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ICC Note: Father Richmond Nilo was shot to death on June 10 as he was in preparation for evening mass in Zaragoza, Philippines. He became the fourth Catholic priest to be shot in the Philippines in the last six months. Only one survived. The increasing violence towards priests is deeply concerning to religious clergy in the country, especially as none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.

06/12/2018 Philippines (Rappler) – The mass has ended and the priests have left but hundreds of parishioners stayed and lined up at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish church in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija on Monday, June 11, to see the remains of slain Catholic priest Richmond Nilo.

Fr Nilo was shot to death on Sunday, June 10, as he was preparing for evening mass at a small chapel in Barangay Mayamot, with about 70 mass-goers as witnesses to the crime.

The chapel, Nuestra Señora dela Nieve, was just one of the many chapels he visited every Sunday of every week to hold masses for parishioners who could not afford to commute to the main parish in the town. Fr Nilo was the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish.

This was why it was no surprise that hundreds of mourners flocked to his wake. Fr Nilo was known as a hardworker who pushed to preside over at least 7 to 10 Masses every Sunday to accommodate as many barangays as he could. On weekdays at the Parish, he often said at least 6 masses.

“Masigasig siyang pari, gusto niya nakakarami siya ng barangay na pinagsisilbihan. Naiinip yan kapag hindi nagmi-misa, gusto niya palagi nasa labas siya,” Hermes Colacito, a member of Knights of Columbus told Rappler.

(He was a hardworking priest. He wanted to serve as many barangays as he could. He would be restless if he was not saying masses. He was always on the go.)

Fr Nilo was also the financial administrator of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, where he helped fellow priests survive after their retirement.

Prior to this, he was president of the College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan City.

He would have celebrated his 17 years in priesthood, and his 44th birthday in July this year.

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For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]