Lingayen, Pangasinan

    Lingayen was one of the first towns in Pangasinan where Catholicism was implanted by the Agustinian missionaries in 16th, naming it the Three Kings Parish which is now called Epiphany of our Lord Parish. Later, the Agustinians left Lingayen and the church was turned over to the Dominicans.

    The Lingayen church is said to have been built in 1710. Its imposing bell tower is 45 yards high which without doubt one of the best if not the best in Pangasinan up to this time.

    From 1900 to June, 1933 Filipino priests took turns in taking charge of the Three Kings Parish.

    On May 19, 1928, Lingayen church was elevated to the dignity of a Cathedral through the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Plus XI with the name Diocese of Lingayen. Actually, the Diocese of Lingayen was carved out of Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Nueva Segovia, Tarlac and Zambales first belonged to the Archdiocese of Manila while the rest belonged to the Diocese of Nueva Segovia. Lingayen came from Diocese of Nueva Segovia. As a Diocese, Lingayen was chosen to be the Episcopal Seat with Most Reverend Cesar ma. Guerrero consecrated as the first bishop, later succeeded by the Most Reverend Mariano A. Madriaga on May 24, 1938.

    Starting in 1933, the Columban priests from Ireland arrived in Lingayen one after the other. The first to arrive was Rev. Fr. Samuel Sheehan. Work in the parish was well coordinated by the tactfulness and experiences of Father Sheehan.

    At the request of Bishop Madriaga, the Columban Sisters came to Lingayen on August 21, 1939 for the catechetical apostolate in the public schools. Then, just as things were going on nicely in the parish, World War II broke out on December 8, 1941 affecting temporarily the activities in the church. Even during the Japanese occupation in our country. Columban Priest and Sisters continued to arrive in Lingayen for their mission. In the latter part of 1942, Reverend Father Dermot Feeny was the parish priest.

    On January 9, 1945, the American forces landed in Lingayen beach, dropping bombs in Poblacion. The bishop’s residence was greatly damaged and the church was partially destroyed, too, and was the cause of the fall of the centuries-old bells. The damage done to the bishop’s palace caused the transfer of the residence of Bishop Madriaga from Lingayen to Dagupan through the Papal Decree of Pope Pius XII.

    The diocese of Lingayen was reconstituted into an archdiocese on February 16, 1963, encompassing only the whole civil province of Pangasinan. The towns of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija were returned to their respective civil province to form the independent dioceses, each suffragan of the new Metropolitan See of Lingayen-Dagupan. Also, the town of Zambales were returned to their own provinces when it became also a diocese. It was also during this time that the seat of the newly elevated archdiocese was transferred from Lingayen to Dagupan. The diocese was therefore named Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan and Lingayen was known as The Three Kings Co-Cathedral. The Most Reverend Mariano A. Madriaga was promoted as the first archbishop of Metropolitan See.

    During the liberation period, the Columban Fathers with Father Feeny and Father Gallagher as the moving spirits started the reconstruction of the Bishop’s Palace, which later became the Saint Columban’s College. The inauguration of the renovated cathedral was in 1963. The parishioners were very, very happy when they saw the magnificent work done on the one time hopeless ruins. Again on the occasion of the Christ the King Celebration in the parish in 1965, more improvement was done.

    Upon the retirement of Archbishop Madriaga on February 7, 1973, the Most Reverend Federico Limon took over. In the summer of 1978, the Golden Jubilee of the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese was successfully celebrated due to the able management of Parish Priest of Lingayen at that time, Rev. Fr. John Dennehy. The church was repainted inside and outside.Visitors from and near had a memorable time attending the unforgettable event.

    The Columban Fathers stayed in Lingayen for 48 years. During their stay, they performed a marvelous mission in the parish. They had worked zealously for the welfare of the parishioners, both spiritually and morally. Since their arrival in 1933 to 1981, the progress done by the Columban Fathers was immeasurable.

    When the Columban Fathers left Lingayen, Filipino priests took over. Lingayen parishioners cannot forget the services of these Filipino priests assigned in our parish especially the priest-sons of Lingayen.

    During the episcopacy of Archbishop Limon, the big Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan was divided. On February 12, 1985, the western part of the province of Pangasinan was constituted into a new diocese – the Diocese of Alaminos, while the eastern part became the Diocese of Urdaneta, both suffragans of Lingayen-Dagupan.

    Upon the retirement of Archbishop Limon, the Most Reverend Oscar V. Cruz succeeded him and was installed on August 29, 1991. Presently, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan comprises the central part of Pangasinan with the Epiphany of Our Lord Parish as one of the parishes. Each diocese is divided into vicariates. Lingayen belongs to Vicariate II of the Archdiocese.

    During the term of the first Team Ministry of our parish composing of Rev. Fr. John Palinar, Moderator, Rev. Fr. Jose Estrada, Rev. Fr. Manuel Bravo and Rev. Fr. Victor Embuido, the parish got the name “Epiphany of Our Lord Parish”. The change of the centuries-old church bells with the new ones was done by the team through donations from civic-spirited citizens here and abroad.

    The second Team Ministry with Rev. Fr. Alberto T. Arenos as the moderator, Rev. Fr. Camilo Natividad and Rev. Fr. Jovino Batecan as members, undertook various church projects which included the repainting of the church, repair of the roofing’s, installation of new sound system, repair of the Shalom Hall and sacristy, putting up of a museum that houses the old church bells, renovation of the parochial office and the construction of a new building for the offices of the Family Life Apostolate, Cathecists, Youth and Church Store. Most important of them all is the organization of Basic Ecclesial Communities.

    With the present Team Ministry comprising of Rev. Fr. Alberto T. Arenos, still the moderator, Rev. Fr. Camilo Natividad and Rev. Fr. Rolly Salosagcol as members, all the unfinished projects of the previous ministry has been completed with the following maintained:

1.    Maintenance of Ecclesial Communities already organized
2.    Restoration of the AHROMA – Association of the Heads of Religious Organization, Movements and Apostolate
3.    Active participation of all religious organizations in all church activities.
4.    Organization of Pastoral Councils in all barangays
5.    Involvement of Inter-sectoral agencies in all church activities
6.    Beautification of the church and its premises.

Furthermore, the parish is presently on the way towards a full fulfillment of the theme: PARTNERSHIP FOR CHRIST’S KINGDOM VALUES