Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila told the new rector of the Manila Cathedral, Msgr. Rolando dela Cruz, to listen to the voice of the faithful “for they will also help you see the Lord in your ministry, in your priesthood, and in your life.”
The Manila prelate formally installed Msgr. Dela Cruz as the new rector of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Manila Cathedral, in a Eucharistic celebration on April 14.
“Your mission here is not just to maintain this building or promote this cathedral as a center of tourism and culture,” said the cardinal.
“Your mission is to help our people recognize how the Lord works and is very much present in their lives,” he told the new rector.
The archbishop of Manila also called on the faithful to support and pray for their new rector. “With him, may you become a community that bears abundant fruits because you are faithfully working with and for the Lord,” he said.
In his message, Msgr. Dela Cruz expressed his gratitude and humility for the opportunity to serve as the rector of the Manila Cathedral.
“I am humbled by this appointment,” he said, admitting that he was “hesitant to face the challenges.”
“But I am hopeful that the Lord will give fruits to our labor as long as we do as He tells us,” he said. “Let us do what the Lord tells us,” said Msgr. Dela Cruz.
“The Manila Cathedral will continue to be a solemn place of worship where you can come to celebrate our Faith, where you can be nourished by the Word and the Eucharist,” he told the faithful who attended his installation.
“This sacred space will still provide you with a quiet place where you will find solace and rest, consolation and grace,” he added.
In his homily, Cardinal Advincula stressed the importance of the role of Msgr. Dela Cruz as the new rector of the cathedral.
“You are assigned as Rector of the Manila 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 here,” he said.
Msgr. Dela Cruz, 64, was ordained priest by then Manila archbishop Cardinal Jaime L. Sin on Oct. 5, 1985.
In October 2022, Cardinal Advincula appointed him as the new rector of the cathedral to replace Father Reginald Malicdem who served as rector of the cathedral from July 2015 to October 2022.
Before his appointment as the new rector of the cathedral, Msgr. Dela Cruz served as parish priest of the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila, for 12 years. (With report from Jheng Prado of the Archdiocese of Manila)