Pope names new Malolos bishop

Pope names new Malolos bishop

Most. Rev. Dennis Villarojo becomes the fifth bishop to head the Diocese of Malolos. SAMMY NAVAJA

By CBCP News

May 14, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis has appointed Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo as the new bishop of Malolos.

The appointment was announced May 14 to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines by the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.

At 52, he will be the fifth head of the Malolos diocese, succeeding Bishop Jose Oliveros who died at the age of 71 in May 2018.

For a year that the diocese has been without a bishop, it was managed by Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, who was its concurrent apostolic administrator.

A native of Cebu City, Villarojo finished philosophy at San Carlos College Seminary of Cebu and theology at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1994.

After his ordination, he served as the the personal secretary of the late Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, who was then the Cebu archbishop.

The bishop also studied at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome from 1998 to 2001 where he obtained a doctorate in Philosophy.

After his studies in Rome, he returned to Cebu and continued serving as Vidal’s secretary until 2010 when he eventually became a parish priest.

In 2015, the Vatican appointed him as General Secretary of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu in January 2016.

Few months later that year, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, receiving the episcopal consecration the following August 10.

Since April 2019, he’s been the lone assistant bishop of Archbishop Jose Palma after Bishop Oscar Florencio was installed to the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.