The priest who designed the altar and sacristy for the celebration of the Holy Mass in Luneta during Pope Francis’ Philippine visit in 2015 died on Thursday, July 9.
Father Alex Bautista died of neuromuscular ailment at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City. He was 50.
The priest was pastor of the La Sagrada Familia Parish in Gerona town in Tarlac province during the time of his death.
Father Bautista was featured in news stories or creating the papal chair used by the Holy Father during Mass at the Luneta grandstand on Jan. 17, 2015.
In a Facebook post, the Diocese of Tarlac, however, remembers Father Bautista as “as a dedicated and loving pastor to his flock.”
He served as an architecture consultant to the Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
He was also consultant to many church projects in several archdioceses and dioceses aside from designed churches and buildings in the Philippines and abroad.
The priest designed “iconic” churches, such as the La Sagrada Familia and the Shrine of San Josemaria Escriva, in Tarlac.
“The churches do not only serve as places of worship but as tourism destinations which has made Tarlac one of the best pilgrimage sites in the region,” read a tribute from the provincial tourism office.
Father Bautista was a licensed architect who first worked in Hong Kong for three years before attending seminary formation in Spain in 1995.
After finishing his Philosophy and Theology at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, in 2001, he was ordained priest for the Diocese of Tarlac the following year.
Among his various projects were the restoration of the interior of the Tuguegarao cathedral and the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Minor Basilica in Naga city.