THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NORTH CENTRAL PHILIPPINES (Created in 1989)
The Most. Rev. Nestor Poltic, Bishop
358 Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City
P.O. Box 403, Baguio City, Philippines
The Episcopal Diocese of North Central Philippines was formed out of a division of the Diocese of Central Philippines in February 1989 when the Annual Diocesan Convention elected the Rev. Dr. Artemio M. Zabala as its first bishop. The Diocese consists of Episcopal Congregations in Baguio City, the provinces of Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Southern Nueva Viscaya and Zambales.
In July 1991, an earthquake hit Baguio City and destroyed its Cathedral. Plans for rebuilding were immediately set up. Meanwhile, the diocese deployed personnel to Lawin, Zambales for Relief and Rehabilitation work which led to the eventual formation of a new congregation from among the natives in that area.
The year after, Bishop Zabala resigned from his jurisdiction to be ECP’s missionary to the Diocese of Los Angeles. The Convention of January 1993 elected the Rt. Rev. Joel A. Pachao to be its second bishop. He continued the work of rebuilding the Cathedral and in 2000, the New Cathedral was consecrated for use.
The Diocesan Cathedral is the Cathedral of the Resurrection located at 358 Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City.
The Mission of the Diocese is to equip both clergy and lay with arms and instruments that are effective in the ministry through continuous and responsive education and training.
By the year 2007 we envision a God-fearing diocese with dynamic human resources and vibrant members, self-reliant and aggressively reaching out.
Of the Seal of the Diocese
At the topmost portion of the inner versica is the Miter which graces most Episcopal Church seals. It stands for the authority of the Bishop (in Greek being Episcopos from which the designation Episcopal is derived). The miter bears on its top the Greek letters ICXC, the ancient acronym for IESOUS CHRISTOS or Jesus Christ. Below is the Greek word NIKA which means Victor or Conqueror. Put together it proclaims Jesus Christ the Conqueror (of sin and death). The miter is adorned with a design representing the motif of most art works of the indigenous people of Benguet against a backdrop of dominant brown color, the color of the Filipino skin. The context where Christ is proclaimed as Conqueror in the diocese is among the indigenous and other Filipino people residing in the provinces within the jurisdiction.
An unfurled scroll below the miter bears the words ZOE AIONIOS, “life eternal” which Christ promised to give to the full (John 10:10). The words were retained in Greek to amply describe the divine quality of life shared by God in Jesus’ death and resurrection. This message of abundant life given by Jesus is also at the heart of the National Mission Statement. That abundant life includes autonomy, the spaciousness in which we grow to be ourselves in relation to others in mutual responsibility and interdependence.
Below the scroll is the shield that resembles that which is found in the seal of the Diocese of Central Philippines. This indicates that this diocese once formed part of that diocese until its creation as a separate diocese in 1989. The shield is divided into four panels. The right topside panel bears the sun and stars found in the Filipino flag and is in the seal of the Church Province. This situates us along with the lower left panel with the images of the highlands and lowlands, the miner’s pick and shovel, rice grains and sea with a boat.
The top left panel bears the symbol that graced the ECP’s inauguration as a Church Province. It becomes a constant focus of meditation and judgement as it artistically delivers the message; “Kapit-bisig kay Kristo: tungo sa Kasarinlan, Katarungan at Kapayapaan” (Arm-in-arm in Christ towards Autonomy, Justice and Peace).