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About Leopoldo Sumaylo Tumulak
« on: January 18, 2017, 04:43:56 PM »
Published: December 31, 2006 by The Bohol Standard
By Loreto "Loy" Palapos

Seldom does a single human being create an immeasurable void in his absence, the way Bishop Leo has upon his assumption as the new Military Ordinariate of the entire nation. Now based in the National Capital Region, he has left his flock he has tended with utmost devotion for 14 long and fruitful years. Those whose lives he touched, including this writer, feel the most intense impact, although with a solace for he has no intention of abandoning Bohol. Before he left, he told many that he will be back occasionally, if his schedule permits, for it is here where he sowed affection and never expected he would be loved deeply in return, especially from the multitude who have keenly appreciated his brand of spiritual leadership.

Bishop Leopoldo Sumaylo Tumulak, D.D. is a Boholano. He was born in Santander, Cebu on November 29, 1944 to parents Lamberto Buscato Tumulak, Sr., a Cebuano, and Consolidad Granada Sumaylo, a Boholana from Dauis. He has two brothers and three sisters: Lamberto, Jr., Delia, Gloria, June, and Romanito. He has his early education at the Mainit Primary School, Oslob, Cebu (1950-1954) and Santander Elementary School, Santander, Cebu (1954-1956). He enrolled at Saint Mary’s Academy, Oslob, Cebu for his secondary education (1956-1959) and finished it in the Seminario Menor de San Carlos, Mabolo, Cebu City (1959-1963). He stayed in the same institution until 1972, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained priest on March 30, 1972. He finished Master of Arts in Educational Administration at Colegio de San Jose Recoletos on March 3, 1983.

His first assignment was as Assistant Parish Priest at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (1972-1973). From 1973 to 1978 he served as Dean of Students and Treasurer at Pope John XXIII Minor Seminary in Mabolo, Cebu City, and was Rector Principal of Pope Pius XXIII Seminary until 1986. Simultaneously, he was Jesu-Caritas Philippine Responsive (1980-1984), Chairman of the Cebu Justice and Peace Commission (1983-1984), and Spiritual Director, Spiritual Pastoral Formation Year (1983-1985). From 1982 to 1993 Monsignor Tumulak was the Cebu Diocesan Consultor, Chairman, Commission on Formation-IV Diocesan Synod of Cebu (1985-1993); Member, Crisis Assistance Team (1986-1993); Chairman, Commission on Seminaries; Parish Priest of San Nicolas Parish; Vice President, Seminario Mayor de San Carlos Alumni Association; Team Priest, World Wide Marriage Encounter (1981-1986); Coordinator, Directors of Vocations in the Philippines; and Member, Cebu Archdiocesan Priests Senate (1980-1986).

On November 7, 1981 he was designated Honorary Prelate, and on January 12, 1987 he was appointed Bishop. His Episcopal Ordination took place at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu on March 16, 1987.

He was the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu from 1987 to 1993, becoming a Member of the Permanent Council of CBCP (Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines) from 1995 up to the present. Monsignor Leo was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran in 1993, holding various positions aside from his main responsibilities: Chairman, Bohol Local Peace Forum; Chairman, Multi-Sectoral Forest Protection Committee; Honorary Co-Chairman, Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Council; and Apostolic Administrator of Tagbilaran.

To Bishop Leo is accredited the First Diocesan Synod of Tagbilaran. Preparations for the Synod began as early as 1993, it was celebrated in September 1997. A Diocesan Synod is a Consultative Assembly of the clergy, religious, and the laity tasked to advise the Bishop on matters that affect the pastoral governance of the Diocese.

Bishop Tumulak streamlined the Diocesan Curia. This is the central and chief organ by and with which the Bishop exercises his Episcopal ministry in the Diocese. The institutes in the Diocesan Curia, which are the Diocesan commissioners, committees, and other offices, conducted strategic planning in 1998. From this developed the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.

He implemented the New Financial System (NFS) of the Diocese, calling for the identification and centralization of all funds. The undergirding principle of the NFS is the communion of resources of the territorial pastorates (parishes, quasi-parishes, chaplaincies) of the Diocese. To guarantee that territorial pastorates do not overshoot their budget, they are classified according to remittances to the Office of the Diocesan Oeconomous based on their regular expenses and income.

An offshoot of the NFS is the Standard Living Allowance (SLA) of the Tagbilaran Clergy that was fixed beginning November 1997 at more or less P8,000 a month for every priest. Msgr. Leo opted to abide with this arrangement, receiving the same amount as with his priests. The spirit behind the SLA is simplicity in lifestyle, clergy fraternity, and solidarity through resources-sharing.

He also restructured the parish finances. The Bishop put in plan a system of proper parish administration of its temporal ecclesiastical goods, by instituting the positions of parish cashiers and bookkeepers in every territorial pastorate. The principles behind the restructuring an account and transparency.

The implementation of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) structuring in all territorial pastorates is an on-going concern of the Diocese, commenced by Bishop Leo. The basic unit of ecclesiastical society is the Catholic family which, in the words of the Holy Father is the “ecclesia domestica” (the domestic church). Neighboring families are grouped into clusters. Those clusters are the BECs which are organically attached to a chapel. The chapel is an integral part of the parish, and the parish is a part of a vicariate forane.

Bishop Leo operationalized the Diocesan Presbyterial Council and the diocesan Finance Council. These were non-existent before the Synod. These were two of the Diocesan consultative bodies that the Bishop makes full use in gathering advice. The Presbyterial Council consists of priests, some elected and some appointed, with others becoming members by virtue of the office. The Diocesan Finance Council is composed of laypersons, usually bankers and lawyers, to advise the Bishop on proper management of the temporal goods of the Diocese.

He pioneered ecclesiastical cultural heritage consecration in the Philippine Church by creating the Diocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in July 1995. The CBCP became aware of the work of the Commission, that in July 1996 Bishop Leo was elected Chairman of the CBCP Permanent Committee for Cultural Heritage of the Church. He convoked 3 national conventions of church cultural heritage workers in Tagbilaran (February 1999), Butuan (September 2001), and San Fernando, Pampanga (October 2003). He will convoke the 4th national convention with the Archbishop of Jaro, Iloilo as host in April 2005. All these, were made possible without any expense. These activities were brought to the attention of Archbishop (non Cardinal) +Francesco Marchisano, President of the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in the Vatican City-State, In May 2000 Bishop Leo was appointed Consultor to the said Pontifical Commission by Pope John Paul II.

He drew up many policies for the clergy and created a good number of territorial pastorates. To date the Diocese has 48 parishes, 2 quasi-parishes, 2 chaplaincies, and 3 territories which are candidates for the chaplaining status. He also canonically declared one parish church, that of the Assumption of Our Lady, Dauis, a diocesan shrine. Holy Cross, Maribojoc will be also be declared as diocesan shrine on May 5, 2005.

He made possible the consecration of peace-making and peace-building amongst the entire People of God of this Diocese, going to NPA camps, sitting with government policy makers and governance leaders, and meeting with ordinary fisherfolks and farmers.

Christ does live in him; he lives in Christ. This is his greatest achievement.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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About Leopoldo Sumaylo Tumulak

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