan, Zamboanga City
- Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School (ICAS) de Calarian
(formerly Western Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School), San
Jose-Limpapa National Highway, Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City
- Eastern Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School (EICAS), Ma.
Clara L. Lobregat Highway, Sangali, Zamboanga City
Facts and Information
city's primary patroness is Our Lady of the Pillar, whose shrine is
located at the old Fort
Pilar. Her feast day is October 12, the city's
- Bishop Michael O'Doherty was the first bishop of the diocese in
1910 until he was appointed Archbishop of Manila in 1916.