Fil-Am priest is St Mary's Cathedral pastor, rector in SF

SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced the appointment of Father Arturo L. Albano as pastor and rector of the Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco.

The appointment of Albano, who has served as pastor of Mission Dolores Basilica since 2007, is effective July 1.

“I was already looking forward to retiring after 4 more years at Mission Dolores, but God has called me to a new turning point in my ministerial life,” Albano told Catholic San Francisco. “

He added, "As the old saying goes: ‘Man proposes but God disposes.’”

Albano was ordained in the Philippines on June 20, 1974, before coming to the United States in 1979.

He has served as a parochial vicar at parishes including St Cecilia, San Francisco; St Luke, Foster City; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Daly City; Holy Angels, Colma and Mater Dolorosa, South San Francisco. In addition to Mission Dolores, he served as pastor of St Timothy, San Mateo.

There have been 5 priests in Albano’s family; he is one of the 3 still in active ministry.

“My parents, now deceased, were actively involved in my hometown parish,” he said. 

“I believe all these factors contributed to my responding to God’s call when I entered the seminary at a young age of 11. Of course, at that age, no one can be so sure whether one will be a priest or not. But as the years rolled on, it became a continual ‘yes’ to God.”

“Every priestly ministry that I have fulfilled is a different spiritual experience whether it is celebrating the Eucharist or confessions or visiting the sick or praying with my fellow priests. But I should say that I have been deeply moved when a penitent comes to confession with a troubled look and leaves with a smile in the face reassured that God still loves that person.”

Albano said his appointment to the cathedral was a surprise.

“I am still in a shock mode but I know that the Holy Spirit will guide me through. I know that it is a big responsibility. I am just a steward. I will do what I can and God will do the rest," he said.

“I will devote the first 6 months simply to get to know the people; to listen to them; to hope and to pray with them; to familiarize myself with their vision; to walk with them and to reassure them that God will always be there for us,” he added.

Father Raymund Reyes, vicar for clergy described Albano as "one of the Filipino American priests in the archdiocese who brings so much pastoral experience from his work in the missions and many parishes."

"Wherever he went, he carried with him his loving and welcoming heart. The people he served respect him for his multilingual skills and many other talents. I believe he’ll do well in taking up the role as the new pastor and rector of our beloved St. Mary’s Cathedral," Reyes said. – 

This article was first published in SF Catholic and reprinted with permission in Philippine News, content partner of Rappler