Priest dies at ordination of youngest Filipino bishop

Father Albert Trazo suffers heart attack as Jose Rapadas of Iligan Diocese joins Philippines' College of Bishops
Priest dies at ordination of youngest Filipino bishop

Bishop Jose Rapadas (seated) is welcomed into the College of Bishops by other prelates during his Episcopal Ordination in the southern Philippine town of Ipil on Aug. 20. (Photo by Richel Umel)

A Catholic priest died while attending the Episcopal Ordination on Aug. 20 of the Philippines' youngest bishop.

Father Albert Trazo of Iligan Diocese suffered a suspected heart attack while attending the ordination of Bishop Jose Rapadas in Ipil town, in Zamboanga Sibugay province. The priest died on the way to hospital.

Father Trazo, 60, served as parish priest of Maigo town in Lanao del Norte province.

Father Teresito Soganub, the priest taken hostage by Islamic State inspired terrorists during the Marawi siege in 2017, told ucanews.com that Father Trazo seemed ill before the ordination began.

"I just heard that they were looking for a rescue and an ambulance and I learned that Father Trazo was brought to the hospital," Father Soganub said in a phone interview.

"The next information we got, he was dead," he said.

Meanwhile, Bishop Rapadas, 46, will be installed as the prelate of Iligan on Sept. 5.

More than 250 priests and bishops attended the prelate's ordination, the first to have been held in Ipil after it was declared a diocese in 2010.

Speaking after the ceremony, the new bishop asked for prayers because he said he knows he will face challenges.

"Please pray for me that I may have the courage and strength, that I may be a joyful and humble servant to the people of Iligan," he said.

Pope Francis named Bishop Rapadas as head of Iligan Diocese, which has a Catholic population of about 1.5 million, on June 13.

Bishop Rapadas, who was born in Manila's Tondo district in 1972, was ordained a priest in 1999 after finishing his studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City.

He holds a licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Loyola School of Theology at Ateneo de Manila University.

As a priest, he served as a seminary professor and rector, director of catechesis, parish vicar and coordinator of the diocesan social pastoral ministry.

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