Italian missionary Fr. Pops wanted tree he planted for his coffin

Fr. Fausto Tentorio was gunned to death last Monday, October 17, 2011. Fr. Pops as he was fondly called, worked with an indigenous community in Southern Mindanao, organizing and empowering them. News are roaming around that his anti-mining advocacy did cost his death. 

DesertFishing pays homage to this man of faith and work. For 30 years, he never retracted from his vision of being with and empowering the disenfranchised. 

Fr. Pops – may the seeds of faith you planted in our midst grow into trees of righteousness and a more just system. May your martyr’s blood fire up our hunger for justice and truth. May your physical body, now cached in the very mahogany tree you planted in your churchyard, be transfigured into a sacred space, a covenant between heaven and earth, the unity of body and soul, faith and just systems, consecrated gift of the Holy for our own climb to the mountain of more humane communities, desert food for the weary, a mountain respite for those gasping for the air of courage and focus.

May your body and spirit, to be finally laid in the very slope of Mt. Sinaka, become a cloud of desert marker, a mountain cornerstone, a narrow pathway on the way to our own mountain of hope.   

Thank you Fr. Pops for the very Eucharist you had lived and will continue to live…


Photo credit: PDI

ARAKAN, North Cotabato—At the back of the convent where Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed, a mahogany tree, at least 6 meters (20 feet) long, lies on the ground, the lower portion of its trunk cut in half.

Percinita Sanchez, executive director of Mindanao Interfaith Services Inc., still remembers a day in 2005 when Tentorio, fondly called “Father Pops,” had once called her and showed her proudly the three mahogany trees he planted  there.

“I planted those trees when I first arrived here,” Sanchez quoted Tentorio as telling her.  “When I die ahead of you, please use those trees for my coffin.”

Read the rest of the news here.


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