New bishop installed in Philippine diocese

Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos calls appointment a 'new opportunity to show love for God'
New bishop installed in Philippine diocese

Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos greets Catholics after his installation on Aug. 21. (Photo by Roy Lagarde) reporter, Bulacan
August 21, 2019
A new bishop has been installed for the northern Philippine diocese of Malolos in Bulacan province.

Bishop Dennis Villarojo was installed on Aug. 21 after being appointed by the Vatican in May as the diocese's fifth prelate following the death of Bishop Jose Oliveros in May last year.

“Once again, God has shown fidelity to his promise that he will always send shepherds,” said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, who served as apostolic administrator of the diocese.

The prelate expressed hope that the diocese would continue to be a “Church of the poor, a Church for the poor and a Church for all.”

“We pray for Bishop Dennis that he will continue the wonderful work his predecessors have accomplished in uniting and leading the Malolos clergy and faithful,” added Bishop Ongtioco.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, papal nuncio to the Philippines, urged those present at the installation ceremony to accompany their new bishop in his journey by “renewing” their personal lives.

“This is the best way which we can accompany [him] in his new journey and also the best way in which we can serve the Lord,” he said.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila called this week a “week of consolation” for the Philippine Church with the installation and ordination of several Filipino bishops.

He needs your support, says cardinal

The cardinal called on the religious and the laity in the diocese to be Bishop Villarojo’s “consolation” because “the episcopal ministry is not easy.”

Cardinal Tagle said the task was “stressful, but someone must do it and you do it in faith even if your consolation is not always palpable.”

“While we can do some acts or engage in acts of comfort, in the end it is God who is the source of all and lasting genuine consolation,” he said in his homily.

Bishop Villarojo said the Diocese of Malolos was a “precious gift” him as he started his episcopal ministry.

“This is a new opportunity of expressing my love for Him by serving his people,” he said.

Bishop Villarojo, 52, who hails from the central Philippines, was ordained into the priesthood in 1994 and earned his doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

As a priest for more than two decades, he has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including as personal secretary to the late Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu.

He was also appointed secretary-general of the 60th International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu in 2016.

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