Jose Araneta Cabantan, a native of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as bishop of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The new Malaybalay Bishop  has a degree in chemical engineering before he entered the seminary as a “late bloomer.”

Cabantan will succeed Bishop Honesto Pacana, who resigned upon reaching the age of 75. Pacana is now 77 years old.

Born in Lagonglong town in Misamis Oriental in 1957, Cabantan was ordained in 1990 and is the priest of the Miraculous Medal Parish and Social Action Center Director of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

One of his predecessors at his new post is Manila cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, who was bishop of Malaybalay from 1984 to 1992.

The Diocese of Malaybalay has 80 priests and 164 religious, and has a 1.4-million Catholic population.

Cabantan is a chemical engineer by profession before he entered the seminary in Cagayan de Oro City in 1983.

Cabantan took a “late vocation” after taking his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the Cebu Institute of Technology and graduated in 1979.

Upon graduation he went home to teach Chemistry at the RVM-run St. John the Baptist High School.

After passing the board exams, he worked for Nonoc Mining in Surigao City.
Realizing his vocation for the priesthood, he entered the San Jose de Mindanao College Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City in 1983.

After finishing philosophy, he became part of the pioneer batch of seminarians at the St. John Vianney Major Seminary and was ordained in 1990.

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