ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 9 April) – Preparations are underway for the installation of Bishop Romulo dela Cruz on May 14 as the new archbishop of this city.
Monsigñor Crisologo Manongas, administrator of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, said Papal Nuncio Guiseppe Pinto, the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines, will lead the installation of Dela Cruz.
Manongas said the installation ceremony will be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion.
Top church leaders from other parts of the country are expected to arrive to attend the installation ceremonies.
Dela Cruz, 66, was named by Pope Francis as this city’s archbishop last March 15.
Prior to his appointment, Dela Cruz served as bishop of Kidapawan City since June 2008, replacing Bishop Romulo Valles when the latter was named archbishop of this city.
Valles was made archbishop of Davao City last 2012 and since then Zamboanga did not have an archbishop.
Dela Cruz had also served as bishop of nearby Basilan province from 1988 and of Antique in the Visayas from 2001 until his appointment as bishop of Kidapawan.
He was born on June 24, 1947 in Iloilo but at an early age he and his parents migrated to Mindanao.
Dela Cruz is currently a member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media and vice chairman of the Episcopal Office on Women.
Dela Cruz’s appointment is Vatican’s second major act this year for the church in Mindanao.
The first one was last month wherein Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was elevated and named as member of the Vatican’s College of Cardinals, the eighth Filipino to be named to the high office.
Dela Cruz, as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, will have supervision over the Prelature of Isabela in Basilan, Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, and the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo in Sulu.