The Diocese of Gumaca in Quezon Province is a comparatively new diocese, created only ten years ago on April 9, 1984.  It comprises the eastern part of Quezon Province and is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lipa.  It is the youngest of the three dioceses existing in the province of Quezon today that of Lucena covering the southern portion, that of Infanta covering the northern portion, and that of Gumaca now covering the eastern portion.  The diocese's titular patron is San Diego de Alcala.

Early in the Spanish era, about 1595, the territory of Quezon had been part of the jurisdiction of the then Diocese of Caceres in the Bicol area.  Eventually it was transferred to the Diocese of Lipa when this diocese was created in 1910.  On August 12, 1950 the Diocese of Lucena was created and got jurisdiction over the entire province of Quezon, until the Diocese of Infanta was created in the same year and got jurisdiction over the entire northern portion.  The territory that now comprises the Diocese of Gumaca was part of the Diocese of Lucena until it was made a separata diocese.

The Franciscans are recorded as the first missionaries who brought Christianity to the territory that now comprises the province of Quezon.  The Parish of Gumaca was in fact founded as early as 1726, followed by that of Mulanay in 1836, and that of Lopez in 1861.

The territory now under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Gumaca has a land area of 6,666 square kilometers and a population of 615,449 of which 95 per cent are Catholics.  It comprises that part of Quezon that is nearest the Camarines provinces, and is bounded on the north by Lamon Bay, on the south by the Sibuyan Sea, on the east by the Camarineses and on the west by Tayabas Bay and the Diocese of Lucena.

Upon its creation, 21 parishes out of the 48 parishes of the Lucena diocese were adjudicated to the new diocese.  And the Most Reverend Emilio C. Marquez was ordained and installed as the First Bishop of the Diocese of Gumaca on January 29, 1985.

As the diocese marked its ten years of existence early in 1995, it took stock of the stages of growth the diocese had undergone since its creation.  Among these has been the construction of various facilities such as the Gumaca Diocesan Pastoral Formation Center where the diocesan offices are located.  The Gumaca Diocesan Press, the publishing arm of the diocese, has been in operation since 1986 and has been printing and distributing Tipan, a monthly liturgical guide, and Saguisag, the diocesan monthly newsletter.  A diocesan seminary, the Mount St. Aloysius College Seminary is now on its fourth year of existence, accommodating the increasing number of vocations to the priesthood.

The catechetical apostolate has received a big boost with the holding of an on-going formation for catechists.  The youth and family apostolates have also become more active in their spheres, implementing their respective programs.  Lay empowerment has been heightened as shown by the increasing number of lay ministry workers, catechists, lay ministers and other apostolate groups.  The growing awareness and involvement of lay people in all types of church acitivities are unmistakably present.

There are now 22 parishes in the diocese, manned by 45 priests and 32 religious brothers and sisters.  Aside from its major seminary, it has among its institutions 3 high schools, 2 elementary schools, 6 kindergarten schools, 1 social action center, 1 pastoral center and 30 religious organizations.  The Basic Ecclesial Communities in the entire diocese has grown to 295.

In January of 1994 the Diocese of Gumaca convened its first diocesan pastoral assembly attended by 290 delegates.  The diocesan commissions were restructured, new plans and programs were formulated and are now in the process of implementation.  The acts and decrees of the First Diocesan Pastoral Assembly of the Diocese of Gumaca have been compiled into a book launched in May 1995 for the guidance of all members of the diocese.

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