Zambo folks jubilant on new archbishop PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:01

The people of Zamboanga welcomed with jubilation the appointment of Kidapawan Bishop Romulo T. dela Cruz as their new archbishop.

Monsignor Crislogo Manongas, archdiocesan administrator of Zamboanga since 2012, said the people were very happy because someone very close to them will now be their new archbishop.

“We were shouting with joy, we are two years vacant, waiting and prayer for our new bishop and now a new bishop is coming. He is not new to us, we know Bishop dela Cruz very much,” Monsignor Manongas said.

Fr. Jonathan Domingo of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, said the appointment of Bishop dela Cruz was another blessing for Mindanao after the Pope named OMI archbishop Orlando Quevedo as Cardinal and Prince of Church.

Monsignor Manongas said with the coming of dela Cruz, the programs of the archdiocese can move and be implemented.

“This is very important for us because if there’s no bishop many things are put on hold, archdiocesan programs have been put on hold. With the new bishop we can move onward, we can move forward,” Manongas said. He said dela Cruz can communicate with the people of Zamboanga very well because he speaks Chavacano (Zamboanga’s local dialect).

Two years ago, Pope Benedict reassigned Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles as archbishop of Davao, leaving Zamboanga with no archbishop.

Pope Francis, on Saturday evening and noontime in Rome, announced the appointment of Bishop Dela Cruz as the new archbishop of Zamboanga.

The appointment of Dela Cruz came four days after His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, the first Mindanao cardinal, held his thanksgiving mass in Cotabato City.

Dela Cruz was among those who concelebrated the Eucharistic celebration with President Aquino and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto as special guests.

Dela Cruz of the Diocesan Clergy of Cotabato (DCC) has been the bishop of Kidapawan since June 2008 when then Pope Benedict named him as head of Kidapawan diocese replacing then Bishop Romulo Valles who was also named bishop of Zamboanga archdiocese.

Cardinal Quevedo said the bishop who would succeed Dela Cruz as bishop of Kidapawan has not been named yet.

Dela Cruz was born on June 24, 1947 in Balasan, Iloilo.

In December 1987, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Coadjutor Bishop of Isabela, Basilan. His Episcopal ordination was on March 16, 1988, and later became Bishop-Prelate of Isabela, Basilan by Succession.

Dela Cruz was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose de Antique on Jan. 8, 2001. He was installed on April 3, 2001. He succeeded as Bishop of San Jose de Antique on March 16, 2002.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Kidapawan, Cotabato, on May 14, 2008. He was installed Bishop on June 19, 2008.

While in Kidapawan, dela Cruz established the first ever diocesan seminary which will have its new set of graduates this year.