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Zamboanga archbishop Romulo dela Cruz dies

/ 07:15 PM December 11, 2021
Most Reverend Romulo Tolentino dela Cruz

Most Reverend Romulo Tolentino dela Cruz. From the Facebook post of the Archdiocesan Youth Apostolate of Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—Most Reverend Romulo Tolentino dela Cruz, the Archbishop of Zamboanga, died on Friday evening (Dec. 10), the Catholic Church announced. He was 74.

A statement released by the Parroquia dela Nuestra Señora La Virgen dela Paz Y Buen Viaje, said Dela Cruz died at around 11;05 p.m. at the Zamboanga Doctors Hospital.

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The statement said the prelate had long suffered from an illness, which was not disclosed.

Two days earlier, Dela Cruz observed the 49th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. He had served as leader of the Catholic flock in the city for over seven years.

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Dela Cruz was born in Balasan, one of the poorest towns in Iloilo province, on June 24, 1947, and ordained priest on December 8, 1972 in Cotabato City.

He was ordained as Coadjutor Bishop for the Prelature of Isabela in 1988 and served in Basilan until 2001. He also served in San Jose de Antique as Coadjutor Bishop from 2002 and became Bishop of the Diocese of Kidapawan on May 14, 2008.

On March 15, 2014, he was appointed as Archbishop of Zamboanga.

Bishop Marvyn Maceda of San Jose de Antique said Dela Cruz was the third Bishop that served their province, from 2002 to 2008.

“We are saddened by (his) passing away. We extend our prayers and condolences to the Auxiliary Bishop and Apostolic Administrator of Zamboanga, Most Rev. Moises Cuevas, D.D., and the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, as well as to the Tolentino-Dela Cruz Family,” Maceda said in a statement.

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the local government is “deeply saddened” by the death of Dela Cruz.

“We mourn the passing of Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz who served as a father figure for the people of Basilan for almost a decade,” said House Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman.

JPV
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TAGS: Archbishop of Zamboanga, Most Reverend Romulo Tolentino dela Cruz, obituary, Zamboanga
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