Faithful mourn priest’s sudden death

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Fellow priests from the Diocese of Novaliches carry the remains of Fr. Jose Eliseo Buenviaje, 42, who passed away on Dec. 13. (Photo: Julius Panday)

MANILA, Dec. 21, 2016 – A text message notifying the public about the death of Fr. Jose Eliseo Buenviaje, 42, of the Diocese of Novaliches, on Dec. 13, 2016 at around 4:00 p.m., sent ripples of shock and grief among the faithful.

The priest, who suffered cardiac arrest immediately after a visit to the bank, was rushed by his driver to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Medical Center just beside the Chancery Office. Although he was declared dead on arrival (DOA), efforts were still made to revive him.

“So at his bedside, no words, only prayer,” shared Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, DD, who immediately rushed to the emergency room upon hearing the news from the priest’s driver.

“It was a great privilege, as his bishop, to anoint him,” he said. “But it was the hardest for me,” added the prelate.

Efforts were made twice to revive Buenviaje after ER personnel resuscitated him nine times but to no avail. It was later discovered that the priest was scheduled for an angiogram on the week of Dec. 20. He had an angioplasty in mid-2014.

Buenviaje was ordained a priest on Sept. 23, 2011, the liturgical feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and was immediately appointed vice-rector and parochial vicar of St. Peter Parish: Shrine of Leaders.

He was later on appointed the first parish priest of Parroquia de la Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje on March 17, 2013, when it was declared a parish.

The deceased priest was appointed diocesan vocations director in 2011, a position he held until June 30, 2014.

Prior to his death, he was helping the Social Action Commission, also known as Caritas Novaliches, in its Disaster Relief and Recovery Management Ministry. He also celebrated Mass regularly at the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Healing Center in Libis, Quezon City. Buenviaje is survived by his mother, Florinda, and his siblings. (Minnie Agdeppa / CBCPNews)

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