By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Filipino Augustinian missionary succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Spain.
Father Gilbert Luis Centina III died in the city of León in northwest Spain on May 1 at the age of 72.
According to a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post, Fr. Centina was laid to rest on the same day he died at a public cemetery in León.
Centina formerly belonged to the Spanish Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines before he was assigned to different missions abroad.
In Spain, he first served in the Augustinian houses in Neguri and Loui from April 2013 until July 2019. He was last assigned at the Colegio de Nuestra Madre del Buen Consejo in León.
Fr. Centina also served in the Augustinian Vicariate in Iquitos, Peru from 1976 to 1978 and as pastor of the Holy Rosary Church in New York from 2007 to 2010.
The Augustinian friar was also the former school chaplain of Colegio San Agustin – Makati and pastor at San Jose Parish in Iloilo City.
An award-winning author and poet, among his accolades, include his winning the Palanca Memorial Awards, the country’s highest literary honor, in English poetry in 1975. In 1983, he also received the Focus Magazine literary award in English poetry.
Last March, a Filipina Benedictine nun also died of COVID-19 in Spain.