Priest who, as architect, designed iconic PH churches dies
TARLAC CITY—An architect priest here who designed several iconic churches died on Thursday of a disease that weakens muscles.
Fr. Alex Bautista had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that leads to muscle weakness and died at 2 a.m. while getting treatment at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City. He was 50.
Bautista was a native of Tondo in Manila but served as parish priest in Gerona town, Tarlac province.
Bautista designed the altar at the Quirino Grandstand for the visit of Pope Francis in 2015. He also designed the papal chair for the same event.
He also designed the Shrine of San Josemaria Escriva in Gerona town, which featured a “drive through” for visits to the Blessed Sacrament at the back of the main Tabernacle with a glass window.
The priest, who would have turned 51 in August, also suffered from a collapsed lung.
He also helped design and restore other churches, like the Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan; the interior of the Our Lady of Penafrancia Minor Basilica in Naga City, sacristy of the Our Lady of Manaoag; the interior of San Sebastian Cathedral in this city and a number of churches in Batangas.
Bautista also served as the executive secretary of the Commission on Cultural Heritage of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and later became architect consultant there. He is also the chair of the Tarlac Diocese’s Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.
He had tested negative for the coronavirus disease, according to his friend, Fr. Melvin Castro, Mater Dolorosa parish priest.
But Castro added that results of a more exhaustive coronavirus test would be known by Friday (July 10).
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