MANILA, July 3, 2015–Two Catholic priests–one from the Archdiocese of Palo, the other from the Archdiocese of Cebu–were appointed by Pope Francis on Friday auxiliary bishops.
Fr. Oscar Florencio, rector of St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) in Palo and Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, who is currently serving at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish Church in Cebu City, were named as auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The appointments will bring three auxiliary bishops for Cebu although Bishop Emilio Bataclan is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops in September.
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 University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
From 1994 to 1999, he studied in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where he obtained a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology.
When he returned 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. Since 2009, he is also the Vice-Chancellor of the archdiocese.
Bishop-elect Villarojo was born in Cebu City and was ordained priest on June 10, 1994.
The 48-year old priest completed his philosophy at San Carlos College Seminary of Cebu and theology at the UST.
For four years, from 1994 to 1998, he was personal secretary of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
From 1998 to 2001, he also studied at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome 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.
Villarojo is currently the secretary general of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu City in January 2016. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)