Philippine Dominicans elect new head

Philippine Dominicans elect new head

Fr. Filemon Dela Cruz, Jr., the new Prior Provincial of the Philippine Province of the Order of Preachers. PHOTO FROM UST

By CBCP News

January 19, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Fr. Filemon Dela Cruz was elected new prior provincial of the Philippine Province of the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominicans.

The election of the priest, who turned 57 today, came during their 12th Provincial Chapter in Nasugbu, Batangas on Sunday.

Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, the master general of the worldwide religious order founded by St. Dominic de Guzman, confirmed his election on Jan. 18.

With his acceptance, Fr. Dela Cruz will lead the Dominican community for the next four years.

He replaced Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, who ended his term after serving the post since October 2016.

As prior provincial, Fr. Dela Cruz will also serve as the Chair of the University of Sto. Tomas’ Board of Trustees.

Born in Manila, he entered the Dominican pre-novitiate in 1980 and was vested with the habit of the Order in 1983. He made his simple profession in 1984 and his solemn profession in 1987.

Fr. Dela Cruz took his philosophy at the Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies, and theology at the UST.

He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Camilo Gregorio, who was then bishop of the Bacolod diocese in October 1992.

In 2006, he finished his masteral degree in theology from the UST.

Among his previous ministries were Master of Students in 1992-1996; Master of Novices in 1996-2000; Promoter of the Dominican Clerical Fraternity in 2012-2014; Provincial Councilor in 2012-2016; and Socius of the Prior Provincial in 2014-2016.

He also served in many ministries in the UST from 2001 to 2017 and was superior of the Dominican community of the Rumah Santo Tomas in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 2017 to 2020.

Prior to his election, he was a newly assigned priest to the House of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs in Navotas City.

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