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Fr. Dionisio Marcelo Miranda, SVD

Father Dionisio Marcelo Miranda, SVD was installed as the 10th President of the University of San Carlos on July 5, 2008.  Born in Baguio City on April 8, 1947 to Fernando Miranda Sr. and Ester Marcelo, he is the fifth of nine children.  He was ordained a priest on June 22, 1973 and brings to the USC Presidency a wealth of experience as scholar, an educator, and a pastor.

Fr. Miranda obtained in 1984 his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (or Sacrae Theologiae Doctor, abbreviated as STD) as well as his Licentiate (1978) from theAccademia Alfonsiano in Rome.  Majoring in Moral Theology with a minor in Pastorals, he completed both his Licentiate and Doctorate degrees earning highest honors (summa cum laude).  In the process of obtaining his doctorate, he pursued several language studies in Italy, Germany and Belgium.  Fr. Miranda also completed a Master of Arts major in Philosophy (magna cum laude) from the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay in 1969.  He has earned units in Education and Guidance and Counseling from the University of San Carlos and De La Salle University and has also completed a training course in Bioethics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Fr. Miranda has authored six books, the latest of which is “Kaloob ni Kristo (A Filipino Christian Account of Conscience)” published in 2003.  The following year, he won the Gintong Aklat Award of the National Book Development Association of the Philippines for this book.  He has also written numerous journal articles notably in DIWA and the East Asian Pastoral Review, covering subject matters including morality, bioethics, and inculturation.  He served as the editor of the Handbook for Superiors, published by the Society of the Divine Word in 2002.

His teaching career began in the halls of the University of San Carlos Boys’ High School, where he served as an instructor in 1969-70.  He taught for a quarter as Scholar in Residence at Catholic Theological Union of the University of Chicago in 1991.  Missionary work allowed him to help form and shape the minds of students in various seminaries, pastoral centers and schools of theology in Vigan, Paraguay, Samoa, Tagaytay and Metro Manila.  The fact that two-thirds of USC’s new cabinet namely Fr. Felino B. Javines Jr. (VP Academic Affairs) and Fr. Cyrus T. Mercado (VP Finance) were former students of Fr. Miranda is testament to the influence of his teaching.  In 2007, while he held the position of Presidential Assistant for Planning and Development at USC, he continued teaching as Visiting Professor of the East Asian Pastoral Institute.

Generally shying away from administrative positions, he has nonetheless served in various capacities, including Prefect of Students in USC (1969-70), Rector of Divine Word Seminary (1996-99), and member of the Board of Trustees of Divine Word College Legazpi, DWC Calapan, DWC San Jose (1988-92), and Holy Name University in Tagbilaran (2003-06).  In the SVD community, he also served as Vice Provincial and Planning Officer (1999-2005), and acting Provincial (2004-05) of the Philippine Central Province.

Fr. Miranda admits that the happiest years of his life were lived at the grassroots level, working in a parish and building a school from scratch, spending only for nails and a toilet.  He is referring to the couple of years when he served as a parish priest in Hernandarias, a town of Alto Parana, Paraguay, close to the famous dam of Itaipu at the border with Brazil.

While this may be a distant memory from his present surrounds, Fr. Miranda’s pastoral work continues today in various guises as member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Office of Bioethics, as chair of the Ethics Committee of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of USC.

He accepted the USC Presidency to try to help the University and reaffirm the contribution of educators.  “I will keep asking questions,” he said during the Year-End Evaluation and Planning Conference of USC administrators.  He impressed on the administrators the need to know the historical and present context of their units and assess the way forward, intending to develop in the leadership of the University a synoptic view of the core processes of teaching-learning, research, community service and being a Witness to the Word.

Educational Attainment

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
    Divine Word Seminary
  • MA in Philosophy
    Divine Word Seminary
  • STL in Moral Theology
    Accademia Alfonsiana
  • STD in Moral Theology
    Accademia Alfonsiana

Teaching Experience (1984-2007))

  • Professor, Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay (1984 – 2000, 2003-04, 2006), 
  • Immaculate Conception Seminary, Vigan (1974 - 76)
  • Visiting Faculty, Don Bosco Center of Studies, Paranaque (2003-2004)
  • East Asian Pastoral Institute, Quezon City (1991, 1996, 1998, 2002 - 07)
  • Loyola School of Theology, Quezon City (1995-96; 2001-03); 
  • Maryhill School of Theology, Quezon City (1994-95, 2001-03, 2005-2007); 
  • University of Santo Tomas, Manila (1999-2005); 
  • University of San Carlos, Cebu (1969-70, 1986, 1989);
Teaching at Foreign institutions:
  • Seminario San Rafael, Paraguay (1979-80); 
  • Fetuolemoana Center, Samoa (1992); 
  • Fatuoaiga Pastoral Center, Samoa (1998)
  • Scholar-in-Residence, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago USA (1991)

Non-teaching Experience

  • Provincial Superior, Philippine Central Province (2004-2005)
  • Vice-Provincial, Philippine Central Office (1999-2002)
  • Provincial Councilor, Central Province (1987-1996)
  • Director, Planning Office of Philippine Central Province (1999-2002)
  • Director, Missiological Education and Research Office, CTM (1999-2002)
  • Rector, Divine Word Seminary (1996-1999)
  • Prefect of Deacons, Divine Word Seminary (1985-1991)
  • Director, Second Novitiate, Divine Word Seminary (1992-1996)
  • SVD General Chapter Participation (1981, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2006)
  • Assistant Coordinator, Mindoro Catechetical Institute (1971)
  • Prefect of Students, USC (1969-70); SSR (1980)
  • First President, Bioethics Society of the Philippines (2000-2002)
  • Member, CBCP Office on Bioethics (20002-2006)

Published Books

  • A Problematic Relationship: A Study of the Theological-Ethical Theme in the Writings of James M. Gustafson. Tagaytay Studies 4, Divine Word Seminary, 1986
  • PAGKAMAKATAO: Reflections on the Theological Virtues in the Philippine Context. Divine Word Publications, Manila 1987
  • LOOB: The Filipino Within - A Preliminary Investigation into a Pre-theological Moral Anthropology. Divine Word Publications, Manila 1989
  • BUTING PINOY: Probe Essays on Value as Filipino. Logos Publications, Manila 1992
  • PAGKAMAKABUHAY: On the side of life - Prolegomena for Bioethics from a Filipino-Christian Perspective. Logos Publications, Manila 1994
  • KALOOB NI Kristo: A Filipino Christian Account of Conscience. Logos Publications, Manila 2003 (Gintong Aklat Award 2004, Religious books category, of the national Book Development Association of the Philippines)

Published Articles (selected)

  • "On Judging the 1986 Philippine Presidential Elections" 59-65 in DIWAXI, 1 (May) 1986.
  • "Sa Harap ng Mahiwagang Loob" 38-67 in FESTSCHRIFT: 25 Years Proclaiming the Word to the World. Divine Word Seminary 1989 (also DIWA for May / November 1989)
  • "The Papal Encyclicals on Labor." 4-23 in DIWA XVI, 1 (May) 1991.
  • "A Daniw Theology of Revelation?"  Theological Comment, pp. 113-130 in Leonardo Mercado (ed.) Filipino Religious Experience and Non-Biblical Revelation.  Asia-Pacific Missiological Series, No. 3.  Manila: Divine Word Publications 1992
  • "Inculturation and Moral Theology" 23-44 in The UST Journal of Theology XI (June) 1992
  • "Fragments of a Method for Inculturation." 168-197 in East Asian Pastoral Review. Vol. 30 (1993) no. 2
  • "Outlines of a Method of Inculturation" 145-167 in East Asian Pastoral Review. Vol. 30 (1993) no. 2
  • "Inculturation and Moral Theology." 289-309 in Philippiniana SacraXXVIII, 83 (1993)
  • "Social Justice, Health Care and the Poor", 17-29 in DIWA XIX, 1 (May) 1994.
  • "A Digest" (John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor), 51-57 in DIWA XIX, 1 (May) 1994.
  • "Ang Hirap sa Pinoy", in Teresita Obusan (ed) Roots of Filipino Spirituality.  QC: Pamathalaan.  1998
  • “Human Experimentation and Research, A Subject’s Viewpoint.” 19-25 in Gomez, Fausto et al (eds.) Bioethics, The Journey Continues.  Manila: UST (Department of Bioethics) 1997.
  • “Ethics”, p. 131-137 in Dictionary of Mission (Theology, History, Perspectives) eds. Mueller, Theo Sundermeier, Bevans and Bliese.  NY: Orbis 1997
  • “Hindi Maatim: Conscientious Objection in Health Care.” 33-52 in Gomes, Fausto et al (eds) Conscience, Cooperation, Compassion.Manila:UST Dept. of Bioethics. 1998.
  • “Jesus and the Culture of the Holy.” 90-98 in DIWA XXIII, 2 Nov. 1998.
  • “Towards an Ethics of Genetically Modified Organisms”, 108-126 inDIWA XXIV, 2, November 1999.  Also pp. 131-155 in Gomez, F and Yu-Soliven, A (eds.) Justice, Patients’ Rights, Psychoethics.  Forum In Bioethics 8. Manila: UST (Department of Bioethics) 2001
  • “End of Life Issues, Reactions from an Ethicist” pp. 42-46 in Gomez, F. and Yu-Soliven, A. (eds.) Impact of High Technology on Health Care (Forum in Bioethics 6) Manila: UST (Department of Bioethics) 1999.
  • “The Morality of Gambling.” 21-33 in DIWA XXV, 1 May 2000.
  • “A Eugenic Theology for HGP?” 18-59 in DIWA XXVI, 1 (May) 2001.  Also published in Emerging Theological Themes 2 (ed.) Fausto Gomez and Benedict Reyes. Manila: UST Faculty of Sacred Theology. 2002, pp. 175-224
  • “Ethical Issues Regarding Individuals with Transmissible Genetic Disease” in Gene Talk, eds. Marita Reyes, Lilian Lee and Adoracion Tanega. QC: Flora M. Pascasio Research Foundation, Inc. 2001.
  • “The Genethics of HGP: An Overview” in DIWA XXVI, 2 (November) 2001.  Also published in UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and Department of Bioethics.
  • “Orienting Missionaries Departing, Arriving and Returning.”  Pp. 29-39 in Verbum SVD 43:1 (2002)
  • “Filipino Catholics and Christian Moral Life,” in Docete, July-August 2002. Also pp. 2-12  in Diwa XXVIII,1 (May 2003).
  • “Embodiment, Sexuality, Theology and Morality,” in East Asian Pastoral Review 41/3 (2004), also in DIWA XXIX, 1 (May 2004).
  • Review of Osamu Takeuchi, Conscience and Personality (A New Understanding of Conscience and its Inculturation in Japanese Moral Theology), Chiba: Kyoyusha 2003, pp. 296-302 in East Asian Pastoral Review 42:3 (2005)
  • “What Will You Have Me Do For You?” (The Theological Ethics Agenda from an Asian Perspective). Pp. 176-184 in James Keenan (ed)Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. The Plenary Papers from the First Cross-Cultural Conference of Catholic Theological Ethics. New York: Continuum 2007
  • Review of Beatrice Bruteau. The Holy Thursday Revolution. NY: Orbis. 2005 in East Asian Pastoral Review.


  • (Editor) Handbook for Superiors SVD, Rome: Society of the Divine Word; 2002
  • “Utalmoral” (Rudimentary Moral Discourse), Paper read at the Pamanang-Bayan Symposium, University of the Philippines (Manila) 2003
  • “Moral Theology in Context: A Case of Conscience,” Paper read at the “Consultation on Contextualization: Resources and Perspectives,” Sponsored by the Center for Contextualized Theology and Applied Ethics, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Dec. 2-6, 2003
  • “Filipino Analogues for Evil,” 67pp.  Paper read at the Annual Convention of the Philosophical Association of the Philippines, 12 April 2007, Nasugbu, Batangas.
  • Rogate Ergo Asia, June 2007. Interview with Fr. Miranda on religious leadership.
  • “Ethics in Research, Revisiting the Questions,” paper read at the International Conference on Research in Higher Educational Institutions.” Cebu, October 24-27, 2007
  • (In preparation)  Dennis Gonzalez, Dionisio Miranda SVD, Agnes Brazal, Carlos Ronquillo CSsR (eds).  Mga Kataga sa Teyolohiya ng Pagpapakatao.  Quezon: Dalubhasaang Teolohiko ng Maryhill.


  • Gorospe, Vitaliano.  Review of Pagkamakatao in Philippine Studies 37:1 (1989), 121-122
  • Tesoro, Dindo Rei and Jose, Joselito Alviar. The Rise of Filipino Theology. Pasay: Paulines, 2004
  • Walet, Monica, “The Development of a Psycho-Moral and Self-Regulation Scale for Filipinos in the Workplace.” Pp. 357-380 in Ad Veritatem (Multidisciplinary Research Journal of the UST Graduate School) 4:2 (March 2005)
  • Internet citations under the author’s name.
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