A Catholic priest who had been missing after super typhoon Odette (Rai) slammed the central Philippines was found dead, said the Archdiocese of Cebu in a statement.
The archdiocese confirmed the death of Father Eliseo “Leo” Fernandez after identifying his celibacy ring that has a cross design.
The 53-year-old priest was found floating on the shore near Toledo City on December 18, two days after the typhoon struck, and was immediately reported to the local police.
“Father Leo’s brother positively identified the ring as that of Father Leo’s because it also has his name engraved on it,” the statement read.
“The clothes as described by funeral parlor personnel also matched the description of the ones worn by Father Leo on the night he was washed away by the strong current,” it added.
Father Fernandez was serving as parish priest of the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish in the city’s southern town of Badian.
His church and convent are located beside the river and it was believed that the priest was swept away by a flash flood.
The archdiocese urged the faithful to pray for the soul of Father Fernandez and those who died from the disaster, which devastated several provinces in Visayas and Mindanao regions.