FR. FRANCISKUS MADHU, SVD (Witness to the Word)

Murder in Lubuagan

By: Fr. Jerome Adriatico, SVD

(Provincial Superior)

The murder of Fr. Franciskus Madhu, SVD in Lubuagan caused us so much pain and disappointment. We mourn deeply the death of our brother who is a victim of a godless murderer who snuffed his life unceremoniously at the time when his potential is yet to unfold. He was about to celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday as dusk was setting in, when he was shot, riddled with bfrancis-madhu2.jpgullets from an armalite rifle. We condemn that dastardly criminal act as we also hope his blood will open the eyes of people. We urge the government units, the law enforcers, and the local communities to cooperate and coordinate for the immediate apprehension of the assailant and his cohorts that justice be served to our murdered brother.

We are deeply hurt psychologically and we hope that justice will prevail in his case. Guided of course by the Christian principle that we love our neighbor, we hope that we will not be discouraged in our missionary undertaking but will take the challenge to respond to the priority of the SVD work in places where the Gospel is insufficiently preached. The death of Fr. Franciskus is also an eye opener to us because we became more aware that the old order of life in our missions may not be good enough. The kind of life it gave to the people may not be conducive to peace and progress in life. It is for this sad situation that we ask all the loving people to cooperate and establish a good order of a place where people could join hands, pray together, play together, sing and dance together, and enjoy the abundant life together.

People of Lubuagan, people of Kalinga, we come to you and share your life with no material gains. We bring to you the Christian message so you will have all the opportunities to realize your dreams. We wish that you come and march together, go up to the top of your beautiful mountains and look down on the promised land the Lord has prepared for you and your children. Preserve the beauty of that promised land and share equitably all the blessings of the Almighty God who generously gave that to all of you. Live the promise in joy and peace.

In the Divine Word and with the SVD Philippine Northern Province.

 (from the AMIANAN TRIBUNE – City of San Fernando, La Union, June 2-8, 2007)