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On November 8, 1941, the Diocese of Tagbilaran was established and was given jurisdiction over the entire province of Bohol, separating it from Cebu, its mother diocese. And on January 9, 1986, the new Diocese of Talibon was created, separating half of Bohol from the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

The early Christianization of Talibon accounts for the deep religiosity of the people in the area, specially the lay people whose loyalty to Christ and His church is beyond question. Today there are 25 parishes in the diocese, ministered to by 50 priests. There are also 35 religious sisters active in the running of 16 secondary Catholic schools. The vocations to the priesthood are thriving, and trust in Divine Providence is the main recourse of the poor inhabitants, mostly farmers and fishermen.

In an annual retreat in July 1993, initiatives were taken by the local clergy to formulate a vision-mission statement in answer to the momentum of renewal ushered in by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. In 1995 the clergy ventured into an introductory planning of a five-year diocesan pastoral program to involve the lay faithful in the formulation of a vision-mission statement and a diocesan pastoral plan.

The Diocesan Curia and Board of Consultors have already been set up. The pastoral commissions are now operative and capably manned. The parish pastoral councils are in full swing in their activities and have been most effective in assisting the clergy in the administration of parishes.

The Diocese of Talibon comprises half of the civil province of Bohol, a small oval-shaped island situated between the south of Leyte on the east and the south of Leyte on the east and the south of Cebu on the west. It is part of the Central Visayas group of islands known as Region VII.

Talibon is a town on the northern coast of the island. The territory covered by the diocese extends from the town of Inabanga on the northwest, through Carmen in the interior, and down to Jagna on the southeast. Its inland boundary bisects the island northwestward, or southeastward, with the other half of the island falling under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

The province of Bohol has a rich historical heritage dating back to 1521 when Magellan landed in the Philippines. Magellan toured the island of Bohol and proceeded to Barrio-Bo-ol, the forerunner of its current name. By an unexpected turn of events later, the survivors of the massacre that killed Magellan in Cebu sought refuge in Bohol, particularly in the area around Talibon. They became the first lay missionaries to the island of Bohol.

When Miguel Lopez de Legaspi reached the island in 1565, he remained on the island with the natives for some time. In the barrio of Bo-ol, now Tagbilaran, he entered into a dramatic blood compact with the local chieftain, Sikatuna. That event sealed the sovereignty of Spain over the island, which was later administered through Cebu.

The first batch of missionaries to arrive were the Augustinian Recollects who came in 1565. When the Jesuits arrived in 1596 and reached the area of Talibon, they were surprised to discover that a Christian community already existed in the area, owing to the Spanish-Talibongnon intermarriages dating back to the 1520's.

After the Jesuits came, the faith spread fast revolts in the country against Spain. Tamblot revolted in 1622. Although his success lasted only for six months, his revolt is recorded as the first unbeaten revolt in Philippine history. In 1744 Dagohoy revolted and gained independence for the island of Bohol for eighty years.


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Diocese of Talibon