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MANILA, Philippines – The so-called babies of the late Rev Fr James Reuter bade him a final farewell as the American Jesuit priest reached his final dwelling place.
Reuter was laid to rest on Saturday, January 5, at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Jesuit Cemetery in Quezon City.
Before Reuter’s interment, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle officiated a funeral Mass at the Church of the Gesu in the Ateneo de Manila University.
Reuter’s fellow Jesuits, friends and those he mentored in his 96 years as a priest, teacher, and communicator were present to honor his life and legacy.
Anchor and TV host Kim Atienza tweeted on Saturday, “Today, my mentor Fr James B Reuter will be buried. I owe so much to ‘Tatang.’”
Reuter died from lung and heart failure last Monday, December 31. His death sparked a wave of tributes from the Catholic Church, the government, and his mentees.
Best known for his work in the Philippine academe and media, Reuter was instrumental in the formation of the Family Rosary Crusade and Jesuit Communications, the media arm of the Philippine Jesuits.
He was also a key figure in the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.
Reuter was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism in 1989, and was given the Outstanding Service Award by Pope John Paul II in 1981.
‘The great communicator’
“He was a great communicator of the Good News of Jesus, using modern media, even musicals, plays and movies,” Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon told Rappler in a previous interview.
CBCP Media Office director Msgr Pedro Quitorio said Reuter was a “communicator par excellence.”
“He will be remembered for initiating the Rural Mimeo Press during the Martial Law and, later, in facilitating the establishment of radio stations in many dioceses throughout the country,” Quitorio said.
Malacañang also paid tribute to Reuter’s contributions to Philippine society.
"His love of the Philippines and Filipinos was legendary; so much so it earned him a stature and affection beyond the measure of the many awards, both national and sectoral, that he received throughout his long life," said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Another “Reuter baby,” comedian Gabe Mercado mourned his mentor’s death. Because of Reuter, Mercado took part in the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, helping journalist June Keithley in her broadcast in Radyo Veritas.
“Very affected by the death of Fr Reuter. He was a mentor in my grade school and high school years and a close friend of the family,” Mercado tweeted upon hearing the news last week.
“Between the summer of grade 6 and 7 he called me to his office and told me to take care of my grades or he wouldn’t cast me in his plays.”
“And he was the reason why I was in EDSA in 1986,” Mercado said. “Plus he was the first to trust me with comedy roles.” – Rappler.com