The Pope names the Augustinian Recollect Aníbal Saldaña, bishop of Bocas del Toro in Panamá
Benedict XVI continues to look with confidence on the Agustinian Recollects and names them pastors of dioceses. With the appointment of the Panamanian Aníbal Saldaña the Order now has twenty bishops, dedicated to serving the Church. The Prelature of Bocas del Toro, erected by John XXIII in 1963, has always counted from the start with Augustinian Recollect bishops. Aníbal Saldaña will take over from José Agustín Ganuza, who has been bishop there since 1970.
THE NEW BISHOP, ANÍBAL SALDAÑA
Aníbal Saldaña was born in Puerto Armuelles, in the provincia of Chiriquí (Panamá), on the 25 of January 1958. He began his studies in St. Augustine’s College, Panama, where he studied primary and secondary levels.
In 1976 he began the novitiate in the convent of Valentuñana, in Sos del Rey Católico (Zaragoza, Spain). He made his simple vows in September 1977 in the same convent, and his solemn profession in Panamá, in the college San Agustín, in September 1980.
He studied philosophy and theology in the faculty San Vicente Ferrer in Valencia (Spain) and obtained a bachelors degree in 1982. Ordained deacon in Valencia on the 31st October 1981 he was ordained to the priesthood by Monsignor Legarra OAR in the College San Agustin in Panama.
Appointments and responsibilities
From 1982 to 1983 he was in Totonicapán (Guatemala). Between 1983 and 1985 he resided in the International College of San Ildefonso (Roma) where he continued his theology studies in the Pontifical University the Gregorian, where he obtained a license in Dogmatic Theology.
He then went back to Panama, to the parish of St. Joseph’s, where he was parish priest and worked in Vocations until 1987. He carried on his work of formation in the Vocational Centre Balmoral. In 1989 he again moved to Guatemala where he was involved in formation in St. Augustine’s Seminary. In 1998 he was sent to exercise his pastoral ministry first in Totonicapán, then in Quetzaltenango and once again in Totonicapán. After the Provincial Chapter of 2007 he was again transferred to Panama and named parish priest of Almirante, where he has been living till now.
Prelature “Bocas del Toro”
The Prelature has an extension of 8,115 square kilometres and around 124,000 inhabitants. 70% of the population is indigenous and divided between the Ngobe-Buglé, naso and bribrí nations. There are more than 60,000 Catholics in the prelature. It has five parishes and 96 chapels or mission stations. There are 11 Augustinian Recollects and 9 religious sisters working there. There are 8 schools and 3 welfare institutes.
In October 1952, when Pope John XXlll was Pope, the Holy See created the Prelature of Bocas de Toro and officially set it up in February 1964. Monsignor Martin Legarra OAR was the first bishop. Monsignor Legarra created the parish of Canquintú to better attend to the needs of the Ngobe Indians. In 1969 he was transferred to the Diocese of Santiago. In 1970 José Agustín Ganuza OAR was designated his successor and two years later appointed bishop. .
After the appointment made public by the Vatican, Aníbal Saldaña will succeed José Agustín Ganuza García OAR as leader of this Panamanian Prelature so reaffirming the confidence the Holy See puts in the work undertaken by the Augustinian Recollects around the world.
Announcing the appointment of Bishop Aníbal Saldaña Autor: P. General (102 Kb)
MAY 2008. PANAMA. Aníbal Saldaña, new bishop augustinian recollect
OAR Missions The Order of Augustinian Recollects has been a missionary congregation since the time of its beginnings. In actuality, it is responsible for evangelization in 8 territories of mission located in seven different countries, Brazil, Colombia, China, Peru, Panama, Taiwan and Sierra Leon.
Province of Our Lady of Consolation The Province of Our Lady of Consolation was created on July 12, 1961 and began formally two weeks later with the official proclamation which took place in the Monastery of Valentuñana, Sos del Rey Católico, Zaragoza. By the end of the year 2007, the province counted with 140 religious distributed in 28 communities located in Spain, Guatemala, Panamá and the Dominican Republic.
Augustinian Recollects in Panama Directory of schools, parishes and residences in Panama.