Fr. Domingo Moraleda, CMF, died in a car accident in Pampanga along the North Luzon Expressway last Nov. 1.  He is the founder of the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia, an affiliate of the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties.THE CHURCH mourns the death of a priest who tried to build a stronghold of religious vocation in Asia.

Last Nov. 1, Fr. Domingo Moraleda of the Claretian Missionaries (CMF) passed away after a road mishap along the North Luzon Expressway. Reports from the Highway Patrol Group said that a bus on the other lane tried to overtake another vehicle by counter flow and hit the green Revo of Moraleda.

Expressions of grief immediately poured in as the renowned Spanish priest was fondly remembered for helping countless men and women across Asia become servants of God and the Church by helping them in their religious education.

“He was a man who worked to see we had all we needed for our studies,” Vietnamese scholar Sister Lucia Nguyen Thi Ngoc said in a report by the Union of Catholic Asian News, a Church news agency in Asia.

Having served in the Philippines for 34 years, he was made Provincial Superior of the Claretian Missionaries for 12 years and a member of the executive board of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) for several years.

He was the Claretian superior when the AMSRP established the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) in June 1997, 53 years after the foundation of its mother institutes in Rome and Madrid in 1944. The ICLA is affiliated with the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties.

The ICLA is a faculty dedicated to theological reflection on consecrated life within the religious and socio-cultural context of Asia.

As founder and director of ICLA, the Claretian Missionary priest regularly had constant contact with UST,other schools, and funding agencies that support scholarships for priests and nuns taking their master’s degree programs.

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The ICLA now has over 200 priests and nuns –- 46 Chinese, 31 Vietnamese, 10 Burmese, and several others from Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Micronesia, Philippines, Poland, Taiwan and Thailand.

Before he went to the Philippines, Moraleda was a missionary in Equatorial New Guinea right after his ordination in 1967. He was born in Toledo, Spain on October 14, 1942.

Tribute

Fr. Fausto Gomez, O.P., regent of the College of Rehabilitation Science and former dean of UST Theology, showered praises on his countryman.

“He was the heart of ICLA and had a great impact on the Church’s hopefuls,” Gomez told the Varsitarian.

Moraleda also lent a helping hand to everyone.

“In the morning, he inspires the next generation of churchmen,” Gomez said. “In the afternoon, all he does is help people who come to seek his service.”

According to Gomez, Moraleda’s passion for pushing young Asian priests has made the churches in Asia well-known, and motivated the Vatican to continue his work as the headstrong leader of the ICLA.

Despite his busy schedule, Moraleda always took the time off to enjoy the serenity and the beauty of God’s creation, Gomez said.

“In his spare time, he goes to Luneta Park and sits on the Grandstand and watch the sunset,” Gomez said.

Gomez said he’s filled with regret and loss at Moraleda’s untimely demise.

“Sometimes, when he goes to Luneta, he would sit there and enjoy, if not a stick of cigarette, a cup of coffee while watching a beautiful sunset,” Gomez said. “We once promised that we would go together and have a cup but sadly, now that he is gone, that chance will never come.”

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