The former Bishop of Kidapawan, Federico Escaler, has died on Saturday, aged 93. The Jesuit prelate had been ill and passed away peacefully in his family ancestral residence in San Miguel, Manila on Saturday morning. “Towards the end of 2015, a mass was discovered in his liver for which he declined further intervention,” the Philippine Jesuits said in a statement.
Born in Manila, he served as the first bishop of Kidapawan from 1976 to 1980 until he was appointed to head the newly created Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay. Bishop Escaler spent 17 years in Ipil until his retirement in 1997. “Those indeed were tough years, including his first episcopal assignment,” the Jesuits said, adding that Ipil and Kidapawan were hotbeds of violent conflict during that time.
“Indeed, in 1985, Bishop Freddy was kidnapped and in 1995, another group of armed militants torched Ipil and left at least 53 dead,” they also said. He will be laid to rest following a Funeral Mass on Tuesday, December 1 at 8am at the Church of the Gesu, also in Ateneo.
Bishop Escaler was ordained to the priesthood in June 1954 in Fordham, New York City, and ordained to the episcopate in July 1976 at the Manila Cathedral. He was once the Assistant to Jesuit Provincial, Superior in La Ignacia Retreat House, President and Rector of the Ateneo de Davao, Treasurer of Jesuit Province in Manila, and became President and Rector of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. (CBCPNews)