Parishes mourn death of oldest priest
Fr. Ivo Velasquez with Msgr. Adan Apostol (seated) (Photo: Fr. Ivo Velasquez)
TACLOBAN City – Palo Diocese’s oldest priest passed away on Feb. 24 at the age of 92, leaving wonderful memories among clerics here.
Parishes, mourning his death, included his eternal rest in Mass intentions such as at the Sto. Niño Parish in this city.
Msgr. Adan Apostol, who hailed from the distant southern Leyte town of Burauen, died of deteriorating health due to old age.
Confession in Spanish
In spite of old age, the priest remained one of the awaited guests in some church activities even in Masses.
Fr. Mark Ivo Acebedo Velasquez, Dean of Studies of Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, reminisced about his days with one of the pioneers of the seminary, whom he described as “holy and approachable”.
“He was my confessor, and he always insisted that I listen to his confession (always done in flawless Castilian Spanish) and give him absolution afterwards. He was a holy priest,” he shared in a recent social media post.
“He was one of the priests whom I looked up to since the beginning of my priesthood,” he recalled.
In his account, Velasquez said he used to go to Apostol’s house in [Brgy.] Manlurip [San Jose, Tacloban City] to confess.
World War II seminarian
”After I confessed, he would ask me to hear his confession, which he always did in Spanish,” Velasquez added.
He said Apostol would remark on the age gap between them, about 50 years, and then he would tell the younger priest about the life of seminarians way back in World War II years.
Apostol served as parish priest of Holy Cross Parish in Carigara, Leyte from 1989 to 1990.
Velasquez said two other more senior priests in the diocese, Fr. Andres Villarente and former provincial board member Fr. Ben Aniceto, have been ill the past few days.
Aniceto, he said, has been in the ICU for two weeks now.
Apostol, Villarente, and Aniceto were all at one point time cared for at the archdiocesan institution Patmos located in between the Chancery and the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) also in Palo.
Although not yet final, the plan is to inter Apostol’s remains at SHS on March 6, said Deacon Angelo Nikko Brosas