Last mass for Father Roda at Cotabato City Cathedral

OMI provincial Fr. Ramon Bernabe announced today in a letter that the mass for Roda at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 23, will be held at the Cathedral in recognition of the priest’s roots in Cotabato City and because, on a practical level, it is “a more spacious and convenient venue for a possibly big attendance of mourners” from the city and neighboring areas.

Father Bernabe said a steady stream of visitors has “flocked to visit with and pray for Rey Roda during the past days of his wake, first in Bongao, then in Zamboanga, and now at the Oblate Formation House in Broce.”

Bishop Angelito Lampon, OMI, bishop of the Vicariate of Jolo, to which Fr. Roda belonged,  will be the main celebrant of the funeral mass at 8 a.m. on January 23.

Father Roda is the third Oblate from the Vicariate of Jolo to have been killed in 11 years. Bishop Benjamin de Jesus was gunned down near the Jolo cathedral on February 4, 1997. Father Benjamin Inocencio was killed near where Bishop de Jesus was killed, on December 28, 2000. Father Roda was gunned down in Tabawan, South Ubian, Tawi-tawi evening of January 15, while resisting being taken by armed men.

The armed men took a teacher of the Notre Dame of Tabawan with them. The teacher remains missing.

The usual 6:30 p.m. mass for the slain priest will be held at the cathedral on Tuesday.

After the 8 a.m. mass at the Cathedral on Wednesday, Father Roda’s remains will be taken to our Oblate Cemetery at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Shariff Kabunsuan.

“In the Manila District, a Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, January 23, at 6:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Parish Church. I ask that the Oblates of the district concelebrate at the Eucharist and invite as many of our friends and co-workers in the
Metro Manila area for the celebration of the Eucharist,” Father Bernabe said. (MindaNews)