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Bishop Ryan from Dumaguete City, the New Archbishop of Agaña, Guam

by Joel V. Ocampo

The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency, Most Rev. Ryan P. Jimenez, D.D., current Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean, as the new Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Agaña in Hagatna, Guam. The announcement was made public on July 6, 2024; 12:00NN, Rome time.

photo from the Vatican Media

Early Life, Education, and Vocation

Bishop Jimenez was born on December 18, 1971, in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. He studied high school at Saint Joseph Seminary in Negros Oriental from 1984-1988. St. Joseph became an instrument in cultivating the seed of vocation in Bishop Jimenez’s heart. Thus, he then enrolled at San Jose Major Seminary in Quezon City and earned a degree in AB Pre-Divinity at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1992.

Before continuing his seminary formation, Bishop Jimenez was led by the Holy Spirit in various missions that included the following: community organizer in the southern Philippines under the Jesuits Volunteers Philippines (Kingly Mission); teacher from 1993-1995 in Sacred Heart School for Boys in Cebu City (Prophetic Mission). After this, he went as a migrant worker to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in 1995 and taught at Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja, a Catholic school on the island of Rota.

Then, he went to the United States to study for a Bachelor in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), Master’s degree in Divinity, and Master’s degree in Theology at Saint Patrick’s Seminary in California. He received his Ordination to the Sacred Order of Presbyters on June 8, 2003 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral. Catholic-Hierarchy.Org records December 8, 2003, through the laying of hands of the late †Bishop Tomas Aguon Camacho the then Bishop of Chalan Kanoa.

As a priest, the then Fr. Ryan Jimenez serve in the following:

  • Kristo Rai Parish in Garapan village on the island of Saipan,

  • Rector, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral-Parish.

He also served in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa as Chancellor, member of the Presbyteral Council, Personal Secretary to the Bishop, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Editor-in-Chief for North Star, the weekly diocesan newspaper, and adjunct faculty member at Mount Carmel School.

In 2010, Fr. Ryan Jimenez was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, following the resignation of the late †Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho on April 6, 2010.

On June 24, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Ryan Jimenez as the second Bishop of Chalan Kanoa. Then on August 14 of the same year, he was ordained Bishop at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral, with Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, S.D.B. (then-Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana in Guam) as the Principal Consecrator, and Bishop Emeritus †Tomas A. Camacho and Bishop Julito Buhisan Cortes (Bishop of Dumaguete) as Co-Consecrators.

After his episcopal ordination, Bishop Jimenez engaged in listening sessions to develop a pastoral plan. From this kind of synodal consultation, a 5-year plan of action was born, with focus on 6 ministry priorities: Evangelization & Faith Formation, Marriage & Family Life, Youth, Vocation, Liturgy, and Social Justice & Outreach, making his motto Volumus Iesum Videre, “We would like to see Jesus” (John 12:21) a reality by leading and showing Jesus to the faithful.

While doing pastoral activities, Archbishop-Elect Jimenez continued his education. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Studies and expects to graduate in 2025.

As a bishop, he also served in the following ministries:

  • President, Episcopal Conference of the Pacific or Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici (CEPAC);

  • Vice President, Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (composed of the Bishops Conferences of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and CEPAC);

  • Consultant, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Under the Guidance of St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Incidentally, Archbishop-Elect Jimenez was born on December 18, the third day of the Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi. On this 3rd day, the Gospel being proclaimed in the is the story of the announcement of the birth of Jesus to St. Joseph (Mt 1:18-25). Then, this guidance of St. Joseph continued when Archbishop-Elect Jimenez studied in Saint Joseph Seminary. This mission was further reinforced by St. John the Baptist, for the day when Pope Francis appointed Fr. Ryan Jimenez as the second Bishop of Chalan Kanoa was June 24, the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Finally, the Installation Mass Archbishop-Elect Jimenez will be on August 15, 2024, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna, Guam. These three close-relatives of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, are indeed guiding Archbishop-Elect Jimenez in his mission.

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