10/25/2011, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Mindanao, 15 thousand in Kidapawan bid final farewell to Fr Fausto Tentorio

The funeral was held this morning in the cathedral of Notre Dame Kidapawan. More than 100 priests, bishops and 6 delegations from across the region. Fr. Mariani, PIME: "The funeral was a triumph and a sign of hope for all the people of Mindanao." In a message, the Pope recalled the witness of the priest and prays for the construction of a just and peaceful society.
Kidapawan (AsiaNews) - More than 15 thousand people, more than 6 bishops and 100 priests paid their last respects this morning in the cathedral of Notre Dame Kidapawan to Fr Fausto Tentorio, the missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, who was killed last October 17 in Arakan (North Cotabato, Mindanao). His funeral was celebrated by Msgr. Romulo de la Cruz, bishop of Kidapawan. Also present at his funeral Fr. Gian Battista Zanchi, PIME Superior General, and the Italian ambassador in Manila Luca Fornari. During the Mass a message from Benedict XVI was read, who emphasized the "witness of the priest among the least, asking for the "renunciation of violence and the building of a just and peaceful society where all live together in harmony." This evening, in the church of A. Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs) in Rome, a Mass will be celebrated in memory of murdered missionary.

Fr. Mariani, PIME missionary in Zamboanga said: "Young and old travelled miles on foot at night to attend the wake and funeral. No less than 30 coaches have come from the province of Davao. The 4 km connecting the cathedral to the cemetery was full of people who quietly and with tears in their eyes, prayed for the soul of the missionary. The tribal attended the funeral with their traditional costumes. "

"Despite the pain and drama of the moment - says the priest - the funeral of Fr Tentorio was a triumph and a sign of hope for all the people of Mindanao. " The missionary emphasizes the warmth and solidarity of the population, drawn from throughout the region, which "encourages all to continue their missionary work among the poor and the marginalized, doing the will of God."

In his homily, Msgr. de la Cruz said that Fr. Tentorio was not an "environmentalist priest " or "defender of human rights", like many newspapers have described him, but simply a good and faithful priest, who loved his people, and tried to serve them to the best of his abilities, even in the face of danger". (SC)

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