Filtered By: Lifestyle

Architect-priest behind liturgical furnishing at Pope Francis mass in Manila dies

The priest-architect who designed the liturgical furnishings and the sacristy for Pope Francis’ Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila in 2015 died on Thursday, according to a post on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

Fr. Alex Bautista of the Diocese of Tarlac succumbed to a neuromuscular ailment at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City at around 2 a.m. He was 51.

Bautista was a “celebrated architect” who designed churches and buildings around the country and abroad.

He also designed the papal chair used by Pope Francis during his Mass at the grandstand on Jan. 17, 2015.

A post on the Manila Cathedral Facebook account, Bautista "designed the beautiful renovation of the Manila Cathedral sacristy."

"He would always say that the sacristy should be clean and dignified because it is the “ante cielo,” the room where you prepare for the heaven that is the Eucharist."

Bautista was serving as parish priest of La Sagradia Familia Parish in Gerona town and chairman of the Tarlac diocese’s Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church at the time of his death.

He also served as architecture consultant to the CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage and consultant of many church projects in several archdioceses and dioceses.

CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church Chairman and Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes posted on social media that Tarlac Bishop Ric Macaraeg informed him of Bautista's death that was due to complications from myasthenia gravis.

"Fr. Alex is a dear friend, priest, architect, church cultural heritage crusader who left a solid body of work all over the country and even in China. He was very generous with his talent of designing beautiful churches and structures anchored in deep faith in God and love of the Church," said Cortes.

Bautista was a licensed architect who first worked in Hong Kong for three years before entering seminary formation in Spain in 1995.

After finishing courses on philosophy and theology at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain in 2001, he was ordained priest in the Tarlac diocese the following year.

Among his various projects include the restoration of the interior of the Tuguegarao cathedral and the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Minor Basilica in Naga city and the “iconic” churches such as the La Sagradia Familia and the Shrine of San Josemaria Ecriva in Tarlac. -- BAP, GMA News