Fr. Mark Ventura: A Servant of God, A Servant of His People!
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is deeply saddened by the murder of Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura, a man of the cloth, a servant of the Catholic Faith. We join the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao in its immeasurable grief over the loss of such a young, committed priest in the service of the least of our brethren.
Such a senseless killing leads us to ask – what is happening to our country and people?
Fr. Mark was not the first to be martyred. Fr. Marcelito Paez was also gunned down in Nueva Ecija after securing the freedom of a political prisoner. The Catholic Church has a long list of its servants, both lay and religious who have given their lives for the Faith and their principles – Fr. Tullio Favali, Fr. Rudy Romano, Fr. Pops Tentorio are just some of them.
Fr. Mark was known to be a passionate and dedicated advocate of the care for creation, for the empowerment of indigenous peoples, and love for the little ones.
As we mourn his death, we rage against a culture of violence now enveloping our beautiful land. We curse the darkness of hate and division that has placed our people in seemingly irreconcilable positions. Our values for life, dignity, compassion, charity, and love are being put to the test. We are all called to love as God does. Amidst the unabated violence, hate, and division, our love for our neighbor is being severely challenged.
But it is not enough to mourn and curse. We as a people must link arms and resolutely recover our common humanity rooted in our faith in God. Our faith also demands justice and so we strongly urge the civil authorities to resolve quickly the assassination of Fr. Mark Ventura.
Death is only a gateway to life everlasting. May Fr. Mark Ventura find peace in the bosom of our Lord.
To his family, friends, and co-workers in the vineyard we offer our deepest sympathies.
In this year of the clergy and consecrated persons, we say again, we are servants of God, we are servants of His people! Persecution and even death will not shake our commitment to love and serve.
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
May 4, 2018
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