e of Dumaguete and appointed the Most Reverend Epifanio B. Surban, D.D. as its first bishop. The diocese then included the Province of Negros Oriental, the Sub-Province of Siquijor, and four municipalities of
Negros Oriental occupies the eastern portion of the island of Negros and is part of the Central Visayas Region known as Region VIII. Its western and northern portions connect with the borders
of Negros Occidental. It is bounded on the east by the Ta๑on Strait, on the south by the Mindanao Sea.
Negros Island was subdivided early after its Spanish conquest as there were already settlements there.
In 1734 it was unified again into a military district with Iloilo as its base. In 1856 it was raised to a political-military status under Governor Emilio E. Saravia, with Bacolod as the capital. In 1890 it
was again subdivided into the two provinces that exist today, and Dumaguete became the capital city of Negros Oriental. It is one of the leading ports in the region.
The Catholic faith was first introduced to
the early inhabitants of eastern Negros by the Augustinian friars who established the parish of Tanjay in 1580. Forty years later Dumaguete was created as another parish covering the southern territories and
Siquijor, which the Spaniards called Isla de Fuego. Dumaguete was under the territorial jurisdiction of the Diocese of Cebu until 1865, the Diocese of Jaro until 1932 and the Diocese of Bacolod until its creation
as a new diocese in 1955. In 1988, the Diocese of San Carlos was created in Negros Occidental which absorbed ten parishes of the Diocese of Dumaguete.
Today the Diocese of Dumaguete includes the civil
province of Negros Oriental and the sub-province of Siquijor, excluding the municipalities of La Libertad, Guihulngan, Vallehermoso and Kanlaon City in Negros Oriental. The population covered includes 829,603
persons, 85 per cent of whom are Catholics. It remains a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cebu, and has for its titular patron St. Catherine of Alexandria whose feast is celebrated November 25.
On August 2, 1989
the Most Reverend Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D. was installed as Second Bishop of the Diocese. Five months later, on January 7, 1990 he convoked the First Diocesan Synod of Dumaguete. This Synod which was held
right after and along the path of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, took place on January 20-25 and November 3-7, 1992. Guided by the common vision of new evangelization toward "Building a Family
of Communities in a Pilgrimage of Faith," the Synod clarified the direction that had to be taken, and the corresponding commitments required.
Buoyed by the grace of the synod and inspired by PCP II, the diocese
has committed itself to: 1) A Renewed Evangelization an awareness of the need to re-evangelize and revitalize our Christian communities; 2) an integrated Liberation one that promotes justice, solidarity,
charity and love of preference for the poor; 3) the Empowerment of the Laity one which, guided by the principles of participation and communion, shall rediscover the evangelizing power of the Lay Faithful specially
the youth of today; 4) A Renewed Clergy and Religious as the animators and servant-leaders of the New Evangelization; 5) a Collaboration and Sharing of Charisms that in the spirit of co-responsibility and
collaboration, each recognizes another's giftedness for building the Church and fulfilling its mission; and 6) the Formation of BEC's as a way of being Church, permeating all aspects in the Diocese of Dumaguete.
Attention has been centered on the promotion of the BEC's. For this purpose a Diocesan BEC Secretariat composed of priests, sisters and lay persons has been formed to give basic orientation seminars
and to follow up those which have been formed so far in 18 parishes. Likewise, a team ministry to promote the spirit of brotherhood, community, collaboration and sharing among priests is on the stage of
experimentation. Guidelines for the functioning of diocesan and parish councils and other structures have been formulated. All these have resulted in the streamlining of the work of the diocesan commissions
From the Diocese of Dumaguete: "It is our fervent prayer that as we journey on in pilgrimage of faith, we go rooted in prayer, united in one heart, and sharing each other's
charisms; and in the process we hope to build a vibrant Eucharistic Ecclesial Community which is alive in worship, firm in faith, biblical in teaching, sacrificial in service and radiating in its joy."