THE Archdiocese of Cebu will now have three auxiliary bishops after Pope Francis named two Catholic priests – one from the Archdiocese of Palo, the other from the Archdiocese of Cebu - as Catholic prelates.
According to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website, the Vatican on Friday announced the appointments of Msgr. Dennis Villarojo of the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish Church in Cebu City and Fr. Oscar Florencio, rector of St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) in Palo.
The other auxiliary bishop of Cebu, Bishop Emilio Bataclan is set to retire in September, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 for prelates.
Bishop-elect Villarojo, 48, was born in Cebu City and was ordained priest on June 10, 1994.
He finished philosophy at San Carlos College Seminary of Cebu and theology at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
From 1994 to 1998, the priest was the personal secretary of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
Villarojo also studied at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome where he obtained a doctorate in Philosophy from 1998 to 2001.
After his studies in Rome, he returned to Cebu and continued serving as Vidal’s secretary until 2010 when he became a parish priest.
Villarojo is currently the secretary general of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu City in January 2016.
Florencio, 49, was born in Capoocan, Leyte, and was ordained priest on April 3, 1990.
The bishop-elect completed his studies in philosophy at Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, and theology at the UST.
He studied in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where he obtained a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from 1994 to 1999.
After returning from Rome, he was appointed professor at SJEST, the archdiocesan seminary of Palo, before becoming parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Church from 2004 to 2006, then Sacred Heart Parish from 2006 to 2009.
In 2009, he returned to the theology seminary where he became rector in 2013 and also the Vice-Chancellor of the archdiocese. (ST/Sunnex)