Monday, August 2, 2010

R.I.P., Uncle Benny

Msgr. Gabino Lerin Y Macapala (1946-2010)
by Msgr. Boy Nunag


Six decades and four years ago, on February 19, 1946 was born to Teodoro and Jesusa Macapala of Mocpoc Sur, Sandingan Island, Loon, Bohol, a child, Gabino, fondly called Benny, fifth of eight siblings, with Paterno, Demetrio, Donato and Mariano his elder brothers, Then Tito, Gloria, and Lourdes, his younger brother and sisters.

Benny, graduating as valedictorian from Mocpoc Elementary School, proceeded for secondary studies at the Sacred Heart Academy, Loon, Bohol. Then pursuing a dream nurtured by a traditionally religious home and community he enrolled at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary for Philosophy, graduating on April 8, 1971, after which he was promoted for Theology to the Seminario Maior de San Carlos, Cebu City, where he graduated in 1975, the year he was ordained priest by Bishop Manuel MascariƱas on March 15, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Tagbilaran City.

In succession he was assigned parochial vicar at the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Calape, then at the St. Joseph Cathedral, Tagbilaran City. As parish priest he served the Sto. NiƱo Parish, Bienunido; Immaculate Conception Parish, Baclayon; Holy Cross Parish, Tubigon; Our Lady of Light Parish, Loon; Our Lady of the Village Parish, and Sta. Cruz Parish, Dao, Tagbilaran City.

Bearing a patented uncomplaining heart, the vow of obedience was a simple matter-of-fact for the low key, non-threatening shepherd, quick to understand and ready to broker peace. An undefatigable parish priest, he took upon himself, aside from the regular routine, the task of blessing all houses in all his parishes, thereby meeting all households in his jurisdiction while affording himself first-hand experience of their actual material and spiritual situation.

Recognizing his pastoral achievements in the vineyard of the Lord, he was among those conferred by Pope John Paul II the title, Honorary Prelate, in the year 2000.

Typically uncomplaining, he, with a hoarse voice, celebrated his last Mass on July 11, 2010 in Dao Church. Admitted at Chong Hua Hospital, he finally a succumed to lung cancer at 5:00 A.M. on July 21, 2010.

After wakes at the Lerin ancestral house in Mocpoc, then Dao Parish and the Bishop's chapel, Msgr. Benny was honored with a special requiem Mass for a priest presided by Bishop Leonardo Medroso with the Paring Bol-anon in concelebration at the Cathedral of St. Joseph on July 29, 2010. His mortal remains now rests at the Necropolis, IHM Seminary compound, Taloto, Tagbilaran City.

Malipayong pagsaka sa Himaya, Msgr. Benny!

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