Paoay residents mourn death of parish priest

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte — The Catholic Church faithful in this town are mourning the death of Msgr. Manuel “Bong” Lamprea Jr., parish priest of the historic St. Augustine Church here.

The 59-year-old priest died of cardiac arrest on December 16.

While his body lies in state at Paoay Church, words of condolences as well as gratitude poured in for the priest’s family.

Father Danny Laeda, Parochial Vicar of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, told the PNA in a social media message that the late priest was destined to serve God like his elder brother, the late Father Fred Lamprea.

He said the younger Lamprea had just finished a degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering when he expressed his desire to enter the seminary.

Ordained as priest in 1988, he served in different parishes in Ilocos Norte such as in Banna, Bangui, Batac and Paoay.

His most significant position as a priest was Vicar for Clergy where he distinguished himself by guiding priests with issues.

“Rest in peace, Bong, and you can now prove for yourself lessons learned in Eschatology. Pray for me, that wherever I will have my priestly ministry, everything will be done for the greater glory of God,” Father Laeda said.

For her part, Alice Laeda Pagdilao, a parishioner, said: “As a sister of a priest close to Father Bong, I grew up knowing him and witnessed his devotion to his priestly ministry”.

The Diocese of Laoag through Father Melchor Palomares has called on all the faithful in the parish to donate money to the seminary instead of buying flowers for the late priest.