Bishop Celso N. Guevara, Bishop Emeritus of Balanga (Bataan), passed away last August 13 at the St. Luke's Hospital in Quezon City. He was 79.
His remains were brought to the St. Joseph Cathedral in Balanga City, and Requiem Masses were offered on August 16 at the Balanga Cathedral and at the San Fernando Cathedral in Pampanga. After the 8
a.m. Mass in Balanga, they were transferred to the St. Nicholas Parish Church in Capas, Tarlac.
The Funeral Mass and Burial were held on August 20 in Capas, Tarlac.
Guevarra, who served the Diocese of Balanga as its first residential Bishop from his appointment in 1975 to his retirement in 1998, was born on January 9, 1923 in Capas, Tarlac. He began his priestly
studies e after graduation from grade school, completing his Philosophy course at the San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati, and Theology at the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary.
He was ordained to the priesthood on April 19, 1949, and his early ministry consisted of parish assignments, serving as assistant pastor of Concepcion, Tarlac and Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, and as parish
priest of Rizal and Bongabong towns in Nueva Ecija. He also served in the Curia as Diocesan Chancellor (1963-1970), Diocesan Consultor (1963), Secretary (1968-1971) and Episcopal Vicar-Chancellor of
He was ordained to the Episcopacy on August 28, 1972, and appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga).
When the Diocese of
Balanga was erected in 1995, he was appointed as its first Residential Bishop, and installed on November 8 of the same year. In the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philipines (CBCP), he served as
member of the Adminis-trative Board and chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Laity for two terms (1982-1990). He had also served as a member of the Office of the Laity of the Federation of
Catholic Bishops' Confer-ences in 1986.
Bishop Guevarra retired from his position as Bishop of Balanga on January 8, 1998.