It was a warm day, perfect for outdoor sports—tennis, football, baseball.
We decided to watch the opening of Fr. Fernando Suarez’s tennis tournament for priests at the plush
Alabang Sports Club. The facility was a "home" for the tennis-playing friends of the well-known healer
priest, Fr. Suarez. He loved and excelled in the sport and wanted his priest friends to have the same
opportunities given him to play the game at the best facilities.
When I arrived at the covered court, I saw him immediately, watching with friends from the balcony.
"Hello, my angel!" he called out while I hurried to him. He looked tired, a towel draped on his
"Angel" was his usual jovial greeting for me and the other close lady friends who did his bidding to
help the projects of the Missionaries of Mary Mother of the Poor (MMPF), such as the annual tennis
tournament. This was fun as all his "angels" would do anything for "Pads." For me, it also meant doing
menial tasks for him and, like that time, it meant approaching his friends for donations for the
tournament. His well-off friends gladly gave tennis equipment, t-shirts, balls, and trophies. They too all
loved "Pads" and we were happily doing his biding. His tennis priests were always so happy attending
his tournaments. They got to play at a class-A tennis venue and were frequently sponsored by Pads’
friends to stay at their homes.
This memorable event was one of the highlights of our get-together. And it would coincide with Pads'
"Aren’t you tired already, Pads?" I teased him taking a chair beside him. He grinned happily and told
us it would be his third game and that he was determined to play well because this particular opponent
was a good player.
God took Fr. Suarez on that fateful day just as he was playing in the third set of their singles match. We
could only watch in horror as he slumped to the ground. He was rushed to the Asian Medical Center. I
followed and said my goodbye to him in the morgue.
I was sobbing and at the same time whispering to him as he lay there in the morgues with an angelic
mien. “Pads wake up…who will heal us now? Wake up please!” But it was the end for us so good night
Fr. Fernando Suarez, healer and friend to everyone!
Here is a more serious account of Suarez's death from an MMPF’s Fr. Randy Orfiano and Sister Santa Rodrigue Grace DMMP.
Fr. Fernando Suarez’ death in February 2020, almost simultaneous with the beginning of the pandemic
era was a preparatory phase almost predictive of what would happen to the MMMP family that he
established had not God’s mighty and merciful hand not intervened. MMMP’s life and Fr. Suarez’s
ideals were challenged, almost threatened to be aborted, with the unfolding of treacherous traps
definitely schemed by the Infernal Enemy who wished to extinguish and terminate a mission started by
God Himself through our Blessed Mother—that of the MMMP healing ministry
These pandemic times, when human life seemed to have become so dispensable, almost as cheap as the
cheapest commodity, except for hospital bills, when Sister Death almost knocked at every unsuspecting
door both of the poor and of the rich, when loss and hopelessness have become the predominant
specters in minds and hearts, both of the weak and the strong, MMMP’s mission has become even more
relevant and imperative in order to help heal this sick and fearful world.
But the MMMP had to grapple with the pandemic within and without. Thanks to the continuous
guidance of our Lord and the protective mantle of our Lady, the steadfast hand and honest intent of our
leaders and mentors, you know who you are, the MMMP has crossed the Red Sea unscathed.
As might be known to many, after the death of its charismatic founder, the support from Fr. Suarez’
friends is not directly transferred to his successors in mission, as is the case with some founders. Some
who supported Fr. Suarez do not necessarily support his successors. The MMMP family, however, is
moving forward with faith in the words of its canonical bishop protector ipso jure Bishop David
William Antonio, DD that the Lord will send the right supporters at every stage of the community’s
life. New supporters will emerge and that is normal. Indeed, though struggling, the board is able to find
ways to sustain the missions bequeathed by its founder.
Aside from the Fr. Suarez Center project in Butong, Taal, where our dear Fr. Fernando Suarez is laid to
rest, the MMMP family is working together to sustain the missionary efforts in Occidental Mindoro,
where Fr. Suarez established the mission area.
Aside from the monthly operational expenses of the missionaries, the seminarians, and the
communities of Sisters in Kidapawan as well as the contemplatives in Davao, the scholarship in
Mindoro, the feeding programs, the members of the board are sustaining the missionaries in their other
missionary tasks. This year 2022 onwards the major task entrusted to the MMMP was the Caritas
Occidental Mindoro covering 23 parishes and chaplaincies of entire Occidental Mindoro. This covers
humanitarian, developmental, and advocacy programs. The MMMP family also extends its gratitude to
individuals and groups who continue to help sustain it in their own little ways.
With these proofs of God’s direct intervention and protection every day, we are able to say, there is hop.
The Lord has not left us abandoned. Fr. Suarez’s and Bishop Palang’s patient and constant intercession
is very tangible. Indeed, God’s grace is sufficient every day.
To the glory, pleasure and praise of God the Trinity!