The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans, announced the election of a new prior provincial for the congregation’s Philippine Province.
Father Filemon dela Cruz, OP, 57, was elected new head of the congregation in the country during its 12th Provincial Chapter on Sunday, January 17.
The priest will replace Father Napoleon Sipalay, OP, who ended his term after serving the post since October 2016.
Father Dela Cruz will lead the Dominican community in the country in the next four years. As prior provincial, he will also serve as chairman of the University of Sto. Tomas’ Board of Trustees.
He joined the Dominican pre-novitiate in 1980 and was vested with the habit of the Order in 1983. He made his simple profession in 1984 and his solemn profession in 1987.
Father Dela Cruz took his philosophy at the Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies and his Theology studies at UST. In 2006, he finished his master’s degree in Theology from the UST.
He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Camilo Gregorio of Bacolod in October 1992.
Among his previous ministries were Master of Students in 1992-1996; Master of Novices in 1996-2000; Promoter of the Dominican Clerical Fraternity in 2012-2014; Provincial Councilor in 2012-2016; and Socius of the Prior Provincial in 2014-2016.
He also served in many ministries in UST from 2001 to 2017 and was superior of the Dominican community of the Rumah Santo Tomas in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 2017 to 2020.
Prior to his election, he was assigned brother to the House of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs in Navotas City.