New Dominican Bishop Sipalay invites Alaminos community to journey together for the common good

A Filipino Dominican is now the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Alaminos. Most Rev. Napoleon Balili Sipalay, Jr., O.P., D.D., was ordained on March 18, and formally installed on March 19, 2024, coinciding with the feast of Saint Joseph, the patron of the diocese.

The solemn episcopal ordination and rites of canonical possession were officiated by His Excellency Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, O.P., D.D., the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan. Bishop Jacinto A. Jose of Urdaneta and Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis B. Layog served as co-consecrators. 

Church leaders, including Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal F. Advincula, O.P., D.D., and Dominican Fathers from the Santo Domingo Church and Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, were in attendance, and so were local government leaders including the Alaminos Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste.


Bishop Sipalay’s installation ends the four-year sede vacante period, in which the diocese—in the absence of its bishop since his predecessor Archbishop Rocardo Baccay was assigned to Tuguegarao in 2019— had Bishop Layog as the apostolic administrator.

He is the third Filipino Dominican to be elevated to the episcopate following the late Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Legazpi, O.P., of Caceres, and the late Auxiliary Bishop Jose Salazar, O.P. of Lipa.

“Let us look to the task before us, the task of building the Church. The Lord does not look at us as we are now, for he looks at what we can become,” said the newly ordained Bishop.

“Let us journey together for the common good of this diocese. Let us build this Church together, not going ahead, not going backward, but together, side by side, we walk to build a Diocese of Alaminos,” urged Most Rev. Sipalay, adding “Please accompany me with your prayers. We pray for one another, that we may be instruments to continue the plan of the Lord in our lives.”

Prior to being ordained, Bishop Sipalay was most recently the Vice Rector of the UST Central Seminary. He also served as the 12th Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and UST Vice Chancellor from 2016 to 2021.

Born in Davao City on October 20, 1970, he entered the Order of Preachers in 1988 after initially taking up Medical Technology in UST and made his First Profession in 1991. After completing his institutional studies, he was ordained a priest on April 5, 1997. Since then, he has faithfully served the Province in various capacities, including as a formator, spiritual director, and missionary to Sri Lanka.

The Bishop’s official coat of arms contains symbols honoring his identity. Elements include the Dominican Cross fleury with an Aquinian sun in splendor, which appears on the upper right side of the shield and pertains to his life as a member of the Order of Preachers. The crossed keys of St. Peter refers to the First Pope, the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Davao, where the Bishop was born and raised, while the rice plant and leaves pertain to the Bishop’s surname and middle name: “Si palay” (‘there is rice’ in Binisaya) and Balili (“grass” in Binisaya). The tree on the hilltop with the monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary refers to his devotion to the Blessed Mother, and his service as Prior and Rector of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag. 

His motto, visible on the coat of arms, is “misericordiam Dei et vestram,” (God’s mercy and yours) is the official response of one who enters the Order of Preachers to the Prior during his Religious Profession and reflects his constant commitment as an obedient disciple of St. Dominic de Guzman. 

Most Rev. Sipalay’s appointment was officially announced by His Holiness Pope Francis on January 28, 2024, during the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

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