Monday, September 6, 2010

Vatican Names Angelicum Alumnus New Rector of Collegio Filippino

Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston with Pope Benedict XVI and Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo at the Vatican

Monday, September 6th, 2010

MANILA, Sept. 2, 2010-The Vatican has confirmed the appointment of Father Gregory Ramon Gaston as the next rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome.

The Congregation of the Catholic Education (for Seminaries and Educational Institutions) announced the appointment of the priest who has been assigned since 2008 at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary in Makati City.

A communiqué about Gaston's appointment was also sent to the Manila Archdiocese by the congregations' prefect, Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski.

The priest will succeed Monsignor Ruperto Santos who has been appointed bishop of the Diocese of Balanga last April.

As rector, Gaston, 45, will oversee the management of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, the residence for Filipino priests doing further studies in Rome.

It is thus a community that provides a special type of ongoing priestly formation that is significantly influenced by a proximity to the Pope and the cultural diversity that only Rome provides.

Gaston served as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family in the Vatican from 2002 to 2007.

In the Philippines, he is a known critic against any measures that seeks to promote the use of contraceptives and issues concerning family and life.

Born in 1965 and a native of Silay City, he finished a degree in Zoology at the University of the Philippines before deciding to become a priest.

He was sent in 1988 by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin to the University of Navarre in Spain for his seminary formation.

Gaston was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Manila at the Vatican by Pope John Paul II in 1993 as served as assistant priest in Mandaluyong City's San Roque Parish as his first assignment.

In 1997, he also obtained his doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum in Rome, and in the same year did a short Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Bioethics at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Boston, USA.

Since then he has been given several assignments and taught in different Catholic institutions in the Philippines.

The Pontificio Collegio Filippino is under the auspices of the Episcopal Commission on Pontificio Collegio Filippino of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. (CBCPNews)