Meet Our Pastor
Father Ramon Bolatete was born and raised in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. Right after High School he entered the Divine Word Seminary and studied at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Philippines. He proceeded on to the Divine Word Major Seminary in Tagaytay City, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Philosophy. Fr. Bolatete was ordained a Divine Word missionary on October 19, 1985 and spent 4 years of mission work in Papua New Guinea. He also has a Master’s Degree in Missiology, from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada.
While in Canada Fr. Ramon took graduate studies for two years and then worked with the Diocese of Grand Falls, Newfoundland as Parochial Administrator to the parishes of Harbour Main and Clarenville for three years. He then became Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Harbour Grace for five years. From there he moved to the United States and served as Parochial Vicar for eight years and was incardinated into the Diocese of Orlando, Florida in early 2010. Fr. Ramon is presently serving as Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church and Academy, Lakeland, Florida. His oversight of the oldest Catholic Church in Polk County includes pastoral care and leadership of over 73 active ministries and programs offered within the parish and to the greater Lakeland community.
In addition to his role as Pastor of St Joseph’s, Fr. Bolatete serves as Chaplain at Santa Fe Catholic High School and to the Catholic students and faculty at Florida Southern College. As an avid tennis player and instructor Fr Ramon also served as tennis coach for seven years at Santa Fe High School prior to his appointment as pastor. Fr. Ramon’s penchant for music and harmony flows out to his current parish vision of showcasing the parish of St Joseph’s: the Church, the Academy and her various ministries through a transparent, collaborative approach thereby engaging more meaningfully every parishioner, visitor and friend.