Manila Cathedral Welcomes New Rector

By: Vicente Ignatius Mate IV
April 17, 2023

Msgr. Rolando “Rolly” Dela Cruz (kneeling) as he takes his vows in front of Cardinal Jose Advincula and the Archdiocese's Clergy. Photo courtesy of The Manila Cathedral.

His Eminence, Most Rev. Fr. Jose Cardinal Advincula, with the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Manila, installs Msgr. Rolando “Rolly” Dela Cruz as the Rector of the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, April 14, 2023. 

Cardinal Advincula celebrated the Mass on the same day. In his homily, the Cardinal welcomes Msgr. Dela Cruz from his sabbatical leave and expresses his gratitude for accepting the assignment. “Msgr Rolly, after six months of Sabbatical leave, I welcome you back to the Archdiocese of Manila. I know you would have preferred a smaller parish where life would be simpler and quieter but God has a better plan for you…Thank you very much for accepting this assignment,” says the Cardinal. 

Cardinal Advincula tells Msgr. Dela Cruz that he, Msgr. Rolly is the Cathedral’s rector because it is the Lord’s will. The Manila Archbishop also reminded him it is his mission to help people recognize the significance of  God in their lives. 

“(Msgr. Rolly) You are assigned as rector of the Cathedral not because you are better than the other priests, not because of your accomplishments, and not because of your capabilities and skills. You are here because it is the Lord who calls you to be here… Your mission is to help our people recognize how the Lord works and is very present in their lives,” states Cardinal Advincula. 

“As you serve, listen to them for they will also help you see the Lord in your ministry. They will help you see the Lord in your priesthood. They will also help you see the Lord in your life,”  he adds as he tells those in attendance the importance of having a great relationship between the new rector and the parishioners of the Cathedral. 

Before the mass ended, Msgr. de la Cruz shares that he finds it a challenge to be the new rector of the cathedral and that the cathedral will always be a place for prayer and solitude. 

Msgr. Rolly’s tenure as the rector of the Manila Cathedral will last for six years unless revoked by the Archbishop of Manila.