13 June 2009

A poignant 25th anniversary

Today, the feast of St Anthony of Padua, is the 25th anniversary of the death of Reverend Wennie Ubas, a deacon of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz, from Naga, Cebu. Tomorrow he should have been celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood.

Deacon Wennie and two others were travelling on a motorcycle in his home town. As they turned left they were hit by a truck and two of them killed. It seems that the accident was not the fault of the truck-driver.

Many people arrived in Naga the following morning for the ordination, not knowing about the accident. The welcome streamers were still in place.

By a strange coincidence, around the time of the accident I was entertaining a couple on their way to the ordination, Mr and Mrs Maldo, whose son, Father James, a priest of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz, had died suddenly on Wednesday of Holy Week that year, 1984, less than a year after ordination.

Both of these young men had spent a year under my care during their preparation for the priesthood. May they rest in peace.

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