A VERY good priest who radiated with so much joy and kindness.
That is how churchgoers and friends remember Cebu Archdiocese Episcopal Vicar Msgr. Esteban Binghay who died at the age of 84 last Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
One of Cebu’s most beloved clergy, Binghay was known to be very helpful and loving especially to the poor in the different parishes where he had been assigned.
“We will really miss him, but at the same time, we are happy that he can now rest,” Laurito Bocanis told Superbalita Cebu in an interview, referring to the six years of dialysis treatment that brought Binghay in and out of the hospital.
Bocanis worked as Binghay’s personal secretary for 14 years.
He recounted that even when the elderly priest’s health was failing, Binghay continued to say Mass daily.
This was an observation shared by Josephus Taraya, an acolyte who assisted Binghay in his masses.
“Monsignor really had fighting spirit because he never grew tired of saying Mass,” Taraya said in Cebuano, adding that he still found it difficult to believe that Binghay had died.
To him, Binghay’s death felt like losing a real father.
“Ang akong mahinumdoman ni Monsignor kay ang iyang kaayo, nga lahi jud sya pagka amahan gyud sa Simbahan kay siya ato gyud siyang maduolan, nya open kaayo sya sa pag-alagad sa Ginoo (What I will remember most about Monsignor was his goodness. He was really a father of the Church who was very approachable and open in his service to God), ” Taraya said.
Among Binghay’s notable assignments in the parish were Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Sto. Rosario Parish and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Minglanilla town. As parish priest for 10 years each, Binghay was credited for major church rennovations and projects.
Prior to his retirement, he was also a matrimonial judge.
Known for his joyous nature and humorous sermons, Binghay was highly esteemed as a man of the cloth who remained humble and approachable through the years.
Dolores Fernandez, a resident of Guadalupe, shared that the priest always remembered people.
“Bisan wala na sya na assign diri, di gyud na malimot kay motagad gihapon na namo. Motagad gyud to sya, nya magihatagon pud to sya nga pari. Mao nang daghan kay nakaila niya (Even if he was no longer assigned here, he never forgot and still mingled with us. He was very generous as a priest. That’s why a lot of people know him),” Fernandez said.
From Guadalupe Parish, Binghay’s remains will be brought to Sto. Rosario Church Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 for whole day viewing, in between masses, and a concelebrated mass at 8 p.m.
On Thursday, Nov. 7 the wake will be moved to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Minglanilla.
Binghay’s remains will be brought to his hometown, Balamban, on Friday, Nov. 8, where he will be laid to rest on Sunday, Nov. 10.