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Philippines

Filipino prelate laid to rest after 50 years of service

Bishop Varela used to head the Philippines' Federation of Catholic Broadcasters

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Updated: March 01, 2018 05:43 AM GMT
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Filipino prelate laid to rest after 50 years of service

Retired Bishop Jesus Varela of Sorsogon. (Photo courtesy of CBCP News)

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Retired Bishop Jesus Varela of Sorsogon was laid to rest in his diocese in the Philippines on Feb. 28. He died in Manila on Feb. 23 at the age of 90.

Hundreds of Catholics bade farewell to the prelate during funeral rites at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon.

Bishops, priests, nuns, and lay people paid homage to the bishop whose coffin, made according to instructions he left, was placed on the ground in front of the altar.

Monsignor Francisco Monje, the late bishop's vicar general, said his former superior left instructions that his coffin be placed on the floor during the service.

"He was that kind of priest and bishop who was always connected to the ground where his people are," said Monsignor Monje.

"He leaves behind a legacy so rich and so beautiful," he said, adding that the late prelate's memory "will remain in the hearts of many of us."

Bishop Varela was ordained to the episcopacy on April 30, 1967. He was Auxiliary Bishop of Zamboanga until Feb. 17, 1971, when he was appointed bishop of Ozamiz Diocese.

He served as bishop of Sorsogon from Nov. 27, 1980, until his retirement on April 13, 2003.

During his active ministry, he was president of the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television in the Philippines, and head of the Federation of Catholic Broadcasters.

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