Palma ordains Cebu’s new auxiliary bishop
Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (The Freeman) - August 10, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines- Cebu officially welcomed yesterday its newest auxiliary bishop. Hundreds of Catholic devotees, priests and bishops gathered at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to witness 48-year-old Bishop Dennis Villarojo’s elevation to the Order of Bishops.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma presided over a concelebrated mass and was the principal consecrator of the ordination rites. His co-consecrators were Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.

 During the rites, Palma asked the bishop-elect, who stood in front of him, if he was ready to uphold the faith and to discharge his duties faithfully, as well as preach the gospel of Christ with fidelity and consistency, among others.

 “Are you resolved to show kindness and compassion in the name of the Lord to the poor and to strangers and to all who are in need? Are you resolved to pray for the people of God without ceasing, and to carry out the duties of one who has the fullness of the priesthood so as to afford no grounds for reproach?” he asked.

 “I am with the help of God,” Villarojo replied.

It was followed by the laying of hands of the bishops over his head as a way of entrusting to him the office of the apostles.

 Palma reminded him that the title of bishop is not an “honor but of function, and therefore a bishop should strive to serve rather than to rule.”

 Villarojo said becoming a bishop is a “challenge” for him, particularly in providing service to the people and in nurturing their faith, citing his motto “to give consolation to the people.”

 “As a bishop and a priest, ang paghatag og presensiya sa Ginoo dako na nga grasya nga akong ikapaambit ngadto sa katawhan,” he said.

 “Akong nabati ang kadasig ug kainit sa pagdawat sa mga tawo. I don’t just see it as a joy but as a longing for God,” he said.

 The ordination was attended by over 20 bishops, 200 priests and hundreds of seminarians and religious faithful.

 According to Palma, Villarojo will assist him in governing the archdiocese, particularly focusing on the affirmation of priests, religious and seminarians; pastoral activities; and other administrative tasks.

 Palma said the Villarojo will remain at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish (Capitol Parish), where he served as team moderator before his nomination as auxiliary bishop was announced last month.

 However, Palma said he may soon be assigned to a “more convenient and accessible place” but not before the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in January next year.

 “I told him to stay put sa Capitol Parish kay it would be difficult if he will be transferred immediately. It will also be depending on the recommendation of the board,” he said announcing that Villarojo will be going to Rome for a seminar and will return in October or November.

 Villarojo has been one of the lead organizers of the 51st Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which will be held in Cebu next year.


Bishop Villarojo’s mom, Bernadita, said she did not expect the ordination but said it is truly a blessing. 

“It’s unexpected…I’m very happy and thankful to the Lord,” the 78-year-old mother said after the ordination.

Villarojo is the youngest of four siblings.

Vidal said Villarojo is a “very trustworthy companion” and a “great man.”

“I’m very happy for him. Also, I’m so afraid of him because his too gwapo and he draws a lot of crowd than me,” he said in jest.

Vidal, in a serious note, told Villarojo to recognize the needs of the people, especially the poor; to love people and never to quarrel with women.

“It’s important for a bishop to know how to relate to them, to safeguard relationships and value prayer and pastoral equality,” he said.

Villarojo served as a personal secretary of Vidal from 1994 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2010.

Villarojo earned his AB in Philosophy and English from the University of San Carlos Seminary College in Cebu in 1989.

In 1992, he obtained his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila. Two years after, he got his licentiate in philosophy from the same school.

On June 10, 1994, Villarojo was ordained priest.

He also obtained a doctorate in philosophy from Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 2001.  (FREEMAN)




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