Pope Francis names new Malolos bishop

Published May 14, 2019, 11:04 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Christina Hermoso

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

The appointment was relayed May 14 to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) by the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.

Villarojo, 52, will serve as the fifth head of the Malolos diocese. He succeeds Bishop Jose Oliveros who died at the age of 71 in May 2018.

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco served as apostolic administrator of the diocese for a year.

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 personal secretary of the late Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

Villarojo also studied at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy 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 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.

He was soon appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu. Since April 2019, he’s been the lone assistant bishop of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma after Bishop Oscar Florencio was named as the new head of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.