The Archdiocese of Tuguegarao comprises the civil province
of Cagayan, except the island municipality of Calayan which belongs to the Prelature of Batanes- Babuyanes.
The three provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya
were once combined and referred to as the Cagayan valley. Spanish exploration of the entire region was undertaken under the leadership of Juan Salcedo, a grandson of Miguel
Lopez de Legaspi in 1572. In order to facilitate administration, the Spanish authorities divided the valley in 1856, forming three separate provinces.
Cagayan Province lies on the northernmost part of Luzon, straddling almost the entire northern coast of the island. The civil territory includes the Babuyanes group
consisting of five islands: Camiguin, Calayan, Babuyan, Fuga and Dalupiri. Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayan is about 482 kilometers from Manila.
Christianity was first established in Cagayan in 1582 when the Dominican Cristobal Salvatierra and the Augustinian Francisco Rodriguez, together with Captain Juan
Pablo Carreon, founded the first mission in the town of Lallo. which the Spaniards renamed Nueva Segovia. In 1594 the Cagayan Valley was assigned to the
Dominican Order. In 1595 Nueva Segovia in Cagayan became the seat of the diocese by that name, including in its jurisdiction the entire Northern Luzon. The first
bishop was the great missiologist Miguel de Benavides. Who later became Archbishop of Manila and founded the University of Santo Tomas.
The first wave of missionaries in Cagayan left an outstanding record of zeal and
achievements. Among them two have been raised to the altar: Blessed Francisco Capillas, martyr of China, and Blessed Luis Flores, martyr of Japan. Also
noteworthy is the important role played by the image of Our Lady of Piat, which to this day is venerated as the patroness of the valley. A new shrine dedicated to Our
Lady of Piat was recently consecrated by Jaime Cardinal Sin, D.D. on July 18, 1995.
Citing reasons of distance and the desire for a more central location, Bishop
Fuentes y Yepes requested for the transfer of the seat of the diocese to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, but retained the name of the Cagayan town, Nueva Segovia, where the
seat of the diocese had stood for 112 years. Lallo and the other parishes of Cagayan, however, continued to be part of the diocese.
In 1910 the See of Tuguegarao was created, assigning it as a suffragan to the
Metropolitan See of Nueva Segovia. Bishop Maurice Foley, an American was the first Ordinary. After Bishop Foley, Santiago Sancho was named Bishop of
Tuguegarao. After his transfer in 1927, Monsignor Hilario Jamias administered to the diocese until Bishop Constace Jurgens, CICM, a well-loved Dutchman became residential bishop in 1929.
On the feast of Our Lady of Fiat on July 2, 1957. the Most Reverend Teodulfo S. Domingo received the dignity of the episcopacy and the governance of the See of
Tuguegarao the first Cagayano to receive such honor. It was during the incumbency of Bishop Domingo that Tuguegarao finally became an archdiocese, and Bishop Domingo was named its first Archbishop.
Originally the Metropolitan Province of Tuguegarao had as suffragans the Diocese of Ilagan, the Diocese of Bayombong, the Prelature of Batanes-Babuyanes and the
Vicariate of Tabuk. On November 30, 1950, the Prelature of Batanes-Babuyanes was separated from the Jurisdiction of the then Diocese of Tuguegarao. In 1970
Ilagan became a diocese, and in 1982 the Prelature of Bayombong was elected elevated to a diocese.
In 1918 the San Jacinto Seminary came into existence. For a long time Dominican
professors constituted its professorial and administrative members. It now exists as a minor seminary where students go through a classical Catholic curriculum. In
April. 1986 the Most Reverend Diosdado Talamayan, D.D., was installed as the second archbishop, and in July of that same year he created the Priestly Formation
Institute at the Lyceum of Aparri for the formation of collegiate seminarians and candidates for theology from secular and civil institutions. It now exists as the
Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary, and seminarians earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts, major in Philosophy.
To celebrate meaningfully the Fourth Centennary of the Church's organized presence
in Cagayan. Archbishop Diosdado A. Talamayan has announced the convocation of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly for the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, with the
following objectives: To prayerfully assess the present pastoral situation in the archdiocese; 2) to arrive at an appropriate response to the pastoral situation of the
archdiocese in the light of the Acts and Decrees of the Plenary Council of the Philippines II; and 3) to draft a pastoral plan meant to guide pastoral activity in a determinative manner for years to come.
The holding of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly is meant to involve the People of God in the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao in the threefold task of assessing-envisioning-planning the pastoral program of the Archdiocese of
Tuguegarao. Starting from the grassroots level, the barangays, and reaching out to all the different sectors of society, the present pastoral situation in the archdiocese
shall be assessed. "Taking the pastoral situation into account and with the guidance of the Spirit and Decrees of PCP II, the delegates shall enunciate in their own words
what kind of church they would want to become. With this Vision in mind, they commit themselves to a specific Mission, which shall be carried out during the next five years according to a Strategic plan of Action."
Activities already accomplished in preparation for the Archdiocese Pastoral Assembly are the Priests' Assemblies, on February 6 and May 26 1995. Facilitators'
Training in June and July of 1995. The pastoral formation terms of the 37 parishes of the archdiocese have already been trained on how to conduct the Barangay and
Parish Assemblies, and to collate data from these assemblies. The training workshops were done on the vicarial level. There are five vicariates in the archdiocese.
Activities still to come in 1995 are the opening of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly formally, coinciding with the celebration of Christ the King, on November
26 and finally the holding of the assembly itself at the San Jacinto Seminary.