Update: Retired Surigao bishop dies

A retired bishop assigned to Mindanao died at a San Juan City hospital Monday afternoon at age 78.

Surigao Bishop Emeritus Miguel Cinches passed away at 2:55 p.m. at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center due to cardio-pulmonary arrest.

"Bishop Cinches is fondly remembered in the Diocese of Surigao where he served as its third bishop as a very jolly man who took time to compose religious songs," the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said in its news site.

Cinches was confined to the medical facility since March 22 after he had difficulty breathing.

The prelate was born on February 7, 1932 in Dauis, Bohol and was ordained to the priesthood at age 29 on October 22, 1961 as member of the Society of the Divine Word.

He was appointed Bishop of Surigao on January 10, 1973 at age 41. He resigned on April 21, 2001 at age 69 due to poor health.

Surigao Bishop Antonieto Cabajog, who succeeded Cinches, said the late prelate served Surigao for 28 years and has been loved and respected.

The retired prelate stayed in Surigao for some time and had voiced wishes to spend the remaining years of his life in the diocese he served.

Fr. Isabelo San Luis, president of the Mission Communication Foundation, said the wake will be held at the Villa Cristo Rey, the home for retired Divine Word missionaries.

San Luis said the retired bishop stayed with his fellow retired missionaries after the stroke he suffered after a game of tennis in 2005.

Both Surigao Bishop Cabajog and Fr. San Luis said funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

“Bishops are normally laid to rest at the place of their last assignment," Cabajog said. — LBG, GMANews.TV

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