PIME Missionaries in the Philippines remember Father Fausto Tentorio
The confrère was humble, prudent but courageous in his apostolate among the poor and the marginalized. Appeal of Msgr. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, that the perpetrators are brought to justice. The missionary’s funeral will be held October 25 in the Cathedral of Kidapawan.
Zamboanga (AsiaNews) - Investigation continue into the murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, the missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), murdered on 17 October by an unknown assailant in Arakan (North Cotabato, Mindanao). His funeral will be held Oct. 25 at the Cathedral of Kidapawan, presided by Msgr. Romulo Tolentino Cruz. His brother Felice, with his wife and two children, two friends and Fr. Gian Battista Zanchi, the Superior General of PIME will attend the solemn rite. On 28 October in the Cathedral of Zamboanga, a mass in memory of Fr. Tentorio will be held. It will be celebrated by Msgr. Romulo Valles Archbishop of Zamboanga and former bishop of Kidapawan.
Below, we publish the official press release issued today by the community of PIME missionaries in the Philippines:
“You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6: 8)
This is the Biblical passage we read in the Last Will and Testament of Father Fausto Tentorio, our Confrere in PIME and mission. These words in a nutshell contain all the life and mission of our brother priest. In truth, he walked humbly with his God, doing justice and loving goodness on behalf of the poorest among the poor and marginalized as Filipino Indigenous People and farmers have been and still are in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato.
For over thirty years Father Fausto was a father to them (they affectionately called him Tatay Pops!), a brother, a mentor and a friend, selflessly identifying himself with them in their life and culture. He was truly one of and with them!
The PIME community in the Philippines praises and thanks God for His gift of martyrdom. God has called him to make the ultimate sacrifice in God’s service and in the service of God’s people.
We know that Father Tentorio was a gentle man, evangelically simple and prudent, but fiercely courageous and consistent in his apostolate and in his advocacy for the marginalized people, especially the Indigenous People, and for the integrity of creation.
We, the PIME Missionaries in the Philippines, with hearts heavy with sadness and pain, condemn in the strongest way possible the killing of Father Fausto and cry out for justice for him.
Father Fausto’ s merciless murder has renewed in all of us the pain and the loss of our two brother martyrs: Father Tullio Favali, killed in Tulunan in April 1985, and Father Salvatore Carzedda, killed in Zamboanga City in May 1992.
At this point in history, we, the PIME community in the Philippines, renew our commitment to witness the Gospel in spite of risks of all kinds. We have made a promise to serve the Church and the people in the Philippines as we have done since 1968, counting on the presence of the Lord Jesus: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28: 20), and so we will not leave at this moment, but remain and continue to serve. Evil will not triumph with the death of Father Fausto!
Lastly, we make our own the words of Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, former Bishop of Kidapawan.
“Father Fausto’ s death is pure murder. I totally condemn it as a crime that cries out to heaven. If the perpetrators think that his murder would silence priests, religious sisters and brothers, and bishops from proclaiming the justice of God’s kingdom, they are wrong. The blood of martyrs like Fr. Fausto fans the daring and courage of those who care about peace and justice enough to sacrifice themselves while travelling the road of active non-violence. I strongly appeal to the authorities to search for the perpetrators and bring to justice”. (Excerpts from Martyr for Justice and Peace by Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI).
We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to all the people of good will who condoled with us and sustained us with their solidarity. Your prayers and your being one with us in seeking justice for our murdered confrere is of great comfort and source for renewed commitment.
May the God of peace and love bring lasting peace and justice in Mindanao!