December 3, 2008 (Tacloban City) — Archbishop Jose Palma (of the Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte) presided at the Mass at the launching of the Binisaya: Samar-Leyte Version (BSLV) held at the Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City.

Three other bishops of the suffragan dioceses of Palo concelebrated with Archbishop Palma, together with the clergy of the Archdiocese. The three bishops were: Bp. Emmanuel Trance (of the Diocese of Catarman, Northern Samar), Bp. Crispin Vasquez (of the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar) and Bp-Emeritus Angel T. Hobayan (of the Diocese of Catarman). Bp Most Rev. Filomeno G. Bactol, DD (of the Diocese of Naval) was represented by his Vicar General, Rev. Msgr. Silas Florencio, HP.

Representatives from the various religious organizations were also represented during the launching of the BLSV. Before the Mass, Fr. Andres M. Inting, SSP gave a short introduction about the occasion. It was followed by the Enthronement of the Bible. A Video Presentation of the CBS (Catholic Bible Society) on the Pastoral Bibles was shown.

After the Eucharistic Celebration, Rev. Msgr. Gaspar D. Balerite, HP, SThD, gave a power point presentation about the translation work of BSLV. He is the one responsible for the translation work of the whole bible. He explained the importance of having “our very own” Catholic Bible which was directly translated from the original texts. It took him 15 years to complete the herculean task.  He said: “I must admit that the work I did is far from perfect as no other works are. But it will certainly have to undergo revisions.”

Another launching followed a week later in the Diocese of Catarman, Northern Leyte at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Cathedral. The Program was organized by the Fr. Billy M. Quimbo, currently in-charge of the Biblical Apostolate of the Diocese. The celebration started with a Liturgical dance rendered by the High School Students of St. Michael Academy followed by the Enthronement of the Bible. There were also representatives from various Religious Organizations of the diocese. After the short message given by Fr. Andres M. Inting, SSP, the same video presentation on the pastoral bibles was shown. Rev. Msgr. Gaspar D. Balerite, HP, SThD, the one responsible for the translation work of the whole bible, gave a power point presentation. He belongs to this Diocese.

The launching was concluded by a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop-Emeritus Most Rev. Angel T. Hobayan, DD, JCD. Bishop Emmanuel C. Trance was also in attendance and about 25 priests of the Diocese concelebrated in the Mass. In the short address he gave before the final blessing at Mass, Bp. Trance, made official, the use of the BSLV for the Diocese.

Another launching is scheduled in February 2009 in the Diocese of Borongan City, Eastern Samar. Samarenyo-speaking parishes will schedule their own launching.

In the Preface he wrote for the An Baráan na Bibliá-BSLV, the Most Reverend Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD Bishop of Sorsogon and Chairperson of the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate of the CBCP said: “The publication of this version of the complete Bible to the Samarenyo language is a milestone for the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is one of the tangible proofs that Catholic biblical scholarship in our country is very active in bringing back the riches of the Word of God to all Filipinos… With this new translation the Samarenyo-speaking Filipinos do not only have an easy access to the sacred Scripture but they will feel proud to hear God speaking in their own language with the help of a Catholic biblical scholar…

“There is no doubt that this Samarenyo version of the complete Catholic Bible will be a great factor for the continued renewal of the Church of Eastern Visayas, in particular our Samarenyo-speaking brothers and sisters. ‘The word of the Lord abides for ever. That word is the good news preached to you”” (1 Peter 1:25).


Information about The Archdiocese of Palo

Archdiocese of Palo:
            Archbishop Most Rev.  JOSE S. PALMA, DD
            Archbishop-Emeritus Most Rev. PEDRO R. DEAN, DD

Suffragan Dioceses of PALO:   

  • Borongan    :     Bp. Most Rev. CRISPIN B. VAZQUEZ, DD
  • Calbayog    :    Bp. Most Rev. ISABELO A. ABARQUEZ, DD | Archbishop-Emeritus Most Rev. MAXIMIANO T. CRUZ, DD
  • Catarman    :    Bishop Most Rev. EMMANUEL C. TRANCE, DD, PhD | Bishop-Emeritus Most Rev. ANGEL T. HOBAYAN, DD,
  • JCDNaval    :    Bishop Most Rev. FILOMENO G. BACTOL, DD