Manila (AsiaNews) - Father Steven Baumbusch, 53, rector of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) seminary in Tagaytay, died yesterday, in the Philippines.
He had left for a short holiday with the seminarians and had gone to visit Fr. Bossi and Fr. Carrara the island of Lubang. Yesterday afternoon he went for a swim: beautiful weather and a calm sea. An expert swimmer, along with a couple of seminarians they swam away from the shore where they encountered a strong current. The seminarians were able to return with some difficulty to calmer waters. But then they realized that Fr. Steven was not with them. This morning a fisherman found his lifeless body.
Father Steven was born December 23, 1956 in Columbus, Ohio (USA). In 1970 he entered the PIME seminary in Newark. He later said the years were essential for him and that he was deeply inspired by the example of Father Cesare Colombo and his work among the lepers in Burma (now Myanmar).
On 25 June 1983 he was ordained a priest in his hometown. For six years he taught at the seminary in Newark. He was then appointed superior of the Region of the United States, also dealing with the formation of seminarians.
He co-founded the mission of PIME in Cuanacaxtitlan, Mexico, where the Mixtec people live.
In 1998 he was assigned to the region of the Philippines, initially Columbio mission on the island of Mindanao, then Paranaque (Manila metropolitan area) in the parish of Mary Queen of the Apostles.
In May 2009 he was appointed rector in Tagaytay, south of Manila.
He loved to say that "your life will have more meaning and fulfillment the more you give yourself to others. You can change the world and the lives of the people of God. "