The cultural heritage body of the Philippine bishops’ conference mourned the death of celebrated church architect and priest Alex Bautista.
The Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church expressed its condolences to the Diocese of Tarlac and those who are mourning the passing of the priest.
In a statement, Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete, chairman of the commission, expressed gratitude for the priest’s service to the Church and for the people.
“He was one of our experts, a Church cultural heritage crusader,” said Bishop Cortes.
He said that it is consoling to know that Father Bautista left “a solid body of work as a priest and an architect”.
“All over the country, and even in China, he has left beautiful churches and sacred structures, which he designed, advised, or built himself,” he said.
Aside from designing churches, Father Bautista was also known as the designer of the altar and the papal chair during Pope Francis’ celebration of the Holy Mass in Manila in January 2015.
The priest has been described as a “rare talent … a full-fledged pastor of souls, but also a practicing architect for church purposes.”
“He is one priest who is passionate and truly competent when it comes to sacred architecture and liturgical art,” added Bishop Cortes.
Father Bautista was the commission’s consultant for church architecture from 2011-2013. He also taught cultural heritage classes at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
He died in a Manila hospital on July 9 from complications caused by myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease. He was 50.