Guam mourns death of former Yigo priest

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Father Vito San Andres celebrates Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Yigo in this file photo provided by the Archdiocese of Agaña. Father Vito died June 30 in the Philippines. He was 66. (Photo courtesy of Donamila Taitano)

The Archdiocese of Agaña is mourning the death of former Yigo priest Father Vito San Andres, who died June 30 in the Philippines.

Father Vito devoted 40 years of his life serving God in the priesthood and dedicated 30 of those years bringing the love of Christ to the people of Guam, most recently at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Yigo. He was 66.

Family and friends gathered at the Penafrancia Shrine in the Archdiocese of Caceres in the Philippines during his Mass of Christian burial, Archdiocese of Agaña stated in a news release. Monsignor James Benavente, Father Jun Trenchera and Father Mike Crisostomo attended on behalf of Archbishop Michael Byrnes and the people of Guam.

Archbishop Byrnes will be the main celebrant of Mass at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 8 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Yigo as part of a memorial celebration for Father Vito.

Before the Mass, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin at 5 p.m., including a funerary Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Office for the Dead starts at 5:45 p.m. to include Evening Vespers as well as the Benediction and Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Brother clergyman, parishioners, and friends have gathered nightly to pray for the dear priest during nightly Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes for the past week.

A powerful homilist with a strong, engaging voice and deep love for the people he shepherded, Father Vito was ordained a priest on March 18, 1979 for the Archdiocese of Caceres in the Philippines.

His first assignment on Guam was at St. Anthony parish in Tamuning in 1989. He served as pastor of Our Lady of Purification parish in Maina in 1990 and then as assistant chaplain for the U.S. Naval Hospital, Guam.

Father Vito became pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Yigo on Sept. 2, 1996. He also served as pastor of Nuestra Senora de las Paz y Buena Viaje in Chalan Pago in 2003 and at Santa Barbara parish in Dededo from 2004-2012. He returned to Our Lady Lourdes as parochial vicar in 2012.

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