The Diocese of San Jose lies in the northern part of Nueva Ecija. Evangelized by the Agustinian missionaries, Nueva Ecija was created as a province in 1705 by Spanish Governor Fausto Cruzal. The name of the province is attributed to Governor Cruzal, who chose this name after his hometown Ecija in Seville, Spain.
The Franciscan Fathers took over from the Agustinians and continued the work of evangelization. Later on, the diocesan clergy, helped by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, carried on the apostolate.
The Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, was created on Feb. 16, 1984 by Pope John Paul II and canonically erected on July 14, 1984. Its territory was taken from the Diocese of Cabanatuan which at the same time of the division comprised the entire province of Nueva Ecija.
Sixteen parishes, out of 41 parishes of the Diocese of Cabanatuan were adjudicated to the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija. 80 percent of the people are Roman Catholics and the rest of 20 percent are members of different sects and denominations.
Bishop Florentino F. Cinense, DD, was appointed the diocese's first residential bishop on July 14, 1984. When appointed co-adjutor bishop of Tarlac, he remained as Apostolic Administrator of San Jose, until the appointment of his successor Bishop Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, on July 25, 1987. Bishop Leo M. Drona had been a Salesian of Don Bosco for twenty nine-years prior to his Episcopal appointment. He is the first Filipino Salesian priest as well as the first Filipino Salesian Bishop. In June 2004, Bishop Drona was transferred to the Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna as its third bishop. He was succeeded by Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara who was installed as the third bishop of the Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija on May 14, 2005.
On July 14, 2009, the diocese will celebrate its 25th Silver Jubilee. A Year-long celebration is being prepared. For more information please check the website.
The Diocese of San Jose is located approximately 160 kilometers north of Manila. It is bounded by the Sierra Madre mountains in the east and the Caraballo Mountain ranges in the north. Population is around 740,700.
The people of San Jose are mostly tenant-farmers. Agricultural in nature, the diocese's major source of income come from producing rice, corn, sugar cane, coconut, mongo, onions, fruits and vegetables.