Monsignor David I. A. Quitugua was 28 years old when he was ordained as a priest. That day set him on a path to touch many lives in our community. Many who attended one of his sermons at the San Juan Bautista Catholic Church in Ordot say he was soft-spoken and had a warmth surrounding him. He has been described as a very kind loving and gentle priest.
Monsignor David was admitted to the Guam Memorial Hospital on September 3rd and he tested positive for COVID during his initial workup. According to a release from the Joint Information Center, his underlying health issues coupled with the COVID infection ultimately led to his passing Tuesday afternoon.
The heartbreaking news shocked those close to him. One close friend told PNC that Monsignor was doing better and was supposed to be moved to the 3rd floor of GMH and then he was gone.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas, the Monsignor’s nephew, shared on Facebook how Fr. Quitugua helped him through the loss of family.
“He was such a spiritual powerhouse not because of his standing in the Church but in the very life he lived. He embodied unconditional love. It emanated from his presence, radiated in his smile, channeled through his eyes, and hung on every word he spoke,” San Nicolas recalled.
Father Bibi Arroyo reminisced about his longtime friend with K57’s Patti Arroyo this morning.
“We have been friends for the longest time since the seminary to afterward when he went to St John’s. There are so many beautiful things that I can remember of Dave. We really had wonderful times together. We took trips together later on and shared our ministry, shared whatever we had…anything that was worthwhile to share. I know that I will miss him, I’ll miss also Tommy you know the three of us together sometimes they call us the Three Musketeers every time that they see us,” Fr. Bibi said.
The Bell family, parishioners of the San Bautista Church, were also very close to the Monsignor who they said was like a beacon of faith for the family with whom he shared many milestones and Good Friday mornings with over the years. Debra Bell Sablan says he had the ability to unify and care for all. Her daughter Seniayath also looked up to him.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero also recognized the life of service Monsignor David led and his devotions to his parishioners. She issued the following statement: “After surviving the Japanese Occupation on Guam during World War II, he dedicated his life to uplifting our island through the Church. He founded the Catholic Social Service, a faith-based, non-profit organization that continues to serve and uplift all members of the community spiritually, intellectually, and economically. His passing not only affects his family and friends but our entire island.”
Masses and rosaries for Monsignor David will be announced by the Archdiocese of Guam.