Caloocan Cathedral

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Caloocan Cathedral
San Roque Cathedral-Parish
Catedral-Parroquia de San Roque
CaloocanCathedraljf0686 09.JPG
Caloocan Cathedral is located in Metro Manila
Caloocan Cathedral
Caloocan Cathedral
14°39′1″N 120°58′22″E / 14.65028°N 120.97278°E / 14.65028; 120.97278Coordinates: 14°39′1″N 120°58′22″E / 14.65028°N 120.97278°E / 14.65028; 120.97278
LocationA. Mabini Street corner 10th Avenue , Poblacion, Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Former name(s)San Roque Cathedral Parish
Founded8 April 1815
Founder(s)Manila Archbishop Juan Antonio Zulaibar y Aldape, O.P.
DedicationSan Roque, also known as Saint Roch
(secondary patroness = Nuestra Señora de la Soterraña de Nieva)
DedicatedDecember 12, 2015
Relics held3 "Ex Ossibus" Relic of San Roque (bone relic deposited to the altar table given by Pope Francis as a gift for the 200 years of the Parish, a bone relic medal worn by the image of San Roque)
ParishSan Roque Cathedral Parish
ArchdioceseArchdiocese of Manila
DioceseDiocese of Kalookan
ArchbishopLuis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D.
Bishop(s)Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., STh.D
RectorJeronimo Maria J. Cruz, V.G.
Priest(s)Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., STh.D
Pastor(s)Msgr. Jeronimo Ma. J. Cruz (Rector)
The main altar of San Roque Cathedral

Caloocan Cathedral, known canonically as San Roque Cathedral-Parish, is the cathedral or seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan, located near the intersection of 10th Avenue and A. Mabini Street in Poblacion, Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines. The church is located some meters away from the poblacion or central vicinity of the city. Its present parish priest is Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., the Roman Catholic Bishop of Caloocan, and its rector is Jeronimo Maria J. Cruz, V.G.

The cathedral is dedicated Saint Roch, known as San Roque in the Philippines.


The parish started as a small visita (chapel-of-ease) initiated by Manuel Vaquero, assistant priest of Tondo, Manila, who with the cooperation of the people also built a place of worship in one of the districts of Caloocan called Libis Aromahan (Sitio de Espinas) in 1765. The priest gave this community two statues: San Roque and the Nuestra Señora de la Soterraña de Nieva (Virgin of Nieva in Segovia, Spain). The church was erected a parish on April 8, 1815, by the Archbishop of Manila Juan Antonio de Zulaibar, O.P. with Fray Manuel de San Miguel, OAR as the first parish priest. Its formal erection as an independent parish also marked the transfer of the church to its present site. This site was called Paltok, an elevated district in the town of Caloocan. Construction began on a bigger church in 1819 under Fray Vicente de San Francisco Xavier, OAR and was finished in 1847 under Fray Cipriano Garcia, OAR.

In 1889 San Roque ceased as a parish as it did not meet requirements posted by the archbishop. The church could not raise the proper tributos y numero de las almas (tributes and alms) prescribed by the archbishop. Jose Aranguren, OAR, revived San Roque into a parish upon his appointment as archbishop in 1892.

Caloocan Church shortly after the attack by American forces on February 10, 1899.

During the Philippine revolution against the Spaniards and later, against the Americans, San Roque Church played a part as the meeting place of the Katipuneros coming from the west coast of Manila going to Balintawak. On February 10, 1899, the church was partly destroyed by US forces during the Philippine-American War when Philippine revolutionary General Antonio Luna sought refuge at the church. After its capture, the Americans used the whole area as a field hospital. In 1900, American General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. invaded Caloocan and the church of San Roque was made caballeriza by the regiment of Col. Frederick Funston.

After the war, the church was re-constructed in 1914 by the Confradia de Sagrado Corazon de Jesus under the administration of parish priest Victor Raymundo.

Fr. Eusebio Carreon (1934) put black and white tiles along the aisles. Fr. Pedro Abad (1947) renovated the façade and Msgr. Pedro Vicedo (1962) built additional wings on both sides of the church.

The church deteriorated over the years. In 1977 Msgr. Augurio Juta planned a new church but this plan did not materialize due to his abrupt transfer to Santa Ana, Taguig in December 1979. He was succeeded by Msgr. Boanerges "Ben" A. Lechuga, who renovated the church. It was blessed on November 30, 1981 by Manila Cardinal Jaime Sin.

In the Jubilee Year 2000, San Roque Church was declared one of the Jubilee Churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.

Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter “Quoniam Quaelibet” of June 28, 2003, created the new Diocese of Kalookan, consisting of Caloocan City-South, Malabon City and Navotas City, and elevated the church to a cathedral. The Pope appointed Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Bishop of Iba, Zambales, as the first Bishop of the diocese. He took possession of the diocese on August 22, 2003. Msgr. Boanerges "Ben" Lechuga, then parish priest during that time, was the first cathedral rector and the first Vicar-General of the diocese. In 2008, Bishop Iñiguez took over as Parish Priest soon after Lechuga's early retirement, and served until 2013, coterminal to his term as bishop. After, Father Elpidio Erlano Jr. became the acting parish priest and rector of the cathedral for six months, until the diocese's Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Francisco M. De Leon, named Father Gaudioso Sustento as parish priest and rector. In February 2017, Monsignor Jerome Cruz, Vicar-General of the Diocese was installed as the new Rector of the Cathedral.

On December 12, 2015, the faithful of Caloocan witnessed the Solemn Rite of the Dedication of the San Roque Cathedral as the newly renovated altar-sanctuary has been finally completed. The Eucharistic Celebration for the dedication and opening of the Holy Door for the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was officiated by Francisco M. de Leon, D.D., Apostolic Administrator of Kalookan.

On December 11, 2015 a relic from the bone of San Roque was brought out for public veneration in a vigil in preparation for the dedication of the cathedral. The relic was a gift from Pope Francis for the 200 year Anniversary of the Parish was deposited to the altar table during the dedication rite.

Last August 13, 2017, another bone relic of San Roque was given to the Cathedral from the Chapel of the Holy Relics in Cebu.

Parish Priests[edit]

Name Tenure
Msgr. Pedro Abad, HP 1947–1957
Msgr. Pedro Vicedo, PC 1957–1977
Msgr. Augurio Juta, HP 1977–1979
Msgr. Boanerges Lechuga, PC (Msgr. Ben) December 1979 – October 2008
Deogracias Iñiguez, DD ("Bishop Deo") October 2008 – January 2013
Elpidio Erlano Jr. (Fr. Jun) January 2013 – July 2013
Rafael Gaudioso A. Sustento (Fr. Gau) July 2013 – January 2. 2016
Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., Bishop of Kalookan (Bishop Ambo) January 5, 2017 – present

See also[edit]

External links[edit]