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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

Priest-architect behind iconic PH churches dies at 50

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

The Catholic Bishops Conferences of the Philippines (CBCP) announced the passing of renowned priest-architect Alex Bautista on July 9.

Father Bautista is best remembered for designing the altar and other liturgical furnishings for Pope Francis' Mass in Luneta, Manila during his visit to the Philippines in 2015.

CBCP News said Father Bautista was serving as the parish priest of the iconic La Sagradia Familia Parish Church in Gerona, Tarlac when he passed away.

A licensed architect, Father Bautista worked in Hong Kong for three years before entering a seminary in Spain in 1995, CBCP News reported.

In 2001, he finished philosophy and theology at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. The following year, he was ordained priest and was assigned to the Tarlac diocese.

He was chairman of the Tarlac diocese’s Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. At the same time, he was architecture consultant to the Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage of the CBCP.

Father Bautista likewise became a consultant in the projects of many churches.

Among the iconic churches he designed are the La Sagradia Familia where he was the parish priest, as well as the Shrine of San Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. Both are located in Gerona, Tarlac.

Father Bautista also designed the sacristy of the Manila Cathedral.

In its post on Facebook, the Manila Cathedral said Father Bautista "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."

Meanwhile, the provincial tourism office of Tarlac said Father Bautista was instrumental in creating a literature for the old churches in the province, CBCP News noted.

CBCP News reported that Father Bautista had an underlying neuromuscular ailment and died at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City at around 2:00 a.m. on July 9 at age 50.

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