Funeral Mass for Msgr. MARIO BALTAZAR, OP

Mario Baltazar

Funeral rites were offered in worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life, which has now been returned to God, the author of life, and the hope of the just.

At the beginning of the Funeral Liturgy for Msgr. Mario Baltazar, OP, Christian symbols were appropriately used: the Funeral Pall, a sacred white covering placed over the casket that recalls the white garment of the deceased’s baptism; a Crucifix; the Book of the Gospel; and the Miter that symbolizes Monsi’s dignity as a prelate.

Most Rev. Camilo Gregorio, DD, Bishop-Prelate of Batanes, a member of the Dominican Clerical Fraternity and the successor of Msgr. Baltazar in the Prelature, presided over the Eucharistic celebration. He has been present at the wake of Msgr. Baltazar every day. Most Rev. Diosdado Talamayan, DD, Archbishop-emeritus of Tuguegarao, another Thomasian, was also present during the funeral mass together with a number of Dominican and Diocesan priests, religious communities, family, relatives and friends of Msgr. Baltazar.

Br. Honorato C. Castigador, OP, delivered a very personal homily, mentioning Msgr. Baltazar’s obedience, which sprung from his generosity that brought him to live a joyful life. Indeed, Msgr. Baltazar has been a gift to the Church. Br. Castigador concluded his sermon with this words: “So, Monsignor, perhaps, it is not a necessary request, but just the same let me express it. Why?... because you always do that anyway. So, continue praying for us as you always do.”

Msgr. Baltazar was a writer, a formator, a scholar, a preacher and a prelate. He succumbed to cardiac arrest at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital on July 9, 2012, Feast of St. John of Cologne, two months short of his 86th birthday. He was laid to rest at the Dominican cemetery of the Santuario del Santo Cristo in San Juan City, Metro Manila.