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"The Church of Mindanao and Its Division into the Diocese of Zamboanga and the Diocese of Cagayan: A History of the Catholic Church in Mindanao (1898-1933)"

Amado T. Tumbali, JR., S.J. (Philippines)

Licentiate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization in Systematic-Dogmatic Theology
Adviser: Fr. Rene Pio Javellana, S.J., D.Min.


The tesina investigates the division of the Diocese of Zamboanga in 1933. In order to answer the inquiry, this research took the following steps. First, it traces the beginnings of Christianity in Mindanao and its growth amidst the challenges of geography, slave-trading, and lack of missionaries. Second, it tackles the consequences of the Philippine Revolution and American Occupation to the survival of Catholicism in Mindanao. Finally, it examines the proposals on the division of the Church of Mindanao which was concretized in 1933 with the creation of another diocese in northern Mindanao.

The methodology consists of a survey, close reading, and an analysis of formal and personal documents. These range from official documents to personal letters such as apostolic constitutions, and correspondences between, on the one hand, apostolic delegates, apostolic and Jesuit visitors, Jesuit superiors general, provincials, prelates, mission superiors and consultors, and on the other hand, those in the field. These letters by the missionaries themselves are mostly published in Woodstock Letters of the Jesuit scholasticate, Woodstock College in Maryland. These help construct a vantage from below and expose actual perspectives of the missionaries themselves right from the frontlines.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: April 24, 2019 (Wednesday)

Board of Examiners: Fr. Antonio de Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Rene Pio Javellana, S.J., D.Min., Fr. Timoteo Jose Ofrasio, S.J., S.L.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology